Bookish Thoughts · Features · January · Review

Mini Review| Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

35068742Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters. 

My thoughts: Kasie West is one of those authors I turn to when I am in a reading slump, am in need of a contemporary romance, or when I’m in the mood for light, cute, fluffy stories and they have never failed to pick up my mood whenever I’m feeling blah. The Distance Between US stood as one of my favorites of hers, but this one is a very close second. It’s full of humor, friendship and family. It was an adorable read and while it was predictable and your typical Young Adult romance, I still swooned over the two main characters. If you haven’t read any of West’s books, please do yourself a favor and pick one up!

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Bookish Thoughts · Features · January · Random Thoughts · Tags

Intimidating TBR Tag

I am not sure how old this book tag is or where it originated, but I saw this over at a book blog I recently came across, lifewithmyheadinbooks.wordpress.com, and it looked like my kind of tag, so I decided to post it on my blog, too!

1. What book have you been unable to finish?

After reading the first two books, I just couldn’t get through Crash Into You by Katie McGarry. I really don’t understand why, I enjoyed the first two, and even read them pretty quickly. But this third one… I don’t know. I must have gotten burnt out on Young Adult at that point or something because the simple things about the book irked me, like the dialogue or the plot.. I don’t mean to bash the book, in fact, I hope I can get back into it sometime soon and finish it, I just don’t have a time frame yet.

2. What book do you have yet to read but just haven’t had the time?

There are seriously way too many to name. My TBR pile is endless ::

3. What book do you have yet to read because it is a sequel?

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han. No particular reason why I haven’t read it other than I have other books I would prefer to get to first.

4. What book do you have yet to read because it is brand new?

It isn’t necessarily brand spanking new, but I’ve had Michelle Hodkin’s The Becoming of Noah Shaw since it was released and still haven’t cracked it open. I will soon, though. For sure.

5. What book do you have yet to read because you read a book by the same author and didn’t enjoy it?

The sequel to City Love by Susane Colasanti. I pretty much forced myself to get through this book because I was hoping it would get better. It had to get better. Sadly, it didn’t.

6. What book do you have yet to read because you are just not in the mood for it?

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

7. What book do you have yet to read because it is so big?

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King. It is on my TBR for early this year, though. Again, for sure.

8. What book do you have yet to read because you bought it because of the cover and it ended up not having very good reviews?

I honestly don’t even know at the moment, but I am positive I have quite a few of those.

9. What is the most intimidating book on your TBR? 

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. And not because of the murder itself, but because whenever I read any true crime stories (for lack of a better term), even if it’s current events, it gets me in a dark place. And I don’t mean it brings another side of me or anything like that, but my mood shifts because of the fact that these horrific events ACTUALLY happened and it puts me in a place, mentally and emotionally, that is hard to get out of. I don’t know if how I worded it made sense, but really, it’s hard to crawl out of that whole once I’m in there.

Welp, that’s about it! This just reminded me that I have so many books to read, and it’s already the fourth on January yet, I haven’t read a single page of a book!

How many books have you read so far?

R.

Bookish Thoughts · December · Features · Review

Review| Roomies by Christina Lauren

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Roomies by Christina Lauren

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary: Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realise that they both stopped pretending a long time ago? 

My Thoughts: I am always looking forward to Christina Lauren’s books. They are so funny and the characters are always relatable, this book was no different. I read this book in a matter of days! It was hard to take their marriage situation serious, but when I took into consideration that this is only a work of fiction, I was able to enjoy it better. I really loved the setting, it all sounded so romantic- because I mean, anything in New York is always so fun and beautiful, let’s be honest, and I think that was my favorite part and the main reason why I rated is so high. The plot sort of fell flat to me, though it was cute, but their surroundings was what sealed the deal. It was its own character that I wanted to get to know more of, but alas, it was about young love. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a sweet and quick love story.

 

Bookish Thoughts · December · Features · Review

Mini Review| The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary: The first day of senior year:

Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he? (summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: After reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe a few years ago, I immediately fell in love with Saenz’s writing. It was beautiful, almost poetic, and it had me feeling all the feels. I felt as though I was apart of the story. With this new book, I was much more connected to the character and even though I was expecting to cry, it came at me when I wasn’t expecting it. I would say this was much more slow paced but when it picked up, boy, I couldn’t put this book down. The family dynamic is what pulled me in. I loved everything about Sal’s father and even his best friend, Sam, even though she got a little annoying sometimes. His relationship with his grandmother is one I admired but envied, because I unfortunately never got the opportunity to get close to either set of grandparents, but I was still able to relate to the amount of love he had for her.

Since reading Aristotle, I have bought a few books of Saenz’s through ebook and online and am hoping to read a couple more this year. They’re older, but I’m sure it’s written just as beautifully.

Book haul · Bookish Thoughts · December · Features · Monthly Wrap-Up · Random Thoughts · Update · Wrap-Ups

HUGE December Book Haul + December Wrap-Up

Okay, so last month I went a little crazy with the book buying. Well, it wasn’t entirely my fault. My local book store was holding an amazing sale and all these books were $7.50 or less! I have no self-control. So maybe that part is a little my fault.

I have to say, after looking through this picture, I noticed that this still wasn’t my entire haul. Ever since last year, I’ve been visiting garage/yard sales, and rummage sales, and a few hole-in-the-wall types of used book stores and have found a few gems, both old and new, at almost every location. At this point, it’s more like I’m collecting books!

I’ve ready a couple of the ones in the picture, I just needed a physical copy of them. All the other ones I do plan on reading. Sometime soon. Eventually.

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December really must have been a busy month for me because I only read four books! Fortunately, I ended it on a good note because I enjoyed all of them:

 

 

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Final Girls by Riley Sager ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Roomies by Christina Lauren ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Love, Life and the List by Kasie West ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

I will be writing reviews for these shortly.

I hope you guys had a great holiday and wish you all a very happy new year! 🙂

R.

Book Tag · Bookish Thoughts · Features · Update

Updates + New Year’s Book Tag

My, my. How long has it been? I never really intend to take these “breaks”. I start these blogs with excitement and motivation to reach more people who share the same love for reading as I do, but life happens. And frankly, sometimes I just can’t find the inspiration to sit and write up anything because I feel as if I have to and I hate feeling as though a hobby of mine, a hobby that has been a hobby since I can remember, will start to feel like a job.

20170827_123922.jpgWhen I read, it’s out of joy. For instance, I recently completed my Goodreads’ goal for the year at 65 books and even surpassed it by a few books. I figured I’d take a break from reading for the remainder of the year, but last night, I had the urge to pick up a book and so I did. It really is that simple for me. I hate to force things to happen and so I don’t. I already have a lot of real life situations to tend to and I refuse to add reading/writing to the list. Books are my way to escape real life. So when I feel like blogging and reading and writing become forced or I lack ideas to write, I just continue with my day to day life and eventually the will to write comes to me. Like today 🙂

20171118_104857.jpgThe last part of 2017 has been good to me. We have celebrated birthdays, accomplishments and, of course, the holidays. My kids turned a year older, they have been doing very well at school and their hard work has been paying off. My youngest son, whose speech has been delayed, has been talking a whole lot more. My boyfriend has been creating a lot of handmade furniture and he is getting better every single time! Our family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings have been so fun and I love that aside from a few missing pieces, everyone has made an effort to visit. Besides my birthday, this is definitely my favorite time of the year.

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Oh, and I can’t leave out football– one of the major reasons why I gave up reading for these last couple of weeks.The Philadelphia Eagles are currently 13-2, they hold the best record in the entire National Football League and have officially clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Which, if you know sports, playing at home makes  a huge difference and plays a big role in how teams play. There’s still one more week left in the season, but it isn’t that important, but still, I’ll be watching.

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Today, I wanted to do a book tag to end this year off right. I saw this tag from @Bookables YouTube Channel. I wasn’t tagged, and usually I have a hard time following through with tags, but this sounded like fun and it kind of plays into my New Year’s Resolutions for reading and personal ones, alike.

1. How many books are you planning to read in 2018?

I read 69 books in 2017.  Whenever I do the Goodreads challenge, I base it off the previous year. Depending on what I finish at, that’s what it will be. I had a hard time with this year’s goal so the fact that I was able to read more than my goal, even if it was by a small amount, was a huge accomplishment for me. This year will be 70 books!

2. Name 5 books that you didn’t get to this year but want to make a priority in 2018.

My TBR pile is endless. I did get though one book I wanted to which was Benjamin Alire Saenz’s The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life which sat on my shelf for far longer than I planned. I pre-ordered it and received it on release day but didn’t get to it til just recently and I loved it. With the release of Tahereh Mafi’s new book Restore Me coming out, I want to finally finish the last book in the Shatter Me series, and possibly reread the first two. Speaking of adding to original trilogies, I also have Michelle Hopkin’s The Becoming Of Noah Shaw that I’ve had since release day and didn’t get to. That’s definitely on my immediate TBR. Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King also is one I’ve had sitting on my shelf for a few months now. It’s a hefty book and that kind of had me hesitating, thinking it would hold me back from other books I wanted to read but I think this is the year I read it. These next two, I started but couldn’t finish even though it started interesting enough, American Gods by Neil Gaiman and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. The last one I know has been turned into a movie and I have absolutely no idea if it has come out yet, but I do want to get to it before watching the film. These for sure I will read the upcoming year and I hope I love them all.

3. What genre do you want to read more of?

I am a creature of habit. I always rely on horror and contemporary fiction to fix my reading slumps. I get through those quickly but I find that I don’t enjoy them like I used to and I think because somewhere deep inside, I am ready to read different kinds of books. I want to get into the “classics”. All this year, I’ve collected lots of the older books that have either been banned or have won multiple awards and I still have yet to actually sit and read any one of those. I think I made a resolution last year to read at least one classic a month and that went horribly wrong. So I am once again making it a resolution this year.

4. Name 3 non book related goals for 2018.

One of the main personal goals I had last year was to have more family time and we definitely succeeded. We had a great summer with our kids and my parents got to see a lot more of my kids, the bf and I had quite a few dates of our own, and so far have been successful in having friends and family over for the holidays. That still remains our number one goal, more family events. Second, is to save money. Our kids are getting older and they are eager to join sports, especially with the way we love sports in my family, baseball, boxing, football, basketball, soccer, our kids watch it all the time or at least are brainwashed with these sports and have been asking to play. In order to fulfill those wishes, we need to step back on some luxuries. Sports are not cheap and with five kids, it all adds up! That and we have big plans this year to get a home. It’s still a work in progress, but every little step we took this year has been a huge help. Saving money is always a must, but this year it’s the most vital thing for our family. Lastly, to enjoy the small things. Living in Southern California, where there’s always something going on, and with a big family, and both parents working, it’s always go-go-go for us. I very rarely relax, and when I do find time to relax, my mind is still active. My kids demand a lot of attention and it’s hard to divide my energy and time between five of them. But this year, I do want to enjoy the small moments and few minutes I have with them.

5. What’s a book you’ve had forever that you still need to read?

Again, my TBR is endless. It is full of books that I haven’t read from years past. But the one that first came to mind is The Daughters of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I’ve had the first book sitting on my shelf for a really long time and just recently purchased the last book, so there’s really no excuse to not read it. It’s got great hype around it so I hope it lives up to it!

6. One word that your hoping 2018 will be:

Change. I’m hoping 2018 brings a lot of change for us because we are working way too hard and missing time away from our kids to not meet our goals. Changes have to be made.

7. Tag a friend!

I wasn’t tagged to do this, but wanted to because it sounded like fun. So, I tag everyone who wants to do this!

Book haul · Bookish Thoughts · July · Monthly Wrap-Up · Random Thoughts · Wrap-Ups

Book haul|June  

We’re just about halfway through July but I wanted to share a few of the books that I purchased– and remembered to take pictures of. I have a bad habit of forgetting to jot down the books as I buy them, or at least take pictures, which then leads me to buy another copy of a book I already own 😦

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been on an e-book reading kick. It’s just far easier for me to quickly download a book, no matter where I am, and read it at that moment in time, as opposed to buying the book and waiting until I have free time to read it.

Books I Pre-Ordered:

I Call Upon Thee by Ania Ahlborn (Release Date: August 7, 2017)

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover (Release Date: October 3, 2017)

e-books I purchased:

Woman On the Eadge by Marge Piercy

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

Deeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag

Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Leave Me by Gayle Forman

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

Books I purchased:


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Book Outlet had yet another amazing sale (no surprise there) and I had to take advantage! 🙂 I didn’t notice I bought two copies of Heartsick by Chelsea Cain. I may have to do some kind of giveaway soon along with other books I already own copies of.

Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain

The Most Dangerous Animal of All by Gary L. Stewart with Susan Mustafa

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

Evil At Heart by Chelsea Cain

One Good Dog by Susan Wilson

Dreams of the Dead by Thomas Randall

Best Kept Secret by Amy Hatvany

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

That Night by Chevy Stevens

The Night Season by Chelsea Cain

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Bitter Almonds by Lilas Taha

 

It was a great month for book buying but I seriously need to buckle down and start working on my TBR. I have lots of plans for this second half of the year and my money needs to go to those plans… but then books go on sale and all I do is buy, buy, BUY! I’ve already bought a handful of books and e-books… 😦 other than a few pre-orders I have on Amazon, I really don’t think I’ll be missing out on anything, right??

Happy Reading,

R.