Friday, 15 December 2017

As the New Year Draws Near.....

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't been posting much, I've been studying for my upcoming exams. I want to focus on my exams for the next week or so, so my regular posting schedule won't resume for another week or possibly two. But don't worry, I'm still here!

Anyways, I wanted to talk about our book goals for 2017, and also for the new year.

My Goodreads reading challenge was successful! As of right now, Goodreads says I've read 89 books, which is way above my goal of 50! I am really surprised that I was able to read this much. I had a lot going on, but I guess as a bookworm, I couldn't really give up reading.

For 2018, I think I'll set 50 books as my goal again. I'd go higher, but I want to consider what's going on in the new year, plus changes that I want to make to my reading habits. So first off, I need to focus on school first, and if my reading goal is too high, I might get distracted from my schoolwork. Secondly, I've added some books to my to-read pile that are really thick, like 600-700 pages long, so I don't want to make my goal too high.....I might end up putting books on hold just because they're longer than the average 400-500 page novel. I also need to work on my own novel.....My resolution for 2017 included finishing the rough draft of my novel and let's just say.... that didn't happen! So instead, another resolution will be simply working on my novel at least once every few weeks.

How did you do in 2017? How many books did you read? What are your 2018 reading goals?

Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Benefits of Reading Books

Hey everyone, so I know I haven't been super active on my social media and stuff lately. I've had a ton of assignments, and with the end of the semester coming up, I've had to study for tests and exams too. Hopefully once the winter break arrives, I'll be able to post more often!

I was thinking about the benefits of reading books, on a personal level. While I've read lots of articles describing generalized benefits of reading books, citing studies, I wanted to talk about the ways that reading books has personally helped me out!

1) Stress relief: Sometimes, you just have to take a break from what's stressing you out, and read a book. When I write my assignments, I often take little breaks to read and relax. It helps me to keep my focus.

2) Better grades: I've noticed that the more I read, the better my grades at school are! That's remained true throughout high school, college, and so far at university!

Evernight (Evernight, #1)

While I may not go to a vampire school like Evernight, I'm sure that upon my inevitable transformation into a vampire, my reading habits will continue to assist me as I adjust to life in a vampire boarding school.

3) Empathy: I find that reading has given me increased empathy for others. I'm able to step into another person's shoes in the fictional world, and I think this has assisted me in mentally doing this in the real world. I think reading has made me a better person.

4) Representation: While I'm not of the belief that every book must be diverse, or that authors are under any obligation to represent any group within their works, I must admit that representation within books is an exciting thing for me. I often feel very alone because of some of the groups I fall into, and when I see representation of people like me in books, it eases that feeling a little bit.

Symptoms of Being Human

Symptoms of Being Human was the first book I read with a genderfluid protagonist. (Also sorry if anyone is annoyed by me talking about gender identity a lot on here and on Instagram....I'm just very alone and it's nice to have a place where people will listen. There's not many people I can talk to about this kind of stuff so it just builds up you know? Also I'd like to show others like me that they aren't alone, and that they can be awesome people and achieve their goals. Anyways.)

5) Goals: Books can sometimes portray characters who I look up to and want to be like in some way. Whether that's being more confident, open, or social, books can give me ideas on how I could change for the better. I also find myself discovering my own flaws through books....sometimes I'll read a character who bothers me a lot and then I realize we share some negative traits in common. I can then easily identify some of my flaws and consider changes I should make to become a better person.

So, what are some personal benefits you've found to reading books? How have books changed your life in a positive way?

Friday, 17 November 2017

50/50 Friday - Book You Were Early/Late to the Party in Reading

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

This week's topic is book you were early / late to the party in reading


 Nevermore (Nevermore, #1)

I don't think there's a ton of books I've been early to the party in reading. I mean, maybe Nevermore? When in doubt, answer Nevermore.  


 Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)   City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

There are a lot of books I was late to the party reading. Throne of Glass and City of Bones are two that stand out 

What books were you early or late to the party reading?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams + Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes


 Series: N/A
Author: Carolyn Lee Adams
Page Count: 256
Published: July 14th, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
  4 Stars ★★★★

Ruth wakes up in a pickup truck, unaware of how she got there. She soon discovers that she was taken by a man, and he's transporting her to his cabin in the woods. Her captor thinks that he has the right to kidnap and "fix" or punish girls like Ruth, girls who are "bad". Ruth soon learns that he's done this at least six times before....none of the previous girls survived. Ruth, however, is determined that she will live and bring this sick man to justice. She just has to survive against her captor's guns, unhelpful locals, and the dangers of the forest. 

So this was a great book. I really loved the majority of it! I read most of it in one sitting. This book is fairly short, however the length was perfect for the events that the author described. The pacing was well done, there was never a dull moment. 

This story is told in the present and in flashbacks from both Ruth and her captor's lives. This provided not only mystery but important context to help the reader understand the characters on a deeper level. I found myself both disgusted by Ruth's captor, but also a bit sorry for him. As for Ruth herself, she did have a history of being rude and inconsiderate, however I admired her for her determination and change of heart. 

I feel like some parts of this book were too unrealistic.... people refused to help Ruth when she was clearly in trouble. Maybe I'm naive but I have trouble believing that people would be that heartless. I also think that her captor wasn't depicted as being as cautious and thorough as I'd assume one would be in his situation.... I won't say much else because I'd spoil parts of the book, but I think that someone committing crimes as he did would be more careful. 

Overall this was a great book! If you'd like a short, thrilling book about a kidnapping, this is a great pick. 

~ ~ ~ 

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)

 Series: Falling Kingdoms
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Page Count: 412
Published: December 11th, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
  4.5 Stars ★★★★

Mytica is a continent with the countries Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia. Jonas lives in Paelsia where the people live off of money earned from their wine, while Lucia and Magnus live in Limeros with the "King of Blood", and Cleo is the princess of Auranos. When Cleo's visit to Paelsia ends in tragedy, a chain of events starts that sparks a full-out war. Meanwhile, witches hide in plain sight, forbidden desires plague Magnus, and the Kindred, a set of four magic crystals, are sought after. Who will survive the coming conflict?

I loved this book so much! It was almost perfect, it only lost .5 stars because I feel like some characters rushed into things (i.e Cleo's romantic feelings... can't say much else without spoiling). Besides that, I loved it. 

I loved the different cultures in the different countries. They were so unique compared to each other, they seemed like they could be real places. Injustices suffered by the Paelsian people were heartbreaking and kept me reading on, while conflicts faced by the Limerian and Auranian characters left me conflicted and reading for hours!

I like the way that the author combined magic with medieval-style royalty and castles, along with romantic tension and violence. Yes, this book had a lot of violence, I was actually really surprised by this. However I don't mind fictional violence so I enjoyed the tensions and fear that this created. There were many emotional moments, and a lot of people died. Be prepared when you're reading this to possibly have your heart shattered!

This was a great book! I had some minor issues with it but overall it was really awesome. I recommend this to fans of fantasy books and books with many characters, violence, and multiple viewpoints. 

Friday, 10 November 2017

50/50 Friday - Favorite/Least Favorite Movie Tie-In Cover

50 / 50 Friday is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is favourite / least favourite movie tie in cover


 Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

My favourite has to be Beautiful Creatures. I like the way the characters are arranged and I love the colours! 

Least favourite 

The Host

The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I think the positioning of the characters, especially the guys, seems really awkward. I'm also not a fan of the glowing O. I think it contrasts too much with the more muted colour scheme of the rest of the cover.

Monday, 6 November 2017

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher + Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

The Killing Woods

Series: N/A
Author: Lucy Christopher
Page Count: 369
Published: October 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Chicken House
  3.5 Stars ★★★

Emily's father is accused of killing a teenage girl when he comes home with her dead body one night. Emily's "friends" turn on her, and Damon, the boyfriend of the girl who was killed, is angry at Emily and Emily's father for what happened.

A war veteran with PTSD, her father's lawyers say that he might have had a flashback, killing the girl not on purpose, but in a horrible accident. But Emily is determined to find out the truth, which takes her into the woods where the girl died.

I enjoyed Stolen by Lucy Christopher, so I was excited to see that she wrote a thriller! This book really was nothing like Stolen, but enjoyable in it's own way. However, I was slightly disappointed.

I liked the way that the issue of Emily's father suffering from PTSD was added into the narrative. It made me wonder if he truly was innocent, or if he had killed the girl, either by accident or not. It added to the mystery! I suspected many different people throughout the book, but I must say that the big reveal was truly surprising for me.

I loved the woods. The descriptions of the woods throughout the book made them sound beautiful and creepy and menacing and mysterious all at once! I found myself wanting to visit these woods. Emily's father's bunker in the woods was another interesting location, with a bit of mystery and a possibility of sinister happenings. The setting was truly the strong point of the book, in my opinion.

I feel like sometimes the characters did not act realistically. For example, Emily's "friends" turning on her after her father is suspected of the murder. It's not like she was going around defending murder! She was just hopeful that her father was innocent...wouldn't anyone be? Yet those she trusted became nasty towards her. It seemed very out of place, like an extreme reaction, especially since I'd consider a friend in that predicament as a friends in need of love more than ever. Maybe I'm just too nice or naive.... but that's how I interpreted the characters' actions. Unrealistic.

I also wish that this book had a bit more creepiness in it. There definitely was some, especially with the setting of the woods. But there should have been more clues adding to the mystery. I would have liked more big reveals! More twists and turns!

This was an enjoyable book. However, something was missing.... the characters seemed a bit off, and I wish the author had added a big more creepiness to the story. However, the setting was marvelous.

Find The Killing Woods on Goodreads


Low Red Moon

Series: Low Red Moon
Author: Ivy Devlin
Page Count: 244
Published: September 14th, 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
  2.5 Stars ★★

Avery's parents were murdered. She doesn't remember much about that fateful night, except that she was covered in their blood, and she saw a flash of silver. Leaving her house in the woods to go live with her grandmother, she is haunted by her parents' deaths. 

Ben is a new boy at school. Despite her being called "cursed" due to the blood-red pieces that appeared in her hair, he is drawn to her, and her to him. Soon, Avery learns that the legends of wolves, who are more than merely wolves, are true, and that something evil is after her. 

So this book had a few good things. First off, the mystery of who murdered Avery's parents. Really, that's the main thing that kept me reading. I also felt some empathy towards Avery's character as she struggled through the difficult time after their deaths, trying to untangle her memories and remember her childhood home in a more positive light. 

The rest of the book wasn't all that great. Ben was just a pretty face. Literally. I had no clue who he was as a person besides pretty and caring about Avery. He needed wayyyyyyy more character development. 

Then there's the romance between Avery and Ben. While their attraction is more of a paranormal or supernatural nature, it still bothered me how Avery literally falls for Ben after her parents are barely dead. And it's not a slow, building attraction. No, and a slight spoiler alert here, but she kisses him after visiting her childhood home in the middle of the night! And he's there with no explanation! I feel like the traumatic memories of her dead parents would probably overshadow her crush on this pretty boy but I guess not....

This book had a lot of potential. If it had been longer, it may have been a lot better. The author needed to develop the character a lot more, and the romance needed more development as well. Not to mention, the ending....very unsatisfying, in my opinion. 

I'd also like to mention that the sequel, Moonrise, doesn't appear to be available anywhere so...if you wanted to read the sequel, you've run out of luck. 

Overall, disappointing. I liked the murder mystery and Avery's struggles with coping with her parents' deaths, but the book was too short and the romance was not at all believable.

Find Low Red Moon on Goodreads

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Night World Vol. 3 by L.J Smith

Night World, No. 3 (Night World, #7-9)

 Series: Night World
Author: L.J Smith
Page Count: 732
Published: April 7th, 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse
  4 Stars ★★★★

In the third bind-up volume of the Night World series, the Wild Powers are rising. The millennium is almost here, and with it will come a new age of unity, or of darkness. Paranormal creatures such as vampires, shapeshifters, and witches will either work together to stop the darkness, or fight to win the battle at the end of the world. But who will win?

I loved this! First off all, the books contained in this volume are all fairly short, easy reads, so if you're looking for a lighter paranormal read, this series is great. I also love the inclusion of numerous paranormal creatures, from were-panthers to half vampires.

I also really loved some of the deeper messages I felt could be interpreted within these stories. In the first story, Huntress, the main character is a vampire who hunts down humans and sees them as less worthy than the Night People. But she finds out that she herself is only half vampire, and half human.... She has to question her prejudice. This really mirrors real-life, with people holding prejudiced views and then finding themselves challenged by their own origins, or the identities of those they love. Maybe I'm looking too far into this but....I really liked this deeper connection.

I loved that each story features different main characters. This sets it apart from other young adult paranormal series, and kept me interested. However, there were times when a character was supposed to be, or become, likeable throughout the book, but I just couldn't bring myself to like them. That was really the only issue I had with this series.

I hope the author finishes up the tenth and final book in the series soon! I need to know what happens next.

Find Night World Vol 3 on Goodreads

Monday, 9 October 2017

The Longest Book Tag

I was tagged by The Butterfly Reader

Sorry it took me so long to actually complete this tag....I don't think I've completed this before so I'll give it a shot. If I have, memory is terrible. 


The rules:

1) Make a list of the 5 longest books you've ever read

2) Select 2 of the longest books on your tbr

3) Discuss 

 4) Tag others 

1) 5 Longest books I've ever read

Note: I'm not counting nonfiction, reference books, or bindups. 
Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4)
Breaking Dawn: 756 pages

Eclipse (Twilight, #3)

Eclipse, 629 pages

Kingdom of the Wicked (Skulduggery Pleasant, #7)

Kingdom of the Wicked, 607 pages

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

The Dying of the Light, 605 pages

Mortal Coil (Skulduggery Pleasant, #5)

Mortal Coil, 604 pages

2) 2 of the longest books on my tbr

 Outlander (Outlander, #1)

Outlander, 850 pages


Fallocaust (Fallocaust, #1)

Fallocaust, 829 pages

3) Discuss

Well, there are some very long books out there, that's for sure. They actually kind of scare me....I prefer books that are 350-500 pages, usually. That doesn't mean that I won't read a book because its longer than that....I'm just a bit wary. Especially if it's a physical book, because my hands hurt after holding it for a while. Although I also find that when I read a book on my tablet or eReader, that it seems longer? So reading a super long book could take ages.

Some of my favourite books have been super long, though. Many of the Skulduggery Pleasant books are over 500 pages. When I love the characters and the world-building, the longer the book, the better! 

I have a bit of a personal issue when it comes to big books, though. So I'm a writer and I want to write a novel. But I keep getting into depressive episodes or school gets really busy, or I think of a better idea to write about. And I can't finish writing a novel, and then I see these authors writing 500 page novels and I feel kinda like a failure. Yeah I know, woe is me. But it does impact me as both a reader and a writer. 


So, anyone who wants to do this is tagged! But specifically I tag Kristen at Metaphors and Moonlight and Lauren at Always Me. 

Also I'd like to apologize for not posting as is really stressful already! Don't worry, I'm not on hiatus or giving up blogging, and I swear I love everyone's blogs and I will keep on blogging, but don't expect me to be too consistent with my post schedule in the upcoming months. 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

His To Possess by Opal Carew

His to Possess (His to Possess, #1-6)

 Series: His to Possess
Author: Opal Carew
Page Count: 256
Published: March 18th, 2014
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
  3 Stars ★★★

Jessica is out job searching when she runs into a man who looks a lot like her ex-boyfriend. After a slightly embarrassing encounter, they happen to stumble into each other's path yet again when the man, Dane, offers to drive Jessica to her destination in his limo. They find themselves attracted to each other and end up sharing Jessica's hotel room for the night.

Jessica scores a job and is shocked to find that Dane is her boss. As they work to balance their physical relationship with their boss/employee relationship, things only become more complicated. When Jessica's ex-boyfriend unexpectedly shows up, she might end up losing both of them.

So this is essentially a six-part series that was combined into one book. The book is divided up into these six parts, almost like chapters, with cliff-hanger endings and all.

There were some things that I really liked, and some that I didn't.

I liked Dane, and I liked Storm (the ex-boyfriend). They were both interesting characters with fleshed out backgrounds, very distinct, unique personalities and truly seemed reminiscent of a real person you could find walking down the street right now. Ideally, most characters should be this way, but unfortunately this wasn't the case. I'll come back to this issue later.

I also liked the pacing of the plot. Little twists and turns were placed at perfect intervals, with the cliff-hangers keeping me reading until my eyes hurt.

The sexy scenes were generally quite, well, sexy, as expected. It was obvious that the characters had some sort of chemistry in both their physical and romantic relationships with each other.

Now to the things I didn't like.

Jessica. Yep, I didn't like Jessica. Why? She seemed boring. I didn't get to know her as a person. She seemed like a blank slate almost. She didn't seem to have any quirks, beliefs, etc that distinguished her from any other random person. She was bland.

I really think the author needs to work on her usage of adjectives and adverbs. She used some words and descriptors waaaaaayyyyy too much. I swear I read the word "masculine" in this book more times than I've read it in six full-length novels combined. She also kept referring to these men being like "super male" or something.... like not in those exact words, but everything was like "his musky maleness" or whatever. It's like, we get it, they are men, they happen to also be quite masculine men. Move on already! It got to the point where I was rolling my eyes a lot.

Anyways, it wasn't the best book ever, but not the worst by any means. Will I read the sequel? Probably not. Do I regret reading this? Nope.

If you're a fan of erotic fiction, you might want to try this. However, if the issues that I had with the book would bug you, I don't recommend it at all.

Find His to Possess on Goodreads

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

 Series: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Page Count: 416
Published: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
  3.5 Stars ★★★

Blue's mother is psychic, and she lives in a house with a few other psychics, too. While Blue can't speak to the dead or see the future, she enhances the powers of those around her, so she's brought along so that those who will be dead within the next year can be identified. Among the dead is a boy from Aglionby, a nearby private school, and Blue can see him.

Blue has always been warned that she will cause the death of her true love, and after seeing the spirit of this boy, she wonders if she will be the one to kill him. When they finally come face to face, they form a friendship, along with three other boys from Aglionby. Together they investigate mysterious ley lines, with the hope that they may be led to Glendower, a sleeping king.

There seems to be a lot of hype around this book, but I didn't really enjoy the book as much as other readers have. It wasn't a horrible book by any means, but I was fairly disappointed in some of the elements.

One thing that I did like were the characters. Actually, I loved the characters. Blue was an eccentric and likeable main character, and Gansey's determination to find Glendower was admirable. Rowan, another of the raven boys, was truly frustrating, but I loved him. Adam, a scholarship student, lived in a tough situation and very much served as a juxtaposition or foil to the rich, fairly comfortable life of Gansey. As for Noah, the last raven boy, he was quiet, sweet, and mysterious in his own way. These characters worked so well together to bring this story to life, and they were written with a depth that made me pleasantly surprised. Despite my issues with other pieces of this book, I may continue reading the series just so I can read more about these characters!

The plot was a bit too slow, in my opinion. I would find myself bored for entire chapters, only reading to find out when the next interesting issue would appear. It feels like I only read half a book, really. While the conclusion was a great cliff-hanger type situation, the lack of truly exciting plot points in this book was disappointing. 

Not to mention my confusion about what went on at the end. I mean, there are cliffhangers, but then there are seemingly random occurrences, and this book combined these. The cliffhanger made me want to read the next book, but only because I need answers. What happened at the end? How is it all connected? While this would usually be seen as a good thing, I was more frustrated than excited to get my hands on the second book. Maybe I missed something, but some of the events in the last third of the book just seemed out of place.

Overall, I didn't like this book as much as I had hoped to. The ending was a cliffhanger, but it was also really confusing. However, the amazing cast of characters has me considering buying the second book in the series, because I need to know how their story continues. 

I recommend this book to fans of young adult paranormal books. If you like slower paced novels with likeable and unique characters, this book is for you.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Sublime by Christina Lauren


Series: N/A
Author: Christina Lauren
Page Count: 336
Published: October 14th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  3.5 Stars ★★★

Lucy wakes up near a school. She doesn't know why she is there, and she doesn't know why people are acting like she isn't even present. But she does know that she is drawn to Colin, for some unknown reason. Colin finds himself drawn to her as well, and he knows that there's something different about her. As they get to know each other, they fall for each other, and the fact that one of them is dead starts to complicate things. Colin wants to be close to Lucy, to touch her like she's any other girl, and once they find a dangerous way to accomplish this, they can't seem to stop.

I will admit, the reason I first looked into getting this book was the cover. Look at it! It's beautiful. After reading some reviews, both positive and negative, I realized that I had to get this book. While I wasn't really disappointed, I wasn't extremely impressed with this book either.

I have two issues with this book. First, is the writing style. I believe that it's written in third person present tense, and this combination just threw me off. I found it hard to get into reading the book, I really think that third person past tense would have been a much better choice. Because this issue obviously extended for the whole book, that knocked a few stars off of my rating.

Another issue I had with the book was the pacing. It was a bit too slow for my taste, and a good chunk of the more exciting parts happened in the last half of the book, so the first half felt extra drawn-out. As I mentioned, the plot speeds up at the halfway mark, which I really appreciated! I have to say, the pieces of the plot after that point were enjoyable and thrilling to read about.

I loved pretty much everything else about this book. The concept itself is one that I enjoyed. The idea of a romance between a ghost and a living person, two people drawn together for some unknown reason, and the obstacles that they face all tied this story together very well. The romance had a bit of an insta-love feel to it, but I don't mind this if it's done well, and in the case of this book, it was definitely done well.

I also really liked both main characters. Both had tragic pasts, Colin losing his parents at a young age, and Lucy dying so young, and I think that their personal tragedies complemented the others' in a way that made their attraction to each other, and their overall characters, very easy to care about. I like that the author didn't reveal every detail about their situations right away, it gave the story a sense of mystery.

This book was truly bittersweet, with all the talk of tragedies, and the unknown, and the question of whether or not Colin and Lucy's relationship would be able to continue on into the future, considering all the issues that they had to face together. No spoilers here, but I have to say that I think the ending was perfect!

Overall I enjoyed this book, though there were some issues. While the romance was sweet, the writing style and pacing cost the book a few stars. However, the whole concept of the book was intriguing and I am glad that I read it!

I recommend this book to young adult readers who like stories about ghosts. If you're into paranormal romance, you may enjoy this.

Find Sublime on Goodreads.

Friday, 15 September 2017

50/50 Friday - Favorite/Least Favorite Series Cover Set

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

This week's topic is favorite/least favorite series cover set


Image result for skulduggery pleasant series covers

There have been lots of different covers, but they're all really awesome. I like them because they're colourful but not too colourful. Here are just a few of the awesome covers

Least favorite

The Lorien Legacies. I mean, they're not the most hideous covers that I've ever seen, but they're not very pretty, in my opinion


I really am not a fan of the cover of the first book, especially. You can find the covers here

Also sorry for the weird formatting and spaces.... I think blogger is glitching again -_-

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir

 Bleed Like Me

Series: N/A
Author: Christa Desir
Page Count: 288
Published: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
  4.5 Stars ★★★★

Gannon is having a lot of problems in her life. Her best friend seems to only be using her for cigarettes, her parents are too busy dealing with her unruly adopted brothers, and she cuts herself. Her life seems boring and she feels misunderstood, until she meets Brooks. Brooks is different than anyone she has ever spent time with before. He seems to see the real Gannon, and soon she finds herself craving his presence.

What starts as an attraction turns into a romance, but this romance is truly bittersweet. Brooks is dealing with problems of his own, and soon Gannon finds herself falling not only for Brooks, but for his manipulative tactics and dangerous life choices. 

In the end, this novel was heartbreaking for me, on several levels. I knew that it would deal with some tough subjects, but I had no idea that I would care for the characters as much as I ended up caring for them. 

Gannon is struggling so much, and her problems mirror those of real-life teenagers, which really struck me. Her issues were presented in an authentic way which made the portrayal of family problems and cutting all the more realistic. Gannon was broken inside, but she was likeable and my heart ached for her. 

I kind of feel like I was supposed to hate Brooks, but I didn't. I was just so sad for him. I guess he's kind of the "villain" in this book, but I didn't buy into that role for him at all. He was just as hurt and broken as Gannon, his issues just manifested in a different way. While Gannon turned to self harm, Brooks did as well, to a lesser extent. His involvement with drugs was another problem that he faced, which as with the cutting, appeared to be portrayed in a sincere way too. 

I liked both of the main characters. I could see good in them, beyond their unfortunate life choices, and I think one of the saddest parts about this book is that their story could have gone a whole other way. While the author approached their relationship as something destructive and harmful, it made me sad that, in theory, they actually could've been really good for each other, and helped each other overcome their various problems. That was the real tragedy of this book. It showed the ways that peoples' everyday relationships and actions can go horribly wrong, when there was so much potential for things to go right. 

I won't spoil the ending, but I am surprised that I didn't cry at the end. I usually get emotional incredibly easily over books, but somehow I managed to keep it together. I think that was because I was so engrossed in this book, the writing style made it easy to read for long periods of time, and before I knew it, I had flipped to the last page. 

I do take a bit of an issue with the portrayal of alternative, goth, or punk people within the book. Gannon and Brooks, along with mentions of smoking alternative types, were of the goth, punk, or otherwise "different" variety. Often, I see these types of people portrayed negatively, in fiction and in reality, and I'm kind of tired of constantly seeing the stereotype of the out-of-control, emotionally unstable alternative person everywhere I go. Certainly there are alternative, goth, and punk people like this in real life, however, I wish that the author had balanced out the representation of people in these subcultures with more positive characters in the scene, as well. This is a minor complaint, but I had to mention it.

Over all, this was an emotional read with depictions of real-life problems. While I had a few minor issues, the writing style was immersive and I loved the characters, which kept me reading on.

I recommend this book to fans of YA contemporary stories. If you're interested in emotional books about self harm and family problems, this book is for you.

Friday, 8 September 2017

50/50 Friday - Favorite/Least Favorite Cover Trend

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

This week's topic is favorite / least favorite cover trend


 Matched (Matched, #1)  Champion (Legend, #3)   New Moon (Twilight, #2)  The City of Ember (Book of Ember, #1)

 As usual I have a few favorites. One of them is beautiful dresses but The Butterfly Reader already covered that! I was also thinking dark covers, like Hush Hush and Fallen, but some people might not see  that as a "trend". So I'm going with simple covers: covers that are quite bare/not very busy, except for an object, symbol, or person on the cover. Matched is a prime example of this! And of course I've included a few more. 

Least Favorite

 Delirium (Delirium, #1)  Specials (Uglies, #3)   Before I Fall  The Host (The Host, #1)

Faces up-close. I kinda feel a bit uncomfortable, to be perfectly honest, with these covers. It's like I'm invading someone's personal space. 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Fall by Jeff Mariotte

Fall  (Witch Season, #2)

Series: Witch Season
Author: Jeff Mariotte
Page Count: 320
Published: October 1st, 2004
Publisher: Simon Pulse
  3 Stars ★★★

In the second book of the Witch Season series, Kerry is still mourning Daniel, and she holds a serious grudge against Season, the witch who killed him. She and her friends fear that the witch is still after them, and so their lives are tainted with an underlying anxiety and much suspicion. Kerry decides that she must take justice into her own hands, so she leaves her college and runs away, hoping to find Daniel's mother.

Mother Blessing is not what Kerry had expected. She agrees to teach Kerry witchcraft, as she also holds anger against Season, and so Kerry begins her journey, learning magic and reading Daniel's journals. But things might not be as they seem, and by the end of her time at Mother Blessing's she may come across some shocking revelations.

After enjoying Summer, the first book in this series, I had some high hopes for the second book. While this book wasn't terrible, it wasn't very satisfying, either. It left me fairly disappointed, although I did enjoy the story.

My main problem with this book was the pacing. The pacing of the writing was way too slow, it took too long to move from the beginning of the book into the main plot, and I found myself zoning out every now and then because there was too much description, and too little action. 

As with the first book, Kerry discusses her thoughts through journal entries, which continued to give me insight into her own ideas and at times almost foreshadowed some of the coming events. Daniel's journal offered more information concerning the history between his family and Season, and as with the first book, I appreciated these pieces for shedding light on parts of the story that the reader might not be able to understand without these writings. 

I really don't have much to say about Fall, because honestly, it's not an amazing book. It wasn't horrible, but it didn't really blow me away either. 

I recommend this book to those who enjoyed the first novel in this series. If you're interested in witches and romance, you might enjoy this series.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Book Title Book Tag

I found this awesome tag at Metaphors and Moonlight . You use book titles to answer the questions asked!

1) Title that's the story of your life

Chasing Truth (Eleanor Ames, #1)

 Chasing Truth covers this one. Essentially my whole life I've been chasing truths: who am I? What is family? What's important in life? I want to know the true answers to all of these questions.

2) Title that describes your perfect weekend

 Blood and Chocolate

Blood and Chocolate. By blood I mean watching great horror movies. And chocolate speaks for itself. 

3) Title of an adventure you'd like to go on

 The Killing Woods

 The Killing Woods. What if a body was found in some woods years ago, and I go out into the woods and hold a seance? Now that would be fun. I don't like going on crazy adventures.... just some nice woods fairly close by for the night is an adventure enough for me.

4) Title you want to name your child

Mercy (Mercy, #1)

 Mercy would make a nice name.

5) Title of your ideal job

 Author, Author

 Author, Author. Yep you guessed it.... an author! I wonder what gave it away?

6) Title of a place you'd like to visit

 Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

Vampire Academy. I'd love to visit a school of vampires!

7)  Title of your love life

Did I Mention I Love You? (The DIMILY Trilogy, #1)

Did I Mention I Love You? I'm always telling my boyfriend how much I love him.

8) Questions you ask yourself 

 M or F?

 M or F? As in, how do I dress today so that my genderfluid self might get gendered properly?

9) Title of a kingdom you want to rule or name

 Night World, No. 1 (Night World, #1-3)

 Night World. If I rule the Night World, that would make me some sort of supernatural creature. Yes please! Can I be a vampire?

10) Title you'd name your band 

Oblivion (Nevermore, #3)

Oblivion. I just think that'd be a great name for some kind of rock band.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Perfect Ruin (Perfect Ruin, #1)

Series: The Internment Chronicles
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Page Count: 356
Published: March 10th, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  3.5 Stars ★★★

Morgan lives on Internment, a city in the sky. While some have tried jumping off the edge, hoping to fall down to earth, none succeed, and all return with any number of afflictions. She knows this all too well: her brother went blind after jumping off the edge. While she knows the dangers, Morgan just can't stop wondering about life on earth, and about what it would be like to approach the edge of her beloved city.

When a girl is murdered, the citizens of Internment are shocked. Supposedly killed by Judas, the boy she was set to marry, Daphne Leander's murder makes Morgan believe that things are changing, and not for the better. When she and Judas come face to face, Morgan is convinced that he is innocent, and this begins Morgan's quest for the truth about Internment. 

I picked this up as a fan of Lauren DeStefano's Chemical Garden Trilogy, intrigued by the concept of a city in the sky. As I've enjoyed the first two books of her dystopian trilogy so far, I decided I'd try another one of her books. I had high hopes, hopes which were not exactly fulfilled, unfortunately. 

So, I really liked the world of Internment. The world-building was amazing, with everything from religion to government to social norms covered in a way that didn't overwhelm me, nor bore me. Descriptions of Morgan's life, her hopes, her dreams, and her family brought the main character to life, and she seemed to become someone more than just a character written on a page in a book. 

However, the first half of this book was too slow for me. While it is interesting to read about daily life in some kind of fantasy, dystopian society, I can only read about it for so long before I become bored. Sure, interesting bits were added in every now and then for the first fifty percent of the novel, but I found myself speed-reading to get to the next exciting event. This was the main issue for me, and it was bad enough that it knocked a few stars off of my rating for this book. 

The second half of this book, however, was much, much better than the first. The plot sped up and Morgan found herself caught in between her home, Internment, and the truth. She had to make some difficult choices, and her relationships, including those with her best friend, her betrothed, and her family, change both for the better and for the worse, forever. There were some really sad moments, and the author did a great job of making me care about what was going on. There was a lot of anticipation for the ending, and I rushed through the second half. I needed to know how it would end. 

Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to be reading the rest of the series. While I was captivated by the world of Internment and Morgan's hopes and fears, the way that this book was paced really just made me hurry to finish reading it. I don't care enough about how the series is going to end to read through a few more books and possibly deal with another boring first half again. 

Overall, I liked the idea, but I think that the pacing, especially in the first half of the book, was too slow. This resulted in me wanting to hurry and finish this book, but I ended up not caring about the whole story itself to consider finishing the trilogy. 

If you like stories with a lot of pieces of everyday life, especially those in dystopian societies, you might like this book. If you're interested in a book about corrupt governments and questioning what one has been told, you might consider giving this book a try.