Review: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter by Josh Gates

Published October 11th, 2011
Gallery Books
288 pages (Paperback)

Truth is stranger than legend . . . and your journey into both begins here. World adventurer and international monster hunter Josh Gates has careened through nearly 100 countries, investigating frightening myths, chilling cryptozoological legends, and terrifying paranormal phenomena. Now, he invites fans to get a behind-the-scenes look at these breathtaking expeditions.

Follow Gates from the inception of the groundbreaking hit show (at the summit of Kilimanjaro) to his hair-raising encounters with dangerous creatures in the most treacherous locations on earth. Among his many adventures, he unearths the flesh-crawling reality of the Mongolian Death Worm, challenges an ancient curse by spending the night in King Tut's tomb, descends into a centuries-old mine to search for an alien entity in subterranean darkness, pursues ghosts in the radioactive shadow of Chernobyl, and explores sightings of Bigfoot from the leech-infested rain forests of Malaysia to the dizzying heights of the Himalayas.

Part journey into the unexplained, part hilarious travelogue, part fascinating look at the making of a reality-based TV show--and featuring never-before-published photographs-- this "Destination Truth "companion takes readers on the supernatural expedition of a lifetime. (From Goodreads)

I know this book isn't quite what I usually talk about, but I wanted to share it with you guys.

If you enjoy travel or reading about creatures that may or may not exist, I recommend Memoirs of a Monster Hunter fully.  Based off his adventures while travelling the world, Josh Gates writes a hilarious and inspiring piece about seeing the world and living life to the fullest.

You don't need to have watched the show to appreciate the book.  Josh Gates natural comedic ability comes across in his writing perfectly, but so does his passion.  His love for travel and adventure is apparent and inflicts a serious case of wanderlust. If you have seen every episode of Destination Truth, like me, Gates recounts some of their wildest adventures (think the events of their Romanian Forest investigation), sharing adventures that were left on the editing room floor.  He also shares more about his travels outside the show, with all the spontaneity and craziness we know and love. Memoirs of a Monster Hunter is a cult favourite of mine.  It's not wildly popular, but I fully believe it should be.  As I've said, his sense of humour and passion is woven into a beautifully written book that will leave you digging out you passport and preparing for adventure.


"Waiting On" Sentinel

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!

It's a beautiful day for a war.

As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.

And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.

In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself. (From Goodreads)

Dear lord, I cannot wait for this one.  The pain is real guys.  I'm not prepared for this in any way.  I love this series even more than her Lux books.  I'm just not going to be ready for whatever emotional crazy this book brings!  Sentinel is out on November 2nd, 2013.


Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Published October 22nd, 2013
526 pages (Hardcover)

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. (From Goodreads)

This review is spoiler-free.  I will also be posting a discussion filled with spoilers soon (after more people have a chance to read).

To be quite honest, I was a little disappointed.  Allegiant didn't quite reach the caliber that the last two did for me.  That being said, I thought the ending was perfect.

Allegiant continues shortly after the end of Insurgent.  Their world has been completely uprooted and everything they knew was a lie.  That leave a lot of place where the book could be headed.  And the direction it went in was okay, but it felt like there was too much info-dumping going on.  By book three of a trilogy, I want action and resolution.  I got that, but there was so much mush in between that I want so badly to skim over.  Ultimately, I think the world made less sense after all of this than before.

And that's where Allegiant lost me.  I couldn't find the wow-factor that made the book impossible to put down.  Divergent and Insurgent both had it.  Allegiant did not.  I never felt that urgency to keep reading.  What kept me going was the suspicion that I had figured out the ending (which I had).

The ending is what bumped my opinion of Allegiant up.  I'm going to talk about this more in my spoiler-y discussion post, but I thought the ending was perfect.  It wrapped the story up nicely and left me satisfied as a reader.  I feel completely satisfied, and not left with wide-open question.  To me, his was a great ending for the trilogy.

In addition to the ending, the characters remain great.  The emotions covered in this book alone are spectacular, and, again, I was left satisfied with what became of them.  In particular, I loved the addition of Tobias' perspective.  His narration felt so different from Tris and being inside his head was a treat.

Overall, the ending is what made the book for me.  I had my issues, but I would still recommend this trilogy to anyone.


Review: One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy

Published January 10th, 2013
155 pages (eBook)

Temporary. That one single word best describes my life these last few years. I’m working at a temporary job until I can finally break free. I’m my little brother’s temporary mother since our mom doesn’t give a crap about either of us. And I’m that temporary girl all the guys want to get with because I give it up so easily. According to the rumors, at least.

But now I’m the temporary girlfriend of Drew Callahan, college football legend and all around golden guy. He’s beautiful, sweet—and he’s hiding way more secrets than I am. He’s brought me into this fake life where everyone seems to hate me. And everyone seems to want something from him. The only thing he seems to want though is…


I don’t know what to believe anymore. All I know is, I think Drew needs me. And I want to be there for him.
Forever. (From Goodreads)

One Week Girlfriend is an interesting read.  I was skeptical at first, but ended up being (for the most part) pleasantly surprised.

As far as characters go, Fable and Drew are alright.  With back stories and demons like these two have, there has it be development.  It takes a while to get there but there is some development through later parts of the book that sort of drop off to be picked up by future books.  It's also nice to see the guy as the vulnerable one.  Drew is really damaged.  Like crazy damaged.  I'm not saying that I like seeing anyone in a position such as his, but just that it seems like the female characters tend to be the vulnerable ones, with guys being all stoic.  He tries, but that vulnerability is there and added a level of realism.

Did I say that these characters are damaged?  The plot is a whole lot of messed up.  There are twists and turns and some seriously f**ked up relationships.  The downfall of this book is the ending.  It is really sudden and leaves a lot open.  One Week Girlfriend is also relatively short, at only 155 pages.  At that length, I feel like an actual ending could have been given and still be open enough for a sequel.

Fans of New Adult titles will enjoy this.  It really will make your jaw drop, and does provide a change of pace, but don't expect much of an ending.  Overall, I liked it, but wouldn't say I'm going to be jumping on the sequel, Second Chance Boyfriend, anytime soon.


"Waiting On" The Iron Traitor

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!

In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice. 

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again. 

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all.  (From Goodreads)

Dude, if this cover doesn't draw you in, I don't know what will.  That eye is hypnotizing.

This is one of my favourite series.  Julie Kagawa is a master of world-building and wonder.  Fey don't usually do it for me, but this series definately does.  I'm excited to see more of Ethan, Kenzie and Keirran!  The Iron Traitor is out on October 29th, 2013.  (Next week whaaaa?!)


Coffee Talk: The Never-Ending Slump of Doom

It's no secret that I have been in a slump for a while now.  This all started back at the end of August/beginning of September, when I finished The Bitter Kingdom.  I loved The Bitter Kingdom and cannot rave about it enough.

I know I'm not the only one who had a hard time finding something to follow it up.  Since then I've started a bunch of books, but have struggled to stick with anything.

It's not as if every book I've read has sucked, and I haven't DNFed anything.  Frankly, I can't seem to get far enough into anything to actually form any sort of opinion.  They just aren't drawing me in the way I would like.  Of the bunch I have finished since this started, only a couple have had any lasting impact (Fangirl and Such A Rush).

So, this calls for a new strategy...

Hopefully this combination is enough of a kick-start to get me back into the swing of things!


Review: Frigid by J. Lynn

Published July 15th, 2013
Spencer Hill Contemporary
240 pages (eBook)

For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love. 

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have. 
But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one. (From Goodreads)

This book is all the things I love about Jennifer L. Armentrout.  Hot male lead.  Sexual tension.  And now SNOW!  Frigid is a hot novel with a great, suspenseful plot.

Being snowed in at a spectacular and over-the-top ski lodge sounds wonderful (and awfully Canadian of me).  So, as far as settings go, I'm digging this one.  Let's face it, snow is just magical (in theory, but usually it's just a pain in the ass).  Ski lodge goes on the list of settings that I need more of.

And the characters are hot!  Sydney is an easy protagonist to read.  Kyler is just plain hot and swoon-worthy and all that jazz.  Most of the story is just these two, but it still worked.  I never got bored of either character.  And the romance was hot because OMG is JLA not the queen of sexual tension or what?!

I like the addition of lots of suspense and mystery, although it was a tiny bit predictable.  I think that is what set Frigid apart from any other "New Adult" title I have read.  We still have the boy-that-gets-around and the girl-that-doesn't-think-the-boy-will-ever-actually-see-her-that-way, but then there is this layer of mystery and dimension.  I may have had it figured out early, but it was still good.

I really do recommend this book.  Frigid has hot romance and great character and a little suspense, just in case the firs two don't do it for you.  Grab your hot chocolate and give it a read!


Top Ten Tuesday: Recommended to Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at
The Broke And The Bookish!

This Week's Topic:
Top Ten Books I Was Forced To Read

Typically, I'm the one doing the recommending.  Many of my friends read, but not nearly as much as I do.  Most of my recommendations come from you guys.  I actually had a challenging time with this list.  I do recommend these right back to you guys!


Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to take a moment today and wish all my Canadian followers a Happy Thanksgiving (to everyone else, happy Monday).

This year, I'm spending the morning at my hospital placement, and the evening having dinner with family.  I'm thankful for the opportunities this year has brought me, the love my family has given me, and the chance I have to read and share it all with you.  It's been a rough year for me, but I'm still thankful for all I have.

Hope you have all had a lovely long-weekend, and I'll be back tomorrow.


Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Published July 2nd, 2013
320 pages (Paperback)

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.
She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about. (From Goodreads)

I enjoyed The Distance Between Us, but I kind of had some issues with it.

As far as contemporary books go, it was a good read.  I sped through the first 80% of the book.  The story was easy to read and had a nice flow to it.  I always picture books as movies in my head as I read them, and this one in particular flowed wonderfully.  The relationship between Cayman and Xander built nicely.  I liked the sarcasm that Cayman used.  It was her way of separating herself from the real world, and many people, including myself, can relate to her feelings and doubts.

The first problem was that, with about 40 pages left, I sat the book down for almost a month.  I just lost interest.  If anything, the point I sat the book down at was the climax of the story.  There was no particular reason for this.  I just sat it down and went to something else.  When I finally did finish the book, I encountered the second issue.  The ending left so many questions open!  It felt like there should have been one or two more chapters, simply to tie up the loose ends.  The ending was simply to blunt for my liking, as if you reach a steep drop with no where to go.

I think fans of contemporary will really enjoy this one, with the exception of the ending.  I liked it, but wouldn't say that it was a favourite.


Top Ten Tuesday: Epic Finales

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at
The Broke And The Bookish!

This Week's Topic:
Top Ten Best/Worst Sequels

Yeah, I'm tired so this is going to be quick.  I like series, but unless I *really* like it, I often don't finish them.  I don't think there are any surprises here, other than my indecisiveness about Clockwork Princess.  Sorry, but not really.  I wrapped up in a neat bow way too easily.


Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Published May 7th, 2013
Putnam Juvenile
457 pages (Hardcover)

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. (From Goodreads)

Overall, while The 5th Wave did not meet my expectations, it was a great book with an admirable originality.

This is a fresh take on aliens.  There is so much room to go when writing about aliens, but minus a couple of exceptions, I've never really gotten into alien stories.  The originality here is awesome though.  It keeps you guessing about these aliens until the very end, and that definitely draws the reader into the story.  The integration of the alien apocalypse adds another dimension to this complex story.  

I really enjoyed the alternating POVs used in this story.  Here's yet another dimension to the story.  Each character had an interesting way at looking at this world around them, and, frankly, the story is way to complex to not have multiple perspectives.  I think Ben's was my favourite perspective to read.  I found myself excited to get back to his story.  Plus, Ben is 50% action, 50% deep emotional turmoil.  I likes this.

So, why did The 5th Wave not meet my expectations?  I think this is an example of how too much hype can be a bad thing.  There was so much hype surrounding this book that I expected to completely love it.  There are slow parts though, and that discouraged me a bit.  It's a solid book, but the pace dragged it down a bit on me.

Ultimately, The 5th Wave is a great book that has the makings of being the next epic series.  If you haven't already done so, I suggest giving The 5th Wave a try!


Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Published September 10th, 2013
St. Martin's Griffin
434 pages (Hardcover)

In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?  (From Goodreads)

There was a lot of hype surrounding Fangirl, which always makes me a little weary.  Fangirl did not disappoint.  It felt so real and intense and I absolutely loved Cath's journey.

I love the originality of the story.  I mean, fan-fiction?  That's an interesting idea.  I liked that Cath was in her first year of college.  It's a crazy time in anybody's life.  Her experience felt very real.  There are the Caths and there are the Wrens.  Rainbow Rowell hits many of the issues people encounter when beginning college, from the loneliness to plagiarism.  I think the realistic feeling has a huge impact.

The characters were fantastic.  It was so easy to relate to Cath and feel like you were in her head.  I had a really rough first year of university.  Cath's story validated many feelings that I had. Most books I have read featuring characters at this age present them in a completely different way, where they have problems but have no issues adapting to post-secondary life.  I just say this because not everyone just walks onto campus and makes friends and has a great time.  Okay, enough about that.  All of the other characters felt just as real.  It's hard to describe, beyond the ability to relate to them.  I loved Levi and the slow-building chemistry between them.  Again, it felt real.

This is one of those books that I honestly don't know how to even review.  I felt such a connection to the story and the words written.  The best way to describe it is as a slow burn.  I didn't just plow through Fangirl.  It read slower and I savored it.  I wanted to read it again the moment I finished.  I really don't know how to describe this feeling.

In conclusion, read this.  *throws down on bed**walks away*


"Waiting On" Raging Star

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!

This week I am excited for...
Saba is ready to seize her destiny and defeat DeMalo and the Tonton...until she meets him and he confounds all her expectations with his seductive vision of a healed earth, a New Eden. DeMalo wants Saba to join him, in life and work, to create and build a healthy, stable, sustainable world…for the chosen few. The few who can pay.
Jack’s choice is clear: to fight DeMalo and try to stop New Eden. Still uncertain, her connection with DeMalo a secret, Saba commits herself to the fight. Joined by her brother, Lugh, anxious for the land in New Eden, Saba leads an inexperienced guerilla band against the powerfully charismatic DeMalo, in command of his settlers and the Tonton militia. What chance do they have? Saba must act. And be willing to pay the price. (From Goodreads)
 I don't even know what to feel right now.  I loved Blood Red Road (no review, just trust me on this one), tolerated Rebel Heart, and cannot wait for Raging Star.  I just love Jack, okay?!  This cover was released yesterday, and it's okay.  I just don't want this book to break my heart.  Raging Star is out April 15th, 2014.


Top Ten Tuesday: Turn-offs

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies over at
The Broke And The Bookish!

This Week's Topic:
Top Ten Book Turn-offs

In all honesty, everything has felt like a turn-off lately.  I can't even tell you how many books I have picked up, read a couple pages, then put down.  Nothing can hold my attention.  However, these are the things that *really* get on my nerves and turn me off a book.  

I should mention though, that I can overlook these factors if the rest of the book is solid.
Alright, we all hate love triangles.  Sometimes they work, but typically the love triangle is way too obvious and in your face to be enjoyable.

I'm all about my characters.  Wimpy main characters drive me crazy, as does when there is no character development.  I want to see growth.

Unoriginality will make me put a book down.  I don't want to read the same story over and over from different authors.  Same goes for when a series is never-ending (I'm looking at you Morganville Vampires).  It ruins a good thing when the books start to get repetitive.

Fallen angels are a huge turn-off.  I just can't do it.  Add time-travel here, too.  

I love reading reviews, but always take them with a grain of salt.  You have to consider the blogger's tastes.  However, if one of my few trusted blogger's hate it, I likely won't pick it up.

As much as I tell people not to judge a book by it's cover, I often judge a book by it's cover.  The cover is what draws you in, people!  Make it interesting!

If you've been following me for a while, you know I love leather pants and action.  I need action to draw me in.

Finally, if the plot is too predictable, I lose interest.  Easy enough.

And, just because I forgot about it until now... honourable mention goes to flashbacks.  I cannot stand flashbacks!  Say no to excessive flashbacks!