Sunday, July 29, 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 had a lot of fun arrivals into my mailbox this week. First up, I manged to get the Billy and Mrs Wheeler (Karen) Pop 2 pack that was a San Diego Comic Con exclusive. I love them!


The cookie! Her nightgown! The hair on Mrs Wheeler! They're adorable. Looking forward to seeing what season three is going to bring for both these characters.

My Happy Hello! bookmark addiction continues. I saw this adorable Peter Parker one and had to snag it. I love it so much! I am going to have to find a way to display these in my house.


SO cute right? I love her shop. Be sure to visit and snag some for yourself.

Lastly are some books I purchased recently. Idecided to grab some of these during Chapters free shipping offer. I wanted Any Man for the signing I was going to (and because it sounds amazing) and I could not pass up getting Carry On after finishing up Fangirl.


Any Man by Amber Tamblyn (goodreads)
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (goodreads)

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 28, 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.

BOOKS

Cover for 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (goodreads)

All of the romance readers I follow on Twitter were VERY excited about this cover reveal (myself included). I loved The Hating Game so much and cannot wait to get my hands on Sally's next book.


99 Percent Mine has a great synopsis and now a super cute cover. It's going to be a great way to chase way those winter blues!

Cover of Crashing The A-List by Summer Heacock (goodreads)

This one came to my attention completely by accident. I was scrolling through Twitter and saw the cover appear on my feed. I instantly had to look up what it was about because it caught my eye. It is obviously a Hollywood set romance which I happen to love and it has a great synopsis.


I love that she meets the celebrity love interest because she is clearing out abandoned storage lockers and discovers a potentially scandalous secret from his past. It has the makings of a charming, funny, sweet romance read and I am here for it.

TV/MOVIE

I Am The Night Trailer

Combine Petty Jenkins, Chris Pine, and the infamous Black Dahlia murder and you have a television show that I am instantly OBSESSED with.


It looks really good and is on my list for things to be excited about for 2019. I am wishing it was fall 2018 though. It just looks so good!

OTHER

Cody Fern Cast In American Horror Story: Apocalypse

Cody Fern has been cast in the newest season of American Horror Story and I am so excited. The role he is playing is super spoilery for the first season (aka Murder House) and is a big spoiler for the upcoming season as well. If you want to be spoiled I recommend the Entertainment Weekly post announcing the news.


The news has made me even more excited for this season which is to be a crossover season of Murder House and Coven (season 3). This news has me intrigued and really optimistic about the direction this season might go in.

And if you don't want to be bothered to venture over to Entertainment Weekly ... click the spoiler tag for who he is playing and my ridiculous commentary.



This news has made me excited enough that I think I might have to recap this season on the blog again.

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

Friday, July 27, 2018

Event Recap: Amber Tamblyn at Chapters Rideau


It is not often that Ottawa gets book signings. The usual spots for any Canadian events are Toronto with Vancouver getting the occasional event as well. I was therefore pretty excited that one of my local bookstores would be hosting Amber Tamblyn during her Any Man tour.

The store had this amazing set up when you first entered. It had been up for a couple weeks. Due to the aforementioned lack of book events happening in the city, there wasn't really a lot of promotion that happened but the turn out was still pretty decent.



Amber decided to have local female writers join her as part of the event. Ottawa's aspiring writer was Jasmin Bollman who read some of her writing for the group before Amber did a reading from her book. Jasmin's writing was about being a writer and the idea of what that meant to her. Amber's reading from Any Man focused on how the media reports on incidents of sexual violence and they want that it is put out for consumption. You could have heard a pin drop as Amber read because everyone was so riveted.


My favourite part was the Q and A afterwards. Amber gave intelligent and thoughtful answers to some really interesting questions. Getting to hear what initially inspired her to write the book and how she ultimately wanted to widen the conversation that was happening around sexual violence and rape. The perspective of male victims of rape is the main focus of Any Man and seems to ignite a need to discuss it based on the comments form people at the event who had already finished it. I think it would make an excellent book club pick. 


In closing, if Amber Tamblyn's Any Man tour is coming to your city I recommend going to check it out. The book sounds incredible, and she's such a kind and intelligent woman. Thank you to Harper Collins Canada, Chapters Rideau, and Amber for the fantastic evening.

Here is the full schedule so you can see which stops are coming up next!



Thursday, July 26, 2018

Movie Talk: Toronto International Film Festival



As mentioned in a recent post there will start to be a little more movie content on the blog. Today's post will fit into the more Oscar theme I am going to have with these posts as I am going to talk about the Toronto International Film Festival's Gala and Special Presentations selections. 

Plenty of movies that are showcased at TIFF go on to have impressive Oscar campaigns (and wins) so it is only natural that the Oscar conversation start when these announcements begin. I've always wanted to experience TIFF and this year's movies have me wishing I could attend even more.

I am going to spotlight the six movies from the current list that I personally would want to see. Why six? One of the ticket packages available for the event is a booklet of 6 tickets. 


My Top Six List Of Movies I Would Want To See At TIFF

1- A Star Is Born 

Bradley Cooper's directorial debut has been on my radar since it was announced. I also may have flailed A LOT about the first trailer. This movie's buzz has just started to increase and I have been hearing amazing things from the screenings that have recently been held. There is a reason this story gets retold and it is because, if done right, the story can really resonate. 

2- Beautiful Boy

Everyone knows how much I loved Timothee Chalamet's performance in Call Me By Your Name. I wasn't surprised when he didn't win the Oscar but I was certainly not happy about it. This movie seems to have him in more of a supporting role but also looks like it could snag him another Oscar nomination. Based on a set of memoirs by David and Nic Sheff, it chronicles Nic's drug addiction and the impact it has on him and his family.

3- The Hate U Give

I loved the book this is based on and the trailer looks really solid. I am going to be following the review of this one in particular to see if the buzz may end up building on this one. It has some Oscar potential with the story being told.

4- Widows

Another splashy movie that already has a ton of buzz behind it. The trailer is great and I am here for whatever Daniel Kaluuya is doing with his role in this. I like so much of the cast and a lot of the choices that seem to have been made. Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay which also has me intrigued because I love her books.

5- First Man

This one is on my list because I think it'll be one that everyone is talking about when discussing potential Oscar nominations. The trailer seems to capture the gritty, dangerous aspects of space exploration and in particular the mission to get this crew to the moon. It, obviously, seems to focus on Neil Armstrong (hence the title) but I hope it explores a lot more of the space preparation elements than his personal life.

6- If Beale Street Could Talk

I have been hearing steady buzz for this movie about a woman attempting to free her wrongfully convicted husband from prison. There is no trailer for it currently but plenty of early Oscar predictors have it being in the conversation.

There are plenty more I would love to see. Special mention for MOUTHPIECE which is a Canadian film that has plenty of women involved in all aspects of its creation from writing, producing, directing and more. Giant Little Ones, another Canadian movie, also caught my attention after I viewed the trailer.

I am excited to see what other movies will be announced as part of the line up to be showcased at this year's festival. Are you attending TIFF this year? Wish you could? What movies from those announced would you most want to attend? Any movies you have your eye on in terms of potential Oscar contenders? Let me know in the comments and check out all of the movies announced over at TIFF.net.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday .... 99 Percent Mine

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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 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

… If Darcy Barrett hadn’t met her dream man when she was eight years old, the rest of the male population wouldn’t be such a let-down. No one measures up to Tom Valeska, aka the best man on Earth, not in looks, brain or heart. Even worse is the knowledge that her twin brother Jamie saw him first, and claimed him forever as his best friend.

Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. One percent of Tom has had to be enough for Darcy, and her adoration has been sustained by his shy kindness. And if she’s honest, his tight t-shirts.

Now Darcy’s got three months left to get her life together, before her twin insists on selling the tumble-down cottage they inherited from their grandmother. By night, she’s working in a seedy bar, shooting down lame pickups from bikers. By day, she’s sewing underwear for her best friend and wasting her award-winning photography skills on website shots of pens and novelty mugs. She’s enjoying living the messy life, and a glass of wine or ten… until that one night, when she finds a six-foot-six perfect package on her porch.

Tom’s here, he’s bearing power tools—and he’s single for the first time in a decade.

As a house flipper extraordinaire, Tom has been dispatched by Jamie to give the cottage a drastic facelift that will result in a ton of cash. Darcy doesn’t appreciate Tom’s unsentimental approach to knocking down walls, and he really, really doesn’t approve of her current burnout boyfriend. They can’t be in the same room together without sparks flying- and it’s not the faulty wiring. One bedroom wall separates them at night, and even that’s looking flimsy.

Will Tom ever see Darcy as anything other than a little-sister obstacle to get around? And can she stand up to her most formidable opponent—her twin? This time around, she’s determined to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers, and he’s never managed to say no to her yet…
I loved The Hating Game so much when I read it last year. It was one of my favourite books of last year and certainly one of my favourite romance novels.

I am (im)patiently waiting for her second book which sounds equally adorable. I love the whole "wanting to date your brother's best friend" trope and I am intrigued that the siblings are twins so that dynamic could be interesting. Mostly I just want more hot kissing scenes and for it to be a fun read.

The January release date is perfect for holiday gift card pre-orders and ensures that there will be something to look forward to chase off the winter blues.

Expected release date -January 29, 2019

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tell Me No Lies by AV Geiger



Tell Me No Lies by AV Geiger
Release Date - June 5, 2018
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 330 pages
My Rating - 2.5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Love. Obsession. Jealousy. Murder.

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she's finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat... That's safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.
Follow Me Back mixed the dangerous elements of being online, a pop star, romance, and an interesting use of multi storytelling formats to create a intensely readable, if underdeveloped, thriller. I was curious enough to pick up the sequel to see how the story would progress. Sadly, this book ended up being not for me.

A.V. Geiger's writing style is very readable. It is easy to get lulled into the story because her writing is simple and engaging. The use of interrogation transcripts to break up the chapters is a great touch. It lets the story unravel at a measured pace and that keeps the reader's interest. The writing style itself is fine and because of that I would be willing to check out another book by this author if it caught my attention.

The plot is where I struggled. The ultimate answer of who is behind everything that is happening is a logical solution. The motive makes sense for the character but was a little under explored. I wish it had been fleshed out. I feel like we were told the motive instead of shown it. Everything outside of the who and the why did not work for me though. There is the inclusion of plot points that never really go anywhere and are just left as loose ends. There are a couple of plot points that feel entirely unnecessary in the end. They serve no purpose other than to be a 'twist' or 'reveal' of some kind and the story would be the same without them. This plot sort of feels like every twist was just thrown in because it felt like they should be there. They didn't service the story in any tangible way. It is a case of too much happening and none of it really working together to create something cohesive. There were some interesting elements that I wish we would have followed more than we did.

This is a book that is plot driven. Plot driven books can sometimes when when the plot itself is engaging enough. This book needed me to connect with the characters for it to work (at least I needed to connect when them). The character stuff just wasn't strong enough for me. I didn't feel like I learned anything new about them from the first book or that they changed in any tangible way. There are hints that the events of this book changed them towards the end, but we don't see any progression or change until those final moments. It reads, at least for me, like all of the focus was on the plot, and how crazy it could be made, instead of on the characters.

This mentions that it is the conclusion of the Follow Me Back duology and as a result the ending felt unsatisfying to me. This is mainly because it feels unfinished. There are so large plot points that I felt were left dangling that should have been wrapped up in the ending. It ties in to how certain plot points were tossed in without ever being really fleshed out. It simply made the story feel unresolved in a way that would work better if the series were to continue with another book.

I predict many will love this more than I did. It's a wild, twisty, over the top ride that may work for readers who are only interested in for that reason. I think might work better for readers who like a more plot driven novel. I just didn't connect with the story, found the plot of this out too disjointed, and wish it had been a little more tightly pulled together. 

Sunday, July 22, 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)

My final package for this round of #otspsecretsister arrived and  it was amazing! So many goodies and delicious treats.


China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan (goodreads)

A huge thank you to Lynne for being my secret sister this round.

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 21, 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.

BOOKS

The Girls Podcast

Sadie by Courtney Summers is one of the most buzzed about books of the fall season. It's been compared to the wildly popular Serial podcast and is hitting right in the middle of this wave of popularity true crime based media is having right now.


This is, from what I understand, the podcast portion of the novel. The novel has different perspectives and one of them is this podcast that a guy is hosting. I love the idea of getting to hear it as well as reading it as part of the book. It's another way to layer the story. I am lucky enough to have a copy of this and I cannot wait to dive in. The podcast starts August 1st but you can subscribe now at Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

TV/MOVIE

American Horror Story Season 8 Theme

I always look forward to the theme reveal for the upcoming American Horror Story season. This one is supposed to be a Murder House/Coven crossover and I am so into it.

The official theme is Apocalypse and the first teaser image is TERRIFYING!


Excited that it is starting a little earlier this year. I cannot wait to see what cast members are returning and to learn more about how this image might relate to the plot of the season.

Stranger Things Season 3 Teaser

Anything Stranger Things is immediately going to get me excited and this teaser is no exception. It teases a new location, a new job for everyone's favourite babysitter, and perhaps even a release date for the new season.



I really hope the mention of the new mall opening 'next summer' is not a clue to the release date of the third season. I am already pining for this show to return and another year wait would be rough.

Boy Erased Trailer

The trailers for all of the Oscar bait movies just keep coming. This one looks like it could have some real potential as well.

It filled me with a lot of rage but also made me think about the fact that places this like still exist in parts of the world.


Bohemian Rhapsody Trailer #2

"Ready, Freddie?" I liked the first trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody enough but this second one is incredible. I got chills a few times during this second one. I didn't know a mix of multiple Queen songs was something I wanted but apparently it is.



Goosebumps, right? Rami Malek looks stunning in this and I predict he'll be solid. I am still a little concerned because of all the directing drama that happened during the filming of this but I have a little more faith now that I've seen this trailer. The scene at the very end? You see the thrall Freddie Mercury and Queen put on the audience.

OTHER

Murder With Friends Youtube Show (link)

My friend mentioned this Youtube show to me because of my interest in true crime and I immediately needed to check it out. It's an interesting show that feels like a discuss I would have with my friends.




The quick (most episodes are less than 20 minutes) make them perfect for binge watching. You'll fly through them pretty fast. The good thing is that there are quite a few to catch up on if you're just starting to watch.

One thing to note: They do tend to show crime scene photos during their episodes (with helpful warnings before) so just be aware of that if you do decide to check it out.

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

Friday, July 20, 2018

Upcoming Blog Stuff


You may have noticed towards the end of last year that I started experimenting with movie reviews and including some TV reviews as well on the blog. I have been wanting to expand the blog a bit to include all of the things I love in pop culture and that starts happening REALLY soon.

Books will always be the majority of my focus. That part of the blog is not going to change at all. I'll still be providing reviews and hyping upcoming books. My annual Most Anticipated Event is in the midst of being planned and I am ridiculously thrilled  to share the authors taking part! Things are still in the planning stage but it is coming together nicely.

As we head towards the fall season and the premieres of many potential Oscar contenders there will be more movie reviews going up. I am excited to review many of the movies in the latter half of 2018! I'll be posting a preview style post in the fall with a list of movies I think may be in the running for some Oscar nominations and hopefully add a few more to my radar with suggestions from my readers.

I am also going to be including some TV with reviews of shows that catch my attention and some posts relating to the recent Emmy nominations.

I am really excited to include these new posts on a more regular basis (particularly in the fall season). I am also open to suggestions so if there is a movie you want me to check out be sure to let me know.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren



Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren
Release Date - September 15, 2015
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  431 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**purchased**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
But what didn't happen in Vegas seems to follow them everywhere.

Lola and Oliver like to congratulate themselves on having the good sense to not consummate their drunken Las Vegas wedding. If they’d doubled-down on that mistake, their Just Friends situation might not be half as great as it is now.

... Or so goes the official line.

In reality, Lola’s wanted Oliver since day one—and over time has only fallen harder for his sexy Aussie accent and easygoing ability to take her as she comes. More at home in her studio than in baring herself to people, Lola’s instinctive comfort around Oliver nearly seems too good to be true. So why ruin a good thing?

Even as geek girls fawn over him, Oliver can’t get his mind off what he didn’t do with Lola when he had the chance. He knows what he wants with her now ... and it’s far outside the friend zone. When Lola’s graphic novel starts getting national acclaim—and is then fast-tracked for a major motion picture—Oliver steps up to be there for her whenever she needs him. After all, she’s not the kind of girl who likes all that attention, but maybe she’s the kind who’ll eventually like him.

Sometimes seeing what’s right in front of us takes a great leap of faith. And sometimes a dark wild night in Vegas isn’t just the end of a day, but the beginning of a bright new life...
The Queens of Romance have done it again. Dark Wild Night delivers a take on friends to lovers trope that is basically everything I could want and continued their streak of writing adorable romance reads with incredibly charming characters.

The Wild Season series has quickly become one of my favourite romance series. It has an irresistible blend of humour and heart and balances out the sexy scenes with thoughtful story arcs that allow the characters to grow. This installment is no exception. It's pretty much, in my opinion, a must read series for romance fans.

Lola is a fascinating character. Her voice felt so different from Mia and Harlow but you could also immediately understand why they would all be friends. Lola, like her friends before her, has some baggage that she is dealing with and it get dragged to the forefront as her story arc progresses. She has a strong fear of abandonment that stems from many things in her life which combine with her lack of success in the romance department to create some entirely relatable issues for her to have to work through.

Lola's love of comics and art also presented a interesting element to her voice. She often saw or related to things through her artistic viewpoint. Her passion for her career and the drive she had to push herself was admirable. I appreciated that it didn't paint her as terrible for wanting a career she was proud of and for fighting for it. Her storyline does deal with balance and how important that can be for all elements of someone's life but she's never painted in an unsavory light for sometimes putting her career first.

Oliver is perhaps the most laid back out of the guys in this series. His love of comic book culture makes him a nice match for the artsy Lola. While Finn is my favourite of the guys in this series, Oliver's patience, kindness and Australian accent make him a strong second choice.

The secondary characters are some of my favourite from the entire series. They really added to the book's charm. We get to spend more time with Not-Joe thanks to Oliver's point of view and he is just as ridiculous as I had hoped. Lola's father also provides a lot of humour and helps add insight into her character. It was obviously nice to catch up with the characters we already know and love from the previous books but getting to invest in these knew characters is what makes these companion novels work for me.

This is a love story about timing, patience, and letting yourself take the risk. Lola and Oliver's journey will appeal to those who like a slower burn to their romance, and really satisfying payoffs. It's a solid addition to the Wild Seasons series and one whose heart rivals its sexy. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday ... The Bride Test


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 Bride Test by Helen Hoang


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.
I loved Helen Hoang's The Kiss Quotient so much that I was obviously thrilled to find out that there would be a companion novel set in the same world.

The Bride Test features some characters mentioned in The Kiss Quotient (and I am hoping for a cameo or two) but otherwise seems like it could be read on its own. If it is anywhere near as adorable and fun as The Kiss Quotient it'll be a perfect summer read!

The wait for this is long but it just gives everyone who hasn't read The Kiss Quotient plenty of time to join the rest of us in (im)patiently waiting for Khai and Esme's story.
Expected release date - May 7, 2019

Sunday, July 15, 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)

Just one ebook purchase this week that was kind of an impulse purchase because I have seen it all over the place on Twitter this past week.


The Accidentals by Sarina Bowen (goodreads)

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 14, 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.

Last week's lack of reveals was made up for in a big way this week. So many exciting things were revealed and it'll only continue as we get closer to the fall season.

TV/MOVIE

A Simple Favor Trailer

There were some teaser trailers for this movie released previously but we now have a full length one which gives us a little bit more detail about the actual plot.




I also did not realize that this was based off a book. I discovered this fact and now want to read it as soon as I can. It's by Darcey Bell and shares a title with the movie. 

Mary, Queen Of Scots Trailer

Here we have another trailer for a movie with some Oscar buzz already attached to it. I was instantly hooked and bumped it up my 'must watch list' a few spots after this solid trailer.


Both Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan seem to be delivery impressive performances and I could easily see Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominations in their future. Expect the blog to have a few reviews of Oscar bait movies in the fall. 

A Simple Favour Movie Poster

A new movie poster for A Simple Favor was also released with the full length trailer. I love everything about the marketing for this movie. The balance of something sinister with such bright colours just works really well here. 


I also love the martini theme that Blake Lively's character has got going on. 

The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Key Art

With the official key art for season one being unveiled I think we can expect a trailer and release date in the near future. I am guessing Netflix will reveal something at Comic Con and that it might be an October release (which would be all kinds of perfect).


Salem takes central focus along with the iconic headband from the comics of the same name. I am so excited for this darker revamp and that I can binge it all at once. 

You Key Art

You also release its key art and the tagline is pretty spot on for the novel this is based off of. It also make Penn Badgley seem extremely creepy (which is the entire point).


I hope that Penn nails this role because it could be a meaty one with a lot of flash. I also hope that the show leans into the more ridiculous elements of the novel. I want it to be what the book was and hope the show lets itself go to the dark and ridiculous. 

OTHER

Entertainment Weekly's Breaking Bad Reunion

Breaking Bad is one of my favourite television shows of all time. I also really like whenever Entertainment Weekly does reunion issues. I was so excited when I saw that they had reunited the cast for  the most current issue!


Canada always seems to be really behind on Entertainment Weekly issues so we probably won't get it for another week or two but I am looking forward to reading the article  (especially what Anna Gunn has to say about all that Skyler hate).

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

Friday, July 13, 2018

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell



Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Release Date - September 10, 2013
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  438 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A coming-of-age tale of fanfiction, family and first love

CATH IS A SIMON SNOW FAN. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan... But for Cath, being a fan is her life--and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fanfiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to.

Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath that she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend; a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world; a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words...and she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind? 
When Fangirl was released it was surrounded by hype. I constantly heard how amazing it was and how much everyone loved it. The buzz had the dual effect of making me want to read it and making me set it aside until I could read it without all the background noise that surrounded it. I am thrilled to say that this love letter to fanfiction lived up to all the praise.

Fanfiction is often looked at negatively by those outside of it. This novel presents those who love it as passionate, driven, creative, and dedicated. It showcases the hard work that goes into writing fanfiction and how valuable it can be in sharpening writing skills and finding your voice as a writer. It is also a way for fans to not only express their love of something but allows them to connect with other fans. The feeling of fandom is woven throughout everything and how it connects people who love the same thing. It's a powerful feeling and one that is, sadly, often dismissed as frivolous or silly. This shows that it is way more complex than that.

The dynamic of growing up as seen through the prism of the Cath and Wren relationship was fascinating. The are growing at different speeds and that takes it toll on their connection but the love they have for each other is never in question. Seeing the ways relationships change with the extra element of them being twins really heightened everything for me. All of the emotions were felt a little more strongly and that is everything I could hope for as a reader. Their relationship being a central focus felt natural to me because it is so ingrained with the fanfiction part of the story. I really liked how authentic their bond felt. I recognized parts of my own feelings towards my sisters within these pages and how the characters related to each other.

The romance is tentative and sweet. It matches who Cath is perfectly. She is socially awkward and withdrawn. She struggles to trust people and let them in. This is reflected in the romance that she embarks on. It is a gradual build but one that has a worth while payoff in the end. It feels more authentic because it is allowed time to breath and grow. The love interest is also pretty adorable and kind which helps immensely with becoming invested in the romance that is being explored.

The novel begins to have a conversation about the ways in which family trauma, such as divorce, can leave an impact. Both Cath and Wren are dealing with their mom leaving in very different ways but it impacted them just the same. This combined with how much Cath worries about her father make the family dynamic vital to the story. It, at times, feels even more important than the fanfiction element. It drives Cath in so many ways and moves the plot forward. I, in fact, wish it had been delved into just a little bit more. It felt unfulfilled in some ways but I immensely enjoyed the look at the messy, complex family dynamics that were offered.

My only minor quibble with this story is the ending. It felt a little rushed compared to the pacing of the rest of the novel. It didn't mesh as fully with the story I had previously read. It has a decent, even satisfying, ending but it didn't quite much the level of what came before it.

Fangirl is not just a love letter to fandom but a love letter to those who embrace it. It's a sweet coming of age story that will resonate with anyone who has ever been passionately obsessed with something. If you're a fan of young adult contemporary novels, and somehow managed to miss this one, I recommend checking it out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday ... King Of Scars


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 King Of Scars by Leigh Bardugo


**Spoilers for all of Leigh's previous books**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.
After reading the Grisha Verse series I immediately wanted Nikolai to have his own series. He was such a scene stealer that I am confident I wasn't the only reader feeling this way. Luckily, Leigh Bardugo has answered our prayers and is giving everyone's favourite king a series of his own. The fact that another fan favourite from the Six Of Crows series also makes an appearance is just icing on an already delicious sounding cake.

The wait for this isn't too bad and it allows those who haven't read the previous books to catch up. It also will make a perfect gift card purchase after the holiday season!

Expected release date - January 29, 2019

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Heartthrob by Belinda Williams



Heartthrob by Belinda Williams
Release Date - November 10, 2016
Publisher Website - BWrite
Pages -  346 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**purchased**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Ally Valenti doesn’t belong in Hollywood. Not like her friend and actress, Lena Lyons. Lena’s convinced Ally to pursue her dreams of fashion design, starting with some gowns for the awards season.

Which Ally will get around to creating as soon as she can stop looking at Jacob Swan, Lena’s latest co-star. Not that she’s staring. Ally’s skeptical of anything celebrity and it’s not like she’d be pathetic enough to fall for a Hollywood heartthrob.

Then Ally learns there’s more to Jacob than his good guy, all-American persona. She finds herself torn between the desire to get to know him better and her determination to stay out of the limelight.

Of course the media has other ideas—and someone doesn’t like all the attention Ally’s getting. When threats aimed at destroying her fashion career go too far, Ally’s convinced she’s living in crazy town.

The sensible thing would be to retreat home before it all ends in spectacular fashion. But will Ally be leaving more than her dreams behind if she says goodbye to Hollywood?

This glamorous, fast-paced contemporary romance that will make you smile, is perfect for fans of Rachel Gibson, Victoria Dahl, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Liliana Hart. 
I've been devouring Hollywood set romances as of late and was immediately intrigued by Heartthrob. It's synopsis promised an addictive blend of drama, romance, and mystery which is exactly what it delivered. It's a story of two people who fall in love and discover some truths about themselves along the way.

Ally is a fish out of water. She finds herself out of her element in Hollywood when her friend calls in her hour of need. This aspect of her character makes her incredibly endearing. She's been so sheltered that this almost feels like a coming of age story in a lot of ways. She discovers so much about who she is and gains a lot of confidence as the story progresses. Her journey was one of my favourite parts of the novel. It is relatable and attaches the reader to the story being told.

Food is a large part of this novel. Ally comes from a large Italian family and loves to cook. Her skills are appreciated by those around her and are even used to provide some cute moments between her and Jacob. All of the food being made sounds delicious so be forewarned that you might end up craving a bunch of it while reading. It was a fun little character detail that folded into the story nicely.

This novel circumvented a lot of the story arcs and reveals that I anticipated while reading. There are a few surprising moments between some of the female characters in particular that were a pleasant surprise. There are some genuine moments of women supporting each other, and being there for each other at unexpected times that stood out to me while I was reading. The friendships felt like a large part of the story in a way that is not always the case in romance novels.

The romance in this is paced really well. They tentatively begin to get to know each other, and it progresses naturally from there. It feels a little more plausible that they would fall for each other with the way it is approached. I find Hollywood set romances work better when the love interest is not a fan (although those can be fun). The connection being built feels more authentic if they are around each other for a legitimate reason.

Ally and Jacob are both struggling with their own personal issues. Stories that remember the characters exist outside of the relationship are always my favourite and this novel really dives into the characters. They are both fleshed out and given backstories that let them explore things about themselves and grow as individuals by the end of the novel. They both have things they have to confront within themselves1 before they can really commit to being together and I love how their relationship unfolds. You get the typical romance genre happily ever after but it feels earned and not at the expense of the characters or their individual dreams.

The mystery aspect of the plot is rather fun. It's has stakes that are just high enough for the story being told and causes just enough tension to progress the plot. I also found the resolution very satisfying for many reasons.

I would recommend this one to anyone who likes Hollywood set romance novels. It's one of the better plotted and written ones I have had the chance to read. I cannot wait to devour the companion novels in this series and see what else awaits these characters I enjoyed spending time with.

Sunday, July 8, 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)

Anyone who visits this blog regularly will know that I am huge fan of Stranger Things. I couldn't resist when Novelly Yours offered up a Stranger Things box filled with candles (and other merch) inspired by the show.

My Welcome To Hawkins box arrived this week and I LOVE everything in it. The candles smell amazing. I almost don't want to burn them because they are so pretty (but realistically I am going to).


I can't pick a favourite out of the bunch but Harrington's Hair, She's Our Friend And She's Crazy, and  Zombie Boy are high on my list. 

As mentioned the package also had an assortment of other merchandise that I loved just as much.



The 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go' sticker is perfection. I also love the bookmark with the quote about how Mike called Eleven every night. The enamel pin is adorable. It's all amazing and it made this Stranger Things fan REALLY happy.


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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Friday, July 6, 2018

#Starstruck by Sariah Wilson



#Starstruck by Sariah Wilson
Release Date - January 16, 2018
Publisher Website - Montlake Romance/Amazon
Pages -  320 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**purchased**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
“You’ve done better.”

With one uncharacteristically sassy tweet to her longtime celebrity crush, Zoe Miller’s life turns upside down. Ultrahot A-lister Chase Covington doesn’t just respond to Zoe’s tweet, he does the unthinkable: he messages Zoe directly. Now she must decide between walking away or meeting her crush in person.

Chase knows better than to trust anyone from the Internet, but Zoe’s saucy challenge has totally caught his interest—and her girl-next-door personality is keeping it. He’s been burned enough to know he needs to keep his heart close. But his feelings for Zoe might be a lot more than just an online flirtation. He just has to convince her…

When the press gets wind of Zoe and Chase’s secret relationship, their romance turns into tabloid headlines. Will they be able to hold on to their Hollywood love story?
Summer always means more romance reads make their way on to my reading pile. I had a craving for some specifically set in Hollywood and impulse purchased a few of them based solely off the synopsis. #Starcrossed seemed like a fun, wish fulfillment read. While it was a fun enough read, there were elements of the story that didn't quite work for me.

Zoe meets Chase through Twitter. Pretty much everyone person with a celebrity crush has day dreamed 'what if' scenarios and this part of the story actually worked for me. It starts out slowly and grows as they get to know each other. I think the relationship aspect of the novel is developed well enough but suffered from characterization not being as developed.

Zoe is your typical shy girl who doesn't have a lot of luck with guys. Her friend is more outgoing (and more beautiful according to Zoe) and Zoe lets herself fade into the background. The insecurities Zoe has are certainly relatable enough to many readers out there. However, there is not a whole lot else we learn about her character. Her voice was not has strong as I would have liked. I didn't feel invested in her as a character which meant I wasn't as invested in the plot. None of these insecurities are ever actually dealt with in a meaningful way during the novel either, which doesn't help with character growth.

Chase felt even less developed than Zoe did. There was some intriguing elements brought forth that I wish the author had done more with. It is revealed that much of his public persona, particularly when it comes to answering interview questions, were lies. He wanted to keep the real things for himself and therefore sold a product instead. This was fascinating to me but it never really goes deeper than that reveal. The whole idea that he was so private that things like his favourite colour were to be kept guarded could have been a way to really dive into this character. It felt like a missed opportunity to me.

The friendship between Zoe and her best friend had a thread of jealousy to it that made Zoe make not the greatest decisions sometimes. Zoe actually acknowledges that she was afraid Chase would prefer her friend at one point. This, again, could have been interesting to explore but is left at the surface level. It also has a lot do with Zoe's insecurities that never properly get unpacked. I didn't like seeing this dynamic between friends because it just underscores the notion that women are in competition with each other.

I have seen this referred to as a 'clean' romance on some websites and I am guessing that refers to the fact that there is no sex in this book. Zoe's character wishes to wait until she is marriage to have sex. This is discussed and handled well within the pages of the book. Chase doesn't pressure her. Zoe doesn't relent in a moment of passion. It also showcases that Zoe not being ready to have sex doesn't mean that there are no heated moments between them. There is plenty of steam and innuendo to be found throughout. There are some well crafted make out scenes that often made me think it was going to lead to something more. My favourite element of this part of the story is the way that is is presented as being part of who Zoe is without it being the only thing about her. Virginity, especially female virginity, is often looked at as being some defining thing. It was nice just to see her wanting to wait as a choice she made for her own reasons. The only time I have seen this included as part of the plot in other novels it was treated as either something shameful or something virtuous. Here it is presented in a way that does not shame those who did not wait, nor places those who do on an unreasonable pedestal.

The ending felt a little rushed for me to fully appreciate it. It was quick to tie everything into a perfect little bow without actually unpacking some of the bigger relationship issues in the book. There is one big relationship hurdle that, I felt, gets fixed a little too conveniently. Those wanting every part of the story wrapped up in a nice little bow will certainly get that from this romance however.

Those looking for a fluffy read set in Hollywood may very well enjoy this one. I wanted just a little something extra and found myself loving certain aspects of the novel while lamenting the lack of exploration in others. It ended up being a mixed read for me but one that was enjoyable enough while I was reading it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday ... You'd Be Mine


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 You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things. 

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen. 

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk. 

Erin Hahn’s thrilling debut, You’d Be Mine, asks: can the right song and the perfect summer on the road make two broken hearts whole?
This synopsis pretty much made me run to add this book to my 'to be read' list on Goodreads. It has romance, music, and heartbreak. It also sounds like a road trip book which I love.

It doesn't come out until April of next year so it'll be a bit of a wait but something tells me it'll be worth it.

Expected release date - April 2, 2019

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

At The Stroke Of Midnight by Tara Sivec



At The Stroke Of Midnight by Tara Sivec
Release Date - February 27, 2018
Publisher Website - Swerve
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  304 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**purchased**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Meet the Naughty Princess Club: a brand new series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that introduces readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that ensue when three women start a new business to make it rain.

Once upon a time Cynthia was the perfect housewife. Between being the President of the PTA and keeping her home spotless without a hair (or her pearls) out of place, her life was a dream come true. Her husband was once her knight in shining armor, but now he’s run off with all their money…and the babysitter.

Dressed as a princess at the annual Halloween block party on Fairytale Lane, she meets two other “princesses” also facing money troubles: antique store owner Ariel and librarian Isabelle. When the women are invited to wear their costumes to a party where they’re mistaken for strippers, Cindy, Ariel, and Belle realize that a career change could be the best way to make their money problems go bippity-boppity-boo.

But can structured Cindy approach a stripper pole without sanitizing wipes? And could the blue-eyed anti-prince that has been crossing her path become Cindy’s happily ever after? At the Stroke of Midnight is a hilarious, empowering story where princesses can save themselves while slaying in stilettos. 
I have always loved reading retellings of classic fairytales. At The Stroke Of Midnight promised to not only be a fun twist on the Cinderella tale but combine it with romance and humour. This outrageous stoy managed to be as fun as it was empowering.

The writing style leans into the humour that is natural to the plot and setting of the book. It embraces the absurdity of the entire premise and does it well. The secret is that in among all the outlandishness there is also a lot of heart and great character moments. It is this blend that really works and captures the readers attention.

This book is filled with ladies supporting each other. They push each other outside of their comfort zone and ensures that they each see the potential within themselves. The friendship that exists between them is the most important relationship in the novel. It reminded me of  Sex and the City in the way that the guys were secondary. It felt true here. My only slight quibble about the friendship element is that the initial interaction between Cindy and Ariel is pretty antagonistic. The connection Ariel has to what is going on in Cindy's life is never fully dealt with. It's not that Cindy should blame Ariel for anything but I think some time should have been spent dealing with the bombshell that is dropped so that the friendship felt a little more natural. I wanted to see more of them bonding and dealing with their issues but recognize this book was set up for further installments that will hopefully continue to progress their friendship.

This book is quite sex positive and the message of taking charge of your sexuality and body is clearly evident. Cindy's journey of discovering her sexual side is interesting because she's coming from a marriage that was unfulfilling in many ways. It is someone discovering things outside of her usual experience and that felt different for the type of story being told within these pages.

The fairytale element that is heavily teased is represented throughout. We glimpse Cindy as someone who takes care of everything around the home. Belle loves books. Ariel is obsessed with her little treasures that she collects. It's all cute, and subtle enough to work. It's meant to be tongue in cheek and it fits with the narration style effortlessly.

Cindy's 'Prince Charming' is as swoon worthy as you would expect. A guy who has a heart of gold and can give as good as he gets when it comes to banter. He, like the Prince from the original tale, is not as developed as Cindy is but I feel like it works in this case. He's supposed to be a little bit of a mystery. We also get the added bonus of seeing the love interests for both Belle and Ariel in this one. I am most intrigued to see the Ariel/Eric dynamic play out because she is a firecracker and he seems to know exactly how to relate to her.

A crass, humourous look at three women whose friendship helps push each of them forward and makes their lives better. It's a story that blends sexy with a fun, lighthearted plot and plenty of laughs. If you're looking for something to round out your summer reading I recommend taking a look at this series. I think it will be a hit with plenty of readers (even those who are not fans of the Cinderella tale).

Sunday, July 1, 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)

It's been a quieter week mailbox wise (which is good considering all the books I got at ALA). I have a recap up if you are interested in what I got while at ALA.

I came back from New Orleans with an amazing package from Raincoast Books. I had taken part in their blogger preview and won one of the prize packs.


Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean (goodreads)

A huge thank you to Raincoast Books for all of this. The candles smell amazing and I cannot wait to try out my new reading socks in the winter.

I also purchased two ebooks this week.


Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre (goodreads)
Heartthrob by Belinda Williams (goodreads)

Both are Hollywood set romances that I thought sounded good and had high Goodreads ratings. I am looking for some good end of summer reading and I hope these two will be exactly what I am looking for.

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!


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