Change in a Day

On Monday morning when I took a photo for my Instagram post, it was chilly outside. I noticed that first was on the ground and that most of the trees were bare. The beauty of Fall has almost passed and what are left behind are tree branches whose fingers reach for the sky. I snapped a picture form my balcony and thought nothing more of the weather except of the necessity to dress warmly to go out.

On my way to work, it began to snow. I did not pay much attention to it as snow had fallen a couple of days ago and melted within a few hours. On Monday, however, the snow stayed. Snowflakes fell down to earth throughout the day and into the night. On my way home the snow looked so pretty that I could not resist taking another picture of my current read.

It was interesting to see the difference in the background of the two images. Today we still have snow coating the surfaces, though it is starting to lessen.

Do you enjoy changes in your environment?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

Snapshot of a Winter Wonderland

Yesterday morning the landscape in my neighbourhood was grey, brown and dreary. Most of the leaves have fallen off of the trees leaving the bare branches reaching for the sky. It felt like winter had already arrived, especially as snow was falling during the walk to work.

The snow did not stop falling and continued throughout the day. The amount of snow covering the ground was unexpected and I messaged home for my daughter to bring me my winter boots. While walking home, I was glad that I had been able to reach her – inches of snow lay on the ground and the salt coating the sidewalks would have damaged my good shoes.

While walking home in the twilight, I could not help stop but admire the scene before me. With the twinkling lights and the gently falling snow, the scene before me looked like a Winter wonderland: a scene that made me smile in appreciation.

Our second snowfall of the season will linger a little longer than the first. The children in the playground will certainly appreciate it.

Have you yet experienced the first snow of the season?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive)

Teaser Tuesday: No Judgements by Meg Cabot

I am currently reading No Judgements by Meg Cabot, an author whose books I have enjoyed in the past. I look forward to reading a little romance this week, especially as it is cold and dreary outside.

The story is about Bree Beckham who needs to start over and decides to do so at Little Bridge – a tiny island in the Florida Keys. Things are ideal until a Category 5 hurricane bears down on the island. Bree has no intention of leaving and has access to a landline and plenty of supplies. She refuses her ex’s offer to fly her off the island but when the storm proves devastating she begins to worry – not for herself but for the pets people have left behind during evacuation. She begins a rescue operation with the help Drew Hartwell, the town’s resident heartbreaker.

I have not yet read much of the book. My teaser comes from early on in the novel when Bree’s friends and family and trying to get her to eave the island before the hurricane hits.

“But then I’d arrived in Little Bridge, and suddenly I hadn’t felt the urge to run any more. I wasn’t exactly sure where in the world I belonged, but at least I was done running … for now. And despite what my mother said, I wasn’t being stubborn – or maybe I was being stubborn, for what felt like the first time in my life. I was standing up for myself, which meant running towards something. I didn’t know what, exactly … but maybe that’s why I was still here.” (p 51, 2019, Harper Collins Publishers)

I am hoping for some smiles in this one.

Have you read any of Meg Cabot’s books? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Pausing for Remembrance Day

This morning the final preparations for our Remembrance Day assembly took place. This solemn event always brings tears to my eyes and today was no different. The pause at 11am makes me grateful for the fact that I currently live in a peaceful country.


I would like to take this moment to thank all those who have fought for our freedom; and those who continue to help those around the world who cannot stand for themselves.

what do you do for Remembrance Day?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

Currently Reading: No Judgements by Meg Cabot

I woke up this morning to a cold and gloomy day. The city is embracing winter with ice on the ground and bare trees. Snow is predicted today and I am not looking forward to it.

What I am looking forward to is reading Meg Cabot’s latest. I picked up a copy at the library this weekend and plan on snuggling under a blanket later this afternoon with a cup of tea and to enjoy the banter between Bree and Drew.

What are you looking forward to doing today?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

Book Review: Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

When I was notified by the team at Harper Collins Canada that I had been chosen to receive an ARC of Adam Silvera’s first Fantasy novel, Infinity One, I was so excited I danced a little jig while smiling widely. Fantasy is my favourite genre and I had been looking forward to reading this one.

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Publication date: January 14, 2020

Blurb:

Balancing epic and intensely personal stakes, bestselling author Adam Silvera’s Infinity Son is a gritty, fast-paced adventure about two brothers caught up in a magical war generations in the making.

Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.

Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.

Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.

Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.

My thoughts:

This story is epic and I loved it! This is Silvera’s calling – to write Fantasy novels. I have enjoyed his contemporary novels but not as much as Infinity Son. The story has everything in it that I would want: magic, diversity, complicated characters, action, humanity. I savoured the words as I read them and did not want the story to end.

Infinity Son encourages us to think about sibling relationships – the dynamic of it as well as the support that is given and received. Brighton and Emil are as close as brothers can be and, even though there are moments when they want alone time, they are there for one another in a crisis. Not only does Silvera highlight the closeness of these two family members, he also notes the importance of family as a whole.

What I loved in the novel is the representation of all types of people – not matter what their sexuality or race – and that many of the characters represent people who are comfortable in their own skin. It is definitely only in an ideal that all people are accepted and raised to be accepting of who they are. We do not live in an ideal world – and neither do the characters in Infinity Son as is seen as the story progresses.

Prejudice and lack of acceptance is definitely a theme that runs through the story. The war described in Silvera’s novel mirrors the ones that humanity has experienced throughout history. Prejudice against one group of people is the root cause – a causes that is flamed by a leader who gets the masses to believe what he says as the truth.

At no time when reading this novel did I experience boredom. Infinity Son is perfectly paced and certainly believable (even though it is set in an imagined New York featuring magic). In fact as I turned the last page, I wanted more! A follow-up to Infinity Son is in the making and I am going to wait impatiently for it to be published.

The first novel in Adam Silvera’s Fantasy series is a must-read if you are a fan of the genre. And as it is Young Adult, it is perfect for the young people in your life who enjoy reading books about magic. The bonus? The story is a diverse one that seamlessly includes all types of people. This novel is definitely one to pre-order.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 101st in my book pledge for 2019)

Favourite Read of the Month: October 2019

During the month of October, my plan was to focus on thrillers. I did read a few – though I veered a little from the TBR pile next to my bed. Even though I went on vacation, I did not read as much as I thought I would as I spent time walking on the beach and chatting with my husband.

Below is the list of books that I read. To read my reviews (if you haven’t already), click on the title and you will be able to svisit my post:

  1. Thomas Fenske The Fever – Adult Contemporary ⭐️ 1 star
  2. Gayle Woodson After Kilimanjaro – Adult Contemporary Fiction ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 stars
  3. Rick Mofina Missing Daughter – Thriller, Suspense ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars
  4. J.P. Delany The Perfect Wife – Thriller, Suspense ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 stars
  5. Dave Patterson Soon The Light Will Be Perfect – Young Adult Contemporary ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars
  6. Hannah Mary McKinnon The Neighbors – Thriller, Mystery ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars
  7. Ruth Ware In a Dark, Dark Wood – Thriller, Mystery ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars

During the month of October, I managed to read a total of 7 books – not bad for a person who works full time. Most of what I read, I enjoyed. Only two books stand out for me though – The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney and After Kilimanjaro by Gayle Woodson. I loved Delaney’s thriller as it was an unusual story that kept surprising me. My favourite, though, would have to be Gayle Woodson’s novel. Her contemporary story is not mainstream and I loved that it took me to Africa and made me think of women’s issues that are so important in that part of the world. Her novel is definitely my favourite for the month of October.

I hope you enjoyed a number of novels in October. What was your favourite read? Share your choice, or the link to your post, in the comments below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

Book of the Month: January 2019

Book of the Month: February 2019

Book of the Month: March 2019

Book of the Month: April 2019

Book of the Month: May 2019

Book of the Month: June

Book of the Month: July 2019

Book of the Month: August 2019

Book of the Month: September 2019

Teaser Tuesday: The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

I am currently reading The Wedding Party, a romantic comedy by Jasmine Guillory. After all of the thrillers I read in October, this novel is perfect to relax with.

The novel centres on the relationship between Maddie and Theo who are both best friends with Alexa – but they hate one another (despite the simmering attraction beneath the surface). Now that Alexa is getting married, they are thrown together as they both form a part of her wedding party.

For some reason, Maddie had hated him on sight. Okay, he was pretty sure part of the reason was the stupid way he had asked about her job the frst time they’d met. He hadn’t meant to sound like such a jerk. Fine, he had sounded like a jerk, but she hadn’t even let him back up and explain what he’d meant and had basically called him a pompous asshole. Whatever, he and Maddie would never have gotten along anyway. She was the cool, hot, party type, and he was the kind of guy everyone thought watched C-SPAN in his spare time.” (p 11, 2019, Penguin Random House)

I am hoping for some smiles in this one.

Have you read any of Jasmine Guillory’s books? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Book Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

I had seen many positive posts on Instagram on Ruth Ware’s novel so when I saw one of her novels on sale at the second hand book store, I decided to pick it up. While reading the acknowledgements at home, I saw that In a Dark, Dark Wood was her debut.

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

Blurb:

Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room….

Some things can’t stay secret for ever. 

My thoughts:

The novel follows two timelines – the past and the present: while Nora experiences the present, she looks back on the past as it affects her current situation. Following two timelines can be a bit confusing, but Ware successfully intertwined the two that I always knew where I was reading on the timeline .

The novel is slow moving as Ware sets up the scene and shows the reader the dynamic between the different characters in the story. In a Dark, Dark Wood is not action-filled and fast-paced and for some readers could be a bit tedious. As I was interested in the dynamic between the various players in the story, I did not mind the slow pace. The author’s presentation of the characters shows an understanding of human relationships and the power plays that exist between them.

The novel is not too twisty as the reader is able to figure out a lot because of their own knowledge of human relationships. The end, though, did have a bit of the unexpected thrown in. What I enjoyed about the novel was that the story is an exploration of the relationships between friends – and how one person dominates and steers the relationship no matter how many years have passed.

In a Dark, Dark Place is not a fast-paced and extremely twisty novel. Instead it explores the darker side of a friendship that is one-sided. Ware’s debut is one to pick up if you enjoy reading stories on human relationships.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 100th in my book pledge for 2019)

Music Monday: Chicken Noodle Soup

My children enjoy listening to K-Pop and, every now and then, they introduce me to a song that they have discovered. Last week they showed me a video created by J-Hope, one of the singers from BTS, for his debut mix tape. It has a funny sounding title – Chicken Noodle Soup – but it has a catchy tune.

The song was apparently remade by J-Hope as it was one of the songs he danced to when learning that skill. All I know is that my daughters listen to it when they do the dishes 😀

What do you think of Chicken Noodle Soup?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019