Sunday, June 25, 2017

New To My Book Closet


It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews)

I have some ebooks and the newest issue of Entertainment Weekly to share with you this week!

I am a huge fan of all the shows Ryan Murphy has created (the ones on the FX network at least).

The newest season of American Crime Story is coming up and it is the focus of this week's Entertainment Weekly. I already adore the casting choices, and I cannot wait to see this season!


I love so much of this article, and how they are approaching the story. An official premiere date has not been announced, but I am hoping it is soon!

Next up I have some ebooks that I purchased recently. Some romance novels to enjoy by the pool this summer! These book sound really good, and I have my friend Emilie to thank for bringing one of them to my attention (so thank you Emilie).


Wilder by Rebecca Yarros (goodreads)
The Accidental Honeymoon by Portia Macintosh (goodreads)

Let me know what bookish goodies made their way on your shelves this week!

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

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

Summer is officially here, but I am already missing the weather that allows me to curl up with a cup of tea, a blanket and a good book. I guess it is time for outside reading, ice cream and fruity wine beverages.

Lots of exciting things were announced this week, and here are the ones I have been most excited about.

BOOK

Marisha Pessl's YA Debut

It was announced that Marissa Pessl will be releasing her first young adult novel. I love Night Film by her so I was excited to hear she'd be releasing another book, and even more excited by the news that it would be young adult.

The title of the upcoming release is Neverworld Wake and the synopsis is basically everything I want in a book.
A group of teens who all attended the same elite prep school reunite a year after graduation. After a night on the town, the teens are faced with an impossible choice—only one of them can live and the decision must be unanimous.
That is not a choice ANYONE wants to make, but it instantly makes me want to ask a million questions. Mainly, why? Why do they have to make this choice? Who or what is making them? How long to do they have to choose? I can just tell it is going to be a discussion starting read and I cannot wait. There are also sci-fi elements to the story which isn't immediately evident from the synopsis.

TV/MOVIE

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

I am so excited for the second season of American Crime Story. It will focus on the assassination of Gianni Versace and looks to be just as well crafted as the first season (which focused on the trial of OJ Simpson).

This week's issue of Entertainment Weekly has a feature story on the upcoming season and it is PERFECT. I always love the casting in Ryan Murphy's shows and this is no exception.


It was also just revealed that Finn Wittrock will be joining the cast in a minor role (he is playing a friend of the guy who murdered Gianni Versace) and that news has only increased my excitement level (which surprises nobody who has read this blog).

Fun fact - they are filming at house Gianni Versace lived in at the time of the murder. This is going to add a layer of realism to the show, but also sends shivers up my spine. Not sure I could do it myself.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake



How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
Release Date -  May 2, 2017
Publisher Website - Raincoast
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  336 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Grace, tough and wise, has nearly given up on wishes, thanks to a childhood spent with her unpredictable, larger-than-life mother. But this summer, Grace meets Eva, a girl who believes in dreams, despite her own difficult circumstances.

 One fateful evening, Eva climbs through a window in Grace’s room, setting off a chain of stolen nights on the beach. When Eva tells Grace that she likes girls, Grace’s world opens up and she begins to believe in happiness again.    How to Make a Wish is an emotionally charged portrait of a mother and daughter’s relationship and a heartfelt story about two girls who find each other at the exact right time. 
How To Make A Wish's synopsis promises a love story between two girls who are dealing with difficult things at this point in their lives. It is also so much more than that.  Ashley Herring Blake delivers a novel that looks at the complexity of relationships, both healing and toxic, and the strength in accepting the reality of both.

I love when the main character and love interest each have story arcs outside of the romance. How To Make A Wish excels at this. Ashley Herring Blake has given each girl their own issues, and comple stories outside of falling in love. This, for me, made them seem even more nuanced and real. It made their story seem more fleshed out, and this allowed the characters to grow outside of the relationship so that the relationship could work. It made them better characters, and as this is a character driven novel, it made all the difference.

The romance in this is rather adorable. It contains a lot of my favourite things - secrets, inside jokes, well written kissing scenes, and characters who are actually good for each other. It was nice to read a love story between two girls where discovering their sexuality, or coming out was not the focus. Those stories are necessary and vital, but so are stories like this one. Stories that focus on relationships and the giddiness of falling in love. Stories in which both girls know who they are, even if one (or both) are still testing the language that feels comfortable to define themselves with. It showcases the need for different kinds of stories for all kinds of representation.

The adult characters that populate this story are both utilized and woven into the story arcs seamlessly. There are complex relationships shown between the teen characters and the adult characters. The complexity mostly comes from the adult characters being complex themselves. The adults in this novel are imperfect, but not vilified. They are shown to make mistakes, but that those mistakes are not all they are. These mistakes do not make them beyond redemption. There are examples of both healthy and unhealthy examples of parent/child like relationships within this novel, and none of them veer into cliche territory.

This story doesn't wrap itself up in a happily ever after bow at the end. That doesn't mean there isn't happy things at the end, but the themes of this story are such that a 'perfect' ending would have felt false. The ending we get feels true. Repairing ourselves, and relationships take time. It is a longer journey filled with stumbles and set backs. Ashley Herring Blake acknowledges this with this story, and it makes this story feel very realistic. It is both satisfying and hopeful, while remaining true to the story being told. Those, in my opinion, are the best kind of endings.

If you're looking for a summer read that is a romance, but with something extra, I recommend picking this one up. I am looking forward to reading whatever Ashley Herring Blake writes next as she's proven herself to be an author to follow in the young adult contemporary genre.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ... A Line In The Dark


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 Line In The Dark by Malinda Lo


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.

Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”

A Line in the Dark is a story of love, loyalty, and murder.
This sounds so incredibly dark and twisty and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. I love how you immediately know the tone of this novel when you look at the cover, and I love that it appears to have complex female characters within it.

It's release day makes me think it'll be a perfect spooky read for the Halloween season.

Expected release date - October 17, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

Midnight At The Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson



Midnight At The Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Release Date - June 13, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 272 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Divided by time. Ignited by a spark.

Kansas, 2065. Adri has secured a slot as a Colonist—one of the lucky few handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.

Oklahoma, 1934. Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine fantasizes about her family’s farmhand, and longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called the Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire—and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life—Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.

England, 1919. In the recovery following the First World War, Lenore struggles with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?

While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I picked up Midnight At The Electric. The synopsis really doesn't tell you much about the story with it giving you the minimalist of details. All I really knew was that it consisted of three stories set in different time periods that interconnect. I am so glad this is all I knew as this is a story that needs to be experienced and felt.

This is Jodi Lynn Anderson at her best. It's romantic, poignant, thought provoking and exquisitely written. It has that breathtaking prose that readers have come to expect from this author. It's filled with lush descriptions, wonderful character development, and unraveled at just the right pace. It's the type of story you want to savor, but end up devouring because you're transported into the story and need to keep reading.

There are really three main characters to this story. Adri, the closed off woman who keeps people at arms length. Catherine, the dreamer who wants the best for her family. Lenore, the grieving woman who wants adventure. They all have distinct voices that make them come to life. Each of them have self contained journeys that could be fascinating stories all on their own, but create something even more magical when woven together. The most impressive thing is how each character is allowed her own agency and story. It is handled so well, and I really enjoyed getting to know each of them.

Along with three main characters comes three unique settings for each of them. The futuristic world Adri lives in. The post First World War London that Lenore is navigating. The storm ridden Oklahoma of the 1930s that Catherine calls home. Each of these is vividly painted with the lush descriptions that are found within these pages. The settings truly do come to life and they are the perfect backdrop for this story.

The three stories end up interconnecting rather beautifully. While some of the connections are immediately clear, others unravel slowly and end up being a pleasant surprise. This story really is one of connections. It focuses on the connections we share, and how those don't necessarily stop mattering when we die.

This is, in my opinion, the most romantic novel Jodi Lynn Anderson has written. It's done with her classic flair of bittersweetness, but the relationships are some of my absolute favourites. From slowly building tension, to literal sparks when people touch, there is something special about how the love stories are written and how captivating they are. It mirrors the theme of the novel, and makes each of the stories engrossing. It's not just romantic love that gets to shine. The love between family members and friends also gets it's chance at the spotlight and is equally well crafted. The bonds of sisterhood that thrum this story are some of my favourite elements, especially as it looks at sisterhood as not just being those who are blood related.

A lovely story about the ties that bond us together, what we leave behind after we die, and way our stories interconnect. This happens to now be my second favourite Jodi Lynn Anderson novel, after Tiger Lily, and I am sure it'll be one I read again and again. I urge anyone who loves having their heart punched and healed in equal measure pick this well crafted story.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

New To My Book Closet


It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews)

Some pretty exciting reads made their way onto my bookshelf this week.

First up are some books I purchased when Chapters had a sale on romance reads for the summer. I picked up a few of my favourites that I didn't have a copy of yet, and the next in a series I have been really enjoying. 


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (goodreads)
Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren (goodreads)
Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren (goodreads)

Penguin Random House Canada sent me a summer reading packing filled with some thrillers and I am so excited to read some of them. My favourite summer reads are either romance or thrillers so this is perfect.


Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen (goodreads)
So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum (goodreads
The Child by Fiona Barton (goodreads)

A huge thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for these reads. 

Let me know what bookish goodies made their way on your shelves this week!

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

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 few fun things were announced this week.

OTHER


Funko's San Diego Comic Con exclusive Pops

Pretty sure everyone is aware of my Funko addiction. This time of year is especially exciting as the San Diego Comic Con exclusives are announced. Plenty of them are shared with retailers such as EB Games and Hot Topic and will be obtainable for those not attending the convention.

Funko has announced a few waves at this point, and their television wave was the first that had a few Pops I was interested in pick up.

First up, in order to complete my Stranger Things collection ...


Steve! I love that they captured his hair perfectly. haha. If you've seen Stranger Things you'll recognize the scene this Pop is modeled after and I cannot wait to add him to my collection.

Next is probably the Mr Robot Pop I am MOST excited for ... 


It has the iconic mask, and Elliott's trademark black hoodie. This is a must get for my collection.

Funko will continue to announce exclusives for the rest of June (every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) and  into early July. I am sure there will be others I want as well, especially when the Disney wave is announced.

My Favorite Murder bracelets from ilove2stamp's Etsy Shop (link)

I have be binge listening to the My Favorite Murder podcast. I have mentioned it before as part of my weekly roundup, but I have become so obsessed that I now want merchandise. I discovered this bracelet and I NEED it.


SSDGM (Stay Sexy Don't Get Murdered) is a motto and sign off that the hosts use and is something fans of the podcast have really embraced. This bracelet also has 'f*@k politeness' written on the inside which is another saying fans have embraced. I seriously LOVE this bracelet. It's something I would actually wear as well as it being a great piece of fandom swag.

Anna and the French Kiss inspired tea from The Tea Spot (link)

I discovered this tea at Book Expo and now really want to try some! The people behind Owlcrate were at Book Expo with a wheel full of prizes. One of the prizes on the wheel was this tea. I, sadly, did not win the tea but I did Google it as soon as I left and discovered that it is for sale on The Tea Spot's website. I have heard it is delicious and tastes like chocolate cherry goodness. Hoping to be able to try some in the near future and will report back.

What are you obsessed with this week?

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