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)
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
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
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
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.
Monday, January 29, 2018
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.
Friday, January 26, 2018
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:
- Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
- The Boat People by Sharon Bala
- Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, translated by Rhonda Mullins
- Brother by David Chariandy
- Tomboy Survival Guide by Ivan Coyote
- Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson
- The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
- American War by Omar El Akkad
- Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez
- The Measure of a Man by JJ Lee
- Out Standing in the Field by Sandra Perron
- The Clothesline Swing by Ahmad Danny Ramadan
- Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto
- Dance, Gladys, Dance by Cassie Stocks
- Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga
The shortlist has been announced and here are the books!
Thursday, January 25, 2018
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
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.