31 Dec 2018

#Discussion: 5 Best New Releases of the Last 5 Months! #Project14Lists

31 December 1 Comments
Project 14 Lists, otherwise known as #Project14Lists, is a 2-week blogging activity hosted by That Bookshelf Bitch that will run from December 18th to December 31st. Book bloggers are tasked to come up with creative bookish/blogging list ideas, and on each day, write a list and post it on their respective blogs.

See all the posts I've completed for #Project14Lists

Today I'm talking to you about the best five releases of the last five months! You all have gift cards to use after the holidays, so spend them on these.

August

THE DARK BENEATH THE ICE

Author: Amelinda Berube
Series: N/A
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Review!

Summary:
Black Swan meets Paranormal Activity in this compelling ghost story about a former dancer whose grip on reality slips when she begins to think a dark entity is stalking her.

Something is wrong with Marianne.

It's not just that her parents have finally split up. Or that life hasn't been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.

She's losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close. Something is after her. And the only one who seems to believe her is the daughter of a local psychic.

But their first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing's rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. Whatever is haunting her, it wants everything she has--everything it's convinced she stole. Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it thinks it's owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.
Purchase:

September

UNBROKEN: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens

Edited by: Marieke Nijkamp
Series: N/A
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Publication Date: September 18, 2018

Summary:
A YA Anthology of short stories featuring disabled teens, written by #OwnVoices disabled authors. The stories reflect a range of genres and disabilities; contributors include bestselling authors Kody Keplinger and Francisco X. Stork, as well as newcomers Fox Benwell, Keah Brown, and more.
Purchase:

30 Dec 2018

#Discussion: Instagram Locations in Ontario #Project14Lists #Instagram201

30 December 2 Comments
Project 14 Lists, otherwise known as #Project14Lists, is a 2-week blogging activity hosted by That Bookshelf Bitch that will run from December 18th to December 31st. Book bloggers are tasked to come up with creative bookish/blogging list ideas, and on each day, write a list and post it on their respective blogs.

See all the posts I've completed for #Project14Lists

I ran a whole series called "Instagram101" giving you tips, tricks, and insights into starting and maintaining your Instagram feed. As part of Project 14 Lists, I decided to step up my game and continue that series as Instagram201!

Missed the Instagram101 posts? Check them out here:


I know I like to take pictures outdoors in "nature" at super Instagrammable locations, so I have found a few around Ontario and have decided to share them with you. Disclaimer: I live within driving distance of a lot of these!

1. Ripley's Aquarium of Canada (Toronto)

2. Scarborough Bluffs (Scarborough)

3. Nathan Philips Square (Toronto)

29 Dec 2018

#Discussion: 10 Series I'll Never Finish #Project14Lists

29 December 2 Comments
Project 14 Lists, otherwise known as #Project14Lists, is a 2-week blogging activity hosted by That Bookshelf Bitch that will run from December 18th to December 31st. Book bloggers are tasked to come up with creative bookish/blogging list ideas, and on each day, write a list and post it on their respective blogs.

See all the posts I've completed for #Project14Lists

2019 Queer Books | Stay Organized | Apps for Book Bloggers | TBR Layouts for BuJos | Instagram Feeds | Books I Loved |
Books I Hated | Comics for Non-Comic Readers | Plot Twists | 5 Surefire Recommendations | Weekly BuJo Layouts |
Series I Won't Finish | Instagram Locations | Best New Releases

I have started a lot of series and there are just some that I have lost interest in, don't care about anymore, and some that I just know I won't get to with all my unread books. So here are some series that I just know I have read the last book for.

1. THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas

Where did I stop?

CROWN OF MIDNIGHT (Book 2 of 7)

Why have I stopped?

This is also the death of me reading the Throne of Glass series. I read both Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight and while I didn't hate them, I definitely wasn't super intrigued by them to continue on with Heir of Fire. I feel like Throne of Glass was pretty cliche and there wasn't much that actually happened. And in Crown of Midnight I thought it got better but it just didn't quite pique my interest. So I put off Heir of Fire.

But I see more and more people starting this series/continuing this series and LOVING it and I keep thinking "what am I missing" so I thought the novellas in here would ease me back into the world. They are only 10 chapters ish each so it really shouldn't have taken me too long. 

However, I didn't even make it through the first novella. I almost didn't make it past the first page. I really cannot stand Celaena, who thinks she is the specialist of special snowflakes, and the whole situation is just absurd. I *do* like that she is (supposedly) a badass who also likes to dress up, but she isn't really a badass. She just fakes it tbh. We hear so much about how badass she is, yet we never actually see her do anything. So ???

Anyway that's just my griping. Feel free to love this but I do not.

2. THE WHEEL OF TIME by Robert Jordan

Where did I stop?

THE FIRES OF HEAVEN (Book 5 of 14.5)

Why have I stopped?

First of all, nothing has happened in the last two to three books and I just can't deal with this anymore. But also, the audiobooks are $100 and that is too expensive for me. Plus, I am sick of everyone but Perrin.

3. RED RISING by Pierce Brown

Where did I stop?

GOLDEN SON (Book 2 of 6)

Why have I stopped?

I had three issues with this one that knocked off a star each basically. My main problem that I sort of realized at the end was that Darrow's rage and anger never really had a long term direction because he would get almost side tracked on who to hate at the time and then at the end it was like "oh right I actually hate this dude" and I'm like okay sure bro whatever you say. Love Pierce Brown though *heart eyes*

28 Dec 2018

#Discussion: 5 Things to Include in Weekly Bullet Journal Layouts for Bloggers #Project14Lists

28 December 6 Comments
Project 14 Lists, otherwise known as #Project14Lists, is a 2-week blogging activity hosted by That Bookshelf Bitch that will run from December 18th to December 31st. Book bloggers are tasked to come up with creative bookish/blogging list ideas, and on each day, write a list and post it on their respective blogs.

See all the posts I've completed for #Project14Lists

2019 Queer Books | Stay Organized | Apps for Book Bloggers | TBR Layouts for BuJos | Instagram Feeds | Books I Loved | Books I Hated | Comics for Non-Comic Readers | Plot Twists | 5 Surefire Recommendations | Weekly BuJo Layouts | Series I Won't Finish | Instagram Locations | Best New Releases
I'm back with another bullet journal recommendation post for you (even though I don't have a bullet journal and use a regular planner)! Today is about staying organized in your week-to-week timeline with layouts that will help you stay on top of blogging and any other tasks you have. Check them out below.

1. Habit Tracker

You should be tracking blog posts, emails, social media posts, everything you do on a weekly basis (I even have in reading 50 pages a day!). Here is a fun layout for you to emulate...

2. Priority List

Sitting down and understanding what you need to get done on a weekly basis will help you reduce stress when the day comes. By setting up a priority list in your weekly spread, it will allow you to figure out what is important, when it has to be done, and what you can do on a daily basis to finish it off. Add a "Next Action" to each priority at the end of the week to be even more productive.
 

27 Dec 2018

#Discussion: 5 Books I Always Recommend #Project14Lists

27 December 1 Comments
Project 14 Lists, otherwise known as #Project14Lists, is a 2-week blogging activity hosted by That Bookshelf Bitch that will run from December 18th to December 31st. Book bloggers are tasked to come up with creative bookish/blogging list ideas, and on each day, write a list and post it on their respective blogs.

See all the posts I've completed for #Project14Lists

2019 Queer Books | Stay Organized | Apps for Book Bloggers | TBR Layouts for BuJos | Instagram Feeds | Books I Loved | Books I Hated | Comics for Non-Comic Readers | Plot Twists | 5 Surefire Recommendations | Weekly BuJo Layouts | Series I Won't Finish | Instagram Locations | Best New Releases
Today's post is all about books I always recommend to people if they are looking for that something special but aren't quite sure what to reach for! I hope some of these end up on your TBR!

AIR AWAKENS

Author: Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #1
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Publication Date: August 27, 2015
Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary:
A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond...

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined. 
Purchase:

Mini Review

See the full review on Books and Ladders!

I loved that this mixed so many aspects of fantasy together to create the world. The premise felt a little like Avatar: The Last Air Bender to me but I loved that show so I obviously had no difficulty with that. I thought the pacing of the book was really good, it started off very quickly and while Vhalla tried to slow down the inevitable of being a sorcerer, her magic kept blossoming and growing. I liked the idea that magic was seen as something to fear rather than something that everyone celebrated. 

RED SISTER

Author: Mark Lawrence
Series: Book of the Ancestor #1
Source: Finished Copy via Publisher
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary:
I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive… 
Purchase:

Mini Review

See the full review on Books and Ladders!

This is probably one of the best adult fantasies I’ve read in a very long time. I have so many positive things and thoughts about this one. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a good magic system, badass nuns, and women who know being vulnerable can be strong as well.

26 Dec 2018

#Discussion: Plot Twists That Left Me Shocked #Project14Lists

26 December 1 Comments
Project 14 Lists, otherwise known as #Project14Lists, is a 2-week blogging activity hosted by That Bookshelf Bitch that will run from December 18th to December 31st. Book bloggers are tasked to come up with creative bookish/blogging list ideas, and on each day, write a list and post it on their respective blogs.

See all the posts I've completed for #Project14Lists

2019 Queer Books | Stay Organized | Apps for Book Bloggers | TBR Layouts for BuJos | Instagram Feeds | Books I Loved | Books I Hated | Comics for Non-Comic Readers | Plot Twists | 5 Surefire Recommendations | Weekly BuJo Layouts | Series I Won't Finish | Instagram Locations | Best New Releases
I think we've all read a book and thought "OMG!" or "OMG???" and that's what today's post is about. Shout out to Theresa for suggesting this as a list!

Because I don't want to spoil what the twist is, I'm just going to list the books with a fun "plot twist" rating.

THREE DARK CROWNS

Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Plot Twist Shock Value: 4/5 gasps

Summary:
When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.
Purchase:

NEVERWORLD WAKE

Author: Marisha Pessl
Series: N/A
Source: IndigoTeen's Indigo Staff Pick of the Month
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Plot Twist Shock Value: 3/5 gasps

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: