Those Girls by Chevy Stevens

Hard choices lead to bad decisions lead to terrible circumstances and to no choice to weird life changing decisions. That’s the story behind Those Girls by Chevy Stevens.  When three sisters are forced to defend themselves against their abusive, alcoholic father, they end up hitting the road, running towards a future they can’t predict. All they want to do is get away. Forever. The journey will test the bonds of sisterhood like nothing they’ve experienced before. Some of these tests will come from feeling like they have no choice. Some of them come from a life that has led them to believe they can survive anything. Some come from terrible judgement calls. Some come from the fact that they are teenagers.

It’s always kind of neat to read a book that takes place somewhere you know. Set in rural British Columbia, the novel takes takes us through country where I have spent a bunch of time. The town names are familiar. The roads are familiar. I know the drive they took. I don’t know everywhere, but enough that I didn’t have to spend any time figuring out the setting. I knew it right away. Unfortunately, that opened up room for me to be extra annoyed by the dialogue tags. I am not a fan of he said, she said, said, said, said. Parts of this book felt like said was used a dozen times on a single page. No other tags were chosen. It made parts of this very dark book feel juvenile. It pulled me out of the action. Although, maybe it did kind of work because the narrators are juvenile. Continue reading


My Bad

I have been terrible lately. I have not looked at the blog in like a month. Vacations and summer and all of this life happening stuff and suddenly it’s a third of the way into July. I’ve actually completed quite a number of books, decent ones too, but nothing that’s really screamed ‘write a review about me’. I’m hoping to get at least one done over the weekend.

So until then, here are some songs. The only criteria I used to make this list: Canadian/ I haven’t posted anything by them before.

Or at least that was the criteria when I set out. It turned into a weird list of songs that have weird associations to growing up and my youthful years.

Headstones – When Something Stands for Nothing

I heard somewhere once that your fundamental musical preferences are cemented when you’re around 14. Now, I may have heard this on an episode of Criminal Minds, so the factuality is sketchy, but it feels kinda legit. Not that tastes won’t evolve, but that that style and those songs will continue to appeal to you as you age. This songs falls right in that range for me. And I’ve always kind of had a thing for Hugh Dillon (with or without hair).


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Music Music Music

Summer playlists. I listen to audiobooks in the car most of the year, but in the summer, it’s all about the music for motoring around the city. Fun music that makes me sing along and bounce around and drive in a way that’s inevitably going to result in a speeding ticket.

Woman Woman by AWOLNATION

My favourite song on the new album.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Sand Between the Pages

This week’s topic is right on time. I’m heading off to a sunny, beachyish vacation in about two weeks. I’ve been trying to decide what to bring with me to read. I have a bunch of physical books I’ve purchased and want to read, but those books have made many of my previous lists.

I’ve been terrible at reading this year. I’m relying a lot on my audiobooks. Travelling means diving into my ereader- cause it’s lighter to carry. So this list is comprised of audiobooks from hoopla (if your library allows you access to this service, it’s amazing. check it out) and digital words hiding out on my Kobo waiting for some loving.

I know a lot people select the light and fluffy for their beach reading. And that makes sense. But those are just not my kind of book. So while these are fun and sun books, they’re lighter than some of my usual selections.


The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Page

I avoided Dorothy Must Die for a long time. I was so over this fairy tale retelling schtick. Then I needed a book and that one was there for the listening. And surprisingly, really enjoyable. The follow up will probably make great plane listening. Continue reading


The Hate List by Jennifer Brown (@JenBrownBooks)

Perspective is everything. Everything. As readers, and you know – humans, we have soft spots, blind spots really, based on our perspective. We view people and events through the lens of our experience. The longer you know someone, the more likely you are to see the good in them, even if they’ve done something terrible. We’ve all said things we don’t mean but had people take us seriously because of their perspective. We’ve said things that have hurt someone without our knowledge. Or have said things to hurt someone just to make ourselves feel better. When we read a book, we tend to gravitate towards the characters who demonstrate traits we recognize. How any given person interprets a situation is dramatically different depending on where they were before the event happened. That is the entire point behind The Hate List by Jennifer Brown.

In the wake of a school shooting that left many students dead or injured, we follow the story of Val, girlfriend of the shooter. Told in parallel stories of the events leading up to the shooting and after Val returns to school months later, the reader gets to see if trauma has really changed the way people behave. This is a slow, plodding story. It is not full  of action and suspense. It will not have you at the edge of your seat. And that’s good. The action so often hides the reality. You can wash over what brought these actions about and how people really change, or don’t, after a catastrophe. On its face, this is the story of a school shooting. But scratch a little deeper and it’s about human nature. Continue reading