Sunday, November 30, 2014

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).

Two awesome sounding ebooks made their way onto my Kobo this week. Super excited to read both of these!


All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (goodreads)
Veronica Mars, Mr Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham (goodreads)

What books made their way into your mailbox this week?

Happy weekend, and happy reading!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

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.

BOOKS

The Invasion of The Tearling cover (goodreads)


I loved The Queen of the Tearling. It was an amazing debut and I cannot wait to continue the series. The cover for the sequel was released and I am really happy with it. It's different than the first one, but compliments it enough that I think it works.

TV/MOVIE 

Peter Pan Live

This coming Thursday Peter Pan Live will air on TV. I was hesitant at first but after checking out some of the promotional material, and the Making Of feature I am excited to watch it. It looks like it's going to be well done.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, November 28, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ...... Underneath Everything



My next selection is a little mysterious, and I expect it's kept that way on purpose. This seems like it'll be a dark, twisty read filled with secrets that I cannot wait to uncover.


Just check out this Goodreads synopsis and tell me that you don't immediately want to snatch up this book and reveal all the secrets inside...
When Mattie decides to take back the boyfriend, friends, and life she thinks Jolene stole from her a year ago, she's drawn back into an intoxicating – and toxic – relationship that blurs the boundary between friendship and love. A seductive debut about two girls bound by an obsessive friendship.
A friendship at the heart of a this novel only sweetens the deal. I cannot wait to dive into the complexities of this 'toxic' friendship and see what is underneath.

I got Marcy to reveal a little about the novel, and her writing process in this great Q and A we did together...

1 Describe Underneath Everything in three words.

Dark, seductive, thrilling

2 If someone were to make an ice cream flavour for your book, what might be included?

I love this question, since ice cream is mentioned in a pivotal scene. First of all, it would be full fat ice cream. None of the sugar-free stuff. And the flavor would have to match the texture—a super rich, creamy chocolate. Inside would be a swirl of sticky caramel, and a few surprise chips of crunchy, chocolate bark.

3 Can you share a secret about your book (either it's world, it's characters, or something that helped inspire the story)?

The book is set in Westfield, NJ, the town I was raised in, and recently returned to.

4 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel? 

Where: inside someone else’s body, so I could experience the world from his or her point of view. When: preferably when the person is awake.

5 What three things do you need while revising?

Early grey tea with honey, headphones, the perfect song.

6 If possible, please share the first line of Underneath Everything. (only answer if not too spoilery).

“We’re running through the parking lot toward the smell of burning wood.”

I am curious about ice cream playing a role in a pivotal scene. Interesting. This is one of those novels where we are not going to get a lot of information and I expect it's going to be twisty, dark goodness!

Underneath Everything is released Fall 2015! No pre-order links are available, but be sure to add it to your Goodreads so you remember to check it out when they do!

Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win a copy of Underneath Everything (or any of my featured titles).

You can follow Marcy Beller Paul on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

Do you like dark, seductive, twisty stories? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ........ Joyride



My next selection is a novel that has midnight pranks, romance, and has been called Pretty in Pink meets Bonnie and Clyde. Sign me up. Immediately.


Just check out this Goodreads synopsis and you'll be counting down the days until you can get your hands on this fun, sweet sounding contemporary...
A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh. 
This is a must read for contemporary fans. I have high hopes for an incredibly cute romance. It also has the added bonus of some diverse characters.

I got Anna to discuss one of her own pranks, ice cream and more in this Q and A she was gracious enough to answer.

1 Describe Joyride in Twitter format (140 characters or less)

Bonnie & Clyde meets Latina Pretty in Pink

2 If someone were to make an ice cream flavour to represent your book, what might be included?

Mint Chocolate Chip--Refreshing mint, and little chunks of chocolate sweetness scattered throughout.

3 Can you share a secret about your book (either it's world, it's characters, or something that helped inspire the story)?

When I was a teenager I used to waitress at a restaurant where there were some undocumented Mexican immigrants working there as well. They were, by far, the hardest working employees in the entire place and I always admired their work ethic. As I began to get more acquainted with them, and learn their story of the difficulties of making it across the border and the constant struggle to stay here in order to make a better life for their families...It really touched me. I know people are ready to riot, screaming that the US should deport undocumented immigrants and such, but the truth is, coming from a human standpoint, and not a political standpoint, I feel that if I were in that same position, where I could move to a better place and help my family pull out of the grasp of poverty and suffering, then I would do it too. I always wonder how many teens I went to school with at the time were struggling with this kind of problem, while all I struggled with was how much money I was going to have for prom. I want to open eyes, to help people peer into a world different from their own and to look at the situation as a human and not whatever their political party demands.

4 The synopsis mentions midnight pranks. Which of the pranks included in the story would you be most likely to do?

Honestly, I did ALL the pranks in this book (I could write a how-to guide for pranking, seriously), but the one I will tell you about is driving around town and shooting firecrackers out of the window with my slingshot. Very effective way to produce a bowel movements for pedestrians who may have been previously constipated...

5 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel? 

I would go back to the 1700s because chunky pale chicks like me were in high demand and I would for sure snag a prince or some sort of royalty. :)

6 What three things do you need while revising?

1.) I need to sort out the changes into a checklist to break my edits down into doable chunks.
2.) Wine for the funny parts.
3.) Coffee for the serious parts.

7 If possible, please share the first line of Joyride. (only answer if not too spoilery).

Mr. Shackleford shuffles in the front door of the Breeze Mart, jingling the bells tied to a red velvet string on the handle.
Please don't die on my shift.
Please don't die on my shift.
Please don't die on my shift.

This sounds both funny, and heartfelt and the combination could create a really amazing read. I am really curious about the pranks that these two characters pull off during the novel.

Joyride is released June 2nd but you can pre-order it now


Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win a copy of Joyride (or any of my featured titles).

You can follow Anna Banks on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.


NYT Bestselling YA author of The Syrena Legacy series: OF POSEIDON (2012) OF TRITON (2013) OF NEPTUNE (2014). Repped by rockstar Lucy Carson of the Friedrich Agency. I live with my husband and daughter in the Florida Panhandle. I have a southern accent compared to New Yorkers, and I enjoy food cooked with real fat. I can't walk in high heels, but I'm very good at holding still in them. If you put chocolate in front of me, you must not have wanted it in the first place.

Have you ever pulled a prank? What is your favourite prank in a movie or book? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ...... The Witch Hunter



My next selection is a novel that is filled with witches, betrayals and secrets. A witch hunter accused of being a witch herself is the intriguing premise behind this much buzzed about debut.


Just check out this Goodreads synopsis and you'll see exactly why I added this one to my most anticipated list....
The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. When she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to die at the stake. Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can track down the person who laid a deadly curse on him.

As she's thrust into the world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and all-too-handsome healers, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.
This seems tailor made for those who love history, magic, and a blending of many elements into one awesome sounding story!

I got Virginia to make some tea, share where in history she would travel, and spill a secret or two. A huge thank you to her for answering these questions.

1 Describe The Witch Hunter in Twitter format (140 characters or less)

The only girl in the king's elite group of witch hunters is framed for being a witch, finding freedom with the world's most wanted wizard.

2 If someone were to make a tea flavour in honour of your book, what might be included?

A mix of English Breakfast and Lapsang Souchong for something classic and comfortable, yet different and fun. 

3 Can you share a secret about your book (either it's world, it's characters, or something that helped inspire the story)?

All of the villages, castles, and cities in The Witch Hunter are named after Tube stops on the London Underground.

4 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel? 

London, England during the Tudor period, specifically 1533 to see Anne Boleyn become queen.

5 What three things do you need while revising?

Chapstick, green tea or water, and Pandora radio.

6 If possible, please share the first line of The Witch Hunter. (only answer if not too spoilery).

“I stand at the edge of the crowded square, watching the executioners light the pyres.”

Heck yes to traveling to when Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen. I would have to come along on this journey..

The Witch Hunter is released June 2nd but you can pre-order it now


Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win a copy of The Witch Hunter (or any of my featured titles).

You can follow Virginia Boecker on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

Do you like books about witches? What do you think should be included in a good witch story? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ......... Damage Done



My next selection has been teased as a YA Gone Girl, which immediately made me desperate to read it. This should be unsurprising if you know me. It sounds both twisty and dark which is a perfect combination.


Just check out this Goodreads synopsis and you'll be wanting to read it immediately as well..
22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and a memory of those twenty-two minutes that refuses to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school. And someone much more dangerous. She thought her brother’s crimes were behind her. But now she’s being forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind. How far will Julia go to keep her slate clean?

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . .
Doesn't it make you just want to unravel all the mysteries it hints at?! I got Amanda to spill some secrets about the novel and I think she teases just enough to make you want to devour this novel immediately...

1 Describe Damage Done in three words or less.

YA Gone Girl. That's how my agent pitched it and I think it works!

2 If someone were to make an ice cream flavour for your book, what might be included?

I like ice cream with a lot of stuff in it, so Damage Done ice cream would have to have a lot of stuff in it - caramel swirl, chocolate covered almonds, Heath Bar crunch, brownies. Plus something surprising like chocolate covered potato chips (just not walnuts. Walnuts are the devil).

3 Can you share a secret about your book (either it's world, it's characters, or something that helped inspire the story)?

The inspiration behind the book is a spoiler, so I can't share that! One secret is that the book is set entirely in California... where I've never been. So that took a lot of research.

4 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel? 

I've always been fascinated by ruins, so I'd want to go back and check out my favorite ruins before they were ruins - the Parthenon, Machu Picchu, the Coliseum. Also ancient Jerusalem. 

5 What three things do you need while revising?

1. My laptop - I have no problem writing anywhere from my apartment to hotel rooms to coffee shops, but I have trouble writing on other computers or devices.

2. A clear goal. If I don't set a goal for myself, I don't get anything done. It's easy when drafting - I just set a certain number of words a day for myself - but I find it harder when revising because I could be doing anything from tightening prose to rewriting scenes.

3. Good snacks. Naturally.

6 If possible, please share the first line of Damage Done. (only answer if not too spoilery).

I have one picture left of my brother.


I know need to know the inspiration behind the story since it's a spoiler. I cannot wait to read it to see if I can figure out what she meant.

Damage Done is released July 21st but you can pre-order it now


Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win a copy of Damage Done (or any of my featured titles).

You can follow Amanda Panitch on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

What is your favourite dark and twisty novel? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, November 24, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ........ Finding Paris



My next selection has a road trip, the bonds between sisters, and family secrets. I am pretty sure I am going to LOVE this one and cannot wait to get my hands on it.


Just check out this Goodreads synopsis and you'll immediately add it to your own 'to be read' list in anticipation of it's release.
A page-turning, evocative novel for fans of THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and SPEAK, about a girl who must follow a trail of mysterious clues to discover what happened to her sister.

Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can’t trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who’s moved them all to Las Vegas. It’s just the two of them: Paris, who’s always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind—going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love.

But Leo isn’t going anywhere yet… until Paris ditches her at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris—a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared?

When Leo reluctantly accepts Max’s offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is a not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold tightly.
I need to read this. Immediately. The road trip is between Las Vegas and Los Angeles which is basically the road trip I've always wanted to do. Total wish fulfillment in that department. If there is a strong romance included I am going to be completely in book love.

I got Joy to spill some details about Finding Paris and her Q and A will make you want to devour this book even more...

1 Describe Finding Paris in three words

Sisters. Secrets. Boy. 

2 If someone were to make an ice cream flavour for your book, what might be included?

Interestingly, Leonora (Leo), my MC, works in a frozen yogurt shop in the novel! So she would be the expert on such matters. And since a slice of coconut cream pie sort of brings Leo and Max together, and there are other food moments in the story, in addition to so many moments that can be reflected through flavor choices, I'd say coconut ice cream with raspberry and lemon swirl.

3 Can you share a secret about your book (either it's world, it's characters, or something that helped inspire the story)?

FINDING PARIS  was inspired by many things, but the initial seed actually came on a road trip from Houston to Dallas when we stopped for lunch at this restaurant/gift shop. I went in the bathroom and there was the usual graffiti on the stall--and for whatever reason I began thinking about what would happen if someone disappeared on a trip like this, leaving behind only a scribbled message! That idea stuck in my head and applied itself to some other ideas that had been brewing-- ideas about broken families and sisters and boys and secrets. Although at the time, I simply went back to the table and ate a piece of pie! 

4 Finding Paris features a road trip. What items would you need to have the best road trip ever?

I would need either a cherry red Camaro or any kind of convertible, a fun and funny and irreverent companion, a bag full of junk food and both water and caffeine in or or more of its tasty forms. And both a set of goals of things we'd like to see and the agreement that we will allow the trip to take us somewhere unexpected. Plus I'd need Route 66 for at least part of it. Because every good road trip needs at least some part of the Mother Road. 

5 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel? 

I've been reading the OUTLANDER series, that travels back to 1700s Scotland so I've actually been thinking about this question a lot!  There are actually many, many periods I'd like to visit, but for starters, I'd love to go back to New York City in the Roaring Twenties. I think it would be amazingly exciting and possibly dangerous and I'd love to experience that post WWI energy and craziness. I've been fascinated with it since I read Gatsby in high school, probably even before that. It's one of those decades where anything seemed possible and all the old rules in art and writing and life were thrown to the winds! If not the 20s, then I'd also find the specific year of 1916 very fascinating. I think everything in the world changed enormously from the many events in 1916. Look it up and you'll see what I mean!

6 What three things do you need while revising?

Many cups of coffee with milk, a relatively quiet place to work that's not too hot and not too cold, and at least a full hour at a time to work. Revising, like writing, has a rhythm to it and once I get going, I don't like to stop too soon. You know, I began my serious writing career while teaching full time (about 175 students) and still doing the mom/carpool/football games, etc. thing. So I trained myself to write anywhere at anytime, as long as I had something to write on and at least 15 minutes of time. It's actually amazing how much you can get done in those stolen bits of time. 

7 Did you drive the route the character in Finding Paris takes for research? If so what was your favourite stop along the way?

Well, not all of it. I've driven the Texas leg of the journey and good chunks of the highways between Vegas and there. And I've driven everything Leo and Max see in California. But it was actually my lovely agent, Jen Rofe, who vetted the journey between Vegas and LA! She was driving it anyway on a quick vacation and being the all-purpose agent that she is, she volunteered to take pictures and even a few videos along the way. Plus the wonderful Interwebs helped. A lot of people seem to feel an obligation to document that particular trip. All that said, I'm hoping to drive it myself soon and possibly as part of my promotion of the book! And while I love it all too much to pick one favorite, I'd have to say that the Santa Monica  Pier in LA is definitely a place I love. Beyond that general observation, I won't give anything else away because I want readers to experience the entire crazy journey with Leo and Max when FINDING PARIS arrives in April!

7 If possible, please share the first line of Finding Paris. (only answer if not too spoilery).

"My sister leans over me as I am trying to sleep." 


That ice cream sounds amazing (this entire event is making me want ice cream) and how fun is it that one of the characters works at a frozen yogurt shop?! The road trip aspect of this novel sounds amazing and I love that she did some real research for the particular route her character's journey takes them on.

Finding Paris is released April 21st but you can pre-order it now


Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win a copy of Finding Paris (or any of my featured titles).

You can follow Joy Preble on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

What is your favourite road trip route? Or what would you bring with you on the best road trip ever? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

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).

Two awesome sounding books made their way into my mailbox this week. A huge thank you to Penguin Canada for sending them to me.


Half Wild by Sally Green (goodreads)
The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall (goodreads)

What books made their way into your mailbox this week?

Happy weekend, and happy reading!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

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.

BOOKS

Cover of Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales




I love the title font! It's really cute. The colour scheme is really pretty. It sounds like a fun book, and there is something incredibly romantic about spending an entire night with someone exploring some place together. It reminds me of Before Sunrise which is one of my favourite movies....ever.

TV/MOVIE 

The Fall

Jamie Dornan stunned me with how amazing he is in this TV show. He's charming, creepy, and unsettling all at once. If you haven't seen the first season it's available on Netflix to binge watch the short (5 episodes) season. The second season has only just started and I am already obsessed again.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, November 21, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated ..... Vendetta



My next selection is a novel that is being called Romeo and Juliet but with crime families. It sounds dangerous, sexy and a lot of fun.


Just check out this Goodreads synopsis and you'll be eagerly anticipating this release as well. Oh, and the other good thing? It's the beginning of a series!
Blood Will Spill, Hearts Will Break: With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

For Sophie, it feels like another slow, hot summer in Cedar Hill, waitressing at her family’s diner and hanging out with her best friend Millie. But then someone moves into the long-abandoned mansion up the block--a family of five Italian brothers, each one hotter than the last. Unable to resist caramel-eyed Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling for him -- and willfully ignoring the warning signs. Why are Nic's knuckles cut and bruised? Why does he carry an engraved switchblade? And why does his arrogant and infuriating older brother, Luca, refuse to let her see him? As the boys' dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. Suddenly, she's torn between two warring dynasties: the one she’s related to and the one she's now in love with. She'll have to choose between loyalty and passione. When she does, blood will spill, hearts will break. Because in this twisted underworld, dishonor can be the difference between life and death.
This seems tailor made for those who love intense, romantic reads. The families seem to play a big part in the story which will be interesting as typically parents don't have a big role in young adult novels.

I got Catherine to make some ice cream, spill a few secrets, and share her revision must haves in this Q and A she was gracious enough to answer.

1 Describe Vendetta in Twitter format (140 characters or less).

Vendetta is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story featuring a girl caught between two warring underworld families in Chicago.

2 If someone were to make an ice cream flavour for your book, what might be included?

I think it would have to be an Italian ice-cream flavour, like stracciatella (a mixture of vanilla and chocolate), because Vendetta is about five Italian boys who move into a lazy suburban neighbourhood, and turn things completely upside down! It would have to drizzled with honey too, because that's an important theme in the book... And trust me, honey has never been so sinister!

3 Can you share a secret about your book (either it's world, it's characters, or something that helped inspire the story)? 

Vendetta began as a single image that popped into my head one night when I was falling asleep. As I was closing my eyes, I saw five dark figurs - all boys, who were close in age, and doused in shadow. They were standing almost militarily, side by side. Behind them was a crumbling white mansion with its own story to tell. I realised I was looking at them through the eyes of someone else - a girl, who had no idea they where they came from or what they wanted! 

I couldn't sleep after that. I sprung out of bed and started writing furiously, and Vendetta is the result!

4 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel? 

I would love to travel to Renaissance Italy so I could witness first-hand all of the incredible creativity during that time period... I could do some casual fangirling over Michelangelo and Da Vinci, and maybe have a chat with Machiavelli... I think it would be pretty cool.

I absolutely love period dramas so I'd also like to travel to 18th century England, but only if I could be a part of the aristocracy and wear the beautiful dresses!

5 What three things do you need while revising?

Coffee (x 10000000), a really good music playlist, and an extremely comfortable pair of sweatpants.

6 If possible, please share the first line of Vendetta (only answer if not too spoilery).

Vendetta opens with the following quote:

‘Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.’

- Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

And here's the first line of the first chapter:

"I didn't see it at first, sitting between the cash register and a stack of order pads." 

I am curious about the role honey plays in the novel (especially because it's described as sinister). It makes me think this novel may just end up being brutal (which I am VERY excited about).

Vendetta is released February 24th but you can pre-order it now


Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win a copy of Vendetta (or any of my featured titles).

You can follow Catherine Doyle on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

Do you like stories inspired by classic tales? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated - Tear You Apart



Kicking off this year's event is a fairytale retelling that is a companion to one of my favourite reads. Kill Me Softly surprised me, and I immediately wanted Viv's story after I had finished. Luckily, Sarah Cross has written that story and we'll all get to experience her take on the Snow White tale in January.


If you haven't already checked out the first novel, Kill Me Softly, consider it your task for the month of December.

Just check out this Goodreads synopsis and you'll be eager to get caught up in time for the release of Tear You Apart
An edgy fairy tale retelling of "Snow White" set in the world of Kill Me Softly for fans of Once Upon a Time and Grimm.

Viv knows there's no escaping her fairy tale curse. One day her beautiful stepmother will feed her a poisoned apple or shove a poisoned comb into her scalp or hire her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Henley, to hunt her down and rip out her heart before she breaks his. In the city of Beau Rivage, no matter how much you fight it, your marchen mark is your destiny.

Yet, when Viv receives an invitation to the swank underground club where the Twelve Princesses escape to dance each night, she thinks she might have found a loophole to her date with death. There she meets Jasper, the thirteenth prince. Her prince. The prince that is destined to save her when her curse comes to call.

But constant nights of partying get old fast. The royal family is ruled with an iron fist by their patriarch, who gloats over the fact that no one can challenge him without his name. And Viv doesn't love Jasper (in fact, she kind of loathes him) and she doesn't want to be an underworld queen--it's a living death.

So when Henley finds his entry into the underworld as a champion set to solve the secret of the Twelve Dancing Princesses in order to save her, Viv takes the rules of fairy tales into her own hands. No matter her curse, no matter her fate, she can't lose the only boy who's ever had her heart.

Sarah Cross rewrites the fate of Snow White in her smart, edgy follow-up to her acclaimed Kill Me Softly.
If you love fairytales this should immediately be bumped up your wishlist as these novels blend together multiple fairytales effortlessly and I am dying to see what twist she's put on the Snow White tale.

I got Sarah to design an ice flavour for her book, spill some secrets and share the shiver inducing first line from Tear You Apart in this amazing Q and A.

1 Describe Tear You Apart in three words.

Dark, twisted, magical

2 If someone were to make an ice cream flavour for your book, what might be included?

Tear You Apart's signature ice cream would have to be apple flavored. Maybe apple-cinnamon ice cream with a red "poison" candy-apple swirl and dagger-shaped cookie pieces. It could be called "Blood Red Delicious."

3 Can you share a secret about your book (either it's world, it's characters, or something that helped inspire the story)?

Some of the scenes in Tear You Apart are set in an underworld nightclub where the Twelve Dancing Princesses go to dance, so of course I had music on the brain while I was writing the book. One album that really clicked for me and seemed to fit the mood of the story was Marina and the Diamonds' Electra Heart. Other songs on my TYA playlist: Ke$ha's "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes," Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Heads Will Roll," and Fiona Apple's "Criminal."

4 This (and the novel that comes before it) are a mash up of fairytales. Which fairytale is your particular favourite?

My favorite fairy tale is Hans Christian Andersen's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier." I also love Madame d'Aulnoy's fairy tales and Marie-Jeanne L'Héritier's "The Subtle Princess." My favorite fairy tale that I've retold is . . . a spoiler. But if you've read Kill Me Softly, you can probably guess based on that.

5 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel? 

Do I get bonus language skills with this trip back in time? If so, I'd visit Japan during the late Tokugawa period (1820s-30s would be my pick), and I'd probably go to Edo (Tokyo) and cross my fingers that I didn't arrive on a day the city was burning down.

6 What three things do you need while revising?

Patience, perspective, & good advice.

7 If possible, please share the first line of Tear You Apart. (only answer if not too spoilery).

The very first line of Tear You Apart is: I want you to bring me her heart. Her heart--that's what you want, too. .

That first line is AMAZING, and I would love to try "Blood Red Delicious" ice cream. I want to thank Sarah for answering these questions for me.

Tear You Apart is released Januaray 27th but you can pre-order it now (and pick up Kill Me Softly in stores immediately)


As an added bonus, Sarah Cross is releasing a short story novella that is set in the same world, and mixes together some interesting fairytales of it's own will be released in December.


You can pre-order this one as well for many electronic reading devices, and I looking forward to returning to this stunning world as soon as it's released. You can add it to your Goodreads account in the meantime.


Be sure to check back later on during the event for a chance to win one of my featured titles!

You can follow Sarah Cross on Twitter, visit her official website, and learn more about the book from the publisher website.

Do you like fairytale retellings? Have you read Kill Me Softly? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare (and others)




The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date - November 11, 2014
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 528 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A Collection of Ten Short Stories centred around Magnus Bane. Each short story is going to be published as an ebook followed by a Full Single Print Coming 2014

Ever wondered about the enigmatic, mysterious warlock Magnus Bane? The only character to appear in every Shadowhunter book, Magnus has a past even more shrouded in mystery than his present. I’ve teamed up with acclaimed YA writers Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan to create the Bane Chronicles, the back (and front) story of Magnus told in ten linked tales.

Look for short stories like Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale; The Rise and Fall of the Hotel Dumort; Saving Raphael Santiago and What To Buy The Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway). Each story will be available as an ebook on a monthly basis starting April 16 with the tale of What Happened In Peru. 

Each story will be released monthly online for the next ten months — and then for those who don’t read e-books, the full print collection will be available in bookstores and wherever else books are sold after the Chronicles have been finished
Magnus Bane is one of my favourite characters. Not just in this series, but EVER. His relationship with Alec is my official ship of the Shadowhunter series, and I was immediately thrilled when I heard this novel was going to be a thing. I was not prepared for the roller coaster ride that comes within these pages. I was left a puddle of Herondale angst and Magnus feelings by the end.

Rather than a full review I am going to discuss some of the short stories I especially loved and what made me love them. All you really need to know is that the essence and tone that is so integral to Cassandra's books are here. The characterization, humour, emotion and the little inside jokes are woven into each short story.

#3: Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale

This novella proves that all Herondale men are attractive, broken and/or cursed. Edmund's story is one of sadness and left me angry. It left a lasting impression (particularly towards the end) and makes you think of the Clockwork series a little differently.

#4: The Midnight Heir

Once again proving those Herondale boys like their angst and heartbreak. This is, hands down, my favourite out of all the short stories. This one left me speechless. This made me BEYOND excited for The Last Hours and getting to see everyone from the Clockwork series was entirely bittersweet. This one left me curled up in tears for many reasons, and I already adore James Herondale and want to punch people for hurting him.

#6: Saving Raphael Santiago

I was not prepared to not hate Raphael Santiago. This story is one of determination, kindness and an unlikely bond (I wouldn't call it a friendship). There is plenty of little surprises, and this adds layers to Raphael that I did not expect. 

#9: The Last Stand of the New York Institute

Any big fan of this series will devour this and immediately want the rest of this story. Getting to see the rise and fall (the short version) of Valentine and the Circle was breathtaking. Magnus' role was not unexpected, and it all ends with another wink to the Mortal Instruments series itself.

#10: The Course of True Love (and First Dates)

Alec and Magnus' first date is EXACTLY what you would expect. It's funny, and awkward and perfect for them. It's the emotion that sucker punches you towards the end that made me get teary and hug the book. At the end of all these short stories we see what Magnus has had to endure, and the hope that still is within him is beautiful. We see how his long life made him into what he is, and that he's never given up. He's always retained that sliver of optimism and that is what this collection shows you. Magnus has had unspeakable tragedy and sorrow during his many years. He's lost countless loved ones, seen generations of the same family line come and go, and yet always makes new connections. He hasn't shut himself away from that. He endures. The wistful moments when he's seeing someone (like when he meets James Herondale) for the first time, and the feelings he had for people connected to them creep up on him are some of the most beautiful moments in the book. Magnus has a lot to be wistful about, and we feel every single ache (even if it's dulled to a bittersweet fondness).

This collection made me fall in love with this world, this character, and everything all over again. The subtle way that your feelings would overtake you as you're reading these stories prove how deep this series becomes a part of you. This is one for the fans, a love letter if will, that teases what's to come, and shows you just how Magnus became the fabulous warlock we all love.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

2015 Most Anticipated Event Annoucement



It's quickly coming to the end of 2014 and with that my thoughts start turning to the amazing books we'll get to read in 2015.

Starting November 20th and every week day up until December 18th the blog will feature a 2015 title I am desperately anticipating for 2015 (or a guest post about what others are excited about). There are plenty of amazing titles that I hope will tempt you to add them to your 'to be read' pile in the upcoming year!

I am, however, going to share a few teasers about the books I've included this year...

- one of my selections features a boy who wouldn't grow up
- one of them is pitched as Romeo and Juliet but with crime families
- one is a modern take on a real life historical romance
- there is more than one retelling of classic tales (fairytale and otherwise) which should surprise NOBODY
- my *dying to read it now obsession* is OBVIOUSLY included

Be sure to stop by to see what titles made my list, AND to enter the giveaway. I'll be giving the chance to win a pre-order of ONE of the titles featured!

Any titles you're dying to read in 2015? Let me know in the comments.


The Stag Lord - Blog Tour Post



Today I get to tell you about a book that is being released by Spence City! The Stag Lord by Darby Kaye is the start of a new series and will release on December 2nd. This is an adult novel that would be a hit with fans of urban fantasy novels.

Here is a little about the novel....
On the run across America from a vengeful shape-shifter, Bannerman "Bann" Boru has only one thing on his mind: keeping himself and his young son, Cor, alive.

At any cost.

Until he meets Shay Doyle, healer and member of a secret group of immortal Celtic warriors, the Tuatha de Danaan, living in modern-day Colorado. When Cor is injured, Bannerman is forced to accept her help. He quickly realizes that the golden-haired healer is shield-maiden tough and can hold her own onthe field of battle with the big boys. And Shay soon discovers that there is more to Bann than meets the eye.

Now, with the shape-shifter Cernunnos teaming up with the local pack of Fir Bolgs (Bronze Age creatures with a nasty taste for children), Bannerman, Shay, her wolf-dog Max, and the rest of the Doyle clan must figure out how to battle one insane god.
You can follow Darby on Twitter, visit her website, and find out more at the publisher website.

You can pre-order the book at the following links - Amazon // Barnes and Noble // 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L Armentrout



Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L Armentrout
Release Date - October 21, 2014
Publisher Website - Harlequin Teen
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 446 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay… 
A tension filled love triangle. A girl caught between two worlds. White Hot Kiss left me eager to continue Layla's journey as she tries to find her place in the dangerous world of wardens and demons. While I didn't love Stone Cold Touch as much as the first novel in the series, I did appreciate what it did to move the story forward.

This feels like a necessary, if drawn out, step to the finale. Things are put into place in this novel that need to have happened to set up whatever is to come in the next installment. The three book format also allows each side of the 'triangle' ample time to have both guys win over your affections.

Jennifer L Armentrout's writing is insanely readable. It allows for you to fly through the pages quickly as she keeps things progressing. You want to keep turning those pages, and finding out what comes next. She's great at setting things up and keeping you invested until the conclusion. I would not consider the writing the strongest element of the story, but it's and addictive read because you cannot stop reading. She's also added plenty of humour into the story which balances the action sequences rather well, and adds a little something to the story that makes the characters shine a little bit brighter. Bambi, in particular, provides plenty of comedic moments through Layla's reactions to her.

The strongest element, and what Jennifer does really well, is characters, and story. She weaves together the story in such a way that it is compelling. She makes you care about her characters. Layla, especially, is so endearing. You want what's best for her. She's the type of character you would be friends with. She's sweet, and you immediately understand why people want to protect her. She really begins to stand up for herself, and starts to truly see what she has to offer. It's a pleasant development from the first novel, and shows she is growing to accept herself, and who she is.

The secondary characters are a rather fun, engaging group. Layla's friends, Danika, and others all have surprising, and important parts to play in this part of Layla's story. Those who did not like Danika may be surprised to see a different side of her and it's a welcome addition to the complicated relationships in the novel.

If the first book was Roth's time to win you over, Stone Cold Touch is definitely all about Zayne. He steps up the sexy in a big way, and proves himself a contender for Layla's affections. At the end of this, I am firmly in the Team Zayne camp because he's just so inherently good.  He's good for Layla, and helps her see the best in herself. Roth sees the other side to her, and accepts it so he's an appealing choice, but ultimately her history with Zayne pushed me over the edge. You buy into their connection, and the fact that she's crushed on him from a distance, and the dizzying realization that perhaps he likes her too is the stuff of friendship crush daydreams.

This triangle is one where it genuinely feels like the girl has feelings for both guys involved. I do find it interesting that the author is not choosing the end result but rather a fan vote is going to decide. I fully admit that this made me less invested in the romance. I couldn't get engaged because I felt like it meant nothing. The vote will be decided based purely on popularity (and I am pretty confident I know who will win) rather than the events that happen between the characters. This novel allows for either outcome of the vote, but it made it an unnecessary part of the story, because it won't be decided by the plot. In a novel that is so focused on the romance, it kept me at a distance. I do think it's nice for the fans to have a say but I am unsure if this is going to work and provide a thoughtful ending to the triangle.

Plenty of twists, turns and surprises await Layla and her friends. The end sets up the rest of the story, and leaves you with a bunch of questions that will make it nearly impossible to not pick up the final installment. Things are only heating up leading into the finale, and the events in this novel certainly change everything for Layla and the people she loves.

A fun, romance filled read that emphasizes the love triangle. Those who loved White Hot Kiss will undoubtedly enjoy this continuation of Layla, Zayne and Roth's story. It's a solid addition to the series, and one that will certainly please Jennifer L Armentrout's fans.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

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 ebooks made their way onto my Kobo this week! 


Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven (goodreads)
Captive by Aimee Carter (goodreads)

A huge thank you to St Martin's Griffin and Harlequin Teen for these review copies. Cannot wait to read them!

What books made their way into your mailbox this week?

Happy weekend, and happy reading!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

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.

A really quiet week this week. There haven't been any cover reveals that have grabbed me, but there is some other fun things I've been fangirling about.

BOOKS

How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather

The Publisher's Weekly blurb announcing this deal made me immediately want to read it.
When heroine Samantha Mather moves to modern-day Salem, Mass., she finds that the crimes of her descendants—who were involved in hanging witches in the town 300 years ago—come back to haunt her. 
The author is a descendant of someone involved in the Salem Witch Trials and I like the sound of the spin on this.

TV/MOVIE 

Just One Day/Just One Year is becoming Just One Movie

My love of Gayle Forman is pretty well known. I fangirl, a lot. I was THRILLED to learn that Allison and Willem's story is coming to the big screen (via Hollywood Reporter). I need casting news, immediately. I love these books and need for this to be a good adaptation.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Blogger Caravan Relay - Exquisite Captive Relay



I am honoured to be one of the stops on the Blogger Caravan relay and cannot wait to give away a copy of Exquisite Captive to one lucky winner.

Before I get to that however, I am thrilled to announce the winner from yesterday's giveaway over at That Artsy Reader Girl....

Congratulations to - BECCA FOWLER!

Jana will be contacting you soon to get your details! Congratulations again and I hope you enjoy the book.

Next up here is a little about how the relay works in a handy video format.


Pretty easy, right? And if you don't win this giveaway, you know there are still plenty of chances still to come. The next stop on the relay (and where the winner of THIS giveaway will be announced on Monday) is over at The Nerd Herd Reads.

If you don't know anything about the book, here is the Goodreads description...
Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.
Here is the book trailer if you want even more to get excited about


Be sure to stop by the official blog for the series, and Heather's post about the relay (including the full schedule).

Lastly, here is the Rafflecopter to enter to win a copy! Please be aware that the giveaway is USA ONLY. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater


Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date - October 21, 2014
Publisher Website - Scholastic 
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 391 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel. 
Blue Lily, Lily Blue continues the deliciously written story of Blue Sargent, and the group of guys known as The Raven Boys. This is a story is filled with wishes, dreams, and excruciating not quite kisses. Things heat up as their search for Glendower is quickly approaching it's end.

It's no secret that Maggie Stiefvater's writing is stunning. It's been praised by many and with good reason. What I appreciate about her writing the most is how she captures her characters. Each of these characters is messed up and struggling with their own thing. They could have been characters that were solely their problems. Instead she's created these rich, complex characters and connections that make you ache and feel.

The characters that breath life into this series are what captivated me most. You'll have plenty of feelings about them, ship different couples, and this may be the only book in which you pray for a kiss not to happen. The relationships they forge between each other is the glue of the story, and the catalyst for everything that happens in the story. It's what drives the reader, and keeps you interested.

The romances, or potential ones, are excruciating and teasing. Blue and Gansey's continued tightrope walk between fighting and giving into their feelings is fraught with tension. Their best scenes happen in cars, and this installment is no exception. Those who already want them together will be obsessed at the end of this installment. Other highlights in the (potential/in my head) romance department is Ronan telling someone that 'maybe I dreamt you'. Those who swooned when Ronan revealed Adam was one of his secrets will secretly (or not so secretly) flail. Their friendship is expanded and deepened in this novel, and the connection they have is intriguing.

As torturous and enticing as the romance aspect is, it's the friendships that make this series as heart wrenching as it is. Blue's assessment that "they were all in love with one another" is accurate. Each of them cares about the other, and each of them would do anything for the others. It's a defining, obsessive friendship. The kind that changes you, and that is the heart of the story.

Gansey's foretold death is a looming, all encompassing thing that haunts the pages of the novel. Blue is haunted by it, as is the reader. This novel continuously makes you heartbreakingly aware that his death is coming. It feels inevitable, and like fate. You'll end this novel hoping that they find a way to defy fate because any other outcome is unfathomable at this point.

A complex, mystical tale that lets it's characters come to life. If you haven't started this series, I recommend catching up before the explosive finale. Glendower looms ever closer, and I can't wait to see what awaits Blue and her Raven Boys.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday ......... 99 Days


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 99 Days by Katie Cotungo


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.
So this has been described as having things in common with Dirty Dancing and I was immediately sold. This sounds super cute, and fun. Its a perfect spring read that I am pretty sure will be filled with adorable (and awkward) moments. Sadly, it's a bit of a wait for this one, but I expect it'll be worth it.

Oh, and the Polaroids. I have a soft spot for  Polaroid photos! I love that they are becoming a thing again (thanks, Taylor).

Expected release date - April 21, 2015

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Mara....



The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Release Date - November 4, 2014
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 470 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**


**SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE SERIES**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.
Retribution has arrived.
Dear Michelle (and Mara)...

I sat down to write this review many times, and everything I wrote felt wrong. Unworthy of your brilliant story. I realized immediately what I wanted, and that was my own way to say goodbye. Instead of a review, I am writing this letter instead.

Retribution has arrived, and with it a bittersweet ending to the story that began with an unbecoming. You put Mara through hell and back, and sent her back again during this series. I love that she always crawls out fighting though, no matter what crushing thing happened to her. It's inspiring. Speaking of inspiring, this series, especially after this installment, is incredibly inspiring. You talked a lot about owning yourself, and accepting yourself in various ways during these three novels. This message is kicked up a million notches in this final chapter in Mara's story as she embraces the bad girl within her.

This amazing internal speech she gives left me breathless...

'I'd wasted so much time wishing I could be different, wishing I could change things, change myself. If given the chance, I would've shed myself and become a different girl. Slipped on a name like Clara or Mary, docile and gentle and smiling and kind. I thought it would be easier to be someone else than to be who I was becoming...'

I wanted to highlight this passage, put stars around it, and underline it for good measure. Girls are often told to be docile and gentle. Don't be too opinionated. Don't cause a scene. Here you (and Mara) are saying CAUSE A SCENE AND ENJOY IT IF YOU WANT TO. Don't hide who you are, and don't change who you are. You're responsible for your own happiness and part of that is being happy with yourself. A million trillion thank yous for such a positive, electrifying message.

Noah. Noah. Noah. There is so much to say about him, but as I do not want to give spoilers, I'll simply say that you've raised the stakes in terms of book boyfriends. He is one of the most stunning, swoon worthy, and interesting love interests I've read, and I am pretty sure the entire YA fanbase thanks you for creating him. Now if only we could make him real and clone him. Many were, understandably, upset with the events at the end of Evolution, but I knew that whatever Noah's fate that it would make sense for the story (and it does).

I expected to be an emotional mess about one of my favourite series ending. I really did. Even knowing that I was unprepared for the amount of emotion this novel made me feel. You had me laughing at Jamie's brilliant one liners, gripping the novel in apprehension, and flat out bawling during one scene (you know which one, Michelle. You know exactly what brutally cruel scene I am referring to, and it was brilliant). As each layer of Mara's story is revealed, and we find out the whys to things that have been building since the beginning, the biggest feeling was a sense of awe. You had tied everything together perfectly and packed in a few surprises even with the clues you peppered in along the way.

Lastly I just want to say thank you. Thank you, Michelle, for writing this series. Thank you for dedicating this particular chapter to the bad girls (and the boys who love them). Thank you for the inspiring message of owing yourself, being happy with yourself (especially if that self is different), and mostly for the most perfect ending to Mara's story. It could not have ended any other way. As bittersweet and tragic as the story is, I think her story needed to end the way it does. I like to imagine what comes next in her story, and I know that even if it's horrible, she's been left where she should be. She's on the path that she should walk.

I cannot wait to read whatever comes next, and meet the new characters that will steal my heart, and captivate me.

Sincerely,

Kathy

p.s. A last thank you for this delicious piece of writing that sent shivers up my spine and left me with goosebumps...

'{Retracted for spoilers} kisses me and it is sugar on my tongue, and champagne in my blood'



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