October 2018 Wrap-up

Hello, and happy November! Only two months left in 2018! Two months left to hit those reading goals. I didn’t think I was setting mine particularly high, but when I chose mine, I forgot that I was getting married, finishing up school, searching for a new job, and starting a small business! So I’m behind and I only may or may not hit my goal for the year so….we’ll see! But this month was pretty good for me. Six books read total! Here are the specs:

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City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab  ★★★★★ “Embrace your strange. Where’s the fun in being normal?”

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo ★★ ““What is a man’s soul made of that a woman’s is not?”

Southern Magic by Amy Boyles ★★★★ “Heck, at this point I didn’t know my butthole from my navel. On top of all the craziness in the past day, I was now accused of murder.”

Dracula by Bram Stoker ★★★★ “There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.” (SO many good quotes in this book)

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White ★★★ “I used smiles like currency. They were the only currency I ever had.”

Southern Spells by Amy Boyles ★★★★ “My heart plummeted to the ground, going past my feet and falling until it hit the center of the earth’s core, where it burst into flames.”

And that’s that, my friends. How many books did you read in October? Do you have any recommendations to share? Any books we should stay away from? Open up and share!

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October (Re)Reads: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo

Just a warning: this review is likely an unpopular opinion regarding the first book in this (so far) trilogy. I have been seeing so much hype and merch around about Audrey and Thomas lately that I decided to take a trip back to the beginning. Maybe I’ll like it more this time around. Maybe my opinions will have changed. Hm. Nope!

img_0607I really like the premise behind the books! I like the victorian London setting, I love a female MC studying anatomy and post-death this and that. However, I just have such dislike for Audrey! I understand her motives and her thoughts and of course I want girls/women to be treated fairly as well! I want you to be able to think freely and study what you want and to be respected also! But don’t be such a prat about it! I can’t handle it!! The plot is constantly held up with her stubbornness and her own blindness to her surroundings because she is whining about being a female and being treated as such. Maybe Thomas (or your father or brother or Thomas…whomever) is just treating you like a human, not specifically like a “girl” or “lady” or “woman”!! Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Looking back, the last time I read the book, I mentioned disliking Thomas. Nah, I’ve warmed up to him. He has a flirty arrogance that I am rather digging. And god bless him for having patience with Audrey.

So now that Audrey is getting her way and is going away to “forensic school,” I am eager to see if she maybe (hopefully) calms down a little bit on her feminine whining. I’m sure school will still be tough for her but she at least has a good start since she’s already there and she will have Thomas. Of the books in similar time settings that I have read, women’s rights is always a theme but never quite this strong so once we get over this hurdle, things will clear out nicely.

Book soundtrack: Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Lorde

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Read-a-Thon Wrap-up!

readathonLast week was a big…no…HUGE week for read-a-thons. I threw my name in for participation for two RAT’s and they were both so awesome and did a lot for me in terms of helping me reach some reading goals that I had for myself! The first RAT, I blogged about…it was a weeklong read-a-thon called the Spookathon. All week long, I made progress on my audiobook (Dracula), my hard copy book (The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein), and my ebook (Southern Magic). I finished my ebook during the week so by the weekend, I was ready for business.

uihxu47i_400x400The weekend was the main event: Dewey’s 24-hour Read a Thon. Dewey’s RAT is 24 hours of non-stop up all night reading. Yeah baby!! This event happens twice each year and this was my fourth time participating in three years. I love this event and I always mark my calendar and look forward to this one.My goal was to finish everything I had started and see how far (if at all) I could get into something new. Well, I did it. Bully for me! Dracula? Check. Elizabeth Frankenstein? Check. I started the second book to the Southern Magic book, as well as another book: Haunting the Deep. So overall, I consider my weekend pretty successful!

On the down side, I am still a bit behind on my progress for the year so I still have catching up to do in order to hit my goal for the year….BUT this is a good time of the year to read. SO. I have to stay optimistic! Back to the books!

How are you doing on your reading goals? Do you set your goals high to try to stay on target? Or set low and surprise yourself?

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Amazingly fun October Read-a-thon: SPOOKATHON! 👻

denise-johnson-439378-unsplashHey hey! So, I feel that I would be robbing you all of an awesome opportunity if I didn’t tell you about one of my favorite readathons: the SPOOKATHON! This is my second year in a row participating in this weeklong RAT hosted by Kayla and her gang all around social media. I first discovered the party on Twitter where they have their own page with sprints, challenges, updates, and buddy read chats (and more). I love the spoopy memes that get thrown around there, so to hop on, just search up @thespookathon on Twitter and you’re there!

So next up, I’ve got some challenges to work toward for this RAT. They are as follows:
1. read a thriller … The Haunting of Hill House
2. read a book with purple on the cover … Hocus Pocus
3. read a book not set in the current time period … Dracula
4. read a book with a spooky word in the title … The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
5. read a book with pictures … The Halloween Tree
So the books that I bolded are books that I am reading currently, while the others are books that I am wanting to read this October/in the near future.

freestocks-org-425057-unsplashIf you would like to participate, the challenge goes  through the 21st of October. There is no minimum amount of books to read, no required entry or sign-up, its just all for fun and at your own pace. Check it out on Twitter like I said above, or Instagram, or Youtube. Happy spooky reading! Let me know if you decide to jump in…or if you’re reading spooky somethings for October!

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Game on! I’m back!

Hello! Not that anyone probably missed me but just in case you did….I’m back!! Its been almost a month and I took the time away to do this little thing with my best friend…

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It was, of course, an exciting time and a beautiful day. Everything came together so wonderfully, we really couldn’t have asked for anything more. We (I) did choose to do a lot of things “DIY” so there did end up being quite a bit of work, as well as set-up involved, but again, we were so blessed to have so many people willing to help with tear down so that my husband (I still squeak a bit saying that word) and I could enjoy our night.

So now things are winding down and we’re doing the last bits of getting our lives back on track (I requested a day off work in a couple weeks to get my name changed and do all of that running around). A lot of my reading was put on hold and slowed way down for a month so according to my Goodreads tracker, I am “9 books behind” and that has my blood pressure way up! HOWEVER, Dewey’s 24-hour readathon is coming AND October is usually a big reading month for me so I am optimistic!

That being said, if you are still following me, thanks for hanging in there. I have a couple of reviews to catch up on, and I have already finished one amazing October read so I am excited to get that review up. Until next time…ciao!

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Between Frost and Fury by Chani Lynn Feener

357958931Hello, book lovers! Happy hump day! This post was supposed to be up this morning but apparently I don’t know the difference between AM and PM when posting blogs anymore–my bad!! Anywho, without further ado, I have an amazing review to share with you today….Between Frost and Fury begins right where Amid Stars and Darkness left off (kind of like this review, right? heh heh!). Ruckus is on the phone with Delaney when her tone of voice changes ever so slightly and he’s trying not to panic–what can possibly be wrong? There’s no way anyone suspects….unless they do. And then this whirlwind of a book picks up.

There are so many things that I absolutely love about book number two of this trilogy! First off, we actually get a little bit of Trystan’s perspective in this book. It isn’t completely from his perspective because the book isn’t first person, but it does follow him as a character in a few chapters! I don’t recall ever doing that with Ruckus in book one. So that’s pretty cool. Secondly, the writing is far better in this book! I griped a bit about it being slightly juvenile in book 1. Well, Chani must have found a new editor or something because the difference is night and day! I loved it! And third, the thickening of the plot is so intense that I am so incredibly invested now, I am recommending this book to everyone now!!!

So hopefully, you as a follower of my blog are interested by now as well. If so, you can win a copy of the book sponsored by Xpresso Book Tours! This is a US/CAN giveaway and is open until July 26th.

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If you are independent and you don’t need no giveaways and just want to check the book out for yourself, you can do so on any of these fine platforms:

Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |  Goodreads

Also check out the author while you’re at it. Chani is a really neat lady who has also written some other books and likes to do other cool things like go to aquariums, binge TV shows (me too!!), and draw.

All right my friends, that’s all I have for today. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week and get lots of reading done!

Book soundtrack: The Pretender by Foo Fighters

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Tag Tuesday: The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Hi everyone! June is officially over so we are MORE than halfway through the year. Yikes! I figured this week, I’ll take a look at what I’ve read so far this year and put the good, the bad, and the ugly into a tag. I’ve read 34 books so far this year and Goodreads tells me I’m “one book behind” on my goal of 75 books. Without further ado, here goes!:

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.

a_semi-definitive_list_of_worst_nightmares_krystal_sutherland_fall_2017_ya_booksSo far this year I have marked 7 out of 35 books as 5 stars but the one that I am choosing as “the best” is A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares. Why? It was the biggest surprise and I think that its the most impactful and the most creative. This book had humor and heart and depth! I mentioned when I reviewed it a few months ago that I dislike the cover and I still feel that it in no way does the book justice. If you like contemporaries and/or magical realism and don’t shy away from trigger warnings of suicide or depression, then absolutely read this book. SO. WORTH. IT.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.

Short Stories From Hogwarts of Power, Politics, and Pesky Poltergeists. I only have a short list to choose from and I wasn’t in love with the Grisha sequels so when all else fails, default to the PotterVerse! This was actually my favorite of the short library collections. I found this one witty and interesting, moreso than either of the other two books.

344992213. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

To Kill a Kingdom is getting so much buzz and I have had this book for months now! Why have I still not read it?! I always tell myself I want to be ready for the Goodreads awards and I’m going to binge read when the nominees come out but there are just way too many. I have to start NOW and I just know that this will be on there.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. I am desparate for this release!! I have heard its good and its right up my alley. I cannot wait for this release!!

5. Biggest disappointment.

A Wrinkle in Time: Graphic Novel. Maybe its been too long since I read the book, or maybe the graphic novel was just too cheesy for me. Whatever the matter, I had been looking forward to reading this and ended up very disappointed. I don’t have a ton of experience with graphic novels, but I have enjoyed those I have read….with the exception of this one.

289456656. Biggest surprise.

Zero Repeat Forever. I’m choosing this not just because I am surprised that I enjoyed a sci-fi book (its not my typical go-to genre), but I was surprised by the ending. Hello cliffhanger!! I was so drawn into the characters of this book and I can’t wait for the second book to release!!

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Ashley Poston – Geekerella. I received an ARC of Geekerella before the paperback was released and I absolutely LOVED the book. Honestly I was a little skeptical but it all ended up great! Now I’m considering buying my own hard copy because I loved it so much! Ashley Poston is definitely an author I will read again.

8. Newest fictional crush.

Levi from Fangirl. Pretty much enough said. The guy can make me a latte anytime! 😉

9. Newest favourite character.

The Darkling! Seriously…all the merch, all the books, all the angsty talk….#teamDarkling

2511100410. Book that made you cry.

November 9. I have fallen in love with Colleen Hoover this year and November 9 is probably my favorite CoHo book at this point. I can’t wait for her next book to release! All Your Perfects is the title and it releases on July 17th. Almost here!

11. Book that made you happy.

Catching Fire. Book #2 of The Hunger Games is my favorite and I have been craving a re-read for a while. I was so happy to finally pick it up and I absolutely loved my time listening to the audiobook for the first time.

12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year.

Annihilation – way better than the book. The movie is SO trippy! It was everything I expected but didn’t get from the book!

3364552713. Favourite review you’ve written this year. (Booktube version: Favourite video you have done so far in this year)

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. I feel like I got to reference some fun works, use some great quotes, and find some fun pictures to put into my review. Plus I enjoyed the book itself so that made writing the review all the better.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Sky in the Deep. I thought this book was beautiful both inside and out. I like that it was unique and strong.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I want to read Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom, The Darkest Minds, and I want to pick up the Red Queen series again, now that its finished (I hate cliffhangers with unreleased books).

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So there you have it, folks! If you are reading this and you have not yet done this tag, consider yourself officially tagged and go do it! Its a good one! Oh, and just a reminder, my giveaway is still open for The Last Time I Lied. If you live in the U.S. or Canada and want to read this amazing summer thriller by Riley Sager, visit my last post and give me your best shot and two truths and a lie and I’ll enter you to win a free copy of the book. Giveaway goes until 7/19/18. Goodluck!

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The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager – Blog Tour + Giveaway!

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I was so excited to read this book and it did not disappoint! Anything with ‘camp’ and ‘thiller’ in the synopsis and I am 110% IN! I know some people think camp + suspense and associate it with hockey masks and serial killers but that’s NOT what this is about. Its about finding truths for better or for worse. Its about sanity versus insanity. Its about trust and reliability, or lack thereof.

“TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE, LADIES. I’LL START.”

The Last Time I Lied is the second book from author Riley Sager, the first being last years’ The Final Girls, which was an international bestseller.  I have not read this one yet, but after reading The Last Time I Lied, I will be reading The Final Girls soon, especially because a film version is being developed by Universal Pictures! I have no idea about the timeline on this, but I am a nut about reading books-to-films or vice versa so I am all over this!

“SO MUCH WATER. SO MUCH LAND. SO MANY PLACES TO DISAPPEAR.”

The book in question is about Emma Davis. Told in two timelines, past and present, Emma is an artist who is haunted by memories of her time at Camp Nightengale when her three bunkmates went missing years ago. When the camp’s director shows up at her art show and offers her a job teaching painting for a summer at Camp Nightengale, Emma doesn’t exactly jump at the opportunity, but rather has to be persuaded by her best friend. Once at the camp, nothing goes quite as she expects it to. Slowly, Emma begins casually searching for clues of her past. She doesn’t really expect to find much….until she does. Eventually it seems that the past is looking for Emma and she finds herself in a whole mess of trouble. During these current investigations, there are imposing flashbacks to Emma’s time at camp as a teenager, and we see that even back then, it was difficult to tell who to trust and who to rely on because, as it turns out, even Emma herself was not fully truthful.

“LIKE MOST OLD STRUCTURES, THERE’S A HEAVINESS TO THE LODGE, A SOMBERNESS. I THINK OF ALL THE YEARS IT’S WITNESSED. ALL THOSE SEASONS AND STORMS AND SECRETS…”

Overall, this book was a thrilling ride. It reads like a movie and I can absolutely see it being made into one at some point! It turns out that this book was inspired by the classic novel and film “Picnic at Hanging Rock.” I recently saw the Amazon Prime has made a series from this so I think we all know what I will be watching and reading soon! Aside from that, I loved the characters in this book, I loved the pacing, and the writing was fantastic! I am a pretty tough critic when it comes to this genre in particular but I loved this book. I definitely recommend this book!

Book-related links:
Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  B&N  |  Book Depository  |  iBooks

*Giveaway*

Want to win a copy of this awesome book? Do you live in the U.S. or Canada? Well here’s the scoop. Every book on the FFBC tour is giving away a copy, so you have 20 chances to win. Check out the other blog stops and enter their giveaways, and here is how to enter mine:

  1. Make sure you are following my blog. If you prefer a method of contact OTHER than via blog, leave a contact email or preferred social media contact.
  2. Leave a comment and give me your version of two truths and a lie.

And that’s it! Winners will be chosen and notified before July 20th. Please note that you may only win ONE copy of the book, even if you enter on multiple blogs. If you win from more than on FFBC blog, we request that you pass the book on to a different winner.

Soundtrack: “Seven Devils” by Florence + the Machine

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Happy Independence Day! + WWW

Hello everyone! I would be remiss if I didn’t wish you all a safe and happy 4th of July, aka Independence Day! I hope your grills are ready to go and your fireworks are safe and sparkly. I am planning on blogging, reading, and partaking in a little bit of wine tasting. Thank you, founding fathers, for our freedom. Cheers!

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Moving along to WWW Wednesday, meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and is now revived by Samm at Taking on a World of Words. Feel free to let me know what your WWW answers are in the comments, or blog for yourself and leave me your link. I love to know what everyone is up to!

FontCandy (3)The Three Ws are:

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

W1 – I am currently reading The Last Time I Lied, which is a thriller/mystery that was just published yesterday. I am almost finished with it and so far it has be chilled to the bone (and I am pretty picky when it comes to thrillers, so that’s saying a lot!). I am also listening to the audiobook of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This is my first time listening to a Harry Potter audiobook and I don’t know why its taken me so long to do this! The narrator is spectacular!! If you love Harry Potter and are wanting to re-read the series, give the audiobooks a try. You won’t regret it.

W2 – I recently finished reading Amid Stars and Darkness–a YA sci-fi. I recently mentioned that I have been craving sci-fi lately and it has held true in this book as well. I will be writing up a review for this book soon but just as a teaser, the main character (Delaney) was a champ when it came to impersonating royalty on another planet. The love interest body guard (Ruckus) was extremely sweet, flirtatious, and somewhat predictable, which is why I am rooting for the underdog, badboy prince from the opposite alien race. No real hints at love have surfaced yet, but the book leaves off on a killer cliffhanger and we’ll just see where book 2 takes us!

W3 – Next up I will be reading Between Frost and Fury, which is the second book in the Xenith Trilogy (the follow-up book to Amid Stars and Darkness mentioned above). This book publishes on July 24th but I have my copy because of a book tour so stay tuned for my review!

So that’s that my friends! Again, enjoy your holiday and I’m looking forward to hearing about your reads!

Current Soundtrack: “The Room Where It Happens” – Hamilton Soundtrack

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Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

uglylovech-2840Hey everyone! I’ve got some more CoHo love coming at ya! This time around, I read Ugly Love, which was published back in 2014. This is one of her earlier novels and in my opinion, her books get better and better as time goes on.

Ugly Love is told in two voices, on two timelines. Tate is telling the story in the present, while Miles starts his story six years ago. Tate is a nurse who just moved to the city to live with her brother, who is a pilot based in San Francisco. Miles is a pilot like her brother, except Miles is taciturn, with sadness radiating off of him. Even still, the chemistry and draw between them is too strong to ignore. They enter a friends-with-benefits relationship, and those benefits are WAY steamy, I’ll tell you! As the two spend more time together, Tate realizes her feelings are growing stronger, while Miles insists that he is incapable of love. Miles has to figure out how to get over the his past and the sadness burdening his heart, or he will lose the love he has in the present.

ugly-love-its-so-ugly-tsJust a quick run-down of my likes/dislikes about the book itself: Ugly Love had a LOT more sex than Colleen’s other books. And a lot more descriptive sex at that. I, personally, don’t mind, but this was borderline erotica! I don’t typically expect this in Colleen’s books so I was a bit surprised! A second point I would make is that I felt that Mile’s timeline was so brief compared to Tate’s present perspective and it was actually moving from past to present so I got impatient at times. PLUS, I listened to the audiobook and I really didn’t like the male narrator. This was a book which had a lot of word repetitions (i.e. names, descriptions, etc.) so it made these so obnoxious. Maybe its different if you’re reading them on a page…or maybe they’re still annoying. I’m not sure but either way…Miles was a great character and I wanted him to unfold a bit quicker and with more detail. Tate was also a wonderful and her pacing was perfect.

So overall, I still very much enjoyed this book, as I do all of Colleen Hoover’s books, but it was not among my favorite CH books. On to the next!

Soundtrack: “Temporary Bliss” by The Cab

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