Book Review | DAUGHTERS OF SHADOW AND BLOOD -BOOK 1: YASAMIN by J. Matthew Saunders

5/5 stars

Mixing the worlds of fiction and reality, Saunders brings a vampire thriller that blurs the line between religion and the supernatural. The dual plot follows the story of Yasamin, a young women who was forced into an arranged marriage. It is 1599, and there is no one she can trust. Centuries later, Adam Mire uses his deceased friend’s copy of Dracula to follow the clues, which lead to a medallion that everyone seems to be looking for. It all leads to Yasamin and the secrets of her past. With stunning prose, Saunders weaves a tale that seamlessly incorporates action and mystery.

First of all I would like to thank Netgalley and St. George’s Press for sending me an ARC of this novel. The publication date is May 3, 2015. (PS isn’t the cover just gorgeous? I’m not usually one for faces on the cover, but this one is so striking)

I loved the way the book was formatted. It jumped from different plot lines and timelines, but somehow, it still made sense. Everything was meticulously laid out, so there was no chance of becoming lost in the jumble of different characters and stories. Being able to look at the different story lines helped create a more deeper understanding of what was going on, and the world of which they lived in.

Saunders’ writing style also helped with that. Each character had their own distinctive voice, while still in the same tone, so it was easy to recognize which plot line it was without whiplash. His writing style just absorbs you, and you get sucked in the world, and you can almost see the shadows that he writes about.

With the multiple plot lines, you’re introduced to a variety of characters. My favorite would have to be the main protagonist, Adam Mire. I liked that he was just an ordinary guy that got caught up in everything. But he wasn’t totally helpless, he was able to use his head, and he didn’t annoy me like a lot of protagonists do.

I also love that Yasamin was probably the biggest antagonist. Yet, she had her own story line, and we learned about her history, so that we could sympathize with her. Adding humanity to her character just made the book for me.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this novel, and if you’re a fan of action and mystery with a dash of the supernatural, I would definitely recommend this.

Top Five Fridays | MY CHILDHOOD DISNEY SHOWS

Disney has changed a lot lately. And in my opinion, the shows have become less and less entertaining. In my region of Canada, we don’t really have the “Disney” channel, but we have the Family channel, where they mostly play Disney shows. I still occasionally watch this channel, because it doesn’t have ads in between. It’s perfect for watching when you’re waiting for the ads to end on the show you’re actually watching.

And the Disney shows now-a-days just aren’t the same. So I decided to share my favorite shows back when I was a kid.

1. Suite Life on Deck and Suite Life with Zack and Cody

Oh man, this show brings me so much nostalgia… especially Suite Life of Zack and Cody. And all the cast members have grown up so wonderfully and even though they’re all a couple years older than me, I feel so proud of them.

2. Wizards of Waverly Place

If you watched one of the earlier episodes and then the later episodes, you can see how much they’ve grown/changed and it’s so crazy! I remember not really liking the last season, but I can’t remember why exactly… Maybe the excessive romantic triangles? But I still hold this show dear in my heart.

3. That’s So Raven

Is this on Netflix? Because I have the really strong urge to marathon it. This show sent so many important messages out while still being hilarious and entertaining. And I think more shows should try and emulate that. I read that Raven actually got into art school recently so congratulations to her!

4. Cory in the House

This was a spinoff of That’s So Raven, so of course it was good. I remember Family Channel would run marathons of this show like every weekend because it was ending. I’m pretty sure I’ve watched every single episode because of that. And hey, I’m not complaining.

5. Hannah Montana

Who didn’t watch Hannah Montana? I used to love that show, and Miley’s hair? It was to die for. Plus, I think a lot of us would want a double life, with one being a famous celebrity.

What were your favorite Disney shows? Comment below!

Book Review | EVIL LIBRARIAN by Michelle Knudson

3.5/4 stars

He’s young. He’s hot. He’s also evil. He’s . . . the librarian.

When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact . . . a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body! From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen, here is the perfect novel for teens who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil variety). (c) goodreads

Let me warn you. If you’re planning to read this book, the beginning is really dry and slow. We find out that Mr. Gabriel is a demon almost right away, but it’s still very slow to read through, and doesn’t really pick up until around page 180. That’s when things started getting interesting, probably because of the new characters being introduced.

At first I didn’t really like Cynthia’s character. After a while, I started to not mind it. Now that I’m finished reading the novel, I’m not really sure how I feel about her. She’s so in love with a boy she hardly even knows, and that just seems weird to me. Not only that, but she kind of stood out in an odd way. She was one of the only characters who were actually developed. The other characters had some background to them, but not nearly as much as Cynthia, and that just made the story seem off.

However, I did enjoy the writing style. Knudsen has an entertaining way of mixing humor into her voice. Everything flowed very smoothly, and I didn’t find any pieces to be choppy or too rushed.

I also loved that there was a musical theatre subplot in the novel. Not only did we learn more about the characters, but it gave a nice break to the constant danger of Mr. Gabriel. I haven’t really seen musical theatre presented in a novel in that fashion, so it was really fresh to see.

Before I end this review, I want to say one more thing that bothered me, because I’m not sure if it bothered anyone else. It’s the romance between Cynthia and Ryan. Of course, Cynthia’s crush on Ryan is part of the humor in this story, and it worked well, but I would’ve liked to see them as platonic friends. While her friend was in danger, Cynthia was wondering why Ryan didn’t kiss her. Honestly? Maybe I’m just reading too much into it.

Overall, it was a light, enjoyable read.

Book Review | SOME QUIET PLACE by Kelsey Sutton

4/5 stars

I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions… she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, except beautiful Fear, who sometimes torments her and other times plays her compassionate savior. He’s obsessed with finding the answer to one question: What happened to Elizabeth to make her this way?

They both sense that the key to Elizabeth’s condition is somehow connected to the paintings of her dreams, which show visions of death and grief that raise more questions than answers. But as a shadowy menace begins to stalk her, Elizabeth’s very survival depends on discovering the truth about herself. When it matters most, she may not be able to rely on Fear to save her (c) goodreads

As soon as I started reading this book, I was hooked. I’d never read anything like it before, and overall, I think that Sutton did an amazing job of living up to the potential of this promising premise. Her writing style had a lyrical tone to it that works well with casual scenes and more eerie scenes. Speaking of eerie scenes, there were some creepy parts of the book that had me so paranoid, and if you’re easily creeped out like me, I would recommend not reading the book at 2 am like I did.

I love the idea of Elizabeth being emotionless. It was so well executed, and even though she could have been written static and boring, somehow, even without feeling emotions, she was still interesting. Plus it was cool to see how she handled situations while analyzing them.

I feel like this love triangle was handled well. I sort of knew which person she would end up with, and I liked that she admitted to using one of them. Fear was so well characterized, and I loved how he was depicted. Joshua, however, wasn’t really a favorite of mine. I mean, I didn’t hate him or fin him annoying at all, actually I kinda liked him, but he didn’t seem to have a depth to his character as much as say Fear or Elizabeth. This also happened to be the case for Sophia. I didn’t like how she was painted as a bully, just swiping at Elizabeth any chance she got. She had the backstory with her autistic sister, but I felt that wasn’t enough.

I loved loved loved how she could see Emotions, because it enabled her, in a way, to read minds. This allowed for us to see a range of different perspectives, while still in Elizabeth’s point of view. My favorite dynamic were between her parents. How her mother had the quiet Emotions, and her father had the loud ones.

My favorite scene of the entire book is when Charles is talking to Elizabeth towards the end of the novel. You know, when she finds out that she’s not… you know. I don’t want to spoil the book if you haven’t read it, but if you have read it, I think you know what I’m talking about. It was so creepy and I had actual shivers running down my spine. I had to turn an extra light on so there wouldn’t be any spooky shadows. It was just really chilling.

I was so impressed with this novel, and according to Goodreads, this is only the first book, so I am definitely looking forward to reading the next one!

Book Review | EVERLAST by Virginia Bennett

3/5 stars

When a wartime experiment designed to create a super race goes terribly wrong, the government scrambles to terminate the project, but not before one seventeen year old boy manages to escape.

That boy is Phoenix Wilder, and ever since the experiment, he has stopped aging. Over a hundred years has passed and he is still seventeen. It is a lonely, dangerous world where everyone he has ever known or loved has long grown old and died. He is on the run, and the government will stop at nothing to silence him.

What Phoenix doesn’t know is that there are others out there like him. There are others who have escaped and survived. It will take a lot more than he bargained for to belong in their world, but the love of a girl begs him to try, challenging all of his instincts and ultimately changing his life forever. (c) goodreads

The reason I read this book was because there’s this section in my school library where all the “new” books are, and I always go there because I want to be the first person to read the books. I don’t know why, but it just makes me feel good to be the first one to read a library book. Is that weird? Maybe a little bit. Anyways, Everlast was on the new shelf, and when I opened it I saw that the author had signed it so I was like !!! and signed it out.

Before I get into the actual review, I want to comment on something. This book was self published, which is totally cool, but the binding just really didn’t do anything for me besides make my wrist hurt. The paper is heavy and it wasn’t the most comfortable reading experience. I guess I’m picky about my book formats…

I enjoyed the plot. I liked that it wasn’t just action action action, and that we actually got to know life inside the DOME. As Phoenix builds relationships in there, we get to see more of the different people that were experimented on, and we get to know more of the dystopian world. I liked that there wasn’t a “prophecy” or anything like that, but instead, all the characters were somehow mutated. Plus there were some major plot twists that were super shocking.

However, although I liked the premise of this novel, I wasn’t too happy about the characters. Phoenix and Delphine’s relationship just seemed silly to me. It was too sudden, and felt so forced, I couldn’t get caught up in it. Maybe it was just Phoenix in general. His actions towards her, even when she rejected him, were so irritating. She wanted to be alone, why couldn’t he just leave her alone? If a girl wants to be left alone, it is not okay to keep pestering her. I feel like this happens way too often in literature, and was quite disappointed that it happened here.

Although the characters frustrated me, Bennett’s writing style engaged me enough to keep reading. This book is extremely long, and I didn’t get bored of it. I did find myself skimming towards the end though, because it was getting fast paced, and I wanted to know what happened.

Overall, it was a decent read, but I’m not sure if I’m going to be reading the second book. If it’s as long as this one was, then I feel like it’s too much of an investment.

TOP FIVE FRIDAYS | My Favorite Book to Movie Adaptations

When I look at a movie adaptation of a book, I don’t mind if they made some slight changes. What I really look for is that they got the main message across, and that they stayed true to the theme of the book. Of course, if they have huge details missing, I’ll be disappointed about that, but otherwise, if a director keeps the message of the book the same, it usually has great results. This list will be in no particular order.

1. The Spectacular Now

If you haven’t read this novel… go read it. If you haven’t watched this movie… go watch it. I’m not sure if this movie was released in all theatres, but I know that it was played at a film festival. I was beyond impressed with how true to the novel it stood, while it still changed some elements. The ending of the novel was completely different from the movie, and I still have a crisis while choosing a favorite.

2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Oh man, PoA, for me, was the best adaptation in the whole HP series. Not the best movie, but the best adaptation. It had the perfect blend of darkness and humour that JK Rowling is so good at, and the film followed very closely to the novel.

3. The Maze Runner

I read The Maze Runner before I made this blog, so I never had the chance to review it. I didn’t really like the novel, because even though I liked the plot and the premise, I hated Thomas, and it was in his perspective, so it was annoying to read. But the movie made Thomas less annoying, and Dylan O’ Brien, so… For me, it was a rare case where the movie was better than the book. (plus Ki Hong Lee wowowow)

4. The Fault in Our Stars

Oh man I remember being really hesitant about this movie, because of the word choices John Green used in his book. He used a lot of elaborate words, and quite insightful quotes, and I wasn’t sure how that would translate in to film. But they pulled it off and I was quite impressed.

5. Holes

Oh man this novel really takes me back to a long time ago. I think it was grade six when we read this book for a novel study. Afterwards we watched the movie, and I remember being like “wow, that was a good adaptation.” I still think that to this day, six years later.

What are your favorite adaptations? Comment below!

The Liebster Award

Many thanks to justmyrating for nominating me for a Liebster Award!

RULES

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog.
  • Answer the questions given by the nominator.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers, and link them.
  • Notify all the bloggers you nominate.
  • Create 11 new questions for your nominees to answer.

MY ANSWERS

1. What is your absolute favourite film of all time?

A Little Princess (1995) would definitely have to be my favorite. Actually, I watched it last week (for the fourth time), and I cried so hard that my waterproof mascara ran.

2. What is your second least favourite film and why?

The Paranormal Activity movies. I mean, they’re not the worst movies I’ve seen, but not my favorite by far. Plus they’re not even scary.

3. What is your guilty pleasure?

Binge watching Gossip Girl and eating kettle cooked jalapeno and cheddar chips.

4. What one word would be the best one to describe your personality?

Tired.

5. Coffee, beer, or wine?

Definitely depends on the situation, but usually coffee!

6. Pick your favourite TV show, and then choose 3 characters from that show to Kiss/Kill/Marry.

As of now my favorite show is The 100 so…

Kiss: Monty. He’s so innocent.

Kill: Pretty much all of Mount Weather.

Marry: Bellamy Blake because w o w

7. Favourite fast food restaurant?

Any Chinese food place!

8. If you had to spend time with ONLY one person for the rest of your life, who would it be?

I honestly don’t think I can pick. So, no answer? Is that allowed?

9. Your GoT house. (If you don’t watch GoT, you may choose Harry Potter house, LOTR group, Divergent faction, Hunger Games district, etc.)

I took a quiz once and they said I’m Cersei Lannister because I’m a stone cold bitch that wants control and be ahead under a serene surface, so Lannister I guess, haha.
10. What is next location on your travel list?

I’m actually traveling around Europe this summer! The first stop is Milan 🙂

11. What is your favourite blog post that you have written?

My Review and Discussion of the Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.

I NOMINATE

1. LittleOnionWrites

2. Ya Bookers

3. Nerdy Talks

4. Discombobulated Books

5. Pretty Pages Blog

6. Books and Iced Coffee

7. Paperback Heart

8. Love Published

9. A Girl Who is A Geek

Unfortunately those are the only people I follow who have less than 200 followers!

MY QUESTIONS FOR YOU

1. What inspires you?

2. What novel has influenced you the most?

3. Would you rather watch a movie at home or at the theater?

4. What kind of music do you listen to?

5. Do you have fandom merch, and if so, do you wear it around?

6. What is your favorite quote/lyric?

7. Do you crack the spine of the book?

8. Coffee or tea?

9. What do you listen to while driving?

10. What’s your guilty pleasure?

11. What novel/book made you cry the hardest?

Sorry if you’ve been tagged before! And remember to save while writing the post. My browser crashed while I was making my questions, and I had to rewrite all of it ahhh.