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

40604658._SY475_

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

42505366

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*

39884780._SY475_

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!

 

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

41837243._SY475_

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

13677127

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

mooncakes

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.

harrypotter

Hungry Like The Wolf

A book you loved so much, you devoured

Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin

42595554.jpg

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

44174348

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!

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.

2623

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

fixherup

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

17661416

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

35297469

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

24473

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.

39884780._SY475_

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.

 

Review: Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Do you ever read a book and then just spend forever rolling it over in your mind because you have literally no idea what you think of it? That was this book for me.

Wilder Girls by Rory power was an incredibly highly anticipated read of this year and while it didn’t sound quite up my alley (books about quarantine and disease are not usually a hit for me) I was looking forward to giving it a try.

42505366.jpg

It follows a dual perspective of two girls at Raxter School for Girls, a boarding school that has been placed under a quarantine for the last 18 months after a mysterious disease called the Tox took over the island. They’re completely cut off from the world while the disease changes everything in strange and violent ways. Girls have grown gills, second spines, scales, and more. It’s essentially supposed to be the female version of Lord of the Flies (which I get but also it’s vastly different so…) So with that really brief description, let’s get into the review.

I think I’m just going to start right off with my star rating. It took me over an hour to decide on this but I went with three stars.

Untitled design-3

I thought this started off incredibly slowly and up until about 150 pages in I was tempted to DNF this. There were definitely small pieces of the story that kept me wanting to continue so in the end I kept going.

The story itself was really compelling, it brought up so many questions about what could possibly be happening to this island and these girls. The plot is what kept me connected to the book and essentially nothing else. I didn’t really connect with any of the characters, I definitely empathized with them and their situation but I felt like I barely knew anything about any of them. When they switched perspectives from Hetty to Byatt, it was really jarring. I mean it was over 100 pages into the book by the time that happened so it felt weird to all of a sudden read from another perspective.

I also didn’t feel like this perspective change was all that well done. Byatt had a very distinctive voice but her pieces didn’t really fill in many holes of the story, they just added more. By the end of the book I had so many questions that I was shocked that I had reached the final page. This book was marketed as a standalone and I have absolutely no idea how it could possibly have just ended the way it did. I mean talk about a cliffhanger.

I enjoyed the crazy crescendo that was the ending of this book. But again, all the unanswered questions just left me wondering why the heck I just spent two days reading this. I wanted to get to the end and find a resolution and the fact that there wasn’t one left me mulling over why I had read this book in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why some people would absolutely love this book but I also understand why there are people who wouldn’t like it. If I had known there weren’t going to be answers waiting for me at the end of this book, I don’t think I would have pushed through that beginning portion, so now I’m really stuck wondering if we’ll ever get a sequel, or maybe just some sort of epilogue.

This was marketed as a feminist Lord of the Flies and honestly, I really and truly don’t understand that. It’s a survival story at heart, I’ll give them that, but that’s as far as I’d take the comparison… Also I don’t care but I’m going to say it and say that changing the entire cast of characters to female doesn’t inherently make it feminist (because that’s essentially the only thing I could take from that comparison, idk). I’m interested to see what Rory Power writes next, her writing is quite nice and I really hope that in her next books her characters stand out as much as her story does. I think she creates a spectacular story but I just wish that everything else didn’t fall so flat.

If you’re looking for a borderline scary and a little bit gory YA survival story, I would recommend trying this. But if you’re hoping for something that hands you the plot all wrapped up in a box with a bow on top, this isn’t for you.

 

My Favorite Quotes From: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I started this blog series back in December of 2015 during which I made posts that chronicled my favorite quotes from each Harry Potter book. Since I fell off the Blogmas bandwagon pretty early on (and also finals and winter break zapped all my energy and reading time) I only made it through the first two books of the series. So over THREE years later here I am to start up these posts again, obviously starting with book three Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

If you’d like to catch up and read what my favorite quotes were from the first two books here are those links: Book 1 // Book 2

So on a quick side note, does it bug anyone else that the third movie begins with Harry using magic?? Like there’s no way he’s getting away with that, in the book he uses a flashlight. Honestly, how they got away with that is beyond me, it makes no sense. Okay, mini rant over!

Don’t let the Muggles get you down. Page 10

I actually want to get or make a graphic with this and hang it up in my room someday. One of my favorite optimistic quotes.

Harry ate breakfast each morning in the Leaky Cauldron, where he liked watching the other guests: funny little witches from the country, up for a day’s shopping; venerable-looking wizards arguing over the latest article in Transfiguration Today; wild-looking warlocks; raucous dwarfs; and once, what looked suspiciously like a hag, who ordered a plate of raw liver from behind a thick woolen balaclava. Page 49

People watching is so much fun to me, I love seeing how other people interact and act and just how they go about their own lives. It’s intriguing and I think this quote is so interesting. I would LOVE to sit in the Leaky Cauldron for a couple of hours and just watch all the customers come and go. It would be so cool! Also on this page I found one of those really rare times that a British spelling of a word made it past the editors! Honestly, finding typos, or other mistakes, or just weird coincidences like this are so satisfying. Really strange, but true. The word woolen was spelled with two L’s in my copy of the book.

Harry spent the long sunny days exploring the shops and eating under the brightly colored umbrellas outside cafes, where his fellow diners were showing one another their purchases (it’s a lunascope, old boy – no more messing around with moon charts, see?”) or else discussing the case of Sirius Black (“personally, I won’t let any of the children out alone until he’s back in Azkaban”). Harry didn’t have to do his homework under the blankets by flashlight anymore; now he could sit in the bright sunshine outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor, finishing all his essays with occasional helps from Florean Fortescue himself, who, apart from knowing a great deal about medieval witch burnings, gave Harry free sundaes every half an hour. Page 50

I love the sense of community within this quote. Also I wish I could do wizard homework! With the description of the brightly colored umbrellas I can’t help but picture all these cafes in like beautiful pastel colors. No idea why that’s what is coming to mind but I like it!

“Don’t be ridiculous, Ron,” said Mr. Weasley, who on closer inspection looked very strained. “Black’s not going to be caught by a thirteen-year-old wizard. It’s the Azkaban guards who’ll get him back, you mark my words.” Page 61

Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

Did he, now?” said Madam Pomfrey approvingly. “So we’ve finally got a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who knows his remedies?” Page 90

Honestly, Lupin was hands down the best DADA teacher Hogwarts had in the time Harry was there.

Harry leaned forward to see Hagrid, who was ruby-red in the face and staring down at his enormous hands, his wide grin hidden in the tangle of his black beard. “We should’ve known!” Ron roared, pounding the table. “Who else would have assigned us a biting book?” Page 93

This is from right after they found out that Hagrid was the new Care of Magical Creatures teacher. I love the support that the students give him, especially the Gryffindor students. I also included what Ron said because it’s so true. No one but Hagrid would assign a biting book!

“Really, what has got into you all today?” said Professor McGonagall, turning back into herself with a faint pop, and staring around at them all. “Not that it matters, but that’s the first time my transformation’s not got applause from a class.” Everybody’s heads turned toward Harry again, but nobody spoke. Then Hermione raised her hand. “Please, Professor, we’ve just had our first Divination class, and we were reading the tea leaves, and-” “Ah, of course,” said Professor McGonagall, suddenly frowning. “There is no need to say any more, Miss Granger. Tell me, which of you will be dying this year?” Page 109

This is honestly hilarious. I love how McGonagall is just so nonchalant about this. It makes me giggle every time I read this part. McGonagall is just completely done with Trelawney and her death omens.

Hagrid stopped dead, staring at Harry as though he’d only just realized he was there. “WHAT D’YEH THINK YOU’RE DOIN’, EH?” he roared, so suddenly that they jumped a foot in the air. “YEH’RE NOT TO GO WANDERIN’ AROUND AFTER DARK, HARRY! AN’ YOU TWO! LETTIN’ HIM!” Page 122

This whole scene is funny, I know it probably shouldn’t be because Hagrid is so distraught but at the same time it’s funny. How he has to dunk his head in a water barrel to “sober up” before he realizes that the trio actually left the castle at night to see him.

Crookshanks slowly chewed up the spider, his yellow eyes fixed insolently on Ron. Page 145

Crookshanks is such a sassy character and I really wish he was in the books more. Or that he played more of a role in the movies too, that would’ve been fun to see. Also if any of you are as well versed in Harry Potter theories as I am I’m sure you’ve heard of the Crookshanks headcanon, which makes me like him even more throughout the course of this book.

Here’s the headcanon for those who don’t know of it.

“Where is Wood?” said Harry, suddenly realizing he wasn’t there.

“Still in the showers,” said Fred. “We think he’s trying to drown himself. Page 180

Honestly, I really wish that Olive Wood was more of a central character in the movies as he was in the books. Despite the fact that I love the Harry Potter movies, I truly think that they left out some really great stuff.

They had never seen eye to eye with Hagrid about what he called “interesting creatures” and other people called “terrifying monsters”. Page 218

“Crackers!” said Dumbledore enthusiastically, offering the end of a large silver noisemaker to Snape, who took it reluctantly and tugged. With a bang like a gunshot, the cracker flew apart to reveal a large, pointed witch’s hat topped with a stuffed vulture. Page 227

Image result for snape in dress

Professor Trelawney gave Professor McGonagall a very cold look.

“Certainly I knew, Minerva,” she said quietly. “But one does not parade the fact that one is All-Knowing. I frequently act as though I am not possessed of the Inner Eye, so as not to make others nervous.”

“That explains a great deal,” said Professor McGonagall tartly. Page 229

Honestly, I love the beef between Trelawney and McGonagall. Cracks me up.

Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor. Page 287

This whole scene gets me every dang time. I hate Snape with my absolute whole soul and love that the freaking map makes fun of him for trying to crack it open. And then when Snape is like “don’t you think he got it directly from the manufacturers.” Oh boy I wish that line had been in the movie.

[He] held him out for Crookshanks to sniff. “What do’you reckon?” Ron asked the cat. “Definitely an owl?” Crookshanks purred. Page 434

I forgot about how Ron got his owl, oh this scene was funny. It’s been so long since I’ve read these books, it’s weird getting back into the story. Like I know it all so well but it’s vividly different from what I remember. But I will say it’s always like going home, it’s a story I know like the back of my hand and I can’t wait to get back into the rest of the books.

 

 

 

 

I Saw The Movie First: Jurassic Park

One huge taboo in the book community has always been watching the movie before reading the book… Or just watching only the movie. I used to be so adamant about making sure that I read the book first that there were some movies that I went years without watching solely because I hadn’t gotten around to reading the book yet.

Now I’ve become really relaxed on my “Must read the book first rule” and I also have come to find out that a ton of my favorite (or old favorite) movies were actually based off of books! So I figured, might as well use it to my advantage and write some blog posts comparing books and movies.

Does anyone else get an incredibly weird feeling when they go into a book that they’ve already watched the movie for? Like that is definitely how I felt when I reread Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton last weekend. Jurassic Park is in my top 5 favorites movies of all times. I even have a quote from the movie tattooed on my thigh!! I think the first time I ever watched the movie I was 6 or 7 and it terrified me. To the extent that I had a reoccurring nightmare about getting chased by a t-rex for over 10 years! But now, I’ve come to love the movie and have used it to allow myself to foster my obsession with all things dinosaur.

Image result for jurassic park

I first read the book version of Jurassic Park in 2017 and then reread it last weekend. It’s an insanely fascinating book but one that I could see a lot of people not enjoying anywhere near as much as the movie. It leans heavily on the sciencey side of things and goes into incredible detail explaining everything. It took me a while to get through it but I thoroughly enjoyed it in the end.

Personally, I think both the book and the movie are absolute masterpieces. The main thing that differs within the book is how much more heavily they focus on the velociraptors. There’s an entire subplot about them that is taken out of the movie entirely and it’s just, wow. *chef’s kiss* And there are two t-rex’s which is fascinating getting to see how that works out.

40604658._SY475_.jpg

The way they changed the characters for the movie too is interesting. They aged up Ellie and aged down Grant, I think mainly to add in that underlying romance between the two because in the book, Ellie is engaged to someone else and Grant is almost twice her age! In the book, Tim is the older child while Lex is the younger. Oh! And IAN MALCOLM IS BALD. Y’all, the whole time I was reading this I was picturing a bald Jeff Goldblum… Oh, I laugh every time. Everyone essentially has the same personality in the movie and I think they did a great job with the cast and characterization of everyone. I have a really hard time with making my own picture of a character in my head so while I tried to come up with new pictures of the characters in the book, I mostly just put the movie actors in there instead…. Even if they don’t match the book description.

Image result for jurassic park

There are definitely a lot of scenes within the book that are left out of the movie and I really enjoyed going more in depth with learning about Jurassic Park and everything inside it while reading the book. I really can’t say that I enjoyed either one more because they’re so alike but so different in really good ways. I feel like a lot of times it leans one way or the other with a book or movie being better but I’m happy to say that at least for me, this pair is spectacular all around.

Now I just want to watch all the Jurassic Park movies again…

Sunshine Blogger Award

What a pleasant surprise!! Emer nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award which absolutely made my whole week (still makes me smile even though her post was a while ago… I have just been very behind on any and all posts). She is an absolute gem and if you aren’t following her already you should definitely check out her blog! Thank you, Emer, for the nomination 🙂

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

How does it work?

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Do you own more than one copy of any book? If yes then what book/s?

I have two copies of most of the books in the Harry Potter series. My paperback ones are incredibly beat up seeing as I’ve read them many, many times since I was 6 so I’ve been trying to get secondhand hardback copies to have ones I can read without fearing they’ll fall apart.

I also have a number of books in both physical format and in ebooks (A few Sarah J. Maas books that I bought to read when I traveled abroad, and also Fangirl).

And, uh, I also have 4(?) copies of Pride and Prejudice even though I still haven’t read it…….

Describe your perfect day.

April 25th

Image result for miss congeniality date joke

But really, it would have to be a gloomy fall day. Where the morning starts off foggy and the sun never really comes out of the clouds. You can almost see your breath so all the cozy clothes and accessories are warranted. The ground is covered in soggy leaves and it just rains on and off. I get to aimlessly wander a bookstore and a museum with a nice drink (probably an iced coffee or some chai) and then go home to just sit in bed and read/stream a movie or show that I love.

What attracts you to a book? The cover? Blurb? Recommendation from others?

Cover and title, even though the title really means absolutely nothing to me in the end. I’ve started to just ignore blurbs altogether because I like being surprised by what I’m reading. I’ll read the blurb once to decide if I’m really interested in it or not but then that’s it. I am a sucker for a good cover!!

You are having a dinner party and can invite three famous people (either living or dead) to the party. Who do you invite?

David Tenant, Josh Gates, and Taylor Swift. The closest I have ever gotten to any of them is that my roommate from my London study abroad trip and I stood outside the stage door for a play David Tenant was in and we SAW HIM. IN THE FLESH. He was RIGHT THERE. RIGHT THERE PEOPLE.

Who is your favourite superhero?

Spiderman, probably. Honestly, I say this because I don’t follow the superhero stuff at all. I have seen very few superhero movies (like less than 10 and uh, one of them is Iron Man 3 but I have not seen the other Iron Man movies)… But I have seen almost all of the Spiderman movies and I love Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland.

Which would you prefer to win: an Oscar or a Grammy?

An Oscar. When I was a kid I actually really wanted to be an actress. I was the lead in two or three plays back in elementary school and I feel like if I hadn’t developed such crippling anxiety that I would have continued to pursue theatre. If I could become an actress, even now, I’d take the opportunity right away. Plus I don’t even think if I was a good singer that I would feel comfortable enough to sing in front of people.

What is the first book that you ever wrote a review for?

On this blog, it was Wild by Nature which I actually won in a Goodreads giveaway forever ago!! On Goodreads, though, I guess it was for this book called Girl in the Arena and all I said was “I can’t even put into words how disappointing this was” so I guess it was really bad lol.

Coca Cola or Pepsi?

Pepsi. Unless I’m getting takeout from McDonald’s because then Coca Cola all the way.

And funny story about Pepsi, when I was living with one of my former roommates we basically lived off of Pepsi products (it was a low point for both of us, caffeine and sugar fueled all our antics). So one day we went to the grocery store and they had a crazy sale on six-packs of the pop but they had limits for how many each person could get (I’m sure you can see where this is going). So we each bought the limit and then went out and ran the rest of our errands and then went back to the grocery store hours later and bought the limit again. I want to say it was like 6 packs per person? So we had like 24 6-packs of Pepsi and Mountain Dew…. This is a lil embarrassing now typing this out lol.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Night owl! Funnily enough I literally just wrote a post about this! I could probably become almost nocturnal if my work schedule let me.

What is your all time favourite quote from a book you loved?

“Stand at the top of a cliff and jump off and build your wings on the way down.”

From Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This is the only classic that I read in high school that has absolutely stuck with me over the years. There were so many lines in this book that just made me think but I love this quote because it just fits with my horribly chaotic life. Still working on those wings.

What’s the last book you bought (eBook, audiobook or physical book)?

Uhhhh… So I bought 4 books while shopping with my sister the other day. Guts by Raina Telgemeier, The Alice Network by , Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, and this book about the witches in the Harry Potter series for my sister as an incredibly late birthday/general Halloween present (because I am a GREAT sister).

So with that I am tagging:

Kathryn (K-Specks)

Dana

Nicole

Amanda

Lauren

My questions for y’all if you want to participate are:

  1. What was the book that made you fall in love with reading?
  2. If you had to choose a non-natural color for your hair, what would it be?
  3. What is your favorite holiday?
  4. Do you have any special books in your collection (ex: signed books, special editions, etc)?
  5. If you could get away with one crime, what would it be?
  6. What is a scent that always brings back a good memory?
  7. What is your favorite format to read books in (e-book, audio, hardcover, paperback)?
  8. What makes you laugh until you cry?
  9. If you were a cartoon character, what would your signature outfit be?
  10. Who is a person you admire and why?
  11. What’s the weirdest fun fact that you know?