Lifel1k3 | Review

Greetings readers!

When friends recommend you books, and they persist and persist and persist that you read them, you are going to end up reading them. Such was this situation here. My friend Rezanne @TheWickedReader hounded me from the moment she finished reading this book that I also had to read it. That it was so incredibly amazing and that she needed to talk about it with someone.

So naturally, I read it.

Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

Lifel1k3 (Lifelike, #1)

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: May 29th, 2018
Price: $24.99 CAD
ISBN: 9781524713928

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.


BUY IT!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


*I was provided a free copy by Penguin Teen Canada! Thank you so much to the publisher!*

This was quite something. I didn’t know exactly what to expect. And what I did get? Well it was quite QUITE something!

What I Liked:

Characters:

Eve: I really liked her quite a lot. She had this admirable spunk to her from being raised in such a perilous place. And yet she has this compassionate side that I loved to see come out of her. Her life is turned upside down and inside out from very early on in the book and she has to deal with a lot of revelations that she is not prepared for, not to mention running for her life! Now, I would like to say she has tremendous growth in this novel….and while she does go through some “growth”, tremendous might not be the best word to describe it…or maybe it is. But it was quite, quite the revelation.

Ezekiel: Okay, I never felt strongly for him as a character, but he did make a decent love interest. I liked him well enough, his history and his motives for sticking around Eve were interesting. I was going to use the word “sweet” but there is some twistiness in his backstory that makes me a hesitant to say sweet. He was a good character, but I think he lacked that sense of intrigue. So what if he was gorgeous, that’s one plus, but his personality could have used a little boost. Just saying.

NOW ONTO THE BEST CHARACTERS IN THE BOOK

Lemon: ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND TOTALLY FABULOUS!!! She would totally love that I just said that, but it is so so so true! I loved every second she was on the page. She was funny. She was snarky. She was mischievous. DARING. ADORABLE. NOBLE. UTTERLY IRRESISTIBLE. She made every boring second in the book worth it. She brought life to the book and I could not get enough of her. Forget about the actual MCs, this girl was it for me.

AND YET THERE WAS ONE MORE WHO HELD MY HEART.

Cricket: He may be little, but he had the biggest heart. I ADORED HIM. IF ONLY HE HAD GOTTEN EVEN MORE PAGE TIME. HE WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FUNNY. His programmed comebacks and just overall personality was the best in the book! He’s not even human. He’s a tiny robot who stole my heart from the first moment he appeared on the page.

He and Lemon made this book for me!

The World:

It was quite interesting. It kind of reminded me of a Mad Max situation…only a little less dessert and more like a giant junk yard. The names of the places were really cool and the map at the beginning really helped me keep track of the characters. Even the people themselves fit so well into the world. Scavengers and gangs and giant companies who made it too dangerous to roam around that brought all the thrill. I’d never survive.

LIFEL1K3 by @misterkristoff  Hello, hi. I finished this book the other day and the ending had me numb for about a day.  I was literally the white guy blinking meme for 24 hrs.  So that's nice.  @thebookcovergirls tagged me to do the #last5reads tag! My last five reads were all quite something!  Lifel1k3  Save the Date  Bring Me Their Hearts  Clara Voyant  When Life Gives You Demons  Those are my last five reads, what are yours?  #lifel1k3 #jaykristoff #scifi #yabooks #youngadultbooks #bookstagram #reader #books #fantasy

The Repercussions of Playing God:

A lot of the novel deals with the dangers when humans decide to make their own creations that are superior yet enslaved to mankind. The problem with thinking that humans can control beings that are conditioned to be humans and yet are not “human”. It brings up the question of what makes someone human? What makes them worthy to survive? What makes them lesser than humans? It is such a twisted concept and the way that Kristoff approaches it makes the question even harder to answer. You know what the humans did was wrong, but are you really gonna side with the crazy robots???

The Ending:

Did not see that coming. I saw quite a few of the twists coming but this was one that I didn’t really think would happen. It was wild and I really am looking forward to seeing how the next book even begins!

What I Disliked:

Not Gonna Lie, It had its boring bits:

And that boring bit is really this giant section in the middle. After the high events from the beginning, we set of on a journey and it’s not the most entertaining. It’s a lot of talking and remembering. It’s really slow. There are some moments of action, but just not enough to keep me entertained. I was having trouble paying attention and that is never a good sign! It had it’s share of bloody battle and epicness, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. (I think that says something scary about me XD)

The Info Dump Flashbacks:

I like when the flashbacks come in flashes. And Kristoff started out like that…but then he just gives this whole chapter of flashback that kind of turned me off. While the revelations were juicy, I guessed a couple and it was sort of a turn off for me. Of course the revelations came at the most inopportune time, and caused even more chaos, but I wasn’t a fan of the giant chapter of just backstory.


Overall, I really enjoyed the book. The end is what saved it for me. It brought back the intrigue and the suspense that was missing from the middle of the book. All in all, the book has a great set of side characters that makes up for some of the boring parts, it has its twistiness and will probably make you question your own morals many times! It was quite something, quite something.

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend?: Yes! I think you should all meet the amazing Cricket and Fabulous Lemon!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Did you enjoy it? Who was your favourite character? Are you excited for the sequel?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Cheesy Goodness Book Tag

Greetings readers!

I was tagged by my good friend, Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews to do the Cheesy Goodness tag! I feel like it is the perfect time to do it because I feel like I need all the cheese right now. From my books, obviously….I can only handle so much cheese in real life.

If you don’t know Mandy…??? I don’t even know how that is possible because if you know me, you know that I love her and you should definitely take the time to check out her blog!

On to the cheesy goodness!

RULES

  • Tag the original creator: Fire and Rain Books
  • Ping back the person who tagged you (above)
  • Have fun!

1. Cheddar The Classic Cheese: Pick your favorite classic novel

Wow I am struggling on the first question…um

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

It’s hilarious, imaginative, and I love Anne to death!

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2. Swiss The Hole-y Cheese: Pick an emotional rollercoaster

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir.

I am not okay.

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3. Blue Cheese The Controversial Cheese: Name an unpopular opinion

I hate hate hate hate the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Aelin sucks. Rowan grosses me out. Chaol deserves the world. Everybody else is pretty cool.
And yet here I am waiting for the last book, so I know how it ends and I can leave these books far, far behind me.

Tomorrow is the day everyone! I will *hopefully* be meeting @therealsjmaas on her last stop for her ACOWAR tour! 
Am I nervous? Yes. 
Will I make a fool of myself? Probably. 
Will I be happy? Yup! Fangirling about Chaol and Sorscha is one of my joys in life! 
I really hope I get a wrist band tomorrow for the signing! Wish me luck! 
#reader #throneofglass #crownofmidnight #heiroffire #sarajmaas #acotour #bookworm #bookblog #bookaddict #bookstagram #chaolwestfall #fangirl #books

The first two are the only ones I like. The rest can burn in a fire. (But I’d save ToD)

4. Brie The Favorite Cheese: Name an author you always want more of

Marissa Meyer, Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, Sabaa Tahir…..

This is a list.

5. Gouda The Dutch Cheese: A book that makes you want to travel

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
Travelling to fictional worlds counts right????

Day 17 of #bookishfools is Fictional World You Want to Live In.  Is a caption necessary?  No. 🦁🦁🦁 #narnia #thechroniclesofnarnia #cslewis #fictionalworlds #childrensclassics #myhomeawayfromhome #youngadultbooks #reader #book📚 #bookworm #bookstagram

6. American The Fake Cheese: Your least favorite book

Queen of Shadows/Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. Nope. Nope. Nope.

70e97-20225344_1739298973036695_1021631441064165376_n

7. Colby Jack The Mixed Cheese: Pick your favorite ship

CRESSWELL. CRESSWELL. CRESSWELL.

8. Mozzarella Cheese The Simple Cheese: An old favorite you’ll never stop loving

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall.

Forever the greatest.

The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall 👭👭 One of my favourite Middle Grade series of all time. It's stars one of the most epic sisterhoods ever, so I'm definitely all over that! These books are so incredibly adorable, funny, and heart breaking! (I literally cried reading each book)  The final book ~ The Penderwicks At Last ~ is coming out this May! (Finally after 3 years of waiting!) I'm so excited, I already have my tissues prepped.  #thependerwicks #jeannebirdsall #mgbooks #favereads #bookstagram #reader #books

9. Pepperjack The Spicy Cheese: A book you can’t judge by the cover

Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins
I don’t really get the cover, but the story is amazing! (I actually really need to continue the series)

Nameless (Nameless, #1)
via Goodreads

10. Muenster Cheese The Monster Cheese: A villain that should never have the chance to eat cheese again

The Commandant. She doesn’t deserve anything. Not my sympathy. Not my cheese. NADA.

Patiently waiting for A Reaper at the Gates coming this summer! 😍  I've been waiting so long to be reunited with Elias, Laia and co. Now that the time is approaching, I have to emotionally prepare for the damage Sabaa will inflict.  I'm soooo ready.  #anemberintheashes #atorchagainstthenight #sabaatahir #ya #yafantasy #youngadultbooks #yabooks #bookstagram #areaperatthegates

I Tag….

Well I’m pretty lazy right now, so I tag you, you and You!

Make sure to link back to the creator (and me if you want) so we can see your post!

Let me know what you think! Do you like cheesy books? Do you have a favourite kind of cheese? What answers to we have in common?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Save the Date | Review

Greetings readers!

I have been bitten by that summer bug. And it infected me with a mood. A contemporary mood. I have like twelve different YA fantasies on my side table that need immediate attention and yet I want the fluff. I need the fluff. The summer sun and all the warm fuzzzy feels.

A couple of weeks ago, a YA contemporary Queen was in town and what better way to start off my contemporary summer mood than with a wedding book! Morgan Matson’s new novel, Save the Date sounded like the perfect way to start my summer and after attending her event, I was so excited to get to it!

Save the Date  by Morgan Matson

Save the Date

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pub Date:  June 5th, 2018
Price: $23.99
ISBN:
 9781481404570

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.


BUY IT!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


Well, well. I had fun. Considering  it was my very first Matson book, I enjoyed it. Not exactly as much as I hoped to enjoy it, but it was a fun book overall.

What I Liked:

The Comic Strip. I thought it was such a cute touch. It really showcased the importance of the strip and it made it more than just a simple motif. Plus it added an extra amount of funny to the book.

I liked Charlie enough. She wasn’t my absolute favourite, but I did connect with her on some level. I totally related to her love of family. Her desire to have those together moments. Those times that are the memory makers. I often find myself searching for those moments with my own family and getting frustrated when we start to bicker or fight. Matson painted a real family. They were never perfect, but they had their moments of bliss and happiness.

Matson also approached the topic of change and how Charlie absolutely dreaded it. Especially as she was trying to figure out what she wanted for her future and how much she would have to let go in order to reach her goals. It was a very touching theme to the novel and I loved reading about Charlie’s journey to embracing change. It was not easy and she was quite stubborn, but I really connected to her struggle.

The book was also very humorous. The synopsis promises crazy and it delivered. Delivered to the point where I found it terribly ridiculous, but frankly I liked it. It was entertaining, the three days that this story spans is  filled with all sorts of trouble. It’s absolute chaos and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Bill. He was cute and charming and I wanted more from him. He did however come off as very flat, I would have liked a little more development in that area.

Those Canadian references! *Patriotic Rendz freaks.*

The ending, although bittersweet was quite heartwarming. I liked it a lot. I thought this was going to be really fluffy until Matson hit us with the hard ball and it hurt!

What I Disliked:

Okay. Here it is. The hard cold truth.

Every character in this Grant family was an asshole.

Especially Danny. JJ not that much. (JJ was actually my favourite of them all)

Their behaviour was disgusting. The way that this family treated outsiders did not sit well with me. My mom would call them “maleducados” i.e. rude. They were rude rude rude. Like, I get that family comes first, but these people were awful. Danny actually disgusted me, I was so unimpressed that Charlie practically worshipped him.

There was another asshole in this book, that I won’t call out for spoilers…but I knew knew knew that he was not worth it.

The fact that I didn’t like this family’s behaviour really spoiled a lot of he book for me. I often found myself rolling my eyes and disagreeing with many of their actions. I literally wanted to smack them all outside the head.

This book was wordy. It was long and it took forever. Plus the font was tiny! Okay maybe that was a little too technical, but in all honesty this book was too too too wordy. Charlie does a lot of thinking, some of it I could have honestly lived without. I got bored sometimes because there would not be a lot of character interaction instead it would just be Charlie in her head thinking thinking thinking.

The friendship theme in this book was very minimal. I was expecting a lot more from that element of conflict. It was set up really well, but there was no thorough execution. It left me disappointed.

The romance wasn’t even enough for me. WHERE WAS MY SUPER DUPER FLUFF??? THE SWOONY MOMENTS. BECAUSE I LITERALLY GOT ZERO. (I’m not counting the first chapter for *reasons*)


Overall, the book was good. It was not perfect and as you could see I had my issues with it. It was funny, ridiculous and despite its length, I think some people will fly through it! Did it fulfill my contemporary mood? For the most part. It did its job, but I am still very much hoping to jump into another fluffier book soon!

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Recommend?: Yeah, I guess… It was fun,  and a perfect summer read! Just beware of the super obnoxious characters.

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Did you enjoy it? Who was your favourite character? What Morgan Matson book is your favourite?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Let’s Discuss Reviewing Books, Shall We?

Greetings readers!

Writing reviews has been a topic on my mind as of late.

How do you write your reviews? What do your focus your content on? How professional do you sound?

These questions have sort of been plaguing my mind as of late after reading someone’s comment about reviews. This comment was not targeted towards anyone in particular, it was just the person’s opinion.

Basically they said that when someone writes a review that is a brief sum about the plot and what characters they did and did not like, it is not in fact a valid review.

The comment I’m sure was meant to be helpful and not at all pretentious, but it just did not sit well with me. And I know it is because that is how I started writing reviews. I would give a sum of what happened in the story and state which characters were my favourite. My old reviews are pretty trashy I admit, but that doesn’t mean they can’t count as reviews, right? You have to start somewhere! You have to learn from mistakes right?

lisa simpson writing GIF
via giphy.com

Trying To Peg Those Critical Reading Skills

I am not ashamed to admit it. The likelihood that any of my reviews will ever sound professional or eloquent enough to be featured on a review magazine/site is ZERO. I am not that type of reviewer. I am a rambler and a !!!! ???? XD user. My reviews are not even coherent sometimes! I go off on several tangents and sometimes I make zero sense!

But I enjoy reviewing this way. It is free and liberating to be able to go off about any single element in a book and hope that someone out there will feel the same. However, I have tried–and when I mean tried, I mean TRIED–so hard to remember the literary devices they taught us in class to analyze books. But the only methods of analyzing stories that I truly remember how to do are text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world connections. XD

In short, I simply try to be as critical as I can. I know that I do sometimes get into plot movement, character growth, atmosphere, themes, motifs and structure, and some even fancier terms, but if I am completely honest, I don’t always know how to approach them!

The best thing to do is keep trying. Eventually we’ll get the hang of it!

recording black and white GIF by Okkult Motion Pictures
via giphy.com

How I Write Reviews

There are a lot of different styles for writing reviews. I know a lot of people like to do one big review. As if it were a mini essay. And I admire those people because if I were to do that, I would literally just ramble on for days.

Personally, I like to separate and sub-head my reviews. It makes everything neat and I know where I need to put the good and the bad. It’s not always easy to work with because I have to find a way to transition from one topic to another smoothly. Sometimes I give up on subheading entirely and just write what I liked and disliked in two paragraphs (this usually happens when I get stumped or I’m lazy!)

I give a rating out of 5 stars, but allow myself to give .25, .50, .75 rates if need be. (Goodreads should take note!) I give a recommendation for it and then I ask your opinions for discussion!

It’s a really simple format and it works for me! I don’t think my reviews are usually long, unless I have a lot to say about certain things.

In Conclusion….(?)

Basically, I wrote this post to say that it’s okay to write reviews however you want to. It’s a learning process. Your first couple of reviews might suck (mine did), but as you keep reading, you find your own rhythm for spotting points of critique.

If you want to read a really crappy review, take mine! I first reviewed And I Darken by Kiersten White on this site. I basically went off about the characters and the cover and I had the wrong idea about the Vlad the Impaler themes.

And I Darken Review

It’s all about growth my friends. All about the learning!

I Want Your Opinions

How important do you think it is to sound professional in your reviews?

Do you focus your review content on literary devices/techniques?

Have you ever found yourself in a rut and just didn’t know what to write for a book?

How have you grown as a reviewer over the course of your blogging career?

Happy reading and reviewing!

~ Rendz

Bring Me Their Hearts | Review

Greetings readers!

Sometimes you really have to be in the right mood to enjoy a book. I was not when I read this. I was reeling after the glorious end of Reaper and I needed something soft and gentle to pull me through an oncoming slump I felt. But Rendz ignored inner-Rendz and jumped into this fantasy anyways and the results did not end well.

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Bring Me Their Hearts
via Goodreads

Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub Date: June 5, 2018
Price: $24.99
ISBN: 9781640631465

Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.


Buy It

Chapters Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository 


*I was provided a digital copy by the publisher via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion in any way!*

I really wanted to like this. I was prepared to pour my whole fangirling mess into it. But no, that didn’t happen. I was just bored all the time. I tried hard to connect with the characters and the world. I tried to feel something for this book, but I got a whole lot of nothing. Sigh sigh sigh.

What I Liked:

I liked the idea of the Heartless and how they were controlled by the witch. That was cool. I wish that we could have spent a little more time with the witches, understanding their past and the magic they have. The few witches that were mentioned were very elusive and only present at the very beginning of the novel.

Malachite. Because he was the best.

The sassy plays. The snarkiness. The wit! I was having a glorious time with the dialogue if anything. The comebacks were coming left, right, front and center. Wolf did an excellent job of bestowing that personality into her characters. Frankly everyone in her world had the wits and the smarts to make a good comeback, I don’t think I would fit in quit well XD

What I Disliked:

I was just not feeling the connections to the characters. I totally felt for Zera and her turmoil about choosing between what was right and what was wrong was very twisted. There was so much she was risking and there were too many things that could go wrong. But did I feel connected to her? No. I liked her sassiness, but sometimes I was just annoyed. Her speech was often repetitive and it was always about falling for princey vs  killing princey. Her actions were predictable and while I never disliked her, I was missing the attraction.

I have no complaints about Malachite. Again, he was the best.

Now Princey. Lucien. I was just not feeling you. I like the broody. I like the dark pasts. I like the rebel-against-the-world attitude. But I did not like him. I just…I don’t know! I just didn’t see it. WHICH IS WEIRD BECAUSE MOODY, BROODY AND SECRET SOFTY ARE BASICALLY ALL THINGS THAT ATTRACT ME TO A CHARACTER! But no. Nothing. I found him irritable, spoiled, annoying and well…too tropey. There was just nothing terribly unique about him.

And the romance….nothing. Like I get why they would be attracted to each other but…nope. Nothing. And trust me there was tension, banter, angst. But I did not feel this ship. Too rushed. Too…forced.

The world was confusing for me. There was a lot of history between different races of creatures that were barely brushed upon. I think I needed a lot more information on how this world functioned. The whole Spring Bride thing didn’t turn out to be that important either. It was just tossed over the shoulder.

And this book could have used a lot more magic, just saying.

The twists. Were there any? There was excitement, yes, but not enough to drop my jaw or make me yell a little. I was never eagerly anticipating the next scene. I was never giddy and to be completely 1000% honest, I skimmed because I got bored. And this book was just not memorable for me. I’m already forgetting so many things.

The end twist. Saw it coming.


Overall, I feel like this book just wasn’t for me, someone who reads fantasy all the time and basically studies the genre. Where I expect rich, complex plots with twists here, there and everywhere, this book was really mellow. It was simple, and while it was entertaining, I’m finding it hard to remember.

Rating: 2.75 / 5 stars. Really close to the 3, but just not enough!

Recommend?: Um maybe? For like beginner fantasy peeps, or peeps who don’t usually draw into this genre?

Let me know what you think! Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Have you ever found yourself in the wrong mood for a book?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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June Wrap Up & July TBR | Can time please stop flying so fast??? Thank you.

Greetings readers!

Here I am. I made it. This post was supposed to be up like three days ago, but I have only just gotten to it. I still working off the high from this long weekend. If any of you were wondering, my Canada Day weekend was fabulous and I loved every second of it!

On to actual business though…I am honestly at a lost here. June was supposed to be THE month. And it started out as THE month, but slowly it dwindled into some month. Here’s the thing…school has been a big issue these past couple of months so things have been real slow for me in academics and really great in the book world. Then….school decides to become a thing again…and basically it is one big mess. I am a big mess. And my reading/blogging suffered for it.

Sigh.

But if anything I did have a good month overall! I had some really great reads and got some even greater books. Plus I got to go to things!!! And I’m…well. I’m okay overall!

Let’s get into it shall we?

wrap-up-3

WRAP UP

What Rendz Read

An Ember in the Ashes & A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
These were two rereads in preparation for book 3!!! I had the best time rereading them. I had forgotten a lot, so it was necessary that I read them again. AND IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING, I LOVED THEM AGAIN AND THEY ARE BOTH FABULOUS BOOKS THAT YOU MUST READ!

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. UTTERLY FANTASTIC. IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND. I AM DEAD DEAD DEAD BUT SO ALIVE. I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE HURT AND HAPPY AT THE SAME TIME. My Full Review

A Reaper at Gates

Flor and Miranda Steal the Show by Jennifer Torres
Such a cute carnival read. Perfect for the summer time! My Full Review

Flor and Miranda Steal the Show

Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin
This one just did not work for me. My Full Review

Tell Me No Lies

Clara Voyant by Rachelle Delaney
The title is genius. I loved it. My Full Review

CLARA VOYANT

Save the Date by Morgan Matson
For my first Matson book, it was quite fun..but I had my issues. Full Review to Come!

SAVE THE DATE by @morgamat is my current read and I'm really enjoying it!  It is incredibly funny and also very heartfelt. Considering it is my first Morgan Matson book, I'd say things are going very, very good!  I was lucky enough to meet Morgan on her trip to Toronto last week and got my copy of Save the Date signed! (It's double signed too because it's a first edition!!) I did an event recap on my blog, so if you want to read more about what Morgan discussed, follow the link in my bio!! What is your favourite Morgan Matson book?  #savethedate #morganmatson #bookstagram #yabooks #yacontemporary #books #reader #ya #youngadultbooks

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf
Ughhhhh I just wasn’t feeling it…Full Review to Come.

That’s a total of eight books! Plus two more that I started…which I didn’t finish, but you’ll hear about those more in next months wrap-up. Could I have done better with the reading?…yeah. But I hit a major slump after Reaper and there is a good reason for it!


THE HAUL

Once again, my mail box was packed and I attended a few events where I was lucky to get books and I visited the book store a couple times too! So those are all my excuses for the big haul I’m about to unravel. *smiles*

Indigo Purchases

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
I was feeling down…so clearly buying a book was the cure! I am so excited to get to it!

I did a little impulse shopping last week because I was feeling down, and what better way to cheer up than buying new books?  I've heard a lot of wonderful things about SKY IN THE DEEP by @adrienneyoungbooks! Many people have told me they absolutely loved it, so I cannot wait to read all about its epicness myself!  I mean it's a Viking Fantasy.... I've never been more sold on a book! 🙃  What new books have you recently acquired?  #skyinthedeep #adrienneyoung #ya #youngadultbooks #books #reader #bookstagram #yabooks #yafantasy #fiercereads

Save the Date by Morgan Matson
I went to her signing in Toronto, and it was absolutely fabulous!

Six of Crows – Tome 1 by Leigh Bardugo
The French version of SoC. Yes I did that. I am over the moon. I am literally so happy to have it. I’m really hoping to get to it soon and that it helps improve my French XD

Publisher Love

Raincoast
Mirage by Samaiya Daud (ARC)
The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke (ARC)
When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn (ARC)

Thomas Allen & Son
The Magic of Melwick Orchard
by Rebecca Caprara (ARC)
Game of Secrets by Kim Foster (FC)

Penguin Random House CA
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir (FC)
Clara Voyant by Rachelle Delaney (FC)
Confessions of a Teenage Leper by Ashley Little (ARC)
Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis (ARC)
House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenburg (FC)
The Ruinous Sweep by Tim Wynne-Jones (FC)

Wow…I didn’t realize I had received that many books. I have no idea how I’m going to get to these all on top of the massive amount of the books I received last month. Stress….

Posts from June!

Superlatives Tag

superlatives tag!

The X-Files Book Tag

The X-Files Book Tag

FIFA World Cup Book Tag

My very first original book tag!! Have you had the chance to read it yet?

FIFA World Cup Book Tag

Meeting Morgan Matson | Author Event Recap

Morgan Matson in Toronto

An Update on My Blog Goals of the Year

An Update on My Blog Goals of the Year

And a piece of fanart I shared on Twitter and Instagram in honour of my love for An Ember in the Ashes!

A close up, if you will. 

Do you like it? XD It took quite a long time to make, but I am very proud of the results!


TBR

JULY TBR

I am so, so behind on so, so many reads. It is absolutely unbelievable. What I’m trying to say is that this list is going to be quite long, and I probably won’t get to everything, but I’m going to try!!! *The usual speech I give every month*

LifeL1k3 by Jay Kristoff
Kiss of a Royal by  Lindsey Duga
When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton
Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
Game of Secrets by Kim Foster
Kingdom of Ash and Soot by C.S. Johnson
A Mark Unwilling by Candace Wondrak

Well…I don’t feel stressed at all. I’m probably forgetting a book somewhere in there. Did I mention how big a mess I am at the moment? But I’ll just go with the flow.


Alright people. That’s it for this wrap up post. I have been slumping in terms of good content blogging lately, but I am hoping to up the ante this month with some more pizzazz and some fun things that I have planned! I hope you all stick around to read!

Let me know what you think! What was your favourite read from June? What was your favourite new release? What books are you excited for this month? What content would you like to see more of on this site?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Clara Voyant | Review

Greetings readers!

Let me tell you that one of the best features of this book is the title. When I first saw it at the Penguin Teen Canada social event I went to in May, and read the glorious title, I was 100% ready to read it. I am also just a huge fan of the zodiac signs, so I knew that I really wanted to pick up this book. Lucky for me, the lovely people at PenguinTeen CA hooked me up with a copy!

Clara Voyant by Rachelle Delaney

Publisher: Puffin Canada
Pub Date: May 15th, 2018
Price: $19.99 CAD
ISBN: 9780143198536

A wannabe journalist and reluctant astrologer turns out to be clairvoyant in this charming middle-grade coming-of-age novel; for fans of Rebecca Stead’s novels.

Clara can’t believe her no-nonsense grandmother has just up and moved to Florida, leaving Clara and her mother on their own for the first time. This means her mother can finally “follow her bliss,” which involves moving to a tiny apartment in Kensington Market, working at a herbal remedy shop and trying to develop her so-called mystical powers. Clara tries to make the best of a bad situation by joining the newspaper staff at her new middle school, where she can sharpen her investigative journalistic skills and tell the kind of hard-news stories her grandmother appreciated. But the editor relegates her to boring news stories and worse . . . the horoscopes.

Worse yet, her horoscopes come true, and soon everyone at school is talking about Clara Voyant, the talented fortune-teller. Clara is horrified — horoscopes and clairvoyance aren’t real, she insists, just like her grandmother always told her. But when a mystery unfolds at school, she finds herself in a strange situation: having an opportunity to prove herself as an investigative journalist . . . with the help of her own mystical powers.


Buy It!

Amazon | Chapters-Indigo | McNally Robinson | Book Depository


*I was provided a copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review!*

This book was absolutely positively adorable and I loved every second of it. It was a fast and funny read, and I found the zodiac element very entertaining. Plus, it is set in Canada, specifically Toronto, so stay tuned for an appearance by Patriotic Rendz later on in this review!

What I Liked:

Characters:

Clara: My fellow Cancerian, she was an absolute rock star and I loved her! Clara at the beginning of the book would probably roll her eyes (just a little) at the fact that I called her a Cancerian and say it’s all woo! But she goes through such growth in this book! She learns that its okay to embrace some of your eccentric abilities and that it’s important to pursue every goal you have with all your heart. Clara was intelligent, caring and quite practical throughout the whole book, until her sense of adventure kicks in and she finds herself doing things she might have never imagined doing before! It was all quite fun and I really enjoyed reading about her!

Clara’s mom, Gabby, was quite–how do I put this–special, she really loved all things supernatural, and while I felt that this sometimes blinded her from seeing Clara’s distress, I think she was fun addition to the story!

Each and every character had this spunk that I just loved to read about!

Zodiac fun!:

Clara writes her own original horoscopes for each sign in this book and the way that Delaney made them play out was fantastic! The way in which her fortunes affected different people in Clara’s life was both hilarious and heart warming. Clara’s journey to managing her clairvoyance was exciting and caused a lot of trouble, but it was all in all a perfect element to keep the plot moving forward!

It was all so Punny!

The puns in this book! Can we start by appreciating the title because I am still not over its genius! Trust me there are a lot more puns in this story to be read and laughed at. As an aspiring journalist, Clara goes out of her way to make catchy headlines and whats catchier than a well put pun? But honestly this book was hilarious. I’m usually just a silent laugher when it comes to reading, but this book actually made me giggle.

*Incoming of a red and white dressed blogger*

The Setting:

Hi everyone, this is your new captain speaking, Patriotic Rendz! And I have dropped by to yell about how perfect the setting was for this book!

Other than taking place in the homeland of Rendz, this book takes place in one of–what I might say– the most funkiest and eccentric places in the city. Kensington Market.

Kensington Market in Toronto is a neighbourhood filled with different stores, restaurants and attractions. And it is home to some…very exciting people. It’s the place where you’ll find lots of interesting stores that sell interesting products, similar to how Clara’s mom sells herbs and natural medicines/elixirs. You can find a psychic on basically every corner and it has its fair share of dark alleys.

It was the perfect setting for this book because it contrasted so well with Clara’s personality. Where she wanted the pristine and beautiful sanctuary of High Park (A beautiful park in the city), she instead got the very rundown and outlandish market. (The market is not all bad, but is definitely not where Clara would choose to live!)

What I Disliked:

Not much really. Could it lag here and there, a little. But it was a really short book and it kept me tuned in for the most part so not much for me to complain about!


Overall, I loved this and clearly Patriotic Rendz has never been more happy about a book set in Canada. It was fun, fast and colourful. There were lots of funny moments and triumphant moments and other moments where I was quite quite taken aback with a wide-eyed expression. All I’ll say is that people really do love their horoscopes!

Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

Recommend: Absolutely! So much fun!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Do you follow your horoscope closely? Have you ever found one that is so YOU!?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz