Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review: The Keeper of Lost Things

The Keeper of Lost Things The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was just lovely. It's the sort of book where I found myself wanting to savour it, to enjoy the language choice, the image being painted in my mind's eye, the characters coming to life within the pages.

I tend to read a few categories: young adult, fantasy, romance, science fiction. But sometimes I end up over in general fiction when I'm called by books that appeal to me, or come highly recommended. I picked this up the other day and found myself entranced and not wanting to put it down.

The book is light but lyrical, has moments of comedy and tragedy, and ultimately weaves together two main sets of characters while touching on brief snapshots of others. It's a look at love and loss, second chances, and how our lives entangle with others, whether deeply or just along the edges.

Not all of it was perfect - sometimes it felt a tiny bit like the book wasn't sure what it wanted to be, with dabbles into the supernatural and other genres, and I wasn't all too sure about the presentation of Sunshine's character and her disability. But it's a gorgeous book that I adored nonetheless and could see myself rereading.



View all my reviews

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Hello again.

*blows dust off blog*

Is this thing still on?

Even though I knew that it had been awhile since I had posted or done anything online in the book blogging world, it still surprised me when I looked at the date. I was thinking 'well, almost a year, that's not so b- wait, that was 2016, it's now November 2017'.

Yeah.

I don't really have an excuse, if I'm honest. Life did catch up with me in ways - in April 2016 I got swallowed up a bit by the build up to the US election (even though I'm Canadian...yeah...) and then since then I just haven't really been reading much.

Now, that's not to say that I haven't read at all - I've read a few books here and there. I've read a lot on Reddit, actually - if that counted I'm sure I've read more than a few novels worth!

But honestly, I just haven't made the time to sit down and actually read as much as I have in the past, and that was a choice and a decision on my part.

So basically I'm here because I'm trying to get this fired up again, and because I do miss having books in my life. I'm also aware that I need to try and strike a bit of a balance, rather than hopping from reading to watching Youtube to watching TV in these binges before I eventually circle back around. I do think that sometimes I try to do too much, and focus too much on ARCs - they're like a particularly shiny coin, and oh, it's so fun to get them. The trouble is that sometimes they can become a bit of a mental burden, and that's no fun for anyone.

My goal for 2017 is 30 books, and so far I've read 11:

My goal is to hit the 30. I think that's do-able. So let's see how this goes :)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: Imogene of the Pacific Kingdom by Teresa Schapansky

Imogene of the Pacific Kingdom Imogene of the Pacific Kingdom by Teresa Schapansky
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was absolutely charming, a story of a young girl discovering the truth about herself and her family. I am an absolute sucker for stories about someone who's ordinary finding out that that's not the case at all, and this was definitely one of those stories.

Imogene has lived with her aunt since she was five years old - an aunt that she has never particularly clicked with on that level that's so important when it comes to family, especially as a young child. Luckily enough she does mesh with Sampson, the butler, and he becomes her connection in a home that is very different from what she's used to.

Then the moment comes - the moment when Imogene finds out that not all is how it seems, and that there's a lot more to her parents than what she thought. She's drawn into a new and magical world, and on top of that, an adventure - for Imogene is more important than she realizes, and not all is peaceful in the new world she's discovered, either.

I quite enjoyed this book. It's charming and engaging, and has action and adventure as well - it's sure to be enjoyed by younger readers, and a book I'd recommend.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Review: Dager of the Tasman Empire by Teresa Schapansky

Dager of the Tasman Empire Dager of the Tasman Empire by Teresa Schapansky
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary: Ruthlessly torn away from his family at the tender age of three; subsequently sold as a slave, the little boy endures unbelievable brutality.

Thankful for his nightly dreams about magical, faraway places, and the constant companionship of his equally neglected farmyard friends, he survives.

Two agonizing years pass; he receives a mysterious message, and learns that he has a family that loves him. He also discovers that he has a name, and that his family has never given up hope of his eventual return. With resolve that he didn't know he had, the little boy puts up the fight of his life, to return to his home.
 


Review:  What a sweet little book! 3.5 stars for this one.

This year hasn't been that great for reading, so the first thing I need to do is thank Teresa for being very patient with me as she's been waiting about three months for this review, now!

This is a fun little book full of whimsy and magic and the fantastical, a book about family and surviving and the things that both separate us and bring us together. The main character, Dager, is kidnapped from his family as a young child and subjected to a difficult upbringing far away from those who love him, and the book takes us through the journey he goes on to get back to them.

I would have appreciated a bit more depth to the characters, but I could still empathize with them and what they were going through, particularly the children. There's something universal about the desire of a child to have and be with their family, I think, and that's at play here.

Although the writing could be a little more fluid at times, I really appreciated the story that the author was telling. It's engaging and sweet and also more than a bit heartwarming. This book is a great one for younger readers, along with Imogene of the Pacific Kingdom, also by the same author.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Thoughts on food + my latest book purchase!

I don't know what it is, but I just haven't had the focus for reading lately! Too busy thinking about work and food I think, haha.

Let's start off with a book related note, since that is presumably why people come here... Look what came in the mail yesterday!!


Why yes, that IS my lovely, lovey copy of A Gathering Of Shadows, which I have been excited to read for awhile! I still need to finish the first one, though... I finally got my copy back after loaning it to a friend for about six months, but I think I'm going to need to buy a hard cover version to match this one.

Another thing to note about this...


:D

So yes, that is my latest book acquisition.

Normal people reading this are probably wondering why 'food' factors so highly on what I've been distracted with. Well, as I mentioned in my last post, I've gone mostly vegetarian! Or more correctly, mostly vegan... Which I honestly never thought that I would do. I think I'll do another post going into more detail, but since this is a bit of a change I've been pretty focused on my new eating patterns. It's not that difficult, but when you're a person who bought a lot of fast food or quick and easy meals, changing to as few animal products as possible can be more thought-consuming than you realize!

I hope to have a 'Waiting on Wednesday' post up tomorrow, and also some reviews up over the next couple of weeks... I have some review requests I need to get to, to say nothing of my Netgalley list. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 29, 2016

February Wrap-Up!

Wow. February was kind of a complete wash for me, haha.

To start off with, let's talk about the one book I read in February:


The Forest Of Hands And Teeth was a book I was actually *really* looking forward to... But it failed to live up to my expectations, unfortunately :( I wrote a review over here going into more detail - maybe I've just been spoiled by Feed by Mira Grant, which was fucking fantastic.

So what have I been doing this month? Well, I had two job interviews (didn't get either, but it was good practice and I got very encouraging feedback), and the last couple of weeks have been spent more focused on my eating habits, because I've made some rather big changes there... Namely going mostly vegetarian! I might go into that in more detail in another post.

I'm hoping to do a lot more reading in March - I have A Darker Shade Of Magic and A Gathering Of Shadows to read as soon as it arrives, plus a couple of review requests and Netgalley books... Just need to actually focus on it :) I hope everyone had an awesome February and that March gets off to a great start for you!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Whee!

:D

Guess what I just got my shipping confirmation for?

:D :D

I am excited!!! New book + signed, what could be better? Pricier than normal since I ordered it from a US site, but worth it imo.

Only downside is that I'm fairly sure it's not going to match my copy of A Darker Shade Of Magic, but I'll survive.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday # 6

Welcome to another week of Waiting On Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted over at Breaking The Spine, and is a chance for people to share those books that we're most looking forward to.

 

This week I have a book that's a sequel to another book that I'm in the midst of finishing... Nevertheless, I'm pretty excited as it's due out on February 23rd!


I don't want to paste in any spoilers from the summary, so instead I'll give you a snippet of the summary of the first book: 

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

I ADORE V.E. Schwab, her books are awesome. She's also the author of The Archived, which I loved, and she's written other books as well. I definitely recommend checking this book out! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday #5

Welcome to another week of Waiting On Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted over at Breaking The Spine, and is a chance for people to share those books that we're most looking forward to.

 

Okay, so I wasn't sure what I was going to talk about today, but in light of a certain announcement... 


YES THAT'S RIGHT, THEY'RE RELEASING THE PLAY!! It's due out in July 2016 :D

I was pretty sure that they would end up doing this, but I am so, so stoked to read this! Publishing it means that it will officially join canon (whether in book or play format), and I am super excited. Hoping it lives up to my (very high) expectations. 

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. :D

Sunday, February 7, 2016

January Wrap-Up!

Wow, I can't believe how much this month just flew by! It feels like the beginning of 2016 was just yesterday.

This month was pretty good in terms of reading - I made my way through 14 books, which I think is pretty impressive. If I did that every month of the year I'd read 168 books! Unlikely, but it's a motivating thought.

So here's a picture to give you an idea, though I'm going to run through these, of course! I'm going to link each title to either its profile over on Goodreads, or to my review of it here or there, if I did one.

1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: One of the better books that I read this month! This book reminded me of what it was like to have stories told to me as a child - lyrical and fascinating, and a bit haunting as well.
2. Holiday Homecoming by Jean C. Gordon: A sweet little Christian romance. Not my usual style, but it was a cute way to start off the year - I'm a sucker for romances of all types.
3. Fearless Love by Meg Benjamin: This one was another sweet, sexy romance - though not particularly Christian at all, haha. I liked this one because of how it balanced the romance against the backdrop of a community - easier said than done, and I've always been in favour of romances that manage to do this.
4. Tell The Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt: One of my first unfortunate surprises of the year. I expected to love this one but didn't, really, which was disappointing. I loved the idea of it, but the execution was lacking.
5. The Invasion Of The Tearling by Erika Johansen. This author has such an ability to weave fantasy with compelling characters, I love it. I love this series, it was one of my favourite finds last year and I can't wait until the third one comes out!
6. Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas: This book was SUCH a welcome surprise, seriously. I didn't really like the first book, if I'm honest - I know a lot of people disagree on this! I just found it kind of weak. This book exceeded my expectations, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
7. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro: This book was good, though not quite as mindblowing as I might have expected given the reputation of this author. I enjoyed it but with some space from when I finished reading it I find myself thinking that it hasn't impacted me as much as I would have thought.
8. An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: This book was amazing, probably one of my top two or three books this month other than The Invasion Of The Tearling and A Monster Calls. I've linked my review, but I highly, highly recommend this book!
9. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover: This book has the unique distinction of being the worst book I've read so far this year, and I wouldn't be surprised if it stays pretty far up on that list. I did it as a buddy read and honestly, it's infuriating because it had so much potential but it was just completely squandered.
10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: This was more compelling than I had expected, honestly. It's an insight into the life of a teenager, bullying and suicide, and well written considering the depth of the topics it took on.
11. A Thousand Splendi Suns by Khaled Hosseini: Not an easy read, but very powerful and moving. It's a book that you have to make time for (and should!) but a worthy read, I think.
12. Heart Conditions by Phoebe Fox: Part of a series, this is surprisingly refreshing and entertaining. I had the privilege of reading galleys for both this book and the first in the series and I'd recommend it for those who like a bit more depth and not just fluffy or smutty romance, if that makes sense.
13. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken: Another disappointment at the start of the year, though for this one it might have more to do with me than the book itself. Many seem to love it, that's for sure. The idea is compelling and interesting, it just didn't really work for me.
14. The Book Of Negroes by Lawrence Hill: I'm still absorbing this one. Again, not an easy read. It is so very difficult to absorb at times the cruelty that people are capable of. Books like this are so important as a reminder of our history and what we need to learn from it.

So there we have it! Not a bad list, pretty varied imo - I'm proud of myself for not just having a list of pure YA or romance, to be honest. :) Here's hoping February will be a good month as well!