Review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication: 8/2/16 by Doubleday
Pages: 306 Pages
Format: Hardback
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

Goodreads Summary
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood - where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor - engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven - but the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

My Thoughts
I had to power through this book to get it back to the library on time, even then it was a day late. However, that late fee was well worth it. It's always important to remember the atrocities of the past and this book does it extremely well. I loved how it was an alternative history where the underground railroad was a real thing. Even though it was fictionalized for this story, it felt like it was so real. I was worried that it would feel too fantastical but it was executed perfectly.

This is a story that is quite far from my regular wheelhouse and I am very happy that I picked it up. I do feel like I have heard similar stories to this, but they are all still important to read. I liked how you got to see different parts of the country and what was going on in those areas. But at the same time, it was harder to connect with other characters from that area because you only got a short amount of time with them. I highly recommend this book.

Short & Sweet Reviews: Graphic Novel Edition #11

Descender Vol 1: Tin Stars
Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, Steve Wands

The second volume of this series was nominated in the Booktube SSF Awards so I wanted to see what the fuss was all about and picked up the first volume. I did really enjoy this book, and found the conflict to be very compelling. The art style in this one was kind of hard to get used too but after the first issue I was really into it. I recommend if you want a science fiction comic.

4 out of 5 Stars

Ms. Marvel Vol 5: Super Famous
 G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona, Nico Leon

I forgot how much I adore this series! I didn't realize how much I missed Kamala until I started reading this volume. Mr. Marvel is a full Avenger now and is trying to balance everything. This is another fantastic volume in this series and if you haven't already check out Ms. Marvel, I highly recommend.

4 out of 5 Stars

The March of the Crabs Vol 1: The Crabby Condition
Arthur de Pins

I received a copy of this book from Boom! for an honest review. This is a quirky book. It follows a group of crabs that cannot change direction. This is a funny little book and I haven't read anything else like it. I enjoyed the characters, I could put myself in their shoes and realize how mundane their lives would be. As a biologist, I definitely giggled while reading it. If you're looking for something completely different, check this one out.

3 out of 5 Stars

 Lumberjanes Vol 4: Out of Time
 Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Brooke Allen, Grace  Ellis , Maarta  Laiho, Aubrey Aiese

I love this series! It's hard for me to say a lot about this volume because spoilers BUT it was fantastic as always. I liked learning more about the history of the camp and the adventure in this volume was pretty crazy. The characters in this series are absolutely amazing. Read it!

5 out of 5 Stars

Stacking the Shelves #20

STS is a weekly meme hosted by Tyngas Reviews
Since my last haul post, I have been collecting more lots of more books deals from around the internet. I am going on vacation next week for 2 weeks, and I am hoping to get a bunch of my eBooks read while I am away. We shall see.




I am currently reading It by Stephen King, I am around the halfway mark and I am loving it. I still have a long way to go, so let's hope I keep loving it. I have been excited about almost all the these books for awhile so I am stocked to get into them.

Review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Genre: Mythology
Publication: 2/7/2017 by W.W. Norton & Company
Pages: 304 Pages
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary
Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of giants, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

My Thoughts
I am going to start by saying that this book was definitely not for me. There will be lots of people that will love this book, I am just not one of them. If this audiobook wasn't as short as it was I would have DNF'd it. I was just lost the whole time I was listening to it. I couldn't follow any of the stories which was really disappointing. I would have probably understood it better if I had actually read the book but Neil Gaiman narrates the audiobook himself which is something I usually really love (and he is a fantastic audiobook narrator).

I did like how the Gods talked to each other, it was funny but still suited the myths they were in. I did chuckle a time or too. I could tell it was well written but it just didn't mesh with me. I would recommend that you read the physical copy of this one and if you think this kind of thing is up your alley check it out. It just wasn't for me unfortunately.

Books I Need to Re-Read

I feel like I haven't written a blog post in forever. I am officially done university and my life is definitely a off the rails at the moment. BUT reading is still important to me and I am on track to read the most I have ever read this year. Therefore, I am considering revisiting some old favourites to see if they are still as good as I remember. This may be a dangerous game but there are always new favourites to make.

A Love Story by Christopher Moore
This was a series that I adored when I was in high school. However, I read it out of order and during the vampire hype. I want to read it it in the right order and see if I still love the characters as much as I do. Some of the characters cross over with my favourite books A Dirty Job, which I re-read and still was fantastic, so I have high hopes.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
I have never re-read this series, and it was the reason that I got hooked back into reading again. I have seen the movies multiple times but I think it's time I revisit the series. I read this series super fast the first time I read it, so I think a reread where I take my time it would be good.

The Long Walk by Stephen King
This one was my favourite book of 2013 and I adored it. It kind of reminds me of The Hunger Games, but much more contained. I have been loving King recently so I want to revisit this one for sure.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
There has been some talk about this book recently which have brought up some issues about it. I want to re-read this book to see if I feel differently now after 3 years. I read it when I started watching a lot of Booktube so I am curious to see if I am more critical after blogging for a few years.

Seconds by Bran Lee O'Malley
This was my favourite book from last year. I have been meaning to buy myself a copy for ages so it's about time that I get one and read it. I also need to read Scott Pilgrim but that will happen one day in the future.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
This is another book from before I was blogging. I really loved it back in the day so I really want to see if I am still a fan. It's been years since I read it for the first time so it might almost be like I'm reading it for the first time.

What books do you want to re-read soon? Will I actually get to these, only time will tell.

Review: The Heir by Keira Cass

Genre: Romance, Dystopian
Series: The Selection #4
Publication: 5/5/2015 by HarperTeen
Pages: 342 Pages
Format: Paperback
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary
Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

My Thoughts
I went into this book with pretty low expectations. Everybody was saying that Eadlyn was an annoying character and the story should have stopped at The One. I do agree that Eadlyn was not the most likeable character. She doesn't accept that she's privileged, when she clearly is. I feel like she is doing the "nobody understands me" thing which is a trope that I am sick of. It's also annoying that she trying to essentially sabotage The Selection by being a bitch. Her decisions made no sense to me. At one point, she had to get advice from her brother and he just told her to compromise. A future leader should know how to compromise without asking someone else.

I just find that this story feels forced. It's like watching a season of The Bachelor were you don't actually like the bachelor, but are curious enough to know who they end up with. It's guilty pleasure enough to get some enjoyment out of but I felt the story rubbed me the wrong way many times. I think I enjoyed the POV of America in the first books better because you didn't really know who were the true frontrunners in the Selection. Which made me turn the pages to find out if Maxon was going to pick her. This time I got board of Eadlyn faking boring dates and hating love.

I am curious enough to read The Crown. I am waiting of it on audiobook and then I can finally put this series on my read list. I really wish that these were 2 companion series, instead of one big one. I really hope that Eadlyn has some character growth in the next book. I can see why her country doesn't like her very much...

Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication: 04/03/2011 by Speak
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary
It's 1941 and fifteen-year-old artist Lina Vilkas is on Stalin's extermination list. Deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. It's a long and harrowing journey and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?

My Thoughts
I want to start by saying that I had not heard about this piece of history before. I am very thankful that this book helped open my eyes about a part of history a lot of us don't know about. This book was very emotional and it's quite heartbreaking to hear Lina's story. I really don't know what to say about this book. The writing was simple but in it's own way it packed an emotional punch. It didn't hold back from the horrors that they experienced and saw. I listened to this on audiobook and I wasn't sure about tone the narrator read this story in. The story still came through but I am not sure if all of the events made me as emotional as they could have been if I had read the physical copy. Her voice just didn't suit the tone of the story and pulled me out of the story in a few places. I still highly recommend this book, especially if you are into historical fiction.

March In Review | 2017


A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab {5 out of 5 Stars}
The Heir by Kiera Cass {2 out of 5 Stars}
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman {2 out of 5 Stars}
Descender Vol 1: Tin Stars {4 out of 5 Stars}
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead {4 out of 5 Stars}
Ms. Marvel Vol 5: Super Famous {4 out of 5 Stars}
The March of the Crabs Vol 1: A Crabby Situation {3 out of 5 Stars}
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith {3 out of 5 Stars}

Best of the Month: A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
Least Favourite of the Month: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaimen
General Thoughts: I keep thinking I haven't been reading that much, but I really have been killing it this year. This wasn't the best month for great books, but I finished my new favourite series so I am very happy. I finish school next month so I might have lots of reading time. We shall see though.


Beat the Backlist
3) The Heir by Keira Cass

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge
2) A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

2017 New Releases Challenge
2) A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
3) Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman 

2017 Library Love Challenge
13) Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
 14) Descender Vol 1: Tin Stars
15) The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
16) Ms. Marvel Vol 5: Super Famous
17) The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith