Monday, January 16, 2017

Chapters Pinecrest YA Event

If you're an Ottawa book lover, a YA book fan in particular, you probably share my pain of there not being many bookish events in the city. There are not many signings, and hardly any other events that bring us all together.

Luckily, Chapters Pinecrest has something to help with that and chase away a bit of the winter blues at the same time.

If you're a YA fan and free this Saturday between 4 and 7 pm I highly recommend going. There will be ARC giveaways, trivia, arts and crafts and much more. It'll also provide an excellent opportunity to meet fellow YA fans and allow you to connect with people who like to read the same books you do!

No registration is required, you can just stop by and join in the bookish fun. I need everyone to go and post lots of photos so I can live vicariously through you as I will be working that day! It'll also help more events like this happen if we all support the ones that do happen.

You can learn more about the event on the stores Facebook page and also find out details of the store's location for travel planning.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews)

Some very exciting books made their way into my mailbox this week! I cannot wait to read both of these amazing sounding titles!

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon (goodreads)
Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor (goodreads)

A huge thank you to both Hachette Canada and Bloomsbury for sending these my way to review. Expect reviews of both of these on the blog in the upcoming months.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Wanderlost by Jen Malone
Release Date -  May 31, 2016
Publisher Website - HarperCollins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 352 pages
My Rating - 5/5

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.
Sometimes everything about a book - its characters, plot, writing - all come together to be exactly the book you need to read at just the right moment. Wanderlost was one of these books for me. Jen Malone crafted a charming, and immensely readable story of travel, romance and growing up. Wanderlost captures something special in book form and provides laughs, swoons, and inspiration in the process.

Aubree is a sheltered, and often overly dependent on others. She hasn't had the desire or opportunity to step outside her comfort zone. The idea of having to deal with the unfamiliar makes her uncomfortable at first. The heart of this novel is seeing Aubree come into her own and begin to discover the young woman she'll grow into. Her journey isn't just about romance, but about finding her own worth, and starting down her own path. The novel advocates going out of your comfort zone, and not underestimating yourself. It celebrates the confidence that is earned when you discover something about yourself you didn't realize before, and the growth that comes from testing yourself. There is real growth to her character, and her journey is something I feel will resonate with everyone in some way.

The side characters are a delight. The tour participants are such bright, vibrant personalities. They are used for the perfect amount of humour, with some surprisingly touching moments woven in. They will charm you as much as they do Aubree and help make the story even more of a pleasure to read.

Fans of banter filled romance will find much to love about Sam and Aubree's relationship. Their early interactions are giggle inducing and filled with some of the best banter I've read recently. Their chemistry, even over the phone, is palpable. It'll make you want to have a phone flirtation of your own, complete with adorable inside jokes (#ILikeYouBye).

Travel is a huge part of this story. Prepare yourself to be plagued with the desire to hop on a plane going anywhere after finishing this one. You'll want to map out your own itinerary and recreate some of your favourite movie moments while discovering new and unfamiliar places. The cities visited are used as a breathtaking backdrop to Aubree's journey but they add a little extra sparkle to an already wonderful story.

The ending of this novel is pitch perfect. It doesn't lose sight of what this story is really about and makes the ending not just about the romance, but about Aubree's personal journey. It's the perfect punctuation on a delightful story. It reaffirms the message of growth and taking chances while igniting your own desire to venture into the great unknown.

A story that will undoubtedly ignite your own wanderlust and leave you with a gigantic smile on your face from the sheer cuteness of this story and the romance. It's a perfect read to lift your spirits and chase away some of the winter blues.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Night In With Grace Kelly by Lucy Holliday

A Night In With Grace Kelly by Lucy Holliday
Release Date -  January 12, 2017
Publisher Website - HarperCollins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 416 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

**spoilers for the other two books in the series**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The LOL finale to the series that started with A Night in With Audrey Hepburn. Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.

Fate has got it in for Libby Lomax. She realised, far too late, that her best friend Olly, is the actual Love of Her Life. Now he’s in love with the so-nice-it-hurts, Tash, and it looks like her happy ending is completely out of reach.

Things start looking up when she, quite literally, runs into the completely gorgeous Joel. Libby discovers that there is more to Joel than his six-pack, not least, the incredible fact that he honestly believes he has found his fairy tale princess in her.

And if this wasn’t enough, an unwanted guest shows up on Libby’s enchanted sofa; Grace Kelly, wearing her iconic wedding dress and convinced that Libby is figment of her imagination. But one thing that Grace doesn’t believe in is fairy tales. Grace believes that if you really want something, then you’ve got to make it happen yourself; words which give Libby hope that happy endings aren’t just for fairy tale princesses… 
I love a little Hollywood magic, particularly those classic movies that feel like they transport you to another time and place. The Libby Lomax series has a little of that magic within its pages. It's part Bridget Jones, part golden age Hollywood combined to make fun rom-com style series that offers a quick read.

Libby is just as charming as in the previous two installments. Her self deprecation combined with her ability to get herself into the most embarrassing situations make her endearing. She's someone you easily root for and that is key in this type of story. She's a balance of the 'every woman' you typically get in this kind of story but has enough quirks and personality to keep her from feeling bland.

Out of the three Hollywood legends she is visited by I knew the least about Grace Kelly. Based on the portrayals of Audrey and Marilyn, I am going to guess this was a heightened portrayal. Lucy Holliday tends to take the known characteristics and gave them a dramatic flourish for these particular characters and it works. The outlandish nature of the story allows the quirkiness to feel grounded and real. She did a fantastic job in blending Libby's all to normal storyline with some magical realism.

Those expecting an answer about the magical couch may leave this novel disappointed. We don't get an explanation for the 'hauntings' that occur but I, personally, did not want one. Part of the charm of this novel is in the not knowing. It is not the important aspect of the story. The little we do know about the couch's history is enough and, like Libby, that is all we need to know.

Libby's love life has been filled with ups and downs and this book is no exception. She gets her typical Hollywood ending and drives off into the sunset with the guy that is perfect for her. I doubt anyone will be truly surprised or upset by who she ends up with, even if you happen to ship her with someone else. It is undeniable that things end as they should. It's a sweet, romantic ending that is the perfect way to say goodbye.

There is a bittersweetness to having this series end. I am not ready to say goodbye to Libby or her friends. I want to spend more time in this magical world. I am hoping that Lucy Holliday decides that Dillon needs his own story and that she writes a series with him being magically visited by three iconic Hollywood legends of his own (may I suggest James Dean and Clark Gable because I think that would be amazing). Here's hoping that Lucy eventually returns to this world and gives us a glimpse of what is going on with Libby, even if it is through someone else's story.

Libby's story ends with some laughs, some swoons, and a desire for more time spent with her and this world. Most of all however, A Night In With Grace Kelly, offers up a perfect ending to Libby's Hollywood story.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ..... King's Cage

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

My pick this week is King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.
I could not believe that I hadn't already used this upcoming title for a Waiting On Wednesday post. It is one of my most anticipated of 2017 and I cannot wait for it to be released.

The ending of Glass Sword made me desperate to get my hands on the next book in this series and it sounds just as incredible as I had hoped.

If you've missed reading the first two novels in this series I highly recommend them. Luckily the wait for this one is pretty short now as it'll be released in less than a month!

Expected release date - February 7, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mind Games by Heather W Petty

Mind Games by Heather W Petty
Release Date -  December 6, 2016
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 304 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

**Spoilers for Lock and Mori**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Sherlock Holmes and Miss James “Mori” Moriarty may have closed their first case, but the mystery is far from over in the thrilling sequel to Lock & Mori, perfect for fans of Maureen Johnson and Sherlock.

You know their names. Now discover their beginnings.

Mori’s abusive father is behind bars…and she has never felt less safe. Threatening letters have started appearing on her doorstep, and the police are receiving anonymous tips suggesting that Mori—not her father—is the Regent’s Park killer. To make matters worse, the police are beginning to believe them.

Through it all, Lock—frustrating, brilliant, gorgeous Lock—is by her side. The two of them set out to discover who is framing Mori, but in a city full of suspects, the task is easier said than done. With the clock ticking, Mori will discover just how far she is willing to go to make sure that justice is served, and no one—not even Lock—will be able to stop her. 
Retelling Sherlock Holmes is nothing new. It seems there is always a new adaptation or twist in the works. A teenage Sherlock may have been the initial hook, but this series charms far surpass that particular character. It boasts a finely crafted doomed romance, an unforgettable Mori, and some impressive plotting to create something fun, fresh and attention grabbing.

Heather Petty's Mori is the stand out of this entire series. You may pick it up for Sherlock, but will be pleasantly surprised by Mori. She's imperfect, and that is what makes her so fascinating. You can see the antagonist she'll become for Lock. You can see the damage being done to her, and all the broken pieces being made within her as a result. You see the path she is heading down, and you want to prevent it even as you want to see what she'll become. She's already formidable, capable, and steadfast. Her love for her brothers is the beacon guiding her and what she clings to with admirable stubbornness. She balances Lock and his quirks while still being given her own agency and story. She's not there to simply advance his.

Mori, in this sequel, is still dealing with the fallout of her father being  arrested for murder. The ramifications of the events of the first novel are felt strongly through every single page of this story. Every character's actions are a direct result of choices made in the first novel and that ensures not only to make the story feel cohesive, but shows the meticulous planning that went into this story. There is one longer arc that will thread through the entire series, even if it appears we're solving self contained mysteries. 

The romance in this is the stuff of shipping dreams. Part of the allure is that you know this is going to be soul crushing. You know this relationship could never work even as you lie to yourself that it could. The glimpses of what if, the moments of happiness, the potential it holds, all make it all the more agonizing because the author makes it so easy to fall into the idea of hope. You want them to work out so badly that it burns. The calming influence each has on the other is endearing, and their bond really shines in this sequel. Mori's point of view adds a little more poignancy to the heartbreak as you can see the cracks that will eventually break them. It's compelling, and would be an incredible dynamic for a television show. 

The mystery, just like in the first novel, is well crafted. It is logical and once you have all the puzzles pieces it makes perfect sense. It may sound strange but the mystery is really secondary to the characters and the stories that are being told through them. The mystery at the heart of both books are used to further the characters, and the plot. It all works in tandem to create a really entertaining reading experience. The mystery isn't the hook, the characters are,  and that makes this resonate all the more.

The only missing link is Lock's Watson. He's presence is a looming thing. I think it is because you associate Holmes with Watson and not having Watson be a more prominent presence feels strange. He is briefly teased, and I hope for much more of him in the future installments of this story. 

Heather Petty crafts her Sherlock with a fun mystery, wonderful character development, and a Moriarty that is witty and complex. Fans of the source material will delight in this fresh take while non fans will fall under its spell for many other reasons. I cannot wait to read the next chapter in Lock and Mori's doomed love story, Heather Petty has made it impossible not to want to.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Bone Season Series Readalong and Pre-Order Campagin

It's no secret that I love Samantha Shannon's amazing series. Her creative world building, sharp writing, and amazing characters have made her series a must read for me.

With the third novel coming out March 7th it is the perfect time to start this series (if you have some how missed already devouring the first two). Bloomsbury is holding a readalong to ensure that you're caught up just in time for The Song Rising to be released. It doesn't matter if you're reading it for the first time, or reading it again in preparation of diving back into Paige's world. Everyone is welcome and it sounds like a lot of fun!

The readalong for The Bone Season will start TODAY January 9th and end on the 29th. The readalong for The Mime Order will begin on the 30th of January. Be sure to join the Goodreads group to chat with other fans of the series and share your excitement of the upcoming release.

There is also an incredible preorder campaign going on right now for The Song Rising. If you're a fan of this series you will want to get in on this!

You'll receive a set of buttons, and temporary tattoos. Who doesn't want a Mime Queen button? I also happen to love the I <3 nbsp="" one="" p="" warden="">
It is open to US, Canada, UK, ROI, AU and NZ residents and if you want a set as much as I do, be sure to claim yours by visiting the Bone Season series website and filling out the required information.

Stay tuned as I am sure I'll have much more to share about this incredible series as the release day nears. I encourage you to take advantage of both these amazing promotions and get swept away in Samantha's delightful series.

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