Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

If I were basing my rating on imagination alone, it would deserve ten stars.

A little boy (who shall remain nameless because the character has no name)survives a traumatic experience of finding a dead man in his father's car. From then on, his entire world changes. He is confronted to magic, evil, parental abuse and sadly memory loss. And all because of the ocean at the end of the lane. It makes you wonder, do human beings really belong in the magical realm or would opening that window cause great damage?

Although, I'm a fan of Gaiman's work, particularly Coraline, I found that there were too many lose ends and some characters very easily disposed off. Yes, varmints do chase worms. But who exactly were the Hempstock girls -- Witches...? Fae...? So many possibilities, just like the little boy's name...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: The Infinite Sea

"It isn't so much about crushing your capacity to fight as it is your will to fight."

The war between humans and aliens seems to be unending. They are no signs of anyone other than Cassie and her friends helping the cause. And all they keep hoping for is survival -- defending the planet is a long step away. This time around, the group will encounter new and old enemies who will try to infiltrate at all costs. Why such effort? If they are not a threat, why not just annihilate them fast and save time?

Yancey surprises once more by setting up different ruses along the story and making everyone a possible target. The characters have become tougher -- ready to handle whatever this writer throws at them. Even their dialogue is harsher. But above all, Yancey demonstrates the importance of love; and how that aspect alone separates us from monsters. Love for humanity, for innocence ... heck, even puppy love. 

Can't wait to see how the series will end.

Don't miss the first book of the series: The 5th Wave

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cover Reveal: Breach Point


When high school sophomore Clara Tuffney is hired for a summer internship at an engineering firm, she accepts an invitation to live with her Aunt Maureen in the quiet seaside town of Breach Point, New Jersey.

Soon after arriving, Clara learns of the infamous Breach Point Castle, a haunted attraction that once stood on the town's busy amusement pier. While searching out the Castle's former location, Clara befriends Nicholas, a shy local boy. Nicholas introduces Clara to his Uncle Kevin who, along with his friends, worked at the Castle during its prime.

Through Nicholas, Clara discovers that the Castle burned down in a mysterious fire in the early 1980s. She also learns of a local legend – a boy named Eric, rumored to have possessed supernatural powers, was killed in the fire – though many doubt that he actually died. Some of the town's residents even believe that Eric has returned to Beach Point in the form of a malevolent spirit – a story Kevin sternly cautions Clara against believing.

Clara's curious nature soon brings her closer to finding out the secret behind what really happened to the Castle and to Eric – though her search for answers places herself, Aunt Maureen, and Nicholas directly in the path of a danger she does not fully understand.

Steve Spatucci lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He’s been writing screenplays since the 90s, making his first sale in 2012 with his dark comedyPlay DateBreach Point is his first novel. Feel free to follow Steve via his WebsiteFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Review: Me being me is exactly as insane as you being you

Maybe everything would be better without these horrible, endless lists

Darren doesn't understand anyone. His Dad drops the bomb that he's gay, and wants to be in a monogamous relationship now that his divorce is finalized. Mom avoids the topic, because she'd much rather talk about work. His brother is living the most amazing college life, yet returns home. And then there's Zoey. Darren's dream girl, who follows him on a bus but refuses to talk to him again after sleeping with him. What is wrong with this picture?

Although, the author did have a good background plot to work on, he decided to tell the entire story with lists. Pointless, headache-provoking, distracting, how-worthless-do-you-think-my-time is lists. 

Ex: 8 Best things Darren ever built out of Lego, in chronological order
Things Darren does with a particular book after putting away the Lego bin and changing into his outfit for the concert but before showing up at school

All in all, this 646 pages novel has about 35% story that was never really closely examined. Except for his mother's insistence on bringing up work, none of the characters get closure. One of them even returns at the end of the story, explaining everything to Darren. Information that he decides not to tell us!! 

Here's hoping there won't be a sequel. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday: Fly away with me

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


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Q: If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would you pick? Fictional ones count too!

Although my co-blogger Latte would get extremely jealous and relocate, I pick Buckbeak.

He is intelligent, sweet and devoted. He might have taken a swing at Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azcaban by J.K. Rowling, but that only proves he has a good eye for scum. 

I love heights and don't condone feather shedding. So... can I please have a Hippogriff?!? 

What would you wish for?
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Review: Every Last Word

I stay quiet
keeping words in
where they fester and control me

I'm here now
letting them out
freeing my words
building better walls

Samantha (Sam) must live everyday hiding her OCD. She has a fixation with the number three and will stress about what her friends say vs what they really mean to say. Then she meets Caroline. Life just gets easier thanks to this new friendship, who introduces her to several techniques of relaxation and learning to be confident. But what if Caroline were to go away? Can Sam survive on her own?

Depression, OCD, cancer, and bullying are not easy subjects -- especially when combined in one book. But instead of drowning us in their sorrow, Stone demonstrates different ways to cope; such as surrounding ourselves with family and friends, talking things out (shrink-Sue), love (A.J is swoon-worthy) and most importantly art. Poetry is a huge part of the book. It's soothing to take a moment and write our feelings down. 

Prepare to be inspired.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: Miss Emily

May we all find a boss like Miss Emily

Ada says goodbye to Ireland, and heads to America where she finds job as a maid. Although, most of the family is quite reserved, Miss Emily, the shyest of the patrons, takes interest in Ada. She considers her a friend. Helping her find a place to stay and even consoling her after a family loss. But what will happen when a crime turns everyone against Ada? Will Emily still stand up for her?

Not only did O'Connor write a superb book, with the proper dialect that made the reader feel present in another era, but she also tackled the harsh topic of rape. I was surprised to see that the characters didn't just hush the problem away. It became more about the injustice that women go through in this cases, and how we must stand together.

A great and fast read.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday: That's Amore

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


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Q: If you could have an endless supply of food, what would it be?

Napoli has good pizza, but Canada, has great poutine.

If you are ever in Montreal, I suggest you make a pit stop at La Banquise. They have tons of poutine recipes -- a mixture of french fries, gravy sauce and melted cheese -- with pretty much any smoked meat or vegetable you can think off. I asked for sour cream and Swiss cheese on mine.

What would you wish for?
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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Review: Return to Kaitlin

How far would you go to earn some fast cash?

Tyler's been having a rough year. Not only did his girlfriend dump him, but now, he is being removed from school due to his low grades. Unable to afford to retake most of his classes, Tyler sees no other solution than to move to Alberta for some quick cash. Unfortunately, Ty will not only need to be confronted with the importance of saving for rainy days and the actual price of food and housing -- he will also need to learn to defend himself. Even if it means standing up against his own addictions.

A survey says that 79% of teens drink in Alberta. Which is crazy considering that the city's population is not that high compared to the rest of Canada. It hurt seeing Tyler drink himself to sleep, and get into several pointless fights. Some life lessons are learned the hard way, and Tyler needed a big revelation in order to grown up and become more disciplined.

Lots of research and information about the Northern job positions and lifestyle.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: An Ember in the Ashes

Nobody knows what lies behind a person's mask

Elias might be a candidate for the future Emperor, but deep down, he wants nothing more than to desert the empire. He's tired of seeing how slaves and Scholars are treated, and to be force to kill his own friends as a work task. Heck, he wouldn't even mind getting away from his best friend Helene, who has developed a crush for him over the years. 

Slaves don't have it much easier though. Laia, was sent to work for a commandant as a spy. And must endure daily torture and humiliation. 

Told in dual point-of-views, An Ember in the Ashes, reveals a hidden spy and a hidden freedom fighter who must keep their true personalities a secret in order to survive. Tahir kept the reader waiting for a while before these two characters could meet, adding some strange tension by doing so. Add a countdown, several life's on the line, and a love quadrangle -- and you wind up with crazy cliffhangers.

Looking forward to the sequel.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday:Make it Count

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


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

Q: If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?

Can I wish for a person?

Just a random thought. Honestly, my number one wish would be to travel more often. I recently came back from a trip to Florida and loved the weather, and sightseeing. I would also ask for immortality (not a vampire kind of thing -- but perfect health) and unlimited funds in the bank account since, after all, I would be living forever.

What would you wish for?
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Review: All the Bright Places

Based on a true story

Violet lost her sister in a car crash, and without giving it much thought, went up a tower to kill herself. But Finch saw her. He saved her. Back at school, he got close to her and helped her get through her fears of entering a car and accepting a loss. The problem is Finch wasn't on that tower to admire the view. He was about to jump too. 

All the Bright Places is told in a dual point-of-view (sometimes repeating Violet's twice, which was a little confusing), and with a count down difficult to understand. Aside from that, we get a bittersweet story about abuse, suicide, bullying and the woes of living with bipolar disorder. Both characters seemed like a perfect match from the start, but sadly, their depression required outside help. 

Offers inspirational insight on valuing the little things in life that makes us feel lovely.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: A whole new world



I just can't get enough of retellings. It's wonderful to see several possible outcomes to our favorite childhood stories. 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The idea of a Cinderella who not only lost her shoe, but her entire leg was -- brilliant. It brought diversity to the story and of course all the other details, such as the prince and evil Queen were included. 

Whatever After: Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski

The Whatever After series (6 books so far)  is perfect for a younger audience. Mlynowski not only distorts popular fairy tales but also makes sure to include a valuable lesson in each one. 

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by A.N. Roquelaure

Now this is pure BDSM. Sleeping beauty wakes up in bed with an extremely naughty prince. 

Beastly by Alex Flinn 

A Beauty and the Beast retelling with a hilarious chatroom where several fairytale characters discuss their problems. 

Anthologies with several fairytales retellings

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