Book Reviews

August Wrap-Up

Okay okay, I know I missed the past two months for wrap-up’s, but hey, I’m here again now and that’s all that matters, right? Right…? Lol.

I feel like we (meaning us bookworms who do monthly wrap-up’s) say this all the time, but wow! Another month gone by! Phew. I’m not complaining though, now that we’re finally transitioning out of Summer and into Fall, my favourite season! Before I end up rambling on about my excitement for Fall, let’s just get to the wrap-up part. I’ve had such an amazing reading month this August and I couldn’t be happier about it! I read a total of 10 books. I read 4 physical books, and 6 ebooks. Let’s start with the physical books. (more…)


May Wrap-Up

Wow, 5 months of 2016 down already?! Where is the time honestly going? It’s crazy to even just think about the fact that it’s been well over a month since I joined the book blogging community. Anyway, I need to get to the point of this post already before I ramble on.

This month, I managed to read 29 books… Okay, okay, I know that sounds ridiculous. But that’s only because more than half of what I read this month were graphic novels, comic books, and mangas. I go through them really quickly! I also used NetGalley a lot this month. I made a discussion post about being back on NetGalley and the pros and cons of being a NetGalley member. If you missed that blog post, you can check it out here!


April Wrap-Up

This month was yet another amazing reading month for me! Not only did I read a good amount of books (again), I also got to do a buddy read for the very first time with two lovely ladies, Sophia and Carolina! But that’s not even it! I was able to participate in my very first read-a-thon this month as well, as you all probably know since I have made multiple blog posts about it (Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-A-Thon).

You’ll notice I had 19 books on my TBR list this month, mainly because I knew I was going to be participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-A-Thon. I, however, only managed to read 15 books all in all. Which, of course, isn’t bad at all! I’m actually quite impressed with myself for being able to read that many books even with all the moving I’ve been occupied with.

In my last month’s wrap-up, I read more ebooks (14) than physical books (3), and one audiobook. This month, (more…)

Review: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Summary from Goodreads: 

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

My Review:

So many people have said, time and time again, that this book was utterly disappointing. I have heard so many people tell me not to bother with this one; that it was a waste of time. So, naturally, what do I do? Of course, I go ahead and read it. I do exactly what people tell me not to do. Lol. How else was I going to form my own opinion on it?!

To be fair, had I not known that George R.R. Martin asked Gillian Flynn to contribute to his collection of short stories about thieves, con artists, and etc., I don’t think I’d have appreciated this short story as much. Or at all, honestly. But since I was very well aware of this, I actually was impressed with how this short story played out.

I think this is one of those stories that you either get…or you just don’t… The ending left so much room for imagination. It was confusing and unresolved, yes. But that was what I enjoyed about it. Not every story needs to make sense, no? They just need to be capable of sparking SOME sort of strong feelings from or within you. Did you feel betrayed by the story? Probably. Did you feel as if you’ve been conned? I bet. But is that not what makes this story so great in the end?

With the knowledge that Gillian Flynn was asked to write a story about thieves and con artists alike, this story becomes even more impressive if you just think about it. I definitely feel like I’ve been conned in the end. In that sense, Gillian Flynn very much delivered with this piece.

You’re probably wondering “Why only 3/5 stars then?” Well not everything can be perfect, now can it? I thought some parts of the story could have used a little bit more work. I also think the story itself had a lot of potential to be more developed had it been just a little bit longer. But beggars can’t be choosers.

Review: The Room by Jonas Karlsson

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Summary from Goodreads:

Bjorn is a compulsive, exacting bureaucrat who discovers a secret room at the government office where he works—a secret room that no one else in his office will acknowledge. When Bjorn is in his room, what his coworkers see is him standing by the wall and staring off into space looking dazed, relaxed, and decidedly creepy. Bjorn’s bizarre behavior eventually leads his coworkers to try to have him fired, but Bjorn will turn the tables on them with help from his secret room. Author Jonas Karlsson doesn’t leave a word out of place in this brilliant, bizarre, delightful take on how far we will go—in a world ruled by conformity—to live an individual and examined life.

I have absolutely no clue what to make of this book. I was pulled right in, and then I was bored and at times even offended, and then I was intrigued once more, and then the author lost me again. Just…my goodness, what?!

I have read reviews saying that they found this book to be quite witty and humorous. Some even said they found themselves laughing out loud more than once or twice. But I just didn’t find it funny at all. At all. I think the attempt at humour was either merely so poorly done, or perhaps the translation to English was a bit off? I’m not sure. Whichever it is, the humour—or rather the attempt at—just didn’t sit right with me. Not one bit. Keep in mind that that’s coming from someone who highly appreciates and even respects dark humour in her books.

I honestly just thought Björn was a huge, pretentious, over-the-top jerk. There was hardly one page where he didn’t believe he was absolutely on top of everyone else; that he’s better than everyone else. He was downright an insulting character and that made it so difficult to form an attachment with his character. Although, to be fair, I knew going into this book that the protagonist was going to be unreliable and an antihero. I suppose this is more of an “it’s me, not you” situation. As a personal preference, I guess I just don’t like it when the protagonist in my book is so highly unlikeable that said protagonist becomes TOO unbearable to read! Björn was driving me mad!

But, hold on a second though. Here’s what persuaded me into giving this book 3 stars instead of 2: the author captured very well how majority of people, and society today in general, treat those who are suffering or dealing with mental illness. That, I would have to say, was incredibly well done. When Björn’s colleagues were beating down on him, judging him, even gossiping about him without so much as a care in the world if he overhears them…those moments were the rare moments I found myself to be 100% on Björn’s side. These were the moments I wanted Björn to come on top, no matter how much of a pretentious and arrogant jerk I believed him to be. When his colleagues were making a point that they couldn’t possibly work alongside someone who clearly has mental issues, I couldn’t help but almost root for the very main person I grew to dislike since the beginning of this book. This, though, seemed to be the only thing I really appreciated about this book. Everything else just put me off.

I’ve come to a conclusion that this is another one of those books that you either get or just don’t get. I badly wanted to like this book, I wanted—so, so badly—to understand it! I wanted to turn the last page of this book and be able to say to myself “hey, I actually got this!” and then feel a little bit more enlightened than I felt before I hard started the book. I wanted to be able to say that I learned something new or even profound from it. Instead, I was just irritated and annoyed and quite stressed when I turned the last page and then found that I had said “WHAT?!” out loud to myself.

Oh well. If a book isn’t for you, it isn’t for you.

Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Rating: ★★★★★

Summary from Goodreads:

Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope… Maybe someday… Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal…

“I have no idea how or if I even deserve him, but there’s one thing I know for sure. As long as he’s a part of it, I’ll never live a life of mediocrity.”

Aside from knowing that music is involved in this book, I went into this completely blind. I think I have unintentionally made it a point to go into Colleen Hoover’s books blind. Or maybe I just trust her so much as a writer that I don’t even need to read the summary telling me what it’s about. I don’t think I’ve been able to say that about an author, let alone a romance author! I know this is only my third Colleen Hoover read, but I have yet to come across a book of hers that I didn’t enjoy. Also, did I mention I finished this whole book in ONE sitting?! That seems to be a thing with me when it comes to Colleen Hoover’s books.

Trust me when I say that each and every one of CoHo’s books are unique on their own, in their own way. And that’s what I admire the most about CoHo as an author. She’s able to make you explore every single one of your feelings as you turn each page until you’re left telling yourself “I didn’t know it was possible to feel this many emotions all at once, in a short amount of time.”

I especially really loved the humour aspect that Colleen threw in this particular book. After reading her books “Confess” and “Ugly Love,” I’ve noticed that “seriousness” and maturity seems to be her ongoing theme for her books. This one, though, was a little more than lightly sprinkled with some entertaining humour and a little harmless childish ongoing banter between the characters without making it seem like they’re trying too hard. When you read a CoHo book, you know you’re in for another familiar roller coaster ride without the slightest clue where the twists and turns are going to occur.

What I love about all of the CoHo books I’ve read so far, is her ability as an author to make me feel as though I’m LIVING the story being told in the book myself. I don’t feel as though I’m an outsider. Her characters are always so well developed that it allows me to really feel like I’m part of the story. She makes it easy to connect with and become attached to her characters. I can’t stress enough how critical this is to better one’s reading experience.

“I never realized how powerful desire could be. It consumes every part of you, enhancing your senses by a million.”

I also can’t (and probably won’t) go on enough about just how unique this book itself is, so I’m going to make it quick. Did you guys know that there are actual songs out on YouTube to accompany the songs mentioned in this book? I’ve never listened to songs with lyrics while reading a book but this time was an absolute exception. Listening to the songs by Griffin Peterson just made everything seem so much more real. I was able to feel every emotions much deeper. I highly, highly suggest you guys listen to the music as the respective songs come up in the book. You won’t regret it.

“I’m convinced that people come across others in life whose souls are completely compatible with their own. Some refer to them as soul mates. Some refer to it as true love.”

There was no way I was going to give this book any less than 5/5 stars. It deserves all the stars. I am once again impressed with Colleen Hoover and her graceful talent as an author. Cannot wait to read more of her work! “November 9,” coming up next!

Review: The Awakening of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

Rating: ★★★½
I’m giving this a 3.5 even though I really wanted to give it a 5.
*I’m opting out putting the Goodreads summary here just in case you have not read the first one. I don’t want it to ruin the first book for you!*

There were just so many things that didn’t make sense to me. There were some things that were also very repetitive and at times even predictable. I do have to say that it was definitely a lot better than the first one. The first one was anticlimactic for me, this one was a LITTLE better (although somewhat still anticlimactic). Keyword: little. It didn’t put me in awe as I expected it to.

I also wish the ending made a little bit more sense. It ended off on a cliffhanger (I’ll give the author a point for a well done cliffhanger), but instead of making the book strong, it made it seem a little unprofessional, for lack of a better word, to me. Usually, cliffhangers are good because they sometimes answer the questions you had while reading the book AND THEN give you new questions that you’ll hope to find the answers to in the NEXT book. That’s how cliffhangers are supposed to work in the first place, right? They’re supposed to basically say “well, now that you have your answers, here are some new questions that you’ll probably want to come back for next time so you can sleep nice and cozy at night!” This cliffhanger, though, just made the entire book feel absolutely unfinished!

I wasn’t satisfied with how it ended at all. I’m by no means averse to cliffhangers that leave you wanting more or even sad endings. I just honestly closed this book and found that a lot of things were just unresolved. I don’t understand why the author ended this book the way she ended it. That is beyond me. But despite all of that, I will still be (albeit hesitantly, probably) picking up the third book. I do want to find out what happens next. I just really hope it doesn’t leave me even more confused.

Have you guys read this book? Or the first one? (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl) What were your thoughts for either, if you’ve read them? I’ve never seen the popular webseries on YouTube, but I don’t think I’m going to check it out. The books are enough for me, I think. Have you seen the webseries?