#BookReview Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling


Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was another smash hit by JK Rowling.

This sixth book in the series, and sixth year at Hogwarts for our terrific trio, expands on the already expansive universe. Voldemort is out and about, and is becoming bigger than ever. Loyalty is tested, and no one is safe.

This had been the only book in the series I hadn’t read – years ago, for whatever reason, I could not find this book at any library or bookstore around. So, I skipped it. Looking back, I really shouldn’t have because this book gives a lot of back story into Lord Voldemort and his antics. It explains quite a bit more than the movie did and helps tie some loose ends before the final book.

In short, this book is full of tragedy. There is lots of pain and loss in this book, and it really helps grow these characters. That being said, you won’t realize this fact until you read the last book (which I already have). I definitely want to re-read the final book in this series since I have not read it since the day after it was published!

Do I recommend this series? Absolutely! Each book grows just like the characters do! It starts off on the children’s reads side and inches towards the YA side with each book. There’s lots of themes, such as friendship, loyalty, love and betrayal, and it’s just overall enjoyable. JK Rowling made a truly incredible series.

Are there problems with this story? Absolutely. Some chapters probably didn’t need to be included, some scenes seemed downright silly, but it still made for a good book.

Five out of five stars.


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Enjoy this review? Check out another one you might enjoy! Book Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson


#BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt



This book was written in Nova Scotia, and as a Canadian I AM SO HAPPY I AM READING A CANADIAN BOOK. That cannot be understated – I love helping other Canadian authors out. It’s so near and dear to my heart.

Rebecca McNutt’s novel Bittersweet Symphony was an addicting read for me. Her descriptions and tone in her writing was something that just clicked with me. Her tone was somewhat professional, yet it worked so well within this novel. It almost sounded like the perfection my English teachers in high school wanted us to achieve, but never could. The level of how descriptive her writing is made me feel like I was there with the characters. I could see this being “too much” for some readers, but I love description when it’s paired with a good story (and it’s not just one hundred pages describing how the characters look).

I like how the story is essentially an allusion for real events, and the little splash of ghosts thrown in as well. It makes it real yet not real, believable yet not believable all wrapped up into one. This book is in it’s own little corner, AND I LOVE IT.

I would say this book has some “mature” themes, revolving around language and some things that are referenced (without spoiling). Although, that doesn’t mean you have to be 18+ to read it. The book isn’t to graphic, so I think teenagers could easily read this book and relate to it.

1. Unique story telling – Rebecca doesn’t follow your stereotypical, simple writing style. It’s hard to explain, but it’s different. I like the term “gothic” for it, but that’s not 100% on point with how she writes. Essentially, I love an author that writes in their own style and doesn’t follow a norm so I REALLY liked this book.

2. Short and Sweet – This book isn’t 1000 pages long. This book reminded me of the original Star Wars trilogy: the information that needed to be there, was there. There was no fluff, it got to the point and made an effective story.

3. “Black as the ace of spades” – The language is BEAUTIFUL in this book. I’m obsessed with it. Can Rebecca McNutt write my life story while she’s at it?

4. Interconnecting Stories – I’m obsessed with Cloud Atlas (one of my all time faves of interconnecting stories) so it seems fitting that I’d enjoy another book that interconnects everything. Bravo!!

5. Relatable – This book was relatable on so many levels. Just reading how the lawyer says that they are snakes until someone needs their help, and then suddenly they are their best friend – yeah, that one hit me where it hurts. It’s so honest, and so true.

6. Shocking Twists and Turns – Some of this book you don’t see coming, and I can respect an author that can actually make that work in a novel.

1. Dialogue – The dialogue can appear “rigid” or “stiff” to some readers. For me, it worked within the story and how Rebecca was telling her story, but that might turn off other readers.

2. Personal con: Madson. I keep wanting to call it “Madison” or anything but Madson. It was driving me insane as I was reading it because my brain didn’t want to comprehend the name. Major personal con here (and an amusing con at that).

I’m amazed that people are saying Rebecca McNutt was 19 when she wrote this. That’s a lot of talent for that age, so I can only imagine Rebecca getting better the more she writes and the more time she has to practice. This book doesn’t seem like it’s written by a 19 year old – it’s incredibly mature.

Overall, this unique book had me hooked and addicted from it’s first page. I’m so glad I read it, because I haven’t read a book so unique and actually good for a very long time!

Five out of five stars.

I received a copy of this book from the author Rebecca McNutt in exchange for an honest review. Everything here is my own, honest opinion.

Side notes: If you want to read this book, the author posted her own “review” offering copies out. It’s a great opportunity to read and review an awesome book. Not many authors offer opportunities like this, so hop on it if it’s still available!!!


Will you be reading this book? Or do you have a book recommendation? Comment below!

Check Rebecca McNutt out on Goodreads! Rebecca McNutt on Goodreads

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If you enjoyed this review, why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Manchester Vice by Jack Strange

#BookReview The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman


The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman

This book reminds me of Games of Thrones if it was set in a western setting. There’s lots of death, and lots of interesting drama to keep you interested.

I’m not crazy into westerns, but I love reading in different genres so I don’t get bored reading the same old, same old. So this read was refreshing, even if I’m not the typical “target audience”.

The book’s setting is around civil war time, which is not a setting I see often of (at least in the books I typically read). For me, this setting worked well within the story. I enjoyed reading all of the descriptions of the locations and people of the time and Clifford Jackman did well within this setting.

While this book is fictional, a lot of the scenarios that happen in the book (brutal, almost R rated scenarios I might add) were situations that happened to people. It was incredible to read, but it rips your heart out knowing some of this did happen to people back in this time. The history was on point despite being fiction. It’s not totally Wild West fiction if my review makes you believe that, but it’s a “western” style near the Civil War (not men on horses shooting everyone like those old movies).

I definitely want to see Clifford Jackman write more – I thought this book did well within it’s genre and was a good read. He was skilled at writing blood and war without a hero or antihero. It was just a novel following someone’s life in a dark western-esque era. It didn’t knock my socks off and turn me to the western genre, but it was worthy read I’d recommend or suggest my local library pick up for other readers.

On point Clifford! Keep up the good work! I can’t wait to see you grow as an author!

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.


Check out Clifford Jackman on Goodreads – Clifford Jackman on Goodreads

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#BookReview Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare


Here’s another #ThrowbackThursday – a novel I read years ago, but reread and created a review for!! This is one of my favourites – Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.



Clockwork Princess is a beautiful finish to one of YA’s best series in recent years.

For years I waited anxiously for a book like Clockwork Princess – a story that ends beautifully, perfectly and without total heart break. With characters as strong as Jem, Will and Tessa, we needed a solid ending that would make all fans happy but also tie up the story just perfectly, and Cassandra Clare delivered.

This book will pull at your heartstrings and destroy you. It’s such a beautiful ending it’s hard to believe it’s all over with. The ups and downs of this series is ended just perfectly that there are no loose ends and no destroyed fans (at least, from what I’ve seen). I dare say that this book is the best book Cassandra Clare has ever written – it rivals the base Mortal Instrument series, and has one step up. This book was even better than City of Heavenly Angels, in my opinion. With such a satisfying conclusion, I have to say it deserves more than five stars. Not many books can be finished so perfectly.

Would I recommend this series? Absolutely. While it’s a YA, it definitely doesn’t feel like your typical YA story. Adults can enjoy this – there isn’t as much ooey, gooey silly teenage angst that is in most YA books. It’s a grown up YA with the odd silly scene. So it’s safe to say it’s a good read. This series can also be used as a standalone – you don’t need to read all the other series (Mortal Instruments, Dark Artifices) to understand this book at all. It is the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments, if you’re interested in reading further (they can be read out of order via the series though. TMI came out first, then this series and now The Dark Artifices). I would suggest reading the three books of this series in order though – it’s worthy.

It also has one of the most beautiful covers. I love the original cover – I saw a new one at my local book store recently and it wasn’t as beautiful, but in terms of cover art – judging the book by it’s cover it allowed for this book. With such a great cover comes such a great story.

Problems with this book/series:
Yes, there’s a love triangle. Can they be annoying? Yes. Does it work in this book? Yeah, it’s YA so it’s kind of an expected plot twist these days.
Weak characters – yeah, there are some. But personally, I find having all characters be strong can make for a boring book.
Repeat characters – Cassandra Clare uses the same characters/developments with different names and faces. It’s annoying, but as long as you aren’t just reading her books and expand your library, you don’t notice to much.
Rule Breakers – some of the “cannot be broken rules” are broken in this book. It’s kind of annoying in my eyes, but what can you do? It created the happy ending most fans wanted, so I guess we can over look that…
Tessa – FINALLY we learn what Tessa is. I’m a little disappointed it took so long because it would have been cooler to flesh out all about her throughout the series, but whatever, it works, I guess.

So, overall, this book is really on the fence for most readers – people either love it passionately to no end (ugly cry, putting the book on a pedestal and praying to it sort of deal) or hated it (rip the pages out, burn the book, demand a refund, etc). I’m on the end that enjoyed it and I definitely kept the book (Look at that cover, how can you not love the book for the cover alone?).

So, I will give it five out of five stars. It had it’s faults for sure, but it was a great read that kept me interested, was fast paced, and had an ending that I found to be good.

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#BookReview Seduction on the Slopes (SIG #2) by Tamsen Parker


*Arc courtesy of Tamsen Parker/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Why am I reading a book about winter games in freezing weather when I’m cold and dreaming of the summer? Because Tamsen Parker has another wonderful book out! So maybe reading a book about cold isn’t the smartest idea, but Tamsen has some hot and heavy romance in this book to warm you up! (Well, I wish it worked that way…).

1. F-Bombs galore! For me, this was actually one of the more amusing parts. There are some perfectly timed f-bombs for comedic purposes. Ah, how I love Tamsen’s fruity language.

2. I’m not the biggest fan of M/M books (mainly because most of them are trying to follow the “stereotype” of what society has deemed M/M relationships to be) but this one was more realistic (within the scenario). It’s a major plus for this book not to be the stereotypical “norm” that has become some recent M/M books.

3. “Ass-Muffin”. That term, that’s a pro all on it’s own.

4. This book is a rather quick, easy read – I found it to be addicting to the point I wouldn’t put it down.

5. There’s some great comedic tones within this novel. This book is not just hardcore M/M romance scenes page after page, there’s a plot, some sporty goodness and drama all wrapped up into one beautiful bundle. It’s also complex in the character development and back stories. These characters aren’t Mary Sue’s!!!

1. Too Short? I felt the first book in this series was to short, and now this one also felt a little too short. But on a positive note, it’s also not too long…

2. This can be a pro or a con depending on what type of reader you are – there is lots of CHEESE in this book. And by cheese, I mean cheesey dialogue. For me, I love it (mostly because Tamsen does it “right” in my mind) but it can be considered a con by many – so I’ll list it in my con list.

3. Series wise, these books are all focused on different characters. To me, that’s kind of a con considering I love some of these characters and want much more of them. Maybe I can convince Tamsen to make some Infinity War-esque novel of all of these characters… Maybe not. It might be worth a shot though…

4. Two books in a row now have had these sugary sweet endings that all tie up perfectly super quickly. That might be my biggest con of all for some of Tamsen’s books. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s definitely something that could be worked on (can you tell I’m in school exam mode right now with the constructive criticism and feedback? Oh boy).

Overall, this book is hella sexy and definitely worth a read. If you are a fan of romance, M/M, sporty novels or a splash of comedy in with your romance, this book is for you!

Five out of five stars!!


Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out Tamsen Parker on Goodreads! Tamsen Parker on Goodreads

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If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy: HIS CUSTODY by Tamsen Parker Book Review

#BookReview Immortal by Gillian Shields


Here’s a quick #FlashbackFriday review featuring a YA novel!!


Immortal by Gillian Shields is a fantasy YA novel focused on witches.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series (aka this book, Immortal). The take it has on witches was different than what I had read about before, and I enjoyed it’s uniqueness. It wasn’t on my top list of YA books I read years ago, but it’s still a good book.

Gillian Shields is a skilled writer, and I really want to pick up more books from her. This novel isn’t an A+ book, but I can only imagine how much she has grown since she first wrote this book. With so much potential, it’s hard to believe she won’t write an even better book in the future.

I did think there was a pinch too much romance in this book. If there was more focus on the plot line and witches I think it could have peaked up to an even higher rating on my end. I’ll have to pick up the rest of the books in the series again to see if it gets any better or if my ratings change from when I first read this series. It also features some cliche characters and plot lines…

So, for me, it’s a little bit boring.

It’s still a sweet book, and I think there’s lots of room to grow for Gillian. Hopefully she has more books out because I absolutely LOVED her writing style within this. Her books are easy to read and move at a relatively fast paced!

Three out of five stars.


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Did you enjoy this review? Here’s another you might like! Book Review: Boys That Bite by Mari Mancusi

#BookReview Manchester Vice by Jack Strange


*Arc given by the author, Jack Strange, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review*

Warning: Spoilers below.

Jack Strange’s books are of an interesting variety – when reading the synopsis I always get this very melancholy or “yeah, yeah” feeling, but when I pick up the book I’m blown away by the sheer excellence of his writing skills. Truly, the synopsis of anyone of his books don’t do the novels justice.

If I had to describe this book in one sentence, it would be “what the eff”. Now, that might sound rude, but I mean it in the nicest way possible. This book is all kinds of messed up, and truly memorizing. It gives me Dexter-like vibes in every way, in every good way. If you’re into severely messed up crime, this book is for you. It’ll blow your mind with how crazy, surreal and descriptive a novel like this can be.

I’m honestly surprised that Jack isn’t a more popular author than he is. I could see people lining up for these books in my local book shops, but they aren’t. It really boggles my mind how some really talented people aren’t getting the recognition they deserve.


1. Excellent story telling – Jack Strange has true talent with how he weaves his narrative together. You don’t know what’s real or not until the very end – and that’s just how I love a good quality crime novel!

2. Unique descriptions – This man has a way with words, as I already said. But not only is his story telling fascinating, but his word choice enhances this novel to another level.

3. I find it interesting that most crime novels that feature a murderer don’t delve into the actual feelings they have (why they murder, what they feel after, etc) but Jack finally did. It’s a nice change, because I always wondered if the murderers felt anything at all or if they were just emotionless monsters.

4. The arc of the storyline was intriguing and followed every note I hoped it would hit. Some of it is easily guessed, but I’m glad Jack took the route he did (trying to explain this without any major spoilers is tougher than I thought it would be…). In a world like today where Big Brother is always watching us and social media is king of all, it was nice to see this book accept this fact and play along with it.

5. The King Lear references about tragedy being brought on by the character’s themselves is a very nice addition.


1. Drugging a cat annoyed me as a cat lover, I won’t lie. That’s a major con for me.

2. My personal con/questions: I would have liked to know what swung Brian into being the bad guy that he is. Was he always this bad? Was it just a situation that led him to this? I have lots of questions as to how someone could be so easily swayed into the life/choices they made. But that’s just me and my over active imagination/thoughts. It’s not necessarily a con against the book, it’s my personal thoughts/loose ends that didn’t get tied up for me.

3. I found that at some points of this book it got a little boring/slow. I get bored very quickly with books that don’t interest me 99% of the time, so that’s a “me” con.

4. The ending is ridiculously obvious if you paid attention while reading the book. Just saying.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It’s a great read that can be easily devoured in one sitting.

Four out of five stars.


Check out Jack Strange on Goodreads! Jack Strange on Goodreads

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Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another you might enjoy? Book Review: Confessions of an English Psychopath by Jack Strange