Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry

Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 400
Received: Received a copy from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: January 26, 2016
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Goodreads Synopsis:

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start... until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

My Review:

To be honest, this book kind of slipped under my radar, even though it is kind of compared to one of my absolute favourite books of all time, The Time Traveler's Wife... After reading more into this book, I started to get a little more interested, then when I started reading it myself I was actually really taken with the story. I will say that it took me some time to truly like the story, I felt that it was slow getting into things and I couldn't really understand exactly what was happening (kind of like Natalie).

I was really surprised at the story Emily Henry came up with. it was intriguing and I wanted to learn more about what exactly was happening with Natalie and Beau. I really loved the way Henry described how things happened and it felt like time stopped when Natalie and Beau were together. I loved how the aspect of what was happening was described, Emily Henry brought this idea of alternate worlds to life with these two characters being at the center of everything.

Despite a few rough patches with this book, the romance was a bit too over the top for my liking, this book did end up getting me emotional at the end as some things are revealed to Nat about her life and how everything happened. This book really makes you think about the road not taken and how your life could be different if one small thing had changed in the past, what have you missed out on by taking that right instead of left?

The ending left me confused, and I'm still not absolutely sure about what exactly happened, I felt like there was still something left unsaid and it disappointed me. But all in all, I loved what this book offered me and it definitely gave me a new world and a new view on why things happen the way they do. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Review: In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

Publisher: Knopf
Pages: 397
Received: Received a copy from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 2, 2015
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Goodreads Synopsis:

In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life.

Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, Judy Blume imagines and weaves together a haunting story of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by these disasters. She paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place — Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.

In the Unlikely Event is a gripping novel with all the hallmarks of Judy Blume's unparalleled storytelling.

My Review:

Growing up with Judy Blume books as a kid still never prepared me for the writing she has in her adult novels. This book was absolutely intense and I loved every little thing that happened. The way Judy Blume connected each of her characters together and how deep into their secrets you get, this is a book that you walk away not truly wanting to leave everything you just experienced.

I was absolutely blown away with this story, and how Judy Blume brings together this amazing community during a time of such devastation. The story follows the lives of many different characters as a series of planes fall from the sky causing a lot of trouble in this small little town. Miri Ammerman remembers the events of the year as she travels home to commemorate the tragedy of that year but also to remember how these events turned her into the woman she is now.

Each event affects everyone in this town differently, and they all still must grow and live their lives during these tough times. This is a book about how no matter how tough times can get, that life still must go on, friends and lovers will be lost, but you will always have family there for you. Judy Blume breathes such life into her characters that you could easily see yourself running into them out on the street. This is a story about real life and how through tragedy, three generations of family help one another through.

Truly, Judy Blume shows readers time and again that she is a masterful storyteller, and really brings everything to life that she puts to paper. This book is absolutely unforgettable and I believe will leave an impact on anyone who reads it. I can definitely say that it left a very strong impression on me and truly leaves me thinking about it long after I closed the cover!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: The Diviners #2
Pages: 613
Received: Received a copy from Hachette Books Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 25, 2015
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Goodreads Synopsis:

The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.

As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?

In this heart-stopping sequel to The Diviners, Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray takes readers deeper into the mystical underbelly of New York City.

My Review:

Oh gosh, the wait for this book was so hard!! I was in love with The Diviners when it came out and I needed more, even though these books are as big as they are, readers can easily fly through them. Though I will be honest, this one took me a little bit longer to read than the first of the series did. I found myself feeling iffy and sometimes a little uninterested, but then there was a moment that would bring me right back to the story.

Honestly, Libba Bray brings the 1920's to life in such an amazing way, but what is truly amazing about this series is the beautiful cast of characters that each contribute to the story in such a large way. Now that Evie's secret about being a diviner is out in the public, she is almost everybody's favourite person now. Though you can tell that she is hiding something herself, after everything ended in the last book, it left Evie with a fear of what else could be out there.

It took me a bit more time to get into this book, because I think I found myself to be confused as to what was really happening and how the dreams of Henry and Ling meant anything to the story. But as I got deeper into the story, it started to become very intriguing and I wanted to see these two characters find those that they were looking for. Soon this sickness that is taking over the city gets worse and there is only one group that can find the source and save others from the same fate.

While all this is going on with the dream world, Evie is dealing with her own small issues in the real world now that she has become "America's Sweetheart Seer", she is partying every night and trying her best to forget the fateful night that led to all this. Libba Bray truly delves deeper into the dark forces that are taking over the city, and readers slowly learn more about this group of diviners and possibly more about what is after them. This book opened up more about the different characters as we follow them around and delve further into their pasts and learn about what brought them where they are now.

I absolutely love Libba Bray's writing style, the world and characters she has created in The Diviners are both so engrossing that you never want to leave, and I for one will wait as long as need be for the next book in this series! I'm excited to see what new adventures will befall our group of ragtags, and what other horrors Bray can come up with.


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