Friday, 24 July 2015

Playlist Picks - July Edition's Summer Sunshine

Who doesn't love music? No one. If you happen to be that person who doesn't then... get out of here. KIDDING. Try some of the songs I have put for you this month, maybe something will suit your taste!

These are the current hits for me right now. Let me know what you think!


  


These are this months favourites! Hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Review: P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han


Title: P.S. I Still Love You (To All The Boys I've Loved Before, #2)

Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Publication date: May 26, 2015 
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Bought
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 337
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.
The most anticipated sequel of 2015 was this book for so many readers out there. I still remember when Lobna, Juhina, and I ran into Chapters and legitimately snatched copies for ourselves like a bunch of hooligans (we thought there might be only one... funny). My sister and I immediately picked it up and started reading it the day of. I am happy to say, Jenny Han I love you, and thank you for delivering such an amazing book yet once again. P.S. I Still Love You was not a disappointment, which somehow always seems to happen with sequels. Jenny Han brings up all of what I love in contemporary books. The girly-ness and the love letters and the drama, what could a girl want more than that? Also -- gorgeous cover, once again. 
Lara Jean, oh Lara Jean how I've missed you. I completely love Lara Jean because no matter what, she always seems so real to me. Being a girl myself, (yes guys I'm a girl... if you didn't already know that), I was able to relate to Lara Jean and was completely able to understand her actions and decisions. I'm trying hard to keep this spoiler free for those who haven't read To All The Boys I've Loved Before, but I doubt anyone who didn't read the first book would read this review anyways. I love Peter you guys. I just really really like him, and yes I've had my bumps and doubts with him, but he's seriously such a guy (which is a synonym for jerk btw)... joke. This book may talk about Lara Jean being in love with two boys, but hey guys that doesn't really happen till midway through the book, which isn't a bad thing but just saying. I completely thought this book would be your typical love triangle BUT be aware, Jenny Han really did end up going through another direction. There was just so many feels in this book, and I can't even imagine what will happen in the third book. 
If you haven't started this series yet:
A. You shouldn't really be reading this review... but that's ok    
B. You should stop reading this and go pick yourself a copy because I JUST LOVE THESE BOOKS SO SO MUCH.
Thank you Jenny Han.


Monday, 13 July 2015

Chick lit Review: The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

The Knockoff: A Novel
Title: The Knockoff
Author: Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication date: May 19, 2015 
Genre(s): Fiction (Chick lit)
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to BeyoncĂ©. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.
The Knockoff sounded like the perfect contemporary read. I needed something fun and interesting without any romance getting in the way of the plot. This story is about all the working women out there who had to take a break and came back finding everything different and the working life train just about to leave with your ticket no where to be found. I am twenty four years old, I am by no means old. However I do understand that disadvantageous side women have to deal with once they come back in the workforce. That is how I was able to sympathize with the main protagonist, Imogen, even though she's so kick butt and awesome. 
Imogen, as soon as she comes back to the magazine that she is edited in chief of, has to deal with Eve, her previous assistant, wanting to take over Glossy and turning it into an app. I mean are you serious? even I wouldn't want print magazines to only become e-magazines... now teenagers will seriously NEVER be able to get their eyes out of their phone screens *shudders*. I really liked The Knockoff because it was basically a battle of power, wit, and brains when it came to the power struggle between Imogen and Eve. However Eve fights dirty, and I hated her so much for this. She got so much on my nerves and I am SO glad that Imogen was able to stand up to her every time, in her own classy way. Eve can be described as one word: unhinged. 
I had such a fun ride with The Knock off, I didn't know what to expect of a chick lit without romance, but Sykes and Piazza both delivered. I can't wait to read more books by either authors and I hope they collaborate on another chick lit in the future. This was a 330 tall hardcover sized book with typical small text, but I did not grow bored at all while reading it. The fashion world has always interested me (as an outsider), and I loved seeing the backstage happening of running a fashion magazine. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a lighthearted fun read. 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Review: A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes


Title: A Book of Spirits and Thieves
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Publication date: June 23, 2015 
Genre(s): Fiction (Fantasy)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 368
Modern-day sisters discover deadly ancient magic in book 1 of this Falling Kingdoms spin-off series!

Worlds collide in this suspenseful, page-turning Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, which explores a whole new side of Mytica—and an even darker version of its magic.

Crystal Hatcher, Modern-day Toronto: It’s a normal afternoon in her mother’s antique bookshop when Crys witnesses the unthinkable: her little sister Becca collapses into a coma after becoming mesmerized by a mysterious book written in an unrecognizable language.

Maddox Corso, Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso doesn’t think much of it when he spots an unfamiliar girl in his small village. Until, that is, he realizes that she is a spirit, and he is the only one who can see or hear her. Her name is Becca Hatcher, and she needs Maddox to help get her home.

Farrell Grayson, Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson is thrilled when the mysterious leader of the ultra-secret Hawkspear Society invites him into the fold. But when he learns exactly what he has to do to prove himself, Farrell starts to question everything he thought he knew about family, loyalty, and himself….

Fate has brought these young people together, but ancient magic threatens to rip them apart.
I have to say, it was quite interesting reading this book and knowing all the places that Morgan refers to in the modern day scenes of Toronto. A Book of Spirits and Thieves takes place in two different settings. Modern day Toronto and Ancient Mytica, a land where magic exists and seems to be set in ancient times (Roman Empire-ish?). There are three different POVs, first is Crystal Hatcher, a teenage girl barely making it through high school and trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. Second is Farrell Grayson, his family is very rich and involved in some secret society for other rich people. And lastly, Maddox Corso, a boy we know can use some sort of spirit magic who's young and trying to live his life without any trouble. Things start to get a big mixed up with Crystal and her sister open a mysterious package from their aunt only to find an old book with an unreadable language. It's then that things start to pick up and the story unfolds.
It was quite hard for me to get through this book. I think the main reason was that I didn't really like the combination of both a modern and ancient day setting in one book. I guess that's just personal preference, yet I still feel that regardless of genre, a good book should captivate a reader from start to finish and not have any parts where it just feels like things are dragging on. As with most series, the first book is usually an introduction to the world with a lot of terminology thrown at you and can be quite confusing at times. Although I didn't really feel confused or lost while reading I did think the introduction was just a bit too strung out. Most of the main action/ problem solving didn't really occur until the end of the book. This is typical of course but regardless I still think the beginning could've been more captivating. 
Will I pick up the next book in the series? Probably not, but thats just my preference. Just by reading the synopsis, I knew I wasn't really interested in this book so if you find yourself the opposite than definitely check it out. It might just turn out to be a favourite for you.


Friday, 3 July 2015

Review: Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos


Title: Out of Reach
Author: Carrie Arcos
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: October 16th, 2012 
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Own
Format: Finished Copy
Pages: 256
How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel.

Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.
Rachel’s terrified—and she can’t help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger.


With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home.
Before Out of Reach even came out, I was always eyeing it and have always wanted go pick it up. I just never did, until now, and I'm glad I finally did. Out of Reach was the perfect emotional roller coaster ride I expected it to be. It was a beautiful book that just felt so real to me, it honestly gave me the chills. Amy lost her brother to drugs, and now she's trying to find him and take him back. Amy and her brother always had each-others back, and lying was effortless for the both of them. It was all fun and games until Amy's older brother, Micah, got involved with drugs, even though he told Amy he had things 'under control'. The weed was fine, but when Micah started using crystal meth, Amy started to get a bit worried that Micah might have actually lost control instead. Not wanting to be disloyal to her brother, she never said anything to her parents, until they found out themselves.
Amy and Micah's relationship is understandable. If anyone has siblings,they would understand we tend to cover up for each other (but not when one of us uses drugs!!). It pained me even more when I put my self in Amy's shoes, because if that happened to my older brother, I'd be as lost as her. Carrie Arcos truly captured Amy's character, and I really enjoyed her. Tyler, Mica's friend who goes with Amy to help her find Mica, is an interesting character addition to the story.  Although this book is revolved around the relationship between the sister and brother, the little romance was definitely a nice break from all the tension. Tyler, although a bit of the typical bad boy, is still a great character whom I enjoyed reading about. Together, I think the search was much more interesting to read about rather than if it was just Amy herself.
Has this book made me cry? yes. Topics such as drugs really get to me, as so many people have allowed it to become such a norm. It all starts out as just "for fun", but not when your own family starts to realize your change in character and your obvious addiction. Drugs are dangerous, and have led to destruction of bodies, families, and much more. As stated in the book:
"Love is the strongest drug"
When you see a loved one get lost in a drug, its so painful because all you can do is stand and watch. Out of Reach is a beautiful book that captured all the ugliness and truthfulness of dealing with drugs, and how is affects all those around you. Definitely recommended to fans of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.