Thursday, November 23, 2017

Book Review: Just Like You Said It Would Be by C.K. Kelly Martin

Publish Date: February 15th, 2017
Publisher: ebook, Create Space
Series: Stand Alone
Source: ebook from author in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:

How do you make something feel finished?
On New Year’s Eve seventeen-year-old Amira texts the Irish ex-boyfriend she’s been missing desperately since they broke up at the end of summer, when she returned to Canada. They agreed they wouldn’t be friends, that it would never be enough. But that was then—back when Amira’s separated parents had shipped her off to relatives in Dublin for the summer so they could test-drive the idea of getting back together on a long haul cruise. Back when Amira was torn away from a friend in need in Toronto only to fall in love with a Dublin screenwriting class and take a step closer to her dream career. And only to fall for cousin Zoey’s bandmate, Darragh, the guy who is first her friend, then her enemy and later something much more complicated—the guy she can say anything to, the guy who makes every inch of her feel wide awake in a way she hadn’t known was possible. The guy she confides in about the dead sister she has no living memories of but who has remained with Amira nonetheless. The guy she might never see again. Or is there, despite the distance, somehow still a chance for them?
Chock-full of movie references and giddy love for Dublin, Ireland, Just Like You Said It Would Be is a frank exploration of the extraordinary highs and shattering lows of first love that will appeal to fans of Jennifer Echols, Tara Kelly, Sarra Manning, and Kirsty Eagar.

My Review:

Unfortunately I forgot I even had this book (Sorry C.K. Kelly Martin!) The author contacted me a while ago asking me if I would read and review this novel for her. I was happy to do so and eager to as I've read some of her other books and enjoyed them and as always, I like working with Canadian authors!
One night, I was looking through my phone files and came across the book. (I blame it on new mom brain - it's a thing!!) Turns out, it is super handy to have an ebook on my phone to read in night reading mode when nursing my little one to sleep at night. So this review is much later than asked for and I'm terribly sorry, but it's here nonetheless. 
So let me tell you this; Just Like You Said It Would Be was such a great read! The beginning was a wee bit slow starting out (in comparison to the rest of it) but it's worth it. I finished so quickly and was disappointed that there wasn't any more story to read. 
Amira, the main character is from Toronto, but has to spend a summer overseas with her aunt and uncle while her parents are trying to save their marriage. Amira is deeply saddened to have to leave and tries to convince her family to let her stay home as her best friend is dealing with a family situation of their own and she wants to be there for her. In the end, Amira can't win, and is shipped off to Ireland for the long and lonely summer. Her cousin, Zoey quickly tries to make Amira feel at home and invites her out with friends and her band mates. This is how Amira meets Darragh and from here on out, her visit to Ireland will be forever changed.
I really enjoyed everything about this intoxicating novel. The writing was really great, with lots of detail and vivid pictures. The characters are real and heart-felt, and easy to relate to. Just Like You Said It Would Be is a great first love story. There were parts that reminded me of my first love, and I think a lot of readers will experience that too. The butterflies in the pit of your stomach, the feeling of meeting each other after class. All those feels are here in the book. And the fact that it's set in Ireland makes it even better. I've never actually been, but I think of Ireland as being such a romantic country! It all came together so nicely and I loved it! 
Just Like You Said It Would Be was more than just a love story though. There was so much more to it; friendship, music and family. I really do recommend this book and hope many others get to read it!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Books for the Holidays

Christmas is upon us, my favourite time of the year. I love the look of the snow on the ground, and in the trees. I love the twinkling lights and all of the yummy hot chocolate. There is so much to just love about the holiday season.

You know what else is great about Christmas? Giving and getting...books!! Its such a fun way to broaden your book collection and step out of your comfort zone (sometimes that happens!) And it's a great way to spread the joy of your favourite book.

"What do you want for Christmas?"
"Ooh, a new book."
"Which one?"

"Surprise me!"

Let's face it? Who doesn't love a beautifully wrapped book under their tree? What are some of the best "bookish" gifts you've received or given?

Merry Christmas, may your holiday be safe, full of joy, reading and new books.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

ICYMI: Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker

Anyone who knows me, knows that K.A. Tucker is one of my favourite authors (Along with Emily Giffin) . K.A. Tucker came into my radar when I got ARC's of  the Ten Tiny Breaths series. I read the first 2 so quickly and fell in love with everything; the writing, the characters, the story. Ever since, I'm eager to get my hands on her books.

Keep Here Safe is no different. Look at the cover, it's absolutely gorgeous. 
Hopefully I can wait until Jan 23, 2018 to read it.

Keep Her Safe
Making a Murderer meets Scandal in this story of police corruption, family secrets, and illicit affairs from bestselling author K.A. Tucker, celebrated for her “propulsive plot twists and searing seduction” (USA TODAY).

Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that's been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family's life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret.

Gracie Richards wasn't born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it's all she knows anymore. At least here people don't care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive...until a man who clearly doesn't belong shows up on her doorstep.

Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department's dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined…

You can find out more about K.A. Tucker and her books anywhere here:
Twitter: @kathleenatucker
Instagram: @katucker_

Keep an eye out for it, and if you need a fix to hold you over until then, may I suggest Ten Tiny Breaths series, or Until It Fades. Or better yet, click here to read the first chapter of Keep Her Safe.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Good on you, Goodreads

I love Goodreads. I love how it can keep track of all of the books I've read. It can keep track of all of my reviews and so much more. I definitely don't use all of it's features (like updating the progress of each book) but I do love the website. If you don't use it, you really should!

What I'm most happy about though, is now I can add a second (third, forth, etc) time reading the same book! It makes me so happy, because I love to take part in the reading challenge each year, and each year I re-read Harry Potter. And in the past, I just have to change the reading date, or add a different edition to my bookshelf or "cheat" somehow. So when I saw that I can add a second reading date, I was jumping for joy!

Because really, who can read Harry Potter only once?

Thanks Goodreads, for making this reader happy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book Review: Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill

Publish Date: June 6th, 2017
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 400 pages
Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC from publisher in exchange for honest review 

Goodreads Synopsis:

A young, street-savvy runaway looking for a place to call home realizes he might have conned his way into the wrong family in this fast-paced and thrilling novel from award-winning author Cristin Terrill.
When ten-year-old Daniel Tate went missing from one of California's most elite communities, he left no trace. He simply vanished.Six years later, when he resurfaces on a snowy street in Vancouver, he's no longer the same boy. His sandy hair is darker, the freckles are gone, and he's initially too traumatized to speak, but he's alive. His overjoyed family brings him home to a world of luxury and comfort he can barely remember. In time, they assure him, he'll recover his memories; all that matters now is they're together again. It's perfect. A miracle. Except for one thing.He isn't Daniel Tate.He's a petty con artist who accidentally stumbled into the scam of a lifetime, and he soon learns he's not the only one in the Tate household with something to hide. The family has as many secrets as they have millions in the bank, and one of them might be ready to kill to keep the worst one buried. 

My Review:

Unfortunately, it took a while before I felt eager enough to pick this one up. I kept putting it off, I was in a sort of reading funk I guess. But when I started, right through to the end, I was hooked. It starts off with lies, and the narrator straight up says “I’m lying!” WHAT? I didn’t know what to make of this, but with a title like Here LIES Daniel Tate, and a synopsis like this one, it totally makes sense. OR does it?! That right there, is how I felt reading this book (for the most part, except for one obvious and disturbing plot twist).
“Daniel Tate” doesn’t know who he is, or who he has ever been, he floats through life, living in shelters for as long as he can, then runs. Then he stumbles upon a perfect situation, a rich family that he can con into taking him in for a while. The longer he stays, the more complicated and strange it becomes and that’s when he realizes that this situation isn’t quite as it seems on the outside. Secrets are made, secrets are revealed and who really knows the truth in this thrilling novel.
The characters were interesting enough, except for a random love interest thrown in for no apparent reason. We could have easily done without it in my opinion. I loved that the story had my mind racing with each page, one minute I thought I had it figured out, then one minute I questioned everything I thought I knew. The ending will have the reader rushing to finish and leave them with their mouth agape, wondering what the hell just happened (but in a good way!) It’s definitely a book worth reading!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Book Review: White Bodies by Jane Robins

Publish Date: September 19th, 2017
Publisher: Touchstone
ISBN: 9781501175749
Pages: 256
Series: None
Source: ARC from publisher for honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:

This chilling psychological suspense novel--think Strangers on a Train for the modern age--explores the dark side of love and the unbreakable ties that bind two sisters together. 
Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless facade, not everything is as it seems.
Callie, Tilda's unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix's domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash. She knows about Felix's uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister's arms.
Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an Internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgment when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies--or was he murdered?
A page-turning work of suspense that announces a stunning new voice in fiction, White Bodies will change the way you think about obsession, love, and the violence we inflict on one another--and ourselves.

My Review:

White Bodies, a psychological suspense that fell just short for me in the end. I was looking forward to this book, something a little different than my usual grab and go book. I was eager for the thrill and a little ready for something creepy. Creepy is what I got when it came to Callie and her twin sister Tilda, but it wasn’t a good creepy. I was seriously creeped out when there was talk of Callie and her obsessive need to eat her sisters things (teeth, hair, urine) Eww. This really didn’t sit well with me, and I was a little put off because of it.
The story (other than the consuming of body fluids/parts) was up and down for me. One minute I was drawn in, then it would take a turn downhill and I found myself willing the story to be done. Tilda, an up and coming actress meets Felix, a man who she welcomes into her life and introduces her sister to. Immediately, Callie notices something off about Felix and becomes fixated on their relationship. She notices his obsessive-compulsiveness. His need for order and cleanliness. And more importantly, his need to control Tilda. It frightens Callie when her sister stops working and eating. Her living space becomes more and more unlike her and more like Felix. There was promises of trips and so on, and nothing comes of it right away. Then the bruises appear and Callie herself becomes the obsessed. She resorts to the internet – to be precise and her suspicions are verified by others living in fear on this website. Confronting her sister about her suspicions, Callie is told it’s nothing; Felix says there are no jobs good enough for her, Felix likes things a certain way, so on and so forth. But then other times, it seems like Tilda is pleading silently for help.
While reading White Bodies it’s hard to tell whether Callie is a reliable character, with there being flashbacks to their twin life as young girls. It was interesting to read this point of view along with everything else happening. I really had no idea which way the story was going to go. I couldn’t completely get drawn in by the characters, as stated before, I was disgusted by Callies tendencies, Tilda seemed lifeless and Felix left a bad taste in my mouth. The owner of the bookstore, and Wilf had a little more personality than the others which made me laugh in the end.
Overall, I’m not sure what I would say about this book or how I would rate it. I’ve looked through other reviews before posting this, and I see that there is a lot of good feedback about White Bodies, people seem to generally enjoy this one. Maybe it just wasn’t my cup of tea, who knows.

Friday, October 6, 2017

I'm Back, readers!

Hey guys! It's been a while, I know. There's been so much going on that my blog definitely got the back burner. First of all, my computer broke and I could not write posts because of that, then it was working on and off again, but more importantly, we welcomed another little one to our family and she became the center of everything. đź’— My computer was moved into my basement, where lo and behold it stopped working again. (Which in the end was an OK thing, because the spiders in my basement FREAK ME OUT!!) And I hated being down there. Then one day, I had the nicest surprise at my door... a brand new laptop (thanks Mom!), and here I am.

I have a lot to catch up on. I have a ton of books that need to have my review posted. I feel out of the loop in the happenings in the book world, because while I love my phone and do a lot of things on it, it just wasn't the same as a computer.

I need to do a big thank you to the lovely ladies at Simon & Schuster who continued to believe in me, and send me a book here and there (I promise, I will send you the reviews!) And I hope that we can continue to work together, I truly missed doing this. Also, thank you Random House, your review will be up too! And fellow Canadian, and author C.K. Kelly Martin, we'll be in touch.

I cannot wait to get back up and running, so stay tuned for some posts being sent your way.

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