Tag Archives: event

Five Titles from #FrenzyPresents That I Need to Get My Paws On!

Over the weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Harper Collins Canada for their Spring #FrenzyPresents event. This event happens every few months to showcase what upcoming YA titles are on their way out to the shelves. I always love these events if only because the Frenzy crew really shows such amazing enthusiasm and passion for the titles that they are publishing. They showed us a variety of titles, from high fantasy to gripping contemporary, and I thought it would be fun to share the five titles I’d love to get my paws on!

Monday’s Not Coming
by Tiffany D. Jackson (Expected Release:  May 22nd 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books)

This book sounds like it’s going to be a rough and gripping ride. Missing persons stories are easily some of the most uncomfortable stories out there. When someone is missing there’s the fear they’ve been brutally hurt, raped,  or even murdered. There’s a discomfort and unnerving feeling that comes from stories like this — a best friend has gone missing, no one seems to pay it any mind then the one person who strongly notices. Claudia’s story sounds like one that is going to be a tough read, but I’m here for it.

 Invisible Ghosts
by Robyn Schneider (Expected Release: June 5th 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books)

It has been awhile since we’ve gotten a new Robyn Schneider book. I find what I love about Robyn Schneider’s novels is there’s always an unpredictable element to them. In the case of her new novel, it has ghosts! I feel like this is going to be a story that hits me hard given it’s mainly about moving forward and trying to let go of the past. Believe me, I can relate, and I feel like this one is going to punch me hard in the feelings.

The Bird and the Blade
by Megan Bannen (Expected publication: June 5th 2018 by Balzer + Bray)

I admit, I am not the biggest historical fiction buff. I will say, however, that if a historical fiction novel focuses on East Asia, I will pay attention. Asian culture has always fascinated me, and while the author isn’t Asian, I’m willing to see where he story goes. This book has MONGOLS. MONGOLS PEOPLE. That alone had me yelling in my chair during the event! Plus, Maeve, being the doll that she is endorsed it, and given how well-researched I’ve heard this book is, I need to get my claws on it.

Leah on the Offbeat
by Becky Albertalli (Expected publication: April 24th 2018 by HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)

Hi, my name is Sam, and I am addicted to Becky Albertalli books. Yes, yes, I am. I am SO EXCITED FOR LEAH ON THE OFF BEAT. SO MUCH SO THAT I AM USING ALL CAPS TO EXPRESS MY JOY AND HAPPINESS. YAS YAS YAS YAS YAS YAS YAS.

But seriously, I am here for this book. Feelings and flailing are going to happen.

Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now
by Dana L. Davis (Expected publication: May 1st 2018 by Harlequin Teen)

Hello family drama? I am in it. I’ll admit, this was one of the few books I hadn’t heard of during the event, but the synopsis sounded like it was going to be an emotional roller-coaster.  This book looks at a girl with two potential fathers and the possibility of feeling like she’s never going to fit in with a family. While I hope it isn’t Maury (‘You are not the father!’), I feel like there’s just going to be such an intense back and forth in this story. I look forward to reviewing it for you all very, very soon!

There you have it! These are the five titles I am beyond thrilled about it. I want to express a huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada for the invitation to see their new titles, and extend a thank you tot he special guest Hadley Dyer, who was so genuine and funny, and while you are all at it, go pick up here latest Here So Far Away (which I’ll have a review for on the blog super soon for — spoiler alert: I ADORED IT).

I cannot wait to share these new titles with the teens at my work, and I am living for these releases.


Five Books I Am Jazzed About Thanks to #FrenzyPresents

Last Sunday I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Harper Collins Canada main office in Toronto. The Harper Collins Frenzy team focuses on YA fiction, especially promoting new and up-and-coming Canadian YA titles as well. This event that they hosted focused on Spring and Summer releases, and they have quite an exciting crop of titles coming out in 2017. I thought I’d share with you all the five I am most jazzed about.25752164

That Thing We Call a Heart
by Sheba Karim (Release Date: May 9th 2017)

When Suman, our MC for the afternoon began discussing That Thing We Called Heart, I was immediately intrigued. This book tells the story of Shabnam Qureshi, a young Pakistani-American who attends a private school in New Jersey. When her best friend, Farah, starts wearing the headscarf, it begins to change their friendship forever. This a book about racism, race, cultural clash, family, and self-discovery. I have an ARC of this book and it is surprisingly small looking, but given all the things I’ve mentioned above, I’m excited to see the kind of punch it’s going to pack when I get the chance to read it.


by Katie Cotugno (Release Date: April 18th 2017)

I loved Katie Cotugno’s debut How to Love, but I admit my indifference towards 99 Days. However, Fireworks has me reaaaaaally excited given it is written for the boy/girl band geek in all of us. I won’t lie: I am complete and utter trash for books about pop bands, as they were and have been a large guilty pleasure of mine for years. I still maintain that “Backstreet’s Back” has one of the best music videos of all time! (Seriously, come at me bro if you disagree). But seriously, this book sounds like it has Cotugno’s signature style, and I expect at least one moment of ugly crying out of me once I read it.


The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
by Mackenzi Lee (Release Date:  June 27th 2017)

So according to every person I know, I need to read this book. Apparently it is the most delightful romp ever, with absolutely delightful characters. Molly swears by this book (but that also might be because she and Mackenzi are friends), but I’ll be honest, this just sounds like a book I would adore. Apparently this book has gay romance, swashbuckling pirates, and streaking. What more do you want from a fun historical read? I definitely can’t wait to devour this one. It’s a chunky book, but I bet it reads fast!


Ramona Blue
by Julie Murphy (Release Date: May 9th 2017)

So there’s a lot of positive and negative buzz surround Julie Murphy’s latest. Frankly, I am already in enough trouble given how much I loved Murphy’s debut, but somehow have not read the infamous Dumplin’ (a book that I was stoked for and it somehow slipped off my radar. I suck, you guys). I feel like Ramona Blue is going to have a lot of what I already love about Julie Murphy’s books: strong heroine, tough situations, and I think the way this book is premised is partially why it’s getting the negative reaction that it is. Truthfully, I love seeing bi-rep in books, and I’m curious to see how this story will unfold once I read it.


The Upside of Unrequited
by Becky Albertalli (Release Date:  April 11th 2017)

Of course this book is on the list. I want it. Give it to me now. NOW. NOW. NOW. NOW. The wait is so hard for this one. I need more fun that is a Becky Albertalli book in my life RIGHT NOW.

And no, I’m not going to write something cohesive in regards to the book. I just want it. Or I can just reread Simon until it releases. Whichever.

And these are the five books I cannot wait to star reading or get my paws on. There was a lot of interesting titles being shown, but I really found myself gravitating towards the contemporary line up (are we surprised?). A huge thank you again to Harper Collins Canada for the invite, the wonderful company, and of course, the swag. I cannot wait to check all the above and below books out, though I swear I am going to need another book shelf with the way 2017 is looking for book releases.


Five Books From the #TeensReadFeed Fall Preview That I Need

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend Raincoast’s Fall Book Preview. This event was to highlight upcoming titles releasing in the fall, and what was shown was quite a range of works, from new mystery and thriller titles, to epic sounding middle grade novels. There were two events, one in Vancouver and the other in Toronto. The Toronto people were able to interact with the Vancouver people via Google Hangouts.


Once we were ushered in, there were many treats to be obtained, homemade lemonade (so delicious) and other snacks. We were also given a grab bag with posters, bookmarks, and a few ARCs that were being highlighted in the event. Here’s my pile, and let me say, I am excited to read all three of these!


There was also a special guest, Eileen Cook, who wrote With Malice. During that section of the event readers were able to ask Eileen questions about her writing process, the novel, and some of her recent favourite reads. I really enjoyed listening to her discuss the writing process and where the inspiration came for With Malice. She was also just delightfully candid and entertaining as well. If you want to check out With Malice, it releases on June 7th 2016.

Now, you are all probably wondering what books were highlighted at the event, and there was a lot of them. I’m not going to go through the entire list, but rather share with you the five books that I came out of the event desiring the most. So without further ado, let’s highlight some of the most wanted titles!


Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure
by Ann M. Martin, Annie Parnell, Ben Hatke (Release Date: September 6th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends)

Surprise! I bet you weren’t expecting a middle grade title to be my most anticipated book from the event, but here we are. I ADORED Ann M. Martin’s Rain Reign and it was one of my favourite books the year I read it. I also am a huge lover of Ben Hatke’s artwork, so to have two people who’s works I love be in the same book? It’s a win for me. Missy Piggle-Wiggle sounds delightful charming, in the vein of books likes The Penderwicks, which I love. This one looks fun, quirky, and I think the team on this can totally stick the landing.


A Darkly Beating Heart
by Lindsay Smith (Release Date: October 25th 2016 by Roaring Brook Press)

Japan? Time travel? Lindsay Smith knows how to write historical novels and give them interesting twists. This novel moves between modern day Japan and the 19th century, and focuses on LGBT issues in Japan. Not to mention it sounds like quite the thrill ride, and who doesn’t love a good timeslip story where the heroine fights for injustice in two realms? Could be fantastic!


Vassa in the Night
by Sarah Porter (Release Date: September 20th 2016 by Tor Teen)

First off, this cover. This cover is beautiful. Second, the book is inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful, which I had never heard of and did some research on. This book sounds eerie, but also intriguing. There’s witch’s, curses, and it’s all done in the backdrop if Brooklyn. Definitely could be an interesting fantasy pick to recommend when I’m working with teens at the library. BUT HOLY SMOKES THIS COVER.


With Malice
by Eileen Cook (Release Date: June 7th 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers)

Okay, so this one is a cheat, given the author was at the event. This is also not a fall title being released (DON’T JUDGE!), but after hearing Eileen Cook talk about this one, I know it’s a book I’d probably enjoy quite a bit. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Jill, and I am a sucker for a revenge story, and a book that takes place in Italy. I am definitely going to be grabbing this when it releases, and I’m glad it’s getting a lot of positive attention from bloggers as well.


Gertie’s Leap to Greatness
by Kate Beasley (Release Date: October 4th 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

This debut middle grade novel features illustrations by Jillian Tamaki and a zombie bull frog. How can anyone say no to these things? I certainly can’t. We have a heroine who wants to be the greatest fifth grader that ever lived, and how can you not love a heroine who has a lot of conviction? Gertie sounds AWESOME and it looks like the kind of book I’d love to read and likely read in one sitting. Awesomeness to come? I think so!

And there you have it! Are any of these books on your radar? They probably should be. A huge thank you to Raincoast for inviting me to the event and being able to share there upcoming titles with all the bloggers in attendance. I had an amazing time, and I hope that all five of these books live up to the hype that I’ve put into my brain. When you have books like these, it’s no wonder why fall is an exciting time in the publishing industry!

September TBR Shelf Challenge

A few weeks back I decided to count how many unread books I had. It wasn’t looking good: 219 (and I’m sure this doubled after my little trip to Book Outlet) unread books. I have a book case and half of unread books, and I decided that since I’ve been so good with catching up on my coming due ARCs, I’d use September to focus more specifically on my personal books. With eight shelves of unread books, I asked my co-blogger to pick a number. She picked seven and here’s the shelf I will be tackling for the month of September:


Excuse the dog bed in front of my shelf! But yes, this is one of my hardcover shelves that also have some oversized paperbacks as well. Every week on my Twitter (follow @merrygodown for more antics) I’d share my progress of how much of the shelf I’ve chipped away at. Since I have a long commute to my library job, I’m hoping to get quite a chunk of this shelf read. I also made the decision that if it’s not something I want to keep after I read it, I am going to put it in my donation bag. We’ll see how I do! See anything in the picture that I need to read right away? Let me know in the comments.

With this challenge as comes two other things: I am going on a book buying ban for… as long as I can. I have been receiving a lot of books lately and while I won’t stop the publisher stuff (I like keeping relations!), but me personally buying things is definitely happening for sure. The other thing is: I am going on a library book ban. This is going to be hilarious considering I start working at a public library next week. Let’s all have a good laugh here. Girl’s gotta try though, and if it means I can get through a whack of books and donate the ones I don’t want to lend or reread, then this is a good thing for me.

If you want to participate along with me for the month, use the hashtag #SeptShelfathon and work your way through a shelf of books! This also pairs nicely with the fact that RYBSAT Round 6 (Read Your Bookshelf-a-Thon) is happening towards the end of the month. I hope some of you will participate with me so we can widdle our TBRs down a bit more!


Five Books I Am Hyped For After #FrenzyPresents

A few weeks back I had the chance to attend an event at Harper Collins Canada’s office. It was an event to share some of the upcoming titles for Fall and Winter. It was a fantastic meet up, as there were tons of bloggers to meet, food to eat (and encourage certain people that it’s totes cool to eat said free food, donuts FTW guys!), and people to chat with. I got to do Dumplin’ poses! See for yourself!


Crazy thank you to Shelly of Read. Sleep. Repeat for taking the photo. I look like a dork!


Group shot! Photo credit: @HCCFrenzy

Rather than discuss every single book I learned about at the event. I thought I’d share with you the five that stood out to me and why I am stoked for them. Shall we begin?

#1: Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley (Release Date: January 6th, 2016)


Yes, it’s a novel about the Brontes. Weirdly, I am not the biggest Bronte fan, but Lena Coakley discussed her book during the event, and she made me a fan of her interpretation of the sisters. Also this book features Anne! The best Bronte (in my books). It sounds like a fantastic mystery, wrapped into an interesting twist on the history of the Brontes, and that to me sounds like a ton of fun.

#2: A Madness So Discreet
by Mindy McGinnis (Release Date: October 6th, 2015)


My co-blogger is a huge Mindy McGinnis fan, and I am realizing I need to actually read something by her to understand River’s love for her. This book sounds amazing because it features Sherlock Holmes-style mysteries, an insane asylum, and a wonderfully messed up sounding heroine. I was fortunate enough to get an ARC of this before the event, and I cannot wait to read it because it sounds right up my alley.

#3: This Is Where the World Ends
by Amy Zhang (Release Date: March 22nd, 2016)


Last year, both River and Melissa yelled at me. They screamed “Sam, you need to read Falling Into Place RIGHT NOW.” I told them I was busy, they persisted, so I finally gave in and decided I needed to see what the hubbub was about. Holy crap, you guys, Falling Into Place was amazing, as it was messed up. I should have listened to those two sooner, they know how much I love crappy people being crappy in stories. However, this book intrigues, not just because it’s Amy Zhang’s next book, but because the premise sounds so interesting to me: a personal apocalypse type story of  love, life, and disappearance. Plus it features tough issues — one of my favourite things in YA. Can’t wait to see what Amy Zhang writes next.

#4: A Step Towards Falling by Cammie McGovern (Release Date: October 6th, 2015)


“Sometimes the worst thing you can do is nothing” is the tagline for Cammie McGovern’s second novel. Sounds intriguing, right? This book features issues surrounding disability, community service, and what it means to be someone who could have prevented something from happening, and chose not to. We’ve all done this in some shape or form, so I am expecting a little self reflection with this one. I haven’t read Say What You Will yet, but I know it was a book River quite adored last year. Excited!

#5: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (Release Date: September 15th, 2015)


It’s no secret that I want to read Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. I LOVED Side Effects May Vary and found that book to be pretty powerful in parts, but I feel like Dumplin’ may have the edge over that one with it’s large focus on body image and self-love. We actually will have a review for this one coming closer to release, as River read it and basically told me I needed to believe the hype of this one. During the event Suman, one of Harper Collins’ representatives stated that this is one of her new favourite reads simply because of how strong, clear and powerful the message is. Sign me up!


ARCs in the goodie bag: Making Pretty, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, and A Step Towards Falling

So these are the five books I am super hyped for after going to #FrenzyPresents. I want to thank Harper Collins Canada for giving me the opportunity to attend the event, and to all the amazing bloggers who spoke with me and shared their favourite reads, and what they were most excited for. It was quite the delight. Seriously, what HarperTeen books are you excited that coming out soon? Let me know in the comments!



ARC August — Week 2 Wrap Up


Week Two of ARC August hosted by @ Read. Sleep. Repeat. was quite successful if I do say so myself. It may also have helped that the Book-Tube-A-Thon is over and now my focus is strictly on ARCs (witht he odd personal read thrown in). My goal is to read ten out of the books I’ve listed below:

  • Violent Ends edited by Shaun David Hutchinson (September 1st)
  • Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (September 22nd)
  • The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands (September 1st)
  • All Fall Down, by Ally Carter (Already Out)
  • Switch by Ingrid Law (September 1st)
  • Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier (September 1st)
  • What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler (September 22nd)
  • Another Day (Every Day #2) by David Levithan (August 25th)
  • Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (August 25th)
  • Stand-Off by Andrew Smith (September 8th)
  • A Sense if Infinite by Hillary T. Smith (Already Out)

Number of ARCs read: 5/10

This week I only completed two more ARCs, which were Crenshaw and The Blackthorn Key (both which I highly recommend when they release!). I feel like I need to be picking up the pace, but I just finished David Levithan’s Another Day  and I think it’s slowed my pace down for reading ARCs… to the point where I may have binge read a few non-ARCs on the side. Yeah,  did not enjoy that one and you’ll see in the review.

Goal for week three is to try and have at least three more ARCs read, because I REALLY do want to make my goal of ten. We shall see how it goes though. 😦

Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge — Update #4 & Read-a-thon Outcomes

Hey guys! So it looks like I am overdue for a Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge update. As you saw, I did not do one for April as I was swamped with tests and exams, so I am combining it with the May Update. In April, this was the only challenge I completed.

#10: Read a Microhistory


At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

For those of you unaware, I am quite the lover of Bill Bryson. He’s one of the few non-fiction writer’s out there who’s work I appreciate on so many different levels. I love the way in which he micros topics, making them accessible to those who may not be in the field of story or even just readable. He’s amazing in that he takes science, history, philosophy, and breaks them done in to easy-to-read chunks, offering a lot of humour and kindness into how he defines things. At Home is definitely an interesting read, though I found it to be a bit drier compared to some of his other works I enjoyed. The book has Bryson go through all the rooms of his Victorian home, and he basically goes into microscopic detail about how people lived or what the rooms were traditionally used for. It was both fascinating, and also boring. Still, I’m glad I read this chunker of a novel because when it was interesting, it was on like Donkey Kong.

In May I read…

#3: A Collection of Short Stories


Phantazein, edited by Tehani Wessely

I admit, I have not read a lot of short story collections. It’s not that I don’t enjoy short stories, but rather I need to be in the right frame of mind to read and explore them. I was given this book as a birthday present by my darling Katherine @ Ventureadlaxre, who is always recommending great Aussie authors for me (I am going to try and seek some good Canadian Literature on her as well). This book comes from FableCroft Press, where Katherine interns, and a lot of the stories in this collection are fairy tale retellings or fantasy stories. My favourite story in the collection easily was The Nameless Seamstress by Gitte Christensen. Such a vivid and gripping story about a seamstress! Also Tansy Rayner Roberts did a story and it was also made of fabulous. Seriously, there’s some fantastic stories in this collection, and it’s worth checking out.

#20: A Book You’d Consider a Guilty Pleasure


Into the Fire by Amanda Usen

I admit, I don’t really read sexytime novels very often. Oddly enough though, I got this from last year’s INSPIRE Book Fair (the author even signed it!) and I put it off until I could find a challenge that I could fit it into. This was actually better than I anticipated. Yes, this is not safe for the youngin’s as it’s pretty steamy, BUT the author did a great job of having two very stubborn, flawed individuals, and funny enough, those were the best moments in the story. If you like this sort of stuff, it might be worth checking out.

I also had the chance to participate in the #CrushYourTBR Read-a-thon, which happened from May 16th to the 18th, and it also overlapped with the Bout of Books Read-a-thon which started on the 11th and ended 18th. You can look at what I read for Bout of Books here. Here’s a picture of what I crushed during #CrushYourTBR:


Lastly, I participated in Read Your Book Shelf-a-thon (#RYBSAT) which happened from May 18th to the 25th. The goal of this read a thon is you select a shelf and then go left to right reading the book next to it, and you keep going. I chose a weird shelf that didn’t have any organization just because I have so many ARCs to get through. So here’s my ARC cubbie!


This is where my ARCs hide! Lots of great stuff on the shelf. Here are the three books I actually finished.


So I am happy with my results. However, I think I may pick a different shelf next time and focus more on my own books instead of stuff I need to review. All I really read in May was lots of graphic novels and ARCs so my regular books are suffering. I need to fix that. :X

Reading Plans in June

So outside of the fact that River and I have a contemporary novel a week we need to read for Summer Contemporary Fling event, I still have two more challenges I need to complete that my husband gave me. Here’s a refresher for that challenge:

1. To read The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie – Not completed yet.

2. Pew Pew Lasers Sci-Fi — Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN volume 1: Activation by Yoshiyuki Tomino — Completed!

3. “I don’t know what it’s called but the cover is blue.” — Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin — Completed!

4. Deadpool stuff — Deadpool Classic Vol. 4 by Joe Kelly et al. — Completed!

5. Spy fiction — From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming. — Not completed yet.

The other event I am going to take part in is #TBRTakeDown, which is happening from June 1st to 7th. This one is hosted by Shannon @ leaninglights. Here’s the Introduction Video below.

So Shannon has some casual challenges for this read-a-thon, which I am going to try and complete? Next week is a tad busy, but I want to get as much reading as I can done.

1. A book that’s been on your TBR shelf over a year! From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming (yes this is cheating)
2. An unread sequel sitting on your TBR shelf. Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castellucci
3. A first book in a series on your TBR shelf. The Night Has Teeth by Kat Kruger
4. An “out of your comfort zone” book on le TBR shelf! Seducing the Playboy by Amanda Usen (STOP JUDGING ME. I blame INSPIRE!)
5. A book from your most recent book haul! The Sign of the Cat by Lynne Jonell or Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (which is also cheating)


What are you planning to read in the month of June? Participating in any read-a-thons? Going to join River and I for our Summer Contemporary Fling? JOIN US. And have lots of fun! I can’t wait to find out what are some of your most anticipated reads that you cannot wait to get to this summer.