Saturday, 7 February 2015

I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy Nelson

So, I feel kind of silly reviewing this book. I mean... It just won the freaking Printz. Obviously it's amazing. But it was the book I was reading to review! (And I happened to finish it on the day it won the Printz, so that was kind of cool). So, here we are. I'm reviewing the Printz winner.

This was a book that I've wanted to read for awhile. My husband told me months ago before he had even finished reading it that I HAD to read it. And he often has good taste. But I had a huge stack of to-reads so I was just like 'yeah, okay. Add it to the pile.' And then eventually he took it back to his classroom cause I was too slow. And then, when I finally did get my hands on it, I was like, 'oh my gosh. Why did no one tell me to read this?' Which... if you were following... they did. So, silly me.

The story of Jude and Noah moved me almost from page one. I love complicated. I love imperfect. I love real. And I love beautiful writing. This book is all of those things. Generous helpings of all of those things. Jude and Noah are twins who have basically had a falling out. If you can even call it that; it seems too simple and understated for what happened, but that's what I'm going with. And it takes 3 (ish?) years for the air to be cleared. Jandy Nelson beautifully illustrates the pain, misunderstandings, and wishes for better that these two experience trying to make up for/live with their mistakes.  This book is just full of beauty. Everything else I try to say just seems inaccurate and like it's falling short of reality. So, really. It's just beauty in a book.

I'm so thankful that I did eventually pick up this book, and I'm so happy that it won the Printz, and if you're one of the few people out there who hasn't picked this book up and read and loved it... you should fix that.


Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

I have been excited for this book for SO LONG.  I didn't even know what it was about when I got excited about it. But Twitter showed me about its existence and I just knew it would be good. So... good job, marketers. I am putty in your hands. I was recently telling my husband about how exceedingly badly I wanted to read this book and the wait for its release was killing me... and then he was like 'Oh, that book? I have an ARC of that'. Oh. Great. So I've been sitting here drooling over this book I could have been reading for the last two months... Thanks, husband.

Anyways. I finally did get my hands on it, and slightly ahead of schedule. (I complain about the delay, but seriously. So spoiled). It was every bit as good as I imagined. I have always been a reader but the first books I really remember being a fan of and consciously seeking more of were the Alanna series by Tamora Pierce. So, I have a little bit of a soft spot and passion for a good YA fantasy novel.  That being said, I really haven't been reading that much fantasy lately, so I was really excited once I found out what The Red Queen is actually about.

Mare Barrow is a girl who's expected and expecting to be shipped off to fight a war basically simply due to her blood, when she finds out she has more in common with those in power than anyone ever expected.  She gets sucked into a royal scheme and starts figuring out that she maybe has some sort of power and maybe even responsibility to affect change for her people. And best part? It's not over after one book. You get THREE. I'm so excited for the following two, though the waiting will kill my soul a little bit.

The Red Queen comes out on February 10th, and so if you aren't spoiled by a husband with ARCs then you don't have very long to wait to get your hands on it. I promise it's worth the wait.


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The Start of Me and You - Emery Lord

Hi guys!

[Insert some excuse as to why I haven't updated in a long time here.] I have a few of them, but they're excuses and excuses are boring, so we're just going to move on to this fantastic book that I am so excited about.

I devoured this book. I'd been in a bit of a reading slump, and I was fortunate enough to steal Brian's classroom ARC for a day. And that's all I really needed because it was amazing and I couldn't put it down.  It's about a girl named Paige who feels like she has become defined by the death of her boyfriend, whom she hadn't really been seeing that long, and how she decides on a list of things she needs to do to get back to herself.  In completing her list, she ends up with some new friends, a new club, and learning a heck of a lot about who she is and who she can be.

I just... died over this book. It was such an amazing read. In fact, in writing this, I feel like I need to read it again, because seriously. Why deny myself the joy. The characters in this book feel so incredibly real and flawed. I love flawed characters. I love when they realize their flaws. I love when they grow. There's so much to be learned from this book but it's not one of those 'hey, I'm TEACHING YOU THINGS' books.  I feel like I'm gushing. Am I gushing? Good. It deserves the gush.

Anyways, this book is coming out in March, and it should be very high on your 2015 reads list. I promise you won't regret it.


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Yours Truly - Annabel Pitcher

First thing about this book, I love its former name, Ketchup Clouds.  I was lucky enough to find a copy of the hardcover Ketchup Clouds at a bookstore in Winnipeg while there for mine and Brian's wedding. (Of course we went to the bookstore the day after our wedding. Duh.) They had both the new paperback Yours Truly copies and the old hardcover Ketchup Clouds copies. I just think the former name is super awesome, so I had to have it.

This book is amazing.  Aside from the actual plot of the book, the format in which she tells the story is so interesting! Seriously, who thinks "I have a heartwrenching story to tell, it should probably be told in a series of letters to a serial killer." Annabel Pitcher does, that's who.  I absolutely love books that have characters who I don't admire or look up to. I love characters who mess up. I love characters who are just beautifully flawed. I've never understood why we want the characters in books to be realistic but also perfect people who always do the right thing.  Kind of contradictory if you ask me.

I haven't really clearly stated what the book is about yet, though. So I will now. Zoe is a teenager who is writing to a serial killer about how she killed a person she loves. That's really all you need to know. And if that didn't convince you, the first few sentences of the book should.

Dear Mr. S. Harris,

Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner. It's jam, not blood, though I don't think I need to tell you the difference.  It wasn't your wife's jam the police found on your shoe.

Seriously. How could that not grab your attention.

So, whether you find a copy with the name Yours Truly, or the former (in my opinion, cooler) name Ketchup Clouds, you should beg/borrow/steal/purchase it and read it.


Sunday, 26 October 2014

Bad Girls Don't Die - Katie Alender

I really need to decide a day of the week that's gonna be my blog post day. But TECHNICALLY, my last post was last week. So whatever. I'm still kind of sticking to the weekly post statement.

Because it's late October, we're going to review a ghost story! This one is actually one I've been looking at during every trip to the book store and just... didn't take the plunge until recently.  It looked really good, but a) I'm a big wuss when it comes to scary things and I didn't want to cry tears of fear and b) I felt like it was kind of too young for me (coming from the girl who adores Pigeon Finds a Hotdog by Mo Willems ... kind of ridiculous). So finally, I just grabbed it because I'd clearly been gravitating towards it forever.

And I'm glad I did.  Bad Girls Don't Die follows high schooler Alexis through dealing with issues with her family, trying to survive high school, and oh yeah, a possessed little sister. A creepy read that roots itself enough in reality that it just... feels real. I loved how Katie Alender gave me enough information that I wasn't reading without a clue, but there was still enough mystery to leave me wondering where the story was going to take me.

Another thing I love about it is that it's part of a series. I get a tad attached to books and am sad when they're over, so getting a book two and three out the deal? Score. So, if you're looking for a Halloween-ey read, or three, check out this series! Definitely worth checking out.


Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Okay. So, first official post as a Mrs. Also, first late post. (Insert wedding related excuse here.)

I'm not really prepared for this post. But, I needed to put up SOMETHING in honour of Glory O'Brien's History of the Future. It came out today, and the very first thing I did when arriving back in Sarnia (even before entering my house and giving hugs to my poor, neglected, kitty-child, Louie) was head on over to our local independent book seller, The Bookkeeper, and pick up this book. (Holy run on sentences, Batman. This is how I roll.)

I'm not someone who has favourite books. Favourite authors, yes. Books? No. How can you choose a favourite book. It's like choosing a favourite child. Kind of a dick move. But, I've gone and done it. I can honestly say that Glory O'Brien's History of the Future is actually a top contender for my favourite book. (I'm a bit of a commitophobe and can't actually bring myself to type the words 'favourite book'.) (Apparently I really like using parentheses.)

It's a beautifully written book that is full of just...I don't even know the words. But A.S King does. She does the words very well. Brian has pointed out that I should probably mention what the book is about. I thought you would just read it because I said so, but we'll maybe mention a few points for you stubborn people.

It's about these girls who drink a bat. (Yes, drink a bat.) And they start to see things. Past/Future things. And it's kind of scary and crazy and Glory's also learning about herself and her family and who she is and it's really just at least fifteen shades of awesome.

Do yourselves a favour and get this book and treasure it for your entire lifetime.

I'm going to re-read this book now.


Monday, 29 September 2014

Everything Leads to You - Nina LaCour

I'm setting a bad precedent by writing two days in a row. But I needed to talk about Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. I first fell in love with Nina LaCour when I read Hold Still. Hold Still is one of my most favourite books EVER and one of the books on the 'relationship shelf' I have with Brian. (This shelf has all of the books that have been significant to our relationship.) It's just an amazing book. I need to reread it and review it. Because seriously. So good.

But, the point is. We picked up Everything Leads to You because of our love for Nina LaCour.  And, it's so good. I'm going to mainly reference one amazing thing about this book.  And that thing is that it's about a lesbian girl. But it's NOT about her being a lesbian. Mind. Blown. Seriously. When's the last time that you picked up a book that had a lesbian character as the main character, but the book wasn't about her being a lesbian or her being accepted or all of the trials she went through? Was it ever? Cause for me, it hasn't been ever. Maybe I've been reading the wrong books. But I love that this book says to lesbian girls, 'yeah. You can experience life in the same way as a straight girl. Just replace the naughty bits of the love interest with female ones.' Done. How cool is that?
Also, aside from that, it's an interesting story. Almost all of the characters work in the film industry, so it's super glamorous. But in a relatable normal person way. Not in a movie star kind of way. It's definitely a lighter read than Hold Still, but still really enjoyable. I think it's a perfect read for a teenager, if only because it makes what some people think 'isn't normal' feel perfectly normal.
So. Read it. Enjoy it. So good.