Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Monthly Rewind: November 2015



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1. We had some issues with the pup:  Early in November we noticed Finn having a limp (w/ no apparent pain or slowing down of activity) when he would run (well not a full run but when he would more so trot) and we took him to the vet, they put him on anti-inflammatory meds and then he was still limping so we took him back for x-rays (which saddest thing ever..he was crying for me and scratching to get to me when she led him out) and found out that he has hip dysplasia. She didn’t recommend surgery yet so I don’t think it’s awful yet but we have to give him supplements to help with his joints and really just monitor the limp/everything he’s doing. He doesn’t act like he’s in pain at all but he probably is a little bit. Hoping we follow the vet’s plans and that it never gets too bad. Feel so bad for the little guy :(

2. I saw Mockingjay Part 2 with my book club — I really enjoyed it!! I cried quite a bit, not going to lie. So bittersweet for this franchise to be over but I truly enjoyed these movies just as much as I enjoyed the books.

3. Will and I booked our trip to Madrid and London: SO SO SO SO excited to return to London (Will has never been though) and visit Madrid for the first time (plus visit some friends who recently moved there AND had a baby last week!!). If you’ve got recs for either of those cities of MUST DO’S/SEES/EATS/DRINKS let me have them! Also maybe some of your favorite books set in either place?

4. I had two separate dates with a new group of lady friends– I got to try two new local places — one for brunch and one for an Italian dinner and both times were so fun! It’s always so hard to make new friends at this age and I’m so happy to find people again who I click with. I’m looking forward to more shenanigans with them next month.

5. I started culling my “to read” list on Goodreads: It was out of control at around 1300 books — due to being on Goodreads since 2008 and also my habit to had ANYTHING that I am even remotely interested in or want to remember or want to check out to that list. It’s been a tedious process but I feel really good about taking a first stab at weeding out books I’m not interested in anymore — whether it’s that my interests are different than from when I added it years ago or trusted friends have all disliked it or I’m just not SUPER excited about it like I was when I added it (or some I’m like WHY THE HECK DID I ADD THIS?!). There still are probably way too many books on there…more than I’ll ever read..but it’s a start to get out the obvious ones I know I’ll never get to or am 100% not interested in anymore.




I put all my Monthly Rewinds in a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here !


1. We Were Here — BOY

2. Arm’s Length — Kacy Hill

3. Avalanche — Kalle Mattson

4. Skin — Kyla La Grange

5. West Coast — Hey Marseilles

6. Into the Night — Madeline Juno


Honorable Mentions: The Dreamer by Anna of the North, Half The World Away by AURORA, Water by Ra Ra Riot, Memoir by Villagers, Making All Things New by Aaron Espe

Check out the rest of my November playlist



I read a total of 7 books this month — okay one was a dog training book but whatever.



1. Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler: What a great book about friendship! So excited for my upcoming book talk about this one!!

2. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken: This book reminded me how much I love time travel books!

3. Friday Never Leaving by Vikki Wakefield: AUSSIE YA WOOOO!





An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Not surprising since An Ember in Ashes was a huge hyped up book this year!



“When a friendship crumbles, there are only really two things that can bring it back: a shitload of time, or a sincere apology.” — Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler
Seriously so true. I’ve seen both scenarios unfold in my own life. Sometimes time has brought us back and realizing how silly it was or realizing we missed the friendship or forgetting what we had even let our friendship fall away. I’ve reconnected recently with the best friend I had in 8th-10th grade. I don’t remember why we let differences of opinions in regards to certain high school things get in the way of our friendship (we started to be pulled in different directions) but it all seems so silly now. I know we’ll likely never be close again but I have hope we might be in each other’s lives. She was my first real friend when I moved in 8th grade and she was so important to me. And likewise with the apology….I’ve been on both sides of the giving and receiving a sincere apology and man it can do wonders. Like literally feel the hurt and anger melting away.


Ummm I really didn’t post much this month (I slow down a lot in November and December) so not much to wade through but here’s

1. The Tale of Two Warring Bookworms Within Me Bookworm problems, man!

2. Recommendations Needs From YOU: It was nice to turn the tables and ask you all for book recs — in this case I was looking for comic books and graphic novels! AND BOY DID YOU ALL HELP. I am still wading through suggestions!! Thank you!

3. Ten Book To Movie Adaptions I Want To See: Already got to check Mockingjay off that list yay!

4. Whatcha In The Mood For? Happy to provide some recs for different moods! Hope you guys found some!

5. Beyond the Pages: Insecurities Then vs Now : It was nice to reflect on insecurities as a teen vs. now at 30 — “I think one of the things I’m learning about adulthood is that certain things that you experience as a young person don’t simply disappear as you get older…you just learn to deal with them differently/better and your tools for handling it are sharper. It could also be that you just simply run out of shits to give –you only have so much you can worry or care about and something has to give. ONLY A FINITE AMOUNT OF SHITS TO BE GIVEN.”


mr12Any book talks honestly! I just want to talk about booooks with you all.

mr7NOTHING.  Will Jamie ever return? WE SHALL SEE. Maybe in the new year.


1. How To Hygge (or 29 Ways To Actually Enjoy Winter)Winter is the pits for me, guys. I get sad that the sun is out. I get miserable that the cold air assaults me as I leave my apartment. I kick my car when the door gets frozen with ice. I just miss the nice weather. Sure I love snuggling in my blankets with some hot cocoa and a book but BLAH winter just gives me major blues. SOOO I will be trying this list and forcing myself to change my attitude towards winter!

2. Now What? 5 Steps To Figuring Out What You Want To Do Next When You Don’t Have A Goddamn Clue: I just entered my 30’s in October and I feel like I *AM* at this crossroads where I’m like I don’t know at all where I want to go next. I feel like certain doors are closing and I need to rally and make a new game plan for life. Going to try some of her tips!

3. 30 Simple Ways To Take Care of Yourself Over the Holidays: I’m already looking at my calendar for December and I’m half tempted to just go curl in bed until the month is over. I’m EXCITED for all my plans and things to do but also…wow lots of peopling and being on the go. Need to remember to take care of myself — particularly because the holidays always have the tendency of making me sad (without me even really being aware that’s what it is going on) because I miss my mom.

4. Smoky Maple Chipotle Brussel Sprouts: Hey don’t judge me…brussel sprouts are DELICIOUS, YO. And these look amazing and Will is totally going to make them for us. Maybe next month I’ll get back to sharing desserts or yummy drinks…but BRUSSEL SPROUTS.

5. No emojis necessary from Write Meg!: I’ve enjoyed Meg’s blog for years and this experience she shared with connecting with a friend IRL and her reflection of friendship in the age of social media.


1. Jessica Jones: I loooooove it. Twitter is always on point with new show recs. I’m only a few episodes in but I’m so digging it.
2. Trader Joe’s Peppermint Joe Joe’s Ice Cream– I’ve been enjoying it a liiiiittle too much this month.
3. Planning our trip to Spain and England: it’s also probably why I haven’t blogged much because I just keep going down rabbit holes of SO MANY THINGS WE ARE GOING TO DO.




1. All the Christmas parties: Will’s work Christmas party, family Christmas party, book club Christmas party, Christmas party with new lady friends. ALL THE CHRISTMAS PARTIES.

 2. Slowing things down on the blog: For the past couple years I’ve slowed down on the blog to help rejuvenate before the new year, plan for what I want to do blog-wise, enjoy the time with friends and family and to conserve my energy because let’s be real…blogs have a slow time in December. It’s going to be so nice to not post very much…though I already kind of accidentally did that this past month.
3. My A Very Handmade Holiday giveaways + End of Year Survey: The 6th Annual End of Year Survey will go up this coming week and I will be back with the second year of week long giveaways from amazing bookish Etsy shops/small businesses!



What book do you hope Santa brings you this year? And what NON-book item do you hope he brings you this year? (seriously though why can’t Santa be actually real though quite alarming to have someone slinking around your house when you sleep I suppose.)




Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog? Answer to my question of the month?

Book Talk: An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Book Talk: An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa TahirAn Ember in Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in Ashes #1
Published by Razorbill on April 2015
Genres: YA Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: For Review

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



Laia and Elias both live in a world controlled by the Martials –a  brutal, sadistic regime who rules by force and will kill for the smallest infraction. Laia has grown up poor with her grandparents and brother and is part of the Scholar class that is persecuted by the Martials. Elias is from a powerful family and goes to one of the best military schools, Briarcliff, where he trains to be a Mask and is at the top of his class but he really plans to desert because he hates this way of life and doesn’t want to be a killer. Laia’s brother is taken away and accused of treason and Laia tries to make a deal with some rebels who promise her that they will help release her brother if she goes undercover as a spy at Briarcliff where she will be the slave to a brutal and powerful woman. It is there at Briarcliff that Laia and Elias meet and come to learn just how intertwined their destinies are.

a2*tries to catch breath and calm down*


Upon finishing the book someone asked me what I thought and my reply was that 1) that I super enjoyed it and 2) it was sosososososo intense and brutal.

High intensity factor: seriously this book had me on the edge of my seat pretty much from the start until the nail-biting and explosive end. If you are looking for a book that has high stakes, espionage, traitors, magic, betrayals and so much action….I can’t recommend this enough. I felt like the action just kept being upped, without sacrificing too much character development, and I could NOT read fast enough to find out how it would end.  There’s a lot at stake for both of the main characters and I loved watching their stories converge in such an intense manner. They both are in seemingly impossible and desperate positions and it sure becomes a page-turner.

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The Tale of Two (Warring) Bookworms Within Me

For as long as I could remember I’ve always dreamed of having Belle’s library in the Beauty and the Beast.


Or at least some beautiful room full of bookshelves or at the very least some customized built-in bookshelves that line the walls. I’ve scoffed when Will (or anyone outside of this community) says I’m hoarding books and have delighted in continuing in building my collection. I’ve oogled bookshelves and libraries on Pinterest and elsewhere:


[Keep Reading]

Beyond the Pages: The Thing About Insecurity Then Vs. Now For Me

Beyond the Pages is my way of sharing the things books make me think about and interact with and want to talk about shared experiences with people. Some of my best conversations have happened because of something that came up in a book. I’m pretty personal in my reviews but I’d like a way to not bog down my review with a huge paragraph of personal experience so this is my way to be able to share it. Some times it will be serious and sometimes just random and fun but I hope we can connect! PAST Beyond the Pages here!



The book that inspired this conversation:

Dumplin' cover

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
(Goodreads // Amazon )
Check out my review of Dumplin’

What It Is About:

Willowdean has always been the fat girl and she’s always been pretty okay with that despite the normal teenage insecurities. It’s never been a THING for her. Until she gets a job and crushes on one of her hot co-workers who totally ends up liking her back. And then insecurities and what people think get the best of Willowdean and makes her second guess herself and if Bo could really like her. So she decides to remind herself of how confident she is and enters a beauty pageant (that her mother is the coordinator of) — an act that sparks a little bit of a revolution when a couple of other girls, who are inspired by Willowdean’s bravery, to join with her despite them not looking like the usual beauty pageant contestant.

What It Got Me Thinking About:

insecurities for me as a young person vs. insecurities now


There was so much to love and appreciate in Dumplin’ and so much it made me think about but the biggest thing I thought about while reading was High School Jamie and how insecure she was and then I thought a lot about insecurities in the lens of 30 Year Old Jamie. Julie Murphy really did a great job portraying those high school insecurities. Through Willowdean, who mostly loves and accepts her body how it is, we see this vulnerability that we have as young people when it comes to how we see ourselves because it’s mostly always through the filter of how the world sees us. We see how hard it becomes to be confident of the things you love/accept about yourself when it seems the world makes it so easy for those self-conscious feelings or insecurities attach themselves to you like a leech that drains your confidence. How it becomes easy to feel like you need to change because other people think you should. How it becomes easy to loathe yourself or to judge yourself harshly — for things you might have not ever noticed before.

[Keep Reading]

Recommendations Needed From YOU!

One of my favorite things about wandering my library or bookstore has always been how it puts me in a position to pick up things on a whim. I’m not marching in there to get something specific but am simply there browsing, discovering and taking my time. I think, especially after blogging for all these years, I’ve made it a point to regularly browse because it’s so easy to get caught up in reading what gets sent to me for review or what’s hot and new. It allows me freedom to just be drawn to something that interests me or that I might not have heard of (and I try REALLY hard to not consult social media/Goodreads all the time to look at ratings because I’m TOO affected and judge books by their ratings even though some of my favorite books I may not have picked up if I saw their rating).

Anyways, back to my point for this post. I was just browsing my library this past weekend and I saw a comic book that sounded interesting. And I was like “SELF, you have never read a comic book/graphic novel. LET’S DO THIS.” I read very eclectically am and always trying to broaden my reading horizons but this was one area that I haven’t ever dipped my toes into it.

The comic was Wytches and I’m super early into it but I picked it up because the cover looked creepy! I’m really enjoying it so far and I’m so glad I let myself be drawn to it and I’m wanting to dip my toes in even more.

WytchesWytches Volume 1

SO..that’s where you come in….


Book Talk: Friday Never Leaving by Vikki Wakefield

Book Talk: Friday Never Leaving by Vikki WakefieldFriday Never Leaving (aka Friday Brown) by Vikki Wakefield
Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers on September 2013
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library





Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



Friday Brown has been used to never have one permanent home as she’s traveled here and there with her mom but she’s always felt like that’s where she belonged — on the road with her mom. When Friday’s mom passes away, she finds herself presented with a new home but she can’t give up feeling like she needs to be on the move. So she leaves the security she could have and decides to go in search of her own place to belong — which ends up being with a group of other street kids who is held together by Arden, a girl who has a strong hold on the group and who likes to play games — especially when anyone challenges her.

a2*adds to list yet another Aussie novel that I love*

a4If you’ve followed this blog for a while you know I love me some Aussie YA (here’s a Aussie YA 101 list to get you started if you don’t know the magic that is Aussie YA). Vikki Wakefield was one of those Aussie authors I’ve yet to read yet so I grabbed Friday Never Leaving (titled Friday Brown in Australia) to give her a try.  The verdict? I was impressed by this quiet yet moving novel! It was a gritty, emotional novel about what makes a home and a family and that never-ending quest to find where you belong.

Some things I loved:

  1. The rag-tag group of street kids: I don’t typically read a lot of books about young adults who are homeless or runaways. I enjoyed learning a little bit about their heartbreaking stories and, even though there were some toxic aspects of their little family they made together, I really enjoyed seeing they came together to make a family and a home out of their situation and how they looked out for each other. The dynamics are complex, no doubt, but I really loved following this group and coming to care about these characters who have slipped through the cracks of society. Their personalities were so distinct and honestly I wish I had some sort of novella followup so I can know what happened to all of them!!
  2. The writing & emotions portrayed: Oh just that Aussie magic that runs deep over there apparently!! There is this paragraph about grief and losing someone that just SLAYED ME.
  3. How it so perfectly balanced character and plot: I love how it flowed  — memories of Friday’s childhood and life with her mom intermingled with Friday’s journey trying to find her own way after her mom passes away. It had all the character-driven qualities I love in a novel and was wrought with emotion and these stirring passages and then there are these super charged and intense situations that had me biting my nails. I felt the intensity of life on the street, the dangers, the uncertainties. I think the plot went places I didn’t expect which definitely upped the intensity and actually was a pleasant surprised though at times I was like WOW IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING.
  4. How home, family and belonging were explored: It’s always been Friday and her mom. The stories she knows are stories told by her mom. All the history she knows from her mom. She belonged — on the road going here and there with her mom. When her mom dies Friday finds herself alone. She has family that she never knew. She could have a home. But her sense of belonging has disappeared. I loved how the book explored this idea so beautifully and emotionally as all these kids, Friday included, are trying to cobble together some semblance of belonging — something they all share.




factors+ writing, plot, characterization, the ability to surprise me
–  nothing really just missing that SOMETHING to make it be a fave

a5Aussie YA fans, fans who like character-driven novels (that still have plot but it isn’t apparent at first), fans of gritty stories, people who like quiet novels

a8Friday Never Leaving was such a gem and I wish it got more love here in the States when it got published. I cared about the characters and couldn’t put it down with the tension and intensity heightened. It was heart-wrenching and beautiful and quiet but the sorrow and grief and loneliness rattled my bones…and the sense of hope I did feel amidst it all sent me soaring.

review-on-post-itFriday Never leaving vikki wakefield


a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
What other Aussie gems should I have my eye on??



The Perpetual Page-Turner

Whatcha In The Mood For: Book Recs Based On Your Mood

book recommendations for what type of book you are looking for


It’s that time where I dole out recommendations according to what kind of mood you might be in at random — whether that be an actual mood or a specific type of book. Check out past Whatcha In the Mood For recs!


I would LOVE LOVE LOVE if you could also leave some recs for my categories in the comments to further help people looking for books that fit! Also, have a good idea for a category or something you have been looking for? Leave it in the comments!


Want a gritty contemporary?

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Why?  Oh this book was so hard to read at times! It deals with a kidnapping, depression, eating disorder and a whole bunch of other things that made my heart hurt and made me feel raw emotion. It’s definitely an intense and gritty sort of read dealing with some heavy topics.  Plus, a bonus is that she is a black ballerina if you are looking to find a PoC main character.



Want a light-ish contemporary (that’s heavy on the wanderlust)?


Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae book review

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

Why?  Ooh man this one was so cute and fun — on the lighter side if you aren’t wanting anything TOO heavy. Plus it’s set in Italy and OMG I want to go back so badly. Cute romance to boot! I will make a note that the cover,while cute, makes it look kind of cheesy but I promise you it’s not! I LOVED it! (My review of Wish You Were Italian)

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Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Want To See

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Recent & Upcoming Book to Movie Adaptations I Want To Watch

I did Top Ten Book to Movie Adaptations I STILL Haven’t Watched over at TBTB back in September so I didn’t want to do that same spin on the topic so I figured I’d talk about the recently released and the upcoming movie adaptations that I really want to see!

book to movie adaptions

1. Mockingjay Part 2: OMG OMG OMG I cannot even wait. Going with book club on the 21st! Although I know I’m going to cry about a certain character death!!! And honestly…as far as book to movie franchises go…The Hunger Games has just been so fantastic for me!

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From My Quote Notebook { 2 }

YAY back for round 2 of my latest series — From My Quote Notebook! Since it’s still new I’ll leave my intro from last week:

I’ve mentioned it before but I have had a quote notebook since about 2008, before I started blogging, just to keep track of good quotes from books. Sometimes other quotes sneak in there that I like but mostly books. A bunch of people wanted to see it and it’s SUPER messy and just really for my viewing because I write sideways and everywhere and it’s a mess. But I thought it could be fun to do it this way to share the contents of my quote notebook!

So my goal with this? To share a quote from my quote notebook at random (aka whatever quote I’m FEELING for that day) and hopefully introduce you to some new books as I know sometimes I see a quote from a book and it makes me VERY interested in reading it or at least checking it out!

This week we have:



All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: I read this in the midst of a big reading slump and it was exactly what I needed to read. Historical fiction was always my go-to genre pre-blogging and I just don’t read as much anymore…which is sad but I’ve been craving them more. I loooooved this book so much and this line made me jump off the couch to grab my quote notebook. I like the sentiment of it — not just to SEE but to experience/see/do/take in all the things before it’s too late. Definitely reminds me to be better with my time — not just be busy running around experiencing everything — but remembering every moment counts and I can’t get back the ones I’ve wasted.


myreview add-itbuy it


Book Talk: A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern

Book Talk: A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovernA Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern
Published by HarperTeen on October 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: Hardcover
Source: For Review

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



Emily sees Belinda, a girl from her school who is developmentally disabled, getting attacked under the bleachers and fails to act to help her. But she wasn’t the only one — a football player named Lucas also saw and did nothing to help her. The two are punished by the school when everything comes to light and are required to do community service at a classroom with disabled adults. Meanwhile, Belinda decides to come back to school after staying home for a while after the attack and is confronted by her old classmates and how things have changed in her absence.

a2Well, that was cute and heartwarming. Also, made me think a lot about the kids who I used to work with when I did Best Buddies in high school (is that still a thing in high school today??) and wonder how they were doing.


I though this was really enjoyable and heartwarming for the most part!

What I liked:

  1. Belinda: I LOVED the chapters that were Belinda’s. IMO she WAS this book for me. Belinda is developmentally disabled and I was glad to see her actually have POV in this novel rather than her just be a main character seen through Emily. I LOVED getting to know Belinda — she was definitely one of those characters that jumped off the pages for me which was nice because the other two main characters were a bit bland for me. There was so much I loved about Belinda and I enjoyed watching her learn some important lessons just as Emily and Lucas do. My heart broke for Belinda with everything she had been through and her hurt and confusion after what happened. I hated the microaggressions against her (even by adults!!) and the way she was laughed at by classmates or not given a fair chance because she was developmentally disabled. I worked with Best Buddies in high school and got to know a lot of the students in the special education classes and I wanted to rip throats out to anyone who was unkind to them or tried to get these students to things for a laugh or just didn’t treat them like people. I wish all students were required to spend time with these students so they could see them as PEOPLE.
  2.  The romance was cute: It wasn’t anything spectacular but I tend to enjoy romances where people don’t necessarily like each other at first or have misjudged one another and then SEE each other for who they are rather than who they were thought to be. I liked their conversations and their awkwardness.
  3.  “The message” — I hate calling it THE MESSAGE because like it sounds so cheesy. But I really did love how the story helped the characters learn some important lessons: like how wrong your judgements  about a person can be, to be kinder to those who you presume are different or whom you don’t understand, to stand up for what is right, how dangerous silence can be and how complicit you still are in that, and how important it is to stand with and up for those whose voices are silenced by society, are marginalized or not taken seriously. While sometimes all this was preachy and like HERE IS A LESSON, I genuinely did feel like Emily and Lucas did learn from Belinda and the classroom they had to volunteer in and it was shown in a thoughtful, realistic manner. It was a good reminder for myself to even think about how I treat people and think of people.

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