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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Between the Lines Review

Between the Lines

Written by: Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
# of pages: 352

Average Rating: 3.50/5
My Rating: 3/5

Read in January 2014

Summary according to goodreads

Delilah, a loner hates school as much as she loves books— one book in particular. In fact if anyone knew how many times she has read and reread the sweet little fairy tale she found in the library, especially her cooler than cool classmates, she’d be sent to social Siberia forever.To Delilah, though, this fairy tale is more than just words on the page. Sure, there’s a handsome (well, okay, incredibly handsome) prince, and a castle, and an evil villain, but it feels as if there’s something deeper going on. And one day, Delilah finds out there is. Turns out, this Prince Charming is not just a one-dimensional character in a book. He’s real, and a certain fifteen-year-old loner has caught his eye. But they’re from two different worlds, and how can it ever possibly work?

My Thoughts

As a passionate reader, I can see where Delilah was coming from with her obsession for the book, but this definitely isn't a realistic contemporary. I don't mean that in the way of a character in a story coming to life, but that her un-licensed 15 year old friend would drive somewhere four hours away for her. 

However, I liked the concept of the story, and I think it is just a simple cute story. Having the two perspectives along with mixing in the actual fairy tale, made the story much more interesting. I also loved that the persectives and fairy tale were written in different coloured font. The pictures that were included before each chapter about the actual fairy tale were gorgeous! There were also little black and white clip art pictures throughout the story, which made reading it a lot more fun.

This book was really cute, but it took me a long time to read. I had put this book down and I couldn't find the interest to pick up again, but eventually I did and the ending was decent. I would categorize this novel more as upper middle grade than young adult, because the writing was very simple, and it wasn't the attention-grabbing. I found some flaws in the plot, questions I had that were never answered, and spelling errors.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hidden Girl Review

Hidden Girl

Written by: Shyima Hall
# of pages: 230

My Rating: 5/5

Read in December 2013

Summary according to goodreads

An inspiring and compelling memoir from a young woman who lost her childhood to slavery—and built a new life grounded in determination and justice.

Shyima Hall was born in Egypt on September 29, 1989, the seventh child of desperately poor parents. When she was eight, her parents sold her into slavery. Shyima then moved two hours away to Egypt’s capitol city of Cairo to live with a wealthy family and serve them eighteen hours a day, seven days a week. When she was ten, her captors moved to Orange County, California, and smuggled Shyima with them. Two years later, an anonymous call from a neighbor brought about the end of Shyima’s servitude—but her journey to true freedom was far from over.

A volunteer at her local police department since she was a teenager, Shyima is passionate about helping to rescue others who are in bondage. Now a US citizen, she regularly speaks out about human trafficking and intends to one day become an immigration officer. In Hidden Girl, Shyima candidly reveals how she overcame her harrowing circumstances and brings vital awareness to a timely and relevant topic.

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this book for review from Simon & Schuster Canada, but that does not influence my opinion.

There was a lot of backstory about her life before slavery, and of her family. This helped build an attachment to the character, and understand the circumstances of the situation. It was new for me to read a book like this, but it is a type of book that everyone should read. This book made me really reflect on my life, and the things I am lucky enough to have. I can't even begin to imagine how hard it must have to live the life that she did, and I really admire her strength through her struggles. 

Although I have not read many, this is the best non-fiction I have ever read. It was written in such a beautiful and strong way, I could actually feel her pain and anger. She is such an inspiration, and I wish her the best of luck with her family and future. There isn't much else I can say about this book, except that I recommend this to any reader. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Organic Beauty Review

Organic Beauty with Essential Oil

Written by: Rebecca Park Totilo
# of pages: 320

My Rating: 3/5

Read in January 2014


This is a book that consists of different information and recipes about beauty and other things.

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this book to review as part of a blog tour, but that does not influence my opinion. 

This book included beautiful pictures scattered throughout the book, both full size and mini ones. It was also very colourful and eye catching, which made it easy and fun to read. It was  very informative, and, although I have taken an interest in these topics, I learned many things I had never heard before.

There is not much that I can say about this book based on what it is about, but I will admit that it did get kind of boring at times. I can attribute this to the fact that it is mostly for learning new things, and thankfully it was more interesting and easier to read than a textbook.

I think this would make a really great gift to anyone that is interested in beauty and bath products. There is a variety of recipes for different products, and different scents - there's something in this book for everyone to love!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Nowhere, AZ Review

Nowhere, AZ 

Written by: Chris Nunley
# of pages: 135

My Rating: 4/5

Read in December 2013

Summary according to goodreads

“Always going somewhere. Never getting anywhere.”

Negative energy haunts the nameless Narrator, who's been on the run for twelve years. 

A convicted killer on the loose, he has no one left to rely on and no place to call home, so he heads west. 

"Those who will remember will say it's all my fault." 

He has no control of what he's capable of and does his best to avoid any type of confrontation at all costs.

Words are said, things are done. Friends turn into enemies. 

"They call me a monster." 

Just as he's about to reach his destination, his past starts catching up quickly.

My Thoughts

I got sent a copy of this book to review, but that does not influence my opinion. 

When I first started reading it, I honestly didn't think I would like it. I am happy to say that I actually really enjoyed it and read it in one sitting! With the short chapters, it's one of those books you can't seem to put down. It started off very mysterious which I think is great because it really grabbed my attention.

I would describe this as almost like an adult, supernatural kind of read. It wasn't at all what I was expecting based off the back cover. The pictures added a lot to the descriptions and tone of the book, in my opinion. The chapters tend to go back and forth to his past and the present. This kept things interesting and helped you put different pieces of the history together. But this also meant that there were quite a few characters and names to remember, which confused me at first but is very easy to catch on to.

This is one of those books that tie up the loose ends, and answer all your questions, but at the same time has an opening ending that a reader can be okay with. I definitely recommend this for any young adult/ adult fiction reader! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

One of Those Hideous Books … Guest Reviewer

This book was reviewed by my lovely mom because I am aware that people in different age groups will have different perceptions of books. I personally loved this book (it wasn't my favourite, I gave it four stars) so I was curious to know what my mom thought. …Plus I didn't have another review to post. 

One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies

Written by Sonya Sones
# of pages: 272

Average Rating: 3.95/5
My Mom's Rating: 5/5

Read in December 2013

Summary according to goodreads

My name is Ruby
This book is about me. 

It tells the deeply hideous story of what happens when my mother dies and I'm dragged three thousand miles away from my gorgeous boyfriend, Ray, to live in L.A. with my father, who I've never even met because he's such a scumbag that he divorced my mom before I was born. 
The only way I've ever even seen him is in the movies, since he's this mega-famous actor who's been way too busy trying to win Oscars to even visit me once in fifteen years. 
Everyone loves my father.
Everyone but me.

Her Thoughts

This book made me actually laugh out loud. Even though it was written in verse, it was very descriptive - I could easily visualize the characters and their surroundings. I believe that this is a realistic depiction of a fifteen year old struggling with change.

Ruby started off being a hater of everything but in the end learned how to forgive and love. There was a significant amount of character development in this novel, and the definitely helped strengthen the story. I loved when she dreamt about her mother and how there were different influences from her mother, almost as though she was really there with her. I also thought it was really touching when she realized her dad truly cared about her, and they began developing a relationship. Very heartwarming!

Something I would change is the emails Ruby sent to her mother. I loved that she wrote to her, but I didn't like some of the comments that she made about her being dead. Non-spoiling, but these included; "How are things in the casket" and "how are things in decomposville?". I found these to be a bit offensive, instead of funny. I also don't think that this should be defined as only a "young adult" book, as anyone would enjoy it.

This was a very quick read, as it was entertaining as well as written in verse. One of Those Hideous Books is my favourite to date, and I am becoming a huge fan of Sonya Sones. I am looking forward to reading all of her books.