Friday, 12 January 2018

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst Book Read in 2017







This feature is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books


This week's topic is best / worst book read in 2017



Best


 The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

 I read lots of awesome books in 2017. But one of the best was The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die. It was a really suspenseful mystery and I loved it! 



Worst


 Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)


I'm only counting books that I finished, because some I dnf-ed. Neuromancer, by far, was the worst book of 2017. I had to read it for school, and I hated it. 

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Send by Patty Blount


Send


 Series: N/A
Author: Patty Blount
Page Count: 304
Published: August 1st, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  4 Stars ★★★★


Daniel is moving to a new school, hoping that nobody will find out his secret. He wasn't always Daniel....he used to be somebody else, somebody who cyber-bullied another kid into suicide. He has to keep his secret closely guarded...if he isn't careful, Liam's father will come after him and his family. 

He gets into a fight on the first day of school, while defending someone from Jeff, a bully. This isn't the way he wanted to start out, immediately brought into the spotlight. He also meets Julie, who seems to have something against him, although they don't even know each other. It's almost like she knows something about him.....

This was an emotional book about the effects of cyber-bullying, on both victims and bullies alike. I really liked that the book started out with Daniel going to a new school, I think that this was a great place to begin as opposed to while he was still a bully, or in juvenile detention. While things like the nature of the bullying and the impact it had on Daniel's mental health weren't completely discussed right away, I think that they were well addressed throughout the book and provided a reason to keep reading even when I got tired. I wanted to know more about the situation, I wanted to understand what had happened, and what was happening to Daniel now. For a book with a slower plot and a contemporary setting, I remained hooked on Daniel's story throughout. 

Daniel as a character was so interesting and tragic. I couldn't find it within myself to hate him for his actions. He made a mistake....and many people suffered for it. But that didn't make him a bad person overall. He was complex, dealing with a mental health crisis, suicidal thoughts, and lots of guilt. I found him relatable although I've never been in his situation, and I think this was very impressive! I connected to him through his suffering and attempt to distance himself from the past, despite having drastically different lives. As a character, he had so much depth, he was truly likeable in my opinion. I think he definitely redeemed himself. 

Julie, Jeff, and Brandon, the boy Daniel befriends after saving him from Jeff on that first day of school, were interesting secondary characters who played very important parts throughout the novel. Often, their relationships with each other and Daniel were very unstable, which actually gave this sad contemporary novel a feeling of suspense at times. I was always wondering what was going on with poor Brandon. I was worried that Jeff would target Brandon again or even go after Daniel. And Julie, as a supporting character and love interest to Daniel, was both interesting and frustrating. I found her part in this book a bit unbelievable at times. I can't say much more without spoiling the reveal, but I found it made very little sense that she'd go so far as to befriend and even date Daniel. That's why this book lost a star. 

I think the ending to the book was well done. It was emotional and unsure, and it made me really wish for a sequel. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable, emotional book with interesting characters. It discussed real life issues in a way that considered multiple sides of the story, and I am glad I found this book. I'll be looking for more books by Patty Blount in the future. 

I recommend this book to those interested in reading about the effects cyber-bullying could have on the perpetrator. If you like books with complex characters, this novel is for you. 




Monday, 1 January 2018

Holiday Book Haul

Hey everyone! I'm back :) Hopefully you all had a nice holiday season.


I was super busy throughout December with school exams and get-togethers for the holidays, so I didn't have time to post much. However, I was gladly enjoying delicious food and drinking hot chocolate and Tim Hortons Iced Capps in negative twenty degrees Celsius weather. Poe is adorable and fluffy, as always. I've really been enjoying the winter break!


This year I have received/ordered a record amount of books for one holiday season (unless I am mistaken and one year I got more.....but so far it seems to be the record!) I thought I'd list them off and maybe talk a bit about why I got some of them.


So first off is my BookOutlet haul. My boyfriend's gift to me was some money for BookOutlet! And I ended up getting 20 books!


I got:


Assassin's Heart : I've really been getting into the whole assassins in a fantasy world thing lately. It started with Throne of Glass and now I want all the assassins books!


The Accident Season :  Dark family secrets? Count me in. Also the cover is great.


The Accident Season


Lockdown : I want to read some more creepy stuff, and this book seems to have a creepy vibe.


Altered and Unraveled : I read the first book in this series a few years ago and I really liked it. I never got to reading the sequels, so when I saw them for about a dollar fifty each on BookOutlet, I decided to order a copy of each.


Rapture : I enjoyed the first three Fallen books years ago and I never got to reading Rapture. Plus I want to read Unforgiven, Cam's story. I remember liking Cam best, so I gotta get through Rapture so I can eventually read Unforgiven.


The Girl At Midnight : As I've mentioned, I'm getting more into fantasy, and this fantasy novel sounds interesting. People with feathers for hair??? A firebird??? LGBTQ characters? Of course I was gonna get this eventually.



The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)



Mortal Danger :  I like books about revenge!


Sweet : I actually found myself drawn to this book by the title. I'd written a short story titled Sweet, so I was curious as to what this particular "Sweet" was about. Anyways, the Goodreads blurb mentions this book being about a "dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly wrong" which I think is intriguing.


The Winner's Curse: Once again more fantasy! This book sounds a bit dark for a fantasy as well, what with the slavery and all, so I thought I'd give it a try. Though to be fair, I own quite a few fantasies that have dark elements. Either way, it sounds interesting.


Spells of Blood and Kin: As you probably have noticed from this list so far, I tend to read young adult fiction. Which is fine, but I want to expand a bit into the world of adult fiction. This adult fantasy seemed like a good pick for someone with my tastes.


Caraval: Intriguing premise, lots of positive reviews, and not to mention, simply lots of reviews in the first place! I need to catch up with the crowd.


Flawed : Rule-breaking, possibly ridiculous and oppressive societal standards, and the cost of standing up for something. Say no more.


The Hollow : Appears to have a connection to Sleepy Hollow. And secrets!!!!


Sempre : I'm getting more into these forbidden crime/mafia romances.


Shackled : If I saw my missing friend mouth "help me" in public six years after her disappearance, I'd probably lose it too. But I also want to know her friend's ultimate fate.


Dead of Winter : I liked Poison Princess, so seeing the third in the series on sale for less than two bucks was a steal! I don't have the second yet but I'll have the third for when I finally do finish the second. And for barely anything at that!


The Leaving: I love books about disappearances!


The Leaving


Count All Her Bones : The sequel to Girl, Stolen! I am so excited!


The Devil You Know : I like books where somebody is not who they seem to be....



Along with BookOutlet, I got some paper-copy books with a gift certificate that my brother gave me. I bought the books early because I received the gift early, but it was still a Christmas/holiday gift. I got :


The Darkest Night : because paranormal romance!


House of Leaves : This book looked weird. And it was. I read it all over the break so far, and I've never read anything like it before!


Seven Ways We Lie: I'm gonna be perfectly honest here, the main reason I got this was for the pansexual representation. Us pansexuals don't get a lot of representation in media so its exciting when we do. Also, there are scandals.


Resurrection : The newest Skulduggery book!


Resurrection (Skulduggery Pleasant, #10)


And then I got another gift card for Chapters/Indigo! But the thing is I'm gonna be moving soon and its already gonna be a pain to move all my current books plus the literally 24 I just ordered so.....I spent some of it on Kobo! I still have some left on the card for sequels. So far, I got:



The Warlord Wants Forever : I liked Poison Princess which is by the same author and I'm trying to get into adult books more, so of course I'll get this author's adult paranormal romance.


The Hard Way: I liked the previous books in this series a lot so yeah I got the next one!


Torn From You : I read the free prequel first and enjoyed it so I decided to get the official first book in the Tear Asunder series.


Sordid : Got this one because I enjoy dark romance, and I also want to support the author after this fiasco . As stated here , "what the terms don't mean is that readers or writers condone these behaviors in real life. Fiction is fiction."



So that's my holiday book haul! Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your to-read list? What was your biggest book haul?


I also got a tea infuser and a nice package of teas from Davids Tea, I think the company is called. My awesome friend gave it to me! I was wondering if you have a favourite tea? So far my favourite appears to be the coconut cream pie flavour!

Friday, 15 December 2017

As the New Year Draws Near.....

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't been posting much, I've been studying for my upcoming exams. I want to focus on my exams for the next week or so, so my regular posting schedule won't resume for another week or possibly two. But don't worry, I'm still here!


Anyways, I wanted to talk about our book goals for 2017, and also for the new year.


My Goodreads reading challenge was successful! As of right now, Goodreads says I've read 89 books, which is way above my goal of 50! I am really surprised that I was able to read this much. I had a lot going on, but I guess as a bookworm, I couldn't really give up reading.


For 2018, I think I'll set 50 books as my goal again. I'd go higher, but I want to consider what's going on in the new year, plus changes that I want to make to my reading habits. So first off, I need to focus on school first, and if my reading goal is too high, I might get distracted from my schoolwork. Secondly, I've added some books to my to-read pile that are really thick, like 600-700 pages long, so I don't want to make my goal too high.....I might end up putting books on hold just because they're longer than the average 400-500 page novel. I also need to work on my own novel.....My resolution for 2017 included finishing the rough draft of my novel and let's just say.... that didn't happen! So instead, another resolution will be simply working on my novel at least once every few weeks.


How did you do in 2017? How many books did you read? What are your 2018 reading goals?

Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Benefits of Reading Books

Hey everyone, so I know I haven't been super active on my social media and stuff lately. I've had a ton of assignments, and with the end of the semester coming up, I've had to study for tests and exams too. Hopefully once the winter break arrives, I'll be able to post more often!


I was thinking about the benefits of reading books, on a personal level. While I've read lots of articles describing generalized benefits of reading books, citing studies, I wanted to talk about the ways that reading books has personally helped me out!


1) Stress relief: Sometimes, you just have to take a break from what's stressing you out, and read a book. When I write my assignments, I often take little breaks to read and relax. It helps me to keep my focus.


2) Better grades: I've noticed that the more I read, the better my grades at school are! That's remained true throughout high school, college, and so far at university!


Evernight (Evernight, #1)

While I may not go to a vampire school like Evernight, I'm sure that upon my inevitable transformation into a vampire, my reading habits will continue to assist me as I adjust to life in a vampire boarding school.


3) Empathy: I find that reading has given me increased empathy for others. I'm able to step into another person's shoes in the fictional world, and I think this has assisted me in mentally doing this in the real world. I think reading has made me a better person.


4) Representation: While I'm not of the belief that every book must be diverse, or that authors are under any obligation to represent any group within their works, I must admit that representation within books is an exciting thing for me. I often feel very alone because of some of the groups I fall into, and when I see representation of people like me in books, it eases that feeling a little bit.


Symptoms of Being Human

Symptoms of Being Human was the first book I read with a genderfluid protagonist. (Also sorry if anyone is annoyed by me talking about gender identity a lot on here and on Instagram....I'm just very alone and it's nice to have a place where people will listen. There's not many people I can talk to about this kind of stuff so it just builds up you know? Also I'd like to show others like me that they aren't alone, and that they can be awesome people and achieve their goals. Anyways.)


5) Goals: Books can sometimes portray characters who I look up to and want to be like in some way. Whether that's being more confident, open, or social, books can give me ideas on how I could change for the better. I also find myself discovering my own flaws through books....sometimes I'll read a character who bothers me a lot and then I realize we share some negative traits in common. I can then easily identify some of my flaws and consider changes I should make to become a better person.



So, what are some personal benefits you've found to reading books? How have books changed your life in a positive way?