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Book Review: All We Ever Wanted

Book Review: All We Ever Wanted

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Hello Readers!

This week I bring to you a book review by author Emily Giffin. This is the first book I have read by Giffin and I totally enjoyed it! A lot of fellow readers at work read her so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I found the social issues covered throughout this story very prevalent and relatable to present day. I love discovering a new author- Emily Giffin is not new but new to me! I can’t wait to read more from her!

Other book by this author: Something Borrowed, Something Blue, First Comes Love

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The story starts off following Nina and her description of how her relationships with her husband has changed. Nina’s husband has made a lot of money and they live a very lush lifestyle. Their son Finch has applied to Princeton and they actually wrote a cheque to help him get in. Second family this book follows is Lyla who goes to the same private school Finch does but she does not come from money. She is a super smart kid who received a scholarship to go there. She was raised by a single dad -Tom- who is a carpenter.

Finch and Lyla are at a party and Finch snap chatted a photo of Lyla drunk, passed out with her clothing partially off exposing a breast. Lyla is Hispanic and the caption for the photo read- Looks like she got her green card” There was a green uno card beside her.

Now in today’s social media age this is a huge issue. With the Me Too movement in full swing, what better time to read a book like this. The rest of the book follows there characters trying to figure out how to deal with the repercussions of this event on so many levels!

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When the parents of each side find how mad chaos ensues. Kirk and Nina approach this different ways. Kirk tries to throw his money around to get Finch out of trouble. Nina is more towards the moral side saying Finch should be punished. Behind this also is Nina’s experience while she was in college. She was drugged and raped so she sympathizes with Lyla. Tom is beyond furious and wants Finch expelled. Lyla tried to talk her dad out of making a big deal of this. She does not want the other kids in school to treat her different.

All these different approaches makes you wondering A) what would you do in this situation being the parent and B) Do you think all of these approaches actually happen in real life!!! It kind of makes me a bit uneasy but I believe that all these happen. I read this book back in May before the Me Too movement really took off. It just goes to show that some people in today’s society really think money and power can buy anything.

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Nina feels so guilty about what her son did she goes to apologise to Tom in person. Little does she know that Kirk bribed him to keep silent. Disgusted Nina takes Finch to apologise to Lyla in person. He then says that Polly- his ex girlfriend- took the picture and now he really wants to hang out with Lyla. Finch takes Lyla to a concert being Nina’s back. All of this covers can money really buy happiness. Nina’s son does not respect her and thinks money will solve all his problems as does Kirk.

The tangle webs we weave get deeper. It initially looked like Finch set up Lyla to win her over but now he promises to come clean with Polly and tell her to come clean about the photo. Poor Lyla is so confused but just likes the feeling that a ‘cool’ guy is into her. They all have a meeting with the principle and everything gets more confusing. Polly is saying she did not take the photo. Is Finch lying or is he telling the truth?

Nina decides to get a divorce from Kirk. She asks her top notch Lawyer best friend Julie to represent her. The end of the story Lyla finds out that it was really Finch who maliciously took the photos. He had been lying to her this whole time. She gets worried about Polly and approaches Nina. Together they go and find that Polly tried to commit suicide!!

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So it turns out that money really can’t buy happiness in Nina’s case. The epilogue is 10 years later. Lyla is a lawyer and Nina and Tom start a business together to build custom tree houses. They also open homes for abused women with some of the money. Tom and Nina do not appear to be a couple- boo I really wanted them to end up together. Lyla admits that Nina saved her life in the end. They are at an award show and Finch shows up. He finally realized his mother was right after he finds out his father gets caught up in a financial scandal.

So for those of you who have read this book about did you think. The core concepts of this book are deep and controversial! I really enjoyed how this book make me think about money, privilege and true happiness. Please feel free to leave comments below. Also I would love to hear if any of you have read other books by Emily and what are your favs!

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Happy Reading!!!!

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book blogger, book review, Books, books, Fiction, inspiration, Literature

Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A

Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

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Better late the never I say. Yes I just recently read one of the best selling suspense books of 2018. It was worth the wait. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews but I really enjoyed this book. There were a few predictable ‘scares’ but all in all, I enjoyed the building suspense and chaos filled climax. As a lot of the books I review this was the author’s debut novel. With so many talented writers coming out the next few years seem to be a reader’s paradise!!!!

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We are introduced to the novel by the narrator who we learn is looking out her window and spying on her neighbours. She is watching the wife have an affair with the handyman in one house and a kid playing a cello in another house. The narrator (Anna Fox) talks about Ed and Olivia who seems to have left her. Anna has agoraphobia from some episode which is pinnacle in the backstory of this novel. The reader learns that before she was stuck in her house Anna was a prominent child psychologist. Now she helps out fellow agoraphobic people on a website.

Some new commotion goes on across the neighbourhood, a couple and their teenage kid move in! Enter Halloween Anna is of course at home watching her old movies. Kids start to throw eggs at her house. Anna becomes so enraged she actually tries to go outside to stop them. She becomes dizzy and disoriented from the open space causing her to have panic attacks. The new neighbor comes to the rescue. Jane Russell ushers Anna back into her house and a strange connection is made between the two.

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The next day Jane’s son comes over and brings a lavender candle from his mother. Anna makes a connection with Ethan as well. She psych senses tingle and she guesses Ethan is troubled at home, possible with an abusive father. In the next few chapters the reader gets a glimpse into Anna’s backstory. Her therapist Dr. Fieldings brings up a trip. All we get is that Anna thinks if they did not take that trip their family would still be together… bababa. We also see that through the Agora website she started to form a relationship with a user called GrannyLizzie. All key information to understanding the story’s ending.

She admits to herself that she spies on the neighbours not to be nosey but its a window for her into the world. A way for a recluse to keep in touch with what’s going on outside in the real world. I could not imagine how it would feel to be kept inside and not be able to go out and experience things. Having panic attacks myself I know the debilitating feeling so having a panic attack triggered by open spaces, horrible. We also see that she drinks a lot, I mean way too much. She mixes her meds and alcohol with she knows it is not good. I love the fact that this book opens up the foe paye regarding mental health that as a society we do not like talking about all the time.

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Jane comes over and the girls bond over booze and chess. Jane’s controlling husband comes over to see if she was at Anna’s house. Then catastrophe hits, Anna hears a scream coming from the Russell house. She sees Jane bleeding with a sharp object protruding out of her chest. All this time Anna has been drinking and mixing her pills as she usually does. Police called and no one believes a drunk recluse. Mr.Russell says that Anna has never met his wife. ‘Jane’ comes over and to the readers shock this Jane is not the same Jane that came to play chess. Is Anna delusional ? It does seem fitting to the reader because at this point we know she heavily drinks with very potent pills.

As the plot thickens Anna/s basement tenant and her get cozy, well sleep together. She goes into his room and finds a pearl earring that looks like the one Jane was wearing when they had the chess day. So much confusion is thrown into this story which makes for a great mystery read. Anna then follows not Jane into a coffee shop – leaving the comfort of her house because she is determined to find out the truth.

The plot thickens as Anna finds a picture of herself sleeping on her phone. The police still does not believe her and actually thinks she took it to look for attention. Anna has hit rock bottom. This is when we learn the true backstory of Ed and Olivia. It turns out that Anna had an affair on Ed and this northern trip was supposed to bring them together. However, Anna had driven off a cliff in a storm ultimately killing Ed and Olivia. She has such bad PTSD she developed agoraphobia. She was actually talking to Ed and Olivia’s ‘ghosts’.

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Now the climax of the book. We find out that Ethan, the innocent troubled child is severely mentally unstable. He was the one who took the picture and it was his biological mother that was stabbed – he was adopted. Wow it was a good twist. He is also GrannyLizze! There is a fight scene where Anna has to go outside in order to survive Ethan’s attacks. She ends up killing him and gets the help she needs to come to terms with her agoraphobia and PTSD. The end of the book was very hopeful as Anna was venturing out on her own terms into her garden.

So for all of you who have read Woman in the Window what did you think of the book? Yes it did have some predictability in it but there was some great twists like ‘Jane’ being Ethan’s biological mother, I did not see that one coming. What did you like and did not like about the book? It kind of reminded me of Gone Girl in some way. What other books were along these lines? I also thought it was a great mental health book. Please feel free to leave any comments below I would love to hear your thoughts!!!

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Happy Reading !!!!!

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Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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So there was a lot of hype around this book in 2017. I was a bit late to read this as it is now 2019 lol. Better late than never I guess. I found this book a bit slow at times but all in all I really liked the story. This book is a trilogy called the Winternight trilogy. It incorporates mythical folk tales into reality. The tale follows Vasya a wild child who’s stepmother and local priest want to rid their town of her ‘devilish’ ways all the while the winter King a frost demon has his eyes on her. It has a lot of terms I did not understand. Arden was smart and added a glossary of terms to help the reader discover the magical Russian folklore background.

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The story opens with Vasya’s nanny Dunya telling the tale of the winter king who brings death. The tale is told to children to scare them into behaving….. Or is it. Maria, Vasy’s mother was the daughter of the Grand Prince of Moscow. Pyotr Vasya’s father is a lord on the outskirts of the forest a long way from Moscow. Maria died in childbirth leaving Vasya motherless and free to roam wherever as she grows up.

Vasya spends all of her time in the forest talking to the folklore forest nymphs and fairies. These creatures are said to protect the houses of the people who worships them and leave food out for them. The Domovoi is the oven creature who helps protect the house. She comes across a weird tree one day and meets the elicude Frost King who saves her life.

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Her father who is worried that she is growing up wild decides it is time to remarry. He travels to Moscow to find a wife who ends up being the Grand Prince’s daughter. Anna also see these mythical creatures just like Vasya can. They set out on the long track home. Sasha, Vasya’s brother meets a priest in the city and asks to stay but Pyotr says no.

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Once back in their village Anna does not fit into the hard labours life. The only time she feels safe from seeing the ‘demons’ is in the church. The sightings have gotten worse since coming to the forest so Anna becomes estranged from the villagers and her new family. She seeks solace with the new priest Konstantin that has come to look over the village. The priest sees Vasya as unclean or evil as she spends so much time in the woods. He thinks he hears ‘God’ talking to him one night. This voice tells him that the villagers have lost their way and he needs to instill fear and doubt. The voice says their worship of the chyerti is wrong and to discipline this villagers in the way of God. Spoiler alert here the voice is really the brother of the Frost King. He is an evil one eyed bear that wants to take over the earth in darkness.

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Here the book picks up and the story unravels faster. I found the first part of the book a bit slower but necessary to set up the last part. Pyotr tried to wed Vasya to Kyril – a very brute and ‘manly’ villager. He is cruel to his horses. Vasya knows this because she can read the horses as she was taught by one of the cheryti. He finds Vasya’s behaviours hard to deal with and calls off the wedding. As the reader I would have hated to see Arden marry Vasya off and chain her up in a house.

So the 3rd part of the book is the battle between Vasya and the Bear devil. We see that the people of the village grow to hate and blame Vasya for all the people dying. Really it is their lack of believe and offerings to the Cheryti that allow the Devil to come into their homes. Finally the frost king saves Vasya from the Bear and brings her to his frost home. An aside- why are there a lot of frost kings and beings in fantasy novels. We see the frost ‘white walkers’ in the Game of Thrones books.

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In the end Vasya fights the bear Devil, known as Medved. We other cheryti originally follow Medved but Vasya was able to persuade them to follow her as she has been nice to them. Konstantin brings Anna to the forest as bait because Medved needs a ‘seer’ to be killed to free him. In the end Vasya’s father dies offering his life to save his daughter. At the end she leaves the village, be able to drive Konstantin off first. The villagers still think she is a witch and Vasya does not want to make trouble for her brother who is now taking over the village. The last scene was very interesting as she goes back to the frost Kings home and he lets her in.

All in all I really enjoyed this book. I have never read anything like it so it was nice to read out of my comfort zone. What did you think of this book? Like or dislike? Feel free to leave a comment below> I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Reading Everyone!!

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Book Review: Women Talking by Miriam Toews

Book Review: Women Talking by Miriam Toews

 

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I know that I normally only posts Mondays but in celebration of reaching 100 followers I decided to do a Special Thursday post!!!! I am so grateful for all of you that follow, comment and like my blogs. Here’s to another 100 followers and more importantly all the book reviews and lists to come. (PS I’m super excited about some of my future content 🙂

There is a lot of hype around Women Talking so I picked it up at the library and gave it a shot. Miriam Toews is a Canadian author! Represent!!! Miriam also wrote A Complicated Kindness and All my Puny Sorrows. Funny enough this book is about the Mennonite community and she was the daughter of Mennonites. Women Talking is based on true events of 2005-2009 in the Manitoba Colony. A group of women stood up to the oppression they faced in their community. It was super interesting to see each woman’s view regarding leaving and how their lifestyle affects their thought process.

 

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So the premise of the novel starts off with 8 women in a Mennonite colony getting together to discuss their future. They find out that the Mennonite women were being drugged and raped by the men in their colony. As per their culture they are not allowed to stand up to the men. They, for obvious reasons have issues with this. They want to protect themselves as well as their children. They don’t want to feel prisoners in their own home fearing for their lives. So these 8 women from 2 families meet in a barn to discuss their 3 option: say nothing, stand up and fight or leave. They enlist the help of August Epp a colony outcast to write down the minutes of the meeting.

 

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August uses symbols for the women to understand because as per their ‘culture’ the women do not know how to read and write. August was excommunicated from the community when he was 12 years old for his parents having photos of art art, giving them out and his mother teaching things not approved by the church. August then went to college but got kicked out and thrown in jail. He was homeless and went to the library to research suicide. He met a librarian and she told August that not only did he get rejected from the Mennonite community but it also seems like he got rejected from the worldly community. What a blow would that be? She told him to go and ask for forgiveness from his original community to find peace in his life. This is how he became it outcast taking the women’s meeting minutes.

 

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The women are already at wits ends in the very beginning of the meeting. Right from the start their religion seems to play a huge role in the pros and cons of each option. They want to keep with their religion and be able to enter the gates of Heaven. However they feel they cannot forgive the men of their community for the acts they have done. The men have not even spared the children. Salome tried to kill one of the men after finding that they violated her 3 year old daughter who now is very sick. They argue that do they not have the right to protect their children while still being true to God and his teachings.

If they choose to leave they will be leaving their children and other women in harm’s way and is this worse than turning a blind eye. You can see how this way of thinking can easily spiral out of control which is not good for the women as they are on a time constraint. The men are only in the city for 2 days trying to post bail for the other men that got charged- the same men Salome tried to kill.

 

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Throughout the 2 day debacle we see each of the women’s personalities shine through. Some are more vocal and want to fight like Salome while others are quiet and try to think about things rationally like Ona- PS she was one of the victims and how is pregnant because of the rape.

Throughout the novel the comparison the women make of themselves to their livestock is shocking. They think they are of no more value than their livestock their husbands keep. Animals may even be held higher in value. I could not even imagine living in a community where this is the thought. The women learn to rise up and value their lives and their contributions/skills. Overcoming their ingrained views that they are nothing is to me truly heroic and brave.

The logistics of choosing to leave set in. The have to fear that the other women in their community who do not share their views will rat them out to the other men. No unity shown here. They also know nothing outside of the community. They do not even know how to read a map. They have to decide whether or not to take their children and what age to cut off. However they keep going back to the 3 reasons to leave which put their arguments into perspective. These 3 reasons are: Save our children, Keep their faith, and time to think.

 

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In the end the decision was made to leave after they know for certain nothing would change. Mariche’s husband comes home and wants to sell their horses (the lady’s get away car) to post bail money. After Mariche says she let them out and does not know where they are her husband beats her and her daughter. August finds them a map and uses symbols to depict what are landmarks and directions.

 

In the end I thought it was kind of sad. August comes back to the community to find peace while the women leave to find it.

 

As always I would love to hear your comments and thoughts on this book. What did you think of the real trials and tribulations that still rock communities in our world?

Happy reading!!!

 

 

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Top 5: Summer Reads 2019

Top 5: Summer Reads 2019

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Welcome to another of my top 5 lists. Since summer is just around the corner I wanted to release my most anticipated books of the summer. Nothing is better than feeling the warm sunshine, the smell of the beach or fresh cut grass and a brand new read in your hand. Maybe I’m a bit bias but this is the best feeling as in Canada we do not get many months of truly warm weather. There are so many books being released on the next few months. If I have missed one you are looking forward to I am sorry. Please leave a comment with yours as I always love to grow my TBR. Some of these books are seconds in the series so SPOILERS AHEAD

  1. Children of Vengeance and Virtuve by Tomi Adeyemi

Release Date June 4, 2019

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For those of us who loved her first book Children of Blood and Bone I know I cannot wait for this release date. Not everyone may have enjoyed it but there are quite a lot of positive reviews out there. Children of Vengeance takes places right after the epic battle at the temple. Zelie and Amari are on the ship and learn that magic is once again in the land of Orisha. It seems even the nobles who have maji blood have gotten magic. There now is a struggle of uniting the kingdom, maji against noble and everyone is on the same playing field. As Zelie fights to get Amari her rightful throne all they want is peace. As civil war is on the horizon this book promising to be just as action packed as the first. I can’t wait to see how Tomi incorporate magic into the military system of the nobles and how she shows the maji rise up again.!!!!! Epic epic epic!!!

2. The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis

Release Date June 18, 2019

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Sandy toes for the summer, love the book cover!!! This novel follows 2 sisters Brooke and Mindy. Mindy is the perfect child while Brooke the adventourous one. Now grown up Mindy has 3 kids and is the wife of a doctor. She shows up at Brooke’s doorsteps. Mindy wants to trade places for a while so she can get her life back on track. Brooke agress and head back to their hometown of Wildstone with Mindy’s kids. Brooke apparently is just as disheveled and broken and Mindy but hides his as she wanted to make amends with her sister. Back in Wildstone hidden secrets of the past apparently come to back into light. This novel seems to be a tale of 2 sisters reuniting and facing their hometown secrets. I do love me a good family story!!!!

-also written by this author : Rainy Day Friends and Lost and Found sisters

3. The Whispering Network by Chandler Baker

Release date July 2, 2019

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This books seems to play into the me too movement of present day society. It follows 4 women: Stoane, Ardie, Grace and Rosalita. They all work in corporate America and their male boss is up for a huge promotion at their cooperation Truviv Inc.. Apparently his professional life is less than squeaky clean and their a lot of rumors floating around regarding how he treats women. After finding out he is being inappropriate yet again with another woman these 4 women form a pact. They decided to take a stand and set a plan in motion where lies and secrets are uncovered. After all the social media coverage of the me too movement this book already has a lot of traction!!

-also written by this author: Alive and This is not the End

4. The Rabbit Hunter by Lars Kepler

Release Date: July 30, 2019

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This is a thriller/mystery novel that is perfect to freak you out in the nice weather!!!! The novel starts out with the murderer being a ‘virgin’ and stalking his first victim in a garden wearing a mask…spooky much. The novel then goes on to follow an ex detective: Joona Linna. The twists- he is on a high security prison giving this novel a Hannibal Lecter feel. To swap for his freedom he must help catch the murderer now known as the Rabbit Hunter. I love a good cat and mouse thriller. I am hoping this book is filled with twist after twist of tension filled pages.

-also written by this author: The Sandman and the Hypnotist

5. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Release date August 27,2019

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So to put how anticipated this read already is, I am number 94 on the hold list at my local library and the release date is not until August !!!!! Rebecca applied to be a live in nanny at the Heatherbrae House. It is a modern ‘smart’ luxury house in the Highlands and of course a picture perfect family lives in it. Twist – turns out this is a horror/murder mystery novel. A child is dead and Rebecca is in jail . She writes from jail trying to tell her lawyer the details of what happened. The children were not picture perfect, the house was creepy and she was left alone a great majority of the time but she is not a murderer but who is? Another tension filled read to load up your summer with!!!

-also written by this author: The Woman in Cabin 10 and The Lying Game !!!

I cannot wait to get my hands on these 5 books this summer. I hope I have added to your TBR list. As above please feel free to comment any others you are excited about reading !!!!

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Happy Reading!!!!!!

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Book Review: Run Away by Harlan Coben

Book Review: Run Away by Harlan Coben

 

 

Run Away

Run Away was on my anticipated spring read list blog post on April 8th. This is a thriller/ suspense book and it does not fall short of the suspense. It was a fast paced thriller that kept you guessing the who, whats and whys. Run Away was the first Harlan Coben book I have read and I enjoyed it so much I will definitely seek out his other popular novels.

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So this story follows parents Simon and Ingrid who appear to have lost their daughter Paige to the dangerous would of drugs. Their family is picture perfect, even to them, however after going to college Pagie changes. She becomes distant and meets an older guy named Aaron who introduces her to drugs. She cuts contact off with everyone including her brother and sister.

Simon gets word that Paige is singing for money in the Strawberry Fields at Central Park. He goes there to try and get her to go to a rehab program. This is against the wishes of Ingrid who seems to wash her hand of her daughters problems. Simon approaches his daughter but her boyfriend Aaron gets in the way and he punches him. Unbeknownst to him someone took a video of this and leaked it to youtube with the caption of rich putting down the poor and it goes viral.

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Let just point out Harlan incorporates an all too real issue many people face in our social media driven society. Everything and anything we do can and will be recorder. This viral fame Simon receives only doe shim more harm when Aaron is found dead with his throat slash. Since his previous encounter the suspicion falls to him. The story then goes on from there to follow Simon playing private detective to try and find Paige as they fear she is in danger.

The story subplots to follow Ash and DeDe who appear to be hitman. As the story develops we see that these 2 people play a bigger role in the overall plot.

Simon and Ingrid so to Paige’s apartment and get details about their drug dealer. They then go to a sketch warehouse to see if this drug dealer will tell them where he thinks Paige was and bam bam Ingrid gets shot by a random guy–or is he?

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A third sub plot twists in with Simon’s. Elena was hired by a businessman to find his son Henry Thorpe. Elena ends up going to Paige’s apartment just as Simon goes back to look for more clues. It turns out that Henry and Paige had been talking to each other just before they both disappeared. They both come to the conclusion that Paige turned different after she went to college and this correspondence happened when she was at college so it cannot be a coincidence. Simon talked to some ex-roommates and finds out 2 things. One that Paige was really interested in genetics and genealogy and second she may have been raped or sexually assaulted at a college party. When her roommate asked why Paige is acting all weird she blames it on stuff at home.

Elena also finds out that Henry new someone at a tattoo parlor (Damien) and guess what, Ash and DeDe killed him! As we find out more about the backstories of Ash and DeDe we learn that DeDe is part of a cult called Truth Haven. It consists of the leader called Truth and his 2 sons Volunteer and Visitor – the trinity.

5 Disturbing Cults You Can Still Join Today

So here is the huge spoiler alert. The cult leader ‘rapes’ I guess is the best word the females in his cult and his kids with them. If they are males they are entitled to inherit the money the cult had accumulated over time- apparently millions. The ‘prophecy’ states that the 2 oldest sons, not necessarily the 2 prophet sons’ can inherit the money – the Truth is dying. So the sick and twisted plot is that Aaron, Henry and Damien found out they are fathered by the same person through genealogy- enter Paige. Paige puts her DNA sample in too and see that Aaron and her are related on the maternal side. BaBaBa!!!!!!! So starts the crooked relationship of Aaron and Paige – half brother and sister.

At the end of the book Paige comes to see Ingrid in the hospital. Paige goes on to tell Simon that Ingrid put her in a reclusive rehab program she herself went in when she left the cult. This is why Ingrid told Simon not to find Paige. Ingrid could not tell Simon where Paige was without then telling him she was part of a cult before she met him.

I did leave out quite a few details of the book. Harlan has written such an intricate tale that it is best to read the book to get the full weight of the complex tale.

How did all of you feel reading the book. I had mixed feelings. I was kind of angry at Paige. Her family loves her so much and she put them through hell. However this brings up the question what would you do for the ones you loved? Please feel free to leave comments below! I would love to hear from you!!!!!!

Happy Reading!

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Top 5: Stephen King Books

Top 5: Stephen King Books

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Hello all my book nerds/ Stephen King fans

Going along with my blog post last week the review of Mr.Mercedes, I decided to do a top 5 list of my favourite Stephen King novels. I love so many of his books that it was hard to pick just 5. As time goes on and the more books of his I read I’m sure this will become a more fluid list. For the time being these of my favourite books that gave me all the feels of chills and thrills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Pet Sematary

 

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This was the first Stephen King book I ever read. It has made such an impact on me as a reader. I still remember going to my local library as a ‘adult’ -one of the first books I picked out of my first adult fiction experience. I remember the typical musty paper library smell and feeling so grown up at the check out. I remember the look of the cover and the feel of the pages against my fingers. -oh the good memories books inspire . This book did not let me down! What a first read choice! A tribal burial ground that brings things back to life! My imagination was sparked trying to imaging this grungy cat coming back to the house after coming back from the dead.

2. Carrie

Signet 1975 tie-in edition

What can I say about Carrie except classic, classic King!. I do believe that this was my second King book that I read and it stands a number 2 on my list. King has a fascination for psychic abilities and this book fully revolves around this. Carrie literally scared the pants off me and kind of made me scared to have my prom. Carrie outlines the cruelty of teenagers and bullying, which I may add is a huge issue now a days. Only one mind could imagine soaking someone in pigs blood then kill off most of the teenagers/ facility in a forifying manner. The original movie was so great outlying the timid and scared Carrie in comparison to her crazy religious mother and their co-dependent relationship it does the book justice.

3. The Shining

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So this may spark some controversy but I enjoyed the original book version of the Shining rather than the movie adaptation. I know the movie was good but the book was freaky. I think the scares in the book would have been way scarier on the real screen. The hedge animals almost made me have nightmares! I think the slow descent into madness was more unsettling in the book than movie. I feel the movie Wendy was kind of annoyingly pathetic but the book version was portrayed was weak but not irritating. This may be a very unpopular view but hey I like what I like.

4. Salem’s Lot

Vampires meet King, King meet vampires. I am really not a huge fan of vampire books/movie but I love love love King’s portrayal. The suspense in this novel was built up to the point I nearly split in two. The creepy immigrant Barlow was an excellent villain spreading his infection throughout the town. As per King’s usual even young kids are not exempt from the horrifying events and transactions that is a Stephen King book. Here I go again making my TBR longer than it needs to be but I would love to re read this book!

5. It

 

It cover.jpg

 

 

 

The piece de resistance, the clown that started it all (not including Gacy. It was a very intimidating read as per the length. Oh man did it scare the pants off me. I couldn’t walk past a sewer drain or old abandoned house without having flashbacks from the book. The only aspect of this book I could have done without was near the end of the book, yes for those who have read it they probably know what I am talking about. The Loser’s CLub having a ‘kid orgy’ may have taken it a bit too far from some readers, especially they younger ones. The TV mini series and Tim Curry are legendary!

So these are just a few of my Stephen King picks. I would like to hear from you guys and see what your favourite King novels are. He has touched so many readers with his creepy and sinister novels it is truly amazing!

As always

Happy reading!!!!!!!!!

 

 

books, Fiction, Literature, top 5

Top 5: My Favourite Series

Top 5: My Favourite Series

I have been wanting to write a top 5 fav book series for a long time. I am a huge fan of reading a series. Getting to know the characters so deeply over 3,4,5 books is a thrill! I love investing in the worlds and all the side plots. Now this list is actually way longer than just 5 but these are the top series that have imprinted on my reading soul. If you have any series you have been enchanted by I would love to hear about them and as always grow my every daunting TBR list! So without any further adieu here we go!

  1. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Yes those books are as worn and used as they appear, hence why there are my #1! These were the very first books I read while transitioning into adult ’reading’. A brief reading history: my grandmother was an avid reader and passed down the reading bug to me. This was the first set of books she ever bought me. I have read this series 3 times in total and a few individual books a couple of times more. Reminiscing I have a hankering to reread this series over the summer…LOL . Very short summary for those who are not familiar with Anne and her shenanigans. This series follows the orphan Anne Shirley who is sent to live with a brother and sister by mistake, they wanted a boy to help around their house in Avonlea. It takes us on adventure after adventure with the spunky Anne to adulthood. I don’t want to give any spoilers but this series is full of hilarity, love and has its own hints of sadness. Avonlea and Anne will always have a special place in my heart. I hope to one day fuel the reading fire in my own children with this series the way my grandmother did for me!

2. The Finoavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay

 

 

This is a new read for me as of 2018 and instantly went straight to the top of list. The author is Canadian, a little bias here and the beginning is actually set in at the University of Toronto. Not for long though as this trilogy quickly sweeps us for the majestic and regal UOT to the fantasy world of Finoavar. This is a high fantasy book for the LOTR lovers, which I also am.(see #3 lol). It follows 5 main characters on their quests throughout this series and with the war against evil. The writing style of Kay is so divine. The inter-connectivity is simply breathtaking and pulls you in. We find near the end of this series how all the side plots are connected with one another and it is done in such a manner that cohesive makes sense. Not everyone can have 50 billion stories all intertwined – embellishment made on the numbers. Kay intertwines Celtic, Welsh, Norse, First Nations, and many other mythologies so it has a something everyone recognizes!

3. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein

 

 

As per the spoiler above here is another high fantasy series that has made my top list. Really though, who does not like LOTR – if you don’t that completely acceptable I have just met more people who loved it than hate it. The LOTR is a celebrated classic trilogy that has also been made into the classic movies as well – in breathtaking New Zealand. I love the way Tolkien is so descriptive in his storytelling. They way he describes middle earth and the characters makes it easy to feel transported to these places. LOTR is the epic battle of good against evil and someone who you do not think could change the world stands up with so much courage and proves everyone wrong. The one ring to rule them all!!!

 

 

 

 

4. Millennium Series by Stieg Larsson

 

So the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was one of my first larger reads and I was super intimidated by it. While reading I couldn’t help fall in love with Lisbeth Salander. What a punk ass girl who does not take crap from anyone especially when life throws her so many shit balls. This initially drew me in and kept me reading book to book. The back story of how Stieg Larsson died only added to the mystery and pull of the books. He worked in politics and real life journalist.  He did research into the right-wing extremists. Due to the type of research he did he had to keep his address hidden, this is why some say he did not marry Eva. Was his death foul play or just his lifestyle catch up with him?

Millennium Series Complete Collection 1-5 by Steig Larsson and David Lagercrantz

5. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling —duhh

 

 

A top series list wouldn’t be complete without the good old H.P. listed somewhere. I fondly remember reading this series and anticipating when each new book was to be released. This was a turning point for YA and readers everywhere. It made all little kids imagine that an owl would show up to their house and invite them to Hogwarts and unveil that they are really magic! To be able to read this series to my future children who do not know what happens to the kid with the lightning bolt scar is a gift from Rowling.

HP Covers 7

I hope all of you enjoyed my fav series. If you have any top series I have not listed I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments below.

 

 

Happy Reading!!!!

 

books, Fiction, Literature, top 5

Top 5: Spring Reads 2019

Top 5: Spring Reading Lists 2019

So spring is finally here, thank god because here in Ontario Canada it was one rough winter.

 

So to go along with our new, warmer mood I thought I would accompany it with the books I am most looking forward to reading this spring !! There are so many out there so if I have missed one you are looking forward to I am sorry but I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment with your most anticipated spring read !! Expand my TBR !!

1. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Release date February 5, 2019

So this is the first book in the new Dark Star trilogy written by Marlon James. He is also the author of A Brief History of Seven Killings. After reading multiple synopsis this is a fantasy book seems to be about a hunter who is hired to find a missing child. The setting is an african style mythology. This hunter called Tracker must work with a bunch of unusual characters that seem to have their own, maybe sinister, agenda of finding this kid. Reading the reviews is has been compared to an African Game of Thrones esk type story. I am really fascinated with this story perception and cannot wait to see where this fantasy takes us.

 

 

2. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Release date February 7, 2019

This is Alex’s debut novel and what a novel to kick off his career. The basis of this book is around Alicia who is a painter. On the outside her and her husband have the perfect life. who shoots her husband 5 times then never talks again. The story follows her to the psychiatric facility. Insert Theo a criminal psychologist who tried to get her to talk. The book has murder, mystery and psychosis! I wanted to read this so I bought it!

 

 

 

3. Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Release Date March 5, 2019

Gingerbread: A Novel by [Oyeyemi, Helen]

 

Helen Oyeyemi is also the author of the highly popular Boy, Bird, Snow (2013) and What is not your is not yours (2015). Its is a modern-day twist on Hansel and Gretel. It does not take the real fairytale perception. It is more of a family passing down the recipe for the famous gingerbread with a twisted angle. It is set in Britain and follows a mother Harriet Lee and daughter Perdita Lee duo. On the outside they may appear to be a normal family but there are glimpses of  more oddities than normalities. They live in a weird place and no one seems to know where their hometown is which is where their gingerbread is said to be famous. The story follows Perdita trying to track down her mother’s childhood friend Gretel. I am loving the new takes on fairy tales!!! -Lunar Chronicles are along the same fairytale plot changes,

4. Run Away By Harlan Coben

Release Date March 19, 2019

 

Harlan Coben is also the author of Tell No One (20001) and Six Years (2013). Run Away appears to be a thriller that follows the viewpoint of a parent. All the synopsis are very vague. The parent finds their troubles drug addicted daughter in Central Park and she runs – hint to the title. The novel follows this parent into a dark underworld which I assume is the drug world. I don’t know why this book catches my attention so much but I am looking forward to finding out what is wrong with the daughter and if she is in this world by her own doing or maybe because of something/someone more sinister.

 

 

5. Stepsister by Jinnifer Donnelly

Release Date May 14

Stepsister by [Donnelly, Jennifer]

 

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of the popular historical fiction novel A Northern Light and the Waterfire Saga. You may tell I am a huge fairytale retelling fan. Is is the untold story of the original Cinderella tale where one of the ugly stepsister Isabelle cuts off her toes to fit into the glass slipper,. PS Loving the cover! Sick and Twisted Lovers unit!! So she Prince finds out the truth that Isabelle is not the girl who lost the slipper, well duh her toes are missing! The tale follows Isabelle as she is banned from the kingdom and she is on a quest for redemption and inner beauty!!!!

 

If anyone else has a different anticipated read please leave a comment below!!

 

Happy Reading !!

book review, books, Fiction, Literature

Review : Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Review : Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I picked up this book because a bunch of girls from work had read it and said it was a great read. They compared it to Harry Potter meeting 12 years a slave mixed with the Hate u Gave. Intrigued I picked up the book, read the synopsis and was immediately drawn in. I read this book in less than a few days!!!!

Spoiler Alert rubber stamp Stock Vector - 78174196

First let’s start with the magic system. Can I say wow! I loved it. The way each maji has his/her own clan linked to a god is such a creative idea. Each clan represents some form of earthly aspect like Tiders who control the sea ! The idea the ability to perform magic is a gift from the god started off as privilege but we then see that even the ‘kosadan’ can be given magic making it become more inclusive. I find as the reader the longing to be a part of this magic system it becomes more ‘realistic’ knowing that it not just for the ‘gifted’ few.

The themes of this book are very deep and correlatable to real life issues. The genocide Zelie saw of her maji people is an all too common thread in our history and present day. People being afraid of others who are different and ideas they do not understand is an all too common occurrence. The way Tomi writes giving us glimpses as to why both sides think they have been wrong in this ordeal is brilliant. This gives the reader a chance to form their own opinion as to whose side they believe to right and not just tell the story from a singular point of view which may limit the reader’s journey. It also gives the reader more fluidity as they can change their opinions as the story unfolds and more information is brought into light.

The oppressed rising up and ‘re lighting the magic in their world is a great main focus journey. It is was easy to get behind this as a reader and really root for the main characters and their cause.

I love the mythical animal crossovers to our animal kingdom. Panthenairs and rhimones gives us just enough to imagine the base animal but then throw on things like fangs and horns. I would love to see the re imagining of these animals on the big screen!!!

Cartoon rhino

Tomi is not short on throwing her plot twists into her story. Some of my favourites include Prince Inan has magic just from touching the scroll and then in the end it looks like he betrayed Zelie after we get so invested in their blossoming love affair. Boo by the way What good book wouldn’t throw a little turmoil at the readers though.

The most important message I took away from this book actually has to do this the title. Throughout the book we learn the history of the Sky Mother and Magical origin. Zelie learns that the Sky Mother made humans her children from her blood and bone- we are all equal and the same in the sky mother’s eyes and so we should be in each others. I think that considering the events flooding the news today this is a take away humanity needs right now. I know, very deep right ? Not all my share my interpretation but hey that’s what book reviews are for.

Looking a bit deeper I may even suggest the book shares that everyone is born with a gift and our decisions on how we use this shape ourselves and the world around us. We see this in the way Zelie views magic verses Inan. Zelie sees her gift as something to rejoice and share. Inan fears his magic and pushes it down. Each has been shaped by their past experiences and decisions.

I think it was refreshing to see the relationship between Zelie and Amari go from cool hatred to respect. In the beginning they are not necessarily friends but develop a respect for one another. I enjoyed this verses the straight to BFF path.

So my thoughts leaving this book are A strangely I think with would make a kick ass video game. The player would play Zelie going from checkpoint to checkpoint relating to the book. From Village to kingdom to jungle to the temple. B Of course there has to be a second book it left on a cliffhanger. I cannot wait for the second book to come and see if everyone really had ashe in their blood and what this means for their world. BTW its called Children of Vengeance and Virtue set to be release June 4 2019!!!!!!!

 

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha Book 2) by [Adeyemi, Tomi]

As always I would love to hear from your views on this book especially because it had some deep seeded themes!! Please leave any comment or thought below!!

Happy Reading!!

Cartoon rhino