Friday, September 30, 2016

September Wrap Up 2016

   This month was a whirlwind of everything. I started University,  I officially started my year being a part of MYRCA, and a bunch more things. It was all very exciting and nerve-wracking, all at once. You could say that it was a lot to take in. 
   The month started off with me starting school, so with a lot of money spent later. I'm going to the University of Winnipeg, enrolled in their Rhetoric Joint Communications Program with another local school, Red River Collage. The program has many streams, I'll be going through the Business stream in order to eventually be able to work in publishing as a publicist. With not really being a school person, it hasn't really been my favourite. But I guess another 5 years isn't a whole lot of time. 
   So with being out of High School, and starting technically, the second part of my life, I decided a change was in order. So roughly $150 later, I am now the proud owner of a nose piercing and short hair. They've both been great so far, shoving my nose in warm salt water twice a day hasn't been ideal, but soon enough that will be over, and I'll be able to rock a nose ring. I'm really excited to see how that turns out.
Kenneth Oppel accepting the award
   I had my first MYRCA meeting at the beginning of the month, as well as hosting our award ceremony for the Winner of last year. The winner ended up being Kenneth Oppel with his book, The Boundless. The ceremony turned out phenomenally, all the kids had a great time. In order to be invited to the ceremony, the children had to have read a majority of the nominated books. In the end, most of the kids had already read The Boundless, so they were overjoyed to meet Kenneth. He started off with reading a passage from the book, then went on to talk about the backstory from the book, and talking about the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He then went on to have a Q&A with a bunch of the students.  Having been in charge of the Twitter account for MYRCA, during the event, I posted a lot of pictures and videos from the event. After the ceremony he went onto doing a signing for the kids, and when it was time for him to go, MYRCA threw together a Scavenger Hunt for the kids to enjoy, featuring characters from last years nominees.
   Kenneth was a joy to meet, he had such a sense of humour! I was lucky enough to have had dinner and lunch with him, as well as a bunch off other members from the group. With The Boundless being about a train, we ended just discussing trains and my trip to Churchill, Manitoba for a majority of the time. It was a blast to have had the chance to have seen him so many times!
   Between MYRCA, and University I didn't really get to chance to read a lot this month. Yes I know my read pile looks pretty big, but a majority of those books were from the beginning of the month when school had yet to start. Oops. After reading and doing a book report for one of my classes, I should be able to read whatever I want. *eyes Empire of Storms and Heartless*
   That was my month, October is sure to be just as busy, so I'm sorry if the blog is going to be lacking a bit. I promise that I'm slowly getting into the routine of things, and that I'll be able to post more in the future!

   Now for the bookish stats!

Books Read:

Book Haul:

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel (Signed Paperback)

A huge thank you to Raincoast Books, Calla, and OwlCrate for the phenomenal
books this month!

Books Reviewed:

October Books I'm Excited For:

   That was September! Now to mentally start preparing myself for October!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Blog Tour: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

   Hello and welcome to the Vassa in the Night Blog Tour, hosted by Raincoast Books! Today I have for you a small except from the book, as well as my review of the book! I hope you enjoy my stop, as well as the rest of the tour!

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Read: September 26th- 27th, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Series: Standalone
Format: ARC, 304 pages
Source: BEA 2016

Description from GoodReads:

   In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

   In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

   But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair…


   I've made myself empty.
   At BEA 2016, there was talk about Vassa in the Night every so often that you'd have it stuck in the back of your mind for the rest of the day. Lucky enough for me, I was able to snag a ticket to the Vassa signing/ARC drop. So I went home with a signed ARC, that was eventually stolen by my sister, but she let me read the book when I was chosen for the tour!
   The first thing I noticed was that Vassa is not like any other kind of retellings. When beginning the book, I had actually no idea about what the original story even was, even now, I still don't. The story bounces back and fourth between past and present for a majority of the story, for a benefit of knowing backstory. I found this to be a bit confusing, especially with such a unique storyline. Grocery Stores with legs, living hands, like you'd find in The Adams Family, and then there's the little talking doll, Erg. I think with such a unique story, it would be best to look into the Russian Folktale before picking it up.
   Even with the interesting setup that was Vassa's family, I still enjoyed the sister bound between Vassa, Chelsea and Stephanie. Although Stephanie was a twat, at times. Chelsea reminded me, of myself and how I treat my sisters. Honestly, in all, Vassa's whole family just peaked my curiosity. Who leaves their family behind to become a pet?
   Although Vassa in the Night was not what I was expecting, nor was the story always straightforward, and a bit confusing. I still enjoyed the craziness of it all, and look forward to hearing what else everyone thinks about it. 


Favourite Quote:

"I wish we'd finally cease to bleed."

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:

Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Fairy Tales, Magic, Russian Folktales 

   There’s plenty of nothing in Brooklyn, but BY’s still hogs vacant space as if it was afraid of getting emptiness deprivation sickness. Not many stores in the city have parking lots but our local BY’s franchise is surrounded by a field of dead cement that takes up a whole small block, though cars never seem to park there. As I get close the stench is like sick sweet fur in my nostrils, and I try not to look— but who can keep from looking at that? The parking lot is ringed in by poles maybe thirty feet high, and on top of every pole a severed head stares down, some with eyes and some with just gutted pits. A few heads are fresh and still have humanish colors, just a little too gray or too white. With my weird pallor I’ll fit right in, I guess. Others have mossy patinas, verdigris mold, or purplish pockets of rot. I don’t want to recognize Joel, but I do. He’s spiked to my left and it looks like he’s staring off at the sky, dreaming of bleeding into the moonlight. His smooth black skin has gone ashy and sort of prickly, as if it’s covered in iron filings. I acknowledge that many intelligent people would say I’m exhibiting poor judgment, doing something so dangerous out of pride and rage, and, I mean, no doubt. But somehow looking at Joel gives me my first little shiver of hope that maybe I will go home tonight and fling the lightbulbs straight into Stephanie’s face. With any luck they’ll explode and engulf her in snow-white flames.
   It’s only logical: BY’s can’t kill everyone who shops there. If they did, they’d go out of business.
   At the center of the ring of poles, BY’s dances. Just like in the ads, the building hops and swivels on giant chicken feet, on yellow legs that manage to be at once wobbly and graceful. Its orange plastic sides glow with this relentless singeing shine that hurts to look at, and the beams lancing out of its plate-glass windows bow and scrape across the pavement. As if they were searchlights. Always looking for someone. The orange building bends with a dramatic forward swoop, a distorted trapezoid of light lunges toward my feet, and then I see that not every pole has its own personal head on top.
   No: there’s exactly one that is empty.

   I write stories that seem to me to be quite true enough for all practical purposes. Among them are
VASSA IN THE NIGHT, THE LOST VOICES TRILOGY, and the forthcoming WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW and TENTACLE AND WING. Realism makes little sense to me and I experience more truth in the fantastic. I always have new novels underway, both Young Adult and Grownup/ Literary/ Speculative. When not writing my own weird stuff, I can often be found leading creative writing workshops with amazing young NYC public-school writers via Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Or I might be drawing, or gardening, or wandering wraithlike through the streets. I live in Brooklyn, land of mystery, with my awesome husband Todd and our two cats, Jub Jub and Delphine.

   Represented by Kent D. Wolf of the Friedrich Agency.

   Thanks for stopping by my blog for my part of the tour! I hope you enjoyed my review and excerpt!

September 19th:

September 20th:

September 21st:

September 22nd:

Pingwing's Bookshelf

September 23rd:

September 26th:

September 27th:

September 28th:

Ryley Reads

September 29th:
Ohana Reads

September 30th:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

DNF Review: The Swan Riders by Erin Bow

Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Read: September 11th- 26th, 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: Prisoners of Peace, #2
Format: ARC, 384 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Description from GoodReads:

   Greta Stuart has become AI. New transmitters have silvered her fingerprints. New receptors have transformed her vision. And the whole of her memory has become one book in a vast library of instant knowledge. Greta is ready to rule the world.

   But the new technology is also killing her.

   Greta is only sixteen years old, but her new enhancements are burning through her mortal body at an alarming rate. Of course the leader of the AIs, an ancient and compelling artificial intelligence named Talis, has a plan. Greta can simply do what he’s done when the time comes, and take over the body of one of the Swan Riders, the utterly loyal humans who serve the AIs as part army, part cult.

   First though, Greta will have to find a way to stay sane inside her new self. Talis’s plan for that involves a road trip. Escorted by Swan Riders, Greta and Talis set out on a horseback journey across the strange and not-quite-deserted landscape of Saskatchewan. But there are other people interested in Greta, people who want to change the world…and the Swan Riders might not be as loyal as they appear…


   Piece by piece..
   I had received The Scorpion Rules from the publisher as a surprise, last year before it's release. Before I started it, I thought the premise to be a new and exciting idea. Then there was also the promise of it taking place in Canada, stories that take place in Canada don't happen quite often, so I was really excited to read it. In the end The Scorpion Rules ended up being a little too political for my taste. There are sometimes cases where the second book outshines the first, I had hoped that that would be the case with The Swan Riders. I can't always be right.
   I DNF'd The Swan Riders when I was perhaps 100 pages in, it took me 15 days to get to that point. Nothing about the story was grabbing my attention, and after 15 days I knew it was time to finally put  it down and pick something else up.
   I had gone into The Swan Riders hoping for a bit of a change, considering our main character was now an AI. It felt like the little times I got to see her embrace her new form, Talis would interrupt.
   This series has turned out to just not be for me, I'm glad that I tried to give the series another try, but I probably won't be picking up the rest of the series in the future.(If it does continue, with a third book.)


Favourite Quote:

"He was losing her. He was losing them all."

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:

Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Dystopian, LGBTQ, Robots, Canada

Monday, September 26, 2016

Blog Tour: The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

  Hello and welcome to The Women in the Walls Blog Tour, hosted by RockStar BookTours! Today on the tour, you will be able to enter the Tour-wide giveaway, as well as being able to check out my review of the book! I am so excited to introduce you to The Women in the Walls!

The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

Release Date: September 27th, 2016
Read: August 29th-September 1st, 2016
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Series: Standalone
Format: Signed ARC, 304 pages
Source: BEA 2016

Description from GoodReads:

   Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They're inseparable—a family.  

   When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she's ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother's voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin's sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.


   Some of us die afraid.
   I have a weird relationship with horror, most of the time with movies. I tend to find the plots either really intriguing or completely stupid, then there's my terrible relationship with the pop ups. I like to say, most of the time that I am not a fan. But I'd never read a horror book yet, I thought that The Women in the Walls was the perfect book to try the genre out. Everything turned out well, considering I had picked up a signed copy at BEA 2016.
   My favourite thing about Lukavics' characters were that they were imperfect. Lucy, especially, and it was great considering that she was our protagonist. Then there was Margaret, who seem like a perfectly normal human being, until she slowly showed signs of losing her mind. Nobody is perfect in real life, and they shouldn't be portrayed that way in books either. I'm really glad that Lukavics writes her characters the way she does, because overall, it definitely made the story that more interesting.
   I can't but find old buildings really intriguing, my family thinks that odd of me, but I'm always so interested in the history and beauty of it before seeing it as creepy. So throughout the book, I could not help but be fascinated by the house, and it's women in the walls. If I could, I'd definitely love to take a walking tour of the house!
   The Women in the Walls was exactly what I was looking for with a horror read, with just enough blood and mystery to keep you entertained. Having yet read Daughters Unto Devils, that will have to be my next go to for a creeptastic read!


Favourite Quote:

"You won't believe how much it hurts to be dead."

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:

Young Adult, Horror, Thriller, Paranormal, Disturbing, Murder

   Ever since she was little, Amy was especially intrigued by horror books and movies. Raised in a small mountain town in Arizona, she sustained herself on a steady diet of Goosebumps, Fear Street, and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books before discovering Stephen King in her mother's bookshelf.  
   Amy lives with her husband, their two precious squidlings, and an old gentleman cat by the name of Frodo. When she isn't writing, she enjoys cooking, crafting, and playing games across many platforms.  

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE WOMEN IN THE WALLS, 
US Only.

   Thank you so much for stopping by my stop on the tour! I hoped you enjoyed my review, and don't forget to check out the rest of the stops!

Week One:

9/19/2016- The Cover Contessa
9/22/2016- RhiReading
9/23/2016- A Gingerly Review

Week Two:

9/26/2016- Ohana Reads
9/27/2016- Bibliobibuli YA
9/28/2016- Smada's Book Smack
9/30/2016- BookCrushin