Review: The Christmas Holiday

Title: The Christmas Holiday
Author: Maxine Morrey
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: HQ Digital
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: September 22, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Fall in love this winter on a romantic trip around the world ending in a fairy-tale winter wedding!

As winter comes to London, journalist Mia Walker is desperately hoping for her big break as a travel writer, dreaming of exotic locations and sun-soaked beaches. When she’s invited to write a romantic travel piece that ends in a huge winter wedding in London, she jumps at the chance. The only trouble is, the photographer is renowned adventure-junkie Hunter Scott, who Mia last saw five years ago when she ended their engagement.

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and Mia knows she’d be mad to say no – even if it does mean spending weeks travelling round the world with the one man she never wanted to see again! But as the wedding approaches, and the magic of Christmas begins to take hold, Mia can’t help looking out for mistletoe – and wishing she hadn’t cancelled her own engagement after all…

Review:

This is a unique romantic comedy.

The dynamic of Mia and Hunter’s former relationship was quite funny at times. They bickered like an old married couple, though they don’t want to get back together. We also don’t learn about what ended their engagement for a long time, which keeps their relationship intriguing.

The way that Mia and Hunter go on a trip with Olivia and her fiancé around the world was unusual but entertaining. I didn’t really get why they had to document the trip in that way. It was a nice way to showcase different parts of the world in the story, but I didn’t see it as a realistic trip.

Some parts were glossed over when they should have been described in detail. For example, Mia gets injured on one of their excursions but it isn’t described. Yet, other activities where nothing exciting happens are told in the story. There should have been more action in the scenes where they did activities and travelled.

I think the story could have been given a better name. Olivia and Sandeep are having a Christmas themed wedding, but that’s the only Christmas thing about the book. It takes place in the winter, but since Christmas doesn’t play an important role throughout the whole story, I don’t think it should be in the title.

Overall, this is a cute and funny story.

Best Books of 2017 – Graphic Novels

Here are my favourite graphic novels of 2017:

 

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Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie

Author: Anthony Del Col, Werther Dell’edera
Publisher: 
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: 
November 28, 2017
Rating: ★★★★
My Review

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Gotham Academy: Second Semester Volume 1

Author: Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl
Publisher:
DC Comics
Release Date:
July 25, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★
My Review

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Harley Quinn, Volume 3: Red Meat

Author: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★
My Review

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Batwoman, Volume 1: The Many Arms of Death

Author: Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: November 21, 2017
Rating: ★★★★
My Review

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Super Sons, Volume 1: When I Grow Up

Author: Peter J. Tomasi
Publisher: 
DC Comics
Release Date: 
October 17, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★
My Review

My list for the best Non-Fiction books of 2017 is here.

 

Review: Depth of Field

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Title: Depth of Field
Author: Chantel Guertin
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: ECW Press
Source: Purchased
Release Date: 
August 12, 2014
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Two weeks in New York City should be the time of Pippa’s life: she’s attending the prestigious Tisch Photography Camp, her boyfriend, Dylan McCutter (two months and counting!) is coming with her, and their parents are 500 miles away. Talk about lights, camera, (swoony, unchaperoned) action! But what should be 14 unforgettable days of bliss turns into chaos when her one and only nemesis, Ben Baxter, proves to be surprisingly more complex than she could’ve ever imagined, and her Tisch mentor, a renowned photographer, seems to have a lot more to do with her parents’ past than anyone wants her to know. Is Pippa out of her depth?

Picking up where she left off in The Rule of Thirds, Pippa Greene returns in Depth of Field, in a story full of the same heart, comedic touches, and romance that made readers fall in love with Chantel Guertin’s charming YA series.

Review:

Here’s another great book in the Pippa Greene series!

I loved that this story took place in New York. It gives a different side to Pippa, since she is out of her high school. The dynamic of her, Dylan and Ben continues since they all go to New York. And their love triangle also carries on. These characters are realistic and relatable.

I like the backdrop of photography in these stories. I have learned so much about photography, which I wouldn’t have known otherwise. Pippa made me want to pick up a camera and enter some photography contests!

There were some surprising twists in this story. An important part of Pippa’s family history was revealed, which was shocking! I couldn’t have guessed what was going to happen.

I’m so excited to read the next book in the series!

Best Books of 2017 – Non-Fiction

When I looked back on my favourite books of 2017, there were just too many to choose from, so I decided to separate them by genre: Non-Fiction, Graphic Novels, Adult Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. These lists are in no particular order. My first list is Non-Fiction:

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How to Be A Bawse

Author: Lilly Singh
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★
My Review

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Gutenberg’s Fingerprint: A Book Lover Bridges the Digital Divide

Author: Merilyn Simonds
Publisher: ECW Press
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★
My Review

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Just Jen: Thriving Through Multiple Sclerosis

Author: Jen Powley
Publisher: Roseway Publishing
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★
My Review

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The Pinks: The First Women Detectives, Operatives, and Spies with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency

Author: Chris Enss
Publisher: Rowan & Littlefield
Release Date: July 1, 2017
Rating: ★★★★
My Review

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Unqualified

Author: Anna Faris
Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Rating: ★★★★
My Review

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Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud

Author: Anne Helen Petersen
Publisher: Plume
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Rating: ★★★★
My Review

Book Blitz: Month9Books Year in Review

 

It’s time to celebrate more amazing 2017 titles from Month9Books!

Today we are showcasing just a few of the books that you need to get and enjoy while relaxing during the holiday season.

While your here, be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Be on the lookout for Part 3 of the Year in Review with Month9books!

 

 

WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED IN 2017:

 

 

 

Savage begins the Dragonrider Legacy series, a thrilling companion to the international bestselling Dragonrider Chronicles.

Never send a hero to do a monster’s job.

Forty years have passed since Jaevid Broadfeather brought peace to Maldobar and Luntharda. But that fragile truce will be tested as darkness gathers on the horizon. The vicious armies of the Tibran Empire have crossed the far seas and are threatening to destroy Maldobar completely. Not even the dragonriders can match the Tibran war machines. And after an attempt to awaken Jaevid from his divine sleep fails, the fate of Maldobar is looking grim.

Reigh has never known what it means to be a normal human. Raised amongst the gray elves in the wild jungle of Luntharda, he’s tried everything to fit in. But the dark power within him is bursting at the seams—refusing to be silenced. And while his adoptive father, Kiran, insists this power must be kept secret, Reigh knows he’s running out of time.

As Maldobar burns, the world is desperate for a new hero. Destiny has called, and one boy will rise to answer.

Savage (Dragonrider Legacy #1)
by Nicole Conway
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

 

 

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.
Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.
She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.
Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

 

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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
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Tantrum Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

 

 

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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Finding out you were wrong about something important can be a let down. But Poppy is pleased to learn she’s not just a Monday. She’s a Cusper, a weekday lucky enough to have TWO powers. Poppy’s elation is short-lived when she, Ellie, Logan, and Sam return to Power Academy as camp counselors, only to find themselves out of their element and struggling with the new drama teacher and his disaster of a school musical. When some campers go missing, Poppy and her team of weekdays are on the case. Soon, Poppy begins to realize that much like her powers, the seemingly-perfect town of Nova has some flaws, and the origin of her powers is as questionable as Headmistress Clothes-too-tight Larriby’s choice in outfits.If only there were more days in the week!

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

 

Jennie K. Brown is a high school English teacher by day, freelance magazine writer by night, and middlegrade/young adult author by late-night and weekend. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Jennie can be found reading a good book, traveling, or spending time with her awesome husband, amazing son and super-spoiled yorkie.In 2010, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) named Jennie the Pennsylvania English teacher of excellence, and she currently serves as President of the Pennsylvania Council for Teachers of English and Language Arts (PCTELA). She is also an active member of SCBWI, NCTE and ALAN.

 

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In exactly twenty-three days, Gryphon will offer his life to Chief Barnabas in exchange for the lives of his best friend and mess brothers. Until then, he must keep his plans from Zo while avoiding the Wolves of the Allied Camp. But Gryphon is not the only one harboring secrets. To spare her own life, Zo has made a blood oath promising to help the Kodiak Clan free their families living as Nameless slaves. When Gryphon learns the truth — that the peaceful life he’d planned for Zo is not secure — he divulges a secret that will give the Allies the upper hand against the Ram.

Now, The Great Move is underway and a final battle between the Wolf, Ram, Kodiak and Raven cannot be stopped. Strength will be tested. Loyalties will be questioned. Alliances will form. In a world of uncertainty and danger, Zo and Gryphon may finally have what they’ve each always wanted.

Fearless (Nameless #3) by Jennifer Jenkins
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

 

With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington and appreciate the finer points of ancient battle stratagem. (Seriously, she’s obsessed with ancient warfare.) However, life had different plans in store when the writing began. As a proud member of Writers Cubed, and a co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, she feels blessed to be able to fulfill both her ambition to work with teens as well as write Young Adult fiction.

Jennifer has three children who are experts at naming her characters, one loving, supportive husband, a dog with little-man syndrome, and three chickens (of whom she is secretly afraid).

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |Instagram

 

 

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Review: Scythe

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Title: Scythe
Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Purchased
Release Date: 
November 22, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898Goodreads Synopsis:

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Review:

I loved this story!

I got into the world of the Scythes right away. It takes place in the distant future, when people no longer die natural deaths. There are no more diseases or accidents. Scythes must choose who dies and “glean” them. Considering how much technology has advanced over the past centuries, it almost seems possible. Many diseases are now curable and everyday activities are no longer dangerous, so perhaps one day we will have healing genes so that we can’t die naturally.

I really felt immersed in this world. There were so many twists from the beginning to end, and I couldn’t predict what would happen. I also liked that there were only a few main characters, so they were much more developed. Many contemporary YA fantasy novels have ensemble casts, so there are a lot of people to keep track of. But this one focused on a few main ones.

I just loved this book. I’m so glad that I won’t have to wait long to read the sequel. Thunderhead comes out in a couple of weeks, and I will be reviewing it then!

Review: Red Queen

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Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart

Review:

This story is a lot like other contemporary YA Fantasy novels. Mare is a low class girl who finds herself at the palace where she discovers she is special, and she is valuable to the kingdom. This plot is like the Throne of Glass series or the Selection series. I was disappointed that it had an unoriginal beginning.

I did like the dynamic of the Reds and Silvers. Though I wasn’t happy that the story began in a predictable way, I was shocked at Mare’s powers. She’s a unique character. I liked her strength, though her bravery often got her into trouble.

Though I was initially disappointed by how this story began, I am going to continue with the series. It’s very popular, and I hope the rest of it heads in a different direction from other similar series.