Thursday, 19 February 2015

If We Were Having Coffee I

I've seen this post a few times, and I like it because there are just some things I want to chat about and tell you guys, even though it may not be bookish. I saw this over on The Perpetual Page Turner when Jamie did this a while ago. I hope you like it!

I'd tell you that I just started my second semester at university, and things aren't going as I thought they would. I had a blowout with a group of friends, and long story short, I'm no longer moving into a house or apartment like I thought I was going to be. I've applied for another year in residence, and i'm trying to be happy and excited about it, but it's hard. 

I'd tell you how much I love my classes. I have two english classes this semester - Pulp Fiction, and Poetry & Drama. My professors are really chill and super smart and I'm really enjoying them. When i'm in those classes, I understand why I'm even at university, and I know that I made the right choice in program.

I'd tell you about my dad. He had a huge health scare that landed him in the hospital for about a week/10 days. He's home now, and he's doing better, but I was really scared. Especially since i'm so far away from home. That whole experience had me reverting into a kid. I just wanted to go home for a while. 

I'd tell you how much I miss my dog. 

I'd tell you how happy I am to be here at school, and how I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Book: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Pages: 320 Pages

Release Date: April 7th, 2015

Where to Pre-Order: Amazon CA, Chapters Indigo, Book Depository

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.

This looks an incredible story, and from what I've heard about it, it's the next big thing. I cannot WAIT for this one!! What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Let me know in the comments! Also, link me to your WOW posts, and I'll check them out! Happy reading!!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Review: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doe

Book: All the Light We Cannot See

Author: Anthony Doerr

Publisher: Scribner

Pages: 544 Pages

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased at Chapters Indigo

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.

I'm constantly drawn to Historical Fiction revolving around the second world war. It's mostly because it's such a rich setting, with the stakes set so high, but it's also because I love survival stories. I love reading about people who against all odds survive. And I think that's why I loved this one so much, and why it has had such an impact on me. I finished this about 2 weeks ago, and not a day goes by that I'm not thinking about Werner or Marie-Laure.

The way that this story is told, back and forth between characters and years and locations made it feel like I was there, an active participant, instead of just a viewer. I felt like I was apart of the story. But this only worked because Doerr's characters were palpable. These characters were not passive, in any sense of the word. Every single character I read demanded attention and affection. They grabbed onto my heart and by the time I realized this, they were there to stay.

I was fascinated by Marie Laure, and not only her character, but the way that the author doesn't let her blindness impair his writing. His focus on voices, and the descriptions of the silence was just as effective as the descriptions of what is being said. And it caused me to create two distinct worlds, one for Marie Laure, and one for Werner. And while Marie's world was one of discovery, Werner's was one of survival. There were some lines that were said during Werner's narrative, and oh my god they broke my heart because I understood the severity of the context.

Anthony Doerr ripped my heart apart, and put it back together, and ripped it again. I have no words to put to this story, as it is not something to be taken lightly. This story gives me the same feeling that the finale of Les Miserables gives me - one of immense sadness, yet this overwhelming sense of hope. The idea that nothing will ever be the same again, yet there are so many better things to come. This story is an experience from start to finish, that needs to be regarded as a classic piece of literature. I love this.

6/5 stars. Easily one of my favourite of 2014, and of all time.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Review: I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Book: I'll Give You the Sun

Author: Jandy Nelson

Publisher: Dial

Pages: 371 Pages

Format: Hardcover

Source: Gifted to me

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell 

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

I'll Give You the Sun is one of those books that you know you're going to love, but you have no idea how much it will affect you until the very end. This book was a rollercoaster of emotions that had me laughing, crying, and clinging to these characters for dear life. While I wasn't a huge fan of Jandy Nelson's first book, The Sky is Everywhere (review), there was something different about this one, and the writing and the dynamic of the characters.

The characters shine the brightest in this book. Jude, Noah, Brian, Oscar, G, and everyone else were beautifully flawed in a way that no other character has ever been. Each character's voice was so distinct and it made for the conversations and interactions so incredible to read. Jude and Noah's  conversations were so very different from Noah and Brian's, or Jude and Oscar's, but you can see each of them so perfectly.

And what would this story be without the AMAZING writing. Jandy Nelson really has a way with words. She utilizes words the way artists use paint - she creates these incredible scenes with such ease and its as if these characters are real, and running rampant in my mind. Every paragraph, every line, every word is in this book for a reason, and it all contributes to these incredible feelings of guilt and love and acceptance and hope that this book finishes on.

And Jandy doesn't just stop there! There are so many books that I love only because of the writing. But IGYTS's plot is PHENOMENAL. Threads are flying everywhere, and more are being created as the novel goes on, but everything comes together slowly, falling into place and making perfect sense, so that at the end, you have no idea how the story would have come together in any other way.

Jandy Nelson has created a masterpiece, and one that is not to be disregarded because of the hype. This book really is a work of art. Noah and Jude and Oscar and Brian and G are forever in my heart, and I have no intention of letting them escape, for they are too important to me.

6/5 Stars.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Top Ten YA Books I Can't Believe I Haven't Read Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I mainly read YA fiction. Wait, change that to I only read YA fiction, with a bit of adult thrown in. If my reading habits are a salad, YA is the lettuce, while adult books are the croutons - sometimes I'm feeling it, sometimes I'm not. But there are some YA books that some people consider staples of the genre, aka EVERYONE has read it, but me. So here is basically a list that you can use to publicly shame me.

1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Despite owning the entire series, I have yet to read them! I'm going to change this!.... During the summer!

Just adding icing to the cake here, and admitting that I've never read any Rick Riordan! Whoops :P

I felt like a lot of people read this when they were a lot younger, and I just never knew about it.

Don't even bother shaming me. I'm doing that enough for all of us. 

I feel like I would love this one, but it was never around when I was younger. I feel like it truly is a staple in YA.


See explanation above.
As you can see, I'm a horrible human.

I know, guys... I know.

(runs and hides from screaming mob)

So... I think I've got some reading to do in 2015 apparently. What would you all consider to be YA must reads? Let me know in the comments below! Also, link me to your TTT, so that I can add more stuff to my never ending TBR pile!

Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Changes to the Blog!

Welcome to the new Adventures in YA Fiction blog! There's a new design, which I am absolutely in love with, and am ready to get back to regular postings. School's been insane, but I've finally got a grasp on my workload, and am ready to get back into the swing of things. 

This past year, my blog has kind of been pushed to the back burner, and I knew that it would happen, because of school and moving and all of that. But, i've finished one semester with a super high GPA, and i've been in Halifax for 5 months now, so I think it's time I get my act together. 

So, i'm officially back with a new theme, and a new promise - to post at least twice a week (!!!). I hope you guys like the theme and are excited for all the stuff I have planned!

Happy Reading, and thanks for sticking with me for so long!