Archive | November, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday — I See London, I See France

30 Nov


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


I love Sarah Mlynowski’s writing. It’s always fresh, funny and oh-so relevant. That’s what I was super stoked to hear she has a new series starting! It’s sounds awesome and I can’t wait until the first book is released July 11th. It sounds like the perfect summer read!


The Universe vs Alex Woods — Gavin Extence

29 Nov



Publisher: Redhook
Released: June 25th, 2013
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Read hubby’s purchased copy



A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was ten years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, Alex hasn’t had the easiest childhood.

But when he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend. Someone who teaches him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count.

So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the front seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing …

Introducing a bright young voice destined to charm the world,The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a celebration of curious incidents, astronomy and astrology, the works of Kurt Vonnegut and the unexpected connections that form our world.

From Goodreads

My husband bought this book last year as his Christmas Eve book choice (every year we go into a bookstore on Christmas Eve and buy a book to read that evening/Christmas Day. Yes, we are those kind of people.) Once he finished it he started hounding me to read it. It sounded like an interesting enough read, but I didn’t feel a driving desire to read it. I finally picked it up last month and am very glad I did.

This was just a lovely read. At first it seems like it’s going to be a quirky book about this quirky kid who just happened to have gotten beamed off the head by a meteorite, but it ends up being much more than that.

The way the author writes the growing friendship with Mr. Peterson is just amazing. Here are two characters who really don’t have anything in common, yet they form a connection and a strong friendship. And it isn’t presented in a way that’s overly saccharine or moral message after moral message. It’s honest and real and funny but also heartbreaking at times.

I don’t want to give too much away from the plot, but I love how it was woven together and once again any lessons or morals weren’t shoved in my face. But it definitely made me think of my live and the choices I would make in certain situation.

The writing style and tone was spot on for the plot of the book. The author lets things flow naturally and there’s nothing forced about the POV or the voice of Alex.

This is definitely going on my Favourites shelf.

Mad about the Boy — Helen Fielding

24 Nov



Publisher: Knopf Canada
Released: October 15th, 2015
Genre: Contemp, chick-lit
Source: Second hand copy purchased


Bridget Jones is back!

Great comic writers are as rare as hen’s teeth. And Helen is one of a very select band who have created a character of whom the very thought makes you smile. Bridget Jones’ Diary charting the life of a 30-something singleton in London in the 1990s was a huge international bestseller, published in 40 countries and selling over 15 million copies worldwide. Its sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, published soon after was also a major international bestseller. Both were made into films starring Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.

Set in the present, the new novel will explore a different phase in Bridget’s life with an entirely new scenario. As Helen Fielding has said: “If people laugh as much reading it as I am while writing it then we’ll all be very happy.”

From Goodreads
When this book was first announced, fans such as myself were over the moon giggley about getting to have another glimpse into the Bridget Jones world. Then the publisher unleashed their marketing campaign and gave away a MAJOR spoiler that pretty much pissed off most fans. I wasn’t upset with the spoiler, but I was really upset that something was given away. So I stayed away from reading the book.

I found it recently at a yard sale or flea market or somewhere (seriously, when you buy as many books as I do you lose track of where you’ve bought them) and decided to give it a read. And I really really liked it. I think I would have liked it more if I hadn’t known about THE BIG SPOILER but it was still an enjoyable read.
This is a light read with tendrils of seriousness wrapping around the reader every once in a while. Bridget is still Bridget and it’s hilarious (and sometimes awkward) to watch her trying to survive a new period in her life. She’s still awkward and she still wears her heart on her sleeve, but she’s gone through some shit and it has changed her a bit. There’s more depth to the character and I really, really like that.
There’s one part of the plot that is so obvious from the get go that i’s a bit of a roll your eyes kind of thing. I think it’s supposed to be a twist but it so isn’t. Or maybe it’s supposed to be super clear to anyone observing, but Bridget is completely oblivious. Either way, this part of the book fell a bit flat to me. I do think fans of the first two books will enjoy this third instalment, though. It was a quick read and I’m really happy I finally gave it a go.

Waiting on Wednesday — Norse Mythology

23 Nov


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


I haven’t read a lot of Neil Gaiman, although I own several of his books.  I’m planning on having a bit of a Gaiman readathon in December. His latest, Norse Mythology, isn’t out until February, but I know it’s one that I will be adding to my collection.

No Escape from Greatness — Jeffery John Eyamie

22 Nov



Publisher: Turnstone Press
Released: March 28th, 2016
Genre: contemp, humour
Source: Review copy from publisher


Fame can be fickle. Nobody knows that better than overnight sensation Gabriel Pegg . . . you know, Port-o-Potty Guy . . . from Erratic Automatic. Remember him? He went from the penthouse to the outhouse, and now Gabriel is persona non grata in the entertainment biz. Broke, behind on his child support payments, and a wanted man, Gabriel heads to the only place he has left: Greatness, Manitoba, population…I don’t know, but there’s one traffic light. Gabriel believes his destiny as a serious auteur awaits him, once he can rid himself of those pesky parental commitments. When Gabriel unwittingly signs himself up for six-days-a-week custody of his 11 year old daughter, Gabriel realizes there might just be No Escape from Greatness.

From Goodreads

Not all funny books are created equal. Some try too hard to be funny and really miss the mark. Some don’t try hard enough. And some, like No Escape from Greatness hit the mark perfectly.

Folks, this is a FUNNY read. One of the funniest I’ve read. I love the plot and the cast of characters and the fact that this is a book that actually has some character growth and a message but doesn’t take itself to seriously.

Gabriel Pegg. Jesus he is one unlikeable character. I mean, this guy is such a douche. Yet I couldn’t stop reading about him and wanting to read about him. It’s hard to write an unlikeable character that keeps readers engaged, but Eyamie accomplishes that. Gabriel has his head so far up his own ass that you kinda have to feel a bit bad for him.

This book reads like an awesome, funny, quirky Canadian indie movie. It’s just so unbelievable that it’s believable. And I LOVED it.

Movers — Meagan MacIsaac

17 Nov



Publisher: Tundra
Released: February 2nd, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, dystopia
Source: Review copy from publisher


The world is dying, overcrowded and polluted. Storms rage over the immensely tall tower blocks, attracted to Movers.

Movers are connected to people in the future, their Shadows. And moving your Shadow is highly illegal.

Patrick knows all too well what happens if you break the law: his father has been in the Shelves ever since he moved his Shadow. And now Patrick and his family are in danger again.

Following a catastrophic event at their school, Patrick must go on the run. Through filthy, teeming markets, forebrawler matches, a labyrinth of underground tunnels and beyond, he’ll need his wits and courage to escape the forces that want to take everything he loves.

From Goodreads

What an action-packed exciting read! The premise of Movers grabbed me instantly and was very different from any other dystopian YA novel I’ve read. I pretty much flew through the book, eager to find out what the heck was going on.

I have to chat a bit about Movers and their Shadows. What a cool/creepy concept. And I love the fact that not all was as it seemed and that Patrick is never quite sure wha’s going on. He’s really feeling off balanced and that was so well written that as a reader I feel off balanced also.

I also think it’s interesting that Movers are looked down on and in some cases ostracized.

I really like that Patrick was thrown into the situation and has to form alliances with people that he isn’t 100% sure he could trust. I’m all about the group dynamics and love when different personalities are thrown together and have to deal with crap.

The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Waiting on Wednesday — Optimists Die First

16 Nov


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

It’s no big secret that I worship the ground Susin Nielsen writes on. I fall in love with everything that she puts out and I even got the chance to work with her when she wrote the foreword for a book that my former company published. So when I found out recently that she has another book coming out in February of next year, I did a bit of a fangirl dance. (Actually a BIG fangirl dance. There may have been specific Susin Nielsen dance moves created.)


Optimists Die First sounds like an AWESOME book. And the cover is GORGEOUS. I’m hoping to be able to snag a review copy, but if not I’ll be at my bookstore first thing February 21st to buy a copy.

Jane Steele — Lyndsay Faye

15 Nov


Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Released: March 22nd, 2016
Genre: Gothic, mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher



A reimagining of Jane Eyre as a gutsy, heroic serial killer.

A sensitive orphan, Jane Steele suffers first at the hands of her spiteful aunt and predatory cousin, then at a grim school where she fights for her very life until escaping to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law while penning macabre “last confessions” of the recently hanged, Jane thrills at discovering an advertisement.  Her aunt has died and her childhood home has a new master: Mr. Charles Thornfield, who seeks a governess.

Burning to know whether she is in fact the rightful heir, Jane takes the position incognito, and learns that Highgate House is full of marvelously strange new residents—the fascinating but caustic Mr. Thornfield, an army doctor returned from the Sikh Wars, and the gracious Sikh butler Mr. Sardar Singh, whose history with Mr. Thornfield appears far deeper and darker than they pretend. As Jane catches ominous glimpses of the pair’s violent history and falls in love with the gruffly tragic Mr. Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him—body, soul, and secrets—without revealing her own murderous past?

A satirical romance about identity, guilt, goodness, and the nature of lies.

From Goodreads


I wanted to love this book SO MUCH. I really did. And I did love parts of it. But other parts, not so much. This felt like two different book mushed in to one and it didn’t always work for me.

The first part of the book, before she becomes a governess, was beyond kick-ass. Jane is a straight-forward kind of heroine who doesn’t have a problem getting rid of her problems, be they human or not. This part of the plot was AWESOME. She would fit in quite nicely with the ladies of Chicago’s Cell Block Tango. She’s wicked but still has her own moral compass and I love that about her.

When she takes the job as governess, the story stagnates a bit. If fact, it felt like a different book to me. While it was enjoyable, I really missed the sass of Jane from earlier in the book.

The writing was pitch perfect for the plots and really added to the tone of the book and the gothic feel. I have such high respect for an author who can write in a certain style like this.

Despite my issues with some of the plot, this was a really cool read.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? — Nov. 14th

14 Nov



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog  and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

I took some much needed reading time yesterday (I needed a major break form the world) and finished Fragment by Craig Russell. It was a different read for me, but I really, really enjoyed it. Then I started For the Love of Mary by Christopher Meades last night and although I’m only a chapter in I know it’s going to be a hilarious and quick read. I’m also hoping to dig into Field Notes by Sara Jewell and then maybe Phil Collins’ bio.