Thursday, December 20, 2018

Midnight, Texas series by Charlaine Harris

Back in 2017 I reviewed the first book in this series called Midnight Crossroad (you can find that review here). Recently, my mom passed me the trilogy, and I immediately got to reading the second and third book in the series.

This series is such a different one from your typical vampires, beasties, and things that go bump in the night type of urban fantasy. There are types of characters I've never come across before, and the people in the book are real and flawed in such a way you feel like you know them, and you can totally feel for their separate struggles.

It's about this very small town of people who just want some peace and quiet without the rest of the world butting in. There's a telephone medium, a local witch, a vampire of sorts, and a couple of other equally interesting locals who are all just working to save their town and keep things the way they are.

Honestly, I don't think I'm doing things justice, but I really don't want to spoil anything for you. There's murder, danger, backstabbing, lies, and secrets all in this mysterious little town. Along with a healthy portion of the paranormal.

If you've read anything else by Charlaine Harris, or you like the show, please read these! I adored them! I can guarantee the books are different from the show, but seriously great!

Recommendations: If you love paranormal, witchy, vampire reads in the present day then you'll love these!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Wait With Me by Amy Daws

Okay, if you don't know who this author is, and you don't know the awesome story behind this book, then you are missing out on something awesome!

Amy Daws is a writer who found herself facing some writers block. She needed to take her vehicle in to get serviced, so she went to Tires Tires Tires and headed into the waiting room while she waited for her car to be finished. While there, she had an amazing burst of inspiration and felt that writing in the customer care centre of this repair shop was the trick. So she did what every writer does when they find the best writing spot. They keep going back.

She brought in her cars, her families cars, her friends cars, all so she could sit there and write while they were being serviced. Of course, she ran out of cars and started sneaking in to write. The manager found out of course, but they embraced her, and named her their writer in residence, telling her she can come and write there any time.

Obviously, I had to read this book for the backstory alone. Amy Daws is my hero. For real, when I think I need to be more adventurous as a writer, I've asked myself "What Would Amy Daws Do?"

This was the inspiration for this book. It's about a mechanic who finds this gorgeous writer in the waiting room of the shop has been sneaking in to write when her car isn't being serviced. The steamy, hotness that is naughty romance ensues.

Honestly, I don't usually read these kinds of books. I'm not one for the erotic, sexy, romance reads. I prefer mysteries and fantasy. However, this was so good!!

I was glued to the page! I finished this one in almost one go (life intervened). Still though, I loved it! It was perfection. Perhaps a little far over on the dirty side, but then again when it comes to these books, I'm basically a virgin. It was funny and sweet and I loved it!

There was humour, there was sex, there was two really interesting characters, and a story that really swept me away and made me ask for more. This was a good read!

Recommendation: For romance lovers, and those who are curious about romance, read this. You won't be disappointed!!

Friday, December 7, 2018

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

I am already one heck of a fan of Victoria Schwab, and I've got a pretty big collection of her books on my shelf. It didn't matter to me that this was a middle grade book. It was going to be mine and I knew I was going to love it.

This book is about a girl named Cassidy who can see ghosts. Her parents are ghost hunters of sorts, but they can't actually see ghosts like Cassidy can. Her best friend also happens to be a ghost. When Cassidy's parents take her to Scotland to film a television show about haunted places, she finds her self meeting some not so nice ghosts and ends up in a fight to save her life.

I was all for this book from the beginning. I love books about ghosts, people who see ghosts, just all things paranormal in general.

As usual, Victoria's writing was just perfect. She draws you in, sits you down, and tells you a story that you can't pull yourself away from.

I gobbled this one up in one sitting, very happily.

There might be some who say if it's middle grade than it's for kids but I assure you, this is a great book no matter your age. I was still able to connect with the characters, feel myself in the story, and be present in all the ways a good book makes you feel. It was lovely.

There will be more of these books and I cannot wait! The other really cool thing is this book might be made into a tv show! She did say it'll be aged up with Cassidy being in college instead of in school, but honestly, that's fine. Those are minor details. It's the rest of the story that matters!

Recommendation: Read this if you love ghosts, stories about self discovery, getting into trouble, and saving the day. Read this if you love a good story told by a remarkable story teller.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

This was a bit of a cover buy, but that the same time, it was more because of another book by the same author called Tess of the Road. That was the book that kept drawing my attention over and over again at the bookstore, but when I did a little research, I learned that Tess of the Road had to do with the world created in another series, with Seraphina as the first book.

This is a young adult fantasy book. I read this one pretty quickly, all in one sitting. It dragged me in and kept me reading, although I ended up with some mixed feelings at the end.

This book is about a girl who lives in a world with dragons who just so happen to be able to take on a human like form. There has been a treaty for 40 years, and right when she beings to work for royalty with her music, there is a murder and she gets drawn into the investigation.

The dragons in this book are pretty interesting. I really liked them. The idea they are a mathematically, thoughtful species was really cool. I loved them and the dynamic in this book.

It's very medieval fantasy, and it's pretty good. I liked so much about it, but there's another part to the story that I was very interested in, but I'm not sure how it stuck in the story. I think I do need to read the next one in the series because I'd like to know more, and see if those parts reoccur.

The only thing was, I was left feeling a little bit like something was missing. I'm not sure what, exactly, but the detailing and the world building was so interesting that perhaps it was over too soon. I've taken quite a while to write this review because I wanted to think about the book some more. So much about it was great. Truly. There was just something that didn't feel complete, or like I didn't get what I was looking for out of the story.

Honestly, though, I enjoyed this and I think if you like YA Fantasy, you'll like it too!

Recommendation: For the lovers of fantasy, dragons, YA reads, interesting stories, then this is a book for you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris

This one was twisted. It was pretty clear going in what was going on in this book so I knew what to expect.

It's a thriller, one that tells you right off the bat about the crazy things happening, but still takes you along for an even crazier ride.

This book is about the perfect couple. His works, she stays at home. They throw perfect dinner parties, they are together all the time, and they look to have the absolutely perfect marriage that anyone can ask for! Their friends would like to get to know her better, but they can't. She doesn't come to the phone, and when they see her, she's always with her husband. True love. But why are there bars on the windows?

Of course, this is a thriller, so you know that things are not at all what they seem.

This book is so hard to review because I don't want to spoil anything, but I have feelings about things and I want to talk about them!

There was definitely intrigue and thrill in this one. A lot of what was going on I couldn't predict. After all, you find out very quickly a whole lot of the details, but you don't really know the extent of the story until you finish it.

Because you know so much, it's more of a thriller that keeps you reading and makes you want to know what happens next because you really don't understand how things could get worse or better. It's that kind of intense.

I will say I was hoping for more of a rescue in the end, but I did like the very, very end. That was well done in my opinion.

Recommendation: For those who enjoy twisted thrillers, this one is for you. It's not the typical one, but its still as messed up as can be!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Gazelle in the Shadows by Michelle Peach

This book was sent to me ever so kindly by Kelsey from Book Publicity Services so that I could enjoy it and share it with all of you wonderful people!

First of all, I love the cover. It's purple, which is my favourite colour and it's reminiscent of the imagery from Aladdin. 

Here's the synopsis:

In the mid 90s, Elizabeth Booth, a young British college student studying Arabic at Durham University, travels to Damascus to immerse herself in the Syrian language. Taken aback by the generosity and kindness of the people there, she easy slips into a life in the ancient city. She has friends, her studies, and even a handsome boyfriend. But things aren’t always as they seem. Soon, in a world where mistrust and disloyalty are commonplace, Elizabeth finds herself navigating a web of lies, betrayals, and a murder involving MI6, deadly terrorist factions, and the shadowy Syrian secret police.

Now, this book was largely based on the author's real life experiences, which I found to be so cool and so crazy all at the same time. Going to another country alone without any real concrete plans beyond attending a school while you are there fills me with crazy amounts of anxiety! I'm so glad others live exciting lives so I can sit at home and read all about them!

I'm not usually one to jump into a coming of age type of story like this one, but I enjoyed it. I was glued to the page, and I read it over two days. 

The growth that the main character Elizabeth experienced was very transformative. We follow Elizabeth as she just gets on a plane and goes to Syria to learn without anything else planned. She is just going to go out there and do the thing. We watch her face new experiences, meet new people, and fall into trouble. This book brings you back to a time when you might have thought you had everything all figured out, but later on you look back and realize you really didn't, but you lived through it. 

Before this book, I didn't know all that much about Syria. It was iwonderful to experience it through Michelle's eyes. I could almost see the landscape, the homes, the buildings, and the people. It was a descriptive journey that I won't soon forget.

As far as the intrigue, the secrets, the lies, and the betrayals... I was not disappointed! I had an idea of what was going to happen but how all the pieces fitted in together was a bit of a surprise, which is great! I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil anything!

Recommendation: For the lovers of coming of age stories, for those interested in Syria, for those who like stories about travel and peril in another country. This is the book for you!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas

I LOVE these books!

So far, there are three in the series. I didn't know they existed until I was approved to read the third one before it was released from First to Read (run by Penguin). The third book is out now, though and it's just as great as the first two! Also, I seriously hope there are more to come in this series because I adore them!!

This series is a pretty neat one. It's about a young woman who goes by the name of Charlotte Holmes. She's everything you would think of when you think of Sherlock. It's set back in the time of Sherlock too, so you get all that historical feel to the book that really makes it come alive.

I won't say anymore about the main characters though, because I think how the author created her world, and her version of Sherlock and company was something truly awesome that it needs to be experienced as you read! (and I don't want to spoil anything either.)

As usual these books are filled with all the mystery, deduction, and intrigue we all love from traditional Sherlock stories, but these ones have a little bit of romance thrown in. Nothing too crazy or distracting, but there is a little bit of love hanging around, which I really enjoyed.

In the first book A Study in Scarlett Women, Charlotte must do whatever she can to solve a mystery to save her father and her sister who are under suspicion of committing the crime.

In the second book A Conspiracy in Belgravia, the wife of one of Charlotte's good friends comes to Sherlock looking for help in finding her first love, who also happens to be Charlotte's half brother. Of course, he's missing.

In the third book The Hollow of Fear, the wife of her dear friend is murdered and the suspicion falls on her friend. Moriarty is ever present and wreaking havoc on their lives, but Charlotte, acting as Sherlock, must prevail.

I found the writing of this series to be quite lyrical and detailed. It's definitely more of a slow burn series, but honestly, that didn't matter to me. I was fully on board with this series right from page one!

I own the first two in paperback, and I will be adding the third one to my collection in physical form very soon. I don't often find myself re-reading mysteries, but I think this series will be one I'll grab off my shelf and read again.

Recommendation: Must read for the lovers of Sherlock Holmes, for the lovers of mystery, for the lovers of serious female characters.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Carmer and Grit by Sarah Jean Horwitz

I came across this book at the bookstore and it was partially a cover buy. How could you not, though?  This cover is gorgeous!

The story is about two different characters. One is an aspiring inventor and magician who goes by Carmer who is trying to help his mentor win a big competition. The other is a faerie princess who goes by Grit. She's been investigating the mysterious disappearances of faeries, and the two team up to help each other out. Grit uses her magic to help  Carmer and his mentor's act and Carmer helps Grit searching the city for the truth of the missing faeries. 

This fantasy story is in a steampunk world full of faerie magic. It's a middle grade novel, but it's not without the action and drama that you might often find in YA or even adult novels. 

Carmer and Grit was easy to read, and didn't really feel that much like a middle grade book. It felt longer and a little bit more detailed than I guess I expected a middle grade read to be. It's been a little while since I've read a middle grade book, so I was quite happy with this one. 

I do like the details in the story, especially details about the world of faerie that I've read about since childhood. There was intensity in the drama that I really appreciated as well.

Parts of this story felt a little on the slow side, but overall, it was a good read. There is a second book in this series that I might need to get my hands on too. I appreciate the fact it didn't end on a cliffhanger, but more of a nod to further adventures. 

Recommendations: For the readers of faerie, for the lovers of faerie, for the lovers of a good story with steampunk features: this is for you. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

This was a bargain book I grabbed off the teen sale table at the bookstore. It looked creepy and weird, something strange to spice up my writing life.

We'll Never Be Apart is a book about a girl named Alice who is locked away in a mental hospital after a fire that killed her boyfriend. She finds out that her twin sister, the one responsible for the fire, is there too, in another ward. To avenge his death, Alice tries to find her twin, with the help of a boy named Chase. Nothing is really what it seems though.

This was a pretty twisted read. I wasn't fully prepared for how it ended, because although I suspected things, I wasn't totally sure about them. It's definitely a book that keeps you on your toes.

I read this in one sitting, and I found it a fairly easy read. It was compelling and kind of hard to read at times, but I pressed on.

For another couple of days after reading this book I found myself thinking about it, which is always a sign of a good story.

I think when I rated it online I gave it two stars, but perhaps it's more of a three star read. It was so twisted and something that could possibly have happened that it kind of freaks me out, ya know? I think part of it felt like perhaps it was written that way to purposely cause shock and awe, which I didn't love, but still. It's an interesting book, just not my favourite.

Recommendation: If you love freaky, thrilling, and twisted reads than this is for you.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Like a lot of pretty cool books, I didn't know about this one until the second one was coming out. At this point, I've only gotten my hands on this one so far, but I really do intend to read the next one when I can grab it in paperback!

First off, there's pirates. Female ones. There's treachery, lying, betrayal, backstabbing, and all the great swashbuckling goodness that comes with stories about pirates. There are sirens, magic, and not so terrible enemies. It's quite an adventure.

I love a great pirate/mermaid story so I was not at all disappointed in this one at all. I thought it was great.

It was an easy read, but it kept me wanting more. I remember reading it fairly quickly, and loving it.

There are not a lot of books that I often think I'll go back and read again, but I think I might actually do that with this one before I read the second one. The writing style was fantastic and really drew you into what you were reading, and experiencing "life" as Alosa was a lot of fun.

There's romance, there's humor, and
just a whole lot of excitement to be found in this book. Like a lot of YA fantasy type books it's easy to forget the ages of the characters so even though the main character is supposed to be 17, it didn't feel like that.

Basically, if you enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, or other pirate books and movies, you'll enjoy this lighter hearted, but still intense read about pirates and sirens who aren't always what they seem.

Recommendation: For fantasy lovers, for pirate lovers, for those who like to read about sirens and mermaids. This one is for you!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

This series in a word: AH-MAZE-ING

Every single moment of these books kept me glued to the page. I was totally along for the journey, no questions asked. I was all in.

I feel like I was one of the last to this book party when I finally picked these up, but I am so very happy that I did.

This series is about a girl named Alina. It's set in a universe with Russian feels (that I adored). It involves magic, the people who wield this power, the pursuit to defeat evil and restore the good to save the people.

Yes, it sounds like the basic fantasy type of story, but I assure you, it is not. Nothing is quite what it seems, things aren't clear cut and rosy, it's not the usual.

I'm not going into the actual story too much (as always) because I don't want to spoil anything, but I will mention that I was pleasantly surprised what this series had to offer being that it was YA. This series was one of the biggest reasons why I'm reading more YA.

I know there's so much love for this series on bookstagram and it kind of surprised me that there were so many long and heartfelt reviews about (at least the first book) people hating it. They say that the romance was terrible, that Alina was hard to get behind, that the world building wasn't great, but really? Like, what?

Usually, I don't enjoy a whole lot of romance either but it wasn't that much, and it didn't bother me in this series because it wasn't really the main focal point. I think a lot would have been missed without it.

Alina was flawed. Everyone was flawed. Everyone is flawed.

The world building was epic. End of story. The Russian feel of it was so neat. I really enjoyed it.

I currently own all the books Leigh Bardugo has got out in the bookstore right now and even though these are the only ones I've read so far, I am on board with her for life.

Recommendation: Read these. Also these editions are GORGEOUS so what are you waiting for? For the lover of fantasy. Just, read them!

Monday, August 13, 2018

My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry

I found this book on the shelf probably last year. It looked interesting, but I didn't grab it because I wasn't feeling this kind of thriller type of story. At the time I think I was pretty deep into YA books so I opted instead to snap up more of those.

Flash forward to a couple months ago. I was looking for a thriller, one that was messed up and weird, that would glue me to the page. I was having a hard time finding something that would interest me. 

Side note: H
as anyone else noticed that so many thrillers have to do with missing kids? Why?

Any way, this book stuck with me. When I was looking for a thriller I might really love, I remembered this book and I searched it out. 

This book is about a young woman who marries a  normal man, determined to make things work. She's a lawyer and meets another man in prison who she finds herself drawn to. There's also the neighbour child who starts becoming involved in their lives. Everyone has secrets, and when the neighbour child shows up on her doorstep years later all grown up, things start to unravel. 

This was a twisted, thrilling story. It wasn't really a full blown thriller, it was more of a slow burning one, but it totally satisfied my craving. 

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect, and I wasn't disappointed. 

It's definitely a book that sticks with you. Everyone had secrets in this one, everyone doing things that no one would suspect. It was twisted and strange, but it totally sucked me in and I couldn't let go. 

I read this one in two days, not really wanting to put it down. I guessed a little bit of what was going to happen, but honestly, I was surprised and it was great. 

Recommendation: If you're looking for a good thrilling read, this is it. I think you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly

This was the first book of Michael Connelly's I read that featured Harry Bosch as a main character. Before this one, I'd only read his Lincoln Lawyer series.

This series follows a detective by the name of Harry Bosch. He's a bit of a rough and tough cop who does what he needs to solve crimes. In this book, he's got a new partner and they are working on a case of some who died from a bullet wound almost 10 years after being shot.

I found this one to be just as interesting and just as engaging as the Lincoln Lawyer series. It had the same writing style I had enjoyed with the other series and it was a fairly easy read.

I didn't start this series from the beginning and I kind of wish I had. There are quite a few of these books though, and I wasn't sure if I was going to love them so I just grabbed a few that interested me. This one was actually book #17 in the series!

On Goodreads, some of the reviews say this one isn't as great as some of the other ones in this series and I'm wondering if I should actually make an effort to go back to the beginning and start the series fresh.

By the end I had questions (mostly about the story arc details that follow a reoccurring character from book to book) and I had to read the excerpt in the back for the next book to answer some things for me.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Recommendation: Great hard boiled detective book. Perhaps start with the first one though? Might enjoy it even more.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

9 Dragons by Michael Connelly

This was the second book that I picked up in the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly. This one is actually book 14 in the series.

Again, I really need to read these all in order. I was still getting a feel for the series though before I jump in and start over at the beginning.

Honestly, I love detective novels, murder mysteries, all of that. However, this one was really heavy handed on the violence. I think I felt that way because I tend to read a lot of cosy mysteries that might have murder, but never overly violent ones.

This one follows Harry as he's investigating the shooting death of a Chinese liquor store owner. Then, his daughter who is living in Hong Kong with her mother, goes missing so Harry flies to Hong Kong to save her.

The details were pretty interesting. I really liked reading about the journey in Hong Kong, I found that really compelling. No idea how actually realistic it was, but I was still intrigued!

Another easy read, and I enjoyed it but there were some details that I think were lost on me because I haven't been following the character along over the series.

I'm still undecided on my overall feelings about this series. This is the third book I've reviewed in this series and I'm not sure how I feel. I loved the Lincoln Lawyer series which I seem to have forgotten to review on here and I will rectify that very soon.

Recommendation: For the lovers of hard boiled detective novels. For the lovers of easy to read, quick and rough mysteries.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen

This is the third Sarah Scribbles comic book by the amazing Sarah Andersen and I can't believe it's taken me this long to talk about it! (Find out about the first one here, and the second one here.)

I love her work. Hands down, she's my favourite, up there with my life long eternal favourite Charles M. Shultz (Peanuts).

I can see myself reflected back at me in her comic strips and I know I'm not the only one. She just gets us.

This one had so many gems and like the other two books she's done, I read it quickly while constantly stopping and forcing my fiancee to read them and feel all the feels with me.

If you need reminding, she's the creator of the comic that has a girl budgeting and saving when shopping until she walks into a book store. Then she is wearing a fur coat, sunglasses, and throwing handfuls of money into the air. You know, how we all do.

She's wonderful and if she keeps putting out books and things, I'll keep buying them because she creates things that are literally me (and I bet they are literally YOU too!)

She's also created two planners. One that ran from September 2017 to December 2018 (which I'm using right now) and one that runs September 2018 to December 2019 (which I already bought!).

Recommendation: Pick this up and flip through it. If you don't laugh, cry a little, and feel so deeply understood when you read this, then you are crazy my friend!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Prudence by Gail Carriger

Hopefully you'll already be acquainted with Gail Carriger's other series The Parasol Protectorate series, but if you haven't been yet, that's okay though you should rectify that as soon as possible. I'll be posting my thoughts on that series very soon as I just realized I had not yet talked about it on here!

That series and this one are both set back in the day when women still wore bustles, sent out cards before going visiting, and when there were rules to appearing in society. This one also features a few supernatural creatures of the werewolf and vampire variety.

This book is about a young woman named Prudence. She is given a dirigible and is sent off to India in pursuit of a new, delicious kind of tea. She assembles a crew and off they go. She stumbles onto some very interesting events and ends up involving herself in dire situations to sort it all out.

The thing about this is Prudence is the daughter of the main character in The Parasol Protectorate series, but it's not fully required of you to read the other series first (thought I recommend that you do).

The author's writing was wonderful, as usual. I found myself laughing out loud at times, enjoying myself immensely. It's quite the steampunk, supernatural, polite society read.

Beyond that, though, I had some problems. First, there are reoccurring characters from the other series. However, they felt weird to me in this series. Like I couldn't really wrap my head around the fact that I was reading about the same characters at some points.

There was also so veiled allusion to happenings from the previous series that kind of passed over my head, like I should know to what she was referring, but I wasn't sure that I did.

Overall, this book was good, but it wasn't the wonderful, amazing thing for me that the first series was. For what it was, it was a great story. I almost wish the author created a totally new person in the same world without bringing back in the other characters and then wrote this story, because I think I could have fallen in love with it then.

Recommendation: If you've read the other series, still read this. You might love it more than I did. If you love steampunk supernatural stories with tea drinking society women in fancy dress, you'll enjoy this.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

July Wrap Up!

July was a busy month. In fact, the last few months have been pretty darn busy for me. My reading is suffering a little, but I'm not giving up! 

One of the things I think that really help are readathons! I can knock out two books in a weekend if I make it my goal to read for however many hours in two days. I think I might do my own little mini readathons more often! After all, to stay on track of reading 75 books this year, I need to be reading two a week (according to Goodreads!). 

On to the month of July: I read three books and two ebooks! 

It was funny, I went to do my wrap up the morning of July 31st but when I realized that I'd only read four books in total, I didn't feel like that was enough. Instead, I went and read another book! If only I could get myself to do that more often, I would have reached my goal for the year months ago!

The Dire King by William Ritter. 🌟🌟🌟

Brownies and Betrayal by Heather Justesen 🌟🌟🌟

The Beau & The Belle by R. S. Grey 🌟🌟🌟

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomson 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman 🌟🌟🌟.5

My review that includes The Dire King can be found here. As for the rest of the books, my reviews for them will be popping up soon (I hope!) 

I think for the month of August I want to shoot for 6 books read (hopefully more like 12 but let's start small!) 

Monday, July 30, 2018

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

This was my first Colleen Hoover. I picked it up on Book Outlet because I've seen her books all over bookstagram and this was the one that interested me the most. I figured it would be a perfect summer read and it hit the spot in that regard.

Overall, I don't really know how to feel about this book. It was a young adult type romance. It's about a girl and a boy who meet on the day she is moving away. They decide to meet up every November 9th for that day only. She can't fall in love till she's 23 and he is willing to wait. I'm making it so much simpler than it is because I really don't want to spoil anything.

I loved the idea though. It went along how I was hoping it would. There was some drama, some hot and heavy bits that I was so there for. It was good. I just don't know if I like how it all ended up.

What started out for me like a sweet book about two young people who are trying to be themselves and live their lives without changing for a serious relationship turned into something else. There's a whole other level the author added in that just kind of threw me and I don't know how I feel about it.

It was an okay book, but it didn't wow me in the same way other people have been saying it's wowed them. I think I would read more of her work, but I think it would have to be something I get from the library.

Honestly, this book was a out of character for me as far as what I read. I'm not a huge fan of romance to begin with and I typically stay away from all contempory young adult books as well because I know I won't love them like I'd love something else.

It was an easy read that I finished in a couple hours while out at a cabin enjoying some relaxation time. This book is totally a summer read, it's easy, it's got romance, and it's nothing too serious.

Recommendation: For the fans of Colleen Hoover of course, for fans of love stories, for triumphing over strife, fans of easy romantic type of reads, this is for you!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Crow Trap by Anne Cleeves

This is the first book in the Vera Stanhope series. I was not aware of this series or the author before reading this book. I've since learned that it was made into a t.v. series and it's part of a bigger series.

I picked this book up on my Kobo with a coupon, I believe. It was one of the oh so many recommendations that Kobo loves to give, and seeing as it's a British mystery (spoiler alert: I love British mysteries) I picked it up for next to nothing.

This book took me quite a long time to read. I tend to read e-books at work on my lunch break and occasionally late at night when I can't sleep. Because of this, I was reading this book for quite a long time.

Parts of it felt a little long winded and a little too detailed about things I didn't feel were important to the main story. It did pick up at the end though and I enjoyed the twists and turns the story took to solve the mystery.

I was a little surprised to learn that this was the first one in the series, because that is when you first meet the detective that will become the centre point of the series and I felt like I didn't get enough of her to connect with, that she wasn't the centre of it for me, that she didn't thrill me enough to make me run to the library for the second book.

This book follows three women who come together to do an environmental survey on some land. For one of the woman, the owner of a cottage on this land is a friend, and upon arrival, she finds her friend dead. There are secrets, lies, and many things that are not as they seem.

It's definitely a complex book, and even though it wasn't my absolute favourite, I do think I might pick another book up in this series at the library if I come across one. I will say that a lot of my feelings about this book might have to do with how I read it in little fits and starts here and there over a long period of time.

Recommendation: Check this out for yourself for sure, especially if you've got a hankering for British mysteries like I do.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I'm actually really surprised that I haven't posted my review for this book yet! The next one is already out and I haven't yet got my hands on it, but I hope to fix that soon!

For those of you who haven't grabbed this one up yet, it's a little like Alice in Wonderland if it was written for a more grown up audience, full of intrigue and secrets, with a little bit of real life pain and romance thrown in.

It was so clear that we don't actually know everything even though it was perhaps supposed to feel like we did. We are told things aren't like they should be, but do we listen? I found myself thinking logically and getting totally surprised (which I love). There's so much more waiting under the surface of this story that needs to be unveiled. I am so glad there's a second one because by the end of this, I had so many questions and I need to know more!

There were moments that felt a little long though, mostly about how long it took the main character to actually get things together and find her own power within herself, but once she did, it was great. Totally a book you need to go into with the goal of finishing it because it's really worth it.

The ending was not what I was expecting, but because so much of the nature of Caraval is not what it seems, there's no real way you can go into this book expecting anything. You just have to be ready to go for a ride and take it how it comes. That being said, even though the end wasn't what I was expecting, it was still really neat.

I think it was really well written, it accomplished all it set out to do and its totally worth a read!

Recommendation: Read this. It's different and weird and cool all at the same time. For fantasy readers, the ones who like everything to be a bit weird and secretive, for those who just want to be swept away for a little while.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Black Box by Michael Connolly

I have been meaning to post my review on the whole Lincoln Lawyer series by this author. In the mean time I'm going to talk about one of his other books focusing on Detective Harry Bosch, the other main character who appears in most of the other writings by Michael Connolly.

As a fan on Robert B. Parker I am no stranger to the hard luck detective type who is rough and gruff and out there to help the distressed. I dig it. But.... I am a little tired of the always-in-trouble-can't-handle-authority-everyone-is-out-to-get-me cop thing. Sadly, Harry is the poster boy for that whole literary plot line/device. 

This book was okay. It picked up by the end actually, and I really liked how the mystery turned out. My biggest problem was with the beginning and a good chunk of the middle. It felt like it was a lot of worrying and dragging your feet kind of thing happening that didn't really keep my attention.

I do enjoy this author and I do enjoy his writing style, it's just hard sometimes to connect to his characters. They just feel so stereotypical sometimes! 

This story was about a woman who was murdered years ago, but the case wasn't solved. New clues resurface and Harry gets a chance to make things right and solve the murder. There's a lot of covering up, some military secrets, some undercover investigation, all the good stuff of an American cop mystery. Wasn't half bad.

Recommendation: If you enjoy American cop stories about the "bad boys" of the law who solve the tough mysteries, then I think you'll like this. 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I might live under a bit of a rock. When it comes to having read the popular books before they end up being made into t.v. shows and movies, I am way behind. I am never on top of these things till way after everyone else has read and watched them.

Case in point: Big Little Lies. A big chunk of the reason I only just got to watching the show was because I was confusing it with the name of some other show I really didn't want to see. It wasn't until I realized that Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman were in it that I had any interest.

While I was on vacation in North Carolina, I picked up this book on sale in a Barnes and Noble (which was totally cool to finally go to one of those book stores!!) and I figured I would give it a try.

Well, let me just tell you I read the whole thing in one sitting. Took me around 3 hours. Then I went right to my t.v. and binged the entire first season, all in one day.

The book is good. It's weirdly interesting. It's just a story about some people and what's going on in their lives. It's a bit of a mystery, it's a bit of a drama, it's a bit of suspense. Pure, honest, and real drama on the page.

Like if you break the book down in it's barest parts its just a few weeks in the lives of a group of women. So basic, yet so rich and colorful and riveting.

I was stuck to the page. I needed to know what was going to happen next. I needed to know who got murdered, and what that was going to mean. It was not really like a lot of other books that I've read before and I am really glad I snapped it up when I did.

The t.v. show, however, was a little lacking for me. Obviously, that's because we all know the book is better. How could it not be? Some of the choices with adding in extra storylines and then how the ending was executed left me a little sad, but overall, I think it was done well. I'm guessing some of the additions and such were done because they wanted to feed the flames for a second season. Which I know I'm going to watch because I'm in it now. There's no going back.

Recommendation: For fans of this author, for fans of murderous stories about average people, for the lovers of drama. This is for you. Sidenote: If you've watched the show and didn't love it, read the book. The book is always better!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Better Off Wed by Laura Durham

I grabbed this one for free a couple months ago as an ebook. I am a huge fan of BookBub and I always look forward to the deals that appear in my inbox. Especially when I'm trying to save money.

Anyway, this was a super cute looking cozy mystery that I snapped up and read fairly quickly.

It's about a wedding planner named Annabelle Archer who finds herself involved in murder. During a wedding she had planned, she finds the bride's terrible mother dead on the floor under suspicious circumstances and her friend and sometimes business partner is the one who ends up under  investigation!

There's humour, romance, intrigue, and of course good old fashion mystery in this one. It's totally a cozy mystery, so it's easy to read but involving at the same time.

I really liked this one. It was a little different than some of the other cozy mysteries that I find myself reading. A lot of the cozies I read revolve around someone and their family with a love triangle and a little shop on the small town street. Since this one only had one romantic interest and didn't involve family of the main character, it was different.

I liked this one, and I think that if I came across more of these at the library or as a super cheap ebook I would pick it up. Like most cozies, I tend to read through them quite fast and it makes more sense for my bank account if I don't collect them as real books on my shelf.

Recommendation: For the lovers of cozy mysteries with a bit of humour. This one is for you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Jackaby Series by William Ritter

This series was a total cover buy from Book Outlet a while back. I feel like I knew about this series but forgot about it along the way. The covers though, are just so cool.

The series is the Jackaby series, but it's told from the point of view of his new protege Abigail Rook. Abigail Rook is a girl just looking for adventure in 1892. She travels around the world and crosses paths with a man who goes by R. F. Jackaby, completely by accident shortly after she arrives. She's looking for work to fund her new life and he's got a job on offer.

Jackaby is a private detective that solves cases that involve the supernatural. Jackaby is like a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Newt Scamander. There's ghosts, trolls, fairies, shape shifters, and everything else you can imagine. He's as awkward and strange as Sherlock, if Sherlock could see all manners of the supernatural.
This series follows a pattern of events that all coalesce into the fourth novel with the need to stop the mastermind that's been behind what's been going on in the town of New Fiddleham. They cross down into the underworld to help a very dear friend who happens to be a ghost, attend a dig and stop a dragon. All good and wonderful things. Of course,  the culmination is the usual save the world type of mission, but who doesn't love that.

There's a whole big cast of interesting creatures and people who show up and help Jackaby and Abigail stop the danger from getting out of control that appear throughout the series. There's a little bit of romance, a little bit of dealing with a broken heart, and the whole third floor of their building looks like a local park complete with a water feature and a resident duck.

I enjoyed this series. It was easy to read, interesting and kept me coming back for more. It's a young adult series, but it didn't feel like I was reading a young adult book, which I always love.

I gave the first three books 4 stars, but I only gave the last one 3. It was the ending. It was a good ending but everything got flipped on it's side and then it just ends. Like it was a good ending, but there's so much more room for more now and it kills me that the series ends here. Well, as far as I know it's done. If it somehow turns out not to be done I will be overjoyed. The author just put a whole bunch of really cool things in motion in the last like 10 pages of the series and then it's just over. I want more! Still good though!

For fans of Sherlock and Fantastic Beasts. If you like supernatural things and mysteries, you'll love these!

Monday, July 2, 2018

June Wrap Up!

This month felt like it was a big reading month, but it was actually pretty average for me. Most of these books were read in one day or in two days which possibly made me feel like I read more than I did.

I was on a bit of a thriller and easy read hunt this past month and I made it through 4 books.

My Husband's Wife ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was a thriller I came across about a year ago but just picked up recently. It's a slow burning one, but one that kept me stuck to the page. I read this in two days.

Behind Closed Doors ⭐⭐⭐
Definitely an interesting thriller. You know right from the start a lot of the main details so it's not much of a twist to the ending, but it's still a page turner

Big Little Lies ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I enjoyed this one. Read it in one day, then went and binged the whole first season of the show that night. Not my usual read, but I liked it. And yes, the book was better!

November 9 ⭐⭐⭐
This was part of my need to read new things and break out of my reading habits. I've never read a Colleen Hoover before this, and although I was glued to the page, it was an okay easy read, I read it in one sitting. Didn't wow me like I was hoping.

Full and detailed reviews will be up soon (hopefully!) if you'd like to know more!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Arrogant Devil by R.S. Grey

I have been following this lovely lady for a long time on Instagram and I figured it was about time I read one of her books!

She writes romance and romantic comedies which are my least read genres, but I felt in need of a change. After all, a story I've been playing with myself has a little bit of romance in it. How can I write it if I don't read it!?

Well I took the plunge and I gobbled this up pretty fast, reading it all in a day or two I believe. It's an easy read but that is in no way a bad thing!

I really enjoyed this. I had no idea what to expect (because of my lack of romance novel experience) but I was thrilled with what I found. I was glued to the page and taken along for quite the ride.

The characters are so defined on so many levels that you really don't know what they are going to do next. The story was interesting and compelling without being one I've read before. She took a typical girl and a typical boy, then flipped it on it's head, dug through the misconceptions, and gave you love.

If you had asked me what I felt about romances prior to reading this book I would have told you that it really wasn't my thing. I would have told you that I find them interesting but repetitive. That the same tropes are used over and over to the point where eventually I felt like I'm just reading the same book over and over.

Boy, was I wrong! This was not one of "those romances"

I will be reading more of her books for sure. Romance doesn't have to repeat itself, and it can certainly contain comedy! After all, no two loves are the same!

Recommendation: Even if you aren't into romance (or you think you aren't) give this a try. You will probably be pleasantly surprised just like I was!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Camino Island by John Grisham

I have been a fan of John Grisham for a long time now and when I heard he had a new book out and it was book/writer related, I needed to read it.

This was a good book. I read it quickly as I usually do his books, but that doesn't matter. It's still great. It might have helped that I read it during a readathon and finished it in like one sitting, but still.

Camino Island is about a writer who is asked by a mysterious organization to immerse herself in the lives of a bookseller and some writers on Camino Island where her grandmother had a cabin to catch thieves of priceless literary treasure.

The intrigue and the mystery part of things was good, but honestly I loved reading more about the lives that perhaps not well known authors lead. To think that authors get to go to parties with other authors, talk books and writing, spend their time writing was just good. I found it super inspiring although I don't think it was meant to be that way. Perhaps I'm just odd. Who knows.

Anyway, this book was good. A solid three stars for me only because I figured things out before they were revealed in the book. I much prefer not to guess what's going to happen or at least guess and be proven wrong when it comes to a mystery. I love being surprised.

There were aspects of this book that did surprise me, and I did enjoy it.

Overall, I think this is a pretty solid read. It's worth picking up, especially good as a summer read.

Recommendation: For lovers of John Grisham, for the lovers of mysteries, for the lovers of books about writers albeit fiction.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Poemcrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge

This is a book about poetry. Like the cover says, it's about freeing your life with words.

This is a bit of a instruction type of book, as it comes with exercises and activities to get you going, but it's filled with nuggets of wisdom, and bits of true life from the authors work teaching how to write poetry and from her own life.

It's a very intense book but its not intimidating in the least. I say it's intense because it makes you feel things. I found myself reading through and having to stop and put the book down to reflect on what I read. In such a good way.

The exercises sometimes feel so simple but still make you feel like you are creating something while you are doing them. Like it's not busy work and it's not quite always just you writing a poem, its about playing with words.

This book gives such a beautiful and whimsical feel to poetry that those who are terrified of poetry will feel very differently after this book.

I'm pretty sure I got through this book a couple years ago when I bought it, but for some reason when I picked it up off my shelf and flipped through it I found myself not remembering a lot of it, like I had  a mental block on it. This of course sounds nuts as I love this book and I am planning on going back and doing all of the exercises very soon.

This is up there in my favourites on writing along with Writing Down the Bones, Stephen King's On Writing, and Bird by Bird. I loved all of those books and I love this one too.

Recommendation: For those interested in poetry, for those who want to write, who do write, who are always wanting to learn about writing. This is a resource and an experience waiting to happen.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

I think this is the book I've heard a lot of terrible things about it in relation to things I'm not going to discuss in detail, but I don't think all that noise was necessary. This book echoed themes of this world and showed a person breaking through her prejudices and seeing the light which was more than okay with me. Moving on.

This book is about a girl named Elloren Gardner. She is the granddaughter of the last Black Witch and although she looks exactly like her, she doesn't possess the same power. Elloren gets permission to enter university and study to be an apothecary instead of being married off to some nobleman like her grandmother wants. Things are never quite that simple, and being related to the last Black Witch does not make her life easy.

There's so much going on in this book that any explanation of the plot from me would give spoilers and ruin it so if you still want to know more, please check it out.

It's a YA fantasy at it's best. The different characters and the world is pretty interesting. The character development in this book I think is really amazing.

In fact, this book grabbed my attention to the point where I was reading it when I wasn't alone, kind of ignoring my fiancee in order to read this, while stopping every so often to tell him everything about it I could. I don't often do that, but with this one I did.

I originally read this as an ebook, but I am going to be buying myself a physical copy. This book was so much more than I thought it was because I was listening to some of the reviews out there. Case is point that you shouldn't believe everything you read, and when I had a chance to get it as an ebook, I grabbed it and I am so glad I was able to figure things out for myself.

After all, isn't that what we are supposed to be doing anyway? Figuring things out for ourselves and not listening to the opinions of others and developing prejudice and bias towards things that we really shouldn't be.

Anyway, don't let the rest of the world deter you from reading this. I really loved it. I am so ready for the next book. And I'm happy about waiting because I am relishing getting myself a physical copy this one and rereading it just before the next one comes out.

Recommendation: For the lovers of fantasy who like stories about those who rise above and break out  and strive to fight for the good.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson and Martin Dugard

I have always been a fan of James Patterson. His books are interesting, fast paced, and easy to read.

I have also always been a fan of all things Egyptian.

This book came across my radar totally by accident. I was perusing the shelves at one of the many libraries in my new town and I wandered down the aisle of non fiction books and this popped out at me.

I was so not aware this was a thing before I found it, but it was totally something I wanted to read!

This book is a mix of truth with the story telling mastery of James Patterson.

It takes real known facts around the life of Howard Carter and what little is known about the boy king to come up with a plausible reason for the death of King Tut.

I didn't know that much about King Tut before this, I was aware of him, of course, but I didn't know a lot about the details of those around him and how his life could have possibly gone. I thought this was really, really interesting.

There was enough story magic along with the facts that it worked out to be quite a page turner.

It was a quick read for me, took me about two hours, but I was thoroughly entertained the whole time!

Recommendation: For fans of James Patterson, and fans of Egyptian history. This was a great read.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Tithe by Holly Black

So we probably all know about the work of Holly Black because of books like The Darkest Part of the Forest, The Coldest Girl in Cold Town, and most recently because of The Cruel Prince. I found her when I picked up The Darkest Part of the Forest and from there, I decided that I needed to keep getting my hands on her work.

I did a little research and realized she had written a couple of books in this Modern Faerie Tales series  and my bookstore had them!

This is the first one as of publication order and its about a girl named Kaye who ends up going back to her childhood home and reconnecting with her past and those she knew back then. She finds herself in between a war between two faerie kingdoms and could lose her life.

I didn't do the plot justice, but alas, I don't want to give things away. It's a little book, not super hard to read, but totally gripping nonetheless.

What I love about Holly Black's work is that she not only takes you out of your life as it is now and brings you into an urban fantasy story about faeries, but even the real world parts of her her characters lives are so different from my own that it's like I'm transported out of my world twice.

She takes you and shows you the gritty, seedy world out there and then throws in faeries for good measure and you're swept away along for the ride. It's really quite awesome.

I am a big fan of hers and I think I will always be a big fan of hers. I just really love her writing style and faeries were always a huge thing for me growing up and I still love them now.

Recommendation: For the fans of Holly Black, for the lovers of faeries. For the urban fantasy YA lovers. I think this might just be the book for you.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Spirits and Thieves series by Morgan Rhodes

I might have been living under a bit of a rock when it comes to YA books because until I stumbled across the second book in this series I had never seen or heard of Morgan Rhodes books before.

In fact, when I realized how seriously much I loved this series, I was more than happy to learn there was a whole much longer series written by her (in the same universe I think?) that I needed in my life! Those beauties are part of the Falling Kingdoms series and they are living on my shelf as we speak.

Anyway, as to these books. They are perfect. I loved them so much. I got sucked in immediately and taken for a ride that I was more than happy to go on. The endings were on the cliff-hanger side (which means that there better be another one coming out in this series), but still, so good.

This book has sisters from modern day Toronto, a boy from a different world called Mytica, and a book that caused one sister to fall into a coma and appear in this other world as a spirit only the boy from Mytica can see or hear. Of course, there's another boy. One back in modern day Toronto who's part of a secret society that just might have everything to do with the girl in the coma and that other world.

I was also seriously happy to learn that the author is in fact from the same province that I am, so many of the books in the two series I picked up came signed!

I loved her writing style. It was totally a series that picked you up and carried you away as if you were in a dream. It was effortless to follow along and fall in love with these books. I didn't want to put them down and I didn't want them to end!

I haven't started the longer series yet because I know that she ends things on a cliffhanger and the newest book *just* came out so I'm not in a hurry to rush to wait for the next one (since I'm collecting paperbacks).

Recommendations: If you've thought about reading these, or any of her works, just go do it. You won't be disappointed and you'll be seriously missing out if you don't! Fantasy lovers, these are for you!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

This is the second book in a pretty cool series that follows Charlotte Holmes and Jaime Watson. They are the teenage Holmes and Watson who find themselves embroiled in exploits much like their original ancestors, and this time Holmes is a girl!

You can find out what I thought about the first book A Study in Charlotte here.

In The Last of August, we follow them trying to spend a relaxing break from the boarding school with Charlotte's family. Of course there's no rest for Holmes and Watson.

This one talks about the Moriarty family, the disappearance of Charlotte's beloved uncle Leander, and bringing back the past into stark reality. It seems Charlotte Holmes got along with the young August Moriarty at one time a lot better than past Holmeses and Moriarties have. 

By the half way point I still felt like we were very much still at the beginning of the mystery, and after 2/3's of the book I found myself becoming confused. I read this as a hardcopy book, but I felt like I was reading an ebook. 

Has anyone else ever felt that when you read an ebook, you don't actually have a clear and visual handle on how much of a book is left? Like because you aren't holding it in your hand as a real book, sometimes the endings can really sneak up on you and it can leave you disoriented? That's how I felt about this book.

It felt like we were still setting up so much of the beginning bits of the mystery that to realize that I had less than 20 pages left all of a sudden was weird for me. I read the end of the book really quickly because I was so surprised. I had to read the end more than once and I think I'm still missing so much. 

I'm just at a loss with this one. Like I love the characters, I love the stories, I love the idea, but this book on its own just missed the mark for me. 

I am going to be picking up the third book, which I do believe is out now, because I need to know what happens next. It's just weird for me to love so much about a series and have one of the books fall kind of flat for me. 

Recommendation: Read the first one. Don't skip it. If you love the first one, then go ahead with this one. You might love it so much more than me. Still a series worth a read for Holmes and Watson lovers. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Immortal Empire series by Kate Locke

So I came across this trilogy in the adult fantasy section at the bookstore by accident one day. I had a coupon to spend and the bright colours of the books caught my eye. I don't think I've ever seen these mentioned anywhere else before either which is always a plus for me.

These books take place in a present day steampunk version of London. In this version of the world, the plague didn't wipe out people, instead it caused some people to become vampires, werewolves, and goblins. It seems that those of noble blood handled the virus much better and became full blooded creatures and those of poorer and not so noble circumstances either did not get infected at all, or were partially infected.

Of course you can imagine the acrimony this caused for the future of all the races. Everything is hanging in a delicate balance. It all starts when Royal Guard Xandra Vardan's sister goes missing, things start to crumble down around everyone's ears. Oh, and did I mention that Queen Victoria still rules (as an undead Vampire, naturally).

I loved the idea behind this series. It totally grabbed me right from the beginning and I was on board for whatever the series was going to throw at me, and I was not disappointed in the least.

I did find the beginning of the first book a little shaky. There was so much world building and information that the author needed us to get a grip on rather quickly (which I totally understand) but... I felt the delivery method, the internal monologue type of thing, felt more like a repetitive info dump at times, and less like we were fully going along for the ride.

It totally go better though, but it was something that made it a little hard going at first. I didn't have any of those problems after I got into the series and even though there was a bit of referral in each book back to the one before it, it didn't have that same info dump feel at all.

There was romance, intrigue, mystery, and action. Everything a good series needs. The characters were interesting, and it felt like such a different story than some others I've read that follow the same idea (I'm thinking The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger that I totally adore.) It was along the same lines but still well worth the read!

Recommendation: This is a great series for those loving steampunk, vampires, werewolves, and goblins. It's quite an adventure and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Let me just start by saying I love Sabaa. I follow her on Instagram and she is hilarious and awesome and I totally adore her little veggie tales stories she does. She rocks.

That being said until recently, I had not read any of her work. That seems to be the thing with me lately. I've found so many really cool authors on bookstagram but I have yet to read a lot of their work. Might be doing this whole thing backwards.

Anyway, on to this book. It was great!

I hope no one shoots me for saying this but it reminded of Divergent and The Hunger Games but in no way do I mean that as a bad thing! This book obviously had awesome elements which, of course, made it so much more than anything else I've read. It's really darn cool.

This book is about Laia and Elias. Laia is one of those living on the outside of the Empire, staying alive simply by not bothering the Empire enough to take notice. When her brother is arrested for treason against the Empire, she finds herself needing to work with the rebels who promise to help her rescue her brother, if only she will spy on the Empire too.

Elias is a soldier in the Empire's military academy. He's the best there is but he hates it. He just wants to be free from everything and live his own life. He looks like he's on the right side of everything, as he and his family are in favour of the Empire but he's stuck just the same.

Both of their fates become intertwined in this book and the fate of the Empire hangs in the balance.

I really enjoyed this book. It's interesting, different, and it kept me glued to the page. There was a bit of a cliffhanger at the end but not so much that it killed me like some of them do. I found myself panicking a bit about a certain character at the end but obviously I shouldn't have worried.

I haven't picked up the second book in the series yet, but I hope to get it soon to carry on with the story. I think this series is well worth the read.

Recommendation: For the lovers of YA fantasy, for the lover of a good story, for the readers who like a good fight with intrigue and suspense.

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Unread Shelf Project

As you probably know, you can follow hashtags on Instagram now. I didn't really care much until #theunreadshelfproject2018 started up. I am totally following that hashtag and loving it. Also, you should be following @theunreadshelf herself who started this cool project with a couple of other really cool people!

The really neat thing I started noticing even a couple days into it was that people had some pretty cool and (in my opinion) obscure reads on their shelves that I know I haven't seen on bookstagram before. Not only that, but I had some of these same books on my shelves too! 

Before bookstagram I only picked up books that interested me. I stuck mainly to the adult section, reading mostly mysteries, and occasionally the big talked about books that were on the shelves. I had some go to authors and often I only really broadened my horizons at the library or when family passed books my way. 

Since joining bookstagram, I've expanded what I read quite a bit. For one, I find myself visiting the young adult section a lot more than I ever did. (I'm going to write a whole post on that soon). 

Another thing I find myself doing is paying more attention to the new releases, and the popular books that everyone else is talking about online. 

Honestly if I see a book mentioned over 5 times randomly on bookstagram I will go find out more about it. About 6 times out of 10 I end up getting my hands on the book, either from the library, in a cheap or free e-book form, or on sale at the bookstore. 

Because of this I have quite a few book sitting around that were totally influenced by bookstagram that I still haven't gotten to, and quite a few I have read and totally loved. 

Still though, true to myself, I do still creep around in the areas of the bookstore and library that I love and I grab up older books, books that I haven't seen anyone talk about, books that are totally all of my own finding. 

If you've been following my reviews for some time you'll know that I review all different kinds of books, and I think that sometimes I might be reviewing a book that 95% of you won't have ever heard of or seen before but perhaps I might be more wrong about that then I thought!

Seeing some of the odd and little mentioned books on my shelves popping up in the unread shelf project hashtag is pretty darn cool! I'm so happy to see that we all have such different tastes!

Instead of abstaining totally from buying new books and only reading those on my shelf, I have made a couple new rules for myself because, let's be real, there's no way I could keep that up.

I've decided instead that there would be no more cover buys or picking up books on a whim because they are on sale. I am allowing myself to buy books that are new releases I can't live without, part of a series I already have/started reading, or books I've been wanting for quite a while.

I am being so much more mindful about the books I buy. I've gone to the bookstore recently and I actually had a hard time finding something. I had a gift card to spend and where I would have usually pounced on a couple things I came across, I didn't this time. I truly thought about books I have wanted or needed in a series and looked for those first.

I've got enough books now that I can almost treat my shelves like a library and come across books I've forgotten about and pick them up like new again to read. It's been quite enjoyable so far and I intend to keep reaching for my shelf!