Friday, May 29, 2015

The Cage by Megan Shepherd

The Cage by Megan Shepherd
Release Date - May 26, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 400 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman's Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?
Unpredictable would be the word I'd use to describe The Cage. From it's characters, to the love triangle, and right up until it's ending this is a book that keeps you guessing. This is a novel that surpassed what I anticipated in a really good way.

Megan's talent as a writer was evident in her previous works. Her strength is in creating a setting and atmosphere and she once again does that here. The world building is stunning, and engrossing. Megan Shepherd's detailed and lush descriptions of the enclosure and everything that surrounds it are breathtaking. It brings the setting to life vividly, and compliments her characters who are just as captivating. The novel is easily pictured as a movie or television show and that is in large part due to Megan's writing.

There is a feeling of desperation that surrounds the entire novel. The desperation that the characters feel, and the paranoia that seeps into their interactions is not only believable, but cloying. It's a force thing that feels suffocating. Each of the characters reacts in different ways to the stress they are put under and this feel authentic because each of them is so different. It might be the world that overshadows everything in this novel, but there is something compelling about the characters nonetheless.

The love triangle is going to garner some strong reactions. Cassian is part of the race imprisoning humans in this zoo like habit, and that aspect is never far from the reader's mind. The other part of this triangle is one of the teens put into the enclosure with Cora. Nothing in this triangle is straight forward, and there is more than one twist that complicates every angle of these connections. Ultimately, it's going to be one that people react strongly to, as there is a touch of 'falling for your captor' going on, even if he seems different from the rest of the 'aliens'.

This is perhaps a minor spoiler so I will tag accordingly. This may have worked better if written for the new adult market. The 'aliens' have rules, three of them, that they expect the humans in captivity to follow. One of which is to engage in sexual relations in order to procreate. The idea of repopulating earth, forced procreation, and everything else that entrails is thought provoking. I do not think this novel went as deep or as dark as it could have, and perhaps should have, gone. We are given little insight to how it makes each of the characters feel. We see Cora explain what forcing someone to kiss you means to humans. Kissing is not something the 'aliens' are familiar with. The emotional attachment and connection is not there the same way it is for humans, so to have a deeper conversation about consent, force, and how it was impacting the characters would have only enriched the story. It is there, but lightly, and I think that is mainly due to the target market.

A highly imaginative, unique, thought provoking concept that was executed well. The Cage sets up what is sure to be an addicting, thrill ride of a series. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Emancipated by M.G. Reyes

Emancipated by M.G. Reyes
Release Date - May 26, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 400 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The good girl, the bad boy, the diva, the hustler, the rock star, and the nerd. Six teens legally liberated from parental control for six different reasons, all with one thing in common: something to hide.

Now they’re sharing a house in Venice Beach, acting like a family, and living their lies. No parents. No limits. No alibis. One witnessed a crime, another might be a murderer—and one’s been spying on them all.

As they cling to a fantasy of freedom and slowly let down their guards, the past creeps up on them. And when one of them gets arrested, everyone’s carefully constructed facade comes crumbling down.

In this steamy, drama-filled series, relationships are tested and secrets revealed as lies threaten to destroy their perfect setup. 
The premise of Emancipated immediately caught my eye. A group of teens with no rules, some secrets and lies, all combined with what seemed to be a delicious mystery. This ended up be a plot driven novel that favoured that over characters.

There is a distance that is kept between the reader and the characters, at least for me. I never fully connected with them, or felt I got to know them beyond some surface labels (the good girl, the nerd, etc). They became clichés of those character tropes, and I never saw them as fully developed characters. They seem to be purely written as their label descriptor.

The choice of narration did not assist in getting to know the characters either. The use of third person was needed to keep some of the secrets being held as secrets. The secrets and when they were revealed as chosen over a first person narration which may have helped with character connection, at least in this case. While the novel technically changes points of view, the narration remains the same. There are no changes to differentiate between the characters which again lead to the disconnection I felt.

The mystery itself is promising. There is a fun, soapy story within these pages. The allure of this story is unravelling mystery and that is done rather well. There are hidden connections, hidden truths, and someone pulling the strings behind it all. The novel, if not a series, ends rather abruptly, and without all the answers If anything were to pull me back in, it would be this element of the story. It's a well paced, well developed mystery, but it's done at the cost of other story elements.

This novel is really about the cost of growing up too quickly. The ages of these characters mean that they are not prepared for the reality of what they enter into when they become emancipated. It's a stark wake up call, and one that each of the characters struggle with in various ways. We see the aftermath of their choices, and this is another plot point that is done rather well. It's something that I wished had been focused on more along with tightening up the characterization.

A novel that didn't quite reach my expectations. There are elements that I enjoyed but the execution was lacking something to turn the story into something much deeper. A lack of connection with the characters distracted from the mystery which lead to an overall disconnect with the story. Some will enjoy this story more than I did, perhaps those looking for a more plot driven story.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday ...... Until Friday Night

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 Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…
I love the TV series Friday Night Lights. LOVE. A ridiculous amount of love. I was very excited to hear about this book which seems to be Friday Night Lights in book format. I hope it is. I want a book that will bring out the same feelings as the TV show did. It's one of my top must gets at BEA and I am looking forward to reading it immediately.

Expected release date - August 25, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Kissing In America by Margo Rabb

Kissing In America by Margo Rabb
Release Date - May 26, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 400 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls “gorgeous, funny, and joyous,” readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all of its forms.
The title Kissing In America may immediately think of romance. This is a story about love, but not necessarily the romantic kind. A story that will surprise you at every turn, and one that makes you so appreciative for all the female role models in your life.

Eva's immediate infatuation with Will may seem sudden. She's willing to trek across America to see him again after some sweet words and kisses. As a teenager every connection feels vital. Every crush feels much more deeper than it really is. Add to her age the fact that she is grieving and this makes more sense. She's incapable of reconnecting with her father, but she can do something about Will. The romance element is startlingly realistic. This isn't some magical romance, and in the end that is not even what the story is about. It's just the surface.

The road trip itself is also quite realistic. There is no fancy flying and hotels for two teenage girls. It's buses, family and family friends all the way. This adds an element to it that made the entire story feel more authentic. Too often we get the 'wish fulfilment' side to these types of stories, and while those can be incredibly fun, a more realistic take was refreshing.

Annie is the type of best friend you can only hope for. She's supportive, forgiving and caring. She's there for Eva whenever Eva needs her. Their friendship is a highlight of the novel as so much of the story revolves around them and their trip across America. Even through troubled times you never doubt that they would be there for each other and that is the heart of any friendship.

The travel element will ignite a desire to take a road trip of your own. The descriptions of the various places they visit bring them to life in a way that feels tangible. Plenty of research into this type of trip was done, and it pays off in the execution. The road trip is vital to the story, and Margo Rabb pulls it together effortlessly.

As much as this is a novel about love, it's also a novel about grief. We do not stop loving someone after their death, and that is something Eva has to struggle with. The ache of missing her father is still there through everything. The ways in which people grieve are examined, and how different they can be. Eva and her mother mourn their loss in different ways and neither takes into account that the other might be grieving differently. It's a poignant look at coming to terms with loss, even if it means learning to live with the ache that resides inside of you.

A story of love in all it's forms. A love of a mother and child. The love between two best friends. The love that exists in sisterhood. This is a love story to women, and their bonds. A novel that shows love in all it's forms as valid, important and worth striving for. A road trip filled with friendship, supportive women, and finding yourself. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dime by E.R. Frank

Dime by E.R. Frank
Release Date - May 26, 2015
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The realities of teen prostitution are revealed in this eye-opening, heartbreaking story from the author of America, which Booklist called "a piercing, unforgettable novel" and Kirkus Reviews deemed "a work of sublime humanity."

As a teen girl in Newark, New Jersey, lost in the foster care system, Dime just wants someone to care about her, to love her. A family. And that is exactly what she gets-a daddy and two "wifeys." So what if she has to go out and earn some coins to keep her place? It seems a fair enough exchange for love.

Dime never meant to become a prostitute. It happened so gradually, she pretty much didn't realize it was happening until it was too late.

But when a new "wifey" joins the family and Dime finds out that Daddy doesn't love her the way she thought he did, will Dime have the strength to leave? And will Daddy let her? 
Sex trafficking, prostitution, and the worth of a girl are at the heart of E.R. Frank's Dime. A harrowing, haunting look at the ugliness and brutality that dominate this world, that while not unexpected, is still shocking. A graphic and unsettling novel that begs you to pay attention to every single thing it has to say.

Dime's story is so impactful because it's all too easily imagined. The author paints a crystal clear picture of how someone like her could get dragged into this world. There are many stories in this novel. Dime's is one of subtle coercion and brutality disguised as love. For someone like Dime this would be appealing, until it's not. The other stories however, ones of abduction, addiction, and forced submission are just as resonate. These girls are property to be bought and sold in one way or another, and it's heartbreaking. Their stories are reality for some girls, and that point is hammered home in this novel.

Dime's narration means we only learn about the other characters through her. We see them, and their connections to each other tinged with Dime's bias and perspective. E.R. Frank creates multi-dimensional, layered characters using this format. You really feel like you get to know them, even with the limited perspective. The narration is crucial to this story because you need to connect with Dime. You need to feel the story, and that is entirely accomplished.

Part of Dime's narration is a letter she is struggling to write. She needs it to be perfect, and the mystery of who she is writing, and what the letter is for unravels through the course of the novel. This is one of the strongest aspects of the writing. She attempts various ways and narrators for her letter, and each is stunning and thought provoking. Each unveils another part of the story. Each brings to light another facet to this seedy underworld.

As dark as this story is there is hope woven throughout the novel. We see the little splashes of hope like rays of sun on a stormy day. Dime's growth comes from wanting to save another which showcases how unselfish she is. She feels unworthy of being saved herself, but is willing to do anything to save someone else. The hope that this vicious cycle may eventually be broken is there, even if it's just delicate wisps tossed into the story.

A gritty, unflinching look at the young girls who are coerced, forced, beaten, and stolen into prostitution. A novel that will make people uncomfortable because it feels a little too honest, a little too true. A unforgettable story with an equally unforgettable main character. It's a story that will stay with you, and leave a desire to help girls like Dime. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

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 very exciting titles made their way into my mailbox this week!

Those Girls by Lauren Saft (goodreads)
The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker (goodreads)

A huge thank you to Hachette Canada for these! Cannot wait to read and review both of them.

What books made their way into your mailbox this week?

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

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.


Cover of Upside Down Magic by Mylnowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins (goodreads)

It is not often that I feature middle grade covers in this post. This one however is too cute to pass up.

I immediately wanted my cat to have wings after seeing this. How cute is that?! Who wouldn't want a kitten/dragon hybrid? Everyone would, obviously. This is one book that I have to get my nieces because they'll love the cover.


Me Before You movie release date

They announced the release date for the Me Before You movie. June 3, 2016 is when it'll hit North American theatres and I am SO excited. I am very much looking forward to being a crying mess in the theatre in June (as funny as that sounds). The cast is perfect, and the behind the scenes photos I've seen are promising.


Book Expo America

BEA WEEK IS HERE! I will be arriving into NYC on Tuesday and am looking forward to so much. If you missed my post detailing what I am most looking foward to/how the blog is going to work while I am gone (basically little to no interruption) be sure to check it out.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
Release Date - May 26, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 448 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
From the author of The Beginning of Everything: two teens with a deadly disease fall in love on the brink of a cure.

At seventeen, overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where it's easier to fail breakfast than it is to flunk French.

There, Lane encounters a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal internet, how to sneak into town, and how to disable the med sensors they must wear at all times.

But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House. And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down. Told in alternating points of view, Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare miracle of second chances.
The thought of how a life altering illness would impact not just myself, but my family was something I had never deeply considered. I am blessed that it's not something I've had to face or live through. This novel makes you ponder that question. Extraordinary Means is a deeply thought provoking, bittersweet story about love, life, and what we want to leave behind. Robyn Schneider once again grabs your heart with her characters and proves she's an up and coming voice in contemporary fiction.

Fans of Robyn Schneider's previous novel will want to pick this one up immediately. All of the elements you loved about it are evident here. The heart, and humour she displayed in her debut novel is more than evident in this one. Her strength is writing characters, and she's created some memorable ones here. The group of friends Lane makes in Latham House are so vivid, some multi-dimensional that they effortlessly pull you into their world. A world of sadness, illness, but also fun, friendship and laughter. Caring about all of these characters is easy, and having you care about all of them equally is no easy task to accomplish. Robyn accomplishes that easily.

The notion of having this ever present ticking clock is what creates the tension in the story. Death is a force, something that lingers just enough to remind you of it's presence. There is a tinge of bittersweetness that encompasses the entire novel because it's always on your mind that any of these characters could die. It makes every moment they share, every single second they have of happiness, shine all the more brightly.

The medical component of this story is supremely well done. The research the author did, and the fact that this uses one of her University degrees, shows in every single aspect of the illness. The treatment the patients undergo, the reality of the illness, and the consequences. Once known as consumption, there was a tragic beauty surrounding the illness, and Robyn strips that away to the underlying truth. Also pitch perfect were the reactions of those outside Latham House. The cruel way in which they are treated and the fear and panic misunderstandings can cause.

The crucial element of this story however is hope. The novel could be melodramatic and take itself too seriously, but instead the author has interlaced everything with hope. It's the brightness that the reader holds on to, even the darkest parts of this story. The fact that hope is still there, even in the face of this illness, is what gives this story it's heart, and it's characters life. Their hope allows the humour of the novel to not be overshadowed by the rest and the novel is all the better for it.

This is a novel about truly living rather than just existing and the various ways we hide. It's takes a 'what if' scenario and tells a very emotion heavy story about life, death, and that ultimately it's what we do with the time in between that matters. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Guyliner Cover Reveal and Excerpt

Today I get help reveal the cover for j. leigh bailey's novel Guyliner! Not only is the cover being unveiled, but there is a excerpt from the novel.

First, the official synopsis of the book...
Title: Guyliner
Author: j. leigh bailey
Release Date: November 10th, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Seventeen year old Conner works his butt off to maintain the Golden Boy persona he’s created. He has the grades, the extracurriculars, the athletics, the perfect girlfriend, and a part-time job at his dad’s shop. He does everything that’s expected of him and plans every detail to ensure he gets the college scholarships that will be his ticket out of the podunk town where he lives. The last thing he needs is an unexpected attraction to Graham, an eyeliner-wearing soccer phenom from St. Louis, who makes him question his choices, his dreams, and his sexuality. Sure, he’d noticed good-looking boys before—that doesn't have to mean anything, right?—after all, he’s got a girlfriend. There’s no room on the agenda for a relationship with Graham. But the harder he fights his feelings for Graham the clearer it becomes that attraction doesn't always follow the rules.

And when family pressures, bad luck, and rumors threaten to derail his carefully laid plans Connor must face the hardest question of all – does he even want the future he’s fighting so hard to create?
Now to reveal the cover. I like that it's sort of different from what I was expecting and fits the story at the same time.

You can pre-order your copy from the following retails

Here is the excerpt which, I believe, features the first meeting between Connor and Graham.
Connor rushed into the locker room already unzipping his duffle bag. The Student Council meeting had run behind schedule, making him late for practice. Coach Petrewski didn’t mind his athletes being involved in other activities, but he did expect that if it came to a scheduling conflict, baseball would take precedence. Connor whipped around a bay of lockers and collided with someone. As they fell to the floor in a tangle of arms and legs, Connor twisted his body so he hit the floor first. A sharp elbow knocked into his cheek and he hit his head against the tiled floor.

“Ow! Man, I’m sorry. Are you okay?” He shook his head to clear his vision and he got a look at the person he’d run into. Ice blue eyes rimmed with thick black eyeliner stared down at him.

“Crap!” Connor tried to jerk into a sitting position but Graham’s lanky body draped awkwardly over his. He stopped moving and stared at the other boy. Every cell in his body vibrated. It was like something out of a chick flick. Time stood still and he expected music to swell at any minute, a violin concerto to signify that that this was a Moment. A capital M Moment.

He swallowed hard and tried to moisten his dry mouth.

Graham didn’t speak, apparently caught in the same spell.

He didn’t know how long they lay there, just looking at each other, neither moving. It could have been seconds, minutes or days. What he did know was that, no matter how terrified the thought made him, Connor didn’t want the moment to end.
You can find out more about the author by visiting their Twitter, Facebook or website
j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBTQ Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.
Let me know what you think of the cover in the comments! Be sure to keep an eye out for Guyliner to pop up on Goodreads soon, too!

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dohnielle Clayton

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dohnielle Clayton
Release Date - May 26, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 448 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette's desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.
A spotlight is shined on the darker side of ballet in this story of dancers who will do anything necessary to climb their way to the top. Heavy on drama, and jealousy, it is the literary equivalent of a CW television show. Ballet has never been so dangerous, or so bewitching.

Novels written by co-authors tend to go one of two ways. The writing either meshes seamlessly together and feels as cohesive as if one person wrote all of the novel or it's overly obvious that multiple writers worked together. This novel is the former. It feels like one author's voice and writing style. The writing styles blend together. This narration lends itself to co-writers as the different narrators have such powerful personalities that read very differently from one another. The end result is a tight woven narration that works for this particular novel.

Perfection. Paranoia. Hunger. Each of these becomes a suffocating, oppressing force that haunts the dancers. The strive for perfection and how impossible it is to achieve is present on every page. The lengths the girls will go to in order to achieve it, and the desperation that leads them to do commit unspeakable acts. All of them are hungry, both metaphorically and literally. The stress to achieve the perfect ballerina body, while staying within weight, and the constant drive to be better is a consuming thing. With this, each of these girls are touched in some way by paranoia. It's easy to see the Black Swan comparisons as the pressure cracks each of these girls in some way. Their bodies, minds, and spirits are broken, and they become their own worst enemies in a sense, as well as being enemies to each other. This school is built on competition as as a result the friendships built are 'frenemies' at best. It doesn't create a warm, nurturing environment and these characters are a product of that.

The narration is cut into three different characters. Bette, the legacy who everyone thinks is guaranteed to land the lead roles. Gigi, the newcomer who loves dancing more than anything. June, the girl who will do anything to prove to her mother that she was born to dance. These girls all have distinct personalities and voices. The cast of characters is large and it does take a bit to get everyone straight, but one you fall into the story, it becomes easier to differentiate between everyone. There is a diverse cast in many ways, and the issues of racism within the ballet world are adeptly handled through characterization. While the focus is on plot over character development, the characters themselves are intriguing. Each of them has flaws that make lending sympathy easier, even as they do horrible things in the name of advancing in the ranks.

There is plenty of romance in this novel. As sensual as ballet itself with plenty of sexy scenes filled with touches and looks. As much as I wanted to like this element of the story, it was the one aspect that was lacking. The romances mostly felt rushed, and too intense immediately. It could have benefited from some more 'one on one' practice/rehearsal scenes to allow the connection to be built. The male dancers are as ruthless and cut throat as the female ones, and that doesn't lend itself to rooting for the romances. Blackmail, cheating, and  hidden agendas are the name of the game in these 'relationships' and while it creates some great drama, those looking for more of a romantic storyline may be disappointed.

A tense, addictive read that will appeal to fans of Sarah Shepherd. These prima ballerinas mean girl with the best of them, and it's darkly delicious. It's a read that will leave you breathlessly turning the pages, and wishing you had the sequel to continue this tale of betrayal, paranoia, and what happens when the pressure to be the best reaches a boiling point. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Book Expo America 2015

If you're involved in the bookish community in any manner you've most likely heard of Book Expo America. It starts NEXT WEEK and there is plenty of excitement on Twitter and on book blogs everywhere.

I will be at BEA next week, and since I want to meet as many lovely bloggers as I can while in New York City, I am going to share a few places where you'll find me, my top wishlist books, and details of the blog while I am away.

Top 5 BEA Books On My Wishlist

1 Truly Madly Famously by Rebecca Serle
2 Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
3 After You by Jojo Moyes (this is pure wishlist fantasy as I am unsure if it's there).
4 Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson
5 Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

I have also heard that there will be samplers of Winter or Heartless from Marissa Meyer. This is pure rumour at this point, but if there is anything relating to EITHER of those books I am there. Bloomsbury is also going to have some cute buttons for Sarah J Maas' Queen of Shadows which I will be all over. Love Sarah and that series.

Places To Find Me (Outside BEA)

- Shake Shack

I tried Shake Shack two years ago while in NYC for BEA that year. Totally addicted. I basically crave it until I get my next fix as we do not have one here in Canada.

- Macaron Cafe

This place has delicious macarons in lots of flavours and is reasonably priced. I tried them last year and I plan on bringing some back with me this year to share with my sister and her family.

- Teen Author Carnival

I'll be stopping by Teen Author Carnival this year! I missed out last year due to other events but this year I am very much looking forward to going again. Rebecca Serle, whom I adore, has been added to the author list so I am basically going to fangirl over her at the signing!

Blog Schedule For Next Week

Monday May 25 - Review of Dime by E.R. Frank
Tuesday May 26 - Review of Kissing In America by Margo Rabb
Wednesday May 27 - Waiting on Wednesday post
Thursday May 28 - Review of Emancipated by E.G. Reyes
Friday May 29 - Review of The Cage by Megan Shepherd

There will be no posts on Saturday or Sunday and the blog will resume regular posting on Monday June 1.

Anyone else going to BEA? Let me know in the comments. What one book do you wish you could snag from Book Expo?

Hope to see many of you there!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
Release Date - May 26, 2015
Publisher Website - HarlequinTeen
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 496 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home. 
A sheltered girl. A bad boy. Add some sparks and it's a classic girl meets boy story. Katie McGarry has a tried and true recipe and her newest series proves that when something is working, you don't fix it. Opposites attract, hearts race, and Katie McGarry showcases why she is such a fan favourite among contemporary lovers.

Swoon worthy romance is a given in any novel written by Katie McGarry and this one is no exception. The relationship that grows between Oz and Emily feels organic and unhurried. It's definitely not a love at first sight scenario as both Oz and Emily have to overcome their initial reactions to each other before anything other than sexual attraction is sparked. Similar to a real relationship, this is not a perfect romance that is without issues, but it is one that both people feel is worth fighting for. There is a strong element of lust, and plenty of making out, but there is something natural about their interactions. They had entirely different upbringings even though they were both raised surrounded by love. Love and family are the heart of this story and it's woven into every interaction and every word of this story.

The secondary characters are the shining stars of this novel. Similar to Katie McGarry's other series, there will be companion novels told from other points of view. Creating and endearing these characters to readers seems to come naturally to Katie. They sometimes overtake the spotlight from the main characters themselves and that is what happened here. Razor, Violet, Chevy, in particular, all come with complicated back stories itching to be told. The brief teases shown of them in Nowhere But Here will more than ignite a hunger for their stories.

A rules and rigidity of motorcycle gangs are foreign to me. They are also foreign to Emily. She's not part of this world, and everything about it is strange, and alarming to her. I had a harder time connecting to the why behind such devotion as it's just not part of my world. Katie McGarry manages to believably link it to the idea of a family, and that bridges the gap enough that you can becomes submersed into this world. The expansion of the world itself, and the Reign of Terror group will be something I look forward to in further companion novels as I felt this was the largest missing piece of the story. The vital connection the world the characters inhabit just wasn't there for me the way I had hoped.

The motor cycle gang is also on the tamer side, at least when it comes to the Reign of Terror. The danger that is part of this world is quickly evident however, leading to a few intense scenes. The danger is pulse pounding and the very real possibility of this series having deaths is never far from the reader's mind.

Fans of her previous novels will undoubtedly devour this new series, as there is plenty for them to love within these pages.  A novel that builds it's foundation on family, love, and the secrets we keep in the name of both, it's a solid start to a new series.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Release Date - June 2, 2015
Publisher Website - Penguin Canada/Bloomsbury
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 256 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Mysteries can surprise us offering up twists and turns that leave us breathless. They can also unravel in quiet ways leaving us spellbound by the journey. The Devil You Know is the latter kind. A highly predictable, well written, plausible mystery that is hiding a lot under it's sexy, heart racing surface.

A newbie to the novels of Trish Doller, I was immediately pulled into the story because of her writing. There is an addictive quality to it. Her tone immediately captures the sleepy, humid heat of a summer in Florida. The narration has an almost gentle, lethargic feel that compliments the setting and storyline impeccably. The various elements of the story - setting, characters, plot, pacing - all combine and work effortlessly together to create a chilling, but quietly so, atmosphere.

The chemistry between the characters in this novel is scorching. The connection between them is instantaneous but it is not presented as love at first sight. It's lust wrapped in a healthy dose of teenage hormones. Arcadia knows she feels something and follows what her instincts are telling her as she navigates this new romance. The element of danger keeps the reader on their toes never knowing if they can quite trust either cousin which only increases the tension felt during the novel.

There is a subtext here about the choices people make and the way we judge them for it. Particularly women and the choices they make when it comes to sex and their sexuality. Plenty will judge Arcadia for making the decisions she does. They are rash, dangerous, and ill advised decisions. They are mistakes. She's also a teenager. I made plenty of unwise decisions finding my way as a teenager, and wouldn't want them to define me. A teenager wanting to spend time with charming, good-looking young men is not unfathomable. Add in that she's feeling a little rebellious and craving adventure and the decisions Arcadia make fit her character. The outcome of those decisions hold huge consequences for those involved, while still reinforcing Arcadia's right to make those decisions. It hammers home the way we blame characters, female ones especially, for the mistakes they make. People are not perfect, and I don't expect the characters I read about to be either.

There is a very positive message regarding sex, virginity and worth. A beautifully done scene where Arcadia recalls her mother telling her that her virginity didn't signify her goodness, and that she didn't lose value if she decided to have sex. That her worth as a person wasn't defined by whether she had been sexually active or not. In a society where double standards still exists this type of healthy message is incredibly important. The notion that losing your virginity is more significant for a female than a male is still widely perpetuated.Women are often harshly judged for behaviour that is excused in men. This entire element was well written and woven into the novel seamlessly. It creates this undercurrent that feels like the true heart of the story, even if the mystery appears like it is.

A mystery that is entirely readable, and perfect for those lazy days of summer that await us. While the mystery is predictable, the journey is more than enthralling enough to keep your interest, and like the swamps that haunt these pages, there is more going on underneath that what appears at first glance.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

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 slower week in my mailbox which is a good thing with BEA just around the corner. I did get on physical review book in the mail.

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E Pearson (goodreads)

A huge thank you to Raincoast Books for this!

I also have some ebooks/egalleys that made their way onto my Kobo this week...

It's Just A Jump To The Left by Libba Bray (goodreads)
Joyride by Anna Banks (goodreads)

I purchased the Libba Bray book because it had me at friendship and Rocky Horror Picture Show. A huge thank to Raincoast for the chance to review Joyride. I've heard excellent things!

What books made their way into your mailbox this week?

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

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.


Wicked City trailer 

I've talked about this before, quite a few times. It used to be called LA Crime, but the title changed when it was announced that it got a series pick up! The trailer though....goosebumps. I basically want to watch the pilot immediately.

Ed Westwick is CHILLING in this. It has a very HBO feel to it. The trailer is slick, and put together amazingly well. The use of the music is pitch perfect. You know immediately that this is set in the 80's just from the music, but the same attention to details is found in the clothes and setting. Very excited for this one, but sad that we have to wait until mid-season for it to air.

The Family trailer

This premise of this story - missing boy presumed dead comes back years later - would be enough for a compelling TV show. Add to that other family secrets, doubts, and one of my faves from Friday Night Lights in the cast and I am SOLD.

The fact that I have so many questions immediately (Where was the kid this whole time? What happened to him? How is the family going to cope?) means that I'll be invested in answers and I am sure it's going to hook me immediately.


Book Expo America

Everything is BEA for the next week or so. I have plenty to do between now and when I leave! There is so much I am looking forward to that week and I cannot wait to share it all via recap when I get back.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Vanished by E.E. Cooper

Vanished by E.E. Cooper
Release Date - May 12, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 320 pages
My Rating - 2.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Gone Girl meets Pretty Little Liars in this fast-paced psychological thriller full of delicious twists and turns.

Friendship. Obsession. Deception. Love.

Kalah knows better than to fall for Beth Taylor . . . but that doesn't stop her from falling hard and falling fast, heart first into a sea of complications.

Then Beth vanishes. She skips town on her eighteenth birthday, leaving behind a flurry of rumors and a string of broken hearts. Not even Beth's best friend, Britney, knows where she went. Beth didn't even tell Kalah good-bye.

One of the rumors links Beth to Britney's boyfriend, and Kalah doesn't want to believe the betrayal. But Brit clearly believes it--and before Kalah can sort out the truth, Britney is dead.

When Beth finally reaches out to Kalah in the wake of Brit's suicide, Kalah wants to trust what Beth tells her. But she's swiftly realizing that nothing here is as it seems. Kalah's caught in the middle of a deadly psychological game, and only she can untangle the deceptions and lies to reveal the unthinkable truth. 
Unreliable narrators, when used, effectively can craft a story into something extraordinary. They mesmerise the reader and keep them guessing. Vanished has, at it's heart, an unreliable narrator who may not be putting the wrong pieces together, even if those around her don't trust what she's seeing. As interesting as this story's main character is, it was the other elements that I found not as compelling.

Kalah is struggling with OCD, and anxiety. She's someone who latches on to the worst possible outcome of a situation and struggles with finding her way out of this cycle. She panics, and this causes those around her to not take her concerns at face value. They think it's her illness when she notices strange things. This novel paints those around her as concerned, rather than dismissive. They want to help, and recognize what she is going through. Kalah's family in particular is involved and present. This sensitive, and healthy look at anxiety and mental illnesses and coping mechanisms is a shining element of the story.

Teen mysteries often have an element of unbelievably to them. Their structure lends themselves to this easily and is often overlooked because of the genre. Teens spearheading their own investigations and having access to things they shouldn't are often just glossed over. This novel has a teen who sleuths in a very plausible manner. Everything she does to suss out the truth is something she would really be able to do without any training. She's logical and uses logical means to go about proving her intuition correct. This added a layer of realism to the story that was needed in order to keep it grounded.

Showing versus telling is a writing technique that requires delicate balance. I prefer to be shown something rather than being told in novels. This novel has a lot of telling happening within the story. We're told that Beth and Britney had a frenemies style relationship, but we never experience it. We're told that characters had fallen in love, without getting to see it for ourselves. The characters themselves were never given the chance to develop. With the names Beth and Britney being similar, and the characters themselves feeling interchangeable, it became a struggle to keep them separated, particularly in flashbacks. There wasn't anything defining about either of them that brought them to life within the pages. Other than the main character the background stories, motivations and quirks that define the characters were largely lost in favour of a more plot driven storyline.

The mystery itself is predictable, but well crafted. This is a series so not everything is fully wrapped up at the end of this novel, and there are certainly more twists and turns to come, but the ones found within these pages are easily guessed. The journey to these answers, however, is entertaining enough that you'll breeze through this quick read.

Fans of Sarah Shepherd's novels will find their next fix here as comparisons to Pretty Little Liars are fairly accurate. A fun, if predictable, mystery that sets the framework for future sequels. A novel whose focus is plot, rather than characterization, so those looking for that style of read will enjoy this quick paced mystery all the more.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
Release Date - May 12, 2015
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 352 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancĂ©, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?
Perfection. Perception. Reality. Luckiest Girl Alive is a violent, dark look at a women who strives to appear perfect to everyone else, even while the reality is anything but perfect. The mystery as to the why of Ani's behaviour, and what happened on that fateful day, drives this story with it's rapid pace and leaves you reeling with each truth that is revealed.

One of this book's strengths is the ability it has to make you keep reading. The format used to weave the story, particularly with divulging information in piecemeal chunks, creates a rabid like frenzy to know what is going to happen next. You're compelled to find out the truth behind Ani's story, every last brutal truth. Jessica Knoll uses this tool as part of the pacing, and it's certainly effective. The story is a clipped, fast read that is heightened by a few sharp twists in the story that feel like explosions. There are a few times that the story diverges off the path I had predicted it would take, and this unpredictability kept the tension haunting these page taunt and ready to snap.

Ani is an enigma. She pretends and fakes her way through life. She wants desperately to be seen as the woman who has it all. The perfect body, the perfect job, the perfect husband, and the perfect home in New York City. There is almost a desperation around her. A notion that she needs to achieve perfection beyond anything. The pressure women are under to be perfect is reflected in Ani so vividly. Women are expected to excel in work life, home life, and have a social life and all while looking stunning. This pressure is both internally and externally pressed upon Ani, and it will ring true to so many of the women reading. This paints a darker picture behind those desires and how the pressure can eventually make you crack.

This book has more than it's fair share moral grey area. Ani, in particular, is morally complex. I found myself fascinated by her, and as the story progressed that fascination never lessened. As each truth was revealed, and another layer of Ani brought to light, my opinion of her changed. My emotions ran the full spectrum from sympathy, repulsion, admiration, understanding and everything in between. She does and thinks so many things that women are told they shouldn't feel or think. As a result of this, I anticipate strong reactions to her character. Female characters like Ani, ones who are flawed, damaged, perhaps even a little dangerous, are always a breath of fresh air, and Jessica Knoll creates one intense, if destructive, heroine. There is a prickly edge to her that will have many deeming her unlikeable. I hold the belief that you do not need to like a character to enjoy a book. A character does not have to make your choices for you to be enthralled, and Ani, like Amy Dunne before her, is a stunning example of that.

This is one of those books you'll want to discuss and dissect over wine with girlfriends, and will sure to be on a whole slew of summer must read lists. There will be plenty of conversation to be had upon finishing this novel. It's one that is going to cause strong feelings within people and much debate. It packs a punch, and like it's heroine, is unapologetic about doing so. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday ................. Truly Madly Famously

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 Truly, Madly, Famously by Rebecca Serle

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In this romantic sequel to Famous in Love, new Hollywood "It Girl" Paige must navigate love with her co-stars, both on and off screen and all in the public eye.

Lights, camera, love!

After being plucked from obscurity, Hollywood's newest starlet, Paige Townsen, has a hit film to her name and Rainer Devon on her arm. But being half of the world's most famous couple comes with a price, and soon Paige finds herself dodging photographers; hiding her feelings for her other costar, Jordan Wilder; and navigating tabloid scandals that threaten to tear her and Rainer apart-and end her career as quickly as it began.

Rebecca Serle's sequel to Famous in Love is filled with the kind of celebrity drama and swoon-worthy romance fit for the silver screen.
I beyond loved the first book in this series. It hit that sweet spot where it not only had everything I wanted it to, but surpassed all my expectations. I've basically been pining away for the sequel ever since I finished the first one and this synopsis has me even more excited to devour the next part of Paige's story.

Expected release date - October 13, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

TV Talk with Kelly - Bates Motel - Season 3, episodes 9 and 10

You may recall that Kelly from Kellyvision and I 'recapped' Bates Motel season two on my blog. We loved doing it so much we are going to do it again for season three. You can expect these to be up on Fridays for the most part (unless we're delayed).

This isn't really a recap, more just our reactions as we watch the show. There is totally going to be SPOILERS so maybe don't read until you've watched the episode. If you haven't watched it our notes may not make a whole lot of sense anyway but still SPOILERS!

My notes are marked by this colour and Kelly's have her initials by them and are in this colour

We have both the 9th episode, and the season finale (episode 10) notes here!

Bates Motel - Season 3 - Episode 9 - Crazy

‘My life has been a living hell’ So it’s all about Bradley (of course).

Okay, no matter what, I wouldn't be alone with Norman, not the way he's acting.

God, Bradley. What should Norman have done? I had forgotten just how much I hate her. Can she die with Caleb, please?

What could he have done to stop her from going? Why did you and Dylan let me do it she asks….maybe because you’re capable of making your own decisions Bradley.

"How's the pool coming?" Everyone here is the worst.

Everyone is the worst. Taunting her about the pool is not cool douchebag. Norma is having to cover again for Norman. Sigh. Romero better not touch the flash drive. I hope he doesn’t turn on her in that way. ‘Don’t slip and fall into your pool’ THAT IS A THREAT. I hate this guy.

I refuse to believe she's ruined it with Romero.

It's not that I like the neighbor, but I hate Caleb so much. So. Much.

‘Thank god they didn’t kill Dylan’. Preach neighbour guy. Preach. Also, yes. I don’t like neighbour guy but I HATE Caleb. GO AWAY ALREADY.

Emma and Dylan are adorable. "I can't tell; I have tubes in my nose."

The shower talk. Her teasing. SO FREAKING CUTE! I don’t blame her one bit though.

"Just don't let my mother see you." Please let that be foreshadowing.

Oh, please be foreshadowing. I need Norma to catch her. Norma however is a little busy right now.

I just want Romero and Norma to be cute together.

‘You want to act like a third grade girl right now’ made me laugh. So much. Awww, I do not like. DO NOT LIKE. I want cute, teasing Romero and Norma. Not this.

Um, so Bradley wants Norman to tell her family she’s back because he seems ‘innocent’ *dies from laughing* Okay, Bradley. Sure.

Go away, Caleb.

Once again Caleb is making trouble for Dylan. Dylan is just going to let it slide though. UGH. He’s running away to hide. Dylan’s fear that he is going to take off without saying anything is heartbreaking. :(

She has a point, Norman. It's weird, your taxidermy.

His work is important, apparently. Haha. Oh, Norman. Norma really does have a point that it looks weird and is nothing something they need added to everything else right now.

This scene between them is creeping me out.

The way he says mother now...

This entire scene is chilling and I….. no words. Her face. She’s legit scared OF him here. Not FOR him. Freddie Highmore is KILLING it this season. *slow claps*

Norma is past caring. She so fixed on Norman not getting involved with the police, and people not looking too closely she doesn’t have time for anything else, including this issue with Norman.

Love how Norma told him to stay in the house, and the next scene we see him in a car with Bradley. Haha. Norman doesn’t care either.

I kind of feel for Bradley. How long has she been gone?

What is the time frame here, because exactly how quickly did the mom get a new man? It must be like a year or so at least, right? Her room isn’t even her room anymore. It’s an exercise room. Not that much time has past right? That seem cold.

Romero is having a really bad time of it right now.  Getting shot. This investigator.

Yay! I hope this works and she gets the operation!

I so hope this works and that Emma and Dylan have long happy lives far away from this insane town. They both deserve it.

THEY ARE SO ADORABLE!! Loving that they are able to talk to each other about important things. If they don’t get a happy ending…..

Oh wow! I like that he knows he's crazy. But so sad, too.

This episode made me feel bad for Bradley. Honestly. Which I thought was impossible.

I do like that he is that self aware. He knows there is something wrong with himself, BUT I also think he doesn’t even care.

I love Norma and Alex.

‘I hate you’ ‘I hate you too, so what?’ I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM. They are the cutest. I am not sure who is cuter - them or Emma/Dylan.

Norma, this might not even be about you. Pretty sure Romero did it for his own reasons.

Love that Romero knows everything without her telling him. He knows Noman killed his father. This is messy and I love that he lets her fall apart and just takes it. He knows it is what she needs right now.

Um, Norma, you can't just fill in the pool.

Especially not with a shovel. WOW. Her meltdowns are pretty epic though. She does what you would want to do but do not because you’ll look insane.

Good. Go, Caleb.

He’s not going to even say goodbye to Dylan? *RAGE* This will break Dylan’s heart. You are an even bigger ass than I thought.

I didn’t think Caleb realized that Norman thought he was Norma.

I hope Caleb really is gone this time. He can stay away for the next 2 seasons.

Poor Norma. She's losing it.

Oh, Bradley. You make life on the run sound so fun. Why would Norman not jump at this?

Is this a room at the Bates Motel? I hope not. She’s totally going to be caught if they are.

Why is she pushing him on what is wrong with him? It’s going to not end well.

Norman is going to have one of his blackouts because they tend to happen when he’s having

Ugh, I hate you, Bradley.


See I knew ‘Mother’ would show up. I predict bad things for Bradley.

Oh, it’s totally Bates Motel. Not smart.

‘Mother’ sure is up to speed on all the going ons. Obviously Norman is not as clueless as I’ve thought. Also, this is the most intense/vivid blackout. He’s interacting with her.

Season finale next! I am both excited and very sad that it’s ending.

Bates Motel - Season 3 - Episode 10 - Unconcious


Ouch. Dylan is finding out that Caleb is leaving town. Yup. People can be disappointing. Especially Caleb.

So Norma wants to go look into a place for Norman. What? What happens to make it not happen.

Do not even tell me that he doesn’t leave. If the car is broken or something I will be mad.

Emma is getting lungs! OMG! This is happy making news. Oh, Emma. It’s amazing what a lot of money can do.

KH: I know! Yay, Emma!

Did Bradley just leave without telling Norman? That might be the best thing for him. And her honestly.

KH: did she leave or did she meet Mother?

I love how the lady is like “And he’s seen what doctor? What has he been diagnosed with?”. She expects that he’s been seen already (which OBVIOUSLY HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN!!).

KH: I love how she was like, most of the time, we have a liberal visitation policy. Subtext: not for you, Norma.

I bet this is why he doesn’t get help. Which is all the more heartbreaking because he could have gotten help.

The guy who plays Romero is a little saucy -

Good for you Dylan. Good for you. You deserve better.

Do not even tell me that Emma is not going to go through with the transplant. She doesn’t seem excited. I can see why she’d be scared though.

Whoa, rage issues there Bradley. I get why you’re pissed though.

KH: Emma, you will die either way.

Emma is scared that the transplant is not going to work. I get it, totally. She needs to do it though because it could give her a good chance. I get her need for control though.

The cuteness of her and Dylan right now. AND THE KISSING!!!!

KH: RIGHT?! I love them. Oh, they're giddy. :)

‘What were we talking about?’ Um...who cares. Haha.

This relationship is so different from her and Norman. In every way.

Is Norma about to bring up the “so I want to commit you to a facility’ thing? Because that is AWKWARD.

‘I mean real doctors’. Um, he was a real doctor.

KH: sort of like James. But 24/7. And you don't sleep with them.

Norman’s like “Not hearing it. Don’t care”

KH: did you see that teaser?! Next year, A&E is doing a show called Damien BASED ON THE OMEN! YES.

I did not see that teaser (I was getting wine), but that is cool.

KH: I can't even. Best news ever.

KH: these closeups of pensive Romero are making me nervous.

Romero better not die. That is not allowed. AT ALL!

KH: cosigned. God, these two. :-/

She seems so broken.

KH: there's nothing she can do and that's the worst.

KH: I have such a bad feeling.

He did that for Norma. Right?

KH: Yeah, I think so. Bob is not kind but now he owes Alex.

I don’t like this. DO NOT KILL ROMERO.

KH: There's a motel you can stay at. There's a pool but no fence. Or water.

KH: oh, Bob knows exactly why this happened.

I did not see Romero shooting Bob. Um…. Romero might go to jail.

KH: He can probably spin it. Bob was escaping, drew a gun. Nobody else is there.

Truth. He is a wanted man so that works in Romero’s favour.

‘Please stop talking like I am insane’ Oh, Norman. She would if you weren’t actually insane.

Oh…. I have a bad feeling about where this is going…… Okay, or not. Actually I am going to take a guess and that Bradley isn’t actually there. Wait. We’ve seen her without Norman so nevermind.

DO NOT GO DOWNSTAIRS DYLAN!! My heart is pounding.

kH: Oh God, Norman's escaped.

Dylan’s like “Oh, about that. Yeah, Bradley totally not dead”

Dylan’s ‘It’s also true that he sees shit that’s not really there’ I am laughing now. This show.

KH: how crazy will the cliffhanger be, do you think?

I am guessing that Bradley is dead by the end of the episode. That is all I am willing to guess.

KH: probably. Or at least presumably dead.

‘Mother’ is there. This can not end well for Bradley. At all.

KH: Bradley is so confused. WHAT THE HELL, NORMAN.

Um. I would be more than confused. I would be screaming and running the hell away because WHAT THE HELL?!


KH: whoa. That was...whoa. But at least it was Bradley. Sorry not sorry.

We have zero doubt that it was Norman too. We know for sure what happened. So will Dylan and Norma. This has to change everything.

Oh that is VERY VERY Psycho right there with the car! Love.

KH: ooh, how he disposed of Marion in Psycho! Well played!

Haha. we both typed that at the same time.

‘Mother’ Norma is way more ‘sexy’ (like trashy sexy) than real Norma.

KH: questionable. ;)

Him standing by himself is probably one of the creepiest shots. It just hammers home how far gone he is now. It’s done. He’s done. Nothing can be done.

KH: two seasons and 20 episodes left.

*cries* I am not ready to not have it every Monday. :(

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