The ABC Book Challenge: it’s raining books Hallelujah!

Don’t think I forgot about this.. it’s time to keep this train going!

Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “H”:

Heir of Fire

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times best-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.

This isn’t my favorite book in the TOG series, but I did enjoy it. It was set up a lot of the great events in the future. It’s a great novel!

Hunting Prince Dracula

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

I love this book! The Stalking Jack the Ripper series is one of my favorites and I can’t recommend it enough! This was a lovely sequel.

Books I Would Love to Read Beginning with “H”:

Hidden Pieces

Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move…is murder.

I always need a good thriller in my life. I can’t believe it took me so long to get into this genre, but I adore it now!

Hole in the Middle

Morgan Stone was born with a hole in her middle: a perfectly smooth, sealed, fist-sized chunk of nothing near her belly button. After seventeen years of hiding behind lumpy sweaters and a smart mouth, she’s fed up with keeping her secret. On the dance floor one night, she decides to bare all.

At first she feels liberated . . . until a few online photos snowball into a media frenzy. Now Morgan is desperate to return to her own strange version of normal—when only her doctors, her divorced parents, and her best friend, Caro, knew the truth. But tragically Morgan’s newfound openness and Internet celebrity seem to push those closest to her further and further away.

Then a new doctor appears with a boy who may be both Morgan’s cure and her destiny. What happens when you meet the person who is—literally—your perfect match? Is being whole really all it’s cracked up to be?

I love magical realism and this sounds like that to me. It’s weird and strange, but if it was reality what would happen?? Those are the questions that this genre answers and I am all for it!!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below. I would love to hear if you are also participating in this challenge. I missed creating these posts!

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-Till next time!

Big Water: A Review

Big Water by Andrea Curtis

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10! I love this cover!!! I am such a sucker for illustrative design and this design fits the book itself perfectly! When you look closer you can see the debris coming off from the sinking ship and having the two characters in the life boat on opposite ends for balance just like in the book itself you realize just how much attention to detail there is. It’s a chaotically gorgeous cover!

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Publish Date: March 6th, 2018

Number of Pages: 192

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Christina McBurney, grieving the loss of her twin brother, Jonathan, to consumption, has run away from her Parkdale home. She believes her mother wishes she had been the one to die, and she plans to find work far away as a nursemaid or teacher. Christina’s cousin Peter is the first mate on the Asia, a steamship that transports passengers and freight throughout the Great Lakes, so she seeks him out to secure passage to Sault Ste. Marie.

But when a violent storm suddenly rises, the overloaded and top-heavy steamship begins to sink. Christina, heeding the warnings from her cousin, somehow makes her way to the hurricane deck. A large wave tosses her overboard, but just before she loses consciousness, she is pulled to safety.

Hours later, adrift on the wide-open water of Georgian Bay, in a lifeboat full of corpses, Christina is nervous about being alone with Daniel, a brooding young man with a likely criminal past and the only other passenger left alive. But they both know that working together is the only way they will find the strength to make it to safety.

Big Water is a fictional account of the real-life story of the only two survivors of the sinking of the SS Asia in 1882.

Opening Sentence: “The wind blasts my face.”

Musings:

Big Water is a survivalist story through and through. It’s that mixture of harsh reality mixed with emotional turmoil that keeps you holding on as desperately to each moment as the characters hold on to the small strands keeping them alive.

What I Loved:

Christina is battling her memories as much as she battles the sea. Christina came to be on the ship after loosing her twin brother who was seen in her family to be the better twin. She’s there to prove something of herself and to get over her guilt and wish that she had been the twin to die instead.

Christina’s uncle. Her uncle is with her on the boat and struggles along with her for survival. The little things she does like singing to him to keep him awake as people in the boat begin dying were lovely touches.

Daniel’s backstory. I loved reading about Daniel and his uncle. Especially when there was a lot of mystery surrounding why they had an argument the night before the ship went down. It made Daniel layered as a character in a really great way.

Based in history. I really like that this is a fictional story inspired by real events. It’s something that causes a reader to really think about what they would have done in that situation. It adds a grounded reality to the fiction.

It’s ugly. Survival is never pretty. It’s awful and ugly and sad. It’s ultimately you vs. your demons vs. nature and you have to have the mental strength and will to do what it is necessary to come out of everything alive. The rules when it comes to straight survival are totally different from any other situation. It’s gritty and I loved that this book showcases all of that.

Final thoughts:

Big Water is emotional, edge of your seat, fast paced read based in history. It’s beautifully written and will make you wonder if you would have the grit to survive.

About the Author

Andrea Curtis is an award-winning writer in Toronto. She writes for both adults and children.

Her next book for kids is Eat This! How Fast Food Marketing Gets You to Buy Junk (and How to Fight Back). It will be published in early 2017. It is a followup to her first award-winning children’s book, What’s for Lunch? How Schoolchildren Eat Around the World, published by Red Deer Press.

She is also working on a YA novel called Big Water. It’s based on the true story of a shipwreck on Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, and the harrowing experience of the two teenaged survivors.

Her most recent adult book, written with Nick Saul, is the National Bestseller, The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement. It is published by Random House Canada and Melville House Press in the US and UK. It was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and won the Taste Canada Award for Culinary Narratives.

Andrea’s critically acclaimed creative nonfiction book Into the Blue: Family Secrets and the Search for a Great Lakes Shipwreck (Random House) won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction.

Andrea’s writing has also appeared in Toronto Life, Cottage Life, Chatelaine, Canadian Geographic, Explore, This Magazine, Utne Reader, The Globe & Mail, The National Post and Today’s Parent, among other periodicals.

She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two children.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Silence Breaking: A Review

Silence Breaking by Robert Their

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 4/10 Stars. Of all the covers in this series I like this one the least. It’s the one that feels the least seamless and while it fits I lean towards not really liking it.

Publisher: Robert himself!

Received: wattpad read

*is the 4th book of a series*

Synopsis:

Family – the most important thing in the world, right? If it’s your own, maybe. But if it’s the family of the incredibly powerful, incredibly alluring businessman with whom you’ve been conducting a secret office affair, and they don’t yet know about the affair, things are a little bit different.

Life is about to get real for Lilly Linton. All those stolen moments behind closed doors, those secret kisses and whispered words are about to catch up with her. As she and her boss, business-magnate Rikkard Ambrose travel north to his parents’ palatial estate, she is about to discover: does she have the strength to step out of the shadows and change her fate forever?

Opening Sentence: ‘For the last time, Sir: when are we going?’

Musings:

How can I put into words my feelings for a novel that holds my absolute favorite characters ever? I could live in their world forever. My life will always be better for having enjoyed Mr. Ambrose and Lily Linton’s adventures. The day that their adventures come to an end will be a very sad day. I’m so happy that my favorite character have began to really move forward in this book and I can’t wait to see what they get up to in the next.

What I love:

Mr. Ambrose. If there is any character I have ever fallen head over heels for it’s Mr. Ambrose. While it might have never really worked or between me and him I am glad he has Lily. In Silence Breaking we see a softer more passionate side to the very cold man and I was living for it!

Lillian. Lily is a feminist, sarcastic, no holds barred, adventurous, hilarious, and unique character. I have always loved reading through her eyes and there isn’t a chapter that goes by where she doesn’t say or do something that makes me smile. I really want her to be happy. To live a long life with her love married or not.

Karim. A hunking huge warrior that is terrified of Lillian or more terrified of Lillian taking off her clothing (long story). He is someone that I wish I could meet only to tease, because getting under the skin of someone so strong and balking would give me a lot of satisfaction and joy. The Sabre carrying man will always be a quiet character I forever hold in my heart.

The sister. Rikkard Ambrose’s sister is a girl after my own heart. She becomes a friend and confidant to Lillian and her never ending support for all of Lily’s romantic endeavors with Ambrose makes me happy.

This book just makes me happy. If there was ever a series that just makes me feel good it’s this one. It’s comedic and romantic and full of characters and adventures that bring me joy. I smile at every update and I will always hold these stories dear.

Final thoughts:

If you haven’t yet… read Storm and Silence. Start this series. Relish it. I can’t recommend a series more whole heartily then this one. I want to share my happiness with as many of you as I can. This has grown to be my favorite ongoing series and probably favorite series ever. I will never regret the day I first decided to read Storm and Silence. I can’t recommend it enough.

About the Author:

Sir Rob at a Window of the Castle of Rechberg

Robert Thier is a German historian, lover of old books and award-winning writer, whose novels and stories encompass the historical, satirical, and fantastical. For the way he manages to make the past come alive, as if he himself lived as a medieval knight, his inventive fans have given him the nickname “Sir Rob.” All of his stories are characterized by his very own brand of humor that has gained him a diverse readership ranging from teenagers to retired grandmothers.

For Robert, becoming a writer followed naturally from his interest in history. “In Germany,” he says, “we use the same word for story and history. And I’ve always loved the one as much as the other. Becoming a storyteller, a writer, is what I’ve always wanted.”
Besides writing and researching in dusty old archives, on the lookout for a mystery to put into his next story, Robert enjoys classical music and long walks in the country. The helmet you see in the picture he does not wear because he is a cycling enthusiast, but to protect his literary skull in which a bone has been missing from birth. Robert lives in the south of Germany in a small village between the three Emperor Mountains.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments.

-Till next time!

Now I Rise: A Review

Now I Rise by Kiersten White 

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Publisher: Delacorte Press 

Published: June 27th, 2017

Recieved: paperback pre-order giveaway 

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: 

The highly anticipated, mind-blowing New York Times bestselling sequel to Kiersten White’s New York Times bestseller, AND I DARKEN—the series that reads like HBO’s Game of Thrones . . . if it were set in the Ottoman Empire. Fans of Victoria Aveyard’s THE RED QUEEN and Sabaa Tahir’s A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT won’t want to miss this riveting and gorgeously written novel—the second in the And I Darken series.

  

Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her. 

  

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him? 

  

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost. 

Musings: 

This book was complete FIRE. The brutality and intensity of this book blew me away. The characters never once played nice and everyone made their own decisions to benefit themselves first and somehow I find that far more realistic and intriguing then the usual go with the flow style that many other books I read have. (Also I’m a very go with the flow type of person, but this book makes you see things differently) 

My favorite character of all is Lada. She became a true Dragon in this novel. The way she rose to say hey look at me! Yes, I am a woman, but I am not just a woman I am a dragon and anyone who gets in my way gets burnt. It all just blew me away. I love how powerful she is and how unapologeticly she stays true to the person that she is and to the place that she loves with all her heart. I loved reading from her point of view. 

At one point I thought I wanted Bogdan and Lada together, but now I see how they really wouldn’t work. Lada needs someone different, someone dark and deliciously bad. Someone to fuel her fire to burn brighter, and someone who doesn’t want marriage. I would love to see a love interest make an appearance in the next book. I would also love to see Lada kill Mehmed, but you know I can’t find that out until it’s all written.

The manipulation I sensed in Radu in the first book quadrupled in this one. In so many ways his own brutality rivals and maybe even overcomes Lada’s own. Through it all my heart breaks for him. I am so glad that his relationship with Mehmed changed in dynamic a bit in this book. I was so tired of having Radu look at Mehmed like he was perfect and could do no wrong. For Radu to take a step back and see Mehmed for who he truly was and to also see the possibility of loving a different man made my heart soar. I really don’t like Mehmed at all and I’m so happy for Radu to have a separate love interest… whom I hope makes an appearance in book 3. 

Overall, this book is one to make you wish for blood and have that wish answered again and again. I can’t wait to see where this story goes next. 

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think of And I Darken and also what you think of Now I Rise if you have gotten to read it. 

-Till next time!

The Book Thief: The Story with the Best Quotes 

I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak for the first time last year and instantly fell in love. It is one of those books that is so beautiful and sorrowful that it grabs at some part of your mind for you to never forget it. 

As one of the most quotable novels I have ever read I give to you my favorite quotes from The Book Theif!


I still remember how I felt reading this book. Having to take little breaks here and there to cry. I remember my heart soaring as I wrote my little review on goodreads and feeling as though I had just finished reading something truly profound. Most of all I remember the shivers I felt whenever I read something that impacted me and how it happened all the time. 

If you haven’t read The Book Thief please give it a shot. It is a gorgeous novel that shook me to the core. 

Thank you all for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little post! Let me know what you think of The Book Thief and these quotes in the comments!

-Till next time!

Sadness: The Story of a Book Unhaul

There comes a time in life when you realize that you have a serious problem and if you don’t make a point to fix it right then and there it will forever be broken. 

There comes a time where you realize that you are running out of shelf space and you can’t buy a new shelf anytime soon. 

There comes a time where you realize that many books on said bookshelves are just taking up space and you just need to push yourself to let them go. 

Now’s the time when all these things have come to pass. 

Now’s the time to mourn and let go. 

Goodbye my sweet books, I shall miss you, but your time has come and gone and I need to move on. 

The time for my first ever voluntary book unhaul is here. 

The purge has begun! 

First up on the chopping block is The Last Place on Earth

The beautiful galaxy cover of this book has deceived me. This book is a Dnf I won’t miss (it kills me to say this about a book) it could have been so good, but it burned me bad. I have so many trust issues after this book. 

Next to go is an extra copy of Jane Eyre


This is a painless release because I still own a copy. I really need to create more room on my shelves. I have so many books I want to read and not nearly enough room to keep them. 

The disappointing sadness that is Go Ask Alice 


Another book that could have been fantastic, but the difference is that this one is purposefully deceptive. It makes me so sad that this was falsely marketed for years. The fact that I read it recently and didn’t found out till I was half-way through made me feel cheated. One of the biggest disappointments of my entire reading career. 

School oldies: The Power and the Glory & Cry the Beloved Country


These two were Ap English reads that while somewhat interesting to read the one time through, are not books I am interested in re-reading. So, these books sadly must go. 

An impulse library buy: The Thief


At one point in my life, I might have been interested in this. It has been on my shelf for way to long and I have no desire to read it. 

Unnecessary Series: Mercy and Dreaming Awake


I probably would have enjoyed this one, but I don’t see myself buying the first book and it felt like I was holding on to it for too long. It saddens me, but this book will be leaving my home. 

I no longer have a desire to read this series. I only ever got book one and I never felt motivated to read it, so I guess this is goodbye? 

The time has come to say goodbye, to lovely homes I hope you fly. Please be found by those who appreciate, your somewhat weird acquired taste. Goodbye my loves, stories that were just not part of my fate. Whether or not I enjoyed you doesn’t matter, what matters is you are free to date! 

I really enjoyed writing this somewhat quirky little post. I hope you liked it. Thanks for reading!

 What books have you had to unhaul? What was your most disappointing read? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. 

I hope you are having a great day/night/week. 

-Till next time!

A Northern Light Review 2016

A Northern Light By Jennifer Donnelly

My Rating: 5 glowing stars

Publisher: Harcourt

Published: April 1, 2003

Recieved: Trift store find

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository


Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret bundle of letters. But when Grace’s drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers that the letters could reveal the grim truth behind a murder.

Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, Jennifer Donnelly’s astonishing debut novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.

“A Northern Light” is a book that I never expected to fall in love with. I had put off reading it for several months thinking that it wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but I took a chance on it because I had read other books from Jennifer Donnelly and loved them. I am so glad I did, this book is phenomenal. The unique way it was written and the soul of the book spoke to me. I will admit that because I was unsure of how I would feel reading this book, it took me about 30 pages or so to get into it, far longer than it should have taken, but once I was hooked, I was a goner.

There were lives in those books, and deaths. Families and friends and lovers and enemies. Joy and despair, jealousy, envy, madness, and rage. All there. I reached out and touched the cover of one called The Earth. I could almost hear the characters inside, murmuring and jostling, impatient for me to open the cover and let them out.

This book is a book for the readers soul. The way Mattie describes her love of books is so true to how I feel. Her desire to be a writer, is a desire of my own. I have never related to a character as strongly as I have to Mattie. Her desire to love, read books, and write novels and poetry are the same desires I harbor in my own heart and it created a connection to this book that I haven’t felt for another in years. 

And I knew in my bones that Emily Dickinson wouldn’t have written even one poem if she’d had two howling babies, a husband bent on jamming another one into her, a house to run, a garden to tend, three cows to milk, twenty chickens to feed, and four hired hands to cook for. I knew then why they didn’t marry. Emily and Jane and Louisa. I knew and it scared me. I also knew what being lonely was and I didn’t want to be lonely my whole life. I didn’t want to give up on my words. I didn’t want to choose one over the other. Mark Twain didn’t have to. Charles Dickens didn’t.

The fear in these words spoke to me. They broke my heart. The unfairness of it all with having to choose between not wanting to be alone and chasing your dreams when others (mostly makes) before didn’t have to, is a tragedy. The way Jennifer wrote this piece is disarming, howling babies, chickens, cows, and hired hands to feed, the sheer amount of duties a women had to undertake in a marriage was and still is an incredible amount. How does one have the time to do it all and pursue a dream on top of it all? 

Go round cringing like a dog, Matt,” he said, “and folks will treat you like one. Stand up like a man, and they’ll treat you like a man.” That was fine for Weaver, but I wondered sometimes, How exactly do you stand up like a man when you’re a girl?

My favorite character after Mattie was Weaver. He was an African American that was strong and true, who loved books as much as Matt did and I loved every minute of their friendship. Their word games and easy way with one another was wonderful. I loved how Weaver never backed down from what was right even if it got him into a lot of trouble. I loved that he believed in Mattie just as much as he believed in himself and he was always there for her and she for him when need be. Their friendship was true and I don’t see that often in books. 

I also loved how Weaver wanted Mattie to pursue her dreams so badly that he was willing to be honest and tell her why she shouldn’t be with Royal, the love interest in this book that I felt wasn’t the match for Mattie. 

Royal is Mattie’s handsome neighbor that is interested only in being a farmer. I disliked how he treated Mattie, but I think the point of her romance with him is to show that no matter what others think that heart desires what it desires and it’s not for anyone to say tell you who you are meant to like. 

Thoughts on the Author’s Note: 

Jennifer’s words at the end of the novel made me smile, because she wrote this story out of grief for the death of a good soul, the soul of Grace Brown. She wanted to give Grace’s life more meaning then what was previously given and I admire Jennifer so much for that. Jennifer definitely accomplished that goal by telling her stories and creating care inside the hearts of readers. She definitely inspired me to care and that is beautiful.

Final Thoughts: 

I could go on about this book for ages, but to say more would spoil the experience. If your reading this, you probably love books, so I hope you give this one a try. If it doesn’t leave your heart soaring with your love for books, well, I don’t know of any other books themed around books that could top the feeling of this one. It is glorious, hopeful, true, and masterfully imagined. Please find it in your heart to give it a try. 

-Till next time!

December Tbr 2016

I can’t believe it is already December 1st! Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year and I am so excited to announce what I will be reading in this relaxing month of winter. 

1. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous 


This seems to be a short book that deals with a very hard-hitting topic. I hope to take my time with this book and give it the sort of attention that it deserves. 

2. Baggage by S. G. Redling 


This is a book that I started reading, but never finished. I hope to get to read through it this month!

3. Schism by Britt Holewinski 


I meant to read this last month, but I keep putting it off. This is another book that I hope to finish reading but I am not quite sure I will get through, *fingers crossed* 

4. A Northern Light by Britt Holewinski 


I love Jennifer Donnelly’s writing and I hope to read A Norther Light as a wonderfully written winter read. I have high hopes for this book! 

5. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher 


Incarceron is a book that I can’t wait to dive into. It seems like it will be a fun and engaging read that I hope will not disappoint. 

That’s all for this months tbr. I am happy and excited to get to reading these lovely books. 

What is on your tbr for December? What books have you been itching to read? What bookish plans do you have for December?

-Till next time!