Monday, 25 August 2014

Review: Positive by Paige Rawl with Ali Benjamin


Title: Positive: A Memoir 
Author: Paige Rawl with Ali Benjamin
Publisher:
 HarperCollins
Publication date: August 26, 2014
 
Genre(s): Non-fiction (Autobiography)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 288
In this compelling and compulsively readable memoir, nineteen-year-old Paige Rawl tells the story of how she was mercilessly bullied in middle school...and how she overcame the ordeal to change her world for the better.

In this astonishing memoir, Paige tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal—one that will resonate deeply with the thousands of children and adults whose lives have been touched by bullying.

Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth…but growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her. It never prevented her from entering beauty pageants or playing soccer or making the honor role.
After coming back from the HCC FrenzyPresents event with a copy of Positive, I was so excited to pick it up. At the event, the publicists spoke about Positive and what it was about, and I just immediately wanted to get my hands on it and start reading it the first chance I get. Unlike all the other books I read in my life, Positive is non-fiction, a memoir. My first memoir ever, and it was such a great experience. Before anything, I want to thank Paige for bravely sharing her story with the world. I have learnt a  lot from it, and I'm sure many others have learnt as well. 
Since this is an autobiography, it is surely obvious that the whole book revolves around Paige and her struggles she faced throughout her life. Ever since she was born, Paige has been HIV positive. Please do not confuse HIV with AIDS! (That's one of the major things you'll learn from this book). Being HIV positive does not affect the way you walk or talk or in any recognizable way. Being HIV positive means that the infected person is more likely to get risks against viruses out there. Despite Paige looking and acting like any normal teen, the fact that she is HIV positive has really put her through a lot. (Oh, and it's not contagious either!). Reading this book, I went on a roller coaster of emotions. To be honest, I always thought autobiographies are boring to read, but I enjoyed this as much as I might have enjoyed any YA realistic fiction out there, although this one even more because it's ACTUALLY REAL!
I think that being through a lot myself has made me love and connect to this book even more. Anyone who's ever felt alone, bullied, been through depression or any other mental disorder, or any of that stuff will definitely feel hope through this book. Paige acts as a voice for all those children and teenagers out there, who are still not brave enough to say something themselves. Paige has really turned her life into the better, and I feel so immensely proud of what she has done with all the experiences. I someday wish to inspire someone just as how she has truly inspired me. 
Also, one of my favourite passages from the book. (This passage was taken from an early uncorrected proof)
"I'm telling you: it was the most visibly broken assortment of human beings I'd ever been around. But I don't know. Maybe being broken helps you understand others' brokenness. Maybe being broken helps you become a better person." 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Bookish Photos Anyone? (2)

Hey guys again! Another bookish photos anyone? post is here! I want to make this a monthly post, mainly because Farah and I now both have book-instagrams and we take a ton of bookish photos we want to share with you. My instagram is Mcjaybooks while Farah's is Froggyfaybooks. So, here are the photos!





Saturday, 23 August 2014

HCC Frenzy Presets RECAP

LUCKY US, Juhina and I were able to attend the HCC Frenzy Presents event this year! HarperCollins Canada hosts this yearly event where they talk about upcoming (and delicious) fall/winter releases, give some book swag, and just TALK BOOKS! This year was so much fun! A guest author also appeared (YOU'LL FIND OUT WHO DOWN BELOW *oooh mysterious*) 
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Kaitie here talking about Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver!! Who isn't excited for this book?? The cover is one of my all time favourites, and it just sounds SO GOOD!

LAUREN OLIVER IS ALSO COMING TO TORONTO SOOON! I'm so excited you guys!

Comes out on March 3rd! My B-day month!







Jessica here is talking about The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard! A new series, and guess what, IT'S A MURDER MYSTERY! (lol). This time though, it's "five girls, not four" quoting Jessica. It actually sounds really interesting though, so fans of PLL better check this one out!

Comes out on October 7th.






Suman here talks about Red Queen, which is a young adult fantasy book! It sounds REALLY interesting, and Suman says that it reminded her somewhat of Game of Thrones! So fans of GoT, you better check this one out!

Comes out February 10th
Add to Goodreads








Below are some of the new releases that caught me and Juhina's eye!


The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Falling into Place by Amy Zhang


Juhina, Farah, and Theo just chillin'

Shannon getting ready for some trivia games! yay!

Left to Right: Shelly @Shellysrambles, Giselle @BookNerdCanada, Juhina @juhina_, Farah @farahelmajdoub, Lynne @WordsofMystery, Hayley @hayleyAG

The beautiful ladies of HCC with their most anticipated titles! Left to Right: Suman, Kate, Kaitie, and Jessica
Author Eve Silver and I. Theo and Shailene just HAD to photobomb us sheesh. 

Author Eve Silver with Juhina holding her book! Theo is STILL photobombing and is STILL angry. Why Theo James, Why?
There was some delicious snacks! Thank HCC Frenzy! 

ALL THE GIRLS WITH THE COOL BOOKS AND AUTHOR EVE SILVER AAAH
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Monday, 18 August 2014

Reviews: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord & One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington


Open Road SummerOpen Road Summer by Emery Lord
Walker Childrens 
April 15, 2014
4/5 stars
Source: Publisher (Finished copy)
Goodreads | B&N | Chapters

Open Road Summer was recommended to me countless times by people who know I love contemporary books. Also I find out this is a road trip book.. with a music theme? and is about the best friend of the super star? can this book get any better? I loved that it isn't about the star, and the girls actually have a very caring and sweet relationship. The main protagonist, Reagan, is far from perfect. She had multiple brushes with the law, she, on purpose, wears suggestive clothes, and pretty much attracts any trouble within a 50 mile radius. However, she's smart, a great friend, and so caring to everyone she loves (limited to her best friend, Lilah, and her dad). One thing I need to include in this review is how Lilah's mom treated Reagan. She was such a motherly figure, didn't judge Raegan for her issues, and was just so sweet, a total 180 turn from the expected cliche plot route. I have started to really appreciate books that try to keep it original, realistic, and just unique. I know everyone loves Matt Finch and find him dreamy and swoon over the romance with him and Raegan, and I do, I really did love it, but that's not what I mostly loved about this book. The friendship just really got to me and Raegan's personal problems and her trying to deal with them. Matt is cute, definitely a great love interest and I think contemporary fans's swoon meter will sky rocket. But this book is so much more than the romance, and I think contemporary books nowadays aren't just fluff and I am loving the direction these authors, including Lord, are taking. I definitely recommend Open Road Summer, because it is a fantastic book that has everything, the friendship, romance, fluff, emotional development, and relatable and realistic characters and plot. I am very excited for Lord's upcoming book! 


One Past MidnightOne Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
July 22, 2014
2/5 stars
Source: Publisher (eARC)

I am just so disappointed with this book. I love love (yes double love) Jessica Shirvington's Violet Eden Chapters series and I devoured all five books and think the romance is one of the best developed romances in YA books… however One Past Midnight, be it the plot, character development, or romance.. everything fell completely short and flat. The beginning was very promising, with Sabine living two parallel lives.. basically reliving her day twice, at exactly 12:00am each day she transfers to her first life, then after her 24 hours, she transfers to her second one, and after that 24 hours, she's back to the first, at exactly 12:01, so she technically doesn't miss anything from both worlds. One day she discovers that breaking her wrist in one world didn't transfer in the other, the first time this has happened. She goes on a quest to try and test this theory further by cutting herself (disgusting btw, had to skip that page), burning herself (skip again), taking laxatives, etc. All that to see if it does transfer, and if not then she can finally end one of her lives. Scary right? yes yes it is! however author took a completely different turn with it and Sabine just started doing stupid things that got her into unnecessary situations and everything was so so convenient on the romance line. The ending was too perfectly wrapped up and I just couldn't handle it. I honestly expected so much more from Shirvington but I was sadly disappointed. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Review: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas - Creepily Memorable

Dangerous Boys
Title: Dangerous Boys 
Author: Abigail Haas
Publisher:
 Simon & Schuster UK
Publication date: August 14, 2014
 
Genre(s): Young Adult (Psychological Thriller)
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Pages: 336
Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Caitlin Kasprov drags one Donnelly brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?
Caitlin is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…
Dangerous Boys was such a surprise. I mean, I expected it to be a thriller, based on all the rave reviews and recommendations I get for Dangerous Girls. I was instantly attracted to this book because of its synopsis and the mystery element. Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE mysteries. Two brothers? only one comes out alive? a girl stuck in the middle? Whatever I imagined while reading this book.. it would have never prepared me for the ending… ever.
I must admit.. the idea behind this book is fantastic but it is a very short book.. what I mean by that is that we really get no character development throughout the novel. Everything felt a bit rushed in the middle section of the book and I just didn't understand some of the attachments some of the characters got. Still.. this is the type of book you'll want to read just to know how it ends.. and when you do know… it'll stay with you for months. I've read it almost three weeks ago and I still get the shivers thinking of that ending. I went on twitter and direct messaged two different people and all we said to each other was "OH MY GOD! I CAN NOT BELIEVE THIS! HOLY CRAP!" < a variation of this. I immediately want to pick up Dangerous Girls (no relation to this book.. both standalones) because Dangerous Girls is also a thriller and I now know Abigail Haas knows how to perfect them! 
This is the type of book that is more plot driven than character driven. It doesn't matter if you don't grow attached to the characters and it doesn't matter who you are rooting for. You'll agree with me when you finish reading it. Also, I love the way Haas wrote the book. We get a chapter of post-wreckage then we go back to the beginning, to when Caitlin meets one of the brothers then the other.. then back to the post-wreckage timeline. It was addicted. I could not put this book down and needed to find out what happened next. If you want a book that will mess up your mind, even months after you read it, then this is definitely the book for you.