Tag «witty»

Fresh Fridays: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide #1) by Mackenzi Lee

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

Guide Series

Other books in the series:


Synopsis for The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (from Goodreads):

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.


Series: Guide
Author: Mackenzi Lee
# of Books: 2 ( The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: No, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy will release October 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Adventure, Romance
Heat Rating: warm **suggestive content**
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: June 2017 – ongoing
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I don’t think I could escape this book if I tried in 2017. Not that I wanted to. It seemed like it would be a lot of fun but people also said that about My Lady Jane and I didn’t “love” that one either.

So I was hoping for more of a Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda type of experience going into this. I didn’t know what else to expect plotwise but I was ready to be surprised!

What I Liked:

–The Tension–

I’ll be honest, I mostly picked this up for the romance between Monty and Percy. I just love all the tension that comes from “off limits” romances. And this is a romance that is off limits in a lot of ways which makes it such an intriguing one to read. Not only are the two best friends but they are two males in a time when that relationship isn’t accepted in popular society. Add to that their ranks in the peerage, race and their own coming of age stories, you have a lot of factors telling these two to stay away.

Which makes those moments of letting go so enjoyable as a reader. These two are just so genuine with each other that you immediately want them to be together no matter the obstacles in their way.

–Slightly Dry Humour–

When everyone mentioned the humour in the book, I was worried I wasn’t going to find it funny. I’m a girl who laughs at everything but humour in books sometimes escapes me. That’s why I considered listening to the audiobook instead because I find it easier to get the sarcasm and laughs. But when I listened to the sample, the narrator didn’t sound like what I imagined Monty would sound like so I stuck with the print.

I’m glad I did because I did find myself chuckling quite a bit at this book. Monty has such an interesting perspective and his off-hand, dry comments just seemed so “British” to me.


Don’t get me wrong, I liked Monty as a lead. As I mentioned above, he’s witty and dramatic and he’s a lot of fun to read about. But Felicity really surprised me as a character. I didn’t think she’d have much of a role but I loved all the little tidbits we got about her and her attitude in general. She’s a fantastic supporting character.

–Diversity & The History–

Like I said in the “Tension” section, you have a lot of social issues/topics at play here. When they are used all together you feel as though you are transported to the 1700s. It just adds this depth and realism to the world by highlighting various things.

What I Didn’t Like:

–It Felt a Little Long–

I definitely missed the “manhunt that spans across Europe” in the synopsis. And while I enjoyed that plot (I’m glad there was something else at play besides the romance) I felt like it took far too long to get resolved. I just found myself getting a little bored with it near the end. While that dramatic plot was moving forward I felt like everything else went to a standstill. For me, this book could have been 50 pages shorter and I would have been more than satisfied.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Obviously I enjoyed Felicity’s character so I’m excited for her to get her own book!

My Rating: 4/5

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue 4/5 | The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy TBA


This is a great read for historical YA fans without a doubt. But if you love stories that take you on a fun and heartwarming adventure, pick this up!

Read if You Like: adventure, historical, GLBT
Avoid if You: dislike adventure, historical


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Single Sundays: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (from Goodreads):

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.


SERIESous’ Top Picks: Fave YA Standalone 2017
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age, GLBT, Humour
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

This book was EVERYWHERE in 2015. Honestly, you couldn’t escape it. But I was really excited to read it because it sounded a lot like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Will Grayson, Will Grayson–two of my all time favourite novels. And I don’t been just because all three share GLBT themes. This book promised to be filled with wit, hilarity and a touching story about being comfortable with who you are.

I was so close to adding this to my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge but opted to choose another series for the 2015 picks. But when I was browsing audiobooks to listen to, this one popped up and I knew it was the perfect choice.

The Narration/Audiobook Experience:

I have no doubt in my mind that I enjoyed this book 20x more as an audiobook than if I had read the paper copy. Oh, I would have enjoyed the written novel for sure but the range of emotions I felt reading this were all thanks to the audiobook.

It’s a totally different experience when you hear Simon’s narration aloud. The narrator does a fabulous job conveying the emotions Simon is feeling with his tone and delivery. It’s fabulous! I felt like it was my BFF telling me his experience and not just reading a book aloud. I could spend a whole post gushing about the wonderful experience I had listening to the audiobook.

The Plot:

For a contemporary novel, this had great pacing. I sometimes find contemporary novels get caught up in the mundane moments of everyday life but that is never the case here.

You get those moments with Blue and Simon that have you swooning and sighing thanks to the emails. (More on that in the Romance Section.) The mystery of who Blue was had me spewing all sorts of theories as I read and I couldn’t wait for the big reveal.

But you also have those moments with Simon’s character growth. Whether that’s through interactions with his family, friends or events at school–this story never had a dull moment. And I think part of that reason is Simon’s narration.

The Characters:

Wow, I haven’t loved a character as much as I have loved Simon in a long time! Not only is he hilarious and extremely witty–seriously, he had me in stitches!–he is also extremely endearing as a hero.

He just came across as so real to me. Sometimes it’s hard to connect to the humanity of a character in contemporaries–or at least for me–but I never had that problem here. He shares his fears and flaws but also learns from them. Watching his confidence blossom was so rewarding for me as a reader.

And the rest of the cast is also fabulous. Special shout-out to Simon’s parents who reminded me of the role parents should have in a YA contemporary series.

The Romance:

Swoon! I loved this! Simon gushing about his crush melted my heart. It just felt so real to me! Watching two people share their vulnerabilities and falling in love with them was so great.

My Rating: 5/5


I found a new favourite! This is definitely worthy of sitting beside my all time faves, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Absolute perfection.

Read if You Like: humour, coming of age, GLBT
Avoid if You: dislike YA contemporaries


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Single Sundays: Sh*t my Dad Says by Justin Halpern

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Sh*t my Dad Says (from Goodreads):
After being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, twenty-eight-year-old Justin Halpern found himself living at home with his seventy-three-year-old dad. Sam Halpern, who is “like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair,” has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him:
“That woman was sexy. . . . Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won’t screw you. Don’t do it for them.”

“Do people your age know how to comb their hair? It looks like two squirrels crawled on their heads and started fucking.”

“The worst thing you can be is a liar. . . . Okay, fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but then number two is liar. Nazi one, liar two.”
More than a million people now follow Mr. Halpern’s philosophical musings on Twitter, and in this book, his son weaves a brilliantly funny, touching coming-of-age memoir around the best of his quotes. An all-American story that unfolds on the Little League field, in Denny’s, during excruciating family road trips, and, most frequently, in the Halperns’ kitchen over bowls of Grape-Nuts, Sh*t My Dad Says is a chaotic, hilarious, true portrait of a father-son relationship from a major new comic voice


Author: Justin Halpern
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Humour
Heat Rating: N/A
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Sometimes, I get car sick when I read. It puts a damper on my reading plans (that’s 3-6 hours I could use to starting/finishing a novel!) but when I discovered the awesomeness that is audiobooks last year, I saw a great alternative. So when it came to the summer and I had two road trips scheduled, I made sure I had some audiobooks on hand just in case I felt like tossing my cookies while I attempted to finish a novel.

Honestly, I found this novel by browsing the nonfiction>humour>available now options at my library. I was familiar with this story though and thought it would be a fun one to listen to, especially with my family who loves witty comedies.

The Concept:

This is a pretty fun concept. We all have that one family member who seems to say the randomest things that make you laugh. It could be your dad, your uncle, your mom, your sibling, your grandma–the list is endless. And then. ever once and a while, they impart this little nugget of wisdom. So I think it goes without saying that most readers can relate to this in some way or another. I know I can from all of the above.

The Writing/Narration:

Each chapter focuses on Justin coming to terms with his current life situation and how something his dad says applies to the lesson he learns. And in between the chapters, you get random quotes from his dad.

I honestly think this book is one the is 20x more fun to listen to than read it. By listening to the story, you get to actually hear the lines delivered to you the way they were delivered to Justin. It almost makes this book seem like a comedy routine instead of a novel.

Did it Impact My Life?

I’ve now started to compile a list of all the sh/t my dad says…just kidding 😉

My Rating: 4/5


This book is short but highly entertaining. I would definitely recommend listening to the audiobook over the physical book–it is so, so funny.

Read if You Like: humour, family based stories, memoirs
Avoid if You: dislike audiobooks, want a longer read


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Series Review: Starflight by Melissa Landers

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Starflight Series


Synopsis for Starflight (from Goodreads):

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…


SERIESous’ Top Picks: New Must Read Author
Series: Starflight
Author: Melissa Landers
# of Books: 2 (Starflight, Starfall)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Adventure, Romance, Humour
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Date: February 2016 – February 2017
Source & Format: Public Library–Hardcover; eBook


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I finished Melissa Lander’s series Alienated last year (though it technically isn’t “finished”–she is writing a new sequel to it), I immediately looked up what else she had written. Alienated was her debut, and it was a strong one at that. It was witty, smart, fun and had its touching moments too. And so, I was eager to read another novel by her.

So I’ve been waiting a YEAR to read Starflight. I tried to keep my expectations low but I was super, super excited to dive into this one.

What I Liked:

–The World–

I love Science Fiction stories though I rarely read them. This world was just so great! It wasn’t overly complicated so it was super easy to follow. I never felt overwhelmed and everything is clearly explained. It was great to seamlessly fall into a story (especially with some of the other books I had been reading at the time).

–The Banter–

Man, Melissa Landers writes the best banter between her characters. They have me laughing and reading with a huge smile on my face. The one liners in this novel are FANTASTIC!

–The Plot–

Normally, I’m not a huge adventure fan but this one had my attention from the get-go. It helps that the cast of characters is so intriguing and you can’t help but love them. Solara was such a smart heroine and I loved how she approached problems and handled them. Doran was also amazing and I easily fell in love with him. But even the side characters were great. They have such interesting pasts that you makes you want to know more.

As for the actual plot, it had just enough to it to keep the plot moving but not so much that it was overwhelming. I loved everything this ragtag group encountered. Their journey reminded me of something that would happen on Cowboy Bebop so I didn’t mind in the slightest.

What I Didn’t Like:

–No Complaints Here–

Honestly, I loved this book! It was everything I wanted it to be. I was worried that this was going to be like Illuminae but it was so different so don’t worry about that at all.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

After reading the synopsis for Starfall, I am super excited. I like that it is a chronological sequel but focuses on two different characters. It’s going to be so much fun!


–July 1, 2017– Book #2: Starfall

Like its predecessor, I was eager to get my hands on this one! The only thing holding me back was the fact that my library didn’t get their copy right away -.-

Regardless, I devoured this book once I finally got it in my hands! Landers has such a fabulous flow to her writing that it’s so easy to get sucked into the story.

I will say that this one wasn’t as “fun” as Starflight because the story isn’t as light hearted. These characters find themselves in a dangerous and precarious situation and the tone of the story reflects that. Of course, you have the great banter between the characters and jabs at some of the crazy predicaments and antics the characters experienced in Starflight so it isn’t all doom and gloom.

Regardless, I really enjoyed this story immensely and it is a great way to wrap up this series!

Though I totally could read 10 volumes of this groups various adventures.

My Rating: 5/5

Starflight 5/5 | Starfall 4/5


If you love fun Science Fiction adventure stories, this is for you! It’s smart, fast-paced and fun. It’s a blast from start to finish. Melissa Landers is one of my new “must read” authors and I highly recommend this one!

Read if You Like: science fiction, world-building, witty stories
Avoid if You: dislike adventure, want a more romance focused story



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Single Sundays: Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This by Blue Sullivan

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This (from Goodreads):
Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This, is a relationship advice book that differentiates itself mostly by not being about dating at all…

Instead, it’s about answering the four core questions in life:

1) Who are you?
2) Where are you?
3) Where are you going?
4) Who are you going with?

The book suggests that the last of these questions can only be satisfactorily resolved by answering the other three first.

You must know who you are before you can know where you are in life.
You must understand where you are in life before you can decide where your life is headed.
You must also know your destination before you can choose the right “travel” partner.

To address these essential questions, we invite the reader to contemplate the origins of:

Their ideas on love.
Their ideas of what constitutes the “perfect” mate.
Their ideas of their own personal “type”.
And most importantly, their ideas of themselves, including their own capacity to love and be loved.

Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This isn’t a set of inflexible rules for who you should be, how you should behave, or who and what you should care about because life is messy, and people are not the same. This book helps you unearth the “rules” which best suit you. Often success in life isn’t about discovering concrete “answers,” it’s about asking the questions better.


Author: Blue Sullivan
Genre: Nonfiction, Self-Help, Dating, Relationships
Heat Rating: N/A
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: 2014
Source & Format: Provided by Author–eBook



Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I will admit I’ve never read a “dating help-book” before. My romantic life is a little lower than zero so I wasn’t sure if it really was for me. But when I was asked to review this book, I admit my curiosity was peaked. What appealed to me was the promise of self-discovery and enlightenment–not a set of rules that women think men like and need to do in order to “get a man”.

And don’t be deceived by the cover! It isn’t a romance novel at all. It’s a relationship advice novel for women: it is entirely nonfiction!

The Concept:

I can’t stand when my fictional book heroines change who they are to be with their “one true love” — so it TOTALLY doesn’t fly with me in real life! But what I really liked about this book is that the focus is on YOU–as in who are you as a person? What do you like in a partner? Where do you see yourself in a few years? 

The idea is that you have to find out who you are in order to make sure you find the right person to spend the rest of your life with–or have a casual relationship with. That was another thing I really appreciated about this book: it didn’t “slut-shame” or tell women not to explore their sexuality! I thought it was a really modern, open opinion on dating in today’s society and culture and I thought that was great!

And while this book may be geared more towards women who are attracted to men, the basic premise can apply to anyone of any sexual orientation.

The Writing:

This book was funny throughout but serious when it needed to be. I definitely laughed out loud with some lines with their witty cynical sarcasm. The humour didn’t make me feel like I was reading some PhD scholar who has spent his/her entire career researching relationships and was now telling me how to act in a relationship. Instead, it felt like a conversation with a real person who has personal experience and the research to back up their statements. It made the book very easy to read.

Did it Impact My Life?

A little bit. I think because I don’t really have a whole lot of dating experience, a lot of the dating topics didn’t really apply to me. But at the same time, I think the general message of knowing yourself first before you find someone else is the take away lesson for me.

My Rating: 4/5


A fun and informative modern relationship advice novel that has a great message for women: find out who you are first so you aren’t defined by your relationship.

Read if You Like: relationship advice books, humourous nonfiction
Avoid if You: don’t like nonfiction, books about relationships


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Series Review: The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Canadian Author, Favourite Series #14
Series: The Drake Chronicles
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
# of Books: 6 (Hearts at Stake, Blood Feud, Out for Blood, Bleeding Hearts, Blood Moon, Blood Prophecy )

There are a lot of novella side stories and prequels: Full List Here

Book Order: Connected Chronologically
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Action, Vampires, Humour
Heat Rating: lukewarm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating


I’ve read a lot of vampire novels so I was excited to see that this series appeared to be a fresh take on vampires and by a Canadian author to boot!

And this series is a fresh take! It reminds me of a more up-beat Vampire Academy because we have different types of vampire species at play here with a lot of kick-ass action but it is done in a much more fun way. Lucy is witty and her parents are a little crazy and the Drake family is highly entertaining.

The first 4 books in the series focus on a different Drake sibling and their respective love interest. I like this setup because we get to learn more about the different Drakes, get to watch a new couple fall in love and get a fresh take on the overarching plot. You see, although the first 4 books focus on different characters, they each contribute to the plot that starts in the first novel and concludes in the last. This has its pros and cons in my opinion but it is a setup we don’t commonly see in other young adult series and it makes this series unique.

A pro about this series setup is that there is never really a lull in the plot progression (or at least there isn’t one that is as noticeable as in other series). It also gets you more familiar with the characters and helps your understanding with the world the Drakes are apart of. And at the same time, you don’t get annoyed or bored reading the same characters’ perspectives for an entire 6 book series.

A con about this series is that the last 2 books focus on Solange, Nicholas and Lucy who are the stars of the first book. Now the con isn’t that it follows these characters–because Nicholas and Lucy are my two favourite in this series–rather I was under the impression that when I started this series that each book was going to focus on a different Drake sibling and their love interest. I was expecting to see the oldest Drake brothers fall in love and unfortunately, I don’t get to (though a novella follows one of their love stories).

It would be easy to get past this I think if I enjoyed where the plot ended up going; but unfortunately, I didn’t love the path we take for the final climax. Solange was never my favourite character but I really didn’t like her storyline in Blood Moon and Blood Prophecy and because she is a main focus, I felt like it really dragged.

It took me a really long time to finish Blood Prophecy–I just couldn’t get into it. Although I loved the fact that the characters we were previously introduced to get adequate screen time I just felt like the book was way too long. The plot dragged and I got bored with the plot. I warmed up by the end but it was too little too late.

Part of the problem is that it had been 1.5 years since I finished book 5, Blood Moon–which I didn’t totally love either so that also changed my expectations for the final book. Regardless, I just found it hard to keep everything straight because there are multiple vampire species that have different abilities and the like; and they all have odd names so I found it hard to keep them straight. If I had read all books in a row within a month, I probably wouldn’t have been as lost and enjoyed the final two books a lot more.

A note on the novellas: I’ve only read some of the novellas. They aren’t necessary for the story but they do give some context and are entertaining, purely fan-service reads.


If you want a vampire series that focuses equally on romance and action–this is a series for you. It’s a lot of fun, has strong heroines and lots of kickass action! But be sure to read them close together to keep everything straight and keep within the Drake-mindset!

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy #1)

Synopsis for Hearts at Stake (or My Love Lies Bleeding) (from Goodreads):
On Solange’s sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that’s not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father’s killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family.

Luckily she has her own secret weapon—her human best friend Lucy—who is willing to defend Solange’s right to a normal life, whether she’s being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange’s eternal life—Lucy and Solange’s brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black—in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover’s heart.