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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wanted Wednesday - September 7, 2016

Happy Wednesday!

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas


Average Rating: 3.83/5 stars
Published: April 19, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Summary according to Goodreads

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wanted Wednesday - August 31, 2016

Happy Wednesday!

All In Pieces by Suzanne Young


Expected Publication: November 8, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Summary according to Goodreads

“Anger-management issues.”

That’s how they classified Savannah Sutton after she stuck a pencil in her ex-boyfriend’s hand because he mocked her little brother, Evan, for being disabled. That’s why they sent her to Brooks Academy—an alternative high school that’s used as a temporary detention center.

The days at Brooks are miserable, but at home, life is far more bleak. Savvy’s struggling to take care of her brother since her mom left years ago, and her alcoholic dad can’t be bothered. Life with Evan is a constant challenge, but he’s also the most important person in the world to Savvy.

Then there’s Cameron, a new student at Brooks with issues of his own; a guy from a perfect family that Savvy thought only existed on TV. Cameron seems determined to break through every one of the walls Savvy’s built around herself, except if she lets herself trust him, it could make everything she’s worked so hard for fall apart in an instant.

And with her aunt seeking custody of her brother and her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, Savvy’s fighting to hold all the pieces together. But she’s not sure how much tighter she can be pulled before she breaks completely.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fall Unhauls!

Hello all! Sorry for the lack of posts, I have hit a recent blog/reading/life slump. All I want to do when I'm not working is curl up and watch reality TV. Because of my terrible reading slump I have gotten rid of even more books, so here is the list of ones I have donated!

Books I Won’t Read Again

Brunette Ambition by Lea Michelle

Books I Didn’t Enjoy
Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuhen (DNF’d)

Books I Have Lost Interest in Reading
The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove
No Place by Todd StrasserFear the Worst by Linwood Barclay
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Endgame: The Calling by James Frey
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Hexed by Michelle Krys
Something Between Us by Jessica Martinez
Kiss, Kill, Vanish by Jessica Martinez
The Dinner by Herman Koch
Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard 
The Fall by Bethany Griffin
Renegade by J.A Souders
When She Woke by Hilary Jordan
A Thousand Cuts by Simon Lelic
Rooms by Lauren Oliver
Second Life by S.J. Watson

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wanted Wednesday - August 24, 2016

Happy Wednesday!

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

Average Rating: 3.67/5 stars
Published: July 5, 2016
Genres: Horror, Fiction

Summary according to Goodreads

An astonishingly inventive and terrifying debut novel about the emergence of an ancient species, dormant for over a thousand years, and now on the march.

Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, D.C. laboratory. Something wants out.


The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Books I Did Not Finish

The following is four novels that I have DNF'd over the past couple of months. Let me know your thoughts on any of these books!


Looking for Alaska by John Green

I know, I know. I am not sure if it is just me, but I found this novel to be very bland. I was excited to pick up this novel because of all the hype, and the setting of a boarding school is not one I have read often. From the very beginning I was able to guess what this great tragedy was going to be, and was not something that I thought would get better (in my opinion). 

I gave this novel up after reading a little over half (I got past the “after”), and had still felt no connection to the character. Our main character Miles “Pudge” was an average character, who did not stand out for me at all. Reading his perspective felt like I was reading observations, and that neither him or I had any connection to the story. 

I appreciate what message was trying to be sent in this novel, but for me there were too many other distractions to really understand it. After reading this novel I have come to the realization that John Green novels are not for me. 


The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

This is another novel for which my expectations were very high. I have since heard that this is a novel that you either love or hate, but every review I had heard was very positive. 

When I first heard the plot for this novel, it was not very attractive to me. A teenage girl getting together with her now-dead sister’s boyfriend? No thanks. Even after reading 100 pages of this novel, and trying to understand Lennie’s grief, I could not get over her relationships. I found no appeal to either of the love interests, and wish instead that there was more focus on Lennie and her family recovering from the grief - it had been four weeks since the loss of her sister.

Because this novel is on the shorter side I had expected to be attached to the story very quickly, and was disappointed when that did not happen. 


Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuhen

This is a novel that I had had on my shelves for quite some time, but had heard nearly nothing about. I know now why this was not as popular as other young adult fiction. 

This novel follows a young man who goes to boarding school in New England, because of some family tragedy that happened a couple of years back. I did not read enough of this novel to find out what the tragedy was, nor did I care enough to find out. There were different references to what could have happened, but if the cover and symbolisms are any indication - this guy thought he was a werewolf. I went into this expecting a psychological thriller, but instead I was just confused the entire time, not connected to any of the characters, and bored throughout. 


Night Road by A.M Jenkins 

This is a novel that I had not heard about before, and was interested in the cover when I saw it sitting in my library. When I started reading this I did not know that it was a vampire story, but was still interested because that is a sub-genre I don’t read very often. Maybe vampire stories are just not for me, because I really did not enjoy this novel.

I read about 100 pages of this 360 page book, and could not push myself any farther. It was told in third-person when I would have preferred first narrative so that we could get deeper into the mind of Cole, whose story we were following. I did not enjoy the way they were describing how the “heme’s” lived, and still never understood what kind of a business they were running. Overall it was a very easy decision for me to stop reading it and return it to the library.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Auto-Buy Author: David Levithan

Auto-Buy Author: David Levithan

Average Rating: 3.84/5 stars
Genres: Young Adult, LGBTQ


Top Three By This Author:

1. Every Day
2. The Lover’s Dictionary
3. Two Boys Kissing


David Levithan is one of the first YA authors that I started reading when I got back into my reading a few years ago. I fly through his novels so quickly, and are always diverse in both their plot and characters. All of the novels I have read from him are character driven, with interesting and developed plots, and pages you don’t want to stop turning. His first novel was not published until 2003, but reading his novels pretty close to publication order, it is clear how much he has grown and developed as a writer!

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is another one of my favourites, especially in the winter, but I didn’t include it in my top three because it is one that he co-wrote. All of his novels are so quotable, I hardly have a copy that doesn't have page flags sticking out of it! If you are looking for a light contemporary with heavier plot undertones, I would recommend this author!

I own about nine of his novels, with a couple additional ones he has co-written. Whenever David Levithan announces a novel release, I preorder it. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

#fridayreads - August 19, 2016

Happy Friday!

I worked all day and am finally able to sit down and write this post. I recently got offered a job promotion so today I had to go to a different store to sign all of my paperwork - effective Monday! I am so excited! This weekend I will be going to a wedding, so any reading I get done will be tonight and Sunday!


I am hoping to finish Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier. I had taken this out of my local library but it was due back before I could finish it. I was enjoying it so much that I had to purchase it in order to keep reading. It was delivered yesterday so I am anxious to see how the story progresses!


If and when I finish that, I will more than likely be picking up Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. My reading has been off lately and I need to get in one last summer novel before I start up school again. I want to go back into my monthly TBR in order to get myself back on a reading schedule, but I will have to see how that goes entering my third year of university!

What will you be doing this weekend? Any reading plans? Let me know!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Why Not Me? Review

Why Not Me?

Written by Mindy Kaling
Number of pages: 223

Average Rating: 3.89/5 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Published on September 15, 2016
Read in August 2016


Summary according to Goodreads

In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.


My Thoughts

I need to start out with the disclaimer: I love Mindy Kaling. She is one of the most talented, multi-dimensional, interesting actors that I have ever come across. I have never watched The Office, which is something that she has written for and acted on, but I have seen every episode (at least three times) of her own show The Mindy Project. 

This novel is a collection of short essays, categorized mostly by life advice, and her past experiences. She talks a lot about relationships which I found to be honest and entertaining, as well as some harder moments in life such as losing her mom, battling with weight issues, and the struggle of trying to get her own show. After reading this novel I feel so much more respect for Mindy, because she has spent so many years building her career, and working hard to maintain it. She is in her late-thirties, but does not feel that she needs to change who she is in order to keep up with today’s standards. 

My only issue with this novel is that it was not as fast-paced as her first novel! I am not sure what the difference was, since both were told in short essays, but I found her previous release to be much more interesting. I cannot help but wonder if I would have given this novel a full five stars if I had been able to listen to it on audiobook (I had been on hold for months from the library) because she would be the one reading it. If I ever feel like reading this again, I will definitely be listening to it!

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and might be an even bigger fan of Mindy’s. I feel as though you would be able to read and enjoy this novel, even if you have not seen some of her works on the Office or the Mindy Project. Make sure you check it out!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wanted Wednesday - August 17, 2016

Happy Wednesday!

The End of the Line: An Anthology of Underground Horror edited by Jonathan Oliver


Average Rating: 3.84/5 stars
Published: October 26, 2010
Genres: Horror, Short Stories

Summary according to Goodreads

This collection of stories from some of horror fiction’s best authors will glue you to the page, but watch out; it may leave you too afraid to take the metro to work.

In deep tunnels something stirs, borne on a warm breath of wind, reeking of diesel and blood. The spaces between stations hold secrets too terrible for the upper world to comprehend and the steel lines sing with the songs of the dead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Grownup Review

The Grownup

Written by: Gillian Flynn
Number of pages: 64

Average Rating: 3.55/5 stars
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Published on November 3, 2015
Read in August 2016


Summary according to Goodreads

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behaviour, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.


My Thoughts

This was my first experience reading Gillian Flynn, which might come as a surprise when considering her popularity. I enjoyed the movie adaptation of Gone Girl, and was interested to see this novella sitting on the shelf of my local bookstore. The psychological thriller genre is one that I am new to, so felt I should give this a try because it is so short. 

The length did contribute to one of the reasons that I did not enjoy this story. I felt like there were too many scattered pieces to the story, a woman gives hand jobs for a profit and then is trying to ward off evil in someone’s house? Okay. I was fairly confused while reading this little novel, because I could never wrap my head around the plot. This story really messed with my mind which is why I’m giving it three stars, but nothing higher because I feel like it didn’t mean anything. It was just an easy way to help catch up on my reading challenge.

Overall, it was not something that I loved and wish I had not purchased. If you are interested in reading this story I would recommend checking your local library first, before spending the $10 on a hardcover copy.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Tilt Book Review

Tilt 


Written by Ellen Hopkins
Number of Pages: 608

Average Rating: 4.19/5 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Published on September 11, 2012
Read in August 2016


Summary according to Goodreads

Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.


My Thoughts

Ellen Hopkins is one of my favourite authors, and whenever I want to be captivated, she is the one I pick up. All of her novels deal with heavy topics, and is something that I have come to appreciate in YA literature. Halfway through reading this novel I discovered that it is a companion to Triangles, from different perspectives, but it did not hinder my experience reading this story. 

The plot lines in this story were so realistic, it was almost scary! Throughout my reading experience I really bonded with these characters, even the secondary ones! Mikayla’s story was not one that is unique in our society, that of a sixteen year old girl discovering an unwanted pregnancy. She begins this novel completely head-over-heels with her boyfriend, only to discover that first love is not always perfect. Shane’s story is one that I have not read much before, that being a young teen growing into his sexuality while living under a strong religious household. Discovering first love and the harsh realities of death, the reader can relate to Shane on so many different levels. Finally, Harley’s story portrayed first love and how far a young girl will go to impress the one she “loves”. She was my least favourite character to read, because she was filled with angst, and was constantly doubting herself wanting to impress a jerk who didn’t care about her. 

There was so much development between everyone, I am very happy with how the three stories progressed. If I had to pick a favourite character it would be Shane because it was encouraging to see a young man stand up for himself and who he is, even when it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. I related a lot to his mental struggles, and was compassionate when he dealt with them through self-medication. Life is not an easy journey, but Shane’s story felt the most real without the angst. 

This novel had quite a few plot twists, a few of which I did not anticipate. I wish I had been able to read this book in fewer time, but my work schedule kept me fairly busy. One of my favourite things about this novel, was although we followed three main perspectives, at the end of each we got a look into a character close to the one we followed (best friend, boyfriend, etc) - which made you feel like you were getting a complete story!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and will continue to auto-buy Ellen Hopkins’ novels! If you enjoy young-adult novels that are written in verse, or deal with heavier plot lines, I recommend you looking into her books!


Friday, August 12, 2016

#fridayreads - August 12, 2016

Happy Friday!

Sorry that this post is later than usual, but Toronto is in a heat wave and I don't have air conditioning so... about an hour ago i finished Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling and I loved it! I will be posting my review next week, so keep an eye out! Tomorrow I go back to work after a week off, so I want to pick up a graphic novel to keep things light! The one that I have out of the library right now is Black Hole by Charles Burns! This is categorized as horror so I am very excited to get into it. It is on the thicker side, but I don't think it will take me long to get through. If I manage to get through that before the weekend is up, I will pick up Your Voice is All I Hear by Leah Scheier. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Recently Purchased 2016 #3

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
     Goodreads: click here

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list. 


Lock In by John Scalzi
     Goodreads: click here

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what's now known as "Haden's syndrome," rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an "integrator" - someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.

But "complicated" doesn't begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery - and the real crime - is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It's nothing you could have expected.


You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan
     Goodreads: click here

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.


The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
     Goodreads: click here

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again. All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost - and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House... before its skeletons come back to haunt me.


The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odessy by Chris Colfer
     Goodreads: click here

Since this novel is the fifth in a series, I will not be including a synopsis.


These are the books I have picked up recently! Have you read any of them? What were your thoughts? Let me know!