AllTheShortOnes Readathon 2.0

I am happy to announce that I will be hosting the readathon again this year! It’s a bit late notice but I wasn’t sure I would be able to host it until now. I do hope some of you will join me, this is a really laid back readathon and last year was a lot of fun.

Dates: March 18th – March 31st

Goal: To read books that are roughly 300 pages or less. A ‘short’ book is going to be different for everyone so feel free to be flexible with the page count. There are also 7 reading challenges to complete.

Reading Challenges:
1. Read a book by a new-to-you author
2. Read a graphic novel
3. Read a book with a one-word title
4. Read a book you’ve read before
5. Read a book that has been made into a movie
6. Read a non-fiction book
7. Read 7 books!

Giveaway: Make sure to follow me on Instagram @novelcravings for photo challenges. Each photo you post with the hashtag #ATSOReadathon will be entered to win a book from Book Depository. (up to $15 CAD).

Don’t forget: to link your sign-up post in the comments below, I would love to see your TBRs. And share your progress on Instagram and/or Twitter, I will be posting on both platforms – it’s a good way to connect with others participating in the readathon.


My hope is that everyone has fun reading shorter books that they may have overlooked. I know I tend to gravitate towards thicker books. Perhaps some of those could meet other challenges you have this year and if not it will certainly boost your Goodreads count!


TTT: Books I Could Re-Read Forever

Books/Series I Could Re-Read Forever

Also known as the books I would take to a desert island. The first books I’d grab in a fire. The books I will still be reading, in my rocker, with my tea, when I’m 90. I don’t know what to say about each individual book because I love them all for the same reason – the adventure. (and the laughs)

What are some of the books you have re-read the most?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. For more details, and to participate, click the link above.


Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman (Spoiler Free)

Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

Publication Date: November 7th, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher:  HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from Raincoast Books
Link to the author:

Book Depository

Charlotte Vaughn wants to be a reporter. She’s always on the lookout for a story that will give her that big break but never expects her path will cross with the infamous Rose Kid. Reece Murphy fell in with the Rose Riders and the only way out is to find the man his boss is hunting. When a train robbery brings the two together, Reece discovers that Charlotte might have information that could win him his freedom.

RATING: 4 Stars


I loved Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman so I had high hopes for Retribution Rails. I was a little disappointed when I found the first 100 pages to be slow and I wasn’t getting invested in the characters. Thankfully things picked up and my opinion did a 180. Vaughn was such a force! She knew her own mind and let nothing stand in her way. And Reece’s story was just so sad, he had so many regrets and had sort of given up. It was really great to see them both grow throughout the story. Vaughn learns when you should dig deeper, to discover the truth and when you should let a story go. Reece finds people who believe in him and a purpose that grants him redemption. They were constantly getting in each others way but you couldn’t help but root for them both.

Add in a couple of characters from Vengeance Road and I was 100% invested. I really love the way the two stories came together even though they are companion novels. And as always Bowman tells an amazing Western, she just has a way of completely transporting her readers. I really hope that she does another in the future, I would love a little more Reece and Charlotte. I HIGHLY recommend Retribution Rails or Vengeance Road to anyone who likes westerns, historical fiction, strong female leads or a high stakes adventure.


Thank you for reading my review of Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman, and also to Raincoast Books for this review opportunity. I  hope you enjoyed my insights and look forward to more reviews from me in the future.


American Panda by Gloria Chao (Spoiler Free)

American Panda by Gloria Chao


Publication Date: February 6th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Source: ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada


Mei has landed a spot at MIT at the young age of sixteen and her parents couldn’t be happier. They have her whole future mapped out and so far she’s followed it to the letter. If Mei’s being honest though, germs make her squirm and biology lectures put her to sleep. Dance is her true passion but is definitely NOT a part of the future her parents have planned. Mei can follow her heart or honor her family but not both, and to choose either could have life-altering results.

RATING: 4 Stars


I’m so glad I read American Panda, it was everything I love in a contemporary; cute, funny, and heartwarming but also hard-hitting. Asian-American’s will appreciate it even more, however, I think the struggle Mei faced to follow her heart but also make her parents proud and her journey of self-discovery is one that many teens will relate to. Even as an adult, feeling like I don’t belong while also feeling a loyalty to my family is something I struggle with. When Mei dances you can tell she is incredibly passionate about her culture, she just doesn’t want to adopt all the traditions. I really appreciated the opportunity to glimpse such a richly different culture from my own. I think anyone, of any age, from any background, would find it hard not to fall in love with this story.

American Panda also made me laugh, a lot. Mei’s mother says some really wild things in her voicemails, such as “swing your arms 3000 times a day for good health”. And Mei has such a quick wit with the kind of sarcastic sense of humor I understand. The way they grew individually and their relationship evolved was rich and beautiful. I would read so many more books about this family. Mei is the kind of girl you’re rooting for the whole time, I couldn’t stop reading because I needed to know what she would do! And the romance with the nerdy, supportive, Darren didn’t hurt at all. *swoons*

Thank you for reading my review of American Panda by Gloria Chao, and also to Simon & Schuster Canada for this review opportunity. I  hope you enjoyed my insights and look forward to more reviews from me in the future.


When My Heart Joins The Thousand by A. J. Steiger (Spoiler Free)

When My Heart Joins The Thousand by A. J. Steiger

Publication Date: February 6th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC from

Book Depository

RATING: 5 Stars



This is one of those books that upon finishing it, I hugged it tightly to my chest. And I know that it is undoubtably one of the best books of 2018 and I wish more people were talking about it! The author had me fall in love with her characters, care greatly for their journey and put me through every emotion possible. It was both movingly beautiful and painfully heartbreaking. If you read When My Heart Joins The Thousand, and let me be clear I recommend it to everyone, you will know what I mean.

The main character, Alvie is a foster child who lives independently while pursuing emancipation. Her fear is that she will be placed in a group home if the judge decides her Aspergers means she is incapable of being a functioning member of society. I can’t speak for the rep in this book, and there’s a lot, (mental health, abuse, disability, autism) but I think it was done well and handled respectfully. Like I said, this book makes you feel the whole rainbow of emotions. I felt love and admiration for Alvie because she never gives up despite all she’s been through. I was angry for her, at the broken system that failed her and must fail people in real life. I was disgusted actually, that society expected her to “get better” and be “normal”. But I also felt a lot of happy, especially every time Alvie did something outside her comfort zone, she is a truly inspiring character.

People with Aspergers tend to be blunt and so was the writing, in a way I think more YA should be. Teens don’t only need flowery stories of happy ever after, they need real stories that reflect the lives they live every day. Alvie doesn’t always understand sarcasm or societies way of constantly putting on a show. For example, when she has to attend court she can’t understand why a suit, instead of jeans and a t-shirt, helps prove her ability to be independent. And she’s right. I could relate to that. The characters are also very frank and honest about sex – this is so important for YA! Communication was clear, consent was there. Thank you, A J Steiger, for writing about two teens who handled sex in a very healthy way. This is what I would want my teenager to read.

Let it be known, the writing and pacing and all that important jazz were good. But I won’t talk about that in detail because more importantly, this book moved me. It is rare that a book makes me feel all the feels I did with this one AND I still think about it almost daily. I can’t tell you the last time a book impacted me like this.

I gave this book all the stars.

Go read it.

Thank you for reading my review of When My Heart Joins The Thousand by A. J. Steiger, and also to Harper Collins for this review opportunity. I  hope you enjoyed my insights and look forward to more reviews from me in the future.