Sunday, April 26, 2015

Booking Into Spring Readathon 2015

Books I Want To Read

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong


April 26th:

Reading: Catching Fire
Pages Read: 29
Books Completed: -

April 27th:

Reading: Catching Fire
Pages Read: 6
Books Completed: -

April 28th:

Reading: Catching Fire
Pages Read: 0
Books Completed: -

April 29th:

Reading: Catching Fire
Pages Read: 0
Books Completed: -

April 30th:

Reading: Catching Fire
Pages Read: 73
Books Completed: 1

May 1st:

Reading: Mockingjay
Pages Read: 23
Books Completed: -

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

If I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman | Review

Series: If I Stay

Published: If I Stay: 2009 by Dutton Penguin

Where She Went: 2011 by Dutton Juvenile

Pages: If I Stay: 210 
Where She Went: 304

Date Finished: If I Stay: September 20th, 2014

Where She Went: April 6th, 2015

Rating: If I Stay: 4/5

Where She Went: 4/5

Age Recommendation: -

If I Stay:

This book was absolutely amazing... I was completely dumbfounded at how utterly beautiful this book was. You felt like you were right there with Mia at all times and even though the car accident scene was a bit gory-sounding and the book could be really heartbreaking at times, so much so that it made me cry, I felt like I could really connect with Mia and understand where she was coming from. If I had to choose between my parents and my brother or my friends and my extended family when I had as great of a family as she did, I don't think I could do it.

If I Stay is the first in a series of two books by Gayle Forman about a teenage girl named Mia who gets in a car accident on a snow day. Her mother and father end up getting killed instantly and her brother is severely injured and Mia ends up having an out-of-body experience throughout the book where she can see and hear everything that's happening around her. Towards the end of the book, Mia has to make a life changing decision. Should she stay or should she go?

The thing I liked most about this book was the way Mia and her boyfriend Adam's relationship was portrayed. Gayle writes it in such a way that I'm pretty sure every teenage girl and young adult who has read this book are now setting their expectations higher than ever before in order to find their own little brand of "Adam."

I also loved Mia's grandparents. They seemed like a very homey couple who loved their grandchildren with all their hearts. They were always there whenever Mia or her brother needed them.

And finally the ending... The one that everyone either hates or absolutely loves. In my opinion, I thought it was a pretty genius ending. It certainly left me breathless.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman was definitely one of my favourite books that I read in 2014 and I couldn't wait to start the sequel.

Where She Went:

Where She Went was an amazing finale to the If I Stay series. It takes place three years after If I Stay concludes and Adam is now a big rockstar with multi-platinum albums and a killer record deal but ever since Mia left, Adam hasn't been the same. He's really depressed and angry and just can't stop thinking about Mia. Where She Went gives Adam a second chance. Will he be able to win Mia over or will she slip from his grasp yet again?

You could definitely feel Adam's pain in this novel and I honestly felt bad for him. I was extremely frustrated at Mia for being so ruthless and leaving him so abruptly so I was happy when I finally found out her reasoning. I was angry at the remaining members of Shooting Star for being so clueless to Adam's suffering and for being so insensitive towards him for a very unimportant reason, in my opinion. It's not like Adam asked for it...
I was aching for Adam to go after Mia so I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the book. I'm going to miss Adam and Mia so much...

Where She Went is definitely worth the read and if you liked If I Stay, you'll absolutely love this book.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Memory Palace: A Memoir by Mira Bartók | Review

Series: -

Published: August 2011 by Free Press

Pages: 306

Date Finished: April 1st, 2015

Rating: 3/5

Age Recommendation: -

I came across this book a few summers ago in a Vancouver bookstore when I was visiting my friend. At the time I was very heavily depressed so because of that, I was currently interested in reading books of a darker nature. When I read the back of the novel, it seemed like a very promising read and it instantly captured my attention. It only took me a few fleeting seconds to decide to purchase the book. I only began to read it two and a half weeks ago and in the space of about ten to fifteen minutes, I was hooked.

This memoir follows the story of Myra Bartók and her sister Rachel who later change their names to Mira and Natalia. Myra and Rachel grew up in a very crooked home with a schizophrenic mother who paid little attention to the pair when at her worst. Their mother, Norma, had an obsession with Nazis and was certain that they wanted to do her and her family harm. She believed heavily in the Jewish faith which would sometimes be the thing that encouraged her schizophrenic episodes. At one point Norma ends up homeless and it turns out that she has some major health concerns other than her mental illness.

Although Norma was very ill throughout her life, she was probably my favourite character in this memoir because even when faced with such an evil sickness such as schizophrenia, I could feel the love that she had for her daughters above all else. With that being said, my heart didn't sit the same with Mira and Natalia's grandfather. He seemed like a cold, horrible man who was very set in his ways and refused to let go of his past and the way things were done when he was young.

This memoir reads much like a twisted fairy tale. It's almost hard to believe that it's based on a true story. It entranced me from the very first sentence I uttered. The reason I'm giving it three stars lands on one con and one con only. The book was very difficult for me to read at some points because Mira filled the novel with so much detail and information -often presented in long lists of complex objects and the like- that my brain couldn't process it all and I would sometimes find myself having to read portions three or four times over to try to understand and comprehend what was being said.

Overall, this book is a spectacular read and I'd recommend it to anyone who needs to be reminded of the power of strength and love.