White Pine Wednesday: Rabbit Ears

This week, I’ll be talking about Rabbit Ears, by Maggie de Vries.

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Initial thoughts:

Well. The cover looks familiar (Delusion Road, TAOGSA and Brannan filter), but that’s just me. This also deals with sex, albeit sex work, and looks very, very, very sad. I’ll save this until I’m being annoying. It’ll probably shut me up quick. But anyway, the Robert Pickton (aka the most infamous Canadian serial killer) twist (and the real life relation) are certainly unexpected… I’d like to see how this goes.


After Reading:

Some stories are hard to tell. Some stories are hard to listen to. Some stories are hard to read. Some stories are unsettling, uncomfortable and upsetting. Rabbit Ears is all of theses and more. It deserves to be read, at the very least. Continue reading

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Which Wednesdays: Sherlock Retellings!

Hello, fellow book-eaters! Welcome to the latest Which Wednesdays, where our topic of the week is Sherlock retellings!

Now, I may have fangirled once, or twice on this blog, and you may have noticed the increase in Sherlock (the BBC show, obviously) gifs around this blog. So, no, this week’s theme isn’t a coincidence. Ahem.

The two books I have chosen this week are Lock and Mori as well as Every Breath. Both books are retellings of Arthur Conan Doyle’s the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Arthur Conan Doyle’s story has become one of the most famous stories worldwide, and he unknowingly created a character archetype. “No shit, Sherlock” has become an iconic phrase, and there have been many retellings over the years, whether it be Robert Downey Jr. movie, to Elementary and BBC’s Sherlock (yes, everything returns to that one point 😉 ). The man that discerns everything with his eyes, forensic sciences and the art of deduction has become an icon. And like many icons, he has been imitated. I have chosen these two stories to compare as they have many similar elements ~ but different executions. Continue reading

White Pine Wednesday: The Story of Owen

Hello fellow bookies! Let’s take a moment to think about the fact that EXAMS ARE OVERRRRRR (good vibes to everyone who still hasn’t finished, though 😛 ). Exams are the reason that this is being published on a Friday.

Only 19 weeks of school left …

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So I read The Story of Owen yesterday. Right after my math exams. And oh boy, if I hated the cover when I first saw it, I LOATHE the cover now.


What I originally thought:

I’m sorry, but what a bad cover. When I look at this, I don’t want to read it. It’ll probably remain in the pile until I absolutely cannot find anything else to read. But the story itself sounds interesting…


What I now think:

The cover of this book should be burned. It scares readers away from this hilarious, smart and very Canadian book. This book has been the best book I’ve read so far. It made me laugh, fascinated me with its world building, and had a great overall message.

It was basically set in an alternate universe, where everything happened… but there were dragons. A direct result of consumerism (and a ‘manifestation’ of global warming), they are attracted to oil and gas (as well as things that use gas). As you can imagine, they are fatal, dangerous… and E.K. Johnston outdid herself with the backstory. In retrospect, it makes sense while you’re reading it, but it’s really hard to explain.

The dragon’s were always there… and in the olden days, every village had it’s own dragon slayer. But now only the big corporations (who pay very well) are able to hire them. So when a dragon slayer family moves back to Trondheim, the town rejoices.

Strangely enough, the narrator, Siobhan McQuaid (and really, more of the main character) doesn’t hero worship Owen, and their ‘relationship’ is really platonic and amusing. It was also very refreshing, and a great distraction from the angst filled books so common in YA.

The book is rather short, but densely packed, so you don’t really notice how much information you are absorbing until you are done. That being said, the plot sort of suffers from the condensation (it felt sort of slapdash, really) but it does manage to come through in the end.

I found it extremely funny, with great social and political commentary. There are beautifully funny lines that made this worth the read, as well as a very Canadian sense of humor. A mixture of self deprecating sarcasm and wise-cracks? What ever it is, I feel so much more Canadian reading this book.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable romp, and a very unlike fantasy. There are no overwhelming villains or quests, but rather, the typical (but at the same time atypical) lives of 2 teenagers. I loved the crowning touches ~ an addition of a Youtube channel (she’s a bard, get it?) as well as many others that gave it a little extra spice. Even though it was obviously set in a rural town, it was still relatable (I’m a city slicker 😛 ). It has strong social, political and environmental messages ~ it wasn’t afraid to go into subjects that ‘bore’ teens. It’s funny, creative and one of my favourite books this month!

Honestly,  it has dragons, and sword fighting, and great characters. Just go read it already!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

Which Wednesdays: LGBTQ Characters

Hello, fellow bookworms and book bloggers! I have appeared, right before your eyes, to bring the second ever Which Wednesday! This week’s theme? Book’s about LGBTQ characters!

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The two books I’ve chosen this week are Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (AADDTSOFU for short) and Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda (SVTHSA for short). Both books feature LGBTQ characters, something that has become extremely relevant.From the landmark US Supreme court ruling, to the hashtag  #lovewins, and Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out, many say that 2015 has been the year of LGBTQ rights. From more representation in movies, to acceptance in general, homophobia is generally becoming a thing of the past. More and more people are seeing past a default and opening their minds and hearts to people who would, 10 years ago, have been shunned. This trend (and to call it a trend is too simplistic) is not only in popular culture, as the We Need Diverse Books movement has contributed greatly to the variety of YA, LGBTQ-centric literature today. The two books I have chosen today are some of the most hyped and widely talked about stories. They deal with regular, average teenagers, and how they face their problems. Both of them have an average of 4+ ratings on Goodreads, so let’s see how they turn out! Continue reading

Which Wednesday: Books about School Shootings

Hey guys! Sarah here 😀

Me and Faith are going to be introducing a bi-monthly (or tri-monthly, depending on how long the month is) feature.

Drumroll please….

Which Wednesdays!

We’ll be comparing 2 books of a similar topic or genre, and in the end, giving you guys our opinion on which was better. Every Which Wednesday will have a theme, and to kick it off, this week is about school shootings. Morbid. I know.

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Carry On Fangirling: A Duo Book Review (Meme Edition)

Challenge of the day: Count how many times we lose coherence in this post.

Duo Book Review of Carry On and Fangirl (But mostly Carry On)


Fangirl
445 pages
Published : September 10th 2013 by St. Martin’s Press

Carry On
522 pages
Published : October 6th 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Summaries (Taken from Goodreads):
FANGIRL:

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. (S: YOU SEE THIS LINE? I’m instantly in loooooove F: Ugh, Sarah stop.)

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan… (F: Wow okay, me too. After Carry On.)

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. (S: Some obvious parallels to the Harry Potter fandom…)

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


CARRY ON:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen. (S: After reading the book, I second that)(F: Frankly, having power is different than wielding it.)

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right. (S: Warning, there is a whole section of this review dedicated to Baz)

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.
(S: Summary cont’d — Carry On starts off as a totally Harry Potter ripoff, reads like the last book in the series, but by the end transforms into something totally different. And that’s not counting the top notch snogging – did we mention that romance?)


ACTUAL REVIEW PART

(All the memes are at the end)

Sarah: Originally, we were going to write individual reviews for both books, but after reading Carry On and (re)reading Fangirl, we’ve decided to mash these two complementary books.

Faith: Cath. Levi. Simon. Baz. After reading Carry On, you realize all the more how it plays a role in Fangirl. Reviewing them together just sort of made sense.

Before Carry On (BCO): Fangirl is great but who IS this Simon Snow? Is it basically just another name in the place of Harry Potter to avoid copyright infringement? (S: So true. I was rolling my eyes so hard)… Sorry but could I just skip these random Simon Snow parts?

I mean who cares…

Continue reading

Book Review: This is What Happy Looks Like

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This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Published on April 2nd 2013 by Headline
Genre: Contemporary, romance, YA
404 pgs

Goodreads Summary:

If fate sent you an email, would you answer? 

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs? Continue reading