Welcome!

Well, hi there!
Welcome to my first ever attempt at creating a book blog! Well, actually it is my first go at writing any kind of blog EVER. So please forgive any shortcomings!  

On this blog you can explore all things books! Take a wander through the “Book Reviews” tab and you can find reviews for much of what I read. Hopefully these reviews will be able to give you some insight into the book you want to read next! I will also be posting articles about everything and anything related to the literary world such as my favourite  literary heroines, pages dedicated to my favourite authors, reading lists, and my own personal book-related adventures or preferences.

So…….. yeah……… if you’re still around, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy!! 🙂 🙂

Much Love,
XOCeeCee

P.S. Please share and comment if you read anything you like! I would love to hear from you and PLEASE if you have any suggestions, be it book recommendations, better ways of blogging or article requests, let me know. I’m new to this whole shebang so please bear with me and let’s have some fun!

 

5 Classics I Want to Read in 2017

It goes without saying that I am a book nerd to the extreme. Not only am I constantly lost between the pages of a book, I have a (mostly inactive) book blog and and English degree to show it 😛 Even though I pride myself on believing that I have read many great classics, the truth is there are more esteemed classics that I haven’t read than those that I have. It’s actually kind of ridiculous. The funny thing about the situation is that all of the classics I have read, I’ve really enjoyed. Well, that is for the most part (no more Dickens for this gal please).

In 2017 one of my bookish goals is to read more of the beautiful classics I have sitting on my shelf. I am currently trying to read one classic a month, so that by the end of the year I will have at least twelve knocked off the list. I will also admit to you now (apparently it’s confession time) that I drafted this post in January. I am clearing dropping the ball on maintaining this blog. That being said, I’ve already read three classics (The A.B.C. Murders, Wuthering Heights, and The Little Prince) and I am currently reading Little Women. For this post, I’ve narrowed it down to the five classics that I am currently most excited to get to, and those that it may shock you to learn I haven’t read. So here it is folks – five classics that I really want to read and probably should have read by now.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

2785278I know what you’re thinking, CeeCee, didn’t you just say that you’ve already read Wuthering Heights? Yes, I have, but I’ve decided to still kick off this list with the famous Brontë classic. To be fair, I wasn’t reading this when I started writing this post (like I said, it took me a long time to actually publish this) and I have since finished the book 😛 However, I still want to have this book on the list because it was quite the accomplishment for me. I’ve been wanting to read Wuthering Heights ever since I was in high school. More confessions: My class studied this in grade 12, however, at the time I think I only read about half of it. I don’t remember why. Maybe there were other things I wanted to be reading, maybe I was busy with school and work. No matter the excuse, at the time I survived on Sparknotes and class discussions. Fast forward five years later, I decided to try to read Wuthering Heights again, but I definitely didn’t pick the right time. Trust me, exam season of your final semester of university is not the time to pick up 19th century literature for fun. I ended up putting it down yet again, but as of February 2017, I have finished it! I don’t know why it has been such a challenge, because I love Gothic literature and Jane Eyre by Brontë sister, Charlotte, is one of my favourite books. Admittedly, I still love Jane Eyre more, but I’m so glad that 2017 is the year that I was able to check off another Brontë sister’s work!

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

16101115Peter Pan was always my favourite story as a kid. The ability to fly and the prospect of never growing up? Sounded perfect to me! Although I’ve seen film adaptations of the famous story too many times to count, I’ve never actually read J.M. Barrie’s novel. I want to correct that this year and finally read what I consider to be one of my favourite childhood classics! It will definitely be interesting to read this as an adult because it can be analyzed in so many different ways. It definitely has the potential to be a novel I study with future classes.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

4406I have to admit, I am surprised that I enjoy the work of John Steinbeck as much as I do. I am not much of a country girl, and a story in the desolate American South or West wouldn’t normally appeal to me. Add on the fact that the synopses of his books don’t exactly sound like a thrill ride, and you’ll see why I’m surprised that he may be up there on my list of favourite classic authors. I loved both Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath. I don’t know if it’s the writing style, the stories, or the characters, but these are some of my favourite classics. This is why I wanted to add East of Eden to my classics TBR. I’ve heard this one praised just as much, if not more than Grapes of Wrath, and it is described as being one of the greatest family sagas in American literurate. Why not give it a go then, eh?

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

18300270Are you ready for the cringiest fact of them all? I (very ashamedly) have never read a Jane Austen novel. I KNOW. I’m very good at faking that I’ve read Jane Austen because I love her stories and have seen so many adaptations, however, I’ve never physically read a book. It is the worst. I cannot believe I’ve let this go on as long as it has. But it ends this year! Why not start with the popular Pride and Prejudice you may ask? Well, I’m extremely familiar with that story and I honestly think the best way to sit down and enjoy your first Austen is to go in not really knowing anything. Sense and Sensibility is another one of Austen’s most well-loved novels, and I know very little about it. This is why I want to knock Sense and Sensibility off my list this year. Well, that reason, and also so I can stop feeling like such a phony 😛

1984 by George Orwell

3744438To end off this list, let’s discuss the classic that is sweeping the world because of its disturbing relevance. It’s no secret that sales of 1984 have sky-rocketed since the beginning of Trump’s administration, and I will be the first to tell you that it scares me. Why not jump back and read a dystopian that seems eerily relevant? Hopefully it will do the opposite of scare me and give me comfort that people can recognize the error of their ways by reading dystopian fiction that highlights how oppressive and dangerous certain notions are. That is the hope of these speculative fiction writers, right? Anyway, enough rambling. I would really like to read 1984 because of the relevancy. And it saddens me to say that a book like 1984 can be called relevant in modern society.

And that’s it! Those are the classics that I want to finally read in the year 2017. It will be interesting to see which of these I read. I mean it’s 5 books, can’t be that hard right? 😛 Let me know if I am alone in my shame of not reading popular classics or if you are endeavoring to also widen your reading experience. Wish me luck!

XOCeeCee

To find these books on Goodreads:

Wuthering Heights – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6185.Wuthering_Heights?from_search=true

Peter Pan – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34268.Peter_Pan?ac=1&from_search=true 

East of Eden – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4406.East_of_Eden?ac=1&from_search=true 

Sense and Sensibility – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14935.Sense_and_Sensibility?from_search=true

1984 – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3744438-1984

The Best Kind of People: Zoe Whittall

29220492Rating: ☕

I was sorely disappointed by this one. I went in expecting something reminiscent of a Jodi Picoult book, however, it was far from hitting that mark. I heard great things about this book, and I knew that it was written by a Canadian author, but all of the hopes I had built up around this one came crashing down as I got further and further into this boring mess. Funnily enough, this book was hovering around a 2 teacup rating, but within the last few pages, it simply burned. Long story short, I wouldn’t recommend this one and I don’t really have a lot to say about it. I will, however, go into a few reasons why The Best Kind of People will probably end up being one of my least favourite reads of the year.

First off, the beginning was really promising, but it became clear pretty quickly that this was going to be a character analysis that aimed to delve into how each family member was going to deal with their husband and father’s sexual assault accusation. Normally, I would have loved this sort of thing because I love character driven stories, however, each family member was godawfully boring and I found it difficult to empathise with them, even if you could somewhat understand where they were coming from. One of the biggest problems I had with this book was the utter lack of exploration into George’s character (the man we are accusing of sexual assault.) I would have really appreciated a perspective from him and the chance to take a look into his mind and history. I hated how he was one dimensional in both the saintly town hero trope and the evil, two-faced sexual offender.

Furthermore, this novel claims to be about a sexual assault case, but there is little to no exploration of the crime, case, or legal system. Although unrelated to this book, the author Jodi Picoult (who I love) writes criminal cases and character explorations flawlessly, and oftentimes her books take place inside the courtroom. This case was literally crammed into the last few pages, and don’t get me started on that final verdict. I felt that the ending completely undermined the whole of the book.

All in all, a huge miss for me. The whole book followed the wife and children, who dealt with their problems in annoying and boring ways. I would have loved to see more characterization in our “criminal,” more flashbacks into the past, and more details about the crime and case. This was a complete yawn-fest for me and I definitely wouldn’t recommend.

XOCeeCee

To learn more about Zoe Whittall and her work, you can visit her website here –> http://zoewhittall.com/ 

Want a better Canadian read? Hopefully you can find one in this list! –> http://www.cbc.ca/books/books100.html

Milk and Honey: Rupi Kaur

235133491Rating: ☕☕

I have to be honest, I was underwhelmed by this one. I’ve been really wanting to read more modern poetry, because in collections I’ve read (such as Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson) there were lines that have made my heart sing ❤️ I want to find more beautiful poetry that will strike me with its mastery of language and warm my heart. Despite the hype, Milk and Honey fell short of the mark for me. I think there were four poems that stood out to me, but not in any profound way.

This poetry collection was divided into a few different parts and in her poems Kaur discusses topics like abuse, rape, falling in love, and having a relationship fall apart. Although these issues are very touching, I found that she didn’t really do anything different with them. I feel I would have been more impressed if she used more interesting language or thought of unique metaphors. I don’t want to sound like a poetry snob (especially because I have read very little poetry), but for a lot of the poems I felt she was simply writing prose and hitting the “Enter” key a lot.

That being said, I did find three or four of the poems that I thought were particularly striking. But only three or four out of the whole book doesn’t seem like a success to me. Even though I wasn’t a fan, I know that so many people are. You may want to give this one a try, especially if you can relate more to the issues she has dealt with. Personally, I think this one is a bit overhyped! Hopefully I will be a little more successful on my next poetry adventure.

XOCeeCee

To find out more about Rupi Kaur and her work you can click here –> https://www.rupikaur.com/

Here are some video links!

To watch a chatty Rupi Kaur video click here –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PA0v9ANTrY

To hear Rupi Kaur read from Milk and Honey click here –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UxdG3Pvq2k

Here is a TEDTalk that Kaur did called “I’m Taking My Body Back” –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlToQQfSlLA

 

New Years Resolutions Book Tag

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I know that January is almost over and it is super late to be posting about New Years Resolutions, but is that going to stop me from doing this awesome New Years book-related tag? No no siree. It’s still January so it still counts (even if it is the last day of January.) Right?

Anyway, I saw JesseTheReader, one of my favourite BookTubers, do this tag on his channel, and decided that I wanted to have a go to see what some of my goals are for the year of 2017. If you want to watch his video (it’s great) you can click here or on the link at the bottom of this post. Now here is my attempt to answer some of these New Years Resolutions questions and set some new reading goals for myself! Let’s do this! 💪🏻

1. An author that you would like to read that you haven’t read before.

25614492So this was a really hard one right off the bat! I am looking at my bookshelf as we speak and I cannot see and author whose work I want to pursue that I haven’t read before! Give me a minute to think on this one… Okay, my bookshelf let me down so I went over to my LibraryThing wishlist and found Ruta Sepetys. I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Ruta Sepetys and her talent for writing extremely moving and interesting historical fiction novels. I am a huge fan of historical fiction so I have a feeling I am going to really enjoy her books, as they deal with some major historical events that have sort of become lost as time has passed. I think I would like to pick up Salt to the Sea first, but Out of the Easy also appeals to me because I really enjoy reading stories set in or around New Orleans.

2. A book you’d like to read.

Okay, this one is a little easier because there are SO MANY books that I want to read. Naturally, I cannot narrow it down to just one, so some that are currently piquing my interest are The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall, Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairy Land in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente, and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.

3. A classic you would like to read.

2785278All right, everyone brace yourselves. The answer to this question is a little sneak peek into a post I am planning about classics I would like to read this year and yes, I have read an embarrassing little amount of famous classics. The classic that I want to read most at the moment and that I would like to read in February is Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Yes, yes, I know. I myself am shocked that I have not completed this one yet, especially because I love gothic fiction and Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books. I will finally conquer you this month Emily Brontë, mark my words!

4. A book you would like to reread.

33540650Surprisingly enough, I have not read the illustrated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets! When I got it last year, I picked it up every now and then when I would get in the mood to read Harry Potter but didn’t really want to reread any of the books. Instead of sitting down and watching one of the movies, I would read a chapter from the illustrated edition. I think I’m on chapter five or something, but I would really like to keep going with it this year. And of course, every year isn’t complete without a good ol’ reread of Harry Potter 

5. A book you’ve had for ages and you want to read.

17316589So I’m going to cheat for this one and pick a book that I read this month that fits this description. Hey, if these were actual resolutions made at the beginning of the year this would be totally valid. A book that I had forever that I finally got around to reading this year was The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal. This was a complete cover buy for me a few years ago because the book is absolutely stunning with it’s deep red pages and intricate illustrations. I’d say I enjoyed this book overall, but it did gross me out most of the time. I guess that’s what you get when you read a fairytale about syphilis.

6. A big book that you would like to read.

12959233I recently finished Fall of Giants by Ken Follett in December of 2016 and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. It was one of my favourite books of the year, and luckily for me, it is the first in a trilogy. This year I’d like to read Winter of the World, Ken Follett’s second book in his Century Trilogy, and I am so excited to follow the future generations of the families I came to know and love from the first book. I’m looking forward to reading this trilogy in its entirety to see how Follett’s characters live through the biggest events of the twentieth century. This year I would also like to get around to reading at least one of the monstrous Stephen King books I own. I’m really hoping to read It or 11/22/63 sometime this year, maybe around Halloween!

7. An author that you’ve read in the past that you want to read more from this year.

mte5ndg0mdu0oti0mdy4mzy3Earlier this month I picked up The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie, which was the first Agatha Christie I had picked up in a couple of years. I absolutely loved it, as I had with her other novels that I read, and I really want to pick up more this year! I think I have two or three that I haven’t read yet, but I definitely want to acquire more of her books this year and delve into some of her fantastic mysteries. Maybe one day I’ll figure out who the culprit is before the last couple of pages 😛

8. A book you got for Christmas that you’d like to read

29101491I have the best boyfriend in the whole world because, no matter what the occasion, he will always get me books. Christmas is always the big finale of a year of book-giving, and this year he likes to boast and say that he got me 97 books. I know right? Before your jaw hits the floor, 80 of those were in the boxed set of the Little Black Classics that Penguin released in 2015. That being said, I was so giddy to see my huge stack of seventeen books this Christmas. I know I’m extremely spoiled 😛 Anyway, although I am really excited to read all of the books he gave me, I wanted to pick one that I associate with him, and one he picked out for me himself without consulting my wishlist. That book is The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized The World by Dan Ackerman. My man is a huge retro game collector and Tetris is definitely one of my favourite games (as is the case with pretty much every human 😛 ) This nonfiction book seems like it will be an interesting look at the development of the world’s favourite (video) games, and how it swept the globe as one of the most popular video games of all time.

9. A series you want to read from start to finish.

15724396I recently finished reading the first book in Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series and I absolutely loved it! I’m still in the mood to pick up the second book really soon, and I know that when the final book in the trilogy comes out in the fall, I will buy and devour it immediately. I love Rick Riordan’s writing so much, and I really think that this trilogy is not going to follow suit with most of my trilogies and go unfinished for years 😛 I cannot wait to continue!

10. A series you want to finish that you’ve already started.

25518205Like pretty much every reader out there, I have A LOT of series that I have started and haven’t finished yet. I actually have a lot of uncompleted trilogies the I only need to read the last book to finish. Hopefully I can knock a few of these off my list this year, however the one I think I’m going to finish pretty soon is the Rebel Belle trilogy by Rachel Hawkins. I’m planning on picking up the final book, Lady Renegades in February. I’d also really like to continue with the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes, because I absolutely loved the first too books!

11. How many books to do you plan to read in the year 2017?

It’s on my bucket list to read 100 books in one year, and for some reason, I’ve decided that I want to aim for 2017 to be that year! I’ve set my Goodreads goal to 100 books, however I’m not going to put any pressure on myself. I just read whenever I want to read (which is pretty much all the time anyway.) I do like to improve upon previous years with every reading year and in 2016 I read 93 books. I’m very hopeful that I can accomplish this goal, and I’ve started 2017 in a very strong reading mood. So far I’ve read thirteen books and Goodreads says I am six books ahead of schedule, so I think I am off to a good start!

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12. Do you have any other reading goals?

The only other bookish goals I have for this year are to be a little more committed to the “TBR Jar” I made last year, and to try to pick up more modern poetry. Each month I pull one of my unread books from my TBR jar and try to read that book, although last year I didn’t do a great job with it 😛 This year I really want to be more successful with this, and if I don’t want to read the book I want to get rid of it. I have also been really intrigued by modern poetry and would really like to pick up some of Lang Leav’s poetry collections, as well as get to some that I already own.

And there you have it! Those are some of my bookish resolutions for 2017 and I am so excited to embark upon a new year full of books and happiness 🙂 I wish you all the best for this new year and happy reading everyone!

XOCeeCee

To watch JesseTheReader’s New Years Resolutions tag, you can click here –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57DeNshxjtk

To watch the creator of the tag answer these questions, you can watch her video here –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV9kI2UCSJo&feature=youtu.be

I Crawl Through It: A.S. King

23203744Rating: ☕1/2

So yeah… This one didn’t hit home with me. I’m finding that for the most part, A.S. King’s books are only okay for me. I loved Everybody Sees The Ants, however, Reality Boy and Glory O’Briens’ History of The Future were pretty meh. This one was probably my least favourite because it just seemed so convoluted and a little too out there. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate “deep” books with metaphor and a magical realism element, but I Crawl Through It seemed to be trying too hard to make everything nonsensical. Although I had a pretty good idea about what was happening in these characters’ real lives, things still didn’t make sense.

This book was an interesting attempt to depict teenagers dealing with certain traumas, and out of the four characters, I think I felt 100% certain of two of their issues. The other two, I could only guess at what they were dealing with and I actually found myself questioning their actual existence 😛 Overall I was a bit annoyed with the characters because they spouted so much mumbo jumbo all of the time, and then I felt bad that I was annoyed because this book was supposed to be an exploration of trauma 😛

I think that when a book tries to discuss themes involving trauma and dealing with hardship, it should be a bit more relatable. I think that King could have had the same magical realism premise, but made it a bit more tangible so that readers could relate. I think that she did this brilliantly and beautifully with the topic of bullying in Everybody Sees The Ants. I thought it was a shame that she tried to deal with topics such as death and rape, and I was ultimately unmoved by it all because the writing was so bogged down with the fantastical elements.

If you are a fan of A.S. King, I think you may enjoy this one. Just be aware that it is definitely one of her more nonsensical and ambitious works. I wouldn’t recommend I Crawl Through It as anyone’s first A.S. King book, and really I think you would be fine to skip this one altogether. However, I will never stop recommending Everybody Sees The Ants (even in reviews in which it is not the subject 😛 )

XOCeeCee

To learn more about A.S. King and her work, you can click here –> https://www.as-king.com/

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed: Jon Ronson

22571552Rating: ☕☕☕ 1/2

This book was certainly an interesting and somewhat frightening read! I haven’t picked up a piece of nonfiction in a little while, and So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed was refreshing. It definitely put me in the mood for more nonfiction in the near future! Even though I didn’t give this one a super high rating, I would still recommend this one, especially if you are active on the internet and social media. It is a cautionary tale that reminds us to be extra careful about what we’re posting online, and how one wrong thing can drastically effect our lives.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed takes a look at the lives of people who have said something or done something wrong in the eyes of the internet, and how publicly shaming them on Twitter or somewhere else online has put a real wrench in their lives. It also takes a look at the history of shaming and how we as humans have moved from abolishing public shaming in the mid 1800’s to its resurgence on the internet.

I found this book to be extremely interesting, as I find anything to do with social science or psychology to be an enthralling read. I read this one fairly quickly, and the only reason I didn’t give it a higher rating is because I felt like Ronson went on a few tangents sometimes that strayed away from the people and topics that caught my interest.

Overall, I think many people would enjoy this one, and really everyone should read it and think twice about how they are presenting themselves online. I think many people tend to forget that how they present themselves on Facebook or Twitter can have major effects on their real life, especially where their jobs are concerned. In the teaching profession, it is very important to be hyper aware of what you are doing online, and I have known teachers to lose their jobs over seeminlgy minor online infractions. I truly think this should be required reading for all internet users! 😛

XOCeeCee

To learn more about Jon Ronson and his work, you can visit his website here –> http://www.jonronson.com/ 

To watch a great review/discussion video about this book, you can click here –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXsYRwU-12A

The A.B.C. Murders: Agatha Christie

9672973Rating: ☕☕☕☕ 1/2

I have to say, I think I can officially call Agatha Christie one of my favourite authors. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve read any of her books, and I only started with And Then There Were NoneMurder on the Orient Express, and The Body in the Library a couple of years ago. However, with this read, I can definitely sense a sort of comfort whenever I sit down with a good ol’ fashioned Agatha Christie mystery. I find that no matter how well you think you are getting at guessing the outcome of her novels, she always manages to surprise with a twist. I definitely want to obtain as many of her books as I can so I will always have something to read when I am in the mood for Agatha Christie!

What I liked about The A.B.C. Murders was that it was my first Agatha Christie that involved a serial killer. I may have mentioned this in another review at some point, but I am a huge Criminal Minds fan, and before I sat down to read this book, I actually just finished binge watching recent seasons. It was so interesting to see Hercule Poirot’s take on how to handle a serial killer, and I fangirled when they mentioned a “profile” of a killer.

I’ve been simply blown away by every Agatha Christie I have read so far. I mean, is it ever possible to guess at one of her endings? There are so many of her books that surely you’d be able to see a pattern emerge eventually? I’ve not been successful yet, and I always have a great time reading her books in one or two sittings. I am so glad there are quite a few Agatha Christie stories to get my hands on because I want to be able to enjoy the feeling I get when reading these books for some time to come!

XOCeeCee

To learn more about Agatha Christie you can click here –> http://www.agathachristie.com/

Want to watch a Doctor Who episode featuring the Queen of Mystery? Click here to watch The Unicorn and the Wasp –> http://putlockers.ch/watch-doctor-who-tvshow-season-4-episode-7-online-free-putlocker.html

2017 Reading List

  1. It Ends With Us: Colleen Hoover
  2. The Wide Window: Lemony Snicket
  3. The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 2:  Konami Kanata
  4. The A.B.C. Murders: Agatha Christie
  5. I Crawl Through It: A.S. King
  6. Orange The Complete Collection Vol. 2: Ichigo Takano
  7. A Little Something Different: Sandy Hall
  8. The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions From Around The World:  Ella Frances Sanders
  9. The Kingdom of Little Wounds: Susann Cokal
  10. With Malice: Eileen Cook
  11. The Complete Persepolis: Marjane Satrapi
  12. Onyx: Jennifer L. Armentrout
  13. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer: Rick Riordan
  14. Milk and Honey: Rupi Kaur
  15. The Best Kind of People: Zoe Whittall
  16. The Princess Saves Herself In This One: Amanda Lovelace
  17. Heartless: Marissa Meyer
  18. This Savage Song: Victoria Schwab
  19. The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized The World: Dan Ackerman
  20. Love & Misadventure: Lang Leav
  21. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan: Sophie Kinsella
  22. Illuminae: Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  23. The Trouble With Women: Jacky Fleming
  24. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane: Kate Di Camillo
  25. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them The Original Screenplay: J.K. Rowling
  26. Lady Renegades: Rachel Hawkins
  27. Everything, Everything: Nicola Yoon
  28. Lullabies: Lang Leav
  29. Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman
  30. The Raven Boys: Maggie Stiefvater
  31. Wuthering Heights: Emily Bronte
  32. History is All You Left Me: Adam Silvera
  33. The Little Prince: Antoine de Saint Auxpery
  34. Attack on Titan Vol. 1: Hajime Isayama
  35. The Universe of Us: Lang Leav
  36. Girl Online: Zoe Sugg
  37. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America: Erik Larson

It Ends With Us: Colleen Hoover

27362503Rating: ☕☕☕☕☕

Wow. What a way to start my 2017 reading year ❤️  This. Book. Was. Incredible. I’m still reeling with emotion, and I finished this one a couple of days ago. This story was so powerful and it will be a book that stays with me for the rest of my life. I think absolutely everyone should read It Ends With Us. First book of the year, five teacups, WIN.

***I highly recommend you go into this book knowing as little as possible in order to get the full impact of the story. I will be MAJORLY spoiling this book in my review because I want to remember all of my thoughts and feelings about it. Please, go read the book and come back if you want to know all of my opinions. I promise, you won’t regret reading this one! Now, SPOILERS AHEAD!***

I went into this book knowing very little about it, although I knew that abusive relationships were a part of this story. I also thought it was going to be a cutesy love story, therefore, as I was reading I thought that the abuse covered in this novel had to do with her mother and father. I did not think (or did not hope) that Ryle was going to become the abuser that he was.

This book was just so smart. I absolutely love the way that Hoover introduced us to this relationship because it happened in the natural way that an abusive relationship develops. We were all there with Lily when she fell in love with Ryle and we loved how charming, sweet, and sexy he was. Therefore, we are just as hurt, shocked, and conflicted with our feelings as Lily was when we see Ryle’s darker side. This book was such an eye opener to why it is so difficult for the victims of abusive relationships to leave. It is so easy for outsiders to judge and say “why doesn’t she just leave?” or “I wouldn’t put up with that and I would be gone” but it’s often more complicated than that. If you are in a relationship, chances are you have a history of wonderful moments and love. It is not so easy to leave all of that behind without a second thought, especially when there are parts of that person that you love with all of your heart. This book is just so brilliant at making you realize these things and at making you think.

Lily has also become one of my favourite characters I’ve ever read. Throughout her whole journey I had nothing but respect for her and her situation. When she became the “victim” of an abusive relationship, I never once judged her, because I was right there with her throughout her whole thought process. She knew that she was in an abusive relationship and that she had to leave, but she found it extremely difficult because of the happiness and love she had experienced with Ryle. She was so incredibly strong throughout this entire book, and I loved the way she made her ultimate decision. I loved that even after Lilly and Ryle were separated, it was her baby girl that led her to ask for a divorce. You often hear of couples staying together “for the children” or mothers not leaving an abusive relationship because they don’t want their children to “be without a father.” I loved Lilly’s internal dialogue in which she thought that she didn’t want her daughter to see her father at his worst and that she truly believed that her baby and Ryle could have the best relationship if Lilly and Ryle were not together.

And now I would like to talk about one final thing that I enjoyed while reading this book, and that was the Ellen Diaries. I loved diving back in time and reading the Ellen Diaries and learning about her relationship with Atlas. And Atlas ❤ He is absolutely wonderful, lovely, and dreamy! Lily and Atlas’s teen love story was so adorable, although tough, and I was so happy when we saw him in modern day with such a successful life! I was so proud to see that he owned his own restaurant and really made a life for himself after all of his hardships. What I appreciated the most about his character was that he was not the knight in shining armour. Yes, he was there for Lily when she needed him, and he recognized the abuse. However, he simply provided support for her while she made all of her decisions on her own. Lily saved herself and Atlas was there when she was ready for him. I definitely wouldn’t have like the book as much if Lily had someone else to solve her problems for her or if she was “saved” by another man 😛

***END OF SPOILERS***

So yes, I love love LOVE this book! I highly recommend that everyone read this, regardless of whether you enjoy Colleen Hoover’s books or not. I’ve come to believe that It Ends With Us is a cut above the rest. This book broke my heart and made it sing, all in a couple of sittings. I’m sorry that this review is pretty much a huge gush fest, but I can’t help how much I loved this book! I think that Kami Garcia said it best in her blurb for this novel: “Every person with a heartbeat should read this book.”

XOCeeCee

To find out more about Colleen Hoover and her work, you can visit her website here –> https://colleenhoover.com/

To find It Ends With Us on Goodreads, you can click here –> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27362503-it-ends-with-us

To watch one of my favourite BookTubers do a booktalk about It Ends With Us, you can click here –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7yvIBN002E

 

All the Books of 2016

sparkly-books_1000pxThe end of 2016 has come and gone, and like most people who talk about books on the internet, I love to reflect back on my reading year and see what I loved, what I hated, and any other bookish superlatives I can think of! While scrolling through Instagram, I found this list of questions that I thought would be a great way to review my 2016 reading year. By simply answering these questions, I will be able to look back and remember all the great (and not so great) books that I consumed in the past year. I will also link any reviews I have written for these books, so you can read them by clicking on the title of the book. Without any further ado, here is a peek at my reading in 2016!

  • First Read of the Year – Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
  • Shortest book you read – Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling
  • New favourite authors – Jenny Han and Nicola Yoon
  • Biggest surpriseFishbowl by Bradley Somer
  • Favourite book cover of 2016Columbine by Dave Cullen
  • Newest fictional crushJohn Ambrose McLaren (from P.S. I Still Love You)
  • Best sequel you readP.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han 

 

  • New fav female charactersLara Jean Song (from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before), Emma Carstairs (from Lady Midnight), Adélaïde L. Belmont (from The Doldrums), Ethel Williams and Maud Fitzherbert (from Fall of Giants), Inej Ghafa (from Six of Crows)
  • Book you didn’t finishShooting an Elephant by George Orwell, Letters to Juliet by Lise Friedman and Ceil Friedman 
  • Best character developmentLight by Michael Grant 
  • New favourite friendshipsKelsier’s Band (from Six of Crows), Emma and the Blackthorns (from Lady Midnight), Sherlock Holmes and John Watson (from A Study in Scarlet), Rose and Lissa (from Vampire Academy), Orange crew (from The Complete Orange Vol. 1), Maud and Ethel (from Fall of Giants)
  • Book that deserves more attentionThe Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins
  • ***SPOILER ALERT FOR LADY MIDNIGHT NEXT**
  • Best villainMalcolm Fade (from Lady Midnight)
  • Favourite fictional worldFurthermore (from Furthermore)
  • Books you rereadVery Good Lives by J.K. Rowling, The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  • New fave male charactersKelsier (from Mistborn), Daniel (from The Sun is Also a Star), John Ambrose McLaren (from P.S. I Still Love You), Scorpius Malfoy (from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Dr. Kenzo Tenma (from Monster), Apollo (from The Trials of Apollo)
  • Longest book you readFall of Giants by Ken Follett 
  • Favourite debut novel of 2016Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Didn’t meet your expectationsThe Fever by Megan Abbott
  • Beautifully written bookThe Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • New favourite OTPsDaniel and Natasha (from The Sun is Also a Star), Emma and Julian (from Lady Midnight), Lara Jean and Peter (from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before), Walter and Maud (from Fall of Giants)
  • Books that made you cryAnother Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge, The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
  • New favourite side characters – Breeze (from Mistborn), Kitty (from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before)
  • Magical readHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
  • Best conclusion to a seriesLight by Michael Grant 
  • Last read of 2016Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • Book you finally read this yearThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Most anticipated release of 2017Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare 

 

So there is a glimpse into my reading life of 2016! I am so excited for 2017 and a fresh new year full of love, laughter, happiness, and of course, READING 😀 Happy New Year everyone. Here’s to a fantastic 2017!

XOCeeCee

To find me on Goodreads, you can visit my profile here. Feel free to add me as a friend! –> https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6412367-chelsey