Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Review: I'm Still Here by Clelie Avit

I'm Still Here by Clelie Avit(translated by Lucy Foster)

Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: August 23rd, 2016
Pages: 256
Source: ARC from publisher
Rating: 2/5
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A modern take on Sleeping Beauty, for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Elsa is spending her thirtieth birthday in the hospital bed where she's lain for months after a devastating mountain accident. Unable to speak, see, or move, she appears to be in an irreversible coma, but her friends and family don't know that she's regained the power of hearing.

That day, a stranger named Thibault enters the hospital to visit his brother, who's just been injured in an accident that killed two young girls. He instead seeks refuge in the room where Elsa lies and quickly becomes intrigued by the young woman, returning day after day to sit beside her, convinced that his words are being heard.

As their connection grows, the doctors deliver a devastating blow to her family. Is it possible that Thibault knows something no one else does, and can he reach her before it's too late?

I'm Still Here has a synopsis that draws me in. It's ultimately why I requested it to review. It sounded like it had the same vibe and base story as The Women Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes(who is a favourite and I love that book). But nope, I highly recommend reading The Women Who Stole My Life if this book sounds at all appealing to you. Unfortunately, I'm Still Here fell flat in pretty much every aspect.

A modern re-telling of Sleeping Beauty is pretty spot on. There's the creepy guy falling in love with a sleeping girl whom he's never met. Nothing was surprising. I'm Still Here followed predictable to a tee. There was a major disconnect. The story lacked any sort of emotion expecting knowing how to piss me off. I'm not sure if something got lost in translation but all I can do is review the book I read.

I felt for Elsa. Poor girl can hear her doctors not giving a shit, her parents discussing pulling the plug on her life, her sister getting busy with a different boy every week. But as a character you don't get to know her. She's in a comatose state and yea, there're her thoughts and some memories but what can you really take away from that? Next to nothing is the answer.

Thiebault was barely any better. I get his anger and disgust towards his brother; makes sense. But what the hell kind of guy makes himself comfortable around, and ultimately thinks he's in love with women who's in a coma? Just no. It's not romantic. It's fucking creepy. Lurking in her room. Visiting her a few times a week. Making room for yourself on her hospital bed so you can sleep. Playing around with her tubes and machines. What the hell dude? Gross.

Then you see Elsa falling for this guy(Thiebault) too, looking forward to his visits(which I can overlook). She's alone in her head with a whole whack of absentee family members and friends. Random guy is the only one, creepily, paying attention to you. Actually having faith in your recovery. So I'm pretty sure, considering the situation, most of us would feel the same as Elsa.

Now what I can't overlook is the horrible medical care. What the bloody hell?! I can only hope that Avet isn't basing the doctors off of personal experience. Maybe she just hates doctors. Doesn't matter. Everything was just a piss off. Elsa's doctor could care less about her life. Elsa ain't brain dead. She's had some improvement since she entered the hospital. But head doc doesn't care. He's hell bent on convincing her parents that she's gone and it's time to pull the plug. He's not the only one; a few times Elsa shows signs of life and the doctors just rub it off as impossible and don't bother to check up on her. No scans, nothing. In fact, one doctor ordered one then saw her chart which shows that her head doctor pretty much says don't bother worrying about her, so he cancels the scan. It's a whole bunch of infuriating. Even more so knowing Elsa can hear them all making attempts to end her life. Also, how about the fact that she's literally lying in this bed for months and there's no nurse coming to switch positions, keep her muscles from deteriorating to nothing. They pretty much leave her for dead.

Which leads into what a caring family she has... Her parents barely visit. Her sister comes once a week to pretty much discuss her rolling door of boyfriends. Her parents complete lack of faith in Elsa is terrible. Her dad is so angry over how she landed in the hospital that he can't even get over it to feel for Elsa. Be sad, jackass. At least I know that if I ever found myself in Elsa's shoes I'd have a family that would be there for me every day, fighting to make sure I have the best care. Poor Elsa.

The ending was bull shit. You know when you're reading and everything is starting to happen in a rush because the ending is a few pages away? Well, that's annoying as hell. Here I am at ten pages left and Elsa is still asleep. So I just knew I was going to be angry with whatever happened. And I sure the hell was. Abrupt and stupid. I'll leave it at that....

So clearly I'm Still Here just really didn't work for me. It wasn't romantic or sweet. There wasn't that urgency for Elsa to just get better. The story lacked a lot. I definitely didn't hate my time spent reading it. I just lean heavily on the side of skipping over this one. Unless you read French, then maybe give it a go.

Happy reading!


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 2nd, 2016
Pages: 384
Source: ARC from publisher
Rating: 5/5
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Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

I actually first read It Ends With Us a few months ago. It's pretty simple, when a CoHo book shows up in your hands there's no waiting. That first read left me emotionally drained. So I failed to write a review. Making a reread in order. And I'm so glad it worked out this way as my second read was able to give me some much-needed perspective well knowing what was to come. Still being emotionally immersed in the story I was now able to step outside it and think about everything this story made me feel; my reactions to the raw situations and most importantly the happy ones. What I mean to really say is that It Ends With Us needs to be read twice. That first read is a prelude to what the second read will really offer you. Still, no matter how many times I read this book it will never take away from how much I love it and appreciate its existence.

The first rule of reading It Ends With Us is not spoiling It Ends With Us. This a book and story that everyone needs to discover for themselves. It is a story about Lily meeting a boy, Ryle and how their love unfolds. It is a story about Lily's past with a different boy shaping her future. It is a story about Lily's childhood mirroring her adult years in a way she never thought she'd let it. It Ends With Us is a raw and scary story saturated in Colleen Hoover's personal experience. Which is both moving and profound. It Ends With Us showcases the importance of having a supportive and caring support system. Ultimately this is a story that will have readers discussing a lot of important topics.

Naked truth, It Ends With Us was eye opening and has changed my life in less than 400 pages. This one line resonated with me, as I'm sure it will many people; as well as setting the tone for the book(actually the whole first chapter is a brilliant use of foreshadowing; after you've read the book go back and reread it and you'll see what I mean).
"Ryle looks over at me with a thoughtful expression. "Lily," he says pointedly. "There is no such thing as bad people. We're all just people who sometimes do bad things." pg.17
Lily's relationship is far from black and white. And the opinions I had before I read this book have drastically changed(on some aspects). It is so easy for someone outside of the situation to have an opinion. It is much different to be living through that situation. And I really understood those differences through what Lily experiences.

Beyond everything else, It Ends With Us is a deeply emotional story that is an important one. Tragically bad things happen and books like this one tell that story that many people are living. But also it doesn't have to end tragically; there can be a happy ending and that not everyone is alone.

Happy reading!


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Mid-Year Book Freak Out TAG

Full credit to A Book So Fathomless for coming up with these questions. Find their post here.

I did this TAG/post last year and thought it was a good one. Since we're in July now(ahhhhhh!), I thought it would be fun to do it again. With different books, obviously.

1. Best book you've read so far in 2016?
There's no thought process here. I've pretty much thought of nothing but this book for the past two months. Are you going to be surprised? Do you know me at all? A Court of Mist and Fury will not only be my favourite book of 2016, but it easily became an all time favourite.

2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2016?
I gotta go with two here; US because it is everything and I literally re-read it every week. And Gemina because it's intense and insane and bloody brilliant.

3. New release you haven't read yet but want to?
This will be very shocking and possibly blasphemous. I still have not read The Problem With Forever. I don't even know guys. There's an unread JLA book sitting on my shelf. I believe it's the sign of the Apocalypse.

4. Most anticipated release for the second part of the year?
Well based on my pre-orders I'd say too many. I guess Crooked Kingdom and Heartless are where my grabby hands are most intense.

5. Biggest disappointment?
Now, I didn't hate it, just Charged was pretty meh. *sad face* I hate not loving a favourite authors book. It's a terrible feeling.

6. Biggest surprise?
My immediate thought was The Naturals. I figured I'd like it. But it totally blew me away. And the series gets better and better. So good. Sooooo good.

7. Favourite new to you author?
There's two that I finally read from and then proceeded to binge a bunch of their books; Taylor Jenkins Reid and R.S. Grey.

8. Newest fictional crush?
Well there's Crosbie and Liam and Zeb. Who are all HOT but pale in comparison to Rhysand. Rhys is now my life. I plan to marry A Court of Mist and Fury.

9. Newest favourite character?
I have to go with two different gangs of characters. Rhys's inner court from ACOMAF because obviously. And all the kids from Some Kind of Perfect because(also) obviously.

10. Book that made you cry?
A few made tear up. Nothing comes close to Half Lost. It was an ugly cry of epic proportions. In fact
I'm still not over that book.

11. Book that made you happy?
Quite a few really. US and Undecided are the stand outs though. Mostly because I can't go a few days without re-reading my favourite parts.

12. Favourite book to movie adaptation?
No question, Me Before You. Spot on in every way. One of the best adaptations I've seen.

13. Favourite review you've written this year?
Goes hand and hand with my favourite book. Although I'd say review is to be used loosely. It's more like fangirl freak out. My review for A Court of Mist and Fury can be found here.

14. Most beautiful book you've received so far this year?
It may not have my favourite inside, but there's no denying that The Raven King is gorgeous. The covers for the whole series are things of beauty. I want them on my wall.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
How long do you have? Cause I want to read them all. ARC's always take priority; I got quite a few of them to get through. I also want to finish Jane Eyre; which I've (very) slowly been reading this year. There's quite a few series I need to finish off; Their Fractured Light, Monument 14: Savage Drift, Monsters of Men, The Seven Realms series. Let's just say I got my hands full. 

What's your favourite book from the first half of the year?

Happy reading!


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Review: The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

Simon Pulse
Publication Date: 
January, 26th, 2016
Borrowed from Library
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Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

This book just made me angry. Harper is a very frustrating character. She takes selfish and idiotic to a whole other level. Based on her peers(her parents and her friends) there's no explanation for her continued stupid behaviour and actions. Harper's friendship with Sadie is very problematic and I'm scratching my head over the fact that it took her three years to figure that out. It took me forever to warm up to Harper. And as soon as I was starting to she'd ruin any nice feelings I was having for her. She takes advantage of her friends; Cory most specifically. Harper needs to figure out her priorities. And stop saying sorry, which is not an automatic forgiveness. Although it seemed to be far too many times...

Harper's friends, the supporting cast are really the only saving grace for this book. Well, and the writing was well done. Cory and Declan are her best friends from early childhood. But feelings for Declan sprouted. They got together, angst and Harper broke them apart. So here's Harper trying to get back her friendship with Declan. Except you know just thinking how much you miss and love him ain't going to bring him back when your actions and words are saying otherwise. Cory is there for Harper at every turn and seriously, he's an amazing friend. Mack and Gwen are two great girls that for some reason decide they want to be friends with Harper. She needs good girlfriends like them. But of course, she's stand offish and generally her stupid self. But for some reason, these girls are just not willing to give up on her. Which means Harper is just lucky to have all these people in her corner when she doesn't always deserve it.

I don't have much to say about the romance because I thoroughly liked Declan, obviously do not care for Harper. So I obviously can't get behind Declan forgiving her. Honestly, she doesn't deserve him at this point in her life. She took advantage of him like she's good at.

Was seeing major red when Harper was almost raped. I mean, that whole chapter is the fucking problem with they way too many people see drinking and partying. Harper is saying no, then she's not sure what is happening, says no again, and again till Kyle finally backs off. Then Harper is just ashamed of herself for letting herself get drunk, takes some of the blame for being the person she hates; again. And it's generally passed over by her and her friends. Grrrr....Red, red everywhere.

And as per is to be expected with so many contemporaries, the ending is rushed and half-assed. There is so much up in the air for Harper. With so many people. Of course, the biggest issues are with Declan. The end was very unsatisfying. They barely clear the air; barely touch on anything that's still standing between them, but they've got forever to figure it out so The End. Nope. That type of ending is not okay. It's bloody annoying. There was a point when I was thinking of DNF'ing. And I guarantee if I'd knew that was the shit that was coming my way, I would have. What a fucking waste.

I can't help thinking that I probably would have enjoyed this book more if it was from before Harper lost herself. If the story was about her and Declan taking their friendship to more. I liked the Harper we got in the past. But unfortunately, that wasn't this story. So The Year We Fell Apart we just ain't going to be seeing each other again.

Happy reading!


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Read These Amazingly Underrated Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme held by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is: Books that I enjoyed that have under 2000 ratings on Goodreads.

There is no way this list is going to be 10. So I'm just going to break it down into genres and will post a link to my review(if I have one).
Side note; I know some of these are relatively new releases, but that's no excuse.

I love all of these books so much. They're pretty much my go to's when recommending romance. I seriously can't believe more people haven't read them. So do yourself a favour and get on it.

Reviews: UndecidedCarry the OceanThis is One MomentLuck on the LineWicked Heart

YA Contemporary
Over the past year or two contemp has become my go to genre(besides NA). So I've become quite critical and picky. Give these lovelies some lovin'.
Reviews: How to Say I Love you Out LoudThe Summer After You + MeSome Kind of NormalThe Truth About UsWanderlost| Summer of SloaneThe Loose Ends List

Other YA
Here's a mish-mash of some really underrated sci-fi, paranormal, historical and fantasy. Sad story, the author of Liberty decided to not continue on with writing what could have been an amazing series because of so little readers. Very very sad.

Adult Fiction
A thriller. A fairy tale re-telling. And some chic-lit. Eat them up, friends.

You guys read any of these? Link up your TTT.

Happy reading!


Sunday, 3 July 2016

Weekly Wrap-Up June 19th - July 1st

Laziness prevented me from doing a wrap-up last week. So here's what I managed to read these past two weeks. Four physical books; two being ARCs. Five e-books.

The Vanishing Throne(The Falconer #2) by Elizabeth May ****
Review to come.

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid ****
Well it has become abundantly clear that TKR has no problem getting me to read her book as fast as I can. I really liked how TKR explored the what if storyline. You know, how there's infinite us's out there in the universe that continually sprout up after every decision we make. Well in this one we follow two different Hannah's following a night out in which she made a significant decision. The two different lives Hannah were very different but also had a lot of the same discoveries and situations. So Maybe in Another Life explores fate and also true love in a really compelling way. I honestly wasn't favouring one life over the other. Both had their ups and downs. And I'm very happy with the outcome in both. Unsurprisingly, another great read from TKR. I'm so happy to have found a new favourite author. 

Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey ****
I've Scoring Wilder sitting on my Kindle for way too long. I'll admit to being a little hesitant. Soccer is a heavy part of the book and since soccer and I are life, it's pretty near impossible to enjoy a book that depicts my sport incorrect in even a little way. Great news, not even close to the case here. So I got a really great romance, a bunch of laughs with the background of my favourite sport. Sports romances are my downfall and this one is now one of my favourites. Super cute and fun, with the added bonus of fantastic characters. The romance between Kinsley and Liam is sweet, adorable and sexy. Annnnnddd, guys, Scoring Wilder is one of the very few romance books I've read that didn't fall into the stupid keep secrets and fall out trope. Kinsley and Liam have a lot of obstacles to overcome. Kinsley has some reservations. But guess what, they talk about them. Liam works hard to make sure Kinsley is happy and knows his feelings. A couple that actually works to make their relationship work out; what is this wizardry? Obviously, I really enjoyed Scoring Wilder. 

Settling the Score(The Summer Games #1) by R.S. Grey ****
More soccer! And even better, with the Rio Olympics setting. Which is absolutely perfect because I'm so excited for the Olympics. So this book just adds to that excitement. And, of course, the romance had me hooked too. Andie and Freddie are Olympians, professional athletes and hot. Perfect romantic read. There's a lot standing in their way. Preventing them from really exploring the instant attraction they felt upon meeting in the athletes village. Frustration ensues for the characters and the reader(me). But I was just having so much fun with this book; it's super funny and sweet. I also loved seeing the characters from Scoring Wilder play a supporting role. It really just added to my enjoyment of the book. The setting, the backdrop of the Olympics and the athletes village is just the best part, though. Ah, I'm so excited for August. 

The Allure of Julian Lefray(The Allure #1) by R.S. Grey ****
It's now become pretty obvious that R.S. Grey is pretty spot on with writing great couples. I really liked the relationship dynamic and development in this one. I would call it slow burning. Josie and Julian have that attraction and pull to each other, but their working relationship is sort of in the way. Which allows them to build up a solid friendship before falling into bed and ultimately love. Of course, the book is fun and cute with a bunch of laughs. 

The Allure of Dean Harper(The Allure #2) by R.S. Grey
I will admit that Dean and Lily aren't my favourite couple of R.S. Grey's that I've met thus far. But I think their story is my favourite. They're both so stubborn and confident in themselves that their electric but also have an immediate dislike of the other. It's nothing but a good time watching them argue well fight their attraction. It's pretty obvious they're perfect for each other. They can both handle the type of crazy the other one brings. Again, I was laughing on pretty much every page. Hate to love relationships are some of the best. 

Undecided by Julianna Keyes *****(re-read)
"Crosbie, I have such need." If you've read this book like I've told you to, you would get that quote and why it fits my need for a re-read. Yes, I only read Undecided earlier this year. But I've re-read my favourite parts a bunch of times since then. So I figured/needed a full re-read was in order. You can find my original review here.

Losing It(Losing It #1) by Cora Carmack ***(re-read)
I suddenly realized it had been too long since I'd read a Carmack book. And then also surprised myself by realizing I've never re-read Losing It. Which was my first Carmack and one of my first NA, oh so many years ago now. And well I definitely still think Losing It is a fun and quick read; I've greatly improved my NA palate these past few years. It, unfortunately, doesn't totally stand the test of time. Like I said, I still enjoyed it. But there's much better out there from Carmack(her Rusk University series is a billion times better) and the NA community.

The Memory Book by Lara Avery ****
Review to come.

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Have you guys read any amazing books this week?

Happy reading!


Friday, 1 July 2016

2016 Favourites Part 2

Check out Part 1.

Most importantly, Happy Canada Day! Welcome to my second quarter reading wrap-up and most favourite reads. It has been an interesting quarter. I've been reading, but my blogging and general mood have not been great. That's beside the point. I'd like the dub this the quarter of series finales. It very rarely happens that the last book in a series ends up being a favourite, and that still remains true as only one finale will be listed below. Otherwise, I've kept consistent in my need to devour a bunch of rereads and NA/romance books. #shocking #saysnooneever

April 1st to June 30th reading stats:
Read: 60
Reread: 15
Most read genre: New Adult/Romance
Total pages: 21 947
Total books so far this year: 125
Total pages so far this year: 42 770

I'm still having pretty good luck with the books I'm reading. A lot of 4, 4.5 and 5 stars being given. I will admit that there hasn't been a lot of standouts. But the BIG ONE, the one I'm still not over, still obsessing over will more than likely be my most favourite read of this year. If something can top it I don't even know what will happen to my body. #dramaqueen

I wasn't ever expecting anymore Jake and Chelsea. But the book God's rained down and brought me just a little more of their super adorable relationship and family. LOL's were had.

My eyes, they leaked. This book is both so beautiful and so sad. But mostly, it's a very important story to be told. 

GAME CHANGING MASTERPIECE. My new favourite book of ever. OTP I never knew I needed but now they are my air. 

Glorious. Khalid and Shazi are wonderful and romantic and amazing complex characters. The writing is beautiful. The story is intriguing. I JUST LOVE THIS DUOLOGY WITH ALL MY HEART.

Utterly readable and compelling. Emotional. In fact, I haven't stopped thinking about this story. I've come to appreciate it more and more as time passes. 

The Way Back to You is just a great adventure about two lost friends healing their hearts together and accepting grief as part of their day to day lives. 

10 books. 6 phenomenal characters. 3 complex and wonderful loving couples. And this is it. SKoP is beyond satisfying and the most beautiful wrap-up to one of my ultimate favourite series.

My favourite AC book. All the laughs and sexiness, of course. But also Natalie is spunky and loves cheese. Even better, Oscar is a gorgeous broody owner of a creamery. Take note here: HOT AS HELL FARMER.

Fucking insane. Intense. An amazing and dare I say even better follow-up to Illuminae. 

Guys read this series. The story lines the JLB has weaved together and brought to light in this book is jaw-droppingly brilliant. 

What's your favourite book of 2016 so far?

Happy reading!