Thursday, October 27, 2016

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

And the Trees Crept In
Release date: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: Little Brown for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From publisher
Reason: For review
Find the Author: Website

Stay away from the woods…
When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night… a man no one else can see?

“Rotting in your skin
rotting in your mind
you are rotting in this house
in this house you'll die.”  

Dawn Kurtagich, like the Trees in Python, sucked me in with The Dead House. When I learned that she would be releasing another spine-tingling tale, I couldn't wait to get my roots hands on it!

And the Trees Crept In will keep you up all hours of the night; both from not being able to put the book down and from being too spooked to sleep! Author, Dawn Kurtagich definitely won me with her eerie tale The Dead House but she definitely amped up the creep factor with this one! 

We are immediately plunged in the woods when Silla and Nori are escaping from their father's abuse. Hoping to find refuge at their Aunt Cath's manor, La Baume, or also (fittingly) called the "blood manor". Cath was such a whimsical character. There is a quirkiness to her that will make you fall in love with her instantly. She is wacky and wild, and her character comes alive and leaps off the pages! She reminded me of a cross between Nanny McPhee and Miss Peregrine. 

Silla is such a strong and complex character. There are many layers to her that unfold throughout the entirety of the novel. I adored her and the fierce love she had for her sister, Nori. Nori is another fantastic character. It was obvious the author crafted Nori with so much care! Nori deals with her own difficulties that I'll leave for you to discover for yourself, but Kurtagich did an outstanding job at delivering her dialogue. 

And the Trees Crept In is not penned like your average novel. Like the "blood manor", it is filled with nooks, cranny's and hallways that have all kinds of shadows and darkness lurking within them. It is a mind-bender and it will take you on one haunting adventure! 

With Halloween right around the corner, what better way to spend it than reading And the Trees Crept In...that's if you're not too scared...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Outward Blonde by Trish Cook

Outward Blonde
Release Date: October 18th, 2016
Publisher: Adaptive Books
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: E-galley
Source: From publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Explore more: Barnes and Noble

Sixteen-year-old Lizzie Finkelstein is a hard-partying socialite who lives a charmed life with her mother in Manhattan. After a public drunken sexual escapade results in both an arrest and an embarrassing viral video online, Lizzie’s parents stage a late night intervention. Lizzie finds herself whisked away to Utah to learn a lesson or two about taking responsibility at Camp Smiley, a wilderness survival program for troubled kids.
Camp Smiley is a far cry from Lizzie’s high society life in New York. Without her stable of luxury hair/makeup items, her teacup Pomeranian, contact with the outside world or access to social media, Lizzie must face the harsh conditions of the outdoors. Grouped with troubled campers in which she’s certain she has nothing in common (except Jack, who’s pretty hot), Lizzie must now learn to dig her own toilet in the woods and build a fire by rubbing two sticks together before the camp will ever let her go back to her former existence. She has a choice: get with the program, or get out of there.

I am a firm believer that certain books come to you at the perfect time and that was definitely the case with Outward Blonde

This book came to me at exactly the right time. Busy and getting busier, I was in dire need of a break! Enter Outward Blonde, a breath of fresh air!

The character Lizzie definitely takes some getting used too, but I'm pretty sure that was exactly the author's intention. Cook did not want to you like Lizzie immediately. She is a spoiled brat, who I'm sure has the word 'entitled' written on her brand-name clothing tags! When sent to Camp Smiley, you can't help but love the torture that Lizzie is going through. I would have loved to have been there to personally witness some of it!

I truly adored almost everything about Outward Blonde, the only thing that left me wanting so much more was the love interest. To avoid spoilers, I won't dive into much detail regarding this, but I just wish there was a little bit more to it. I know! Sorry for being vague, but you'll just have to read it to find out! 

This novel is absolutely hilarious and loaded with laugh out loud moments, but it also addresses some tough issues that give Outward Blonde so much heart. You'll also see a shift in Lizzie, witnessing her personal growth as the novel progresses.

Outward Blonde by Trish Cook is the perfect book to gift yourself! When you find that you are in need of a fun book with a great underlying lesson and lots of heart, then this is the book for you!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What Light by Jay Asher

What Light
Release Date: October 18th. 2016
Publisher: Razorbill | Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 256 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From publisher
Reason: For review
Find the Author: Website

Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. 
Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.
By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

I am a 29-year-old girl woman that squealed like a 13-year-old at a One Direction concert(they're still relevant, right?) when I opened up the envelope that contained this book. I have loved everything Jay Asher since his debut, 13 Reasons Why. When I heard way back when that he was coming out with a new Young Adult the long wait began!

As soon as this gem made it into my hands, I hungrily started into it; like pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving! But What Light was much sweeter and far more decadent than any Pumpkin Pie. In Ontario, Canada we had an unusual burst of summer heat that is not the norm for this time of year in Autumn, but I preferred to stay home and devour this sweet tale of young love, redemption, and personal growth.

What Light contains such a lovely character cast. Just regular, down to earth characters. I could actually see a lot of myself, my family and my friends in these characters. I adored Sierra. I truly did. She doesn't live your typical life. She has her life in Oregon where her family runs their Christmas Tree Farm, and then she has her life in California where her family packs up every year to sell said Trees at Christmas Time. Sierra's character was so refreshing to read. She's your funny, typical teenager.

I would love to get inside Jay Asher's brain to check out his Character Crafting process. Despite these characters being normal, everyday people, he made them all so grand and memorable! And speaking of memorable, enter Caleb...Swoon! Yes, I am a near 30-year-old, swooning over a fictional, teenage character...No Shame! But Caleb's swoon-factor is much deeper than just his appearance. He is thoughtful, generous, and caring. He is also fighting his own battle against himself that unfolds throughout the story.

What Light is definitely a lighter read compared to 13 Reasons Why but it still contains all of the great qualities that make Jay Asher such a wonderful writer. What Light has become one of my favourite Christmas stories; one that I will return to each year. It's colourful charcters and beautiful setting will have your senses tingling. You can practically smell the beautiful scent of pine needles, hot chocolate, and candy canes while eating up this scrumptious tale!

We all deserve to treat ourselves, which is exactly why you should spoil yourself What Light this holiday season!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Some Boys by Patty Blount

Some Boys
Release Date: August 5th, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 339 Pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website

When Grace meets Ian she's afraid. Afraid he'll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But...Ian doesn't. He's funny and kind with secrets of his own.
But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?

“Hold your head up, Grace. Even when you’re dying inside—especially then—hold it up.” 

I'm finding this book difficult to review. The premise and theme of the story carries a very strong message. It tackles rape culture and the double standards that young girls and women face when in these horrible situations. However, Some Boys was lacking for me. I had a very hard time adjusting to the delivery of the story. There were moments of the book that just dragged on, while the most important issue at hand seemed to be an after thought.  Some Boys reads more like a romance, and that's fine! However, even that aspect of the book was shortcoming. 

A very strong quality was the character Grace. Despite her situation she was fiery and strong. Given the horrible bullying and victim shaming she dealt with, she continued to hold her head up high and fight back for herself. I absolutely loved Grace. She was one of the main reasons I continued reading Some Boys. She was the glue that kept me to this book. You can clearly tell that Grace was where the Author's heart lies. She was crafted with so much strength and resilience.

Grace is just about the only character I liked in this book. The complete daftness of Grace's parents was infuriating. They were so clueless to this horrendous crime that Grace was a victim of. Completely clueless to the horrible victim shaming she was encountering. Her father drove me bonkers. I couldn't help but feel he was blaming her for what happened to her because of how she dressed. Pointing it out numerous times. Again, infuriating!

Ian was an okay character. I didn't not like him, but I just found his character weak. Lacking personality; nothing about him really stood out to me. 

I hate giving this novel the type of review it's getting because the subject matter is something that we NEED to bring voice to. Something that we need to shine a light on and talk about! Some Boys had wonderful potential but, aside from Grace, it didn't stand up to the potential that it had. Losing it's momentum early on with long dialogue that didn't really go anywhere, and then just speeding over the heart of it's theme. 

However, just because this book didn't float my boat, doesn't mean that you may not like it. Different strokes for different folks, right?! If you want to give this book a chance, it just may speak to you in a different way than it did me. If you've read Some Boys let me know what you thought of it in the comment below!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

We Know it Was You by Maggie Thrash(Strange Truth #1)

We Know It Was You (Strange Truth, #1)
Release Date: October 4th,
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 352 Pages
Series: Strange Truth #1
Format: Arc
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

It’s better to know the truth. At least sometimes.Halfway through Friday night’s football game, beautiful cheerleader Brittany Montague—dressed as the giant Winship Wildcat mascot—hurls herself off a bridge into Atlanta’s surging Chattahoochee River.Just like that, she’s gone.Eight days later, Benny Flax and Virginia Leeds will be the only ones who know why.

I can assure you that you've probably never read anything quite like We Know it Was You and probably never will come across anything like it again. It is unique in every sense of the world. It's warped, it's dark and it funny. And a good dark comedy and totally my jam!

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute while reading this book. It is a deliciously entertaining tale that will keep your spine tingling every nail-biting moment!

The book starts off with a bang, getting right to it and the pace just quickens from there! Firstly, let's talk about Virginia. I loved her. She was just one badass character! Her energy radiated off of the pages and I just couldn't help but fall in love with her!

Benny was a great character as well. Not your usual swoon-worthy male character. He has a love for mysteries and seems to be very straight to the punch! Virgina and Benny played very well off of each other. The balanced each other out and I loved their chemistry together.

We Know it Was You has received some mixed reviews, but I STRONGLY urge you to give this book a try for yourself. It was so endearing and had me hooked from the very first page! Fans of Twin Peaks o Pretty Little Liars will definitely eat of this tale. All it was missing was a brooding Agent Cooper ;)
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