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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Outward Blonde by Trish Cook

Outward Blonde
Release Date: October 18th, 2016
Publisher: Adaptive Books
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: E-galley
Source: From publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Explore more: Barnes and Noble

Sixteen-year-old Lizzie Finkelstein is a hard-partying socialite who lives a charmed life with her mother in Manhattan. After a public drunken sexual escapade results in both an arrest and an embarrassing viral video online, Lizzie’s parents stage a late night intervention. Lizzie finds herself whisked away to Utah to learn a lesson or two about taking responsibility at Camp Smiley, a wilderness survival program for troubled kids.
Camp Smiley is a far cry from Lizzie’s high society life in New York. Without her stable of luxury hair/makeup items, her teacup Pomeranian, contact with the outside world or access to social media, Lizzie must face the harsh conditions of the outdoors. Grouped with troubled campers in which she’s certain she has nothing in common (except Jack, who’s pretty hot), Lizzie must now learn to dig her own toilet in the woods and build a fire by rubbing two sticks together before the camp will ever let her go back to her former existence. She has a choice: get with the program, or get out of there.

I am a firm believer that certain books come to you at the perfect time and that was definitely the case with Outward Blonde

This book came to me at exactly the right time. Busy and getting busier, I was in dire need of a break! Enter Outward Blonde, a breath of fresh air!

The character Lizzie definitely takes some getting used too, but I'm pretty sure that was exactly the author's intention. Cook did not want to you like Lizzie immediately. She is a spoiled brat, who I'm sure has the word 'entitled' written on her brand-name clothing tags! When sent to Camp Smiley, you can't help but love the torture that Lizzie is going through. I would have loved to have been there to personally witness some of it!

I truly adored almost everything about Outward Blonde, the only thing that left me wanting so much more was the love interest. To avoid spoilers, I won't dive into much detail regarding this, but I just wish there was a little bit more to it. I know! Sorry for being vague, but you'll just have to read it to find out! 

This novel is absolutely hilarious and loaded with laugh out loud moments, but it also addresses some tough issues that give Outward Blonde so much heart. You'll also see a shift in Lizzie, witnessing her personal growth as the novel progresses.

Outward Blonde by Trish Cook is the perfect book to gift yourself! When you find that you are in need of a fun book with a great underlying lesson and lots of heart, then this is the book for you!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What Light by Jay Asher

What Light
Release Date: October 18th. 2016
Publisher: Razorbill | Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 256 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From publisher
Reason: For review
Find the Author: Website

Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. 
Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.
By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

I am a 29-year-old girl woman that squealed like a 13-year-old at a One Direction concert(they're still relevant, right?) when I opened up the envelope that contained this book. I have loved everything Jay Asher since his debut, 13 Reasons Why. When I heard way back when that he was coming out with a new Young Adult the long wait began!

As soon as this gem made it into my hands, I hungrily started into it; like pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving! But What Light was much sweeter and far more decadent than any Pumpkin Pie. In Ontario, Canada we had an unusual burst of summer heat that is not the norm for this time of year in Autumn, but I preferred to stay home and devour this sweet tale of young love, redemption, and personal growth.

What Light contains such a lovely character cast. Just regular, down to earth characters. I could actually see a lot of myself, my family and my friends in these characters. I adored Sierra. I truly did. She doesn't live your typical life. She has her life in Oregon where her family runs their Christmas Tree Farm, and then she has her life in California where her family packs up every year to sell said Trees at Christmas Time. Sierra's character was so refreshing to read. She's your funny, typical teenager.

I would love to get inside Jay Asher's brain to check out his Character Crafting process. Despite these characters being normal, everyday people, he made them all so grand and memorable! And speaking of memorable, enter Caleb...Swoon! Yes, I am a near 30-year-old, swooning over a fictional, teenage character...No Shame! But Caleb's swoon-factor is much deeper than just his appearance. He is thoughtful, generous, and caring. He is also fighting his own battle against himself that unfolds throughout the story.

What Light is definitely a lighter read compared to 13 Reasons Why but it still contains all of the great qualities that make Jay Asher such a wonderful writer. What Light has become one of my favourite Christmas stories; one that I will return to each year. It's colourful charcters and beautiful setting will have your senses tingling. You can practically smell the beautiful scent of pine needles, hot chocolate, and candy canes while eating up this scrumptious tale!

We all deserve to treat ourselves, which is exactly why you should spoil yourself What Light this holiday season!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Some Boys by Patty Blount

Some Boys
Release Date: August 5th, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 339 Pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website

When Grace meets Ian she's afraid. Afraid he'll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But...Ian doesn't. He's funny and kind with secrets of his own.
But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?

“Hold your head up, Grace. Even when you’re dying inside—especially then—hold it up.” 

I'm finding this book difficult to review. The premise and theme of the story carries a very strong message. It tackles rape culture and the double standards that young girls and women face when in these horrible situations. However, Some Boys was lacking for me. I had a very hard time adjusting to the delivery of the story. There were moments of the book that just dragged on, while the most important issue at hand seemed to be an after thought.  Some Boys reads more like a romance, and that's fine! However, even that aspect of the book was shortcoming. 

A very strong quality was the character Grace. Despite her situation she was fiery and strong. Given the horrible bullying and victim shaming she dealt with, she continued to hold her head up high and fight back for herself. I absolutely loved Grace. She was one of the main reasons I continued reading Some Boys. She was the glue that kept me to this book. You can clearly tell that Grace was where the Author's heart lies. She was crafted with so much strength and resilience.

Grace is just about the only character I liked in this book. The complete daftness of Grace's parents was infuriating. They were so clueless to this horrendous crime that Grace was a victim of. Completely clueless to the horrible victim shaming she was encountering. Her father drove me bonkers. I couldn't help but feel he was blaming her for what happened to her because of how she dressed. Pointing it out numerous times. Again, infuriating!

Ian was an okay character. I didn't not like him, but I just found his character weak. Lacking personality; nothing about him really stood out to me. 

I hate giving this novel the type of review it's getting because the subject matter is something that we NEED to bring voice to. Something that we need to shine a light on and talk about! Some Boys had wonderful potential but, aside from Grace, it didn't stand up to the potential that it had. Losing it's momentum early on with long dialogue that didn't really go anywhere, and then just speeding over the heart of it's theme. 

However, just because this book didn't float my boat, doesn't mean that you may not like it. Different strokes for different folks, right?! If you want to give this book a chance, it just may speak to you in a different way than it did me. If you've read Some Boys let me know what you thought of it in the comment below!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things

Release Date: October 11th, 2016
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 480 Pages
Format: Advanced Readers Copy
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

Jodi Picoult had me at Hello. I feel in love with her writing style and her flawless ability of crafting diverse characters and a heart-pounding story line. Small Great Things would have been an automatic purchase for me had I not had the opportunity to receive it for review. To say that I didn't squeal and parade around the house(confusing 2 dogs and my fiance) would be a lie. I immediately cracked open the book, and after reading the 'Dear Reader' note, I knew I was going to be told an unforgettable story.

One of Picoult's writing traits that I adore most is her multi-perspective delivery. The story is never one-sided. We get an in-depth look at every characters point of view, changing the way you view each situation dramatically. Another wonderful trait of Picoult's is her ability to tackle hard hitting topics. Small Great Things is being released during a very critical time. We are in the midst of horrible hate crimes against the LGBT community, as well as the all of the crimes that have led to the #blacklivesmatter movement. Small Great Things really opened my eyes as to what is so blatantly in front of us. I would be done reading for the night and then turn on the news and continue to see the fight that Ruth Jefferson is dealing with.

Small Great Things tackles it all: Racism, stereotypes, violence, death and the justice system. You will go into this book thinking one thing, and end it thinking something completely different. In my opinion, Jodi Picoult can deliver courtroom drama better than Law and Order! You heart will pound and you will find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat, impatient with suspense!

I love all of Picoult's books, but Small Great Things has easily become my favourite. Each character, each emotion radiate off of the pages. You will be left with sore eyes from crying and a softer heart. You will release a breath that you didn't even realize you were holding once you turn the last page. Like an onion, picoult delivers this story one layer at a time. Delicately placing you in each characters shoes, each leaving a little piece of them with you after each visit..

Small Great Things is writing at its best! It easily earns its place next to To Kill a Mockingbird and Toni Morrison. I also hope that this book makes it way into the high school curriculum, not only because it discusses the justice system, race and prejudice, but because it is also a beautiful example of strength and redemption.

Small Great Things hits shelves Tuesday, October 11th, 2016!

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Memory Thief by Bryce Moore

The Memory Thief
Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Publisher: Adaptive Books
Genre: Middle Grade
Pages: 256 Pages
Series: N/A
Format: Advanced Readers Copy
Source: From the publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Learn More at Barnes and Noble

Twin brother and sister Benji and Kelly wander off at the local county fair after witnessing their parents argue. When Benji runs into a group of bullies, he escapes into a tent called The Memory Emporium, where he meets a strange old man inside named Louis. The old man shows him a magically vivid memory of a fighter pilot, in the hopes of getting Benji to pay to see other memories Louis has collected from people over the years.
Benji quickly realizes the ability to take memories could help his parents stop fighting with each other, and he asks Louis to teach him how to become a memory thief. But Louis isn't the only person with the ability to show and manipulate memories. There's also the mysterious Genevieve, a Memory Thief with much more nefarious motives.
Benji learns how to manipulate memories himself, but having that power comes at a cost to his family, and possibly to his own mind as well. Genevieve's powers get out of control as she steals more and more memories from people in town including Benji s sister, Kelly. Benji must learn to use this newfound power, as he is the only one able to stop Genevieve.

Don't let the genre of this book fool you! This middle-grade novel packs so much punch that you WILL NOT be able to put it down. In fact, that is a challenge! If you give this book a read, I challenge you to not devour it in one sitting, because I am almost certain you will!

The Memory Thief is a compelling story about a young boy's good intention to help his family, but ends up getting so much more than he bargained for! In this face-paced novel you will be taken down a magical and mildly creepy adventure along with Benji and Kelly. 

I couldn't help but get a Tim Burton-esque feel while reading The Memory Thief. I can definitely see fans of J.K. Rowling and Tim Burton gobbling up this tale.

Bryce Moore did a spectacular job at weaving together the intricate pieces of this story. And kudos to such an original story line; that is one of the main reasons that had me loving this novel so much. It wasn't quite like anything I've ever read before. 

If you're looking for a great book to help get the kids into a spirit of Halloween OR looking for a great story for yourself, The Memory Thief is the perfect book to curl up with!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Books that Tackle the Tough Stuff!

There are so many remarkable books out there that have taken a stand. Books that have broken the mold of fiction and that shattered the silence of so many topics. I've noticed more and more the Young Adult genre taking risks and bringing to light issues that many try to swipe under the rug. These books give voices to victims and comfort to show that they are not alone.

I have read many of these type of books, to list them all would be impossible, but listed below are just a few of the books that have tackled powerful topics and that have left their mark on me!

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septeys: This novel completely changed the things I thought I knew about World War 2. Having only really have known about Hitler's destruction, Between Shades of Gray focuses on Stalin's reign of terror. 

Between Shades of Gray

Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt: I don't even know how to sum of this heart-wrenching novel. It's raw and even disturbing at times, but the author crafted a hauntingly beautiful story.

Uses for Boys

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult: I could have easily listed every Jodi Picoult story. She truly knows how to deliver some harsh realities. Nineteen Minutes is one that has always stood out among her book crowd. This book will bury itself deep into your soul!

Nineteen Minutes

Hate List by Jennifer Brown: This novel walks the same line as Nineteen Minutes(above). It tackles school bullying and the powerful effects it has on the victim.

Hate List

Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown: Jennifer Brown is broken so much ground in the Young Adult book world. In today's digital age, Thousand Words brings forward the consequences of sexting, and the scary truth of it never disappearing. Once it's out in cyberspace, it's there forever!

Thousand Words

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown: Sensing a theme here! In Bitter End, Brown sheds light on domestic abuse in young adult relationships. It's out there and it's widely disregarded!

Bitter End

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: Speak has been a saviour for lots of readers. It has been a compose and physical prove that You. Are. Not. Alone!


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: Growing up, abuse, mental stability, etc. This book tackles it all. And how I so wish I had this novel when I was growing up!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Stay by Deb Caletti: Another compelling story that tackles teen relationship abuse and the struggle of moving forward.


Shine by Lauren Myracle: I read this book abut 4 years ago and it is still with me. Shine brings forward the ugly head that is prejudice. When a small, ignorant town won't bring forward justice, Cat sets forward to find it herself!


Dime by E.R. Frank: One of the most disturbing "fictional" novels I have ever read. I use quotations around fictional because the only thing fictional about this novel is it's character. Sex Trafficking is all to real, and it is muffled in a underworld that grazes right by us. Dime brings forward how horrible and in plain sight Sex Trafficking really is.


What books have left their impact on you? Please comment below and let's chat!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

After You by Jojo Moyes

After You (Me Before You, #2)
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 352 Pages
Series: Me Before You #2
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website

“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”
How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?
Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.
Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future...
For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.
“Around me a million people are living, breathing, eating, arguing. A million lives completely divorced from mine. It is a strange sort of peace.”  

Me Before You was definitely one of my favourite reads of 2016. I still catch myself thinking about it, and I absolutely adored the movie. Having said all that, I was absolutely terrified to read After You. I felt like Me Before You should have been left just as it was. I didn't think a sequel was necessary. But, my curiosity got the best of me, and while shopping at Costco, I succumbed and bought the book. As bookworms, we all know what 'Book Regret' is. We've all suffered it. Whether it's not buying that one limited edition, or not enjoying a super-hyped book, etc. My book regret: Not reading After You sooner!

After You was the book that I didn't know I needed. I thought I was okay leaving Lou's story exactly where it left off in Me Before You, but I was so wrong. There was so much more to Lou that is revealed in this novel. We all fell in love with that witty personality and her corky style, but in After You there is a whole other side to Lou that is uncovered. We not only get to know Lou on a deeper level, but all of those we fell in love with in Me Before You, her mom, dad, Treena and Thom, and a whole new cast of spectacular characters!

I have come to love Lou so much, and I know it's unlikely, but I would absolutely LOVE to read more of her! Jojo Moyes sure knows how to craft lovely characters. Heart, soul and so much life!

If you haven't read After You yet, please do not make the same mistake I did. Go out, and get your copy now!

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