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Sunday, April 26, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: REBEL BELLE BY RACHEL HAWKINS

Book: Rebel Belle
Author: Rachel Hawkns
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile, 345 pages
Goodreads
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:

Harper is just your typical southern belle teenager, enjoying her junior year of high school. On the night of homecoming, when Harper is expecting to win Homecoming Queen, she is suddenly thrown into a world unknown to her. She witnesses the murder of the school custodian, who before he dies, passes on his magic powers and strength to Harper. Haper soon realizes that her power is to protect David Stark, her competitor since childhood. Will Harper accept the power bestowed upon her or will she ignore everything?

Review:

Rebel Belle was a fun, light read. I was captivated throughout the story and wanted to find out what was going on and how the story would end.

Having never grew up in the South, it is always interesting to read about how it is custom to be polite all of the time (I thought it was just a Canadian thing for awhile). I liked reading about how Harper spent time with her family and baked cake for her aunts.

I was intrigued b the struggles that Harper had to go through with her boyfriend Ryan. As a reader, I could tell they are not meant to be together but their relationship becomes more interesting as the story ends.

Bee was also a character I enjoyed reading because of how loyal she is to Harper. Loyalty is very important to me in friendship. One character I found hard to like is Saylor Stark. I don't why she had to lie to David about his family and I found her methods to protecting David to be hasty.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Rebel Belle and give it ****/5 stars. I am excited to read Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins, the second in this series of books. Have you read Rebel Belle, is so, did you enjoy the plot? What about David Stark, did you not fall in love with him?


Friday, April 10, 2015

SPRING BOOK HAUL!

 Hi everyone! Winter is finally coming to an end and spring is here! Well, at least the temperatures aren't below freezing anymore even if the sky is grey. The nicer weather has brought out this mood in me to keep accomplishing things and to keep at my reading goals. So I went and did a little shopping (damage to my account was done) and purchased a few books I have been meaning to read.


  • The Shadow Cabinet (Shades of London #3) by Maureen Johnson. I absolutely love The Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson and her third book in the series came out earlier this year. I can't wait to read it!
  • If I Stay Collection by Gayle Forman. The If I Stay movie attracted a lot of buzz but I haven't seen it yet. I wanted to read the book first so I saw this collection of both If I Stay and Where She Went and had to get it.
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I have read Bossypants by Tina Fey and loved it. Not being a biography lover, I think there is something awesome about females talking about how they got to be successful in the name of helping other females become successful. I have seen some book clubs on YouTube reading this book and I knew that it was something I needed to pick up, 
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. Again, I really enjoy reading about successful females for some reason. I think this book will be very humorous and I could use a good laugh
So that concludes my Spring Book Haul. Leave a comment letting me know if you have read any of these novels and what your thoughts were. Are any of these books on your TBR pile? If so, which one?

Don't Forget to be Awesome!

Tara

Sunday, January 18, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: LANDLINE BY RAINBOW ROWELL

Book: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, 2014
Rating:  ***/5 Stars
Synopsis:

Georgie McCool is a wife to Neal, mother to two young daughters, best friend to Seth, and is a sitcom writer living in California. Neal is a stay at home dad who studied microbiology but hated the ocean.

Georgie and Neal's marriage seems to be rocky, Georgie always busy with her career and Neal getting left behind. When Georgie and her best friend Seth's show gets  interest from a producer, they are told they have to write so many episodes before meeting the producer after Christmas. This means Georgie has to stay in California over the holidays while Neal and their two daughters go to Omaha.

Through a landline telephone, Georgie is able to communicate with her husband but is everything as it seems through the landline communication? Will Georgie and Neal's marriage make it after the holidays?

Review:

Being a big fan of Rowell's books, I thought I would give her adult novel, Landline a read. This novel is filled with the same witty dialogue as her other novels and tackles tough problems in the same light but are the characters as likable? I did not think that Georgie and Neal were likable. I liked Georgie's best friend Seth and her sister Heather but Georgie and Neal were both selfish in so many ways. Neal clearly loved Georgie to no end but could never understand her ambition nor her friendship with Seth. Georgie took advantage of Neal always being there to do everything with the kids that she didn't realize the sacrifices that Neal made to do it all.

I liked the use of the landline phone to communicate back in time, I thought that was an interesting plot line for the novel. However, I could not understand how Neal's phone was dead for the holidays. No matter how angry you are at your wife, would you actually not do anything in the way of communicating with her over Christmas?

Seeing where the novel was going and who the characters were, I was actually rooting for Seth to get with Georgie at times. Seth was there before Neal and has always been Georgie's rock. I thought he was the only one who showed an ounce of human quality.

Overall, I think Rainbow Rowell did a good job at portraying human beings, their flaws and all, in a real way. You could connect with the characters but you didn't have to like them. I give Landline 3/5 stars.

Have you read Landline by Rainbow Rowell? Did you like it? Did you find the characters to be likable?

Don't forget to be awesome,
Tara

Sunday, January 11, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER BY STEPHANIE PERKINS

Book: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton, 2014
Rating: ***** 5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Isla is a senior at a boarding school in Paris where she has a secret crush on a boy named Josh. A happenstance meeting in New York City where they are both from leads to flirtation that lasts into the school year where they fall in love. Upon certain circumstances, Josh is forced back home and Isla and Josh have a hard time communicating their feelings. Will their love last, who knows?

Review:

I am a big fan of Stephanie Perkin's Anna and the French Kiss (Hint: St. Clair and Anna make an appearance in this book) but I did not like Lola and the Boy Next Door. So I was unsure of what to expect from Isla and the Happily Ever After but upon starting the book I knew it was going to be a winner for me.

The setting of the book is in Paris which is what I loved about Anna and the French Kiss and it features comic books, hints of political life, and romantic getaways to Spain. Isla is a very likable character even she becomes jealous and self-depricating. I feel like Isla is a character that girls can connect with.

Josh is the perfect boy to fall in love with. He is head over heels in love with Isla and would risk everything just to be with her. I love his loyalty to his friends and his motivation to become a comic book artist.

I thought that Isla and Hattie's relationship was very interesting and I liked how things were resolved between the two of them at the end of the book. I have a similar relationship with my older sister and I could highly relate to Isla and Hattie.

Overall, I give Isla and the Happily Ever After 5/5 stars for being a cute and honest love story set in Paris.

Have you read Isla and the Happily Ever After? If so, did you like it? How did it compare to the other two Stephanie Perkins novels? Did you like Lola and the Boy Next Door because I did not! Let me know what you think in the comments!

Happy reading,
Tara

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My 2015 New Years Resolutions!

Hello my wonderful readers! I hope you all have had a lovely time over the holidays. I absolutely love the New Year as it is a time of reflection and predicting. 2014 was a busy year for me as I adjusted to life as a working twenty something and not a university student. I have grown up a lot in the past year (just check my Facebook statuses) but I was unable to read a lot in the second half of the year. 

This year I want to manage my time more wisely. Instead of trying to read 50 books, I brought it down to 40. I also want to blog more about my life because I think it is fun to read about other people's lives. I also want to feel more apart of the community by commenting on more blogs and being more active on Twitter. Lastly, a more personal goal is to travel more this year. Will I be backpacking across Europe this year? Probably not but I have plans to go to Ottawa, Haliburton, and Hamilton this year.

What are your New Years resolutions? How do you plan on committing to completing them?

Don't forget to be awesome! 

Tara

Sunday, December 28, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: THE GOLDFINCH BY DONNA TARTT

Book: The Goldficnh
Author: Donna Tartt
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2013
Pages: 771
Rating: ***/5 Stars

Synopsis:
Theodore Decker is just a boy when he is a victim of a terrorist attack on a museum in New York. Losing his mother in the attack, Theo's life becomes wrapped around a painting titled The Goldfinch. Moving from New York to Las Vegas and then back to New York, Theo has many adventures with varying characters, some are part of high society New York and others are part of the underground crime world.

The allure of the painting and where it leads Theo is the real mystery to this book.

Review:

The Goldfinch is a tomb filled with interesting characters, some more likable than others. Hobie, a person who restores furniture, is my favourite character as he shows Theo compassion and kindness.

Upon the beginning of this novel, I thought it was a coming of age book where the character learns from his struggles but I was wrong. Theo's life is one crazy instance after another and with only one or two constant people in his life, he hardly has any direction.

Theo's character is interesting as he very much believes in right and wrong. His mother represents rightness to him whereas his father represented everything that was wrong in his childhood. As a young man, this struggle of his belief in right and wrong and how the two are not mutually exclusive lead him into many instances where he is in the wrong.

For example, he is in love with a girl who completed him but the two were never together. Theo chooses to pursue her while being engaged to another woman. While the two are right together, Theo goes about it all in the wrong way.

This novel was lengthy and there were several different plots to the novel. Some friends of mine thought the ending showed that there was no point to all of his struggles but what I got from the book was that Theo had to learn that his belief in right and wrong being two mutually exclusive things was never true and that sometimes you had to wrong things to to the right point.

I give this novel 3/5 stars mainly because I didn't think it needed to be too long. The parts about high society New York were irrelevant in many cases.

Don't forget to be awesome!
Tara

Sunday, October 26, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: WE WERE LIARS BY E. LOCKHART

Book: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press, 2014
Rating: ***/5 Stars

Synopsis: Cady is an upperclass teenager living in the East Coast of the United States. Cady's family owns property with several houses and buildings on an island in which they visit every summer. One summer things change for Cady and her family and the next summer she visits it becomes her mission to find out what happened.

Review:

I have never read any of E. Lockhart's novels but I was looking forward to reading this book because of the hype that the book has had over the blogging community. Many book bloggers have been raving about this novel and I needed to read it.

I must say, I was highly disappointment. I found the poetic language that was used made the characters seem one dimensional. I found the book took place in modern times but the teenagers hardly used technology and I found the way Cady referred to her family was not with the times of today's teenagers. I saw how disconnected everyone in Cady's family was from reality and I had a hard time caring about the characters.

I did find the twist at the end very enlightening and if I were to read the novel again I would want to see the foreshadowing that was placed throughout the book in preparation for the twist. I think the ending was my favourite part of the whole book and that is what saved the book for me.

Have you read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart? If so did you like it? Did you find the book was connected with reality or did you find it too dream like?

Happy reading,
Tara