Thursday, December 8, 2016

2017 Most Anticipated - Penguin RandomHouse Canada



Today I have Vikki from Penguin RandomHouse Canada stopping by to share her own list of must read books in 2017. There are so amazing sounding titles on this list that I am predicting many will have their 'to be read' list grow after reading this post.

A huge thank you to Vikki for taking the time to do this!


EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED is a real weeper about the relationship between Ingrid and her mother, the beautiful but volatile opera star Margot- Sophia LaLonde. When the novel starts, Ingrid is at the beginning of an extreme wilderness experience, along with a group of high-risk teens, having never so much as camped before. She has made a deal with her mother; if she makes it through a summer in the wilderness, then she can pursue her dreams of becoming a performer. Canadian author Danielle Younge-Ullman has created not one but TWO compelling narratives and managed to weave them together in a way that makes it impossible to put this book down. I can’t decide which plot I like better: Breakfast Club in the woods—with convicts!—or mother-daughter drama that plays out like The Glass Castle (only if the mother was an opera singer.) There are stolen kisses in the wings of a theatre, moments of bad-assery that would make Khaleesi proud, swoony ex-convicts, and so much more.

Attention all L.M. Montgomery fans! Penguin Teen has a novel inspired by the teen years of Canada’s most famous author (Sorry, Margaret Atwood!) MAUD is impeccably researched by LM Montgomery scholar and debut Canadian author Melanie J. Fishbane and illuminates the hopes, fears, challenges and triumphs of the woman who would grow up to write ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, one of the most beloved children’s books of all time. Motherless at a young age, Maud bounced between family members, including her strict grandparents, a cold, resentful aunt, and her estranged father and his new wife, who treat Maud like a nanny and try to marry her off to her older, dreadfully dull teacher. Anne fans will delight in the true-to-life people and incidents that inspired some of the most iconic Green Gables touchstones: The Lake of Shining Waters, a supportive female teacher with shades of Miss Stacy, and a scholarly rivalry that turns to romance with a handsome local boy.

It’s been a great couple of years for funny, poignant memoirs from girl-crush worthy women (Mara Wilson, Phoebe Robinson, Jessi Klein, Mindy Kaling… just to mention a few). Buzzfeed writer Erin Chack may not have the same celeb status as these women (yet), but her memoir about life, love, and adulting belongs on the same shelf. THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING is a collection of essays in which Erin recounts everything from meeting her soulmate at age 14 to her first chemotherapy session at age 19 to what really goes on behind the scenes at a major Internet media company. For a little taste, follow her on twitter: @ErinChack.

THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS is a breathless puzzle of a book; a thriller without the guts, gore, or murder. Flora has a condition in which she cannot form short term memories. She lives under the careful watch of her parents, in a town she is familiar with, among people who are equally familiar with her story. And then she kisses her best friend’s boyfriend, Drake, the night before he sets off for Norway, and everything changes: She remembers him and that kiss. Flora sets off on a dangerous journey to find Drake, who she believes is the key to restoring her memory for good. Emily Barr takes the conceit of an unreliable narrator and cranks the stakes way, way up. Flora’s tenacity, strength, mistakes, and triumphs are writ large against the harsh yet beautiful landscape of Svalbard. I read this with white knuckles and my heart in my throat. A must-read for fans of We Were Liars.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

2017 Most Anticipated - The Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virtue



My next selection for this event is a book with a seriously swoon worthy cover. It is a cover that makes other covers want to sexy wink at it. It also happens to have a European trip, boys falling for each other, pirates, and lots of debauchery (of the 18th Century variety) within its pages.


A novel that will most likely fill you with wanderlust and have you packing your bags to head off to Europe and so much more!


After reading the Goodreads synopsis it is pretty much impossible to not want to read this book.
An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.
If this hasn't made you desperate to get your hands on this novel perhaps Mackenzi's brilliant teaser video will. This video not only shows how insanely talented she is, but makes this book sound INCREDIBLE.


Mackenzi has also kindly taken the time to answer a few questions about The Gentleman's Guide To Vice And Virtue.  

Describe The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue using only emojis.

👬

🇬🇧➡️🇫🇷➡️🇪🇸➡️🇮🇹➡️(I cannot for the life of me make the Greek flag emoji work but that’s what should be here :)

🍻

🎲

♥️♣️♦️♠️



🎻

👨❤️‍👨

2 If someone were to make a signature drink in honour of your book, what might be included?

Funnily enough, I don’t really drink. But my main character, Monty, does. A lot. And in spite of being a classy rich boy, Monty’s also the sort who would drink whatever cheap, crappy booze gets him drunk fastest.

So I’d probably say the drink would be an old fashioned, with whiskey and citrus and cherry….except the ice cube would be infused with vodka, so as it melted the drink got boozier.

It gets you wasted fast but you look super classy drinking it.

3 Your book revolves around two gentleman taking the Grand Tour. Which countries would be on your own Grand Tour of Europe?

I am really lucky because I actually got to take a grand tour of Europe when I was in college, and I visited everywhere Monty, Percy, and Felicity go on their tour. The place I most wanted to see while I was abroad that I missed out on was Prague, so definitely it would be on the list, and definitely Edinburgh (which I get to visit very soon and I’m so very excited!). But also, can I just go everywhere!? Even countries I’ve already explored I feel like have so much more to see! It can get very overwhelming very fast when you think of how mind-blowingly huge and amazing the world is.

4 Name a song you listed to for inspiration while writing this novel (if you didn't listen to music let me know and I can quickly send another question)

Since Monty is sort of an eighteenth century party boy, I listened to a lot of the music I thought he’d like if he were alive today. Which meant I wrote this book to pop music I would never, ever have listened to otherwise, like Sia, Lady Gaga, Fergie, Miiike Snow, Jessie J--even Uptown Funk was on my list.

But also “Paris” by Kate Nash, “Ship to Wreck” by Florence + The Machine, “A Question” by Bombadil, “Ne Me Quitte Pas” by Regina Spektor, “Keep Yourself Warm” by Frightened Rabbit, “Outlaws” by Alesia, and “This Year” by the Mountain Goats. All of which is much more to my usual taste.

5 I am guessing a lot of research went into this novel, particularly in regards to the time period this is set in. What was the most surprising thing you discovered while researching?

I loved reading about the Grand Tours and the culture of being a tourist, and the crazy luxuries afforded to them while they were abroad. I read journals written by tourists when they were abroad, and my favorite was one guy who was carried across the snowy Alps in a sedan chair (see: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KhdQ0-bfC-8/UmLU0qiNEsI/AAAAAAAAEHY/aGW9mEbwrds/s1600/sedan-chair.jpg) which was actually a pretty common way of going from place to place as a tourist. But the thing that killed me has how he kept complaining about how rough the ride was and his footmen kept slipping and it was so miserable for him--and it never occurred to him to get out and walk. Oh young rich white guys. You know nothing.  

But the most surprising thing about reading these journals was, in spite of the aforementioned crazy luxury and privilege, how much I could relate to the sentiments of these tourists. In spite of having several hundred years and a fortune separating us, and both of us living lives that on the surface the other couldn’t possibly seem to relate to, I read their journals and found so much emotion I could relate to. Things like obsessive crushes and depression and anxiety and preoccupation with your future--just further proof that the world may change, but it really doesn’t change that much.

6 What 2017 release are you most anticipating?

I have to just pick one?! That seems cruel.

I am aggressively excited about THE PEARL THIEF by Elizabeth Wein. Because ZOMG MORE VERITY. I’m fine.

7. If not too spoilery, can you share the first line of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

On the morning we are to leave for our Grand Tour of the Continent, I wake in bed beside Percy. For a disorienting moment, it’s unclear whether we’ve slept together or simply slept together.


Anyone else itching to plan a Grand Tour of their own? I haven't even read the book and I am ready to pack my bags. I can only imagine the wanderlust that will hit when I actually get to read this book.

The Gentleman's Guide To Vice And Virtue is scheduled for release on June 20, 2017! It will be required reading for anyone heading to Europe for the summer (and the perfect beach bag accessory).

It is available for pre-order from your favourite retailer right now, and I highly recommend doing so.


You can also follow Mackenzi on Twitter, visit her website, and the publisher website for all the details about The Gentleman's Guide To Vice And Virtue.

What countries would be a must visit on your own Grand Tour? Do you love travel inspired stories? Let me know in the comments.

And if you're wanting to chance to read this book early... I recommend visiting again near the end of the event for a giveaway that will include an eARC!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to find out the next book that made this year's list!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2017 Most Anticipated - Romancing The Throne




The next book on my 2017 Most Anticipated list is a book in which two sisters meet and fall for the same guy. If that were not complicated enough, there is another twist to this drama filled situation - the guy in question just happens to be a Prince. Yup, a PRINCE!


A novel that is inspired by both Anne and Mary Boleyn, and Kate and Pippa Middleton (except Pippa never dated William).


The Goodreads synopsis not only hints at the delicious drama that will unfold within these pages but also alludes to the fact that sisterhood is stronger than any guy. The sisterly bond is one of elements I am most excited for, and the complication that arises when they both are into the same guy, and this novel seems to promise both in equal measure.
For the first time ever, the Weston sisters are at the same boarding school. After an administration scandal at Libby’s all-girls school threatens her chances at a top university, she decides to join Charlotte at posh and picturesque Sussex Park. Social-climbing Charlotte considers it her sisterly duty to bring Libby into her circle: Britain’s young elites, glamorous teens who vacation in Hong Kong and the South of France and are just as comfortable at a polo match as they are at a party.

It’s a social circle that just so happens to include handsome 17-year-old Prince Edward, heir to Britain’s throne.

Charlotte’s had her eye on Edward, and soon they’re snogging all over the campus lawn and common rooms—while Libby busies herself with settling into her studies and navigating the complicated social code of Sussex Park. Eager to put her sister at ease, Charlotte encourages Libby to hang out with her new boyfriend. And much to everyone’s surprise, Libby and Edward hit it off.

Actually, they really hit it off.

In this juicy, contemporary girl-meets-prince story, two sisters find themselves at odds over the same boy amid high-society expectations and paparazzi scandals. In the end, there may be a price to pay for romancing the throne . . . and more than one path to happily ever after. 
Nadine was kind enough to take some time to chat with me about this royal triangle and, if possible, she's made me even more excited to read this one.

1 Describe Romancing The Throne in three words

Sisters before misters

2 If someone were to make a signature ice cream in honour of your book, what might be included?

Rocky Road (like the path to happiness and forgiveness for Charlotte and Libby!) plus some rose gummies (because, man, do those boarding school kids like to drink);

3 Your book revolves around two sisters competing for the heart of a Prince. Did any fictional or real life sisters provide inspiration? 

As far as real life sisters, obviously Kate and Pippa were a big inspiration - they have such a supportive, tight-knit relationship and I find it fascinating. Pippa’s one of Kate’s only true confidants, and so she’s privy to many of the secrets behind the throne. I thought a lot about Anne and Mary Boleyn while writing, too: the idea of dating somebody and then having him stolen out from underneath you by your own sister. I’ve had a lot of early readers express (happy!) surprise that the main love story in romancing the throne isn’t actually between Charlotte and Edward or Libby and Edward, but actually between Charlotte and Libby. It’s ultimately a story about the bond between sisters and how that comes before any guy, Prince or not.

4 Name a song you listed to for inspiration while writing this novel (if you didn't listen to music let me know and I can quickly send another question)

This is so embarrassing—not to mention jarring, considering the material!—but I listened to Eminem’s Lose Yourself whenever I felt creatively blocked and needed a jolt. It works every time!

5 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel?

I’d love to be in France in the 1920’s, ideally in the South of France with Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and Gerald and Sara Murphy. Those people seriously knew how to throw a party.

6 What 2017 release are you most anticipating?

It’s hard to pick just one! The 2017 releases I’m especially excited for are The Hate U Give, Caraval, and #Famous.

7. If not too spoilery, can you share the first line of Romancing The Throne

My serve has been my secret weapon ever since I mastered it at Wimbledon junior tennis camp two years ago.


The 'sisters before misters' description made my heart swell with happiness and giggle. I cannot wait to meet Charlotte and Libby.

Naturally, the other thing that caught my eye was rosé gummies! I was curious about what they were and had to Google them. Turns out they are delicious sounding gummies that are infused with rosé wine. Big surprise that I need to try them, right?

Sugarfina has them and I highly recommend checking them out. Thanks to Nadine I intend to buy some next time I am in New York City.


Romancing The Throne is scheduled for release on May 30, 2017! It has all the makings of a perfect summer treat (complete with the above ice cream, naturally).

You can pre-order it so it'll be ready for that June beach bag at your favourite retailer.


You can also follow Nadine on Twitter, visit her website, and the publisher website for more details about Romancing The Throne.

Are you a contemporary young adult fan? Are you a fan of books that feature a member of royalty as the love interest? Let me know in the comments.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to find out the next book that made this year's list!

Monday, December 5, 2016

2017 Most Anticipated - Raincoast Books


Today I have Melissa visiting from Raincoast Books to share a some of her most anticipated titles of 2017. There is zero overlap with any of my own personal selections so it will help round out the books on your to be read list.

A huge thank you to Melissa for being her usual lovely self and agreeing to write this up!


2017 Most Anticipated Books
2017 is going to be another incredible year for books, and I know my TBR pile has been steadily increasing. While it’s always difficult to narrow it down, here are 5 YA titles that I’m highly anticipating:
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
See more about this book on Goodreads.
THIS BOOK. I can barely talk about this book without wanting to jump up and down with delight. All of my colleagues (and anyone who participated in Raincoast’s TeensRead Preview) have seen my excitement over this book first hand. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s first novel since the highly acclaimed Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and it is another gorgeous story that offers a realistic glimpse of teenagers who are trying to find their place in the world while dealing with everything that life throws at them. You can’t help but fall in love with these characters, and I hope that everyone loves this book as much as I do.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
See more about this book on Goodreads.
Kathy mentioned this book during her last Most Anticipated event, but I am just going to reiterate her points! This book features a magical setting, a strong bond between sisters, an intriguing love interest, and very real danger—what’s not to love? Stephanie Garber crafts a beautiful and compelling story that will have you swept away in the magical world of Caraval.
Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan
See more about this book on Goodreads.
When Chronicle Books first introduced this book to us at our sales conference, one of the first things they mentioned is how much the story resonated with everyone who read it, which (of course) immediately caught my attention. This book is a debut from author Kayla Cagan and tells the story of Piper as she navigates her last year of high school, her friendships, and her passion for art and artistic expression.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
See more about this book on Goodreads.
“Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave…” As soon as I read this opening line of The Bone Witch, I knew this is one that I would want to read. While I still haven’t had a chance to read it, I am incredibly excited for this book! Featuring powerful magic, danger, and emotional stakes—according to the author, they all literally wear their hearts around their necks—this is definitely one to check out in March!
Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy, edited by Ameriie
See more about this book on Goodreads.
This is a short story anthology about VILLAINS. Need I say more?! In case that fact alone didn’t convince you, this book pairs some incredible authors and YouTube Book Reviewers as they each write a short story from a villain’s point of view. Contributing authors include: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon. So, I’m just saying that you should probably add this to your TBR list immediately!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

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 lots of fun things arrive into my mailbox this week!

First up is a new addition to my Funko Pop collection. It is Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's.


She's adorable and I love the detail they put into her hair.

A huge thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and Hachette Canada for the next batch of arrivals.


Born A Crime by Trevor Noah (Goodreads)
The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon (Goodreads)
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer (Goodreads)

I am very excited to read all three of these for different reasons. Hoping to review them early in the new year.

Lastly, Simon and Schuster Canada made my week by having this next book arrive in my mailbox.


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (Goodreads)

Thank to you them for the chance to read and review this. So excited to start it as I have a feeling it is going to be the rom-com young adult novel I am craving.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

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.

Very small Weekly Obsessions list this week.

OTHER

Stranger Things bookmarks from HappyHello Etsy shop

My love of Stranger Things is well known and I am thrilled that more merchandise is popping up for the show all the time. Etsy has been a treasure trove of goodies and these bookmarks are a must have for me.

The are made by the talented person behind the Happy Hello Etsy shop. Her designs are always adorable but I especially love these. I am totally going to have to get myself a set if I don't get them for Christmas.

photo copyright @Happy Hello Etsy shop

My only question? WHERE IS WILL?! I think he needs a bookmark too!

Stranger Things necklace from Hot Topic

Hot Topic just announced some fantastic Stranger Things merchandise and one of my favourites is this fun necklace. It represents the show perfectly without being too much.


They have a lot of merchandise, and there are a few t-shirts I love as well. There may be a shopping trip in my future after Christmas if these don't make their way under the tree for me this year.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

2017 Most Anticipated - Girls Made Of Snow And Glass




Anyone who has visited my blog regularly knows that I have a bit of a thing for fairytale retellings. I already had a Little Mermaid inspired book on this list. The next book on my 2017 Most Anticipated list is inspired by another fairytale.


Girls Made Of Snow and Glass by by Melissa Bashardoust offers a retelling that focuses on the princess (aka Snow White) and her stepmother (aka The Evil Queen).


Here is the very brief  Goodreads synopsis. Since this book does not come out until Fall 2017, there is very limited information released so far.
A feminist reimagining of the Snow White fairy tale, which follows both of the central female characters from the original story: the princess and her stepmother.
A feminist reimagining of Snow White?! YES, PLEASE! This sounds incredible. I like that it is offering up a bit of a unique take on the classic tale.

I got Melissa to dish some secrets about Girls Made Of Snow and Glass. It has definitely piqued my interest even more and left me eager to get my hands on this book as soon as possible!

1 Describe Girls Made Of Snow and Glass using three words.

Identity. Family. Love.

2 If someone were to make a signature ice cream in honour of your book, what might be included?

Hmm, I think it would be a vanilla/raspberry swirl with sugar crystals sprinkled on top.

3 Your novel has been described as a feminist twist on the classic Snow White tale. What part of the Snow White story inspired you to write your own twist on it?

I started out thinking about the evil queen/stepmother specifically. We tend to dismiss her motivations as being petty vanity or jealousy, one woman wanting to be prettier than another, but as I was watching the Faerie Tale Theatre episode of Snow White one day, I started really thinking about the source of her fears. Given the way our society treats women who aren’t conventionally attractive or in the prime of youth, it makes sense that she would be afraid of losing her power and her position as her successor comes of age and is poised to replace her. When I first started brainstorming ideas for this book, I was planning to explore the queen’s journey and her psychology alone, but then eventually I realized I wanted to write about both the princess and the queen and the way their stories might interact and parallel each other, and to look at the forces shaping their rivalry and see if there could possibly be any alternative to the story we’ve heard so many times.

4 Name a song you listed to for inspiration while writing this novel (if you didn't listen to music let me know and I can quickly send another question)

I listened to a lot of dramatic instrumental music while writing this book, but lyrically, special mention has to go to “Hardest of Hearts” by Florence and the Machine.

5 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want to travel?

I think I’d like to stop by for tea with the Brontës up at Haworth in 1848, followed by a walk on the moors.

6 What 2017 release are you most anticipating?

There are so many, but being a big Labyrinth fan, I’m dying to get my hands on WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones.

7 If not too spoilery, can you share the first line of Girls Made Of Snow and Glass

Lynet first saw her in the courtyard.


I am so excited that this is being called a feminist retelling! It is what immediately caught my attention and I cannot wait to see how Melissa tackles this fairytale.

Girls Made Of Snow and Glass is scheduled for release on September 5, 2017 (subject to change) so it is not currently available for preorder. I recommend adding it to your Goodreads shelves so that you can preorder as soon as the links become available.

You can also follow Melissa on Twitter, visit her website, and the publisher website for more details about Girls Made of Snow and Glass as its release gets closer.

Are you as in love with the idea of a feminist Snow White retelling as I am? What classic images or scenes do you hope translate into this retelling? Let me know in the comments.

 I, personally, hope we still get a see a poisoned apple.


Be sure to stop by tomorrow to find out the next book that made this year's list!

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