Fall Time, Cozy Time Book Tag

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Ah, Fall.  One of my absolute favorite times of year.  In honor of this gorgeous season, here is a lovely tag about fallish books.  Thank you so much to Alex @ Whimsy Pages for tagging me and definitely give her lovely blog a visit!

Let’s jump right into it!


CRUNCHING LEAVES: THE WORLD IS FULL OF COLOR – CHOOSE A BOOK THAT HAS REDS/ORANGES/YELLOWS ON THE COVER

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The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code; little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

Sounds creepy and perfect for fall!  Unfortunately, this book doesn’t come out until next year, but it’s on my TBR and it definitely puts me in the mood for all things spooky this fall.


COZY SWEATER: IT’S FINALLY COLD ENOUGH TO WEAR WARM COZY CLOTHING – WHAT BOOK GIVES YOU THE WARM FUZZIES?

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My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

The relationship between Elsa and her Granny is so perfect and reminds me of my cherished memories of my own Grandma.  This book absolutely gives me all of the warm and fuzzies.


FALL STORM: THE WIND IS HOWLING AND THE RAIN IS POUNDING – CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITE BOOK OR GENRE THAT YOU LIKE TO READ ON A STORMY DAY.

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Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

And really, suspense/thriller/mystery are my favorite to read on a dark and stormy day.  If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend going into it not knowing anything because that makes all of the twists and turns that more exciting!


COOL CRISP AIR: WHAT’S THE COOLEST CHARACTER YOU’D WANT TO TRADE PLACES WITH?

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Alex answered the exact same thing, but obviously, my number one girl, Hermione Granger.


HOT APPLE CIDER: WHAT UNDER HYPED BOOK DO YOU WANT TO SEE BECOME THE NEXT BIGGEST, HOTTEST THING?

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The Cure For Dreaming by Cat Winters

My full review of this incredible book can be found here and I need this book to be more hyped because it is AWESOME.


COAT, SCARVES, AND MITTENS: THE WEATHER HAS TURNED COLD AND IT’S TIME TO COVER UP – WHAT’S THE MOST EMBARRASSING BOOK COVER YOU OWN THAT YOU LIKE TO KEEP HIDDEN IN PUBLIC?

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When A Scot Ties The Knot by Tessa Dare

On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shyly pretty and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.

A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter … and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.

Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He’s wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters… and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.

All of Tessa Dare’s covers are this amazing.  Which is why I read them all on my Kindle.


PUMPKIN SPICE: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FALL TIME COMFORTS FOOD/FOODS?

Soup, bread, apple pie, and coffeecoffeecoffee!


I officially challenge anyone who would like to complete this cozy, fallish book tag to do it.  Consider yourself tagged!

Thanks for reading!

 

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September Wrap-Up

Welcome to my September wrap-up, aka how many times I say “spooky” in one post.  (Hint:  it’s a lot.)

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Today is the last day of September, which means tomorrow begins my favorite reading month.  Bring on the spooky, creepy, ghoulish books all. month. long. (Though now I think about it, all of the books I read this month had a spooky element.)

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I’m so very slowly getting back into my regular reading schedule, so this month wasn’t my best reading month, but I’ll take it if it means leaving the slump way, way behind!  Here are the 8 books I read in the month of September:

 

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The Sirens by Joseph Knox

Set in a sprawling, twilight northern city, Sirens introduces Aidan Waits, a disgraced young detective caught stealing drugs from evidence and subsequently blackmailed into going undercover. When an MP’s daughter runs away from home, Waits is sent to track her down and finds himself at the centre of a maelstrom of drugs, blackmail and deception.

Uncovering the motives of those involved, he’s thrown forwards through politicians, police and drug lords – towards a conclusion and a truth he really doesn’t want to know.

I gave this one a 2/5 stars and my full review can be found here.

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Vassa In The Night by Sarah Porter

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling away again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair…

I gave this 3/5 stars and my full review is here.

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Carrie by Stephen King

Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…

I gave this a 3/5 stars.  It isn’t my favorite Stephen King novel I’ve read, but it’s his first and perfect for this time of year.

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Final Girls by Riley Sager

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

That is a super long Goodreads synopsis!  I gave this a 2/5 stars and had a lot of feelings about it which can be found here.

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The Cure For Dreaming by Cat Winters

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

I absolutely adored this book and gave it a 4.5/5 stars.  My gushing review can be found here.

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Alone by Cyn Balog

When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they’re not going back to the city…or Seda’s friends and school.

As the days grow shorter, Seda is filled with dread. They’re about to be cut off from the outside world, and she’s not sure she can handle the solitude or the darkness it brings out in her.

Then a group of teens get stranded near the mansion during a blizzard. Seda has no choice but to offer them shelter, even though she knows danger lurks in the dilapidated mansion—and in herself. And as the snow continues to fall, what Seda fears most is about to become her reality…

I gave this book a 3/5 stars and my full review is here.

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The Witches by Roald Dahl

This is not a fairy-tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. Real witches don’t ride around on broomsticks. They don’t even wear black cloaks and hats. They are vile, cunning, detestable creatures who disguise themselves as nice, ordinary ladies. So how can you tell when you’re face to face with one? Well, if you don’t know yet you’d better find out quickly-because there’s nothing a witch loathes quite as much as children and she’ll wield all kinds of terrifying powers to get rid of them. Ronald Dahl has done it again! Winner of the 1983 Whitbread Award, the judges’ decision was unanimous: “funny, wise, deliciously disgusting, a real book for children. From the first paragraph to the last, we felt we were in the hands of a master”.

4.5/5 stars.  A fantastic story that all ages will appreciate.

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Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.  Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.  But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

2/5 stars.  I was so excited it for this one and was pretty disappointed.  To make myself feel a little better, I’m indulging in another spooky gif.

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Happy spooky reading!

 

 

 

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

It’s been a minute since I’ve done a book tag and since I really enjoy watching other videos and reading other tags, I decided to do one I recently saw on youtube from about 2 years ago from TheBookArcher which you can find here!

This is the Unpopular Opinions tag.  I love discussing unpopular opinions, especially about books because passionate opinions definitely surface when talking about loved and loathed books.

Also, by no means am I saying these books are horrible because some of my favorite books are probably loathed by many people as well.  These are just my opinions and of course, are not set in stone by any means!

Now, onto the tag!

Question One:  What is a popular book or series you didn’t like?

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The Magicians series by Lev Grossman.  I read the first book and it currently stands as one of my least favorite books of all time.  I know it is adored by so many people and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the t.v. show, but I am just not a fan of this book and didn’t continue on in the series because of that.

Question Two:  What is a popular book or series everyone hates, but you love?

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The Awakening by Kate Chopin.  This takes some explaining.  While this is a book that many people are divided on in a you really like it or really, really don’t kind of way, but I remember reading it for the first time in high school and being the only person in my English class that really liked it.  I had one other friend who also liked it, but everyone else absolutely loathed it, which is why I’m using it for this answer.

Question Three:  Name a love triangle where you didn’t like who the MC ended up with.

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The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.  I really get so sick of love triangles, particularly when they are done in a way that pushes the reader to like one character of the other so there really is no question as to who you want the MC to end up with.  I can’t go in depth on why I don’t like the outcome of the love triangle in this book because it would give away sooo many spoilers, but it’s pretty disappointing.

Quesion Four:  What is a popular genre you rarely reach for?

Though I’ve been reading a lot more lately for some reason, YA Contemporary is usually not my cup of tea.  But really, if the books sounds good, I’ll go for it no matter the genre.

Question Five:  Name a popular character you don’t like.

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Jericho Barrons in Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning.  He’s a jerk.  Apparently his jerkness apparently gets better as the series go on, but I’m not interested in finding out any time soon.  Hot?  Yes.  Mysterious?  Sure.  Huge freaking jerk?  Totally.  No thanks.

Question Six:  Who is a popular author you can’t seem to get into?

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Cassandra Clare.  I tried so hard to love The Mortal Instruments series.  I really did.  But I couldn’t finish the series.  And then I decided to throw advice out the window and tried really hard to love The Infernal Devices series.  So much trying.  But I just have to admit defeat.  Her books are beloved by plenty, so it’s probably okay that they just really aren’t for me.

Question Seven: What is a popular series you have no interest in reading?

I try not to say never, so I’ll go with some series I have started and won’t be finishing.

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas and the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard.  After the first book in the TOG series, I just didn’t feel compelled to finish, especially since I think her ACOTAR series is much better.  And since finding out that the what was supposed to be triology will now be possibly much longer, I have no desire to continue with King’s Cage.

Question Eight: Name a book that is worse than it’s movie adaptation.

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The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux.  This is a bit unfair because POTO is my favorite musical, so to me, the musical is better than the book, but I do appreciate that the book is the original work that the musical was created from.

Those are my unpopuuuuularrrr (to the tune of Popular from Wicked) bookish opinions!  Let me know if we have any opinions in common or if I just stabbed your favorite book (unintentionally) in the heart!

 

 

 

 

Fall Reading Recommendations

I have to be honest.  Summer is great and all, but I absolutely love fall.  Basically, I am this cat:

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As the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler, I want to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book.  (It’s also the perfect time to read horror novels from the safety of my cozy living room.)

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Here is a list of all of the fall reading recommendations I have for my fellow lovers of all things autumnal from the cozy to the downright creepy.

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway – a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

This book was made to be read in fall, trust me.

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The Hound Of The Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Holmes and Watson are faced with their most terrifying case yet. The legend of the devil-beast that haunts the moors around the Baskerville family’s home warns the descendants of that ancient clan never to venture out in those dark hours when the power of evil is exalted. Now, the most recent Baskerville, Sir Charles, is dead and the footprints of a giant hound have been found near his body. Will the new heir meet the same fate?

My favorite Holmes & Watson case.  This book is seriously creepy and will have you looking out your window to make sure nothing is out there.

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Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

What better time for a reread than fall, especially Chamber of Secrets.

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Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

A teenage murder witness is drowned in a tub of apples… At a Hallowe’en party, Joyce—a hostile thirteen-year-old—boasts that she once witnessed a murder. When no-one believes her, she storms off home. But within hours her body is found, still in the house, drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. That night, Hercule Poirot is called in to find the ‘evil presence’. But first he must establish whether he is looking for a murderer or a double-murderer…

This is very different from other Christie novels and won’t be for all of her fans, but I kind of love it.  It’s creepy and weird and I didn’t see the ending coming.

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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

One of my favorite classics and perfect for fall.

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Dracula by Bram Stoker

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client and his castle. Soon afterwards, a number of disturbing incidents unfold in England: an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck; and the inmate of a lunatic asylum raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘Master’. In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count Dracula and a determined group of adversaries, Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing deeply into questions of human identity and sanity, and illuminating dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

What would a fall reading list be without Dracula?  If you like your vampires extra creepy and not at all sparkly, this is the book for you.

Let me know what some of your fall reading recommendations are!

 

 

 

 

August Wrap-Up

Whelp, it’s official.  I am in a huge reading slump and my first ever blogging slump!  

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Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I feel like I haven’t posted in FOREVER and it’s not a good feeling!  I’ve missed reading everyone’s lovely posts and talking about books, so I’m ready to get back into a good reading and blogging schedule.

In fair warning, this is going to be a very, very short monthly wrap-up.  I’m just going to jump into it and hope that September is the month I can pull out of this ridiculous slump.

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

Overall, I enjoyed this book for content and only gave it a 3/5 stars because of some formatting issues.  However, I definitely recommend reading this book at least once and my full review can be found here.

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Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.  Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.
Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

I gave this book a 4/5 stars.  I did have some issues, particularly with the ending, but I really, really enjoyed this honest look at an abusive relationship.  Particularly in YA when problematic and even abusive traits are romanticized in relationships, I appreciated that this book showed why abuse is never okay.  My full review and thoughts can be found here.  Trigger warnings for this book include abuse (graphic).

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The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

I thought there were some great take-aways from this book and some points where the book drifted away from the central idea.  I gave it 3/5 stars overall and all of my thoughts about it can be found here.  Oh, and warning for this book:  there is A LOT of crude language throughout.

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Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (Illustrated) by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay

The illustrations are incredible.  I give it all the stars.  And does anyone else feel like Harry Potter is perfect for reading slumps?

That’s it!  Those are the four whole books I read during the month of August.  What are your tips for working through a reading slump?  Thank you for reading, and here’s to a better reading month for September!

 

 

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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