Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Wife Upstairs – Rachel Hawkins


The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins is a retelling of Jane Eyre. I did not enjoy Jane Eyre at all, I don’t think those types of books are for me. This book however, was okay if you don’t know anything about Jane Eyre. It is the exact same story except a more modern version. Even the characters names are the same.

The story follows Jane, a dog walker new to Birmingham, Alabama, a rich neighborhood where its residents don’t realize if she takes a few trinkets from her employers. She meets wealthy and widowed Eddie Rochester whose wife Bea drowned in a boating accident with her best friend. Jane looks at Eddie as a new opportunity but as they fall for each other, Jane is constantly haunted by the memory of Bea since in town knew her. Will she ever be able to measure up to Eddie’s wife or will her past…or Eddie’s catch up to them?

I read this book in February 2021 in my book club and didn’t find it very exciting even though many people LOVED it on bookstagram and in my book club. I found it to be a fast read but predictable. I hope if you read it, you enjoyed it more than I did!

Do you enjoy retellings? If so, which is your favourite?

Stolen Sisters: An Inquiry In Feminicide in Canada – Emmanuelle Walter

I’m sorry to re-start my book reviews with such a low rated (in my opinion) book. I first want to say that this book was translated from the French “Les Soeurs Volées.” I think the fact that this book was translated into English perhaps plays a factor as to why I didn’t enjoy it very much. It also read like an essay and not like a actual novel which was a bit repetitive and all over the place.

The book follows journalist Emmanuelle Walters who spent two years investigating the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the disappearance of Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander. These teenagers from Quebec have been missing since September 2008. Through interviews, personal anecdotes, news clippings and official documents, she tells the story of the girls’ disappearance and the loss of two young lives within the community.

One thing that this book did do is open my eyes to the fact that the Canadian government has completely failed the Indigenous people. They have no done enough to ensure that they have a good quality of life nor do they seem to care if these women go missing or are murdered. They need to do more to help out the communities. Here in Quebec, we are not taught about these things in school, or we weren’t when I was in school, I’m not sure what it’s like now, but kids should be taught the history of this country with both its good parts AND bad. People need to be made aware of what’s going on. This was my first time reading about this subject and since then I have only read one more book about it. This was my book club’s pick for January 2021 so it’s been awhile since I have read it. I have often thought about re-reading it in French to see if I would enjoy it better. I’ll keep you guys posted if I do. If you have any reads to suggest on the subject of missing and murder indigenous women, please write them in the comments.

The Silkworm – Robert Galbraith


This book is the second in the Cormoran Strike detective series. The stories are not interlaced but the events of the first novel are mentioned in them. I guess you wouldn’t have to read them in order but I have so far and probably will continue them in order.

In this second case, author Owen Quine goes missing and his wife calls Strike to find him, even though she believes he has just disappeared for a few days which is a common occurrence with him. As he investigates further, it turns out that Quine has written a book that would literally ruin everyone he knows if it were published and those people would perhaps want him silenced because of the manuscript. Strike discovers him to have been brutally murdered and must understand the killer’s motive in order to find out who he or she is.

This book, like the first in the series, kept me hooked from beginning to end. It’s nice to find a book series that keeps the same enjoyable pace in at least the first two books. So, if you choose to read it, enjoy!

The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith


SO for those of you that don’t know this, Robert Galbraith is a pen name for J.K. Rowling. There has been a lot of hate towards her because of things she has said online that were not acceptable. I did not buy this book (or others in the series) after she made her transphobic comments online, nor do I support the things she said, but I did surprisingly enjoy this book and the one after it which will come in a later review. I’m not sure why I felt the need to write that, I could have just gotten straight into the book review but I felt that was important to say so if you don’t like it then you can stop reading my page.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is the first novel in the Cormoran Strike series. Cormoran Strike is a private investigator barely getting by after he lost his leg in Afghanistan. Cue the entry on one John Bristow who’s sister is the famous Lula Landry. She fell to her death from a balcony, which the police ruled as a suicide but her brother does not believe that in the slightest so John hires Strike to find out what really happened.

After falling love with Harry Potter as a child and rereading it several times, I was skeptical about reading this series because the “adult” novel J.K. Rowling released under her own name did not receive good reviews at all. I don’t even remember the book’s name. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised when reading this. I recommend it if you like a good whodunit book with comic relief from Strike’s wonderful character.

The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson


So, this book came onto my radar because of the Netflix show. I am a huge fan of all scary stuff and I DEVOURED the show. I guess I didn’t pay attention to the part of the credits where it said it was based on a book. I’m kind of crazy with things like this and prefer to watch the show/movie AFTER reading the book/books but clearly I messed up for this. I also now realize that I did this with the show YOU but I have heard that the books aren’t very good. I will probably still read them because I am addicted to reading. Plus, I like to see the similarities and differences between both the book and the show. Do not even get me started about Game of Thrones. I will do a complete blog post about that one day when my anger simmers down. I am still salty about the TV show.

The Haunting of Hill House book and TV show are very different, so if you’re coming into the book after watching the show, you’ll be in for a bit of a surprise. The show is about a family that moves into Hill House which does not happen in the book, even though some of the characters are the same.

Dr. Montague is an occult specialist looking for evidence of a haunting at Hill house. He decides to recruit people to spend time with him, including Theodora, Eleanor, who has communicated with spirits and Luke who is the heir of Hill House. The book is not, in my opinion, scary, but more spooky. I enjoyed it because of the way the characters interact and the personality of the house. I find the basic storyline of a haunted house can be sometimes boring because it can be the same story over and over again whereas Hill House has a personality in both the book and the show (because of the inhabitants) and I guess that is part of the book’s charm.

I also enjoy the character development between everyone involved. In the show, Eleanor and Theodora are sisters and in the book, they develop a friendship that brings them close until it unravels thanks to Hill House. I won’t give to much away about that because then there’s no point in reading the book yourself. The house literally confuses everyone in it and while Eleanor is the main character in all of this, she is the most affected by the house and all its bizarre elements. It really does a number on your psyche because of the feeling reading this book gives you, it’s spooky and a perfect fall read to get you in the mood for Halloween! I definitely suggest you read it and give yourself a little scare!

The People Code & The Character Code Book Review

The People Code & The Character Code by Taylor Hartman Ph.D.


As an author, psychologist, and leadership coach, Dr. Taylor Hartman offers an incisive system for improving your understanding of yourself and others and strengthening your day-to-day relationships. In first The People Code and then The Character Code, Dr. Hartman introduces the Color Code Personality Profile, explaining why people do what they do by identifying four basic personality types and showing you how to use “color profiles” to cultivate rich and balanced character and relationships.

All people, reveals Dr. Hartman, possess one of four driving “core motives,” classified by color: Red (“power wielders”), Blue (“do-gooders”), White (“peacekeepers”), and Yellow (“fun lovers”). Once you understand your color code—and the color codes of others—you can analyze your own innate personality and use that knowledge to balance your relationships, both personal and professional.

The essence of character is the ability to enhance not only your own life, but the lives of others as well. Together, The People Code and The Character Code provide a universal message, simple and profound: life is about relationships.

This book was given to me as a gift and a year or two later, I finally read it. I won’t lie, it took me a long time to read this book because there was a lot of information in here. At first I felt like I was reading a textbook but as I read on I learned more about myself and the people around me. The book explains personalities in four different colours which I won’t explain here, I’ll let you read to find out more. It’s the first time I read something where I was bored at the beginning and super interested afterwards.

This book taught me a lot about my personality and my limitations as well as the people around me. First you take a quiz to find out what colour you are and then you read all about yourself and your relationships and limitations. I found it to be quite interesting and it gave me a lot to think about. If this sounds like something interesting to you, I recommend giving it a read. I wasn’t convinced at first but after finishing it, I was glad I read it.

The Henna Artist – Book Review

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi


Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.

Genre: Historical Fiction

This book is a historical fiction novel which I don’t normal read. This was the third book we read in my book club. The thing about book club is that we can go out of our comfort zone and read things you wouldn’t normally read. This book was beautifully written, the author did a wonderful job. The book took me to a place I’ve never been to, Jaipur, and it felt like I was there. The story was interesting and all the characters were well developed but I found the main character Lakshmi really annoying. I think it was because she cared so much about what her wealthy clients thought of her instead of taking care of her family. Thankfully the story evolved and eventually I was able to tolerate her and be happy about the choices that she was making.

I rated this book three stars because while it was good I didn’t find the story very captivating. During our book club meeting about the book, I found out that this is the first book in a series. The other books aren’t out yet but it makes much more sense now and this new fact made me appreciate the book even more. I do recommend it though and I cannot wait to read the second book!

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Book Review

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling


Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

So, I loved this book. It is the first comedy book I have ever read and I can’t wait to read the rest of Mindy’s novels. When reading this book, I felt like I was her friend sitting in a room just listening to her talk. If I were ever to write a book, I imagine that it would feel like that, as if I’m talking with a friend.

If you have ever seen “The Mindy Project” or “The Office,” you already know that Mindy is hilarious. She talks about her life and all of her experiences and constantly keeps you laughing. It was a great pick me up during this drab year of the pandemic and it made me wonder how come I had never read a comedy book before. I definitely 100% recommend you read this book for a laugh, you won’t be disappointed.

Slaughterhouse-Five – Book Review

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden. Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most.

So, I have a few friends that have ranted and raved about Kurt Vonnegut and how great of a writer he was. This was my first Vonnegut novel and I’m still unsure if I will read another one of his books or not. He is known for his satirical novels and great imagination. This book is an anti-war book mixed with science fiction.

Slaughterhouse-Five tells the story of Billy Pilgrim, during his time as an American soldier and his life post war. He also travels through time and space. Vonnegut himself went through the war, so the part where Billy is a soldier is based on his own experiences, so at least that was interesting to read about. I have to say, that mostly I do not enjoy satire. I hated reading those types of books in school, but here I was reading this book.

I have to say I did enjoy the book, mainly the science fiction parts where he time travels off planet to Tralfamadore. The rest of the book is good too but it took me a little while to be able to follow and not have a headache from the way the writing jumps from place to place and time to time. Once I got used to it, I found it more enjoyable. Even talking about it now, I may, in the future read another Vonnegut. I cannot base everything on just one novel, and one experience. If you love satire and science fiction, maybe this will be a book for you!

The Sound of Gravel – Book Review

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner


The thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children, Ruth Wariner grew up in a polygamist family on a farm in rural Mexico. In The Sound of Gravel, she offers an unforgettable portrait of the violence that threatened her community, her family’s fierce sense of loyalty, and her own unshakeable belief in the possibility of a better life. An intimate, gripping tale of triumph and courage, The Sound of Gravel is a heart-stopping true story.

The book was the second book choice from my book club and honestly I did not know what to expect. Other memoirs I have read have not been the greatest, but being who I am, I will read any genre, whether or not I have enjoyed books in the genre. This book was excellent. It’s probably one of the most heart wrenching, page turning memoir I have ever read. I must warn you that there are some heavy topics in this book, I did have to put it down a few times and take a sort of break, and there were many times that I did cry while reading about Ruth Wariner’s life.

This novel is about Ruth and how she grew up in a polygamist family in Mexico. It is about the life and violence that she experienced. This was unlike anything I have ever read before but I’m glad I did. Although it was at times difficult to read, it was also difficult to put down. The book took me no time at all to read. It is a story of great strength and courage and I definitely recommend it, it’s 100% worth the read.