Monthly archives: September, 2015

Movie Monday: The Scorch Trials

Movie Mondays: On the occasional Monday, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this week’s offering:

Book: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (2010) | Movie: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)

Which did I read/see first? the BOOK

Book Cover | Movie Poster

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Biggest Disappointments 2014
Series: The Maze Runner Trilogy
Author: James Dashner
# of Books: 3 (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Suspense, Apocalyptic, Mystery
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: Third Person


I nearly didn’t pick up The Scorch Trials after the extremely-dry-it-was-nearly-brittle story that was The Maze Runner (TMR). TMR was one of those stories that had a great concept but ultimately failed to execute in the way I wanted it to. It was a super long book and I really didn’t want to read an equally long novel for a series I found to be pretty lacklustre. However, that all changed when I read the last 2 chapters of TMR.

The revelations at the end of TMR got me excited to read The Scorch Trials (TST). I knew it was going to be a book exploding with plot twists and secrets–and it was!

TST was hard to put down. It picked up the slack that TMR never got around to. It was faster paced; laced with action and adventure and had great plot twists. Throw in some character development and you’ve got a fantastic story.

Reading TST made me see why people like TMR Trilogy–because up and to that point I was seriously not getting the hype!


The Scorch Trials restored my faith in this series and almost made the task of reading The Maze Runner worth it!

Rating: 4/5
Series Review: Full series review here!


Were My Expectations Met?

Seeing as TST was my favourite book of the series AND I adored the first movie, I was SUPER EXCITED to finally watch it!

I wanted a movie with lots of action, lots of Dylan O’Brien screen time (and the other boys too of course) and suspense. I also couldn’t wait to see The Scorch brought to life! TMR Trilogy is so descriptive that I have a very good idea of what everything looks like, but I couldn’t wait to see it on the big screen!

So were my expectations met?


I was fully entertained during this movie! I was glued to the screen because I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.

How Close is it to the Book?

I honestly can’t remember what exactly happened in the book. BUT, I do know there were major changes–starting with how they get into the Scorch in the first place.

In theory, I think I like the book’s version more of how they enter the Scorch. It was very interesting to me and it kept me guessing. But in practice, I think I liked the root the movie took in the long run. While it seems to be following a similar Hollywood-esque dystopian movie style, I feel like it works for this story.

I definitely found the movie to be easier to follow. There were just so many elements at play in the book that I like the “less is more” attitude of the movie.

Did I Like the Cast?

What a silly question! YES I LOVED the cast! They are probably one of my favourite casting picks for a book adaption ever.

I loved all the characters I loved in the book (maybe even more) and I loved to hate the characters I hated in the book.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Words cannot express how excited and pleased I am that there is not going to be a split 3rd movie! It didn’t work for The Hunger Games nor Twilight and there really is no need for Divergent to be split into two movies either (I’m skeptical). I cannot wait to see how everything wraps up and I hope that I get more closure in the movie that I ever did in the books.

Only bummer part is waiting until 2017 🙁

thewinneris winmovie

I think I had this decided before I even saw the movie! While I enjoyed the book, I loved this movie! It made me jump in my seat, want to slap some characters for their nonsense and had me holding my breath. It was just so entertaining and I can’t wait to see it all wrap up!

Do you agree? Leave a comment below!

Synopsis for The Scorch Trials (from Goodreads):

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.



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Single Sundays: Never Never by Brianna Shrum

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 Never Never (from Goodreads):
James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.

When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.

But grow up he does.

And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.

This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.

Except one.


Author: Brianna Shrum
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Fairy Tale Retellings
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Single
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Source & Format: NetGalley–eBook



Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I first found this book on another blog (after I added this one, I started to actually list where I find these for future posts). I love Peter Pan. I watched the animated movie as a kid numerous, numerous times. I also adore Captain Hook from the Once Upon a Time TV series <3

So when I saw that there was going to be a prequel of sorts with this book–and one that focuses mostly on Captain Hook–I was sold!

The Concept / The World:

When I started reading this, it reminded me a lot of Wicked: The Musical in the sense that in this prequel, you have two well known enemies start as friends. And the focus is even on the “villain” character (Hook in Never Never and Elphaba in Wicked) more so than the “hero” character (Peter Pan and Glinda) in each case. But are they really the villain? Or are they just misunderstood? That’s what each story tries to convey and I love that approach–well, more so in Never Never than in Wicked.

Back to Never Never: I thought the take on Neverland was really cool. The idea that it’s fuelled by dreams really works for the story. The world itself is easily recognizable to fans of the various mainstream adaptations but it also has this darker feel to it–which was my favourite part. It doesn’t shy away from death or violence–which is what you want (or at least what I want) when I read about a pirate. That doesn’t mean it is gory or extremely violent–all I’m saying is that there are consequences when boys fight with swords and I liked the unpredictability the story had as a result.

The Plot:

I’m not sure what I was truly expecting the plot to be when I heard about this book. I think at first I thought it would be high action but when I started reading, it felt more like an adventure/coming of age story to me. There are definitely action scenes and definitely moments of suspense but I felt like a majority of the time was focused on James trying to deal with his situation in Neverland and his budding rivalry with Peter.

I think some people might feel like that focus makes the story dry at times because I know I initially thought that too. But as I got further into the book, I really became interested in James’ story. And I realized that the reason I truly picked up this book was because I wanted to know more about James Hook the character and how he becomes Captain Hook.

The Characters:

Casting Peter Pan as a villain really gives this story an interesting edge and made me think twice about how I perceive the whole Peter Pan persona. Is he truly saving the Lost Boys or is he just projecting his ideals on others? It also makes you wonder if it truly is a good thing to remain as a child forever; that even if you don’t grow up, you can still lose your innocence but doing foolish actions.

Perhaps a little too deep for this book? Maybe, but I enjoyed the thoughts it provoked in me.

As for Hook, I didn’t think I would have anything in common with him, but I easily attached myself to his character. Like him, I always wanted to grow up. People always say I’m extremely mature for my age and I think that goes hand in hand with being the oldest child AND the want to do things in life that you have to be older/more responsible for.

I liked watching Hook’s character develop and grow. And what I liked even more is that he makes mistakes. He isn’t perfect, he chooses to do some not so bright things and he learns from them. I love that about coming of age stories! It really grounds him from being this over the top villain that I watched as a kid to a real boy who is human too. I love when stories can make me empathize with a villain or make me feel something I would never have felt about them before.

The Romance:

I’m not sure why I didn’t see the romance coming. In hindsight it seems so obvious to me. But nevertheless, I was a little surprised that there was a romance when I first started reading and that it does play a pretty significant role in the grand scheme of things.  In the end, I really enjoyed that aspect. It really worked for the story and those moments were some of my favourite in the entire book.

My Rating: 4/5


If you have ever wanted to know what caused Captain Hook to be the notorious villain he is, this is the book for you! It is Hook’s coming of age story that really makes you double-guess about what you know about Neverland and Peter Pan!

Read if You Like: adventure stories, prequel retellings of well known tales
Avoid if You: don’t like coming of age stories, Peter Pan




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Series Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

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

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel | The Book of Ivy Series


Synopsis for The Book of Ivy (from Goodreads):
After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…


Series: The Book of Ivy
Author: Amy Engel
# of Books: 2 (The Book of Ivy, The Revolution of Ivy)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook


**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

My Expectations for the Book/Why I Picked it Up:

I was very excited to read The Book of Ivy. I loved the concept of the story–it was very Cruel Beauty-esque but with a more dystopian focus than fantasy and I really, really enjoyed Cruel Beauty so I couldn’t wait! But then, I started to see mediocre reviews for The Book of Ivy on some of the blogs that I follow and got a little less excited. Yet at the same time, it just really made me want to read this more. So I lowered my expectations slightly and went into with an open mind.

I’m glad that I did commit to picking up this book because I really did enjoy it! I was reading The Book of Ivy just on the cusp of my exams so I wanted a book where I didn’t have to think so hard and could get lost in the story. And with this book I could. I was immediately drawn into the world and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Was I able to put it down and function with my life–absolutely. But when I was reading, it managed to capture my attention and keep it.

The Concept/The World:

Why I think a lot of people give it a low rating is because its execution isn’t completely original; or at least to me it wasn’t. I’ve read a LOT of dystopian books and The Book of Ivy is a super mashup of ones I’ve read before. If anyone has ever read Pandemonium (Lauren Oliver’s Delirium Trilogy‘s 2nd book) they have very similar story lines and concepts. I also got vibes from the Matched Trilogy, The Breathe Series and The Selection as well. The only key difference is, while I found Ivy to be a little on the boring side, I liked her character a lot more than the heroines of these other series. The same can be said about Bishop who completely won me over from the start.

The Plot:

I think the key going into this book is to not expect some high-tension scenarios. I found The Book of Ivy coasts along at a moderate rate because the romance isn’t very passionate; the action is non-existent (ie Ivy isn’t some kick-ass heroine) and it really isn’t politically focused. It’s a very subdued dystopian novel which isn’t necessarily a bad thing–it just makes it look like the younger, not as interesting sibling of bigger dystopian titles like The Hunger Games.

However, that isn’t to say the dystopian world we get isn’t interesting! I really enjoyed the look at gender roles in society, especially how a female “contributes positively” to her community; and what happens if the concept “for the common good” is taken to an extreme. While these themes aren’t highly elaborated, they are definitely present and it add to the story in a positive way.

The Characters & The Romance:

As I said before, Ivy didn’t particularly “wow” me but I did like her character. She showed a considerable amount of growth as the story progressed and I liked her rebellious nature. And while I thought Bishop’s character was a little more on the stereotypical side of things, I liked him a lot. Together I thought they made a great pair.

Which is why I wish the romance was a little more elaborated on. I didn’t mind the slow build and I actually think it was executed in the best way for this story; but the romance fan in me did wish for some more passion 😉

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m looking forward to The Revolution of Ivy and am very glad that this book will be the finale. Not everything needs to be a trilogy and I feel that 2 books is the perfect length for this series!


–July 4, 2016– Book #2: The Revolution of Ivy

While I forgot some of the littler details of the inaugural novel, I really enjoyed this finale.

I found the start to be slow but I kind-of expected that given the ending of The Book of Ivy. However, it quickly built up speed and become very interesting.

I liked the character development of Ivy we get here. This novel is really about her coming to terms with who she is as a person and what she wants to be happy in life. She makes some tough choices and I applaud her for that.

I wanted a little more excitement at the end but given the nature of the series, I’m very satisfied with how this finale played out. And, the romance was adorable <3

My Rating: 3.5/5

The Book of Ivy 3.5/5 | The Revolution of Ivy 3.5/5


Is The Book of Ivy the greatest dystopian novel ever? No. But if you go in expecting a slower, more subdued dystopian story, I think you will enjoy it! It’s execution is very similar to that of the Delirium Trilogy in the sense that it isn’t a high action, high tension story (like Divergent or The Hunger Games). However, I did feel like The Book of Ivy had a better execution than the Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie which explores similar themes.

Read if You Like: low action dystopian, mild romance
Avoid if You: like kick-ass heroines (literally), dislike slow stories, want more romance






Tag it Thursdays: Summertime Madness Tag

Tag it Thursdays: I occasionally get tagged by fellow bloggers to complete various tags. Once a month I will post my response. Please, feel free to tag yourself if any of these tags interest you!

This month’s tag:

The Summertime Madness Tag

Summer has officially ended here in Canada and so I decided to hold on to it for a little while longer with this tag. I was tagged (slightly ironically I have to say) by the amazing Summer @ XingSings earlier in August! Definitely check out her post if you have a chance because she has some great picks!

I will admit that it took me awhile to come up with this list! I spend a lot time listing to music (specifically The Weeknd & 5 Seconds of Summer), scrolling through my Goodreads account to find the perfect books. Here’s what I came up with:

No One Needs to Know1. Show a book with a Summery cover! (i.e Sun, Beach etc.)

Where I live in Ontario, cottaging or going to “the lake” is a common summer getaway. For some reason, this cover for No One Needs to Know just reminds me of swimming on a really hot day at a small lake after a BBQ.

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)2. Pick one fictional place that would be the perfect destination for your Summer Vacation!

I enjoy travelling, especially internationally! I would love to explore the many shades of London in A Darker Shade of Magic. It might not be a summery type of place, but I like to think I would have a lot of fun jumping between the alternate Londons with Kell and Lila!

Maybe Not (Maybe, #1.5) 3. You’re about to go on a flight to your Summer Vacation. But you want to read a book that lasts for the whole flight, so what novella do you choose?

Honestly, any novella by Colleen Hoover will do. She is probably one of my favourite novella writers because they still feel like whole stories. Maybe Not was a lot of fun to read as was Finding Cinderella–excellent ways to cap off those respective series!

The Book of Awesome4. You have a case of Summertime Sadness what happy book do you pick up to shine a smile on your face?

Sometimes, you just need to be reminded of all awesome things in life. It could be as simple as taking your bra off at the end of a long day or as complicated as finding that perfect cereal to milk ratio. I promise you, that after just a few awesome pages of The Book of Awesome, you will be smiling again 😀

Sweet Filthy Boy (Wild Seasons, #1)5. You’re sitting at the beach all alone…which fictional character would be your beach babe?

Well, truthfully it would be Adrian from Vampire Academy / Bloodlines but he wouldn’t do so well in the sun… So I think I am going to pick Ansel from Sweet Filthly Boy. He is so funny and sweet and so I think he would be fun to go to the beach with 😉

Crushed (Redemption, #2)6. To match your ice cream you want an icy cool sidekick! Which fictional sidekick do you pick?

Definitely Chloe from Crushed! I feel like we would be BFFs in real life. She is hilarious! I wanted her to be my new BFF after only reading 2 pages of her POV.

7. Share the Summertime Happiness! Who do you TAG? 

I’m going to take the cheap way out and tag anyone who wants to do it! Hold on to that little bit of summer for as long as you can! And for my fellow Canadians:

Winter is coming! November sale on Minecraft/VPS Hosting – Free 1GB ...

Thanks again Summer!

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Fall 2015 TBR

Top Ten Tuesdays: Is a weekly meme feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers post their Top 10 List for an assigned topic! I will not be participating every week, but I will occasionally take a shot at it! You can always find these lists (past, present and original) on my Riffle Page.

This Week’s Topic:

Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR

It seems like every sequel book I want to read this year, plus a few new series, are being released sometime between now and December. So, for this TTT, I’ve decided to pick books that are going to be published this fall. It’s very similar to my June 9th TTT post for my most anticipated releases for the rest of the year but I have no idea what books I am going to get to read this fall thanks to my latest Tackling the TBR targets so this was much easier to do.

Plus, I get to fan-girl a little 😉

Here are the books on my Fall TBR that have yet to be published (in no particular order):



I’ve been dying to see what happens to Ethan Chase in The Iron Warrior! One of my most anticipated releases for 2015!

What books did you add to your fall tbr?

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Leave a Link to your TTT in the comments below!

Single Sundays: The Finn Factor by Rachel Bailey

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 The Finn Factor (from Goodreads):
Sometimes all a girl needs is a little practice…

It’s been twelve months, three days, and eleven hours since accounting student Scarlett Logan made it past a second date. A pitcher of mojitos in hand, she employs her supreme graphing skills to narrow things down to one horrifying explanation. Kissing. Clearly someone needs to teach her how to kiss properly. Like, say, her best friend and roomie, Finn Mackenzie. He’s safe, he’s convenient, and yeah, maybe just a little gorgeous.

Finn knows exactly why Scarlett’s boyfriends are disappearing quickly. Him. Not a single guy she’s brought home is nearly good enough. And he’ll be damned if he lets some loser give her “kissing lessons.” No. He’ll do the honors, thank you very much. The moment their lips touch, though, everything turns upside down. But Scarlett deserves the one thing Finn can’t give her. And if he doesn’t put an end to the sexy little shenanigans, he’ll teach Scarlett the hardest lesson of all…heartbreak.


Author: Rachel Bailey

NOTE: For those who have read The Summer of Jake, some characters make an appearance in this novel.

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: September 28, 2015
Source & Format: NetGalley–eBook  |  Thanks so much Entangled Embrace!



Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When it come to friends to lovers stories, I am really picky. I don’t like stories where the BFF has an unrequited love for the heroine but I don’t mind stories where two friends have mutual feelings for each other. See, I’m big on my characters having that emotional connection together. I want them to know the other person; not simply be attracted to them. And friends to lovers stories often have that deeper connection. It just makes it easier to support romances when I can see that these two actually are a good match.

I’m also a sucker for stories where someone “teaches” someone else how to be a better boyfriend/girlfriend and they end up falling in love with each other. So the combination of that in The Finn Factor made it an immediate request for me on NetGalley.

The Plot:

I’m sure you have a pretty good idea how this book is going to progress just by reading the synopsis alone–and I would have to say that you are most likely right. But at the same time, I never got bored with this story despite all that.

This book did a great job I thought between balancing the romance and the character growth. It wasn’t just Finn and Scarlet “practising” all the time. You had their family and everyday lives to consider as well. And those other aspects to their lives really helped keep the story interesting to me. They allowed me to better understand the characters and their actions which I appreciated.

And at the same time, I think those interactions grounded the story in a sense of realism. Because overall, I thought the premise was a tad over the top. It’s a dramatic trope–the “help me to love” situation–one that I enjoy but nevertheless is one that is really only found in fictional books or movies. But bridging that gap between friends to romantic partners is something that happens all the time and can be really tricky, especially if you have been friends for years and are involved in each other’s family lives.

The Characters:

Unfortunately, the characters are what dropped my rating on this one. I really couldn’t connect with Scarlet at the start of the book and that really prevented me from liking her more as I read. Which is a shame because she does have some great growth by the end.

“He really couldn’t see it. It was tough to say where I was angrier that he’d so blatantly meddled in my relationships, or that he couldn’t even see what was wrong with that. Either way, the blood in my veins was simmering.” ~ Scarlet

When Scarlet thinks this about Finn, I wanted to facepalm myself because I found it to be so ironic. At the start of the book, I couldn’t tell if Scarlet was just being naive or extremely oblivious to the situation. Some of the things she said and did had me raising an eyebrow in confusion. For a girl who would create graphs about her love life, her logic drove me insane because it seemed to be nonexistent when it came to other things. It frustrated me at the start of the book and that frustration took a long time to go away. Perhaps it was just a simply personality clash with us (we wouldn’t be friends in real life) that made me be really critical of Scarlet.

Finn was great but nothing that really blew me away. He has some fantastic growth as well so I enjoyed that aspect of his story.

The Romance:

It was super easy for me to see why these two worked together. The romance was sweet but loaded with sexual tension–which is just what I wanted! I thought it was believable and I even if I didn’t love these two individually, I really rooted for them to be together. 

And those kissing scenes—wow!

My Rating: 3/5


I think those who like New Adult romances that have more of that coming of age aspect with a solid romance (rather than lots of drama and romance) will really enjoy this one! I personally just didn’t connect with the characters which is why my rating is lower! I may pick up The Summer of Jake in the near future because I do like the way Rachel Bailey constructs her NA reads, even if I would personally like more drama/twists in mine 😉

Read if You Like: sweet romances, sexual tension, character growth
Avoid if You: want more drama, don’t enjoy coming of age NA


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SERIESous Spoilers: The Heir

SERIESous Spoilers: A feature where we discuss what happened in our favourite (or maybe not so favourite) books. Did you like the plot changes? The romance? What surprised you? What angered you? And what do you think will happen next?

This month’s SERIESous Spoilers Pick:

The Heir by KIERA CASS | The Selection #4

I hummed and hawed over writing this one but I was having so much fun posting comments on other people’s reviews that I decided, why not?


–Eadlyn’s Attitude–

Eadlyn was a major improvement over America…hands-down/no doubt about it/why-am-I-even-pointing-out-the-obvious! BUT I did have some mixed feelings about her.

What I loved: her need to be independent. I am I total feminist when it comes to the idea that women and their partners should be on equal ground. A girl can rule a kingdom just as well as a boy and if he can rule alone, why can’t a girl? So I was totally team Eadlyn when it came to doing it on her own.

What I DIDN’T love: how she tried to assert her proof that she could do it on her own. She simply came across as a brat to me who lacked the maturity to rule on her own. It was frustrating to watch her dig her own grave so to speak because I WANTED her to succeed! She was cruel when she didn’t need to be and plain rude in some cases and that irked me. Especially when someone called her out on it! It was hypocritical to me and she played the “princess” card a little too much for my liking. (Being a princess doesn’t excuse you from being a jerk to people).

Her attitude improved as the book progressed but it was a rough start for me!

–the caste system–

We all know that the caste system was eliminated/phased out in the time between The One and The Heir. Obviously, there are still some kinks to work out–change can’t happen over night, especially when people are conditioned to a certain ideology for so long. And that’s fine and I expected that.

Apparently I was the only one.

Eadlyn seemed to struggle with this a lot at the start of the novel. How she handled it just shows her age and her inexperience when it comes to politics. It just seemed ironic to me that for a group of people who wanted the Castes to go away, they had no problem bringing up their past castes when introducing themselves or using their previous caste to their advantage. Like I said, she played the Princess card too much for my liking and she was awfully focused on what people’s past Caste rankings were to prove to me that she supported the idea of no castes. Just irked me a little.

(I hope that makes sense–I’m writing this months after reading the book and I don’t remember all the finer details to give specific evidence).

–who is she going to pick?–

Now for the fun part! Who is she going to pick?! This book reminded me a lot more of The Bachelorette than it did a dystopian novel. Which is great if you want a true YA romance and not so great if you wanted more dystopian strife.

My pick is Kile. He came on strong at the start as the obvious choice for me though he kind of fell behind the scenes later on. I’m hoping that changes in the second book. I just love the whole idea that they couldn’t see what was in front of them the whole time.

I really love Erik but I don’t want him to win. It just seems like a cop-out to me though I’m not sure why. It’s weird because I think they would be a good match but at the same time, it would just be more satisfying to me as a reader to see her end up with someone from within the actual Selection; especially when she didn’t want to have it in the first place.

As for Henri, keep him in the platonic friend zone. There isn’t passion there and I think they work much better as friends. Plus, I want more YA books to have those platonic friendships; not all friends are in love with each other in the real world!

What are your thoughts? Agree or disagree? What are you looking forward to the most in the next book?

Please leave a comment below!

Series Review: Neon Dreams by Caisey Quinn

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


Synopsis for Leaving Amarillo (from Goodreads):
Dixie Lark hasn’t had it easy. She lost her parents in an accident when she was young and grew up in a ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo with her ailing grandparents and overprotective older brother. Thanks to her grandfather, Dixie learned to play a mean fiddle, inspired by the sounds of the greats—Johnny and June, Waylon, and Hank. Her grandfather’s fiddle changed Dixie’s life forever, giving her an outlet for the turmoil of her broken heart and inspiring a daring dream.

Ten years later, Dixie and her brother, Dallas, are creating the music they love and chasing fame with their hot band, Leaving Amarillo. But Dixie isn’t enjoying the ride. All she can think about is Gavin, the band’s tattooed, tortured drummer who she’s loved since they were kids. She knows he feels the connection between them, but he refuses see her as more than his best friend’s little sister.

Convinced that one night with Gavin will get him out of her system, Dixie devises a plan. She doesn’t know that her brother has forbidden Gavin from making a move on her-a promise he swore he’d always keep . . . a promise that once broken will unexpectedly change the future for Dixie, Gavin and the band.


SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: Neon Dreams Trilogy
Author: Caisey Quinn
# of Books: 3 (Leaving Amarillo, Loving Dallas, Missing Dixie)
Book Order: Connected but Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Music, Drama, Contemporary
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Single (Leaving Amarillo); Alternating (Loving Dallas, Missing Dixie)
Publication Dates: March 2015 – October 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I’ve really enjoyed Caisey Quinn’s other two New Adult series. She is really a must read New Adult author for me at this point so I was really looking forward to reading Leaving Amarillo–though I did have some hesitations.

I really liked the Kylie Ryan Series, which is about a young woman trying to make it in the country music world. So I was worried that this series was going to have a lot of similarities…

Yeah…I was so wrong!

The Plot:

I won’t lie, I was expecting a straight-up romance when I started Leaving Amarillo. So I was a little shocked when I saw that the eBook was close to 300 pages long (the average book is about 230-250 pages long). Did that mean that the romance was going to get dragged on? I sure hoped not.

Silly me! You can tell it had been a long time since I read a Caisey Quinn novel because I really should know better!

What I love about Quinn’s novels is that she truly balances the romantic side with the character and plot development. Meaning, she really hits the tri-factor of what a great New Adult novel should be: a strong romance, growing characters and an interesting plot. In other words: New Adult Goldmine!

What I love about the plot is that it spans all the books; meaning it doesn’t get fully resolved in the first two books and there are some lose ends to tie up in Missing Dixie. Which is great! It’s been a long time since I’ve followed a journey with a set of characters in contemporary romance. Most New Adult series focus on a core group of friends but each book is dedicated to two specific people. So you don’t really get to watch the characters you meet in the first book continually grow. I mean, you see their little cameo appearances here and there but my point is that everything usually gets wrapped up within their own books and that isn’t the case here. Leaving Amarillo follows the band, but mostly focuses on Dixie; Loving Dallas focuses entirely on Dallas and Missing Dixie will be the resolution for the band.

Perhaps that’s a little frustrating because you have to wait for the next novel, but is it worth it? Definitely!

The Characters:

I really grew to like these characters. They have so much history between them that at times you feel like the new kid trying to break into their existing group, so it took me a while. Everything builds slowly with these people but by the end you go “where did the last 150 pages go?”.

I was really worried Dixie would be just like Kylie (who I love don’t get me wrong) but I was pleasantly surprised that they really aren’t anything alike. Yes, they share a similar path of finding what they want in life and moments where they take a stand for themselves but they are different. Dixie is much more timid and has to find confidence in herself; which makes her character development so great. I never got annoyed with her and she never rubbed me the wrong way.

And that’s the same with the rest of the characters–well, maybe Gavin who I wanted to give him a little wake-up smack but that’s all part of the romance–I really began to root for these characters as I read their stories which made it so much more enjoyable.

The Romance:

Gah, there was the perfect amount of focus on the romantic side of things. You have all the sexual tension and then the actual “moments” (if yah know what I mean ;)) but I never felt like you had too much of one or the other. And the romance never overshadowed the plot. It complimented it in such a great way that made these books so much fun to read.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I can’t wait to see everything wrap up in the finale! I’ve really come to care for these characters and I’ve really enjoyed this journey so far!


–December 11– Book #3: Missing Dixie

This was a fantastic way to end the series! I felt like it started a little slow but it did build up it momentum as it went. I really like the direction this story took; it surprised me in a great way and I loved how everything had built up to this grande finale. The romance is white hot–I mean the tension is so there it is almost palpable. Sure, it was frustrating watching these characters not communicate when it would solve all their problems but I want them to succeed SO MUCH it made reading it frustrating in a fun way. Also, I definitely shed some tears with this one! I don’t think there has been a Caisey Quinn series that I haven’t shed a few tears for at some point.

Series Rating: 4/5

Leaving Amarillo 4/5  |  Loving Dallas 4/5  |  Missing Dixie 4/5


If you want a New Adult story that is realistic in its approach to the music-celebrity-lifestyle, this is the series for you! This series has a great blend of romance, plot and character development. One of the best new New Adult series I’ve read this year!

Read if You Like: stories about making it big in music, sexual tension, drama
Avoid if You: don’t like overarching plots, want more romance





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Tackling the TBR – September & October 2015 [3]


Back in May, I discovered, like most avid readers, I have problems tackling my never ending TBR lists. I was putting too many books on hold at the library and buying more books for my Kobo than I was reading. Things improved by the end of June but I still had more I wanted to accomplish. I found that by posting my goals on my blog, I was making a great and more conscientious effort to carefully select what books I read and when. So, I decided to make this a bi-monthly feature!

For July and August, I had 5 targets:

  1. Read a total of 6 ARCs (3 per month)
  2. Read 2 TBR jar items a week
  3. By the end of August, limit the number of library books I read to 1 a week
  4. By the end of August, have a maximum total of 10 books on hold at the library
  5. Execute my Trilogy Termination Blitz by end of August

So, was I successful? Here’s how I actually did!

Rule #1: Read a total of 6 ARCs/review copies

I read a total of 9 ARCs/Review copies in July and August. This was more than I had planned but it was just so easy to press that request button on Netgalley!

Rule #2:Read 2 TBR jar items a week

This one did not happen! To be honest, I kinda forgot about it! I read a total of 6 books from my TBR jar and that was mostly thanks to the Make Me Read it Readathon. That’s almost one a week but not nearly as much as I wanted to get done.

Rule #3:Limit library books I read to 1 a week by the end of August

This goes hand in hand with Rule 4 and I think I did a great job with this. By the end of August I had reduced my library holds so that I only had 2 eBooks out from the library during the first two weeks of September. And that was pretty fantastic considering earlier in the year, I could have had upwards of 5 books out at a time.

Rule #4: Have 10 Items MAx on hold at the library by end of august

I actually managed to get this done by July and dwindled down to 4–YES only 4! Considering I had more than 30 books on hold at one point this year, this number doesn’t seem real to me! It definitely helped that I made myself stop adding holds (there was the rare exception) to my accounts but it also helped that I read most, if not all, of the books I did have on hold.

RULE #5: Execute my trilogy termination blitz by end of august

This also didn’t happen, but because I met most of the other targets, I truly think I can start this in September!

So what did I learn?

I really love this having fewer holds at the library! Originally, I planned on no more than ten because I couldn’t fathom having any less than that on hold. But once I was down to five, I REALLY felt like I had more control over what and when I read. So I decided to cut the 10 to a maximum of 5 and only update the holds list once at the start of the month (instead of continuously having 5 on hold at all times). While I have an unending list of books I can put on hold, it doesn’t mean that I have to add them all or reach the maximum capacity for holds my library allows and that was a really important lesson for me to learn.

Also learned that summer book sales are killer for buying hiatuses…I bought more than I really should have but the deals couldn’t be beat! And most were to complete series I had already started/had so I did it for the sake of the blog 😉

My Game Plan for September & october:

With school starting, it’s hard to say if I am going to have more or less time to read. I’m easily distracted so I’ll probably read more than I should. Which is A-OK with me, I just want to be more proactive about it! I have some trilogies I want to finish (Trilogy Termination) in addition to clearing up my Kobo of unread books (which is what my TBR jar is).

So here’s my new game plan:

  • Read a total of 2 ARCs per month
    • this probably won’t start until October because I had a lot of carry over from August
  • Read 1 TBR jar item a week for the rest of September; 2 for October
    • unless I have multiple books for the pulled TBR selection if it’s a series
  • Read only 1 Library Book per week 
    • exception to be made for my Trilogy Termination picks
  • Read 7 of my 10 selected trilogy series for Trilogy Termination
  • Only add books to my On Hold list at the start of each month
    • For a total of 5 books between all libraries (3 continuing series; 2 new novels)

Was the summer kind to your tbr list? Or did you just add more? let me know below!

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Reading Rendezvous: What is That? + New York City [1]

Reading Rendezvous: is a weekly feature created by the Fern Team for the Book Blogger Creativity Project that acts as a travel guide, highlighting places we would like to visit and recommending books that take place there.

In August, I joined Nori @ ReadWriteLove28’s Book Blogger Creativity Project. The idea was to put together groups of new and “seasoned” bloggers and have them come up with a new weekly feature that people could use on their blogs.

My team was Team Fern (why Fern, I still do not know/don’t remember) but it’s a great group that I’ve had a lot of fun planning this out with! We decided to do a travel theme, picking locations from various books and highlighting them.


For our first post, we decided to pick an author from our home “state” (I’m a proud Canadian and we have provinces, not states) as a way to get to know everyone else on the team! My author is the AMAZING Canadian Author Lesley Livingston (hailing from Toronto, Ontario) and I picked her Wondrous Strange Trilogy‘s (as well as its spin-off series: Starling Trilogy) setting of New York City.


Places to Visit:

–Central Park–

Not only is this a HUGE part of the Wondrous Strange universe (it holds the gate to the faerie world), it is one of the best things about NYC! When you are there, you forget that you are even in one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world!

Highlights: Shakespeare’s Statue 😉


I’m a major theatre buff, though I have no desire to be an actress like Kelley from Wondrous Strange! I couldn’t act my way out of a paper bag if I tried. But NYC has SO MANY great shows!

Highlights: Phantom of the Opera

–The Metropolitan Museum of Art–

I’ve been to quite a few of the museum’s in NYC, but the Met is my favourite! I still have rooms I have to explore there despite going twice! They have a little bit of everything for everyone!

Highlights: Monet, rooftop Terrance

Other Books Set in the Big Apple:

(Click for my reviews)

Beastly The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire, #1) Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard, #2)

Travel Elsewhere:

Check out where else the Fern Team travelled this week!

Katherine @ Neon Yeti Reads  |  Ashley @ Books 4 Review  |  Lizzie @ Big Books and Grande Lattes  |  Cyra @ Rattle The Pages  |  Sheridan @ I Turn the Pages  |  Tamara @ Tamaraniac  |  Shayna @ Bibliophilials  |  Nori @ Read Write Love 28

Don’t forget to check back to see where I’ll be going in October in my next Reading Rendezvous!

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