Saturday, April 22, 2017

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

Not Without You : A Stucky Anthology 

You may recall me mentioning a Kickstarter that I backed for an anthology that is filled with Steve and Bucky fan art, fanfiction and much more. I was just sent the ebook version and it has made me so excited for the hardcover coming my way! I cannot wait to read the short stories and see the art work up close. I am already really pleased with everything and am eagerly awaiting all the extra goodies that are coming with the book.

OTHER

Peter Pan Necklace

I have been searching for a pretty, yet subtle, Peter Pan necklace for a long time. I finally found a super cute one at Hot Topic. I love that it is just stars, and a ship. I am definitely going to have to snag one of these next time I go. I even love that the stars are blue!




Book Expo America

This has made the list again this week. More and more signings are being added to the schedule and the ticketed authors are now up! I am hoping to snag tickets for both Marissa Meyer and Leigh Bardugo. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed on both days. As the event gets steadily closer my excitement level is growing! I cannot wait for May to get here.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno



Fireworks by Katie Cotugno
Release Date - April 18, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
From Katie Cotugno, bestselling author of 99 Days, comes Fireworks—about a girl who is competing with her best friend to become the new pop star of the moment—and all the drama and romance that comes with it—set in Orlando during the late-'90s boy-and-girl-band craze.

It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was the level-headed one, always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, New York Times bestselling author Katie Cotugno’s Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.
When I heard Katie Cotugno was releasing a novel that focused on female friendships and used the 90s boy/girl band craze as its backdrop, I knew I needed to read it immediately. I was hoping it would be drenched in nostalgia and filled with everything I love about Katie Cotugno's books. Luckily, that is exactly what I got when I picked up Fireworks. It's the kind of book that will immediately make you want to have a 90s music dance party in your house. It is also the kind of book that will make you thankful for the female friendships in your life - flaws and all.

Many people snidely make fun of boy/girl bands. They assume they are frivolous and that the members of these groups do not work hard for their success. These groups are often dismissed simply for being something that teenagers, generally teen aged girls in particular, enjoy. This book is here to set you straight on that assumption. The determination, and hard work that goes into one of these groups is meticulously detailed within Dana and Olivia's story. Nothing about it is easy, and I loved that the novel took the time to address that. There are plenty of perks too, and these are addressed right along side the negative aspects.

The novel may be set in the 90s but it also feels current and relevant. This is largely because the issues that Dana and Olivia are facing are not limited to a specific time frame. The problems that arise in their friendship are ones that people will always struggle with. This is a well developed look at a friendship that is often one sided with one person taking more than they are giving. Combine this with jealously, drifting away from each other, and growing up and you have issues that anyone is able to relate to. The connection between Dana and Olivia is the most important relationship in the novel, even more than the romance found within these pages, and that fact is never forgotten.

The ending is the perfect blend of bitter and sweet. There is hope for the future, but also a sense of loss. The fact that the novel highlights that sometimes things cannot be saved was something I appreciated. Sometimes you cannot mend things, or make your way back to each other. It also shows that you can love someone and be disappointed by them at the same time. The good memories and the bad parts can co-exist. You can still want the best for them, even if they've hurt you. This complexity is at the heart of this friendship and it is something Katie Cotugno does flawlessly.

Fireworks offers up a nostalgic read for anyone who remembers the boy/girl band craze of the 90s. Katie Cotugno once again portrays imperfect female characters who are nuanced, and realistic. If you are looking for a read that focuses on friendship, especially ones that are not perfect, I highly recommend picking up this wonderfully written read.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer



Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date -  April 4, 2017
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  400 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. 
Brigid Kemmerer has created a nuanced look at grief, and some unforgettable characters in Letters To The Lost. It is a story that is both hopeful, and impacting. It is bittersweet, and yet filled with so much heart. It is the type of story that soothes as much as it crushes.

Juliet is still in the deepest parts of her grief over her mother's death. She seems stuck in the anger stage with no clear path out of the darkness. She writes letters to her mother as a way to cope and to feel a little bit of relief from the pain she is weighted down with. She felt like such a realistic character. Her grief and anger were palpable. Part of her wasn't ready to lessen her grief, and even felt guilty about the possibility of it. She felt like it was betrayal of her mother's memory.

My favourite part of Juliet's journey is the realization that her mother wasn't perfect. Her mother was a person who like anyone else made mistakes. The realization that she could be angry at her mother and still love her was a powerful one. We all, at some point, have to come to terms with the fact that our parents are not just what we perceive them as being. There is complexity there that we never really think about until we're confronted with it. It was woven into the story perfect, and felt like a natural part of Juliet's grieving process.

Declan is THAT boy. The one who is used as a cautionary tale because of a mistake he made. Nobody cares about the reason behind what Declan did, just that he did it. They assume he's trouble and he is treated accordingly. Declan has his own grief that he carries around. Two broken, grieving people finding each other is not new, but Brigid Kemmerer manages to make both the characters and plot feel fresh. Declan and his friendship with Rev was a large part of that. I loved their friendship so much. It could have been an entire book on its own and felt just as vital to Declan's story as the romance did.

The connection between Juliet and Declan isn't one that heals all their issues. It is, instead, one of solace and strength. It makes taking those steps out of the darkness a little easier for both of them. It shows the comfort that can come from having someone to talk to, and someone who understands you. I loved that it wasn't portrayed as some instant fix for either of them, but simply something good in each of their lives. The romance is perfect paced, and felt earned in so many ways. The connection is built slowly over letters, and emails so that this incredibly foundation is there before they realize they are falling for each other.

The author manages to circumvent a few expected plot points to great impact. It made the story feel fresh and unexpected. The usual direction of the story would have been an easy way to up the drama, and would have been what was expected. I appreciated that the author decided to defy those tropes and instead provided a much more layered, and deeper character driven story.

You'll immediately finish this novel and want more. More from these characters, and more from this world. Brigid Kemmerer ensures that you fall fully in love with not just her novel, but its characters. This is one that fans of contemporary YA should not miss and will be one you tell others to read immediately after finishing. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ... Girls Made Of Snow And Glass


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick is Girls Made Of Snow And Glass by Melissa Bashardoust


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.
A feminist Snow White retelling? Sign me up! I was very excited when I saw this deal announcement and even included it in my feature detailing my most anticipated reads of this year. I was even more excited when the cover was finally announced because that means we're even closer to it being released so I can finally read it.

I anticipate plenty of buzz at BEA for this one and cannot wait to get my hands on a copy!

Expected release date - September 5, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

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.

Happy Easter weekend everyone! A small post this week, but they are things I am super excited about!

BOOK

More Books In The Royals Series

You may recall me being very excited about Erin Watt's Royals series. I loved all three books in the series and was excited by the possibility of more to come.

I was thrilled when it was announced that Easton was getting his own duology as a continuation of the Royals series! I may be desperate to have a series that focuses on the twins, but Easton getting his own story is pretty exciting. The two books are both coming out this year and the first one already has a title and release information available. The title is ......


You can add it, and the sequel, to your Goodreads! I cannot wait to pre-order both!

OTHER

Book Expo America

The autographing area schedule was just released and it has made me even more excited for Book Expo this year. I am already looking forward to meeting some of the authors and am equally excited to be surrounded by bookish people. I am now anticipating the in booth schedule being released, and I am still keeping my fingers crossed that Stephanie Perkins will be signing her new book as I would love to meet her! Also hoping that Krysten Ritter might be signing as well since she is making a Book Con appearance that week.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer



Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer
Release Date - April 11, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  368 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king's headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora's blood--and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.

Spindle Fire is the first book in a duology.
Fairytale retellings have always been one of my favourite kind of books to read. There is something magical about the familiar turned into something new. Spindle Fire is an imaginative take on the Sleeping Beauty tale that focuses on the bond between sisters rather than romance and twists the typical fairytale tropes.

Having read Lexa Hillyer's contemporary debut, I felt that the author felt more comfortable writing this style of novel. The story itself is imaginative and engaging. She has created two main characters who pull at the reader and ensure that you'll want to continue their story. The plot itself seems well planned and with a clear direction for the sequel. The issue, for me, comes with the setting. It didn't feel developed enough to transport me into the story. The enchanted world Aurora finds herself in is more developed and I found myself appreciating that part of the story more as a result.

There is a strong focus on sisterhood in this novel. The bond between Isabelle and Aurora is one, but there are also fae sisters that share the spotlight of this novel. The comparisons and differences between the pair of sisters are interesting to note, and  I hope they continue to be examined as the story progresses. It looks at all the complicated feelings that can exist between sisters, and the fierce loyalty that can drive them to do heroic things for each other. I really liked this aspect of the story and felt it was really the heart of the novel.

The twists to the typical fairytale tropes are not necessarily new, but done in a way that ensures the author makes it their own. I loved that our expectations are quickly tossed aside as each 'pivotal' moment from the Sleeping Beauty tale is acknowledged but also circumvented. I also enjoyed the twist to the prince, and the idea of true love's kiss and how they both played into the story. The romances that are part of this are also not what you would expect and it sets up an interesting dynamic for the finale of this story. These little changes to the story made it feel fresh and added a little magic to this retelling that was greatly needed.

The 'enchanted' realm that Aurora find herself in was one of my favourite parts of this story. It is such a unique take on the slumber that happens once Aurora pricks her finger on that spinning wheel. It creates this world where expectations can be defied, and fae magic can be used a little more freely. I wanted more from this world, and felt it could have been used to a greater impact. This is what makes this particularly story unique and I wish that had been played upon a little more.

My only other issue was that there was plenty of telling and not showing within these pages. I wanted more information given by showing us through the characters, instead we were told. It felt like we were told how the characters were feeling instead of being shown and that instantly disconnected me from them and the story. Everything else is there, but without that deeper connection to the story to push it from good to great, the story just ended up being something I enjoyed instead of something feel in love with.

This ended up being mixed read for me with there being things I really enjoyed, and other things that I wish had been done just a little differently. I am definitely going to check out the next novel to see how this story ends, but the hook to make me desperate to read just wasn't there. I predict many others will love this novel more than I did, but I felt a little bit of that fairytale magic was missing.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Potential New Feature ...


I have been playing with this idea for a long time but decided to go ahead and officially attempt to launch it.

I have been wanting a way to get more involved with the blogging community and to feature more authors on my blog so this sort of started as a way to accomplish both these things. It also became something I really wanted to do after much chatting with both Kelly (from Kellyvision) and Christy (from The Reader Bee) and I am pretty excited about it.


The feature will be titled 'A Glass Of Wine With .....' and will be an fun, pop culture style interview with a different person each week. I am hoping to have the post go up on Fridays and the questions will change based on current things in pop culture. I would, of course, also have questions relating to the book when featuring an author for promotional purposes.

This will only work if people want to actually take part. It is open to ANYONE with ties to the bookish community. You can be a blogger, vlogger, or use Instagram. You can be an author, work in publishing, or

If you're interested in being interviewed please send me an email to aglassofwineblog@gmail.com with 'A Glass Of Wine With' in the title and I'll be in touch with the questions and other details.

Here are a few sample questions that could be asked so that you get an idea of the type of questions that will be part of this new feature.

 - Beverage of choice?
 - Hottest Chris (Evans, Hemsworth, Pine, or Pratt)?
 - Last book that made you cry?
 - TV show everyone must binge?
 - what ship is your current obsession (book, TV, or movie)?

As you can see, they would mostly be fun, pop culture related questions. It would be a sort of 'get to know you' type thing which has the potential to be a lot of fun! I am hoping people feel the same way and want to sign up! I am hoping to get this feature kick started in August or early September once I have had a few people sign up and have given them time to answer questions. If you're an author and want to coincide this with your release week, just let me know and we'll try to make it work (depending on schedule).

Lastly, I did some research and did not see any other features like this but with the large quantity of blogs, vlogs, etc out there I could have missed someone doing something similar to this. If you are running a similar feature, let me know and I can look at changing this feature into something else.

I am super excited to work with some of you and cannot wait to kick this feature off! Cheers!



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday .... Bonfire


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick is Bonfire by Krysten Ritter


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
From actress, producer, and writer, Krysten Ritter, a psychological suspense novel about a woman forced to confront her past in the wake of small-town corruption 
It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands. 
But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens' biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends--just before Kaycee disappeared for good. 
Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret--a ritual called -The Game, - which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her. 
With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of the question, can you ever outrun your past?
I was pretty excited when I heard that Krysten Ritter was going to be releasing a novel. I was even more excited when I read this amazing sounding synopsis. It has a murder mystery, and a main character who sounds like one I am going to love. It sounds like a perfect fall read and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

Expected release date - November 7, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Upside Of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli



The Upside Of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Release Date - April 11, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  352 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.

There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right? 
It may be hard to imagine that Becky Albertalli could capture the magic that was Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda a second time. If you're like me, you've been both excited and nervous about picking up her second novel. I mean, how could it possibly live up to the complete adorableness that is her first Oreo filled offering? I am here to assure you that she, once again, provides all of the swoons and happy sighs in this novel about coming into your own, taking some risks, and not standing in your own way.

Prepare to love Molly Peskin-Suso. You will love her in a completely different way than you love Simon, but you will love her just as much. She's the type of character who instantly connects with the reader because her voice is so vivid and bright. Part of this connection is that Molly is instantly recognizable. She is the reader, or someone the reader knows. She is the type of character that I have wanted to exist in young adult novels for so long, and I am so glad that she has finally arrived.

The cast of secondary characters characters will also win you over. They are all charming and add layers to the story that make it feel all the more real. Molly's parents are incredibly involved in the story which is always welcome. What really adds to the story though is how diverse the cast of characters is. It blends varying kinds of representation within these pages, including some representation that is intersectional, in a way that feels natural. The novel also makes mention of other sexualities than those represented within these pages (specifically by making mention of asexuality). It felt, to me, like the author was showing the reader that even if there wasn't direct representation via one of the characters, people like them (or those they know) exist within this world that the author has created. It made it feel more grounded in reality, as it reflects the communities many of us know and belong to.

The romance in this is filled with some great moments. This novel will make you remember all of the feelings that come with having a crush. The highs and lows are perfectly captured, as is that nervous but excited feeling that happens whenever your crush is near. It is almost a love letter to all those firsts you experience in romance. Your first crush. Your first kiss. Your first rejection. This novel celebrates all of it, even the not so great parts, as part of the process. Molly's journey isn't just one of finding a boyfriend, it is one of opening yourself up even if it means rejection. It is about the risk sometimes being worth it, but mostly it is about growing up and changing.

The relationship between Molly and Cassie is one of the stand outs of this novel. It is used to show the excitement and uncertainty teens feel as they grow up. Molly senses the relationship between her and Cassie changing as her sister starts to experience new things and reacts strongly to the changes. It reminded me of growing away from friends as you grow older because you're changing so much during this time, and often not at the same pace. It means your relationships change and that can be unsettling. It offers reassurance that it is something we all go through and that message, I believe, will be comforting for those going through similar 'growing pains' in their relationships.

Fans of Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda will devour this novel in one sitting and I predict it'll charm those not yet acquainted with Becky's first novel as well. The Upside Of Unrequited will have you craving Mini Eggs the way you craved Oreos while reading Simon and leave you with the biggest smile on your face. Becky Albertalli is quickly becoming the go to author for fuzzy warming feeling reads for me. She, once again, hits it out of the park with this giddy, feel good, offering. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

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)

Lots of goodies to share this week! I have a few birthday gifts and other fun things to share.

First up all the books t hat have arrived in the last little bit. I am so excited about all of these!


When It's Real by Erin Watt (goodreads)
The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares (goodreads)
A Whole New World by Liz Braswell (goodreads)
738 Days by Stacey Kade (goodreads)
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (goodreads)
Overdrive by Dawn Ius (goodreads)

A huge thank you to the publishers for the two review copies! Thank you to the lovely Christy (The Reader Bee) for the copy of A Whole New World. I purchased the remaining books as a treat for myself (and my shelf). I am really excited to start When It's Real because I've loved Erin Watt's previous books so much.

I have also added a few Funko Pops to my collection thanks to some birthday gifts.


Christy gifted me Belle and Upside Down Will (how awesome is he?!) and my sister/nieces gifted me the Jessica Jones Pop. I am going to need to get a shelf just for all of my Pops are they are quickly adding up.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

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 Girls Made Of Snow And Glass by Melissa Bashardoust (goodreads)

I love how simplistic this cover is. It is certainly eye catching and matches the title rather well.


I have been excited about this feminist Snow White retelling from pretty much the moment I read the deal announcement so I was very excited for it to finally have a cover!

OTHER

Peter Pan Funko

I had mentioned this previously on the blog, but I finally have a picture of the actual product!


It is amazing, right? I love how it looks like he is flying. I need to add this to my collection as soon as possible.

Mr Robot Funko Pops

They had announced Mr Robot Funkos previously but now they have been officially been announced along with all of the store exclusives and chases.


I am going to need that Elliot chase version with the hood up! I am also loving the Darlene one! I'll be collecting most of this set but am still wondering ...


Hopefully there is a second wave and Funko makes one for Tyrell!

What are you obsessed with this week?


Thursday, April 6, 2017

The End Of Our Story by Meg Haston



The End Of Our Story by Meg Haston
Release Date - April 4, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  228 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**


**mild spoilers, and a large spoiler hide under a spoiler tag**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Meg Haston's romantic and thrilling new YA novel explores a star-crossed high school relationship in a tale rife with deeply buried secrets and shocking revelations.

Bridge and Wil have been entangled in each other’s lives for years. Under the white-hot Florida sun, they went from kids daring each other to swim past the breakers to teenagers stealing kisses between classes. But when Bridge betrayed Wil during their junior year, she shattered his heart and their relationship along with it.

Then Wil’s family suffers a violent loss, and Bridge rushes back to Wil’s side. As they struggle to heal old wounds and start falling for each other all over again, Bridge and Wil discover just how much has changed in the past year. As the fierce current of tragedy threatens to pull them under, they must learn how to swim on their own—or risk drowning together.
This is a hard novel to review. The synopsis doesn't give you the heart of this story and that can be both a good and bad thing. It's a novel about second chances, and forgiveness. It is about the truths we share, and things we hide. It's a book that surprised me and that is part of what made this novel have the impact that it did.

This is the story of Bridge and Wil. It is a story of their romance, but it is also so much more than just that. We see the before and after of a drunken mistake that tears them apart. If cheating is something that will ensure you don't pick up this novel, you'll be missing out on an emotionally complex read. It ends up being a very minor plot point as this novel isn't really about the cheating, or about their relationship. While this may partially be the story of how they (possibly)  make their way back to each other, it is really about forgiveness in all its forms.

This brings me to my only qualm about this novel. It is a gut punch of a novel because of how surprising it is, but it really should have a trigger warning. I get that they wanted this journey to be taken with the characters, and it was meant to be a big reveal, but as someone who understood this part of the story a little too well, I found it, at times, hard to read (as it should be). I am going to put this trigger warning under a spoiler heading for those who want to know before picking up this novel. Be warned, they are major spoilers for the book.


This novel also looks at the notion of how well we really know someone. Both Wil and Bridge have to struggle with the reality that perhaps they didn't know someone they loved as well as they thought. We have all had this experience to some degree, and that struggle is very well handled in this novel. You can love the person while still being disappointed and furious with them. You can love them, and hate them at the same time. It is hard to reconcile this dual feelings, and this truth comes through in these pages.

Those looking for a nicely wrapped up ending will not find that here. The ending is just as murky and grey as every other part of this story. It is an messy ending that is perfect for the messy situations this book holds. There is no right or wrong in this circumstances, and that is something that remains true right up to the very end.

Meg Haston has written a novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. It is the type of novel that makes you ponder some really difficult questions. I would recommend it, but with caution as it will not be for everyone.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday .... There's Someone Inside Your House


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick is There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.
How amazing is that cover? Everything about it is perfect. It gives off a horror vibe and manages to make the neon pink feel creepy.

I am a huge fan of Stephanie Perkins' contemporary novels. Her first three novels are counted among some of my favourite reads and I am just as excited to see what she does with horror. I predict her novel will still have that epic romance that is expected from a Stephanie Perkins novel, and I am predicting it'll be one to read with the lights on.

This is probably my most anticipated of the autumn releases and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy.

Expected release date - September 12, 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Blacklist by Alyson Noel



Blacklist by Alyson Noel
Release Date - April 4, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  448 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**


**SPOILERS FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In the second book of the suspenseful Unrivaled trilogy from #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noel, Layla, Aster and Tommy have to unearth Hollywood it-girl Madison Brooks’ secrets before one of them takes the fall for her disappearance and murder.

Layla Harrison has finally found herself in the middle of a celebrity story worth reporting. Aster Amirpour’s name is in every tabloid—even if it isn’t the good kind of publicity she hoped for. Tommy Phillips is inches away from getting the girl of his dreams, which may be harder than scoring a VIP ticket to an Unrivaled nightclub.

But Layla, Aster and Tommy never imagined it would be because they’re entangled in the disappearance of Madison Brooks—a story that’s blinded the world like a starlet blinded by the flash of a paparazzi camera.
Now, Layla is receiving mysterious messages from an anonymous source, Aster’s looming murder trial is so huge even her parents’ lawyer can’t save her, Tommy is retracing his steps as the last person Madison saw alive, and Layla’s ex Mateo finds himself lured into the fold.
You can dig up dirt about celebrities that the tabloids miss if you search long enough. But when Layla, Aster, and Tommy team up with an unsuspecting insider to unearth the truth, they’ll find that some secrets are best kept in the grave. 
The Beautiful Idols series normally has everything I would want in a book. A cast of beautiful characters. A mystery at its core. A Hollywood setting. While all of this is found within this novel it, sadly, ended up just being an okay read for me.

This novel is pure escapism and offers up the kind of plot that is normally found in CW television shows and other sudsy offerings. I could easily see it as a television show with its edgy vibe, and mystery hook. This novel has another thing in common with those television shows - it has the potential of solely banking on that hook to keep people interested and not going deep enough into the story when it should. As a result of this,  it is a novel that is great fun while reading, but just as easily forgotten after you've finished.

This sequel is all about offering up more than the previous installment. More romantic entanglements, more drama, more danger. The plot points may not seem overly realistic, but this is meant to be over the top. It is meant to be heightened. The downside to this style of storytelling is that it can often lead to a feeling of disconnect. The characters have to draw you in and keep you attached if the story is not relatable, at least for me, and the characters do not do that for me. I don't feel connected to any of them even I am interested in a few of them. This style of writing is more plot driven than character driven and that often doesn't work for me.

I am still invested in the mystery surrounding Madison's disappearance and what really happened to her. After Aster's arrest in the first novel I was happy to see this particular plot point make progress in this sequel. It is the storyline that is keeping me coming back to this series and it is the most thought out element of the story in my opinion. I am hopeful that many of the side story arcs will eventually merge to become important to the larger story. It may prompt me to change my mind about the series overall if the end reveal is nuanced enough.

The characters are all classic teen show tropes. They are beautiful people doing questionable things who are put in outrageous situations. This means there is plenty of potential for romance. The romances are for the most part secondary to the main mystery. There is a potential love square happening which, in my opinion, has the potential to be the most interesting of the relationships that are being explored.

Perhaps my biggest concern is the fact that I don't feel the tension tightening. There isn't that sense of impending dread. I should feel like I cannot trust any of the characters and that anyone could be responsible for what happened to Madison and everything that followed. Sadly, I just don't feel that sense of urgency.

Fans of novels that are reminiscent of Pretty Little Liars will probably love this series. It is filled with high octane drama, and outlandish plot lines. I think this novel does what it is rather well, and those who appreciate that kind of novel are the target audience. I'll most like check out the third novel out of sheer curiosity but I am not has invested in the outcome of the series as I perhaps should be.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

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)

Two exciting additions to my mailbox this week.


Little Wrecks by Meredith Miller (goodreads)
Cheesus Was Here by J.C. Davis (goodreads)

A huge thank you to Harper Collins, and J.C. Davis for the chance to read and review these.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

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 for Stephanie Perkins' There's Someone Inside Your House

I have been so excited about this novel right from the moment Stephanie teased that her next book would be a horror novel. I was even more excited when she revealed that it would be a more 'slasher' type of horror rather than paranormal. I became fully obsessed once it was compared to the Scream movie franchise.


This cover is stunning and perfect! It has just the right amount of creepy while also giving a nod to Stephanie's first novel with the pink hue. I am counting down the days until I have this book in my hands.

OTHER

Buffy 20th Anniversary

Lots of goodies have popped up recently has Buffy celebrates its 20th anniversary. Entertainment Weekly recently got the cast together for a reunion and I am in love with EVERYTHING about it.

First up this amazing cover! I totally ship Buffy and Angel so this made me extremely happy.


You can also view the 40+ minute reunion video over on EW.com. It is equally amazing. I anticipate we'll be getting lots of other goodies as this iconic show continues to be celebrated and remembered. 

Peter Pan Hot Topic Exclusive Funko

It is no secret that I am a HUGE Peter Pan nerd. I am also entirely addicted to Funko Pops. It should surprise nobody that I pretty much squealed with happiness upon finding out that Hot Topic is going to have an exclusive Peter Pan Pop. No image has been revealed from Funko yet, but you can see the Pop in this video where Hot Topic is revealing some of their exclusives.
I am eagerly awaiting his release and cannot wait to add this one to my collection

What are you obsessed with this week?

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