Everyone Has To Start Somewhere

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd



Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

It makes little difference where our aspirations lie, whether we yearn to become a doctor, a politician, a writer, a teacher, or a banker. Regardless of where our desired destination is, we all have to start at the same place: the bottom. It doesn’t feel like a very good place to be sometimes, especially when we’re surrounded by those who have climbed to the top of their life’s mountain and are able to enjoy the magnificent view from the top.

Yes, I’m sure we all wish that we could just skip the hardships and stress that comes from being at the bottom, but you know what? Regardless of whether you’re just starting out or you’re part of the big leagues, there are always going to be moments where you doubt yourself, or you question whether this was really what you wanted to do because it’s a lot harder than you had imagined it would be.

I’m not saying all of this to rain on your parade or anything. After all, I am also at the bottom, and have chosen to follow the path to becoming a writer which many have taken, but only some of whom have made it all the way to the end, to the top of their own mountains. It’s a daunting journey, especially for someone like me who suffers from anxiety and occasional depression episodes, and sometimes I ask myself that very same question: is this what I really want to do? And do you know what I tell myself every time? Hell yes!

Writing has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Even though I didn’t really get into reading until I was in grade 4, I probably wouldn’t have had the time anyway because up until then, I was too busy trying to create my own stories. For me, it’s not just a dream, but something I feel that I need to do.

I suffered from crippling shyness when I was young, and as a result I found it painstakingly difficult to express myself vocally. As you can imagine, it created challenges for me whenever I wanted to make friends, but that wasn’t even the worst part. I’ve always felt that I had a lot of really good ideas, but because I was too shy to share them, most of those ideas never got to see the light of day, something I look back on every day with immense regret.

I can’t change how I was in the past, but even if I could, I don’t think I would want to, because then I might not have the same drive that I do today to pursue a career in writing, and that just seems to wrong. Our past is what makes us who we are, and as difficult and torturous as some of those moments may have been, we still managed to ‘keep calm and carry on’, as the saying goes.

And you know, being at the bottom isn’t all bad. That’s when you’re able to see all of the different possibilities laid out in front of you, and we are still able to see each one of them as attainable. There’s also that saying where once you’re at the top, then there’s nowhere to go but down. A frightening prospect indeed, but it’s something that we all must face after we’ve had our brief moment to admire the view before reality kicks in.

When you’re still at the bottom, the only way to go is up, and I think that’s what gives many of us hope, even on our darkest days. So really, we should be treasuring those moments in our early days, because as tough as things might get, our origins give us roots to keep us grounded, creating a place that we can always go back to if ever we find ourselves in need of comfort.

What is your dream? I would love to hear all about what inspired it, and what you’ve gone through thus far to achieve it, because we all have our own story, and there is always a pair of ears somewhere waiting anxiously to hear it.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and until next time, keep on reading!



Book Review: The Last Command by Timothy Zahn


“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd


Greeting Fellow BookNerds,

I know that my last post was rather heavy, but in light of all of the horrible stuff that’s been happening recently,  I felt unyielding need to say something. Hopefully, amidst my chaotic ramblings, at least some of you were able to take something away from it.

Okay, let’s set aside the heavy stuff for now, and get back to something that, even in the worst of times, can still fill our hearts with joy: books!

I’m admittedly embarrassed at how long it has taken me to finally finish the Thrawn Trilogy, but the deed has been done, and I find myself very satisfied with how this particular storyline was tied up.

Star Wars The Last CommandStar Wars: The Last Command by Timothy Zahn


The one thing that has remained consistently good throughout these three books is Zahn’s ability to capture the personas of our beloved characters through his mastery of the English language. It truly feels like this is where their lives would have gone had the original star wars movie saga continued.

To sum up what happens in this book without giving too much away, Master C’baoth, who is very clearly not in his right mind, is willing to use any means to get his hands on Leia and her two children, in the hopes of turning them to his side and training them how to use the force as a tool to control and conquer. This does not sit well with Luke, who first encountered C’baoth on Jomark in book two, and new almost right away that this was not a man he wanted anything to do with.

Mara Jade, who until now has been hell bent on striking down Luke with her Lightsaber, has become an unlikely ally. What’s more, we finally learn the truth behind her connection to the Emperor, who has remained a constant presence in her life since his demise. Han, as you can imagine, isn’t overly pleased with the idea of having her tag along, but he shares similar sentiments about Threepio, and he still manages to put up with our beloved droid. Besides, she’s their only hope in getting to Wayland, the source of a deadly weapon which, if allowed, could prove to be one of the greatest threats to the New Republic, possibly even the entire universe.

Leia senses danger on the horizon, involving her brother as usual, who will face off against his worst enemy… but who could that possibly be? Don’t worry, I won’t give away the answer, but I will say that it genuinely surprised me.

So, that’s the gist of it. I tried my best to avoid any spoilers for those of you who haven’t read it yet. As for my personal opinion on the book, for the most part I was pleased with its conclusion. I do feel like the final battle between **** and **** could have been a little more dramatic, but that’s just based on my own preferences. It just kind of felt like it started and ended rather abruptly, but I suppose you could say that it’s more realistic when done that way.

Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the third installment of their journey. It includes all of our favourite characters, as well as a few new ones whom I have grown quite attached to, like the mischievous Karrde and Grand Admiral Thrawn who, despite being on the side of the imperials, is surprisingly likeable, not to mention very clever and witty. It’s just further proof of how great of a writer Zahn is, if he’s able to create a likeable villain.

One of my favourite aspects of the star wars universe is being introduced to new races and creatures from other planets. That was the only thing that kept me watching the newer star wars movies, despite their crappy dialogue and cheesy acting… well, that, and Ewan McGregor of course. They could not have chosen anyone better to take on the role of Obi – Wan Kenobi. One of my favourite creatures was the giant green one from the second movie that looked kind of like a praying mantis. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for creatures that are composed of various parts of other creatures… and I just realized now how strange that actually sounds. Doesn’t stop it from being true though.

Anywho, there aren’t a lot of new creatures in this series, but the ones they do have are fascinating, like the ysalamiri, who are surrounded by a kind of invisible bubble in which the force cannot be used. As you can imagine, this posses quite a few problems for every Jedi, regardless of which of the force they’re on. I would love to see a picture of what they look like. In my mind, I kind of imagine them to be something like a sloth, but I could be WAY off. As for new races, Luke and the gang end up working alongside the Noghri, a relationship which had a bit of a rocky start [you’ll find out when you read the series] but I guess that could be said about any relationship. I never was able to create a very clear picture of what these guys looked like, but I would love to hear what you guys were able to make of them. They’re a race of alien beings who, for most of the story, you’re never quite sure which side they’re on. In the third book, however, you find out the horrible things that the Empire had done to them, making their actions and attitude a lot more understandable.

I could go on for hours about all of the stuff I loved about this series, but I don’t want to risk spoiling anything for anyone. I’ll just finish by saying that it had a very satisfying ending, and the series overall was very true to the Star Wars we have all come to know and love. As always, I would love to hear what you guys have to say about it, so don’t be shy and leave your thoughts in the comments below or on my blogs Facebook page, and until next time, keep on reading :)




Let Fear Be Your Motivator, Not Your Excuse

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

It feels like a lifetime since my last post, even though it was just a couple weeks ago. I’ve been kept busy with my Nanowrimo story, which sadly I am very far behind on, but even if I don’t make it to the 50,000 word mark, at least I can proudly say that I devoted time to working on it every single day, and that’s a victory in and of itself. I was considering setting my blogging aside for the rest of the month to avoid too many distractions, but in light of recent events, I convinced myself that it was okay to devote some time to my followers and anyone else who may stumble upon my blog.

I have always wanted to travel, but due to money constraints and lack of time, I still have yet to set foot outside of Canada. Fortunately, living in Ottawa for five years has allowed me the opportunity to experience a worlds worth of cultures without having to leave the city, for which I am extremely grateful. Of course, I would still like to one day fulfill my dream of travelling the world, but sadly I have to admit that I am being rooted to the ground where I presently stand by fear, a fear which is slowly encroaching on us all.

Having grown up in a neighbourhood where you had to drive in pitch blackness at night because there were almost no streetlights to guide you along, where the neighbours dogs roamed free and you didn’t always know if they were friendly, where most nights you’re lulled to sleep by the sound of a pack of howling coyotes on the hunt just outside your house, and the house itself has aged to a point where it sounds like a haunted house, let’s just say that it takes quite a bit to get me quaking in my boots. In fact, it used to be that the only thing I was truly scared of was ventriloquist dummies, a fear which regrettably sticks with me to this day. I don’t know what exactly it is about them, but the very sight makes me want to dart behind the nearest rock. But I digress.

As we grow older, many of our childhood fears stay with us, but the way in which we perceive them changes. For example, our childhood fear of spiders was based purely on how they looked. I mean, eight hairy legs and a pair of fangs can be quite terrifying for someone who is still trying to figure out the difference between a circle and a square. As we get older, our curious minds seeking out information about every little thing, our fear of spiders then becomes a fear based on our knowledge of them and what these tiny arachnids are capable of. In other words, our fears never truly disappear, but simply evolve, sometimes to a point where we are no longer bothered by that fear.

The key point in all of that is knowledge. The more we understand something, the less we are controlled by our fear of it, and that can be applied to just about anything. I used to be terrified at the thought of driving a car, but that was only because I didn’t know how to. Once I practiced and got my license, I couldn’t believe that I had ever been scared of something so simple as driving! I felt the same way before starting my first year of university. All I knew about it going in was what my high school teachers had told me, which was essentially that no matter what, my grades were going to drop down from what I was used to getting, and what my friends who had been to university already told me,  which was more or less the same thing. But that thought alone made me terrified, and that’s because I was basing the next four years of my life on what little I knew about the whole experience, and the added fear of living on my own for the first time didn’t help either. Four years later, and I can say with confidence that university was one of the greatest adventures of my life, and part of the reason for that was because I didn’t let the fear of my preconceived notions get the better of me.

The same logic can be applied to people. I’ve always been a bit of a socially awkward individual, never quite getting a firm grasp on the norms of social interaction… in other words, I had difficulty making friends. Not an uncommon problem, I know, but the situation is different for every person. For me, I grew up in a very different environment from most of the people I met. It’s not easy to join discussions about current pop culture when you live out in the boonies where there are more farm animals than people, and your television only gets about 3 channels, maybe 4 on a good day. Don’t get me wrong, I love where I grew up, and I wouldn’t change that way of life for the world, but it did make things challenging for me at times, namely making friends. Oddly enough, things became a lot easier when I got into reading books. It finally had a common interest I could share, but not only that, they changed the way I saw the world.

It’s the power of knowledge. Whether fictional or not, books have a way of opening our eyes to things we didn’t even know were there, educating us through the experiences of others as they journey into the unknown. In books, the protagonist is put into situations where they have to face their fears in order to become stronger, whether it’s to help themselves or those they care about. My favourite part was when the hero rallied the people together to face off against a common enemy, so that they may conquer their fears as well and finally live in peace. Of course, stories are different than reality, but one thing they both have in common is that fear can be our greatest enemy, but also our greatest motivator.

So when I hear people lashing out at someone, not because of something they themselves did, but because of what others have done, I can’t help but feel a stab of pain in my heart knowing that those people have become victims of their own fear. When we let it, fear can manipulate us, twisting our thoughts into ugly, misshapen ideas capable of tugging on our emotions, making us feel a certain way about something that we never would have before. It’s a poison to the mind, and it can cripple us emotionally and physically if we give into it for too long. Worst of all, it can turn us into the kind of person we never wanted to be.

When I read the news story about a woman standing in line at a grocery store was afraid that a Muslim woman, who was standing in the same line as her, might try to harm her in some way, I wanted to cry. In the aftermath of what happened in Paris, I don’t blame people for being scared. We hear about horrible stuff like this happening on the news almost every day, but we never think that it can happen to us… until it finally does. We can’t always make sense of it, when our world is turned on its head so suddenly, and we instinctively want something or someone to put the blame on in our need to find meaning in it all. I’m not about to tell anyone to stop being angry, sad or scared, because that would be asking the impossible. However, the moment people use their fear as an excuse to push their hatred and anger on those who did nothing to deserve it, that’s where I draw the line.

Humanity has grown and changed so much, and to think that such archaic sentiments like racism, bigotry and prejudice still exist is disheartening, and fear is only going to make these feelings grow stronger in people. It’s the side effect of uncertainty, which is directly linked to a lack of knowledge and understanding. Of course, knowing more about something won’t necessarily extinguish our fear completely, but it can help us to better understand the root cause of our fear, instead of letting our fear control what we see and how we see it.

I would like to end this post by sending my love and best wishes to those who were affected by the attacks in Paris, and I hope that in the face of such uncertainty and devastation, that you are able to stand together and find hope amidst the fear. I hope that the video posted below will remind everyone that the actions of a few do not define a people as a whole, and that we must look beyond a person’s exterior to see what is truly in their hearts.



Reading vs. Watching: What Exactly Are We Comparing?

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greeting Fellow BookNerds,

I often see people get themselves all worked up with excitement when they learn that one of their all time favourite books is going to be made into a movie – myself included, of course –  and just as often, I watch as those same people who went into the theatre with such high expectations, came out looking not unlike a cartoon character with a thundering cloud hanging over their heads, as the image of the story they had in their heads didn’t come out quite the way they hoped it would on the big screen.

It’s in our nature to compare things. After all, how else can we determine what is good, what is bad, what is better, what is worse. We do it to figure out what food we would rather eat, what clothes we would prefer to wear, and my personal favourite, what books are more worth our time reading than others. Just like anything else, however, making comparisons has its ups and its downs, based primarily on the context in which they are being made.

Harry Potter Books

When I first got into reading the harry potter books back in grade school, it felt as though my brain was giving birth to my imagination for the first time. I developed a deep attachment to the series, and when I found out that they were being made into films, I just knew I had to see every single one of them. Why, you ask? Well, the only thing better than reading a book for the first time is getting to experience it all over again, but in a very different way. Unlike books, movies cater to all of the senses; synchronizing music and moods to tug on our heartstrings, playing with colours and special effects to keep our eyes glued to the screen, creating masterful scripts that tell us so much, while at the same time saying so little, and fitting actors into the roles they were seemingly born to play. Such is the beauty of films, which differs greatly from the beauty many of us find in books.

Authors struggle tirelessly to create stories using their native language, which the readers can then create images from that are unique to their own interpretation of the words. No two people will perceive a story the exact same way, which is what makes reading such a personal, internalized experience. What’s more, most books are created by a single individual, making them solely responsible for creating the characters, the dialogue, the setting… basically, everything, unlike in movies where you have hundreds of people working to bring the story to life.

Another striking dissimilarity between the reading and movie viewing experience is that books are not designed to be enjoyed in a single sitting, whereas movies are. Unless you’re a ridiculously fast reader capable of zipping through seven hundred pages in less than an hour as if it was nothing, then it’s going to take you a few days to get to the end. This is especially true for those readers out there who, like me, need time to visualize what they have just read before they can continue… perhaps that’s just me :P

Group of boring people watching movie in cinema

Movies, on the other hand, are typically a two to three hour experience, and you can choose to enjoy them alone or with 200 other people crammed inside a dark room which smells of popcorn and is occasionally lit by a smart phone that someone just couldn’t bother to turn off for the sake of everyone who is sitting behind them. If movies were to be made any longer, the audience would get bored, feeling as though the story is being drawn out longer than necessary, not to mention the increasing soreness in our backside from sitting for such a long period of time. When you’re reading books, you can stop and start whenever you want, but with movies, we tend to want to sit down and watch it to the end before diverting our attention to anything else.

Now, we come to the unique scenario of book to movie adaptations. The thing with movies that are based on books is that they always seem to miss the mark. In other words, they fail to meet the expectations of everyone who see’s it, because as mentioned before, we all have a tendency to interpret the same book in very different ways, meaning we will all be going into the movie theatre with very different expectations. There is also the added pressure on directors and the crew to make the movie as true to the book as possible, but this isn’t always feasible, especially when dealing with a book which has managed to throw the laws of physics entirely out the window. But they do their best, and some of them have turned out rather brilliantly.

The Fault In Our Stars

My favourite book to movie adaption to date has been The Fault In Our Stars, a beautiful story about a girl with lung cancer finding love in the unlikeliest of places, and discovering that “some infinities are bigger than other infinities”. In my eyes, the movie was a brilliant interpretation of what I am certain will someday become a classic novel, but I am certain there are others out there who found it to be unbearable. Why? Well, I’m sure there are many reasons, but every time I hear someone start to rant about every little thing they changed in the movie, or how the actors they chose weren’t good enough, or how they could have done this or that to make it more believable, I just feel like telling them one thing: why are you comparing two things that weren’t meant to be compared?

The story might be the same, but the purpose and the means by which they are executed are just so different. It would be like comparing music videos to musicals. Just because they both have a music component to them, that doesn’t make them any more comparable. Now that I’ve had my say on the matter, I would love to hear what you guys think. Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or on my blogs facebook page, and until next time, keep on reading!



It May Be Frustrating, But If You Don’t Vote, The Frustration Only Continues

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

Tomorrow is a very important day for Canadians everywhere, for that is the day we decide what kind of future we want to see, both for ourselves and for future generations… was that a little too cliché? Perhaps a bit, but honestly, that’s exactly what we’re looking at. Whoever gets elected will hold our future in the palm of their hand, and they can either raise it to a whole ne level of aspirations and possibilities, or they can crush it into oblivion. That’s what happens when you put the weight of the country on the shoulders of a single individual, but that’s the system we’ve created for ourselves, and we have little choice but to make the best of it.

I will be the first to admit that politics, especially around lection time, make me fume like the kettle I put on ever morning for tea. First off, there’s the sheer amount of information they throw at you from every direction. Newspapers, magazines, news broadcasts, billboards, campaign signs, flyers, internet ads… my brain exploded a little bit just thinking about it. I understand they want you to have as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision, but I feel that in many cases, it has the opposite effect, especially when you’re dealing with our current generation of youth voters who can’t pay attention to one thing for more than a minute. Trying to sift through that much information is a full time job, and it’s only made worse this time around thanks to Harper extending the length of the campaign. Just great.

Then, there are the always beloved political attack ads… I truly hope you were all able to detect the sarcasm laced into those words. I mean, you can’t even watch a YouTube video without an ad coming on telling you how your vote would be wasted on these other candidates, who are clearly out to ruin your lives, if that’s not evident by the bold red subtitles and the dark and stormy background. Then, all they say about the candidate that they’re endorsing is that they can offer you change… but what change? What the hell makes them so much better than every other choice? WHY WON’T YOU TELL ME ANYTHING USEFUL!!!… *ahem*… So, anyway, to sum it up, they are an affront to the democratic system in my eyes, no different than children at the playground calling each other names as a way to make them feel better about themselves.

I was pleasantly surprised this year when I watched a rather tame electoral debate. I mean, they’re always going to try and talk over one another, or bring up points that are completely irrelevant to the question being asked, but the debate I watched was surprisingly informative and didn’t make me want to jump into the screen and smack each one of them upside the head. Of course, a great deal of it was just bashing Harper, talking about how he has dragged down Canada’s reputation, but they did touch on all o the important issues, like the pipeline, oil prices, the current state of the middle class, student debt, our Country’s debt, etc. Everyone managed to have their say without it turning into an uncivilized shouting match, and if you ask me, that’s already a win for our country.

I recently came across an article about John Cleese, who weighed in with his opinion on who he thinks should become the next Prime Minister, and how this is deemed as an illegal act. You know, just because someone tells you to vote a certain way, that doesn’t mean you’re obliged to do so. Furthermore, why is it you have to be Canadian in order to have an opinion on Canadian politics? Heck, during the presidential elections prior to Obama being elected, I’m pretty sure more Canadians were paying attention to that than their own politics. I can still remember in High School, when they stopped the class so we could watch his inauguration. If anything, we should be flattered that other countries are interested in what we have going on. I’, certainly flattered.

So in conclusion, yes, it is a frustrating ordeal which we must endure every 4 years, but you know, the more we take part in it, the closer we come to shaping politics in a way which benefits us, the citizens, most, because after all, if they aren’t working to make our home a better place for us to live in, then what’s the point? So boot up your computer, laptop, iPhone, Tablet, or whatever you use for your daily internet surfing needs, take a few minutes to see what the candidates in your district are all about, maybe watch one of the many debates that are available on YouTube – I’ll even link you to one below, just to make it easier – and then just go out and vote tomorrow. It’s easier than coming up with a thesis topic for a twenty page essay requiring a minimum of fifteen peer reviewed sources! Not to mention, it will have a much greater impact on your life. So whoever you decide to vote for, just get out there and do it!

I hope this was able to help those who were still standing on the precipice of whether they wanted to vote or not, and until next time, keep on reading!



P.S.  – Here’s a link to the debate I mentioned before: Maclean’s National Leaders Debate 2015

Book Review: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

First off, for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you were all able to enjoy it with your friend, family and loved ones, with lots of good food and anything else you do to make the occasion truly special.

Secondly, a reminder that there are only a couple weeks left until Nanowrimo, so if you haven’t registered your story online yet, you might want to add it to the top of your to do list. For those of you who don’t know what this is, in brief, the National Novel Writing Month is an event which comes around once a year in November, and it’s a chance for aspiring writers to finally yank out that idea for a story they’ve had stuck in their heads forever and get it down on paper… or on your laptop, whichever way you choose to write. For more information, visit www.nanowrimo.org.

Now, down to business. When I first picked up The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, I had zero expectations, mainly because I have actually never heard of this book before. I have been a diehard Neil Gaiman fan for a long time, but I’ve only actually read Good Omens, which was a collaborative work between him and Terry Pratchett. I had yet to read something that was purely his own, and so this book was my first taste of that. My first impression… bewildering.

ocean_the_end_laneThe Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman


Memory is a funny thing. It is often the case that two people will recall the same event in very different ways. Who knows why this happens, but it can make for some very interesting conversations as you continue to grow and share your life stories, which seem to change just a little bit with each telling.

So what if something happened to you, something that couldn’t possibly have happened, and yet you would swear up and down until the day you died that it did?

This seven year old boy, with a boundless imagination and who loves to lose himself in a good book – much like many of us, I’m sure – lived through the seemingly impossible, a monumental event which may could very well have caused the whole world to disappear, and yet he is the only one who remembers… well, him and the Hempstocks.

It is a story rife with wonder and fear, with magic and darkness, and it’s all brought together seemlessly by Gaiman’s uncanny ability to string together the english language in new and unexpected ways. He pits you against some of your worst childhood fears, but not without leaving a light of hope glowing at the end of the tunnel.

This book explores the boundaries between what we can rationally accept, and that which is beyond the comprehension of most, both of which are witnessed through the eyes of a child who, like most children, possesses an open mind and an eagerness to explore the strange and the bizarre, which is exactly what he finds. Or I suppose it would be more accurate to say that it finds him, in the form of Lettie Hempstock.

Lettie’s an eleven year old girl who isn’t actually eleven, and not really a human girl either. But that doesn’t matter to our protagonist, who only see’s a friend whom he could trust with his life. And thus, their adventure together began, taking us on a journey where nothing is as it seems; where a pond can be an ocean, and an eleven year old girl can be as old as time itself.

You will gasp, cry, cringe and smile as Gaiman invites you to see the world through the eyes of a child, and through the mind of the elderly man who used to be that child so many years ago. As a boy, he found a sense of courage and determination that he never knew was there before, and a world which existed outside his books that was both wonderful and terrifying. His life would never be the same ever again, but only if he can remember…

It truly was a delight to read. It was shorter than most of the books I’m used to reading, and yet he managed to fit so much in that small space. It kind of felt like a very mature children’s book, in that it got to the point quickly instead of dragging it out with lengthy, detailed descriptions of every little thing, and yet the content itself was very deep and complex, but without going too far over your head. It’s beautiful, and made me tear up a couple of times, which is something books rarely make me do.

You’ve probably noticed that I only gave it 4 stars. Well, I really liked it, and I don’t really have anything bad to say about it, but it’s not the kind of book that I would go out of my way to read. It’s a great book to read before going to bed, but I wouldn’t take it with me wherever I go, which is something I do with books that I just can’t put down. In short, I really liked it, but I didn’t love it, but don’t let my opinion deter you from reading it. I really did enjoy it, and I would love to hear your thoughts on it, for those of you who have read it also.

So, get yourself signed up for Nanowrimo, grab a copy of The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, and until next time, keep on reading!



The Martian: How Would You React To Being Stranded On Mars?

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I’m going to start right off the bat by admitting that I have yet to actually read The Martian. Everything I knew about it, prior to seeing the film, came from my boyfriends raving reviews, insisting that I should make this book my top priority once I finished reading through the Mistborn series. Well, my list books I would like to read in my lifetime is kind of full at the moment, so it might be a while, but after seeing the movie I will definitely be bumping up much closer to the top.


So, for those of you who haven’t seen the movie or read the book, the premise is fairly simple: a botanist ends up being stranded on Mars by his team, who assumed he was dead after being pummeled by a piece of equipment during a really bad storm. So, now he has to find some way to survive until he can get in touch with NASA, who also believe him to be dead. That’s the gist of it, although my summary really doesn’t do it justice.

Right from the start, his reaction to realizing that he was alone on Mars, with no way back to Earth, was perfect. I mean, what better word to sum up that harsh, cold realization than f***! And it just keeps getting better and better from there. They could not have chosen a better actor to play the role of Mark Watney than Matt Damon. I know, I haven’t read the book, but based on the description my boyfriend gave me, Damon’s acting was very much in sync with what Andy Weir, author of the book, had in mind.


 I think that what I loved most about it was that, despite the horrible situation he found himself in, he still maintained a certain level of wit and humour that kept the movie from becoming too depressing. I mean, there were moments where you could tell he was on the verge of losing it, but he still managed to turn every set back to his advantage. Or at the very least, find some way to get a laugh out of it:

“This will come as quite a shock to my crew mates. And to N.A.S.A. And to the world. But I’m still alive. Surprise!” – Mark Watney, The Martian


What really bums me out about most movies of the space genre is that everyone and anyone who is even remotely knowledgeable about space and the inner workings of the universe feel obliged to swarm on these kinds of movies like crows on a carcass, poking holes in it until there’s nothing good left. Obviously, there is still a limit on how realistic we can make something look, especially something like an entire planet that humans have only seen from still images and through a telescope, and sometimes you need to bend the rules of logic just a little bit to make something in the story work.

I don’t really understand the need to point out everything that’s wrong in someone else’s work, but it can be really off-putting for those who haven’t seen it yet. So, I just want to reassure all of you who haven’t seen it yet, that it is DEFINITELY worth it. So what if the dust storm isn’t entirely realistic? Perhaps it was an extremely rare event that happens once every thousand years or something. I’ve always been of the opinion that until you fully understand something inside and out, anything is possible.

For the most part, though, I’m sure you’ll be seeing mostly raving reviews posted all over the internet, and for good reason. This is, in my opinion, one of the best movies of the year… which may or may not change when I see the news Star Wars movie, but until then, it’ll stay in the top spot. Just in case this wasn’t enough of an incentive to go see it immediately, watch the movie trailer below, and then try NOT seeing it :)

Oh, and I hope you like disco music… that’ll make a lot more sense once you see the movie. Read the book, or see the movie – or both – and until next time, keep on reading!