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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Library Book Haul #1

Good morning! 

For some reason I am always drawn to the library while on summer vacation, even though I have plenty of unread novels sitting on my shelf. Today I thought it would be fun to show you which ones I have picked up recently, and to get your feedback on them! If you notice a theme, I am really into the horror genre right now.


102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn
Goodreads: click here

At 8:46am on September 11, 2011, 14,000 people were inside the twin towers - reading emails, making races, eating croissants at Windows on the World. Over the next 102 minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages, one witnessed only by the people who lived it - until now.

Of the millions of words written about this wrenching day, most were told from the outside looking in. New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn have taken the opposite - and far more revealing- approach. Reported from the perspectives of those inside the towers, 102 Minutes captures the little-known stories of ordinary people who took extraordinary steps to save themselves and others. Beyond this stirring panorama stands investigative reporting of the first rank. An astounding number of people actually survived the place impacts but were unable to escape, and the authors raise hard questions about building safety and tragic flaws in New York's emergency preparedness.


Your Voice is All I Hear by Leah Scheier 
Goodreads: Click here

April won't let Jonah go without a fight. He's her boyfriend - her best friend. She'll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark depression, trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, and opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters - and the ones in his head?




The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Goodreads: Click here

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mack would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs. 


Ouija by Katharine Turner
Goodreads: Click here

It's not just a game. As far as Elaine Morris is concerned, the Ouija board is just a game she played at sleepovers as a kid. But her best friend, Debbie, has been messing around with one recently - and claims she's starting to hear strange noises around the house. Elaine thinks Debbie is a total dork for getting spooked, until Debbie dies in a horrible and haunting way. Desperate to figure out what really happened to her friend, Elaine starts using the Ouija board to uncover its mystery. She soon learns that something sinister has come through the board, and it's not ready to say goodbye. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wanted Wednesday - June 29, 2016

Happy Wednesday! I used to do weekly posts on my blog where I would tell you which novels I had at the top of my wish list - and I am bringing that back! There are so many novels currently on my wish list, and I would love to get your opinion on which to buy (or lend out from the library) next!

Burning by Danielle Rollins

Average Rating: 3.60/5 stars
Published on April 5, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Horror

Synopsis according to Goodreads

After three years in juvie, Angela Davis is just a few months shy of release, and she'll finally be free from the hole that is Brunesfield Correctional Facility. Then Jessica arrives. Only ten years old and under the highest security possible, this girl has to be dangerous, even if no one knows what she did to land in juvie. As strange things begin happening to Angela and her friends that can only be traced to the new girl's arrival, it becomes clear that Brunesfield is no longer safe. They must find a way to get out, but how can they save themselves when the world is forgetting them?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Daughters Unto Devils Book Review



Daughters Unto Devils Book Review

Written by Amy Lukavics
Number of pages: 231

Average Rating: 3.56/5 stars
My Rating: 1/5 stars

Published on September 29th 2015
Read in June 2016


Summary according to Goodreads

When sixteen-year old Amanda Verner's family decides to move from their small mountain cabot to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.

When the Vernes arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn't right on the prairie. She's heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guild and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.


My Thoughts

I hated this novel so very much, it was a pain to finish. Considering it is only slightly more than 200 pages, I struggled to continue reading - it took me many days to actually finish. I did not want to write this review because I only have negative things to say, however I did make a resolution to review every book that I read this year. 

It was not scary at all. It took about 100 pages just to actually get to this "haunted" cabin where they mention the blood on the walls, and then move in anyway. So its a bit of a fixer-upper? No big deal to this family of seven. Even after that, there weren't any horrifying things. I saw every plot twist coming, every scary scene that could have happened, every scary scene that could have  happened, every strategy that they had to reach a solution.

There were many references to "last winter", but it takes a long time for us to actually figure out what happened. It is not hard to guess the events of winter based on the events of the novel, however it did not build any anticipation and instead just became very annoying. The world building (or lack of) made it hard to put yourself in the story, as there was a strange way of passing time and setting the tone. 

This novel was nothing original, nothing captivating, nothing poetic, it was just there. I was bored the entire time I was reading it, and considered giving up many times - I just kept hoping it would get better. The characters were very bland and disconnected, I felt not empathy or emotion for anyone in this story. The main character herself didn't even seem to care about her family, so why should I as a reader?

The only positive thing that I can say is that I liked the cover - it was much scarier than the story was. 

Overall, I was extremely disappointed with this novel as I was very excited about the plot. It was a very slow and disengaging read, and I feel as though I am now in a reading slump. Take my review with a grain of salt, because my views are against most opinions. The reviews that I have seen have been fairly positive, so do your research if this is something that interests you!


Monday, June 27, 2016

My 10 TBR Catch-Up Tips!

Happy Monday! Starting next week is our read-a-thon for #AYearAThon where our theme is "TBR Catch-Up"! I am so excited because I have so many books that I own and haven't read (about 200 if I'm being honest). The idea behind this theme is to catch up on your reading goals or your TBR pile, and basically read as much as you can throughout the week!

1. Read shorter books

I am starting with one of the most obvious tips, but one that some people might overlook. Sit down with your TBR and see which books you have that are the shortest. Make sure they are ones that you have interest in reading, then pick one of those up to start! The more books you finish, the more accomplished you will feel!

2. Finish one book before you start another

Some people think that you read more/faster when reading multiple books at a time, but I would have to disagree. When I read two books at once I have a hard time balancing them, and find it takes me longer to finish either of them. At the same time I find it more appealing to start another novel, because I've already got others going - so what would one more hurt?

3. Have an idea of which books you want to read next - and get excited about them!

I always plan out the next three books that I want to read, in order to get myself pumped up to read them. Knowing I'll be picking up something that I am excited about, helps me to get through the one I am currently reading.

4. Carry a book with you at all times

No matter where you go or what you have planned for the day, there is always a chance that you will have spare minutes to read. Be prepared! I work in retail and am always on the sales floor, but I still take my book with me to work. I always try to read during my breaks, because every page counts!

5. Consider listening to an audiobook

This tip kind of connects with the last one, because it you travel to work (like I do) you could probably get a chapter in. My drive is only fifteen minutes each way, but I should spend that time listening to a book instead of blasting Drake down the highway. I do not pay for my audiobooks, instead I borrow them from my library through Overdrive.

6. Do not speed read! Let yourself enjoy the story

What is the point of reading a novel if you are just going to skim over the pages? Some people can naturally read fast, and I wish I was one of those people. I have to read very careful in order to grasp all of the contexts, ideas, and characters - but it ends up helping me enjoy the story. I would rather read two books in a week and love both of them, than six in a week and not remember what any of them were about.

7. Put time aside for yourself to read

Don't force yourself to read, but don't put it on the back burner either. I am a sucker for Netflix binges, but have found that when I multitask chores or blogging with watching TV, my mind can settle down at night to read. Not gonna lie, I take my iPad up to the bathroom while I do my makeup to watch Friends. 

8. Trying to get ahead or catch up on your Goodreads goal? Try graphic novels or novellas!

These count as individuals if you choose to add the that way, and can help you to achieve your goals! I also lean more toward novellas as I feel more complete in finishing series, but have recently been picking up more graphic novels. 

9. Read a genre that you are familiar with and comfortable reading quickly

If your mind is already set into one genre, it will take a lot less time for you to get into those worlds. My go-to genre is new adult because they don't involve any world-building, the plots are easy to read, and the pages seem to turn themselves!

10. My last tip is kind of two parts:

Don't be afraid to unhaul books that you don't think you will read! This has been the biggest thing for me to overcome lately, as well as giving up on novels I am not enjoying. At one point I owned over 1000 books, and have since gotten that number down to around 300. I feel so much lighter after both donating and selling these books, and have found it very thrilling.

Do not let yourself get overwhelmed. You will eventually put yourself into a reading slump. If your mind does not want to read, forcing yourself will only make it worse. Take the night off to watch a movie, or a favourite TV show, and pick the book up to read the next day.


I hope that you found at least one of my tips helpful, but if you have any of your own please let me know! I am constantly trying to lower my TBR, but it is not a quick task. Make sure you follow #AYearAThon on both Instagram and Twitter (@AYearAThon), and join our goodreads group to keep up with us every month!

Happy reading!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Every Day Book Review

Every Day

Written by David Levithan
Number of pages: 322

Average Rating: 4.0/5 stars
My Rating: 5/5 stars (again)

Published on August 28, 2012
Read again in June 2016


Summary according to Goodreads

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. There's never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. 

It's all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with - day in, day out, day after day. 


My Thoughts

I decided to reread this novel because of our AYearAThon theme, and I am so happy that I did. I first read this novel a few years ago, and it was one of my favourite books of all time. This was the first novel I ever read by David Levithan, and I have since read almost everything he has published. 

Because this is not a character driven novel, you have to feel everything. You fall in love with the personalities, their emotions, their being. They are so much more than people, they are stripped down to the bareness of their soul - leaving you with this extremely powerful novel and an even stronger sense of self. 

I am in love with the way that David Levithan brought mental illness into his story. Since A is in a different body every day, it is nice to see how depression or anxiety is handled. Mental illness is not a personality trait. It is not something that comes and goes. David Levithan expresses this through passages such as; "Eventually though, I realized these inclinations, these compulsions, were as much a part of the body as its eye colour or its voice." So many times people believe that mental illness is something you can get over by smiling more, or eating more often. He later goes on to write one of the truest lines I have ever read; "It is a hard cycle to conquer. The body is working against you. And because of this, you feel even more despair. Which only amplifies the imbalance." I read these passages many times over, just so I could completely absorb the words and the truth behind them. 

As with all of his novels, this one was such a page-turner! I could sit and read 100 pages straight without even realizing I had. The story is so captivating, I could have read it in one-sitting if I didn't have to work the next morning. I found the ending to be a little abrupt, but I understand the idea he was trying to get across. I am hoping to find more closure in the companion, which I will be picking up next. 

Overall, this is still one of my favourite novels both for the poetic writing, and unique plot. This is something that I would recommend to everyone as it covers different topics such as LGBT, mental health, cultures, and more. 



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Catacomb Book Review

Catacomb

Written by Madeline Roux
Number of pages: 335

Average Rating: 3.82/5 stars
My Rating: 1.5/5 stars (rounded to 2)

Published on September 1st, 2015
Read in June 2016


Summary according to Goodreads

Sometimes the past is better off buried.

Senior year is finally over. After all they've been through, Dan, Abby, and Jordan are excited to take one last road trip together, and they're just not going to think about what will happen when the summer ends. But on their way to visit Jordan's uncle in New Orleans, the three friends notice that a black muscle car appears to be following them. And Dan starts receiving phone messages from someone he didn't expect to hear from again - someone who died last Halloween. 

As the strange occurrences escalate, Dan is forced to accept that everything that has happened to him in the past year may not be a coincidence, but fate - a fate that ties Dan to a group called the Bone Artists, who has a sinister fascination with notorious killers of the past. Now, Dan's only hope is that he will make it out of his senior trip alive. 


My Thoughts

What a terrible novel and terrible conclusion. I can only hope that this is the last novel in the series because I cannot imagine what the author could come up with to drag the story out. There was not one aspect of this novel that I enjoyed or appreciated - except that we finally got some answers asked in the first novel. 

In all of the books I have read, these three characters are some of the dullest and fakest I have come across. The relationships did not seem real, they were completely reckless, and seemed to have no regard for boundaries or consequences. Somebody gets seriously injured and nobody calls the police? A hospital? Just tells an adult? Considering how these teen's parents had no issues with them driving across the United States, it doesn't surprise me too much that they didn't check in often. 

Nothing special about the setting. Nothing special about the plot. It was no longer a "horror" novel, but instead turned into a murder-mystery while trying to figure out Dan's family history. There were some ghost moments at the beginning, including text messages from a long-dead friend, but that was almost completely forgotten until the end when things were wrapping up. 

I think my biggest disappointment from this novel was the decline in the quality of pictures. In the previous two novels I could count on the photos to provide some horror, some addition to the plot, and overall enjoyment. However, in this novel the photographs were less significant, much less terrifying, and felt more like a filler between pages. 

There are few things I dislike more than writing a negative review, since I always try to find something good in every novel. I think that Madeline Roux has a strong talent for story telling, but feel that she would shine better in a more contemporary story! I have nothing against her at all, and instead believe that my expectations were very high due to how many horror movies I watch.

I was really hoping this series would end on a positive note, but instead I wish I had stopped after the first novel. Things just got dragged out more than they needed to be, and did not make the story better because of this. Overall, I would not recommend it as a good horror novel, or even to purchase. If you are interested in reading this series I would recommend checking it out from your local library to make sure it is your taste!



Monday, June 20, 2016

Sanctum Book Review

Sanctum

Written by: Madeline Roux
Number of pages: 343

Average Rating: 3.87/5 stars
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Published: August 26, 2014
Read in June 2016


Summary according to Goodreads

Dan, Abby, and Jordan remain traumatized by the summer they shared in the Brookline asylum. Much as they'd love to move on, someone is determined to keep the terror alive, sending the teens photos of an old-timer carnival, with no note and no name. Forsaking their plan never to go back, the teens return to New Hampshire College under the guise of a weekend for prospective students, and there they realize that the carnival from the photos is not only real, it's here on campus, apparently for the first time in many years. 

Sneaking away from sample classes and college parties, Dan and his friends lead a tour of their own - one through the abandoned houses and hidden places of the surrounding town. Camford is hiding a terrible past, and the influence of the asylum runs deeper than Dan ever imagined. 


My Thoughts 

I was very disappointed with this novel. Asylum was such a fast paced and scary read, I could not help but keep my expectations high. This novel was different from the first in many ways, none of which are very positive. Because this is a sequel I will not be talking too much about the plot for the sake of spoilers, just know that the same plot continues into this novel.

From the very beginning this move was much more slower paced, and not as gripping to read. I felt like this was more of a filler in the series, as there was a lot of research being done, and not too much excitement. The whole novel led up to one moment which lasted about 10 pages, and was even a plot twist I had seen coming right away. However, these novels are quick reads because the chapters are very short and there are creepy, old photos spread throughout. 

I am not sure if this novel is still classifieds a horror because I was not scared at all. I found the abandoned asylum in the first book terrifying, but there was nothing like that in this novel. I did not think the plot or characters were very strong, and I was very disappointed. 

I am giving this novel three stars instead of two because of the amazing pictures that are included consistently. I included a couple of my favourites in this review, because they definitely added to the overall story. Our three main characters are doing investigations and finding old photographs, so it was nice to be able to see what they were seeing. 

With the way that this novel ended I have no idea how it can possibly continue into a third novel, without it being only about Dan's family history. I am not overly excited to read it, but will be picking it up next because I want to finish the series. 



Friday, June 17, 2016

The Epidemic Book Review

The Epidemic

Written by: Suzanne Young
Number of pages: 384

Average Rating: 4.32/5 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Published: April 19, 2016
Read in May 2016


Summary according to Goodreads

In a world before The Program Quinlan McKee has spent her life acting as other people. She was a closer, a person hired to play the role of the recently deceased in order to give their families closure. Through this process, Quinn learned to read people and situations, even losing a bit of herself to do so. But she couldn't have guessed how her last case would bring down her entire world.

The only person Quinn trusts is Deacon, her best friend and the love of her life. Except Deacon's been keeping secrets of his own, so Quinn must set out alone to find Arthur Pritchard, the doctor who's been trying to control her life. The journey brings Quinn to Arthur's daughter, Virginia, who tells Quinn the truth about Pritchard's motives. The former closer will start to see that she is the first step to fighting an epidemic.

But Quinlan doesn't want to be a cure. And with all the lies surround her, she realizes she has no one left to rely on but herself, even if she doesn't know who that is anymore.


My Thoughts

I am so happy that I have finished this duology, and even more happy with how it tied into The Program. There is not much I can say in regards to this novel because it is a sequel, however Suzanne Young is amazing at writing characters and setting up a plot. These novels are so easy for me to read and get sucked into, and even though they follow a heavy plot line, there are some funny and romantic moments. 

I fell in love with these characters: Quinn for her independence and perseverance, Aaron for his quirks and dependability, and of course Deacon for always following his instincts. None of these characters were perfect, and I was afraid of losing any of them - because the characters would not be the same without the others. It is very rare to find a group of characters that mesh so well together, but these three are great together in these novels. 

There were many, many, MANY deaths in this novel, quire a few of which I did not think were necessary. I could be biased because I cared for these characters, however the basic plot of this series is a suicide epidemic. There was so much heartbreak in these 350+ pages, I don't know how I did not end up bawling my eyes out. Between the secrets, the betrayals, and the suicides, it is a wonder that these characters were still standing tall.

My only small issue with this novel, and the only reason I could not give it five stars, was because of the pacing. This story felt slower than this others, and almost as though she was trying to tie up to many ends at once. There were a lot of turns in the story, and I got confused of where it was going. There was a lot of travelling, a lot of meetings, a lot of secrets, and a lot of new characters introduced. 

I am not over the last paragraph before the epilogue. Suzanne Young wrote the most amazing passage about love and how being with the person you love is the only home you need. I had to read it a few times over, and it left me speechless. I know that this and other quotes from this novel are going to stick with me for a long time, and that makes a great novel for me. 

I am so grateful for both epilogues at the end of this novel. Overall, this is one of my favourite young-adult series, and has been since I first read The Program. I cannot wait to get my hands on The Adjustment, and see what else can happen in this world. 



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Remedy Book Review

The Remedy

Written by Suzanne Young
Number of pages: 402

Average Rating: 4.30/5 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars (again)

Published April 21, 2015
Read again in May 2016


Summary according to goodreads

Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill - she can "become" anyone. 

Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She's not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, and studies them through pictures and videos. Soon, Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can't get attached. 

Now seventeen, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometime confusing her own past with those of the people she's portrayed. When she's given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl's boyfriend. But that's only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina's death. And the epidemic it could start. 


My Thoughts

I decided to read this novel again in order to refresh my memories on some of the smaller details, before I picked up the sequel. It had been almost a year since I read this, and I could only remember the general plot and the basic elements of the characters. The Program is one of my favourite young-adult series, but unfortunately the prequels have not yet lived up to my expectations.

The first time I read this novel I was going to give it three stars because I did not like the plot. The idea of a family hiring a "replacement" to their deceased child was astounding to me, and something I could never imagine how it would help the family. I am not sure whether it is because I have since taken many psychology classes, or just because I was already familiar with the world, but I better understood and appreciated the way these doctors were dealing with the grief. Although I am still not a huge fan of this concept, in the real world at least, I like how it was done in the novel - especially that there were members of society who were completely disgusted by it. 

I envy Suzanne Young so much because she has a remarkable ability to create an atmosphere that I can feel, using only words. All of her settings and characters were vibrant and alive, but she was also able to make the reader feel like they were in the setting with Quinn. Quinn was a good character to read, she was strong and independent, but knew when to reach out for help.She has been working in this field for a long time, but deep down she wanted to have a normal teenage life - which made her more susceptible to attachment. I did not enjoy her father's character because I could not imagine my mother putting me in the situations Quinn was in. Her partner Aaron and ex-boyfriend Deacon were great friends for her that kept her grounded, and provided some helpful advice and much-needed humour to the story. 

The ending was just as amazing reading it the second time around, and it was not until I was more than halfway through the novel that I remembered what the twist was. This novel was so captivating, I felt like I was reading it for the first time. Suzanne Young is an amazing writer, and I will read anything that she writes. 

I believe that I would have liked this novel much better if it had been shorter. There were a lot of interactions and scenes that I did not feel were necessary except to add length, and taking these away would have made it a much quicker read. I am very excited to see where this story progresses and only have a few ideas of what could happen - but no idea how it will end. I really hope that it ties in nicely to The Program, but that we reach a satisfying conclusion with these characters. 



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Recently Purchased 2016 #1

Hello!

It has been a very long time since I have done a book haul on my Youtube channel. I have been having terrible camera problems, which is why I have not been posting videos. I loved doing book hauls, so to compensate for my lack of filming, I will be posting my book purchases here on my blog! Once I have around 5 books I will do a post showing what I bought and summaries (hyperlinked from goodreads) of those novels!


The Epidemic by Suzanne Young - Companion to The Remedy
     Goodreads: click here
     * I have already read this novel

Quinlan McKee has spent her life acting as other people. She was a closer - a person hired to play the role of the recently deceased in order to give their families closure. Through this process, Quinn learned to read people and situations, even losing a bit of herself in doing so. But she couldn't have guessed how her last case would bring down her entire world. 

The only person Quinn trusts is Deacon, her best friend and the love of her life. Except Deacon's been keeping secrets of his own, so Quinn must set out alone to find Arthur Pritchard, the doctor who's been trying to control her life. The journey brings Quinn to Arthur's daughter, Virginia, who tells Quinn the truth about Pritchard's motives. The former closer will start to see that she is the first step in fighting an epidemic. 


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
     Goodreads: click here

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. 

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Wii doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time. 


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
     Goodreads: click here

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make "wonderful" husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must  concede to the statistically probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical - most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker or a late-arriver. 

Yet Rosie Jarman is all of these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent - and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie - and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper. 


The Widow by Fiona Barton
     Goodreads: click here

When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen. But that woman's husband died last week. And Jean doesn't have to be her anymore.

There's a lot Jean hasn't said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment. 

Now there's no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage. 


Dancing with Molly by Lena Horowitz
     Goodreads: click here

Before, I was never the life of the party. I was the reliable one. The one no one had to worry about. The one no one had to think about. I was the one that everyone could ignore. Until that night, when everything changed and I finally became someone. Someone special. Someone noticeable. Someone Carson might actually care about, as much as I cared about him. 

But the cost of being someone is more than anyone can imagine. For every moment, there's a price to pay. For every party. For every choice made. For every kiss. Ultimately, living a life pure of ecstasy might be no different from not living at all. 


I hope you guys enjoyed this post, let me know what you think I should read first! If you liked it, I will continue doing these - maybe even for books I have taken out of the library!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Books I Have Unhauled Recently

I already know I am going to get so much heat from this post. I am definitely a mood reader, and have a lot of books that I want to read. I have a lot of books on my shelves that I did not enjoy enough to read again, or ones that I have completely lost interest in reading. I have divided all of the books into three categories so that I don't have to explain each one, and I am happy to say that all have been sold in a book sale for a children's charity!

Books That I Did Not Enjoy



The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
Survive the Night by Danielle Vega
The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
Looking for Alaska by John Green (DNF'd)
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (DNF'd)
Sanctum by Madeline Roux





Books I Would Not Read Again



The Merciless by Danielle Vega
My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Dark Eden duology by Patrick Carman
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
Seconds by Brian Lee O'Malley
Asylum by Madeline Roux




Books That I Have No Interest in Reading Anymore

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by David Levithan
Tsarnia by Jackson Pierce
Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Starcrossed series by Josephine Angelini
Eve trilogy by Anna Carey
Alex by Pierre LeMaitre
Collateral by Ellen Hopkins
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
The Beautiful and the Cursed by Paige Morgan
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Paper Towns by John Green

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Fangirl Book Review

Fangirl

Written by: Rainbow Rowell
Number of pages: 435

Average Rating: 4.16/5 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Published September 10, 2013
Read in May 2016


Summary according to Goodreads

Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...But for Cath, being a fan is her life - and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it got them through their mother leaving. 

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. 

Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to.

Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath that she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend; a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world; a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words...and she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


My Thoughts

I am so happy to say that I have finally read this novel since I purchased it weeks after its release when I was visiting Virginia and D.C with some of my booktube friends. I could not let three years pass before I picked up this novel, since almost everyone I know has read it. The biggest reason that I hesitated picking up this novel was because of my issues while reading Eleanor and Park. If you missed my review of that, just know that I related to that novel in a very negative way, and it brought a lot of things to surface that I had been trying to overcome. 

This was an incredible read, and although it had a bit of a slow start for me it definitely picked up through its characters and realistic events. It amazes me how Rainbow Rowell has such an incredible skill for writing realistic characters. Between the two novels of hers that I have read, I have been able to connect to the protagonist on a level that I have never experienced before. If there is one character to describe who I am in life, it would be Cath (except a little bit of Wren when I was at university). 

There was nothing too shocking throughout this novel, many plot changes that I could have anticipated based on character's behaviours. This did not take anything away from the novel, and instead felt like I was reading the real life of a freshman college student. It definitely was not an overly exciting read, but I did have a hard time putting it down!

The only reason that I could not give this novel a full five stars was because of the Simon Snow fanfiction and excerpts thrown in. I have no problems with fanfiction or authors of it, I just did not enjoy the Simon Snow world. I felt the characters were cheap, and by the time I was 300-pages into the novel, I had just started skipping the included chapters and passages. 

College is hard. This novel did not try to make it fluffy and easy at all, which was something I really appreciated. Being on your own for the first time is terrifying but exciting, and I was rooting for Cath to get herself out there socially. Family drifts, but that bond will always be there and was something I was happy to see as a continuing theme throughout the novel.

Overall I thought this was a really nice read, that's wasn't too light, with a fairly adorable romance thrown in. I was rooting for our love interest from the very beginning, and was happy to see that it was not an "insta-love" situation, and that Cath was not afraid to set her boundaries and take her time through the relationship. I think that this is a good read for a lot of people, as there are many different aspects that people can relate to. 



Friday, June 3, 2016

One Book Review

One

Written by: Sarah Crossan
Number of pages: 388

Average Rating: 4.15/5 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Published September 15, 2015
Read in May 2016


Summary according to goodreads

Grace and Tippi. Tippi and Grace. Two sisters. Two hearts. Two dreams. Two lives. But one body.

Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins, joined at the waist, defying the odds of survival for sixteen years. They share everything, and they are everything to each other. They would never imagine being apart. For them, that would be the real tragedy. 

But something is happening to them. Something they hoped would never happen. And Grace doesn't want to admit it. Not even to Tippi. 

How long can they hide from the truth - how long before they must face the most impossible choice of their lives?


My Thoughts

What originally drew me towards this novel was its format of being written in verse, and then the plot centring around conjoined twins. I have never read anything like this topic before, and did not know what to expect. What unfolded was a very emotional story written from one of the twin's perspectives. 

Before anything else this story is about the bond of sisters, and how each would give their life for the other. I only have a brother who is two years younger than I am, but know that I will never have a bond with anyone as I do with him. From the very first pages I could feel how much Grace loved Tippi and her younger sister Dragon, and how her family was her entire world. I felt that this aspect added a lot to the story and was a great way to have the reader connect to the characters from the beginning. 

The characters in this novel, including the minor ones, were very real. Everyone had their ups and downs, made mistakes, and dealt with them realistically. It was a very sad novel, even from the beginning because it depicts how these girls were treated - showing readers how cruel people can be. I also really appreciated how this novel showed how the twin's being conjoined affected their parents, their younger sister, and the other people around them. Money was very tight, emotions were very high, but they were always there for each other. This was an amazing contemporary story that felt true from beginning to end. 

The only reason that I did not give this novel five stars was because I felt that this story would have been better told conventionally in formatted sentences and paragraphs. Ideally I would have loved to see each chapter take one of the twin's perspectives, in order to get both sides of the story and better feel the girl's personalities. 

Before reading this novel I had not thought much about this condition, except for one special I had seen on TLC. Opening both my eyes and my heart, I can tell you that this is a very powerful novel. Although it may seem simple, there are a lot of underlying elements that add to these twin's lives. Overall I was very impressed with this novel and hope to read more from both the author and this subject matter.