Singapore’s Largest Book Event: BookFest@Singapore 2017 + Tips to Survive a BookFest

Hey guys! If you live in Singapore, take note.

Popular’s BookFest@Singapore 2017 has returned to Suntec Convention Centre from 15 – 24 December 2017!

Sprawling a massive conventional hall, readers can expect a whole host of events, products and bargains. From IT gadgets to books and stuffed whales (I found one and carried it with me during the entire 2.5 hours I spent there. I also named him Billy), this fair, truly has everything.  Whether you are a book lover, tech junkie, music fanatic, bargain hunter or otherwise, this 10-day event will be a one-stop extravaganza.

Trust me, when I was there yesterday, I was blown away by the variety. There was every single book you could ever want. Any candy, assessment book and gadget. There was even a pop-up cafe!

The biggest highlight for literary fans every year is naturally the renowned POPULAR
Readers’ Choice Awards 2017. This will be returning to BookFest for its 6th edition this year.

With a reader- voting system, it is the voice of the public and a huge reflection of the books that made their mark.

30 local works will be vying for the top 3 places in each of the three categories – English (Adult), English (Children), and Chinese.

Additionally, the “Citibank Book Cover Award” will also be presented to the publisher
with the best cover design, based on the use of graphics, creativity and visual impact.

While you’re there, don’t miss the first-ever Gadgets & IT Show housed in BookFest,
where you can get a sneak peek of the hottest and latest technology. From portable chargers to robot vacuums, there’s really something for everyone. Even me, who doesn’t really bother with gadgets of that calibre, found stuff that proved interesting.

And of course, the most important part of BookFest, the crazy deals! The Crazy Auction will be held on 4 different days at BookFest. With Gadgets & IT products with a starting bid as low as $1, gear yourself up to snag some delightful deals.

There are also books going for 3 for $12 or 3 books for the price of 2. For all you hardcore readers out there, nows the time to spend and not feel guilty! Yay!

So if you live in Singapore and have the time, I totally recommend going down.

Also, considering that I went yesterday, I thought I’d give you guys some tips on how to have the best BookFest@Singapore 2017 experience.

1. Go early and avoid peak periods

My best advice is to go early. As in, the second it opens early. When we were there, the crowds were already massive and there were queues to enter the venue. Mind you, it was a Friday morning at about 10am. So you can only imagine what the weekends would be like. So avoid the weekends or peak periods and always go early so you don’t have to waste time waiting in a queue

2. Go alone

Okay this sounds mean but it’s really not. I always feel that book sales or even just book browsing requires one to be alone with themselves and perhaps some music. So either go alone so that you can enjoy every section at your own pace and comfort, or bring someone who is equally passionate about giving all the books their undivided attention and who will be okay with letting you do your thing while they do theirs.

3. Make use of the trollies and baskets provided

Popular has very kindly provided loads of baskets on wheels and trollies to carry your books and gadgets and stationary in. Make use of them. Your stuff will be heavy.

4. Wear comfortable clothes

I cannot emphasis this enough. Wear good walking shoes and comfortable clothes because you will be walking and standing a lot. Additionally, try to eat before you come or have a bite at the pop-up cafe. This is so that your book experience isn’t interrupted by anything at all.

So there you have it. This year’s bookfest. I’m so excited about the selection and I can’t wait to hopefully go back for more.


Popular’s Reader’s Choice Awards + Review: The Commuting Reader: Here Now There After


The Commuting Reader is a series of four books of local literature, one in each of Singapore’s four official languages. The books are anthologies of original, creative content; comprising stories, poetry and comics by many of Singapore’s most vibrant and talented literary artists.

All of the works featured in the four books were specially commissioned and the collections feature pieces by the likes of Troy Chin, Neil Humphreys, O Thiam Chin, You Jin, Chia Joo Ming, Isa Kamari, and many more. The books are heavily design-accented, with beautiful cover designs, plentiful illustrations, and even a removable, fully illustrated ‘Literary Landmarks’ map of Singapore.

Uniquely, the books come with an enclosed NETS FlashPay card, inclusive of $5.00 of pre-loaded credit. This allows readers to use the book as a ‘ticket book’ during their daily commute, encouraging the enjoyment of local literature while on the go.

The publication of these books is part of the wider initiative, ‘Buy Local, Read our World’, led by the National Arts Council and the National Book Development Council to promote the appreciation of Singapore literature among the general public, especially the younger generation.

Popular’s Reader’s Choice Awards are back for yet another year and this year, their selection is incredible. They have a whole line up of local novels specially curated for the awards.

This year, Popular reached out and asked if I would review one of the titles and of course I said yes.

So here’s my review of The Commuting Reader which is from the English (Adult) category. Bear with me if my reviewing skills are not up to par. I haven’t reviewed a single book in ages.

The Commuting Reader

The Commuting reader is an anthology of  short stories, poems and comics all centred around a central theme of traveling. The book challenges our travelling habits and forces us as commuters to face up to the collective habits that we have developed.

The Poems

The collection of poems that peppered the pages of this book were probably my least favourite part of the book. I just felt like I couldn’t connect with the poems and most of them just seemed irrelevant. There were a couple that were nice as poems on their own. However, as a contribution to an anthology with a specific theme, they seemed to miss the mark.

The Prose

My favourite part of this book were the prose pieces. I loved each one but my favourite two were A Heart The Size Of An Armchair and Drunk and Orderly on The MRT.

A Heart The Size Of An Armchair

This is a story about a woman who gets called in to help cut up and preserve the skeleton of a sperm whale which has washed up dead along one of Singapore’s beaches. This is an event that actually happened a couple of years ago so I thought it was pretty cool to see this in the book. I also really loved how the author weaved in transport into the story. You really wouldn’t expect a story about a beached whale to have such strong elements of transport in it but there you go.

Drunk and Orderly on The MRT

This was my absolute favourite because of how the author confronted societal issues. So this story is basically about a drunk man on a train. I won’t spoil it for you by telling you any more but basically the drunk man puts a spotlight on our habits as commuters. As a social media generation. It’s incredible. You just have to read it to see.

The Comics

The comics were very interesting breaks in the story. I particularly enjoyed Herbal Tea. I thought it was really cute and sad. Even though the story felt pointless, it was quite nice to just be in it. White Rat, which was a comic on the war, was also gorgeously done. I was so blown away.

Readers’ Choice Award (RCA)

In an effort to support local talents, POPULAR came up with this campaign to recognize local authors. With three categories to choose from – English (Adult), Chinese and Children – readers of all ages will be able to vote for their favourite title. Voting ends 5 November 2017 and the winners will be announced on 16 December 2017 at BookFest@Singapore 2017.

RCA Voting Link:



SG Book Deals: Books Box Sale 2017


Hey guys! Guess what! SG Book Deals’s Books Box Sale is back for another year!

This is the third year that they are holding this glorious book sale and if you live in Singapore or will be in Singapore between the 4th to the 13th of August, you should check it out because this is the book sales of all book sales.

What will happen is that you will be given a huge box. You will then be able to pack in as many books as you possibly can. Once you’re done, you just go up to the counter and pay $50 for your giant box of books and you’re done.

How many books you take home completely depends on your packing skills and the size of the books you pick.

I remember I took home so many books last year that I couldn’t even count them.


Books Box Sale 2017 (Public Sale)

Date: 4-13 Aug 2017

Mon-Fri: 1pm-6pm

Sat, Sun, PH: 10am-6pm


Free Books for Students:

This year, in an attempt to get people into the habit of reading, SG Book Deals is giving away 100 books per day to students. You can get one book per student and it can be redeemed using your student pass.

Book Genres You Can Get:

  • Adult Fiction
  • Young Adult Fiction
  • Baby Toddler
  • Early readers for children
  • Intermediate readers for children
  • Activity/Novelty books for children
  • NonFiction
  • Selfimprovement
  • Business
  • Health Wellness
  • Parenting
  • Crafts Hobbies
  • National Geographic
  • Cookbooks
  • History
  •  Music
  • Academic
  • Christian

For more information, you can visit their socials here:


I will be down for the sale and I hope to see you guys there!


Review: It Started With Goodbye by Christina June


Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.

A modern play on the Cinderella story arc, Christina June’s IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE shows us that sometimes going after what you want means breaking the rules.

Publication Date: 9th May 2017


Okay so all the early reviews for this one have been absolutely glowing but for some reason, I just didn’t like it very much so here’s me who will very happily trash this insufferable book.


This book is your basic contemporary Cinderella spin off. We have Tatum, the tragic step daughter. Tilly, the stepsister, Belén the evil stepmother and Blanche the ‘fairy godmother’.

In the book, Tatum gets in trouble with the law for basically doing nothing while someone she barely knew tried to steal some phones.

As a result, she gets into major trouble. With her punishment laid out, Tatum’s father leaves for an extremely long business trip and essentially leaves Tatum at the mercy of her seemingly cruel stepmother, step grandmother and stepsister.

Now firstly, I don’t understand how Tatum managed to get into more trouble then her best friend who was the one actually with the guy who stole the phones in the first place.

Secondly, how are her parents so dumb that they did not see that she basically had next to nothing to do with the whole crime and that her punishment was totally uncalled for an unfair?

I mean seriously. That part could have been so much stronger.

The whole plot just felt unbelievable and weak.



Okay honestly, Tatum wasn’t a horrible character and her down-to-earth self and honest portrayal really salvaged a pretty crappy story line.

I liked hearing Tatum’s voice and I liked her personality. I feel like even though she was in a pretty crappy situation, she just really made the best of it and constantly tried to do her best for everyone in her life which was really great.


I’m sorry but Belén was literally the worst. I mean okay. You want to portray her as the evil stepmother who is pure evil and stuff, fine. Go ahead. But at least keep it that way. But no. Nope. She had to have a change of heart at the end. I’m just. I can’t.



So you’re telling me that two girls who have lived in the same house for ten years decide automatically that they can’t talk to each other and then one day, one person decides to try to crack the ice and in the next second they are best friends forever? Unrealistic much?


SK is the mystery boy that Tatum starts emailing and then goes off on a whirlwind romance with.

Now I know I only have a little experience with relationships but even I know that an online relationship is very different from a real life one and that upon the first meeting, one does not immediately fall in love and kiss and be perfect. You know what a kiss on the first meeting usually means? It usually means a hookup.

I mean come on. Their ‘relationship’ was so unrealistic. These things don’t happen in real life and I know that for a fact. Where was the awkwardness? Where was the getting to know you bit? No one is immediately that comfortable with someone they just met. Give me a break.



The concept was there. The general idea was there. However it was just executed very poorly and with very weak characters.

I hated how at the end everything was tied up with a pretty red bow. I mean come on. These things don’t happen in real life.

However, that said, I did think the story was not completely insufferable. I mean I didn’t DNF it so there’s something right?

I did enjoy certain aspects of the book. Like while I did not like SK and Tatum’s real life relationship, I did enjoy their online one because it reminded me a lot of the friendships I have with people who live in other countries. I also liked how Tatum bonded with Anna and the band. That was sweet and very cosy.

And so somehow, I am giving this book a generous three stars because I can’t bear to give it any less. I’m really just in the middle with it.

*An advanced copy of this book was provided to me to read and review by the publishers. However all opinions are my own.*





Unboxing: BooksActually’s July Book Box


Hey guys! So last Monday, BooksActually announced that they were officially starting their new book subscription service!

The second I heard about it, I knew that I needed it in my life because you know how I get about subscription boxes.

So let’s break it down. With BooksActually, you pay for either 3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions. They are $129, $229 and $369 respectively (including local shipping).


These boxes come every single month and they have a book as well as little bookish goodies.

The best part is that BooksActually has seven Book Elfs or Curators and they let you pick which one you feel would best suit you.

There’s really something for everyone with the different Curators and that’s one of the reasons why I really like BooksActually so much.

I received my box last week and before I go into anything else, I have to say that I’m freaking impressed with the speed of their shipping. Mine took two days to arrive.

Okay now that that is out of the way, let’s get to what was inside the box. Here’s my unboxing of BooksActually’s July Book Box by Rachel Quek:

1. The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde


‘The horror, whatever it was, had not yet entirely spoiled that marvellous beauty’ 

Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life, indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. The Picture of Dorian Gray was a succès de scandale. Early readers were shocked by its hints at unspeakable sins, and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895.


The book that was included in the box this month was The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Now I tend not to read a lot of classics so I was glad to know that I had yet to read it.

I’ve also actually been wanting to read more classics, specifically this book, because I have a quote from the book up on my  wall and I figure it’s probably good that I read the book if the quote is going to be up on my wall right?

Not to mention that the edition of this book that BooksActually included is absolutely gorgeous!

2. A drawstring pouch


In this box, there was a medium sized drawstring pouch with an illustration of someone reading on it.

Now I absolutely adore the illustration but I have no idea what I’m going to use the pouch for. I mean if it were smaller I would use it for my makeup but it’s not.

I guess I could use it to carry books around?

3. A lavender soy candle


Next up, is a lavender candle from Hush candle. This is my absolute favourite item in the whole box because it smells absolutely heavenly!

Now if you know me, you would know that my go to has always been Yankee candles. I love them to bits. But I think this soy candle has revolutionised everything I’ve ever thought of scented candles.

The scent is so strong but so incredible. It just fills your head and forces you to relax. Quite honestly, I’m just so impressed by it and even if you don’t get this box, go and buy this candle. It’s freaking amazing.

4. An empty, rusted tin


Now this was rather interesting. There was an empty, rusted tin in the box. Now sue me for believing that when you pay for something you should actually get something.

I honestly did not see the point of an empty tin. I mean I get that BooksActually is all about the aesthetic but sorry. That was a no go.

5. Dead leaves


Guys this was honestly the highlight of the whole entire box. I got some dead leaves. I mean seriously? Where else can you find a subscription box that will give you dead leaves? I’m just so blown away by how creative they are. I can’t wait to use my dead leaves. It’s just going to make the whole reading experience so much better!

So there you have it. That was everything that was in this month’s BooksActually box. I’m honestly really excited that Singapore is branching out (no pun intended) and getting more involved in the book world. I think it’s such a great step in the right direction.


Also, I know that many of you will now be wondering which book subscription service you should go with. Carpe Librum or BooksActually. As someone who has gotten both, I will be helping you out of course. So look out for a Carpe Librum and BooksActually comparison coming really soon (hopefully this week)


Spotlight: School Of Deaths by Christopher Mannino

School of Deaths Book Cover

The Scythe Wielder’s Secret is a thrilling young adult fantasy/adventure series by Christopher Mannino. The first two books in the trilogy, School of Deaths and Sword of Deaths, are out now, with the third book Daughter of Deaths expected to be released next year.

The Scythe Wielder’s Secret series has received rave reviews and been compared to bestsellers like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson. It is recommended for readers who enjoy magical realism, fantasy, paranormal, middle grade, young adult, and/or books with a strong female protagonist.

School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 1):

Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death?

Suzie Sarnio is a thirteen-year-old whose world is turned upside down when she discovers that she is destined to be a Death. She always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe, but now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. As her year progresses, Suzie uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must learn and embrace the reason she was chosen to be the first female Death in a million years.

Praise for School of Deaths:

“If you like Harry Potter, you’ll love this!” – Sasha Alsberg, A Book Utopia

“Wonderful! Addictive! Two thumbs up! The plot itself was beyond intriguing. It definitely took me for a spin. I wasn’t expecting the story to take me where it did, and it definitely kept me guessing all the way toward the end. The author did a wonderful job at keeping me both entertained and fascinated by the world he created. Would recommend School of Deaths to YA lovers everywhere.” – Kristy Centeno, author of The Keeper Witches series and the Secrets of the Moon series.

“The characters are well developed, the story is complex and non-stop. Lots of surprises along the way. A dash of romance, lots of intrigue, mystery, and fantasy. This was a book I didn’t want to end.” – Montzalee Wittman

“Loved this book! Suzie is a wonderfully well written and in depth main character. I understood her struggle and appreciated her growth throughout the book.” – Ann Andrews

“Not just a book for young adults, but an imaginative read for everyone who likes something a little bit different. 5 Stars!” – Reader’s Favorite


Chapter 1

“You okay, squirt?” Joe bounded through her bedroom door. He smelled of sweat and dirt.

“I’m okay,” said Suzie. She sat up in her bed, putting her book aside. “They teased me a lot today.”

“You? My sister? I’ll beat ’em up.” He slapped her on the back playfully, making Suzie slump forward. He leaned closer to her and peered in her eyes. His cinnamon gum stank.

“Tell me honestly.” He lowered his voice to whisper. “What’s going on? You’ve been losing weight since Bumper died. Mom and Dad are freaking out.”

“I’m not trying to scare them, Joe. I’m sure I look anorexic or something, but I keep eating and eating and nothing changes. It must be some disease the doctors haven’t heard about, they’re bringing in a specialist and everything.”

“Suzie?” Joe sat next to her and wrapped his big, muscular arms around her wiry frame. “You’ll be okay?”

“I will be, yeah.”

“Susan,” called Mom from downstairs. A moment later, her head appeared in the doorway. Joe released Suzie and stood.

“How are you feeling honey?” asked Mom.

“I’m fine.”

“Why don’t you both come down for dinner?”

“Okay, Mom,” they said in unison. Joe turned to Suzie and smiled. They headed downstairs and sat down.

“Your father had an urgent call, and won’t be home until late,” said Mom, carrying a steaming dish of delicious-smelling rosemary chicken and potatoes to the table. The doorbell rang.

“I hope it’s not the Mormons again,” muttered Mom, rising.

“I’ll get it,” said Joe. Whenever Dad wasn’t home, Joe tended to act like the man of the house. Suzie wasn’t sure if he was annoying or endearing, or perhaps a little of both. Mom sat down, and Joe opened the door.

“Can I help you?”

A hunchbacked man in a black robe, carrying an immense scythe, stood in the doorway. Something shiny hung around his neck.

“Er, um. H-h-hello. I-i-i-s Su-su-su-Susan here?”

Joe laughed. “Halloween’s not for over a month, man. Why don’t you come back then?” He started to close the door, but the strange man lowered his scythe, propping it open.

“What are you doing?” yelled Joe.
“P-p-please. I n-n-need to ta-talk to Susan,” he stammered.

Suzie gasped, remembering where she had seen the strange man. He was the one who opened the door looking out in the strange dream she kept having. Mom touched the blade of the scythe and drew her hand back in surprise.

“That thing’s real,” she said. “Get out. Get out of my house!”

“P-p-p-please,” he started again.

“Wait, Mom,” Suzie said, rising. Joe, Mom, and the strange man turned to her. “I want to talk to him.” Was it the man from her dream?

“Susan, sit down,” said Mom, her voice trembling.

“No, it’s okay,” said Suzie. She walked to the door. The man seemed scared, even a little confused. He was probably her father’s age, but was nothing like Dad. His face was chubby, unshaven, and pockmarked, and his blond hair was uncombed. A golden chain with a charm hung from his neck. He raised his scythe and nodded. Joe held the door, ready to slam it, but Suzie stood in the entrance.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“My n-n-n-name is K-k-k-Cronk. C-Cronk Averill.”

“C-Cronk Averill?” laughed Joe. “Is this guy for real?”

“I’ve c-c-c-come to t-t-t-take you b-b-b-back.”

“Take me back where?” asked Suzie.

“You are a D-d-d-d…”


“A Death,” said Cronk. Joe reached for Suzie, but before he touched her, Cronk grabbed Suzie’s arm. His speed surprised her. She yelled, but he raised his scythe and lowered it, cutting the air. Suddenly, the house, Joe, Mom, and the entire world vanished. Colors and smells, noises and strange sensations, flowed past Suzie in a blur.

She opened her eyes. She was standing in a field. Cronk stood in front of her, frowning.

“What did you do?” she demanded. “Where are we?” She looked up. It was sunny. But there were two suns.

About the Author:

bandw Headshot

Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance and production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.

Christopher’s debut novel School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 1) was published in May 2014 by MuseItUp Publishing. The second book in the trilogy, Sword of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 2), was published in August 2015. The third book Daughter of Deaths is expected to be released in 2016. His series has received rave reviews and been compared to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

Christopher’s wife Rachel Mannino is also an author. She writes romance books. To learn more, go to

Readers can connect with Christopher on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

To learn more, go to


Review: Dreamology by Lucy Keating


For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. It turns out, though, that Real Max is nothing like Dream Max, and getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

When their dreams start to bleed dangerously into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?


I quite honestly wasn’t sure if I wanted to review this book because so much of it bore such striking resemblance to my own life that I wanted to put it down multiple times especially within the first 30% of it. In fact I’m still not sure what exactly I’m doing because this is so personal it’s a bit cringe-y. Okay.

Let me explain.

I have an imaginary cast in my head. I personify the voice in my head as two people with a names and a bodies and everything except faces.

I can never imagine the faces of anyone that I have never physically met or seen a picture of. In fact that’s why I never have a casting preference for book-movie adaptations. Simply because I can never see faces in my head.

So while I wouldn’t say that I have exactly what Alice had (obviously, that would be really crazy), I’ve always imagined that there was someone there who would be my sort of perfect (and unrealistic) boyfriend but also not really. It’s hard to explain but basically we hang out in my mind scape and he’s just there.

Anyway, I had exactly what happened to Alice happen in real life to me some time ago.

I met this person who had the same name as my imaginary ‘boyfriend’ and who checked every single one of my boxes when it comes to a life partner and he had every single thing but he was off the market if you know what I mean. Just like Max was.

So reading this book was a bit weird for me because the whole first part was just ridiculously similar to what happened when I met this person that I was a bit freaked out.

Okay enough of me because that was so cringe to write. Let’s talk about the book.


I thought the whole premise of the story was something that was very interesting and fairly unheard of in the YA genre. I thought the idea of two people dreaming of each other their whole lives and then meeting was just such a unique concept that has never really been explored.

However I feel like the whole story was geared towards them trying to fix this part of themselves that was ruined by a dream centre and yet somehow, when it got to the part when they were supposed to get all their answers, it was very rushed and barely explained and it was almost just brushed off.

I wanted to know how it was possible. I wanted to know what this person did to stop the dreams. I wanted to know what happened and I didn’t get that and it irked me to no end.


My second problem was the dreams. I hate it when contemporary books do dream sequences because it’s so unrealistic! The reality is that most of us only remember 30% of a dream (or nothing at all!) and probably one in 30 dreams actually make sense or have a  structure to it and that leaves something for you to think about.

But when authors do dream sequences, they always make them structured in a way and while yes this book did have dreams with giant Jenga and talking parrots and teleporting, I felt like each dream was very structured and there was always so much sense in each dream. I just feel like it was unrealistic.




I really liked Alice. I felt like I could relate to her a lot. Loving someone more then the person loved you back. Always being afraid that people were going to leave and that if things didn’t stay exactly the same way then everything will go wrong and the person will disappear.

I just felt like she was everybody’s secret fear. She embodied what everyone is secretly scared of but won’t ever admit for fear of sounding like a loser or just desperate.



Max was a very decent guy in that he did exactly what he should have done but I found it hard to like him that much mainly because he reminded me a lot of the person I was talking about earlier. That guy was so up and down and Max reminded me of how insecure he used to make me feel.

I didn’t like how he toyed with Alice’s feelings and forced her to ride his rollercoaster. I mean he knew how much she reflected how he acted towards her and yet he took her on a wild ride and let his emotions take him away and in the process, Alice too.

He just reminded me of all the people in my past that have taken advantage of the fact that I ride everyone’s rollercoaster and I didn’t like that at all.



I think it was a good concept and I can see it going very far. I mean in the end it was a very cute story and I did enjoy the mushy-gushy aspect of it.

But I feel like the crux of the story lay in solving the mystery of their dreams and it was done very haphazardly. Too much attention was put on making it a cute romance and not enough on the fact that there was a very real problem that needed to be solved.

So I would totally recommend this book for the romance but if you actually wanted to get to the bottom of the weird things going on, you’re probably better off reading Never Never by Colleen Hoover.


I’ll see you soon



An Interview With The Founder of Litsy


Hey guys! So today I have a little something different for you. So Litsy recently got in touch with me and offered to let me interview one of the app’s founders, Todd Lawton who started Out Of Print in 2010.

So Litsy is basically an app that allows readers to track what they are reading as well as review and rate them. It brings the book community together with a feature that allows users to upload photos of themselves or their books or anything really. Basically Bookstagram.

It’s pretty amazing and today I’m going to chat with Todd about the creation of the app and what it’s all about.


Todd Lawton (left) and Matt LeBlanc (right) are the founders of Litsy

1) What inspired you to start Litsy?

Initially, we were inspired by shelf talkers and staff picks found at our favorite bookstores.  We wanted to make a digital experience that could be as fun and personal.  On Litsy, the user decides who to follow, so every post comes from a credible source—in the same way you appreciate the opinion of your local bookseller.

2) Moving from making apparel to a social app is quite a jump. How did you decide to do it?

Shortly after launching Out of Print in 2010, we realized our primary reason for being was to help readers start conversations.  Connecting readers is our mission.  Adding a social community app to our offering seemed like a natural extension to what we were already doing.  Our products help readers share their love for books in the physical world, Litsy helps them when they have something bookish to say and no one is around.

3) Many people have compared Litsy to Goodreads. How is Litsy different from it?

We’re 100% focused on being social.  Litsy conversations capture all reading moments, not just reviews.  It’s been exciting to see that so far 2/3 of the posts have been non-review, and they have received the most reaction.  Being mobile first, we have thought about the experience in a way that helps readers easily share their book thoughts whenever and wherever they have them.  It’s a much more spontaneous platform.  Discovery is also different.  We offer a stream of posts that lead readers down a rabbit hole in which saving books to a reading list is effortless.

4) If I was already on Goodreads, what would be the draw for me to join Litsy?

Litsy is a super positive community.  Everyone is excited to share what they are reading.  It’s incredible—once you build a community, and make some posts, the support you receive makes you want to read more.  There’s also the excitement to help shape a community that has already reached 96 countries.

5) What was the main idea behind Litsy?

To truly be “where books make friends.”

6) What’s your favorite article of clothing that you have designed for Out Of Print?

I’m a big fan of our foreign cover art.  I love seeing how other cultures interpret books and visualize the classics.  As a category, it’s a favorite.  I wear my Sherlock Holmes and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” shirts quite a lot, too.

7) Where do you see Litsy in the next few months?

With a lot more users! We’re working on adding Android devices and features focused on improved sharing and discovery.  We have a couple new post types we think are going to be fast favorites.  Basically, what it is today at its core with more joy and magic.

8) How did you come up with the name Litsy?

We like the way it sounded.  It’s anchored in “Lit,” sounds like glitzy and tipsy.  Like, “Everybody in the bookclub, gettin Litsy!”  It’s fun and friendly, the way we believe book talk should be.

I personally love Litsy. It’s a great way to communicate with people and to share book stuff. I mean it’s basically two of my favourite things in one. Instagram and Goodreads.

If you are interested, you can download the app and you can follow me. I’m Twentythreepages on there.

Much love to Litsy for setting this up!


April Wrap Up

Guess what guess what! I read seven books this month!

Yes that’s right! I am getting my reading back! I am finally settling down and reading more. Now if only my Goodreads Reading Challenge would agree with that statement, we should be good.

Every Heart A Doorway Seanan McGuire


Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

This book was given to me as an ARC by the publishers and I honestly wasn’t too sure about it. I mean I liked it. But it also reminded me a lot of Miss Peregrines’s Home For Peculiar Children and unpopular opinion here but I hated that book.

Read my full review here.


The Timekeeper by Mitch Albom


In this fable, the first man on earth to count the hours becomes Father Time.

The inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world – now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began – and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.

This book was actually spoiled for me by someone and that’s why I rushed to read it so that I didn’t end up convincing myself not to read it. I am so glad that I decided to push through with it. This is an amazing book with so much depth and I loved it.

Read my full review here.


A Series Of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket


Dear Reader,

If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted, but their lives, I am sorry to say, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and this one may be the worst of them all.If you haven’t got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, a signalling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this book will probably fill you with despair.I will continue to record these tragic tales, for that is what I do. You, however, should decide for yourself whether you can possibly endure this miserable story.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

I listened to this on audiobook and I have to say that I really struggled to enjoy it mainly because I hated Lemony Snicket as a narrator. His voice just wasn’t as good as Tim Curry and I also found it to be very soft for some reason. Like I would be in a quiet car with the volume maxed out in my headphones and I would still have to strain to hear it. It was crazy.

That said though, the story was still really good as usual.


Sixty Seven Salamanders by Jeff Joseph


Adin Anderson lives in a small town where the stagnant flow of time is considered peace and quiet, but that isn’t good enough for him. He may not be a big believer in fate, but something bigger has to be out there for him. And the day he receives a random letter from an unlikely source may be it.

This was a book that was completely out of my genre and I didn’t hate it but let’s just say that I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

I did a full review here.


When We Collided by Emery Lord


We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.

This was a book that started out horrifically and ended amazingly. It deals with a mental illness and love and it was very cringey and insta-lovey in the beginning but once the book went into gear, it got so good.

I did a full review of it here.


The Start Of Me And You by Emery Lord


It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

This was the Rainbow Bookclub’s BOTM and I have to say that I truly enjoyed it. It was such a positive book with no insta-love and no cliches and I thought it was excellent. The love story was very believable and overall it was just a very realistic book which I loved.


Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke


Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

Okay this was a very strange little book. I mean it’s quite easily the strangest book I’ve ever read. Now I enjoy flowery language and unstable narrators as much as the next person but this book just overdid it to the point that I was actually so confused. I mean there was a lot of symbolism but some things just didn’t add up especially at the end where everything was ‘revealed’. I say ‘revealed’ because I don’t feel like a lot of the story was solved. Like the ending was just so unrealistic and it made no sense. Also the reactions of the characters to the big reveal was quite silly in my opinion. This was a very overly hyped book.


Yay! I read seven books! I’m honestly so happy with myself. Hopefully in May I’ll be able to do eight books!