Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Guilty by Laura Elliott

Guilty
Release Date: May 7th, 2019
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 400 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

It begins with a phone call. It ends with a missing child. 
On a warm summer’s morning, thirteen-year-old school girl Constance Lawson is reported missing. A few days later, Constance’s uncle, Karl Lawson suddenly finds himself swept up in a media frenzy created by journalist Amanda Bowe implying that he is the prime suspect. Six years later … Karl’s life is in ruins. His marriage is over, his family destroyed. But the woman who took everything away from him is thriving. With a successful career, husband and a gorgeous baby boy, Amanda’s world is complete. Until the day she receives a phone call and in a heartbeat, she is plunged into every mother’s worst nightmare.
Guilty tells the story of 13-year-old Constance Lawson who is reported missing. It doesn't take long for the media to catch fire and point at Karl Lawson, Constance's uncle as the prime suspect.

For the most part, I liked this read. It is told in 4 parts but I feel like it could have been done in 2 or just avoided the separation entirely.  
It does move slowly at times; the first half of the book moved fairly quickly and kept my attention. However, the 3rd and the early stage of part 4 was a bit of a slower pace. I do believe the pace was the author's intention. It definitely builds up the suspense! I was just riding the wave from the first half that I was hoping it would keep that momentum throughout. 

Having said that, there were points that I absolutely loved. The characters. Guilty is a character-driven novel and they were very well crafted! We were given in-depth back stories that gave us a clear picture of why they are the way they are now, and why they are making the decisions they are making. The author penned exceptional characters. There was nothing perfect or sugar-coated about them. They were raw, imperfect human beings.

Overall, I enjoyed Guilty! As a psychological thriller, it definitely hits the mark! It's heart-wrenching and painfully honest in regards to Constance and her disappearance. The rest is deep, dark and eerie.  

Monday, April 22, 2019

You Must Not Miss by Katrina Leno

You Must Not Miss
Release Date: April 23rd, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 304 Pages
Format: Advanced Readers Copy
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
By the Book

Magpie Lewis started writing in her yellow notebook the day her family self-destructed. That was the night Eryn, Magpie's sister, skipped town and left her to fend for herself. That was the night of Brandon Phipp's party.
Now, Magpie is called a slut whenever she walks down the hallways of her high school, her former best friend won't speak to her, and she spends her lunch period with a group of misfits who've all been socially exiled like she has. And so, feeling trapped and forgotten, Magpie retreats to her notebook, dreaming up a place called Near.Near is perfect--somewhere where her father never cheated, her mother never drank, and Magpie's own life never derailed so suddenly. She imagines Near so completely, so fully, that she writes it into existence, right in her own backyard. It's a place where she can have anything she wants...even revenge.

"She let this word into her heart, creepy; she opened up a tiny door for it to crawl in and settle among the blood; she felt it pumping in time with the little chambers in there, settling in to the rhythm of her body."

When I first came across the beautiful cover and the enticing synopsis I couldn't resist reading this book! It pulls you in immediately, before you read the first page.

This book was both heartbreaking and brilliantly bizarre. A beautifully written yet tragic story about a girl named Margaret "Magpie" Lewis. The book comes from Magpie's perspective and it's a tough perspective to live in. Magpie is dealing with more than her fair share of harsh circumstances and these circumstances made for some hard moments to read. Although this book is only 300 pages, and reads quickly, I had to take a few moments every so often to digest the story. Magpie is painfully honest and raw and living in her worlds made for an emotional reading experience. 

You Must Not Miss is a very intimate read. Magpie's candor paired with a small character cast gives you a private viewing of her life and there were moments where I almost felt intrusive. Kudos to the author for crafting such an experience.

This book took a turn I did not expect it to go. For a good half of the novel I thought I had predicted the ending only to have it twist a different way. I loved that it was not as predictable as I thought! Despite its tough storyline, I am really happy I had the opportunity to read this book. It tackles a lot of big issues: Sexual assault, alcoholism, mental health and the consequences of what rumours can do, it approaches all of these issues with an honest point of view. 

You Must Not Miss is a unique story that definitely murges the worlds of fantasy and fiction. It is gritty, raw and powerful. This was my first book by Katrina Leno but I look forward to devouring her previous and future work!

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Book Adaptations Coming to the Big and Little Screens

Some pretty epic book adaptations are on their way to hitting the big screens or coming to us in the form of delicious, binge-worthy tv series'. Below are just a few of the gems coming our way!


Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Bernadette Fox seems to have it all -- a beautiful home, a loving husband and a brilliant teenage daughter. When Bernadette suddenly disappears, her concerned family sets off on an exciting adventure to solve the mystery of where she might have gone.
Release Date: August 9, 2019
Check out the Trailer


The Woman in the Window
A woman who's afraid to leave her house witnesses a crime while spying on her neighbors.
Release Date: October 4, 2019 


All the Bright Places
All the Bright Places is an upcoming American drama romance film, directed by Brett Haley, from a screenplay by Jennifer Niven and Liz Hannah, based upon the novel of the same name by Niven. It stars Elle Fanning and Justice Smith. 

Release Date: 2019


The Goldfinch
A boy is taken in by a wealthy family after his mother dies in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Release Date: September 13, 2019 


Good Omens
An angel and a demon must join forces to find a way to save the world as the end of time grows near with the approaching Armageddon.
Release Date:  2019
Check out the Trailer


Catch-22
Incomparable artful dodger Yossarian, a U.S. Air Force bombardier in World War II, is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him; if he attempts to avoid his military assignments, he will be in violation of Catch-22.
Release Date: May 17, 2019
Check out the Trailer

Which one are you most excited about? 
I think I am most excited for All the Bright Places!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Pet Sematary
Release Date: February 26th, 2019(Movie Tie-In)
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Horror
Pages: 395 Pages
Series: None
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website

When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Despite Ludlow’s tranquility, an undercurrent of danger exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing…as is evidenced by the makeshift graveyard in the nearby woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets. Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard where another burial ground lures with seductive promises and ungodly temptations. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there—one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. As Louis is about to discover for himself sometimes, dead is better

“I’m going crazy, Louis thought wonderingly. Wheeeeee!”  

I am making my way through Stephen King's work, my own personal bookworm challenge! This is my fourth by King. I have to admit, I may be cheating a little by making my way through his thinner books before I tackle the heftier ones...I'm looking at you IT!

I enjoyed Pet Sematary for the most part. As a child, I was a big fan of the movie, I thought it was super creepy, especially Pascow and Zelda's characters. I shudder just thinking about them. Their characters creeped me out just as much in the book. They were well-written and added a spook factor to the story. Louis was also a spectacular character. Watching him become more unhinged as the story unfolded added that extra thrill to the reading experience. 

Having said all that, I did find that the book dragged on a bit. In my opinion, there was a lot of dialogue that we could have done without. A lot of it just felt like filler. The ending was exciting and fast-paced but I wish there was more of that "page-turning" vibe like his previous books that I have read. A lot of people have said that this is one of King's scariest novels, however, it did not scare me at all. I will say, being a bit of a horror movie fanatic, I am a little harder to spook. I'd say Pet Sematary is more eerie and macabre rather than scary. 

Overall, I enjoyed this novel, and have yet to be disappointed by King's stories. I am definitely understanding more and more how he has built such a horror empire and fan base! On to the next! 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The Six
Release Date: March 5th, 209
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 368 Pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

“We love broken, beautiful people. And it doesn't get much more obviously broken and more classically beautiful than Daisy Jones.”  

Every once and a while you will come across a book that will completely embed itself into your heart and soul. Despite the fact that the story is fictional, it's characters not real, it will nestle itself deep within you and leave an imprint that only a small few have done before. This book did exactly that. Daisy Jones and the Six has buried itself into my heart and will stay there forever. 

Daisy Jones and the Six follows the rise and eventual fall of the fictional band by the same name. It is a cocaine-fulled, whiskey-soaked, rock n' roll adventure that will have your heart pounding, aching and breaking. Taylor Jenkins Reid created magic. She penned some of the most diverse characters that you will fall utterly in love/hate with. You will love these characters so fiercely that they will bring to the surface some of your deepest emotions. They will make you laugh, cry, cringe and bubble with anger. It is one brilliant dysfunctional family. 

The story unfolds in an interview style with each character, and I loved that delivery. I found it really gave us a personal and intimate reading experience rather than the book told to us through multiple perspectives through chapters or through the point of view of the author. The delivery really added to the beautiful tone of the novel. 

This was my first book by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but it will not be my last. Her writing is absolutely impeccable. Flawless. Her words flowed lyrically off of the pages. The story was so expressive and emotional. 

Daisy Jones and the Six is a beautiful chaos that will leave you breathless. Cancel your plans because you will not be able to put this book down until you finish! 

**I also learned that this is being adapted into an Amazon series! Whoo hoo!**


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

On the Come Up
Release Date: February 5th, 2019
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 447 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon


Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.
“Sometimes she's my personal Yoda. If Yoda was a woman and had a gold grill. Unfortunately, she doesn't know who Yoda is.” 

You know that moment after you finish a book where you close it, clutch it to your heart and let out a sigh? You just sit there for a few more moments with your eyes closed, collecting yourself. I am going to start calling those the 'Angie Thomas Moments', because I had the same thing happen with The Hate U Give and now with On the Come Up

Angie Thomas's second book On the Come Up was just as beautiful, honest and heartfelt as her first. On the Come Up, also taking place in Garden Heights, tells the story of Bri, a 16-year-old girl who is going after her dream of becoming a female rapper. 

As we know with Angie Thomas, this story does not come without its hardships and difficulties. She writes deep and powerful novels that tackle real and relevant issues, and that stays true with On the Come Up. As the story unfolds, Bri and her family are trying to survive through some of life's hardest hands and situations. It's through these emotional times that Bri turns to her music. Her anger, hurt, frustrations, and sadness comes out in her rhymes. Her lyrics leaping off of the pages and swirling around you. It made for a really powerful reading experience. 


Bri was such a compelling character. She was smart, talented and funny! She gave this book so much personality! I found myself smiling or laughing my way through a lot of it. Bri may be the main star of On the Come Up but all of the characters brought this novel home. Malik and Sonny, her best friends, were fantastic. They were heart-warming and funny. 


I was not surprised one bit that I loved this novel. Angie Thomas had me hooked since her debut. She will be an auto-buy author of mine from here on out. I eagerly look forward to her future work, but until then, will happily re-read her previous novels to tide me over. 
 
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