Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I know that it's technically New Years Eve right now but I really wanted to get this post up.

Do you have any New Years resolutions or goals? I have a few.

- Exercise more! There's a nice park near my house with a path lined with trees. I need to get more fresh air.

- Finish the first draft of my novel. I've been working on it for a long time and I keep abandoning it, but I really want to get it done.

- Read more! In 2016 there was a period of time when I didn't read as much because I got Netflix. This year, I won't let Netflix get in the way of my reading time.

- Go to university. I am applying to university with hopes of being accepted for the 2017 autumn semester.

That's about it for my goals and resolutions for 2017.

My Goodreads reading challenge this year was to read 40 books. I achieved my goal, and as of right now I have actually read 53 books! According to Goodreads, I read 16,770 pages worth of books! That is currently my record. Maybe in 2017, I can reach 20,000 pages. I think my reading challenge goal for 2017 will be 50 books.

What was your reading challenge goal? Did you complete it? How many books do you want to read in 2017? Do you have any New Years resolutions or goals?

Monday, 26 December 2016

Summer by Jeff Mariotte


 Series: Witch Season
Author: Jeff Mariotte
Page Count: 324
Published: July 6th, 2004
Publisher: Simon Pulse
  4 Stars ★★★★

Kerry is far away from home, working a summer job at a resort and staying with some new friends. One night, she returns home to find a man laying on her lawn, possibly near death. Against the wishes of her roommates, she brings him into their home for the night. 

His name is Daniel Blessing, and he explains that he is searching for a witch named Season. She's dangerous, she killed his brother, and she is now after Kerry and her friends. While Kerry starts to fall for Daniel, she realizes that they're all in danger, and she joins in on the hunt for Season. But a witch this powerful is hard to find, and even harder to kill. 

I was mostly impressed with this book, especially with it's take on witches and the conflict between Daniel and Season. Firstly, the powers that the witches had were often brutal or harmful, which is an interesting change from the generally more glamorous magic of witches in other books. For example, when Kerry finds Daniel, he's in horrible condition, with gashes and bleeding to the point that she fears that he will die. This violent style of magic added an air of horror to the novel, especially with Daniel's journals.

Daniel's journals, as mentioned, were provided to Kerry because she wanted to learn more about the whole situation. I really appreciated them, as a reader, because they filled in not only Kerry, but also myself, on the conflict between Daniel and Season. With great detail, often providing more clues to who Daniel was as a character and a person, it assisted in understanding Daniel's relationship with Season, and gave a great back story filled with death and vengeance. Several of Kerry's journal entries are also provided, which gives the reader a glance into her own mind and thoughts, which I also really enjoyed.

I had a bit of an issue with the length of the book. I feel like it was much too short for the story, and I wish that the events had taken place over a longer period of time, and that the author had devoted more effort to characterization. I say this because certain parts of the book felt way too rushed, and I didn't receive as much detail about the general happenings as I wish I had. While the journals and the third person narration went over the events adequately, I feel like something was missing. 

I also thought that the romance wasn't well thought out. Kerry seems to fall for Daniel far too quickly, and the author tries to frame her feelings for him as actual love, while they come across more as infatuation. Certainly, love can be evolved from infatuation, however the author did not convince me that Kerry's feelings for Daniel, and vice versa, were genuine as opposed to a crush.

I found this to be a very enjoyable read, and I am hoping that the issues I found within this first book will be solved in the second! I recommend this book to those who like stories about magic. If you're interested in a book including witches, vengeance, and a darker kind of sorcery, this is a great pick.

Friday, 23 December 2016

50/50 Friday - Sidekicks

This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is sidekick deserving of a spinoff / better off with the group


Sidekick Deserving of a Spinoff

Ghastly Bespoke from Skulduggery Pleasant most certainly deserves his own spinoff. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us *cries* but if he were, I think he'd deserve his own spinoff series. Or perhaps a prequel focusing on his life before the first Skulduggery Pleasant novel. 

Better Off with the Group

China Sorrows is much better off with the group, in my opinion. I might think this just because I hate her but.... I don't know if I'd enjoy a spinoff based on her. 

What characters would you like to see have their own spinoff, and which should stay with the group?

Monday, 19 December 2016

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater


   Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Page Count: 360
Published: July 13th, 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Press
  4 Stars ★★★★ 

Sam believes that he's been cured of being a werewolf and that he's going to stay a human for good. He and Grace are happy about this, but they have to consider their pasts and what they want for their future. With Sam hopeful that everything will work out and Grace dealing with tensions within her family, things get a bit more complicated when a new werewolf is brought into the mix.

Cole is adjusting to life as a werewolf, but he seems happy to escape his human life and his status as a rock star. But beneath his arrogant and confident demeanor lies unresolved issues. With the worry that he'll be spotted and that his location will be revealed to the world, Grace and Sam have a whole other problem to deal with.

Personally, I found Linger to be a lot slower than Shiver, and I thought it seemed more character-driven than plot-driven. While it had a great cliff-hanger ending and has made me excited to read the next book, I feel that it didn't live up to it's full potential, especially compared to Shiver.

I was glad to read more about one of my favourite couples in YA, Sam and Grace. I think they're so sweet together! Sam is such a sweetheart, with his concern and love for Grace, and of course, his passion for music. I like Grace because she's so ordinary, she's just a girl who got swept up into a paranormal world because of her interaction with, and love for Sam, and I think that this is a nice change from the whole "chosen one" or "secret past" trends within many YA books. One thing that has made me excited to continue reading this series is my interest in Sam and Grace's relationship and my hope that everything works out for them! I have to know how it ends with them, so I know I will definitely finish this series, even if the rest of the books aren't as great as the first.

Cole was an interesting character because I couldn't decide whether I liked him or not. He was kind of annoying with his arrogance and cockiness, however he had more beneath the surface and his own personal struggles. I thought his evolving relationship with Isabel was a nice touch and I was worried that I might find it turning cliche in the end, but I never found it to be that way at all.

I really like Maggie Stiefvater's interpretation of werewolves because it's not just a paranormal phenomenon within her books, but there's a bit of a scientific basis to it. Discussions of a possible cure throughout the book intrigued me because I wanted to learn more about werewolves and how they worked in this book's universe. Along with Sam and Grace's relationship, I'm going to be reading the rest of the books in this series with an anticipation for the conclusion of Sam's research for a cure. 

Overall, while slightly disappointing, this was still an enjoyable read and I can't wait to see how everything works out in the end. I recommend this series to fans of werewolves and YA fiction! If you like romance with your werewolves, this series is a must-read. 

Friday, 16 December 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas Book Tag

So, I suppose I wasn't actually tagged specifically to do this feature, but a post at Metaphors and Moonlight technically tags anyone who wants to take part in it, so.....

A Partridge in a Pear Tree: Favourite Stand Alone Book?

 Unnatural Deeds

This is a hard one, because there are many stand alone books that I've really enjoyed. I'm going to have to say Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog, though, because it kept me up reading all night and I think it was just amazing. 

Two Turtle Doves: Fictional OTP / Favourite Ship?

 Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)

Oh my goodness, this is another hard one! I'm gong to choose Grace and Sam from Shiver because Sam is such a sweet guy and Grace loves him so much!

Three French Hens: Favourite Trilogy?

Eve (Eve, #1)

The Eve trilogy by Anna Carey is an amazing dystopian trilogy! Eve is a strong main character, Caleb is a great love interest, and the world that the book takes place in is amazing. 

Four Calling Birds: Favourite Fictional Beast / Creature?

Nevermore (Nevermore, #1)

The Nocs from Nevermore take this spot on the list! They're like no fictional creature I have ever read about before. 

Five Golden Rings: Show Five Golden Books

Betrayal (The Descendants, #1) 11112619 The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1) 
 Girl on the Golden Coin: A Novel of Frances Stuart 9559404

I haven't read most of these, but they look nice! And they've all got at least a bit of gold on the cover...whether that be the dress or the background. I know that Fever barely has any gold but I think her dress counts as gold. 

Six Geese a Laying: Rotten Egg - What's Your Least Favourite Book?

Fallen Angel (Fallen Angel, #1)

There are many books I have read that I really didn't like. Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell is only one of them. It wasn't the worst book in the history of books, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Seven Swans a Swimming: Show a Book with Water on the Cover

Seven Tears Into the Sea

This book has water on the cover, and it was good, too. 

Eight Maids a Milking: What Fictional Food do you Wish you Could Taste?

 The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

I honestly do not know. I can't recall any books with food that doesn't exist that I wish I could try. This sounds like a question for people who read a lot of fantasy? It makes me think of fantasy worlds with bizarre foods that don't exist in the real world. So, here is The Hunger Games, because I can't think of anything for this category 😜

Nine Ladies Dancing: Favourite Dance Between Two Characters?

 Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

I also haven't read a lot of books with characters dancing together, but Cinder and Kai's dance from Cinder was a great scene.

Ten Lords a Leaping: Favourite Book to Movie Adaptation?

 Twilight (Twilight, #1)

So none of the book to movie adaptations that I've watched have been absolutely amazing, which makes this another tough question to answer, but I am going to have to choose Twilight. I just like the film, I like the atmosphere, I like the way it was filmed.

Eleven Pipers Piping: Favourite Book to Movie Soundtrack?

 The Phantom of the Opera

So I know that the version I am talking about here is technically the broadway version, so it's not originally a movie soundtrack in itself. However, it was eventually made into a movie. I would have chosen this for number ten, but because it was originally on broadway and doesn't actually stay very true to the original novel, in my opinion, I feel like it wouldn't fit.

Twelve Drummers Drumming: It's the End of the Song; What's Your Favourite Book Ending?

The Dying of the Light (Skulduggery Pleasant, #9)

You didn't actually think that I'd get through such a long list without at least one book from the Skulduggery Pleasant series, did you? The ending of the ninth book was just amazing. It tore my heart apart and then haphazardly glued it back together again. Derek Landy is a cruel, cruel author, but he is one of the best authors I have ever come across. 

What do you think of my choices? If you've completed this tag, leave a link to your blog post in the comments!

Monday, 12 December 2016

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready


Series: Shade
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Page Count: 309
Published: May 4th, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
  3.5 Stars ★★★

Aura was born after the Shift, which means that she can see ghosts. She wonders why the Shift actually happened in the first place, and she wishes that she could reverse it so she could live without having to listen to ghosts tell her their stories or demand justice all the time.

When her boyfriend Logan suddenly dies, Aura is devastated. But because of the Shift, she finds herself able to talk with him, spend time with him, and pretend that he's still truly here with her. With the new boy, Zachary, being so supportive of everything that's going on, her feelings become conflicted and she's not sure if she really wants to be with Logan anymore. 

The idea of many people being able to see ghosts seemed very original to me. Upon reading this book, I can say that I was very interested in the theories that Aura had concerning the Shift, and I want to know what caused it! I think that was my favourite part about this book. 

However, I feel like the way that the world had evolved after the Shift didn't seem to really add up to me. I understand taking measures to keep ghosts out of public areas, I understand making new police or government forces to keep ghosts in line. But the way that people acted when their loved ones died seemed not to match up with what they had discovered.

You'd think that after learning that ghosts and an afterlife of sorts exists, people would be calmer concerning death. Yet, the culture surrounding death didn't really change, people still found themselves absolutely devastated and stuck on their personal beliefs surrounding death. This didn't make sense to me, and unfortunately it made the world that Aura lived in seem a little less real to me. 

Aside from that, I found it unrealistic how quickly Aura developed a crush on another guy after her boyfriend passes away. I mean, not only is she upset about his death, but she actually can still hang out with him and have some sort of relationship with him. So why would she start having all these feelings for Zachary? She barely knows him, yet she's getting butterflies in his presence. Meanwhile, she supposedly loves Logan with all her heart, and he's still there! This didn't add up to me either.

I'm not sure if I'll read the sequel, but I might decide to because I want to know more about the Shift! As I mentioned, this was the best aspect of the book, in my opinion. I can only hope that the world and character's relationships will start to make more sense to me in the next book. 

If you want a book about ghosts with original ideas, you'll like this one. If you're interested in romantic YA books, this novel is for you.

Friday, 9 December 2016

50/50 Friday - Favorite/Least Favorite MC

This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is favorite /  least favorite MC


 Image result for stolen lucy christopher

So, I was just going to answer Skulduggery Pleasant because he is one of my most favorite MCs, but I keep featuring Derek Landy's books and characters and it's getting a bit repetitive! So, this week I decided to choose a character from another book that I enjoy.
I've chosen Gemma from Stolen by Lucy Christopher. I like her because she's strong, she doesn't give up, and she's compassionate. 

Least Favorite

Related image 

Zoey from Marked has to be my pick for this one. While I am going to continue reading the House of Night series because I am curious about how the characters evolve and about the world itself, Zoey as a person is shallow, judgemental, and sometimes immature. I like her story, but I can't say that I like her at this point.

What do you think of the main characters from these books?

Monday, 5 December 2016

The Coven by Cate Tiernan


 Series: Sweep
Author: Cate Tiernan
Page Count: 185
Published: March 22nd, 2007
Publisher: Speak
  3 Stars ★★★

Morgan is a blood witch with strong magickal powers and a personal tie to witchcraft. After Samhain, she and Cal become a couple and, as a result, she finds herself targeted by her former friend, Bree. Aside from all the drama between current and former coven members, Morgan has to deal with a startling revelation, a revelation that may change her life forever: she's adopted. But who were her biological parents? And are the ex-coven members planning something against her and Cal?

I can confidently say that this book was a disappointment. I enjoyed the first book so much, but all of the things that I liked from the first book weren't enough to redeem the second. Unfortunately, I won't be continuing the series. 

Any previous connection I felt to the characters was gone. Instead of seeing Morgan as curious, brave and likeable, I found her rather irritating. Her narration seemed almost whiny at times, and I was always counting the pages left until I could finish the book. Cal seemed empty, like a shadow as opposed to an actual character. I lost any sense of who Cal was as a person. Also, all this drama with Bree being angry that Cal went out with Morgan....Couldn't Cal have stood up for Morgan? He really didn't do much to help the situation, while as the whole reason for the issue between the two girls in the first place, he probably could've done a lot. 

My hatred for Morgan's parents grew. I didn't like that they kept her past from her, that they continued being stuck-up and close minded to Morgan's beliefs and that they almost seemed to play the victim at times. The author seems to try to redeem them near the end of the book, where they explain all to Morgan and try to convey why they kept secrets from her, but I couldn't feel any positivity towards them. I just hate them, plain and simple. As with Morgan, they irritated me, just in a different way.

I also feel like this book was super slow compared to the first one. I feel like this was less of a novel and more of an introduction to a larger book. It seemed incomplete. Of course, as part of a series, cliffhangers, questions, and other things are to be expected. But the way that The Coven was written seemed less like an installment in a series and more like a group of chapters plucked out of a larger book. 

I did enjoy a few things about this book. Firstly, there is the more "realistic" portrayal of magic. Unlike the fantasy magic of other books, this one contains more of a contemporary witchcraft, as the characters are Wiccan witches as opposed to creatures living alongside vampires and werewolves and any other number of paranormal beings found in young adult witch stories. However, this installment of the Sweep series did take on a bit more of a fantasy element than the first book.

I did like the discussion of religious intolerance, that is, people who judge religious minorities or don't allow others around them to practice their religious beliefs freely. As somebody who has personal experience with this issue, I greatly appreciated that this subject was approached. 

While I liked the idea of the book overall, I really do think that it could have been better. I don't feel the need to continue the series, so, as mentioned, I probably won't be. 

Those who like non-fantasy portrayals of witchcraft in fiction may enjoy this novel. Readers looking for books which explore issues such as religious intolerance, friendship and romance, and adoption might want to give this one a try.

Friday, 2 December 2016

50/50 Friday - Character Most/Least Likely to Go Cliff-Diving

This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is character most / least likely to go cliff diving

Most Likely

 Image result for skulduggery pleasant

I know, I know, I keep choosing characters from the Skulduggery Pleasant series. But honestly this series is just everything, and there are tons of different characters so of course one of them would be likely to go cliff diving. I think that the skeleton detective himself would be most likely because he's technically already dead, so there isn't much to lose if things go wrong, he can put himself back together fairly easily and he's quite brave. Other characters who may go cliff diving include any of the various vampires from the series (strength, basically immortality, etc), and maybe even Valkyrie Cain, if everything is deemed safe for her! 

Least Likely

 (Sorry its a bit blurry!)
I think that Otto from The Kneebone Boy is least likely because he seems really reserved and rather cautious, in my opinion. Quiet and young, I feel like the potential risks would probably outweigh any sort of gains from cliff diving? I just could never ever see him going cliff diving.

Would you ever go cliff diving???

Monday, 28 November 2016

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga


 Series: Jasper Dent
Author: Barry Lyga
Page Count: 359
Published: April 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  5 Stars ★★★★★ 

Jasper Dent's father is behind bars; he's a serial killer who has murdered over a hundred people. He raised Jasper while he killed, often teaching Jasper about how to prevent getting caught and how to dispose of dead bodies. Jasper now lives with his grandmother, has a best friend and a girlfriend, and he still deals with the aftermath of his father's capture and conviction.

When people start turning up dead, Jasper knows that the town has yet another serial killer on their hands. Besides trying to convince the police that he knows what he's talking about, Jasper has to deal with his fear that he is truly like his father; a cold-hearted, sadistic killer. While Jasper investigates the murders with the hope of using his knowledge to catch the killer, he struggles with the fear that people will believe that he is behind it all. But things are complicated when you worry that you might be an evil sociopath, like your own father.

This was such an awesome book! It was dark, it was disturbing, and I couldn't put it down. I read it extremely quickly, I was sucked in from the start. My advice concerning this book is to start reading it when you have a lot of free time on your hands. You won't want to leave it until you've flipped the last page. 

One thing that I loved about this book was how dark and disturbing it was. I often read romances, which tend to be sweeter, less serious or calmer reads. But this was dead serious. I want to mention that there were rather detailed descriptions of assault and murder, so that more sensitive readers can make an informed decision on whether or not this book is for them. Personally, I loved that aspect of the book, because it just felt so creepy. I rarely find books that have genuinely disturbing content, but this one was dark enough that it satisfied my craving for something more gruesome. That's not to say that the crimes were extremely detailed, but they were explained in enough detail that they brought up the creep and thrill factor quite a bit. 

Jasper's struggle was very intense and it kept me reading just as the murders did. Reading about his fears that he might be a sociopath, that he might be fated to become a murderer like his father, it was a well-written depiction of this struggle and I found it very believable. Despite Jasper's fears and some of his darker thoughts, I found him a very likeable character. He seemed like a genuinely good guy, wanting to save peoples' lives and fighting the things that his father told him to believe. While this is an extreme example, I think that this is reminiscent of the issues that many face concerning breaking out of their shell and questioning the things that their parents or guardians told them as children. This sense of connection between Jasper's issues and smaller, real-life issues made Jasper even more likeable, and I absolutely rooted for him to stop the killer and find peace from the start.

Jasper's friend and girlfriend are great characters as well, his friend being somewhat weak and comical, his girlfriend strong, loyal and determined. As for Billy Dent, Jasper's psychopathic father, he was written very well, in a way that I could easily imagine what kind of atmosphere might be experienced in his presence. He was pure evil. I feel like there are such few characters that are so evil, but Billy Dent really really was, undoubtedly, a monster. Because he was such a well-written villain, I loved reading about him, despite his crimes. He was especially creepy because, unlike paranormal monsters and villains, there really are people like him out in the world. I think that's what made this book all the more striking. 

I wish I'd picked this novel up sooner. I have to add the sequel to my wishlist!

I recommend this to mature YA readers. If you like creepy contemporary thrillers, and the content mentioned in this review wouldn't bother you, this is a must-read. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst World an Author Has Created

This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is best / worst world an author has created

Best World


As if there was any competition for this! Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, and the rest of the series, takes place in a world full of magic and danger and walking talking skeletons. When I read a book from this series, I feel like I leave the real world entirely and I'm just sucked into the book. It's amazing.

Worst World


The futuristic world found in The Selection by Kiera Cass just wasn't for me. Aside from kind of hating the world itself and the values present in the society, I just felt like the world building was a bit superficial. It didn't seem as realistic as it could have been. While I don't base whether or not I like a book or setting based on the values of the society it is set in, I mention this because, due to the poor world-building, it added another dimension of disappointment.

What are the best and worst fictional worlds you've come across?

Monday, 21 November 2016

Dance with a Vampire by Ellen Schreiber

Series: Vampire Kisses
Author: Ellen Schreiber
Page Count: 208
Published: April 21st, 2009
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  4 Stars ★★★★

In this continuation of Raven and Alexander's story, Valentine Maxwell, Jagger's younger brother, has arrived in Dullsville and appears to be targeting Raven's brother. Raven fears that this might be some sort of revenge plot because of the issues that she, Alexander, and Valentine's siblings dealt with in the past, so with Alexander's help, she tries to uncover what's going on. 

At the same time, Raven is having doubts and worries about her dream of becoming a vampire. She wants to be with Alexander and she knows that he loves her just as much as she loves him, so when Valentine threatens to tell her vampire lover about her secret worries, she fears that her relationship with him might become more complicated, or that it might not even survive at all. 

The Vampire Kisses series is such an enjoyable series. The books are perfect for when you want a short read after tackling a long, complex book or if you're trying to ease yourself from a reading slump. While the writing style might be a bit simpler than in other young adult books, it's still a great read for fans of vampire love stories. 

Even at the fourth volume in this series, Raven is still the funny, quirky, unique character that was introduced to readers in the first book. She is so, so likeable, and I find her sense of style, her hopes and dreams, and her love for vampires endearing. She actually reminds me a lot of myself. It's nice to have goths or alternative individuals within fiction that aren't the personification of the gloom-and-doom stereotype. 

Alexander remains the somewhat cliche, swoon-worthy, gothic vampire, love interest that Raven fell for in the first book. I find him just as endearing as Raven, with his romantic gestures and dark style. However, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with his character in this novel. I was considering Raven's fear that Alexander would, for whatever reason, reject her when she admitted her worries about becoming a vampire. This made me wonder what might be going on in their relationship, if he might not be as sweet as the author shows us on the page. I mean, I think most people would make sure that their partners don't think they might leave them over legitimate fears concerning becoming what is basically a whole other, paranormal or supernatural, species? It seems like common sense, and Alexander must have failed Raven in some way if she was worrying over this so much. 

This book ended with a rather sad cliffhanger, though not a hopeless one. I'm glad that I own the next book so that I can read about what happens next sooner rather than later! This is a series that I like to come back to, it's one that I think I'll read until it ends. 

Overall, a very enjoyable book. While it raises somewhat frustrating questions concerning Raven and Alexander's relationship, I honestly think that these questions add some intrigue and a bit of suspense to the story. 

I recommend this series to fans of YA vampire romances. If you're looking for a short paranormal read, this series is for you.

Friday, 18 November 2016

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst Book an Author Has Published

This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is best / worst book an author has published

Best Book


I think that Fallen is the best book that Lauren Kate has published, that I've read. It got me hooked from the start and it made me want to get the next book as soon as I could! 

Worst Book


I can definitely say that the worst I've read by her so far was Passion, the third in the Fallen series. I thought it was so slow compared to the first two books, and because of it, I still haven't picked up the fourth book! It really killed my enthusiasm for Luce's story. 

What do you think are the best and worst books that Lauren Kate, or any other author, has published? 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Matched by Ally Condie


 Series: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Page Count: 366
Published: September 20th, 2011
Publisher: Speak
  5 Stars ★★★★★ 

In Cassia's world, who you marry is determined by who the Society matches you with. When Cassia is matched with her best friend, Xander, she's ecstatic. But her excitement fades quickly when she begins to suspect that something is going on, that there might be an error in the system, and that Ky, another boy her age, might have been meant to be her match. 

As she starts to question the Society, she finds herself torn between Ky and Xander, between obedience and rebellion. Breaking more and more rules, Cassia must make a choice. Will she live the life that the Society has planned for her? Or will she break free and look for something more?

This is the kind of dystopian or futuristic novel that I like to read. It's got an oppressive or controlling government, a forbidden romance and lots and lots of rebellion. I think that my favourite part about this whole book was how Cassia started to break rules and defy the Society, because the tension and worry I felt that she might get caught was super intense. 

The author completely immersed me in Cassia's world, and I dreaded her having to face the consequences of her actions. At the same time, I really hated the government and the Society and I couldn't stop reading because I just had to know if she would rise above them, and succeed in her goals. When I say that I was reading this book at every chance I got, I mean it!

The romance was a little bit cheesy but I actually don't mind some cheesiness within my reads, so this didn't bother me at all. It was a forbidden romance too, which added to the whole rebellion aspect. As somebody who appreciates love triangles, I can say that I think the author wrote the love triangle in this novel extremely well, and I am still undecided concerning who I want Cassia to end up with. I find that those are the best kind of love triangles because they make me frustrated, and wanting to read the next book in the series to see who the character chooses! 

I was sad as I neared the end of the book because I wanted more. I wanted to keep reading about Cassia's situation and story, I wanted to know what would happen next. Flipping the last page left me super disappointed because I enjoyed this book so much! I can't wait to get my hands on the next one, and I hope it's just as amazing as the first book in this series.

I recommend this book to those who like their dystopian reads with some romance! If you also like reading about people starting to rebel against their situation, this would be a perfect read for you. 

Friday, 11 November 2016

The Friday 56

This week I've decided to participate in The Friday 56 because I haven't for a long time!

This is hosted at Freda's Voice

Grab a book
Turn to page 56 or 56% if it's an eBook
Find a sentence or a few, and post them!
(Full rules with original phrasing found on the blog linked above)

I'm currently reading Summer by Jeff Mariotte, though it's in omnibus form, and the volume itself is called Dark Vengeance 


 Page 56:

"He started by flashing his friendly grin, but Kerry was having none of that. "I know what I'm about to tell you will sound ridiculous to you," he began. "Unbelievable, even. But I swear to you, it's true."

What's on page 56 or 56% of the book that you're reading? 

Monday, 7 November 2016

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs


 Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Page Count: 352
Published: June 7th, 2011
Publisher: Quirk
  4 Stars ★★★★

Jacob's grandfather has always told him stories about the people in the strange photographs he owns, and after a while, Jacob realizes that these stories are only fairy tales and that his grandfather's condition may be getting worse. One day, he gets a panicked call and later finds his grandfather dead, after seeing a horrifying creature that his friend claims wasn't there. He and his therapist come to the conclusion that the creature isn't real, that Jacob is just dealing with a lot of stress, and that it would be a good idea to go to the island where his grandfather sought refuge in the war. 

He travels with his father, hoping to find out more about his grandfather's past. When he comes across a ruined house and a small, rather unlikable village, he soon learns that things are not as they seem, and that the strange people in his grandfather's photographs may still be alive after all these years. 

I couldn't resist buying this book when I found it at the thrift shop. With the film coming out and seemingly everybody talking about it, I had to know if it lived up to the hype. I can't say that I share the same enthusiasm as many fans of the series, but it was very enjoyable, to say the least. 

This book didn't blow me away, it didn't amaze me and it didn't seem entirely original. However, the mix of time travel, supernatural or paranormal powers and some sort of evil monster coming after the characters made this book an intriguing read. 

There were several smaller twists throughout the book, however my favourite one took place near the end and I definitely did not see it coming! Those are my favourite kind of twists, and I was very satisfied with it.  

However, I feel that the pacing of the events was a bit uneven and disappointing. The start of the book seemed to fly by very quickly, then the middle dragged on for a bit, and finally the ending flew by just as the start had. It took me quite a while to get through the middle portion, and at times I felt bored. 

I honestly think that the best part of this book is the photographs. They're weird and creepy! They added a lot to the story, and I liked how they were integrated into the book and writing itself. They weren't just random photos, they tied into the story. I spent a lot of time looking them over, sometimes wondering if clues were hidden within the photos. I wish there had been more photos!

While this book was enjoyable, I don't think that it lived up to the hype. I liked the story and the pictures were a fun addition, but I'm not sure if I will read the sequel. 

I recommend this to those who like time travel stories and YA books with creatures and people with strange powers. 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst Scene in a Book

Yes, I know I am technically posting this on Saturday, but I got home late from work and I really wanted to take part in this meme this week! 


This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is best/worst scene in a book

Worst scene


 The scene where Edward leaves Bella at the beginning of New Moon completely pissed me off! It also made me really sad. I had to put the book down for a few weeks, I was so upset, haha. 

Best scene


So technically I think that all of the scenes in this series are the best scenes, but I really liked the scene where Valkyrie sees that Skulduggery is a skeleton for the first time. I actually think it's kind of funny!

What are your favourite or least favourite scenes in a book?

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Switch by Douglas Davey


  Series: N/A
Author: Douglas Davey
Page Count: 252
Published: October 24th, 2014
Publisher: Red Deer Press
  5 Stars ★★★★★

Things change for Sheldon on the day that he finds himself undeniably attracted to another guy. While he's definitely attracted to his girlfriend, Jenny, he can't ignore what he's been feeling and struggling with, and he fears that he might be gay. After some research, he discovers the word bisexual, and decides that it fits him much better than either gay or straight.

When he decides to come out, things don't exactly go as planned. Instead of the calm acceptance he expected, his girlfriend freaks out, he becomes distanced from his friends and his peers start to bully and threaten him. He's afraid for his well being, and even for his life. When he finds a group of classmates who are similar to him, he doesn't feel so alone anymore. But will things work out for him? 

I don't even know how to describe how much I loved this book. I got super excited to find a book featuring a bisexual person, a bisexual boy at that, because bisexuals, and in my opinion especially bisexual guys, are often underrepresented in fiction. Not only is he bi, but the author actually explicitly uses the word bisexual! I was super happy to find a book that didn't dance around with the words 'gay' and 'straight' and surpass bi altogether, as many books I've read often do.

Anyhow, aside from my excitement over representation and all that, the story itself was amazing. It seems like an ordinary story, a contemporary young adult novel describing coming out, bullying, and finding a community. But to me, it wasn't. This book discussed the actual things that LGBTQ people deal with, sometimes on a regular basis, and it did so honestly and with a unique and likeable voice. It dealt with the emotional turmoil that Sheldon, the main character, was feeling, and included themes of self harm and biphobia, which were both heartbreaking and breathtaking in their portrayals. I love how the author wasn't afraid to include biphobia from other members of the LGBTQ community, which is so often glazed over, and that while Sheldon dealt with self harm, it wasn't over-dramatized or exaggerated, but incredibly realistic. I mean, I actually cried. And I was in public too! I think that sums up how emotional this book was for me, personally. 

Something that really stuck with me was the idea that anyone could be like Sheldon - struggling with who they are, afraid of what their future holds, dealing with rejection. The book also included footnotes on many pages, with Sheldon as an older adult giving commentary on his life situation after coming out. That also added to this idea of anyone possibly dealing with what Sheldon dealt with, because it was kind of like a reminder that there are older LGBTQ people who have lived through a much less tolerant time. For example, the author says, in the interview at the end of the book, that this was set in 1988. While it seems like only a short time since then, lots has changed, and to have a look at what things were like back then was eye-opening, and I appreciated having a historical setting.

Unfortunately there were a few negative things, such as some typos, but nothing major. I was happy to see pansexuality mentioned, however the footnote defining it made it seem like pansexuals are attracted to absolutely everyone, which I'm guessing was not the author's intention, but rather a strange wording or misinterpretation of the wording itself. The majority of my thoughts on this book, however, are incredibly positive, as you can see. 

I most definitely recommend this! If you're interested in LGBTQ narratives that take place in the past, this would be a great pick. For those looking for books about bisexuals, coming out, and bullying, this is the perfect book. 

Monday, 24 October 2016

Something by Shelby Lamb


Series: Wisteria
Author: Shelby Lamb
Page Count: 304
Published: March 7th, 2017
Publisher: Grunge Bookz
  4 Stars ★★★★

 I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review.

Aubrey is what many would consider 'damaged': she's obsessed with her ex-boyfriend, she's depressed, self harms, and deals with a lot of other issues. However, things start to get worse for her when she picks up a book titled 'Something'. As she shares passages from the book with others, strange occurrences take place and those around her start questioning their sanity. 

This book explored some of the real-life issues people might face, with some paranormal creepiness thrown in. It was a great combination and it worked very well! While written in third person, the author told the story of the chaos that ensues after reading passages from the mysterious book 'Something' from the perspectives of multiple characters, including the depressed Aubrey, teen mom Kendra, ex-boyfriend Nathan and aspiring porn star Bella. 

I wasn't too sure what to expect, considering how unique the idea seemed to me. I have never read anything like this book before, and I'm sure I won't read anything similar for a long time. Including real-life issues alongside paranormal ones is something I really like in a book and this one delivered on this for sure. 

I liked reading about the different characters and their personal situations. I can't say that I actually liked all of the characters, but their problems were intriguing and sometimes heart-breaking. Aubrey's self-esteem, self harm and related issues were realistic to me, in that they're something that I see a lot in real life as well, and I thought that this made the book more believable. Bella's hopes and dreams to become an adult entertainer seemed to make her determined and despite her mean-girl streak, I found myself cheering her on and hoping that she'd achieve her goals! Kendra appeared to be quite sweet and I think that she tried looking on the bright side of things even though she was dealing with motherhood at such a young age. As for Nathan, I felt some sympathy for him, having to deal with Aubrey's obsessive behavior. 

The paranormal aspect was enjoyable and mysterious. I often wondered if maybe the characters were slipping into madness, and that there wasn't really anything other-worldy going on at all. I must admit that at some times I found myself a bit confused because I wasn't really sure what was going on, some situations were a bit unclear to me. 

Another issue was the grammar, there were enough changes in word tense and spelling errors that at times it felt a bit disruptive. Because this is an ARC, I'm hoping that the book will be edited again before its actual release to fix these mistakes, however I can't ignore the way that these mistakes disrupted my reading experience, because it affected my enjoyment of the story.

In conclusion, I can say that this book was really, well, something. I want to know what happens next and I will probably read the next book when it comes out. If you like new adult paranormal mysteries, you might enjoy this. Readers who like books that mix real life issues with other-worldy intrigue will like this novel as well. 

Friday, 21 October 2016

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst Villain

This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books


This week's topic is the best/worst villain! 

Best villain


Serpine from the first Skulduggery Pleasant book is what I consider to be a prime example of a great villain. Why? Because the author brings him to life. He has a history with one of the main characters. And he's super evil. I think that all of the villains from the Skulduggery Pleasant series are the best villains!

Worst villain


Ok, so I did enjoy this book overall, but the thing I didn't like about it was the villain, especially the villain's motive. I thought it seemed really far-fetched and the author didn't really write enough clues within the book to make the final reveal, and the villain themself, seem sinister enough. It was a bit of a let down. I really wish that the author had taken more time to develop the villain or at least offer the reader more clues.

What do you think of the villains from these books?