Sunday, September 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)

My new book are from the Harper Collins Canada #FrenzyPresents event that happened last Sunday. If you missed my recap here are the delight goodies that I left that blogger preview with.

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera (goodreads)
Top Ten by Katie Cotugno (goodreads)
If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L Armentrout (goodreads)
Zenith by Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg (goodreads)
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli (goodreads)

They also had a blind date with a book giveaway where you selected a wrapped book without knowing what was inside. I immediately recognized the pictures on this one and snagged myself a copy because it was a book I had read and loved but had not gotten for myself yet.

The Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virture by Mackenzi Lee (goodreads)

Thank you again to Harper Collins Canada for the lovely afternoon!

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 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.

Some fun things to share this week! I am on an Etsy kick and I keep adding things to my wishlist! It's a problem, but a good one to have.


Ian and Mickey from Shameless

I have been binge watching Shamless and am completely obsessed with Ian and Mickey and their romance. It's a hot mess, like so much else on that show, but I hear it gets so good later on.

I have not gotten to the scene where this gif comes from but I am very excited to.


Hollywood and Crime podcast (link)

I am so excited for this to come back for its second season which will wrap up their Black Dahlia series. I cannot wait to continue as the first season was so fascinating. They also revealed that they will next focus on Charles Manson. If you love true crime podcasts I recommend checking this one out. 

My Favorite Murder wineglass from CheyenneLeighDesigns Etsy Shop (link)

 I love wine and I love My Favorite Murder so it makes sense that I would LOVE this wine glass. I need it. I even love the colours used on this one and wouldn't change anything about it.

photo copyright belongs to CheyenneLeighDesigns Etsy shop owner

There are so many cute things in this shop that I recommend you check it out!

My Favorite Murder Buttons from HugsandShoves Etsy Shop (link)

These buttons are the cutest! I need them. I want them in pink (obviously). They are simple and yet so much fun! This Etsy shop has a bunch of other really cute things so be sure to check it out

photo copyright belongs to HugsandShoves Etsy shop owner

 This shop also offers free shipping which is amazing!

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Frenzy Presents Fall 2017/ Winter 2018

The lovely people from Harper Collins Canada invited me to their annual #FrenzyPresents event. It's a blogger event in which we get to learn about all of Harper Collins' upcoming titles and mingle with fellow book lovers. It's one of my most anticipated events because it is always such a fun afternoon. I always feel incredibly thankful to be able to attend, and this year was no exception.

This event focused on the Fall 2017 (and a few Winter 2018) titles that Harper was excited to present to us. There are plenty of books that were already on my radar, and a few that I left wanting to take a closer look at.

I am going to include the entire list, and offer up a few comments on each of the titles.

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera (goodreads)

Having already read this one I was excited to see it included. It's a wonderful read and I urge you to check out my review that I posted yesterday if you are curious about my thoughts. 

Top Ten by Katie Cotugno (goodreads)

I adore Katie Cotugno's novels and I am extra excited about this one! It's premise of two friends looking back at the top ten defining moments of their friendship immediately intrigues me, and the hint of possible romance only sweetens the deal. 

If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L Armentrout (goodreads)

This was pitched as Jennifer L Armentrout moving away from the romance and more into straight contemporary novels that deal with issues. There is, from what I believe, romance within the story but the issues the characters are facing is the primary story arc. 

Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Primaza (goodreads)

This sounded a super cute novel that has a friendship focus. It's also seems like a humourous read that tackles some fandom culture at the same time.

Release by Patrick Ness (goodreads)

This was already a title with a lot of buzz, and the bloggers were very excited about this one. Patrick Ness always delivers for his fans and I predict this will be no exception. It sounds like a novel that will pull at your heart but I suspect it'll be worth it. 

Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga (goodreads)

This is one I didn't know much about going into the event. There was an audible reaction in the room with it was revealed that the rock star who shows up at the main character's door was not a love interest, bur rather the father who isn't in her life.

Three Sides Of A Heart by Various (goodreads)

Fans of love triangles will want to pick up this anthology filled with stories that feature different kinds of love triangles. The selling point for me was that I adore so many of the authors who are contributing, along with the fact that it includes different genres (paranormal, contemporary, science fiction, etc). Add in the fact that it is diverse and it easily became one of my most anticipated reads. I cannot wait to see what these authors have in store.

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West (goodreads)

Kasie West always has incredibly cute, fluffy, feel good reads. This one sounds especially cute, and offers up the perfect novel for those looking for a little contemporary romance to brighten up their winter. 

This Darkness Mine by Minday McGinnis (goodreads)

Mindy McGinnis writes dark, and twisty reads that you devour. This Darkness Mine is no exception. It offers up a unique premise - a girl who was supposed to be a twin discovers that her twin may be insider he all along. There is a little hint of multiple personality disorder that could entire be me reading into things, but I am so excited to unravel this mystery. 

Before She Ignites by Jodie Meadows (goodreads)

Dragons! That was the main takeaway from this one. I have read it and enjoyed it. It's a fantasy read that was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to checking out the sequel.

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (goodreads)

After the cliffhanger of Three Dark Crowns this one was high up on my list. Not much can be said without giving spoilers but it continues the story of three sisters who are destined to fight to the death to determine who will be Queen. I love the first one so I urge you to pick it up if you haven't already. 

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano (goodreads)

Not too many details about this one was given other than that the main character can turn living things into gem stones. This, of course, makes her a target for those who want to use her. It certainly is unique, and Lauren DeStefano has a rather pretty writing style so I predict it'll be an interesting read. 

Zenith by Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg (goodreads)

Bad ass ladies in space is how this one was sold. I've seen this one all of the place recently and think it'll catch a lot of readers attention. 

Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody (goodreads)

I was already excited about Amanda Foody's next book, but I left this event desperate to get my hands on it. It's got everything I love - romance, gangsters, magic and lots more. It's set in what I believe is a sort of Las Vegas type setting and warring crime families seem to be at the heart of the story. 

After we heard about these amazing titles we all got a pick a "Blind Date With A Book" book. Wrapped books that had a description on them that teased what was inside. I instantly recognized the symbols on this one from The Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virtue so I quickly snagged it!

They also had some delicious cookies made for the event. They featured The Upside of Unrequited, The Hate U Give, and Ramona Blue because ......

Julie Murphy, Angie Thomas, and Becky Albertalli were the special guests! We all were so excited to meet them. Julie is hilarious, Angie is so engaging and smart, and Becky is pure sunshine. They all incredible ladies and I was thrilled at the chance to get to hear them speak. I even got to ask a question about having their books turned into movies which lead to Becky revealing a very funny story about one of her days on set. Each of these movies sound like they are going to be incredible and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend this event with these inspiring authors.

Harper also gifted each of us a swag bag filled with random ARCs, and other goodies. The Wonder Woman candle made me squeal with happiness. It smells AMAZING and is my new obsession. I need more of them. It's such a great scent. 

I would like to thank Harper Collins Canada for the invite and all the bloggers who made the afternoon so much fun. A huge thank you to Angie Thomas, Julie Murphy, and Becky Albertalli for being amazing and spending time with all of us bloggers. I cannot wait to attend the next one!

What books from this event piqued your interest? Any that you're dying to read? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera
Release Date - September 5, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 384 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They're going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they're both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There's an app for that. It's called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day. 
I knew what I was getting into when I picked up They Both Die At The End. Not only is Adam Silvera known for writing heart crushing novels, but the title was offering up its own warning in flashing lights. It's a book that prepares you for the heartbreak it is about to cause, but it doesn't prepare you for the lightness it also lets in. Adam Silvera as crafted a rather beautiful book about living that is disguised as a book about dying.

The relationship between life and death is one that has always fascinated people. The sheer fact that we are going to die at some point should make living all the more vital and meaningful. There are those that live to the fullest, and those who allow life to slip by with a bunch of 'I'll do it laters'. This novel is telling people to live in large, bold flashing lights. It is reminding you that our time is finite. It reminds us in the most uplifting way possible to live.

Death-Cast and the other components of this world that Mateo and Rufus inhabit are so unique and well developed. There are so many minor details that flesh out the world that added extra depth to the story. It tackled the commercialization that would happen if Death-Cast were to exist. It acknowledges the darker, seedier elements that would also come to exist. It even takes the time to look at the type of people who would work for Death-Cast and the cold detached way they could come to view death. It made the world very immersive, and one that could easily be expanded on if the author choose to return. It's the sort of setting that stands out, and even provides many discussion points.

Mateo and Rufus are two very different people. They are entirely mismatched, and that is why I think they work so well. They compliment each other. They are exactly what each other needs at this point in time. It starts out as something each of them do on a whim, and turns into a life changing decision for each of them. It allows both of them to step outside their comfort zone and live their last day to the fullest. They are cute together, and my only complaint is that we didn't get more time with them. You'll feel cheated out of seeing them and their relationship progress, but that is exactly what this story wants you to feel.

Part of what makes both Mateo and Rufus such well defined characters are the secondary characters that orbit around them. We get to glimpse both of their lives before the Death-Cast call. They have friends and family that matter to them, and things happening in their life outside of this one day. It enlarges the scope of the story being told, and benefits the characterization. There are also glimpses of other people that come into contact with Mateo and Rufus on their last day. This expansion of the world is brilliantly done, and pieces the story together in a rather brilliant way.

It goes without saying that tissues are a must when reading this one. It's very premise should indicate that tears are a strong possibility. I wasn't prepared, however, for how quickly I would start crying. I was barely into the story before the first threat of tears happened. This, to me, was a testament to how quickly the story pulled me in. I immediately started to connect with the characters, and the way this world was presented. There is a sense of anger that these two boys will not grow up and experience life. The unfairness of this truth is something that is always weighing on you as your reading. This only increases as the two connect on a deeper level and you end up wishing they had more time together.

This book is one that will leave you with a broken heart, but it also instills a desire to live. I think that Adam would be thrilled if this novel inspired people to take risks, go out of their comfort zone, say yes to experiences a little more often, and not put off things they truly want to do. It's certainly inspired me to not put things off until later, and take a few more chances. It is a thought provoking read that also happens to just be a beautiful, if tragic, story and one I predict many will fall in love with.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ... Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

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 Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her dad and little brother.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32 and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way? 
I only recently discovered that this book was a thing that exisited. I was immediately sold on the fact that this is a gender swapped Pride and Prejudice retelling. Yup, you read that right. Darcy is the girl! It is a fun twist on the classic story and one I cannot wait to read it.

It also has the added bonus of sounding like a really cute holiday. It comes out in October so there is barely any wait for for this one at all.

Expected release date - October 17, 2017

Sunday, September 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 a day late, but since I have nothing new in my mailbox it ended up working! There are a few things I am excited about this week and one event in particular that will have a recap on the blog early next week!


Fall TV

It is September and that means all of the TV shows are set to return! I am excited for some of my favorites to come back and already started setting up my PVR to record so many shows. Plenty of my favourites will not be back until October, but they feel a lot closer now that autumn is officially here.

Cineplex's One Nighters @ VIP events

A local movie there is showing some older movies in the VIP (aka adults only) theatre. They are even offering up special cocktails for each of the selected movies. The September selection is Clueless and I am looking forward to attending!


New York City Comic Con Funko Exclusives

Funko is announcing their exclusives for this year's New York City Comic Con and so far there are only two that are must haves for me. They are so amazing however that I just have to share.

I am not a huge video game person. I rarely play it, but did really enjoy Kingdom Hearts when I played it which should surprise nobody with how much I love Disney things.

One of my favourite worlds is the one inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas. I especially love the makeovers that Sora, Goofy and Donald get. I was very excited to see this incredible Nightmare Before Christmas Goofy!

Incredible, right? Halloween Town Goofy would not be complete without Halloween Town Donald. He's equally detailed and adorable. 

These are both just so perfect. I will, obviously, have to add both of these to my collection. I am hoping they are both shared with Hot Topic so I can easily pick them up on the day they release.

HCC Frenzy Presents

Harper Collins Canada has once again invited me to their annual blogger event. I am heading there today and am beyond excited. We're going to get to meet Angie Thomas, Julie Murphy, and Becky Albertalli which is just mind blowing to me. I am so excited to meet all of them and see all the lovely people at Harper Collins again! I am even more excited to see a bunch of my fellow bloggers and get to catch up with some of them again!

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, September 8, 2017

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
Release Date - September 12, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 496 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.


Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse. 
The synopsis for this book grabbed me with its twist on the 'chosen one' trope. Add in some dragons and I was sold. Jodi Meadows has written an imaginative, character driven fantasy novel that ended up surprising me in a lot of ways.

This setting for this story is not based off any real place, or culture. It is entirely made up, and that makes for a rich, engaging world. My favourite fantasy novels are often the ones where the world building is so rich and vivid, and this is found within this novel in spades. The world was, for me, one of the most fascinating elements of the story. The story of how the islands came to be, the gods that each island worship, and the connection to dragons that their mythology has, all serviced the arc of the story. It made it richer and more authentic. You believe that for the characters their mythology is more than just a myth. It is a warning to be heeded, and a thing to be treasured and beloved.

This is more of a character driven novel than a plot driven one which means, as a result, that it tends to move a little slower than some may want their fantasy reads to. Most of it takes place in the Pit, a prison like confine that offers horrific treatment to those within in. It provides the perfect opportunity to see Mira grow and be in her head. I think it sets up the rest of the story really well, and am curious to see how the second book changes in tone and speed after the events that close out this installment of Mira's story.

Mira is a sheltered girl. She just wants to spend time with her friends and her beloved dragons. She is kind and caring. She'll probably remind you a little of Newt Scamander in that she loves animals and nature. She's naive and trusting to a fault when we first meet her. This type of character will either appeal to you or frustrate you. She is not one for decisive action. She can be brave when the situation calls for it, but she's also cautious. It, as mentioned,  makes the story slower as she is not quick to act. I could relate to her, so I was fine with her character. She has a lot of character growth as she learns to use her voice, and comes into her own, but it is a process to get there. She will never be ruthless or overtly vicious, and I love that about her. She may learn more about herself, but she remains true to the person she is.

Mira's character has a bit of the 'chosen one' trope about her. She is influential and privileged due to her title. There is a certain prestige to being both beautiful and the Hopebearer. Jodi Meadows twists that a little by making her feel like a character that is so much more than that trope. The way that Mira's panic attacks are woven into her character was well done. The attacks themselves felt incredibly authentic. She is presented as someone with severe anxiety brought on by events in her past and I felt that the book did a good job of having it be part of who the character is and not all that she is.

Those looking for dragons will find plenty of them as the story progresses. It is mostly though backstory that we see them, and their place in this world that has been created. They are vital to the plot in so many ways, and I predict they will remain so as the story continues.

I know there was some debate about the representation within this novel. I am not the person to discuss that. I do, however, urge people to look for reviews from people of colour if they want to get some feedback on that element of the story. I will say that, for me, it read as a fantasy novel where a girl got to start down her path to being a bad ass, befriend dragons, and just also happens to have black skin.

I am especially intrigued with where Jodi Meadows leaves Mira's story at the end of this first installment. It's a perfect jumping off point for us to go deeper into the mythology. It also provides plenty of theory fodder for fans to discuss and dissect. If you're into fantasy novels that feature girls learning to be bad ass in their own way, and dragons, I highly recommend this one.

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