The Versatile Blogger Award

First of all, thank you so much to Beth Jones for tagging me. You should check out her blog if you haven’t already, she has an astounding list of reviews and other fun bookish posts on her page!

The Rules

  • If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award
  • Thank the person who gave you this award
  • Include a link to their blog
  • Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself

Without further ado, here are 7 things about myself!

  1. My all-time favourite movie is Grease. I know every song by heart and almost every line by heart, and I specifically made my parents take me to the school where it was filmed in Venice, California a few years ago on vacation.
  2. My best friend and I love finding cute / interesting food places, so we decided to make an Instagram a year ago where we share photos of the things we’ve tried. You can find it here if you want to look at it!
  3. I always sneeze in 2s. If I sneeze once and another sneeze doesn’t immediately follow, I’m guaranteed to sneeze again some other time in the day to make it 2.
  4. One year, my elementary school sent Christmas boxes to children through something called Operation Christmas Child. In my box filled with toys and hygiene products, I wrote a note to whoever would receive it. When you sent out the box you got to choose if you wanted it sent to a boy or a girl, but other than that, I had no idea where it was going. To my surprise, I got a note back and ended up having a pen pal in Grenada for several years. I even got to speak to her on the phone a few times which was really amazing.
  5. My favourite Youtubers are Remi, Tara, and Alex.
  6. The first language I ever learned to speak was Italian.
  7. I love long road trips in the car (after having taken Gravol, of course). If you told me to pack my bags right now and get in the car to drive somewhere 24 hours away, consider my bags packed.

The people I’ve decided to tag are below:

Just One More Pa(i)ge
The Little Book Affair
Reading With Jessica
The Bibliophagist
The Bookish Girl
Aurora Librialis
Straight Off The Paige
The Rabbit Hole
Good Readviews
Of All The Books in All The Libraries
The Traveling Inkwell
What Jane Read Next
Love’s Deep Waters
Perpetual Fangirl

Have fun if you decide to participate, and please link me in your 7 things because I would love to see them! Thank you for reading! 🙂

Review // History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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Author: Adam Silvera
Series: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Book Length: 294 pages
Publisher: Soho Teen 

Review: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

My Review:

Griffin is completely shattered by the loss of his best friend and first love, Theo. The story is read kind of like a journal to Theo, as Griffin talks to him as if he were still alive. We are taken through Griffin’s life, alternating from the present where Theo is no longer alive, to the past where Theo and Griffin started their love story. After reading the very first page, my heart broke and I spent the remainder of the novel trying to put the pieces back together.

Although I felt compassion for Griffin and the huge loss he was dealing with, he was not a perfect protagonist and I found myself getting frustrated with him at times. He was very selfish and often used people for personal gain—mostly emotional, but some physical. He had a great support system in his parents, his best friend, Wade, and Theo’s boyfriend, Jackson, but he often brushed them aside which made me sad because he only embraced them when it was convenient for him. Despite all of that, I really saw a change in him as the story progressed.

My favourite character by far was Theo; I loved how witty, charming, selfless, and smart he was. Adam Silvera did an excellent job of making Griffin’s loss your loss too. I couldn’t get enough of the flashbacks of their relationship, as I wanted to read more about Theo. I feel like because he was written so well, the story was really able to take flight because you as the reader wanted to find out what exactly happened to him. How could someone with so much love and potential die in such a tragic way? Was it really an accident? These are some of the questions you develop while reading and it makes you want to immerse yourself in the story to find out what really happened.

My one major disappointment with this book was that I didn’t get a good cry out of it like I wanted! (Yes, I actually wanted to cry). It’s not that I didn’t feel emotional, because I did, but a lot of the story centered on Griffin and it got difficult to sympathize with someone who was so destructive of his relationships. Other than that, this was a great book. I highly recommend it and I can’t wait to read more of Adam Silvera’s work soon—the next book on my TBR of his being They Both Die at the End.

Has anybody else read this or any other Adam Silvera book? What did you think? I would love to hear your opinion!


Aesthetically Pleasing Character Mood Boards | Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda

In order to celebrate the theatrical release of Love, Simon—a movie based on Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda—I thought I would do something fun and creative. What better way to take a trip down memory lane (since I read the book almost a year ago) than to create mood boards based on some of my favourite characters? A mood board serves as a visual tool in order to convey the overall feel of something. The characters I chose to create mood boards for are: Simon, Blue, Leah, and Abby.



Simon is our lovable protagonist. Simon carries a secret which is that he is gay. For the majority of the book, he is in an online relationship with a boy at his school named Blue whom he met on a chat within the school’s Tumblr page. Simon doesn’t know who Blue is in real life, and we spend the majority of the book trying to guess who he is. Simon loves Oreos, music, and his dog named Beiber.



Blue is the pseudonym for Simon’s love interest. He and Simon share a very deep connection and begin to frequently exchange emails after Blue shares a relatable post on the Tumblr page about being gay. Technically, he is the first person Simon comes out to, and their relationship blossoms from there.



Leah is one of Simon’s best friends. She is extremely insecure about her looks, often putting herself down. She’s also in a band with Simon’s sister called Emoji. I did like Leah for the most part, especially because she was very sarcastic and I can relate to that. However, she is also extremely possessive and jealous of another girl, Abby, which I didn’t really like.



Abby is a new girl that moved to town from Washington, DC; she also quickly becomes one of Simon’s best friends. Abby is the first person Simon tells he is gay in real life and she is so supportive of it, it made me really happy. People gravitate towards Abby because she is an extremely sweet and attractive girl with a huge heart. I enjoyed reading The Upside of Unrequited which is also by Becky Albertalli and features Abby as well.

I really enjoyed making these mood boards, I may even do it again with other favourites. This is a really amazing book that I finished in about a day, I loved it so much! If you haven’t read it yet or are debating whether or not you should read it before seeing the movie, do it! I can’t recommend it enough.


4 Stunning Libraries in Places I’ve Travelled to

Ever since I can remember, the library has been somewhere I could seek solace; a place where my soul feels most at peace among the millions of pages waiting to be flipped and discovered. That’s why today I wanted to take a moment to appreciate some of the beautiful libraries around the world— specifically libraries in places I’ve been— in both an effort to showcase their beauty and for you to get to get the chance to know me on somewhat of a more personal level.

Library of Parliament, Ottawa:

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This grand tour of libraries starts at home. Ottawa is the capital of Canada and as such, the federal legislature resides there. There too resides one of Canada’s most important libraries—the Library of Parliament. This library is at the core of parliamentary democracy as the source of information for parliamentarians, parliamentary committees and associations in order to keep up to date with relevant news and information. This library is extremely important as it keeps Parliament informed and allows its members to consider legislation and ensure the government is accountable.

University of California, Los Angeles Library:

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Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with California. I love Canada with all my heart (as much as I complain about the cold weather in winter) but for as long as I can remember, I have always felt a connection to this place. I know it’s kind of ‘basic’ now because so many people romanticize it, but finally getting to go there was a feeling I can’t describe. What I’m also finding hard to describe is how I feel about this UCLA library. Apparently it’s one of the top 10 research libraries in the US and has more than 9 million titles! It’s supposed to be designed after Milan’s Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio, which explains the European vibes I’m getting from the space.

Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, Milano:

Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, Milano

Speaking of Milan, how beautiful is the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense in Milan? Those chandeliers are everything. I’ve always wanted one of those bookshelves you need a ladder for and these ones are calling my name. It was built in 1770 and opened to the public in 1786. I’m a huge fan of places with history—honestly the older the spaces, the better, so I wonder how many people have graced its halls; if only walls could talk!

Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de la Sorbonne, Paris:

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There’s no way you can visit the most romantic city in the world and not find pretty library somewhere, so I was really excited to research this one. The Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de la Sorbonne in Paris was open in the same year the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense in Milan was built—1770. It’s a university library now; however, it is open to the public as well. What drew me to this were the walls because I find that colour gorgeous and serene, especially with all the natural light pouring into the space. If I had to describe to someone what I thought heaven might look like, this photo would come pretty close.

Although I find the libraries pictured beautiful, they are so much more than that. It doesn’t matter whether you are there for leisure, school, or even political purposes, libraries have been and continue to be at the heart of our communities promoting learning and advancement. They are a vital lifeline for those learning a new language, looking for jobs, needing resources to start small businesses, and more. I never want to imagine a world without the library—my involvement and access of which has shaped me into the person I am today. It’s not until I spoke to someone who told me their nearest library is an hour away that I began to realize how fortunate I am that for my whole life I have been within walking distance from one, and I will never, ever take that for granted.



Review // Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)

Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #4
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: July 8, 2000
Book Length: 636 pages
Publisher:Bloomsbury Publishing

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

It is the summer holidays and soon Harry Potter will be starting his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is counting the days: there are new spells to be learnt, more Quidditch to be played, and Hogwarts castle to continue exploring. But Harry needs to be careful – there are unexpected dangers lurking…

My Review:

I DID IT. I finally got over my three book curse when reading series’. Somehow, I always end up stopping after the third book in everything, but boy am I glad this is the one that broke the spell. Before I say anything else, I just want to say that yes, this is my first time reading Harry Potter—I had only ever read the first book as a child and watched the first 4, maybe 5 movies, but I remembered virtually nothing so this has been a really fun experience!

First of all, the Weasleys—oh, how I love that family! They don’t have much, but they have each other and that’s all they need to be happy. I just feel so much warmth and love whenever Harry is in their presence and I can’t get enough of the chapters that they are all in. I’m so glad that Ron is close friends with Harry because he actually makes me laugh out loud with his sarcastic comments; I always find myself smiling at the pages with his one-liners.

I can truly feel, now that the main characters are 14 years old, that the book is starting to take a more mature direction. Not only is Ron making inappropriate jokes, but it seems like Harry’s crush on Cho Chang has not diminished either. I love when he gets all flustered spotting her from across the room, it’s so cute!

This has definitely been my favourite book of the series so far. The Triwizard Tournament was extremely riveting to read, and getting introduced to new magical creatures like the Veela, Merpeople, and Dragons was so interesting. I feel like I’m in a whole other world when I’m reading the series and I never want to put it down.

I’m about to go into a bit more depth with things that happened that shocked me, and although I am aware literally millions of people have read this and/or seen the movie, there are weirdos like me out there somewhere who haven’t / don’t remember, so in an effort to protect those people I will warn you:


There were a lot of twists and turns with this one, especially in the last 5 or so chapters. Cedric’s death made me gasp; I was in such denial that I read the whole page over again to make sure it was true. I felt so bad for Harry; I would have felt horrible if I tried to do something good by letting us both win the tournament at the same time and he ended up dying for it. That scene in itself felt like a huge twist, but then I was completely stunned when Mad Eye Moody wasn’t even the real Mad Eye Moody?! He was being held hostage the whole time, poor guy. I should have known though because Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers never last long. Every explanation as to why things happened throughout the course of the book tied together with the most perfect little bow at the end, and I’m still so speechless about it!

I’m going to take a short break from the series to catch up on some of my other highly anticipated reads for the year, but I cannot wait to see what is in store for Harry next now that Voldemort is back!

What is your favourite book or movie in the series? Do the movies live up to the books? I would love to hear your opinion in the comments!



My Life in Books Tag

Hi! So in an effort to branch out and try some new, exciting things and also introduce myself a bit since this blog is in its early stages, I thought I would give the My Life in Books Tag a go. I found this tag on Dreamland Book Blog.

Find a book for each of your initials…

CCinder by Marissa Meyer

MMaybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

These are two really great books, both of which I found unexpectedly. I found Maybe in Another Life on Pinterest (yup, totally random search of fiction books led me to one of my favourite books ever), and I read Cinder because at one point about 90% of my Goodreads friends were reading it and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Neither of which is a decision I regret.

Maybe in Another Life

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Count your age along your shelf. What is it…

Oh, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, another one of my favourites! Sylvia Plath has a way with words that just makes you feel understood from deep within your soul. Although I loved it, it’s also quite heavy and for a while afterwards I was in a book slump / was desperately looking for something on the happier side.

The Bell Jar

Pick a book set in your city or country…

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is a classic novel set in the fictional community Avonlea in Prince Edward Island, Canada. I was fortunate enough to visit one of the most notable literary landmarks in Canada, Green Gables Heritage Place, which is a farm owned by the cousins of the author. L.M. Montgomery drew inspiration for Anne of Green Gables from the home and surrounding area of the property which I think is pretty cool!

Anne of Green Gables

Pick a book with a destination you’d love to travel to…

Realistically, that would be Hogwarts now that I am in the middle of reading the series for the first time ever (I know, I know, I’m very late) and LOVING it. But I feel like that’s a cop out in a way, so I chose Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. If you’ve read the book or seen the movie, I just want to make it clear that the only setting I envy is the Hawaii part. It’s so gorgeous from the photos and videos I’ve seen, definitely on my list of top places to travel to.

Everything, Everything

Pick a book that is your favourite colour…

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren– Does the galaxy/ sunset/ sunrise scheme count as a colour?! Oh well, I don’t even care because it’s just gorgeous and I can’t stop staring at it.


Which book do you have the fondest memories of…

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch will always hold a special place in my heart. I will never forget my mom reading it to me as a little girl and I remember how emotional it made me and it still does! Hopefully if I ever have kids I can read this to them too.

Love You Forever

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading…

Okay, so as mentioned above I loved Cinder and also Scarlet which was the second book in the series. However, I couldn’t for the life of me get into Cress! At first I read the paper version but it was like pulling teeth, so I finished it through audio book which was somewhat helpful. I can see how people loved it though, I just could not get into it for some reason.

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Which book in your TBR pile will you feel most accomplished finishing…

Probably It by Stephen King, just because it’s so long. I always feel intimidated by the length of books, but I’m hoping I like it so the pages fly by.


That concludes the tag. If you haven’t done this tag yet, consider yourself tagged by me!

Until next time, happy reading,

Catherine 😊

Review // You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

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Author: Jen Sincero
Series: Standalone
Genre: Self-help 
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Book Length: 256 
Publisher: Running Press Adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word. If you’re ready to make some serious changes around here, You Are a Badass will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them – it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it NOW.

By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.

If you’re wanting to kick some serious ass in the money department (you wanna?) and start making the kind of dinero you ain’t never made before, pre-order the next book in the series that’s all about your financial badassery: You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth, coming April 2017 from Viking Books.

My Review:

I have never read a self-help book before just because it is not the genre I typically gravitate towards. I like books that help me feel like I am escaping reality as opposed to facing it head on. Why, do you ask, did I decide to pick this up then? Well, for starters, there are a lot of times where— to put it quite bluntly— I’m not feeling like a badass whatsoever. It can be easy to compare yourself and/or your success to others’, doubt your abilities, and feel lost and confused about your place in the world among what seems to be only successful people. So, in an attempt to get motivated and feel awesome, I thought I would give this a chance. Secondly, a Youtuber that I started watching recently, Meredith Foster, was reading this book and praising it. She presents herself as a very positive person, so I thought, “If she likes it, maybe I will learn a thing or two.” And thirdly, it’s one of the books that my library has unlimited audio book copies of, so it was quick and convenient to download onto my Overdrive.

Now, you may have noticed I didn’t rate this one. The reason being, I really don’t know how to. Jen Sincero is a motivational speaker and success coach; it is her job to make people feel uplifted and inspired. In that regard, did she succeed? Yes. However, did she tell me anything I don’t already intrinsically know? No. Sometimes though, you just need someone to tell you the things your brain already knows but keeps doubting and I really needed to hear some of the things she said.

Important things I took away from this:

  • It’s okay to not have everything together all the time; you will learn and grow through your mistakes and making them is not the end of the world (probably the most major thing I needed to hear).
  • Being at peace with yourself involves being in the present moment more often than you are looking for things to dwell on from the past or make you anxious for the future (something I am very guilty of).
  • You create your reality based on your beliefs— ridding yourself of subconscious beliefs that self-sabotage is the first step to living a better life.

Even though I already knew these things, it was still nice to hear them from someone else’s mouth. There are some things she said that I couldn’t really get on board with though. For example, she had mentioned an instance where she lied on a resume to get a job and basically the point of the story was to say that anyone is capable of anything and paper qualifications don’t matter. Her excuse was that she does have the qualifications in other ways. Like yes you’re an older sister so you’re good at being a leader, but so is half the world? I don’t know I just found it quite senseless. Another thing she said that I didn’t agree with was how she bought a really expensive car when she couldn’t afford it just because she believed that she would get the money somehow. To be honest, I don’t think I will ever be that irrational when making a big financial decision like that, and I’m totally okay with it.

All in all, if you are looking for a motivational read that is going to change you overnight, this probably isn’t it. However, if you are looking for a kick in the butt to make you feel a bit better and motivate you in the right direction, I recommend listening to the audio book version. I’ll leave this review with one of my favourite quotes of the book:

“You are on a journey with no defined beginning, middle, or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be.”