Thursday, March 21, 2019

Top Ten Books I Hope Are At Book Expo



It is the time of year when I start getting really excited about Book Expo and begin speculating what books might be highlighted at this year's event. I pretty much annoy everyone with how excited I am and how impatient I am for the schedule. I like to plan and plan ridiculously early.

To help deal with this restless time between having signed up and having a schedule to plan my days I decided to do a blog post sharing which titles I hope are there. A list of the titles I am most excited to hear more about and cannot wait to read.

These titles may not end up being featured but I hope it at least helps grow your reading pile.

1. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo's work. I've loved all of her previous books and always look forward to whatever she is writing next. Her next work involves secret societies which I think is a perfect fit for her writing style. Ninth House is probably the book I most hope will be at Book Expo. 

2. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

This book was referred to as a 'feminist Lolita' when it was first announced which immediately piqued my interest. It was just recently named one of the Book Expo Buzz Books selections (which means it will definitely be at Book Expo this year) which has only increased my interest. I have a feeling everyone will be talking about this one upon its release.

3. American Royals by Katharine McGee

Books about royalty are always high on my list. Katharine McGee's newest about an alternate history where America created a royal family when they won the Revolutionary War. It sounds incredible and like a perfect book club read.

4. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

Those of you who, like me, have been dying for vampires to make a come back will want to check out this next book from Renée Ahdieh . It's set in New Orleans, features a murder mystery, and also happens to have a historical setting. It's basically perfect and I hope to be able to read it after getting a copy at Book Expo.

5. Permanent Record by Mary H. K. Choi

A book with a main character who sounds a little like Britney Spears is going to catch my attention. It also happens to sound like a great contemporary young adult read that has a fun romance at its core.

6. Into The Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

This is teased as a gangster fantasy and I immediately think Peaky Blinders with magic. That alone is enough to make me eager to get my hands on this one. Combine that with the fact that I really enjoyed Alexandra Christo's previous book and it is easily becomes one of the books I am most hoping is at Book Expo.


7. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

I was surprised with how much I loved Carry On and could not wait to return to this world. I, like many others, was thrilled when Rainbow Rowell announced  a sequel. I would love to get my hands on it at this year's convention. 

8. Twice In A Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

My love of Christina Lauren books is well known so when I discovered that they have a new one releasing in the fall of 2019 I instantly thought of Book Expo and hoped that it would be there.

9. Waiting For Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

This one is the least likely to be at the convention because it comes out just about two weeks later. I would love for it be there though. It is another adorable sounding romance read that sounds like it'll be a perfect summer read.

10. Neverland by Meagan Spooner

I know nothing about this book other than it is a Peter Pan retelling and it comes out in January. It is unlikely to be at Book Expo (but possible, there has been promotion for books releasing in Janurary and February before) but that doesn't stop me from  hoping it is. I love any kind of Peter Pan retelling and I cannot wait to hear more about this one.

Are any of these books on your radar? Are you going to Book Expo this year? If you are, what books are you hoping will be featured? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday .... Sea Witch Rising


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick is Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning

** Spoilers for Sea Witch **


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
“The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love. 

Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds? 

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning was is one of my favourite villain origin stories. It captured the heart of story it was reimagining and put a sympathetic twist on a character that had always fascinated me.

I was delighted when I heard that there would be a sequel and that it seemed to follow the events of The Little Mermaid (at least the Hans Christian Anderson version) a little more closely.  I cannot wait to see where Evie's story goes next and see her take steps to become the villain we love to hate.

Expected release date - August 6, 2019

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Weekly Obsessions


The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Back on my regular Saturday with some new trailers and a book cover that was just released!

TV/MOVIE

Good Boys trailer 

I have heard good things about Good Boys coming out of SXSW this week. I hear it is more than just  raunchy comedy that has tween boys swearing up a storm. It is said to have a lot of heart and deal with friendships and growing away from each other. It also, obviously, is a raunchy comedy.





The start of the trailer with Seth Rogen explaining to the young cast that they cannot actually watch the red band trailer for their own movie is hilarious. The movie seems to hit the expected notes for a typical comedy of this nature but you can just get a glimpse of the heart underneath too.

Avengers: Endgame trailer

Marvel surprised dropped the Avengers: Endgame trailer this week and it did not disappoint. I got goosebumps and perhaps a new Marvel ship!


'I like this one' - with those words a ship was born. I am ready to see more of their interactions and see what could possibly develop. I do expect Thor to be a big fan of Carol though (just based on how he has reacted to strong women before).

This whole trailer has a very epic tone to it and I cannot wait to see what the last ten years has been leading up to.

BOOK

Cover of Wayard Son by Rainbow Rowell

I was sort of surprised with how much I enjoyed Carry On when I read it and was pretty excited when news of a sequel was announced.


I cannot wait to experience the next part of Simon and Baz's story. I am hoping it is just as good as the first one.

What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer



A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date - January 29, 2019
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  496 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
An instant New York Times Best Seller! In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.
Fairytale retellings are a weakness of mine. I love them and will pretty much read anything that comes to my attention. A Curse So Dark And Lonely is one of the best, if not THE best, Beauty and the Beast retellings I have had the pleasure of reading. Brigid Kemmerer captures the essence of the tale as old as time while making it entirely her own in so many ways.

The world of Emberfall is the foundation of the story. The curse bleeds into so many elements of the world Prince Rhen inhabits. Getting the world right was vital and Brigid Kemmerer nails it. The contrast between modern day Washington, DC and the fairytale world of Emberfall only serves to create the atmosphere this story needs in order to work.

This is a story of Harper finding her strength and her voice. She is used to people treating her a certain way and blossoms as she learns to rely on herself and trust in herself. She's smart, tenacious, and resilient. She has an inner strength that makes her one of the strongest characters in this novel. She is determined and that determination makes her formidable. She experiences a lot of growth during her journey. She comes into her own in a way that is inspiring and brave.

Rhen is a desperate prince. All he wants is to break the curse that dooms his kingdom. He, in typical Beauty and the Beast fashion, is a spoiled, arrogant young man who seems to not learn from his mistakes. His growth rivals that of Harper's own in this novel. He has a sweet soul (naturally) but getting to it takes some effort. Sympathy for him is woven into the story in believable ways and we get to spend time inside his head which also helps.

There are a bunch of side characters that light up the story. Grey, Rhen's commander of the royal guard, stands out as a character that people will flock to. His relationship with Harper is as vital to the story as her relationship with Rhen. Lilith, the sadistic enchantress, is deliciously evil and fun. I wish we had gotten inside her head a bit because I expect there is more to her than we get to see. There are other characters who enhance the story being told in a way that feels entirely natural.

The romance in Beauty and the Beast is always a little tricky to pull off. There is an element of Stockholm Syndrome to the entire relationship that can be portrayed very poorly. The elements I do not like about the romance are mostly nonexistent here. Rhen and Harper get to know each other gradually. The curse is unique from most others in retellings of Beauty and the Beast in that Rhen is in human form for most of each autumn season. He only takes the form of the beast towards the end which gives a much richer, more complex courtship to their relationship. Trust and respect are vital to their relationship and it drives any connection that may be forming between the two. I like that this novel doesn't offer a typical romance or friendship between them. It feels more authentic to me because every inch feels earned. It also isn't something that either of them trusts in. They struggle with unraveling what is real in a way that made their relationship crackle with realism.

The ending of this part of Harper's story will make the reader desperate to get their hands on the sequel. Brigid Kemmerer has set up a delicious tension for the second book and there is plenty to theorize about while waiting for the sequel to be released. It's the type of ending that only serves to reignite the reader's desire to return to this world as quickly as possible.

Fans of fairytale retellings will delight in this unique take on a tale they are all too familiar with and those who are exhausted by the retelling boom will delight in the imaginative differences woven into this story. It's a more, perhaps surprisingly, modern take on the story and filled with characters who work their way into your heart.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... Waiting For Tom Hanks


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick is Waiting For Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously, before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.
This book sounds like the cutest rom-com and I cannot wait to read it. The wait won't be too long for this one since it comes out in June and is basically perfect for a summer time read. Anyone else immediately want to watch all of Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movies?

Expected release date - June 11, 2019

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Weekly Obsessions


The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Posting on a Sunday again as life has been kind of hectic. Hoping to get back to a regular schedule soon though.

BOOK

Cover for Twice In A Blue Moon by Christina Lauren (goodreads)

Christina Lauren writes compulsively readable romance novels that are always a favourite of mine. The cover for their newest was just released and it is fun and exactly what one would expect based on the tile of the novel.



The synopsis sounds incredible as well which makes this one even more of a must read for me.

TV / MOVIE

Good Boys Poster

I caught a glimpse of the poster for Good Boys and immediately stopped to take a second look. It's eye catching and pretty charming. The young boys not being tall enough to see their own movie works for what this movie is going to be. I feel the team behind it tells you everything you need to know about what kind of movie it is going to be and this poster just reinforces that idea.



The trailer (which will be a red band trailer) is debuting on Monday. I am looking forward to getting my first look at this movie, but am happy to see that the poster is working for me in the meantime.

What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Celebrating International Women's Day



Happy International Women's Day, everyone! I thought I would celebrate by linking to a post I did before highlighting some of my favourite female characters and adding some that I can not believe I left off!

First... go check out my previous post! I am amazed at how accurate that list still is for me. Amy Elliott Dunne, Vanessa Ives, Liv Moore! All of the ones on my previous list still resonate for me and are worthy of celebration. 

Now, here are a few more that I should have highlighted last time as well: 

Buffy (from Buffy The Vampire Slayer)


She was one of the first female characters that really resonated with me. She was small but mighty. She took the trope of someone (or something) stalking the pretty blonde down an alley and turned it on its head. She was one of teen me's heroes and she is a character who still means a lot to me.

Christina Yang (from Grey's Anatomy) 


Christina Yang was brilliant, driven, and unapologetic about it. She also happened to be a really great friend. She didn't let anything (or anyone) stand in the way of what she wanted and refused to diminish her greatness for others. 

Hermoine Granger (from the Harry Potter series)


Hermoine is the type of character who is proud of who she is. She is book smart, a loyal friend, and works hard for her success. She is a character that much younger me would have looked up to and that current me is happy to introduce my nieces to. 

I hope to add Brie Larson's Captain Marvel to the list. I'll be celebrating International Women's Day by going to see Captain Marvel (which I think is entirely fitting).


Who are some of the female movie and television characters that would make your own list? Let me know in the comments. There are so many amazing ones I cannot wait to see who everyone chooses!



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