A Daughter’s Deadly Deception by Jeremy Grimaldi

Title: A Daughter’s Deadly Deception
Author: Jeremy Grimaldi
My Rating: ♥♥♥

I first heard of this chilling story on my favourite true crime podcast, Casefile (seriously, if you’re into true crime, you have to check it out). I was surprised and excited to hear about this local Toronto-area case on the Australian podcast, and so of course, I had to look it up for more information. Of course, the book has a lot more detail than the 2-and-a-half-hour podcast, so it was great to delve into this case.A Daughters Deadly Deception

Jennifer Pan was the daughter of immigrants from Vietnam who had worked themselves silly trying to give Jennifer and her brother a better chance at life. In primary school, Jennifer was a golden child, with almost perfect grades at school and numerous awards in piano and ice skating. Something started to change in her when she hit grade nine, and that’s where it all started going downhill for her. Suddenly she wasn’t doing so well at school, so she started down a rabbit hole of lies by fudging her report cards. When she failed a subject and her university offer was withdrawn, the web of lies deepened and she started to pretend she was going to school. And all of this so as not to look like a failure in her parents’ eyes. Continue reading

The Appetites of Girls by Pamela Moses Audiobook Review

Title: The Appetites of Girls (Audiobook)
Author: Pamela Moses
My Rating: ♥♥1/2

Francesca, Ruth, Opal and Setsu. These four girls couldn’t really be any more different from each other, yet they are thrown together as suite mates in their first year of university at Brown. The book tells each of their stories from childhood through to the present time, in particular weaving in each of their relationships with their mothers and with food. Continue reading

The Exclusives by Rebecca Thornton

Title: The Exclusives
Author: Rebecca Thornton

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

My partner recently read The Exclusives and recommended it to me. She couldn’t put it down, and I found that I couldn’t either once I got into it!

The Exclusives coverThe book is set in an exclusive girls’ boarding school in London, UK. Josephine and Freya are the best of friends, and after Josephine is named Head Girl in her boarding school house, they head out to celebrate one last time before the heavy responsibilities of the year set in. The author reveals very early in the book that something awful goes down, and it seems to be something that changes all of the girls involved significantly and fundamentally. But the charming thing about this book is that you don’t really find out exactly what happened that night until close to the end. Continue reading

One Hour in Paris by Karyn L. Freedman

Title: One Hour in Paris: a True Story of Rape and Recovery
Author: Karyn L. Freedman

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

One Hour in ParisThis book is one of the 8 that I picked from the Canada Reads 2017 longlist. I didn’t get to finish it before the shortlist came out, and unfortunately it’s not one of the 5 contenders. But I continued reading it anyway.

Freedman was brutally raped as a young student traveling Europe. Of course, the event changed her life in many ways, and she still seems to feel it often even though she has had many years now to work on her recovery. The book starts out with that scene in Paris in 1990, and continues with her experiences of the recovery. The author is a philosopher, and as you might expect, she offers her philosophical views on rape and culture. Continue reading

The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew

Title: The Reason You Walk
Author: Wab Kinew

My Rating: ♥♥♥

The Reason You WalkI read The Reason You Walk to discuss at my monthly bookclub. We choose two books per month, and this month it was this one by Wab Kinew together with The Secret Path by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire (click the link to see my review of that one).

I was busy trying to read as many books as I could from the CBC Canada Reads 2017 Longlist, and so I didn’t get around to starting this one until a couple of days before the bookclub meeting. Luckily, I found it to be a pretty quick read. Continue reading

Nostalgia by M. G. Vassanji

Title: Nostalgia
Author: M. G. Vassanji

My Rating: ♥♥♥

NostalgiaNostalgia was the fifth book I read out of the eight that I have chosen to look at from the CBC Canada Reads 2017 Longlist. It’s interesting sometimes when I look back at the list to see why I picked something. I wrote that I thought it sounded interesting because “It deals with the problems of memory that we might face should we overcome the impediments to immortality.”

Well, the book didn’t really turn out to be about that. The main character, Dr Frank Sina, lives in a world in the future (the specific time was never really defined), where people can choose to abandon their lives and be given a new physical and psychological persona – a process called rejuvenation. It seemed to be something more for the privileged few, and in fact it has cause something of a rift between two distinct sectors of the world population – those who can and those who can’t. Continue reading

Waiting for First Light by Roméo Dallaire

Title: Waiting for First Light
Author: Roméo Dallaire

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Waiting for First LightThis is the fourth book that I have read from the CBC Canada Reads 2017 Longlist, and probably the first one that I can see actually making it into the shortlist. Roméo Dallaire is a retired Canadian Army general, and a former senator. He was in command of a Canadian peacekeeping mission in Rwanda during the genocide in the 90s. This book is about the effect that the horrible, horrible things that happened in Rwanda have had on the rest of his life ever since he came home. Continue reading

Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer

Title: Quantum Night
Author: Robert J. Sawyer

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Quantum NightI picked this book from the Canada Reads 2017 longlist for a couple of reasons. First, I thought I had never read anything by Robert J. Sawyer but I had been meaning to. Well, I found out that I did in fact read something by him, which was the WWW trilogy a few years ago. I remember really enjoying that trilogy, and that’s probably why I had it in my head that I wanted to read more by the same author.

The second reason why I chose this book was for the theme of psychopathy. Well, even though psychopaths and the identification of them was a main theme of the book, this isn’t really the kind of psycho story I would normally go for. Now I know.

But after all, I finished this book with mixed feelings. Continue reading

Knucklehead by Matt Lennox

Title: Knucklehead
Author: Matt Lennox

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

KnuckleheadI’ll admit I was skeptical when I started this book. It’s the second out of my eight picks from the Canada Reads 2017 longlist. The first one I read, Fifteen Dogs, was a bit of a bust in my opinion, and Knucklehead by Matt Lennox didn’t seem to be the kind of book I would normally read.

But once I got into it, Knucklehead started to grow on me. The book tells the story of Ashley Rosco, a small-town meathead kind of guy who works as a bouncer at the local bar and enters body-building competitions in his spare time. He’s in love with his cousin, who also happens to be dating his unsavoury friend Darren. Continue reading

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

Title: The Light Between Oceans
Author: M.L. Stedman

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

The Light Between OceansSPOILER ALERT: I found it impossible to write this review without giving away some aspects of the story that might be spoilers. You’ve been warned.

I first heard of M. L. Stedman’s novel The Light Between Oceans when the movie came out. I was busy at the time and missed the film, but then my book club announced that we’d be reading this book for January, so I decided it was my chance to get to know this story.

Tom Sherbourne has served in World War 1, and, back in Australia, he starts working at various lighthouses. He is posted to Janus Island, a remote rock in the middle of nowhere out in the ocean. It’s while he’s in a nearby town that he meets his future wife, Isabel, a joyful and somewhat naiive country girl.

They have a peaceful and private life on Janus, but their happy marriage is overshadowed by Isabel’s multiple miscarriages. They so want to start a family together, but unfortunately they have 3 miscarriages in a row. Then a mysterious boat with a dead guy and a little baby girl washes up, and their lives take a dramatic change… Continue reading