Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sunday Salon

Weather Small Talk: The first few days of our trip were amazing! It was warmer than I’ve ever felt it on the coast. It was almost downright hot! Then it got very cold and very foggy. Much more what you’d expect. I love both kinds of weather so I enjoyed it all.

On The Idiot Box: I only managed one more episode of my k-drama, Black. Still liking it. And my husband and I started watching The Haunting of Hill House and, is the first horror movie/show that is actually creeping me out. So good. I have a few more episodes to watch so no spoilers please.

Weekly Reads:
I listened to I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter on my trip and liked it. It was much sadder than I thought it would be though. That’s all I managed. Vacationing and reading don’t work for me. Sigh!

Crazy Kitties: I think Belly missed me. My husband said she’d wake him up in the middle of the night crying until he got her in bed with him and calmed her down. Makes a girl feel loved.

This Past Week:
Was great. Spending time on the coast is amazing. We went to a wild safari park to see the big kitties and were shocked and delighted to discover we were going to be able to pet two big kitties. I was in heaven!!

Movie(S) of the Week: We saw Bad Times at the El Royal and really liked it. It was exciting, well acted and written and I was very impressed.

Food Talk:
Going to eat on the Oregon coast is always "fun". Every restaurant you go is seafood galore and, well, I’m allergic to shellfish (not so much that I can’t be near it) and I hate fish so finding food to eat is often difficult. At least there’s a Dairy Queen on every corner.

Plans For The Upcoming Week: Regroup from my trip. I came home to a mountain of paper work and a very dirty house. Sigh!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Review: By Your Side

Title By Your Side
By Kasie West
Genre YA Contemporary
Format Print
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When Autumn finds herself accidentally locked in the library over a holiday weekend her anxiety threatens to overwhelm her. So when she discovers Dax Miller, the school's bad boy, is locked in with her she's half panicked half relieved. As they get to know each other they'll find something in each other worth examining.

First Sentence
I was locked in the library trying not to panic.

My last attempt at one of Kasie West's romantic contemporaries didn't go so well. I liked it but didn't find it original or engaging enough. So it was with some hesitancy that I picked this one up. I did think it would be a good choice, though, since most of it takes place in a library. Can't go wrong there, right?

And I was right. I really like this one. I inhaled it in two days. Dax was adorable and sweet and is now sitting on the shelf with all my other book boyfriends.

I loved that while it was light and cute, it did discuss anxiety in a real light. I have anxiety and while it doesn't manifest like Autumn's did I could relate. Always a good thing.

I found the ending slightly too sweet and unbelievable but since I wanted a light romance it fit the bill perfectly. Now I'm not so hesitant to try her others.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday Salon

I've decided to revamp the Sunday Salon post....again as a way to catch up with you all if I don’t manage to get any reviews posted. And as a way to combine books movies and TV because the separate posts for all that isn’t working. Ready?

Weather Small Talk: We finally got rain!!!! And more rain...and more rain. Where was all this rain this summer? I'm not sick of it yet so that's good.

On The Idiot Box: New TV shows are back. I've been keeping up with 9-1-1, The Resident and The Good Doctor and I started a new K-drama called Black. It's very different than the last one and half the time I have no idea what's going on but I'm still invested.  I gave up on American Horror Story; too pointless for me.
Weekly Reads: I finished the Grisha Verse series and loved it; started the Bloodlines series and read a quick YA contemporary romance as a sort of palate cleanser...Cause guess what came in the mail?!!! Markus Zusak's new book!!! I can't wait to delve into it!

Crazy Kitties: All this cold weather has made the kitties overly snuggly. They're always trying to suck up all my body heat.

This Past Week: Was spent pretty lazily. We winterized out rentals but mostly I snuggled up on the couch a lot with my kitties, books and TV shows. Friday was our 5 year anniversary and we spent it pretty low key cause my husband and I have nasty head colds but I can't believe its been five years. Crazy! 

Movie(S) of the Week: We saw Venom on Sunday and it was not nearly as bad as everyone has been saying. It was funny and entertaining. Good popcorn movie.  

Food Talk: I've been sick to my stomach all week too so eating and I aren't getting along. Somethings are fine but others just make it worse. I hope whatever this is passes soon. 

Plans For The Upcoming Week: I'm spending the week in Oregon with my friend. By the time you read this I'll hopefully be walking on the beach. I'm excited from a break from work and routine and glad to be spending time with my friend. I hope my husband and kitties survive with out me.  See you on the other side! 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Review: Ruin and Rising

Title Ruin and Rising (Grisha Verse #3)
By Leigh Bardugo
Genre YA Fantasy
Format Ebook
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The final battle between Alina and the Darkling is looming but Alina is struggling with her power and without the the Firebird she doesn't have a chance. Can she and her band of alliances find the third amplifier in time?

First Sentence
I stood on a carved stone balcony, arms spread, shivering in my cheap robes, and tried to put on a good show.

I'm so glad I finally read this series. Sometimes people rave about a book or series and when I finally pick it up I can't figure out what the hell they see in it. Luckily all the raving was well warranted.

This book in particular blew me away. I talked in my reviews of the other books in this series about them following the usual fantasy recipe. This one had its moments but it took turns I totally didn't see coming.

Once again it made me FEEL so much. I love when a book can influence my feelings like that...even when it influences them to anger. Love it!

I wasn't so sure about the ending for a few moments but then I just melted. I loved the ending! It was perfect and just what needed to happen. I loved it.

Great series! If you haven't picked it up yet, do so. It's worth it!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Review: Bloodlines

Title Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1)
By Richelle Mead
Genre YA Supernatural Paranormal
Format Audio book
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sydney's last encounter with the Moroi put her in a sticky situations with the other Alchemists. Seen as sympathetic to vampires she's in risk of losing her place. To save her younger sister being put in a dangerous situation, she takes on a new job protecting the Moroi Princess's younger sister.

First Sentence
I couldn't breath.

After reading the Vampire Academy series I was half ready to be done with that universe and half wanting more.

It's been just over two years since I finished the VA series and I guess I wanted more so I picked up Bloodlines.

I really love this world Mead has created. It's very intricate but doesn't get in the way of the story which is something that happens in other books far too easily.

Sydney as the lead was fun. She's very different than Rose and I liked learning more about her and watching her kick ass.

These series are not mind blowing for me but they are guilty little pleasures and I'm excited for a whole new series to delve into.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Review: Siege and Storm

Title Siege and Storm (Grisha Verse #2)
By Leigh Bardugo
Genre YA Fantasy
Format Ebook
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Alina and Mal are in hiding after narrowly escaping the Darkling. But hoping to stay hidden forever and ignore the pull to her powers isn't going to work for Alina. The Darkling still searches for her and a rise of pilgrims calling her a saint will draw her back out.

First Sentence
Two weeks we'd been in Cofton, and I was still getting lost.

After really enjoying the first book I decided to jump right into the rest of the series and finish it all at once.

Second books in fantasy series can often feel like filler books but I didn't think this one had that problem. It starts out with a bang and then carries on with the story nicely. While it may have lagged a little for some people I enjoyed the time the author took to develop the characters. I loved seeing them grow.

Speaking of characters...I LOVED Nikolai! I loved his banter with Alina, I loved his sense of humor, his smarts, Agh! I loved him! Every time he and Alina talked I was giggling.

I found this one a nice, rock solid middle book and am half way through book three as I write this. I'm so excited to see how it all ends.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Review: Before We Were Yours

Title Before We Were Yours
By Lisa Wingate
Genre Adult Fiction
Format Audiobook
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong. (From Goodreads)

First Sentence
I take a breath, scoot to the edge of the seat, and straighten my jacket as the limo rolls to a stop on the boiling-hot asphalt.

I put the Goodreads synopsis on my review so you could see why I thought I was getting something completely different when I started this book. 

I expected it to feel like a historical fiction where you feel slightly distanced from the characters and like you might be tested on facts later. What I got was a rich and vivid look into the lives of a fictional family whose life was ripped apart by a real historical event. 

I guess what I'm saying is it read much more like a southern family drama than a historical fiction. Which, for me, was a good thing. I was riveted by page one and was wholly invested in the characters the whole way through. 

Great writing, gripping plot, memorable characters...what more can I say? I really liked it. My only beef with the book was the convenient way no one would reveal secrets that kept the plot moving. Not my favorite plot device. But don't let that deter you. This one is worth the read.     

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

September Wrap-Up

Well, here we are in October my favorite month of the year! That means September is over and the crisp air and falling leaves can start....any time now! Please!!! Ahem. Anyway. September started out on a crazy trip to Oregon to furnish our vacation home, to fancying up the exterior of one of our duplexes to, well, nothing. Things seemed to have calmed down and I'm loving it! More time for reading, binge watching shows and enjoying the cooler weather....anytime now, Fall.

 I read 8 books this past month. 2 print books 3 ebooks and 3 audiobooks. Fairly balanced I'd say.

The Girl From The Well
A creepy read about a murdered girl who seeks revenge until she meets a boy with an even more creepy ghost attached to him.

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Verse 1)
All the regular ingredients to a fantasy but tasted delicious.

A Simple Favor
Stupid, pointless story with deplorable characters.

The Woman in Cabin 10
A likable character in a psychological thriller? I know! I'm shocked too!

The Orphan Keeper
Intriguing page turner about a kidnapped child and his journey home.

Before We Were Yours
Surprising with twists and turns through past and present.

Big Mushy Happy Lump
Get ready to laugh for the few minutes it will take to read this delightful book.

Siege and Storm (Grisha Verse 2)
Slower middle but still so yummy! (review to come)

And there you have it. Big Mushy Lump gets 5 stars because there's nothing to dislike and I'll definitely be reading it again but The Grisha books,The Woman in Cabin 10 and Before We Were Yours were all great books too.  Besides A Simple Favor, which was just awful, I had a pretty good reading month.