Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ... Still Me


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 Jojo Moyes


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
From the sensational #1 New York Times bestselling author Jojo Moyes, a new book featuring her iconic heroine of Me Before You and After You, Louisa Clark

Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She is thrown into the world of the superrich Gopniks: Leonard and his much younger second wife, Agnes, and a never-ending array of household staff and hangers-on. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her job and New York life within this privileged world.

Before she knows what's happening, Lou is mixing in New York high society, where she meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. In Still Me, as Lou tries to keep the two sides of her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets--not all her own--that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?
I did not expect a third book about Louisa Clark, but it makes sense to end her story on a different note than the one After You left her on. I had issues connecting with After You, and wonder if those same issues will present themselves in Still Me, but I am excited to see what is next for Louisa.

The wait for this one is not too long as it comes out in late Jan. It'll be a perfect way to spend those holiday gift cards!

Expected release date - January 23, 2018

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess



Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess
Release Date -  July 2, 2013
Publisher Website - Raincoast
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  294 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Fantastically funny, fresh and utterly relatable, Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess is the first novel in her brand new series about five twenty-something friends—Pia, Angie, Julia, Coco and Madeleine—sharing a brownstone in hip, downtown Brooklyn, and discovering the ups and downs and ins and outs of their “semi-adult” lives. The first story belongs to sophisticated, spoiled, and stylish Pia, who finds herself completely unemployed, unemployable, and broke. So what is a recent grad with an art history degree and an unfortunate history of Facebook topless photos to do? Start a food truck business of course! Pia takes on the surprisingly cutthroat Brooklyn world of hybrid lettuce growers, artisanal yogurt makers and homemade butter producers to start SkinnyWheels—all while dealing with hipster bees, one-night-stands, heartbreak, parental fury, wild parties, revenge, jail, loan sharks, playboys, karaoke, true love, and one adorable pink food truck. And that's without counting her roommates' problems, too. Gemma Burgess has captured the confusion, hilarity and excitement of the post-graduate years against a backdrop of the pressures and chaos of New York City life, with heartfelt empathy, fast humor and sharp honesty.


A charming debut series about five twenty-something girls and the humor, heartbreak, and drama that bring them together.
I was immediately drawn to this thanks to the Sex and the City vibe I got upon reading the synopsis. A group of single women in New York City figuring out life and looking for love was exactly what I wanted from this book. It did deliver on that promise but it, sadly, did not connect the way I wanted it to.

The start of the novel was a little hard for me to get through. I had to adjust to the writing style of the author at first. It just wasn't connecting with me. I got into the story a lot more once I did adjust. It is a fairly quick read once you get used to the writing, and the chapters are fairly short so it feels like an even quicker read.

This novel reads like a quirky rom-com movie. It even has an adorable meet cute that made me swoon. It has an adorable pink food truck, and some great friend bonding moments. These are the parts of the story that really work. It's these moments that grabbed me as a reader.

The growth that Pia's character goes through was the redeeming aspect of the novel for me. I went from not really like her very much, to understanding who she was as a character, and appreciating the changes she made along her journey. She comes from such a place of inexperience at the beginning of the novel due to her parents always bailing her out, and her never really having to stand on her own. She has zero faith in herself, and seeing her character blossom was my favourite part of this book.

I wish the romance had been expanded a little. I am guessing we'll get to see the continuation of Pia's journey in the subsequent novels, but it felt like the most underdeveloped part of the novel. Those looking for a book that has a lot of romance will be slightly disappointed, but I liked the other parts of the story to keep going. I just wish it had been given more time to resonate with me, as I didn't feel connected to the romance.

The complex friendship between the five women is the strongest relationship in the novel. Much like Sex and the City, it is the friendship that is the focus. It isn't always perfect, and they fight with each other at times, but that makes it all the more believable. They care about each other, and they also, at times, hurt each other. It just added a rich layer to the story that I felt was lacking in other aspects. It showcases how family can be the people you choose, not just those you are related to by blood.

My leave favourite part of the story arc was the addition of a loan shark. This element really served as a convenient way for Pia to get money and add some drama to the story. It, sadly, really ends up being anticlimactic and adds a ludicrous element that pulled me out of the story. I didn't fell it was used effectively and it felt off with the more lighthearted tone of the rest of the story.

The beginning of the novel is not as strong as the middle section. I also felt the end was a little rushed with the pacing feeling off at various points. The situations that these characters find themselves in should have deeper consequences, but it is instead written more like a rom-com.  The humour just didn't work for me in the more 'intense' parts of the story being presented.

 A story that ultimately was a bit of a mixed read for me. The parts I enjoyed I really loved, but there were some parts that didn't work as well for me. I tentatively recommend it if you're looking for something light and breezy to end your summer reading with. It was enjoyable enough to make me want to pick up the second book, but also a read that I wanted a little more from.

Sunday, August 20, 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)

Only one book made its way into my mailbox this week. A huge thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for this book!


Wonder Woman :Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (goodreads)

What goodies made their way into your mailbox this week? Let me know!

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 19, 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.

Here are a few things that I found exciting this week!

BOOK

Cover of Jojo Moyes' Still Me (goodreads)


I have mixed feelings about another book in the Me Before You series. I loved Me Before You so much, but did not love After You as much. What made Me Before You special for me was missing from After You and it was noticeable. Still Me's synopsis has me hopeful, but I am also prepared for it to be missing some of the spark. I am excited to see what is next for Lou in her journey, and will totally pre-order this one as soon as I can though.

TV/MOVIE

Shameless

I started watching this because a podcast I listen to mentions it quite a bit. I am hooked after just a few episodes and already love some of the chracters. Fiona and Steve are super cute right now, and I love Ian. I have a feeling I am going to love Ian and Mickey together (I just meet Mickey and his sister in the last episode I watched). I am not sure why I resisted this show for so long, but I am glad to be watching it now.

Mr Mercedes

I have gotten to watch the first two episodes of this series and am hooked. It's darker than I anticiapted, and at times hard to watch (especially the opening sequence). The acting in it is incredible with Harry Treadaway impressing me once again. I cannot wait to watch the rest of the episodes and wish I didn't have to watch week to week. 


What are you obsessed with this week?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ... Say You'll Remember Me


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 Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve.
I love Katie McGarry books and I am thrilled that she has another coming out! This one sounds like her earlier books which were a mix of romance and gritty contemporary that I enjoyed a lot.

This one comes out early next year so not too long to wait now.

Expected release date - January 30, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee



The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee
Release Date - August 29, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 432 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**


**SPOILERS FOR THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
New York City, 2118. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible – if you want it enough.

Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a beacon of futuristic glamour and high-tech luxury… and to millions of people living scandalous, secretive lives.

Leda is haunted by nightmares of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’s afraid the truth will get out – which is why she hires Watt, her very own hacker, to keep an eye on all of the witnesses for her. But what happens when their business relationship turns personal?

When Rylin receives a scholarship to an elite upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being here also means seeing the boy she loves: the one whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.

Avery is grappling with the reality of her forbidden romance – is there anywhere in the world that’s safe for them to be together?

And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who’s arrived in New York with a devious goal in mind – and too many secrets to count.

Here in the Tower, no one is safe – because someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, you’re always only one step away from a devastating fall…. 
I've always been a fan of teen drama television shows. They're often debauchery filled fun and provide some great entertainment. I was delighted to find this in book format when I read The Thousandth Floor. I had high expectations going into the sequel, and was pleasantly surprised to find a solid follow up that packed a twist filled punch all its own.

The Thousandth Floor begins with an unknown female character falling to her death. The Dazzling Heights also opens with another dead body being discovered, and twists another mystery that keeps each chapter a compelling read. Knowing an event is going to occur creates an intense ticking clock of sorts. It serves to increase the stakes of the novel, and ensures that you want to keep reading to unravel the truth. Katharine McGee is also a master at crafting the story in such a way that by the time the book is nearing its conclusion there are multiple possibilities for who will die. She sets it up in such a way where it is not instantly apparent who dies, or even how they died. It's one of the strongest elements in the book and it creates a fevered pace for the reader.

The cast are all still making ill advised choices. It makes the dynamics between the character sizzle with tension. It is intriguing to have a scenario where almost all the characters have treated the others horribly at some point. It creates this morally skewed world for these characters to inhabit and makes it easier to fall into the story and their connections to each other. It makes this story arc work when it sometimes feels like it shouldn't. It is very reminiscent of Gossip Girl in that respect. No matter what these characters do to each other, you want them to continue to clash into each other again and again. You want them to fall in love. You want them to break up and make up. It's their connections that make you interested in the characters, and it really works because of the word they exist in.

Leda and Watt had, at times, almost a toxic nature to their potential romance. They each want to both destroy and make out with the other depending on their mood. It had some Chuck and Blair vibes, but never reaches the level of toxicity that they had. It's an interesting dynamic, and one that is used to great impact in my opinion.

Avery's plot line was one I was fascinated by. It's one of the few cases where this particular type of forbidden romance sort of works for me. Her and Atlas' relationship is certainly taboo, but also feels entirely reasonable that they would feel the way they do. It's written in a way that makes you feel for the situation they find themselves in. They are one couple I do not see a happy ending for, but I feel that is probably realistic based on the story so far. It's one of the more gripping relationships in the novel, and one I hope is continued to be explored in the final novel.

Rylin's story is the one that I found surprised me the most. I thought I knew which way her arc would go, and it ended up going in a completely different direction. It was refreshing because I suspect that a love of novels, particularly those of this genre, would go there. It's the easiest way to create some pretty juicy drama, but was actually the more restrained choice which felt more in line with the character. It also served to allow for the other story arcs to be a little more over the top in some ways since this one was a little more reigned in. It offered a nice balance, and allowed us to get to know the character more.

The ending, once again, ensure that readers will be clamoring for the next novel. It leaves the story in a place that has a lot of potential. I cannot wait to find out answers to all the questions I have to be answered. Those looking for a more self contained story will be disappointed as this is very much a story that progresses over the three novels that will be in this series. If you detest waiting for answers, this may be a binge read series for you. I, personally, enjoy getting to theorize and discuss with fellow readers and this book offers plenty of opportunity for that.

This offers another frothy, drama filled installment in this series. It is perfect for those who are missing Gossip Girl, and love their CW television shows as much as they love reading. It is, in my opinion, a fun way to end your summer reading as it offers a little bit of everything - romance, murder, secrets, glitz, and lush settings.

Sunday, August 13, 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)

The only new addition this week is an ebook I purchased!


Nova by Rebecca Yarros (goodreads)

I have this first book in this series, which I have not read yet, but decided to pick up the sequel just in case. 
 
What goodies made their way into your mailbox this week? Let me know!

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

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