July 2017 Book Haul

Hi everyone!💜

Now that July is almost over, it’s book haul time! I had a pretty good reading month, but I am hoping that August is even better. So let’s get cracking!😊


Borrowed from the library:


Received from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review:


Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review:


Bought:


So tell me, what books did you read and haul this month? Have you read any of these ones? If so, what did you think of them? Let me know in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜

ARC Review: Piglettes

Title: Piglettes

Author: Clementine Beauvais

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, young adult, middle grade

Goodreads Synopsis:

A wickedly funny and life-affirming coming-of-age roadtrip story – winner of France’s biggest prize for teen and YA fiction. Awarded the Gold, Silver and Bronze trotters after a vote by their classmates on Facebook, Mireille, Astrid and Hakima are officially the three ugliest girls in their school, but does that mean they’re going to sit around crying about it?
Well… yes, a bit, but not for long! Climbing aboard their bikes, the trio set off on a summer roadtrip to Paris, their goal: a garden party with the French president. As news of their trip spreads they become stars of social media and television. With the eyes of the nation upon them the girls find fame, friendship and happiness, and still have time to consume an enormous amount of food along the way.

Source: Thanks so much to Steerforth Press/Pushkin Press for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley!

How I Found Out About It: Netgalley

If you know me, then you know that I adore (or actually, j’adore) everything that has to do with the French culture. The language, the foods, the country (that I unfortunately haven’t traveled to yet), and even more. I love reading books set in France just as much, so imagine how excited I was when I found Piglettes on Netgalley!

I enjoyed this story for sure, but I think it would be better suited to a younger crowd. This is definitely one of those books that can pass as young adult, but at the same time as a middle grade book, if you get what I’m saying.

For a quick synopsis, Piglettes follows three girls named Mireille, Astrid, and Hakima. They were voted as the ugliest girls in their school, and what is worse is that it was online. To overcome their reputation, the trio bikes all the way to Paris to have a garden party with the president. The three become the centre of attention in the eyes of the media, but will that be enough to restore their confidence?

As you all probably know, the element that makes or breaks a book for me are its characters. They are a huge weighting of the star rating I give, and unfortunately, the characters in this book were rather bland, taking off a huge chunk of the rating. All of them were quite forgettable, but I still really appreciated the strong, unbreakable friendship between them. This may not be a book with the most wonderful characters, but it is one with the most amazing friendship ties that often aren’t seen too much in literature.

To add on, the plot wasn’t particularly great, either. The whole premise just seemed a tiny bit unrealistic to me- I was unable to grasp why the trio suddenly wanted to get up and go on a big adventure. That is definitely an unlikely sight to be seen in real life, and plus, it was slightly far-fetched. 

Overall, I didn’t LOVE the characters or the plot of Piglettes, but the morals are what struck me the most. This book shows that it isn’t worth it to let others’ words make you feel upset, and I loved that message. As a high schooler, I wasn’t able to enjoy this story to its best potential, but I believe that middle graders absolutely will. Plus, it’s translated from the beautiful language of French!

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*I received a digital ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Disney Princess Book Tag

Hi everyone!👋

Sam @ River-Moose-Reads has tagged me to take part in the new Disney Princess Book Tag. Thanks so much, Sam!💜 I love her blog, so be sure to take some time to check it out!

I like Disney movies, but I wouldn’t say that I’m the biggest fan of them, to tell you the truth. (Please don’t kill me!) My favourite princesses are probably Cinderella and Rapunzel, though.

So let’s get on with the tag!✌️


The Rules

-Mention where you saw the tag/thank whoever tagged you

-Tag the lovely creators (Mandy & Zuky) so they can see their wonderful tag in action!

-Play a game of tag at the end!


Les Questions

Snow White: This book (like the movie) started it all- favourite debut book from an author

I was surprised to find out that Everything, Everything was Nicola Yoon’s debut- it’s just too good to be true!👌


Cinderella: A diamond in the rough-  Just like Cinderella, you either didn’t expect much out of this character in the beginning but they turned out to be a total gem

Eldon from As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti was at first arrogant and downright rude, but as the book progressed, he developed so much into a guy with a warm heart who always wanted to do the right thing.💙


Aurora: SLEEPING BEAUTY – A book that makes you sleepy or just could not hold your attention

Panic by Lauren Oliver was so boring! I have mixed feelings about all of Lauren Oliver’s books, and this one was my least favourite from them.😐


Ariel: Under the Sea- A book with an ocean/water setting

The Siren by Kiera Cass was an awesome book that I’d recommend to those who are into stories about mermaids and who are also fans of her fabulous series, The SelectionThis one was absolutely a fun, light, and fast read.✌️


Belle: Beauty and the Books- Name a book with the best bookworm/book lover

Guys, Vivian from The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts is a book blogger! I think enough can be said.😂


Jasmine: THE THIEF AND THE PRINCESS – Name book with an unlikely love story (either in terms of romance or a book you didn’t expect to love so much)

Divergent probably meets both!😊


Pocahontas: THE REAL LIFE PRINCESS – Name a book that is based on a real life person you want to read/have read

Does it count if she wrote the book herself?🤔


Mulan: THE PRINCESS THAT SAVED HER COUNTRY – Name the fiercest heroine you know

Katniss from THG! Need I say more?!😂💜


Tiana:  THE PRINCESS WITH THE COOLEST AND MOST DIVERSE CREW – Name a diverse book whether it is a diverse set of characters (like tiana’s group of naveen, louis, ray, and more) or just diverse in general

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli is filled to the brim with diversity!💘


Rapunzel: LET YOUR LONGGGGGG HAIR DOWN – Name the longest book you’ve ever read

590 pages… but that will change once I continue on with the Harry Potter series. Someday…😉


Merida: I DETERMINE MY OWN FATE – A book where there is no love story/interest or isn’t needed 

The love felt so forced in Protected by Claire Zorn! Review to come soon.💖


Anna & Elsa-  FROZEN HEARTS – A book in a winter/cold setting

Sucktown, Alaska by Craig Dirkes was far from being the best book ever, but it is all I could think of to answer this prompt.🤷‍♀️


Moana: How Far I’ll Go- A character that goes on a journey

Technically, Q from Paper Towns by John Green goes on two journeys– one for self-growth, and another to find Margo. It was astonishing!😍


I tag…

1.Erin @ A Redhead’s Rambling

2.A @ Fandomly Bookish

3.Laura  @ Reading Sanctuary

As always, if you guys have already completed this tag or are just not up to it, it’s no problem, but I’d still love to see your choices!💙💙


So tell me, have you read any of these books? Opinions? Have you seen any of these Disney princess movies? If so, who is your favourite princess? Do you agree (or disagree) with any of my choices? Let me know in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜

Top Ten Thursday #56

Hi everyone!☺️

For a lot of people, summertime means camp time, and this includes myself. I don’t really enjoy overnight camp, but I work at a local day camp with 6-7 year old girls and I love it! So, for this week’s Top Ten Thursday, I have decided to list some books with a camp feel. They either take place at camp or include traditional camp activities such as camping outdoors and fishing.

So let’s get camping!⛺️


1. Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

Before: It was the perfect summer of first kisses, skinny-dipping, and bonfires by the lake. Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe knew their final summer at Camp Okahatchee would come to an end, but they swore they’d stay friends.

After: Now, two years later, their bond has faded along with those memories.

Then: That is, until the fateful flash of a photo booth camera transports the four of them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen—the summer everything changed.

Now: The girls must recreate the past in order to return to the present. As they live through their second-chance summer, the mystery behind their lost friendship unravels, and a dark secret threatens to tear the girls apart all over again.

Always: Summers end. But this one will change them forever.

This book is about a group of old camp friends who attend a reunion and then find themselves back in their camper years. It definitely had an interesting concept, but it wasn’t my favourite. It was still enjoyable, though!👌


2. Everything Beautiful is not Ruined by Danielle Younge-Ullman

Wild meets The Breakfast Club in this story of a girl who must survive an extreme wilderness experience to prove to her mother that she has the strength to pursue her dreams.

Then
Ingrid traveled all over Europe with her opera star mother, Margot-Sophia. Life was beautiful and bright, and every day soared with music.

Now
Ingrid is on a summertime wilderness survival trek for at-risk teens: addicts, runaways, and her. She’s fighting to survive crushing humiliations, physical challenges that push her to her limits, and mind games that threaten to break her.

Then
When the curtain fell on Margot-Sophia’s singing career, they buried the past and settled into a small, painfully normal life. But Ingrid longed to let the music soar again. She wanted it so much that, for a while, nothing else mattered.

Now
Ingrid is never going to make it through this summer if she can’t figure out why she’s here . . . and why the music really stopped.

This isn’t about actual camp, but it follows a girl who spends her summer in the wilderness after her mom, who is a famous opera singer, loses her singing voice. I’d definitely recommend it for its amazing morals!💜


3. Camp Disaster by Frieda Wishinsky

Charlotte Summers is sure that summer camp is going to be a disaster. And she’s right. But it’s not as disastrous for her as it is for her counselor, Abby. Abby has no control over the girls in her charge. The control is held by the cabin’s mean girl. Charlotte realizes that she could tip the balance of power and unseat the bully, but does she have the courage to go for it?

Honestly, I disliked this book, but since it fit with the theme, I decided to include it anyway because that’s the kind of person I am.😂


4. Positively by Courtney Sheinmel

Since the day Emerson Pressman and her mother were diagnosed as HIV positive, nothing has been the same. When her mother dies of AIDS, Emmy has to go live with the father and stepmother she barely knows, and she feels more alone than ever. Now she has to take pills by herself, and there is no one left who understands what it’s like to be afraid every time she has a cold. But when her father decides to send her to Camp Positive, a camp for HIV-positive children, Emmy begins to realize that she’s not alone after all, and that sometimes, opening up to other people can make all the difference in the world.

This is an extra special book about camp- it’s all about a girl who was diagnosed as HIV positive who attends a camp just for kids with HIV. It’s moving, heartwarming, and amazing. I’d highly recommend it!💘


5. Camp Confidential Series by Melissa J. Morgan

Summer camp is often a highlight of a young person’s life. The drama of being away from home, making new friends, and even having some friendly feuds is captured in this tween series. The girls in Camp Lakeview’s bunk 3C draw readers into their inner circle and bring them along on the twists, secrets, and challenges of their lives.
 This is an addicting middle grade series with a multitude of different books on different topics, all taking place (or with the general theme of) at camp. I haven’t read any books from this series for a while, but I do remember really liking it!😃

6. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

FOUR VERY DIFFERENT FRIENDS. ONE PAIR OF MAGICAL PANTS. AND A SUMMER APART …

We, the Sisterhood, hereby instate the following rules to govern the use of the Traveling Pants:

1. You must never wash the Pants.

2. You must never double-cuff the Pants. It’s tacky. There will never be a time when this will not be tacky.

3. You must never say the word “phat” while wearing the Pants. You must also never think “I am fat” while wearing the Pants.

4. You must never let a boy take off the Pants (although you may take them off yourself in his presence).

5. You must not pick your nose while wearing the Pants. You may, however, scratch casually at your nostril while really kind of picking.

6. Upon our reunion, you must follow the proper procedures for documenting your time in the Pants.

7. You must write to your Sisters throughout the summer, no matter how much fun you are having without them.

8. You must pass the Pants along to your Sister according to the specifications set down by the Sisterhood. Failures to comply will result in a sever spanking upon our reunion.

9. You must not wear the Pants with a tucked-in shirt and belt. See rule #2.

10. Remember: Pants = love. Love your pals. Love yourself.

It’s been quite a while since I read and devoured this book (maybe I should reread it, then?), but I do remember that one of the characters attends an overnight camp during the summer.


7. Katie Kazoo Switcheroo: Camp Rules! by Nancy E. Krulik

Katie is so excited for her two-week stay at sleepaway camp! Friends, activities, Color War, s’mores . . . and wild animals???? But Katie can’t go anywhere without the magic wind following her—even to camp! Have twice the summer fun with twice the switcheroos in Katie Kazoo’s newest Super Special!
 There was a time when I used to be obsessed with this series. I was maybe around 8 or 9 years old at the time, but when I went to overnight camp at age 12, I reread this book to get more of a sense of what it would be like. This book is great for any reader considering going to overnight camp- it has such a realistic portrayal of it.⛺️

8. Baby-Sitters’ Summer Vacation by Ann M. Martin

This summer, the Baby-sitters and a whole bunch of the kids they sit for are going to Camp Mohawk! With the girls as counselors-in-training, and the kids as campers, it’ll be just like baby-sitting–in the woods!

The Baby-sitters soon discover that camp isn’t just nature walks and making lanyards. Dawn gets lost in the wilderness overnight. Kristy learns how to use mascara, and Mary Anne gets caught sneaking over to the boys’ side of the camp. Stacey spends the two weeks with poison ivy. . .and Claudia falls in LUV with a boy CIT.

This is one summer vacation the Baby-sitters will never forget!

Oh yes- I was addicted to this series as well! This book is also great for those first-time overnight campers, as it also has a pretty good portrayal of camp.❤️


9. Camp Rolling Hills by Stacy Davidowitz

A hilarious and heartfelt series about the particular magic of summer camp—a place where reinvention is possible and friends are like family—from a sparkling debut talent.

Finally, it’s summer! Stephanie—aka Slimey—has been counting the days until she can return to her favorite place in the entire world, Camp Rolling Hills. And this year she’s especially happy to be back—she’ll have eight blissful weeks away from home, where life has been decidedly rocky.
New kid Bobby, on the other hand, is pretty sure he’s in for the worst summer of his life. He does not understand his weirdo cabinmates, the group singing, and the unfortunate nicknames (including his: Smelly). But he does understand Slimey, and the two soon fall in crush. This summer might not be so bad after all!
But then a fight sets off an epic, campwide, girls-versus-boys prank war. Bunks are raided! Boxer shorts are stolen! And it’s up to Slimey and Smelly to keep the peace.

I haven’t read this middle grade camp series, but I have heard some fabulous things about it and I’m sure it’s great for prospective campers!😊


10. Camp So-and-So by Mary McCoy

The letters went out in mid-February. Each letter invited its recipient to spend a week at Camp So-and-So, a lakeside retreat for girls nestled high in the Starveling Mountains. Each letter came with a glossy brochure with photographs of young women climbing rocks, performing Shakespearean theatre under the stars, and spiking volleyballs. Each letter was signed in ink by the famed and reclusive businessman and philanthropist, Inge F. Yancey IV.

By the end of the month, twenty-five applications had been completed, signed, and mailed to a post office box in an obscure Appalachian town.

Had any of these girls tried to follow the directions in the brochure and visit the camp for themselves on that day in February, they would have discovered that there was no such town and no such mountain and that no one within a fifty-mile radius had ever heard of Camp So-and-So.

Camp So-and-So is on my TBR and I’m super excited to read it! It looks interestingly unique- if any of you have read it, please let me know how it was!🙈


So tell me, have you read any of these books? Opinions? Have you ever been to summer camp? Did you enjoy it? What are some other books you’ve read that focus on summer camp? Let me know in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜

Love & Gelato Review

Title: Love & Gelato

Author: Jenna Evans Welch

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

Source: Bought at Indigo

How I Found Out About It: Goodreads/Blogging

After I finished my exams, Love & Gelato was the first book I turned to to get myself into the summer mood. I had been hearing so many awesome comments about it that I knew I had to go out, buy it, and devour it.

Well, devour it I did, but it was surprisingly not as fluffy as I was expecting it to be. Of course, some parts were definitely lighthearted, but there was a lot of character growth and depth that made the read a tad more on the serious side. 

To give a summary, this story follows a teenage girl named Lina. After her mom passes away, she is sent to live in Italy for the summer to get to know her father. When she gets her hands on her mom’s old journal that she kept while going to school there, she learns that things are not all as seemed.

I have to say that Lina was truthfully an extraordinary character. Her instincts were great and she could always figure out in a jiffy if something seemed fishy, which was definitely evident when reading and examining her mom’s journal. Lina trusted her gut feeling, and in turn, this made her a reliable character.

The love interest, Ren, was very helpful to Lina during a time of sorrow and adjustment, and as well, he was, ahem, swoon-worthy! Haha, he was gorgeous. New book crush, anyone? 😉

The plot ran well and I was never confused or bored while reading the novel. The events linked together with a strong connection, and I was always kept just wanting to turn more and more of the pages! To add on, I really loved being able to explore the city of Florence through the characters’ eyes and learn all about Lina’s family history through her mother’s journal.

All in all, Love & Gelato was a fantastic story of love, loss, friendship, family, and teamwork. Its characters, storyline, and morals were great, and I couldn’t recommend this book enough- specifically to those readers who are fans of travel, family ties, and of course, GELATO! Devour this read like you would gelato, people!❤️

*4.25 Stars*

Mystery Blogger Award 7.0

Hi everyone!💞

Welcome to my 7th Mystery Blogger award nomination! (Boy, I’ve been accumulating these.) This is all thanks to the amazing Laura @ thebookcorps, so be sure to give her fabulous blog full of treats a look! Here’s also some credit to Okoto Enigma for being the creator of this awesome award!❤️

So let’s-a-go!☺️


The Rules:

-Put the award logo on your blog

-List the rules

-Thank whoever nominated you and link to their blog

-Mention the creator of the award and link it to their blog

-Tell your readers 3 things about yourself

-Nominate between 10 to 20 bloggers

-Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs

-Ask your nominees 5 questions

-Share a link to your best/favourite post that you have written


My 3 Facts:

  1. I am currently writing this at my cottage! It is so nice to be up here as I probably haven’t been able to be here since September. It is a nice, relaxing break from suburban life!👌
  2. I never, ever thought I’d say this, but even though in the past, gym was always my least favourite subject, since first semester of the past school year ended, I’ve been missing gym class. Unfortunately, I dropped it for this upcoming year because I wanted to take some other electives instead.😕
  3. I recently got a shiny new rose gold iPhone 6S! The case I have on it is a pink wallet case, in which I am able to store my library card and many other such things.

Laura’s Questions:

If you could time travel to only one period of history, which would it be?

How about this idea: no time traveling at all? If I time-traveled to the past, I might ruin things for the future (or, well, the present). Therefore, it’s definitely safer to stay in current times.

But if I was able to go back just to look at how things were like and not engage with anything or anybody, then I’d probably have to choose the medieval times– so interesting!👌


What is your favourite TV show or movie?

Even though I don’t watch much of either, I really like Full House!


What is your favourite country/city you’ve traveled to? And if you haven’t traveled, what country/city have you always wanted to visit?

I will answer both if that’s okay.☺️

For question #1, I haven’t traveled much yet. The farthest and most exotic place that I’ve been to has been Jamaica, but I absolutely loved it! I would adore going back one day.🌴

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This was where I stayed in Jamaica^^

For question #2, this changes all the time. I have so many places on my travel bucket list that it isn’t even funny. Right now, though, I would really dig visiting Bora Bora- it looks gorgeous!💞


What classic novel have you always wanted to read but haven’t/or DNF’ed?

I really want to read Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. It honestly seems super interesting, but I can’t find it as a physical copy (which I ultimately prefer)!😩


Is there a book that you wish you had come up with instead of the original author?

Oh, this happens ALL THE TIME. I come across an interesting premise and I think, “Oh, why couldn’t I have come up with this idea? How did this idea slip my mind?!”

Anywho, I adore the premise of The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler and low-key wish that I could have been the one to think up that idea for myself. Oh, and also, it’s an awesome book! Please read it!💞😂


My Favourite (Recent) Post:

I think that this one can give you guys the giggles! It’s all about the search terms people have used to find my blog!😂


Mes Questions Pour Vous:

1.Under what circumstances would you DNF a book?

2.Share your favourite meme or GIF!😂

3.Tell me a teaser sentence from the book you’re currently reading!

4.Tell me a little known fact about you that no other bloggers know.

5.What song is stuck in your head right now? (if any)


I Nominate…

  1. Alyssa @ Books Take You Places
  2. Rose @ stuckinfiction
  3. Jas @ JasBooks
  4. Trinity @ My Cup of T 321
  5. Kjell @ Bookrebel1988

It’s not a problem if you guys don’t feel like doing this, but I’d love to see your facts and answers!☺️


So tell me, do you (dis)agree with any of my answers and opinions? How would you answer my or Laura’s questions? Let me know in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜

Things I Should Have Known Review

Hi everyone!😃

I could not think of a topic for this week’s Top Ten Thursday, so instead of doing that today, I have decided to post a (long overdue) review instead. I can 99% guarantee that I will get a Top Ten Thursday post up next week, though! Anyway, let’s get cracking!


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Title: Things I Should Have Known

Author: Claire LaZebnik

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

Things Chloe knew: Her sister, Ivy, was lonely. Ethan was a perfect match. Ethan’s brother, David, was an arrogant jerk.

Things Chloe should have known: Setups are complicated. Ivy can make her own decisions. David may be the only person who really gets Chloe.

Meet Chloe Mitchell, a popular Los Angeles girl who’s decided that her older sister, Ivy, who’s on the autism spectrum, could use a boyfriend. Chloe already has someone in mind: Ethan Fields, a sweet, movie-obsessed boy from Ivy’s special needs class.

Chloe would like to ignore Ethan’s brother, David, but she can’t—Ivy and Ethan aren’t comfortable going out on their own, so Chloe and David have to tag along. Soon Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan form a quirky and wholly lovable circle. And as the group bonds over frozen-yogurt dates and movie nights, Chloe is forced to confront her own romantic choices—and the realization that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.

Source: Public library

How I Found Out About It: Blogging

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I love reading diverse books like this one. I have loved ones on the autism spectrum, so I was excited (and yes, at the same time scared as well) about how this book would portray it. Pushing that aside, the whole concept intrigued me, so I decided to check out Things I Should Have Known.

Like most books I read, this one definitely had some, but very few minor flaws- that’s almost a given. Overall, though, I found it to be a very fun, light and resourceful read.

For a summary of the plot, Things I Should Have Known revolves around a teenage girl named Chloe and her older sister, Ivy, who is on the autism spectrum. Chloe decides that Ivy deserves a boyfriend, so she gets her together with a boy named Ethan from her class. The thing is, though, that Ivy and Ethan are reluctant to be alone, and so Chloe must go out with Ethan’s brother David as well, whom she is not particularly fond of. Will they make it work?

Chloe was such a sweetie! She was very understanding and protective of her sister because of and despite her condition, and honestly, I adored that she cared so much. Her and Ivy were legitimately sister goals, holding an unbreakable bond that not all siblings are fortunate enough to experience. Ivy’s character was also super loveable and I absolutely adored her to bits!❤️

For the most part, the events in this book were quite realistic, apart from the unexpected turn of events that occurred at around two-thirds of the way through. Since I completed this book a month ago, I can no longer remember what exactly it was, but I do remember it being shocking and not the most realistic thing that I would have expected to happen.

All in all, Things I Should Have Known was a very enjoyable read. I loved the protagonist, the family ties, the realness, and the diversity, but the male characters were slightly dull and I can’t say too much about the representation of ASD. Anyway, for those readers wanting to check out a good book with a character on the autism spectrum, I would for sure recommend this one.

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Dreamland Review

Title: Dreamland

Author: Sarah Dessen

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

Wake up, Caitlin

Ever since she started going out with Rogerson Biscoe, Caitlin seems to have fallen into a semiconscious dreamland where nothing is quite real. Rogerson is different from anyone Caitlin has ever known. He’s magnetic. He’s compelling. He’s dangerous. Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else–her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life. But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?

Source: School library

How I Found Out About It: Goodreads

I have to say that Sarah Dessen is a bit of a ho-hum author for me. I have read a few of her books now, and they all seem to blend together with nothing to really distinguish each individual story from one another. I enjoy her books while reading them, but the second I close one of them, the memory of it flees from my mind. 

Dreamland was no exception to this. Again, it was a good read, but it just wasn’t unique. In a couple months, I will remember reading it, sure- but I’ll have no reason to remember anything special about it.

To briefly summarize, this story follows a high schooler named Caitlin. She has recently started dating a guy named Rogerson, and ever since they started together, she has been acting completely different, as if nothing is real. This gets to the point where Rogerson and any thoughts of him soon become too dangerous to bare, and not just because she is immensely drawn to him.

I found Caitlin to be both slightly bland as well as slightly unlikeable. She was always upset about something, which I couldn’t stand! There was almost never a page I read that showcased a happy Caitlin, but instead I was faced with a complaining, whiny Caitlin.

If you think that Caitlin seems bad enough, then Rogerson is way worse. He was quite abusive and threatening to her, and I didn’t like how the two meshed. Honestly, the only reason why I think Caitlin kept on forgiving him for his misdoings was because she was intimidated by him!

I promise that I will get to the positives of this book after this point, but the story was also unrealistic at times. For example, at the beginning of the book, Caitlin’s sister Cass suddenly disappeared and ended up on a TV show?! How and why did this happen? Dessen just needed to give us more background information about everything, that’s all.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel, and in this case, that beam of light was the morals that this book entailed. Dreamland is a novel that will remind its readers that nobody is perfect, and that we should be as forgiving as possible since everyone makes mistakes sometimes. We just have to live and learn from them.

Overall, Dreamland amused me at times, but for the most part, it bored me. I disliked the characters, but the plot moved fast and the morals were quite pleasant. If you don’t often read contemporaries, then this book would be a great introduction to the genre for you, but if you do, then this story deserves a pass. Nothing about it is new to avid contemporary readers, and you won’t be missing out on much.

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Some Girls Are Review

Title:  Some Girls Are

Author: Courtney Summers

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard—falling from it is even harder.  Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High… until vicious rumors about her—and her best friend’s boyfriend—start going around.  Now Regina’s been frozen out, and her ex-best friends are out for revenge.  If Regina were guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth, and the bullying is getting more intense by the day.  She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past whom she herself used to bully.  Friendship doesn’t come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend…if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don’t break them both first.

Tensions grow and the abuse worsens, as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be.

Source: School library

How I Found Out About It: By reading Cracked up to Be by the same author

Courtney Summers as an author has intrigued me ever since I read and enjoyed her debut, Cracked up to Be. Since it was a great book that covers teen angst very well, I decided to give Some Girls Are a look when I found it at my school’s library.

In my eyes, Some Girls Are was a wonderful read, and I enjoyed it even more than I did with her debut. This book touched a lot on bullying, and I was happy to see a realistic portrayal of it that teaches readers how to cope with it.

For a quick summary, this story follows the POV of high schooler Regina. When rumours about her start circulating the halls of her school, her clique drops her and she becomes feared by everyone. The only person who can stand her in that moment is a quiet boy named Michael whom she herself had bullied in the past, and so the two try to become friends, or maybe even more if all goes well.

Okay, let me just get one thing straight here. Regina, the protagonist, is NOT the most likeable character in a YA book. In fact, she is very far from it. But the thing is, she is flawed, which is unlike so many ‘typical’ characters that we often read about. In spite of this, Regina put on a brave face to fight off all the bullying and always persevered to remain the best person she could be. Even though she still wasn’t the sweetest person alive even after she grew as a character, what matters the most is that she tried her best to improve herself.

As for Michael, he for sure seemed quite troubled and shy upon first meeting him, but as he and Regina got to know each other more and more, I found myself warming up to him easily.

All in all, Some Girls Are is a novel that needs to be read by as many people as possible. The effects of bullying can be quite detrimental for some, and this book displays this very well with its strong characters and storyline. Teens often do not think before making snide remarks to others, and this book will concretely show readers the consequences of doing so. If you’re looking for a story with amazing morals, then Some Girls Are is the one to read.

Top Ten Thursday #55🇨🇦

Hi everyone!😃

Happy (belated) Canada Day! This one was especially special because it was Canada’s 150th birthday! For those of you who are Canadian, I hope you all had a great day and did something super fun with your friends and families to celebrate the occasion.🎊

Anyway, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, I wanted to list some great YA books written by Canadian authors for you to check out. These books are often overlooked, but they are all truly amazing in their own ways and should definitely be read by many more people.

So let’s get on with it, eh?😉


1. Cracked up to Be by Courtney Summers

When “Perfect” Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter’s High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher’s pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn’t want to talk about it. She’d just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her conselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there’s a nice guy falling in love with her and he’s making her feel things again when she’d really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she’d turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

Though not the most perfect story, Courtney Summers is still a fabulous author who touches on quite serious topics with the hearts of teens in mind. Cracked up to Be is absolutely worth a read!


2. The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Heather Smith

Set in 1980s Newfoundland, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe is the story of a 14-year-old girl who runs away to the city and is taken in by a street musician who lives with an eclectic cast of characters: a pot smoking dishwasher with culinary dreams; a drag queen with a tragic past; a Catholic school girl desperately trying to reinvent herself; and a man who Bun is told to avoid at all cost.

This book isn’t out until September, but it was too good not to include in this list. I loved the quirky, relatable character of Bun and her story!


3. 10 Things I Can See from Here by Carrie Mac

Perfect for fans of Finding Audrey and Everything, Everything, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.

Think positive.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.

Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.

Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?

A wonderful novel about diversity and family ties, 10 Things I Can See from Here is written by an author who is from the heart of Vancouver. Isn’t that awesome?


4. 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.

Sudasa doesn’t want to be a wife, and Contestant Five, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa’s family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable—and caged. Five’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Five thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

Told from alternating points of view—Sudasa’s in verse and Contestant Five’s in prose—allowing readers to experience both characters’ pain and their brave struggle for hope.

There are honestly so many great things about this book, but I still saw some flaws in it. Anyway, focusing on the positives, 5 to 1 was very diverse and unique with some unforgettable characters. Plus, it takes place in the future, which was super cool!💜


5. Ink by Amanda Sun

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

This book only deserved three stars from me, but there are so many fabulous elements to it that will appeal to those who prefer paranormal contemporaries. Still, can’t overlook a Canadian author!😃


6. Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

Life ahead: Proceed with caution.

Sixteen-year-old Petula De Wilde is anything but wild. A family tragedy has made her shut herself off from the world. Once a crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula now sees danger in everything, from airplanes to ground beef.

The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class. She has nothing in common with this small band of teenage misfits, except that they all carry their own burden of guilt.

When Jacob joins their ranks, he seems so normal and confident. Petula wants nothing to do with him, or his prosthetic arm. But when they’re forced to collaborate on a unique school project, she slowly opens up, and he inspires her to face her fears.

Until a hidden truth threatens to derail everything.

I LOVED THIS BOOK! It was so awesome and it has to be discovered by a ton more readers!!💞


7. All the Feels by Danika Stone

College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.

Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.

This little piece of fluff will satisfy fangirls from all over the world- and plus, Danika Stone is from Alberta!


8. Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined by Danielle Younge-Ullman

Wild meets The Breakfast Club in this story of a girl who must survive an extreme wilderness experience to prove to her mother that she has the strength to pursue her dreams.

Then
Ingrid traveled all over Europe with her opera star mother, Margot-Sophia. Life was beautiful and bright, and every day soared with music.

Now
Ingrid is on a summertime wilderness survival trek for at-risk teens: addicts, runaways, and her. She’s fighting to survive crushing humiliations, physical challenges that push her to her limits, and mind games that threaten to break her.

Then
When the curtain fell on Margot-Sophia’s singing career, they buried the past and settled into a small, painfully normal life. But Ingrid longed to let the music soar again. She wanted it so much that, for a while, nothing else mattered.

Now
Ingrid is never going to make it through this summer if she can’t figure out why she’s here . . . and why the music really stopped.

This novel was very unique and it felt REAL. The main character, Ingrid, was wonderful to read about, and so was her journey.💫


9. The Best Mistake Mystery by Sylvia McNicoll

Some people count their blessings, but dogwalker Stephen Nobel counts mistakes.

Dogwalker extraordinaire Stephen Nobel can get a little anxious, but his habit of counting the mistakes he and everyone else makes calms him. His need to analyze gets kicked into hyperdrive after two crazy events happen in one day at school: the bomb squad blows up a backpack and someone smashes a car into the building.

To make things worse, that someone thinks Stephen can identify them. Stephen receives a threatening text. If he goes to the police, his favourite dogs, Ping and Pong, will get hurt. The pressure mounts when his new best friend, Renée, begs for Stephen’s help. Her brother has been charged with the crimes and she wants to clear his name.

Is it a mistake to give in to dognappers? How can he possibly save everybody? To find out, Stephen will have to count on all of his new friends.

I was given the opportunity to read and review both this book and its sequel, The Artsy Mistake Mystery, through Netgalley. Despite them being middle grade novels, they are simply awesome and deserve lots more attention!


10. Safe as Houses by Eric Walters

The date is October 15, 1954. Thirteen-year-old Elizabeth, who lives in the Toronto suburb of Weston, is a typical grade 8 girl. She has a secret crush on a boy in her class and she thinks Elvis Presley is “dreamy.” Elizabeth also has a part-time job babysitting an adorable little grade 2 girl named Suzie, and Suzie’s not-so-adorable grade 6 brother, David. Elizabeth’s job is to walk Suzie and David home after school and then stay at their house with them until their mother gets home from work. David resents Elizabeth because he thinks he is too old for a babysitter, and he goes out of his way to make life miserable for her.

On this particular evening, however, Elizabeth has more than a badly behaved boy to contend with. It is on this October night that Hurricane Hazel roars down on Toronto, bringing torrential rains that cause extensive flooding. David and Suzie’s house is on Raymore Drive, a street that will be practically wiped out by the floodwaters.

David and Suzie’s parents are unable to reach the house, which means the children’s safety on this most deadly of nights is Elizabeth’s responsibility. She finds herself increasingly isolated. They are surrounded by rising water. The electricity goes out. The phone goes dead. Still, Elizabeth is sure they will be safe as long as they remain in the house.

But are Elizabeth and the children really as “safe as houses”? Before this terrifying night is over, Elizabeth and David will have to learn to communicate and cooperate if they are to save their own lives and Suzie’s. Their survival in the midst of one of Canada’s worst disasters will depend upon their resourcefulness, maturity and courage.

I read this for school about a year and a half ago, and it was a great piece of historical fiction that I would for sure recommend.☺️


So tell me, have you read any of these books? Opinions? What are some of your favourite books by Canadian authors? Any you’d recommend? If you’re Canadian, how was your Canada Day and what did you do? Let me know in the comments below.

Au revoir!💜