New Years Message From Novel Pathways

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As we end another year we must reflect on what the past has brought us. Good, bad and books. You must take what has happened and hold it dear. Let it shape you and from you in to an even better and bigger human being.

Life is full of trials and love and hope and loss. That is life and I wouldn’t take it any other way. With the bad you always get the good and vice versa. It’s all how you handle that.

One of the ways I handle things is by reading. I find I can escape to whatever world I am reading about and be there for a while. Come back out and face the world with a new perspective.

This is what is great about a New Year. You can start fresh, have faith that this will be the year that brings nothing but health and happiness and love and lots of amazing books. I always believe everything happens for a reason and remember with the bad always comes the good.

So on that note, have a happy and wonderful new year. May it be all that you deserve. May you read many good books and find the one that is your favourite. May you share those with me so I can also read the ones you love and we can share in that 🙂

Happy New Year, Happy 2016.

#TBT Review: Matched by Ally Condie

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Category: Teen

Published: 2010

Read: 2014

Score: 3.5/5

Synopsis: Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Review: So this is your typical teen dystopian, romance story that you will find in this section. You have the teen, the world that is ruled by people and you are told where to go and what to do with your life, you also have the brain washed family and friends.

You have the main character Cassia who is a girl who lives in this world and is going to do what she needs to do. Get matched, get married, home and work and kids ect. The system that shows them who they are “matched” to shows her a different face for three seconds. The (what you would consider) bad boy in this world. Oh how things change for her after that…whom should she pick?!  matched_series

This story is okay. It’s the first of a trilogy and who doesn’t love those? I must say the second book is by far the best in the whole series. I found that the story built it self up and just fell away from it all in the third book. I did not like the ending and thought it could have been much better.

Cassia is a good character I didn’t mind her as a heroine as she came in to her own and learned her place. She was strong and fought back which is what I like to see in my female leads. There was the love story line, it went the way these always go.

I just found it so typical I wasn’t a huge fan. It’s not one I usually recommend at work. It’s good for the younger teen girls that are just starting on to the teen series. There is no sex or heavy romance or violence. In that aspect it is tame and an easy read for that age group. matched_society

I would be curious to see this made in to a movie. I bet they could run with the storyline and actually make it better than the book (dare I say?).

Review: Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley

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Category: Teen

Published: 2015

Read: 2015

Score: 4.5/5

Synopsis: Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go.

Review: This is a beautiful and amazing book. I was lucky enough to get sent an Advanced Reading Copy by Harper Collins and they once again have not disappointed me.

2015-08-29-20-59-15_deco It is a story based on some fact and of course fiction. You have the four Bronte siblings, whom were real people. Whom did live in a parsonage with their father, their mother having passed away when they were all very young. They did have a upbringing that was “unusual” for the time. They were schooled, and encouraged to pursue their talents of both writing and art. All the while the women had to set their fates to being a governess.

It’s a time when women didn’t write a lot of stories and if they did they were always published under another name.

When they were growing up they did in fact write stories together. Lena takes these stories and turns it around by having the siblings being able to cross over to these worlds. They are everything they want; adventure, romance, parties, wealth ect. They can escape and go there any time they want and be who they want and write the stories how they want.

Then it happens, they start to be haunted by their own characters (gasp) and by their dead older sisters (whom were real people as well). That is terrifying in itself but it’s always more scary when it’s a haunting during historical periods, or so I think anyway. tumblr_nybs2qWwkN1sorkp9o1_1280

They pay a price to cross over, but to whom and how do they stop. The conclusion is amazing and this whole story is a great twist on classics. It’s an easy read over and the all the siblings at one point get to talk which is amazing. You get to see things from all of their points of view which I find really helped move the story along.

The reason I took half a point away is because I did feel like it could have had more description in the scenes. What they were wearing, how things looked. Lena told you but a little bit more to help the reader would have been great.

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I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the Bronte stories (I sure am!!!). It’s a beautiful historical fiction book and a nice change for the teen section. A gem for sure 🙂

I also must comment on the cover. It’s such a beautiful cover!! Well done!!

A Christmas Message from Novel Pathways

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Hello everyone, it’s the night before Christmas (or Christmas already) and people are settling in for the night getting ready for that morning rush of presents and energy and breakfast.

It’s a magical time, either you are living in a cold place, a place where we should have snow, or a place with summer all year-long. You get to visit with family and friends, or if you don’t you can spend a day not working hopefully relaxing.

This is the first year that I have been doing the blog over the holiday season and wanted to send out a very special Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you out there, my readers, friends and fellow book lovers.

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I hope you get some great books for Christmas. Let me know which ones. At this point in my life, I do not receive books as gifts anymore. I have to many, they would just be doubles.

To me Christmas is watching the love and magic in my sons eyes, and spending the day with my loved ones.

6924429-merry-christmasSo from my family to yours, have the best day ever and may it be all that you deserve.

May you be warm and know love 🙂

Merry Christmas or Merry what ever you celebrate, as long as your happy and healthy!

Review: The Greatest Gift by Phillip Van Doren Stern

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Published: 1943 (Sort of, read on)

Read: 2015

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: For almost seventy years, people the world over have fallen in love with Frank Capra’s classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life. But few of those fans know that Capra’s film was based on a short story by author Philip Van Doren Stern, which came to Stern in a dream one night.

George Baily is about to commit suicide after someone looses money from his company. While he’s in this act of attempting suicide, a angel comes down and makes his wish that he was never alive come true. George learns what it’s like if he was never alive and realizes how rich he was to begin with.

Review: This is a very short book. I read it in about 15 mins. It also helps that I already knew the story and have seen the movie many times.

The great thing about this story is it was never picked up a publisher at first. They didn’t like it and Phillip got turned down a number of times. So he decided to publish the story in a pamphlet and send it out in Christmas cards. One of these 200 cards he made, found its way in to the hands of Frank Cappa and Jimmy Stewart. They loved it so much they made a movie. I LOVE stories like this.

It’s a classic movie and a beloved Christmas classic. The book is basically the same story just not with the extra stuff you get in the movie. It’s the basic man, angel and redemption story.

A great book to end my Christmas reading with. So happy I have it now for my library and suggest you all read it if you want something festive, loving, and easy!

Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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Category: Adult Fiction/Classics

Published: December 1843

Read: 2015

Score: 5/5

Synopsis: At home that night, Scrooge is visited by Marley’s ghost, who is forever cursed to wander the earth dragging a network of heavy chains, forged during a lifetime of greed and selfishness.

Marley tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three spirits, one on each successive evening and that he must listen to them or be cursed to carry chains of his own that are much longer than Marley’s chains.  17796d7c-3ab7-4036-ad59-e19b7e369c52

Review: I am surprised this is the first time I have ever read this book. I am a fan of Charles Dickens and love his work but for some reason have put this one-off until now. It’s a great quick read and a perfect one for the Christmas season. If you are going to read a Dickens’ book this should be the one.

Everyone knows the story, it has been told in many versions. The Muppet Christmas Carol being one of my all time favourites. You get the three ghosts, the redemption and of course tiny Tim. 0603af66-f40a-4828-9d5c-f6df4d4d4770

It is such a feel good message of hope and renewal and love and the Christmas spirit. You can change no matter what age you are, and be that better person. Make amends with what wrongs you have caused in your love and spread nothing but joy!

There were some times that it was hard to read the words for it was in older English but I have read books that have been harder to read in this sense than that. Either way I think both teens and adults should read this book and take its message!

So as Tiny Tim says at the end of the book, “God Bless Us Everyone!”

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#TBT Atonement by Ian McEwan

51X6WE81VKL (1)Category: Adult Fiction

Published: 2001

Read: 2009(ish)

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: On a summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives and her precocious imagination bring about a crime that will change all their lives, a crime whose repercussions” Atonement” follows through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century.

Review: This is a beautiful and well written book. It is the only one I have read by Ian but I loved every min of it. The only reason I remember picking up this book in the first place is because a movie was coming out and the books are usually better than the movie so I wanted to read it first and I am glad I did.

It follow’s Birony as she sets about changing the lives of people around her without knowing she is doing it and not realizing till years later the trouble she has caused. You read about the child’s innocence and then realization all in one book. It’s hard because you know what she is doing is wrong but you also have to read and wait till she figures that out for herself. She is a powerful character and one you go from hating to loving to feeling sorry for all in one book.

The descriptions are rich and full of life, even the hard parts that take place during WW2. Ian is a beautiful writer and deserves to be recognized for that. I have yet to read any of his other books but I am sure they are just as rich.

My only issue I had with this book is the fact that there were parts that were a little confusing. Once you realized what was going on it was quite a few chapters after the fact of Ian explaining it.

This is a great book for any history buff and it also has that little bit of love story involved for the women (and men) readers. Even the movie is beautiful in its own way and I recommend also watching that if you get a chance, but read the book first.

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