Monthly Rewind: June 2016

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dog bookshelf

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1. We went to the US soccer match against Paraguay: We had SUCH a good time tailgating and watching the US win! We sat in the Sam’s Army section which was super rowdy and exciting and fun!

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10 Years Ago Today

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10 years ago today I woke up to one of those summer mornings where you almost think you’ve slept the whole day away because the sun is assaulting your eyes and the birds are chirping in a megaphone… but it’s really only 8 in the morning. It was a beautiful, sunny day with blue skies. That’s what I remember. My sister opens the door to my room and plops down in my desk chair and we begin chatting about our plans for the day as I lay in bed still.

Our plans that day? A big pool party at my friend’s parents house! Things had been pretty tense the past week or so because our mom’s health took a steep decline in her fight against brain cancer. It wasn’t looking good. We knew that. But we were also scared kids trying to forget. Scared kids trying to find some ounce of normalcy in a world of home health care and hospital beds and a dying mother. So we talked about our pool party because it’s a topic that wouldn’t end in tears.

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A Tale Of Two Different Trips

My two last reads happened to be about main characters jaunting around the world. Even though I knew that’s what they were both about I honestly didn’t consciously read them because of that. Just a happy coincidence in a way that I got to do some intense armchair traveling.

So let me tell you about these trips!

 

First one up…

 

Wanderlost Jen Malone review

Wanderlost by Jen Malone
I received this book for review consideration.

 

The Itinerary: All over Europe — Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic,  Italy & Monaco

Reason For Travel: Leading a tour of senior citizens around Europe via bus under the pretense that she is her older sister — whose tour guide gig this WAS until Aubree accidentally gets her sister in trouble and she is unable to leave the country to do her job so Aubree needs to pretend to be her and take over.

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When Your “Go-To” Isn’t Your Go-To Anymore

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If you’ve read this blog for a while you know that I am a VERY eclectic reader of all genres but my most favorite and go-to genre has been contemporary YA for the majority of years I’ve had this blog (PS. this blog just turned 6 — come celebrate!).

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10 Books On My Summer TBR

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

This week’s topic: Freebie week — I chose: Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR List

I already talked about my most anticipated for the rest of 2016 so any of those that I already have in my possession or come into my possession during the summer are on that list for sure. BUT THIS WEEK I want to talk about what is at the top of my TBR list for the summer — a combo of new releases and backlist books I own!

 

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6 Years of Blogging? Say WHAT! (Plus A Different Sort of Giveaway?)

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As of yesterday this blog is 6 years old. OH MY STARS. That is a long time. I’ve said this before but I have always been surprised I lasted for more than a year at this as a serial hobby dropper. 24 year old Jamie who started this blog probably would have never imagined that at 30 she would have been able to keep this blog that long and really let it grow alongside her.

Look how cute I was like 3 months into blogging!!! And skinnier, oof!

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I didn’t write anything for yesterday because I just didn’t know what to say. What more can I say after 6 blog birthdays? I’ve done flashy giveaways. I did an embarrassing video my first year. I’ve thanked you all profusely and talked about how important this blog has been to me/how it has changed my life. All the things you’ve seen me through. I’ve reflected and given advice to people on this blogging journey.

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My Favorite 2016 Releases Thus Far

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

This week’s topic: Top Ten Best 2016 Releases Thus Far

I’ve read quite a bit of 2016 releases and I have to say that it was REALLY easy to come up with this list because these were honestly the standouts for me with the exception of a couple others that could have easily made this list too. Some of the 2016 releases I read were lackluster for me but OH MAN these 10 were easily some of the best books I’ve read this year so far. It’s going to be SO hard to think about making a list again at the end of the year if I keep reading so many excellent books!

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What I’ve Been Reading Lately

I have a feeling this summer is going to be a lot of me doing shorter book talks especially since, as I talked about here, I’m going to maybe post a little less during the summer.

 

Outrun the Moon stacey lee

Outrun The Moon by Stacey Lee

I received this for review consideration but this in no way affected my opinions.

 

About In A Sentence or Two: Mercy, a young determined young Chinese girl, refuses to let the fact that she’s Chinese and a girl get in the way of her dreams. She cunningly bribes her way into an exclusive all-girls school and endures the push back from those who don’t want her there and keeping her story under wraps….until it all changes in an instant when a historic earthquake hits the city.

Thoughts: I loooove historical fiction and, while I loved Under a Painted Sky, this one blew me out of the water and stirred me up emotionally — and by that I mean there were lots of tissues next to me upon finishing. I loved the setting of San Fransisco at the turn of the century during this historic earthquake. I LOVED Mercy and how determined, strong and resilient she was and loved watching her go after what she wants — regardless of the roadblocks set up because she’s Chinese AND a woman. Her resilience in the face of tragedy was inspiring. I thought Stacey Lee tackled racism/prejudice in such a nuanced way in this book and I loved seeing it contrasted in the before and in the after — especially to see these glimmer of hopes that barriers could come down when everyone is mourning this tragedy together as a city. I thought the way she wove it through the novel was so perfect. The secondary characters were incredible, truly. If you like historical fiction, this is a must read for 2016.

 

Rating:

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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. Currently I’m drinking an iced mocha so YAY for once I’m actually drinking coffee when I do one of these.

 

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you that I’m currently reading Wanderlost by Jen Malone. I’d ask you what you are currently reading!

 

If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you that my heart has been very heavy after Orlando. My heart breaks for the families and friends and loved ones who lost people and for the survivors who had to witness something so unimaginable. I’m heartbroken over and over again every time something like this happens — seeing the faces and learning the names and about who they were. I feel beaten down from it and something needs to change. That’s all I’m going to say because I refuse to talk politics during our coffee date. The other aspect that comes up for me every time is this building of fear in me. I try not to let it affect me when I go in public but I would be lying if I said I didn’t check my surroundings for exits and think about what I’d do. I don’t want to live in fear and not do things but maaaan it’s hard to not feel on edge sometimes especially when these things are happening so often. I’d ask you to tell me one really great fantastic thing you saw or heard or witnessed — an act of kindness, something funny or sweet, etc — because I need to hear something good.

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Book Talk: Girl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes

Book Talk: Girl Against The Universe by Paula StokesGirl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes
Published by HarperTeen on May 2016
Genres: Contemporary YA
Also by this author: Liars, Inc.
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Amazon
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”

 

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Maguire considers herself unlucky and a danger to be around after she survives, without a scratch, a fatal car accident that kills her brother and father and then a few more incidents happen in the following years that has her coming to this conclusion. To keep others safe, she stays at home a lot and tries to be around the least amount of people — all the while constantly checking for things that could be a potential hazard. When she meets Jordy at her therapist’s office he’s determined to help her see that she’s not actually unlucky and helps her to complete the tasks her therapist has helped her come up with but everything within Maguire tells her to not let Jordy get to close and risk something bad happening to him.

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