Saturday, June 29, 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 week with some fun reveals. We're getting into trailer reveal season for movies that have Oscar potential so I am especially excited for all of those coming up.


Poster for Last Christmas

Everyone who reads this blog knows that I adore rom-coms. The second I heard about this one starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding I wanted to know more.

We now have the first official poster and it's pretty cute!

I hope it is as cute as I am expecting. I need a trailer to be released so that I can get a better sense of what this movie is going to be like.

First Trailer for Queen and Slim

Speaking of movies that have Oscar potential  .... the first trailer for Queen and Slim was recently released. It looks intense and really good.

Daniel Kaluuya look like he is giving a fantastic performance. I am going to be curious to see how the buzz builds for this one as festival season approaches.

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... Together We Caught Fire

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

This week's pick is Together We Caught Fire by Eva V Gibson

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A forbidden attraction grows even more complicated when the guy Lane Jamison has crushed on for years suddenly becomes her step-brother in this sexy and gorgeously written debut novel about the lines between love, desire, and obsession.

What happens when the boy you want most becomes the one person you can’t have?

Lane Jamison's life is turned upside down the week before her senior year when her father introduces her to his new fiancĂ©e: mother of Grey McIntyre, Lane’s secret, longtime crush. Now with Grey living in Lane’s house, there’s only a thin wall separating their rooms, making it harder and harder to deny their growing mutual attraction—an attraction made all the more forbidden by Grey’s long-term girlfriend Sadie Hall, who also happens to be Lane’s friend

Torn between her feelings for Grey and her friendship with Sadie—not to mention her desire to keep the peace at home—Lane befriends Sadie’s older brother, Connor, the black sheep of the strict, evangelical Hall family. Connor, a metal working artist who is all sharp edges, challenges Lane in ways no one else ever has. As the two become closer and start to open up about the traumas in their respective pasts, Lane begins to question her conviction that Connor is just a distraction.

Tensions come to a head after a tragic incident at a party, forcing Lane to untangle her feelings for both boys and face the truth of what—and who—she wants, in this gripping and stunningly romantic debut novel.
I recently saw the deal announcement for this book and was immediately intrigued. It sounds like it'll be a great choice for those readers who love their young adult contemporary novels to be a little more gritty but still really romantic.

This doesn't come out until winter 2020 but I think it'll be a great book to help beat the winter blues.

Expected release date - February 11, 2020

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Release Date - May 14, 2019
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  395 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancĂ© is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.
Enemies to lovers has always been one of my favourite romance tropes. The whole 'I don't know if I want to hit you or kiss you' thing works especially well if you include some banter and electric chemistry between the characters. The Unhoneymooners has all of this and also manages to ignite your wanderlust.

Olive has always considered herself to be unlucky. Bad things happen to her all the time. Her twin sister on the other hand has all of the luck. This novel, however, looks at how much of what happens to us is because of our choices rather than luck or chance. Olive has to, eventually, examine some things within herself and her own behaviour. Owning up to your own actions is, at times, hard for people to do and I loved how this element was tackled here. It, ultimately, is a positive message of going after what you want, and making your own destiny.

Ethan and Olive's interactions spark with both their desire and hatred for each other. The sexual tension is there underneath the exasperation and impatience. It laces their conversations with extra meaning. They are the slowest of slow burns as a result, but it is entirely worth it when it finally does happen. They compliment each other really well and bring out things in the other that are healthy. Their connection felt really natural and they are one of my favourite couplings from any Christina Lauren book.

The inevitable obstacle that the couple must overcome was different than I anticipated it being. I thought that the story was going to go in one direction and it veers off into another. Resolving the obstacle in a romance novel can often feel rushed or unearned but that is not the case here. It felt appropriate and authentic to who all the characters were.

Hawaii, and the type of trip featured in this novel, seems incredibly romantic. I'll make you want to go visit the islands of Hawaii and fall in love. It offered a subtle backdrop that was used just enough to move the story forward and provide a tropical paradise in which romance blooms. It definitely made me eager to read more books set in this location.

This book is perfect for those who are just dipping their toe into the romance genre and perhaps want something a little tamer in the sex scene department to start off with. It, for me, read as more restrained than their other books while still being sexy. I enjoyed all the development that went into building the relationship between Ethan and Olive and how it all felt perfect for who these characters are.

Christina Lauren keeps releasing addictive, fun. flirty reads that are like little shots of endorphins. You're much happier when you've finished reading one of them than when you began. If you are romance reader and somehow haven't managed to pick one of their books up I strongly advise you do so immediately. You're missing out on some of the best romance novels out there and you'll thank me later.

Saturday, June 22, 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.

The third season of Stranger Things is so close now! We're less than two weeks away and that means we're getting a TON of content. I am pretty much counting down the days until I can binge watch the third season and immediately want season four.


Final Trailer For Season Three Of Stranger Things

This trailer has A LOT going on. So much. I am very worried about a lot of the characters after watching the two trailers that have been released. I am fairly certain Billy isn't making it out of this season, but there may end up being more casualties.


I love how badass Eleven gets to be here. I am glad that they are recognizing Will's connection to the Upside Down. This trailer was very much focused on the action and it seems like Netflix gave them a pretty big budget.

First Look Photos For Little Women

A new adaptation of Little Women will be released at the end of 2019 and Vanity Fair just released some first look photos that have been really intrigued.

My favourite, of course, is this one of Jo and Laurie.

Both actors look amazing and I am hoping we get a trailer soon so I can see what this movie might look like.


Stranger Things Season Three Merchandise

As mentioned above the third season is quickly approaching and that means a ton of merchandise is being released. Target just unveiled a bunch of exclusive merchandise including these glasses.

I need an entire set. I love the Scoops Ahoy and Hawkins Pool ones so much. There is no Target's in Canada so if I can't get them shipped to me I may have to get my friend Kelly to get grab them and I'll get them next year when I see her at Book Expo.

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

Friday, June 21, 2019

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Release Date - May 14, 2019
Publisher Website - Scholastic
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  352 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Isabelle should be blissfully happy – she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who’s cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe ... which is now filling with blood.

When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she is turned away in shame. It’s no more than she deserves: she is a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a feisty girl in a world that wants her to be pliant.

Isabelle has tried to fit in. To live up to her mother’s expectations. To be like her stepsister. To be sweet. To be pretty. One by one, she has cut away pieces of herself in order to survive a world that doesn’t appreciate a girl like her. And that has made her mean, jealous, and hollow.

Until she gets a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl. 
It's easy to root for Cinderella. We want her to break free from her abusive home and find happiness. What of her stepsisters though? The cruel and mean women who taunted Cinderella? Are they worthy of change and redemption if they want it? Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly tackles these questions and looks at the infamous stepsisters through a more feminist viewpoint that I found refreshing, even if I felt disconnected with the book at times.

Isabelle is told that women should be kind, beautiful, patient and good. They shouldn't be loud. They shouldn't want so much. She's continuously compared to Cinderella and found lacking. This, naturally, stirs jealousy within Isabelle's heart and leads her down the path we find her on. It is a much more sympathetic view on the character because she's instantly relatable. Women are always told who they should be and what they should want. Isabelle dared to want something different for herself, and dared to want to make her own way and society judged her for it. The jealousy that seeps into this story isn't just Isabelle's however. The people who are assumed to be the charmed ones have issues of their own and perhaps are just as jealous. This story looks at the pressure that is put on women and how that, sadly, often dictates the relationships we have with one another.

 The character growth that Isabelle undergoes during her journey is really what made this book work for me. We see her change and become a better person as her story progresses. The changes feel earned and authentic for the type of character she is. It is the gradual realizations and self reflection that made the character endearing to me and the author ensured it was the focus.

There is a secondary storyline that features the characters of Fate and Chance and this is where the story lost me a bit. It sometimes felt like this part of the story was meant to be a different story entirely. It didn't mesh as seamlessly with Isabelle's main storyline even with them being connected in a lot of ways. The story, for me, would have been stronger without this particular element. The scenes featuring these characters often felt disjointed and thrown in. It, for me, took me out of the story I was enjoying too many times for me to fully enjoy the book overall.

Pacing was a bit of an issue for me overall. This book feels too short for it to effectively achieve all of what it is attempting, This is most evident in the Chance/Faith sections. It causes the book to feel uneven in a lot of parts. The characters are well crafted, and the story is interesting, but I don't think it was executed to its fullest potential.

Ultimately this ended up being a bit of a mixed read for me. There were elements of the novel that I felt really worked, and other elements that I felt distracted from the story and took the reader out of what was happening. I do applaud the message of not being afraid to forge your own path regardless of what society may expect of you and recommend it for those who have loved this previous author's work.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... Royal Holiday

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 Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory makes her hardcover debut with a heartwarming Christmas romance. 

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie's work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can't refuse. She's excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn't expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain Private Secretary and his charming accent and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has been the Queen's Private Secretary for years and has never given a personal, private tour...until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.

Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy fling come New Year's Day...or are they?
This sounds like the perfect read to save to be enjoyed with a hot chocolate on a snowy December day (preferably after finishing up the holiday shopping). It seems like the perfect way to treat yourself after all of the hustle and bustle of the season.

Jasmine's books are always a fun read and I predict this one will be no exception.

Expected release date - October 1, 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Best Reads Of 2019 .... So Far

We are quickly approaching the midway point of the year and that means checking in on my reading progress and the books that have stood out so far.

I am always amazed at how fast the year is going whenever I decide to write one of these posts. It seems like it is flying by in particular this year.

I have not read nearly as much as I wanted to. I am already 8 books behind in my Goodreads challenge. I am hoping to refocus my attention on reading and the blog and making some progress this summer.

Taking a look at what books I have read this year has made me realize that I have become quite good at picking books that will appeal to me. I feel like my reading is made all the richer as a result. I still stray outside my comfort zone (especially if friends recommend a book) but feel like I genuinely know what books I will and will not enjoy. This has made picking my ten favourites even more difficult.

Here, in no particular order, are the ten books that have stood out to me during the first half of the year;

1. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

2. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

3. Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

4. The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

5. A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

6. You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn

7. Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

8. Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

9. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

10. Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen

All of the above books are linked to my reviews so you can discover exactly why they made my list if you so choose. Chase Darkness With Me is not currently reviewed so there is no link for that, but expect a review closer to release date.

I will be curious to see which books make it on to my year end list as the year continues! What book makes your own best of 2019 (at least so far) list? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, June 16, 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.

I was out of the country for most of the week so I was very much out of the loop with announcements and releases. However, there are a few things that came to my attention.


Jessica Jones Final Season

The final season of Jessica Jones dropped while I was away. I haven't had a chance to watch any of it yet, but I am hoping to get to it soon. I am so glad to have another season to watch but sad that this is the final one.

Lucifer Renewed For Final Season

Netflix also renewed Lucifer for a final season and announced it with a poster for the fifth season.

I am sad it is ending but so thankful that it gets to end on its own terms. It gets to give us the ending the creators wanted to give the fans. I am excited to see what is next for Chloe and Lucifer after that STUNNING season four finale.


Taylor Swift's New Album News

While I was out of the country Taylor Swift released a new single and news of her next album. It's called Lover and will be releasing August 23rd! The next single, You Need To Calm Down, is amazing and I have been listening to it on repeat since I got back.

The album cover is pretty amazing as well.

It has the cotton candy colour scheme that everything else Taylor has released recently has. It's soft and romantic which is what I hope this album is. I hope there are a ton of love songs on it.

I am excited to see the entire track list and to pick up the album on release day.

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

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A Glass Of Wine At The Movies - Booksmart


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

Director: Olivia Wilde

Language: English

Length:  105 minutes

Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Billie Lourd

Viewing Method: Regular Screening

Release Date: May 24, 2019

Synopsis: Academic overachievers Amy and Molly thought keeping their noses to the grindstone gave them a leg up on their high school peers. But on the eve of graduation, the best friends suddenly realize that they may have missed out on the special moments of their teenage years. Determined to make up for lost time, the girls decide to cram four years of not-to-be missed fun into one night -- a chaotic adventure that no amount of book smarts could prepare them for.


The indie movie of the summer is here, and it is called Booksmart. A, kind of, raunchy comedy about two best friends who realize they haven't done much with their time in highschool other than study. A night of partying, chaos, and revelations ensues.

Kaitylyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein are luminous in this movie. This is a stand out performance for each of them and I predict their star is only going to continue to rise after this. They have believable chemistry as best friends, and both are given the emotional beats to showcase their talents. Billie Lourd gives a movie stealing performance that I predict will be a particular favourite with audiences.

It was refreshing to see two girls supporting each other. There is a funny bit that is done whenever they unveil a new outfit to each other. It's filled with over the top declarations of how stunning, beautiful, gorgeous, etc they each look. It reminded me of the women's washroom in a bar except just done all of the time. Their friendship is the heart of the story and care was taken to make it realistically messy, but ultimately authentic.

Olivia Wilde directs with a sure and steady hand. It is, often times, hard to believe this is her directorial debut. It's a strong movie to showcase herself with and I predict she's just getting started. A lot of her choices feel like an homage to the teen movies of her teen years and it is obvious that this movie is a love letter to those movies.

The script is sharp, and smart. It offers a female sex positive message and is friendship forward. It doesn't ignore the challenges of the friendship will still celebrating it.

Booksmart is a funny, raunchy movie with a lot of heart. It's a love letter to anyone who is, was, or will be a teen girl. It also puts Olivia Wilde on the map as a director to watch. I encourage everyone to go see this immediately. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... The Starless Sea

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 Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world--a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues--a bee, a key, and a sword--that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians--it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose--in both the mysterious book and in his own life. 
The Night Circus was a beautifully written, lush, and unique read. I loved every minute of it. I was therefore thrilled to hear that Erin Morgenstern had another book coming out this year.

The Starless Sea sounds just as whimsical, and romantic as The Night Circus. It also sounds just as unique. I cannot wait to dive into this world and see what Erin has created.

Expected release date - November 5, 2019

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan

Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date - July 9, 2019
Publisher Website - Scholastic
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  288 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
It's the summer before her sixteenth birthday, and Sabrina Spellman knows her world is about to change. She's always studied magic and spells with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda. But she's also lived a normal mortal life -- attending Baxter High, hanging out with her friends Susie and Roz, and going to the movies with her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle.

Now time is running out on her every day, normal world, and leaving behind Roz and Susie and Harvey is a lot harder than she thought it would be. Especially because Sabrina isn't sure how Harvey feels about her. Her cousin Ambrose suggests performing a spell to discover Harvey's true feelings. But when a mysterious wood spirit interferes, the spell backfires... in a big way.

Sabrina has always been attracted to the power of being a witch. But now she can't help wondering if that power is leading her down the wrong path. Will she choose to forsake the path of light and follow the path of night?

Our exclusive prequel novel will reveal a side of Sabrina not seen on the new NETFLIX show. What choice will Sabrina make... and will it be the right one?
As a fan of the Netflix series I was immediately intrigued when I saw there would be a prequel novel. I was hoping it would have the same tone and that the characters would feel like the same characters. Thankfully, Sarah Rees Brennan captures exactly what fans love about the show and delivers it within these pages.

The characters voices instantly felt familiar. She captures each of them so vividly. Sabrina is the same confident, head strong, inquisitive young woman. Ambrose is still the same sarcastic, caged time bomb we know and love. Harvey is still the sweet, dependable, caring young man. Those who have watched the show will immediately feel connected to these characters because we already know them. The use of alternating chapters to 'spotlight' characters helped get into their heads and ensured the emotional beats paid off.

I think those who have watched the series will get the most out of reading this. There are moments that resonate emotionally because we know the future outcome. It is this hindsight that allows the story to work in my opinion and I am not sure it lands the same without that prior history.

This book is about love and not just the romantic kind. There are familiar bonds that pack just as vital emotional punch as the romantic relationships. The scenes between the Kinkle brothers, in particular, took on a more bittersweet tone because we know what happens to Tommy. We know his wishes in regard to Harvey are not going to come true and that packed an emotional punch. The other familial bond on display is Sabrina's relationship with Ambrose. Their relationship is one of my favourites and we get to see their dynamic on full display here.

I, as a Harvey and Sabrina shipper, especially loved how romantic the storyline is. We learn exactly how much Harvey cares for Sabrina (and vice versa) and the main plot revolves around them and their relationship. I left this book even more invested in them as a couple. It's really hard to not want them together after this because it is such a focus, and done so well. Those who might be fan of Nicholas Scratch will be please to know he makes a cameo, but this really is all about Harvey and Sabrina.

There were two characters I wish had been given a little more to do. Roz and Theo (still going by Susie at this point) are mostly sidelined. We get to see them in the background and each has a brief 'spotlight' chapter. Hopefully if another book is released in this series they'll have more of a presence.

I highly recommend this for fans of the Netflix series. It captures the essence and tone of the series perfectly and allows a deeper look at some of beloved characters. It really is a treat for those who have watched the show and are looking for something extra that fleshes out the world of Greendale.

Monday, June 10, 2019

This Week On The Blog

Things may be a little chaotic on the blog this week. I am out of the country on a business thing with limited time to be checking the blog. I have scheduled some things to auto post so hopefully they actually do and things should run pretty much as normal.

You can check out my Twitter or Instagram for some pictures and to follow along on my adventures. Things will resume as normal next week once I am back.

Saturday, June 8, 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.

A lot was revealed this week so this post may end up being a little longer than usual!


Cover For Harley In The Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman (goodreads)

This caught my attention first with the synopsis. Novels set in a circus of some kind are always intriguing to me. The cover was just recently revealed and I think it's perfect.

The colour scheme really works for me and the view of the reader looking up is striking. The circus tent and shadow work together to give you a sense of what the story is going to be. It's made me even more excited to read it.

Down Comes The Night by Allison Saft (goodreads)

I saw the deal announcement for this book and could not add it to my Goodreads fast enough. It sounds absolutely incredible.
a gothic romance set in a Guillermo del Toro-esque world. The book is about a healer torn between duty and her heart, a soldier broken by his crimes, and the darkness that threatens to consume them.
A gothic romance is exactly what I want to read and I cannot wait to see the world building in this book. This is going to be one of the books I cannot wait to get my hands on in 2021!


Trailer For Carnival Row

Remember how things set in a circus like setting caught my attention? This trailer was also released this week and I am in!

The fantasy mixed with steampunk setting. The forbidden love aspect mixed with the murder mystery (both of which I got from reading more about the show) have only made me more intrigued. Excited to check this one out when it releases on Amazon on August 30th.

Trailer For Ford v Ferrari

I had heard that there was some potential Oscar buzz for this movie and that the studio moved it from its original summer time slot to a more awards season favourable fall one.

The trailer was just released and I think the talk could hold some weight.

Christian Bale looks great, and it certainly looks capable of picking up a few tech nominations. Not sure it is Best Picture worthy but the trailer is promising at least.

Poster For Carnival Row

Along with the above trailer Amazon also released key art for Carnival Row. It leans into the fantasy steampunk vibe the trailer had going on.

This image alone would have made me check out the first episode. I am intrigued and hope it is as good as I am picturing it being.


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

Thursday, June 6, 2019

My Book Expo 2019 Experience

I recently traveled to New York City to attend what is essentially a book lover's version of heaven. Book Expo America is three days of being immersed in bookish nirvana with like minded people. You get to hear about the hottest titles of the fall/winter season, meet some incredible authors and make friends while waiting in lines.

I arrived into New York City an entire day early because I wanted to rest before heading into the conference and wanted some time to do things in the city. My first day there was Tuesday and I decided to go to the TKTS booth in Time Square and go see a play. I decided on seeing Burn This starring Kerri Russell and Adam Driver in the beautiful Hudson Theatre.

Part of my decision may have been made by amazing ads like this while I was waiting:

I enjoyed the play, particularly Adam Driver's performance. He's incredibly funny in this. It was a really fun experience and I definitely want to go see more plays next time I am in New York. It didn't hurt that I had an incredible view of the stage.

The next day was the first day of Book Expo. Excitement was high because Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo was to be given out that day. 

I, sadly, did not get a copy (and was literally next in line to get a ticket when they handed out the last one).  As expected there was a mad dash to the Macmillan booth when the floor opened at noon that day to get tickets for the afternoon signing. People were running and it was really chaotic and intense. I personally think authors as popular as Leigh Bardugo should not be in booth signings. It creates security/safety issues and this was a clear indicator of that. Hopefully they put her in the autographing area next time with advance ticketing. It controls some of the chaos. I was sad to miss out on my most anticipated book from the convention and cannot wait for it to be released so I can read it (or hopefully snag an ARC some other way).

The rest of Wednesday was mostly much more manageable (minus the Mackenzi Lee signing). I got to meet Billy Jensen and any murderino out there knows how excited I was by this. I was a whole mess of nerves so I had to let the person behind me go up first because I just couldn't be the first person to go up. He's incredibly kind in person and we had a laugh over Paul Holes not getting the idea of the Weekly Distraction segment on their podcast (The Murder Squad and you should totally check it out). It was one of the more exciting moments of Book Expo for me and I cannot wait to read his book!

I also manged to get in line for Mackenzi Lee's Loki signing. That line rivaled the Leigh Bardugo ticket race for the most chaotic part of Book Expo. Security had to come to handle the unorganized mess. I am sure this kind of reaction is amazing to both the author and publisher. It creates a lot of buzz and ensures your book is the talk of the Expo.I imagine it is less fun for the attendees trying to walk through the area or other exhibitors whose booth gets blocked or disturbed in the process. It was amazing to see Mackenzi again. She's always the sweetest and I am really excited to read Loki. 

I managed to snag a couple of other books on the first day. I left the conference with:

American Royals by Katharine McGee (goodreads)
Season Of The Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan (goodreads)
Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw (goodreads)
Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen (goodreads)
Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee (goodreads)
Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky (goodreads)

There was a lot of buzz for Imaginary Friend as this is Stephen Chbosky's first novel in about 20 years. The publisher had a lot of drops and a signing to ensure that everyone who wanted to read this one got the chance.

Day Two was a much earlier start to the day and filled with after Book Expo fun as well. I also manged to get one of my other most anticipated books of the conference this day. I had a lot of things right at the beginning of the day so I went and got in line early. I, personally, love this part of Book Expo. Getting to chat with the other people in line is one of my favourite parts of the entire event. I met so many really nice muderinos and got to talk to some amazing book lovers as well.

I managed to meet Raina Telgemeier and get a signed copy of Guts which will promptly be given to my niece once I have read it. She's a huge fan and is going to love getting this book.

I also wanted to get My Dark Vanessa because it was one of the buzz selections on my radar before it was picked. Kate Elizabeth Russell was really sweet and there was quite a bit of buzz on the floor for her feminist Lolita inspired debut.

I managed to get a copy of Emery Lord's newest (which was one of my most anticipated) and I totally hugged the book the second I got it.

All in all I left the convention center with the following after the second day:

The Map From Here To There by Emery Lord (goodreads)
Guts by Raina Telgemeier (goodreads)
Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi (goodreads)
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (goodreads)
Cursed by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller (goodreads)
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (goodreads)

Cursed was an example of the show floor putting a book on my radar that hadn't been there previously. Hearing about it from other attendees and the people at the Simon and Schuster booth made me want to read it. It's going to be a Netflix show and it sounds like an interesting take on the King Arthur tale.

This was also the day that I was attending the My Favourite Murder book tour stop to celebrate the release of Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered! My friend Kelly (from Kellyvision) came to town to attend with me. We, of course, had to get Shake Shack before the event.

We do not have Shake Shack in Canada so I am always excited to have it whenever I go to New York. I usually end up having it twice. It started to rain and we had a disastrous time getting an Uber (which turned into us getting a taxi) but we made it to the Town Hall Theatre with time to spare for the event. The event was Q and A style with someone from the New York Times as the moderator. It was funny, and insightful. Karen and Georgia were lovely as always and it made me love the book even more than I already did.

I, obviously, love the swag and the fact that I have a signed copy of this book! It was a fantastic evening and the perfect way to end the second day.

Kelly left early on the third day and I headed over to the Javits Centre early for the last day of Book Expo. I was most excited to meet Renee Ahdeih and get another of my most anticipated books of the conference.

I also snagged a copy of the new Christina Lauren book! I love all of their books and this one sounds especially good. I love second chance romances so I think this will may end up be a favourite. I had to go brave the Macmillan booth to get tickets again, but this time was much more organized. It felt less chaotic but still energetic. I managed to get tickets for both the Cora Carmack and Jennifer L Armentrout signings.

The last day saw me leaving with the following books:

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh (goodreads)
No Judgments by Meg Cabot (goodreads)
Twice In A Blue Moon by Christina Lauren (goodreads)
Rage by Cora Carmack (goodreads)
The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L Armentrout (goodreads)
A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer (goodreads)

I had missed all of the previous giveaways of A Heart So Fierce and Broken so I wanted to try to get a copy on this last day. I loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely and am looking forward to finding out what comes next.

I got to gush to Renee about how excited I am for The Beautiful! It has so many things I love: vampires, historical setting, New Orleans, and a murder mystery. I love the paranormal genre so I am happy to see vampires making a comeback.

That wrapped up my Book Expo experience this year. Overall it was a fun, more relaxed conference. It felt like the publishers had less on offer and were focusing on autographing sessions more than the typical galley drops (even though there were still plenty of those). I also noticed a lack of promotion of romance novels overall. There were a few sprinkled throughout but there are so many amazing sounding titles coming out. Berkley in particular has an incredible sounding autumn line up, but was there was two books being given out that were not romance. They did have Jasmine Guillory signing however which was great but it was promoting an older release instead of one of her upcoming ones. I hope the publishers realize there is a desire for those books to be there and make an effort to bring more in the future.

I had one half day in New York City before I left which I spent taking a true crime tour of the city. It was an interesting and surprisingly informative experience. The guide infused his stories with a lot of historical facts about the city and how the areas had changed since the events had happened. It was fascinating to hear about how drastically some of the neighbourhoods had changed. I also left with a few cases that I want to see if there are podcasts about.

I said goodbye to New York by getting some dinner and Stranger Things themed ice cream after the tour before my bus was scheduled to leave.

I always leave New York immediately wanting to go back. There's something about the city that feels pretty magical. I, once again, left rejuvenated and inspired by the book community. It's sometimes a lot but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.

My hopes for next year are a bit more attention to crowd control and ensuring that safety concerns are dealt with in some manner (I do think they have gotten better at this overall though). I also wanted to shout out Sourcebooks for their lines/crowd control. It was excellent this year. The autographing area was also well planned.

Did you go to Book Expo? If so, what was the one book you were most excited to come home with and what was your favourite part of attending? For those who did not get to attend this year, what book would you have wanted to get? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday .... A Heart So Fierce And Broken

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 A Heart So Fierce And Broken by Brigid Kemmerer


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

Find the heir, win the crown. 
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom. 
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen--until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war. 
I loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely. I thought it was one of the most imaginative and unique takes on Beauty and the Beast that I have ever read. It was romantic, action packed, and filled with excellent plot set up for the sequel.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken seems to be making Grey's role even more prominent which is certainly welcome as he was one of the stand out characters in the first novel. It also seems that he may have a love interest of his own in this one.

This book doesn't release until early 2020 but will be perfect to use those holiday gift card on when you get them. It also gives you plenty of time to read A Curse So Dark and Lonely if you haven't already.

Expected release date - January 7, 2020

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Monthly TBR and Recap

It is the start of another month which means checking in with how I did with my May list and what I have added for June. I had a busy May so I did not have a lot of reading time. I went to Book Expo and I always think I am going to get so much reading done but end up being too exhausted after a busy day on the floor that I crash shortly after I eat dinner.

The books that were on my list are:

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)

Plus I had a bunch of ebooks on my list:

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)

I managed to read four books this month and all of them were on my list for a change. I read:

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg (goodreads)
Last Things by Jacqueline West (goodreads)
Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered by Karen Killgariff and Georgia Hardstark (goodreads)
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly (goodreads)

I am now looking forward to June and the books I am hoping to read.

Finale by Stephanie Garber (goodreads)
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo (goodreads)
Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen (goodreads)
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte (goodreads)
Season Of The Witch by Srah Rees Brennan (goodreads)

I also have some ebooks on my list for June as well. You can see that many of them are left overs from last month:

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (goodreads)
King Of Fools by Amanda Foody (goodreads)
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (goodreads)
There's Something About Sweetie by Shandya Menon (goodreads)
Waiting For Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey (goodreads)
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory (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.

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...