Lauren Lately | August 2017

Posted August 16, 2017 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 0 Comments
Lauren Lately | August 2017

Because my Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups got out of hand, I wanted to break up my monthly wrap-ups into two posts: one personal and one bookish/bloggy. I created Lauren Lately here to highlight all of the personal happenings in my life: events, activities, shows I’m addicted to, things I’m obsessing over, recipes I’ve loved, and goals for the next month. I decided to space them out so this wrap-up happens around the mid-point of the month and the bookish one happens at the end of the month. ✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨ Cape Elizabeth / Portland Head Lighthouse | We weren’t sure what to do the day before Jen came to visit (a Saturday) so we decided to take a little trip down to Cape Elizabeth, which is around 20 minutes away from us. There’s a huuuuge land preserve with the Portland Head Lighthouse. Apparently it’s one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. It was gorgeous, so I can see why. We walked around there a little bit, took pictures, and got a fantastic lobster roll with local Maine sodas. Jen’s visit and first trip home | Chris’s sister was coming to Maine for a few days to take her nursing exam (she passed!) and stay with us. We didn’t do anything too crazy while she was there, since she lived in Portland for two years (literally in the apartment next to ours…) and didn’t need to sightsee. We hung out and watched movies (you’ll see […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #145: Recommendations

Posted August 15, 2017 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 4 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #145: Recommendations

Fantasy-ish Recommendations for Non-Fantasy Readers Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. This week is a more open topic under the umbrella of ten recommendations for ____. I love the idea of fantasy books… often more than I enjoy actually reading them. Unfortunately, they have a tendency to take me much longer than contemporary books (even if they’re not that long). I struggle with world-building and pacing, but it doesn’t stop me from adding them to my TBR. I wanted to share this list of fantasy (and fantasy-like) books I’ve enjoyed, so non-Fantasy-readers can possibly dive into the genre a little more. The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray | Historical fiction readers get the best of both worlds with this one! I loved learning about the Realms AND what it was like to live in the 1800s. I don’t read a lot of straight up historical books, so adding in fantasy elements to older time periods can make things really fun. People who enjoy historical fiction will hopefully love this series; its one of my all-time favorites! Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine | I loved this book when I was younger, even when I was still a contemporary girl back then. Because it’s younger YA or maybe even middle […]

Companion Series in Cozy Towns

Posted August 14, 2017 / Book Lists, Features / 0 Comments
Companion Series in Cozy Towns

I’ve talked about this love of mine in a few series reviews for the Black Dog Bay and Blue Heron series, but I recently promised a full post about it. I LOVE these companion series with cozy small towns. It’s hard to use any other words (as you can tell from my repeated use of these ones), but I’m sure you get what I mean. Most of them on my TBR or that I’ve read are more ~adult~ contemporary fiction, but there is one YA series that I can think of. My biggest thing about these series though? I love how characters connect to each other and show up again in later books. That’s the biggest reason I refuse to read companion series out of order. I don’t ever want to miss a cameo or easter egg because I didn’t go in order. So, without further ado… here are some of my favorites, including the reasons I love them, and some on my TBR. As always, give me some recommendations if you have them!     Black Dog Bay Reviews Why I love it: Out of the series I’ve read here, Black Dog Bay is definitely my favorite setting. Many of the reasons I love it will be below in the unique features section, but just know that this town is definitely the most unique out of these three. I loved getting to know each character and seeing them reappear in the rest of the series. It’s absolutely a setting and series […]

ARC Review: In Some Other Life

Posted August 11, 2017 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: In Some Other Life

Initial Excitement I adore parallel life books. Anything involving that premise goes on my TBR immediately. The concepts of fate and destiny vs. free will have always been super interesting to me. I’ve enjoyed the synopses of Brody’s books but hadn’t managed to pick one up until this one. I think I’ll definitely try her other sometime soon! Summary & Storytelling The story starts with a fairly long glimpse into Kennedy’s real life where she chose the public high school. She’s the school newspaper editor and helped revive it from being shut down. Soonafter the story starts, she discovers her best friend and her boyfriend kissing at his house. She rushes to the Windsor Academy, where she’s been secretly pining over the fact that she got in and didn’t go, and promptly hits her head. She wakes up from this concussion and is in the parallel universe where she said yes to Windsor Academy and started there instead. There’s no newspaper, she’s in Robotics Club, and plans to major in Economics in college. Basically, her life is super different. I loved that her younger brother, Frankie, is incredibly smart for his age and interested in physics. She was able to talk with him about what happens and he came up with theories about the parallel universes out there. Usually books like this involve the main character having no one to talk with about what’s going on with them. It was annoying because she knew what happened when she moved into the […]

End of Summer Reading Plans

Posted August 10, 2017 / Book Lists, Discussions, Features / 3 Comments
End of Summer Reading Plans

Each summer, I tell myself I’m going to read allll of the beachy books between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It kind of never happens that way. I have the best intentions and even SAVE some books specifically for that time period, but my ARCs, library books, and other required reading always takes precedence. I have decided NOT to allow that to happen this August. I’m going to read the books I genuinely want to read and make me feel super summery. Finish The A-List reread Cristina and I have been binge-reading THE A-LIST for a feature at the end of the month (and just because we needed the nostalgic, easy-to-read binge right now). To give myself a little credit, these books take place in California (and other warm places like Vegas and Mexico sometimes), so I am getting those summer vibes I hoped for. I’ve finished the first half of the series so now I can focus on the rest ASAP. Ignore a readathon I signed up for the Make Me Read It Readathon, which is one of my favorites. I was all prepared to read my three books that were chosen, but I just couldn’t bring myself to stop reading the series above instead. The readathon is almost over and I haven’t touched the books and honestly? I don’t think I’ll bother. I’m always so gung-ho about readathons because they’re fun to sign up for and make a TBR. When the time comes to start reading, I’m rarely […]

Cover Colors: Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

Posted August 9, 2017 / Cover Colors, Features / 3 Comments
Cover Colors: Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with book covers. I love the colors, the typography, the different designs that cover artists can create. I even have a guest post feature where people share their favorite book covers and bookmarks! I decided to start up this random feature where I draw color inspiration from my favorite book covers. I may create an outfit, pick out some nail polish, or design a quote graphic. Today’s cover is… Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel I’m honestly not sure why I love this cover so much. The colors and the confetti really just kill me. I tried to make this outfit kind of muted like the cover is, with touches of confetti or polka dots throughout – the phone case, earrings, notebook, and clutch all remind me of it in different ways. I like that the shirt on the cover is so plain and almost 1950s like. I pictured a dress with a peter pan collar and lucked out with this one below! I had to include a notebook because much of the book involves notecards and writing things down.     Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by bookmarklit featuring a deborah lippmann nail polish  

Weird Reading Habits: Favorite Authors & Binges

Posted August 8, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 5 Comments
Weird Reading Habits: Favorite Authors & Binges

I’ve come back to the topic of favorite authors a few times. I’ve wondered what makes and author a favorite to you. I’ve also shared that I often save books by my favorite authors so I always have at least ONE I’ve never read before. Because some fellow bloggers have done some author binge reads lately (like Hannah and Kelly reading Beatriz Williams back-to-back-to-back-etc., or my friend from high school reading all TJR in a row), I started to think about my strange habits with reading books by my favorite authors. I adore the idea of falling in love with an author and enjoying their entire backlist in a row. It sounds like such a great, happy-making binge… but for some reason, I totally could never do it. Do you/can you binge multiple books by the same author in a row, or do you have to separate them? (Not counting a series binge) — Lauren (@bookmarklit) July 12, 2017 It seems like most of you guys can! More power to you. Again, I’m jealous. I just have this thing where unless it’s a full-scale series binge, I can’t read multiple books by the same author in a row. I like the idea of spreading things out more! There are a lot of reasons for this, but the biggest one is to make sure I don’t blend them all together in my head. I have a bad bookish memory as it is! Also, I prefer to keep a couple of books around in […]

Blog Tour Review: The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky | Hilarious Rom-Com

Posted August 7, 2017 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Blog Tour Review: The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky | Hilarious Rom-Com

Review Guys… this book was so funny. I love contemporary romances that read more like romantic comedies! It makes me want to curl up and watch some of my old favorites. Book-wise, I would compare this one to My Not So Perfect Life and The Hating Game. Pretty big shoes to fill, but I think Summer Heacock pulls it off so well. This genre is often accused of being too predictable and formulaic (I know I’ve done it sometimes!), so it’s really awesome when a unique premise is brought to the table to switch things up. I wish I had a dollar for every time a vagina was referenced in one way or another; this book is centered around Kat’s “broken” one. She has a sudden realization that it’s been two years since she and her boyfriend have had sex, so she decides to give him a free pass to go out there until their anniversary and hook up. Meanwhile, she’ll be working on fixing her broken parts. She quickly starts going out with Ben, a regular customer at her cute cupcake shop/bakery, and tries to turn her reproductive organs around. I really enjoyed being inside Kat’s head. I smiled and laughed so much as she tried to navigate through this particular issue. Ben was nerdy and adorable; I loved him so much. AND Kat’s friends, who were central to the plot, were all excellent characters with different backstories and contributions. There are some definite #SquadGoals in the Cup My […]

Best Covers of Books I Didn’t Like Much

Posted August 4, 2017 / Book Lists, Features / 14 Comments
Best Covers of Books I Didn’t Like Much

Because I’m crazy about book covers, there are plenty of books I read JUST because the cover is pretty. Of course, there are also lots of books with shitty covers that are worth reading. I just hate when I read a book with a nice cover and the book ends up not meeting my expectations. Not everything that glitters is gold, eh? I just hate that I fall for certain covers and then never really get to use them for anything fun, since the book didn’t meet my expectations. Here are some of the best covers of books that I didn’t end up liking very much. All of these are 3.5 stars or under – so not too bad – but it does go in order from the “worst” books to the “best” books of the bunch, in terms of my ratings for them.     The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender | Even When You Lie to Me     Meet Me Here | Love Letters to the Dead     Things We Know by Heart | I’ll Give You the Sun     Kiss Cam | A Little Something Different     The Summer of Chasing Mermaids | Even in Paradise

Review Round Up | Here Lies Daniel Tate, Just Dreaming, and Same Beach, Next Year

Posted August 3, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Here Lies Daniel Tate, Just Dreaming, and Same Beach, Next Year

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I was pretty eager to get my hands on HERE LIES DANIEL TATE. I’ve thought about ALL OUR YESTERDAYS so much since I finished it a few years ago and have been hoping for a new book from Terrill. This one seriously did not disappoint! I expected something twisty that I couldn’t put down and I totally got that. “Daniel” is the ultimate unreliable narrator. He blatantly lies, tells you that he was lying, and always implies that maybe some of the story isn’t even true. I can’t say too much about him or the plot without giving a lot away about what happens, but just know that his unreliability does not change. I still, weirdly, found myself liking him as a main character. Mia was super adorable and Nicholas was really interesting as well. I have a few issues overall, but not much. I think the inclusion of some kind of “romance” was definitely not necessary. I mean, I can sort of see why it was included? Minor spoiler in italics: I think it was to show that the MC was really a normal human boy with feelings, or at least was starting to develop them. It added a little bit to his character because part of him really just wanted that normal life and […]