Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen


The Girl Who Chased the Moon
By: Sarah Addison Allen


Published: March 2010
Published By: Books on Tape
Format Read: Audio Book
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Magical Realism 

Rating: 4/5
🌟🌟🌟🌟





Emily Benedict is sent to live with her Grandfather, after her Mother’s untimely death. Not only is he a real life giant, but the small South Carolina town of Mullaby is home to many magical secrets. One of which was the catalyst for Emily’s Mother leaving town. She befriends neighbor Julia Winterson, owner of a local BBQ restaurant and baker of the most delicious cakes.


The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen is a contemporary novel with dusting of magic. Normally fantasy or magical realism isn’t my cup of tea, but I decided to give this one a shot anyway. And in the end I was happy that I did.

The author painted a beautifully magical picture of the small southern town of Mullaby. The characters were charming with detailed backstories. Rebecca Lowman was a good fit as narrator for this book and kept me engaged throughout.

While I really enjoyed the contemporary romance story-line, I found that the explanations behind the mystery and magic to be a bit underwhelming. I had hoped it would be more exciting or shocking.


Still I think that The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen was a good book and worthy of a 4 star rating. I would recommend this book to fans of lightly magical contemporaries. I will consider reading more from this author in the future. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ML's Worth a Watch: Book Trailers (January-June 2017)


Today I would like to share with you some of the trailers for books I have read between January and June 2017.



Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford


A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman



If You're Gone by Brittany Goodwin 


Sunday, July 23, 2017

My Historical Fiction Evolution Part 4


Welcome back to the next installment in my series about how my love for historical fiction has evolved.

Here is a recap of my previous posts. Click on the links to check them out.

Part 1: My introduction to historical fiction in elementary school with Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.
Part 2: Historical fiction close to home with Booky: A Trilogy by Bernice Thurman Hunter and Guest of War Trilogy by Kit Pearson.
Part 3: Learning about the holocaust.

Notable Time Periods

Today I will spotlight some of the other different time periods I have discovered through books.

As I got older I began to read adult books (both fiction and non-fiction) and this opened the door to discover more events, eras, cultures and places throughout history. I began to branch out from books set during World War II to include a wider variety that fascinated me just as much.
Some of these books include:

The Russian Revolution including The Romanov’s



Edwardian Aristocrats and the people who worked for them


Old New York City


The Immigrant Experience



Pre-20th Century America


The Tudors



Among others..

I just love being transported to a different time and discovering all there is to know about. I know that my future reading will only take me farther and I can’t wait to learn more about the past.

In the 5th and final installment of My Historical Fiction Evolution will focus on today’s technology and how it has enhanced my reading experience.

What are some different time periods you enjoy reading about? Leave me a message in the comments. Recommendations are always welcome. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"If You're Gone" Inspired Playlist

Every once in a while I hear a song that reminds me of a certain book that I have read. Recently I had the chance to read and review If You're Gone by Brittany Goodwin (click on the link to read my review).
Book synopsis from Goodreads:
Lillian White was planning for the perfect summer- spending every waking minute at the lake with her heartthrob boyfriend, Brad Lee. But her world is shattered when Brad mysteriously disappears the night of his graduation ceremony- the same night he tells her he loves her for the first time. After law enforcement dismisses the case, classifying Brad as voluntarily missing, Lillian becomes desperate to prove that he couldn’t have just walked away. Not from his family. Not from his friends. Not from her.

Heartbroken but determined to find answers, Lillian begins to uncover secrets from Brad’s past that force her to question everything she thought she knew about him and their relationship. Will the truth lead her to him? Or are Brad’s lies just the beginning of the mystery?
 
 Upon visiting the authors website I discovered that she had compiled a playlist herself for the short story.

Goodwin's playlist included songs from Daughtry, David Cook and Nickelback (among others). However my personal favourite is A Thousand Years by Christina Perri:



Here are some other songs that reminded me of If You're Gone:

Fix You by Coldplay


A Little Bit Stronger by Sara Evans



When You're Gone by Avril Lavigne 



Be sure to check out author Brittany Goodwin's post for her If You're Gone Playlist

Monday, July 17, 2017

My Historical Fiction Evolution Part 3


Welcome to part 3 in My Historical Fiction Evolution series where I discuss my love for the genre and how it has changed over the past 20 years.

Click the links below to check out the first two posts in this series.

To recap:
Part 1: My introduction to historical fiction in elementary school with Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.

Part 2: Historical fiction close to home with Booky: A Trilogy by Bernice Thurman Hunter and Guest of War Trilogy by Kit Pearson.

After learning about the terrible lasting effects of the atom bomb in Japan and the hardships of those during Great Depression and World War II Toronto, my historical fiction evolution was about to delve even deeper.  

It was my grade 7 teacher who introduced me to the horrors of the Holocaust, when my class watched the film Life is Beautiful. Click below to watch the movies trailer.


This film follows a Jewish man and his son as they are sent to a concentration camp during World War II. The atrocities the Jewish people faced absolutely horrified me, but it also made me want to learn more.

So naturally I turned to my newfound love of history and historical fiction. This would also mark the first time I would read non-fiction.

Now you are probably expecting me to mention The Diary of aYoung Girl by Anne Frank, however I admit that this wasn’t one of my favourite books. Instead I will focus on the following middle grade and young adult books set during this time period:


Surviving Hitler



Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps by AndreaWarren gives the true account of a holocaust survivor as he recounts his harrowing tale. This book is chalk full of pictures, many of which were extremely hard to look at. These pictures made the time period come alive for me.

My Canary Yellow Star 


My Canary Yellow Star by Eva Wiseman was a book I was given in high school by my mom who met the author. Like Surviving Hitler, it follows a young Jewish person (in this case a girl named Marta) as their rights are stripped away by the Nazi regime and sent to a concentration camp.



I have reread both of these books several times over the years (and will continue to do so), but their horrors and message of hope will never dull. It is with books like these that the people whose lives were tragically cut short are remembered. They are also a great learning tool for the youth of today.

Stay tuned for part 4 in my series where my evolution in historical fiction continues.


Are there any books set during the holocaust that you would recommend? Leave me a message in the comments. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

If You're Gone by Brittany Goodwin



If You're Gone


By: Brittany Goodwin


Published: June 2016
Published By: Edge of 22 Publishing
Format Read: eBook
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Christian Fiction, Mystery

Rating: 3.5/5
🌟🌟🌟.5




I was sent a copy of If You’re Gone by Brittany Goodwin by the author in exchange for an honest review.


Lillian White never would have imagined that she would fall in love with the school bad boy, but a chance encounter with neighbour Brad Lee would change everything. After 6 months of bliss, Brad finally tells Lillian that he loves her on the night of his high school graduation. The next morning she awakes to a frantic message from Brad’s mother saying that he has gone missing without a trace.



Brittany Goodwin’s If You’re Gone is a short story that shines the light on missing youth. Instead of focusing on the details of the investigation into Brad’s disappearance, it follows the hardships Lillian, their friends and families faced. This character driven plot sets this story apart from other mysteries that I have read in the past, which tend to be plot driven.

Although naive characters like Lillian aren’t my favourite, I found that I was able to relate to her love for Brad and their relationship was similar to my own. While her family and friends dealt with her grief in different ways, I was able to understand why she was feeling the way she did and how it affected her. The author did a good job of fitting all the details into such a short story. It was quite an emotional read for me and I flew through the pages.

For those who are interested in learning how Lillian fared in the years after If You’re Gone, they are encouraged to visit Brittany Goodwin’s website where she has posted a hidden chapter.


I would recommend this short story to fans of young adult contemporary fiction. 


Visit Brittany Goodwin's website at the link: http://www.brittanygoodwin.com 

Monday, July 10, 2017

My Historical Fiction Evolution Part 2


For the first post in My Historical Fiction Evolution series I discussed how Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr sparked my love for the genre when I was a child. Today I will talk about how that love evolved during the years of my youth.

Booky

Shortly after being introduced to historical fiction with Sadako, I was introduced to another young fictional girl by the name of Booky. Like Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Booky: A Trilogy by Bernice ThurmanHunter was also read aloud by my teacher to the class. The main character in this series was also close in age to myself at the time. But what made her even more relatable was the fact that this trilogy was set in a place not far from home: Toronto! Even though the time period was set during the Great Depression, it mentioned many different locations in and around the city that are still there today (or were about 20 years ago). Some of those locations include: Eaton’s and the CNE, not to mention the different neighbourhoods Booky and her family lived in.


Guests of War


Around this time my love for reading in general had picked up and I was beginning to try different books outside of The Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High, which I had been reading for several years prior. I came across another historical fiction book by another Canadian author.

Guests of War Trilogy by Kit Pearson was also set in Toronto and followed a young girl around my age. However this one was set during World War II and followed two British children as they are sent to Canada for safety.




There is something about reading of familiar places during a different time period that I find so interesting. Not only is it a great learning experience, but it is also interesting to compare the old ways of life to the present day.

Even after all these years I still consider Bernice Thurman Hunter’s Booky: A Trilogy and Kit Pearson’s Guests of War Trilogy to be my lasting favourites.


Stay tuned for part 3 of My Historical Fiction Evolution series where I will talk about books set during the Holocaust.