Saturday, September 28, 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.


Wicked Villains Series by Katee Robert (goodreads)

I stumbled across this series that used the Disney villains as inspiration and adds a very sexy twist. The first book, Desperate Measures is currently out (and I literally JUST purchased the ebook) and revolves around Jafar and Jasmine.

The sequels will feature Meg/Hades and Hook/Tinkerbell so I am hoping this one is really good because I already want to read the others. Not only do these offer up a much sexier take on these fairytales it, from what I understand, sets them in a non-magical, modern setting.


Prodigal Son

The premise of this one hooked me immediately. A son of a serial killer becomes a criminal profiler to help catch criminals. It also stars Michael Sheen and Tom Payne, both of whom I have enjoyed in other projects.

The first episode was strong enough for me to want to watch episode two. Hopefully it keeps it up as I could easily see it becoming one of my favourites.

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

Friday, September 27, 2019

American Horror Story: 1984 - Mr Jingles

Welcome to Camp Crystal Lake Redwood. This season of American Horror Story takes a page from classic 80's slasher films and goes to summer camp.

Here is your official spoiler warning before we dive into the events of episode two - Mr Jingles.

Our cold open starts with Karen Hopple, owner of the asylum from the previous episode, arriving at Camp Redwood. She's, obviously, there to warn everyone that a serial killer is on his way there. She is specifically looking for Margaret. She finds Margaret in her cabin and tells her that Mr Jingles has escaped and that Margaret will have to shut down the camp. She shares that Mr Jingles is obsessed with her and has a fantasy of revenge. Margaret's not going to listen. She wants to open as scheduled because she has her own fantasy of living without fear. She shows Karen a gun and tells her that if Mr Jingles shows up it'll be him that won't survive. Karen is basically like 'it's your funeral' and drives off. She almost immediately hits something in the road that gives her car a flat (and we all know how this is going to end). A tow truck conveniently shows up but Mr Jingles is the driver so it was nice knowing you, Karen. Her death is a brutal and bloody scene that ends with Mr Jingles telling her that she was right - he is a monster.

We join Brooke and the gang back int one of the cabins. She is jumpy and still unsettled after the events of last episode. She sees a news report about the murder at the gas station and realizes that it was the attendant who they interacted with. She is convinced it is the Night Stalker making good on his promise to find her. The guys tease her by reminding her that she's cried wolf a few times. Margaret comes to ruin everyone's good time and reminds them that boys and girls are not supposed to be together this late and that lights out is in 20 minutes. She also reminds them that tomorrow is a big day and that the guys have got to leave and remove themselves from temptation. Xavier continues to be my favourite and asks if she is going to make them pray the boners away to which she replies that a clean body equals a clean mind and tells them that the boys shower at night to watch the sins away so that they wake up pure. Chill, Margaret.

After the guys leave Montana and Brooke have a heart to heart. Brooke is understandably not okay and Montana can sense that. Montana shares that she has had her boobs grabbed by random guys, and shares a story of being scared her first time away from home at summer camp where all the shadows made her jump but it turned out to be nothing. Sometimes a shadow is just a shadow and we imagine the worst that can happen. Brooke states that you don't have to imagine when the worst has already happened and shares the story behind the wedding ring we saw in the first episode. It ends like this:

Brooke was set to marry a guy name Joey. Joey, it turns out, is a very jealous and possessive asshat. He waits until the middle of the ceremony to accuse Brooke of cheating on him with his best friend (who is also the Best Man) because the guy crashed at Brooke's the night before the wedding. Joey had went over to her place and saw his friend enter and not leave until morning. Brooke says that nothing happened. She hates being alone at night and she didn't want to see Joey before the wedding because of tradition so his friend stayed with her and slept on the couch. Joey is just really upset by the thought that she might not be a virgin anymore. He tells Brooke that he doesn't believe her and takes out a FREAKING GUN! He shoots his best friend and Brooke's father before turning the gun on Brooke. He tearfully says "look what you made me do" and tells her that she doesn't deserve to wear white before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide. Billy Idol's 'White Wedding' playing as this flashback happens only adds a surreal element to the story. Montana is rightfully outraged and is angry that Joey thought he owned Brooke's body and mind. Brooke reiterates that she never cheated on him but Joey didn't believe her (like everyone else). Montana says that she believes her and leans in to kiss Brooke! Brooke isn't into it though and pulls away and makes an excuse to take off. Side note,  Brooke basically has the worst luck with men and just in general - a finance who snaps and kills himself and others at your wedding and now TWO freaking serial killers after her.

The guys are walking to the camp showers and discussing the women at camp. They get to the showers and Xavier is disappointed to find that there are no little hotel room like soaps or towels and he leaves to go get his own towel. We also see that Brooke is walking the campgrounds as Margaret is turning off the lights. Xavier is grabbed and tossed into a car by someone named Blake. Xavier obviously knows him. When Xavier asks what Blake is doing there he is affronted. He reminds Xavier that 'his boys' don't call him Blake. Xavier asks his question again but calls him Daddy this time. I am pretty sure he's not Xavier's actually father though. It's revealed that Blake left the voicemail on Xavier's phone. Turns out that Xavier made a porn movie for this guy (a gay porn at that) and that it was made after he found Xavier in a park addicted to drugs, homeless, and covered in his own piss. He got Xavier cleaned up. He was able to follow Xavier because he left a forwarding address for his pay cheques (Xavier is, as Blake points out, as dumb as he is pretty and he's really pretty). Xavier starts crying and pleads that he was only supposed to do one movie. He reminds Blake that he's not gay. It sounds like Xavier took the role for money maybe but he wants to be a serious actor now and gets angry and leaves the car with a "fuck this". Blake follows him and pushes him down to the ground and threatens to send a copy of the tape Xavier made to all his family and friends if he doesn't fall in line. Xavier offers him a deal instead. Xavier can get him someone else to make the movie. Someone who is the next John Holmes (he obviously means Trevor). Blake seems into it so they head off so he can take at look at this wonder penis.

The guys are in the shower now and making jokes about Trevor's penis. Trevor claims it is not all it's cracked up to be. Most women can't handle it and it costs him jobs (like the Jane Fonda video). Xavier and Blake show up and Blake checks out Trevor by being a perv and looking through a hole in the wooden fence around the showers. He's super into Trevor's monster penis and while he is distracted Xavier takes the chance to run away. Pretty much as soon as Xavier makes his escape Blake is killed with a spike through the head that comes out right where his eye is with the spike going through the hole he was just spying through. Is it okay that I don't feel bad he died? I feel awful for Xavier.

Brooke went to the dock when she ran away from Montana and sees a body floating in the water which sends her screaming back up the dock only to find Richard Ramirez waiting for her. Brooke wants to know how he found her. Richard uses his typical answer and says Satan. He attacks Brooke and she uses a canoe paddle to hit him in the head. I am loving that they are making him look like a complete fool. He chases after Brooke and just as he is about to grab her someone barrels into him which sends Richard crashing to the ground. The guy that saved the day? The guy they picked up on the side of the road (the one that Xavier totally didn't hit). He tells Richard 'you're not supposed to be here' before Richard slashes his stomach with his knife. This prompts the guy to say that he is not supposed to die here (does that mean he is supposed to die some place else? I am so confused). Richard disagrees and slashes the guy's throat so  I guess that settles that (pretty sure the stomach slash would have killed him so the throat slash is just overkill).

Nurse Rita is dancing around the medical cabin to "Jump For My Love" by The Pointer Sisters which is fun. She turns around though to see Mr Jingles in the cabin with a knife. Eeeep! Run, Rita, Run!

Brooke is trying to call the police (smart decision) but the phone is broken. She turns after hanging up to find Montana there. She quickly tells Montana that the Night Stalker is there. Montana pretty much rolls her eyes at this. I totally get it, Montana.

We next see Richard  about to head off in search of Brooke when the guy he just killed once again says "you're not supposed to be here" which causes Richard to freak the hell out (which, same). He demands to know how the guy is alive and kills him again for good measure. He searches the body until he finds a piece of id. The id reveals the guy was a counselor at Camp Redwood and is dated in 1970 (which is when Mr Jingles killed everyone). WHAT IS GOING ON?! Is this guy a ghost? Why can he technically be killed and immediately come back to life? This reminds me of the Murder House/Hotel thing where anyone who dies on the property comes back as a ghost but WHY IS EVERYONE ELSE WHO DIED NOT ALSO A GHOST?!

Brooke shows Montana the slashes in her sweater as proof and while they are arguing over what happened they hear yelling. It's the guys and they have discovered Blake's body. They check that he's dead. The women come running over and Brooke starts screaming (which prompts an 'oh no, here she goes' from Trevor). Xavier arrives and is super upset. He wants to call an ambulance. He goes to touch the body and is warned against it from Trevor because people could think he is involved. Xavier is all 'Why would anyone think I was involved' in a high pitched, squeaky voice. Brooke shares that she thinks it is the Night Stalker and tells them about the body in the lake. The group next makes the best decision EVER by saying that they need to find Margaret and leave the camp immediately. Trevor points out that he doesn't think Blake was killed by the Night Stalker and shows them that Blake is missing an ear. They deduce it is Mr Jingles and take off running for the van.

Margaret, oblivious to everything going on, arrives back at her cabin. She enters to find Richard Ramirez sitting on a chair. They share this great exchange:

Margaret is quick to realize he is talking about Satan and rolls her eyes. She wants to know what he wants and is surprisingly calm about a random guy being in her cabin. Richard shows her the id he stole from the guy who might be a ghost and demands to know everything about him.

Margaret notices that he is hurt and goes to get her first aid kit. She asks his name and he tells (surprisingly giving her his real name). She is cleaning his wounds and they are .... bonding. He shares that he killed the guy whose id he has and expresses that it is not the first person he has killed but it is the first time he has had to do it twice. This doesn't send Margaret screaming out of the cabin like it should. Nope, she instead tells him that the guy wouldn't stay dead because of Jesus (because he is there to explain all that can't be explained basically). She reveals that the guy died back in 1970 and that she saw his lifeless body herself. Richard doesn't understand so she says that she'll try to explain. She asks what the worst thing that has ever happened to him is and Richard demurs. He doesn't like talking about himself. She starts flirting and tells him that he just hasn't found the right person to listen. This makes Richard share that everything is the worst thing that ever happened to him. He shares that pain is how the world has always talked to him so why shouldn't pain be he how he talks back (which is a great line). His mother worked in a shoe factory while she was pregnant and breathed in all of the fumes so he was poisoned before he was even born. His dad was cruel to him causing him to hit his head on a swing which caused seizures. His cousin, Mike, showed him pictures of all of the girls he killed over in Vietnam during the war but his cousin's wife didn't like that and so his cousin shot her in front of Richard (because the wife didn't want the cousin to be free apparently). I wonder how much of this is true. I think I am going to have to find a podcast that does a deep dive to find out. Margaret serves Richard tea after he finishes this story. Richard Ramirez is just sitting there drinking freaking tea. What even is this show?! She tells him all of this bad stuff happened to make him the person he is today, the person who was brought there to her. Richard says that a girl (aka Brooke) brought him there but he likes Margaret better and he smirks and asks to see her feet. THEY ARE FLIRTING?! I am speechless. What is even happening. Margaret next makes a case for us not to trust her by saying that God can be used to explain why something happened but God can also be used to explain why you've done something (even something bad). Richard, smartly, surmises that this means he doesn't need to feel bad for anything he does if he is doing God's (or Satan's in his case) work. She brings up his cousin and the idea of freedom and says that to have true freedom all you need are two things - 1: God and 2: trauma. Richard is all heart eyes and says that she is the first person who understands him. Margaret hints that she wants Richard to take out Mr Jingles for her (she wants a safe haven for the kids). She'll look for the counselor for him but she insists that he doesn't kill anyone else (except Mr Jingles) because there has been too much death at the camp already. Part of me thinks Margaret wants to make out with Richard and the other part of me thinks she is playing him to get what she wants. It could be both.

The gang is trying to get the van to start and predictably it won't at first. They're all panicking and this prompts Chet to reveal something:

Montana is all of us. Xavier gets the car started and there is some pretty good acting from the cast as they all do this relieved but almost crying reaction. They take off and have barely moved when Rita jumps in front of the car causing them to crash. She's injured. She explains that Mr Jingles is in the infirmary. Xavier tries to start the van but it won't start. It got busted in the crash. Rita has a car and Trevor reveals he has a motorbike (which Montana is VERY into) but they will have to go back to the cabins to get the keys (naturally). They break up into two groups to go get the keys. One group heads to the infirmary and the other to the men's cabin.

Margaret is out in the woods searching and comes across the 1970's counselor. His name is Jonah and they have a talk. Jonah seems to think it is still 1970. They both marvel over the other with Jonah exclaiming how different she looks, while Margaret exclaims that he looks exactly the same. When asked he shares that he last remembers all of the blood and running away. He saw Margaret that night through the window of the cabin and instead of helping her he ran away and tried to call the police. The phone didn't work so he kept running. He got as far as the road and Mr Jingles hits him with a truck, gets out and kills him. I am not sure the timeline works here but I guess we'll get more of the story as we go along. Jonah tearfully asks if he is a ghost which is the obvious answer. Margaret shares that she thinks so because there are ghosts in the bible. Jonah is suffering from the guilt of everyone dying and him just running. Poor guy. I still want to know how he is even there and why just him. Also, how is Margaret so cool with everything that is happening? I don't trust her.

The first group reaches the infirmary and tries to find the keys to Rita's car. They are supposed to be in her desk but they are not there. Mr Jingles sees some flashlights in a window and heads towards wherever they are coming from.

We cut to the other group searching for the motorcycle keys which are easily found. Xavier chooses this moment to have a break down. He starts crying and saying it is all his fault. He brought everyone there including Blake. He shares that he knew him and that Blake only came there because of him.

Back with the other group, Chet decides to go talk to Brooke. He tells her some version of 'it'll be okay' but Brooke isn't having it. She tells him to stay away from her because bad things happen to those who get close to her. She sees something in the window and runs to lock the door. Someone, I bet Richard, starts pounding on the door as soon as she locks it. I bet Richard because we see that he has headed toward the infirmary. At the same time someone (Mr Jingles, probably) starts pounding on the door of the men's cabin as the episode ends with Xavier exclaiming that they are all going to die.

So, episode two introduced a possible ghost, a tea drinking Richard Ramirez, and added two deaths to our body count (three if you count Jonah). The show has opened up layer I didn't expect with this ghost (or whatever) he is. I feel like so much happened this episode that is going to pay off later on in the season.

Until next time .... maybe don't leave you forwarding address if you're trying to hide from someone.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

American Royals by Katharine McGee

American Royals by Katharine McGee
Release Date - September 3, 2019
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House 
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  448 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
What if America had a royal family?

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America's first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she's breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn't care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there's Samantha's twin, Prince Jefferson. If he'd been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.
If there is one thing you should know about Katharine McGee's novels, it is that they feel like you are reading a season of one of your favourite CW television shows and American Royals is no exception. Its vivid and decadent world, the twist to USA history, and the addictive drama all add up to a novel that readers can easily visualize.

The world of the Washington family is one of privilege, power, and riches. It is this lush, and rich setting that adds something extra to the story. It makes the idea of America having a King feel all the more plausible. The celebrity like feel to the Washington's life is showcased has having both good and bad moments. They live in a gilded fishbowl and that kind of hyper surveillance and the expectations put on the characters is a huge part of the story being told.  It's fascinating to unravel how that sort of pressure would impact the family relationships and that is absolutely tackled within these pages.

The drama, as mentioned, is straight out of some of your favourite teen television dramas. It is heightened but in a way that only serves to make the storyline and characters more compelling. This is a larger than life setting and that stage requires equally high stakes and Katharine McGee delivers. The pacing of the reveals is so pitch perfect it makes this whirlwind story connect a little harder than I thought it would. She allows time for the major plot points to matter before the story races off again and that makes the reader feel a little more invested in how these events impact the characters we are spending time with.

The three Washington siblings are all so different from each other as are their relationships to one another. That dynamic was one of my favourite parts of the story and I hope we get to explore the sibling side of things a little more in future novels.

Beatrice is going to be the first Queen of America and heavy is the crown as they say. She is, naturally, having to deal with sexism and a bunch of people saying she can't do the job because she isn't a man. She feels the responsibility of becoming Queen deeply, and hears the voice of her detractors. It drives every single part of her to the point that her own needs and wants are a non factor. It is both impressive and crushing. You don't want this position that she was literally born into to control her life but the book makes the case that there is no way that it couldn't. Anything else was never in the cards for Beatrice.

Samantha is the more free spirited Washington sister. She likes to have fun, get into trouble, and is happy to drift along. She doesn't know what drives her yet. She has lived her whole life feeling like she was unimportant, just the spare. Everything from her security code name (Sparrow) to the way she is viewed and treated serves to remind her that she is secondary. Your heart breaks for her even as you see the freedoms she has that Beatrice does not.

Jefferson doesn't have a point of view in this novel and as a result I feel like I didn't really get to know him. He is a lot like his twin sister, Samantha, but also used to being viewed differently because he is a guy. He's her partner in crime and I wish we had gotten to see them together a little bit more. Jeff, if possible, has it even easier than Beatrice and Samantha because of the different expectations that are put on him because of his gender.

The other view points are the characters of Daphne and Nina. Two very different girls with ties to the Washington family. Daphne is driven and will be a divisive character for readers. Nina is probably the most relatable character in the book. She comes from a average home life and is swept up into the life of the royals because of her mother's job and the friendships that resulted from it. She is the outsider who isn't sure the life of scrutiny is for her.

Fans of Gossip Girl, anything royal, and frothy fun in book form will have a fantastic time devouring this. It has the perfect blend of romance, drama, and fast moving plot that ensures that readers will not be able to turn the pages fast enough. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... Imaginary Friend

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 Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend. The epic work of literary horror from the #1 bestselling author of THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER.

We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us.

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with Christopher at her side. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It's as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a tree house in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

Soon Kate and Christopher find themselves in the fight of their lives, caught in the middle of a war playing out between good and evil, with their small town as the battleground.
There isn't much time to wait for this one at all because it comes out in less than week! It seems like the perfect book for the spooky season that is about to be upon us.

Those who have read and loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower have been patiently waiting for Stephen Chbosky to write another book and it is finally almost here!

Expected release date - October 1, 2019

Friday, September 20, 2019

American Horror Story: 1984 - Camp Redwood

Welcome to Camp Crystal Lake Redwood. This season of American Horror Story takes a page from classic 80's slasher films and goes to summer camp.  It's a perfect theme for this show and I cannot wait to see what this season has in store.

Here is your official spoiler warning before we dive into the events of Camp Redwood.

The episode starts out with a flashback and a staple of the slasher film .... teen camp counselors hooking up. We are quickly introduced to a threesome (two girls and a guy) who seem to be on the verge of having sex in a room with the other counselors present (it could be the campers as we only get quick glimpses of them). The one girl offers up a weak protest about being responsible but that is quickly tossed out the window when the guy shows he has a condom that he stole from his dad. You can probably guess what happens next ... they hear a noise (in this case they hear a jingling) but they chalk it up to some wind chimes. Naturally it turns out not to be the wind chimes and the threesome is quickly killed by a man dressed in a black rain slicker jacket (very I Know What You Did Last Summer) who proceeds to kill the remaining occupants of the cabin while (grossly) taking an ear from each as a trophy. This season already has an incredibly high body count and we're barely 5 mins in.

We jump forward to 1984 and are quickly introduced to most of our main cast during an aerobics class. Lots of fabulous 80's work out gear and moves with sexual undertones. Very fun. We get a quick glimpse of Montana (Billie Lourd) introducing herself to Brooke (Emma Roberts) in the showers after their workout. Montana teases that she saw the way Brooke was looking at her friend Chet (AHS newcomer Gus Kenworthy) and asks if she wants an introduction. Brooke declines and Montana apologizes for coming on a little strong. It's hard to make friend in Los Angeles, apparently. We also learn that Montana's goal is to compete in aerobics competitively. Brooke ends up meeting the rest of the crew however when they walk into the gym lobby. The rest of our main crew for this season is dishing on a gruesome murder that recently happened in Glassell Park. Xavier (Cody Fern) reveals that he has connections to the police force and shares that they think a bunch of unsolved murders have all been committed by someone they are calling the Night Stalker (and my guess that Zach Villa is playing Richard Ramirez just pretty much got proven correct). Brooke is every Murderino ever and immediately starts spewing facts about serial killers. She explains that they get more active in the summer because it is hot and people sleep with their windows open. Awkward introductions are made and we learn that Xavier and Montana met when she rear ended his car and they dated briefly (even though she made him miss an acting audition as a result of the accident).  Chet and Ray (Deron Norton) met at the gym and they met Montana because Ray ran into her at a party.

Xavier circles back to the serial killer on the loose. He doesn't want to hang around the city that summer (which is just smart thinking) and invites everyone to come with him to Camp Redwood to be counselors. Ray is immediately in. He wants to be out of town before the Olympics start and Los Angeles gets crowded. He also points out that he doesn't want to see Chet getting his face rubbed into it (I am guessing Chet was supposed to be on Team USA but something happened). Montana is in as long as they'll let her teach aerobics. Only Brooke is a little hesitant with her saying she is talking veterinary assistant classes. Xavier teases that she should come because staying in the city could literally cost her her life. Montana flirtatiously gives Brooke her number just in case she changes her mind.

Brooke is relaxing at home and getting ready for bed. She takes off her jewelry and puts it away. She lingers on an engagement ring and looks at it a little wistfully. I am immediately curious. Did she have a fiance who died? Or did they just break up? I need to know that entire backstory. She obviously forgets all of the good advice she gave about serial killers because she falls asleep WITH THE WINDOWS OPEN. She is awoken by a man (Zach Villa) on top of her.

He demands to know where her jewelry is kept. He is disappointed that the only thing of value seems to be the one ring and makes her swear on Satan that there is nothing else of value. He tells her that she'll be famous because she is going to die at the hands of the Night Stalker. Brooke is a complete badass and fights back hard when he attacks her. They make so much noise that her neighbours bang on the door asking if she is okay and advising that they've already called the police. The guy takes off vowing to find her again because Satan will show him the way. He is 100% supposed to be Richard Ramirez (especially with all that Satan talk).

Brooke's close call makes her much more eager to leave town and join everyone at the camp. Brooke is, naturally, freaked out but Montana tells her that she'll be far away and that there is no way this guy can find her. They give her some alcohol to take the edge off. Ray offers further enticement by filling her in on all of the weed and cocaine he brought along (enough for the summer) and laughs that he hopes they don't do surprise drug tests which makes Chet mad. We learn that he was kicked off Team USA because he tested positive for drugs on one of his drug tests. He claims he didn't do any drugs and that he worked his ass off to get his spot. He takes his shirt off demanding to know if they have ever seen a body like his. Brooke very much approves of what she sees.

It all ends in everyone doing a bump of cocaine (except Xavier who is driving and Brooke who declines). All of this drug talk is basically perfect because drugs, along with sex, are two of the things that will get you killed in a horror movie so this is definitely on brand.

They pull into a rest stop and Xavier runs over to the pay phone to check his message. He has a mysterious message that I immediately need to know more about.

The guy who left the message is definitely threatening Xavier. I need to know how this fits into this season. Brooke yells at him to hurry up or they'll be late arriving at Camp Redwood. The attendant at the rest stop (Don Swayze ... yup, Patrick Swayze's brother) visually reacts at the mention of the camp and tells them to turn around. When they laugh him off he tells them that they're all going to die. Naturally our heroes do not listen and continue on to the camp. It wouldn't be a horror inspired show without all of the bad decisions being made.

As they are driving they begin to argue about what the attendant said which distracts Xavier and they end up hitting someone who is in the middle of the road (again, very I Know What You Did Last Summer). They get out of the car. Xavier is very quick to point out that the guy is covered in old injuries. They decide to take the guy back to the camp with them and Xavier wants it made known that they NEVER hit the guy (even though he totally did). The guy who was hit is conscious but not coherent. They load him up in the car and continue heading to the camp.

Upon arriving at the camp they meet Margaret (Leslie Grossman) who is the person reopening the camp. They fill her in on the injured guy in the car and Xavier is, once again, quick to point out that the guy was on the side of the road (meaning they could not have hit him) when they are asked what happened to him. Margaret tells them to take them to the camp medic, Rita (Angelica Ross).

Rita asks where they found him and Xavier, once again, makes it clear that ...

He also so helpfully points out that he has been talking nonsense. Rita muses that it is probably dehydration caused by him getting lost in the woods. She shares that she works at Hawthorne Hospital the rest of the year which immediately caught my attention because the school for the warlocks in Apocalypse was Hawthorne Academy. I wonder if they are related. Either way, it seems she is very capable and I hope she doesn't die because her skill may be very valuable later.

Margaret takes the new counselors on a tour. She shows them a lake and reminds them that drowning is the number one cause of kids dying a camp. Xavier asks what the second cause is which just earns him a dirty look. The tour also allows them to meet the chef, named Bertie, who used to be a counselor when Margaret was a camper. Bertie mentions that 'one bad apple' ruined it for everyone and she was happy to hear Margaret was opening it back up.

Next tour stop is the counselor cabins. The red cabin is for the girls, and the blue cabin is for the boys. She quips that nobody better even think of making purple which causes an outcry. Xavier asks if she has ever heard of the sexual revolution and he reminds her that ....

She is well aware of the sins of the current times but she is a religious woman and used the money she got after her husband's untimely death to reopen the camp as a means to fight the filth that is women's underwear that shows off their butt, porn, and Van Halen (which is especially hilarious because Montana looks like any woman from an 80s hair band videos).

The first day ends with the main group and Rita sitting around a camp fire smoking weed and cigarettes. They murders happening in Los Angeles is brought up and Brooke shares her story of being attacked. It leads Rita to start telling them a story about something that happened at the camp but she is stopped by Xavier. He doesn't want some bullshit ghost story. Brooke went through a real assault and he isn't here for that being made light of. She tells them that the story is real. It wasn't any ghosts and isn't some tale used to scare campers. She reminds them that none of them have experience working at a summer camp but they were hired because they were the only ones willing to work at the camp after what happened. She basically tells the story of our opening flashback. Benjamin Richter (aka Mr Jingles and played by John Caroll Lynch) who was a former war vet who found he liked killing while serving in the army and used to collect trophies (ears that he used to string into a necklace) from those he killed in combat. He was hired on at the camp after he was discharged and one day killed 10 people in the girls cabin. Margaret walks up and quickly corrects Rita. It was NINE people that were slaughtered. Everyone seems really skeptical that this actually happened so Margaret lifts up her hair and reveals that she is missing an ear. SHE WAS ONE OF THE VICTIMS AND SURVIVED! EEEEEEP! She tells her own story of what happened. She heard his keys jingling before she was stabbed. She claims that as she lay their near death she saw a light and it helped her survive. She claims it was Jesus (it was actually the light above the door) and that he helped her stay still while her ear was cut off. She bought the camp to take those dark memories and turn them into something happy. She reminds them that the kids are coming tomorrow and that they should not talk about this again.

We jump to the guy Xavier totally hit with this car waking up disoriented. He walks around and goes to a mirror. He removes the bandanna around his head and we see that his ear is also missing (and it seems more recent than Margaret's does). Brooke comes to check on him and he tells her that she shouldn't be here. She gets him to go lay back down and he asks where they are. He gets angry and starts screaming at her to get out when she tells him that they are at Camp Redwood. She's all too happy to oblige and runs away.

Back at the cabins the group is doing more cocaine and Brooke is filling them in on what just happened when they hear creepy footsteps approaching the cabin. It turns out to just be Trevor (Matthew Morrison) who is technically their boss as he is the activities director. Montana is super into him and she claims that he looks familiar. After much discussion, and Trevor listing all of the possible places she could have seen him, it turns out she had seen him in a Jane Fonda work out video. It was a bootleg version because they had to reshoot the entire thing with someone else because his penis was too distracting (he's very well endowed). Montana is VERY into this. She's basically drooling.

We cut to later and Trevor goes out to the docks to find a naked Montana in the water. He decides to join her and she talks about how the work out video turned her on and they start hooking up. Montana sees vehicle lights on the other side of the lake and gets spooked but covers it up by blaming the incoming storm and making a joke about him not wanting to be out there with that 'lightening rod'.

We next cut to a car driving into an asylum. It appears all of the patients are out and wandering around the yard and facility. The lady in the car is the owner of the facility and she wants to know what is going on. It turns out that a patient has escaped. He faked his own death and attacked a guard when they went in to help. The escaped patient? Benjamin Richter. Benjamin helpfully released the rest of the patients before leaving. Oh, and he had a newspaper clipping about the reopening of Camp Redwood tucked away in his mattress. I'll give you one guess where he is headed.

Mr Jingles makes a quick stop before heading to the camp though and visits the attendant at the rest stop/gas station who warned our heroes to turn back. The attendant gets crushed by a car for his trouble though when Mr Jingles lowers the guy he is working under onto him (and stomps on his face to make sure he's dead). He steals the gas station's truck to drive up to the camp.

We cut back to the camp and everyone is watching the Olympics which is making Chet very grouchy. He starts snapping at everyone and ends up throwing a crushed up can at Roy which cuts him. He goes off to look for bandages and Brooke runs after him. There is a bit of moment between them as she helps tend to his wound. She runs off to get bandages and iodine in the nurses office. She ends up finding the guy that Xavier totally didn't hit with this car dead and held up on the back of the door by some knives. She, naturally, takes of running and screaming. Mr Jingles chases her to the cabin. She tearfully explains what happened to everyone. The guys go to check it out but nobody is there and the body is gone when they go back to the nurse's office.  This is when I would be getting back in the car and driving far away from this camp.

Nobody believes her (of course) and they blame it on her seeing things because a contact high from the weed they are smoking. Brooke is traumatized (and dirty because of all the mud from when she was running). She is told by Margaret to go get cleaned up and go to bed. We jump to Brooke being woken up by the pay phone ringing. She goes to wake up Montana who is not interested in going to check it out with her so she goes by herself. She answers and says hello but all she hears is heavy breathing. She asks who is there and nobody answers. We pan back to show more of the forest around her and we see that Richard Ramirez is watching her and he whispers Satan as the first episode ends.

Pretty sure a lot of the cast is dying this season so I am not getting attached. They are all breaking the horror movie rules. It seems like everyone wants to hook up with Brooke. Trevor will probably hook up with everyone. There are two killers on the loose and we already have a body count of 11 (9 in the flashback and two in the current timeline). It's definitely set up to be one very fun season and I cannot wait for the next episode.

Until next time .... maybe don't go to summer camp.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Release Date - September 3, 2019
Publisher Website - Harper Collins Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  528 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou's, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou's most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.
Serpent and Dove has pretty much everything a book lover could want. It has witches, forbidden romance, badass women, terrifying villains, and addictive writing.

The novel feels a little timeless in that it both feels old fashioned and modern at the same time. The church and the Chasseurs who hunt the witches feel historical, as does the expectations put on women (although the way women are treated also felt very timely as well at times) but the language and some details feel very current. It is this blend that makes the rest of the world building feel so authentic. I felt I could easily picture the setting of the story and the characters that inhabit it.

The witches and their magic systems are so well constructed. There are different categories of witches and each has a different relationship to magic. They access it differently and it manifests itself differently. I found myself fascinated by both the differences and similarities that exist. The magic elements are such a strong part of the world building and it makes the characters richer as a result. The witches themselves are portrayed as sexy and a little risque. This is, as expected, painted negatively by the Church so it is interesting to see the juxtaposition of how it is portrayed by each group.

Lou is a tough, determined, strong willed woman who has been through incredibly harrowing things. Her character is everything the Church says women should not be. She's too loud, too bold, too flirtatious, too inappropriate. She is a survivor and I loved her refusal to do what others expected of her. She is also fiercely loyal to those she loves but is not quick to give her trust.

Reid is, in many ways, a lot like Lou. He is stubborn in his beliefs. He is loyal to those he cares about. He carries around a lot of inner issues much like Lou does. He believes in something bigger than himself and that drives a lot of his decisions. His growth and the way in which he changes are some of my favourite parts of the novel.

The romance plays a big part in the story being told. It is forbidden romance at its best. It is electric and filled with its own kind of magic. There are secrets, lies, mistrust, and a pretty big personality clash that creates the tension a story like this needs but it is offset by all of the good that comes from this connection. They bring out things in each other and they are really respectful of each other without sacraficing who they are. It is a slow burn but it makes the moments between them connect just a little stronger with the reader.

I consider this novel to have two 'villains' and both of them are complex and, sort of, exist in a world of grey where nothing is presented in absolutes. The Church and The Chasseurs hunt and kill witches but not all of them are evil. We see that some are just a product of their teachings and believe lies they have been told. The other villain is too spoilery to talk about in full but they are equally layered and everything ties together with some delicious plot twists thrown in to make it evident that no side is good or evil. It all comes down to perception and morality. It made the antagonists more complex and also made for a more satisfying read.

If your looking for a paranormal read to get lost in I highly recommend this one. It will leave you instantly wanting to get your hands on the sequel and eager to read anything this author writes next. It is a page turner in the truest sense as I could not follow Lou on her journey fast enough

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... Jack Kerouac Is Dead To Me

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 Jack Kerouac Is Dead To Me

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Fifteen-year-old JL Markham's life used to be filled with carnival nights and hot summer days spent giggling with her forever best friend Aubrey about their families and boys. Together, they were unstoppable. But they aren't the friends they once were.

With JL's father gone on long term business, and her mother suffering from dissociative disorder, JL takes solace in the in the tropical butterflies she raises, and in her new, older boyfriend, Max Gordon. Max may be rough on the outside, but he has the soul of a poet (something Aubrey will never understand). Only, Max is about to graduate, and he's going to hit the road - with or without JL.

JL can't bear being left behind again. But what if devoting herself to Max not only means betraying her parents, but permanently losing the love of her best friend? What becomes of loyalty, when no one is loyal to you?
My friend Kelly is a huge fan of Gae's books so I am lucky enough that this one came to be on my radar because of her fangirling over it when she finished reading it.

The synopsis sounds like it could be an emotional read and something that fans of contemporary young adult novels should have on their own radars.

This doesn't come out until spring next year, but you can find all of Gae's other books out now (and I have been told that they are equally as good).

Expected release date - April 7, 2020

Monday, September 16, 2019

These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch

These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch
Release Date - August 27, 2019
Publisher Website - Harper Collins Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  560 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The thrilling sequel to These Rebel Waves—full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a revolution—from Sara Raasch, the bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series.

As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again.

Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago.

Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God?

As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts . . . or lose their futures forever.
The Stream Raiders series is an enticing blend of action, magic, romance, and politics. The first book hooked me with its compelling characters and impressive world building so I was excited to get my hands on the sequel. Luckily the sequel not only offered more of what I loved but also a fitting, if rushed feeling, end to this series.

The time frame between reading the first and second novel was a long one for me and as a result I felt a little adrift when I first dove back into this series. I highly recommend reading the first book again if you are able prior to starting this one. I did eventually find my footing in the story again and once I did I was completely back into this world. The feeling of disjointedness was not helped by the switching of viewpoints during chapters. There are three main points of view and you would sometimes get all three during one chapter with nothing to differentiate them until you got a sense of the character voices. It made connecting back with the story a little harder at first, but eventually became something I barely noticed.

Those looking for a more pirate centric series may be a touch disappointed. Piracy is a small part of the world that has been created but the plot itself mostly dives into revolution, war, religious zealots, and its characters dealing with their pasts. It is, at times, a much darker read than the first book was. The war that was a possibility in book one is a probability in book two. There is torture and intense action scenes that make for a more heavy read.

The characters were a large part of why I loved the first book so much and that fact continues to be true in this sequel. Raasch manages to infuse so much into her characters and you come to care deeply for them. The romantic entanglements are some of the best I have read as well. The character shifts and arcs are subtle at times but so often richly rewarding. She allows the things that happen to the characters to impact them in meaningful ways. They carry that baggage around with them in a way that feels so authentic.

Lu and Vex are still some of my favourite characters from the ensemble. Lu's journey of making a sort of peace with what was done to her and the role that the people she cares about played in those events is heartbreaking. She struggles so much with the weight of the things she has done and you ache for her. Her wish for peace is something you desperately want for her. Her exhaustion is palpable even as she pushes forward. Vex's battle with his own body and the shaking sickness that plagues him is just as crushing as Lu's story. His anger and frustration steeps into every scene and interaction he has. All of the characters within this story stand out in some way but I found these two tugging at my heart a little bit more fiercely.

The world that has been created still enthralls me. The system of magic and the politics at play are both so nuanced and richly crafted that the reader could become engrossed simply because of them. I appreciated that world continued to be explored in this sequel and that the magic elements continued to evolve. It's a world filled with endless potential for spin off stories and still feels like one we've only just begun to explore.

The pacing of this novel becomes unsteady in the back half of the story. The ending, for me, felt rushed when compared to everything before it. The result is that the book feels a little less cohesive than I recall the first one being. The ending itself is satisfying but the way in which we reach it feels a little dizzying.

A duology that  boasts strong characters, incredible world building, and an imaginative story. Even though a had a few, mostly minor, issues with its ending I still highly recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of fantasy reads.

Saturday, September 14, 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.

Just a small post this week as not much was revealed. American Horror Story: 1984 starts next week which I am very excited about! Looking forward to sharing my recaps once it begins airing.


The Politician posters

I am excited about Ryan Murphy's first show for Netflix. It's a comedy about a man who wants to be President (at least from what I understand). They reently released some posters and I love them!

This show is making all kinds of promises and I am here for it. I love all three of main ones so much. I am excited to see Ben Platt in something new and am always here for Jessica Lange to come show everyone how acting is done. 

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... In Five Years

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 In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.
I loved The Dinner List so much that I was thrilled when it was announced that Rebecca's next book would also be an adult novel. The synopsis seems to point at this book bringing forth just as strong an emotional reaction as The Dinner List did.

I am loving the theme of Rebcca's books - questions that people tend to get asked at parties or on first dates - and how she plays with those questions. I also love that they hold just a little bit of magic in them as well.

Bookmark this one for your bookclubs because I think it is going to be perfect for discussion over a nice glass of wine (or beverage of your choice).

Expected release date - March 3, 2020

Saturday, September 7, 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.


Just Mercy Trailer

The season of trailers for movies with Oscar potential is still upon us and the trailer for Just Mercy was just recently revealed. I have to say that it looks pretty good.

Michael B Jordan looks great in this and I could see it being something the Academy really latches on to.


New York City Comic Con Exclusive - Stranger Things

Funko has been unveiling their New York City Comic Con exclusives and they have one Stranger Things Funko being offered.

The moment between Suzy and Dustin towards the end of the season is perfection and I am excited to add her to my collection.

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

Friday, September 6, 2019

Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
Release Date - July 2, 2019
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  352 pages
My Rating - 4/5

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Four women learn their boss (a man who’s always been surrounded by rumors about how he treats women) is next in line to be CEO—what will happen when they decide enough is enough?

Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita are four women who have worked at Truviv, Inc., for years. The sudden death of Truviv's CEO means their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Ames is a complicated man, a man they’ve all known for a long time, a man who’s always been surrounded by...whispers. Whispers that have always been ignored by those in charge. But the world has changed, and the women are watching Ames’s latest promotion differently. This time, they’ve decided enough is enough.

Sloane and her colleagues set in motion a catastrophic shift within every floor and department of the Truviv offices. All four women’s lives—as women, colleagues, mothers, wives, friends, even adversaries—will change dramatically as a result.

"If only you had listened to us,” they tell us on page one, “none of this would have happened." 
Whisper Network is certainly a timely read that is a compulsively readable mix of a murder mystery with the frothy feel of a television drama. It has a familiar pattern of a group of women caught up in a mystery but also boasts plenty to say about feminism and what women experience in the work place.

Chandler Baker's writing is something that stood out to me. The pacing is part of what propels the reader to keep turning the pages. The parts that are supposed to be a bit snarky and funny hit just as hard as the mystery elements do. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what else this particular author writes in the future.

The book gets its title from a list that gets passed from woman to woman. It is a list of men and their bad behaviour towards women. It is a warning device so that women may be aware and used as a means to protect each other. I could instantly recognize the versions of this list that I have experienced in my own life - actual whispers to not be alone with this man, mentions of misdeeds from others. Women use things like this all over the world and I expect a large majority of us has had some form of warning like this while in the work place. This part of the novel, and the examination of the things women experience and put themselves through in the work place was what made the book work for me. The little aggressions about how women are supposed to balance careers and motherhood while still looking good and being sexy is something that will resonate with plenty of readers. It also highlights the ways in which we grapple with guilt or the lack thereof about everything from motherhood to relationships or how we feel about ourselves and others and how we think we should feel.

The books construction from its characters to the mystery at the heart of the book felt very similar to Big Little Lies to me. There are obvious differences but that comparison is there. I do think that the order in which someone reads them may impact their enjoyment. If you were experiencing this without having previously read Big Little Lies I expect your impression of this book would be quite different.

I could easily see this being a limited television series. I kept casting people in my head as I was reading. I kept picturing Richard Madden as Ames (it's probably the grey/white stripe in the hair). One of the characters felt perfect for Reese Whiterspoon to play and I kept picturing another as Nicole Kidman. This could be because of the previously mentioned similarities to Big Little Lies however. It is, however, something that you could easily see one of the streaming services picking up.

While I enjoyed The Whisper Network I did find myself not as invested due to similarities to other books I had read. The elements that set it apart were the most fascinating parts of the story and the writing itself ensured I remained invested. I do recommend it, and think it makes for a great book club pick. I particularly recommend it to those who may not read as much from this genre as I think they'll really enjoy it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday .... Docile

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 Docile by K. M. Szpara

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
There is no consent under capitalism 

Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.

To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents' debts and buy your children's future.

Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him. Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it.
I was instantly drawn to the synopsis of this upcoming release. It also doesn't hurt that I was hearing buzz about this one almost right away.

It has a bit of a dystopian feel and seems like it'll plenty to discuss and dissect. I can easily see it being a book club favourite simply because it seems like it would provide an interesting conversation.

Expected release date - March 3, 2020

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Monthly TBR and Wrap Up

It is time, once again, to check in with my monthly reading. August was the worst month for me yet but I did manage to read a couple books. I am hoping September goes much better for me.

To wrap up August ....

The books that were on my list are:

Finale by Stephanie Garber (goodreads)
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo (goodreads)
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte (goodreads)
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (goodreads)
Transcend by Jewel E Ann (goodreads)

Plus I had some ebooks on my list:

Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer (goodreads)
These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch (goodreads)
Interference by Harlow Cole (goodreads)
Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour (goodreads)

I managed to read three books this month which is horrible. I went to Orlando for a quick trip to Universal Studios and ended up getting really sick which sucked a lot of my time and energy.  Universal Studios was so much fun though. Here are some of my favourite photos from that trip:

I got to try butter beer, play quidditch with Harry and Ron, chase magical creatures with Hagrid, and escaped Gringotts! I picked up an official Hufflepuff scarf and was pretty much the happiest Harry Potter fan ever. The rest of the park was equally awesome though and I loved a lot of the rides (the Jimmy Fallon one is pretty fun, as is the Spiderman ride).

Here is what I actually managed to read in August:

Transcend by Jewel E Ann (goodreads)
Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer (goodreads)
These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch (goodreads)

Now moving on to what I hope to read in September. I have all new choices as I have to get in some books that are publishing this month. I am going to bring back the ones I didn't get a chance to read from previous months as soon as I can though.

American Royals by Katharine McGee (goodreads)
Permanent Record by Mary H. K. Choi (goodreads)
Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee (goodreads)
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett (goodreads)
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (goodreads)

I have some ebooks on my reading list this month as well. Just keeping it to the two I did not read last month. I am looking forward to getting to these as soon as I can.

Interference by Harlow Cole (goodreads)
Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour (goodreads)

I am currently reading The Whisper Network by Chandler Baker. I am enjoying it A LOT so far and will be counting it toward my September reading tally as I technically started it at the beginning of the month.

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.

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