April 2019 Wrap-Up

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

This month flew by at a crazy speed, and among mid-term projects and religious holidays, I managed to read a few good books! While I barely read any books that were on my April TBR list, I still managed to finish most of my ARCs and read some great mystery/thriller novels!


The first book I completed this month was WHEN WE WERE LOST by Kevin Wignall! If you can recall, I mentioned this book in my March TBR, but mentioned that I had only finished about half of it. I finished the second half of this novel during the first couple of days in April, and ended up quite enjoying it! My full review will be up in June, as that is when this book is set to release. Thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada for the ARC!


The next book I read was YOU MUST NOT MISS by Katrina Leno. I read this book during Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, and since it is only just over 200 pages, I flew through it within the first few hours! You can read my TBR for Dewey’s here. This book was super interesting and crazy, and you can read my review for it here. Thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada for the ARC!


The next book I read was LOVE & OTHER CURSES by Michael Thomas Ford. Since I had been reading a lot of mystery/thriller novels, I was very happy to break it up with a contemporary! And while this one seemed great, I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped to. You can read my full review for it here. Thanks to HCC Frenzy for the ARC!


I then rediscovered my love of Libby (an online book database connected to your local library where you can borrow audiobooks or ebooks from their app for free!), and borrowed THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR by Shari Lapena. I had heard some great things about this domestic thriller, but I didn’t really enjoy it. I predicted a lot of the plot twists and nothing really shocked me in this book. I gave this one 3/5 stars.


From there, I went on to read a YA mystery/thriller that has been sitting on my shelf for the past few months and shouting at me to finally read it! This book is ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus, who also wrote TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET (which I read in February and rated 4/5 stars!). I had heard that this one was a lot better than her second novel, so I had quite high expectations. Fortunately, I really loved this one and definitely fell into the popular opinion! This had a great story with a lot of surprising twists, and featured a great cast, but I thought that the ending dragged out a little. Overall, I gave it 4.5/5 stars!


The last book I read this month is THE LOVELY WIFE by Samantha Downing! This was my most anticipated release of April and decided to purchase it from Indigo instead of waiting for it to go onto Book Outlet since I was SOOOO excited to read this one! At the time of writing this post, I have not yet finished it (I just past the 200 page mark), but will definitely finish it before today is over! This book not only has a wild premise, but also has my favourite synopsis on Goodreads ever (you can read it here, it is purely spectacular, and whoever wrote it deserves a huge raise… this is how you write synopsis’ people!!!)!


Those are all of the books I read in the month of April! While I definitely could have read more, I am still very happy with this amount! I also wanted to make a small apology as I have not been posting as much as I had been over the past few months. In truth, I did not have many April ARCs to review, and was pretty busy with my personal life. In May, I have a TON of ARCs to read and review (I’ll be sharing them with you in tomorrow’s post), so I hope to be a lot more active on here! If you’re ever wondering what I’m doing when I’m not posting, follow me on Instagram (@ReadingReadingReading) since I have been super active on there lately! What was the best book you read this month?

Good Night Book Owls!

Top Ten Tuesday: First 10 Book Reviews

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, and has since been moved over to The Artsy Reader Girl!

Over the past five and a half years of Reading, Reading, Reading, I have read and reviewed a bunch of books! You can read all of my reviews here (however, my archive has not been updated with any of my newer posts, but I plan to update it soon though!). Therefore, I have a lot of reviews that are, well… not up to my usual standard! That being said, I am still proud of all of the content I have posted on here and am SOOOOO excited to walk down memory lane and re-read these reviews!

  1. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
  2. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  4. Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  5. Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
  6. Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour
  7. The Hunger Games by Suzzane Collins
  8. We Are Canada by Rikia Saddy
  9. Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  10. Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson

Feel free to check out those posts and embarrass me (HAHAHA)! You can read everyone else’s TTT posts by clicking here.

Good Night Book Owls!

Alyssa’s Reviews – You Must Not Miss by Katrina Leno (ARC)

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

Over the past few months, I have not read as much YA books as I would have liked. However, I have been read quite a few YA books this month, and “You Must Not Miss” by Katrina Leno was one of my most anticipated books on my TBR this month!


Synopsis (Goodreads.com)

Magpie Lewis started writing in her yellow notebook the day her family self-destructed. That was the night Eryn, Magpie’s sister, skipped town and left her to fend for herself. That was the night of Brandon Phipp’s party.
Now, Magpie is called a slut whenever she walks down the hallways of her high school, her former best friend won’t speak to her, and she spends her lunch period with a group of misfits who’ve all been socially exiled like she has. And so, feeling trapped and forgotten, Magpie retreats to her notebook, dreaming up a place called Near.
Near is perfect–somewhere where her father never cheated, her mother never drank, and Magpie’s own life never derailed so suddenly. She imagines Near so completely, so fully, that she writes it into existence, right in her own backyard. It’s a place where she can have anything she wants…even revenge.

This book is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. To be honest, the ending confused me, but actually in a good way. It was definitely very unexpected and unique.

Initially, I thought that this book was a YA thriller, however I would say that this one falls  under the magical-realism contemporary genre, with a little mix of horror included. There are many different events that occur in this novel that make it hard to identify it within one genre.

My favourite part of the book was the characters and representation. This book brings up a lot of heavy topics, including (TW) suicide, depression, alcoholism, divorce, and sexual assault (just to name a few). But, it also featured some fantastic dialogue about illness and sexism. One of the main characters in this novel is transgender, and I really appreciated the representation. I also loved how Katrina Leno didn’t really focus too much on the character being transgender, and just brought it up at the beginning without being discussed further in the novel. Speaking of characters, I really liked the main character, Margaret (A.K.A Magpie/Mags). While I definitely didn’t agree with all of her decisions, I understand that she was making them because of all of the damage she has experienced throughout the last six months of her life.

I also loved the magical-realism part, as I was not really expecting it at all. If you read my April TBR or Dewey’s TBR posts, you would know that I didn’t really know anything about this story to begin with. I wanted to go into it blind without knowing anything. I am actually really glad that I did that, as I was not expecting the magical/light-fantasy elements (this is not a spoiler, as you read about them within the first 50 pages of the book).

Katrina Leno’s writing was so effortless and magical. I loved her writing style, and since this is my first Katrina Leno book, it definitely made me think about picking up her older ones in the future.

However, like I mentioned at the beginning of my review, I didn’t really love the ending and how the story concluded as a whole. Nothing really shocked me, and while I wouldn’t say the ending was predictable, I would say that it didn’t add anything to the story.

This book is definitely not for everyone, as some people may love some of the twists and turns, while others may not appreciate them.

Overall, I gave this book 3.5/5 stars. Thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me an ARC!

Good Night Book Owls!

In My Mailbox #10: Spring Is Here!

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

Spring has finally (sort of) sprung in Toronto, and I am SO excited to finally be wearing spring jackets and sneakers outside! We actually had a minor snow storm on March 31, but thankfully it melted the very next day thanks to a temperature increase! In my family, the start of Spring is signified as baseball season, as the Toronto Blue Jays just started their brand new season!

With every season comes some new phenomenal Spring book releases, and this tenth instalment in the “In My Mailbox” series might be my best yet!


The first two books I received came from Raincoast Books! The book on the left is “Birthday” by Meredith Russo, and the book on the right is “Happily and Madly” by Alexis Bass. Both of these books seem super interesting and unique, and I am really looking forward to reading them! Thanks to Raincoast Books for sending them my way!


The next book I received was “The Missing Girls” by Lexie Elliot. This one seemed super eery and interesting, and is written by the same author as “The French Girl”. I plan on reading this one super soon, since thrillers are my favourite spring genre to read! Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a finished copy!


About a month ago, I requested an ARC of “Stepsister” by Jennifer Donnelly from Scholastic Canada. I had not heard anything back from them, but came home one day to a surprise package from Scholastic! I could not believe that I was sent this ARC, and I am SO beyond excited to read this! If you are an “O.G.” follower of this blog, you will know that I absolutely love fairytale retellings and one of my all-time favourite series is “The Land of Stories” by Chris Colfer. Thus, I cannot wait to read this, and am very interested to see what the story is really about (besides being a Cinderella retelling of sorts)!


On Monday, Penguin Random House Canada sent me a few books that were from their “March Recommendations” monthly newsletter! The book on the top is “Gingerbread” by Helen Oyeyemi, and the book on the bottom is “The Migration” by Helen Marshall. I was really hoping to receive both of these, but since it is already almost the middle of April, I didn’t really expect them. However, when they showed up I was really excited and I am really looking forward to reading and reviewing both of them!


The last book I received came (again) from Penguin Random House Canada. It is called “Normal People” and was written by Sally Rooney. Even though this one just released a few weeks ago, it has been nominated for several prestigious book awards, and I am really excited to see what they hype is about! I lent this one to my Mom and she is reading this one right now, so that is why I don’t have a picture of the physical book.


Those are some of the exciting Spring 2019 releases that I have received over the past week! I am super excited to read and review all of them, and hope that they live up to my expectations! Thanks again to Raincoast Books, Scholastic Canada, and Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with all of these books!

Good Night Book Owls!

Alyssa’s Reviews – Love & Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford (ARC)

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

The ARC of “Love & Other Curses” by Michael Thomas Ford has been sitting on my shelf for over four months! I was really highly anticipating this one, and featured it last month in my Spring 5-Star Predictions post! But, did it live up to my high hopes?


Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

The Weyward family has been haunted by a curse for generations—if a Weyward falls in love before their seventeenth birthday, the person they love dies. Sam doesn’t plan to fall for anyone in the nine weeks before his birthday. He’ll spend his time working at the Eezy-Freeze with his dad; cooking up some midsummer magic with his grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother (the Grands); and experimenting with drag with the help of the queens at the Shangri-La, the local gay club. But when a new guy comes to town, Sam finds himself in trouble when they strike up a friendship that might be way more than that.
As Sam’s birthday approaches and he still hasn’t quite fallen in love, the curse seems to get more powerful and less specific about who it targets. A mysterious girl Sam talks to on the phone late at night and a woman he’s only seen in a dream might have the answers he’s been looking for—but time is running out to save the people he cares about.

This was a very solid contemporary read! Was it 5-star worthy, however? Definitely not.

My favourite thing about this book was the characters. Similar to a few other books I have read recently, there was a lot of great representation of characters in this novel. The main protagonist in this book, Sam, is gay, and another main character is transgender. I also loved the family dynamic in this story, as Sam frequently spoke to the “grands” his grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great grandmother! Since this story centres around a family curse, the focus on his family members is essential to the story, and I thought that it added very positively to the story!

I really appreciated that although this is a YA contemporary with magical-realism, it wasn’t exactly a love story, but was more of a “growing-up/finding yourself” story. There is barely any romance or relationship elements in this story, as Sam is truly just a teenager that is trying to navigate through the summer before his senior year without falling in love.

This book focuses heavily on music, as Sam’s mother, who left after just a few days of his birth, gave him a box of records with notes about her feelings towards the albums. Sam spends a lot of the time listening to these records and trying to understand more about his mother. While these parts were not essential to the flow of the plot, I actually really enjoyed reading them.

The only main downfall I had in this book was the lack of attachment/connection I felt to the story and characters. I didn’t really care about the conclusions of the characters stories, and nothing in this book surprised me. In my opinion, it was a very bland YA contemporary. If you are just diving into this genre and also enjoy magical realism elements, I would definitely that recommend it to you!

For the most part, I enjoyed the novel and gave it 3/5 stars. Thanks to HCC Frenzy for the ARC!

Good Night Book Owls!

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon TBR

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

In about one hour (8:00 AM EST), Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon will begin! I have participated in a few of these before, and really enjoyed doing them! While I definitely won’t be reading for all 24-hours (if you are reading this before 10 AM, I am probably still sleeping!), I will try my very best to read every minute possible today and tonight (although, I do have work tomorrow morning).

Since this readathon is only one-day long, I am not exactly sure how much I will be able to read. I have created a small TBR that I hope to semi-complete, filled with only two books, both of which were featured in my WWW Wednesday post.


The first book I plan on reading during the readathon is “Love & Other Curses” by Michael Thomas Ford. I received this ARC back in December from HarperCollins Canada/HCC Frenzy, but it is not set to release until just next week! Since this one has been on my shelf for so long, I’m really excited to finally read it!


While I technically have another ARC to read that comes out before this one, I cannot wait any longer to read this one!! I am SO excited to finally read “You Must Not Miss” by Katrina Leno. This will be my first Katrina Leno book, but I know a lot of you have loved her previous books, which is making me even more eager to read this one! I don’t know much about this book, other than the fact that it is a thriller about a girl. Thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me an ARC!

Those are the two books I hope to complete for Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon! If you want to participate, sign up here. Are you joining in on this iconic readathon? If so, let me know what you are reading in the comments! I will be updating you on my progress on both my Instagram and Twitter throughout the day, so make sure you are following me on both of those platforms! I will also have my complete wrap-up post up tomorrow afternoon!

Good Night Book Owls!


WWW Wednesday → April 3, 2019

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

WWW Wednesday was one of my favourite weekly memes to participate in “back in the day”, but I haven’t done one of them in literally four years! Since I am reading some exciting ARCs, but don’t have any to review until next week, I thought it would be fun to share them with you here!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words.

What did you recently finish reading?


The book I just recently finished was “When We Were Lost” by Kevin Wignall. To be honest, I am actually currently reading this but hope to be finished it by the time you see this post! Thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending this one to me!

What are you currently reading?


The book I’m currently reading (a.k.a. will read once I finish “When We Were Lost”) is “Love & Other Curses” by Michael Thomas Ford. This one has a fantastic premise, but has not had the best reviews. I’m really excited to see what my overall thoughts on this one will be! Thanks to HCC Frenzy for sending me an ARC!

What do you think you’ll read next?


After I read “Love & Other Curses”, I will definitely be reading “You Must Not Miss” by Katrina Leno! I am SO excited to have quite a few YA thrillers on my TBR this month, but I am looking forward to reading this one the most out of all of them! Thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me an ARC!

I’d love to read your answers to these three questions! No blog? No problem! Write your responses as a comment down below, and we can all discuss together!

Good Night Book Owls!

April 2019 TBR

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

We have finally reached the glorious month of April, which signifies all things spring and baseball. Even though I had a great March (both personally and reading wise), I am still very excited for April and all of the things that will happen this month! Since I  have been reading a lot lately, my TBR is not as ambitious as it seems. After all, I have had literally 10+ books on my TBR since the start of 2019, and while that doesn’t look like it will be changing any time soon, this TBR is just ten books that I believe I will be able to get through this month!

(Yes, I am aware that all of the books are on the left side of the picture. I was planning on adding fancy graphics on the right side of the picture, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.)

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The first book I plan on reading this month is “There’s a Word For That” by Sloane Tanen. This book was kindly sent to me from Hachette Book Group Canada (read the haul where I hauled this here), and I am very excited to read it! I have been wanting to read more character driven novels, and I hope this will be one that I enjoy!

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The second book I will be reading this month is “Hamartia” by Raquel Rich. I kindly received this book from Raquel herself, and I owe her a full review! I am looking forward to reading her book this month, and hope to post my review very soon!

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The third book I plan on reading this month is “Love & Other Curses” by Michael Thomas Ford. I received this book from HCC Frenzy, and have heard some interesting things about it!

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I then plan on reading “Scythe” by Neal Shusterman. A few weeks ago, I found a few ARCs that I had not ever read, and this was one of them! This book is the Bookmarked pick of the month, and since one of my goals of 2019 was to participate in more readathons/read-a-longs, I thought this would be the perfect time to finally read it! Thanks for Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me an ARC (literally three years ago, though!)!

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From there, I hope to read “The Meaning of Birds” by Jaye Robin Brown. I have heard fantastic things about this novel, and I am so excited to read it! Plus, the cover is absolutely stunning! Thanks to HCC Frenzy for sending me an ARC!

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Next, I plan on reading “You Must Not Miss” by Katrina Leno. Katrina Leno has written some other YA novels, but this will be my first time reading one of her books. This book has been on a lot of peoples’ “Most Anticipated Books of 2019” list, and I hope it doesn’t disappoint! Thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me an ARC!


I then plan on reading “Lucid” by Kristy Fairlamb. I received an eARC of this book from the author, and it looks really great! I will also be hosting a giveaway for this book, so stay tuned for that later this month!

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After that, I hope to read “The Unexpected Everything” by Morgan Matson. This was another ARC that I recently found, and I am now itching to read it! While I haven’t heard the best things about this book, I really want to read it before reading her latest novel “Save The Date”, which I pre-ordered a paperback of! Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me an ARC (in 2016… oops!)!

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Since I have been loving thrillers over the past few months, I am going to pick up “One of Us is Lying” by Karen M. McManus. I read Karen’s newest thriller “Two Can Keep A Secret” when it released in February and I quite enjoyed it. However, I have heard that this one is much better, so I hope that I follow that opinion!

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Lastly, I hope to end off April with a bang and finally read this behemoth of a book! I was sent a finished copy of “Black Leopard, Red Wolf” by Marlon James from Penguin Random House Canada back in February, but I could not seem to find time to devote to reading this book! However, I hope to find time near the end of April and smash through it!

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Those are all of the books that I hope to read this month! What are you planning on reading in April?!

Good Night Book Owls!