Browsed by
Month: January 2017

REVIEW: November 9

REVIEW: November 9

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

4/5 Stars

“Meeting up once a year on the same date sounds like a really good basis for a romance novel. If you fictionalized our story, I’d add it to the top of my TBR”

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25111004-november-9

This quote is exactly what happened to me. I have a stack of books on my nightstand so high they fall over from time to time if not set just right, and yet when the library told me that my hold on the Nov 9 ebook was available it went right up to the top of my TBR. I read it in less than a day. There is something so deliciously addicting about Colleen Hoover’s novels. Whether its the beautiful detail or the relatable characters, its REALLY hard to put down her books. I read it on the bus to school, during class break, on the bus back, and while walking up the hill home (almost getting hit by a car because i was walking like a drunkard while reading a particularly intense scene) and while eating supper until the book was done and I was a heap of feelings and covers on my bed.

This novel is about a girl who suffers an accident that derailed her entire life and career at age sixteen. After healing physically, at age 18 she meets a boy who defends her by pretending to be her boyfriend. Despite the fact that she is leaving that night for NY they spend the day together, enjoying each others company. when it comes time to leave they just cant say goodbye, despite not wanting to drag out any long distance communication. They decide to meet once a year on that day, Nov 9 until they are 23. Every year they meet… but as life happens to them both they have to make some tough decisions.

and chaos ensues of course yada yada yada, I’m not crying YOU’RE CRYING!

SPOILERS!!:

Hoover does such a fantastic job at addressing so many relatable topics in her novels, and even a few widely used new adult tropes. In Nov 9 she addresses the idea of “insta-love” and whether or not this is real, it definitely made me think a little differently about how long it truly takes to fall in love with someone. (May have to change that ranting Romeo an Juliet paper for school now..). What I love most about Hoover’s books are her characters. Where most NA books focus heavily on jaded pasts and angsty boys to men, Hoover gives her characters depth. In some NA novels, the back story of a character seems to be put there only as a plot devise to make them angsty, where with characters like Fallon, her difficult past, her scars, are what make her the person she is, and instead of being used as a jaded past, Hoover shows her readers that flaws are human. This makes her characters so relatable.

I absolutely loved Ben. Mostly because he says exactly what comes to his mind at all times and I think thats so admirable. He straight up tells Fallon within half an hour of meeting her that he wants to see her naked, and not as a flirting technique or in a creepy way, but because he is being honest. Even though he keeps a pretty big secret to himself, these little honest moments made me fall in love with him as quickly as Fallon did.

the layout of the novel was also a fantastic element of it. You only got the most important snippets of this love story, sans the brooding and the difficulties of their years. I loved that this story was told through one day each year, because despite it only being one day, and that would be excruciating for the characters, it was nice not to have to read the lulling parts of their lives and skip right to the action.

All in all, Hoover has yet to disappoint me in her novels despite my general distaste for NA. I highly recommend these if you want to be glued to you pages all day or want something as addicting as crack cocaine and don’t mind your emotions going for a rollercoaster while you’re at it.

 

REVIEW: Six of Crows

REVIEW: Six of Crows

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

5/5 Stars.

“There’s always more to lose”

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23437156-six-of-crows

There are those books that become instantly popular, Six of Crows being one of them. For me, it was one of those books that I had always meant to pick up but never seemed to make it to the check out. It took me over two year to finish The Grisha Trilogy (finished just this December) because I could never seem to get behind the characters. I feared that it was the writing, so I was afraid to pick up this new duology. Not only that, but this book is so hyped, how could it possibly be as good as everyone says? it cant POSSIBLY be that good? that FANTASTIC? that incredibly SOUL CRUSHING AND MIND BLOWING? but my friends I am here to tell you, OH HELL YES IT CAN! 

This novel follows six incredibly diverse characters and one impossible heist. They are thieves and gamblers, spies and bombers attempting to pull of the biggest con ever known for the prize of money and power. The incredibly complex and diverse set of characters are complemented wonderfully by the intricately built world and eery settings. Bardugo does an incredible job of putting us inside each characters mind and plotting along with them at every turn, only to be constantly surprised by the twist of events.

SPOILERS!!

I think this book is made incredible by so many wonderful things: the setting, the world-building, the imagery, the plots and schemes. etc etc etc… but the best thing Bardugo does is makes this novel revolve around the characters. She creates depth in each character that drives the plot backward and forward in engaging stories that wind together to create this book.

Kaz- I cant even with him. Half the time I’m like “oh my sweet darling baby Kaz what has this world done to you” and the other half I am screaming at him to stahp being so damn cruel. What I love about Kaz is that he blurs the line between hero and villain. He does whatever is necessary, and I mean WHATEVER, to complete his goal of ultimate revenge for his brother death. He oozes with power and cunning cleverness that makes him an incredibly complex protagonist. His actions as the leader drive the stories of each of the other main characters. It is obvious he cares for his friends but has shoved everything so far down to protect himself it can be difficult to see the good. Ps. Him and Inej ASDFKJUG.

Inej- It took me a while to unravel Inej because she both belongs among the thugs and thieves, and yet doesn’t. I admire Inej the most out of any character in this novel, and most novels. She has a good, kind heart and a strong faith that stays with her throughout the HORRORS that have happened to her. Being taken and sold into prostitution is a very real thing that happens in our world, and this makes it so much more horrifying to me. There is a realism placed on Inej because of this issue in our society today and the way that she handles it is admirable. She does what she has to in order to survive and does it with such grace and faith. ps. He and Kaz YAAAAS.

Nina- Oh my. Nina is everything I aspire to be in life. She is confident in every situation she is faced with, an absolute flirt who loves to eat. Everything that might be seen as a weakness is Nina’s strength, and she goes through hell and back, taking a lethal drug to save her friends because she is incredibly loyal. Nina is everything. She uses what might be deemed as “feminine weakness” as her weapon, and on top of it all, she’s curvy and sassy as hell- what is not to love. I ADORE her snippets with Matthias and their banter, they are just toooo cute.

Matthias- A giant Fjerdan with a love for a witch (Nina) and a heavy taste for propriety. It took me a while to warm up to Matthias but I just think of his as a large teddy bear that blushes a lot and can snap a tree with his hands. I love that Matthias’ character gave depth to the world of the Grisha and the customs of their world- and ours. Despite what he had been taught his whole life he was able to eventually put aside his prejudices and look at the world through the eyes of others. And oh man he loves Nina so much, they are so cute together, completing each others personalities so perfectly.

Jesper- For a while I was like, Jesper who? thinking that he was a side character, but there is so much to Jesper’s character. He has an addiction to gambling, which gets him into a lot of trouble, specifically getting him kicked out of school for spending all his money at the tables. Also, plot twist, he is a Grisha Fabrikator, which was super handy while getting the gang out of a few tricky situations during their heist. I love Jes’ ability to ramble and to talk to everyone. I love his relationship with Inej, specifically on the boat talking about Kaz (sigh). Jesper x Wylan 5ever tho.

Wylan- Oh my baby. He has his ups and his downs of course. Most are totally justified considering he is new to the whole “being an outcast” thing and all that. I think it is incredible how well he fits himself into the group, despite firstly being there as a captive. He is incredibly smart, despite not knowing how to read (dyslexia perhaps?) and builds bombs and other science related things that help with escapes and ultimately their heist. He is a sweet little cinnamon roll that should be protected at all costs. ps. Jes is allowed near the cinnamon roll. 

Altogether I could write an entire essay on the merits of this novel. There are so many real world issues addressed in this novel that are so important and maybe one day I will write about them in a formal essay, because I think Bardugo has done an incredible job at making an important, beautiful, romantic, hilarious and spectacular book for all audiences.

Top 8: Ways to Get Out of a Reading Slump

Top 8: Ways to Get Out of a Reading Slump

I was in a reading slump for the last few months, picking up books and reading a quarter of them before putting them down and BAM they’ve probably just instantly made it into the dreaded DNF pile, all because I was in a slump. And just because they are good books didn’t help, I just couldn’t seem to finish a whole book. It was a dark, dark time and I couldn’t see an end…UNTIL I DID! That is the thing with reading slumps, you may not know what is causing them and so all of a sudden the horror is over and you can finish an entire book again.

Here are some methods I find generally work when trying to bust through the brick wall of a reading slump…

  1. Don’t read. Take a little hiatus and maybe take up knitting or something, this way, whatever is causing your slump wont have you waisting book after book in an effort to beat it. Sometime you just have to take a break.
  2. Binge watch a show. Sometimes reading can be tiring, a lot on the mind and sometimes your entire body. Watching a tv-show is like reading without all the effort or exhaustion, if you want to zone out for a while, you can. then when you’re ready for something a little more in-depth, try picking up a book again.
  3. Join a book club. Sometimes reading becomes such a solitary activity that you may feel lonely and slumpish in general. Book club with allow you to still read but with the ability to share with others. Plus it’s incentive to finish the novel so you don’t embarrass yourself.
  4. Go on Bookstagram/ Booktube. Theres nothing that gets me more excited than other people excited about books. looking at all the lovely pictures or videos people make will help remind you why you love reading and may inspire you to pick that book up again.
  5. Re-read your favourite book. This one is my favourite. Read something you are familiar with, because, like watching a show, it requires a lot less effort and concentration but its still a book. This may help you focus on why you love reading.
  6. Write something. Sometimes it’s difficult to read because we are looking for something specific. Chances are if you’re picky, you are not going to find it so instead of reading a bunch of half- books, write down something, it’ll get the imagination flowing again.
  7. Explore other genres. Sometimes it is just a specific genre that is slumping us, even if we may love it. Sometimes in a slump I will turn to romance novels because they are fluffier and easier to take in. Try exploring something new that may pique your interest.
  8. Play a video game. This may not be for everyone but it may allow you to take control of something creative the way a novel can’t give you control. Maybe try something related to a genre of novel you enjoy.

There are countless ways that readers will use to get out of a slump. Some slumps are more persistent than others so patience is the key with this. In my last slump, which I have only just gotten out of, I started and DNF’d five books and it took about two months for me to finally finish a new book. Be patient readers, you love books, that’ll never leave you. Punch your slump right in the throat and head to the bookstore because you can do this!

REVIEW: Maybe Someday

REVIEW: Maybe Someday

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover 

4/5 Stars

“For her I bend, for you I break”

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24445517-maybe-someday

It has been a long time since I read a book that had me unable to put it down. Usually when I read at night I will get to a point, say midnight, and call it a day (I need my beauty sleep), however, with Maybe Someday midnight rolled around and I shoved it away, as I did with the next three hours. This is the first of Colleen Hoover’s books that I have picked up… I know, I know.. How could I have waited this long? Why did I choose this one to read first? And I have very good explanations for those questions but instead of answering them, I am going to rave about this incredible book.

Maybe Someday follows Sydney, who had just had her life turned upside down when her boyfriend is found cheating with her best friend/roommate. She is informed of this by the mysterious and handsome guitar player she’s been sending her lyrics to that lives across the street. This handsome man puts her up and aids her after her life tumble, resulting in a music-filled novel of what it means to trust, love and listen.

 

SPOILERS AHEAD!!

So first off, I cant write this without spoilers because, if you’ve read it you’ll know, Ridge- the handsome guitar player- is deaf. It through me for a loop and changed the way I had to assess every situation, the way someone who is deaf might approach things. Colleen Hoover incorporates these rich characters with so many faults and feelings into a romantic book riddled with humour and wit. This is a quick read, mainly because the characters are so vibrant and dynamic, they really pull the story (and your heart) in many directions.

Sydney- The protagonist. She is kick-ass right from the beginning to the very end. (Sydney book punch count: 4). After going through finding out her boyfriend of two years and best friend have been sleeping together their entire relationship, she handles it the way most people would, Throwing some punches, pranks and mean words and then crying and holing herself up for a while. When she and Ridge start realizing their growing feelings for each other, Sydney did everything she could not to become her best friend. Her quick wit and love of music made her a character I could identify with and was rooting for the entire way.

Ridge- 2nd Protagonist. Ridge is a deaf musician, who plays guitar beautifully and writes songs for his brother band (until he gets writers block and needs Sydney to). His internal struggle throughout the novel between his love for his girlfriend Maggie, and Sydney as well as his struggle with being deaf when the world around him is rich in sound makes him a character you instantly fall in love with. His incredible loyalty to everyone he loves and his joy with the world made me want to jump right inside the book and beg him to pick me instead.

Each of the supporting characters, Warren, Bridgette, Maggie, Brennan, Hunter and Tori, all had their own dynamic story that gave the book depth. In my opinion, when you can fall in love/hate with a side-character, something has been done right. 

This novel is full of moments that will have you on the edge of your seat/bed/carpet/where ever you read wanting to become a part of these characters lives. The main battle in this book is between desires and actions, putting aside what you want because it is right. The battle against the heart is not so easily fought and won, leaving Sydney and Ridge in a confusing place and battling their feelings together. Something I appreciated about their relationship was how truthful they were with each other, their honesty was refreshing and made their struggle both easier and harder. I recommend this book to anyone who loves romance and music, or reading about them. This novel is one that you wont be able to put down, or at least I couldn’t.