#BookReview Aftermath by Clara Kensie

Aftermath by Clara Kensie is a Young Adult novel following the “aftermath” of a teenage girl’s abduction.

This book was a hard read – it’s emotional, raw and enraging (at times). Clara Kensie has written one magnificent story in the form of a young adult novel. Honestly, it was written beautifully but the subject matter was so tough, serious and so full of pain.

The plot of the story is as followed: Charlotte was abducted by her “Keeper” about four years ago. Somehow, she gets lucky and gets her escape through some paramedics who found her in the “Keeper’s” attic. Suddenly, she’s thrown back into society and to a life that has changed. Her parents are divorced, her sister didn’t follow their “Dream Book” and her friends have all moved on. Her Mother wants her to go into hiding and never leave the house again while her Father wants her to become an international, superstar ambassador. All the while, Charlotte is trying to grasp how to be normal again once a man destroys your safety and sanity.

This novel is a YA. At first I struggled to figure out if it was, but it only hints and briefly talks about how painful Charlotte’s journey was. The R rated comments are very rare, and only said once or twice so the reader gets the point of what happens. I’d say this is on the higher end of YA though, because Charlotte was raped (and some more spoiler-y things happen that are some really tough pieces of content for potential thirteen year olds).

Clara made me really feel for Charlotte the entire time. I watched her journey and felt her pain. Somehow, she made me really connect with this family and understand why she did and said what she did. She made it believable, which can be very tough to do!

While the story is sad, Clara also brings hope into the story. It hides in the back like a shadow, but it’s still there. All around, this book is very powerful and a really good story to tell. It started out so rough for me and I wasn’t sure if I’d actually like it, but I did! Clara left so many bits and pieces that turned out to be clues to some of the story’s bigger plot twists. I didn’t see half of them, which is a feat all on it’s own. But it’s all there for the reader to unwind!

Overall, this book is utterly amazing! I’m impressed by Clara’s writing and by this story. It was emotional and gripping, but it is totally worth your time if you find this book. Seriously, it’s an amazing story and it’s important to hear.

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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If you enjoyed this review, check out some other books you might enjoy:
#BookReview If We Had Known by Elise Juska
#BookReview Someone You Love Is Gone by Gurjinder Basran
#BookReview My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

 

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#BookReview Deep Cosmos by Project Kyle

Deep Cosmos by Project Kyle is a unique sci-fi adventure that moves fast and fearlessly!

I’m not normally into sci-fi books, but I was intrigued when Project Kyle approached me to read this book. Deep Cosmos is a nerdy, science-y, fun book that with awesome friendships, wicked twists and turns, and lots of lore riddled throughout it.

It gave me Star Wars vibes with the friendships and adventures they go on. It also reminded me of Star Trek for some of the lore. I feel like lovers of science fiction will absolutely love this book!

But, did I absolutely love it? No. Keep in mind I’m not a sci-fi junkie, so I was never going to have my socks knocked off by the book. Can I say I thoroughly enjoyed it and want more? Yes! Project Kyle is an excellent author with so much potential. I can only imagine how much better his books are going to get in the future if this is where he’s starting himself in the publishing world.

There are times where I feel some major cheese factor. Some of Sophia’s lines do not feel… organic. They seem forced and not what most ladies would say. That’s the biggest con for me, since her lines brought me out of the fictional world at times. It doesn’t ruin the book by any means, but it did have me giggling a little.

I hope this book gets some sequels or a little more love in the future. I can tell this story can go much further than what was explored in this book. I think readers would love to see this world expanded on as well.

Overall, this quality book by Project Kyle is a must read for sci-fi lovers!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Find out more about Project Kyle on:
https://kyledragoncool.wixsite.com/projectkyle
Goodreads

 

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#BookReview The Underground Toy Society by Jessica D. Adams

The Underground Toy Society by Jessica D. Adams is a charming little book following toys who just want to be played with!

This book gave me Toy Story vibes. There are two dolls who want to be reunited and decide to help take care of toys. It’s a sweet premise and works really well within the book. Add in the aspect of the underground toy society taking toys to loving homes so they are played with, and you have a real winner.

My positives:
1. This book thematically makes sense: you don’t need a ton of toys but you do need to give love to the toys you have. It also showcases friendship and love in general. Educational books always make me pleased as a reader!
2. I haven’t seen much of this premise out in the children’s book world, so it was a lovely treat.
3. The book is obviously home made which makes it stand out. I am curious who drew the pictures that are used in this book. I know this aesthetic will be a negative for some people, but for reviewers like me I like seeing variation in the books I read. I can imagine children reading it and realizing they too could draw pictures for books and we might get them more interested in reading. It’s all in the mind frame of the readers.
4. This book is simple and easy to read. It’s not complicated and makes for a nice, smooth read.
5. The reason behind this book is super cute – Jessica kept her toys for her children. The adult readers will appreciate this fact way more than the kids.

My negatives:
1. I see the book is listed as 3-10 but I would almost argue some 3 year olds these days wouldn’t have the patience to sit through this book. That being said, I know there are some wickedly smart 3 year olds who would love it. Keep in mind that this book is short, but has a paragraph on each page. Know your child! I would recommend age five to ten as the best age group.
2. The aesthetic for the pictures will be a negative for some readers. It isn’t for me, but I wanted to include that ‘s’ on negatives.

Overall, this was a charming little book that I think will be a perfect addition to your child’s book shelf. Pick it up for the holidays (since I read this just before Christmas) and share your love of reading with your little ones!

Four out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Jessica D. Adams, in exchange for an honest review.

 

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

Check out Jessica on:
http://onesweetday48.wix.com/undergroundtoysociet
Twitter – @onesweetday48
Facebook
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#BookReview The Extra Cadaver Murder by Roy Innes

The Extra Cadaver Murder by Roy Innes is honestly one of my new fave mystery books!

Canadian book? Check! Murder mystery? Check! Female lead who is realistic? Check! What more can a Canadian book lover, like myself, ask for?!

Roy Innes has crafted one amazing book that had me hooked to every word. I almost binged this book (you can blame all of my homework for that one) and I could barely put it down! Seriously, it was a real struggle walking away from this book!

James and Coswell work on identifying the murderer of a university professor, all the while dealing with gender biases. Throw in the RCMP, some very complicated relationships and twists and turns you won’t see coming, and you’ve got yourself a real hit!

There were times in this book where the speed slowed down and it dragged on. Despite the small pacing issue, I had no problems with this book. It felt like a standalone, it didn’t have a cliffhanger and it felt really smart. I’d absolutely read another book by Roy Innes any day of the week! I just have to get my hands on one of those suckers…

In general, the book doesn’t stand out or do anything that other mystery novels haven’t already. We have a female lead dealing with gender bias, an aging officer dealing with all the joys of getting old and the obvious “who dunnit?’ storyline that leads you one way then takes you another. You wouldn’t be able to see the ending coming since not all characters are introduced right away, but I still think it’s a fun ride. I absolutely enjoyed this book and want more!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free via Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find out more about this book on:
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Amazon.ca
Indigo
Kobo

 

If you like murder mystery novels, you might enjoy some of these other books:
#BookReview And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee
#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin
#BookReview Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib

 

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#BookReview Seizure by Kathy Reichs

I was absolutely thrilled that I bought the first two books in this series together, because I NEEDED to continue this series. The first book, Virals, was an absolute hit for me and Seizure continued the insanity!

This time around Tory, Ben, Shelton, Hi and Cooper are off on another adventure…. except… get this… PIRATES. The loss of LIRI absolutely sucked because the loss of potential science plots devastated me. So I was reading it, hoping that somehow these authors had some cool science-y plot to follow and NOPE! But they got the next best thing – pirates and treasure!

LIRI is going to be shut down, so the Virals need to acquire some funds to try to help their parents keep their jobs. Otherwise, all of them will be moved around the continents and might never see each other again. This is a big problem since they are Virals with their crazy powers. In walks a famous myth about a female pirate and her treasure. And, of course, she buried it near the home of our lead characters! Our Virals decide to go on a treasure hunt, and get in LOTS of trouble along the way. And I mean A LOT.

I loved the sense of adventure in this book! I was hooked to every word and it was really difficult to put the book down. There’s a good mix of 75% action and 25% goofy, high school drama. Tori takes on Madison in this book and the drama is hilarious. I’ve never considered these books to be “serious” or “realistic” books (come on… Tori’s eyes turn yellow and she has magical powers), so I absolutely loved the angst that was added in this book. Also, cue in potential love triangle? Or square… Either way, I see one coming. It’s a YA book, you KNOW the romance is gonna be thrown in there eventually.

So, what are my cons?
1. Kit seems mighty dumb in this book. Did he really not notice Tori sneaking away so much? I know he works a lot and is busy… but dude. Kit is related to Tempe and he’s this dumb?

2. The bad guys were predictable and also dumb. I’m honestly not sure how Kathy could change this (I don’t have any constructive criticism about this, to be honest) but I have to say it. It was one of my cons.

But along with the cons, I have some mighty pros:
1. This series isn’t focused on romance like most YAs. There is a pinch (and I mean a PINCH, like a pinch of salt. Very little) but the story mostly focuses on friendship and adventure. That makes this book way more fun when you’re not worried about who’s gonna kiss who.

2. Riddles, myths and legends make everything more interesting. Some of the riddles are easy to solve, but some of them were a little more difficult.

3. This book has comedy in it! There’s some seriously funny quotes lined in this book that made the action and adventure just feel more fun. I’m tired of mopey YA books, we need more positivity in this world!

4. This book is super knowledgeable. Various animals species, the Gaelic language and more science-y info is shared with the reader. Kathy Reich’s books are always smart! It’s just another reason to love this series.

Overall, this book was AWESOME! It was a fun read for me and I really want to continue this series. It’s closer to PG-13 mainly because of the language (a couple swears) but the fun could easily be read by middle grade.

Five out of five stars!!

 

Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
Kobo
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Check out the first book, Virals, by clicking the links below:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Looking for something else to read? Here’s some other books I’ve reviewed that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
#BookReview Virals by Kathy Reichs & Brendan Reichs
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller

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#BookReview The Watchmen by Alan Moore

I bought this graphic novel a few years back as a birthday gift for myself. I had watched the Zack Snyder film and really wanted to jump into the comics. It’s safe to say I made a really smart decision, because I absolutely LOVED this graphic novel (and honestly, Zack did a good job changing the format and making it into a movie… but the comics were better, just saying).

There are superheroes and gods hidden among the everyday people of Earth. The original Watchmen are all older now and a new group of youngsters have been ushered in. Unfortunately, these superhuman, masked individuals are being killed off by someone… but why? This 12 book run dives deep into humanity and god-like powers.

This series starts out with The Comedian (Edward Blake), a former Watchman, being murdered. Rorschach (a name I have the hardest time spelling and pronouncing) decides to look into the murders and try to figure out what’s happening. Rorschach’s arc turns out to be one wild ride, and along the way we learn out a fair bit about The Comedian and his past. After Rorschach grabs a few more of the newer Watchmen, Laurie (Silk Spectre, who’s Mother was also Silk Spectre in her day) and Dan (Hawkman, but not Hawkman – he’s the NiteOwl) they decide to fight crime and try to determine what evil is affecting the world. Did I mention that Laurie goes out with both Dr. Manhattan (the naked blue man who has crazy super powers) and Dan?

These characters have lots of depth to them. The Comedian is a nasty man who rapes women and doesn’t care for children, yet he’s… funny? He felt like a Joker-esque man but almost worse. He’s more sane than the Joker… Yet he has such a strong back story that I still felt bad for him. That’s how you know this book is good. I felt bad for a man I should have hated.

Laurie and her Mother also have a very intriguing arc. The twist about Laurie’s family was easy to spot, but still hit hard.

Side note: The giant lynx was really cool – it really should have gotten some more scenes.

Dr. Manhattan, Jon, has some of the most intelligent and intriguing sets of dialogue that I’ve ever seen in graphic novels. I found his character to be very interesting and I’m curious how his story arc would have continued into the future. I am curious why he speaks so formally. Was that because of the crazy accident that turned him into a blue man? Why does he insist on being naked all of the time? He’s such a weird character but really interesting too.

This book is 100% an R-rated read, but it’s well worth it. The blood, the gore and the insanity of this comic series just feels right. I couldn’t see a story this honest and brutal be anything less than an R rating. There’s also sex scenes, a naked blue man and rape. It’s definitely a strong R but it felt like it fit the narrative. Although, Dan and Laurie’s sex scenes just felt… awkward?

To move onto the illustrations themselves – they’re classic. The story is colourful, felt like a real comic book and didn’t feel wasted. Yes, the series is a little bit older, but it still felt just as real as an updated comic book. Overall, it really packed it’s punch.

My final notes: I suggest reading the entire graphic novel. The comics don’t stand alone by themselves and it’d be a real waste to only read half. To get the full impact, read all twelve. It’s worth it! There are some slower comics in this mix, but all together they make for a really great story. The entire story is a real gem if you give it a chance. I have to say I did really enjoy it and I’d read it again in the future. The ending left it a little ambiguous yet it left me wanting to find out more about the characters who made it to the end.

Overall, I really enjoyed this graphic novel! It’s a shame I didn’t pick it up earlier because it was truly marvelous and one of the greats.

Five out of five stars.

 

You can find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Indigo

Here’s some other comics featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Batman: A Death in the Family by Jim Starlin
#BookReview Batman:Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison
#BookReview Gotham City Sirens: Book One by Paul Dini

 

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#BookReview Miss Kane’s Christmas by Caroline Mickelson

Christmas in July! That is what this book felt like reading, and boy did I need a little Christmas spirit in my life!

Miss Kane’s Christmas is a cute, short tale about Carol Kane and her magical abilities. She is sent to help Ben and his two children, Hillary and Patrick, fall in love with Christmas again. Along the way, Christmas isn’t the only thing these guys start to love…

Ben is a massive Scrooge for most of the book and it’s Carol’s job to fix it! He’s writing a novel that Santa doesn’t want written and he’s not spending as much time with his children as he should! Especially since their mother is no longer in the picture. Carol is super sweet, slightly innocent and utterly adorable. Ben has a heart that might grow five sizes bigger or turn into gold, you’ll have to read to find out!

This book felt goofy (in such a good way!) and I absolutely loved it! This book screams Hallmark or Netflix movie with all of the romantic talk, Christmas references and adorable plot lines. Hillary and Patrick want a dog, Ben and Carol start falling for one another, a brother named Nick – there are so many fun aspects of this book. I am SO glad I picked this book up “on accident”- also known as forgetting a book and finding a free one on Bookbub to pass the time by.

If you like contemporary drama, a splash of romance and Christmas, this book will be for you! It reminds me of Harlequin and Hallmark, but it was super fun! It’s not a book you’ll want to take too seriously since it is founded on Christmas magic and love. It can easily standalone and doesn’t end on one of those horrible cliffhangers that drive me mad. This book is rated PG for sure – it’s sweet, has a little kissing but doesn’t hint at much more.

I did have one negative – this book moves WAY to fast. Relationship statuses, beliefs in traditions and much more happen so suddenly it doesn’t feel real. I feel like it could have been solved with a time jump or a few more pages thrown in, but it’s not that much of an issue. The rush might bug me, but it won’t bug most readers.

I would love to continue reading this series. It seems like it’ll be an enjoyable read and there are more books around!

Four out of five stars!

I found this book for free on Bookbub!

P.S. What type of puppy did they did?!

 

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

 

Check out some other books you might enjoy:
#BookReview Fly With Me by Hudson Lin
#BookReview The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
#BookReview Once Upon an Ever After by Angela N. Blount

 

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