Thursday, February 24, 2022

'tis the damn readathon

I am going to be taking part in readathon during the month of March that will combine my love of reading with my love of Taylor Swift's music.

The idea of 'tis the damn readathon is that you would complete one of three prompts provided for each of the album's that Taylor has released. There are lots of fun and creative prompts and not all of them involve reading a book.

The readathon kicks off on March 1st and lasts the entire month. There will also be a bunch of other fun things happening during the month that you can take part in.

You can get all the prompts and details (like who is hosting) on the website if you want to take part. There are lots of different options so you can make it as easy or as challenging as you want. It really is set up to encourage inclusion and the listening of many Taylor Swift songs during the course of the month.

I'll be sharing a post with all the details about the prompts I selected and which books I am going to read for this next week. I thought I would share in case anyone else wanted to take part so that you can get started with your selections as March is right around the corner.

Are you a Taylor Swift fan? Are you taking part in this readathon? Let me know in the comments. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday ... A Very Merry Bromance

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 Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
'Tis the season for another Bromance Book Club matchmaking mission! This time, they're pulling out the mistletoe for everyone's favorite country music star, Colton, and his second chance at love.

Country music’s golden boy Colton Wheeler felt the most perfect harmony when he was with Gretchen Winthrop. But for her, it was a love him and leave him situation. A year later, Colton is struggling to push his music forward in a new direction. If it weren’t about to be the most magical time of year and the support of the Bromance Book Club, he’d be wallowing in self-pity.

It’s hard for immigration attorney Gretchen not to feel a little Scrooge-ish about the excess of Christmas when her clients are scrambling to afford their rent. So when her estranged, wealthy family reaches out with an offer that will allow her to better serve the community, she’s unable to say no. She just needs to convince Colton to be the new face of her family’s whiskey brand. No big deal . . .

Colton agrees to consider Gretchen’s offer in exchange for three dates before Christmas. With the help of the Bromance Book Club, Colton throws himself into the task of proving to her there’s a spark between them. But Gretchen and Colton will both need to overcome the ghosts of Christmas past to build a future together.
I love the Bromance Book Club series so much and when it was announced that Colton's novel was going to set during the holidays I was instantly excited.

These books are adorably fun and entertaining. I cannot wait to see what Lyssa Kay Adams does with a holiday set romance.

If you haven't started this series you can read all of the previous books while we wait for this to release in November. 

Expected release date - November 1, 2022

Monday, February 21, 2022

My Favourite Non Romance Novel Love Stories

I have a late Valentine's Day treat as my blog post today. 

February is the month of romance and love. I love romance novels and there is no better time to read them than the month dedicated to all things romance.

I, however, want to focus on those books that have a great love story in them but are not romance novels. These books do not meet the criteria of a romance novel in some aspect but they have a love story that resonated with me.

Here are my top five recommendations:

1. The Idea of You by Robinne Lee 

Hayes and Solène's story is one that has stayed with me long after I read the book. This is one I recommend to people constantly. It's a messy, imperfect, complicated love story and that is part of why I love it so much.

2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This entire story really is being told to tell the main love story in it and I ended up loving everything about it. I seems to have a thing for messy, complicated love stories because this also fits those descriptors. 

3. Fable by Adrienne Young

The romance in this one surprised me. I wasn't expecting and it because it is such a small part of the overall plot. Fable and West coming together is something electric and how it all unfolds is incredibly beautiful. There is an underwater scene that I felt every heartbeat of. 

4. Just One Day and Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Lulu and Willem's story is another that has stayed with me long after I have read it. I love how they come together and how much they impact one another. This also happens to be one of the less messy choices I have on this list.  It gets bonus points for igniting my wanderlust. It definitely makes you want to travel.

5. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid has fully earned these two spots on this list. Daisy and Billy's love story is dangerous and filled with longing. The ache of wanting someone and knowing you shouldn't is fully captured within these pages. It leaves the reader with conflicted feelings which is exactly why I consumed by it.

Friday, February 18, 2022

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 week. 


Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid (goodreads)

Taylor Jenkins Reid announced her new book this week and it takes place in the 90s (which is no surprise) and is focused on someone who we got a quick introduction to in Malibu Rising.

It's focus on the tennis star could be interesting, but I am excited to see what the novel will really be about underneath all of the tennis.


Stranger Things Posters and Release Date

We Stranger Things fans got not only some amazing posters revealed, but an official release date. The fourth season of Stranger Things will be divided into two parts and the first part releases May 27th and the second half will release on Canada Day - July 1st. 

Love these posters and particularly love how they all combine in to one in the final poster that was revealed. Seeing Eleven all on her own in the lab that created so much trauma for her has me very sad for her. I hope she gets to reunite with Mike eventually. The odds are good it'll happen since he is in the 'California' poster.

Elvis Trailer

Two of my favourite movies were directed by Baz Luhrmann and I am always interested in a new film from him. He is tackling the King of Rock and Roll next and has Austin Butler starring in the title role.

Apparently some of the singing in this is Austin Butler as they couldn't use the early Elvis recording for various reasons. He sounds amazing. I am also very impressed by his acting. He, in my opinion, absolutely nails it. I am not sure who is lead and who is supporting between him and Tom Hanks (who is playing Colonel Tom Parker) as I have heard conflicting things, but I could see them both be in early conversations come awards season.

Nope Trailer

Jordan Peele releasing a new horror film is cause for excitement and his newest definitely has caught my attention.  

After watching this I am guessing it involves aliens in some capacity. The internet was buzzing with the possible title being an acronym for Not Of Planet Earth. 

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

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday ... How to Survive Your Murder

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 How to Survive Your Murder by Danielle Valentine

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Alice Lawrence is the sole witness in her sister’s murder trial.

And in the year since Claire’s death, Alice’s life has completely fallen apart. Her parents have gotten divorced, she’s moved into an apartment that smells like bologna, and she is being forced to face her sister’s killer and a courtroom full of people who doubt what she saw in the corn maze a year prior.

Claire was an all-American girl, beautiful and bubbly, and a theater star. Alice was a nerd who dreamed of becoming a forensic pathologist and would rather stay at home to watch her favorite horror movies than party. Despite their differences, they were bonded by sisterhood and were each other’s best friends.

Until Claire was taken away from her.

On the first day of the murder trial, as Alice prepares to give her testimony, she is knocked out by a Sidney Prescott look-alike in the courthouse bathroom. When she wakes up, it is Halloween morning a year earlier, the same day Claire was murdered. Alice has until midnight to save her sister and find the real killer before he claims another victim.
I was in from the moment I read the Scream reference in this book's synopsis. The fact that the main character is 'knocked out by a Sidney Prescott look-alike' instantly piqued my interest. The rest of the synopsis is equally intriguing.

This later summer release seems to make this the perfect bridge between summer reads and those of the spookiest season.

Expected release date - August 30, 2022

Thursday, February 10, 2022

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 week. 


Cover of I'm The Girl by Courtney Summers (goodreads)

I had previously included the announcement of this book in a previous Weekly Obsessions post. The cover has since been released and it is a beauty.

I am ready to be emotionally devastated by this book. It is pretty much my most anticipated book of the year at this point. 

The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D Jackson (goodreads)

I have loved all of the books by Tiffany D Jackson that I have read. They're always engaging and well written. The newest book is inspired by Stephen King's Carrie and I am obsessed with this cover.

The colour scheme is perfect. It immediately brings it's inspiration to mind but also promises a fresh take on that story. I cannot wait to get my hands on this one.

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

Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe

Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe
Release Date - November 2, 2021
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 384 pages
My Rating - 5/5

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Experience the propulsive love story of two Greek gods—Hades and Persephone—brought to life with lavish artwork and an irresistible contemporary voice.

Scandalous gossip, wild parties, and forbidden love—witness what the gods do after dark in this stylish and contemporary reimagining of one of mythology’s most well-known stories from creator Rachel Smythe. Featuring a brand-new, exclusive short story, Smythe’s original Eisner-nominated web-comic Lore Olympus brings the Greek Pantheon into the modern age with this sharply perceptive and romantic graphic novel.

This volume collects episodes 1-25 of the #1 WEBTOON comic, Lore Olympus.
The Hades and Persephone myth is one that is ripe for adaptation. Lore Olympus gives it a modern twist and creates something that feels fresh and exciting. 

This graphic novel, for me, showcased what this medium can do when it is at its best. It is filled with nuanced characters, fleshed out story arcs, and compelling art. It offers a story that is allowed to breathe and ultimately gives you a story (and characters) you can care about.

The art is interesting and eye catching. I found myself often taking another look at the art and lingering on certain images. I also love the colour scheme used as it compliments its story.  There is something cold about even the warmest tones being used that work really well within the story being told.

All of this large cast of characters are interesting and this volume left me wanting to know more about them (except Apollo, he can go die). Persephone is a character that I hope grows and changes in subsequent volumes. She is sheltered in so many ways and I want to see her spread her metaphorical wings. She feels like a ray of sunshine but she also has this darkness to her at times. She reads as fragile but I suspect she is stronger than she seems. Hades is not like anything I expected. He appears very kind, reserved and very polite. He has a sadness to him that Persphone's more light nature compliments.

The romance is filed with mutual pining and the all too familiar communication issues. It makes this epic story of gods and goddesses feel more grounded and realistic. It works because the reader recognizes the tropes being used and they are being used effectively.

The way that rape, and trauma are dealt with in this volume are noteworthy. The depiction of the rape scene is restrained but so visceral. I felt every beat of it because of where the focus was put and how it was presented. It was jarring and left me feeling uncomfortable in the way only a powerful scene can. It does all of this in an understated way that makes that plot element resonate fully. This means that it could be upsetting and triggering to some readers and they should be aware and prepared. I absolutely think this will be explored in other volumes and it could expand on what it is already saying about these topics.

This is a version of this myth that I will not only continue when the next installment is released but one I will return to again and again. It is one I would highly recommend to those just dipping their toes into graphic novels as it offers a compulsively readable experience in a very pretty package.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday ... Groupies

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 Groupies by Sarah Priscus

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
In a debut perfect for fans of Daisy Jones & The Six, Mary Jane, and The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, Sarah Priscus shines a bright light on the grungy yet glittery world of 1970s rock 'n' roll and the women – the groupies – who unapologetically love too much in a world that doesn’t love them back.

It’s 1977, and Faun Novak is in love with rock ‘n’ roll.

After her mother’s death, Faun, a naïve college dropout, grabs her Polaroid and hops a Greyhound to Los Angeles. In the City of Angels, she reconnects with her charismatic childhood friend Josie, now an up-and-coming model and muse. To make their reunion even sweeter, Josie is now dating Cal Holiday, the frontman of the superstar rock band Holiday Sun, and Faun is positively mesmerized.

Except it’s not just the band she can’t get enough of. It’s also the proud groupies who support them in myriad ways. Among the groupies are: a doting high school girl at war with her mother; a drug-dealing wife and new mom who longs to be a star herself; and a cynical mover-and-shaker with a soft spot for Holiday Sun’s bassist.

Faun obsessively photographs every aspect of this dazzling new world, struggling to balance her artistic ambitions with the band’s expectations. As her confidence grows for the first time in her life, her priorities shift. She becomes reckless with friendship, romance, her ethics, and her bank account.

But just as everything is going great and her boring, old life is falling away, Faun realizes just how blind she has been to the darkest corners of this glamorous musical dreamland as the summer heats up and everything spirals out of control . . .

Equal parts an evocative coming-of-age and a cutting look at fame, desire, and the media, Groupies is a novel that will have you turning the pages until the music and drug-fueled end. 
This comparison to Daisy Jones and the Six immediately made me curious about this one. I read the synopsis after and immediately added it to my list.

I cannot wait to see the 70s rock and roll scene through this particular lens and I think Faun is going to be a fantastic character to lead us through it. 

I hope this is as gritty as I am expecting it to be and I hope it also gives me a bit of an Almost Famous vibe.

It's release date is perfect for pool side with your beverage of choice reading. It screams summer reading and I anticipate it making its way into many beach bags.

Expected release date - July 12, 2022

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Fable by Adrienne Young

Fable by Adrienne Young
Release Date - September 1, 2020
Publisher Website - Raincoast
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 357 pages
My Rating - 5/5

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn't who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they're going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.
Fable triggered a surprising nostalgia for me. It reminded me of young adult books I have loved previously but not because of its content. It reminded me of being swept away by a book and its world. It captured some of the essence of the books that everyone in the community becomes obsessed with. It feels a little magical in a way that only certain books can.

Fable is so well executed. Its characters, setting, plot, and writing fuse together to create something a reader can effortlessly get lost in. It has emotional stakes, adventure, and romance so it hits on multiple levels. This slower paced read seeps itself into you the way water does into crevices. 

So vivid is the atmosphere and descriptions that this book reads as very cinematic. I didn't just feel like I was reading but experiencing this journey with the characters. You can easily imagine the saltwater spraying on the breeze as the ship glides across the water. The eerie silence that exists underwater pops off the page. The heightened thrill that comes with the danger almost makes your own pulse pound. It is a transportive reading experience in many ways.

The title shares its name with the main character. A resourceful, self reliant, and focused main character whose tough exterior compliments a vulnerable side. Fable is easy to care about and that makes our investment in the story all the more rewarding.

Pirate lore is always fascinating. I am someone who would love Black Sails in book format and this hits close enough to that sweet spot. The high seas adventure of this book and all that entails is compelling. Everything from epic storms, bonds between the crew members, and rival ships feed the story and transports the reader into the life of these characters. 

There is so much to swoon over in the book. The romance in this one really worked for me. There is an underwater scene that is so beautifully written and described that it made me melt. There is no higher compliment than a romance scene making me squeal in delight and hug the book I am reading and this one managed it a few different times.

Family, and chosen family, are a large part of this story. It is the thing that moves the story forward and weaves itself into every other element of the book. The author manages to create a tension while having these elements be especially emotionally resonant. 

Fable whisks the reader on an adventure that will have them immediately reaching for its sequel ... cliffhanger and all. It captures a lot of what I love about books within its pages and has made me desperate for more in this world. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Monthly Wrap Up and TBR

The one month of January has felt like a year all on its own, but it is finally over. We're headed in to the shortest month of the year, but it is the one that always manages to feel the longest. 

Before I talk about what February will bring for me reading wise I have to recap January. 

The books that were on my list are:

Fable by Adrienne Young (goodreads)
A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee (goodreads)
Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe (goodreads)

I also had some ebooks that I hoped to read:

If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich (goodreads)
Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu (goodreads)
Fan Club by Erin Meyer (goodreads)
The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (goodreads)
Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins (goodreads)

Here is what I managed to read in December:

Fable by Adrienne Young (goodreads)
A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee (goodreads)
Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe (goodreads)
The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (goodreads)

I managed to read four books this month. I am hoping for more in February despite the fact that it is a shorter month. I am getting better at dedicating time to reading so I am hoping that pays off this month.

My #PopCultureResolution book for January was Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity by Kami Garcia, Mico Suayan, and Mike Mayhew which I managed to read and have reviewed already. The movie was West Side Story and that has already been reviewed

Here is what I hope to read in February:

Saga: Volume One by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (goodreads)
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (goodreads)
Anatomy by Dana Schwartz  (goodreads)

I also have some ebooks that I am hoping to get to:

If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich (goodreads)
Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins (goodreads)
Only A Monster by Vanessa Len (goodreads)
Gallant by V.E Schwab (goodreads)
How To Date A Superhero (and Not Die Trying) by Cristina Fernandez (goodreads)

My #PopCultureResolution picks for this month are Lore Olympus: Volume 1 by Rachel Smythe and Funny Face. I have already read and LOVED Lore Olympus. The review will be going up sometime this month and will be included in the next monthly round up post. I am excited to watch Funny Face and I hope it is a good choice for Valentine's Day.

Next up is an update on my two reading challenges:

I am not doing any new reading challenges this year. My goal is to finish the one from last year so I am posting what I have left to read here. I have made no progress, but I am going to focus on this in March.

Jan - The Seven Husband's of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Kelly)

Feb - 
The Birthday List by Deveny Perry (Emilie)

Mar - Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine Von Radics (Ciara)

April - Marriage for One by Ella Maise (Katie)

May - Written In The Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur (Christy)

June -  The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth (Christa)

July - The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Jess)

August -  The Grace Year by Kim Leggitt (Christa)

Sept - Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Meaghan)

Oct -   Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston (Katrina)

Nov - Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott (Kim)

Dec - Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney (Julia)

As for the reading challenge inspired by The Bachelor:

1. Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant
2. If The Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy
3. Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
4. Further to Fall by Catherine Cowles
5. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
6. Isn't it Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams
7. My Favorite Souvenir by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland
8. Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
9. Marriage for One by Ella Maise
10. Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks by Nathan Burgoine
11. Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard
12. Open Book by Jessica Simpson
13. Isn't it Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams

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

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