Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I can't believe that March is done! The days and weeks are just flying by. I'm pretty happy with my reading progress, which is sitting at 29/50 books this year. I have no doubt that I'll achieve my goal by the end of July, maybe even earlier.

I managed to read a diverse list of books this month including some romantic fiction, YA novels and a couple non fiction titles to round it out. I also managed to get through all of the Canada Reads finalists before the competition which took place in Toronto from March 16-19. Ru by Kim Thúy was crowned the winner.

Here is the list of books that I read in March:
April is already gearing up to be a very busy month with a few ARCs on their way, as well as a few Goodreads first reads making their way to my mailbox. Here's a peak at what I'll be reading:

What's on your April TBR list?

Monday, March 30, 2015


After a couple weeks of focusing on events for the kids, this week it's all about me (not really, but it's nice to pretend). It's my birthday week and to celebrate, I ordered myself a few more Penguin Drop Caps. I was so excited, I didn't even bother removing the plastic wrap. I'm only missing letters A to D and I'm done! I'm going to start reading these in June with hopes to read all 26 by the end of 2016.

I managed to get through two books last week despite the craziness. At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen was very enjoyable. The book gets released tomorrow. You can check out my review here. Sara Gruen was the author behind Water for Elephants and Ape House, both are New York Times best sellers. For anyone interested, Gruen is hosting a contest on her Facebook page to win signed copies of At the Water's Edge and a grand prize of a set signed copies of all her books.

The second book I read was The Truth Commission by Susan Juby. I really liked this one too. It was very witty and had some really unexpected twists.

I haven't quite decided on what I'll be reading this week. It'll likely be something from my April TBR list.

What are you reading this week?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Truth Commission by Susan Juby

Publisher: Penguin Canada
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: ARC from the publisher
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Rating: ★★★

I won a copy of The Truth Commission from a Goodreads first reads giveaway. To be honest, when I entered the contest, I had no idea what the book was about. I didn't even realize it was a YA book until I received it. It's funny how things work out.

The Truth Commission is written a bit different in that it is a fictional story written as a piece of creative non-fiction. Normandy Pale is the lead character and the author of the story. The book kicks off with an Author's Note describing Normandy's project and why she writing about the occurrences in her life from September 2012 - November 2012. It also explains her use of footnotes. Footnotes are scattered throughout the book and are meant to address her teacher who is editing her work chapter by chapter. In my opinion the footnotes were the best part. They were laugh out loud funny, extremely witty and provided some additional context to parts of the book that made you ask, "WTF?".

Normandy is a student at an elite art school living in the shadow of her famous sister, Keira. Keira made her fame by creating a graphic novel whose lead characters grossly resemble her family. Exposing and altering their habits and everyday lives in the worst way possible. Normandy also explains how the Truth Commission came to be. It was formed by Normandy and her two closest friends Dusk and Neil. Their exploits and discoveries from interviewing classmates and teachers also lead them to deeper explorations in their own lives. It was also a nice surprise to discover that the story is set in Nanaimo, British Columbia. I was able to appreciate some of the little hints of Canadian culture and it allows me to cross off another square on my Random House Canada #ReadingBingo card.

Overall, The Truth Commission was a fun and delightful read, with some twists and turns that readers will enjoy. I'm very happy that I got a chance to read it and hope that some of you will give it a try.

Friday, March 27, 2015


I didn't realize how many frequent visitors my blog had until Tuesday morning when I was getting messages that I forgot to post a #MondaySHELFie. *gasp*

My post wasn't forgotten, there were just no updates to report as my time, over the past two weeks, has been devoted to party planning for Mini & Micro JG's combo bash. If you follow my Let's Take a Shelfie Instagram account, I did post a picture of some of my latest additions to my never ending book collection. I picked up the two Little Old Lady books by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg while on my monthly Costco run and received my ARC for The Hand That Feeds You by A.J. Rich from Simon & Schuster.

The kids' big party is tomorrow so I highly doubt I'll get any reading done. If I do get the time, I'll be enjoying The Truth Commission by Susan Juby. I won the book from a Goodreads giveaway sponsored by Penguin Canada. I've only read the first 20 pages and it's already made me laugh out loud a few times. I'm hoping the light-heartedness continues throughout the book. 

That's it from me! What are you plans for this weekend?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

Publisher: Random House of Canada
Format: Hardcover
Source: Requested ARC
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Rating: ★★★

I requested an advanced copy of this book from Random House Canada for review purposes. I did not read (or watch) Water for Elephants or any of Sara Gruen's previous work, so I cannot comment or compare this book to its predecessors. What I can say, is that this book is fabulous! Lovers of historical romantic fiction will adore this book.

At the Water's Edge takes place during WWII. Three privileged Americans, decide to leave the comforts of home for dreary Scotland in search of the famous Loch Ness monster. The monster hunt is an attempt by Ellis Hyde to regain the favour of his father after embarrassing the family name at a social event on New Year's Eve, 1942. Ellis, brings along his wife Maddie and their best friend Hank. Once in Scotland, the trio register at a local inn run by Mr. Ross and his two employees, Anna and Meg. Each morning, Ellis and Hank set off to find the monster leaving Maddie to fend for herself at the inn. As the story progresses, you can't help but immerse yourself in the lives of the characters feeling every ounce of their pain, love and anger. From Ellis' desire to regain his parents' favour (and money) to Maddie's coming of age and growing awareness of her husband's true self.

The book did start off a bit slow for me, but once it got going it was hard to put down. Through her writing, Gruen shows a great appreciation and adoration for the setting of this book. I was completely entranced by the beauty and mystery of the Scottish Highlands. I also enjoyed Maddie's constant growth throughout the story. I found myself cheering her on as she slowly found the courage to stand up for herself and those around her.

I enjoyed this book so much that I was genuinely sad when it was done. I'll definitely be adding a another Sara Gruen title to my TBR pile.

Friday, March 20, 2015


It's been a very busy week. It was filled with a day at Ripley's Aquarium, four days of Canada Reads and a Toronto Maple Leafs game. Needless to say there wasn't much time for reading and with Mini JG's third birthday tomorrow, the weekend won't be any different. This weekend, I'm hoping to find some time to finish A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. There has been so much buzz around this book and it went into its second printing almost immediately. I'm a few chapters in and I can already see what all the hype is about. A story filled with mystery and magical worlds. Kell, is one of the last Antari, magicians with the ability to travel between worlds. There hasn't been much action yet, but I can sense it building.

What's on your weekend reading list?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: Trade Paperback (ARC)
Source: Goodreads Giveaway
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Rating: ★★★

I won an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) of The Silver Witch from St Martin's Press.

This book is written from the perspective of two women: Tilda Fordwells, a ceramic artist and Seren Arianaidd, an ancient witch and shaman. Tilda and Seren are complete strangers living in different times their only connections being the lake and their similar appearance. Both women are described to have silver hair and pale skin.

Tilda Fordwells, retreats to the cottage that she and Mat, her late husband, purchased as their 'forever' home. It has been a year since Mat's death and she hopes that the peaceful surroundings of the cottage will help ease her pain and anguish. However, since arriving at the cottage, Tilda has begun to notice changes within herself. She has a growing sense of power, specifically electricity around her, and has begun to have visions of ancient people across the lake. These new found powers, a new love and a lurking danger lead Tilda to research the history of the lake's former inhabitants. In Seren's time, she is described to be a well respected advisor to the Prince Brynach. Seren has a vision that the crannog will be under attack from someone close to the Prince endangering him and his people. Both women will need each other in order to overcome the obstacles presented to them in their own time.

This book started off slow, there was a lot of history that needed to be told and character building that needed to be done. But, that quickly changed once Tilda started having her visions. I was hooked and to be honest a bit spooked! (You'll know the part when you read it...)

This is the first book that I've read by Paula Brackston and it's intrigued me to pick up another. This was intelligently written, especially the parts that took place in the ancient world. It was very obvious that the Brackston has done a lot of research on Celtic history as her descriptions of her characters and settings were so detailed. One wish that I have for this book would have been to see images of Tilda's ceramics, they were described so beautifully. I highly recommend The Silver Witch, it was a fun and enjoyable read, one that I can see myself reading again and again.

Monday, March 16, 2015


Monday, Monday....

Half way through March and Spring has yet to show its face. The dreary weather seems to also be affecting my reading ability. I managed to only get through one book last week and boy was it a doozy. I can't tell people enough how much I LOVED Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. You can check out my review here.

My TBR list remains unchanged seeing that I didn't even go near the weekend reads I featured in my #FridaySHELFie. Here's what I have on the go:

  • Silver Witch by Paula Brackston
  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  • Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  • Children Act by Ian McEwan
I'm pretty sure this week is also going to be a slow reading week. Mini JG turns THREE on Saturday!! I still can't believe it. So the focus will definitely be on her.

Although, reading was a bit slow, I was fortunate enough to get some book mail last week. My Valentine's Day prize from The Morning Show Toronto arrived. I received Jane Austen Rules by Sinead Murphy & The Geek's Guide To Dating by Eric Smith. Both look to be fairly quick reads filled with hilarious dating tips. The third book, Eats, Shoots, & Leaves by Lynne Truss was given to me by my cousin. Something that he's had laying around in his office for I don't know how long. He doesn't even know how it got there... What I found hilarious about the whole situation (beside's the book's name) was the author of the book's forward. It was written by Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes. I read Angela's Ashes when I was in grade 8. It was the very first memoir I ever read and I've been hooked on them ever since. In case you were wondering, Donkey Kong Jenga did not come in the mail. It was just a fitting item to add in the photo given the book covers.

Have a great week!!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Canada Reads 2015: Which book will be crowned champion?

The 14th edition of the battle of the books is almost here. The CBC Canada Reads debates will take place from March 16-19. The premise behind the Canada Reads competition is to find the one book that all Canadians should read. I've had the pleasure of reading and reviewing all five books and each one has been such a delight. This year's theme is, "A book that will break barriers", every one of these has done just that. These books include themes such as homophobia, bullying, racial discrimination and immigration just to name a few. I enjoyed each of these books. A couple of them did take a bit of motivation to get through and finish, but they were all definitely worth the time and effort.

My favourite of the five books is Everything Feels Like The Movies by Raziel Reid. This book spoke to me. Reading about Jude's story, although fictional, tells me that there is still more work to be done with helping our country's youth accept their fellow classmates for who they are. I also believe the book's advocate Lainey Lui, from www.laineygossip.com and CTV's The Social, will do an amazing job defending the book. IF my favourite book is selected, here's how I see it going down...

Day 1 Elimination: Ru by Kim Thúy
Day 2 Elimination: And The Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne Saucier
Day 3 Elimination: Intolerable by Kamal Al-Solaylee
Final: Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King v.s. Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid
Winner: Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid

Unfortunately, I don't actually think my favourite book will be the one selected. If it is I'd be so happy. But, I do believe that either The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King or And The Birds Rained Down by Jocelyn Saucier will be crowned champion. Thomas King provides historical details on the life of Native Indians in North America. His main thesis is that governments see Natives as Inconvenient, pushing them aside and not treating them as equals. This book is definitely one that all Canadians should read. Jocelyne Saucier's book is about a trio of elderly men who decide that they no longer want to live in a structured society. Instead they build their own utopian world in the woods. One where they live...and die, on their own terms. Here's my prediction if these two make it to the final:

Day 1 Elimination: Ru by Kim Thúy
Day 2 Elimination: Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid
Day 3 Elimination: Intolerable by Kamal Al-Solaylee
Final: Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King v.s. And The Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne Saucier
Winner: Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King

I can't wait until the debates to find out who the winner will be. For details on how to watch/listen to the debates, click here.

I know some readers may not have had the time to read all of the books before the debates. I've included a link to my review and the CBC trailer for each of the finalists below.

Ru by Kim Thúy

When Everything Feels Like The Movies by Raziel Reid

And The Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne Saucier

Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes by Kamal Al-Solaylee

The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King

Have you read them all? I'd love to hear your predictions. Let me know in the comments below.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Raving reviews on the Red Queen have been flooding my news and social media feeds since before it launched. When it finally got to the top of my TBR pile, I was so excited. This book is fast paced and intense. It definitely lived up to the hype. Had it not been for my need to sleep, I would have inhaled it in one sitting.

The Silvers are the privileged bunch in this story. Their Silver blood entitles them to power, money and strength in the form of abilities. I'm a huge Marvel fan with the X-Men living pretty high up on my list. Many of the Silvers' abilities mimic those of some of my favourite mutants. Some Silvers can manipulate metal like Magneto, read minds like Jean Grey and have the ability to heal themselves like Wolverine. The Reds on the other hand are at the bottom of the caste system. They are employed as labourers, servants and soldiers.

This story is full of amazing action scenes, mystery and a love triangle... or is it square? It's more a like an oddly shaped pentagon... In any case, Red Queen is an enjoyable read. If you're looking for the next trilogy to geek out on, this is it! Can't wait to see what's in store for Mare and her friends in book two.

Have you read Red Queen? If you were a Silver, which ability would you have?


This weekend I'll be pulling Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline & The Children Act by Ian McEwan of my shelf. I saw Orphan Train as a featured book on the 50 Book Pledge website and picked it up. It's a story about hidden pasts, unexpected friendships and second chances. As for The Children Act, I know nothing about it and haven't even read the synopsis. A few people have told me that they loved the book so we'll see how it goes.

What are you reading this weekend?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I Heart My Little A-Holes: A bunch of holy-crap moments no one ever told you about parenting by Karen Alpert

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis
Popular blogger Karen Alpert shares her hysterical take on the many "joys" of parenting—I Heart My Little A-Holes is full of hilarious stories, lists, thoughts and pictures that will make you laugh so hard you'll wish you were wearing a diaper.

This book was recommended to me by a co-worker when I was still pregnant with baby #2 a.k.a. Micro JG. I devoured it in one night and I'm pretty sure I kept JG up because there were so many pages that made me laugh out loud.

The author pokes fun at herself and her family describing everyday situations that a parent can expect to happen.

After reading this book, I've even caught myself doing some of the hilarious things Alpert does to find time for herself. Just last week, I locked myself in the pantry to eat a chocolate bar while Mini JG was crying about a toy she couldn't put together and Micro JG wouldn't nap. Not my greatest parenting moment, but sometimes you need a break.

I Heart My Little A-Holes is one of my favourite "parenting" books and brings #MommyProblems to a whole new level. It's a book all parents should read. Some may want to read it just for a laugh, while others may give it a go for proof that they're not alone.

Monday, March 9, 2015

If I Fall, If I Die By Michael Christie

Publisher: Crown Publishing
Format: eBook
Source: Requested from NetGalley
Rating: ★★

Will has never been to the outside, at least not since he can remember. And he has certainly never gotten to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who drowns in panic at the thought of opening the front door. Their little world comprises only the rooms in their home, each named for various exotic locales and filled with Will's art projects. Soon the confines of his world close in on Will. Despite his mother's protestations, Will ventures outside clad in a protective helmet and braces himself for danger. He eventually meets and befriends Jonah, a quiet boy who introduces Will to skateboarding. Will welcomes his new world with enthusiasm, his fears fading and his body hardening with each new bump, scrape, and fall. But life quickly gets complicated. When a local boy goes missing, Will and Jonah want to uncover what happened. They embark on an extraordinary adventure that pulls Will far from the confines of his closed-off world and into the throes of early adulthood and the dangers that everyday life offers. If I Fall, if I Die is a remarkable debut full of dazzling prose, unforgettable characters, and a poignant and heartfelt depiction of coming of age.

I requested a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

If I Fall, If I Die is an interesting coming of age story about a young boy named Will. Will lives in various places including Toronto, San Francisco and Paris. Unfortunately, these places are confined within the walls of his home located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. For as long as he can remember, Will has lived Inside with his mother. It isn't until he turns 11 that his curiosity finally gets a hold of him as he ventures to the Outside. After this first experience, Will can no longer contain his urge to leave the safety of his home and eventually convinces his agoraphobic mother to allow him to go to school. There he befriends a boy named Jonah who teaches how to be a kid.

I'm still on the fence about how I feel about this book. I often had to force myself to push through and at one point considered not even finishing it. I'm glad I did because despite the parts that dragged on, the story itself is a good one. The characters are easy to relate to and it's very interesting to follow Will as he continues to learn about the mysterious Outside.


To go along with the the new blog name, I decided to rename #BookBagMonday to #MondaySHELFie. The content will be the same, I just wanted a title that fit better with the overall theme of my blog.
 I managed to get through a decent number of books last week here's what I read:

 This week, I'll be starting H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. This memoir was recommended by I've Read That, so I have been really anxious to start it. I managed to get a copy via NetGalley. I'm also really excited to start Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen. Since it launched, my Twitter feed has been exploding with praise for the book. Last on the list is The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston. I won this ARC from a Goodreads giveaway. It's getting some mixed reviews online. So, I'm curious how it'll go.

No new book mail this week. This is the first time in a while. I'm expecting a few deliveries this week which I'll share in the next #MondaySHELFie. Have a great week!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Wild Oats Project: One Woman's Midlife Quest for Passion at Any Cost by Robin Rinaldi

Publisher: Random House Canada
Format: Hardcover
Source: Requested ARC
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Rating: ★★★

The project was simple: An attractive, successful magazine journalist, Robin Rinaldi, would move into a San Francisco apartment, join a dating site, and get laid. Never mind that she already owned a beautiful flat a few blocks away, that she was forty-four, or that she was married to a man she’d been in love with for eighteen years. What followed—a year of sex, heartbreak, and unexpected revelation—is the topic of this riveting memoir, The Wild Oats Project.
An open marriage was never one of Rinaldi’s goals—her priority as she approached midlife was to start a family. But when her husband insisted on a vasectomy, she decided that she could remain married only on her own terms. If I can’t have children, she told herself, then I’m going to have lovers. During the week she would live alone, seduce men (and women), attend erotic workshops, and partake in wall-banging sex. On the weekends, she would go home and be a wife.
At a time when the bestseller lists are topped by books about eroticism and the shifting roles of women, this brave memoir explores how our sexuality defines us—and it delivers the missing link: an everywoman’s account of sex. Combining the strong literary voice of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild with the adventurousness of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, The Wild Oats Project challenges our sensibilities and evokes the delicate balance between loving others and staying true to oneself.

I requested an advanced copy of this book from Random House Canada for review purposes.

When I saw the list of books for March release, The cover of the Wild Oats Project jumped out at me. After reading a bit more about it, I was definitely intrigued. It is a deeply honest and fearless memoir by a woman who strives to put her needs and desires first. I admire the author's courage to share this very personal journey with the world.

I found Robin's story inspiring. I don't mean that it made me consider an open marriage, but it speaks volumes to gathering one's to strength and courage to speak up and put your needs first. This is something easier said than done for myself, a full time working wife and mother of two, but I still found it empowering.

I enjoyed Robin's story from beginning to end. It's definitely the perfect book to recommend for International Women's Day.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King

Publisher: Anchor Canada, A division of Random House of Canada
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: Purchased

The Inconvenient Indian is at once a “history” and the complete subversion of a history—in short, a critical and personal meditation that the remarkable Thomas King has conducted over the past 50 years about what it means to be “Indian” in North America.

Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, this book distills the insights gleaned from that meditation, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. In the process, King refashions old stories about historical events and figures, takes a sideways look at film and pop culture, relates his own complex experiences with activism, and articulates a deep and revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.

This is a book both timeless and timely, burnished with anger but tempered by wit, and ultimately a hard-won offering of hope -- a sometimes inconvenient, but nonetheless indispensable account for all of us, Indian and non-Indian alike, seeking to understand how we might tell a new story for the future.

After three attempts to sit down and read this book, I finally made it to the end.  Now, I don't think I can write a review that will do it justice. Last night, I attended a Google Hangout that had all five of the Canada Reads finalists answer questions derived from Twitter. Knowing that I had to write this review, I listened carefully to Thomas King's responses to see if I could find anything that could help me. He mentioned that he tells his students that when writing, you need to re-write, re-write and re-rewrite and that's exactly what I did here...

The Inconvenient Indian draws out many misconceptions about Natives and their history. The facts, ideas and history presented by Thomas King are informative and eyeopening. He takes a humorous approach to this book and I'm glad he does, otherwise it would be fairly depressing. King also mentions in the prologue that although this book contains historical facts, the narrative has been derived from his conversations with others along with his own beliefs. I also appreciated King's writing style. It feels like he is telling a story versus lecturing from a history book. It made it much more enticing and enjoyable.

I strongly believe this is a book that every Canadian and American, for that matter, should read. Readers will be able to relate to King's writing style and will appreciate  his straight to the point demeanour.

I have officially read all five of the 2015 Canada Reads finalist books. I'm so happy that I challenged myself to get through them all before the debates. All five were wonderful books in their own way. Earlier I mentioned that I attended a Google Hangout featuring all five of the Canada Reads finalists, you can watch the entire segment here. All of the authors are quite hilarious. I will be writing a summary piece to highlight my pick(s) for the winning book next week. Keep an eye out for it!


Here's what I have flying off my bookshelf this weekend:

The Wild Oats Project is a memoir written by Robin Rinaldi. The book provides a look into her life with a focus on the year she decided to explore her sexuality and an open marriage. I'm expecting a real life account of 50 Shades of Grey... I guess I'll have to read on to find out.

The second book I'll be reading is If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie. I requested it from NetGalley as part of my #ReadingBingo quest. The book was a CBC CanLit Fiction recommendation for 2015. The book is about a young boy, Will, who lives with his agoraphobic mother. Curiosity leads him to the Outside wearing a helmet and a wetsuit.

I've already started reading and enjoying both of these books. Perhaps there will be time for a third...

What are you reading this weekend?

Let's Take a Shelfie!

For the past couple of months, I've been trying to think of a creative name for my blog. I didn't want my lack of imagination to stall my posts, so I continued on with my standard Blogger ID. Then, a couple days ago Mini JG was playing with her toy camera and yelled, "Mom, put your book down, I'm taking a selfie!". That sparked an idea and Let's Take a Shelfie was born.

I'll be renaming my weekly features to go along with the new blog name and making some updates to the overall layout. Keep an eye out for the changes and would love to hear any feedback!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Format: Hardcover
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Release Date: March 3, 2015

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.

The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards—some strange and other-worldly—but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.

This is the first book by Kazuo Ishiguro that I have read and I have to say, it's inspired me to pick up another one. The Buried Giant is a lengthy story that requires you to immerse yourself into a mysterious and mythical world. Personally, I found it to be well worth the time and emotional investment.

The mysterious tone of the story kept me captivated and turning page after page. There moments that dragged on but I refused to skim through the pages in fear that I would miss a piece of the puzzle. The characters in the story were built up so well that you could feel their happiness, sorrow and agony. There were so many moments in the story that made me cry out to them.

Overall, I feel the book was beautifully written. There were sections and lines that I read over again and took note of because they struck such a powerful chord in me. I recommend this to readers that are looking for a book that will challenge their beliefs and tug on their heart strings. I adored this story, but it did leave me with one burning question that I now turn to you: If your memories were lost, would you want to restore them even if you knew it would uncover ugly and heart breaking truths?

Disclaimer: I received this book complimentary from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I picked up We Were Liars by E. Lockhart because it was the February pick for Indigo's #WorldsBiggestBookClub monthly book chat. It's a very fast paced book and I managed to get through it in a few hours. We Were Liars was an enjoyable mystery with a great twist at the end.

The book is narrated by Cadence Sinclair. The eldest grandchild of Harris Sinclair. The Sinclair's are descendants of the pioneers who came to North America on the Mayflower. They are beautiful and they are rich. Every year, the Sinclair's spend their summers on their grandfather's island, Beechwood Island, right off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. Cadence enjoys her time on the island especially with her cousins Mirren and Jonathan. During their eighth summer at Beechwood, Jonathan's mother brings along her boyfriend's nephew, Gat. From that summer on, the four were known as the Liars. Gat continues to accompany the family to Beechwood every summer and eventually builds a strong bond with Cadence.

Summer Fifteen is when it all changes. One night, Cadence is found on partially submerged in the ocean wearing on her underwear and appears to have a head injury. After weeks of medical checkups and drug prescriptions she is eventually diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Headaches. One of the symptoms being amnesia. Cadence is unable to remember the events that resulted in her accident. Two years later she returns to the island, her mother believes the rest will do her some good. Cady on the other hand believes that she'll be able to piece together what happened to her.

Although I managed to figure out the ending halfway through, We Were Liars was still an enjoyable down to the last page. I also liked the modified Fairy Tales that were scattered throughout the book. They were rewritten to mirror the events that were happening in the story. It was a creative way for the author to get her readers to think about Cadence's situation.

What do you think about We Were Liars? Were you shocked at the ending or did you find it predictable?

Indigo's #WorldsBiggestBookClub read for March's read I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. Will you be joining in the discussion?

Monday, March 2, 2015

#BookBagMonday: February round up

Is it really the first Monday in March? Where has the time gone!? I took a quick glance at my February posts and apparently a lot my time has been focused on reading, which is a great thing. I managed to get through 12 books which is more than I read in all of 2014. My March TBR list is already looking to surpass that number so we'll see how it goes.

This is my third edition of Book Bag Monday and I realized the other day that I didn't actually have a dedicated book bag. Lucky for me the team at IveReadThat.com came to the rescue and sent me this lovely "Read Blooded Woman." tote. I've Read That is a new social platform where users can connect and share their thoughts on books they've read 400 characters at a time. You also get a peek at what your friends and followers are reading and reviewing. The site is still in Alpha meaning the team is still working out some kinks, but you can still sign up and the IRT team will send you an invitation when they're ready. 

The team is also great fun to follow on Twitter. Their @IveReadThat account posts all sorts of bookish news and events. Check them out!

Entering My Book Bag
The latest additions to my ever growing book collection are two great finds that I picked up on a recent visit to Costco.

Ruby by Cynthia Bond - This book is the latest addition the Oprah Book Club 2.0. This book is an epic, unforgettable story of a man determined to protect the woman he loves from the town desperate to destroy her—this beautiful and devastating debut heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - The first book in a YA Trilogy filled with magic, a fight for power and a world divided by blood. 

What's new in your bag this week?

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