New Additions To My Shelves

I’m going to try to be better about doing “book hauls” 2x a month because I’ve gotten so much feedback about people enjoying them because they always find out about new books that way from them. I typically share on my bookish Instagram account because it’s easier but I will try harder! I’ll typically do a video and then share pictures below for those who don’t watch a video! Videos will always have more info and stuff but if you just want a click glance at what I’ve acquired…I got you!

So this is what has come into my possession for the first half of August. I haven’t been buying a lot of books this summer because I’m saving up money for a trip to Spain and also we’ve been looking to get a puppy sooo I’m trying to be pretty diligent with spending smartly and utilizing the library more in the meantime.

 

 

For those who don’t enjoy video format:

 

 

  

Books Pictured

{Library Books}

Happiness For Beginners by Katherine Center: I actually read this one this weekend and SO GOOD. It’s an adult fiction book and it received a lot of praise from friends. Review to come soon!

More Than This by Patrick Ness: I’ve gotten this book out so many times and just haven’t gotten to it. WILL DO IT THIS TIME. I’ve heard amazing books about all of his books!

{Books Sent To Me For Review Consideration}

Trouble Is A Friend of Mine: Sherlock meets VMars meets Ferris Bueller. OMG FAVORITE THINGS OVERLOAD.

What’s Broken Between Us: This is giving me a little bit of a Saint Anything vibe (not a bad thing because I think YA needs more books that explore incarceration) with the brother being incarcerated for killing someone while driving drunk. Sounds very emotional and I’m hoping for a good strong family storyline. I always get emotional with these types of books because my cousin drove drunk and killed his best friend many years ago and that was huge for my family and I’ve seen what’s happened to his life since then.

Damage Done: This sounds sooo mysterious! I want to know what happened that had her family assuming new identities and why her brother is no longer in the picture!!

The Rose Society: AHHH the sequel to The Young Elites which was one of my favorite books last year. If you love fantasy, GET ON THIS!

Ten Thousand Skies Above You: I haven’t read the first book yet but own it sooo I will know be binging these!

The Creeping: This looks hella creepy! Seriously creepy kids on the cover *shudders* But also the premise is creepy.

Bounce: YAS. I am so excited this was sent to me because I really enjoyed both Boomerang and Rebound. If you are looking for a book that has romance and features early twenty-somethings, start this series! It tackles dating and internships and real things that early twenty somethings are facing!

Into The Dangerous World: This one is really cool inside — had drawings and stuff. The main character is a classical artist and suffers the loss of her dad. She has her future all planned out but meeting someone who takes her into the world of street art has her questioning her path.

Fishbowl: This looks kind of interesting. It is told in short chapters and tells the story of people living in one high rise apartment. Apparently it starts with the fish falling from the 27th floor and then gives us little stories about the people and their lives and what’s going on in the building  to make this happen.

Reawakened: This one looks interesting but I don’t know if it’s a me book. An Egyptian prince is reawakened after being mummified for all those year and finds himself in modern day NYC with our main character. There’s an important quest of some sort I guess? I just am kinda meh about a romance with a mummy even if he was an Egyptian prince haha. IDK IDK WEIRD JAMIE THING. Maybe he’s no longer a mummy??

Unfriended: This one doesn’t look like a me book because I don’t read a lot of middle grade and I’m picky about it when I do. It’s a MG Mean Girls type story but I definitely plan to pass it on to a librarian friend who could probably find a good home for it!

The Lies About Truth: I wasn’t wild about this author’s debut like everyone else was even though I did appreciate a lot of things in the book but I’m really excited for this one and see if another story works better for me. It sounds super emotional — a car accident, physical burns and scars suffered after, a friend who dies in the accident and some lies/secrets about the accident.

DaVinci’s Tiger: oooh historical fiction set in Renaissance Florence plus Leonardo da Vinci! I like the sounds!

The Highlander Takes  A Bride: Oooh a historical romance! I rarely get sent those! It’s the 3rd in a series. I’ll have to investigate if it’s best to read the first two or if I’m good starting anywhere in the series.

Have you read any of these? Tell me what I should focus on! Are any of these on your TBR as well? Any you added to your TBR because this post put it on your radar or reminded you about it?

Book Talk: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Book Talk: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah OcklerThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Published by Simon Pulse on June 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: eARC
Source: For Review
Amazon/Twitter
Goodreads

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”

 

A1

Elyse was on her way to a singing career with her twin sister when an accident took everything away from her — her voice. She decides to get away from her home in Tobago and goes to live with her aunt and cousin in a seaside town in Oregon. She meets Christian Kane — a notorious ladies man — who doesn’t treat her like she’s The Girl Who Can’t Talk and his adorable mermaid chasing little brother Sebastian and suddenly finds herself, in spite of her new fear of the ocean after the accident, in a high stakes boat race to fight for the town and the people in it she’s grown to love.

a2“Where’s my quote notebook? A few I need to add from this one!!”

a4

I think this one was so excellent and it was one of those books that got better to me after I finished it and thought about it a bit! It’s a contemporary Little Mermaid retelling but don’t let that scare you off if you don’t typically do retellings — it’s pretty loose on the retelling. I would say more INSPIRED BY. I honestly didn’t know until about half way through the book and would have probably never thought OOOH LITTLE MERMAID RETELLING.

Here’s what I enjoyed about it:

1. The idea of losing one’s voice: In the book the main character physically cannot speak anymore after an accident but throughout the book you see all sorts of people who have lost their voices to some degree. They can’t speak up. Elyse experiences the physical loss of her voice but throughout the story she really GAINS her real voice. I loved the exploration of ones voice — losing it, finding it, etc. It’s one of those books I really wish I read with a book club to TALK about this because I think this is something a lot of us can relate to.

2. The setting: Oh my gawwwwd you have no idea how badly I want to visit the Pacific Northwest now. It’s set in a teeny seaside town on the Oregon and the way Sarah wrote it is beyond gorgeous. I could envision it all and just found myself yearning to be there. VERY strong setting that really added so much!

3. The romance: One of the sweetest romances I’ve seen in a while. I loved it — their banter, the way they became friends first, the way they really got to see things in each other that they wouldn’t open up to others about. I didn’t think I was going Christian at all because he’s the town player that everyone has hooked up with but there’s definitely more to him but not in a super angsty “I’m just misunderstood/my tragedy made me this way” sort of way. He has depth and I really grew to like him.

4. The absolutely gorgeous writing: This is my 4th Sarah Ockler book and I think she’s an amazing writer but this book really stood out to me in the writing department. It’s just so BEAUTIFUL — I can’t even explain it. Lots of lines that just cause you to pause and really soak it in and beautiful descriptions that made me pause.

5. HELL YES STRONG WOMEN & FEMINISM: There are so many strong and flawed and amazing women in this novel. Elyse herself is amazing and I really enjoyed her as a character watching her fight through the hardest thing she’s ever been through and rebuilding her life after her dreams are taken from her. But then there are all these amazing ladies — Elyse’s aunt and cousin, Vanessa, Vanessa’s mom, etc. I just loved the strong women and how I could feel that pulse of feminism in this novel.

 

a6RATING-loved-it

factors+ characters, writing, romance, setting, plot, how it made me reflect about a lot of things
Nothing really..maybe that it took me a little to really get into it/care.

Re-readability: I would probably audio it sometime later in the future.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Probably not but making sure my library ordered it!

a5contemporary YA fans, readers looking for an amazing and absorbing setting, readers who are looking for a book that is equally as sweet as it is heart-wrenching.

a8I loved Elyse’s story so much and watching her find her voice again after a terrible accident and start living life after her dreams are shattered. It was an emotionally powerful journey with a vivid setting and a stirring romance.

review-on-post-itThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids review Sarah Ockler

 

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?

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

Retail Therapy: In Need Of Cute Mugs/Tea Cups

So a long time ago (circa 2011-2012) I used to have this series on here called Retail Therapy but I let it fall to the wayside like many other reoccurring posts I used to do. I reevaluated for a while and I tried to save it again in 2014 and did it a whopping ONE TIME then and so far in 2015. So, let’s maybe go for more than once in 2015…okay self? Because I genuinely love doing these posts…I just am bad at remembering to do them.

 

Since getting married I’ve had to start a new collection of mugs because all the mugs I used in my life were ones from home and I’m pretty sure my stepdad wouldn’t have been happy if I took them all with me. We got a small set that came with our plate set and my sweet friend Ginger got us cute Mr. & Mrs. mugs and I had maybe one or two assorted ones from the years or as gifts. We need more — especially with how much we go through them with my tea habit and Will’s coffee habit. I miss the eclectic mix of mugs from my childhood — The Beatles mug I got my stepdad one Christmas, some of my mom’s old mugs or even the ones that were her and my dad’s from when they were still married, or the mugs from various travel destinations went to. I miss all my mugs that all have these great stories to them!

However, I’m ready to start my own collection and I’m on the prowl. Please share with me your favorite mugs or places to buy mugs! PS. How are Target’s mugs?? I feel like they are always cute but how is the quality?

 

Throne of glass merchandiseFind it here!

I love this mug from Gillian’s Society 6 shop! My Throne of Glass series feels are all amped up just looking at it!!! I tried to hint to Will that I wanted this but picking up on my hints is something he needs work on.

bookish mugFind it here!

 This one is from Bookworm Boutique on Society 6 which has allll sorts of cute bookish mugs and I had a hard time just featuring just one because I wanted lots of them. But I like this one because reading past my bedtime is likely why I am in need of caffeine.

[Keep Reading]

My Most Read Authors

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

This week’s topic: Top Ten Authors You’ve Read The Most Books From

I’ve talked about this a little bit before, but like when I did my A to Z survey, this topic made me realize that I read all over the map. As I’ve said before, I read like I’m at a buffet. I sample this author and that author it seems and thus even the authors I’ve read the “most” from aren’t even that big of a number. Before I blogged I would find an author and read all their books because I didn’t have/wasn’t aware of all that was out there like I am now. I think NOW I’m reading a lot of debut authors and authors who are newer in YA and don’t have a huge backlist yet. So I’m loyal to authors but they just don’t have a huge backlist yet.

Another note, this list is just from when I started Goodreads in 2008 because it’s the only record I have of what I’ve read. If we counted stuff I read as a child and teen then RL Stine and Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew author) would definitely be my top of the top. I read like everything of theirs.

TTT

1. Gayle Forman: This probably surprises nobody that I’ve read all Gayle’s books!

2. Megan McCafferty: This would be because I’ve read all her Jessica Darling books and her book Bumped. I still need to read her Jessica Darling prequel books!

3. Melina Marchetta: I’ve read all of Melina’s books except for Looking For Alibrandi. Her books are all in my ALL TIME FAVES category.

4. John Green: Read all his books! Even the ones he’s co-wrote with people!

5. Judy Blume: What a classic! Loved her books as a kid and love her now!

6. Sarah Dessen: I’ve read a lot less Sarah Dessen novels than most people but I’m working my way through them. So far I’ve read: Saint Anything, Someone Like You, Lock & Key, This Lullaby & Just Listen.

7. Sarah Ockler: I really like her books for the most part. Really enjoyed Twenty Boy Summer, The Book of Broken Hearts and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. Did not care for #scandal but I know Sarah Ockler fans who totally did.

8. Jessi Kirby: LOVE Jessi Kirby’s books! I’ve read all her books to date! (Golden, In Honor, Moonglass, Things We Know By Heart).

9. Sarah J. Maas: I’ve read the Throne of Glass series and her first book in her new series. CANNOT WAIT UNTIL Queen of Shadows on September 1st!!!!

10. Morgan Matson: I’ve read all of Morgan’s books that she has out! Still need to read her books under Katie Finn though!

 

 

So tell me…who are some of your most read authors of all time??

Book Talk: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Book Talk: Yes Please by Amy PoehlerYes Please by Amy Poehler
Published by Dey St. on October 2014
Genres: Essays, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

 

 

 

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

 

A1

It’s part-memoir and part life lessons/advice from comedian Amy Poehler.

a2Can we be friends, Amy?? I mean, we don’t even have to be BEST friends but like I’d be down for being even like your second or third string friends.

a4I really like Amy Poehler and have heard good things about this one as far as celebrity memoir type books go so I decided to give this one a go. I really enjoyed reading it though I think, from all I’ve heard, I would have had an even BETTER experience if I had listened to the audio because apparently it’s amazing and she reads it and other comedians contribute to it as well (although in the book I loved some of the pages that had images on them which you obviously wouldn’t be able to SEE). It’s a really funny and wise book with warm personal memories and blunt wisdom.

I loved learning more about Amy’s career — how she started and what her path looked like. I loved getting a sense of her family and friends and just learning more about her as a person. I also really enjoyed these behind the scenes look at Hollywood and the fame scene — it was so fascinating! I especially loved learning who has inspired her and helped her along the way. I think fans of Amy Poehler will definitely love getting to know her on a more personal level. I know I definitely did!

I also really enjoyed that, in addition to being a memoir, it was littered with life lessons, advice and just really great insights/observations about life. I think she is an extraordinary woman and I love how real she is in this book. Loved so much of what she had to say! She’s living such a fun, crazy and authentic life and it’s inspiring. This was a good reminder just to have fun with life!

amy-3

I can’t say it was a favorite book by any means or that I walked away with crazy life-changing insight (though I did walk away like HELL YEAH STRONG, FEMINIST LADIES DOING AWESOME THINGS) but it was really enjoyable to “get to know” a celebrity you really like a bit better and see how she’s risen in comedy which has always been so male dominated which is so inspiring.

Some of my favorite quotes:

1. “Good for her! Not for me. That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.”   <—- good life advice, ladies! Amy on women who make different life choices than us but she was specifically talking about childbirth and how she chose drugs rather than natural childbirth.

2. “Telling me to relax or smile when I’m angry is like bringing a birthday cake into an ape sanctuary. You’re just asking to get your nose and genitals bitten off.”   FOREVER LOLS but so true! I hate that!

3. “You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.”

4. “A person’s tragedy does not make up their entire life. A story carves deep grooves into our brains each time we tell it. But we aren’t one story. We can change our stories.”

5. “Change is the only constant. Your ability to navigate and tolerate change and its painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general well-being. See what I just did there? I saved you thousands of dollars on self-help books. If you can surf your life rather than plant your feet, you will be happier.”

6. “The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone, no matter how great the machines are.”  <— LOVED her whole essay on technology and being in the moment. It was everything I’ve been thinking lately but she was so poignant and spot on in saying it.

a6RATING-reallyliked

factors+ writing, entertainment value, Amy’s openness
–  some bits I kind of skimmed through because I wasn’t as interested

Re-readability: Probably not though I would be inclined to audiobook it from the library in the future.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? No (I only keep books I would reread or are favorites).

a5fans of Amy Poehler, people who want to read an actually good celebrity-written book

a8

I highly recommend if you are a fan of Amy Poehler — it’s a good mix of memoir and life wisdom and insight. I felt like I got to know her better as a person and came out respecting and loving her even more. It’s funny, charming and wise — much like Amy herself — and I appreciate how candid she was.  I’d recommend maybe doing it on audio unlike me because I’ve heard it’s an even better experience.

review-on-post-it

Yes Please by Amy Poehler book thoughts

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 celebrity written books have you enjoyed?

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

If We Were Having Coffee

I saw a life coach I love, Ashley, do a post entitled If We Were Having Coffee and I decided to take her lead and do one myself in November 2013 because I loved it and sometimes I feel like we forget that there is a whole life behind the people that write and read blogs. I got such a great response to my initial post so I made it a  reoccurring thing for the past couple of years and do it when I feel so inclined!

 

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So, grab your coffee/beverage of your choice and meet me for a chat. I’ve got a hard root beer right now (AMAZINGNESS but dangerous because you forget it’s booze).

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you that I’m currently reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and just starting the second book in the Vampire Academy series.  I’d ask you what you are currently reading!

If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you that even though I’ve been doing a little bit of traveling/vacationing this summer I am in one of these moods where I’m so antsy because I want to be everywhere in the world right now. I just get frustrated by the fact that in order to travel you need money (which lol at my bank account right now) and in order to get money you need a job….oh and most jobs give you like NOT ENOUGH VACATION TIME. I just want to explore and go places and I follow too many travel blogs and people who are traveling right now and the wanderlust is so, so strong. It’s always strong but it’s like this unbearable sort of strong right now. I’m trying to plan my trip to Spain next year but I just can’t because I WANT TO GO NOW.  Is this normal human behavior? IDK BECAUSE WILL DOESN’T GET LIKE THIS. He wants to go places but he isn’t like physically pained and antsy like I am.

If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you that I’ve decided Will and I are going to start home brewing beer. On vacation my cousin and his girlfriend were talking about how they do it and brought us some (it was an amazing saison) and I’m like OMG WE ARE DOING THIS. 1) we love beer and 2) I decided we needed a hobby to do together. We have a ton of our hobbies that we do separately and then we have like THINGS we enjoy together and do together but nothing that’s a ~hobby~. I’d ask you, if you were OF AGE, what’s the last great beer you had/if you home brew or know anybody that does. I’d also ask, if you were married or dating, if you have a hobby that you do as a couple!

If we were having coffee…. Id tell you that I cleaned out my clothes in my closet this past week using the KonMari method (the cleaning book I was talking about further up) and MAN did I have a lot of clothes. I’m really bad about getting rid of clothes. More so than books (I’ve talked about my ruthlessness before). I really struggled with it. You are supposed to ask yourself if  the item “sparks joy” and only keep what does. Well, the problem is that I can’t tell if something sparks joy or if my clothes hoarding voice is CREATING a sense of joy when I think about it. UGH UGH UGH. It’s so hard. I would say I got rid of about 40% of my clothes and shoes. I know I could have done better but it’s good enough for me right now. I’m going to continue on with it for the rest of my items but oof that was hard. I’d ask you if you’ve done the KonMari method (ALL THE RAGE RIGHT NOW) and if you are also a clothing hoarder. Like seriously I had stuff in there from high school and early college years which was like circa 2002-2008. OOF.

If we were having coffee…. I’d tell you that I’ve been craving a really good non-fiction title. I don’t even really care what about. I want to learn about anything. I want to just read something interesting! I’d ask you for recs!!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you about my efforts to try and create a nice, relaxing morning routine and how maybe it works like 30% of the time. I think I’m destined to have the kind of morning routine where I wake up miserably and late and rush around and eat my eggs in the car while trying to remember if I brushed my hair at all this morning only to realize no I didn’t and oh hey I don’t even have a hairband on my wrist when typically I have like 5 on each wrist somehow. In my head I envision these peaceful mornings with the sun shining in and I do some yoga (I don’t even do yoga) and I sip my tea and listen to Enya (is Enya still around?) and like create wonderful shit before 7am. HOW HARD IS THAT, SELF? I’d ask you what your morning routine is like!

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you how Will and I really need to make friends with other dating/married couples. All the couple friends were part of the group that we are no longer part of and the few others we had either a) broke up or b) moved away (our last couple friend who moved to Spain last week). HOW DO YOU FIND COUPLE FRIENDS? THERE SHOULD BE AN APP FOR THIS….an app to like “date” other couples to find a good match. I just miss having another couple to go out and do things with. It’s really hard to make friends in general at this age. It used to be so easy…WOAH COOL SPARKLY SHOES LET’S BE FRIENDS! INSTA BESTIES ON THE PLAYGROUND. Maybe this still works as an adult? IDK maybe I will try it.

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If we were having coffee….I’d you that I feel like I’m finding it harder to find new FAVORITE books and movies. I LIKE and even super LOVE a lot of things I consume but I’m having a hard time finding those life changing things that just stop you in your tracks and just speak to every cell in your entire body and you don’t know how you possibly lived life without having experienced it before. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m hard to impress BECAUSE I consume so many books and entertainment or what but UGH…I want that FEELING. Do you know that feeling? I’d ask you what the last thing that gave you that feeling was.

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I’ve been having a hard time with nostalgia lately. I don’t know why. I’m just suddenly MISSING things and people and moments from the past (really really missing my college years…I felt so free then). The way things were. I love the way things are SO MUCH and am so happy with who I am but I’m also yearning for different parts of who I was before. I don’t know if it’s that I’m turning 30 in a couple of months but the nostalgia is starting to weigh on me. When I was cleaning my closet out and I’d pull out these clothes all these memories just came flooding back — my trip to Europe, dates with Will when we were in college, moments with friends I’m no longer friends with. GAH. MAKE IT STOP. I have nostalgia feels every now and again but these are so strong lately. I’d ask you what the hell was wrong with me. But rhetorically speaking obviously. I mean, unless you are a psychologist and can tell me what’s literally wrong with me.

 

If we were having coffee…what would you tell me? Come on…lay it all out! It’s just you, me, the pleasant sounds of a cafe…and maybe some other eyes in the comment section but NBD right?? Our we can have coffee in my inbox if you don’t feel comfortable. I really want to know! What’s going on with you?

Book Talk: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Book Talk: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on July 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA, YA Thriller
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Amazon/Twitter
Goodreads

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”

 

A1

Tess has grown up with her grandfather but when her sister, who she hasn’t seen in years, comes to visit and realizes things aren’t what Tess pretends they are at home, she’s suddenly whisked off to DC. She is enrolled in a super private school which seems to be the pulse of Washington as the rich and politically inclined have sent their kids there. She learns very quickly that her sister is famous in DC — she’s a political fixer. Without meaning to, she is thrown into fixing some of her classmates problems and finds herself tangled in a dangerous conspiracy that has implications for her classmates and higher up in Washington.

a2Is this going to be a series because that would be fun??? *scurries to Goodreads*
(There is at least a sequel from what I see but this totally stands on its own)

a4Oh this was fun! It was the perfect read for being on vacation because there was mystery and scandal and a fast moving plot to keep me reading and not distracted on the beach/at the pool. This book was pitched as Scandal meets Veronica Mars and I’d have to say it’s pretty accurate. It’s basically like if Olivia Pope had a little sister who came to live with her and caught up in messy Washington things. I get the Veronica Mars nod with the teens getting caught up in things and trying to solve/fix stuff but I can’t FULLY get behind the VMars comparison there will never be another character like V because she’s so perfectly snarky and charming (even though I rather liked the main character here). So that’s my thought if you saw the comparisons and wondered how it held up!

I got sooo wrapped up in the dramz in The Fixer — the sister drama, the new school drama, the political drama. OH SO MUCH GOOD DRAMA to keep the pages turning. Murder and scheming and political maneuvering, oh man! It was exactly the kind of twisty stuff that I love about an episode of Scandal or a show in that same vein. I loved that it kept me guessing as the mystery got twistier and twistier and the stakes even higher. I kept changing my theories…although I had a nagging suspicion about one thing and turned out to be right and I was like AHHH I KNEW I KNEW IT (but not in a bad way that was like UGH SO PREDICTABLE but in a DAMN THAT WAS GOOD..YOU ALMOST GOT THAT PAST ME).

There’s a whole host of interesting characters and players in The Fixer and I am really delighted that it looks like we will get to know them better with another book. I love romance in most of my books but it was refreshing for there not to be a full scale romance in here because I was ALL about the political thriller-ness that was this book — just maybe some inklings of something something in the romance department later on in the next book?? MAYBE. HOPEFULLY.

TIME FOR SOME SPOILERS:

View Spoiler »

 

a6RATING-reallyliked

factors+ plot, characters, twists & turns, writing, unputdownable quality
–  Nothing.

Re-readability: Probably not (I don’t tend to read mystery/thrillers again so that’s just a me thing)
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Because it’s not an all time favorite or a book I’d reread, no. But I wouldn’t hesistate to buy it for a gift especially for the teens in my life who like fast paced books.

a5fans of thrillers & mysteries (especially of the political variety), fans of Scandal and Veronica Mars (love when the “this meets this” is actually accurate on marketing material), readers looking for something fast paced and that will hook you easily, people who are looking for a book with basically no romance (but some kind of ~feelings there~ vibes and banter)

a8The Fixer was such a fun, thrilling book. I loved Scandal so I was happy this kind of lived up to that political twisty-ness. Loved that I was constantly changing my suspicions and, even though I had a nagging suspicion about something, that I was still like AH OMG throughout because the stakes were so high and the reveals were so spectacularly written.  If you are in need of a book that will just HOOK you, get this one immediately!

review-on-post-itthe-fixer-jennifer-lynn-barnes

 

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 YA political thrillers are out there? (I’d also totally take great adult ones but asking specifically for YA because I feel like there are barely any!)

 

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

Perception, Reality & Our Super Reader Community

perception-reality-online-book-community

 

I was on Twitter the other day and I saw a conversation, not at all a bad one, and there was just a random comment along the lines of “oh yeah that author is so popular and probably doesn’t really need the buzz like others do.” Totally understand the sentiment of wanting to support the authors that might not get as much buzz or that might be debut authors or under the radar! TOTALLY. I love doing that and do it all the time. SO MUCH. That’s not at all the point of this post.

What this comment made me think about is perception vs. reality. They aren’t always aligned. I knew this statement that was made about this author wasn’t necessarily fact as I know the author and know a little bit about their publishing journey. They are totally ~popular~ within our circles but outside of it they just aren’t as well known/have struggled. But I could see how this person who made the statement could think this given what they see online and in this particular community of ours! I really could! Especially in relation to how well loved they are IN our community. And I think this sort of thing happens a lot  — these innocent misperceptions based on what we see online vs the actual reality. (Especially since as readers, pre-social media, I don’t think we really HAD much of a look into ANY of this).

I think in our book blogging community, which is comprised of super readers and people who are really IN the KNOW when it comes to all things books, it doesn’t always reflect the reality of how a book does on a grand scale or how popular an author actually is. I know authors who are super popular in the book blogging world and I don’t think they’ve quite reached that level outside. It’s been jarring to me to think in my head how super popular and hyped a book is in this community and then talk outside of our community and realize it’s not as big at all. Or how I can talk to a librarian about a super popular book I see embraced by our community and they tell me it doesn’t move off the shelf ever. I’m like “WAIT NOT EVERYONE HAS HEARD ABOUT THIS AND AREN’T CLAMORING TO GET THIS ONE COPY?”

It’s so interesting to me sometimes how our reality in our community doesn’t always accurately reflect sales numbers or popularity out there in the world. Sometimes it makes me really sad. I’m like “LOOK. WE ALL LOVE THIS. WHY CAN’T THE WORLD?” And sometimes our reality totally align with the rest of the book world and, hey, maybe we even helped champion it. I wonder if it’s just that sometimes, despite how big our community feels and has gotten, it still is just a small sampling but we are passionate and loud and we see what feels like a lot of people talking about and reading certain books. It looks popular to us. We are just in this community where everything is amplified because we are so saturated with conversations about all sorts of books that it kind of skews our perception a bit. It’s a little bit like an echo chamber but not like in a negative sense. (Does that make sense? Maybe I’m looking for another metaphor?).

The other thing it made me think of, regarding perception and reality, is of authors themselves. I know that before I joined this community I automatically thought published author = successful and rich and being an author is their only job. That’s true sometimes but I know a whole lot of authors who have other jobs and being an author isn’t the only thing they do at all. There have been authors who have shared about the realities of being a mid-list authors and it definitely was one of the things that opened up my eyes to how off perception vs. reality can be.

I don’t really have a point to this post. Just a whole lot of musings on something that’s kind of fascinating to me. But I think, in thinking about this, it has just reinforced how super important it is to leave reviews for books I like and love on sites that might reach the non-book bloggers and people who aren’t saturated in this world like we are — Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble because every little bit counts and we are already championing these books so why not make sure our love for the book is heard outside of our community? (not saying you are awful if you don’t…god knows I am SO behind in cross-posting reviews).

It makes me want to think about what other avenues I can spread the word and how I can use my platform BETTER to help further champion the books I love. How can I better be a resource to people like teachers and librarians who are reaching people that I might not? We do an amazing thing by creating buzz and talking about these books and writing reviews but I’m asking myself how I can do better with just even a little more effort on my part personally to reach beyond this community.

Thoughts on this? Even if you don’t agree with me or think I’m totally wrong, I’d love to hear them! How can we reach beyond our community to make a difference for books we love?

Save The Date: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

To learn more about why I started doing this Save The Date feature back in 2012 and how it differs from my reviews — go here!

 Truthwitch Susan Dennard

 

* Release date according to Goodreads

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Pre-Order It | Add It To Goodreads


What Truthwitch is about:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.”

Why You Should Be Saving The Date for Truthwitch:

Oh my gosh! I have a feeling this is going to be the next big fantasy series! IT IS SO AMAZING. I started it IMMEDIATELY after I got back from BEA because I was so excited about it and OH MAN IT DELIVERED. I loved that I felt like it would be beloved by serious fantasy readers and newbs alike. I’m trying reaaaaally hard not to hype this up because hype can be so annoying when it comes to expectations but WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN YOU MEGA LOVE SOMETHING SO MUCH AND THINK IT IS SO AMAZING?? I wanted to reread it immediately! BUT LIKE I ALSO WANT BOOK 2!!!

6 Reasons You Should Save The Date For/Pick Up Truthwitch If You Haven’t Already:

 

1. Compelling world & magic system: OH my goodness! All the different witcheries and magic! It’s so unique and absorbing. I loved learning more about it and loved how it was based within the elements. Windwitches, Truthwitches, Threadwitches, Bloodwitches and more — I LOVED learning about the various types. It took me a little bit to get my bearings with it all in the first 75 pages but once you do it’s like so absorbing and you will not want to come up for air.

2.  Epic lady friendship & a bromance: Seriously the friendships in this book are legit. Safi & Iseult MAKE ME SO INEXPLICABLY HAPPY. And that bromance. It makes me weak in the knees.

3. Amazing characters you will love with your whole heart and not to mention some badass ladies: This book  is overflowing with characters who will inspire you to be braver, kinder, courageous and to love genuinely and with all your heart. They are all so complicated and so well written and you will BELIEVE in their individual/shared journeys and their stories. And ummm badass ladies abound (badass physically and in a lot of other ways). Our two female protags are badass  but there are some other ladies who are also around and make me want to become a badass in my daily life. So pretty much when I start back up running I’m going to just picture myself as one of these badass ladies running from the baddies.

4. HOLY ACTION, BATMAN: Action right out the gate even!  YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN. There were points while I was reading where I’d shoot straight up from my previous lounging position because sh*t got SERIOUS and my tension was visible. I know this because Will laughed at me a lot while I was reading this. Twists and turns and shocking moments! War and political maneuvering and death and magic! There are so many pieces to this plot and the way they come together is just EXCELLENT. I loved how each character is fighting for something and I love watching some of those things intersect but also clash at times. That tension is just palpable.

5. I’m just saying…Sooz knows how to do sexual tension: Romance was not the focus of this book because YOU KNOW possible wars/baddies chasing you/epic journeys are happening but OH MY STARS…there is some A+ sexual tension that made me consider writing some smutty fanfiction IMMEDIATELY. OH AND BANTER.

6. It made me want to reread immediately: I rarely reread these days so you know it’s some serious business when I wanted to reread immediately and even now, a couple months after, I am yearning to just reread. THAT is something special in my book that I can’t say happens much.

 

 

Who Should Save The Date: people who love epic fantasy and are looking for a new series to fall in love with!!! It’s magical!

 

Be on the lookout for my FULL review closer to the release date where I will flesh out my thoughts a little more with more specifics!

 

Have you read this one? Are you excited for it?? Putting it on your TBR list?

Monthly Rewind: July 2015

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Follow me on Instagram to see more images from my month

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1. I went on a road trip to Michigan: I was so happy that it worked out that Will and I could road trip to see my girl Tara, one of my original book blogging buddies from back when I started, and I got to see my other bffs I met through blogging Anna and Ginger (who I actually have never met in these 5 years since we’ve known each other!!). Tara was a beautiful bride and it was a super fun wedding. Will and I explored Grand Rapids a bit (lots of foodie adventures) and it was soooo nice to spend time with some of my favorite people and have Will FINALLY meet people who are so important to me.

2. Went on a week long vacation to the beach with my family — My stepdad’s family is HUGE and every other year we rent 3 beach houses and hang out together all week and eat soooo much food. I’m typing this the day we got back from vacation and I have to tell you I cannot fit into my clothes the way I did pre-vacation. We end the week with a crab feast with even more extended family and it’s just a really fun week!

3. I found a Little Free Library really close to me: I was so excited to find a nearby Little Free Library but I got talking to the lady who owns that particular one and the experience really reminded me why I do all this.

4. I had a really big reading slump in the beginning to half of the month– I just didn’t feel like reading at ALL so I didn’t but then I got so busy I didn’t HAVE time to read and that was annoying. Luckily the second half of the month I made up for it.

5. I started a major purge of my closet & bookshelves: I still have a LONG way to go but I’m working on paring down on a lot of things. I’m planning on getting that KonMari book to try that method.

 

 

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

 

1. Flame by Sundara Karma


2. Leave A Trace – CHVRCHES

3. Silhouettes — Colony House


4. Back of the Car — RAC, Nate Henricks

5. Forever Mine — Andra Day

6. Revolution — Catey Shaw

 

Honorable mentions:

New Americana by Halsey
Number One by Tove Styrke
Molecules by Atlas Genius
Wasn’t Expecting That by Jamie Lawson
Avalanche by Hana
Gorgeous by X Ambassadors
Sparks by Beach House
Clap Snap by Icona Pop

Check out the rest of my July playlist

 

mr4

I read 9 book this month!

1. God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo — Oh man this book was soooooo good! Made me sob. (And no, it’s not religious…you’ll see what the “god-shaped hole” is)
2. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy: This book was so delightful!!
3. Yes Please by Amy Poehler: Really enjoyed this one! If you love Amy, it’s a must!

 

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City Love Susane Colasanti

My review of City Love

Was kind of surprised that a more negative review was most popular this month! Was super disappointed by this one :(

 

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‘The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone, no matter how great the machines are.” — Yes Please by Amy Poehler

It was in a section about technology and living in the moment and I just loved it! Lots of quoteable lines from this book!

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1. In Memory Ofin which I reflect on memories and remembering on the 9th anniversary of my mom’s passing.

2. Why I Am the Way I Am: a bittersweet story + how it reminded me of why I do what I do when it comes to blogging.

3. Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read: This was fun to confess those major hyped books I’ve still not read and hear your shouts of “READ THIS OMG”

4. Podcasts I’m Listening To: I’ve gotten into podcasts and shared what I’ve been listening to! Love your recs as well!

5. Status: Fatigued & Overwhelmed: I think I have a case of internet/social media fatigue

 

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My post on friend breakups or maybe my Whatcha In the Mood For post?

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NADA. Too busy to film.

 

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1. In Five YearsReally loved this post from my friend Ginger — it had some great reflections and reminded me that it’s never too late!

2. How To Get Back On Track When You Are Backsliding On A Goal: Really relevant to my life right now haha

3. How Giving Away 1000 Books Made Me Love Reading Again: This was an interesting read that I found on a minimalist blog I follow! Curious what all my fellow book nerds think about it!

4. When Information Becomes Clutter & Noise: I was checking my Feedly and came across this not too long after I wrote about my internet fatigue I was feeling and this was PERFECT!

5. 15 Lessons from Turning My Travel Blog Into A Career: I have followed Kate for quite a few years and there’s a reason she is one of my faves! Loved her lessons!

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1. So many new beers but especially Founders Rubaeus: I tried so many different beers this month but my new favorite is Founders Rubaeus that I tried when I was out in Michigan. We visited the brewery which was really nice and had good food!
2. True Detective & Wayward Pines – I’m on the first season of both of these but I’m obsessed!
3. Snapchat: I got it in June and got addicted but I’d July it became an obsession. I’m brokeandbookish on there if you want to be friends on there!

 

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1. Will’s birthday: He will be 27! He likes to remind me every birthday that he’s still not as old as me. Especially this year as I freak out about the big 3-0.
2. Another block party concert: This time we will see Matt and Kim, Atlas Genius, Saint Motel and Wolf Alice.
3. Relaxing & also enjoying the last month of our pool : July was pretty crazy but August is wide open for us so I see some good pool days in addition to other spontaneous things.

 

mr12

The last book you read that made you cry?

 

 

lets-talk

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?

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