Bookworms will rule the world...After we finish one more chapter!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
Publisher: Delecorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 310 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reasons: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Ok, y'all. Can someone explain to me why the hell I waited so long to read this book? Like, seriously?! I have a 'Read before I Watch' rule, If any book is hitting the big screen and it's a movie I want to see, then I want to read it before I see it. The minute I heard all the fuss over Everything, Everything, I knew I had to my hands on it.

Now, fast forward 2 hours when I completed this lovely, adorable(and every other positive adjective) story. Each aspect of this novel was so strong. The grand characters: Madeline, Olly, Carla and her mother. The picturesque world that Yoon described throughout the entire novel, from Madeline's white room to the beautiful islands of Hawaii. And then the little doodles that graced the pages throughout the books entirety. Speaking of those doodles, I saw Nicola Yoon on The Social(a Canadian Talk Show program) and she mentioned that her husband is the artist behind the book cover, the doodles and the movie poster, so big kudos to Mr. Yoon!

Everything, Everything reminded me a lot of one of my favourite film's, Penelope(minus the curse and the pig's nose) but more so for the seclusion and the boy who breaks the spell. In it's own way, Everything, Everything is a perfect fairytale. It's not so much that Boy-Saves-Girl but more so Boy-Shows-Girl-Her-Grand-Potential. Boy-awakens-girl. Madeline held the power all along but Olly ignited the flame. LOVE!

Everything, Everything is so much more than your "average" young adult love story. It is a coming of age novel. A girl shedding her skin and learning about herself and who she wants to become. It is about a mother and her relationship with her daughter. The unbreakable bond between parent and child. And it is also about those other meaningful relationships you have with people in your lives. In Madeline's case, Carla. A vibrant character that helped polish Madeline into the beautiful gem that she is.

If you haven't read this novel yet, then what are you waiting for? Don't be fool like me and put it off any longer. There is truly so much beauty in Everything, Everything. 



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

Dangerous Lies
Release Date: November 10th, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 384 Pages
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author:
Buy the Book:

She does not belong in Thunder Basin, Nebraska. As the star witness in a murder trial against a drug dealer, Stella is now in the Witness Protection Program. The small-town locals can never know who she really is. Not even Chet Falconer, the one boy who makes her want to reveal her true self. She knows that telling the truth will only bring violence to this safe haven.
Despite how hard Stella tries to stay under the radar, danger is fast approaching. Criminals have a way of getting rid of witnesses, and Stella may have made the one mistake that could lead the cold-blooded men hunting for her right to her doorstep.

As crazy bookworms yourselves, you know that we accumulate more books than we read. Because of this I will put myself on a 'book buying ban' from time to time...honestly, it usually ends up in complete failure. That is how Dangerous Lies came in my possession. I frequent the gym every day, but my gym is attached to a mall, so I just walk through the mall every day to get to said gym. They always have their hottest reads displayed and EVERY DAY I would walk by Dangerous Lies. It's cover beckoning me and it's enticing premise intriguing me But, I resisted and would walk away. This lasted a week! A week of pure torture! Finally, it was a gloomy, rainy Friday and while walking to the gym I plucked the book up and carried it with a smile to the cashier. Self control be damned!

With all this anticipation and temptation I had high expectations for Dangerous Lies. I was nervous that that week of pure torture wouldn't pay off. Well, that was a foolish thought! Dangerous Lies was everything I hoped it would be and so much more!

From the very beginning you're thrust right into the middle of Stella's life being turned upside down. Imagine being ripped away from everything you know and being uprooted to someplace new all alone. No friends, no family and scared for your life. Becca Fitzpatrick did a tremendous job at illustrating Stella's anger and isolation. It radiated off of the pages. You're immediately drawn to Stella and develop an almost protective-like relationship with her.

Her relationship with Carmina, her new guardian, a retired cop from the Midwest with a strong faith, begins turbulent. Stella taking out her anger on anyone around her. But, after some time and some strong rules of Carmina's, Stella begins to settle into the small Midwestern town and slowly develops a routine. Enter Chet, SWOON! Chet's character reminded me so much of Garrett Hedlund from Georgia Rule. This couldn't have just been me?!

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He was charming and caring but a little sad behind the eyes. Chet comes with a background story that will leave you reaching for the tissues. Watching Chet's and Stella's friendship blossom was such a sweet treat. The funny insults and tender moments left you falling in love with them. 

Dangerous Lies comes with a lot of thrilling suspense. It is not your average YA novel. It packs a lot of punch and will leave you on the edge of your seat. I found myself wanting to savour the novel, taking my time, but that was impossible because I was flying through the pages utterly devouring it. Dying to know how this story ends!

I am so happy I broke my book buying ban for this one. Totally worth it!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

The One Memory of Flora Banks
Release Date: May 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Philomel | Penguin Teen
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon Ca | Amazon

Received this novel in exchange for an honest review.


Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora's brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend's boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora's fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life. 
With little more than the words "be brave" inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must "be brave" if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home. 

Firstly, I want to congratulate Emily Barr on her Young Adult debut. She definitely came in with a bang tackling a unique issue and an even more unique character. The One Memory of Flora Banks has everything you want in a novel. Mystery, suspense, romance and a head-spinning twist.

Like it's premise, I had a unique relationship with this novel. Overall, as a whole, I enjoyed it. However, during the reading experience, there were moments that I found it difficult to stay connected, and I think that was due to the repetition. But, how does one deliver this type story without repetition? That is where I struggled. You see, when Flora was 10, she had a tumour removed, which in part, removed her long-term memory. Everything prior to her surgery she remembers, but anything after that is erased either hours later or each night. When Flora awakens in the morning, she thinks she is back to being 10 years old, that is until she reads her journal that brings her up to speed. This journal and/or Flora's memory of the kiss pops up quite often, and I found myself skimming through sequences of the book to avoid some of the repetitions. Another thing I struggled with, Flora's dialogue. I knew that she was a 17-year-old girl, however, her speech and interactions were as if she was 10 years old. I'm not pointing that out as a negative, just that it was hard for me to connect with.

Flora has a breakthrough with her memory loss when she kisses a boy(that happens to be her BFF's boyfriend) and remembers it. Day after day, she can recall this kiss and this boy. Is one kiss all it takes to put Flora's brain back together again? Flora then goes on a mission to hunt Drake down and heal her brain.

Overall, I think Barr hit every note she wanted to deliver. She created a memorable character and tackled an issue that I haven't had experience with in the world of books. The mystery will keep you hanging on, eager to know how everything ends up.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham

Dreamland Burning
Release Date: February 21st, 2017
Publisher: Little Brown Books 
Genre: Mystery | Young Adult 
Pages: 365 Pages
Format: ARC
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon


Some bodies won’t stay buried. Some stories need to be told.
When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past, the present, and herself.
One hundred years earlier, a single violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what’s right the night Tulsa burns.

Something us Bookworm's deal with is what I call 'shelf-loathing'. Shelf-loathing is when you have a book sitting on your shelf for a long time that when you finally get to reading it, you hate yourself a little bit for waiting so long to read it, that, is shelf-loathing. I have some major shelf-loathing going on right now with Dreamland Burning I cannot believe I've had this book living on my shelf since January and I just got around to reading it now.  My friends, this novel is one-in-a-million.

Every so often we stumble across a rare gem, and when these moments happen unexpectedly it makes it even sweeter. I was not expecting to be so taken by Dreamland Burning. This novel seared itself right into my heart and soul. The story line is no easy read. Jennifer Latham tackles the racism that still lurks in 2017 and the Race Riots that took place in 1921. She delivers the story in a dual-perspective and did so flawlessly. Not once do either characters blur. They both stand so strongly on their own.

We are first introduced to 17 year old, Rowan. Rowan's family is in the early stages of renovations on their 'back house', during this process, a skeleton is unearthed. Rowan goes on a mission to dig up the truth and get justice for the crime that was committed.  Then we are transported back to 1921 and whisked into the life of Will Tillman, a 17 year old boy growing up during the midst of segregation and the uprising of the KKK.

Both stories will keep you on the very edge of your seat. Your heart will open up to these characters and during the moments you are not reading, you will be left thinking about them, wondering how their story ends.

Jennifer Latham penned an unforgettable coming-of-age story. She not only crafted beautiful characters but she brought forward a piece of history that I had not known about. She left me wanting to learn so much more about this time in history. It's pacing is perfect and will leave you flying through the pages with a burning intensity. Dreamland Burning will forever stay with me and I cannot wait for Jennifer Latham's future work!




Monday, April 10, 2017

Netflix Review: 13 Reasons Why


Release Date: March 31st, 2017
Creator: Jay Asher(book)
Creator: Brian Yorky
Time: 60 Minutes
Rating: Mature
Thirteen Reasons Why, based on the best-selling books by Jay Asher, follows teenager Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) as he returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers a group of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) -his classmate and crush-who tragically committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah unfolds an emotional audio diary, detailing the thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, Thirteen Reasons Why weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect viewers. Written by Studio






To say that I wasn't prepared for the impact this show was going to have on me would be an understatement. The book itself left me emotional, but seeing all of this pain and all of this heartbreak unfold right in front of your eyes is a whole other story. All of me wanted to devour this series but I held back. I wanted to savour each moment of this story. I resisted the urge to binge watch and I am so glad I did. I know I would have loved it just the same, but I am so glad I gave myself time to process each episode.

First off, a standing ovation to the spectacular cast. There isn't a word grand enough to describe what an outstanding job they all did. If there was ever the opportunity for a Netflix series to be nominated for the Oscars, this would be it. Each actor and actress gave an academy-award winning performance. I was continually blown away as each episode went by as I watched their stories come to life. Taking on the task of playing these characters would be no easy feat for even the most seasoned of actors, and this cast delivered each character flawlessly. In fact, they brought a whole new dimension to this story. Although this series was created because of the book, they really made it into something that stands so strongly on it's own.

I love the fact that Netflix picked this up. I love that 13 Reasons Why was given the freedom it needed to really tell the story. They pushed the boundaries, they went honest. The show was graphic and at times intentionally cringe-worthy. There were times that made it uncomfortable to watch because they wanted to capture the real and raw intensity of those moments. 13 Reasons Why truly shows us what how our actions can affect someone.

Katherine Langford took the Hannah we all grew to love and brought her to life. It is rare that an actor can live up to the potential of a character, but in this case, she not only played Hannah, she became Hannah. I did not see Katherine Langford once throughout the series, I saw Hannah Baker, the pained, broken, witty and lovely Hannah Baker.

Let's talk about Dylan Minette(Clay Jensen). I loved him in Don't Breath and was thrilled when I learned I'd get to see him again in 13 Reasons Why. What I wasn't expecting was to be so entranced by his performance. He is a powerhouse. At the young age of 20 years old, he has proven that he can stand not only beside the best of actors, but above them. His preformance struck my heart. I will always see Clay Jensen as Dylan Minette and that is just how I want it. I couldn't imagine anyone else doing Clay Jensen justice.

Now, let's address the soundtrack. My notes from this series mostly consist of the music that played throughout each episode. Kudos to Eskmo and the entire sound production for putting together one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard. Each moment that was captured was intensified by the most perfect song choice. And, I know I am not the only one that was hypnotized by the Dance scene between Clay and Hannah, and that song that made the entire moment, The Night We Met by Lord Huron.



I am in mourning over the end of this series. I had no idea the impact this show was going to have on me. If I was told I'd have to erase the memory of every show/film I'd ever seen, but could save only one, it would be 13 Reasons Why. This show sprung so many emotions and questions inside of me. It is a show that I want to share with our youth. Schools need to be picking this up to share with their classes. I truly believe that this show could change lives. It moved me in a way that no other production has ever moved me. I hope the cast gets the recognition that they ALL so deserve. And of course, Jay Asher, the man himself that changed our lives with 13 Reasons Why







Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Good Idea by Cristina Moracho

A Good Idea
Release Date: February 28th, 2017
Publisher: Penguin | Viking for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 368 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

Can the right kind of boy get away with killing the wrong kind of girl?
Fin and Betty’s close friendship survived Fin’s ninth-grade move from their coastal Maine town to Manhattan. Calls, letters, and summer visits continued to bind them together, and in the fall of their senior year, they both applied to NYU, planning to reunite for good as roommates.
Then Betty disappears. Her ex-boyfriend Calder admits to drowning her, but his confession is thrown out, and soon the entire town believes he was coerced and Betty has simply run away. Fin knows the truth, and she returns to Williston for one final summer, determined to get justice for her friend, even if it means putting her loved ones—and herself—at risk.
But Williston is a town full of secrets, where a delicate framework holds everything together, and Fin is not the only one with an agenda. How much is she willing to damage to get her revenge and learn the truth about Betty’s disappearance, which is more complicated than she ever imagined—and infinitely more devastating?

I stumbled across A Good Idea when I was perusing the bookstore. The haunting cover was enough stop me in my tracks but it was the mysterious premise that wrapped its fingers around me and lured me in. I am a sucker for a good thriller and A Good Idea did not disappoint.

The writing was excellent. Cristina Moracho delivered a bold cast of characters that stood strong on their own. She intertwined these strong characters with a dark and twisted tale. You think everyone knows everything in small towns, but Moracho put that assumption to bed. Even in the smallest of towns secrets can find the darkest of corners and hide.

Aside from the great writing, I think what I loved most about A Good Idea was its ability to stand out among other "Young Adult" novels. Moracho didn't shy away from what others may call racy or risque. There is sex, drugs and murder and it's YOUNG ADULT. I loved that about this book!

I read and enjoyed Althea and Oliver which is another book by Cristina Moracho, but I found that Moracho really found her way with A Good Idea. It felt like a more authentic reading experience.

A Good Idea definitely satisfied by thriller sweet tooth and left me with a major book hangover! Although it's a decent 370 pages, I flew through it, simply not able to put it down. You will devour it hungrily, dying to know what the real truth is!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Meme Monday!

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Story of my life right now!

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This LITERALLY happened to me last night.

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Almost all the dreamy men I "meet" are fictional­čśť

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Pretty accurate...

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Us Bookworms always get underestimated

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No loss like mourning over a book.

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So much truth!

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It's sad that I actually relate to this...a lot! 

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The struggle is real!

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Oh the stress!

 

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