Saturday, March 31, 2018

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.

I have a few fun things to share wtih you this week! I am getting so excited for fall 2018 book releases! It's going to be a great reading year!

BOOKS


Cover of What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (goodreads)

I have been waiting for a cover of this book pretty much from the moment it was announced. I was hoping for something cute and fitting of the synopsis and the cover does not disappoint. Entertainment Weekly recently revealed the cover and it is perfect!


There is lots of speculation as to whether this will have a rom-com style ending that Becky is known for, or the more heartbreaking ending that Adam is known for. I am excited to discover that when this book is released. 

OTHER

True Crime Podcast Enamel Pins (link) (link)

Most people who visit this blog are aware of my true crime obsession, and my love of My Favorite Murder. It's pretty much my favourite podcast and I love this adorable pin!

 
I have been wanting to start collecting more of these enamel pins and this is one I have to add to my collection.

Also high up on my list of pins to collect? This amazing one for the Disgraceland podcast!


These would both look amazing with my Bucky and Steve enamel pin I have up in my work cubicle!

What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris



My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel
Authors - by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris
Release Date - April 3,  2018
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  352 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
This scandalous chooseable-path romance novel demands you determine your own romantic adventure-and satisfy all your earthly desires along the way!

Endless scenarios of high romance, deep desire, and quivering...comedy await your tender caress in this chooseable path romance novel. You are the plucky but penniless heroine in the center of 19th-century society, the courtship season has begun, and your future is at hand...

  *  Will you flip forward fetchingly to find love with the bantering baronet, Sir Benedict Granville?
  *  Or turn the page to true love with the hardworking, handsome, horse-loving highlander, Captain Angus McTaggart?
  *  Or perhaps you will chase through the chapters a good man gone mad, bad, and scandalous to know, in the arousing form of Lord Garraway Craven?
  *  Or read recklessly on to take to the continent as the "traveling companion" of the spirited and adventuresome Lady Evangeline?
  *  ...or yet another intriguing fate?

Whether it's forlorn orphans and fearsome werewolves, mistaken identities and swashbuckling swordfights, or long-lost lovers and pilfered Egyptian artifacts, every delightful twist and turn of the romance genre unfolds at your behest! Prepare to open your heart, open your mind, and open-this book.
I loved reading Choose Your Own Adventure books as a child. There was something about the ability to make choices that impacted the story that was very appealing to me. I used to devour any I could get my hands. As you can imagine I jumped at the chance to review a romance version of this when I was offered the opportunity to read My Lady's Choosing.

This is a hard book to review because part of the appeal of this novel is discovering the plot as you go along. It's not really about the plot or writing anyway. It is about the enjoyment that comes out of the reader getting to steer the direction of the story being told. This novel takes it queues from some classic romances story (like Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights for example) but a quick browse through the book shows plenty of other inspiration as well. There are so many different story paths you can embark upon and they range in genre. There seem to be paranormal, standard romantic fare, adventure, and so much more. It is the sheer number of choices that make this novel work for the style it is written in. It allows the reader can pick it up multiple times and experience something new.

The inclusion of a possible female love interest was something I noticed while reading the synopsis. It means those looking for that representation have the opportunity to find that within this novel. I have not read down that path as of yet, so I cannot speak to the story arcs that include it, but feel it is important to mention it exists as a choice that can be made during the coarse of reading this novel.

I have read two different possible paths in order to a fuller experience. They are quick reads, for the most part, and offer plenty of opportunity for the reader to make choices. I noticed that this offers up a more 'tongue-in-cheek' tone to the stories, and that the stories are written in a more humourous way. There is plenty of sexual innuendo and some comical (and sometimes steamy) sex scenes. This is meant to be a book you have fun reading and that is evident in nearly every choice that went into writing this novel. It's the perfect book to pair with some wine as you and your friends take turns make decisions during a Girl's Night. 

If you've ever found yourself wanting to make the decisions for the heroine in that romance novel you are reading then I highly recommend picking up My Lady's Choosing. It's a fun, often funny, twist on the romance novel and one you'll want to share with your friends. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday .... Any Man


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 Any Man by Amber Tamblyn


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
In her blazingly original and unforgettable debut novel Any Man, Amber Tamblyn brings to startling life a specter of sexual violence in the shadowy form of Maude, a female serial rapist who preys on men.

In this electric and provocative debut novel, Tamblyn blends genres of poetry, prose, and elements of suspense to give shape to the shocking narratives of victims of sexual violence, mapping the destructive ways in which our society perpetuates rape culture.

A violent serial rapist is on the loose, who goes by the name Maude. She hunts for men at bars, online, at home— the place doesn’t matter, neither does the man. Her victims then must live the aftermath of their assault in the form of doubt from the police, feelings of shame alienation from their friends and family and the haunting of a horrible woman who becomes the phantom on which society projects its greatest fears, fascinations and even misogyny. All the while the police are without leads and the media hound the victims, publicly dissecting the details of their attack.

What is extraordinary is how as years pass these men learn to heal, by banding together and finding a space to raise their voices. Told in alternating viewpoints signature to each voice and experience of the victim, these pages crackle with emotion, ranging from horror to breathtaking empathy.

As bold as it is timely, Any Man paints a searing portrait of survival and is a tribute to those who have lived through the nightmare of sexual assault.
I was immediately excited about this book the second Amber Tamblyn announced it. I have been a fan of her acting work for years, and am intrigued to see what her writing style is like.

The book's timely premise ensures it'll be talked about as the release date nears. I am intrigued about looking at rape and rape culture through the lense of male victims. It provides a worthy discussion starting premise that I predict will be perfect for book clubs.

Amber Tamblyn's involvement with the #MeToo movement also instills confidence that she will handle this subject matter with the utmost care. I know that she'll be respectful of the victims and that makes me more willing to take a chance on this novel.

Expected release date - June 26, 2018

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman



I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
Release Date - March 27,  2018
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  304 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A powerful story of empathy and friendship from the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of If I Stay.

Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from everyone he has ever loved, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City with a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. When a fateful accident draws these three strangers together, their secrets start to unravel as they begin to understand that the way out of their own loss might just lie in help­ing the others out of theirs.

An emotionally cathartic story of losing love, finding love, and discovering the person you are meant to be, I Have Lost My Way is best­selling author Gayle Forman at her finest. 
I Have Lost My Way is essentially three stories being woven into one. It's the story of three people who are each lost in their own way. It's the story of their paths interconnecting and the impact that has on each of their individual stories. It's also the story of finding help, hope, and strength in unlikely places.

Freya, Harun, and Nathaniel are all so different from each other. Their stories, at first, seem like they would have little in common. Feyra is a singer who fears she may have permanently lost her voice. Harun feels he may have lost the man he loves. Nathaniel is both literally and figuratively lost. Their stories interconnect after a chance encounter that is beautifully written and orchestrated. It's the jumping off point of the story, and it felt like a lot of care was taken to get their meeting exactly right. It sets the tone for the rest of the story and does so perfectly.

This story takes place during the coarse of one day. This means that it is quickly paced read and that everything is contained in a way that felt unique to me. There isn't time for things to linger. The characters are reacting in the moment and that makes the story feel all the more real. This is a character driven story and that means that the plot is more emotion based, so this tight time frame worked for the story incredibly well. It also spotlights Gayle's writing because she is able to pack all those emotions into such a contained story.

There are three different points of view that are being juggled. This means that the reader is switching back and forth from the various perspectives. It also means that each of the stories unravels at just the right pace. There is enough mystery in each to hold your interest, and you get the pieces to the puzzle at exactly the right time. It may take some getting used to, especially as flashbacks are introduced into each of the stories being told, but once you're pulled into the story it becomes compelling and impossible to put down.

All of the stories focus on family in some way. Freya's relationship with her sister is a driving force for her story arc, but her entire family is just as important to who her character is. Harun is struggling with the weight of keeping secrets from his family and what that means for his future. Nathaniel, who has the most mysterious and  slow to unravel story arc, has a complicated relationship with his father that is heart of his story. These stories are handled in the adept way that Gayle Forman is known for. These relationships are messy and complicated and that makes them feel all the more authentic. Family really is a huge part of what makes someone who they are and I appreciated it being such a large focus in this novel.

The heartbreak of different kinds of loss is what drives this novel. Instead of allowing the reader, or the characters, to sit in that heartbreak, this novel instead shines a light on the strength that is gained from human connections. There is a strength to be found in helping others, and allowing others to help you. There is a hope that resides in these actions that helps lift you. The kindness people show each other, as cliche as it sounds, can go a long way.  There is something cathartic in knowing that you're not alone, and that someone sees you. Each of these characters is struggling with being alone. They are afraid that revealing things about themselves will leave them untethered and change the way those they love see them. The loneliness each of these characters feel is palpable, as is the relief in finding others who understand.

I Have Lost My Way is an intricately woven story that is filled with everything a Gayle Forman fan could hope for. It hits all the emotional notes you want it to, and leaves you feeling hopeful at the end. It's poignant in a way that so many of Gayle's books are. If you're a fan of Gayle Forman's previous books, or just of contemporary young adult novels in general, I highly recommend picking this one up.

** Side note - just mentioning a potential trigger warning for this novel. There are some suicidal elements in the story that I wasn't expecting, and think others should be aware of ** 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

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 recieved an AMAZING package from HCC Frenzy/Haper Collins Canada. I am so excited to read this book. A huge thank you to them for sending it over.


99 Days by Katie Cotugno (goodreads)
9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cogtugno (goodreads)

What bookish goodies made their way into your mailbox this week? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Indecent by Corinne Sullivan



Indecent by Corinne Sullivan
Release Date - March 6,  2018
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  304 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Shy, introverted Imogene Abney has always been fascinated by the elite world of prep schools, having secretly longed to attend one since she was a girl in Buffalo, New York. So, shortly after her college graduation, when she’s offered a teaching position at the Vandenberg School for Boys, an all-boys prep school in Westchester, New York, she immediately accepts, despite having little teaching experience—and very little experience with boys.

When Imogene meets handsome, popular Adam Kipling a few weeks into her tenure there, a student who exudes charm and status and ease, she's immediately drawn to him. Who is this boy who flirts with her without fear of being caught? Who is this boy who seems immune to consequences and worry; a boy for whom the world will always provide?

As an obsessive, illicit affair begins between them, Imogene is so lost in the haze of first love that she's unable to recognize the danger she's in. The danger of losing her job. The danger of losing herself in the wrong person. The danger of being caught doing something possibly illegal and so indecent.

Exploring issues of class, sex, and gender, this smart, sexy debut by Corinne Sullivan shatters the black-and- white nature of victimhood, taking a close look at blame and moral ambiguity.
We've all heard news reports about the woman teacher who had an affair with her student. These are often young, pretty woman who the media loves to splash on television screens. They're often met with gross comments of how the student must have wanted to hook up with the teacher because of how good looking she is. "We didn't have teachers like that when I was in school", "He's a red blooded male so, of course, he wanted to sleep with her", etc. This often goes along with the narrative that the teacher couldn't help herself. She fell in love. Indecent, like Tampa by Alissa Nutting, breaks this narrative. Indecent doesn't vilify these women the same way Tampa did, but it doesn't make excuses for them either.

Corinne Sullivan's writing is impressive. Much like Tampa, it is the writing that prevents this novel from becoming a huge mess. It is crafted in such a way that makes you want to take this journey with the character, even as you cringe. Imogene's voice is pitch perfect for her character, and I am excited at the thought of whatever Corinne writes next.

Imogene is someone you pity. You certainly don't like her, and you often want to shake her for the choices she makes. I often found myself feeling second hand embarrassment and shame at many of  her actions. As a reader you instantly feel sorry for her, but you're also repulsed by her. She's a woman who never grew up. Her development was stunted at some point during her teenage years which combine with her deep insecurities and mental health issues to create the hot mess that is the Imogene we meet in this novel. She's not some mastermind. She's a deeply troubled young woman who quickly becomes single-mindedly focused.

There is almost two Adam Kipling's that are being presented in this novel. The cool, much more mature version that exists in Imogene's head, and the real version that is a typical teenage boy. I found it interesting that he is portrayed as the one pursing her, and it is true to an extent, without making excuses for Imogene's behaviour. It doesn't matter if he pursued her. She is the adult and authority figure. She is the one that should know better. There is a scene later on the book that resonated with me. Adam cries and mentions that everything is so messed up. He's a drunk mess a lot of time. These are indicators that perhaps the relationship with Imogene is impacting him in a way that Imogene simply cannot see. As the story is told entirely through her perspective it is a subtle hint that he may feel victimized deep down, even as Imogene crafts an entirely different reality in her head.

The relationship between Imogene and Adam is problematic for two reasons. It is not only against the policy of the school, but the novel takes the time to point out that Adam is not yet eighteen. There is a scene where Imogene is asked how old he is with the person pointing out that they hope he is over eighteen. Imogene's lack of reply is all the other person, and the reader, need to know. She either doesn't know, or knows and he is underage. It is strongly insinuated that it is the latter, and that makes it all the more clear that Imogene knows what she is doing is wrong. This novel could have made him eighteen and about to graduate. It would have still be a problematic relationship with the dynamics of the student/teacher imbalance. Corinne Sullivan, instead, takes the tougher route of making it illegal as well. As a result of this choice the ending may not sit well with everyone, but it feels entirely realistic and fitting.

This book will not be for everyone. It doesn't paint Imogene as some master manipulator predator. It doesn't paint Adam as a saintly victim. It lives in the messy grayness and embraces it. It doesn't make excuses for Imogene's actions, but instead offers reasons. It paints a picture of a deeply flawed, damaged, immature woman who also happens to engage in a highly inappropriate and illegal relationship. I recommend it for those who like well written, complex books that will leave you dying to dissect and discuss

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday ... The Dinner List


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 Dinner List by Rebecca Serle


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
For fans of Me Before You and ONE DAY comes a wondrous novel of first love, loss, and the dinner of a lifetime.

When Sabrina Nielsen arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also her favorite professor from college, her father, her ex-fiance, Tobias, and Audrey Hepburn.

At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Sabrina contends with in Rebecca Serle’s utterly captivating novel, The Dinner List, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as Sliding Doors, and The Rosie Project.

As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there’s a reason these six people have been gathered together, and as Rebecca Serle masterfully traces Sabrina’s love affair with Tobias and her coming of age in New York City, The Dinner List grapples with the definition of romance, the expectations of love, and how we navigate our way through it to happiness. Oh, and of course, wisdom from Audrey Hepburn. 

Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, The Dinner List is a modern romance for our times. Bon appetit.
I am a fan of Rebecca Serle's previous book and was so excited when it was announced that she was going to be releasing her first adult novel.
I am sure that we have all, at some point, thought about our dream dinner list. I love the idea of Sabrina getting to experience it and it teaching her something about herself.
This book is going to be the best way to send off summer. It releases at the end of August which means it'll be a perfect read to pair with some time at the beach (or pool) and some ice cream. 

*** EDIT *** The release date was listed incorrectly. It is actually Sept 11th. My plan of reading it with ice cream still stands. 
Expected release date - Sept 11, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

Lizzie Pre-Order Campaign Annoucement


If you're a frequent visitor to the blog you will know that I have read and loved all of Dawn Ius' novels. Her newest, Lizzie,  comes out April 10th and I am thrilled to help reveal the pre-order campaign for this amazing book.

First, here is the Goodreads synopsis in case you're not familiar with the book:
Seventeen-year-old Lizzie Borden has never been kissed. Polite but painfully shy, Lizzie prefers to stay in the kitchen, where she can dream of becoming a chef and escape her reality. With tyrannical parents who force her to work at the family’s B&B and her blackout episodes—a medical condition that has plagued her since her first menstrual cycle—Lizzie longs for a life of freedom, the time and space to just figure out who she is and what she wants.

Enter the effervescent, unpredictable Bridget Sullivan. Bridget has joined the B&B’s staff as the new maid, and Lizzie is instantly drawn to her artistic style and free spirit—even her Star Wars obsession is kind of cute. The two of them forge bonds that quickly turn into something that’s maybe more than friendship.

But when her parents try to restrain Lizzie from living the life she wants, it sparks something in her that she can’t quite figure out. Her blackout episodes start getting worse, her instincts less and less reliable. Lizzie is angry, certainly, but she also feels like she’s going mad…
Amazing, right?! The Lizzie Borden case has always fascinated me, and if you'r into true crime inspired novels I highly recommend this one.

Dawn has crafted a special thank you gift for those who pre-order the book. Anyone who emails dawniuspreorders@gmail.com with a copy of their receipt (and mailing address) before April 9th at midnight EST will receive the following:

1- a signed book plate
2- this Lizzie Borden paper doll


I have read Lizzie and this is SO perfect. I immediately wanted one of these for myself when I saw the finished product.

That is not all though. Each person who pre-orders will also be put into a draw for a grand prize giveaway. One lucky winner will receive the following:

-Lizzie bookmarks 
-recipe card (featuring a recipe that was a specialty of the real Lizzie Borden)
-a signed copy of both Overdrive and Anne & Henry
-an assortment of other Lizzie Borden inspired items

You can pre-order from your preferred retailer, and this is open internationally. Remember to have it in before April 9th at midnight EST to be eligible. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

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 few fun goodies made their way into my mailbox this week. First up is my #otspsecretsister package for this month. It was filled with some fun items that I really loved!


Roomies by Christina Lauren (goodreads)

The Wine2Go pouch is totally something I will make use of! The cookies are delicious! I am also very happy to have a copy of one of my fave romance novels! Roomies is such a fun read.

My copy of Call Me By Your Name arrived! I was so happy when this was delivered and I wanted to watch it immediately but I haven't been able to yet. 


The special features all sound AMAZING and I am very curious about the commentary from the director and cast.

What bookish goodies made their way into your mailbox this week? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

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.

So many exciting reveals this week!

BOOKS


Cover Of Rebecca Serle's The Dinner List (goodreads)

I am a huge fan of Rebecca's previous work and was so excited to hear that she would be writing her first adult novel. I was even more excited when I read the synopsis.

The cover was recently revealed and it is perfect!


I am so excited to meet Sabrina and Rebecca's version of Audrey Hepburn. I think it is going to be such a wonderful read! I cannot wait.

Cover of Lauren Oliver's Broken Things (goodreads)

Entertainment Weekly recently revealed the cover for Lauren Oliver's next book. They also released a excerpt that is twisted in all the best ways.


I love the dark colour scheme of the book, and that it fits with the chilling synopsis so perfectly. I am counting down the days until I get to read this one.

TV/MOVIE

The final trailer for the next Avengers movie was released and it is AMAZING!


The exchange between Peter Park and Dr. Strange is hilariously perfect. Steve Rogers is VERY intense (and very sexy) around the 1:46 (ish) mark. It's an epic trailer that has made waiting for this movie just a little bit harder to do. Tickets for opening week also went on sale at the same time this was released. I've already purchased mine for opening day!

First Image From The TV Show You

You is a book I have heard plenty about and have added to my reading list ages ago. My interest was renewed when a television show was announced. The premiere date of September 9th was just recently announced along with a first look from the show.


I know next to nothing about this book but what I do know intrigues me, and this image captures the creepy vibe I expect it to have. I have bumped the book up my reading list to have it done before September.

What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Glass Of Wine At The Movies - Love, Simon




Love, Simon

Rating: 14A

Director: Greg Berlanti

Language: English

Length:  109 minutes

Cast: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp

Viewing Method: Advance Screening

Synopsis: Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it's a little more complicated: he's yet to tell his family or friends he's gay and he doesn't actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he's fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Directed by Greg Berlanti (Riverdale, The Flash, Supergirl), written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger (This is Us), and based on Becky Albertalli's acclaimed novel, LOVE, SIMON is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about the thrilling ride of finding yourself and falling in love.

********

Love, Simon immediately feels both familiar and unique. Simon's story is one we've seen told many times before. It's your standard coming of age and falling in love tale, but it is also so much more. It's a movie that benefits from a perfect mix of great performances, writing, and directing. It's one of those movie that is just a joy to watch, and a near perfect adaptation of a book that so many people love.

Nick Robinson shines as Simon Spier. He oozes a charm and charisma that instantly makes Simon relatable to anyone watching. This movie is the kind that could change his career, and his performance is pitch perfect. There is an ease to his portrayal of Simon that ensures you don't want to take your eyes off him.

Simon is surrounded by a wonderful family and amazing friends. They are this amazing support system that he has. These characters are just as endearing as Simon. You'll wan to grab ice coffee with Simon and his friends. You'll want to eat a meal with the Spiers. These characters help enrich the movie and manage to be pretty fleshed out for secondary characters. As someone who has read the book this movie is based on, and is aware of the sequel that is coming, I was especially excited by the small nods to Leah's journey that were woven in. I hope this movie does incredibly well so we can have Leah's story as a sequel because I am not ready to leave these character's behind in either book or movie format.

The humour within this movie has a palpable energy to it. There's an immensely funny wit that is only matched by this movie's heart. It made me laugh and cry in equal measure. It's one of those rare gems that manages to be everything the trailer promises and more. A movie's strength starts with its script and great care was taken in the writing of this one. It is something that shows itself in every other element of the movie. It's evident that the people involved cared enough to get it right.

My review would not be complete without a quick mention of the soundtrack. The use of music in this movie is excellent. Music, when used effectively, sets the tone for the scene and lingers with the water after the movie is over. This movie has so many of these moments. The music just enriches a movie that is already filled with an embarrassment of them.

I was initially concerned about how the mystery would translate from book to movie. The identity of Blue, the boy Simon falls in love with via online interactions, is such a huge part of the story that it needed to be done right. There are a number of potential Blues that Simon has to navigate through, and this part of the story was done so cleverly. It skillfully gets you attached to each potential Blue, and allows for an incredibly romantic payoff that will be more than statisfying to all the rom-com fans out there.

This will, obviously, be a movie that means a lot to the LGBTQ+ community. It is the first widely released movie of its kind, and one that is long overdue. Its message is that everyone deserves a great love story, and it offers up a happy ending for those who normally do not get to see that reflected in their entertainment. There are plenty of reviews for this movie from people who are members of the LGBTQ+ community and I urge you to seek them out because of their personal connection to the story.

Love, Simon is a charming rom-com that is special for a multitude of reasons. It's a modern version of a John Hughes movie that I predict everyone will love.  It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry (sometimes at the same time), but it'll also leave your heart just a little bit fuller. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday ... When We Caught Fire


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 When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
It’s 1871 and Emmeline Carter is poised to take Chicago’s high society by storm. Between her father’s sudden rise to wealth, and her recent engagement to Chicago’s most eligible bachelor, Emmeline has it all. But she can’t stop thinking about the life she left behind, including her childhood sweetheart, Anders Magnuson. Fiona Byrne, Emmeline’s childhood best friend, is delighted by her friend’s sudden rise to prominence, especially since it means Fiona is free to pursue Anders herself. But when Emmeline risks everything for one final fling with Anders, Fiona feels completely betrayed.

As the summer turns to fall, the city is at a tipping point: friendships are tested, hearts are broken, and the tiniest spark might set everything ablaze. Sweeping, soapy, and romantic, this is a story about an epic love triangle—one that will literally set the city ablaze, and change the lives of three childhood friends forever. 
The idea that a love triangle is what caused the 1871 Chicago fire immediately piqued my interest. I know love triangles are met with resistance from many, but I love them. I am curious about how it leads to a city burning down and I am sure it'll be filled with plenty of drama and scandal along the way.

This book doesn't come out until autumn of 2018, but I am already keeping my fingers crossed I get my hands on an ARC because I don't think I can wait that long to read this one.

Expected release date - October 2, 2018

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

True Crime Week Announcement



I am super into true crime right now (as you may have guessed from my Weekly Obsessions posts recently) and recently decided to celebrate this love with a feature on the blog. 

Kicking off April 9th I am going to feature true crime reads and some reads that are inspired by true crime. I am hoping to have some author guest posts and interviews to share along with some reviews.

I encourage any authors who would like to take part to get in touch as I would love to feature you and your book!




Sunday, March 11, 2018

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 few fun things made their way into my mailbox this week.

First up are some buttons I purchased while out doing some #otspsecretsister shopping.


These Love, Simon buttsons are adorable and I love them. Hot Topic is starting to get t-shirts and other Love, Simon merchandise for those who are interested. I am so excited for everyone to see the movie next weekend (and I cannot believe it is SO CLOSE now).

I impulse purchased this book on International Women's Day and feel pretty good about my life choices. I spent it by watching Jessica Jones season two and picking this up.


I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (goodreads)

Michelle McNamara was a bad ass and I am happy I got to celebrate her by picking this up on such a perfect day. I am excited to read it for my true crime event in April!

What bookish goodies made their way into your mailbox this week? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Weekly Obsessions


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

Happy weekend everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying it. I have a few things to share that made me excited this week, and you should check them out for yourself.

BOOKS

BEA Buzz Books

I may not be attending BEA this year (I am attending ALA in New Orleans instead) but I am always excited when they release their Buzz Books for the upcoming conference. 

This year the Buzz Books in the Adult and YA categories are:  

Adult

    Maid, by Stephanie Land (Hachette Books, December 2018
    Ohio: A Novel, by Stephen Markley (Simon & Schuster, August 2018)
    She Would Be King, by WayĆ©tu Moore (Graywolf Press, September 2018)
    Small Animals, by Kim Brooks (Flatiron Books, August 2018)
    The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World, by    
    Sarah Weinman (Ecco, September 2018)
    There Will Be No Miracles Here, by Casey Gerald (Riverhead Books, October 2018)

YA

    Darius the Great is Not Okay, by Adib Khorram (Dial Books for Young Readers, September 2018)
    The Girl King, by Mimi Yu (Bloomsbury Children's Books, October 2018)
    Girls of Paper and Fire, by Natasha Ngan (JIMMY Patterson, October 2018)
    Sadie, by Courtney Summers (Wednesday Books, September 2018)
    The Similars, by Rebecca Hanover (Sourcebooks Fire, January 2019)

You can check out Publishers Weekly for more info. I am going to immediately look up the synopsis for each of these books to see which ones I am most interested in.







TV/MOVIES

Call Me By Your Name Sequel Announced

It was recently announced that one of my favourite movies of 2017 is getting a sequel! Elio and Oliver will reunite in a currently untitled sequel to Call Me By Your Name. The cast and director are rumoured to already be attached to the sequel. I am so excited, but also scared. I do not want it to ruin the first movie because I love it so much, and sequels are always tricky. I'll remain cautiously optimistic for now, and look forward to seeing a trailer.


OTHER

Disgraceland Podcast (link)

I am always looking for new podcasts to listen to and I came upon this one thanks to the recommendation of my podcast app. It combines my love of true crime with music which immediately made me curious so I downloaded the three episodes currently available. 


I instantly subscribed after listening to those three episodes, and look forward to the rest of their first season. The host has a great voice and it offers up a unique narration in terms of how the story is being told. You should be prepared to immediately Google the cases featured in the episodes to get more details (especially if you are not already familiar with them). I also happen to love their logo! A zombified Elvis is a fun touch (and they will be selling pins of the logo on their website soon).

What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt



Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt              
Release Date - March 1, 2018
Publisher Website - Everafter Romance
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 305 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**purchased**

**SPOILERS FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THIS SERIES**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
These Royals will ruin you.

Ever since Hartley Wright met Easton Royal, her life hasn’t been the same. There are enemies behind every corner and dangers beyond each door. When tragedy strikes and steals her memories, she can’t trust anyone, not even the blue-eyed boy who promises her that everything will be all right.

Because while Hartley’s memory is full of gaps, her instincts tell her Easton is dangerous. She doesn’t know if he’s the snake in the garden or her chance at salvation. The chaos he brings wherever he goes is too much to handle, the intense feelings he evokes are too confusing to unravel.

Easton wants her to remember. Hartley thinks it’s better to forget.

She might be right.

Tragedy. Treachery. Trust. Hartley has to face the facts—in this world, you can’t escape the Royals.

Either you live by their rules or you die by them.
The ending of a series always brings mixed emotions. I am sad to leave behind the world and characters I love so much, but excited to finally know the end to the story I've been following over multiple books. It brings both excitement and sadness in equal measure. I approached Cracked Kingdom with both eagerness and trepidation. I had no cause for worry because Erin Watt crafted an addictive ending to their series that offered up a satisfying, if rushed, conclusion.

The cliffhanger ending of Fallen Heir ensured that fans of this series would be figuratively dying to get their hands on the next installment. The life of one of our beloved Royals hung in the balance, and we all wanted to know his fate. The outcome of this is rather interesting, so I will not ruin it. This event is mostly used, surprisingly, to showcase how it impacts others. It is used quite effectively to show how much some characters have grown since we first met them. I, however, wanted to examine the impact on the person who would be left dealing with the reality and consequences. That is, perhaps, a story for another day and one that I hope is eventually told.

Hartley shows herself to be a resourceful, adaptable, strong young woman who faces her memory loss much better than I would. She could easily give up and become bitter, but she instead decides to make her own path. She is different from Ella but just as formidable in her own way and offers a differing perspective on the Royal family that is entirely welcome.

I appreciated that Easton always remained true to who his character is during the course of his journey. He grows, but it never changes who he is or makes him do things that would be out of character. It just makes him a more decent version of himself. It shows that the authors really know who his character is. They have what happens to him impact him instead of defining him which is sometimes hard to do in a story with this many life altering events happening.

The pacing is full speed as we rush towards an end to not only this novel but the series as a whole. It, at times, felt like the authors could have used a little more time to polish up this final installment, but it is nonetheless a fun, exciting closing chapter to the story of the Royals .... even if I wish we were getting a trilogy from another Royal's perspective.

If you're looking for something that is the literary equivalent of a CW television show than this is the series for you. It packs in as much sex, drama, bad decision making, and angst as you could possibly want into its three hundred and some pages. The entire series is a fun read that will have you completely addicted the entire time you are reading them. I cannot wait to read whatever Erin Watt rights next. I can only hope that it is just as debaucherous and scandal filled as this series was.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

** Blog Tour ** The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw


I am thrilled to be part of the Canadian blog tour for Shea Ernshaw's The Wicked Deep. I love witch stories and could not wait to read this one so I jumped at the change to take part when it was offered.

Be sure to visit all the stops on the tour for reviews from some amazing bloggers, and fun extras like guest posts from Shea, a book inspired manicure, and more!


I had the opportunity to ask Shea some questions about The Wicked Deep and I couldn't resist asking her about her own favourite witch characters! A huge thank to both Simon and Schuster Canada and Shea for making this happen.

1 What gif do you feel describes The Wicked Deep? 


2 If someone were to design a signature ice cream flavour for The Wicked Deep what would be included?  

Coconut ice cream with sea salt, dark lavender chocolate, and bits of seaweed. And it would be consumed daily by sailors and fishermen before they head out to sea.

3 If you had magical powers, what is one thing you would use them for?

After world peace of course, I would use my magical powers for teleportation. I would blink and transport myself to a warm sandy beach every Saturday, I would blink and awaken in a castle in Scotland or whisk myself off to London for high tea each afternoon. I would no longer endure airports or crowded planes. And after I’ve been off having adventures, I would return home to snuggle my cats in the evening. I would be able to see the world in a single day!

4 Who are some of your favourite witches from books, movies, and television?

I can’t deny my love for the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus. And I can’t choose a favorite of the three—so don’t even ask—they are all so magnificent! And I know there has been talk of a Hocus Pocus remake over the years, but I don’t want it, nothing can compare to the original. Those songs, those costumes! GAH! SO GOOD!

I also love Morticia Addams—who is not a witch—but she exudes such prowess and dramatic flair that I want to be her. She is my life goals.


The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw             
Release Date - March 6, 2018
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 320 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.
I was sold on The Wicked Deep the instant I heard its premise. I love a good witch story and had high hopes for this one. Shea Ernshaw did not disappoint with her story about love, revenge, redemption, and sacrifice.

The atmosphere of this novel is felt on every single page. The damp coldness of the sea, the salt tinged air, the feeling of the impossible being possible. The novel plays up its setting and tone to create the perfect witchy vibe. You can sense the Practical Magic inspiration in the way you can almost feel the magic in the air. It is vividly realized, and you could instantly picture what this town looked like.

The tale of the three beautiful Swan sisters is a tragic and crushing one. It is vividly told along side the current story arc that is taking place. The two stories are interwoven with the past impacting the present and creating a richer, deeper story. I was just as enthralled by the story set in the past as I was by the one set in present day. Witch hunts are a huge theme in both the timelines. I found it interesting that Swan sisters were wrongfully accused only to be turned into something mystical by what is done to them. It tinges the story with a little more bitterness and makes what happened to them even more unfair.

There is an undercurrent theme of slut-shaming in the Swan sisters narrative. Their story digs into the idea that women are judged more harshly than men for the same actions. The entire series of events is set off because people believed men could not possibly be responsible for their own actions. It provides a discussion worthy element that I feel makes it perfect for book clubs.

There are a few love stories found within this novel. One that takes places in the past, and the one happening in the present. The both pack a heart aching punch and a sadness that is, at times, unexpected. There is a sympathy that is invoked, particularly for the Swan sisters and the tragic romances within these pages, that caught me by surprise. They are murders plenty times over and should be beyond redemption, but their story is so horrific that it tugs at your heart.

The love stories have a bit of an instalove feel to them, but that worked for me in this case. There is a hint of magic to the connections that are built, and it felt right. It makes sense that these romances would feel as steeped in magic as the rest of the elements of the story. The possibility of something mystical makes them feel a little more plausible in a way that may not work as well in a more contemporary set novel.

There are various mysteries to unravel within the story arc set out in this novel. The multiple mysteries ensures that the reader is always invested. The pacing of the reveals is important in a story structure like this, and I think it's done effectively here. It is the kind of story you finish quickly because it is compulsively readable, and you want to find out what happens next until you've reached the very end.

Shea Ernshaw has crafted  a magical, heartbreaking, romantic story that was entirely bewitching. I hope she continues to write paranormal stories, and would recommend this one to any reader who is looking for a witch inspired read to get swept away in.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

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.

Just a small post this week, but a pretty exciting one. You may also have noticed this is on Sunday instead of the usual Saturday. This is because I don't have new books or anything to show in my book haul so I thought I would shift this by a day!

BOOKS


Gillian Flynn Is Writing A New Novel

I came across an interview with Gillian Flynn where she talks about the novel she is currently working on and I became VERY excited. I loved Gone Girl and cannot wait to read whatever she writes next.

Of her new work she said:
I’m about halfway through a solid first draft of my next novel. It’s very sinister and dark, and there are definitely some funny pieces to it. Brett, my husband, has read the first page, which is a fucking spectacular first page. It’s the greatest first page that’s ever been written.
I am already in. I don't even have to know any other details. I want it immediately.

Cover Of Vengeful By VE Schwab (goodreads)

I read (and loved) Vicious when it came out and immediately wanted a sequel. The cover for that sequel was just released and I LOVE it. It is, obviously, a much different look than the first book, but a look that I think really works for this series.



It is my favourite colour combination and immediately catches your attention. The cover for Vicious was also redone in this style and I think I may have to get them both.

What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, March 2, 2018

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo



To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Release Date - March 6,  2018
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  384 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
The opening line of To Kill A Kingdom immediately sets the tone for this retelling of The Little Mermaid. It prepares the reader for a dark and vicious take on the classic tale, and presents a unique take on a story many know so well.

Alexandra Christo's writing is precise. Every word is used to advance the story or setting in some way. It is a story that could have easily been drawn out to create a series, and I respect that it was instead crafted into a much tighter stand alone. It makes for a better story and one that, I feel, showcases Alexandra's writing talent.

The settings used within the story are strikingly vivid. Each land visited is brought to life from the golden hues of Midas, to the snow covered beauty of Pagos. The descriptions make this novel read like a movie and I could easily picture not only the characters, but the world the inhabit. It's a fully realized world with a mythology that is vital to the story and it is where the writing truly shines.

Lira is the siren known as The Prince's Bane. The siren who has taken a heart for ever year she's been a live. The siren who only kills Princes. She's deadly, vicious, and the perfect weapon for the Sea Queen. It is Lira who grows the most during the journey she takes. She also is used to prove that hatred isn't something that someone is born with, it is taught. I enjoyed Lira because she's so headstrong, focused, and willing to learn and grow. She's a great character that is a stark contrast to the wide eyed Ariel.

Prince Elian is more pirate than Prince. He would rather be on the ocean than in his kingdom. He wants nothing more than the freedom to control his own destiny, and to kill the murderous siren who hunts his kind. He garners loyalty from this crew easily and has plenty of charm. He's the type of book character who steals your heart. He is more fleshed out than the Prince in this story typically is which is always welcome.

The nods to the classic tale of The Little Mermaid are small and peppered throughout. The transformation scene from siren to human is, like a lot of things in this novel, bloody and brutal. I could feel the pain radiating from the page and the agony Lira must have felt. It is a punishment in every sense, and something that stayed with me during the rest of the novel.  The Sea Witch's tentacles will immediately bring to mind Ursula from the Disney classic, but the family connection between her and Lira makes it even more heartbreaking.

The hatred between Lira and Prince Elian ensures that this is not an instalove situation. She very much wants to rip out his heart, and he would not hesitate to kill her if he knew she was the infamous Prince's Bane. It is a slow process of Lira getting to know who Prince Elian is, and seeing the good things that humans do for each other that changes her entire perspective. I makes for a deliciously torturous build up to them falling for each other. The romance, while being important, is not the sole driving force of the narrative. It allows this story to be a little richer and more interesting as a result.

Alexandra Christo has written a unique and enthralling read that will appeal to anyone who loves retellings. This one is not the Disneyfied version, nor is it the heartbreaking original. It manages to be a mixture of both and therefore something entirely its own. I eager await whatever Alexandra Christo writes next as I fully fell under the spell of this amazing debut.

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