Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Review: Binge by Tyler Oakley

Binge by Tyler Oakley

Publishing Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 320 pages

The Premise: Famous youtuber, Tyler Oakley has come out with a book! For those of you that don't know Tyler, he is an incredibly funny, down to earth, charming youtuber who found his people with his viral videos. In this memoir, Tyler offers his readers a collection of essays where he speaks about his childhood, things that he's learned, things that he's obviously binged on and his career. Fans of Tyler Oakley will definitely enjoy this read but for those that don't know him, it is the perfect introduction!

My overall thoughts and review: "Hey everyone! My name is Tyler Oakley!" - I've been a big fan of Tyler for a couple of years now and when I heard that he was coming out with a book, I have to admit I was a bit hesitant. It seems that a lot of youtubers were recently coming out with books and I think with the transition from youtube content to books can be a tricky one. You want to be able to have the same charm that your videos have, but you also want to give people a reason to go out and get your book that is somewhat different from your videos. Tyler Oakley does exactly that. So before I get into my review, I want to say Congratulations, Tyler on a wonderful debut. I only know about Tyler through what he shares on his videos and social media, but a few things that has made me a fan over the years is his work with the Trevor Project, his love for all things food and how he is able to go outside the box. Also his yearly Auguest videos are some of my favorites, especially his collaborations with Mamrie Hart, Hannah Hart and Grace Helbig!

So yes, about the book. What is Binge really about? In his introduction, he encourages his readers to binge "on the things that bring fulfillment and happiness and satisfaction and make you feel alive" (1). He obviously goes onto mention that sometimes this may end in it not being a great outcome, but nevertheless, bad moments in life should be taken as a moment of learning and creating balance in one's life. His collection of essays therefore shares his secrets about the times he's binged for the better or the worse, but regardless, he will tell you about it. It has been said that even if you've watched every single one of his videos, you will still not know some things that are mentioned in Binge, which had me intrigued from the start, and Tyler definitely follows through with this statement. First chapter he shares a big secret and immediately gets the book rolling for us all.

I don't want to spoil it and get into details, because ultimately, you should go out and read this book and learn those secrets for yourself. But I will say, as I was reading, I definitely heard Tyler's voice throughout. I laughed while reading like I do when I watch his videos, and I also smiled a ton while reading, just like I do when I watch his videos too. Tyler is honest, hilarious and incredibly sweet and it is very clear that he is a very down to earth human. My favorite chapters from the book definitely have to be Anything for a Dollar, The One That Got Away (Tyler, if I could, I would give you a massive hug), 20 Things I'd Do If I Were Beyonce for a Day and Dream Job. It was so interesting to learn about Tyler's journey! So in conclusion, I really enjoyed this book. It was MORE than what I was anticipating and a great delight to read. Again, fans of Tyler will definitely enjoy this and for those that don't know him, what are you waiting for? Go out and pick up a copy of Binge because you will definitely fall in love with him after reading it!

My rating of the book: ✮ (4/5 stars) 

Now available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book from Simon and Schuster Canada for consideration/review. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Blog Tour: The Searcher by Simon Toyne - Review

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Today is the second stop on The Searcher blog tour! :D

The Searcher by Simon Toyne 

Publishing Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 480 pages

The Premise: In the town of Redemption, Arizona, the townspeople have gathered to bury a local man named James Coronado. However, the ceremony is disrupted when there is a plane crash. There is a tall man, running towards the crash with no memory of who he is. All he is in his possession is a handmaid suit jacket with his name inscribed to him and a book as well. The name is Solomon Creed. Solomon believes that he has arrived in Redemption for one reason and that is to save a life. Unfortunately, that turns out to be difficult because the man he intends to save was the local man buried earlier in the day.

My overall thoughts and review: When Karen contacted me about this book, she first said that it was perfect for fans of World War Z, which is a book that I've loved for a while now. I instantly signed up and I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. It is the first book in a new series which follows Solomon Creed, so for a first novel, it is pretty enticing. The story is quite mysterious because the reader does not know who Solomon is and we are following along to learn more about him. But I think there is a type of mystery that lingers not just around Solomon, but the entire town of Redemption and the other characters. Toyne gives us some detail about the town and characters, but then pulls away, somehow making us ponder more about them. I quite like this style, because it makes for a pretty awesome reveal (Kind of reminded me of Oscar Wilde's style). I was constantly unsure of what to think of certain characters like Morgan and Solomon, and I'm really glad that the book surpassed my expectations for it (I won't get into detail because Spoilers!! and it is the first book in the series). What I particularly enjoyed was that the narrative went beyond the typical black and white structure of who is clearly good and clearly bad and this structure alternated multiple times throughout the text as the reader uncovered more and more secrets. Also have the present time narrative and excerpts of Riches and Redemptions throughout the book really helped the reader get a clear sense of the past and present. Overall, I thought that this was a wonderful mystery/suspense novel that incorporated many details such as themes of identity, religion and space and I can't wait to see where Toyne takes the series next! Also sidenote, but for fans of The Deadbeat Club by Dietrich Kalteis (which happens to be the book I was a book club leader for at this year's WoTS), this book definitely reminded me of it and I think you will enjoy this if you enjoyed that book! :)

My rating of the book:  (4/5 stars) 

Now available for purchase at: Chapters/Indigo

Also, I'm going to encourage you all add The Searcher on your 50 Book Pledge To Read Shelf because it is going to be the featured read of the week: :)

Be sure to check out other stops on the tour: 
Mon Oct 19 – Jenn @ Lost in a Great Book 
Tues Oct 20 – Christine @ Padfoot’s Library 
Weds Oct 21 – Jaclyn @ Literary Treats 
Thurs Oct 22 – Andrea @ Cozy Up With a Good Read 
Fri Oct 23 – Michele @ Just a Lil’ Lost 

Disclaimer: I received an advanced reader's copy from HarperCollins Canada as a part of this Blog tour for consideration/review. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, 2 October 2015

Blog Tour: Madly by Amy Alward - Review and Spellbinding Wallpapers

Hi everyone! I have such an exciting post for you all today! I am participating in the MADLY Blog tour for Amy Alward's new book Madly. In regular fashion, I will first start the post with an in-depth review and for my stop on the tour, I will be sharing with you all some awesome downloadable content! So let's get started! 

Review: Madly by Amy Alward 
Publishing Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Pages: 384 pages
Young Adult Fantasy Romance

The Premise: This new book by Amy Alward brings together alchemists, magics, spells, a hunt and romance. The narrative follows Samantha Kemi who comes from a long line of famous alchemists. Unfortunately with time, people have moved to more synthetic choices as opposed to natural elements so the shop that Samantha's family owns is facing some hard times. There is an opportunity to change this when Princess Evelyn is poisoned by a strong ancient love potion that made her fall madly in love with herself. There is a hunt to find a cure for this and the winner shall bring about many winnings. Samantha looks at this hunt as an opportunity to revive her family name. Things however get complicated when her opponent is Zain Aster, who also happens to be who the love potion was originally intended for, and also who she may be falling for. 

My overall thoughts and review: When I was first pitched this book I was super intrigued. It sounded to me like a hybrid of Amanda Hocking's books and Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series - so I was instantly sold. What I did not expect was a book that was a perfect blend of action and light-heartedness. Alward has put together a pretty magical world and offers a lot of detail to the reader, but does not overdo it to the point where it feels like it is ~high fantasy~, it is the perfect dose. Alward also creates very likeable characters. I instantly liked Samantha and her bestfriend Anita and seeing their dynamic regardless of the tricky circumstances they found themselves in, in which they were opponents. I also really liked Zain instantly - he is mysterious but also does right by his family, which is what I think is the compelling common factor between him and Samantha. I also found the passages of Princess Evelyn and Eve and Lyn quite interesting and funny. I kept going "omg is this for real" but Alward describes it so perfectly, Evelyn was really in love with herself. It was so intriguing! Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the world that Alward created. She offered incredibly likeable characters, an interesting dynamic of relationships all in a face paced adventure that looks for rare ingredients. There is an emphasis on romance of course, but what I really took away from it is the significance of friendship and family which sometimes gets sidelined in YA novels. I really hope that there will be more to come from this world because I really enjoyed it! 

My rating of the book:  (5/5 stars) 

Now available for purchase at: Chapters/Indigo

Spellbinding Wallpapers
The lovely individuals over at S&S Canada have created some awesome spellbinding wallpapers for you all. There are 3 sizes available for desktop and even one for your cellphone! Just click on them to enlarge and download to use :) 
1024 x 768 wallpaper
1440 x 900 wallpaper
1900 x 1200 wallpaper
For cellphones! 

Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour! :D 

Disclaimer: I received an advanced reader's copy from Simon and Schuster Canada as a part of this Blog tour for consideration/review. All opinions are my own.