Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Wrapup 2016

Oh, wow! I'm so funny. Remember when I talked about planning out the books I'd be reading in advance each month and posting pics on Instagram? Remember when I talked about what I'd be reading in March? Remember when I talked about how I really don't plan out what I'm going to read because I'm a mood reader? Yeah, I shouldn't have tried to plan out anything. I read one book in March that I intended to...then I went off schedule. Oh well!

 Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready
Finally finished this series. With wonderful world building and great characters including a hot Scottish boy, I really love this series.

A Head Full Of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
Intriguing and suspenseful. Had me enraptured the whole time. Crappy ending, though.

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige Mackenzie and Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Silly but entertaining and suspenseful YA.

Love The One You're With by Emily Giffin
Totally engrossing, addictive chick lit. Just what I needed this month.

Aaaaand there you have it. Favorite of the month was Love The One You're With. No least favorite this month. I liked them all. That's rare!

Plans for April...Ha Ha Ha. I'm not making reading plans. That didn't go so well. My husband and I are working on remodeling one of our rentals and it's consuming my life. So, I need to just mood read this month like I did in March.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: Love The One You're With

Title Love The One You're With
By Emily Giffin
Genre Adult Chick Lit
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ellen, is a perfectly blissful newlywed. Her life with Andy is everything she dreamed of. Or is it? When an old flame suddenly comes back into the picture, Ellen can't help but wonder what might have been.

First Sentence
It happened exactly one hundred days after I married Andy, almost to the minute of our half-past-three-o' clock ceremony.

  • I'm just going to go ahead and admit it. I do enjoy the occasion chick lit. Especially Giffin's work. She spins one hell of a romantic dramedy. There's something so irresistibly addictive about her books. 
  • I'm a sucker for stories where one's choices in life are questioned. As long as they make the right decision, that is. I bought this book years ago under the impression from the title that Ellen would come to her senses and stay with her loving husband.  But when I finally read it,  Giffin had me at the edge of my seat. I was flipping pages like crazy wondering what on earth was going to happen. It became wholly unpredictable. 
  • As I mentioned, I was having a hard time putting this one down. All I wanted to do was read it and when I wasn't I was thinking about it and wanting to get back to it. It's been years, people, YEARS since a book has done that to me. 
  • Does it being a chick lit book make me feel a bit sheepish about how addicted I was to it? Nope! I've got SOOOO much stress going on in my life right now that a light, fluffy read with a underlying moral was just what I needed. I may or may not have shed a few tears at the end...and I may or may not be picking up another book by Giffin for my next read. 

Should You Read It?
Even people who say they hate chick lit say they enjoy Giffin's books so, yes, I'd recommend it.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

Title The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl #1)
By Paige Mckenzie and Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Genre YA Paranormal/Horror
Pages 296
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sunshine is trying to be supportive of her mom's new job that's pulling her away from sunny Austin, Texas to rainy Ridgemont Washington but the new house they move into is just plain creepy. And it's not just the sickeningly sweet pink of her new room. Sunshine's been hearing giggling and footsteps and someone or something keeps moving things in her room. With her mother becoming strangely distant and the creepy giggling becoming screams of terror, Sunshine will turn to her new friend Nolan for help. Together they'll embark on a journey to figure out what's going on and how to stop it before it's too late.

First Sentence
"Mom, the house is creepy."

  • I can't remember if I bought this book on a whim because of the fun cover or if I got this is a stack of books I won from Alexia's Books and Such but either way this is the book I randomly picked up off my shelf during cleaning and began to read.
  • And I couldn't put it down. It wasn't well written and there was a lot of cheesiness and eye rolling moments but for some reason it just sucked me in. 
  • If you look closely at the cover you'll see the small YouTube logo. This book is based of the YouTube series of the same name. I was so into this book that I watched the first "season" on YouTube as well. The YouTube series was a bit of a joke. It's so obviously fake and mostly just some teenage girl trying to get her 15 minutes of fame but it too was strangely addicting. Not so much that I intend to watch anymore but, yeah,
  • Anyway, back to the book. It was a strong start to a interesting premise that has me itching for book two. I think its suspenseful, easy to read, don't have to think too hard, story was just what I needed at this stressful time in my life. 
  • Right book at the right moment.
Should you read it?
Highly recommended to YA suspense lovers. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life is this most awesome meme hosted by Trish over at Love Laughter and a touch of Insanity. The post is just what it sounds like. We were to pick a day and log our activities and then post about it. I saw people doing this last year and had so much fun getting a peek into their lives that this year I just knew I had to participate. So here you go. I recorded March 15th.

9:04 AM Wake up (yes this late) and roll over to look at alarm clock. Too tired to get up. Roll back over to get some more sleep but the work phone rings. Answer phone trying to sound like I've been up for hours and am cheerful and happy and take a job for my husband. Consider going back to sleep but my husband is awake so I give up. We lay in bed for awhile and talk about our recently vacated rental that need remodeling.

10:22 AM Eat a bowl of Sugar Puffs and waste time on my phone looking at Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc.

11:00 AM Finally get my lazy butt out of bed and check the mail. No checks just junk mail. Sigh! My head is pounding. Complain to my husband who is out of the shower and he gets me a Advil and a cookie.

11:27 AM It's cleaning day. I start in the kitchen.

11:38 AM Go  to put something in the laundry room and get distracted by sweeping the floor in there. Get back to the kitchen. Discover husband spilled ice cream on the counter and floor the night before.

12:02 PM Snap at husband for spilling ice cream on the counter and floor and just leaving it. (Did I mention the headache? It made me grouchy) Husband goes outside to work on something. Finish cleaning the kitchen and get out the vacuum to start the long vacuuming process.

12:48 PM Husband leaves to go on his job and I finish vacuuming.

1:15 PM  I'm putting the vacuum away (in my guest bedroom) and get distracted by my books. Pick up The Haunting of Sunshine Girl and read the first chapter sitting on the floor. Decide to read the book. Take the book out of the guest room and text my husband to apologize for snapping at him. (Reading cheers me up!)

1:24 PM Clean bathroom.

1:41 PM I'm done cleaning! Well, I should dust but I think I'll skip this week. Take a shower.

2:07 PM Out of the shower and dressed. Put makeup on and realize I have office work to do. Go into office while my hair air drys and send out some invoices. Make some phone calls and try collecting money from past due invoices.

2:22 PM Husband's back from job. I blow dry my hair and we head to Home Depot to get new locks for the rental.

3:15 PM Arrive at rental and husband starts changing locks while I walk around and look at all the long hard work we have to accomplish. Sigh! A Neighbor's cat wanders into the rental. I pet it of course.

4:36 PM Back at home. Snacking on chips and catching up on reading and commenting on blogs I follow.

5:48 PM Make another phone call trying to collect money. Am told to call back on Thursday to talk to someone else.

5:52 PM Send husband to the store to get a can of Manwhich for dinner while I start browning the hamburger. It's date night and we usually go out but to save money we've decided to eat in. As I brown the hamburger my head starts pounding again. I wonder if I have a tumor. Tell myself "I don't have a tumor" in Arnold Schwarzenegger voice and continue browning hamburger.

6:12 PM Sit down for a cheap meal of Sloppy Joe's and potato chips. Yum!

6:34 PM Clean up from dinner and head out door to go to the movies. Date Night! Whoot!

6:56 PM At movie theater. Buy tickets and popcorn and head to our theater. We're seeing 10 Cloverfield Lane.

7:05 PM Previews start. Oooo! A Preview for X-Men Apocalypse! Movie was super tense and exciting but lame ending.

9:14 PM Movie is over and we're heading out for ice cream. At JCW's we order a Butterfinger Malt and share it while discussing everything that needs done at the rental.

10:04 PM Home again. Do more office work.

10:10 PM Run a hot bath and get my book. Soak in the hot water while reading more of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl.

11:02 PM Husband cleaned the kitty litters and fed the kitties. Yay! Brush teeth and grab a water bottle and head to bed. Thinking I'll read again but maybe I'm too tired.

11:07 PM Yep! Too tired. Fall asleep.

There you have it. I hope you weren't too bored. I didn't take pictures. Sorry.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Review: A Head Full of Ghosts

Title A Head Full of Ghosts
By Paul Tremblay
Genre Adult, Suspense
Pages 286
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Merry recollects her tragic childhood. At eight years old her father lost his job and her older sister Marjorie begins to show signs of acute schizophrenia. Merry's father turns to the Catholic church thinking Marjorie is possessed. When a production company offers to pay them to turn their lives and the upcoming exorcism into a TV show, the family reluctantly agrees. As Merry reveals more and more of the past, the truth of her horrific past is revealed.

First Sentance
"This must be so difficult for you, Meredith."

  • I was having trouble getting into the book I had chosen to read and on a whim I started reading this one. I can't remember who was talking about it out there in the blogosphere but when it came up as a Kindle Daily Deal I purchased it. So I started to read it and got sucked right in
  • I love books that have an adult protagonist recalling their childhood. So what you get is a very adult book but from a child's perspective. 
  • I liked the way this one made you wince in uncomfortable horror at what you were reading. It was really rather disturbing. And what made it worse was knowing but not knowing what was going on.
  • I liked the mystery. It wasn't so much mysterious as it was confusing. That's not the best word to describe it. I guess what I mean is this one has you constantly second guessing yourself. 
  • Not only did it have an intriguing plot but it was very character heavy too. This story was as much about the characters and each of their own very real struggles as it was about the events taking place. 
  • The writing, plot and scenes reminded me of a Stephen King book. (That's high praise coming from me.) 
  • The ending had me feeling a bit let down. Not only was it sad and shocking in a bad way but it was sort of confusing too.
  • All in all, though, I liked the book. It was disturbing and not one I'd recommend to everyone but it was well written, engaging and memorable.
Should you read it?
Like I said, it's not one I'd recommend to everyone. It's really kind of disturbing and graphic so if that's not your thing I'd avoid it. However, if you like suspense, and a plot that reveals itself one scene at a time, I'd give it a read. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Oh, I'm Sorry. I Thought You Were Someone Else

Ah, author signings. A favorite pastime of book lovers everywhere. If you're lucky enough to live somewhere frequented by authors, that is. Lucky for me, I am. I live in Utah (Utah gets a lot of author signings?) I know, right? But for some strange reason we do. A lot of these signings are by local authors. We Utahns have a lot of authors in state but we've had visits from people like Kathryn Stockett, Markus Zusak, Sarah J Maas, Lois Lowry and Ruta Sepetys. Maybe it's because we Utahns like to read and buy books? I'm really not sure of the reason but I'm sure happy to be a part of it.

Now, I usually don't post about the author signings I go to. Besides the fact that I don't go to as many anymore, I also just get happy to be at the event and forget to take pictures. I Want to live in the moment I guess. But I think the other reason is because of repeated awkwardness at book signings.

So, you go to the event. You're excited!  If it's an author you love you've been eagerly awaiting this day. You sit amongst other book lovers who are excitedly chattering and then the event begins. Someone announces the author and there they are! They look so human and normal but not all at once. They start to talk and you listen enraptured. Sometimes not so enraptured. I'll admit some authors are sadly not the greatest of speakers and are rather boring. But, hey, who cares? Your fan-girling something awful over here! Then comes the signing. You wait in line...sometimes a VERY LONG line and as you get closer to the author you sneak peeks at them; start panicking about what you're going to say to them. Then the big moment comes. You either smile stupidly as they sign your book and squeak out a, "thanks for coming" or you have enough guts to actually tell them how much you loved their book or books and how excited you  are to finally meet them. And then they look up at you...or not and smile and say thanks. Hand your books back to you and look over your shoulder at the next person in line. Hinting that you, crazy fan girl, need to move on.

I could go into a myriad of reasons this is the response one might get but rather than blame the author, I've decided to blame myself. I think what really bothers me, aka, lets me down is I was expecting someone else. I wanted to meet the character from the author's book I loved so much. Not the author.  So I'm left feeling disappointed and sad.

Sigh! I'm going to meet Cassandra Clare and Holly Black tonight. I'm most excited about Holly Black. Her Curse Workers Series is in my top 5 favorite books! But...maybe it's not Holly I want to meet. Maybe It's Cassel. But since I can't meet him, I'll awkwardly smile at his maker and try not to gush too much!

What about you? Do you feel let down after meeting an author? Do you think it's because we actually wanted to meet their characters?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Review: Shine

Title Shine (Shade #3)
By Jeri Smith-Ready
Genre YA supernatural/paranormal
Pages 399
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Aura and Zachary try to figure out how to end the Shift once and for all while trying to stay out of the clutches of the evil DMP.

First Sentence
My phone glowed bright in the dusk-drenched cemetery.

  • First off can I just say how much I hate when publishers change the covers of books mid series! I loathe these new covers. Sorry, cover model, but Aura doesn't look a thing like you and you're ruining it for everyone.
  • I read the first two books in this series a long, long time ago. OK, not that long ago but long enough. I could hardly remember a thing. That being said, the author does a good job of refreshing your memory. So in the end I remembered what was necessary to enjoy the story.
  • I adore how intricate the details of the world in The Shade series is. Everything is very well thought out and detailed and makes sense. Unlike some other books. *cough cough* Wither *cough cough* 
  • Sadly, I waited too long to finish this series. I wasn't as enthralled with it. Maybe age and circumstances effected me, or maybe it was just my mood but this series lost a bit of its allure for me.
  • Still, I flew through it pretty fast wanting to know what was going to happen and how it was all going to end and I have to say, it was a pretty satisfying ending. 
  • This series has great characters a wonderful plot and a hot Scottish guy. What more could you want?

Should You Read It?
Um, yes! Duh! But I do have to warn you that this book particularly read more like a NA than a YA. Be warned.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

February Wrap Up 2016

It's time for my February (Adult Literature Month) wrap up. I had fun but every time I do this I want to bathe in YA books after. Adult books can be heavy and actually love heavy books but I need to mix it up, you know? So this month I only managed four books. It would have been more but I started Life After Life by Kate Atkinson for book club thinking it would fit nicely into my Adult Literature Month and, well, that's about all it did. It took the whole rest of the month to slog through! Anywho, here are my reads for February.

Pines by Blake Crouch 
Very mysterious and exciting. I couldn't put it down.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Um, Not sure why this one was a best seller. It was just weird.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Long, slow, repetitive and BORING!

So there you have it. Favorite of the month was What Alice Forgot. Least favorite was...can you guess? Life After Life.

I hope you guys didn't get too bored reading my reviews this month. At least I posted a few discussion posts

I Can Relate
Does Writing Make Better Readers?
Book Banter #8 Depth vs Fluff

And there was that whole BBAW thing. It was a fun month. The weather is getting warm, I've done some gardening already and I can't wait to delve into March. I'm hoping to get some series finished this year. If you want to know what I'll be reading in March, I'll be posting pictures on Instagram