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Sunday, October 16, 2016

My Thoughts: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

So-  Colleen Hoover- who hasn't read anything by Colleen Hoover? She's all over. I myself have read three novels by Colleen Hoover, one was so unmemorable to me I totally forgot I read, never mind what it's about. The other was good, really good- if not a bit dramatic. And than there is It Ends With Us.  This book was much anticipated and there was major buzz surrounding it. Even I was eager to get my hands on it. There were whispers that It Ends With Us was unlike anything Hoover had ever produced.

Even though every one and their cousin has read this book... In short (and without spoilers), It Ends With Us revolves around Lily and her relationship with Ryle. And what a complicated relationship that is. I am hesitant to say much more than that. What really allows this book to pack such a punch is going into it blind. So there's that.

So, what are my thoughts? It's going to be hard for me to express my thoughts while keeping things secret. So I shall split them into what I liked and what I didn't really like.

What I Liked:

There were elements in this book that I found incredibly insightful and I thought Hoover did a great job and exploring the complications of Lily and Ryle's relationship- nothing is ever black and white. I appreciated that. Throughout the book Lily writes diary entries which she addresses to Ellen Degeneres- this was a nice touch. It was through these journals that we got snapshots into Lily's past and the events that formed her. Both Lily and Ryle have some amazing people in their corner and some amazing supports. This was a major plus for the novel.

What I wasn't sure about:

The pace of the book felt a little funny to me. It's not a short book, coming in at 384 pages. But I felt like there was so much going on that it could probably have been longer. To me, there were some things that were well developed and well rounded out, and others that felt rushed. I felt this way particularly with the beginning of Lily and Ryle's relationship. I found it a bit insta-lovey, regardless of how things played out. Ryle also makes some shifts regarding his views on relationships that were a little eye-rolling and unbelievable I felt the same when Atlas returned- I wasn't fully convinced by his connection with Lily.

I am going to say this outright- the issues (if you could call them that)- should not make you not read this book. I just thought I would mention them.  I think you should read this book- it broaches some pretty intense topics and addresses them in some pretty interesting ways. I am not sure this was an amazing book (as everyone else seems to think), but I am glad I read it.

Overall, I enjoyed It Ends With Us, and I think it's important book to read. I gave it a solid 3 stars- maybe a 3.5 stars.

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Stefanie's #Spookathon TBR and Currently Reading

Hooray, Stefanie has decided to jump onto the #Spookathon band wagon. I (Sara) posted my TBR earlier this week, and today Stefanie is sharing hers. I hope you enjoy.

#Spookathon is a week long read-a-thon hosted by Booktubers Books and Lala, Paige's Pages and Bookerly, and runs from Oct 17-23/16. Check out the initial announcement video here.


Stefanie here for my first post. It's kind of daunting to be honest to be writing this so I thought I'd join in with the #Spookathon, because as I've mentioned I'm just (slightly) obsessed with Halloween. I'm doing a 31 days of Halloween movies too, so between those movies, these creepy books I'm full on Halloween happy.

Here's what I've planned to read:

1) The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
This covers a book with red on the cover.
I actually bought this book last year but saved it until this October because there's just something perfect about reading a Katie Alender book in October. I loved her Bad Girls Don't Die series so I know I have to start off the challenge with this one.

2) And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
This covers a thriller (maybe, it's tagged as one on Goodreads and I don't read a lot of thrillers so hopefully this will work) and a 2016 release.
I loved Kurtagich's first book The Dead House (if you haven't read it and want on really creepy spooky book, pick that one up) so naturally I knew I needed to read this one. Sounds just as creepy as her first one too.

3) Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
This covers 2016 release and a book with a paranormal/ supernatural character.
The cover to this one is what drew me in. I love the idea of the main character being a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation. The twist? Alex, our main character, doesn't want her powers, and tries to get rid of her magic but instead gets rid of her family. It's book one of a series so I can't wait to get in and see what trouble Alex finds herself in

4) Tales from the Haunted Mansion, The Fearsome Foursome from Disney
This covers 2016 release, spooky word in the title and a supernatural creature
Being the grown up Disney lover I am I knew I had to include this one. I love the Disney movie Haunted Mansion and the ride is one of my favourites at Disneyland. This is a bonus one because I'm not sure if I'll be able to get through all the other books in this challenge. If not it'll get read right after the challenge ends. 

I'm so excited to be part of this reading challenge and it'll be nice to read some of the books on my TBR. It was actually kind of difficult to chose which books I wanted to read for this. 

I've been debating to challenge myself to try and read some of the older books on my TBR shelf that have been on their for longer than three years. I just finished one called Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors, which was the second book I ever added to my TBR shelf when I first joined Goodreads in 2013. I felt pretty accomplished when I finished it, knowing that it had been waiting for so long to get read.

Am I the only one that feels like that when they've read a book they've had waiting forever on their TBR? I hope not...

I'm currently reading Lucky T by Kate Brian, and I think I'll follow that up with Sea Change by Aimee Friedman.

 Both books have been on the TBR shelf just as long as Coffeehouse Angel had been. Sea Change seems like a good book to transition into the #Spookathon and I've heard really good things about it.

Thanks everyone for welcoming me here, I can't wait to share more about my reading adventures with you guys soon!


Monday, October 10, 2016

#Spookathon 2016 TBR

Hello Everybody!

Well, believe it or not it's OCTOBER! And with it comes Halloween and all things scary. Now, I don't particularly like anything spooky, I don't do horror, ghosts or anything supernatural. It freaks me out to much. But recently I have discovered  a new fondness for thrillers and books that keep you at the edge of your seat. Which to me totally fits in with the October Halloween theme.

So, I have decided to participate in the #Spookathon hosted by Booktubers Books and Lala, Paige's Pages and Bookerly. The Read-A-Thon is taking place the week of Oct 17-23. You can check out Lala's intro to the Spookathon here.

I am actually pretty excited about participating in this read-a-thon. I really like the idea of a read-a-thon, but I find them a little daunting. Working full time doesn't really allow for a lot of focused reading. However, the #Spookathon doesn't really have many rules- there are no set number of books to read, no "you have to read this" lists, it's an all inclusive read-a-thon. So, if you think something is spooky, or thrilling, it's a go.

There are a few "challenges" if you will, but they are simple and you can probably complete all the challenges with one book if you'd like:

1. Read a thriller
2. Read a book with red on the cover
3. Read a book with a spooky word in the title
4. Read a 2016 release
5. Read a book with a paranormal character/creature

SO, for the #Spookathon I am aiming to read 3 books. The plan is to listen to one and read the physical books of two.

1- Dracula by Bram Stoker- I have been wanting to read this book for years. The movie is one of my all time favourites (Gary Oldman as Dracula is pure genius). The #Spookathon is finally giving me a chance to read it (although this is my audio read for the week). This book would complete the -Read a book with a paranormal character/creature- challenge.

2- Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris- I actually saw this one at the bookstore a couple weeks ago, and have been dying to read it since. I have requested it from the library and I think it should be available for me to read just in time for the week of the #Spookathon. This would complete a number of challenges - Read a thriller, Read a book with red on the cover and Read a 2016 release.

3- Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire- This is may be the lightest of the reads. I am super curious about the premise, a school for kids who have returned from adventures in other worlds. I believe there is a a murder mystery within the plot of this one, but I am not 100% on that. It's a short book, and I am convinced I will get it read quickly.  This would complete the challenge of -Read a 2016 release and read a thriller (I think).

The only challenge I don't have figured out is, Read a book with a spooky word in the title, I could try and argue that 'closed' is a spooky word, but that would be a stretch.

If I finish both my physical books, I think I may also pick up The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy- It's the feature read of the week, and all three hosts will be reading it. I have heard pretty good things about it. So, we shall see.

I will be tracking my progress during the #Spookathon on my Facebook page, so if you haven't already, head over and click 'like' if you're wanting to see how I am doing.

As I said, I am excited about this read-a-thon and I am exciting to dive into all the books. I am particularly stoked for Dracula. If you are also interested in participating in the #Spookathon, but sure to check out the videos for more details- I believe there are a few giveaways taking place as well.

~Happy Reading Everyone.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Something New

Hello Everyone! I have something pretty great to share with you all today. Something I am very excited to share with you.

Starting this month- Just Another Story will no longer be a one man show! You have read correctly, I have taken on a partner and I think it's going to give you all something beautiful.

*****Everyone, meet the newest member of Just Another Story*****

Hi everyone my name is Stefanie and I'm going to be blogging here at Just Another Story! I have an English degree and my library technician diploma and I work in a junior high school library so books and reading are my life (not at all a bad thing). I read all kinds of genres, including YA, middle grade and cozy mysteries. I love a good sweet contemporary romance, adventure packed fantasy or a scare you horror book, however I can't watch horror movies. 
My favourite authors include Meg Cabot, Maria V. Snyder, Beth Kendrick, Ally Carter, Sarah Mlynowski and Heather Blake.

My top five favourite books are:
1) My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison 
2) Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
3) Poison by Bridget Zinn
4) Stupid Cupid by Rhonda Stapleton
5) Girls Who Travel by Nicole Trilivas
Honorary mention is Just Your Average Princess by Kristina Springer (because it's hard to pick five)

Besides reading I love watching movies, anything baseball related (go Blue Jays!), yoga and going to the ballet and musicals. I dream of going to Broadway one day. I'm obsessed with anything Disney, from movies to their books to their musicals. My favourite Disney princess is Belle and Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney film. I have watched it no joke about a hundred times. I also am obsessed with Halloween (Christmas too, but we can get to that after the Halloween madness has ended) and try to watch at least 31 Halloween themed films and read as many fantasy or magic related books in the month of October, so it's a great month for me to be joining so I can share my love with the month with all of you.

I'm very excited to be joining here and meeting you all. This will be my first time blogging so please be patient with me as I figure all of this out!! See you guys soon with my first review!

For now- you can find Stefanie's Goodreads here. Be sure to add her to keep tabs on what she's reading.

Welcome Stefanie. I am SO stoked to have you on board.
So, what does having Stefanie on board mean for the future of Just Another Story. It means more consistency in posting and a fresh voice. It's mean one more book lover to share the love of reading.  This is exciting stuff, friends!

I expect you all to give Stefanie lots of love and to check back soon for her first official post.

Thanks and,

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

September Recap

Hi everyone!

Well it's been a minute since I've done a monthly recap- February to be exact- whoops. However, this past month I found I actually read a lot and was able to keep track of every thing. So, here I am sharing my month of SEPTEMBER with you.

Life in September was pretty low key, work continues to be chaotic and busy, however, the overwhelming stress of it has decreased significantly. I went fall camping, which was highly enjoyable, I was able to spend a lot time with friends I don't see very often. This month I met up with a number of local bloggers and with the idea of starting a book club of sorts. Our first meeting consisted of us taking over the YA section of the bookstore and yelling over the shelves- It was a lot of fun. A big highlight of the month for me had to be seeing the touring production of The Book of Mormon.

A photo posted by Sara (@jstanotherstory) on

I love musicals and I have been wanting to see this one for ages. The last time it was in town, it was only here for a couple of days and sold out fairly quickly. This time around I knew I wanted in. It was incredible, if you ever have the chance to see this production- you absolutely must. The dialogue is hysterical and the music is amazing. I am sure this won't be the last time I see it.

Onto the books

Number of books completed
Physical books
Physical Books: 
  • The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski (4 stars)
  • Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes (4.5stars)
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (4 stars)
  • Turbulence by Whitney G (4.5 Stars) 
  • How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo (3 stars)   

Favourite Read of the Month

I don't normally read psychological thrillers. But for some reason I wanted to give them a try. After some "research" I grabbed Elizabeth Haynes' debut and devoured it. This one was SO good- it's a story about a domestic abuse survivor and her battle with OCD. It was a fascinating read, and I may have developed an obsession for psychological thrillers.

Audio Books: 

  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (5 Stars)
  • This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (3.5 Stars) 
  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (3.5 stars)
  • Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey (3 Stars) 

Favourite Listen of the Month 

How have I not read this book before now?!?! What an incredible story. I loved it. I loved Ari and I loved Dante, I want them both as my best friends. I loved their families. This book holds such a special place in my heart. I loved it so much! 

That's it for my Month of September. But please, stay tuned for October, I have an exciting announcement coming up- that you will not want to miss- I promise Please leave a comment below telling me what your favourite read of the month was, and if you're an audiobook listener, what's your favourite audiobook- I am always looking for recs. 

~Happy Reading Everyone!  

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Monday, August 1, 2016

My August 2016 TBR

Hello Lovelies,

I am trying something new for the month of August and I am making a TBR for the month of August, and I am going try my hardest to stick to it. I generally really don't like to make specific TBR lists for myself each month, however, I have been finding that I have been wasting a lot of time choosing what to read next, as opposed to simply reading. So, let's try this and see how goes.

Wish me luck. 

The Books 

  •  The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey - My book club book
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Which is a bit of a cheat, as I just finished this one today.
  • The Winner's Curse- I am dying to finish this series and I borrowed it from the library and it's due back on the 15th, so I need to get er' done. 
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince- I have been listening to the series on Audio and have been getting them from the library. But, now I am eager to get the series finished, so I will either just read the physical book or buy the audio. 

August Release

  • The Beauty of Darkness- hits stores tomorrow (Aug 2nd), and I am eager eager to get my hands on this one.  I am pretty big fan of this series and with the way The Heart of Betrayal ended....

Current Audiobook
  • The Raven King- I started listening to this one yesterday, and am about two hours into it. It's very strange- but I really want to get this series finished. 

But First

Voyager- I need to finish this one. I have been reading this book for week,. it is a beast at 870 pages. I have about 190 pages left to go and, which I must finish by the 3rd, because the book is due back at the library. It's good, I am enjoying it, it's just to bloody long. 

So, there you have it. My August TBR and what I am currently reading at the moment. I hope you enjoyed that. I hope you all have an amazing month and I will speak to you soon.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Best of 2016- So Far

Well friends, I disappeared again. But, just because I have been gone from the blog- doesn't mean I have forgotten it, nor does it mean I have not been reading. I just have been consumed with all things life and being a grown up (so over-rated if you ask me). But, here we are, officially six+ months into 2016 and I have read/listened to 51 books this year, and I have a few favourites I want to share with the my friends on the interwebs.

Counting down from:

5) The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint- Exupery

Can you believe I haven't read this book until now? I can't. I read this pretty early on in the year and I was completely amazed at the story and the message it was trying to share. It was beautifully written, and such a delight to read. If you have not read this book, you absolutely must, it's incredible and it's not very long at all.

4) Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

I read this one the beach- while on vacation in February, and I loved it. What a perfect summer/vacation read. What I really loved about this book, was the friendship- I love a good friendship and that is what this book is all about. I also loved the min-adventure the new friends embark on together. This was just a really fun book to read.

3) Big Little Lies by Liana Moriarty

I have read a number of Moriarty's novels, and she is quickly becoming one of my favourites. Her stories are funny but still have depth and a little suspense. She has a really great talent at making the mundane interesting (if that makes sense). Again, what made me love this novel, was the budding friendships between the three main women, and how fiercely loyal they were to one another. There were so many levels to this book. I am very excited for her newest release Truly, Madly, Guilty- out later this month.

2) All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nevin

This book tore me apart. I honestly have no words. While I am not the one who struggles with mental illness, I have someone close to me who does (a couple of someones actually) and I can honestly say, the behaviour one specific character displayed in the novel was a very authentic portrayal of someone who suffers from bi-polar disorder and mania. This book needed to written and it needs to be read. 

1) The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

This book TOTALLY surprised me. This book was so creative and neat. It was beautifully written. I loved the parallel universes and the small element of time travel. I also loved the discussion on culture and faith and family. The characters were great and so well developed. I really did love this one. It was just--- SO good.


So there you have it. My top five of the year so far. What have been some of your favourites? I want to know, I am always looking for my next great read and have been feeling the urge to expand my horizons so share that love.

~Happy Reading!
"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl