Features · February · Review

Mini Review| Young Adult

A lot has been going on these last few weeks (I will review all that later this month), and I’ve neglected reading. Luckily, this last week or so, I finished three books then I realized that I have failed to review any of the books I’ve read all year. Instead of reviewing each and every one individually, I figured I’ll mesh these reviews together via genre, at least as much as possible and share my quick thoughts. Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

 

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody      Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Jessica Brody is one of my favorite Young Adult authors. Her characters are so funny and witty and Ryn was no exception. And yet, I found her a bit annoying, no, frustrating. It’s understandable that after a tough loss, one would feel the need to get away, but she was just too stubborn at first and held onto things when she shouldn’t have for far too long. Still, I loved the story and thought it was well-written.

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed      Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think this was a very important topic of Islamophobia to read, and although I think it sugar-coated the issues a bit, or maybe brushed over them, I still thought it was very well-written. The romance was cute and I thought that Maya Aziz was a strong and smart young lady with her head on straight. It was a quick and enjoyable read and I hope more books such as these get published.

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway      Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is my first Robin Benway book and after reading this, I learned that this one the National Book Award and for damn good reason. This story was so beautifully written. It was heart-breaking, it was thought-provoking, it was funny and it had a major family dynamic that I appreciated. I cried, I laughed and I loved everything about this book. This is one the reasons why I read YA Contemporary. Some stories hit you right in the feels.

Advertisements
Bookish Thoughts · February · Review

Mini Review| Contemporary Romance

A lot has been going on these last few weeks (I will review all that later this month), and I’ve neglected reading. Luckily, this last week or so, I finished three books then I realized that I have failed to review any of the books I’ve read all year. Instead of reviewing each and every one individually, I figured I’ll mesh these reviews together via genre, at least as much as possible and share my quick thoughts. Enjoy! 🙂

36414108

My Enemy Next Door by Nicole London and Whitney G

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Quick Thoughts: I am generally a big fan of Whitney G’s work, but this one fell little flat to me. Overall, the story was cute, I loved the characters even though I didn’t feel like I could relate to them, I did like the chemistry they had. I just think that there wasn’t enough detail for me. The story wrapped up too quickly for me, I think if there was a little more to their connection, I probably would have loved it even more. Still, a funny and quick read.

 

 

36430001

Over Us, Over You by Whitney G.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Quick Thoughts: Another Whitney G book! Like I said, I love her writing, and I don’t know if it’s because she’s working on multiple books at once, but again, this one was another bland read. This one was a much sweeter read for me. It has so much potential to have better developed and in depth characters, but it was just another one of those typical romance stories. It was funny, as all her books are, but it got a little too cheesy for me at some points. But as always, I wpuld definitely recommend her books just for the witty dialogue alone.

 

36593240

 

Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Quick Thoughts: My first 5-star rating of the year! Well, it’s in between 4.75 and full on 5-stars but either way, I LOVE THIS BOOK! It was romantic, sweet, made me tear up, hilarious, sexy, steamy, everything I can ask for in a contemporary romance and more. Vi Keeland quickly became one of my go-to authors and this is the reason why. *sighs*

 

38611229

 

Gentleman Nine by Penelope Ward

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Quick Thoughts: Other than a kind-of-maybe-slight-almost there love triangle, I enjoyed every bit of this book. The dialogue never was once cheesy to me, which is a first for me because romance novels seem to always have at least one cringe-worthy moment. I was laughing out loud at work at some points and I loved Amber. She was smart, funny and having just had her heart broken, seemed to handle herself really well. And I think Channing just became my new book boyfriend 🙂

Bookish Thoughts · February · Review

Review| Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

35411583

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Summary: After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

NOTE: I did receive an e-book copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thoughts: This is the first official Sophie Kinsella book that I’ve read and, to be honest, I was hoping to like it more. I have actually bought a lot of her books but for some reason haven’t gotten around to them. She comes highly recommended by a couple of BookTubers that I follow and decided I wanted to give this one try first. It was right up my alley, as the main character, Sylvie, has been married to her husband, Dan, for ten years and since my partner and I just celebrated eight years together, I figured this would be relatable. It really wasn’t.

For the most part, Sylvie and Dan are happy married and happily in love, but after being told by a therapist that he sees them together for another 68 years, realization of what feels like an eternity sets in and they panic. I personally didn’t understand that part, but didn’t think too much of it. Sylvie suggests that they start “surprising” each other, as a way to keep the spark alive. After a few silly surprises, Sylvie realizes that there may be something deeper with Dan than she might have guessed. He seems distant and she is scared that he may be pulling away from her because of the thought of spending such a long time together.

I personally couldn’t relate to the story for the most part, and maybe because I was expecting a fluffy chick-lit, the plot caught me off guard and the surprise twist just was a little too bland for me. I just didn’t care for it. I enjoyed the book, but it took me a while to get through it simply because I was bored through the beginning. I don’t see the problem of spending the rest of my life with my husband, if anything, that’s the point of marriage. Getting married means you KNOW you’re vowing to spend however long together, through sickness and health.

Overall, the book was funny, and I did enjoy Kinsella’s writing and will continue to read her books, I have actually started an audiobook of “I’ve Got Your Number”. So I’m not letting this one stop me from her other work. This one may not have been my cup of tea, but it was still full of comedy and I do recommend it if you’re looking for a sweet story to read.

 

 

January · Movies · Random Thoughts · Top 10

Movies I’m Looking Forward to in 2018

Other than books, I’m a huge movie buff. Unfortunately, I don’t get to go out as much with five kids running around, so this may be more of a wish list for me. There are a lot of great movies coming out, and even if I don’t get to watch them in theater, some of theses are releasing early enough that I will be able to catch them on Blu-ray before the end of the year.

In no particular order:

  1. Pitch Perfect 3. Yes, this was released December 2017, but it was late December so I chose to add it to this list. I love all the leading ladies in this series and I’m sad to hear that this may actually be the last one.
  2. Avengers: Infinity War. I finally saw Doctor Strange (which turned out to be better than I thought it’d be) and have watched Captain America: Civil War for like the hundredth time (I love Chris Evans, I mean, Captain America) and also the latest Guardian of the Galaxy installment (I love Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana) which is my least favorite, so far, of the Marvel comics/movies. But I can’t wait to see all these characters come together for the latest Avengers movie!
  3. Insidious: The Last Key. What are we in… the third or fourth movie in this world? I absolutely love the Insidious movies! I watch every one of them knowing I’m going to need to sleep with a light on that night. Every time I think that it’s going to be too cheesy (because most sequels usually are), they add more scares. I can’t wait to watch this one!
  4. Black Panter. I fell in love with this character in the last Captain America movie and I can’t wait to see his story. I am excited to find out everything about this character and see how it develops even after this.
  5. Annihilation. I always say I don’t like Sci-Fi, but I watch a lot of it and some of my favorite movies are sci-fi (i.e. Interstellar, The X-Files TV show/movie, The Terminator 2 to name a few). This one is led by all women again (Gina Rodriguez is in it, too!) so I’m really looking forward to this. And from what I understand, this one is based on a book by the same name, so I may just pick up this book before watching it. Maybe.
  6. Mary Poppins Returns. I’ve watched the Julie Andrews movies as Mary Poppins and though they were cute, not really my favorite. But this time it’s Emily Blunt and I love her. She is literally the only reason I want to watch this movie.
  7. A Quiet Place. This one should probably be number one on this list. I know I said there is no particular order, well, I lied, okay? This is definitely the main one I’m looking forward to the most this year. It has all I love in movies: the scare factor (mystery, suspense, and horror), John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, it looks like they live in the middle of nowhere, and they use sign-language to communicate! If all else fails, at least they can say that it is different than your normal horror flick.
  8. The Strangers: Prey At Night. I watched the first one and I really loved it. Hack- and-slash horror movies are the least of my favorites in the genre, but sometimes they can be okay (Mike Myers, anyone?). And this one took it up a notch with the suspense factor. I hope this one is just as good.
  9. The Incredibles 2. It goes without saying that I love Disney movies. The Incredibles is on the list of one my all-time favorite movies on pretty much every list, including but not limited to: favorite Disney movie, favorite comedy movie, favorite cartoon movie, favorite childhood movie, etc. And an added bonus, my kids love this movie, too! Luckily, they will be the perfect excuse to see it opening day. Instead of people questioning why a single 29-year-old woman is in the same theater as minors.
  10. Sicario 2: Soldado. I wasn’t going to add this one because Emily Blunt isn’t going to be in this one (seriously, I’m obsessed with her). But after re-watching the trailer, I gave in. The first one was soooo good and I can’t wait to see how much further they will go with the story line.

And, of course, there are a whole lot more that I didn’t mention that I’m sure I’ll watch. But these are the ones that I am going to watch regardless of reviews or backlash or anything. What movies are you guys looking forward to this year?

HAPPY VIEWING!

R.

Bookish Thoughts · Features · January · Random Thoughts · Top 10

Top 10 Books I Meant To Read in 2017 But Didn’t Get To

I got this idea over at The Broke and the Bookish blog. I thought it would be a fun little feature to do, that is until I went over all the books I didn’t read and realized there were a lot I wanted to get to but for some reason didn’t. I tried to trim the list down to ten, but I kinda, maybe cheated a little.

So without further ado, in no particular order, here are the books I had planned on reading last year, but never did:

  1. All but one of Ania Ahlborn’s books. I discovered this author early last year, maybe late 2016… not too sure, but I do know it was pretty recent. I’ve heard nothing but great things about her writing and her books and decided to give her a shot. I bought a few of her novellas and books, which were at a pretty decent price on Amazon and even bought a couple of physical books from BookOutlet. But even after stocking up on a ton of her books, I only read The Devil That Crept In (which I really enjoyed). I hope to read most, if not all, of her books throughout this year.

 

 

2. All the Missing GirlsThe Perfect Strangers by Megan Miranda. Anytime I looked up good thrillers or mysteries on any list, All the Missing Girls would show up. I bought it on my Kindle and even purchased The Perfect Stranger (which I think is the sequel?) because I wanted to binge read both of them. Yea right. Never got to them. In my defense, I did start ATMG, but couldn’t get past the first few chapters. Don’t ask me why. But I do plan on getting to these some time 2018.

 

 

3. Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King. I received this monstrous beauty of a book through the Book of the Month Club. I was looking forward to this and couldn’t wait to dig in, but I think the sheer size of this book intimidated me and so I put it on the back burner for when I didn’t have anything to read. Obviously, that never happened but I will read this book before the year is done, even if it means it’s the last book I read.

34466922

 

4. Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker. This is another book I received through the Book of the Month Club. I was in the mood for a thriller when I originally selected it but by the time it arrived I was in the middle of a few other books that I set it to the side. Again, I am in the mood for suspense/mystery/thriller (I’m currently reading two) and I really want to get to this one soon.

33574211

 

5. The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin. I re-read the first two in the Mara Dyer series and after three (maybe four) years after the release of what was originally a trilogy, The Retribution of Mara Dyer (it took me so long to get to it because I did not want the series to to end), I finally read it just so I can be ready for the new book from Hodkin. Unfortunately, I never got to read it. Again, don’t ask me why. And again, it will be read soon.

25548744

 

6. Killer of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. At the moment, I can’t recall where I first heard about this book, but after reading the synopsis, I knew I had to have it. I first got the audiobook from my library but couldn’t finish it (and it was getting so good!) so I was a little bummed, but then I saw that it was one of the options for the Book of the Month Club, so I decided that it would be the last book I got from them. I can’t wait to finish this one.

29496076

 

7. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I have checked this book out from my library, I have it on my Scribd account, I’ve even listened to about 1/3 of the book on audiobook. It sounds really interesting, but for some reason, I have been so confused the entire time I’ve read and haven’t been able to get through it. I want to like it so bad because of all the awards it’s gotten and the overall great reviews it has received. I’m going to give it one more chance (maybe two) to finish it, otherwise, as much as I don’t want to, I may have to DNF this book.

34273236

 

8. The Grip of It by Jac Jemc. I received this book through Page Habit‘s horror book box subscription. I had never heard of it previously and it sounded intriguing enough that I shelved it for an October read, since all I read is horror during that time. But I never got around to it 😦 this time, I won’t wait until October. I plan on picking this up pretty soon.
31574739

 

9. Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) & Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. If you have yet to hear about the hype surrounding this series, the you need to come out from under the rock you’re hiding in, because I can’t go on any book blog or BookTube without someone raving about these books. I purchased the first one and have the second one on my Kindle. The books themselves are gorgeous, I won’t lie, and that’s what excites me the most: the uniqueness of it. But I guess because of the overwhelming positive reviews, I couldn’t bring myself to read them. I want to get to them this year, even it is towards the bottom of my TBR. Or maybe I’ll wait until Obsidio gets released so I can read them all at one time (is it a trilogy?)

 

10. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill. This is another book that I started but couldn’t finish. I have no idea why, because I was really enjoying it, but I just couldn’t finish this book. I was only a few chapters in, so whenever I get to it, I do plan on starting from the beginning. Maybe I’ll save it for an October read, or even Christmas since it took place during the winter/Christmas season.

15729539

 

Like I mentioned earlier, there were way more books I wanted to add to the list, but these were the main ones that I had set on my immediate TBR but just never finished, or in some cases, started. Have you guys read any of these? Did you like them? What books did you mean to get to but never read?

 

HAPPY READING!

R.

 

 

Bookish Thoughts · Features · January · Top 10

Most Anticipated Books of 2018

This is by no means a finalized list. Plus, this list only reflects a few of the books that will be releasing the first half of 2018. There were sooooo many books I wanted to add but I took into consideration authors I’ve read or have been wanting to read, sequels of books I’ve read or want to read, and yes, the covers look so pretty! 🙂

NOTE: I wanted to put the summary along side of these books, but because a few of these are sequels to books I have yet to read (or maybe you guys haven’t read them), I opted not to, you know, because spoilers.

JANUARY 2018

34189556

1. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Release date: January 9th

 

 

 

 

 

36216983

 

2. The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani

Release Date: January 9th

 

 

 

 

364141083. My Enemy Next Door by Nicole London and Whitney G.

Release Date: January 11th

 

 

 

 

 

36593240

4. Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland

Release Date: January 15th

 

 

 

 

 

30753733

 

5. Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker

Release Date: January 23rd

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 2018

35411583

 

6. Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Release Date: February 13

 

 

 

 

261815607. Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G.

Release Date: February 28th

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH 2018

349929298. Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: March 6th

 

 

 

 

 

249093479. Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Release Date: March 13th

 

 

 

 

 

APRIL 2018

36206591

10. Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Release Date: April 10th

 

 

 

 

 

26258314

 

11. Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohna & David Levithan

Release Date: April 10th

 

 

 

 

35297385

 

12. The Elizas by Sata Shepard

Release Date: April 17th

 

 

 

 

 

MAY 2018

3421930713. The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

Release Date: May 1st

 

 

 

 

 

3506873614. 9 Days & 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno

Release Date: May 1st

 

 

 

 

 

3612745615. Listen To Your Heart by Kasie West

Release Date: May 29th

 

 

 

 

 

ASinSuchAsThis_WIP06.indd16. A Sin Such As This by Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: May 29th

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE 2018

3233333817. Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Release Date: June 5th

 

 

 

 

 

3613779418. Court of Shadows (Court of Furies #2) by Madeleine Roux

Relese Date: June 26th

 

 

 

 

 

Welp, that’s it! What books are you guys looking forward to?

Happy reading! 🙂

R.

Bookish Thoughts · Features · January · Review

Mini Review| Final Girls by Riley Sager

32796253

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary: 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.

My thoughts: For the most part, I go into books without reading the synopsis. Especially if it’s a book that I have been anticipating or there’s a lot of hype built around it. If you read the summary of this book, you noticed that it was pretty long, and I feel as though it gives away too many details. Maybe that’s just a me thing. Anyway, I went into this book blind. I have read a few mixed reviews but because it’s horror/msytery, I decided I wanted to give it a try and see for myself. I loved it. It wasn’t the best story written, but it kept me intrigued and I wanted to know where it would go. I love a good mystery, and it had a couple of twists that had me guessing. The hack-and-slash books aren’t my favorite part of horror, or at least I don’t find it scary, but this book was suspenseful and there were scenes where I had to turn the light on, you know, just in case. I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a good thriller.