Sunday, 24 September 2017

Sunday Favorites: Practical Magic

This is going to be a new series on my blog! I'm gonna choose a new book or series each week, or close to each week. These are going to be books that I love and I just want to talk about everything I love about them. I'm excited!

In honor of me just finishing the prequel to Practical Magic, The Rules of Magic, I decided to make this my very first post in this series.



The first thing I love about this book is the writing style. Alice Hoffman has a way of writing her stories in a way where you feel like you're in a different world. I feel like I'm sitting there listening to someone tell me a story, sorta like a fairytale and I absolutely adore it. The writing feels so poetic and beautiful that you don't want to devour the entire story at once, you want to read it slowly and savour it.



Practical Magic is a world where the characters are dealing with real problems, but there just so happens to be a bit of magic mixed in. They're witches who have real problems just like any other human being. They can die, fall in love, fall out of love. The whole shebang. They even work day jobs.



I've mentioned this before, but I love the magic system. It's what I've always expected of witches and wizards for as long as I can remember. It's all about superstitions and weird things that happen that can never quite be explained, or can be explained away as an accident or a coincidence. They speak of magic and curses like they are living beings, it isn't quite something that can be understood, but they are okay with not knowing exactly what their magic is.



The romance in this book was full blown and I couldn't hate any matches that were made in this book. Even if it was insta love, I know I made a big deal about hating any and all instalove, but this book is my one exception to the rule. These characters are magic and have more intuition than the regular being and the way the emotions are described is too much for the reader to deny. Therefore, I will forgive any instalove that may happen in this book.



Because I am trying to do my best to avoid spoilers, that is all I will say. I truly do believe that this is an amazing book and if it sounds interesting you should definitely give it a shot.

If you've read Practical Magic what are some of your thoughts?

Feel free to add me on social media! And you can follow my blog in the side bar to be notified when I post!
Jessie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) Instagram Follow

Friday, 22 September 2017

Rant: Mary Sue

At first these rants were like a stress reliever because I like to not yell at people in real life, but it's actually gotten to the point where it is a bit exhausting being so angry. But I persist because I'm not  a quitter. Also, it starts discussions and those are good, for the most part.



Let's get into it, so this week I will be talking about why I hate the Mary Sue character trope. If you are new to this reading and writing thing and don't know what a Mary Sue is, then I shall explain. A Mary Sue is a flawless female protagonist. They never do anything wrong and have no problematic character traits.



These characters are "relatable" while not actually being relatable at all. There is all this justification that you can get behind, because most of us would like to be able to believe that we are always in the right and that we're perfect. This is never the case in real life, we all have problematic traits or do things that are wrong.



These characters are usually what the author wishes they were. Basically they want to create the perfect character because they have some undeniable desire to be perfect. Now, maybe some authors don't actually mean to reflect any of this into their characters, maybe they are really problematic themselves and they want to create a character who has none of those issues, maybe they have gotten into the habit of writing characters who are perfect and don't even realize that they're doing it. Either way, I would suggest working on that.



The very idea of a Mary Sue is pushing girls to believe that they have to be perfect to amount to anything in life, they have to be the prettiest girl to get the guy, they have to have perfect grades and perfect social life but most of the time they don't realize how "perfect" they are which makes them seem like they deserve all this good stuff more than anyone else. The real kicker being that they have no flaws which makes people envy the shit out of them and sad that they can't be as perfect as those characters. I just don't think the idea of a Mary Sue is healthy.



Also, when reading about a "perfect" character, it starts to get annoying because despite how "relatable" they are, they stop being relatable after a certain point because they don't have flaws like the rest of us do. Maybe the characters even critic some of these flaws that us human beings do have in their quest to prove how perfect they are.

Anyway, thoughts on the Mary Sue?

Feel free to add me on social media! And you can follow my blog in the side bar to be notified when I post!
Jessie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) Instagram Follow

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Rules of Magic Spoiler Free Review

The Rules of Magic
by Alice Hoffman

Release Date: October 10th, 2017


Synopsis:



Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.


The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

My Thoughts:


***I Received an ARC through Netgalley for an Honest Review***


I gave this book 5 stars. This was a book of first love, true love, heartbreak, and magic. It was one of the greatest books I read this year. The story felt so timeless and fluid I was so completely distracted that I would forget that I was actually reading a book.

This book isn’t harsh or action packed, it isn’t about witches who fight off evil or do evil things. The best way I can describe this book is that it’s enchanting and gentle, if at times a bit emotional, it isn’t a rollercoaster.

This book was so beautiful and heartbreaking. My heart completely broke for these characters. These three protagonists are completely different but they work so well together. 

It made em very anxious because I knew for a fact that only two of the characters actually make it out of this story alive seeing as they are important characters in Practical Magic. I felt a sense of foreboding, knowing that everyone but these two characters would probably end up dying. That stressed me out pretty badly. 

There were several aspects of this story that normally I would hate, but I didn’t actually mind in this book. For one, there was some instalove. It didn’t feel like instalove because of the magic, and the beautiful way that the author played it out. It felt like those characters were meant to be together and time didn’t exist to them in those moments where they were together. I fell in love with their love.

It was also most of a tell not showing story, as the first book was also like that. I liked it though, the author is telling us a tale of those characters and is drawing on their emotions and experiences. I feel like I’m sitting in front of a fire while someone is telling me a fairytale. 

I think the author did an amazing job balancing the story lines of all the characters. I felt I got a lot about all three siblings. 

 It was also nice to see that the characters were actually effected by different things that were happening around that time period from riots to the Vietnam war. It wasn’t just phased out as I often see in books set around that time period.

One of the greatest aspects in this book was the magic system, this is what I expect of stereotypical witches. Superstition and weird things that can’t be explained. Herbal remedies and psychic abilities. No offence to my favorite, Harry Potter, but this is probably my favorite magic system.


Overall, I need more of these characters. I want to know more about what happens to them, because a lot of those questions aren't even answered in Practical Magic. This book is really good and I would highly suggest reading it. Although, it is not a fast paced book and is more character driven, so if you prefer things fast paced and plot driven, this probably isn't the best choice for you. 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Taking Avery Spoiler Free Review

Taking Avery
by D. H. Sidebottom and Ker Dukey

Synopsis:


When a reckless act upsets the balance between two MC clubs, everyone is fair game in the war that erupts. 
Avery belongs to Lilith’s Army now, after being taken against her will, but she isn't just anyone, she's a Cutter's MC Princess, and they don't take kindly to people taking what's theirs.

As Avery’s life starts to spiral out of control, she finds that her only hope of survival is to put her trust in the man she doesn’t trust at all. The only man that can bring destruction to not only both clubs, but also to her heart.

When the fallout reaches beyond just the two clubs, the consequences bring death, devastation, and chaos for everyone. 

The dynamics of both clubs change forever in the wake that follows. Fate isn’t done teaching Avery that life isn’t always better with the devil you know sometimes it’s with the devil you don’t. 

My Thoughts:

I received an ARC from the authors for an honest review


I gave this book 3.5 stars. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, sometimes the feelings were good sometimes bad, but at any given time i had some sort of strong feeling. I gave it 3.5 stars because I still don’t know how I feel about certain parts of this book.

I’ve read Ker Dukey’s writing before which is why I knew going into this that I should be nervous for the characters. I’ve never read any D. H. Sidebottom books before, so I wasn’t quite sure about how her writing style would change things up. Rest assured I had a right to be nervous for those characters. Some shit goes down.

The thing about this book that I don’t know if I like it or not, I mean I’m leaning more towards like, but it had these moments that made my skin crawl and I still can’t stop reading despite everything in me telling me I don’t want to read that part. I’m a bit torn about it.

Now times to stop focusing on the things that I’m not sure if I like, let’s focus on the things that I did like. The playfulness between Slade and Avery had me giggling and smiling. These playful moments counteracted the gut clenching moments I could barely stand. It was so lighthearted and it made it feel like these characters were going to be okay together.

I feel like a lot of books about bikers are very tame, and considering they’re bikers I would think they would be a lot more chaotic. Well this book definitely supplied the chaos. I never knew which way the book was going to go, if the protagonists would come out on top or if they would lose. 

I am so excited to read a book about Rhiannon. She’s the sister of Slade and Brenner and seems to be the only character that Brenner genuinely cares about. I want a full story for her and I want more info about her relationship with Brenner. Rhiannon was just a character I wanted to know more about from the start of the book. We met her once, we hear a lot about her, she seems like a pretty cool character and I want more. 


Overall, if you are interested in darker romances that are out of this world intense, then you should definitely read this book. 

 Keep reading to enter the giveaway!! 

 

Title: Taking Avery

Co Written By: D.H Sidebottom & Ker Dukey

Release Date: September 20th

NOW LIVE & ONLY 99¢ DURING RELEASE WEEK!





When a reckless act upsets the balance between two MC clubs, everyone is fair game in the war that erupts. 
Avery belongs to Lilith’s Army now, after being taken against her will, but she isn't just anyone, she's a Cutter's MC Princess, and they don't take kindly to people taking what's theirs.

As Avery’s life starts to spiral out of control, she finds that her only hope of survival is to put her trust in the man she doesn’t trust at all. The only man that can bring destruction to not only both clubs, but also to her heart.

When the fallout reaches beyond just the two clubs, the consequences bring death, devastation, and chaos for everyone. 

The dynamics of both clubs change forever in the wake that follows. Fate isn’t done teaching Avery that life isn’t always better with the devil you know sometimes it’s with the devil you don’t.







DON'T MISS THIS SALE!

ONLY 99¢ DURING RELEASE WEEK!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU


Meet Author D.H Sidebottom 


Author of The Heart of Stone, Room 103 and The Blue Butterfly series’. D H Sidebottom is a full-time mum/author. She lives in Derbyshire, England with her partner, children, and two dogs. She is an avid reader and her tastes range from horror to erotic. She loves to help new authors get into the ‘scene’. She loves rock music and tattooed guys and has a weakness for coffee, wine, and bacon.

Stay connected with D.H Sidebottom

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon




Meet Author Ker Dukey 


I have always had a passion for storytelling, whether it be through lyrics or bedtime stories with my sisters. I wanted to be an actress growing up so I could live many roles but I learned early on that my mind was too active… I would want to change the script.I would watch films and think of ways they could have improved the story if they took another direction so I thought it best that I tell my own.
My mum would always have a book in her hand when I was young and passed on her love for reading, inspiring me to venture into writing my own. I tend to have a darker edge to my writing. Not all love stories are made of light, some are created in darkness but are just as powerful and worth telling.
When I’m not lost in the world of characters I love spending time with my family. I’m a mum and that comes first in my life but when I do get down time I love attending music concerts or reading events with my younger sister.
You can find me on Facebook where I love interacting with my readers.

Stay connected with Ker Dukey


ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!! ▼ click the image below to be redirected ▼




Saturday, 16 September 2017

Just One of the Boys Spoiler Free Review

Just One of the Boys
by Leah and Kate Rooper

Release Date: October 2nd, 2017


Synopsis:



Alice Bell has one goal: to play for the elite junior hockey team the Chicago Falcons. But when she’s passed over at tryouts for being a girl, she’ll do anything to make her dream a reality…even disguising herself as her twin brother. With her amazing skills on the ice, Alice is sure she’ll fit in easily. That is, until she starts falling for one of her teammates…

Hayden Tremblay, star of the Falcons, can’t keep himself out of the penalty box. Constantly living in the shadow of his older brother, Hayden’s losing his passion for hockey. But when he gets shown up on the ice by the Falcons’ new rookie, Hayden’s determined to teach the kid a thing or two. Little does he guess that “Al’s” surprises on the ice are just the beginning... 


Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush title proves that wonderful things can happen when you’re brave enough to go after your dream. Dream hockey player, that is! Warning--a few locker room scenes are included... 

My Thoughts:

***I Received an ARC through Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review***

I gave this book 4 stars. Many aspects of the story were so well done, I for the most part loved this book, there were a few things I wish we would have gotten into more, but considering this isn't exactly a long book, I can see why we didn't get into those. For what it was it was really good. 

This book was a level of whimsical fun that put me in such a good mood that I didn't even mind that Canadian jokes. Speaking of Canada, it was good to see a book that was actually partially set in a part of Canada other than Ontario. Every time I find a book and I'm like, "Oh it's set in Canada! I should read this! I wonder what part of Canada it's in?" it's almost certainly takes place in Ontario. I like Ontario, but there are other parts of Canada. Just saying.

I'm gonna start off by saying how much I hated Alice's boyfriend Freddy. He was a no good cheater who threatened to out a character for being gay. He was also just a trash human being and I'm glad that Alice dropped him because she was better off without him.

Onto the character that was gay, I won't tell you who it is because that would be a spoiler, so instead I'll just talk around it. I loved how the character was portrayed, they weren't just the token gay character that I hate so much, they actually had a large amount of significance to the plot and in the main characters life. Even though their sexuality was a secret it wasn't that hard for me to figure out. 

This book was no murder mystery, I had no problem whatsoever guessing the outcome and the secret that drove this story. It was nothing new, but still something I could sit down and binge. I read this book in one day, it was a really enjoyable read. I love these contemporaries.

Alice Bell has no time for sexism, if the coach won't let her on the team because she's a girl, she'll pretend to be someone else so that she can play. I admire that. It felt a lot like a cross between She's the Man and The Girl's Got Secrets by Linda Kage. Surprisingly this story didn't give me any second hand embarrassment. I suffer very badly from second hand embarrassment so the fact that I was okay with this one blew my mind a little bit.

I have nothing else to say other than I highly recommend reading this cute funny contemporary romance when it comes out in October! It will put you in a good mood.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Approximately Yours Spoiler Free Review

Approximately Yours
by Julie Hammerle


Release Date: October 2nd, 2017

Synopsis:


Danny Garland is so out of Holly’s league. And her family is only back in North Pole, Minnesota, long enough to sell Grandma’s house and say “Merry Christmas.” So telling her basketball-star, too-hot-to-be-real long-time crush that she’d like to kiss him under the mistletoe just isn’t going to happen.

And now he’s asked out her cousin, Elda. Elda is a mess at flirting, so when she begs Holly to intervene, she does. Holly helps her flirt with him over text. And then again. And again. Now she’s stuck texting him as her cousin, and Elda is the one going on the date. Holly thought she could settle for just conversation with Danny, but talking with him is some kind of magic. He’s got the perfect comebacks, she makes him laugh, they text until everyone is asleep.

She just can’t ever tell him it’s her he’s really texting.


Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book has hot texts, gingerbread wars, and a slow-burn romance that could melt a Minnesota winter

My Thoughts:

***I received an ARC through Netgalley for an honest review***

I gave this book 3.5 stars. It was cute and fun, but not really anything I hadn’t already read before. I still liked it, but it was nothing new, you know?

In the midst of my contemporary craze, I read this book fairly quickly. While it wasn’t eh best contemporary romance I had ever read in my entire life, it was still a book where I enjoyed the storyline and the characters.

Holly, is a complex. Aside from the puppy tattoo which I think is more cutesy than punk rock, Holly can seem a bit hard core. I mean, Danny was convinced she hated him despite reality being the exact opposite. Holly has really bad self esteem issues caused by constant rejection and I can’t help but relate to that. Holly was a character that I had no problem seeing her point. She pushed people away and was a bit mean to them at times because she was afraid of rejection.

Danny is a sweet guy. His ex girlfriend has definitely caused some damage. Especially considered his breakup happened right after he almost ruins his career by breaking his leg in a basketball related accident. I found it so cute that whenever him and his friends were talking about the Page girls, they would always talk about the hot one, now to everyone else the hot one was Elda, but Danny always thought they were talking about Holly. It was absolutely adorable his quiet crush on her. He was never the obnoxious athlete that is common in YA and teen movies. He was the gentle nerd/athlete who just wanted to be good at everything, I can appreciate that.

The two characters together was pure chemistry. They had so much in common and could talk about anything. Although, I have to dock points because they talked shit about Game of Thrones, and I’m obsessed with that show. Besides that obvious blunder, they were in fact, a very cute book couple. 


I would recommend this book to anyone currently going through a contemporary craze. It’s nothing that absolutely blew my mind, but it definitely helps with the craving. 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Stephen King Book Tag

I watched the It movie on opening day. Funny story, I went about two hours early with my friend to make sure we got good seats. The theatre ended up not even being full. I mean, it was a four o'clock showtime, but it was opening day so it should have been really busy. I guess it was better that it wasn't. I also have to mention, some lady brought her small children to see this movie. This movie was terrifying and I bet her children will be scarred for life. I just wanted to mention that. It was a wild movie going experience. 



I should also note that this tag wasn't originally in English, I had to translate it from French and while I speak some French I am not the best at it so some of the questions may be wrong. I just thought you should be aware of that before hand. Disclaimer.

How many Stephen King books do you own?

9

How did you discover this author?



The movie The Shining, I was really into horror movies at the time.

What is the first book you read by him?



The Shining, it's probably Stephen King's most recognized work as it is also an incredibly famous movie, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that this is the first one to catch my eye.

How long have you been a fan?

For about five years now.

What is your favorite book? Who made you most afraid?


(I was going to use a picture of the book cover, but then I came across this badass picture and decided to use it instead. When I clicked on the photo it linked back to the Goodreads page so I don't actually know who made this, but I totally commend them for making such an awesome poster.)

My Favorite book as of now is Doctor Sleep. 



The character who scares me the most is Pennywise the Clown. I’m terrified of clowns.

Which book did you like least?



Cell, it took me quite a while to get through this one, and even when I was reading it, it was more like skim reading because I didn't care.

Do you have any Stephen King books in your TBR pile that you have not read yet?

Four: Finders Keepers, End of Watch, Under the Dome, and It.

What is your favorite new book?



I feel like I may not have translated this question correctly, but I’ll give it a go. I’m assuming this means, what is a newer book that I love, and if I’m not counting Doctor Sleep, then I would have to go with Mr. Mercedes. It was such a good book.

What do you like most in the style of this author?

His books always feel very nostalgic, no matter if they are scary or just about crime, they have this coming of age type feel that I love.

What do you think of adaptations? What is your favorite?




I for the most part really enjoy the adaptations, some could be better, but there are definitely some amazing ones out there like Stand By Me and the Shawshank Redemption that are pretty amazing. My favorite would have to be the original It mini series. The new It movie was a lot better in quality than the mini series, the mini series had a perfect mix of horror and the coming of age feeling that is attributed with a lot of Stephen King's work and I love it.

We all float down here.


Feel free to add me on social media! And you can follow my blog in the side bar to be notified when I post!

Jessie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) Instagram Follow