Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday .... By Your Side

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 By Your Side by Kasie West

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side? 
A weekend by yourself in a library may sound like most book lovers idea of heaven but add in a swoon worthy boy and you have the makings of an incredibly cute YA novel. Kasie West's novels always leave a smile on your face and I predict this one will be no exception.

The release date of this one is kind of perfect as it'll be the perfect Valentine's date no matter if you're single or celebrating with someone special. Pair this with a cup of rich hot chocolate and it's pretty much the perfect evening.

Expected release date - February 14, 2017

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

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

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
New York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?

Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Debut author Katharine McGee has created a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall….
It starts with a fall and a scream, and ends with the devastating truth and its consequences. The Thousandth Floor reminds me of champagne - light, bubbly, and oh so good. Its the type of novel that is tailor made to be read at the end of summer. It's sudsy, filled with juicy drama, and enough secrets to make even some of the Gossip Girl characters blush. It's everything the synopsis promises, delivered in a compulsively readable package.

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 28, 2016

New To My Book Closet

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Very small Weekly Obsessions post this week as not much was announced or revealed. It is that in between time before all the fall announcements start.


Stranger Things Funko Pops

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

First up they teased Eleven (and her beloved Eggos)

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

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

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

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

#FrenzyPresents Fall 2016/Winter 2017 Blogger Preview Recap

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

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

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

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

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard (goodreads)

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

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee (goodreads)

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

As I Descended by Robin Talley (goodreads)

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

Replica by Lauren Oliver (goodreads)

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

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (goodreads)

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

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno (goodreads)

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

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (goodreads)

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

The End of Our Story by Meg Haston (goodreads)

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

Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel (goodreads)

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

Valiant by Lesley Livingston (goodreads)

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

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard (goodreads)

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

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (goodreads)

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

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst (goodreads)

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

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge  (goodreads)

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

Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch (goodreads)

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

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis (goodreads)

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

Leave Me by Gayle Forman (goodreads)

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

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst (goodreads)

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

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

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

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

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

Until next year ...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

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

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

My pick this week is A Night In With Grace Kelly by Lucy Holliday

**spoilers for previous books in the series**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The LOL finale to the series that started with A Night in With Audrey Hepburn. Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.

Fate has got it in for Libby Lomax. She realised, far too late, that her best friend Olly, is the actual Love of Her Life. Now he’s in love with the so-nice-it-hurts, Tash, and it looks like her happy ending is completely out of reach.

Things start looking up when she, quite literally, runs into the completely gorgeous Joel. Libby discovers that there is more to Joel than his six-pack, not least, the incredible fact that he honestly believes he has found his fairy tale princess in her.

And if this wasn’t enough, an unwanted guest shows up on Libby’s enchanted sofa; Grace Kelly, wearing her iconic wedding dress and convinced that Libby is figment of her imagination. But one thing that Grace doesn’t believe in is fairy tales. Grace believes that if you really want something, then you’ve got to make it happen yourself; words which give Libby hope that happy endings aren’t just for fairy tale princesses… 
I have loved the previous two books in this series and I am dying to finish Libby's story. Based on the synopsis my ship will once again not be endgame BUT even that has not dampened by excitement for this to be released.

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

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Song Rising Prologue Reveal

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

my actual expression while reading

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

not amused

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

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

It really isn't fair

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

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

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

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.


Made For Love by Alissa Nutting

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


The Lost Boys TV show

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

Stranger Things

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


HCC Frenzy Event

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

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Hunt by Megan Shepherd

The Hunt by Megan Shepherd
Release Date - May 24, 2016
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 368 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

**spoilers for The Cage**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
They’ve left the cage—but they’re not free yet.

After their failed escape attempt, Cora, Lucky, and Mali have been demoted to the lowest level of human captives and placed in a safari-themed environment called the Hunt, along with wild animals and other human outcasts. They must serve new Kindred masters—Cora as a lounge singer, Lucky as an animal wrangler, and Mali as a safari guide—and follow new rules or face dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, Nok and Rolf have been moved into an enormous dollhouse, observed around the clock by Kindred scientists interested in Nok’s pregnancy. And Leon, the only one who successfully escaped, has teamed up with villainous Mosca black-market traders.

The former inhabitants of the Cage are threatened on all fronts—and maybe worst of all, one of the Hunt’s Kindred safari guests begins to play a twisted game of cat and mouse with Cora. Separated and constantly under watch, she and the others must struggle to stay alive, never mind find a way back to each other. When Cassian secretly offers to train Cora to develop her psychic abilities—to prove the worthiness of humanity in a series of tests called the Gauntlet—she’ll have to decide fast if she dares to trust the Kindred who betrayed her, or if she can forge her own way to freedom.
Rarely does a book surprise me as much as Megan Shepherd's The Cage did. Human prisoners meant to live their life while being studied by an alien race like inhabitants in a zoo. This series sequel proved to be just as  surprising, just as dark, and  showcases exactly why this a series you should be reading.

This is the type of book that demands to be discussed. Its themes of humanity, morality, and what those mean are begging to be dissected at length. The entire premise of humans in captivity like animals is enough of a conversation piece without tossing in the other complex elements Megan has skillfully woven in. Its complexity is perhaps one of the most surprising parts of this series. It is unpredictable and that makes for captivating read.

Just when I thought Megan Shepherd could not make this series any darker than she has I am proven wrong. This sequel amps up the risks, and the horrors that the characters are faced with. The realities of what happens in this psedo-safari are just the tip of the brutal truth that awaits within these pages, and I am impressed that Megan Shepherd did not hold back in any way. She makes sure we feel as uncomfortable, as afraid, and as horrified as the characters.

Trust is not a word that belongs within these pages, and as readers we are not any more sure of who to trust than the characters are. Shaky alliances, and desperate moves are the only chance at survival all the while knowing the consequences of getting caught will be severe. It is a pulse pounding, thrilling read that easily has you invested in the outcome because of the characters.

The characters have more growth in this novel than in the previous. If the first novel was about world building and laying the foundation of the series, the second is about allowing the characters to exist within the world that has been built. We get a clearer picture of who they are and what they all stand to lose. This allows the romance to resonate a little more. There are a few couples I came to care about in this sequel. The algorithm that matched up the humans in the first book does seem to work because all of the couples seem compatible, and a few of those relationships progress in this sequel.

My only issue is the sort of love triangle that is created in the first novel. Cora's attraction to Cassian always came with a side of unease for me. He is part of the group that is holding her captive after all and I don't trust him. She is drawn to him like a moth to a flame despite her own misgivings. This novel resolves the love triangle issue in pretty much my least favourite way. I will be interested to see how the events of this novel impact the last part of this trilogy and I hope Megan has a few more surprises in store when it comes to Cora's heart.

The ending of this novel, once again, ends on a cliff hanger ensuring that the reader will be desperate to get their hands on the finale. It spins the story into a new and unexpected direction that has me really excited to see where the story goes next.

A thought provoking series that has a surprising darkness at its heart. Megan Shepherd has created a intriguing series off an even more intriguing premise. If you enjoy fast paced books with plenty of surprise you'll want to give this series a try. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday .... How To Break A Boy

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 How To Break A Boy by Laurie Devore

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Keep your enemies close, but your friends closer.

Olivia Clayton has mastered the art of tearing others down to stay on top. She and her best friend, Adrienne, rule their small southern town like all good mean girls do--through intimidation and manipulation.

After Olivia suffers a family tragedy and catches Adrienne sleeping with her boyfriend, Olivia is over it. She decides to make a change--but it's impossible to resist taking Adrienne down one last time. Up to her old tricks, Olivia convinces golden boy Whit DuRant to be her SAT tutor and her fake boyfriend. But when it starts to feel real, Whit gets caught up in Olivia and Adrienne's war.

Olivia may ruin everything she touches, but this time she won't go down without a fight--not if it means losing Whit.

And definitely not if it means losing what's left of herself. 
There is a Mean Girls vibe to this that immediately grabbed my interest. Olivia Clayton seems like a flawed, complex character and I am pretty excited to 'meet' her.

I've seen it compared to Courtney Summers and that speaks volumes of the plot and writing so consider me very intrigued and dying to get my hands on this one.

Expected release date - January 31, 2017

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Night In With Audrey Hepburn by Lucy Holliday

A Night In With Audrey Hepburn by Lucy Holliday
Release Date - May 1, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 400 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Actress Libby Lomax has retreated into the world of classic movies, where the immortal lives of her favourite screen goddesses seem to offer so much more in the romance department than her own life.

After a terrible day on set where she embarrasses herself in front of the entire cast and worst of all, it’s sexy bad-boy star, Dillon O’Hara, she plonks herself down on her battered couch to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the trillionth time.

Suddenly, Libby is astonished to find screen icon Audrey Hepburn, complete with little black dress, trademark sunglasses and vintage cigarette holder, sitting beside her and proffering advice.
Has Libby got what it takes to turn her life from a Turkey to a Blockbuster? Perhaps with a little bit of Audrey Hepburn magic, she might just pull it off…

A night in with Audrey Hepburn is the first in a series of three books following the life and loves of Libby Lomax as she blossoms from Z-lister to A-lister and all of the stages in between with a little bit of help from some very special friends.
The allure of classic Hollywood, particularly its leading ladies, is a long standing one. There is something undefinable about the glitz and glamour of that golden age. There is a magic there that is intangible. If you were to take this love for Golden Age Hollywood's leading ladies, add a large dose of humour, and a dash of whimsy you would have the recipe for Lucy Holliday's A Night In With Audrey Hepburn.

I could identify with Libby on so many levels. She's a little self depreciating, prone to embarrassing herself in public, and  really unlucky in the romance department. She was entirely endearing and winsome and that made her story all the more enjoyable to read. It is one of those times where a character almost feels like a friend, and this is because of the way Lucy Holliday has written her. She is designed to appeal to the largest number of readers, and this is a case where that formula works rather well.

There are a large number of quotable lines, particularly from Libby's sister Cass. Humour is Lucy Holliday's strong suit, in my opinion. The writing plays up the humour as Libby finds herself going from one embarrassing situation to the next. The characters are loud, and larger than life, simply because the narrative requires them to be. This is a novel filled with plot and characters that are dialed up to the maximum but that is exactly what makes it a pleasure to read. It's the perfect book to pair with cocktails and is entirely unapologetic about being exactly that kind of book. It's refreshing because what you see in this case is truly what you get.

There is plenty to swoon over within these pages, and plenty of potential couples to ship. I switched who I wanted Libby with a few times in the novel because she has some seriously swoon worthy men in her life. I immediately had a soft spot for childhood friend Olly, but sexy bad boy Dillon makes a very strong case for himself. There are adorable nicknames, some serious sexual tension, and the kind of whirlwind romance that is the stuff of rom-com legend. As this is a series,  I am fairly certain that choosing a side this early is entirely foolish. I have, however, chosen, and am entirely prepared to go down with this ship.

The hook of Audrey Hepburn pays off in more ways than one. I finished this novel eager to watch Roman Holiday and Breakfast At Tiffany's. Fans of Audrey will feel that the essence of who she was is captured while entirely remaining within the tone and scope of the rest of the story. The inclusion of this 'magical' element was the part I was most skeptical of, and it turns out that I needed not have been. It is seamlessly woven into the story in a very believable way. Those who require answers for everything may feel slightly let down. This book's charm is allowing the magic to win you over and letting yourself be overtaken by the Libby's journey; magic and all.

A fun, and quirky read that will leave you wishing you could partake in your own conversations with both Libby and Audrey. It's a love letter to not only classic Hollywood, but other books of this genre. I fell in love with Libby and her story. It has more than a touch of Hollywood magic, and I highly recommend it if you're looking for something that is pretty much a rom-com movie in book format (in all the best possible ways).

Sunday, August 14, 2016

New To My Book Closet

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

Only one book made its way into my mailbox this week. It is one that I am very excited about though!

Bad Boy by Elliot Wake (goodreads)

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for this surprise book! I have enjoyed all of Elliot Wake's previous novels and I am sure this one will be no exception.

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.


Entertainment Weekly cover for Fantastic Beats And Where To Find Them 

I am so excited to return to JK Rowling's wizarding world. I have been obsessed with everything about Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them since it was first announced.

Entertainment Weekly has put this movie on the cover of its fall movie preview issue and I love the cover!

Eddie Redmayne looks amazing as Newt Scamander and I love the little Niffler that is hiding by his suitcase! Too cute. I think this movie is going to be fun and I cannot wait to see it when it is released in novel.

Wonder movie first look

I haven't had the chance to read Wonder yet (but I intend to fix that as soon as possible). I am super curious about the movie though because Jacob Tremblay and Julie Roberts are starring in it.

People Magazine released this first look at them filming a scene and it has me excited to see a trailer and more images from the set.


This looks like it has the potential to be another great role for Jacob Tremblay and I am going to bump this book up my to be read list now to make sure I read it before a trailer or anything comes out.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Close To You by Kristen Proby

Close To You by Kristen Proby
Release Date - August 9, 2016
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 320 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

**small spoiler about side plot included below**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby comes the second novel in her sizzling Fusion series.

Camilla, “Cami,” LaRue was five years old when she first fell in love with Landon Palazzo. Everyone told her the puppy love would fade—they clearly never met Landon. When he left after graduation without a backward glance, she was heartbroken. But Cami grew up, moved on, and became part-owner of wildly popular restaurant Seduction. She has everything she could want...or so she thinks.

After spending the last 12 years as a Navy fighter pilot, Landon returns to Portland to take over the family construction business. When he catches a glimpse of little Cami LaRue, he realizes she’s not so little any more. He always had a soft spot for his little sister’s best friend, but nothing is soft now when he’s around the gorgeous restauranteur.

Landon isn’t going to pass up the chance to make the girl-next-door his. She’s never been one for romance, but he’s just the one to change her mind. Will seduction be just the name of her restaurant or will Cami let him get close enough to fulfill all her fantasies?
Friends to more is one of my favourite romance tropes. It, for me, feels the most believable. Close To You combines that trope with some sparky chemistry to create a highly enjoyable romance read that will have you reaching for a glass of wine while you speed through the pages.

This, like the first novel, reminds me of Sex and the City.  A group of gorgeous women who love each other and support each other combined with their search for love. It wasn't surprising that I loved the friendship part of this story because that was always my favourite part of Sex and the City, too. The bond between these women is the heart of not just this novel but the series, and any guy that they get involved with has to accept this. Their friendship is the stuff of #friendshipgoals and is what made me continue with the series after the first book.

There is a side plot with Cami that involves a cat she accidentally takes in. It provides lots of humour, and the author managed to make the cat's personality shine through. It was a nice background story that allowed for some character insight.

Part of the charm of a romance novel is the familiar path the story arcs take. We, as readers, come to expect certain elements whenever we are reading this particular genre. The couple will meet and fall in love, an obstacle tears the couple apart, a grand gesture reunites them and the book typically ends on a happily ever after. It is a tried and tested formula and it remains popular because it works. The obstacle included in this book felt, like the relationship, right for these characters. It made sense that these characters would feel they way they do, and react the way they did. Sometimes these obstacles can feel forced, and present only because the genre demands they exist, but they felt warranted in this case.

My issue with the first book was that the relationship did feel believable to me. There was a forced feel to their interaction, and it felt sped up to accommodate the story the author wanted to tell. This novel did not have that problem. It felt as if Cami had crushed on Landon forever, and that Landon came to fall in love with her too. The history that exists between these two characters was palpable in the writing and that it an easy story to invest in. The foundation that was built for them rang true, and therefore the romance didn't feel rushed; it felt inevitable.

Another sexy addition to the Fusion series that is filled with amazing female friendships, and a believable romance with some hot chemistry. If romance novels are a favourite of yours, this series should be added to your list, particularly if you enjoy wine, food, and a Sex and the City vibe.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Release Date - July 26, 2016
Publisher Website - Scholastic
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 304 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…
Kasie West's books are always fun, light and a great summer read. P.S. I Like You piqued my interest because it had the added element of falling for someone you didn't see face to face. As predicted, this turned out to be a fun, quick read that left me smiling.

Part of the fun of this novel is attempting to discover who Lily's mystery note writer is. It is not a complex mystery and I felt I figured it out pretty quickly, but the more important part of the story is what comes after. What happens after Lily finds out who it is. That creates a whole other story arc that is the heart of the story and one that is really one done.

This novel includes two of my favourite romance tropes in one relationship. The first is falling for someone while not communicating face to face. Lily falls for her mystery note writer because of who he is, and what he shares in the letter. This often allows people to say things they have a harder time saying face to face (especially while just starting to get to know someone) and it made their connection feel realistic. The second trope is too spoilery but, needless to say, Kasie West's version of this trope is perfectly done.

The relationship starts as a bond over music, and that passion for music is laced throughout the story. It gives the romance something to build off of and that makes it entirely believable. I often find that the romance in novels is based off of little more than good looks. Kasie West shows the importance of shared interest and the value in being able to have a conversation with the person you're dating. I, personally, think it made this romance effortless because you believed  that these two characters would fall for each other.

Wrapped inside this book is the message of not judging people by what you see, especially if you don't know them well. They have the ability to surprise as you get to know them, and reveal things about themselves that were not apparent at first. This combined with the family story arcs, added a touch of depth to the story that added nuance to the relationship being built.

If you're looking for a lighter book that end your summer reading before it is the season of pumpkin spice lattes, and falling leaves, this one you should pick up. It has ridiculous amounts of charm, and a love story that will leave you smiling.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday ... Fireworks

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 Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

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

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

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

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

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, New York Times bestselling author Katie Cotugno’s Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.
A novel set in Orlando during the 90's boy band/girl band craze?! SIGN ME UP! I was the target market for these bands during the 90s (as I was a teen during these years) so there will be a lot of nostalgia while reading this. I am hoping there is a band that is obviously inspired by the two biggest boy bands of the 90s - Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. Katie Cotugno's books have always impressed me with their voice (and I loved 99 Days more than her first novel) and I am sure this one will be no exception. I only wish this was coming out in the summer because it sounds like the perfect pool side read and I will not be able to wait to devour it once it comes out in April.

I also love the use of Polaroids on the cover. I love that they are becoming a thing again and this cover just makes me think of summers on the beach and bonfires.

Expected release date - April 18, 2017

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Never Ever by Sara Saedi

Never Ever by Sara Saedi
Release Date - June 1, 2016
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 320 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Wylie Dalton didn’t believe in fairy tales or love at first sight.

Then she met a real-life Peter Pan.

When Wylie encounters Phinn—confident, mature, and devastatingly handsome—at a party the night before her brother goes to juvie, she can’t believe how fast she falls for him. And that’s before he shows her how to fly.

Soon Wylie and her brothers find themselves whisked away to a mysterious tropical island off the coast of New York City where nobody ages beyond seventeen and life is a constant party. Wylie’s in heaven: now her brother won’t go to jail and she can escape her over-scheduled life with all its woes and responsibilities—permanently.

But the deeper Wylie falls for Phinn, the more she begins to discover has been kept from her and her brothers. Somebody on the island has been lying to her, but the truth can’t stay hidden forever.
Peter Pan and birth control are two things I never thought I would mention together in the same sentence and yet, thanks to Sara Saedi's NEVER EVER, I have reason to. I knew instantly that this was not going to be JM Barrie's take on the boy who wouldn't grow up and that immediately delighted me. I also never thought that I would want a more modernized twist on the Peter Pan lore, but this novel changed my mind. Sarah Saedi has crafted a unique twist on my most beloved childhood tale, and created something entirely her own.

The mark of any great retelling is the ability to have enough recognizable elements of the story you're inspired by while still incorporating your own spin on the story. Sara Saedi accomplishes this by having her characters and setting feel more modern (including possible jail sentences, and cell phones). She made this modernization feel natural to a very timeless story and tied everything together through her descriptive narrative.

The realistic feel to this story may have take some of the magic out of the Peter Pan tale, but this book holds its own kind of magic. The realism of why Wylie and her brothers would go with a stranger, and how they get to the island is something that was a welcome change from the original. The island itself retains the wonder of Neverland while still managing to have a Lord Of The Flies feel to it underneath. This balances the magical elements and keeps the modernized tone of the story feeling unforced.

This version of 'Neverland', called Minor Island, is as hedonistic as it is dangerous. It's a world filled with non-stop parties, magical flowers that give you the ability to fly, and all the freedom young teens could want. It also holds betrayal, and lies. The ageing up of not just Wylie and Phinn allows for a more mature storyline featuring drinking, and alluded to sexytimes. It was an entirely new (for me at least) take on Peter Pan and one I found myself easily falling into.

All the characters we associate with Peter Pan are found within these pages. Versions of Wendy, John, Michael, Tinkerbell, Peter (of course) and who I assume to be this author's take on Captain Hook are all present and accounted for. I loved (or loved to hate) each of these characters by the end of the book and for various reasons. They are given surprising depth, even Phinn who seems nothing more than an elusive mystery at first, becomes much more fleshed out by the end of the novel. Wylie is intelligent and headstrong. Tinka is hot tempered, dramatic and my have quickly become my favourite character because of her flawed nature. Each of these characters retains qualities of the originals while being entirely their own creation. Tink's jealousy manifests itself in Tinka. Wendy's curiosity is found within Wylie. Peter's charm and arrogance are found within Phinn. It allows fans of the original to already care about these characters, but I believe even non fans will love both the story and the characters.

The Dalton parents play a surprisingly complex part in this story. I've always felt that the 'Darling' parents were nothing more than an afterthought in the story and Sara Saedi wisely shows us the grief, and regret these two characters experience. She ties them into the story in impressive ways that create thrilling avenues for the story to explore.

I did not know this was a trilogy going into this novel or even that there would be a sequel of any kind. I was delighted to discover that this story was only the beginning of Wylie's journey. Sara Saedi has set up the sequels nicely and has taken the story into directions that have me fangirling over what is to come.

One of the most unique twists on the classic Peter Pan tale that I've had the pleasure to read. I am eager to follow Wylie, and her brothers on the rest of their journey through their version of Neverland. If you love fairytale retellings, particularly those that take huge liberties with the source material, this is one you will not want to miss.

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