Saturday, July 21, 2018

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.

BOOKS

The Girls Podcast

Sadie by Courtney Summers is one of the most buzzed about books of the fall season. It's been compared to the wildly popular Serial podcast and is hitting right in the middle of this wave of popularity true crime based media is having right now.


This is, from what I understand, the podcast portion of the novel. The novel has different perspectives and one of them is this podcast that a guy is hosting. I love the idea of getting to hear it as well as reading it as part of the book. It's another way to layer the story. I am lucky enough to have a copy of this and I cannot wait to dive in. The podcast starts August 1st but you can subscribe now at Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

TV/MOVIE

American Horror Story Season 8 Theme

I always look forward to the theme reveal for the upcoming American Horror Story season. This one is supposed to be a Murder House/Coven crossover and I am so into it.

The official theme is Apocalypse and the first teaser image is TERRIFYING!


Excited that it is starting a little earlier this year. I cannot wait to see what cast members are returning and to learn more about how this image might relate to the plot of the season.

Stranger Things Season 3 Teaser

Anything Stranger Things is immediately going to get me excited and this teaser is no exception. It teases a new location, a new job for everyone's favourite babysitter, and perhaps even a release date for the new season.



I really hope the mention of the new mall opening 'next summer' is not a clue to the release date of the third season. I am already pining for this show to return and another year wait would be rough.

Boy Erased Trailer

The trailers for all of the Oscar bait movies just keep coming. This one looks like it could have some real potential as well.

It filled me with a lot of rage but also made me think about the fact that places this like still exist in parts of the world.


Bohemian Rhapsody Trailer #2

"Ready, Freddie?" I liked the first trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody enough but this second one is incredible. I got chills a few times during this second one. I didn't know a mix of multiple Queen songs was something I wanted but apparently it is.



Goosebumps, right? Rami Malek looks stunning in this and I predict he'll be solid. I am still a little concerned because of all the directing drama that happened during the filming of this but I have a little more faith now that I've seen this trailer. The scene at the very end? You see the thrall Freddie Mercury and Queen put on the audience.

OTHER

Murder With Friends Youtube Show (link)

My friend mentioned this Youtube show to me because of my interest in true crime and I immediately needed to check it out. It's an interesting show that feels like a discuss I would have with my friends.




The quick (most episodes are less than 20 minutes) make them perfect for binge watching. You'll fly through them pretty fast. The good thing is that there are quite a few to catch up on if you're just starting to watch.

One thing to note: They do tend to show crime scene photos during their episodes (with helpful warnings before) so just be aware of that if you do decide to check it out.

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

Friday, July 20, 2018

Upcoming Blog Stuff


You may have noticed towards the end of last year that I started experimenting with movie reviews and including some TV reviews as well on the blog. I have been wanting to expand the blog a bit to include all of the things I love in pop culture and that starts happening REALLY soon.

Books will always be the majority of my focus. That part of the blog is not going to change at all. I'll still be providing reviews and hyping upcoming books. My annual Most Anticipated Event is in the midst of being planned and I am ridiculously thrilled  to share the authors taking part! Things are still in the planning stage but it is coming together nicely.

As we head towards the fall season and the premieres of many potential Oscar contenders there will be more movie reviews going up. I am excited to review many of the movies in the latter half of 2018! I'll be posting a preview style post in the fall with a list of movies I think may be in the running for some Oscar nominations and hopefully add a few more to my radar with suggestions from my readers.

I am also going to be including some TV with reviews of shows that catch my attention and some posts relating to the recent Emmy nominations.

I am really excited to include these new posts on a more regular basis (particularly in the fall season). I am also open to suggestions so if there is a movie you want me to check out be sure to let me know.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren



Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren
Release Date - September 15, 2015
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  431 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**purchased**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
But what didn't happen in Vegas seems to follow them everywhere.

Lola and Oliver like to congratulate themselves on having the good sense to not consummate their drunken Las Vegas wedding. If they’d doubled-down on that mistake, their Just Friends situation might not be half as great as it is now.

... Or so goes the official line.

In reality, Lola’s wanted Oliver since day one—and over time has only fallen harder for his sexy Aussie accent and easygoing ability to take her as she comes. More at home in her studio than in baring herself to people, Lola’s instinctive comfort around Oliver nearly seems too good to be true. So why ruin a good thing?

Even as geek girls fawn over him, Oliver can’t get his mind off what he didn’t do with Lola when he had the chance. He knows what he wants with her now ... and it’s far outside the friend zone. When Lola’s graphic novel starts getting national acclaim—and is then fast-tracked for a major motion picture—Oliver steps up to be there for her whenever she needs him. After all, she’s not the kind of girl who likes all that attention, but maybe she’s the kind who’ll eventually like him.

Sometimes seeing what’s right in front of us takes a great leap of faith. And sometimes a dark wild night in Vegas isn’t just the end of a day, but the beginning of a bright new life...
The Queens of Romance have done it again. Dark Wild Night delivers a take on friends to lovers trope that is basically everything I could want and continued their streak of writing adorable romance reads with incredibly charming characters.

The Wild Season series has quickly become one of my favourite romance series. It has an irresistible blend of humour and heart and balances out the sexy scenes with thoughtful story arcs that allow the characters to grow. This installment is no exception. It's pretty much, in my opinion, a must read series for romance fans.

Lola is a fascinating character. Her voice felt so different from Mia and Harlow but you could also immediately understand why they would all be friends. Lola, like her friends before her, has some baggage that she is dealing with and it get dragged to the forefront as her story arc progresses. She has a strong fear of abandonment that stems from many things in her life which combine with her lack of success in the romance department to create some entirely relatable issues for her to have to work through.

Lola's love of comics and art also presented a interesting element to her voice. She often saw or related to things through her artistic viewpoint. Her passion for her career and the drive she had to push herself was admirable. I appreciated that it didn't paint her as terrible for wanting a career she was proud of and for fighting for it. Her storyline does deal with balance and how important that can be for all elements of someone's life but she's never painted in an unsavory light for sometimes putting her career first.

Oliver is perhaps the most laid back out of the guys in this series. His love of comic book culture makes him a nice match for the artsy Lola. While Finn is my favourite of the guys in this series, Oliver's patience, kindness and Australian accent make him a strong second choice.

The secondary characters are some of my favourite from the entire series. They really added to the book's charm. We get to spend more time with Not-Joe thanks to Oliver's point of view and he is just as ridiculous as I had hoped. Lola's father also provides a lot of humour and helps add insight into her character. It was obviously nice to catch up with the characters we already know and love from the previous books but getting to invest in these knew characters is what makes these companion novels work for me.

This is a love story about timing, patience, and letting yourself take the risk. Lola and Oliver's journey will appeal to those who like a slower burn to their romance, and really satisfying payoffs. It's a solid addition to the Wild Seasons series and one whose heart rivals its sexy. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday ... The Bride Test


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 The Bride Test by Helen Hoang


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.
I loved Helen Hoang's The Kiss Quotient so much that I was obviously thrilled to find out that there would be a companion novel set in the same world.

The Bride Test features some characters mentioned in The Kiss Quotient (and I am hoping for a cameo or two) but otherwise seems like it could be read on its own. If it is anywhere near as adorable and fun as The Kiss Quotient it'll be a perfect summer read!

The wait for this is long but it just gives everyone who hasn't read The Kiss Quotient plenty of time to join the rest of us in (im)patiently waiting for Khai and Esme's story.
Expected release date - May 7, 2019

Sunday, July 15, 2018

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)

Just one ebook purchase this week that was kind of an impulse purchase because I have seen it all over the place on Twitter this past week.


The Accidentals by Sarina Bowen (goodreads)

What bookish goodies made their way into your mailbox this week? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

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.

Last week's lack of reveals was made up for in a big way this week. So many exciting things were revealed and it'll only continue as we get closer to the fall season.

TV/MOVIE

A Simple Favor Trailer

There were some teaser trailers for this movie released previously but we now have a full length one which gives us a little bit more detail about the actual plot.



I also did not realize that this was based off a book. I discovered this fact and now want to read it as soon as I can. It's by Darcey Bell and shares a title with the movie. 

Mary, Queen Of Scots Trailer

Here we have another trailer for a movie with some Oscar buzz already attached to it. I was instantly hooked and bumped it up my 'must watch list' a few spots after this solid trailer.



Both Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan seem to be delivery impressive performances and I could easily see Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominations in their future. Expect the blog to have a few reviews of Oscar bait movies in the fall. 

A Simple Favour Movie Poster

A new movie poster for A Simple Favor was also released with the full length trailer. I love everything about the marketing for this movie. The balance of something sinister with such bright colours just works really well here. 


I also love the martini theme that Blake Lively's character has got going on. 

The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Key Art

With the official key art for season one being unveiled I think we can expect a trailer and release date in the near future. I am guessing Netflix will reveal something at Comic Con and that it might be an October release (which would be all kinds of perfect).


Salem takes central focus along with the iconic headband from the comics of the same name. I am so excited for this darker revamp and that I can binge it all at once. 

You Key Art

You also release its key art and the tagline is pretty spot on for the novel this is based off of. It also make Penn Badgley seem extremely creepy (which is the entire point).


I hope that Penn nails this role because it could be a meaty one with a lot of flash. I also hope that the show leans into the more ridiculous elements of the novel. I want it to be what the book was and hope the show lets itself go to the dark and ridiculous. 

OTHER

Entertainment Weekly's Breaking Bad Reunion

Breaking Bad is one of my favourite television shows of all time. I also really like whenever Entertainment Weekly does reunion issues. I was so excited when I saw that they had reunited the cast for  the most current issue!



Canada always seems to be really behind on Entertainment Weekly issues so we probably won't get it for another week or two but I am looking forward to reading the article  (especially what Anna Gunn has to say about all that Skyler hate).

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

Friday, July 13, 2018

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell



Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Release Date - September 10, 2013
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  438 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A coming-of-age tale of fanfiction, family and first love

CATH IS A SIMON SNOW FAN. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan... But for Cath, being a fan is her life--and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fanfiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to.

Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath that she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend; a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world; a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words...and she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind? 
When Fangirl was released it was surrounded by hype. I constantly heard how amazing it was and how much everyone loved it. The buzz had the dual effect of making me want to read it and making me set it aside until I could read it without all the background noise that surrounded it. I am thrilled to say that this love letter to fanfiction lived up to all the praise.

Fanfiction is often looked at negatively by those outside of it. This novel presents those who love it as passionate, driven, creative, and dedicated. It showcases the hard work that goes into writing fanfiction and how valuable it can be in sharpening writing skills and finding your voice as a writer. It is also a way for fans to not only express their love of something but allows them to connect with other fans. The feeling of fandom is woven throughout everything and how it connects people who love the same thing. It's a powerful feeling and one that is, sadly, often dismissed as frivolous or silly. This shows that it is way more complex than that.

The dynamic of growing up as seen through the prism of the Cath and Wren relationship was fascinating. The are growing at different speeds and that takes it toll on their connection but the love they have for each other is never in question. Seeing the ways relationships change with the extra element of them being twins really heightened everything for me. All of the emotions were felt a little more strongly and that is everything I could hope for as a reader. Their relationship being a central focus felt natural to me because it is so ingrained with the fanfiction part of the story. I really liked how authentic their bond felt. I recognized parts of my own feelings towards my sisters within these pages and how the characters related to each other.

The romance is tentative and sweet. It matches who Cath is perfectly. She is socially awkward and withdrawn. She struggles to trust people and let them in. This is reflected in the romance that she embarks on. It is a gradual build but one that has a worth while payoff in the end. It feels more authentic because it is allowed time to breath and grow. The love interest is also pretty adorable and kind which helps immensely with becoming invested in the romance that is being explored.

The novel begins to have a conversation about the ways in which family trauma, such as divorce, can leave an impact. Both Cath and Wren are dealing with their mom leaving in very different ways but it impacted them just the same. This combined with how much Cath worries about her father make the family dynamic vital to the story. It, at times, feels even more important than the fanfiction element. It drives Cath in so many ways and moves the plot forward. I, in fact, wish it had been delved into just a little bit more. It felt unfulfilled in some ways but I immensely enjoyed the look at the messy, complex family dynamics that were offered.

My only minor quibble with this story is the ending. It felt a little rushed compared to the pacing of the rest of the novel. It didn't mesh as fully with the story I had previously read. It has a decent, even satisfying, ending but it didn't quite much the level of what came before it.

Fangirl is not just a love letter to fandom but a love letter to those who embrace it. It's a sweet coming of age story that will resonate with anyone who has ever been passionately obsessed with something. If you're a fan of young adult contemporary novels, and somehow managed to miss this one, I recommend checking it out.

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