Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Top Book Spines! | Top 5 Wednesday

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is to list your favourite book spines. There are some gorgeous book spines out there, so I've been looking forward to this week!

1. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
3. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
4. Shades of Grey Jasper Fforde
5. The Lusiads by Luis Vaz de Camoens

What are some of your favourite book spines?

Photo by Author

Monday, 25 August 2014

"Guardians of the Galaxy" Review | Movie Monday

In 1988, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) was abducted from his home planet, Earth. Fast forward 26 years and Quill, aka Star-Lord, is a badass-leather-jacket-wearing Ravager searching for a highly sought-after orb. He quickly discovers that a very powerful person, Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), is also looking for it. The motley crew - Quill, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) - must work together to stop Ronan from using the infinity stone to destroy the world as they know it.

I love this movie. It's absolutely in my top 4 Marvel movies, and within those 4 I'd have a very hard time picking a favourite.

I really liked most of the characters and could empathize with them and their back stories. It's very funny - the humour is so well-done by everyone, and it's great that there was some innocent humour and some not-so. I laughed at both. Hard.

Guardians is pretty accessible. It can stand alone and you don't need to have seen any of the other Marvel Universe films to understand what's going on, although there are a lot of Easter Eggs for fans who are more familiar with the Universe.

This film and its characters are very sweet. I think my favourite friendship was Rocket and Groot's because they really cared for and understood each other. Who knew I could care so much about a raccoon and a talking tree?

I like what they did with Quill and his cassette player. They really emphasized that he's human and grew up in the same society as many of the viewers, listening to the same songs and watching the same movies - he's like us. His attachment to the device is sometimes used as a comedic thing, but it's very clear that Peter's cassette player means a lot to him.

There are so many 80's references, it's wonderful. As I was growing up, my parents introduced me to "oldies" and songs they loved (much like what Quill's mom does for him in the film), which included stuff from the previous decade, the 80's, so I knew and loved a lot of the songs on the soundtrack and it made me so happy whenever I recognized one of those great songs.

This movie combines several things I love very much: humour, sci-fi, adventure, the 80's and Star-Lord's jacket (seriously, I want one).

I. Love. Marvel.

Image Credit: "Rocket Raccoon Statue" by Gage Skidmore via flickr in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

I'm doing the Write On Review-a-thon!

With Bout of Books 11 over, I now have more reviews I need to get written! I think this'll help me push myself to write at least some of the reviews on my list, so I'm looking forward to participating! Here is the official blurb:

"The Write On review-a-thon is a monthly event created and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. It's 2 days dedicated to getting reviews done, whether you have one review to write or 30+. This edition of the review-a-thon takes place all day Saturday, August 30th and Sunday, August 31st. Let's get those reviews done!"

I'll be writing reviews for the following books and movies:

  • A Long Way Down
  • Splinter
  • Beneath
  • Gallows Hill (aka The Damned)
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • Drive by James Sallis
  • Serenity: Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon & co.
  • Serenity: Better Days by Joss Whedon & co.

If I read or watch anything worth reviewing between now and the beginning of the review-a-thon, I'll most likely add that to the list too! On Saturday I'll be attending Fan Expo, so I won't get any reviews done because I'll be out of the house all day and completely zonked by the time I get home. But I'm planning on spending much of Sunday getting reviews done!

Write On Review-a-Thon

Are you doing the Write On read-a-thon? Let me know down below!

Aaand that's a wrap! | Bout of Books 11

Yet again, Bout of Books went by so quickly! I had a lot of fun and I ended up participating a lot more in the social aspects of this read-a-thon. I didn't read as much as I'd hoped to, but I did force myself most of the I got more reading done than I would have, had this week not been Bout of Books.

Total Completed Readings: One short novel and one novella

  • Drive by James Sallis
  • Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Additional Incomplete Readings: One short novel and one graphic novel
  • The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
  • Serenity: Better Days by Joss Whedon & co.

Total Number of Pages Read: 387

Challenges Completed: 4

How I did with my goals:
  • I didn't do nearly as much reading as I intended, but I did get through two titles I was looking forward to, so I'm happy about that.
  • I wanted to participate in one Twitter chat, and I did! I really enjoyed that and got to talk to people about stuff I love.
  • I surpassed my challenge goal! I was aiming to do at least three challenges and I ended up doing four! I love challenges, they're always so much fun.
  • I wanted to make daily progress posts, but for one reason or another (redoing a bedroom, rebuilding a cellar), I didn't.
  • I also wanted to read for at least an hour every day, but for the same reasons mentioned above, I didn't.

In summary, I was hoping to read more than I did, but this just means I'm going to try harder next time. Even though I didn't reach all of my goals, I'm glad I read the things that I did!

Bout of Books

Did you make good progress on your reading during Bout of Books 11? Feel free to leave me a link to your wrap-up post! :)

Sunday, 24 August 2014

5-Book Challenge: Post-Apocalyptic Edition! | Bout of Books 11 Challenge

Ashley over at Falling Down the Book Hole is hosting today's final Bout of Books challenge! Using the following blurb as inspiration, we must pick 5 books we would grab if there was an impending apocalypse and we had to abandon our homes:

"It is 11:00 PM on a Sunday night. You are laying in bed thinking about all of the things you must do the next day. Tasks of the coming days consume your thoughts and while your mind is somewhere else you are caught off guard by a flash in the sky that is followed by a large wailing screech that pierces the air and shatters your bedroom window. Slowly you move to the window and what you see catches your breathe and causes you to stumble back a few steps. The aliens (at least you think they are aliens) have began to enter the city and destroy everything that is in their path. Through the window your view is consumed with destruction, screaming people and large flames that are dancing across the city at a fast pace. You notice that the creatures are heading in your direction and you realize you probably have about fifteen minutes before they reach your home. That means you have only about ten minutes to gather your belongings and escape before you are caught in the attack from the aliens invading the city."

I would take these books with me:

World War Z: An Oral History of the World by Max Brooks - This isn't just a book about zombies. This was thoroughly thought-out and if you stop for a moment to think about what you're reading, you realize that a lot of the theories and political reactions to an outbreak Brooks' writes about could very well be true. This novel would help me in an alien invasion because it'd give me ideas about where to seek safer shelter and how to react to new and dangerous situations.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (gah...or The Half Blood Prince, I'm not sure!) by J.K. Rowling - One of my favourite childhood could I not? I've always loved getting lost in Harry Potter's world and these two are my favourites in the series. Reading either of these would help me take my mind off of the chaos around me.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - I would take this book with me so I'd always remember what kind of person I was before the invasion. I feel so much like the protagonist, Cath, that throughout the novel I felt like I was reading about myself. Having to survive after an invasion would surely change me as a person, and it'd be nice to have this around to remind me of what life was like before.

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories by Tim Burton - I love Tim Burton's art, poetry, movies...this book contains two of those things. The poems are so sweet and at the same time, quite morbid, which is a combination I love - it makes for some laughs! And after an invasion, I'm sure I'd appreciate some of those.

Black Widow: The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmondson - Natasha Romanoff is a badass. But not the kind that gets everything done cleanly - she makes mistakes, and they cost her. That makes her more relatable, I feel. Black Widow would inspire me to survive with her strength, intelligence and badassery.

What books would you take with you if there were an apocalypse?

Day 5 & 6 Progress | Bout of Books 11

I didn't get any reading done on Day 5 because with all the redecorating we've been doing in my house lately, I just didn't have time. I spent the day helping to build shelves for our cold room, which we recently gutted. By the end of the day, I was pretty wiped and fell right to sleep! Day 6 was more successful.

Number of Books I'm Reading: 2

Titles: The Reader and Serenity: Better Days

Pages Read Today: 57

Pages Read Thus Far: 387

Books Completed Thus Far: The Maze Runner, Drive, and Destroy Me

How did you do on Days 5 & 6? Feel free to leave me a link to your progress post and enjoy the rest of the read-a-thon!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Recreate a Book Cover! | Bout of Books 11 Challenge

Samantha over at Spines and Covers is hosting one of today's Bout of Books challenges! This challenge is to recreate any book cover in essentially any medium, be it drawing, photoshop, or whatever else you can think of. I decided to involve makeup in my challenge, and chose to recreate the cover of Unite Me by Tahereh Mafi:

Did you do this challenge? Feel free to leave me a link to your post and enjoy the rest of Bout of Books!

Photos by Author

Day 4 Progress | Bout of Books 11

Number of Books I'm Reading: 1

Title: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

Pages Read Today: 30

Pages Read Thus Far: 330

Books Completed Thus Far: The Maze Runner, Drive, and Destroy Me

How did you do on Day 4? Feel free to leave me a link to your progress post and have a great Bout of Books!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Day 3 Progress | Bout of Books 11

Today was a busy day for me, as we're redoing a room in my house, so I didn't get much reading done.

Number of Books I'm Reading: 1

Title: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

Pages Read Today: 21

Pages Read Thus Far: 300

Books Completed Thus Far: The Maze Runner, Drive, and Destroy Me

How did you do on Day 3? Feel free to leave me a link to your progress post and have a great time during this Bout of Books!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Day 2 Progress | Bout of Books 11

I've read two books (and finished off another) in as many days! I'm making good progress in my reading, I'm quite happy with my progress thus far.

Number of Books I'm Reading: 1

Title: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

Book Completed Today:
Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Pages Read Today: 109

Pages Read Thus Far: 279

Books Completed Thus Far: The Maze Runner, Drive, and Destroy Me

How did you do on Day 2? Feel free to leave me a comment/link to your own progress post and have fun this Bout of Books!

Photo by Author

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Book Spine Poetry! | Bout of Books 11 Challenge

Alysia over at My Little Pocketbooks is hosting one of today's Bout of Books challenges! This one involves book spine poetry, which is pretty much self-explanatory: you write a poem using the titles of books you own! As a way of making the challenge a bit easier, we get one free word for every book we use - so since I'm using seven books, I can choose seven words of my own. This is my very own book spine poetry:

Let me in
the Murdered House
where the
road ends
Hollow City.
Alabama Moon
dancing with the dead -
shades of grey.

Photo by Author

Day 1 Progress | Bout of Books 11

Day 1 was a fun start to Bout of Books 11! I finished a book I'd started before the read-a-thon, and I'm reading another one now - both very different and very interesting.

Number of Books I'm Reading: 1

Title: Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Books Completed Today:
1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

2. Drive by James Sallis

Pages Read Today: 170

How did you do on Day 1? Feel free to leave me a link to your progress post and have fun during this Bout of Books!

Photos by Author

Monday, 18 August 2014

Historical Fiction Novels! | 50% off 50 at Book Outlet

Click to see the deals!

Historical fiction can be absolutely fascinating. You can get lost in a world from long ago, whether it's fictional or based in fact. This week's 50/50 sale:

  • includes Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald for $2.99 (featured in my June Book Haul: Part 1)
  • ranges in price from $1.49 to $3.99
  • ends Monday, August 25

You can visit Book Outlet's Canadian website here and their U.S. website hereInternational shipping options are available on both sites.

Do you enjoy historical fiction?

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Book Outlet.

Book Scavenger Hunt! | Bout of Books 11 Challenge

I love the idea of Book Scavenger Hunts! Whenever I see this kind of challenge, I will do it. They're a lot of fun to me! Kristen over at The Book Monsters is hosting today's challenge, and without further ado, here is my entry.

1. A book that begins with "B" (for Bout of Books!): Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

2. A book that has been made into a movie: Blindness by José Saramago

3. A series you love: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

4. An anthology of poems: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories by Tim Burton

5. A book on your TBR shelf: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Do we share any of the same picks? Feel free to leave me a link to your entry and have fun during this Bout of Books!

Photos by Author

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Goals and TBR List | Bout of Books 11

I'm incredibly excited for Bout of Books 11! I had a lot of fun the last time I did this read-a-thon, and ultimately, it was pretty rewarding because I got a lot of reading done.

Bout of Books

The challenges sound so cool for Bout of Books 11 so I'm going to try and do several. This time around, I'd like to do things a little differently in terms of what I'm delving into. I rarely read small novels, so for Bout of Books 11 I'll be reading short novels and anthologies, as well as graphic novels and comics!


  • Read at least two short novels, one novella, one collection of short stories, two graphic novels, and 10 comics issues
  • Participate in at least one Twitter chat
  • Participate in at least three challenges
  • Make daily progress posts
  • Read at least one hour per day


1. Drive by James Sallis

 2. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

3. Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

 4. The Virgin Coop: A Broken Trilogy by Matt Scallon 

 5. Serenity: Better Days and Other Stories by Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews and Will Conrad 

6. Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale by Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon and Chris Samnee

7. At least 10 comics from this pile

I can barely wait for next week. What will you be reading?

Thursday, 14 August 2014

$20 Off a $60+ Purchase! | Book Outlet Sunny Weekend Deal

Click the image to go straight to this deal!
Happy weekend! This time around, Book Outlet's Sunny Weekend Deal is for $20 off any order of $60 or more. That means you pick ANY books you want from ANYWHERE on the website. How awesome is that? During one of their recent sales, I purchased five books for just over $11. Think about the possibilities with this weekend's sale. This deal:

  • is for $20 off orders of $60+
  • requires you use the following discount code at checkout: BOOKOUTLET20
  • ends Monday, August 18 at noon EST

Check out their Canadian website here and their U.S. website hereInternational shipping options are available on both sites.

What'll you be buying with this sale?

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Book Outlet.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Top Love Triangles | Top 5 Wednesday

Ah, yes - the love triangle: the romantic trope that pervades fiction of all sorts. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's really, really not. My list includes both kinds:

1. Cath, Levi and Nick in Fangirl

I love this entire book. As far as love triangles go, I think this one was really well done. At one point, I loved both of Cath's love interests a lot and was conflicted about who I wanted her to end up with. 

2. Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan and Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby

This is perhaps literature's most tragic love triangle of all, but it's also highly debatable whether it's a love triangle or not. Gatsby's love for Daisy was more of an obsession than it was love, but it makes it onto this list because he felt he loved her.

3. Kathy, Tommy and Ruth in Never Let Me Go

You might be thinking, "Man, she's got a thing for Carey Mulligan movie adaptations". 'Tis but coincidence - she's been in awesome movies. But I digress. This book was so emotional and I felt for all the characters in this triangle, which makes it one of my favourites. I like it when books make me feel all conflicted inside.

4. Juliette, Adam and Warner in Shatter Me
Read my review of Shatter Me!

As with many love triangles out there, this was insta-love between Juliette and Adam. I'm not a huge fan of insta-love, but I did enjoy all the action and suspense involved in this story. Warner's love for her certainly doesn't seem healthy, but I've yet to read the sequels so I'll update that statement in a later post.

5. Bella, Edward and Jacob in Twilight

Yes, I know. But no matter what you think of the series now, at one point or another most of us were interested in or somehow affected by these three, so they make it onto the list.

What's your favourite love triangle?

Image Credits:
1. Photo by Author
2. "Great Gatsby Cover Spray Painted" by Edward St. Alban Reardon V via deviantart in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
3. Photo by Author
4. "Broken Heart Grunge" by Nicolas Raymond via flickr in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.
5. "Edward-Bella-Jacob-Eclipse-Wallpaper-twilight-series-12351953-1097-931" by you me via flickr in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Monday, 11 August 2014

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" Review | Movie Monday

See image credit below
If you're anything like me, the three-year wait for this sequel was a long one even though we saw Cap in 2012's The Avengers and briefly in 2013's Thor: The Dark World. Three years is a long time.

But boy, was it worth the wait! The Winter Soldier is packed with even more action and intrigue than its predecessor.

In this installment, Captain America, aka Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), becomes involved in an elaborate scheme when an important S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague is attacked. He and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) fight side by side, enlisting the help of Falcon (Anthony Mackie) as they dig deeper and face a new nemesis: the Winter Soldier.

One of the things I love most about Captain America are Steve's one-liners, and they're abundant in this film. Black Widow (aka Natasha Romanoff) is another great character in the film; the writers and Scarlett Johansson took her sass up a notch, which I enjoyed - it was really well done and often hilarious! I also really love the interactions between Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, and Steve - they're so sweet and funny together, I want them to be best friends.

This movie will make you feel. It's really emotional - I won't give spoilers in case you don't know the big identity reveal (you'll know what I mean once you watch the film, I promise), but this movie will make your heart hurt and you'll feel very empathetic toward Steve and the tough situation he faces.

If you've been enjoying the Marvel Universe movies, you'll love this one. If you haven't been watching them diligently or are indifferent, I still recommend this because it's a fantastic action movie and it's pretty interesting.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is available on DVD September 9.

I. Love. Marvel.

Image Credit: "Captain America The Winter Soldier Wallpaper" by THEGALATF via deviantart in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Suspense & Savings | 50% off 50 Titles at Book Outlet!

Click the image!
I love suspense novels. The nerve-wracking feeling of dread that comes with reading this genre is one I really enjoy, probably because I'm glad the story isn't happening to me in real life. This week's 50/50 sale:

  • is for 50% off of 50 suspense novels
  • includes authors like James Patterson, Iris Johansen, and Dan Brown
  • starts as low as $1.49
  • ends Monday, August 18

Check out their Canadian website here and their U.S. website here. International shipping options are available on both sites!

Who's your favourite suspense author?

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Book Outlet.

Friday, 8 August 2014

"Paper Towns" | Book Review

See image credit below
Quentin Jacobsen has loved Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar since they were children. When she climbs through his window one night with a revenge-filled adventure planned, he jumps at the chance to reconnect with her. The next day, he arrives at school to find that she's missing - and she's left him clues regarding her whereabouts.

I want to start with the positive on this one: I think the message John Green sends in Paper Towns is extremely important for everyone, not just the young adults whom this novel is geared toward. Through his characters' experiences, Green teaches us the dangers of falling in love with the idea of a person, without truly knowing the person in question.

My favourite quote from the novel is this: "What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person." This applies to so many members of our celebrity-obsessed culture; there are masses of people who fantasize about their favourite celebrity, but they aren't imagining the actual person because they don't really know them - they fall in love with the idea of the person they imagine in their minds.

Having said that, I must say this novel disappointed me. I consider myself a fan of John Green's writing, and indeed the writing itself is wonderful as usual in Paper Towns, but I found myself bored through much of the story. From the point where Margo disappears to the point where Q and friends decide to go find her, it was a bit repetitive in the search for clues and I found myself not really caring.

I think a big contributing factor to my disappointment is that Paper Towns has a very similar formula to Looking for Alaska, which is one of my favourite novels. I really didn't like seeing such a similar formula - nice, nerdy guy falls for unattainable girl, girl leaves in one way or another, boy learns a life lesson - it made it feel cheap. This story and its characters didn't affect me nearly as much as Looking for Alaska.

When I looked through the Goodreads reviews, I noticed that a lot of people didn't like the ending, but I actually really enjoyed it. It's yet another instance where Margo doesn't live up to Q's idea of her. It's then when it really hits home for Q that she's not the person he thinks she is because he doesn't really know her, he loves the idea of her that he's created.

There are some moments in this novel that I loved; as a road trip enthusiast, I found those scenes hilariously accurate and entertaining. Green's writing is beautiful and quotable as always and the novel's message is an important reminder to me. This is not a terrible book. But I was really disappointed to see a formula so similar to the one used in one of my favourite novels. I've come to expect a lot from John Green novels - perhaps I've created an idea that Paper Towns could not possibly live up to.

Read my reviews of The Fault in Our Stars, book and movie.

Have you read any John Green novels? If so, which one is your favourite?

Image Credit: electrictuesday via flickr in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

25% Off Kid's Activity Books! | Book Outlet Sunny Weekend Deals

Click the image!

The latest Sunny Weekend Deal from Book Outlet is for 25% off Kid's activity books. This is great timing for all the families who'll be heading out for vacations or weekend trips to the cottage! The sale:

  • includes a selection of colouring, sticker, and doodle books (and more!)
  • features over 1000 choices
  • ends Monday, August 11 at noon EST

Check out their Canadian website here and their U.S. website hereInternational shipping options are available on both sites!

Will you be taking advantage of this sale this weekend?

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Book Outlet.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Top Blue Covers | Top 5 Wednesday

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is your Top Blue Covers that you own! I scoured my bookshelves for the colour blue and to my surprise, I found that I don't actually have a lot of blue covers. The important thing though, is that the blue covers I do have are pretty cool.

I love this cover. Those who know me outside of the internet know I love Winter, so this cover, to me, is beautiful. The dreary-looking, snow-covered roads seem to be in a small town, which is another thing that interests me, so this cover draws me in and makes me want to be in the depicted scenery.

Another gorgeous cover! This cover has intrigued me since I first laid eyes on it, and I finally bought the novel last month. The details in the wild cat design are beautifully done, including the sleeping person in the literal mouth of the beast.

Trees and forests are another form of scenery I find beautiful. The iridescent cover adds to the mystery - are we seeing the Passage right now?

This is very simple and very stunning. I love the design of the flapper woman toward the bottom, and the title's font evokes the 1920s. In terms of colours, the gold writing is striking against the navy blue cover. This is one of my favourite book covers, period.

Read my reviews of the book and the movie!

And last but not least, TFiOS. There was no way this would not be on this list. I've always liked this: the black and white clouds contrast nicely against the sky blue cover and the cartoony clouds make it seem like you're in for a light, care-free read. That's incredibly ironic, given the novel's content.

What's your favourite blue cover?

Photos by Author

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Biography & Autobiography | 50% Off 50 Titles at Book Outlet

Click the image!
Actors, musicians, athletes, spies, scientists: Book Outlet's got you covered with this week's selection of biographies and autobiographies. The sale:

  • includes 50 books at 50% off
  • features a diverse selection
  • ranges from $1.49 to $4.99
  • ends Monday, August 11

Check out their Canadian website here and their U.S. website hereInternational shipping options are available on both sites!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Book Outlet.