Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

Each week The Broke and Bookish hosts a Top Ten Tuesday based on a chosen literary topic. This week’s topic is “Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book”! As I began to think about this topic I realised that I have become very picky with what I choose to read, especially regarding books that instantly grab my attention. I just feel like there are too many books I want to read and I may never get a chance to get through them all in one lifetime!

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1. A Great Synopsis – This is kind of a no-brainer but if I pick up a book and the synopsis has already hooked me then I am sure to continue reading. The only time this becomes an issue is if something in the synopsis gets me excited but reviewers indicate that it doesn’t actually occur in the novel, that is always so disappointing!

2. The Author – I definitely have a few favourite authors and if they put something out I will read it. Doesn’t matter what it is, if they are trying out a new genre, or the synopsis is different I will read anything from my select few favourite writers.

3. Recommendations Online – If any of my wonderful goodread friends recommend something to me I can almost guarantee I will read it. I have some very thoughtful followers that have very similar tastes to me and if they give something 5 stars, it makes me want to read it too!

4. Recommendations from my Friends/Family – I have quite a few people in my life that read as much as me and I love getting recommendations from them. In particular, if my fiance’s mum and sister tell me to read something (or even better buy me books for my birthday/holidays) I will read it and most likely enjoy it!

5. Romance Novels where the hero is described as a “sweetheart” – Lately I have been drawn to romance novels (in any genre; YA, NA, Fantasy, Sci-fi etc.) where the hero is a complete and utter sweetheart. I have been getting a little sick of the whole “alpha male” thing in romance novels and if the hero is sweet I will read that in a heartbeat!

6. Canadian Authors – I have been trying to read more Canadian authors and novels set in Canada. Unless the synopsis is really bad I have been picking up more by Canadians.

7. Space Opera Genre – I have been OBSESSED with reading novels in the space opera genre and so far I have not turned away from one! Give me galactic space, fast romance and spicy drama, please!

8. Beautiful Prose – if my Goodreads friends or other reviewers online have indicated that the novel has amazing prose then I am pretty much guaranteed to read it. Even if the genre/synopsis doesnt intrigue me at first, I know the writing will suck me in.

9. Hype – This doesn’t always guarantee that I will read it but generally if I have heard a ton of buzz around a book I will try to read it (unless the synopsis is something I really dislike).

10. The Cover – I put this last on the list because although a great cover will draw me to the book if the synopsis isn’t interesting I may not read it. As silly as it sounds a great cover design is still important to me and can draw me into a book.

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I want to hear your thoughts! What things make you pick up a book? How do you decide what to read next?

View all my other reviews on goodreads!

Book Review -Us (Him #2)

us

TITLE: Us (Him #2)
AUTHOR: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
PAGES:  328 pages
PUBLISHED: March 8th, 2016
PUBLISHER: Rennie Road Books
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Friends to Lovers.

MY RATING: 5/5 birds

Rating - 5 Bird

SUMMARY:

This is the continuation of the Him series. Ryan Wesley is now in the NHL and having an amazing rookie season. Not only is his career taking off but the rest of his life is perfect as well, because he gets to come home to Jamie Canning every night. Having his best friend turned boyfriend at his side he feels unstoppable. The only problem is no one knows just how happy he is because no one in the media or on his team knows he in a relationship or even gay. Jamie wants to be supportive but he hates the secrecy and hiding everything and isn’t sure how long he can take the pressure.

When secrets begin to unravel when Wes’ teammate moves to the same apartment as Wes and Jamie, can they make things work and keep hiding the truth from the world or will their perfect private bubble burst?

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MY REVIEW:

“Love is friendship set on fire.”

Wes and Jamie are my favourite book couple, hands down. I wish their story would never end…or at least there was one more book after this! I just loved this so much. It was very similar to the first novel; well written, hilarious, emotional, and very steamy. The dialogue was amazing as per usual. Here is a sample of some of the lines:

Eh. There’s no way Blake made that connection. He’s probably over there wondering whether he’d be more likely to encounter a seventeen-foot velociraptor on a beach or in the mountains.

I’ve missed the warm-ups and make it to my seat just at the end of the national anthem. I’m quite proficient at “O Canada” these days. Had to learn the lyrics for my juniors team. The coach can’t just stand there and mouth “watermelon watermelon watermelon” like an asshole.

The drama was perfect as well. There was some miscommunication and issues with Jamie’s health but everything was believable and it didn’t ever make me frustrated like lots of melodrama does in NA books. I even got a bit emotional when Wes called Cindy and called her “Mom”. Ugh, that just made me die a little inside with happiness. Also, the romance did take a back seat in this novel compared to the first one, as Wes and Jamie have more problems than ever before but I didn’t mind it. All the steamy scenes were perfectly placed and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.

I also loved all the talk about Canada, being a Canadian myself. I haven’t ever lived in Toronto (I am from the west coast) but I have many friends who do and it was cool reading about Canada in a popular book because usually novels are American focused and even Canadian writers write in American cities.

I especially loved when Jamie was complaining about the cold Toronto winters and wind chill and not wanting to leave his apartment.
I feel ya Jamie.

And when the authors used the term “gong show” I nearly died. I think it is a common word in the states but it originated in the Canadian junior hockey culture. I know it’s such a small thing but this kind of attention to detail makes me really appreciate Bowen and Kennedy.

Seriously, my only complaint is I wish there were more books with Wes and Jamie! I am pretty darn excited to read the spin-off series, starting with Good Boy (WAGs, #1) which stars Jamie’s sister Jess and Blake. I love both of them, especially Blake, so I think it will a great read and I am sure it will include moments with Wes and Jamie so I am really looking forward to that!

Some people were complaining that they wanted (view spoiler) but I am super happy to have a full novel by Bowen and Kennedy because they seriously can do no wrong!

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View all my other reviews on goodreads!

Book Review -Him

him

TITLE: Him
AUTHOR: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
PAGES:  360 pages
PUBLISHED: July 28th 2015
PUBLISHER: Rennie Road Books
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Friends to Lovers.

MY RATING: 5/5 birds

Rating - 5 Bird

SUMMARY:

Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley have been best friends until a friendly competition turned into something more and Wes cut Jamie out of his life.Pushing the boundaries of their friendship was Wes’ goal but afterwards he regrets his actions.

Four years later after no contact, Wes is ready to apologise to Jamie, his very straight friend, who he is now facing off on the ice with their respective college teams. One look at Jamie though and Wes’ resolutions come to a stand still. His feelings have never changed but does Jamie feel the same way?

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MY REVIEW:

“I can’t fucking do this again. I can’t let myself want him or get my hopes up about the two of us. He’s my friend. He’ll always be my friend and nothing more.”

Jamie and Wes make such an adorable couple! I loved them right off the bat. The novel starts with flashbacks to one pivotal night between the two former best friends when they attended hockey camp that changes their friendship. Wes can’t deal with what happens and stops talking to Jamie. Years later, after they both graduate college and are looking towards joining the NHL, they see each other again. A friendship is rekindled but other feelings rise up that aren’t so easy to define…
This was quite the steamy read and I really enjoyed it!! It’s definitely a new favourite.
I can really see Elle Kennedy shine through in this novel with all the witty and funny dialogue and I loved it! For example:

“I’m attracted to women, no doubt about it.
I’m also attracted to men, apparently. Wonderful.
Complicated fellow, my dick.”

Anything to get my Kennedy fix after The Deal series haha. She seriously has a way with words though and makes men sound so realistic and age-appropriate. I don’t know how she does it! It really makes the entire novel though because I really haven’t read many M/M novels but usually they have a serious case of “chicks with dicks”, meaning the male characters all sound like the female author.

The chemistry between Wes and Jamie was off the chart. I was rooting for them from beginning to end. They treated each other so well, with love and respect but could easily banter and they obviously loved spending time together. even when they were younger and just best friends. These are my favourite stories, the friends that become lovers. I think this would be the perfect introduction to someone who was interested in m/m and had never read any before.

I seriously love this book. Even little things like what Cindy (Jamie’s mom) buys Jamie and Wes coffee mugs that say “HIS” & “HIS”:

“Mom!” Jess hollers. “The point of labeled mugs is so that they can tell them apart! You should have done their initials.”
“But then that wouldn’t amuse me,” his mother explains, grinning.

I also thought the discussion between Wes and Jamie regarding porn and what is expected of gay men was very well done. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be, on top of coming out to your friends and family, to even understand how to together with someone since you may not have a lot to reference in your day to day life. I mean porn for men and women is quite awful and unrealistic as well but as least in terms of a relationship you have many examples – generally your parents are m/w, friends, and everything you see on TV. Also sex ed classes when you are a teenager, as least when I was in school, did not discuss being gay all or how any of that worked.

And lastly I just LOVED the ending and I was really glad that the novel didn’t end after [after they finally decided to commit to each other (hide spoiler)]. I really like that the authors showed us their evolving relationship and what’s to come next. I also just love Jamie’s family.

Also, just a side note but did anyone else forget that Wes’ first name was actually Ryan? Haha maybe it was just me but he was referred to as Wes so much that I thought Ryan was his last name!

SO excited to read the next book Us (Him #2)!!

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View all my other reviews on goodreads!

Graphic Novel Review – Skim

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TITLE: Skim
AUTHOR: Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki [illustrator]
PAGES: 140
PUBLISHED: Feburary 28th 2008
PUBLISHER: Groundwood Books
GENRE: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, GLBT, Realistic Fiction, Canada
MY RATING:
Rating - 5 Bird

SUMMARY:

Written by cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki this novel is set in the early 90’s in an all girl’s school in Toronto, Canada. Kimberly Keiko Cameron (aptly named “skim”) is a chubby, goth kid who goes through many emotions that young adults can relate to. When one of her classmates commits suicide and the whole school goes into mourning, Skim is secretly falling in love. Topics revolve around depression, suicide, falling love, heartbreak, sexuality, cliques, and experiences we’ve all had as confused teenagers just finding our footing in the world.

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I LOVE this graphic novel. My cousin bought it for me for Christmas a few years ago (he went to ACAD with Jillian Tamaki, small world). It is something I probably wouldn’t have picked up for myself but I’m so glad he gave it to me, its one of my favorite graphic novels! I love the illustration style and story line. Skim is very relate-able, it reminded me of my own self-discoveries in high school when I was trying to figure out who I was and what I loved. The plot wasn’t too crazy, there was suicide and a teacher-student relationship, but overall it was just step-by-step life, which stayed true to how I perceived high school.

And then the art is just beautiful. It has clean, strong lines and great use of white space. Jillian conveys emotion with the simple movement, it is subtle but very effective.

Overall I really enjoyed this and I am excited to see what else the cousins can come out with! I am looking forward to read their 2012 graphic novel (You) Set Me On Fire.