Friday, September 30, 2016

Me Before You Book Review

Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 409 Pages
Published:  April 26th 2016 by Penguin Books (first published January 5th 2012)
Rating: 4/5

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

My Review:

I missed the original train with Me Before You. I didn't hear about it until I saw the trailer for the film and immediately looked it up on Goodreads. Thank you to for the opportunity to review this amazing novel.

One of the things that I loved most about this book was the switch up of the normal character profile for the love interest. Will is a disaster when you "meet" him. He's rude, unkempt, unlikeable and remote. Jojo did such a wonderful job of taking you on the journey with Lou as we peel back his layers and fall for the man under all of that pain.

Lou was another wonderful treat for me. There are so many vanilla protagonists in contemporary romance, that I was pleasantly surprised with her colourful, unique voice. Her quirks and sarcastic sense of humour brought lightness to a heavy plotline and I found her flaws endearing rather than annoying.

The supporting cast was surprisingly unlikeable. Her family and boyfriend treated her horribly and there didn't seem to be any redeeming qualities about them, and his family was a bloody mess--though I at least felt a shred of sympathy for his mother. I did enjoy Will's nurse Nathan. That said, the terrible families helped shape their world so it didn't take away from the story.

Me Before You is heart-wrenching, and challenging, and had me in tears multiple times. I felt Lou's desperation, and Will's helplessness and rode the rollercoaster with them. Contrary to some opinions I have read, I found that Jojo did a good job of balancing the scales for the controversial choices that Will and Lou face.

Will was a vibrant, adventurous man who doesn't want to live the sheltered, crippled life forced on him by his accident; while Lou is able-bodied and free to do or be anything, but chooses to live a sheltered and limited life. They infuriate each other, they challenge each other, and their struggle to change each other brings them both pain and healing.

I won't spoil the ending, so that's all I can say about it. If you want to know which way it goes, you'll have to read it...or read a spoiler ;)

Fav. Quotes (minus the spoilery ones):

"You can only actually help someone who wants to be helped."  

" don't have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you." 

"'Hey, Clark,’ he said. ‘Tell me something good.’"

"Push yourself. Don't settle. Wear those stripy legs with pride."

My Rating: 4/5

You'll like this series if you liked

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks, The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, or My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

Links 4 More:

Find out more on the author website

Add to your Goodreads

Find the best price at socialbookco

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent - 5 Stars

Title: Menagerie
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Menagerie #1
Genre: Fantasy/Commercial fiction
Page Count: 432 Pages
Published: September 29th, 2015 by MIRA
Rating: 5/5

When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger's Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she's forced to "perform" in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other "attractions"—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she'll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale.

My Review:

I actually hugged this book when it came in mail. Why? Because I knew I was about to fall in love with it, as I do with every other Rachel Vincent book I have ever read. She did it again.

Menagerie is very different from Rachel Vincent's other books, but that in no way detracts from it. Even though I knew going into it that Menagerie wasn't an urban fantasy or paranormal romance, I was still surprised by the lack of a MC love story, as I absolutely adore Rachel's romance plotlines in all of her other books, but again I found it didn't take anything away, if anything I found it amped up the importance of all of the other themes and plot points that needed their time in the spotlight.

The story follows Delilah Marlow as she finds out she's a monster, gets sold to a traveling circus and caged for being a monster, and discovers who the monsters really are. Her struggle to maintain her inner-self while being treated like a worthless animal is heart-wrenching and inspiring.

It is dark and twisty and kept me ravenous for more up until the last page. I was rooting for Delilah to overcome her captors while also fully experiencing the helplessness of her situation through Vincent's captivating voice.

I can't wait for Masquerade (Menagerie #2) to be released so I can dive back into this world.

Fav. Quotes (minus the spoilery ones):

"We have psychos, too. People kill their coworkers. Kids kill their classmates. Parents kill their own children. Those people are every bit as monstrous as the worst cryptid predator you can point to, yet they’re human, just like we are.” Atherton and Pennington stared at me, and unease churned in my stomach. “There is no we,” the deputy said...  

"I deal in morality, not in law." 

"I said I don't enjoy seeing you suffer."

My Rating: 5/5

You'll like this series if you liked

Shifter series by Rachel Vincent, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, or Room by Emma Donoghue (If you also like fantasy as well).

Links 4 More:

Find out more on the author website

Add to your Goodreads

Find the best price at socialbookco

*Side-note: I received an ebook copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I got my hardcover in the mail before I could get started but was happy to have the ebook as well so I could take it with me everywhere. Thanks Netgalley!*

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Aeronauts Windlass

The Aeronauts Windlass; the first book in the new series from Jim Butcher came out this week. My brother is a huge fan and is waiting on his order to come in the mail. For those of you who prefer paperback to hardcover (like him) but don't want to wait the year for it to come out in that format in North America, you can order the UK version. There are a couple of differences that I've noticed (ie. using single quotes instead of double) but nothing that took away from the books that I have read in the past. I've posted a link below if you want to order the UK version of The Aeronauts Windlass.

Happy Reading!


Monday, September 28, 2015

Poison Study Blog Hop

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder is still one of my all-time favourite reads, and to honour it's 10th anniversary she is host a blog tour. Find out more here.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Adult Colouring Books

It seems like once a week I hear someone talking about adult colouring books. I have been told they are the new "thing" and let me just say I couldn't be happier to jump on board of this train.

I have been an artist for as long as I can remember, but it all started with a colouring book. I even remember the first page I ever learned to colour properly: I was five years old, and it was a big strawberry. I was sitting at an empty table in "The Hole in the Wall" diner in Port Perry, Ontario. It was after closing and my sister (who worked there at the time) took a break from pushing an ancient tan and brown hoover over the french fry littered carpet to teach me the right way to colour so that I could stay within the lines. The crayons were the original Crayola and I was chewing a giant pink gumball from the Chef's secret stash on top of the industrial fridge. I fell in love with art that day and colouring books have held a special place in my heart ever since.

I stumbled upon this beauty today and have decided that one way or another it must be mine.
Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book :

 Secret Garden Inky Treasure Hunt

Beautiful and whimsical drawings just itching to be brought to life with wax or ink. I hope this fad lasts longer than that gumball did because as long as it's popular publishers will keep pumping out great books like these!

If you click on the image above or the link below amazon has sample pages to view. 

Circle Series by Tedd Dekker

I have been a huge fan of Tedd Dekker since I first read his Circle Series, and got my mom and sister hooked on his writing along with me. Right now amazon is selling an ebook omnibus of the whole series for $9.99 -- which is a crazy good deal because I spent $40 to buy the hardcover box set when Green first came out!

Why not use this opportunity to delve into an awesome series and become a fan along with me? Dekker also has a new book coming out in October, A.D.33 -- the second in the A.D. series and I can't wait to read them. To buy the Circle series, or either of the A.D. books, click on the links below.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lion's Share by Rachel Vincent - 5 Stars!

Title: Lion's Share
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Wildcats #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 270 Pages
Published:  February 23rd 2015 by Smashwords
Rating: 5/5

Abby Wade has a dangerous secret.
Two months ago, she disobeyed an order, but instead of kicking her out of the Pride, Jace offered her a job. Since then, she’s been battling a completely inappropriate crush on the young, hot Alpha. But when accepting his job offer seems like the only way to keep her skeletons safely in their closet, Abby doesn’t hesitate.

Jace Hammond has a big problem.
A rogue is slaughtering humans in his territory, and he must eliminate the threat before the entire shifter species is exposed. There could not be a worse time for Abby to accept a job he only offered as a boost to her confidence. Abby is smart, beautiful, and resilient—more than enough to distract any man from the mission. Unfortunately, she may just be the worst enforcer ever to hold the title.

As they hunt the killer, Abby’s secret becomes a threat to Jace’s authority and to her own life. But the real danger is the grip she has on his twice-shy heart.

Rachel Vincent has done it again! Lion's Share is an edge of your seat, shocking, gripping, thrilling, sexy-as-hell paranormal romance both Shifters fans and new readers will love.

Abby and Jace's story brought everything I loved about the Shifters series to the table but with even more steam--and a killer murder mystery (pun intended) to boot. The chemistry between the two werecats is tangible and addictive. Abby was just the right mix of defiant and tripping over her own feet to make me like her from the get-go, and Jace....oh Jace. I will always have him ranked as one of my favourite male protagonists. He's sexy, charming, dedicated, strong and everything an alpha male should be.

As these two followed the bread crumbs in a series of "wild animal" killings and stumbled over their forbidden feelings for each other, I got caught up completely in their world until I was smiling from ear to ear as I read the final line.

If you haven't read Rachel's other books you are seriously missing out, and her newest book is no exception.

You'll like this series if you liked

The Shifters Series by Rachel Vincent, Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, or the Mercy Thompson series
by Patricia Briggs.

Links 4 More:

Find out more on the author website

Purchase on amazon: Lion's Share (Wildcats Book 1)