eARC Book Review: Time in a Bottle by Kathleen D. Tresemer 

Time in a Bottle

Goodreads Synopsis

Beth Frye wants what we all want: to be accepted, maybe even cool. But high school’s tough for a music geek.
Things start looking up when she discovers vodka. It gives her cool friends, a gorgeous guy, and the chance to perform in NYC: all her dreams are coming true.
But, as her drinking addiction gets worse, things get complicated. She ends up in the hospital, someone is stalking her, twin brother Teddy’s trying to fix her, and that cop keeps hanging around.
Get some help? No thanks. Beth just wants what she wants, when she wants it!
The book includes helpful resources and discussion questions.


I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger Warnings: Underage drinking, Assault, Rape, Being drugged, Underage Sex, Rehabilitation, Relapses, Near-death experiences, Attempted murder.

**When a book is not categorised as Fantasy that automatically includes the more dangerous and scary stuff…all Trigger Warnings apply.

When I requested this book, I had no idea that it was going to be focused on such heavy topics. Apart from the alcoholism…but that was in the synopsis. I feel like this book was so much more than what we were promised and that it encompassed everything. Nothing was sugar-coated.

Beth and Teddy are twins, brother and sister, and they have a system that they work with. Beth needs help and Teddy’s there, rushing in, ready to save the day. This works, until it doesn’t anymore. Beth enters this spiral that leads her further down a hole and she can’t pull herself back out mainly because she doesn’t realise how deep in she’s fallen.

I’ll admit that at the beginning, I didn’t like Beth. There was no love lost there and I wondered if I should even feel sorry for her. Her attitude was not something that I was a fan of. She was extremely rude and bitchy and didn’t regarded anyone’s feelings in any way, shape or form. She barely cared about herself. This story was told from two sides, Beth and Teddy’s. I liked that we saw how she thought nothing was wrong, and then through Teddy’s eyes, you saw how things were slowly falling apart.

I feel that this book greatly showcased what substance abusers do to their loved ones. Maybe it’s not on purpose, but who’s behind them? Either trying to help or unknowingly making things worse. Something I read a while ago talked about funerals and about how they’re not for the person who died, they’re for the family and people they left behind. To help them cope. To give them some sense of peace. I think it’s similar for the people in this book. What they do, or what happens to them, doesn’t just affect them only.

I was shocked the further I got into this book because as I said, I wasn’t expecting it to be so heavy. Would I have still read it knowing what it entailed? Honestly I don’t know. This is why Trigger Warnings are important. I think they would’ve played a part in my choice.

I’ve had this book sitting in my Kindle App for months and I was reluctant to read it. I forgot why I had requested it and I didn’t see the sense in reading it. I do think that the stuff mentioned in this book is very important and it could help a lot of people out there, so there is a silver lining to all this. Sort of.

I do like the way the author went about this book. Nothing seemed too forced and everything was done in stages. I liked that the book was separated in parts by why of months. It helped with keeping track of the time frame. At the start of each part, the author included a quote that related well to what was going on in the story at the time.

I try to stay away from books like this only because I never know how to feel when I’m done with them. I have to admit that realistic stories of this kind are way too scary for me to frequent.

I did really like the book though. My lower rating is because of the lack of overall warning of what this book contained and the fact that the book was on the shorter side but had chapters that were 2 pages long. That’s a bit of a peeve for me so I wasn’t a fan. Really great style from the author and I think she covered just about everything.

Read: 18 May 2017
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 19 June 2016
Publisher: Soul Fire PRess
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Kathleen D. Tresemer

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eARC Book Review: This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communications, and Access to Information by Kyle Cassidy

This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information

Goodreads Synopsis

In 2014, author and photographer Kyle Cassidy published a photo essay on Slate.com called “This is What A Librarian Looks Like,” a montage of portraits and a tribute to librarians. Since then, Cassidy has made it his mission to remind us of how essential librarians and libraries are to our communities. His subjects are men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and personal style-from pink hair and leather jackets to button-downs and blazers. In short, not necessarily what one thinks a librarian looks like. The nearly 220 librarians photographed also share their personal thoughts on what it means to be a librarian. This is What A Librarian Looks Like also includes original essay by some of our most beloved writers, journalists, and commentators including Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Nancy Pearl, Cory Doctorow, Paula Poundstone, Amanda Palmer, Peter Sagal, Jeff VanderMeer, John Scalzi, Sara Farizan, Amy Dickinson, and others. Cassidy also profiles a handful of especially influential librarians and libraries.


I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I took way longer than necessary to finish this book. What attracted me to this book was the fact that it celebrated Libraries and Librarians and I’d never seen a  book like this before so I wanted to find out what these Librarians said about the profession I want to go into one day.

Kyle Cassidy put together pictures, quotes, conversations with authors (I only recognised two- Neil Gaiman and G.R.R. Martin) and stories from different people about how the library shaped or changed their life. Many of these stories spoke about the library being this fantastical place that you walk past everyday but you don’t notice it unless 1. you’re looking for it or 2. you’re lost and just happened to find yourself at the doors.

I feel like Cassidy did this book justice. He worked years on it to make it what it is and I’m honestly very impressed with it. I’m not sure if I’d ever read this book again but I want to own a hardcopy of it so it can be on display in my personal library. If people ask me what’s so great about libraries, why be a librarian? I’d like to give them this book as an answer and explanation all in one.

One of my favourite quotes in this book is pictured below:

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Susan K. McClelland says: “Librarians are warrior princes and princesses wielding book love like swords! We are ever vigilant, curious, intelligent, and kind. Libraries are the banners that we carry proudly into the fray! Forward, ever forward!”

I like that. I love that she says librarians are warriors. I want to be a warrior princess one day too. Imagine if my kids went to school and on career day they ask them what their mom is and they reply: a warrior princess.

As I read each page of this book I found out so much I didn’t know. I learnt with each new story and I felt this huge surge of pride rush through me because this! This is what I aspire to become one day. I want to pass on the fact that knowledge is power, knowledge can be found in books and libraries hold more than just those books. The amount of things that libraries and librarians do for us is so widely spread that you won’t know what you have until it’s not there anymore.

G.R.R. Martin on why certain characters (in his books) appear to be around libraries more than others: “Well, Tyrion in particular says that books are a weapon. As a sword needs a whetstone to keep it sharp, a mind needs books, and his mind is his weapon. He has no physical prowess in a world that values and esteems physical prowess above all, so he has to fight the knights and the lords with his mind. And books are a way to keep the mind sharp, keep the mind flexible, test yourself against other voices, other ideas, and learn things. Because you ever know what you’re going to need to know in some future time.”

This book made me want to visit my childhood library and hug all the librarians and thank them for existing. I hope that one day I can be even a small fraction of what they are. Thank you librarians!

Read: 5 May 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 16 May 2017
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Kyle Cassidy
Editor: Ronald Rice
Foreword: Richard Russo
Afterword: Emily St. John Mandel

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Wrap Up: March 2017 (and April TBR)

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The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7) Alex and Eliza: A Love Story On the Bridge (The Infernal Devices, #0.5) A Bit(e) of Discretion, Please (Dreamer #1) The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard, #1) Crying Over Spilt Light An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld The Impaler's Revenge (The Impaler Legacy, #1) 6482837

The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket

Nothing too exciting happened in this book but we do seem to be getting closer to finding out more about the organisation. I feel like this book took too long to get to the ending. As I said, nothing really happened so it could’ve been a tad bit shorter.

Alex and Eliza [Sneak Peek] by Melissa de la Cruz

This seems to be the start of something beautiful. I can’t wait to read the full novel when it comes out. See review here.

On the Bridge by Cassandra Clare

HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS? I was looking at the Infernal Devices books and this popped up. Obviously I read it because Will and Jem ❤︎

A Bit(e) of Discretion, Please by T.A. Miles

A short story that got confusing at times but was still quite enjoyable. I’m interested in seeing where the rest of the story goes. See review here.

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Least favourite Rick Riordan book. Sigh, I was expecting something better. Oh well, what can I do. See review here.

Crying Over Spilt Light by George Saoulidis

I would say that this is a bit of a complex piece but it’s not really. It’s strange and weird but the writing is fantastic. See review here.

An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld by Cassandra Clare and Cassandra Jean

I’m so glad I finally managed to purchase this book. I read it in one sitting and I can’t wait to read it again. Review to come soon.

The Impaler’s Revenge by Ioana Visan

It’s was wondering to read works by a familiar author. I loved everything about this book and I look forward to continuing this series. See review here.

READING GOAL OF 20 BOOKS REACHED!!! 

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

While not my favourite of Lauren Oliver’s, I did enjoy this book a lot. I was waiting to read this book and then the movie came out and I rushed to add it to my currently reading. Review to come soon.

Total Read: 9 Book(s)


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ARCs

Then Comes Love (Then Comes Love, #1) Sleight Dream Me This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information Time in a Bottle Heartborn Loving Ashe: Book 1 of the Celebrity Series Soothsayer: Magic Is All Around Us (Soothsayer Series #1) Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale, #1) Unseen (Breaking Free Book 1) Teeth: The First Bite (Teeth, #1) XODUS (Astralis, #1) 32941084 Jaeth's Eye (The Agartes Epilogues, #1)

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eARC Book Review: Extracted by R.R. Haywood

30837317Goodreads Synopsis

In 2061, a young scientist invents a time machine to fix a tragedy in his past. But his good intentions turn catastrophic when an early test reveals something unexpected: the end of the world.

A desperate plan is formed. Recruit three heroes, ordinary humans capable of extraordinary things, and change the future.

Safa Patel is an elite police officer, on duty when Downing Street comes under terrorist attack. As armed men storm through the breach, she dispatches them all.

‘Mad’ Harry Madden is a legend of the Second World War. Not only did he complete an impossible mission—to plant charges on a heavily defended submarine base—but he also escaped with his life.

Ben Ryder is just an insurance investigator. But as a young man he witnessed a gang assaulting a woman and her child. He went to their rescue, and killed all five.

Can these three heroes, extracted from their timelines at the point of death, save the world?


I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Extracted tells the story of three people who were taken from their respective timelines at the point of their deaths-extracted- and are now looked to be the last hope at the world being saved. Very ‘Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope’-esque.

The synopsis for this book alone was well thought out. It doesn’t say much, but it gets you interested, which is precisely the point. As this is the first book in the trilogy, we don’t see how the mission turns out as a lot of world and character building takes place.

We don’t really get too deep into the time traveling because even though this is a time travel novel, it’s really not. The fact that people could travel through time was not what the main point of this story was. Sure, it was because of the invention of a time machine that started the unfortunate end of the world, but it was the saving of the world and how that’s going to be done that was more important in this book. I’m actually hoping that in books two and three we’ll get to travel a bit more…you know, when we’re sort of out of the immediate sight of danger.

When I first started this book I was so confused. I understood that each of the characters, Ben, Harry and Safa’s- extractions were being described in detail so that we as the readers could get a better understanding of how exactly that worked and I liked that part…it was the after that bothered me. Instead of the POV’s being separated by chapters, they were separated by paragraphs, it was more lines actually, and with no warning that the POV was changing. It was my only peeve about the book really. It would’ve probably have been more annoying though if we had to go through the same scenario three times with each character since all three of them were the main character.

Ben was a bit slow on the uptake and the one who I think got the worst end of the bargain. He was plucked out of his life and thrown into this new world where all of a sudden all these impossible things were now possible. He had no training for this and obviously didn’t know how to cope with all this unfamiliarity.

Harry was a hoot. This guy, the one who goes back the furthest seemed to almost blend in seemingly. Sure, he had his set way of doing things but he was a soldier. He was taught to obey. There’s no room for ‘no’.

I did not like Safa. I felt like even though it wasn’t intentional on her part, she was very…bossy. I don’t know how else to explain it. To me it was like that because she was the only female of this group she had to overcompensate and prove that she had the guts to do what they could, that she could be strong too. I’m glad that she was a powerful character in that sense but it got to the point where whatever she said went. By the time the words ‘Let him be a man. Give him his dignity.’ rolled around I was like thank the Heavens! Someone finally said it.

Overall, I thought this book was amazing! The writing was perfect and I didn’t want to stop reading. This story is still working it’s way through all the sections of my mind. I’m really interested in getting my hands on Executed-the second book- because I need to know what happens next we were kind of left with a cliffhanger. I’m glad I decided to request this book. No regrets at all.

Read: 7 February 2017
Rating:★★★★

Publication Date: 1 March 2017
Publisher: 47North
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: R.R. Haywood

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eARC Book Review: Thor: Dueling with Giants by Keith R.A. DeCandido

Thor: Dueling with GiantsGoodreads Synopsis

One of the greatest heroes from Marvel—and myth—returns as Thor battles the mightiest of the giants in a fight to the death. The first book in an action-packed trilogy, Dueling with Giants is a story of epic combat from start to finish, sure to entertain fans of Marvel comics and adventure novels alike.

During just another day for the God of Thunder, Thor is defending Asgard against invading trolls when the unthinkable happens—his hammer, Mjolnir, loses its enchantment, depleting Thor’s strength. Thor is still more than a match for his enemies; after vanquishing them, he learns the secret to his sudden weakness: Mjolnir has been switched! And only one being is cunning enough to carry out such a trick: Thor’s own adopted brother, Loki.

As punishment, Odin imprisons Loki for a year, but the trickster soon takes on other forms and escapes his imprisonment. He provokes a dispute between Odin and the giant Hrungnir—one that soon brings a full-scale attack on Asgard and a one-on-one challenge to Thor himself.

Dueling with Giants will be followed by two more riveting installments featuring Sif and the Warriors Three, all written by Marvel veteran and popular fantasy author Keith R.A. DeCandido. The Tales of Asgard Trilogy will be an adventure that Marvel readers won’t soon forget.


I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am a huge Marvel fan so when I saw an opportunity to read this book I grabbed it instantly. Thor is definitely up there with my top favourite superheroes and I adore Loki because I feel he really brings real villainy to the table.

When I started this book I was a bit skeptical because it is a lot similar to most Thor and Loki stories. It’s not secret that the brothers don’t always see eye to eye and when they do, it’s usually for a price.

Both Thor and Loki were kept true to character what with Thor trying to save everyone- real hero complex, that one- but at the same time being a bit arrogant and Loki trying to undermine everyone and act like the know-it-all we love to hate.

While this was a fairly quick read and I enjoyed the story, I was hoping for something a little bit different. The beginning was good enough for me to continue reading and the actual plot was great but as I said, too much of what we’ve already seen. I enjoyed the final battle but it was over in an instant for me and I felt like too much was going on at the same time.

That said, this wasn’t all that bad and I would definitely give this author another shot since I did love the writing style.

Read: 28 June 2016
Rating: ★★★

Publication Date: 15 December 2015
Publisher: Joe Books Inc.
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Keith R.A. DeCandido

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eARC Book Review: Hockey Karma by Howard Shapiro

Hockey KarmaGoodreads Synopsis

The highly anticipated sequel to the award winning “The Hockey Saint” taking place ten years after “Saint” ends. The legendary Jeremiah “Jake” Jacobson, now thirty two, has been the world’s best hockey player over his fourteen year career because of his out of this world talent level and his smart play. But he can’t stay on top forever, and when he starts making mistakes on the ice, his career and family life start to crumble.

At the same time, Tom Leonard, his agent and best friend, is completely overwhelmed by a project that he and Jake were supposed to be working on together. A project that could have a huge impact on people throughout their city in need of a helping hand. As Jake sinks deeper into a funk over his lost status due to his deteriorating play and the emergence of teammate and rookie phenom Barclay Pedersen, Tom realizes he’s on his own. At the same time he rediscovers someone from his past who he never thought he’d see again. In that burgeoning relationship, Tom discovers the importance of taking chances and starts to believe in himself.

Can Jake break out of his downward spiral and Tom finally find the courage to step out of Jake’s shadow?


I received copies of this book from NetGalley and the author in exchange for an honest review.

Hockey Karma is the third and final book in the Forever Friends Trilogy and I feel that it’s come such a long way since the first book was set almost 20 years ago.

The amount of character development that took place in this graphic novel was extraordinary. I felt like I grew with the characters and the way it was written really makes you feel like you’re a part of the story. I liked Jake in the second book but in this one there were times when he annoyed me. That was what I meant by the character development. He didn’t flip a 180 in an instant, the artwork portrayed the changes he went through and how he worked to get better.

Seeing Tom grow up and become more successful in each book made me feel like a proud mom. He’d probably be the character I miss the most.

I loved the throwback! The fact that we were taken back to where it all started made for a bitter sweet memory. This was the best way to end the trilogy in my opinion. While it wasn’t my favourite of all three, I did like the send off we were given.

See my reviews for books 1 & 2 in the Forever Friends Trilogy:

The Stereotypical Freaks
The Hockey Saints

Read: 22 October 2016
Rating: ★★★

Publication Date: 1 November 2016
Publisher: Animal Media Group
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Howard Shapiro

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eARC Book Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian

WreckedGoodreads Synopsis

Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school’s investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible–especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict


I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wrecked focuses on rape and the culture that surrounds it. There’s a lot that a person can say regarding this topic and it’s easy to jump to conclusions because in this case all anyone wants is justice and closure and more often than not, that is not delivered. In this book it’s ripped open and revealed for what could possibly be how it really is but I can’t say because I’ve never been in a situation like that and I think it’ll be like a slap in the face to say ‘I can count myself lucky’ because honestly, I think luck has nothing to do with it. Rape is not about who’s lucky enough to avoid it, because it’s not something that has to be avoided. People are a-holes and it’s people who do the bad deeds.

When people start blaming the victim, it reminds me of a popular saying ‘A good carpenter never blames his tools’ or something like that. A person shouldn’t blame the victim because of what they looked like, how they dressed or acted or even what they implied. A person can say ‘yes’ one minute and halfway through decide to change their mind. It doesn’t make them a tease, it makes them a person with the right to say no.

*I know I went off on a tangent there but I hardly find myself in a situation where I talk about this topic and I found myself with a lot to say.

This book really put things in perspective and I think what takes place in this book is real. Not that it’s a true story- someone might have experienced something a lot like this, I wouldn’t know- but this is realistic and I think that’s what scared me. I got actual chills while reading this book and I’ll be honest, the way this is written, how it’s from the POV of the roommate of the victim and also of the housemate of the accused, the story get’s mixed up quite a few times and I didn’t even know where I stood.

It’s honesty hour over here. My first instinct was to side with the victim and that was all well and good, I expected that even. But as the story unfolded I was so confused with my thoughts because I was put in that place that I’ve read some victims fear: I didn’t know whether I believed her story or not. See what I mean? I was scared because I knew where I had to stand but there was a part of me that kept screaming: ‘You don’t know the full story. Don’t jump to conclusion!’ This book was a real eye opener and I am so glad that the author didn’t sugarcoat anything.

Characters: Haley is the roommate of Jenny, who reports that she was raped on the night a party. She- Haley- has her own problems to deal with and she prefers dealing with them but she gets sucked into Jenny’s situation and at first she acts like she doesn’t have a choice. Who’d turn someone away when they’re clearly in the need of help? Haley does decide to actually stay not because she was coerced, but because she wants to. I think her main goal was to be as uninvolved as possible but that didn’t work out so well. She sleeps in the same room as the girl, for crying out loud.

Richard lived in the same house as Jordan, the accused, and I didn’t know what to make of this guy at first. He seemed weird and we were introduced to him with a bad start. Rape jokes are not cool. They shouldn’t made. Ever. Richard was creepy and bordered on being a stalker but I think his mind was a bit jumbled. This guy was bad with words so people disregarded him often.

Carrie was, well I didn’t like her much. She had her views and sure I respect her for that but I felt that she came on a bit strong and seemed forceful sometimes.

Jenny’s case, her life in general wasn’t an easy thing to deal with. I mean, the one time she decided to step out of her comfort zone, everything just gets flipped upside down. What I did admire about her was her constant vigilance. Not about the rape, about how she went about life. She didn’t back down and I liked that about her. She was in no way running away but she had a plan and continued going on.

Jordan was a d*ck really. Not for what he did/was accused of doing, but in general. He wasn’t a nice guy. He had absolutely no redeeming qualities.

Likes: I like the fact that this book exists. It’s needed especially with what’s going on in the world. I loved the writing style. This author has a way with words and I found myself drawn in with how well it was written. I liked how the author went about the plot. Giving both sides of the story but at the same time allowing the readers to make up their own mind about what went down.

Overall Thoughts: This was an important book that needed to be shared with the world. The pace was excellent and I think the author did a good job especially given the situation. I would definitely read other works by this author.

Read: 4 July 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 4 October 2016
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Maria Padian

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