23.7.18

#ARCAugust 2018 Reading List!

It's my favourite time of year:

ARC AUGUST! 

I am so grateful to the women at Read.Sleep.Repeat. for hosting this amazing event every year because it helps me with keeping up to date on backlist and frontlist ARCs that I've been sent that I haven't gotten a chance to read yet!
Here's all the books I can choose from to read! If you see one that you have, message me or leave a comment and we can buddy read it together!

As part of ARC August, there is a readathon from August 4-5, which kicks off the long weekend here in Canada so I am very excited to take part in that! I'll hopefully knock off half my list from that weekend. 


I have a list of ARCs from 2017 that I never got to in a series of blog posts that I potentially could read as well:

20.7.18

ARC #Review: ANGELS CAN'T SWIM by Alexandra McCann

ANGELS CAN'T SWIM

Author: Alexandra McCann
Series: N/A
Source: eARC from Author
Publisher: KDP
Publication Date: June 22, 2018
Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary:
Angels Can’t Swim is an original, honest coming-of-age novella that examines what goes on behind the scenes for three college swimmers. Jenna, Maggie, and Eden are each incredibly different in their personalities and struggles, yet under pressure they must come together in this compelling story of friendship and what it means to be a good teammate. While balancing the pressures of swimming at a high level and also dealing with the realities of college life, the three young women grow immensely as individual people and in their bonds with each other. In portraying these bonds, the novella tackles important issues such as eating disorders and what it means to be an LGBTQ young person. This intense, unforgettable novella is a must-read for young adults, college students, and all people who wish to take a glimpse into a world not often seen.
Purchase:
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

This was good but something kept me from fully connecting to it. I think part of it was the length (since it is a novella), but there was also something in the narrative that had me at arm's length from this one. 

18.7.18

Subscription Box #Review: Nerdy Post June 2018!

I love surprises and subscription boxes so I decided to buy a few different ones and then review them for you guys because why not! So you will get to see a few different subscription box reviews!

Just so everyone knows, I live in Canada, so the prices and such that I am going to talk about are in Canadian Dollars and shipping times are based on shipping to Canada.


The NerdyPost website!

Every month. They offer a bunch of different options, so check them out below! Plus, you can order past boxes, build your own box, and a host of other options to get Nerdy Post items!

Nerdy Post Lite: $9.95 USD
Nerdy Post: $13.95 USD
Ultimate Nerdy Post: $22.95 USD
Nerdy Tees: $15.95 USD
Nerdy Combo: $29.90 USD
Ultimate Nerdy Combo: $38.90 USD

Each option has a different combination of items which you can see on their website. I get the Nerdy Post option - and that is what I will be reviewing today. The Nerdy Post option includes:

  • Large Print
  • Two Mini Prints
  • Bookmark
  • Sticker
  • Pin
  • Post Card, and
  • Bonus Item

Plus shipping, which for me, cost $9.00 USD

I just looked at my credit card statement and it cost me $30.25 Canadian

17.7.18

#BlogTour: LIKE NEVER AND ALWAYS by Ann Aguirre // #Excerpt+ #Giveaway

Hello and welcome to my blog tour post for

LIKE NEVER AND ALWAYS by Ann Aguirre!

Today I have an except from the novel plus you can enter below to win a Kindle Oasis & 5 finished copies of the book, courtesy of Ann and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. But first, let's learn more about the novel!



LIKE NEVER AND ALWAYS

Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: N/A
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: July 17, 2018

Summary:

On a hot summer night, a screech of brakes and shattering glass changes two lives forever.

Liv wakes in the hospital, confused when they call her Morgan. She assumes it’s a case of mistaken identity, yet when the bandages come off, it’s not her face in the mirror anymore. It’s her best friend Morgan’s.



Morgan always seemed to have the perfect life, yet Liv must navigate endlessly disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety—and a romance that feels like a betrayal. Torn between the boy she loved as Liv and the boy she’s grown to love as Morgan, Liv still has to survive Morgan’s last request.
Purchase:
“Just let this be the second secret you keep for me,” I say then. “Thanks for not telling Nathan, by the way.”

Clay leans his arm along the door frame, tilting his head slightly out the open window as if he needs the air. “You couldn’t pay me to talk to that jackass lately.”

“You two fighting?”

“No. He’s just . . . Nathan.” He hesitates. “I wasn’t going to tell you this . . .”

“What?” Anything that could divert me from my precarious situation, even momentarily, seems like a welcome distraction.

“He brought a girl home last night.” From his tone he expects this to destroy me.

And sure, there’s a twinge because before, I thought Nathan and I had a soul-deep connection. Fact is, he’s a little immature, a lot selfish, and I just never noticed. They say love is blind, but I’d say that infatuation is blind, and love is tolerant. When you really love someone, it’s not that you can’t see the flaws; you’re just willing to forgive them.

16.7.18

Audio #Review: HER NAME IN THE SKY by Kelly Quindlen

HER NAME IN THE SKY

Author: Kelly Quindlen
Series: N/A
Source: Audible
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary
Hannah wants to spend her senior year of high school going to football games and Mardi Gras parties with her tight-knit group of friends. 

The last thing she wants is to fall in love with a girl--especially when that girl is her best friend, Baker. 

Hannah knows she should like Wally, the kind, earnest boy who asks her to prom. She should cheer on her friend Clay when he asks Baker to be his girlfriend. She should follow the rules of her conservative Louisiana community--the rules that have been ingrained in her since she was a child.

But Hannah longs to be with Baker, who cooks macaroni and cheese with Hannah late at night, who believes in the magic of books as much as Hannah does, and who challenges Hannah to be the best version of herself. 

And Baker might want to be with Hannah, too--if both girls can embrace that world-shaking, yet wondrous, possibility.
Purchase:
People may be worried because this is about religion and has a conservative overtone but this was amazing. It had all the elements of the religion but still acceptance. Yes, of course there was backlash, but it was handled in such a delicate way and the main characters were so brave and scared and beautiful. And there was on-screen lesbian sex that was done really well.

13.7.18

Audio #Review: MY SISTER'S GRAVE by Robert Dugoni

MY SISTER'S GRAVE

Author: Robert Dugoni
Series: Tracy Crosswhite #1
Source: Audible
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: November 1, 2014
Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary:
Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House — a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder — is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past — and open the door to deadly danger.
Purchase:
I was hoping this would be more psychological thriller than police and lawyer procedural but it was still pretty interesting. I liked the characters, the relationships, and how it ended up. I did think it was pretty good with the twists and turns but it was a bit of a long ending arc.

11.7.18

Subscription Box #Review: June 2018 OwlCrate!

I love surprises and subscription boxes so I decided to buy a few different ones and then review them for you guys because why not! So you will get to see a few different subscription box reviews!

Just so everyone knows, I live in Canada, so the prices and such that I am going to talk about are in Canadian Dollars and shipping times are Canadian since they ship it out of Vancouver, British Columbia.

The OwlCrate website!


Every month. They also offer an OwlCrate Jr. box for MG and younger books if you don't get enough with the regular OwlCrate box.


Monthly: $29.99 USD
Every Three Months: $86.98 USD
Every Six Months: $167.94 USD

Plus shipping, which for me, cost $10.59 USD

I just looked at my credit card statement and it cost me $51.96 Canadian. Which is a BIT expensive for me but I am making money now so it's all good.

9.7.18

Audio #Review: TRAITOR'S BLADE by Sebastien de Castell

TRAITOR'S BLADE

Author: Sebastien de Castell
Series: Greatcoats #1
Source: Audible
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Publication Date: March 6, 2014
Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary:
Falcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King’s head on a spike.

Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters.

All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission. But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn…
Purchase:
This was okay but nothing overly special. I thought it started strong but then slid a little bit but picked up at the end. It was written in an interesting way and I thought the narrator was really good for the audiobook but it felt like there was something missing from the actual story line itself.

6.7.18

ARC #Review: A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS

Edited by: Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman
Series: N/A
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Summary:
Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. 

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. 

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong. 

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.
Purchase:
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

I thought this was a pretty good anthology but there were some stories that were kinda meh to me. I liked that there was an explanation of the mythology after each story. I thought that some of the stories just weren't for me for both the theme and the way it was written.

But other than that, I quite enjoyed the majority of these stories - and some I wanted even more of! See a full breakdown of the stories and their rating and my thoughts...

Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi: 4*
I loved this story. I love Roshani's writing because she knows how to balance showing and telling while bringing everything to life so vividly. If you haven't read Roshani's other works, do yourself a favour and pick them up now!

4.7.18

#Review: NEVERWORLD WAKE by Marisha Pessl

NEVERWORLD WAKE

Author: Marisha Pessl
Series: N/A
Source: Indigo
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Summary:
Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her six best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim—their creative genius and Beatrice's boyfriend—changed everything.

One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft—the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world—hoping she'll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death. But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened.

Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions. Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers... and at life.

And so begins the Neverworld Wake.
Purchase:
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this from Indigo and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion. 

There were some really good parts to this and others (around how mental health was dealt with) that left me wanting more and/or a sensitivity reader. But this was still interesting. I think if you want something like IF I STAY by Gayle Forman, this is a good book for you.

2.7.18

#Discussion: Top 5 Reads of 2018...So Far!

Today I’m going to tell you about my top 5 reads so far since we are half way through the year… I had a tough time figuring out which ones I would pick for this since I've actually read a lot of good books so far this year, but these are the ones that have left as lasting impact!

THE NAVIGATOR’S TOUCH

Author: Julia Ember
Series: The Seafarer's Kiss #2
Source: eARC from Author
Publisher: Duet Books, a YA imprint of Interlude Press
Publication Date: September 13, 2018
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
My Review! (To come in late August!)

Summary:
After invaders destroyed her village, murdered her family, and took her prisoner, shield-maiden Ragna is hungry for revenge. A trained warrior, she is ready to fight for her home, but with only a mermaid and a crew of disloyal mercenaries to aid her, Ragna knows she needs new allies. Guided by the magical maps on her skin, battling storms and mutiny, Ragna sets sail across the Northern Sea.

She petitions the Jarl in Skjordal for aid, but despite Ragna’s rank and fighting ability, the Jarl sees only a young girl, too inexperienced to lead, unworthy of help. To prove herself to the Jarl and win her crew’s respect, Ragna undertakes a dangerous expedition. But when forced to decide between her own freedom and the fate of her crew, what will she sacrifice to save what’s left of her home?

Inspired by Norse mythology and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, this companion novel to The Seafarer’s Kiss is a tale of vengeance, valor, honor, and redemption.
Purchase:

Why it made the list...

EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS ONE. This was so good. It allowed the characters to grow and change together and apart. 

THE WITCH DOESN’T BURN IN THIS ONE

Author: Amanda Lovelace
Series: women are some kind of magic #2
Source: Purchased from Chapters
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Rating: 4 stars
My Review!

Summary:
2016 Goodreads Choice Award-winning poet Amanda Lovelace returns in the witch doesn't burn in this one — the bold second book in her "women are some kind of magic” series.
The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.
Purchase:

Why it made the list...

This had a great message and flow to it but I felt like it got a little broken up at the end in the last section that pulled me out of the "poetry" and it didn't read as smoothly as the rest of the book. However, I would definitely recommend this one. I think it is really empowering and I am probably going to get the poem I included in my review tattooed onto my ribcage because yes. I can't wait to read the rest of the Women Are Some Kind Of Magic poetry collections that Amanda Lovelace produces.