Crazy Town by Robyn Doolittle [Book Review]

Book Reviews, Toronto Adventures

imageI became enthralled by “the Rob Ford Story” because of CP24 — a news station that seemed to be dripping with information about the alleged “crack video”. Every day when I walked into work there would be a new story about Ford and I became addicted. I don’t follow politics, nor did I know who Rob Ford was before all of the hype on TV, nor do I or will I state my opinion about the mayor of Toronto. What I will say is that his scandals make for really good television.

As someone who loves Toronto and hopes to be a resident some day (I live a little north of the city), I thought it would be important for me to learn more about the Ford situation and try to understand what exactly is going on at City Hall. When I heard about the Robyn Doolittle book: CRAZY TOWN, I knew I had to read it. I asked my friends at Penguin for a copy and thankfully they obliged.

Toronto Star reporter Robyn Doolittle was one of three journalists to view the video and report on its contents in May 2013. Her dogged pursuit of the story has uncovered disturbing details about the mayor’s past, and embroiled the Toronto police, city councillors, and ordinary citizens in a raucous debate about the future of the city.

CRAZY TOWN paints a detailed and interesting picture of the Mayor of Toronto and his family. Robyn’s writing is thoughtful and filled with purpose to the point that this book reads like a novel, like a literary story. I had to remind myself at times that it isn’t some fictional account, it is the past and present of the Ford family. It’s the truth knocking at the door, demanding to be let in. What I liked most about CRAZY TOWN was the fact that Robyn Doolittle isn’t trying to pressure you into feeling a certain way about Ford. She has her sources, she has her facts, and her writing is pure and without bias. She admits to Ford’s good points, stating “Rob Ford might be a genus—if not of the academic variety, certainly of the kind that matters in politics”. You are given a reporter’s side and a mayor’s side — your only job as a reader is to get locked into a fascinating story and it’s not difficult to do.

In writing this book—and preparing these notes—I have tried to be as open and transparent as possible about my reporting process and how I know the things I know.”

I’ll admit that this account is so detailed that some of the politics went a little over my head but I was always brought back with enough information to wrap my head around what was happening. I found CRAZY TOWN to be deliciously interesting, especially the first few chapters about Ford Sr. and Rob’s siblings. My heart raced when Robyn recounted viewing the crack video for the first time and my mind sharpened as it was fed important facts, dates, and names.

I recommend this book to anyone who has felt captivated by Rob Ford’s many scandals, to anyone who wants to know more about the Mayor of Toronto, to anyone interested in politics, and to anyone who loves a well-written book.

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Quote 1: Page 65

Quote 2: Page 314

Synopsis from the Penguin Canada website.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of CRAZY TOWN by Robyn Doolittle in exchange for an honest review. 

My Life in Middlemarch [Author Interview with @RebeccaMead_NYC]

Book Reviews, Bursting the Bubble, Lifestyle/Personal, Toronto Adventures

9780385676861I read My Life in Middlemarch earlier this month and was absolutely thrilled when asked if I would like to interview the author for my blog. Rebecca Mead is a journalist and writer for The New Yorker so you can imagine how nervous I was to meet her. I was unfamiliar with her work before this book and after reading some of her articles I had a feeling that I would enjoy her writing style. My Life in Middlemarch is an interesting read, part biography, part memoir, Rebecca Mead tells the tale of how a book can help shape a life. The more I read this book, the harder I tried to think of a novel that affected me the same way that Middlemarch affected Rebecca. The only book that came to mind was Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson — it helps my find my voice each and every time.

My short walk from lunch to the Random House office was a nerve-wracking one. Yes, technically, it could be considered my old stomping grounds but Thursday I was back as an interviewer. I walked into the boardroom and felt immediately better as I was introduced to a petite English woman with a bright smile and firm handshake. In true Vanessa fashion I came well-equipped with a notebook, pen, and a Voice Notes app to document everything. As the questioning got underway I felt a little more assured of myself, and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation.

Rebecca Mead is oozing with brilliance, she is a great storyteller and answered each question I asked with passion and honesty. I loved the way that she thought about her answers, as if she was sorting through a mental catalogue in her mind to find just the right words. I found myself staring at her, with my head on my hand, leaning into her words, trying to soak up her stories, her dreams for her book, and her thoughts about the writing world.

I hope readers will get some measure of the kind of experience I had writing it; which is one of great joy and discovery and recuperation of my own youth, my own mistakes, [a] reconciliation with my younger self.

She recounted her journey writing My Life in Middlemarch, the two years it took to conceive the idea and then the mere five months it took to write it. Once she got the book’s structure down she found it easy to write. Her passion for Middlemarch is something she called peculiarly close but it fuelled her desire to write this book. When I asked if her passion for the subject helped her writing she smiled and replied; “I like writing. Some writers are tortured, I’m not really tortured. I’ve never liked anything as much as I like this.”

The research she did for this book interested me most, the libraries she visited, spending time with George Eliot’s partner’s descendents, holding George Eliot’s writing pen, reading Eliot’s journal that smelt of a burning fire. “Am I smelling the fire that burned in George Eliot’s room as she sat in her parlour?” — she retold this moment with stars in her eyes and a gleeful smile on her face, as she fiddled absent-mindedly with her earrings. Reading Eliot’s journal was her “special effect moment”, something she referred to when I told her that I pictured her holding Eliot’s pen as the same moment as Harry Potter getting his first wand (I actually said that).

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After our discussion about her book I asked her some writerly questions. “There was a British Journalist that said Being a journalist is the best way to see the world on someone else’s money. And I thought, yes, that is what I want to do”. We discussed how difficult it has become for young writers to make a name for themselves, how nowadays it’s difficult to make a living off of writing. She mentioned that some writers try to make a name for themselves at the expense of others. That’s not her thing, she’s more interested in comprehension. She tries to understand why people are a certain way, not expose them or their mistakes. My respect for her as a writer skyrocketed after that comment. She admitted that if she were my age right now she wouldn’t know what to do, her honesty moved me.

But if you’re a writer, you write, and you write as many places as you can. The same as we did in my day.

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Thank you, Rebecca Mead for a truly unforgettable conversation. I found your honesty, passion, and humble disposition extremely refreshing. Thank you for the advice, for sitting through my questions, and for inspiring me beyond belief. Thank you to Scott and Lindsey from Random House of Canada for somehow thinking that I would be a good interviewer ;)!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Click here to read the synopsis of My Life in Middlemarch

Photo Credit: Random House of Canada

The Bear [Book Review]

Book Reviews, Just for Fun

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The black dog is not scratching. He goes back to his sniffing and huffing and then he starts cracking his bone. Stick and I are huddled tight. . . . It is dark and no Daddy or Mommy and after a while I watch the lids of my eyes close down like jaws.

Told from the point of view of a six-year-old child, The Bear is the story of Anna and her little brother, Stick–two young children forced to fend for themselves in Algonquin Park after a black bear attacks their parents. A gripping and mesmerizing exploration of the child psyche, this is a survival story unlike any other, one that asks what it takes to survive in the wilderness and what happens when predation comes from within.

That moment when you’re reading a book and you think Wow, this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever read! — it happened only 18 pages into The Bear by Claire Cameron. When I interned at Random House last April, I remember binding a fresh manuscript of The Bear, reading snippets of the pages as I flipped through them. I knew almost a year ago that I had to get my hands on this book. The scattered thoughts of six-year-old Anna are painted beautifully. You understand her mind, you feel her fears, and you remember what it’s like to be a child. Claire Cameron artfully throws you into the mind of a child, it is complex and simple and stunning.

“When Momma gets mad she doesn’t yell. She looks at me and lets the sad drip up from her heart through her veins and into her eyes. Her eyes send the sad into my eyes and then it drips back down into my heart and makes it feel like a ball.”

I’ll admit that once in a while I had a hard time following little Anna’s thoughts, but that’s kind of the point. Children don’t think like adults but they are just as brave, if not more so. Anna is the bravest character I have ever encountered. Even through all of her hunger, all of her questions, and all of her fears, she was determined to save her brother and to be a good girl for her parents.

The Bear gave me severe anxiety. It held me captive. I was drawn to Anna’s understanding (or lack thereof) of what happened to her parents. My heart ached and my stomach fell to the floor when Anna described the sounds that she hears from inside Coleman (the cooler her father put her and her brother in during the bear attack). I began to sweat when Anna and Stick got out Coleman and were surrounded by “mess”. Whenever she spoke of her family being a group of four not just two or one, my eyes filled with tears. Their journey of survival will leave you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this moving book — it’s on sale today!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Disclosure: I chose The Bear from a list of books provided by Random House of Canada. A copy was sent to me in return for an honest review. 

Photo Credit and Synopsis: Random House of Canada 

Quote from page 13 of The Bear

I am “THAT WOMAN” [Book Review]

Book Reviews, Just for Fun

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This morning, I sat down with I AM THAT WOMAN by Vanessa Shields and a cup of coffee. I was swept away by this beautiful collection of poetry. Vanessa Shields is a writer, poet, and novelist living in Windsor, Ontario. We’re Twitter friends, and I am now a huge fan of her work. I’m also a writer (poetry and other things) living in Ontario, so not only do we share a name but a love for the written word. Her poems are strong, sexy, seductive, and raw. She lives on the page, she breathes life into her words, and bleeds until she makes you cry. I do have favourites and have flagged them all (Tell Me Stories, Space to Unload, There, Using Cancer to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket, Why I Won’t Meet Tom Cruise For The First Time When I’m In A Coma, Where Is The Love?, A Woman’s Love, etc). I love the poems about writing, I adore her poems about love, and her poems about sex and love quench a thirst I haven’t known before. Her words and poems are imaginative, feminist, and so real they will give you goosebumps. When Vanessa signed my book she wrote, May you find pieces of yourself on these pages. Although I may not know what giving birth is like, or How to Sneeze After You’ve Given Birth Twice, pieces of myself found me as I flipped through the pages. I (too) AM THAT WOMAN. This book of poetry is the only book I will keep in my purse at all times, I want to savour it over and over again.

My passion is thick

My bravery is imperfect

My soul is scarred and mended

My here is shattered and sewn

And I am not alone

I recommend this book all of you poetry lovers out there.

Click here for information on the book launch!

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Talk soon, 

Vanessa Xo

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of  I am That Woman by Vanessa Shields for an honest review.

Book Launch Photo Credit: VanessaShields.com 

Quote from: page 43 of  I am That Woman

Edited by: Grammarly 

I am "THAT WOMAN" [Book Review]

Book Reviews, Just for Fun

image

This morning, I sat down with I AM THAT WOMAN by Vanessa Shields and a cup of coffee. I was swept away by this beautiful collection of poetry. Vanessa Shields is a writer, poet, and novelist living in Windsor, Ontario. We’re Twitter friends, and I am now a huge fan of her work. I’m also a writer (poetry and other things) living in Ontario, so not only do we share a name but a love for the written word. Her poems are strong, sexy, seductive, and raw. She lives on the page, she breathes life into her words, and bleeds until she makes you cry. I do have favourites and have flagged them all (Tell Me Stories, Space to Unload, There, Using Cancer to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket, Why I Won’t Meet Tom Cruise For The First Time When I’m In A Coma, Where Is The Love?, A Woman’s Love, etc). I love the poems about writing, I adore her poems about love, and her poems about sex and love quench a thirst I haven’t known before. Her words and poems are imaginative, feminist, and so real they will give you goosebumps. When Vanessa signed my book she wrote, May you find pieces of yourself on these pages. Although I may not know what giving birth is like, or How to Sneeze After You’ve Given Birth Twice, pieces of myself found me as I flipped through the pages. I (too) AM THAT WOMAN. This book of poetry is the only book I will keep in my purse at all times, I want to savour it over and over again.

My passion is thick

My bravery is imperfect

My soul is scarred and mended

My here is shattered and sewn

And I am not alone

I recommend this book all of you poetry lovers out there.

Click here for information on the book launch!

cropped-IAM_std_LAUNCH_REV1

Talk soon, 

Vanessa Xo

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of  I am That Woman by Vanessa Shields for an honest review.

Book Launch Photo Credit: VanessaShields.com 

Quote from: page 43 of  I am That Woman

Edited by: Grammarly 

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches [BOOK REVIEW]

Book Reviews

Around this time last year, I reviewed the fifth instalment of the Flavia de Luce mysteries (Speaking from Among the Bones). The ending of that novel was so gripping that I couldn’t wait for the sixth instalment to come out and it finally has!

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Alan Bradley is an honest-to-goodness genius when it comes to Flavia de Luce. She is one character I cannot get enough of — smart, brave, curious and always up to no good (and yet she has the best intentions at heart)! What I loved about this novel was how it stayed mostly at Buckshaw, how the characters came to Flavia instead of her peddling her way through the entire village. I loved how you got into the core of each of the de Luce’s, how you got to see a different side of them because you got to witness something that is so close to their hearts.

Bishop’s Lacey is never short of two things: mysteries to solve and pre-adolescent detectives to solve them. In this New York Times bestselling series of cozy mysteries, young chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce once again brings her knowledge of poisons and her indefatigable spirit to solve the most dastardly crimes the English countryside has to offer, and in the process, she comes closer than ever to solving her life’s greatest mystery–her mother’s disappearance. . .

I admit *SPOILER* that I was truly disappointed when Flavia’s mother returned to Buckshaw in a coffin instead of walking on her own two feet. I was truly saddened for Flavia, I wanted her to meet her mother so desperately that I was brought to tears a few times while reading. But then… the mystery overtakes you and you nearly forget your sadness… because with Flavia, there is always a corpse nearby and a mystery to be solved! This mystery has to be my favourite by a long shot, it is so detailed, calculated, and intertwined that you have no idea where it’s going to take you next. You’re on the same page as Flavia the entire time. Each clue adds a little confusion and excitement, but not to worry, everything is always settled in the end. There are no loose ends, just new beginnings, and new tomorrows…

“What are we going to do, Dogger?”

It seemed a reasonable question. After all he had been through, surely Dogger knew something of hopeless situations.

“We shall wait upon tomorrow,” he said.

“But–what if tomorrow is worse than today?”

“Then we shall wait upon the day after tomorrow.”

“And so forth?” I asked.

“And so forth,” Dogger said.

It was comforting to have an answer, even one I didn’t understand. I must have looked skeptical.

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PLEASE TELL ME THERE IS GOING TO BE A BOOK #7?!

I’m not ready to say goodbye to this sleuth!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Disclosure: I chose The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches from a list of Random House Canada titles and received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Quote: Page 273 of The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches

Synopsis: Random House of Canada

Photos: MY PEN, MY VOICE and living in the kingdom of too much 

Post edited by: Grammarly

The Signature of All Things [Book Review]

Book Reviews, Just for Fun

Have you been following along with Penguin’s Daily December Delights? If you have, you’ll know that today’s featured book is The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.

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In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittakera poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henrys brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her fathers money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Almas research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite directioninto the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artistbut what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

I was introduced to Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing with Eat, Pray, Love, a book that took me around the world, taught me something each step of the way, and helped me to re-evaluate my own life. With The Signature of All Things, I was taken around the world but in a different time period, following a different journey. This novel follows the journey of a very wealthy, stubborn, and hardworking man, and trickles into his daughter’s journey. As a lover of historical fiction I found Elizabeth’s depiction of this time period truly fascinating. You can tell that an intense amount of research went into forming this novel and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about various plants and how they were used/what they were used for. The Signature of All Things is such a detailed account that it didn’t leave much left for the imagination, which is something that would normally trouble me, but I found it worked well for this novel. Every character is alive, you can see them, hear them, and fall in love with them. Alma is a wonderful character and one that I won’t soon forget. I love how her curiosity never ceases and how she is constantly trying to answer why or how. 

“She wanted to understand the world, and she made a habit out of chasing down information to its last hiding place, as though the fate of nations were at stake in every instance…and when given the answer–demanded to know why this was certain.”  (51)

I must admit that the length of this novel and the detailed descriptions had my attention waver a few times. It’s the sort of story that’s easy to get sucked into but you have to be in the mood for it. You have to be sitting up and paying attention to what’s going on in order to get the most out of it. It’s not Eat, Pray, Love (if that’s what you’re looking for) but it is just as relatable if you give it a chance. I would recommend this novel to any historical fiction lover on your list – there’s only three days until Christmas but that’s plenty of time for a last-minute gift!

Don’t forget to head over to Penguin’s Daily Delights to enter to win your very own copy of The Signature of All Things!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

mY Generation

Bursting the Bubble, Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

I’ve been slurping up articles on the so-called GENERATION Y (anyone born between the late 1970s to mid 1990s) simply because I am part of said generation. Many articles discuss our generation as lazy or restless young people who can’t find jobs and who want to redefine what work is. So far my favourite article is from The Globe and Mail (by LEAH EICHLER), where she discusses the issues without making me feel like it’s my fault for not being employed. This article has given me a lot to think about and has also embedded some hope in my weary heart. Kayla Cruz, who runs the Lost Gen Y Girl blog states,“Big organizations aren’t offering young professionals opportunities to grow and expand their job functions, so they’re creating these opportunities for themselves”. I can list a number of Torontonians who are following their dreams, creating their own jobs, and paving their own way. It’s amazing and inspiring for someone like myself, maybe finding my way is actually getting up enough gusto to MAKE MY OWN WAY. First though, I think I may need to fly the coop.

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“Parents today spend an inordinate amount of time being the advance person for their kids. When kids enter the work force, it’s time to let them go.” Kevin Shea 

Although I haven’t packed my canvas bag just yet, I’m thinking about it. My parents have never said anything to be about moving out, nor do they think it’s a great decision until I have a full-time permanent career. Be that as it may, I feel as though my independence is slipping away (or was it ever really there?). My parents do a lot for me, plain and simple. They know that I’m spoiled but feel as though I work hard enough for it to be justified. So what’s the problem? Well, I’m terrified that I don’t do enough for myself, I’m scared that I wouldn’t know how to survive without the bubble that my parents (and myself) have created. At twenty-four-years-old there are many things that I don’t know how to do or haven’t had to do — and that’s just crazy. Maybe it’s time for me to venture out on my own, to spread my wings and fall fly. Maybe it’s time for me to STOP being a stereotype and START paving my own path. It’s time to follow the dreams that have been lurking inside me, dreams involving travel, moving to a new province or city. That’s not to say that I won’t need my parents, that I won’t call them every single day or FaceTime them until they’re sick of seeing my face. I just want to make them proud, I want them to see me as the independent successful woman that they always hoped I’d become.

The time is now…or soon…ish.

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Worst. Person. Ever. [Book Review]

Book Reviews, Just for Fun

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 8.13.00 AMRandom House of Canada published two amazing books on the same day and somehow I got my hands on both of them. After having my mind thoroughly blown by Dave Eggers’ The CircleI laughed out loud for three days reading Douglas Coupland’s Worst. Person. Ever. To both authors I offer the highest of fives…

request-fiveDouglas Coupland has literally created the worst person ever in Raymond Gunt. He’s selfish, rude, sarcastic, ignorant, uncaring, misogynistic, and well incredibly loveable. Neal, a homeless man he befriends, is probably my favourite character on the face of this earth. He’s sweet, intelligent, and stud-ly. Him and Raymond together are the book equivalent of Barney and Ted but a lot dirtier, and they swear a lot. What I loved about this book is the way real issues and real human truths were targeted and depicted in a sarcastic and witty way. It had my brain buzzing and my mouth smiling the entire time. It’s a quick read and will have you in a good mood by the end of it. You’ll enjoy all of Raymond’s troubles simply because you know he deserves it, his denial will both annoy you and tickle you, and his outlook on life will make you feel that much better about your own. This novel is…

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“…we’ve all been in situations beyond our control. Hell, it’s what gives life its spice: you miss a bus, the hot water stops working, a 767 slams into your office tower. When things go sideways, I try to make lemonade out of lemons as it were.” (Page 113)

Go make some lemonade.

___

Love Always

Vanessa Xo 

Synopsis from the Random House of Canada Website: 
Worst. Person. Ever. is a deeply unworthy book about a dreadful human being with absolutely no redeeming social value. Raymond Gunt, in the words of the author, “is a living, walking, talking, hot steaming pile of pure id.” He’s a B-unit cameraman who enters an amusing downward failure spiral that takes him from London to Los Angeles and then on to an obscure island in the Pacific where a major American TV network is shooting a Survivor-style reality show. Along the way, Gunt suffers multiple comas and unjust imprisonment, is forced to reenact the “Angry Dance” from the movie Billy Elliot and finds himself at the centre of a nuclear war. We also meet Raymond’s upwardly failing sidekick, Neal, as well as Raymond’s ex-wife, Fiona, herself “an atomic bomb of pain.”
Even though he really puts the “anti” in anti-hero, you may find Raymond Gunt an oddly likeable character.

The Circle by Dave Eggers [Book Review]

Book Reviews, Lifestyle/Personal

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I heard about The Circle by Dave Eggers at Bookstravaganza and being a social media lover, I knew I had to read it. This novel is 491 pages of utter brilliance, it is the modern-day 1984 by George Orwell and it depicts everything that can go wrong with social media.

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

I related to Mae on various levels, I am also a recent graduate, age twenty-four, with a naive mind and an uncontrollable desperation to make my way in the world. But, thankfully, I’m not exactly like Mae. As I turned the well-written pages of this novel, I realized more and more how crazy it all sounded, how silly Mae is, and how scary the world would be if we were constantly monitored the way The Circle wants us to be. The Circle’s ideologies literally creeped me out and it was interesting to see the reactions of various characters every time a new slogan was coined. Mercer you’re brilliant, Francis you’re creepy, Annie you need help girl, Mae you’re so so silly, and Kalden… I’ll let you form your own opinions about him!

I love social media, I share information many times a day, I have a Twitter account, a Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, Pinterest etc. etc. I also write for this blog and share a lot of my life on here. HOWEVER, there are many things that I keep private, there are many things that I don’t share simply because they’re mine and I don’t have to share them if I don’t want to. I believe in privacy, I believe in communication, and although I love expressing my thoughts in 140 character or less, I much prefer face-to-face interaction. The Circle reminded me of all this. This novel reminded me that some moments are precious and the more you share, the more you document them, the less precious they become.

Every person I know should read this novel. It will scare you, it will give you goosebumps, it will actually upset you at some points, it will keep you on the edge of your seat, and it will definitely leave you feeling a little uneasy.

___

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

** Synopsis from the Random House of Canada website **