Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Song Rising - One Week Until Release

Today I am celebrating the fact that there is only one week left until The Song Rising releases by sharing some goodies with you today!

First up is a reminder that there is currently a pre-order promotion going on that can score you some AMAZING swag.

The buttons are stunning (expect to see some photos this week showing them off) and the tattoos are equally amazing. Be sure to snag your own set over at the official website for The Bone Season series. You have up until the end of the day on March 6th to submit your receipt and claim your swag!

Samantha Shannon will be going on tour to celebrate the release and here is her tour schedule.

Go say hello if you are near any of these tour stops. I've been lucky enough to have met Samantha before and she's lovely.

There are also some super fun quizzes released by the official Twitter and Facebook accounts for the series. It's a fun way to get yourself even more excited for the upcoming release

·         Quiz 1: Which Bone Season Faction Are You In? https://www.playbuzz.com/bloomsbury13/which-bone-season-faction-are-you-in

·         Quiz 2: Which Type of Voyant Are You?

·         Quiz 3: Which of the Seven Seals Are You?

·         Quiz 4: Which Leader of the Unnatural Assembly Are You? https://www.playbuzz.com/bloomsbury13/which-leader-of-the-unnatural-assembly-are-you

·         Quiz 5: How Will You Die in Samantha Shannon’s Bone Season Series? https://www.playbuzz.com/bloomsbury13/how-will-you-die-in-samantha-shannon-s-bone-season-series

If you do any of these quizzes please let me know what you end up getting in the comments.

Expect more The Song Rising excitement as we countdown to the quickly approaching release!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.
A small Weekly Obsessions post this week, but some pretty exciting things!


Being Bonnie by Jenni L Walsh (goodreads)

I have not yet read Becoming Bonnie but I was thrilled when the sequel was announced! I am excited to read it and will be reading Becoming Bonnie soon (probably this weekend) and am looking forward to continuing her story in this sequel!

Renegades by Marissa Meyer (goodreads)

Marissa Meyer is writing a super hero/super villain story! I cannot wait. This is going to be amazing! It is the first in a series about a school for those with super powers. It sounds incredible and I am excited to pre-order it as soon as it comes available.


Big Little Lies

I very much enjoyed the pilot episode of Big Little Lies. I am hooked on the mystery and the three main cast (Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley) all deliver great performances so far. I am excited to watch the second episode this week and highly recommend it if you like sudsy murder mysteries.


My Favorite Murder Podcast (link)

I stumbled upon this quirky podcast and immediately became obsessed. It won't be for everyone, but those who would be into it will be super into it. The hosts are hilarious and approach the topic in a very relatable way. It's a podcast about murder done through the female gaze and quite feminist. I highly recommend it if it sounds like something you would enjoy. I am currently making my way through all of the 'episodes' and I am honestly loving them.

Funko's Disney Subscription Box

Funko is known for having some pretty amazing subscription boxes for the Marvel, Star Wars, and DC fandoms. They have recently announced that they are launching a new subscription box specifically for Disney fanatics. They are calling it Disney Treasures and I am so excited.

The first theme is Pirates Cove and they've announced that the first Pop being included is Smee from Peter Pan! All the items in the box are exclusive to the box only and will offer at least one Pop figure in each box. You can learn more over at the Funko blog by reading the official announcement. You can also sign up for notifications about Disney Treasures and be one of the first to sign up for this when it goes live by visiting the Disney Treasures official site.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Wonder by RJ Palacio
Release Date -  February 14, 2012
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  320 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**purchased for review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.
Wonder is not a book I would typically pick up myself. I am not as well versed in middle grade novels as I perhaps should be. It happened to be selected for one of my book clubs and I was pleasantly surprised to discover a novel filled with heart, warmth, and a powerful message at its core.

This is a great discussion starter book for adults and the children in their lives. It allows for discussion on a wide range of topics and provides a safe manner in which to do so. It might be easier for the children to discuss Auggie's feelings than their own. It's a great outlet and I can see why many refer to it as a book that should be mandatory classroom reading.

Auggie is a tenacious, curious, kind young boy whose voice stands out brightly within these pages. His character not only showcases the value of taking yourself outside your comfort zone, but the idea of being kind. Auggie chooses kindness and this book encourages the reader to do the same. He also allows himself to experience new things, even if they are a little scary at first. His character growth was impressive and is especially evident towards the end of the novel as the reader gets to see the payoff to all difference experiences Auggie has throughout the novel.

This novel teaches without feeling overt about it. It does so through the characters, and the things they experience. It is not just Auggie that teaches a valuable lesson, but all of the different people we meet through Auggie's adventures. This book offers multiple points of view that may, at first glance, seem unnecessary but really do add something to the overall theme of the novel. Each of the characters learns something about kindness, acceptance, or forgiveness. We also see the impact bullying has and many of the characters experience it, or have it dealt with in some way.

In Wonder, RJ Palacio has created an unforgettable character in Auggie Pullman. His story is one that will remain with you and you'll be urged to pass it on to others. It is a book that really should be made available in every middle grade classroom. Its message of acceptance is one that is always vital and remains more important than ever. It is one that I would recommend for anyone looking for a heart warming story for themselves to enjoy or to share with a middle grade reader. I predict that they'll fall a little in love with it too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ...... Romeo, Juliet, and Jim

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

This week's pick is Romeo, Juliet, and Jim by Larry Schwarz and Iva-Marie Palmer

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Shakespeare meets Gossip Girl in this modern-day tale of two star-crossed lovers that soon becomes a love triangle in the first book of a trilogy.

Romeo and Juliet seem to have it all. They are heirs to the two greatest and oldest fashion houses Paris has ever seen, the House of Montague and the rival House of Capulet. They live in stunning penthouses, attend glamorous parties, count celebrities and supermodels among their closest friends. Yet the one thing they want most they can’t have—each other. Juliet is tired of a clandestine relationship. She wants to run off together and escape. Enter Jim, a mysterious rugged American who swoops in and befriends the young lovers. They don’t have to hide their romance from him—they can be themselves. But just who is Jim, really? Once Romeo and Juliet find out that their new friend has his own troubling connections within their world, all three of them have a lot to figure out. Because there’s a lot at stake. And on top of it all, Juliet and Jim are falling in love. Can Romeo win back his lover's heart? Or will Juliet and Jim rewrite the ending of the world's most famous love story?
I am a sucker for a unique sounding Romeo and Juliet retelling. This modernizes it and makes them heirs to two fashion houses. It also appears to incorporate a potential love triangle that might (based on that cover) just have OT3 potential. This could end up being a lot of fun, and deliciously sudsy. I hope it lives up to that potential. It sounds like a fun summer read either way and I am looking forward to getting my hands on it.

Expected release date - June 6, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine

The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine
Release Date - Feburary 14, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  432 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
An epic, romantic, and action-packed fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from C. J. Redwine, the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen. Perfect for fans of Graceling and the Lunar Chronicles.

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of SĂșndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul. 
I was very excited when I heard that the follow up to CJ Redwine's fantastic The Shadow Queen was a story based on the Rumpelstiltskin tale. I don't recall having read one, especially not a young adult retelling, so that only increased my excitement. Sadly, this novel did not quite meet my expectations, even if it had plenty of potential.

The fairytale feel of the first one is not as obvious in this companion novel. The world building, and fantasy elements that felt so developed and defined in the The Shadow Queen feel like an afterthought in this sequel. I did enjoy what was given but wanted more. The idea of a seedier side to this world with drugs, theft, and a pseudo crime syndicate was interesting and it held a lot of potential but was not fleshed out to really maximize on that potential.

The characters, particularly Ari, is where this story shines. Ari is an illegitimate princess made legitimate out of circumstance. The fact that she is not a recognized princess at birth was unique for me. I cannot recall many books that feature such a character. She is also described as being more curvy than most and totally comfortable with her body. She's even presented as having a realistic dose of self confidence. She has a deep love of food, and loves to cook. She was also not afraid to get her hands dirty. She was pretty much the opposite of the usual character found within this type of story and I appreciated that fact. She is loyal, determined, and doesn't back down. Her character is what makes you want to follow the story because she is such a breathe of fresh air.

Thad, her brother who finds himself in the role of King, is equally intriguing, but we never really get to know enough about him. I wanted more from him. I would have liked to get into his head a little more, especially when he was making certain decisions. He felt like this enigma that I wanted to unravel but never really got the chance to.

Sebastian is your typical boy from the wrong side of the tracks character. He has a tortured past and his issues stem from that traumatic past. His character could have certainly been more developed, but he is endearing enough and seeing the cracks in his armour as he begins a tentative friendship with Ari is the highlight of his character. Those cracks blossom into something deeper which gives the romance a little more substance as they do start out by building that friendship first.

Perhaps the biggest hindrance to my enjoyment was the mythology. The Rumpelstiltskin tale is filled with memorable moments and these are only briefly touched upon in the story. The notion of having to guess his name is tossed in as a last minute thing without the mythology behind it being properly addressed. The way in which he is defeated felt a little too conveniently discovered as there was not a lot of build up to the mythology behind the character or the rules of his power.

This Rumpelstiltskin retelling certainly has its magical moments, but didn't quite take the mythology or characters deep enough for my liking. I wanted more from all elements of this story, but ultimately still find this one enjoyable enough to finish. I am curious enough to see which fairytale is adapted next and would certainly read another novel by CJ Redwine in the future. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

New To My Book Closet

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

Lots of exciting things made their way into my mailbox this week.

First up, the lovely people at Harper Collins Canada sent me some book that made me squeal with happiness. A huge thank you to them for sending these to me.

Midnight At The Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson (goodreads)
The Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (goodreads)

Jodi Lynn Anderson is one of my most favourite authors so I am really excited to have a new book by her and I am very excited about Mackenzi Lee's newest!

The awesome people at Bloomsbury sent me a set of the buttons available as a pre-order perk for Samantha Shannon's The Song Rising. Expect some fun photos between now and when the pre-order campaign ends.

A huge thank you to Bloomsbury for these! I am excited to share some photos and help with the countdown to The Song Rising's release.

Lastly, I purchsed some new Funkos for my collection! I am very excited to have added two different versions of Eleven from Stranger Things to my collection.

I love that she has Eggos! I have pretty much the whole set pre-ordered so expect to see more soon.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.
A small Weekly Obsessions post this week, but some pretty exciting things!


Toil & Trouble by Various (goodreads)

This sounds like incredible.short story collection. The authors alone are enough to entice me to pick it up as it includes some of my favourites (such as Emery Lord and Jessica Spotswood). The hook, however, is really the theme. This is a collection of short stories about witches! I am so excited to see what each of these authors do with this theme.

Cover of The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand (goodreads)

This retelling of A Christmas Carol not only sounds amazing, but has a very festive cover. 

It has a holiday feel while still capturing the tone of the original. This is a story with ghosts after all. I am so excited to read this. It's quickly become one of my most anticipated of the fall season.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Release Date - August 9, 2016
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  363 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**borrowed from friend**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.
I am immediately a fan of books that make me snort laugh within the first chapter. I am also a fan of sexy books with relationships that are imperfect. Combine that with some delicious game playing, some racy (and dark) banter and you have an instant favourite. Sally Throne has crafted a wickedly enjoyable read that demands to be read with a glass of wine (or two).

Sally Thorne's writing is pitch perfect for this genre. She can make you laugh as easily as she can craft some of the hottest kisses I've ever read. She crafts an entirely spellbinding romance that is imperfect enough to feel entirely perfect. Her characters are rich and vibrant and larger than life. It read like a movie, and is basically a rom com in book format. I would love to see Josh and Lucy get the big screen treatment and that is a testament to how addicting this story is.

This book is funny. I mean snort while laughing funny. Everything from Lucy's hilarious passwords, to their socially awkward interactions, made me laugh. The only thing more intoxicating than this book's humour is its sexiness. It has both in spades, and is not afraid to charm you with both. It's the type of book that you'll want to read again and again while underlining favourite passages simply because of the happiness it leaves you with.

Fans of banter between couples will immediately ship Joshua and Lucy. Their sharp tongues are only rivaled by the death glares they shoot each other across the office. This is all a mask for the fact that they really want to rip each other's clothes off (of course) but provides a slow burn relationship that feels earned.

The sexiness in this novel comes not only from the steamy make out scenes, but the delayed gratification. The teasing, taunting, and steamy elevator kisses are all an electric form of foreplay that is entirely delicious. The reader becomes invested in this couple, and their happiness, because of this incredibly built tension. Each of the characters have flaws but their flaws make them so well suited to each other. They both like to play games. They are both a little socially awkward. They both have trouble admitting their true feelings. This all just adds to their charm and makes it so that they feel like friends by the time the novel is finished.

A fun, sexy page turner that is a delight to read. Sally Thorne is instantly an auto buy author after reading this banter filled, wickedly charming debut. It's the perfect book to help chase away the winter blues, or throw in your beach bag for the summer. I highly recommend The Hating Game. It may even leave you wanting to play a few games of your own.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday .... The Afterlife Of Holly Chase

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

This week's pick is The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
On Christmas Eve five years ago, seventeen-year-old Holly Chase was visited by three Ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn’t. And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge—as their latest Ghost of Christmas Past. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable. But this year’s Scrooge is different. This year’s Scrooge might change everything.

An imaginative riff on an evergreen classic, The Afterlife of Holly Chase is a witty, poignant, and insightful novel about life, love, and seizing second (or third) chances, and will appeal to readers who love books like If I Stay and Before I Fall.
I am pretty certain this is the first retelling of A Christmas Carol that I've stumbled across. I am insanely excited for this and hope that it is as wonderful as I am hoping. It has the potential to become a holiday must read for me.

The entire idea of a previous 'Scrooge' becoming one of the ghosts is amazing. I cannot wait to see what this adds to the classic story. I am also hoping for some serious romance between Holly and the new 'Scrooge'. I expect some mistletoe kissing for sure.

The wait for this one is going to be REALLY long as it doesn't come out until November, but something tells me it'll be well worth the wait.

Expected release date - November 7, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Perfect Pairing

We all know that feeling: your favourite Netflix show has just dropped its newest season and you're super excited to binge. We're talking 'we just beat the Demogorgon' excited.

You're all set to settle in and watch but what about your TV watching snack? If you're anything like me this choice is just as vital was WHAT you are watching and can cause just as much debate as picking what to watch. It can seriously be frustrating. 

I feel ya, Jessica.

Jessica obviously knows what I am talking about. Luckily, the lovely people at SkinnyPop Popcorn have come to the rescue. It's no secret that I love wine (pretty sure the blog title gave that away) but  my snack of choice is popcorn. I am pretty much addicted. The amazing people at SkinnyPop Popcorn have merged my two loves into a handy infographic detailing which wines compliment their various popcorn flavours ensuring that you'll have the perfect snack for your next binge watch. They all seriously sound delicious.

I am dying to try the Dusted Dark Chocolate paired with some Pinot Noir, but the White Cheddar and Malbec also sounds amazing. This is definitely something I am going to have to try during my next TV night.

You can learn more about SkinnyPop Popcorn on their official website and be sure to follow them on Twitter for all kinds of fun things. You can find SkinnyPop Popcorn at my grocery stores near you. 

Bookmark this post, and next time you settle in to watch the newest Marvel Netflix offering, or decide to watch Stranger Things for the millionth time, be sure to reference this post for your snacking (and wine drinking) needs. I am totally going to report back on a few of these pairings as I get to try them, but would love to hear your thoughts. Let me know in the comments if you try one, and what you thought.

Happy binge watching everyone! *cheers*

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Weekly Obsessions

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

It's a Stranger Things filled week with lots of amazing things revealed about season two (including the release date) and plenty of other things to be very excited about as well.


Cover of Top Ten by Katie Cutugno

I love this cover.  It not only matches her previous covers, but provides the tone for the story. It really does look like you're seeing snapshots of their relationship which totally fits the synopsis.

I love Katie's books and I am pretty sure this one is going to be no exception. I cannot wait to read it.


Stranger Things Video

This video may be the most adorable thing ever. It's the Stranger Things kids telling you what it takes to be a member of their squad.

Adorable, right? These kids are so precious. 

Stranger Things Season 2 Teaser

The highly anticipated second season of Stranger Things has a teaser trailer and IT IS AWESOME! Check out this trailer and immediately join me in crying over the long wait we have until it premieres.

HALLOWEEN?! SERIOUSLY?! That is waaaaaay too far away but I have a feeling (based on this trailer) that it will be worth the wait. I love that the kids are dressed up as Ghostbusters for Halloween. Super cute.


Stranger Things Entertainment Weekly Cover

Lastly, because there has not been enough Stranger Things goodness released this week, Entertainment Weekly has gifted us this amazing cover.

Eleven's hair! The fact that her and Mike are the only straight faced ones! Dustin's hat! I love it all. I cannot wait for Canada to get this issue (we're always a week behind) so I can devour the article and learn all the tidbits that are teased!

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
Release Date -  November 8, 2016
Publisher Website - Hachette/Little Brown
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 518 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

In this tautly plotted novel, Stephenie Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors. 
when I heard that Stephenie Meyer was writing another adult novel I was immediately intrigued. I particularly enjoyed The Host and thought that she had written a rather good sci-fi novel. The Chemist is Stephenie's foray into writing a spy thriller. It's as addictive as you would expect, probably filled with more romance than you anticipate, and introduces to an intriguing woman in her main character.

Stephenie Meyer's writing has this addictive quality. It is compulsively readable and immediately pushes you into the story. The Chemist is no exception. Fans of her previous works will immediately recognize her trademark style and fall under this novel's spell. This element is, in part, what makes her books so popular. Her writing makes it impossible to not keep reading. It's a very commercial style of writing and that translates into a wider audience.

Alex goes by many names in this novel, but Alex is the one she uses the longest. She sheds names and disguises like a second skin and effortlessly molds into her new role. This character is unique for me because I haven't read a novel of this genre with a female lead. Alex has made me ache for more female centric spy stories. Alex has her own morality and she is not against inflicting pain on people she feels deserve it to get answers. She is also unafraid to kill someone if it means saving herself. I wish we had a little more time dissecting what makes her tick, but her character remained a mystery throughout most of the book.

Alex has a very specific skill set. She can bring even the largest men to their knees simply by injecting him with her carefully crafted creations. She may not be the strongest, or largest but she is smart. She holds her own not with strength but with her brains and the chemicals she uses to inflict pain and death. She's good at her job as someone who tortures people for intel simply because she can inflict pain with the push of the plunger on a syringe. She stays alive by outmaneuvering those who wish to harm her. It made her a little more relatable. She's not 'James Bond' or 'Black Widow' by any means, but she is believable as as 'spy' in her own right. It felt like Stephenie wanted to make her and her skills has realistic as possible. She may not be the best 'spy' and is even seen using other spy novels as research, but this felt true for who the character is.

As a spy thriller it sort of works. The element of what caused Alex to be on the run, and the life she lives now is the mystery that drives force the story. It is not, however, as action packed as some people would  hope. There are a few high octane scenes and a few genuine pulse pounding moments to be found, but this is mostly a character driven story, and a romance.

The romance is the highlight of this novel, which should come as no surprise to those familiar with Stephenie Meyer's work. I don't want to give too much away about the romance, but it really is a large part of Alex's story. Her letting people in again, and learning to trust is a large part of the journey she takes and I fell for the romance completely (even if the romantic interest was a little too perfect and too forgiving at times).

Those looking for a taunt spy thriller may be disappointed, but those looking for an action filled love story will be satisfied. Fans of Stephenie Meyer's previous works will fall under this book's spell and it will make them eager for her return to young adult literature. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Bone Season Giveaway


You may have heard me mention Samantha Shannon's wonderful series a few times (okay, maybe a LOT of times). I have loved getting immersed into Paige's world so much and am eagerly anticipating sitting down with the third installment when it releases on March 7th.

You may have noticed that the series recently got a cover redesign. The new covers are brilliant and eye catching. I especially love the new cover for The Bone Season.

Thanks to the lovely people at Bloomsbury USA I have the chance to introduce TWO people to this amazing series! Two winners will win a copy of the repackaged paperback of The Bone Season. This also includes the short story prequel called The Pale Dreamer as an added bonus!

If you want to enter (and trust me you totally do) just fill out the Rafflecopter below. The contest is open to both residents of the USA and Canada only and the winners will have 48 hours to reply to my email before I select new winners.

Good luck everyone! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ..... Windfall

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 Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. 

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall. 

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined . . . and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect. 
Jennifer E Smith's book are always super cute and this one sounds like no exception. I am super curious about the 'instant rich' premise and how it impacts their budding romance.

The May 2nd release date is not that far off, but I still cannot wait to get my hands on this one!

Expected release date - May 2nd, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017

Ottawa Blogger Meet Up 2017

It's time for the annual Ottawa Book Blogger Meet Up. It's a fun afternoon of book chat, and a great chance to meet some fellow bloggers, so I hope anyone in the area will join us.

Planning is under way and we do need final numbers for a reservation, and there may be some prizes, and other goodies.

If you would like to join us the date is April 30, 2017 and we're meeting in the afternoon! The place is to be determined (as is the exact time) as we have to wait to see what numbers we have first, but we are thinking of a restaurant so we can grab lunch.

Please email aglassofwineblog@gmail.com with OTTAWA BLOGGER MEET UP 2017 in the subject line (so I can find it easily) by February 19th. Please include your name, your blog name and a link to your blog. Please also include your twitter name (if you have one).

The date of February 19 is firm as we will be planning and booking things at that point. Unfortunately we will not be able to accommodate late sign ups once sign ups are closed.

Looking forward to meeting everyone, and hope you can make it!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

New To My Book Closet

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

A whole bunch of awesomeness has made its way into my mailbox this week!

First up, I was sent this package of awesomeness from Thomas Allen Canada. They distribute Algonquin Books here in Canada and I am curious about both of these titles.

Here We Are by Kelly Jensen (goodreads)
What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K Arnold (goodreads)  

A huge thank you to Thomas Allen Canada for sending them over!

I added another Funko Pop to my steadily growing collection. This one is Belle from the upcoming live action Beauty and the Beast. I just need Beast to go with her now!

I purchased a copy of Caraval because I needed to own the hardcover after devouring the ARC.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber (goodreads)

Lastly, I borrowed a book from my friend because I've been hearing nothing but rave reviews for it. It does seem like one I am going to love. 

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (goodreads)

I am a chapter into this one and already loving it. A huge thank you to my friend Katie for lending it to me.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Weekly Obsessions

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

A few things caught my eye this week, but I am mainly all about the new Beauty and the Beast trailer!


Beauty And The Beast final trailer

It seems Disney saved the best for last because this trailer is everything. Just watch it and try to not have a grin on your face during most of it.

Goosebumps kick in right around when the 'barely even friends...' verse starts. Something about the nostalgia of the song combined with the glimpse of both the 'Be Our Guest' and 'Gaston' musical numbers just really works. It makes my heart swell. Speaking of Gaston, I am loving the brief glimpse that we've seen of Luke Evans in this movie. Talking to himself in the mirror, and the bit where he slicks his hair back during 'Gaston' is perfection. I have a feeling this is going to be one of my favourite movies of 2017. 

Stranger Things Season 2

It will come as no surprise that I am desperate for anything relating to season two of Stranger Things. Entertainment Weekly released that there will be a first look teaser released during Superbowl Sunday. They also released the first still from season two.

I love that the boys are dressing up as Ghostbusters! I cannot wait to see the teaser and to find out an official release date for season two.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, February 3, 2017

738 Days by Stacey Kade

738 Days by Stacey Kade
Release Date -  June 7, 2016
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  432 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**borrowed from the library**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?
Sometimes the opening chapters of a novel are forgettable, and other times they are seared into your memory. 738 Days has an opening chapter that is one of the latter. Harrowing, clutching, and unflinching it demanded I read on. That is an accurate description of this novel as a whole, even though it is far more hopeful than the first chapter hints at.

Most women I imagine have, at some point, had the nightmare of being taken against their will and forcibly confined. It is something we're shown is a fear we should have.We see stories of victims and survivors in the news and, even if it is fleetingly think, that could be me. 738 Days looks at the reality of going back to your 'old' life after experiencing something so horrific. It also looks at the media , and public interest of the women who often just want to blend into the background. It reads as if a lot of research went into what this might feel like, and that comes through in the writing.

Amanda Grace may have escaped her captor, but the physical and emotional scars are nowhere near healed. Years later she is still haunted by the trauma that was inflicted on her, and dealing with severe post traumatic stress disorder along with triggered panic attacks. The sheer strength she portrays was inspiring. Her character is defined by her fierce instinct to keep trying, and to not give up. She may not by physically strong, but she is emotionally (even if she doesn't want to admit it). She may be struggling, but she never accepts things will remain the way they are. She is such a well written, nuanced character and I loved getting to experience her story.

Chase is a Hollywood screw up who is on his last chance. His addiction issues, and how they played a factor in a lot of his decisions is something that is not ignored. He has just as many issues as Amanda, even if his are of a entirely different nature. His story is one of redemption and forgiveness and is just as inspiring as Amanda's own journey. He stumbles, makes mistakes, but you always root for him to do the right thing because Stacey Kade ensures you understand him.

My favourite part of the romance is perhaps the care and patience that is shown. Chase knows that Amanda needs to do things on her terms, particularly when it comes to anything sexual. Her agency and choices are not only respected but sought out. It may seem remarkable that I wouldn't expect this in an novel about a rape survivor but this novel did feel unique in how considerate Chase was of Amanda's needs and wishes. Her agency throughout the whole book is something Amanda fights for. She wants to make her own decisions and reminds people that she needs to be allowed to for her to heal. It made the romance for me, and ensured I was fully invested in each of them getting a happy ending to their story.

My only minor issue was the pacing was a little off. The first half of the novel is stellar. The latter half is good, but not as gripping as the first. I enjoyed it all but the first half is so gripping that the difference, for me, was noticeable.

A well written, nuanced look at finding your way back from the darkness, and letting in the light. Stacey Kade has written a book that glimmers with hope even at its darkest moments. If you like romance novels with a bit of an edge this one definitely delivers and is one I would highly recommend.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday .... Genuine Fraud

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 Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
From the author of the unforgettable New York Times bestseller We Were Liars comes a masterful new psychological suspense novel—the story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.
I loved We Were Liars. Loved. I have been dying for another E Lockhart novel ever since I finished it and was thrilled to discover she has one coming out this year.

This novel has a very sparse synopsis (much like We Were Liars) but that only makes me want to read it all the more. I think this is going to be incredible.

I am sad I have to wait so long for it to be released as this doesn't come out until September but it is something I am very excited about!

Expected release date - September 5, 2017

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