Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: A Step Towards Falling by Cammie McGovern

After learning about this one, and receiving an ARC of it, I cannot wait to dive into it! It'll be my first Cammie McGovern read, and i'm just so stoked! 

A Step Towards Falling by Cammie McGovern

Cammie McGovern follows up her breakout young adult debut, Say What You Will, with this powerful and unforgettable novel about learning from your mistakes, and learning to forgive. Told in alternating points of view,A Step Toward Falling is a poignant, hopeful, and altogether stunning work that will appeal to fans of Jennifer Nevin, Robyn Schneider, and Jandy Nelson.

Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing—until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.

Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they're starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?

Monday, 28 September 2015

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Book: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and Other Concerns)

Author: Mindy Kaling

Publisher: Crown Archetype

Pages: 222 Pages

Source: Scribd Subscription

Format: Audiobook on Scribd

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” 
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

I’ve never really watched the Office. Have I seen the odd clip here or there? Yes. But i’ve also never watched the Mindy Project. So this was technically my first foray into Mindy’s style of comedy. And let me be the first to say that she is absolutely hilarious. Her humour is a mix of self deprecation yet overwhelming narcissism that results in a crazy combination that is so utterly human. The book is structured like a coffee date, with these hilarious anecdotes, and real life lessons. You know the ones that are only ever discussed in the back corner of a coffee shop over an overpriced chai latte. 

The other thing about Mindy’s writing is that she knows when to poke fun at herself and she does it like a champ. She talks about times when she has messed up in her life, or when she did something stupid and childish and had to deal with the consequences. And her retrospective view point of these moments are dealt with so maturely. She is not only able to recognize what she did, but she's able to laugh about it, normalizing the anxiety we all feel over mess ups.

Mindy Kaling is so extremely relatable that sometimes I forgot this was a book. I bet reading this must be a different experience, because listening to it made it seem like a podcast. And while some people criticize that, I found it interesting. All literature aims to inform and entertain, and there are no other rules. Mindy made the executive decision (because she's a badass girl boss) that this was the best way to inform and entertain her audience. And I love her for that.

I’m definitely going to be picking up Mindy’s newest book, which I can’t remember the title of and I'm too lazy to look up. Well that’s one way to end a review. In short, loved the book, loved Mindy.


Saturday, 26 September 2015

Books and Tea VI - Fall 2015 Collection

Fall is upon us all, and you know what that means! Falling leaves, sweater weather and seasonal drinks!

Book: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Tea: Pumpkin Chai from DAVIDsTEA
Main Ingredients: Cinnamon, Pumpkin and Caramel
Reason: Pumpkin Chai is a fall staple for me, and is such a great addition to the chai family. Cinder is the same to me, only it's a bookshelf staple, and a great addition to the fairy tale family.

Book: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin ALire Saenz
Tea: Peanut Butter Cup from DAVIDsTEA
Main Ingredients: Almonds and Chocolate
Reason: The reason these are paired together is simple; They are both warm, sweet, and a bit mystifying. 

Book: I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Tea: Honeycrisp Apple from DAVIDsTEA
Main Ingredients: Apples, Pears, and Blackberry leaf
Reason: IGYTS was like nothing I had ever read before. It's so complex, yet so simple. And an apple green tea seems so natural, but this one just has that something about it that makes it new and simply mindblowing-ly good.

Book: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Tea: Nutty by Nature from DAVIDsTEA
Main Ingredients: Almonds, Brittle, and Apricot
Reason: This tea is just the right amount nutty, fruity, and sweet. And like Attachments, it's a pick me up in a cup. Attachments is the perfect amount of everything.

Book: Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Tea: Cranberry Orange Muffin by DAVIDsTEA
Main Ingredients: Cranberry, Orange, and Cinnamon
Reason: Just One Day, although a tad bit heartbreaking, is just so lovely, and so comforting and warm. And that the same with this tea. It's like a hug in a cup! Fruity and a bit spicy, the only heartbreaking thing about it is that it's only here for a limited time!

Hope you guys liked these pairings! Tell me what you think of them, and make sure to tell me which books to pair next!

Happy reading, and happy steeping!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Review: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Book: Since You've Been Gone

Author: Morgan Matson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Pages: 449 Pages

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased from Chapters Indigo

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um... 

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?

I have never read any Morgan Matson and I don’t know why. It’s probably because I'm sick in the head and I don’t love myself enough, but that’s a problem for another day. Anyway, Since You've Been Gone was the perfect summer contemporary. It was light and fluffy when it needed to be, yet still hit you in the feels when it had to. And I loved that so much. It was so great to see a book that embraced the contemporary genre, and didn’t try to be outlandish and detach itself. And through embracing it, it shines so brightly.

Emily is one of my new favourite protagonists. She was so real and palpable and I just wanted to hug her. She fucked up a few times, and there were things she was scared of and while all of that is great, it’s not why i love her so much. It’s because of her questioning Sloane. She did everything Sloane said to do, but never stopped asking herself why. She needed an answer, and while other books would have had the answer come to her, she went and got the answer.

And what about Frank? Let me be frank (I know, i’m not funny) the relationship between Emily and Frank was great. Slow build, a lot of questioning, and a big of regret. The characters don’t seem to have been created for the relationship, but the relationship for them. They are two people falling in love, and it was done so organically. Seriously, other authors need to take note. And it wasn’t just the romantic relationship that I loved. This crazy cast of characters makes me smile just thinking about them. They were fun and honest, and loyal and trustworthy, and all around good people, and I loved them.

I don’t know what else I can say about this book besides how much I loved it. It was such a lovely read that will remain in my heart for a long time.

5/5 Stars

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Top Ten Books on My Fall Semester TBR!

As an English Lit major, I get to take a lot of really cool classes and read a lot of cool books! So, instead of making my fall TBR for books that I want to read on my own time, I wanted to show you guys the books for school that i'm excited to read! I've also added which class i'm reading it for!

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Class: Literature and Propaganda

1984 by George Orwell
Class: Literature and Propaganda

The Complete Maus by Art Spielgelman
Class: Literature and Propaganda

The Wars by Timothy Findley
Class: Canadian Literature

What We All Long For by Dionne Brand
Class: Canadian Literature, and Literature, Multiculturalism and Diversity

The Selector Of Souls by Shauna Singh Balwin
Class: Literature, Multiculturalism, and Diversity

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
Class: Shakespeare

The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare
Class: Shakespeare

Othello by William Shakespeare
Class: Shakespeare

The Tempest by William Shakespeare
Class: Shakespeare

What are you guys excited to read in school this year? Let me know, and link me to your TTT! <3 Happy Reading!