Review/ Myles and the Monster Outside

Review/ Myles and the Monster OutsideMyles and the Monster Outside by Philippa Dowding
Published by Dundurn on September 19th 2015
Pages: 128
Source: ARC From Publisher
Goodreads
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Horror & Ghost Stories, Monsters, Young Adult

Book Summary:

The second instalment in a series of scary tall tales from acclaimed children’s novelist Philippa Dowding. I will never leave this car, the back seat reeks of everything my little brother has ever eaten, and that thing is still out there ... Myles and his family have been driving for four days. It’s their final night on the road, but Myles knows they will never arrive at their new house. It will never stop raining. And even if they do get there (which is doubtful), he knows he will never have friends again. He also knows that something is following them in the dark, rainy fields outside their car. Something monstrous. Once the monster arrives, things go very wrong. Myles and his family get lost, their car keeps breaking down, and a strange old man and his dog turn up, again and again. Then things get really weird. Myles is pretty sure it’s all his fault: he’s the only one who can see the monster. He’s the only one who can hear the monster. And hardest of all? He’s the only one who can make it go away.

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I should begin this review by saying yes this is the second book in the Weird Stories Gone Wrong series but they are totally stand alones meaning you don’t need to read the previous one to know what is happening. The first book is called Jake and the Giant Hand and it came out last year.

One of the great things about getting to work with Dundurn Press is being exposed to some great and talented Canadian authors which I truly need to read more of.

Reading Myles and the Monster Outside brought me back to when I was a child and leaving my grandparents house in Montreal to return to Bathurst (NB) during summer vacations and driving at night along some pretty dark and scary roads so reading this I instantly remember that I was exactly like Myles and thinking there was monsters outside my window because you always saw something that would look like something scary.

Myles is a twelve year old boy who is traveling with his mother, sister and baby brother to their new home. Its a long four days of traveling for the family. Myles is excited to see his dad who is relocating the family to a new city for his job.

Myles can’t wait to get out of the car because its beginning to stink of everything imaginable because the family has practically been living in the car since they left their old house.

The trip is going good until they take a ferry ride on a cold stormy day and Myles see’s something looming near by. In the mist he sees what looks like a monster shaped like a man with red eyes and you know that this is the beginning of the tension and suspense that is about to happen. Myles doesn’t say anything to anyone because at first he doesn’t believe it but gradually he begins to think that is real.

Once off the ferry they are back on the road and its seems like they are headed for diaster because if its not one thing its another and this basically has Myles freaked out and I think had I been in that same situation I would have been the same way.

Finally with all these things happening Myles decides to speak up and of course no one believes him and there were telling it like it was and not playing along with Myles. Finally after a weird encounter with a old man in the middle of the night in the rain wandering around has the family believing him.

Philippa Dowding did an amazing job telling the story. She was very descriptive with the book and I think most people probably has experienced the same things as Myles did in the book in their real lives. Granted mine was never like Myles’s but I did think there were monsters or something chasing us.

Review/Dumplin’

Review/Dumplin’Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
Published by HarperCollins on September 15th 2015
Pages: 384
Source: ARC From Publisher
Goodreads
Genres: Adolescence, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Social Issues, Young Adult

Book Summnary:

For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel with the most fearless heroine—self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson—from Julie Murphy, the acclaimed author of Side Effects May Vary. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . .  until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.  Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dumplin’ was a book I had picked up at BEA 2015 this past May and I finally managed to sneak it into my reading pile mainly thanks to Tina who wanted to borrow it to read so now I can officially tell her she can read it and pass it along.

I really like the cover its simple but it stands out when you look at it and I love “Go Big, Or Go Home!”

Dumplin’ has been labelled as the must read book of 2015 and I have to say that I am happy that I was to get this to read and review. Its also be optioned for a movie and I have to say that I will definitely watch that one when it comes out.

Willowdean otherwise knows as Willow (to her friends) or Dumplin’ (by her mother) is your typical high school girl who works part time at a fast food restaurant, she has a crush on one of her co-workers (Bo) and a best friend Ellen. She has a huge obsession with Dolly Parton.

One of the things I loved about Willow was that she was comfortable in her skin and she won’t change for anyone no matter what. Willow is a big girl with hips and curves. I think alot of girls will be able to relate to Willow.

Dumplin takes place roughly six months or so after her aunt Lucy dies. Aunt Lucy was a big girl as well. Willow’s world is slowly changing and she doesn’t like it. Willow lost the only person she felt like she could confide in and knew what Willow was going through and her struggles.

Willow’s mom is the complete opposite of Willow and her late aunt. She is thin and was a former beauty contestant winner and she makes it a point to run the beauty pagent every year. So you can see that they have a strained relationship.

Willow and Bo begin a summer romance where everything is kept on the down load and no one knows about them even Ellen has no clue about Willow and Bo. Willow was questioning why a cute guy like Bo would be interested in her when he could clearly have any other girl. Its at this point where she decides she needs to quit her job and get away from Bo because she can’t take being his secret girlfriend or the lies and the secretiveness.

Then enter Mitch who is the high school jock that plays football who takes a liking to Willow. I wish Willow would have given him more of a chance instead of using him like she did. I think Mitch could have been good for her.

You can tell Willow’s confidence is falling and she knows it too so she takes it upon herself to enter the beauty pagent and along the way other kids who are different begin to enter as well and they all look to Willow to guide them. Will Willow be able to follow through with the pagent or will it prove to be too much for her?

So much is going on in the book as you can tell from the book summary that it will keep you reading until you are done.

Review/ Dangerous Lies

Review/ Dangerous LiesDangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick
Published by Simon and Schuster on November 10th 2015
Pages: 400
Source: ARC From Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars
Genres: Love & Romance, Mysteries & Detective Stories, New Experience, Social Issues, Young Adult

Book Summary:

A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.Stella Gordon’s life is a lie. She does not belong in Thunder Basin, Nebraska. As the star witness in a murder trial against a drug dealer, Stella is now in the Witness Protection Program. The small town locals can never know who she really is. Not even Chet Falconer, the one boy who makes her want to reveal her true self. She knows that telling the truth will only bring violence to this safe haven. Despite how hard Stella tries to stay under the radar, danger is fast-approaching. Criminals have a way of getting rid of witnesses, and Stella may have made the one mistake that could lead the cold-blooded men hunting for her right to her doorstep.

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I was recently contacted by Simon & Schuster Canada asking if I would be interested in reading and reviewing this for my blog and I instantly said yes because its been a book that has peaked my curiousity since first hearing about it.

I recently saw the hardcover of the book and I have to say that I love the cover. The rain drops on the final cover are all embossed and it makes the book stand out although I have to say that I feel the cover really doesn’t go with the book per say but I did love it just the same.

I know I am going to get some flack when I say this but I have never read any of Becca’s previous books (The Hush Hush Sage and Black Ice) and I do own them all and I think I might have to dig them out to read because I loved Dangerous Lies.

Dangerous Lies was pretty much a quick read for me. I started it Wednesday night at bed time and by Thursday night I had finished the book. I literally could not put it down because it was a fast paced action thriller, mystery book to say the least.

Estella (AKA Stella) is placed in the witness protection because she is suppose to testify against a drug cartel that her mother was involved with. She stumbled upon a dead body in her living room and witness the killer kidnapping someone.

Her mother is sent to rehab and Stella is sent to Thunder Basin, Nebraska. Stella is not happy to say the least because she is basically dropped off in the middle of no where USA and placed with a lady, Carmina who thinks she knows whats best for a soon to be adult in a few months and has laid down the ground rules for Stella staying with her. Of course Stella tries  to rebel but gradually things begin to change between these two stubborn headed girls.

When Stella lands in Thunder Basin its basically until she turns 18 and then she is out of there but I think once she is there she just might have a few people who will change her mind such as Chet. I loved Chet and I think he was the perfect match for Stella. In the beginning Stella was trying to remain true to Reed her boyfriend from back home who was also placed in the witness protection program because he also was there and he actually witnessed it all. Then gradually Chet broke down the wall and Stella realized she couldn’t resist him.

I have to admit at first I didn’t care for Stella because of her attitude and I got it and it sucks being torn away from what and who you know and resume your life as a new person but still have all those previous memories. Gradually I did warm up to her and I loved that she was going to make the changes so that this process could work.

I don’t want to say much more because I feel as though I will give it away but I will say that the last part of the book is insane and you will literally be glued to the pages because you can’t and won’t be able to put it down. The ending/plot literally threw me for a loop and left me saying “WTH”  as I did not see that coming.

I really hope there is a book two because I don’t think this story is done. I would love to know what happens to Stella and Chet as well as Chet’s brother Dusty and his girlfriend, Inny.

 

Review/ Until We Meet Again

Review/ Until We Meet AgainUntil We Meet Again by Renee Collins
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on November 3rd 2015
Pages: 336
Goodreads
Genres: 20th Century, Dating & Sex, Historical, Love & Romance, Social Issues, United States, Young Adult

Country clubs and garden parties. The last thing Cassandra wants is to spend the summer before her senior year marooned in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. Cass craves drama and adventure, which is hard when she just feels stuck.But when a dreamy stranger shows up on her family's private beach, claiming that it is his property-and that the year is 1925-Cass is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making. As she searches for answers in the present, Cass discovers a truth that thrusts Lawrence's life into jeopardy. It won't matter which century he is from if he won't live to see tomorrow.Desperate to save the boy who's come to mean everything to her, Cassandra must find a way to change history...or risk losing Lawrence forever.

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I was lucky enough to pick up this book at BEA this past May and I have held off on reading it until now.

I have to begin by saying that I loved the book and I couldn’t put it down. I was literally reading this every chance I could get. Its been awhile since I have read time traveling books. I use to be a big fan when they came out and I stopped reading them but now I feel like I want to dig out what ones I have sitting in my tbr pile and read them again. Do you like time traveling books? Have you read any time traveling books?

This is the perfect book to read on a beach during a summer vacation. I was getting home sick reading this because I grew up on the beach and this is your typical summer vacation romance kind of story.

Cassandra is your typical teen age girl. She is on vacation with her mother and new step father and is clearly not having the time of her life because she misses her friends back home. Its when she is on the beach that she is at peace and one night she meets this cute boy named Lawrence. Cassandra knows there is something different about Lawrence but she just can’t think what is so different about him until the story line progresses.

Instantly Cassandra and Lawrence connect and you can see the instant love happening. Your typical but not so typical summer love story.

I really loved that it was told in Cassandra’s and Lawrence’s point of views because you got the back ground story which I think added to the storyline.

It doesn’t take long before they both come to realize that Lawrence is from the 1920’s and Cassandra is from the present day. The realize that the beach is the only connecting spot for them and they take to spending alot of time on the beach. The only think I kept worrying about was the fact Cassandra was trying to help Lawrence out  and provide him with information and if all that would alter history that has already been written. Could their romance change the course of their history?

You might think this is just a typical summer romance story but there is so much more to the book then just that. There is tons of twist and turns (lets just say a mob family from NYC, mixed with murder, mystery, jealous and tragedy) that make you turn the page to find out what is going to happen next.  I really wanted to zip through the book but a part of me just wanted to bask in the story line because it was so beautifully written and it made me long to be on the beach.

Reading this book came at the perfect time to cure my little reading slump I was in.

 

Review/ Violent Ends

Source: Book Bought

Title: Violent Ends
Author: Various Authors
Pub Date: September 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 352

Source: Purchased a copy

In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, seventeen of the most recognizable YA writers—including Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Beth Revis—come together to share the viewpoints of a group of students affected by a school shooting.It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto the school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others. But this isn’t a story about the shooting itself. This isn’t about recounting that one unforgettable day. This is about Kirby and how one boy—who had friends, enjoyed reading, playing saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before—became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing on his classmates. Each chapter is told from a different victim’s viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he’d become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late-night parties. This is a book of perspectives—with one character and one event drawing them all together—from the minds of some of YA’s most recognizable names.

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When I picked up this book to read I have to admit its not what I was expecting. Violent Ends is written by seventeen various authors: Beth Revis, Kendare Blake, Christine Johnson, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Courtney Summers, Shaun David Hutchinson, E.M. Kokie, Mindi Scott, Blythe Woolston, Delilah S. Dawson, Hannah Moskowitz, Elisa Nadar, Steve Brezenoff, Tom Leveen, Margie Gelbwasser, Trish Doller, Neal & Brandon Shusterman.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the stories all blended together because of the various authors that took part in this. I will say that this was a page turner for me and I should point out at the back of the book you can see what authors wrote what chapter.

Violent Ends does not focus solely on the school shooting but in fact focuses on Kirby the shooter and the victims he has shot. Each character in the book that is involved tells the readers a little of their interaction with Kirby and how they viewed him. Kirby was thought of as a good guy who was social and had it going on by some and some thought Kirby was trouble just waiting to happen.

This is the first book I have read that deals with a school shooting that makes Kirby human and not some mad man who went on a school shooting spree. You never know what goes on in someone’s mind but with Kirby hearing about all these interactions and how he had to struggle on a almost daily bases made the mother in me come out and I just wanted to reach into the book and give him a hug and let him know things will be okay even though it feels like it won’t.

Its been a few days since I have read the book and it still sticks with me. I know not everyone will like everyone but I think as human beings we should be learn to just live our lives and not worry about what everyone is doing and trying to find ways to put everyone down. We have to remember that our words and actions towards someone has a long term effect.