Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Review | Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

I saw a book haul video on YouTube, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette was one of the books shown. I instantly knew I had to read it. Call me shallow, but the cover was pretty awesome and intriguing!

<blockquote>Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.</blockquote>


At first I really wasn’t sure if I would like this book. The format it was written in was not something I was familiar with (okay, it’s just a bunch of emails); it felt really disorganized and I had trouble remembering who was who. Mea culpa: I really think it was my fault for not researching more on the book before diving in. I didn’t know who was telling the story, or how all of these emails were related.

But I really wanted to like this book. I had waited for it to be available at the library (!), the ratings on GoodReads were great, there was no way I’d let my ADD brain win this one. And I’m glad I kept on reading, because about 90 pages in, everything sort of fell into place, and the book was excellent!

“One of the main reasons I don't like leaving the house is because I might find myself face to face with a Canadian.”

The writing is funny and witty. The characters are great. The plot is borderline crazy but totally enthralling! I laughed out loud quite a few times and I couldn't put it down. Even though the story is far from being realistic, Bernadette is easy to relate to if you are dealing with any kind of anxiety. All of that, in my book, is recipe for a fantastic novel!

“This is why you must love life: one day you're offering up your social security number to the Russian Mafia; two weeks later you're using the word calve as a verb.”

In the end, even though I had a hard time getting into the story at first, I do not regret picking up this book. I highly recommend it to everyone who likes light contemporary adult fiction. I doubt you would be disappointed!

P.S. The author kept making comments on Canadians. Being Canadian and all, I'm still not sure how I feel about these comments :p

My Rating: ¶¶¶¶
You can buy it HERE.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Review | Let's Pretend this Never Happened

One of my good friends kept sending me messages saying “you need to read this book!”, “when you are done reading this, please pick up Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson!”
For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.
I had no idea who Jenny Lawson (I suppose I do live under a rock) was, or what this book was about. After three days of Gill messaging me about it, I finally looked it up on goodreads. I had seen the cover before in the best sellers section at Chapters before, so I decided to give it a try. Apparently it was funny and I definitely needed to smile.

“...and whenever I had menstrual cramps, I could just pretend that Voldemort was close.”

OH MY FUCKING GOD, you guys! I wish I could write a review à la Jenny Lawson worthy of this book, but I will never be funny enough. I never laughed out loud so much while reading a book in my life. It’s definitely not public transportation friendly if you care about what people around you think of you. I had to stop reading a few times because I was crying with laughers.

This book is a “mostly true” memoir of socially awkward and blogger Jenny Lawson. The author is not afraid of using the F word, or vagina for that matter, so beware! If you are easily offended, do not pick this book, it’s not for you!

“No really. What exactly did you do today, Jenny? Quantify it for me."
"It's not quantifiable. There aren't even metrics for the shit I do.”

I could totally relate to some of her stories. She’s dealing with depression and generalized anxiety disorder and she is really honest about it! I mean, I probably would be too if my social embarrassment tales were as hilarious as hers! When I wasn’t laughing at her epic conversations (her logic is flawless in my opinion), I was nodding in understanding. Who hasn’t wanted to hide under a table at a fancy dinner party because being surrounded by so many people can be overwhelming? We all want to, but Jenny did it! She has become my hero.

“In short? It is exhausting being me. Pretending to be normal is draining and requires amazing amounts of energy and Xanax.”

After reading the book, I went on her blog and spent a good few hours scrolling and soaking up her hilarious (and sometimes very serious) adventures.

I really don’t care what your favourite genre is. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. You can thank me later!

P.S. I really didn’t mean to sound rude in my last paragraph.

P.P.S. I was really mad at all the 1 and 2 stars ratings I saw on goodreads. What is up with book snobbism?

My Rating: ¶¶¶¶¶

You can buy this book here

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Fall Into Reading | Read-a-thon

Hey guys,

So this is my first attempt at participating in a read-a-thon! I'm really excited :) If you want to join, click on the banner and it will take you to the host website!

I want to read 2 books, 4 graphic novels. I will try and push it to 3 books, but with school and everything, I don't know if it'll be possible. I will try though!

I plan on reading:

1. Carnival by Rawi Hage
2. Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso
3. 100 pages of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (so I can make my video on Friday)

I don't know what the graphic novels will be yet because I need to go to the library :p

You can follow me on goodreads and twitter where I'll try to update a lot!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Review | Red Sky in Morning

This book was sent to me for free (from the book depository) in exchange for an honest review. I did not get paid to write this. All opinions are my own.

Published by: Quercus Books on April 25, 2013
Genre: Historical fiction/thriller
Pages: 230p.
Format: ARC

When I was first contacted by the book depository I was beyond thrilled to be given the opportunity to review a book! I was given a list of books to pick from, and Red Sky in Morning by Paul Lynch was one of them.

The story takes us back to 1832, in Ireland. Coll Coyle and his family are being evicted from their house. The landlord’s son decides he want them off their property for no apparent reason. With a baby on the way and another very young child, Coyle decides to confront Hamilton and tries to get him to change his mind.

But bad luck seems to be following him, and soon Coll finds himself on the run. With no money and nowhere to go, he eventually ends up on a boat to America. He has no plan, only one goal: getting his family back.


Red Sky in Morning isn’t a book I would’ve picked up on my own; it wasn’t something I am used to reading, and to be honest I hated this book at first. I started to read it on the bus on my way to school and I couldn't get into it.

I found the writing dense, and it is a really slow read. I was frustrated with myself because I couldn't get through it. But, I decided not to give up on this book, and so last night I got comfortable in bed, and was ready to give it another fair chance. And I'm glad I did. 

Even though the prose is heavy, it has a lyrical tone that matches the mood of the narrator. You can feel that he is leaden with sadness. You get wrapped in his troubles and can’t help but feel infuriated by all the injustices he faces.

I was really mad at Coyle at the beginning because of how he reacted to the situation he put himself in, but then I felt he was also disappointed with himself, he wants to redeem himself for his actions, in a way, and that’s what made me fall for this book. He is definitely not a selfish man. He is perfectly and beautifully flawed.  It was hard for me to relate to any of the characters, but I found myself admiring Coyle a lot throughout the story.

Like I mentioned, the story is slow paced, but constant. It is not a read where you’ll want to race to the end to see what will happen. The writing style, once you get used to it, is beautiful and you want to enjoy every single sentence.

"People aren't people. They are animals, brutes, blind and stupid following endless needs they know not of what origin. And all the rest that we place on top to make us feel better is a delusion. The price of life is the burden of your own weight and some people are better off without it."

In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this book to people who like historical fiction. I ended up enjoying this book a lot more than I originally thought I would, and I wouldn't be against reading more of Paul Lynch’s writing.

My Rating: ¶¶¶¶¶
You can buy this book here!

P.S. This book is not vegan friendly, hah!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Review | Fallout

Fallout by Ellen Hopkins is the third and final instalment of the Crank trilogy. I started the series about 5 years ago, and decided it was about time I read the last book. I was a huge fan of the first ones (Crank and Glass) and I really wasn't disappointed with Fallout.

In this last book, the story isn't focused on Kristina, but on her 3 oldest children and how their lives have been affected by their mother's relationship with the monster.

We first get to know Hunter, the eldest of her children. When he was a baby, Kristina's parents decided to adopt him because she clearly wasn't able to take care of him. Hunter is now 18, is in a serious relationship, works part-time at a radio station and goes to college. 

We then meet Autumn, Kristina's eldest daughter. She's 17, and has OCD. When her dad went to jail, her aunt and grandpa took her in and they were very careful and made sure her parents (or other family) would never find her. 

And then we get introduced to Summer, 15. She suffers from severe asthmas due to her mother using while she was pregnant. She's been from one foster family to another for most of her life, taken away from her grandparents when they got "too old". 
These kids have nothing in common except for an irresponsible mother and a predisposition to substance abuse. Wherever Kristina goes, she brings drama, and this year at Christmas is no different. In this last novel, unrelated events bring everyone together in what seems to be like a path towards change and recovery. 

Once again, the author totally blew my mind away. Ellen Hopkins has a gift when it comes to writing contemporary young adult fiction that’s for sure.

It was really nice to take the focus off Kristina and have her children on the spotlight. To see drug addiction from a child’s point of you and how it doesn't only affect the user’s life.

All the characters felt real, and it’s very easy to relate to them. That’s one thing I've always liked about her books.

“It's just so hard to feel good, you know?" I do know. And more than that, it's just so incredibly hard to feel.”

I really can’t say anything bad about this book, but I wish I could have more. I want to know what happened to each one of the children. I really want them to be okay, to have a great future.

Hopkins has a very unique way of writing her books, and I really like it. You can easily get sucked in and read it all in one sitting. Fallout is really not a hard read, but it’s very emotional. It’s difficult to be indifferent to the characters.

I really recommend this book (the series) if you like YA novels. Or even if you don’t! It’s just one of these books!

My Rating: 
You can get a copy HERE

Have you read any Ellen Hopkins? Which one is your favourite?

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Review | The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaid

Before I start this review, I have to warn you: I don’t have a lot to say about this book. It just wasn’t a fit for me.

The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids by Ammi-Joan Paquette is a cute little story, but it left me very disappointed. 

This story takes you out to the beach, and tells you a lot about mermaids and how to find clues to track them. But kids, if you go to the shore on a busy day, then I’m sorry to say you will not find them :( 

“I wonder what treasure the sand dollars might buy at the market.”

I cannot deny that this idea was really well thought of. I know kids – girls especially – will love it and will be really eager for the summer time so they can go to the beach and try to find the little magical sea-creatures. 

“Look at all these friendly crabs skittering around! They must be the clean-up crew.”

I didn’t particularly like the mix of drawings and real pictures. That was really a turn off for me. Marie Letourneau is a great artist, and I love her style. I think the book would have been a lot better if she had drawn all of the illustrations. A young child would be much more attracted to a book full of artworks than a book with actual pictures. 

That said, I would recommend this book. Even though the illustration part was a deal breaker for me, I did enjoy the story. 

My rating:  

*This book was sent to me by NetGalley in exchanged for an honest review (book ISBN: 1933718595)