#BookReview Fly With Me by Hudson Lin

 

If you’re looking for the cutest romance ever, pick up this tremendously amazing book by Hudson Lin.

The always fabulous Tamsen Parker introduced me to Hudson Lin, and one thousands thanks for her! Hudson Lin has been a recent favourite of mine so I jumped at the chance to pick up another book by this incredible author.

Fly With Me is an adorable, short novella by Hudson Lin following two flight attendants in Europe. Vivian Ng is a headstrong, feisty lady who can hold up her own. Marco Chang is a sexy, well intended man who forgets he met Vivian years ago. When their lives collide, they collide hard!

I love that this book features diverse characters – Asian-Canadians, a bisexual man, Asians from Peru, just to name a few. This book doesn’t force the diversity upon you, it just is. It’s natural, which is absolutely lovely. It felt like the world I live in – there are many diverse people all around, and we get to follow the story of two of them.

Vivian being so head strong made me relate to her on a very personal level. She loves her parents, wants to make sure they are taken care of and doesn’t want anybody telling her what to do. She butts heads with Marco a fair bit, but they end up building quite the friendship. Add a dash of romance, and this book just screams “BRIAR YOU NEED TO READ THIS”.

Overall, I loved this sweet book! It’s short enough to binge, lovely enough to fall in love with and fits wonderfully on my always decreasing space on my Kindle (haha…whoops!).

I highly recommend this book if you love short romances, diversity, novels set in Europe, and Canadian stories.

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book via Hudson Lin’s subscriber list.

 

You can find this book on:

Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Indigo, Chapters, Coles – Canadian Bookseller
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

If you liked this book or review, check out another you might enjoy!
#BookReview Three Months to Forever by Hudson Lin
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Dare to Dream by Hudson Lin from the Rogue Nights Anthology Collection

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

 

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#BookReview Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

One of my New Years Resolutions was the read more “classics” this year, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of the first I was able to pick up. I was so lucky that I found this book at a local charity book sale! It was screaming my name the minute I saw it on the table and it’s been screaming my name while it’s been sitting on my bookshelf (well…desk. My bookshelves are rather full. I need to get reading faster and more to clear some room…).

I’ve seen both of the movies (Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp) so I knew what was coming. It was going to be a book full of shenanigans with some humor and lessons sprinkled throughout. And boy, did it not disappoint! I have to say, Roald Dahl is one amazing author and I really want to read more by him now. This classic is so full of childish nonsense and valuable lessons all at the same time. It’s mesmerizing what this man could do with his words.

The book has some deep, dark material that comes off as playful. Charlie and his family weren’t well off and Roald make that very, very clear. Yet the prose he puts this narrative in makes it seem… fun? Silly? I can’t even pick the right word. As an adult, I am in awe of how this family survived but I could easily see a child laughing their way through. A child would truly have no idea what the horror of starving is like, yet it is described so amazingly in this book…

Seriously, I’m in awe. I am in complete and utter awe over this man’s writing. He’s a literary genius, to say the least.

There are parts as an adult that I can pick apart, but I don’t think this book was intended to be some literary work that needs to be examined like Shakespeare. This book shows the good and the bad of being a kid – don’t be stubborn, don’t be a brat, don’t watch television all day, don’t go ahead without listening – stuff that we all learn as a kid. Charlie is the “perfect” child who listens and does what he is supposed to, and in the end he wins. Is this how life works? Nope. Is it still important to teach? Heck yes!

Wonka is such a wild and interesting character too. He’s a very old adult but doesn’t act like it who employs Oompa Loompa and pays them in cacoa beans. He has a giant workshop but no workers and wants to give a child his only life’s work. Yes, that makes so much sense… Not. But it’s believable in this book, because he’s so wild and zany… I’d love to see a perfect adaption of this book – word for word, picture for picture, etc.

The language, dark humour and sarcasm in this book also make it absolutely hilarious. Snozzberries gets me every time! And Wonka’s absolutely amazing sarcasm against the children… Well, it’s mean but it’s funny. So funny. I found myself giggling at how ridiculous some of the comments were, yet I still loved it all the same.

Either way, this book is amazing! I wish I would have read it as a kid but reading it as an adult was so much funnier! Amazingly enough, this book only took me two days to finish.

Five out of five stars!

I need some more Roald Dahl in my life!

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

 

Check out some more reviews and books you might enjoy:

#BookReview Snowman Paul Returns to the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid

#BookReview HughTube by Richard Clark

#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

 

Crazy Rich Asians is a fun, comedic romance that opened my eyes to a whole new world!

Before anyone asks, yes, I read this book because I saw the movie and loved it. Was the movie identical to the book? No. Was it still super cute and a great adaption? Yes. So, now that we’re past the point that the movie introduced me to the book, onto my book review!

I found this book to be the perfect mix of romance, comedy and knowledge! I absolutely loved being introduced to a variety of Asian words and concepts in this book. There aren’t many books out there (that I have read, anyways) that make me feel like I’ve learned so much while having a good time!

The book did feel soap opera-y, but I loved every second of it! I’m at the point that I’m desperate for the sequel, and can’t wait to get my hands on it! The characters were interesting and all had crazy backgrounds, the drama was high, and the family values were intriguing.

I have no idea how honest/true the Asian side of the story is, but it did make me more interested in Asian cultures. I love when books can open your eyes to a world you haven’t thought about looking at before, so I give lots of praise to Kevin Kwan! Books like these truly deserve attention, because not only are they well written but they pull the minorities out of the background. Even if it’s not totally accurate, I’m sure at least a few more readers can appreciate the Asian culture!

This book could easily be binged (if you have time to read a 500+ page book). I seriously wanted to continue reading it, but I just didn’t have time! That being said, every chance I got I was instantly glued to the pages.

I loved Nick and Rachel, I loved Kerry, I loved Peik Lin, I loved Astrid and I loved every little description that Kevin Kwan had woven into this tale. I seriously felt for these characters all along the way (even the “bad guys”…sometimes…). I really hope the drama between certain characters (like Astrid’s story) are expanded in the next books, because they were all so interesting! There wasn’t enough pages to really see all of the characters! Luckily there are at least two more books to devour to learn a little bit more about my fave characters…

There are some cons about this book, but for me it wasn’t to hard to fly past them. The story jumps a lot between chapters (point of view, time changes, etc.). Also, some of the characters felt very… stereotypical (that’s the best word I have for them right now). Is that necessarily a bad thing? No. But many other reviewers are complaining about parts of this book. To me, I didn’t really care. It didn’t take away from the fun of the story.

Would I recommend this book to other readers? HECK YES! If you love romance, a splash of comedy, and Asian representation, then get on it! The movie just makes this book more in the spotlight, which should help it’s sales. The book is dramatic, but it’s a fun and wild ride!

Also, I loved the cover. It’s simplistic and yet perfectly summarizes the story in a weird way.

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Kobo

Coles/Indigo/Chapters

Barnes & Noble

 

Find out more about the author, Kevin Kwan, on:

http://www.kevinkwanbooks.com/

Goodreads – Kevin Kwan

 

What else do you want to see on my blog? Let me know in the comments below, tweet me at @ReviewAlholic or tell me on Facebook!

#BookReview Backyard Hullabaloo by Junia Wonders

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I was lucky enough to find this book for free via BookBub!

Backyard Hullabaloo is a fun and spunky picture book by Junia Wonders and Divin Meir!

What I liked about this book was that there was a little more reading content in it. The picture books I have been picking up lately had barely a sentence per page, but this book had multiple sentences and even paragraphs per page! Having a little more content made this book a little more fun and inventive when I was reading it.

We follow Mr. Bagoo, who overslept since his alarm clock didn’t ring! We also meet his neighbors along the way as he tries to get his chores done! Everyone seems to be in a bad mood for some reason! Mr. Bagoo and his neighbor aren’t getting along, and they must solve their issues with each other.

I also loved that there was no rhyming scheme to this book – it moved at a nice pace and didn’t feel forced. It was written in a tone that felt professional and yet humorous or child-like all at the same time.

The artwork was a style I don’t see to often – it looked like digital crayons! I really liked this different art style, especially since it felt like it belonged with the story. I couldn’t see any other art style fitting with the tone and silliness of this book!

Overall, I’d highly recommend this book! It’s a great picture book with a fantastic story! I could see this book easily being used for story time at a school!

Four out of five stars!

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

If you enjoyed this book or review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Half Done Fun by Katja Vartiainen

 

Why not give me a shout out on Twitter? Recommend me books, chat about all things nerdy, find other reviews and books I recommend and talk about my upcoming and current reads! @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo via Goodreads.

#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller

The Water War is an absolutely brilliant addition to the Milligan Creek series by Kevin Miller!

Can I just say, I am oh so frustrated with this series! Why did it have to come out when I was an adult?! I would have ate this book up as a child! This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time reading a book, and I truly mean that. It’s the type of book I needed as a kid – dosed in reality yet so full of hilarity!

This time around, the boys of Milligan Creek have a brand new resident to deal with – Fiona Pickleberrybush. Everyone loves this girl – she’s pretty and lounges around the pool all day with her sunglasses on. With everyone falling at her feet, Matt knows something is up and he wants his life back to normal. To try to get attention away from this girl and have a fun summer, the boys decide to play Assassin – a giant game of tag with water guns where you hit your intended target with water. Those who have their target hit are out of the game! The prize is determined to be a date with Fiona or Matt (or not Matt, in case you are wondering). And with that, the games are off!

This story is packed with relatable characters that feel real. These kids seem like they fit right in with my childhood and Kevin does a great job of developing them over the books. Matt’s character development is definitely the focus of this book, and boy does Kevin do it justice! Seeing Matt change over the book and the surprise ending, well, it impressed me!

Each kid in this story has their own personalities and quirks that make them feel like real kids. They are intelligent, resourceful, hilarious and written beautifully. Some of the quirks are more interesting than others, like the kids who like to “Moo”, but they still feel like real children and speak like children. One of my biggest pet peeves of children’s books is when the kids talk like adults. Yet, these kids feel like kids! Kevin knows how to make these characters and build them up over time.

I think this is a great quality series (from a Canadian author!) that should be read to all children! Put this book in school libraries, use it for reading buddies, use it for library events and spread the word around! There are few books out there that have so much fun packed into one little book AND have a great theme.

This book focuses on accepting others despite their differences, and that is a really big issue in today’s society. Having Kevin include that theme in a book like this makes me have a lot of faith for the next generations. If you haven’t read the first two in this series, I highly recommend it! You could easily pick this book up without reading the past two, but why would you?! This series just keeps getting better with each novel that introduced.

I 100% recommend this book to anyone looking for a lighthearted, fun, and inspirational read for themselves or their kids. Books like this show how powerful literature truly is. Unique stories like this are one of the reasons I love reviewing books!

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author Kevin Miller in exchange for an honest review.

 

You can purchase this book on:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Find the other books in this series on:

Up The Creek (Book #1) on Indigo

Up The Creek (Book #1) on Amazon.ca

Up The Creek (Book #1) Amazon.com

Unlimited (Book #2) on Indigo

Unlimited (Book #2) on Amazon.ca

Unlimited (Book #2) on Amazon.com

These books are available with the Amazon Prime program too, at the time of writing this blog.

Check out my review of Unlimited: #BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller

Or find 10 more books I loved just as much as this book! Collection 1: #TopTens – Children’s Fiction Part 1

Check out Kevin on his website: http://www.kevinmillerxi.com/

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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An Abundance of Katherines was an interesting book by John Green – it’s the perfect mix of YA and contemporary fiction in my mind. While it’s not his best book (in my opinion), it’s still a really intriguing read. John Green knows how to write a unique narrative and pull in the reader. Although, his books all tend to be different so you aren’t guaranteed to enjoy this book if you liked his other novels. He does an excellent job at changing genres and narratives, and making different stories every time he writes a book.

Colin isn’t the most likable protagonist, but that’s why I liked him. He wasn’t the typical YA character we fall in love with, he had his flaws. His friends were more likable, but to me it made him seem more real. We don’t all love ourselves the way we should, so sometimes the protagonist should be more “realistic”.

As for the plot, it’s has a smooth flow and doesn’t build very much. It’s more of a contemporary fiction piece that follows the characters throughout. There’s no major plot twists or devices that jumped out at me. Yet, this book still worked well in this context! With most authors, I would have given up with a plot like this, but somehow John kept me hooked. That takes a fair bit of talent!

The best part of this book is that it is full of epic quotes. John Green knows how to make quote worthy books that relate to teenagers and adults alike. I have found countless quotes that I can either relate to myself, my situation or my friends and family. That’s one of the major things this book has going for it!

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this as the first John Green book you read (unless you want to start off “weaker”). While I think it’s fantastic, it’s not the strongest book (in my opinion, yet again). Especially since this book is the type of novel that you either love or you hate (just look at all of the other reviews – it is split right down the middle). So, take a swing at this book once you’ve convinced yourself that John is truly remarkable through his other books first.

Five out of five stars – what can I say? I enjoyed it.

 

Check out this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49750.An_Abundance_of_Katherines

Or purchase this book on Amazon: Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy: Young Adult July Reads Book Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

And check out my twitter for the most up-to-date antics about my blog! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen

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Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen is a funny, smart and entertaining novel that will keep you hooked until the very end!

This book was strange in the best way! It’s a mysterious thriller with extreme amounts of comedy and lunacy splashed throughout. It’s like one of the best sitcoms you can find on television these days (think the hilarity of Bones, but the intensity of NCIS/CSI). Throughout the book, you follow Merry, Yancy, Buck, Coolman and a variety of other wacky characters. Merry is the “Razor Girl” the title suggests, who performs hilarious acts of crime to get some well needed money to fund her insane antics. She runs into Yancy, an ex-cop, and they search for the missing Buck – a now famous man due to various antics of his own.

The book was a little hard to follow for me, but that was because I read it over a long period of time. That left me confused with following certain characters. It is a great book, but I’d recommend reading this book either in a binge or in a short period of time. The book is wild and has lots of fun story lines to follow, which could be confusing if you stay away from the book for too long.

I did find the book rather slow, but it was super funny – so it made up for the lack of speed. At times, I felt like there was some unnecessary slowness that could have been avoided but I’m a reader that loves a really fast pace. The mysteries and the comedy is mixed in nicely, which can keep your mind away from the slow moving pace if you are interested in comedic tones.

I haven’t read any books by Carl Hiaasen before this, but now I definitely want to get my hands on more of his books! The book was seriously funny, which is something I am lacking in my bookshelf. I’d highly recommend reading his books if you love lots of humor in your books. I couldn’t believe how many times I laughed out loud from super silly comments and situations Carl put his characters in. The jokes weren’t just one timers either – they were continued throughout the book (similar to how Arrested Development carries jokes over an entire episode). I seriously loved the humor! More authors need to learn how to include humor like Carl does! When I read other reviews after this book and saw that many readers thought this book was the LEAST funny, it made me wonder how much funnier his other books must be! This book was 5 star comedy for me!

Overall, the kookiness and craziness of this book is fantastic! It’s a great read that will make you laugh out loud!

Four out of five stars!

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

 

Check out this book on:@ReviewAlholic

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about Carl Hiaasen on:

Goodreads – Carl Hiaasen

Website – carlhiaasen.com

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin

 

Comment below-  what book do you find seriously funny?
And give me a shoutout on twitter using the hashtasg #briarsreviews if you read this blog post!