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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Invitation to Tea: Female Characters

Invitation to Tea is a sporadic feature hosted by The Crazy Bookworm.
You are welcome to join in!
Today's Feature is:
Female Characters
Have you come across a really compelling female character that you would just love to get to know more? I know I have. Here are some of the most interesting female characters that I would like to chat with!
The Help
Okay, I am going to kick this thing off by cheating...I would love to invite the whole female cast of the Help for tea. Skeeter, Aibileen, Minny, heck, even Hilly!
Gone Girl
Amy from Gone Girl:
Probably not the nicest character to have tea with but hell she was crazy interesting! There is just something about her that I would just love to pick her brain...but in a non-psychotic sort of way.
Tiger Lily
Tiger Lily as my obsession with Peter Pan continues.
Alice in Wonderland (Ladybird Classics)
It's time for Alice to come to my tea party!
I'll Give You the Sun
Jude for so many reasons! Oh, and if you haven't read this yet, you need to get on that...Now!
 Beholding Bee
Bee, Mrs. Potter and Mrs. Swift
The Fault in Our Stars
Hazel Grace...Need I say more?
I absolutely fell in love with Andi and Alex in this novel. I would love to be able to sit down with the both of them and chat for hours.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Sam from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. She was just so wise beyond her years. I feel like my life would be so different after spending some time with her.
Eleanor & Park
Eleanor's character has stayed with me every since I've read this novel. We need to be friends!
This list was so hard to narrow down so I have a feeling I'll be feature a part 2..and 3 in the near future. What female characters would like at your Tea party?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last WordRelease Date: June 16th, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 368 Pages
Series: None
Format: Arc
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon  

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.
Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.
Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

Wow...Just...Wow! I am still reeling after finishing Every Last Word only a few hours ago. Tamara Ireland Stone wastes no time immersing us into Sam's life and her battle with OCD. Kicking the story off with a heart-wrenching scene with her friends. This book had me from page one all the way until I turned to the last. I was completely hooked! I laughed(Thank you, Sydney), I cried and I even swooned a little...Okay a lot(Thank you, A.J.).

I've read books that have tackled rape, drugs, bullying, school shooting and more but this is the only time that I have read a Young Adult book that tackled OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and all I can do is applaud Tamara Ireland Stone for bringing such an overlooked illness to the surface. The story may have been fictional but the facts of the illness were not. Stone delivered this story in such a delicate way. She didn't outcast Sam, she didn't make her a victim of the disease, she made her a fighter; a young girl trying to get a grip on her life and learn to control her illness rather than have it control her. I saw Sam as a strong, vibrant character the whole way through. The true definition of a fighter!

Caroline, oh Caroline. What an epic character you were. You reminded me a lot of a good friend of mine and I will always look back on your character fondly! Your quirky t-shirts. You unconditional support. You were a true friend. Thank you for reminding us to embrace who we are. To embrace our weirdness and to shine. To not worry about pleasing others, just live as our truest self.

Where do I even begin to describe Poets Corner? How I wish a place like this existed when I was in high school and how I wish a place like this existed for others. A safe place for them to go and express themselves without worry of being judged.

To quote Caroline: "Poets Corner will change your life". She didn't just mean that for Sam or the other fictional characters. She meant that for us too, the readers. Poets Corner will change your life!

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Longest Ride Q&A with Nicholas Sparks today at 1pm!

Today iTunesmovies and Twitter are joining forces to bring you an epic event with my author husband *clears throat* I mean Author Nicholas Sparks! You clearly, most definitely DO NOT want to miss out on this epic(did I say that already?) event!

Fans are asked to tweet with the hashtag #AskLongestRide

I will be joining in, so I hope you will be, too!

Share this with your friends, family, readers, neighbours, pets, anyone that you think may enjoy this event...And let's face it, that will be everybody!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy SummerRelease Date: June 1st, 2009
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 290 Pages
Series: None
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author:Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

"Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.""Okay.""Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?""Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?"
According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.
TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.  

“Weeping is not the same thing as crying. It takes your whole body to weep, and when it's over, you feel like you don't have any bones left to hold you up.”   --Anna

I did it!! I finally read Twenty Boy Summer! This book has been sitting on my bookshelf since it's release year...2009....I know, horrible right! Six whole years that this amazing, heart-wrenching, hilarious, beautiful novel sat waiting ever so patiently to be read, and that time has finally come and sadly is now gone...
Do you believe that some books are meant to be read at a certain time in your life? You stare at it on your shelf for months or in this case, years and know that you need to read it but just never pick it up until one moment, you do; and all of a sudden all that waiting makes sense. All that time that went by was exactly how it should have been because these characters were meant for this part of your life. I can't be alone with this, can I? I truly believe some books are meant to be read at a certain part of your life, and that is how Twenty Boy Summer was for me. Yes, I may be 10 years older than the main characters in this novel but that doesn't mean that I didn't relate to the strong bond of a friendship, the heartbreak and the discovery of who you're meant to be.
As blurbed on the cover by Jo Knowels, this book will break your heart and piece it back together again, just like the sea glass pictured on the front. That statement holds so true! I devoured this novel in just 2 days(if not for real life getting in the way, it would have been just one sitting). I simply couldn't let this book go. I got completely immersed by Frankie and Anna and their story's. Both are left raw and empty at the death of Matt, Frankie's older brother and Anna's first love, only one thing is weighing heavy on Anna, Frankie had no idea her brother and best friend were seeing each other before his untimely death. Anna is left having to be the strong one for Frankie and her family when she, too misses Matt in a soul-crushing way.

Although Matt's physical presence is brief, his spiritual presence is strong and consistent throughout the entire novel. That is not an easy writing feat: To take a main character and introduce him only to quickly remove him, but have his presence still remain a strong part of the novel, not easy! I could easily see what Anna fell in love with Matt. He was kind, funny, passionate and had a beautiful way with words. He was an intellectual and wise beyond his years.

Your heart will remain wide open in this book until you complete the last sentence. I'm struggling with this review because I just want to really get into every single thing I loved about this novel. Frankie and Anna's hilarious and at times painfully raw moments. Red and Jayne, Sam and Jake...I am totally team Sam by the way! Everything about this novel was an epic win! I am so glad I finally plucked it off my shelf and read it, now I urge you to do the same...that's if you haven't already, if you have then give it re-read and visit this amazing story and beautiful characters.

A heartbreakingly beautiful story of 2 best friends trying to move forward after a tragedy and in the process discovering themselves.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dime by E.R. Frank

Release Date: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Genre: Young Adult | Fiction
Pages: 336 Pages
Series: N/A
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

The realities of teen prostitution are revealed in this eye-opening, heartbreaking story from the author of America, which Booklist called "a piercing, unforgettable novel" and Kirkus Reviews deemed "a work of sublime humanity."
As a teen girl in Newark, New Jersey, lost in the foster care system, Dime just wants someone to care about her, to love her. A family. And that is exactly what she gets-a daddy and two "wifeys." So what if she has to go out and earn some coins to keep her place? It seems a fair enough exchange for love.
Dime never meant to become a prostitute. It happened so gradually, she pretty much didn't realize it was happening until it was too late.
But when a new "wifey" joins the family and Dime finds out that Daddy doesn't love her the way she thought he did, will Dime have the strength to leave? And will Daddy let her?

It has been a long time since I've read a book that was so emotionally charged. A book that I could feel right down into my gut. Dime left me utterly raw.

Dime brings to light the horrors of Human Trafficking; An underground industry that happens right in front of us. Dime is a 13 year old girl who is in the Foster Care System. Her current foster situation is far from perfect but she has a roof over her head, food on her plate and an education, something she prides herself in. More specifically, she has a passion for reading, she loves to relate to classic characters like Charlie from the Chocolate Factory and Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. When Dime's foster home situation worsens, her foster mom turning to alcohol, she finds herself staying out at night on the streets and eventually standing in front of Daddy, a pimp who wines and dines her and fills her with false hope and promises; It's not long that Dime finds herself on the street with her "wifeys" making money for Daddy.

I don't think I have loathed a character any more than I have loathed Daddy. He is worse than any evil villain I have come across. He is just a "normal" man that you probably wouldn't think twice about when passing him on the streets yet he is responsible for ruining and demolishing so many lives. He steals your soul and leaves you empty so you have no choice but to stay with him. His manipulation literally left me fuming. There were even moments when I was thinking to myself that if I was 13 years old and in Dime's shoes, would I have known any better? At that age she was completely vulnerable and there for the taking. She was infatuated by him and was willing to say or do whatever he asked.

I really had a soft spot for Brandy. Although she was rough around the edges(but who wouldn't be in her situation?) you knew she had a yearning for a better life deep down, no matter how much she loved Daddy or how much he "took care" of her.

Dime is not for the faint of heart. E.R. Frank brings forward the ugly, ugly truth. I had no idea how strategic and manipulating these men or women can be to one another to come into and stay in this business. Despite how powerfully raw this novel is, I could not put it down. A part of me was so committed to Dime and a the other characters that I just had to know what their outcome would be and another part of me was learning from this novel. Afterwards I ended up researching documentaries including 3a.m. Girls which left me completely baffled with how out and in the open this is. It is literally happening right under our noses. E.R. Frank also provides great resources at the back of the book.

I would definitely rate this book a Mature Young Adult or even Adult Fiction. Like I said, it gets pretty detailed. Yet, I think this book would open a lot of eyes and encourage people to learn more and to do more about Human Trafficking. I have already educated myself more since reading this book and will continue to learn more and take it from there. I have also put in a request at the 3 libraries in my city that they must carry this. I think it is great for teenagers to not only educate themselves on this matter but to see how easy it is to get pulled in. The characters may be fictional but this situation is very real.

If you were anything like me, you will most likely devour Dime in one sitting because you just simply have to know the fate of these girls as soon as you can. I immersed myself in their lives and ended up caring so much for them. A little piece of my heart was taken by each of them.

I will definitely be picking up E.R. Frank's previous novels and will be keeping my eye on her future work!!

Be sure to get your come of Dime that hit's shelves tomorrow, May 26th!

Monday, May 18, 2015

#IReadYAWeek: Daily Challenges, Giveaways and 1 Grand Prize!

Scholastic’s #IReadYA Week

Hey Crazy Readers, it’s time once again to celebrate #IReadYA week! Scholastic’s #IReadYA week is a celebration of all things YA! In support of this week, Scholastic will be holding daily challenges beginning today and running through Friday the 22nd. By participating in the challenges, you earn the chance to win some really fun #IReadYA prizes including: #IReadYA tote bags, tumblers and free YA books!

These daily challenges are a lot of fun, and range from describing a YA book only using words that start with the same letter (e.g. Harry helps Hogwarts, hefting horcruxes), to sharing YA reaction videos/memes.

Also, some of your favorite YA authors will be participating right alongside you with impromptu Twitter chats, Tumblr posts and more.

To become a part of #IReadYA week and take part in the daily challenges, just click here:
Scholastic’s #IReadYA Week

Challenge Details:

  •  Each day, 10 entrants who complete the daily challenge will be randomly selected to win a #IReadYA prize pack worth $145. The prize pack includes a tote, books, pin and a tumblr. 
  • A Grand Prize will be awarded to one user who submits their #IReadYA Reaction video or animated GIF Tumblr post. The reaction can be to anything YA from a plot twist, to an adored character, to the final book in a trilogy. We are excited to see what you come up with! The Grand Prize is 10 books from your TBR (To Be Read) list, up to $250 in value!

Day 1 - #IReadYA Picture Share
Day 2 - #YAlliteration Challenge
Day 3 - WOW, Help share Fall 2015 & Spring 2016 Books
Day 4 - YA #TBT Instagram Challenge
Day 5 - #IReadYA Book Recommendations

 Grand Prize - #IReadYA Reaction Tumblr post (Video or animated GIF)


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