Monday, 27 February 2017

Blog Tour: Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan - Review and Author Q&A

Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan

Publishing Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Pages: 416
Young Adult Contemporary

The Premise from the Publisher: "Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper's dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she's never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper's sister's tyrannical mental state seems to thwart every attempt at happiness for the close-knit Perish family. Piper's art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power when it means giving up so much? Debut author Kayla Cagan breathes new life into fiction in this dynamic, utterly authentic work featuring interior art from Rookie magazine illustrator Maria Ines Gul. Piper will have readers asking big questions along with her. What is love? What is friendship? What is family? What is home? And who is a person when she's missing any one of these things?" (Chronicle Books).

My overall thoughts and review: For those of you don't know, I've always had an interest in art and art history. I wrote my masters on paintings and I've always had a big fascination with art in general. When I read the premise of this book, I was interested but also immediately reminded of myself when I was in my last year of high-school. I had a big fascination with New York City, Andy Warhol, and his factory. I knew that art would be a big component of the book but what I did not expect was how much the physical book would be fused with art. I had an arc copy, but I can't wait to see how the finished copy looks. The book featured authentic artwork from a magazine illustrator, Maria Ines Gul, and I felt like the entire book itself was an art piece. It kind of felt like it was Piper's big heart being handed to the reader. The book is written in first person narrative, but done in a way that felt like reading journal entries of Piper. You are thrown into Piper's world immediately and learn that her New Years did not start off well, with her boyfriend Enzo breaking up with her. Which also ruins her plans for New York since the plan was that she, her boyfriend and their bestfriend, Kit, all go together. The book has sections for every month of Piper's final year. You get to see how Piper deals with the year ending, the stress of waiting around for university acceptances, breaking up, friendships and most of all, family. Piper has an extremely tough sister, Marli, to deal with. I would say that passages with Marli were my least favorite because I just found her so difficult to deal with. We are given some explanation as readers as to why she is the way she is, but because I empathized so much with Piper, I found it really hard to do the same with Marli. Marli is an incredibly difficult character and my only critique would be that some more explanation for why she is the way she is, would be helpful to readers? Other than that, I loved Piper's parents so much. They had so much depth and the parts where they admittedly mentioned their struggles as parents financially and emotionally felt so raw to me. I loved how much depth Cagan gave each character and how many thematic points she was able to hit with this book. There was a strong emphasis on self-growth and identity for Piper, Kit, and Enzo. But mostly, what drew me most to this book and what I think most readers will enjoy is the art component. This was without a doubt a very artistic and unique book. I loved how mature it felt and I loved how art and various artists played such a big role. I highly recommend checking it out! Now.. if you'll excuse me, I'm going to wait anxiously until March 7, 2017 to go get my hands on a physical copy to see all the artwork in it's true glory! :D

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for pre-order at:
Chapters/IndigoKobo BooksAmazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Author Question and Answer

1. The book has a large emphasis on art and you write that art and artists are quite significant. Who is your favorite artist and what is your favorite art piece? 
Picking one favorite artist?!?!? I have so many art crushes. The artists I love usually have a very strong sense of humor and wit in their work.   My current favorite is the photographer and filmmaker Cindy Sherman. Lifetime favorite is Rene Magritte. He was my introduction into surrealism and his work opened my brain at a very young age. My current favorite art piece is by Glenn Ligon and it’s called Double America 2. I can’t think of a piece of art that better represents the current divisions in the United States.  Here’s a link if you want to see it: LINK HERE!  (It blinks on and off in the museum.)
Thank you so much, Kayla! I am a big fan of Magritte as well and I actually wrote a conference paper on him a few years back. His art is just fantastic! The Double America piece looks really cool! And I will be sure to check out Cindy Sherman. Thanks so much for sharing that with us :D

Kayla has also very kindly answered questions for other bloggers at the other stops on the blog tour. So be sure to head on over to their blogs and show some love!
Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Favorite Non-Written Novels | Top 5 Wednesday

Hi everyone! So.. I know you are all probably thinking.. a top 5 Wednesday post? The last time I wrote one of these was in 2015! :O I've been meaning to bring it back for a while, so here I am! I loved the topics listed for February so I definitely wanted to participate. For those of you are don't know what the Top 5 Wednesday is, it is a group that was created on Goodreads and each month, they post a prompt to help you curate posts for every Wednesday. You can see the topics of February 2017 here!

For the topic this week, the emphasis is on non-written novels: "This was a hard topic to name, but this is about all books that are not 'written' novels! So graphic novels, comics, manga, audiobooks, etc. Shed some light on books in other forms" I'll admit, this was definitely a hard one, so I will list some of my current favorites, not my all-time favorites since that list would be so incredibly long. 

So if you don't follow me on twitter, you may not know that I am a pretty big Voltron fan. I love the new Netflix series so much by Dreamworks. Also, I am quite smitten with these two characters: Lance and Keith. They aren't cannon, but my god, I love their relationship. That led to me going to find fanfiction for them. I haven't read ff since Harry Potter "ended" and I honestly haven't had a reason to go look for it. But recently, I've been loving AO3 as an outlet to find good reads! I was recommended this one by one of my besties and it has a format of text messages and the story is just so lovely and sweet. It made me smile so much and I just loved how the relationship blossomed. I also loved how the other characters played a role in the overall story. Also there is a big emphasis on cats. Even if you don't ship them, please give this a try because this story was amazing! I'm also currently reading other ff by safra and ahhh, I love everything that is written. 

One of my favorite apps ever on my phone is my Audible app. I subscribe to the monthly credit system so that allows me to get audiobooks. I love audiobooks for commuting since it helps take away from the fact that commutes can be long and awful. It also helps me stay awake on the bus :P But I just love audiobooks. Especially when they are memoirs read by the person who wrote them. I've read quite a few memoirs last year but this one was one of my favorites. With the new Gilmore Girls episodes releasing, Lauren Graham also wrote a book. It was so great to hear about her experiences before GG, after GG, and how it was returning to GG. She also spoke about her time on Parenthood and spoke about her personal life. I knew a bit about her before, but I have a new found appreciation for Lauren and all the work that she has done. She is also so down to earth and funny. I felt like I was just listening to a friend the entire time. If you aren't familiar with GG, I think you would still enjoy this! 

3. [Manga] Say I Love You by Hanae Hazuki 
As someone who is doing her graduate studies in anime/manga, let me tell you, narrowing down my favorites for manga was so hard! I love a wide range of manga from shojo to shonen. I will always love a good fluffy romance manga. I was recommended this by the same bestie that recommended the klance fanfiction ;) and I loved it from the very first volume. The final volume (#18) is due later this year, but trust me, you just breeze right through them. They are so enjoyable and I love how the author writes about a person's inner thoughts and insecurities so honestly. She also gave so much character growth for characters, even the ones you aren't fans of at first. I love this story so much and I'm so sad it will be ending later this year. Please check it out. You will love Mei and Yamato's love story! 

4. [Manga] Horimiya by Daisuke Hagiwara 
Another cute fluffy romance. This series is still relatively new. I love the covers so much and the spines look amazing on the shelf. This story follows the friendship to relationship of Hori and Miyamura. Both are such fantastic characters and I love how much family and friendship plays a role in the entire series. I love how it is constantly exceeding my expectations and pushing the limit. I love it so much and I'm already dying for the next issue! 

5. [Comic/Graphic Novel] Archie by Mark Waid 
I grew up reading Archie comics and I remember every Sunday grocery shopping with my mom, I would beg her to let me buy a copy of the latest comic. I love Archie comics so much! I was stoked to find out they were re-releasing it with a darker vibe in graphic novel form. It is written by Mark Waid who does a fantastic job bringing Archie and the rest of the Riverdale gang to life in a new and fresh way. The art is absolutely beautiful and I love how it still has the same charm as the old comics. 

And there you have it! My top 5 for favorite non-written novels. I hope I gave some good exposure to other forms of narratives. Let me know if you check any of my recommendations out or if you have any of your own you want me to check out! 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Review: If This is Home by Kristine Scarrow

If This is Home by Kristine Scarrow

Publishing Date: January 28, 2017
Publisher: Dundurn
Pages: 200
Young Adult Contemporary

The Premise from the Publisher: "When her mom is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Jayce searches for her estranged father, hoping he can fix everything. Jayce Loewen has had to take on a lot of responsibility over the years. Her single mom works two jobs and long hours, leaving Jayce in charge of her four-year-old sister most of the time. When her mom is diagnosed with cancer, Jayce decides to track down her long-absent father in the hope that he will be able to make everything okay again. Looking for her dad was one thing, but when she actually finds him, Jayce is in for a real shock. When everything in her life seems to be going wrong, Jayce has to figure out who her family really is, and how to live with the possibility of losing the person she loves most" (Dundurn).

My overall thoughts and review: When I was first sent this, what intrigued me was the fact it focuses on the scary part, the hard part, the part when you are about to lose someone, not what happens after they have gone. I was reading a bit about Scarrow and it was interesting to learn that she is a social worker in foster care and also a certified therapist. You can definitely see it in the writing, especially in certain characters. The premise of this book is absolutely heartbreaking to begin with. Jayce/J.J. has been carrying for her little sister while her mom is sick and struggling make ends meet. They learn one unfortunate evening that their mom is actually really sick and it is stage 4 cancer. She finds it hard to cope with juggling taking care of her sister, schoolwork and trying to be sociable with her friends. All the while, trying to appear normal and hide that her mother is sick. Her mom encourages her to find her father, but family secrets are revealed which make things difficult. I really don't want to say much without spoiling, but this book deals a lot with families and the different structures. As someone who comes from a loving home of a single mom, this book definitely hit home with me. I appreciated my mom before and all the hard work she put into raising me, but I found myself tearing up at parts when J.J talked about her mom. It reminded me of my own mom and it definitely makes you want to immediately run to a loved one. The book also talks openly about financial problems which some books tend to shy away from and does not sugar coat the illness aspect. This book's main point was focusing on what home is to Jayce and how that can change. I really enjoyed this book and I felt like it was definitely the type of book to tug at your heart strings, so be prepared with tissues because it gets emotional. I also really appreciated that the book had potential for giving J.J a love interest, but chose to go down a different path which makes the whole center relationship of J.J and her mother much more meaningful. This is my first book by Scarrow and I'm definitely intrigued now to go pick up her other book Throwaway Girl. If you are a fan of Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls, this one is definitely for you!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
DundurnChapters/IndigoKobo BooksAmazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was sent by Dundurn Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions of the book are my own. 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall 

Publishing Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pages: 336
Young Adult Contemporary

The Premise from the Publisher: "Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can't step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He's sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did. Norah can't leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn't so screwed up. Readers themselves will fall in love with Norah in this poignant, humorous, and deeply engaging portrait of a teen struggling to find the strength to face her demons" (Clarion Books).

My overall thoughts and review: When I first read the premise for this book, I knew immediately that I had to read it because it has a strong emphasis on mental health. I'm sure you all know by now, but that is a subject that is very dear to my heart and I love finding new reads that speak openly about it. This story focuses on Norah, our protagonist, who suffers from agoraphobia and OCD. She lives with her mom and is home schooled. She sees a psychiatrist weekly (Dr. Reeves), but you learn early on in the book as the reader that Norah also has a tough time going to see Dr. Reeves. Her agoraphobia and anxiety completely consumes her. The moments when the reader gets an inside look inside her mind and thought process is chilling. I have general anxiety myself and I really empathized with those sections. Gornall offers the reader such an accurate depiction of moments when you brain can completely control your body. I loved that Gornall did not sugar coat anything and was so open about Norah's thoughts and experiences.

At the heart of this novel is Norah's friendship/relationship with Luke, the new next door neighbor. When her mother is away, they hire Helping Hands to deliver groceries for Norah. Except the delivery person doesn't actually bring the groceries inside. He leaves them on the porch. Norah finds herself in a tough situation as she tries to literally "fish" her groceries inside. Enter Luke. He helps her with the groceries and from there a sort of friendship evolves. Norah at first is reluctant to share details about herself with Luke (understandably) but what blossoms is quite a lovely relationship. I loved the scenes when they were together and I found myself grinning a lot! I also loved how mature Norah was in some circumstances in terms of not wanting to hold Luke back with her situation.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. The only reason it does not get a full five stars from me was the ending. I'm fine with how things turned out, however, I wish that it was fully fleshed out more. I felt that the ending resolved way too quickly and it wasn't even proper resolution. We got an epilogue(?) chapter and it felt very out of place because the final chapter felt quite rushed. I know that the book is already quite long, but I feel like a few more chapters would've done the end good. Overall, it was a great YA contemporary read that emphasized on mental illness and I think fans of Sophie Kinsella's Finding Audrey or Jennifer Niven's All The Bright Places, would definitely enjoy this!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/IndigoKobo BooksAmazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was sent by Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions of the book are my own. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Book Bloggers Recommend Valentines Reads | 2017 Edition

Hi everyone! I wanted to start a new series on my blog where I work with fellow book blogger friends and we put together a list of recommendations. I had a post last year on Valentines about Recommend Valentines Reads and I wanted to do something in the same vein but hearing from all my friends. As I mention in that post, regardless of it being a Hallmark Holiday, it is actually one of my favorite days of the year. I absolutely love all the pink and red and I still write Valentines cards today for my friends. I also love making sure I am reading a ton of good romance reads that month. So leading up to the actual day, I thought I'd get a group of great book bloggers together to recommend some reads to you! :)

 Michelle at Musing Wallflower recommends.. 
"I'm not typically into fluffy romance novels with happy endings, but if I were to recommend a Valentine's Day read, it would definitely be The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher. Ana and Zak follows both protagonists throughout the book. Ana, the girl who strives for perfection for the sake of her family, and Zak, the boy who thrives in mediocrity as long as he gets to attend his favourite nerd convention every year. The two of them meet and end up having to navigate said nerd convention to find Ana's little brother before it's too late. But along the way, they get into a whole bunch of crazy shenanigans and start to see one another in a different light. I totally got on board with this YA romance novel. It perfectly captured my favourite tradition of attending annual conventions, and added a little bit of fluff to the mix, making me immediately fall for the characters and their story. If you're the kind of person who wants to read a fluffy romance tale this Valentine's but would normally rather be reading a science fiction novel, this is the perfect read!"

Jessica at The Paper Trail Diary recommends..
"I've never liked being mopey on Valentine's Day. In or out of a relationship, I've always found something cute about it, trying not to think about the commercialization of the holiday. I read P.S. I Like You in the late fall of 2016, but I feel like if I had saved it until early February, my squees would have been even louder than they were. This is a quick, adorable read and has a great book boyfriend in there waiting for you! I loved the aspect of writing love notes to each other on a classroom desk, not knowing who was writing back, and it did not disappoint. I highly recommend this when you're looking for some warm fuzzy feelings." 

Michele at Just A Lil' Lost recommends...
 "My Valentine's book pick would be Nicola Yoon's The Sun Is Also a Star. When a series of circumstances lead Natasha and Daniel to meet on the streets of NYC, it sets in motion a day that will forever change these two teenagers' lives. I absolutely adored this book, and the fact that it's based on the author's own love story with her husband makes this all the sweeter. I loved the idea of fate vs science that gets worked into the narrative. The additional asides throughout the book about the people that these two encounter throughout the day also provide some interesting insight into that very notion of "coincidence". The Sun Is Also a Star left the biggest grin on my face. The diversity, the setting and the whole story is just a delightful."

Tiff at Mostly YA Lit recommends...
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"This year, my Valentine's Day read is my favorite romance of 2016: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I cannot say enough about this glorious hate-to-love office romance between Lucy and Josh, two rival executive assistances at a merged publishing house. It's completely unputdownable, so sexy, funny, and unique. The writing is impressively symbolic, thoughtful, and memorable. I'll be re-reading this one for the fourth time since December before Valentine's Day!" 

Amanda at Brains, Books and Brawn recommends... 
"My favourite part of watching RomComs is the sassy, often tough-as-nails heroine. Lucky in Luck on the Line is just that. She's stubborn and a bit (a lot) of a commitment-phobe and when she meets hot, famous chef James he brings the tough side out of her in full force. They end up working together to help her mother open The Star and the rest is history! Luck on the Line mixed giving me ALL the feels with making me laugh my way to rock hard abs. I have so many witty one-liners/moments highlighted throughout my Kindle copy. I definitely recommend this if you're a fan of RomComs and are looking to swoon and laugh and be taken over by feels!" 


I just want to take a moment to thank my fellow book blogger friends who participated in this collaboration. I only read one book out of the five recommended, so I definitely know what I'm going to be doing this week leading up to Valentine's Day! I can't wait to check out all these amazing titles. I hope that you, dear reader, will also check out these fantastic titles and go show some love at their blogs and other social media. 

Do you have any Valentine's reads that make you swoon and bring out all the feels? 
Let me know below in the comments! 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Blog Tour: The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak - Review & Author Interview

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak 

Publishing Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 304
Fiction General

The Premise from the Publisher: "Until May 1987, fourteen-year-old Billy Marvin of Wetbridge, New Jersey, is a nerd, but a decidedly happy nerd. Afternoons are spent with his buddies, watching copious amounts of television, gorging on Pop-Tarts, debating who would win in a brawl (Rocky Balboa or Freddy Krueger? Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel? Magnum P.I. Or T.J. Hooker?), and programming video games on his Commodore 64 late into the night. Then Playboy magazine publishes photos of Wheel of Fortune hostess Vanna White, Billy meets expert programmer Mary Zelinsky, and everything changes. A love letter to the 1980s, to the dawn of the computer age, and to adolescence—a time when anything feels possible—The Impossible Fortress will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you remember in exquisite detail what it feels like to love something—or someone—for the very first time" (SS).

My overall thoughts and review: So before I get into my review, let me just admit quickly that I don't have a lick of knowledge regarding coding. I knew "of" it, but that was about it. I didn't realize how popular and accessible it has become. I was in a bookstore recently and they had coding books in the kids section to start them early! :O But let me tell you, whether or not you know anything about coding, you will immediately be drawn into the book. The narrator, Billy, brings you right into his world with an internal voice that is charming, hilarious and down-to-earth. You get to see Billy's silly interactions with his friends and their attempts at making a profit on Vanna White's playboy photos. The only problem for them is actually acquiring the Playboy magazine. Enter Mary Zelinsky. She is the daughter of the man who owns the convenience store that stocks the magazine. The boys encourage Billy to befriend her to get the passcode to the store so they can sneak in one night and get the magazine (not stealing ofc since they will be leaving the money in the cash register). However, Billy finds himself drawn to Mary and they actually end up bonding over coding and start working together to prepare a game worthy of submitting to a competition. I don't want to get much more into the plot details without spoiling the book, but this was such an enjoyable read. Although the characters was frustrating at times, the book talks about falling in love for the first time, making sacrifices and the significance of family, all through an 80s-lens. I found myself laughing and grinning so much while reading this book. I also loved all the coding bits throughout the book and I must say the map that the boys drew to get the magazine is my absolute favorite. I also loved how music played an important part of the book too. Overall, I think this is a great read simply for anyone because it tugs at your heart strings in all the right places and gives you complex and fully fleshed out characters. When the story ended, I was sad to say goodbye to Billy and Mary, since they felt so vivid to me. But let me tell you.. the game that Billy and Mary put together in the book? There's a version of it on Jason Rekulak's website!! -> click here to play The Impossible Fortress! I've tried a few times and it is so much fun. Please give it a shot after reading the book. It gives you a whole new level of appreciation for coders and all their intricate work :D

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/IndigoKobo BooksAmazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Author Interview 
1. Is there a character in the book that you identify with most?
Billy, the narrator.  I had all of his ambition and all of his insecurities. And I borrowed many of his biographical details from real life. I was obsessed with a Commodore 64.  I lived on a street that would flood after rainstorms. I grew up in a town that was very much like Wetbridge. And my grades were not so great (don’t tell my kids!).
2. What do you hope your readers will take away from the book?
I didn’t really write this book with the idea of readers taking away a message or lesson. All I really wanted to do was tell a fun and interesting story with hopefully a few surprises along the way. I’m a big believer in reading for entertainment. I like books that are fun; I don’t think literature (or so-called “literary fiction”) needs to be a slog.  I’ve always enjoyed funny big-hearted stories about flawed people with good intentions, and that’s what I tried to write.
3. What advice would you have for aspiring writers?
I’m afraid it’s all the same advice you’ll get from anyone else.  Be patient. Read everything you can get your hands on. Write every day.  And maybe most importantly, do not underestimate the value of your own autobiography.  Who could have guessed that all the years I spent tinkering with a Commodore 64 computer would somehow become the inspiration for a novel?  But now here we are!
4. Your book made me laugh on multiple occasions and had me grinning A LOT. Can you remember a book that made you laugh and grin like crazy?
Thank you, I’m glad you were laughing.  I get this question a lot and my answer is usually Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple.  It is very funny and the story is terrific. But in case you’ve already read that one, I can also recommend a book that is pubbing in July: Swimming with Bridgeport Girls by Anthony Tambakis.  I read a galley of it last month and I was grinning the whole time.  
5. Any upcoming new projects?

We’ve arrived at a really interesting point in history so I’m trying to write something more contemporary. Though I expect it is going to be another funny, big-hearted story about flawed people with good intentions!
Thank you, Jason, for taking the time to answer these questions for me. I will definitely be on the lookout for those new releases you mentioned and I can't wait to see what you write next! :D 

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

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Simon and Schuster Canada for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own. 

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Review: The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Publishing Date: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co
Pages: 528
Fiction / Thriller

The Premise from the Publisher: "She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning. Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They've killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon. When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it's her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous. Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of" (LBC).

My overall thoughts and review: With my long commute to campus some days of the week, I always depend on my trusty audible app to keep me sane and awake. I subscribe to their system where you get a credit a month, and it usually takes me about a few days to finish a book or sometimes a week. I did not know that Meyer was writing another book, let alone it being a thriller. I remember going into work and suddenly seeing it on display. I decided to purchase this book as an audiobook on audible because I wanted something thriller-esque to keep my attention during the commute. The last time I read something by Meyer was a few years ago and it was The Host. I was not exactly taken with that book, but similar to her other novels, she writes in a very addictive way that makes you constantly want to read more. She definitely writes character heavy which I really appreciate. I loved how much of an internal voice we got from the main protagonist Alex. I also quite liked the secondary characters like Daniel, Kevin and Val too. I also loved how much of a role the dogs had in the story. But where does the book fall short for me? I found it hard at times to suspend my disbelief. Things had a way of being so predictable that there wasn't really a big twist for me or many surprises and I expect that when reading thrillers. I also found it hard to believe things being resolved so easily and maybe because I'm jaded a bit with reading other books, but I expected some collateral damage. Also the biggest thing that bugged me was the lack of world building. The giant house that they spend most of their time in is described but I felt like we barely got enough of that area. I know Meyer is known for being character-driven but in a novel this big, I really expected an even-hand when it came to character and world building. Overall, I think if you are a fan of her other books, you will enjoy this. It is a nice change from her other supernatural stuff and she does write character dialogue really well. However, compared to other thriller books out there, this one simply did not "thrill" me and I did not see it as gripping-on-the-edge-of-my-seat kind of narrative. I would definitely recommend the audiobook version however since Ellen Archer does an amazing job narrating it (I loved when she narrated the parts of Kevin especially!)

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮ (3.5/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
AudibleChapters/IndigoKobo BooksAmazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)