Things Read in 2015

2015

When I was younger I would read all the time. Literally, just one book after another. I carried one with me everywhere (still do) and even when I wasn’t supposed to be reading, like, during class for example, I did anyway.

Now, being older, I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I would like, but I still try to read as often as I can.

That being said, way back in the summer of 2007 (it’s actually quite a while ago if you think about it), I started keeping a record of how many books I’d read and how many pages they were.

It started being divided by the summer and school years, but then I just started doing it by year. So, now that I’ve babbled on and explained (poorly) how this system worked, here is a list of the things I read in 2015!

The Walking Dead Books 1-4 (Issues 1-8), Robert Kirkman

TWD Books

I was a fan of The Walking Dead show before reading the comics, but after hearing repeatedly how different the comics are from the show I decided I had to read them. I’m not going to get too much into what I thought of the books as I reviewed books 1-4 last year.

I will say that so far I’m thoroughly enjoying the storyline both on the show and in the comics. I plan on reading at least books 5-8 this year (hopefully more, depending on if I can get them from the library).

 

Death Note Black Edition I, Tsugumi Ohba

black edition i

The only book I read this year that I haven’t reviewed yet. Not because it wasn’t good, but because I wanted to read Black Edition II first.

I’d already watched the anime of Death Note before reading the manga novels and I absolutely loved it. I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to read and when I discovered the Black Editions I was even more excited.

The Black Editions are basically two of the novels in one. Instead of spending twice as much and buying the books separate, you spend a couple extra dollars and get two of the books.

Death Note is amazing and I’ll definitely be posting a review of it this year as I recently bought Black Editions II and III.

 

F*ck! I’m in My Twenties, Emma Koenig

Fck Im in my TwentiesThis book is brilliant. I had wanted to read it for ages and was so glad when I finally did. Emma Koenig perfectly captures the feelings that come with being in your twenties, whatever stage you may be at.

I read and reviewed this book back in February and it is crazy how much changes in a year! Last year I wasn’t in school, had no job, and wasn’t doing too much. Now I feel like I hardly have time to slow down!

It’s absolutely insane how quickly things can change and I definitely need to read this book again to see just how different things are.

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room, Lemony Snicket

Reptile Room

I still haven’t finished this series! I started it like a year and a half ago and I still haven’t finished. I’m not going to say I’ll finish it this year cause I think we all know if I say that then it won’t happen.

However, I will say that I’m excited to read it again and actually finish it this time because all of these books, not just The Reptile Room, but all of them are amazing and enjoyable.

 

Handle With Care, Jodi Picoult

Handle With Care

This book still gets me even when I just think about it. I read this book in a matter of days and to this day I would say it’s probably in my top ten favourite novels.

I loved this book, but to this day the ending gets me sooooo angry. If you’ve read it you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, read this book. Read it because it’s beautiful and wonderful and Jodi Picoult is truly a literally marvel.

And then I want you to come back here and tell me what you thought of the ending and if you were raging for days while simultaneously existing in a state of shock like I was.

 

Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse FiveThis book is one I need to read again simply because I still don’t think I fully got it. But, like I said in my review (which wasn’t really a review), I think not fully understanding the book actually just makes me like it more.

This is definitely one of those books where even if you don’t fully understand it you’ll enjoy it. This is also one of those books where if you’re a book nerd you should read it. It’s not like the great novels of our time now. There’s no magic or great battle against an evil, superpowered villain.

But there is a story and at the end of the day Slaughterhouse Five is exactly what all great novels start out as and what they all end up being.

I love reading. When people ask me what I like doing the first two things I always say are reading and writing. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember and, even though I don’t have as much time as used to, I don’t doubt it will stay like that.

I look forward to reading many more books over the course of this year. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish all the books I started at the end of last year and more. My reading goal every year is to do slightly better than the year before.

Total Books Read: 9 (technically 14)

Total Pages: 2595

But I want to hear from you! What did you read last year? Have any reading goals for this year?

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January 2016 Book Releases

January.jpg

This Is Where It Ends, Marieke Nijkamp

This is Where It Ends

The start of a new school year can be an exciting time, but for one student it was a time for revenge. Told from the perspectives of four people, Nijkamp’s novel tells the story of a fight for survival when one student starts shooting.

 

Release Date: January 5, 2016

Buy This Is Where It Ends on Amazon

Passenger, Alexandra Bracken

Passenger.jpg

Etta Spencer is a violin prodigy who inherits a legacy she didn’t know she had. Nicholas Carter is living his life free from the Ironwoods, a powerful and dangerous family. However, the two are soon thrust together on a journey to stop a secret object from falling into the Ironwood’s hands.

Release Date: January 5, 2016

 

Buy Passenger on Amazon

Bookishly Ever After, Isabel Bandeira

bookishly ever after.jpg

Phoebe Martin lives in a world of books and would give anything if the real world would resemble her favourite stories. When she finds out the hottest clarinettist, Dev, might have a crush on her, Phoebe tries to become just like the heroines in her books so that he’ll really fall for her.

 

Release Date: January 12, 2016

Buy Bookishly Ever After on Amazon

The Love That Split the World, Emily Henry

The Love That Split the World.jpg

In her debut novel, Emily Henry tells the story of Natalie, a girl whose life is turned upside when the world suddenly starts to appear wrong. It is then that Natalie is told by a mysterious being that she must save “him”. The next night, Natalie meets Beau and it’s as the entire world disappears all together.

 

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Buy The Love That Split the World on Amazon

The Siren, Kiera Cass

The Siren

From New York Times best selling author, Kiera Cass, comes a fantasy novel about a young girl, Kahlen, forced to live her life as a Siren in order to repay a debt. However, when Kahlen falls in love with a human, she must choose between following the rules of the Ocean and following her heart.

 

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Buy The Siren on Amazon

Shallow Graves, Kali Wallace

Shallow Graves

In this first novel from Kali Wallace, Breezy Lin is a seventeen year old girl who wakes up a year after she died. She has no idea who killed her or why, but what she does know is that she can now sense those with a murderous past. Breezy must use this to delve into the darkness of the world and find some answers as to what exactly happened to her.

 

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Buy Shallow Graves on Amazon

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season whatever you may have celebrated and I know it’s only the second, but I hope you’re all having a wonderful 2016 so far!

I took a brief break from blogging for a little while at the end of the 2015, why? I got a job. Yes, unfortunately being an unpublished writer doesn’t make much (any) money, but I got a job over the Christmas season working in retail.

The best part? It’s one of my favourite stores (no it’s not a bookstore) and they’re keeping me! Apparently I did an okay job over the Christmas season because even though it’s over now they’re still keeping me on. I’m very excited about this, but I’m also very excited to get back to blogging, fanfiction writing, and novel writing!

Even though I’ll still be working, with the holidays over my hours won’t be as crazy which means I’ll have more time to write and work on blog posts and I’m incredibly excited to get back into it!

I look forward to an awesome and crazy 2016 with you all!

*Also, the rest of the months will have more books listed. For some reason it was a struggle to find books being released this month and then when I went on Amazon a lot of the ones I did find were only available for the Kindle*

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The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire, Dan and Phil

TABINOF

The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire aka TABINOF aka the book that is now tied with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as being my favourite book of all time.

TABINOF is the story of Dan and Phil aka Dan Howell and Phil Lester aka danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil.

I have a few books written by Youtubers and even more on my list of books I need to get. However, this one is definitely my favourite. I’ve watched Dan and Phil longer than any other Youtuber and even though I’ve never met them in person, it feels like I have because they’ve been there (or their videos have) during major times in my life.

I remember exactly where I was and what time it was when I first saw this video:

I was at the public library at four in the afternoon because I was part of a volunteer program and I was waiting for my reading buddy to show up when I got an email to say Dan had uploaded a video called ‘?’. Of course I had to watch it right then and there and it was all I could do to not scream out loud.

I got home and the first thing I did was preorder it off their website. It was kind of expensive because I live in Canada and they’re shipping from the UK, but it didn’t matter because in a few months time I would have Dan and Phil’s official book in my hands.

You would all be correct in assuming that I got some very strange looks when I went to the mailbox and found it in there. I practically ran home and opened it to find the book, a bookmark, and Dan and Phil pixel people stickers. Once again the only time I’ve been this excited to get a book was with the final Harry Potter.

I stayed up until three in the morning reading it and I regret nothing. If the final Harry Potter novel didn’t exist this would undoubtedly be my favourite book. However, Harry Potter is a thing so the two shall remained tied.

But what is TABINOF? I’ve been going on and on and how I bought it and how amazing it is and yet I haven’t said why it’s so amazing. Well I’m not going to go into great detail about the things in the book because that would be a spoiler and Dan and Phil specifically asked people to try and not spoil things because some people don’t have the book yet.

That being said, if you really don’t want to know anything about the book then you should really stop reading NOW. If you don’t want to see any spoilers STOP READING! Watch this video instead of Dan and Phil talking about the book and tour.

Alright, any spoilers from here on out are your own fault.

This book is so Dan and Phil. Reading it just felt like I was watching one of their videos or their livestreams. It’s a really good thing I was home alone when I was reading it because I was literally laughing out loud. The book is written like a back and forth conversation with each line labeled as being Dan or Phil saying it.

All I could hear as I’m reading the back and forth was “tone down the bantz” and it just made me lauigh more. The pictures in the book are amazing. They included pictures of themselves as babies (adorable), in their school uniforms (wow), and a whole bunch of pictures none of us have ever seen before (I was freaking out).

There’s a page featuring text messages back and forth between the two and they are absolutely hilarious! I actually to take breaks between reading each of them because I couldn’t stop laughing. There’s one in particular that I laughed for literally five minutes. I won’t tell you what it said, but I will tell you it involved wasps.

I took the “Which Dan and Phil (or Phil and Dan) Dining Chair Are You?” Quiz and it turns out I am the grey chair. Yeah, I can get on board with that.

One of the most highly anticipated things people have been waiting for in the book is the story of what really happened in Vegas. Ah, the infamous Vegas Video. Dan and Phil went to Vegas for Dan’s birthday and they vlogged a whole bunch of stuff, but the footage was lost when Dan’s hard drive stopped working.

So they wrote about it in the book. And let me tell you, you’re not even ready. I was not prepared for the Vegas Story. I was so excited to finally read it and let me tell you, it’s a rollercoaster from start to finish!

TABINOF is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read. I’ve already shown it to friends and family members and they just look at me like I’m crazy while I show them all the pictures and things in it. Undoubtedly they’re wondering what I’m doing with my life freaking out over these two guys in dinosaur and lion onesies.

I’m especially excited because Dan and Phil are actually on tour right now. At the moment they’re only touring the UK, but they’ve talked about going to other countries so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll come to Canada.

If have read the book then make sure you check out the ‘Making Of’ video below!

I seriously recommend buying TABINOF. If you’re a fan of Dan and Phil I guarantee you’ll love it and even if you’re not a fan of Youtubers I still suggest you buy it. You can do what Dan and Phil said by sniffing it (I can confirm it smells like a book) and then using it as a coaster.

Though please don’t tell me if you use it as a coaster, mine hasn’t even gone on the coffee table, it’s only been on soft surfaces so far.

Have you read TABINOF? What did you think? Let me down below, but remember, no spoilers!

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Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse FiveThis isn’t a review, per se, but more my first thoughts on the novel.

I had been planning to read Slaughterhouse Five for ages now and I finally did it. I bought it at Chapters and read it whenever I got the chance and I actually really liked it.

I’m not 100% sure I got it though, which is why I’m not doing a proper review. I understood the story and from hearing other people talk about it I know what it was saying, but I think this is definitely a novel I’ll need to read a few more times before I can fully appreciate it.

I actually liked this though, not getting it 100% on the first go. Some books I finish and I really enjoyed them, but it’s straight onto the next one.

I finished Slaughterhouse Five and I just kind of sat there thinking about it, trying to figure out what it all meant.

I got really excited when I finally understood the title of the book which, for years now, I had no clue why it was called what it was called.

I definitely need to read this book again because even though I don’t think I got it, I did really enjoy it.

It’s just one of those books that is so talked about and was (and still is) so influential. I definitely recommend checking out Slaughterhouse Five if you haven’t already. You might read it and not understand it, but I think, in this case, that’s okay.

Order Slaughterhouse Five on Amazon

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The Walking Dead Books 1-4, Robert Kirkman

TWD Books

****Warning: This post will contain spoilers for The Walking Dead comics, issues 1-8 (books 1-4)! If you haven’t read them yet and are planning to, don’t read this!****

I had been wanting to read The Walking Dead comics for ages. I’m a huge fan of the show so when I found out my local library had all the books I’ve pretty much been reading them nonstop. And are they ever different from the show!

I already knew about a lot of stuff that happens in the comics through the magic of the internet so I knew that there would be a lot of differences. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for some of them.

For instance, Lori’s death. Totally different from the book to the show! In the show, she dies giving birth to Judith (who lives) and Carl has to shoot her in the head to make sure she doesn’t come back. In the comics, she dies during The Governor’s attack and when she falls she crushes Judith to death. I knew this was coming because I read about it online, but it was still a bit of a shock when it happened.

A lot of people have talked about why they didn’t do this on the show and instead kept Judith the “Walker Car Alarm”. Even though the show can get pretty graphic and horrific, I’m not sure they could actually show a baby (even a fake one) being crushed to death under it’s dead mother. Now she’s a toddler though so I’m not even sure Judith is safe.

Something I really wasn’t prepared for in the comics was Carol. I love Carol in the show, she is absolutely one of my favorite characters and she is so badass. In the comics however, she is… something else. First she gets together with Tyreese, then when they break up she starts hitting on Lori… and Rick… and Lori and Rick together. No really. She suggested the three of them get together and raise Carl and Sophia and the baby as a trio. This is just one of the many things she does in these books that I found kind of strange. But really, all the characters in the novels are a little strange.

I’m currently reading book five which has issues nine and ten. I know I have a lot more to go and I’m definitely going to read them because they are enjoyable. But, and this is probably the unpopular opinion, I do enjoy the show more.

Don’t get me wrong, I like both, but I feel like I can get more invested in the show. When I watch the show, I watch it for hours and I feel like I get to know the characters. Then, when a character dies, I feel something about it. If it’s a character I liked then I’m sad, if it’s a character I didn’t like then I’m glad they’re gone. But I can finish one of the books in a couple hours and when a character dies, then that’s it, I turn the page and they’re gone. I turn the page and they’re just not being drawn anymore.

I just feel like, with The Walking Dead comics, I don’t really have time to become invested in these characters like I do in the show or like I would with other comics I’ve read where the characters are in hundreds of issues.

However, that is not to say these aren’t amazing. They are. They’re different from anything I’ve read before and, while I prefer the show, I am thoroughly enjoying them and am excited to keep reading.

Have you read The Walking Dead comics? What did you think?

Buy The Walking Dead Book One on Amazon

Buy The Walking Dead Book Two on Amazon

Buy The Walking Dead Book Three on Amazon

Buy The Walking Dead Book Four on Amazon

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Reviews

I love reviews, both writing and reading them, whether they’re for books, movies, or episodes of shows. Despite this though there has been a serious lack of reviews on this blog. Why? Two reasons:

First, I don’t like posting reviews I’m not happy with. I feel like there will inevitably be something I write that I’ll look back on and wish I had written it different. As a writer, this is just how things are and I’ve accepted that. But if I write and rewrite something (like I did with my Avengers: Age of Ultron review that was meant to go up last week) then I probably won’t post it right when I meant to. I want to be able to go back and reread the reviews I’ve written and be happy with majority of what I said.

I also don’t want what I write to seem forced. I want it to be genuine and for everyone reading my reviews to know I was being genuine. If I read a review and it seems like people are saying what they’re saying just for the sake of saying it, then I’m not likely to believe it, am I? And I figure people will probably think the same about my reviews.

If I say I really enjoyed a film and a book, I’m saying it because I mean it and I want to make sure all of you know that.

The second reason is lack of time. For some reason everything in my life decided to get crazy all at the same time. This means that there are certain things that get done on time and other things that don’t. Unfortunately, blog posts and fanfiction haven’t really been at the forefront of what I’ve been doing recently as other things have been taking up about 95% of my time.

A lack of time means that I might end up rushing a review which then leads to problem #1 that I talked about. I swear I need like an extra set of arms that are specifically for working on blog posts and reviews.

So what does this mean for my reviews on this blog? It means that sometimes reviews won’t be posted when they’re supposed to or when I want them to. Things seem to be calming down slightly (I think, I hope) which means I should have more free time to get back on track with things.

Reviews will resume soon and hopefully they will be something that I’m happy with and that you enjoy reading.

Thanks so much!

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Handle With Care, Jodi Picoult

Handle With Care

I discovered early on that Jodi Picoult was of those authors who wrote novels I would enjoy no matter what they were about. I own many of her books and even though I haven’t read all that are my shelf right now, I have read many of them. Among these is Handle With Care which may be my favourite of her books up to this point.

Every parent worries about their child getting hurt, but for Willow’s parents, Charlotte and Sean, it’s a daily fight against broken bones and casts and trying to help their daughter find her place in a world that really wasn’t made for her. Handle With Care tells the story of Willow O’Keefe, her family, and the struggles they face. Willow was born with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) Type III, also known as Brittle Bone Disease. This essentially means that Willow’s bones are like glass. When Willow suffers a severe break it results in her parents going to see a lawyer, though things don’t go exactly as they had originally planned. Instead they end up in a wrongful birth lawsuit which begs the question, “If they had known Willow was sick, would they have kept her?” This lawsuit pits Charlotte and Sean against each other, Charlotte against her best friend Piper (who was also her OB/GYN), and Charlotte and Sean’s oldest daughter Amelia against the whole world. A truly moving story with tests and turns you won’t see coming.

As I said before, I have read several of Picoult’s book, but this was one I had been wanting to read for ages. When I finally got it, it only took me a few days to get through it as I could just not put it down.

Brittle Bone is a rare disease, the first time I heard about it was in an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and from that moment on I really wanted to learn about it. Jodi Picoult does an excellent job of explaining the disease and how it works and what it’s affects are, as well as the various treatments for it, without giving readers and information overload.

Now, one of my favourite things about Picoult’s novel is the way each of her chapters is told from the point of view of a different character. It helps keep the story interesting and adds so much depth to each character as you get a chance to learn a little more about them throughout each of their chapters. The first time I read one of her books I thought this style of reading would confuse me, but it all flowed together so well and now I look forward to seeing which character is up next. This actually had a lot of influence on my writing style in regards to BYB and have done the same method where each chapter is told from the POV of a different character (though I’m still working on the flow thing).

Writers have the challenge of creating characters who have many different dimensions and sides. No one wants to read about a flat character, a perfect character, or an evil character with no redeemable qualities. Sure, sometimes that’s the point, but in majority of books that’s not what people what. And that’s not what writers want either. Handle With Care contains characters who, whether they get a POV or not, are far from two-dimensional and boring.

You love them and you hate them. Charlotte, she loves her husband and her best friend, but she’ll risk losing them to do what she has to for her children. Even if it means people all over the world hate her. As a reader you will hate her for some of the things she does, for how oblivious she becomes to some of the people around her (like Amelia) while she’s focused on Willow and the lawsuit. But you also can’t help but love her for the same thing. For loving both her children that she risks everything. I think the only character I didn’t hate or dislike for any reason was Amelia. She’s a teenager caught in the middle of her parent’s lawsuit and you can’t help but feel bad for her. Even when she’s acting like a bratty child, you can’t dislike her. Because she is just a child and while everyone is trying to shield her from the lawsuit, they’re not doing a very good job.

Something else Picoult does that I love is intertwines her storylines. Charlotte’s lawyer, Marin, at first seems to be a character who’s adoption storyline was totally separate from her interactions with Charlotte and the family. But as the story progresses you see how it relates. How this woman who was given away at birth could connect to this family who now has to say they would have terminated their pregnancy if they had known about Willow’s illness. And let me tell you, there is twist you will never see coming.

Written in Picoult’s usual (and wonderful) style, Handle With Care is a moving and intriguing novel that you will not be able to put down. By far my favourite of her novels that I’ve read, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a new read. I can’t wait to pick up her next book and see what’s in store.

Have you read any of Jodi Picoult’s books? Did you have a favourite?

Buy Handle With Care on Amazon

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