Sunday Scaries: Things I Did This Week & Things I Still Need To Do

Another week gone and I feel like I was more productive in this past week than I have been in a while.

Some important things that happened:

I FINISHED MY FIRST SEMESTER BACK AT UNI!!!!!!!! Three classes down and now I have a whole month off!

I started rebranding my Etsy shop, hoping to be able to launch by January.

And last personal thing is that I finally scheduled myself a doctor’s appointment and got all my symptoms written down and tracked so woo hoo for that.

In terms of reading, I finished off one book:

The Luminous Dead!

The Luminous Dead

Here’s the link to my review.

Other blog posts I wrote this week were:

November Wrap-Up/Mini Reviews

The Liebster Award

WWW Wednesday – 12/4

Books I’ve Changed My Ratings For: 2019

Now for my plans for this upcoming week:

Finish making Christmas presents (I’ve made 3 hats and 2 pot holders so far… Which means I have 10 pot holders left to make AND I have to woodburn 4 spoons)

Publish at least 3 blog posts

Read at least 2 books

And last but not least… Clean my room

Random things I’ve been loving this week:

Supernatural! I’ve been rewatching Supernatural because my sister keeps threatening to spoil me. I stopped watching the show back in season 9 because she spoiled me on a character death that shook me and I literally couldn’t bring myself to watch the show again. But now that the show is ending, and I have somehow managed to go many, many years without being spoiled on anything but that one character death, I figured I might as well get caught up in time for the show to be done.

Adore You by Harry Styles

Being warm… Cozy clothes are so nice and the weather was surprisingly mild this past week but now it’s supposed to get really really cold and I’m going to be miss being somewhat warm.

And also my spotify wrap up which is always my fave thing to see

This post was kind of just thrown together but I wanted to start doing a weekly wrap up sort of post that summarized life and blog stuff so we’ll see how this evolves as time goes on!

Hope you all have a great week! I’ll chat with you soon 🙂

November Wrap-Up/Mini Reviews

I read a grand total of three books in November!! So I’m going to turn this post into more of one of my mini review posts than my typical wrap ups!

First book that I read was Bunny by Mona Awad

Bunny

Here’s the synopsis:

Samantha Heather Mackey couldn’t be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England’s Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort–a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other “Bunny,” and seem to move and speak as one.

But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies’ fabled “Smut Salon,” and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door–ditching her only friend, Ava, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the Bunnies’ sinister yet saccharine world, beginning to take part in the ritualistic off-campus “Workshop” where they conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur. Soon, her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies will be brought into deadly collision.

The spellbinding new novel from one of our most fearless chroniclers of the female experience, Bunny is a down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, friendship and desire, and the fantastic and terrible power of the imagination.

This is probably the strangest book that I’ve read this year and it definitely did not disappoint. While reading this I could see how this book could quickly divide opinions, it is very strange both in the way it is written as well as in the plot. It started off a bit too slowly for my own taste and I almost put it down but ended up deciding to try and stick it out to see if it would turn around. And boy oh boy did it turn around.

The way this book dove into this cult like hive mind was fascinating. Animals within this book aside, I think that was my favorite part. The way it went so quickly from the main character thinking of herself as a singular person to referring to a whole group as the singular person. I don’t even know how to describe it, it was addictive and totally sucked me in. The ending of this book was confusing unfortunately and I wasn’t a huge fan. I found myself getting more bored the more confused I got and while, again, that middle section was stunning I couldn’t help but be disappointed by the rest of it.

I think that if you are interested in macabre stories then this could be up your alley. It is intriguing and a story that is definitely not soon forgotten. As they said in the synopsis, this book is all about the imagination running wild and I have to say that if you read this and let your own imagination just go for it, it’s an even better reading experience. I rated it 4/5 stars!

If you’re interested in picking up your own copy, here are some links:

Amazon (Affiliate Link) // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

The second book I read in November was My Favorite Half Night Stand by Christina Lauren

My Favorite Half-Night Stand

Here’s the synopsis:

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

This is my third Christina Lauren book and so far I have yet to absolutely fall in love with any of their books. I still have plans to read Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating at some point because quite a few people that I share reading tastes with say that is their favorite Christina Lauren book.

I think the only reason that I ever finish not great romance books is because of how easy and quick they are to read. I read this entire book in one go after work one day. This book wasn’t *bad* but I just felt nothing. I wasn’t invested in the characters and was torn on a lot of opinions in this. When it comes to romance, almost the entirety of my rating comes down to the chemistry between the main couple and how invested I am in the outcome of their story. I truly didn’t care what happened to Millie so in the end, I really didn’t care about the overall arc.

The story itself began quite intriguing and I loved the banter and friendship of the group but I didn’t really love how it seemed that Millie was written as a girl unlike other girls who can only be friends with guys. Like don’t get me wrong, I loved the friend group, but I wasn’t a huge fan of Millie. Yes, she was emotionally stunted but I think that her chapters held this a little bit too much and kept me from being invested in her development.

At the end of this I felt that everything tied up conveniently, which is usually what I love in romance, but it was just too convenient. And considering that the gala that was the main driving force for the plot of the book didn’t even occur in the end it just made me feel pretty meh.

There are also a lot of things that I really didn’t appreciate about the romance itself but I don’t really want to air that on here, like I am always one for a good, solid happy ending but coming from someone who was once in an extremely similar situation to this… Happy endings don’t normally happen. I was frustrated and emotional and really just didn’t like this book as a whole. I rated it 2/5 stars.

Since I tend to be in the minority in rating Christina Lauren books, you can check it out for yourself:

Amazon (Affiliate Link) // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

The final book of the month was The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware.

The Turn of the Key

Here’s the synopsis:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

This is the second Ruth Ware book I’ve read and once again, the atmosphere that she can create in a book is stunning. Unfortunately, I thought the plot was very basic and while there was a twist that I didn’t really see coming, most of this story was predictable and dare I say boring? I felt that the ending was far too abrupt and when I realized that I had hit the acknowledgments page I literally said, “wait, that was it?” It felt like there were too many loose ends and not enough closure and while I’m all for an open ended story, this wasn’t open ended in a way that made sense. Yes, things were concluded but I found myself wanting more.

I wasn’t a fan of any of the characters and I think that’s the problem that I have with the two Ruth Ware books I’ve read so far. I quite enjoy the atmosphere, but the characters fall flat which leaves me disappointed in the story as a whole. The technology aspect of the book was almost completely pointless which I was kind of sad about because I was hoping for an even more evil DCOM Smart House story but it was a pretty cut and dry thriller. When people pitched this as a thriller with technological themes I was pumped and let me say that if that’s what you think this book is, it’s not. The technology in this could be completely taken out and the story would be the exact same.

In the end, I also got a lot of Lock Every Door vibes from this book so I couldn’t help compare it to that, which is one of the few thrillers that I’ve absolutely loved, so I’m not sure if that also played a part into the lackluster feelings I had for The Turn of the Key but it could be. In the end, I enjoyed this more than The Death of Mrs. Westaway so I rated it 3/5 stars but at this time I don’t think I’ll be reaching for any more Ruth Ware books any time soon.

And now the links, in case you, unlike me, are a fan of Ruth Ware books:

Amazon (Affiliate Link) // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

And with that, I am finished with my wrap up for November!  Pretty lackluster but always happy to share my thoughts.

The Liebster Award

*It took me three tries to type the title of this post because my computer kept trying to correct it to Lobster Award

What is The Liebster Award?

This information is on The Global Aussie‘s page.

“The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

Rules:

  • Say thank you to the person who has nominated you for the Award.
  • Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you
  • Nominate 11 people
  • Ask the people who you have nominated 11 questions

Thank you, Emer, for nominating me for this! I haven’t been very active at all recently and getting this notification just really made my day. Also if you aren’t already following Emer you really should! She’s one of my favorite people in the bookish community and I absolutely love her blog!!

I’m just going to answer the questions that Emer asked me in this post 🙂 Because the social aspect of blogging is making me quite anxious right now so that’s that. Plus I’m not sure if my brain could handle coming up with 11 whole questions!

What is your favourite all time music video? Share a link.

I swear this is like the impossible question!! This is for two reasons: 1. I, uh, don’t really watch music videos? And 2. No seriously, I think I’ve watched three music videos this year and they were all Taylor Swift ones….

One music video that I love is for NaNaNa by My Chemical Romance

My best friend from middle school introduced me to them and this was the first music video I ever watched, she just told me to look up NaNa by My Chemical Romance and all I could think was WTF until I got home and looked it up and found that the song is in fact called NaNa. I also vividly remember this being the exact moment when I realized that I wanted to dye my hair crazy colors. Shockingly I still haven’t gone bright red yet! I just enjoy how cinematic this video is!

Oh and Listen to the Man by George Ezra is a video I watched on repeat for a while.

Also a big, big fan of all Taylor Swift music videos.

AAAAAnd this ASL version of 7 Rings with Nyle DiMarco:

If you could spend a year living in another country where would you choose and why?

I just want to go back to London, yeah not a country but this is my answer so that’s that lol. Just give me a year in London and I will be so happy. Also, I won’t even lie when I say that one of the main reasons is the public transportation. The Tube is everything I could ask for in my daily commute and I would cry tears of joy if I didn’t have to drive on a daily basis. Other reasons are the museums, the food, the parks, the accessibility to live theatre, once again THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, the list could go on and on and on.

If you could switch places with any character (book, TV show, or film) for a day, who would you switch with and what would you do?

I feel like this is such a random one but I would love to trade places with April from Parks and Rec just so that I could be in the presence of Leslie Knope but I wouldn’t be Leslie so I could still just be incredibly pessimistic and somewhat lazy.

What is the best snack food in your opinion?

Anything cheesy!

Do you like to read the book before you watch its film adaptation?

So this one it actually depends. Which is a big change from what I used to think. If I’m not interested in reading the book I’ll watch the film first. I also enjoy watching plays or classics before reading them because then I find it easier to understand. Also if I think that I can manage reading a book before the film comes out then I will do so, but if I don’t think I can do it in a timely manner I will watch the film in order to reduce the possible spoilers.

What’s on your list of top three books that you have read so far in 2019?

*brain short circuits because I can only pick three books*

Without picking rereads, Eliza and Her Monsters is hands down the top book of the year. And ooh this is so hard! I think I’ll just throw Ninth House and Red, White, and Royal Blue in there as the other two! There are quite a few that are fighting for spots in my top books but I think I have a solid 10!

What are three things you love most about being a member of the online book community (blogs, book twitter, bookstagram, Goodreads etc.)?

The support and encouragement that I have found is one of the greatest things to have come out of this year of blogging. I have had this blog since 2015 and barely used it up until this year. The end of 2018 was the hardest time of my entire life and I genuinely didn’t think that I would be alive to see 2019 or beyond. So to say that I am grateful for the community that I have found here is an understatement. I am so utterly grateful for each and every person that reads my blog. Wow, okay, crying now. But seriously this is such a supportive community and I can go from posting every single day to taking an entire month off and no one bats an eye. I have felt so welcome and encouraged and I couldn’t ask for a better community to be a part of!

Seeing the creativity in others is another thing I love! I so enjoy seeing the post ideas that people come up with. I love seeing what people post on bookstagram and I’ve got to say that the book related memes on Twitter are top notch.

The last thing is the mutual love of books! Growing up I was always so much farther ahead of my peers when it came to reading. In kindergarten I even had my own reading group so that my teacher could push me. My love of books continued to grow but this wasn’t the same for everyone else. I could never gush about books as much as I wanted to and even though my school was quite academic, reading for fun wasn’t really top priority for other people like it was for me. Plus I had and still have very few friends IRL that I can talk to anyways! It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Booktube videos and then expanded into the rest of the online bookish community that I realized just how many people are out there that are so immersed into reading and books. My views have expanded immensely and I’ve learned about so many new books and authors and while at times it can be totally overwhelming I wouldn’t change it!

Do you have a bucket list? If yes, what are the top five items on your list? If not, what do you think would be in your top five?

I don’t have a specific written out bucket list but I do kind of just keep a running list of things I want to do in my lifetime.

Here are five things from that running list:

  • Visit every state park in Minnesota and every national park in the United States
  • Write (and publish) a book
  • Meet Josh Gates (and find Bigfoot with him)
  • See Machine Gun Kelly (or other artist that has music that has had a part in keeping me alive) in concert
  • Hike the Appalachian Trail

If they were making a film of your life who would you like to cast as yourself?

For whatever reason as soon as this question is asked I completely forget every actor that has ever existed except for Emma Watson? The only reason I have for this is because I would like to be Emma Watson.

Other than that, I genuinely have no idea.

What would you do if you were invisible for a day?

Rob a bank. Gotta pay off those debts!!

And then I’d probably just people watch without fear of them realizing I’m staring at them.

If you could pick someone to write and perform a song inspired by you, who would you pick?

I feel like Taylor Swift could do this justice. Or maybe Adele. Basically anyone who does a good job of singing the heartbreaky songs.

Well, I think I answered them all! Now it’s time to go take my finals and celebrate the end of my first semester back in school.

Thanks again, Emer, for nominating me for this!

Hope everyone has a happy Friday!

Review: The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

Woah, y’all. I finally finished a book!! It’s been like an entire month and I still have no reading motivation but I did it!! Also my last class of the semester ends in just a few days so fingers crossed I’ll get some reading motivation back once I have a month where I don’t have homework deadlines looming in the background!

So, what book did I read? Well if you didn’t pay attention to the title of this post it was The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling.

The Luminous Dead

Here’s the synopsis:

A thrilling, atmospheric debut with the intensive drive of The Martian and Gravity and the creeping dread of Annihilation, in which a caver on a foreign planet finds herself on a terrifying psychological and emotional journey for survival.

When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she’d be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck—enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother—meant she’d get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane.

Instead, she got Em.

Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre’s falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash—and a lash. And Em has secrets, too . . .

As Gyre descends, little inconsistencies—missing supplies, unexpected changes in the route, and, worst of all, shifts in Em’s motivations—drive her out of her depths. Lost and disoriented, Gyre finds her sense of control giving way to paranoia and anger. On her own in this mysterious, deadly place, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, Gyre must overcome more than just the dangerous terrain and the Tunneler which calls underground its home if she wants to make it out alive—she must confront the ghosts in her own head.

But how come she can’t shake the feeling she’s being followed?

Caves are one of my biggest fears, the darkness and sickening sense of claustrophobia that come with them send chills down my spine with just a thought. My mom and aunt can’t go a family gathering without talking about the time I said I’d be fine going past the point of no return in a cave tour and then ended up having a breakdown. (Sidenote: I was like 7 at the time and I got my sweatshirt hood caught on a railing so I thought someone was grabbing me, like YOU go through a spooky cave and think someone is grabbing you and come out of the experience unscathed!!!!) So anyways, when I saw this book I knew that if I wanted a horror book that could genuinely terrify me, well this is it.

The writing in this was so good, there was more than one scene in which I was left with goosebumps and the hairs on the back of my neck standing up because I was so spooked. This definitely played into my own fears and I found myself questioning every single thing I read which, to me, adds so much to the horror aspect. I think that if I would have had the attention span to read this in one sitting, I would have, but it ended up taking me about a month and a half to finish this which made it a little bit jarring each time I picked it up again. Despite the gaps between reading, once I did get back into reading it was easy to immerse myself back in the story. I feel like horror is one genre where if I can’t be fully immersed then I’m not going to fully enjoy it so I am happy to report that this is quite an immersive story.

With a cast of two characters I was really interested to see how this would play out and the way the relationship between Gyre and Em would develop from the beginning to the end. My emotions were all over the place and I’m not going to lie when I say that I would greatly enjoy some further addition to this story. There was definitely a conclusion but I feel like there is so much of this world left to explore that I would be down for any sort of epilogue that the author would like to give us. This aspect of the story, with Gyre and Em, was so complex and frustrating and yet I could see so fully the motivations of each character and I loved that. Each was so fully developed and the balance between heartbreaking, tender moments and sheer terror and stress and anger was so well done.

I feel like this book would appeal to those who aren’t normally fans of horror too. It’s thrilling and shocking and left me feeling like I should check over my own shoulder but for horror, I felt it was pretty tame. There isn’t anything overly gory and I feel like it’s more of a psychological horror that just burns nice and slowly until it gets you right at the end.

In the end, I rated it 4 stars because there were parts of this that left me feeling a bit dry. I highly recommend picking this up and I look forward to reading whatever Caitlin Starling comes up with next!

You can pick up your own copy of The Luminous Dead at these links:

Amazon (Affiliate Link) // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

WWW Wednesday – 12/4

I’ve decided that to help me get back into the swing of blogging I’d like to participate in more weekly type posts just to get me typing again 🙂

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam from Taking on a World of Words.

The three questions are:

1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

So, what am I currently reading?

I’m one of those people where when I’m sad, instead of doing things like reading happy books or watching happy movies or listening to happy music to, I don’t know, make myself HAPPIER, I do the complete opposite. So I’m rereading The Fault In Our Stars because I like to torture myself 🙂

The Fault in Our Stars

What did I recently finish reading?

Oh, that’s funny, I like that this question assumes I can finish books… Wait. I did finish a book? And the review is coming out tomorrow?? WHAT??? AMELIA WHO ARE YOU? (Also I have been out of using my pen name for so long that I almost typed my real name twice while writing that sentence lol)

The Luminous Dead

Anyways, I just finished reading The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling while I was at work yesterday. It was v good, super spooky. Review will be published tomorrow!

And I guess this means I now have to answer:

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m still in a really funky headspace. I ended a 13 year friendship the other day (albeit possibly only temporarily) and I’m taking it rather hard. School is almost done for the semester (two more tests and then a whole month off!!) and work is hopefully going to be slowing down soon so I’m hoping that I can find some happiness and motivation in reading soon. I have so many books that I want to read and after how great of a month I had in October, I can’t help but feel let down with myself and what I’ve managed to read. I finally returned the massive stack of library books that I had because I know I won’t get to them before they needed to be returned so now I’m just left with my ARCs and all the books I own… I guess also the library e-books too since I don’t have to worry about bringing those anywhere to read.

So the books I have in mind to read next are (because I am indecisive as heck and am always reading more than one book at a time anyways):

ARC: Epic Solitude by Katherine Keith

Epic Solitude: A Story of Survival and a Quest for Meaning in the Far North

 

Library e-book: Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius the Great Is Not Okay

Book I Own: Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland

Beyond the Black Door

Now watch me read none of these books by next week. Ha!

Hope it’s a wonderful Wednesday for you! Bye guys!!

 

 

Books I’ve Changed My Ratings For: 2019

With this year coming to a close, I’ve started to go back and look at all of the books that I’ve read so far this year. As of today, I’ve read 95 books which is more than I have in over two years so I’m loving that!! When I was looking back at books that I’ve read this year, I found myself changing my thoughts about some of the books on the list. Some were changed in my initial rating (rereads) and others I’ve looked back at now and realized I’ve probably rated them too highly for my own liking.

I’ll start off with the rereads that I changed my rating on:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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This used to be my absolute favorite book. I have read it over five times and was the book that always felt like “home” when I read it. But this last time that I picked it up I found myself annoyed with the characters and shocked to find that I actually really didn’t like the love interest. So while I will always have incredibly fond memories of this book, I rounded my rating down to 3 stars.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

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Sarah Dessen is one of my autobuy authors (not gonna touch the drama that recently occurred with a ten foot pole, y’all, I started drafting this post before that happened and don’t want to talk about it). Her books always give me warm and fuzzy feelings and I look forward to every book that she releases. I’ve wanted to reread the books of hers that I have for a while now and also read the ones that I don’t yet have. So I picked up The Truth About Forever a while back and ended up changing my rating from 4 (3?) stars up to 5 stars! My critique of the book originally had been about the thoughts and behavior of the main character but during my reread I realized that the qualms I had with the main character made a whole lot of sense in the context of the book. So up to five stars it was!

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

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This is the last reread of mine that I ended up changing the rating for. The first time I read this book I was in middle school (or maybe even late elementary school, I can’t remember when this book was released) my original rating was 3 stars and after this reread I rounded it down to 2 stars. This is one book that hasn’t aged very well. I disliked the characters a lot and it just didn’t sit well with me by the time I was done reading. Not a big fan of it after rereading! Mary Downing Hahn is a spooky middle grade master but this is definitely not one of her best books.

So now I’ll move on to the books I’ver read this year that were new to me that I have since changed my thoughts about.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners

I’ve since read two more Christina Lauren books and didn’t enjoy either of them and I realized that although I really enjoyed the romance in this book, I had so many complaints about the rest of the book that my bubbly feelings about the other parts can’t really hold up to the 4 star rating I gave it. If I gave half star ratings it would be a 3.5 but I’ve decided to just round down to 3.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

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I think that I was caught up in the emotions when I first read this and I’m actually still trying to decide how I want to rate this. Right now I’m only going to be rounding down from a 5 to a 4 star but after reading Eliza and Her Monsters I just feel like Radio Silence will never stand up to that. I was definitely bored multiple times throughout reading Radio Silence and I felt like there wasn’t enough character development by the end of the book. It probably doesn’t help that I don’t actually remember what happened in this book…… YAY for memory problems!! But I’m just going to go with 4 stars for now.

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

fixherup

Well. I think that I was far too generous with this book by giving it 2 stars. Down to 1. fucking little sister tit weirdness bullshit. Can’t handle. Nope nope. Not worthy of a second star.

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters

deadgirlsclub

So I rated this immediately after finishing reading it and I have no idea why I rated it 4 stars. Within hours I was like “yeah no this is totally a 3 star book”. This book is still not out yet (comes out in December) and so I can’t talk about too much that happens because spoilers but in the end this was a pretty average thriller. I think the concept was interesting and I enjoyed seeing how everything fell together by the end of the book but I wasn’t overly impressed.

I’m not sure how many more books I’ll make it through this year. Every book I pick up I end up just setting it back down. Seasonal things are hitting me hard and I’m feeling really discouraged with a lot so I basically spend my time rewatching Supernatural and then sleeping.

My super tiny wrap-up/mini reviews for November will be up on Wednesday!

 

 

 

Changes In My Reading Life

So it’s Friday. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to skip out on the topic from this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. I really liked this topic (it’s about changes in your reading life!) and I felt it could be a good post for me to use to get back to writing blog posts. I’m also planning on writing about my favorite bookmarks soon because I had the whole thing planned out and then never got around to taking pictures so I do really want to share those with you too!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I started reading big books in kindergarten. I was still 6 when I picked up my first Harry Potter book and I guess you can say that the rest is history. I don’t remember a lot of the books that I read back then but I do know that I was a big fan of rereading books. I think that right there is one of the biggest things that’s changed. In elementary school, I would pick up the same books every single year. This included rereading Harry Potter (the entire series up to whatever book had just been released), and books like Love, Ruby Lavender and Running Out of Time.

Nowadays, I don’t reread a ton of books. At least not yearly, anyways. 15 of the books that I’ve read this year were rereads (two of which the books were completely new to me this year but since I’ve read them twice obviously I’m counting them). With the amount of new books that I hear about now I couldn’t imagine rereading the same books yearly like I used to. But back then I’d only find out about new books when I’d go to the library or the bookstore and even then it was mostly just if I went to the bookstore. I liked to check out the same books every time I went to the library because that’s just who I am lol.

Another change for me is that now I actually read e-books! I’m a huge fan of my Kindle and I also read a decent amount of e-books on my phone through the Libby app (my library has greatly stepped up their e-book selection and ease of checking them out and I LOVE it). When I got my first Kindle, I think I was in 7th or 8th grade and I don’t think I ever actually read books on it. I did, however, play a lot of Angry Birds. I think I also discovered fanfiction after getting my first Kindle? I can’t really remember that timeline though. I’m still trying to find this one fic that I was obsessed with but still no luck.

I don’t know why, but I used to feel like reading e-books wasn’t really reading books. I always reached for physical books instead of e-books. It was the same thing with audiobooks, but I also have come to realize that audiobooks really aren’t for me! I’m still a little jealous of people who can listen to audiobooks with no problems.

I still read plenty of physical books but I also frequently reach for e-books. I’m a big fan of getting books when they go on major sale ($1 or $2 books are my kryptonite). I also feel less gross when I spend too much time on my phone when I actually open my e-book apps instead of just scrolling through social media.

This next change I actually find kind of comedic. Back in the day if a book was written by a male author, or had a male main character, I probably wasn’t reading it. I want to say that John Green was the first male author that I ever read extensively from (oh and Lemony Snicket) and I’ll read books with any type of narrator now. I’m trying to reach for more diverse books and authors and I think that’s a really important change in my reading life.

The last really big change in my reading life is that I finally delved into reading adult books and actually seek out adult books instead of reading strictly YA. So, back before I started spending too much money on things (cough books… and makeup and just all the things) I would get all or most of my new books from the library. Now at my library, the YA and children’s sections are right up front but the nonfiction sections and adult section are allllllllll the way at the back of the library. And you know what the worst part is?? YOU HAVE TO WALK PAST THE LIBRARIANS AT THEIR DESK TO GET TO THEM. So obviously, anxious past me NEVER went to the sections in the back of the library.

When I finally did hit up the adult section, I was completely overwhelmed with how many new books I had to choose from. But slowly and surely I’ve been reading more and more adult books and finding that I enjoy a lot of them. Now that I’m 23 it’s getting harder to exclusively read YA books so branching out has been really great. It’s the same thing with nonfiction books. I read way more nonfiction books now than I ever have and I enjoy it immensely. Like I mentioned before, I’m working on reading more diversely and also trying to just read widely. I love most genres and storylines and I’m willing to pick up most books to try out!

I have seen myself change so much in recent years with my reading and I love being able to read things more critically but also still have that ability to fall in love with stories without seeing only bad. I love finding new authors and new books and discovering tropes that I never realized I loved. I think reading is such a different experience for everyone and it’s genuinely so interesting to see differing opinions and reviews. I am so thankful that I discovered this community and that it’s been such a welcoming and fun experience.

I’m very much looking forward to 2020 and new books and experiences. Happy Friday everyone!! Talk to you soon 🙂

 

I Hate the Holidays

If I can be honest, I hate the holidays. I hate being around family (especially extended family), I hate snow, I hate the stress that comes with Christmas shopping, and I hate how I feel compared to the way that other people do. The holidays have never been a cheerful time in my life, I think the only reason I enjoyed them is because it meant time off of school. This year is particularly hard because it brings up a lot of tough stuff.

I think that it’s easy for people to forget that while this might be the “most wonderful time of the year” for them, it’s really bad for other people. There are so many things that can play into that but having bad changes happen in your life and then seeing so much happiness everywhere else is incredibly draining. I would like to feel that joy too but unfortunately it’s just never been there.

Last year, I was in a really dark place and I had no intention of being here by this time this year. It’s very difficult to admit that I’m still here and I’m very much floundering in having to admit that I actually have to plan for a future.

Posting on this blog right now is going to be coming a lot more intermittently than I was planning on. I’m hoping to get up at least a post a week but school is a lot more time consuming than I expected it to be… As is work. I feel so stuck but I need to keep up with work and my bills so that I can try and move by next winter.

On a more positive note, last year I had put a lot of time and effort into opening a handmade business on Etsy. It was my heart and soul and while it’s still up, sales have been few and far between thanks to their (stupid) new policies. I’ve been tempted to open up a Shopify account under a new shop name and maybe try my hand at a few markets next summer (if I can manage to make any inventory). I picked up a crochet hook for the first time in months this weekend and I almost cried because it feels so good to make again. Being creative makes me so happy and I think I’ve spent too long trying to force myself to try and figure out other ways to be happy. I’m working on making presents for my family for Christmas and I’ve started to look into local farmers markets to try to apply for for next summer.

Hopefully I’ll be back to myself (or some version of myself that I think I should be) soon and in a better headspace than I’m in right now. It’s snowing outside right now and I’m quite sad at the fact that I’ve seen multiple countdowns to Christmas on Twitter this weekend. I really hope that being productive will help me forget about the bad times that are November and December.

I’ll talk to you guys soon with a review for Bunny by Mona Awad 🙂

October 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

Despite the fact that I felt incredibly unproductive in October I managed to read 21.5 books (putting the 0.5 because I DNF’ed one of the books). I also posted almost every day up until the last week of the month?? So obviously I wasn’t unproductive but oh boy was it a Bad month mentally.

As a disclaimer before we get into the post any books with an asterisk (*) next to the author’s name was an ARC that I received in exchange for an honest review and all Amazon links throughout the post are affiliate links!

Now let’s get into what I read this past month:

Lesath by A.M. Kherbash*

Lesath

Well, we’ll get the DNF out of the way right away. I spent a good couple of months trying to read this and I couldn’t get through more than 10 or so pages any of the times I picked it up. The synopsis for this book was so intriguing but the execution was poorly done. I felt as if this would have been far better in a visual medium. I think this would make an interesting movie. However, in novel format, it was hard to follow and too confusing for me to want to trudge through until the end. I think that some people might really enjoy this but I was unfortunately not one of those people.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

3/5 Stars

When I say that I was shocked that I really didn’t love my latest reread of Fangirl, it’s a total understatement. This book used to be my favorite. It was my comfort, every time I opened it to reread it felt like I was going home. Cath was one of the most relatable characters that I had read and I absolutely loved the romance.

But this time around I found myself cringing at a lot of the lines in this. I was annoyed by so many aspects of this story and I realized that I kind of hate Levi as a love interest? So even though I will always hold this book fondly in my memory, I ended up lowering my original 5 star rating to a 3 star.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare

5/5 Stars

This was one of my favorites for the month! If you want to read more of my thoughts you can read my review here. The Flatshare was such a lovely and unique romance and I highly recommend it!

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Glory O’Brien History of the Future by A.S. King

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future

4/5 Stars

Shoutout to the librarian that let me just take this book home with me even though it was somehow literally not in the system at all. Thanks for trusting me!!!!

Here’s my review from Goodreads:

This was really difficult to read, like incredibly difficult but it was also really good. The magical realism invoked a lot of Handmaid’s Tale vibes but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Was not a fan of how much slut shaming there was, it was just a constant theme throughout and it bugged me a lot. There were a lot of really great one-off lines throughout this and overall I thought the message was great. None of the characters seemed fully developed to me but I thought that the overall arc of the story kind of helped tie everything up.

This was my second A.S. King novel and I’m looking forward to picking up more by her! The magical realism woven into stories is amazing.

Also content warning for this book: suicide, like if you are triggered at all by suicide this probably isn’t a good pick for you, it is extremely graphic at times.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Roomies by Christina Lauren

Roomies

2/5 Stars

Considering I could barely remember what actually happened in this book should give you a bit of an idea of what I originally thought. I didn’t like the characters, the story was unrealistic. Seriously, not a fan of this. People are massive fans of Christina Lauren books and so far I’ve had major problems with both of the ones I’ve read so I’m wondering how reading the rest of them will go. Also people calling this a fake dating??? Just like how they call “enemies” to lovers enemies to lovers and I’m just like??? WHERE???

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi

Girl Gone Viral

3/5 Stars

This had the potential to be an amazing science fiction crazy technology based thriller and it just WASN’T. I don’t want to say that I was disappointed… But I was really disappointed 😦

Girl Gone Viral started off really strong but tapered off quite quickly and was actually quite boring at times. I spent the entire time trying to get to the end so I could find out what happened to the main character’s father and when I actually found out I had to reread the scene a few times in order to understand that I had really read what I had read. This could have gone in so many different directions and ended up just picking cop out narratives and half-assed a romance because apparently we needed that. It wasn’t a terrible book overall but it could have been so much better.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin*

Foul Is Fair

5/5 Stars

GUYS. PREORDER THIS BOOK NOW. DOOOOOO IT.

This was stunning. So engrossing and vicious, I devoured it. I love a good revenge story and oh boy did this one hit and exceed every expectation I had. The characters were so interesting and the writing was poetic and dark. Now the story is very dark and has a lot of violence and it does center around a sexual assault so be aware of that if you do intend on picking this up. It comes out in February and I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy. Also this is a retelling of Macbeth and if you’re a fan of Shakespeare retellings then I highly, highly recommend you pick this up.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

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4/5 Stars

This was a reread for me and I enjoyed it just as much the second time around as I did the first time. Jurassic Park is my favorite movie (I even have a tattoo with a quote from it) and I just felt like this book needed a reread from me. I love how detailed this story is and I’m looking forward to picking up book two soon.

This reread inspired a new series for the blog about books that I’ve read where I’ve watched the movie first. You can check out that post here.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

The Girl in the Locked Room by Mary Downing Hahn

I read these three books for a Middle Grade Monday post, which you can find here.

I rated these 3, 2, and 4 stars respectively.

Spirit Hunters: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Deep and Dark and Dangerous: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

The Girl in the Locked Room: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

2/5 Stars

This was. So. Boring.

It was very atmospheric but I found the entire plot incredibly predictable. The main character was boring and I didn’t really think anyone was that interesting. If the journal entries that were scattered throughout this hadn’t been included I think that this would have been a bit less predictable and I think the story would have been better if they weren’t included.

I am still interested in picking up more Ruth Ware books, however, just because I think the setting of this book was really well done and I enjoy atmospheric books.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

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3/5 Stars

Not even going to lie, still just mulling over the ending of this book. You can read my full review of this here. Overall an interesting book, but definitely not a favorite. Also I’m going to ignore the fact that this book is apparently supposed to be a horror story? Because I didn’t get that vibe from this at all and if I was reading this as a horror story I think I’d end up rounding my rating down to 2 stars. The plot of this story was good and I enjoyed the writing but I have absolutely nothing to say about the characters and the ending was just mind boggling (in a good or bad way, genuinely still can’t say).

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)

I read this in continuation of my series where I share my favorite quotes from each Harry Potter book. You can find the post for this book here.

Not going to share links for purchasing this book. If you want a copy, find one at a thrift store. No need to give Rowling your money but that’s all I’ll say on that topic.

The Memory Keeper by Jennifer Camiccia*

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5/5 Stars

This was another book I featured in a Middle Grade Monday post. I loved this book. It was heartfelt and heart wrenching and had the perfect balance of humor and emotion. The plot was definitely a little out there at times but I think kids will love this!

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

ninthhouse

5/5 Stars

I was so nervous to read this because it was my most anticipated book of the year and I saw so many mixed reviews about it but in the end I’m happy to say that I absolutely loved this. I’ve only ever read the first novel in the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo and I wasn’t a huge fan of it, nor do I intend on reading any of the other books in the Grishaverse so I was kind of surprised when the synopsis for her first adult novel actually intrigued me as much as it did. Ninth House is definitely going to be in my top ten books of 2019 and if you’d like to check out my review for it, you can read that here. If you are looking for a dark and multifaceted urban fantasy (I think that’s the correct way to describe this?) I would highly recommend.

Also if you are looking for content/trigger warnings for this book you can find them at the end of my review post!

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1)

5/5 Stars

I don’t know what it was about this book but it provided the perfect nostalgic reading atmosphere and sucked me in so quickly that I ended up going out and buying the first 5 books in the series as soon as I finished it. This gave me all of those feelings that I had when I first read Harry Potter and it was so exciting to me. I think any voracious young reader would get a kick out of this monstrous book. And if you’re looking for an easy to read light fantasy I would highly recommend!! I’m going to do a review on this series for books 1-4 once I finish them and then hopefully another post for books 5-8 after book 8 is released.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

The Wilderness Idiot by Ted Alvarez*

The Wilderness Idiot: Lessons from an Accidental Adventurer

2/5 Stars

So I am a wilderness idiot and because of that I thought I was going to love this book but unfortunately I didn’t. Here’s my review from Goodreads:

From reading the description of this book, I was ready to crash headlong into a series of comedic and interesting essays about various wilderness adventures that were had by the author. After reading this, however, I was left feeling disappointed and unfulfilled. The book started off strong and while there were a number of chapters throughout this that I absolutely loved, most of it was lackluster and uninteresting. It felt thrown together and not cohesive whatsoever and I struggled to have this hold my interest. While I definitely think that I would enjoy reading the author’s stories, when meshed together in a book like this, they just weren’t hitting any good spots for me. Separately, most of these had the potential to hold their own, but together I just couldn’t find the appealing nature.

I would like to read more from Alvarez… But probably not more in book form.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

The Silent House by Nell Pattison*

The Silent House

2/5 Stars

You can read my full review here but in short I was disappointed with how systematically “thriller” this book was. I didn’t enjoy the romantic subplot and I was highly disgusted with how unprofessional the interpreter was in this police investigation.

This book comes out in March.

Guts by Raina Telgemeier

Guts

4/5 Stars

In terms of a middle grade book that talks about anxiety and phobias, this was great. The fact that the illustrated panic attack scene triggered a panic attack for me? Not so great.

I love all of Raina’s graphic memoirs and I was so excited to get my hands on Guts. It was another great book and I think this would be great for any young kid who either does or doesn’t have anxiety because it’s got an overall great lesson about the topic. For me personally the story was a bit lackluster and just didn’t feel as connected and cohesive as Smile and Sisters did.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

Pumpkinheads

5/5 Stars

SO! FREAKING! CUTE!

I want to live in this pumpkin patch, y’all. Seriously. I am so glad I bought a copy of my own because I feel like I could read this 100 times and still not see every detail in the artwork. The story was adorable and the art was amazing, I laughed out loud a few times at the characters facial expressions. This is definitely a new favorite graphic novel!

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Unfollow Me by Charlotte Duckworth*

Unfollow Me

2/5 Stars

This is labeled a mystery/thriller and it felt like neither a mystery nor a thriller. I just have to say that I feel like it’s unfair to be considered a mystery when all “mysterious” aspects of a story are known by a character but they just aren’t revealed until it’s pertinent to the plot. My full review can be found on Goodreads. I didn’t like any of the characters in this book and the only reason I finished it was because it was incredibly easy to read and I was able to finish it really quickly.

This also comes out in March 2020.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

That’s everything that I read in October! I’ve already gotten through a few books for November so far and have bought far too many in the last few weeks so I feel like my next wrap up might be a doozy! What was the best book you read in October?

If you’re interested in following my reviews on Goodreads or adding me as a friend on there, you can find my profile link here. My goal for 2020 is to write better reviews on Goodreads! Or at least try to anyways! I’d like to write at least a few sentences for each book I read because there are so many books that I’ve just rated that I go back and look at the rating now and have no idea why I rated it as such so that’s why I’d like to work on the reviews.

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Give Off Autumn Vibes

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks post is for books that give off autumn vibes! I’ve decided to go with a mix of books that I’ve read and books that I want to read and I’m going to start off with books I want to read!

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

And the Trees Crept In

I feel like any book that takes place in a forest just gives me autumn vibes. Even if it’s set in the middle of the summer, I just automatically associate trees with autumn.

This also applies to this book:

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

The Cabin at the End of the World

Not only is this another forest book but also the cabin vibe and the colors on the cover just make me want to pick this up now. They had a mass market paperback edition of this on sale at Target the other day and I’m kind of regretting not getting it because now I really want to read it!

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1)

I feel like books about books also usually give off a very autumnal vibe. The Shadow of the Wind has been on my TBR for years at this point and I swear every time I want to read it (AKA autumn) it’s always checked out from the library because apparently everyone else in my town also has the same idea of reading this book at this time of year!!!

Historical fiction always feel autumnal to me as well, there’s just something about this season that makes me want to pick up super dense and long books. So one that I have on my TBR right now that I’m hoping to pick up soon is:

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

The Huntress

Now one that I’m going off of the cover again that just has those perfect autumn colors in it is:

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Miracle Creek

The synopsis for this book is also incredibly intriguing and I’m hoping I can get a copy of this soon to read! It’s nominated for the Goodreads choice awards as are a few of the other books in this post and I’m hoping to read more of them as voting rounds continue onwards!

Now onto books that I have read:

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)

This is actually a book that I’m dying to reread! It was one of my favorite books for a very long time after I first read it as a kid and it always makes me think of sneaking some reading time with my book under my desk at school. Looking back I’m shocked that I was considered such a good student with how much I didn’t pay attention during class! But because it always reminds me of school it reminds me of autumn because school=autumn lol.

A book that I have a similar mindset about is:

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)

This is another book series that I’m dying to give a reread to and it always makes me think of autumn.

So I swear I’m not trying to only put books for younger readers in this section but I guess I’m just heavily influenced by books that I read during school (should not be surprising to me in the slightest!). Which means the next series on the list is:

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)

Not only does this remind me of school but also the entire series just gives off this gothic creepy vibe that couldn’t encapsulate the feeling of autumn more for me.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas

This book goes back to that “reading super lengthy and dense books” thing that I mentioned about historical fiction earlier. This is a very deep and twisty turny book that even though I read it for the first and only time in the middle of winter, it just makes me feel like autumn. Maybe once again it’s the cover!

And last but certainly not least is actually a newer release:

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and illustrated by Wendy Xu

Mooncakes

The colors in this book were the epitome of autumn and I was kind of sad that I read it in July. If I ever get my own copy of it I’d save it for autumn reading. While this could also go for a Halloween vibe because of the magical storyline, I felt like the majority vibes were for autumn.

So going through my list of books on Goodreads I realized I have so many books and series I want to reread. Wow, I better get going!

And with that another TTT is done! Only a handful more for the year which is a little bit stressful I’m not going to lie!