Month: May 2019

Blog Tour | Review: Only Ever Her

Posted May 31, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Blog Tour | Review: Only Ever Her

Review I was intrigued from the start with this book! I have been really trying to read more mystery/thrillers (especially the kind of domestic suspense genre like this one). ONLY EVER HER centers around the perfect small-town girl Annie, who goes missing days before her wedding. Did she leave on her own with a case of cold feet? Is her high school (guy) best friend, who clearly loves her, to blame somehow? Is this tied in to her mother’s murder and the previously-jailed suspect now walking free? The story alternated between a few points of view: Annie (at first), Kenny (the high school friend who loved her), Clary (her cousin), Faye (her guardian and aunt, who she lived with after her mom was killed), and Laurel (the reporter in the town who knew Annie from high school). Other relevant characters, who didn’t have specific points of view chapters, included Scott (her fiancee), the pastor who was set to marry them, Tracy (her best friend and bridesmaid), Hal (the sheriff)… and countless others. The small town had a lot of people who knew each other and loved Annie, which made it so interesting to see them rally around her. As you can guess, there were a lot of interconnected people and factors at play throughout the story, which made it fascinating to try to “solve.” I kept thinking that some ideas I had were too obvious and genuinely couldn’t figure out what had happened to Annie. It was refreshing, to be […]

June TBR

Posted May 30, 2019 / Book Lists, Features, TBR Lists / 5 Comments
June 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. May Progress I did a decent job in May, primarily thanks to blog tours and graphic novels! I also managed to read (or attempt to read) a few review copies. AGAIN, BUT BETTER just didn’t strike my fancy when I read the first few pages and I decided very early on to cut my losses, especially after seeing other similar reviews for the title. I got through SAGA volumes 5 and 6 for my Monthly Motif Challenge, which was for “one-sitting reads”…even though I didn’t technically read them in one sitting. They’re still books you could read in one sitting 😉 Up Next in June FaerieAThon Tithe by Holly Black I eagerly signed up for this readathon when it was half-announced a few months ago (when we all learned that QUEEN OF NOTHING would be happening in November instead of January!). It’s hosted by Jane, Kristin, Alexa, and Mel, and involves reading Holly Black’s backlist from June through November. There are some books I plan to read and reread, while I will possibly not dive in to others. (I could listen to some audiobook rereads during the work day.) I know with […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #237: Ten Years

Posted May 28, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 9 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #237: Ten Years

Favorite Books Released in the Last Ten Years 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. SO FUN. I’ve been blogging since 2014 so at least I can guarantee that I have books easy to grab for the past 6 years. The prompt specifically shares your favorite books released in the last ten years, choosing one book from each year. I should also note that I purposefully did not pick more than one book by the same author AND this is based on release year, not based on the year I read the book. Time to walk down memory lane! Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen Read in 2009 | This was a very random ARC I received from a bookseller back in 2009. He just knew he wasn’t going to read it and passed it along to me for free. So it’s kind of amazing I didn’t even know what an ARC was and now have a DESSEN ONE in my collection! Either way, one of my all-time favorite books. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Read in 2014 | I read this the year I started blogging, when Andi did the Isla Is Coming Readalong. I loved it so so […]

Far, Far Away Books I Literally Cannot Stop Thinking About

Posted May 27, 2019 / Book Lists, Features / 7 Comments
Far, Far Away Books I Literally Cannot Stop Thinking About

There have been plenty of posts (this one recently) where I talk about unreleased, upcoming books I’m excited about. (If my TBR keeps growing, yours needs to as well!) I usually only do books with covers because reading an entire post about books without a *single* cover image is not my favorite thing, personally. HOWEVER there are so many books that are too far away to have covers that I can genuinely not stop thinking about. I’m going to include some kind of related and/or excited GIF (gotta make up for the lack of covers somehow, no?) for each book and what we know about it so far. St. Rosetta’s Academy series by Sandhya Menon (2020) Jennifer Ung at Simon Pulse has acquired NYT Bestselling author Sandhya Menon’s St. Rosetta’s Academy series, each book a contemporary fairy-tale re-telling, set at a prestigious boarding school for modern royals. The first book, Of Curses and Kisses, is a spin on Beauty and the Beast and follows an Indian princess who must con her worst enemy, a misanthropic British aristocrat, into falling in love with her in order to restore honor to her family. Publication is slated for 2020. The three book deal was brokered by Thao Le at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Like… excuse my French but are you fucking kidding me? I need this series more than I need the air I breathe. Everything about this is perfect and has me written all over it. The author, the boarding school […]

ARC Review: Hungry Hearts

Posted May 24, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Hungry Hearts

I was so excited for this anthology because I’m a huge fan of food (of all types) and short story collections in general! I love even MORE when the stories are connected. In this case, all of these occur on Hungry Hearts Row, a place where “magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.” As usual, I’ll be sharing mini reviews and ratings for each story, plus overall feelings and an average rating for the whole anthology. Rain by Sangu Mandanna I’m glad that the first story introduced the setting of Hungry Hearts Row, because I was curious about how they would set that scene if someone didn’t read the synopsis. The main character comes in from England and talks about the Indian food from her mother’s home. She’s grieving her mother and struggling to keep a connectiong with her father throughout the story, so it was a bit melancholy. I loved how she connected her mother with food (specifically her favorite dish). Such a cute and simple story about family, loss, and food… and how all three connect to keep someone’s memory alive. Kings and Queens by Elsie Chapman I loved the exploration Chinese food here, especially because it has become so Westernized in American Chinese restaurants. (I also loved that the first connections between the stories starting already, because this family’s restaurant was referenced in the first story and there were a few characters I assume will come around later.) It took a turn I […]

Books I’ve Read with the Highest Average Goodreads Rating

Posted May 23, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 2 Comments
Books I’ve Read with the Highest Average Goodreads Rating

Naturally, I just posted about the lowest rated books I’ve read and now it’s time for the highest! I decided to skip over some of the super-obvious ones (like the Harry Potter series or any classic with millions of reviews) and also didn’t want to duplicate the conversation with books in a series (for example, many books in the SJM series and the Illuminae Series would be in this list, but I’m only doing the highest-rated book from the series). Let me start out by saying that I am not surprised that books with fairly rabid fanbases would have such high ratings – between the SJM series on here, Leigh Bardugo, Holly Black, Lunar Chronicles and the Illuminae books, I know how us bloggers and fangirls can be! I definitely figured they’d have super high ratings. There were multiple books from these series in my top 15 or so, but I only included the highest from each series. ACOMAF by Sarah J. Maas | I definitely enjoyed this one a lot. It brought the series together in a cool and unexpected way for me, but I feel like I loved ACOTAR the most. I know that the whole series is polarizing, so I’m not surprised that ACOMAF, which is book two, would have a higher average rating. All of the people who read ACOTAR and hated it would not be as likely to continue with the second book. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo | Same thing here – people who didn’t love […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #236: No Redesigning

Posted May 21, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 14 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #236: No Redesigning

Books That I Refuse to Let Anyone Touch Redesign the Covers Of 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. I am actually not a big book collector. I rarely buy physical books and there are SO few that I own multiple copies of. I don’t even have special editions of books, really. The idea that I would have books that no one is allowed to touch is weird for me, so I made my own spin on this topic – here are the books with some of my all-time favorite covers that better not ever change. No one is allowed to redesign these, okay??? To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Han | I know these may get some redesigns because of the movies, which isn’t as bad, but I LOVE these covers so incredibly much. Please make sure all other editions are published just like this, TYVM. Dumplin’ and Puddin’ by Julie Murphy | I love these so much. They’re striking, capture the book/character so well, and honestly make me want to frame them for my wall. I’ll admit I haven’t read Puddin’ yet but I will soon hopefully whooooops. All of Sandhya Menon’s books | I’m obsessed with these covers. […]

TV Shows I Probably Won’t Ever Finish

TV Shows I Probably Won’t Ever Finish

I thought I’d do a little break from books to talk about television! I like sharing other hobbies on here, but I guess this post is almost the opposite of that? I wanted to chat about some shows I started watching, got through more than a few episodes, and have since paused watching. Most of the time this isn’t a conscious decision – it’s more like I get in a mood, binge a few (or a bunch) of episodes, get distracted by a new season of another show, and then never go back. I usually tell myself that I will at some point, but these are six shows I’ve decided I most likely won’t ever pick up again for various reasons. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Episodes watched: 12 | Episodes left: 38 I binge-watched a lot of these episodes right around the time the second season came out, maybe? I don’t remember. I was intrigued at first and thought the show was pretty funny but not as funny as everyone else. It’s one of those shows where I just stopped watching it inadvertently, in favor of something else, and I’ll probably never return to it. It’s been like 3+ years and I have not once felt compelled to play the next episode. Orange is the New Black Episodes watched: 33 | Episodes left: 45 If you told me I wanted to quit this show a few years ago, I would have been shocked. Chris and I LOVED and devoured the first […]

Books I’ve Read with the Lowest Average Goodreads Rating

Posted May 17, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 10 Comments
Books I’ve Read with the Lowest Average Goodreads Rating

When writing an upcoming post about book ratings, I started to think about average ratings on Goodreads. My rating for September Girls was a HALF of a star and the average Goodreads rating was 2.97. That is extremely low on Goodreads, obviously. I wanted to explore some of the books I’ve read with super low average Goodreads ratings, then see where my thoughts and rating stacked up. The Word for Yes by Claire Needell | I didn’t like this book and clearly the people of Goodreads agreed with me. This is the lowest average rating on Goodreads out of all the books I’ve read. I expected this to be a powerful and impactful story about the aftermath of a date rape, and how three sisters cope and move on together. That didn’t exactly happen and the story was very pointless, which is sad to say. It doesn’t help that the book was barely over 200 pages long and therefore a little too short to successfully tackle this topic. Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn | I feel a little bad for this book because it wasn’t THAT terrible? The concept was better than the execution, of course, but whatever. Like many of Cohn/Levithan’s books (when they write together), at least one character has to be a little too manic pixie dream-person or unrealistic. There’s too much forced quirkiness in their characters and that tends to ruin their books for me. Posh by Lucy Jackson | This is one […]

Romance in Mystery Novels

Posted May 16, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 6 Comments
Romance in Mystery Novels

When writing my review for You Owe Me a Murder, I came to the realization that romance plotlines rarely work for me in mystery or thriller novels. I started to think hard about why this is the case, because I generally welcome romance from any kind of book that I can. A lot of books feel like romance is missing when it doesn’t exist, just because it’s my preferred genre! Here are some of the reasons it doesn’t work for me in this genre and some of the exceptions to the rule… (1) I don’t trust anyone A good mystery novel makes you second-guess everything and everyone. I like the books where there are a bunch of red herrings and mysterious elements, so I never know what’s true and what’s conjecture. I go into these books incredibly wary of each character because you never know who could be the villain or murderer. Because of this, I almost never get invested in specific characters in mystery books. That’s a whole other topic, I’m sure, but that certainly means that romance is not on my mind. When the MC trying to solve the mystery grows closer to another character and they start to fall for each other, I don’t trust the ship. What if that person is the murderer?! I’m not falling for that. I will not ship them in the slightest because I’m afraid that I could be sad or disappointed by their heel turn (to use a wrestling term, LOL). I […]