Monday, September 18, 2017

The Girl Who Wasn't Dead Samantha Boyette

The Girl Who Wasn't Dead
Release Date: September 12th, 2017
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 209 Pages
Format: NetGalley
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble


Prom was supposed to be the biggest night of senior year, but for Jenny Lewis it was the night she almost died. The night someone drugged her, loaded her in a car, and dumped her body in the river. 

The next morning, her soaked prom dress was found on the riverbank. Her body was never found. People whispered that she’d killed herself or gotten drunk and stupid. People moved on, went to college, and stopped thinking about her. Months later, her ex-girlfriend and three other classmates received a text from an unknown number accusing them of her murder and claiming to have proof. The text? It came from Jenny, not dead and ready to figure out who tried to kill her. There’s going to be an impromptu reunion and no one is leaving until the would-be murderer steps forward.

I'm just going to dive right in here, this book was tough for me to get through and finish. There were a few times that I was ready to throw in the towel and just not finish it, but I ain't no quitter! I soldiered on really hoping the book would redeem itself...Unfortunately, it did not.

The Girl Who Wasn't Dead oozes with potential. The premise immediately grabbed me and the simplicity of the cover is so inviting and is so fitting to the story. What I struggled with most was the writing style, or more so, the delivery. It is very...juvenile for lack of a better word. It read more like a middle grade novel but talked about drugs, booze and sex all the time and the characters just fell flat. It was your typical clique and each character just treated one another so terribly. If these were my friends, I would have throat-punched them and dropped all of them.

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I also felt the book was taking on a "Pretty Little Liars" theme. I don't know if that was intentional but it felt like the book was trying to appeal to that crowd but the storyline didn't stand strong enough to achieve that. 

The Girl Who Wasn't Dead just wasn't my cuppa tea. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult

Salem Falls
Release Date: November 7th, 2005
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 472 Pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal interest
Find the Author: Website

Jack St. Bride was once a beloved teacher and soccer coach at a girls' prep school - until a student's crush sparked a powder keg of accusation and robbed him of his career and reputation. Now, after a devastatingly public ordeal that left him with an eight-month jail sentence and no job, Jack resolves to pick up the pieces of his life. He takes a job washing dishes at Addie Peabody's diner and slowly starts to form a relationship with her in the quiet New England village of Salem Falls. But just when Jack thinks he has outrun his past, a quartet of teenage girls with a secret turn his world upside down once again, triggering a modern-day witch hunt in a town haunted by its own history


Anyone who knows me in the slightest knows that I LOVE Jodi Picoult. She is on my auto-buy list, which means that I'll buy anything she writes without even needing to know what it is about.

Salem Falls is a page-turner! And it is no small feat. It's packed in a  472, small font package, but even so, you will fly through this one! Each chapter break will make you want to go on to the next.

Picoult, like most of her novels, divides the book up into all of the main characters points of view, and in Salem Falls it is quite a few perspectives. However, each character has a very strong voice and presence. Not once did a character muddy into one another. They all stood very powerfully on their own.

The writing style is typical Jodi. Epic! She knows just how to rope and lasso you where you simply cannot break free...but you wouldn't even want to anyway. She delivers the story at such a perfect pace. Dangling each word in front of your eyes, while you keep grasping for more. Picoult sure knows how to write court room drama. That is just one of the qualities I adore about her. She takes the law to a whole new level. In Salem Falls she takes the heart-wrenching subject of rape and the brutal environment of a courtroom and puts in front of us a dramatic, vicious back-and-forth that will leave you jumping sides more often than you thought you could!

Another wonderful Picoult book that definitely won't disappoint. And if you're new to Jodi Picoult, this is a great pick to start you off on your journey with her!

“There is a place in you that you don't even know exists, where you can simply stand back and watch without feeling any pain.” ― Jodi PicoultSalem Falls

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Lives of Desperate Girls by Mackenzie Common

The Lives of Desperate Girls
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For honest Review
Find the Author: Goodreads
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

One small, northern community. Two girls gone -- one missing, the other dead. A riveting coming-of-age debut young adult novel for fans of Everything I Never Told You and All the Bright Places. 
Sixteen-year-old Helen Commanda is found dead just outside Thunder Creek, Ontario. Her murder goes unremarked, except for the fact that it may shed light on the earlier disappearance of Chloe Shaughnessy. Chloe is beautiful, rich and white. Helen is plain, and from the reservation. They had nothing in common except that they were teenage girls from an unforgiving small town. Only Chloe's best friend Jenny Parker knows exactly how unforgiving, but she's keeping some dangerous secrets of her own. Jenny begins looking for answers about Helen's life and death, trying to understand larger questions about her town and her best friend. But what can a teenage girl really accomplish where adults have failed? And how much is Jenny actually complicit in a conspiracy of silence?
I couldn't wait to get my hands on The Lives of Desperate Girls. It sounded like the perfect way to welcome Fall and end a summer that was filled with your typical "beach" reading. There were two things that stood struck my interest most: The gorgeous cover and the synopsis. Both invite a mysterious and alluring promise and after reading, I find that the cover captures the essence of the book beautifully!

The author does an outstanding job at building this story's foundation. Her delivery and easy writing style hook you from the very beginning and keeps you nail-biting until the very last page! The strongest trait of this novel is the story. It's filled with mystery and thrills yet also has a an emotional glimpse at the effects of bullying and racism.

The one complaint I had with this book was the main character, Jenny. Against the books hearty premise, she fell flat. I found her character slightly irritating and underwhelming. However, because the book is so strongly story driven, I was easily able to o still enjoy my reading experience and the journey Jenny was on to solving this mystery.

Overall, I enjoyed The Lives of Desperate Girls. It took me on an emotional whodunnit rollercoaster. For a debut novel, I feel Mackenzie Common hit the mark! I look forward to her future work!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker

The Rattled Bones
Release Date: August 22nd, 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster | Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 304 Pages
Format: Netgalley
Source: From publisher for honest review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon


Unearthing years of buried secrets, Rilla Brae is haunted by ghostly visions tied to the tainted history of a mysterious island in this haunting novel from the author of The Girl Who Fell.Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about—if they know about it at all—due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there—an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam’s work and the ghostly girl’s song lure Rilla to the island’s shores.As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow—until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past. 
To say I loved The Rattled Bones would be the understatement of the year. I simply cannot think of the words to describe how much I adored this story. This darkly enchanting novel will creep its eerie words straight down to your bones.

Rilla is not your average teenage girl. She has a strong and stubborn head on her shoulders and can stand equal, if not above, the finest and most seasoned of lobsterman. Her strength and will carry her far beyond the dark and deep Maine waters. Plagued with visions after her father's untimely death, she is fiercely determined to get to the bottom of what may be haunting not just her, but her family.

The characters are the true stars of this novel, but the setting is a very close second. Parker's ability to transport you from your reading nook right into this small, Maine fishing island, right onto its haunting waters is a true talent. She crafted such a beautiful view that you can almost smell and taste the salty air.

I can assure you that you've likely not read a story quite like The Rattled Bones. It's originality and hauntingly beautiful storyline makes for a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

I loved Sam. I can't say that enough. I love, love, LOVED him. You want your way into my heart? Be kind-hearted and have a sense of humor, and that was Sam. He was funny and quick witted, yet cared so deeply for Rilla.

If you're looking for a book that will hook you, that will cast you under it's spell than The Rattled Bones is the book that you want. Beautiful, in-depth characters, a stunning setting and an unforgettable story will leave you reeling at the end...Like what I did there...

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty AKA Lovefest!

Big Little Lies
Release Date: July 29th, 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 460 Pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal interest
Find the Author: Website

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Genius! Pure and utterly genius!  I'm a person that believes there is no such thing a perfection(except for puppies and cupcakes) but this, my bookworm friends, is perfection! It is written gold right in your hands. It is a priceless artifact. It's a masterpiece!

Okay, I know, shut up with the lovefest already, but I can't help it! Like Madeline, I just can't contain my excitement. I cannot believe this book has been out since 2014 and I am only gifting myself the pleasure of reading it now. With all of the hype over the television show I thought I should probably hop on the bandwagon and give it a go. Of course, I wanted to read it first so I hesitantly bought my copy worried that it wasn't going to do it for me. That it wasn't going to "live up to the hype". Dear god, was I wrong! This book not only lived up to the hype, it demolished the hype, there isn't enough hype to hype up this book.

In case it hasn't been made clear, I loved the book. I devoured it in 2 days, but would have happily have given up sleep, food and work to read it in one sitting if I had been allowed. It so wildly entertaining! Big Little Lies is told in the perspective of 3 female characters: Celeste, Jane and Madeline. I haven't seen the show yet but I already know that they could not have done a better job casting. It seems like each actress was made for these characters. I can't wait to watch them come to life on the silver screen. However, these characters are so bold and vibrant that they flourish in your imagination on their own beautifully.

Liane Moriarty is a storytelling mastermind. She weaves this hilariously clever and at times dark, heart wrenching tale so effortlessly that it consumes you. You can't help but keep on reading. Big Little Lies is the most unputdownable book I have come across. I was absolutely hooked from page one all the way through to the end. And that twist! It's cray cray (kids are still saying that right?). I gasped. My jaw-dropped. My eyes bulged out!

Big Little Lies is a decadent read! You'll want to savour every last word!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn

When I Am Through with You
Release Date: August 1st, 2017
Publisher: Dutton for Young Readers | Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 304 Pages
Series: Sins and Scandals #1
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For honest review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon


“This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it.”Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly how what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains ended the way it did. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. And he’ll tell you about Rose. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.
Wow, just...wow! This book went FAR beyond my expectations! I had no idea that a story of this magnitude was hidden inside of these pages.

WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU tells the story from Ben Gibson's perspective. Ben is your average teenage boy. There is nothing extraordinary about him. He is not popular but he is not unpopular. He is just normal. But far from normal are the events that take place on this camping trip. WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU will take you down its rabbit hole. Sucking you and not letting you go.

Stephanie Kuehn delivered this compelling novel effortlessly. She is the very definition of a story-teller. She took these characters and crafted an outstanding, wild and horrific tale. Each chapter ending on a note that led you further into the darkness alongside the characters.

However, this book is more than just a camping story gone wrong. It is filled with so much more. As we learn the backstory of Ben and the other characters, the book becomes a voice for child abuse, neglect, and addiction. It's been a while since I've read a book that has had me so enthralled!

This is the perfect book to add to your summer reading! And, if you're a gluten for punishment, it's perfect for those nights camping by the fire. I simply cannot wait to see what else Stephanie Kuehn has up her marvelous sleeves!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Spellbook of the Lost and Found
Release Date: August 8th, 2017
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books | Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 368 Pages
Format: Advanced Readers Copy
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hairclips and jewelry, but soon it's clear that Rose has lost something much bigger, something she won't talk about, and Olive thinks her best friend is slipping away.

Then seductive diary pages written by a girl named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing estate. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they're holding tight to painful secrets.When they discover the spellbook, it changes everything. Damp, tattered and ancient, it's full of hand-inked charms to conjure back things that have been lost. And it just might be their chance to find what they each need to set everything back to rights.Unless it's leading them toward things that were never meant to be found...
Enchanting and seductive, Spellbook of the Lost and Found will surely keep you on the edge of your seat!

Firstly, can we discuss that cover?! Every single aspect of it is so stunning and inviting. It is just screaming "READ ME!". I'll admit it, when I saw this August release, it was the cover that drew me in and it was the cover that made me want to have it immediately. Then I read the premise and it just made me want it even more. I had to have it. In my hands. Now!

Spellbook of the Lost and Found is a decent sized book, coming in at 368 pages, it's not necessarily a light read, but you will devour it. It will consume you and whisk you away because you just simply need to keep reading. It will cast you under its spell and twine its firm grasp around you. You'll fly through the pages, fighting the need to know how this story unfolds, and if like me, you'll likely eat this book up in one sitting!

Fowley-Doyle does a miraculous job at painting a picturesque setting. Plucking you up and placing you gently in the vivid world of these 6 teenagers in Ireland. Another giant feat the author took on was delivering the story in the perspective of not one, not two, not three, but SIX points of view and she did so flawlessly! We had the pleasure of reading from the POV's of all characters and their colourful personalities and backstories. It was truly a delicious treat!

The story is dark and ominous. I was continuously left feeling like something was lurking around the corner, waiting to jump out. It made for a very lively and theatrical reading experience!

Fowley-Doyle's writing style was impeccable. She delivers the tale in an almost poet and lyrical manner. Making the words just fall delicately off of the pages and into your imagination. She's made me an instant fan! I cannot wait to pick up her debut novel, The Accident Season and I eagerly await her future work!

If you're looking for a dark and magical tale, something that is as equally haunting as it is beautiful than Spellbook of the Lost and Found is the book for you!


 
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