Saturday, August 31, 2013

In My Mailbox

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). 

Another week of awesome egalleys! A huge thank you to HarperTeen, Raincoast Books, Netgalley, and Edelweiss for the chance to review these amazing titles.

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally (Goodreads)
Great by Sara Benincasa (Goodreads)
Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd (Goodreads)

Happy Reading, and Happy Weekend!

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.

Here are my obsessions this week:


Cover of Since You Been Gone by Morgan Matson

This is a cute cover that screams summer. I LOVE the premise of a 'to do' list, and this one sounds cute. I expect (because it mentions the friend is missing) that there might be some heavier issues too (which is perfect).

Cover of Sarah Fine's Of Metal and Wishes

This cover is be to revealed on September 5th! If you've read this synopsis you'll know why this excites me. Phantom of the Opera, and slaughterhouse! That's pretty much all you have to say. I am in! This is another one to keep your eye out for during ny 2014 Most Anticipated event. *winks*


YA Authors Coming To Ottawa

Yup, that's right! Ottawa is getting some epic YA Authors for some amazing signings. LAUREN OLIVER and ELIZABETH WEIN are both coming so you can expect recaps of those events sometime this Autumn. Have I mentioned I love Autumn? Because I do!

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Follow Friday

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

If you could only have ONE – one book – for the rest of your life. Don’t cheat…what would it be?

WOW. Just one book? I would have to say Pride and Prejudice. I love that book so much. I would have said one of the Harry Potter books, but I would want ALL of the, and didn't want to pick just one.

Happy Weekend!

Just Like Fate by Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick

Just Like Fate by Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick
Release Date – August 27, 2013
Publisher Website -  Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  304 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline's been at Gram's bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape--both her family and the reality of Gram's failing health. So when Caroline's best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram's side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline's fate into two separate paths--and she's about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she's ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending...
The road not taken often holds a certain allure. The 'what if' question can haunt you. If given the chance many people would like to see what might have been if they made a certain choice. Just Like Fate teases exactly this, and shows that sometimes you can't escape what is meant to be.

The writing in this meshes together really well together. Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick kept the characters in both 'paths' similar in feeling, while having the differences of the path matter. They matched each other's writing quite well, and as a result the story felt cohesive. I knew that one of them wrote the 'stay' storyline and one wrote the 'go' storyline, but they read like one author wrote it.

Caroline read like an average teenager. She had family problems, crushes on classmates, and friends whom she cared a great deal for. She is not perfect, and makes mistakes. She using running away as a defense mechanism. Her relationship with her siblings, and mother is especially delicate. They way the death of Caroline's grandmother forces this family to attempt to come together is something that others may recognize and sympathize with.

The romance was one of my favourite parts. It wasn't rushed and didn't feel forced. There are two love interests, and each of them taught Caroline something about what she wanted for herself. Stories that allow the main character to make mistakes, change her mind, and realize that perhaps she isn't compatible with someone have always been my favourite. Caroline gets to know them, and see that who you think someone is, maybe isn't who they actually are.

Choices play such a huge part in this novel. Not necessarily the choice themselves, but how those choices shape and impact us. The consequences of choices we make, and how they alter the route we take are so important to Caroline's character. The way the choice between staying and going is presented is one of my favourite parts of the novel, because it shows how defining some experiences can be, even if you're not expecting them to be.

Sometimes the ending to your story isn't as important as the journey. Just Like Fate showcases that it's the in between moments that define us. Fate may bring us to the same place in the end, but choices made along the way decide what type of person you'll be when you get there.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TSofTBC - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book Club is a book club that travels between 4 blogs with each blog hosting once per year.

Myself, Kelly (KellyVision), Christy (The Reader Bee) and Kim (PingWing's Bookshelf) are the bloggers involved.

Our first selection is The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It inspired me (and was my choice) to start this club, and felt it only fitting to start with this.


A few of the girls (Christy and Kim) hadn't read this before. Getting to experience them meeting Carmen, Tibby, Lena, and Bridget for the first time reminded me of why I love recommending books. It's always a rush when someone loves the same book you do.

The theme of friendship, and that these girls seemed to have a genuine one without the usual backstabbing featured in books/movies/t shows was the aspect we all loved. During our discussions we talked quite a bit about how these girls really care for each other.

The romance was hit and miss for us as a group. We thought Lena and Kostos were not developed enough for the declarations that come later (at least in this novel) but love the tentative steps Brian and Tibby were taking. I, personally, had forgotten how little Kostos and Lena really interact in this installment.

We found that the Lena's storyline was better in the movie. It made Lena come off like less of a brat, and provided some fun teen angst and rebellion with them sneaking around. I see why they changed it for the movie. Everyone of us felt the casting of the girls was done really well. America Ferrara and Amber Tamblyn especially were mentioned as being perfect for their roles.

Bailey was a character we all loved. The general consensus was that she was wise beyond her years. Tibby has the most heart wrenching storyline, and it certainly packed an emotional punch for all of us. I couldn't help but be in awe of how Tibby handled the situation. Yes, she had her moments of trying to avoid it, but I think she ended up handling it much better than I would have.

This novel sort of fell into the 'missing or absent parent' trap that so many young adult books do. Sometimes anyways. Certain storylines had parents front and centre like with Carmen. However, others had them lacking. Lena changing her travel plans at the last minute, Carmen running away and nobody looking for her, Bridget having little guidance. I think because all the members of our group are older, we wanted to protect them from themselves.

Side note- we were all incredibly jealous Lena being in Greece. Our discussion including much lementing that we were not in Greece. The movie did nothing to make this lessen. It's beautifully shot. We also were commenting that these girls were incredibly lucky to be traveling the way they did.

We all kind of reacted the same to Bridget's spiral. It felt authentic to her character, but we all wanted to save her from herself. A constant refrain of "STOP BRIDGET!" happened during a few chapters.

Carmen's storyline made all of us exasperated. We wanted to throttle each of them at various times. We couldn't believe he would drop that large bombshell on her without any warning, and she reacted badly (understandably so, but still). Their storyline, (and Lena's) prove that communication is key. You need to talk about things, and you need to make sure to clear up any misunderstands immediately. It's a lesson we all learn.

I found (and so did the other girls) this novel funnier than expected. Kim especially liked the line where Carmen refers to her 'little assed friends'. I myself giggled quite a few times, the main on being when Bridget, commenting on the pants to one of the other girls 'Those pants are in love with you. They want you for your body and your mind'. Tibby 'suckumentary' and other dialogue provided a humourous tone that was really fun.

In short, this was the perfect book to start with. Fun, light, and helped us ease into the club. It felt nostalgic for me because I love this series so much and getting to revisit it was like reuniting with old friends.

Each of the members (other than myself) has reviewed The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, so if you wanted to check them out, they are linked below.


Our next 'meeting' is in November on Kelly's blog and will be to discuss Alissa Nutting's Tampa, so I expect it'll have quite the different feel.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
Release Date – August 27, 2013
Publisher Website -  Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages -  330 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes.

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.
Some events are life altering. There is only the before and after. Sometimes those events are literally the beginning of a new path that will be the rest of your life...the beginning of everything some would say. Robyn Schneider uses heart, whit, and an amazing main character to show that life is filled with surprises, both the good and bad.

Sometimes it's the storyline, characters, or writing that shine in a novel. It's the truly great ones that offer a mix of them all. In The Beginning of Everything, it's Ezra's voice that resonates the most deeply. He, and by an extension the novel, works himself into your heart. I connected with him almost immediately, and found him endearing. He's intelligent, broken yet hopeful, and has a sarcastic sense of humour. Robyn's writing is quirky, and filled with humour. It's a reflection of the character, and just another way she lets us into Ezra's world.

Cassidy Thorpe is a force of nature. She changes the people she comes into contact with because she is so refreshingly herself. She opens Ezra's eyes in a way that reminded me of 80's movies. There is a certain nostalgia factor to their courtship, relationship, and the problems that arise. She is a big part of why it feels this way. She's a throw back to the girls next door, who are amazing, unique and naturally effortless.

The characters grow throughout the novel, especially Ezra. He's had, what he perceives as, his life ripped away from him. In picking up the pieces and figuring out 'what next' he begins to find himself. It's this self discovery, and journey that people will relate to. Teens especially will see themselves in Ezra. The expectations of others weigh heavily on him, and yet he just wants to learn how to be this new (and maybe improved) version of himself.

This novel is as heartbreaking as it is hopeful. A story about the places we fit, finding our true selves, and living each moment in the here and now. The Beginning of Everything shows that something can profoundly change your life, but you're the one to decide how the 'after' is going to look.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves

Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves
Release Date – September 17, 2013
Publisher Website -  Penguin
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 320 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.

Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop, and they run into each other again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.

Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.
Will she or won't she? Covet looks at a marriage on the rocks, a woman on the edge of falling for someone else, and the realization of what is really important.

Tracey Garvis Graves' writing is direct and to the point. I like the ease in which it reads, and how she keeps the story moving along. It's the characters that shine in her novels, rather than the writing or plot, but they do so because of they she presents them.

Tracey Garvis Graves is phenomenal at taking these 'hot button' issues and writing them in a light that is complex, and realistic. They are not black and white, and she highlights both sides of it. She makes sure we see the shades of grey that exist. She has you sympathizing with all parties involved. Even though these characters are making mistakes, you feel for what they going through.

The author makes Claire instantly identifiable She is very much 'every woman' and in her we can see ourselves, or someone we know. I felt an instant connection for her.

The only character I wish I got to know a little more was Daniel. The fact that we don't get to know him much feels deliberate though. He's kind, and gives Claire attention that she is craving at the right time. It makes it less about Daniel, and more about Claire. It was a way for us to see more into Claire, and it worked really well. I did believe their connection, but perhaps it was heightened by extenuating circumstances.

Marriage is hard work. Communication is so important. This novel shines a bright spotlight on what happens when you or your spouse shut down. A rapid spiral that feels like an insurmountable obstacle forms as Claire and Chris attempt to hold on to their dying marriage. It's unflinching, and I bet a lot of people may relate.

Cheating is, of course, front and centre in this novel. The emotional aspect is especially present. A lot of people may not take the emotional aspect into account, but it can be just as damaging. The fact that you let someone else so deeply into your life may hurt your relationship beyond repair. This novel showcases that, and shows how complex cheating actually is.

A realistic, and perhaps uncomfortable, look at marriage, the struggle to have it survive, and the reality that nothing is perfect. If you liked On The Island, I think you'll enjoy this one as well.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Love My Followers Giveaway

It's been a little while since I've done a follower giveaway.  I want to thank my followers for following my little blog, and decided this would be an awesome giveway to do just that. Thanks to the lovely people at Appliances Online I am giving away a $50.00 Amazon giftcard for you to get some new books, just in time for back to school. Be sure to check out for your appliance needs.

**This contest is open to those in Canada, USA, and UK ONLY**

Please fill out the Rafflecopter entry below.

*Disclaimer - I will be sharing your email address with Appliances Online  for purposes of sending your prize. Be sure that you are okay with this before entering. Must be of legal age in your country of residence, or have parental consent (especially as you'll be shopping online)*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews). 

A huge thank you to Netgalley/HarlequinTeen for the chance to review the only book I got this week

The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa (Goodreads)

I am excited to read this, especially after some of the things I've been hearing.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

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.

Here are my obsessions this week:


The Winner's Curse cover

STUNNING! I love this cover. I love the subtle knife she's holding, and the way she's holding the R in curse. It's eye catching, and a serious contender for best cover of 2014. I am dying to get my hands on this one since I've only heard amazing things from those who have read early copies. You may see this one pop up during my 2014 Most Anticipated event at the end of the year *wink*


Ariel comes to Once Upon A Time

In news that made me fangirl and freak out... ARIEL IS COMING! Joanna Garcia Swisher will portray the mermaid we all know and love. She's a perfect casting choice (and the fan favourite choice) so I am thrilled. Now all I need is for Killian Jones to be the 'Eric' in her story. I am excited to see what twist they'll put on her tale, and wonder if they'll skew closer the original (and darker) Hans Christian Andersen tale.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A to Z Bookish Survey

Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner posted this fun bookish survey. Be sure to stop by her blog and check out her answers as well!

Author you've read the most books from.
 Cassandra Clare, according to Goodreads.

Best sequel ever.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer. At least right now.

Currently Reading.
The Returned by Jason Mott

Drink of Choice While Reading. 
Wine, or tea. I love David's Tea and am a big fan of Wild Vines "wine".

E-reader of Physical Book? 
I prefer to read a physical book. There is something about reading an actual book vs e-reader that appeals to me more. I do love my Kobo though.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School.
Hm.... if all the book boys were real? I think I would have wanted to date someone like Etienne St Clair from Anna and the French Kiss.

Glad You Gave This Book a Chance. 
Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout. I resisted for so long, but they're addictive.

Hidden Gem Book. 
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I don't think enough people have read this amazing, beautifully written novel. It's one of my favourites...ever.

Important Moment in Your Reading Life
Falling in love with the Harry Potter series. It opened up a whole new genre for me, and reignited a love of reading. I was feeling a little disenchanted but JK Rowling reminded me what I loved about reading.

Just Finished. 
Just Like Fate by Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick

Kinds of Books You Won't Read. 
I am not a huge fan of anything with heavy religious themes, and certain sci-fi novels wouldn't appeal to me either. I am pretty open to anything though, as long as it piques my interest. Oh, and I've never read a Western novel, and I am not sure they'd be something that would appeal to me.

Longest Book You've Ever Read. 
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon which is 870 pages as per Goodreads.

Major Book Hangover Because of
Last book hangover was because of Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Number of Bookcases You Own. 
None! I use a closet to hold all my books. Mainly because my cat eats them.

One Book You have Read Multiple Times
The Harry Potter series. All of them. I tend to not re-read books though because I am always ready for that next book that makes me fall in love.

Preferred Place to Read 
My bed, or my sister's house by her pool.

Quotes that Inspire You/Gives You all the Feels from a Book You've Read. 
I have so many quotes that I love. Can I just link to my fave quotes on Goodreads? Yeah, I'll do that.

Reading Regret
I wish that I had started blogging earlier. I enjoy it so much. Oh, and I tend to finish books, even if I am not enjoying them as much as I want to.

Series You Started and Need to Finish (all books are out in the series). 
Beautiful Creatures. I am two books away from being finished and I just need to do it.

Three of Your All-Time Favourite Books
Um, super hard. I guess Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, Tarnish by Katherine Longshore, and the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. It changes so often.

Unapologetic Fan-girl for
Katherine Longshore, Bethany Griffin, and Michelle Hodkin.

Very Excited for This Release More Than All the Others
It was Just One Year, but since I've read that... Cress by Marissa Meyer.

Worst Bookish Habit 
I don't really have any bad habits, I don't think. I guess I am not as careful with paperback as I am with hardcover though.

X Marks the Spot: Start at the Top Left of Your Shelf and Pick the 27th Book
Tarnish by Katherine Longshore

Your latest book purchase
Does pre-order count? If so it was The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

Zzz-Snatcher Book (last book that kept you up WAY late)
I stayed up late reading Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick recently. I finished it in one day and I think I was up to 2 AM.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

TV Lovers Wanted

As most of you know my other love, other than books, is TV. I often talk about my favourite shows in my Weekly Obsessions post at the end of the week. I have always wanted to do some TV recaps, but do not have the desire to host a second blog myself.

Kelly, from KellyVision, who also LOVES TV and I came up with the idea of perhaps creating a joint blog. We could each recap a show we loved, and include other news. I wanted so that each of us was not responsible for all the content, because this book blog takes up a lot of my time already.

Now, in order to have a full blog worth of content I am looking for others who may want to take part. Have you wanted to recap a TV show, but don't have the time to commit to a full TV blog? If so drop me an email ( and let me know what TV shows you're into recapping, and we'll see if you'd be a perfect fit for this.

As this is in the early planning stages lots of input will be welcome, so you'll also get a chance to shape the way this blog comes together.

Looking forward to seeing who might be interested!

Waiting on Wednesda.... Manor of Secrets

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 Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems . . .

Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance. 

Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn't sure she possesses the courage -- or the means -- to break free and follow her passions.

Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives. . . forever.
It's no secret I adore Katherine Longshore's books. I am intrigued by the sound of this one. It's exactly what you'd expect from Katherine, but still seems so different from her previous novels. 

Expected release date - January 28, 2014

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Release Date – August 20, 2013
Publisher Website -  Random House
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  624 pages
My Rating- 5/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Brilliant, haunting, breathtakingly suspenseful, Night Film is a superb literary thriller by The New York Times bestselling author of the blockbuster debut Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.

The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

Night Film, the gorgeously written, spellbinding new novel by the dazzlingly inventive Marisha Pessl, will hold you in suspense until you turn the final page.
Soverign. Deadly. Perfect. These words that are the motto of Cordova's biggest fans could also describe Marisha Pessl's second novel. A novel that starts out unraveling the mystery behind a beautiful woman's death, and quickly leads you into the darkness. Perception is in the eye of the beholder, and the truth may not exist. It's a hard novel to review because so much of it is a spoiler. This experience is best enjoyed untainted, and I am going to aim to do just that with my review.

Marisha Pessl's writing is nearly flawless. The unraveling of this taunt, mind trippy thriller is kept a fever pitch, and as a result the 600+  pages fly by. The infusion of media throughout the novel immerses the reader into the story in a unique way. It makes the experience more authentic, and is cleverly done. This is a book that wants to wrap you in itself, and leave you in pieces on the other side. Marisha expertly maneuvers the reader through this in such a way that you become not only immersed, but obsessed.

Scott McGrath is a mess, and that's before the story even really starts. Obsession, perception, and faith flow through this novel, and it's a defining characteristic of it’s main character.  Scott acts as a mirror for the reader because he‘s just as desperate to uncover the truth. He becomes single minded in his pursuit of what he deems the truth behind Cordova, and Ashley's death. The mystery of the director captivates even more than the mystery of Ashley. It's not hard to see why the infamous, mysterious director has such a pull for his fanatics, and Scott himself.

Choices and perception haunt this novel. Faith, and what you believe are such strong forces. It's characters, and the reader, are forced to confront what it means to make a choice based upon something you believe in so fully. Does the way you perceive something validate the choices you make? Does believing something make it true? Scott, and likewise the reader have to struggle with this. It asks you to reconcile the belief that two (or more) realities can exist side by side. That for some their reality can be an absolute, even if different from the reality others can see. It's a novel that makes you question your stance on everything. It gets into your head, and messes with it in the most delicious way possible, because you end up begging it to.  It leaves you gasping, disoriented and sifting through the murkiness for the smallest grain of truth only to realize how futile that really is. It's like a rabbit hole that inexplicably leads nowhere.

The secondary characters are just as mystifying as the rest of the novel. Nora and Hopper are both the type of characters that are created for the movie screen. The novel reads like a movie, and these two characters are going to provide a juicy, delicious role for some young actors. They read like characters straight out of one of Cordova's movies and have motives of their own.

This novel, as the Cordovites favourite saying goes, is sovereign, deadly, and perfect. A second novel that establishes Marisha Pessl as not only a fantastic writer, but someone who deserves to be on your auto buy list, regardless of the subject matter. Trying to unravel the enigma that is Cordova is the perfect way to spend the last dying days of summer.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas
Release Date – August 27, 2013
Publisher Website -  Bloomsbury
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  432 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?
Fans of fantasy novels who have discovered Sarah J Maas' series have been singing it's praises. I was one of the very few that felt rather indifferent about Throne of Glass. After reading Crown of Midnight, however, I get it. A fantastical world filled with a compelling heroine, and a well executed plot made this sequel a much more satisfying reading experience.

In many ways Crown of Midnight feels like the start of the actual story. Throne of Glass set up the characters, and world, but this novel delves into the story. I feel like there is clear direction that this story is headed. Throne of Glass felt like a prequel, and this made that fact even more apparent. Now that we established the characters, and the world the story is beginning to take over. It's obvious that this series has be plotted out well in advance, and the rich fantasy elements are quite impressive. It's slow unravel makes the pay off mean all the more meaningful.

Celaena, who left me rather cold in the first novel, shifted and changed in this one. She's complex, and so multi layered that I began to be curious about her backstory. We learn a lot about her in this installment, and I feel invested in her journey. The heartbreak, abuse and that she's overcome has made her a self reliant, guarded, and lethal individual. She encases herself in walls that are not as impenetrable as she may thing. It's the vulnerable side to her, the one that lets people in, that makes her the most interesting. That after everything that's happened to her, she hasn't fully withdrawn. Sarah J Maas did a much better job of meshing these two sides of Calaena, the woman and the warrior, this time. Neither was sacrificed for the other, and each remained believable at all times. In Throne of Glass I felt like Calaena was two different characters being forced into one. She felt more realistic, and 'fully realized' in this one.

Chaol is going to win over a lot of people in this novel. He's supportive, genuinely cares for Celaena, and admirable. He's the perfect person for Celaena to let into her heart, and help her crumble some of the walls she has put up. He's someone that sees the woman behind the assassin. As much as I like Chaol, I see him as a first love. Someone who shows Celaena that she's worthy of love, but ultimately can't hold on to her. I am now invested in his happy ending however, caring about happens to these characters is something I missed from the first novel.

Dorian goes from being the distant Prince, to have a . I like that he is being fleshed out, and that his storyline is becoming engaging. He has some pretty life altering things happen to him in this novel, and I am firmly invested in whether or not he captures Celaena's affections. There's something vulnerable, and tender about him, and yet you get the sense that if unleashed Dorian could be quite a force to be reckoned with.

The friendship between Celaena and Nehemia is one of my favourite parts of the novel. There's a true bond that they share. She's someone who, like Chaol, shows Celaena in a different light. She sees Celaena as more than just the King's assassin. It's people like this that Celaena needs around her more than ever, because they prevent her from losing herself completely.

A sequel that, for me, far surpassed the first novel. While I am not completely enthralled, this novel made me realize why this series is a phenomenon. I understand now why so many people fiercely love it, and it's heroine. I am expecting more from the upcoming sequels now that such rich fantasy ground work has been established. If you loved the first one, this sequel will blow you away. If you were unsure after reading Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight may just make you a believer.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews). 

A huge thank you to Hachette for the book that made it's way into my book closet this week. I am super excited to read this one, as I've read all others in this 'companion' series.

Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce (Goodreads)

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

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.

Here are my obsessions this week:


Josephine Angelini's new series

Thanks to Josephine's Twitter, we now know that a new series from her is in the works. Book one should be released in 2014! A series called Crucible that focuses on witches. Sounds amazing, and I can't wait for details and the official announcement.


Masque of the Red Death TV show

Bethany Griffin's series has be optioned to be adapted for TV. I am guessing it's at the early stages. This means most likely that a pilot will be made, and if the network picks it up, we could have this amazing world coming to the small screen. I will be doing blog posts about anything that is released (such as casting news/updates/etc) . I am super excited, and am looking forward to seeing this adapted. I think the small screen works better for this novel, because they can unravel the characters, and plot slowly.


TV blog

TV is my other major obsession. I watch a bunch of it. I have other blogger friends who love it as much as I do. Kelly (from KellyVision) and I were talking about creating a joint blog that will focus on our current favourite shows and other TV news. I am hoping to get 1 or 2 other bloggers who are interested to take part, and we can each review a show we love. I have a few other fun plans in store as well. Right now it's at the planning stages, but hopefully it'll be up and running in time for the Sept premieres.

Bone Season advocate promo

My review was given the Bone Season advocate treatment and made into a fancy image to promote this amazing novel. I freaked out, and immediately didn't feel worthy. It's awesome when things like this happen.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Follow Friday

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

Share something you’ve learned about book blogging or just blogging in general in the last month.

The only thing I can think of is that it's always a learning processes. You learn and change as you and your blog grow. I think you have to embrace that to keep things fresh and new.

Happy Weekend!

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
Release Date – August 20, 2013
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 256 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In this stunning debut, a young Iranian American writer pulls back the curtain on one of the most hidden corners of a much-talked-about culture.

Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.

So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.

Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants, in the body she wants to be loved in, without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?
Sahar and Nasrin are in love. Instead of holding hands, and going on dates they spend their time hiding. Just being together could have dangerous consequences for them. This story of freedom, love and asks if loosing yourself is worth the risk.

The writing in this is quite good. Sara Farizan made me care about the story regardless of how I felt with the characters. I wish she had gone a little deeper, explored things a little more as I believe it would have taken this from good to excellent.

While I felt like I got to know Sahar really well, and see Nasrin through her eyes, I didn't feel the same about Nasrin. I wanted her point of view. I understood exactly what about Nasrin captivated Sahar, but I want to see Sahar through Nasrin's eyes. We get a little bit of it from comments, or others people alluding to things. It would have helped the imbalance I felt was in the relationship. I don't know if I buy it was true love. I do think they cared deeply for each other, and that they had a lot of sexual attraction to each other, but often I felt anger too.

I felt like the relationship was strained a lot of the time. The fact that it's so secretive heightened everything. It made it feel more urgent, and yet added an insane amount of stress to the girls, especially Sahar. The fact that she was desperate enough to want to change herself, speaks volumes. It shows that reckless, headstrong, full tilt passion that is so common when you're a teenager.

At points it was unclear whether these girls actually liked each other. Like any relationship they could have spent some actual time being a couple and realize that they weren't suited to each other. That's sort of the point of the novel though. They don't have that option. They can't date and see 'what if'. It is this lack of freedom, the freedom to love whomever you want, that is most heartbreaking.

The fact Iran is progressive when it comes to being transgender. I had no clue that it was possible to have surgery and that the government would help pay for it. It contrasts Sahar and Nasrin's struggle, and I can see why it would have been used as a means of potentially being together, but it was obvious that neither girl identified themselves this way. The novel dares you to ask what you would do for love, and would you  sacrifice yourself to have it.

The author's decision to have Reza, the doctor who is to marry Nasrin, be a decent and nice guy was fantastic. They had their own story and his feelings for her felt genuine. He could have been some evil character used as yet another obstacle in a love story that already had enough stacked against it. Instead he was portrayed as someone kind, tender, and in love.

The ending feels logical, and like the only plausible outcome to this story. It's not wrapped in a neat bow. There is not happily going into the sunset. Instead there is a stark reality mixed with the realization that life is complicated. There is no easy solution to the situation. Love sometimes isn't enough to overcome everything, and that is the saddest truth that this novel demonstrates.

An important novel, that should generate a lot of discussion. It's both eye opening, and thought provoking. One that may have passed by my radar if not for being a blogger.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday.... Cress

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 Cress by Marissa Meyer

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Rapunzel's tower is a satellite. She can't let down her hair - or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker – unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.
So my love of Cinder, and Scarlet is well known. I can not wait to dive into this! The cover is perfect, and it's about Rapunzel! Basically NEED isn't a strong enough word for my desire to have this book.

Expected release date - February 4, 2014

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fire With Fire by Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han

Fire With Fire by Siobhan Vivan and Jenny Han
Release Date – August 13, 2013
Publisher Website -  Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  528 pages
My Rating- 5/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
When sweet revenge turns sour… Book two of a trilogy from New York Times, bestselling author Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian.

Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn...
A classic story of how sweet revenge quickly turned sour. Burn for Burn left me anxious and excited to get my hands on it's sequel. Fire With Fire is exactly what it should be - fun, twisty, and gripping. It's quite fitting that it's release got bumped up the release during the scorching days of summer, because that's exactly what this novel is - scorching.

Once again the writing is seamless. I am not sure if it's that they each focus on different characters, or that Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han can blend their styles so perfectly, but I couldn't tell who had written what. It flowed extremely well, and kept a similar tone and feel throughout the novel. Their writing style complemented the pacing, and they dropped information at the exact right speed to make this a page turner.

Revenge is poison. It will consume the person desperate to achieve it, and shatter others in the way. Lillia, Kat and Mary learn that things don't always go as you expect them to. However, our trio of revenge seekers are not discouraged. They immediately begin hatching a new plot to enact Mary's revenge. As these girls decide to continue you, the hole their digger is deeper and deeper. It's easy to be swept away in this, and these girls are consumed. Mary, especially, is driven by nothing but the desire to make Reeve feel as horrible as she did. It makes them flawed, and dynamic characters. Having the main characters be slightly skewed has always appealed to me. Keeping the balance of allowing the reader to understand where they are coming from, while allowing the character to cross some lines is something that Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian do really well in this series.

After that insane reveal at the end of Burn for Burn, the biggest questions revolved around Mary. What exactly was causing her 'abilities' and what did it mean for the girls, and their plans? Well, Fire With Fire provides many answers, but those answers automatically lead to more questions. Finding out why Mary can do these things is just the beginning of her story. Mary always had the most wrenching story of the three girls, and her secret makes that even more obvious. Those who were thrown for a loop by the ending of Burn For Burn may want to reconcile the fact that this novel is going into territory that perhaps is a little unexpected, but in my opinion, offers one heck of a roller coast in the process.

Teenagers change their minds, and crushes, rapidly. Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian's series doesn't have the typical triangle that many YA novels have. Instead a much more realistic take on high school crushes is explored. There are many possible couplings, and flirtations. Nobody is desperately in love with anyone, and it's totally possible to be taken with more than one person at a time. It creates juicy drama, and it made the characters feel more like teenagers.

The friendship between Mary, Lillia, and Kat is the heart and soul of the novel. They've bonded in a way that nobody but the three of them can understand. They love and support each other. There is genuine emotion there. Their protectiveness and closeness felt natural, and earned after the events of the first book. They would be willing to do anything for each other, and that become even more obvious as the events of Fire With Fire unfold.

The characters, even the secondary ones, change throughout the novel. Their experiences shape them, and cause them to react in certain ways. Reeve's character will surprise you, and you'll see him differently many times throughout the novel. The 'wronged parties' are not totally innocent, and the 'villains' are not strictly horrible. Each person is complex. At various times I felt different things about each of the characters, and seeing them evolve with each bit of information I got was intriguing.

The end packs a delicious punch that left me excited. Excited about the possibilities of what is to come. Excited about where the story is going to go next. Excited about the fate of these three girls, and their friendship. Fire With Fire is, at it's core, the delicious aftermath revenge and how embarking on it really does require you to build two graves.

Monday, August 12, 2013


You may have the hashtag #JoinTheAgenda on Twitter. Gennifer Albin is launching something amazingfor her sequel Altered. Check out the promo video below.

You'll want to check out Gennifer Albin's site for more details on how you can win and take part.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Release Date – August 20, 2013
Publisher Website - Bloomsbury
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  480 pages
My Rating- 5/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.
Buzz is a tricky thing. It creates interest, and gets people talking. It can also leave people disenchanted, and the author with expectations that are almost impossible to fulfill. Luckily, Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season delivers on the hype.

The world that Paige Mahoney inhabits is brought to life by Samantha Shannon effortlessly. She's created a complex, layered world that is both grounded in reality and fantastical. Paige's time in Scion London is recognizable for the most part, and the re-imagined Oxford is brimming with creativity, and intrigue.

The politics in this novel are much more complex than you first think upon diving in. Once things begin unravel you see the careful work that went into creating something that would allow for plot advancement later on in what is to be a seven book series. The little details that are expanded upon give the world a rich, full realized feel that allows the reader to become lost within the pages. These two interconnected worlds - the one of mime crime, and the world of the Rephaite - are both so developed that I couldn't help but be in awe. It's a feeling reminiscent of a few fantasy novels, namely Harry Potter, in which the world is so encompassing that it becomes a character itself.

Paige stands up for what she believes it right. She doesn't back down when she believes it is important. She risks herself to protect others, and yet she would never consider herself a hero. She's flawed, and has her own skewed moral code. It's her inner strength that I loved most about her. She's resourceful, and capable, but isn't super woman. She's can't fix everything, and not everything comes easily to her. It was a refreshing to see a character like this.

Paige's life is controlled by others from the moment we meet her. She is constantly trading one form of prison for another. I can't wait for the strength and conviction that is glimpsed to fully take over, and for her to break free from both the Rephaim and the mime-lord who seek to own her. The spark is there, and the tease of the power she holds is electric. She could become a force to be reckoned with, if she gets out of her own way. She's hesitant, and reluctant to use her talents to fight back. It's this side of Paige that makes her relatable. It contrasts her criminal side. She has limits, and won't cross them. I loved the complexities of her character, and those surrounding her, and can't wait to see her grow and emerge as the series progresses.

The relationship between Warden and Paige had the potential to be problematic. A woman who is drawn to her captor is not something that normally sits well with me. It has the potential to appear abusive, and I was thrilled to be proven wrong. This relationship is unique because of Warden, and how unique he is. The Rephaim are ruthless, and strict. They are harsh and unforgiving. His treatment of Paige endeared him to me immediately, because he is everything the Raphaim are not. He's noble, honorable, and kind. Their relationship grows as the trust between them develops. Lust, and perhaps love, don't enter the picture until much later, when walls have come down, and confessions have been made. This slow build creates tension that when finally acted on is even steamier, and the connection feels earned.

Samantha Shannon is a debut author with much promise, and as a debut, The Bone Season left me stunned. The ending leaves me excited about where the story could lead. A world that is brimming with possibilities plot wise, and a carefully crafted political structure already in place, makes me think this is one series to keep an eye on.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

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 small but amazing book haul this week. I got one book, but it's a fantastic one.

Random House Canada sent me a lovely, gorgeous hardcover of Night Film by Marisha Pessl (Goodreads). I love this hardcover. The lettering catches the light and shimmers. It's really pretty. I've read this novel, and it's amazing, so I am quite happy to have a finished copy for my collection.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

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