ARC Review: Meet Cute

Posted January 3, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Meet Cute

Further down you’ll find reviews for each story with their own star ratings, but my overall feelings about the book are right below. I really loved all of these stories overall, and this anthology left me with a really positive feeling… compared to other anthologies I’ve read! Meet Cute anthology Some People are Destined to Meet Edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout Average rating: 3.75 stars Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors. Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #164: New Authors

Posted January 2, 2018 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 7 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #164: New Authors

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors Read in 2017 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 read a lot of great books by “new to me” authors this year but decided to really narrow it down to ten! I loved all of these books and can absolutely see myself buying MANY more by them. Some were debut authors and some are more established, but they were all new to Lauren in 2017! Ashley Poston / Sandhya Menon / Alexandra Ballard    Wendy Brant / Angie Thomas / Julie Israel / Kristan Higgins   Jared Reck / Mackenzi Lee / Karen M. McManus

Bookmark Lit Bulletin | December 2017 + End of Year

Posted January 1, 2018 / Bookmark Lit Bulletin, Features, Wrap-Ups / 14 Comments
Bookmark Lit Bulletin | December 2017 + End of Year

The Bookmark Lit Bulletin was created to wrap up each month and prepare for the next. I share my 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. I recently split out my personal posts into the Lauren Lately feature, so this is a bit shorter! As usual I wish I could go back in time to the holiday season again! 🎄 I read so many cute holiday books and novellas in December that I would have loved to continue into January. They’re so easy and cozy to read. Anyways, I easily met my goal with plenty of time to spare and stopped myself when I hit exactly 150 books for my goal. I don’t like going over unless it’s to a rounder number, like 155 or 160. I feel weird about reading like 151 or 152 books, which are numbers I was likely to hit. So, it was nice to have some wiggle room to fill out the end of year surveys early! Yearly Wrap-Up of Statistics I wanted to keep these graphs in a scroll box because they get a little intense and fill so much space. If you’re curious about my bookish breakdown for 2017, take a look below! Average rating for books read in December: 3.75 stars Highlights & Lowlights This month’s books: Year-Long Contemporary Romance Challenge […]

2017 End of Year and Statistics Surveys

Posted December 30, 2017 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 6 Comments
2017 End of Year and Statistics Surveys

Happy end of the year! How is it possible?! Honestly this was one of the craziest, busiest, weirdest, and best years of my life. As you know from years past, I hate filling these out unless my year is completely done. I’ve managed to finish my reading a bit early and then pause until the New Year. I loved filling out Jamie’s survey in 2014, 2015, and 2016. This is the 7th time she’s hosted this survey and it’s so fun to see what everyone chooses for the categories. Last year, I didn’t allow myself any duplicates. I’m going to try to keep them to a minimum for this survey, but it feels impossible. I’ll need to have a few. To learn more about it and see a blank set of questions, check here! It was so fun to reread my answers for last year, since I copied that survey here to clean out and fill out. Number of Books You Read: 150 Number of Re-Reads: 16 | Number of DNFs: 7 Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary 1. Best Book You Read In 2017? Totally cheating and adding multiple categories! (Not including rereads.) See a full list of my “best reads” of the year (5 stars and 4.5 stars) here if you’re curious.       Best of the best: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Best contemporary: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord Best non-contemporary: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black Best adult fiction: The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison Best 2017 debut […]

January TBR + Winter Bingo

Posted December 28, 2017 / Book Lists, Features / 4 Comments
January TBR + Winter Bingo

I recently started a monthly TBR feature, where I try to pin down which books I plan to read in the upcoming month. It also helps remind me throughout the month which books I’m supposed to be reading, for various reasons. I add a little poll at the bottom too, so you guys can vote and help me narrow down some of my options as well. Here are my top TBR choices for this month and how I did last month… December Progress       My main goals for December were to read holiday books, finish my Flights of Fantasy challenge, and finish my Goodreads challenge. I have successfully done all three! I managed to read four of the Christmassy books I put in my December TBR, skipped one, and read two others. I also killed two birds with one stone by reading a fantasy/holiday combo book of novellas. On Deck for January 2017 Leftovers & Borrowed books    Top Ten by Katie Cotugno // A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills  TOP TEN has been hanging around ever since my library hold came in sometime during December. I really love Cotugno’s books and can’t wait to see what her latest is like! I borrowed A TAXONOMY OF LOVE from Madalyn way too long ago and keep saying I’m going to read it. My first ~resolution~ is to read it ASAP. I need to be better about these things. And finally, FOOLISH HEARTS was only released […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #163: Anticipated

Posted December 26, 2017 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 13 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #163: Anticipated

Eighteen Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018 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 decided to use this as 2018 releases I can’t wait for because of course there are WAY TOO MANY OF THEM. I could have focused on books I’ve put off reading until 2018, but I think that topic is coming up soon on TTT. Without further ado, here are some of my top anticipated releases for 2018 (organized by release month). I only chose books with actual release dates planned AND ones with cover art (otherwise this list could have gotten even MORE out of hand, folks.) January     Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle | New Years story with random acts of kindness The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory | Fake wedding dates fall for each other Love & Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen | 24 hour romance stuck on a train in the snow Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke | Big Brother-like reality show for students February and March    All We Can Do is Wait by Richard Lawson | Teens brought together at Mass General after an accident The Sweetest Kind of Fate by Crystal Cestari | Sequel in the Windy City Magic series Not If I Save You […]

Holiday Movie Roundup: Reviews/Recs (3)

Posted December 25, 2017 / Features / 5 Comments
Holiday Movie Roundup: Reviews/Recs (3)

I wanted to include some movie reviews, recommendations, and general thoughts this year, since these are usually the biggest piece of my holiday cheer! I do love the holiday books, of course, but the movies are what REALLY gets me in the mood. I watch many of the same ones each year but always try to mix in some new favorites. In this little roundups, I’ll be sharing “reviews” of both new-to-me movies and repeat watch feels. They’ll be going in chronological order based on when I watched it this season! Switched For Christmas Number of watches: First time Source: Hallmark original movie Rating: Best Hallmark movie I’ve seen so far Candace Cameron-Bure continues her reign as Hallmark Christmas Queen with her latest addition to the channel. I can say that I genuinely enjoyed this movie – not just enjoyed it for a Hallmark movie 😉 Sure it had some cheesy moments, but not nearly as many as usual. The premise is that twin sisters decide to switch places, a la The Parent Trap, around the holidays to prove that they could successfully plan the other person’s Christmas party (lol). Naturally, there’s some great romance, family moments, and growth for the characters. The sisters weren’t super close before their switch, so it was nice to see their relationship genuinely grow closer as the movie went on. I actually started to watch a different Hallmark movie that night and stopped it after a couple of minutes because I just needed some CBC instead. She’s […]

Holiday Reviews: We’ll Always Have Christmas and The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Posted December 24, 2017 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Holiday Reviews: We’ll Always Have Christmas and The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Story Tis the season for my favorite holiday author! I always wait until it’s VERY close to Christmas to embark on my Jenny Hale book of the year, because they’re usually the most atmospheric. This one was a little different, which I’ll get into later. Noelle takes on a new job helping an elderly man in a local mansion while trying to fix up her family’s bakery to improve business. She falls for Alex, the man’s grandson, while staying there with her son. She has mixed feelings because Alex is the landlord for the bakery and is the one “pushing them out” with higher rent. Noelle has close friends, Phoebe and Jo, and a tight-knit family between her parents, grandfather, and sister. It was a  really well-rounded story, even if some of the plot pieces were kind of annoying. There was a whole side thing that I predicted earlier with the grandfather’s lost ~first love~ and the fact that Noelle was thinking of moving to LA with Phoebe. The second thing there wasn’t needed in the story and took up an unnecessary amount of her headspace. The first one made sense even if it was predictable. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels I feel like this is the first time I’ve given a Jenny Hale book less than “full-on holiday cheer” on my cheer-o-meter. The book takes place in the month or two leading up to Christmas, so there were bits of the holiday sprinkled throughout. The cozy bakery setting and […]

2018 Resolutions and Challenge Sign-Up

Posted December 21, 2017 / Book Challenges, Features / 11 Comments
2018 Resolutions and Challenge Sign-Up

I’ve been doing these resolutions for the past couple of years and found that it’s a really nice way to keep track of some goals for the upcoming year. I’ll be honest when I say that generally “resolutions” or the “clean slate of a new year” isn’t my shtick, but sometimes the marking of a new year just helps when setting new goals. It’s an easy marker of time and that’s about it. You can find 2015, 2016, and 2017 resolutions as well. Continue to not feel pressured to read and enjoy other hobbies | I feel like a broken record with this one but honestly I have to remind myself every year to KEEP DOING THIS. I used to get so bogged down in meeting my goal or challenges that I would focus exclusively on reading every second I could. I would have the audiobooks going during my morning routine in commute, plus another book to read from the second I sat on the couch after dinner until bedtime. It’s nice to read all time because DUH I love reading, but I really want to feel like I can veg out for a week straight with my favorite show instead. Read 50% or less contemporary novels | Last year I didn’t have a specific target in line for this goal, so it didn’t really work out. I finished with about 60% contemporary, which isn’t bad, but not what I was hoping for. It’d be really nice to expand my writing yet again […]

Holiday Movie Roundup: Reviews/Recs (2)

Posted December 20, 2017 / Features / 8 Comments
Holiday Movie Roundup: Reviews/Recs (2)

I wanted to include some movie reviews, recommendations, and general thoughts this year, since these are usually the biggest piece of my holiday cheer! I do love the holiday books, of course, but the movies are what REALLY gets me in the mood. I watch many of the same ones each year but always try to mix in some new favorites. In this little roundups, I’ll be sharing “reviews” of both new-to-me movies and repeat watch feels. They’ll be going in chronological order based on when I watched it this season! Love You Like Christmas Number of watches: First time Source: Hallmark original movie Rating: Worth it for cute Christmas Valley alone I’m continuing to crank through these Hallmark movies but I hope to keep breaking it up with some others, so I don’t get sick of them lol. They all involve some high-powered executive of some time kind ending up in a small Christmas-loving town, who decides she loves it and wants to stay. This particular formula was a marketing executive from NYC getting stranded in Christmas Valley, Ohio as she was driving to Denver for a wedding. She falls in love with a local tree farmer (and his daughter) while helping them save their farm from the big and mean tree conglomerates nearby (lol). She essentially transforms the whole town with her marketing prowess and then has to decide whether or not she’s going back to NYC for her job. All in all, the formula worked here. Charming Christmas town, […]