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, […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #162: Santa

Posted December 19, 2017 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 6 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #162: Santa

Nine Books I Hope Santa Brings 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. I didn’t ask for as many books as I usually might this Christmas! I also traditionally feature other things on my Christmas list, but I’m feeling a bit lazier this year. Here are some of the books on my wishlist (and some books I may buy with holiday gift cards!). On my wishlist    Picture Perfect by Catherine Clark // Summer in the City by Elizabeth Chandler Suite Dreams by Rachel Hawthorne I have no real logical reason for requesting these books, except for how much I love old cheesy YA romances! I’ve read these authors before and sometimes they’re JUST what I’m in the mood for. I think they may have been on my list last year and I decided to keep them on? Either way, I look forward to reading these in one sitting after they inevitably appear under the tree. Post-Christmas gift card buys    Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills // I love her books so much. It took a lot of willpower to hold off on buying this book, but I had a feeling that Amazon gift cards would be coming my way. I RESISTED. The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody […]

Holiday Book Buddies: Bittersweet

Posted December 18, 2017 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 5 Comments
Holiday Book Buddies: Bittersweet

Cristina and I are teaming up for our seasonal Book Buddies read! This time, we chose BITTERSWEET by Sarah Ockler. I wanted to keep up with my usual holiday review theme for the month but we obviously have a little something more for you at the bottom! As usual, don’t forget to check out Cristina’s post too! Story I’ve had mixed experiences with Sarah Ockler so far. I loved one and felt so-so about another. This book unfortunately falls more into that second category, but I definitely enjoyed it a bit more. The diner setting was a lot of fun; I always love books that take place in restaurants of some kind (like some classic Dessens). Hudson, in addition to figure skating again, bakes insanely delicious-sounding cupcakes for the diner too. Each chapter started off with a little description about one of the cupcakes and it made me so hungry. I loved her brother and their relationship. Her mom expected a lot from her but I didn’t find it overly unreasonable, especially because Hudson kept her in the dark about everything going on in her life. I enjoyed the friendships she developed with the hockey boys but hated how she treated Dani. Hudson was a selfish character with a few goals she had laser focus on, so it was hard to like her at times. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels I wasn’t expecting full-on holiday feels for this one because it doesn’t allude to that in the synopsis, but it […]

Holiday Reviews: My New Crush Gave to Me and Winter Solstice

Posted December 15, 2017 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Holiday Reviews: My New Crush Gave to Me and Winter Solstice

Story I was really hoping for something cute and Christmassy, which I got in some ways. Unfortunately I spent most of the book incredibly frustrated by the clueless yet often bitchy and domineering main character. I like predictable holiday stories because they’re comforting but there was literally no surprise for any element of the plot. By a quarter of the way through the book, I knew every detail about how it was going to end. The side characters were fun and nice people who definitely put up with Charlie FAR longer than I would have. Her best friend was too understanding but it helped that there wasn’t a best-friend-fight subplot. The general storyline is that she is determined (with absolutely no actual evidence) that Teo is the perfect boyfriend for her, so she stops at nothing to make this happen… and I mean nothing. She refuses to see any kind of sign that maybe he’s not the right guy for her and ignores the compelling evidence that perhaps someone else is. I definitely wanted to give her a swift kick in the ass 99% of the time, which doesn’t make for the most fun holiday read. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels The book took place in Connecticut, which I love, but they didn’t really make it a point to reference that too much. The main character has (in the past) loved Christmas and she celebrates pretty hard with her mom when she’s not working. (I literally can’t even remember if […]

Lauren Lately | December 2017

Posted December 14, 2017 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 9 Comments
Lauren Lately | December 2017

Because my Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups got out of hand, I wanted to break up my monthly wrap-ups into two posts: one personal and one bookish/bloggy. I created Lauren Lately here 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 for the next month. I decided to space them out so this wrap-up happens around the mid-point of the month and the bookish one happens at the end of the month. ✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨   Home for Thanksgiving {Lego meeting, hotel stay} | Even though the last recap was basically right after we came home at the end of October / early November, we had to come home again a few weeks later for Thanksgiving. We really didn’t do anything in between the two trips home, honestly. So! We we were able to come home a few days before Thanksgiving to go to our Lego club’s holiday meeting, which was a blast. We got sooo much free Lego. That night, we actually got a hotel room in a little CT town that we’re considering living in after we leave Maine. We enjoyed a nice dinner out and walking around in the rain, then ended our night in the hotel by the fire with drinks. We did some exploring the next day before heading to my dad’s house for football. I worked in the office in the days leading […]

ARC Review: The Cruel Prince

Posted December 13, 2017 / Book Reviews / 11 Comments
ARC Review: The Cruel Prince

Initial Excitement & Summary I loved Holly Black’s TITHE series when I was younger. Unlike a lot of bloggers I’ve noticed, I actually love fae stories. My cousin and I were always obsessed with faeries when we were kids and that definitely spilled into my reading life. And, of course, Black is the absolute QUEEN of fae stories. Needless to say, I was realllly jazzed up about this one. I had it on my Goodreads TBR since 2015, then Ellice grabbed it for me and let me borrow it early, so I read this back in September/October. Jude and her two sisters, Vivi and Taryn, witnessed a faerie come kill their parents and whisk them away to the Faerieland. They live there with Madoc, a high-ranking fae, because he is technically Taryn’s father. Jude grows up and starts to fight for power. She clashes with one of the princes, Cardan, and trains to become a Knight. I can’t say too much more summary-wise because things get awesomely twisty as the book goes on! Storytelling & Characters Hoooly shit, you guys. This book was amazing. All of Black’s descriptions were out of this world (I guess literally?) and I really felt like I was there. The beginning part of the book is sort of a slow climb up to the climax, where we learn more about the land they live in and Jude’s relationships. She forms alliances, learns new skills, and even has to kill. She is manipulative, fascinating, and a straight-up […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #161: Favorites of 2017

Posted December 12, 2017 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 5 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #161: Favorites of 2017

Favorite Books of 2017 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. Honestly this year did not have as many all-time favorites or REALLY GREAT books as I expected or hoped for. Of course, the ones I did really like were so perfect… but the quantity was just not there with the quality for so many others. In other words… this list may be a little easier to narrow down! However, as I usually do with my top books of the year, I’m going to feature all of my five star books AND 4.5 star books.      The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas //  The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord // When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon // The Cruel Prince by Holly Black    What I Lost by Alex Ballard // Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel // The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison // The Cruel Prince by Holly Black // The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed  Honorable Mention: 4.5 Stars     Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide by JK Rowling // Geekerella by Ashley Potson // Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett // The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron // Chloe Snow’s Diary: Confessions of a High School Disaster by Emma Chastain    The Adjustment by Suzanne Young […]

Unreleased Book Cover Love

Posted December 11, 2017 / Book Lists, Features / 8 Comments
Unreleased Book Cover Love

It’s no secret that one of my favorite features is Cover Snark at A Reader of Fictions. I usually add 90% of my unreleased books to my TBR from these posts. I don’t want to take a page out of her book here (weird sort-of pun?) but I did want to share some recent book covers I’ve seen that I added to my “cover love” shelf. You’ve seen this post on my blog in one way or another for years, because you know how I feel about covers, but here are some unreleased books with covers I am looovin. Covers I Already Love See all the books here. Covers I Can’t Wait to See I always keep some books on my “jazzed up for this” shelf so I can remember which synopses really grabbed me. There are quite a few books on this shelf in any given moment, so I wanted to check out which books I can’t WAIT to see covers for! Here are a few… Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett Synopsis: Simon Pulse has bought a YA title by Jenn Bennett. In Serious Moonlight, a mystery aficionado spends the summer before college knee-deep in both intrigue and a romance with her charismatic co-worker while working the night shift in a Seattle hotel. The book is scheduled for 2019. Why I’m excited: I love Jenn Bennet in general and this book sounds so good! I’ve enjoyed her other covers for the most part and think they usually fit the book pretty […]

Holiday Movie Roundup: Reviews/Recs

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

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! Coming Home for Christmas  Number of watches: First time Source: Hallmark original movie Rating: Worth the watch, especially if you read the book I loved the book by Jenny Hale, so I HAD to watch this one! It ended up being my first Christmas movie of the season and it was enjoyable. Hale’s holiday books are my favorite because she has the most Christmassy feels of ALL the holiday books I read. They’re atmospheric and super cozy, which is exactly what I want. The movie did a pretty good job of capturing those feels, as all Hallmark movies should/do! I don’t remember as much of the book as I’d like, so I can say that in general… it definitely lined up with the overall plot of the book. It seemed like a pretty true adaptation. I wish the movie was a little longer or something; the romance didn’t develop as nicely as I remember in the book. It felt kind of […]