Month: February 2016

Bookmark Lit Bulletin – February 2016

Posted February 29, 2016 / Bookmark Lit Bulletin, Features, Wrap-Ups / 11 Comments
Bookmark Lit Bulletin – February 2016

The Bookmark Lit Bulletin was created to wrap up each month and prepare for the next. I share my life happenings, book haul, books I read and reviewed, posts I shared, challenge updates, and more from the previous month. I also let you know what may be coming up on the blog in the coming month. You can read past bulletins here and learn more about the feature here. I had a busy end of the month and had to read a bunch of ARCs in a row. (I love ARC tours but man, they add up quickly! Back to back to back.) I made some good progress on my reading challenges as well. Overall, enjoyed pretty much every book I read! Love when that happens. Average rating for books read in February: 4.0 stars Highlights of the best and worst… Best of the Best  |  Pleasantly Surprised  |  Disappointed  All of the books read this month: Average rating for books reviewed in February: 4.07 stars Secret Sister Project My new Secret Sister sent me her first package! She chose the theme of things I love, to represent Valentine’s Day… and she nailed it! I got some Star Wars stuff (calendar and keychain), as well as some of my favorite candies (chocolate covered cherries, chocolate + raspberry truffles, and gummies). She also sent along How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffany Debartolo, which is one of her favorites. I’ve been really looking forward to that one! I also ate so much candy immediately. Books Acquired From […]

Review: The Wrong Side of Right

Posted February 26, 2016 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Review: The Wrong Side of Right

This book seriously made me feel ALL the things. So many different emotions at different times. It felt like I knew the characters and was dealing with them myself. I was enraged when Kate was pissed, I was happy and falling for Andy when she was, and I was confused and sad when she didn’t know what to do. That is definitely the sign of a fantastic book. A year after her mother passes away, Kate learns that her father is a Republican senator running for president. She is so quickly swept up into their house, the election, and their world. It’s not easy, as her political opinions generally differ from her fathers, but she adjusts faster than I would have in her situation. She just felt SO REAL to me. As for the political stuff, I liked that it wasn’t beat over my head. There was one key issue that they focused on and dealt with, but the Republican stuff didn’t bother me. If anything, I wish there was more politics! It would have been interesting for her to actually talk more with her father about her beliefs (because she clearly leaned left, although she hadn’t made a decision really). I loved the family feels in this one. Honestly, the stepfamily vibes were stronger than those with her father. I liked seeing them all get closer, but I wanted a little more from him. I won’t spoil anything. When they got into the inevitable first fight, I thought it was […]

Blog Tour | Review: A Study in Charlotte

Posted February 25, 2016 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Blog Tour | Review: A Study in Charlotte

I’m always interested in retellings – even the non-fairytale ones. Those are more common, for sure, but some of the historical retellings are more unique. I don’t have a lot of knowledge about historical figures, so I’m usually entering them blindly… but still end up enjoying them! I’m not overly familiar with Sherlock Holmes stories, so this was another where I luckily didn’t have a lot of historical expectations. It’s nice because I go into it with a wide-open attitude, instead of preparing to make comparisons to the real text. In this story, Sherlock and Holmes were real people that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about. The main characters are Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes, the descendants of the famous detective duo. One of the cooler parts of the book for me is the fact that it takes place in my state – Connecticut! I don’t see a lot of books happening here, so that was almost reason enough to add it to my TBR. It’s funny because the Holmes/Watson relationship ended up being my favorite part of the book! I loved the dynamic between the two of them. I hope it lines up well with the original stories, but from someone who doesn’t know – it was awesome. From what I do understand, they both had similar personality traits to their ancestors. It was cool to see how they come together at the beginning of the book, and how their relationship grows. Great chemistry! The dynamic was definitely different because […]

Book Buddies Review: What Alice Forgot

Posted February 24, 2016 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Book Buddies Review: What Alice Forgot

Book Buddies is a discussion-style review that takes place with one of my two buddies. (Learn more and see past reviews here) We both read the book and then have a private discussion about it. We post our discussion as a review on the last Wednesday of each month. You’ll be able to see our similar/different opinions on the overall book, characters, writing style, etc. – just like a regular review. The first half our discussion will take place right here, and the second half will be on Cristina’s blog! (Link at the bottom) View Cristina’s part of the discussion here. If something similar happened to you, what do you think ten-years-younger-you would think about present-day-you? Cristina: It’s crazy to contemplate how different nearly everything in my life would be so drastically different, I think mostly due to how big of a jump there is between being in your teens and being in your twenties. I wouldn’t know my boyfriend yet, would literally have a completely different friend set, and have very different overall goals and aspirations. However, I think 10 years younger me would be pretty happy with where I’m at. The teen years are pretty angsty, and I was definitely caught up in the small details of life back then. Yet 10 years later nearly everything in the big picture of my life is going very right in the grand scheme of things. I think younger me would be proud and impressed that I now have a great job, an awesome boyfriend, a college degree, and an […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #78: Not My Usual Book

Posted February 23, 2016 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 20 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #78: Not My Usual Book

Five Out-of-My-Norm Books I Recently Enjoyed + Five I Plan to Read Soon 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’s topic involves the ten books I enjoyed recently (within the last year or so) that are generally out of my comfort zone, not my typical kinds of books, or not one of my favorite genres. I find that a lot of hyped books I end up reading don’t meet my expectations when they’re out of my comfort zone. I get “peer pressured” into reading certain books that wouldn’t usually be on my TBR, and I don’t like them. Sometimes it’s better to trust your gut, but some not-my-usual books end up being great pleasant surprises! I split this one up to include five I’ve read and five I plan to read. A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis • We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson • I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios • Magnolia by Kristi Cook • Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer /// I never thought I would enjoy Southern books for some strange reason (too Northern?!), but I’m happy to report that this is no longer the case! The other books (generally creepy, involving aliens, or having military/PTSD themes) are just not my cup of tea – but these were fantastic! Gone […]

2016 Love-a-Thon Mini Challenge: Mix and Match

Posted February 20, 2016 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 28 Comments
2016 Love-a-Thon Mini Challenge: Mix and Match

If you aren’t familiar with the Love-a-Thon, check out the the sign-up post!  Mini Challenge: Mix and Match Objective: We all love books, but there are other things we’re passionate about too! Mash-up a non-bookish hobby/passion/talent/fandom with your bookish life. Do it through photos, art, videos, etc. Get as creative as you’d like! One of my goals for 2016 was to actually read less. I am somewhat succeeding with this so far. Instead of reading nonstop, I take breaks to binge shows and re-watch the Marvel movies with Chris, decorate my planner, start a bullet journal, and get back into Lego. I’ll be highlighting all of these fandoms, hobbies, and passions below… and connecting them to books! One of my bigger hobbies (and I mean this just by sheer volume of Lego bricks within my apartment) is Lego. My boyfriend, Chris, and I collect sets, come up with our own creations (the Lego term for this is “MOC,” or “my own creation”), and build together. Here’s one project I worked on completely by myself: a Disney Princess apartment building. The pictures are terrible, so I apologize, but hopefully you see the idea. Lego has Princess sets out right now, so I took some of mine and reworked a lot of the elements. I made the entire building myself. It has three floors and contains beds for multiple princesses: Rapunzel, Cinderella, Ariel, Jasmine, Aurora, Elsa, and Anna. Each of their rooms and beds are reminiscent of the characters themselves and feature pieces from their Lego sets… but […]

2016 Love-a-Thon Kickoff and Questionnaire

Posted February 20, 2016 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 16 Comments
2016 Love-a-Thon Kickoff and Questionnaire

I had a really great time participating in the Love-a-Thon last year, so I knew I would be carving some time out to join in this year! I am planning on going skiing tomorrow (Sunday) so I’m not sure how much I’ll be around, but I will definitely be giving it my all for as many hours as I can! This year it is hosted by Alexa, Cee, Hazel, and Mel. For those not familiar with the Love-a-Thon, here’s what was shared on the sign-up post: The Love-a-Thon is an event dedicated to spreading positivity and love. It’s time dedicated to visiting other bloggers/Instagrammers/BookTubers, leaving a comment or two, making new friends and fostering positivity among the members of our amazing community. As in the previous years, the event will include mini challenges, Twitter chats and giveaways galore! The first event is a kickoff questionnaire so other participants can get to know you a little better! Here are my answers… What’s your name? Lauren! I’m the only blogger here at Bookmark Lit. Where in the world are you blogging from? I’m blogging from a small town in Connecticut, USA. How did you get into blogging in the first place? I was a HUGE reader in my younger years, all the way until college. During school, I wasn’t able to read nearly as much as I’d hoped, but I kept it going during summer and winter breaks. (Thank you, lunch breaks at my internship!) Anyways, once I graduated from college, I […]

Review: None of the Above

Posted February 19, 2016 / Book Reviews / 5 Comments
Review: None of the Above

I think this book is so incredibly important and, a lot of the time, super powerful. I’ve never read a book about an intersex character and I don’t know of any others that exist. The only time I’ve even heard of the term is in the show Faking It. I’m always happy to learn more about the letters across the QUILTBAG spectrum, so this was great for that purpose. Before I get into the characters and plot events aside from the intersex aspect, I’ll just say that this book is really interesting throughout. I wanted to see how Kristin would react to the hand she was dealt and she didn’t often disappoint me. I think it was a super realistic chain of events (unfortunately) that could happen to anyone in her situation. Learning more about AIS was great and for that reason, I’m glad I read this one. It was super informative, without feeling too forced. I think my biggest issue was with the audiobook narrator? While she had a great voice that I liked listening to, she felt really detached from the story emotionally… This made me feel like the MC didn’t have a lot of emotional reaction at times. That’s why I say it didn’t feel TOO forced or clinical, but at times it did. There was one thing that Kristin did that REALLY annoyed me towards the end of the book and I can’t get it out of my head. It involves her friends and determining who spilled […]

Taking the Guesswork Out of My Book Ratings

Posted February 18, 2016 / Discussions, Features / 28 Comments
Taking the Guesswork Out of My Book Ratings

You finished the book! WOOO. Now what? You liked most of it, but there were some things that bugged you. Do you think it’s in the 3-star range or would you give it a nice 4-star? Was it as good as that OTHER book you rated 4 stars or was it worse? 3.5 feels like not enough, but 4 feels like too much. THIS IS THE WORST FEELING, especially if you then have to change your whole decision because Goodreads doesn’t even let you use half-stars. If you decide on 3.5 stars, will you round up on Goodreads because you liked it overall, or will you round down because it really doesn’t feel worthy? I deal with this all the time. I’ve previously talked about rating with your head or your heart, rating books critically, and changing ratings… so clearly this is something that plagues me. To mitigate some of the issues I have with determining a rating, I’ve developed a really easy plan when rating my books. It helps me out the vast majority of the time. I like to follow a couple of different steps if the first one doesn’t work out. There are plenty of books that I read where I just know the rating in my gut, right off the bat. When that isn’t the case, I move to step two. If that doesn’t finalize things for me, I move to step three. It’s a really easy system but it’s made my life a LOT easier.As I said, sometimes […]

Review: Bossypants

Posted February 17, 2016 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Review: Bossypants

I love Amy Poehler a lot. Parks & Rec is one of my all-time favorite shows and her book, Yes Please, was so fantastic. I’ve always admired her friendship with Tina Fey and as a result, had a nice soft spot for Ms. Fey. But honestly, I haven’t seen a lot of her work (aside from when they host the Golden Globes together and Mean Girls of course). I bought Bossypants a few years ago in a little indie bookstore because I really wanted to make a purchase. Like most celebrity memoirs I read, though, I decided to go with the audiobook to hear her deliver the jokes. I’m happy I did, because she was awesome. It was like she was talking with you. She had so many smart and hilarious comments about EVERYTHING – motherhood, SNL, hollywood, Photoshop, her childhood, and more. It was awesome. I think it essentially reads like a series of funny essays that she put together in one book, which was nice. It was just a smattering of her thoughts on everything. I’ve always wanted to watch 30 Rock but my interest is even higher after reading this book. I couldn’t give it a full five stars for some reason, but it was so so good. I think I just have little to no interest in Saturday Night Live, which was a huge part of Fey’s book as well as Poehler’s. I appreciated some of the stories but just generally don’t like the show too much. I’ll leave […]