Thursday, March 22, 2018

Indecent by Corinne Sullivan

Indecent by Corinne Sullivan
Release Date - March 6,  2018
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  304 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Shy, introverted Imogene Abney has always been fascinated by the elite world of prep schools, having secretly longed to attend one since she was a girl in Buffalo, New York. So, shortly after her college graduation, when she’s offered a teaching position at the Vandenberg School for Boys, an all-boys prep school in Westchester, New York, she immediately accepts, despite having little teaching experience—and very little experience with boys.

When Imogene meets handsome, popular Adam Kipling a few weeks into her tenure there, a student who exudes charm and status and ease, she's immediately drawn to him. Who is this boy who flirts with her without fear of being caught? Who is this boy who seems immune to consequences and worry; a boy for whom the world will always provide?

As an obsessive, illicit affair begins between them, Imogene is so lost in the haze of first love that she's unable to recognize the danger she's in. The danger of losing her job. The danger of losing herself in the wrong person. The danger of being caught doing something possibly illegal and so indecent.

Exploring issues of class, sex, and gender, this smart, sexy debut by Corinne Sullivan shatters the black-and- white nature of victimhood, taking a close look at blame and moral ambiguity.
We've all heard news reports about the woman teacher who had an affair with her student. These are often young, pretty woman who the media loves to splash on television screens. They're often met with gross comments of how the student must have wanted to hook up with the teacher because of how good looking she is. "We didn't have teachers like that when I was in school", "He's a red blooded male so, of course, he wanted to sleep with her", etc. This often goes along with the narrative that the teacher couldn't help herself. She fell in love. Indecent, like Tampa by Alissa Nutting, breaks this narrative. Indecent doesn't vilify these women the same way Tampa did, but it doesn't make excuses for them either.

Corinne Sullivan's writing is impressive. Much like Tampa, it is the writing that prevents this novel from becoming a huge mess. It is crafted in such a way that makes you want to take this journey with the character, even as you cringe. Imogene's voice is pitch perfect for her character, and I am excited at the thought of whatever Corinne writes next.

Imogene is someone you pity. You certainly don't like her, and you often want to shake her for the choices she makes. I often found myself feeling second hand embarrassment and shame at many of  her actions. As a reader you instantly feel sorry for her, but you're also repulsed by her. She's a woman who never grew up. Her development was stunted at some point during her teenage years which combine with her deep insecurities and mental health issues to create the hot mess that is the Imogene we meet in this novel. She's not some mastermind. She's a deeply troubled young woman who quickly becomes single-mindedly focused.

There is almost two Adam Kipling's that are being presented in this novel. The cool, much more mature version that exists in Imogene's head, and the real version that is a typical teenage boy. I found it interesting that he is portrayed as the one pursing her, and it is true to an extent, without making excuses for Imogene's behaviour. It doesn't matter if he pursued her. She is the adult and authority figure. She is the one that should know better. There is a scene later on the book that resonated with me. Adam cries and mentions that everything is so messed up. He's a drunk mess a lot of time. These are indicators that perhaps the relationship with Imogene is impacting him in a way that Imogene simply cannot see. As the story is told entirely through her perspective it is a subtle hint that he may feel victimized deep down, even as Imogene crafts an entirely different reality in her head.

The relationship between Imogene and Adam is problematic for two reasons. It is not only against the policy of the school, but the novel takes the time to point out that Adam is not yet eighteen. There is a scene where Imogene is asked how old he is with the person pointing out that they hope he is over eighteen. Imogene's lack of reply is all the other person, and the reader, need to know. She either doesn't know, or knows and he is underage. It is strongly insinuated that it is the latter, and that makes it all the more clear that Imogene knows what she is doing is wrong. This novel could have made him eighteen and about to graduate. It would have still be a problematic relationship with the dynamics of the student/teacher imbalance. Corinne Sullivan, instead, takes the tougher route of making it illegal as well. As a result of this choice the ending may not sit well with everyone, but it feels entirely realistic and fitting.

This book will not be for everyone. It doesn't paint Imogene as some master manipulator predator. It doesn't paint Adam as a saintly victim. It lives in the messy grayness and embraces it. It doesn't make excuses for Imogene's actions, but instead offers reasons. It paints a picture of a deeply flawed, damaged, immature woman who also happens to engage in a highly inappropriate and illegal relationship. I recommend it for those who like well written, complex books that will leave you dying to dissect and discuss

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday ... The Dinner List

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

This week's pick is The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
For fans of Me Before You and ONE DAY comes a wondrous novel of first love, loss, and the dinner of a lifetime.

When Sabrina Nielsen arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also her favorite professor from college, her father, her ex-fiance, Tobias, and Audrey Hepburn.

At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Sabrina contends with in Rebecca Serle’s utterly captivating novel, The Dinner List, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as Sliding Doors, and The Rosie Project.

As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there’s a reason these six people have been gathered together, and as Rebecca Serle masterfully traces Sabrina’s love affair with Tobias and her coming of age in New York City, The Dinner List grapples with the definition of romance, the expectations of love, and how we navigate our way through it to happiness. Oh, and of course, wisdom from Audrey Hepburn. 

Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, The Dinner List is a modern romance for our times. Bon appetit.
I am a fan of Rebecca Serle's previous book and was so excited when it was announced that she was going to be releasing her first adult novel.
I am sure that we have all, at some point, thought about our dream dinner list. I love the idea of Sabrina getting to experience it and it teaching her something about herself.
This book is going to be the best way to send off summer. It releases at the end of August which means it'll be a perfect read to pair with some time at the beach (or pool) and some ice cream. 

*** EDIT *** The release date was listed incorrectly. It is actually Sept 11th. My plan of reading it with ice cream still stands. 
Expected release date - Sept 11, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

Lizzie Pre-Order Campaign Annoucement

If you're a frequent visitor to the blog you will know that I have read and loved all of Dawn Ius' novels. Her newest, Lizzie,  comes out April 10th and I am thrilled to help reveal the pre-order campaign for this amazing book.

First, here is the Goodreads synopsis in case you're not familiar with the book:
Seventeen-year-old Lizzie Borden has never been kissed. Polite but painfully shy, Lizzie prefers to stay in the kitchen, where she can dream of becoming a chef and escape her reality. With tyrannical parents who force her to work at the family’s B&B and her blackout episodes—a medical condition that has plagued her since her first menstrual cycle—Lizzie longs for a life of freedom, the time and space to just figure out who she is and what she wants.

Enter the effervescent, unpredictable Bridget Sullivan. Bridget has joined the B&B’s staff as the new maid, and Lizzie is instantly drawn to her artistic style and free spirit—even her Star Wars obsession is kind of cute. The two of them forge bonds that quickly turn into something that’s maybe more than friendship.

But when her parents try to restrain Lizzie from living the life she wants, it sparks something in her that she can’t quite figure out. Her blackout episodes start getting worse, her instincts less and less reliable. Lizzie is angry, certainly, but she also feels like she’s going mad…
Amazing, right?! The Lizzie Borden case has always fascinated me, and if you'r into true crime inspired novels I highly recommend this one.

Dawn has crafted a special thank you gift for those who pre-order the book. Anyone who emails with a copy of their receipt (and mailing address) before April 9th at midnight EST will receive the following:

1- a signed book plate
2- this Lizzie Borden paper doll

I have read Lizzie and this is SO perfect. I immediately wanted one of these for myself when I saw the finished product.

That is not all though. Each person who pre-orders will also be put into a draw for a grand prize giveaway. One lucky winner will receive the following:

-Lizzie bookmarks 
-recipe card (featuring a recipe that was a specialty of the real Lizzie Borden)
-a signed copy of both Overdrive and Anne & Henry
-an assortment of other Lizzie Borden inspired items

You can pre-order from your preferred retailer, and this is open internationally. Remember to have it in before April 9th at midnight EST to be eligible. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

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)

A few fun goodies made their way into my mailbox this week. First up is my #otspsecretsister package for this month. It was filled with some fun items that I really loved!

Roomies by Christina Lauren (goodreads)

The Wine2Go pouch is totally something I will make use of! The cookies are delicious! I am also very happy to have a copy of one of my fave romance novels! Roomies is such a fun read.

My copy of Call Me By Your Name arrived! I was so happy when this was delivered and I wanted to watch it immediately but I haven't been able to yet. 

The special features all sound AMAZING and I am very curious about the commentary from the director and cast.

What bookish goodies made their way into your mailbox this week? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

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.

So many exciting reveals this week!


Cover Of Rebecca Serle's The Dinner List (goodreads)

I am a huge fan of Rebecca's previous work and was so excited to hear that she would be writing her first adult novel. I was even more excited when I read the synopsis.

The cover was recently revealed and it is perfect!

I am so excited to meet Sabrina and Rebecca's version of Audrey Hepburn. I think it is going to be such a wonderful read! I cannot wait.

Cover of Lauren Oliver's Broken Things (goodreads)

Entertainment Weekly recently revealed the cover for Lauren Oliver's next book. They also released a excerpt that is twisted in all the best ways.

I love the dark colour scheme of the book, and that it fits with the chilling synopsis so perfectly. I am counting down the days until I get to read this one.


The final trailer for the next Avengers movie was released and it is AMAZING!

The exchange between Peter Park and Dr. Strange is hilariously perfect. Steve Rogers is VERY intense (and very sexy) around the 1:46 (ish) mark. It's an epic trailer that has made waiting for this movie just a little bit harder to do. Tickets for opening week also went on sale at the same time this was released. I've already purchased mine for opening day!

First Image From The TV Show You

You is a book I have heard plenty about and have added to my reading list ages ago. My interest was renewed when a television show was announced. The premiere date of September 9th was just recently announced along with a first look from the show.

I know next to nothing about this book but what I do know intrigues me, and this image captures the creepy vibe I expect it to have. I have bumped the book up my reading list to have it done before September.

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Glass Of Wine At The Movies - Love, Simon

Love, Simon

Rating: 14A

Director: Greg Berlanti

Language: English

Length:  109 minutes

Cast: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp

Viewing Method: Advance Screening

Synopsis: Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it's a little more complicated: he's yet to tell his family or friends he's gay and he doesn't actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he's fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Directed by Greg Berlanti (Riverdale, The Flash, Supergirl), written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger (This is Us), and based on Becky Albertalli's acclaimed novel, LOVE, SIMON is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about the thrilling ride of finding yourself and falling in love.


Love, Simon immediately feels both familiar and unique. Simon's story is one we've seen told many times before. It's your standard coming of age and falling in love tale, but it is also so much more. It's a movie that benefits from a perfect mix of great performances, writing, and directing. It's one of those movie that is just a joy to watch, and a near perfect adaptation of a book that so many people love.

Nick Robinson shines as Simon Spier. He oozes a charm and charisma that instantly makes Simon relatable to anyone watching. This movie is the kind that could change his career, and his performance is pitch perfect. There is an ease to his portrayal of Simon that ensures you don't want to take your eyes off him.

Simon is surrounded by a wonderful family and amazing friends. They are this amazing support system that he has. These characters are just as endearing as Simon. You'll wan to grab ice coffee with Simon and his friends. You'll want to eat a meal with the Spiers. These characters help enrich the movie and manage to be pretty fleshed out for secondary characters. As someone who has read the book this movie is based on, and is aware of the sequel that is coming, I was especially excited by the small nods to Leah's journey that were woven in. I hope this movie does incredibly well so we can have Leah's story as a sequel because I am not ready to leave these character's behind in either book or movie format.

The humour within this movie has a palpable energy to it. There's an immensely funny wit that is only matched by this movie's heart. It made me laugh and cry in equal measure. It's one of those rare gems that manages to be everything the trailer promises and more. A movie's strength starts with its script and great care was taken in the writing of this one. It is something that shows itself in every other element of the movie. It's evident that the people involved cared enough to get it right.

My review would not be complete without a quick mention of the soundtrack. The use of music in this movie is excellent. Music, when used effectively, sets the tone for the scene and lingers with the water after the movie is over. This movie has so many of these moments. The music just enriches a movie that is already filled with an embarrassment of them.

I was initially concerned about how the mystery would translate from book to movie. The identity of Blue, the boy Simon falls in love with via online interactions, is such a huge part of the story that it needed to be done right. There are a number of potential Blues that Simon has to navigate through, and this part of the story was done so cleverly. It skillfully gets you attached to each potential Blue, and allows for an incredibly romantic payoff that will be more than statisfying to all the rom-com fans out there.

This will, obviously, be a movie that means a lot to the LGBTQ+ community. It is the first widely released movie of its kind, and one that is long overdue. Its message is that everyone deserves a great love story, and it offers up a happy ending for those who normally do not get to see that reflected in their entertainment. There are plenty of reviews for this movie from people who are members of the LGBTQ+ community and I urge you to seek them out because of their personal connection to the story.

Love, Simon is a charming rom-com that is special for a multitude of reasons. It's a modern version of a John Hughes movie that I predict everyone will love.  It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry (sometimes at the same time), but it'll also leave your heart just a little bit fuller. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday ... When We Caught Fire

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

This week's pick is When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
It’s 1871 and Emmeline Carter is poised to take Chicago’s high society by storm. Between her father’s sudden rise to wealth, and her recent engagement to Chicago’s most eligible bachelor, Emmeline has it all. But she can’t stop thinking about the life she left behind, including her childhood sweetheart, Anders Magnuson. Fiona Byrne, Emmeline’s childhood best friend, is delighted by her friend’s sudden rise to prominence, especially since it means Fiona is free to pursue Anders herself. But when Emmeline risks everything for one final fling with Anders, Fiona feels completely betrayed.

As the summer turns to fall, the city is at a tipping point: friendships are tested, hearts are broken, and the tiniest spark might set everything ablaze. Sweeping, soapy, and romantic, this is a story about an epic love triangle—one that will literally set the city ablaze, and change the lives of three childhood friends forever. 
The idea that a love triangle is what caused the 1871 Chicago fire immediately piqued my interest. I know love triangles are met with resistance from many, but I love them. I am curious about how it leads to a city burning down and I am sure it'll be filled with plenty of drama and scandal along the way.

This book doesn't come out until autumn of 2018, but I am already keeping my fingers crossed I get my hands on an ARC because I don't think I can wait that long to read this one.

Expected release date - October 2, 2018

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