What I’ve Been Reading

I may not get around to many posts these days, but I can’t miss book linkup day.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – 4 stars
I finished up the Graceling series with this book. Overall, I loved the series. They each focused on a different character and I enjoyed the change in viewpoint. This was probably my favorite after number one. Fire was also good, but the character was a little too emotional for me. Bitterblue was more of a puzzle. I think the reveal at the end could have been a little better. The series tied together really well, however.

The Liar by Jennifer Wells – 3.5 stars
via NetGalley
This follows the story of a housewife in 1935 who thinks she lost her daughter 10 years ago, as she tries to find out what really happened. It didn’t have me at the edge of my seat, but it was interesting and an easy read. It keeps you guessing the entire way as to what the real story is, and it took me till the very end to find out.

Hooked on Love by Jennie Marts – 2.5 stars
via NetGalley
This is possibly a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” I felt like rolling my eyes through this whole book. It was just like a rom-com movie in book form, so if you enjoy those, you may enjoy this. It claimed to be a romantic comedy, but the comedy was not my sense of humor. I like more quirky, less cheesy. Although there were some fairly raunchy bits, so if you want a lighter Sparks-esque book with descriptive scenes, it may be for you.

The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan – 4.5 stars
via NetGalley
Kim and her husband, Brian, decide to quit their jobs and sell everything they own to travel the world. I loved how this followed the deconstruction and rebuilding of a person. I can relate, as someone who has recently experienced a quarter-life crisis. I have never felt the same strong urge to go as far as leaving everything behind, but I can understand. The relationship parts were very personal, and I love the things she finds on her journey and how they change her. They are things that I would like to implement in my own life. I think if you like travel and growth stories, you will love this book.

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney – 4 stars
via NetGalley
I didn’t realize it when I requested it, but there is a lot of hype about this book. Ron Howard has apparently bought the film rights. It makes sense, because I can definitely see it as a movie. The story switches between two different characters’ viewpoints, and it took me a while to remember which was which (one is “then” and one is “now”), but I was fine once I got into it. If you like suspenseful books with interesting/crazy set-up’s (I can never step away from a good set-up), you would probably like this.

My reading pace has slowed a bit this month, so I may have a few less books next time. I’m back at work, and I haven’t made reading a priority with Ellie being 4 months old and me trying to figure out work/baby life. Also, I’m only (hopefully) temporarily working right now so life is just crazy. 

I’m currently reading How to Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber, M.D. Fascinating read haha! It actually is interesting, so far. And I really want to get more sleep again one day. Sleep is wonderful.

Linking up with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books!


What I’ve Been Reading

That’s basically how I get 90% of my reading done these days. I used to have a cat in my lap, and now it’s a snuggly baby…and also cats.

I’ve read some really good books, lately, and I love finding tons more via this linkup. It’s one of my favorite times of the month.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – 4.5 stars
Received via NetGalley
I was crazy about this one and it was such a disturbing book. I couldn’t put it down. I don’t know how else to describe it except that it was weird and creepy, and you should read it and see what you think.
Strangers (Lucy Clayburn #1) by Paul Finch – 4 stars
Received via NetGalley
This thriller took me a bit to get into, but flew along once I did. It was set in the UK, which can sometimes throw me with police terms, but not at all this time. I’m interested to see where the series leads, since we got a pretty good backstory in this one.

Good Behavior by Blake Crouch – 4 stars
Received via NetGalley

I didn’t realize when I started that it was a few short stories instead of a novel. It was a fast read and enjoyable. The character seemed a little inconsistent at times, but it was easy accept that and get into the quick little stories.

Market Street Cinema by Michele Machado – 3 stars
Received via NetGalley

I’m not sure what genre to qualify this as. Adult fiction but not sexy? It was a very short read and I felt kinda ‘eh’ about it, because I didn’t identify with any of the characters and the story didn’t grab me. I felt like the ending was a little too dramatic compared to the rest of the story.
I’ve heard about this series for a while and I’m glad I finally checked it out. I love the world and the relationships between the characters. There was a bit that was slow (hint: I hate journeys), but the rest was really good.

It’s hard to pick which I enjoyed more between books 1 and 2, because they take place in totally different lands with almost all different characters. That said, I actually liked the fresh start and all the new characters of Fire. This one had a bit more of an emotional story and writing, although it didn’t make me cry. Once I adjusted to all the new creatures and settings in this book, I loved it.

My top picks were The Roanoke Girls and the Graceling series – you should check them out if no others.
Life According to Steph

I’m linking up today with Steph and Jana today for Show Us Your Books. You can follow me here on Goodreads.

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Favorite Books in 2016

There’s nothing having a baby hasn’t made me great at if not being late to EVERYTHING. Better late than never, right?

I had a decent book year this year… looking back, I read 12 more books than last year. I shall try to read even more next year, although I make no promises to myself.

Wayward Pines Trilogy by Blake Crouch

I flew through this series like it was literary crack. It’s not great literature, but it had me at the edge of my seat and gave me nightmares. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but it was a great read.

The Help by Katheryn Stockett

I finally read this book and it had me crying great big tear balls. I highly recommend, and it made me want to rewatch the movie. The end makes you want to fist pump.

Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

This is another book that made me immediately go find the movie after reading it. I loved the way this was written. The plot is simple, but the writing and setting are beautiful.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

As much as the third book descends into the realms of chaos and is at times meandering, the first two have a soft spot in my heart. I love the cast of characters and the story.

As You Wish by Cary Elwes

This was written so lovingly and I learned much about the actors and making of the movie. It was fascinating and sweet.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

This is a sneak peek into next month’s reviews, but I loved this book. I could not put it down, and it was so interesting and disturbing.

These are the books that left me with the most feeling even months after reading them, although I enjoyed many this year. I hope I can catch up next month to share what I’ve been reading, since I missed a month or two.

I’m linking up with Steph & Jana for SUYB / Favorite Reads of 2016.


What I’ve Been Reading

This post was written ahead of time, since I knew I would be on baby duty 24/7. I’m glad I did, since I am now finishing it with baby in one arm. More updates to come on Penelope’s delivery soon; I can’t make promises as to when that will be but I will try my best.

Happy two year anniversary to Show Us Your Books! I haven’t been doing it quite that long, but it has easily become one of my favorite times of the month. I have discovered so many new books through it, and am so glad it happens.

Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by James Andrew Miller – 4 stars

I’ve been watching SNL the past couple years, and while this book doesn’t cover the newest seasons, I always like finding out the backstories behind TV shows. I liked that this book was almost entirely quotes and interviews from former cast members, hosts, and writers. Some seasons were more interesting to read about than others – I really liked the beginning and the latest show discussions.

A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde – 3 stars
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed the setting and the characters were okay. The setting was lovely and did make me feel like going on a summer holiday. I wish there had been a little more romance, although I found the midwife parts interesting. I wonder if midwives in the US are much different from the UK, because it was made to seem like there was a huge battle between doctors and midwives in the book, but I haven’t come across that in the US. That part interested me personally, and the story itself was a little slow-paced but a nice beach read. 

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld – 4 stars

I love a retelling of a classic book, depending on how well it’s retold. This is a retelling of Pride & Prejudice in modern times, and at first I was a bit put off when I read the synopsis, because Kitty and Lydia are obsessed with Crossfit and it seemed too modern to me. I actually enjoyed it – it was kind of funny and felt like Mr. and Mrs. Bennett were right on point (and now that they were in modern times, Mrs. Bennett reminded me of someone I know well in real life). The story is a little crazy, but I think the characters themselves stuck to their true personalities (except maybe Liz sometimes – she annoyed me occasionally but I could deal).

The Confectioner’s Tale by Laura Madeleine – 3.5 stars
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I like historical fiction, especially if there’s a romantic story involved. It has an alternating timeline, which sometimes I get distracted by in books, but this one I didn’t mind. I enjoyed the historical parts much more than the more recent timeline, but they were both interesting. The romance was sweet and if you want a light historical novel, this would be good.

A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh – 4 stars

I enjoyed that this was a really short read, so there wasn’t much room for excessive descriptions or background. There is a “twist” that is easy to figure out as you read more of the story, but I still liked it.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – 4 stars

I’ve seen lots of mixed reviews on this, which surprises me because I couldn’t put it down. I’m not saying it’s the best book of all time, but if you want a good thriller, you should check it out. It’s my kind of book, because it doesn’t have lots of grisly scenes, just creepiness and trying to figure out who’s being crazy.

The Education of Dixie Dupree by Donna Everhart – 4 stars
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I didn’t know a lot about this book going in, which I’m actually glad about. Just know that it has some really dark themes, but is also a Southern tale about a young girl experiencing events in her own way. I recommend it if you don’t mind the rough subjects, which are accompanied by a little bit of charm.

Safe With Me by K.L. Slater – 4 stars
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I felt like this was a solid psychological thriller. The characters and story kept me guessing and it reminded me of The Girl On the Train, because I wasn’t sure if I could trust the main character.

My favorite books this month were In a Dark, Dark, Wood, Eligible, and The Education of Dixie Dupree.

I’m linking up with Steph & Jana today for Show Us Your Books. Follow me here on Goodreads.


What I’ve Been Reading

This was one of those months where I read a bunch and then slowed way down. I’ve been reading the same book for a while, but to be fair, it is quite a mammoth of a book. You can check out my current and previous reads on Goodreads.

It’s one of my favorite times of the month, and that is linking up with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books.

Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown – 4 stars
Holy moly, was this an intense read. I don’t usually read a lot of violent stories, and this is a sci-fi series with lots of war and fighting. It also has lots of great characters, and at the end I immediately would have started the next book if I had it (cliffhanger!!). After I took a few minutes and calmed myself, I decided to give myself a break and read something a little less violent in between.

The last book in this series was definitely 3 stars for me, but I loved the first one, and the second one was a good follow-up. The premise really grabbed me and it has an excellent cast of characters. The first one especially has a nice romantic side.

As You Wish by Cary Elwes – 4 stars
Loved this one! I definitely recommend if you like The Princess Bride. There were lots of funny stories and details about the actors that I never knew.

That’s it for me for now. As I mentioned in another post, I’m currently reading Live from New York about the history of SNL. Very interesting, but huuge and I am luckily close to finishing, because I’m ready to move on.

How has your month of reading gone? I am excited to see what everyone’s been reading.


The Olympic Book Tag

I enjoyed watching some of the Olympics this year. I’m not a huge Olympics watcher, but I love watching some sports, like the running and swimming. Maybe because I like imagining normal people running/swimming behind them and how ridiculous it would look in comparison.

The Olympics are over now, but after seeing Kristen’s post of her Olympic Book tag, I was really interested in the idea. Thanks to Shannon for starting it all and making all of the graphics. I love finding new books and any sort of book sharing posts.

Let me say I may be biased because I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan. I have my favorites of his and ones that are further on my list, but this one was really magical for me for some reason. It’s a short read, and I think he excels at short story/novella format. This one is still a novel, so you’re not left wanting like you may be when reading short stories.

I’m going to cheat and say travel book since I’m not sure if I’ve read a lot of road trip books. I can highly recommend this if you are into intense personal accounts of disasters. Jon Krakauer was on a Mount Everest hiking trip that went wrong, and it’s a fascinating account of everything that goes into reaching the summit of Everest and the people who do it or try to do it.

If you’re in the mood for an epic romance, it doesn’t get much better than Outlander. I think it’s clear pretty early on who you WANT her to choose, but it makes you wonder what’s right in the situation of time travel.

I wanted to like this, because it’s a classic sci-fi, but I don’t think I really understood most of it.

I put off reading this for a while, but I didn’t need to. It’s SO good, and so relatable but will maybe make you cry because I was totally crying by the end.

There is a LOT of fighting in here, but it’s also a fantastic story. I’m on a break right now from finishing up the trilogy, because I need a little light and fluffy in between the fighting. I finished number two, which left me with a cliffhanger and I have just one more to read.

The first book in this trilogy is very twisty! Definitely makes you guess what the truth is. After that, the series gets more horror-themed.

As a vegetarian, this shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s very informative, and anything bad happening to animals instantly makes me cry. This is the book that made me go vegan right after reading it, although I think the author may be vegetarian (don’t quote me on that). Now I’ve switched to vegetarian for pregnancy, but this book gave me solid reasons to make the change and not eat meat.

I enjoyed this book, but it is not a fast-paced read.

I read this in middle school, and it always stuck with me. The movie is very different, so I recommend reading it.

Animals play a huge part in this series! I loved the idea of having a companion animal as a kid.

This cover really grabbed me, but I was not into the characters.

I love the relationship between Yelena and Valek, and the friendship she develops with her mentors, Ari and Janco. It’s part of a trilogy, and is worth a read on its’ own.

On a totally unrelated note, does anyone else remember random author’s names? This lady was outside the library the other day shouting at her friend angrily, “Who wrote ‘Room’????” Her friend seemed baffled, so I yelled back, “Emma Donohue!” I didn’t want some kind of library fight to break out between the incensed woman and her friend, and she was happy to get the name.

Have you read any of these books?


What I’ve Been Reading

Some weeks I’m reading like crazy and other times, it takes me a couple weeks to finish one book. I love this time of the month, because it helps me figure out what I should read next. Not that there aren’t enough on my list already, but there’s always room for more, right?

Last month was kind of a here and there month for me, where I didn’t really love anything although there were some good books. I felt like this month improved and I found way more books I was more in the mood for.

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown – 4 stars
This was a pretty intense start to a series and I really enjoyed it. It is definitely reminiscent of Hunger Games and Ender’s Game and although it may be categorized as young adult in some places, it felt like a more adult story of those. The author has his own style, though, so while it is similar in some ways, it’s also well built and cool on its’ own. It’s also more violent than those stories in some parts, at least in description. I recommend if you like sci-fi/fantasy and uprising stories. I just started the second book in the trilogy, so I’m excited to see where it goes.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor – 4 stars
This kind of book ticks off all my favorite things – interesting main character, mythological features, and a beautiful world. It seems like a series I want to keep reading and hopefully can get my hands on the second book.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – 4 stars
I have been in kind of a magic mood, because this one also featured magic, although with faeries. I am a fan of Holly Black, so if you’ve read anything by her, you’ll probably like this. Or if you’re in the mood for a world filled with faeries and princes and things.

Storm Glass (Glass #1) by Maria V. Snyder – 3.5 stars
This book is set in the same world as Snyder’s Magic Study series, which I read the first couple books of ages ago. I thought the plot was a little scattered in Storm Glass, but it does make me want to reread the Magic Study series, since its’ characters and plot were mentioned a LOT. I may keep reading this series afterward, since I liked the characters and it came together in the end.

I’m linking up with Steph and Jana today for Show Us Your Books. I can’t wait to see what everyone else has been reading. As always, you can find me on Goodreads here.


What I’ve Been Reading

This is one of my favorite days of the month, because it makes me want to read all the books everyone’s been recommending. I actually read a few this month that had been recommended by others.

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler – 3.5 stars
I liked this, even though I didn’t realize when I checked it out that it switched perspectives between characters. I usually have trouble staying interested when books do that. I liked most of the characters, and I enjoyed Beth’s perspective the most. It was a good book about friendships, love, and small towns.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – 4 stars
This was the first book I’ve read by this author, and I liked it. I’m not usually a fan of chick lit type literature, or whatever you would call this genre, but since it has been recommended so many times, I gave it a try. It didn’t have me riveted the whole time, but I enjoyed it enough I may try another of her books some time. It was an interesting look at characters’ stories interweaving with each other.

The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse – 3 stars
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was kind of meh on this one, because it never really took off. It seemed like it would be about the wars between Neverland and the real world, but there wasn’t much of it going on and it felt like could have been a series. Instead, it was one book and I don’t think it ever got a foothold for me, because the plot was a little lacking.

The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre – 3.5 stars
This is a thriller about a girl who webcams full time from her apartment, but also is secretly hiding her urge to murder. It’s kind of like Dexter, except with lots more sexual descriptions and if Dexter had the killing skills of a bunny rabbit. She’s like a hamster that really wants to eat you, but is clearly lacking the size. The main character accidentally uncovers a crime and attempts to stop it. It wasn’t the best thriller I’ve read, but it was a quick read if you don’t mind lots of sexy cam descriptions.

You by Caroline Kepnes – 3 stars
I have heard about this book so many times, but it also wasn’t what I expected by the time I finally read it. I actually expected it to be MORE graphic from the reactions I had read of it. It was more of a slow creepy feeling. I thought the author did a good job with Joe’s personality and describing his thoughts, but at the same time I wasn’t really surprised by much in the story.

I wasn’t wow-ed by anything I read this month, but I didn’t read anything that was terrible. I’m currently reading a book that I’m really enjoying, so next month may bring some books I love.

As always, feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can see what other people are up to throughout the month!

I’m linking up with Steph and Jana today for Show Us Your Books.


What I’ve Been Reading

I have a confession on this books post: I only read two books. Woops. Sometimes the book mood strikes and sometimes it disappears. I was reading like crazy last month, but this month I couldn’t keep my mind occupied for long.

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley – 3.5 stars
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was looking forward to reading this book, because it has all the great plot points that I love: a group of characters ranging from a down-on-his-luck painter to a millionaire, a mysterious plane crash, and an unsolved question as to what really happened.

I pictured a Lost scenario, but it was a lot different. The story focuses on the characters who remain and it jumps around a lot between them and flashing back to what happened before with other characters. I think I would have enjoyed it more if there was less jumping around, because I always lost focus when it changed characters. I enjoyed the ending, but I wasn’t sure where it was going all the time in the middle.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a good mystery about a v-logger who goes missing, after which videos pop up online showing her abduction. I found it a little hard to get through at times, because of all the British terms, especially the police terms which are different from the US. There were also a LOT of police characters, so I lost track of who was who. The mystery is interesting, though, and I don’t know anything about v-logging so it’s fun to imagine a mystery in that type of world and what the people may be like outside of their videos.

So, while I didn’t read a ton this time, I look forward to finding some good books via Steph and Jana and everyone else who joins in for Show Us Your Books.

If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to add me. You can find me right here.


What I’ve Been Reading

This has been one of those months where I feel like I have too many books to read and not enough time. I also got a couple books through NetGalley this month for the first time, which was exciting for me.

This is a graphic novel about five teenage girls at a camp for Lumberjanes. They get involved with lots of unexpected supernatural stuff, including mind controlled Boy Scouts. It is utterly charming and fabulous.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This one had me hooked when it said that the main character was obsessed with Outlander. A book within a book – what Inception is this? So, the main character is a lady in her late 20’s obsessed with Outlander (looking at myself). Luckily, the similarities end there. She goes on a quest to travel to Scotland to retrace the steps of one of her favorite characters, hoping to meet her own highlander along the way. She is a blogger, and writes about her travels and whether she finds exactly what she’s looking for. I thought it was cute, and even though it has its’, “Well, duh,” moments where she should know better, it’s fun to watch her stumble around. I recommend if you like Outlander, although you don’t have to have read it to enjoy the book. This made me go out and get a copy of Outlander (I had a digital copy but no hard copy) and the next book in the series (number four) I haven’t read, yet.

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica – 4 stars
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this as a mystery/thriller. There are lots of threads to try to piece together. The story begins with a young woman who disappears from her Chicago apartment. At the same time, a mysterious woman appears in a Michigan harbor town, drawing the attention of an 18 year old man who is attracted to her charm and beauty. The roommate of the disappeared Chicago woman tries to find answers about her roommate. This was similar to The Girl on the Train, as I went back and forth on what I may have figured out. The end was amazing, although I wish some parts were different (although that’s due to my own interest, not a story problem). I recommend if you like psychological thrillers that are well-paced and keep you guessing until the end.

This was mixed for me. I liked it because I related a little bit to being really into book characters growing up, but at the same time I wasn’t really drawn to any of the characters in this story. I feel like it was less about actual fan fiction writers than it was a growing up story. I have also read Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, which I was a much bigger fan of. I recommend if you want to read about finding independence for the first time and a family that is not perfect.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I have heard great things about Georgette Heyer, but it wasn’t for me. It seems like the plot of the book was gone over by every character about a million times. I found it very distracting. Every character had to have explained to them what was going on and where so-and-so was. It felt like a wild goose chase to me. It is about a rake and a lady who tricks him into kidnapping her instead of her sister in order to protect her sister, and all the trouble they get into. I wasn’t a fan of the supporting characters.

The story is about two girls who were abducted as children and were rescued after spending some time with their captor. The story takes place mostly during their adult lives and is about how their lives are different because of their shared experience. It was an interesting concept, but I felt it was a little slow at times. The characters do stick with you and I like that they’re not perfect, but I felt the story could have been better.

Linking up with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books!