Winter + Spring 2017 Preview Picks

On Saturday September 10th, Raincoast Books held their Winter and Spring 2017 Teen Reads preview event for their upcoming titles. While I normally would have attended the in person events (there’s one in Toronto as well as one in Vancouver where the Raincoast Books offices are located). This time around due to a family emergency, I was forced to attend the event via Google Hangout. And while my laptop and internet had glitches which made me fall behind in the presentations, fortunately I was able to keep up by following the #TeensReadFeed hastag on Twitter at the same time. Anyways below are my top anticipated titles from the Raincoast preview:

1. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

wires

This one is a give, and probably my most anticipated 2017 title (of all the ones I presented during the preview. I love graphic novels and am looking forward to seeing Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew making appearances in this book. Also Iko was a character that pretty much stole every scene she was in during the Lunar Chronicles series so it’s great to see her finally get her own story. Anyways this is the first volume of a two volume series and it will be out on January 31st.

2. Things I Should Have Known by Claire Lazebnik

things

So this book sounds right up my alley what with the quirky romance and sibling relationships. During the preview we were told that the idea for this book came from an article the author wrote about the difficulties that her son with autism had in dating. I haven’t seen many books touching upon this subject so Things I Should Have Known definitely has me intrigued.

After special guest, author Mary E. Pearson spoke, the people at Raincoast Books asked all participants three questions. Below are the three questions and my answers, feel free to chime in below in the comments with your own answers:

 

  1. What book are you most anticipating? Of all the titles presented, I’d have to say without a doubt its Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer. Two other titles from Raincoast Books I’m eagerly anticipating that weren’t mentioned during the preview are The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord and The Truth about Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo.
  2. What book are you reading now? At the time of the preview I was reading The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon.
  3. What are your favourite books of the year so far? A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (one of her bests to date)

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fall-preview

Back on the first day of October, I had the pleasure of once again visiting the amazing office of Penguin Random House in downtown Toronto. This time it was for their fall preview where we got to hear from Jackie and Evan about all the exciting Fall titles that were already out as well as those that will be in stores later in the Fall.

There were also two special guests at the session I attended, one was Shari Lapena the author of The Couple Next Door while the other guest was author, Kyo Maclear who spoke about her upcoming book Birds Art Life Death: A Field Guide to the Small and Significant. Everyone then received an advance copy of the book which will be out in February.

In addition to the Fall titles, we got a sneak peek at some Winter titles as well and I thought it would be nice to share with you guys some of the Winter titles that I’m looking forward to.

1. Books for Living by Will Schwalbe

bookslive

Fun fact, Will Schwalbe was technically the first author I met as a book blogger. His memoir, The End of Your Life Book Club inspired me to start a book club of my own with my mother…and while that has not yet happened, I’m still looking forward to the recommendations that can be found in Books for Living. Pitched as a book for those who are curious as to what others are currently reading, it sounds like a perfect read to me.

2. All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

wrongtodays

Elan Mastai was one of the many authours who had an introduction video at the fall preview. In his, he was “apologetically” Canadian. The premise of All Our Wrong Todays sounds incredibly intriguing as it mixes science fiction elements like time travel with elements of more realistic fiction like relationships and life in general. I’m curious to see as to whether the protagonist will choose to stay in the new world (our version of 2016) or head back to the one he came from, the 1950s

3. How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh

bawse

I recently got into iiSuperwomanii’s videos and I’m slightly obsessed. Lilly is just so relatable and hilarious, and I love that we are both alumni’s of the same university and program. With this title, I’m more excited to get my hands on the audio book as it would be way cooler to listen to her actual voice as it’s what I’m used to with her YouTube videos.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

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TeensRead Fall 2016 Preview

unnamed

It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to attend a publisher event, and I was really looking forward to seeing everyone again. What I didn’t account for was my work team having an outing the day before and me not getting home until 1:30 AM on the day of the preview. Needless to say I was extremely tired, but still excited to get to the event.

For those of us in Toronto, we had our own event at Deer Park Library where we all sat together and watched a live stream via Google Hangouts of the actual event that was taking place in Vancouver. While the event in Vancouver was hosted by Melissa from Raincoast Books, (with special guest, Eileen Cook, who wrote With Malice) the Toronto event was hosted by Jenn (aka @lostingreatbook) and Jenny from Ampersand Inc. who provided us with lots of yummy treats and a swag bag.

Photo credit: @ShilpaRaikar
Photo credit: @ShilpaRaikar

Despite some technical issues that made it difficult to hear the stream, it was still a yummy snack filled and fun event as we rarely get to see so many book bloggers gathered together in one room.

Of the countless fall titles that were previewed at the event I thought I’d highlight six that I’m eagerly anticipating. Interesting fact, Raincoast announced at the preview that they will now be distributing Bloomsbury titles starting August which has me super excited as some of my favourite YA titles are from them (like Emery Lord’s books) Anyways, in no particular order, they are:

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

vassa

A modern adaptation of the Russian fairy tale, “Vasilisa the Beautiful“, but set in the kingdom of Brooklyn. Vassa lives with her stepmother and stepsisters in a working class neighbourhood where there is dark magic lurking about. So when she is sent to get light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission. Fortunately she has help from Erg, a tough wooden doll with sticky fingers, and together the two may finally be able to break the witch’s curse. Also if that doesn’t intrigued you, I should mention that it’s also blurbed by Leigh Bardugo!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

crooked kingdom

Speaking of which, in case you don’t already know I adored Six of Crows and the sequel is definitely high of my most anticipated fall releases. While the synopsis has me slightly worried for the characters I love so much, I’m still incredibly curious as to what will become of them also I’m intrigued because I heard that Crooked Kingdom will focus on cons more than heists. And of course I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of my beloved ships.

Other-Wordly written by Yee-Lum Mak and illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley

other word

One of the posters included in the swag bag featured illustrations from this book which are gorgeous! I love languages and learning new words, and that paired with such beautiful illustrations makes this one a must pick up!

 This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

adventure

 I received an ARC of this title in my swag bag, in fact many of the other book bloggers in attendance also received an ARC. To be honest the synopsis didn’t appeal to me, but I was in the mood for a contemporary novel and I had a long commute home so I decided to give it a try. And to my surprise I found that I enjoyed (and am still enjoying it immensely). Sloane has just moved from New York to Florida, and unexpectedly she gets involved with twins Vera, a social media star and her brother Gabe. I’m still reading it at the moment but I have to say I am really enjoying the portrayals of complex relationships, both familial and friendships. This is definitely one YA contemporary read you’ll want to be on the lookout for.

We are all Tornadoes by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen

We are all Tornadoes

Another contemporary YA novel, this one is set in the 1980s and is a series of letters back and forth between two characters who are best friends. I’m looking forward to a coming of age story and I’m hoping that there will be a bit of romance in it too! This one was a title that the Raincoast staff recommended for those who are fans of Rainbow Rowell.

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

ever

Ever the Hunted has been on my radar for quite some time now, in fact I already tried requesting it on Netgalley so here’s to hoping I am able to get approved. The synopsis promises murder, magic, and dangerous quests as well as a kick butt heroine so I’m definitely game.

So, how about you guys? Any of these titles appeal to you? What are some fall titles that you guys are anticipating?

Mystery Mondays | Blood Always Tells by Hilary Davidson

Mystery Mondays

Mystery Mondays is a sometimes weekly, sometimes biweekly and sometimes monthly review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.

Authour:bloodalways
Hilary Davidson
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 320 pages
Publication date:
April 15th 2014
Publisher:
Forge Books
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Before reading Hilary Davidson’s Blood Always Tells I was on the verge of another book slump but luckily this book prevented that from happening. Blood Always Tells is a story that is told in different parts with three different narrators. It starts with Dominique Monaghan, a model with pretty horrible taste in men. When we first meet her, she is having an affair with a married ex-boxer. One day while trying to get revenge on him, the two of them end up getting kidnapped. The second part is then told from the perspective of Dominique’s half brother, Desmond Edgars who used to be a delinquent and later went on to enlist in the military. Here we see Desmond trying to find out what happened after he received a distressed phone call from his sister. Finally the third part features a character named Polly, a minor but very pivotal character to the story.

I flew through this book in less than two days. And if you know me, you would know that this is a very rare occurrence. But I just couldn’t help it; this book had pretty much everything a good mystery should have. Blood Always Tells was very fast paced, very difficult to put down and thrilling up until the very last page. The story was gripping, and the plot was well developed and complex with so many twists and turns that you just want to keep reading on to find out what happens next.

And while I liked Dominique’s part more than the other two parts; I did like how in the second part of the book, Desmond’s character was used to illustrate racial stereotypes still prevalent today. It’s a sad fact that the discrimination that Desmond encounters because of his skin colour is something that is still very much a reality even today in our society. To be honest, I found all the characters to be quite fascinating even Trin who is supposed to be very villainous, as she is Dominique boyfriend’s wife. I couldn’t help but be intrigued by her rather than hating her. I highly recommend Blood Always Tells as it is a very thrilling, and fast paced mystery that is as much about family and redemption as it is about murder and kidnapping. This is a must read standalone for mystery fans.

If you like this book, you’ll love: The Execution by Dick Wolf

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.