Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install

Publisher: Random House of Canada
Pages: 288
Received: Received a copy from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 30, 2015
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Goodreads Synopsis:

Funny, touching, charming, wise and a bit magical, this is a novel that explores what it is to be a man, a sentient being and even a parent. A Robot in the Garden is a gem of a first novel, perfect for anyone who has ever found it difficult to connect with the world.

What would you do if you found a robot in your back garden? For 34-year-old Ben Chambers the answer is obvious: find out where it came from and return it home, even if it means losing his wife in the process. Determined to achieve something for once in his life, Ben embarks on a journey that takes him and the endearing robot, Tang, to the far side of the globe...and back again. Along the way Ben begins to change, subtly at first, and then in ways that only become clear on his return to the house he's always lived in.

My Review:

Oh my gosh, I did not expect to love this book as much as I did, as soon as I finished it, I started passing it around because I thought that everyone I knew needed to have the same experience I did with a story. Honestly, I could not stop reading, I'm pretty sure once I started I read for a few hours straight, and before I knew it the story was over... I was actually sad to have it end as soon as it did, but Deborah Install definitely knew how to keep someone reading.

When Ben wakes up one morning and finds a robot sitting in his backyard garden, it spurs him on a quest to find out where this guy came from and how he got here. Ben wants to return this robot to it's owner and have him repaired before he fully shuts down. It has been awhile since Ben has truly done something worthwhile and his life is falling apart, but this robot who refuses to leave Ben's side brings out another part of Ben that has been hidden for years.

What was amazing about this story was the relationship that grows between Ben and Tang as they travel the world looking for Tang's home, but also learning more about robots in general. Their relationship is what keeps the story going, Tang learns from Ben and his intelligence grows exponentially over the time they spend together. Tang is like a child who learns from those around him, but is also scared of the newer robots because he doesn't understand them and think they are better than him. Tang really helps Ben learn a lot about himself and he grows up on his travels as he learns to take care of someone other than himself and learns to truly love and care for someone that just came out of nowhere.

Everything about this book was absolutely adorable and as I continued to read, I wanted a Tang for myself. This robot learned to love Ben and Tang taught Ben to see that he needed to move on with his life and not let grief overtake him. The adventures that these two go on bring them closer and Ben learns that he can help others.

Honestly, this book made me laugh and cry in such a short period of time. I refused to put this book down, I wanted to continue the journey with these two characters, I fell in love instantly with the story and I was sad when things ended. I truly wanted more of Tang and Ben, but I know that the most important stuff happens at the beginning of the relationship. This book was such an amazing read and I hope everyone loves it as much as I did!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review: Love May Fail by Matthew Quick

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 401
Received: Received a copy from Harper Collins Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 16, 2015
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Goodreads Synopsis:

Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself back in South Jersey, a place that remains largely unchanged from the years of her unhappy youth. Lost and alone, looking for the goodness she believes still exists in the world, Portia sets off on a quest to save the one man who always believed in her—and in all of his students: her beloved high school English teacher, Mr. Vernon, who has retired broken and alone after a traumatic classroom incident.

Will a sassy nun, an ex-heroin addict, a metal-head little boy, and her hoarder mother help or hurt Portia's chances on this quest to resurrect a good man and find renewed hope in the human race? Love May Fail is a story of the great highs and lows of existence: the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be.

My Review:

Another Matthew Quick story, these are always hard to not love, Quick definitely has a way of drawing readers in, even when his characters are the most annoying people you could meet. Truly, Matthew Quick writes stories that will leave you wanting more from the characters, wondering what happened with them after the book has ended.

The book opens with Portia Kane going through tough times, she is having a meltdown and ends up back home with her mother, who herself is not easy to deal with. Portia decides that she needs to find herself after being put down all these years with her husband and she begins a journey of self-discovery. The people that she meets (or reconnects with) along the way, are an eccentric group of people, all with their own journeys and problems to fix. Portia not only finds herself but along the way helps some unfortunate souls, but these people also help Portia learn about herself and teach her to do things for herself.

I always find it difficult to describe a Matthew Quick book because they are all so unique, what I loved is that Portia has been put down and she stopped believing in herself, now that she is on her own she needs to learn to trust herself. In her own way, Portia believes that she needs the help of the one person whose memory has kept her going but who has lost his own self. A lot of the story revolves around Portia but at the same time we get glimpses into some of the other characters' lives as well. There is a section that focuses on each of the characters, all who have their own problems they need to get past to be able to love themselves and these people connect in each of their quests to find hope in mankind.

Matthew Quick has so much humour, but it is amidst so much drama, his stories have everything that a reader could ask for in a story... there is romance, but there is trials and tribulations, but among all this is the strength a person has to restart their life. Matthew Quick truly brings real life situations to the forefront, Portia has a lot to come to terms with, is it possible to really restart when you have given up so early in life? Quick's stories always has me strive to be a better person and work hard for the things I truly want because the other option is regret and sadness.

This story is inspiring (like many of his others) and I can see Matthew's name being talked about for years to come because of how great his stories are. Definitely an author that needs to be read!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: The Incarnations by Susan Barker

Publisher: Touchstone
Pages: 384
Received: Received a copy from Simon and Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 18, 2015
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Goodreads Synopsis:

Who are you? you must be wondering. I am your soulmate, your old friend, and I have come back to this city of sixteen million in search of you.

So begins the first letter that falls into Wang’s lap as he flips down the visor in his taxi. The letters that follow are filled with the stories of Wang’s previous lives—from escaping a marriage to a spirit bride, to being a slave on the run from Genghis Khan, to living as a fisherman during the Opium Wars, and being a teenager on the Red Guard during the cultural revolution—bound to his mysterious “soulmate,” spanning one thousand years of betrayal and intrigue.

As the letters continue to appear seemingly out of thin air, Wang becomes convinced that someone is watching him—someone who claims to have known him for over one thousand years. And with each letter, Wang feels the watcher growing closer and closer…

Seamlessly weaving Chinese folklore, history, and literary classics, The Incarnations is a taut and gripping novel that sheds light on the cyclical nature of history as it hints that the past is never truly settled.

My Review:

Wow, that was the first thing that was in my mind when I finished the last page of this book and closed the cover... I almost debated on turning the book over and starting it over again, it was such an amazing read. I really have to thank Michele from Just A Lil' Lost for recommending this book to me. We have very similar tastes and she told me how much I would love it and she was so very right!

This is a book that you want to sit down with and you don't want to let it go, as I traveled deeper into the story, I got more confused as to what was happening, but I knew if I continued all the answers would come together. So much of this book goes into the ancient idea of reincarnation after death, and some people are connected from past lives. When the book opens Wang receives a letter talking about how someone knows all about him and his past lives. As the book continues, each life is detailed and you can see how the personalities all match in a small way.

Susan Barker truly brought an amazing story to life with The Incarnations, she brings Chinese tradition to the forefront and mixes in history and even literary classics to the story. Honestly, the way Susan brings each of Wang's lives to the forefront and the mystery of who is writing all this to him will keep readers on their feet. I wanted to know who this "soulmate" of Wang's was that seemed to try to get him to snap. The chapters switch from Wang's perspective attempting to find this mysterious person watching over him to the letters, some that are detailed stories of each past life trying to get him to remember who he once was. I love how these past lives always come back around showing that what is in the past doesn't always stay in the past...

I wasn't sure how much I liked Wang's character in this book, he seemed very passive and let others walk all over him, but I couldn't help but watch as he became more aggressive as he got scared about this "watcher" leaving strange letters for him. Imagine someone leaving you letters detailing the things you do on a daily basis and telling you they see you and your family every night, who wouldn't become more aggressive in finding this person before you get hurt.

The Incarnations is truly a masterpiece of a book that left me thinking about it long after I closed the cover. Even the ending left me a bit confused, but like I said it is a book that you take your time and Susan Barker definitely wants you thinking about everything when you've finished. This book has stuck in my mind especially because I wasn't sure how to write a review on this, I felt that this story was such an experience for me as a reader and I loved every moment of it.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley

Release Date: September 1, 2015
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Goodreads Synopsis:

Revenge is worth its weight in gold.

When her father is murdered for a journal revealing the location of a hidden gold mine, eighteen-year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers—and justice. What she finds are untrustworthy strangers, endless dust and heat, and a surprising band of allies, among them a young Apache girl and a pair of stubborn brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, a startling truth becomes clear: some men will stop at nothing to get their hands on gold, and Kate’s quest for revenge may prove fatal.

My Review:

Okay, so I truly do not know what to say about this book. I have been trying to think about it, and it's been some time since I have finished it but it was such a weird story and I don't really know if I would truly classify this as a teen book, it felt a little more adult to me. This book is very much a western story and that is what kind of drew me in, I've never really read something like this before.

Kate is on a journey of revenge for her father's death, but to be taken seriously she must disguise herself as a male. As Kate travels along on her path, she meets some people who may be the ones to help her finish the job she needs. But as the journey continues, many secrets are revealed that show Kate she knows a lot less about her father than she thought and as the story continues readers begin to wonder what other things could be hidden.

There were times while I was reading this that I was very interested in the story and Kate's background. When it came out that her father was hiding things about his past, I really wanted to get to the bottom of all that. Though at times, I also felt like at times events were overdone (but definitely what I can see from a western story). I did love Kate's personality, it is not often that readers can find a western with such a strong female lead. She is very independent and tough, and more often would rather just get things done on her own. Kate is definitely someone to really admire, all she cares about is getting justice for those she loves, nothing else matters and I love that about her.

And then there is Jesse, oh how I loved Jesse's character. The way him and Kate interact brings a comic relief during a lot of rough times in this book. Jesse is a lot like Kate in many ways, he is very tough and independent, but his mission is to keep his family safe and to bring money to keep them going. Their interactions show how alike these two are, they are both stubborn and refuse to give in to the other, they both want to do things their own way.

Honestly, I'm glad that I tried out this western, I don't believe that these types of stories will be high on my radar, I did enjoy this one quite a bit. I just felt that at times it was a lot darker than I was expecting it to be. I can see many people enjoying this type of book, and as much as I enjoyed parts of it, I felt like I had to push myself to finish.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Blog Tour Review: The Searcher by Simon Toyne

Publisher: William Morrow
Series: Solomon Creed #1
Pages: 480
Received: Received a copy from Harper Collins Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: October 6, 2015
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

The author of the acclaimed Sanctus trilogy conjures an eerie epic of good and evil, retribution and redemption—the first novel in the mesmerizing Solomon Creed series in which a man with no memory of his past must save a lost soul in a small Arizona town.

On a hilltop in the town of Redemption, Arizona, the townspeople gather at an old cemetery for the first time in decades to bury a local man. The somber occasion is suddenly disrupted by a thunderous explosion in the distant desert. A plane has crashed, and it’s pouring a pillar of black smoke into the air.

As Sheriff Garth Morgan speeds toward the crash, he nearly hits a tall, pale man running down the road, with no shoes on his feet and no memory of who he is or how he got there. The only clues to his identity are a label in his handmade suit jacket and a book that’s been inscribed to him: both giving the name Solomon Creed. When Morgan tells Solomon that he is in Redemption, Arizona, Solomon begins to believe he's here for a reason—to save a man he has never met . . . the man who was buried that morning.

Miles away, three men scan the skies for an overdue plane carrying an important package. Spotting a black cloud in the distance, they suspect something has gone badly wrong, and that the man who has sent them will demand a heavy price if the package has been lost.

To uncover the secret of his identity, Solomon Creed must uncover Redemption's secrets too and learn the truth behind the death of the man he is there to save. But there are those who will do anything to stop him, men prepared to call on the darkest forces to prevent Solomon from seeing the light.

My Review:

First I want to say thank you so much to Harper Collins Canada for having me be a part of this tour and getting the chance to review this book. Simon Toyne knows how to write an amazing mystery the draws readers to the story and keeps them hooked because all the answers just seem to dangle there and you need to keep reading to find out what is going on and who is involved in what.

There are a lot of characters to follow along with in this book, and it is quite a large read but everything goes by so quickly you don't truly notice how large the book is. I will say that at times I found myself a bit confused as to who was in what situation and how they all connected but I did finally get a mental list of how they were all connected (sometimes I found it easier if I had a list going on the side). The chapters are very short and each chapter jumps from character to character until they eventually all meet in one way or another.

Solomon Creed is the focus point of this story and he is what really kept me coming back to the story (not to say the other characters are not just as interesting). This is a man that has arrived in a random town with no memory of who he was before or what he is there to do, he just has one name he can remember. Slowly pieces of the puzzle start unraveling and Solomon realizes that he has come to this town to save a man, the only problem is that this person has died and is being buried as he arrives. Now the clues to who he is lay with James' wife Holly, but throughout the book Solomon realizes he has many skills that help save his life, he doesn't know how he knows these things they just come to him in a time of need. There is still so much to learn about who Solomon Creed is and what his mission is, and I can't wait to little towns that are in trouble.

The great thing about Simon's writing is how real everything is to readers, Simon's descriptions are so on point that you can truly imagine everything happening and can fully picture the characters. It is easy to see that Simon Toyne is a writer and producer for television as well as an author, his stories sometimes read like a television series, each part it's own episode and all connecting in the end. This book is so consuming and I can't wait for others to pick it up and follow Solomon's journey in Redemption!

Have you read The Searcher by Simon Toyne yet? Don't forget to add it to your 50 book pledge shelf here!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Blog Tour Review: All Inclusive by Farzana Doctor

Publisher: Dundurn Press
Pages: 268
Received: Received a copy from Dundurn Press in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: October 3, 2015
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Goodreads Synopsis:

Whether it’s about work and play or life and death, sometimes there’s no avoiding bumpy encounters.

What’s it like when everyone’s dream vacation is your job? Ameera works at a Mexican all-inclusive resort, where every day is paradise — if “paradise” means endless paperwork, quotas to meet, and entitled tourists to deal with. But it’s not all bad: Ameera’s pastime of choice is the swingers’ scene, and the resort is the perfect place to hook up with like-minded couples without all the hassle of ever having to see them again.

Despite Ameera’s best efforts to keep her sideline a secret, someone is spreading scandalous rumours about her around the resort, and her job might be at stake. Meanwhile, she’s being plagued by her other secret, the big unknown of her existence: the identity of her father and the reason he abandoned her. Unbeknownst to Ameera, her father, Azeez, is looking for her. The fact that he’s dead is just a minor detail.

A moving new work from award-winning author Farzana Doctor, All Inclusive blurs the lines between the real world and paradise, and life and the afterlife, that shows how love can conquer any obstacle.

My Review:

I am definitely happy I got the chance to be a part of this blog tour, Farzana Doctor is becoming a huge name in Canadian publishing and I've been so intrigued by her work. This story was definitely a ride for me, Farzana takes you to many places around the world as we get to know two different characters, Azeez and Ameera, these two have never met but are tied together in such a strong way. This story definitely gives readers a lot to think about and takes diversity to a new level, but also this gives readers a tiny look into the blurred lines of life and death.

Ameera has gotten a dream job, she works as a tour guide at an all inclusive resort in Mexico, but she has her own secret life after hours. Ameera becomes part of the swingers scene, and it works perfectly for her, she hooks up with people and then they leave never to be seen again, but when push comes to shove nothing is always perfect and soon Ameera finds that her secret life may not be so secret. I wasn't sure how I felt about Ameera at first, but she seemed to grow on me after awhile. You can see that Ameera does work hard and as much as she blurs her lines at her job, she tries to keep them as separate as possible. When things start taking a turn for the worst, Ameera begins to think about her father and wondering what her life would be like if he ever knew him and her family. Little does she know that somewhere else, someone is searching for her before they can move on as well.

There is a back and forth between Ameera's life and Azeez's (both past and present), and we learn more about how family really can make a difference in life sometimes. Ameera begins to feel lost and finding out about the other side of her family may help her find herself and she can begin to start her life for real. What Farzana does really well is bringing the secondary characters to light that they almost overtake the primary characters. Farzana shows that sometimes it is harder for locals to be seen over those that come almost for fun.

Azeez has been around for years trying to figure out how to move on with his life, he knows he is missing something but has trouble finding out what exactly that is. As he watches his family grow he learns more about them and takes care of them over the years, until it comes that there is family that needs his help, and he travels around trying to find Ameera and help her find out what happened to him and why she never knew him. I don't have much to say on Azeez's character because his story is short, but you can see that he is focused on finding Ameera and helping her connect with another part of herself.

I did enjoy how Farzana wrote her characters and this story of really learning to find yourself away from everything else. She also really brings the history of her characters and their beliefs into the story. Honestly, many things about this book were great, I do wish that it was a little more in-depth and that there was maybe a little more about Ameera and her mom's relationship.

The one thing that I felt was a little over-the-top at times was Ameera's sex life, I felt that it took over her chapters a bit too much at times instead of showing more of her work relationships as she tries to figure out where these rumours are coming from. Though I did enjoy Ameera's strength to fight back against these rumours and keep herself safe and settled in her job.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Series: Elusion #1
Pages: 382
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through Edelweiss

Release Date: March 18, 2014
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.

My Review:

This book had me very interested, I love the idea that is brought out in this book, in a way I felt that the technology of Elusion is a way to get away from life, exactly what reading books is for me. Regan used to know all about Elusion but after he father died she can't bring herself to go back to this place that is supposed to be so happy and relaxing.

Despite Regan not wanting to be a part of Elusion because it brings back memories of her father, she still wants to defend it when rumours start going around about how dangerous it is for people. Her best friend is the one who has taken over the programming of Elusion and she wants to help him. Regan becomes very defensive but slowly she realizes that there is something being hidden from her.

Regan is very loyal to those she loves, and she wants to defend not only her best friend but her father's memory as much as possible. But at the same time when Regan starts to see that she may be manipulated she delves deep for the truth, but tries to go about it in a way that she won't hurt anyone she loves. There is a lot of mystery behind what is happening in Elusion and who is behind the problems that are happening, but everything becomes more dangerous for Regan as she gets closer to the truth. There are a lot of consequences for Regan if she finds out what really happened to her father and how Patrick is involved in everything.

This seems like a realistic story set in the future, video games are becoming more live action and Elusion is similar to that. People use Elusion to meet other people in a different world and get away from real life, it is such an interesting premise in my mind. I really felt that Claudia Gabel realistically shows how addictive a virtual world can be, more people are likely to want to spend all their time there.

This was truly a fun book, with a lot of mystery to it and a great amount of romance (though in my opinion, the romance did not have much to do with the story). As the story keeps going I needed to keep reading to find out what exactly was going with Elusion and why all this is happening. I definitely want to read the next one to see where things go from that huge cliffhanger ending!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

Publisher: Random House
Pages: 290
Received: Received a copy from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: September 8, 2015
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

From one of the greatest writers of our time: the most spellbinding, entertaining, wildly imaginative novel of his great career, which blends history and myth with tremendous philosophical depth. A masterful, mesmerizing modern tale about worlds dangerously colliding, the monsters that are unleashed when reason recedes, and a beautiful testament to the power of love and humanity in chaotic times.

Inspired by 2,000 years of storytelling yet rooted in the concerns of our present moment, this is a spectacular achievement--enchanting, both very funny and terrifying. It is narrated by our descendants 1000 years hence, looking back on "The War of the Worlds" that began with "the time of the strangenesses": a simple gardener begins to levitate; a baby is born with the unnerving ability to detect corruption in people; the ghosts of two long-dead philosophers begin arguing once more; and storms pummel New York so hard that a crack appears in the universe, letting in the destructive djinns of myth (as well as some graphic superheroes). Nothing less than the survival of our world is at stake. Only one, a djinn princess who centuries before had learned to love humankind, resolves to help us: in the face of dynastic intrigue, she raises an army composed of her semi-magical great-great--etc.--grandchildren--a motley crew of endearing characters who come together to save the world in a battle waged for 1,001 nights--or, to be precise, two years, eight months and twenty-eight nights.

My Review:

I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book, I have never picked up a Salman Rushdie story before, and yet I have heard so much about his amazing writing and this book truly appealed to me with the magical idea it gives readers in the synopsis. This book is inspired by years of storytelling, and is narrated by people over many years.

I was truly interested in what was happening in this book, readers are taken on a journey of descendants of the djinn's over many years. The way Rushdie describes "The War of the Worlds" is truly intriguing, a strangeness begins when descendants of the djinn begin to show their powers and it opens up this other world. A battle begins for the survival of the world and these magical descendants are the ones who can save the world.

I will admit that this is the type of book that takes a lot of focus, it's not one of those that you can do other things at the same time. I found myself needing to re-read sections at times because I was a little lost as to what was happening. It's a short story but you want to take your time with it so as to fully immerse yourself in the world that Rushdie brings to life. I thought the writing of this story is beautiful and really brings the magical aspects to life in such a way that you can imagine all this happening around you in this world.

At times I did have difficulty because I felt like I was reading a history textbook, learning about the djinn and their past. And yet, despite these long historical passages, they did really add to the story and how everything came to be. This book combines mythology with current pop culture and it is a story for generations to come.

Truly take a chance to experience this beautiful book, that shows readers in a time of chaos and war there is always a way to find beauty and love. I can see why Salman Rushdie is one of the greatest writers of our time, it felt like I was reading a fairy tale at times but a very real one, more for adults than children.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Series: Six of Crows #1
Pages: 480
Received: Received an e-copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: September 29, 2015
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

My Review:

Gah!! That is my first reaction to how awesome and enthralling this book was... how have I waited so long to finally pick up a Leigh Bardugo book?!?!?! I've had her Grisha trilogy waiting to be read, but then this one popped up and I picked it up first, and I am in love right from the beginning. This book is filled with action and romance throughout and I was definitely on high alert, I just wanted it to keep going, I will be sad to see this series end, it's one that I want to go on forever.

This book is a lot about a quest, not only a quest for retrieving something, but also one of revenge for some characters. What I really loved about this book is that it is basically about a group of ragtag criminals coming together to get a job done. We meet each of these other characters one by one, and slowly learn more about them and how they met Kaz in the past and why they are so willing to help him with such a dangerous plot. Each of these characters has a different skill and they all work so well together to help pull off this heist.

It was interesting to see how Leigh Bardugo differentiates each of her characters in such a large way, not only does each of them have a special skill but their personalities are all very different too. Kaz is the ringleader of this group, in a way he has saved each of them from a worse fate than where they are now, it's interesting to see how each of them view Kaz as a person. It is fun watching these characters try to work together without killing each other, there are a lot of arguments that add a great humour element to the story.

A lot happens in the story and I found that I got to learn a little bit about the world but there is definitely still more to learn about where each of these characters came from. I love that Bardugo gives readers perspectives of each of the characters, it brings us closer with them, it seems like a lot but Bardugo really makes it work for readers. Every one of the characters are tricky in their own way, you can never know what they are thinking, but each of them shows of how smart and strong they truly are. And the ending... that just got my heart and I need more from Kaz and his group ASAP!!!

I can say that I loved every minute of this book and I think many people will, it's the type of book that can grab at many different genres. But this is definitely for fans of speculative fiction, Bardugo has a way with her magical characters that make the different types of people seem so real. Definitely pick up a Leigh Bardugo book, you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Review: Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 336
Received: Received a copy from Harper Collins Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: April 14, 2015
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller and 2014 Edgar and Anthony nominee Reconstructing Amelia comes another harrowing, gripping novel that marries psychological suspense with an emotionally powerful story about a community struggling with the consequences of a devastating discovery.

At the end of a long winter, in bucolic Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of an infant is discovered in the woods near the town’s prestigious university campus. No one knows who the baby is, or how her body ended up out there. But there is no shortage of opinions.

When freelance journalist, and recent Ridgedale transplant, Molly Anderson is unexpectedly called upon to cover the story for the Ridegdale Reader, it’s a risk, given the severe depression that followed the loss of her own baby. But the bigger threat comes when Molly unearths some of Ridgedale’s darkest secrets, including a string of unreported sexual assaults that goes back twenty years.

Meanwhile, Sandy, a high school dropout, searches for her volatile and now missing mother, and PTA president Barbara struggles to help her young son, who’s suddenly having disturbing outbursts.

Told from the perspectives of Molly, Barbara, and Sandy, Kimberly McCreight’s taut and profoundly moving novel unwinds the tangled truth about the baby’s death revealing that these three women have far more in common than they realized. And that their lives are more intertwined with what happened to the baby than they ever could have imagined.

My Review:

I had heard a lot about McCreight's first novel Reconstructing Amelia but I haven't had the chance to read it, after reading this one I'm more interested to know what her other book is like as well. Kimberly McCreight keeps her readers intrigued and trying to figure out the mystery, the story keeps jumping around and it is hard to know who is involved. There are so many stories that intertwine with one another and all come together to solve the mystery of this baby.

The way Kimberly McCreight writes these characters is amazing, each of them has their problems, I found it hard to truly like any of them... but that is what made this book so good. Molly is the journalist trying to figure out what happened, but this is a case that hits a little too close to home for her. Molly is taking a huge risk for her health by accepting this job, but at the same time it helps her through her depression a bit.

This is a small town with a lot of secrets being hidden and Molly works hard to uncover these past secrets. This story goes between the perspectives of three different women, each with their own issue, but all of them have something in common and relate to the mystery of this baby in one way or another. Because this is a mystery book it is very hard to talk about what happens without giving away too much of the story...

I love how Kimberly McCreight takes her readers around in circles and can turn things around so quickly in her writing. The story keeps you interested as things continue on and you really want to figure out the mystery, but it is the type of town where everyone has a motive and everyone has their own secrets. Definitely an amazing mystery book, and I absolutely love her writing style to draw readers in!


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