Monday, 30 May 2016

Review: A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry



A Fierce and Subtle Poison
By Samantha Mabry
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl--Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers--and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.
     


When I first came across A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry, her first published novel, I was instantly sold! Gorgeous cover aside, the entire premise is enchanting and mesmerizing! Taking place in Puerto Rico, A Fierce and Subtle Poison focuses on the story of Lucas, a seventeen year old boy who grew up on the crazy old tales of the senoras in his neighborhood. According to them, there is a tale of a cursed girl who's skin is literal poison and whom can also grant wishes. When Lucas' new girlfriend disappears, he turns to the cursed girl for help.

"Some say she grants wishes. Some say her touch kills. One boy is drawn into her enchanted world."

Samantha Mabry's debut was so much more than I had expected. I unfairly assumed it would be a quick, fluffy read featuring romance and maybe a hint of action. A Fierce and Subtle Poison was not that. It was a story rich with heritage, history, folklore, and even possessed a bit of magic realism that could easily twist you around one corner or the next. It was quite a surprise! Furthermore, although Lucas was a wonderful character, I found myself being most enticed by the cursed girl and her tale. In fact, I would have loved to have read more dialogue from her!

"Everything that I could think to compare her to was bleak. Mostly, it had to do with those eyes of hers: dark on dark. Raven black ringed with deep purple. Hard like bricks."

Unique, diverse, and utterly magical, A Fierce and Subtle Poison is a perfect read and I highly recommend readers give it a try!




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, 27 May 2016

Review: Dream On by Kerstin Gier



Dream On
By Kerstin Gier
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
Things seem to be going well for Liv Silver: she’s adjusting to her new home in London; she has a burgeoning romance with Henry Harper, one of the cutest boys in school; and the girl who’s been turning her dreams into nightmares, Anabel, is now locked up. But serenity doesn’t last for long.

It seems that Liv’s troubles are far from over—in fact, suddenly they’re piling up. School gossip blogger Secrecy knows all of Liv’s most intimate secrets, Henry might be hiding something from her, and at night Liv senses a dark presence following her through the corridors of the dream world. Does someone have a score to settle with Liv?
     


I've been a huge fan of Kerstin Gier since the release of the English translation for Ruby Red. That series was one of the first to solidify my love for time travel in the young adult genre. Gwyneth Shepherd was relatable, fierce, and intuitive, and was in my opinion one of the very few female leads I've grown to love. With the release of Dream a Little Dream, I was ecstatic! A brand new series from an author I adored, and this time featuring an equally incredible female lead just like Gwyneth!

"I was left alone with my green door on an enormous Union Jack flag, staring frustrated at the void."

Dream On takes place right after the events of Dream a little Dream. Liv's tormentor, Anabel, is finally locked up and Liv finally feels like she'll be able to return to her norm. Unfortunately, the calm doesn't last very long when drama in school is riled up and she begins to lose trust in those closest to her. Dream On was, in my opinion, far more enticing than it's predecessor. Don't get me wrong, Dream a Little Dream was every bit as thrilling as I had hoped, however there wasn't as much development in respect to Liv's true character as there was in Dream On. In fact, the dream world itself is expanded in new and interesting ways that irrevocably captivated me from beginning to end. Wholeheartedly, I am shaking with anticipation for the English translation for book 3 to hit the shelves. I'm eager for so much more!

"The only certainty was that I was going to need an enormous amount of coffee again."

Young adults with a passion for fantasy and romance will most definitely fall in love with the latest installment in the Silver trilogy.



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.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Review: Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines




Until Friday Night
By Abbi Glines
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Release Date: August 25th, 2015
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…
     


I feel like the absolute WORST Abbi Glines fan ever...EVER! I regrettably had only just recently picked up Until Friday Night, thanks to the generosity of Simon & Schuster Canada (thank you!) because I, admittedly, am the most forgetful book nerd to ever visit a bookstore. For whatever reason, during every visit to a bookstore I made since it's initial August 2015 release, I would continuously forget to pick it up. Bad, I know, but oh so worth it when I finally had the opportunity to dive into it's world!

“My throat tightened, and I punched the steering wheel several times, trying to release some of my pain."

Fans of Abbi Glines know what to expect: a fierce female lead, a sexy male love interest, a gripping plot, and a lot of steam (wink,wink). Until Friday Night, the first installment in the Field Party series, is the perfect dose of realism and heart in this book perfect for readers who loved Friday Night Lights. Maggie and West were positively adorable! Two very different characters dealing with their own set of issues, the duo worked perfectly together. I enjoyed their banter, their tear-jerking moments, and their moments of realization and clarity. I've always enjoyed how Abbi Glines creates characters that seemingly appear perfect on the outside, but almost always have a deeper darker tale waiting to be discovered. It's always been a thrill and I am highly anticipating the next installment in the series, Under the Lights (August 2016).

"He was on the bed, pulling me into his arms, before the sobbing started."

Fans of Abbi Glines will without a doubt fall head over heels for Maggie and West! A perfect combination of romance and realism, I highly recommend Until Friday Night be added to your summer reading list ASAP.




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.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Three Scoops of Summer Blog Tour - The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder - Review + Giveaway


Today marks A Cupcake and a Latte's last stop on the incredible #ThreeScoopsofSummer blog tour hosted/organized by the Simon Teen team over at Simon & Schuster Canada! It's been quite an amazing ride, and I hope everyone's had a wonderful time! Talking about The Last Boy and Girl in the World, The Unexpected Everything, and The Museum of Heartbreak has been a treat and I hope at the end of this you'll be picking these titles up for yourself (and for your book-bestie, of course)!  Don't forget to continue to follow the blog tour to the very end, and stop by for exclusive posts, reviews and more!

Happy Reading!


The Museum of Heartbreak
By Meg Leder
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Release Date: June 7th, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.

Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.
     


To my very core, I'm a sap. I'm a sap who enjoys books that turn me into an emotional mess and I love it! What does that have to do with The Museum of Heartbreak? Everything! This book turned me inside out, made me pause for thought several times, and gave me an overwhelming appreciation for the relationships that have come and gone in my life. Plainly put - I loved it!

"I don't want them to go. I know I will forget them if they leave now."

First and foremost, let's get the obvious out of the way - I cannot wait for more from Meg Leder! My experience during The Museum of Heartbreak was beyond what I expected when the title was first pitched to me. Told in Penelope's vivid perspective, Meg Leder's emotional tale follows the ups, downs, changes, and unexpected endings of relationships, romantic and vice-versa. It puts you in the shoes of a young teen girl who's experiencing a whole lot of emotional tugging all at once, and takes you on her journey as her friendships change for the better or for the worse, depending on your perspective. I found Penelope to be quite a relatable and likable character, and her circumstances, for the most part, reminded me quite a bit of myself during high school. In fact, seeing myself so much in Penelope could very well be the reason why I felt so emotionally connected to every twist and turn. Looking back at it now, it all looks like avoidable dramatic nonsense, but for a teen girl it can sometimes feel like the end of the world. In that aspect, Meg Leder made this shine through and beautifully highlighted much of Penelope's journey in the cataloging of items in her epic "Museum of Heartbreak".


"Things change, Penelope; people change. Sometimes you get hurt. And sometimes you're the one doing the hurting."

Uplifting and beautifully written, The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder is an absolute must-read for any younger reader. Not a fan of YA? Give this one a chance. It very well may change your perspective on the genre.


Rating: 
4.5 / 5 Cupcakes

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

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Review: Love Charms and Other Catastrophes by Kimberly Karalius



Love Charms and Other Catastrophes
By Kimberly Karalius
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
Aspiring love charm maker Hijiri Kitamura was excited to come back to Grimbaud for her sophomore year-until she learns about the upcoming charm making competition. Grimbaud has just started to recover from the tyranny of Zita's love fortunes and it would be too easy for the winning charm maker to take Zita's place. The only solution is for Hijiri, with the support of her friends and fellow rebels, to win the contest herself.

Unfortunately, that's easier said than done, especially when Love itself has decided to meddle in Hijiri's life. Concerned that it's favorite charm maker has given up on finding a boyfriend of her own, Love takes matters into its own hands and delivers the perfect boyfriend to her in a giftwrapped box...literally.

Get ready to be charmed by this magical, quirky sequel to Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius.
     


It's not often I come across such an adorable read like Love Charms and Other Catastrophes! Having never heard about the series before the Raincoast Books preview event last year, I set it upon myself to dive into the first installment in Kimberly Karalius' Grimbaud series, Love Fortunes and Other Disasters, and it's accompanying novella,  First Kisses and Other Misfortunes. What I discovered was a imaginative little world that was in-love with love and a cast of adorable and relatable characters.

"Hijiri had two problems already this school year: solving Ken and preparing for the impending love charms making competition."

Love Charms and Other Catastrophes focuses on the tale of Hijiri Kitamura, an aspiring love charm maker. As much as I adored Fallon in it's predecessor, Love Fortunes and Other Disasters, I adored Hijiri even more so! Her personality, her determination seemed to fit so well with the events in the novel, and I couldn't help feeling anxious along with her from one chapter to the next. Furthermore, can we please take a moment to appreciate the male love interest? Ken was gentle, kind, and exactly whom I would have picked as the perfect match for Hijiri! *swoon* I have no doubt that readers of all ages will love the extra dose of magic and romance Kimberly Karalius will add to their bookshelves. I'm so excited to see what she writes next!

Overall, Love Charms and Other Catastrophes was an absolute win! Romantic, exciting, and unbelievably magical, Kimberly Karalius hit the mark with her latest in the Grimbaud series!


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.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Review: The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish



The Voodoo Killings - A Kincaid Strange Novel
By Kristi Charish
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Release Date: May 10th, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
For the first time since we launched Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, Random House Canada is thrilled to announce the debut of a new urban fantasy series. Kristi Charish's The Voodoo Killings introduces Kincaid Strange, not your average voodoo practitioner...

For starters, she's only 27. Then there's the fact that she lives in rain-soaked Seattle, which is not exactly Haiti. And she's broke. With raising zombies outlawed throughout the continental USA, Kincaid has to eke out a living running seances for university students with more money than brains who are desperate for guitar lessons with the ghost of a Seattle grunge rocker--who happens to be Kincaid's on-again, off-again roommate.

Then a stray zombie turns up outside her neighbourhood bar: Cameron Wight, an up-and-coming visual artist with no recollection of how he died or who raised him. Not only is it dangerous for Kincaid to be caught with an unauthorized zombie, she soon realizes he's tied to a spate of murders: someone is targeting the zombies and voodoo practitioners in Seattle's infamous Underground City, a paranormal hub. When the police refuse to investigate, the City's oldest and foremost zombie asks Kincaid to help. Raising ghosts and zombies is one thing, but finding a murderer? She's broke, but she's not stupid.

And then she becomes the target...As the saying goes, when it rains it pours, especially in Seattle
     


There's nothing I love more than a good (and I mean deliciously good) urban fantasy title! It's been a while since I've devoured the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong, and followed along with Sookie and friends in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, so I was hankering (for a very long time) for a brand new heroine that could kick butt with the best of them. Kincaid from Kristi Charish's The Voodoo Killings is just that gal!

"Is this Kincaid Strange, practitioner? I was told you handle zombies."

Following in the footsteps of Bitten (Kelley Armstrong) and Dead Until Dark (Charlaine Harris), The Voodoo Killings introduces readers to a pretty kick-butt (and oddly enough relatable) 27 year old heroine. In the first installment in the Kincaid Strange series, Kincaid (practitioner) finds herself pulled into quite a situation. She's contacted by a stray zombie who has no recollection of his death or of whom raised him, and soon after realises that said zombie is tied to a string of murders targeting zombies and voodoo practitioners.

Compelling, adventurous, and full of suspense, The Voodoo Killings was an absolute marvel. As I mentioned earlier, Kincaid was a seriously kick-butt heroine. She was relatable, knew how to keep herself together, and was very on-point with her planning. She knew how to compose herself and forewent any unnecessary drama. She was brilliant! I see this series as being an absolute must for readers who enjoy fierce female leads in paranormal and supernatural settings. It's got everything UF readers enjoy and has an extra hint of bad ass. I absolutely cannot wait to read more about Kincaid!


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, 10 May 2016

Recap: Raincoast Books Teens Read Fall 2016 Preview


Saturday May 7th was a day I had been looking forward to for weeks! It was that time again for Raincoast Books' highly anticipated Teens Read preview, this time featuring this year's highly anticipated Fall YA releases. The wonderful Jenn (@LostinGreatBook) and Jenny (Ampersand Inc) hosted this year's Toronto event at the Deer Park Toronto Public Library. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a colorful room filled with picnic-like decor, treats, and goodies. The tables were all adorned with blanket-patterned table cloths, paper lanterns, an assortment of sugary treats and bookish-inspired buttons. I have to hand it to our bookish hostesses, they certainly know how to throw a gathering!

Settling in and enjoying treats before the start of the event.

As we settled in and caught up with our fellow book bloggers, it was time to begin the preview event. Participating through the Google Hangout, Melissa of Raincoast Books introduced all participants of this year's preview event and began telling us about this year's highly anticipated titles. Following along in our packets (included in our swag bags) I made note of some very exciting titles I absolutely cannot wait to read and share with you all!


Melissa of Raincoast Books introduces titles and Eileen Cook talks With Malice (in order from left to right).

Titles From the Preview I'm Highly Anticipating:
*all titles linked to Goodreads*


Chasing Truth by Julie Cross -
An upcoming title by one of my favorites, Julie Cross. This upcoming title from Entangled Teen is a mystery perfect for fans of Veronica Mars.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas -
This is the highly anticipated fifth installment in the Throne of Glass series. With that said, I'm definitely reading this. Also, the coloring book will be available around the same time of it's release!

The Cabin by Natasha Preston -
I absolutely adore murder-mysteries. The Cabin features a group of friends spending a fun weekend in the middle of nowhere, when suddenly two of their own is found dead. Eeep!

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova -
A tale of magic, witches, and history featuring a Latin female lead. It sounds absolutely wonderful!

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter -
Sarah's upcoming fairy tale and folklore inspired tale sounds positively enchanting! It's got a hint of everything and I cannot wait to dive into it!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo -
This woman is AMAZING! There's no way I'm missing out on the sequel to Six of Crows!

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige -
A Snow Queen retelling from the villain's perspective - love, love, LOVE!


When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore -
I have yet to read The Weight of Feathers (I certainly plan to), but the prose for When the Moon Was Ours is absolutely lovely! Hints of love, romance, and magic!

Nemesis by Anna Banks -
I'm a big fan of Of Poseidon, so it's a given I'll be giving Nemesis a read!

The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia -
I've enjoyed Kami's titles in the past, and cannot wait to read this Romeo/Juliet and Fast & Furious like title! It's been compared to the work of Katie McGarry!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer -
A retelling from the Queen of Hearts perspective of Alice in Wonderland? YES!

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill -
This upcoming title sounds positively thrilling, suspenseful, and features just about the most kick-butt heroine ever! Cannot wait!




Upcoming Titles You Need to Check out:
*all titles linked to Goodreads*



Other Titles:
*all titles linked to Goodreads* 



Swag from this year's preview event. (Thank you, Hayley, for gifting your copy of When the Moon Was Ours!)


After learning about this year's highly anticipated fall releases, readers were given the opportunity to listen in on Eileen Cook as she talked about her upcoming title With Malice, a title I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on! After a quick Q/A session with Eileen, giveaway winners were announced, and readers were encouraged to break out into discussion on what titles they were most likely to pick up.

Overall, I positively enjoyed the Teens Read Preview event organized by Raincoast Books, Jenn and Jenny.  Thank you! It was informative, fun, and a wonderful chance to catch up with my fellow book bloggers. If you're interested in learning more about this fall's upcoming titles, feel free to check out the #TeensReadFeed hashtag on Twitter.



Happy Reading,


Monday, 9 May 2016

True Born Blog Tour - Review + Q&A with L.E. Sterling



True Born
By L.E. Sterling
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated...and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there's Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.
     


Typically, I have issues with sci-fi and dystopian orientated titles. The Hunger Games, Divergent (and a very small handful of others) have been the exception to that rule for me, and I pleased to share that True Born has made it onto my personal list of favorites!

“By your eighteenth birthday you're supposed to know. They're supposed to tell you. Splicer. True Born. Laster.”

The concept of True Born is unique. Focusing on the tale of two twin sisters in a world where the plague has devastated the population, the duo must face a big reveal - are they splicers, lasters, or true borns? However, when one of the sisters ends up disappearing, the other must find the leader of the True Borns in order to find out what happened to her sister and rescue her.

True Born was beyond what I imagined it would be! It captivated me instantly, never lost me for a single moment, and kept me reeling from it's twists and turns right to the very end. As I mentioned before, dystopian titles aren't quite my thing. Plagues, genetic engineering, and anything of the like always confuses me or exhausts me. However, True Born was not the latter. It generously explained everything about the splicers (their treatments) and the lasters, and continued to keep my attention with it's constant suspense , beautiful writing, and captivating characters (aka Nolan and Jared). Readers who enjoy YA set in an alternate version of the reality we know, who enjoy unique plots that delve into science, action, and suspense, will without a doubt enjoy True Born. I am highly anticipating it's sequel!

Captivating, unique, and exciting, True Born is a must read for dystopian fans!


Rating: 
4.5 / 5 Cupcakes


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Q&A with L.E. Sterling, author of True Born

What was your world building process like for True Born? You feature a wide array of unusual and unique characteristics to your world, how did you make it work so brilliantly?!

Hi, Wendy, and thank you for the HUGE compliment!
I really wanted to make the world of True Born an immersive experience. I wanted things to be layered and nuanced, and really envisioned through the eyes and experience of Lucy Fox. Most of this world building happened rather instantaneously: Dominion and its rainy, plague-ravaged streets were alive in my mind from the first paragraph. Still, during the first couple of drafts I really took the time to ask myself questions. For instance, what kind of learning experience would Grayguard Academy give their students? Where would Splicers live, in a world where so many of the houses would be empty? What would happen to the power, the lights, if people were literally dropping dead? What would power the elevators? Who would pick up the bodies?

And as I asked myself those questions I found that Lucy (in the growly, low sing song voice she speaks to me in) answered those questions. And I found that she was self-aware enough to also relate to readers of the book some of the reasons why things are the way they are, which is what I think makes it work (fingers crossed).
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  Be sure to continue to follow along the True Born blog tour! A big thank you to Raincoast Books for organizing the blog tour and for L.E. Sterling for the Q/A!

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, 4 May 2016

Three Scoops of Summer Blog Tour - The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson - Review + Giveaway


Have you been following along with the Three Scoops of Summer blog tour? If so, kudos! If not, it isn't too late to catch up on this fantastic blog tour hosted/organized by the talented team of @SimonTeenCA! All month long my fellow book bloggers and I will be featuring snippets, reviews, interviews and more in celebration of the releases for The Last Boy and Girl in the World, The Unexpected Everything, and The Heartbreak Museum. Today, as my second stop of the tour, I'll be featuring my glowing review on The Unexpected Everything! Don't forget to enter to win a phenomenal prize pack below!


The Unexpected Everything
by Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 519
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?
     


Morgan Matson is THE author to go to for your dose of contemporary. In fact, she's also THE author to go to for a realistic female role model you will be proud to recommend to your fellow readers.

"I looked up at him as he said his name. It seemed to hang in the air between us, like I could see it in a cartoon bubble, inked and shaded."

The Unexpected Everything follows the tale of Andie, a teen girl who had a plan for everything - the perfect internship, the perfect gaggle of friends, and options when it came to relationships. Unexpectedly (hah, see what I did there?) Andie's perfect plans for the perfect life are put on hold when a scandal hits and she's forced to live with her father and deal with all sorts of major changes. With that said, Andie was my kind of gal. Like her, I get quite anxious when people change plans (cancel last minute, etc) or when my life just doesn't go the way I planned. I'm the girl who doesn't do leaps of faith, I like to get all the facts, make the necessary preparations before doing anything, so reading about her feelings about this was refreshing! I was relieved to read that someone else felt this way and that I wasn't all alone in my anxiety, and that's one of the reasons why I adored this novel to pieces.

"He pulled me closer against  him, and I swore I could feel the beat of his heart against my back." 

Furthermore, besides Morgan Matson's lovely writing, The Unexpected Everything immediately hooked me to Andie and Clark's dialogue. This duo was irresistibly lovable together, entertaining, and especially emotion-enticing. All the feels!

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson is the book for the summer. In fact, it's best you read it before summer even gets here. Dive into this read with a chilled glass of iced tea, and settle into your favorite outdoor reading spot - that's an order from your Cupcake Queen!



Rating: 
5 / 5 Cupcakes


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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.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Review: Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes + Q&A



Queen of Hearts
By Colleen Oakes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
     


When it comes to finding an Alice in Wonderland inspired title, there is  without a doubt a plethora of them. Even so, it's not often you come across an inspired retelling of Lewis Carroll's masterpiece that is quite like Colleen Oakes' Queen of Hearts.

"Cheshire stared at her, his eyes darkening with anger, though the wide smile on his face betrayed nothing."

Told in the point of view of Dinah, the Princess who will be Queen, Colleen Oakes gives readers a fresh new look into the Wonderland universe. I've always felt that Wonderland retellings felt all too similar to one another, kind of blending in together into a giant mess, however Colleen Oakes' Wonderland is far more unique while also being slightly resembling to what we've come to know from Lewis Carroll. Furthermore, Queen of Hearts doesn't only introduce Dinah, but also includes appearances from everyone's favorites - the Hatter, the White Rabbit, Cheshire, and so much more. It was quite interesting to see how Colleen incorporated each character into Dinah's tale, and I absolutely cannot wait to see what book two has in store!

"Time seemed to stop as Dinah stood paralyzed in the darkness. The sword in her hand lowered slowly."

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes is not your average Wonderland retelling. It's exceptionally compelling, well written, and addicting! I guarantee you won't know what to expect in Colleen's latest. Forget all you knew about Alice in Wonderland and be prepared for an entirely refreshing adventure!


Rating: 
4.5 / 5 Cupcakes


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Q&A with Colleen Oakes, author of Queen of Hearts

Tell us about Queen of Hearts:

Colleen: Queen of Hearts is the backstory of the infamous villain from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The three part series is the story of Dinah, princess of Wonderland and tracks her transition from spoiled daughter of the King to the angry Queen we know and love.

What inspired you to write this interesting Alice in Wonderland re-telling from the perspective of the future Queen of Hearts?

Colleen: I was driving in my car and saw a poster for an Alice in Wonderland ballet, and it featured the Queen. I thought – why is that Queen so angry? Then I began thinking about what would cause that to happen, and my only thought was: Love. Of course. Only love can create that kind of rage. As soon as I had the idea, I thought “I’m going to write that story.”

Did you experience any difficulty when incorporating fan-favorites like the Knave, Hatter, etc?

Colleen: When I started writing the book, I decided that I could not handle writing talking animals, and so I took their attributes and turned them into their human counterparts: Cheshire became the shifty, clever advisor of the King. The White Rabbit became her kindly guardian who is very concerned with how late Dinah always is, The Mad Hatter her talented and deranged brother, and the Caterpillar…well, for that you have to wait for Book Two.

How important was it for readers to associate (or relate) with Dinah as the young princess?

Colleen: While I love YA, I am tired of seeing tales of the perfect “chosen one”. I wanted a heroine – and a villain – who were both relatable and flawed. We are going to see Dinah do some very bad things and pay the consequences for that, something that I think readers will understand. Sometimes doing bad things can feel very good.

What can readers expect to see from the series in the nearby future?

Colleen: This year will see the release of the first book in the series, Queen of Hearts. The second book in the series will be coming January 2017, I believe.

Your Queen of Hearts big or small screen dream cast?

Colleen: We will see who Universal Pictures picks, but my dream cast would be Mae Whitman as Dinah, Aaron Tvevit as Wardley, Kevin Costner as the Spade and Tom Hiddleston as Cheshire.

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I would like to extend a big thank you to Colleen Oakes for agreeing to do the Q&A and the HCCFrenzy team over at HarperCollins Canada for connecting us!


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.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Fresh on the Shelf - May 2016 Book Releases + Giveaway

Happy May, Cupcakes!

How was your April? Getting any reading done? 

If so, let me know what you enjoyed last month!

May is one step closer to the summer and I absolutely cannot wait to dive into these brand new titles! Be sure to keep a look-out on A Cupcake and a Latte for some blog tours and reviews on many of the releases we'll be expecting to hit shelves this month!

May 2016 Book Releases:

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan
The Last Star by Rick Yancey
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Warrior Witch by Danielle L. Jensen
The Way Back to You by Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott
Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann


The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson
The Paladins by Julie Reece
Love, Charms, and Other Catastrophes by Kimberly Karalius
Dream On by Kerstin Gier
Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman
The Crown by Kiera Cass
Ruined by Amy Tintera
Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes


Winging It by Cate Cameron
True Born by L.E. Sterling
Unrivaled by Alyson Noel
The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
Wanderlost by Jen Malone
100 Days of Cake by Shari Goldhagen
Kay's Lucky Coin Variety by Ann Y.K. Choi


It Wasn't Always Like This by Joy Preble
Spark by Holly Schindler
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
Night Speed by Chris Howard
A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink
Anything You Want by Geoff Herbach
26 Kisses by Anna Michels
Love & Gelato by Jenn Evans Welch


GIVEAWAY - International
Giveaway is for one book from the above May 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,