Sunday, January 22, 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 had a bunch of goodies make their way into my mailbox in the last little while.

First up are two candles that I ordered before Christmas and waited to share as some of them were gifts.

I especially love the Bucky Barnes scent while it is burning. It is lovely. I may have to order a larger size of that one.

Next up I ordered some lovely bookmarks from HappyHello on Etsy. I love my Stranger Things one so much! They are super cute but Will is noticeably missing so I may have to get one specially made to complete the collection. 

I also got her Will and Lou from Me Before You set! How cute are they?!

I also purchased a few things from Hot Topic this week. A colour changing Stranger Things mug!

It is amazing. The letters R, U and N turn red when heat is applied, and the background fills in white. It is pretty much my new favourite mug. 

Lastly, I manged to score this Joker Funko Pop. I previously showed that he came in two editions (regular colour and this special edition black and white option). I hit it lucky and was at Hot Topic when they put them out and scooped up the black and white edition as it was my preferred one. I love how the kisses pop as the only colour against the black and white.

That is it for me this week. Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 21, 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.

Lots of exciting things in this week's post. I am excited for a new year and new things to get excited about.


Cover for E. Lockhart's Genuine Fraud (goodreads)

The new book from E. Lockhart was just announced and with it the cover was revealed. I love both the cover and the brief synopsis that was given for this book.

If you haven't read We Were Liars do so immediately and add Genuine Fraud to your 2017 reading list.

When We Set The Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia (goodreads)

This novel immediately caught my attention in its deal announcement. It sounds amazing and I cannot wait to read it 
set at the Medio School for Girls, where young women are trained to become one of two wives assigned to high society men. With revolution brewing in the streets, star student Dani Vargas fights to protect a destructive secret, sending her into the arms of the most dangerous person possible – the second wife of her husband-to-be. 
It is going to be a bit of a wait since this comes out in 2019 but I have a feeling it is going to be totally worth it.


Entertainment Weekly's First Look At Feud

I love everything about this cover. Ryan Murphy's newest show is going to be amazing and the talent is certainly there to ensure it is also well acted.

Canada is always a week behind on Entertainment Weekly issues so I am excited to pick up a copy of this as soon as it is available in stores.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Frostblood by Elly Blake
Release Date -  January 10, 2017
Publisher Website - Hachette Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 376 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The frost king will burn.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.
Star-crossed lovers is a familiar trope to most book lovers. We've all read our fair share of books that embrace this trope and its forbiddenness. Frostblood offers up Elly Blake's take on a star-crossed romance and ends up providing an entertaining read in the process.

This novel is a fantasy that reads as contemporary. This is may way of saying that casual fantasy fans will love this book as well. It's a 'lighter' fantasy which is perfect for readers who are just dipping their toe into the world of fantasy. It has those elements, but the characters, not necessarily the world building, are what drive the story. I feel this will especially appeal to younger teens who are just discovering the genre. Fantasy fans will appreciate the world that is built and hunger for more from the subsequent novels to come in this series.

Romance fans will also delight in this novel. The romance in this one offers up plenty of banter due the personalities of the characters. Ruby and Arcus clash as much as you would expect and it makes for many humour filled moments. If you like your love stories to be filled with snark and tension this delivers in all the best ways.

Ruby's temper is a fiery as her gift. She's strong willed, capable, and determined. She has strength and vulnerability much like fire itself. She is just beginning to learn about her gift and her story arc is all about embracing all of herself, even the parts that scare her or that she doesn't like about herself. This element grounds the story and makes it relatable to pretty much everyone. We've all struggled with accepting ourselves in some way. Arcus is as cold as his frost and has his emotions walled in. It is a direct contrast to Ruby whose emotions are on full display. He is brave, loyal and has a hidden sense of humour that shows itself now and again. It is easy to fall into the story because you enjoy both these characters. It is made even better by the fact that you enjoy both of them together and on their own. The draw is not just their relationship.

This novel is, obviously, the beginning of a larger story but the book really does feel self contained. There are teases of what is to come, but there is a clear beginning, middle and end to the arc in this particular book. The tease of what is to come is more than enough to ensure you'll want to read the next book. What is left to discover about the mythology and history behind the powers of fire and ice is enough of a hook.

A promising start to a new series that offers up a strong willed main character, and plenty of romantic charm. If you are looking for a lighter fantasy novel this should be on your radar. I look forward to continuing Ruby and Arcus' story in future installments and that is largely due to how Elly Blake crafted their world and characters. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ... This Is How It Happened

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

My pick this week is This Is How It Happened by Paula Stokes

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened. 

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.

Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.
I am a fan of all of Paula's previous novels and I am pretty much going to read anything she writes next. I am really excited for this one because of the premise and the information she has revealed about how it came about.

If you haven't read anything by Paula before I highly recommend that you do!

Expected release date - July 11, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cherry by Lindsey Rosin

Cherry by Lindsey Rosin
Release Date -  August 16, 2016
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 400 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In this honest, frank, and funny debut novel, four best friends make a pact during their senior year of high school to lose their virginities—and end up finding friendship, love, and self-discovery along the way.

To be honest, the sex pact wasn’t always part of the plan.

Layla started it. She announced it super casually to the rest of the girls between bites of frozen yogurt, as if it was just simply another addition to her massive, ever-evolving To Do List. She is determined to have sex for the first time before the end of high school. Initially, the rest of the crew is scandalized, but, once they all admit to wanting to lose their v-cards too, they embark on a quest to do the deed together... separately.

Layla’s got it in the bag. Her serious boyfriend, Logan, has been asking for months.

Alex has already done it. Or so she says.

Emma doesn’t know what the fuss is all about, but sure, she’ll give it a shot.

And Zoe, well, Zoe can’t even say the o word without bursting into giggles.

Will everything go according to plan? Probably not. But at least the girls have each other every hilarious, heart-warming, cringe-inducing step of the way.

From debut author Lindsey Rosin, Cherry is a coming-of-age, laugh-out-loud tale of first times, last chances, and the enduring friendships that make it all worthwhile.
When I first stumbled across Cherry in the publisher's catalog I was immediately intrigued. It was pitched as American Pie but teen girls were the ones making the pact to lose their virginity. I was curious about how it would translate and if the novel would work. Luckily, Lindsey Rosin has written an empowering, and important novel that just also happens to be funny.

The friendship in this novel was probably my favourite aspect of the entire novel. The girls are supportive of each other. They push each other to be better and are not in constant competition with each other. They genuinely care about each other, and that bond shines through all of their scenes together. Their rituals, and group texts, and even the pact itself is more about the bond they share and wanting to let each other be part of their experiences. It may seem strange in a novel about sex that friendship would be the focus, but it really is.

This novel tackles the topic of losing your virginity from the female perspective. One of the the elements this novel gets so right is that none of the girl's stories are the same. None of them have the same experience with their first time. Some are awkward, some are sweet. Some are life changing, and some leave them wondering what the fuss was all about. Sex also means different things to each of them and each of them have sex with their chosen person for their own reasons. There are also varying levels of enjoyment which was refreshing. This showcases that sex is different for everyone, and means something different to everyone which is incredibly important. This novel really highlights that there is no 'normal' when it comes to sex, and that fact should be celebrated. This novel also features a bisexual character discovering this part of herself as part of her sexual journey.

The frank discussion about sex, from masturbation to orgasms and everything in between, serves as a great jumping off point for conversation. This is a a perfect novel for an older teen book club because of this. It doesn't make sex or talking about sex something shameful. It encourages dialogue, consent, and readiness. It also looks at safe sex and protecting yourself as something that is part of the sex conversation.

The biggest message this book offers, however, is the notion that you are not defined by your virginity. Females in society are often shammed for enjoying sex, or called a tease if they aren't ready and willing. This novel simply states that it should be on your terms. You attach the value to it. It can mean what you personally want it to, but that is not all you are. It's a healthy, positive message that encourages the embracing of female sexuality on our own terms.

The only minor issue I had was that it took a little while to fall into the pattern of the writing style. Once I did, however, the pages flew by. Your commitment is rewarded because the message of this novel is so incredibly worth it. It's a minor element that didn't impact my overall enjoyment of the story.

Cherry is a sex positive book that examines sex through a female perspective. It is a book that every young girl should read simply because it inspires so much discussion and reflection. It is the type of book I wish would have been available to me when I was a teenager. I am curious to see what Lindsey Rosin tackles next, but this fun, heartbreaking, second hand embarrassment inducing, smile causing novel is definitely worth the read. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Chapters Pinecrest YA Event

If you're an Ottawa book lover, a YA book fan in particular, you probably share my pain of there not being many bookish events in the city. There are not many signings, and hardly any other events that bring us all together.

Luckily, Chapters Pinecrest has something to help with that and chase away a bit of the winter blues at the same time.

If you're a YA fan and free this Saturday between 4 and 7 pm I highly recommend going. There will be ARC giveaways, trivia, arts and crafts and much more. It'll also provide an excellent opportunity to meet fellow YA fans and allow you to connect with people who like to read the same books you do!

No registration is required, you can just stop by and join in the bookish fun. I need everyone to go and post lots of photos so I can live vicariously through you as I will be working that day! It'll also help more events like this happen if we all support the ones that do happen.

You can learn more about the event on the stores Facebook page and also find out details of the store's location for travel planning.

Sunday, January 15, 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 very exciting books made their way into my mailbox this week! I cannot wait to read both of these amazing sounding titles!

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon (goodreads)
Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor (goodreads)

A huge thank you to both Hachette Canada and Bloomsbury for sending these my way to review. Expect reviews of both of these on the blog in the upcoming months.

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

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