Review: Bellevue Square


Title: Bellevue Square
Author: Michael Redhill
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: Purchased
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Rating: ★★★★‪★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Jean Mason has a doppelganger. At least, that’s what people tell her. Apparently it hangs out in Kensington Market, where it sometimes buys churros and shops for hats. Jean doesn’t rattle easy, not like she used to. She’s a grown woman with a husband and two kids, as well as a thriving business, and Toronto is a fresh start for the whole family. She certainly doesn’t want to get involved in anything dubious, but still . . . why would two different strangers swear up and down they’d just seen her–with shorter hair furthermore?

Jean’s curiosity quickly gets the better of her, and she visits the market, but sees no one who looks like her. The next day, she goes back to look again. And the day after that. Before she knows it, she’s spending an hour here, an afternoon there, watching, taking notes, obsessing and getting scared. With the aid of a small army of locals who hang around in the market’s only park, she expands her surveillance, making it known she’ll pay for information or sightings. A peculiar collection of drug addicts, scam artists, philanthropists, philosophers and vagrants–the regulars of Bellevue Square–are eager to contribute to Jean’s investigation. But when some of them start disappearing, it becomes apparent that her alleged double has a sinister agenda. Unless Jean stops her, she and everyone she cares about will face a fate stranger than death.

Review:

This book was just nominated for the Giller Prize and I’m so happy it was!

On the surface, it seems like an innocent story about a woman who sees her doppelgänger. But it’s so much more than that.

Jean is an unreliable narrator. I noticed right away that her story didn’t add up with what she told her husband. It made me suspicious of her. There are also things that get mixed up, but she acts like it’s normal, such as people not remembering people they should know. These conflicting reports are woven in such a way that draws you right into the story.

About halfway through, I thought I was figuring it out, but then I was thrown right back into the mix again. It’s disorienting but fascinating at the same time. There are so many layers to the story that it’s hard to tell which way is up sometimes, but in a good way. 

I highly recommend this book for an exciting read!

Weekly Wrap Up #7

Here’s my weekly wrap up!

Here are my reviews for the week:

My favourites were The Upside of Unrequited and Confessions.

I also did a weekly book meme everyday:

What did you read this week? Have you read any of these books?

Review: Suicide Squad, Volume 1: The Black Vault


Title: Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: The Black Vault
Author: Rob Williams, Jim Lee
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: Purchased
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Harley Quinn. Deadshot. Killer Croc. Enchantress. Captain Boomerang. Katana. They’re dangerous. They’re deadly. They’re deeply unstable. And they’re our only hope. They’re the characters from the smash-hit film and they’re here in this great new starting-point graphic novel, SUICIDE SQUAD VOL. 1: THE BLACK VAULT, as part of DC Rebirth!

Assembled by the tough-as-nails intelligence expert Amanda Waller and overseen by disgraced military genius Captain Rick Flag, the men, women and monsters of the Suicide Squad—a.k.a. Task Force X—do the jobs that are too dirty for any superheroes to soil their capes over.

Their latest mission should be easy enough: recover a powerful cosmic weapon called the Black Vault from enemy hands. But what happens when the Black Vault begins turning them into their own worst enemies?

As the object’s dark influence spreads and the team is driven to madness and mayhem (more than usual, that is), there’s only one person sane enough to save the Squad from certain destruction…the Clown Princess of Crazy herself, Harley Quinn!

Review:

After reading Harley Quinn graphic novels, I decided to try out the Suicide Squad, to see her in her glory. This is a great introduction to this group.

This graphic novel was never boring! It was exciting to see the group fighting together. I always had to laugh when Harley messed something up (can you tell she’s my favourite?).

The main story was fairly short. The last half introduced each of the characters individually. Since I wasn’t familiar with most of these characters, I liked reading these mini stories.

I also liked how Waller was the clear leader of the group. She brings them all together, out of their prison cells, and tries to direct their destructive tendencies toward fighting evil.

I enjoyed this graphic novel. It’s a great start to this series.

Stacking the Shelves #6

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

The shortlist for the Giller prize was announced this week, so I bought two of the five books on the list.  I want to read at least these two before the winner is announced in November. 


I also bought a Wonder Woman graphic novel. And when I was paying for it, the sales girl asked me if I liked Harley Quinn (it’s like she could read my mind!). So she gave me some free comics! That was pretty awesome!


Finally, I was so excited when I saw The Big Lie available on NetGalley! I have been looking forward to this graphic novel since the spring. Now I’ll be able to review it before it comes out!


What books did you buy this week? Have you read any of these ones?

Review: Confessions


Title: Confessions
Author: Kanae Minato, Stephen Snyder (translator)
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Release Date: August 5, 2008
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Her pupils killed her daughter. Now, she will have her revenge.

After an engagement that ended in tragedy, all Yuko Moriguchi had to live for was her four-year-old child, Manami. Now, after a heartbreaking accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation.

But first, she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that will upend everything her students ever thought they knew about two of their peers, and sets in motion a maniacal plot for revenge.

Narrated in alternating voices, with twists you’ll never see coming, Confessions probes the limits of punishment, despair, and tragic love, culminating in a harrowing confrontation between teacher and student that will place the occupants of an entire school in harm’s way. You’ll never look at a classroom the same way again.

Review:

This book is so amazing! 

It has an unusual beginning. The narrator in the first chapter is Moriguchi, and she is speaking directly to her class. She speaks to the reader, making it seem like you are one of the students. This brought me right into the story. For each chapter, the narrator changes. This was hard to get used to at first because it isn’t obvious who the narrator is at he beginning of the chapter. It took a couple of paragraphs to figure out who it was. But in the end, this technique gave different perspectives of the story which was very interesting. 

I like the conflicting feelings between the two students involved in the murder. One regrets that he didn’t succeed in killing the girl, while the other regrets that he did succeed in killing her. It was fascinating to see how these feelings of regret and failure play out in the young minds of the boys. 

Most of the characters are trying to get revenge for something that was done to them. Though their plan usually fails, the person does end up being damaged from the results in some way, just not the way they planned. The ultimate revenge happened at the end. It actually gave me chills. 

I’m so glad I read this book. I highly recommend it for a unique thriller! 

First Lines Friday #6

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“This is a memory I want to keep forever: Grace standing at the stove of her parents’ rental cottage in one of her dad’s oversize T-shirts as she makes us a can of SpaghettiOs. Her mom already cleaned out the fridge and cabinets, throwing away anything with an expiration date.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy.


Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

I’m excited to start this book soon! Have you read it?

Release Week Blitz: Never Apart

 

Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Never Apart by Romily Bernard

presented by Entangled Teen!

Grab your copy today!

 

Congratulations Romily!

 

 

How many times would you die for love?

What if you had to relive the same five days over and over?

And what if at the end of it, your boyfriend is killed…

And you have to watch. Every time.

You don’t know why you’re stuck in this nightmare.

But you do know that these are the rules you now live by:

Wake Up.

Run.

Die.

Repeat.

Now, the only way to escape this loop is to attempt something crazy. Something dangerous. Something completely unexpected. This time…you’re not going to run.

Combining heart-pounding romance and a thrilling mystery Never Apart is a stunning story you won’t soon forget.

Never Apart by Romily Bernard
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled

 

 

Romily Bernard graduated from Georgia State University with a literature degree. Since then, she’s worked as a riding instructor, cell-phone salesperson, personal assistant, horse groomer and exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service representative. . . . She’s also, of course, now a YA novelist. So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed. Romily currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Her debut novel, Find Me, won the Golden Heart Award for YA Romance from the Romance Writers of America in 2012.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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