Thursday, 29 January 2015

Review: I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios 

Publishing Date: February 3, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, LLC, Books for Young Readers - An imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Pages: 400 pages
Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

The premise: The story follows Skylar Evans and Josh Mitchell, two individuals from Creek View, that are basically aquaintances and co-workers at a quirky motel, "Paradise". Skylar, who is dealing with her mother and the loss of her father, dreams of a life away from Creek View where she can explore museums and collage. Josh on the other hand, has an experience that changes his life completely. He travels to Afghanistan as a Marine and returns home without one of his legs. Reunited upon Josh's return, the two find themselves getting to know each other and becoming friends.

My overall thoughts and review: When I first heard about this book, I thought to myself that it was going to be a typical YA love story, but it is actually so much more than that. I really enjoyed this book so much. It captures not only the struggles one would feel deciding one's future, being in their last year of highschool, worrying about what college/university will bring to them. But it also captures those that don't choose to go that route like Josh. Furthermore, it depicts the inner workings of these characters so well. We get to know Skylar and Josh's family and what we learn only makes us feel for them even more. I really enjoyed that everything wasn't quickly paced and it dealt with things in a really honest and raw way. I appreciated that it didn't "sugar coat" certain things. Demetrios goes to great lengths to capture Josh after his experience in the war and the anxieties that he felt coping with regular everyday once he returned. I don't want to say much without spoiling it, but I just really enjoyed how "real" it felt to me. Demetrios is also such a wonderful writer. I loved how she really captured the atmosphere the characters were in and I loved how diverse the text was. Certain passages really resonated with me such as this one:
"Why is it that some people in the world get to wake up in beautiful houses with fairly normal parents and enough food in the fridge while the rest of us have to get by on the scraps the universe throws us? And we gobble them up, so grateful. What the hell are we grateful for?" (160). 
I loved seeing such strength in both protagonists. Although the majority of the book takes place from Skylar's point of view, there are miniature chapters in between it all from Josh's perspective. I am a huge fan of the dual-POVs because it just builds the story so much. All in all, this was a lovely read. I was grinning like a mad woman by the end of it. If you are looking for a good YA contemporary romance, then I'll Meet You There is definitely the one you should check out!

My rating of the book: ✮ (5/5 stars) 

Now available for purchase at: 
Chapters/Indigo

Also for my US readers, right now Heather Demetrios is offering a sweet promo on her blog if you PRE-ORDER the book which you can read more about here!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Raincoast Books for consideration/review. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Favorite Anti-Heroes | Top 5 Wednesday

Hi everyone! So for today's topic.. it is Favorite Anti-Heroes. I will admit I was blanking a bit, and so I ended up googling it. Some of my choices are ones I didn't consider as anti-heroes before, and perhaps that speaks volumes about me since I view them more as heroes. But yes, onto the choices.

1. Severus Snape from the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
How could you not pick Snape? There is so much depth to his character. 

2. Haymitch Abernathy from the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
I am not sure if everyone would agree here, but he is not traditional in a sense that he isn't the protagonist, but definitely has anti-hero qualities. I mean, the drinking does not help! 

3. Caleb Prior from the Divergent series by Veronica Roth
Oh, Caleb. I will just leave it at that. 

4. Jay Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby 
Thinking about Jay Gatsby makes my heart hurt so much. 

5. Jamie Lannister from A Song of Ice & Fire series by George R.R. Martin 
Oh what a flawed character. I was so adamant about my dislike for him when I first began the series, but he really grew on me and he is now one of my favorite characters. There is just so many layers to him. 

That's it from me for today folks! Who are your Top 5 Favorite Anti-Heroes? Let me know in the comments below! 

Friday, 23 January 2015

Review: If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie & GIVEAWAY!

If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

Publishing Date: January 20, 2014
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Pages: 323 pages
Family Life/Coming of Age Fiction

The Premise: The story follows a young boy named Will Cardiel, who has known the Inside for most of his life. His mom, Diane, is agoraphobic has been able to build a haven for Will within their home, where places are named after cities (Paris and Toronto for example), where it is safe. One day, Will gets the urge to venture Outside. He completely embraces the Outside, despite his mother's fear for it and what he finds out in the wild is friendship and a mystery of a missing boy.

My overall thoughts and review: To begin with, when I first read the premise of the book, I was instantly intrigued by this coming of age story. I watch this television show that features a mother that is agoraphobic and so I thought of that show as soon as I read the premise. It takes place in Thunder Bay, which I haven't visited myself, but it just made me incredibly happy to be reading a book that takes place not too far away from where I am.

I actually was able to attend the book launch this week at Type Books and meet the very lovely Michael Christie! I was able to speak to him for a few moments and sing my praise for the book and the parts I've read. He told me and fellow bloggers that the writing process of the book took quite some time and he had read many memoirs to help shape the narrative. We also were greeted with a small reading from Michael - from one of my favorite parts of the book: Will's first day at school.

There was actually this lovely illustration of the Thunder Bay of the book at the event and I just loved it! 

Back to the review of course! Where can I start with this book? I was instantly smiling within the first few pages of the book and as I closed it, I was grinning like a mad woman. I just really enjoyed this so much. To begin with, in between all the chapters that take follow Will, there are the Relaxation Time chapters which follow his mother Diane. I really appreciated those chapters because it built a type of skeleton for the rest of the story. There was background information that came through in those chapters and it wasn't just Diane's struggle as an agoraphobic, but Diane's struggle as a mother as well. 

The chapters that followed Will felt as if I was growing up with him as I turned each page. I loved how his voice was so strong and Christie was able to represent that age in such charming passages: "I'm going to be okay. I may not be a genius, but I'm getting stronger Outside. Nothing can realy hurt me" (103). The childlike wonder really comes across in the first few chapters from Will and Christie mentioned at the event that some of it comes from his own child, who says things that just really blow him away. I really loved the dynamic between Will and Diane in the book. At times, it was the typical mother and son relationship, but other moments, Will was much older than he actually was and I was so impressed how Christie was able to put this together stylistically. One particular passage that comes to mind that I really enjoyed was when Will saw how him being Outside had affected his mom, and how he didn't want to hurt his mom: "To be her guardian, he would need to protect his body and his heart. As much as it pained him, he would have to leave all the tantalizing mysteries of the Outside unsolved" (105). 

All in all, I really loved this book. When I turned the last page, I wish there was more of Will's story. His interactions with his mom really resonated with me, but also his friendship with Jonah and Angela also made my heart swell. It was such a lovely story about the process of growing up and bravery. I cannot say enough good things about this book. If you are looking for a book that will make you smile, but also have you on the edge of your seat, literally worrying, like Diane worried for Will and how Will worried for Diane, then yes, this book is for you. 

"Because falling is a part of it. We don't want to lie and make it look like we don't fall. Because we do. All the time."

My rating of the book: ✮ (5/5 stars) 

Now available for purchase at:

And now, for an exciting giveaway!! Random House Canada has been kind enough to snag a signed copy of the book for me to give away to one of my lovely readers! All you have to do is follow the instructions on the rafflecopter giveaway and wait!


Rules:
1) Follow the blog via Google Friend Connector or Bloglovin'
2) Follow me on twitter -> @padfootslibrary
3) Follow Random House on twitter -> @randomhouseCA
4) Follow the lovely Michael Christie on twitter -> @mrmikechristie 


Thanks so much for entering & good luck!!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Random House Canada for consideration/review. The giveaway copy of the book was kindly offered to me by Random House Canada as well. All opinions are my own. 

A Book Published This Year | 2015 Reading Challenge

Hi everyone! I hope that you are all doing well. I have another book to add to my #2015readingchallenge. It is actually a book that I am super excited to talk about and write my review for... so be on the lookout for that because there might be something special alongside it ;)

A Book Published This Year goes to:
If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie
Image is designed by Random House Canada 

Have you finished any challenges yet for #2015ReadingChallenge? Let me know in the comments below!

I recently finished a few challenges: A Book with Bad ReviewsA Book written by Someone Under 30A mystery or thriller and more! You can track my progress here! 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

A Book with Bad Reviews | 2015 Reading Challenge

Hi everyone! Today's challenge that I recently finished is A Book with Bad Reviews. I particularly am not fond that this a challenge to begin with, because it will either lead to more bad reviews or well, hopefully good ones! In this case, it was a book that was "ok" in my opinion. I did not love it and of course it had problems, but it was entertaining while reading. The series itself has gotten bad reviews because it originated as fanfiction about One Direction, but the numbers don't lie. There is quite a big following and a fan base for the series and I can see why a lot of people are attached to it. It did surprise me however as the series went on, but I think I might save that for another blog post.

A Book with Bad Reviews goes to:
After We Collided by Anna Todd
(Review: COMING SOON!)

Have you finished any challenges in the #2015ReadingChallenge? Let me know in the comments below! 

I recently finished A Book Written by Someone Under 30 and it is actually the same author as this one, Anna Todd, which you can read about here! And you can track my entire progress thus far here! :D 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Authors You Would Like to Meet | Top 5 Wednesday

Hi everyone! So for today's topic, it is top 5 authors you would like to meet. If I was picking ANY author, most of them aren't alive, so I will go with ones that are still alive atm :P I won't really get into much detail why each one, but I'm sure you can see why. It is most likely because I admire them as an author and as an individual.

1. Haruki Murakami
HANDS DOWN. He is at the top of my list! He is one of my favorite authors ever and it would be an absolute dream to meet him one day. 

2. Andrew Smith

He is just the loveliest author. He is always responding to his readers on twitter and I would love to attend a signing of his one day. 

3. Victoria Schwab
Another one of my favorite authors ever. I just admire her so much as a writer and an individual. She is currently in grad school right now (like me) and I think it is awesome what she is able to accomplish with her writing while juggling that. Also, I would like to talk star stickers and calendars with her. 

4. Markus Zusak
Just a brilliant and fantastic writer! I would love to meet him and talk about writing with him. 

5. J.K. Rowling
Do I need to say more than the fact that it is J.K. Rowling? 

Well, those are my top 5 authors that I would like to meet! How about you? Let me know your choices in the comments below! 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Review: After by Anna Todd

After by Anna Todd

Publishing Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 582 pages
New Adult Contemporary Romance

The Premise: The story follows Tessa Young who is starting her first year at WCU. Tessa has a strict mother who only wants what she considers as best for her and a sweet and loving boyfriend back home. Her world changes however, when she meets a cocky Brit named Hardin Scott. Hardin is completely different to what she is used to and she quickly learns that it isn't simply his looks that are drawing her in, but also unfortunately, his personality. He is rude and cruel and yet she finds herself drawn to him. And to use the tag line in the back of the book: "could this be love?"

My overall thoughts and review: Okay, before I really get into this, I want to warn you all now that this might be quite a long post and a longer review than usual. I have a lot about it. To begin with, before being asked to review this book, I knew just about nothing about it. The only mention of it came from a friend of mine who asked me while we were at a concert, if I had heard of a book that was originally based on fanfiction about One Direction, to which I replied nope. She went on further to tell me that the entire book series was actually written on the author's phone. My jaw was dropping at this point and I was quite curious at the time to find out this book and read about it. I am a fan of One Direction, so I was surprised to only recently hear about it. I am always curious about books that reach a crazy level amount of popularity though. I'm also curious about books that begin as fanfiction first, because I will admit, I was (still am basically) a big fan of fanfiction back in the day when there were forums and we were all awaiting the final book in the Harry Potter series.

Anyways, moving onto the actual review of the book now. Besides finding out that it was originally fanfiction and based on One Direction characters (she uses their names - which have been changed in the published version and their appearances, but the background stories and personalities are entirely of her own creation), I also came to learn that there is actually a lot of negativity surrounding the book and I am seeing that it is a popular pattern amongst books that originate as fanfiction (I will get into a discussion about fanfiction as a whole another time. Perhaps a bookish thoughts post?). A lot of reviews mentioned that there were similarities to the Fifty Shades of Grey series, where the author romanticizes abusive relationships. I will get into this component in a moment.

I will admit that I read this entire book in one sitting. It was quite addictive. When I first began the book, I was not all too impressed with either characters. Tessa and how she handled things with her previously relationship with Noah was just not great and Hardin, well Hardin as a person in this book was not particularly great either. They were both very "unlikable characters". I enjoyed that there were references to Wuthering Heights - because these characters were definitely like Catherine and Heathcliff. You don't even know if you should root for them alone as individuals to make it through the end of the book. Also, those who are confusing lines from the classics mentioned in the text as Todd's actual writing - which to me is insane, because I think Todd makes it clear, what is written by her and what isn't when she makes references to those texts.

My second point is that the book contains explicit sex scenes, which makes this book more new adult than young adult. I myself don't have a problem with reading these kinds of scenes, but I know some people do. It is a terribly difficult task, I think, to write scenes like this well and tasteful. I don't know how much I can say about the latter, but it is one of the components that many readers actually enjoy about the text. I think the problem that many people have with the text are these explicit sex scenes, but I think that it is something you should know going into it before reading. This book is not a typical YA book and it does not dance around the subject of sex. It gets quite into detail and even uses explicit language when discussing these scenes. I think the simple answer would be that if you are troubled about the content about this book, it simply isn't for you.

I will get into what I think of it overall in a moment, but I want to go back to the author romanticizing abusive relationships. I am in total agreement with many of the readers that this book definitely depicts an abusive relationship. Hardin is mean to Tessa, to the point where it is quite cruel and actually verbal abuse and yet he finds a way to draw her in again and again. It is kind of a never ending cycle. At some points in this book, I was wondering why Tessa wouldn't just leave and acknowledge that it was abusive. I was literally shaking the book because she kept returning to this abusive cycle. Furthermore, learning about Hardin more, did not make things any easier for his character. Although there was some witty banter in between it all from him, I think the revelations of his past only made things more difficult for him.

I see both sides of the argument when it comes to this book. Do I think that the book romanticizes abusive relationships? Yes and no. It depicts an abusive relationship and many young readers who are reading it may receive the wrong message from it, thinking that what Hardin does to Tessa is in fact "okay" when it is not. I think that certain readers will choose to place more emphasis on the scenes where Hardin is good to Tessa and vice versa and attempt to forget the bad parts. A part of me says no, because it states over and over again, how bad the relationship is. There is even outside characters commenting on the relationship that states it is bad. Is that romanticizing then? I'm not entirely sure. I do know that it is quite "raw" what Todd attempts to depict in her books. She definitely does not beat around the bush and she depicts the real difficulties of a relationship. She shows the good and the bad.

It is such a difficult task to write about love in general in books. Everyone has their own different meaning of love, and it is quite hard when you are not actually apart of the relationship itself, because you are on the outside looking in. I know that when Todd is actually writing this, she is inviting the reader to imagine as if they were apart of this relationship, but it is hard in terms of pleasing every reader. Many readers have looked to this book and appreciated it for its rawness and truthfulness, and that is because they regarded many of the experiences (the fights that happen) to be quite similar to what they have experienced. Other readers, who have not experienced bad relationships, may look at this and completely be appalled by what is being portrayed to them. I am not trying to equate the point of "If you haven't experienced what Tessa and Hardin, you don't relate and therefore will not like the book",  but I think as a writer, Todd doesn't attempt to necessarily write a book that would relate to everyone. Everyone comes to a book with their own sets of values and ideas and it will resonate with them on different levels. There are different interpretations and different perceptions. What one person might believe as incredibly raw, true and relatable, another person may not. I can say from my own experience that the arguments resonated with me, because I myself, have experienced moments where things have been difficult and unfortunately they result in that, but it is in the moments that come after (no pun intended here) - that I really appreciated because Todd demonstrates that there is an after. It doesn't simply stop there.

Overall, I feel quite conflicted when it comes to reviewing this book. I have read the other books that come after this one, and well, things do get worse (book 2), but they also get better as well (book 3 and 4), but it is up to the reader if they want to put that time in to find out. I am definitely one that has to "see a series through" and if I want to talk about something, I always make sure, I read it in it's entirety so that I can fully comment on it. I found it addicting and the narrative was definitely topsy turvy, but it also was not predictable. I went into this not knowing to expect, but it has been quite the introduction into the realm of New Adult and it has spurred many discussions about subject matter, which I am quite happy about. I don't know what more I can really say about the book besides, if it sounds like it is something you would be interested in, give it a shot. If you aren't, that is okay too. And if you start it and don't like it, it is okay. There are many other books out there! Let's try to move away from leaving really "harsh and cruel" reviews, because I myself, don't really think that is fair to the author. If it isn't your cup of tea, it isn't your cup of tea. But I hope that many readers can come to this with an open mind and decide from there. There are definitely negative components to the text, but it is significant to learn how these components are negative to begin with and how to discuss them. Without spoiling, I like that the fact addresses the need to "get better" and "change" and it really comes to a nice finale in the final books, seeing Hardin's progression.. so again, it is up to you if you want to invest the time.

Lastly, to wrap up.. I just wanted to say really enjoyed the character of Landon so much and he reminded me of myself and I wish there was more of him. But I hear that Todd is making a book entirely for him, so that's good news!

My rating of the book: ✮ (3/5 stars) 

Now available for purchase at:

Chapters/Indigo


Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Simon and Schuster Canada for consideration/review. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Review: Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

Frostfire by Amanda Hocking 
Book #1 of the Kanin Chronicles

Publishing Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 336 pages
Young Adult Fantasy

The Premise: The book follows Bryn Aven, who is considered as an outcast among the Kanin. Bryn is the daughter of the Chancellor and on one night, she is shocked to find that a hero who she looked up to, Konstantin, attempted to kill her father and he was able to not finish his task because Bryn stopped him. From that moment, Bryn trained to be a member of the King's Guard as a tracker. Years later, while trying to figure things out romantically with her boss and attempt a normal relationship with her parents, because of her job, she is once again immersed into a world that involves the very man that started it all, Konstantin.

My overall thoughts and review: To begin with, apparently this is a spin series from the series of Trylle (which I own and I haven't gotten around to yet, but soon!). I know that for readers of this Trylle Trilogy, there were appearances or mentions by certain characters within the canon that made readers happy, but unfortunately I went into this not knowing anything. I don't mean unfortunately in a bad way, because I'm actually quite glad that I was given the chance to check this out. It is my first time reading something from Amanda Hocking and she did not disappoint. She immediately immersed the reader into the world and it was quite fast paced. I really enjoyed Bryn as the protagonist and how there were quite a few twists. The plot was not predictable and it was fascinating to learn about this world. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I think for fans of the previous series, this is definitely a nice treat, and for those that aren't familiar with Hocking, this is definitely a nice introduction to her. I can't wait to pick up the other series now, and I will most definitely pick up the next book in this series. I think this is a great book for those who are fans of Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series. 

My rating of the book: ✮ (4/5 stars) 

Now available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Raincoast Books for consideration/review. All opinions are my own. 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

A Book Written by Someone Under 30 | 2015 Reading Challenge

Hi everyone! I hope that you are all doing well. I have been reading quite a bit lately, so I thought I'd check some challenges off my list. For today's challenge, it is a book written by someone under 30. I was recently given the chance to read the first book in the Wattpad Sensation, After series by Anna Todd. From what I know, Todd is a 25 year old writer from Texas and her After series began on Wattpad and is now published into three books, the fourth one due next month. I will have a full review up soon for the book (debating whether or not to review the other ones after, since reviewing books in a series can be quite spoilery) but I think it is truly what Todd has been able to accomplish under 30. The book series already has been optioned for film and that is quite something! 

A Book Written by Someone Under 30 goes to:
After by Anna Todd
(Review: here!)

Have you finished any challenges yet in the #2015ReadingChallenge? Let me know in the comments below! 

I recently completed A Mystery or Thriller which you can read about here

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Subject Matter | Bookish Thoughts

Hi everyone! I hope that you are all doing well. I am swamped in course work at the moment, but I promise I will have my wrap-up post soon for #boutofbooks12, my apologies for being so late with it.

Anyways, I wanted to perhaps start a new segment on my blog called Bookish Thoughts and every now and then, you can read my ramblings about certain topics. I wrote a post about Audiobooks a while back which you can read about here and I really enjoyed that. I want to be able to express opinions and thoughts on certain topics, even those that are controversial and possibly hear from you guys and your thoughts on the matter as well.

So for today, I thought I would talk about Subject Matter in quite a broad sense and choices in that regard. This may even be a longer post or a series of post on this, so we shall see. I've been seeing quite a few posts on blogger, goodreads reviews and on twitter that have been quite negative and judgemental in terms of "WHAT" people are choosing to read. I just want to say first that at the end of the day, everyone has the right to read whatever they like and it is not fair that we should ask another person to not read what they want based on our own personal interests. It is not fair that a person should have to explain their choices in reading what they want.

There are two kinds of subject matter which I want to touch on today: New Adult and Erotica/Adult novels.

The emergence of New Adult has come up in the past year, and from what I can understand, it is different from Young Adult, because it is situated more in the college/university years and can sometimes have explicit sex scenes within the writing. They are more for the 18-25 age group according to resources online such as St. Martin's Press. I think that this new emergence is AWESOME. There shouldn't be "picking" of sides or a type of superiority that happens within these genres. One is not better than the other, or less than the other. It should not be viewed in those terms. I think it is quite interesting to have novels that go beyond the highschool scenarios and move towards the university setting. There are problems of course of perhaps heightened realities in the university setting - like fraternities, sororities, parties, etc. But who knows, everyone has a different university/college experience depending on where they go and who they actually are and I believe that the author tries their best to convey what THEY believe is an experience they want to talk about.

The notion of explicit sex scenes is kind of a segway into erotica/adult novels because NA, different from YA, will have scenes that are "older" and "mature" subject matter. I have reviewed a more adult book in the past (see my review here of Barbara Palmer's Claudine) and I really don't have a problem with reading books with more mature subject matter. I think it is simply a matter of personal preference. What is considered perhaps "raw and real" to the author, may be interpreted differently by the reader. At the end of the day, when we come to a text, we come to it not empty-handed but with our own set of values and ideas. Who we are as individuals will affect how we interpret a text. A person may view a text as demoralizing individuals and fetishizing abusive relationships, whereas another person may view the text simply as a means of entertainment and not see those components and the biggest message I want to drive home from this post is that: IT IS OKAY. We all have different ideas of what is appropriate and what is not, but I think the biggest thing that kind of spurred this post to begin with, is the judgements that are coming out of the bookish community from the choices that we make when it comes to reading.

If an individual wishes to read a NA novel, or a novel with erotica/adult themes, that is THEIR choice and it is not right that it automatically labels the person as something negative. There should be less emphasis on "attacking" or "breaking down" a person's reading choices due to the subject matter and more emphasis on simply the fact that they are reading and possibly enjoying what they are reading.

I want to compare it to seeing a bad movie. There are rating systems with critic's reviews available for films as there are for books, but despite how "bad" you might think a movie is, many people still go watch it and enjoy it. The numbers don't lie. However, if you know a movie is bad, you most likely won't go see it again. If your friend however, enjoys it and wishes to buy a copy for home perhaps, is it right to just not speak to him/her again because they enjoy what you don't like? It is all about personal preference and learning to respect each other's choices in that.

At the end of day, everyone has their own views on what they consider as "good" and "bad" and just because you may like something that I don't, does not mean I should try and force you to not like it. There should be less judgement due to subject matter within the book community because it only builds negativity and animosity.

On the flip side of this to wrap up (I am wrapping up for now, because it is rambling to the point where there isn't a clear trajectory of where this post is going) - if you are reading something that is NA or Adult/Erotica, you should not have to try and hide that you are reading it. If you enjoy it, you enjoy it and you should not feel embarrassed or ashamed because you enjoy it. More power to you! To conclude, try to avoid negative judgements when it comes to picking what books you are choosing to read. Simply, read. READ JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT TO.

Well that is it from me for now. Let me know what you think on the matter and let me know in the comments below if there are any other topics you want me to touch upon. I was thinking about speaking about fanfiction at some point. I hope that you enjoyed my first bookish thoughts/bookish ramblings and I will see you in my next post! :D 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Series You Want to Start This Year | Top 5 Wednesday

Hi everyone. So for today's topic it is Series You Want to Start This Year! I actually own a lot of these so far so maybe this will inspire me to finally get on track and start reading them! 


1. Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown
I've heard nothing but good things about this series. I will have a review up soon for the first book and the second one recently came out, so I can't wait to get my hands on it!  

2. Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
This series has been on my shelf for so long now and I don't know why its taking me so long to finally read it. One of the challenges for the #2015readingchallenge is to read a trilogy so this one may be it! 

3. The Kingkiller Chronicle Series by Patrick Rothfuss
Another series that I own that I really need to get around to. A shorter companion novel was recently released so I hope to catch up before that companion one is made into a paperback edition! :P

4. The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater 
I own this series yet I haven't picked it up yet. :/ I just don't know why! So many people love it and have recommended it to me but I just haven't gotten around to it. I am hoping to soon! 

5. Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes
The boy picked up the first two books in this series for me a while back so I better get started on it soon. The third book was recently released so I definitely want to get my hands on it! 

What series are you hoping to start this year? Let me know in the comments below! 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Bout of Books 12 | Day 5 Update

Hi everyone. A little late with my update post from Day 5, but I've been busy prepping for the week and working on some homework. Anyways, I just finished off a book yesterday and fell asleep early because of my coughing fits. But hey! that is another book to the read list.

Books I read on Day 5: 
  • Frostfire by Amanda Hocking 
Total # of pages read on Day 5: 201 pages


Books I completed reading overall:
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Lumberjanes Issue 1
  • Lumberjanes Issue 2
  • Lumberjanes Issue 3
  • Lumberjanes Issue 4
  • Lumberjanes Issue 5
  • Lumberjanes Issue 6
  • Lumberjanes Issue 7
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 3
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 4
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 5
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 6
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 7
  • Love & Other Theories by Alexis Bass 
  • Frostfire by Amanda Hocking
Total # of pages read overall: 1,345 pages

Pretty pleased with myself so far. That brings the total novel count to 3 and it was actually my first time reading something by Amanda Hocking which I really enjoyed. I hope to read a bit more of a book I started early this morning today and maybe finish it off, so we shall see. 

How are you doing so far on #boutofbooks? Let me know in the comments below! 

Bout of Books

Review: Love & Other Theories by Alexis Bass

Love & Other Theories by Alexis Bass

Publishing Date: December 31, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen; An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Pages: 377 pages
Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

The Premise: The story follows 17-year old Aubrey Housing who is in her final year of high-school. With good friends and early acceptance to Barron, life for her seems just about uncomplicated and carefree as it can get. That is, until Nathan Diggs moves to town. Aubrey and her friends have a set of rules that they abide by to ensure that they are "heartbreak-free", but Aubrey is having a hard time keeping that rule with Nathan.

My overall thoughts and review: The premise of this story sounded really interesting when I was first offered the book. I found that the relationship between Aubrey and Nathan to be quite sweet. Nathan came from a small-town and had a close group of friends was just an all-around nice guy. I quickly learned that Aubrey and her friends were quite like the "mean girls" that every typical highschool contemporary romance had, and I've read books before that had the typical "mean girls" and I was okay with it (i.e. Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian's Burn for Burn series), but the mean girls in this book really irked me for some reason. No matter what, I just couldn't understand why for the life of me the character of Shelby. Even at the lowest points, I couldn't empathize with her and in turn, it made me really unsympathetic when things took a turn for the worst for Aubrey, the protagonist. I find it really hard to full enjoy a book, especially when you don't particularly like the protagonist. I also just can't empathize when a perfectly all-around nice guy is in a way ~ruined~. There was very little character development throughout the book and you only really see growth in Aubrey at the end. I think what I enjoyed most about the book is the ending because it was honest and truthful that in highschool, things may seem like forever, but in reality, they aren't. The ending wasn't a typical happy one and I think that it was the best way to end it. All in all, I enjoyed the book but it wasn't anything that dazzled me. If you are hoping for a YA-romance similar to that of Stephanie Perkins' writings, then I don't think this would be for you. It is worth the read, however, if you feel that the premise is something that you would be interested in.

My rating of the book: ✮ (3/5 stars) 

Now available for purchase at:

Chapters/Indigo


Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by HarperCollins Publishers for consideration/review. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, 9 January 2015

A Book Set in High School | 2015 Reading Challenge

I was able to finish another book this week for #boutofbooks that helps with my 2015 reading challenge and that is a book set in High School. This book is primarily about high school and senior year and what happens when high school comes to an end and what is to come in college. I initially wasn't going to include this one in my challenges, but it turns out it fits nicely, so I thought why not?

A Book Set in High School goes to:
Love & Other Theories by Alexis Bass
(Review: here!)

Have you finished any challenges from the #2015ReadingChallenge yet? Let me know in the comments below!

I recently finished A Mystery or Thriller which you can read about here

Bout of Books 12 | Day 4 Update

Hi everyone! I hope that everyone is doing well. We are basically more than half-way through the read-a-thon now which is insane! :D Here is my progress from yesterday - day 4!

Books I read on Day 4: 
  • Love & Other Theories by Alexis Bass 
  • Frostfire by Amanda Hocking (120 pages read) 
Total # of pages read on Day 4: 497 pages


Books I completed reading overall:
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Lumberjanes Issue 1
  • Lumberjanes Issue 2
  • Lumberjanes Issue 3
  • Lumberjanes Issue 4
  • Lumberjanes Issue 5
  • Lumberjanes Issue 6
  • Lumberjanes Issue 7
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 3
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 4
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 5
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 6
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 7
  • Love & Other Theories by Alexis Bass 
Total # of pages read overall: 1,144 pages

So far, I completed two books and I am about 30% in for the next one by Amanda Hocking. I haven't had the chance to complete any challenges yet so I hope to do so soon. 

What is your progress so far for #boutofbooks? Let me know in the comments below!

Bout of Books

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Publishing Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 316 pages
Mystery/Thriller Fiction


The Premise: Before I give you the premise from my perspective, I just wanted to give you the snippet posted on Chapters for it because it is right now featured as the Indigo Spotlight book! "Three women, three men, connected through marriage or infidelity. Each is to blame for something. But only one is a killer in this nail-biting, stealthy psychological thriller about human frailty and obsession." When I first got this book, I only knew that it was similar to that of Gone Girl, and I loved that book so much so I was super excited to read a thriller again. I went into it not knowing much besides the fact that it follows three perspectives: Rachel, Meghan and Anna. Rachel takes the same commuter train everyday into work and therefore, she notices the same people and their homes on the other side of the tracks. She has even decided to name some of them. She sees this couple and names the girl Jess and on one day, instead of seeing the couple, she sees someone else. The next day, Rachel turns on the news to see that the woman she has been calling Jess, is actually missing. A mystery begins on what happened to Jess and how exactly all three female perspectives tie into it. I think it is best going into this book not knowing more than that so that it doesn't ruin anything for you. 

My overall thoughts and review: When it was said that it was similar to Gone Girl, I obviously had high expectations for it and Hawkins did not disappoint. This book was so intriguing and I was so impressed by how she managed three different perspectives so clearly and never once jumbling it all together. Each character had a distinctive voice. I also really enjoyed the twists and turns. Having read Gone Girl, I really anticipated the story to go one way, but in the end, I was honestly surprised by the turn of events. I spent a good few hours reading it and I just couldn't put it down. It was definitely a thrill ride. All in all, I enjoyed it a lot and I would definitely recommend it for fans of Gone Girl and to those who are just interested in something that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

My rating of the book:  (4/5 stars) 

Now available for purchase at:

Chapters/Indigo

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Random House Canada for consideration/review. All opinions are my own. 

Bout of Books 12 | Day 3 Update

So yesterday was a lazy day for me. I'm still feeling incredibly sick and with no voice, so I spent most of yesterday sleeping but I was able to read some comic issues. :D

Books I read on Day 3: 

  • Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Panmar (only read 43 pages) 
  • Lumberjanes Issue 1
  • Lumberjanes Issue 2
  • Lumberjanes Issue 3
  • Lumberjanes Issue 4
  • Lumberjanes Issue 5
  • Lumberjanes Issue 6
  • Lumberjanes Issue 7
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 3
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 4
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 5
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 6
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 7
Total # of pages read on Day 3: 331 pages 


Books I completed reading overall:
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Lumberjanes Issue 1
  • Lumberjanes Issue 2
  • Lumberjanes Issue 3
  • Lumberjanes Issue 4
  • Lumberjanes Issue 5
  • Lumberjanes Issue 6
  • Lumberjanes Issue 7
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 3
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 4
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 5
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 6
  • Bee and Puppycat Issue 7
Total # of pages read overall: 647 pages

So far, I've completed one book and 12 comic issues. I am quite proud of my progress thus far. I also finished a book earlier today, but that will be in my page count for tomorrow. 

How are you doing so far on #boutofbooks? Let me know in the comments below! 

Bout of Books

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

A Mystery or Thriller | 2015 Reading Challenge

This week is #boutofbooks, and it just so happens that one of the books I finished also finishes a challenge on my #2015readingchallenge. I finished it yesterday and I definitely would classify it as both a mystery and a thriller. I finished it late last night and I really enjoyed it, so a full review is to follow! 

A Mystery or Thriller goes to:
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
(Review: here)

Have you finished any challenges yet from the #2015ReadingChallenge? Let me know in the comments below!

I recently completed A Book That Made You Cry which you can read about here

Bout of Books 12 | Days 1 & 2 Update

Hi everyone! Besides the awful weather out, my cold is back with full force. It is more a flu than anything, but I've been in bed for the past few days and just feeling awful. I was able to get some reading done, but not as much as I've wanted of course, because I've been mainly sleeping. Anyways, here is my update for the last two days and my progress thus far.

Books I completed reading:
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Total # of pages read overall: 316 pages

My day for today is just starting, so I'm gonna try and read some more today and my update for Day 3 should be up later tonight or sometime tomorrow. I'm pretty happy with my progress so far because I've already completed a book! A full review for it will follow shortly on the blog tomorrow. 

How is everyone else doing so far with the read-a-thon? Let me know in the comments below! 

Bout of Books

Anticipated 2015 Releases | Top 5 Wednesdays

Hi everyone, so Top 5 Wednesday is back on the blog (with a new little header design) and I love the topics for January. The first one is Anticipated 2015 Releases! :D 


1. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab 
This is my MOST anticipated book of 2015 and it comes out so soon. If you know me, then you know that Victoria Schwab is seriously one of my favorite authors. I love everything she has written and I can't wait to read this one. It sounds awesome! 

2. Inked by Eric Smith
Eric from Quirkbooks is coming out with a new YA read this year. It sounds awesome and I am so incredibly excited to read this. It is an action-packed fantasy novel. You can pre-order now here and even get some swag ;) 

3. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead
The final book in the Bloodlines series. Need I say more? *makes grabby hands* 

4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I don't know much about this, but just the fact that it is another book by Sarah J. Maas, how can I not be excited? I love her writing so much and I can't wait to read this! 

5. Winter by Marissa Meyer
This one has already been pushed back, so I am dying to get my hands on this and see how the story ends. I just love this world so much! 

Well that is it from me for my top 5 anticipated releases of 2015. Let me know in the comments below what books you are most looking forward to! :D