#BESummer19 : Down & Acrostic

Hi everyone, and happy Friday! I hope you all had a much better week than I did. It was SO ROUGH!! I just want to crawl under a rock with my book boyfriends for the weekend, let me tell you! Unfortunately, that’s not quite how the world works so I’ll settle for a flea market and a trip to the library. And for now, I have another prompt to share from the Bookending Summer event.

-TODAY’S PROMPT-

bookending_summerDown and Acrostic by BookWyrmBites
Pick a summer-themed word (ex: beach, fireworks, heatwave, barbecue, vacation) or the title of a book with summer vibes. Write it vertically, then try to fill in titles that start with each letter (you can omit determiners like “the” and “a”).

For example, if your first book is Radiance, then you might have [The] Raven BoysAnna UndreamingDarius the Great Is Not Okay, and so on. Difficult mode: Use only books that fit a theme, such as “three-word titles” or “YA contemporary” or “squad goals.”

My “summer word” is my favorite place to read in the summer time, and where I spent almost all of my vacation time:

P – Perfectly Preventable Deaths
O – Ordinary Girls
R – Red, White & Royal Blue
C – (the) Chosen
H – Honor Among Thieves

S – Screen Queens
W – Wicked Fox
I – I Wish You All the Best
N – Not Even Bones
G – Grim Lovelies

So there’s my across, I’m saving my down for next time. *wink*wink* Have you read any of these books? What summer word would you choose to build off of? Let me know in the comments!

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Food for thought with Kermit the Frog

I picked up this little gem today and I just had to share it!

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This is not a literal talk on gender, just the evolution of language. I’m not the expert in all of this, but I do find linguistics fascinating. Per the post where I found this, our Old English third person pronouns were hē, hine, his & him for male and hēo, hīe & hire for female. Middle English evolved into him/his & her/hers. In this day and age, we are stuck having “hers” and “her” both being possessive words used for different situations while “his” solely being used for all. And there you have it….more or less!

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#BESummer19: Lemonade Stand Tag!

Today’s post is brought to you by Jeimy over at A Novel Idea. She is our current host for Bookending Summer and this tag is so adorable, I just love it! It is short and sweet, yet fun in the sun. 😉

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Sour
Name a character that left a sour taste in your mouth.

Jack. Jack Attack. Jackie. Jack King. King of Hearts. Jack this and Jack and Jack-I-just-didn’t-care from Opposite of Always. I probably would have liked this book a lot more if the main character was not Jack King.

Semi
Name a scene that was bittersweet.

Five Feet Apart was so bittersweet! You never know if books in this genre are going to be sad or really sad. I actually fell more in love with Stella and Will than the MCs in The Fault in Our Stars (I don’t even remember their names at this point–sorry).

Sweet
Name a book ending that was too sweet for words.

To be honest, the ending of Hot Dog Girl was the redeeming quality of the book! The MC grinded on my nerves a little bit throughout the story but then the last segment just unfurled with morsel after morsel of sweet story line endings and I gobbled it all up! It was a serious feel-good book.

Slushie
Name a book that was completely refreshing.

I know I keep talking about it, but Red, White, and Royal Blue was everything and in the most refreshing way. The book talked about gay relationships in the most casual way. It was set in the future and placed a female in the White House for re-election as if it was so commonplace. There was humor and charm and everything about the characters and story was dazzling!

And that’s the tag! See? Short and sweet! This is a new tag so I am tagging the following ‘New Bloggers’ colleagues (and anyone else) to join in the fun:
Laurie
Dany
Emma
Sarah
Alys
Be sure to tag me so I can see your answers if you participate! Enjoy!

Review: Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

Hi everyone! I hope if you celebrated July 4th this week, you had a great one honoring our freedom. Today I wanted to share a review with you of Hot Dog Girl, which I read last month as one of my “pride reads.” Really, I don’t mind picking up books in this subgenre any time of the year of course, but I was especially glad to have an excuse to pick this one up because the cover and the synopsis also called to me. Just on the cover alone, there is predominantly purple (my favorite color and I keep saying we need more purple covers in the world!), the shadow of a theme park (which I always associate with summer), a cute guy in swim trunks (yeah, I dig man buns–don’t judge me!), and a girl in a hot dog costume! So I’m swooning, reminiscing, and giggling all at the same time on a single cover. I don’t know that any cover has done that for me! Now let’s get to the review.

35843729._sy475_Title: Hot Dog Girl
Author: Jennifer Dugan
Page Count: 320
Release Date: April 30, 2019
Publisher: Putnam

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

SYNOPSIS (a la Goodreads): Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

* She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
* Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
* Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick.
* And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland–ever–unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

Jennifer Dugan’s sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love–and themselves–in unexpected people and unforgettable places.

rainbowcakeMY REVIEW: I don’t always go for books within the trope of girl-crushing-on-boy-who-already-has-girlfriend, but if there ever was a case of an author handling it very well, this is the prime example. In the beginning of the book, Elouise (Lou) did get just a bit obnoxious with her obsessive escapades (nee ‘hero complex’) to save the park when everyone else thought it was none of her business and no one else considered it a problem. At that point, she just came off whiny and annoying. However, it does all come to a big all happy ending.

To be honest, there are a few happy endings in a few ways for several characters and that’s really what makes this book. I really felt this book read great. I didn’t have any problems with the pacing, with any of the characters or anything like that.This was a great summer (or anytime) read, great lgbtqia+ rep, really strong all around!

Book Soundtrack: Sunflower – Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse by Post Malone. Swae Lee

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July is Here!

Hello and happy July! We are in the second half of the year and it feels surreal (to me, at least)! In this post I’m going to do a little run down of what I have ahead for this month.

bookending_summerBookending Summer 2019 & Tidyathon
Bookish postings
Tidying up my TBR list & old blog posts (much needed!)

Goodreads Challenges:
– Wheel A Thon
– FLOAB Camping
– Summer Days Challenge

Readathons
– TBR Knockdown 24 – Theme: MAGIC!
– 24in48

So what else is happening in July? Are you participating in any fun bookish events? Let me know in the comments!

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June Wrap-up, July Goals

Holy guacamole, we’re over halfway through the year! So I have bought a ton of books but have read (according to my Goodreads counter) less than I should have by this point in time. I have also blogged a little less than I have wanted to. But, on the plus side, I have done pretty well with my book sleeve business and that has kept me busy. We have had a couple bulk orders come in and that has helped, and my husband and I have been “house hunting” so that has been taking up time in addition to working overtime all year so far. WOW!!! So that’s where life has been personally. Let’s get to the books!

– Books Read –

These Witches Don’t Burn …. 6/3/19 …. ★★★☆☆
Mockingjay (reread) …. 6/10/19 …. ★★★★★
Hot Dog Girl …. 6/14/19 …. ★★★★☆
To Kill a Kingdom …. 6/21/19 …. ★★★★☆

– Books Hauled –

65467285_351443765544406_1908834842464747520_nSub Boxes:
We Hunt the Flame
Barnes & Noble:

The Princess and the Fangirl
The Beholder
Finale
Community Buys/Trades:
Carry On
Slayer
Digital Buys:
LIFEL1K3
A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Contagion
Sherwood

And that’s all, folks! I am hoping this month I can get back on track for blogging (get more reviews up and have more structure in general…and I’m jumping in on the BookEnding Summer event with some awesome people!) as well as maybe play a bit of catch up reading-wise. Overtime at work is almost over so maybe I’ll get some free time back! That would be amazing. All that’s left is finishing up my bulk orders! Until next time….happy reading y’all!

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Review: These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

36484081._sy475_Title: These Witches Don’t Burn
Author: Isabel Sterling
Page Count: 366
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Publisher: Razorbill

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository |

From reading the synopsis and looking at the cutesy illustrated cover, These Witches Don’t Burn sounded a bit like a cozy, YA paranormal F/F mystery. I was SO excited to read this book that I put it on hold at my library for the day it came out and started reading right away! I’ve never found a book like this before! How could I go wrong?! Well, it was just ok in my opinion. Maybe I set the bar too high, maybe I should have read the actual book in stead of listening to the audiobook, who knows. Either way, let’s spill the tea.

Set in Salem, These Witches Don’t Burn follows an elemental witch named Hannah who is looking forward to spending her summer avoiding her ex-girlfriend–not! Veronica (the ex) is extremely toxic and is clearly not over Hannah. Things are bearable until signs of dark magic begin to surface around town. Juggling hangouts with friends, a new crush, her family, and her coven, Hannah’s story had its share of twists and turns. I have to say that Hannah was not my favorite main character ever but I really liked the side characters in the story. Hannah’s best friend Gemma was tide and true, and a new co-worker and friend named Cal who was pretty quirky also. As for the central mystery of the book (the “which witch is which?” if you will), there were maybe three or four different people who I suspected before I figured it out.

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What I disliked most about the book was that it felt choppy. In the beginning of the book, the author alluded to a situation that Veronica and Hannah encountered together in New York City several months ago. Honestly, is was referenced in such a way that I had to look up whether I was actually reading book 2 and I missed something in a different book that I should know about because this entire plot seemed to be building up around it! I also felt that for reading a book about witches in the title, there was a disappointing amount of magic. Magic is not really a hyped up thing in this book. Plus, as I mentioned, Hannah is an elemental witch and after reading this book, I still need to look up what an elemental witch really is! I mean, I sort of know, but it would have been fun to learn more, all things considered.

So that’s my take. I thought it was pretty light, I thought it was kind of fun, but I wanted more. It was a good summer read and its worth a shot if you’re looking for something in this vein.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

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Book soundtrack: “Magic City Hippies” by Robby Hunter Band

 

June 🌈Pride Progress

Hello everyone! I’m just checking in as the month is about halfway over now. I have seen so many supportive and loving posts about the LGBTQIA+ community and it has been so great to share in this with everyone! I didn’t get around to posting an original list of goals for the month but I’m going to put up some have’s and will’s in this entry because I want to get my opinions out there too!

The have’s…

These Witches Don’t Burn is about real (fictional) Salem witches trying to sleuth out the new Blood Witch in town. I loved the YA cozy mystery vibes of the story, and the hype of witchcraft in Salem!

Hot Dog Girl was a book that actually had a lot more to it than I expected. I love a book with a good message to it. And hey, tell me that cover isn’t adorable!

And finally–my new favorite book of 2019–Red, White & Royal Blue. I listened to the audiobook of this one and people, THIS. IS. EVERYTHING. I truly enjoyed every minute of this book. If you haven’t read it, go do it. There is humor, there is love, and just everything.

The will’s…

 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue — Yes, believe it or not, I haven’t read this book. I have heard so many people say it is a great read so I am taking it on vacation with me and I am so excited to read it!

Fence has been on my TBR for a long time and I just haven’t found a copy to pick up. I books vs hard copies are one thing, but I just can’t do e-graphic novels. These I have to find the real things, and my library has a terrible graphic novel section.

So that’s where I’m at. I may stray from my little “TBR” or I may stick to it. One never knows with me. Plus I have at least 1-2 more audiobooks to pick from and read this month. Could be anything!

Are you reading any LGBTQIA+ books this month? Do you have any recommendations to share?

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SELF CARE SATURDAY – Books, Baths, & Breakfast

A normal Saturday night for me is not a bad night by any means. “Normal” is usually a quiet evening at home with my husband watching a movie or show that he picks. I’ll maybe be working on a couple booksleeves for the small business, followed by some reading. Some weekends of course we go out with friends or family. I don’t really know what is it, but something about weekends never really feels like “me” time. Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband, my friends, my family, and doing weekend things. But always doing things or never stopping to breathe and reflect on my center gets rough.

olesia-buyar-1659756-unsplashAnd so here I am. This Saturday I have a house to myself, as my parents are out of town for the weekend. I am planning to make the most out of this time with myself (and the two fur babies I am sitting) and care for myself as much as I am able to. So really, I foresee myself taking a little time to catch up on a blog post or two, catching up on some reading, and maybe doing some journalling…and doing this in the peace in quiet. I always have a loud television on in the background, or music blaring in my ears to cover up the loud television. Sometimes, I just want quiet. Another thing I might get to: taking a walk and/or taking a bath. Burn a candle. Get a good night’s sleep. Take my time eating breakfast and drinking coffee.

Note (and this is my recommendation for if and when you do this for yourself) that I am keeping my list loose. These are all things I want to do, not things I feel I must do to have a “successful self care day.” I don’t want to promise myself anything and set myself up for disappointment. That being said though, I feel these are completely reasonable within the next 24 hours. I have enough time and more to do these things.

What is your definition of self care? What does your regimine include? Please share!

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On Thursdays We Review ~ The Raven’s Tale

38101643Author: Cat Winters
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

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The Raven’s Tale is another book that is honestly rather difficult to give a rating to so I think I need to go by some pro’s and con’s:

Con’s: 
♦ Poor pacing and repetition. This book really was not action-driven, so don’t open it expecting the adventures of Poe and his muse. There are many pretty (dark, sultry) words, but not a whole lot going on. If you are an artist of any kind, read this book. If you are an adventurer, a fast-paced reader, looking for the high stakes, etc…..search elsewhere.
♦ Mostly unengaging. The Raven’s Tale is told in alternating points of view between Edgar and his personified muse, Lenore. Over and over, Edgar struggles to embrace his art (through/with Lenore) because of his adoptive father, who killed his own muse when he was young. At the age of seventeen, Edgar has to decide if he will obey his demanding father and inherit the family accounting business or make his own path.

mohammad-metri-258150-unsplashPro’s: 
♦ This book was thoroughly researched (as much was allowed given the historical handicap), and it shows in the story. In Cat’s author notes in the back of the book, her references and notes are extensive. I found it fascinating how she was able to piece together a story from the scraps of what remained from Poe’s life story. She made gold from the heresay of those who didn’t like Poe or from what was published in papers about him, for better or worse.
♦ Probably some of the most beautiful writing and one of the most unique concepts I have read. To take a real and very famous literary figure and piece together facts with the beautiful fantasy concept of a muse and fully pose that that is how his writings came to life…I thought it was exquisite. I also loved that Cat was able to write her own short poems in the book in the style of Poe and honestly, I never knew the difference. The book was still amazing to read.

To wrap up, I wouldn’t say that this was the best book that I have ever read in terms of a story, but I will say that the writing was great and it was everything I expected in terms of something Poe-ish. It was quite dark, very unique, and overall very morose in the best of ways.

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