Monday, September 14, 2015

RECAP: Teens Read Winter + Spring 2016 Preview

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen my feed go berserk with fangirling squees on Saturday!!  

I was lucky enough to get to attend Raincoast Book's TeensRead Winter + Spring 2016 Preview!!!! It was organized by Raincoast Books, Jenn from Lost in a Great Book, and Vanessa at ampersand inc, and I'd like to take a moment here to say thank you to all of them!! You put on a fantastic event and it was a lot of fun!! :D

 Let me tell you, there are some AMAZING titles coming from their publishers soon!! :D

I just moved from Edmonton to Toronto at the beginning of August, so it was my first time going to a publisher event, and it was so much fun!!

We arrived, got some candies and goodies, and were then all given swag bags!

Each bag had different books in them, and they also came with a handout so that we could see all of the amazing upcoming titles!! The lovely staff at Raincoast books then told us about the great titles that we have to look forward to. I'm going to share my tweets so you can see my first reactions to most of these titles once I got home!

Be forewarned...I tweeted up a storm about this event, and I've embedded all of my tweets focusing on the titles below.

So, here they are:

Here's a full list of all of the titles mentioned during the Teens Read Winter + Spring 2016 Preview (I put asterisks beside the ones that I tweeted about):

We also heard about some upcoming sequels, and even though it wasn't a YA title, A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab, was mentioned and a large chunk of us proceeded to squee gleefully, myself included. ;)

As you can see, I got pretty excited about quite a few of these titles! 

Which ones are you most excited for?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: Shadows in the Silence (Angelfire #3) by Courtney Allison Moulton

Source: Purchased / Personal Library
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: Already Released.
Number of Pages: 469 (Hardcover)

Description from Goodreads:
Your strength in heart and hand will fall. . . .
Ellie knows that the darkest moments are still to come, and she has everything to fight for:

She must fight for Will.
The demonic have resorted to their cruelest weapons to put Will in mortal danger, and Ellie makes an unlikely alliance to save him and to stop Lilith and Sammael, who seek to drown the world in blood and tear a hole into Heaven.

She must fight for humanity.
As the armies of Hell rise and gather for the looming End of Days, Ellie and her band of allies travel to the world’s darkest and most ancient regions in her quest to come into her full glory as the archangel Gabriel.

And Ellie must save herself.
Her humanity withers beneath the weight of her cold archangel power, but Ellie must hold tight to who she is and who she loves as she prepares for the ultimate battle for Heaven and Earth.

In this final installment in the Angelfire trilogy, Courtney Allison Moulton brings her dark world of epic battles and blistering romance to a blazing bright conclusion.
Right from the very beginning, I have absolutely loved the Angelfire trilogy. The characters, the story, the action, the writing...everything is so well done and always compelled me to keep reading!! As soon as I finished Shadows in the Silence, I quickly wrote up my raving review on Goodreads....and accidentally deleted it instead of posting it. I meant to rewrite what I could remember and post it right away, but I kept putting it off because of my classes. Today, I'm finally getting my butt in gear, and putting my notes back together to post my review. :)

I absolutely loved Shadows in the Silence!! Ever since I first read Angelfire, I have been a huge fan of Courtney Allison Moulton's writing, and of her characters! Ellie in particular is one of my favourite YA heroines! She's always ready to kick butt and never backs down from a fight. She also never lets someone else fight her battles for her, and I totally love her for that! And Will...I absolutely ADORE Will! He's such an amazing guy, and I just love every single thing about him! Right from the very start, he has definitely had my heart. I also LOVE Ellie and Will together!! They're one of those couples that immediately send me into fangirl mode because I just SHIP them so FREAKING much!!! They're PERFECT---absolutely perfect together in the best way possible, and I personally just wanted them to be together so bad and was constantly cheering them on!!
Along with Ellie and Will, the trilogy is full of other AMAZING characters, too! I loved seeing all of the characters grow. Ellie becomes so strong over the series, and I loved seeing her relationship with Will evolve. I also loved seeing Ellie getting to know her own history better, and it was always interesting to see what would happen when she'd have a run-in with some of the "darker" characters, like Cadan. ;)

I'm leaving out finer details because I don't want to spoil anything since this is the final book, but I definitely thought that Shadows in the Silence was a wonderful conclusion to the Angelfire trilogy. It had me incredibly worried at times, and I was definitely just as desperate as Ellie was during parts of it, but I was also excited to see what would happen next. I definitely thought that Shadows in the Silence lived up to the dynamics and intensity that I have come to expect from the trilogy, and the ending was so satisfying!!! There is nothing better than finishing a series, trilogy or standalone, and just LOVING how it all turned out, and I definitely felt that with Shadows in the Silence. It satisfied all of my questions, and it was an extremely enjoyable story!!

I loved Shadows in the Silence, and the entire Angelfire trilogy!! If you haven't started it yet, I wholeheartedly recommend that you do because it is amazing, and you won't want to put any of the books down! I loved the characters, the story, the action, the romance...absolutely EVERYTHING!!! I found the trilogy to be so exciting and intense, and also unique since it did come out around the time when Angel books were super popular! I was riveted with each word, and loved every single moment!!

What do you think?
Have you read the Angelfire trilogy?
And if you haven't, does it sound like a trilogy you'd like?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

All About Audiobooks!

I have to admit that before I started listening to audiobooks, I was reluctant. I'd listened to one audiobook in the past, and it was a horrible experience. I didn't like the story and I didn't like the reader at all, but I was asked if I wanted to review an audiobook of one of my favourite author's books, so I listened to a sample, I liked what I heard, and I decided to go for it! And I'm so glad that I did! That was months ago now, and I've been hooked ever since!

I plan to start reviewing the audiobooks I listen to, but today I just wanted to let you know how easy it is to listen to them! :D There are several sites that require memberships, where you purchase credits, like Audible. But there are also a lot of other options that allow you access to audiobooks through your library, or even give you free access if they're out of the public domain.

Here are some of my favourite options for audiobooks:

    • I've found other websites where you purchase audibooks, but so far Audible is my favourite!!! Each credit costs you $14.95, and you can use one credit to purchase most audiobooks, but if the audiobook costs less than that, you can also select to just purchase it, instead of using your credits. There are daily deals, and sales every once in a while, too. But, the best part for me for Audible is that it uses whispersync with, so if you already own an ebook from Amazon, and there is an audiobook, you can purchase the audiobook at a discounted rate, too.

    • Librivox is a completely free site where volunteers record audiobooks that can be downloaded or listened to online. These recordings aren't always as good of quality as the ones you purchase, but they're still really great.

    • This is by far my favourite resource for listening to audiobooks! Your library has to have a membership with overdrive to use the service, but if they have one, you can borrow audiobooks and ebooks, and you can load them onto your devices. I've been using my iPhone and I love it! :D

    • Just like Overdrive requires your library's membership, so does Hoopla. Hoopla has movies and even more, too, so that's pretty great. Their selection isn't quite as big as Overdrive's, but they still have some awesome titles! :D

    • Scribd used to be more of a place to share excerpts and PDFs, but over the last year or so they started to become a service where you can read ebooks, and listen to audibooks, too. I haven't started using it yet, but my mom has, and she's hooked!

What do you think?

Are you a fan of audiobooks, or are you reluctant to try them like I was?
For audio fans, what's your favourite way to listen to them?
And, do you have any favourite books or audio readers?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How Do You Pick What Books You Want to Read? #Discussion #ReadingTastes #ReadingTips

I don't know about you all, but for the most part, I have a pretty good handle on knowing what I like to read. Because of that, the majority of the books I read end up being 4 or 5 star reads for me on Goodreads. Of course, every once in a while, I do get a book that I expect to love, and then when I go to read it, it falls flat or there's just something that rubs me the wrong way. For the most part though, I love almost every single book that I read! :)

I thought that today I would tell you all how I pick what I'm going to read, or what I use as the deciding factors on whether I want to add a book to my ginormous (and ever-growing) to-read pile! 

So, how do I pick what I want to read? 

Sometimes it's pretty easy. I look at the cover, read the blurb, and just KNOW that I'm going to either really enjoy or love a book. Other times, I have to look into a book a bit more, and then I'll decide if I want to take a chance on a new book. 

I do have a few main things that I look at to help me decide though.
 I'll list them below. :) 


The first thing that I use to pick out books is definitely the most judgmental one...and it's the one that breaks that rule that so many people have. I judge books based on their covers. Yes, I do, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Now, I don't use the cover to actually decide if I'll read a book, but often, the cover is what initially catches my eye. So, covers usually draw me to books, and I know I'm not alone in this. There's a reason covers are so important, and it's because they really do make a book stand out.

I find this is even more important to me now than it was than before I started blogging. I read more ebooks now, and when I'm looking for new ebooks to try, I find that the cover is extremely important. When ebooks come up as recommendations or in lists, there are just so many to choose from that the ones with the best covers always catch my eye first...ALWAYS! And even in book stores, with so many books all over the place, a shiny cover can definitely draw me in.


Once a cover has captured my eye, or if I'm looking at publisher catalogs where sometimes there aren't any covers yet, I'll take a peek at the book description. The book description is usually my deciding factor.

There are certain elements that I know I'll love in a book, so if it has those, it usually goes on my list IMMEDIATELY! For example, I know I love romance, so I tend to gravitate towards books with at least a little romance. I also know I love fairy tale retellings, and I love Pride & Prejudice, so if a book has either fairy tale or P&P elements...I'm usually on board right away. Sometimes though, I do like to mix it up, so I'll go for a classic or I'll go for a humorous book, or I might go for something literary that is completely different from what I typically read.

The biggest thing I look for is a story that intrigues me though. If the book description doesn't catch my attention, then I usually pass on it. Sometimes I'll go back and revisit it if I see that some of my friends really enjoyed it, but for the most part, if I'm pretty sure I won't like something, I just move on.


If I'm checking out a new author for the first time, or if I read an author's previous book and didn't absolutely love it, sometimes I look for excerpts or check out the previews available on Amazon or the samples on Kobo to see if I'll like a book. If I'm drawn in right away, I usually end up buying the book that day, but if I've spent a little too much money on books lately, I'll add it to my wishlist and go back later.

I always find that excerpts or samples are the best way to check out a book and a new author if you're unsure! Personally, I can be a bit picky with how dialogue is written at times. If there's a popular book that has me intrigued with a unique way of presenting dialogue, I'll often check out excerpts to see if I'd enjoy it...or if the style would drive me crazy!


One of the best parts about blogging is that you usually make a few friends or follow bloggers who have extremely similar reading tastes to your own. I have a few friends and bloggers whose recommendations I ALWAYS pay attention to. However, sometimes even with similar tastes, I might end up loving a book that one of my friends didn't like, but it's always nice to have someone whose opinions can help you decide if you want to read a book.

For me, I usually use this method when I've been hearing very mixed things about a book...that way I check to see if people with similar tastes to my own have been loving or hating it...and if they're hating it, and I've checked out a sample and didn't like it either, then I'll pass on a book. I also love to check out Goodreads reviews for this same reason. :)

So, those are a few of the different ways that I decide which books I should read.

Now, some tips for you!

I think the most important part is that you have to learn what kind of books you like

If you keep trying to read books in a very specific genre and you just hate them all, or if you've read five books by one author and couldn't stand any of them...well, I think it's time to decide that those books, that genre, or that author just aren't for you. And that's okay! Not every person will like every single book. We're all different, and we all have very different reading tastes.

You need to trust your judgment and choose books that interest you. If you don't like the biggest best seller at the time, that's okay! If you don't like classics, that's okay, too! Don't let anyone else's opinions make you feel bad about what you do like to read. It's okay if you don't like the same books as other people, so if you find a series, a genre, or an author that you love, but someone said something judgmental about it...ignore them! Read what you love! :)

Look for books that catch your attention, and don't be afraid to try something new! There are just so many books out there, and more are published every single day, so there really isn't any sense in reading what you don't enjoy when I'm sure there are TONNES of books that you WILL enjoy! So, go find them! :D Try new genres, read excerpts, and check out reviews! Do what you need to do to find books that you love to read, and soon enough, you'll get to know your reading tastes better, and you'll find that you're actually enjoying every single thing that you read!

How do you pick what you want to read?

Do you have methods that help you choose?
Or, do you tend to just pick up whatever catches your eye?

And what do you think of my methods?
Do you do them already, or are you going to try them out?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Blog Tour Review: Overtime (Assassins #7) by Toni Aleo

Overtime (Assassins #7) by Toni Aleo
Series: Assassins Series #7
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a eARC to participate in the blog tour!
Release Date: Already Released!
Number of Pages: 543

Description from Goodreads:
Down and out with an injury keeping him away from the game, Assassins’ defenseman Jordie Thomas lives for the blades of his skates on the ice and the feeling of oblivion off it. With no choice but to heal, he’s forced away from the sport that runs through his veins. With everything at stake and darkness setting in, he quickly finds himself spiraling even further out of control. As his life begins to come crashing down around him and his contract with the Nashville Assassins on the line, he’s given an ultimatum. Ready or not, Jordie is forced to face his past, the fears that consume him, and the one woman he let walk away.

Kacey King had her professional dreams come true, yet her heart was battered and broken. With an Olympic gold medal around her neck, she’s ready to look forward to the future but without the one man she wanted in it. She’s missing the key pieces of her heart she left months ago with the only person who was capable of destroying it, causing her to falter in all her plans to move on.

In the game of life, there are winners and losers, and neither Jordie nor Kacey want to be on the losing bench. If only Jordie could convince Kacey he’s a changed man and that he wants her right by his side as his MVP for the biggest and best parts of a life they build together. With emotions running high and the game on the line, can two proud people find happiness with each other, or will their hearts and souls be left in the cold? Will they see that sometimes having someone by your side who knows the good, bad, and broken is better than going it alone and losing everything through the back of the net? They are out of time on the game clock and fighting for the win of their lives.

But overtime was made for an Assassin like Jordie.


Toni Aleo is the author of the Nasvhille Assassins series: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, Empty Net, Falling for the Backup, and Blue Lines.

When not rooting for her beloved Nashville Predators, she’s probably going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her daughter’s dance competitions, taking pictures, scrapbooking, or reading the latest romance novel.

She lives in the Nashville area with her husband, two children, and a bulldog. Read more about Toni here.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads



Oh, Jordie, Jordie, Jordie! *dreamy sigh!* Sorry, Jordie's pretty irresistible so I just had to take a moment to swoon over him for a bit. ;)

I've been smitten with Toni Aleo's Assassins series since book 1, and with Overtime being the 7th full-length book in the series, my love hasn't diminished at all...instead it's grown, and grown..and grown!!! I especially love getting to see my favourite characters in each book as new characters have their stories told!! I really just love seeing them all get their happy stories!!! I won't say endings though because I'm always happy to see more of them in future books! ;D

If you can't already tell, I absolutely LOVED Overtime! I loved that Jordie and Kacey have a history, and that their relationship is so complex, but most of all, I loved how passionate they were about each other. I loved how when it really mattered, their love for each other made them stronger and helped them push themselves to be better people! :D I also loved how passionate they were on their own. None of the other Assassin leading ladies have been big hockey players themselves, but it was pretty neat to see Kacey being just as extreme into hockey as Jordie was. :)

Jordie is probably the darkest main character out of all of the Assassins players yet. He has a troubled past, and he faces a lot of challenges in Overtime. I was frustrated with him for pushing Kacey away, just like she was, but I was also so proud of him for getting better. I loved seeing him face his past, his problems, and his issues head on. He really shaped up in and made changes in his life to be a better man, and it was wonderful to see. While Kacey didn't have to overcome nearly as many obstacles as Jordie did, she did have to overcome her insecurities and learn to communicate, especially when her pride got in the way. Once Jordie and Kacey finally started talking and working together it was so awesome to see their relationship bloom!

Overall, I loved Overtime! It was sexy, full of wonderful banter and teasing, and it was an absolute pleasure to read. When Kacey and Jordie reunite, they do it right, and you don't want to stop reading for a minute! I'd recommend Overtime, and the Assassins series to sports romance fans, but also to fans of romances that are complex, real, and take a little bit of work. Jordie and Kacey definitely aren't perfect, but they make they work together to keep their relationship strong, and they themselves become stronger because of it. If you haven't started this series yet, you really should, it's definitely one of my favourites! :D





What do you think?
Does Overtime sound like your kind of book?