#BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

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Hercufleas is the cutest book I’ve read this year, and it deserves so much more recognition than it’s getting!

Sam Gayton has created hit that Disney might want to steal in the future! This off the beaten path “Hercules” re-telling (in a way) is one of the best action novels I’ve ever read and enjoyed – and it’s a middle grade novel! This book outdid so many adult action novels and it wasn’t even aimed at my age group! I can see so many adults reading this to their kids and getting a lot out of it as well! There was a few silly adult jokes you can pick up on, but they are harmless and adorable!

The theme behind this book about how a hero comes in all sizes was also a beautiful tale to tell. It seems so silly to write a book about a flea, but the story worked and it was phenomenal. Mix in all the “flea” jokes along the way, and this book hits it out of the park. The ending is a little bittersweet or sad, but the ending worked well. The story pays off and is woven perfectly for the target audience. Sam mixing in enough “adult” humor or silly jokes also makes the book grow to a higher level of enjoyment.

I did find about 4/5ths through the novel I got a little bored, and it winded down really slowly. If it have kept the pace and excitement up, it might be a five out of five for me. Instead, I give it four out of five because it was just fantastic! I couldn’t find any other problems with this novel while I was trying to pick it apart to find any cons for the readers.

Overall, the hero and heroine learn lessons about themselves, the theme is a tale as old as time and the story was unique and fun! What more can you ask for in a middle grade novel?

Four out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite children’s or middle grade novel? Comment below!

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#BookReview If We Had Known by Elise Juska

 

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“If We Had Known” was a unique read that gave me chills.

With all the shootings that have been happening, well…everywhere, I was honestly surprised I hadn’t seen millions upon millions of books trying to hone in on the public interest. When I initially picked this book up, I was under the impression this book might try to do just that, but it was surprisingly and beautifully respectful.

I did enjoy this book. I think it was an interesting ride all the way along, and it kept me hooked. There were a couple chapters where it was slow and I became bored, but overall it was an addicting ride.

So, what are my pros and cons?

Pros:
1. Different POVs – There are many different point of views in this story, and one of them is NOT the shooter (believe it or not). I appreciated watching the lives of many people fold out, and not just one.

2. Story Telling – I LOVE how Elise Juska told this story. Her choice of words and pace of the novel really fit well with this topic. I wouldn’t change a thing in relation to this.

3. Intertwining Stories – When stories intertwine I get so giddy! All of these stories having effects on each other (some positive, some very negative) made the book just a little bit more exciting. I could guess some of the effects that they would have on each other, but it was still nice to see that things do effect other people.

Cons:
1. Plot Device Characters – It felt like some characters were thrown in and taken out super fast just to move the plot along. I would have liked to see Anna’s boyfriends a little bit more and see how things affected them.

2. Happily Ever After – Everything tied up so nicely at the end! I was kind of hoping to leave off on a weird note, and not a semi-happy note. Now, everybody who knows me knows I like happy/good endings, but I felt a little cheated with this one. There shouldn’t have been a really good ending, and anybody who’s been through something like this would tell you how honest that was.

Overall, I really liked this book! There are definitely some minor problems with this book, but it was a worthy read!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Did you enjoy this book? Why not check out another by Elisa Juska?! EliseJuska.com

Check out If We Had Known on Goodreads! Goodreads – If We Had Known

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Comment below your favorite book that you read recently!

#BookReview Intricate Deceptions by Jennifer Rayes

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Intricate Deceptions was an exceptional start to an exciting series.

This novel was far better than I expected it to be. At the beginning, I was a little put off by the start (loss of memory/amnesia as an intro hasn’t boded well for me in my readings) but it turned out to blow my mind! I’m really impressed with Jennifer Rayes’s story telling and I am desperate to get the next novel in this book now!

Anywho, my opinions:

1. The start felt like an adult novel 100%, but as the story went on it felt closer to a New Adult novel. It is definitely R rated for some of the content (human trafficking), but some of the conversations felt more YA like (the romance).

2. Without spoiling, some of the plot points seem to happen “just in time” or to fit the narrative, rather than the story unfolding in a timely manner to get to those sections. I would have loved this book to be a little bit longer and come to the conclusions on their own, but the plot still worked.

3. CLIFFHANGER. Jennifer, why did you do this to me? Now I NEED the second book!

4. Difficult content – Human trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping… Some of this content may be difficult to read for some people. Keep that in mind when you want to read this book! I did think Jennifer did a great job in this book with how she addressed the tough/harsh issues of the world. It’d be very difficult to have a book be light-hearted at some moments, but harsh at others yet Jennifer managed to keep the tones perfect and at the right timing.

5. Time period – I’m kind of confused on what the time period is. At the beginning, it felt like early times monarchy but as I moved forward it felt like a modern story without cellular devices. That confused me the most with this book, but once I got past that and just let myself enjoy the book it was no problem at all. I probably missed the cues somewhere (gotta love exam time). In the next book, I’d love to see this expanded on more. Maybe I could learn more about the history of this magical world we’ve dove into in this novel?

6. Characters seem to disappear for a while at the beginning of the book, but they do come back! I was worried that characters were being introduced for no reason, but Jennifer did tie them back into the story. I hope more of them make appearances in further novels!

Overall, I really liked this book! When you look past the small continuity errors, this book is an exciting ride that I want to continue! Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on a copy of the second book!

Four out of five stars!

Jennifer Rayes requested a review for this book and sent me a free copy. This had no impact on my review, this is my honest opinion.

 

Find Intricate Deceptions on Amazon:

Intricate Deceptions on Amazon.ca

Intricate Deceptions on Amazon.com

 

Find Jennifer Rayes on her website or Goodreads:

http://jenniferrayes.wix.com/intricateseries

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7410834.Jennifer_Rayes

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Charming Predator by Lee MacKenzie

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#BookReview Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett

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Do Not Ask is an excellent crime/thriller!

This book is addicting, my goodness. I love a good political, crime novel (it’s evident if you look at my book shelf or my lists on Netflix…) so getting the chance to read this book made me so excited! I’ve been more focused on romances recently that I almost forgot this genre existed!

Do Not Ask is the second book in the Warren Alexander series, but you don’t need to be caught up to understand a thing! This book was a smooth read without the background, since Elaine fills in any big holes that you need to know along the way. She also makes this book full of fast twists and turns that will keep you addicted and following every story line.

Every part of this book was fantastic – which is shocking! It’s rare to find a book that I can’t pick apart some major flaw (so kudos to Elaine!). I loved the speed of the story and I found it to be unique and thrilling. I didn’t want to put this book down! Alongside all of that goodness, I also got heavily involved with trying to guess who did what. Since there was just enough back story to get the reader going, it makes it easy to follow along and play the detective game along with the plot.

The book is also realistic, which makes it an easy read. There’s no aliens or crazy conspiracies – it’s a fiction novel that makes it feel so real. There are some aspects of this book that seem a little odd, but it’s not surprising that they exist by any means (some adult chasing after young, pretty girls might make you squeamish, but it happens).

So, the question is – where do I want to see Elaine go from here? I definitely think she’s talented and needs to keep writing! This book was excellent, and I hope she continues writing to get better. My expectations are for her to write another novel, and I hope she’s able to write it so it’s not necessary to read all of the books before it – that should help gain some more readers. And hopefully, this book goes a little more mainstream. It’s awesome! It’s so good that it could be on a shelf next to Kathy Reichs in my local book story!

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author (Elaine Williams Crockett) in exchange for an honest review.

 

Comment below with your favourite political thriller novel!

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another review you might enjoy! #BookReview The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman

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Want to check out more by Elaine Williams Crockett? Check out her website! http://www.elainewilliamscrockett.com/

 

Purchase this book:

Amazon Canada – Do Not Ask

Amazon USA – Do Not Ask

#BookReview Saving Me by Sadie Allen

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Saving Me by Sadie Allen is a unique YA novel.

This story is centered around Ally, who is a depressed/suicidal hurdling high school student who gets severely injured in a race. Her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her best friend for three years, and a boy with a lip ring has a crush on her. There is endless drama on every page that makes me believe this book is the teenage version of a soap opera.

I’m not sure how I feel about it, because I think it’s an intriguing story but I think there was just to much going on. I couldn’t figure out what the real plot of the story was. Was it for Ally to not kill herself? Was it to showcase the craziness that can be high school? There was so much high school drama that seemed so wildly unrealistic that I wasn’t sure how I felt when I finally read the last page of the book.

I did enjoy that the book moved fast and had constant action/drama. That kept me interested and I didn’t want to put the book down. I also enjoyed some of the sugary sweet romance that goes down.

The things I didn’t enjoy just hit to close to home for me – an (almost?) abusive parent, and some of the stupid decisions Ally made (but let’s be honest, everyone made stupid mistakes in high school). I also think this book was closer to an R rating than intended. It seemed like the book was aimed at a YA audience but contained some purely adult themes. And my final part was…Sterling. He felt to perfect, despite having flaws. It was kind of the hero complex that made me question him, does Ally really need a boy to save her? That’s just my own thoughts though.

Was it uplifting? In my opinion, I have no idea. It was definitely a coming of age story set in modern times. It included social media and texting as a big portion of this story. One major part of this book was how Sadie described Ally’s feelings, and I think many can relate to her dark descriptions. Everyone feels lost and alone at times, so that hits a home run.

Overall, this book is well written but I’m not sure where I stand on it. I think it’s fantastic and I liked it, but I’m stuck on the fence of whether this was a YA or adult novel. It honestly could swing either way.

Great novel! Three out of five stars!

I received a copy of this book from Sadie Allen in exchange for an honest review.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt

Check out Sadie Allen on Goodreads! Sadie Allen on Goodreads

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#BookReview Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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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 Someone You Love Is Gone by Gurjinder Basran

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Someone You Love is Gone by Gurjinder Basran is a beautiful novel centered around grief.

Picking this book up, after losing my own Father years ago, was kind of like therapy. I was able to see someone else facing the exact thing I had (keep in mind a different gendered parent) and having a similar response to me. Gurjinder Basran does a fantastic job of showing how grief affects a person.

The small losses of temper, without meaning to was a big part of mine and my Mother’s grief. Seeing this happen was truly incredible – our main character Simran does not purposely yell at her daughter or her husband, it just happens. The emotions that go through someone when experiencing grief is very expressive in this book – and it shows how talented this author is.

I’d hate to say this book is like a “slice of life” novel, but it is – but a slice of grief and the life that comes after. So many sayings that you don’t think about – like how you just get used to grief and it doesn’t get better – are displayed in this story. Before someone dies, you say that but don’t realize how true those sayings really are. You don’t realize how haunting it is to be here and that person who’s in your memories and clothes are still in their closets are just not there – they don’t exist anymore. This beautiful novel shows all of this, and it almost made me cry thinking about how honest this book is compared to my own grief.

I relate a lot of Sim, and I think this is why the book speaks to me so much.

<spoiler> When her husband comes home from work only to get changed to go out for drinks for work, leaving Sim behind when she really needs someone (and her daughter goes back to school and won’t even hug her mother goodbye) speaks to me on so many levels. All of my friends and family ditched me as soon as my Father died, leaving me alone for the final month of high school. Literally alone. It speaks to me so much on so many levels to see THIS IS REAL. This was not just my small reality, but this can be others as well – even if this book is fictional. </spoiler>

Overall, this book is truly beautiful. I could go on and spoil everything, but I would rather just state my opinion to finish it off.

This book shows the gradual change in grief – immediately losing a parent, dealing with the emotions after, dealing with relationships during grief, trying to pick what’s best and how to grieve, and the finale of finally accepting it.

This book should be read by those experiencing or who have experienced grief to understand. This was far better than any therapist or book I was forced to read during my grief – those self help books are rarely helpful, let’s be honest.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

 

Check out Gurjinder Basran on Goodreads! Gurjinder Basran on Goodreads

Or check out her website! Gurjinder Basran

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