Category: Reviews

Non-fiction Books Every College Student Should Read

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1) Anything by Cal Newport- if you haven’t noticed already, I’m a bit obsessed with Cal Newport’s books. He makes college so much easier with his advice. While reading his books I saw my grades pick up instantly.

2) Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht- this book is described as a “mentorship” and I cannot agree more. Aliza Licht has great advice. This is a book that you need to have highlighted or stick in post-its. From internships to starting a job, this book has it all.

3) All Work, No Pay by Lauren Berger – this book is an invaluable asset to anyone looking for an internship. Personally I found this book to be excellent help when dealing with cover letters and resumes.

4) Leadership and Soft Skills for Students by Cary Green- I like to think of this book as a how-to guide to success. Cary Green presents real solutions that work. I’m not going to lie- I believe in this book because several of the points covered here are things I believe in for my daily life. College students and high school students will both greatly benefit from this book.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones

The Opposite of InnocentThe Opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lily has had a crush on Luke for years. Sure he’s almost twice her age and has seen her in diapers but no relationship is perfect and lots of girls get involved with older guys.
Here’s the thing, once upon a time I was a young girl with a crush on a much older guy. So I didn’t expect this novel to go down the way that it did.
When Luke returns from a visit to Africa, Lily is overjoyed. She is especially excited when she learns that Luke will be staying with her family. And when it appears that Luke might return her feelings, Lily is ecstatic.
Then he kisses her. Repeatedly.
Everyone who knows about Lily’s crush finds it harmless. However Lily’s friends are disturbed that a twenty-year-old would get involved with a fourteen-year-old. So Lily hides her new relationship from them.
But it isn’t long before kissing moves on to something more and Lily does not want more. She also does not want to lose Luke.
I read this book in one sitting and practically flew through the pages. I have never read a novel in verse before but I really enjoyed this one. This book had me heartbroken, horrified and in tears. It was an amazing rollercoaster of emotions which I loved immensely.
Definitely read this book.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- A Rogue By Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean (The Rules of Scoundrels #1)

A Rogue by Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels, #1)A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When the Marquess of Bourne was younger he engaged in a reckless game that cost him most of his property and land. Shunned by society and left with a few things more than his useless title, Bourne became a partner in a gambling hell and built himself up again.
Now, ten years later, Bourne is determined to retrieve his property and along with it, revenge. Unfortunately for Bourne, the only way to get his home back is to marry his childhood friend, the spinster, Lady Penelope.
Penelope is overjoyed when Bourne returns to society however he is not the boy she remembered. Bourne is cold and cruel and seems to see Penelope as nothing more than a means of obtaining his justice and revenge.
I’ve reached a point where I’m kind of sick of historical romances because I read them so often. However I was really drawn in by this one. I found this synopsis to be intriguing, the characters were witty and the plot was highly entertaining. This was a great read that I recommend to anyone who enjoys historical romance.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (The Belles #1)

The Belles (The Belles #1)The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
In the world of Orleans, people are born gray and colourless. Belles are the only ones who can add colour and beauty to the people of Oreleans. Camellia does not want to be just any Belle- she wants to be the Favourite. The Favourite is the most important of the Belles. She is the one chosen by the Queen to beautify the royal family.
However once it is time for the Belles to take over their new roles, it becomes clear that something very strange is going on in Orleans.
The people are obsessed with their looks-almost to the point of insanity. There is odd noises in the middle of the night and something is not right with the Princess of Orleans.
This was a really interesting read with incredible world-building. I felt like the first half of the book had very little in terms of plot but I found the world of the Belles interesting so I was happy to keep reading.
This is a well-written book with unexpected plot twists. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #1)

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I chose to read this book just so I could watch the movie when I was done. I was certainly not expecting to enjoy this so much.
Lara Jean writes letters to every guy she has ever had a crush on. She doesn’t send them to the guys or even speak to the guys about her feelings. She just writes her letters and keep them in a box. But one day Lara’s love letters are mailed out and Lara has to deal with the consequences- one of which leads to her dating the hottest guy in school. At first Peter seems like a flat character with absolutely no other quality besides being popular but this is quickly proved wrong.
I am not a huge fan of contemporary YA but I absolutely loved this story. Lara Jean and her family were colourful and it almost felt like they were welcoming me to their kooky world. This is a light-hearted fun read that I strongly suggest every fan of YA picks up. I just finished it today and I have already picked up the next book in the series. This book may have hooked me in to contemporary YA.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- One for the Rogue by Manda Collins (Study in Scandal #4)

One for the Rogue (Studies in Scandal, #4)One for the Rogue by Manda Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The fourth book in the “Studies in Scandal” series follows Gemma Hastings, a geologist. Unlike previous books, the mystery for Gemma to solve is a complete mystery. While previous books had a puzzle or a question Lady Celeste needed answered, this time Lady Celeste never finished writing her letter with the mystery that Gemma is supposed to solve.
However when a gathering of other fossil hunters leads to murder, Gemma teams up with her rival, Cameron Lisle to solve the mystery of a strange lizard-like fossil Lady Celeste had discovered before her death.
I was very interested in Gemma’s mystery since she didn’t receive a letter like the other ladies did. I was also intrigued to see how she and Cameron would fit together since he just seemed insufferable to me. This was a well-written, fun read and it was great to see characters from previous books. I recommend this series wholeheartedly to anyone who enjoys romance.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher (Love Me with Lies #1)

The Opportunist (Love Me with Lies, #1)The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Olivia discovers that her ex-boyfriend (and the love of her life), Caleb has lost his memory, she takes advantage of the situation to wriggle her way back in his life. However it isn’t long before Caleb’s girlfriend, Leah finds out about Olivia’s plans and decides to wreck them.
It took me over a month to read this book because the emotions were just too intense. This is a book about severely flawed characters who do bad things just to get their way. This was a pretty long read but I was really interested to see where Caleb and Olivia went wrong (and where Caleb and Leah went right). If you are looking for a compelling read with an intriguing plot and unforgettable characters, this is the book for you.

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Fiction Friday: Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart (Grace and Fury #1)

Grace and Fury (Grace and Fury, #1)Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. I tried reading a few pages a day but was unable to focus. It took about a month for me to carve out time to read this nicely and I am so glad that I did. Once I got into this book, it was impossible to put down and I couldn’t read fast enough.
Nomi and Serina are two sisters who are very close but totally opposite in personality. Serina was raised to be a Grace, the perfect example of a gentle, subdued woman. Nomi, on the other hand, is defiant and has taught herself to read- something that is illegal for women.
When a twist of fate leaves Nomi as a Grace and Serina trapped on an island, both sisters have to fight for survival in two very different prisons.
This was an incredibly well-written book with characters you cannot trust (which is one of my favourite things in a book) and numerous plot twists. This book left me reeling and I absolutely CANNOT WAIT for the sequel. If you’re a fan of YA fantasy, definitely give this a go. You will not regret it.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (The Hazel Wood #1)

The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood, #1)The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alice has a pretty unusual life. She and her mother are constantly haunted by “bad luck” which follows them around wrecking havoc in their life. Alice’s grandmother is a famous author whose book about the creepy Hinterland had only one print run but gained fans with an almost obsessive interest in Alice and her family. When Alice learns that her grandmother has died, it seems like the obsessive fans will finally leave her alone. But it seems like more of them appear in Alice’s daily lives and it isn’t long before Alice’s mother is kidnapped. The only lead Alice has comes from the Hinterland itself, the supposed made-up world of her grandmother’s stories. Alice has to find her way into this magical land and find her mother.
I have been intrigued by this book ever since it first came out and was really excited to read it. However a large chunk of this book is basically just a road trip. I was close to giving up completely when the road trip finally ended and things got really interesting.
I loved the Hinterland tales. They were spooky, compelling and creepy. I would love to own a copy of my own.
“The Hazel Wood” was a really interesting read even with the excruciatingly long road trip. This was a great read with amazing world-building that I definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys their fairytales with a twist.

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Fiction Friday: The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

The Girl BeforeThe Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The Girl Before” tells the story of two girls in two different timelines. Both girls, Emma and Jane have experienced tragedies in their lives that led to them seeking a new place to stay. Both girls fall in love with the same beautiful house. And both girls become involved with the house’s mysterious architect.
When Jane moves in the house she soon discovers that Emma had died in the house. If Jane is making the same decisions that Emma is, does that mean that she too will meet the same end?
I really enjoyed this book. I was not sure if it was Fate or someone else leading both girls to go through the same events. This book is well-written with a very compelling plot and characters that you cannot trust. Definitely pick this up if you are a fan of thrillers.

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