Monday, December 21, 2015

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Luckiest Girl Alive
Release Date: May 12th, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: Fiction | Mystery & Thriller
Pages: 352 Pages
Series: N/A
Format: Arc
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon




HER PERFECT LIFEIS A PERFECT LIE.
As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancĂ©, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.
But Ani has a secret.
There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

“Moving on doesn’t mean you don’t talk about it. Or hurt about it. It’s always going to hurt,” 

I am taking the risk of having books thrown at my by posting this review. Why? Because this was one of the most read, most talked about book of 2015. It has also been dubbed 'The best book' of 2015. However, I could barely get through it.

Luckiest Girl Alive seemed like the only novel I was hearing about. I did like Gone Girl, so when it was being advertised to fans as the next Gone Girl, my interest was immediately piqued. I was craving another thrilling, dark page-turner.

I eagerly started Luckiest Girl Alive but sadly, that eagerness fizzled. It took everything in me to just 50 pages through. Here are a few reasons why I was not the biggest fan of this novel.

1. The Writing Style:
This book was praised for it's writing style so I definitely feel like I am missing something! I felt there were scenes that just went on and on. There were conversations between characters that just felt like rambling.

2. The Delivery:
The back and forth from past to present was starting to get confusing. I had to keep retracing to figure out where I was in the story.

However, despite these reasons, I did finish the book. It never got to the point where I just felt like I needed to give up. The book had a few redeeming qualities that kept me returning. Perhaps by expectations were set a little too high. I am all about second chances so I will happily give Jessica Knoll another try when/if she releases another novel.

But hey, just because I wasn't the biggest fan does not mean you won't enjoy it. Different strokes for different folks, right?!

Have you read The Luckiest Girl Alive? Please comment below and let me know how you liked it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars
Release Date: May 13th, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 242 Pages
Series: N/A
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret.Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.


“We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.”  


**WARNING, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IN PUBLIC; UNLESS YOU DON'T MIND THE WORLD SEEING YOUR HORRENDOUS UGLY CRY**



I don't know why on earth I thought this book was going to be a "quick, light read".

Exhibit A: The Cover: With it's sunny, ocean blue colours and the group of happy teens.
Exhibit B: The Premise: Mysterious and not too telling. How big could this secret be?!

As you can see, I was completely proven wrong! I was not expecting this book to take out my heart and toy with it in it's precious hands!


This was my first book my E. Lockhart but I have heard many wonderful things about her book. I was perusing my bookstore and finally thought I should pick up this book that I heard so many(not too detailed) things about!

Firstly, it is no freaking shock that this book won The 2014 Goodreads Choice Award. Once I learned that I thought, "well no Sh!t, Sherlock!". This book should have won every book award possible!

E. Lockhart's storytelling was poetic, lyrical and just flowed so beautifully off the pages. You can't help but be immersed by it. Her writing style is unique and just added to the already perfect package of We Were Liars.

I can almost guarantee that you will not be able to figure this book out until it's revealed for you. The book had already revealed a few secrets, and I thought that would be all...Then WAM! Lockhart pulls out another jaw-dropping curve ball that left me sobbing...again.


Gat, Mirren Johnny and Cadence are a cast of Characters that I will never forget. Although the story is told from Cadence's perspective, there is not one character that outshines the other. These Liars are a package deal and they each possess wonderful, heartbreaking, hilarious and haunting qualities that will have your heart exploding. I hope you have room in that heart of yours because these Liars are going to nestle their way in there whether you like it or not!

I finished this book a week ago and have already raved about it to every person I have come in contact with since then...Whether they liked it or not...

This book deserved every bit of hype it got, and in fact deserves even more! It is haunting, curious and magical. It will make you cry, laugh and then cry again. 

Please, go out and get this book now if you haven't read it already! And with Christmas around the corner, I highly recommend We Were Liars for the Bookworm in your life!

It's Here...Finally!

"The Fantastic Beasts" Trailer is finally here!


To me, this looks spectacular! As soon as I learned Eddie Redmayne was to star in it, I knew it would be epic. Can't wait to see it!

What are your thoughts on the trailer?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Are You a Seasonal Reader?

Have you ever noticed if you read certain types of books throughout the year according to the Season? We may read more thrilling or scare-inducing books during Halloween. Or we may pick up a Christmas themed book during the Christmas holidays, but is that where it ends? Not for me apparently!

Over the last 2 or 3 years I have noticed that I read certain genres or themes throughout the year according to the seasons. Overall, I like to read anything as long as it has a good story. However, I've noticed a change in my reading preferences as the seasons change.

In the Summertime, I love a good YA Contemporary. Eleanor and Park, The Fault in our Stars and Pushing the Limits for example. In the Fall, I tend to read something that is a little darker: Gone Girl, Stephen King or something Paranormal. In the Winter, I tend to gravitate towards the "heavier" reads. Books that I know will probably induce some major feels! For some reason, I will ALWAYS pick up a Jodi Picoult novel in the Winter. Why? I have no clue! But I do know that as soon as the air starts to turn crisp and the fire starts crackling in the fireplace, I'll start to get the itch to pick up one of her books.

Springtime, I like something a little lighter...Probably to break away the dark cloud over my head from all those heavier books! I'll gravitate towards light Young Adult mostly, or Nicholas Sparks.

Is this something that you do, too? Do your reading habits change with the seasons? Please tell me I am not the only one!

I would love to know what your reading habits are like throughout the year!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Beyond the Blog: A New Feature!


I am so excited to announce a new weekly feature! 

There are so many wonderful blogs out there, and we quickly become fans of the aliases that run our favourite blogs! But do you ever wonder what the person behind the blog is like? Inspired by the #thingsaboutme hashtag on Instagram, I will now post little snip-bits about me every week so you can get to who Cathy is, the girl behind The Crazy Bookworm. The post is can really be about anything. A few things about me, a story, it may be bookish related at times, anything really!

 Feel free to grab the graphic above and do your own Beyond the Blog post. If you do so, please comment your link so I can check it out and get to know you, too!

This Week's Beyond the Blog

1. I am a certified Yoga Instructor

I fell in love with Yoga 4 years ago, and decided to take Teacher Training. I graduated a year ago and now teach Part-time. I absolutely adore it!

2. I lost 130 lbs
5 years ago I began new lifestyle journey. I was 23 and 252 lbs. It took me a little over a year to lose the weight. I have kept it off and am now a proud gym rat! The majority of my reading gets done while I am at the gym. Sweating comes in handy when you need to hide the tears from the feels.

3. I am a mommy to 2 fur babies and am a HUGE animal lover. I am hoping to someday add a rabbit and a piggy to my home(but still fighting the fiance on that one!)




Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Book Lover's Gift Guide


Christmas List
Books
Books
More Books
Giftcards to Buy Books
Mug to drink tea when reading Books
Books

Does that list look familiar? Whenever asked what I want for Christmas, my general Christmas lists will look like the list above.  And now that we are cracking down to the final stretch of Christmas shopping(only 15 days left till Christmas Day!) I thought I would share some of the BEST bookish gifts for the Bookworms in us and our friends and family!

The Crazy Bookworm's Holiday Guide

Literary Tee's
Out of Print

When I worked at the Bookstore we sold Literary Tee's from Out Of Print Clothing. And I absolutely loved them! Available in a wide variety of products!

Literary Totes, bags and pouches

Out of Print
Out of Print Clothing

Bedtime Story Duvet Cover

Bedtime Story Duvet...Um, yes!!

Personal Library Kit
Personal Library Kit for the readers that like to share their books!

Book Tent
For the outdoorsy reader. I think I would live in this Tent if I had it!


This gorgeous Pendant Shade!


Mr Darcy's proposal...ON A PILLOW! Yes, please!


For the reader that loves a good cocktail or two!


Literary Necklaces


This print for the classic lover on your list!

Read me a story nursery print - great gift for a book lover

Perfect for the new addition. How cute would this look in a nursery! 

Enchanted Library - Jam Jar Candle

Candles that smell like books.

Mosiso Slim Fit Retro Kindle Case Red - gifts for book lovers

E-Reader covers for the e-reader on your list.

Gifts for book lovers; Book Worm Wrap Ring

A bookworm ring wrap

This are just a few of the amazing bookish gifts that are out there in the world! I hope this guide helps you find that perfect gift for that perfect someone!

Happy Holidays!





Monday, December 7, 2015

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Hate List
Release Date: October 5th, 2010
Publisher: Little Brown for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 405 Pages
Series: None
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

“In a way, Nick had been right: We all got to be winners sometimes. But what he didn't understand was that we all had to be losers, too. Because you can't have one without the other.” --Valerie

I am a huge fan of Jennifer Brown and have even had the chance to chat with her on my blog. I have read all of her books, except for the book that started it all, her debut novel, The Hate List. I've had this book sitting on my shelf since it's release...What the heck was wrong with me? What took me so long?!

Reading The Hate List took me on a very emotional ride. Firstly, let me talk about Valerie's parents. There were moments that I just couldn't handle them...at all! I wanted to shake sense into her Mother, and her father was just terrible. I cannot relate to the horrible tragedy that surrounds the story of this book, but I'd like to think that I would help my daughter grieve and move on from it, and not blame and belittle her.

Jennifer Brown is famous for writing though-provoking YA novels that tackle tough and real issues.  The Hate List is exactly that. This book raised so many questions for me; some answered, while others left me completely stumped. What would I do? How would I handle this? and so on. I finished this novel over a week ago, and my head is still reeling. I love a novel that leaves me with so much to think about!

Valerie was a character that had many sides. She was trying to grieve while trying to move on. She was still in love and yet filled with hate. She was strong yet vulnerable. She was independent but still needed guidance. She was such a bold character and she left in me in tears by the end. 

Although The Hate List was published in 2010, it still speaks very true to today. Especially during the recent tragedies we are dealing with: San Bernadino and the Paris attacks to name a few. The Hate List will raise awareness about the bullying epidemic and gun control laws. Although it characters are fictional, the subject matter is very true in our world. 

The Hate List was a haunting novel but had a beautiful undertone to it. It faces a lot of tragedy and darkness but the light at the end of the tunnel remains in sight. It is a novel about facing tragedy head on and moving on with everything that you have. A one of a kind read! Although I read it late, it was an epic debut novel. I am so glad I finally read it and would not only highly recommend this novel but every Jennifer Brown novel!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I FallRelease Date:October 25th, 2010
Publisher: Harpercollins
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 470 Pages
Series: None
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website


With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others.
For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

“Here's another thing to remember: hope keeps you alive. Even when you're dead, it's the only thing that keeps you alive.”

I have made it a mission this year to read all the books from my personal 'TBR' pile. Meaning no review books! I keep buying books and yet, they sit beautifully on my shelf, patiently waiting to be read for weeks, months and in some cases even years. So, enough of that! Aside from reading my reviews books, I have dedicated a minimum of 1 book per month to come from my personal library. So far, it has been going really great and I have knocked a few off that I have been dying to read. Twenty-Boy Summer and Paper Towns to name a few. Anyways! Now that I've blabbered on enough, let me get on with this review.

For a couple years now, this book as been recommended to me countless times(along with the Delirium series....Which I still have yet to read!). So, when picking my next read between review books, I thought now was the perfect time!

This book, in a way I was not expecting, got me quite emotional. I was bullied in school, and once I got passed that I never wanted to think about it again(easier said than done). However, this book kept challenging me...If I could have done anything differently, would I? And what would I change? Would I love the fact that I could have a do-over every single day?

Sam is a "mean girl". She and her troop of friends are the ones causing a ruckus in innocent people's lives. They are the reason behind the misery of some; being bullies and instigators. I was not a fan of Sam, or any of her friends, for the first quarter, almost half of the book. There were times I just wanted to shake same and just say: "Come on!! Are you that blind, can you not see that you have chances here to make it right?!". Then, the book started to take the turn I was hoping to see. Despite all this though, I was hooked from the very first page! Lauren Oliver's writing was simple, yet grabbed me from the very first page. Her talent cannot be missed, although she is quite popular and established now, this was her debut novel, and she broke into the scene with a bang!

Oliver did a wonderful job at keeping your attention right from page 1 to the very last! A hard feat to have a book consist of the same day repeating over and over again, yet she mastered it!

Before I Fall exceeded my expectations. I was not expecting to love it as much as I did. And I was not expecting it to get me as emotional as it did. My only complaint was the ending. I felt for all that build up, it ended abruptly, and in my opinion, a little unfinished. However, that does not change my overall thought about the book! I loved it, and am a little annoyed at myself for taking to long to finally read it!

Have you read Before I Fall? If so, what were your thoughts?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Giveaway! 10 Signed YA Books + a $200 Giftcard

GIVEAWAY


The colder months are a'coming! Although I am not the biggest fan of cold, snowy weather, it is one of my favourite times to read. Curling up by my fireplace with cozy socks, a blanket, cup of tea in 1 hand and a book in the other? Bliss, am I right?!

What better time to celebrate these colder temperatures than with a giveaway? 
10(signed) books to help you cope with this dreary weather + a $200 Giftcard sounds like an okay trade to me!

I am thrilled to assist UrbanEpics with the promotion of this giveaway!


(AND TO VIEW ALL CONTEST RULES)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Best Crime Fiction Books for 2015!

Best crime fiction books for 2015 
Image 

Who does not love a good thriller to read while chilling on the beach in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua? Really, you could be anywhere and enjoy a good book. Justice and suspense are two of the most satisfying outcomes for any reader of fiction, so it is not surprising that people eat the genre up like hotcakes during a famine.  
Sowhen you are taking a break from bingo sites like www.bingosweets.com to delve into a good mystery, you will want to know who to read. Who are some of the hottest authors in this category, and what are some of the best books available for 2015? Without further ado, read on to get a full list for intrepid readers: just be prepared to stay glued to the written word as you flip the pages to find out what happens next.

The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith 
Technically, this book was definitely not released recently. In fact, it is the 60th anniversary of the publication of this classic. This edition comes with an intro by John Sutherland, and in hardback form, this makes for just as good of a read, only with a nicer package. Tom Ripley, as readers know by now, goes on to charm, and ultimately kill in this highly readable novel. You can take this one around the world and be mesmerised! 

What She Left Behind, by TR Richmond 
This psychological thriller was hot before it was even published as it was the subject of a hotly-contested bidding war between publishers. Ultimately, this story about a young girl who dies, leaving a digital trail behind, and her ex-professor who tries to piece together the jigsaw puzzle of her untimely death is just that for the reader, a mental maze to try to make sense of. This well-written book lets the mind race and the imagination wander. 

Hack, by Kieran Crowley 
This work of suspenseful fiction promotes New York City as a character in and of itself, a fast-moving blur with plenty of mysteries to be explored. This is a piece of satire, to be sure, what with plot points like a tabloid journalist set on the trail murdered gay husband of a restaurant critic. Cause of death? Murdered with a piece of his rear end cut clean off, which was then cooked and eaten. It bears mentioning that this one is grisly as well, but for those that can make it through this one, there is sardonic fun to be had.  

Woman of the Dead, by Bernhard Aichner 
This German sensation has already swept across Europe, selling some millions of copies around the continent. The stories focuses on a wife and mother with a morbid past; of course, details emerge about this secret history when her husband is killed in what looks like a hit-and-run accident. This is a story of revenge with plenty of plot turns and twists in places where you least expect them. It is written with a gripping tenor, translated expertly by Anthea Bell, and is worth your time and money. 
 
Designed by Beautifully Chaotic