Monday, March 23, 2015

ARC Review: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harper
Publishing Date: March 3rd, 2015
Genre: YA, Mystery, Magical Realism
Pages: 368 pgs
ISBN: 9780062317605
Source: Received from Harper Canada in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from Goodreads:
Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are. 

My Review:

This book got a lot of buzz over the summer and I immediately wanted to read it. It is about a girl named Roza who goes missing. She is missing from the onset of the book and we are introduced to two brothers who fell in love with Roza, in different ways. Finn is a slightly strange guy who has a hard time reading people and because of this is made fun of by his peers. Most of the book Finn is trying to figure out what happened to Roza and throughout his investigation he begins dating a friend down the road who helps out with her family's honey/bee farm. 
I had high hopes for this book and didn't really expect the magical realism aspect. I don't know why I didn't realize this before requesting this book but I didn't. Usually I'm not a huge fan of magical realism but I think that it works quite well with this book. It's not too in your face but it keeps you intrigued. It makes you want to read more to find out exactly what in the world is going on. 
I motored through this book and liked the plot line and the writing. I am a sucker for any mystery novel and I've also been really into abduction storylines lately. I think that this book would make an very creepy movie. It has such a quirky cast of characters and I'd love to see it on the big screen. 
All this said, I only gave it 3 stars. For me, this book was fun to read while I was reading it but I'm not sure that it will be one that sticks with me. I didn't feel a strong connection to any of the characters. I liked them but they just didn't pull at my heartstrings. I do think that it is worth a read because it is definitely entertaining.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Asking for Help

Well I have to admit that I am not usually one to ask for help. I have pretty much been living on my own since I was 17 and I have become very independent for that reason. From my upbringing I have learned to rely on myself and oftentimes I have trouble asking for help. This drives my husband bonkers and I have really been working hard at asking for help when it is needed.

As many of you know from reading the blog, my husband and I have been struggling to get pregnant. My eggs are just too nice and cozy in my ovaries and I suspect they have parked their asses on the couch and are currently binge watching all their fave shows (Gilmore Girls, Supernatural, Kimmy Schmidt, The L Word, etc). That being said, they are so lazy that they forget their one job- to mature and take a journey of self discovery down the fallopian tubes where they will meet their one true love, Mr. Sperm. (Too much info?) Anyhow, what I am really trying to say is that D and I are at the IVF stage of this process. This can be super costly. One round is about 10K plus thousands of dollars worth of medication. We have been saving for over a year and it is proving to be difficult.

This is where I ask for some help. As tacky as it may be we have decided to be shameless about our current predicament. If we are going to be able to afford this we are holding a fundraiser. I know not everyone can afford to donate and if this is the case I would sincerely appreciate it if you forwarded the link to our fundraiser along. That being said, if you are able to donate, regardless of the amount I would be sincerely thankful.

I do not want to pressure anyone and I hope this doesn't turn you off the blog but this has been a lifelong dream of mine.  I surround myself with children everyday as I teach first grade. I know how much joy they can be and I would like to be able to start a family with my husband.

If you are interested in donating the link can be found here.

Thank you for taking the time to listen. I know that I haven't always been around but this blog has been a great sounding board and I do feel like you have all supported me through this already by just reading/listening to me get my feelings out.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday- A Little Spring Reading

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week we are showcasing our spring reading lists. I have quite a few so I had to narrow it down. Here they are:

99 Days by Katie Cotugno- I am lucky enough to have an ARC of this book. I really enjoyed her previous novel and who doesn't like a good contemporary read. 
None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio- This book is about an intersex teen. I like reading about novels like this and can't wait to dive in.  

Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen- Again this is another ARC which I am thankful for. This one has an LGBTQ element and is also written in verse. 
Dime by E. R. Frank- This book is again another ARC. It deals with teen prostitution and sound fantastic. 

Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren- This book has been sitting on my shelf for a little bit now. I borrowed it from Emilie because she can't stop raving about it. Katie also raves about this one. They both tell me I'll be addicted and need to move on the 2nd book right away. 
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover- I read Hopeless a few months ago and couldn't put it down. I am told by my NA aficionados (Katie and Emilie) that this book is the best Hoover book. I can't wait to read this one.

Four Seconds to Lose by K. A. Tucker- I LOVED Tucker's other books and I'm not sure why it has taken me this long to read the rest. This one is definitely next on the list. 
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica- I recently picked this one up at the store, started reading and knew that it would right up my alley. I can't wait to pick this one up. It's about a kidnapping. 

Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald- I pre-ordered this because MacDonald is one of my faves. Why oh why has this been sitting on my shelf unread? I need to get to it. 
Second Life by S. J. Watson- This is by the author of Before I Go To Sleep which I loved! I'm happy to have the ARC of this one sitting on my tablet. 

Well there you have my picks for this week. I'm interested in seeing what is on your lists. Happy Reading! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: My Faves of the Past 3 Years

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week we are talking about our favourite books of the past 3 years. This was a difficult one to do because I have read so many good books over the past few years. It's weird because I would say that I read a lot of YA over the past few years but my all time faves are mostly adult. I'm not sure how to interpret this. Regardless here are my picks.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn- So many people have read this and there is so  much hype about this book but I can assure you that the hype is all real. The movie was quite good too but not as good as the book. 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline- This was my first read of the year and I loved it. It had some many social issues and so many 80s pop culture references that it couldn't help but be epic. 

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth- This book is about a young girl grappling with the fact that she is a lesbian in a very religious household. When her family finds out they send her to a camp to help "reform" her. This book is touching and deals with an important issue.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult- I shamelessly love her books and this book has got to be the best she's written. It also deals with WWII history which is right in my wheelhouse.

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover- This book brought me out of a reading slump. I stayed up all damn night to finish it and I would do it all over again if I could. 

Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin- This book is so powerful and disturbing and thought provoking. It is about someone who is intersex and identifies as male. An incident happens which makes him question his entire identity. 

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid- This book is just so good. I really felt I could identify with it. It's essentially about a married couple who decide to take a break for an entire year because things aren't going well. 

The Dreams Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater- This book is my fave of the Raven Cycle but I love that series in general. If you haven't read Raven Boys please do it now. 

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty- I would say anything by this author is good. I have read 3 of her novels now and I have loved every one. I just finished this book on the weekend and it kept me entertained the entire time. It's multiple points of view and there is a mystery involved.

The Jasper Dent series by Barry Lyga- This whole series is like crack. Once you start reading you need to continue. The narrator is the son of an infamous serial killer. It's raw and gritty and so so awesome. 

Well these are my 10 picks. It was difficult to narrow it down but that's what I'm sticking with. Can't wait to read yours. Happy Reading! 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publishing Date: January 13th, 2015
Genre: Adult Thriller, Psychological, Mystery
Pages: 336 pgs
ISBN: 9781594633669
Source: Borrowed from a friend

Summary from Goodreads:
A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.

My Review:

I kept seeing this on the shelves at Chapters over the holiday season and I kept picking it up and then putting it back down. I knew I wanted to read it but I was hesitant to get it because so many books are compared to Gone Girl now. I just thought that it would be another one of those books that has a misguided comparison to one of my favourite books. Curiosity got the better of me when my friend Kathy from A Glass of Wine read it and then offered to lend it to me. I'm glad that I got a chance to read this one. It was really quite enjoyable and I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book. It centers around Rachel, an alcoholic, who takes the same train to and from work everyday. This train just so happens to pass by her old neighbourhood which is where her ex-husband and new wife still live. Rachel is the quintessential unreliable narrator. She is not even a functioning alcoholic as she lost her job from drinking. She is not fooling anyone and she often blacks out from drinking too much. While riding the train Rachel believes she sees something happen to the couple a few doors down from her ex-husband's house. The problem is that she isn't quite sure what she saw because she was entirely too intoxicated to even know what occurred. Most of the story is told in Rachel's perspective and I found it to be fascinating. Kudos to Hawkins because I'm not sure I could really attempt to get into the mind of an alcoholic. This may be because it's too close to home for me and thus causes me great frustration. You are piecing together the mystery as the narrator pieces it together and this really worked for me. 
The novel is also narrated by the woman who goes missing as well as Rachel's ex-husband's new wife. None of the characters is entirely likable and usually this doesn't work for me. If I can't like a character then it is difficult to be invested in the storyline. In this case that wasn't a problem. The story is intriguing and you want to know what happened. You can't help but turning the pages well into the wee hours of the morning. This book is slightly less addictive than crack but not by much. I couldn't put it down. 
The only reason this book is not getting a 5 star review is because I figured out who the culprit was. I'm pretty good at figuring things out so if you can keep me guessing til the end then I figure out deserve a 5 star and this book just missed the cut. I'd say it's more of a 4.5 than a 4 but still this book is great. You can believe the hype for this book even though the comparisons aren't quite accurate. The rave is there for a reason.