Rating Scale Update

I've decided to switch up the Rating Scale. Up until now it looked like this:

1/10 - Hated it.
2/10 - Really didn't like it.
3/10 - Didn't like it.
4/10 - Not my favourite.
5/10 - Somewhat liked it.
6/10 - Liked it.
7/10 - Liked it a lot.
8/10 - Really liked it.
9/10 - Loved it.
10/10 - Absolutely LOVED it.

I just found I had given myself too many options, so from now on it will look like this:

5/5 - I Was Blown Away
4/5 - I Really Really Liked It
3/5 - I Liked It
2/5 - Not Horrible, But Not My Favourite
1/5 - Really Didn't Like It

Hopefully that makes the ratings easier to follow! Everything that I have reviewed up to this point will stay with the old Rating Scale, just because I don't think it is fair to re-judge/rate the books.

Happy Reading Everyone!

ARC Review: Backward Glass by David Lomax

Pub. Date: October 8th, 2013
Publisher: Flux
315 pages

I’m a chronic note taker when I’m reading something that I will review. A subconscious tell that I absolutely love a book, is when I become so engrossed, that I completely forget to take notes. I didn’t write down a single word while reading Backward Glass.

When Kenny Maxwell’s home flipping parents buy the old Hollerith house – a home notorious for the disappearances of the kids that live there – an entire series of events that have both not happened, and that are decades old, are set into motion. In a broken down wall, Kenny finds a long deceased baby, along with a note written specifically to him. The note asks Kenny to change the past, by stopping Prince Harming from killing the baby. It takes a girl, from ten years in the future, to step out of the Backwards Glass – an old mirror that came with the house – for Kenny to get an idea of how he could possibly prevent a death that already happened.

Backward Glass is constructed the way a seasoned storyteller tells a story. With a clear voice, and engaging tone, you are instantly drawn in and kept in suspense about what will happen next. The entire time I read Backward Glass I was working overtime to solve a puzzle whose pieces were revealed in

Review: Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies #1) by Molly McAdams

Pub. Date: October 29th, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
368 pages

After a sexual assault, Rachel learns just how true the saying “blood is thicker than water” truly is. Unwilling to believe her cousin capable of rape, Rachel’s best friend Candice is convinced that Rachel has confused her attacker and savior. Worried that pushing the subject will cause a bigger rift between her and Candice, Rachel decides to try and forget the whole thing. For an entirely different kind of assault, career undercover cops Logan and Mase are reassigned to Texas from Florida. With the cover of bartenders, the two are assigned to help track down a serial killer. Logan tries to stay detached from everything while on the job, and Rachel initially is completely uninterested in any kind of relationship, but when the two fall into an easy friendship, they slowly break down their self-imposed walls. Only when their two worlds dangerously collide do they realize how little protection the walls offered.

After the first two chapters I did something I never do when reviewing – I read a bunch of reviews. I was legitimately convinced that I had been sent the wrong book to review, because the beginning of the novel was in no way represented within the synopsis. As a reader I was completely thrown. To make matters worse, I severely disliked everything about the first few chapters. So much happens. From instalove, to assault, I didn’t feel I had a chance to connect with any of the characters before they were polarized. The worst part of the early chapters was the worst representation of “best friends” that I have

On My Wishlist: Oct 26th 2013

On My Wishlist is a weekly event highlighting a book that I really want to read. The book may be 20 years old, or the pub date may not be until next year, but either way I'm excited about it, and hopefully you will be too!

On My Wishlist: Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding

Pub. Date: June 1st, 1999
Publisher: Penguin Books
271 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Meet Bridget Jones—a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could:
a. lose 7 pounds
b. stop smoking
c. develop Inner Poise

"123 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds in the middle of the night? Could flesh have somehow solidified becoming denser and heavier? Repulsive, horrifying notion), alcohol units 4 (excellent), cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow), number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but nevertheless useless)..."

Bridget Jones' Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget's permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.

Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and — like millions of readers the world round — you'll find yourself shouting, "Bridget Jones is me!"

I'm especially driven to read this book now that book three in the series is being published this Fall. I absolutely love the movies, but I've heard the books are even better. So, what do you think? Is it one you'll add to your Wishlist? Or have you already read it?

ARC Review: Forever Innocent by Deanna Roy

Pub. Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Casey Shay Press
288 pages

For most people, walking into the first day of lectures may cause a little bit of anxiety. But walking into class and seeing your ex-fiancé, adds a little more pressure to the situation. The last memory Corabelle has of Gavin is his back, as he walked out the door at their son’s funeral without a good-bye. Best friends, first loves, fiancés and parents, Corabelle and Gavin’s pasts are inseparably interwoven. But even if they wanted to, can they learn to accept the people they have become, start living in the present, and move past the devastation they faced in the past?

Not only does this novel put a huge spin on what has become typical for New Adult, but it completely changes what a happily ever after means. There can’t be a typical easy breezy fairytale ending when you have faced the devastating experience of becoming parents, being told your newborn wouldn’t live, and then watching him die. The novel balances the lows of just how hard it would be to experience losing a child, with the highs of Corabelle and Gavin's relationship. The grief aspect is never completely consumes the story, which I think consistently makes the novel accessible for all readers. You truly hope that Gavin and Corabelle can learn to lean on each other again. Regain the trust and love they had, and together work through their grief. Their relationship is heartbreaking, but realistic, and one you can actually connect with and rally behind.

ARC Review: Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

Pub. Date: July 22nd, 2013
Publisher: Julie Patra Publishing
250 pages

After a mysterious family tragedy, Lara is forced to change her identity and leave her entire life behind. Each new identity controlled by a ‘handler’ she has never met, means a new life to memorize, a new profession, a new home, and all new relationships. Tired of never knowing when her life will be up heaved again, Lara/Amy rebels by putting her trust in a complete stranger, something she knows will only increases the danger she constantly faces. As her new life becomes increasingly entwined with Liam Stone’s, the less sure she is of who is really protecting her – her handler or Liam?

This novel frustrated me more than I can ever possibly say. To begin, I hate how Amy is represented. I am so sick and tired of weak female characters portrayed as needing to be ‘saved’. Amy is not initially a character I would describe as weak, but the second someone walks into her life willing to take control, she doesn’t even blink before giving up all of her independence and strength as a character. She 180s from who she says she is, into the type of character I hate in a few pages.

ARC Review: Red by Alison Cherry

Pub. Date: October 8th, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
320 pages

When I first read the synopsis for Red, I thought the idea was different and interesting, but also somewhat insane. I mean a town where your social standing is based on your hair color - not your typical book setting. Red is definitely quirky, funny and unique, but it is also smart, has a lot of heart and a good amount of seriousness thrown into the mix as well.

Felicity St. John has everything she could possibly want - a great group of friends, a coveted leadership role at school, and the chance to win a big pageant /scholarship. But Felicity is one of only three people who know she doesn’t rightfully deserve these things. If her school and her town knew that she was a Strawbie – a strawberry blonde – and not a real redhead, every opportunity she has had would be taken away. In Scarletville, you’re only as important as your (natural) shade of red. When Felicity's bi-weekly dye secret is threatened, there’s no end to what she’ll do to protect herself. 

My biggest fear was that the novel would just be silly without any real depth. I recognize the level of seriousness between being discriminated because of your hair color, compared to your skin color or size is drastically different, but the ways in which the town discriminate and treat non-redheads added a validity and level of seriousness that I wasn’t expecting. Red presents intolerance in such a unique way.

On My Wishlist: October 19th 2013

On My Wishlist is a weekly event highlighting a book that I really want to read. The book may be 20 years old, or the pub date may not be until next year, but either way I'm excited about it, and hopefully you will be too!

On My Wishlist: Looking For Alaska by John Green

Pub Date: December 28th, 2006
Publisher: Speak
231 pages

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

So, what do you think? Is it one you'll add to your Wishlist? Or have you already read it?

On My Wishlist

You may notice a new tab up there near the top called On My Wishlist. Previously On My Wishlist was run by Sarah at Workaday Reads, but I am happy to announce that I am officially taking over. So, click on the tab above or here to see what it's all about!

I would also like to say a big thank you to my friend Avery from Avery's Designs who created the new On My Wishlist image for me. She's a superstar and if you're looking to revamp your blog or website's look, she's the person to see.

 Thanks again for reading everyone!

ARC Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Pub. Date: September 17th, 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
288 pages

Elise Dembowski is one of the funniest, most relatable girl next door while being a complete individual, characters that I have had the privilege of reading. Her voice is completely encompassing and this book touched me profoundly.

Everyday for Elise is a struggle. Even when she tries, its obvious that she’s not like everyone else. The take away, avoid being unique and don’t be special, it just makes you lonely and miserable. So, Elise makes the only decision she thinks she has left, to commit suicide. After a failed attempt followed by major support and healing time, Elise finds comfort in listening to music while night walking. Her walking leads her right to where she will heal the most - a warehouse party, with a DJ. Finding a place where people appreciate music as much as she does is like finding Mecca. But when Elise’s natural DJ ability threatens her new friendships, she has to decide if it’s better to fit in, or be true to yourself.

I loved this novel. The realism, humor, and music blew my mind. Within the first few pages there was one of the most descriptive, affecting, ‘practice’ suicide attempts that I have ever read. I felt sick to

ARC Review: Trust in Me by J. Lynn

Pub. Date: October 22nd, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
237 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s Wait for You as you’ve never seen it. Trust in Me lets you in on Cam’s side of the #1 New York Times Bestselling story.

Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up. He can’t get the feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. Will persistence (and some delicious homemade cookies) help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery's life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?

Before I start let me just say that I really liked Trust in Me. It holds the same perfect combination of cuteness, seriousness, and realism as Wait for Me held. That being said, I wasn’t completely blown away. I have a really hard time getting drawn in and investing in stories that are snippets/retellings/alterna-perspectives of novels I really loved because in a lot of ways they feel like a tease. We just have enough time to get back into the world and reconnect with the characters, before the story ends.

On My Wishlist #1: Panic by Lauren Oliver

On My Wishlist hosted by Workaday Reads

On My Wishlist is an event held at Work A Day Reads (though it looks like they're in the process of finding someone new to take over). The Wishlist basically highlights a book that has already been published, or has yet to come out, that you are just dying to read. 

I thought - considering my Wishlist/ TBR pile is HUGE, that I would adopt this feature weekly!

On My Wishlist: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Pub. Date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
416 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.


Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

So, what do you think? Is it one you'll add to your Wishlist? 

ARC Review: Hush (A Lakeview Novel) by Stacey R. Campbell

Pub. Date: January 23, 2013
Publisher: Green Darner Press
278 pages

Based on the synopsis, I was expecting a Princess Diaries-esque story of a girl finding out that she is royalty, with a darker twist. But, Hush is more of a Princess Anastasia murder story than Princess Mia’s rise to fame.

As far as Blakeley Henry knows there was nothing special about her adoption. British journalism student Max Ryder discovers otherwise. The daughter of a Tamuran Princess and a servant, Blakeley’s existence was kept a secret to avoid a major scandal. When the entire Tamuran Royal Family is killed in what we quickly learn was no accident, Blakeley is the only hope for the family to retain its throne. If Max can’t prove Blakeley’s true identity, convince her to claim her royal heritage, and keep her safe, then the Royal Family’s killers will reign.

I had quite a few issues with this novel. Stylistically my biggest issue was with the number of speakers. Some speakers narrated a single chapter, others multiple, but the overall effect was that the story came off as disjointed and inconsistent. I never felt I had a grasp or connection to any of the characters because we were jumped between speakers, continents and time periods every few pages. I also found the balance of the story to be somewhat uneven. It took a long time to get to the meat of the story. We

Review: Texas Redeemed by Isla Bennet

Pub. Date: May 2013
Publisher: Montlake Romance
406 pages

When you think of Romance as a genre, the usual stereotypes include a female protagonist, lots of dialogue, a very linear story, and a happy ending. Texas Redeemed might be a Romance – but it completely breaks the mould.

Going through med school and traveling the world as part of Doctors Without Borders has acted as a distraction from the rebellious life Peyton Turner ran from thirteen years before. Back in his Texas hometown of Night Sky, Peyton learns the youthful mistake he regrets the most, is one he didn’t know he made. In the years he was gone, he intentionally stayed hidden from his complicated family life, but in his silence, he unknowingly prevented his best friend Valerie from being able to tell him she was pregnant with his twins. In an attempt to come to terms with the experiences he missed out on, Peyton sets out to claim what could have been. But the damage done by leaving may be a cut too deep for the good doctor to fix.  

There are so many novels (especially in the romance genre) where women get ‘rescued’ from their pasts by a man. In Texas Redeemed, first as children and then as adults, Peyton and Val support each other, and that support helps them move past the pain in their pasts – no rescue, just an honest


Hello Everyone,

I thought I would send out a personal update with new changes/ things going on with the blog.

The first major change should be fairly obvious when you first visit the site - I have a completely new header/avatar thanks to my friend Avery from Avery's Blog Designs! I absolutely love it! Thanks Avery!

The second change is that blogger has a bug and apparently text can't be edited. So, I'm not currently able to edit the 'Books I've Read in 2013' list or the what I'm 'Currently Reading' section. If you want an up to date list, or more info on what I'm reading, you can also follow my GoodreadsTwitter, and/or Facebook pages. You can do that anytime - but right now they'll be much more accurate than the blog. I have also added the Follow option on the blog through Google Friend Connect. So, basically you have a billion choices now about how you want to be updated!

Next month I'm heading to two different conferences/ meetings. The first is through work and it's all about matching readers with books based on their interests, which I am extremely excited about. Talking to people about why they like something and finding them new things to read one of my absolute favourite parts of being a Librarian, so you can always feel free to email me/ comment on a post for book suggestions. I live for that kind of thing! The second meeting I'm heading to is the Ontario Blog Squad meet-up. We get to talk books, meet authors, and have lunch together for an afternoon. It's a book blogger and book lovers mecca. This is my first year going and I can't wait! I'll be sure to update everyone on the meetings (and I'll especially share all of the book info I pull out of people in the know)!

As always please feel free to comment on posts or email me with your thoughts and comments about my reviews. I love hearing from you!

Until next time - happy reading everybody!

- Laura (aka An Adult Teen Reader)