Top Ten Books Set In Canada

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week she posts an idea for relating to books, and encourages other book bloggers to respond with their own “top ten” list.

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As a proud Canadian who engages in the stereotypical acts of saying “eh” and practically living at Tim Horton’s, I was surprised by how many books I read that are set in the US, the UK or a fantasy/dystopian world. There are so many beautiful places around here that would make the perfect setting for a story, so here are some of the books that gave my country some love:

Books I’ve Read:

Ultraviolet series by R.J. Anderson
I’ve already professed my love for these books on several occasions, but they’re just so good! Ultraviolet is set in Sudbury and Quicksilver is set in Kitchener, which are both parts of Southern Ontario. I’m moving back to Waterloo in the fall for school and it’s right next to Kitchener, so I really enjoyed reading a book set in that area.

Dark Inside series by Jeyn Roberts
These post-apocalyptic books are dark and somewhat terrifying in their examination of human nature. Dark Inside is divided between the US (Iowa and Montana) and Canada (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Vancouver, British Columbia), and Rage Within takes place completely in Vancouver.

Fallen World series by Megan Crewe
I’ve only read The Way We Fall, but the rest of this series is on my to-read list. The Way We Fall is set in Nova Scotia, where a deadly biological virus leads to an island quarantine. I’ve never actually been there, but there are lots of mentions of Toronto which is about two hours away from where I live!

Darkness Rising series by Kelley Armstrong
I’ve only actually read The Gathering, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve read it. This series takes place on Vancouver Island – which is beautiful, judging by the pictures I’ve seen of it – and uses Native Canadian mythology, which is really neat.

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
When I think of books set in Canada, this is the first book that comes to mind. Set on the beautiful Prince Edward Island, Anne of Green Gables is a classic and enchanting piece of Canadian literature.

Because I’m out of choices and would like my list to consist of ten books/series…

Books I Have Yet To Read:

Anna series by Kendare Blake
This series takes place in Thunder Bay, Ontario which is quite a drive from where I am – and after I read these creepy books, I’ll probably be glad of that fact!

Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O’Malley
It’s kind of shameful that I haven’t read this series yet, especially considering I’ve seen the Michael Cera movie about ten times now. The Scott Pilgrim series is set in Toronto, Ontario, which I am very familiar with, so I can’t wait to give it a read!

Brian’s Saga by Gary Paulsen
Hatchet is a survival story that takes place in the Canadian wilderness. It was required reading for so many classes in my middle school, but for some reason, my class never ended up reading it.

Alice MacLeod series by Susan Juby
When I was in middle school, everyone seemed to love these books that are set in Smithers, British Columbia. I’m worried that I’m not going to enjoy them as much now that I’ve grown up, but I’m hoping to eventually give them a try.

Creeps by Darren Hynes
Set in Atlantic Canada, Creeps has been described as “a less angsty Perks of Being a Wallflower.” I’m a huge fan of Perks, so this just had to go on my to-read list.

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Which books have you read that are set in Canada? Leave me recommendations and a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post below.

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Top Ten Words/Topics That Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

It’s Tuesday, which means that it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is top ten words/topics that make you NOT pick up a book.

1. Non-fiction
I’m more than happy to read historical fiction, but for some reason, I just can’t get into non-fiction. Maybe because it reminds me too much of extended essays, historical investigations, and all of those readings I have to do at university?

2. “For fans of ___”/”the next ___”
I used to pick up so many books based on this description alone and would end up disappointed because:
a) the comparison gave me incredibly high expectations, and the book didn’t live up to them
b) the book was nothing like what it was being compared to
c) the book was a copycat and I was hoping for something a little more original

3. Erotica
I like my books to have a plot, and gratuitous sex scenes don’t do anything for me.

4. Love stories disguised as dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories
If the synopsis is promising me a nice dystopian society with lots of action, oppressive governments, etc. I don’t want to spend the majority of the book reading things like “I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding” or how “he tasted like peppermint.” If you have the time to realize all of that, you’re not working hard enough to survive.

5. Love triangles
This kind of ties in with #4. When done properly, love triangles are effective and enjoyable plot devices. Unfortunately, 90% of the time they consist of a girl going back and forth between two guys (one of whom she usually just met) for basically the entire book. Sorry, but that’s not what I came here to read.

6. “Secretly beautiful”
I hate having to read about the girl that everyone falls in love with because she’s beautiful and (silly her!) didn’t realize it until 137127 guys pointed it out. It bothers me because we should love our bodies instead of having it shoved down our throats that we have to look a certain way to be considered attractive.

7. Stalking is sexy
Um, no. I blame Twilight for starting the idea that the guy who peeks in your bedroom window while you’re sleeping and somehow turns up wherever you are is attractive and would make the perfect boyfriend. It’s creepy and shouldn’t be glorified.

8. Issues books
It’s not the fact that they deal with heavy subjects that bothers me; it’s the treatment. If they’re not handled correctly or the solutions to the problems are oversimplified, it seems to belittle the issue.

9. Unattractive covers
I know that you’re not supposed to judge a book by  its cover, but I’m more likely to pick up books with covers that I like. Also, book covers that are unnecessarily “girly” because they were written by a female author, regardless of whether or not they’re about teen romance or assassins, bother me (see: Maureen Johnson’s coverflip challenge for examples).

10. Authors behaving badly
If an author is going to berate readers for writing an honest account of why they did not like the book or if they’re pushing an agenda, I’m less likely to pick up their works.

What words or phrases make you say “no thanks” to a book? Leave your thoughts or a link to your post in the comments below.
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Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

It’s Tuesday, which means that it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is top ten authors who deserve more recognition, which is probably the most difficult one so far. There are a lot of books that I wish more people would read, but when it comes to authors, I’m never sure which ones to choose. (It also doesn’t help that I spent all weekend in Niagara Falls and couldn’t plan my Top Ten Tuesday post in advance, so if it’s rambly and scattered, I’m so sorry!)

Here’s my list, in no particular order:

1. Carlos Ruiz Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind)
Even though I first heard about him a few months ago, I am in love with his Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. Zafon has such a beautiful writing style, and there are so many gorgeous quotes tucked into all of his books.

2. Colin Meloy (Wildwood)
Wildwood is one of my favourite children’s books. It’s beautifully illustrated, intelligently written, and is just a really fun read. Fun fact: Colin is also one of my favourite singers and his band, The Decemberists, is fantastic. Listening to their albums is like hearing a story, so it’s no wonder he’s pretty good at this whole writing thing.

3. Jillian Larkin (Vixen)
The release of the Flapper series was completely overshadowed by Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things (which is also good, but much better known because of her Luxe series). I’m slightly obsessed with any book that takes place in the 1920s, so this series was an automatic must-read for me. After all, between flappers, speakeasies and drama that rivals Gossip Girl, what’s not to like?

4. Lauren Morrill (Meant To Be)
Meant To Be is one of the cutest YA contemporary books I’ve ever read. I haven’t been able to find it at any of my local bookstores – which is a shame, since it’s quirky, fun, and set in London.

5. Kelly Creagh (Nevermore)
By now, you guys have all probably seen my many posts about how much I love this series. A combination of dark supernatural elements inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, interesting characters, and a pretty cute, believable romance makes for an excellent yet creepy read.

6. Heather Dixon (Entwined)
Entwined is one of my favourite fairytale retellings. Twelve strong female characters, dark secrets, sweet romance that isn’t the main focus, and some magic make for a thoroughly enjoyable read. Also, the cover is gorgeous enough that I need to buy a copy to display on my bookshelf as soon as possible!

7. Beth Revis (Across the Universe)
I loved Across the Universe. It’s a really neat sci-fi story with so many plot twists and turns. I haven’t read the last book yet since I really don’t wan this series to be over, but I’d be more than okay with it being made into a movie.

8. E. Lockhart (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks)
Her books are so underappreciated, which is probably due to cover judging (which I almost did with her Ruby Oliver series). They’re filled with quirky, intelligent, strong female leads who are trying to find their place in life, which is something I can definitely relate to.

9. Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind)
His works are becoming better known, due to his inclusion on George R.R. Martin’s list of books that Game of Thrones fans should read. However, despite that, a lot of people still don’t know about The Kingkiller Chronicle, which is an excellent fantasy series. And, you know, it helps that his reviews and blog posts never fail to make me laugh.

10. Sarah Strohmeyer (How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True)
In discussions of contemporary YA writers, Sarah Strohmeyer sadly isn’t mentioned all that often. I loved Smart Girls Get What They Want, and How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True is one of my favourite contemporaries that I could gush over all day (two words: Disney theme-park). They’re such fun, fluffy reads filled with adorably sweet romance, an entertaining plot, and loveable characters.

Who are some of your favourites?
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Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations

It’s Tuesday, which means that it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme of top ten best/worst movie adaptation is a bit difficult for me, as I will either avoid watching the movie if I loved the book or will avoid reading the book if I loved the movie out of fear that it will ruin the experience for me. That being said, there are (of course) several exceptions to this rule, as seen below.

As usual, the order of the list reflects only the order in which I thought of each item, not their ranking. Movie trailers have been attached so that you can take a look, if you’re so inclined.

The Best

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower


As one of my absolute favourite books, I was very worried that the movie would not do it justice. However, as Stephen Chbosky himself wrote the screenplay, and Emma Watson (who I absolutely adore) was starring in it, I decided that it was worth a try – and I am so glad that I did. It was one of the most true adaptations that I have seen: so much of the actual dialogue was lifted straight from the text, and it managed to make me cry just as much as the book did.

2. Harry Potter series

While not all of the movies stayed true to the books (looking at you, Order of the Phoenix), I was really impressed overall. My classmates, some of my teachers and I had a tradition of dressing up as the characters and attending the opening night showing of each of the films, so they hold a very special place in my heart.

3. The Hunger Games

Having read The Hunger Games when it was first released, I was so excited to see that there was going to be a movie adaptation of it. The movie was so true to the books, and I really enjoyed how scenes outside of the arena (like those involving Seneca and the other Gamemakers) were added.

4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

I loved this movie. It captured the feel of the book, and was simultaneously sweet and powerful. And, just as importantly, Aslan and Mr. Tumnus were perfect. I’m looking forward to watching the rest of the series (and still holding out hope that The Magician’s Nephew will eventually be adapted).

5. Fight Club

Seeing as the first rule of Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Fight Club, I’m not going to say too much about this one. I will, however, say that I equally liked both the book and the film, as the book gave Marla more personality and the film provided a more satisfying ending.

6. The Notebook

I have to admit that I haven’t actually read the entire book; I started it, but just couldn’t bring myself to continue reading. I did like the movie though – and considering I don’t usually like “chick flicks” or romance-centric movies, that’s saying a lot.

7. The Help

This movie was perfectly cast, and I enjoyed it just as much as the book.

8. The Lord of the Rings series

These books were made to be adapted into movies. They took me forever to read because of the pages upon pages of detailed description that I confess I often skimmed through. It was incredible to see all of that imagery come to life in a way that was very true to the text.

9. Hugo

The Invention of Hugo Cabaret was a really unique, beautifully illustrated story. The film may be long and not as action-filled as I usually like, but it certainly succeeded in recreating the illustrations in a stunning way.

10. Coraline

This movie managed to perfectly capture Neil Gaiman’s creepy-yet-imaginative story. I loved the animation style, which definitely suited it a lot more than actual acting would have.

+ Sherlock

I know that this isn’t a movie, but this BBC series is the best Sherlock Holmes adaptation I’ve seen. Despite being a modernization, it is so true to the actual text, and it’s incredibly written.

Honourable Mentions (or items that I wanted to include before realizing that my list was already at ten): Stardust, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Pride and Prejudice (including The Lizzie Bennet Diaries), Holes, Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars, The Princess Bride

The Worst

1. Twilight
I didn’t mind reading the first book; it wasn’t the greatest book that I had read, but it certainly wasn’t the worst. I really did not like the movie, though. The acting was flat and expressionless, and turned me off the rest of the series.

2. Inkheart
I loved the book so much, but unfortunately the movie did not live up to my expectations. It wasn’t just that it was unfaithful – it was just… bad.

3. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
This is one of my favourite middle grade series, so I was really disappointed when I finally watched the movie. If this was a standalone movie, I might have enjoyed it more… but I felt as though the more important aspects to Percy’s journey were left out or reinvented. Hopefully the next one will be better.

4. The Cat in the Hat
This movie was (at best) a train wreck. I don’t know how I managed to sit through the entire thing.

5. The Golden Compass
After taking away the religious and philosophical themes in favour of more action sequences, I’m so glad that it was just a standalone – that way, there’s still a chance that it will be adapted properly at some point in the future.

6. Eragon
The book was beautifully written and fun to read. The movie just consisted of poor acting and a choppy plot, and is the main reason that I haven’t read the rest of the series.

7. Beautiful Creatures
There were just so many unnecessary changes that made this quite disappointing to watch. I really enjoyed reading all of the books, but I doubt that I’ll bring myself to watch any of the other movies.

8. A Series of Unfortunate Events
Surprisingly, I actually did kind of like this movie, even though it was poorly handled, rushed, and failed to include a lot of the details I enjoyed in the books. That being said, I hope that one day someone will adapt the entire series in such a way that includes all of the important parts – especially if that means that each of the books is made into its own movie.

9. The Lovely Bones
I really did like the book, but the movie wasn’t able to portray the mix of horror and sentimentality that the book so delicately balanced.

10. Angels & Demons
It’s my favourite of the Robert Langdon books, but the movie was just waaay too different. I understand that a few things needed to be changed in order for it to be viewed as second in the series, but a lot of the changes were unnecessary, confusing, and made me angry.

What are your favourite/least favourite adaptations?
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Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

We all have them. Books that have been sitting on our to-read lists for ages or untouched on our shelves. We plan on getting around to them eventually, of course, but there’s just something about them that makes it easier to ignore these intimidating books until we’re completely out of reading material.

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These books are just so long that I feel like they’d take forever to read – and, given my unfortunate habit of having to finish a book even if I’m not enjoying it, I wouldn’t just be able to put it down and move on to something else. If the font is really tiny or the book is split into multiple parts, it intimidates me even more.

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I love classic literature, but I hardly ever bring myself to read it. Without the analytical assistance that my high school English classes gave, I’m afraid that I either won’t understand the point of the work, the content itself, or why it’s so important. I’m also afraid that I just won’t like it, which seems so wrong given that these books are classics for a reason.

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This might seem strange, but books that are described as “critically acclaimed” or “most anticipated” worry me a bit – especially if they’re books that all of my friends have read and loved and raved about or if they’re favourite childhood reads. I’m always afraid that my expectations won’t be met and that I’ll be the 1% that didn’t enjoy it.

What books or book qualities intimidate you?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event held by The Broke and the Bookish.
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Top Ten Sequels I’m Dying To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event held by The Broke and the Bookish. Today we were given a choice of topic, so I picked Top Ten Sequels I’m Dying To Read.

1. The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin
A Dance With Dragons ended on such a cliffhanger and I reaaaally want to know if my theories are right. Knowing how long it takes for these books to be written, though, I could be waiting for a very long time…

2. The Elite by Kiera Cass
I really enjoyed The Selection and want to know what happens next. Also, Maxon is adorable.

3. Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh
Nevermore is one of my absolute favourite books. It had everything – dark romance, mystery, supernatural events, and Edgar Allan Poe. Of course, it ended with a cliffhanger, so I’ve been (not so) patiently waiting for this sequel for what seems like forever.

4. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Four. That is all.

5. Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
I love anything to do with Edgar Allan Poe, and I’m interested in seeing how this modernization will end.

6. Under Wildwood by Colin Meloy
Wildwood was perfection: it had the feel of a fairytale, was accompanied by stunning illustrations, and read like one of The Decemberists’ songs. I’ve heard that Under Wildwood has a slightly darker feel, so I’m really interested in seeing how that comes to be.

7. Isla and the Happy Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Anna and the French Kiss was one of the cutest contemporary romance books I’ve read in a long time, and I can only assume that Isla will be just as cute.

8. When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket
Lemony Snicket has been one of my favourite authors since I was a child, and his new series is just as well-written as A Series of Unforunate Events.

9. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The last book mentioned something crucial to the plot, and then ended. I want to find out what happens to my Raven Boys and the ley lines.

10. Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers
There’s just something really intriguing about a book involving nun assassins trained to do Death’s work. We didn’t get to see a lot of Sybella in Grave Mercy, so it’ll be nice to get to know her better.

What sequels are you dying to read?
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