Man Crush Monday: Kylo

Hi, hi, hi!!! Happy Monday! I know times are crazy right now – I hope you are all hanging in there. I don’t have a lot of time to pull together an epic blog post, but for now I will leave you with something nice to look at.

Kylo

You’re welcome! Please take care of yourself, and be kind to each other. Sending love to you all!

signature (1)

First Line Friday : Bone Crier’s Moon

FontCandy (41)

Bone Criers are the last descendants of an ancient famille charged with using the magic they draw from animal bones to shepherd the dead into the afterlife—lest they drain the light from the living.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become their matriarch, but first she must complete her rite of passage: to kill the boy she’s destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Now his vengeance must wait, as Ailesse’s ritual has begun and their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Author : Kathryn Purdie ~ Release Date : March 3, 2020 ~ Publusher : Katherine Tegen Books

Its a good day for shark hunting. At least that’s what Ailesse keeps telling me.

46249012If I didn’t already want to pick up this book for the beautiful cover or the heart-wrenching premise of the story, the first line is a prelude to shark-hunting!! Uhm, I just ordered my copy!

Have you read this? Do you recommend it, or is it on your TBR?

signature (1)

Wrap-up’s so far…January & February 2020

Hi everyone! First off, let me just say that I hope your 2020 so far has been much better than mine. I had minor surgery on my back, we are currently uprooted from our living space due to flooding, and our puppy is still working on potty training. Work is work, but I am trying to fill my break times in with a new hobby: bullet journaling. So far it is coming along super slow, but if I can track my bills and books, I will be pretty happy. Aside from all of that, let’s wrap up my reading for January & February!

88360861_939480106454863_2549111511637295104_n

– BOOKS READ –

📚 Unspoken … 1/12/20 … ★★★★★
📝 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol. 1 … 1/16/20 … ★★
🎧 Ninth House … 1/24/20 … ★★★★★
📚 Jeopardy in January … 1/25/20 … ★★★★
📝 The Tea Dragon Festival … 1/31/20 … ★★★★★
📝 The Lightning Thief … 2/4/20 … ★★★★
🎧 The Night Country (The Hazel Wood 2) … 2/11/20 … ★★★★
🎧 A Constellation of Roses … 2/19/20 … ★★★★
🎧 No Judgements … 2/29/20 … ★★★

– BOOKS HAULED –

(Gift – Hard Copy) The Beautiful by Renee Adieh
(Ebook – $1.99) Jeopardy in January by Camilla Chafer
(Special edition) Winterwood by Shea Earnshaw

I am so proud of myself for not going crazy buying books. That is one of my biggest goals for this year. So many great releases have dropped already this year and I was extremely tempted but I am continuing on with my goal of reading what I have on my shelves and reading books from my local library and grabbing only the best book deals as I see them. Another goal goes along with my new adventure of bullet journalling and that’s just that I need to create more. In January I finished three pages. In February I really have only practiced! Going forward I would like to work through at least 1 spread per month. As someone who is new to the bujo, this is a bit intimidating and I’m already ready to say “Maybe I should be making this for 2021??” because it truly is a big undertaking! More updates next time! Have a great month everyone!

signature (1)

 

February 13: WWW (shhh! Its actually Thursday!)

For those of you who don’t know, this meme is hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and it involves three simple questions which are as follows:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

~ The Currents ~

41021973._sy475_Mood (and seasonal) readers out there represent!! I, for one, am one of those readers so my hand is way up in the air! I am not a huge romance reader–I tend to like more of the rom com genre but once in a while I do crave a little heat. Nevertheless though, my February needed a little bit of love I thought, which is why I am currently reading Get A Life, Chloe Brown. I’m about 75 pages in and so far its a quick read. Stubborn MC’s aren’t my favorite so I don’t know how much I will end up loving the book, but thus far I like it ok. I am also listening to the audiobook of A Constellation of Stars, which is YA magical realism. I love magical realism, and I used to read a lot of women’s fiction/magical realism. To be completely honest, I’ve really been missing it, so I am eating this book right up!

43565384~ The Recents ~

So far this year, for everything crazy that has been going on with me, I actually have been reading at a relatively steady pace. The book I finished most recently was The Night Country by Melissa Albers. That’s right. The sequel to The Hazel Wood. Here’s my little blurb for that one: YIKES! Not bad, for sure. But AHHH!!! That really tells you a lot, right? I am still gathering my thoughts on this one but basically it is even more scary than book one and I think I did like it more too.

~ The Upcoming ~

I have a bit of a stack checked out from the library at this time–I always get a little ambitious–but I will do my best to crack down it. So who knows which of these JUST MAY be next!: Hope and Other Punch Lines (I am pretty sure this was a recommendation from someone’s blog or social media), Izzy + Tristan, No Judgements, The Handmaids Tale (when I don’t feel like reading full books, I check out graphic novels! 😛 ), and Beyond the Black Door. Stay tuned to see what turns up in my February wrap-up at the end of the month!

What are you reading?

signature (1)

 

The Sunday Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

28458598Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Page Count: 380 pages
Release Date: May 30, 2017

~

Let me start out by saying that I really enjoyed “When Dimple Met Rishi.” I tend to enjoy contemporary YA fiction much better in audiobook format, and this book was no exception. The alternate points of view were great and the chosen narrators especially helped to depict the diversity.

The book begins with the ambitious Dimple Shah graduating from high school and getting ready to go to college for computer science. She values hard work and intelligence and has no plans to marry like her traditional parents want her to (“that’s what college is for after all,” they think!). When she convinces them to let her attend Insomnia Con, she is shocked by how easy it is, but it is a chance to meet her idol! On campus under….surprising circumstances….she meets Rishi Patel. Rishi is a bit of a romantic and was raised more traditionally, yet humbly. Surprisingly, the two are paired together for the contest. Push comes to shove, circumstances happen, you’ll have to read the book to find out the details, and that’s the gist.

First, characters. I admire a young woman who is career-driven and intelligent. Dimple wears her glasses all the time, despises make-up (though I don’t know think its completely the make-up as much as rebelling against her mother and dating in general), and is entitled to her opinion and her own choices. (almost to a fault) Rishi is the eldest son of the CEO of a large company, but he completely breaks the mold of the phrase “snobby rich kid.” He does, however, fall in line with his family’s traditional Indian values and he is planning to(expected to) follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue engineering and enter into an arranged marriage. In his heart, however, Rishi is an artist. He loves drawing comics and he is a romantic. Also, he is quick, witty, and loyal. (almost to a fault)

Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 8.15.57 PM
Credit: dorothyreads

There weren’t very many secondary characters, but the ones that were around were pretty good. Celia–Dimple’s roommate–brought the little bit of ‘feminine’ and guidance that Dimple needed every once in a while, and vice versa. They were there for each other to get each other through lots of obstacles and awkward moments. Ashish, Rishi’s brother, brought in another tangle of a relationship and a fresh voice of guidance and opinion. He turned out to be more mature than I expected him to be. Then there were other contestants and Jenny Lindt herself, who seemed to be all the L.A. “hip.”

I have several thoughts on this book, especially after having read and heard a lot of the buzz surrounding Dimple & Rishi. First off, I think that we adults who read YA need to remember that Dimple and Rishi are teenagers and this book is written for teens. WE are the adults here. I didn’t have any feelings about this really until the last 30 or 40 pages, as I mentioned, from what I have read and heard people saying, I think we can give the kids a little bit of a break. There are a few gushy , cheesy parts where they are cuddling and the dialogue is just downright roll-your-eyes “really?!” but come on, we’ve all been there. Its that honeymoon stage in a young relationship! Another note re: the relationship. I loved that the two of them brought out the good in each other. Really, I thought they worked well together. HOWEVER. Dimple says “I don’t want to marry” and “I don’t want to get married” and “No, I won’t be getting married” and then 2 minutes later they are mutually saying “I love you!” and it is a completely serious relationship! So I know what I said…young love and all that…cut them slack, you never really know when you’re young. But I’m just saying. Chill out on the extremes, please. Just a bit. kthanks.

A quick quip about Insomnia Con: was the Talent Show really relevant? Was it really necessary? No? I didn’t think so. Maybe its a cute thing to put in a YA book for couples to do together but man, it does not seem to fit realistically with app building. Sorry, Sandhya Menon.

All right, those are my thoughts on “When Dimple Met Rishi.” Overall, I am super impressed at how well this book has done for a debut! Two more books have followed in the Dimple and Rishi ‘series’ since  this release so There’s Something About Sweetie and the upcoming 10 Things I Hate About Pinky are going on my TBR as well!

Book Soundtrack: Kill ‘Em With Kindness by Selena Gomez

signature (1)

Netflix Picks – What I’ve been watching

Hi everyone! I feel as though December was rather light on book publications but remarkable for things to watch. At this point, its (late) January so I won’t list all of the holiday programming that I watched but there are a couple that I want to mention. So without further ado, here are just some highlights of what I watched last month:

TV or streaming service series:

Screen Shot witcherThe Witcher (Netflix) – If you haven’t heard about this fantasy drama starring smoking hot Henry Cavill, then I don’t know where you’ve been. If you like magic and monsters and journeys through fantasy worlds, then this show alone is worth a Netflix subscription.
Merry Happy Whatever (Netflix) – A sitcom-feeling series that I wanted to mention because my husband particularly enjoyed this one (he may also be biased because it was set in Philadelphia and the characters root for the Eagles). Regardless, its a feel-good family com with the grown-up children bringing home their married spouses or soon-to-be spouses to celebrate the holidays and we all know how that can go with “tough” and sarcastic fathers like Dennis Quaid.
Perfect Harmony (NBC/Hulu) – This. Show. Is. Hilarious.!!!!! I don’t hear almost anyone talking about it and I don’t want it to go away so please go watch it and rave. A Harvard (or Yale?) music professor breaks down in front of the tiny church in the small town he lives in after his wife has just passed. The church members bring him inside for the night and he wakes up (of course) during choir practice and they are trying to win a regional championship to save their program. Of course, they are a bunch of misfits and Mr. Director is hilarious and overly scrooge-y and needs to be taught a lesson of his own. Its just an all-around great show. And the music ends up being pretty Glee also. Its so fun! If you like that sort of thing, I definitely recommend!

Movies:

Klaus (Netflix) – I had to really mull this movie over because it presents a different origin of Santa. The concepts fit though–a postman and a toymaker together.
The Irishman (Netflix) – This movie was a husband’s choice. I didn’t really know what it was and I didn’t have much interest in it but the longer it was on, the more invested I became. I didn’t even know very much about Jimmy Hoffa but its very well done.
The Ritual (Netflix) – Ohhhhhkay. The preview got us here. This looked like a super-spooky horror/thriller and ended up being…weird and confusing. Pro’s=camera views of the hiking trails were beautiful. Con’s=plot. “The Ritual.” This was one I had to talk out with a friend and look up to really figure out to fully fill in the blanks to figure out. So really….meh.

Screen Shot 2020-01-25 at 7.15.31 PM
Artwork by Taevyn Astra

The Rise of Skywalker (IMAX) – Ohhhhh, I loved it! Yes, it had its cheesy moments. Sure, some things could have been done better. But man, I don’t care. The movie is made and I was overall blown away and am so satisfied! I can’t wait to watch it again!

So that was my month. Did you see any of these? Have you watched anything recently that you recommend? I’d love to know about it, so please tell me in the comments!

signature (1)

 

Review: Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Screen Shot 2020-01-23 at 6.49.08 PMTitle: Things You Save in a Fire
Author: Katherine Center
Page Count: 320 pages – Hardcover edition, but I listened to the audiobook
Release Date: August 13, 2019

Synopsis:

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

Review

This book was nominated for the Romance category for 2019 Goodreads Choice award, which sort of inspired me to pick it up, but it is so much more than just a romance novel! I love TV sitcoms like Grey’s Anatomy, Chicago Fire, etc. and I think its hard to find good books with characters who are doctors, firefighters, or paramedics. Things You Save in a Fire revolves around veteran firefighter Cassandra and rookie firefighter Owen.  The reason Cassie and Owen meet is because Cassie has just moved to Boston from Texas after a very public mauling of a councilman at an awards ceremony. Granted, he groped her–but no one saw that behind the scenes. But Cassie makes the move to save her career and moves in with her mother sort of against her will at her mother’s desperate request. It is this move that will change Cassie’s life and teach her lessons about love, forgiveness, and moving on.

Cassie was a super stubborn character and at times I got sick of how she treated her mom or how she shunned some of the men around her, but I get it. She is a woman in a “man’s profession.” She has to have rules and boundaries, and really, she is a badass. She has earned her way up and she will not let anything take her back down. Owen is probably my new bookish McDreamy. Seriously, this guy is the funniest, sweetest book boyfriend. And he’s a fire fighter so….what’s up! I even loved how he handled the conflict in this book and thought he was an all-around great fit for Cassie. Last but not least, the story overall was just so charming and well-written, I absolutely recommend it. I don’t always read contemporary romances but when I do, this is what I want to read!

Did you read any of the Goodreads Choice 2019 books last year? What were your faves?

signature5c048f506de86

Tag Tuesday: New Year Book Tag

Happy 2020 everyone! Dorka over at Berries & Books is keeping this tag alive–she’s done it for three years straight now so hats off girl! I think this is my second year doing this one so here goes!

Question #1: How many books do you plan to read in 2020?
I set my goal at 50 this year, after falling just short of my goal of 75 for the past two years straight. This year I want to go a little bit more low-key and exceed it and just feel good about things. I feel good about that.

Question #2: Name five books you didn’t get to read last year but wanna make a priority in 2020.
The biggest two that I didn’t get to were the Six of Crows duology. I really want to prioritize them this year because–hello–Grishaverse coming to Netflix. Also on my list are Serpent and Dove, A Sorcery of Thorns, and

Question #3: Name a genre you want to read more of.
I always try to keep a good balance of genres but I want to get back into urban and paranormal fantasy. That’s sort of what got me back into reading a while back, ironically.

Question #4: Three non book related goals for 2020?
Start a bullet journal, pick up my ukelele, and manage my finances better (eek!)

Question #5: What’s a book you’ve had forever that you still need to read?
My brother and (now) sister-in-law bought me the Darker Shades of Magic trilogy four, maybe even five Christmases ago now? And I need to read those! Not just for that reason, but I want to read them too, of course!

Question #6: One word you’re hoping 2020 will be?
Stress-free! (that’s one, hyphenated word, right??)

As for tagging, I think you should all do this one if you haven’t for 2020 yet. I know January is scooting along quickly but there is always time to collect your thoughts and gain some shelf control. Happy reading!

signature (1)

January 8: WWW

Halfway through the week! I love it! Life has been so nice having shortened weeks for almost a month now but here we are, back to the full grind. *sigh* For those of you who don’t know, this meme is hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and it involves three simple questions which are as follows:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

~ The Currents ~

I am so close to finishing 2 books at the moment: the comic vol. 1 of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as well as a really good YA fantasy called Unspoken. On top of those, I am about a third of the way through the audiobook of Ninth House so I have quite the reading load going on here.

~ The Recents ~

Honestly nothing was too terribly recent, I hate to say. I did sneak in one last holiday read just as we were finishing up our Christmas celebrating and that was Christmas Camp. Other than that though, I hope to have much more to report on this question next time around!

~ The Upcoming ~

This is where the fun really is. I have a couple anticipated reads from the library that I am looking forward to getting to plus a couple egalley/ARCs to get to soon. First off I need to read The Night Country by Melissa Albert, which released yesterday. I am really excited for that one. I need to see how the sequel to The Hazel Wood  turns out!

What is one current, recent, or upcoming read that you have on your list?

signature (2)

Happy New Year! Cheers to 2020!

Happy New Year and new decade everyone!

So the question on everyone’s mind is: what are your goals or resolutions for 2020? I have a couple ideas for myself but I’m not a huge resolution-maker. Here are just a couple of off-the-bat goals I want to work on this year:

newyear

  1. Start a bullet journal. I have never done one before but I have never found a planner that quite works for me. I am hoping that a bullet journal will be good for keeping me organized and creative.
  2. Pick up some ukelele skills! I received a uke for Christmas last year but I still haven’t done anything with it–and I mean nothing!! So seriously, I need to learn at least 2-3 chords and 2-3 songs. The more the better!
  3. Read more books that I already own. My shelves are absolutely out of control. I am filling boxes with books that don’t even touch my shelves and putting them into storage. That’s not okay! So I really need to prioritize reading what I have and ARCs that I commit to.
  4. Clean and organize more. My husband and I have been living in an apartment for about two years longer than we originally thought we would. Between the two of us we’ve accumulated so much stuff that we really don’t need to hang on to. At the time we think of it as cute and sentimental but really its piling up, crinkling up, stinking up, whatever. So we really need to go through and sell, donate, or throw.

And those are the first of my goals for the year. They’re pretty generally and not completely book or reading related but I certainly have those goals as well so stay tuned!

What goals do you have for 2020?