Review: Life of a Bastard (Vol. 1)

Title: Life of a Bastard (Vol. 1)
Author: Damien Black
Publisher: Bootlocker
Source: Author
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

“My memories from this period are often nebulous. They bend and warp like clouds caught between two fronts. A lot of terrible things happened to me that I try not to remember, but I was a child, I was innocent, and I used to be happy sometimes. ”

Born in Spanish Harlem in 1972 to a teenage Puerto Rican mother and a Black father, Javier Soto is a blemish on the face of American society. After a suspicious fire allegedly set by his mother, while his father serves time in prison, Javier and his sisters are removed from their home into foster care. This true story of Javier Soto’s life takes you on the soul-stirring journey of a young boy in the custody of a brutal world.

Beginning at the Catholic Home Bureau, Javier’s tale depicts the evolution of an innocent child into an enraged teenager as he battles his way through the perils of abuse, starvation, and neglect. Like thousands of American children who are driven into the foster care network Javier and his siblings are repeatedly shuffled through numerous foster homes, each one less welcoming than the last. Following eventual separation from his sisters, Javier is left to continue his crusade of survival alone.

An indelible account that tells of a boy’s anguish, self-loathing and an unsatisfied yearning for love that is the birthright of every child. With such little grounds for hope, how far will Javier go?


Many contemporary YA books I’ve read lately have main characters in foster care. But the endings for those children are not realistic. They get adopted by amazing families or reunited by long lost siblings or even discover that they have magical powers. This book shows the truth of what happens in foster care. 

Black did a great job of creating a narrative out of this true story. It was quite graphic at times when describing the abuse that Javier experienced, including beatings and rape. But it shows the real experience of many children in foster care. 

There were illustrations throughout the book that were childlike. They were good, but I think they make the book seem more like a children’s book, when it is definitely for an adult audience. 

This book also could have used some more proofreading. There were many errors that could have been fixed with an extra proofread. 

This book really opened my eyes to the struggles that many children face. It’s a harsh truth but a reality nonetheless. I hope this book spreads awareness of this horrible life, so kids in foster care receive better treatment. 

TBR Thursday #1

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.

I’ve had this book on my TBR list for ages! I received it as a gift last winter and I even met Jenny Han in the spring! But I just haven’t had the time to read it yet.

What do you guys think of it? Should I move it up on my reading schedule?

Review: Young Jane Young

Title: Young Jane Young
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Aviva Grossman is a bright, ambitious congressional intern with a promising political future ahead of her until she makes the mistake of having an affair with her very married boss … and writing what she thinks is an anonymous blog about it. When the affair dramatically comes to light, it’s not the popular congressman who takes the fall, it’s Aviva–and her life suddenly seems over before it’s hardly begun. Slut-shamed and hounded by the media, she becomes a late-night talk show punchline. Determined to rebuild her life on her own terms, Aviva changes her name, moves from Florida to a small town in Maine, starts her own wedding planning business … and decides to continue a surprise pregnancy.

But when “Jane” decides to run for public office, that long-ago mistake–an inescapable scarlet A–trails her via the Internet, threatening to derail her life yet again. It’s only a matter of time until her daughter finds out who her mother once was–and is forced to reconcile that person with the one she thinks she knows …


I was super excited about this book. For the most part, it didn’t disappoint. 

The struggles that Aviva faced after her affair with the congressman highlights the sexism of those scandals. Though he was just as involved as her, and he had more to lose, she took all of the blame. It carried through life and affected her chances to get a job. However, she was a smart girl so she figured out a way to reinvent herself. 

I really liked Ruby’s voice. Ruby is Jane’s daughter. She was very blunt and straightforward. She was also very intelligent. 

I was confused when the story started. It begins with Rachel Grossman’s perspective. She was Aviva’s mother. Each of the subsequent parts are about a different woman in the story. 

I think the story fell apart in the final two parts. They weren’t as interesting as the beginning. The final part backtracks a lot and gives some extra details that weren’t necessary for the story. I was expecting a more spectacular ending, because the first half was so good. 

Have any of you read this book? What did you think? 

‘Waiting On’ Wednesday

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Girls Made of Snow and Glass.

I love fairytale retellings so when I heard about this Snow White retelling, I had to request it. on Netgalley. I’ve read some really great reviews on this book, and only one or two negative ones. I’m excited to read and review it next week. Look for my review on September 5!

What books are you waiting on this week? Let me know in the comments!


Blog Tour: Masked

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Title: Masked (Superheroes Undercover #1)
Author: J.D. Wright
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Vada’s To-Do List:

– Turn 18 (check!)
– Register super name
– Order supersuit
– Attend superhero indoctrination
– Graduate high school
– Start kicking criminal tail

Vada Lawson can’t wait to be a superhero. Born into a family with special powers, she’s been training to fight criminals and villains her whole life. But her indoctrination into the underground super community is derailed when normals start breaking out in superpowers themselves.

Not trained to control their new abilities, the normals are frightened and vulnerable. Then their mutilated corpses begin turning up all over town. What the heck?

Somehow, with the help—and hindrance—of an annoying newly-minted super named Orion, Vada has to stop the chaos before it destroys her and everything she holds dear…and ruins her superhero debut.

No one ever said that being a superhero was easy…


I loved this book! Over the past year, I’ve been starting to read superhero comics. This is a great original story, with new superheroes.

I really liked the characters. They all had believable superpowers. One thing that I found hard to believe is that they didn’t recognize each other when they were out of their suits. I think they would have figured it out when they saw each other in school, but they haven’t yet.

This story kept reminding me of the movie The Incredibles. Veda’s family, with two boys and a girl and two superhero parents, were a lot like The Incredibles. That was one of my favourite movies when I was a kid, so I appreciated the similarities. Though it reminded me of that movie, this story is much more mature since there are young adults and adults in it, so they are not aimed at the same audience.

I really enjoyed this story and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series!

About the Author:

JDWrightJ.D. Wright is a military wife, mother of four, and author of romance, paranormal, and fantasy romance books filled with strong-willed heroines, swoon-worthy heroes, and sprinkled with humor and adventure. J.D. creates artistry in many ways, as a baker and cake artist by day and author by night. You can usually find her typing away at the computer or covered in frosting.

Since discovering she has a knack for writing, J.D. has so far written and self-published eight books of the Everealm and Songs of Everealm Series and is now venturing into the world of contemporary romance. She is also writing paranormal YA with her new superhero-themed series. She is an avid reader and lover of all things romance so she always includes a good love story in her paranormal and fantasy novels.

Author Links:

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Book Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

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Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for letting me participate in this blog tour.

Top Ten Tuesday – Hidden Gems in Victorian Literature

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Hidden Gems in X Genre: pick a genre and tell us about the books that have gone under the radar in that genre.

When most people hear the words Victorian Literature they sigh and roll their eyes. The Victorian era has the image of being stuffy and boring. It is my favourite era for literature. I live for all things Victorian!

Here is my list of the hidden gems in Victorian literature. Hopefully these books will give you a different perspective of the Victorian era. (Also, please note that Jane Austen is not on this list. She is one of my favourite novelists, BUT she did not write during the Victorian era. I always cringe when she is included on lists of Victorian authors. Jane Austen died before Queen Victoria took the throne, so Austen wrote during the Regency period, not Victorian. Whew! I just had to get that off my chest!):


Turn of The Screw

This is one of the creepiest ghost stories ever. The governess sees the ghost of her predecessor, who keeps calling on the children. It has a sudden ending that will take your breath away.


The Mayor of Casterbridge

This story is subtitled “The Life and Death of a Man of Character.” This is the emotional tale of the man who was the mayor of Casterbridge, as the title says. Though it is debatable if he could be considered a “man of character.”


Mill on The Floss

When I read this book it quickly became my favourite Victorian novel! I read it right after completing a Victorian literature class in university, where I learned about the traditional ending of a Victorian novel: a happy ending with marriage. However, I loved the unconventional ending to this novel. You’ll just have to read it to find out what it is!


The Picture of Dorian Gray

This book is a great look at the human conscience. I love Oscar Wilde, and I wish he had written more novels. This one is just beautiful.


The Moonstone

This is a great mystery about the special moonstone. I read this for a university class on the English detective novel. It’s great for any mystery lovers.



This book is like Dracula’s mother. It’s quite timely with the popularity of vampire novels in the last decade. This one has a young girl as the protagonist. It’s a must read for vampire fans!


The Professor

Though Jane Eyre is Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece, she wrote other great novels too. The Professor is her semi-autobiographical book about a professor at an all-girls school in Brussels.



This is George Eliot’s most famous work. It is a study in provincial life, which takes place in the town of Middlemarch. This look at the way the town works is much like J.K. Rowling’s Casual Vacancy.


Bleak House

A group of orphans live in the aptly named Bleak House. This is a funny novel from Dickens. I was the only person in my university class to actually read the entire thing, and I think everyone else really missed out on the great story. Don’t let the length discourage you!


Goblin Market

This is a poem by Christina Rossetti. It’s eerie and creepy but very well done. There is a new adaptation of this poem that is coming out in October called The Goblins of Bellwater.


Have you read any of these books? Do you like Victorian literature? Let me know in the comments!

(All images taken from Goodreads)

Cover Reveal: The Perils of Growing Up Werewolf (Hair in all the Wrong Places #2)


Hello readers! Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

The Perils of Growing Up Werewolf
(Hair in all the Wrong Places #2)
by Andrew Buckley!

Be on the lookout for this upcoming title from
Tantrum Books / Month9Books!




Being a werewolf is no picnic. Colin’s constantly hungry, spends a ton of time shaving, and fights to keep his emotions in check to avoid turning into a giant, drooling, hairy, smelly, howling wolf. But Colin’s not the only creature hanging around the town of Elkwood. Vampires, zombies, goblins, ogres, and other questionable visitors and their various shenanigans have got everyone on edge.

Colin just wants to live a normal life, date, and get his homework done on time. But the town of Elkwood needs him. So when a secret government organization asks for his help, will he be able to control the animal inside, or will he give in to the perils of growing up werewolf?

The Perils of Growing Up Werewolf
(Hair in all the Wrong Places #2)
by Andrew Buckley!

Available for Pre-order:



Andrew Buckley attended the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program. After pitching and developing several screenplay projects for film and television, he worked in marketing and public relations, before becoming a professional copy and content writer. During this time Andrew began writing his first adult novel, DEATH, THE DEVIL AND THE GOLDFISH, followed closely by his second novel, STILTSKIN. He works as an editor for Curiosity Quills Press.

Andrew also co-hosts a geek movie podcast, is working on his next novel, and has a stunning amount of other ideas. He now lives happily in the Okanagan Valley, BC with three kids, one cat, one needy dog, one beautiful wife, and a multitude of characters that live comfortably inside of his mind.

Andrew is represented by Mark Gottlieb at the Trident Media Group.

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