Sunday, August 21, 2016

Return to the Isle of the Lost - Melissa de la Cruz

On our way back from Vegas, Ethan saw this book at the airport and asked if I'd buy it for him. After reading it, he asked me to please read it too. Who am I to refuse?

This is definitely a book for the young. It takes place after the Disney Movie, The Descendants.

Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay have found their place in Auradon. They are good. They are happy. They are settled.

But then, each of them receive strange messages telling them to return to the Isle. Upon their return, they learn of a group called the Anti-Heroes who believe that just because their parents were evil, they are not destined to follow this path. But there are also those who want evil to prevail.

Our four friends are set on a quest within the Endless Catacombs of Doom. They are each tasked with finding their parent's talisman to prevent them from returning to power. Each task forces them to face their true fears. The doubts they have about who they are and what they are.

For the pre-teen Disney fan, it's a great book that continues the story of the children of villains. And if they saw the movie, it's an extension to the story.

Morning Star - Pierce Brown

I absolutely loved Golden Son and was utterly heartbroken with it's ending. I was so invested in Darrow, that I could not handle how it ended, I needed a break before starting Morning Star. And even once I started it, I had to go about it slowly, doing the whole Friends-Joey-book-in-freezer thing. But I plowed through. I survived the many heart attacks it provided. And I'm so happy I did.

When we last saw Darrow, he had been captured. Betrayed. All was lost. We begin Morning Star not shortly after this. Oh no. But almost a year later. Yes, that's right. For almost a year our dear Darrow has been tortured!

But finally, he is saved. And once this happens, our story begins.

Just like the others books, this one is filled with action. We have war, loss, betrayal. We have family, love and reunions. We see Darrow struggle with what he still wants to fight for, with his own struggle of whether or not he is worthy.

The Beast - JR Ward

Ok, ok, I know, I know. I read this ages ago, but got a little lazy with my blog writing. Time to catch up.

The Beast is all about Rhage and Mary. Yes, they got their HEA, but that doesn't mean their story has ended. It continues. It grows.

This is probably one of The WARDen's most predictable books, but it is wonderful nonetheless.

This is a book that will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will make you sigh. It is funny, sexy and heartwarming.

Rhage contains the beast. He's a Brother. A fighter. But there's something that causes him to feel insecure. He makes a stupid choice that nearly costs him his life, and he's fully aware of what he did.

Mary is his beloved shellan. If/when Rhage passes, she will join him into the Fade. That was the deal they made with the Scribe. But when it looks like his time has come, Mary fights to keep him, because there's a part of her that needs to stay here.

Both feel guilty over their decision. And they need to learn how to find their way back to each other. They learn what's missing and how to fix it.

And while I love their story, let's not forget the others. We learn more about Assail and OMG, I love him! There's more to V, and who doesn't want more of him.

The only downside, is I'm not a Layla fan, and this book made me dislike her even more. But have no fear, I'll still read The Chosen when it comes out.

Leap of Faith - Jamie Blair

I am a huge Dawn Rae Miller fan. So much so, that I stalk her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I giggle anytime she comments on one of my Twitter or Instagram posts.

She co-wrote a new series I'm enjoying, with Jamie Blair. I had never heard of Jamie Blair. But then I learnt that she wrote one of my favourite characters from that book, so I had to read something of hers.

She's amazing. She sent me a copy of Leap of Faith so I could read one of her books. It's gotten mixed reviews on Goodreads, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

Leap of Faith doesn't have a slow beginning. The action starts right away. Your emotions are tested right away.

Faith is 17 and lives with her awesome sister and horrible mother. Her mother agrees to be a surrogate for some shady people, and really doesn't take care of herself. Faith decides she needs to save this baby. So when her sister is born, Faith takes her and is on the run.

She becomes 19 year old teenager mom Leah. And she finds what she's never had before. A family. People who care for one another. People who look out for one another. It's like a dream.

What I love the most about Dawn Rae Miller is her ability to make you connect to her characters. And Blair has that same, or maybe better, ability. The whole time I read this book, I wanted to give Faith/Leah a hug. I wanted to tell her not to worry. I wanted to help ease her pain.

Thank you for not just a great read, but for sharing it with me.

Settling In

A few years ago, my dad bought a new condo for him and my mum. He loved this place. It's lovely. I love it too. However, I'll admit, I was sad when he bought it. It meant selling the previous one. The one at Parkway Forest Drive.

Now, the apartment itself at Parkway Forest, was not anything special. But what it did for my family is magical.

When my parents immigrated to Canada, they bought a place here. It was home. Not just to them, and to me when I was born, but to everyone in the family. When the troubles in East Africa began, my father helped his family come to Canada and settle. And when they came, they spent some time at Parkway Forest. I haven't met a family member that doesn't have some memory of that place.

My dad's eldest brother passed away this past week. Everyone's in Canada, and I'm heading there. I honestly don't think it's hit me yet, since I'm not there. But ever since I found out what happened, I cannot help but think of my dad and the apartment.

My dad loved his family. He believed it is our duty to take care of one another. He moved to Canada and until the day he died, he tried to help his family and take care of them.

I can't help but think, "damn dad! You went first to set up a place for everyone." My dad has gotten his own Parkway Forest and was ready for when my uncle joined him this weekend. My dad is there to help him settle. 

I know it sounds lame, but it brings me comfort. It makes me feel better about not just my dad's passing two years ago, but also that of my uncle's this past weekend.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Things I Don't Understand

I'll be honest. For the last week, E and I have been in the city. The TV isn't working at the condo, and we've been out and about that my "catching up" with social media has been limited. I've kinda been living in a bubble for the past week, and kept hearing things, but didn't really pay attention. I often like to joke about "ignorance is bliss", but really, it isn't, so last night I caught up on what everyone's been talking about.

I like to be honest with Ethan. I let him know what facts are and what my opinions are, and I'll even admit to him when there's nothing to back up my opinions. Like every other mother, I want my child to grow up to be kind, intelligent, caring.... But last night, I worried more about the kind of world my son will have, that the kind of person he'll be in it.

Like every other mother, I try to help my child understand things. And those who know me, know I add a little sarcastic flair, every now and then. If he has a question I cannot answer, I'll tell him that, and we try to google it.

But what happens when I don't understand something? Seriously.

Here are the things I do not understand:

* I do not understand how a man can be openly racist and sexist, make fun of the disabled and yet still be considered to be a potential world leader.

* I do not understand how a man can brutally rape a woman, feel remorse over drinking and partying, but not for his actions, and be told "no jail for you, you've been through enough".

* I do not understand how a man can walk into a nightclub, shoot a bunch of people, and instead of being concerned about how he got a hold of these weapons, we discuss his race and religion.

* I do not understand how police offers can sit on a man, and still feel "threatened" enough to shoot him dead.

* I do not understand why police officers would feel the need to shoot a man in front of a 4-year old child.

* I do not understand why terrorist groups are called religious groups. Doesn't all religion promote love, forgiveness and understanding?

* I do not understand why terrorist groups feel the need to kill everyone. No seriously. What's the point? To show you can? Really?

* I do not understand how governments can be so bad that their people need to flee to feel safe. And then, instead of being welcomed by other humans and being treated like ...humans... they are met with anger and fear. Why would they risk their lives to leave a place of war, if what they wanted was to cause... war?

I want my child to grow up to be kind, openminded, loving, intelligent. I want my child to care for others. But how is that possible when the world around him is filled with so much hate?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Father's Day Interview

For the last few years, on Father's Day, I interview Ethan to see how much he knows about his father. As he gets older, the answers are closer to the truth. At one point, Ethan claimed his dad was as tall as a giraffe! 

This year, Ethan showed off his humourous side. He could not stop laughing when answering some of these.

What is something Daddy always says to you?
"Sit up straight."

What makes Daddy happy?
When I sit up straight.

What makes him sad?
When I don't sit up straight.

(I'm seeing a pattern here.)

What does he do that makes you laugh?
 He makes funny jokes. 

He shouts at people in the car.

What was he like as a child?


How old is Daddy?

I remember on his birthday we changed the candles around and said he was 84!

How tall is he?
I'm not sure.

What is his favourite thing to do?


What does he do when you're not around?

Watch sports.

If Daddy was famous, what would it be for?
Shouting at people in the car.

(Apparently you can be famous for that!)

What is he really good at?
(Let me guess....)
Shouting at people in the car!
(yup, thought so!)

What is he not really good at?
Not yelling at people when in the car.

(Bet you guessed that one too.)

What does he do for his job?
Truck shipping!

Yeah, truck shipping.

What is Daddy's favourite food?


What makes you proud of him?
He has a good job.

If Daddy was a cartoon character, who would he be?
Donald the Duck
Not Donald the Duck,
Just Donald Duck. 

What do you and Daddy do together?
We watch sports.
(And apparently that's what he does when Ethan's not around too.)

How are you and Daddy the same?
We come from the same family.
No, we have the same mommy.
No....we have the same lady.

(Lady??? WTH???)

How are you different?
I'm young, he's old.

How do you know he loves you?

He kisses me.

Where is Daddy's favourite place to go?
Definitely not to work....

Happy Father's Day Scott. Thanks for being an awesome dad!