#BookReview Lost Boy by Shelley Hrdlitschka

Lost Boy by Shelley Hrdlitschka is a unique read that will take you away to a whole new culture.

I was unsure how I would feel about this book, and honestly I’m still a little confused. Jon left a polygamous community to try to find a life of his own. He doesn’t believe in the ways that community follows and desperately wants the girl he loves to come with him. When he escapes and she doesn’t, things go south. He tries to learn and grow, but his heart hurts. To top it off, she marries a man that Jon doesn’t approve of. Not. One. Bit. Life is hard for Jon, but he learns more about himself and his values along the way.

This is going to be a niche book for sure. It’s so weird, because while I’m not one hundred percent happy with how it ended I was enjoying the book all the way through. I had hoped the ending would have a little more to it, since the book felt like it just decided to stop randomly. I wanted more of Jon becoming an adult and coming of age. I wanted to see the bildungsroman for Jon SO BAD. But, this book fell a little flat. Yet, it’s still quite the interesting read and is great for people seeking something contemporary yet easy to read.

Lost Boy feels like a YA contemporary novel trying to tackle some tough subjects. There are some horny boy moments and there is some goofy drama in there. But, what more can you expect when you’re following a teenaged boy? It felt like the male bildungsroman, but it just needed a little bit more.

I am impressed by this book though. It kept my attention! This book is not my normal read, so that’s a big plus for it. I do recommend this book, but you need to enjoy soft, slow reads to appreciate it.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

Check out some other books you might enjoy that have been featured on my blog:
#BookReview Sadie by Courtney Summers
#BookReview Hidden by Catherine McKenzie
#BookReview Touch by Courtney Maum

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#BookReview His Name Was Zach by Peter Martuneac

His Name Was Zach by Peter Martuneac is a thrilling and horrific zombie novel.

In the last year or so I’ve been reading more zombie books. It’s kind of amusing because I’m not the biggest zombie apocalypse fan, yet I just kept picking them up. People lent me zombie books, I accidentally stumbled upon them or I would randomly pick a book off my shelf and BAM zombies. Then in walks His Name Was Zach with more zombies to fill up my shelf.

This book is big and long, but totally worth it if you dig zombie apocalypse books. We follow Zach (shocker, I know – the title definitely doesn’t give that away), who is an ex-Marine surviving a couple years into the insane zombie apocalypse that took his wife away from him. He has a surrogate daughter Abby along for the ride with him. She lost her family during the craziness years ago, but when her and Zach found each other it was the family they both didn’t know they needed.

This duo has a cute Father-Daughter relationship that will make you smile. Of course, that’s when they’re not both kicking butt. Both of these characters are strong but have flaws that make them feel real. Abby isn’t just a damsel in distress – she’s smart and strong (and sometimes innocent, but she’s a young teenager). Zach has demons to face but is also capable of holding himself up. It’s a nice mix that I don’t see too often in books like this. Bonus points for Peter Martuneac. Also, the nickname Bug is pretty cute.

Some of the back story of this book is kept safe like a secret – hidden away until just the right moment. Slowly, some of these mysteries unfurl and we get to see some of the brutality of the past. At the beginning it frustrated me, but once I got going I really appreciated the slow build and slow burn of the lack of information. Luckily, this book isn’t slow on the action so you don’t think too much about that once you get going. Zombie fights, potential cannibals, abduction plots, murder and wilderness survival all come at you pretty fast. It’s kind of hard to believe the book was almost 500 pages!

If you like thrills and horror mashed together then this book is for you. I applaud Peter for making an engaging zombie book that is definitely R rated. There’s lots of triggers for death and an almost rape scene, so reader beware.

I didn’t like the ending, but that’s no surprise if you know me personally. It’s not a hit against the book, but it made me sad.

Overall, it’s a great zombie book and I highly recommend it!

Four out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Peter Martuneac, in exchange of an honest review.

Click on the links below to find this book:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Find out more about this series on:
https://hisnamewaszach.wordpress.com/

Are you looking for more horrific reads? Check out some of these other terrifying books on my blog:
#BookReview Dead Women Tell Tales by Rajeev Singh
#BookReview Two Mothers by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview NYV: Goth by K.D. McQuain

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#BookReview Dear Me, Letters to Myself for All of my Emotions by Donna Tetreault

Dear Me, Letters to Myself for All of my Emotions by Donna Tetreault is an excellent book to teach children about their emotions.

To begin with, the inside cover along with the little sticky notes with words on it was a wonderful image/graphic. That drew me in and pulled my interest forward. Then we get into the story itself – it has colourful illustrations, simple and easy to follow sentences, as well as some colourful font to grab your attention. I really liked that the emotions all had their own font and colour – that made the book feel more fun and engaging.

The illustrations are absolute gorgeous. Honestly, that’s what stands out to me. The fun, cartoon-y style with bright colours makes this book really interesting to look at. Add in the fantastic story, message and theme and you’ve got yourself one fantastic book.

Emotions are big and scary when you don’t know what you’re feeling or why. This book tells the reader that emotions are okay and tries to give some explanation as to why they are. Understanding is a key part of this book and I really appreciate that. This book also gives some coping mechanisms such as writing out your feelings. There are many examples for how this can be done but in a narrative context.

I can respect this book and I really think it’s a beneficial tool as well as just a great picture book. I can see educational institutions, social workers and parents alike finding this book useful.

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Indigo

Here are some other children’s books you will love if you enjoyed books like Dear Me:
#BookReview Togo Learns How to Play by Pat McCulloch
#BookReview I Miss You Most by Cassie Hoyt
#BookReview Valentine’s Day with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

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#BookReview Spiral by Khaled Talib

Khaled Talib has crafted another magnificent thriller, called Spirals, to keep you on the edge of your seats.

In Spiral, Laurence Turner is apart of many tragic, surprise events that just keep coming his way. He’s been around enough dead people to make it suspicious. Honestly, it’s amazing this guy hasn’t been labelled suspicious before! His fiancee died on a tragic trip that he doesn’t remember much of. He picks grapes but also is near a lab that is cloning, which tragedy will soon fall on them too. This guy is just a tragedy magnet, the poor fellow.

As bad luck follows Laurence, he gets swept up into a giant conspiracy. Russian spies, fake friends and thrills everywhere, this book is gonna leave you breathless! There’s lots of plot twists that are awesome and I didn’t see coming (seriously, I was surprised which is a hard thing to do with how many books I read and soap operas I grew up on).

Other fun notes:

  1. A dude named Snowman, because of course there is.
  2. Fast paced, constant action and rescue missions.
  3. Biker gangs!
  4. Excellent introduction to insane terminology like coddiwomple.

Overall, this is an excellent thriller for those seeking something not mainstream. I love picking up indie thrillers because they don’t follow the same formula the bestsellers list does. Seriously, if you love thrillers and mysteries then grab an indie book. You’ll be surprised how many new favourites you’ll pick up!

Four out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Khlaed Talib, in exchange of an honest review.

You can find out more about Spirals or purchase it by clicking on one of the links below:
Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
B&N

Khaled Talib is one magnificent author. Why don’t you give his pages a like or a follow to learn more about him?
Goodreads Author Page
https://www.khaledtalibthriller.com/
Twitter: @KhaledTalib

Do you love thrillers? Here are some other thrilling books featured on my blog that you’ll enjoy if you love books like Spiral:
#BookReview Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib
#BookReview The American Crusade by Mark Spivek
#BookReview The Rainbow Vintner by Geza Tatrallyay

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#BookReview Togo Learns How to Play by Pat McCulloch

Togo Learns How to Play is a sweet, little picture book!

Welcome to a farm, where Togo the dog runs around and has many animal friends. As we join Togo on his adventures, we’re going to learn some really important morals that will help your little readers grow. This book is perfect for 0 to 7, an d it an excellence addition to your library or bookshelf. Adults and children can bond over how cute and fun Togo is and how smart the animals are when they come together to learn.

Why this book is incredible:

  1. Canadian author! Yay! Pat McCulloch is from Alberta, so I’m super pleased to be able to review a book by a fellow Canadian!
  2. This story teaches an important lesson of learning how to be nice to one another. Sometimes we don’t realize that what we are doing is mean by others’ standards! Togo learning how to play nicely and learning a lesson about not being a bully is an important moral to share!
  3. The illustrations appears home made and fun. I really liked disappearing into this colourful story. It has a great series of illustrations to share.

Overall, this book is a gem! I highly recommend you pick up Togo’s books and join him on his adventures. He shares some great morals, is drawn with beautiful illustrations and colours and it helps promote an indie author from Canada!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Indigo

If you love picture books, here are some others featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Mollie’s Magical Tooth by Jana Buchmann
#BookReview Brandon Makes Jiao-Zi by Eugenia Chu
#BookReview Christmas with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

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#BookReview Mr. Flopsy, Whispers from God: A Lesson on Being Still by Christi Eley

Mr. Flopsy, Whispers from God: A Lesson on Being Still by Christi Eley and illustrated by Aries Cheung is a sweet, religious picture book.

Cam is a loud, little boy who asks a lot of questions. He heard people reciting Bible passages and he doesn’t understand what it means. Along comes Mr. Flopsy, a cute and adorable, fluffy bunny who is going to help him understand. He teaches him about how to appreciate the world, patience and anxiety.

I think this book would be amazing in print form. I received an electronic copy so the formatting is obviously a little bit different. The illustrations in the book are beautiful and colourful and they make the story super engaging. I can easily see this becoming a fave for Sunday Schools! My personal favourite is the scene of Mr. Flopsy in his vegetable garden. What an amazing illustration! P.S. The illustrator is Canadian! Bonus marks from this Canadian!

Also, side note: Cottontail Publishing is the most precious name for the publishing company that helped get this book out. Bunny puns for days!

Overall, this is a sweet picture book! Even if you aren’t religious, I think this can be a great tool to teach patience, anxiety and worry. The religious aspect of this book isn’t forced onto the reader anyways, so this can be a valuable tool or just a great picture book for reading time.

Four out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

You can find out more about this lovely picture book by clicking the links below:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
B&N

Check out more from Christi Eley on these websites:
Goodreads Author Page
https://www.mrscottontailandfriends.com
Facebook Page

Are you loving children’s picture books and looking for some more? Enjoy this little curated list just for you:
#BookReview Mighty Coconuts by Deepa Ramesh
#BookReview The Underground Toy Society by Jessica D. Adams
#BookReview Snowman Paul at the Concert Hall by Yossi Lapid

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#BookReview PRODUCE POETRY OR DIE. by Narada Voux Sanders

PRODUCE POETRY OR DIE. by Narada Voux Sanders is a beautiful collection of poetry that is pure art.

You can tell that the author is an artist with how this excellent collection of poetry is written. I enjoy dipping into the poetry world, especially after taking classes studying poetry for my degree. The world of poetry and peeking inside an author’s mind is just breathtaking. Especially when it’s a poet! Poets are strange creatures that can weave their words with grace in unique patterns. It’s a form of magic, I swear!

This book was no different than my opinion on poetry – it’s pure magic. The themes of pain, love, diversity and fear are all very prevalent. With most poetry, there are going to be some pieces in this book that stand out to you more than others, but that’s okay. Some of the poems I related to on a very personal level, while others I didn’t but could still appreciate. There were stories that I couldn’t relate to but felt strongly for, all because I got to see the author (or voice’s) point of view.

Ethnic degradation, society’s flaws, colonization, and abuse of all forms was all present in this work. You can tell that there was strong feelings behind this set of poetry – much like the title suggests. There’s also all forms of poetry – rhyming, various meters, a story, an interview, a prayer and a glossary. It truly is a mesmerizing collection with a little bit of everything.

Some of my personal notes that I took while reading:

  1. Metrical Venting – raw, real and honest. I really loved the flow of it when you read it aloud (which you should always do with poetry – seriously, sometimes that is the art).
  2. Misafirkist – This felt like a take on colonization and white supremacy.
  3. “Human crimson juice” is my new favourite saying and I will be using it instead of blood.
  4. I’m More Than What You Perceive Me To Be – ridiculously relatable and very important to hear.
  5. Poetic Patience, Closet, PiƱata, F’in’ Flowers – some of my personal favourites.
  6. The White on Dark War – This is an eye opening poem that gives me “The Cattle Thief” by E. Pauline Johnson vibes.

Overall, this set of poetry has miraculous metaphors and was all around awesome (enjoy the alliteration). This felt like a poetry slam written down which is probably why I love it. Plus, the overarching grand themes are done very well!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this collection from the author, Narada Voux Sanders, in exchange of an honest review.

Ready to read some poetry? Check out this collection on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Check out Narada Voux Sander’s social media:
Instagram: @naradavouxsanders
Twitter: @NVSNaradaVoux

If you are seeking more books, why not check out some of the other books recently featured on my blog?
#BookRecommendations Top 20 Books from 2020
#BookReview The First Days of August by Alan Froning
#BookReview Alone Together by Jennifer Haupt et al

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