vendredi 30 octobre 2015

En attendant Godot - Samuel Beckett

Goodreads summary:

L'attente comprend deux phases, l'ennui et l'angoisse. La pièce comprend donc deux actes, l'un grotesque, l'autre grave.
Préoccupé de peu de choses hormis ses chaussures, la perspective de se pendre au seul arbre qui rompt la monotonie du paysage et Vladimir, son compagnon d'infortune, Estragon attend. Il attend Godot comme un sauveur. Mais pas plus que Vladimir, il ne connaît Godot. Aucun ne sait au juste de quoi ce mystérieux personnage doit les sauver, si ce n'est peut-être, justement, de l'horrible attente. Liés par un étrange rapport de force et de tendresse, ils se haranguent l'un et l'autre et s'affublent de surnoms ridicules. Outre que ces diminutifs suggèrent que Godotpourrait bien être une synthèse qui ne se réalisera qu'au prix d'un anéantissement, Didi et Gogo portent en leur sein la répétition, tout comme le discours de Lucky, disque rayé qui figure le piétinement incessant auquel se réduit toute tentative de production de sens.
Cette pièce composée en 1952, quinze ans avant que Beckett ne soit couronné par le prix Nobel de littérature, est un tour de force qui démontre les profondeurs que peut atteindre un langage en apparence absurde. --Sana Tang-Léopold Wauters

Ma critique:
Cette pièce de théâtre est on ne peut plus étrange. Du début à la fin, on n'y trouve pratiquement que des dialogues de sourds, des monologues sans aucun sens et des personnages incohérents, ce qui en fait une lecture difficile pour quelqu'un qui, comme moi, n'a pas l'habitude de lire, ou même de regarder, des pièces de théâtre. J'avais beaucoup apprécié ma première découverte de théâtre absurde avec La cantatrice chauve, mais ma deuxième expérience s'est révélée être moins réussie.

J'ai beaucoup apprécié les quelques détails bien dissimulés que j'ai remarqués pendant ma lecture, qu'ils soient de simples métaphores ou des références historiques. Le style d'écriture, lui aussi, m'a beaucoup plu, du moins pour une pièce de théâtre. Cependant, j'ai moins apprécié le nombre de questions qui restent sans réponses, ni le cynisme de certains personnages. Je suis une personne très positive, c'est pourquoi les œuvres pessimistes me plaisent habituellement moins, ce qui a été le cas ici.

La deuxième partie de la pièce m'a surprise, mais pas particulièrement pour le mieux. Je crois que cette pièce a beaucoup de potentiel et qu'elle plaira à beaucoup de lecteurs et de spectateurs, mais malheureusement, pas à moi.


Ghostboy, Chameleon & the Duke of Graffiti - Olivia Wildenstein

Goodreads summary:

Some endings are inevitable, but so are some stories.

Cora Matthews, the principal’s gloomy goth daughter, is not exactly popular Duke Meyer’s type. Still, Duke finds himself inexplicably drawn to her dark eyes and mysterious manner. She makes it clear she doesn’t return his admiration, but when a burst appendix lands Duke in the hospital, he and Cora will be forced to come together by the most unlikely intermediary: her eight-year-old brother, Jaime. 

Duke learns Jaime has brain cancer and little chance of long-term survival. He admires the kid’s plucky positivity and wild imagination and offers to write a story about Jaime’s make-believe superheroes. So begins an epic tale—that of Ghostboy, Chameleon, and the Duke of Graffiti—and a deep friendship between Duke and Jaime. 

Despite their outward differences, Cora and Duke bond over their affection for Jaime, but unintended betrayal and Jaime’s advancing disease threaten to derail their blossoming romance before it can truly take root. 

Ghostboy, Chameleon & the Duke of Graffiti is a gorgeous debut novel that will resonate with the thoughtful fans of John Green’s blockbuster The Fault in Our Stars.

My review:


I'm just unable to write something okay right now, but I need to post my review, so here it is. 

I feel like I'm heartless because I didn't cry... Oh well, it doesn't mean I didn't like the book! 

There's something really funny about this book. I think it has to do with the fact that it's told in Duke's perspective, which makes the story a whole lot different than it would have been if it had been told in Cora's. Duke can have quite stupid thoughts, which made me want to slap him or just face-palm, but most of the things he said were actually quite funny, which I liked. The fact that it's told in his words also make him seem more compassionate and nice, and it made Cora seem more mysterious and intriguing. I wasn't sure about the narrator at first, but I ended up really liking it! 

The story is pretty sad, even though most of the story isn't about the sadness. Jaime is an incredible little guy who has a difficult life but never gives up or stops smiling, so if that doesn't give you hope, then I don't know what would. I loved how everyone tried to make his life better and how most of their time together was spent laughing, which made me forget about cancer and death. 

There's a bit of everything in this book, from romance to sadness, which makes it great for everyone. I really enjoyed the time I spent reading it, so I'd definitely recommend it. It's different from most books I've read before, which is even better. 

(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)


jeudi 29 octobre 2015

Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1) - Kasie West

Goodreads summary:

Knowing the outcome doesn't always make a choice easier... 

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through... and who she can’t live without.

My review:


When Kasie West writes a book, you read it, obviously. Because Kasie West is Kasie West, and her books are simply amazing. Well, you know what? This book's no exception. Although it isn't my favourite, I still enjoyed reading it, which isn't a surprise. 

The universe created by West is really intriguing. I didn't know much about it before I started reading, but it's easy to understand and I became interested in it after a couple of pages only. Having powers such as this population does sounds awesome, even though they're not always using them to do something good. I'm not sure if I would like to have Addie's ability, but it can truly be useful, which we realize later in the story. I liked seeing both versions of the future and how they had similarities, because some actions are not influenced by her choices. It's interesting to see how one choice can affect your future, because although this is all fictional, it's the same in real life. Laila's ability is great and I think it really suits her rebellious side, which completed her personality, in my opinion. Some of their abilities sounded plain scary to me, especially the ones messing with the others' brains and feelings, because I'm all about honesty and authenticity and being influenced by someone without realizing it is pretty much the opposite. I wouldn't want to live in such a world, but it's definitely nice to imagine. 

I loved the characters I discovered in this book. Addie and Laila's friendship is amazing and it reminded me of my own with my best friend, which made me relate even more later in the story. Personality-wise, I'm kind of similar to Addie, so some of her reactions were the ones I would've had and it made me get into the story even more. As for the love interests, my choice was very clear and I'm glad it didn't change later on, because I hate when this happens. I do wish this book had been more about how you can have a great future with two different people, like I thought it would be, because I believe that love can be just a matter of timing and that your love life could be completely different yet perfect because of one choice you made. 

I wasn't expecting the plot to be that way, but I really enjoyed the way it went. It was different from Kasie West's usual genre, but I could still find similarities that I enjoyed. My only problem with the story is probably how, after the initially surprising turn of events, many things turned out to be predictable. While it's the good kind of predictable in her other YA novels, it wasn't really in this book, because the whole point of the story was to know what would happen, where the point of her YA stories is usually to see how everything happens, if that makes sense. I still got a few surprises, but there was an entire part that I had guessed would happen, which means it must have been really predictable, since I'm not one to predict right, usually. 

In the end, I had a really nice time reading and I had to start the second book, especially since I wanted to know more about Laila (she's amazing!). As always, I recommend Kasie West's books!


mardi 27 octobre 2015

Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane

Goodreads summary:

The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new ­partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple-murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems.

My review:



Believe me when I say that I'm not a fan of mystery novels. In fact, I'm the kind of idiot who's blind to every single clue and who'd rather just wait until the mystery is solved instead of thinking about who might be guilty, because when I do, I always end up being completely wrong. It doesn't mean I don't enjoy mysteries, but they're just not the kind of book I would pick up. However, I am incredibly glad I read this book for one of my classes. IT'S INSANELY GOOD! It freaked me out a little bit (read: a lot), but it's so different from the light and fluffy books I have been reading over the past few weeks, with their predictable endings and the giddy feeling they left me with, that I was speechless. 

I really liked the history behind the characters. From the very beginning, I wanted to know more about them, even though it had nothing to do with the plot. As horrible as they were, the patients' crimes created an amazing atmosphere that seriously scared the crap out of me. Also, the WWII references and memories made me shudder and feel very compassionate, because it's so different from what I'm used to and I completely understand how having lived through this could make your life difficult (understatement of the year). From what I've read, mysterious characters are a must for thrillers, and I can assure you that this book had exactly this. 

There are vivid descriptions in this novel that made me want to crawl under my sheets and never come out again. Everything about the island's atmosphere sounds like my worst nightmare, from the storm when they get there to the patients they keep inside. Mental issues are incredibly scary in this novel, especially as the story goes and you start to doubt yourself. The occasional murder story, dream or horrible description made me shudder and even more paranoid than I already am, but it made the story richer and scarier. It's a good thing I had to read this quickly, because I couldn't have handled going to bed so scared without having finished this novel. 

The plot is definitely the most amazing part of this book. I couldn't believe what I was reading and I had to stifle a gasp more than once because of how surprised I was. Every conviction I had was basically crushed, which is something I'm not really used to with my lack of mystery reads. We've been analyzing this book in class and I discover tiny details that make me want to scream at myself for having been so stupid. If I could re-read this, I would definitely do it right now, because I wish I could see every single clue I missed. I did go back once in a while during my time reading, because I wanted to see if some details were linked to other events. Again, as someone who almost always reads books that are the opposite of thrillers and mystery novels, it felt very different to me, which I loved. I can't believe a mind such as Lehane's exists, because there is some crazy stuf in this novel, but you can be assured I will read some of his other books as soon as I can. 

I can't wait to watch the movie now, because I've seen the trailers and it looks at least as dark as the book. I'm so excited! I swear, this book might've turned me into a mystery nerd now, because all I want to do is solve a mystery. That's never going to happen, but I still like the feeling. 

I very highly recommend this book. I think anyone would enjoy it, because it's far from my usual taste in books and it's now one of my favourites. Please pick this up, you might be surprised (in a good way!).


Girl Online On Tour (Girl Online #2) - Zoe Sugg

Goodreads summary:

The sequel to the number-one bestseller Girl Online. Penny joins her rock-star boyfriend, Noah, on his European music tour.

Penny's bags are packed.

When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can't wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend.

But, between Noah's jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she's really cut out for life on tour. She can't help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot . . . and her blog, Girl Online.

Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?

My review:


This book is cute, sweet and very much like Zoe, so I think that her fans will, like I did, enjoy reading it a lot. 

I liked how realistic the tour life is in this book. While Zoe has never really toured herself, it's evident that she knows a lot about this life and I'm glad it wasn't too good-looking. Penny's reaction to it was realistic, too, because anyone would be confused and have a hard time adjusting to this train of life, especially someone with anxiety. This part reminded me of Zoe a lot, because she's known to have difficulties when she's under a lot of pressure or surrounded by many people. As someone who can get panicky sometimes, I could relate to Penny when she started panicking, especially since it's well depicted. 

Penny's character is nice, funny and relatable for teenage girls. I enjoyed reading about her and I liked seeing her grow in this book, even more than in the first one. She matured a lot and by the time the book ended, she was more of a young adult than a teenager, which I thought was very nice, since I'm older than her and there were times when I couldn't really relate before. I did think she was too forgiving and didn't stand up for herself at the beginning and I hated seeing her keep quiet and then pity herself when she was alone, but I think it's where she grows the most. In fact, I was proud of her at the end of the book, when she realized she had to live for herself and say out loud what she really thinks instead of bottling it all up. 

I really disliked Noah at some point in this book, because I thought he acted like a complete asshole. He was part of the reason why Penny couldn't enjoy her life on tour with him, which I thought was really sad, seeing as he's the one who invited her. However, I'm glad he tried to make up for it, because it shows how deeply he cares about Penny and their relationship. I enjoyed seeing them together (which wasn't often, I must admit) and I think that overall, they have a cute relationship. 

It's great that we get to know more about Elliot's life, because he's an adorable character, although I must admit he's quite stereotypical. His importance in this book shows how close he and Penny are, even though they're both in a relationship. Their constant texting was heartwarming and I absolutely hated seeing them sad because they're such nice characters. 

The only thing I truly dislike about this series is how there's always a "bad guy". I don't find this very realistic, especially since I can't see the motives behind their actions most of the time. I may be too positive, but I don't think there are that many truly horrible people out there, so the fact that Penny, and sometimes Noah, are always assaulted made me cringe a little. 

I don't know if there will be another book in this series, but I will buy it if there is. Sorry, haters, but I truly like it!


vendredi 23 octobre 2015

Butterfly Dreams - A. Meredith Walters

Goodreads summary:

In a powerful romance for fans of The Fault in Our Stars and If I StayNew York Times bestselling author A. Meredith Walters tells the story of a troubled young woman and the unforgettable guy who teaches her to live—and love—to the fullest.

She’s waiting to die. . . . Corin Thompson is paralyzed by her obsession with mortality. Having lost both of her parents, she is terrified by the idea that she too will die young, and she loses control at any sign of illness. But when Corin connects with someone who has survived a very real brush with death, she begins to see the world in a whole new way.

He’s learning to live. . . . As Corin struggles under the weight of her neuroses, Beckett Kingsley is attempting to rebuild a life that feels all too temporary. With the ever-present threat of heart failure never far from his mind, he just wants to make the most of whatever time he has left. And that means pursuing the girl he never expected to find.

Together, Corin and Beckett finally learn to let go of their fears and take solace in everyday pleasures. Who knows what the future holds? After all, nothing lasts forever—the only promise they have is right now.

My review:


There are some books that you just know are going to be good. When I picked this one up, that's exactly the feeling I had, and I was not disappointed. 

While I was expecting some sort of love story, I was surprised to find that this story is more about Corin's mental illness. It wasn't a bad surprise at all, because her character development is absolutely insane. She goes from an unstable character in denial to an amazing woman who's been through many things and is now much stronger. It was great seeing her change so much while staying true to herself. Also, I loved discovering more about hyponcondriac people, because I don't know much about this illness. My mother's cousin has it, but I haven't seen her for a couple of years now and her mental state was just confusing to me then. Now, I feel like I understand a lot more about how she must have felt, because part of the story is told in Corin's perspective and she has to go through this every day. 

That being said, I still really enjoyed reading about her and Beck's love story. They're the cutest together and I loved reading what Beck thought of her, because he's the only one who can see her for who she really is, which I found amazing. They never give up on each other and I wish there were more stories like that, where the characters are always there for each other and they become strong as a whole. Beck's past (and present, to be honest) is very sad, especially since he was such an active person and he had to give up on anything close to exercice. I may not be like him, but with the way his feelings were explained, I really felt like I understood precisely how hard it was for him. I'm glad he gets better with Corin, because it shows how being together fights back their issues. 

Overall, this story is really great. I loved every page of it and I'm glad I got to read such an awesome book. 

(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)


mercredi 21 octobre 2015

Web Series Wednesday - Carmilla (Guest Post)

Hi everyone! Today, I've got something a little different from what I usually post. It's another one Web Series Wednesday, but this time, it's written by my wonderful Internet friend Macklin, who's a fan of this series and has been trying to get me to start watching it. Since I'm too busy with school stuff to start a new web series and I still wanted to talk about it, she offered to write this as a guest post, so here it is!

The literary web series (LWS) this Wednesday is Carmilla. This is my favourite LWS, and I am so happy that Laurie has allowed me to share it with you.

Originally, Carmilla is a 19th century Gothic novella written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. It is one of the earliest pieces of vampire fiction, written 26 years before the famous Dracula and greatly influenced the genre-defining novel.  After a carriage accident, a lonely girl, Laura, finds herself housemates with the mysterious and beautiful, Carmilla. The novella is beautifully written and highly recommended to vampire fans. However, the web series, in my opinion, is way more enjoyable. (Whaaaat?!)

The web series diverges from the novel quite a bit. As with all book to web adaptations, Carmilla has been updated to the 21st century.  Laura is now a first year university student doing a journalism project via vlogs akin to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. After the disappearance of her roommate and best friend, Betty, this project becomes an investigation with the help of Danny, a TA; Perry; the floor don; and Lafontaine, Perry’s best friend and a bio major. The prime suspect soon becomes Laura’s new roommate, Carmilla.  

Carmilla is a trans media piece. The two main characters have tumblr and twitter accounts, as well as Lafontaine.

The cast for this web series is fantastic. Elise Bauman plays Laura, and the title lead is played Natasha Negovanlis.  Both actors are very good and have great chemistry. Elise has the very hard task of carrying the production by being the person that narrates all the videos. There is one camera angle, and most of it is Laura speaking to the camera, relaying events that have happened off screen, though there is a lot of on camera action.  It is very funny and full of pop-culture references including modern vampire shout outs. The co-creator and writer of the show, Jordan Hall, is very much a descendant of Joss Whedon.

The stand out feature of this web series is its treatment of LGBT+ characters and gender representation. For example, Lafontaine is the first non-binary character I have encountered in popular media. This is mostly a female driven show with a majority of the cast and crew being female. Most of the characters are queer as well. Also, there is no “coming out.” Being queer is not a defining characteristic, and the story does not discuss sexual identity, for it is not important. Refreshing isn’t it?

I love this series! I hope that those who haven’t already go and check it out. So far, there are two seasons, each 36 episodes. There is also a Christmas episode set between the two seasons. 

vendredi 16 octobre 2015

A Window Opens - Elizabeth Egan

Goodreads summary:

For fans of I Don’t Know How She Does It and Where’d You Go, Bernadette?.

In A Window Opens, beloved books editor at Glamour magazine, Elisabeth Egan, brings us Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. 

Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as “wearing many hats” and wishes you wouldn’t, either). She is a mostly-happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor and a Zen commuter. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker or the breadwinner. But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean in—and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading, with its chain of chic literary lounges and dedication to beloved classics. The Holy Grail of working mothers―an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life―seems suddenly within reach.

Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new “balancing act” (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her babysitter gets fed up, her kids start to grow up and her work takes an unexpected turn. Readers will cheer as Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all, but what does she―Alice Pearse―really want?

My review:


I REALLY liked this book.

For some reason, I seem to be reading more books like this one, even though I'm pretty much always young enough to be the main characters' daughter. I don't even care about that fact, because there are so many life lessons in them and I can still find ways to relate to their lives, which always makes my reading experience amazing. 

From the very first page, I loved this book. It mentions a book from my favourite author in its very first page, so I knew the main character and I would get along very well. Then, I discovered so many things about Alice's love for books, bookshops and publishing companies that I felt like I was reading an encyclopedia about my passion... In a good way. Sharing such an important part of my life, my love for books, with a MC is an amazing thing!

When I continued reading, I started falling in love with Alice's family, from her adorable kids to her incredible husband. She has one of the best relationships I've read about in a long time, because she and Nicholas are (at least initially) honest, loving and patient with each other. I loved how supportive they are for each other and how their love is still so strong, even after all these years and three kids. I started to fear for their relationship in the middle of the story, but deep down, I always knew that they'd find a way to get through everything life throws at them, because they're just that kind of a couple (the OTP kind, to be honest). Alice's relationship with her parents made me smile and broke my heart, too, because this is the part where I could relate a lot. I think her feelings are very well described and I have to admit I cried more than once while I was reading (which always happened to be in public, of course). 

I think everyone would enjoy this lovely novel, because it's bittersweet and full of life lessons that we should all remember.

(Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a digital copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.)


mardi 13 octobre 2015

Open Road Summer - Emery Lord

Goodreads summary:

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

My review:


This is the kind of books that I could read every day (and I'm guilty of doing that sometimes). It's just so cute and sweet and it leaves my with a giddy feeling for the rest of the day, which is the perfect cure for sad rainy days. 

Although this is definitely a summer book, I loved reading it in September, just before it gets really cold, because it reminded me of the last couple of weeks. Lilah and Reagan's summer sounds amazing, even though it's only because of Lilah's fame that they get to road trip around the country like that and it isn't everyone's dream to be famous. However, since it's her best friend's story, it's more focused on their friendship and Reagan's love life than on Lilah's career. I liked that fact, because I would not want to be famous, and reading this story in Lilah's perspective would probably have given me anxiety. However, I liked learning about the celebrity life and the struggles they have, because I thought it was really realistic. I've seen many celebrities destroyed by bad press, so I could absolutely understand how much pressure was on Lilah. 

My favourite thing in this novel was probably the friendship between Lilah and Reagan. They're always supportive of each other, listening and offering advice even during the worst of times. They think highly of each other and seeing how proud they are touched me, because it shows that they truly love each other and would never live without their best friend. Celebrity has never affected their friendship, which is a miracle in itself, but then again, I don't think it could be destroyed by anything. The best adjective to describe it is definitely strong, which isn't the case for every friendship out there. 

I really liked how Matt and Reagan's relationship evolved. She's quite hard to approach, so I wasn't surprised to see her resist to him in every possible way. On the other hand, his determination and tactics surprised me, because most guys would've given up long ago. I think it's the reason why they're such a good couple, because they put a lot of effort into the base of their relationship. There were a lot of swoon-worthy moments and I was touched by Matt's actions, which were exactly what Reagan needed. However, I was disappointed by the way Reagan acted when they became a couple, because she didn't seem like the kind of girl who would be so ready to let go of her best friend. She never abandonned Lilah, but I feel like she was much less supportive because of her love life. I loved Lilah's love life, which was the most adorable I've ever read about (just like herself). I wish I could've read the story in her perspective just for this reason.

In the end, I really liked this novel. I absolutely recommend it!


jeudi 8 octobre 2015

Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity #2) - Elizabeth Wein

Goodreads summary:

While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that's in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

My review:


This book is amazing. I wish there were more words for me to explain how much I loved it, but seriously, it's just too hard to explain. 

I love historical fiction, but this book took it one step higher. It's all about the horrors that happened during WWII, instead of having a romantic twist to relieve the readers from all the stress and the sadness. I really liked that. The story has made the main character, Rose, such a fragile yet strong person that it would take her years to meet new people that she can be herself with, especially if those people haven't experienced horrors like she did. This book truly showed me how, even when everything ended, the war wasn't over and everyone couldn't be happy, because they had just gone through hell and they were expected to go on as if nothing happened. It's really hard to think about all the damages, from the killed humans to those traumatized people who had to continue living for their friends who died. 

I very highly recommend this novel. I sadly haven't read the first book in the series because I can't find it anywhere, but you can be assured I'm going to read it now.


mardi 6 octobre 2015

Interview: Marci Lyn Curtis

Hi everyone! Recently, I read The One Thing and I absolutely loved it, so I thought it would be awesome to do an interview with its author, Marci Lyn Curtis, and guess what? Here it is!  If you haven't read my review yet, you can find it here. Keep on reading to find out more about this amazing writer!

Hello Marci! First of all, let me thank you for answering my questions today. To begin this interview, can you introduce yourself and your novel?

Hi Laurence! Thanks so much for having me! Let’s see…I’ll give you the short version: my name is Marci Lyn Curtis, author of The One Thing, a young-adult contemporary story about a blind juvenile delinquent who hits her head and is suddenly able to see a boy. It’s a tough book to sum up, so let’s just say it’s a coming-of-age with a little bit of everything—laughter, tears, friendship, romance, family, music, sarcasm, tragedy, cupcakes.


Translation: it’s a twisty little story. And if you held the book on end and gave it a shake, you’d probably rattle out an Everest’s worth of emotion. So people who like stories with lots of feels would probably enjoy it.

What inspired you to write this story?

I wish I could say there was this huge ah-ha moment that inspired the story. But the fact was, one day it was just…there—characters and all—and it picked at me and picked at me until I finally started to take notes, just to get it out of my head. Those notes grew to about a foot-high stack of papers that eventually became The One Thing.

Can you relate a lot to your main character, Maggie?

Well, I’m not blind, nor do I know anyone who’s blind, so writing this story required a lot of research. By “a lot,” I mean months.
And months.
On end.
Also, Maggie was a soccer legend, and the last time I was half-decent in competitive sports was never. I mean, unless you count obscure sports, like, say, Orange is the New Black marathons. With those I’m sort of a badass.
Anyway, as far as similarities, Maggie and I both lean toward the sarcastic side. I grew up in a smart-alecky family (you do one idiotic thing and you’ll likely hear about it for the rest of your life), so sarcasm and jokes are sort of second nature for me.

Who is your favourite character in your novel and why?

Ben—because he’s just so…Ben. Life has basically handed him his butt, and yet he’s made the best of it, without using anything as a crutch. Also, he’s hysterical, loyal, kind, and he makes a mean English muffin pizza.

So far, what's the hardest thing you've been faced with while publishing your novel?

Can I say everything? No? Well, if I had to pick just one thing, I’d have to say the most difficult thing about writing this particular story was the responsibility I felt to be a good representative for the visually impaired. I was constantly terrified that, even though I was spending so much time researching blindness, I was getting all the details wrong—that I was missing something critical in the technology, the daily life, the thoughts and emotions, the training, the parenting. It was just so much. And it required an amazing amount of balance. I didn’t want to marginalize visual impairment, but I didn’t want it to be the focus of the novel, either. Sure, Maggie’s blindness had tremendously impacted her life. But did I want to portray Maggie as a blind character? No. I wanted to portray her as a character. I wanted her personhood to always be the focus. I wanted people to experience her. So I had to really pick through each scene, each line, and each bit of dialogue to make sure that this always came first.

If you could have lived in any fictional world, which one would it have been?
The Harry Potter world. Without a doubt.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Oh man. Jandy Nelson. She’s a genius. I mean, I’d probably dig through her trash just to read her grocery list.
Sort of.

What do you like the most about being an author?

Sharing my characters with everyone. It’s like standing on a stage and introducing my friends to the world. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

This: just write. Write about the things that are important to you. Write to share a version of yourself with yourself. Write without thinking about trends, or about how readers might perceive you. Just write.

What are your future plans? Anything we could be interested in?
Currently, I’m writing a story about an orphan pickpocket forced to live with the uncle who betrayed her family. Like The One Thing, it’s a twisty little story, and it covers a topic near to my heart, so it’s been difficult to write. After that, I’ll be writing a companion novel to The One Thing, featuring a certain unmentionable character.

Once more, thank you for answering! I hope to hear more from you soon.

Thank you so much, Laurence, for this amazing interview!


Interview: Meagan Brothers

Hi everyone! Recently, I interviewed Meagan Brothers, who wrote Weird Girl and What's His Name. I loved this book and I would  highly recommend it, so if you're interested in it and you haven't read my review yet, you can find it here. For now, I hope you'll enjoy reading this interview, so please keep on reading!


Hello Meagan! I want to begin by thanking you for being here on my blog today. Let's start the interview with an easy question: can you explain what your latest novel, Weird Girl and What's His Name, is about?

Hi Laurence! I’m happy to be here – thanks for having me on your blog! Weird Girl and What’s His Name is about a couple of friends, Rory and Lula, who are kind of the unpopular nerdy kids at their school. They have a falling out, and have to try to put themselves back together again. Along the way, they’re also trying to make sense of their respective broken families and nascent love lives and what not. You know, the usual life drama stuff. 

What inspired you to write this story? 

Being kind of an unpopular nerdy kid! Actually, I had started the story sometime in 2007 – I had an idea to write something about a pair of friends, and I got as far as that first paragraph, which is actually opens the book now, fairly unchanged from its original state. I didn’t write any more of it, though, because I felt like my original idea was too similar to my first book. But then the next summer, I went to see the second X-Files movie on opening night. Seeing Mulder and Scully again took me back to being in high school and college, when the show was on, and I was watching it with my friends, or alone in a dark room and then going online to talk about it afterward. I don’t know what connected those things in my mind, but the week after I saw the movie, I dug up that paragraph, which was still sitting there in one of my notebooks, and, instead of working on my Supergirl Mixtapes rewrites, I wrote this short story instead. The story was basically a slightly shorter version of Rory’s half of the book. The next year, I wrote Lula’s half. I guess you could say the main inspiration, as odd as it may sound, was the camaraderie that I felt, between both friends and total strangers, that came from all of us watching a TV show together.

Who is your favorite character in this book and why? 

Ahh, it’s so hard to pick a favorite! They’re all like my kids. Even the old guys. It’s probably easier to tell you my least favorites, which were Andy and Lula’s mom, Christine. It was a huge challenge to stay empathetic while I was writing those two. I can tell you, though, one of my favorites who I thought would have a bigger part in the book was Midnight Pete, the college radio DJ that Lula and Seth both listened to. I kept trying to work him into the story but it was so peripheral it just felt distracting, so a lot of his backstory got cut. But I went back and gave him a bigger role in two different short stories, which made me feel a little bit better about axing the poor guy.

Is there a reason why you mostly write for young adults? 

Because I’m extremely immature. No, just kidding. Okay, only partly kidding. Actually, I like the lack of cynicism in YA books. I like feeling like I have free rein to write characters who are aren’t totally jaded yet. 

Your novels have such creative names: Debbie Harry Sings in French, Supergirl Mixtapes, Weird Girl and What's His Name, etc. How do you come up with these titles? 

I have to admit, with Debbie Harry Sings in French, it started out as a short story for a class I was taking in college, and it’s been so long since then, I have no recollection of how I came up with that title! Must’ve come to me on a flaming pie…. Supergirl Mixtapes was originally Citygirls and then Downtown at Dawn, but I wanted something a little less generic-sounding. Weird Girl… was called Teenage FBI for the longest time, which is the title of a Guided by Voices song, but my publishers at Three Rooms Press, Kat Georges and Peter Carlaftes, weren’t crazy about it. I think they were afraid people would think it was more of a straightforward mystery story, and I agreed. I’d actually been trying to think of a better title for a while, for the same reason. Peter suggested Weird Girl and What’s His Name. Suddenly, I was like: that’s it! Sometimes it takes another person to see something that’s been right in front of you all along.

In Weird Girl and What's His Name, Lula and Rory are part of a huge fandom and they take X-Files very seriously. Do you consider yourself a fangirl, too? If so, what are your fandoms?

Oh yes, definitely a pretty huge X-Files fan, too, going back to 1994! There are other sci-fi shows and movies I loved as a kid, and still love – the original Star Trek, Star Wars, Quantum Leap, Lost. All those cheesy sci-fi-ish movies from the 80s like Flight of the Navigator and The Last Starfighter and Explorers. But X-Files, yeah, that’s my jam. And I don’t know if you consider music fandom a “fandom” in the same sense, but I’m one of those people who goes to the record store on their lunch break at least once a week. On my desk currently is just a laptop surrounded by haphazard piles of used CDs. I should tidy up, actually.

Your characters grow up a lot during the story, especially while questionning their identity and their sexual orientation. What would be your advice for teenagers going through similar scenarios? 

The main thing is to be yourself and to allow yourself to love who you love. But if you’re in an environment where you’re being discouraged, threatened, or bullied by people because you’re gay, bi, or trans, I know that’s not easy advice to follow. If you’re not in a supportive environment right now, try to hang in there. Don’t listen to the negativity. Rise above it. Try to find some way to redirect your frustration and express how you’re feeling, whether it’s art or jogging or writing – don’t resort to self-harm, and don’t isolate yourself. Find people who are supportive – it may just be one friend right now, or an online community, or a teacher, or a pastor from a progressive church – and let that person know what’s going on with you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t feel like you’re alone, because you’re not. There are so many people who want you to survive and thrive, believe me. It might feel like you’re fighting through each day right now, but trust me, you have a place in this world just the way you are, and it’s worth the fight. 

What was the hardest part of writing your novels and why?

Probably the hardest part is when you’re working on rewrites, and you know a scene isn’t working, but you don’t know how to fix it. That, and the selling part. When I’m supposed to be Tweeting and Facebooking and Tumblring about how great my book is and how you should buy it. My teenage self-loathing comes back in full force and I’m like “ehh, I wrote this book, but it’s not really that great. You can buy it if you want, or whatever. But, seriously, you don’t have to, like, read it or anything. Ugh.” 

What would be your best advice for aspiring writers? 

Keep writing, all the time. Don’t be afraid to be that nerd who carries a little notebook around. Find some quiet space away from your phone. Read everything you can get your hands on. Go to readings and book events, if they’re happening in your town. Try to make friends with other writers – they will be your lifeline. And go outside and walk around. Get some fresh air every once in a while. Exercise a little. Eat healthy food. Obviously, writing isn’t a contact sport, but you’re gonna feel too crappy to do it if your back goes out from sitting for 8 hours straight and your brain is in a Dorito haze.

What do you like the most about reading and writing?

I like those moments in writing when you break through. When something’s bugging you and you can’t put your finger on it but you sit down to write this poem or this character comes to you and you’re able to work it out that way. A-ha, that’s what I was afraid of! And reading is great because it’s so still. You get lost in the world of the book, and hopefully there are no distractions, no pop-ups, no message alerts. It’s just you, traveling without moving. Very magic.

Which author inspires you and why?

Ray Bradbury inspires me a lot, because he was a really pure writer. Woke up pretty much every day of his life and wrote. Robert Pollard inspires me for the same reason. Dude just writes songs every single day. Whatever your art is, it should be an everyday pursuit. 

What's your all-time favorite quote?

Probably it’s what the sculptor Constantin Brancusi said about being in a constant state of making art: “If one could create as one breathes, that would be true happiness. One should arrive at that.” 
That, and “there’s no crying in baseball!” from A League of Their Own.

What are your current projects? Is there anything you can tell us about? 

I’ve got four stories that are related to this book – well, three stories and a novella. They’re still a little rough around the edges, but if people like this book, maybe I’ll make them available online or something. I’ve got a new book plotted out, but it’s still pretty embryonic at this point. And the usual stuff on the side – poetry, a couple of short stories here and there. Maybe they’ll get out someday, who knows!

Where can we find you on your social media? 

I’m on Twitter (@meaganbrothers), Tumblr (, and on Facebook (

Thank you for answering my questions!

Thanks for having me!