Category: What I’m Reading

The Princess Bride Gender-Swapped!

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Confession: I saw The Princess Bride for the first time last weekend. I know, I know, my childhood was lacking. There was only one movie theatre with one tiny screen in my town, and my parents said we were too poor to see movies in a theatre. So yeah. Fast forward 29 years later, and I have Netflix which has The Princess Bride. Now all is right with the world.

So what’d I think? Click here to find out…

Teen Me reviews “The Handmaid’s Tale”

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I’m having a little fun with a new blog series of “Teen Me Reviews” where I rehash how I felt about a book when I was a teenager and compare it to how I feel about it now as a grown up…

Teen Heather’s reaction to The Handmaid’s Tale: Oh my gawd, this book is soooooo boring! Nothing happens. Why doesn’t Offred leave? Why doesn’t Offred fight? Why isn’t this book about Moira? She’s way more interesting. Moira actually rebels and escapes and tries to resist the cruel regime. Offred does nothing except what she’s told to do. I don’t like Offred. I do not care about Offred. I do not care about how many beautiful metaphors are in this novel’s prose. Is my English teacher trying to torture me?

Dear Teen Me,

No, your English teacher is not trying to torture you, she’s just following a curriculum that dictates you learn about metaphors and similes and analogies. Would English be more interesting if the class discussed Atwood’s depiction of a dystopian patriarchal society? Sure. Would you have liked the book better if you talked about its social significance? Probably not.

Because (confession time)…

Click here to find out what I confess at

7 Books That Make Me Be Thankful

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This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada, so I thought I’d blog about things I’m thankful for, you know, because that’s what this holiday is about. But instead I feel like curling up in a corner and crying. Not because my life is so awful, but because I’m not where I want to be with my writing career. It’s coming along, but success is not here right now! And sometimes that puts me in a foul mood. At moments like this, counting my blessings does nothing to make me feel better, because all the things I have don’t fill the hole of the one big thing I really want.

So how do I get out of this funk? I turn to books…

Click here to read the full post on

What We’re Reading: YA Thrillers

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This month at Caryn and I review YA thrillers! This is one of my favourite genres, and I’m stoked to recommend one of the best books I read this year:

Heather’s Pick: HOW TO LEAD A LIFE OF CRIME by Kirsten Miller

BookCover-LifeOfCrimeLately I’ve been fascinated with the psychopaths in our midst, those people who are just born bad and lack empathy. And this book asks the question: “What if there’s a school that trains psychopaths and releases them into the world as super criminals?” Then takes it one step further with: “What if the school also attempted to create sociopaths?” Crazy though it may sound, I think the state of our world makes it easy to buy into this concept and imagine this really happens, and that makes the book even more terrifyingly thrilling.

The Good: Well, everything! There’s a seriously damaged main character with a good soul and a tragic life who needs to work out his sh*t and keeps getting it wrong, even though at first you think he’s got it right. The evolution this guy goes through is one hell of an accomplishment, writing-wise. The secondary characters are also gritty gems, but there are too many to list here. The twists and turns all hinge on characters surprising us, but in ways that are true to their personalities. There’s even a little bit of magic, if you believe in that. If you don’t, then you can write it off as hallucinations.

The Bad: Some readers may find this book long. My boyfriend did. He thought the first half was boring, and was more interested in the character of Joi than the main character Flick. He thought it was really Joi’s story. I disagree with him. It’s definitely Flick’s story because he’s the one who had issues to resolve and had to change. Joi knew what she was doing and was in control all along. No demons to wrestle for her. As for boredom, I wasn’t bored once, but perhaps that’s because I loved watching the psychological mind f*ck unfold as Flick gets his bearings at the Mandel Academy.

Note: The book jacket gives away a major plot point that doesn’t happen until halfway through the book (page 273 to be exact). Don’t look if you don’t want a spoiler. Then again, the summary on Goodreads gives it away too. Seriously, marketing people, you thought the only hook of this book was the romance angle? Which is just a small part of the book but happens to be a huge spoiler? Shame on you guys!

In Conclusion: Read this book anyway, even if you know the spoiler. It’ll thrill you, horrify you, and then reassure you that while there is powerful evil in the world, there’s good in most of us.

For the whole post with Caryn’s review of THE MAZE RUNNER, click here.


What We’re Reading at WOS: June Edition

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Over at on the last Saturday of every month, Robin, Caryn and I blog about what YA books we’re reading. This month’s theme is romance. Caryn picked THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, I chose THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS, and Robin read THE SELECTION. Click here to read the full post.

Now, romance is not my genre. There are only two novels on my bookshelves I’d consider teen romance – SLOPPY FIRSTS by Megan McCafferty and THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS by Ann Brashares. But really, those aren’t even straight-up romances, they’re coming-of-age stories with love interests. Nevertheless, they reflect the type of teenage reader I was – one who wanted realism in love stories, not that love-at-first sight BS. Even in high school I’d seen enough crash-and-burn lust fests to know they don’t usually work out. I wanted to read about relationships that would help me navigate the murky waters of real love. And I wanted to relate to the characters, and insta-love just wasn’t how I rolled. Both of these books fit the bill. I read them well over a decade ago, but recently reread the SISTERHOOD so that’s the one I’ll talk about…

BookCover-SisterhoodThis book is the perfect summer read because it’s literally about summertime, specifically the first summer four best friends spend their school-free months apart. Two of the four (Lena and Bridget) have romantic subplots.

Lena goes to Greece to visit her grandparents. She has absolutely no interest in meeting boys, yet her grandma tries to set her up with a family friend, Kostos. But… “Lena knew boys: They never looked beyond your looks. They pretended to be your friend to get you to trust them, and as soon as you trusted them, they went in for the grope.” (pg. 60) No way was Lena getting involved with Kostos. And she doesn’t. In fact, they have an awkward encounter and she alienates him. But slowly Lena sees that the boy she pushed away is a genuine guy, and that she likes him. Now it’s up to shy Lena to make a move.

I love this romance because it’s not the cliché impossibly-hot-guy-pursues-girl-who-plays-hard-to-get or impossibly-hot-guy-wants-girl-but-it’s-forbidden. It’s the more realistic girl-likes-guy-but-is-scared-to-tell-him. We’ve all been there! At least I have.

Bridget, on the other hand, falls instantly for her college-age soccer coach and pursues him with joyous abandon. And it pays off – even though coach-player relationships are forbidden, he gives in to her seductions one night. It’s implied but not explicitly stated that she loses her virginity to him. She didn’t expect the experience to be so emotional, but it is. And when he states it can never happen again, Bridget is broken.

This was the most real thing my young self had ever read. Such a painful yet common experience.

So if you want a summertime story full of realistic romance and true love in the form of friendship, read THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS. It still makes me swoon and cry – in a good way.