Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
Release Date - August 30, 2016
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 448 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
New York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough. 
Welcome to Manhattan, 2118. 
A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose. 
Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched. 
Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart. 
Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one? 
Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies. 
And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have. 
Debut author Katharine McGee has created a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall…
It starts with a fall and a scream, and ends with the devastating truth and its consequences. The Thousandth Floor reminds me of champagne - light, bubbly, and oh so good. Its the type of novel that is tailor made to be read at the end of summer. It's sudsy, filled with juicy drama, and enough secrets to make even some of the Gossip Girl characters blush. It's everything the synopsis promises, delivered in a compulsively readable package.

Katharine McGee's crisp, clean writing allows the story to be the focus. It allows the incredible world that has been built to shine brightly. The 'futuristic' element felt realistic to how our technology would progress. There are certainly elements that feel fantastical, but they fit within the world that has been created, and are similar to adding a pop of colour to an otherwise black and white canvas. They are there to be eye catching while still complimenting the whole. This element is what provides the biggest splash with some of the inclusions being just as surprising as the secrets the characters hold.

A multiple point of view novel is complicated and often hard to pull off well. Each voice should feel distinct and capture the essence of the character. It is like a tower of blocks where removing one piece impacts the entire structure. It takes skill and planning. Katharine McGee not only creates distinct characters that resonate with the reader, but has intricately woven their stories together in a way that creates a stronger story. It adds to the increasing tension as we learn things before other characters do and can anticipate the consequences to come. If the entire series is this intricately plotted and executed I will be not only impressed, but a life long fan of anything Katharine McGee writes.

The characters are the heart of this novel. It is them that kept my interest, because this is not a new story. Each of the characters has something that haunts them. Its either something they cannot have, something they've lost, or something they need a little too much. There is desperation, shame, secrets, lies, and each of the character spirals as everything begins to unravel. This novel, for me, blended the plot driven focus with the characterization incredibly well to ensure that we cared about both the plot and the characters that it was happening to.

The tension coursing through this novel is like a vice grip. It is relentless and the tightening feeling only increases as the story progresses to its inevitable end. The story is like a chess game with Katharine McGee moving all the characters steadily into position with deliberate precision. The payoff is the pulse pounding, breath stealing final few chapters that leave you dizzy. It is perfectly executed and shows the amount of planning and plotting that went into this multiple point of view novel.

Fans of Gossip Girl will immediately devour this addictive read and beg for more. I predict that even non fans will fall under the spell of this decadent, delicious and satisfying read. The wait for the second novel is going to be excruciating but it'll give you time to pick your jaw up off the floor. End your summer with the residents of The Tower. I predict you'll love it.

Sunday, August 28, 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 received a bunch of goodies from the Harper Collins Canada blogger preview that happened recently. I am excited about pretty much all of these titles and cannot wait to read them.

As I Descended by Robin Talley (goodreads)
Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel (goodreads)
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (goodreads)
Girl Mans Up by M-E Giard (goodreads)

A huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada (especially the people behind HCC Frenzy) for the afternoon of bookish fun. Be sure to check out my recap if you missed it.

What bookish items made their way into your mailbox this week?

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 27, 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 post this week as not much was announced or revealed. It is that in between time before all the fall announcements start.


Stranger Things Funko Pops

Funko teased some Stranger Things Pops on their Twitter account recently by offering a look at what the Pops might look like if Funko were given the licence to go ahead and make them. They look absolutely perfect and I require them to be a thing I can purchase immediately.

First up they teased Eleven (and her beloved Eggos)

She's perfect right? I need her to be on my bad ass ladies shelf with the other bad ass lady Pops I have. She would fit right in! I am also going to need a Mike Pop to put with her (for reasons).

Next up they teased with a Barb Pop might look like. She is exactly what I would want a Barb Pop to look like! They managed to get all the littlest details into these. 

I hope they make a whole set because I am going to need one for each of the main kids (Dustin, Will, Mike, Lucas) and I am going to need a Nancy, Jonathan, Joyce and Hopper. I might need a bigger shelf.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

#FrenzyPresents Fall 2016/Winter 2017 Blogger Preview Recap

I was once again invited the annual Frenzy Presents event at Harper Collins Canada. My fellow Ottawa bloggers and I made the trip to Toronto to meet up with the lovely people at Harper Collins Canada and some fellow Toronto area bloggers.

To say I was excited to be invited would be an understatement. There was definately some fangirling that happened when I opened the email (and embarrassed myself at work ... again).

I was so excited in fact that I did not take as many photos as I wanted, BUT I am going to recap the titles discussed and share the photos I did manage to take.

In no particular order here are the upcoming titles that were presented at the event (with a link to their Goodreads page and my thoughts).

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard (goodreads)

M-E Girard was there to discuss (and sign) her upcoming book, Girl Mans up. I was sold by M-E's description of her main character. It sounds like something totally unique in YA and an important addition to the young adult contemporary genre. Very excited to pick this one up. 

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee (goodreads)

This one is easily summed up by comparing it to a futuristic Gossip Girl. I am currently reading it and it is filled with all the juicy drama you could hope for, and I have been impressed with Katharine McGee's writing so far. This starts with a young woman falling off the thousandth floor of this high-rise tower, and the secrets just unravel from there. Prepare for this to become your latest CW (or similar) addiction as well because it basically begs to be turned into a television show.

As I Descended by Robin Talley (goodreads)

A Macbeth retelling where Macbeth is female?! Yes, please. This contemporary twist on the classic tale promises to be just as creepy as the original and filled with some great modern twists. I am excited to see what a female version of Macbeth would look like and am hoping for some complex and fascinating characters. 

Replica by Lauren Oliver (goodreads)

This uniquely formatted novel can be read three different ways and is actually two stories in one. One half of the novel is Lyra's story, and the other half is Gemma's story. You can read them each straight through (in either order) or alternate between the two. I am curious how the reading experience changes depending on how you decide to read the novel (or if it changes at all). It's a fun concept and one I am intrigued to try out. 

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (goodreads)

Three sisters who each have magic abilities are reunited on the 16th birthday to fight for the right to be the rightful Queen of their kingdom. This fight just happens to be to the death with the victor being the last lady standing. It sounds dark, and amazing! It is high up on my must read list and I cannot wait to meet these three sisters.

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno (goodreads)

This is a story of friendship back dropped against the boy/girl band craze of the 90's. Two girls audition to be part of a new pop group that is forming and this novel examines the impact this has on them and their friendship. All of this basically translates into my needing it immediately. It is very high on my must read list for winter 2017. 

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (goodreads)

Pretty sure everyone fell in love with Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda when it released and that everyone is impatiently waiting for Becky's newest. This has been called a love letter to those who don't get love letters and that is all I needed to hear for me to desperately need it. 

The End of Our Story by Meg Haston (goodreads)

A contemporary read that sounds completely heartbreaking and amazing. It is the story of a star crossed couple and the secrets that could tear them apart. Even thought she wouldn't tell us much, Suman sold the heck out of this one during her presentation and I am really looking forward to checking it out. 

Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel (goodreads)

Kenneth Oppel talking Every Hidden Thing
Kenneth Oppel also happened to be there to present his own book and sign copies for everyone. This is being called Romeo and Juliet with dinosaurs and I am already fangirling. This is the story of two teens who fall in love despite being on opposing excavating teams that are hunting the same dinosaur fossil. It sounds amazing and so different. You'll definitely be seeing this one on the blog pretty soon!

Valiant by Lesley Livingston (goodreads)

If the fact that this features female gladiators doesn't sell you, perhaps the inclusion of Julius Caesar will. A young woman whose only hope may be the man who destroyed her family and invaded her country. This one caused quite the reaction with the bloggers in attendance. 

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard (goodreads)

It is no secret that I LOVE this series and should surprise nobody that I was VERY excited when this was presented. Not much was said as they cannot reveal much (and didn't want to spoil the first two books for those who had not read them yet) but I am very much looking forward to this one being released. 

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (goodreads)

This title also caused quite the reaction with audible gasps and excited chatter happening as soon as it appeared on the screen. Again, not many details could be shared but pretty much everyone is excited to read Veronica Roth's newest. The synopsis hints at two characters having to put aside their differences to help each other and is set in space. There has been mention of a Star Wars like feel. That alone is enough for me to want to get my hands on it.

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst (goodreads)

A girl who is betrothed to the Prince falls in love with his sister instead is how this one was introduced. The budding relationship between the two girls was mentioned as being a more realistic journey with no instalove in sight. This one also caused quite the commotion as it seemed a lot of the bloggers were interested in reading this one (and it does sound great).

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge  (goodreads)

 A Romeo and Juliet retelling that I am dying to get my hands on. This version of Juliet is compelled to get revenge on those who have wronged her people and her beloved Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. I love the mixing of fantasy elements with the classic Romeo and Juliet tale.

Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch (goodreads)

The third book in this series was  only touched on briefly as they did not want to spoil anything for anyone who hadn't read the previous two novels in the series. The Harper Collins ladies raved about this one and it is a fantasy novel so I really should check them out.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis (goodreads)

They touched upon the fact that Mindy doesn't write on genre. Her books are all quite different from each other and this one is no exception. It sounds amazing and while not a whole lot of details are available it tells the story of a girl whose sister has been killed and the aftermath of those events.

Leave Me by Gayle Forman (goodreads)

This is Gayle Forman's first adult novel but has cross-over appeal. This is the story of a woman who after having a heart attack decides to pack up her suitcase and leave her family behind. I already have this one in my stack of books to read soon and I am really looking forward to it. Gayle Forman's books are always incredible and I hope this one is just as amazing as I anticipate.

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst (goodreads)

An adult fantasy novel that again holds cross-over appeal for YA readers. It has a complex sounding plot that sound really interesting. It is easier to just read the synopsis but the novel revolves around these women who have the ability to protect humankind from the spirits that wish to kill them. 

I left very excited to read many of these titles and Harper Collins Canada kindly provided each of us with a swag bag filled with amazing goodies and two ARCs of titles discussed during the event.

My favourite part of the event (other than hearing about the upcoming books) is getting a change to talk with fellow bloggers. I got to see old friends, meet some new bloggers, and gush over books I am enjoying and hear what everyone thought of the books that were presented. I also got to chat with my two favourite Harper ladies which is always fun.

A huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada for a fantastic afternoon of bookish fun!

Thank you to M-E Giard and Kenneth Oppel for attending and signing everyone's books. Lastly, thank you to all the lovely bloggers I chatted with. You all made it an even more fun afternoon. It was great to get to see everyone and I cannot wait to do it again soon!

Until next year ...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday .... A Night In With Grace Kelly

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 A Night In With Grace Kelly by Lucy Holliday

**spoilers for previous 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 have loved the previous two books in this series and I am dying to finish Libby's story. Based on the synopsis my ship will once again not be endgame BUT even that has not dampened by excitement for this to be released.

If you are a fan of golden age Hollywood be sure to check out this series!

Expected release date - November 1, 2016 (in Canada)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Song Rising Prologue Reveal

I have loved each installment of Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season series and am eagerly anticipating the next chapter in Paige's story.

This series is so vibrant, and imaginative. It is enthralling and filled with stunning world building. I am thrilled to be an advocate for the series, and even more thrilled to get to share the prologue to The Song Rising, the third book in the series, with you today.

Obviously, there are potential spoilers for the previous two books in the below prologue so read at your own risk (and if you haven't read The Bone Season, and The Mime Order DO SO IMMEDIATELY)


Below are my spoiler filled thoughts about the prologue, so only continue if you've read the above. 

My immediate reaction to receiving the prologue was intense excitement! I couldn't wait to read it. I am desperate for anything from the next book so I even read it on my phone on the bus ride home from work.

There was some serious fangirling happening when I began to read it. I was so happy to be back in Paige's world (even if it was just a little taste of what is to come).

Those feelings, naturally, progressed to shock when I realized what was going on. Things are already intense and this is only the prologue (although I shouldn't be surprised after the ending of The Mime Order).

my actual expression while reading

That shock quickly turned into some serious anger towards a certain former mime lord of The Seven Seals.

not amused

Seriously. REALLY, Jaxon, REALLY?! *rage* How dare you hurt Warden. How dare you!! Now that Paige figures Jaxon was the traitor I am going to need that backstory filled in because this potentially means Jaxon has plenty more surprises up his sleeve.

Once I had finished reading the prologue my feelings turned into deep sadness because I now have to wait until March 7, 2017 for the rest of the book to come out.

It really isn't fair

The prologue has definitely made me even more excited to continue this series! Be sure to add The Song Rising to your Goodreads account and check out the previous books in the series if you have not already.

You can pre-order The Song Rising at all book retailers now, or by using the links below.

Let me know what you thought of the prologue in the comments or tell me your favourite character from the series! Super excited to hear what everyone thinks!

Saturday, August 20, 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.


Made For Love by Alissa Nutting

I know about this book other than it is releasing summer 2017. No official synopsis has been released as the publisher catalog has not been released yet. Even with so few details it is still one of my must reads of 2017. I was in awe of Alissa's first book, Tampa, and have been eagerly awaiting her next release ever since. I am expecting the same unflinching, and mesmerizing writing that made Tampa the standout novel it is.


The Lost Boys TV show

I am huge fan of the 80's movie so I was excited when I heard that Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars and iZombie creator) was in talks with the CW network for a television show based on the movie. Reports I've read state that it would be a 7 season plan with each season focusing on a different year, and only the vampire cast remaining the same through the seasons. This sounds amazing and if they did a great job of casting David (I nominate Jason Dohring) and the gang it could be VERY interesting. Especially if it lead up to the events of the movie instead of retelling them.

Stranger Things

I am fairly certain I've mentioned this series before but it deserves a second mention. If you have not already succumbed to its charms do so immediately. It's one of those series that makes you want a second season as soon as you're finished the first. You don't want time to miss these characters because you care about them so much. #WhyBeATenWhenYouCanBeAnEleven


HCC Frenzy Event

I am heading to Toronto this weekend for a blogger event hosted by Harper Collins Canada. I am excited to see my fellow bloggers, hear about some great upcoming titles, and chat with the lovely people from Harper Canada. It is going to be a whirlwind of a trip but so much fun!

What are you obsessed with this week?

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