Friday, 26 February 2016

Review: Love Me, Love Me Not

Love Me, Love Me Not by Alyxandra Harvey
Published February 22nd 2016 by Entangled Publishing/Crave

With it's fairy tale influence and Shakespeare setting, Love Me Love Me Not is a charming 
re-imagining of The Swan Maiden crossed with Romeo and Juliet.

Ana is a delightful heroine and Pierce is adorable as her best friend/love interest. The dialogue is snappy and the supporting characters play off against each other nicely. 

I'm not a big fan of the multiple POV - it's more of a personal issue than one with the book and I would have preferred to have one narrator in Ana. However, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story. Pierce made me laugh and it was interesting to compare his resolute feelings for Ana with her slow realization of how she felt for him in return.

I loved the imagery of the feather cloaks, the girls dancing in the moonlight and their magical arrows!

This is a fun, quick read with lots of romance, action and magic - an entertaining way to spend an afternoon.

From the publisher:
Dating isn’t easy when you’re in the middle of a blood feud.

Anastasia Vila’s family can turn into swans, but just once she’d like them to turn into responsible adults.

After hundreds of years, they still cling to the blood feud with the Renard family. No one remembers how it started in the first place—but foxes and swans just don’t get along.

Vilas can only transform into their swan shape after they have fallen in love for the first time, but between balancing schoolwork, family obligations, and the escalating blood feud, Ana’s got no time for love. The only thing keeping her sane is her best friend, Pierce Kent.

But when Pierce kisses Ana, everything changes.

Is what Pierce feels for her real, or a byproduct of her magic? Can she risk everything for her best friend? And when the family feud spirals out of control, Ana must stop the fight before it takes away everything she loves.

Including, maybe…Pierce.

Meet The Character Interviews: Get up close & personal with Pierce Kent from Love Me, Love Me Not here!

Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the ebook ARC to review.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Isabella's Reading Corner: This Monstrous Thing

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
Published September 22nd 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books

This Monstrous Thing is a debut YA novel by Mackenzi Lee. It is an intriguing retelling of the Frankenstein story, but takes place in an alternate steampunk version of Switzerland in the early 1800s.

The book has a wonderfully mysterious Gothic atmosphere that really appealed to me. Alasdair is a Shadow Boy – he works on clockwork parts that in his world replace the missing limbs of war survivors. After a mysterious accident, he reanimates his brother Oliver and uses clockwork parts to put him back together. There is an intriguing emotional depth between the two brothers, Alasdair and Oliver, that is very believable. I loved the detail of the world and people the author created.

This is an entertaining & exciting retelling of a classic novel that I would recommend to fans of Gothic, historical fiction or fantasy, steampunk and alternate worlds. I am looking forward to reading future books by this author.

From the publisher:
A wildly creative Gothic fantasy retelling of Frankenstein, This Monstrous Thing is a wholly new reimagining of the classic novel by Mary Shelley and is perfect for fans of retellings such as Cinder by Marissa Meyer, fantasy by Libba Bray and Cassandra Clare, and alternative history by Scott Westerfeld.

In an alternative fantasy world where some men are made from clockwork parts and carriages are steam powered, Alasdair Finch, a young mechanic, does the unthinkable after his brother dies: he uses clockwork pieces to bring Oliver back from the dead.

But the resurrection does not go as planned, and Oliver returns more monster than man. Even worse, the novel Frankenstein is published and the townsfolk are determined to find the real-life doctor and his monster. With few places to turn for help, the dangers may ultimately bring the brothers together—or ruin them forever.

You can read my original Isabella's Reading Corner post on This Monstrous Thing here.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Isabella's Reading Corner: Wolf Children

Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda (original story) & Yu (art)
Published March 25th 2014 by Yen Press

Wolf Children is a manga adaptation of the anime by director and creator, Mamoru Hosoda. It is about a woman named Hana, who after a whirlwind romance, gives birth to two children. After a tragic incident, Hana is left to raise her children on her own – which leads to many challenges, especially as they are part wolf!

At over 500 pages, this stunning hardcover contains lavish colour art with the majority of the story in black & white. It includes bonus notes by Mamoru Hosoda, as well as character illustrations. It is formatted to read back to front & right to left in the original manga style. It really is a breathtakingly packaged edition –  photos don’t do it justice.

In addition to the gorgeous art – yes, I am gushing – the story is an absolutely charming & emotional tale of unconditional love, narrated by eldest daughter Yuki. I kept returning to the pages I’d previously read to once again savour the drawings and take in all the details of the scenes. Everything about this book is adorable.

If you’ve never read manga before, this title is definitely a good place to start & the book itself is one to keep and treasure. Highly recommended.

From the publisher:
When Hana falls in love with a young interloper she encounters in her college class, the last thing she expects to learn is that he is part wolf. Instead of rejecting her lover upon learning his secret, she accepts him with open arms. Soon, the couple is expecting their first child, and a cozy picture of family life unfolds. But after what seems like a mere moment of bliss to Hana, the father of her children is tragically taken from her. Life as a single mother is hard in any situation, but when your children walk a fine line between man and beast, the rules of parenting all but go out the window. With no one to turn to, how will Hana survive?

You can read my original Isabella's Reading Corner post on Wolf Children here.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Current Read: Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow #1)

Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow #1) by Pintip Dunn

Published November 3rd 2015 by Entangled Teen

Imagine a world where your destiny has already been your future self.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Books, Be Mine: Simon & Schuster Canada Valentine's Day Event

Attention all literary kitties!

Simon & Schuster Canada will be hosting an online Valentine's Day event that you won't want to miss.

It is called Books, Be Mine and it is for all of us who share a love of books.
There will be daily reading recommendations, excerpts and a variety of all things bookish leading up to Valentine's Day - February 14th.

If you would like to join or learn more about the event, you can click here. I'll see you there!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Anticipated Reads for February 2016 - Part Two

Anticipated Reads for February - Part Two

Below is a list of my most anticipated YA reads for the second half of this month, with links to their information on Goodreads.

I can't believe how many interesting titles are being published in February... and it's a short month! I had better lock myself away and read, read, read!

Are there any titles you are especially excited about that are being published soon? Please let me know!

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Riders by Veronica Rossi
Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach
Firstlife by Gena Showalter
Love Me, Love Me Not by Alyxandra Harvey
After the Woods by Kim Savage
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Isabella's Reading Corner: Worlds of Ink and Shadow

Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley
Published January 5th 2016 by Harper Collins

Worlds of Ink and Shadow is a wonderfully imaginative mix of fact and fiction about the Brontë siblings. I am a big fan of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, but I knew very little about the authors or their lives.

In the story, the siblings are able to physically enter the worlds of their own creation. Unfortunately, to do this there is a price that must be paid.  This is a beautifully rendered & highly atmospheric novel. The intricate details and family dynamics make it compulsively readable.

Coakley writes with such passion and knowledge, you can feel the love she has for her subjects. The book really brings these literary figures to life. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or fantasy, even if you are not a fan of the Brontës.

From the publisher:
Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to descend into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters-the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna-refuse to let them go.

Gorgeously written and based on the Brontës’ own juvenilia, Worlds of Ink & Shadow brings to life one of history’s most celebrated literary families in a thrilling, suspenseful fantasy.

You can read my original Isabella's Reading Corner post on Worlds of Ink and Shadow here.