Sunday, November 3, 2019

Mini Review: Love, Heather by Laurie Peatru





Love, Heather

MINI REVIEW:


Release Date: October 8th, 2019
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For review

What you see isn't always what you get.
Stevie never meant for things to go this far. When she and Dee--defiant, bold, indestructible Dee--started all this, there was a purpose to their acts of vengeance: to put the bullies of Woepine High School back in their place. And three months ago, Stevie believed they deserved it. Once her best friend turned on her, the rest of the school followed. Stevie was alone and unprotected with a target on her back. Online, it was worse.
It was Dee's idea to get them all back with a few clever pranks, signing each act Love, Heather--an homage to her favorite 80's revenge flick. Despite herself, Stevie can't help getting caught up in the payback, reveling in every minute of suffering. And for a while, it works: it seems the meek have inherited the school.
But when anonymous students begin joining in, punishing perceived slights with increasingly violent ferocity, the line between villain and vigilante begins to blur. As friends turn on each other and the administration scrambles to regain control, it becomes clear: whatever Dee and Stevie started has gained a mind--and teeth--of its own. And when it finally swallows them whole, one will reemerge changed, with a plan for one final, terrifying act of revenge.

This was a very complicated, intense drama about the bullied, the bullies and the viciousness of everything and everyone in between. Love, Heather is raw! It's impactful. There were moments that left me cringing. It left me questioning how I would survive high school in today's world. When I attended, social media didn't go beyond MSN messenger. And everyone's guilty pleasure was Napster, not Instagram. It's terrifying to know that now, things can change in an instant. One picture, one post, can turn your world upside down. And now, it seems we are seeing more tragedies in the news as a result of bullying. It's devastating.

It's obvious the Petrou is a master at storytelling. Her writing is just perfect. She made me feel so many emotions while reading this. And left me thinking about it long after I was done. It was, at times, an uncomfortable reading experience. I just wanted to shake the hell out of some characters.
On a lighter note, I loved all the movie references. The 80`s movie buff in me definitely appreciated those!
Love, Heather is an intense and relevant story that will make you stir. It tackles issues that are very real in today's world(scary!). I also think this book will definitely appeal to fans of Courtney Summers. 

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Release Date: September 24th, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For honest review


Seventeen-year-old Aderyn ("Ryn") only cares about two things: her family, and her family's graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don't always stay dead.
The risen corpses are known as "bone houses," and legend says that they're the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?
Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves. 

A spooky and atmospheric read that is the perfect novel to quench that Halloween thirst!

The risen corpses are known as "Bone Houses" and the legend has it that it's from a decades-old curse. What brings them about? Is anyone safe? And how can they be stopped? Dive in for a fast-paced tale that will have you completely spellbound!

I devoured this book! Its unique storyline will definitely give you those gothic folklore vibes! It is extremely well written; excellent character development and a storyline that was spread out perfectly! I adored Ryn. She is the kind of female lead that I wish I had in books when I was a young adult. She was fierce! She fought hard, against both humans and undead. She stood her ground and took care of her family. Ellis was also an excellent character. The author portrayed his chronic pain so well. It was almost I could start feeling it for him as I was reading. And the goat! I loved the goat! I am not much of a fantasy reader, but this one definitely hit the mark for me. It is fantastical, dark and thrilling! A beautifully crafted tale that was the perfect pick for my Halloween read!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Mini Review: Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

MINI REVIEW:
This was the perfect read to lose myself in during the Thanksgiving long weekend. It's a dark and atmospheric tale about 2 sisters. It was a gripping thriller that focuses on the complicated relationship between sisters Penny and Hattie. 
The story is told from Penny's point of view. This book is not similar in the storyline at all, but I could help but relate the characters to Sally and Gillian from Practical Magic. Penny is the more structured and sensible, dark-haired sister (like Sally) and Hattie, the free spirit, red-haired sister(like Gillian). It's likely just me making this comparison. 
Petrou's writing is very vivid. The story unraveling like a movie in your head, that is delivered at the perfect pace. It's a very character-driven novel and the author crafted them beautifully. It's a small, intimate character cast that just adds to the overall atmosphere of the book. I really enjoyed this book. A quick, unique read that was a great pick for the #readcanlit book club!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker

Release Date: August 6th, 2019
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Fiction | Romance
Pages: 378 Pages
Format: e-galley
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For Review

Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.
On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancĂ©—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.
Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.
The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.
Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.
I don't know what the heck I was expecting when going into this book, but whatever it was, it went far beyond it! 

I am embarrassed to say, that even though I have 3 others sitting on my bookshelf, this is my first K.A. Tucker, and now I completely see what all of the hype is about! Tucker focused heavily on character development in this novel, which I absolutely loved. We are immediately thrust into Piper's no non-sense world when we are introduced to her. She is VP at her dad's multi-million real estate development firm. And next in line to run the charge when her dad retires. Piper is a boss bitch! It is a male-dominated industry but Piper had no problem standing toe to toe. Girl power! The Spice Girls would be proud.

The book jumps back and forth between the present time and 2006, when Piper was a counselor at Camp Wawa, and where she first lays eyes on Kyle Miller. Let's just say that Tucker deserves an award in itself when it comes to character description if ya catch my drift! *wink, wink* 

Tucker then weaves together a complicated and beautiful story that tackles first loves, friendships, rekindled love and all the difficulties and messiness in between. Say You Still Love Me unfolds at the most painfully perfect pace. There were times that I just wanted to fast forward because the suspense was KILLING ME! But, I patiently waited and allowed the story to tell itself. I absolutely loved every minute of this book! I hate that I wanted so long to finally read this author but now I can say that I'm hooked!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Mini Review: What Happened That Night by Deanna Cameron

MINI REVIEW: 
Meet Clara. Clara's sister killed popular, golden boy neighbour, Griffin. Why? Only Clara knows. Will she come forward with the information? It's not as easy as you think.This book took an unexpected turn. It had more of a creepy vibe than I thought it would. What Happened That Night has some gut-wrenching moments that definitely tugged on my heart. The writing was great but the characters lacked some depth and emotion which is why I gave it 3.5 stars rather than 4. I felt the reactions of certain scenes really fell flat and weren't very realistic. The story itself really stands strong though and makes up for the characters. It's a page-turner that left me guessing on more than one occasion. The story alternates between 'before' and 'now' and the author did a great job at the delivery. It unfolded at a great pace that really intensifies the suspense. Overall, I liked it. I just wish the characters had a bit more depth.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Release Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Romance | Rom-Com
Pages: 368 Pages
Format: e-galley
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For Review


Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.
During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.
Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book and struggled between giving it 3 stars or 4. I settled for 3 only because of the ending. 

The first half of this book is amazing and really sucked me in. We meet 18-year-old Tate and 21-year-old Sam, who by the way, is the ultimate swoon-worthy character, hubba hubba! Complete strangers, while both vacationing in London, they quickly fall head over heels for each other. Until a turn of events changes both of their lives forever. And in the same breath, rips them apart. 

Fast forward 14 years, Tate is now a thriving Actress who has landed herself the role of a lifetime. During filming, Sam enters her life all over again and Tate is forced to confront the only man she has ever loved and who left her heart shattered into a million pieces. 

This is my first book by Christina Lauren's but it will not be my last. Her easy-breezy writing style makes you fall right into the story she has crafted and right in love with the characters she has penned. Tate's best friend was absolutely hilarious! She is the friend we all want in our lives. A ride or die, tell it like it is BFF. The book unfolded at a great pace. A little slow in parts but totally worth it. The only thing that left me a little disappointed was the ending. Given the build-up, it just wrapped up a little too quickly for me. However, it didn't deter me from my overall enjoyment of the book. I walked away loving the story I just read and the characters I met. I really look forward to reading more from this author! 

*Have you read Christina Lauren? What book would you recommend I read next?*

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Let's Discuss: Books That Left You With a Book Hangover

(photo cred: kellyangel.tumblr.com)

As devoted Bookworm's, we've all been there. We have finished a book that left us lost and unable to move onto another book. Enter: The Book Hangover
Book Term Glossary Defines Important Phrases For Book Lovers - from Huffington Post
(photo cred: epicreads.com)

2019 has been an amazing year for books! I have definitely suffered from many book hangovers this year! Below, are just some of the books that left me hung-the-F-over!

Verity

I read this book before the hype so I went in with very open expectations. Being my 3rd Hoover book, I was optimistic. It ended up turning my world upside down. I didn't care about eating or sleeping while reading this one! Verity was Life now!

Daisy Jones & The Six

Another one I read before the hype-storm. This book seemed to be an either 'love it or hate it' read for people. I LOVED it. I devoured it and became so invested in the characters. Like the band, I was left with a major hangover after this one. 

The Perfect Child

This is still one of my most recommended books this year! 

The Grief Keeper

One of my favourite Young Adult books this year. It was such a beautiful, relevant and unique read. 

The Friend Zone

READ THIS BOOK NOW!!!

The Whisper Man

READ THIS BOOK AFTER THE OTHER BOOK!!!

Recursion

Image result for mindblown gif

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

One of the most beautiful life stories I have ever read!

What books have left you with a Book Hangover?
Comment Below!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Release Date: September 10th, 2019
Publisher: Hachette Canada
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Pages: 384 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: WEBSITE

Buy the Book

In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
“How fitting, that the most terrifying time in my life should require me to do what I do best: escape into a book.” 

There are Ten Thousand and One things I want to say about this book but yet, I am left utterly speechless. I can say, without a doubt, that this is the most unique story I have ever read. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a fantastical, tug-on-your-heart-strings journey. It is so intelligently written and went far beyond any expectations I had for it. 

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a book that will tap itself into your very core. The child still living within you who's imagination is still running free, untainted, this book awakens that part of you. The world's, portals and characters came alive vividly, the words leaping off of the pages. It truly is a whimsical reading experience; as if the author cast her very own spell within the pages, creating a magical tale that will come to life before you, and stay with you long after you've finished. 

I am still awestruck. This is one of those books that one can go on and on about, but you will never truly grasp the extraordinary beauty of its story until you experience it on your own. A truly beautiful and heartening read that will leave you stirring. I miss it already.

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph
Release Date: August 20th, 2019
Publisher: Hachette Canada | Little Brown for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 336 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website

Buy the Book


Dove "Birdie" Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her: She quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she's on track to finish high school at the top of her class. But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a sweet boy with a troubled past...whom she knows her parents will never approve of.When her estranged aunt Carlene returns to Chicago and moves into the family's apartment above their hair salon, Birdie notices the tension building at home. Carlene is sweet, friendly, and open-minded--she's also spent decades in and out of treatment facilities for addiction. As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she's known to be true is turned upside down.

Brandy Colbert made me an instant fan the second I finished Little & Lion. It still remains one of my favourite YA reads and one of my most recommended. What Colbert does so greatly is the representation of her characters. Her books are inclusive. And she writes each character with such compassion and authenticity. 

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph is no different. With diverse characters and a realistic storyline, there will be many that will find this book relatable. Whether you are in the heart of your teenage years now or are looking back on your youth, you will find a part of yourself inside this book. Her writing style is one my my favourite qualities of her books. This story is a beautiful slow burn. She allows time for the characters' stories to unfold. No need for rushing. Everything revealed at a perfect pace. I adored Dove, aka Birdie and Laz. There closeness reminding me of my own friendships both past and present. I also loved her relationship with Booker, it was a great romantic touch to the novel but it didn't overtake the whole story. It was all just a part of Birdie's story. 

The Young Adult scene is coming alive with beautiful and diverse books, and The Revolution of Birdie Randolph is another stunning addition to the genre. I cannot wait for what else Brandy Colbert has in store!










Friday, August 16, 2019

Him by Clare Empson

Him
Release Date: August 23rd, 2019
Publisher: Orion Books | Hachette Book Group Canada
Genre: Thriller | Fiction
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website

Buy the Book

Big Little Lies meets 13 Reasons Why in this dark and suspenseful debut from a stunning new talent.
It all started with ... HIM.Catherine has become mute. She has witnessed something so disturbing that she simply can't speak - not to her husband, her children, or her friends. The doctors say the only way forward is to look into her past. Catherine needs to start with Him. Lucian.Catherine met the love of her life at university and was drawn into his elite circle of privileged, hedonistic friends. But one night it all falls apart and she leaves him, shattering his life forever.Still, fifteen years later, Lucian haunts every one of Catherine's quiet moments, and when they are unexpectedly reunited, their love reignites with explosive force.But they can't move on from what happened all those years ago. In fact, uncovering the truth will cause their lives to implode once again. This time, with disastrous consequences.

Wow! Just...Wow. I can't remember the last time a book has left me so completely speechless. The last time a book has left me in a puddle of emotion, struggling to gather myself and put it into words. Him by Clare Empson has taken me through a flurry of emotions. An unexpected dark tale of love that would make Shakespeare jealous!

Him tells the story of Catherine between past and present: 15 years ago, 4 months ago and now. Told both by Catherine and Lucian, we quickly get swept and tangled up inside the web of their lives, their passionate love affair, and the series of events that lead them to the present. Catherine and Lucian will embed themselves in your heart. They are sweet and tragic characters. The secondary character cast is just as outstanding. They bleed wealth, scandal and glamour, in almost a Great Gatsby-esque form.

What makes Him the stunning masterpiece that it is, is the brilliant writing style. It's so intelligently written. The author crafted an absolutely perfect plot with characters that will make your heart swell. It was a deliciously heartbreaking reading experience. 

This story took me by complete surprise. I had no idea how invested I would get with these characters and their stories. A gripping, thrilling and heartbreaking tale of love. 

Monday, August 5, 2019

Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

The Turn of the Key
Release Date: August 6th, 2019
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Genre: Thriller | Suspense
Pages: 384 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website

Buy the Book

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.It was everything.She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.
Turn of a Key is a spooky thriller that will curl its ghostly fingertips around you and keep you spellbound until you've reached the very end!

This is only my second Ruth Ware book but I have to say, she knows how to pen a real page-turner! I was completely captivated by this story, devouring it eagerly and left thinking about it during those painful times I couldn't be reading it. Turn of a Key follows Rowan Caine, a daycare employee that stumbles upon a job ad that is too good to be true. The novel unfolds at the perfect pace! Slowly unraveling bit by bit, amping up the thrilling and mysterious plot. The book is an eerie whodunnit that will have you eating out of the palm of its hand. 

I really loved Rowan's character. She is far more than meets the eye and I have to say, her twist was completely unpredictable and left me jaw dropped. I was stunned. It was pleasantly unexpected! Ware's writing style is impeccable, completely drawing you in, and leaving you wanting more after you've turned the last page. 

Turn of the Key was exactly what I want in a suspenseful thriller and more. Don't worry about getting too comfortable when settling in to read it, you'll just end up on the edge of your seat anyways! 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Someday We Will Fly by Rachel DeWoskin

Someday We Will Fly
Release Date: January 22nd, 2019
Publisher: Penguin Random House | Viking
Genre: Young Adult | Fiction
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website

Buy the Book


Warsaw, Poland. The year is 1940 and Lillia is 15 when her mother, Alenka, disappears and her father flees with Lillia and her younger sister, Naomi, to Shanghai, one of the few places that will accept Jews without visas. There they struggle to make a life; they have no money, there is little work, no decent place to live, a culture that doesn't understand them. And always the worry about Alenka. How will she find them? Is she still alive? 
Meanwhile Lillia is growing up, trying to care for Naomi, whose development is frighteningly slow, in part from malnourishment. Lillia finds an outlet for her artistic talent by making puppets, remembering the happy days in Warsaw when they were circus performers. She attends school sporadically, makes friends with Wei, a Chinese boy, and finds work as a performer at a "gentlemen's club" without her father's knowledge.
But meanwhile the conflict grows more intense as the Americans declare war and the Japanese force the Americans in Shanghai into camps. More bombing, more death. Can they survive, caught in the crossfire?


I have always been drawn to WWII historical fiction/non-fiction. There is something about that time period that has always spoken to me. Perhaps it's the need to hear the stories of those who lived and died by the tragedies that took place. To hear their voices. Now there is one voice that will always stay close to me, Lillia's. Someday We Will Fly delves into her touching and at times, heartbreaking story that will leave you completely changed long after you've finished the last page. 

Sadly, this was a part of WW2 history that I knew very little about, but I am grateful for Someday We Will Fly as it gave me the opportunity to learn more about this part of history. Though this book may be fiction, it brings forward many true events that took place.

The writing style in this book is lyrical. It flows off of the pages and comes to life as if you are watching the scenes dance right in front of you. It's slow pace building the story brick by brick, and keeping you captivated all at once. This book will bring many emotions to the surface. It will make you feel hopeful and at times completely at a loss. It will tug at your heartstrings and leave a strong impression on you. The author crafted each character with such compassion and delicacy. Though this book be fiction, she is giving voice to many people's stories that are no longer around to tell it. I believe if someone who went through this read this book, they would feel that it was represented authentically. 

There will be books that leave their imprint on you and this is one of them. It is intense and captivating. Though there is despair there is also so much beauty. Lillia's memories of the circus playing vividly in your imagination. Immersing you inside the story. I am so grateful that I had the privilege to read this book and to meet Lillia. Someday We Will Fly is a book that everyone should read at least once in their life.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

The Friend Zone
Release Date: June 11th, 2019
Publisher: Forever Romance | Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Romance | Fiction
Pages: 384 Pages
Format: Paperback
Source: From Publisher
Reason: Exchange for Honest Review
Find the Author: Website

Buy the Book


Kristen Petersen doesn't do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don't get her. She's also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend's wedding is bittersweet for Kristen—especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He's funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he'd be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it's harder and harder to keep him at arm's length.The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.
“Nothing offended me except for cauliflower and stupidity.” 

THAT ladies and gentleman is how you write a romantic comedy! In fact, that's how you write an epic story! This book, in its entirety, was absolutely amazing. I laughed, I cried, I swooned. I was completely immersed and invested. 

The Friend Zone is the entire package and so much more. It has light-heartedness but it is also real life. The characters are so relatable and you will fall in deep love with them immediately. The author did a spectacular job at translating the hardships of real life with such authenticity and compassion, while also adding some great comedic moments. I don't think I've ever laughed out loud so much while reading before. However, with great laughs, came some heavy moments as well. What each character deals with is something that is happening in people's lives, every single day. There were some moments that got really serious and left me in some serious tears. Abby Jimenez delivered an impactful story that will stay with me forever. 

The Friend Zone is far more than your average boy-meets-girl story. The relationships in this book go far beyond that. The Friend Zone is about friendships and dealing with real every day. the relationships between Sloan and Kristen and Brandon and Josh will really touch you. Kristen might just be my most favourite book character ever. Her no-nonsense personality and hilarious sense of humour had me loving her immediately. Josh, very quickly, earned himself the award of most swoon-worthy character. We can all thank Abby Jimenez for making us look at our significant others a little differently since being introduced to Josh!

 You do not have to be a fan of chick-lit or romance to enjoy this book. The Friend Zone will appeal to all audiences. It's genuine, heart-warming and overall a wonderful read. Definitely a favourite of the year! 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin

The Starter Wife
Release Date: June 11th, 2019
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing | Hachette Canada
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: Honest Review
Find the Author: Website

Buy the Book


Local police have announced that they're closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.


I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband's first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There's a big difference. My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it's an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static. When the voice does finally come, it's female, low, muffled somehow. "Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is."A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She's not just in my head.A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It's Colleen.

What a wild and morbidly fun ride! I have been on such a Thriller/Mystery suspense kick this year, and The Starter Wife definitely gave me everything I hoped for and more! 

The Starter Wife is a fast-paced thriller that will leave your head spinning! It's a quick read that packs a lot of punch in its 350 pages. I must say, I was left completely jaw-dropped by the twist. It was not what I was expecting at all. I had a completely different theory in place and it just got tossed to the wind. Well done! The author crafted fantastic characters. Each character was left with a bit of mystery to them. Leaving you to try and figure who each one truly is. 

Nina Laurin penned a riveting story that unfolded at the perfect pace. I am so glad that I have discovered yet another amazing author. I can't wait to check out her previous books and am excited to see what other thrills she has in store for us in the future! Exceptional writing paired with a completely unpredictable storyline made this book a gripping reading experience! 

If you're a fan of Gillian Flynn or you're looking for an epic page-turner, I highly recommend you check out this book! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Patron Saints of Nothing
Release Date: June 18th, 2019
Publisher: Kokila | Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin's murder.
Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth -- and the part he played in it.

This was such a moving and poignant story. It's books like this that make me cherish the young adult genre. YA has been taking a major step forward when it comes to diversity and penning stories that make you think, make you wonder, and make you want to take action. Patron Saints of Nothing is one of those books!

Patron Saints of Nothing stirs up just about every emotion imaginable. There were moments that I seethed with anger while others had me reading through tears. Jay's storytelling felt so authentic. The author created such a powerful voice in Jay, his narrative transporting me, bringing to light current events that I, sadly, knew little about. It is shockingly eye-opening!

 Ribay's lyrical writing style makes the story flow in such a poetic way, unfolding at the perfect pace. Compelling, strong and effective, Patron Saints of Nothing is a book that all should read. It should land itself in the libraries of schools and in the hands of students. Knowledge is power. The more we get these stories out there, the more power we have for change. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante

The Grief Keeper
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: Exchange for Honest Review
Find the Author: Website | @Magpiewrites on Instragram and Twitter
Buy the Book

Seventeen-year-old Marisol has always dreamed of being American, learning what Americans and the US are like from television and Mrs. Rosen, an elderly expat who had employed Marisol's mother as a maid. When she pictured an American life for herself, she dreamed of a life like Aimee and Amber's, the title characters of her favorite American TV show. She never pictured fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border as "an illegal", but after her brother is murdered and her younger sister, Gabi's, life is also placed in equal jeopardy, she has no choice, especially because she knows everything is her fault. If she had never fallen for the charms of a beautiful girl named Liliana, Pablo might still be alive, her mother wouldn't be in hiding and she and Gabi wouldn't have been caught crossing the border.
But they have been caught and their asylum request will most certainly be denied. With truly no options remaining, Marisol jumps at an unusual opportunity to stay in the United States. She's asked to become a grief keeper, taking the grief of another into her own body to save a life. It's a risky, experimental study, but if it means Marisol can keep her sister safe, she will risk anything. She just never imagined one of the risks would be falling in love, a love that may even be powerful enough to finally help her face her own crushing grief.The Grief Keeper is a tender tale that explores the heartbreak and consequences of when both love and human beings are branded illegal.
"You aren't an illegal. You're a person. You are a girl"

Firstly, can we address this absolutely stunning cover? It is the perfect representation of this story. Each time I'd pick the book up, I couldn't help but admire its beauty each time!

The Grief Keeper will sweep its arms around you and nestle itself right into your soul. The 2 main characters, Marisol and Rey will find a comfortable spot within your heart. You will be left completely changed by the time you are done with it.

Alexandra Villasante penned a heartbreaking tale that tackles immigration, grief, suicide and sexual orientation. She approaches each with such compassion and respect. The hardships of each matter were written with such authenticity; I feel that any person dealing with even just one of these issues would have felt greatly represented. The same goes for each character. Readers will relate to Marisol and Rey in some way or another.

The author's writing will transport you, as if you are alongside Marisol, Gabi, and Rey during their journey, rather than reading it. I was completely swept up in their worlds, invested. I had to suppress the urge to devour this book because I feel it is one that should be savoured, taking your time reading it. Not taking the risk of missing even one word. 

The Grief Keeper is such a unique concept. Unlike anything I have ever read. It begs the question: Would you be a grief keeper? Would you take the grief of a stranger to give yourself a chance at a better, safer life? Or a loved so they are no longer suffering? No longer in crippling pain? Or, on the other side, would you allow someone else to take your grief from you? Every painful emotion weighing you down, being given to someone else to bear?

The Grief Keeper is a touching story of the lengths one would go to for their loved ones. For a new chance at life. A life they are deserving of. It is about self-discovery and perseverance. It's books like this that make me a proud reader. I couldn't imagine missing out on this story! Though listed as a Young Adult, The Grief Keeper should find itself in the hands of all readers. You will not be sorry and will be forever changed after reading their story.

Monday, June 3, 2019

One More Lie by Amy Lloyd

One More Lie
Release Date: April 4th, 2019
Publisher: Century
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 400 Pages
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley
Reason: Honest Review

Charlotte wants to start fresh. She wants to forget her past, forget prison and, most of all, forget Sean. But old habits die hard. Despite the ankle monitor she must wear as part of her parole agreement and frequent visits to her therapist, she soon finds herself sliding back toward the type of behavior that sent her to prison in the first place. The further down that path she goes, however, the closer she gets to the crime that put her in prison all those years ago. And that's the one memory she can't face. Until, one day, Sean tracks her down.



One More Lie is a chilling and disturbing ride. This psychological thriller takes you through the past and present of 2 lives, Charlotte and Sean, and really happened on the day that changed everything.

This book is a very heavily character-driven novel. The character development builds up strongly throughout the entire novel. You will be lead through believing certain things, but do not underestimate a person, what you see is not always what you get!

Amy Lloyd does a spectacular job at the pacing of One More Lie. The story unfolds unhurriedly as we are taken between the past and the present. Trying to piece together Charlotte's memory that lead to that fateful day.

Charlotte is a character that you immediately empathize with. Even though she is now an adult, she still remains almost child-like. She suffered through some pretty traumatic events at such a young age that will make your heartache. Sean is just as in-depth. You almost immediately peg him as the trouble maker but something keeps hinting that there is more than meets the eye. Charlotte and Sean's lives intertwine at a young age, and they remain in a tangled web together. Their story is just as important as the main story at hand. You need a clean understand of their relationship together to understand what prompted the most horrific crimes in Britain.

One More Life is the whole package. Gripping and shocking, it will leave you wide-eyed and jaw-dropped until the very last sentence!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife
Release Date: March 26th, 2019
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 374 Pages
Format: Egalley
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book

Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut thriller about a couple whose fifteen-year marriage has finally gotten too interesting...
We look like a normal couple. We're your neighbors, the parents of your kid's friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with.
We all have secrets to keeping a marriage alive.
Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.

Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored.



Whoa, Nelly! What a sinfully delicious book this was! My Lovely Wife will satisfy your craving for a dark, psychological thriller! 

When this book was being described as Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I knew I had to give it a try! My Lovely Wife does not disappoint! It ticks all the boxes and so much more when it comes to a suspenseful thriller. In-depth characters, a masterful storyline that keeps you on the edge of your seat, risking papercuts because you are flying through the pages so fast, and a big bang of an ending. It was a wickedly good read. 

My Lovely Wife tells that story of Millicent, her husband, and their white picket fence family. From the outside, it looks like they have the perfect marriage, but their idea of a date night is far different than yours...at least I hope it is... Samatha Downing penned a brilliant and edgy story with characters that you'll come to both love and hate. Millicent was an outstanding character! Although the book isn't told from her perspective, she dominates the story. She is a very strong character. The author crafted a flawless plot that unfolds at a perfect pace. You will eagerly fly through this book, dying to know how it ends!

My Lovely Wife is an epic fast-paced thriller! I would love to see this hit the small or big screen! I couldn't help but picture Jessica Chastain as Millicent and would love to see these characters brought to life. This would make a fantastic, binge-worthy series!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Testimony from Your Perfect Girl by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Testimony from Your Perfect Girl
Release Date: May 14th, 2019
Publisher: Putnam | Penguin Teen
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 272 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Instagram | Facebook
Buy the Book


Annie Tripp has everything she needs--Italian sweaters, vintage chandelier earrings, and elite ice skating lessons--but all that changes when her father is accused of scamming hundreds of people out of their investments. Annie knows her dad wasn't at fault, but she and her brother are exiled to their estranged aunt and uncle's house in a run-down part of Breckenridge--until the trial blows over.

Life with her new family isn't quite up to Annie's usual standard of living, but surprisingly, pretending to be someone else offers a freedom she's never known. As Annie starts to make real friends for the first time, she realizes she has more in common with her aunt and uncle than she ever wanted to know. As the family's lies begin to crumble and truths demand consequences, Annie must decide which secrets need to see the light of day . . . and which are worth keeping.

I am a HUGE fan of Kaui Hart Hemmings. I loved The Descendants and Juniors, so to say I was stoked to receive this in the mail would be an understatement! 

Testimony from Your Perfect Girl is a quick, easy read! I breezed right through it and enjoyed the reading experience. 

Kaui Hart Hemmings knows how to craft in-depth characters! This novel is a very character driven novel. This book has a great plotline but if the characters fall flat, the story would have as well. That is not the case with this book! Whether you love them or hate them, they stand out and carry the story!  Annie was not my most favourite character but I don't think she want meant to be adored. She is spoiled, and it comes off very strong throughout the book, which I believe was intentional for the author. I mean, what teenage girl who is used to having things her way would adjust well to her life being drastically changed? I think the author portrayed that character trait beautifully! I loved her brother Jay, he provided some comedic moments throughout the book.

 Testimony from Your Perfect Girl makes for a fantastic Summer read. It's quick but has a lot of heart. It that tackles the hardships of growing up, especially when your problems are now in the public eye. Looking forward to what else Kaui Hart Hemmings has in store for us in the future!

Monday, May 20, 2019

No Exit by Taylor Adams

No Exit
Release Date: January 15h, 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Suspense | Mystery
Pages: 336 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside, are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.
Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.But who can she trust? 

What. A. Ride!! You're going to want to buckle up for this one because it's going to take you on one wild ride!

No Exit far exceeded my expectations. I've been hearing how great it is but I was not expecting just how intense and gripping this book was going to get! 

It was a bit of a busy week/weekend for me so I was squeezing in reading whenever I could, and I can tell you that it took so much effort to have to put the book down. It was painful, actually. When I couldn't be reading it, all I could do was think about it. Today, I had nothing to do so I knew I was going to relax out in the sun and devour this wild story. 

No Exit hurls twist after twist at you. Sending your mind down a deep spiral of theories and explanations, and debunking each one just as quick. The author penned such a sophisticated storyline. The twists and sudden developments left you in a delicious entanglement that leaves you flying through the pages hungrily. 

Each character adds so much value to the plot. It's a small character cast which offers the opportunity for each one to shine. Although this book is dark and chilling, it had a humorous undertone. Darby's quick wit and sarcastic charm provided some comedic relief throughout the entire novel. 

This book is a powerhouse! It packs so much punch that will leave your mind reeling. The flawless writing paired with the intense storyline seemed effortless for the author. What a storyteller Taylor Adams is! I loved every minute of this dark and bloody tale. If books were given standing ovations, this would get one that would make Quentin Tarantino jealous! 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Two Can Keep a Secret
Release Date: January 8th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 336 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book


Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone's declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself.
“When you come into the world with another person, they’re as much a part of you as your heartbeat.” 

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THAT, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how you write a book! Damn! Karen M. McManus proved herself to be a masterful storyteller when she penned One of Us is Lying but Two Can Keep a Secret is an even more delicious thriller that you'll eagerly gobble up.

Two Can Keep a Secret is a heart-pounding thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. The story unfolds through two perspectives, Ellery and Malcolm. Ellery, a True Crime Buff(like myself) finds herself getting deeply invested in the mysterious happenings of Echo Ridge. Her aunt had vanished there at seventeen years old, her disappearance left unsolved, and now more menacing threats are terrorizing the town. Ellery is determined to get to the bottom of it, including the truth of what happened to her aunt. Malcolm was a great perspective to read through. His point-of-view dealt more with the murder that his brother, Declan, found himself in the center of. Both perspectives added great depth to the story. McManus crafted very relatable and powerful characters, both the main and secondary characters.

Two Can Keep a Secret is far from your typical YA Thriller. McManus penned such an intricate web of storylines that you are pushed and pulled every which way. Just when you think you have it all figured out you are spun in the other direction, left guessing until the very end!

I enjoyed every minute of the wild ride that Two Can Keep a Secret took me on. It was thrilling, suspenseful and left me jaw-dropped with its twist of an ending. Karen M. McManus has easily become a favourite author of mine. I can't wait to devour her future work!

Monday, May 6, 2019

The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry

The Perfect Child
Release Date: March 1st, 2019
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 370 Pages
Format: egalley
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.
But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.Hannah knows that Janie is manipulating Christopher and isolating him from her, despite Hannah’s attempts to bring them all together. But as Janie’s behavior threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge. 

“I wished I were as optimistic as I pretended. I used to be. Not anymore.” 

This was one of the most spectacular, well-crafted reads I have read in a very long time. It is a thrill ride packed with suspense, fantastic characters and a wild storyline.

The Perfect Child delves into the lives of Hannah and Christopher Bauer, a married couple eager to become parents. After a sequence of events, they come to adopt, Janie, an abandoned child that turned up at the hospital that Hannah and Christopher both work at. The 'perfect' life they had imagined as parents were anything but. It's absolutely horrific. The story is told from 3 perspectives, Hannah's, Christopher's and Piper's, the CPS worker. This delivery really added to the intensity of the reading experience. It allowed the story to unfold at such a perfect face. Keeping you on the edge of your seat the entire time. 

The writing, superb. It was flawless, as was the storytelling. Lucinda Berry delivered an intense read that will both make your heart ache and wrench almost simultaneously. She crafted such memorable characters. Both Christopher and Hannah will find their way into your heart. Their story is one that many can relate, too. Many couples deal with the struggles of trying to have a family and I feel that the author captured all of those emotions beautifully. I also feel she gave an authentic voice to her characters when it came to the struggles of being new parents. Piper was another spectacular character and I really loved seeing things from her point of view. Janie, what can I say? The Perfect Child? Well, you'll just have to read it to find out!

This was my first book by Lucinda Berry but I can absolutely assure you that it will not be last! She has made me an instant fan and I cannot wait to lose my self in another one of her stories! 


 
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