Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Don't Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche

Don't Fail Me Now
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adut
Pages: 288 Pages
Series: N/A
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website | Twitter
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

Michelle and her little siblings Cass and Denny are African-American and living on the poverty line in urban Baltimore, struggling to keep it together with their mom in jail and only Michelle’s part-time job at the Taco Bell to sustain them. Leah and her stepbrother Tim are white and middle class from suburban Maryland, with few worries beyond winning lacrosse games and getting college applications in on time. Michelle and Leah only have one thing in common: Buck Devereaux, the biological father who abandoned them when they were little. After news trickles back to them that Buck is dying, they make the uneasy decision to drive across country to his hospice in California. Leah hopes for closure; Michelle just wants to give him a piece of her mind. Five people in a failing, old station wagon, living off free samples at food courts across America, and the most pressing question on Michelle’s mind is: Who will break down first--herself or the car? All the signs tell her they won’t make it. But Michelle has heard that her whole life, and it’s never stopped her before....

I love a good book. I love a good book that has great characters. I love a good book that has great characters and a touching story...Don't Fail Me Now gave me all of my loves! 

I'll start off by saying that Don't Fail Me Now turned out nothing how I expected it would. It went down a road(no pun intended) that I was not expecting, but that is what I ended up loving about it! For some reason, I had thought this book was going to be a light and funny read but it didn't turn out that way at all. Yes, it has it's funny parts and great one-liners but the book dives much deeper. It tackles some pretty difficult issues ranging from drugs, homelessness and broken homes. It gets pretty heavy at times and will have your heart aching for Michelle, Cass and Denny. It will also have your heart aching for the people in the world that really deal with this in real life. 

I completely devoured Don't Fail me Now. It moved at a wonderful pace and each character had their own voice, even Denny. Not one character over-crowded the other. I have to admit that the book started a off a bit slow for me, but redeemed itself very quickly. About 50 pages in, I was officially hooked!

Heart-wrenching at times, delicate and romantic in others Don't Fail Me Now turned out to be a very pleasant surprise! The author delivered each issue with poise. I think anyone dealing with any of what Una LaMarch touches on in this book would find comfort in relating to the characters. Each character had a beautiful grace about them and proved they were not their problems. 

Don't Fail Me Now is the perfect book to wrap up your Summer Reading and end it with a bang!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top Ten 'Auto-Buy' Authors

Top Ten Authors 'Auto-Buy' Authors

Nicholas Sparks:
Yes, any regular or semi-frequent visitor of The Crazy Bookworm would know this already. Nicholas Sparks could write about snow melting and I'd buy it! Because, I know he would turn that melting snow into a tear-inducing, heart-exploding love story!

Jodi Picoult
Even though I may think a synopsis doesn't sound like something I'd like. She ALWAYS proves me wrong!

John Green
Um, do I even need to explain this one?! He creates all of the feels!

Rainbow Rowell
She has created some of the most lovable, witty characters! A true breakfast club cast of characters!

Courtney Summers
Not only a Canadian, but an Ontarian! Plus, she has definitely earned 'Epic Author' status!

Meg Cabot
I can always count on her to transport me from anywhere into a magic, paranormal or whimsical world!

Ruta Sepetys
The Author that gave us Between Shades of Gray and  Out of the Easy, she quickly earned a spot on my auto buy list after those gems!

Sarah Dessen
Is there honestly a reason needed for this one?!

Jennifer Donnelly
She penned my most favourite book: Revolution. She will always remain a favourite author of mine!

Laurie Halse-Anderson
Speak still remains an all time favourite of mine, and she has never disappointed me since!

Who are your Auto Buy authors? Be sure to leave your link in comments so I can check out your lists!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Survive the Night by Danielle Vega

Survive the NightRelease Date: July 7th, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Canada | Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult | Horror
Pages: 263 pages
Series: None
Format: Arc
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Review
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

We're all gonna die down here. . . .
Julie lies dead and disemboweled in a dank, black subway tunnel, red-eyed rats nibbling at her fingers. Her friends think she’s just off with some guy—no one could hear her getting torn apart over the sound of pulsing music.
In a tunnel nearby, Casey regrets coming to Survive the Night, the all-night underground rave in the New York City subway. Her best friend Shana talked her into it, even though Casey just got out of rehab. Alone and lost in the dark, creepy tunnels, Casey doesn’t think Survive the Night could get any worse . . .                . . . until she comes across Julie’s body, and the party turns deadly.
Desperate for help, Casey and her friends find themselves running through the putrid subway system, searching for a way out. But every manhole is sealed shut, and every noise echoes eerily in the dark, reminding them they’re not alone.
They’re being hunted.                Trapped underground with someone—or something—out to get them, Casey can’t help but listen to her friend’s terrified refrain: “We’re all gonna die down here. . . .”

Let me just start out by stating my obvious draw to this novel: The cover! I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover(but c'mon, we all do at some point!) but how could I  not want to read this when I see that colourful and totally badass cover?! Alright, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about why this book totally lived up to it's epic cover.

I used to love R.L. Stine as a kid, but for some reason, as I got older, my love for the horror genre with books has fizzled. I've read the odd Stephen King novel, but aside from that, it hasn't really wowed me...Until now! Danielle Vega came with a bright, burning match and re-ignited my passion for the horror/thriller genre! She lit that sucka up! My arc copy of this novel has tea stains, food stains and sweat stains all  over because I simply could not put it down! I devoured it a the gym(that explains the sweat stains) and thumbed through it on my tea breaks at work and read while I was downing any meal. I. Just. Couldn't. Stop. Reading!

Danielle Vega introduces us to Casey, a high school girl that has just been released from rehab for an addiction to her pain killers that were prescribed to her after a soccer injury. Her best friend Shana is the one people are quick to blame for Casey's new and wild life. Shana, you could say, is just a tad on the crazy side! Shana, Casey and their group of friends find themselves at a rave, Survive the night.  That, of course, is held underground, in old subway tunnels that have long been out of service. You are not allowed to leave the rave until the night is over...Obviously that is a recipe for disaster. It doesn't take long for blood to be spilled and body parts to go missing. Danielle Vega did an amazing job a turning my stomach. I LOVE horror movies and can handle my fair share of gore. It takes a lot to give me the heebee-jeebees but Vega succeeded and then some. Eyes balls, intestines and rats, oh my!

This novel was a total win for me. Any uncertainties I had about this book were slashed(like what I did there?) almost immediately! I have not read Merciless by Danielle Vega but you can bet that I will be heading out to the Bookstore to get it!

Dark, gruesome and even a little bit romantic Survive the Night restored my love for the horror genre! Bravo, Danielle Vega, bravo!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Happy National Book Lover's Day!

Far From The Madding Crowd is based on the classic love story by Thomas Hardy. It hit shelves on August 4th on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD. Celebrate National Book Lover's Day by curling up with this gem...And maybe have Kleenex and something to cuddle close by!

If you're looking for more ways to celebrate, check out my previous post talking about the perfect Bedtime reads! Who says Bedtime stories are just for children?!

How am I celebrating National Book Lover's Day?

I will be curling up under the sun on my deck devouring:

Yes, I am finally getting around to reading this one and I am loving it so far!
Have you read it or seen the film yet? What are your thoughts?

As book lover's we can truly relate to this statement! 

Happy National Book Lover's Day, Crazy Bookworms!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal

Release Date: June 23rd, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 337 Pages
Series: None
Format: Paperback
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

When Ibby Bell’s father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father’s urn for good measure. Fannie’s New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been — and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum — is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie’s black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secret.
For Fannie’s own family history is fraught with tragedy, hidden behind the closed rooms in her ornate Uptown mansion. It will take Ibby’s arrival to begin to unlock the mysteries there. And it will take Queenie and Dollbaby’s hard-won wisdom to show Ibby that family can sometimes be found in the least expected places.

“New Orleans was like that. A live-and-let-live attitude was ingrained into the fabric of the city; no one cared who you were or what you looked like - you had a place, and everyone respected that.”

Move over The Help, there is a new historical fiction powerhouse in town, and it goes by the name of Dollbaby!

It is no secret that I love historical fiction. And I've always had a special fondness for stories that take place in the 50's or 60's, so that was my initial draw to this book. The premise does not do this book justice. I was not expecting this book to be full of so much life! Dollbaby is a character driven novel. If the characters were to fall flat, then the entire book would not have stood a chance. However, these characters are some of the most alive, most vibrant characters I have ever read. Queenie, Ibby, Frannie, Dollbaby, T-Bone...Gah, the list goes on! Each character added their own spice to the overall reading experience of this novel. I, quite literally, fell in love with them. Frannie, Ibby, Queenie and Dollbaby especially, all earned forever spots in my heart.

The character development was spot on! Laura Lane McNeal delivered this novel in such a way that you are left in awe until the very last page. Just when you thought the story was over, she hits you with another epic twist. I also loved how she presented us with Frannie's back-story. It was drawn out perfectly; and she was such a colourful character! I'd like to think that I will have a little bit of Frannie in me when I get older. She stayed young at heart.

Ibby is a wonderful character and she stands strong on her own among the other powerful characters that are in this literary category: Skeeter from The Help and Lily from The Secret Life of Bees.

Dollbaby is one of the greatest coming of age novels I have read. Although I wasn't alive in the 1960's nor am I from the South, I believe that Laura Lane McNeal painted a pretty accurate picture of what life was like in New Orleans during that time!

Colourful with it's storyline, and strong with it's characters, Dollbaby deserves a standing ovation!

An outstanding novel and one that I just couldn't put down! Dollbaby will always be a top recommendation of mine, and I truly hope 20 years from now I see it sharing a spot on the Literature shelf among To Kill a Mockingbird and Pride and Prejudice. A masterpiece in my eyes!

Monday, August 3, 2015

National Book Lover's Day-Let's Celebrate!

National Book Lover's Day
August 9th, 2015
National Book Lover's Day is August 9th, and to celebrate, Casper (a mattress company that reads bedtimes stories to you over the phone) and The Crazy Bookworm wanted to team up to bring you the best Bedtime reads! Who says a bedtime story is just for kids? We all know, as bookworms, that after a long day, there really isn't anything much better than winding down under the covers with a book! So, with that said, here is my top ten list for Bedtime reads!
Top Ten Bedtime Reads
Young Adult meets Historical Fiction and create an epic tale that weaves fact with fiction.

The Art of Racing in the Rain
A little bit of humour, a little bit of tears but a lot of heart.

Dollbaby: A Novel
For fans of The Help and The Secret Life of Bees, this book will be your next favourite!

 Beholding Bee
A magical tale that will have you wondering if you are dreaming or awake!

Out of the Easy
A beautiful coming-of-age!

Between Shades of Gray
A heart-wrenching page turner that you will just devour to simply know the outcome of the characters.

The Secret Life of Bees
Another epic historical fiction that will leave your heart bursting while it's filled with it's lovely characters.

The Guardian
Romance, mystery, suspense...What's not to love?!

Twenty Boy Summer
Friendships, love and self discovery. This novel will leave you reminiscing about your teenage years!

The Fault in Our Stars
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll love!

National Book Lover's Day is August 9th!
If you'd like to purchase any of these books to help you celebrate the day, click here:

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