My Top 7 Favourite Books I Read in 2017

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alice-in-wonderland-30327_1280It’s hard to believe that 2017 is almost over! Since January, I have read over 80 books, which is more than I had even counted on reading. In the last few years, I haven’t had much time to read, and I found my To-Read list on Goodreads growing exponentially. Although I remain at 1700 books on my To-Read list, I made a slight dent in my list.

Without further adieu, here are my top 7 favourite books I read in 2017!

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Book Review: Dreams of Gods & Monsters by: Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone – Book #3)

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Hot, perpetually pissed-off angel seeks living pincushion for scowl practice and general stabbiness. No kissing” Dreams of Gods & Monsters, Laini taylor

mask-2454442_1920Initial Thoughts: As I have said many many times, it takes me eons to finish a series, even a series that I like. Sometimes the overwhelming amount of books in a series is too much for my humble student budget (textbooks before novels). Or, the next book hasn’t been released as soon as I finish the previous book. Two years later, I am ready to pick up where I left off. Lo and behold, I forget what happened in the previous book. Luckily for me, I finished all three (plus one novella) novels of Daughter of Smoke & Bone in under a month!

Summary

Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.

When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited – not in love, but in a tentative alliance against their common enemy. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves.

But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?” – Goodreads

The Review

Okay, you have probably seen this coming. If you haven’t read the first book Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, or the second book, Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor, what are you doing here reading this! I cannot talk about the third book without giving away lots and lots of spoilers from the previous books. It is unavoidable, unfortunately. Context is everything. So, please read the reviews of books 1 and 2 before jumping into this review. You have been warned! Continue reading

Book Review: Best Friends Forever by: Margot Hunt

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Initial Thoughts: I had won this novel from the Goodreads giveaway. At first, I was not very keen on the title. The title Best Friends Forever reminds me of a children’s picture book or a light-hearted novel about best friends. Instead, this novel is a murder mystery thriller along the lines of Herman Koch’s The Dinner and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.

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How well do you really know your best friend?

Kat Grant and Alice Campbell have a friendship forged in shared confidences and long lunches lubricated by expensive wine. Though they’re very different women—the artsy socialite and the struggling suburbanite—they’re each other’s rocks. But even rocks crumble under pressure. Like when Kat’s financier husband, Howard, plunges to his death from the second-floor balcony of their South Florida mansion.

Howard was a jerk, a drunk, a bully and, police say, a murder victim. The questions begin piling up. Like why Kat has suddenly gone dark: no calls, no texts and no chance her wealthy family will let Alice see her. Why investigators are looking so hard in Alice’s direction. Who stands to get hurt next. And who is the cool liar—the masterful manipulator behind it all.” Goodreads

The Review

Most of the time, I tend to avoid murder-mystery novels (or movies). It is not that I am not interested in the genre, they usually all tend to be predictable. The moment it becomes blatantly obvious who the killer is, I begin to yawn. With the title Best Friends Forever, and the lack of reviews on Goodreads (the novel will be released on January 23, 2018), I had completely lowered my guard down. I figured I would probably guess who the killer was once I was fifty percent of the way through. Well, I was Continue reading

Book Review: The Princess Diarist by: Carrie Fisher

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What expression did Madame Tussauds choose to embalm on my face? Impassive Leia/ me. Staring stoically into the future with Jabba the Hutt giggling peacefully behind me. Why shouldn’t he giggle? What’s he got to worry about? Surely not his weight. He’s big boned or no boned. He could do with some toning, but why bother? With impassive, sweaty-looking me as his slave and that annoying little rat in drag to amuse him, he’s got a great life. One that Leia and I hope/plan to put an end to very shortly” – The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher

694px-Star_Wars_Logo_2.svgInitial thoughts: When I was about four years old, my parents decided that it was a great time to expose me to Star Wars. I became a fanatic during my childhood. I even made my own Princess Leia costume (minus all the sewing). I even began wearing my hair in the Princess Leia style with the two cinnamon rolls attached to my head a month before Halloween… Oh, what was I thinking… But, I did not know the person behind Princess Leia. Carrie Fisher, to me, was just another actress. It was only, unfortunately, when she passed away that I became interested in finding out who Carrie Fisher was.

Summary 

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.” – Goodreads

The Review

So, as I had mentioned, I grew up as a Star Wars fan. I watched the movies so many (too many) times. Today, the latest Star Wars movie will be out in theatres, Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi. When I had seen The Force Awakens nearly two years ago. I remember at the end of the movie, I found myself gazing longingly at the ending credits. What! I will have to wait another two years! Noooooooo! Somehow, two years has flown by rather fast.

It is rare that I will become interested in an actor outside of their movie. I may enjoy an actor’s work, but I am not one to learn all about them and fill my head with the names of their favorite pets. When Carrie Fisher passed away, I remember reading a quote she had said in response to how much she had changed since she was in the initial Star Wars movies….

Please stop debating about whether or not I’ve aged well.  Unfortunately, it hurts all 3 of my feelings. Youth and beauty are not accomplishments. They are temporary, happy by-products of time and/or DNA. Don’t hold your breath for either. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, someone else might have given a ****” – Carrie Fisher, NBC Today Show, December 2015

After reading this, I was extremely happy to hear a celebrity addressing the masses that beauty doesn’t last. What drew me to Carrie Fisher was her honesty, which is found in abundance in her last book The Princess Diarist. 

The Princess Diarist is not about what it was like to be on the set of Star Wars. Instead, it is a coming-of-age autobiography with some journal excerpts about Carrie Fisher’s relationship with Harrison Ford. Believe it or not, Harrison Ford Continue reading

Book Review: Legend by: Marie Lu

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Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time” – Legend, Marie Lu

city-2178359_1920Initial Thoughts: According to Goodreads, I had this book on my to-read list for three years. What have I been doing with my life!? Oh right… assigned reading. Lately, I have been devouring many dystopian novels with energetic fervour such as Acide Sulfurique (Sulphuric Acid) by: Amélie Nothomb, V for Vendetta (movie novelization) by: Steve Moore, and 1984 by: George Orwell (all of which I would definitely recommend).

Summary

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets” – Goodreads

The Review

As soon as I finished the book, I couldn’t help but imagine what a movie adaptation would look like. A beautiful boy in filthy clothing with a newscap covering blond hair watching silently as police paint a red mark upon his family’s door. On the other side of the city, there is a brilliant girl – a prodigy – who lives a life of overwhelming extravagance. Then, their worlds suddenly collide when the girl’s brother is Continue reading