October 2018 Wrap-Up

Hi everybody, Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

Before I start this wrap-up, I just wanted to thank all of you for coming back to my blog and supporting it so much this month. Even though I have not been blogging consistently for the past year and a half, you have all shown me a ton of support on this blog, as well as on my Instagram. I could not be happier and proud of all of my posts this month, and I appreciate all of you noticing how I have tried to chose “quality over quantity” and post a few blog posts per week with a lot of detail and depth, rather than post everyday with very rushed content. To be completely transparent, I was not exactly sure how many people would come back and read my posts, but I am so happy for all of you who did and are enjoying them week after week. I was shocked by all of the views and support I was getting during my first week back, and am still surprised by it today. It warms my heart more than you will ever know, and I wanted to thank you all for coming back to my blog.

This month, I read a total of 8 books!!! Pretty good for not reading anything since basically the beginning of April! I enjoyed most of the books I read this month a lot, and posted a review of every single one of them sometime this month. As I had previously said in my October 2018 TBR, this month was all about catching up on ARCs/eARCs I had received that were coming out in either September or October.


The first book I read this month was “Dry” by Neal & Jarrod Shusterman. I was expecting to love this book, as it was on my most anticipated books of 2018 list. However, I only ended up giving it 3.5/5 stars. You can read my full review for it here!


The second book I read in October was “Dare You To Lie” by Amber Lynn Natusch. I absolutely adored this book, and while I thought I was going to like it, I didn’t expect to love it this much!! Needless to say, I gave it 5/5 stars! You can read my full review for it here!


Everyday by David Levithan is one of my favourite books of all time, so I was expecting to love “Someday”, the second (third?) book in the series. Unfortunately, it really disappointed me and I gave it 3/5 stars. You can read my full review for it here!


I received an ARC of “Otherearth” the second book in this series a few months back, but I hadn’t read the first book, “Otherworld” before! I read Otherworld this month since the second book came out just last week. I loved this book very very very much and gave it 5/5 stars! You can read my full review for it here!


While I loved “Otherworld”, I didn’t love this one so much… all thanks to the ending. You can read my review for it here!


This month, in my english class we read King Lear by William Shakespeare. I am not a big Shakespeare fan and found the story very scattered. I also really didn’t like the ending. However, the use of literary elements was spectacular. I gave it 2.75/5 stars.


In October I made a new NetGalley account and requested a few books to read and review. I was very fortunate to receive and read an ARC of “You Asked For Perfect” by Laura Silverman. Laura Silverman is a popular author in the YA category, but I had never read any of her books before. This book comes out early next year, so I don’t want to spoil any of my thoughts on it. However, I will tell you that I loved this book and cannot wait to post my review and hear all of your opinions on it once it is released!


The last book I read this month was another NetGalley eARC titled “The Leading Edge of Now” by Marci Lyn Curtis. This book came out earlier this month, but my review will be posted a in a few weeks!

Thank you for reading about all of the books I read in October! What was the best book you read this month, and how many books did you read? I’d love to discuss in the comments!

Good Night Book Owls!

Alyssa’s Reviews – Other Earth by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller (ARC)

“It was all just a matter of time before something like this happened. I told you before – the future is going to be bleak as hell. People get so excited that we have all this fun new technology. They never sit back and consider how dangerous it might be. We’re just a bunch of monkeys playing with a box of matches.” – Other Earth, pg. 39

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

Happy book release day to “Other Earth” by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller! In my last post, I reviewed “Other World” (the first book in this series), you can read my review by clicking here! In short: I absolutely loved and DEVOURED it! I was really happy to have recieved an ARC of “Other Earth” (thanks to Penguin Random House) so I didn’t have to wait for the sequel.


NOTE: This is the second book in the “Last Reality” series written by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller. Since this is a sequel, I may (unintentionally) spoil parts of the first book. If you haven’t read it, I would HIGHLY recommend it! You can read my review for the first book in this series, titled “Otherworld” here!

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

Simon saved his best friend, Kat, from the clutches of the Company and their high-tech VR gaming experience, Otherworld. But it was at a steep price. Now he, Kat, and their friend Busara are on the run. They know too much. About the Company’s dark secrets. About the real-life consequences of playing Otherworld. And about Kat’s stepfather’s involvement in everything. The group is headed to New Mexico to find Simon’s old roommate, who is a tech genius and possibly the only person who can help them reveal the truth about the Company before it’s too late and the line between what’s real and what’s fantasy is erased . . . forever.
Imagine a future in which you can leave reality behind and give in to your greatest desires. That future is now. And the future is terrifying.

If you would have told me that I would not be rating this book 5/5 stars before I read the last 30 pages, I would not have believed you. I LOVED this book, even more than the last one. That being said, I absolutely HATED the ending. While I understand that since this is a series, there can really be no final conclusion, I still was expecting a lot more from the ending. I found it incredibly confusing (which may have been the point – I’m not so sure). It left me unhappy, and honestly kind of turned me away from finishing the series (still undecided on continuing with it or not).

I still loved reading from Simon’s perspective about his thoughts and the other events going on with the other characters. While Kat was still a very important part of this story, the introduction of Elvis (no, not that one), and the new found relevance of Busara’s character, made the book feel like it had a better social dynamic. Rather than in the previous one, where Simon was quite independent. I wish Busara’s dad had a much bigger role in this story. Since he was essentially the original creator, I would have loved to have read more about the process of coming up with the idea for this world, and his overall opinions on the Company itself. One of my favourite parts of this book had to do with the dynamic between Simon and his mother. I felt like there was a lack of family at the beginning of this book, so when Simon’s mother appeared, I was so happy to read about it. She played a small but mighty role in this story, and to see the trust she had in Simon was incredible. It made me love her character that much more!

In this continuation of “Otherworld”, there was a much better balance of Simon’s time between the Otherworld and his time on earth. Since the four main characters could not go into Otherworld all together, they relied on each other to dive into the world to accomplish their goals, and then report back to them to see how they could continue there journey of ultimately taking down the Company. They were also a lot of scenes in the real world that were very important to the events in the Otherworld, so I enjoyed reading about the person that was behind the avatar.

Like in the previous book, I found this one very fast paced and entertaining. None of the events dragged on, and each event was related to the next. However, I did not enjoy the writing style as much as I did in the first one. By the end of the book, it almost seemed like it was a middle grade novel.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, minus the confusing ending. I gave it 4.5/5 stars on Goodreads!

Thanks again to Penguin Random House for the ARC!

Thanks for reading my review of “Other Earth” by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller. To read my initial thoughts while I was reading the book, click here (scroll down to “Reading Progress”.

Good Night Book Owls!

Alyssa’s Reviews – Otherworld by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

“I don’t understand. It’s just virtual reality,” I say. Kat leans forward. “No, see, that’s the big secret,” she whispers. “It’s not virtual reality if it changes who you are. All of this is real, Simon. It’s real.” – Otherworld, Pg. 271

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

For the past few weeks I have been wanting to read an interesting dystopia/sci-fi/alternate reality book that was not “Ready Player One” (don’t have much interest in reading this right now). So, when I found out about “Otherworld” by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, I drove over to Indigo to pick up this book! And let me tell you… it did not dissapoint!


Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.
Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.
And it’s about to change humanity forever.
Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.

WOW! This book was by far one of the best dystopian books I have ever read. I was literally hooked in from the synopsis on Goodreads! While I have some interest in Ready Player One in the future, this book appealed to me more because of the romance/real life aspect.

I absolutely loved all of the characters in this novel right from the very first chapter. Simon Eaton, the main protagonist, is one of my new favourite YA characters and was a fantastic narrator. His emotion was written out so clearly by Segel and Miller, which helped myself connect with him from the beginning. Kat, Simon’s love interest, motivated Simon to do basically everything in this novel, therefore she played a huge role in this book. In YA books, there are typically 3-5 main characters in a novel that the author will focus on throughout the book. However, in Otherworld, there were a lot of minor characters that impacted the storyline greatly, and contributed significantly to the long term plot line. There were also some characters that were vaguely described at the beginning of the book that were reintroduced during the end of the novel, but with an explanation and more detail (for example, Busara and Marlow). Even though there were a lot more “main” characters than you would typically expect in a YA novel, they all were really great to read about and had a lot of connections with both Kat and Simon.

Because I am jewish, I really appreciated the humour surrounding his “kishka”. While the “Jewish nose”, is a HUGE stereotype in the Jewish community, I found his jokes about his grandfather and his appearance “because of his religion” very funny.

During the first few (three?) chapters of the book, Simon described his home-life, past relationship with Kat, and other very important things that had happened to him in his past, that would somehow affect the story in one way or another. These chapters were detrimental to the success and overall enjoyment of this book, and were very needed to understand how Simon shaped up to become the man he is in Otherworld.

Like I said before, Simon’s connection with Kat motivated him to discover and save her from the Otherworld. His motivation made the book very fast paced and a quick read overall. Nothing in this book dragged on, as each event was crucial in the flow of the plot.  It was very action packed but did not seem confusing during any part, which made for a successful fast-paced novel. The plot twists in this book were completely unexpected, but when I went back to previous chapters, I noticed a lot of foreshadowing that I originally didn’t catch.  After I was finished the book, I couldn’t believe that it was over 350 pages!

The setting and world building in this novel was done exceptionally well. Even though simon was going through a variety of different types of regions of Otherworld, they were all described very well and made it easy to visualize. The diversity and environmental changes of each area of Otherworld was very reflective of our world today. While the book was based around Simon’s movement within Otherworld, I liked how he flashed frequently back into the normal world after being in the Otherworld for a few days at a time. This made the book much more realistic since people in the real world kept checking up on him and helping him shut down the Company that produced Otherworld.

The technology in Otherworld was honestly quite frightening. The AI in this book were so technologically advanced, much more advanced than anything we have ever seen. They acted as if they were their own person and had their own souls. It’s crazy to think that our technology could create in the future.

Most of the time, I will evaluate the overall success of a first book in a series by seeing if I would continue the series or not. In this case, I will definitely be continuing the series (Blog Spoiler: I already read the second book and will have a review up for it later this week!) and reading about how the Otherworld and surrounding issues continue on. “Otherworld” left readers with quite the “plot hanger” (a cliff hanger that doesn’t pertain to a certain concluding event, but rather the continuing development of the plot as a whole).

Overall, I loved this book and gave it 5/5 stars on Goodreads! To read my thoughts on this book while reading it, click here!

Thank you for reading my review of “Otherworld” by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller! Have you read this book? Let me know on Twitter, and we can talk all about it!

Good Night Book Owls!


Hi everybody, Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

Almost two weeks ago I placed the most gigantic book order haul in the history of Book Outlet… just kidding (not really LOL)! I bought 19 books for just over $100 CAD on my favourite book selling website, BookOutlet.ca, which is a STEAL! Normally, hardback YA books are around $25 CAD, and YA paperbacks are around $15 CAD, so buying a mix of both hardback and paperback books ranging from $3-$8 CAD per book is the best book bargain you will ever find! Book Outlet books are NOT USED books, but rather have a small mark on the bottom of them which makes them unsellable in regular franchise book stores. These are called “Bargain Books“. However, Book Outlet acquires these books and sells them anywhere from 50%-90% off (this is not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share this information with all of you!). They also have a “Scratch and Dent” section which carries books that may contain a scratch or dent on the cover or inside of the book, or may even be missing a dust jacket. I purchased one S&D book for the first time in this haul, and I still can’t find the issue with it!

Enough with the rambling, let’s get started with the haul! Here’s a little sneak peak!

In this post, I will be including the synopsis of each book under the picture of their cover. I have not had the chance to read any of these books yet, so I will not be reviewing them in this post.

War Cross by Marie Lu
Price: $8.49 CAD – Bargain Book

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation. Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke
Price: $3.05 CAD – Scratch and Dent

When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister, Faith. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister.
Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody
Price: $4.32 CAD – Bargain Book

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year. She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died. But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her. And his name is Xander. When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head. Ryn can’t move on. But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Price: $4.83 CAD – Bargain Book

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last? Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
Price: $9.17 – Bargain Book

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind. Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him. When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Price: $7.89 – Bargain Book

Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale. At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone has never beat at all, in fact, but shed always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the kings heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that shell have to become a stepmother. Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queens image, at her fathers order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to doand who to be to win back the only mother shes ever known or else defeat her once and for all. Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Price: $7.30 CAD – Bargain Book

Remember, it’s only a game… Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever. Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Price: $3.64 – Bargain Book

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat. Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night? Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

The Gates by John Connolly
Price: $6.11 – Bargain Book

Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund, Boswell, are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Halloween which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road. The Abernathys don’t mean any harm by their flirtation with the underworld, but when they unknowingly call forth Satan himself, they create a gap in the universe. A gap in which a pair of enormous gates is visible. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out… Can one small boy defeat evil? Can he harness the power of science, faith, and love to save the world as we know it? Bursting with imagination, The Gates is about the pull between good and evil, physics and fantasy. It is about a quirky and eccentric boy who is impossible not to love, and the unlikely cast of characters who give him the strength to stand up to a demonic power. John Connolly manages to re-create the magical and scary world of childhood that we’ve all left behind but so love to visit. And for those of you who thought you knew everything you could about particle physics and the universe, think again. This novel makes anything seem possible.

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Price: $4.32 CAD – Bargain Book

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court. Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court. When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor. But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

Every You, Every Me by David Levithan
Price: $3.64 CAD – Bargain Book

In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he’s been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan’s starting to believe it’s Ariel that’s behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Price: $6.11 CAD – Bargain Book

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night. However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

Like A River Glorious by Rae Carson
Price: $3.64 – Bargain Book

After a harrowing journey across the country, Leah Westfall and her friends have finally arrived in California and are ready to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. Lee has a special advantage over the other new arrivals in California—she has the ability to sense gold, a secret known only by her handsome best friend Jefferson and her murdering uncle Hiram. Lee and her friends have the chance to be the most prosperous settlers in California, but Hiram hasn’t given up trying to control Lee and her power. Sabotage and kidnapping are the least of what he’ll do to make sure Lee is his own. His mine is the deepest and darkest in the territory, and there Lee learns the full extent of her magical gift, the worst of her uncle, and the true strength of her friendships. To save everyone, she vows to destroy her uncle and the empire he is building—even at the cost of her own freedom. The second epic historical fantasy in the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson, the acclaimed author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
Price: $6.11 CAD – Bargain Book

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind. Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves. But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia? As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Price: $4.32 CAD – Bargain Book

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books. Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

BOXSET: Mosquito Land by David ArnoldLooking For Alaska by John Green
Price: $9.68 CAD – Bargain Book

Love, Fortunes, and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius
Price: $3.64 – Bargain Book

In the tradition of Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, one girl chooses to change her fortune and her fate by falling in love. Love is real in the town of Grimbaud, and Fallon Dupree has dreamed of attending high school there for years. After all, generations of Duprees have successfully followed the (100% accurate!) love fortunes from Zita’s famous Love Charms Shop to happily marry their high school sweethearts. It’s a tradition. So she is both stunned and devastated when her fortune states that she will NEVER find love. Fortunately, Fallon isn’t the only student with a terrible love fortune, and a rebellion is brewing. Fallon is determined to take control of her own fate—even if it means working with a notorious heartbreaker like Sebastian. Will Fallon and Sebastian be able to overthrow Zita’s tyranny and fall in love?

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
Price: $4.83 CAD – Bargain Book

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) 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 Clover City beauty 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. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

I actually ended up clearing an entire bookshelf full of middle grade books that I moved into bins, so I had a whole shelf for all of my new Book Outlet books! I am SO excited to start reading them!

If you make a purchase on BookOutlet.ca, feel free to use my link to receive $10 off your first Book Outlet order of $25 or more! (If the hyperlink isn’t working, click here: http://bit.ly/2EtuKH4). 

Alyssa’s Reviews – Someday by David Levithan

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

Every Day” by David Levithan was one of my favourite reads of 2015, so when I found out that he was making a sequel and it was being published by Penguin Random House, I knew I needed to request it and read it! Thanks to the amazing people at PRH, I received a finished (!) copy of it, and read it basically right after I got it. I had really high expectations for this book, but I honestly didn’t (and still don’t) think that “Everyday” needed a sequel… but of course I had to read it!


NOTE: This is the second (third? – I didn’t read “Another Day”) book in the “Everyday” series written by David Leviathan. Since this is a sequel, I may (unintentionally) spoil parts of the first book. If you haven’t read it, I would HIGHLY recommend it! 

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

Every day a new body. Every day a new life. Every day a new choice.
For as long as A can remember, life has meant waking up in a different person’s body every day, forced to live as that person until the day ended. A always thought there wasn’t anyone else who had a life like this.
But A was wrong. There are others.
A has already been wrestling with powerful feelings of love and loneliness. Now comes an understanding of the extremes that love and loneliness can lead to — and what it’s like to discover that you are not alone in the world.
In Someday, David Levithan takes readers further into the lives of A, Rhiannon, Nathan, and the person they may think they know as Reverend Poole, exploring more deeply the questions at the core of Every Day and Another Day What is a soul? And what makes us human?

The synopsis seemed very promising. When I found out they were going to introduce other people/another main character like A in “Someday”, I was really excited to read it and was looking forward to finally getting answers to my questions from A and other people like him. However, that is not exactly how the book went. While new people and perspectives were introduced (more on that later), it was mostly about Reverend Poole (A.K.A. “X”). Instead of acting like X was an enemy, I wish they would have joined forces and had a deeper connection. This would have added more character development to A, as well as give the readers answers to their questions.

That being said, I still loved and enjoyed reading about/from the perspective of the different characters. While a lot of different perspectives can sometimes make the book difficult to read/follow (like in “Dry“), Leviathan made each perspective seem very different, which, looking back, probably wasn’t hard to do since each character had a very different part of the story to tell and a very different attitude towards their circumstances. To this day, A is one of the most interesting characters I have ever read about. His perspective on life and the way people live is so interesting, especially considering the very unique life he lives. I know a lot of people didn’t love Rhiannon in “Everyday”, but I really enjoyed her character in both of the novels. Trying to love somebody when they are in different bodies everyday is a mind blowing concept. She developed a lot throughout “Someday” and she was very realistic about their unique situation and relationship she had formed with Alexander (her boyfriend from school). Nathan was also a very interesting perspective to read from. He was getting a lot of the harm from X throughout the first half of the novel, which was strange since he basically had nothing to do with the storyline, however it didn’t add any harm to the plot and made it everything that much more urgent. X was the most unique perspective to read from. Since I was so used to A’s way of life and his thoughts on the way he uses his life while in others bodies, it was interesting to see somebody “abuse their power” and try to make others lives miserable (this is NOT a spoiler, it is mentioned within X’s first chapter in the novel). The characters added a lot to the story, and were one of the main reasons why I wanted to read this book in the first place.

Of course, in a story like A’s, there will be a lot of different settings/places written about in the book. This can be hard to follow, since a lot of setting development needs to take place to fully understand exactly where the characters are. Levithan does this perfectly when picking places for the characters to go, especially since there are over/at least five places we read about between the four different perspectives. I enjoyed all of the settings I read about in this book, and while they weren’t detrimental to the story line, they were an important part of the characters meeting up and connecting.

Without Levithan great writing style, it would have been hard to follow the story and different settings throughout the entirety of the novel. The way he can seamlessly piece a crazy story together with his words is incredible. He has by far one of the best writing styles out of any other author I have read books from.

Even though Levithan has magical ways with words, there were still some parts of the book I found unnecessary. I felt like the middle dragged on a lot, and a lot of the minor details were not needed. It took me quite a while to read this book (or at least more time than the other recent books have), and I think it’s because of the small details that were not needed. While I enjoyed reading about Rhiannon’s personal life, a lot of the meetings between her and her friends were unimportant, especially since she had already made up her mind about not telling anybody about A regardless of her “relationship woah’s” with Alexander. Like I said, I would have enjoyed reading more conversations between A and X, or even Nathan and X. I think that would have added more detail into the story, and would have made it a lot quicker to read.

The ending of the novel saved it for me. I thought it was extremely well written, and I didn’t see it coming AT ALL. I knew Rhiannon and Nathan wanted revenge on X, but since they were originally just going to meet to talk, I had no idea that it would spiral into a much bigger event (no spoilers here!). It was definitely one of the best endings that I never saw coming.

Though the story is majorly about A and his life and connections with Rhiannon and the others, my favourite minor/secondary plot lines to read about was Peter and Liam. I absolutely LOVED their little story, even though it had no impact on the original story whatsoever. The ending for them was amazing, and I never saw it coming. I would be really interested in reading a book focused on them and their relationship.

While I did enjoy reading this book for the most part, I still don’t see a point to it. “Everyday” was such a great standalone novel, so I didn’t see a point in a sequel. I still had questions unanswered after reading the first book, but the questions about the plot line were better left unanswered. Since the second book didn’t really answer any of my original questions, it wasn’t as great of a book as I thought it would be.

I gave “Someday” 3/5 stars on Goodreads. To read my initial thoughts while I was reading the book, click here!

Thanks again to Penguin Random House for sending along a copy of this book, I’m so thankful for this opportunity!

Thanks for reading my book review! Have you read “Someday” by David Levithan? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts… tweet me @Readingreadingr and we can discuss!

Good Night Book Owls!

Halloween Books On My Shelf

Hi everybody!

Originally, I was going to write a post about my “Halloween TBR”, but I have too many ARCs to read to even begin to read a halloween-themed book. However, I just recently re-organized my books by genre, and I seem to have quite the collection of scary-ish books! I haven’t read most of them, but I will share where I bought them from and the summary posted about them on Goodreads!

The Pefect Nanny by Leila Slimani

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

When Myriam, a mother and brilliant French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work, she and her husband are forced to look for a caretaker for their two young children. They are thrilled to find Louise: the perfect nanny right from the start. Louise sings to the children, cleans the family’s beautiful apartment in Paris’s upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late whenever asked, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on each other, jealousy, resentment, and frustrations mount, shattering the idyllic tableau.

A few months ago I picked this book up from Indigo since I was hearing so much hype about it! I tried reading a few chapters of it, and I found it quite slow. I will definitely try and pick it up sometime next year to read.

Doll Bones by Holly Black

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .

I purchased this book three years ago at a Scholastic Book Fair. I have never read a Holly Black book, but she has written so many interesting spooky books! I hope to read this book next October and hopefully it lives up to all of the hype!

The Ghost of the Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

When twelve-year-old Florence boards the crowded horse-drawn coach in London, she looks forward to a new life with her great uncle and aunt at Crutchfield Hall, an old manor house in the English countryside. Anything will be better, she thinks, than the grim London orphanage where she has lived since her parents’ death. But Florence doesn’t expect the ghost of her cousin Sophia, who haunts the cavernous rooms and dimly lit hallways of Crutchfield and concocts a plan to use Florence to help her achieve her murderous goals. Will Florence be able to convince the others in the household of the imminent danger and stop Sophia before it’s too late?

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

“Take her out back and finish her off.” She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know where she is, or why. All she knows when she comes to in a ransacked cabin is that there are two men arguing over whether or not to kill her.
And that she must run.
In her riveting style, April Henry crafts a nail-biting thriller involving murder, identity theft, and biological warfare. Follow Cady and Ty (her accidental savior turned companion), as they race against the clock to stay alive.

Dead Upon A Time by Elizabeth Paulson

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

One girl is kept in a room where every day the only food she’s given is a poisoned apple. Another is kept in a room covered in needles — and if she pricks her finger, she’ll die. Then there are the brother and sister kept in a cell that keeps getting hotter and hotter. . . .A sinister kidnapper is on the loose in Kate’s world. She’s not involved until one day she heads to her grandmother’s house in the woods — and finds her grandmother has also been taken. Already an outcast, Kate can’t get any help from the villagers who hate her. Only Jack, another outsider, will listen to what’s happened.Then a princess is taken, and suddenly the king is paying attention — even though the girl’s stepmother would rather he didn’t. It’s up to Kate and Jack to track down the victims before an ever after arrives that’s far from happy.

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots. But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette. Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . . . 

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time…
Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females—an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself. But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia gets trapped. And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted. Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, as well, harbors shocking truths within its walls—truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free. But she’ll need to act quickly, before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

If you are an avid book blog reader or book tube watcher, you must have heard about this book before! Not only is it Jesse The Readers favourite book of all time, but it is obviously a very popular book to read around Halloween time. I will definitely be picking this up next halloween (or even sooner) to read!

I hope you all enjoyed this blog post! Since I am just coming back to the book-blogosphere I have many ARCs I need to read and review, so I will not be able to read any spooky books this year. Hopefully next year, when I am all settled in, I will be able to read a few of these! Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Let me know what you thought about them in the comments!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for sneak peaks on upcoming blog posts and to find out what I am currently reading!

Good Night Book Owls!

Alyssa’s Reviews – Dare You to Lie by Amber Lynn Natusch (ARC)

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

Normally, I am not a big YA Mystery type of reader, however this book may change that. “Dare You To Lie” by Amber Lynn Natusch is a new YA Thriller/Mystery novel that I requested and received from Raincoast Canada over two months ago. However, I just read this book last week and LOVED IT. By far one of the best YA thrillers I have EVER read. I featured “Dare You To Lie” in my October TBR, which you can read here!


Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

When her FBI agent father is framed for murder, Kylene is forced to move in with her grandfather, back to the small town that turned its back on her, and the boy who betrayed her. All Ky cares about is clearing her father’s name, but someone won’t let her forget the photo scandal that drove her away two years ago. As the threats gain momentum, Ky finds an unlikely ally in the rookie FBI agent sent to keep an eye on her. Determined to expose the town’s hidden skeletons, Ky unwittingly thrusts herself into a much bigger plot. They thought she’d forgive and forget. They’re about to learn they messed with the wrong girl.

This book was INCREDIBLE.

I am not normally a huge fan of YA Thrillers/Mystery books, so requesting this one was definitely “out of my comfort zone”. However, reading this was a very rewarding experience, especially since I enjoyed it so much.

Originally, when I started the book, I was not in the mood for a high school story. Most of the ones I had read before had been been very easy to predict and included a very nauseating love story. But even after just 50 pages, I was hooked! The high school setting was great and very beneficial for the story. While we didn’t read many chapters about the school and Kylene’s student life, the role of the kids in the school was important in the story, therefore setting it at a school made a lot of sense.

All of the characters in this story were fascinated to read about, and contributed to my overall enjoyment of the story. I found that I formed a connection to the characters very early on into the story, which usually means that I will enjoy reading the book throughout the whole plot/story line. Kylene was a great protagonist and I loved reading from her perspective throughout the novel. The emotions she felt were expressed in great detail in the book, which made it much easier to read and understand how she was feeling throughout different events in the story. One of my favourite characters in the book was Kylene’s grandfather. While Kylene’s connection with her parents may not have been so strong, her bond with her grandfather was very special and you could tell how deeply they cared for each other. The absence of her parents (specifically her Mom) seemed hard to deal with for Kylene, but her Grandfather filled that void. I also loved both Garrett and Tabby, Kylene’s two best friends. They both added so much to the story and were a great support system for Kylene when she needed to talk out what she was feeling.

Even though Kylene’s parents were brought up slightly during the first half of the novel, I would have loved to have read more about both of them. The mothers’ story was easy to understand because it pretty much resulted in Kylene’s move back to her original home. However, I found Kylene’s fathers backstory quite confusing. I would have liked to read more about her Dad in the passed, and I would have liked to read more about the father in the present and seen him more involved in Kylene’s story.

Since this was a fact-paced YA thriller, Amber Lynn Natusch’s writing style may not be for everyone. It was an extremely fast read for me, which was mostly because of the pace of the plot line. I personally enjoy reading books where you really have to pay attention to all of the events going on in every chapter, or else you would not understand what is going on. Those types of books make for thrilling reads and really impressive story lines, like what is seen in “Dare You To Lie”.

This book also featured a lot of impressive plot twists, that I did not see coming AT ALL. The mystery aspect greatly contributed to the plot twists and turns throughout the novel. I am normally pretty good at predicting events in a novel, but this one had some very surprising ones that I did not see coming.

One of the only things I didn’t like about this novel was the ending. At first, I didn’t realize that this book was the first of a series, so the ending had me quite confused. There wasn’t any real closure in this novel, it only answered one main mystery, but left the much bigger one unsolved. I assume all of it will be solved in the books to come, but I wish we had a bigger hint, and weren’t left with such a cliff hanger.

Overall, this book was fantastic and I gave it 4.5/5 stars on Goodreads. To read my thoughts on this book while reading it, click here!

Thanks for reading my book review for “Dare You To Lie” by Amber Lynn Natusch! I haven’t read a YA thriller like this in a long time, so if anybody has any YA thriller/mystery recommendations, let me know in the comments!

Thanks to Raincoast Canada for sending along an ARC of this book, I’m so thankful for this opportunity!

Spooky Scary Book Tag!

Hi everybody and welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

With just about three weeks until Halloween, I thought it would be fun to participate in another book tag! Although I wasn’t tagged in one, I still thought it would be fun to do! If you have not completed this book tag but want to participate, I tag you (send me a link to your version of the tag and I will tweet it out!)!

I got this tag and all of the questions from “Howling Libraries”, you can check out her post here!

1. What goes bump in the night? Name a book that has legitimately scared you while reading it.


While you would probably expect me to go with a horror or thriller for this question, I actually believe that “Night” by Ellie Wiesel was the scariest book I ever read. The Holocaust in general is such a scary event, and it is even more scarier to me because I am jewish and have close family members that passed away because of it. I think the scariest part of this book is knowing that everything written inside it is real. There is nothing scarier than reading a scary book and imagining yourself in the narrators shoes, wondering if you would have even made it out alive.

2. Jack O’ Lanterns and Classic Costumes: A book you always reach for during Halloween time.


The book (or in my case, series), that I always reach for during Halloween time is the Goosebumps series. A few years ago, my cousin was cleaning some stuff out in his basement, and stumbled upon over 40 Goosebumps books. Around that time, I was looking for some spooky books to read, and I figured Goosebumps were great “classic” scary books for young adults. In 2015, I created a little Goosebumps challenge to see how many of them I could read throughout the month of October. I believe I read about 15 of them, and they were all great!

3. Black Cats and Magic Mirrors: A book you love that is laced with superstition and/or magic.


A book (or again, series) that I LOVE is “The Land of Stories” by Chris Colfer. This is my very favourite middle grade book series, and I still re-read them to this day. They are so magical, and really pull you into a magical world. (Yes, I am missing one but plan to pick it up very soon!)

4. Witch’s Brew: Favorite witch character in any book/series.

I don’t think I’ve read any books with a witch character that I loved. 😦

5. Ghouls and Ghosts: A book that still haunts you to this day (good or bad).


For this question, I will go on the “bad” end of the spectrum. “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart is one of my least favourite books that I have ever read in recent history. I feel like this book is one of those where you either “love it or hate it” and there’s no in-between. I personally really disliked this book. Although it’s been a while since I read it, I remember not being able to understand anything that was going on, and I also didn’t feel any connection towards any of the characters.

6. Haunted Graveyard: You’re all alone in a haunted graveyard, you get ONE book to give you comfort, which is it?


“Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins is one of my favourite contemporary novels, and one that brought me such joy and warmth when I read it. The characters were so sweet to read about and were written with such clarity. Perkins overall writing style is one of my favourites in general, and of course her cute contemporary storylines are very comforting to read about whether you are in a haunted graveyard or not!

7. The Undead: Favorite supernatural creatures to read about (i.e. vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc).

I would have to say my favourite supernatural creatures to read about are vampires. Even though I have yet to find a book series about vampires that I love (still haven’t read Twilight…), I hope to find a good one in the future!

8. In the dead of night: Pick a book with a black cover.

“milk and honey” by Rupi Kaur is one of the darkest book covers I have seen in recent memory!


That’s it for today’s blog post! I hope you guys enjoyed it! Like I said, if you like this tag and have yet to do it, feel free to say that I tagged you and I will retweet your post on Twitter! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see sneak peaks of upcoming blog posts and to find out what I am currently reading!

Good Night Book Owls!

Alyssa’s Reviews – Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman (ARC)

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

“Dry” by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018, so when I received an ARC in the mail from Simon and Schuster Canada, I was so excited to read and review it! I knew the very basics about the plot, and knew nothing about the characters – other than the fact that the main protagonists name was Alyssa (we share the same name!). I featured “Dry” in a couple of my newest blog posts, including my October 2018 TBR and my seventh edition of “In My Mailbox“.


Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers. Until the taps run dry. Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbours and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.

While this book did not live up to my highest expectations, I still really enjoyed it!

Alyssa, the main protagonist, was my least favourite character in the book. During the beginning of the novel, I enjoyed reading her thoughts and perspective surrounding the Tap-Out, however, by the end of the novel, I didn’t think that she added much insight and was more of an “annoyed personality”, rather than a crucial character that added a lot to the storyline. In my opinion, she was the least significant character out of their group. Although the story was based around her family and how the tap-out impacted them, I preferred to read about Garrett, Alyssa’s 10-year-old brother. He was one of my favourite characters in the novel, and he played a huge role in the story. He seemed much braver and courageous than a typical 10-year-old boy would be, but since these were unimaginable circumstances, he stepped up to the plate and helped out their group a lot throughout the novel. Garrett developed the most out of all of the characters in the novel, and he was my favourite character to read about by far. Jacqui, Henry, and Kelton were three very interesting characters to read about as well. In “Dry”, we get to read about them in Alyssa’s perspective, as well as read about their thoughts and emotions from their own perspective. Jacqui was my least favourite character during the first half of the book, but she slowly grew on me, and by the end of the book, I really enjoyed and appreciated her character. While I thought Kelton’s role at the beginning of the book would be Alyssa’s love interest, he shaped into his own character thought the progression of the novel, and ended up affecting the story line much more than I had originally thought. Kelton’s family dynamic and his parents thoughts on the world were fascinating to read about, and I would have loved to have read more about his family overall. Even though Henry is introduced more than half-way into the novel, I loved his character and how he added a mysterious element into the storyline. He seemed like a wealthy teenager living in his house alone while his parents left during the tap-out, but we quickly learn that he is not who he really appears to be. I also loved reading about the neighbours. Like Keltons family, I would have loved reading more about them and how they felt towards the other families on the street. I would’ve liked more time to read about them and delve into some of the families more individually.

Even though we didn’t get to read much about the neighbours, one of my favourite aspects of the book was the little “snapshots” of other peoples lives during this disaster. Normally, I hate reading any sort of “snapshot” chapter (like a look into the future or past), but these individual stories added so much emotion to the book, and I could not have enjoyed reading them any more than I did. From reading about news anchors, to people who ran water plants, we got read about other peoples perspectives and emotions during the tap-out, and we also got to see how the sudden loss of water impacted different types of people.

Like I mentioned before, the plot/overall concept of this book was very interesting and appealed to me very much. And while it was a good idea in the beginning, I felt like it was a little flat. There were so many dramatic parts/climaxes in the story, but they all felt very anti-climactic and didn’t really result in anything. There were some things (like the neighbours/different home-lives of the characters, etc.) that I would have liked to have read more, while there were other things I could have read less about (travelling in the car, trying to locate water even though they could never really find anything, etc.). I felt like some of the “travelling” chapters dragged on, and when they finally made it to their desired destination, we only read about it for a few pages. Shusterman could have made some of the destination parts longer, resulting in more world-building. In my opinion, the ending felt very abrupt and incomplete. I would have loved to have read more about their “rescue” (no spoilers here!) and how their lives went directly after the tap-out (in hospital, stuff with parents, etc.), rather than reading about their thoughts two weeks after the initial event took place. The book was extremely thrilling and fast-paced, which made it much easier to read in a timely matter.

“Dry” is a multi-perspective book, not like your typical “two-sides of the story” novel. I thought the POV writing style was beneficial in this story, since no two people would be feeling the exact same emotions during an event as dramatic as a literal water lock out. That being said, I wished they would have stuck to two individual POVs, rather than making ever single character in the book (except Garrett) have POV parts. At times throughout the novel, I was confused as to who was speaking and who they were talking about. Some POV parts were longer than others, and during those long parts I found myself flipping to the beginning to remind myself who was speaking. The characters all spoke pretty similarly, and I found it hard to distinguish one character from the next.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and gave it 3/5 stars. To read my thoughts throughout reading the book, click here!

Thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending along this book, I’m so thankful for this opportunity!

Have YOU read “Dry” by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman? Tweet me (and follow me!) @readingreadingr and we can discuss the book on twitter! Also, make sure to follow my Instagram to see sneak peaks of upcoming blog posts and to find out what I am currently reading!

Good Night Book Owls!

Quick Thought #20: How to Get Rid of a Book Hangover

Hi everybody!

Welcome to the Quick Thought #20! To read all of my previous Quick Thoughts, click here.

In today’s Quick Thought, we are going to be discussing “Book Hangovers”!

A “Book Hangover” is when you read a fantastic book and have trouble picking up a new one because you are still thinking about the events that occurred in the previous one you read.

I suffer from book hangovers a lot, which leads to a lot of the reading slumps that I have over the course of a year. Sometimes I can read literally five books in around two and a half weeks, but other times I will read one amazing book, but then analyze the book over and over again in my head, resulting in not picking another one up until weeks/months later! Since I suffer from “Book Hangovers” so much, I thought I would share my top tips on getting over them.

Tip #1: Have a Reading Schedule and DO NOT change up your schedule no matter what!

Sometimes, one of the best ways I can get over a book hangover is to use a planner or type out in your calendar a strict reading schedule over the next few weeks. I will type out what book I want to read on each day, and how many pages I want to read. Most of the time when I do this, I will either finish the book right on time, or read it even quicker by not following the strict page number counts. That way I am technically ahead of my schedule, which motivates me to pick up even more books in a shorter time span.

Tip #2: Choose a New Format to Read on!

Whenever I am struggling to pick up a new physical book, I like to download one onto my iPad to read. Whenever I read on my iPad, I tend to finish the book a lot easier since I can’t really see how much of the book I have left. Like the first tip, this makes me read a lot faster and encourages me to pick up another book once I am finished the first one. This also includes audiobooks and any other form of book you can think of, but reading on my iPad is my second favourite format to read when I don’t really feel like reading from a physical book.

Tip #3: Plan out a TBR List with Books You Will be Motivated to Read

A TBR (To-Be-Read) list is one of my favourite ways to chose a new book to read after suffering from a “book hangover”! While I post a monthly TBR post on the first of every month, sometimes none of the books will appeal to me at certain times during the month. This is why I like to have a continuous TBR list on my Goodreads.com page. Some of the books I added date back to 2013, and some may have even been added just yesterday! Either way, I am always able to find an interesting book on my TBR list that I may have forgotten I even added onto the list.

Tip #4: Re-read One of Your Old Favourite Books

I have a TON of my favourite books on one particular spot of by bookshelf that I will reach for if I’m ever in a “Book Hangover” or reading slump. These books will motivate me to read more after them, just as I did when I first read them quite a long while ago.

This is a picture of my current favourites shelf, which has some of my favourite books of all time on it!

Tip #5: Ask for a book recommendation that is similar to the book you just finished

“If you like this ___, check out _____.” is one of my favourite features in Chapters/Indigo stores. If I see a book in the “If you like this …” section that I have read and really enjoyed, I will tend to look at the other books to see if any of them interest me. Nine times out of ten, I will pick up one of the recommended books and enjoy them almost as much as the original book! If you don’t have something like this in your local bookstore(s), I recommend searching up other book bloggers that read similar things that you like to read and check out their book recommendations. Most of the time, the blogger will have seasonal recommendations that they write several times during the year, or the will make recommendations based on different genres of books. If you are interested in some of my book recommendations, you can check them out here. As always, if your in the mood for a new book but don’t know what to chose, tweet me @readingreadingr and I will get back to you with a great book recommendation ASAP!!

These are my top-5 tips on getting out of a “Book Hangover”! If you have some of your own tips that I didn’t mention, post them in the comments!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for sneak peaks of new blog posts, and to see which book(s) I am currently reading!

Good Night Book Owls!