Sunday, May 20, 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)

I had a lot of amazing arrivals this week! First up are two bookmarks that I love from HappyHello (Etsy shop link). They are adorable and I am happy to add them to my collection.


They are obviously Elio and Oliver from Call Me By Your Name. I've fangirled about this shop before, but you should check it out if you love cute bookmarks. A ton of different fandoms are offered and they make great gifts.

Next up was my Indigo Book Box which featured War Storm by Victoria Aveyard. The box contained a signed copy of the book, a candle, a note from Victoria, and a Scarlet Guard pin.


War Storm by Victoria Aveyard (goodreads)

The pin is so amazing that I had to include a close up of it! It's a perfect addition to my pin collection and a wonderful bit of swag to celebrate the end of the series with.


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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 19, 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.

Trailers for the fall movies are begun to be released and it looks like there are some amazing upcoming movies to look forward to.

TV/Movie

Bohemian Rhapsody Trailer

This movie has been in the news for the behind the scenes drama that has surrounded it. Multiple directors and numerous delays have plagued this movie. I wasn't quite sure what to expect as a result. If the first trailer is any indication we are in for something pretty amazing.

 

Rami Malek is electric. He's giving me serious Oscar vibes and I fully expect him to be part of the conversation leading up to awards season. All of the negative background noise doesn't seem to have impacted the performance of story so my expectations are still pretty high for this one.

Teaser Trailer For Beautiful Boy

All eyes will once again be on Timothee Chalamet this upcoming awards season if this teaser trailer is any indication of the performance within this movie. 

  

This teaser has only made me want a full trailer all the more. It is on the top of my must see list for Oscar season! I expect it is going to be both heartbreaking and uplifting (it's based on a true story of a father trying to help his son who has an opioid addiction).

Destination Wedding Trailer

Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves spark in this romantic comedy trailer that has instantly made me want to see this movie. I am a huge fan of both of them and this trailer is a good showcase for each of them.

   

I love their banter and the connection that is evident even in this trailer. It's going to be a fun one to watch and I am very much looking forward to it!
What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, May 18, 2018

All Of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflor



All Of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflor
Release Date - May 15,  2018
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  432 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.

Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.

Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . . .
A secret. A famous author. A group of teen fans clamoring to be in her inner circle. The truth between fiction and reality become blurred in Lygia Day Penaflor's captivating, well written, and addicting novel.

This novel is compulsively readable. It's almost impossible to put down. The different narration formats used also make for a quick, easily digestible read  that many will finish in a sitting. It's the novel equivalent of a CW show - splashy, filled with a lot of drama and beautiful people. It also has an amazing hook and the author uses this to great impact. The story is told via transcripts, interviews, articles, and passages from a novel. It all comes together to create a book whose writing alone is worthy of praise.

This novel's tension really comes down to differing perspectives. It's multiple characters giving their account of events and how their personalities and biases impact how they see those events. These differing recollections allow the reader a much broader scope of the story. It allows the reader to sift through each of the accounts and draw their own conclusions. These characters are not deliberately misleading and that makes the story all the more fascinating.

All of the characters are fascinating in their own way. I, however, found the character of Fatima Ro to be the most fascinating out of the group. She is also one of the main characters who never give their own account of the story. She is shown to the reader through the lens of other characters. Her motives are at the crux of this novel. The why behind her actions is always on the reader's minds. I found how she used he art to 'rewrite' things in her life interesting and wish we could have explored her more. She's this larger than life figure whose made even more mythical thanks to the media circus that surrounds her in this book.

Where the book falters a little, at least for me, was the ending. The build up to the big reveal felt anticlimactic because it is evident early on what exactly the situation was. It was a case of the set up being more captivating than the reveal and the story just didn't come together as fully as I felt it was going to in the beginning. Something was missing to bring it all together and that especially became evident for me as I neared the ending of the story.

This is a book that will make for some pretty deep discussions. The characters of both Jonah and Fatima are enough to provide book club fodder all on their own, but the novel also dives into other elements that are worthy of discussion. The idea of trust and if it was broken in this particular case is certainly ripe for discussion, but so is the entire notion of fan culture and frenzy that surrounds it. It would be a good pick for anyone wanting to ignite a healthy debate at their next book club.

All Of This Is True will definitely be devoured by certain people. It is tailor made to appeal to the hardcore book lovers who dream about getting close to one of their favourite authors. It certainly boasts a tantalizing premise and has solid writing behind it, but it didn't quite come together for me the way I had hoped. I enjoyed my time reading it but wanted just a little bit more of a payoff to this incredibly set up premise. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday ... Kens


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 Kens by Raziel Reid


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Heterosexuality is so last season: Kens is the gay Heathers meets Mean Girls, a shocking parody for a whole new generation.

Every high school has the archetypical Queen B and her minions. In Kens, the high school hierarchy has been reimagined. Willows High is led by Ken Hilton, and he makes Regina George from Mean Girls look like a saint. Ken Hilton rules Willows High with his carbon-copies, Ken Roberts and Ken Carson, standing next to his throne. It can be hard to tell the Kens apart. There are minor differences in each edition, but all Kens are created from the same mold, straight out of Satan's doll factory. Soul sold separately.

Tommy Rawlins can't help but compare himself to these shimmering images of perfection that glide through the halls. He's desperate to fit in, but in a school where the Kens are queens who are treated like Queens, Tommy is the uncool gay kid. A once-in-a-lifetime chance at becoming a Ken changes everything for Tommy, just as his eye is caught by the tall, dark, handsome new boy, Blaine. Has Blaine arrived in time to save him from the Kens? Tommy has high hopes for their future together, but when their shared desire to overthrow Ken Hilton takes a shocking turn, Tommy must decide how willing he is to reinvent himself -- inside and out. Is this new version of Tommy everything he's always wanted to be, or has he become an unknowing and submissive puppet in a sadistic plan? 
I enjoyed Raziel Reid's first book quite a bit. I especially loved the discussion my book club had after reading it. I was excited to see that he has another book coming out and that it is inspired by Heathers and Means (both of which I love).
 
I anticipate that this will be just as thought provoking and discussion worthy as his first. I expect it is going to be just as buzz worthy as his first.

Expected release date - September 18,  2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Puddin' by Julie Murphy



Puddin' by Julie Murphy
Release Date - May 8,  2018
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  448 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
It is a companion novel to Dumplin', which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean's star turn in the Clover City pageant.

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined. 
It is a rare occasion that I love a companion novel more than the original. Julie Murphy has accomplished not only creating a satisfying contemporary novel, but one that accomplishes this elusive goal. She manages to make Puddin' stand on its own merits while still gifting fans of Dumplin' with a return to the characters they fell in love with.

It is the female friendship that is the heart and soul of this story. The entire tone of the novel is one of girl power, the importance of friendships, and supporting each other. The group of girls who bonded during the pageant in Dumplin' are there for each other in a way that just makes your heart swell. They have their differences and disagreements, but they are always there when they need each other. It was refreshing to see friendships where there was no drama due to romantic interest in the same person. That story arc is the typical go to in female friendships and I was relieved it was not included within these pages. Anyone looking for a story that allows these friendships be the focus will find this read a delight.

Callie is a fascinating character. Many will remember her from Dumplin' and probably have a set expectation of who she is. Julie Murphy manages to create a complex, at times infuriating character who is so much more than you think. She may make awful decisions and mistakes, but she is never shown to be unworthy because of it. She is someone who has a lot of growing to do and changes she needs to make but you root for her to see the error of her ways. All of these feelings are simply a result of how well written the character is. Julie Murphy makes it easy to understand Callie even if you don't always like her actions.

Millie is someone figuring out who she is and what she wants. She is finding her voice for the first time and taking the tentative first steps of independence from her parents. It's a journey every person takes and while Millie's is unique to her circumstances there is something relatable at its core. Part of the book's charm is seeing Millie and Callie form a strong friendship, and how they influence each other. Millie grows just as much as Callie does as the story progresses. She just does it in a vastly different way.

The romance that is in the novel is not quite in the background, but definitely not the main focus. They are very sweet and tentative in way that I found charming. There is something to be said for that giddy crush feeling and the blushes that come along with it. Julie Murphy is a pro at creating these relationships that feel filled with potential and very much grounded in reality. They start as friendships and that very much feels like the most important aspect to any romance that Julie writes.

A story filled with friendships, sleepovers, first loves, and learning to stand up for what you want. Puddin' is, perhaps, even more charming than Dumplin' and provides a feel good read that is all heart. Julie Murphy continues to write novels that are simply a delight to read. It's one I highly recommend when you need a fun read that will make you laugh. It's one that you'll immediately want to share with your friends. 

Sunday, May 13, 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)

A huge thank you to Raincoast Books for the very exciting package that arrived in my mailbox. I am looking forward to Legendary and Furyborn and cannot wait to dive into them. I basically hugged the package when it was handed to me because I knew what I would find in it!


Legendary by Stephanie Garber (goodreads
Furyborn by Claire Legrand (goodreads)

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!


Saturday, May 12, 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.

A few fun things to share this week! I am also excited about spring finally being here. It's been nice to go out with a sweater instead of a winter jacket and the sunshine has been really nice!

BOOKS

American Royals by Katharine McGee (goodreads)

I was immediately intrigued by this book just from the deal announcement. It sounds like a perfect fit for anyone who is obsessed with royalty and the idea of 'what if'.

The deal announcement describes it as
A reimagining of modern-day America as a monarchy, the book tells the tale of the American royal family: the most famous family in the world, who play out their dramas on the greatest stage of all.
I look forward to hearing more about this as the fall 2019 release date gets closer.

OTHER

HappyHello Bookmarks (link)

I have raved about the bookmarks from this Etsy shop a bunch of times. I was so excited when I saw that some new ones had been added and immediately purchased the Call Me By Your Name set!

How cute are these?! They are perfect. I am (im)patiently waiting for my set to arrive in the mail.

photo copyright Vivi @ HappyHello Co
The photo is taken from the Etsy shop and belongs to Vivi who is the owner. Please check out the shop. There are a ton of different fandoms represented and she even does amazing custom orders!

Quelque Chose Ice Cream With Macarons (link)

I stumbled across this new ice cream offering in downtown Ottawa. The place is called Quelque Chose and they are mainly a macaron place, but have added these delicious looking ice cream treats to their menu for the summer.



The S'more and Cotton Candy ones are a must try for me, but the rest of them look just as amazing. Check out their website, and if you live in the Ottawa area be sure to check them out this summer.

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

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