Thursday, March 31, 2016

Blog Tour - Q&A and Review: Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Tell the Wind and Fire Blog Tour banner

Hi guys! Welcome to my stop on the Tell the Wind and Fire Blog Tour! Before we get to the Q&A with Sarah and my review, here's a little about the book!

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees BrennanTell the Wind and Fire
by Sarah Rees Brennan
April 5, 2016
368 pages

Goodreads Summary:
Tell the Wind & Fire is about a young girl called Lucie who lives in a New York very different from the New York we know: the city is torn between two very different kinds of magic, and Lucie’s own family was torn apart years ago by that conflict. Lucie wears magic rings and carries a burden of guilt she can’t share with anyone.

The light in her life is her sweetheart boyfriend Ethan, but it turns out Ethan has a secret too: a soulless doppelganger created by dark magic, who has to conceal the face identical to Ethan’s with a hood fastened by a collar nobody but a Light magician with magical rings can take off… and who introduces himself to both of them by, for reasons nobody can understand, saving Ethan’s life…

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

WoW #90: Warrior Witch (The Malediction Trilogy #3) by Danielle L. Jensen

Waiting on Wednesday button

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted every week by Breaking the Spine which lets us showcase an upcoming release we are excited about! 

Warrior Witch by Danielle L. JensenWarrior Witch
(The Malediction Trilogy #3)
by Danielle L. Jensen
May 3, 2016

Goodreads Summary:
The thrilling conclusion to the breakout Malediction Trilogy by Goodreads Choice finalist Danielle L. Jensen.

Cécile and Tristan have accomplished the impossible, but their greatest challenge remains: defeating the evil they have unleashed upon the world.

As they scramble for a way to protect the people of the Isle and liberate the trolls from their tyrant king, Cécile and Tristan must battle those who’d see them dead. To win, they will risk everything. And everyone.

But it might not be enough. Both Cécile and Tristan have debts, and they will be forced to pay them at a cost far greater than they had ever imagined.

I have an eARC of this but of course it needs to be a WoW post! If you don't know my love for this series, please refer to here and here. I can't believe it's already the end T.T I will love this series forever!!

What are you guys waiting on this week?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Release Day Blitz - Special Letter, Excerpt & Giveaway: Summerlost by Ally Condie

Hi guys!! Please join me in celebrating the release of Ally Condie's newest book, Summerlost! Today I have a special letter from the author and an excerpt to share with you guys. Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for some awesome prizes :D

Summerlost by Ally Condie
by Ally Condie
March 29, 2016
272 pages

Goodreads Summary:
It's the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar.

Infused with emotion and rich with understanding, Summerlost is the touching middle grade debut from Ally Condie, the international bestselling author of the Matched series, that highlights the strength of family and personal resilience in the face of tragedy.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Magic is REAL!

It's the Hogwarts Castle!
I'm at Hogwarts!
Yesssss! I'm finally sharing pictures of my amazing trip! Sorry this is so late guys, did a switch at work and the process has been really tiring. So those of you who follow me on social media know that I went on vacation in February!! It was sort of a last minute thing but I was super excited! I basically went to all the theme parks in Orlando but I'll just share my Harry Potter World experience here~

Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes      Welcome to Hogsmeade!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or HP World as I like to call it, was truly MAGICAL.

The whole intend and purpose of my trip to Orlando was for HP World so it should be no surprise, for the three days I was there, I headed straight for Diagon Alley/Hogsmeade the moment Universal Studios/Island of Adventures opened their doors. Both places were located at the very top of the park so it took a fair bit of walking to get there. I tried to walk fast to take pictures before the huge crowd surged in.

Outside Diagon Alley, I saw the Knight Bus first. I just started taking pictures right away lol~ Then I saw the red telephone booth! And there started another photo session :P A tid bit I picked up online: if you dial MAGIC (you'll see the numbers on the phone) you'll hear the Ministry's phone message. Of course I did that.

In all my excitement, I missed the actual entrance into Diagon Alley so I asked a King's Cross attendant. Her instructions were, "just turn around and you see that ____ (I forgot what she actually said), make a left and walk into the brick wall." They way she said it, it was so naturally like that's what everyone does. It really made me feel like I was in a whole other world~ (There were openings in the brick wall so thankfully I didn't actually run into anything).

From there on I basically had nonstop fangirl moments lol. It was so much fun! Special thanks to the hubby for putting up with all my excited squealings LOL. And for taking pictures (of me) for me.

Beauxbatons and Durmstrang performers.
A fun and small show featuring the students from
Beauxbatons and Durmstrang.

Some things I learned at HP Land and some tips:

1. Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade are not very big (geographically-speaking) so take your time and explore all the stores and rides!

The Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 3/4~~

2. One MUST ride the Hogwarts Express! It's short but such a fun ride. In order to get on, you need to have a park hopper ticket. I highly suggest getting it because it saves so much time (and walking) to get from one park to the other. And most people would have it already if they want to see both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade (yes they're located in two different theme parks). I rode the Hogwarts Express no less than 8 times XD.

Leaky Cauldron~      Three Broomsticks!
3. Have at least one meal inside the Leaky Cauldron or the Three Broomsticks! All the decorations and the atmosphere really transport you into  the HP world ;) The food is quite tasty too.
Goblin selfie!
Inside the Gringotts ride!

4. The rides are mostly 3D and tend to turn and shake a lot so I'd say don't go on a too full or completely empty stomach. It does get dizzying after some time. (Or maybe it's just me haha.)
5. If you don't mind splitting up, the single riders lane is super fast! (I did that on my second time on the rides!) Or else a pair of twos is also faster than a group of three or more.
6. You get free locker access for a short period of time when you go on the rides. I'm guessing this is because a lot of tourist who visit dress up (I did!). So this is to prevent them from accidentally dropping or bending their wands and etc on the bumpy, shaky rides. Don't forget the locker number assigned to you and remember which finger (and the angle) you used!

7. Yes the dragon on top of Gringotts breathes fire. But only when he feels like it (or so I was told). It's a pretty spectacular moment so I suggest not to miss it. Just stand around for a couple minutes and you might get lucky. Oh and you can absolutely feel the heat from the fire even if you're not directly in front of it ;)
 My Gryffindor Quidditch scarf!      Practically every kid was holding one of these lol
8. You won't find any shot glasses inside HP World. My sister collects shot glasses as souvenirs so in my hunt to find her a HP one, I discovered there are no official ones. I was told since HP is children-oriented, JK Rowling only approves of children-friendly souvenirs. Scarfs, robes and the interactive wands are the popular choices. I love my Gryffindor Quidditch scarf <3

9. Hogsmeade has a unique stamp that you can get stamped on your postcards. It's for decorative purposes and has no real value. The real HP stamps are ridiculously expensive (~$15 for 6 regular stamps I think). I've seen them and they don't look any special or pretty so I'd say they're not really worth the money.
Butterbeer SO GOOD!

10. And perhaps the best piece of advice I can give is drink Butterbeer!! I had the frozen and hot one and they were both delicious! The hot one was a bit on the sweeter side so if you're not a fan of sugar, have the frozen one.

*says the secret password*
Wish I could visit Dumbledore!
*whispers Lemon Drop*

Thank you so much to the kind and lovely people that tweeted me advices and answered my questions about the theme parks <3

I had an amazing time!! If you guys ever go, take lots of pictures but make sure you also relax and just enjoy the magical atmosphere!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Stacking the Shelves #88

Stacking the Shelves button

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that lets us share what we've added to our shelves.

In all my excitement at meeting Victoria Schwab, I actually forgot to haul A Gathering of Shadows lol... but here it is <3
So much love for this series!
Another one I forgot to haul because of my excitement at getting it but Lady Midnight yessssss!

I've been excited for The Way to Game the Walk of Shame ever since I read its synopsis so thank you Macmillan for accepting my request :D
Ripple and The Way to Game the Walk of Shame

What did you add to your shelves this week?

Friday, March 25, 2016

ARC April Introduction!

ARC April banner
 ARC April is hosted by the lovely Octavia and Shelly @ Read.Sleep.Repeat and in short, it is an event where everyone participating reads their ARCs (eARCs included) and try to catch up on the ones they've fallen behind on. For more information, head over to Read.Sleep.Repeat!

I'm excited to participate in ARC April! I'm going to go for The Silver Reader Level which is 5-9 ARCs. Hopefully I can make a big dent in my ARC pile. Below is the pile of books I'll be reading from :D

Are you joining ARC April? How many do you plan on reading?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review: The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy Spalding

The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy SpaldingThe New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions)
by Amy Spalding
April 5, 2016
320 pages

Goodreads Summary:
A ridiculously cute, formerly-famous new guy dropping into your life? It's practically every girl's dream.

But not Jules McCallister-Morgan's.

I realize that on paper I look like your standard type-A, neurotic, overachiever. And maybe I am. But I didn't get to be the editor of my school's long-revered newspaper by just showing up*. I have one main goal for my senior year-early acceptance into my first choice Ivy League college-and I will not be deterred by best friends, moms who think I could stand to "live a little," or boys.

At least, that was the plan before I knew about Alex Powell**.

And before Alex Powell betrayed me***.

I know what you're thinking: Calm down, Jules. But you don't understand. This stuff matters. This is my life. And I'm not going down without a fight.


* Okay, I sort of did. But it's a sore subject.

** I mean, I guess everyone knows about Alex Powell? Two years ago, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing about viral video boy band sensation Chaos 4 All. Two years ago, Alex Powell was famous.

***Some people think I'm overreacting. But this. Means. War.

Filled with romance, rivalry, and passive-aggressive dog walking, Amy Spalding delivers a hilariously relatable high school story that's sure to have you falling for The New Guy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

WoW #89: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Waiting on Wednesday button

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted every week by Breaking the Spine which lets us showcase an upcoming release we are excited about! 

P.S. I Like You by Kasie WestP.S. I Like You
by Kasie West
July 26, 2016
304 pages
Goodreads Summary:
What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

From beloved author Kasie West (The Distance Between Us) comes an utterly charming story about mixed messages, missed connections, and the magic of good old-fashioned secret admirer notes.
I will read everything and anything by Kasie West!!!!!

What are you guys waiting on this week?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Exclusive Cover Reveal - Interview & Giveaway: Sometimes We Tell the Truth by Kim Zarins

Guys! Today I have a very exciting exclusive cover reveal for you!! The adorable Kim Zarins's debut novel, Sometimes We Tell the Truth, is a retelling of The Canterbury Tales! Before we get to the cover here's a little about the book!

Sometimes We Tell the Truth
by Kim Zarins
September 6, 2016
336 pages

Goodreads Summary:
In this contemporary retelling of The Canterbury Tales, a group of teens on a bus ride to Washington, DC, each tell a story—some fantastical, some realistic, some downright scandalous—in pursuit of the ultimate prize: a perfect score.

Jeff boards the bus for the Civics class trip to Washington, DC, with a few things on his mind:
-Six hours trapped with his classmates sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
-He somehow ended up sitting next to his ex-best friend, who he hasn’t spoken to in years.
-He still feels guilty for the major part he played in pranking his teacher, and the trip’s chaperone, Mr. Bailey.
-And his best friend Cannon, never one to be trusted and banned from the trip, has something “big” planned for DC.

But Mr. Bailey has an idea to keep everyone in line: each person on the bus is going to have the chance to tell a story. It can be fact or fiction, realistic or fantastical, dark or funny or sad. It doesn’t matter. Each person gets a story, and whoever tells the best one will get an automatic A in the class.

But in the middle of all the storytelling, with secrets and confessions coming out, Jeff only has one thing on his mind—can he live up to the super successful story published in the school newspaper weeks ago that convinced everyone that he was someone smart, someone special, and someone with something to say.

In her debut novel, Kim Zarins breathes new life into Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in a fresh and contemporary retelling that explores the dark realities of high school, and the subtle moments that bring us all together.

And here's the cover!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Stacking the Shelves #87

Stacking the Shelves button

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that lets us share what we've added to our shelves.
Thank you Amanda @ Brains, Books, and Brawn for this signed copy! I'm not saying Ripple's the cover model but hey if it fits...... ;)

Ripple and Firsts

So I pre-ordered this one in early January and it released February 11th. I just got it a few days ago. I'm not impressed TBD, not impressed at all. But hurray I can finally read it because omg I need it!!

Ripple with Earth's End

HCCFrenzy sent us The Crown's Game and Girl Against the Universe for review, yay! Thank you!!
Ripple and The Crown's Game~Ripple with Girl Against the Universe!

What did you add to your shelves this week?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Review: The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Crime by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Crime
(The Winner's Trilogy #2)
by Marie Rutkoski
March 3, 2015
402 pages

Goodreads Summary:
Following your heart can be a crime

A royal wedding means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement: that she agreed to marry the crown prince in exchange for Arin's freedom. But can Kestrel trust Arin? Can she even trust herself?

Kestrel is becoming very good at deception. she's working as a spy in the court. If caught, she'll be exposed as a traitor to her country. Yet she can't help searching for a way to change her ruthless world...and she is close to uncovering a shocking secret.

This dazzling follow-up to The Winner's Curse reveals the high price of dangerous lies and untrustworthy alliances. The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

WoW #88: My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul

Waiting on Wednesday button

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted every week by Breaking the Spine which lets us showcase an upcoming release we are excited about! 

My Kind of Crazy by Robin ReulMy Kind of Crazy
by Robin Reul
April 5, 2016
336 pages

Goodreads Summary:
Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can’t quite seem to catch a break. It’s not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells “Prom” in sparklers on her lawn…and nearly burns down her house.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank’s dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him—and his “work.” The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton.

This one totally sounds like fun!

What are you guys waiting on this week?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Blog Tour - Excerpt & Giveaway: In Real Life by Jessica Love

Hi everyone, welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour! I have an excerpt to share with you! There's also a chance to win a copy of the book so don't forget to enter at the end ;)

In Real Life by Jessica LoveIn Real Life
by Jessica Love
March 1, 2016
240 pages

Goodreads Summary:
Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Event Recap: V.E. Schwab Signing

Guyssss, I got to meet the talented Victoria Schwab! Her A Gathering of Shadows Book Tour had a stop in Seattle on March 1st and I managed to go~
Before I start talking about the signing, I just want to thank my parents. They're the absolute BEST. They understood how much I wanted to go and drove down with me. (I'm in Vancouver, Canada.) They even stayed around during the signing. Thank you mom and dad, I love you  guys <3 <3
Okay so when Victoria first announced her tour schedule for A Gathering of Shadows, I was disappointed to see no Canadian stops. (I may have tweeted her several times asking if she'd come to Vancouver XD.) But then I saw that she had a Seattle stop and that's probably as close as she's ever going to get to me. I LOVEEEE her Shades of Magic series (and The Archived series) so I had to go!

I started asking around to see if anyone would want to go with me. My sisters had to work but they also didn't want me to go alone so I was pretty excited when my parents said yes! I also almost couldn't take the time off work but I managed to work it out with my coworkers, phewww! Finally I googled my driving route, booked a one night stay and drove down with my parents the day of the signing.

AGOS Tour Stop at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park.
Can you tell I was super happy? LOL
It was pouring rain when we got to the bookstore. Some signs and copies of the books were displayed for the signing and my dad started taking pictures of me posing with them lol. Then I saw Victoria in the middle of the store. I knew arriving 40mins earlier was going to be worth it! I was internally fangirling and whispered to my parents that that's the author! Then she walked right by me. We sort of looked right at each other and gave each other an awkward smile. Since I was pretty nervous I didn't move. My dad however was like, go ask her for a picture! So he ran after her and asked for me lol. Victoria was so nice! She said of course and she actually recognized me from Twitter! "BookCatPin, right?" Guys, I was like overjoyed! Anyways so I got a picture with her before the event even began. She thanked me for coming to see her and complimented my family for coming with me~

I got to meet the one and only V.E. Schwab!
Picture with the incredibly talented Victoria
Schwab! (I was flailing hard inside lol).

Three other authors were there with her: Jason M. Hough, Kerry Schafer and Alex Kahler. They each introduced themselves and their newest books then Victoria opened up the floor to some Q and As. To encourage people to speak up, she was giving away ADSOM London necklaces. The first two people that asked her questions got them. I really wanted one but sadly I didn't get picked :'( I'm not a very outspoken or smooth speaker so I was super impressed with how articulate all the authors were :D
Alex Kahler, Jason M. Hough, Kerry Schafer and Victoria Schwab!
A few things I remember Victoria talking about:
1. Antari don't live forever, they're not immortal. They have a life span that's slightly longer than the normal human. That is, if they survive long enough to live happily ever after on a farm, etc.

2. White London is white because the colour's been leeched out. There's no more boldness there.

3. The sequel to Vicious is possibly going to be called Vengeful. It's a title that people seem to be able to pronounce. (Apparently a lot of people didn't know how to say Vicious. They kept calling it Viscous and it was driving Victoria's editor nuts haha.)
4. Victor Vale is Victoria's inner evil villain!
Sorry I didn't catch more. I wasn't planning on doing a recap so I was just listening rather than taking notes :)
Victoria talking.
Then it came time for the signing! I decided to line up at the end since I had quite a few books and didn't want to hold up the line. (Also that way, I get to talk to Victoria more!) When it was my turn, I was pretty nervous but I managed to hold a conversation with her :D She asked if I'd read AGOS yet and if I liked hearing more of Rhy's voice. Of course I told her yes and that I was on the blog tour for AGOS and couldn't wait to share my review. I loved the book and Lila is too awesome. I asked her to come to Vancouver and she told me she's hoping to soon. YAY!

Getting my books signed!
Me fumbling to get all my books out for
Victoria to sign XD

Talking to Victoria Schwab :D
She run out of Rhy cards so everyone was
putting down their contact info to get one!
Lefties FTW!
We're both left-handed! ;)
I'd been thinking of something to give her but I'm not creative or anything (she mentioned she loved fan art) so I gave her the bookmark I used to read AGOS. It's a green sprout bookmark. I told her it was my sprout of hope that she'd spare my favourite characters in the final book. She laughed and asked me who I'd like to survive and I basically named all the characters lolll. Victoria was super friendly!
So nice to meet Victoria Schwab!
And one more picture with her!
I also got to meet Alex Kahler who is the author of the Ravenborn series. The first book called Shades of Darkness released this week! Simon & Schuster Canada sent me an ARC and I got it signed! The story is a darker one but I enjoyed it!

Alex Kahler signing my ARC.Me and Alex Kahler!
Overall I had such a blast! I was still giddy a few hours after the signing and even now I can't believe I got to meet Victoria Schwab and had all my books signed!!! I really hope I will see her again!

BEFORE                                   AFTER
Okay that's the last picture of me fangirling LOL.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Stacking the Shelves #86

Stacking the Shelves button

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that lets us share what we've added to our shelves.

This is a win from Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl! Thank you Jana and thank you Emily Albright for signing and personalizing it <3
Ripple with The Heir and the Spare

Thank you Raincoast Books for these two beauties! I'm on the blog tour for Tell the Wind and Fire so I'm interested to see how I'll like it~ Also, I might have a Q&A post with Robin Reul coming up next month ;)

Ripple with Tell the Wind and Fire and My Kind of Crazy

What did you add to your shelves this week?
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