Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review: What She Knew

Title What She Knew
By Gilly Macmillan
Genre Adult Crime Mystery
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

When a mother lets her 8 year old son run on up ahead of her the unthinkable happens. Benedict Finch goes missing. Following his mother and the detective assigned to the case, the story takes us through the 9 days after Ben's abduction.

First Sentence
In the eyes of others, we're often not who we imagine ourselves to be.

I'm all for a missing person book. Several of my blogging friends had read and recommended this one, so when it went on sale for Kindle I snatched it up.

 What no one mentioned was it's more of a crime novel than a mystery. Let me explain. I consider a mystery or suspense or whatever you want to call it a book about the people that a tragedy happens around or to and how they cope or figure things out. A crime novel takes us into the head of the detectives working the case. Many moons ago, crime novels are about all I ever read. I loved them. Couldn't get enough of them. I watched Law & Order SVU religiously and binge watched old episodes. Sadly, I burnt myself out on them. Now if I see a book or show about detectives my eyes glaze over. It's kind of like when you eat so much of something you never want to eat it again.

So while it was a crime book and I almost gave up when I saw that, I decided to stick with it. It did have the mother of the missing child's POV and I was interested enough in whodunnit that I kept reading. It was a rather fast paced book after the first 100 pages or so and I liked the way it drew social media into the story. It showed us how awful people that read about these things on line can be so horrible stating their unasked for and biased, judgmental opinion. There were enough red herrings in this one to keep me guessing, though I had my suspicions, and I liked that. I hate when I know who it is from page one.

My complaints about the book are pretty straight forward. The crime novel aspect while not completely torturous did make me struggle and almost give up and I really didn't like a single character in this book.

Sometimes I think authors try so hard to create flawed characters that feel human and real that they make them a bit too unlikable. While they didn't all drive me nuts, I found them to be a bit irritating and that effected my overall opinion. Thank goodness for plot, right?

Should you read it
If this sounds like your kind of book I'd recommend it.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review: Love Letters to the Dead

Title Love Letters to the Dead
By Ava Dellaira
Genre YA Contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What starts out as an assignment from her English teacher soon becomes a therapeutic outlet for Laurel to get over the death of her older sister.

First Sentence
Dear Kurt Cobain, Mrs. Buster gave us our first assignment in English today, to write a letter to a dead person.

Guys, I hate to throw around review cliches but I can't help it. This book was a beautifully, compulsive read! I adored it! It was real and gritty and had some of the most beautiful insights ever! Seriously! I had to stop at one point and write down a quote that I wanted to remember forever! This book touched my soul.

After finishing a book, I like to go see what my friends and a few other people on Goodreads had to say about it. If I liked the book I get all defensive when I read a negative review of it. No, I'm not one of those people that feel a need to start commenting on complete stranger's reviews saying how awful they are and how dumb they must be for not getting what a beautiful story it was. I think reading is subjective and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I would like to say, however, in case you've heard how childish the writing in this book is to remember two things. One: The whole story is written in letters. The author isn't trying to show off her extensive vocabulary and skill with the pen. She's trying to capture the voice of a teenager, a fairly young teenager, at that. Two: Have you read your journal from when you were 14-15? Cause, yeah, I have and I sound like a two year old. I didn't litter my description on events with adjectives and metaphors. I wrote what happened in a very matter of fact way. Just like this book. So, no, it's not childish writing, it's writing that's staying true to the character.

Phew! Sorry. I just felt I had to stand up for this one because of how much I loved it. If you haven't read this one I really hope you pick it up. It made me tear up more than once. Beautiful story!

Should you read it
Yes, of course. You should be warned, though, that it deals with a lot of heavy issues that are gritty and painful...but beautiful.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Review: The Replacement

Title The Replacement
By Brenna Yovanoff
Genre YA Supernatural/Paranormal
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

When bad things happen in the town of Gentry you look the other way. Things are as they are and it's best not to ask questions. When you are one of the "bad things" you lay low and and don't make anyone suspicious. In this beautifully written novel we get a insiders look at the things that go bump in the night.

First Sentence
I don't remember any of the true, important parts, but there's this dream I have.

I've been meaning to read this book forever! People raved about it when it came out and have since given great praise to Yovanoff's writing. And, yeah, the woman can write! I loved the beautiful, melancholic prose. The story and the legends it came from were fun in a creepy way. Then there was the characters. While A lot of this story may be forgotten by me, I doubt I'll forget the characters. They are still standing out vividly in my mind. There was something real and painful in their action that just got to me.

As I mentioned before, I'm not sure the actual story of this one will stick in my mind. While the legends it was derived from have been playing around in my mind since reading it, the story line...not so much. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, I never consider it a good thing. I like when a story is memorable.

Still, I'll definitely be reading more by Yovanoff. If only so I can say her name again! Say it. It's fun, huh?

Should you read it
The writing and characters make this book. And as far as debuts go, it's great.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Review: Made You Up

Title Made You Up
By Francesca Zappla
Genre YA Contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Diagnosed with schizophrenia at an unusually young age, Alex battles everyday to decipher between real and imagined realities. Struggling through her senior year of high school and making it to college almost seems like it might happen. Until she meets Miles. Is he or isn't he a figure from her past and why does she find his cold distant personality so irresistible?

First Sentence
Dad said my hair was lobster red.

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I went into this one and choosing to read just about anything in my current state is probably a bad idea. However, read it I did, and liked it. OK, I might have felt slightly schizophrenic myself at times through it but I had fun trying to figure out what was and wasn't real and guess what? There was a surprise in this one I did NOT see coming.

All in all, I liked this one but I expected a bit more humor and less drama. And....Sorry, that's about all I can think of to say about this one.

Should you read it?
Yes, I'd recommend it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Review: All The Light We Cannot See

Title All The Light We Cannot See
By Anthony Doerr
Genre Adult Historical Fiction
Rating ⭐️⭐️

A blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. (From Goodreads)

First Sentence
At dusk they pour from the sky. 

There's something about these prize winning books that I just never get. While I get that the writing was poetic and the story takes place in a historical setting, I just don't think that makes it worthy of all the praise. 

The strange, fantastical element to the story just didn't do it for me. It's as if the author came up with this stupid little story that would NEVER sell so he decided to set it in WWII because, well, then it would sell. I'm not sure what the two story lines (of the diamond and WWII) had to do with each other. And when I'm reading a story with two main characters just waiting for their lives to collide it sure as hell better be more than a few pages of the books when they do meet! 

And after all that, Marie-Laure doesn't even remember or care about Werner, the boy who saved her sorry life. 

Stupid story. Honestly wished I had skipped it. 

Should you read it?
If you haven't already read this one, just skip it. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

November (Personal) Wrap-up 2016

Oi! This is going to be a very different kind of wrap-up post. I only read one book in November and that's because it was for book club.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I haven't even written a review for it yet. I will. I promise.

As for favorites or least favorites um...well. I didn't particularly like the one book I read so I guess I'll just skip that part of my wrap-up.

And now for my long winded recap of this hellish month! The reason I haven't been reading etc.

So, I've been married just over three years now and I'm no spring chicken so my husband and I have been trying for kids for the entire three years....With no luck. I won't go into details but we tried just about everything except IVF.  And then, just when we'd given up and stopped trying everything, in October, we got that little pink line! We were pregnant! I couldn't believe it. I was beyond ecstatic. I told my family and close friends right away! I couldn't help myself. On Halloween, Oct 31st, the morning sickness started. My whole family has had it so I knew there was no getting out of it. And it was awful. Really awful! The smell sensitivities, the nausea, the puking, the food aversions. Oi! I spent all my time lying on the couch trying to keep food down and re-watching Gilmore Girls so I'd be all ready for the comeback episodes. (I'm still working on the last season so please, no spoiling the comeback yet!)

My first doctors appointment was November 21st. I was so nervous and by the time the 21st came I was beside myself. I kept getting this horrible feeling like something was wrong. There was no way I was lucky enough to have everything be normal and okay....I was right. :( We went in to the doctors office and met with a midwife, talked for a bit and then went in for the ultrasound. The minute my uterus came onto that screen my heart broke. There was nothing but an empty gestational sac. I knew exactly what I was looking at before the midwife said a thing. There was supposed to be a 9 week old baby in that sac and it just wasn't there. Of course the midwife was flustered and kept leaving the room and coming back. She was trying to find out how to measure the sac. She explained what I already knew. There was supposed to be a baby in there and there was nothing there. I had what is called a blighted ovum. Which means the baby stopped developing at 4-5 weeks but my body didn't get the message and the gestational sac and placenta kept growing and raising my HCG levels.

I was sent to the hospital for blood work to see what my HCG levels were and given some options for miscarrying as I still needed to face the fact that I needed to get my uterus cleaned out.

My husband and I drove home in silence in pouring rain and then sat in the driveway crying together.

After another HCG test we saw my levels were dropping so I chose to let the miscarriage come naturally. It came on December 3rd. I won't go into the details of that hellish experience but I will tell you I had two weeks to mourn so passing the tissue was a relief. I feel at peace now. As peaceful as you can feel after something like that.

On top of all this my family just found out that my mother has breast cancer that has spread all over into her body. I won't say more on that because we're still pretty in the dark on the whole thing.

Needless to say, you can probably see now why I only read one book this month. Sorry to be a downer. I just wanted to share my story with you guys. It's therapeutic to talk about it. I'm obviously still sad but I'm alright. It's not something I'd ever want to go through again and something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy but I have learned from this experience  and am OK. Thanks for reading, if you still are. Love you guys! You're a great community that I love and feel safe enough to share my experience with.

See you around the blogosphere!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Mini Movie Reviews #10

The Accountant 
For some reason I was expecting a movie based on a true story or maybe just something a little more boring. I ended up being pleasantly surprised. This one was a lot of fun and I ended up really liking it. I know people have a love/hate relationship with Ben Affleck but I like him just fine and really enjoyed him in this role. I've always been a fan of dark comedies and by that I mean violent but funny. I know, it's weird. Just smile and nod.

Ouija Origin of Evil
As I may have mentioned before, my husband and I have completely different preferences when it comes to movie genres. But one type of movie we can always agree on is horror. So we see a lot of them. Most horror movies are horrible. With no real purpose but to scare you, they sort of forget they need a story line. This one fell into that rut. Totally lame. It was scary for about two minutes and then got lame and went down hill from there. Wouldn't recommend it.

I was really looking forward to this one. My husband hates movies like this but is a great sport about long as he gets popcorn. This one was amazing, guys. I loved it. It's not about scary aliens attacking and men in the world pulling up their pants, spitting then pulling out guns to show how awesome they are. It was much more calm, scientific and beautiful. I saw the big surprise coming from a mile away but I still loved it. You should totally go see this one. Just don't expect action and crap. This is NOT Independence Day. It's better than that.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Review: Blood Harvest

Title Blood Harvest
By S. J. Bolton
Genre Adult Suspense
Rating ⭐️⭐️

When the Fletchers built their house in Heptoncough near the church and the graveyard they didn't know what was in store for them. In a town with as many secrets as weird rituals anything can happen.

First Sentence
"She's been watching us for a while now."

I've heard good things about this author so I knew I'd want to check out her books and decided on this one because it sounded perfectly atmospheric. (I read it in October) At over 400 pages I was worried it might drag a bit but thankfully was wrong. The book speeds along with just enough creepiness to keep the pages turning.

However, (there had to be a "however") the book was very predictable. I could see what was happening a mile away. And it was one of those things you see but kind of hope you're wrong because it's far too obvious. Nope. I was right on the mark. And what I was right about just made me sick! The big reveal, the evilness revealed was just awful. It made me squirm to read about it.

And what really angered me about the whole book was, not only did I see the whole thing coming, and got grossed out by it but there was no justice served! The bad people took the easy way out and everything was just covered up. I was livid!

So, yeah, I'm not so sure I should give this author another shot. The writing was done well enough but the story angered me. Will the rest of her books anger me too? Is it worth seeing? I just don't know.

Should you read it?
I seem to be in the minority again. I always am. Sigh! So, you might like it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October Wrap-Up 2016

Hey guys! Despite my blogging slump my reading seems to be doing OK. I didn't think I read 6 books in October but I did. This makes me happy. If I really cram maybe I can meet my Goodreads goal after all. That means I have to read 9 books in November and 9 books in December...hmmm. Probably not going to happen but a girl can try, right? Anyway, Here's what I read in October.

The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey, Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen, Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris, The Sculptor by Scott McCloud, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black and Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton

Favorites of the month were The Sculptor and Behind Closed Doors. Least Favorites:  Dead Ringer and Blood Harvest.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Title The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
By Holly Black
Genre YA Supernatural/Paranormal
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tana lives in a world with vampires. Most are locked away in walled cities called Coldtowns. But when she wakes up the morning after a party surrounded by corpses and her on again off again boyfriend is infected, it's obvious there's vampires loose. But why do they have one of their own chained up and why does Tana decided it would be a good idea to help him?

First Sentence
Tana woke lying in a bathtub.

I adore Holly Black's Curse Workers series but have always been hesitant to try one of her other books after a bad attempt at reading Tithe. I'd heard good things about this one though so I gave it a try. I wasn't blown away or anything but as you can see, I gave it 4 stars. I enjoyed Black's take on vampires. As usual, Black creates a flawless world that seamlessly comes together with no confusion or over explaining.

I always love her characters too. They have a history and depth. They aren't just puppets to tell a story but these multidimensional people that you can't help but feel empathy for.

The romance in this one? So steamy! I had to fan myself a few times. It was that good.

My only real complaint about the book is that it's a standalone. I usually enjoy that but when I like a world and characters this much I want more. I don't want this to be the end. I'm all for open endings but in this case I would love to know what happens.

Should you read it? 
If you like vampires and kick ass heroines, yes!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Review: The Sculptor

Title The Sculptor
By Scott McCloud
Genre Adult Graphic Novel
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

David Smith a struggling artist has just made a deal with Death. Given the ability to sculpt anything with his bare hands he only has 200 days left to live. Can he make a name for himself before time runs out? Finding the love of his life wasn't in the plans either but the deal is made and there's no going back.

First Sentence

I thought it would be fun to share the first page of the book for the first sentence.

I've never read a graphic novel that blew me away. I always feel very "meh" about them. The only reason I voluntarily read this book was because the cover intrigued me and I needed a quick book for the readathon to make me feel like I was accomplishing something.

I loved this book, guys! I can finally see what people love about graphic novels.

The story was fascinating. At first, while I could see where the MC was coming from, I struggled with his mopey attitude. I loved watching him own up to his mistakes, learn to quit running away and figure out what really matters in life. I cried at the end. It was so beautiful.

The graphics were great too, of course. While I'm more about the story and tend to rush through graphic novels without really looking at the pictures, I was forced to look in this one. They were fascinating. I think it helped that the MC was an artist. I loved looking at his sculptures.

I'm so very glad I picked this one up. I might become a graphic novel fan yet.

Should you read it?
I thought it was a beautiful story that would be worth anyone's time.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Review: Behind Closed Doors

Title Behind Closed Doors
By B. A. Paris
Genre Adult Suspense
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Jack and Grace are the perfect couple. He's a successful lawyer who's never lost a case and Grace is slim, elegant and the perfect hostess at parties. But why doesn't Grace ever go out without Jack? Why does he never leave her side? Why does she not even have a cell phone? And why are there bars on all the windows of the house?  Sometimes things aren't as they appear.

First Sentence
The champagne bottle knocks against the marble kitchen counter, making me jump.

First off. Huge shout out to Marce for recommending this book!

 I'm glad I picked this one up. I listened to it on audio while I cleaned, went walking or did yard work. I would find any excuse to listen to it. In the end, I just lay on the couch listening.

Maybe you can guess from the synopsis what's really going on and maybe you can't. I knew pretty quickly what was going on. It's not a huge mystery. But the author reveals this early on too so I don't think it was meant to be a mystery. That's why, you'll notice, I called it a suspense. And, boy, was it suspenseful! I was hooked from page one! And it was so creepy! More than once I got that delightfully crept out feeling.

The book wasn't perfect though. Maybe I noticed more because I listened to it rather than read it but this book was littered, and I meant LITTERED with cliches. It didn't bother me at all I just noticed. Besides I wasn't really interested in the writing anyway. The plot was so great I didn't care! Not to say it was bad writing just nothing new or original.

Well gee! I'm having a hard time writing this review. I feel like I can't say anything much without giving away the plot and spoiling it. Just know that I loved it and would highly recommend it.

Should you read it?
Yes! Even if this isn't your type of book, read it! You won't regret it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Readathon wrap up and hello!

It's a bit late but oh well! I very quietly participated in the readathon this year. I tried to follow Instagram, Twitter and blogs all day and managed to complete a graphic novel, The Sculptor, which I loved. And I read a few chapters of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. That's all I managed. Sigh! But I had fun and was glad for the R&R.

I have several reviews I need to write and get posted but I'm having a heck of a time concentrating on blogging or reading. I'll get to them. I promise. I think I'm like the last person to do a wrap up of the readathon so I won't bother asking how yours went because I've already heard.

Hey! At least when I don't read or blog much I'm still reading your guys' blogs. Right? Have a great week!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Mini Movie Reviews #9

The Light Between Oceans
I'm not even a hundred percent sure why I wanted to see this one and I didn't know it was based on a book until after it ended, but somehow we ended up seeing it. And while it was a beautiful movie it was so sad and, well, kind of pointless. I'm not sure I fully understood it. Maybe I need to read the book. Needless to say, it wasn't one I'm recommending to people

Bridget Jones's Baby
Oh, Bridget, you amuse me so. This one I had to see because I love the original so much. And while it wasn't as good as the first it was definitely better than the second and I found myself giggling the whole time. Which is more than I can say for my poor husband who graciously went with me.

The Girl on the Train
Another book based movie. If you may remember, I really didn't like the book of this one. It was exciting but I could not stand a single character. So why did I see the movie? Because I was curious about the adaption and because I like Emily Blunt so much. I was hoping because I liked her it would make the character more sympathetic. And it worked! I didn't love the movie or anything but I liked Emily. If you liked the book of this one and are curious at all about the movie, I think it's worth a watch.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Readathon Time!

It's Dewy's 24 Hour Readathon this weekend! I'm so excited! After a really bad read I've started two great books and have two more I'm looking forward to as well. Since I missed the Readathon in the spring this one is going to be top priority. Here's what I'll be reading.

I'm already well into The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. I might even be done with it before the weekend.

Are you participating? What are you reading? What do you think of my reads?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: Dead Ringer

Title Dead Ringer
By Jessie Rosen
Genre YA Suspense/mystery
Rating ⭐️

What really happened to Sarah Castro-Tanner on the night she committed suicide by throwing herself into the river? Follow golden boy Charlie and his group of friends, who might have been there that night to Laura Rivers, the new girl in school who looks similar to the dead girl to Sasha, a hacker determined to discover what really happened at any cost.

First Sentence
Deep breath, big smile, and remember: it's all about swag.  

Note to self: Freaking research a book's author and publisher before blindly downloading it because the price is right! Oh my hell! This book, guys! I have been really working on giving up on books that aren't doing it for me and have been doing pretty good, thank you very much, but this book...Ugh! I should have known to give up the minute I started.

The writing was dreadful. It sounded like a first draft that some 12 year old wrote. (no offense to 12 year olds) It was seriously painful to slog through such horrible writing. Then why did I, you ask? Because of the mystery. I wanted to know what happens.

Somewhere, about half way through, I suspected what was going on but by this point I felt committed to see where this stupid book would go. So, I kept reading, and reading and reading! That's another thing I hated about it. It was so LOOOOONG!!!! Needlessly, pathetically, desperately LONG!

And are you ready for this kicker? It ended practically mid sentence! It was a non-ending! A stupid cliffhanger! A damn setup for the monstrosity that will be book two!!! When I realized this I think I sat for a full minute with my eye twitching! I couldn't believe what this stupid book had the gall to do to me!

I'm livid but at least I learned my lesson. Right?

Should you read it? 
I don't know, are you a masochist?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Mini Movie Reviews #8

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
I'm actually shocked I even saw this one. First of all I didn't like the book and never finished the series and second of all, my husband never goes to movies like this. He hates anything even remotely "childish". But go we did. I ended up liking the movie better than the book but still wasn't totally impressed or anything. The ending. as I recall (but could totally be remembering wrong) was completely different than the book.

The Magnificent Seven
I haven't seen the original film but I love me a good cowboy movie with revenge and vengince going on. This one was great fun,...but super sad ending. Plus...Chris Pratt. Need I say more? Go see it!

Deepwater Horizon
Honestly, I saw this one because the husband wanted to. These kinds of movies aren't my thing. Too much screaming and explosions just don't engage me. I get bored, if you can believe it? But....Mark Wahlberg is in it and if you recall, I have a tiny little crush on him so it wasn't a complete waste.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Review: The Girl With All The Gifts

Title The Girl With All The Gifts
By M.R. Carey
Genre Adult Dystopian
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Man kind has been wiped out by a virus that turns humans into "zombies". A small research camp has been experimenting on some young children infected with a mutated strain of the virus. But when their camp is attacked only 5 people escape. A teacher, two soldiers, a Dr. and one of the young infected children.

First Sentence
Her name Melanie.

Hi! My name is Jenny and I allow myself to be peer pressured into reading books. This one seems like it was everywhere on the blogosphere and it intrigued me.  When it came up for sale on Amazon I decided to download it but had no intention of reading it any time soon. Then I found it was basically a "zombie" book and REALLY had no intention of rushing to it. However, for whatever reason, I decided to read it one day and well, here we are. The problem with peer pressure is that far to often a book everyone loves tends to disappoint me. This one, while not disappointing was not exactly mind blowing either. I just don't get why some books are so popular. It must be the zombie thing.

The writing style was weird and too detached for me but getting glimpses into Melanie's mind was fun. I liked her and I like reading adult books from a child's perspective. But what I really enjoyed about this one was the science behind it. Have you ever heard of ophiocordyceps? No? It's a fungus that takes over an ant's body and makes it climb to a high point where it kills the ant and then begins to grow out of the ant and send out spores.

You're welcome for the graphic image! Sweet dreams! The point is the way the author played on this horrifying phenomenon. What if this creepy fungus could infect humans? And thus you have the beginnings of one hell of a dystopian tale!

With great characters, non stop action and a creepy ending, for once I'm glad I fell for peer pressure.

Should you read it?
If this sounds like your kind of thing, yes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

7 "Interesting" Things About Me

Thanks to Kara from Flowers of Quiet Happiness for nominating me! I wanted to participate quite frankly so I had something to blog about. Guys, my blogging slump just won't go away. So anyway. The rules for this award are to post 7 interesting things about yourself and tag 10-15 other bloggers. Will you all hate me if I don't tag anyone but still participate? I hope not. Here goes.

1 On October 12th I'll have been married for 3 years. In that time, my husband has started his own business, we bought a house and remodeled it, bought two rental properties, got another kitty and tracked down my husband's birth mom (whom we visited in person this past weekend). If we'd had a kid I think I might have died from stress, yes?

2 I've been to England twice and would love to live there. I love it!

3 I have a library in my house that I remodeled the first of this year that has zero books in it. What? Then how is it a library, you ask? I don't know! It just is! It was meant to have bookshelves but due to buying a lovely couch and a chair to go in there before it was remodeled left me with zero room for my bookshelves.  Needless, to say, I still call it my library/reading room even if it doesn't have any books in it.

4 I live in Utah with "The Greatest Snow on Earth" And have never been nor do I desire to go skiing.

5 The house my husband and I bought was actually my mom's house. AKA the house I grew up in. So after a brief stint away where I lived in an apartment for awhile, I moved right back into the house I grew up in. So basically I've lived int the same house for 32 years. Can I just say, I'm really sick of the same old surroundings. Oh well.

6 I hate coconut but like Mounds bars. And I like them for the weirdest reason. You know in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Charlie finds the money and buys a candy bar with the last Golden Ticket in it? Well, before he gets that candy bar, he gets another one that he shoves down so fast you'd think he hadn't eaten in years. Anywho, that first candy bar looks like a Mounds bar and it looks so freaking good! Just thinking about him snarfing down that stupid candy bar makes me want a Mounds bar.

7  I'm a crazy neat freak. I clean my house once a week. Which isn't too bad but I'm one of those weirdos that moves all the furniture to vacuum and sweep. Like the stove and the fridge and couches etc.  I never thought that was weird until people told me it was. Oh well.

So, there you have it. Not too interesting but hey. Again, I'm not going to tag any one but please feel free to participate! I'd love to hear 7fun facts about you guys!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review: The Hypnotist's Love story

Title The Hypnotist's Love Story
By Liane Moriarty
Genre Adult Contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When Ellen's boyfriend of a few weeks tells her he has a secret she imagines the worst. But she never would have guessed that he had a stalker. An ex that just can't quite give him up.

First Sentence
I had never been hypnotized before.

What can I say? Moriarty does it again! I've heard her best books are Big Little Lies and What Alice Forgot and, coincidentally, those are the two I've read. So I was worried her other books wouldn't be as good and that maybe I should have started with them. I needn't have worried. This one was uniquely its own. I've never quite read a story like this. You've got this hypnotherapist MC who's dating a guy who informs her he's being stalked by his ex and things just get weirder from there.

It was crazy and and fun and Moriarty has such a way with words she allows us into the ex's mind and guess what? You can empathize with her! I loved the setting in this one too. Ellen's house that her grandparent's left her on the beach is described so perfectly it's almost a character of it's own.

With so much going on in this one it could have started to feel like a cheesy soap opera but Moriarty handles everything perfectly and tells one crazy yet believable story. I loved it.

Should you read it? 
Yes! Any anything else Moriarty writes!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

September Wrap Up

September was only crazy for half of the month but I still only managed to read 3 books again. I swear I'll do better this month. The colder weather makes me want to curl up and read and the Dewy's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon is this month's hoping. Anyway, back to September.

Hinges of Broams Eld by Jennifer Cano, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty

I liked all of them this month. No least favorites. I always think that's a good thing.My numbers are small but at least I liked what I read, right?

Saturday, September 24, 2016


I got tagged by Amy and I'm very excited. One: It gives me something to blog about and, Two: It's a fun tag. Check it out! 

1. Find a book for each of your initials

I decided to pick from books I read and, whew! I've only read two books that start with the letter J. So, while this wasn't a favorite book or anything, it was alright. Finding Audrey, however, is an awesome read!

2. Count your age along your bookshelf: What book is it? 
Um, my TBR shelf or my read shelf? I chose TBR.

3. Pick a book set in your city/country

Fun little book that takes place in my state.

4. Pick a book that represents a location that you would love to travel to

London! Again and again I could go there.

5. Pick a book that’s your favorite color

Um, I don't really have a favorite color. I like dark blue and purple.

6. Which book do you have the fondest memory of?
I read this wonderful book a few short months after getting married. It was winter and we were living in a tiny little apartment. I would curl up on the couch while my husband watched Breaking Bad and read so thoroughly entranced that I think my poor husband wondered just what he's gotten himself into marrying this crazy book loving lady.

7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?
This book and I did NOT get along. Saying I had to force my way through it just doesn't do the pain I had when reading it justice. I think at one point I hurled the book across the room and just started sobbing. *shudders* 

8. Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

Um...All of them Duh! No, I honestly just don' know.

I'm not going to tag anyone else by name. But feel free to tag yourself, I'd love to see what you come up with! Thanks, Amy! That was fun! 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Review: Still Alice

Title Still Alice
By Lisa Genova
Genre Adult contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Alice Howland is a professor at Harvard, a mother of three and living her perfect life in Boston. It seems nothing could go wrong. Until Alice starts forgetting things. When she's diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's her world is shattered.

First Sentence
Even then, there were neurons in her head, not far from her ears, that were being strangled to death, too quietly for her to hear them.

Another book club book. I actually voted to read this book even though I knew it would be sad. Most people in my book club weren't overly excited to read it but, in the end, they loved it. I loved it too.

It was heart wrenching to read. And while I didn't cry, the book certainly pulled on my heartstrings. I hate to use the train wreck cliche but there's just no better way describe reading this book. I just simply couldn't look away.

In the beginning, Alice reminded me of Joan Didion from The Year of Magical Thinking. She had this unreal life that just seemed too perfect and she came off as arrogant. Mind you, Alice is fictional and Joan isn't but I saw plenty of similarities and I was a bit worried I wouldn't be able to have any compassion for poor Alice. I did. It was so hard to read about her mind and memories slipping away. I can't even imagine.

The ending of the book was my absolute favorite part. Because here you are reading this dreadfully sad book and then that ending!!! It just made me feel good. Loved it!

The discussion came up in book club of what exactly the purpose of this book was. Some people thought it was just too sad and that it left them feeling depressed. Was that its purpose? I think it was just to educate us about Alzheimer's. And it did. And it gave me a lot more compassion for those suffering from it.

Should you read it?
I hate to sound like one of "those" people but I think everyone should read this book.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Review: Hinges of Broams Eld

Title  Hinges of Broams Eld
By Jennifer Cano
Genre Middle Grade Fantasy
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When elfin warriors escort Livy to Broams Eld, she discovers a world where imagination is power, tadpole soup is what’s for dinner, and trees whisper secret enchantments. There she finds not only friends, a welcome home for her dare-devil antics, and magic, but an astounding destiny to inherit—if she can survive her first night. (From Goodreads)

First Sentence
Livy Hinge's aunt lay dying in the backyard, which Aunt Neala thought was darned inconvenient.

I love this cover but I don't think it says, middle grade, which this book is. Confession time! I don't get along with middle grade books. I just feel like they're over simplified and the characters, of course, are middle grade age and they act it...and I don't see the appeal. However, I wanted to read this book for Utah Book Month. The author lives just down the road from me and so I thought I'd give it a go.

For awhile, at the beginning, I was wondering if I should keep going. It definitely had that middle grade feel going and it kind of jumped right into things, introducing us to this whole new world with weird words and customs that I couldn't quite wrap my head around. While I don't like to be held by the hand through world introductions, I also don't like being slapped in the face with them either. But I stuck with it and am very glad I did.

By about 35% through (I read this on my kindle, not sure what page) I found myself immersed in the world. It had a very, 1st Harry Potter book, feel to it. I don't know if it was intended or if I was just looking for it but there were some similarities for sure.

My favorite thing about the book was the ending. I can't say much without being too spoil-y but I just loved the way all the kids worked together to save their world and the magical world Cano created.

I'm assuming there will be more books to come and I'm good with that. There were a few open ended questions that I'd be interested in knowing the answers to.

Should you read it?
If you can get past the slightly jarring beginning you won't regret reading this delightful little tale.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Review: If Only It Were True

Title If Only It Were True
By Marc Levy
Genre Adult Contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

When Lauren's car's breaks fail and she's in a horrible accident it leaves her body in a deep coma. But her soul is wandering around San Francisco. Arthur has just sublet a new apartment but is surprised to discover the previous occupants is still there...and only he can see her. Together Arthur and Lauren will have to learn to trust each other enough to believe the impossible and maybe fall in love.

First Sentence
The novelty clock sitting on the unpainted wooden nightstand sounded at five-thirty.

Does this one sound familiar? If you've seen Just Like Heaven with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo then it should. This is the book that the movie is based on. I picked up this book at a used bookstore on sale because I liked the movie and had heard the book was quite different. And it was. It was much more serious than the movie. This ones much more a romance than a rom-com.

The author is French, and while I couldn't find if this one was originally in French and had been translated or not, I wondered. It had a strange feel to it and I couldn't decide if that was due to the author's style, ethnicity, or if it had been translated. Either way, it felt different. Not in a bad way just...different.

I felt like I was being held at arms length from all the characters and couldn't quite connect to any of them. When it started getting more into Arthur's past, I felt like I understood him more but he's the only one I connected with on any level.

I'm not sure why this one is a bestseller (or was). It wasn't awful, just not that great. I did love the ending though. It made me smile and sigh a little. Overall I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to those who liked the movie and are curious about the book.

Should you read it?
If you HAVE to connect to characters to enjoy a book I'd say skip this one. If not, then enjoy!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

August Wrap Up

Oi! I think I survived August. Now if I can just make it through these next few weeks, I think things will finally slow down. Maybe I'll have more time to read. Maybe I'll blog more. Maybe I'll try a K-drama. Who knows. But one thing is for sure. I won't be remodeling for as long as I can possible help it! I only managed three books in August. I also had two books I put down because they just weren't doing it for me. Look at me getting all better at setting aside books! Alright, here you have it.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Where We Belong by Emily Giffin and If Only It Were True by Marc Levy

Favorite of the month was Where We Belong. No least favorite. So, that's good. Here's hoping for a much calmer September and lots of reading and blogging!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review: Where We Belong

Title Where We Belong
By Emily Giffin
Genre Adult contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Marian is living her dream life in New York City. A successful television producer dating the boss and expecting a marriage proposal any day. Life couldn't get any better. But a secret she buried years ago is about to come knocking on her door in the shape of Kirby an 18 year old girl with questions.

First Sentence
I know what they say about secrets.

Guy's, I don't know what it is but when life is this stressful and busy Emily Giffin is my go to author. Her books suck me right in fill my poor stressed out brain with an engrossing story capable of shooing away all my anxiety and to do lists. This one was no exception. I was pulled in from page one and couldn't wait to dive back into it every time I put it down. The story wasn't my favorite of Giffin's but I liked it and it did exactly what I needed it to do. Distract me.

So, if you can't tell from the synopsis this book is about a woman who put her child up for adoption when she was very young. During the time I was reading this, my husband (who's adopted, if you didn't know) actually came back into contact with his birth mother. I found it very serendipitous that I should be reading this book at the time. Not that it had any great insights perse but it was interesting and this book will always stick out in my mind because of it.

Engrossing and charming, this book was a great read albeit a little convenient. But, hey, I like happy endings!

Should you read it?
As always, I will recommend all of Emily Giffin's books.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review: Everything, Everything

Title Everything, Everything
By Nicola Yoon
Genre YA Contemporary
Rating  ⭐️⭐️

Madeline is allergic to everything. She can't leave her home and her whole world includes her mother, her nurse and her books. Still, she's fairly content, that is until a moving truck pulls up next door and a handsome young boy moves in. Suddenly Madeline feels like she's missing out on life. But when you're allergic to everything what can you do?

 First Sentence
I've read many more books than you.

With all the talk about this book I finally had to read it. It sounded great. Best laid plans and all that, right?  No, no, don't get me wrong. I didn't hate the book. I gave it 2 stars, after all.  I like how the characters actually felt like teenagers....until they didn't. I liked that Madeline wasn't a whiny, depressed grouch who complained about her crappy life....until she did. And I liked that I was wondering how it could possibly end happy...until I wasn't. I suspected what was coming from a mile away and tried to have faith that the author wouldn't take the easy way out...but she did. Sigh! So yeah, I was glued to this little story and it definitely held my attention but, well, I was hoping for more.

Should you read it?
Not everyone is as bitter as me and most people like this one.  So, yeah, give it a chance.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Digging Holes

You know when you have a ton of stuff to do and it depresses you? So you put it off and keep putting it off until you find yourself in a hole with no way out? No? Well, we're not all as perfect as you! No, I tease. See, I've been in this blogging slump. Once again I'm in the middle of a remodel of one of our duplexes (The worst remodel yet) and life is crazy busy. So, I'm still slowly reading books here and there but haven't blogged about them...and now I have several reviews to write and the more posts I have to write the more I don't want to blog.  I thought about just doing a multiple review post but I feel like the books don't get quite enough attention that way. Sigh! So bear with me while I litter your feed with posts, trying to catch up!