Source: Purchased

Last Book of 2016 & First Book of 2017 | Reviews: The Night Circus and The Secret of a Heart Note

Posted January 23, 2017 / Book Reviews / 10 Comments
Last Book of 2016 & First Book of 2017 | Reviews: The Night Circus and The Secret of a Heart Note

I thought it would be appropriate to put my reviews for my last read of 2016 and the first read of 2017 together. I ended up cutting it very close with my Goodreads goal because I decided to be lazy with my final book. I ended up finishing it 20 minutes before I had to leave for New Jersey for my NYE plans… whoops. That’s what happens when you tell yourself to meet your Goodreads goal exactly – no more, no less. I started my first book of 2017 on New Years’ Day while Chris and I were hanging out at home before bed. I was hoping to spend a good portion of the day reading but I ended up watching lots of football (duh). In any case, here are the books that ended one year and started another! I had pretty high expectations for this book. It ends up on a LOT of people’s all-time-favorites lists. I bought this on Scribd forever ago with one of my credits, solely because it was narrated by Jim Dale. The story itself intrigued me because I find circus settings to be fascinating, but I really only went through with the purchase because of Jim Dale. He is perfection. His narration did end up being a major highlight for me. It was jarring at times because he used similar voices to the Harry Potter characters (like one character in this book sounded a lot like Dumbledore) and the book had some similar words I […]

Holiday Review: Season of Second Chances

Posted December 9, 2016 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Holiday Review: Season of Second Chances

Basics and Initial Excitement I’ve had this book on my TBR probably since I started blogging. I added it to my holiday TBR again this year and just resolved to finally read it. I saw that it had less than 75 pages, so why not blitz through it? I was excited to get another book under my belt early in the month because I really want that Goodreads challenge done before Christmas so I can just RELAX until January… maybe. ANYWAYS, I finally got to this one! Woohoo. The basic premise for this holiday novella is that Claire ends up stranded on Christmas Eve, trying to visit her family. Her ex-fiancee, Logan, ends up coming to the rescue. Yes, I know what you’re thinking! Second chance romance, woohoo! Because that’s totally what I was thinking. AND add in the snowed-in element? Sold. Characters and Story Logan, a single father and workaholic, lost Claire because he kept putting his job first. Claire returned to Chicago before the holidays, got snowed in, and was stuck alone in the airport on her birthday/Christmas Eve. Logan comes across her and BAM she’s at his house and feelings are pretty much back for everyone involved. I felt like the two of them were pretty well-done, in terms of characterization, considering how short of a book this was. I definitely shipped them even though some plot points were suuuuper cliche. Wintery Setting and Holiday Feels Being snowed in is one of my favorite tropes, especially if it leads […]

Review: The Amateurs

Posted November 23, 2016 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Review: The Amateurs

Initial Excitement I think everyone knows at this point how I feel about Sara Shepard? If you don’t, check this post out. I’ve read all of her YA books/series and 1 out of 3 of her “adult” books. She’s one of my favorite authors because her books are so quick and easy to read; I’m second-guessing my theories of whodunnit until the very end. I knew that reading this book would further propel me out of my reading slump, so it was released at the perfect time. I’d also like to point out that any book set in Connecticut is going to make me excited! Quick Summary Five years ago, a high school senior named Helena disappeared from her backyard in Connecticut. Her case remained unsolved and amateur detectives on the Case Not Closed website recently opened it again. Helena’s younger sister, Aerin, posts for help and Seneca is on the case. She used to be obsessed with it and is ready to dive in with two other members of the board – Maddy and Brett. They all head up to Connecticut over spring break to help Aerin, learn more, and hopefully crack the case. Storytelling, Setting, and Feels If you’ve read other Sara Shepard books you’re probably sitting here thinking that it sounds the same as her other series. Yes, they all seem to involve some kind of mystery and/or murder, a group of teens coming together to solve it, and other drama along the way. I have to say – […]

Series Review: The Royals

Posted November 2, 2016 / Book Reviews / 10 Comments
Series Review: The Royals

This series was… quite a ride. I don’t know what possessed me to start reading book one back when I had a strict vacation TBR I was hoping to stick to, but it just grabbed me. I finished it within 24 hours because I just couldn’t stop. I knew I had to jump into the next book right after and hope I could wait until the end of October for book three. Ella is a stripper trying to make her way once her mom died, when she’s suddenly scooped up by rich guy Callum Royal. She learns that her father was his business partner and recently passed away, so she will now be living with Callum, attending an elite prep school, and inheriting five “brothers” who want nothing to do with her. Of course, they’re all super hot. Of course, they’re all terrible assholes. And, of course, she falls for one or two. The beginning of the book started out more ridiculous than I could have imagined, but it was fairly easy to settle into the story once I got used to things. I loved watching Ella learn about her new preppy and rich world. Some of my favorite book crack stories involve rich people and/or prep/boarding school, so I knew this book would be a-okay in some ways at least. Throughout the story, Ella grows closer to Reed and the other brothers (luckily in different ways). They’re all certainly problematic assholes but they grow on you by the end. […]

Book Buddies: Daughter of Deep Silence

Posted October 19, 2016 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Book Buddies: Daughter of Deep Silence

Book Buddies is a discussion-style “review” that takes place with Cristina from Girl in the Pages. (You can check out past posts here.) We both read the book, have a discussion, and post our conversation (plus other fun things sometimes!) here. Book Buddies is a seasonal feature that now happens four times per year. Be sure to check out the other half of our feature and discussion on Cristina’s blog (link below)! Check out Cristina’s post here! We’ve decided to bring some new elements into our Book Buddies posts, so it will be less Q&A discussion between the two of us, and more personal applications to the book. I’ll also be including (at least for this particular book) my Cover Colors feature for both book covers – the redesigned paperback, which I read from, and the original hardcover. I will be sharing my quick thoughts on the book in this post for those of you who are looking for a review or recommendation as well, don’t worry! 😉 Cover Colors            Daughter of Deep Silence by bookmarklit featuring Maybelline I’ll let Cristina analyze the covers and why they may have been changed, but I have to say – they both really intrigue me, plot aside. I don’t get why the cover was changed and how the paperback edition really makes sense with the story itself. The hardcover does a perfect job of capturing what happens in the book, in my opinion. As for my Cover Colors and collage above… I loved playing […]

NA Reviews: Rebound and The Goal

Posted October 6, 2016 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
NA Reviews: Rebound and The Goal

My thoughts on this book compared to Boomerang could not be more different. I loved the banter of the first book and literally laughed out loud on multiple occasions. I couldn’t put it down and read the book in one day. Unfortunately, Rebound had a lot to live up to. I’m not sure if my expectations were too high or if too much time passed between me reading the books, but it just didn’t have the same witty magic by any means. Adam and Allison were good characters and I sort of felt their spark, but so much of the chemistry was telling instead of showing. I believed it, but only because the two of them kept repeating how attracted to each other they were. I wanted to feel the chemistry through their conversations but it just didn’t happen that much. Much of the plot and conflict was incredibly predictable. I know this happens in a lot of YA or NA books (especially because I’ve read so many of them), but sometimes it frustrates me more than others. The setup of the story is that Allison’s father is looking to invest in Adam’s company, Boomerang, so he sends her out to get some information on him. Meanwhile, Adam is covering up some secret from his past. You can probably see where I’m headed here but I won’t give blatant spoilers. Just too predictable (and too angsty at times) for me. This is really a low three star book for me. There […]

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 […]

Book Buddies Review: Summer Days and Summer Nights

Book Buddies Review: Summer Days and Summer Nights

Book Buddies is a discussion-style review that takes place with one of my two buddies. (Learn more and see past reviews here) We both read the book and then have a private discussion about it. We post our discussion as a review on the last Wednesday of each month. You’ll be able to see our similar/different opinions on the overall book, characters, writing style, etc. – just like a regular review. The first half our discussion will take place right here, and the second half will be on Cristina’s blog! (Link at the bottom) View Cristina’s part of the discussion here. As we did in our previous anthology discussion, we split up and alternated the stories. Here you’ll find the even-numbered stories; on Cristina’s blog you’ll find the odd-numbered stories! We’ll discuss each one at a really high level here and share ratings (individually and overall). Even though the average for all of the stories ends up being around 3.7 stars for me, I have to round all the way down to 3 stars. Not a lot of them left a great impression on me and I was overall more disappointed than happy. The anthology was less season-based and more… weird… than I wanted it to be. I was hoping for a book full of summery contemporaries, with a few other unique ones mixed in, but I got too many meh stories that didn’t meet what I wanted. Womp womp. The End of Love by Nina LaCour Lauren: I liked this one! I was a little nervous about the […]

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury

Posted May 19, 2016 / Book Reviews / 15 Comments
Review: A Court of Mist and Fury

I was able to attend the ACOMAF tour stop in Warwick, RI, which was moderated by my friend and former Secret Sister Sarah! Both Sarahs were so fun to listen to. Seriously, seeing SJM and hearing her talk about Throne of Glass makes me want to hop on reading those books ASAP! It was also great to see Sarah and catch up about everything. It definitely was worth the 1.5 hour drive! Plus, it was near my old college and I had all the nostalgic feels. Here are a few photos from the event before I kick off my review: It took me a very long time to read this book. I have trouble with fantasy sometimes and I remember having the same issue at the beginning of ACOTAR as well. I just needed time to settle into the world, but everything picked up so much after the first couple hundred pages. This makes it sound like those millions of pages were boring or not good. Believe me, that’s not the case. I found myself reaching for lighter, faster reads in the middle of ACOMAF because I just needed a break. I know I could have sat and read forever if I had the time, but I just needed to take my time and savor it. ACOTAR was also one of those books I felt slightly disillusioned with over time. The more I thought about Tamlin, the more he bugged me. The ending of ACOTAR was an absolute fucking whirlwind […]

Book Buddies Review: We Should All Be Feminists

Book Buddies Review: We Should All Be Feminists

Book Buddies is a discussion-style review that takes place with one of my two buddies. (Learn more and see past reviews here) We both read the book and then have a private discussion about it. We post our discussion as a review on the last Wednesday of each month. You’ll be able to see our similar/different opinions on the overall book, characters, writing style, etc. – just like a regular review. The first half our discussion will take place right here, and the second half will be on Cristina’s blog! (Link at the bottom) View Cristina’s part of the discussion here. I think Adichie did a wonderful job of “summarizing” exactly what she set out to – why we should all be feminists. Do you think she did a good job of highlighting enough key points so non-feminists or even anti-feminists could understand how harmful that viewpoint can be? Cristina: I agree, I think Adichie did a great job at using accessible language and examples in order to get her point across. For me, it was a good refresher of the basic principles I learned in my women’s studies classes in college, and I found myself filling in the blanks with more of the in depth readings and research I did. I think for someone who has not encountered feminism before, or who has not thought too critically about it, her piece not only outlines the concept but illustrates it in a way that feels truly like a conversation, and resonates on a human level- such as […]