Month: August 2016

ARC Review: Diplomatic Immunity

Posted August 31, 2016 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Diplomatic Immunity

I liked this one overall I guess. When I saw the synopsis, it definitely went onto my “jazzed up for this shelf” right away. I love reading about rich kids doing bad things, and this one held a lot of promise for those kinds of shenanigans. I was picturing some of my favorite old-school nostalgia-making books like Gossip Girl or Private. This didn’t exactly happen, but I think it’s okay. Piper was a hard main character to get close to. I could understand her motivations in a general sense but it didn’t make her any less difficult to vibe with. Her family was having money issues so she was determined to get a scholarship to cover the cost of college. She would really stop at nothing to get a good story for that reason. I definitely predicted how that plotline would go 100% so it was a little frustrating. It seriously made me cringe though because in terms of the “issue” or climax of the story, the stakes were really high for this one (compared to other contemporaries). Otherwise, Piper was kind of just weird? She blurted out whatever she was thinking most of the time and was incredibly awkward. She definitely grew on me a little bit throughout the story, but not one of my favorite main characters by any means. I was expecting a bit more of a Gossip Girl feel with parties and drugs and all sorts of things, but that was definitely understated. There was more development with her relationship(s) […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #104: Back to School

Posted August 30, 2016 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 16 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #104: Back to School

Back to School Freebie: Required Reading 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 TTT is a Back To School Freebie — anything “back to school” related like 10 favorite books I read in school, books I think should be required reading, required reading for all fantasy fans, required reading for every college freshman, books to pair with classics or books to complement a history lesson, books that would be on my classroom shelf if I were a teacher. WAY too many great options for this TTT! It took me a while but I decided to do a mix of a couple of these and make a “required reading” umbrella post. Course catalog entry: Explore history in a new way! Learn about past historical figures through present-day retellings and explore historical fiction with a magical twist. This course will cover figures such as Lady Jane Grey and Anne Boleyn, while also exploring other time periods of history. Required reading: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray • 1800s + magic My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows • Tudors + magic Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius • Present-day version of Anne Boleyn Course catalog entry: Learn about the great YA Contemporary genre through some of the industry’s best. This course […]

ARC Reviews: Game On and Sweet Carolina Morning

Posted August 29, 2016 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
ARC Reviews: Game On and Sweet Carolina Morning

Southern Summer(ish)time Series ARC August was perfect for catching up on some books I’d been putting off for basically no reason. I recently was approved for both of these on Netgalley. While they’re for different target audiences – one is YA and one is Adult – they’re both set in the south and bring some major warm weather vibes. They’re also both second in their each of their series, respectively, and I generally enjoyed their predecessors (although not 100% loved).I hate to say it, but I have mixed feelings on this one as well. I found my attention wavering a lot in the beginning of the book and I don’t think I paid enough attention to what was going on for some reason. I liked Bri and Eric well enough, but don’t feel like I really got to KNOW Bri as much as Eric. I feel like there were significantly more chapters from his point of view and I missed out on Bri’s perspective at times. I was missing some friendship feels I would have liked, but the family parts were fleshed out pretty nicely on both sides. My favorite trope involves childhood-best-friends-getting-together, PLUS there was a slow-burn romance involved here. It sounded like such a win-win on the romance side for me. I liked when they reminisced on their childhood together, but this was a bit too slow-burn for me. I guess they were both protecting their hearts but I wanted to just do this so badly: Super slow-burn aside, some of the […]

Books I Seriously Need to Read by the End of the Year

Posted August 26, 2016 / Book Lists, Features / 23 Comments
Books I Seriously Need to Read by the End of the Year

I have a lot of books I’m kind of “obligated” to read throughout the year, for various reasons, and that always affects my TBR. But I’m talking about the books I am ALWAYS saying I can’t wait to read… and then I ignore them. I mean, I created an entire challenge around this issue! That’s actually part of the reason for this post. I still need to get going on some of those. I always am baffled by how many books I have left to read that I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on for one reason or another.

Mini Reviews: The Islanders #1 and Nantucket Red

Posted August 25, 2016 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Mini Reviews: The Islanders #1 and Nantucket Red

Beachy Backlist Reviews I wanted to read all of the books in THE ISLANDERS series this summer but… they weren’t binge-worthy. The characters weren’t so easy to relate to a lot of the time. I think I’d enjoy spreading them out a little more. I’m tossing in my review for NANTUCKET RED because I finally decided to catch up and finish this duo! I obviously needed at least one more ~summery~ book before the actual end of summer comes around!This book was legitimately exactly what I expected it to be. It reminded me right off the bat of the old books I’d read during middle school when hanging out at the library after school. I’d pull some teen drama from the 90’s off the shelf and love every dramatic minute. While I definitely loved the drama, it’s harder to stomach as an adult! In general I think books have come a looooong way since this series too. It has its insane amount of instalove (like, literally every single couple loves each other within the first day) and love triangles (yes, multiple – these kids change partners like nobody’s business!). I can’t deny that this book feels a bit realistic in that way. These kids live on an island with a total of 300 people and they’re the only teenagers. What more do you expect? I don’t have a favorite character. They all kind of blend together and there are quite a few people involved: Zoey, Jake, Lucas, Claire, Ben, Aisha, and Nina. Damn. […]

Recently Announced Books I NEED Right Now

Posted August 24, 2016 / Book Lists, Features / 8 Comments
Recently Announced Books I NEED Right Now

I’m not one that pays attention to the new book deal announcements (because I’m lazy)… however, I am totally the person who benefits from everyone else who does. I LOVE seeing unreleased books pop up on Goodreads right after they’re released because then I can add them and get my anticipating up and running. I wrote a big ol’ post about this recently and made all of you hate me, so I’m kind of going to do it again today 😉 By A Charm and A Curse by Jaime Questell From the synopsis: “Maggie Stiefvater meets Tim Burton, in which a teen girl is entrapped by a cursed carnival when a kiss turns her into a living doll, and must figure out how to break the decades-old curse so she can become human again — without destroying the carnival (and the boy) she’s growing to love in the process.” Why I’m interested: Okay, Maggie Stiefvater and Tim Burton? Sounds creepy and amazing. I’m definitely not one for curses and horror-like things in books, but I’m definitely intrigued by this one. I love carnival settings too! Jupiter Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel From the synopsis: “The story of a 16-year-old girl who vows to deliver a love letter that her older sister, Camilla, wrote on the day she died and addressed only to “You” – as soon as she figures out who “You” is.” Why I’m interested: Ugh why am I not interested?! This book sounds right up my alley. She’ll be going […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #103: Pre-Blogging TBR

Posted August 23, 2016 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 12 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #103: Pre-Blogging TBR

Ten Books that Have Been on Your Shelf/TBR from Before Blogging that You STILL Haven’t Read Yet 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 TTT is the top ten books that you’ve had on your TBR (physical or digital!) from your pre-blogging days that you still haven’t read. I definitely wanted to examine the books on my physical shelves – especially because I’m not doing so great at reading from my personal collection – and hopefully it pushes me to get going on them. All of these books were published and acquired by me in 2014 or earlier. Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison • This is definitely one of those pivotal growing-up series that many people have read. I bought it back in the day when they did the cover redesign and just never got arond to reading it for some reason. I’ve heard it’s hilarious though. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella • I went through a big Kinsella phase right before I started blogging and I want to get back into her backlist. I read the Shopaholic books (maybe the first three or so) back in the day and really enjoyed them too. This one seems great. Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein • This […]

Review: Truly Madly Guilty

Posted August 22, 2016 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Review: Truly Madly Guilty

Initial Excitement Liane Moriarty is definitely one of my favorites. I’ve enjoyed all of her books so far and love them even more in audiobook form. When I saw that the same narrator was reading this one, I preordered the audio right away. I had just finished up an audio-binge-listen of a trilogy and definitely was ready to move on to something different. In other words… I started this book within the first week it was released, which never happens to me with audiobooks. Summary in a Second Six adults and three kids went to a random BBQ and clearly something happened to alter their lives forever. Much like BIG LITTLE LIES, this book went back and forth between the day of the barbecue and present day. The reader slowly learns about what happened that day and why everyone is in a tizzy. The book goes in between characters and hears their perspectives before and after the events of that day. Storytelling & Setting I love the Australian setting for Moriarty’s books (and especially because “Aussie author” is a square on this season’s Bookish Bingo card! Totally forgot!). My favorite thing about her books is her ability to go back and forth in time to create tension and suspense. I’m always wondering what the hell happened and can feel my curiosity and nervousness growing with each change in time or chapter. She’s a masterful storyteller, even if sometimes the end result doesn’t meet my expectations. Unfortunately, that was the case here. […]

Gimme Some Recs! | Mystery / Suspense / Thrillers and Historical Fiction

Posted August 19, 2016 / Discussions, Features / 21 Comments
Gimme Some Recs! | Mystery / Suspense / Thrillers and Historical Fiction

I recently talked about how I feel like I’m a “fake” fantasy reader because I always say I like fantasy books, but barely read them. I don’t do well with high fantasy and tend to prefer lighter fantasy novels, if I read them at all. I sought out some recommendations based on some of the favorites I’ve actually read and you guys definitely delivered. I’m hoping for the same thing here today. I always add mystery/thriller and historical fiction novels to my TBR on Goodreads, but almost NEVER actually read them. I want to share a few historical and suspenseful books here so you know what I like, and then hopefully you can help me out with some recommendations! Which books should I actually read?! I tend to read more political books by Ally Carter or Jennifer Lynn Barnes, or books that fall on the “suspense” end of the spectrum (like Liane Moriarty). I don’t read a lot of hefty murder mysteries or legit thrillers, but have enjoyed some in the past. I find myself adding memory loss books to the TBR, as well as some YA murder mysteries or kidnappings. Check out my TBRs here or here if you’re curious for more I’m interested in! I also went into detail about things I don’t like about some YA mystery books too. Seeking: political thrillers, YA murder mysteries, shocking twists, memory loss, “suspense” classification instead of mystery/thriller This one can be really hit or miss for me. I love books that involve historical […]

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Posted August 18, 2016 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I feel the need to start this review with some general observations about the play/script itself and how people have reacted to its release. I absolutely understand the mixed feelings and reviews on this one, as well as the reasons some people won’t be reading it at all. There are some things I want to cover because I too had some mixed feelings about this that I literally had JUST spoken about. My thoughts changed at the midnight release, when I started reading, and while I was reading. Let’s get some shit out of the way If you asked me 10 years ago how I would feel knowing an “eighth Harry Potter book” would come out at some point, I would have shit my pants. (No pun intended with the title of this section.) As a kid/young adult, there was LITERALLY nothing I could have wanted more from the world of fiction. When I was older and especially within the last two years, that excitement kind of dwindled. I think we all can genuinely agree that a Marauders prequel would be unreal and amazing. Most people – even those against Cursed Child – seem to agree with this. I was definitely cool with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them because the world expanded to other people and wouldn’t “ruin” the magic of the original series. How could it? Harry’s not even there. But, for some reason, Cursed Child has gotten mixed feelings and negative pre-release commentary from bloggers. Clearly everyone has a […]