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!

Friday, August 11, 2017

My Top Ten TV Ships



I have been super into podcasts recently, and had my friend Kelly (from Kellyvision) tell me about this podcast that talks about television and the couple we ship on our favourite shows. It's called The Shipping Room Podcast and if you are a fan of CW shows, shipping, and lots more I recommend you give it a try.


Listening to the podcast gave me the idea to list my own top ten ships from television. I have been teased that I am the Patron Saint Of Doomed Ships and this list makes the moniker seem pretty accurate.

*POTENTIAL SPOILERS*

1. Buffy and Angel from Buffy The Vampire Slayer 

One of my first ships, and one of the firsts that showed me just how brutal shipping can be. There are so many memorable moments between them but the "You still my girl?" "Always" exchange remains one of my favourites.


I loved every bitter sweet moment between these two and love that they were willing to sacrifice for each other at various times in their relationship. The entirety of season two was basically like cat nip to teen me, and I doubt those nostalgic feelings for this couple will ever go away.

2. Emma and Neal from Once Upon A Time

Their story was epic. Two people magically whisked away from their home at a young age end up finding their way to each other. It was basically fate. He was totally supposed to be her true love.


Neal made mistakes that he was atoning for but he never stopped loving Emma, and she never stopped loving him. It could have been a very sweet second chance romance. There was so much that Neal taught Emma, but the most important he instilled in her was her idea of home. He also gave her the greatest love of her life - their son Henry. This ship was filled with potential and cuteness. It still breaks my heart how this one ended. 

3. Coach and Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights

A couple that was always a couple during the entirety of the show. They basically are the definition of #marriagegoals. My favourite part of their relationship was how realistic it felt. They had issues, but their love for one another made them work at their marriage and not take each other for granted.


This gif pretty much sums up their relationship. There was a lot of respect between the two of them, and it showed in everything they did. 

4. Emma and Dylan from Bates Motel

Emma and Dylan were a light in the darkness that was Bates Motel. Their relationship took me by surprise, but ended up being one of my favourite elements of the show.


Dylan calling Emma a 'frickin' warrior' is one of my favourite moments and one of the most romantic. It showed how much he supported her, and that he saw how strong she was. Emma brought out the best in Dylan simply because he wanted to be someone worthy of her.

5. Liv and Lowell

A ship that, sadly, ended before it really began. Lowell easily won Liv (and myself) over with his charm, British accent and good looks. He also happened to be kind, and was the first guy her zombie self felt comfortable around romantically. He made her see that love after being zombified was possible. 


While it is rather obvious who her end game romance will be, I definitely wished for Lowell to stick around a little longer than he did. It was cute while it lasted. 

Bonus Izombie Ship - Ravi and Peyton

iZombie is filled with amazing ship potential, so I had to include a bonus one from this show. 

I love the potential this ship has, and while they've already had their ups and downs, I predict it'll sail again soon. 


6. Lucifer and Chloe from Lucifer

My favourite part of this ship is the banter between the two of them. They get each other, and keep each other on the toes. While the creators/writers may be playing the 'will they/won't they' trope with these two, I am hoping they continue to get closer as the show continues.


I love that each of them brings out something in the other. They make each other the best versions of themselves. Lucifer brings out a more fun side in Chloe, while Chloe inspires Lucifer to strive to be better. I love that this ship went from Chloe not really liking Lucifer, to this friendship that formed, to deeper feelings between them. 

7. Daryl and Beth from Walking Dead

Beth may have been young, but she understood and got Daryl in a way that I really appreciated. This is another ship that sort of took me by surprise because I never would have put them together until the characters ended up spending time separated from the rest of the group.


Some confessions, and moonshine later and I was fully on board with them getting together. Sadly, as is the nature of this show, we never got to see what this ship could really be and I am still not over it. #You'llMissMeWhenI'mGone

Bonus Walking Dead ship - Glenn and Maggie

One of the most stable couples on The Walking Dead, and one of the cutest. They are so sweet and awkward together when they first meet, and quickly become a pair that is based on mutual respect and love. They loved each other fiercely in a world where it didn't seem possible. 


I loved getting to see this relationship grow and blossom. They were a beacon of light and hope in this show that is usually all too brutal (and even they didn't get a happy ending).

8. Ethan and Vanessa from Penny Dreadful

This ship screamed heartbreak right from the start, so I (naturally) decided it would be wise to fall completely in love with them. The tragic and haunted Vanessa and the equally broken Ethan were a natural fit. They got each other. Add in a bit of fate and destiny to their relationship and I was sold.


The tragic ending of this one still angers me (for many reasons) but it was darkly beautiful and haunting while it (and the show) lasted. 

9. Connor and Oliver from How To Get Away With Murder

This relationship is amazing when it works. Sadly, things (like murder and secrets) keep getting in the way of them being happy together.


I love what Oliver brings out in Connor. His character has grown so much and it is largely due to this relationship. Sadly, the changes to Oliver since Connor has come into his life have not all been positive ones. He is turning into someone that he may not even like and it could ruin this couple's chance at happiness. I did mention I liked the doomed ones.

10. Jamie and Claire from Outlander

Jamie and Claire certainly have a lot of things working against them - mainly that Claire is from a completely different time than he is. Their relationship however is filled with lots of sexiness, trust, and genuine love.


I love how much they've supported each other through everything that has happened to them. This couple's greatest obstacle is outside forces and that makes them all the more heartbreaking.

Baby Ships

I wanted to mention these two ships between younger characters on shows that I am enjoying. These are not full fledged ships yet but there is something adorable about the innocence they share.

Bruce and Selina from Gotham

Selina was certainly obsessed with kissing the young Master Wayne in season one. She often taunted and teased him about wanting to kiss her to my great amusement. She finally kisses a surprised Bruce and their adorable relationship has been up and down ever since.


We all know who Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle become so I doubt there is a happily ever after in their future but there is something about first love, and the innocence of their kiss that I cannot help but root for anyway. 

Eleven and Mike from Stranger Things

First love and crushes are perfect television show fodder.  Most people can relate to having a crush for the first time. Mike and Eleven's very tentative and sweet relationship was only beginning to build before the events of the final episode happened. They were supposed to go to the Snow Ball!


My favourite moment is perhaps when Mike sees her after they give her a 'make over' so she can go to school with them and is obviously a little in awe of how pretty she looks. It's adorable, and so perfect for their ages.

I could list so many other ships, but these are the ten (or more) that have stayed with me. I have added a lot of shows to my watch list thanks to this podcast such as Shameless (for Ian and Mickey) and Parks and Rec (for Ben and Leslie). Are there other shows I should be watching? What ships make your top ten list? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ... Fallen Heir


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 Fallen Heir by Erin Watt


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
These Royals will ruin you.

Easton Royal has it all: looks, money, intelligence. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. He never thinks about the consequences because he doesn’t have to.

Until Hartley Wright appears, shaking up his easy life. She’s the one girl who’s said no, despite being attracted to him. Easton can’t figure her out and that makes her all the more irresistible.

Hartley doesn’t want him. She says he needs to grow up.

She might be right.

Rivals. Rules. Regrets. For the first time in Easton’s life, wearing a Royal crown isn’t enough. He’s about to learn that the higher you start, the harder you fall. 
It is no secret that I love The Royals series by Erin Watt. I devoured the first three books in this series and cannot wait to continue with Easton's story! These books are wickedly fun and filled with things that would make even the Gossip Girl characters blush.

The first part of Easton's story comes out in just a couple weeks, so there is barely any wait at all for this one! 

Expected release date - August 28, 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor



Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor
Release Date -  August 1, 2017
Publisher Website - Raincoast
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  448 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**


** SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST BOOK IN THE SERIES **

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
For the first time in her life, Hope Walton has friends . . . and a (maybe) boyfriend. She's a Viator, a member of a long line of time-traveling ancestors. When the Viators learn of a plan to steal a dangerous device from the inventor Nikola Tesla, only a race into the past can save the natural timeline from utter destruction. Navigating the glitterati of The Gilded Age in 1895 New York City, Hope and her crew will discover that high society can be as deadly as it is beautiful.

In this sequel to the dazzling time-travel romance Into the Dim, sacrifice takes on a whole new meaning as Hope and Bran struggle to determine where-or when-they truly belong.
I have thought about time travel, and what time period I might like to visit. I have this romanticized version of what it would be like. After reading both Into The Dim, and Sparks Of Light, I would think twice before going if presented with the opportunity. Janet B Taylor offers up a memorable series that weaves in historical events with the fiction elements of this novel perfectly. It's one of those books that is entertaining to read, and has weight behind the story that surprised me.

The historical events that inspired this story are used as a great backdrop to the story. The fire that destroyed Tesla's laboratory is used a ticking clock and offers a setting that is inherently risk filled. It made the novel have a sense of urgency which really works for this time travel based plot. It ensures that the reader is invested in the story, and allows for danger to be inherent within the premise. It is part of what this series does so well, and makes them so readable.

This novel showcases Hope embracing being a Viator. She's eager to take her place and prove herself. I also appreciated that she was instantly good at everything. Those around her have many years more training and experience and it shows. Hope is allowed to not be perfect and make mistakes. She is allowed to be the 'chosen one' and still be the heroine of her own story. It was refreshing to see her have to work hard, and it not payoff right away. It felt more realistic which grounded the more fantastical elements of this novel.

The danger of time travel, and the impact it can have is a vital part of the story being told within this series. It's always clear to the reader the risk being taken, and the potential for disastrous (and fatal) consequences. The slightest misstep could alter the course of history. It shows how both physically and mentally taxing it would be to time travel. It addresses how hard it would be to stand by and not prevent something horrible from happening when you know you could prevent it. It's a burden that these characters feel along with the shock of being in a time period where customs, rights, and freedoms are so different from what they would be used to.

The romance between Bran and Hope is quickly becoming one of my favourite parts of this series. It is made all the more swoon worthy by their backstory and shared connection. It's 'Romeo and Juliet' star crossed aspect also ensures plenty of angst between them, and make all their stolen moments more delicious.

The family dynamic is, more than anything else, the core of the novel. Hope did not just gain insight into who she is when her mother's secret was revealed, she gained a family who loves her (and each other) fiercely. It adds a warmth to the story that is a nice balance to all the action that is happening. It also makes the stakes feel higher, because you come to care about all the characters, and believe that they genuinely care for each other. Spunky Phoebe is my favourite, and her bond with Hope is a joy to see progress. Two young ladies supporting and uplifting each other is something I am always excited to read about.

If you're looking for something to read while waiting for the next season of Outlander to begin, I would recommend checking this series out. It's a fun, romantic read that has just the right amount of danger and excitement thrown in. It's quickly becoming one of my favourite time travel based reads and I look forward to continuing Hope and Bran's story. 

Sunday, August 6, 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)

A few VERY exciting things made their way into my mailbox this week.

First up, I did some #otspsecretsister shopping recently, and ended up getting myself a few little things.


I love the "L" button so much! I couldn't resist the Yuri On Ice one, and was thrilled to find the Bucky/Steve button. I had been looking for one like that for a long time now.

I received two books for review from Simon and Schuster. A huge thank you to them for sending one of my most anticipated reads of 2017 to me!


The Becoming Of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin (goodreads)
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren (goodreads)

I definitely fangirled when I opened this packaged. I cannot even express how excited I am to have The Becoming Of Noah Shaw in my hands. I am a huge fan of the Mara Dyer series and cannot wait to continue this story.

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weekly Obsessions


The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday

BOOK 

Cover Of Fallen Heir by Erin Watt (goodreads)

Pretty much from the second Erin Watt announced a series about Reid, I have been desperate for any details about the novel.

The cover was recently revealed, along with the synopsis and both have made me even more excited to get my hands on it when it is released in August.



This cover is going to look perfect next to the others on my bookshelf. 

TV/MOVIE

Mr Robot Season 3 Teaser Trailer

I cannot wait for Mr Robot to come back! I was very sad when it got pushed from summer to the fall because I wanted answers from the ending of the last season.

They have just released a teaser trailer for the upcoming season and it's only made me more excited.



It seems that both Angela and Tyrell are wearing the "Mr Robot" mask in the trailer. It also boasts the most Tyrell I have ever seen in a Mr Robot teaser. It bodes well for his screen time this season. Tyrell, for me, is one of the most interesting characters on the show and I want to know more about him. I am probably the only person wishing away the remains of summer, but I cannot wait to have my fall television back. 

Call Me By Your Name trailer

It is the time of year when all the Oscar bait movies release their trailers and the first one that caught my attention was Call Me By Your Name. 


It would appear that this one has taboo, or forbidden romance between a teen boy and an older man. It is based on a book (which I have not read) and from what I understand there are some pretty risque elements to the story. Armie Hammer has been praised for his performance, and I am excited to see what he can do with a meatier role. This one looks poised to be all over the place come awards season so it is on my must see list for the fall season.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Final Girls by Riley Sager



Final Girls by Riley Sager
Release Date -  July 11, 2017
Publisher Website - Random House Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  342 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancĂ©, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.
The 'Final Girl' trope is one well known to horror movie fans. She's the last person standing at the end of the horror movie. She's the girl who gets away (and gets to be in the sequel). She's typically young, and attractive. Riley Sager has this term refer to girls who are the sole survivors of horrific massacres. It's the perfect backdrop for his gripping, twist filled story that is filled with complex female characters.

My favourite part of this novel is the fact that Quincy, Lisa, and Sam are apologetically messed up. They are women who are shaped by what happened to them as girls. It is shown that what they experienced is something that never truly leaves you, even if you learn to live with it. Each of them are damaged in their own way, and the author allowed you to see them as these imperfect women who were stronger than they gave themselves credit for. I was even more thrilled that there were three women of this complexity included in the story, not just one. It didn't quite scratch that itch that the character of Amy Dunne left within me, but it came close.

Much like I do while watching horror movies, I spent most of my time reading this novel wanting to yell at these characters to not make the choices they were making. You wanted them to make better decisions for themselves because you were rooting for them. This, much like the title, read as a deliberate nod to horror movies. A lot of this novel comes from a love of horror movies, and the people's fascination with true crime. It's a blend of both and it works rather well for most of the novel.

The author masterfully includes plenty of possible suspects (literally everyone is a suspect at various points in the novel) and red herrings. The most impressive thing about this novel, for me anyways, was that it didn't take the easy path. There are twists that are you think are going to happen. Twists that would have been telegraphed and predictable. The author manages to not use any of them and the story is all the better for it. The twists that do happen are both smart and unexpected which makes for a stronger story.

The ending, however, hurts the story as much as it helps. While I was pleasantly surprised to see all of my predictions be incorrect, I didn't not feel the ending was earned. The novel suffers a little from pacing issues. The beginning is more methodical and it slowly unravels. The ending, however, is like a freight train with things rushing so quickly you can barely catch your breath. It doesn't give the reveals time to have the proper impact, and I don't think the ending was set up as well as it could have been. It is the type of story I want to read again to see if the clues are laid out within the story at some point, but I am not sure that is the case. It didn't quite connect to the rest of the story as seamlessly as I wanted it to, but it still offers a thrilling closure to Quincy's story.

A taunt mystery that will make for fantastic beach reading this summer. It's certainly a conversation starter so it would also be a good pick for book club reading. I recommend this one to those who devour mysteries, and love the idea of experiencing a story with some complex women at its heart. I found the ending to be not as satisfying as I hoped, but feel the rest of the novel is strong enough for me to recommend it. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ... The Key To Everything


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 The Key To Everything by Paula Stokes


Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
College senior Oakland Fuller has always believed in signs and soulmates, so when both a therapist and a fortuneteller say that her repeated relationship failures are due to unresolved feelings for her high school boyfriend, Seth, Oakland tries desperately to get back in touch with him. Problem: Seth isn’t responding to her online messages.

To rescue Oakland from a pathetic Christmas break of sitting in front of the computer, her best friend Morgan books the two of them on a guided excursion of Thailand. When the girls meet a pair of American soldiers in Bangkok, Oakland takes Morgan’s advice and engages in a little harmless holiday hooking up. Sergeant Tyson Banks is the perfect mix of sexy and fun. Two weeks with him might just turn out to be the best relationship Oakland has ever had.

Until the day she spots someone familiar across a crowded temple complex—it’s Seth! Somehow the boy she’s been trying to reconnect with is in Bangkok too. If that’s not a sign, then what is?

Filled with friendship, romance, bromance, and gorgeous faraway settings, The Key to Everything is a story for anyone who’s ever dreamed of finding love when (or where) they least expected it.
I have enjoyed quite a few New Adult novels and this one caught my eye for quite a few reasons. I have enjoyed many of Paula Stokes books, and I am so excited to see what she does with the New Adult genre. She will, in my opinion, provide a story that is not just about the sexytimes which I am very much looking forward to.

Not too long to wait for this one as it comes out in November of this year!

Expected release date - November 7, 2017

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Lucky In Love by Kasie West



Lucky In Love by Kasie West
Release Date -  July 25, 2017
Publisher Website - Scholastic
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  333 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Can’t buy me love…

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret? 
Everyone has had that daydreamof what they would do if they suddenly won the lottery. Most people just fantasize about how they would spend the money. The reality of what winning the lottery would be like is something that rarely intrudes on these daydreams. I expected Kasie West's Lucky In Love to be more like the daydream kind of lottery winning. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find a lot of weight to the story mixed in the typical Kasie West cuteness.

Maddie's experience with winning the lottery is a mix of those dream moments we are all familiar with. She wants to buy herself a few things she's always wanted, and help out her family. She also includes more practical things like paying for her college education. While it highlights the upside of having enough money to do these things, it also is careful to showcase the ways in which her life changes that are not so great. She learns that money doesn't fix things. The problems she had that she thought were money related all turn out to be more complex than she thought. She has people who approach her that sometimes do not have her best interests at heart, and even has people using her for what she can now do for them. It is an aspect of this that hardly anyone really things about, mostly because it is so unlikely that you would ever actually win the lottery. However, with Kasie West's balance between lighthearted and serious it captures, what I feel, is a good mix of fantasy and reality when it comes to this situation.

The changes in Maddie's life are numerous and monumental. People treat her differently. Her family and friends are no exception. Having Maddie's family be such a large part of her story arc, and what she had to come to terms with, was a great touch. They were not immune to the changes Maddie's windfall brings, and it grounded the story in a way I was not expecting. There are issues dealt with that are tied to her lottery win within many of the relationships she has with both friends and family members.

The romance is typical Kasie West. It is filled with wonderfully sweet moments and is my favourite part of the novel. Fans of the 'friends to more' trope will especially appreciate the natural progression and the bond that is formed between Maddie and Seth. I also felt that the big moments of the romance were entirely realistic.In a novel where literally money was no object, at least for Maddie, the gestures were heartfelt, and realistic. It was simple in a way that a lot of other things in Maddie's life were not, and that is what made it so enjoyable.

My only real issue was that the other stuff outside the romance didn't feel as wrapped up, or explored as I wanted it to be. I wish we had gotten more time with the closure to that storyline. I recognize that what Maddie learns about herself and those around her would naturally lend itself to the ending that was given, I just wanted something from that entire storyline.

A fun, quick read that is guaranteed to leave you smiling. If you're a fan of Kasie West's previous novels, you'll finish this one entirely satisfied. Those who have yet to discover her, I urge you to pick up her books as I predict you'll be charmed by them all, including this one. I feel like she is a must read for contemporary young adult fans, and feel like younger teens will especially love her novels.

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