Monday, April 27, 2015

All the Rage by Courntey Summers

All the RageRelease Date: April 14th, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 320 Pages
Series: None
Format: Arc
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 
With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?  

“I don't believe in forgiveness. I think if you hurt someone, it becomes part of you both. Each of you just has to live with it and the person you hurt gets to decide if they want to give you the chance to do it again. If they do and you're a good person, you won't make the same mistakes. Just whole new ones.” -- Romy Grey

If you're a frequent reader of The Crazy Bookworm then you probably already know that I love 'deep' books. Those books that are raw and powerful. Books that make you cry and cringe at the same time. I love all types of books, but I tend to gravitate to the heavier reads more.

Where do I begin with All the Rage? I fell in love with Summers' writing ever since Fall for Anything. That book will always stay with me but it now has company. I completed All the Rage in bed, not being able to put it down until I finished the last page, then I was up for at least an 1 hour reeling over it. It's raw and is a powerhouse. This book will definitely leave with a little piece of your heart.

Romy is a delicate character. On the outside she seems strong with this hit-me-with-your-best-shot attitude, yet deep down she is broken and scarred. She wears her trademark red nail polish and lipstick as an armour and is meticulous with it's application. This is actually a strong character trait of hers and shows up throughout the novel. My heart absolutely swelled for her while reading this novel.

This novel packs A LOT of punch when it comes to storyline, yet I still found it to be a very character driven novel. After all, it's the characters that give the storyline it's depth, right? And if the characters fall flat, then the whole book is out a balance. Each character in All the Rage added so much to this book...Each one was necessary! They took this heartbreaking storyline and made it even more real.

The writing is nothing short of amazing. Courtney Summers has this lyrical writing style that transports you from wherever you are reading  and drops you down gently to whatever world the character is living in. It also flows so beautifully and effortlessly. Her writing style is one of my absolute favourite reading experiences!

Even though I devoured this book in nearly one sitting, it will stay with me forever. It took me on an emotional roller coaster with it's raw storyline and beautiful writing style.

Thank you for another powerful read, Courtney Summers. You never disappoint!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten All Time Favourite Authors

Top Ten ALL TIME favourite Authors

It was pretty impossible to narrow this down, but I never turn down a challenge!
1. Nicholas Sparks
He is my guilty pleasure. He is the one I turn to when I need mushy love stories that will also tear my heart out in the process. Whenever I need a good cry, I turn to my ol' pal Nick!
2. John Green
I am sure he will pop up A LOT today! Does this really need an explanation?
3. Jodi Picoult
Another one who writes raw, powerful stories...I am sensing a trend here...That I like to torture myself with soul-crushing books!
4. Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games...
5. Deb Caletti
6. Sarah Dessen
7. Gayle Forman
My love affair started with If I Stay. The rest, as they say, is history!
8. Jennifer Brown
Another outstanding Author that brings tough issues to the forefront. Everything from bullying, teen domestic abuse, sexting and more.
9. Neil Gaiman
He's just magical
10. J.K. Rowling
Yes, I'm finally reading the Harry Potter Series(on book #3) and I definitely see that I missed out on my youth as a reader!
I can't wait to see what your favourite authors are! Be sure to leave your link in the comments so I can check out your post!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters You'd Like To Check In With

Top Ten Characters You'd Like To Check In With
(meaning, the book or series is over and you so just wish you could peek in on the "life" you imagine they are leading years down the line after the story ends)

What an awesome topic this week! Let's see if I can narrow it down here...
 The Book Thief
Liesel from The Book Thief. This book stole my soul! I suffered a major case of Book Hangover after reading this one.  I would love to peek in to see how Liesel has moved on from all that tragedy.
 Beholding Bee
Another forever favourite of mine. Bee still remains in my heart, protected by many other lovely characters, but she has earned a special spot.
The Choice
Oh Nicholas, you sure know how to pen some epic characters. I would love to visit all of them, but when it comes to storyline, I would love to see how this one turned out!
Out of the Easy
I feel this one needs no explanation. If you haven't read it, you need to...Now! I miss Josie!
Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)
Um, who doesn't want to know how Mia and Adam are doing? And the damn well better be together!!
The Help
I would love to know where all the fabulous ladies from The Help are doing...Yes, even Hilly...Just out of pure curiosity.
Gone Girl
Am I messed up for wanting to know how this train wreck turned out?
Uses for Boys
Such a tragic, beautifully written novel. I can only wish for a happy ending.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
(The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Again, does this need an explanation? Anyone? Bueller?
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Such a lovely story. I would love to know how this corky bunch are making out!
That was tough! I could do 10 more of these lists!
Can't wait to see what books pop up on your list!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Release Date: March 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Viking: Penguin Imprint
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 352 Pages
Series: N/A
Format: Arc
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website | Twitter
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon 

"I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange."
After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the "wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.
So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, "Mosquitoland" is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.  

“Life can be a real son of a bitch sometimes, bringing things back around long after you've said good-bye.”

Wow! To say I am suffering major book hangover after reading this one would be an understatement! 2015 has kicked off with a bang in the world of books; and Mosquitoland may take the cake!

Over the last few months I was seeing this book pop up on all kinds of blogs and memes. One of the most anticipated books of 2015, and after reading it, I can totally understand why! I am not usually one that falls for the hype or that ends up liking it as much as everyone else does. As I've already mentioned though, that was clearly not the case for this book. I loved every second...Every page...Every word! I am totally fan-girl'ing over this book right now.

My arc is tattered and worn. This book literally followed me everywhere! To the gym, the mall, the kitchen, friends houses...When it came to Mosquitoland the phrase: "I'd rather be reading." definitely marks true!

Alright, alright! You're probably thinking: "Just get to it already!". What about Mosquitoland did I love so much? Well, everything. Ha! How do ya like that?! Go on and read it. You'll see exactly what I mean.

First, you'll meet Mim(Mary Iris Malone). A character that has so many amazing, sarcastic qualities that I couldn't help but love her...And see a little of myself in her. There are also qualities about her that will have you wanting to embrace her. Shelter her from the cruelties of the world.

Then you'll meet Arlene, Carl, Poncho man *shutters*, Ahab, Walt, 17C a.k.a Beck...And the rest is history! This amazing crew of characters(aside from Poncho man) will nest their way into your heart. You will want to prolong your reading experience just so you can spend as much time with this eclectic bunch o' folk.

Mosquitoland also tackles Mental Illness. Something that I am grateful for. Mental Illness is slowly getting the attention it needs, and I think the more it comes up in Early Chapter Books and Young Adult books, the more people will learn that they are not alone, that they can relate and that they there is help out there.

I've mentioned it before and I'll say it again: I LOVE novels that take me on a journey(pun intended) of self discovery. I love seeing not only the character go through their transition, but to also discover who they truly are in the process. As Mim mentions: Sometimes a thing is not a thing until you say it out loud.

In case I did not make myself clear, this is a novel that you need to read. Allow yourself to fall victim to the hype when it comes to Mosquitoland. David Arnold has definitely put himself on my radar! If there is ever a standing ovation warranted for a book, this would be the one!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I Was Here by Gayle Forman

I Was Here
Release Date: January 27th, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Series: None
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Reason: Personal interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon

Cody and Meg were inseparable.Two peas in a pod.Until . . . they weren’t anymore.
When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

“I’ll go where you go.” A simple statement that feels like a blanket.”  

Ah, Gayle Forman...You sure know how to make a girl cry! I easily could have read this book in one sitting if I wasn't trying to purposely drag it out. Have you ever done that? Willingly drag out a book because you don't want it to end? Almost like you are savouring it? That's exactly what I was doing with I Was Here by Gayle Forman. The wonderful author who brought us the epic If I Stay and Just One Day books.

Gayle Forman is known for penning emotionally charged novels. Each one had me reaching for the Kleenex constantly. Gayle Forman is also known for crafting outstanding characters. Characters that nestle their way into your hearts forever; Cody, Meg, Ben, The Garcia's and every other character in this book are no exception. You not only become emotionally tied to the main characters but with the entire character cast!

Cody's character is not one that is put out on the table for all to see right off the bat. We learn of her deep friendship with Meg, but not too much about her. Her character and her emotions over her Best Friend's death unravel throughout the novel. Almost as if we are experiencing the stages of her grief right along her side. It made for a very raw yet realistic read. Gayle Forman is also a master when it comes to Male characters. They all seem to have an almost boyish exterior but a much deeper, more vulnerable interior. Ben, of course, falls under this category. And not to mention, he is totally swoon worthy! I adored his character from his first introduction.

And Meg, dear Meg. Although we only learn of her character in past-tense she has a strong presence. Almost as if she was looming over your shoulder, hauntingly, as her story unfolded.

I Was Here was nothing short of amazing! You will want to devour it and savour it all at the same time. You will want to fly through the pages yet hold off from turning them. Another spectacular novel from Gayle Forman in the books...Like what I did there?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lost & Found by Brooke Davis

Lost & FoundRelease Date: February 3rd. 2015
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 272 Pages
Series: None
Format: Hardcover
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Facebook | Twitter
Buy the Book: Amazon CA |Amazon

Millie Bird is a seven-year-old girl who always wears red wellington boots to match her red, curly hair. But one day, Millie’s mum leaves her alone beneath the Ginormous Women’s underwear rack in a department store, and doesn’t come back.

Agatha Pantha is an eighty-two-year-old woman who hasn’t left her home since her husband died. Instead, she fills the silence by yelling at passers-by, watching loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily schedule. Until the day Agatha spies a little girl across the street.

Karl the Touch Typist is eighty-seven years old and once typed love letters with his fingers on to his wife’s skin. He sits in a nursing home, knowing that somehow he must find a way for life to begin again. In a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes.

Together, Millie, Agatha and Karl set out to find Millie’s mum. Along the way, they will discover that the young can be wise, that old age is not the same as death, and that breaking the rules once in a while might just be the key to a happy life.

Every so often, you come across a book that leaves you speechless. A book that is so rare, it is like a precious gem. It's characters, it's voice and it's story building all aligning perfectly to form a wonderful reading experience; And a touch of sadness when reading the last page.

Be prepared to meet some of the most quirky, lovely and eclectic characters to grace a novel together. I challenge you to find a character as wonderful as Millie. When describing her, I want to use words like: Extraordinary, untypical, eccentric. You'll fall in love with her immediately...Along with Agatha and Karl. It's rare that I come across such a fascinating bunch of characters. They are the heart of this novel.

I find it so hard to believe that this is Brooke Davis' debut novel. Her crafting of characters and her story delivery read as if she is a seasoned author!

This book will make you ponder, laugh and cry. It is, in every sense of the phrase: The total package!

Please don't be put off by my vague review as I did this on purpose. I want every word of this novel to truly be experienced by the reader first hand. No preconceived notions here! Go out and get this book...Now!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Damned by Andrew Pyper

The DamnedRelease Date: February 10th, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Genre: Fiction/Horror
Pages: 304 Pages
Series: None
Format: Arc
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

Danny Orchard wrote a bestselling memoir about his near-death experience in a fire that claimed the life of his twin sister, Ashleigh, but despite the resulting fame and fortune he’s never been able to enjoy his second chance at life. Ash won’t let him.

In life, Danny’s charming and magnetic twin had been a budding psychopath who privately terrorized her family—and death hasn’t changed her wicked ways. Ash has haunted Danny for twenty years and now, just when he’s met the love of his life and has a chance at real happiness, she wants more than ever to punish him for being alive—so she sets her sights on Danny’s new wife and stepson.

Danny knows what Ash really wants is him, and he’s prepared to sacrifice himself in order to save the ones he loves. The question is: will he make it back this time?

Well I'll be damned...It's not often that a book spooks me to the point where I actually want to sleep with the lights on. I knew I was creating a recipe for disaster when taking this book to bed with me, but it was just so damn good that I couldn't put it down.

Andrew Pyper made a fan in me when I finished The Demonologist. An equally as terrifying novel. When I had the opportunity to read his newest, I didn't hesitate one instant. Was it horrible of me to have had low expectations? I only had them because I was almost certain he couldn't blow me me away the same way he did with The Demonologist...But I was so very wrong! He blew me away alright, even thought I will now have nightmares until my 30's, it was totally worth it!

The Damned wastes no time painting the dark, vivid world of Danny Orchard, his upbringing and relationship with his twin sister. Pyper has proven himself to be an expert on possession. Ashley, a clear sociopath and lacking a soul is one of the creepiest book characters I have come across. She dies(no spoiler, clear in the synopsis) and from then on, torments Danny throughout his adult life.

Riveting, terrifying and will have you on the very edge of your seat till the very end. The Damned  will keep you up until the wee hours of the morning. Not only from reading, but from being to scared to close your eyes...But like I said, totally worth it!

Move over Stephen King, there is a new king of horror emerging!