Review: How to Survive in the North

Title: How to Survive in the North
Author: Luke Healy
Genre: Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Nobrow Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: November 15, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

With stunning narrative skill, this compelling graphic novel intricately weaves together true-life narratives from 1912, 1926 and a fictional story set in the present day. How To Survive in the North is an unforgettable journey of love and loss, showing the strength it takes to survive in the harshest conditions.

Review:

2013: Sully Barnaby is put on leave from the university where he works after having a relationship with a student. He finds comfort in the library, researching the Arctic expeditions of 1912 and 1926. The 1912 expedition follows a grumpy captain, Robert Bartlett, whose ship ends up stranded on a deserted island. In 1926, another group of explorers went on the same expedition. Ada Blackjack told their story of being stranded on the same island.

All of the characters in these three alternating narratives have to deal with some kind of crisis. Sully had a midlife crisis after being placed on a leave of absence. Bartlett and Blackjack had to solve problems to survive in the Arctic. Bartlett was a captain who had to make decisions to save his crew. Blackjack had to learn survival skills, such as how to hunt, so that she could survive until she was rescued. They all faced different forms of crisis and survivals.

Each of these stories were devastating in their own ways. Sully lost all of his life’s work and had to give up his job because of the relationship he had with his student. He learned from reading about the Arctic expeditions how to pick up his life and continue on. The 1912 and 1926 narratives were set in harsh living conditions. Many people died on those expeditions. They also had to hunt and kill animals to survive. Some of these scenes were upsetting to read, but they reflect that period and place in history.

How to Survive in the North is a fascinating graphic novel about the Arctic expeditions.

Thank you Nobrow Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Americana by Luke Healy

Have you read How to Survive in the North? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – June 30

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 Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena. The expected publication date is July 27, 2021.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The new domestic suspense novel from the New York Timesbestselling author of The Couple Next Door and Someone We Know who has sold more than 7 million copies of her books worldwide

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets–especially the dead. Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there. And they don’t come much richer than Fred and Sheila Mercer. But even all their money can’t protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mercers are brutally murdered the night after an Easter Dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their capricious father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did one of them snap after that dreadful evening? Or was it someone else that night who crept in with the worst of intentions? It must be. After all, if one of your siblings was a psychopath, you’d know.

Wouldn’t you?

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Instamom

Title: Instamom
Author: Chantel Guertin
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 29, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Fans of Lauren Weisberger and Emily Henry won’t want to miss this funny, sexy, and emotional novel that looks at modern relationships, modern choices, and redefining—not to mention rebranding—your dreams, through the eyes of an Instagram influencer. 

A PopSugar Beach Reads Selection

In this #funny, #wise, #emotionally compelling look at modern love and finding your true path, a proudly kid-free influencer meets the ultimate #dealbreaker . . .

It’s the influencer’s golden rule: know your niche. Kit Kidding has found hers on Instagram, where she gets paid to promote brands and share expertly curated posts about her fun, fabulous, child-free life. Kit likes kids just fine, but she passionately believes that women who choose not to become mothers shouldn’t have to face guilt. Or judgement. Or really hot chefs who turn out to be single dads.

Will MacGregor is aggravating, sexy, persistent, averse to social media, and definitely a bad idea. As soon as Kit learns his parenting status, she vows to put their scorching one-night stand behind her and move on. But Will and Kit are thrown together on an Instagram campaign, and the more time she spends with him—and his whip-smart, eight-year-old daughter, Addie—the more difficult it is to stay away, much less sustain what Will so cleverly calls her “Resting Beach Face.” Kit’s picture-perfect career path is suddenly clashing with the possibility of a different future—messy, complicated, and real. Which life does she truly want? Will she have to re-invent herself? And will love still be waiting by the time she figures it out?

Review:

Kit Kidding is a Toronto influencer who promotes brands and her child-free lifestyle. She’s created a community for women who choose to not have children. When she meets Will MacGregor, a local chef, there’s an instant attraction. They end up working together on a brand promotion. However, when Kit learns that Will has a daughter, she second guesses their relationship. Being seen with a child would ruin Kit’s no-children brand. Even though his daughter, Addie, is smart and lovable, Kit is reluctant to be in a relationship with a man with a child because she doesn’t want to be a mother. Kit must decide if she will choose love or keep up her brand that she’s outgrowing.

Kit Kidding created a community for women who don’t want to have children. I think that it’s crazy that people think they have the right to judge people, particularly women, for their choice not to have children. I’ve heard it so many times, but it’s not anyone’s business if a woman has a child, whether by choice or not. Kit had to create this community so that women had a safe place to go to be with people who also chose not to have children.

Kit was also an Instagram influencer, so this story showed the positives and negatives of influencer lifestyle. Kit got to go to exclusive events and meet lots of people. However, she also had to promote brands that she didn’t want to use. She didn’t cook, but she had a contract to promote a food kit brand. Will solved this problem by cooking the food for her. It can make influencers lose their credibility if they promote brands just for the money and not because they actually like the brand. Kit had to figure out how to adjust her brand so that it suited the person she grew into by the end of the story.

Instamom is a fun contemporary romance!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

She’s Faking It by Kristin Rockaway

Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley

Have you read Instamom? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Most Anticipated Releases of the Last Half of 2021

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Most Anticipated Releases of the Last Half of 2021. Here’s my list:

1. Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

2. If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy

3. Cazadora by Romina Garber

4. Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain

5. The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen

6. Gilded by Marissa Meyer

7. Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

8. Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray

9. Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper

10. You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith

(All book covers from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Happy Pub Day – June 29

Happy Pub Day to all of these new books!

The Betrayed by Kiera Cass

Instamom by Chantel Guertin

The Devil and the Heiress by Harper St. George

In Royal Service to the Queen by Tessa Arlen

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Eat Your Heart Out by Kelly deVos

Samira Surfs by Rukhsanna Guidroz

This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

That Weekend by Kara Thomas

Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

The Chariot at Dusk by Swati Teerdhala

The Girl Least Likely by Katy Loutzenhiser

What books are you most excited for this week?

Review: The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow

Title: The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow (The Okay Witch #2)
Author: Emma Steinkellner
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Contemporary
Publisher: Aladdin
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this hilarious and heartwarming sequel to the bestselling and critically acclaimed graphic novel, The Okay Witch, half-witch Moth Hush uses magic to boost her confidence with disastrous results—perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Molly Ostertag!

Moth Hush is starting to settle into her newfound witch heritage and powers, but life at school continues to be rough. Even her best friend, Charlie, doesn’t entirely understand what it’s like for her to always be the one who gets mocked, and things only get worse when Moth’s mom starts dating one of the dorkiest teachers in the school! Then Moth gets hold of a mysterious charm that can unleash another version of herself—one who is confident, cool, and extremely popular. What could possibly go wrong?

Review:

Moth Hush is a witch, but she’s not allowed to do magic at school. She gets teased at school, and it would be easier if she could just use a spell to make herself more likable. The bullying gets worse when her mom starts dating one of her teachers. Then, Moth discovers a magic charm necklace that can make her popular. But every kind of magic has a price.

This graphic novel started out with a recap of the first book. I was really glad to see that because it’s been a while since I read the first book. It was told by her talking cat, Lazlo, who is a hilarious character. I appreciated seeing this brief recap at the beginning of the book.

Moth faced bullying in her school. Her classmates were quite mean. Moth felt like an outsider since she had just discovered she was a witch, but she couldn’t tell anyone except for her best friend. Using a magic charm didn’t solve her problem. It masked it for a while, but it ended up causing a bigger issue in the end. Rather than fighting back or changing what kind of person she was to please her classmates, Moth had to learn how to be herself.

The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow is a great middle grade graphic novel!

Thank you Simon and Schuster for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Just Pretend by Tori Sharp

The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – June 28

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow by Emma Steinkellner.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Instamom by Chantel Guertin.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Tell Me When You Feel Something by Vicki Grant.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – June 27

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 7 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… Realm Breaker

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading Realm Breaker (Realm Breaker #1) by Victoria Aveyard.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A strange darkness grows in Allward.

Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.

She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions:

A squire, forced to choose between home and honor.
An immortal, avenging a broken promise.
An assassin, exiled and bloodthirsty.
An ancient sorceress, whose riddles hide an eerie foresight.
A forger with a secret past.
A bounty hunter with a score to settle.

Together they stand against a vicious opponent, invincible and determined to burn all kingdoms to ash, and an army unlike anything the realm has ever witnessed.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – LGBTQIA+ Books on My TBR

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is LGBTQIA+ Books on My TBR. Here’s my list:

1. A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

2. Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar

3. Never Kiss Your Roommate by Philline Harms

4. May the Best Man Win by Z.R. Ellor

5. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

6. In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens

(All book covers from Goodreads)

Did you make a Six for Sunday list?