Monday, 7 December 2015

Unaccompanied Minor (Hollis Gillespie)

Good morning bookworms! How has December been treating you? Hopefully you aren't too snowed in; though that does mean curling up by the fire with a good book so it's not always a terrible thing! But if it's summer where you are now, enjoy the warmth for me okay? The book I'm about to review is one I came across on Goodreads - I don't often scroll through there, but I am subscribed to their newsletters and I believe I saw it in one of their e-mails. If not, then it came from Tumblr. Regardless of why I decided to read it, I read it and it was a pretty good book!

Unaccompanied Minor is a book by Hollis Gillespie that I would categorize under the thriller genre though it's not necessarily scary. It is also of the mystery genre based on the plot line that the book follows. Despite those genres, the story is extremely light-hearted and at times can be quite comical. The story follows April Manning, a 14 year old girl from a long list of WorldAir employees; her mother is a flight attendant, her father was a pilot and her step-father (Ash) is also a pilot. Her family is a little dysfunctional though, especially since her father was killed in a plane crash. Since then, her step-father has moved across the country from her mother and gotten her mother confined to a psych ward; this leaves April to fly back and forth between her loving mother with no custodial rights and her step-father who could care less that she exists. After horrific events in Ash's apartment, April is left to flee and hide as an unaccompanied minor. But during one flight, things don't go as planned: a hijack, a bomb, Ash, and false coordinates to land. Will anyone on that plane make it back down to the ground safely?

When I first started this book, I didn't fully understand what the book had planned or truly what the concept of it was. I'm not sure if this effected my opinion, but it took me a long time to feel myself immersed in the novel. As I said, I don't know if it was the unclear concept or if the book was just slow to start off. The story is written through April's perspective, but it is also done at times as a series of police reports and interview records. At the beginning of the novel, the point of this writing style is unclear since the main events on the plane have not taken place. Once done the novel, it does make sense, but the delayed understanding did decrease the rating of the story.

One thing I did like was the diversity of characters present in the novel. There is a broad spectrum of ages of the main characters from April and Malcom, who are young teenagers, to Flo, who is a fairly old flight attendant that gets away with everything. Each character has a distinct personality which allows you as a reader to find someone you can relate to and root for throughout the duration of the story. I personally found myself to be similar to Malcolm - he's quiet, reserved, but definitely there for you when you need him; he also has a dog named Captain Beefheart and I would love to have my own version of that dog!

Once I had finished the novel, I read the short author blurb at the back of the book to discover that Hollis was working on a sequel to this novel. I personally don't see how another novel would benefit or enhance the story, as most of the plot had been tied up by the end. But, for the sake of being informative, the follow-up novel is out and called We Will be Crashing Shortly. I likely won't be reading the second story, but let me know if you do.

Overall I would rate Unaccompanied Minor 3.5/5 because it was good, but it could have been better. I understand that publishers don't like prologues anymore, but I think a chapter at the start that gave a preview as to why the story was written as police reports would be extremely helpful in clarifying a few things. But it was still a very good read and I still recommend it.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

*OTS* Mortal Danger (Ann Aguirre)

Welcome to the second installment of Off The Shelf which started a while ago. To be honest, I almost forgot that I had started that idea so I’m bringing it back and am hoping to do this every 3rd or 4th review posted. Just as a refresher, Off The Shelf is a series similar to Strawburry17’s show Something New on YouTube. I don’t have any back story as to why I chose this book but instead simply grabbed it off the shelf. Also, just as a side note: my apologies for missing the upload on Monday - things have been a little busy lately but it's here now so let's go!

The book that caught my eye, forcing me to pull it off the shelf, was Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre. This novel is of a science-fiction, supernatural genre, and had a pretty unique plot idea! The story follows Edie Kramer, a girl trying to make it through the pain and laughs of Blackbriar Academy - that's not an easy task when the end of one school year leaves you doubting if you want to be around anymore. But there was a change during the summer that gave her confidence to walk through the doors for her senior year: that change was Kian. He offers her a deal, one that's impossible to refuse, especially from a figure like him. However, as usual, a deal can not be done without some consequences. Soon Edie finds herself wrapped up in a game of monsters and temptations, and she soon isn't sure who she can trust.

So why did I pick this book off the shelf? There was something about the cover that was intriguing - maybe it was the monochrome colours with the bright red infinity symbol in blood. There is a great deal of symbolism if you want to delve into that side of literature. An infinite symbol signifies being connected with something for life, either by choice or by force. The blood creating the infinity made me feel a drop in my stomach because it appears as though someones life was decided for them; the one tied forever has no choice in the matter - they will bleed trying to break the forever or they will pump blood and live with it.

The characters in the story, Edie and Kian, are both powerhouse figures: their personalities are strong and often collide. But this adds an element to the book that is irresistible! I don't really know how to put into words anything I felt while reading the story. It was fast-paced, heart-pounding, and almost left me light-headed with excitement. I finished the novel in a couple days, and honestly I would have finished sooner had I had a good chunk of time on one day. 

Alternate Book Cover
When I grabbed this book off the shelf, I didn't know anything about the author or that this is part of the Immortal Game series. This is the first book in the trilogy and there is a fourth side novel from Kian's perspective. The second book is Public Enemies and the third book is Infinite Risk, due to release August 2016. The side novel is out now and is titled The Girl in the Gray Sweatshirt.

Overall I would rate Mortal Danger 5/5 because it left me speechless, which makes it really hard to write a review! I look forward to when I get the chance to finish this series because it is absolutely worth my time to wait for that third one to release.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

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Monday, 9 November 2015

Room (Emma Donoghue)

Welcome back everyone and welcome to November – did anyone else find that the month of October flew by extremely quickly? I blinked and suddenly it was Halloween, leaving me concerned that I didn’t really read any books at all last month! But, I’m glad to see others have been reading because in just 2 weeks, we’ve already gained 100 page views! I am so incredibly grateful for all of the support and I’m glad you take the time to read what I have to say. Now on with another review!

Back in September I read a book called Room by Emma Donoghue which is a book I’m struggling to categorize since I personally found it to be a bit “out of the box” genre-wise. It was a lifestyle genre with an element of mystery and suspense. The book looks through the eyes of three year old Jack and his mother, raising him almost on her own. The small family is far from normal since the two of them only ever see the same four walls of the same one room. They don’t see outside. They don’t smell fresh air. They don’t see any other people except this one guy: Nick. Nick kidnapped the boy’s mother and locked her in his shed where the boy was eventually born. For the mother, she is constantly trying to think of ways to get back home, but for the boy this is home because he doesn’t know any better. Will the two escape the shed of which they’ve been forced to call home? If escaped, how does an isolated child react to the world and a single mother forget the horrors of that room?

The book sounds pretty interesting right? That’s what I thought too until I started reading the book. Though the plot line is unique and intriguing, the writing style is less than ideal: it’s written from the boy’s perspective with the vocabulary and mannerisms of a boy. Inanimate objects are suddenly capitalized and described as real beings; this got old very quickly! I also found the execution of the plot line to be slow and at times quite boring. There was no true build of the story, but instead stayed at very much the same level of intensity throughout the entirety of the novel. The characters within the novel left me feeling disconnected because there wasn’t necessarily any personality traits that stood out that would allow me to “build a bond” with them; I like characters that leave me picturing them clearly and relating them back to people I know in my own life. I just felt that a lot of elements were missed with this one.

Upon doing some research, I discovered that Room is now a movie recently released to theatres on November 6. I personally have no intention of seeing this movie, but I would find it interesting to know if the adaption to film adds the missing elements from the book. If you go see the movie, comment your thoughts on how it was. If you’ve read the book and go see the movie, comment about whether or not they kept the view point and vocabulary of Jack.

Overall I would rate Room 0.5/5 because the vocabulary of Jack’s view point made the book excruciating to read. The story also only had a singular level of intensity with poorly developed characters. As always, my poor rating could be reflective of a personal preference so please feel free to try the novel despite my thoughts and certainly let me know yours!

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

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Monday, 26 October 2015

The Infinite Sea (Richard Yancey)

I want to start off by thanking everyone who takes the time to read my reviews for doing so because we have officially crossed over 2000 page views since starting in March 2014! I really do appreciate each and everyone of you. I look forward to what the future holds for this blog! Now on with the review :)

If you haven’t read the last review, make sure to check that one out first as this is a follow up to that one. As I mentioned in that review, The 5thWave is a trilogy and this book is the sequel. At the time of reading the first book, I didn’t know it was a series and that left me on the wrong foot when starting this one. I didn’t want The 5th Wave to be a series and I didn’t have intentions of starting another trilogy. But, despite this, I tried to leave those hesitations behind so I wouldn’t affect my opinion of this book. If you haven’t read the first book, I will warn you that a couple lines of this review may be spoilers for that book; I tried my best not to spoil anything, but it’s difficult sometimes! Another warning is that I recently fell into the pit known as "writer's block" so this review is being written far after the reading of the book; therefore, some details are a little hazy. My apologies!

The Infinite Sea is a science fiction novel that continues to follow the lives of the characters you grew to love in the first book. Upon the incredible plan that the characters managed to execute in The 5th Wave, they must learn to survive once again; however, the stakes are much greater this time around. Having deceived the enemy, the characters now have a large target on their backs: there's no escaping the punishment that awaits such an incredible take-down. After the group makes it to the designated safe house, planned by Evan, they must created a new plan: where do they go if they leave? Should they stay put and wait for everyone to return safely? With the many decisions on the table, the group becomes divided in what is the right course of action. This indecision causes a rift in the group, leaving them vulnerable and prone to be picked off: one by one. 

From what I can remember, the overall plot of the book was pretty well developed and did hold my attention fairly well. The only thing was that I found it to be a little too "typical" for a science fiction/dystopian novel. I really wanted there to be something that side swiped me like getting t-boned by a truck. It lacked a sense of sudden, surprise urgency. For the characters, there was definitely development and you were able to get a deeper understanding of their thoughts and the path that led them to where they are now. 

As mentioned in the first review, there is a third book (The Last Star) set to publish on May 17, 2016. At this moment, I am unsure if I will read and review it or not since it is a long time off: I like to read trilogies close together so that the details and connections are fresh in my mind. Reading the third book would involved having to revisit this novel and The 5th Wave closer to that date and, unfortunately, I don't really feel that this series is a re-read level of book. I will however likely see the movie for The 5th Wave in January 2016 to see how the words transition into images on film.

Overall I would rate The Infinite Sea 4/5 because I found it to be a little more in-depth than the first novel in the series, which left me not putting the book down; however, with that being said, I definitely could still use some more creativity and thought for the plot line itself.  
Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

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Monday, 12 October 2015

The 5th Wave (Rick Yancey)

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, for those who are celebrating it today! Hope you are enjoying your time and are appreciating everything you have to be thankful for. This book is one I have been meaning to read for a while, after first hearing about it from YouTuber Joey Graceffa. He gave this book high praise and I wasn’t going to pass on this book after hearing about it at that level of enthusiasm. When I first picked up the book, I was not aware that this was set to be apart of a trilogy; I was disappointed when I found out, especially since the third book is not due to release until 2016. But, with that detail set aside, I read the book and I’m excited to share my thoughts.

The 5th Wave is a futuristic, science fiction novel that follows the stories of several people whose lives become very intertwined as they struggle to survive. The novel is broken into clear cut sections, each following the mind set of another individual trying to survive to the next day; a few of these characters include Cassia, Sam, Ben, and Evan, though there are many other viewpoints you get to experience in addition to those four. The story begins by explaining how the Earth reached “the 5th wave” and who was behind these destructive waves: aliens who appear to want to exterminate and move in. But, humans, being the stubborn species that we are, won’t go down without a fight, and the characters plan to do just that: fight. Cassia and Sam fight for family, Ben fights for righting past mistakes, and Evan fights for change. Who will come out on top: humans or aliens?

I know what you must be thinking – another science fiction novel? Struggle to survive? – this is just going to be a cookie cutter story of what you’ve reviewed in the past. I too had my reservations about it all as I started, but it has a lot going for it. Though I was worried about the constant switch of perspective, especially since they aren’t clearly labelled as to which character you have entered the mind of, it only slightly distracted from the plot. Each character brings a unique viewpoint of the problem at hand and a unique way of dealing with the pressures of an extraterrestrial attack. Cassia is the sister you would want rooting for you: she is strong and does not flinch when faced with a challenge. Sam is the brother you would want to protect until he’s an adult, though he has grown up so quickly that he is just fine on his own. Ben is the “boy next door” type that you would label as a hard-core guy, but discover he may actually be sensitive behind all the walls. Evan is the mysterious boy that is dangerous and raises some red flags, but also melts you inside so you hold on tight. I really enjoyed the diversity of the characters, especially since they blended together so well.

The plot of the story is slightly cookie cutter “aliens attack Earth”, and I did find myself predicting some of the events that popped up along the way; however, I was very immersed in the novel and struggled to pace my reading. There are a few moments in the story that take you by surprise or leave you yelling at the pages, hoping to get through to the character with your outside perspective. I would have preferred the story be written from only two or three perspectives instead of the upwards of six you go through, but I do understand the author’s reasoning behind doing so. Though the stories of the characters are intertwined, they take place in their own time and space; trying to tie them together without separate perspectives would be difficult.

As mentioned at the beginning, this is the first book in a series of three novels. The second book is entitled The Infinite Sea and the third book is entitled The Last Star, due to publish on May 17, 2016. The first book is also coming out as a movie, premiering in January 2016!


Overall I would rate The 5th Wave 3.5/5 because the multiple perspectives left lags between sections, since it took me a few paragraphs to grasp which character I was following. Also, the lower rating is due to the slight cookie cutter plotline; I would have enjoyed some more creativity, especially with the four waves leading up to the 5th wave.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

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Monday, 28 September 2015

Ready Player One (Ernest Cline)

Welcome to another review being posted within the schedule! Hope you are all enjoying the consistency of my posting, as well as the books I am reviewing; I've been lucky enough to be in a pretty good streak for books at the moment. This next book is one I came across on Tumblr, but it was also suggested by a couple YouTubers that I still watch. After reading the summary for this novel, I was instantly intrigued. I absolutely love books that mess the worlds of reality and virtual reality. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may recall a book I read called Erobos that did exactly that. Since I'm a fan of gaming, being able to collide the worlds of virtual reality and the real world in a book is one of my favourite things!

Ready Player One is a science fiction novel that follows the lives of real people entering an online world known as OASIS. The main character of this novel is Wade, a teenager whose life in the real world is not desirable and difficult to remain in. Being an orphan, forced to live in a trailer park with his heartless aunt, one can understand the desire of OASIS; especially when the stakes of being in it are so high. The creator of this virtual reality (James Halliday), upon his death, raised the stakes for immersing yourself in his world of OASIS: the first person to claim three keys and clear their three respective gates would win millions of credits and gain immortality and invincibility. Wade, not liking the real world, became a gunter, meaning he spends most of his time in OASIS searching for the ultimate prize. But as the first key is discovered, the challenge becomes increasingly difficult as one corporation tries everything to finish the race first. Who will claim the prize, and at what cost?

Reading this book was both thrilling and unstoppable - I completed this book in approximately three days. The characters in this novel have distinct personalities, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. I never once questioned the real nature of their online personalities in OASIS, though there were a few twists towards the end that took me by surprise! That's another thing about this book that made it so incredible to read: it wasn't predictable. The story had twists and turns that I didn't expect, each with significant tolls on the characters and plot.

One thing that I didn't like was the extensive explanation present within the story. I understand that the details were meant to help immerse the characters in the culture of which Halliday based his contest on. Despite the relevance of the extra explanation, I found them to distract from the main plot line of which I truly wanted to read. Despite this, I found a way to not let it ruin my opinion of the book - I simply skimmed over the parts that were not completely relevant to the plot.

A handful of alternate book covers!

Upon completion of the book, I discovered that there are plans to turn this book into a movie! The film is set to release in 2017 and will be directed by Steven Speilberg

Overall I would rate Ready Player One a 4.5/5 because it was absolutely thrilling, leaving me immersed in the world of OASIS. The decrease of 0.5 from a perfect score is due to the over explained aspects of what made up Halliday's contest.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

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Monday, 14 September 2015

The Bodies We Wear (Jeyn Roberts)

Hello again everyone! I'm officially starting to get this blog back on a decent publishing schedule and it makes me really happy knowing that. Since it's mid-September, quite a few of you may be back at school and already feeling like you're drowning in work. But, despite that, reading is something I always made sure to make time for and encourage you to as well. This book was an easy read, so it's a good one to start with if you decide to add reading nightly into your routine; I promise you it's a good way to distract yourself from the stressful or tiring day you've had, either at school or work.

The Bodies We Wear is a science fiction novel that follows the life of Faye, a seventeen year old girl who has survived six years past her expected life span. In the world that she exists in, there is a drug referred to as Heam that allows the user to die momentarily and see heaven; however, not everyone has a pleasant experience, especially when you overdose. An overdose is equivalent to painting a target on your back. The moment you've been marked, your ability to live a normal life becomes near impossible. Faye, on the other hand, defies odds to attend school in the hopes of a normal teenage life. Despite her attempt at normality, Faye's activities outside of school are far from normal, due to her plot for revenge that left her marked by Heam. But just as she starts to get going, a ghost from the past seems to want to help her instead of haunt her. Who is this ghost, and what is their purpose? Will Faye succeed in normality, or will her plan for revenge rip that away from her?

While reading this book, I truly struggled to put the book down. I found myself binge-reading the novel, despite my busy schedule, and finished the full story within three days. The reading itself is very easy and required no brain power at all; but I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way. Since the wording was simple, it allowed me to focus more on immersing myself in the characters and plot development. The concept behind the story was unique to me - I haven't read something quite like it yet. Faye is definitely a character that I bow down to and strive to be. She is incredibly strong, knows who she is, and doesn't let her physical flaws (and the society's interpretation of them) define her life; I wish I had her grounded self of being. The other main character - who I referred to as a ghost and am going to keep nameless - is the type of guy I would like to meet. He is caring and truly wants to give Faye a life of meaning and happiness; he knows what's best for her and tries to make her see that too.

I do applaud the author Jeyn Roberts on this story because it could have been a very predictable plot, but I didn't find it to be. After visiting her website, I discovered she has two other novels listed there, set to be part of a trilogy. I might just be adding this author to my list of authors to watch, because both of her books peaked my interest with only a glance at the cover and a skim of the synopsis.


Overall I would rate The Bodies We Wear a 4/5 because it was a brilliant story with some incredible characters, but I did feel that something was missing. The plot consisted of several mini climax points, but it didn't have a main climax point. Maybe that's a personal preference, but I really do enjoy when there is a point in the book that sideswipes you and takes you on a roller coaster ride.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Fire In The Stars (Isabella & Mitchell)

Welcome back to my blog if you are a returning reader, or just simply welcome if you are new here. My name is Kelly and I absolutely love to read, sharing my opinions on the stories as I go. The reason I’m starting off with a more formal introduction, is because this review is more special than the rest: it is part of a virtual book tour! I was asked by one of the authors of this book if I would like to participate in the virtual book tour for the upcoming novel Fire In The Stars. Of course I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read and review a book that had yet to be released to the public. The moment the novel landed in my inbox, I dove right into the story and I am so glad I did!

Fire In The Stars is a co-written book by Isabella Rogge and Mitchell Thomas Kazanjian. The two authors came together to write a science fiction book from two perspectives for the two main characters: Harper and Clint. The story takes place in a world where teenage and child delinquents are exiled to the island of Penance. The island is an isolated world where only the fit survive and the fittest lead the lesser. Clint, being one of the original, is the island’s very own “bad cop” in a way, doing jobs that would not be desirable; though his status on the island provides him with the privacy to live in his own bubble. Harper, being one of the newest additions to the island, still has a lot to learn if she is going to survive in her new home. Not long after her arrival, the dynamic of the island is turned on its head and Harper always seems to end up smack-dab in the middle of it. Who will be the fittest to survive above the rest? Harper, Clint, or neither?

After I finished reading this novel, I was left staring at my black computer screen just sitting in awe of the incredible story that I had just finished reading. How is one supposed to go on after they complete a book they didn't want to see end? When I was first approached by Isabella with a co-written book, I was thrilled by the opportunity but worried about having two authors; I have read co-written books before and have often found a disconnect between chapters. For Fire In The Stars, there is no hint of disconnect whatsoever! The two perspectives, that of Harper and Clint, are so seamlessly intertwined that it felt as though the two authors were in fact one. The characters themselves are also so real that it's as though you are watching their lives unfold before your own eyes, just watching from behind a tree on Penance Island. It was as if I had known these characters before, instead of trying to learn who they were. They each had their own distinct personality as well, which made the story that much more enjoyable!

Another enjoyable part, especially for me, was the pace of the story. From the very first page, the story began and not once did that pace seem to falter or slow; the consistency was impeccable! With each new chapter, you learned more about Penance Island and those who have existed in this make-shift society since the beginning of its time; it was as though my mind was filling in the details of the poorly defined map given to the new additions to the island - it was like I was one of the "Fins" of this world.

Fire In The Stars is due to release on September 18, 2015 and I encourage all of you reading this review to go out and give this book a read - I promise you won't regret the decision to do so! For more details about the book or the authors, make sure to check out the BOOK BLOG or the BOOK WEBSITE.

Overall I would rate Fire In The Stars a 5/5 because I didn't want it to end whatsoever! The world that existed on Penance Island was one that you didn't want to live on, but also didn't want to let go of. Most certainly a must read!

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

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Sunday, 16 August 2015

*OTS* Innocence (Dean Koontz)

Welcome back to another review! I finally feel like I'm getting back on track with this blog, and I'm hoping to continue that so there is a new review every 2-3 weeks. For this review, I don't actually have a back story as to why I chose to read the book - there was no request, no friend suggestions, and no discovery through Tumblr: I just pulled it directly off the shelf and decided to give it a go! This is almost like my personal take off of Meghan Camarena's (Strawburry17) YouTube show called Something New. Since I don't have other people's opinions or preconceived notions of the book, my opinion can not be clouded by what I had already visioned in my mind. I'm going to call it Off The Shelf and will include OTS in the title of any review part of this series. Here we go :)

Innocence by Dean Koontz is an adult fiction novel, categorized as suspense, fantasy, and romance: which makes it a triple threat in my mind, since you get a little bit of everything. The story follows Addison, a boy left to lead a life of solitude beneath the city due to a difference in him that would certainly get him killed by society. Having been used to the horrors above ground, Addison becomes curious of a girl, Gwyneth lurking through the night despite her ability to exist in the day. Upon discovery of Gwyneth's secrets, Addison is drawn out of the shadows to help her survive from the horrors of her past. The story can be described as a contemporary version of Beauty and the Beast, in a round about way; two unlikely characters coming together for one purpose.

The overall story plot was interesting and I did find myself being drawn into the book whilst I was reading it; however, I found the book to be slow and I even found myself confused at times. Before I found myself immersed in the book, I was at least halfway through the novel itself - not something you want to discover. Once you are halfway through a book, you should have already been sold and at the point where you refuse to put the book down; I on the other hand was left wondering if I should just put it down and be done with it. Despite not wanting to continue, I did so for the sake of finishing the book for a complete opinion.

Upon completion, I was left with mixed emotions. The relationship that developed between Addison and Gwyneth was unique and believable, which I was very glad to discover. Seeing an unlikely pair grow together, despite their own flaws, restored my hope in authors creating believable relationships, instead of "society-perfected" ones. However, despite the wonderful relationship between the main characters, the writing of the book was flawed. The chapters continuously flipped between past memories and present occurrences, without any distinction between the two; the first few times this happened, I was left extremely confused. More confusion occurred when I finish the book, since one of the constant pieces brought up in the book didn't play a significant role or have an final explanation; to those who have read this, you will likely know that I am referring to the marionettes.

Alternate Cover
Overall I would rate this book a 2.5/5 because it was slow and had poor plot conclusions, but it did have a good character relationship. One thumbs up and one thumbs down!

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

P.s. Make sure to come back on September 1st for a special review!

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Sunday, 2 August 2015

Zodiac (Romina Russell)

Good morning readers! How is everyone enjoying the first days of August? I hope everything is well and that you are enjoying your summer - unless you are somewhere like Australia, then I hope you're keeping warm in your winter. The following review is for a book I discovered through Tumblr, having seen it a lot on my dashboard; however, I read about 2 months ago, but never got around to writing about. Therefore, I apologize for the short review as my memory of books upon starting another is actually quite terrible.

Zodiac is a science fiction book written by Romina Russell, that creates a physical world around the 12 astrological signs. Each of the signs are visualized into individual planets, all of which are governed by a single Guardian. The 12 planets lived in harmony and peace until a violent blast struck the moons of Cancer. This worldly disaster left Rhoma Grace (Rho for short), a 16 year old student, with a lot of responsible and an eye for astrology that the elder Guardians couldn't understand. Rho is left to convince these Guardians that the disaster is not some of natural cause, but of a a 13th figure. But does Rho really know what she is fully leading herself into?

Before starting this novel, I was very intrigued with the both the cover art and the actual concept of the story. Creating physical beings and planets from the astrological signs, is a unique plot that I had never read before; thus I had relatively high expectations. But regardless of my standard, the book left me disappointed, and at times confused. The beginning of the short became an overwhelming blurb of information and I found character introduction to be vague and confusing; too many characters in a short time frame, each with little guidance as to who they were. Once I had found my footing of the world and the people who existed in it, I noticed the story to be relatively captivating, but it was also slightly dry. It lacked the suspense or thrill that I hoped to find in the story - it was very standard heroine-villain relations.

Upon writing this review, I have discovered that a sequel is due to release in December, titled Wandering Star. I'm currently unsure if I will read the novel or not, but perhaps this will allow for clarification and a better sense of closure to what felt like a slightly disorganized book.

Overall I would rate this book a 3.8/5 because it was a rough start with a decent plot. I think if I had taken the time to read this story in one go, without being in school, I would have found it more enjoyable. This is definitely a need-to-binge type of plot line.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

Leave a comment with your thoughts on this story or with a suggestion of another book I should read & review!

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Friday, 10 July 2015

The Great Repression (Shannon Cuthrell)

Feels like I always start off my reviews this way now, but I want to apologize for the lack of content as well as the delay of content lately; school is extremely hectic right now, but it of course always comes first. This review is slightly different than normal because it is more exciting then normal. In May, I was contacted by the author, Shannon Cuthrell, via my Tumblr page. She asked me if I would be interested in receiving a copy of her book to read and review here for you, the most wonderful readers (I'm not cheesy, I swear). I of course was thrilled by the opportunity and so excited when I received the book in the mail right before the start of June. When I finally had the time to read it, I loved every minute of it. So, without further ado, let me tell you about this incredible book!

The Great Repression is a series of poems written by Shannon while studying at school. Typically, poetry is not a medium of book that I ever reach for so having an incentive to read poetry was already extremely captivating for me. The poems each have their own unique story, and yet the book itself ties so well into the big picture. The stories presented in this collection of poems depict the hidden struggles that many people, including myself, have coped with or are learning to understand. Many of the poems touch topics such as falling in love, heartbreak, depression, and feeling overwhelmed. The poems really resonated with me because I was reminded of where I was four years ago when I was in the middle of my high school experience; it was a tough time for me and I went through quite a lot. It also reminded me of newer times - having recently been in and out of a relationship in a short time. One of the poems described perfectly what it is to be captivated by somebody new: "he settled / not just on my mind, but in it - / trapped." The words are so simply put but so incredibly accurate. A later poem also resonated after I was left to pick up the pieces; as a blogger, I run towards writing as a coping method. This poem had a line that said, "dating a writer could be the life and death of you," which is so true because depending on how you treat me, my description of you may change.

Upon finishing the series of poems, I was left sat on my bed, book in hand, just staring out into nothing. The words continued to bounce off the inside of every part of me, growing deeper in meaning and connection to my past and present. Very rarely do I ever feel so connected to words on a page, unless they are my own - raw and directly from my brain. I want to applaud Shannon for writing a piece of art. That's what it is: a piece of art. There are also illustrations in the book drawn by her brother Bradford, all of which are both abstract and beautiful.

I want to take a few lines of my review to thank Shannon for opening my eyes and mind up to the world of poetry, as I hope to add more of that to my blog now; whether that be my own attempt or other published books. I always want to thank her for sending me a copy of the book which is made so beautifully. For those of you who I hope I have intrigued, you can purchase Shannon's book The Great Repression on Amazon. If you do read her poems, don't forget to let her know your thoughts on her Blogspot page, or check out her website.

Overall, I would rate The Great Repression 5/5 because I enjoyed every minute of it. I loved the way the poems were descriptive but vague enough for me to make my own personal connections.
Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

Leave a comment with your thoughts on this story or with a suggestion of another book I should read & review!

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Followers (Anna Davies)

Before I start writing the review, I want to formally apologize for my absence from this blog. I finished reading the book in this review about 3 or 4 weeks ago, but I just couldn't find any words when I sat down to write. Being in University through the summer is tough because usually this is my busiest time for reading; but that's not the case this time. The past few weeks have been quite overwhelming with school work and exams, but I hope to make up for it with the next few reviews. So let's get started with this one!

I came across this book after seeing it on the "New" shelf in my library, and something about the cover caught my attention. I'm not sure if it was the hard-faced girl on the front or the font, but I know that it stood out that day I was there. Followers by Anna Davies is labelled as a horror book in my library, though I would say it's more so a suspenseful mystery. The book follows a girl named Briana as she enters a summer boarding school of the arts, more specifically aimed at theater. Pushing herself from her comfort zone and the shadows that she has existed in for a while, Briana tries out for their school production of Hamlet; though things don't go as planned. In fact, it's not just Briana's role in the production that doesn't go to planned - the production itself is in jeopardy. Someone seems to have a sick sense of humour when a Twitter account predicts numerous tragedies, ones that Briana is being blamed for. Will the perpetrator be revealed, or will Briana be left with her back against the wall?
Upon finishing the book, I was left with mixed emotions. The plot itself sounds pretty exciting, when I put it as I have; that's the plot that I got from the brief description I had available to me. Even reading the description, I knew it wasn't going to be the horror book it was labelled as, but I wanted to give it a try. The story itself is relatively unique, but the way it is written makes coming to a conclusion fairly easy to do. The book tries to lead you to different people, but it's clear that those people are too obvious of suspects. All of the characters in the book have a clear cut personality and an identity, which is nice to read and not always found. But without a convoluted plot, that nice factor no longer feels as prevalent as it should.

Overall, I would rate Followers 2.5/5 because I am still on the fence with my thoughts about this book; maybe that's another reason why I was stuck in a slump. All I know is that the plot was a little predictable, but the characters were believable.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

Leave a comment with your thoughts on this story or with a suggestion of another book I should read & review!

If you would like updates for when a new review is posted, check out the Tumblr page
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Friday, 15 May 2015

Update #4

Hey there everybody! 
How are you today? Hopefully you're doing well :)

I just wanted to update you guys on the fact that I have created an Official Facebook page for this blog! My hopes with this page is to keep you guys connected/updated on a more regular basis, as well as allow for easier requests and suggestions. 

The link can be found HERE!

Let me know your thoughts on the page so I can make it even better for you as the readers.

Your fellow bookworm,

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Baygirl (Heather Smith)

Hello there everybody! I'd first like to start off by apologizing for my absence for the last month. As my first co-op work term came to a close, I was quite swamped with the tasks at hand which left me pretty tired in the evenings; this meant my reading schedule was placed on hold until I had regrouped and rested. Now that I'm back in school, and working hard on keep my grades up, I will still try my best to put out a new review at least once a month, but please don't hold me to that! Now, without any further delay, let's move forward with the review! :)

Baygirl by Heather Smith is a Canadian novel and a nominee of the White Pine Award. For those of you who aren't aware of the White Pine Award, it is an annual award presented to a young adult book that promotes reading for enjoyment and Canadian culture, and is sponsored by the Ontario Library Association. The nominated books are provided to students in high school (Grades 9 - 12) who then have the opportunity to vote for a winner as the program ends. I was excited to read this book, being a fellow Canadian, because I feel as though I don't appreciate "local" authors as much as I should; I really want to support some more Canadian authors. I was also excited to pick up this book because the cover is gorgeous!
The novel follows the story of 16 year old Kit Ryan, a local in a fishing village in Newfoundland. Kit has grown up in the small village her whole life and has grown attached to the little things that make it wonderful; the salty breeze, the cranky old man, and the hill that overlooks the village. Despite living the almost perfect life, Kit is faced with the reality of moving to St. John's after her father loses his job. Once the car is packed up and driven to St. John's, Kit must learn to fit in with the new kids whilst hiding the truth about the horror found at home: her alcoholic father. The plot follows Kit as she learns to adapt to a new place and fall in love, while dealing with her father and a tragedy back home.

The author does a wonderful job of creating very real characters. Each one of the characters has a personality filled with both good things and flaws; this is an aspect that I truly enjoyed. While I was reading the book, I felt as though I was looking into someone's actual life - not just a story. That in itself is an amazing thing to do because everything feels real. I was engrossed in the characters, the houses, the town, the atmosphere - I could go on but I shall spare you every detail. I highly recommend experiencing it for yourself.
Author, Heather Smith
Overall, I would rate Baygirl 5/5 because it was beautifully written and just felt so real to how life actually is. Glad to support my fellow Canadian authors, and I look forward to future books by her!

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

Leave a comment with your thoughts on this story or with a suggestion of another book I should read & review!

If you would like updates for when a new review is posted, check out the Tumblr page!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Where She Went (Gayle Forman)

Looking at the title of this review, you may be a little confused as to why this is being posted without the first book review being up. To diminish the confusion, let me explain. This is indeed the sequel to If I Stay but I have a confession: I didn't actually read the first book. I watched the movie a couple months back, not knowing it was based on a book. When I discovered that, I was mildly horrified that I had watched a movie before the book. But instead of going back and reading the first book, I just had to jump right into the second one. I needed to find out what happened!

Where She Went by Gayle Forman, as I mentioned before, is the sequel to the bestseller book (and movie) If I Stay. Just as a recap for the first book: Mia is a cello player and Adam plays guitar in a band. The unlikely pairing become inseparable until a tragic events happens in Mia's life. She is left hanging in this unknown in-between and has to decide on whether she should stay or leave. Of course, Adam wants her to stay though he makes a promise that may cost him later. That's the first book, without giving away too much. The second book begins three years after the devastating accident. This book follows Adam more closely as he faces the challenges of being in a band that is rising through the ranks. He also faces challenges when he crosses paths with his old love Mia. Will the come together again, or are old wounds still to raw to allow that to happen?

The writing of this book is beautiful and I thank Gayle Forman for writing such a lovely novel. The characters are so real and you begin to feel what they are feeling. Any happiness became my happiness; any sadness became my sadness; any pain became my pain. That is a difficult thing to do, but Gayle managed to do so in such an incredible manner. There is no "sugar-coating" the emotions in the book and I love the reality of it all. For me, I find teen fiction can become a little washed-out leaving behind a feeling that my life isn't as wonderful as it should be based on the characters I'm following. But Where She Went (and the movie If I Stay) doesn't look at just the happy parts of a relationship or the teeny tiny "fights", it looks at the whole picture and how life is a long journey; there may be heartbreak, but perhaps things will find a way of healing if you give it time.
Mia & Adam (as portrayed in the movie If I Stay)
Overall, I would rate Where She Went 5/5 because it was beautifully written and just felt so true to what life and relationships are. Again, thank you Gayle Forman for writing a two-book series that I am now in love with; I promise to go back and read the first one!
Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

Leave a comment with your thoughts on this story or with a suggestion of another book I should read & review!

If you would like updates for when a new review is posted, check out the Tumblr page!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

A Thousand Pieces of You (Claudia Gray)

This is a book I came across on Tumblr, much like many of the others I've read. I was scrolling through my dashboard when a picture of this book appeared on my screen. The cover of this novel was so captivating with all of its bright colours and the mirrored "two-worlds" that look so distant but feel so connected. It's a simple cover, yet it is also very complex because you can tell there is a meaning behind it that must tie well with the story.

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray is a book that is very unique in its own; I can't say I've read any books prior to it that have a storyline quite like this. The story follows the life of Marguerite Caine, the daughter of two very bright parents who are scientists. Her parents also happen to have created a device that allows one to travel to neighbouring dimensions: they call it the Firebird. Despite this amazing feature of the Firebird, it also seems to cause quite a bit of trouble. After a tragic event, and the disappearance of one of the assistant inventors, Marguerite is left with one thing on her mind: kill Paul Markov. The responsibility of this tragedy all falls into one arrow that points straight at Paul; however, after jumping dimensions, Marguerite must determine if he really is the cause or not. The book follows Marguerite, and her family friend Theo, as they chase Paul through dimensions, facing personal challenges in each one.
The characters in this book are ones that I did initially struggle to connect with, but I think that is more to do so with the fact that the plot is quite abstract; you can't really relate on a personal level to someone jumping through alternate dimensions. Despite that though, the relationships between all of the characters feel well developed and you can sense history between them without anything being explicitly stated. When reading the book, I became fully immersed in the world that Claudia Gray created, and I actually ended up finishing the book in three or four hours. It's not a difficult read, but the plot does have several layers, meaning even the smallest detail can actually be quite significant.

Upon completing the book, I was satisfied with the ending. I was left with the feeling that everything would work out and I liked the idea of an open ending; it allowed for some personal creativity to imagine my own outcome. But it turns out Claudia Gray is actually turning this into a trilogy, according to Goodreads. I'm not sure how I feel about it becoming a trilogy - since it is the typical thing to do now with YA books - but I will not prejudge the books until I read them. The sequel is called Ten Thousand Skies Above You and is due to release in November this year.
Overall, I would rate A Thousand Pieces of You 4.5/5 because it held my attention so easily and I didn't want to put the book down once I started. Of course, as mentioned before, it was hard to personally relate to the characters but the story was built in such a way that it wasn't too big of an issue for me. Also, the mainstream trilogy creation is a slight letdown, as I loved this book as a stand alone.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

Leave a comment with your thoughts on this story or with a suggestion of another book I should read & review!

If you would like updates for when a new review is posted, check out the Tumblr page!

Friday, 20 February 2015

Point of Infliction (Veronica N. Davis)

This review is one that has been a long time coming! I first became aware about this book after receiving a request via my Tumblr page all the way back in July 2014. This request came to the attention of the author who suggested I placed a request at my local library for a copy; and this I did! After placing the request, I played the waiting game until November 28th when I was able to walk over to my library and pick up the book. I was extremely excited to finally have the book in my possession as the anticipation had built up quite a bit! However, I did not get around to reading it at the moment as I was heading into exam month at University. Then, once the exams had finished, I was in the middle of a trilogy of which I had to complete first because I can't stand reading books in between (it ruins the flow of the plot). But, despite all that, these past two weeks I have been reading it finally!

That book that I've been reading is Point of Infliction by Veronica N. Davis, and I have to say, it lived up to all the anticipation and suspense! The plot follows the lives of those living in a town soon struck with many tragedies, all tied together by one thing: a mysterious man whose idea of justice is  corrupt and unnatural. Camille Moore is one of those lives affected, having once had a sister fall victim to this man; however, Camille will find herself unknowingly close to this man. This man, whose last name is quite the talk of the town for other reasons, has a reputation, but not for what he should. As the story unfolds, you fall into the depths of the story trying to discover if Camille will get out of the darkness that is Derek Caldwell, or if she will fall victim to the fate her sister once experienced.
Whilst reading the novel, I was excited to discover more about both Camille and Derek, and excited to discover what fate lie ahead for the two of them. There were a few parts that left me feeling a little confused, due to the magnitude of main characters, but by the end all confusion was alleviated. The story comes together at the end and ties up loose ends. Though the ending does strike hard, I couldn't help but empathize with Derek because of his honest intentions. Despite his corrupt methods, and disturbing nature, I can't help but understand why he does what he does; that is truly an impressive thing to accomplish on Veronica Davis's part, to which I applaud her.

Overall, I would rate Point of Infliction 4.8/5 because it was essentially perfect! The only thing I would have needed for a perfect rating was a little more clarity in the parts of the novel that followed secondary characters; since there were so many names, I struggled to remember who was who - though that could be because of my struggle to focus at night after a long day at work.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

Leave a comment with your thoughts on this story or with a suggestion of another book I should read & review!

If you would like updates for when a new review is posted, check out the Tumblr page!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Maggie Stiefvater)

Hey there everyone! I'm back with a new review (finally) and this time it is the third novel in The Raven Cycle series. Before I begin, however, I wanted to apologize for the lack of reviews being posted lately. I'm currently on co-op as part of my schooling, and often after work I feel too tired to be able to completely focus on the stories unfolding on the page. Without full focus, I feel as though my reviews and opinions would be clouded by my lack of concentration; however, now that I'm one month into my work term, I am more focused and used to the routine. So, without further ado, the review!

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the book to follow The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves, both of which I gave 5 out of 5 stars; it had a tough act to follow, and I was definitely more critical as a result. The plot continues where it left of at the end of the second, as Blue and the boys continue their work with the ley line. As their efforts begin to reap rewards, those same efforts also reap consequences. With the wakening of one of the "sleepers" comes the disappearance of one, the death of another, and a very close call for one of the boys. As the story approaches the end, the pace of the plot accelerates and I became much more invested in it than I was at the beginning. At the end of the novel, you are left on a cliffhanger - this was something I was extremely upset about!
The Book Cover
Though I was upset about the cliffhanger, since I was not aware that The Raven Cycle series wasn't a trilogy, I did some research to discover there will be another book to follow. Maggie is currently working on Book 4, which is due to release in the Fall of 2015. For me, this is too far away! I'm not a fan of the gaps between book releases, especially when the plot lines are a little more intricate and detail-oriented. I know that when the next book arrives, I will have forgotten many of the details from the previous. But, with that said, I still am very much so look forward to that new release!
Overall, I would rate Blue Lily, Lily Blue 4.5/5 because I did find the first half of the story to be a little slow and disorganized, but the latter half was exception and suspenseful! I can't wait for the true final installment?

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

Leave a comment with your thoughts on this story or with a suggestion of another book I should read & review!

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Thursday, 15 January 2015

Liebster Award Nomination

Hey there bookworms! :)

I've been blogging for close to a year now and I have enjoyed writing every post that has been published on here. Every time I read a new book and share my own thoughts, I've always wondered if it ever truly reaches people - if people actually read it on the other end - or if it just publishes into thin air. On Tuesday, however, upon returning home from a busy day at work, I log in to find a Liebster Award Nomination from Life As I Know It. The Liebster Award is an award which lets people know about the smaller blogs that are out there with 200 followers/subscribers or less. So with that, I'd like to thank Charly.
The rules are simple:
1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Answer the questions given by the nominator
3. Nominate another 11 bloggers (with 200 or less followers) and link them
4. Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer
5. Notify all nominees by social media/blogs

Questions from Life As I Know It:
1. One place you would absolutely love to visit? 
One place that I would absolutely love to visit someday is New Zealand. I don't care where in New Zealand I go, I just simply want to visit there. If I'm honest, I think it's because of my love for photography, and whenever I think of going there, I know I'd be filled with joy whilst photographing as much as I could.
2. Current favourite song?
This has always been a difficult question for me to answer because I use music as a personal release of emotion; I drown myself in music if I'm feeling sad or even if I'm happy. But, if I truly had to choose a song as my favourite, my current chose would be You Are In Love by Taylor Swift (but that's most because I'm working on my own interpretation on guitar at the moment).
3. Favourite word?
Now that is most certainly a question I have never been asked before. I do really like the word serendipity because it has such a happy and uplifting meaning.
4. How long have you been blogging?
I started this blog in March 2014, though it originally started out as a Tumblr page in August 2013.
5. Top way to procrastinate? (Other than blogging!)
My top way to procrastinate would be a tie between Tumblr, YouTube, and my guitar. Oh and books!
6. Sweet or savoury?
Definitely sweet :) I love baking too much!
7.If you could go on a date with any celebrity, who would it be and why?
This is probably a less common answer, but Ed Sheeran. I'd just love to have a jam session with him and improve my guitar playing. He truly is an inspiration in my own playing.
8. Favourite season?
As much as I want to say summer, because it's warm and typically there is no school, I do really love the beginning of Autumn. I love the way the leaves turn red, yellow, orange, and brown. I love the way you can be outside in a sweater and jeans, and not feel too cold. I love the smells that come with it as well.
9. Apple or Windows?
I'm an Apple girl! Absolutely love my Macbook!
10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years from now I will be one year out of University, hopefully successfully with my Bachelor of Science in Biology. I hope that I am still with my boyfriend and that he too successfully graduated University. I hope to have a job in the field that I want to and that it's everything I imagined. But most importantly, I hope I'm happy (and still reading)!
11. Favourite memory?
Favourite memory eh? That's a tough question! One of the memories that comes to mind is a fairly recent one - from last Winter - in which one of my best friends from home and I entered into the talent contest at our University. She sang and I played guitar. The first stage of the contest was an audition tape that you submitted in hopes of making the Top 20 participants. We filmed and edited a music video to play within our performance of Begin Again by Taylor Swift. We successfully were picked to be in the Top 20, where then the Top 10 were selected based on number of Facebook 'likes'. It was close, but we made it to the live Top 10 round. During the live performance we performed Give Me Love by Ed Sheeran; it was the first time I had truly played guitar in front of an audience of people I did not know. It was thrilling! Performing live was such a rush! Normally I play guitar in my room alone, when no one is around to watch me play; I use it as an emotional escape at times. So performing live was definitely a fantastic moment and one that is amongst some of my fondest memories.
My nominations are:
**(Note: I only actually follow the first blog as of right now. I don't read a lot of other blogs in my spare time *gasp I know* so I decided to go searching the 'blogspot' tag on Tumblr to find some hidden or upcoming gems! Also, I apologize that there are only 9)

Beauty ~ Fashion ~ Lifestyle
Professional Daydreamer
Livin' On Brightside
We Live & Breathe Words
Sailor Alanah Books
The Travelling Donkey
Love. Eat. Read.
Wearing Wanderlust

My 11 questions for the nominees to answer:

1. Why did you decide to start blogging?
2. Indoors or outdoors?
3. The last song you listened to? 
4. A place you like to go to think?
5. Favourite thing to bake/cook?
6. Favourite day of the week?
7. A story that always makes you smile when looking back on it?
8. Chocolate or vanilla?
9. A book you never finished and why?
10. A book you will love forever?
11. Something people may not know about you?

Thank you once more to Charly for the nomination!

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms