10/16/17

Spookathon TBR

The #spookathon started at midnight today and runs until midnight this coming Sunday.  It was created by Lala @ Books with Lala (one of my favourite BookTubers -- she's Canadian!)  You can see the full details in her announcement video.

I'm planning to read three books this week -- fingers crossed!

1. Black Feathers by Robert J. Wiersema
This book will satisfy the challenge of reading a thriller, as well as slightly cheating on the challenge of childhood fear.  The book takes place in my hometown, so it has an element of childhood.

2. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
This book satisfies the challenge of reading a book with orange on the cover, as well as the challenge of a spooky setting.

3. Unwind by Neale Shusterman
This book satisfies the challenge of reading a book with a creepy word in the title.  The idea of unwinding still gives me the heebie jeebies, and I can't wait to read this book again and (hopefully!) continue with the series.

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10/10/17

This Darkness Mine - Mindy McGinnis

It's been a few days since I finished this book, and I feel like I'm still trying to figure out what on earth I just read.  And not in a good way.

I went into this book fully blind, not even reading the Goodreads summary before I dove in.  Mindy McGinnis has quite a following in the bookish community and I hadn't read any of her books prior to picking this one up.

I won't say anything about the plot, since I think going into this book blind is the best way to approach it.  I will say that the atmosphere of the book reminded me a lot of the Mara Dyer trilogy, but I didn't enjoy that trilogy much either, which probably contributed to my feelings on this book.  The main character is super unlikeable, so I never really understood her motivations and behaviour throughout the book.  It was an interesting concept and I kept reading because I was anticipating things that didn't end up happening.  The whole book was a bit of a letdown.  If you like weird psychological thrillers, this book will probably be right up your alley, but from reading this book I've learned that weird books are not my thing.

Note: An egalley was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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10/5/17

Burn - Julianna Baggott

I have this bookish problem that I think that many others will identify with.  There's this series.  A series that I love with all my heart.  Strangely enough, I haven't even read the third and final book, even though I have had it sitting on my shelf for YEARS.  Why haven't I read this book, if I really and truly love this series so much?  BECAUSE I JUST CAN'T BEAR FOR THE SERIES TO BE OVER.

The Pure trilogy and I go way, way back.  I read Pure shortly after starting this blog, back when I was reading all the dystopians.  Back when Divergent was just a book.  Although I had read a LOT of dystopians by then, the book absolutely blew me away.  Julianna is a poet, and it clearly shows in her writing.  She makes a horrific world feel beautiful because of the way she weaves her words, similar to the feeling I had while reading Lauren Destefano's Wither.

Fast forward a few years, and I've had a baby.  With a month or so of newborn raising under my belt, I decide that it's time to get back into reading.  I pick up Fuse, the sequel to Pure, scarcely remembering what happened in the first book.  I fell head over heels for the second book, and have distinct memories of reading sections of the book aloud to Marko, as he cooed on the floor next to me.  You're supposed to talk to newborns and engage with them, but baby talk isn't my thing, so I figured reading aloud would be good for his little brain -- I think it might have worked!

Fast forward another few years, when I saw this book pop up on Netgalley.  I requested it, and was thrilled when my request was approved, only to realize that it expired in a few days and I knew that I'd never read it in time.  So I put the book on hold at the library, and waited months for it to arrive.  When I picked it up from the library, life must have gotten in the way, because I returned it unread, and late.  I borrowed it twice more, and I think returned it late both times.  I've paid some serious library fines for this book, but still it remained unread.  Then, I stumbled across the first two books in the series on Book Outlet, and decided that it was a series I'd like to own.  I bought Pure and Fuse and  happily added these beautiful books to my shelves.  The paperback release of Burn was in the fall, so I put it on my Christmas wish list and my husband delivered.  And STILL this book sat on my shelves unread.

Fast forward at least another year and I vowed to myself that I wouldn't let 2017 end without me finishing this series.  Let me tell you that it was worth the wait.  All that I hoped would happen happened.  I laughed, I cried, I rejoiced at spending some more time with these characters that I had fallen in love with.  I love that this series has carried me through some life-changing moments, and I seriously cannot wait to reread it at some point, and experience the majestic story from beginning to end without years of waiting in between each instalment.  If you're sick of dystopians, please don't overlook this series -- it's truly unique and spellbinding.

Note: An egalley was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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10/3/17

Top Ten - Katie Cotugno

I love, love, LOVED How to Love when I first read it and knew that Katie Cotugno was a new favourite author.  99 Days was really good too, but I was disappointed by Fireworks.  When I saw that Katie was publishing a second book this year, I was a little nervous because her last book was disappointing and I worried that maybe she'd rushed through writing in order to get two books out this year.

YOU GUYS, THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME.  ALL KINDS OF AWESOME.  Maybe Fireworks was disappointing because she rushed through that one to spend more time on this book, who knows, but this book is everything that I loved about How to Love, and more.  What I loved the most about How to Love is that Katie creates these absolutely REAL characters who are messy and imperfect and REAL and genuine.  I love that her characters are raw and sometimes you love them and sometimes you want to shake them and sometimes you want to reach into the book and hug them.  Top Ten features another two characters like that and their story is just so imperfectly wonderful.  I scarcely have the words to talk about this book because I read the entire thing in two days.  I'm so full of feelings for this book, and have so much love for the way that Katie writes her characters' stories.  She's definitely back at the top of my favourites list and I hope that she writes more books like this one in the future.

Note: An egalley was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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10/2/17

Reading Round-up - September

At the beginning of the month, I shared my tongue-in-cheek TBR pile of doom, where I had originally planned to read five books, which then grew to eight and then capped out at a whopping thirteen.  I did well this month, and finished with a total of nine (and a half!) books!  Here's what I read...

1. Top Ten by Katie Cotugno
My review for this one will be posted on release date, but let me just say that I loved it.

2. Ringer by Lauren Oliver
I had to DNF this one, sadly.

3. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
YOU GUYS.  I FINALLY READ A BRANDON SANDERSON BOOK.   He deserves all the hype.  I loved it -- the world building, the allomancy, the characters, everything.  Halfway through the book, I told my hubby that I was putting books two and three onto my Christmas wish list, but by the time I finished the book I decided that I can't wait that long.  I'm throwing the rest of the year's TBR goals out the window and making time to finish this series.

4. Flyte by Angie Sage
5. Physik by Angie Sage
I reread Magyk last year because I own almost all of the books in this series, but couldn't remember what happened in the first book.  The Magyk series was recommended to me by a Chapters employee many, many years ago and, although I normally balk at "if you liked Harry Potter" recommendations, I was sold on this series.  It's really good, and I'm hoping to finish off the last three books this year as well.  I had also planned to read Queste this month, and I got about halfway through the book, but I think I was burning out a little so I took a break.  I'll finish it in October for sure, but this reminded me about why I don't usually binge read back to back =)

6. Lilac Girls
I saw a read along group on Instagram, and decided to join on a whim.  The group picked this book and, although I'd never heard of it, I borrowed the audiobook to keep me company during a data entry project at work.  The book is compared to The Nightingale and, while I think The Nightingale was a better WWII book, this was still a solid read.  The audiobook is worth checking out, as it's told by a different narrator for each of the three women.  I love books with multiple narrators, and this one was well done.

7. The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I blasted through the Lux series last month, and was disappointed.  This sounded like a Colleen Hoover-esque contemporary, but I was also disappointed.  I'm going to give JLA one more shot because I have Half Blood on my shelves, but I'm not impressed with her work thus far.

8. Love Her Wild by Atticus
I followed Atticus on Instagram a while back and loved his words enough to pick up his book of poetry.  I loved it and devoured it in one day.  I'm now wanting to read all of the poetry books -- recommendations more than welcome!

9. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
I struggled with this one, and it makes me sad because this was totally a favourite series.  Maybe it's partly because I got distracted with a couple of other books, and kept setting this one aside, but I definitely didn't enjoy this instalment as much as previous ones.  I already have Tower of Dawn, which I'm planning to read next month, and I'm feeling hopeful about a book that can help me to fall in love with this series again.

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9/25/17

Marko Monday [24] - Dinosaur Bones!

This summer, we made our annual trek to Alberta to visit my in-laws.  Normally, we split our trip between Edmonton and Calgary, but this year we added in a night in Drumheller.  Marko has loved dinosaurs since he was little and I knew that a trip to the dinosaur capital of the world would be one that he'd remember forever.  The best way to describe him in the Royal Tyrell Museum, seeing dinosaur bones and life-size dinosaurs for the first time, is to compare him to the ball in a pinball machine.  He literally ran from one spot to the other, shouting, "Look, a stegosaurus!  And a T Rex!  Look, a T Rex!  And a brontosaurus!  And a triceratops!"  It was awesome to watch and experience the wonder through his eyes.

When we returned home from our trip, my husband had one more week at home with him.  One morning, they were watching the kids programming on CBC and there was a show called Bookaboo (or something along those lines).  It featured a book called Drumheller Dinosaur Dance, and my husband insisted that we head to Chapters THAT DAY to find Marko a copy.  It's quickly become a new favourite book in our household, and has a really fun read-a-loud rhythm to the story.  The dinosaur bones wake up at night to dance, and there's a fun "rickety tack whackety whack" kind of rhyming pattern that goes along with the story.  We've read this one over and over again, and Marko often takes it out with him to read in the backseat as well.  If you've got a little dinosaur fan, I'd highly recommend checking this one out!

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9/20/17

Fall TBR!

I rocked my summer TBR pile, seriously rocked it.  One book was a DNF, but I finished the other three, including the infamous Shantaram.  I also planned to tackle my ARCs and, as of this moment, I still have that one long-expired egalley, but otherwise I am all caught up!  In addition to the expired book, I have one more fall ARC to read for the end of October and a second one for March 2018.  I'm feeling pretty proud of myself!

Now, onto the books that I hope to get to this fall...

1. Shadow of Night and Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
I started this series two years ago (?!?) and liked the first book a lot, but haven't finished the series yet.  Lauren @ Lose Time Reading LOVES this series and I need to just hurry up and finish it already.

2. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
This is one of the books on my 17 books to read in 2017 list and I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.  I felt the same about Mistborn, but I'm loving it, so I'm hopeful that I'll find another fantasy book to fall in love with.

3. Unravelling by
It's embarrassing how many times I've said I'm going to read this book, and then I just don't follow through.  Like, seriously embarrassing.  I need to just read it already.

4. Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
I reread The Handmaid's Tale earlier this year, and fell in love with Atwood's writing all over again.  This is another book on my 17 books to read in 2017 list.

5. Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman
I'm hoping to finish this series and the Discovery of Witches series during October (five books, no big deal!) since it feels like a good creepy series to read around Hallowe'en.  I really, really hope that I enjoy the rest of the books as much as I liked Unwind because I own them all in hardcover.

I have other goals during fall as well, like Tower of Dawn and the rest of the Magyk series.  Plus my last fall ARC, and book club books and read along books.  Just like my September TBR pile of doom, I like to challenge myself -- what can I say?  What is at the top of your TBR pile this fall?  Have you read any of the books that I'm planning to read?  If so, which one should I read first?  Let me know in the comments below, and thank you for stopping by!

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