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 🙂

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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!

 

My Relationship With Social Media

Hello, hello everyone. I am back now after taking a littler over a week off of blogging. I was feeling uninspired (or more like overwhelmed because I wasn’t actually finishing any of the books or posts that I had started). I think I’m back now and I have a lot of ideas for new blog posts and I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

I decided though today to talk about my relationship with social media because it seems relevant as to why I took a break.

I don’t want to say that I’ve ever been addicted to social media. But I will say that I have always been highly influenced by social media. I constantly compared myself to other people and struggled to curate the perfect online presence. And I understand that other people also curate the perfect online presence but it still frustrated me that their “happy” and “good” moments seemed better than mine.

Things got really bad last year when I lost a job and was trying to use Instagram to advertise for my handmade products that I sell on Etsy. I followed hundreds of people and spent hours every single day scrolling through Instagram just looking at all of these people that were better than me. I’m not going to lie when I say it broke me a little bit. I felt so unsuccessful and so unloved and bad about who I was and what I was doing. That time period holds a lot of regrets for me and that’s why I tried to avoid social media as much as I could.

So in January I deleted Instagram. And in August I deleted Facebook. I have no IRL friends anymore so I didn’t really see the point in following the lives of people that I didn’t talk to and that didn’t talk to me. This blog was a way for me to be “social” and share things that I enjoyed without having to actually leave my house. It’s been a lovely reprieve from the stressors of my life and I was really sad when I realized that I was getting overwhelmed by it. Right now I’m also going to school full time (possibly looking into transferring again) and working full time as well. I’m just burning myself out at every end and it’s getting to me. So after dropping a class last weekend because I couldn’t handle it, I decided to take a break from the blog as well.

This break was really nice. I have a whole list of posts that I’m really looking forward to writing, I’m renewed and ready to start again AND it let me get creative in a whole different medium. Which I’ll talk about now:

So I got a Twitter for this blog and sort of just use it to shit post as well as share my blog posts. Plus I follow a lot of funny people that make my day with their tweets. And just recently I decided to make new Instagram accounts. I made a bookstagram (@amelia.and.her.books) and one that I’m sharing hiking/nature posts on (@amelia.rosin). Those Instagram accounts are the ones I want to talk about. I’ve decided to just share whatever I want to share and work on making creative posts and sharing the pictures that I love. I’ve been ignoring the numbers and just posting things that I like! I don’t even have notifications on and it’s the best decision I’ve made in a while. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s been so nice to get back into the swing of taking pictures. Photography has always been a favorite hobby of mine and when I’m stressed out and sad it’s the last thing that I want to do. But I know that when I can sit down and edit pictures it makes my day when the vision I had in my head shows up on my camera.

I’ve also been working on getting back into creative makeup. Doing my makeup has always been a huge form of self care. It makes me feel better because it’s so much fun and creating new looks is inspiring! I haven’t decided yet if I want to make a third Instagram account just for posting makeup or if I want to add a section to my Bookstagram that focuses on the makeup looks I create that are based off of book covers! Either way I think it will be fun 🙂

Now back to the blog. I am hoping to try and post every day again like I managed to do for the beginning of October but if I can’t I’ll be posting on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday! I’m going to work on getting back to comments and whatnot today and tomorrow and yeah I’m happy to be back and done being as stressed out. I’ll be back tomorrow with a Top Ten Tuesday post 🙂

Review: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Can we all just be excited for a second at the fact that my most anticipated book of the year lived up to my own personal hype??

I’ve only read one of Leigh Bardugo’s young adult books, the first book in the Grisha trilogy, and it was right around the time when it was first released and I didn’t really love it. I’ve had no interest in reading any of her other books up until now and when I first read the synopsis for Ninth House I was immediately like “YES, I NEED TO READ THIS”

I like dark stories and oh boy, did this deliver on that. I’m going to say what everyone is saying about this book: it is an adult book and should be categorized as such. This is a very, very dark adult book and is not suitable content for younger readers.

ninthhouse

Before I get into my review, here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

Like I had said at the beginning of the post, this was my most anticipated read of the year. I got nervous as I started to see more and more reviews of people reading this and rating it lower than anticipated and I kept stopping myself from starting it because I didn’t want to be disappointed. Luckily, in the end, I was so far from disappointed, I rated this 5 stars.

Untitled design-5

This book was a behemoth and I read it over the course of about three days. Each chapter title gives you the time at which the events in the chapter are taking place. “Winter” and “fall/late fall” were the main ones and the perspective switched between our main character, Alex, and Darlington, Alex’s mentor in Lethe. Lethe is essentially a group that has been created to be guardians to the secret societies of Yale.

From the get go, I connected with Alex and her struggle with being a survivor. The fight for life and for survival is something I relate to deeply and it was emotional to see how strong she was in order to do anything. I also really enjoyed reading from both her and Darlington’s perspectives in order to get a more in depth view of the story. I personally felt like if we had only followed Alex, that we never would’ve learned some of the things that Darlington shared in his chapters.

I genuinely wish that I would have kept a tally of how many times I said “oh my god” or “wtf” while reading this because it was lot. Some parts of the book I totally saw coming, but others blew my mind. I think that I can say that I am a big fan of paranormal/fantasy type thrillers because unlike thrillers that take place in “real life” basically anything can happen. We can get those big twists and shocks because literally anything could happen. This whole book had me turning the next page thinking “what could possibly happen next?” It was compelling and devious and I adored it.

A lot of the reviews I’ve seen are from people who thought that this book was boring, or at least the first half was boring. I felt like this book was chock full of information but to me, it felt balanced. If it had all been jam packed with action, I think it would have been overwhelming. But with less action and more exposition, it would have been too dry. There really wasn’t any point in this that I felt like I wanted to skip sections or chapters because I genuinely wanted to see what every page had in store. If you’re looking for a simple read, this probably isn’t for you! It’s full of names and stories and is so layered that it takes a lot of brain power to really engross yourself in it. But let me tell you, it is well worth it if you like dark adult fantasy.

So when it comes to recommending this, I want to preface this with this book is really disturbing at times. One scene in particular made me physically gag and many others left me feeling drained. It was dark, definitely not quite what I expected, but in the end I was left with overwhelming hope for this group of characters that had been beaten down and broken more times than I could count. I adored the characters in this book, flaws and all and I genuinely can’t wait to get my hands on book two. But please be careful when picking up this book and if you are interested in content warnings I’ll have those at the end of the review.

I think that if you’re a fan of dark stuff, give this a try. If you like a unique cast of characters and a wild story, pick this up.

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy, you can find it here.

Content warnings:

Sexual assault (child rape and date rape), murder, gore, drug abuse, drowning, death, suicide, forced consumption of human waste. 

 

Halloween Song Book Tag

Y’all, I am struggling to get through anything, my concentration is absolutely shot. I have so many books piling up and homework and AHHHH it’s bad. I just want to hibernate and stop doing anything and everything and it’s taking everything in me to not drop off the face of the earth for months.

So because I still have absolutely nothing to review and all the posts that I wanted to write are definitely not getting written, I have decided to do a book tag. I saw this on Heather‘s (Bookables) Youtube channel and the original tag can be found here (it was done by a beautiful chaos of books). She also made a playlist of all the songs from the tag which I thought was awesome! Here’s that link.

My goal with this is to try and keep everything within the thriller/horror (maybe also fantasy, yeah no definitely also some fantasy) genre if I can manage it!

Thriller

A book that was an absolute page turner

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

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I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish reading this book. Couldn’t stop reading it once I started!!

Somebody’s Watching Me

A book that gave you serious creeps

The Possession of Cassie Quinn by Kathryn Knutson

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The first time I ever read this book I was so creeped out. Possession is a no go for me. One of my biggest fears to be quite honest. I’m rereading this book this weekend to see if it still creeps me out as much as it did back in the day.

Vampire

A book you hated so much it was soul sucking (i.e. incredibly tedious to get through)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

I know that everyone thought this was amazing and that I am definitely in the minority but I remember dragging myself through this book. It was not shocking or thrilling in the slightest.

And The Girl on the Train… And The Death of Mrs. Westaway. Y’all I need more thriller recommendations that aren’t boring as hell.

I Put A Spell On You

A book featuring witchcraft or magic

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

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Definitely not a spooky one, but I really enjoyed this graphic novel. It’s the perfect witchy fall read!

This Halloween

Your favorite treat/snack to eat while reading

Right now it’s cheez-its. Also coffee or tea is always great.

MorningReading-AWASOE

Time Warp

What book or books do you like to return to at this time of year?

For many, many years I would reread Harry Potter yearly starting right around the start of the school year. I like to reread series in the winter, not sure why but maybe it’s because I wouldn’t buy books over the summer and then would get books for my birthday and holidays and I used to read a LOT of series so that’s when I’d get that series flow going.

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Hungry Like The Wolf

A book you loved so much, you devoured

Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin

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I got an ARC from Netgalley for this book and read it in one day (almost in one sitting). It was absolutely amazing. Dark, devious, and engrossing and you guys should preorder it because it comes out in February and you all need to read it.

The Adams Family

A book featuring a dysfunctional family

Resurrection Girls by Ava Morgyn

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I just hope their dysfunction heals at some point. Very sad dysfunctional family.

Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

A book genre that you are scared or intimidated to pick up

I want to say that I’m really adventurous in my reading. I’m interested in reading a wide variety of books and I don’t think that I’m scared or intimidated to pick up any one genre. I will say that I struggle the most to read classics and I also tend to steer away from high fantasy or science/historical fiction because a lot of times those are really dense and heavy and take more brain power than I have to give at the time.

The Twilight Zone

A book with a completely different and unique premise

The Skeleton Creek series by Patrick Carman

Skeleton Creek (Skeleton Creek, #1)

I guess it’s not super different? But it’s really unique because you can go to links while you read the books to watch clips of the events in these books! I’m going to talk about these on Monday after I reread them this weekend!

So that’s the Halloween Song Book Tag… It’s brand new so definitely participate if you want to answer these questions!

If We Were Having Coffee Or Today I Feel Consumed

I’ve seen a few people make update types posts centered around how they would chat with you if we were having coffee and because I have nothing else to talk about today I figured I’d just write a real quick update post.

This morning I’m drinking a nice ice cold cup of coffee that I brought with me from home, I spilled a decent amount of it in my car while backing out of the driveway so now I have to clean my car when I get home. It’s supposed to be sunny today which I’m really looking forward to, my sister and I are supposed to run errands after I get home from work and not having to drive in the rain is going to be great.

The temps are quickly dropping and we’re supposed to get snow that actually sticks next week 😦 just in time for trick-or-treating 😦

Speaking of trick-or-treating I’m kind of sad because I’m not sure I can dress up this year, I think my brother’s are either doing something Harry Potter related or are going as the grim reaper and a minecraft monster? They told me their ideas weeks ago and clearly I’m a great sister because I can’t remember whatsoever. I’ve been so busy with work and school that I haven’t been able to plan a costume out. Halloween is my favorite holiday and costumes and makeup are my freaking favorites and I think I’ve only missed one year of dressing up since I was a kid. I was kind of thinking of either trying to pull off a deer or fairy look (because it’s 99% makeup for those looks). Might just throw on a witch hat too. Will try looking for stuff while I’m out with my sister tonight.

Right now I’m reading Ninth House and absolutely LOVING it. I have about 150 pages left and I don’t want it to end! I’m honestly so glad that my most anticipated read of the year is living up to my expectations, I was so nervous.

I went hiking last weekend and am hopefully going to go hiking again this weekend. I might even be stopping by this really cool sculpture park if I can manage it. There’s a whole lot of homework that I have to do this weekend though. Not going to lie but one of my classes is really disappointing me. The strictness and formalness of online professors is honestly really bumming me out. Like the rules and requirements for one of my assignments is so long that I almost had a panic attack because it convinced me that there was no way I could possibly pass. OH and I got docked a point on a video project for NOT SAYING GOODBYE. Yeah, let’s just say I’m not a fan.

On a happier note (kind of) I made new Instagram accounts! My nature/hiking account is @amelia.rosin and my Bookstagram is @amelia.and.her.books Instagram was a really toxic platform for me and it brings back a lot of not so great memories so I’m trying hard not to let it get to me this time. If you decide to follow me on there, go for it, just don’t expect much from me because there’s a good chance I’ll end up deleting it if it stresses me out.

Things are busy and hectic at work and I’m definitely feeling the strain of trying to do school, work, and this blog. This blog is one of the only good things I have left and I’m trying so hard not to let it fall to the wayside. If I can just make it through to the end of the semester I have a whole month to take a break from school. Balance has never been something I was good at and I’m realizing even more as I get older how bad I am at time management and balance.

So I think that’s just about everything going on in my life right now. Lots of school, way too much work, and not enough reading and happy things. I need a good long nap and a week of recovery time. But since I’m not going to get that, I will continue to consume a boatload of caffeine and go from there. Have a great day everyone 🙂

 

 

Asexual Awareness Week!!!

It is now coming to the close of Asexual Awareness Week 2019 and I felt like I wanted to make a post before it ended.

Back when I was a young teen, I was scrolling through Tumblr (as was my daily routine back then) and stumbled across a post talking about asexuality. It felt like a lightbulb went off in my head and I remember then frantically googling more about what being asexual meant and all the puzzle pieces finally started to fall into place.

When I was younger, it was easy not to realize that anything was different about me, but by the time high school hit and all the raging hormones had started to set in, I felt weird when people talked about things. Like my best friend at the time had discovered smutty fanfiction and I found myself grossed out by it… I spent more time calling out the poor writing than anything else. I didn’t understand what people meant when they talked about how attractive someone’s body was or how they wanted to sleep with someone. If I had a crush on someone, I didn’t fantasize about kissing them or anything further, all I could think about was holding hands or sitting and reading books together. I turned really quickly to “I’M SAVING MYSELF FOR MARRIAGE” so that I could avoid talking about sex. It was a great excuse.

Realizing that I was asexual was a mind-blowing experience, I’m not even going to lie. I’m still trying to sort out other aspects of my sexuality but I know for a fact that I am asexual. Sometimes I’m still nervous to talk about the fact that I’m asexual. For the most part, it’s an irrelevant conversation so I try to keep it to myself but I just wanted to share it for this week.

I’m aware that asexuals have vastly different struggles than other LGBT+ people but honestly I’ve spent a lot of time wishing that I could just be “normal”. I don’t think I can even list all the people that have ghosted me upon finding out that I’m asexual, so at this point I’ve given up on the idea of dating.

I guess I should try and stop rambling and just say, hey asexuals exist and we’re all vastly different and if you have any questions feel free to ask!! I love talking about this with people!!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Give Different Titles To

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.

The topic for this week is books I’d give different titles to. It stumped me for a really long time until it finally dawned on me that I could try and be funny and rename books that I absolutely hated.

So I just want to add this disclaimer that I’m totally doing this in a joking manner. I know that not everyone hates these books and I just wanted to poke fun at some books that have made me mad over the years.

And with that out of the way, I’m going to start with Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. A little backstory with this one, I’ve had to read it three (3) times and it just gets more and more painful every time. It was required reading in my honors English class for my freshman year in high school and then at the end of my junior year, they switched up all the curriculum and WOW Great Ex was now the required summer reading for AP Literature for seniors… So guess who had to reread Great Ex for her senior year? Yep. This person. I just despise every single character in this book so. much.

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My new title for Great Ex? Why No One Should Fall In Love or also JOE DESERVES BETTER but like who’s going to pick up a book with that title? lol. I need to move on or else I’m going to go on a rant about this book and I’m already in a heated mood so let’s just get on with it.

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

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This book just gets worse every time I think about it. I’d like to rename it “Clowning for Him” because the main character (while also being a literal clown) is a damn clown for getting with the guy she got with. Also runner up title is “Travis Ford and the Handful of Little Sister Tit” (Y’all I still can’t understand why that was an actual published phrase in this novel)

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

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Read This if You Want to Know How Schizophrenia Doesn’t Work” I’m still considering doing a rant review about this book but also I don’t feel like I have the authority to say all my thoughts about it… But seriously go read some of the reviews by people with schizophrenia or who are actual licensed psychologists etc. Very eye opening to how bad this book was.

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

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Underage Sex in the Wilderness” or “We’re Only Enemies Because We Don’t Know How to Talk to Each Other.”

See How She Dies by Lisa Jackson

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Incest? Incest.” (GUYS I’M SORRY I’M DOING A GOOD JOHN GREEN TITLE DIRTY LIKE THIS BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS HILARIOUS.)

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

Get Out While You Still Can” or “———–” because I’d like to just erase this book from existence 🙂 sometimes I forget it exists tbh.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitgerald

The Great Gatsby

Stop It, Get Some Help” Yes. The title is just a Vine. Oh, honestly this could be the new title for like 5 different books I’ve read.

I think that’s where I’m going to leave it for this weeks post.

 

Middle Grade Monday: The Memory Keeper by Jennifer Camiccia

I was super excited when I was granted access to an eARC to The Memory Keeper by Jennifer Camiccia. It follows a girl named Lulu who has a Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory. This is an incredibly uncommon phenomenon but it was such a fascinating concept to center the story around. If you don’t know what HSAM is, it essentially means that Lulu remembers every second of her life.

Lulu lives with her parents, little brother, and grandmother. She had a younger sister who I think passed away from SIDs but it wasn’t explicitly stated. Her parents have struggled immensely with this and on top of that her mother is dealing with postpartum depression as well. So Lulu leans on her grandmother heavily, which makes it even scarier when her grandma starts having problems with her memory. When Lulu realizes the scope of her own memory, she tries to collect her grandmother’s in order to help her in day to day life. Lulu wonders if the reason that her grandmother is losing her memory is because of a traumatic event, just as a traumatic event can trigger HSAM, she reads that it could also trigger memory loss. So Lulu goes in search of her grandmother’s past in order to save her memory and save her family.

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So I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. Was it super realistic? No, but it was emotional and heartfelt and deep while at the same time balanced with lighthearted jokes and fun friendship moments. Memory issues are a hard topic for me and I couldn’t help but get emotional a lot throughout this book. I know a few people that have dealt with or are dealing with Alzheimers and I myself have dealt with a great deal of memory loss due to mental health problems. It was painful to see how much Lulu was scared of losing her grandma if anyone found out what she was struggling with.

There was also quite a candid discussion of postpartum depression and grief and it was hard to see how Lulu struggled with her relationship with her parents but eye opening to read from the side of a child in a situation like this.

The side “quest” I guess is what I would call it that followed Lulu and her friends, Max and Olivia, in trying to also uncover Lulu’s grandma’s past was too funny. They took their roles of detectives so seriously and I really enjoyed seeing how their relationships developed and changed as the book progressed. I genuinely loved each of the characters in this book and it warmed my heart to see them heal even just a little by the time the book ended.

Another thing that I really loved about this book was that each chapter opened with a short description of some part of the brain and how it functions. Considering the book centered around a story in which the brain and memory was a central feature, I thought this was really interesting! It was educational and easy to understand and I really liked that.

This book felt reminiscent of The Ghost Collector  in that both main characters are dealing with something really difficult and are doing everything in their power to fix what they are struggling with. I highly recommend both.