Monday, January 9, 2017

Blog Tour: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie LovettPublisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 398
Received: Received a copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: January 3, 2017
Buy From Chapters.ca / Buy From BookDepository.com

Goodreads Synopsis:

A teenage misfit named Hawthorn Creely inserts herself in the investigation of missing person Lizzie Lovett, who disappeared mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend. Hawthorn doesn't mean to interfere, but she has a pretty crazy theory about what happened to Lizzie. In order to prove it, she decides to immerse herself in Lizzie's life. That includes taking her job... and her boyfriend. It's a huge risk — but it's just what Hawthorn needs to find her own place in the world.

My Review:

First off I want to say thank you to Raincoast Books for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour. This book was so much fun to read, and it is quite different from a lot of other books. I am so glad that I am able to talk a bit about this story.

When a girl from town goes missing, the whole town starts to speculate about what happened to her, she was a very beloved girl that everyone knew, and they all want to know the mystery. Even readers want to know what happened to Lizzie Lovett, as the story continues on though, I almost felt like I forgot about Lizzie's story and I fell into Hawthorn's world.

Hawthorn knows who Lizzie is, let's be honest the whole town knows who she is, but somehow Hawthorn gets herself immersed into her own investigation of what happened to Lizzie Lovett. She comes up with many of her own theories, but one theory really sticks out in her mind, and she does everything that she can to investigate this theory. Hawthorn takes over Lizzie's life to find the answers, to what seems like a crazy theory. While investigating Lizzie, Hawthorn is able to learn a lot more about herself and she finds where she fits in with people.

What I really loved about the book that kept it interesting is how Hawthorn needs to come up with crazy ideas, her life seems boring so she comes up with things to make it more adventurous and fun. Hawthorn is the type who is sarcastic and doesn't care to other people, but when you get to know her you can tell that she is lonely and feels left out, which is why she comes up with all these crazy theories. I can definitely relate to Hawthorn, finding comfort in fiction over reality when I feel like I don't fit in somewhere, it's a way to escape and feel like you belong. Hawthorn goes beyond that fiction though and truly turns it into a reality, but that is what makes this book so much fun.

The secondary characters really help enhance that feeling in Hawthorn, they all look and treat her like she is crazy, except for Enzo. He is looking for what he lost, and in that he enables Hawthorn's crazy ideas. I don't truly like him, I find he is using Hawthorn (then again she seems to be using him as well). It just is not the greatest pairing. Then you also have Hawthorn's family, who in themselves seem crazy and you can see why Hawthorn needs to find her own reality.

This is such a fun book, and yet it is about finding yourself in the absurdities around you as well.

Don't forget to stop by the other blogs this week that will be featuring this book!

Also included in this blog tour, I got to ask Chelsea Sedoti a question about writing and her book. Check out her answer below:

What characteristics of yourself do you see in your characters?

One of my favorite things about writing is that it lets me live lives that aren’t my own. I can create characters who do things I’d never in a million years do. I can invent situations that, realistically, I’ll never find myself in.

For that reason, I try not to make my characters too autobiographical. I’d quickly get bored with them.

At the same time, it’s impossible to entirely remove myself from a story. No matter how different from me a character might be, they still came from my head. They’re a part of me.

Hawthorn and I aren’t the same person. But I understand her feeling of not fitting in. Of not being able to relate to other people. I share her desire to escape from the world. To Hawthorn, real life will never be as exciting as something she’s read in a book or seen in a movie. My outlook isn’t quite as extreme, but I can certainly empathize.

There’s a key area where Hawthorn and I diverge, though. She thinks she can shape the world around her to make it whatever she wants it to be—no matter how outlandish, and no matter what negative impact it might have on other people along the way.

I deal with my desire for magic and adventure differently. I write books.

So, while none of my characters are exactly like me, they definitely have little pieces of my personality or elements of my own experiences. More interesting versions, hopefully.  Because according to Hawthorn, fiction is always more fascinating than reality.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Blog Tour: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 464
Received: Received a copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: November 8, 2016
Buy From Chapters.ca / Buy From BookDepository.com

Goodreads Synopsis:

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

My Review:

First off I would love to thank Raincoast Books for allowing me to be a part of this tour. Marissa Meyer is such an amazing storyteller and I am so glad to be able to shout out from the rooftops how amazing her books are!! The cover of this book is so different from what is out there lately, it's so simple and yet very effective of drawing people in.

Now on to the review... what to say about this book, it is amazing with characters that are truly brought to life. You don't need to have read Alice in Wonderland to know anything about this book, it is a great introduction to the story though. Everyone always wondered how The Queen of Hearts got to be how she is, well Marissa really brings her story to light and shows that at one time she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love and she had dreams of her own.

Cath has big dreams of becoming a baker and opening her own store but her family has other ideas for her, and poor Cath has trouble fighting for what she really wants if that means disappointing her parents. Cath's parents are quite interesting secondary characters, they are polar opposites, her mother is a very opinionated person who takes over and forces Cath's hand in certain situations, whereas her father is the one who shows affection but is very quiet and withdrawn. It is understandable to see where Cath comes from to see who she is younger and who she becomes as well.

I can absolutely say that while reading this book, even though knowing how things would end for Cath, I still had hope that everything would change and she would get everything that she wished for so that she could truly live happily ever after. Marissa Meyer's writing makes you forget about the story that you already know and love and it feels like a completely different story that you hold out hope for all the characters to find what they are looking for.

Just like Alice in Wonderland, this book has all the fun and magic to it with the darkness hiding underneath everything, you can see how the darkness and terror of Wonderland is truly unleashed and why it becomes what we all know it as. I actually adored the King of Hearts in this book though, he is quirky and shy and he stumbles to let how he feels be known, I truly did imagine the cartoon version of him throughout the book and it made me love him that much more.

Then we have the Jest, and what a character he is, he truly brings out the best in Cath, and helps her realize how strong she can be. Jest is someone that I fell in love with right away, he has an air of mystery about him but he is fun and witty as well. And his role in this book is a huge one, I don't think Cath would be who she is, or would she turn into what we know her as The Queen of Hearts if it wasn't for Jest.

For those who love the classic Alice in Wonderland or even for those readers who don't know it but are always looking for adventure and magic, Marissa Meyer delivers for all in her newest book!!!



Check out the other blogs on this tour as well!!

I am lucky enough to be able to show you a little more about Cath's father The Marquess, as well. The Marquess is known through the land for his amazing storytelling abilities, it is a skill that sadly does not get passed down to his daughter (though she does have other amazing skills). Readers can just imagine a sparkle in his eye as he tells his stories and revels audiences with them.

Heartless Excerpt: The Marquess

“That is hardly an excuse. You know now. You knew today. I am marvelously disappointed, Catherine. I know you can do better than this.”
Cath looked at her father, hoping for defense. “Is this how you feel too?”
He turned his head up, the slices of roast beef and pumpkin on his plate already three-quarters eaten. His expression, though bewildered at first, quickly softened, and he reached for Cath, settling his hand on her wrist.
“Of course, dear,” he said. “You can do anything you put your mind to.”
Cath sighed. “Thanks, Papa.”
He gave her a loving pat before returning his attention to his plate. Shifting in her seat, Cath resigned herself to her mother’s disappointment and focused on cutting her meat into very tiny pieces.
“I was so hopeful for those macarons too,” the Marchioness continued. “I realize it isn’t ladylike to slave away in the kitchen all day, but he does fancy your desserts and I thought, once he tastes them, he’ll remember why he meant to propose in the first place. How could you have failed at such a simple task?” She scowled at Catherine’s plate. “You’ve eaten enough now, Catherine.”
Catherine looked up. At her mother’s twisted mouth, at the top of her father’s lowered head, at Mary Ann and Abigail pretending to not be listening. She set down her knife and fork. “Yes, Mother.”
With a snap of her mother’s fingers, the plates were taken away, even her father’s, though he was still clutching his fork. He soon slumped with resignation.
Before the awkwardness could stretch on, the Marquess perked up. “I heard the most delightful tale at the party today,” he said, dabbing his napkin at the corners of his mustache, “about a little girl who discovered an upward-falling rabbit hole just off the Crossroads, and when she started to climb, her body fell up and up and—”
“Not now, dear,” said his wife. “Can’t you see we’re discussing our daughter’s prospects?” Then she grumbled, “If she has any left at all, that is.”
The Marquess deflated, and set his napkin on the table. “Of course, my dear. You always know just the right thing to talk about.”

Monday, October 24, 2016

Review: The Regulars by Georgia Clark

Publisher: Atria
Pages: 394
Received: Received a copy from Simon and Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 2, 2016
Buy From Chapters.ca / Buy From BookDepository.com

Goodreads Synopsis:

A fierce and feisty debut with a magical twist about three ordinary, regular girls who suddenly have their fantasies come true... or do they?

Best friends Evie, Krista, and Willow are just trying to make it through their mid-twenties in New York. They’re regular girls, with average looks and typical quarter-life crises: making it up the corporate ladder, making sense of online dating, and making rent.

Until they come across Pretty, a magic tincture that makes them, well... gorgeous. Like, supermodel gorgeous. And it’s certainly not their fault if the sudden gift of beauty causes unexpected doors to open for them.

But there’s a dark side to Pretty, too, and as the gloss fades for these modern-day Cinderellas, there’s just one question left: What would you sacrifice to be Pretty?

My Review:

I was really excited for this book when I first heard about it, it sounded like an interesting premise and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. After finishing this book, I found my expectations were too high and this book did not deliver what I thought I would get out of it. In the end this book just disappointed me and I had a lot of trouble actually finishing it.

The one good thing that I did take out of this story was how these three characters truly learn to love themselves for who they are in the end. What I really disliked about this book is how a lot of issues come across, these three girls are made to be undesirable women (or at least two out of the three are). I understand that these girls are self-conscious (many women are with how the media portrays people).

Once the "Pretty" is introduced and the girls change who they are and their attitudes completely change, they become the worst sort of people (at least that is how it seems). The way they believe that if they look good they can change things because pretty people are taken more seriously. I did enjoy that they get a good harsh dose of reality and see that "pretty" people are actually treated the same if not worse at times.

This is a really hard book for me to review just because I had so much trouble getting through the story. I could not connect with the characters at all and I just did not like how people were treated throughout the book, even the way the girls saw themselves and acted after the became "pretty". All in all this was a difficult book that I sadly cannot recommend.

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