Friday, 29 April 2016

Review: Hot Dudes Reading



Hot Dudes Reading
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 208
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
Humans of New York meets Porn for Women in this collection of candid photos, clever captions, and hilarious hashtags about one of the most important subjects of our time: hot dudes reading.

Based on the viral Instagram account of the same name, Hot Dudes Reading takes its readers on a ride through all five boroughs of New York City, with each section covering a different subway line. Using their expert photography skills (covert iPhone shots) and journalistic ethics (#NoKindles), the authors capture the most beautiful bibliophiles in all of New York—and take a few detours to interview some of the most popular hot dudes from the early days of the Instagram account.

Fun, irreverent, and wittily-observed, this book is tailor-made for book lovers in search of their own happy endings—and those who just want to get lost between the covers for a while.
     



Fans of Instagram sensation @HotDudesReading need not wait any longer for their next fix! With their first step into the world of publishing, fans will find pages and pages of gorgeous young men enjoying a good old-fashioned book on the go. Filled with witty captions, scenarios, interviews and more, Hot Dudes Reading is perfect for that morning commute on the subway.

"Extra, Extra! Read all about it: "Hot Men Invading NYC Subway System." That's one headline I wouldn't mind seeing more often..."



Hilarious, witty, and intriguing, Hot Dudes Reading is a must-have commute read. I can easily picture myself bringing this along on a trip, and/or gifting it to a dear friend. Don't believe me? Make a pit-stop over to your local book shop, flip to ANY page, and I guarantee you won't be able to keep yourself from bringing a copy home.


Rating: 
4 / 5 Cupcakes


This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR
by Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: November 1st, 2016
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
 Add it to Goodreads




Why I'm Anticipating This Title:

If you haven't read Everything, Everything, I suggest you do so ASAP! I fell deep for that book, Cupcakes! With that said, it's a given I'm excited for Nicola Yoon's next contemporary title, The Sun is Also a Star. Isn't the cover gorgeous, too? Feeling the inspiration for a potential string-art project =D



What are you waiting for this Wednesday?
Let me know what your highly anticipated upcoming release is in the comment section below =D





Don't forget to check out this month's Fresh on the Shelf. Catch up on April 2016's latest releases AND win a copy of your own! Giveaway is open to everyone.



Happy Reading,

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Three Scoops of Summer Blog Tour - The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian - Review + Q&A + Giveaway


Simon & Schuster Canada REALLY knows how to kick off a blog tour! For the next month, Simon Teen Canada and my fellow book bloggers will be spending a month talking about three amazing YA titles every reader will be needing to devour this summer: The Last Boy and Girl in the World, The Unexpected Everything, and The Museum of Heartbreak. These three titles are delicious addicting, thus the name of the blog tour "#ThreeScoopsofSummer!" My fellow book bloggers and I will be sharing some unique posts in regards to each title, so be sure to follow along! Today, I'll be including my review on The Last Boy and Girl in the World and an exclusive Q&A with Siobhan Vivian.

I want to extend a big thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for working hard and putting this tour together, and for Siobhan for stopping by A Cupcake and a Latte!

----------


The Last Boy and Girl in the World
by Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together?

While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together.

And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever.

There’s a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there’s nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn’t. Or say things you shouldn’t. The reward almost always outweighs the risk.

Almost.

It’s the end of Aberdeen, but the beginning of Keeley’s first love story. It just might not turn out the way she thought. Because it’s not always clear what’s worth fighting for and what you should let become a memory.
     


If you're a major contemporary reader like myself, then you've likely read Burn for Burn, The List, Not That Kind of Girl, and Siobhan's other incredible titles. She's an author that deserves the recognition she receives for her titles. Her characters always feel real, act real, and can sometimes run into some very moving but vivid situations. My point: Siobhan has a great handle on situating the reader into a first-person connection with everything that happens in her books.

"A heavy silence came over the entire room once all the diplomas were handed out. I think because we all knew this was the end."

The Last Girl and Boy in the World takes place in a small town that is, oddly enough, slowly sinking. In this delicious twist to the contemporary genre, Siobhan delivers a cast of delightfully addicting characters, one of which being Keeley. In a world where readers are accustomed to perfectly "flawed" female characters, Keeley was positively and genuinely flawed. She made mistakes and suffered the consequences .... realistically! No fairy tale wrapups, no shiny life lessons with a positive twist that magically fixes everything. Essentially, this book had characters make choices that WOULD affect them in the end. The Last Boy and Girl in the World impressed me with it's unique spin on a tale of characters coming together in disastrous circumstances, growing up, and learning. It was exceptionally addicting!

Attention all readers: Siobhan Vivian's latest is an absolute must summer read!



Rating: 
4.5 / 5 Cupcakes


----------

Q/A with Siobhan Vivian


Q. What can you tell readers about The Last Boy and Girl in the World?

Though the title might sound a little post-apocalyptic, this book is very much grounded in realism. It’s not really the end of the world, so much as the end of the town where my main character Keeley has lived her entire life.


Q. What was your brainstorming process like?

I love doing research, and for this book, I studied up on other towns across the country where something similar happened—a place suddenly deemed unsafe by the government, and everyone is paid to relocate. It happens more than you think!


Q. Did you instantly connect with your characters?

I definitely felt connected with Keeley. She’s the closest I’ve ever come to writing about myself.


Q. What lesson or message are you hoping readers take from The Last Boy and Girl in the World?

The best way to survive change is to be nimble. You can’t get caught flat-footed, or get hung up on the way things used to be.


Q. What can readers expect from you next after the release of The Last Boy and Girl in the World?

I LOVE my new book. It will be out next spring, and it’s all about an ice cream shop that, since it opened long ago, has had an all girl staff. But at the start of the book, the very first boy is hired, and it (of course) changes everything.


----------

Be sure to follow along as the amazing blog tour continues!

---------

GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway
This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Review: Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey



Love, Lies and Spies
by Cindy Anstey
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
Release Date: April 19th, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.
     


Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey was one of the many titles Raincoast Books had introduced in their spring preview that had immediately caught my eye. Described as a young adult historical title with a romance and a spy twist, I knew it was a title I'd immediately need to devour.

"Spencer rubbed the smile from his face. His initial reaction upon realizing the true identity of the traitors was surprise, followed immediately by a sense of victory."

I almost always have issues with YA historical fiction titles. There's always either an unrealistic comparison to an adult title of the same genre, or a ridiculous lack of detail, research, and development. That, luckily, was not the case with Love, Lies and Spies. In this aspect, Cindy Anstey did an impressive job setting the stage for Love, Lies, and Spies, and included a lot of detail in her characters and their surroundings. Cindy Anstey's characters, Juliana and Spencer, were impressively unique, but interestingly enough also aware and ingrained into what society at the time required (expected) of young ladies and gentlemen. With that said, I enjoyed Juliana's passion for knowledge and discovery, but found her awkward phases to be a tad anxiety-inducing. As for Spencer, he was quite the interesting male lead. Being described as a spy in-training, I couldn't help wishing that Cindy Anstey had included more on his training/duties.

Overall, Love, Lies and Spies was a phenomenally entertaining read. Readers who enjoy historical titles with a lighthearted romance are certain to enjoy Cindy Anstey's debut.



Rating: 
4 / 5 Cupcakes


This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



CARAVAL
by Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: January 10th, 2017
Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
 Add it to Goodreads




Why I'm Anticipating This Title:

I've been fascinated by the synopsis of Caraval since I first came across the title on Goodreads. Wowza! This upcoming YA fantasy from Stephanie Garber sounds phenomenal! I can't wait for January 2017 (cries about the release date but knows it's going to be oh-so worth the wait). I simply adore fantasy titles, and one with a unique spin and a hinted mystery is a sure-thing for yours truly!



What are you waiting for this Wednesday?
Let me know what your highly anticipated upcoming release is in the comment section below =D





Don't forget to check out this month's Fresh on the Shelf. Catch up on April 2016's latest releases AND win a copy of your own! Giveaway is open to everyone.



Happy Reading,

Monday, 18 April 2016

Review: No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista



No Love Allowed
by Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
Release Date: April 19th, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
It's all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.

Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!
     


Sadly, Cupcakes, it's been a while since I've read a young adult contemporary romance title that features two fascinating and relatable characters , so when Raincoast Books brought this book to my attention, I couldn't wait to devour it. I love books that transcend genres and worlds just as much as the next reader, but every now and then I enjoy a light fluffy read about young love.

"For the briefest instant, as he whispered her name against her mouth, and she whispered his back, she caught a glimpse of the future."

In No Love Allowed, what was supposed to be a short-lived false romance leads to so much more. As I mentioned before, it's been a little while since I've read a light and fluffy (and even beachy) read, so it's understandable that I breezed through Kate Evangelista's latest and completed it overnight. I was immediately hooked to Caleb and Didi's moments throughout the title, and I felt immensely attached to this duo. Chemistry-wise, they were an excellent match and have easily become one of my favorite contemporary couples. Furthermore, I cannot stress enough how addictive No Love Allowed truly was! I didn't stay up all night on purpose. Kate Evangelista's swoon-worthy moments between Caleb and Didi had me gripping it's pages tightly, begging for a happily ever after.

Readers who enjoy swoon-worthy male leads, artistic and strong heroines, are highly recommended No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista.  Be prepared to spend every waking moment to read it from beginning to end. It's a one sitting must-read!



Rating: 
4 / 5 Cupcakes


This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Review: Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay



Children of Earth and Sky
by Guy Gavriel Kay
Publisher: NAL
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 592
Release Date: May 10th, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
The bestselling author of the groundbreaking novels Under Heaven and River of Stars, Guy Gavriel Kay is back with a new novel, Children of Earth and Sky, set in a world inspired by the conflicts and dramas of Renaissance Europe. Against this tumultuous backdrop the lives of men and women unfold on the borderlands—where empires and faiths collide.

From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates, a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, from the wealthy city-state of Seressa, famous for its canals and lagoon, come two very different people: a young artist traveling to the dangerous east to paint the grand khalif at his request—and possibly to do more—and a fiercely intelligent, angry woman, posing as a doctor’s wife, but sent by Seressa as a spy.

The trading ship that carries them is commanded by the accomplished younger son of a merchant family, ambivalent about the life he’s been born to live. And farther east a boy trains to become a soldier in the elite infantry of the khalif—to win glory in the war everyone knows is coming.

As these lives entwine, their fates—and those of many others—will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends out his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world…
     


Children of Earth and Sky is my first ever Guy Gavriel Kay read. I'm not sure why I've held off on reading his books for so long, but when I first came across the synopsis for Children of Earth and Sky, I was intrigued. Guy Gavriel Kay has a reputation for being a wonderful writer with an endless supply of imagination and idea, and with that said I was certain his latest release would be a title I'd personally sell to any reader.

"It had often occured to her how desperately hard it was for a woman to make her own way in the world - and how rarely it happened."

Diving into Children of Earth and Sky, I found it to be extremely well written, detailed, and addicting. I couldn't believe how easily I moved through it's pages, finding myself immensely focused on it's world that was so similar to our own but fantastically unique all at once. Guy Gavriel Kay's characters were, additionally, very vivid and identifiable, each twist and shift in each interaction with each other sending a ripple effect that only further spread itself throughout the book. Everything about this title, even upon completion, begs to be read over and over again! Children of Earth and Sky fascinated me, enlightened my senses, and gave me a better appreciation for authors who pay great attention to detail. Bravo!


Rating: 
5 / 5 Cupcakes


This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Review: Guile by Constance Cooper

Guile
by Constance Cooper
Publisher: Clarion Books
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 384
Release Date: March 1st, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
Yonie Watereye lives in the bayou. The water there is full of guile, a power that changes people and objects. Yonie, 16, makes a living investigating objects affected by guile, but in fact it’s her talking cat, LaRue, who has the power to see guile. Yonie becomes aware that someone is sending harmful guile-changed objects to certain people, including herself. Her investigation becomes entwined with her hunt for the secrets of her mother’s past and leads her to discover dangers hidden within her own family. In the suspenseful adventure that follows, Yonie and her furry sidekick face challenges that could end their adventuring forever.
     


There's Power in the Water

When Raincoast Books first pitched the synopsis of Guile by Constance Cooper, I was hooked! A bayou related title with fantasy AND a mystery? I was so in! It's not often I come across a title with a bayou-like setting (I'm intrigued by the marshy lands and the low hanging trees) and absolutely knew Guile was a must on my to read list.

"The clouds drenched the land unrelentingly for the next four days. The series of storms was violent enough to make canoe travel impossible, or at least dangerous, though by the fourth day, Yonie was almost willing to try.|"

Guile by Constance Cooper was, put simply, unique. I knew before picking it up that it would be, however it wasn't just the bayou inspired setting OR it's mysterious powers that stood out for me - it was Constance's writing. Although difficult to settle into in the beginning, Constance's writing was lyrical, and steadily flowed from chapter to chapter - like a constant and moving stream. It played to the uniqueness of this epic YA fantasy/mystery, and it also solidified Constance's portrayal of Yonie's overall character - quizzical and always searching.

Overall, I found Guile to be an intriguing adventure! Discovering Yonie's quirks, her past, and tagging along with the mystery and learning every little secret Guile had to offer was an absolute thrill. I strongly feel readers of all ages will enjoy Yonie and will find Constance's addition to the YA genre absolutely refreshing.



Rating: 
4 / 5 Cupcakes


This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

THE GLITTERING COURT
by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Format:Hardcover
Pages: 400
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
A dazzling new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds that’s dripping with romance from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.

Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies capable of arranging powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands. . . .
     



I've been a Richelle Mead fan for a very, very long time. Whether it's her young adult titles (like Vampire Academy, Bloodlines) or her adult titles (Georgia Kincaid, Dark Swan, Age of X), I've always felt like my bookshelves could never be complete without her titles. Needless to say, Richelle's The Glittering Court, her latest venture in the young adult genre, was an absolute must. Stunning cover and intriguing synopsis, it was a tale I couldn't resist diving into immediately.

"I wanted him to smile again or make a joke, and when he didn't, I broke away."

The Glittering Court follows the tale of Adelaide, an Osfridian Countess who leaves everything behind in order to escape an arranged marriage. Her next stop, though, is to the Glittering Court, where she'll be trained and schooled into an upper-class lady, whilst keeping her true identity a secret. As fate would have it, Cedric, the son of a wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court, discovers her secret, and alas new complications arise for our heroine.

Harboring the same overall emotion and excitement of The Selection series by Keira Cass, I found The Glittering Court to be quite enjoyable and a welcome change from Richelle Mead's previous works. Adelaide, although not the most appealing character at first, grew on me at a steady pace, and I found myself cheering her on quite adamantly towards the end of the book. I was pleased with Richelle's displayed humor when writing Adelaide's funny mishaps and impersonations, and found myself enjoying the unique world she had created for this brand new series.

Overall, I found The Glittering Court to be quite an enjoyable read. It was filled with suspense, great dialogue and romance. Fans of Richelle Mead will be pleased with her latest release!

Rating: 
4 / 5 Cupcakes


This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The Rivals of Versailles Blog Tour - Review + Q/A

Today I'm very excited to be a part of the Rivals of Versailles blog tour! I'll be participating with my review on the second title in Sally Christie's debut series, and a short Q/A with the author herself. Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada and Sally Christie for making this blog tour possible!

The Rivals of Versailles
by Sally Christie
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: Paperback
Pages:448
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
And you thought sisters were a thing to fear. In this compelling follow-up to Sally Christie's clever and absorbing debut, we meet none other than the Marquise de Pompadour, one of the greatest beauties of her generation and the first bourgeois mistress ever to grace the hallowed halls of Versailles.

I write this before her blood is even cold. She is dead, suddenly, from a high fever. The King is inconsolable, but the way is now clear.

The way is now clear.

The year is 1745. Marie-Anne, the youngest of the infamous Nesle sisters and King Louis XV's most beloved mistress, is gone, making room for the next Royal Favorite.

Enter Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, a stunningly beautiful girl from the middle classes. Fifteen years prior, a fortune teller had mapped out young Jeanne's destiny: she would become the lover of a king and the most powerful woman in the land. Eventually connections, luck, and a little scheming pave her way to Versailles and into the King's arms.

All too soon, conniving politicians and hopeful beauties seek to replace the bourgeois interloper with a more suitable mistress. As Jeanne, now the Marquise de Pompadour, takes on her many rivals - including a lustful lady-in-waiting; a precocious fourteen-year-old prostitute, and even a cousin of the notorious Nesle sisters - she helps the king give himself over to a life of luxury and depravity. Around them, war rages, discontent grows, and France inches ever closer to the Revolution.

Enigmatic beauty, social climber, actress, trendsetter, patron of the arts, spendthrift, whoremonger, friend, lover, foe. History books may say many things about the famous Marquise de Pompadour, but one thing is clear: for almost twenty years, she ruled France and the King's heart.

Told in Christie's witty and modern style, this second book in the Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the world of eighteenth century Versailles in all its pride, pestilence and glory.
 


Last year, Book Blog Ontario had the privilege of having Sally Christie attend our annual book blogger meet up for the release of her debut novel, The Sisters of Versailles. It was pitched as a promising and exciting new trilogy focusing on the loves of King Louis XV, and as promised I found The Sisters of Versailles to be unbelievably addictive.

"A new sound greets my ears. Well, not a sound so much as something far sweeter: silence."

The Rivals of Versailles, the second title in Sally Christie's trilogy, focuses on the affair of Madame de Pompadour and Louis XV. After adoring the scandalous sisters of Rival's predecessor, I was curious to see how I'd settle into Jeanne's character. As expected from Sally Christie, she painted a realistic portrait of Madame de Pompadour as an elegant, smart, and ambitious woman, who not only had a powerful impact on Louis XV but also the arts. She was a wonder to read, and I positively enjoyed the ride Sally sent me on!

With that said, I'm highly anticipating the release of The Enemies of Versailles! Each title in this wonderful series has it's own set of unique characters, scandals, and voices. It's a must read series for fans of historical fiction.



Rating: 
4 / 5 Cupcakes



Q/A with Author Sally Christie

For readers who have yet to read The Sisters of Versailles: What can you tell them about your trilogy?

The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy focuses on Louis XV and his extraordinary mistresses. Even though he ruled France for most of the 18th century, Louis XV is fairly obscure and is often maligned by historians as being a king ruled by women.

But what women! From the wonderful insanity of the story of the Mailly Nesle sisters, four of whom became his mistresses, to the fabulous Madame de Pompadour, possibly the most influential royal mistress ever, and then to the Comtesse du Barry, who is perhaps my all-time favorite character, Louis’ mistresses are what define his life and they represent very rich pickings for fiction.

None of these amazing women and their fascinating lives have been the focus of any English-language fiction, and the Mistresses trilogy is a great opportunity to introduce new audiences to Louis XV and the decadence of France in the run-up to the revolution, all centered, of course, around Versailles.


What inspired you to write about the French court?

It was the story of the Mailly Nesle sisters that triggered my fascination. Their story is incredible, but so were the times: 18th century France was a time of great change as new ideas about equality and the rights of men co-existed uneasily with much older and traditional ideas. All exceedingly interesting. And the scandals and shenanigans at the royal Court of Versailles – you couldn’t make this stuff up!


How important is character development to you? What's your process?

It’s very important. To really develop a character, you have to try and get inside their head, all the while remembering that their head and worldview is very different from yours. A lazy writer might imagine an 18th century woman sitting around sewing samplers and (usually) having modern daydreams about how they want to live their lives.

It’s so important to remember that these were real people who spent their 24 hours a day doing much of what we do, with all the same petty squabbles, dreams, frustrations, boring chores, etc., and that they had the same complex inner lives that we all do, albeit framed by the conventions of their time.


What can fans of The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy expect in The Rivals of Versailles?

Rivals is a very different book from Sisters, in that it is largely the tale of one woman: the extraordinary Marquise de Pompadour, perhaps the most influential royal mistress ever. There are other voices – a couple of her many rivals have their own interludes, where they provide a distinct counterpoint to Pompadour’s view of herself – but over all this is Pompadour’s book.

There’s still plenty of scandal, intrigue and political maneuvering, but I feel this book is perhaps more introspective than Sisters – Pompadour had genuine moral dilemmas she had to face, and she faced them squarely, but on her own terms


This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided
by Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Format: Hardcover
Pages:352
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.
 


When We Collided by Emery Lord was my most anticipated April 2016 bookish release. It's synopsis sang to me, depicting a realistic and heart throbbing tale about a teen with bipolar disorder and another with an imperfect life. With that said, this was one title I absolutely had to approach the publisher about reviewing. I knew it would bring up new emotions for me, and I absolutely could not wait to dive into Vivi and Jonah's tale.

"I knew I was in love with Verona Cove on the first day, but I waited until the seventh day to commit."

Although having never read any of Emery Lord's previous titles, I instantly settled into her unique way with Jonah and Vivi's narrative voices. Despite conflicting tones, I felt they worked perfectly together, depicting a realism to their personal struggles, whether it be from an uncontrollable chain of despairing events, or understanding the inner turmoil of a fellow human being. Vivi's narrative, however, struck me harder than Jonah's. Her perspective on depression and her views on life in general singed me, and moved me beyond anything I imagined.

When We Collided by Emery Lord is a book well-worth it's hype. It's a touching and emotional story about two humans who find each other in the unlikeliest of ways.



Rating: 
4.5 / 5 Cupcakes


This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Fresh on the Shelf - April 2016 Book Releases + Giveaway

Happy April, Cupcakes!

Hope everyone's had an excellent March! The weather in Toronto has been INSANE! We've had heat waves, snow, frozen rain, heat waves again - what's going on, Canada?! I'm hoping that now that it's spring, the weather will finally settle down and move on up in temperature. I'm so ready for flats and cami dresses!

Are you excited for a bookish April, Cupcakes? Who else is freaking excited for The Raven King?! I can't wait to finally dive into the pretty! By the way, don't forget to bookmark this page for your bookish convenience, and enter to win a copy of this month's fantastic titles below!


April 2016 Book Releases:


The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
The Star-touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Soldier by Julie Kagawa
Let the Wind Rise by Shannon Messenger
Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun
The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
Prodigy by Marie Lu (Graphic Novel)


The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
Drag Teen by Jeffery Self
Down with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
The Epidemic by Suzanne Young
The Life Tree by Frances Hardinge
Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki


No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista
The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
Strike by Delilah S. Dawson
When we Collided by Emery Lord
The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
Surviving High School by Lele Pons and Melissa de la Cruz
Forget of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong
Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima


Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Once Upon a Time by Liz Braswell
Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins
Unrivaled by Alyson Noel
OCDaniel by Wesley King
Dreamers Often Lie by Jacqueline West
Can You Keep a Secret? by R.L. Stine


GIVEAWAY - International
Giveaway is for one book from the above April 2016 releases to be awarded to one reader. Open to anyone who can receive shipments from The Book Depository. I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged books received. Please fill in entries accordingly for a valid entry. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Happy reading,