Page – to – Screen Saturday

“They were never scared of the kids who might die, or the empty spaces they would leave behind. They were afraid of us-the ones who lived.”

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Alexandra Bracken’s dystopian novel “The Darkest Minds” was first published in 2012, at a time when the young adult craze was hitting its peak in written form. To be honest I placed this book on hold at the library numerous times before finally reading it this week. I cannot believe I waited so long!! I am a huge fan of dystopian stories and this can easily be compared to the brilliance of “The Hunger Games”.

Bracken creates a world which is dark and terrifying and her descriptions make it come to life. The story is told in the first person,  by Ruby, a young girl growing up in what appears to be a normal life. But, in one instant everything changes, an unknown virus spreads across the United States, causing children to die, and those who survive are not the same as they once were. The survivors develop powers (later known as Psi) that have never been seen before. As the country tries to understand what is going on, fear and panic rule decisions, and the government takes the extreme action of moving all kids to “camps”, where they can be monitored and tested.

“It wasn’t until that night, as I lay awake in my bunk, that I realized I would only ever have one chance to run-and I hadn’t taken it.”

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I found the depiction of this world frightening as it is reminiscent of our own histories and also a reality that is not so far off. When this novel was written the idea of walls around the United States would have been a joke, but now…

Ruby is 10 years old when she is transferred to Thurmond, a camp where the kids are separated based on their abilities. Each ability is identified by a colour: green, blue, yellow, orange, and red. Yellow, orange and red are seen as the most dangerous, and are quickly separated, and taken away from the other kids. At Thurmond the biggest lie is the Government is working on a possible rehabilitation program, one that has been sold to the rest of the country, so they do not have to face the horror that they willingly let their kids be imprisoned.

“Dear Dad,

When you sent me to school that morning, I thought you loved me. But now I see you for what you are. You called me a monster and a freak. But you’re the one who raised me.”

 At age 15, Ruby has found a way to survive at Thurmond, but things can never remain status quo, and soon a new threat is unleashed to help identify any kids who were classified into the wrong colour group, and this could spell disaster for Ruby.

The characters in this novel are well developed and you will experience their emotions as they try to survive in this new world. Ruby is supported by four other man characters: Chubs, Liam, Zuzume, and Clancy. I found them relatable and endearing. I mean what is not to like about a character named Chubs who is a skinny, African American, geek. Liam is the male support to Ruby and provides a look into the struggles of her powers in every aspect of life. Zuzume is a young girl with a power stronger than most, and she saves the group more than a few times. And finally Clancy, Clancy is an antagonist and I found my feelings ebbed and flowed quickly in relation to him.

“I’m a monster, you know. I’m one of the dangerous ones.” “No you aren’t you’re one of us.”

One of the things I like most about any good book is when every detail has a purpose, nothing is thrown in for fun, with no meaning, and Alexandra Bracken does that masterfully in this novel. From her use of colours, to the mention of a particular story, to the numbers used, nothing is by chance and it all provides amazing foreshadowing and suspense that had me buying the next book right after finishing this. This series is a trilogy and a separate book of novellas from the same world.

“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a thousand Enemies, I thought, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning.

Be cunning and full of tricks, and your people shall never be destroyed.”

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 This book is being developed into a full feature length film, slated for release on August 3, 2018 by 20th Century Fox. The previews look promising and my hope is the film can do justice to the amazing world building and character development, done in the novel. Take a look here for the preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN8o_E_f9FQ

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Real Time Book Review June 2018

If you missed my explanation of a real time book review here is the gist: Each month I will choose a book to review in real time with my readers, you are welcome to join me, comment, read, email or whatever else you can think of.

The timing of this choice worked perfectly with a new thriller novel from one of my favorite authors… Ruth Ware. The book I have chosen is The Death of Mrs. Westaway, which was published on May 29, 2018.

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A Review by popular thriller writer, AJ Finn (The Woman in the Window) said “The Death of Mrs. Westaway is Ruth Ware’s best: a dark dramatic thriller, part murder mystery, part family drama, altogether riveting.”

Ruth Ware previously released books: A Dark, Dark Wood, The Lying Game, and The Woman in Cabin 10. She is a brilliant suspense writer, who pays particular attention to developing the environment of her novels. This allows you to transport into the dark and mysterious setting, and truly feel the shivers down your spine and hairs raising on the back of your neck as you wonder “what is next?”

In the fall of 2017 I was lucky enough to attend “An Evening with Ruth Ware” presented by Wordfest in Calgary, Alberta. She read from her book The Woman in Cabin 10, and took the time to answer questions and sign books after. This was one of my first big book events and Ruth was amazing in person. I remember her saying a microphone made her feel powerful, a lady in the audience asked: “what else makes you feel powerful?” Ruth answered “my pen”. I think this gives so much insight into her writing and also the strength her characters hold in each novel.

I hope you join me for this exciting new read… I will post my reviews below with the chapters in bold so you can avoid spoilers.

CHAPTER 1-10

THIS BOOK IS WHY I LOVE RUTH WARE!!!! She is able to paint such a vivid picture of the setting in her novels, it allows you to feel totally immersed in the world. “The girl leaned, rather than walked, into the wind…” It’s such a simple description, yet brings the feeling to life.

I find the style of this novel a little darker, than her usual, but it is reminiscent of the old school murder mysteries a la Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express anyone? This starts out with a past “event” or recollection, we are not told whose memory it is. This builds the suspense quickly as you try to figure out how the characters come together and what actually happened to Mrs. Westaway.

The main character is Hal, a down on her luck girl, trying to make a living as a fortune teller. We learn that she is very good at “cold reading” her clients which makes her successful as a “psychic”, we also learn that she is young and alone in the world as her mother died a few years earlier. Hal is someone you immediately want to succeed, she has not had an easy life and she has taken help from the wrong people.

Hal’s fortune suddenly changes when she receives an invitation to the funeral of Mrs. Westaway, advising she is a beneficiary to the estate. this leads us to the biggest suspense of the novel, who is Hal to Mrs. Westaway? why was she added to the will? Is this to good to be true? or will she finally catch a break?

….. tune back to read more later

Is anyone else reading this? What do you think? Do you find Hal to be a likable protagonist? What do you think about the trow back (murder mystery) writing style Ruth Ware uses?20180601_153242[1]

Welcome… We Are Live

Welcome fellow bloggers, readers, friends, family, and whoever else has stumbled across this page of passion and love. Let’s get started!

My name is Jennifer and I am 36 year old Canadian girl. I live with my amazing husband (who supports my crazy book obsession), two Chihuahuas, and three cats, as you can imagine my house is a zoo, but one I laugh in everyday, and go to sleep thankful for every night. I work a regular blue collar, Monday to Friday job, which takes more out of me then I care to admit.

At work I deal with some of the worst situations, people, and stories, so in the last few years I have had to find a way to escape, and for me that was reigniting my love of reading. I have always loved to read, but in the last three years I have made it more than an occasional hobby, I have turned it into my passion, it is where I can turn to see epic romances, spine tingling thrillers, or fantastical lands that truly bring you to another world.

This year I began reviewing books on Goodreads (you can find my handle under FAQ, on the home page), which led to authors approaching me to review their work, and opened my eyes to a whole new realm of book love. I am so grateful to spend much of my spare time discovering new authors or reading books that have not hit the market yet. That has led me here, I want to share all these amazing discoveries with people who share the same love of books as I do. I hope this blog will allow you to expand your reading universe and introduce you to genres, authors, and bookish goods you have never experienced.

Shortly I will be posting my first “real time”, book club, review. What does this mean? Each month I will choose a book, which you are welcome to read with me, I will then run a continually updating blog review of the chosen book. You can comment on the blog or email me any thoughts, observations, struggles you experience with the book. I hope this will allow my blog to be more interactive and include you in the process. You can check out my first blog post to see how often I will review outside of the book club and in what format.

Lastly, I want to share my bookroom (picture above), this is a personal space to me, but also includes some of the things I hold dearest to my heart. This is where I will be choosing books to read and review and where I will be writing this blog.

I cannot wait to get to know you all, so please feel free to comment below with where you are from, what you favorite genre is, and what your current favorite read is. See you all soon in bloggerspace.

“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book” ~J.K. Rowling

The Beginning of an Amazing Journey

Welcome to my blog, if you have found this before I go live you can expect first reviews and regular posts to commence June 1, 2018. I am not a writer but I am a passionate bibliophile who spends my spare time reading and planning what to read next. I want to spread my enthusiasm for the written word to people of all ages and encourage a resurgence of reading as an important pastime despite the competition of new technology.

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When developing this site I tried to pull things I love from various websites, book reviews, blogs, and social media pages to create something I hope will help you satisfy your lust for novels of all genres, or spark a new love you never imagined.

I have created a format which I hope will be enjoyable and keep you wanting more, so without further ado below is what you can expect from me in the coming days, weeks, months and years.

I will post three weekly reviews under the following format: Maas Mondays, Thriller Tuesdays, Romance Wednesdays, True Crime Thursdays, Fiction Fridays, Page to Screen Saturdays, and Series Sundays. Non Fiction books will be reviewed bi-monthly and special books will be chosen to celebrate upcoming holidays.

Reviews will consist of a comprehensive overview of each novel including plot, characters, writing style, and a rating assigned out of 5 stars. I will only post reviews for books receiving 3 stars or higher, ratings for books receiving a less favorable score will be shown in a list but no review will be provided.

Pictures and reviews will be completely original, and my thoughts and opinions only, I will advise my subscribers when I am reviewing an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) and these will be the only books I provide a review for no matter the rating I assign.

Authors interested in contacting me to provide reviews of their material can contact me via email at acourtofpagesandwords@gmail.com. I will respond within two business days to all requests, and will leave reviews within four weeks of receiving a copy of the book. I will accept both digital and printed copies, but prefer printed copies if you would like an original picture to accompany the review. All reviews will be cross posted to my Goodreads, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Indigo accounts (links to be posted on June 1, 2018).

Readers and fellow bloggers are always welcome to contact me with suggestions, praise or simply to discuss our love of books.

Once per month I will do a wrap up of my monthly reads including my top five of the month. I will also choose a book of the month on the 1st of each month. This read will serve as an online book club which subscribers are welcome to read along and post comments on a continually updated review.

All reviews are likely to contain spoilers and I hope you heed this caution so as not to ruin any novels you want to read. I will mention any sensitive subject or possible “triggers” within books to help you find novels that fit your unique wants and needs.

I will take reader suggestions for upcoming reads via email only and will credit any suggestions during my review.

Giveaways will occur at specific milestones and are likely to include books which have been reviewed on the blog.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I cannot wait to start this journey together. Let’s get reading

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

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