Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight


Publisher: Harper
Released: 2013
Pages: 337
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

Reconstructing Amelia is an amazing debut novel. I had only heard good things about this book, but kept an open mind going in. A lot of times young adult books are hit or miss with me. I really needed something entirely different from my previous read, otherwise I would surely be disappointed in my next read. It’s really hard to pick up a new book when the one you finished was so good. Immediately, Reconstructing Amelia grabbed my attention and demanded that I pick up the book every chance I got. So,  let’s dive in and let me explain a bit about this one:

Kate Baron, a single mother with a very demanding job juggles her time between work and her teenage daughter. All her life her parents instilled in her a sense of career and focus.  As a partner in a law firm, Kate has had to put in long hours and Amelia seemed to mostly understand and accept that Kate works very hard for all that they have.  Amelia is an excellent student and well-rounded teenager. However, her daughter Amelia has been asking a lot of questions about her father, asking to spend a semester in Paris and she seems distant. Kate knows something is going on with her. When Kate receives a phone call that her daughter was caught cheating, Kate knows that’s not true because her daughter would never cheat. Despite her hectic schedule, she knows her daughter and knows how important academia is to Amelia. When Kate gets to the school and realizes there’s police and an ambulance, she begins to wonder what is going on. Kate unfortunately learns that her daughter jumped from the roof and committed suicide. Kate knows her daughter didn't cheat, didn't jump and when she starts to receive anonymous text messages that tell her Amelia didn't jump, Kate starts digging into Amelia life. It seems like everyone has a secret to uncover.

As a new parent it was hard to read about Kate’s grief, and knowing that her only daughter was gone forever. Once she starts getting deeper into Amelia’s life, readers really want to know what happened. There are quite a few twists at the end that I didn't see coming. The book mostly takes place in present day, but we do get some flashbacks of Kate as a young mom. Amelia’s narrative is interwoven throughout the story explaining her months beforehand.  Her life really started to spiral out of control with bullying, hazing, questions about her own sexuality, difficult friendships and school pressure. Reconstructing Amelia is a multi-layered novel that is sure to capture your attention, and leave you recommending it to others. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: The House of Riverton by Kate Morton


Publisher: Washington Square Press
Published: 2009
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5


I started The House of Riverton while going through a major reading slump, and decided to pick this one up. Kate Morton has never left me disappointed but I didn’t know what to expect from her debut novel.  It was on my tbr list for a long time, and I thought I should give it a chance. As soon as I began to read, I knew I was going to love it. In the end, I was right, this book was amazing and I had trouble to put the book down. The characters were so vivid, and likable. For those who watch Downton Abbey, the world was very similar; Aristocratic family relationships upstairs, while the servants live and interact downstairs.

The House of Riverton introduces readers to Grace; she’s ninety-eight years old and living in a nursing home.  When a filmmaker contacts Grace about her time living at Riverton, Grace realizes that so much of Riverton was a mystery, including an alleged suicide by a family friend. Grace begins to tell her story and readers are taken on a captivating ride. At fourteen Grace was given a position as a servant, her mother was once a servant and seemed to have some pull since positions weren't easily given. Grace was told to listen and do as she was told but she couldn't help but become fascinated with the children upstairs. Grace’s attachment to the siblings grew overtime and her loyalty remained strong.  As the children grow into young adults, Grace is fully aware of their struggles and desires.


Kate Morton’s descriptions are so vivid. 1920’s England, a world war and its aftermath are all key elements in story. While readers will love the past story, Grace’s present story is also very interesting. Grace admits that she wasn’t the best mother. She mentions that mothers and daughters have a difficult relationship because there’s so much pressure but grandchildren are different. The expectations are different. She has a close relationship with her grandson but his life has recently been turned upside down, and he hasn’t communicated to anyone in months. Grace knows that her time is limited, but she’s kept so many secrets for so long. The House of Riverton won't disappoint. Kate Morton is one of my favorite authors and can't wait for her upcoming release. 


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Reading Resolutions for 2015



This past year reading and blogging was put on a back burner while I spent my days with Caleb. I've already posted about him not being a good sleeper. (He actually slept through the night last night) Since I've been back to work, I realized that I have more time to read. I'm commuting to work, and have lunches and breaks that I can devote to reading.  I've been thinking about what I choose to read, and how the blogging community really influences what I read. Social media is addictive and I tend to pick up books that I see others raving about. That's great but before I was a blogger, I read whatever I came across and I read a lot of classics. I miss those books. I tend to not pick up books that have been on my tbr list for years, and opt for the newer read. I would really like to change that in 2015. I want to try and be a more well rounded reader. I would like to read or reread some classics, find some great Canadian reads, and not be afraid to pick up those chunksters.

I'm a huge Gilmore Girls fan and I've been re-watching the series on Netflix. THANK YOU Netflix! I realized that I was the type or reader that Rory is, and I miss that. I remember picking up The Bell Jar and The Virgin Suicides and being completely absorbed in those reads. I just think I'm missing out on some great reads because I'm choosing only newly released books. 

Here is a list of my resolutions

1- Don't be afraid of chunksters
2- Read more Canadian Fiction
3- Be a more diverse reader
4- Classics, it's okay to read and review them
5- The books that have been on my tbr list for years still deserve to be read

Overall, I would like seek out books that I would normal pass over. 


What are some of your favorite backlist titles?


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Books, and back to work



50 weeks of maternity leave and I'm back to work. It's been really hard to adjust and I'm still adjusting but I think being a working mom will be doable. I'm still very sleep deprived, Caleb doesn't sleep his night and I don't think he ever will... Some mornings he's up at 4:30 am. I'm just trying to enjoy all the time that I do have with him, and not think about all the hours he spends in daycare. I was fortunate to gradually transition him to daycare, and he's been doing great. 


Since I'm back to work, I'm commuting again which means I can read! I was in such a reading funk and couldn't get into anything for awhile. I picked up Kate Morton's House of Riverton. I love her books and this one has been on my tbr list for awhile. I'm hooked! The world is very similar to Downton Abbey, which I didn't expect but really held my attention from the beginning. I'm about half way through and hope to review it soon. 

I've also started looking into Booktubers. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. 

For those in the US, Happy Thanksgiving!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares




Publisher: Delacorte Press
Released: 2014
Pages: 192
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.5/5

Prenna, a young girl from the future was born in a world riddled by plague, and desolated her population. In order to survive, she’s gone back in time and lives within a small community that has very strict rules. They’re hoping to makes some changes to make their world a better place in the future. Her two younger brothers succumbed to the blood plague in her time period, and her father never made it to her current life. She’s alone with her mother, who remains as cold hearted and distant as possible. Her mother is following the rules, Prenna is struggling. Prenna must fit in with her peers , assimilate, and not draw any attention to herself. She must never fall in love, and focus on the task at hand. She had every intention to follow the rules, but lately a boy has caught her attention, and he knows a lot more about her life than she expected. 

When I picked up The Here and Now I was looking for something to switch gears from the book I read previously. It’s been awhile since I picked up a YA book of this nature, and I didn’t really expect much. This book is fast paced, and enjoyable but not very complex compared to other YA storylines.  Brashares succeeds in depicting a realistic future, but she doesn’t elaborate on the time travel aspect of the novel. I felt like she gave just enough to keep readers going, but not having to really give any indepth analysis. 

Ann Brashares wrote The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and she really stole my heart with that series. The Here and Now is completely different and not in the same category. This book really felt like it was lacking certain elements. The love story isn’t really convincing, and I never felt the passion. I did enjoy the book. I thought it was a fast read, and if you’re looking for something not too complex, you might want to give this one a try. I’m happy I read it but wouldn’t mark it among my favorites. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian



Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 288
Released: 2014
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

Review:

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands will break your heart and will undoubtedly move you. Once you pick the book up, it's almost impossible to put it down. If you do, you certain do so begrudgingly. Readers are introduced to Emily Shepard, a homeless 16 year-old girl who has built an igloo with snow and trash bags. She's had to build a new identity, steal, and move on with her life the only way she knows how. Accompanying her is a little boy named Cameron, and Emily wants to protect him at all costs. Nearly a year ago, a nuclear explosion at their local power plant melted down and wiped out a large radius. Her parents both worked at the plant; her father was in charge, and her mother head of the PR department. Neither one survived, and Emily is all alone. She cannot stand to hear everyone blaming her parents, and she fears they will continue to take it out on her. When the plant initially melted down, no one held back on their thoughts about her parents. As a result Emily had to change her identity.

The narration skips around, and we learn what Emily's life was prior to the meltdown. Her parents weren't Saints, and both hated living in Vermont. They drank a lot, fought a lot, but both loved Emily. Emily was your typical teenager, going to an elite prep school and found herself getting into trouble from time to time. She rebelled, didn't live up to her potential as a student, but was a fairly good kid who loves Emily Dickenson. Sadly, coping with her new life on the streets includes stealing, resorting to prostitution from time to time, and she becomes a cutter.

I haven't read many of Chris Bohjalian's books but of the two I've read, I've loved them both. Midwives was a great read, and Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is now one of my favorite reads. Emily narrates the story, and she takes readers on a heartbreaking journey. Bohjalian captures the raw emotion, and the desperation of a teenage girl living on the streets with no where to go. "Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands" is such a powerful statement when mentioned in the book, and it will remain with you. I highly recommend this one. I can go on and on about how powerful this book it, but you should really read it for yourself.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline



Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 320
Released: 2010
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3/5


When Cassie's grandfather passes away, she learns that he bequeathed a house to her,  and she's not sure what to think. Her mother's family are virtually strangers to her, she's been raised by her widowed father and her maternal family never played a role in her childhood. Her mother was killed in a drunk driving accident with her father at the wheel, and Cassie wonders why he would give her a house. The family tried to move on the best they could, and they quickly offer to sell the house for her. Cassie is a struggling artist and would love to move to Tennessee and possibly get some answers that she's never been able to have answered. Meeting her family is tense, and uncomfortable- some family members are more welcoming than others. Her grandmother seems nice, but very guarded. Her family warns her not to ask any questions to her grandmother regarding her mother's death. They tell her that everyone has moved on, and she should too. When Cassie learns that there seems to be quite a bit of town gossip regarding her mother's passing, Cassie is determined to get the answers she wants. She believes it's the least they can do, and she deserves their honesty.

Sweet Water is told in alternating perspectives between a confused, and determined Cassie, and her guilt-ridden grandmother Clyde. Clyde believes her husband has hidden secrets inside the house, and this is his way of finally getting back at Clyde. Their relationship over the years deteriorated and him killing her daughter in a drunken stupor is something she will never get over. Especially since Ellen was her favorite child. Clyde clearly states that Ellen was her favorite, and her other children have always known that she was the favorite. Amory had his own secrets and thought Clyde was at fault for the accident as well. He had been drinking because of her and his secrets.

I enjoyed Sweet Water for the most part but felt the story was missing something. I felt like I've been waiting and waiting for this big reveal, and it didn't really happen. I had figured out the secret long before, and felt disappointed by the end.  The shocking mystery is incredibly obvious to readers. Cassie's relationship with Troy, her cousin, also through me for a loop. Overall, Sweet Water was a quick read and I did enjoy some aspects of the book but I was happy when it was finished and I could move on to something else.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: China Dolls by Lisa See

Hi everyone!


My summer reading hasn't been the most successful, but with a 7 month old I'm thankful to still fit in reading. I've been thinking about incorporating more of my new mom stuff into my blog and reviewing some of my favourite products, since I spent quite a bit of my time looking up product reviews when I'm interested in something. I finally bought a new battery for my Macbook, and upgraded my RAM so my laptop is actually functional again. I've been meaning to get back into blogging, but the new battery thing really helped me get motivated. Usually, I start thinking about pulling out the laptop and getting the cord and extension cord, and then I get lazy and don't bother. So, I'm hoping that I will be able to come back more regularly and update. I really miss blogging. 


China Dolls by Lisa See
Publisher: Random House
Released: 2014
Pages: 400
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5



So, let's get into reading... My favorite summer read so far has been China Dolls by Lisa See. Lisa has an incredible ability to tell stories, and she remains one of my favourite writers. China Dolls does not disappoint, and readers will fall in love with the characters. Ruby, Grace and Helen have very different backgrounds but come together as friends when they meet at an audition to become show girls. Each has their reason to want to become a show girl, and each girl is running away from their past. They become fast friends, but each are looking out for their own interests. In 1938, the world around the girls is about to change with the bombing of Pearl Harbour, and Ruby is still trying to hide the fact that she is Japanese passing as a Chinese American. Her relationships with her new found friends become strained during this time, and she doesn't know who she can trust or how careful she should be. Grace is an American-born Chinese and doesn't understand Helen's scepticism of Ruby and her Japanese background. Grace doesn't realize that Helen's past in China is more dark than she can imagine.

Lisa See captured my heart when I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. That book will always remain with me, it was the first time I dipped into Chinese history and I was so captivated and interested. I remember I researched some of the background information to find out more and enrolled in a Chinese history class in university. That's how powerful that book was to me, books transport you into another world. Another one that had a similar reaction for me was Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl about the Tudors. If you haven't read any of Lisa See's books, I highly recommend them. If you have, you'll want to add China Dolls to your reading list. It's truly a "must read." 

Monday, June 2, 2014

A few books on my tbr list

Hi everyone,

I've been trying to get back into blogging, but my laptop was incredibly slow and I didn't want to deal with it. I recently upgraded the RAM, and I'm so impressed with the speed! I don't know why it took me so long to do this. I'm really going to try to write some reviews. I'll probably start fresh with my current read once I'm done. I tried writing reviews of books I previously read, but it has been so long that I found it difficult to review. 




I'm currently reading China Dolls by Lisa See. Lisa See is an incredible writer and I was so excited to see that she has a new book about to be released. I'm about 40% through and really enjoying it. Isn't the cover beautiful? 

A few other books that I cannot wait to read are:



Heather O'Neill wrote Lullabies for Little Criminals and it was a fantastic read. She's a Montreal writer and I cant wait to read this one. If you haven't read Lullabies, I highly recommend it. 


I haven't read any of his previous work, but this one sounds like one I would enjoy. Simon and Schuster sent me a copy, and I'm hoping to read it soon. Thanks Simon and Schuster!




I've had this one on my tbr list for awhile, and I'm hoping to get to it soon. 



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

February Update- Books and Baby

Hi everyone,

The reviewing has been really slow here. I'm sorry, but Caleb refuses to nap longer than 30 minutes at a time and that doesn't give me much time to review. Once he's in bed, I feel like reading. I managed to read five books in February. My Goodreads goal was 52 books, and I'm two books ahead of schedule. Once Caleb settles into a better napping schedule, I'll hopefully have more time to myself.


Safe With Me by Amy Hatvany 5/5
The Bear by Claire Cameron 5/5
Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood 3/5
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 4/5
Slammed by Colleen Hoover 4/5

My favorite book read this month was Safe With Me by Amy Hatvany. I've loved each and every one of her books. If you're looking for a great read, check out her books! Her subjects are difficult but realistic. The Bear was another great read, I'm looking forward to reviewing this one. The Bear is narrated by Anna, a five year old girl who is left to fend for herself, when her parents are attacked and killed by a bear. Reading the book through Anna's perspective really draws readers in to the story. I also really enjoyed Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Slammed. Star Cursed wasn't as good as I expected, but I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.



Caleb update:

He turned 3 months, March 3rd. He hates to nap, and we're trying to figure that out. We actually have a bedtime routine, and it feels great to have some time to myself at night. He's still sleeping in our room, and I don't really want to put him in his own room yet. Maybe at 6 months, maybe... He's currently 15 pounds and starting to wear 6 month clothes. I've been wondering if the size indicators are correct for most babies? He's been outgrowing clothes so fast.

I'm hoping to have a few reviews up soon. If not, it's because he's keeping me busy. If you have any nap tips, please pass them along.




Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent




Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 322
Released: 2013
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis:

Agnes has been convicted of murder and sentenced to death. While waiting for her execution, she is sent to live in isolation on a local farm. The District Officer is expected to house Agnes, and his family is horrified.  His wife, and two daughters are told to avoid her at all costs. Toti, the local priest has been chosen to be Agnes’s spiritual guardian, and he tries to understand what went wrong with her to be found in such a circumstance, what was her background. The farmer’s wife and children slowly begin to learn more about Agnes, and realize there is more to her story than they’ve been told. 

My Thoughts:

Burial Rites is a historical fiction read, based on the true story. It's a truly riveting read that will leave you with a heavy heart. Hannah Kent's debut novel, will have readers quickly wrapped up in Agnes story, and want to learn more about her. It’s clear that there’s more to her story, and only time will reveal her secrets.

Burial Rites was very different from the type of books I normally read, it was very dark and heavy but captivating. Historical documents are provided at the beginning of each chapter, and this enhances the read. Agnes was abandoned by her mother, lived a life of poverty, and moved from farm to farm as a parish pauper. Her intelligence pushed people away, and eventually she began to work as a maid. When Agnes falls in love with Nathan, she believes that he truly loves her but his manipulative ways begin to show. 

The narration of the story is told from multiple perspectives. Agnes, which may be an unreliable narrator and a third person narrator. Burial Rites was a great read, as a reader, I don’t believe I’ve travelled to Iceland, but this book gave me a great sense of the time and place. Some of the names were difficult to get through, but overall, I enjoyed the book greatly. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor





Publisher: Harper Collins
Released: Feb 2014
Source: Publisher
Pages: 400
Rating: 5/5


Synopsis:

Olivia and Zoe are best friends who dreams of being dancers. The girls dreams of being a dancer gets derailed, when they are told “there is no longer space for you” at the prestigious NYBC dance club, Olivia deals with it better than Zoe. Both girls have been dancing there since they were nine. Zoe decides that she must give it up completely and remove all reminders of dance from her life. Olivia continues to teach a dance class, and tries to remain positive. The two girls have no clue that this is such a minor obstacle compared to what’s about to come. Olivia is suddenly diagnosed with cancer. Olivia is admitted to the hospital for rigorous treatment, and Zoe has to balance her life between school and visiting Olivia. School is torturous for Zoe, everyone pretends to suddenly be Olivia’s best friend and their concern for her is forced and fake. As Olivia’s health deteriorates, Zoe is worried that the family will stop her from visiting. Zoe doesn’t know how to cope, and worries when Olivia begins to tell her that she’s scared to die. 

My thoughts:

Maybe One Day will simply break your heart. Zoe and Olivia are your typical high school best friends, they can’t do anything unless they’re together. They will remind you of your own best friend relationships during high school. When Zoe is suddenly alone at school and Olivia is fighting for her life in a hospital bed, you really feel for the girls. The reaction of their peers is completely realistic, everyone pretends to be Olivia’s best friend, and the cheerleader’s are relentless in asking about her. Zoe has to standby and listen when they start forming charity drives in honor of Olivia. 

Zoe’s relationship with Olivia’s brother changes and they become closer, his best friend Calvin also becomes closer with Zoe. It takes Zoe some time to get over Calvin’s popularity and trust that he truly has her best interests at heart. When Zoe begins to realize that she has feelings for Calvin, the guilt kicks in because she knows Olivia has a crush on him. 

Olivia’s parents reaction of protectiveness is completely understandable, and heartbreaking. Their daughter’s prognosis is grim, and they refuse to accept her circumstance, they try to remain positive and keep Olivia as happy as possible.

Although, Maybe One Day is a young adult novel, I think it would appeal to many age groups. It’s raw, honest, and very emotional. When someone is diagnosed with an illness, many people are affected. When that person is a teenager, even more people seem shocked, and involved. I highly recommend this one! It will pull at your heart strings and leave you recommending this one to others. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Review: Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson



Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 400
Released: 2013
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: 

Lily is the daughter of an Earl, and not the type of girl her mother wants her to be. It’s 1914, war is looming and her mother wants her to take her place within society and try to secure herself with a good marriage. Her world is divided by class, but Lily wants to marry for love, she dreams of having a career, and traveling the world. Her mother is appalled by her actions and ideas. Lily and her brother’s friend Robert seem to hit it off at a party, but her mother quickly puts a stop to this. Robert grew up in poverty, and graduated on scholarship. Robert may be a doctor but his background will never be forgotten by her mother. 

When  the war breaks out, Lily doesn’t want to just sit idle and knit. She goes against her parents wishes, accepts their threat to disown her, and she leaves home. She is determined to put her driving skills to good use, and become an ambulance driver. Eventually Lily earns her position as a driver, and is stationed at a field hospital in France, reunited with Robert. While their relationship never progressed passed friendship, Lily is drawn to Robert. She must convince him that she is not above him in any way, and certainly not out of bounds for him. 

Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Jennifer Robson’s debut. Lily is a strong, independent character, and for Downton fans she will remind you of Lady Sybil. Although this novel has been repeatedly compared to Downton, the novel is able to stand on it’s own. The plot is original and captivating. I really don’t like when novels are compared to whatever is popular at the moment. I don’t think the comparison is necessary, Somewhere in France really stands on its own.

The relationship between Lily and Robert is complicated, and the war puts further strain on their relationship, at any time they could be attacked and lose one another. Robert is afraid to cross the friendship line, he knows that after the war Lily will still be Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford, and his best friend is her brother. 

Robson’s doesn’t spare readers the graphic scenes that Lily encounters as an ambulance technician. Readers can really grasp the dire situation, and the long arduous days those in the medical field endured. As a historical fiction novel, she really delivers and engages the imagination. Overall, I highly recommend this one for fans of historical fiction, and/or romance. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Released: 2012
Pages: 544
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 3/5



Goodreads Description:

Mara Dyer knows she isn't crazy. She knows that she can kill with her mind, and that Noah can heal with his. Mara also knows that somehow, Jude is not a hallucination. He is alive. Unfortunately, convincing her family and doctors that she's not unstable and doesn't need to be hospitalised isn't easy. The only person who actually believes her is Noah. But being with Noah is dangerous and Mara is in constant fear that she might hurt him. She needs to learn how to control her power, and fast! Together, Mara and Noah must try and figure out exactly how Jude survived when the asylum collapsed, and how he knows so much about her strange ability...before anyone else ends up dead!

Review:

I really enjoyed The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and had high expectations for the second book. Mara continues to be an unreliable narrator. Mara has to convince her parents that she’s not crazy. They have her on lockdown, and have threatened to institutionalize her. At the same time, Mara is trying to protect herself, and her family from Jude. He’s alive and well- she’s not sure how- but it’s clear that he can’t be trusted, and he enjoys tormenting her. She can’t protect her family when she’s locked up, and interrogated by psychologists. So, she must convince them that she can be trusted at home. 

Mara has to lie her way throughout the whole book because no one believes her. I  really wanted someone to believe her, someone besides Noah. Mostly her brother. Mara and Noah seem to be in a little bubble, and I wanted someone else to be brought into their struggles. Mara and Noah are so reliant on each other, that I became annoyed. Mara puts all her trust in him, and seems very weak. She has the ability to kill people with her mind, but puts all her trust in Noah. I wanted her to spend more time figuring out her abilities and becoming more independent. Honestly, I thought their romance was a bit cheesy. I wanted to like them as a couple but I couldn't completely enjoy them. 
It really annoyed me that her parents had so much trust in Noah. He was able to practically live at their house, and I thought this was strange. Her parents see her as vulnerable, weak and on the brink of sanity. Why would they allow her high school boyfriend so much freedom?
All in all, I enjoyed the sequel but it didn’t really satisfy me as a reader. I will probably read the third book, but my expectations have been lowered. 



Sunday, February 2, 2014

January Reads


January ended with me reading a total of 5 books. I read a mix of Young Adult and Adult Literature, and enjoyed them all. I'll be reviewing them shortly. Caleb doesn't always like to nap during the day, so reading hasn't been as plentiful as I had expected. You know what else I never expected? How much laundry one little baby can go through... Seriously, his hamper is always full! He'll be 2 months old tomorrow, and growing so fast!

Books Read

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor 5/5 Stars
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd 4/5 Stars
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent 4/5 Stars
The Evolution of Mara Dyer 3/5 Stars
Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robinson 5/5 Stars

My favorite book read this month was Maybe One Day. This one releases in March, and will sure to have rave reviews. It certainly pulled at my heart strings. Zoe and Olivia are best friends, who were always inseparable. Olivia is suddenly diagnosed with Leukemia, and both of their worlds are rocked. Zoe tries to be positive, and refuses to think the worst while Olivia has her mother hovering over her.

The Evolution of Mara wasn't as enjoyable as the first book. I found this one too long, but I will read the final book. This book left me with too many questions.



I'm currently reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Rigg's. I went into this one with no expectations and I'm really impressed with how much I'm enjoying it. When the book was first released, I remember seeing the cover on many blogs but I never paid much attention to it, with the sequel being released, I wanted to see what this one was about.


I'm hoping to get more reading time in February, but as long as I'm reading, i'll be happy. I have a wide variety of books I want to get to, but I usually pick my next read depending on my mood. I won't tell you how long it took me to write the post, Caleb is finally napping but for how long...I'm not sure.


Happy February Reading!




Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mini Review: Cataract City by Craig Davidson


Goodreads Description:

Owen and Duncan are childhood friends who've grown up in picturesque Niagara Falls--known to them by the grittier name Cataract City. As the two know well, there's more to the bordertown than meets the eye: behind the gaudy storefronts and sidewalk vendors, past the hawkers of tourist T-shirts and cheap souvenirs live the real people who scrape together a living by toiling at the Bisk, the local cookie factory. And then there are the truly desperate, those who find themselves drawn to the borderline and a world of dog-racing, bare-knuckle fighting, and night-time smuggling.
     Owen and Duncan think they are different: both dream of escape, a longing made more urgent by a near-death incident in childhood that sealed their bond. But in adulthood their paths diverge, and as Duncan, the less privileged, falls deep into the town's underworld, he and Owen become reluctant adversaries at opposite ends of the law. At stake is not only survival and escape, but a lifelong friendship that can only be broken at an unthinkable price.

My thoughts:
Rating: 4/5

Cataract City drew me into a world where two men dreamed of escape. In their small town, escape seemed like the only way. I received this book for review, and wasn't sure what to expect. In the end, I found this story fast-paced, gritty and completely believable. I was married in Niagara Falls, Ontario and really wanted to read this one. Cataract City exceeded my expectations, and captivated me until the end. This book was nominated for the Scotia Giller Prize in 2013, and really impressed me, never dragging on and always keeping me on the edge of my seat. I love coming across Canadian authors that leave me wanting more from them. I really wish I could go into more detail and do this book justice, but I read this book last September. I do however, highly recommend this one and encourage readers to keep this one in mind.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Blogging in 2014// Baby Update

Hi everyone!

It's been awhile since I posted, and wanted to share some pictures of baby Caleb and let everyone know what I plan to do blogging-wise. I fully intend to get back into blogging and I've been reading again. Reviews should start back soon... Near the end of my pregnancy, I was working full time and too exhausted to pick up a book.Now that I'm on mat leave, and getting use to being a mom, I can start a new routine. Blogging will be pressure-free and I'm going to focus on reading what I feel like reading. No schedules, no blog tours, just fun reading. I set my Goodreads goal to 52 books,  and I'm hoping I will be able to surpass the 52 book goal.


Caleb was born Dec 3rd, and he loves to stay awake all night. He was 8 pounds, 11 oz and I was induced 2 weeks early. Labor was not fun, and to those of you who've had a natural birth...you're amazing! I caved, and got the epidural and ended up with a c-section after 20 hours.





If you want to see more pictures, check out my Instagram