Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Monday, April 16, 2018

Picking Up a Book During a Difficult Time + Stephanie Plum (Turbo Twenty Three)

If you're  book lover, you can probably look at a favorite book and picture the time and place where you read it. Since my Mom went into the hospital, I haven't been able to read. After my Mom passed, I thought I wanted to read a really sad book and I picked up a book that dealt with grief, but that didn't work for me. I let it go, and one day I saw Turbo Twenty-Three and was immediately brought back to when I loved these Stephanie Plum books. I flashed back to living with my parents, getting the new release and sitting in the living room devouring these books. I can picture the chair, the blanket and it felt very comforting. Over the course of a few days, I finished this book and was happy that I got through a book. Reading is how I relax and it felt good to close the book.

It's been 4 weeks since my Mom passed, and I can't say that it has gotten easier. Every single day is hard. The first few weeks, I would feel panicked when I thought about my Mom gone. I still feel like that some days. I still get angry, confused and frustrated. I still can't believe that she is just gone. I've realized that I need to just let myself go through these emotions. It's not a matter of one day you feel better, it's all about adjusting and taking it one day at a time.

Last week was really hard, my in laws went back home. As soon as they heard about my Mom, they came to stay with us. They stayed with us for 3 weeks. My Dad went back to work and it felt like "this is our new routine." I was so, so sad. Last week, I turned 33, and my wedding anniversary was the next day. I couldn't help but think, this is the 3rd event my Mom has already missed. Picking up this book was comforting, and it helped get through the week.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Heart to Heart: Losing My Mom

I'm learning to navigate this world without my Mom. In February, my Mom was admitted to the hospital for pains in her arm. 5 years ago she had a valve replacement, and we knew the valve wasn't working as it should. What we didn't realize was how sick my Mom really was. We were told that she would need to undergo another valve replacement and a bypass. She was in the hospital for 3 weeks before her surgeon was available to operate. The operation took 10 hours, and when her surgeon came out to speak with us, we knew she would either not survive or have a very long recovery.  Unfortunately, my Mom passed on March 19th.

My world came crashing down, the fear in the hospital- I wouldn't wish on anyone. It was so terrifying to go to her room and hear more bad news. The good news sounded really good, and the bad news sounded really bad. She was on a ventilator and sedated, those machines were terrifying. from Friday to Monday, I felt my Mom slip away and I knew it wasn't her choice. She would choose to stay with us, if she could. It was scary to be given a little bit of hope and have it ripped away shortly after. I worry about how aware she was, how scared she was, and how much pain she was in. All of those things, I will never know. She did open her eyes once when I was in the room, and I told her how great she was doing. I hope she knew how proud of her I was. She was a fighter, but this fight was too much for her.

I saw my Mom every single day, and now I don't know how I'm going to keep going. I know I will, I know I have to, but it's scary and I wish I didn't have to learn to adjust to life without her. I'm trying to be strong, and I have a great support system but it still doesn't feel real. Life doesn't feel right. How can my Mom just be gone? It doesn't feel fair, and I get really angry. My faith has really taken a hit, because now I know God doesn't have to listen to my prayers. My Mom lost her Mom at a young age, and it was something that bothered her for her entire life. I know that feeling now. It's a physical hurt, an emptiness. I feel like I'm too young to lose my Mom, I didn't picture losing her in my early 30's. I still needed her. My son is only 4 years old.

Losing my Mom has made me so afraid that I could lose someone else. It has made me angry that the days still come and go. When I have a decent day, I feel guilty because I got through that day so easily. Grief comes in waves. I feel like most days, I'm just pretending that I'm "okay" and I keep pretending to get through the day. It's hard and we need to take it one day at a time. I keep reminding myself that it hurts this much because my Mom was such a good Mom.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Book Review: The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (Canada Reads 2018)

Rating: 5/5
Source: Personal Copy
Publisher: Dancing Cat Books
Released: 2017
Pages: 231

Goodreads Description:

In a futuristic world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led to widespread madness. The only people still able to dream are North America's Indigenous people, and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world. But getting the marrow, and dreams, means death for the unwilling donors. Driven to flight, a fifteen-year-old and his companions struggle for survival, attempt to reunite with loved ones and take refuge from the "recruiters" who seek them out to bring them to the marrow-stealing "factories."


I picked up The Marrow Thieves because it was short listed for Canada Reads 2018. I was really happy to see an Indigenous book in the selections. I've read alot of books by Native American writers but this was my first Young Adult/Dystopian/Indigenous read. I wasn't sure what I would think about it, but I went in with no expectations. I haven't been reading alot of Young Adult books lately because I don't seem to relate to them and was hesitant about this book. As I started to read this book, I was really drawn into the concept and world. Climate change has wreaked havoc on the world, and people in North American have lost the ability to dream which has led to madness. When it is discovered that Indigenous people are the only ones who still have the ability to dream, they're hunted down. Their bone marrow is harvested and used to cure those who are dreamless. It's clear that Indigenous people are not considered human, they're a commodity, they're objects- used to benefit others.

When Frenchie's brother gives up to save him, Frenchie is left all alone. He's vulnerable and lonely. We really start to see how dire the situation is. Even when Frenchie meets up with others, trust is a big issue. We see loss of language, loss of culture but we also see survival and resistance. The characters in this novel can easily appeal to a larger audience and I think it does a great job making these characters relatable. Alot of Indigenous reads can feel very "in your face" and threatening, where I feel like this story is different. It's not so harsh and heavy, and will keep people reading. The dystopian setting is a great technique to open readers minds. I think this book will do well in the Canada Reads debates. The theme this year is "One Book To Open Your Eyes" and I think this book fits the theme very well. We need to get people talking about Indigenous issues, and in 2018 it's more important than ever. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Book Haul and Books Read (Precious Cargo, The Ever After, Shrewed, Laura & Emma)

Book Haul (Precious Cargo, The Ever After, Shrewed, Laura & Emma)

Welcome to Mailbox Monday/Stacking the Shelves. I'm happy to be sharing my new books. This Mailbox Monday was started by Marcia and hosted here. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Last week, I didn't pick up too many books but I am excited about the books that did come into my house. These are all eBooks, since I mostly read on my Kobo. I purchased one book, and the three others are digital advanced reading copies.


Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson

Advanced Reading Copies

The Ever After by Sarah Pekkanen
Shrewed by Elizabeth Renzetti
Laura & Emma by Kate Greathead

I read two books, and started a third.

Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Friday, February 16, 2018

Review: Still Life by Louise Penny

Review: Still Life by Louise Penny
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Released: 2005
Pages: 293
Source: Personal Book
Rating: 3/5 Stars

Goodreads Description:

Winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montréal and yet a world away. Jane Neal, a long-time resident of Three Pines, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more but Gamache smells something foul this holiday season…and is soon certain that Jane died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

With this award-winning first novel, Louise Penny introduces an engaging hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces--and this series--with power, ingenuity, and charm.

My Thoughts:

I had high expectations going into this read, and I was left disappointed. The story started off strong with the death of Jane Neal, living in a small town every one is shocked and wanting to figure out what happened. Three Pines was a wonder setting, I love reading about small towns. Since it does take place not far from where I live, I was all the more interested and connected with the story. It started to fall apart towards the middle, when the pace slowed down. 

Inspector Gamache really helped hold the story together for me, and he is the reason why I would try this next book in this series. The death of Jane puts the whole town under the spotlight because they live in such a small community. There's lots of misleading clues that leaves the reader guessing and trying to pieces together what happened. Initially, the hunting community was thought to have killed Jane accidentally which I thought was plausible. However, the hunters kept getting back handed comments because they were hunters. That's was frustrating to me, because hunting is a huge part of my family. It in no way makes you a bad or heartless person, it's a tradition and a source of food. It's not a reflection of you as a person. Then, I read comments about the French and English and how a "french" person would never do this or that. I've lived in Quebec my whole life, and that annoyed me to no end. The story continued to fall apart for me. I don't feel like the differences between English and French have to cement that the story takes place in Quebec. It felt forced.

Overall, the mystery was good. I stayed engaged and wanted to figure out what happened. Inspector Gamache was a great characters, and I loved Tree Pines. I would hope the second book is more faster paced. The parts that annoyed me, probably wouldn't annoy others but they really distracted me and took away from the story. I will try the second book, and hopefully it will work out for me. I've heard such positive things about this series, I really went in with alot of expectations. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Review: You Don't Have To Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie

"You're often going to be the only Indian in the room, so you'd better get used to it." 
-Sherman Alexie

Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Released: 2017
Pages: 457
Source: Library
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Description:

A searing, deeply moving memoir about family, love, and loss from the critically acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award winner.

When his mother passed away at the age of 78, Sherman Alexie responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is this stunning memoir. Featuring 78 poems, 78 essays and intimate family photographs, Alexie shares raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine--growing up dirt-poor on an Indian reservation, one of four children raised by alcoholic parents. Throughout, a portrait emerges of his mother as a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated woman. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me is a powerful account of a complicated relationship, an unflinching and unforgettable remembrance.

My Thoughts:

Sherman Alexie is an author that needs to be read and I need to read more of his books. His book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is one of the most banned booked. It's a book I can tell you when I first read, and where I was when I read it. It's still vividly in my mind. This memoir was just as impactful for me. While this book does deal with his relationship with his mother, we hear about his childhood, growing into an adult, and becoming a husband and father. 

 He grew up on a poor reservation, chose to go to school off the reservation, and lived essentially in two worlds. When Sherman Alexie starts to live a more urban life, he mentions "you're often going to be the only Indian in the room, so you'd better get used it it." He summed up my entire life, and it brought tears to my eyes. I realized that Diary of a Part Time Indian must have been based on his life. I hadn't realized this before. His relationship with his parent's were complicated. While his father was an alcoholic and his mother a recovered alcoholic, he had more resentment towards his mother. Grief can only be met when you're actually going through it, and it's interesting to see how he navigates through this phase of life. 

Both Sherman and his mother suffered from bipolar disorder and they clashed. Sherman was diagnosed, where his mother was left untreated. At one point they stopped talking, and Sherman can't remember why. That's just how their relationship went. They were alot alike in some ways and both stubborn. His mother was also a liar, who told different stories to different people.  The truth cannot be uncovered in her death. While this book is heartbreaking, you can feel the love and loyalty. He states that his mother would love to have known he wrote a book about her, even it it showed her in a darker light. The fact that it was about her, was all she needed.  Alexie's humor shines through and lightens the emotion. The blended poetry and prose is very well done. It's also very readable and relatable. I'm really happy that I read it, and will definitely reread it at some point. I would actually like to try the audiobook.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Book Haul, Mailbox Monday, Stacking the Shelves

I have another book haul that I would like to share with you. I will also be linking to the Mailbox Monday and Stacking the Shelves weekly posts. This week is a round up of books purchased through Kobo*, Advanced Reading Copies and a library book. 

Books Purchased

American War by Omar El Akkad
Brother by David Chariandy
The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Advanced Reading Copies

Alternate Side by Anne Quindlen
Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

Library Books

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

I'm picked up American War since it is on the shortlist for Canada Reads. I'm hoping to get through all the books on the list but I'm not sure I will. Brother was on the longlist and it was on sale through Kobo, I couldn't resist. I'm really hoping to get to Red Clocks soon because that book has been so buzzed about. I hope you have a great reading week!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publisher: Atria
Released: 2017
Source: Library
Pages: 391
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Goodreads Description:

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

My Thoughts:

Ever come across a book that you wish would pause time so you can just read? This was that book for me. I wanted to put every thing on hold, and just read. Evelyn Hugo's story was truly mesmerizing. I couldn't get enough. I was hooked! Warning: You will want to binge read this book. Evelyn has no one left, her daughter has passed and she's ready to finally tell her story. She's stayed out of the media, kept a low profile and Monique is summoned to write her biography. As we go through Evelyn's life, and each story, you get caught up in her world of glamour but also heartbreak. She came from nothing; when her mother passed away, she was desperate to get away from her abusive father. Her mother always told her Hollywood would be a way out, and Evelyn found her way out. She was ruthless and made sure that she got what she wanted.  There are many layers to this story, and each one is unique and nothing that you would expect as a reader. I felt like I was kept in the dark throughout the story, because I didn't know what was coming next.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Review: The Bootlegger Blues by Drew Hayden Taylor

The Bootlegger Blues by Drew Hayden Taylor

Publisher:  Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Released: 1991
Source: Personal Book
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Book Description:

This new comedy by the author of Toronto at Dreamer's Rock and Education Is Our Right is about love, family, and what to do with too much beer.A Set on a reserve, it follows the plight of Martha, a church-going, teetotaling woman who finds herself stuck with 143 cases of beer after a church fundraiser fails. A She decides to bootleg the beer, to the horror of her son Andrew, nicknamed Blue, who is a special constable on the reserve.Meanwhile, Andrew has fallen for a young woman he thinks is his cousin, and his sister Marianne is bored with her Indian Yuppie husband and finds herself attracted to a handsome dancer at the powwow.The pace is fast and vigorous in this romantic situation comedy. 

Book Thoughts:

It's been a long time since I picked up a play, but I really need to do it more often. I thoroughly enjoyed this play. It was quick, it was fun, and very memorable. This play is cloaked in humor about love and family. It's sets the tone, and readers will immediately get to know the characters. Set on an Ojibway reserve, the play centers around Martha who is a great character. She's follows some bad advise from a fellow committee member and know that she was set up to fail. She's the matriarch, she's strong and she refuses to fail. She doesn't want to give her "friend" the satisfaction of seeing her fail. At the same time, she's dealing with every day family life. She dips her toes in, but largely lets them figure it out themselves. 

I laughed throughout of the play. While it was written to be set on any reserve, I think it would work well with any small community. There's town gossip, large family trees and questionable "friends." The plot is simple, not complex or heavy. It's a play that will leave you entertained and wanting to check out more of his works.  Drew Hayden Taylor did a reading at my Cegep many years ago and his visit stayed with me. I didn't know any native writers at the time, I was seventeen and he was one of the first that I heard about.  He also wrote Motorcycles and Sweetgrass which you might be more familiar with. You can read my review of Motorcycles and Sweetgrass here

Monday, February 5, 2018

Mailbox Monday (The Marrow Thieves, The Debutante, Son of a Trickster, 13 Reasons Why)

Welcome to Mailbox Monday/Stacking the Shelves. I'm happy to be sharing my new books. This Mailbox Monday was started by Marcia and hosted here. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Last week, I had 7 new books enter my home, really it was my ereader... I read exclusively on my Kobo. This seems like a good mix of books, which is what I like.

The Marrow Thieves by Chertie Dimaline (Library) 
The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro (Purchase)
Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson (Library)
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Library)
Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys (ARC)
The Baby Plan by Kate Rorick (ARC) 
Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan (ARC)

The Marrow Thieves is from my library and I'm so excited to read it. It was shortlisted for Canada Reads 2018. It sounds like an interesting read, and I'm hoping to get to it in February. Dangerous Crossing is also on my tbr this month. It's a new release and doesn't that cover just draw you in? I'm really curious about that one. I was happy to receive Anatomy of a Scandal because I've been trying out more thrillers and finding that I really like the genre.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Review: The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford

Review: The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford
Publisher: William Morrow
Released: 2015
Source: Library
Rating: Recommend, Read it!


An amazing talent makes her debut with this stylish psychological thriller—with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep —in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend during a breakdown.

Dana Catrell is horrified to learn she was the last person to see her neighbor Celia alive. Suffering from a devastating mania, a result of her bipolar disorder, Dana finds that there are troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia's death. As evidence starts to point in her direction, Dana struggles to clear her name before her own demons win out.

Is murder on her mind - or is it all in her head?

The closer she comes to piecing together shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her . . . or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again? A story of marriage, murder and madness, The Pocket Wife explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge.


The Pocket Wife was good. I really enjoyed reading this one. When Dana wakes up from a drunken afternoon, she hears sirens outside. The ambulance pulls up at her neighbors house. She walks over and discovers that her friend Celia has been killed. Dana doesn't remember a whole lot from this afternoon but she knows she was drinking with Celia. She may have been the last person to see her alive.  If only she can piece together her memory and remember the afternoon... As evidence starts to point toward Dana, it doesn't look good. 

Readers learn that Dana is bipolar and her manic episodes start to flare up. She becomes so unreliable as a narrator that you don't know if she's telling the truth. You really do feel for her though. Dana keeps the reader guessing. The Pocket Wife is full of complex secondary characters that really help build the story. Dana's husband is not the supportive type and she has no where to turn. Her marriage is falling apart, and Dana is on the verge of losing herself. 

This story was not predictable, but the ending didn't leave me blown away. I thought Crawford did an amazing job putting readers in Dana's head. It worked really well, and kept me engrossed in the story. I'm happy that I finally got to this one, and I will definitely read more from the author. She has another book called The Other Widow. If you're looking for a quick read, that will keep you guessing. This is a good one.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January Reading Wrap Up (The Other Daughter Without Merit, The Pocket Wife, The Bootlegger Blues, Still Life, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me)

The Other Daughter Without Merit, The Pocket Wife Reading Wrap Up

January was a great reading month for me. I vowed to make reading a priority again and it has felt so good. Having time to read means I'm making time for myself again, and I'm finding balance between my hobbies. I have also found that it has renewed my interesting in my book blog. I'm excited to talk about books again. I'm excited to dip back into the blogging community and see what everyone else is reading and enjoying. As a bookworm, most people would be surprised to hear that I don't enjoy starting new books but I found jumping into my next read and not dwelling on it too much, has allowed me to keep my reading momentum up. Happy Reading!

The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Source: Library
Released: 2015
Book Thoughts: The Other Daughter was an interesting read that kept me reading. The plot flowed very well and the characters were engaging. The story opens with Rachel working as a governess and recieving a letter that her mother is very sick and she must return to England immediately. When Rachel arrives home she finds out very quickly that her mother has passed away. Reeling from her mother's death, she finds a photo in a newspaper that resembles her father. The problem, her father is dead...Rachel is an only child who is now without a family. Could her father be alive? Could he be an Earl? She vows to figure out the secrets that need to be uncovered.

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Source: Library
Released: 2017
Book Thoughts: Colleen Hoover is a great writer and each of her books are unique and hold their own. She does not follow a formula that can be expected in her next book. Without Merit follows a teenager named Merit who is on a slippery path. Her family life is dysfunctional and her relationships with her siblings in almost non existent. This book really makes you question the idea of perception and how you think you see something until someone forces you to see a different perspective. Merit is a likable character, and as a reader you really want her to do better. You want her to succeed. Of all the Colleen Hoover books I read, this wasn't my favorite. It was good, but I've really outgrown the Young Adult genre. I can't really relate anymore.

The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Source: Personal Library
Released: 2015
Books Thoughts: This psychological thriller has been on my ereader since it released and I finally decided to give it a try. I don't read alot of thrillers but I'm trying to branch out in my reading. Dana wakes up from an drunken afternoon to discover her neighbor and sometimes friend has been murdered. Dana doesn't have much memory of the afternoon but she does know she had a few drinks with Celia. Dana becomes worried that she might have done some thing wrong. Dana is such an unreliable character that you really don't know what to think. It wasn't predictable and I highly recommend.

The Bootlegger Blues, Still Life, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me

Monday, January 29, 2018

Review: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
Goodreads Description:

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.


Being a teenager is hard, and when your family life is not going smooth, it's even harder. The Voss family dynamic is very unique. Without Merit was a shift for Colleen Hoover in terms of her writing. I've been feeling like I've outgrown Young Adult books but this one was enjoyable. I don't believe she's written many young adult books. It wasn't my favorite Colleen Hoover book, but I thought it had an interesting take on teenagers and perception. Often times, we think we know it all and only when something is spelled out and put in front of you, do you finally see the truth. 

Merit is an angry, lost teenager, left to her own devices and she's sinking-fast. As a reader, you really care for Merit. In true Colleen Hoover style the plot twists and you're taken along for a ride. Merit's family life is all about secrets and not burdening others with your troubles. Her crush on her twin sister's boyfriend doesn't help the family situation. Her relationship with her siblings is almost non existent. She loves her Dad but has so much frustration towards him for divorcing for her mom. When the truth is uncovered, it really makes you think about what you're missing when always assuming you know best. 

If you've read Colleen Hoover before, this book does read more a younger audience. It was fast paced, and interesting but it wasn't my favorite book of hers. I would not recommend that this be your first Colleen Hoover book. It Ends With Us is probably my favorite. This is a great self discovery book and will make you think.

Source: Library

Friday, January 26, 2018

Canada Reads 2018 Longlist

The 2018 Longlist for Canada Reads has released and I'm excited to see the books selected. If you're not familiar with Canada Reads it's a battle of the books and takes place each year. The theme this year is "One Book to Open Your Eyes." I love the theme and think it will be a great discussion topic. Of the 15 books selected, I've read only one. Seven Fallen Feathers is an amazing read, and I highly recommend the book. I really hope it makes the shortlist. It's one of those books that I would love to be taught in school, because it's that GOOD!

I did have Brother and The Marrow Thieves on my wishlist before I even saw this list, and now I want to read them even more. The contenders and the shortlist will come soon enough. I look forward to Canada Reads each year.

The 2018 Canada Reads longlist is: 
The shortlist has been announced and here are the books!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Book Review: The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig

The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig


Raised in a poor yet genteel household, Rachel Woodley is working in France as a governess when she receives news that her mother has died, suddenly. Grief-stricken, she returns to the small town in England where she was raised to clear out the cottage...and finds a cutting from a London society magazine, with a photograph of her supposedly deceased father dated all of three month before. He's an earl, respected and influential, and he is standing with another daughter-his legitimate daughter. Which makes Rachel...not legitimate. Everything she thought she knew about herself and her past-even her very name-is a lie.

Still reeling from the death of her mother, and furious at this betrayal, Rachel sets herself up in London under a new identity. There she insinuates herself into the party-going crowd of Bright Young Things, with a steely determination to unveil her father's perfidy and bring his-and her half-sister's-charmed world crashing down. Very soon, however, Rachel faces two unexpected snags: she finds she genuinely likes her half-sister, Olivia, whose situation isn't as simple it appears; and she might just be falling for her sister's fiancé...

From Lauren Willig, author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Ashford Affair, comes The Other Daughter, a page-turner full of deceit, passion, and revenge.


Lauren Willig has been on my radar since her Pink Carnation series but I never got around to reading her books. The Other Daughter was my first Lauren Willig book and my first book of 2018. Rachel immediately struck me as a likable character. She's an only child, her father is deceased and without her mother she's all alone. When she picks up a newspaper article with a photograph of a man who looks like her deceased father, she's determined to find out if he's alive. Did her father leave them because he's an Earl? Rachel decides to infiltrate his world and figure out what happened.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga

Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga

In December, I started reading Seven Fallen Feather by Tanya Talaga. It was the only book I read, because I had to take it slow. As an indigenous woman, and a mother this book hurt my heart.

Over the course of 11 years (2000-2011) seven indigenous teenagers were found dead, 5 of those were found in the river. This happened in Thunder Bay, Ontario while these children were attending high school, hundreds of miles away from their families. Living in remote communities, these children were forced to leave their home if they want to finish their high school education. Beyond the eighth grade, these children need to leave home because their communities don't have schools set up to educate them. Why? the funding isn't there. They young teenagers are vulnerable, in many cases living with strangers, and the system is failing them.

The Canadian public largely doesn't pay attention to Indigenous issues in this country. So many people believe that our issues are mostly put to rest, but they're not. These children are being set up to fail. Residential schools closed in 1996 and we still have a huge problem with the schooling. Many remote communities still have no running water or proper plumbing or heating. Today, in 2018 they have NO running water and the government has promised that it might be completed by 2021. I'll believe it when I see it, because I have no faith in the Federal Government.

Tanya Talaga had written a book that should be read by all Canadians. It's a shock to the system that will force people to see a truth. These stories need to be told, they need to be read. Yes, it really hurt me heart but it was readable and really well told. I firmly believe that our education system plays a huge roll in why non Indigenous people don't pay attention to our problems, don't feel outraged that this is happening in Canada. Many of the history textbooks don't mention Native Americans beyond discovering Canada and first contact. We're still here, we're still fighting to keep our culture and protect our people. The government likes to make promises but until they're put into action, it means nothing.