Sunday, December 31, 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)

Last one of these before 2018! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their family!

Here are a few items that have made their way into my house in the last little bit. I am so excited about all of these and cannot wait to read these books in the new year.

First up is my gift from our Ottawa Blogette Secret Santa. Katie had me this year and she basically got me the most perfect gift ever. Love the My Favorite Murder bracelet so much!


The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule (goodreads)

Next is a book from Raincoast Books and one that I got at our Blogette Christmas. I am excited for both of these. Thank you to Raincoast Books for sending the new Brigid Kemmerer book!


More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer (goodreads)
Wilder by Rebecca Yarros (goodreads)

Lastly, I have a new Funko Pop that has joined my rapidly growing collection. This one is Jughead Jones from Riverdale (who happens to be my favourite character). I love that they included the pins on his beanie and the 'S' shirt! 


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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Best Of ... Every Else


Yesterday I shared the books that were the best I read in 2017. Today I wanted to highlight some other things I thought were standouts of  2017.

TELEVISION

Stranger Things Season Two

It was no secret that I was eagerly anticipating season two of this amazing show, and luckily season two delivered in so many ways.


Who would have guessed we'd all love Steve by the end of season two? Or that the final ten minutes of the second season would be so perfect? I am already eagerly awaiting my return to Hawkins and cannot wait for season three.

Mindhunter Season One

I was excited about this right from the moment I knew David Fincher would be directing. They added Jonathan Groff to the cast and I was even more intrigued.


Mindhunter turned out to be an incredibly cast and addicting season of television. It also helped feed my true crime obsession this year. Cameron Britton, who plays Ed Kemper, gave one of the best performances of the year in this.

Big Little Lies Season One

I wasn't sure how much I was going to like Big Little Lies going in. I knew that I was excited abiut the actresses involved and that was enough for me to give it a chance. 


It ended up being an incredible series that showcased so many amazing performances from the women involved. The female characters in this were complex and given so much development. I also appreciated the beautiful final few moments of this series. 

Bates Motel Final Season

Saying goodbye is hard to do, and even harder when the show has a stellar final season like Bates Motel did. It was everything I wanted it to be and more.


From the brilliant (and poignant) twist on the shower scene to the strangely beautiful final moments this show gave us stunning performances and the best ending we could have hoped for.

MOVIES

Get Out

This is of those movies that I feel a list like this would be incomplete without. Get Out is a smart and innovative take on the horror genre that boasts some great performances.


This is one of those movies that captured the attention of everyone and defined pop culture this year. I expect it will be part of the discussion for years to come as people are inspired by it and new art is created from that inspiration. 

Call Me By Your Name

There is a lot of awards season buzz surrounding this movie, and it is justified. This is a beautifully shot movie that is filled with incredible performances from not just Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer but the supporting cast as well.


My review will be up on the blog soon so I don't want to say too much, but this is a vivid exploration of love, lust, longing, and loss and how deeply each of these is felt. 

My Friend Dahmer

Ross Lynch gives an unforgettable performance as a young Jeffrey Dahmer in this adaptation of Derf Backderf's graphic novel. The movie was a showcase of his stunning performance and that alone makes it with the watch. 


This movie also fed into my true crime addiction this year and for that I am thankful.

Wonder Woman

This female superhero movie that boasts a female director was one of my favourite things about 2017. I love how well received it was and that it was celebrated for what it is. I hope it continues to open doors and that this is just the beginning of female directed movies.


The action sequences in this movie made plenty of women and girls cry from joy because of the gaze in which they were shot. It is not something we are used to seeing on movie screens and it was a beautiful thing to behold.

OTHER

My Favorite Murder Podcast

This podcast is mainly responsible for bringing my true crime obsession back to the forefront. I am now completely hooked and eagerly anticipate each new episode.


Karen and Georgia have created a podcast that has resulted in a pretty awesome community. It may sound funny but this podcast helps my mental well being and I love that it exists.

#Gallavich (aka Ian and Mickey from Shameless)

While I couldn't include the show on my list (because I do feel that the later seasons are just not as strong) I have to include one of my new ship obsessions - Ian and Mickey.


I'll fully admit they were probably not the most healthy for each other, but everything about them made me ship them. There relationship, particularly in the later seasons, just had so many good moments that you couldn't help but fall in love with them.

What are some of the things that would make your own best of 2017 lists? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Best I Read in 2017


As the year comes to end it is once again time to reflect on what I've read this year and attempt to pick out my favourites. It's hard every year, and this year is no exception.

I am going to do a Top Fifteen because narrowing it any further was just too hard. I've linked to my reviews where possible (except for books that have not been reviewed yet on the blog). These are in no particular order because that would also be impossible.

1. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

This is the type of book that makes you cry but in a cathartic way. It makes you cry the kind of cry you didn't know you needed. This is a book filled with so much hope. It's a must read for YA contemporary fans.

2. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

A fun, sexy, and enjoyable romance novel that was a delight to read. It's a banter filled escape that should be on your list for 2018 if you haven't read it already.

3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I feel no list of this nature would be complete with this title on it. If you only read one book published in 2017 I would recommend this one. It's an important, well written read. It's an impressive debut that ensures people will want to read whatever Angie Thomas writes next.

4. Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L Walsh

I was immediately excited when this book was announced and even more delighted when I got to read the novel and loved it. This well crafted story of how a girl like Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo. You'll instantly be awaiting the follow up novel, Side By Side, after devouring this one.

5. Midnight At The Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Jodi Lynn Anderson's writing always blows me away. It's magical and captivating. This story of three very different women in three different time periods interconnects in beautiful ways and leaves a lasting impression.

6. Roomies by Christina Lauren

This charming romance read has as smoking hot Irish musician as the love interest, and plenty of witty banter to spare. Christina Lauren's novels are always a delight to read, but this one felt special to me. I felt the story more, and it's a great read for those looking for something lighter in tone.

7. The Becoming Of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

I was so excited when Michelle announced that she would be writing a companion series to her Mara Dyer trilogy and that it would be from Noah's point of view. The first book in this series is dark, and Noah's head is not the more comfortable place to be, but Michelle's writing brings this broken character to life in a way that is breathtaking.

8. Lizzie by Dawn Ius

This doesn't come out until 2018, and I am going to review it closer to release, but I had to include it on this life. This novel follows Lizzie as she spirals into madness and ultimately ends with the death of her parents (it is, after all, inspired by the infamous Lizzie Borden). The twists and turns it takes to get there make the story feel new.

9. The Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Mackenzi Lee gives us both the ridiculously fun romp through Europe that you are expecting going into this novel and so much more. This book has a depth that you may not expect, and a wonderful cast of characters that will remain with you long after the book is finished.

10. The Afterlife Of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

This book surprised me with how much I ended up loving it. The heart and emotion that A Christmas Carol has within it is definitely found within this modern take. It's one that I feel will become part of my Christmas tradition as I continue to read it again every December.

11. Renegades by Marissa Meyer

A fun superhero story that follows some recognizable tropes, but uses them to their best advantage. It's a book that is simply fun to read, and the ending sets up what is sure to be an explosive sequel.

12. There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Perkins writing horror may seem like a surprising combination but only if you haven't followed on her any of her social media. She's a horror movie fan and this is her love letter to the genre. It's also got the classic Stephanie Perkins romance to satisfy fans of her other books.

13. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Becky Albertalli is two for two when it comes to writing books I adore. This book is a joy to read and only cements my desire to read anything she writes. This is a book for all the late bloomers out there, and I loved every minute of reading this one.

14. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

This novel features a bisexual main character discovering her bisexuality. I cannot speak to the depiction of bisexuality within it's pages, but others have praised the representation. I can speak to the emotions I felt while reading it, and the way in which I felt this story while reading it. Julie Murphy creates these amazing characters and Ramona is no exception.

15. The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

This book defies and twists all the tropes you would expect from this genre. It's an action packed novel that also has a wonderful love story within it.

What books made your own end of year list? Anything I missed reading this year that I should make a priority in 2018? Let me know in the comments.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ..... Royals


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 Royals by Rachel Hawkins


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond. 

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself. 
With the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set to happen in 2018 this book could not be more timely. I have always loved books about  royalty and this one sounds especially perfect. I anticipate a bunch of cuteness and at least one swoon worthy romance from this book.

This one comes with a bit of a wait as it doesn't release until May of next year, but it'll be a perfect fit with the nicer weather, and some delicious ice cream. 

Expected release date - May 1, 2018

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Three Sides of a Heart: Stories about Love Triangles by Various



Three Sides of a Heart: Stories about Love Triangles by Various
Release Date - December 19, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  448 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
You may think you know the love triangle, but you've never seen love triangles like these.

These top YA authors tackle the much-debated trope of the love triangle, and the result is sixteen fresh, diverse, and romantic stories you don’t want to miss.

This collection, edited by Natalie C. Parker, contains stories written by Renee Ahdieh, Rae Carson, Brandy Colbert, Katie Cotugno, Lamar Giles, Tessa Gratton, Bethany Hagan, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, EK Johnston, Julie Murphy, Garth Nix, Natalie C. Parker, Veronica Roth, Sabaa Tahir, and Brenna Yovanoff.

A teen girl who offers kissing lessons. Zombies in the Civil War South. The girl next door, the boy who loves her, and the girl who loves them both. Vampires at a boarding school. Three teens fighting monsters in an abandoned video rental store. Literally the last three people on the planet.

What do all these stories have in common?

The love triangle.
Triangles are one of those tropes that ignite strong reactions no matter what side you fall on. Those who love the idea of a good love triangle are just as passionate as those who think a love triangle is the quickest way to destroy a series (or standalone).

This short story collection offers different types of love triangles than readers have experienced before. It offers different ways of looking what love triangles are, and how varied and unique they can be. It's an anthology designed to make love triangle supporters rejoice and turn even the most jaded skeptic into someone who can see the potential in a well crafted love triangle.

I liked all of the stories to varying degrees. I appreciated that each of them had a different tone and feel. They all examined love triangles in their own way, and none of them felt repetitious. They all felt distinctly their own, and even the spin the author put on the triangle felt fresh.

I am going to highlight a few of my personal favourites from the collection, but I think everyone will find something they love within this collection.

Riddles in Mathematics by Katie Cotugno

I was apprehensive at first when I discovered that this triangle features a brother and a sister in love with the same girl. Trust me and stick with it because it is not at all what you first think it is. There are different kinds of love triangles portrayed and this one is anything but typical. Fans of Katie Cotugno will, perhaps, find this one a little lighter in tone than her other works, but it really works.

Dread South by Justina Ireland 

This one defies a lot of the expected tropes of love triangles in so many ways. It also made me very curious about Justina's Dread Nation. The setting is imaginative and the zombies are this looming background presence that are a catalyst for a lot of the decisions characters are making. The action scenes were well done, and I appreciated the slower burn of one of the romances (as slow as a short story allows).

Lessons for Beginners by Julie Murphy

A cute read about a girl who gives kissing lessons for people who are bad kissers and the couple she attempts to help. It is typical Julie Murphy in that you're going to have a ton of fun reading it, and it'll pack more emotions into it than you might expect from the light subject matter. It's also a love triangle that features a girl and boy who are interested in the same girl.

Vega by Brenna Yovanoff 

This is one of the most unique triangles I've ever had the pleasure to read. It's between a girl, the boy she's loved for as long as she can remember, and the city that she loves just as fiercely. It left me in awe that an author could create a triangle that pushed your emotions even where the third point wasn't a person. It's a gritty look at some of the darker sides of Las Vegas, and one I definitely recommend reading.

Unus, Duo, Tres by Bethany Hagen 

This is perhaps my favourite story out of all those included in this collection. It's a vampire story set in a boarding school with a polyamorous relationship at its core. It's beautifully written, the characters are impressively fleshed out in the short time we spend with them. If I could have a full length series featuring these characters I would happily read it and still beg for more. It's an achingly beautiful story that had me sobbing by the time I finished. I immediately went back and read it again which is a huge testament to how much I loved it.

A collection that proves the love triangle still has a lot left to explore as a trope. This anthology only scratched the surface of what authors could do to rejuvenate and redefine what the term 'love triangle' means.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!


Wishing all of you who celebrate a Merry Christmas! I hope you found some bookish gifts under the tree and that you're spending it with family and loved ones.


I am off celebrating with my family, but the blog will be back with a review tomorrow!

Happy Holidays everyone! 

Saturday, December 23, 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.

Happy Christmas Weekend everyone! A few fun things to share, but mostly everything is winding down

BOOK

Stalking Jack The Ripper #3 Title Reveal (goodreads)

This series is a delight to read and I am thrilled that we get TWO more books to flesh out the series. The title for the third book was just recently revealed and I am VERY excited about the storyline possibilities that this hints at.



It's a little different than the Jack The Ripper and Dracula focus of the first two novels but still super exciting! 

TV/MOVIE 

Ocean's 8 Trailer

The Ocean's 8 trailer is here! I was so happy while watching this trailer. This looks like a fun movie filled with a bunch of bad ass ladies! I love that Sarah Paulson is in this because I am such a fan of hers.  


Obviously, the comment section for this trailer is a bit of a garbage fire but I refuse to let that lessen my excitement for this movie.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter



Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
Release Date - November 7, 2017
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  288 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Should you ever go back?

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game,” which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of the question: can you ever outrun your past?
There's something about your home town that always pulls you back. Its hold is inexplicable. Bonfire looks at what bonds us to our home towns, and the memories that colour the perceptions we hold. Krysten Ritter has crafted a dark, atmospheric mystery that is entirely engrossing.

Abby will inevitably draw comparisons to Jessica Jones. At first glance it is easy to see why. The similarities between the two are, I feel, only surface deep. They both are kick ass women who have to put their own problems aside to fight for what is right. They both speak their mind, and have a variety of flaws that would immediately get them classified as 'unlikable'. Abby, however, is much more willing to stand up for people. She takes pride in her job, and that speaks volumes about who her character is. She's not someone who reluctantly gets involved, she's eager and willing. I am thankful for female characters like Abby  (and Jessica for that matter). They show complex women who make mistakes and are messy. They show imperfect women who are still worthy and capable. I want to see a wide range of female characters of all backgrounds and characters like Abby make me feel like progress is possible and happening.

The book offers up another flawed female character in Kaycee who is a friend - slash - enemy of Abby's from her school days. Much of the novel is spent looking at her Abby's past and Kaycee is a large part of that. She's the 'mean girl' from every high school movie you have seen, but Ritter manages to infuse some depth into her character, and hammers in the point that perhaps Abby didn't know everything about Kaycee. We get a picture of a girl who is more complex than she appears, and I loved seeing that unravel.

This novel sets itself up as a thriller, but it is really a character driven novel at its heart. It boasts elements of a legal thriller, and the atmosphere of a good mystery but I would hesitate to call it either. I find this novel works best when it allows itself to dig into Abby's past. It shines when it lets her be the reason we care about the plot. Krysten Ritter is really good at making the readers connect with the characters and everything else falls into place as a result.

I often find myself disappointed in the endings of these mystery novels. They rarely live up to the hype that precedes them, and often feel predictable. The ending to Bonfire surpassed what I expected. The reveals were darker than I anticipated, and the mystery ended with a satisfying conclusion. It's a perfect match for the gritty tone of the novel, and tied the novel together nicely.

I knew that Krysten Ritter was a talented actress but after finishing Bonfire I can now say that she's also a talented writer. Bonfire is a solid debut that boasts a gritty feel, and a page turning plot. I eagerly await whatever Krysten writes next, and highly recommend this book to mystery fans.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ... My Oxford Year


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 My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Set amidst the breathtaking beauty of Oxford, this sparkling debut novel tells the unforgettable story about a determined young woman eager to make her mark in the world and the handsome man who introduces her to an incredible love that will irrevocably alter her future—perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.

American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.

When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.

Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.
I came across this book randomly on my Twitter feed and immediately wanted to read it. I anticipate it might be the type of book that makes you cry with the comparissons to JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks. 

Movie rights have already been snapped up for this one and I cannot wait to see if it is as good as I am anticipating it being.

Expected release date - April 24, 2018

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Meet Cute by Various



Meet Cute by Various
Release Date - January 2, 2018
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  224 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of "how they first met" from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour's beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard's glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon's imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno's story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick's charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.
The meet cute is an important moment in any rom-com. They are one of my personal favourite tropes simply because they tend to leave you with a smile on your face. They are usually adorable, or hilarious, or overtly romantic. Sometimes they are a combination of the three. The thing about a meet cute is it not only lets the reader (or viewer) know that the love interests  have met, but it allows them to believe in the magic spark that could happen when two people meet for the first time.

Anthologies are becoming increasingly popular. The best ones offer a collection of stories that are equally complimentary to each other, and I feel Meet Cute accomplishes that. They stories are all varied, and look at the premise differently, which allows the reader to look at all the different kinds of meet cutes. Not all of them end in happily ever after, but sometimes the promise of something is just as heart warming.

I am going to highlight just a few of my favourite stories within this particular anthology and why the stood out for me:

Emery Lord's story of two girls flirting and forming a connection while stuck in an airport was easily one of my favourites. I wanted more of these characters. The adorable banter, and use of Marvel character nicknames won my heart, and made it so that I would have happily read another 300 pages of these girls falling in love.

Dhonielle Clayton's story made me even more eager to read The Belles. Her writing is strong, and the story was thought provoking. It was the story I wanted to most discuss and dissect with people after I finished reading it.

Katharine McGee's futuristic look at flirting and 'online' dating was another favourite. It was romantic and highlights chemistry and a connection with someone can take you by surprise.

Katie Cotugno fans will be happy to hear that her short story is reminiscent of her other books. It's another one that I wished was fleshed out to a full book because I enjoyed getting to see these two characters spark.

I feel there really is something for everyone within this anthology. There is bound to be at least one story that you enjoy, and all of them have bright spots within them.

A fun, enjoyable read for those who love anthologies. It's a great book to pick up if you're wanting something light and funny, especially after a darker read. The only downside to this style of story telling is that you're often left wanting more, kind of like a really good meet cute between characters.

Sunday, December 17, 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)

Ashley from Harper Collins Canada sent me this lovely holiday surprise! I am very excited to read Ace Of Shades as it is one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. I am also curious about Here So Far Away after I read the synopsis.


Here So Far Away by Hadley Dyer (goodreads)
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (goodreads)

A huge thank you to both Harper Collins Canada and Ashley for these! It's made me holiday to be read pile that much more exciting.

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 16, 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.

BOOK

cover of Royals by Rachel Hawkins (goodreads)

With a royal wedding happening next year I predict that books featuring royalty will be in high demand. Rachel Hawkins newest features a girl whose sister is marrying a prince and it sounds amazing.

It also happens to have a pretty fun cover.  



I am really excited to get my hands on this one! I hope it's as cute and fluffy as I am expecting.

TV/MOVIE  

Ocean's 8 Movie Poster

I am so excited about this all female heist team movie! It also has Sarah Paulson, one of my favourite actresses, as part of the cast!



I am so excited to see a trailer and find out more about this movie as the release date gets closer.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Glass Of Wine At The Movies - My Friend Dahmer



I have something a little different to share on the blog today. It's something that may become a regular thing on here if there is an interest. I was lucky enough to be given the chance to watch a screener of My Friend Dahmer. You may recall I read (and loved) the book just a little while back and was thrilled to be able to review the movie as well.

My Friend Dahmer

Rating: 14A

Director: Marc Meyers

Language: English

Length: 107 minutes

Cast: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche, Vincent Kartheiser

Viewing Method: Review Screener

Synopsis: Before Jeffrey Dahmer became a notorious serial killer, he was a shy, alcoholic teen who never quite fit in. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Derf Backderf, this is the true, haunting story of Jeffrey Dahmer in high school.

**received review copy from Mayfair Theatre in exchange for an honest review**

My Friend Dahmer is not your typical true crime inspired film. It has no interest in showcasing the horrific crimes that Jeffrey Dahmer committed. That is just simply not what this story is. It instead offers a dark coming of age story that focuses on who Jeffrey Dahmer was as teenager in an attempt to understand who he became.

This movie is, in a lot of ways, a love letter for fans of the graphic novel that inspired it. Plenty of the scenes are direct recreations of panels within the novel, and they both share a similar tone. The movie being filmed on location (including the Dahmer house) adds something extra to the movie that I feel would have been missing if it had been filmed elsewhere. The setting is almost a character itself and one that makes it all to easy to believe that the warning signs Jeffrey displayed went mostly ignored. The setting also nails the 1970s perfectly. The attention to detail is rather impressive.

Nature versus nurture. It is a question is one that prompts much discussion. This dive into who Jeffrey Dahmer was during the most formative years of his life leads one to wonder if anything could have been changed, or if the crimes could have been prevented. The movie doesn't profess to have the answers. It takes the stance that many things, including something that existed within Jeffrey, made him who he was. It was nature and nurture. The movie, like the novel, doesn't intend for you to sympathize with Dahmer, but it also doesn't portray him as someone that couldn't have been helped either.

Ross Lynch is the, obvious, stand out in the movie. He gives what is sure to be a career changing performance. There is a physical transformation that happens, both in physical appearance and in how Lynch holds his body, that adds another layer to his performance. It is the way he carries himself, with rounded, slouched shoulders and a distinct walk, that are the most evident but there are a bunch of quieter, more subtle choices that are just as effective. He can unsettle with nothing but a vacant stare. It's a chilling, but mesmerizing showcase of Lynch's talent.

The remainder of the cast offer up mostly decent performances. I found Vincent Kartheisers role, even though quite small, to be memorable. It's an important, but not flashy, role. In a movie where everyone will be looking at Ross Lynch's stunning transformation, it is worth noting that the other performances, at times, feel muted in comparison. This works in some cases, but in others it just left me wanting more.

The fact that this teen becomes a man who will go on to kill seventeen people is never far from your mind while you are watching. It is this knowledge that creates the tension that fuels the final minutes of this movie. Fans of the graphic novel will notice some differences to the ending, but the feeling invoked remains the same. It is a turning point that stays with the audience long after the closing credits.

My Friend Dahmer paints a picture of a teen who is lonely, ignored, and uncomfortable in his own skin. It's is all too relatable, and recognizable. It offers an all too human portrait of a monster and that realization may be the most terrifying. It is a movie I'll be thinking about, and discussing, for a long time. It's one I highly recommend if you're a fan of true crime.

My Friend Dahmer's Ottawa premiere is tomorrow night, and is playing exclusively at the Mayfair Theatre for a very limited run. Check out their website for showtimes.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ..... I Have Lost My Way


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 I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
A powerful display of empathy and friendship from the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of If I Stay.

Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from home to find the boy that he loves, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City after a family tragedy leaves him isolated on the outskirts of Washington state. After the three of them collide in Central Park, they slowly reveal the parts of their past that they haven't been able to confront, and together, they find their way back to who they're supposed to be.

Told over the course of a single day from three different perspectives, Gayle Forman's newest novel about the power of friendship and being true to who you are is filled with the elegant prose that her fans have come to know and love.
I am a huge Gayle Forman fan and I was so excited to hear that she is releasing another young adult book! This one sounds incredible and I am sure it'll be filled with the usual Gayle Forman feels.
It's release is a perfect pre-birthday gift to me. I cannot wait to read this one while eating some birthday cake.
Expected release date - April 1, 2018

Monday, December 11, 2017

2018 Most Anticipated - The Giveaway



Today wraps up the 2018 Most Anticipated event with a giveaway that I am excited about.

There are THREE prize packs to win that will ship internationally.

The items up for grabs are:

- a set of Bonnie and Clyde bookmarks (that I had custom made)
- Lizzie swag donated by Dawn Ius AND a custom art print I had made
- a tea blend that reminded me of Indecent by Corinne Sullivan.

Each of the winners will get a prize pack consisting of all of these goodies BUT the main prize winner will also get a copy of any book featured during the event (winner's choice).

*The non book items will ship as soon as available based on printing and delivery times*

*The book will be ordered via Book Depository and will ship when released*

If you want a chance to win, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below. The contest runs until after the holidays as I want to give people a chance to enter during this busy time of year (and I myself am super busy).

Be sure to visit the previous posts for this event to learn all about the great books that were featured. Here is a list in case you needed easy access to it:

Winner Take All by Laurie Devore
To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Heart Of Thorns by Bree Barton
Indecent by Corinne Sullivan
A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
Lizzie by Dawn Ius
These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch
Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody
I Stop Somewhere by TE Carter
Side by Side by Jenni L Walsh
The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
Royals by Rachel Hawkins
What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Save The Date by Morgan Matson

Good luck and I look forward to emailing the winners in 2018!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 10, 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.

This is, obviously, a day late. I decide that since I don't have any new books to showcase that I would post this on Sunday instead!

BOOK

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo (goodreads)

I have wanted a YA novel inspired by  Roman Holiday for a long time now and was thrilled to see this deal announcement.
Pitched as a modern-day Roman Holiday set in Hong Kong, the book follows one fateful day between a K-Pop star who'd like to be anyone else and the charming con-boy she meets, who's looking for a big break to impress his paparazzo father. When sparks ignite, the two must decide if they can risk it all for each other. Publication is set for spring 2019
This is immediately on my must read list for 2019. It sounds adorable, and exactly what I was hoping for from a YA Roman Holiday!

TV/MOVIE

Love Simon Trailer

I have no idea how I have not included this in a Weekly Obsessions post before now, but it some how kept getting left off. This trailer is perfection. It is adorable and sweet and exactly what I wanted from this movie. 


Nick Robinson is a wonderful choice for Simon and I cannot wait to see this love story unfold on the big screen when this releases. 

Jessica Jones Season Two Trailer

I loved season one of Jessica Jones.and have been eagerly awaiting season two. I love this trailer so much! I cannot wait to see what this season has in store and fully plan on binge watching in March!

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

2018 Most Anticipated - A Few More



Today is the last book post for this event and I thought I would share three more books that I am excited about in a slightly different format. I am capping it at three simply because it could get out of control otherwise. There are some VERY exciting books coming out in 2018.

Royals by Rachel Hawkins (goodreads)

Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

Why I am so excited for this title:

This book was already on my radar before the whole "royal wedding' fever hit but now I am extra excited to read about an American girl marrying a Prince (and the younger sister along for the ride). It sounds adorable and like a fun summer read.

Release date: 

May 1, 2018

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (goodreads)




What If It’s Us opens as Arthur and Ben meet at the post office as Ben is shipping his ex-boyfriend’s things back to him. They subsequently endure the frustration of knowing there was a missed connection, before the universe pushes them back together again in a series of failed “first” dates.





Why I am so excited for this title:

It's Beck and Adam! Enough said. I cannot wait to see how their writing styles compliment each other. The only question is whether this will be more Becky and provide us with a cute, uplifting ending or if it'll be more Adam and rip our hearts out instead.

Release date: 

Fall, 2018

Save This Date by Morgan Matson (goodreads)

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future. 

Why I am so excited for this title:

A new Morgan Matson book screams summer to me, so I am super excited to have a new one to read by the pool next summer. It also sounds adorable and I love the thought of Morgan writing a family dynamic book. Her friendships are amazing so I am expecting good things from her family connections.

Release date:

June 5, 2018

What books are you most excited for in 2018? Let me know in the comments. 

Check back tomorrow for a giveaway that will run through the holidays!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2018 Most Anticipated - Melissa From Raincoast


Today I have the awesome Melissa from Raincoast Books stopping by to share her list of books that should be on your radar for 2018! There are some pretty amazing sounding ones that I predict people are already excited about.

There are some amazing books being released in 2018 that it’s almost impossible to choose (my TBR pile is teetering!), but below are 5 highlights to look forward to in the new year:

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (goodreads)


I don’t even know where to start with this one except to say READ. THIS. BOOK! Alice and her mother have had terrible luck. When Alice’s grandmother—the author of a cult-classic book of dark fairytales called Tales of the Hinterland—dies on her estate, The Hazel Wood, their luck gets worse. Alice’s mother is taken by someone claiming to be from the Hinterland and Alice, with the help of Hinterland superfan Ellery Finch, must try to find her. If that’s not enough to hook you, the film rights for The Hazel Wood have already been bought by Columbia Pictures/Sony and the book has received 4 starred reviews. A creepy, engaging and compelling read that will keep you turning pages, The Hazel Wood is a debut that you won’t want to miss! 


Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke (goodreads)


After being expelled from her high school, Jane Sinner signs up for a Big Brother-esque reality show called House of Orange while attending high school completion classes at a community college. Written by a fellow Vancouver-ite and set in Alberta, Nice Try, Jane Sinner is a funny and engaging debut. In the words of Becky Albertalli: “Jane Sinner snarked her way into my heart, and she's never leaving. Prepare to fall hard for this hilarious, heartfelt gem of a book." Nice Try, Jane Sinner is definitely one to watch for in 2018.

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena (goodreads)


Since Kathy featured Tanaz Bhathena and A Girl Like That in her Most Anticipated event already, I won’t go in to too much more detail! I just have to say that A Girl Like That is a stunning debut by Canadian author Tanaz Bhathena with beautiful writing and a gripping plot, and it also brings attention to race and religion and the crucial discussions we need to have about equality.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (goodreads)


Children of Blood and Bone is a highly anticipated West-African inspired fantasy novel by debut author Tomi Adeyemi that has already generated a ton of buzz in the community! The vivid storytelling in this book will immediately make it clear why Children of Blood and Bone has been optioned for a movie by Fox 2000 Pictures before the book has even released. An original, captivating fantasy, Children of Blood and Bone is definitely one you’ll want to read in 2018!

Furyborn by Claire Legrand (goodreads)


This is a must-read high fantasy of 2018! Furyborn follows two young women—Rielle and Eliana—who are 1,000 years apart but whose stories are ultimately connected. The book alternates between the two perspectives and will keep you engrossed until the very end. Furyborn is a remarkable start to this new trilogy, and one to check out next year!

A huge thank you to Melissa for stopping by! I hope you've added a few more books to your 'to be read' list.

Come back tomorrow for the next book on my #2018MostAnticipated list.  

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2018 Most Anticipated - The Dinner List



When I first heard that Rebecca Serle was releasing a new book I was immediately excited. I was even more excited to discover that it was going to involve a dinner party, and Audrey Hepburn! The Dinner List was instantly on my must read of 2018 and left me feeling like this:


It's very easy to be excited about a book when it is by an author whose previous novels you have loved, and when the premise is pretty much tailor made to appeal to you.


As this book doesn't release until Fall 2018 the official synopsis has not yet been released. What we do know comes from the deal announcement. The Deadline announcement described The Dinner List as: 
set in New York City, and mixes the kind of magical realism and wish fulfillment seen in films like Midnight in Paris. It takes place in one evening when a woman arrives at her birthday dinner party to mysteriously find everyone on her dream “dinner list” waiting at the table, the answer to the proverbial question if you could have dinner with a group consisting of anyone who would it be? 
Give. Me. It Immediately. I want to know everyone on Sabrina's dream dinner list. I want to know what she is eventually going to learn from this journey and, because it is Rebecca Serle, what kind of romance will be at the heart of this book.

Rebecca was awesome enough to answer a few questions about the book (even though it is super early for any kind of promo). This interview definitely makes me even more excited for more details to come out, and for this to eventually release.

1: what gif do you feel best describes The Dinner List

Probably any gif of Olivia Pope drinking wine?

*Kathy's note* I found this one that I personally like even though she's not drinking the wine. It mimics the excitement that I feel for this book.


2: If someone were to make a signature drink for your book what would be included?

It's not a cocktail-- but a really good glass of Merlot or Barolo. Or a scotch on the rocks. Like: Sit down, we're gonna be here awhile.

3: Who is someone on your own person 'dinner list'?

Jon Lovett from Pod Save America. To be honest my dream dinner would probably just be all the Crooked Media guys. I'm obsessed.

4. You've teased that we're going to meet your version of Audrey Hepburn. Are you able to tease someone else who is on Sabrina's dinner list?

I can tell you that everyone who is at the table is there for a reason--- but I'm not going to share more than that just yet!

5. What are some things (ie movies, tv shows, etc) you used to research this novel?

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M by Sam Watson was a great Audrey resource, and a book I love very much.

6. What 2018 book are you most anticipating?

I'm a huge Curtis Sittenfeld fan and she has a short story collection "You Think It, I'll Say It," out in 2018. I'll definitely be picking that up! 


I am so excited to meet Rebecca's Audrey. I have also added Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M to my personal 'to be read' list. Here is hoping we get more details about this one early in the new year as I cannot wait to see what cover they come up with, and read an official synopsis.

The Dinner List releases Fall 2018 and it not currently up for pre-order, but be sure to follow Rebecca on Twitter so that you know as soon as it is available. You can also check out her website for more information. The most up to date information can also be obtained on her publisher website. Also be sure to add it your Goodreads in the meantime. 

Who would be on your own dream dinner list? Let me know in the comments.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a guest post from Melissa at Raincoast Books.

Monday, December 4, 2017

2018 Most Anticipate - Side By Side



The next book is on my list is actually a companion novel to a book that was featured last year. Jenni L Walsh's Becoming Bonnie was a highly anticipated read of mine from last year and the follow up, Side By Side, was instantly added to my list after reading the first one.


I was so excited to return to these characters, and this version of Bonnie and Clyde that Jenni has created. I fell in love with her characters, particularly her Bonnie, and was eager to continue their story even knowing the tragic ending that awaits them. 


The Goodreads synopsis for this novel immediately sets up the crime spree as the focus for this companion novel, where Becoming Bonnie was more of a look at the woman who would become the infamous Bonnie Parker. 
How do two poor Texas kids become notorious outlaws? Bonnie Parker tells the story of America's most infamous crime spree in her own words​

"Someday they'll go down together / they'll bury them side by side. / To few it’ll be grief / To the law a relief / But it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.”

The story of America’s most infamous crime spree told in the raw and honest voice of the woman who lived it, Bonnie Parker.

Texas: 1931. Bonnie Parker’s dreams of the limelight and a white picket fence are on hold. She’s a waitress in Dallas, endlessly writing letters to the governor pleading for the release of the man she loves: a reckless, quick-smiling boy named Clyde Barrow, sentenced to fourteen years at the notorious Eastham prison farm.

When Clyde is paroled early, Bonnie thinks their life is about to really begin. But Clyde has changed in prison. Distant, damaged, and dogged by the cops, he knows it’s only a matter of time before the law tries to lock him up again. That’s not something he or Bonnie can bear. When he’s fired from his job—and now breaking parole—he decides to make a run for it. Leave Texas. Get enough cash to make a fresh start in a new state. And, of course, he wants his beloved Bonnie to come with him.

It’s just one stolen car. One robbed bank. Then, they can have the life they always wanted. Or so they think, as they set out.

Unflinching and yet deeply empathetic, Jenni L. Walsh’s Side by Side tells the story of America's most iconic outlaws.
This sounds amazing, right? The good news is that Side by Side can be read as a stand alone novel. You can dive in without having read Becoming Bonnie. I do, however, urge you to read Becoming Bonnie. It's wonderful, and a great read for the upcoming holiday season.

Jenni, very kindly, agreed to take part in my event again this year and the result is the very fun interview where I get her to spill some Bonnie secrets.

1. What gif do you think describes Side by Side?

Well, we've got the obvious Bonnie and Clyde gif...
And then, as I'm a Disney fan, here's one from Aladdin, where he's got to stay "one jump ahead" (and may get a little cocky as he does it).  

2 If a signature cocktail were to be made in honour of Side by Side what do you think would be included?

How 'bout the "Hot N Sassy" for Bonnie Parker, as this namesake seems to fit her character well!

1 oz. Pucker Vodka Sour Apple Sass
3 slices jalapeƱos
2 slices clementine
Splash of lime juice
1 oz lemon-lime soda

Muddle jalapeƱos and clementines in a cocktail shaker. Add vodka and ice. Shake and strain into a glass. Add lime juice and soda. Stir.

Source: Pucker Vodka

3 How would you describe Bonnie and Clyde's relationship at the beginning of the novel?
Painfully distant, as Clyde's in jail! Their only communication is through letters. Though, Bonnie is writing to more than Clyde. She's also writing to the governor, hoping for an early parole for Clyde.

4 Those who are familiar with the story can assume that history catches up to your Bonnie and Clyde. Was it difficult to write their ending?

Yes, in fact, there were many elements of the story that were difficult to write, like when Bonnie wakes up from a coma...

The 1967 film is entertaining and well done (hello numerous Academy Awards!), but leaves out some MAJOR elements of Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree, along with fictionalizing quite a bit. I wanted to include as much as I could, and do it as factually as I could, in Side by Side.

5 Did you feel any pressure writing about people who actually existed?

Yes and no. "Bonnie and Clyde" is well-document, but through various sometimes contradictory sources. This allowed me to pull from LOTS of information and also perspectives, giving me a bit of wiggle room to tell my story. More so than writing about historical figures, I felt more pressure writing about polarizing figures from history. Being the story is told through Bonnie's eyes, I sometimes had to remind myself to let Bonnie be Bonnie.

6 What 2018 book are you most excited about?

These books are across various age groups, but... My Dear Hamilton, I Was Anastasia, Nothing But Sky, Blood and Sand, and The Inventors at No. 8. They all may be historical :)

7 If not too spoilery, please share the first line of Side by Side.

I’m a fool for busting Clyde out of McClelland County jail.


That opening line has me all kinds of intrigued and excited! The "Hot N Sassy" certainly sounds like it'll fit this Bonnie Parker perfectly and I am very tempted to give it a try while reading this. Seems like it would pair nicely.

The amount of research that Jenni did was quite evident in Becoming Bonnie and I cannot wait to see that attention to detail carry over to the rest of their story.

Side by Side releases June 5, 2018 but you can pre-order it right now from any retailer.

You can find out more about Jenni by following her on Twitter, and by visiting her her website. You can also find out more about her books on the publisher website.

Are you a fan of books that are inspired by real events? Are you as excited as I am that Becoming Bonnie has a sequel? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to for the next book on my 2018 most anticipated list. 

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