Monday, September 24, 2018

The War Outside by Monica Hesse

The War Outside
Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 336 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author:Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

A stunning novel of conviction, friendship, and betrayal from Monica Hesse, the Edgar Award-winning and bestselling author of Girl in the Blue Coat
It's 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific. The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado--until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents once called home: Germany and Japan.
Haruko and Margot meet at the high school in Crystal City, a "family internment camp" for those accused of colluding with the enemy. The teens discover that they are polar opposites in so many ways, except for one that seems to override all the others: the camp is changing them, day by day and piece by piece. Haruko finds herself consumed by fear for her soldier brother and distrust of her father, who she knows is keeping something from her. And Margot is doing everything she can to keep her family whole as her mother's health deteriorates and her rational, patriotic father becomes a man who distrusts America and fraternizes with Nazis.
With everything around them falling apart, Margot and Haruko find solace in their growing, secret friendship. But in a prison the government has deemed full of spies, can they trust anyone--even each other?

The War Outside is one of those books that you hug tightly to your chest and let out a deep sigh as soon as you've finished the last page. The story and its characters will embed themselves deep into your soul.

The War Outside was a perspective of WW2 that I have never known. I did not know about these internment camps and their existence. It's another heartwrenching fact of that time. Although The War Outside may be fiction, I am sure its story is very true for the people that were involved. I'm sure if they could have read The War Outside they would have found a little piece of themselves in one of the characters.

This is my first book by Monica Hesse but it will not be my last. She crafted an emotional story about 2 girls that, despite the rules of society, developed an unbreakable bond. The War Outside is a very character driven novel. It is not a story about a war. It is a beautiful tale about 2 girls with a war happening around them. Hesse approached this story with a fine delicacy. It's as if Haruko and Margot were in the room with her, confiding their stories, whispering their secrets and she was just transcribing them to paper.

The War Outside is a book that you'll want to savour. You will want to take your time reading each word, not rushing, although it will be tough to not devour it. It's dual perspective will give you a deep look into each character and the own wars within themselves and their families that they are dealing with.

Get cozy, curl up with your favourite blanket (and a box of tissues) and delve into the stories of Haruko and Margot, but be prepared, once you meet them, you'll never forget them. 

I read a book, this book was called The War Outside and I will never forget it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Confessions of a Teenage Leper by Ashley Little

Confessions of a Teenage Leper

Release Date: September 25th, 2018

Abby Furlowe has plans. Big plans. She's hot, she's popular, she's a cheerleader and she's going to break out of her small Texas town and make it big. Fame and fortune, adoration and accolades. It'll all be hers. 
But then she notices some spots on her skin. She writes them off as a rash, but things only get worse. She's tired all the time, her hands and feet are numb and her face starts to look like day-old pizza. By the time her seventeenth birthday rolls around, she's tried every cream and medication the doctors have thrown at her, but nothing works. When she falls doing a routine cheerleading stunt and slips into a coma, her mystery illness goes into overdrive and finally gets diagnosed: Hansen's Disease, aka leprosy. Abby is sent to a facility to recover and deal with this new reality. Her many misdiagnoses mean that some permanent damage has been done, and all of her plans suddenly come tumbling down. If she can't even wear high heels anymore, what is the point of living? Cheerleading is out the window, and she might not even make it to prom. PROM!But it's during this recovery that Abby has to learn to live with something even more difficult than Hansen's Disease. She's becoming aware of who she really was before and what her behavior was doing to others; now she's on the other side of the fence looking in, and she doesn't like what she sees. . .


Little was born in Calgary, Alberta. She earned her bachelor of fine arts in creative writing and film studies at the University of Victoria and an MFA in creative writing from University of British Columbia. She lives in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley.Little's debut novel PRICK: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist was published by Tightrope Books in 2011. Prick was shortlisted for the ReLit Award. Her second novel The New Normal (Orca Book Publishers, 2013) is for young adults. The New Normal won the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize at the 2014 BC Book Prizes. Her third novel, Anatomy of a Girl Gang (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2013) won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize at the 2014 BC Book Prizes, one of two awards Little won that year. Anatomy of a Girl Gang was a Finalist for the 2014 City of Vancouver Book Award and longlisted for the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.Little served as the 2014 writer in residence for Calgary's Alexandra Writers Centre Society, and as the 2015 Vancouver Public Library Writer in Residence. Little served as the 2017 Edna Staebler Writer in Residence for Wilfrid Laurier University.
Join the conversation! 

Monday, September 3, 2018

People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

People Kill People
Release Date: September 4th, 2018
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books | Simon and Schuster
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 448 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

People kill people. Guns just make it easier.
A gun is sold in the classifieds after killing a spouse, bought by a teenager for needed protection. But which was it? Each has the incentive to pick up a gun, to fire it. Was it Rand or Cami, married teenagers with a young son? Was it Silas or Ashlyn, members of a white supremacist youth organization? Daniel, who fears retaliation because of his race, who possessively clings to Grace, the love of his life? Or Noelle, who lost everything after a devastating accident, and has sunk quietly into depression?One tense week brings all six people into close contact in a town wrought with political and personal tensions. Someone will fire. And someone will die. But who? 

 You can't be a part of the young adult literary world without knowing who Ellen Hopkins is. She is well known and well loved for pairing her unique writing style with raw and relevant stories. Her books may be based off of fictional character but the issues she tackles so honestly hit home for many people. Ellen Hopkin's gets as real as fiction can get.

People Kill People is no exception. This book hit me hard. I finished it a few days ago and am still left reeling. Immigration, gun control, gun violence, and racism is a very active issue right now. Yes, it always lived, more so in the shadows, but not it is front and center, in the spotlight. People Kill People tells the story of 6 very different lives all within one pulsing week. The book is delivered from the perspective of each character: Rand, Cami, Noelle, Silas, Ashlyn, and Daniel. Each character holds their own strong opinion on immigration, racism and guns. This reason, driving them to make the decisions that they make. The pacing of this novel is on point. Hopkins does an outstanding job at building each character and letting their story unfold at a perfect pace. Giving you a glimpse into themselves and why they believe their perception of life is the right one. Why they believe they are justified in doing what they do. 

There is another perspective that joins us in this book, in Hopkins unique verse style, Violence. That's right, we also get to hear from the side of Violence itself. And I tell you, that made for quite a rattling and powerful reading experience.

People Kill People is honest and relevant. It will shake you up and consume you. It will tug at your heart and madden you all at the same time. It's a one of a kind read that will leave you thinking about it long after you've read it.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Release Date: Septemeber 4th, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: E-galley
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon | Amazon CA

Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. 
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

Canada is known for some pretty spectacular things: Health Care, Maple Syrup, Poutine...But, to me, what makes Canada most notable is its talent in the literary world. We've got Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Alice Munro but most brag-worthy is Courtney Summers. A strong female author that writes books that will shake you to your core. She tackles subjects that some shy away from. She gets raw and gritty and isn't afraid to go there. Courtney Summers makes me proud to be Canadian.

Sadie is a heartwrenching tale about a girl on the hunt for her sisters killer. Delivered, outstandingly, in dual perspective: the first being in podcast format and the second coming from Sadie herself. It is a sad story about a girl seeking vengeance for her dead sister. Sadie's pain bleeds from the pages and will leave you heartbroken for her. Like her previous work, Summers has a flawless writing style. Her story development draws you in immediately and will never let you go. Summers crafts a small but in-depth character cast in Sadie. Each character adds their own valuable puzzle piece to this dark and mysterious story. Summers surely captures the emotional tone of this novel. It will have you questioning whats right and wrong, and how you would handle Sadie's situation. This story isn't just about Sadie, it is also about a journalist that is willing to go to the ends of the earth to find out what happened to her and to Mattie. To give Sadie a voice and to tell her story. In a way, it's a triumphant story.  

Courtney Summers has done it again, but really, I had no doubt whatsoever. Her books, her characters nestle themselves deep into my heart and hold space there until the very last page and long after.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying
Release Date: May 30th, 2017
Publisher: Delecorte Press
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 361 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal interest

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little LiarsOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide. Pay close attention and you might solve this.On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app.Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he'd planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who's still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them. 
“Unless one of us is lying. Which is always a possibility.” 

If I had a quarter for each time this book was recommended to me, I would be sipping Pina Colada's on the beaches of Costa Rica. If I had a nickel for each time I was asked: "Why have you not read this yet?!" I'd be sailing the open sea on my yacht. Get it? In the short year this book has been released it has been a constant "must read" in my reading circle, both in person and online, but I am happy to announce that I finally read it!

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The verdict? I freaking LOVED IT! Naturally, I am now cursing myself for waiting a year to read it. Beating myself up over the fact that I could have read this epic novel sooner! Now let me tell you why I loved it so much...

Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars...yes and yes! One of Us is Lying is written from 4 points of view. Bronwyn, the Brain, Addy, the Beauty, Nate, the Criminal and Cooper, the Athlete. Each character is fighting their own demons and secrets. Secrets that could destroy them if they ever came out. They each have their own reason to keep Simon silent, so when Simon dies while in detention with the 4 people that may have wanted to keep him quiet the most, they are all instantly suspects. Caught in a whirlwind investigation while they are all trying to put together the pieces themselves and figure out who really did it?

This book left me guessing the entire time. You'll think that you've figured it out only to have that theory(and many others) crumble before your eyes. McManus put together an intricate story told through the eyes of 4 very different characters. Throughout the entirety of the novel you'll be going back and forth wondering which one did it. One of Us is Lying is a character driven novel. If one had fallen flat the entire story would have suffered. However, McManus crafted each character so delicately. They each thrived and each added a vital role to the success of this novel.

I was completely immersed by One of Us is Lying. When I wasn't reading, I was thinking about reading it. Every spare moment I had I would devour what I could. This book left me hungry and begging for more. I have become an instant fan of Karen M. McManus and eagerly await her future work! If you haven't read One of Us is Lying yet, what are you waiting for? Don't make the same mistake I did. This gem will appeal to all types of readers. Fantastic writing, a mesmerizing story and in-depth characters will leave you engrossed until the very last page!

“Some people are too toxic to live. They just are.” 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Literary Book Gifts PLUS a PROMO!

Are you looking for the perfect tote to accompany you around Campus? or perhaps a cute tank to kick off the first day of school? With fall around the corner, why not get nice and cozy in one of the many literary hoodies? Literary Book Gifts has all of the above and more! Something for every literary fan out there. Totes, Tanks, T-Shirts and Hoodies all with one-of-the-kind designs and a variety of colours: Emily Dickinson, The Great Gatsby and everything in between! Whatever your taste, you'll be sure to find something that is absolutely perfect for you!

All of the beautiful and unique designs are put together personally by Melissa, the owner of Literary Book Gifts. Each design is crisp and a wonderful tribute to the literary classics she is representing. Her website is sleek and simple, it couldn't make online shopping any easier or more enjoyable. You're just a few clicks away from becoming the proud owner of one(or many) of the exclusive products she offers.

Literary Book Gifts is offering The Crazy Bookworm readers an epic promo...Are you ready for this?! Readers will receive 20% off anything in the store, no minimum and can be used unlimited amount of times...That's right, UNLIMITED! How awesome and generous is that? Perfect timing for back to school, or if your trying to find that epic gift for the literary lover in your life, Literary Book Gifts has you covered!

To take advantage of this awesome PROMO. Just head on over to Literary Book Gifts( do your shopping and enter: CRAZY-BOOKWORM20 at check out. Keep that promo handy because you can use it as many times as you want! 


Check out some of my favourites below!

Edgar Allan Poe Hoodie (Women's)
Edgar Allen Poe Hoodie

Dante's Inferno Tank Top (Women's)
Dante's Inferno Hoodie

J. M. Barrie Peter Pan Tote Bag
Peter Pan Tote

Friday, August 10, 2018

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott

Give Me Your Hand
Release Date: July 17th, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Publishing
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon 

Kit Owens harbored only modest ambitions for herself when the mysterious Diane Fleming appeared in her high school chemistry class. But Diane's academic brilliance lit a fire in Kit, and the two developed an unlikely friendship. Until Diane shared a secret that changed everything between them. More than a decade later, Kit thinks she's put Diane behind her forever and she's begun to fulfill the scientific dreams Diane awakened in her. But the past comes roaring back when she discovers that Diane is her competition for a position both women covet, taking part in groundbreaking new research led by their idol. Soon enough, the two former friends find themselves locked in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to destroy them both. 

I can't believe this is my first Megan Abbott book! I have heard wonderful things about her so when I was presented with the opportunity to read Give Me Your Hand I had to jump on it!

Give Me Your Hand tells the story of Kit Owens and Diane Fleming. Two ex-friends who are reunited when a position opens up for a scientific research study.  Kit and Diane were friends in high school but a devastating secret changed everything. Now, a decade later, Diane and Kit are thrust into each others lives once again.

Firstly, I absolutely loved the way this novel was delivered. Going back and forth between past and present, making the story unfold at a perfect pace, keeping you hanging on until the very end.  Abbott put a lot of care into the backstory which I really appreciated. You get a great understanding of why both Kit and Diane are the way that they are and how they seem to have this everlasting attachment.

Abbott not only crafted great characters but she backed it up with an epic storyline, or I should say multiple storylines. A few things unravel in this book: Kit and Diane's history, their present connection and both Kit and Diane's separate backstory. It made for a very interesting read! Another great addition was the research they are studying. It is fascinating. PMDD is something that I have never heard about and the author does a great job at integrating it into the story.

Give Me Your Hand will appeal to lots of readers. It's a psychological thriller with a young adult twist. It takes you on a heart-racing journey of who and why. All of your questions will be answered but the author does not give them up quickly. You will be left guessing until the very end!
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