Review: Since You’ve Been Gone By Mary Jennifer Payne

Title: Since You’ve Been Gone

Author: Mary Jennifer Payne

Publisher: Dundurn Group

Date of Publication: January 1, 2015

Source: Netgalley

Rating: ★★★

First, I’d like to thank Dundurn Press for sending me this book though Negalley in exchange for an honest review. It’s greatly appreciated! Going into reading this, I didn’t know much about it, except for the small blurb I read online. Either way, the cover caught my eye while scrolling through Netgalley and I thought I’d give it a go.

For a brief summary without too many spoilers because this is an ARC!: Edie Fraser and her mom, Sydney, have been on the run for years now, from someone they used to love and trust – her father. As a child, Edie was always careful around him because of his erratic mood swings but one day, he snapped. Ever since then, Sydney has gone to all lengths to provide a safe, abuse-free, environment for her daughter but unfortunately, this means moving. A lot. Edie stays in a town or city long enough to make some new friends and get comfortable where she is but, sooner or later her mom tells them they have to leave again. This time, to a whole new country – England.

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How Many Books is ‘Too Many’?

a lot of books

Hello there, everyone. Today on this lovely winter day, (I’m just kidding, I don’t particularly like the cold, especially below freezing weather) I realized how many books on my bookshelf I have yet to read. In 2012, I managed to read 41 of them which, considering there are 52 weeks in a year, was essentially like reading 1.2 books a week. ***snaps and claps*** However, I wished I had read more, especially during the summer, because NOW there are so many more books that I want/need coming out. I really cannot stop myself from buying a book or two (or five) every time I’m at a bookstore, which is at least a couple of times a month. But in my defence, they’re bargain books sometimes so…

Iv’e always wanted to challenge for myself to only read the books I have on my shelf and once those were all read, I could buy more. After thinking for a while I realized there may be some problems with that….

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Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi ★★★★



Wow, this book definitely impressed me a lot towards the end. There was a time there that I got a little bored or uninterested because of all the romance, but the ending was great. I thought we weren’t going to get any more information about the Reestablishment and it was going to turn out as a lovey-dovey, not really dystopian novel, but the end fixed that.

I don’t think you can classify this book as only a dystopian/fantasy book, as there is that big aspect of romance in there, but that was okay for me. I do love romance novels and I didn’t really feel like the relationship between Adam and Juliette was forced, so that’s something. I enjoyed the parts where they talked about the Reestablishment because it’s quite an interesting land to live in. The end where you discover an entirely new part of the world, completely surprised me. I didn’t read any reviews on purpose because I wanted to feel that way.

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Waiting On Wednesday {#1}

HAs I was browsing through GoodReads, YouTube and other blogs, I came across a cool weekly post idea called Waiting on Wednesday. Basically, every Wednesday you post about a new book that you’re waiting very impatiently for. We thought this was a fantastic idea, so we’re hoping to post one up every week!

For our first one, I went with a series that I absolutely love so far called The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Cress, the third book in the series, has a release date for February 4, 2014 which means we’re going to have to wait a little while longer. (noooo!) Cinder and Scarlet, the first two books, are definitely favourites of mine mainly because I loved the fairytale aspect of them that are relatable to the bedtime stories I heard, but have intriguing changes to them.

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Tag #1 – My Bookish Pet Peeves

Lately on YouTube and other book blogs, I’ve been seeing so many people do the Bookish Pet Peeves Tag. Even though there is a large portion of booktubers and book bloggers doing this tag, I still thought I should join in on the fun and do it myself! As I’m writing this, I still don’t know how many I have, but we’ll see how this goes.

Doggy-Eared Pages

2012-08-12 DogEarMessage to All My Friends: PLEASE BY ALL MEANS do not doggy-ear my pages! I don’t know about you, but I hate when I let someone borrow my book and it comes back doggy-eared. It just ruins the whole look of the crisp, clean pages, and it’s not like you can ever take that little dent out. Basically, my books are like my babies and the evil doggy-earers must stay away.. Is this super obsessive compulsive of me? Ha, I hope not.

Series Cover Changes

So I think every post that I’ve read on this tag has this one of their pet peeves, but I’m totally there with everyone else. COVER CHANGES. Ugh! It’s so common now too and it’s so annoying! I just want my books to look nice and pretty on my shelves. Sigh. I try to stay away from these, but sometimes, you have no choice! Look at this!:



Paperback of Shatter Me #1




I mean, REALLY? Why not make the hardcover the same as the paperback version so that the whole series matches? It’s so random! Other ones I’ve heard a lot about is the Across The Universe Series, The White Cat series and the Glow series. There’s so many!

Bargain Book Identification

remainderMark_1I’m sure all of you have purchased a bargain book before from a book retail store. (like Chapters or Don’t get me wrong, I loooovvve bargain books – when I find a hardcover copy bargain book of a novel I wanted to read, I do a happy dance. The only thing that seriously disappoints me is the markings left on the books.

< WHY MUST YOU DO THIS? I mean, I understand a little dot on the pages to identify the on-sale books, but A HUGE LINE? I even bought a bargain book copy of Starcrossed and there’s a huge, blue line across the top. It’s really just sad. I hope I’m not sounding super abnoxious…

When the Spine Breaks

Sometimes, there’s no way to avoid this one! Even with hardcover books, there’s always a way for a spine-malfunction to happen. I don’t know why but I’m so picky about this along with my many other bookish pet peeves. Every time I read a paperback book, I take extra special care and make sure I don’t bend the spine, otherwise it would drive me crazy. I guess the exception would be if you re-read that book over and over again that it just happens. Does this bother you too?



Stickers On the Books


No, I don’t mean the stickers that you can just peel off once you buy the book. I’m referring to the ones that you can’t take off once you buy the book. – the stickers that are printed on the books… I just wanted a nice, clean cover and BAM. There’s a sticker on it. And they seem to always be promoting something as well. ‘Now a major motion picture’ ‘In theatres May 5’ ‘Extra chapter at the end in John’s POV.’ NO, please no. If you couldn’t tell, I’m one of those people who takes her books very seriously… This seems to be happening a lot more lately. I guess authors and publishers just have more to say or advertize now. But still, I would probably go out of my way to find a copy of a book without a sticker.. Would you do that too?

Well, I thought I’d have a lot more pet peeves than those to be completely honest. Keep in mind though, these are only my physical book pet peeves. There are other things that bug me about the actual writing of a book. Like trilogies that should have been stand alone books. Or series that have over 15 books in them. I mean, just end it while it’s still good. Anyway, that’s all for my first bookish pet peeves. I’ll do one soon, but not too soon otherwise I’ll just sound like I hate everything about books haha! So what are your pet peeves? Are they the same as mine?

– C 

‘Speak’ by Laurie Halse Anderson ★★★★★

9817161Title: Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Year of Publication: 1999

Publisher: Square Fish

Length: 214 pages

ISBN: 0312674392

**5 STARS**

Wow, that book was really great. Even though I could not personally relate to this book as I haven’t had the same high school experience as Melinda Sordino has had, her story was still very moving. It will definitely stay with me for a long time.

Melinda is a very strong girl, and though it took her almost a year to speak out about what happened, the point is that she did speak. She was outcast for so long because no one, not even her closest friends or her parents, knew who she really was. She’s extremely misunderstood and frequently ignored or thought as weird/unpopular/not-good-enough, though in the end, things start to get better for her. I think that at the end, she finds herself – the real Melinda who’s been waiting for so long to come into the light again.

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‘Wicked’ by Lisa Campbell ★★★ ½


Title: The Wicked

Author: Lisa Campbell

Series Order: Wicked #1

Year of Publication: 2013

Publishers: Createspace

Length: 299 pages

ISBN: 148203333X

**3.5 STARS!**
Before I start the review, I’d like to thank the author of this book, Lisa Campbell, and the First Reads program on GoodReads for giving me the chance to review this book 🙂

Natalie Johnson is a college student who experienced a traumatic event two years ago in a graveyard with her mother. This event left her terrified and had lasting side-effects on her like nightmares and most recently, hallucinations and sightings. Unfortunately, her mother was not so lucky – she was most affected in the incident and is now in an asylum for her condition. The Wicked explored Nat’s journey in coping with the return of a beloved best friend and her ex-boyfriend who happen to be seeing one another. She must choose between them two to help her deal with these recent discoveries and events happening in her life..

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