Month: November 2019

Review Round Up | Finale, Imaginary Friend, and Call Down the Hawk

Posted November 29, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Finale, Imaginary Friend, and Call Down the Hawk

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I had been putting off FINALE for way too long. I looked at the Monthly Motif challenge for October (“tricks and trades”) and thought it would be great for FINALE… but surely I’d read this highly anticipated release ASAP in May, right?! Nope. I don’t know – I got nervous it wouldn’t be as good as I wanted. In some ways, it wasn’t. In many ways, it was a perfect finale (pun intended for sure) to this story. I don’t necessarily think this book NEEDED to exist in a lot of ways, but I can’t fault Garber for writing it. I loved being back inside this world. I feel like Tella was again the lead character, even though this book alternated between her and Scarlett’s perspectives. Scarlett seemed to have way less chapters? Either way, it was nice to see some love triangles get resolved (a bit annoying both sisters had some semblance of them) and wrap everything up. There were some twists I didn’t see coming but didn’t fully love either. I think Garber has a really accessible writing style, especially considering she writes fantasy books. I always struggle with fantasy and can’t just sit down and read one from start to finish usually. With hers, I totally […]

Books I Should’ve Read in 2019

Posted November 28, 2019 / Book Lists, Features / 6 Comments
Books I Should’ve Read in 2019

I would usually make a TBR post at this point of every month, but my holiday TBR list and challenge-related TBR posts went live recently (and they’re pretty all-encompassing). No need to reinvent the wheel here and share the same TBRs! I thought that INSTEAD of a December TBR, I’d reflect on all of the books I should have read in 2019. Or, maybe some books I would get to in December if it wasn’t fully planned out for Christmas novels. I DID do a pretty great job of reading *most* of my highly anticipated books in 2019, but a few escaped me somehow. I usually keep at least one Kasie West book on the back burner for when I need a quick and enjoyable audiobook I wasn’t planning for, so I’m not super surprised I didn’t read FAME, FATE, AND THE FIRST KISS, but I currently have more than one KW book waiting for me. The other 2019 release I definitely should have read was HOPE AND OTHER PUNCH LINES by Julie Buxbaum because I’ve loved her writing so far. I was super excited for this one and am not sure how I managed to avoid reading it this year. Lastly, I should have read I HAVE LOST MY WAY by Gayle Forman in 2018, which means I definitely should have read it this year! Whoops. How am I sleeping on this one?! As you can tell, there are quite a few books I was jazzed up for and just never got around […]

#Faerieathon | Holly Black’s Queen of Nothing Release Day Event Recap and Book Review

Posted November 27, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
#Faerieathon | Holly Black’s Queen of Nothing Release Day Event Recap and Book Review

Faerieathon Recap I’ve spent the last six months reading and rereading all of Holly Blacks novels set in or around the fae world, along with Kristin, Melanie, Jane, and Alexa. I’ve LOVED following along with everyone’s posts and watching their liveshows whenever possible. I was planning on doing reread reviews on the blog throughout the readalong but got a bit lazy. I did do reviews for the Modern Faerie Tales trilogy because YIKES and because some of them were first-time reads for me. To give a general recap on other things, I really enjoyed THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST again. It’s just so lush and atmospheric. I reread THE CRUEL PRINCE, skipped THE LOST SISTERS novella because I felt like I didn’t need it, and dove back into THE WICKED KING earlier this month. It was awesome to go back and reread the Folk of the Air books because they were even better the second time, understanding what was going to happen and anticipating all of the twists! Holly Black Event I was SO excited to see that Holly Black, true to her Massachusetts roots, was doing an event ON her release day at one of my favorite indie bookstores. An Unlikely Story is about an hour and a half away from me and is where my sister and I went to see Sarah Dessen over the summer. I decided I would leave work on Tuesday, head to the event, and take the following day off from work. I was […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #263: Thankful

Posted November 26, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 3 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #263: Thankful

Thankful Freebie: Things I’m Thankful for from 2019 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 usually do some kind of “things I’m thankful for” or “books I’m thankful for” post for this each year. I thought I’d do the usual and share some of the things I’m most thankful for from 2019, both bookish and non-bookish. Artful Agenda | This has been a planning-related game-changer for me this year. You can read my full post and breakdown here, but basically this is a digital planner that syncs over your calendars and allows you to also customize it like a real planner. You can see the floral print cover I used from the spring into fall, but now there are some Christmas covers to choose from! I do somewhat miss paper planners (and have thoughts on using one in a different way next year) but I will not get rid of this guy. Shampoo brush | A couple of shower-related things, weirdly enough… I’ve been loving this shampoo brush! It really massages the shampoo into your hair and makes sure your roots get clean. Silicone shower scrubber | We made the switch away from loofahs recently after learning how much bacteria they can hold/carry. These […]

Five on Fridays [3]

Posted November 22, 2019 / Five on Fridays, Weekly Memes / 3 Comments
Five on Fridays [3]

Five on Friday displays the the top five things that have been on my mind this week! It could be book-related, but it may be music, movies, TV, personal life, food, etc. I’ll generally be posting these biweekly and linking up with Friday Favorites (hosted by A Little Bit of Everything, Grace and Love, and Momfessionals). Previous posts can be found here! I did start my numbering over, since it’ll be a little different than my previous iterations… Podcasts: Motherhacker and Red Ball Motherhacker: This was one of those super unexpected podcast binges that happen to me (very rarely, lately)! I really enjoyed the Sandra podcast by Gimlet and had been wondering if any similar podcasts would be produced by them. Mission accomplished! I listened to the preview and first episode one morning before work, just out of curiosity, and then ended up listening to the entire show in one day. The episodes are short and super interesting. Basically, a mom starts getting robocalls and ends up getting scammed out of some money. Judging from the title, you might be able to guess what happens next. The final two episodes were wild and had unexpected twists, which was damn cool. Apple currently is putting the episodes out one-by-one, but you can listen to the entire season on Spotify right now. Red Ball: I’m a huge fan of the Crime Junkie podcast and, as a Patreon member, got access to the entire four-part Red Ball podcast this week! It was pretty intriguing and […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #262: Changes

Posted November 19, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 5 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #262: Changes

Changes in my Reading Life 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 have noticed quite a few changes in my reading life over the years and have talked about them at various points in time on the blog. I won’t link any of them here because I don’t want to purposefully copy those answers! I want to go right off the top of my head. 1. I’m reading more adult fiction and less YA overall I do still read mostly YA fiction, but I think that each year the amount of adult fiction grows and grows. At the time of writing this post, 58% of my books were still YA and 37% were adult. A decent amount! I add a lot more adult fiction to my TBR these days too. I think I’m getting to be pickier and sometimes I just feel too old for YA. It’s very clearly not the book’s fault; I’m recognizing I’m not the target audience and sometimes I just get overly frustrated when reading YA. 2. I’m finally reducing my number of contemporary reads I’ve made it a goal for the past million years to get my percentage of contemporary fiction reads down below 50%. I’m […]

Holidays 2019 | To Read & Watch, Readathons, Etc.

Posted November 18, 2019 / Book Lists, Features, TBR Lists / 5 Comments
Holidays 2019 | To Read & Watch, Readathons, Etc.

Usually I’m getting jazzed up for Christmas in September and forcing myself to wait until at least Halloween, but this year I’ve been feeling weird! I’m not super duper into the holiday spirit like I expected, post-Halloween. I’ve been listening to my holiday music since 11/1 and hopefully reading some holiday books at the end of the month PLUS decorating this week will be helpful. Here we go – onto the usual holiday fun and plans! I have a system right now for scheduling my reading through the end of the year, which includes ranking and prioritizing my holiday reads. I’ll show you the priority reads and review copies (generally one in the same) then all the books I’d LIKE to get to. Scribd actually has a lot of these on audio and I don’t usually listen to holiday audiobooks since I have other stories to continue reading in December. BUT this year I’ve done a lovely job of finishing up challenges nice and early, allowing December to basically be 90% Christmas books. I have a good amount of review copies this season! The book I’ll be starting with, as a quick novella before December, is The Matchmaker’s Mistletoe Mission. I’ll be hosting a readalong of All I Want for Christmas is You with Forever Romance in early December, so be on the lookout for that! I’m participating in a holiday blog tour with Harlequin to share A Wedding in December and Coming Home for Christmas in December, and then The Little Bookshop on the Siene in early January. […]

Lauren Lately | November 2019

Posted November 15, 2019 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 0 Comments
Lauren Lately | November 2019

You can read my monthly Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups to learn about the bookish and blog-related things I’ve accomplished. Lauren Lately was created 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. What I’ve Been Up To Chris’s birthday was in mid-October, so we had some fun celebrations with our friends and his family. We went to an Escape Room followed by dinner and hanging out at an arcade. The next day, we went to the local Apple Festival for some solid fair food and browsing the craft shops. I went to a focus group with my friend and then I got dismissed (they had too many people), so I took a solo trip to the bar next door, got some charcuterie and beer, and read my book until she was done! I also went to a wedding dress appointment for that friend, then we got some Mexican food afterwards! Chris’s family usually gets together around November to celebrate the fall birthdays, so we went to a local seafood restaurant – it was so good and they gave us free cake! We had dinner for my step-grandma’s 80th birthday and then hit a local brewery with Chris’s friends afterwards. We celebrated his sister’s birthday with some Korean hotpot the following week too. More dining out adventures: a delicious taco restaurant with our friends one weekend and a pretzel-based bar/restaurant before some friends came over […]

Did My 2019 Five Star Predictions Come True?

Posted November 14, 2019 / Book Lists, Features / 4 Comments
Did My 2019 Five Star Predictions Come True?

Post found on Pretty Deadly Reviews | Inspired by Mercy’s Bookish Musings For the past few years, I’ve written some prediction posts at the end of the year to predict which books I may rate five stars in the following year. They’re all upcoming releases and usually from authors I already know, love, and have rated many books five-stars from. I usually count is as a win if I end up in the 4-5 star area for these predictions. Let’s see how I did from 2019 releases! Five Stars, Baby! Honestly, if you had asked me when reading my 2019 prediction post which book would be MOST likely to be five stars if I had to pick one, it would have been Girls with Sharp Sticks. I truly have loved everything written by Young and this book was unbelievable. Easily one of her very best. If you haven’t read it yet, pleaseeeee do. There’s Something About Sweetie was SO DAMN GOOD and pulled at my heartstrings continuously. It was really hard to read at times but just so well done and realistic. I adored Ashish AND Sweetie so much. So Close: 4.5 Stars Hooo boy was I ready to get inside Nikolai’s head with King of Scars! The cover is so stunning. I believe it did take me forever to read because hello Lauren does not read fantasy in a timely manner. This book was so excellent and lived up to juuuust about every expectation I had for it. I can’t […]

Rainbow Try a Chapter Unhaul | Personal Challenge for 2020

Posted November 13, 2019 / Book Challenges, Features / 3 Comments
Rainbow Try a Chapter Unhaul | Personal Challenge for 2020

I know that I usually talk about my upcoming year-long challenges in one big post, but I’m inventing this one for myself and wanted to give my idea a full post! Inspired by the following lovely bookish people: RAINBOW READING: Chelsea @ Chelsea Dolling Reads has been doing a rainbow challenge each month, where she spends a week reading books off of her shelves from a specific color family. It’s way for her to read from her physical TBR and get some focused reading time in. TRY A CHAPTER: I originally saw the idea for a “try a chapter” tag or unahul at Bekka @ Lock and Rose. There’s also a Bustle article about linking the original creator (Book Paradise, who appears to be inactive on their YouTube channel). This “try a chapter” thing is a way to read the first chapter of a book on your shelves. If it doesn’t grab you right away, you unhaul the book and move on. For 2020, I’ll be combining some of the ideas above into my own unhaul / reading from my shelves challenge. The idea is that each month I will have a specific color that I use to pull books from my shelves. Once the books are pulled, I will read the first chapter in each one and decide if I want to keep it or unhaul it. The idea is that if the chapter DOES pull me in, I will continue reading that book immediately. I can’t just decide I want […]