Friday Reads | Rainy Weather Weekend

downthebookhole

With the way the weather has been the past week, all I have wanted to do is curl up with a book and read. I have been reading and annotating Home and Away by Candice Montgomery. I am reading this for a traveling book club. I am almost half way through it and not completely loving it, but I am too stubborn to give up on it and all the annotating I already did. I really struggle with DNFing books. I am also listening to Uglies on audiobook as a reread. With Scott Westerfeld coming out with a new book in the Uglies world I thought it was a perfect time for a reread of a series that really got me into YA! I have some different blog posts I want to work on this weekend as well but the big focus will be snuggling up and reading! 

What are you reading this weekend?

 

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The Things I Do When I Should Be Reading

Being a book lover and having more unread books than one person could ever read in a lifetime, one of the biggest struggles is making time to be an adult and read books. It sad that I am at that point in life where I am to schedule out time in the day that can be set aside for reading. I have even gotten to the point where I listen to audiobooks so that I can listen while I cook, clean, get ready for work and workout. There just never seem to be enough time and yet so many books that I am dying to read. There are other books I get FOMO (fear of missing out) about because everyone else has read it and is talking about it. With all of that being said I have also noticed lately that I seem to find anything and everything to distract me from reading. My procrastination always gets the best of me. I will sit down to read and then 2 hours later I have somehow ended up deep down the hole of something that was not the book I was meaning to read. I thought I would share some of those things that have been distracting me and I have been doing instead of reading.

♥ Binge Watch Netflix/Hulu/HBO

I am not a fan of silence since I live alone so I  spend a lot of time streaming TV shows and Movies. Especially rewatching tv shows I have seen so many times. Gilmore Girls is a constant fall back and a show I have seen more than 4 times completely all the way through. I usually put something on for background noise , but end up getting sucked into the show. I am currently rewatching Reign so that I can watch the final season. If you are ever in need of tv/movie recs from Netflix, Hulu, HBO, or Amazon Prime, I am your girl.

 

♥ Bothering/Playing with the Kittens

Usually my bratty cats are always bothering me and get into a lot of things making me get up and stop them. I spend so much time as I try to read chasing after them when they get into things they shouldn’t be. There are also a lot of times they bring me their toys to play fetch or I am busy cleaning up their messes. They are like having small children. Even as I am typing this I have had to get up multiple times to deal with them. On their defense sometimes they are just very cute and I spend time taking pictures of them.

 

 

♥ Social Interactions

It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes I do come outside from my isolation from humans and do social things. A few months ago I attended the Macklemore and Ke$ha concert in Kansas City with a coworker. It was the second time seeing Ke$ha and lets just say she is my spirit animal for sure! Just recently I also went on a day long float trip down a river with another awesome coworker/friend and a group of her friends. It was definitely quite the experience, but made for some good memories. I also am a Big Sister in the Big Brother Big Sister Mentor Program. My little sister and I get together at least twice a month and always do fun things. We recently saw The Meg and let me tell you I do not believe it was something a 9 year old should see since even I jumped multiple times.

♥ NAPS

Another thing I am so very guilty of is taking naps. I struggle a lot to fall asleep and stay asleep at night, but I am a Nap Queen. I can basically nap anywhere and nap multiple times a day, you would think I am an expert sleeper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

♥ Trip to the Zoo!

I finall made it to the Omaha Zoo, it only took me a whole year. I absolutely adore the zoo and cannot believe I have waited this long to go. I could have spent all day there, the animals were absolutely beautiful, but it was so humid I was dripping sweat.

 

♥ Baking Goodies

One of my other passions besides reading is definitely baking. I enjoy being in the kitchen and baking up a mess (not so much cleaning it). I love trying out new recipes and trying different things. I spent this past weekend baking some cookies as well as watching the newest season of The Great British Baking Show!

Seventh Born by Monica Sanz | ARC Review


SEVENTH BORN BY MONICA SANZ

Genre: YA, Fantasy,Paranormal

Publication Date: Sept. 4, 2018

Source: Entangled Publishing in return for an honest review

Synopsis:
Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she’s the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life.

Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium’s Witchling Academy. Her birth order, quick temper, and tendency to set things on fire, however, have left her an outcast with failing marks…and just what Professor Nikolai Barrington is looking for.

The tall, brooding, yet exceedingly handsome young professor makes her a proposition: become his assistant and he’ll give her the referral she needs. Sera is quickly thrust into a world where witches are being kidnapped, bodies are raised from the dead, and someone is burning seventhborns alive. As Sera and Barrington grow ever closer, she’ll discover that some secrets are best left buried…and fire isn’t the only thing that makes a witch burn.

Goodreads | Amazon 


*I would like to thank Entangled Publishing and the author for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

 

Seventh Born was like visiting an old friend. It had those elements from the stories and series we love. For me it was pulling inspirations from Harry Potter and Vampire Academy, taking place at a boarding school, magic, mystery, a dab of romance & forbidden love . Not to say I am comparing it to those books, but it was definitely reminiscent of those stories for me and gave me those warm fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. Monica Sanz worked some of her own magic in developing a setting and backstory that was so intriguing and mixed with the elements of magic and mystery, it kept me on the edge of my seat, devouring the book.

Sera was an amazing main character that has her own flaws, but is really trying to find herself and her place in this world in which she doesn’t belong/wanted. I loved her determination and loyalty. I think her confidence and strength are exactly the qualities that a female lead should have in a book to be a great role model for young girls. She is my favorite character, but I quite enjoyed some of the others, they were complex and well thought out with depth that also gave you a concern for what would happen to them in the end regardless of some events that took place.

This book definitely came as a shock to me and surprised me with how quickly I got drawn into the story and how much I need to rest of the series like last week. Overall I don’t know how I can wrap up my feelings about this story without it being a complete gush. From the backstory and history of this world to the present day happenings and unsolved mystery, It created such an atmosphere and places you within the story trying to figure out what is happening right along Sera. There was a wide array of characters each with their own struggles and personalities that have you invested in the people as much as the plot. The overall atmosphere is what you would expect from a mystery novel, it is dark and a little creepy and then add in the fantasy elements, creating such an unknown which drives forward the story. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I think it has elements that could appease a wide audience and believe the story deserves attention!

 

2018 Beat The Backlist Challenge |August Update

I have some really big goals for myself with this new year, both personally and with regards to books. This will be the first year that I will be in one place (hopefully) not juggling school or the constant traveling I have experience that past few years. I am really trying to focus on myself and trying to limit distractions and drama. One of my biggest book goals next year is to read the books I own and definitely catch up on series I am so far behind on or that I need to read. (Shoutout to Alex @ Booksy Daisy for posting her tbr and convincing me to do this!) Beat the Backlist hosted by Novel knight is the perfect challenge. (I do better when I am able to mark off a list so challenges work so well for me) Now I cannot make promises that the books I list are going to be the ones I actually read, but it is the goal to get these ones specifically. I am setting myself the goal of 50 books! I haven’t decided what I want my year goal to be, but with the hopes of tackling the books on my shelf I definitely want to focus more on the backlist and older books!


THE CHALLENGE

  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.
  • Books must be released prior to 2018 to count for this challenge.

My (Tentative) TBR List 

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
The Looking Glass Wars
Seeing Redd
ArchEnemy

Shattered Sea Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
Half A King
Half the World
Half a War

♣ Lunar Chronicle Series by Marissa Meyer
Cress
Fairest
Winter

♣ Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Immortal Series by Tamora Pierce
Wild Magic
Wolf-Speaker
Emperor Mage
The Realm of the Gods

♣ Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black
Valiant
Ironside

♣ Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins
Sweet Evil
Sweet Peril
Sweet Reckoning

♣ Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
Legend
Prodigy
Champion

♣ Misborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

♣ Avalon Duology by Mindee Arnett
Avalon
Polaris

♣ Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson
The Crown of Embers
The Bitter Kingdom

♣ Wait For You Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Wait For You
Trust In Me
Be With Me
Stay With Me
Fall With Me
Forever With You

♣ Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan 
The Lightening Thief
The Sea of Monsters
The Titan’s Curse
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Last Olympian

♣ Rome by Jay Crownover 

♣ Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell 

♣ A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini 

♣ Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer

♣ Notorious RBG: The Life and Time of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon

♣ Americanah by Chimanada Ngozi Adichie

♣ Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 

♣ Lock in by John Scalzi 

♣ Kings of Broken Things by Theodore Wheeler 

Original List [4/50]

♠ The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

♠ The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

♠ Final Girls by Riley Sager

♠ Dear Martin by Nic Stone

♠ The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

♠ Wicked by Jennifer L Armentrout

♣ Torn by Jennifer L Armentrout

♠ The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

♠ The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

♠ Brave by Jennifer L Armentrout

♠ Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

♠ Halfway to The Grave by Jeaniene Frost

♠ The Girl in 6E by A.R Torre

♠ Paper Princess by Erin Watt

♠ Broken Prince by Erin Watt

♠ The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

♠ Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

♠ The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey 

♠ The Last Star by Rick Yancey 

♠ Nash by Jay Crownover

♠ The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L Armentrout

♠ Rowdy by Jay Crownover 

♠ Asa by Jay Crownover

♠ Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

♠ Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

♠ Built by Jay Crownover

♠ Rush by Kandi Steiner

♠ To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

♠ P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han

♠ The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

♠ Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

♠ Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

Total {36/50}

Let me know if you are participating and what team you are on! Happy Reading and Tackle that TBR! 

August 2018 Reads | First Lines

I decided that it would be fun to start a new feature to add the the wrap up of books I read every month. For me most of the time I pick up and look at books in the store it is the first lines that capture my attention and draw me in. It has always been intriguing to me the amount of thought that must go into those first words the author decides to but as the introduction to their work. The first lines are your first impression of the books.

Puddin’ by Julie Murphy
“I’m a list maker. Write it down. (Using my gel pens and a predetermined color scheme, of course.) Make it happen. Scratch it off. There is no greater satisfaction than a notebook full of beautifully executed lists.”

Uncharted by Erin Cashman
“Elizabeth Mayville did not hold with premonitions, deja vu, or any other superstitious nonsense.”

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
“I’m on the toliet at the 9:30 Club, and I’m wondering how mermaids pee.”

Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel 
” I can’t tell you how many cities, towns, villages I have passed through. I stopped caring about their names long ago.”

Royally Screwed by Emma Chase
“My very first memory isn’t all that different from anyone else’s.”

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
“They fire off a round of texts at me five minutes after midnight: We’re coming. Get ready.”

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas
” This house was made for someone without a soul.”

2018 Bookish Bucket List | August Update

Here goes year 4 doing this! And I think this is going to be the year I actually complete my bookish bucket list! I really want to throw myself back into the book community and blogging world, the past few years have been a little tough to get the reading done and last year I set high goals, but came up short. 

♠ Read at least 75 books.
[I have brought my read count up to 43 (with 1 DNF) .According to Goodreads I am still behind where I need to be, but I’m not worried.It is with the help of audiobooks that I get so much reading done! ]

♠ Read and Complete 10 Series.
[ I have completed 5 series so far! I am working on quite a few more. I have been really enjoying binge reading series! ]

♠ Read at least 6 BIG books. This is a repeat from last year.I feel like I am always so intrigued and interested in the huge books, but never get around to reading them because they are intimidating. (I am counting this as over 500 pages.)
[I have read 1 so far! ]

♠ Read 50 books from my TBR (#beatthebacklist)
[ So this is like a double because not all the books I read for #beatthebacklist are from my TBR. ]

TBR: 23   #Beatthebacklist: 36

♠ Read at least 5 Non-Fiction Books.
[I have such a long list of nonfiction books I want to read I just need to start it or I never will]

♠ Post 3 Reviews a Month.
[ I have fallen really behind on this in the past 3 months , but I am working on changing that. I have a few posted for this month.] 

♠ Create or Join A Book Club.
[ I really haven’t done this. I have just been such a mood reader lately it is hard.]

♠ Create my Own Read-A-Thon.  I want to create something that will become a yearly thing and go along with my blogiversary!
[ That happened in Feb! Check out the announcement post for my Down The Read-A-Thon Hole Challenge| Alice in Wonderland themed Read-A-Thon]

 

What are some of your 2018 goals/resolutions? How are you doing on them?

Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel | ARC Review

 

KEEPER OF THE BEES BY MEG KASSEL

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Entangled Teen Publishing in return for an honest review

Publication Date: September 4th 2018

Synopsis:
Keeper of the Bees is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Entangled Teen Publishing for the chance to read and review this book in return for my honest opinion!*

The unique mythology that was first presented in the companion novel, Black Birds of the Gallows, is continued in Keeper of the Bees. We are first introduced to the curse of the bees in the first novel, but are keep quite in the dark about the backstory and details. I enjoyed the first book and found the mythology to be quite intriguing and the story to be unlike anything I had read before. I felt like it left so many questions unanswered and found many of those answers in Keeper of the Bees.

I enjoyed this story so much more than the first. Dresden and his story had me wanting more and to know the why and how of what he was and how he became that way. Although I had slight issues with the romance (a little too insta lovey for me) there were parts of it I understood and like seeing the development. I quite enjoyed the relationship between Dresden and the other harbingers.

Overall this book was a quick read that was layered with mystery and creative mythology that had me guessing until the end. I definitely liked this one better than its companion novel and I am interested to see if there will be another focused on the last mythical being that is only touched on. There is romance, murder and the impending doom that follows the harbingers.

 

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before | Movie Edition

 

Well if you have not heard of the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before adaptation done by Netflix then you must live under a rock. Twitter had been in a frenzy ever since the August 17th drop of the movie. I had listened to the audiobook in anticipation for the movie release and I finished in within a day. I feel in love with the sister relationship, cute innocence of Lara Jean, the sassiness of Kitty and the cute relationship/not really a relationship moments. I have to say I join in with the twitter frenzy and have already watched the movie multiple times.

I think the casting was done perfectly, Lana & Noah were absolutely amazing as Lara Jean & Peter. This movie is the much needed teen rom com that everyone has been craving. It was more than just the romance and focused on all those things the book makes important as well. There were some things missing from the book that were some of my favorite parts, but I understand its hard to fit everything from a book into a movie time frame.

Overall I thought the adaptation was so well done and I do believe we will get the next book, P.S I Still Love You. I mean how could they not with all the love it is getting on the internet. Even the cast is in full support all over social media! I highly recommend this movie even if you didn’t read the book and have no plans of it. It is cute, funny and will make your heart so happy!

Uncharted by Erin Cashman| ARC Review

UNCHARTED BY ERIN CASHMAN

Genre: YA, Mystery, Paranormal

Publication Date: September 4 2018

Source: Page Street Publishing in return for an honest review

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Annabeth prefers the fantasy of her books and paintings to reality—because in reality, her mom is dead, and it was all her fault. When she accompanies her father to the funeral of some family friends who drowned, she’s surprised to find her grief reflected in the face of Griffin Bradford, the son of the couple who died. Griffin is nothing like the carefree boy she once knew. Now he’s irritable, removed, and he’s under police investigation for his parents’ deaths.

One night following the memorial service, Annabeth’s dad goes missing in the woods, and she suspects Griffin knows more about the disappearance than he’s letting on. He refuses to answer her questions, particularly those related to the mysterious “expedition” his parents took to Ireland, where they went missing for seven months.

Annabeth fears her father isn’t lost, but rather a victim of something sinister. She launches her own investigation, tracing clues that whisper of myth and legend and death, until she stumbles upon a secret. One that some would die to protect, others would kill to expose—and which twists Annabeth’s fantasy and reality together in deadly new ways.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Page Street for the chance to read and review this book in return for my honest opinion!*

This story was a unique blend of Irish myth, mystery and family/friendships. It came as a complete surprise to me as I had not heard much about it before I was sent the ARC. I was drawn in from the very beginning with the mystery that was set into motion and has you guessing the entire story of what is actually happening. I thought I had it figured out multiple times, but was shocked with the twists and turns. There is such a dreamy element to this story and it is enhanced by the layer of Irish myth that is woven throughout the story. I thought Cashman did a fantastic job with the development of the myth and loved the fantastical elements that were dreamed up to build this story.

Other than the mythology and fantastical elements that helped to drive forward the story and the mystery, there was secret societies, family, friendship, and romance. I loved that Cashman was able to incorporate so many different elements into the book and I thought it made for such a unique and rich novel! Annabeth and Griffin were such interesting characters. The family ties and the characters background together were really intriguing and were played out so well. It was those ties that were important to the storyline and were an aspect so well crafted by Cashman. Although I did enjoy the characters and their development through the story my favorite part was the background story.

Overall Uncharted had captivated me from the very beginning and did not let me go until the very end. The mystery and secrets pull you into the story of Annabeth, Griffin and their families and it is the ongoing mystery of solving the issues that arise and the fantastical elements that provide a dream like vision that have you transported into the story. I highly recommend this book and think it is a must read of 2018!

 

To All The Book I’ve Loved Before | 5 Books That Have Shaped My Life

With all the buzz going around the internet due to the release of the Netflix adaptation of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, twitter is obsessed. While scrolling through the twitter feed I noticed all the tweets with people replacing words and making their own To All.. sayings. It gave me the idea for this blog post. In TATBILB Lara Jean writes 5 Love Letters to boys in her life she has been in love with. These boys have shaped her and when the letters get out they change her life. I feel like as an avid reader and being in love with books since I can remember (there are pictures of me at age 5 asleep in a bed filled with books) I thought I would write some short love letters to 5 books that I have loved and have had an impact on my life.

♣ Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

You were the first book series that I feel in love with. I was so inspired by the life and adventure that Laura and her family had. I was first introduced to you by my mom and she would read you with me and it was when we spent special time together and created a bond between us. I have reread you multiple times and when I revisit the stories it is like going home. 

♣ Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

You were the first book I read that made me feel like I wasn’t alone. That I was not the only one suffering with this issue. I felt such a connection with Lia and it made me realize what I had been struggling with and that I was worth more than my struggle. A story that reminded me to take it one step at a time and to keep fighting. 

♣ Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

You have found a deep place within my heart. You are like happiness, curiosity adventure and the longing for finding oneself. You remind me of child innocence and to keep that alive always. Whenever life gets a little too hard I know I can turn to you and escape for a little while. 

♣ The Giver by Lois Lowry

You are an odd choice for me to have loved I believe. I know there are many things said about you in both the negative and positive, but you are one that has stuck with me. I have reread you 5+ times and each time I have learned something new and discovered new meanings of your words. It has made me question the society in which I live in compared to that of your stories and reminded me of the importance of being different, following your dreams and that its okay to stand out. 

♣ Volition by Lily Paradis

You were my first for quite a few things. You were the first book I ever had the chance to beta read and helped me to create a relationship with an author. It made me think that I would really like to be more involved in the book community and that I enjoy reviewing books and sharing the love I have of books. I was so drawn to the darkness within the story and reminded that even with darkness you can find light. It also really introduced me to New Adult and the love I have for books in that category. 

I would love to hear about 5 books that have had an impact on your life or see some love letters that you might write to some books you have read!