Summerween Reviews | Every Time I Go On Vacation, Someone Dies and Summers End

Posted July 18, 2024 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Summerween Reviews | Every Time I Go On Vacation, Someone Dies and Summers End

Summerween is a readathon hosted by GabbyReads that runs in early July each year. This year’s readathon was hosted July 5th through 11th with the following prompts: read a book in the dark, read a thriller or horror book, read a book with a night sky on the cover, read a book with 5 words in the title, and read a book set during the summer. For more information click HERE. Okay, this was really fun for me! I can absolutely see this as a polarizing book and the low-ish rating doesn’t surprise me. I think you have to be in the mood for something a little different, where the narrator breaks the third wall and involves the reader in the story. There are a couple of other reasons people don’t love this one but I’ll get into that shortly. This book follows Eleanor, bestselling author of the Vacation Mysteries series, as she travels on a “book tour” kind of giveaway event in Italy. Along for the ride are a few other authors (including her ex), the man who inspired her first book, her sister (slash person who manages her entire life), and some fans who won a giveaway to join them. Connor, the hero-turned-nemesis, thinks someone is trying to kill him and the group spends the book trying to figure out who’s doing it, if he’s the real target, and more. I haven’t yet read EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY HAS KILLED SOMEONE but from what I understand about the narrative style, […]

*10 Years* of Book Blogging!

Posted July 17, 2024 / Features, Wrap-Ups / 0 Comments
*10 Years* of Book Blogging!

Believe it or not, this little blog is officially ten years old today yesterday. I started it one summer after finishing BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver, reading some Goodreads reviews and seeing blog links in the reviews, and thinking… I could do that too! Why not? I like to read, I like to write, and I love starting and abandoning new hobbies. Well, joke is on 2014-Lauren because somehow, against all odds, 2024-Lauren still semi-regularly blogs here. The pandemic took a bit of a toll on this space for me and I’ve seen SO many blog friends come and go over the last ten years, and here I still am! Throwback to the OG header as I dive into some of the reading stats across this fucking decade. Note: stats are thanks to Storygraph, since all of my data has been imported there and is the best place to find everything. I can’t promise that it’s 100% accurate but I feel fairly confident in these numbers lol. Ten Years of Reading According to Storygraph, I’ve read over 1200 books since July 16, 2024. That’s insane. It equates to over 404k pages. I also included the fun mood chart here to give you a sense for my reading life over this ten year time period. Clearly I’m still a romance girlie (despite the fact that the bulk of those books are from the first 7ish years lol). My average time-to-finish is 5 days, which checks out in the grand scheme […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #450: Series Love

Posted July 16, 2024 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 1 Comment
Top Ten Tuesdays #450: Series Love

Ten Things I Loved About… Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, 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’s topic is meant to highlight the ten things you like about a certain book or series. Today, I decided to go with two separate series and discuss the five reasons I like each of them. I can’t think of ten things for one book!! Truly Devious 1. The setting The best part of this series is the Vermont boarding school full of smart kids. I absolutely love reading books set in New England and this takes the cake. Boarding school books are absolutely read-bait for me in general and the location of this one, plus the mystery at the center of the school, are so cool. 2. The cozy-ish vibes I don’t consider this a cozy mystery really but there’s something comforting about this series when you add all of these elements together. There’s just something about it that can’t be replicated for me. No other book series compares – it’s like coming home for me for some reason. It’s like Nancy Drew at boarding school. 3. The characters Stevie is a little annoying and her boyfriend is even worse, but their friend group is really at the […]

Summerween Reviews | Middle of the Night and One Perfect Couple

Posted July 9, 2024 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Summerween Reviews | Middle of the Night and One Perfect Couple

Summerween is a readathon hosted by GabbyReads that runs in early July each year. This year’s readathon was hosted July 5th through 11th with the following prompts: read a book in the dark, read a thriller or horror book, read a book with a night sky on the cover, read a book with 5 words in the title, and read a book set during the summer. For more information click HERE. I read one Riley Sager book before and didn’t love it as much as I had hoped. MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT was much better for me – I’m a big true crime consumer but only if it’s about missing persons and unsolved cases. This book scratched that itch for me for sure. The story follows Ethan as he returns to his childhood home 30 years after his best friend Billy was kidnapped from the tent they were camping in in the backyard. The crime remains cold and unsolved… until Ethan begins noticing some hints of Billy around the neighborhood. He sets out to solve the mystery with the help of old friends and neighbors. I really enjoyed this! The way that Sager structured the book is alternating chapters between present day and the day in 1994 when Billy went missing. There were a lot more POVs in the past chapters, which I really enjoyed – they were well-timed with what Ethan was discovering in the present. I was always itching to keep reading; Sager had some kind of cliffhanger or dramatic […]

Recent Reads | The Midnight Feast and The Ballad of Darcy and Russell

Posted July 8, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | The Midnight Feast and The Ballad of Darcy and Russell

I am a Lucy Foley fangirl and kind of think she can do no wrong. I even loved THE PARIS APARTMENT and would tell you if you didn’t, this one may bring you back to her. For some reason this was yet another highly anticipated book that took me forever to get into but really paid off by the end. Like her other books, I totally could have read it in one sitting if I tried. The book centers around multiple POVs and I thought all of them were super interesting (and relevant by the end). As the synopsis states, we follow the founder, the husband, the mystery guest, the kitchen help… and then a couple more I won’t spoil just in case. Foley does such a good job with the initial slow drip of information through each person and timeline that makes you curious to learn what happened, and then the multiple twists toward the end bringing everything home. I was convinced I wouldn’t love this one compared to her others but there were a LOT of good twists. The little horror-esque elements didn’t turn me off like I expected, and I really loved how all of that ended up. The Birds and local lore were fascinating elements and I can now see how the info she shared during her book signing connects to everything. She was inspired by similar events (non-local people buying up land and making posh getaways in the farm-y countryside to piss off locals) but […]

2024 Midyear Reflection and Stats

Posted July 5, 2024 / Features, Wrap-Ups / 0 Comments
2024 Midyear Reflection and Stats

Midyear Reflection, Book Stats, and Challenges I’ve been doing midyear “wrap-ups” for years now and they’ve taken many forms. This year I’m going to expand a little more than just showing my stats and moving on, since I set a lot of goals and TBRs that I REALLY need to check in on. I’ve been failing miserably at a few and doing okay at others. Midyear Book Stats 50 / 100 Books Read       Annual Goal Check-In Stay on track or ahead of my Goodreads challenge 🤷🏼‍♀️ I’m currently on target because my goal was to get to 50 books read by the midpoint of the year, which is halfway to my 100-book goal, and I did! It says I’m a book ahead even though I’m kind of not so we’ll see. I’ve spent most of the year on track or behind, not on track or ahead. Keep up Instagram stories about TBRs and completed reads ✅ I’ve been amazing at this. Book reviews, monthly TBRs, and monthly wrap-ups are all present on my Instagram stories in highlights. Read my 24 in 24 😬 I’ve only read five of these but I do have plans to attack them as noted in my challenge check-in area below. I went ahead and planned which months I’ll read certain books in to ensure I complete the challenge, since I was really hoping to! Read bigger books ✅ I was going to give myself a shrug-emoji rating here but then I remembered that […]

Bookmark Lit Bulletin | June 2024

Bookmark Lit Bulletin | June 2024

The Bookmark Lit Bulletin wraps up the last month in reading and what was on the blog, as well as what’s coming up next. You can check out my book haul, books read, posts shared, challenge updates, etc. You can read past bulletins here. If you’re looking for more personal updates, you can check out my Lauren Lately feature; it highlights my life events and non-bookish fun from the previous 30 days. I felt like I covered a lot of ground by reading two books in two days toward the end of the month! I also expected to finish one more that week but ended up finishing the book on June 1st instead. Womp. Overall, a great reading month from a quality perspective.      7 books in May 10 read  •  0 reread  •  0 DNF Pages read: 3,554 •   Average rating: 4 stars Genres: 4 mystery/thriller, 3 contemporary, 2 dystopia, 1 graphic novel Formats: 7 mixed, 2 egalley, 1 paperback Sources: 3 owned, 2 library, 2 review, 2 preordered, 1 purchased Age Target: 6 adult, 3 young adult, 1 middle grade      Here are all the books I read this month with ratings and one-line thoughts!      Popsugar Reading Challenge: 26% 52 Book Club: 46% Book Cover Bingo: 72% 24 in 24: 21%      Breakdown: 12 hardcovers | 0 paperbacks | 3 egalleys | 1 ebook | 0 audiobooks All review copies were provided for free in exchange for an honest review. Physical Books BOTM: Jackpot Summer by Friedland, A Talent for Murder by Swanson, One […]

July TBR

Posted July 2, 2024 / Book Lists, Features, TBR Lists / 0 Comments
July TBR

My monthly TBR feature here shows my progress based on last month’s TBR, my plans for this month, and anything else I might be thinking about from a reading perspective. Sometimes I feature a little poll at the bottom so you guys can help me figure out a certain title I should read from a group of books. July TBR I can’t believe I forgot my June TBR post! I did do my summer TBR for TTT recently so that is partially true at least. I’m excited to participate in Summerween so that TBR is below and will make up a good amount of my reads for the entire month if I don’t finish. Egalleys    I have a lot of egalleys from previous months but focusing in on a few here that come out in the next month or so. There are a couple more but you’ll see them in the Summerween post below. June-July Releases    I’ve acquired a number of books in the last month and again, most are in the TBR below. A few of these come out at the very end of the month and I’ve preordered them. The others I already own. Summerween As I mentioned, any books I don’t finish from Summerween are going to be read throughout the rest of the month and fit into other categories in my normal TBR.

Challenge Check-In and Planning

Posted July 1, 2024 / Book Challenges, Features / 1 Comment
Challenge Check-In and Planning

It’s no secret that I love a reading challenge, but I’ll be honest – I haven’t done a great job lately of keeping up with them. I’ve barely completed any readathons either! I thought, as usual, the midyear point is a great time to assess challenge progress and discuss future TBRs. I’m participating in one summer-long reading challenge that I should come up with ideas for, as well as Summerween next week. Today I’ll check in on my year-long challenges and brainstorm TBR ideas for all the things. 2024 Challenge Progress Popsugar and 52 Book Club I haven’t loved the prompts for this year’s challenge so I haven’t gone out of my way to plan TBRs for them. If something fits, great. I’m not certain it’s worth the effort of coming up with TBRs for them now. Just know I’ve read 24 books out of 52 for The 52 Book Club and only 13 books for Popsugar! Wild. Book Cover Bingo I’m confident I can make this one work by the end of the year. Some of these items are super fantasy-oriented, which I usually save for fall… so I have a good feeling 3-4 will be completed this fall. Here’s a quick TBR to get through the final seven prompts. (I really have no idea for the dragon one…) Dragon // Sword // Crown // Skull // Purple cover // Musical instrument // Stars 24 in 24 I only read 5 books off this list in the first half […]

Recent Reads | A Call for Kelp and Summer Romance

Posted June 27, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | A Call for Kelp and Summer Romance

A CALL FOR KELP follows Everly as she helps her aunts get their beekeeping documentary off the ground. They were chosen among a ton of applicants, so a film crew heads down to Charm, NC to begin shooting. The old school actress leading the project and providing the voiceover turns up dead and as usual, Everly springs into action. I’m still enjoying this series overall but this one was too predictable for me. I knew within the first few chapters who the murderer was even though their motivations were not super clear… even in the end! Baker could have used a little more development there. There were a lot of chapters were something dramatic would happen to end the chapter and then the next chapter would jump ahead in time, allowing Everly to reflect on what happen but the reader didn’t get to see it. For example, she got locked in a library and was panicking at the end of the chapter. The next chapter begins and she’s already rescued, explaining to the reader how she got out. Why not just give us the scene? The other major issue: Everly’s obsession with her weight and her fitness tracker was unbearable in this one. It felt like every single chapter she had to reference her size, the fitness watch beeping at her, how hard it was to move around at a size 12 (!!) – the list goes on and on. I just did not want to hear it for so […]