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Thursday 18 December 2014

When Customers Ask Me For Recommendations

Hey guys! I don't know if I've mentioned, but I recently got a job at a book store, which I'm loving so far! We're allowed to sticker books as staff books, ones we guarantee as good reads that we love and would recommend, which I LOVE, as someone who runs a blog basically to recommend books. I thought I'd share with you guys which books I staff-picked or mention quite often when I'm asked for recommendations!

1. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – This is always the one I recommend when customers ask me for recommendations for teen or fantasy novels! As you may know, I absolutely adore this series and wish everyone would read it!

2. Graceling by Kristin Cashore – Another fantasy I'm constantly recommending, I love love love it.

3. I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson – For those looking for a contemporary that will break their heart a bit and make them think.

4. Everyday by David Levithan – When people ask for something a bit different, for something for people who like John Green but also want something a bit more than contemporary...

5. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi – For those "I love Hunger Games and Divergent" people who don't want to stray from dystopians

Those are just a few of the books I feel like I'm always recommending, but as I continue on in the job, I'll perhaps post a few more!

Happy reading!

Friday 5 December 2014

Guest Post: Take Your Child To A Bookstore Day

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day
How to Build Literacy, Support Community, & Make Magic Happen
All in One Day

In 2010 I had two young children whom I was bringing to story hour at our local bookstore almost every week. After all, what better activity to do with kids? It was enriching, fun, even relaxing. I didn’t have to feel guilty when I drank that 700 calorie butterscotch latte from the coffee bar. I was running back and forth between adult fiction and the flower-flocked children’s section—working off the calories for sure.

My kids probably didn’t realize it was as much of a treat for me as for them. Which started me thinking—were other parents in on this secret? How many children knew the pleasure of spending time in a bookstore?

I frequent the mystery listserv, DorothyL, and a more avid group of readers you couldn’t hope to find. When I floated the idea for Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, bloggers on the listserv spread the word. My husband designed a poster, a website, and bookmarks, and we designated the first Saturday in December as Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. This would coincide with holiday gift giving, hopefully giving people the idea that books make great presents. Just two weeks later, 80 bookstores were celebrating.

That summer my husband and I loaded the kids into the car and drove cross-country, visiting more than fifty bookstores. (You can tell he’s a supportive guy). In 2011, the second annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day found over 350 bookstores celebrating in all 50 states. Some planned special celebrations—children’s book authors, puppet makers, singers, even a baker who led kids in a gingerbread cookie decorating activity—while others simply hung a poster in the window. When 2013 came around, and the number had risen to over 600 independent bookstores, and one major chain, we knew that word was getting out. Kids + bookstores = magic.

And maybe something even more than that.

There’s a cultural wave behind Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. The word locavore isn’t just for a Dr. Seuss story anymore. Supporting your local community and the resurgence of Main Street are goals that more and more people recognize as important to build strong citizens as well as strong readers.

You know that old ad campaign, “Orange juice isn’t just for breakfast anymore”? I hear that now as, “Bookstores aren’t just for reading anymore.”

And by that I mean more than the fact that you can also buy toys, cards, gifts, or have your butterscotch latte at a bookstore. Bookstores are places where people come together over ideas and engage in a cultural conversation. That concept is so important I have to say it again. They are places where people come together. And booksellers are a group who know how to zig while others are zagging, so impassioned are they by their life’s pursuit. Their stores are places of physical interaction in an increasingly virtual world.

When you take a child to a bookstore, you stimulate his mind and all five senses. (If taste seems a stretch, just let her have the whipped cream on your latte). There’s a tactile dimension to the experience that seems rare these days. You also make that child a crucial part of the place where he lives, supporting it and helping it grow.

Best of all, these things happen in a guise that to the child is sheer magic. On the shelves of a bookstore sit gateways into whole new worlds. Children go into bookstores—but they come back out having journeyed somewhere else entirely.

This Saturday, December 6, 2014 is the fifth annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. Whether you take your own child, a child you know, or the child inside yourself to a bookstore, together let’s build literacy, support community, and make magic happen.

Jenny Milchman is a suspense novelist and mom from the Hudson River Valley who once drove past Disney with her children en route to the nearest bookstore.

NOTE FROM ME: As someone who works in a book store, seeing kids come in with their parents, excited to be there and just so in love with books is one of the best things I can see in day. 

Happy reading!

Thursday 4 December 2014

Review: The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count:  470 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: November 4th 2011
Find it on Goodreads: The Retribution of Mara Dyer
Source: Purchased

Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.
She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.
She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.
Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.
Retribution has arrived.

The conclusion to this series was a long-awaited one, but thankfully it was worth the wait. The Mara Dyer series is completely twisted and mind-bending and I love it so much. While the beginning of this book was a bit slow, I knew that as soon as I got to the last third, I would be instantly hooked once again and wouldn't be able to put it down, which is exactly what happened. I don't want to spoil ANYTHING from the other books in case some of you haven't read them, but I will say that this conclusion, while a bit slow in the beginning, was incredible once it picked up. There were so many loose ends from the last book that were thankfully addressed and all the twists and turns made it still feel familiar to the original first novel. The ending was a bit bitter-sweet, but I was glad about how it turned out and am looking forward to rereading this entire series to get the full effect of the twisted and romantic trilogy that is Mara Dyer. 

Happy reading!

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count:  264 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: April 5th 2011
Find it on Goodreads: Where She Went
Source: Purchased

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.
Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

I actually don't know how to rate this based on anything other than my feelings and emotions that revolve around this book and these characters. How on earth had I not read this series before now? I'm so in love with Mia's and Adam's story and Gayle Forman's writing. This book just filled me with warm feelings but also pulled at my heart as Mia and Adam come together once again after such a tragedy,  both different people than we had seen in the first book, yet still familiar. I really enjoyed reading from Adam's perspective, it gave him a bit more depth than the mysterious and gorgeous love interest that I had seen him as in If I Stay. It was really interesting to me to see how the aftermath of the accident has affected him as well as Mia, and where his music had taken him. I definitely loved the look into their lives once more and this whole book just played with my heart like crazy. 

Happy reading!

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.This week's topic  is: Winter TBR.


That's my list for the week! Let me know if you posted a list this week and I'll check it out!
Happy reading!

Friday 21 November 2014

Currently Watching

While reading is my favourite form of entertainment in story-telling, I won't lie; watching a bit of TV and unwinding after a long day with a favourite show is really great. I thought I'd share with you guys some of the shows I'm watching right now and maybe get recommendations for new one's I should add to my list!

Currently on air:

Once Upon A Time: Yes, I know that a lot of the acting isn't too great, but let's be real: the whole premise of it all and the characters are just so intriguing and tug at my heart way too much for me to let go.

Supernatural: Supernatural is probably my all time favourite show. I love the story, the characters, the heartbreak, the humour, everything. I was not supposed to get so attached to this show!

Reign: This kind of started out as a 'guilty pleasure' show, but I'm no longer ashamed of my love for Francis/Mary and all of this show. No matter how historically inaccurate it is.

How To Get Away With Murder: I DID NOT EXPECT TO LOVE THIS SHOW SO MUCH. I started watching it because a certain Dean Thomas (Alfred Enoch) is the male protagonist and then I was completely hooked. The representation in this show is amazing and the storyline is so intriguing and I'm HOOKED.

On Netflix:

Vampire Diaries: *blushes* so I wanted something easy to watch, nothing to get too attached to so that I could have a bit of background sound while I did easy homework, and so far I'm not tooooo attached, but I know that's gonna change. Soon.

Gilmore Girls: I've been meaning to watch this for so long, and now that it's on Netflix, I'm so happy! I love it!

Suits: This show rekindled my childhood dream of studying law, honestly. I know it's not like it is on TV, but I don't care, I'm grateful to this show for doing so.

Okay, so that's what I'm watching currently! I don't watch all of them at once or anything like that, usually I'll switch around, especially with the Netflix one's, but it's nice to have a few shows to watch after a super long day! Do you guys watch any of these shows? What are you loving on TV right now? Let me know! :)

Happy reading!

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Review: Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Author: Adi Alsaid
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Page Count:  352 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: July 29th 2014
Find it on Goodreads: Let's Get Lost
Source: Purchased

Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.
Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.
There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.
Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

Intriguing premise with a surprise twist at the end, this book definitely lived up to the hype. I love travel/road trip books, as well as mysterious main characters, so this book was a great fit for me, as the story takes us on Leila's journey to see the Northern Lights, finding friends and adventure along the way. There's one part where Leila and Sonia are traveling to Hope, BC through all of these places that I actually know and I could picture their route so perfectly it was a bit unnerving. There's nothing like reading a book set in places you live or have been. I loved all of the character studies this book contained, with these lost people all finding this one lost girl. The final twist was surprising and a bit heartbreaking, but I loved where the story went and would definitely recommend this book to anyone.

Happy reading!

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I Can't Wait For

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.This week's topic  is: Top Ten Sequels I'm Excited For.

Already Released: 


Coming Soon:

9. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (no cover yet)
10. The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick (no cover yet)

I actually didn't start too many series this year.. at all. I don't even know if I started one that I'm excited to continue.. It was a lot of sequels and stand alones that I read this year. But anyway...That's my list for this week! Let me know if you participate in this meme!

Happy reading!

Monday 10 November 2014

Am I Reading The Same Thing Over and Over?

I haven't been reading much YA lately. I'm not exactly in a reading slump, I've just been reading other things and taking my time with these books, not rushing through them too quickly. Non-fiction and modern classics have filled my reading list lately and I'm honestly in love with it. These books are new (well, not all of them) and fresh, filled with stories I haven't read a million times before.

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely still adore YA. But I am getting a little tired of the repetition and predictability that comes along with so much of it. While the stories may be different on the surface, lately it feels like I'm reading the same thing over and over again, from the same voice, the same narrator, just embellished with little differences to make the similarities not so obvious. Reading these books of essays and short stories from narrators in the time of life that I'm soon entering is comforting, interesting, and new. I guess just like reading stories from 17 year old narrators was more interesting when I was 14. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I've never felt quite comfortable with people my own age... not quite understanding everything that people my age do or talk about. I haven't had a very exciting teenagehood in the sense of typical teenage experiences. I've never been in a relationship, never had my heart romantically broken.... It's mostly been school and family stuff. But YA focuses so much on romance that I'm finding it hard to relate to these stories, to find them riveting. I've read the badboy/niceguy/confusedgirl love triangle. I've read the quirky girl/quiet boy romance. I've read the girl-hates-boy-loves-girl-loves-boy mess... all entwined with some supernatural/paranormal/dystopian conflict. I need something new... I don't know, maybe I'm entering my 'pretentious reading phase,' prepping for university. I still love YA, but I'm finding more interest in either series/authors that I've read before and am invested in, as well as essays and non fiction and poetry... I need something new in YA and just don't know what to do.

Have any recommendations? Any advice? Let me know if you do, cause I need new things to read!

Oh and greetings from Ottawa!
Happy reading!

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count:  201 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: April 2nd 2009
Find it on Goodreads: If I Stay
Source: Purchased

Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.
I open my eyes wide now.I sit up as much as I can.And I listen.
Stay, he says.
Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?
Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.
If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

Finally read this and so glad I did, but also so mad that I put it off for so long. This book was beautiful and heartbreaking and had me in tears multiple times out of both joy and sadness. I consider Gayle Forman a favourite author of mine, but now I feel like I can truly say that having read this. Forman's writing style is always impressive and I feel like her name can simply guarantee a good read. Mia's story was really interesting I loved all of the flashbacks, tying the pieces together so that the story was more than just a girl in a coma. It was a story of love, friendship, family, music.... It was really quite beautiful. 

Happy reading!

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To Reread

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.This week's topic  is: Top Ten Books I Want to Reread.



What books are you hoping to reread?
Happy reading!
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