Heartless

By Marissa Meyer

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: n/a

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: November 8, 2016

Published by Feiwel and Friends

My Rating: three-half-stars

Heartless

Cover image and summary from Goodreads:

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

This was a highly-anticipated read for me! I love Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series so much, and I was very much looking forward to reading something else from her. I was therefore beyond excited to win a prize pack from Raincoast Books which included a copy of Heartless!

I wanted to love this book. I really. really did. I enjoyed aspects of Heartless: getting to read about familiar characters in a new light, Marissa Meyer’s descriptive writing, and the concept of Cath’s transformation from a young woman with hopes and dreams into the Red Queen, with whom we are familiar. I just didn’t find myself particularly invested in the story and didn’t find that I cared about any of the characters. At times my interest waned – I found the book too slow.

But! I know a lot of people have loved this book, so I may be the odd one out here. This is still a recommended read for Marissa Meyer and Alice in Wonderland fans.

What Light

By Jay Asher

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: n/a

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: October 18, 2016

Published by Razorbill

My Rating: three-half-stars

What Light

Cover image and summary from Goodreads:

Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

What Light is a love story that’s moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.

I picked this up right after Donald Trump was elected US President, and while I was really sick. I hoped this book would be a fun distraction from all of that, plus it’s Christmas themed! I love Christmas!

For the most part, this was a really cute, charming story. I liked reading about Sierra’s life being partially spent on a Christmas tree farm. I felt for her, the way she had to split her life between two places.

I liked the romance and the friendships. I didn’t fall in love with the book, but I enjoyed it. Recommended – especially for those looking for some holiday reading!

The Wild Robot

By Peter Brown

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: n/a

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: April 5, 2016

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

My Rating: four-stars

The Wild Robot

Cover image and summary from Goodreads:

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz’s only hope is to learn from the island’s hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her….

This is a book that I received as an ARC at this year’s Ottawa book blogger meet up. I loved the cover art and concept, but I don’t read middle grade, so I wasn’t sure if/when I’d get around to it.

I picked it up on a Friday when I felt like something that would be fun and light, and for some reason, I thought The Wild Robot would be that kind of book. It turned out to be much more moving and heart-wrenching than I expected, but I loved it! The story of Roz and her life on the island, and developing friendship with the animals and deciding to look after an orphaned gosling, was full of so much heart. There was also humour and I’m not going to lie, there were a few tears on my part!

This ARC had some illustrations in it, but had many placeholders indicating that the final art was still to come. I’d love to get a finished copy for my shelf and see the final art!

Not my usual read, but definitely recommended!

Week In Review

November 14 – 20

This has been a long week! I don’t know why – maybe because I was home sick almost the entire week before – but this week felt like it wouldn’t end!

wp-1479649482389.jpegBut finally Friday was here, which meant I could pick up my pre-order of Pokemon Moon! I’ve been so excited for this game, and I rushed home to play for the rest of the night. I’ve been playing pretty much non-stop since I got the game, and I really love it so far! I do feel like there were too many cutscenes in the beginning, but now I’m in the swing of it and loving it! I especially love the Alolan variations of classic Pokemon. They’ve made lots of changes to the game with this version, and I think they’re good changes!

So all I’m going to be doing for the next 300 hours of my life, other than going to work, is playing Pokemon! Now to get myself a copy of Pokemon Sun…

I’m also in Christmas Mode now! I went out with my BFF to pick up a new wreath for our front door:

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So pretty and festive!

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It was also a pretty exciting week in terms of books! I got three from Penguin Random House Canada that I’m super excited to read:

The Elephants in My Backyard, Rajiv Surendra;

Swing Time, Zadie Smith;

The Memory Illusion, Dr. Julia Shaw (non-fiction!).

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada!!

I also received some e-ARCs this past week both from the publisher and via Edelweiss:

The Valiant, Lesley Livingston (I heard her talk about this book at a recent event at my library, and I am beyond excited to read this);

Beautiful Broken Girls, Kim Savage; and

Queens of Geek, Jen Wilde.

Thank you!

I haven’t finished any books this past week! Currently, I’m reading Stephanie Garber’s Caraval. I’m really enjoying it, but a lot of my reading time is going to be devoted to Pokemon for the next while.

On the blog, I shared my reviews of The Sun Is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon (so good) and Paper Princess by Erin Watt.

Coming up this week on the blog are my thoughts on The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown, and What Light, by Jay Asher

That’s it for me. Back to Pokemon! Happy Sunday!

Paper Princess

By Erin Watt

Source: Purchased

Series: The Royals #1

Publication Date: April 4, 2016

Published by Timeout LLC

My Rating: three-half-stars

Paper Princess

Cover image and summary from Goodreads:

From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

I don’t really know what I expected from this book, but it was so highly recommended to me by book friends that I couldn’t resist when it was available for a really good price from the Kobo store.

This book was, in some ways, not my usual read. It’s definitely racier than what I typically read, and there are some things that were just too bizarre for me to overlook (e.g. Easton calling Ella ‘sis’…), and I kind of couldn’t stand how awful the Royals were to Ella. However, the book was also entertaining and a page-turner.

I have already bought the other two books in the series (good deals on Kobo!) and given the out-of-nowhere cliffhanger ending of Paper Princess, I am looking forward to reading them!