ARC Review: The Child by Fiona Barton

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I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Child
Author: Fiona Barton
Publisher: Penguin Books Canada
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): The author of the stunning New York Times bestseller The Widow returns with a brand-new novel of twisting psychological suspense

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn–house by house–into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women–and torn between what she can and cannot tell…

Goodreads | Amazon

Having never read Barton’s first novel, The Widow, I went into this one with no expectations. I am a complete fan now and I look forward to reading more books by this author. The writing style is crisp, which really keeps the story moving along. Also, the characters are well-developed, and interestingly different from one another. The Child is a psychological thriller that will definitely keep you guessing right up until the end.

Mysteries seem to flow better when they are written in a manner that is concise and to the point. I love how The Child has quite short chapters that go from one character’s perspective to the next. Honestly, the book is hard to put down because of this. Once more details are uncovered, you will want to know what the next character is going to do or say. This has to be one of my favourite aspects of Barton’s writing. It is to the point and captures the reader’s attention.

There are four female characters that the story revolves around, which gives a different perspective as to who/what was the cause of this baby to end up in the construction site. Each woman is so interesting, and once their backgrounds are revealed, the characters become very relatable. Kate is a really enjoyable character, as she is the journalist trying to get to the bottom of the story. Her personality and methods to find out the details in an effort to solve the mystery are so engaging.

A perfect thriller is one that will surprise you at every turn. The Child absolutely provides its readers with many twists, turns, and shocks. Just when you think that you have figured out what will happen next, Barton takes the story into a completely new direction. You will be amazed at the ending of this one, for sure.

The Child is a mystery novel that will have it readers suspecting the story throughout. It is an unputdownable book that has a cast of incredible characters. I highly recommend this one to anyone who loves a great thriller.

Waiting on Wednesday #116: Ringer (Replica #2) by Lauren Oliver

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s book:

33913956Title: Ringer
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): Like its ambitious companion novel, Replica, this far-reaching novel by powerhouse bestselling author Lauren Oliver digs deep into questions of how to be a human being in a world where humanity cannot be taken for granted.

In the world outside the Haven Institute, Lyra and Caelum are finding it hard to be human—and neither of them knows where they belong or who they can trust. When Caelum leaves without warning to pursue the dream of a place he belongs, Lyra follows him, convinced that together they will hunt down a cure for the illness that’s slowly consuming her mind. But what they uncover is a shocking connection to their past—even as their future seems in danger of collapsing.

After discovering the uncomfortable truth about her connection to the Haven Institute, Gemma struggles to return to her normal life. But when she learns that her controlling and powerful father has new plans for Lyra and Caelum, Gemma and her boyfriend, Pete, leave in the middle of the night to warn them of the danger they face.When an untimely accident derails them, they are mistaken for the escaped replicas and seized by strangers hired to capture them. The Haven Institute wasn’t destroyed after all, and now Gemma is the one behind the walls.

Lyra’s and Gemma’s stories can be read separately—with either story first—or in alternating chapters, but no matter which way you turn the book, the two distinct stories combine into one breathtaking experience for both heroines and readers alike.

Goodreads | Amazon

Thoughts:

I absolutely loved the first book in this series, Replica. It is so unique and has such an incredible concept. I am very intrigued by the whole human cloning theme, and I can’t wait to read more in this companion novel. The way in which the books are written is actually pretty interesting because the reader can choose where to start and how to read them. Not much longer to wait for this one!

Update Post #2: Summer TBR Wipeout 2017

Wipeout

Can you believe that it is August already, and that we are nearing the end of this summer reading challenge? I have really been enjoying reading some of the backlist titles that have been collecting dust on my bookshelves this summer, and it has been nice to feel a little bit more in control of my reading schedule. I have been polishing off most of the books that I have chosen to read and I only have a few left to finish before the challenge is up!

Here is what I have read for this part of the challenge:

Right now, I am reading A Court of Mist and Fury. I absolutely love Sarah J. Maas, however those mega books that are 600 pages plus are always a struggle for me to read due to time constraints. I have set aside this whole week to indulge in this baby and I am about a quarter of the way through. Also, that pesky sister of mine is going to be listening to the last little bit of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants with me whether she likes it or not! We have less than an hour left to go, so I am sure that we can get that one finished before this challenge is over!

Once these books are all read, I have just a couple more to go, so I am hoping that I have the time to read them all. I am fairly certain that I will, and with titles like these, I think that I will be able to whip them off quite easily!

All of these titles are on my Goodreads shelf if you are interested in learning more!

Book Giveaway Hop: August 2017 New Releases

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Welcome to the July 2017 New Release Giveaway Hop hosted by It Starts at Midnight!

I don’t know if it is just me, but I am finding that there are so many books releasing this month that have incredible covers. One thing that really draws me to a book is its cover, and this month there seems to be so many to drool over. Books such as Wicked Like a Wildfire and Wonder Woman: Warbringer are so stunning, don’t you think?

This giveaway is open to international entries, as long as The Book Depository ships to you! You can enter to win any book published in August 2017 that you are most excited for worth up to $20 USD. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to a notification email with their address and choice of book. Rules.

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Make sure to check out all of the other amazing giveaways on the hop!

Audiobook Review: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

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Title: Noteworthy
Author: Riley Redgate
Narrator: Bailey Carr
Publisher: Abrams
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Stars: 4.5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): A cappella just got a makeover.

Jordan Sun is embarking on her junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts, hopeful that this will be her time: the year she finally gets cast in the school musical. But when her low Alto 2 voice gets her shut out for the third straight year—threatening her future at Kensington-Blaine and jeopardizing her college applications—she’s forced to consider nontraditional options.

In Jordan’s case, really nontraditional. A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshipped…revered…all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

Jordan finds herself enmeshed in a precarious juggling act: making friends, alienating friends, crushing on a guy, crushing on a girl, and navigating decades-old rivalries. With her secret growing heavier every day, Jordan pushes beyond gender norms to confront what it means to be a girl (and a guy) in a male-dominated society, and—most importantly—what it means to be herself.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

Just by reading the summary of Noteworthy, I could tell that I was going to love it. I was not disappointed at all with this book containing some of my favourite components in YA, such as music and a boarding school. The main character is so empowering, and the narrator, Bailey Carr, is the perfect person to bring Jordan to life. This book is everything that I could ask for, and I’m sure that everyone will be able to relate.

This book honestly has everything that I could ask for: a boarding school setting, a cappella groups, a musical rivalry, a realistic cast of characters, and so much humour. It tells the story of a girl named Jordan whose low voice prevents her from getting a role in the school musical. So, she disguises herself as a boy and gets into an elite all male a cappella group. This book is kind of like She’s the Man, but with singing, and I never knew how much I needed a story like this one. I really wish that I had time to read it sooner, but I can safely say that Noteworthy is among my favourite reads this summer.

Jordan is such a great main character. After getting rejected, she is so determined to prove herself and literally stops at nothing to do it. Jordan is so brave to assume an identity that is entirely different from her own, and her experiences always result in hilarity. She also really bashes gender roles while disguised, and I loved the message that she sends in the book. Her character is so realistic and her personality makes her so easy to root for.

I’m so glad to say that my experience with Noteworthy as an audiobook was an incredible one. When I first hit play on the book, I actually recognized the narrator from Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything. Bailey Carr is such a perfect voice for Noteworthy since she is able to capture the sarcastic undertones of Jordan’s thoughts so well. She also does a surprisingly good job with the male voices, which couldn’t have been easy, considering there are 7 boys in the Sharpshooters. If you are looking for a good audiobook to listen to, I would definitely recommend this one for its perfect laugh-out-loud narration.

Noteworthy is the hilarious story of a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join a male a cappella group. I loved the boarding school setting and the main character’s relatability. The narration in the audiobook edition is perfectly sarcastic and adds even more enjoyment to the story. If you have yet to pick up this wonderful book, I strongly encourage you to do so as soon as possible!

Also, there is actually an OST for Noteworthy, which can be found here. It’s so cool to hear the songs mentioned in the book, so be sure to check it out!

Friday Reads #18: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

33245502Summary (from Goodreads): A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

Goodreads | Amazon

I am just a few chapters in and I am already finding myself having a hard time putting this one down. It is told in multiple perspectives and it is so interesting how the details about the victim’s life are perceived by different characters. I love a good thriller and I have high hopes for this one!

Book Beginning:

When they came to tell me, I was angry. Relieved first, because when two police officers turn up on your doorstep just as you’re looking for your train ticket, about to run out of the door to work, you fear the worst.

Friday 56:

She was standing at the stove stirring something, and when she turned round and saw me there, she jumped. But it wasn’t like how usually someone gives you a fright and then you laugh; the fear stayed in her face.

Link-Up: Update Post #2- Summer TBR Wipeout 2017

Wipeout

Can you believe that we are getting close to the end of the Summer TBR Wipeout? I hope that everyone has enjoyed the books that they have chosen/read so far, and that you are making some progress in putting a dent in your TBRS! I look forward to reading about everyone’s experiences in the next week. Make sure to add your post to the linky and don’t forget to pick-up some more entries on the rafflecopter!

GIVEAWAY:

To sweeten the deal, I will also be giving away a book of choice worth up to $20 CAD. As always, the giveaway is open internationally as long as The Book Depository or Amazon ships to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SCHEDULE:

May 25- July 7: Sign-ups open!

Week of July 1: Introductory post- What books are you planning to read this summer?

Week of July 15: Update post #1- Tell us how your reading has been going so far. What books have you read? Were they enjoyable? What’s next on your TBR? Etc.

Week of July 29: Update post #2

Week of August 13: Wrap-up post- How did your summer reading go? Did you wipeout some books from your summer TBR?

Waiting on Wednesday #115: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s book:

28421168Title: Renegades
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): 

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Goodreads | Amazon

Thoughts:

Does this book not scream adventure and excitement? I absolutely love Marissa Meyer and if this series is as amazing as The Lunar Chronicles, we are in for an epic ride! I was honestly sold when I read “secret societies.” It will be interesting to see how Nova’s quest for vengeance pays out and whether we have a new swoon-worthy YA character in Adrian.

Blog Tour, ARC Review, Dream Cast, Playlist & Giveaway: Lucky in Love by Kasie West

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I am so thrilled to be part of the Lucky in Love blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! Kasie West is among my favourite contemporary authors, and her newest book was everything I hoped it would be. Keep reading for a review, dream cast, playlist, and a giveaway!

ABOUT THE BOOK:

book coverLucky in Love by Kasie West
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: July 25th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Links:
Goodreads | AmazonB&NBook DepositoryKoboiBooks

Synopsis:

In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kasie.jpgI write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, and BY YOUR SIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.

Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

REVIEW

I am still fairly new to Kasie West’s books, but I seem to enjoy every single one I read. Lucky in Love is no exception with its creative concept about a girl who wins the lottery. I really enjoyed the main character and her wisdom about money, and the theme of family is so sweet. As usual, this book is so adorable and the perfect book to relax with this summer.

Lucky in Love is such an original story! It tells the story of a girl who is struggling economically, but ends up winning the lottery with a ticket that she bought on her 18th birthday. Maddie quickly becomes popular as her classmates learn about her win, and she must decide how to react and who to trust. I loved reading about her efforts to keep her coworker, Seth, from learning about the news, and the zoo setting has got to be one of my favourites. This book is so cute, as always in a Kasie West book, making it the perfect read for the summer.

I loved Maddie’s character. Despite winning the lottery, she is able to remain level-headed. I really admired the fact that she is careful about how she spends her money, although she does make a few slips here and there. Maddie is also a good student, and attends regular study groups with her friends. I found her to be relatable, since she is hard-working and supportive of her family. Maddie’s character is so realistic, and she really behaves like someone her age would.

Another great aspect of this story is the big theme of family. The first thing Maddie does with her lottery money is give some of it to her parents and brother to help them get back on their feet. Her parents are fighting, and she tries her hardest to keep them together. Maddie is also so caring towards her brother and is able to give him the funds to go back to college. Family is one of my favourite topics in YA, and I always appreciate reading about a realistic and caring family.

Lucky in Love is a unique story about a girl who wins the lottery. The main character is so logical, even after her big win, and relatable. I especially loved the theme of family and Maddie’s support for her parents and brother. This is classic Katie West, and I’m sure that longtime fans of her books won’t be disappointed.


DREAM CAST

 

PLAYLIST


GIVEAWAY

ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY:

  • 1 ARC of Lucky in Love
  • US only
  • Follow the tour for more chances to win
  • Runs through July 31
  • Please read Rules & Regs in Rafflecopter

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Follow the Tour

ARC Review: Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock

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I received an ARC from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Just Friends
Author: Tiffany Pitcock
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Stars: 3.5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): A new spin on the classic smart-girl-and-bad-boy setup, this witty contemporary romance shows how easily a friendship – even one built on an elaborate lie – can become so much more.

Jenny meets Chance for the very first time when she is assigned as his partner in their Junior Oral Communications class. But after they rescue a doomed assignment with one clever lie, the whole school is suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A’s and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever. It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow―especially when you really, really want it to be the truth.

With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that TV shows and movies have always promised. Through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are “just friends.” But that might be the biggest lie of all.

Debut author Tiffany Pitcock delivers a spot-on depiction of first love and the high school rumor mill in Just Friends, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

Just Friends is a cute and quick read about two teens who fake being friends since childhood after they are brought together because of a school assignment. The opposite personalities of the two main characters are interesting to read about, and both Jenny and Chance visibly transform as the story progresses. I still enjoyed this book, but I found it to be a bit too clichéd for my taste.

This book is so adorable! It tells the story of Jenny and Chance, two teens who meet in an Oral Communications class. On a whim, they successfully convince their class, and the entire school, that they have been best friends for years. However, as the two become closer and actually get to know each other, they slowly become more than friends. I loved how Jenny and Chance make up cute stories about their childhood together and how they are able to create such an intricate backstory even though they just met. The way that all this happens so spontaneously is also enjoyable and makes their interactions so believable. This book may seem like pure fluff, but it actually gets pretty deep, so this is a good one for those looking for a mix of cuteness and seriousness.

One of the aspects that I especially enjoyed about this novel is the fact that Jenny and Chance are complete opposites. Jenny is the good girl who does well in school, and Chance is the bad boy with a bad reputation when it comes to relationships. The book is split into dual POVs, which I really enjoyed. Reading about the two characters pine for each other and getting both sides of a misunderstanding is so entertaining for the reader. Jenny and Chance also really change each other throughout the book, and it is so interesting to see how much they both transform from the beginning.

While I enjoyed the book, I still had one main issue with it that lowered my rating. The story is so unrealistic and hard to believe that it becomes a bit frustrating. For example, no one, not even Jenny’s best friend, thinks to question this friendship that has supposedly been going on for years. I just found it a bit strange how Jenny’s friend doesn’t seem too hurt by this new “best friend” that Jenny never told her about. There are also some aspects later on in the story concerning Chance that I can’t really describe because of spoilers, but his whole family situation seemed a bit far-fetched to me. There are also so many clichés, which I kind of expected, but it becomes a bit cringey after so long.

Just Friends is a cute read about two strangers who fake years of friendship after a school assignment bring them together. I enjoyed the main characters’ differences and the use of multiple perspectives. This book is still enjoyable, but the pacing and countless clichés weren’t for me.