Saturday, December 2, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)
Release Date: June 4th, 2007(first published 1934)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Mystery | Fiction
Pages: 275 Pages
Series: Hercule Poirot #10
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

The murderer is with us - on the train now..."
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again...



MORAL OF THE STORY:
ALWAYS HAVE A SOLID ALIBI


All aboard FOR this murderous gem! Murder on the Orient Express is a wicked good time! My interest was piqued by this story as soon as I learned about the film remake hitting theaters(with a star-studded cast). I have to admit that this is my first Agatha Christie novel but it will not be my last!

Murder, lies, dark secrets, all unfolding before your eyes, what more could you want?! I feel it's unnecessary commenting on Christie's writing style. She is a legend in literary world for a reason. She penned colourful, stand out characters that leapt right off the pages. You can smell their perfume. The scent of cigars filling the air. The crisp air of the winter's evening raising goosebumps. The Murder on the Orient Express comes to life. The novel is written with the beautiful, rich language of the time of it's original publication, 1934, which made for a more authentic reading experience. 

The Murder on the Orient Express is far more than a mystery novel. As each piece of the puzzle is slowly making it's way into place, you are still left completely unaware of the final outcome until the very last pages. A twist that you will not see coming! 

I did not expect to enjoy this novel as much as I did. A true gem in every sense of the word. A wildly entertaining ride. Buckle up, you're in for a treat!

“What's wrong with my proposition?"
Poirot rose. "If you will forgive me for being personal - I do not like your face.” - Hercule Poirot

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder
Release Date: February 14th, 2012
Publisher: Knopf
Genre: Children's Lit | Young Adult
Pages: 316 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

MORAL OF THE STORY:
LOVE IS LOUDER

 Wonder has been on my bookshelf, unread, for 4 years! How do I know it's been exactly 4 years? Because I purchased it before the little bookstore I worked at closed it's doors for good. I feel like after reading this Wonderful novel that I have committed some monstrous book crime for letting this book sit on my shelf that long going unread. I am so ashamed of myself! I feel like I need to be walking down some book-plank begging for forgiveness!

Image result for walking the plank gif

Now that I've confessed, let me move on and tell you just how moving, heart-warming and truly beautiful this novel is. We are introduced to August "Auggie" Pullman, a young boy born with a facial deformity. Being somewhat sheltered and home-schooled his entire life, his parents have decided it's time for him to attend school. We are then taken on the journey of Auggie's first year as a 5th grader in a real school, with real students, and real teachers. 

There are some gut-wrenching moments when we are reminded how cruel others can be(not just children) but what shines even brighter is the kindness in others. Love is truly louder. 

What makes this book a true gem, a real wonder, is the perspectives in which the story is told. We hear not just from Auggie but some of the other marvelous characters. Auggie is not the only character that is faced with setbacks, the trials and tribulations of school, life and growing up. We hear from Via, Auggie's loving, overprotective sister. Jack Will, Summer and even Miranda, a friend of Via's who feels she has the right to claim Auggie as her own as well. 

Wonder can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Not only it is just simply a beautiful story, but I can assure you that everyone will be able to relate to or find a closeness with something in this novel. Whether you are the new kid in class, a parent who is unsure if you're making the right decisions as a parent, a sibling, friends that may be drifting apart, etc. Wonder is so colourful and you will surely find an understanding or bond with someone or something. 

What I found to be the true takeaway of this novel was the strength and kindness in Auggie. It is not a story about Auggie being an underdog, it is story about love, friendship, and growth. 

“Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world.” -Auggie Pullman

"Be kind to one another" Ellen Degeneres 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Feature: Us Kids Know By JJ Strong





"A gripping, tragic debut novel that will fascinate and trouble sophisticated teen readers."Kirkus Reviews

A risky, heartbreaking debut in the vein of The Outsiders, following a group of unmoored teens in suburban New Jersey as they blaze destructive paths and wrestle with burgeoning adolescence, ultimately committing one disastrous error that changes their lives forever.
We all knew about Cullen Hickson.
Siblings Bri and Ray O'Dell are lost. Anxious. Restless. Ray—bullied at his Catholic school for being small and timid—wants to be someone people respect or, even better, someone people fear. Meanwhile, Bri knows that something is off about her friendship with the shiny, happy, sophisticated blond girls on her field hockey team. They don't really understand Bri, and if Bri is being totally honest, she doesn't really understand them either.
 When storied delinquent Cullen Hickson enters the orbit of the O'Dell siblings, though, everything changes. Bri and Ray find an alluring, addictive outlet in Cullen, who opens their eyes to a world they didn't know existed. For Ray, that means experiencing the singular thrill of crime—from breaking and entering to grand theft auto—while Bri quickly dives into an all-consuming romance with the enigmatic upperclassman. As Bri and Ray become more and more entwined with Cullen's antics, and their once-thrilling experiences grow increasingly dangerous, a series of life-changing events threatens to lead the teens down a dark path—one that could forever alter the course of their lives.
ON SALE NOW!

Add to your 'TBR' Pile!

About the Author: 
JJ Strong received a creative writing degree from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. in English from Georgetown University. His writing has appeared in Fifth Wednesday, the Santa Monica Review, and LA Weekly. He taught for many years in the undergraduate writing program at USC, before moving to the Washington, D.C. area with his wife and son.


Monday, November 13, 2017

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

My Best Friend's Exorcism
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: Young Adult | Fiction
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal interest
Find the Author: Website

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act…different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?
MORAL OF THE STORY:
Always keep an Exorcist on speed dial

My Best Friend's Exorcism was probably one of the most entertaining books I've read this year. I started this book just a shy of a few days after Halloween. It is the perfect book to curl up to when you're in the mood for a little spooky fun! There were a few nights I would read this in bed, completely home alone and it was a little unnerving. Every little house creak and tick suddenly became a lot more noticeable! 

My Best Friend's Exorcism is a fun blast to the past. With it's 80's references and nostalgic song choices, this book will make you want to have the most epic E.T. Rollerskating party after you're done reading it!

Grady Hendrix did an excellent job writing from the perspective of 2 female lead characters. He actually captured the awkward adolescence of teenage girls flawlessly. I related quite a bit to Abby and adored her character. The book is told from Abby's perspective and the chapters are laid out by awesome relative song choices. Trust me, you will have the most rockin' 80's playlist afterwards. 

 This book will make you laugh, cry and give you nightmares. It is the perfect package: 2 best friends. 1 being overtaken by a demon and the other willing to die trying to save her. 

"Two people were fighting to be visible on Gretchen's face."
"Hot damn!" he shouted. "We got ourselves a demon!"


Monday, October 30, 2017

Stranger Things Season 2 -Non- Spoilery!

Related image

Unless you are living under a rock or had your nose in a really good book then chances are you were binging Season 2 of Stranger Things this weekend. I've been counting down the days since it was released there was a Season 2! On Friday my fiance, myself and our 2 dogs formed an epic cuddle puddle on our couch and hit play! We finished the last episode last night(Sunday) at 11:30pm and my heart was left pounding and my head spinning! Some storylines left us with a bit of closure, while others left us with so many questions! But I love that because it means there will most likely be a Season 3! 

As promised, this will be non-spoilery :) I just wanted to rave about the epicness of this masterful show!

1. A handful of amazing characters are introduced! MadMax(Maxine), Billy, Bob"Superhero" Newby, Kali and Dr. Owens
Image result for stranger things season 2Image result for bob newby stranger things

2. Noah Schnapp who plays Will needs to win an Emmy. This kids acting chops are for real!
Image result for will stranger things season 2

3. Dustin is my Hero. That hair!
Image result for Dustin Stranger things

4. Steve Harrington who is played by Joe Kerry has some epic screen time during this season. He "almost" stole the show. His character definitely grew since Season 1 and I loved every minute of it!
Image result for steve harrington stranger things

5. Chief Hopper. No need to say more!

Image result for Chief Hopper stranger things

6. Epic Soundtrack! We already know that the show pays a great tribute to the 80's and Season 2 just accentuated that even more. The soundtrack is "bitchin'" 

7. Sidestory: You will get lots of colourful side story on Eleven, Hopper, Will and more. 

8. Though this season started off a little bit slower than Season one, it does so intentionally and still keeps you engaged and intrigued. Season 2 spent it's time crafting it's storylines to bring together an outstanding showdown for the last 3 or so episodes. 

9. As mentioned above, the plotline and sub-plot lines provide so great material for the show. But it was the character growth and chemistry that really stole the show!

10. Overall, the writers struck gold, the Cast is magical and Season 2 just proved that Stranger Things is the best series to ever hit the small screen!

Did you watch Season 2? What are you thoughts? Comment below!


Friday, October 27, 2017

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic
Release Date: October 10th, 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 369 Pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For honest review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble


Find your magicFor the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.
MORAL OF THE STORY:
YOU CAN NEVER DENY WHO YOU TRULY ARE

Image result for I put a spell on you gif hocus pocus

The Rules of Magic is a whimsical tale that will have you fall deeply and madly in love. 

I cannot put into words how much I loved, adored and cherished this book and the beautiful story that laid within it's pages. I'm actually struggling with getting my thoughts out because I am left utterly speechless and in awe. Please be patient with me while I try to *attempt* a decent review here instead of just urging you, grabbing and shaking you, and screaming at you to READ THIS BOOK! *Ahem*

The Rules of Magic tells the story of Francis(Franny), Bridget(Jet) and Vincent Owens. Brother and Sisters that are struggling to understand who they are and where they truly belong in this world. The story begins its tale in beautiful New York but will take you on a marvelous journey through Paris, California and Massachusetts. You will be given a stunning history lesson on the family and their roots and why they have chosen to live the life they do now. Alice Hoffman's ability to craft such beauty in her characters and setting is a magical quality in itself. Delivering sights and sounds that will whisk you away and perch you into the very world of the Owens and their surroundings. You will be taken on a breathtaking imaginary adventure! Falling quickly and madly under her spell and never let go(nor would you want to!) 

Franny, Jet and Vincent are unlike any other characters I have ever read. They are charming, intense and so full of depth. Though I just spent a whole book reading about them, I still feel there is so much that I do not know. Almost like a delicious secret is still being kept. The beauty in characters does not end there though. The character cast is large and each one blesses it's readers with their own unique story. Your heart will become fuller after reading this novel.

The Rules of Magic is a fantastical tale that will make you giggle with laughter, shed tears and shake your head in amazement. The Rules of Magic will leave you with an indescribable feeling but knowing that you just had a beautiful and memorable reading experience.

"Writing itself was a magical act in which imagination altered reality and gave form to power"

'When you are young you are looking forward and when you are old you are looking back"

"She opened a book and was therefore saved, discovering that a novel was as great an escape as any spell."




Monday, October 23, 2017

36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant

36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You
Release Date: October 17th, 2017
Publisher: Running Press | Hachette Canada
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

Hildy and Paul each have their own reasons for joining the university psychology study that asks the simple question: Can love be engineered?
The study consists of 36 questions, ranging from "What is your most terrible memory?" to "When did you last sing to yourself?" By the time Hildy and Paul have made it to the end of the questionnaire, they've laughed and cried and lied and thrown things and run away and come back and driven each other almost crazy. They've also each discovered the painful secret the other was trying so hard to hide. But have they fallen in love?Told in the language of modern romance—texting, Q&A, IM—and punctuated by Paul's sketches, this clever high-concept YA is full of humor and heart. As soon as you've finished reading, you'll be searching for your own stranger to ask the 36 questions. Maybe you'll even fall in love. 

MORAL OF THE STORY:
FIRST IMPRESSIONS AREN'T ALWAYS THE LAST IMPRESSION

10 REASONS WHY I LOVED THIS BOOK

1. Unique concept
Taking 2 people, putting them in a room together and seeing what happens? Um, yes please! 
2. Interesting writing style
I loved that the book was written in 'Chat' format. A lot of the book's dialogue is Hildy and Paul literally sitting in a room basically interviewing each other. However, it gets quite intense!
3. Quick read
4. Has Depth
3 and 4 go hand and hand. Although you can enjoy this book in one sitting, it has so much depth. The characters and storyline provide so much heart and soul.
5. Epic characters
Delivering a book in this style can be risky, it can lack "The feels" but that was NOT the case of 36 Reasons. Both Hildy and Paul were very intense characters. In the beginning, we are only seeing the surface, but the author did a spectacular job at letting their stories unfold at a beautiful pace as the experiment progresses and the individual character perspectives are delivered.
6. Not your average contemporary romance
Because average is boring!
7. Thought-provoking
Some of the questions are pretty basic, while others dive right into the soul!
8. Comedic relief
36 Reasons made me Laugh out Loud on more than one occasion...way more! The quips and banter between all of the characters were fantastic. It definitely had a "sitcom" vibe to it. I could totally see this as a Netflix series and me totally binging it!
9.  Charming
10. Discovery
It may be a light contemporary romance, but it has so much more! It's about not just about 2 people getting to know each others. It's about 2 characters getting to know themselves. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mary Rose by Geoffrey Girard

Mary Rose
Release Date: October 17th, 2017
Publisher: Adaptive Books
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Pages: 272 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For honest review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon


Who knows what ghosts lie within us, or when they will return?Mary Rose Morland and Simon Blake are the perfect couple: successful young professionals in Philadelphia, attractive, madly in love, and ready to start a life together. When they travel to England for Simon to ask her parents’ permission to marry Mary Rose, he learns an unsettling secret: Mary Rose disappeared when she was a little girl on a remote Scottish island and reappeared mysteriously thirty-three days later in the exact same spot without a scratch on her and no memory of what had happened.
After Simon learns about this disturbing episode in Mary Rose’s childhood, he becomes obsessed with finding out what happened and proceeds to launch his own investigation and arranges during their honeymoon for them to visit the island where she disappeared. But as Mary Rose’s behavior gets stranger after their engagement, the need for Simon to unlock the truth about her past grows even more urgent. What he uncovers is beyond his most terrifying fears.

MORAL OF THE STORY:
IF YOU GO LOOKING FOR TROUBLE, YOU'LL BE SURE TO FIND IT

Mary Rose will capture you before you even crack it open. Look at that cover! It's so inviting! I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover(let's be honest, we ALL do it) but the minute I laid eyes on this one I didn't even need to know what it was about. I wanted to read it right away! 

The novel's size is a bit deceiving. It's a "small" package of only 272 pages yet it packs so much punch! Geoffrey Girard painted a picturesque setting that placed you right into the world of Mary Rose and Simon. He penned the perfect balance of strong, in-depth characters and a thought-provoking storyline. It isn't just a book, the story will wrap itself around you and pull you deep into its world. Leaving you in its grasp and hungry for more as you turn each page. 

With Halloween right around the corner and the days beginning to cool down, Mary Rose will be the perfect book to stay curled up inside reading. Its ghostly atmosphere will leave you goose bumped and glancing over your shoulder in eerie suspense. 

Mary Rose will attract and appeal to many readers, no matter their genre preference. I'm a lover of Young Adult fiction and I enjoyed every minute of my reading experience with Mary Rose. No matter what you love to read, you can't deny a great story! 

Hop on and enjoy this eerie, psychological thrill ride. You will not regret it!



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

The Surrogate
Release Date: September 27th, 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Pages: 374 Pages
Format: E-galley
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CAAmazon

Be careful what you wish for…
Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream. 
But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets. 
And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye. 
As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…
‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’ 

MORAL OF THE STORY:
THINGS AREN'T ALWAYS AS THEY SEEM.
SOME FRIENDSHIPS ARE BETTER LEFT IN THE PAST.

Ok! Where do I even begin? This book was such a wild ride. The who's, what's and why's never stop and after a while you begin to question your own sanity. Just when you think you have the slightest inkling of what is happening, Louise Jensen throws you into another direction. Spinning what you "thought" you know completely upside down!

Image result for whats going on gif


This is my first book by Louise Jensen but it will NOT be my last! I have already ordered my copy of  The Sister and cannot wait to dive into it. I was completely entranced by The Surrogate. It held me tightly in its grasp from the very beginning and still has yet to let me go even though I have turned the last page. Louise Jensen has proven to me, with just this book, that she is a mastermind at psychological thrillers. She penned such a suspenseful thrill ride that had me flying through the pages at a fervent pace. 

The Surrogate is delivered in Kat's perspective but also has 'Now and Then' segments that hop back and forth between Kat and Nick. Louise Jensen crafted this aspect beautifully. Not once do you ever get confused or need to backtrack. Each character also stands so strongly. The Main cast appears to be Kat and Nick yet all of the secondary characters play a major role in this novel. Each one has a vital part in the strength of this story and the entire package of the novel. 

The Surrogate will have you questioning every relationship and motive and the sincerity of people. Should you rekindle that friendship or leave the past behind you?

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of The Surrogate and cannot wait to dive into Jensen's previous and future work. She is a real gem in the literary world and will have you on the edge of your seat in nail-biting suspense!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

*GIVEAWAY* The Wizard of Lies On Blu-Ray and Digital HD!

Image result for Wizard of Lies Blu Ray

The Crazy Bookworm and THINK JAM are teaming together to bring you an epic giveaway!

We are giving away one copy of The Wizard of Lies on Blu-Ray and Digital HD.

Starring two-time Oscar®-winner Robert De Niro as Bernie Madoff and three-time Oscar® nominee Michelle Pfeiffer as his wife Ruth, this HBO Films drama dissects the events that led to the Wall Street financier's stunning downfall in December 2008 for defrauding investors of over $65 billion in the most infamous Ponzi scheme in U.S. history. Directed by Oscar®-winner Barry Levinson, an executive producer along with De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, Berry Welsh and Tom Fontana, The Wizard of Lies vividly recounts Madoff's audacious deceptions, which began in the 1990s, 1987, or even earlier, and continued throughout the financial crisis of 2008, culminating in a denouement that vilified Madoff while catapulting his wife and two sons into a harsh and unrelenting spotlight, with tragic consequences.

HOW TO WIN
*Must be 13 years or older
Open INTERNATIONALLY
Giveaway ends Tuesday, October 17th at 11:59pm
Fill out Rafflecopter to enter

GOOD LUCK!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride

The Bakersville Dozen
Release Date: August 8th, 2017
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 336 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: From Publisher
Reason: Fo Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book


You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.
MORAL OF THE STORY: 
BEING THE MEAN GIRL NEVER PAYS OFF. 
SCAVENGER HUNTS AREN'T ALWAYS A GOOD THING.

This was the perfect way to wrap up my summer reading and kick the Fall season off with a bang! The Bakersville Dozen had me at Hello. The moment I read the synopsis I was hooked and knew I had to get my hands on it. Lately, I have been on a Mystery & Thriller kick so when I had the opportunity to pair my latest flavour of the month with my favourite genre(Young adult) how could I not seize that moment?! 

Kristen McBride takes the dangers of cyberspace and bullying and intertwines them into a spine-tingling, page-turning experience. I nearly gave myself paper cuts because I was devouring the book so fast. Eager to know the what's, who and why's. She penned an epic character cast. Some characters you'll love, while others you'll hate. Perfection! She also pairs this character cast with an eerily spooking setting. Sending Bailey on a haunting scavenger hunt with a high risk/high reward. Follow the rules, save a girl. Mess up, girl dies. 

Kristina McBride's writing style is refreshing. It's simple yet comes alive off of the pages. She doesn't drone on with unnecessary dialogue or send you down a rabbit hole of backstory. She delivers the story exactly how it should be. There are few books that I suggest should hit the big screen or netflix world because I fear them being completely ruined (as that's a fear for most bookworms) but I would LOVE to see this book come to life on the big or silver screen. I think it would be a hit!

The Bakersville Dozen is the perfect cocktail of suspense and mystery. McBride paced the novel perfectly. Just giving you a little bit at a time to leave you hanging on to the edge of your seat, grasping for more. If the Mean Girls and Pretty Little Liars had a baby, it would be named The Bakersville Dozen. Of course, the book stands strongly on it's own, but it will definitely appeal to those fans, as it did me. 

The Bakersville Dozen was the dose of thrill I was looking for. It was a wild reading experience that I couldn't put down!

"I strained to hear beyond the rasp of my breathing, reassuring myself that no one was following. That I was alone with nothing to fear but my own imagination"


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Carry Me Home by Jessica Therrien

Carry Me Home
Release Date: September 26th, 2017
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 356 Pages
Format: Arc
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon


Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.
They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.
But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world. 
Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.
Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival.

2017 has been an epic year for books and specifically the Young Adult genre. Some ground-breaking books have been hitting the shelves that shatter the Young Adult stereotype and will pave the way for future YA authors to come. Carry Me Home is a tragic, touching, painful and moving tale about a family fleeing their broken home to create a better life. It is about a mother wanting more for her 2 teenage daughters but we all know, things aren't always as easy as they seem. 

Carry Me Home is told from the perspectives of Mom, Lucy, and Ruth. Each character dealing with their own deep-seeded insecurities. Lucy has the strongest influence in the novel. Her story is raw, at times, sickening and mostly heart-wrenching. She is a teenage girl begging for acceptance and love in all of the wrong places. Mom has always been under the thumb of her alcoholic, abusive husband and after scooping up Lucy and Ruth and moving to Los Angeles, she is now solely responsible for providing for these children. Keeping food in the stomach and a roof over their head. Working and going back to school, her presence at home is almost non-existent and her parenting lacks authority, especially when it comes to Lucy. Yet, her intentions are strong and she loves fiercely. Ruth is quiet and an introvert. She is not like her outgoing sister, Lucy, and they bump heads constantly. Ruth is the one that tries to pulls Lucy's reigns when Mom doesn't know what to do, but it causes more problems than fixing them. 

Each character has so much depth and the author does a spectacular job at letting each of their stories unfold effortlessly throughout the entire book. She crafted an emotional and relevant reading experience that will leave you thinking about it long after you've finished the last page. You will simply devour this extraordinary tale of heart-ache, pain, and redemption.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Things I'm Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni

Things I'm Seeing Without You
Release Date: October 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 336 Page
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon


Seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler has just dropped out of high school. She can barely function after learning of Jonah’s death. Jonah, the boy she’d traded banter with over texts and heartfelt e-mails.

Jonah, the first boy she'd told she loved and the first boy to say it back. Jonah, the boy whose suicide she never saw coming. Tess continues to write to Jonah, as a way of processing her grief and confusion. But for now she finds solace in perhaps the unlikeliest of ways: by helping her father with his new alternative funeral business, where his biggest client is . . . a prized racehorse?As Tess’s involvement in her father’s business grows, both find comfort in the clients they serve and in each other. But love, loss, and life are so much more complicated than Tess ever thought. Especially after she receives a message that turns her life upside down.

You guys, I freaking LOVED this book...And I know you'll love it, too! It's been one of Fall's most anticipated reads and I can definitely see why after I devoured it in nearly one sitting!

I cried, I laughed, I cried some more, and laughed some more. This book tackles suicide, grief and earth-shattering heartbreak in one of the most honest and raw ways I have come across in a book. Sometimes life just sucks! And sometimes, it's like the universe knows how much it is sucking for you and wants to throw more suck your way. We can crumble and succumb to the suck, we can give up and hide, or we can simply toss our problems into the river and try to start again. Meet Tess, she is broken, the boy she loved just took his own life and now she is trying to navigate through her grief.

I have to address Peter Bognanni's writing, it's absolutely perfect. He delivered this heart-wrenching yet beautiful tale flawlessly and also managed to craft such a strong female character. Tess is filled with wit, she is bold and she speaks her mind.

Things I'm Seeing Without You reads as a dark comedy. Yes, it sad, and if like me, you will cry. But it is also filled with great humour and so much heart. Just as much as it's about grief and heartbreak it's also about growing and second chances.

I loved every minute and every second of this book!


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.

Related image

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!
 
Designed by Beautifully Chaotic