End of Year Book Tag! 2019 Edition

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

In Canada, Christmas decorations are already lining Chapters Indigo, Walmart, and Costco, which can only mean one thing… it is almost the end of 2019! With the end of the year comes the time where you evaluate all of the reading you have done so far this year, and see exactly how far you are from your Goodreads goal among other things!

I saw this End of Year Book Tag floating around on BookTube, but I haven’t seen many of these posts on book blogs yet!

  1. Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
  2. Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
  3. Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?
  4. What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
  5. Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?
  6. Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?

Alyssa’s Reviews – Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

I have been on a HUGE Mystery/Thriller kick recently, and I hope you are ready for all of the crazy, thrilling reviews (see what I did there?)! A while ago, I posted an Indigo book haul, where I purchased a copy of DEAR WIFE by Kimberly Belle. It had been sitting on my shelves ever since I posted that haul, but a couple of weeks ago I decided to read pick it up and read the first few chapters. Instead of reading a couple of chapters, I devoured it in just over a day!

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

From the bestselling author of The Marriage Lie and Three Days Missing comes a riveting new novel of suspense about a woman who, in a fight for survival, must decide just how far she’ll go to escape the person she once loved.
Beth Murphy is on the run…
For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning–one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.
Sabine Hardison is missing…
A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.
As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long.

This book was so insanely, unbelievable, GREAT. Honestly, it is one of the best thrillers I have ever read, and will certainly be in my Top 10 books of 2019. As I wrote in my Goodreads review at midnight over a week ago, “This is EVERYTHING I love in a thriller all (w)rapped into one book! Domestic suspense, accused husband, detective that’s a main focus in the story, a small but mighty cast of characters and a SHOCKING plot twist at the end!”

The characters in this book are so well-written and developed. They all had really interesting and intriguing back stories, which contributed to their well written stories. My favourite character by far was Marcus. I usually don’t enjoy reading from the perspective of a detective, but there was something about his character that was really interesting to me.

I absolutely adored the writing in this novel. The novel is written in three perspectives, but Beth’s perspective is written in second-person narrative, but Jefferey and Marcus’s perspectives were both written in first-person perspective. The difference in narrative writing styles was minimal but still very impactful. It wasn’t confusing at all, and it made it easier to understand which perspective I was reading from.

This book will keep you guessing at every moment. You never really know who is who, who is really a good person, and who is telling the truth. The plot twist in this novel was INSANE, and while I predicted it just a few pages before it was revealed, I thought it was SO smart, and not something I would have guessed at the beginning of the novel.

Overall, I absolutely loved this thriller and rated it 5/5 stars. If you enjoy crazy domestic thrillers, I highly recommend this one!

Good Night Book Owls!

TeensRead Winter & Spring 2020 Preview Recap

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Raincoast Teens Read Winter & Spring 2020 Preview via their wonderful livestream! While I live semi-close to the event space this host this event in Toronto, I love the option to watch this one in my house on my own time. For the past few events I attended virtually, they have been so gracious enough to send me a swag bag, so I will be sharing with you the contents of my bag, as well as the books I am looking forward to the most out of all of their new upcoming releases!

The picture above is a collage featuring the releases the Raincoast crew talked about that I’m the most excited for! If you are intrigued by a title or cover you see here, search the title and author up on Goodreads.


The swag bag itself was encompassed of the beautiful THE HAZEL WOOD by Melissa Albert cover!


These were the main “fun” contents! It came with a booklet that shared the synopsis and information of all of the books they featured at the event. It also included a bookmark, fun hogwarts card, two trading cards, tattoos, a button, and a sampler of Rebel by Marie Lu!


The first book I spotted in my swag bag was DIAMOND CITY by Francesca Flores. This one sounds really interesting, and I was really excited to see this one in my bag! This one is expected to be released on January 28, 2020.


The second book in my swag bag was WICKED AS YOU WISH by Rin Chupeco. This one sounds super intriguing, and sounds like a fantasy book that I will actually enjoy! This one will be coming out on March 3, 2020.


The last book in my swag bag is THE SILVERED SERPENTS by Roshani Chokshi. Truth be told, I don’t have any interest in reading GILDED WOLVES, the first novel in this series, so I plan on giving this one away on my Instagram in February!


That is my recap of Raincoasts’ Winter & Spring 2020 TeensRead Preview event! Thanks to the entire Raincoast crew for inviting me and making it so easy to watch online! To see my previous TeensRead Preview and other event recaps, click here!

Good Night Book Owls!

Alyssa’s Reviews – The How and The Why by Cynthia Hand (ARC)

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

When I first heard that Cynthia Hand was publishing a new book, I immediatley knew I wanted to get my hands on it. Cynthia’s 2017 release THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE was my second favourite books of 2018! Even though her new 2019 release, THE HOW AND THE WHY, is a very different book, I was still so excited to get my hands on it! Fortunately, I got my hands on an ARC of it at the HCC Frenzy Presents event I attended in August!


Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

A poignant exploration of family and the ties that bind, perfect for fans of Far From the Tree, from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.
Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies…
Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.
But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.
Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.

WOW. This book was breathtaking.

The characters in this novel were so well developed and crafted. I felt that I knew each character so well, and they all seemed very real to me. Cass’s closeness to her parents and overall value/importance of family was one of my favourite parts of the story. You could tell that she cared so much for them and loved them with all her heart.

The writing in this book was so effortless but meaningful. This book had some of the most beautiful ending chapter quotes I have ever read, and I truly loved some of the messages that were written in them. One of my favourite aspects of this novel was the flash backs that were written as letters from Cassandra’s biological mother. They gave us an insight to her biological mother’s life, while also sharing her hopes and aspirations for her future daughter, even though she was giving her up for adoption. These letters were so touching and beautiful, and often resulted in multiple tears being shed!

The overall story was so fantastic! It flowed at a perfect pace, and did not include any scenes that weren’t important to the story.

Overall, I loved this book and gave it 5/5 stars! Thanks again to HCC Frenzy for the ARC!

Good Night Book Owls!