Monday, July 25, 2016

Mini Hiatus


Hey everyone,

It saddens me to announce that my blog will be going on what is hopefully a brief hiatus. My computer recently decided to stop working and is in the process of being fixed (hopefully). It has taken a little longer than anticipated hence the need for the hiatus.

There may be the odd post up here or there in the meantime if possible, otherwise I will be back as normal as soon as my computer is fixed.


Sunday, July 24, 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)

A few goodies arrived in my mailbox this week.

First up, I purchased a new Funko Pop for my growing collection. I am so happy that they are making Pops for this particular show and I hope we get a full collection.


Yup, it's Liv Moore from iZombie! I want one for Ravi, Major, and Clive! I anticipate we'll get a Blaine Pop as well.

Next one of my pre-orders arrived. I am super excited to continue this series!


Broken Prince by Erin Watt (goodreads)

Lastly, I received my last #otspsecretsister package for this round. A HUGE thank you to Katrina (@RinaReadsBooks on Twitter) for being a fantastic 'sister'.


The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas (goodreads)

This package was filled with favourite things and I loved it. Surprisingly I do not own the first three books in the Throne Of Glass series in hardcover so I was THRILLED to get one of them in my package. I love the Disney postcards and the Joker journal. The Alice in Wonderland soap made everything smell amazing! I am so happy to have gotten to know people better thanks to taking part in this and I cannot wait to sign up again.

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 23, 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.

My computer decided to stop working last week so this blog was a little disjointed. It is in the process of being fixed and everything should be back to normal next week. In the meantime, please bare with me while I attempt to keep the blog as on track as possible.

With that, here are my Weekly Obsessions!

BOOK

Midnight At The Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson (goodreads)

Jodi Lynn Anderson is one of my all time favourite authors. I fell in love with her writing in Tiger Lily and have eagerly devoured everything she's written since. Not much is known about this new book other than its brief teaser synopsis ...
Featuring three women from three different eras in history who are connected by their past.
I wonder if the Electric is a nightclub or something. I cannot wait to find out! This one is high on my spring/summer wishlist and I am eagerly looking forward to a cover.

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer (goodreads)

I am not even going to pretend I wasn't excited to see the announcement that Stephenie Meyer had a new book releasing this fall. I was surprised, however, to hear it was an adult novel. I enjoyed The Host quite a bit and am curious to see what she'll do with a thriller.


While I was she was writing a new YA I will happily check this out once it is released. Anyone else as surprised as I was by the announcement? I love when authors are able to stealthily prepare a novel for release!

The Whole Thing Together By Ann Brashares (goodreads)

I am a huge Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants fan. I am dying for them to make the last book into a movie. It should come as no surprise that I was excited when I saw that Ann Brashares has a new book releasing in 2017. It has a very summer vibe so the fact that it is releasing in April makes it a good summer read.


It sounds like this has the potential to be heartbreaking (and anyone who read the Sisterhood books knows exactly what I am talking about) and I am going to keep that in mind and maybe not read it in public due to the high probability of crying.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

And I Darken by Kiersten White



And I Darken by Kiersten White
Release Date - June 28, 2016
Publisher Website - Random House Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 484 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point. 
There are certain characters who break the mold of those that have come before. Those characters who go against the grain and what is typically expected. Kiersten White's Lada is one such character for many reasons. And I Darken, in many ways, also breaks the mold of what we expect from this genre and the events within it.

Women in Lada's time were meant to be seen and not heard. They were meant to be 'proper' ladies and wish to make good marriages. Lada would rather lead an army. Lada is vicious, ruthless, and intelligent. She has a keen eye for military strategy. She may be driven by the desire to prove her worth to her father, but her actions provide her pleasure as well. She is not interested in becoming a wife and mother. She sees her worth as residing elsewhere and strives to prove herself in a male dominated world. Lada's progression from dark to darker feels natural for her character, and Kiersten ensures that we know this character. We get inside her head and heart and she is one of the most fascinating, and well crafted characters I've come across this year.

Radu, and Mehmed are both equally compelling and fascinating. They are also both equally developed. Radu is the golden sun to Lada's wild shadow. He proves himself just as cunning, and just as intelligent as his sister but in vastly different ways. His skills are more subtle but equally as deadly. There is a stark contrast between the two siblings that manifests itself in many ways. Jealousy, bitterness, love and loyalty all get blurred and twisted. Mehmed is the beautiful boy who would be King. He has the weight of his kingdom on his shoulders, and the toll it takes on him is evident. He is a mess of contradictions that equates to a fascinsting character.

The 'toxic triangle' mentioned in the blurb should not put you off. This is not really a love triangle. At least not in the way we're used to them. If this is a triangle it is one that is open ended. This is unrequited feelings, and longing on one side, and passion and tension on the other. We have three people who love each other in various ways and that creates a complex web of perceived betrayal, desire, and heartbreak. There is also something unique in the typical triangle model of two guys and one girl being upended. We have one guy who is the object of desire and that creates a different dynamic.

You may have noticed I haven't said much about the plot of the novel. This is very much a character driven story where the action is secondary to the characters and their emotions. This is a slower paced read, and at times feels like a lengthy lead in to the heart of the story. It feels like a prologue simply because the events that happen within the pages mostly serve to set other things in motion. There are character driven moments that shine, but it feels like we've only scratched the surface of the plot. I wish the pacing was a little more even as certain parts of it read much slower than others.

A fierce main character who is driven by a desire to prove herself worthy dominates this story of politics, revenge, redemption, betrayal and love. Kiersten White has created an intriguing start to a series that I believe will fair better when looked at as a whole. If you're into well crafted characters, and slower paced reads this one definitely holds appeal.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday ... The Upside of Unrequited


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 The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back.”

What does a sixteen-year-old girl have to do to kiss a boy? Molly Peskin-Suso wishes she knew. She’s crushed on twenty-six guys…but has kissed exactly none. Her twin sister Cassie’s advice to “just go for it” and “take a risk” isn’t that helpful. It’s easy for her to say: she’s had flings with lots of girls. She’s fearless and effortlessly svelte, while Molly is introverted and what their grandma calls zaftig.

Then Cassie meets Mina, and for the first time ever, Cassie is falling in love. While Molly is happy for her twin, she can’t help but feel lonelier than ever. But Cassie and Mina are determined to end Molly’s string of unrequited crushes once and for all. They decide to set her up with Mina’s friend Will, who is ridiculously good-looking, flirty, and seems to be into Molly. Perfect, right? But as Molly spends more time with Reid, her cute, nerdy co-worker, her feelings get all kinds of complicated. Now she has to decide whether to follow everyone’s advice…or follow her own heart.
Ever since Becky Albertalli described this as a love letter to those who don't get love letters I have wanted to get my hands on this one. Her first book was incredible and I have been eager to read whatever she writes next. I am thrilled that this sounds so amazing and predict another happy sigh inducing read.

Expected release date - April 11,  2017

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Release Day Blitz - Sin Never Sleeps by Geneva Lee



Today we are celebrating the release of GILT: SIN NEVER SLEEPS by Geneva Lee. GILT: Sin Never Sleeps is a young adult suspense title, that is the second book in the GILT series. Be sure to check out Geneva Lee’s facebook page today for an incredible contest you will not want to miss.




Purchase it here: Amazon // iBook // Nook //  Kobo 

BOOK BLURB

On the heels of a brutal attack, Emma Southerly finds herself swept away to Palm Springs, but she can't run from trouble, especially when it has a habit of chasing her down. A mysterious stranger is posting incriminating photos of the less-than-upstanding citizens of Belle Mère, but is it a friendly game or something more sinister?  

When Jameson West breaks his bail and tracks her down, he delivers more bad news. Emma's landed on the suspect list. No one knows who killed Nathaniel West, but now there are two suspects, two investigations, and two people with every reason to turn on one another. Someone in Belle Mère is a murderer—someone closer to both of them than they could ever imagine—and unless they stick together, they might find themselves falling into a trap instead of falling in love.

Because when the cards are dealt, everyone might lose.

"Gilt is positively dirty, deadly, and delectable. Romeo and Juliet meets Pretty Little Liars in this unputdownable new series! Must read!" KA Linde, USA Today bestselling author


PREVIOUS BOOK IN THE SERIES


GILT: BY INVITATION ONLY IS CURRENTLY FREE! 



Author Bio:

Geneva Lee is the New York Times, USA Today, and Internationally bestselling author of the Royals Saga. She likes writing steamy scenes almost as much as imagining crazy ways to torture her characters. Geneva travels frequently, never says no to champagne, and spends more time with fictional people than living, breathing ones. She lives her husband and two children.

Author Links: 

Sunday, July 17, 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)

Some amazing sounding books made their way into my book closet this week.

No books this week BUT I did still have a few fun things make their way into my mailbox.

My Funko Pop collection has officially started and I foresee it being a big problem (because I will want to buy so many now).

I recently received a Countess (from American Horror Story: Hotel) Pop. She's perfect. I love the cat eye makeup and the little bit of blood around her mouth. So perfect.


I decided to order the most recent Legion Of Collectors box because of the Suicide Squad theme. Lots of awesome goodies including a t-shirt, an Enchantress Pop, and comic with an adorable cover. 


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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 16, 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.

BOOK

cover of Lisa Maxwell's The Last Magician (goodreads)

Not only does this sound amazing but it has a pretty excellent cover to go with its amazing sounding synopsis.


Creepy but amazing. there is something really eye catching up this cover.

Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel (goodreads)

This sounds amazing. Here is the teaser synopsis that was released
the story of a 16-year-old girl who vows to deliver a love letter that her older sister, Camilla, wrote on the day she died and addressed only to “You” – as soon as she figures out who “You” is.
This sounds like it has the potential to be a heartbreaking but incredible read. I am all about this premise and I cannot wait to read it.

And We're Off by Dana Schwartz (goodreads)

I was sold on this one by its teaser synopsis
Pitched as Adi Alsaid's Let's Get Lost meets Gilmore Girls, the story centers on a teenage girl whose travel plans are upended when her mother decides to join her on her summer trip across Europe. 
A Europe travel story with a mother/daughter relationship at its core? Sign me up!

TV/MOVIE

The Night Of (TV series)

I caught the pilot of this murder mystery and was immediately hooked. It's gritty, dark, and realistic. I cannot wait to see the rest of this mystery unravel. I recommend checking out this new series.

OTHER

San Diego Comic Con

I cannot wait to follow all of the announcements that are going to be made at SDCC this year. There are some amazing TV panels that I wish I could attend and I am hoping for some casting announcement and first look footage releases. 

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Other Sexy Beach Reads You Should Read



Today wraps up my Sexy Beach Reads Week. I am sharing some other books that should be on your radar. 

My friend Emile (from Emilie's Book World) is sharing her top five reads, and I am including my own five to read.

Here is Emilie's List. She totally reads way more of this type of book than I do so her recommendations are going to be ones you'll for sure want to check out.

1. Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren (Or any of Christina Lauren’s books)
Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings know how to write romance and they do it well. I’ve loved every single one of their books but the romance between Hanna and Will in Beautiful Player is my absolutely favourite.

2. All Played Out by Cora Carmack (Or any of Cora Carmack’s books)
Cora Carmack’s books are my favourite. All of them. And her Rusk University books are my favourite of her books, especially All Played Out. Torres and Nell just do it for me every time.

3. Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy (Or any of Sarina Bowen or Elle Kennedy’s books)
Quite possibly one of the most adorable romances I’ve ever read and it’s made even better by the fact that it’s set at summer camp and it’s about best friends falling in love with each other when they never expected it. In case anyone was wondering, the sequel is just as good.

4. November 9 by Colleen Hoover (Or any of Colleen Hoover’s books)
You can’t go wrong with any of Colleen Hoover’s books but November 9 is my absolute favourite. It’s the kind of book that will completely wreck you but also help put yourself back together after breaking you.

5. Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler (Or any of Dahlia Adler’s books)
If I can only give one reason for why people need to read this book it would be Connor Lawson, hot history nerd who swears the same way I do (Quebec cursing for the win). But I mean, the story is also pretty fantastic and the sequel are kind of awesome too.

Here is my five books you should read

1. Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren (and the rest of the series)
I haven't read the rest of this series but I was blown away by this sexy read. It has a well developed plot, and great friendships on top of having some serious sexual chemistry. 

2. Leaving Amarill by Caisey Quinn
This music infused series is not only seriously sexy but offers an intriguing look at a band just starting out and the ups and downs they experience on their way to stardom. There are some pretty memorable scenes in this series and all of the three books are worth the read.

3. Any of the Leah Raeder/Elliott Wake books
These are a darker, but just as sexy read. Unteachable and Black Iris are my personal favourites, but they are all brilliantly written and are perfect for when you want something a little different than the other titles on the list but are still in the mood for something sexy.

4. On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
This one mixes a taboo topic with a really great love story. Do not the premise deter you. The romance not only makes sense, but is rather well crafted. It's not only a love story but one of survival and will be a perfect addition to your beach bag. 

5. The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh
Again, this is a little darker than the others on this list. It offers some sexy scenes and a compelling read all at once. It's perfect for the later part of the summer when you've burned through the other books on this list and want something different.

Thanks for stopping by this week! I hope you've enjoyed a peek at some reads that will help heat up the beach this summer.



Thursday, July 14, 2016

Surf and Surrender by Riley Edgewood



Last review for Sexy Beach Reads Week, but stop by tomorrow for the wrap up post!




Surf and Surrender by Riley Edgewood
Release Date - February 23, 2015
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 289 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**borrowed from fellow blogger**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
She wants to forget he ever existed. He'd never give up her memory.

Quinn Westwood is completely over Sawyer Carson. He broke her heart years ago and disappeared from her life without a word. So yeah. She's over him. Never even thinks of him. In fact, she's spending her college summer break surfing and lifeguarding in the Outer Banks, while nursing a bruised heart from a different relationship gone wrong. She doesn't have room in her mind or heart for Sawyer—until she runs into him at a beach bonfire and the sparks that fly between them are way hotter than the flames heating the sand.

Sawyer never got over Quinn. The only thing stronger than what he feels for her is the secret keeping them apart, but sharing it would destroy more than just his life—it'd ruin hers, as well. Still, he can't seem to keep away from her, can't seem to keep his hands off of her soft, tempting skin. Especially since she has even less self-control when it comes to reigniting the physical side of what made them perfect together.

But secrets have a way of slipping out, and when Sawyer's is revealed it threatens to shatter everyone involved. He'll have to face walking away a second time, and Quinn will have to decide if fighting for him is worth it when the fallout could affect more than just her heart, but also those of the people she loves most.

Surf & Surrender is the second book in Riley Edgewood's Summer Love series, but can be read as a stand-alone novel.
Second chance romance novels, when done right, can be some of the most satisfying romance reads. The history of the couple shines through, and there is an investment in the characters and outcome. Surf and Surrender is one such book. Riley Edgewood has written a sweet, sexy look at a couple's second chance to be together.

The characters in this novel, both Quinn and Swayer, have had their hearts broken. They are both working through it the best they can, and that includes making some snap decisions. It includes making choices that they maybe wouldn't make otherwise, but you understand them and choices. You understand how hurt could cause you to react they way they do, and the why behind the decisions they make. I, personally, find that important in this kind of story. If you can understand the characters you'll connect to them more, and the forgiveness that comes will feel all the more authentic because you'll understand why it is happening.

There is some darker topics that are touched upon in this novel including. They are hard to go into without spoilers, but the overall message of you never really know what is going on in someone's life is an important one. What someone presents to the outside world, and the reality of the situation could be greatly different. Many of us do not even stop to think about that in our interactions with people. Riley Edgewood shows, through various characters, that the perception and the truth are more complex than what appears at first glance and that made these characters feel all the more real.

The chemistry is palpable in this one, and the sex scenes are actually sexy. There is a spark between these two characters that effortlessly comes across in the writing. You believe their history, and the feelings that we're being shown are there. It adds a bittersweetness to everything as they work through their issues, and untangle all the secrets that have built a wall between them. Their connection is the centrepiece of the story and it shows in so many ways. You'll never look at a surf shop the same way after a certain scene, and you also feel just how heartbreaking goodbye sex can be. The fact that these scenes resonate at all, and that they come across as sexy, is because you feel the attraction between the characters, and their connection to each other that goes deeper than just sexual.

This issue with second chance romances that I tend to have is usually with the reason the couple is long no together. It typically portrays one of the characters in a negative light, and sometimes the reasons are insurmountable (or at least they should be). Unhealthy relationships tend to flourish here because of the nature of romance tropes. I, therefore, was pleasantly surprised to find this novel contained an obstacle that was both heartbreaking, and portrayed both characters as victims of the actions of others. They are victims of circumstance. It made you ache for the time they lost, and the secrets that were kept. It also makes the reconciliation believable and wanted.  This is a true second chance romance where both parties deserve the chance to set things right and where forgiveness is as easy as breathing.

You'll want to pick up Surf and Surrender if you want some sweet mixed in with your sexy. It's a perfect summer romance in both its setting and the fact it makes a great beach read. Its blend of drama, plot, sexy scenes, and character development really worked for me and I cannot wait to read something else by this author.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Idol by Kristen Callihan



Day two of sexy beach reads week and I am reviewing another sexy read for your beach bag!



Idol by Kristen Callihan
Release Date - June 7, 2016
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 307 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**purchased**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Libby

I found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won’t leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he’s slowly wearing me down, making me crave more.

He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he’s theirs. How do you keep an idol when everyone is intent on taking him away?

Killian

As lead singer for the biggest rock band in the world, I lived a life of dreams. It all fell apart with one fateful decision. Now everything is in shambles.

Until Liberty. She’s grouchy, a recluse—and kind of cute. Scratch that. When I get my hands on her, she is scorching hot and more addictive than all the fans who’ve screamed my name.

The world is clamoring for me to get back on stage, but I’m not willing to leave her. I’ve got to find a way to coax the hermit from her shell and keep her with me. Because, with Libby, everything has changed. Everything. 
Musicians have pretty much been everyone's fantasy. At least at some point in their life. There is something sexy about being able to make music, and there is no denying the allure of passion. This is why stories that involve rock stars as love interests always catch my eye. Idol takes the rock star trope, combines it with some sexy banter, and lots of drama to create an enjoyable, highly readable novel about letting down your walls.

There is a familiarity to the story almost immediately. This is partly due to the tropes that exist within the genre, and the nature of romance reads. The couple falls in love, something happens that creates drama and is an obstacle for them to work through which is followed by the happily ever after (at least typically). What makes a story stand out tends to be the writing and the characters. Those are the elements that make you remember a story. This is a case where the characters shone the brightest.

Each of the characters has something intriguing about them. They are, by far, the strongest element of this story and what really holds it together. Liberty and Killian are both compelling and interesting, but more importantly the side characters truly shine. The rest of the band members are brilliant and their manager, Scottie, is a force. His calm, collected demeanour just begs to be ruffled, and I cannot wait to read his story. Jax, one of the band members, also has a tragic backstory that will create a starting off point for his own story. Brenna is someone I would want to be friends with (and I hope she gets her own story). This will ensure successful companion novels because the reader will already care about these characters to some degree.

The romance was the only real misstep for me. There were moment where the chemistry between the two characters was palpable, but just as many moments where I didn't feel their connection. It felt rushed, and underdeveloped. The story is really what happens after they've fallen in love, and as a result the beginning of their relationship is paid less attention. We skip over times where we are supposed to know they are talking, seeing each other and falling in love, but we don't experience it and therefore we don't feel it. The time that is supposed to pass doesn't resonate and therefore everything feels sped up.

This is not just the story of guy and a girl falling in love. It's also the story of finding your way back after being devastated. It is also about music, and falling back in love with something with the passion you once had for it. Liberty and Killian each have things outside their relationship that they need to work on and that made a difference in how I related to them. They felt like more than just a couple but individual characters which is something that is important in this kind of novel.

A story that will be instantly familiar to any romance/new adult fan but that is not without its comforts. There is a reason these tropes work, and Kristen Callihan makes full use of them to create an enjoyable, if rushed love story. There are plenty of intriguing characters who will make readers eager to return to the world that has been created, and to continue this series. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fifty Shades Of You by Starla Jacoba




This posts kicks off a themed week here on A Glass Of Wine. This week will focus on sexy beach reads to heat up your summer reading. Check back all week for reviews, a give away, and more. 


Fifty Shades Of You by Starla Jacoba
Release Date - Janurary 2016
Publisher Website - BookByYou
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 231 pages
My Rating - //
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Our heroine is a rich and powerful business owner with a penchant for control in all aspects of life. She carries a dirty secret in the curl of her smile, and it's only when our hero trips and lands face down on her office floor at their first meeting that the theme of their relationship establishes itself and secrets are slowly revealed. The sight of him causes a stir somewhere within her, and she finds herself unable to focus on anything else. She needs him in her playroom, now! Her first lesson: MORE is not a great safe word!

...But not everything goes smoothly for the pair as things heat up and the humor starts to roll. It soon becomes obvious that the hero has a secret of his own, and a very important one that he should've mentioned earlier. From a bed that literally catches fire to the sting of soap in the eye -- and then there's the little incident in the hero's room, which is humiliating for any man -- each of them may have gotten more than they bargained for and without the utterance of a safe word, anything goes! 
Who hasn't wanted to be Lizzie Bennet in Pride and Prejudice? Or Dorthy in The Wizard Of Oz? When I discovered Book By You and their amazing sounding novels that let you 'live the fantasy' by being part of the story I was immediately intrigued. I was recently given the opportunity to try out one of their titles, and jumped at the chance. This isn't going to be a typical review, for many reasons, but I am excited to share my experience.

You may notice the lack of rating above. It's deliberate. Rating a book where you are the main character is awkward at best, and nearly impossible to do. I am not going to lie, the experience of reading about yourself is a little jarring ... at first. That quickly eases away into a fun filled wonder and delight. You fall into the story like you would any other, just with an added connection and thrill. It also helps that the characters are typically not going to be anything like you in terms of personality. It keeps a distance that minimizes the awkwardness rather quickly while allowing you to try out a new persona so to speak.

I was able to try out their Fifty Shades Of Grey parody titled Fifty Shades Of You. This hilarious, tongue in cheek novel is filled with sexy silliness, and more than a few awkward situations on the bumpy path to sex, (maybe) love, and handcuffs. From setting a bed literally on fire, to a few cringe inducing encounters with family members, the novel definitely skews to the outlandish (in the best possible way) and even the sexy parts have an element of parody to them. Fans of Fifty Shades Of Grey will love seeing themselves in this story, but it'll appeal to non fans who just want something funny. It is a novel that knows it shouldn't take itself seriously, and is all the better for it.

The little added touches of being able to incorporate parts of  yourself into 'Anastasia' or 'Christian' along with personalizing a few other characters make finding these additions in the story an amusing surprise. My copy was tailored to me by inclusion of some of my favourite characters from some of my favourite television shows but you can make it extra personal (and special) by including friends and loved ones.

If romance isn't your thing (but that is what this week is about so hopefully it is a little) don't worry. Book By You has you covered with classic novels, mysteries, and even a teen section to pique your interest. There are also some same sex romance novels offered as well. There are so many choices that it is almost guaranteed that something will catch your eye.

After reading Fifty Shades Of You I cannot recommend Book By You strongly enough. It's a perfect gift for birthdays, bridal showers, and anniversaries. What book lover wouldn't want to see themselves within the pages of a story (and even better if they're getting to make out with their favourite Hollywood hottie). You can even gift a book to the young children in your life as they have an entire section of books specifically for them. I personally would have loved an edition of Peter Pan where I was Wendy as a kid.

Even better? You can try out previews on their website to get a feel for the story and what book you might like to try. I encourage you to play around on the website, you'll be just as obsessed as I am. You'll have to stop yourself from ordering all of them but it is certainly a great place to start to determine which book might be best for you.

I can safely say that plenty of people will be getting one of these one of a kind gifts for Christmas this year. It's truly a unique keepsake that has the potential of being an instant favourite and a sentimental keepsake.

If you're wanting to spice up your reading, and feature yourself in the story at the same time, order yourself one! It makes a fun, hilarious beach read that pairs excellently with some wine, and reading passages out loud to friends. 

Sunday, July 10, 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)

Some amazing sounding books made their way into my book closet this week.

First up, some books I borrowed from my friend Emilie. I am hosting a blog even featuring some sexy beach reads and she decided these two books were a must read for me.


Surf and Surrender by Riley Edgewood (goodreads)
The Deal by Elle Kennedy (goodreads)

Next up are some books that I purchased. I decided to purchase Nerve because I was curious about the movie trailer, and I've been hearing great things about Wanderlost that I just had to check it out.


Nerve by Jeanne Ryan (goodreads)
Wanderlost by Jen Malone (goodreads)

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 9, 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.

TV/MOVIE

Beauty and the Beast movie poster

Pretty sure my excitement for the newest Beauty and the Beast movie from Disney is evident. Disney has released the most stunning movie poster for this movie. It's breathtaking and I hope they offer it as a poster you can purchase because I would definitely hang this on my wall.


So simple, and pretty. It is instantly recognizable as Beauty and the Beast with the iconic rose. The whole poster just really works, and has made me even more excited for the movie.

Suicide Squad Entertainment Weekly cover

One of my most anticipated summer movies is Suicide Squad. I am super excited we're finally getting a movie version of Harley Quinn and I cannot wait to see what Margot Robbie does will the role.

Unsurprisingly, Entertainment Weekly has featured the movie in the upcoming issue and released four different covers to celebrate the movie's upcoming release.

This cover is, unsurprisingly, my favourite ...



I am curious about Jared Leto's Joker as well. He appears to have been very method in his approach to this role and I wonder how that will showcase itself in his performance. Either way I need this cover, and cannot wait until this finally releases.

OTHER

Newt Scamander Funko Pop

How cute is this Funko Pop?! I, obviously, need it. I am curious who (or what) else will be made into Pops to celebrate this upcoming return to JK Rowling's wizarding world.


Side note - apparently Hufflepuff is the house of hotties (looking at you Cedric and Newt). I am shallow, but it makes me super proud to be a Hufflepuff.. #HufflepuffPride

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Sexy Beach Reads Week



I wanted to spice up my reading, and so next week will be a bit of a special one on the blog. It's going to focus on some sexy reads for you to take to the beach (or pool)

I'll be reviewing three different books and there will be a fun give away as well. I am excited to share a few other titles (outside the ones I am reviewing) for you to check out as well.

Here is the schedule (which is subject to change)

Tuesday - review of Fifty Shades of You (A 50 Shades Parody) by BooksByYou
Wednesday - review of Idol by Kristen Callihan
Thursday - other NA books to check out
Friday - review of Surf and Surrender by Riley Edgewood

I hope you'll stop by next week and check out what I thought of some books that helped heat up this already hot summer.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Paper Princess by Erin Watt



Paper Princess by Erin Watt
Release Date - April 4, 2016
Publisher Website - Everafter Romance
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 370 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**purchased**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.
I'am always in search of books that remind me of Gossip Girl. I want something that is just as sexy, just as debaucherous, just as fun as that television show was (at least in its early seasons). Plenty of books seem like they might have that combination of sexy chemistry, and delicious drama. Plenty of them also fail to deliver. Paper Princess, however, hits all the right notes.

Erin Watt, the pen name of Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick, crafts a read that is, in one word, addictive. It is the type of story that would be right at home on the CW (or Freeform) network - a group of insanely beautifully teens behaving badly. This co-written book blends together seamlessly. I couldn't tell it was written by two different authors, which is always a sign of a successful co-write. Each of them used their strengths to create an highly entertaining, and tightly paced read.

This is a world of wealth, privilege, private schools, and personal drivers. This backdrop and setting fits perfectly with the story Erin Watt is weaving, and with the characters. It added texture to the story and gives it a heightened sense of drama. This story needs to be set in this particular world, because the environment has helped shaped who these characters are, for better and for worse. When an author nails the setting, the rest of the story often falls into place, and that is the case here.

The Reed brothers are all varying degrees of broken. They are all hot messes that make Chuck Bass look angelic. There is a reason that people say the Royals will ruin you, and each of the brothers should come with their own warning sign. There is something so captivating, and compelling about these broken characters, especially when an author allows them to walk that line between being able to be redeemed, and not. You may not like these characters sometimes, but you understand them and their choices. You see what made them who they are, and that is vastly more important than them being likeable.

Ella is a contradiction of sorts. She is shown as strong, yet fragile. She's street smart, and had to grow up much quicker than other people her age once she had to take care of herself. The authors have turned the typical 'fish out of water' story into something more. Ella is capable of holding her own in her new surroundings, but they allow her to be flawed in a way most characters like her are not. She's not innocent, and certainly isn't a damsel in distress.

A perfect poolside page turner whose ending all but demands you read the upcoming sequel. I, personally, am glad I don't have that long to wait to continue the story of the infamous Royal brothers and the women who dare to love them. If you miss Gossip Girl, or are looking for something fun to read at the beach this summer I highly recommend picking this one up. Just be warned ... it'll ruin you.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday .... Broken Prince


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 Broken Prince by Erin Watt

**SPOILERS FOR PAPER PRINCESS**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
These Royals will ruin you…

From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself.

Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.

What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.

Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.

She might be right.

Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.
I devoured Paper Princess recently and cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel. My review for Paper Princess goes up soon so I won't say too much here, but it was very addictive. It's as fun, as twisty, and outrageous as you expect it to be, and I hope the sequel is just as entertaining.

Expected release date - July 25, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab



This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Release Date - July 5, 2016
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 304 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives
This Savage Song is about monsters, and humans. What makes someone a monster, and what makes someone human? This novel dissects that exact question, and discovers that it is sometimes a thin line that separates one from the other. This is Victoria Schwab's return to writing young adult novels after releasing a few adult ones, and it is a triumphant return. She's written an achingly beautiful story of how light and dark can coexist in anyone.

Music is the heartbeat of this story. It's a driving force, particularly for August's part of it. The is a melodic, lyrical quality to the writing that beautifully highlights the use of music and the characters themselves. It's the nuanced, pitch perfect writing that fans of Victoria Schwab have come to expect, and the story overtakes you like a song. It entrances, and sweeps you along while pulling emotions out of you with the subtlest ease.

There is a duality to the characters. Kate is a human who wants to be a monster, and August is a monster who would give anything to be human. These are characters that are so beautifully flawed, and vivid. There is a natural chemistry to them, and the way the balance each other lends itself to hopes of romance. However, this novel has not one hint of romance, and is all the better for it. Victoria Schwab allows her characters to develop and grow as individuals. They compliment and contrast one another along their joint journey but it is very much one of self discovery for both. There is something tantalizing about the hope for a deeper connection in the sequel, but this installment of Kate and August's story is made all the stronger without it.

There are instantly recognizable motivations and desires within these characters. Kate's desperation for her father to see her as worthy. August's need to be who he wishes he could be. These are things that are very human at their centre. Victoria Schwab masterfully takes these very human emotions and twists them with fantasy/supernatural elements in way that blends them together seamlessly. It adds emotional resonance to all her novels, and her characters.

This is a commentary about the echo the violent acts in our world leave behind. In this case they are literal echoes that have to be faced. An actual walking reminder of the pain humans can inflict. In reality they are metaphorical echoes that haunt us long after. They way these horrific acts twist, and shape not just our world, but ourselves is something that lingers on every single page of this novel. There is a shadow that these events leave behind, and Victoria Schwab examines what it would mean for them to have a voice. It's poetic, and darkly captivating and begs to be discussed. This isn't the kind of book you forget easily after finishing, because it leaves it's own imprint on you.

Those who have fallen in love with Victoria Schwab's previous novels will be delighted to discover another brilliantly written story within these pages. A thoughtful look at what it means to be human, and the darkness that exists within us all.

Sunday, July 3, 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 came back from ALA to a fantastic package from my #otspsecretsister, Tink. It was filled with wine accessory goodies that I cannot wait to use.

It also had a book that is Taylor Swift inspired, which is totally perfect for me (and I've read this one and thought it was super cute). She also included some AMAZING ACOTAR bookmarks!


Sing by Vivi Greene (goodreads)

Thanks, Tink, for this lovely package. It was perfect and I love everything!

If you're curious about what I picked up at ALA, be sure to check out my recap.

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 2, 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.

BOOK

Cover of King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard (goodreads)

This covers are stunning and I love the darkening of each as the series progresses. The crown made of bones, and that fierce tagline have me very excited to get my hands on this!


The title better be referring to Maven and a cage for him rather than a cage he has. He is honestly the worst. #TeamCal

When It's Real by Erin Watt (goodreads)

I just finished Paper Princess by Erin Watt and it has made me even more excited about this upcoming release. I was sold with the inclusion of  a bad boy pop star, and the potential for a cute (and sexy) romance. It is high on my 2017 wishlist and I cannot wait to hear more about it in the coming months.

TV/MOVIE

Nerve trailer

I stumbled across this trailer accidentally thanks to my Twitter feed. I immediately thought it sounded familiar and ran to Goodreads to verify that there is a book called Nerve that has a similar premise as this movie that is coming out this month.


Turns out is based on the book by Jeanne Ryan and the trailer has made me curious to pick up the book. I love that the trailer starts out kind of light and funny but grows quite dark towards the end. I am not even sure what it is about the trailer, but it has piqued my interest enough to go grab a copy of the book and check out the movie when it releases. If you've read Nerve, let me know what you thought in the comments.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, July 1, 2016

ALA 2016 and Disney World


You may recall I mentioned I would be going this past week to ALA in Orlando. I left on the 22nd of June and got back on the 29th. I am (almost) recovered from a fantastic vacation but before I get to business as usual on the blog I thought I would offer up a recap of what I got up to while in Orlando.

First up, and obviously most important, is ALA itself. I loved that ALA is very low key compared to BEA. It may have been that there is simply less people, but ALA is way more relaxing. This allowed me more time to take part in buzz panels where the publishers discussed their upcoming fall titles. I also had more time to chat with the publishers about the books they were promoting. This allowed me to discover new titles that I would have perhaps not discovered otherwise.


Do I prefer ALA to BEA? That depends. I think I need to experience ALA again. BEA, for me, is an incredible rush. That rush comes with the excitement from other bookish fans. I didn't feel that same feeling at ALA. I did, however, like the opportunities ALA provided to really dig into the titles and learn more about them. I think I will do BEA for the foreseeable future but will attend ALA whenever it happens to be in a city I want to visit anyway.

I came back with a few titles that I am really excited about.

For Day 1 I really wanted to meet Emery Lord and that was my only real must do of the conference. I was successful and Emery is so kind. She is exactly what you expect her to be, and I immediately wanted to drink wine with her and have her give me life advice.

I also got to meet Jay Asher and get a copy of What Light (which was another one of my most anticipated titles of the conference). He was also really kind, and we joked about the length of his line as it was one of the biggest of the conference.

I snagged Die For You after the Penguin Random House representative told me a little bit about it. I didn't know much about it before Kelly mentioned I should look into it, but I was sold when I heard how passionately the publisher was about it.


Die For You by Amy Fellner Dominy (goodreads)
What Light by Jay Asher (goodreads)
When We Collided by Emery Lord (goodreads)

My second day was filled with pretty exciting discoveries. First up, I managed to get a copy of Glitter by Aprilynne Pike which is a book I've been REALLY excited about. It's been described as Marie Antoinette meets Breaking Bad which is basically like cat nip for me. 

Kelly sold me on the Graces because one of the characters is described as the school's version of Peter Pan. Immediately sold. I will be reading it as soon as I can sneak it into the reading schedule.

This Adventure Ends was a impulse pick up after I read the back of the copy Kelly snagged and I immediately wanted to read it. I hadn't heard much about it, but I am excited to find out if it is as good as it sounds. 

Lastly, for day two, I picked up a copy of Vassa In The Night after asking the Tor person to tell me a little about their fall titles. This one really stood out and the Tor representative seemed very passionate about it. 


Vassa In The Night by Sarah Porter (goodreads)
This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills (goodreads)
 The Graces by Laure Eve (goodreads)
Glitter by Aprilynne Pike (goodreads)

The last day was also the most frenzied. It seemed that the publishers wanted to make sure that their titles got into the hands of librarians and reviewers. It was also when they were putting out anything they had left, rather than you inquiring about a title.

I read the back of The Girl In The Picture and immediately became obsessed. A picture of a girl is found by the body of the high school heartthrob. This murder mystery has the potential to heat up my summer reading if I can fit it in.

I've had my eye on Cherry for a while (basically since I heard it was a female American Pie) and was thrilled when I discovered it at ALA. It was hidden so I didn't noticed they had copies until I noticed it while inquiring about something else.

I am a sucker for Hollywood set mysteries and obviously Pasadena was a must get for me. I was happy to discover copies there and I am so excited to read it.



The Girl In The Picture by Alexandra Monir (goodreads)
Cherry by Lindsey Rosin (goodreads)
Pasadena by Sherri L Smith (goodreads)
Jess, Chunk, And The Road Trip To Infinity by Kristin Elizabeth Clark (goodreads)
Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia (goodreads)
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (goodreads)

A huge thank you to the publishers and all the bloggers I chatted with who made this event so much fun. There were moments where I felt unwelcome as a blogger so I am so thankful to those who took the time to talk to me and were kind.

The rest of my time in Orlando was sent relaxing, and visiting Disney World. I am a huge Disney fan (which surprises nobody) and will take any chance to visit a truly magical theme park.

There was a lot that was new at Disney. First up was the Tangled area with Rapunzel's tower and the town square. This is a themed restroom area, but I can easily see it expanding to include a restaurant (The Snuggly Duckling, of course) or other attractions.


One of my favourite rides is Peter Pan's Flight


It is a must ride for me every time I go and I was thrilled to discover they had made some serious modifications to this attraction. The biggest update was to the waiting area which is now a lovely walk through the Darling house. I was fangirling all over the place but especially loved the bedrooms for Wendy, John and Michael and how they incorporated Tinkerbell into the new waiting area.


I loved the pictures on the walls, and especially the little details (like the blocks on Michael's bed spelling out Peter Pan). It made the experience all the more vivid. 


We ate lunch at Be Our Guest which is, obviously, a Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant. We selected the West Wing to eat in and it was perfection.

We got to see the (incredibly well done) rose that is the centre piece of the movie.


We also saw the portrait that Beast destroys after he is cursed. They had thunder and lightning that would flash at various intervals and transform the picture into the beast.


We got to try the grey stuff, and it was indeed delicious.


And this incredible artwork was the perfect way to leave this stunning attraction.


Outside the restaurant is Gaston's Tavern and in front of that is a Gaston's gift to the village.


A fountain of himself, naturally. It is so perfect that I just cannot. The plaque in front makes it even more priceless and it's little things like this that Disney gets just right.

One of my favourite parts of Magic Kingdom is getting to see Cinderella's Castle. It looks particularly pretty at night during the fireworks, but it is honestly so iconic that I could take pictures of it all day.


I also managed to try Dole Whip for the first time, and it was life changing. I now need to have it every single time I visit Disney. If you have never tried Dole Whip be sure to next time you visit.


Pineapple drinks are delicious and frozen pineapple drinks are even better, just saying. 

The two biggest additions since I last visited though were The Seven Dwarfs Mine ride, and Frozen Ever After. I managed to ride both. The Seven Dwarfs Mine ride is similar to Big Thunder Mountain (I feel it is the less intense of the two) but it has a lot of charm, particularly when you go into the mine and visit the dwarfs while they are busy working. Adorable. Sadly, the ride is a little too quick to get photos, but the attention to detail (especially the inside parts) is typical Disney.

I jumped over to Epcot to visit Norway's pavilion and the new Frozen Ever After Ride. I arrived first thing in the morning and this is what I was greeted with... 


Some people left the line, and it did speed up which shortened my wait time to just about 2 hours and I happily waited. The ride itself? Totally worth it. It was magical. So magical in fact that I decided to get in line and ride it again. This ride has minor thrills as you go down a few 'waterfalls' (one of which is done backwards) but if you rode Maelstrom you'll be well prepared for the (small) drops.

The attention to detail is, once again, perfection and I was especially impressed with Olaf who is a dancing, moving, bundle of cute. Seriously. 


I had the best time at Disney. It truly is one of the most magical places and I am so excited to go back.

Did you attend ALA? If so let me know what you were most excited about. If not, what book would you want to read first that was at ALA?

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