book reviews

Alyssa’s Reviews – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading written by Alyssa Cohen!

Long time no post, I’ve been super busy with school work and personal stuff. I’m going to try and post at least twice a month on this blog. The posts will hopefully consist of book reviews (which I’m renaming “Alyssa’s Reviews”) and Monthly TBRs/Monthly Wrap Ups. I am not going to commit to anything, but after having and writing on this blog for almost 5 years, I figure I need to keep up with it and everything else around the book blogosphere!

Now… let’s get onto the review!


Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publication Date: April 22, 2014
Page Count: 415

19288043

Synopsis:
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

My Rating: 4 Stars

This book was a WHIRLWIND to read! I actually had to read it for an english project, but I ended up loving it even though it was technically “required reading”. All of the other people in my group for the project really enjoyed it, which was interesting because I was put with 2 boys and 1 other girl.

First Star: Two Point Perspective

  • When I was younger, I used to LOVE two point perspective, but as my opinions shifted slightly as I got older, I started to really dislike reading two point perspective. I found it very repetitive and it didn’t really do anything great for the book itself. That being said, Gone Girl had a much different and better way of using the two point perspective. It seemed like Nick would always vaguely mention an event that happened in the past, but Amy would go much more in depth with exactly what was going on when that event happened. That added a lot of detail to the story, and while it turned out that Amy’s diary entries were not what we had believed they would turn out to be, they were still really interesting to read.

Second Star: Character Development

  • Character development is one of my favourite literary elements in any novel. Whether it may be positive or negative development, anytime you see a character change throughout the novel helps pick up the pace and rhythm of the story. In Gone Girls case, both characters developed a lot in the story. Nick was the first character to change throughout the novel, as he continued his conquest of looking for his missing wife, Amy. While Nick did not make a complete flip in personality, he developed his character in positive ways near the middle of the story. Amy changed a lot during the end of the novel. We learned what her true personality was like during the last 100 pages of the novel, which made you question and think about the previous pages you read. While I did not end up liking Amy in the end, she truly defined “Character Development” in novels, which made her character stand out.

Third Star: Setting

  • Gone Girl is set in a mysterious town somewhere in Missouri. Amy and Nick did not live in a small, tight-knit rural community, but they did live near interesting people and had very interesting neighbours that ended up having a decent impact in the story. Since the beginning portion of Gone Girl is a scavenger hunt, this forces Nick to delve deeper into his home-town roots and visit old places they had travelled to once before. When reading these parts, we begin to gather information about their town and develop a sense of community. This has a great impact in the story and helps you understand things about the town before Amy’s abrupt disappearance.

Fourth Star: Storyline

  • Gone Girl was perhaps one of the most interesting novels I have ever read. It is not like a generic murder mystery novel, but rather a “He said, She said” battle between the two characters. Because of the different perspectives and drastic character development, the story formed into a twisted tale between two people with different feelings. I definitely did not expect the novel to end the way it did, even though many people prepared me for  a shocking twist.

One Stair: The Ending

  • While the twist was phenomenal, I didn’t love the overall ending of the story. I would have loved to have read Amy’s thought process after all was said and done. I would have also liked to hear what happened to Amy’s parents and ex-boyfriend after Amy was found and returned back to her “normal life”. But maybe Flynn ended it on an abrupt note for a reason, we will never know.

Favourite Quotes:

  • “A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.”
  • “There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.”
  • “There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.”
  • “Love makes you want to be a better man—right, right. But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.”

I hope you all enjoyed reading my review of Gone Girl! Expect more posts soon, and let me know in the comments what you guys are reading this weekend!

Good Night Book Owls!

Advertisements
Book TAGS!

OMG THIS SONG! Book Tag

Hi everyone!

I have been listening to a lot of music lately, especially a lot of Charlie Puth and Khalid! I have decided to take part in the “OMG THIS SONG” book tag, although I wasn’t tagged (oops!).


MY JAM: A song you must listen to every time it comes on, no matter how old or how many times you’ve listened to it / A book you’ll never get sick of.

The song I must listen to every time it comes on is called “Find Your Love” sung by Drake. This is one of my all time favourite songs, and the rare time it comes on the radio I always make it super loud and listen to the whole thing. It is SO good!

The book I’ll never get sick of is Divergent by Veronica Roth. I may re-read this book soon, which will be the third time I’ve read Divergent. Divergent was one of the first YA books I’ve ever read, and it is a spectacular action book/series.

81-dfvziuwl

THROWBACK: A song that reminds you of the cringiest time of your life / A book that also reminds you of this time (or just something you wouldn’t like as much if you picked it up for the first time now).

The song that reminds me of the cringiest time of my life was “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift. 2014 was just weird stage of my life, and whenever I hear “Shake It Off” I am always reminded of it (LOL).

Most of the books I’ve read in the past I feel like I would still enjoy now, “City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare. I’ve tried to read the rest of the books in the series, but none of the events/concepts involved in the books appeal to me.

81gvndzqetl

REPLAY: A recent song you have on repeat right now / A recent favourite book.

A recent song that I have on repeat right now is “How Long” by Charlie Puth (I told you I’ve been listening to Charlie Puth a lot recently!). It is such a cool song, and I have been loving it!

While I haven’t read much of anything this year, I did read a book by one of my twitter friends titled “Baseball Life Advice” by the wonderful Stacey May Fowles. I will be posting a review for the book on my MLB blog very soon! It was a fantastic book, and I recommend it to any Toronto Blue Jays fans.

baseball-life-advice

GETS ME: This Song is Me / This Book is Me in book form.

I wouldn’t say that I know a song that really represents me.

However, a book that represents me in book form would probably be “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell. While I haven’t completed this book yet, the main character, Cath, represents my true personality. She blogs about her favourite things online, and isn’t very social (HAHA).

fangirlwip

WUT: Weird but I liked it? / A unique book that stuck out to you for whatever reason.

The song that I think is kind of weird is “Young, Dumb, and Broke” sung by Khalid. Normally I’m not a big fan of Khalid’s music, but the more I listened to this song (as well as the rest of his recent album), I actually enjoyed it!

A unique book that stuck out to me was “Popular” by Maya Van Wagenen. I don’t think we will ever find a book similar to this one, and I really enjoyed reading it. It expressed Maya’s individually and braveness. I don’t think I’d ever be able to do something similar to what Maya did in this novel!

18667753

CHILL: Favourite chill, relaxing song / A book you’d curl up with and read on a rainy day.

My favourite chill song is “Slide” by Calvin Harris. It has such a nice beat and uplifting vibe, and I loved listening to his entire album.

A book I’d curl up with and read on a rainy day is “Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins. I loved this book, but have yet to read any of her other books. You can read my review of the book, here.

71N-hAxibZL

ADDICTING: Guilty pleasure song – one that’s catchy and addicting but not a whole lot of substance / Guilty pleasure, trashy, fast, light read.

One of my favourite guilty pleasure songs is “Beauty and a Beat” sung by Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj. While the song doesn’t have much substance, it has a great beat and rhythm. It’s one of my favourite Bieber songs!

“My True Love Gave To Me” written by over 10 YA authors is one of my favourite holiday light read books, and I have read it during every winter break since it was published. You can read my review of the book, here!

20309175


I don’t have any bloggers to tag off the top of my head, but feel free to join in on the tag if you enjoyed my post!

Thanks so much for reading today’s blog post! What has been your favourite song to listen to lately? Let me know in the comments!

Good Night Book Owls!

Uncategorized

READING, READING, READING IS BACK! (but for real this time!)

Hi everyone!

Long time no talk, and by long time I mean literally almost 11 months. 2017 has been a whirl wind thus far, but that’s no excuse for not posting anything (or reading anything) over these past few months. My only excuse is that I fell out of reading a book blogging for a while, and needed to take some time off. I feel that now I am in a better place, and am ready to hop back onto the book blogging wagon!

In my past 3 years of blogging on this website (almost 4!!), I have never been very consistent, so I am going to try and be consistent for at least until the end of this year. I have notified all of my contacts from publishing houses that I will be blogging again, so I will have new book reviews up for you soon.

Even though I haven’t been blogging for a while, I still have gotten over 1,000 views on my blog, which is crazy. A lot of the views have been because of book tags, so I will be back to writing those as well. Since I have not been around the book blogosphere for a while, I’d love to hear what types of posts you’d like to see from me. If there’s is a new book tag or type of post you’d like to read please comment down below and link to a blogger that has recently done that post.

For the few of you who will be sticking with me through this new chapter of Reading, Reading, Reading, I thank you so very much. You are the reason I have returned!

If you want to follow me on more then just my blog, you can follow me on Twitter, here.

Good Night Book Owls!

book reviews, Book Tours

Piper Perish Review + Q&A

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the February 28 stop on the Piper Perish Blog Tour! Today myself and Amanda @ Brains, Books, and Brawn will be reviewing the book Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan. This blog tour is made by Raincoast Canada, and the novel was given to me for honest review while participating in the blog tour.

piper-perish-blog-evite


Synopsis (Goodreads):

Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and into art school in New York City, the better. It’s been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper’s sister’s tyrannical mental state seems to thwart every attempt at happiness for the close-knit Perish family. Piper’s art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power, even if it means giving up what she’s always known? Debut author Kayla Cagan breathes new life into fiction in this ridiculously compelling, utterly authentic work featuring interior art from Rookie magazine illustrator Maria Ines Gul. Piper will have readers asking big questions along with her. What is love? What is friendship? What is family? What is home? And who is a person when she’s missing any one of these things?


Review:

Piper Perish was a very fun novel to read!

The beginning started off slow, but picked up the  pace leading to the middle. The middle to the end were quite suspenseful, which benefited the novel a lot! These parts made me want to keep reading.

Piper was a unique character, and I enjoyed reading about her. She had a quirky personality and pop in her step, which is something not all YA females have. I appreciated her journey in the novel, and she seemed to mature a bit in the second half of the novel. Her passion for something (in her case art), was wonderful to read. The obstacles she faced in order to meet her goal made her both a realistic and role model type character.

Piper had many great people in her life, and also some not so great people. Her friends were really nice to read about and her interactions without them added some fun to the novel. All of her friends were very similar to her and all art obsessed! On the other hand, I hated the majority of her family. While the family dynamics were realistic, the sister was extremely annoying and hard to read about.

While reading the novel, you will notice that it is written in diary form. At first the diary format through me off, and I couldn’t understand exactly what perspective the novel was written in. Once the novel started to progress, I figured out the diary format. Near the end the diary format benefited the novel, and complimented it.

The novel ended in the direction that I wanted it to go for both Piper and the overall stories sake.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel and gave it 3.75/5 stars!


I had the opportunity to ask Ms. Kayla Cagan a question about her novel.

Do any of the characters in Piper Perish reflect anyone you know in real life?

“Yes! Adams is based on a combination of two teachers – a creative writing teacher I had in high school named Mary Mischler, and a friend of mine who currently teaches at a school for visual effects, games and animation in Los Angeles. Her last name is even Adams!
Also, the 610 Diner is based on the famous 59 Diner in Houston, Texas. The 59 Diner was named after the 59 highway. It’s no longer in business, unfortunately.”


Thanks to Raincoast Canada for supplying me with the novel, and letting me participate in such a cool blog tour with some awesome fellow book bloggers!

Make sure you check back to your favourite book bloggers blogs everyday this week to read there post about Piper Perish! Check the postcard I posted above to see the bloggers who are participating in this blog tour.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter for all Reading, Reading, Reading updates!

Good Night Book Owls!

Uncategorized

Holiday BookTubeAThon 2016 Day One

Hi friends!

I totally forgot to mention this before, but I am currently participating in the 2016 Holiday Booktubeathon! This will be my fourth Holiday Booktubeathon I will be partaking in, which is so awesome (the booktubeathon twitter even called me a veteran)!

I don’t really have a designated “To-Read” list, therefore I will be picking and choosing the books I want to read as I please.

As I have always done, I will be doing daily updates since the Holiday Booktubeathon is only three days (29-31). Now into today’s update!


Day One of the Holiday Booktubeathon was probably the most successful reading day I have ever had!

In the morning, I purchased a new ebook on my Kobo e-reader called “If I Was Your Girl” by Meredith Russo. The book was amazing, and a story I think everyone should read. I gave it a 5/5 stars and I plan on making a full book review for it in the future.

I then read 100 pages of an ARC I received from Raincoast Canada. It is a contemporary/LGBTQ+ novel called “Jess, Chunk and the Road Trip to Infinity”. So far it is excellent, and I am looking forward to finishing it immensely! Once it is finished, a review will be put in January.

Page Count: 388


Check back tomorrow for my day two update!

Good Night Book Owls!

Uncategorized

Blogger Recognition Award

Hi everyone!

A while back I was nominated by Kayla @ Kdrewthebookworm for the Blogger Recognition Award! Everyone should go check out her blog because it is awesome and she reads very similar books that I do!

For the blogger recognition award, you are supposed to show the award, thank the blogger who nominated me and share the story of how my blog was made. Also, I am supposed to give two tips to bloggers that are just starting out and nominate 15 bloggers below.

I am sure I have shared this story before, but if not… enjoy! I started blogging in December 2013. I had a “beauty” blog for (literally) a day before deleting it and creating Reading, Reading, Reading. I had been really into reading at this time and had followed a few book blogs for a while now. Book-Tube was just starting to become the popular thing that it is today. I started this blog to share my love of reading to everyone else, and I think 3 years later I have accomplished just that!

  1. One of my biggest most important tips to new bloggers would be to have a page that features a contact form or email address you use actively. When I was reaching out to bloggers for my collab blog “The Bookish People”, I was trying to contact bloggers that I thought would be good to write on it, but for several bloggers I could not find a contact form or email. If an author likes your blog and wants to send you a book, they will need your email or contact info, too! Make sure you always have a Contact Me page even when you are just starting out, you can check out mine here.
  2. When you are creating your blog, make sure to make social media accounts that correspond with your blog. This will contract a lot more readers that normally wouldn’t follow blogs, or a blog like yours. When I was starting out, I made an Instagram, Twitter and Facebook page all associated with my blog. I would definitely recommend the same to you! I actually have a page featuring all of my social media accounts that go along with Reading, Reading, Reading and you can check out that page here.

I am always terrible at choosing blogs to nominate, so if you see this please feel free to share this post and say that I tag you when I do it!

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter for all Reading, Reading, Reading updates!

Good Night Book Owls!

book reviews

Book Review: Room – Emma Donoghue

Hi everyone and welcome to a late night edition of Reading, Reading, Reading!

I took a week off of my Holiday Reading posts because I had a handful of projects and tests that I did last week, so I figured I would take the week off and relax! Going forward, I will not be posting everyday for the rest of the month, but this week I will be coming out with three posts (including this one) to share with you all!

This evening I have for you a book review of a book I just recently finished. I actually had to read this novel for an independent study unit in my english course. I really enjoyed it, so I thought I would provide a small review of it for all of you!


Synopsis:

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Review:

This book was absolutely brilliant. I had never read anything like this novel, and it was quite eye opening. To have the perspective come from a 5 year old boy who is very naive and doesn’t really know what is going on is very different to any other books made today. I also had never read any novels in which a large theme of it was related to rape and kidnapping. That was definitely the eye opening part. It definitely did not make me afraid for my life, so please do not let that discourage you from reading it.

The characters of Ma and Jack were absolutely lovely. Ma has raised Jack very well for being under such insane circumstances, especially with her background story while living in the house (no spoilers, but it is sad and crazy). Jack is a loveable young boy who is very creative in the way he talks and thinks. If you really process it, you will see that he actually acts very mature for his age, especially being raised under such horrible circumstances. I guess he didn’t know anything other than being inside the room and that is why he acted that way.

The ending of the book was very fast paced and intense. Just when you think everything  is heading to a happy ending, something almost tragic happens and scares the s*** out of you. I was reading this book in my school’s library and I literally couldn’t hear anything going on around me because I was that locked into the book.

Overall, I give this book 5/5 stars. It was so unique and beautifully written, and I truly don’t think I will read another that novel that comes close to this one.


Have you read Room? Let me know your thoughts on it in the comments below!

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter for all Reading, Reading, Reading updates!

Good Night Book Owls!