Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review: The Dark and Hollow Places

That sad part when you don't follow your instincts and DNF a book.

Annah is scarred inside out. She abandoned her twin sister several years ago to the Unconsecrated (zombies) and has since survived with various scars all over her body and face. But now, that her sister is found, Annah starts developing other feelings such as jealousy and lover boy envy. Can Annah ever be at peace? 

Despite being the third book in the series, Ryan chose to focus the story on a new character with a dull personality. Not only is Annah constantly conflicted, but her reasoning makes little sense. She immediately sees her sister after years of guilt, and feels nothing but jealousy. Admits to loving Elias, only to flirt with Catcher right away. It's impossible to root for a character that doesn't know what she wants. 

The action is also constantly stalled, as our four main characters are being held under their will. Together they must decide if they desire to live or exist (tough existentialist question during apocalyptic zombie times).

Wish Ryan would have stopped at book two.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Review: Not if I see you First

"One of the unexpected side effects of Parker going blind, was how she got less and less sensible about what she said to people, because she couldn't see them flinch."

After a drunk driving accident (her mother had too much wine), Parker not only loses her mom but her eyesight. A few years later, her dad passes away from a medication overdose. Thankfully her aunt and cousins move in with her (Parker had already memorized the house and neighborhood, not an easy task when you are blind) but there's a cold shoulder coming from her cousin Sheila. 

Then we have Parker's friends, who are tired of seeing her put up "bitchy" attitudes and excluding them from sharing her feelings. All in all Parker isn't mean, she's just extremely sad and bottles her emotions. But what will happen if she keeps up this front, will everyone leave her, including her soulmate?

To be honest, this book had a lot of characters. What worked against the story, is that all these characters were polite. No one had attitude as much as Parker. Although, I liked her "I can do it" motto, I couldn't see the author's message about bottled emotions until 2/3 into the book. By then, Parker became an adrenaline rush junkie, and went from wanting to take relationships slow, to, I love my ex-boyfriend and he has to love me back right now. It just shows how after a huge tragedy, you need to talk to someone before you explode.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday: Ink and Quills talk

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

Q: If you could write a book, what would it be about?

I was published in a steampunk anthology, Gears of Brass, and loved the genre that I twisted with horror. For my next story I'm planning something even more scary and gory.

What genre would you pick?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Review: DOAWK: Old School

It's not me, it's you.

I'm a huge fan of Greg and his awkward life moments. He has a quirky family that means well, and the most amazing best friend. But this time (book 10) I feel like Kinney is running out of ideas and just adding things to fulfill his novel deadline. 

We get some deja vus as Greg and his Dad end up in a camp thanks to a one week school break that is not clear(I mean, is he on vacation). All the campers are unsupervised and fed weeks old food, even forced to live without showers. Don't get me wrong, the giggles are there, but barely in plausible situations. 

How long can this series last?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Exploring the unknown



Did a small twist on the today's topic, mainly because when I like an author, I tend to devour the series right away. Like I did with the Locke & Key series. Here is the list of authors that caught my eye in 2015.

Susan EE (author of Angelfall)

Angels are not my favorite fantasy/paranormal characters. Particularly, after the disappointing results of the Fallen series. But Susan was able to mix the right amount of tension to change my mind.

August Strindberg (author of Miss Julie)

Misogynistic yes! But so were the men in that period of time. Strindberg added so much drama, and had me gasping in horror at the horrible way men treated women then (sadly, some still do).

Lena Dunham (author of Not that Kind of Girl)

Her sense of humor always gives me the giggles, but I found Dunham's latest book to not only be humorist but also very down to earth and blatantly honest. Loved it!

Joe Hill(author of Locke and Key)

Devoured the first four volumes. Waiting for the last two to arrive this Christmas. 

Tamara Ireland Stone (author of Eevry Last Word)

Plot twists are not easy to do. However, Stone managed to draw me in and gave her book an unexpected ending. 

Sabaa Tahir (author of An Ember in the Ashes)

Not a fan of historical fantasies, but An Ember in the Ashes was off the hook. I need to read the next one. 

S.K. Tremayne (author of The Ice Twins)

The Goodreads nomination was not in vain. This book is a psychological thriller with well done characterizations. 

Amy Ewing (author of The Jewel)

This is actually the first book I read in 2015. I was glad to start off the year with a great novel that maintained my interest right away.

Which authors did you discover this year?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Review: Never said

Annie never said what troubled her so much. 

Instead, she just started eating junk, turning her beauty pageant body into the unrecognizable twin. Her parents are devastated and can't stop telling her how "ugly" she looks. But her twin sister, Sarah, suspects more. Why does Annie seem so preoccupied with wanting men to consider her undesirable? Why doesn't she complain about the bullying at school? What is Annie not saying?!?

Told in dual point-of-view, the premise seemed a bit misleading. Although, Sarah was in fact an introvert, the anxiety disorder that her parents constantly criticized didn't seem fit. Sarah stood up for Annie constantly, had a boyfriend and had no problem leaving the house. As for Annie, her story was very slow paced. From the beginning to end, we just saw her eat and want to create a club where everyone is equal and friendly, even though her eating disorder was caused by something traumatic that she refused to get help for. How could she possibly help others in her state? 

Not my favorite Lynch Williams. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Review: Finding Audrey

In many ways, it's impossible not to relate with Audrey's character

After a bully incident left Audrey under clinical stress, she finds herself unable to leave home. Just the thought of talking to a stranger gets her in a panic. She even wears sunglasses to shield herself from her own family. But can her brother's new friend Linus, and a video project help Audrey get better...and fast?

Kinsella's debut in YA doesn't mean she'd leave her roots behind. She's used to writing quirky, at times over the top, female characters and she certainly has lots fun with Audrey's parents. The whole bully incident is quite covered up. As Audrey suggests, this is a personal matter and she doesn't need to let us know the details (except that it hurt, a lot). Although I found it frustrating at times of quarrels, I'm glad Kinsella never revealed that secret. It would only have caused readers to judge Audrey unnecessarily: Why did she break down just for that? I've seen worse, bla bla bla. 

A large welcome to Sophie Kinsella in the YA realm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review: Vanishing Girls

Sisters share many things... but a boy shouldn't be one of them.

After a traumatic car crash, Nicole (Nick) wants to get close to her sister Dara again. But it won't be easy. Dara is not accepting any of her invitations, even framing Nick for a party faux-pas. If only Dara would understand how much Nick cares for her. If only Nick could remember what happened that crazy night of the crash.

Told in a dual point-of-view between Dara and Nick, as well as with after and before the accident chapters (yes, this gets confusing at times), we get a glimpse at both sides of the coin. Dara comes out as an extrovert and makes it easy to relate to her emotions. But Nick is the opposite. She hides her true feelings from Parker (her crush), Dara, and even her parents. Therefore, Oliver focused more chapters on Nick, piercing the mystery even more. Add a case of a 
missing nine-year-old neighborhood girl and you get a thriller. The book includes emails, photographs and diary entries to serve as clues.

Although, some of the ending revelations were too coincidental, the book left me guessing until the end.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Top Ten Tuesdays: Stay Tuned



Room  (book by Emma Donoghue)

Written under the voice of a five-year-old living in captivity, the novel is downright heartbreaking. Aside from bringing a pile full of tissues, and waterproof mascara, you might consider avoiding this very late at night or downloading that virtual companion app to walk home safely.  

Mockingjay Part II (book by Suzanne Collins)

The poster alone says we are in for a visual treat. After the three first movies, Mockingjay seems more than apt to provide that crazy farewell conclusion with a hoopla of expensive explosions. And lots of Peeta scenes!! 

Pride Prejudice and Zombies (book by Seth Graham-Smith)

The novel was way more humorous than gory, and although, I get the feeling that the film will remain faithful to that version, I still want to see it. Mostly for the lavish gowns. 

A Monster Calls (book by Patrick Ness)

The movie poster is not out yet, but the film is a done deal. This book is heartbreaking, five star worthy, please-hug-me material, and my advise is that whatever you do, don't go watch this alone. 

The Little Prince (book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

So the movie didn't make it to Quebec Canada (the trailer did though, go figure), and I'm still waiting to see what became of this pretty adaptation. 

The 5th Wave (book by Rick Yancey)

Aliens return to the big screen!! Did I mention that they look hot too?    

Victor Frankenstein (book by Mary Shelley)

Daniel Radcliffe. Enough said!

Batman v Superman (DC Comics)

The wait is long with this one. All the way until March. Christmas better go by fast.

Alice Through the Looking Glass  (book by Lewis Carroll)

The teaser trailer appeared last week, and the film looks good. The cinematography was great with the first one, and I'm certain Disney will put in as much effort this time around. 

 And finally Allegiant 

What movie adaptation are you looking for?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Review: Chemistry

"This is what happens when I fall in love. It's poisonous. It's deadly."

Claude Frollo can be described as judgmental, arrogant, and manipulative. He grew up unloved, going from a foster home to a church sanctuary where he finds solace in Valentine, a disabled teen that resides with him. Together, they dedicate themselves to their high school studies. Until Esmeralda appears. If only she would see how perfect Claude and her could be together. He must have her no matter the cost. 

Of all the characters in The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Claude is the least charismatic. It was entertaining to see the author give him the stage light and focus this YA retelling with an antagonist in the lead. The closer Claude got to Esmeralda, the more problems he created. His selfishness always prevailed, but his childhood background helped us understand why he would do such things. Regardless of the one sided instaloves in the story (Phoebus is also present), the novel remained entertaining, keeping the reader wondering how low Claude could go to keep Esmeralda by his side. 

Loved it! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review: A Thousand Nights

"Good men fall to monsters everyday."

Lo-Melkhinn might be a rich and powerful men, and yet, he struggles to keep a woman. All three hundred of his wives passed away within the first week of marriage. Ever since, girls everywhere are terrified of him. But Lady-bless moves in willingly to the castle and becomes his latest wife. She does so to protect her beautiful sister, and deep down, because she believes herself dispensable. Can her spirituality protect her or will she succumb to the beast?

Like all fairy-tales, there's a duality theme through the novel of good vs evil (god vs Satan to be exact). Although, I do believe that Lady-bless' sacrifice for her sister came from the heart, her lack of self-confidence soon emerged. Her sister was the fiery one, the gutsy, the beautiful, the one whose mom dad loved best, the best seamstress... (yup, the list is long). Every time Lo-Melkhinn tries to talk to Lady-bless she brings her sister into the conversation. Even during sex!

"My sister does her rituals too, proper ones, far from the city walls," I said to him, though I could not say how I had seen it. "She prepares for her wedding." 

And then the plot twisted. When Lady-Bless started seeing herself as someone who could give back (like sowing with the other women of the palace) she became aware of her spirit, and finally gave us the badass female that was needed to handle Lo-Melkhinn's possessed soul. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday: Hello Quick Fix

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

Q: If you could re-write a book, which one would it be and what changes would you make?

So many series endings could be modified without me putting up any resistance. Requiem by Lauren Oliver comes particularly to mind.

The whole book concentrated on the rebellion, with fight scene after fight scene. This wasn't supposed to be a WWF match. It's a book. What happened to the dialogue? The love triangle that had been woven in the sequel?


I would make sure Lena chose on of the two boys, and make the subplot with Hana a lot more suspenseful.

Which book do think deserves a make-over?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Review: The Indigo Spell

Sydney is all grown up

It appears the Alchemists are hiding crucial information from their members. Sydney would never dream of going against her kind, but when this information threatens to place Jill in danger, all bets are off. Not only does she become a spy for Marcus, but she also turns to Magik as a form of defense. Now that she is changing her beliefs, will Sydney finally admit her love for Adrian?

Although I loved seeing this new Sydney, strong and filled with confidence (other than in intellectual matters), the majority of the book was slow paced. From her taking lessons to running errands, Sydney just wouldn't stop working. Then every time she would get some time off, the environment was tense(sexual tension between her and Adrian, and group tension between her friends). Also the climax was solved way too easily.

Not my favorite of the series.

Bloodlines (Book One)
The Golden Lily (Book Two)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Review: Wolf by Wolf

"She-wolf. An interesting choice."
"I didn't choose it," she told him. "It chose me."

Back in 1944, Yael was selected for an experiment in a Nazi camp. She received hundreds of injections to turn her into a perfect Aryan girl, and erase whatever Jewish traits she might have. The experiment left her physically transformed. But the memories of the camp and the loss of everyone she held dear left her traumatized. The only thing she could do after such tragic events was kill the Fuhrer.

Graudin did an incredible job at mixing both the past and the present (from 1944 to 1954). Yael might not make the sweetest decisions -- from kidnapping and usurping Adele Wolfe, a famous athlete, to putting Wolfe's family at risk -- just to join a race around the world and get closer to Hitler. But Yael remains nonetheless a brave female character. The other members of the race were well balanced. And a semi-love-triangle was formed. 

Prepare for a twist at the end.

Don't miss The Walled City also by Ryan Graudin 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Review: Black Ice

Love can be as dangerous as black ice. One false illusion that everything is safe and boom, next thing you know, you can't even remember who you are anymore. 

David lost his virginity to Kris, a loner who refuses to see him as anything other than a friend with benefits. He tries courting her with dates, including a weekend at a chalet, but Kris remains unmoved. So David turns to his pals, booze and drugs (just like after his parents divorce) and sets forward some crazy set of events. Can he rescue Kris from her haunting past? Is he willing to kill for her?

Author Stephen Tesher twisted this new-adult contemporary novel into a thriller about a love gone wrong. Although, it was impossible to identify with David's rising anger or some turns of events, the dialogue kept the story flowing. It was realistic; harsh at times when David and his friends talked about girls. 

I'm glad the author ended the story with a lesson. Not all relationships can have fairy tale endings.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Review: I Crawl through it

Far more surrealistic than Alice in Wonderland

Gustav flies an invisible helicopter. Stanzi has a split personality. China's inside out. And Lansdale is a hairy female lie detector version of Pinocchio. Together, they are a time bomb waiting to erupt. It's just a matter of time.

Although, I'm no expert in magical surrealism, I am reader. A curious one! Who was waiting for an Ah-ha moment through all this chaos (like in We Were Liars). But instead, this book just concentrates on adult/teenager relationships. Gustav's dad doesn't care if his son vanishes, Stanzi's parents mourn everyone else's child but their own, Lansdale's dad could care less about how outrageous her behavior is and China lives with active BDSM parents that clean their sex toys in the sink. These issues are bound together by loose treads and odd characters (man in the bush, newsman...)that take away from the story even more.

Read at your own puzzling risk.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Cover Reveal: Convergence


It was the first day of school and anxieties were running high. For certain​ ​there was the excitement of moving up a grade, but there was also the dread of anything and everything that could go wrong. Not only were the possibilities endless, they were totally out of your control. Whether or not you were accepted rested squarely on the shoulders of the popular kids. Suppose you were too short or too tall; too smart or not smart enough; too rich or too poor; or just plain different?

These thoughts were fresh on the minds of Otis, Chandler and Marissa. Three pre-teens whose paths had never crossed, although they lived in the same town in Connecticut. Their backgrounds were so diverse they may as well have lived worlds apart. That was all about to change when on their way to school a series of bizarre events lump them together. Literally!

Born and raised in Connecticut, Hayes still calls the Nutmeg State home. The oldest of two children, she remains close to her siblings. When Hayes is not writing or managing her business, she dedicates her time to other creative outlets and artistic pursuits. Feel free to follow Hayes via her Website and Twitter.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Caught my arrow #47

Caught my Arrow is a meme similar to Stalking the Shelves featuring books that were purchased, borrowed or received that week.

Looking forward to some Historical-Fiction this week thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada.

Received from Publisher

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Borrowed from Library

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot

What are you reading this week?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday: No, I don't want a dud

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

Q: Name a book you hated?

You can read my review of Me being Me is exactly as insane as You being You for ampler details on the plot and twists of the story.

The reason why it made my bottom list this year, is the format (all lists), the unreliable characters and the length (a long story is okay as long as it doesn't drag on purpose). Too bad we didn't click.

Which book do you consider a dud?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book to Movie Adaptations: To change an ending or nah

Tokyo Fiancée 

Author Amélie Nothomb wrote the book with the same title based on her life experience in Japan. Although, the film maintained a similar script as the novel, with Amélie meeting Rinri at a coffee shop for French classes, to their dates and courting process, the heartbreaking ending was entirely changed to provide the viewer with something easier to stomach. It's even more magical to look at the Japanese customs and scenery on the big screen than on my eBook, but I have to admit that above all else this new ending pleased me even more. A great move.

Paper Towns

John Green's Paper Towns film adaptation was long awaited, casting Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne. The novel centers around the disappearance of Margo Roth Spiegelman, and Quentin's lustful obsession to find her. Their relationship felt odd throughout the book, and I was sad to see the movie pursue this script. But thinking things true, Green had an important lesson about it taking two people to carry on a relationship, and not just one imaginative mind. Although, I would have loved a romantic ending, I'm glad that the film remained faithful to the novel and kept such lesson.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Review: Half Wild

Kept pausing during this book, a clear example of what happens when short chapters work against you

A lot has changed since Nathan got his magical gifts. He can now transform into a wild animal and rob his preys of their memories and gifts. But Nathan doesn't want to admit he enjoys his new powers. After all, his heart belongs to Annalise, a white witch. Will this new revolution against Soul and his team of hunters bring these two love birds together or tear them apart forever?

With the first book, Half Bad, so well received among YA readers, it was clear that Sally Green had a lot of work on her hands. Although, I enjoyed the precise recap and animal action, I found the travelling scenes between Gabriel and Nathan confusing (couldn't he just drink a potion), as well as the love meter too borderline corny at times. 

"I can't walk ten paces away from you without it hurting me. I treasure every 
second with you. I'll help you with each breath I take and I'll stay with you."

Um, obsess much?

Alliances and relationships were rekindled in ways that didn't make much sense. Perhaps humans have bigger egos than witches, who knows. Prepare for a cliffhanger ending.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday: Love and Hate

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

Q: Pick three book characters... Kiss? Marry? Kill?

As long as it stayed between us, (I don't kiss and tell) I would definitely pucker up with Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey to see what all the fuss is about. I mean, he even got is own book lately. That might inspire me to read it.
Marry a vampire? Just imagine becoming Mrs. Ivashkov. I would need to hit my head ten times before saying no. Adrian from Bloodlines is funny, can be a great travelling and party companion, and best of all, he can read my mood!! Who could ask for anything more?

I'm no killer, but if I had to condemn anyone to such a horrible ending it would be rapists all over the world like Room's Old Nick. The movie is coming out this October. Check out the trailer below...

Which book character would you kiss?