Sunday Post #2 - Better Late Than Never

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reader. This is a place where you can talk about news from your week, what you've been reading and what you expect to come up on your blog. To join in, check out the rules here. 

It's Monday, I know. But this last week has been completely ridiculous in my regular life. My Grandfather past away this week, in addition to my other grandfather being very sick. It's been a really tough week so not a whole lot of reading got done. On top of all this, I'm moving! I am moving to the city to continue my education and I am very excited to start this new chapter of my life. Now on with that happened in reading this week. 

Last Week On The Blog

Upcoming This Week
Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Teaser Tuesday 
Top 5 Wednesday 

Currently Reading
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
This one is pretty fun, the jury is still out on how I will rate it. Holding out for that ending. I am about 65% done and the copy I have is due back to the library this week so look out for a review on this soon. 
What To Read Next?
I got The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs for review. It's release date is September 8 so I should jump on it. I also got Secondhand Souls this week which is the sequel to A Dirt Job. I need to re-read A Dirty Job before I can jump into Secondhand Souls. Luckily this is one of my favourite books of all time so it should be really fun. 

That's it for my week. How did yours go? Hopefully better than mine. 

Stacking The Shelves #3 - My First Pre-Order

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tyngas Reviews. This is a place where you can talk about all the books you have picked up including physical, ebook, ARC or whatever else. This week my first pre-ordered book came in and it was:
Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
I love Christopher Moore. He is one of my favourite authors and is on my auto-buy list. So when I heard one of my favourite books ever was getting a sequel I pre-ordered it right away. Secondhand Souls is the sequel to A Dirty Job, which follows our lead character Charlie Asher who finds himself becoming Death. A Dirty Job was an amazing book and I really need to re-read it before I jump into Secondhand Souls, which hopefully will happen soon. The coolest thing about the copy I received is that all the white on the cover glows in the dark. SO COOL! If you haven't read these books and they look interesting to you, check them out and look out for my review. 

Top 5 Wednesday: Book Series You Wish Had More Books

Another week, another Top 5 Wednesday. This week we are talking about series that we think need more books. If you want to join in the T5W fun check out the Goodreads group here. This one is going to be tough for me because I actually haven't finished a lot of series. Embarrassing, but don't judge. I am working on it. Instead of 5, I have 4 on this list. I am pretty happy with the series I have read so far. Let's get into it.

4) The Harry Potter Series
I know, we're all going to have this one on our lists. And I don't even care. I need to have more books in the wizarding world. I already talked about this in a previous T5W post about side characters that need their own series. I would love to see spin off series within the wizarding world. I especially want one about Dumbledore's youth. I think that would be sensational.

3) The Penryn & The End Of Days Series 
I technically haven't actually finished this series yet but I know I already want more. Originally, rumour has it that this series was suppose to be a 6 book series. I wish it was. I don't know if the last book is going to give me all the answers that I need. It's a complicated story and I know there are a lot of other places the story could go.

2) The Princess Bride 
This one isn't technically a series but who wouldn't love another book within that kingdom. What happens to Humperdinck? What about Inigo? Inigo is probably one of my favourite characters ever so I would love to see a book all about him.

"You Killed My Father, Prepare to die!"

1) A Love Story Series by Christopher Moore
Not many people talk about this series but it is also one of my favourites. The characters are hilarious and I would love to see more books in this series. It's a series following vampires, hilarious vampires. These books are essentially paranormal humour and I love them. I want more!

Review: Weightless by Sarah Bannan

I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: YA Contemporary 
Publication: 06/30/15 by St. Martin's Griffin 
Pages: 336 pages
Format: e-ARC
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Indigo

Goodread's Summary:
When 15-year-old Carolyn moves from New Jersey to Alabama with her mother, she rattles the status quo of the junior class at Adams High School. A good student and natural athlete, she’s immediately welcomed by the school’s cliques. She’s even nominated to the homecoming court and begins dating a senior, Shane, whose on again/off again girlfriend Brooke becomes Carolyn’s bitter romantic rival. When a video of Carolyn and Shane making out is sent to everyone, Carolyn goes from golden girl to slut, as Brooke and her best friend Gemma try to restore their popularity. Gossip and bullying hound Carolyn, who becomes increasingly private and isolated. When Shane and Brooke—now back together—confront Carolyn in the student parking lot, injuring her, it’s the last attack she can take.

My Thoughts:
Teenagers are just awful, so awful. Girls are awful, boys are awful. Bullying is awful. 
I am normally not a contemporary person, especially YA contemporary so I am the ideal audience for this book. However, if you are into contemporary about bullying go pick this book up. It is told by an un-named narrator which was interesting. She was just a regular girl, looking up to the popular clique, telling the story of what happened between Carolyn and the other girls. There is a lot of foreshadowing in this book, which builds and builds till the end. 

This book wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I just don't like to read about bullying. I don't like thinking that these kind of situations really happen in real life. Nothing crazy like this ever happened at my high school, so I never understand how these kinds of situations snowball to such awful proportions. The thing that really bothered me while reading this book is that the girls said such horrible things about each other. It bothers me so much, I am essentially this person:
I just have a lot of feelings OK. This book had a good message. Bullying really does hurt people and just standing aside and not doing anything is almost as bad. Contemporary isn't my genre so I wasn't completely engaged in this story but I can see it being popular in it's niche. If you are sensitive to topics like bullying, self harm or depression avoid this book. The characters in this book are awful too. I wanted to know more about the motives behind what happened. Why was Brooke so mean? Why is she so threatened by Carolyn? I don't get that, and I wish it went into more detail there. But that's difficult with the narration that it was told in. 

Conclusions: Definitely not a fun read, it covers some dark topics so be prepared. The narration is different which was interesting but also kind of hard to get into. The story was believable even if you don't want it to be. It really doesn't shy over any of the awful things people where saying. If you like contemporary that follows mental illness and bullying check this one out.

Sunday Post #1 - Escaping Reality

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reader. This is a place where you can talk about news from your week, what you've been reading and what you expect to come up on your blog. To join in, check out the rules here.

This week my life has been absolutely ridiculous. Therefore, a lot of reading didn't exactly happen. I am currently escaping for a a weekend in PEI to avoid some of the crazy personal stuff that is happening at home. 

Last Week On The Blog

Upcoming on The Blog
Review: Weightless by Sara Bannan 
Top 5 Wednesday 

Currently Reading
Weightless by Sara Bannan
I got this one for review from Netgalley and I got caught up in too many other books. Reading and reviewing problems. Right now I am just about half done. I wasn't enjoying the beginning of the book but now it is definitely getting more interesting. It's a grower not a shower. HAH. Look out for my review of this, hopefully next week.

What To Read Next?
I have no idea what I want to read next! I have a few books for review I should read but I also have books from the library that I need to read before they expire. If you have any suggestions let me know. Here's what's on my TBR for the near future.

Thanks for Checking out my first Sunday Post! Let me know if you have read any of these books or if you plan on reading any. See You Soon.

Stacking the Shelves #2 -- More From the Library

Hey Guys, so I stopped into the library to return a book and I ended up with more books. Why does this always seem to happen to me? If you are interested in joining in to Stacking the Shelves visit Tyngas Reviews for more info. Anyway here is what I picked up from the library this week.

1) Keep Sweet by Michele Dominquez Greene: This is a book about a cult. I am weirdly interested in cults so I picked up this one up. This novel follows a young girl who is apart of the FLDS which is believes in plural marriage. I am excited to pick this one up next.

2) Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins: I have wanted to read this book since starting this blog last year. It's sequel just came out and I wanted to jump into this one. I know the second one has been getting some mixed reviews but I am still excited to read this one. 

What did you guys pick up this week? If you read any of these let me know what you thought and look out for reviews soon. I'm currently reading Weightless by Sarah Bannan and I don't know how I feel about it yet. Thanks for reading :) 

Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Genre: Contemporary
Publication: 01/04/2014 by Penguin
Pages: 260 Pages
Format: Library Paperback
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Indigo

Goodreads Summary: 
A.J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island---from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who's always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic Knightley Press sales rep who refuses to be deterred by A.J.'s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It's a small package, though large in weight---an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew.

My Thoughts: 
This is how I sum up my thoughts: 
This book was beautiful. It made me laugh and cry all at the same time. It gave me the warm fuzzies but also proceeded to break my poor heart. I really enjoyed my time reading this story and I kind of want to read it again right now. 

Our main character A.J. Fikry is essentially a younger version of this guy: 
If you don't recognize him it's Carl from Up. Therefore he is essentially became a grumpy man because he lost his wife and now is living with that grief. I have a soft spot for grumpy old men. Especially ones that only have a grumpy exterior to hide their soft interiors so the character of A.J. was right up my alley.

The plot moved at an interesting pace and in the end all of the loose ties are done up. I got a real sense of closure and hope from the ending. This was a really well thought out book and I appreciate the planning it took to line it all up. Lots of thumbs up. The romance in this book just melted my heart. It felt so realistic and I had the warm fuzzies in my heart. I am a sucker for romance pretty much of any kind but this one is one of my favourites. It just felt real, it didn't feel overly pushed and it happened at a natural rate.

I seriously recommend this to anybody who loves books about books. A.J owns a book store and there is a lot of sub plot about keeping reading alive. It's also just a beautiful story of a man's life which I don't think anybody would dislike. If you have been thinking about reading this book, go check it out. Don't wait!

Tag Tuesday: Midyear Book Freakout Tag

Hey lovelies, today I decided to start Tag Tuesdays. I am going to try an post any interesting Tags on Tuesday. Today I am doing the Midyear Book Freakout Tag. I found this one on Booktube and it was started by Chami at ReadLikeWildFire. Check out her original video here. This tag asks questions about your reading from the first half of the year. It's a little bit past midway for me but I still really want to do this tag. So here we go...

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2015
Yes, Please by Amy Poehler 
I read this book right after Parks and Recreation ended when I needed more Amy in my life. I love Amy and loved her book. I listened to it on Audiobook and it was narrated by Amy so I think that really added to the experience. Her stories where awesome and I loved it.

2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2015
World After by Susan Ee
I actually didn't read a lot of sequels this year but I seemed to have started a ton of new series. Oppies. However, looking at the small selection of sequels I did read, World After was clearly the winner. I felt that this really added to Penryn's story and I am excited to pick up the 3rd book in the series soon.

3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to

The Heir by Kiera Cass
I know, I know, this isn't suppose to be that good but I already own it and I loved The Selection Trilogy. I am not expecting much out of this book but I still want to read it. No Shame.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
Firewalker by Josephine Angelini & Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
We have a tie! Both these books come out next month and I am so excited to read them. Firewalker is the sequel to Trial by Fire which I read last month. I am actually really surprised that I am this excited for this book but I really want to see where this story goes. Secondhand Souls is the sequel to one of my favourite books ever, A Dirty Job. I have this one on preorder and I am sooo excited to get my hands on it.

5. Biggest disappointment

Shatter Me & Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
This series and me are just not clicking. It's super popular in the YA community but I just can't love it. I am not a huge fan of the writing style and I don't like the characters. I am planning on reading Ignite Me still because I own it and am still interested enough to see how it ends.

6. Biggest surprise

The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling
I got this one for review and I wasn't expecting such an awesome Cinderella retelling. The main character gets sucked into the world of Cinderella but instead of being Ella, she ends up as one of the ugly stepsisters. This was super entertaining and I advise you check it out.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Sarah J. Maas
I read A Court of Thrones and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and I am now very interested in her writing style. I am going to pick up Throne of Glass in the future to see if I like her other books too.

8. Newest fictional crush

Martin Banks from Off To Be The Wizard by Scott Meyer
He is super nerdy and totally my type. In this book he finds a computer file that seems to make up everything on the planet. Then hilarity ensues. I'd date him. 

9. Newest favourite character

Amy Dunne from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Now, this is kind of an unconventional answer but I was so intrigued by her character. She was so complex and insane that I couldn't help but love to hate her. I was really happy to see a character like her, crazy or not.
10. Book that made you cry
Yup, tears happened.

11. Book that made you happy

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
I actually haven't finished this book yet but I haven't read a book that gave me so many warm and fuzzy feelings as this one has. I hope that it ends just as adorable. 

12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I read this book just before the book came out on Netflix. I absolutely loved this book and the movie was just as awesome. It was an amazing adaptation and worked really well on film. 

13. Favourite review you've written this year
I think my favourite post is my Top 5 Wednesday post where I talk about Top 5 Characters that Deserve her Own Series. Check it out here.

14. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received)

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
I picked this up a couple of months ago and it's a gorgeous book. I have anticipated reading this book for awhile now and hopefully will be able to pick it up soon.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

These are all the last book in a series that I need to read by the end of the year. 

Review: Armada by Ernest Cline

Genre: Science Fiction
Publication: 07/15/15 by Crown Publishing
Series: TBA?
Pages: 355 Pages
Format: Library Hardback
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Indigo

Goodreads Summary:
Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe. And then he sees the flying saucer.
Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.  No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it. It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

My Thoughts: 
Well, I loved this book. It has been getting some mixed reviews but if you think this book is for you definitely try it out! This book is great for people who loved Ender's Game, Star Wars and are SciFi readers. It worked for me because I love aliens, pop culture references and general nerdiness. If these things don't work for you than stay away and if you don't want to read it because you haven't seen Star Wars yet, well...
Armada isn't exactly an original plot. It uses lots of plots for other SciFi novels and movies mashed together; but rest assured it is for good reason. Our main character, Zachary Lightman, is the kind of the stereotypical gamer. He's a regular dude with a serious case of dark humour which I greatly appreciate.

The biggest issue people have with Armada is that it isn't an original plot. However, I didn't care about that because Cline used it in a really interesting way which got me hooked. I found Armada an awesome combination of humour, adventure, and great pulp culture references. The only thing I wasn't sold on was the clear setup for a sequel. But that doesn't ruin it for me. The best part of this book: space! 
I took an astronomy class last year at university so I knew a lot about Europa, moons and the universe in general. That helped to enhance my experience reading this book. I also have a serious guilty pleasure for aliens. They totally exist and alien conspiracy theories are hilariously awesome. Therefore, since this book is essentially an alien conspiracy than I loved it. 

Conclusions: I'm pretty sure this book was written for me. I can definitely see how it isn't for everyone. If you don't mind reading something that's essentially Ender's Game with some serious Star Wars references and an alien conspiracy then this is for you. It's actually awesome so at least give it a chance. What's the worst that could happen? 

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Required Reading

Another Wednesday is upon us and this weeks topic is a very interesting one: favourite required reading. This one is a bit interesting for me because I didn't have a lot of required reading in my school days, or at least any that I really enjoyed. Now as a university student I am taking sciences, so I don't have a lot of required reading that isn't from a boring textbook. So I had to scrounge for these 5 book but I think they are awesome. They are in order of when I read them in school so from middle school until university.

#1: Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Farris 
I read this book in Grade 6 and I absolutely loved it. It's a story about a boy who falls in love with the Princess Marigold while watching her from afar. It's an adorable middle grade novel that is perfect for young readers. It's now the first book in a trilogy but it works really well as a stand alone as well.

#2: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton 
I loved this book when we read it in Grade 8. It's a story that follows a gang of boys who live in a community divided by class. You're either a greaser or a soc. Which means you are either have money or are an outsider. This quickly became one of my favourites after reading it for school. We had to make a video reenacting certain scenes which was really fun to do. I really need to re-read this now to remember what actually happens because I mostly forget.

#3: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery 
I read this book in French for Grade 10 French. I later then read the English version and I feel in love with this book. It is so whimsical and an awesome commentary on our world. The story starts off with a pilot who crashes his plane in the desert and meets this little boy who travels the universe where he meets a number of interesting characters. I love The Little Prince and I suggest that everyone reads it!

#4: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
I had never read anything like this until I read this book for Grade 11 Advanced English. I really was blown away by the story and so was the rest of my class. We read it in portions then discussed it as a class so that really added to the reading experience. In Grade 12, we read A Thousand Pleasant Suns by the same author. I also really enjoyed that novel but I liked the The Kite Runner a bit better. Lots of good memories surrounding this book, even if it isn't a particularly happy book.

#5: A Language Older Than Words - Derrick Jensen
This is one of the most "intellectual" books I have ever read. I read this one in university for my Ecopsychology class. Essentially, that class was about how humans view and treat the environment. This books is a memoir by Derrick Jensen which speaks a lot about the environment and how humans are affecting it. It's not a book for everyone so most people have a kind of love-hate relationship with it. I think I really enjoyed it because this was from one of my favourite classes that I took at university.

As you can see, most of my reading that I did for school wasn't traditional. I didn't read many classics but I enjoyed a lot of the reading I did for school. I have a bigger list of required reading that I didn't enjoy so if that ever comes up I have many choices. I do wish that I had read more classics in school because I am not as inclined to pick them up on my own. Thanks for checking out my T5W, see you next week :)