Sunday, October 22, 2017

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews)

Lots of goodies made their way into my mailbox this week!

First up, my October #otspsecretsister package arrived and it is filled with AMAZING goodies.

A huge thank you to 'Buffy' for the fun and Halloween themed package! I will be wearing the socks to work on Halloween for sure!

Next is up some magazines I purchased. I am totally that person who buys three copies of the same magazine because they have different covers.


Lastly, Thomas Allan sent me some books and I was excited to discover this one in the package!

Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me by Carrie Ann DiRisio / illustrated by Linnea Gear (goodreads)

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Weekly Obsessions

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

So many covers have been revealed as the cover season for books releasing in summer of 2018 has arrived! There have also been a ton of movie and tv show trailers that have released.


Cover of Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody (goodreads)

I have been excited about this book since the moment I read the deal announcement. It has a Las Vegas like setting, and what sounds like gangsters which sound make for an interesting read.

I love the cover. It matches the synopsis perfectly.I love the way the cards are incorporated and the colour scheme. It only makes me even more excited for this to be released.

Cover of Katie Cotugno's 9 Days and 9 Nights (goodreads)

Katie Cotugno's covers are always adorable, and her newest is no exception.

I love that it takes plan while the characters are on a European trip. I love that is a sequel of sorts to 99 Days. I am really excited to see what is next for these characters and just to have another Katie Cotugno book to look forward to.

Cover of Side by Side by Jenni L Walsh (goodreads)

It is no secret that I loved Jenni L Walsh's Becoming Bonnie. The sequel (which can be read as a stand alone) has a cover and it is awesome!

It instantly fits the Bonnie Parker that Jenni L Walsh has created. It also hints at the tragic ending to Bonnie and Clyde's story. I am beyond excited to both read this and add it to my bookshelf.


New Stranger Things Season Two Trailer

IT IS ALMOST HERE! We are less than a week away from the second season of Stranger Things. It's been a long wait but this new trailer has me thinking it is going to be more than worth that wait.

The scene where Mike is telling Will that Eleven would 'understand' because she always did. My heart is already breaking at the thought of Mike telling Will about this girl that Will never met. A girl that was so important to Mike and was such a large part of Will's story. I cannot wait for Will and Eleven to eventually meet. They have a lot to discuss. I also love the perfect scene that shows the return of Steve's baseball bat! 

Trailer for My Friend Dahmer (full length)

A teaser trailer for this movie was released and I was hooked. The full length trailer has been revealed and I am even more interested in checking it out.

The buzz is that Ross Lynch gives an incredible and chill inducing performance. The movie is based off a graphic name by the same name written by guy who was friends with Jeffrey Dahmer in high school (played by Alex Wolff in the movie). The book is by Derf Backderf for those wanting to check it out.

I, Tonya teaser trailer

The Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan story is infamous. We've all heard about it even if we're not huge figure skating fans. A new movie is set to release, based of a book also titled I, Tonya, and the first teaser trailer has been released.

It immediately sets the tone of the movie. I feel like I know exactly what I am gong to get with this movie and I am excited to see a full length trailer soon!


I have finished binge watching this series and cannot praise it enough. It's a slow burn that feels like it had the exact payoff that I wanted it to at the end of the season. The characters are all rich and complex. Holden Ford, Jonathan Groff's character, in particular stands out to me. You could have lengthy discussions about the journey his character takes, and the changes that happen over the season. 

There is a chilling set up for the second season (I read that they have plans for 5 with detailed story arcs for all 5 seasons) that has me already counting down the days until I can watch it. There is another serial killer for them to hunt, and plenty more for them to interview.

What are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night

The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night
Release Date -  July 21, 2017
Publisher Website - Stories Untold
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  320 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret...

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic—and her life—is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.
A book about a young girl who gets to go to a magic school. Sounds familiar right? The Crowns Of Croswald is heavily inspired by the Harry Potter series. It's filled with magic, wonder at the discovery of a new world, and a chosen one who is thrust into the unknown. It manages to branch off enough to avoid feeling like a direct copy, and is filled with some twists that make it worth the read.

The fact that we have a female protagonist is wonderful. She is our chosen one, and I appreciated how resilient and self reliant she is. We also have an antagonist that is female. It will be amazing to see these two battle it out, especially as Ivy continues to grow her powers. The finale, if done right, could be a stunning battle between two bad ass female characters which has me entirely on board. The female characters have the opportunity to grow and become more complex. I hope they next few books focus not just on the world building, but character development. I am interested in them, but want to see some depth from them.

My only character complaint is the ages they are given. We're told that Ivy is sixteen throughout the novel. The character, however, doesn't read that way. I would have put her around 12 or 13 years old based on her characterization. It feels like a novel meant for older middle grade readers, and so perhaps it is just that element being present throughout, but it is the one misstep I had with the characters as they all read younger than their presented ages.

The world building is one of the more fleshed out aspect of the story. There is a complex system of royals, scrivenerists, and magic. That combined with the Halls of Ivy school create a setting that easily entertains. It's a world that feels pretty complex already with it offering up an overview of more than just the school that Ivy attends. We get to see towns, hidden places, and much more as Ivy begins her journey.

The romance that is only beginning to be hinted at during this first chapter of Ivy's story is adorable. It's tentative, and sweet. There is just something innocent about their budding romance that works for the story being told. The other relationships being built are equally enjoyable, especially the friendship between Ivy and Rebecca. There is a whole cast of secondary characters that I am curious about and I cannot wait to see what roles they'll play going forward.

The biggest surprise in this novel was the fact that it moved much faster than I anticipated. There are things revealed that, while I guessed them, I didn't expect to be revealed into subsequent novels. It sets up this series to be unexpected than I anticipated and perhaps not quite as 'by the book' as I feared. It has the potential to be a series that only continues to improve as it progresses and I am excited to continue Ivy's journey.

A cute fantasy novel for the older middle grade reader in your life. It's also perfect for those missing the Harry Potter series. It's a fun start to a series that I hope continues to grown and darken as the series continues. I recommend it to Harry Potter fans missing that rush, those who love stories filled with secrets, and who don't mind the chosen one trope.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday ... Ace Of Shades

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 Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody

Here is the Goodreads synopsis 
Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn't have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne's offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems. 

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi's enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.
I was immediately sold on this novel from the deal announcement. It sounds like it has a Las Vegas like setting and is filled with mafia, casinos, and sexiness. I am a sucker for books that are set in Sin City so I am really looking forward to getting my hands on this one.

The wait for this one will be long as it doesn't come out until April, but you can read Amanda's first novel, Daughter Of The Burning City, in the meantime. 

Expected release date - April 10, 2018

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis

This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis
Release Date - October 10, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 352 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Sasha Stone knows her place—first-chair clarinet, top of her class, and at the side of her oxford-wearing boyfriend. She’s worked her entire life to ensure that her path to Oberlin Conservatory as a star musician is perfectly paved.

But suddenly there’s a fork in the road, in the shape of Isaac Harver. Her body shifts toward him when he walks by, her skin misses his touch even though she’s never known it, and she relishes the smell of him—smoke, beer, and trouble—all the things she’s avoided to get where she is. Even worse, every time he’s near Sasha, her heart stops, literally. Why does he know her so well—too well—and she doesn’t know him at all?

Sasha discovers that her by-the-book life began by ending another’s: the twin sister she absorbed in the womb. But that doesn’t explain the gaps of missing time in her practice schedule or the memories she has of things she certainly never did with Isaac. As Sasha loses her much-cherished control, her life—and heart—become more entangled with Isaac. Armed with the knowledge that her heart might not be hers alone, Sasha must decide what she’s willing to do—and who she’s willing to hurt—to take it back.

Edgar Award–winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a dark and gripping psychological thriller about a girl at war with herself, and what it really means to be good or bad.
Mindy McGinnis is an author who is capable of jumping from genre to genre. Her writing is versatile and bends to suit the genre she is writing. It's one of the skills that has made Mindy McGinnis and auto read author for me. This Darkness Mine is a psychological thriller that has a lot to digest and unpack once you've finished reading. Sadly, for me, the book didn't quite work for me even though Mindy's classic sharp writing was on display.

The writing is, perhaps, the element that makes this story work. Mindy McGinnis' addictive prose is more than evident in this page turning read. It compels you to keep reading and is what draws you in. The atmosphere is the second stand out from this novel. It's perfectly unsettling and creeping. You are kept on your toes as the story unravels. It's one of Mindy's greatest strengths as a writer, and it works especially well here.  The setting, atmosphere and building tension are all staples of a good thriller and Mindy's writing showcases all of these.

The biggest problem for me was remaining in the story. I would be pulled in and engaged with what was happening for something to jarringly pull me back out. There are elements that just didn't work for me because they didn't feel plausible within the story presented, or natural to the characters as I saw them. It made it harder to invest in the story and Sasha herself. It made it so I was constantly reminded I was reading a story, rather than experiencing it.

Sasha Stone is an unreliable narrator. We are meant to not trust her. We are provided different reasons that might explain what is happening to Sasha and it is never explicitly proven either way. I tend to love novels like this, and love coming up with my own theories. These types of books always make for great discussions and this is no exception. There is plenty to examine and talk through. The story really works on this level, even if the ending does hint as the truth behind what is happening (at least in my opinion).

There is something here about the privileged 'good girl' who is acting out that I wish had been expanded upon. We spend so much of the novel unsure if Sasha has a mental illness, or if these things are actually happening the way she says they are and as a result I feel this aspect gets a little lost in the noise. This would be my favourite element to explore because it grounds the story in a way. If you strip away the weirdness or strangeness of this novel it becomes very recognizable. Sasha Stone could be Mindy McGinnis' version of Laura Palmer. A spoiled teen rebelling against her parents. A 'nice girl' barely hiding a vicious facade. She becomes someone we all have known at some point. I wish this aspect hadn't been upstaged by everything else because it is where the fascination in the character and story reside for me.

This book was a mixed read for me, and is my least favourite of all the books Mindy has released. It just didn't come together the way I wanted it to, and story didn't resonate as much I had hoped it would. I predict there will be others who love this more than I did, and if this sounds like something you would enjoy I recommend it for for Halloween season as the unsettling atmosphere is something the story does incredibly well. It's perfect for those who like their psychological thrillers with a large side of weird. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews)

A few fun things made their way into my mailbox this week that I am super excited about!

First, my sister surprised me with this movie!

I am so excited to re-watch these this month! Scream is my favourite horror movie and I am happy to finally own a copy of it.

I also have received some books from Raincoast for review!

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz (goodreads)
Meet Cute by Various Authors (goodreads)
Renegades by Marissa Meyer (goodreads)

I am especially excited to dive into Renegades! Look for reviews of these closer to their release dates.

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

Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 14, 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.


The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle (goodreads)

Rebecca Serle just announced her new novel and I am so excited! It is an adult novel, and revolves around a woman who enters her birthday dinner party to discover everyone on her dream dinner list (ie which famous people dead or alive would you like to have at a dinner party) is at the party. I am super into this idea and cannot wait to see what Rebecca does with this story!


First Movie Poster For Love, Simon

Becky Albertalli's debut novel is being turned into a movie, and the first movie poster has been revealed. It is perfect.

I adore the tagline. It's perfect and adorable!

Ian and Mickey From Shameless

Ian and Mickey are, by far, my favourite part of Shameless. I have been binge watching and have just reached the REALLY good part of their relationship. Things like this are happening:

I know the bad stuff is coming but OMG it is so good right now. They better be together at the very end of the series is all I am saying. I ship them so much.

I am even more excited for this series now!

What are you obsessed with this week?

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