Harry Potter Tag

So, I’m in a bit of a reading slump.

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I know, Fred and George, I know.  To work through it, I’ve been reading the Harry Potter illustrated additions and listening to the audiobooks because that’s just what you do during a reading slump.  

I also decided to do a Harry Potter book tag because why the heck not?  I also decided to make up my own tag, so here it is:  the Anti Reading Slump Harry Potter Book Tag.

**Obviously contains Harry Potter spoilers.  If you haven’t read the books yet, omg what in the world are you waiting for??!!**

Question 1: Which book is your favorite?

All of them, obviously.  This may be cheating, but this kind of is my tag, so I can cheat if I want to.  Seriously though, this is a really tough question because I love them all for different reasons and I appreciate them as a collection.

Question 2: Who is your favorite character?

Besides Harry, Ron, and Hermione, I am definitely Dumbledore’s girl, through and through.

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Question 3: Which house are you in?

Gryffindor lyfe

Question 4: What is your patronus?

Per Pottermore, my patronus is a wood mouse.  How incredible is that?

Question 5: What is your favorite magical creature?

Thestrals, Hippogriffs, and Nifflers

Question 6: What is your favorite class at Hogwarts?

Definitely Defense Against The Dark Arts.  Transfiguration is pretty neat too.

Question 7: Which Quidditch position would you play?

I’d totally be a Chaser

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Question 8: Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley?

While Diagon Alley is obviously awesome, there is something really magical about Hogsmeade, especially during Christmas.  Also, butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Question 9: Who is your Harry Potter crush?

Bill Weasley and Oliver Wood.  *swoon*

Question 10: What would you use the Room of Requirements for?

As a really comfy, safe place when I just needed to be alone.  With lots of pillows, books, and a coffee pot.

Question 11: What is your favorite moment from the books?

Wow, thanks for asking such a hard question.  Obviously when Voldemort is defeated.  But when Ron and Hermione *finally* admit their feelings for each other and when Umbridge is packed off into the forest by Centaurs are two great moments as well.  And one of my favorite parts is when Dumbledore’s portrait is placed in the Headmaster’s office.  I lost it.

Question 12: Who is your favorite professor?

McGonagall is such a badass and I love her.

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Finally, Question 13: Why do you love Harry Potter so freaking much?

I grew up with Harry Potter and like so many others, it means the world to me.  The writing, the world J.K. Rowling created, the hope, the friendship, the adventure, it’s pure magic.

I challenge anyone who wants to do a Harry Potter tag of any sort to do it!  I love talking about Harry Potter and will find any excuse to do so.

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July Wrap-Up

It’s that time of the month!  Um, no not that time, the other one.  The end of the month wrap up!

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It also just so happens that today’s wrap up falls on Harry Potter’s birthday.  Happy birthday, Harry!

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And above, we see a slice of true artistry.  Now, on to the books.

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Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay

If you aren’t sure what Harry Potter is about, I cannot stress to you enough that you immediately close this page down, run to the nearest bookstore and devour it (through your eyeballs, not your mouth).  That is all.  But seriously, this illustrated version is so lovely that I was crying on the dedications page.  I kid you not.  Obviously, this got a 9 3/4 out of 5 stars.  (If that reference is really confusing, then seriously, why are you still reading this?!  Your FAVORITE BOOK EVER is waiting on you!)

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One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.  Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

I gave this book 2.5/5 Stars and I was super torn over it.  The first 2/3 was mostly a 4 star rating for me as the mystery was intriguing and I was getting some serious Pretty Little Liar vibes in the best possible way.  However, the ending was definitely a 1 star ending.  I don’t want to give away too much, but there are some issues surrounding mental illness that I though weren’t handled well.

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Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

When it comes to love there’s no such thing as conventional.  Everyone thinks Colton Neely is special.  Lilly Evans just thinks he’s fascinating.

Once friends when they were younger, their bond is cut short due to her accident prone nature and they go their separate ways. Years later, they meet again and Lilly learns that there is something special about the boy she once knew, but she has no idea what it all means. And she’s not sure if she’s ready to find out.

When he walks through the corridor of her school the first day of her senior year, she knows that it’s time to get to know the real Colton Neely. The more she learns, the deeper she falls.

2/5 Stars  I have no idea how I found this book or how it ended up on my Kindle, but I did and it was, so here we are.  I don’t want to say too much about this book because it’s super short (127 pages), but I was just not a huge fan of the writing and the multiple mistakes in the book (published only as an ebook) were distracting.  This is not to say the story was bad because I think it was a unique perspective and had potential with better editing.  However, the Goodreads reviews are overwhelmingly positive, so I am in the minority with this one.

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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Now, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.

But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish the letter, he was stabbed to death…

I don’t know if it was me or the narrator or the story or what, but I had a hard time following this audiobook.  I couldn’t quite keep the characters straight and had to backtrack several times for the plot to make sense.  Overall, a solid 3/5 Stars for me even though I guessed the ending (I was a little excited because I didn’t think I would be right.  TBH with Christie, I usually never am, so it was pretty sweet.)

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Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Ah, Unbreakable.  Tied for least favorite book of the month.  I gave this a 1/5 Stars and the full review is here.

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I See You by Clare Mackintosh

You do the same thing every day.  You know exactly where you’re going.  You’re not alone.

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a website, a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .

3/5 Stars This book had a unique, if not very realistic premise.  I thought the writing was good and each character had a unique voice, but the “why part” of the thriller felt more than a little ridiculous and the big reveal was disappointing.  Overall, a fast and creepy read, but not very memorable.

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Because You Love To Hate Me by Ameriie, Various

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

3.2ish/5 Stars I took an average rating since I had some 4 and 5 star ratings of stories I really enjoyed (from Victoria Schwab, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Adam Silvera, and Nicola Yoon) and stories I didn’t like so much.  My full review is here.

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Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth…

1/5 Stars and my other least favorite book of the month.  For a book about a vampire, witch, psychic, and a murder mystery, this book was just really boring.  I can understand why readers loved the Sookie Stackhouse novels so much, but this one just wasn’t great.

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski 4.5/5 Stars

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera 4/5 Stars

Find Her by Lisa Gardner 3.5/5 Stars

These are the books I read for the Booktube-A-Thon 2017 and the wrap-up can be found here with links to reviews.

Those are the eleven books I read in the month of July and for reading to the very end, I say

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BookTube-A-Thon 2017 TBR

I am so excited to participate in my first ever read-a-thon with the BookTube-A-Thon 2017!  I am new to book blogging and read-a-thons, so while I’m not a booktuber, I really enjoy booktube and thought this would be the perfect first read-a-thon to participate in!  Side note, my TBR is going out literally hours before it starts because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to participate in it until today, but I am going to try to read as much as possible!

The BookTube-A-Thon is hosted by Ariel Bissett and you can find the BookTube-A-Thon channel and more information about the read-a-thon here.

Here are this year’s reading challenges:

Booktubeathon 2017 Prompts

Finally, here is my TBR.  I am very confident that I won’t be able to read 7 books this week because of various commitments, but I have 3 books that I’m counting for various challenges that I am hoping to finish this week!

Challenge 1: Read a book with a person on the cover.

Challenge 3: Finish a book in one day.

Challenge 4: Read about a character that’s very different to you.

Challenge 5: Read a book completely outdoors (???)

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

This definitely counts for challenge 1 because the version I have has the main characters on the front.  This books weighs in at 320 pages, so I am *hoping* to finish it in one day and the story follows two half-sisters from Ghana who are put upon different paths in life and follows their descendants through eight generations.  The characters are very different from me and I cannot wait to read this book.  Also, I’m not sure if I will actually get to read this book outdoors because it is HOT right now where I live, so maybe?  Not sure?  Hopefully, I can get a few challenges from this book.

Challenge 6: Read a book you bought because of the cover.

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Find Her by Lisa Gardner

I have to admit, I rarely buy books just based off of the cover because let’s be honest, books are really expensive and just because the cover is beautiful and would look great on my bookshelf doesn’t mean I will like the story inside.  Also, I don’t have that kind of room on my shelves anyway.  However, I saw this book in the book store and bought it on a whim not because the cover is necessarily beautiful, but because when I saw it, it jumped out to me and looked like a super suspenseful myster/thriller and I was immediately intrigued.

Challenge Two: Read a hyped book.

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While I don’t think there has been as much widespread hype about this YA book as others (it just recently came out), those who have read this book have definitely hyped it up.  I’ve heard really great things about this book, so I am definitely including it in this challenge.

I already know that 7 books this week will probably just not happen, so if I can finish these three, I will be 100% pleased.  Mostly, I am super excited to participate in my first ever read-a-thon in just a few hours!

Happy reading!

 

Books I Read In June

 

June has been a pretty decent reading month!  My birthday was this month too, so that could be why I felt extra motivated to read because I may or may not have just replenished my book supply with a birthday buying expedition.  (All of those books can be found here.)  In fact, here is an actual picture of me reading this month:

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Now, onto the books I’ve read in June.

It must have been a pretty good month for YA for me seeing as I read several YA books this month, and I gave most of them 4 or 5 stars.  

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

5/5 Stars

Starr is a 15 year old living in a poor neighborhood and attending a wealthy private school when she witnesses a police officer shoot and kill her best friend.  Starr endures opposing ideas of what happened that night from her friends at school and neighbors and family members.  This book is pure perfection, it takes a hard look at what’s happening in the US currently, and I can’t recommend it enough.

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

4/5 Stars

This book follows two Indian-American teenagers who meet at a summer camp after their parents decide to give arranging their marriage a go.  It is incredibly funny and sweet and is the perfect summer YA contemporary read.  Full review here.

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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

4/5 Stars

What if the story of Peter Pan isn’t the full story?  What if Neverland isn’t only a place full of fairies and mermaids?  These are the questions this story answers, only from Tiger Lily’s point of view with Tinkerbell as the narrator.  It’s a great set-up to a very touching story.  Full review here.

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Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

4/5 Stars

A classmate finds Simon’s emails on a school computer.  Emails that talk about Simon being gay, which he hasn’t really told anyone yet.  Now, he is being blackmailed with the threat of outing him and the boy he’s been emailing, only named “Blue”, to the whole school.  This book was incredibly cute and it is impossible not to love Simon.  And the ending is so adorable I can’t stand it.

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My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

1/5 Stars

I’m still not 100% convinced this book is YA, but I’m putting it here for lack of a better place for it.  I have a review for this book here where I talk in depth about how much I was disappointed with book, but essentially it’s about two best friends who are trying to manage being teenagers in the 80s while also dealing with one of them being possessed by a demon.  This one was probably the biggest disappointment this month, but ah well, can’t win ’em all.

Sadly, it wasn’t one of the best months for mysteries/thrillers, which I love to read in the summer.  Still, with over two months left, hopefully I’ll find some good ones to even it out!

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The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

1/5 Stars

I read In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware last year and while it didn’t blow my mind, I definitely enjoyed it and was excited about her new release.  However, this book just fell completely flat.  It follows a woman who goes on a luxury cruise and here’s a woman being thrown overboard and the next day, she finds out everyone on the ship is accounted for.  I had some issues with portrayal of mental illness and the plot got more and more ridiculous and unbelievable as it went on.

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Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

1/5 Stars

This book was another disappointing mystery for me.  I picked it up because it was compared with Tana French’s novels, which are some of my absolute favorites.  However, it became more of a character-driven story while the plot just lagged.  And the “twist” at the end wasn’t a twist at all because there is nothing at all that leads up to it.  This story follows a woman who goes missing from her house.  There’s supposedly more about the missing woman’s love life, family relationships, and other stuff, but it wasn’t really enough to make the book more exciting.

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The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

3/5 Stars

This book was definitely the bright spot on my otherwise not so great month for mysteries/thrillers.  It follows Roxane Weary, a detective hired to dig into the disappearance of a girl years ago, and the man sitting on death row who was convicted of the crime, but may be innocent after all.  Full review here.

I read one contemporary book this month, which was

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Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

5/5 Stars

Suburban moms, affairs, lies, scandals, and a possible murder.  Seriously, this book is great.  Full review here.

Lastly, I read four non-fiction books this month. Woohoo!

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Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

4/5 Stars

This book is Jenny Lawson’s memoir about mental illness and finding the humor even in the bleakest moments.  It is absolutely ridiculous in the best way possible and the chapters where she talks about her mental illness are quite touching.  The audiobook is definitely the best way to go because it’s read by Jenny Lawson, who is simply freaking hilarious.  Full review here.

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Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety by Robert Duff

4/5 Stars

I have anxiety, so I picked this book up based off of a suggestion.  It clocks in at only 71 pages, but it packs a big punch for being so small.  It is incredibly vulgar in language, which I actually appreciated because when you have a mental illness, it doesn’t feel clinical and sterile, it feels like you’re at war with yourself.  I’m really not kidding when I say it is *full* of bad language (as you can see from the cover), so that is definitely something to note.

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So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

2/5 Stars

This book explores cases of mass public shaming and internet shaming culture.  I thought the premise was interesting, but the book didn’t deliver for me.  Full review here.

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Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls To Gilmore Girls, And Everything In Between

5/5 Stars

Whether you know her from Gilmore Girls, Parenthood, or commercials where she plays the mom in plaid, this book is perfect if you love Lauren Graham.  Do yourself a favor and listen to the audiobook.  Full page of me just gushing about her complete with gifs review here.

Those are the 13 books I read in the month of June!  As always, bless you for reading to the end.

 

 

Favorite Stand-Alone Books

Do you ever find a book you really like and then find out there are 25 other books in the (what you now realize is a) series?

While this can be great news, because who doesn’t want to read more about a world that is fantastically built and a story that is beautifully written?, it can be a little daunting.  This is especially the case when you think you are picking up a stand-alone book.

While you are reading some great series this summer, here is a list of stand-alones you can pepper in for when you need a palate cleanser.  It includes a wide variety of genres, mainly because my tastes are all over the place.  Okay, for real, here they are:

 

1- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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I remember when this book was brand new, there wasn’t a ton of buzz about it yet, and Starbucks was doing a thing where you could download and read the first few chapters for free to see if you liked it and I remember being completely blown away by it and immediately finished the book and LOVED IT.  When more people started talking about it, I reread it and was just as impressed as I was the first time.

The Night Circus is a beautiful, heavily descriptive fantasy novel about a circus, Le Cirque des Rêves, that shows up unexpectedly and dazzles its patrons with breathtaking attractions, but only at night.  When the sun comes up, the circus closes down.  However, what circus-goes don’t realize is that behind the circus, there is a competition between two magicians, Celia and Marco, that could put everything in danger.

Recommend for anyone who:  likes fantasy that feels more like magical realism, wants to secretly be a part of a nocturnal circus, or likes a slow-moving, but very beautifully written book.

 

2- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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This book probably doesn’t need an introduction, but it’s about a 16-year-old girl, Starr who witnesses a while police officer shoot and kill her best friend, Khalil.  Starr must deal with what this means for the part of her that lives in a poor neighborhood and the part of her that attends a suburban prep-school with mostly white students.

This book addresses issues that are relevant and all of the characters and situations feel incredibly real.  It currently has a 4.66/5 stars on Goodreads and it definitely deserves the high rating.

Recommend for:  everyone.

 

3- The Unseen World by Liz Moore

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This book is a new favorite since I read it for my bookclub.  It takes place mostly in the 1980s and follows Ada Sibelius, who is raised by her brilliant, but eccentric father, David.  When Ada’s father is unable to care for her, she moves in with his colleague and best friend and has to navigate a new life as well as uncover some of David’s secrets.

The Unseen World was a slow start for me, but once I made it about 100 pages in, I was completely hooked with the beautiful writing and characters I fell in love with.

Recommend for anyone who: likes character driven stories, likes a little bit of mystery to go with their literary fiction, or likes any of the following: the 80s, particularly if you’re interested in how computer science developed through the 80s (not necessary, just if you are interested in this area), strong female characters, and for romance to take the back seat.

 

4- The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

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The Passion of Dolssa was so refreshing and different from any YA book I have ever read.  First, it takes place in Provensa (Provence, France) in 1241.  Yep, 1241.  Yet, the characters are so real and Julie Berry does an excellent job of building a world in a time period you shouldn’t relate to, but you end up being completely sucked in.  The story is about a young woman, Dolssa, on the run because of her unique gifts that some say is heresy, and Botille, a peasant matchmaker who shows kindness to Dolssa.  But, when Friar Lucien comes to Botille’s village in search for Dolssa, everyone is in danger.

If you still aren’t convinced, I wasn’t 100% sure I would like it going into the book either, but I promise it is absolutely worth your time.

Recommend for anyone who: likes historical fiction (or doesn’t), wants to read something completely different and original in YA, wants well-written characters and fantastic world building in YA or in general.

 

5-You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

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I love memoirs, especially funny memoirs.  Bossypants by Tina Fey, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, and You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day are some of my favorites.  Felicia Day’s book stands out because she is just so relatable.  She has experienced Anxiety firsthand and those chapters really stood out to me.  And of course, she is just ridiculously funny.

Felicia Day is an internet star (her fans dubbed her “Queen of the Geeks”), writer, actress (Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, Supernatural, and her brainchild, The Guild, among others) , and all around fabulous human.  Oh, and if you haven’t watched The Guild yet, do yourself a huge favor and get on it!

Recommend for anyone who: has already watched The Guild and needs to read more from the fabulous Felicia Day (good job, you), if you are in a fandom or would like to be in a fandom and love finding other people who are in fandoms, or like funny, witty, and well-written books.

 

6- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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I have a review up on Big Little Lies here if you don’t mind a ton of gifs from the show I haven’t even finished watching yet (I felt it very necessary to the blog post, you know, for academic reasons).  This was my first Liane Moriarty book and I can’t wait to read more because a) I loved Big Little Lies and b) her books are stand-alones and that is beautiful.

Recommend for anyone who: likes their contemporaries with a side of mystery, likes female driven stories, or wants to read something fast paced that you will not be able to put down until you’ve finished, even if it’s 1am.  I know from experience.

 

7- Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

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Have you always thought to yourself,

I really liked Jane Eyre, but I don’t know, I just wish she was a serial killer? 

Have no fear, because this is the book for you.

In Jane Steele, the title character draws inspiration from Jane Eyre’s story because like Eyre, Jane Steele is wronged by those who are closest to her.  Except Jane Steele turns to murder to escape everyone who means her harm.  And it’s awesome.

Recommend for anyone who: wants a book inspired by the original Jane Eyre (but with more stabbing) and likes heroines who bite back.

 

8- Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

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Finally, Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.  This is a story based upon the lives of three real women during World War II.  Kasia is a Polish teenager sent to Ravensbrück, the concentration camp for women where experiments were conducted on a group called “The Rabbits”, Herta, a German doctor at the camp, and Caroline, a New York socialite who helped the group of women that survived Ravensbrück gain justice after their horrific experience.

You can tell that Kelly put a lot of time and research into this book and it highlighted atrocities during WWII that were, to me, not as well known.

Recommend for anyone who: wants to learn about less written about injustices of WWII, wants to read about these events from the perspectives of three different women, or wants to read a very human, emotional story that reminds us of the atrocities that happened less than 80 years ago.

 

P.s. If you’ve made it to the end of another long, eclectic book list, thank you and congratulations!  You have officially earned a grande mocha latte hazelnut caramel crunch frappe with extra whip, sprinkles on top, and an extra shot of espresso.  Go ahead, you deserve it!  

P.p.s. Except please don’t because that sounds disgusting.  Maybe just give yourself a pat on the back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books I Want To Read This Summer

I don’t know about you, but summer is always the perfect time for me to read a ton of books.  Whether it’s reading outside in the sunshine or squeezing an extra hour in before bed because the sun is still out, summer is the time to knock out some serious reading goals.

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Below are some books that I have on my radar for this summer.  A lot of them are YA, which seems kind of fitting for summer, but by no means is it an exhaustive list because I am always adding to my TBR.  Are any of these books on your TBR?  Have you read any of these books and what did you think?

 

1- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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This book follows Celeste, Madeline, and Jane and their secrets.  It’s full of scandals, lies, and a death that could be an accident or could be murder.  I have been meaning to read this book for actually ever and I desperately want to watch the HBO series but am holding off until I can read the book first.  I just picked this up, so I have high hopes for this one!

 

2- A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

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ACOWAR is the third in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series and the final installment following these particular characters.  The first book in the series is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but with fae.  I’ve read the first two books in the series and have a lot of thoughts about them.  The first was pretty problematic regarding the love interest and while the second book was a lot better, there are still some issues with the series.  However, Maas is excellent at sucking you into her stories and I have (pretty much) overall enjoyed this series.  I’ve been a little hesitant about picking up the last installment, but I’m going to just have to read it and form my own conclusions.

 

3- Talking As Fast As I Can (audiobook) by Lauren Graham

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I. Adore. Lauren. Graham.  I have loved her since Gilmore Girls and I need to read this ASAP.  The audiobook version, obviously.  While fully caffeinated.

 

4- Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

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This is about three friends, Charlie, Taylor, and Jamie, who go to SupaCon (think Comic-Con) and craziness ensues.  One, look at this glorious cover.  Look at it.  And two, this sounds nerdy and hilarious and awesome and I need to read it yesterday.

 

5- Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

 

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This cover is also so beautiful.  But it’s the inside that counts, and this book sounds like it’s going to deliver.  It’s about Grace, who lives with her mother under her step-father’s fear-inducing watch.  When Grace meets Gavin, she thinks she has found a relationship too good to be true until she starts to see another side to him: controlling and dangerous.  All of the reviews I’ve read so far praise this book for tackling difficult subjects with honesty.  It comes out next week! (June 13th)

 

6- The Gentleman’s Guid to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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This book follows Monty, a rogue (yeeessss) with a passion for gambling, alcohol, and sex, who is sent on a grand tour of Europe with his best friend, Percy, who he is in love with.  It features LGBTQIA+ characters and sounds like a lot of fun. (Comes out June 27th)

 

7- Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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This story follows eighteen year old Eliza, who online is the successful creator of popular webcomic, but in real life, is described as weird, smart, and friendless.  But, when a new boy at school convinces her to start living her life offline, things start to fall apart.  It deals with anxiety, which sets it apart from the lighter, fluffier side to contemporary ya, so I’m super excited about this one.

 

8- The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

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Sarah, a 15 year old girl, disappears the same night her parents are murdered.  While Sarah’s boyfriend, an innocent black man, sits on death row for the crimes, his sister hires PI Roxane Weary to investigate the case, who sees a connection between Sarah’s case and one of her father’s (a former cop) previous cases.  It’s a book about small town secrets, complex characters, and features a bisexual main character.  Since summer is one of my favorite times of the year to read thrillers, I am super excited about The Last Place You Look.  (Comes out June 13th)

 

9- Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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We think we know the story of Peter Pan, but this book is told from the perspective of Tiger Lily, a fifteen year old girl who falls in love with Peter until Wendy Darling arrives in Neverland.  This book exposes the dark side of Neverland and I am all about it.

 

10- Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Sixteen year old Simon is not openly gay, but he is threatened and blackmailed when an email ends up in the wrong hands.  Not only that, but the boy he has been emailing could be exposed as well.  It sounds funny and endearing and has incredible reviews.

 

11- History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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I’ve been wanting to read a book by Adam Silvera, and History Is All You Left Me seems like the perfect place to start.  It follows Griffin, who’s ex-boyfriend and first love, Theo dies in a drowning accident, and finds himself connected to Jackson, who was dating Theo when he died.  I’ve been promised that I will cry a lot and my tear ducts are so ready.

 

12- Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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This is the first book in a duology?  Series?  It follows Victor, who escapes from prison and vows to find and seek revenge on his college roommate turned enemy.  It’s about anti-heroes, which are seriously the best, and about a scheme to search for Extra-Ordinaries and the possibility of obtaining supernatural abilities.  Besides that, I don’t want to know too much before going into it.  I tried to read A Darker Shade of Magic by Schwab and couldn’t quite get into it, so I’m hoping Vicious is different because so many people love her writing and I definitely want to give it another shot.

 

13- We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

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Henry doesn’t know why aliens abducted him when he was 13, why they keep abducting him, or why they have given him the power to stop the world from ending.  He also doesn’t know if he has a reason to save everyone.  So, not the typical YA.  That’s perfectly okay with me.

 

We made it!  Those are the 13 books on my radar this summer and while I may not get to them all, they are definitely books I have been wanting to read for a while now and the next three months seems like the perfect time.

Also, Kevin really said it best.

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Favorite Mystery/Thrillers

To kick of this blog, I want to do a list of my favorite mystery/thrillers, which is one of my favorite genres.

There are two times a year I want to read mystery thrillers more than the rest of the year.  One of those is leading up to/during Halloween, which makes sense, and the other is during the summertime.  This probably doesn’t make sense at all and if you are incredibly confused by this, no worries because I kind of am too.  I guess all the sunshine and good vibes is just way too much for me, because I like to compensate with gritty, dark, and creepy books.  Oh, well!

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Here is a list of my favorite mystery/thrillers:

 

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And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

»Probably my all-time favorite mystery because you absolutely don’t see the ending coming, which is an art form Agatha Christie perfected in this book.  Basically, it’s about ten strangers who are gathered together on a private island for the weekend and one by one, they start dying.  It’s the perfect locked house scenario, the atmosphere is really creepy, and if you have never read a Christie, this is a perfect place to start.

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Faithful Place by Tana French

»Okay, this is more of a series recommendation.  Faithful Place is my favorite book out of the Dublin Murder Squad series (it’s the 3rd out of 6 currently) and while technically you can read them out of order, I highly recommend you read them in order because a supporting character from the previous book in the series becomes the main character for the next.  I don’t want to give away too much of the plots with these, but French’s writing style is incredible and you will be equally invested in the characters and their lives as you are in the actual mysteries.

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Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

»This book is also considered a classic, but it is definitely super creepy and gothic and wonderful.  It’s about an orphan who marries a wealthy man and moves to his massive estate, where things start to get really weird.  There are traces of her husband’s previous, deceased wife left behind as her and the house’s mysteries are revealed.  The twist at the end is also fabulously written.

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Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith, AKA J.K. ROWLING

»Another series recommendation.  Let me be very, very honest with you.  The only reason I picked up The Silkworm, the 1st in the series, was because I found out Robert Galbraith was a pen name for J.K. Rowling and about fainted with excitement.  Because J.K. Rowling wrote a mystery/thriller and what have I done to deserve such a gift?  Career of Evil is the 3rd in the series and my favorite so far (the 4th comes out later this year) and you definitely should read these in order.  The series focuses on a private detective, Cormoran Strike, and his assistant, Robin.  If you haven’t read any of Rowling’s work besides Harry Potter, it is completely different than Harry Potter, but with the fact that she is an excellent writer no matter what she writes, and this series is no exception.  I’ll just be over here waiting not so patiently for the 4th book.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

»One of my favorite literary characters and one of my favorite writers.  This story follows Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson as they travel to the the country to investigate a family legend of a murderous hound that haunts the moors surrounding the Baskerville estate.  It’s atmospheric, creepy, and as always, funny and incredibly intelligent.  And don’t worry if you watch Sherlock on BBC because this was published in 1902, so they are plenty different.

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Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

»Trigger warning:  this book contains graphic content including violence, domestic violence, and sexual assault.  This book is incredibly tense and dark.  It’s about a woman who falls for a guy, Lee, who at first seems perfect and then turns increasingly violent and controlling.  He is eventually locked up and this story is told in alternative perspectives of the main character, Catherine, before and after Lee.  It tackles difficult subjects, including mental illness, and is extremely well written.

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The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

»This books is about a man, Ted, who meets a woman, Lily, on a flight back to the States from London.  While talking, Ted admits to Lily that he is having issues with his wife and would like to kill her and Lily offers to help.  And that isn’t even giving anything away.  The Kind Worth Killing is full of twists, turns, and red herrings, and I didn’t see any of it coming.  It is full of flawed characters that are written well and will keep you on the edge of your seat…or page.

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Happy reading!