Ash Princess | Review

Greetings readers!

I would like to thank Penguin Random House Canada for sending me an advanced copy of this book! This was one of the 2018 books I was most looking forward to! It sounded quite intriguing and I couldn’t wait to pick it up!

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Pub Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Price: $24.99 CAD
ISBN: 9781524767068

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.


Buy It!

Chapters-Indigo | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


I enjoyed the book for the most part. I had my ups and downs with it, but it is a good book overall. It has all the things I check off from a good fantasy. Magic. Princesses. And a ruthless villain! Yet it lacked a bit of shine too.

What I Liked:

Characters: 

Theo: Growing up a prisoner in her own home, subject to an extreme amount of physical abuse, I found Theo to be quite resilient. She had absolutely every right to live in fear and tremor at the thought of rebellion. But she also lived in fear of doing nothing. She was human. She was real. She made mistakes, made up for some. She was not some perfect, scared little angel. She was scarred and tired, and willing to do something despite everything terrible about her situation.

People I loved to hate:

The Kaiser: Disgusting.

Cress (very diff girl from my precious TLC Cress):  She could have been a waaayyy better person and while I tolerate her decisions and understand her reasoning, in the end I hated her. Am I disappointed with her ending in this book?…Yes…mostly because it is just going to worsen things for Theo.

Brutal and Bloody: 

My goodness was this book bloody and ruthless. Sebastian takes time to demonstrate the horrors that Theo has faced in her life time. She does not hold back. The first few chapters of the book all had some kind of blood spilled or a bloody memory pop up. It really set a sombre mood.

The Physical Experience:

I love reading fantasy. There is no better genre to evoke physical reactions from me. From heart racing to that nervous butterfly feeling in my stomach. I have to give it to Sebastian’s writing style, she had a talent to make me feel nervous or precarious. That is how I know that the story is about to get better.

What I Disliked:

The romance/triangle:

No. No. Make it stop.  First off…I’m just going to complain about the triangle. NO. No. nO. Secondly…I didn’t really connect with either possible love interests. They each had their own qualities that I liked and others that kind of put me off. I stayed so emotionally unattached from this romance that even the smooch factor couldn’t reel me in. I wouldn’t say that the romance overpowers the story, or that it gets in the way…but it just adds to worry that I don’t need in my life.

It was predictable:

I have read this kind of story before, I will not lie. The whole princess saving her kingdom is one of my favourite types of stories, but each time I read a story like it I pick up on the connections, the line of the story and if there isn’t anything super uniquely astounding it comes off as plain. That being said, I could see some things coming, although there was still those elements of surprise. But still…was it entirely new!unique!mindblowing!??….not really.


Overall, the story is good. Yes, it is reminiscent of many other YA fantasy books, like the Winners trilogy and Red Queen, but it was still quite fun to read. It also suffers from its tropes, but it is still quite an impacting read. I hope we get to delve deeper into the magic of the story in the next book, and I think we might even be getting some pirates! 😀

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars 

Recommend: Yes! It’s the classic princess saving her kingdom, I live for this. I want you to live for it too XD

Let me know what you think! Have you read this yet? Are you looking forward to reading it? What “Princess Saving Her Kingdom” book is your favourite?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

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Lunar Chronicles Character Art Reveal!

Greetings readers!

The time has come to do another fanart character reveal that I created for my favourite YA series ever!

Last time, I showed off my first piece of Cinder! You can check out that post here. And since Cinder was #1 it only makes sense that the second half of the glorious OTP be fulfilled next! Yep! Today it is all about Prince Kaito of the Eastern Common Wealth a.k.a Sassmaster KAI!!!

*lots of cheering, especially from Peony!*

Let me tell you about drawing Kai. So Cinder was done really fast. I found some great reference pictures that I wanted to use. Then came Kai and I also had a bunch of reference pictures that I wanted to use.

So I drew Kai. AND THEN I ERASED IT SO FAST BECAUSE IT WAS HORRIBLE.

Then I drew Kai again. AND I ERASED IT AGAIN, BECAUSE OMG I AM NOT DOING MY SASSY PRINCE ANY JUSTICE.

Then I drew Kai for a third time. I changed the style of his hair, the shape of his nose, his jaw line. Basically everything. And then I did the worst thing possible and outlined in black! #mistake.

So I fixed and tweaked. And fixed and tweaked. And fixed and tweaked some more…to finally be satisfied with a final product. I still think that I could have done a way better job…I might retry these characters when I’m older and have honed better proportion skills. But I am happy with it!

So without further ado…..Kai!

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*My crummy camera skills are clearly not helping, but the weather has been so gloomy so it is hard to get enough natural light*

Ahhh! There he is. Don’t ask me where I was going with the clothes. I honestly can’t remember, so I just coloured it in red! XD I tried guys. I am happy with it, though one day I will revisit drawing these characters and do a much BETTER job of my favourite sassy prince!

Let me know what you think! Do you think Kai looks decent(ish)? What character reveal are you looking forward to most? Have you ever dabbled in any fanart?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

tlcread

Sleight Blog Tour | Review & Giveaway!

Greetings readers!

I am so excited to be participating in this blog tour for Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby! I had such a fun time reading this book, find out more in my review below and enter the INTERNATIONAL giveaway!

The Book:

Sleight_Cover_FINAL_LAYERS2.jpg

Title: SLEIGHT
Author: Jennifer Sommersby
Pub. Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 424
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

Delia smiles at the shadow only she sees—

Something slams into her. The lyra whirls like a half-dollar spinning on its edge.

My mother is thrown backward.

And she falls.

Growing up in the Cinzio Traveling Players Company, Genevieve Flannery is accustomed to a life most teenagers could never imagine: daily workouts of extravagant acrobatics; an extended family of clowns; wild animals for pets; and her mother, Delia, whose mind has always been tortured by visions—but whose love Geni never questions. In a world of performers who astonish and amaze on a daily basis, Delia’s ghostly hallucinations never seemed all that strange . . . until the evening Geni and her mother are performing an aerial routine they’ve done hundreds of times, and Delia falls to her death.

That night, a dark curtain in Geni’s life opens. Everything has changed.

Still reeling from the tragedy, the Cinzio Traveling Players are also adjusting to the circus’s new owner: a generous, mysterious man whose connection to the circus—Geni suspects—has a dark and dangerous history. And suddenly Geni is stumbling into a new reality of her own, her life interrupted daily by the terrors only Delia used to be able to see.

As the visions around her grow stronger, Geni isn’t sure who she can trust. Even worse, she’s starting to question whether she can trust her own mind.


My Review:

I really enjoyed this book! Circus settings are some of the most magical and mysterious places for a story to take place. And since they are filled with their own kind of magic, it adds the perfect atmosphere to this kind of story!

What I Liked:

Characters:

Geni: Left with a mystery to solve that somehow keeps her connected to her mother, Geni had to be courageous enough to chase after the goods that the monsters who haunted her mother were trying to take away. I really enjoyed Geni’s character. Even though the hurt of losing her mother was fresh, she was quite spunky and fun for most of the book. A risk-taker, most definitely and she didn’t always think her plans through, but I would say that that is what makes her very entertaining to follow. She gets herself into a mess and then she does everything she can to get herself out of it.

Baby: #ProtectBabyatAllCosts. That is all I have to say.

Setting:

Something about the circus always enchants me! (Umm…Rendz the whole purpose of the circus is to be enchanting!) Yes, but in book form, pulling off enchantment can be a little hard, but I absolutely loved it. While I was a little hesitant with animals being part of the circus (Because animals need the wild, people), I really enjoyed the bonds that Geni had with her elephants and lion. But I especially enjoyed the personalities that these animals showed off!

That Shakespeare Influence:

Normally I don’t like it when authors spell out their influences in books, I like to figure it out as I go. But to be 100% honest, I was never going to think this book had Hamlet notions, mostly because my time with Hamlet began and ended in my final year of high school. Still the parallels are subtle and just right. The tragic parts were definitely present and…that is all I will say. *wink wink*

Magic System:

Not gonna lie, it took a while for me to understand, but I loved it in the end. Three magical books, three magical families and one magical Mesopotamia. (Though it is not set in Mesopotamia.) I thought that the magic was very interesting because it wasn’t the classic elements, but much deeper and more human related than that!

What I Disliked:

Romance:

Not a big issue. Like I would have shipped it IF the author had given it more time. I don’t think she chose the right moment for them to kiss or confess their feelings. Plus I don’t think they had known each other long enough or had spent enough time together to have such strong feelings.

Pace:

A tad slow at the beginning, then a rather rushed portion to the end. The slow beginning made me really appreciate the rush to the finale as I found it far more entertaining…but still, it could have used some evening out I think.

Sleight
via Goodreads

Overall, I think this is a solid read! There was lots of mystery, magic and fun to be had. I’m not 100% sure there is going to be a sequel, but I hope there is because that ending was left wide open!

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Recommend: Yeah! Magical Circus here we come! (Plus, this is technically Canadian YA and I’m just gonna drop the fabulous Canadian cover…here.)


Jenn

About Jennifer:

I am a writer, copy/line editor, bibliophile, and mom of four living in the Great White North. 
Represented by Victoria Doherty Munro at Writers House.
Romantic comedies under Eliza Gordon.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 



Watch the Book Trailer!


Giveaway!:

Details:

  • International!
  • 3 winners will receive a SLEIGHT Prize Pack including a finished copy of the book and swag!
  • Ends on May 4th at Midnight EST!

Rafflecopter Link!


Follow the Tour:

SLEIGHT

Week One:
4/2/2018- Novel Novice– Guest Post
4/3/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review
4/4/2018- For the Love of KidLit– Interview
4/5/2018- Two Points of Interest– Review
4/6/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview

Week Two:
4/9/2018- RhythmicBooktrovert– Review
4/10/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post
4/11/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
4/12/2018- Page Turners Blog– Excerpt
4/13/2018- Eating Between The Lines– Review

Week Three:
4/16/2018- Wonder Struck– Review
4/17/2018- Jena Brown Writes– Review
4/18/2018- Blushing Bibliophile– Review
4/19/2018- Reading with Rendz– Review (You are here)
4/20/2018- Daily Waffle – Interview

Week Four:
4/23/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Review
4/24/2018- Kati’s Bookaholic Rambling Reviews- Excerpt
4/25/2018- Simply Daniel Radcliffe– Review
4/26/2018-Margies Must Reads– Excerpt
4/27/2018- The Book Nut– Review

 Week Five:
4/30/2018- Book-Keeping– Review



Let me know what you think! Have you read this book yet? Have you ever visited the circus? If you could be in a circus act what would you choose?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Price Guide to the Occult | Review

Greetings readers!

I am a very lucky duck! The lovely people over at Candlewick Press sent me a copy of The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton. This book caught my eye recently as I was scrolling through Goodreads and other blogs and it sounded absolutely fantastic, so I was ecstatic to find it in my mail!

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton

Publisher: Candlewick
Pub Date: March 13, 2018
Price: $21.99 CAD
ISBN: 9780763691103

From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting maelstrom of magic and murder in the lush, moody Pacific Northwest.

When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them. Fast-forward one hundred–some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it.

In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.


Buy It!

Amazon | Chapters-Indigo | McNally Robinson | Book Depository


TW: Self harm

Well. This was quite a story. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into this book. I knew it had something to do about witches, but other than that and the synopsis I didn’t really know where this story was headed. It had some sensitive content that I was not expecting, so if you are someone who is uncomfortable with themes of self-harm I’ll put in a fair warning here.

What I Liked:

Characters:

Nor: Despite reading Not for like half the book, I really enjoyed Nor’s character. She was struggling throughout the book with inner darkness and fears that have haunted her since her childhood, especially those surrounding memories of her mother. She has always wanted to lead a quiet, almost invisible life, but when you are a witch, from a well-known witch family, invisibility is harder to attain. I really enjoyed reader her journey of growth, her fight to save herself and those she loves.

Although I am no expert in the matter, I think her plight against temptation and giving in to self-harm was well done. It’s a hard battle to fight and even a harder to embrace the scars left behind, but I think Walton did a good job of communicating that through Nor.

Savvy: A minor character and Nor’s best friend, but I had to give her a quick shout out because she was absolutely hilarious and brightened a rather dark book.

Atmosphere & Setting:

I don’t know what it is about islands, but they are totally perfect for witchy settings. The atmosphere was perfect for the book. Mysterious, dense and magical. The whole time I was reading the images in my mind appeared to be cool greys and blues with hints of green because there were so many dark things going on. And as the book progresses and things get worse for our characters, the island gets foggier and spookier. The setting just matched the story to a tee and I loved it!

Writing:

Magical settings do not just make themselves. I have to hand it to Walton, her writing is quite beautiful. Lots of beautiful descriptions and passages that added to the wonder of the book. It was clear and never really confusing. I’m amazed at how much detail she was able to get in despite it being a shorter book. It was truly visual writing and I am in love!!

Magic! Beautiful and Brutal:

I really enjoyed the magic system in this book. It was “hereditary” but different each time. Each Blackburn daughter was bestowed a different burden that was unique and somehow connected to their original matriarch. I think the genealogy of the of the Blackburn Witch family was really fun to explore…though I might have been confused at times keeping track of so many witched.

But the magic in this one is intense. I mean apart from the very useful healing magic and abilities to communicate with animals that Nor and other members of her family could cast, Nor’s mother was another thing entirely. Every time she was present in a scene things got ten times darker and more bloody. It was gruesome and quite–no–VERY bloody. Mix in Walton’s ability to create such stark images with her writing…y’all I was cringing (but also kind of enjoying it!)

What I Disliked:

I Needed a Family Tree:

This book starts with a really long prologue about the original Blackburn Matriarch and the eight original families of the island. Three pages in and I already couldn’t keep track of all the family names and people that were involved in the original curse. Then throughout the book, Nor brings up past witches and I’d lose count of who was who with what powers and whom they got involved with. It was one big question of WHO? I think a family tree would have cleared up A LOT of confusion and just made the story much easier to follow.


Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is not quite what I expected it to be. It covered a really hard, but important topic, it got very dark until there was some light at the end and it had a bittersweet romance which kind of hurt me a little. The ending was also something that kind of threw me off…is the author going to do a sequel? I don’t think so…but that was a very rude–yet satisfying–open ending she left for readers.

Rating: 4 / 5 stars!

Recommend: Yes! I think this is the year of the witches and you definitely want to be caught up on all your wicked reads!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this yet? What are some of your favourite witchy reads? Who is your favourite fictional witch character?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Book and Music Tag!

Greetings readers!

AGES ago, I was tagged by the magnificent Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews to do the Book and Music Tag! Mandy is one of the most epic people I have met on this blogging journey of mine, so if you are not following her, I suggest you do so immediately!

Ahhhh music. You see the thing with me and music is that I have such an odd taste for it. I am literally into everything and yet I have my limits. The thing is that the music has to trigger some sort of feeling for me. Not just dance mode, or soulful, but if it lends itself to a story that I make up or moves me in any way then I’m telling you right now, it will stay on repeat for like a month!

Most songs I listen to are attached to one of my own stories, so attaching them to books that I have actually read will be interesting. Let’s see how this works out!

Rules:

  • Tag the creator of this tag (Debbie @ Debbie’s Library) and the person who tagged you
  • Pick 5 songs (or more) that you just have to listen to whenever they are played
  • Pick the books or characters that you think fit that song the best, and explain why you picked those books or characters
  • Tag some friends!

“Vengeance” ~ Zack Hemsey

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I think the title explains pretty much what I want to say. After the events of Six of Crows, Kaz and his crows are in quite a pickle and there is one certain character that Kaz needs to exact his wrath upon. The song is very slow at the beginning and then quickly picks up it’s pace. It has these sounds that I wouldn’t even know what instrument they belong too, but together this collection of sounds makes one moving piece. Much like how this odd group of criminals bands together to exact their vengeance.

I just really like it.

“To the Wonder” ~ Aqualung feat. Kina Grannis

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Not going to lie. This is 100% kind of cheating, but this song was used in a fanmade trailer for the series and let me tell you. THE TRAILER IS EPIC AND I CANNOT ASSOCIATE THIS SONG WITH MUCH OF ANYTHING ELSE BUT TLC! Maybe it’s the piano that sounds so fairy tale-like that really matches the origins of the series? Maybe it is the voice of the singers that are rather lovely? I’m not quite sure, but I love it.

Here is the trailer: 100% recommend you watch it ~ It is not 100% accurate, but it is GOOD!

“Revolution” ~ The Score

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Again the title is really why. The whole idea of Elias and Laia being thrown into this mix of rebels and their own ambitions to bring down the oppressive Martial Empire just makes sense with the song. Although, I don’t recall there being any wolves in ember! XD

“Now We Are Free” ~ Hans Zimmer (Gladiator Soundtrack)

Champion by Marie Lu

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Before you all @ me. I know that Gladiator and Champion take place in polar opposite settings and that there are no gladiators in Marie Lu’s dystopian books. BUT. The song people, it makes me cry similar to how the epilogue of Champion just tears out my soul. The whole “Now We Are Free” title also kind of commemorates the finale of June and Day’s journey and the plight of the Republic against the Colonies. And….and…*sobbing Rendz* it totally gives me the same feels as when June talks to her brother, Metias. *more sobs*

“Hero” ~ Enrique Iglesias

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades IG

Oh my, I’m throwing it back. Back when Enrique had his mole. Waaayyyy back. And he wrote a catchy song about a Hero to match this superhero book! Okay… this was supposed to be a joke, but now that I think about it seriously, this would totally be Adrian’s song to serenade Nova. I mean “Would you dance if I asked you to dance?
Or would you run and never look back?” that is totally a summation of Adrian and Nova’s relationship in this book. He does something cute and she responds by running away in the end XD.

I Tag…

Anyone who is pumping great tunes into their ears right now! Ping back to me so I can see!


Wow. That was harder than I thought. I don’t know how people make whole playlists for books, if I can barely match 5 songs to 5 books! I guess it helps if you listen to music with words, unlike me who likes to mainly listen to instrumentals and movie scores. XD

Let me know what you think! Do you associate songs with books? What is your favourite genre of music? Have you ever made a playlist for a book?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Story Girl | Review

Greetings readers!

Despite the cold temperatures I’m experiencing here in my corner of the globe lately, I feel like it is the perfect time to read those spring/summer books. It’s also my favourite time of year for middle grade. I don’t know what it is exactly, but something about the spring sun (and rain) gets me in the mood for a good heartfelt adventure.

The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery

Publisher: Tundra Books
Pub Date: January 9, 2018
Price: $12.99 CAD
ISBN: 9781101919491

Sara Stanley is only fourteen, but she can weave tales that are impossible to resist. In the charming town of Carlisle, children and grown-ups alike flock from miles around to hear her spellbinding tales. And when Bev King and his younger brother Felix arrive for the summer, they, too, are captivated by the Story Girl. Whether she’s leading them on exciting misadventure or narrating timeless stories–from the scary “Tale of the Family Ghost” to the fanciful “How Kissing Was Discovered” to the bittersweet “The Blue Chest of Rachel Ward”–the Story Girl has her audience hanging on every word.


Buy It!

Amazon | Chapters-Indigo | McNally Robinson | Book Depository


*A huge thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a free copy in exchange for a honest review!*

I have only read one other book by L.M. Montgomery which was none other than her masterpiece, Anne of Green Gables. I absolutely adored it and I cannot wait to continue the series in a near foreseeable future. So in picking up this book I was really hoping to immerse myself in Montgomery’s beautiful writing and quirky characters!

What I Liked:

Characters: There were lots of them, so I’ll highlight a few things for each!

Story Girl: She was an absolute delight. Montgomery definitely gives her a way with words and a mischievous personality to match with all those fancy terms she uses. I really liked reading the stories she told and the way she charmed kids and adults alike.

Beverly: He is actually the narrator which I found quite interesting. It’s probably the best since if it were in the perspective of the Story Girl this novel would probably go on and on. He also has a way with words and the fact that it is actually an adult Bev reminiscing on his childhood days really amps the sense of nostalgia!

Cecily: Oh she was my favourite! Maybe it was her curiosity and leadership that showed up sporadically when she wasn’t second-guessing herself. She was adorable and I loved her sassy one-liners too.

Peter: Another favourite. He added a lot of humour to the story, since he wasn’t raised “proper” like the other kids, but I loved that about him.  I wish he wasn’t chasing after a girl who didn’t appreciate him, but who knows what could happen to this little crush of his.

 Dan & Felix & Sara Ray: They added a lot of fun to the story too! So much bickering sass, and crying (<- mostly from Sara Ray) came from them. They gave the story a healthy dose of spirit.

Felicity: She was actually my least favourite…far too snobby and self-entitled for my liking. Yet, I also kind of liked her sassy and blunt ways. I’m conflicted.

The Setting:

Prince Edward Island has always been a dream destination of mine! It sounds liked such a scenic and beautiful place. Of course the PEI of today is much different from the PEI in the story, but still. The glowing sun of the summer in PEI was the perfect backdrop for the adventures of these kids!

The Writing:

Montgomery’s writing is absolutely stunning. The descriptions she uses to emphasize the innocence and beauty of the children and their adventures in growing up were perfect.  Some passages were simply stunning and I couldn’t help but remark at their beauty.

The Stories within the Story:

How can I not talk about all the great little stories that the Story Girl told within the pages of the book. Some were heartfelt, others were tragic and some were very funny. It was really cute reading about the reactions of the other kids and the spell bound wonder they would be trapped in every time the Story Girl told a new tale!

What I Disliked:

What Was the Final Point?:

This was a really good story because of the amazing characters that Montgomery created. Otherwise in terms of plot, it was a little everywhere. I could not catch the direction of the story, other than it being a recount of the summer in the eyes of Bev.

Slooooowwww:

My, my it was a very slow story. Or perhaps it just felt like that because I didn’t know what the point of the story was. It was a little repetitive at times and that made me kind of want to put the book down.


Overall, it was a cute story. A perfect book to get my middle grade reading mood going. Yes it was a tad boring in places and quite outdated. (Whenever they mentioned converting the Heathen, I cringed..so just keep that in mind if you read this book.) Despite that I thought it was a fun read and I look forward to the sequel!

Rating: 3 / 5 stars 

Recommend: Yes! It’s the kind of book you read when it’s raining out and you would rather bask in the warm light of the summer sun, with a light breeze keeping you cool at the same time.

Let me know what you think! What is your favourite L.M. Montgomery read? What is your go to middle grade author/book/series? What books do you like to read during the spring season, if you have a preference?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Frenzy Presents Event Recap | An Afternoon of Talking About Books

Greetings readers!

On Sunday, I had the most wonderful opportunity to go to an event hosted by HarperCollins Canada’s teen group, HCC Frenzy to talk about their Spring 2018 reads! I have never been to one of these events as an official blogger and I was over the moon to finally get an official invite!

Since this was my first time going, I didn’t actually know how these things worked and I got quite anxious. Luckily, I knew one other person there so I wasn’t going to be totally alone. Plus I also told myself (very sternly in the washroom mirror) that I had to talk to at least one other person there! If I followed my own advice is a different matter…

The Office

Despite my ears popping on the way to the 41st floor of the building where Harper is located, seeing the beautiful lay out of the office was amazing. I unfortunately didn’t take any pictures, but I’m sure if you follow any of the other bloggers or #FrenzyPresents, you will see the epicness that is their HQ.

And I adored the balloons which I did take a picture of…

The Books Discussed

Frenzy had a panel of seven different ladies (all fabulously dressed might I add–seriously though I was also taking mental notes of their outfits) that talked about several of Harper’s titles that are coming out this spring!

*Click the image to go the Goodreads page of each book!*

Past Tense by Star Spider (April 10th, 2018)

Past Tense

  • Debut, set in Toronto
  • Focuses on mental illness and LGTBQ themes

The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth  (April 10th, 2018)

The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2)

  • Sequel to Carve the Mark (Which I own but haven’t read…)
  • Apparently it gets even twistier and there is something questionable revolving the MC’s father.

The Diminished by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson  (April 10th, 2018)

The Diminished

  • Twins & Sibling relationships
  • Fantasy
  • I am soldsoldsold

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli (April 24, 2018)

Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood, #2)

  • New Becky Albertalli
  • Sequel to Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (Now a major movie!)

9 Days  & 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno (May 1st, 2018)

9 Days and 9 Nights

  • Sequel to 99 Days
  • Contemporary romance
  • All the feels!

Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis (April 23, 2018)

Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now

  • Contemporary!!
  • Themes about family and fitting in!!
  • Drama!!!

Puddin’ by Julie Murphy (May 8, 2018)

Puddin' (Dumplin', #2)

  • Sequel to Dumplin’ (soon to be a big movie!)
  • Feel good novel

All of This is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor (May 15th 2018)

All of This Is True

  • Ya Thriller about readers meeting their fave YA author
  • A book within a book!

Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett (May 15, 2018)

Onyx and Ivory

  • FANTASY!!! MAGIC!!!
  • That is really the only note I took because I was so sold on it.

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard (May 15, 2018)

War Storm (Red Queen, #4)

  • Finale to Red Queen series
  • Victoria is coming to Burnaby, BC and Toronto, ON in May! Check out Indigo.ca for more details!

Monday is Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson (May 22, 2018)

Monday's Not Coming

  • Claudia’s BFF Monday is missing and no one will tell her anything about Monday’s whereabouts!
  • So Claudia sets out on a quest to find her friend!

Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider (June 5th, 2018)

Invisible Ghosts

  • Contemporary with a twist!
  • Ghost BFF, healing and first love!

Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim (June 5th, 2018)

Mariam Sharma Hits the Road

  • Road trip for three Pakistani friends!
  • Cultural growing pains and journey to self-discovery!
  • Perfect summer read!

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno (June 5th, 2018)

Summer of Salt

  • Practical Magic in a contemporary novel!
  • WITCHES!

Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly DeVos (June 5th, 2018)

Fat Girl on a Plane

  • Fashion blogger determined to change the status quo!
  • Read if you love Project Runway (<—ME)

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen (June 5th, 2018)

The Bird and the Blade

  • Historical adventure that reads like fantasy!!!
  • Influenced by the Mongol Empire
  • It just sounds so utterly amazing. WANT.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James (July 3rd, 2018)

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

  • Girl alone in space
  • Starts chatting with captain of new ship who might save her
  • BUT THERE ARE WORSE THINGS IN SPACE THAN BEING ALONE

Notes From My Captivity by Kathy Parks (July 10th, 2018)

Notes from My Captivity

  • Dark and hilarious
  • The Power of Language!
  • Sounds weird but I dig it.

Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton (July 31st, 2018)

Heart of Thorns

  • F A N T A S Y
  • That’s really all I heard and just starred the picture of the book…

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Sea Witch

  • From the world of The Little Mermaid comes AN URSULA ORIGIN STORY!!!!
  • 100% YASSSSSSSSS

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry (August 7th, 2018)

Heretics Anonymous

  • Comedy, chaos and inquisition!

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch (August 7th, 2018)

These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders, #1)

  • PIRATES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author Guest!

Frenzy had special guest Hadley Dyer in to talk about her new YA contemporary book Here So Far Away. Dyer talked about the process of coming up with her story, all the 90s references she wanted to put in, the hardships of the small town life and of course writing a snarky MC!

We all had the chance to meet and greet Dyer, as well as get a signed copy of Here So Far Away! She is a lovely person and gave me some great travel advice tips for when I want to visit the east coast! XD

My Overall Experience

The Book Talk lasted for about an hour and it was full of fangirling, laughter and fun! Hearing about all these incredible books that are coming out made me so excited to go out and read them all!! Alas, I have quite a few months to wait before that can happen. Still I’m so excited for so many!!! I’m a terrible note taker, but I know that there are some great reads headed our way!

After the book talk came…the mingle.

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Yeah…my whole plan to talk and be social epically failed. I mean everybody was so chatty and laughing and having a great time…and I was having a good time too…just not really talking much! XD

I don’t know what happened to me, but I panicked and shut down. I only talked to my friend for a while and the people she introduced me to.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT!?

I did what I always do when I find myself not wanting to make small talk. I eat and drink and just smile at people passing by. Like a true introverted-introvert, I stuffed my mouth with cake (It was really good cake). I even took a short trip to the washroom to just for the hell of it! XD

via giphy.com

Despite my intense social awkwardness and inability to strike up a good conversation, I did have a small chat with another blogger until I ran out of things to say…so I’ll consider that like half an accomplishment!

The Real Reason for Going: THE SWAG BAG!

I’m not going to lie, the swag bags were a really attractive feature of this event. I was so excited to see what would be in them and seeing as OwlCrate, Epic Reads and Harlequin Teen (and more!) were some of the sponsors…I was very excited!!!

The contents ranged from books, to stickers, to tea (lots of tea) to bookmarks and a phone charger!

PLUS I AM OVER THE MOON TO HAVE AN ARC OF HEART OF THORNS!!! My little fantasy loving heart was bursting with utter joy!

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At the end of the event, I headed home with this warm and dream like feeling. Being in a room full of bookworms where all we do is discuss books is one of the best experiences I have had. Despite my inability to be social, everyone was really nice and the few people I did chat with were wonderful!

I sincerely hope I get to go to another one of these events. Maybe next time I’ll get properly acquainted with more people!

Let me know what you think! Have you ever gone to a blogger event as such? Lol, if you were at Frenzy, how’d you find it? What Spring 2018 titles are you most looking forward to?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz