Monday, 19 September 2016

Blog Tour: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter - Review & Book Excerpt!

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

Publishing Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Pages: 304
Young Adult Magical Realism/Fantasy

The Premise from the Publisher: "In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they've arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now-but not Vassa's working-class neighborhood. In Vassa's neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters-and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa's stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission. But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg's help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch's curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won't be playing fair...." (TDA).

My overall thoughts and review: For starters, one thing that I left out in the premise is that the book is based on an old Russian fairy tale/folktale called "Vasillisa The Beautiful" - if you haven't heard of it before, a quick google search gives you the premise, but essentially, it is more along the lines of "Grimm/Anderson" in terms of fairy tales instead of the "Disney" version we are used to. So I think that knowing that it is a modern interpretation on the original tale is important before you plunge into the book. That said, you can easily read it without knowing it, but I found it really helped me understand certain aspects of the book. The book follows Vassa and her wooden doll, Erg, as they go out searching for light bulbs from the terrifying Babs Yagg (Baba Yaga - in the original! I liked that Porter kept all the names close to the original source text) and from there, things get quite complicated. I would characterize this book as magical realism as its finest. I love reading magical realism books and I found that Porter did an amazing job incorporating an old fairy tale into modern day Brooklyn. The story does move quite quickly and sometimes, it can be quite hard to keep up with the weirdness that Vassa encounters, but I think that is what I enjoyed about it so much. I loved how it kind of reminded me of "Alice in Wonderland." I never read the old fairy tale in it's entirety but I knew bits about it and overall, it had that very topsy turvy feel that I enjoy in books. I like when you don't know where the text is going next because then it isn't predictable and that is exactly what Porter delivers. I also really enjoyed the relationship between Erg and Vassa.. so much so that sometimes, I forgot that Erg was a wooden doll in Vassa's pocket. My favorite parts were definitely the dialogue between the two. Overall, I would recommend this book for fans of magical realism who want a good YA read about friendship, family and loss.

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Now available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

And as part of the blog tour, some stops will have an excerpt from the book! I have the prelude to share with you all today. So give it a read! Hopefully along with my review.. that will be enough to nudge you to run out and pick up a copy! ;)

Excerpt from Vassa in the Night: "Prologue" 
When Night looked down, it saw its own eyes staring back at it. Two big black eyes, both full of stars. At first Night ignored them. Probably that strange gaze was its own reflection in a puddle, or maybe in a mirror left shattered in the street. Then it noticed something that made it curious: those eyes were full of stars, but the constellations inside them were unfamiliar. It was like gazing into the sky above another world. 
Night decided to investigate. It reached out tendrils of darkness to examine this odd phenomenon. The eyes nestled, as eyes often will, inside a human face, at the top of a strong man’s body. But how could night— another, different, unimaginable Night— live inside a human being? 
The man waited, unmoving, on a dark field ringed by houses. Between his widened lids stars flurried through expanding black. Planets circulated like blood. Night had never seen anything so much like itself before, and a terrible longing surged through it. Maybe, finally, it had found a companion; maybe it was saved from being forever alone! 
Night drew closer to him, and then closer still. The man waited, as rigid as death. He did not react in the slightest when Night came and perched on his cheekbones to get a better look. It breathed across his lashes and set them trembling. The man did not answer, not even with a blink. When Night shyly kissed him he felt very cold.  
All of that should have been enough to make Night wary. It should have drawn back in alarm, floated safely above the streetlamps. But Night had been lonely for too long, and it forgot all about caution. It did not even notice that the man’s face had peculiar coloring: pearly grayish white from the bottom of the nose down and coal black above. All that interested Night was what it saw inside his eyes. A meteor shot through their depths trailing brilliance after it. Night yearned, more than anything, to follow that streaking light. 
If only it had been honest with itself, it would have admitted that the situation was suspicious. But Night, which hides everything in folds of shadow, is not in the habit of honesty. Since the man did not react to its caresses, it decided to touch him more deeply. A bit nervously, it stroked between his eyelids. His skull seemed to be hollow. He wasn’t breathing. Night prodded again, curling a dark tendril through one empty socket. But the man still didn’t move or even smile. Didn’t he notice that Night was there? Didn’t he realize Night loved him? Having gone already so far, too far, Night lost all restraint and licked and coiled its way into those eyes. It tried to speak. To beg for some reply.
And then the eyelids snapped shut, slicing right though Night’s soft body.

Please be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour for more content! ;) 

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of this book was sent to me by Raincoast Books and the excerpt was also sent over to me by Raincoast Books. The excerpt is written by Sarah Porter and comes directly from the published book. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Blog Tour: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova - Review and Author Q&A!

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Publishing Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 336 pages
Young Adult Fantasy Adventure

The Premise from the Publisher: "Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation? and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin. The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland" (Sourcebooks).

My overall thoughts and review: I've always had a fascination with narratives that include Deathday celebrations/Day of the dead. I'm not completely familiar with all the components of it, but something about the Latin American tradition just immediately draws me in. I was quite curious to see how this story would unravel and let me say now that the premise does not do it justice. I went in expecting this book to be about Alex and Nova, but it was so much more than that. Firstly, Alex's relationship with her family plays a big role in the book. How she interacts with her mother and also her siblings is a big part. You get to see the dynamic within the family and I found myself really empathizing with Alex when she was dealing with her mom. This book reminds you that family is such an important part regardless of what tradition you follow. Also, another character (my favorite character tbh) that is quite important is Rishi! Rishi is Alex's bestfriend and you see in the beginning that Alex really struggles with wanting to tell Rishi about her powers. It is also very hard to be bestfriends with someone and keep such an important part of your life hidden from them. I won't spoil anything but I just loved how everything developed. The fact that friendship and family were the center of the book made my heart very happy. Onto the magic component.. I want to say a bit about this. I don't know much about brujas in general, but I really liked the concept of how magic was used. There is recoil for every time magic is used. For example, when Alex's sister Lula "heals" people, bruises form on Lula. But I really liked how the power comes from "who" they are. Lula is a healer by nature and how she wants to simply do good, and it reflects in her power. Overall, I thought this was a wonderful and fun read about traditions, magic, family, friendship and discovering one self. I would highly recommend it! I mention later (in this post) that this is apparently the first book in the series, and according to goodreads, the series will be called "Brooklyn Brujas" - I'm so excited for this. I really hope to see more of the secondary characters in the next book! I want to see more of Lula & Rose :D

My rating of the book:  (4/5 stars) 

And now it is time for the Author Q&A! For the blog tour, Zoraida has taken the time to answer a question for each blogger! Check it out: 

Author Question and Answer

1. Which character do you relate to most in the book?
I want to say that I relate to Alex Mortiz the most. When I was a kid, I felt just as lost as she does. I wanted to be normal, but didn’t feel that way. I rebelled in different ways than Alex. Instead of sending my family to another dimension, I did it through rock music and dressing in all black and spiked jewelry. Alex does not have an easy life. She has to swallow her emotions. She keeps her truth and fears hidden in a way that isn’t healthy. It gives her anxiety and stress. As her power becomes stronger, and she lets herself be herself, she changes. She becomes more confident. She learns to trust herself. Trusting your own judgement is something that she has to earn. In addition to all of this, I wanted to give Alex a very humble background. I grew up in a single parent home. My mom was a single mother, though I had my uncles and my grandmother to be part of my childhood. I never felt like I was missing anything, but Alex does. Alex and my mother are both hard working people. My mom worked hard. She moved to a country where she didn’t speak the language. She went to night school after working all day so she can  provide better for my brother and me. She’s my inspiration for everything I do and achieve. It takes Alex a big lesson and mistake to appreciate her family, but she gets there.
Thank you so much, Zoraida for answering my question. Alex's relationship with her mother was a storyline that I felt drawn to the most. I believe this is the first book in a new series and I honestly can't wait to pick up what Zoraida writes next! This was such an enjoyable book! I want to thank Zoraida again for answering questions for us bloggers. I also want to thank the lovely friends over at Raincoast for organizing this blog tour. Please be sure to check out the other bloggers on the tour!: 
Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own. 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Blog Tour: Five Roses by Alice Zorn - Review

Five Roses by Alice Zorn

Publishing Date: July 23, 2016
Publisher: Dundurn
Pages: 314
CanLit / Fiction

The Premise from the Publisher: "A sister. A baby. A man who watches from the trees. Fara and her husband buy a house with a disturbing history that reawakens memories of her own family tragedy. Maddy still lives in the house, once a hippie commune, where her daughter was kidnapped twenty-seven years ago. Rose grew up isolated with her mother in the backwoods north of Montreal. Now in the city, she questions the silence and deception that shaped her upbringing. Fara, Maddy, and Rose meet in Montreal’s historic Pointe St-Charles, a rundown neighbourhood on the cusp of gentrification. Against a backdrop of abandonment, loss, and revitalization, the women must confront troubling secrets in order to rebuild their lives.Zorn deftly interweaves the rich yet fragile lives of three very different people into a story of strength and friendship" (Dundurn Press). 

My overall thoughts and review: When I first read the premise of this book, I was instantly interested because of the setting of Montreal. I've been so many times in the past, and it has been a few years since I've visited, but it is definitely one of my favorite cities in Canada. I had quite a nostalgic feeling reading it and when I turned the last page, I instantly starting looking at flights. Zorn describes such a rich setting and it is so accurate to what I experienced in the past. I felt like I was walking through Montreal with the way Zorn wrote about it. I felt like the setting was a character as well alongside the three women. I found it really interesting how Zorn weaves together three narratives: Fara, Maddy, and Rose. It is hard to write from multiple perspectives because sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between them all, but I found that Zorn offered very distinctive voices for each character. What Zorn delivers is small snippets of their daily life, which I found to be slow in the beginning chapters, but it definitely picked up pace halfway through when the past of each woman is revealed. I will say, I really enjoyed Rose's chapters and how she thought back on her childhood with her Maman and living in the cabin in the woods. Seeing how her childhood kind of shape the way she is and how she interacts with others. I also really liked learning about Fara's past and how she dealt with her sister's tragic passing, especially with buying a house that made her confront her past daily. Overall, I thought that this was a great read that offered a look into how certain events, traumatic experiences, tragedies, shape our identity. The reader will get to see three different perspectives, three different stories and will most likely empathize with a character or two. I thought this tackled themes of family, friendship, loss/grief, and trauma really well. This was my first time reading something by Alice Zorn and I look forward to picking up her other works.

My rating of the book:  (4/5 stars) 

Now available for purchase at:
Dundurn PressChapters/IndigoKobo Books, and Amazon

I want to thank the lovely folks over at Dundurn Press for allowing me to participate in this blog tour! Please be sure to check out the other stops on the tour since all the other stops are some of my favorite book blogs! ;)
July 25: Literary Treats
July 26: Just a Lil Lost
July 27: Padfoots Library

Disclaimer: I received an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for participation in the blog tour and an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Blog Tour: How It Ends by Catherine Lo - Review and Author Q&A!

How It Ends by Catherine Lo

Publishing Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books For Young Readers
Pages: 304
Young Adult Contemporary

The Premise from the Publisher: "How It Ends is an honest, heart-wrenching tale of a friendship from first meeting to breakup. Told through alternating points of view, it is about two best friends' tumultuous sophomore year of bullying, boys, and backstabbing and what can happen when friends choose assumptions and fear over each other" (HMH).

My overall thoughts and review: When I was asked to participate in this blog tour, I was instantly interested because the premise of the book sounded so interesting. Ever since I read With Malice by Eileen Cook (I also have a full review and author Q&A here), I've been really loving "friendship-centered" novels. I find that with a lot of YA contemporary reads, friendship takes the backseat and a love relationship takes driver seat. It was so nice again to read a novel that focuses on friendship, how to navigate high-school and how one deals with anxiety. I love books that shed a light on mental illness and not just depicting one point of view. We get Jessie's POV, her mother's POV, and how it affects Annie too. The story is told from two perspectives: Annie and Jessie. Jessie had a terrible time at highschool before Annie arrived because she was bullied by Courtney and her crew. When Annie arrives, Jessie feels stronger, more confident and they form a beautiful friendship. However, things change when Annie begins dating the guy that Jessie likes, and Annie attempts to give Courtney a chance to right the wrongs of the past. Without saying much more and spoiling the entire narrative, the story did take a few unexpected turns which surprised me. I also really appreciated the internal monologues from Annie and Jessie and getting an understanding of not only what they were saying, but thinking. It is a wonderful read about a highschool experience, I definitely could recall similar scenarios from my highschool days. It emphasizes the importance of trust in friendship and what can happen, when we assume the worst. I know many scenarios of problems that could've easily been solved if we simply asked for clarification instead of assuming. This seems to be a very straight-forward, common sense point, but sometimes we do forget and it was nice having that reminder again. Overall, I really enjoyed this read - it had everything I could ask for in a YA contemporary read: emphasis on friendship, family, mental illness and a bit of love. I would highly recommend it especially for fans of Morgan Matson and Jenny Han!

My rating of the book:  (4/5 stars) 

And now it is time for the Author Q&A! For the blog tour, Catherine has taken the time to answer a question for each blogger! Check it out: 

Author Question and Answer

1. What do you hope readers take away from the book?
My favourite books are the ones that challenge me to re-examine my own ideas and see things from a new perspective. More than anything, I hope readers will find something to connect with in How It Ends, and that the story will inspire them to look at their own friendships in a new way. I wrote How It Ends from the dual perspectives of both Annie and Jessie to highlight the ways that people can perceive the same events differently. Sometimes there is not so much a right and wrong in a conflict as there is differing points of view. Annie and Jessie interpret events in the novel differently, and that results in misunderstandings along the way.
Thank you so much, Catherine for answering that question. I really liked how you highlighted interpreting the same thing differently. This is Catherine's first novel and I can't wait to see what she writes next. I want to take a moment to thank Catherine again for taking the time to participate in the blog tour with bloggers.  I also want to thank the lovely folks at Raincoast Books for organizing another awesome blog tour! Please be sure to check out the other stops on the tour below: 
Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own. 

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Review: The Girls by Emma Cline

The Girls by Emma Cline

Publishing Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 368
Literary Fiction

The Premise from the Publisher: "Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence" (PRH). 

My overall thoughts and review: When I first read the premise of this book, it instantly reminded me of Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides, where certain characters fall for the allure of a group of girls. This novel instead takes place in 1960s as opposed to Eugenides' 1970s setting and it has been raved by critics for depicting a story about a protagonist (Evie), getting swept away by a Manson-family cult like group and in particular, one female member, Suzanne. I am a big fan of Eugenides' text and I quite enjoy dream-like narratives about freedom and coming of age. I really enjoyed how the narrative shift from present day to the past and it offers the reader an bigger inside look into Evie's mindset. We see Evie before meeting Suzanne and her group, we see Evie during her time with Suzanne, and we see Evie now after all has been said and done. I really enjoyed the chapters leading up to her meeting Suzanne, because her interactions with her bestfriend, her mother and even her bestfriend's brother, really shaped how the narrative was going to move forward. I felt like it was paced really well and it helped set the tone for the climax of the narrative.

I recently read this article about why the hype surrounding this book is worth it and I would highly recommend you check out that article after reading my review, because the author, Abby Schrieber, more accurately depicted my thoughts in a much more coherent way and how the novel depicts how women were treated in the 60s. There are societal expectations, because also those, like Suzanne who can be seen as complicit in that treatment. I liked that Cline showed the "grittiness" of what they went through and my only criticism would be that, I would've liked to read more about Suzanne and learn more about her because I found her to be the most intriguing character. At moments, you felt a real companionship between her and Evie, and other moments, not so much and I would've liked to learn more about what lead her to the farm. I loved Cline's writing style. The novel immediately drew me in and I really couldn't put it down. I would highly recommend this to readers that enjoy a strong coming of age story and a narrative that tackles the treatment of women.

My rating of the book:  (4/5 stars) 

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was sent by Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. All opinions of the book are my own. 

Monday, 6 June 2016

Blog Tour: With Malice by Eileen Cook - Review and Author Q&A!

With Malice by Eileen Cook

Publishing Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320 pages
Young Adult Contemporary Thriller

The Premise from the Publisher: "Two friends, an exotic foreign location, the potential for revenge and jealousy, and an accident that looks like it might have been murder. It didn't matter what the truth was--what mattered was that it was fun to talk about. A gripping and addictive read that grabs the reader and yanks them into a world where nothing is what it seems and everyone is a suspect. You won't believe how it ends" (HMH).

My overall thoughts and review: When I was first pitched this book, I was told it was thriller-esque (in the same vein of novels like Gone Girl, Girl on the Train and more) and I was instantly intrigued. I don't know why, but I've been in such a thriller kick lately and this one was perfect. I actually finished this book in one sitting. I had a day off and I just spent the morning in bed reading this! I could not put it down (like the premise states, it is definitely addictive). The narrative is really interesting in a sense where the reader was learning the "events" of the vacation as Jill, the protagonist, was learning about it as well. The story begins after the events take place and Jill has no memory of what has happened. The events are then pieced together through interviews, blog posts, news posts, police reports and other interpretations. It was really interesting that Cook demonstrated how things can be twisted in the media. The center of the text is Jill and Simone's friendship and how certain components can be consuming. It reminded me a bit of some friendships I've had the past and how things were when I was younger, and how friendship can sometimes influence you to do things you are not necessarily ok with. It will make you think about "friendships" in general. I enjoyed that there wasn't a perfect picture painted of either girls and I liked not really siding with anyone. I just wanted more of the story to unravel and it was so amazing how it all ended. I find it really hard to write reviews sometimes for thriller books because you don't want to say too much that will give away the plot. Overall, I think me-finishing-it-in-one-sitting says it all. I LOVED this book and I think it is a perfect summer read. It has everything you'd want in a thriller book: a great mystery, well-rounded characters, friendship, family and a dash of love. I think fans of thrillers in general of all age groups (teens and adults), will definitely enjoy this read.

My rating of the book:  (5/5 stars) 

And now it is time for the Author Q&A! For the blog tour, Eileen has taken the time to answer a question for each blogger! Check it out: 

Author Question and Answer

1. What do you hope readers take away from the book?

Most of all I hope they turn the final page and then reach out immediately to a friend and say “Have you read this? We have to talk about it.”   I wanted to write a book that raised questions about friendship and how you know what you might be capable of doing if you were pushed far enough. I’m lucky to have some friends that have been close to me since elementary school. In that time we’ve changed a lot and our friendship has also changed. This hasn’t always been an easy process.  It made me interested in what keeps some people friends and others drift apart.  I wanted to explore how we deal with someone that had been closer to us than family—and suddenly the only thing you have in common anymore is that “we used to be friends.” Friendship can be a really powerful positive force—encouraging you to do more and picking you up when you need it, but it can also be dark. There aren’t any easy answers in this book, but there is plenty to talk about!

Thank you so much, Eileen for answering that question. I also want to thank the lovely folks at Raincoast Books for organizing another fun and awesome blog tour. The book comes out tomorrow, so be sure to go out and get your copy! Also, please check out the other stops on the blog tour and show some love to my fellow bloggers! <3 

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own. 

Saturday, 4 June 2016

My Life in May (2016)

Hi everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your weekend. So remember a few posts back when I mentioned that I was going to incorporate some more personal blog posts? Here we are! I decided to do ~lifestyle~ posts where I mention what I've been up to lately. If you follow me on instagram (@soufflegrl), you'll get snippets there, but I thought I could write a bit more with accompanying pictures here! May came and went so quickly. I got up to a lot though, so I'm glad about that! 

I went to go see The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire with my friend, Michelle! We had an amazing time and it was so cool to see my favorite youtubers on stage. Dan and Phil are just adorable and it was scary at first being in a room with a ton of fangirls, but it was a lot of fun! 

Later in the month, I went to another show at the Sony Centre for Performing Arts. My lovely friends Matt and Tracey gifted me some tickets to see Hatsune Miku live (Miku Expo). I really did not know what to expect, since I'm more familiar with Miku's older titles and also, seeing a vocaloid live.. totally something I've never experienced before. It was the strangest experience ever, but I had a blast. I definitely think by the end of the night, I was a glow-stick pro. 

One of my bestfriends, Tracey, celebrated her birthday at BCP this year and it was a murder mystery night. It was so much fun, we got to dress up in 20s costumes and we each had assigned character cards. I actually solved the murder mystery! So proud of myself for following along with the narrative. 
There were food stations and the food was just amazing. I also loved all the beautiful decor my friends put together. It was truly a wonderful birthday party! 

Me and the boy have had a fascination with terrariums for a while now and we've been meaning to make one since we moved into our place a month ago. We had some of the supplies but we never really got around until last Saturday. My aunt was over for the day and we decided to visit some nurseries and put our terrarium together! 
It is incredibly easy to make and we have a lot of supplies (soil and rocks) leftover, so I think this is only going to be the first of many terrariums that we make. I just love the look of it! (TIPS: If you are looking to make a terrarium yourself, lots of inspiration following the tag on instagram or searching on Pinterest) 

We had a housewarming party finally as well. I didn't take many photos of that night, so none will be pictured here sadly. But I want to just take a moment to thank friends and family (who read the blog), a tremendous thanks for coming out for such a fun and amazing night. The boy and me feel incredibly loved and grateful. <3 

Last week, I went to the Old Mill with my friend (it is my dream place for a wedding lol) and we had High Tea/Afternoon Tea as part of a birthday gift for her. It was so fancy and I just loved the area so much. The food was delicious and I got to try this Sencha Cherry tea that I've fallen in love with! 

And I ended the month attending a blogger event. I used to write recaps before but I decided to just include it in this post. It was a Trivia Night at Penguin Random House. There was many book sellers there (I'm technically one now!) and a few bloggers. We had so much fun even if we didn't get some of the answers right. It was a true test of our bookish knowledge and by the end of the night, I realized how much reading I still have to do in Canadian Lit! Many thanks to the folks at PRH for a terrific night (as always). You guys sure know how to make a book lover feel welcomed. 
Our team name was Blogwarts!! :D 

Anyways, that brings me to the end of my monthly update post. What did you get up to in the month of May? Let me know in the comments below! Also, let me know your upcoming plans for June! The weather is so nice now and I wasn't much of a summer person before, but I think this year is the year!