Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... Only Mostly Devastated

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 Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets Clueless, inspired by Grease.

When Ollie meets his dream guy, Will, over summer break, he thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After. But once summer’s ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself one prince short of a fairytale ending. To complicate the fairytale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country—Will’s school—where Ollie finds that the sweet, affectionate and comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted—and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.

Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship. But as Will starts ‘coincidentally’ popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.


The comparisons alone would have me wanting to read this book. I love the inspiration it takes from Grease, and the Clueless call out makes it sound really fun. It sounds like a must read for anyone who loves young adult contemporary novels.

This doesn't come out until 2020 so there is quite a bit of a wait but I highly recommend reading Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda while you wait (if you some how missed it) or rewatching both Grease and Clueless.

Expected release date - March 3, 2020

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered

Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
Release Date - May 28, 2019
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  304 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**borrowed from friend to review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The highly anticipated first book by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the voices behind the #1 hit podcast My Favorite Murder!

Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation.

In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being ‘nice’ or ‘helpful.’ They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness.
I've been interested in true crime for as long as I can remember. From a young age I knew that bad things could happen, particularly to young women and children, and was always more scared of real life stories than any horror movie. I was raised with a healthy fear of white vans and to favour busy streets instead of secluded short cuts. This grew into wanting to know about the psychology behind murder, and serial killers in particular. This naturally lead to me devouring anything true crime related at an age that was probably inappropriate. This interest in true crime led to the podcast My Favorite Murder.

My excitement over the announcement that Karen and Georgia would be writing a dual memoir was therefore pretty understandable. I was relieved to discover that this book is everything I love about the podcast and more. It's all of the conversation bits, banter, and side bars just fleshed out. It feels like meeting up with an old friend and discovering something new about them while still enjoying the history that is there. This book really is for all of the murderinos out there who eagerly anticipate every new episode of the My Favorite Murder podcast. There are so many inside jokes and nods that it feels like reading an episode of the podcast in the best way.

Both Karen and Georgia put everything into this memoir. They left pieces of themselves bare within these pages and you can feel it as you're reading. Georgia tells the full story about the disgusting man who took pictures of her and it is just a wrenching as you would expect. I wanted to some how protect young Georgia. Karen's stories about her mother were so touching, and her story about being a latch key kid (which is really about her sister) was so recognizable because it reminded me of my relationship with my own sister. They both give so much of themselves that you cannot help but be more impressed by these who funny, brave, talented women.

Both ladies are strong writers, but I was particularly impressed with Georgia's writing. I anticipate it wasn't but it felt like it was effortless for her to get the words down on paper. Karen writes exactly like you think she would. It feels like she has such as strong sense of who she is at this point that it even comes through her writing. They always process horrible things and events through humour on the podcast and they do it again here. The writing captures the same tone and vibe that the podcast does and it just highlights how incredibly real and honest both of these women are.

I've always appreciated their straightforward candor when dealing with mental health and the realities behind it. This book also includes that same message here. There is no shame in admitting you need help or seeking out that help. I also appreciated that while both Karen and Georgia are sharing advice through their sharing of personal stories it never is presented as the one path that can be taken. What works for someone may not work for someone else and they encourage people to find what works for them.

This book made me laugh, made me cry, and ultimately left me incredibly proud to be a muderino. I have a tremendous amount of respect for both Karen and Georgia and that was only solidified through reading this memoir. I devoured this in one sitting and predict many other murderinos will too. Undoubtedly there will be those who pick up the book without having listened to the podcast. Those people may not get it, but it is not for them. As Karen says at each of the live shows, those people can kindly see themselves the fuck out. However, to those who do get it, to those who are obviously my people, prepare to absolutely love this and immediately want to discuss it with others. Stay sexy, fellow murderinos, and don't get murdered.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Heading To Book Expo

It is that time of year again. Time for book lovers to head to NYC for the annual conference known as Book Expo. It is always a fun time filled with great conversations in lines, meeting amazing authors, eating Shake Shack, and generally getting rejuvenated by all the surrounding buzz.

The blog will mostly run as normal while I am gone. I have two reviews and my usual Wednesday post scheduled. There may not be a Weekly Obsessions post until a little later Sunday as a result though.

So where can you find me in NYC/ Book Expo? Well, hopefully in the Leigh Bardugo line! It is one of my most anticipated from the event. Same goes for Renee Ahdieh's signing. I am so excited for The Beautiful and the return of vampires. I will also be stalking the Bloomsbury booth in Hope's of snagg You can, of course, find me at Shake Shack. I am also hoping to make it to the Billy Jensen signing (as a murderino I am so excited about this). I also managed to get tickets to the Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered New York book tour stop. I am also really excited about the Mackenzi Lee and Brigid Kemmerer signings! It's going to be a whirlwind of a trip and I am so excited.

You can follow me on Twitter (@kathycoe) or Instagram (@glassofwine81) to see photos and follow along on my NYC journey.

If you see me around the convention floor do say hello. I am pretty awkward and shy at first but love chatting to new people.  Let me know what book you would be most excited to get a copy of at Book Expo in the comments below.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

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.

Super small post this week! I am so close to leaving from Book Expo so that is taking up a lot of my focus! I cannot wait to head back to NYC.


Cover of The Map From Here To There by Emery Lord (goodreads)

I am a huge fan of all of Emery Lord's books and was really excited when it was announced that The Start of Me and You was getting a sequel. The cover was just recently revealed and I LOVE IT!

It has a bunch of little nods to the first book and just looks like spring to me. I cannot wait to return to these characters and see what comes next for Paige and Max.


Baskin Robbins Partnering With Stranger Things

Rumours are all over the internet that Baskin Robbins will be teaming up with Stranger Things to offer some special ice cream flavors, Scoops Ahoy branding, and even an exclusive Funko Pop to help celebrate the third season. Photos of the exclusive Baskin Robbins Funko (which is Steve in his Scoops Ahoy uniform holding a banana split) are out there and pretty easy to find. I am not sharing because they are not my photos and nothing official has been revealed yet.

There are also going to be some Stranger Things themed treats on offer. The event is going to kick off in June sometime and run through July. I am especially excited about the new flavour (including USS Butterscotch) that come directly from the show. What better treat to enjoy while binge watching season 3. I'll share more details once this is all officially announced.

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

Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Glass Of Wine At The Movies - Rocketman


Rating: 14 A (Canada)/ R (USA)

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Language: English

Length:  121 minutes

Cast: Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, Jamie Bell,

Viewing Method: Advance Screening

Release Date: May 31, 2019

Synopsis: An epic musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Sir Elton John’s breakthrough years.


I went into Rocketman not knowing much about Elton John's life. I was vaguely familiar with some of his music in the way that listening to the radio would make you, but never would have considered myself a fan. I left the movie theater with a greater appreciation for not only Taron Egerton as a actor but Elton John as a performer. It is a story of the rise and fall (and triumphant return) of a rock star. It is the story of a young boy who wanted to be loved and the man who finally had to learn that he deserved to be. 

Dexter Fletcher stepped in to finish directing Bohemian Rhapsody when Bryan Singer was fired from the project during production. It is only natural that comparisons are going to be made between the two films. I, personally, think that Rocketman is more truthful and respectful to its subject. There is also a fantasy, dream like element to the way this is shot that firmly sets this into its own category. 

Taron Egerton gives what I consider a career changing performance. It is certainly one that I expect will get him his first Oscar nomination. It showcases a wider range that people may be used to seeing from the actor The loneliness and longing that defined the early part of Elton John's life radiates from Taron in a visceral way. He captures the excruciating lows and over the top highs with equal precision. He portrays the charm, the grandiose swagger just as effortlessly as he portrays the more introspective parts of Elton's personality. You are never quite sure how much of 'Elton John' is a defensive mechanism for Reginald Dwight and that comes through Egerton's performance with crystal clarify. He also proves himself to be quite the singer with him pulling off many of Elton's greatest hits.

The movie doesn't hold back in showing both the thrilling highs and bottle induced lows of John's stardom. It embraces the addiction, rage filled episodes, and suicide attempt as part of the story of Elton's life. Egerton conveys the switch from depressed, self loathing man to glittery showman with nothing more than a look passing over his face. There is a scene in which a haggard John is about to go on stage. We know he is at a low point and yet he has to be 'on' and put on a show. Egerton nails that split second switch as he walks on stage to where the public can see him. The movie if filled with these quieter, more subtle moments that make up the performance Egerton is giving. 

The side characters are equally well cast even if they are, at times, not given much to work with. This is John's story and that fact is evident in the broad paint strokes everyone else gets.. Richard Madden tears into his role of John Reid, Elton's manager (and lover) with deliciously sleazy charm. He is an asshole but you understand why Elton would have fallen  for him (and stayed with him way longer than he should have). Jamie Bell stand out as Bernie Taupin, Elton's supportive writing partner and long time friend. Dallas Bryce Howard plays his distant and cold mother with icy realism. 

This really is a love letter to Elton's music. The movies ensures to include plenty of musical moments and does so in a whimsical, fantastical way that matches the feelings you associate with Elton John. They work them into the narrative, with the musical numbers pushing forward the plot. It is these numbers that push against the standard biopic feel the rest of the movie has and offers a peek at a much more flamboyant spectacle that I expect was underneath. It also means that the songs are not in order. The story itself is chronological, but the music is taken and slotted where it fits the narrative best. It makes this feel more like a true musical which is entirely fitting for the story of a man who has written Broadway songs.

Rocketman is your standard biopic that mixes in the showmanship that its subject is know for. It is meant for those who love his music. If you're someone who turns the station if an Elton John song comes on the radio I anticipate that sitting through 2+ hours of them isn't going to be something you want to do. However, I do think those who are not hardcore fans will enjoy the stellar lead performance, and the colour spectacle this movie offers.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... My Dark Vanessa

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 My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.
I have been intrigued by this since I read the deal announcement. I've seen it called a feminist Lolita which is certainly going to create some buzz. Also, Stephen King called it a 'well constructed package of dynamite' which has me really hopeful. I am hoping that this is a another Tampa for me - a book that tackles difficult topics in such a well executed way.

This is one of my 'desperate to get my hands on' books of Book Expo! It doesn't come out until January but I anticipate it'll be the book to read with your book club and discuss for hours.

Expected release date - January 28, 2020

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
Release Date - May 28, 2019
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  352 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Welcome to the Kingdom... where 'Happily Ever After' isn't just a promise, but a rule.

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom(TM) is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species--formerly extinct--roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful "princesses" engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time... love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana's memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty--and what it truly means to be human. 
If you took Westworld, mixed it with a true crime podcast, and added in some Disney theme park elements you would get The Kingdom. A story about a place that has a darkness under the happily ever afters it promises. Jess Rothenberg has written a unique story that not only entertains but causes the reader to think and ask questions of themselves.

Ana's voice, for me, was so distinct it made her a really strong character. It felt like the author had a very clear sense of who this character was, her motivations, and it translated off the page easily. She is one of those characters who just resonates with you and lingers long after you've finished the book.

The romance it tentative, and sweet. Seeing Ana experience emotions for the first time and grapple with what it means was part of what made this story feel so unique. Ana is aware that she shouldn't be dreaming, or feeling what she is feeling, but her reaction to it happening felt so authentic. It made the romance feel a touch more believable for me in a lot of ways. Ana's joy, sorrow, and everything in between adds to her relationship with Owen. Their moments are subtle, but so important to Ana's journey.

The Kingdom is basically Disney World dialed up. It's bright, magical, and the place where dreams come true. We, however, quickly see that not everything is as it seems. There is a darkness, particularly what happens to Ana and her fellow 'Fantasists', that pulses under the surface. The nods to the abuse that they suffer under the hands of wealthy men may only be delicately woven into the story but it is more than enough to repulse and turn your stomach. The lavish parties, the leering looks, the crass comments, the unwanted touches.  They all serve to paint a terrible, rage inducing picture. The anger that coursed through me as I read this made me realize how well crafted this book is. I cared about Ana and the others almost from the beginning and it was quite evident as this part of the story came into sharper focus.

The sexual harassment and abuse Ana and her 'sisters' face is, obviously, quite timely. This book is a product of the #metoo movement. There is female anger here and commentary on the right to feel it. There are questions and exploration of rape culture and the effect it has on women. It isn't overt but that makes it all the more impressive how it was woven in along with a strong mystery. The Fantasists to many men are things to be used with zero thought of consequences and that feels extra relevant right now.

The murder of Owen is the central mystery to the story. It is told in flashes of different story telling techniques. You have regular prose mixed with transcripts, photos, articles, and interviews. This allows for the twists and reveals to be perfectly paced. The mystery is important to the story but it really feeds into the overall narrative of humanity and what it means to be human. The use of all these narration devices is part of what makes this story as strong as it is and it shows what a clever choices it was in the set up of the mystery. The premise rests on whether Ana could be convicted for murder if what she experienced was a technical glitch of a piece of artificial intelligence. Who would ultimately be responsible if that were the case. The idea of agency and self awareness is the heart of this story and it threads into all the other elements.

Feeling for Ana is the entire point of this story. It asks us to question what we consider human. It also asks us to consider what we would owe to a creation like Ana if we do consider her human. It is fascinating, smart, and well written. It's the type of book you'll want to discuss with your book club or friends. I highly recommend this one for those who want a little something extra with their mystery read. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

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.

Sunday posting once again! I am busy preparing for my trip to New York City to go to Book Expo so I was a little late getting this ready. I hope everyone is having a great weekend though!


Always Be My Maybe Trailer

Netflix has been on fire lately with their rom-coms and this latest one seems to be no exception. Please watch this trailer until the very end and join me in desperately wanting to watch it.

The Keanu Reeves part at the end? I laughed so hard. It's going to be amazing. I premieres on Netflix later this month so I'll be watching as soon as I get back from Book Expo.


Book Expo America

We are almost a week away from when I'll be headed to NYC for Book Expo. The autographing schedule was just released and I am so excited about some of the authors that will be signing. I am mostly just excited to be at the event and eat Shake Shack again if I am being honest though.

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

Friday, May 17, 2019

You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn

You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn
Release Date - April 2, 2019
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  304 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

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.
You'd Be Mine is part A Star Is Born (the Bradley Copper/Lady Gaga edition), part Walk The Line, and part perfect summer read. Erin Hahn had crafted a story that offers an addicting blend of romance, angst, and hope.

Music is the heartbeat to this story. The way it influences and drives the characters makes it feel like a character itself. It is the central force that pushes every other element of the story in some way. It, therefore, is a good thing that it feels so natural to the characters.

Annie is the daughter of music royalty and that crown is a heavy one to wear. Particularly when that legacy is steeped in tragedy. Annie is struggling with doing things on her own terms and accepting the complicated feelings the death of her parents and entering the music scene bring out in her. She is doing her best to move forward and exhibits strength is some pretty tough situations.

Clay is the bad boy musician who drowns his sorrows with alcohol, women, and generally not caring about anything. He has a tragic backstory of his own but is, obviously, handling it different than Annie. He also happens to be incredibly charming and irresistible to Annie (thanks in large part to the way his butt looks in his jeans). He is exactly the kind of boy Annie knows to stay away from thanks to her up close and personal view of the darker side of what fame can do to someone.

The push and pull of Annie and Clay's relationship is electric. It pulsates like the beat of one of their songs. They tease, aggravate, and try to outdo each other. It is a romance meant to appeal to those who love the slow burn. They convincingly go from people who don't really like or trust one another to becoming friends and finally something more.

Obviously, both Clay and Annie have baggage to spare. These are not healthy individuals who should be entering into a relationship. Their own personal demons are something they have to face on their own and the writing never alludes to any kind of magic fix (and this includes love). Everything from Annie's grief to Clay's addiction issues is so raw and authentic that it adds some gritty texture to a story I thought was going to be lighter than it was.

The tour element provides the perfect backdrop to this story. It combined the rush of performing with the decidedly not glamorous reality of life on the road. Travel is not the focus of the novel, it instead feeds into the larger story being told. It, much like the music, just felt true to the story being told. Some of the elements of touring are used to highlight both Annie and Clay's personalities which helped flesh out their characters more.

I immediately wanted to watch Walk The Line upon finishing the final page of this book. Annie and Clay's story may not be June and Johnny's but there is inspiration to be found there. This book is a love letter to music, complicated relationships, and finding your own voice. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the young adult contemporary genre. Erin Hahn is definitely an author you'll want to keep an eye on.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... Into The Crooked Place

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 Into The Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA fantasy series from Alexandra Christo, the author of To Kill a Kingdom.

The streets of Creije are for the deadly and the dreamers, and four crooks in particular know just how much magic they need up their sleeve to survive.

Tavia, a busker ready to pack up her dark-magic wares and turn her back on Creije for good. She’ll do anything to put her crimes behind her.

Wesley, the closest thing Creije has to a gangster. After growing up on streets hungry enough to swallow the weak whole, he won’t stop until he has brought the entire realm to kneel before him.

Karam, a warrior who spends her days watching over the city’s worst criminals and her nights in the fighting rings, making a deadly name for herself.

And Saxony, a resistance fighter hiding from the very people who destroyed her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to get her revenge.

Everything in their lives is going to plan, until Tavia makes a crucial mistake: she delivers a vial of dark magic—a weapon she didn’t know she had—to someone she cares about, sparking the greatest conflict in decades. Now these four magical outsiders must come together to save their home and the world, before it’s too late. But with enemies at all sides, they can trust nobody. Least of all each other. 
I really enjoyed Alexandra Christo's wickedly dangerous take on sirens (and a little bit of a retelling of The Little Mermaid) in To Kill A Kingdom so I was eager to see what she would write next.

Her follow up seems to be diving into criminals and magic which is always intriguing. It sounds like it could be a fun, fast paced read so I am excited to get my hands on it in October when it releases.

Expected release date - October 8, 2019

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Release Date - May 7, 2019
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  304 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can't believe her luck when she's accepted into one of the world's most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille's roommate Flora is a total princess.

She's also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other--Flora is both high-class and high-key--but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn't a fairy tale . . . or is it? 
Royal themed novels are a weakness of mine. It immediately gets me to add a book to my ever growing reading pile. It is always a nice bonus when they turn out to be a thoroughly enjoyable read that is everything a young adult contemporary fan could want.

Fans of the hate-to-love trope will delight in the dynamic between Millie and Flora. The sparks are there even when it seems like they would rather fight with each other than make out. Those hoping for a super romantic, light, and all around fun relationship between two female characters will absolutely find that within these pages.

The Scotland boarding school setting is the perfect backdrop to this story. Forcing Millie and Flora to be roommates makes great use of that classic trope and gives a wanderlust vibe to the story as we see the school (and Scotland) through Millie's eyes.  I loved everything about the school but especially the fun inclusion of it being the first group of female students to attend.

Millie is super smart and unapologetically into her interests. She is fascinated by geology and that fact is present throughout the entire book. Millie embraces who she is so fiercely that it is inspiring. I predict many readers will love her and Fiora quite a bit by the end of the novel.

The fun part of companion style novels is the cameos it allows and this book is no except. It has got some great cameos for those who have read Royals (retitled Prince Charming). It is, however, a better example of my other favourite thing about companion novels - they allow us to get to know characters we already know better. My opinion of Flora, and who she is as a character, changed so much as a result of reading this book. She is more layered and less frivolous than I expected. She also has a much bigger heart than I anticipated. Seeing this other side of her made me want a book about Seb because I can only imagine what is underneath that hot mess of a Prince.

This is a true rom-com with all of the cliche moments and required happy ending. Any reader who sees themselves reflected in Millie and Flora's story will be thrilled that they are finally getting a story usually told about a girl falling for a Prince. I highly urge you to seek out reviews from those people because this book is going to speak to them in a completely different way than it did me.

Her Royal Highness is a pure delight of a book. A romance filled with grand gestures, just enough angst, and plenty of swoon worthy moments. It will leave you with more than a dash of royal fever and wondering when you'll be able to watch the, hopefully, inevitable Netflix movie.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

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.


Judy Official Trailer

Renee Zellweger stars as Judy Garland in this upcoming bio pic and if the first trailer is any indication she'll be included in this year's Oscar talks.

It looks great and Renee's transformation is certainly impressive. I am looking forward to seeing more as the release date comes closer.


Stranger Things Season 3 Funkos

Funko has released their first wave of Pops for season three and they are amazing!

I am going to need the Steve and Will ones for my collection! I love them both. These are just some of the ones in the new collection and you can see the rest over on the Funko blog.

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

Friday, May 10, 2019

Reading Recommendations Needed

I was looking at my reading list of books I hope to get to by the end of the summer and noticed that I had some spaces left to add a few books to end out my summer reading. I immediately wanted something light with a lot of romance. I took a quick peek and noticed that I needed to broaden my horizons a little bit. I have quite a few books that fit into the LGBTQ+ category on my general 'to be read' list but noticed many of the the ones that were light in tone were offering m/m relationships.  The ones that I found that did offer a f/f relationship were either sci-fi or of a darker tone. Those titles are great and I am excited to eventually read them but I wanted something a bit more rom-com-ish to end my summer reading with.

I did a quick search and couldn't really seem to find any non m/m books that fit this description ... at least ones that are currently out. I have read Her Royal Highness which was perfectly adorable, and am excited to read The Falling In Love Montage by Ciara Smyth once it releases, but I am looking for something that I can pick up this summer.

This leads me to this purpose of this post. I want suggestions of books that I can read that fit the above description. Any lighter, fun books that would be classified as LGBTQ+ but are not m/m. I suspect there isn't going to be a ton to choose from (and hope that is changing) but I would appreciate any that can be sent my way.

Comment below, send them via Twitter (@kathycoe), or even email me suggestions. They don't even necessarily have to be young adult reads so please feel free to send along anything you think might fit.

I'll post an update with a list of the recommendations I get (if I mange to get sent any) so that everyone can see the titles that were suggested.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone recommends and hopefully adding a few more books to my summer reading pile.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday .... Flashed

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 Flashed by Zoey Castile

**potential spoilers for previous books in the series**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
When a man makes his living by his looks, he can forget that love--and lust--are more than skin deep. But the right woman can remind him ...

A former soccer player, stripper, and model, legendary party boy Patrick Halloran finally gets his big break starring in the summer blockbuster. But when an accident leaves him changed forever, he hides away in his secluded Montana ranch. Only his new housekeeper is allowed inside--with one rule: she's not allowed to see him. But Pat sees her, and she's the most stunning woman he's ever laid eyes on. Even her voice is beautiful. Still, Pat can't allow himself to get close to anyone. Not without a fight at least ...

Magdalena "Lena" Martel is a long way from Queens, New York. After a rough patch, the aspiring artist is working her way through college--even if it means keeping house for a man whose gruff voice she can only hear through a closed door. Still, Lena senses Pat's got a good heart, maybe even a lovable one. She's intrigued--until his anger sends her running into the freezing woods. Now Pat will have to find her--and when he does he may have found the one woman who can thaw his heart--not to mention the rest of him. But can their new bond survive the paparazzi--and their personal demons? ...
I love the other books in the Happy Endings series and am excited that this one is a bit of a play on Beauty and the Beast. I also loved that there were some cameos from characters in Stripped in Hired so I am looking forward to seeing who (if anyone) from the previous books show up in Flashed.

This is going to be an excellent book to send your summer reading with and I highly recommend reading the other two books in the series this summer.

Expected release date - August 27, 2019

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Release Date - May 7, 2019
Publisher - Tuxbury Publishing LLC and Elle Kennedy Inc
Author Social Media - Sarina Bowen  / Elle Kennedy
Pages -  280 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Bestselling authors Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy return with their first Male / Male romance in 3 years.

LobsterShorts, 21
Jock. Secretly a science geek. Hot AF.

LobsterShorts: So. Here goes. For her birthday, my girlfriend wants…a threesome.

SinnerThree: Then you’ve come to the right hookup app.

LobsterShorts: Have you done this sort of thing before? With another guy?

SinnerThree: All the time. I'm an equal opportunity player. You?

LobsterShorts: [crickets!]

SinnerThree, 21
Finance major. Secretly a male dancer. Hot AF.

SinnerThree: Well, I’m down if you are. My life is kind of a mess right now. School, work, family stress. Oh, and I live next door to the most annoying dude in the world. I need the distraction. Are you sure you want this?

LobsterShorts: I might want it a little more than I’m willing to admit.

SinnerThree: Hey, nothing wrong with pushing your boundaries...

LobsterShorts: Tell that to my control-freak father. Anyway. What if this threesome is awkward?

SinnerThree: Then it’s awkward. It’s not like we’ll ever have to see each other again. Right? Just promise you won’t fall in love with me.

LobsterShorts: Now wouldn’t that be life-changing...

Top Secret is a mix of a lot of things. It has a little bit of You've Got Mail (if it were sexy hot and involved a potential threesome). It makes great use of the enemies to lovers trope. It even plays a little with the idea of opposites attracting. It gives the reader a character driven romance that also happens to come in a compulsively readable package.

The characters of Keaton and Luke both feel entirely believable. They both have strong, distinct voices that leapt off the page for me. They both came across as typical, horny college guys. This fact, in my opinion, helped the story. Strongly defined and created characters are not always easy to pull off but it is made to look easy here.

The banter between the guys, complete with random animal mating trivia (LobsterShorts is a thing for a reason), is filled with sexual tension and sparks. Sparks that are evident in every interaction. The chemistry between Keaton and Luke is undeniable.

The romance has its obstacle. Keaton's privilege, the walls that Luke has surrounded himself with, and both guys self doubt are just some of the things they have to face. Each of the guys has a lot of growing to do before they can even think of being together. Some of that growth they help bring out in each other but there is also growth that can only be done individually. These characters both go through so much character development and the reader feels like they have gotten to share in their journey.

The authors already promised that there isn't a love triangle within these pages and that is entirely true. Keaton's girlfriend's role in the story pleasantly surprised me. I respected how this part of the story was addressed and handled. It could have gone many different ways but I am glad it did not. It was worked into the story in a natural way and made it that each of the characters were presented in a favourable way.

Anyone who loved previous books by either of these authors will want to check out this one but I predict even new readers will be entirely charmed by this one. Fans who were eagerly anticipating Sarina and Elle's next cowritten novel will not be disappointed. This is a hot, steamy romance that has a lot of heart. It will leave you with a smile on your face and ensures that you will be eagerly anticipating whatever comes next from these authors.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

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.

Another Sunday posting! Lots to share this week (at least when it comes to the television show Lucifer).


Cover Of Capturing The Devil by Kerry Maniscalco  (goodreads)

The final book in Kerri's Stalking Jack The Ripper series has a cover and it is just as pretty as the others! I love the golden hue it has!

This one takes place in Chicago and incorporates H. H. Holmes into the story. Really excited to read this one!


Lucifer Seasons 1 - 4 Recap

I was thrilled when Lucifer was picked up by Netflix after being canceled by Fox. Netflix is dropping some amazing promo for the next season and that includes this fun recap!

'So grab a drink. You'll need one' is probably my favourite line in that promo simply because it sets up season four to hopefully be deliciously intense.

Lucifer Season Four Trailer

Netflix also released a trailer for the fourth season and it looks so good! 

Eve is showing up this season (which seems to be messing with Chloe and Lucifer) which could be interesting! I am excited to see what happens this season and love the fact I am going to be able to binge watch it.

Lucifer Key Art

Netflix also released the key art for this season and I LOVE it!

It puts Chloe and Lucifer at the forefront and seems to hint at a darker tone for the show (which I am fully on board with).

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

Friday, May 3, 2019

The End Of My Sinemia Experiment

There is a saying that if something seems to good to be true it is probably because it is. That turned out to be exactly the case with Sinemia. This month, as the title suggests, marks the end of my Sinemia experiment.

I had a lot of issues attempting to use the service in March. I was only able to use one of my three movies. I went to go see The Aftermath which I thought had some good acting in it. 

The app was pretty much not usable for most of March and their customer support is almost nonexistent (or supremely unhelpful when they did reply). After many messages, and a lot of aggravation on my end, I finally found out the reason for all of the troubles. Sinemia filed for bankruptcy in the United States and ceased operations there immediately.

They are supposedly still operating in Canada but their Twitter support has been silent since the announcement and the app is not working. I suspect this is because they have no money to allow their customers to purchase tickets and without support there is nowhere to go to for assistance.

I am hoping that Cineplex will eventually offer a subscription based service that is more sustainable. I loved going to the movies as much as I did and do think it is the future of movies (just not in this model which seems unsustainable).

I am going to still continue going to any of the movies I really want to see. I am going to just be a little more selective as I'll be pay full price again. 

Sinemia was great when it actually worked and the idea of making movies more accessible to all is a nice one but it ultimately sounds like this model of subscription service is not a good one. I am going to be interested in seeing what happens as things move forward with both the future of these subscription services and Sinemia itself

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Monthly TBR and Recap

It is the start of another month which means checking in with how I did with my April list and what I have added for May.

April was not great. I did not get nearly as much reading done as I wanted. I did  however read a few books on my list as well as some that were not on my list.

The books that were on my list are:

Izzy + Tristan by Shannon Dunlap (goodreads)
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (goodreads)
Enchantee by Gita Trelease (goodreads)
We Set The Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia (goodreads)
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte (goodreads)

Plus I had a bunch of ebooks on my list:

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly (goodreads)
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (goodreads)
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (goodreads)
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman (goodreads)
Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan (goodreads)
Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (goodreads)
You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn (goodreads)
Meet Cute by Helena Hunting (goodreads)

I managed to read five books this month and some were on my list and others were not. I read:

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins (goodreads)
You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn (goodreads)
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (goodreads)
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (goodreads)
Top Secret by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen (goodreads)

I am now looking forward to May and the books I am hoping to read. As you can see I scraped the books that were previously on my list. I have too many May releases but the ones I haven't gotten to yet will be back.

Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered by Karen Killgariff and Georgia Hardstark (goodreads)
Finale by Stephanie Garber (goodreads)
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo (goodreads)
The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg (goodreads)

I also have some ebooks on my list for May as well:

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly (goodreads)
Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan (goodreads)
Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (goodreads)
King Of Fools by Amanda Foody (goodreads)
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (goodreads)
Last Things by Jacqueline West (goodreads)
There's Something About Sweetie by Shandya Menon (goodreads)

What books are you reading this month? Have you read any of the ones in my list? If so, let me know what you think in the comments.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... Capturing The Devil

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 Capturing The Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

**potential spoilers for previous books in the series**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In the shocking finale to the bestselling series that began with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse has them fighting to stay one step ahead of the brilliant serial killer---or see their fateful romance cut short by unspeakable tragedy.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World's Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they've heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him---and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device---is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end---together and in love---or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?
I loved Stalking Jack The Ripper and intended to get to the rest ASAP but the last book in this series sounds incredible! It has Audrey Rose and Thomas involved in the very real case of H. H. Holmes whom I assume will be a character in this story.

The Chicago setting, the backdrop of the World's Fair, and the very real inspiration may just make this book the best one of the series!

I love so much about how Audrey Rose was written and cannot wait to read another book about her again! It's autumn release date not only offers the perfect setting but ensures everyone has time to read the previous books in this series.

Expected release date - September 10, 2019

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