November Wrap-Up/Mini Reviews

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

First book that I read was Bunny by Mona Awad

Bunny

Here’s the synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Favorite Half-Night Stand

Here’s the synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Turn of the Key

Here’s the synopsis:

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

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

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

It was everything.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

 

 

 

August Favorites 2019

Books:

Usually I try and only put one book in my favorites each month just because I also do a wrap up post but there were three books that I loved so much that I really couldn’t choose. They’re also all from different genres so I might as well share them all!

You can check out my August wrap-up here, as well as my individual reviews for Graceling and The Right Swipe here and here.

Other Media:

albumcoverart.jpg

Lover… I mean this is no surprise. I’ve listened to this so many times. Had it on repeat in my car every day during my drive to and from work.

My unofficial official ranking of the songs as of right now is:

  1. Paper Rings
  2. London Boy
  3. Cruel Summer
  4. I Forgot That You Existed
  5. The Man
  6. Lover
  7. I Think He Knows
  8. Cornelia Street
  9. False God
  10. Afterglow
  11. Soon You’ll Get Better
  12. You Need To Calm Down
  13. ME!
  14. Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince
  15. Daylight
  16. It’s Nice To Have A Friend
  17. Death By A Thousand Cuts
  18. The Archer

Gus Johnson

Gus is my favorite YouTuber and has been for about a year now. He’s absolutely hilarious and is just so genuine and good. His Mitchell Robbins series is my go-to when I’m really sad, I physically cannot make it through one of those videos without crying from laughing so hard. With how stressed out I’ve been I’ve spent hours rewatching his videos and I can say I definitely didn’t regret that.

Make-Up/Skincare:

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I was shopping at Target with no list in mind, which is obviously never a good idea but it’s fine………….. Anyways, I was in the market for a new face mask so I decided to pick up this one. I am definitely still in the learning curve of mixing it (the clay comes in powder form so you have to mix it with water) but I was hooked the first time I used it. Honestly my skin had not been softer in months before trying it out. I was shocked! I’ve been trying to use face masks at least twice a week because I’ve been wearing makeup much more frequently and I’m glad I tried this one.

Also does anyone have any recommendations for good face masks? I’m looking for a nice peel off one for sure and maybe a good hydrating one.

Clothes/Accessories:

Fabletics leggings. Before I bought any from Fabletics I was obsessed with a pair that I have from Old Navy but they no longer sell the kind that I like so I had to move on to other brands to try and find replacements. The first few pairs I bought from Fabletics were patterned and I never wore them so I just figured I didn’t really like them… But then I bought solid colored ones and I’ve been wearing them constantly since then.

I definitely don’t like how hard it is to cancel a membership from the company once you’ve started one but I’ve just started setting calendar reminders on my phone to go skip my subscription charge each month.

Oh and along with the leggings I’ve gotten two tops and a bra and I really like those too! They fit nicely and are so comfortable!

Food/Drinks:

Chai tea ❤

This is my go-to warm drink from any coffee place and it’s been cold enough to order warm drinks again so I’ve been drinking a LOT of chai recently.

Pacific Chai is my favorite brand for instant chai mixes and I personally love the vanilla one.

Has tea been my favorite for like every single one of these posts? Whoops!

Other:

Poshmark

I’ve been using this for a few months now to slowly clear out my closet and earn a little money back. Unfortunately though, I’ve recently learned how nice this is to find pieces that I really want so most of the money I’ve earned has just gone to purchase other stuff off of here.

I found a really cute Halloween sweatshirt a couple weeks ago and I also got a jacket that I had seen in Old Navy last year that I loved but couldn’t splurge on at the time.

This solar powered lantern

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It is tiny but mighty!! I used it during my camping trip to Itasca and it was awesome! It is also pretty affordable too which is exactly what I was going for when I was looking for supplies.

That about sums up what I loved this past month! I read a lot of good books, drank a lot of tea, and listened to a lot of great music. What did you love in August?

August Reading Wrap Up: 2019

August was a pretty good reading month! In general it was a very busy month and I’m surprised that I read as much as I did! Now that I’m back in school my reading has already slowed down but I’m hoping that I can pull out some decent posts and reviews for September.

If a book has ** next to it, that means the book was an ARC that I received from NetGalley or the publisher in exchange for my honest review 🙂

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons**

100days

2/5 stars

You can read my full review here. It’s a shame such a beautiful cover was given to such a disappointing book. I had such high hopes but it really let me down.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai**

trs

5/5 stars

Y’all… Alisha Rai announced her next book in this romance world a few weeks ago and I shrieked when I saw the tweet. I CAN’T WAIT. The Right Swipe was so good and so heartwarming and it just made me feel all the feels. Such a diverse cast of characters and a kick ass main female lead. I found this book incredibly relatable to my own views on love and relationships and I highly recommend picking it up!

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

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5/5 stars

I was really pleasantly surprised by this book. It made me feel full and sentimental. It’s full of magical realism and family and friends and feelings. I highly recommend it. Great LGBT+ representation and while it surrounded a dark topic I felt that it was all handled well and the book was just beautiful in the end. So unique and engrossing.

(TW: Rape)

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Bloodlust and Bonnets by Emily McGovern

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4/5 stars

This was available on NetGalley and it’s by the creator of one of my favorite webcomics (My Life as a Background Slytherin) so I had to get my hands on this. It was hilarious!! So satirical about romance tropes and plots and I found myself laughing out loud on numerous occasions through the whole course of reading.

The only reason I docked a star was just because the pacing and plot was not always easy to follow. I got confused by the characters multiple times and there were some cases where I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Not really sure if this was the intention or if that’s just a result of it all.

Still loved it though and this comes out on September 17 if you’re interested in checking it out for yourself!

Preorder links: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

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5/5 stars

Working on collecting all of Sarah Dessen’s books and rereading them as I go. I actually changed my rating from the first time I had read this book to now. Originally I had rated it 3 stars because I didn’t like the main character. Now though, I could see the reasons why I was frustrated with the main character but I think Dessen wrote this book really well with how Macy dealt with grieving and healing.

I’m pretty sure these will always be my favorite YA contemporaries. This is a good story about learning how to be yourself and make decisions that are good for you and not just following what others want for you.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

What You Did by Claire McGowan**

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3/5 stars

So I completely forgot that I had gotten approved for this on NetGalley and ended up borrowing it from Kindle Unlimited. At least I realized after the fact and submitted a review on NetGalley *face palm*.

Anyways, this was a really average domestic thriller. The characters were beyond frustrating so if you can’t look past the idiotic choices that people might make because they’re trying to preserve themselves then this might not be the book for you. There were two parallel timelines and also the perspective changed at seemingly random increments and those aspects seemed completely unnecessary. The overall plot started off really strong but went downhill to the point where I was kind of skimming to get to the end. It was really predictable but I say that about almost every thriller I read.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

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5/5 stars

I did it. I found a good thriller (I’m referencing this post when I say this). Also I wanted to say that apparently I lied in that post because I was going through my Goodreads the other day in order to come up with recommendations for another post I’m working on and I rated a Gillian Flynn book five stars? I need to go reread that now to see what I was so hyped up about with that.

So this book was so gripping and while I figured out aspects of it over the course of the book there was one point that literally BLEW MY MIND and I flew through the rest of the book after that. I stayed up until almost midnight on a weeknight to finish this and while I highly regretted that at work the next morning it was so worth it.

If you’re looking for a book with a good twist, pick this one up and give it a try. This also had really great pacing and I never felt like it dragged which is an issue I’m having with so many thrillers I’ve read.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

The Poison Garden by A.J. Banner**

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3/5 stars

This book was zooming straight for 2 stars until I got to the ending. This was another pretty standard domestic thriller. While I think that if you’re well versed with the genre you might not enjoy this as much, if you’re new to thrillers I think that you could enjoy this.

The Poison Garden comes out on October 22 and I’ll be posting a review around that date where I go in depth with my thoughts for this.

Preorder links: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

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5/5 stars

This is still my absolute favorite book and it was quite an emotional reread. My best friend and I were actually together while I was reading this and she was rereading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and we basically both just sat there reading passages of our books back and forth to each other.

You can check out my post about my reread here.

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

The Queens of Animation by Nathalia Holt**

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4/5 stars

This book comes out in October and I got an ARC from NetGalley and honestly I was so excited when I saw that I was approved for it!! I absolutely love Disney and some of my favorite non-fiction books involve learning about women’s roles in big industries from the past.

My only issues with this came from confusion of the timeline but I’ll be posting a full discussion closer to the release date. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of women working in animation then I would highly recommend picking this up. I learned so many things and I was surprised at just how much work went into animation back in the day. It’s just amazing what went into those old Disney movies.

Preorder links: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Rebel Girls by Elizabeth Keenan**

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1/5 stars

This book made me want to chuck my computer out the window so much. I don’t want to say that I hated the book… But I kind of hated this book. This book could have been groundbreaking in the YA community because it completely surrounds the topic of abortion which is a really heavy topic as of late but this missed the mark on numerous occasions.

I’ll be posting an in depth review with spoilers in it once this book is released. And I will say that while I can see why people would like this, I just think that it pushed the wrong messages unknowingly. Oof, just thinking about this is getting me heated. Writing my full review is going to be tons of fun. I’ve been avoiding it because I don’t want to get angry again.

Preorder links: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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5/5 stars

I really needed this reread. Also this second time around I realized that I have a lot of issues with Alex? But also I relate to him a lot so I’m just leaving my rating at 5 stars because I don’t think his opinions and actions are outrageously bad for his age.

Here’s the link to my original review of this!

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

I also did a whole post where I did mini reviews of five poetry collections which you can find here. The five books featured in that post were the ones I’ve inserted the covers of below and all my thoughts and ratings about these are in my post which I’ll link again here.

 

 

And with that, I want to know what you read in August. Anything you loved? Anything you hated? What are you looking forward to reading in September?

July Favorites

Books:

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories

I can’t even say enough good things about this book. Incredibly sad and inspiring and one of my all time favorites. I also have an entire post going up about this on Friday and will discuss it in my reading wrap up so all I’ll say is that I highly, highly recommend this book. It’s a collection of essays and stories by Marina Keegan who passed away in 2012. She was 22 and had just graduated from Yale the day before her death. Marina is a huge inspiration to me and I urge all of you to pick up this book if you haven’t already.

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

Graphic novels

I read a number of graphic novels to try and kickstart my want to read again. It definitely helped. I’ll talk more about the specific graphic novels in my July Reading Wrap Up post and will link that here when it’s been published!

But I really appreciate the artistry that goes into making graphic novels and I have so many favorites that I will continue to reread time and time again because I enjoy the illustrations and the stories so much.

If you have any suggestions for graphic novels that I should pick up, comment them on this post! I haven’t read a ton, I’ve stuck to the ones I’m familiar with for the most part so far, and I would love to branch out and read more.

Other Media:

Letterkenny

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Over the last couple of weeks of June I kept getting ads on Hulu for this show called Letterkenny. On the Fourth of July, or actually on the third technically, I decided to start watching it. I’m not even going to lie to you when I say that I made it through five seasons in that weekend… And I may or may not have already rewatched the first two seasons since then.

This show is just perfect to me, the running jokes, the physical humor, the absolute absurdity of so much of it. It has overtaken Parks and Rec as my go-to show when I need mindless humor. Check it out on Hulu! They’re going to begin filming a new season in the next few weeks!

Machine Gun Kelly’s album Hotel Diablo

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Last month I talked about one of the singles off of this album (I Think I’m Okay) and now the entire album has been released. I’ve listened to at least one of the songs every single day since it came out. Also still can’t believe that I like rap, used to be the only music I could not listen to but here we are…

BooksandLala’s entire YouTube channel

I want to say that I discovered her channel in May? But I’ve increasingly just really found myself enjoying to watch her videos. And then her Reading Rush vlogs were my favorites of all the RR vlogs. She just has so many unique video concepts and reading challenges and watching her videos always makes me want to push myself to come up with new ideas for this blog. Also her son looks like my youngest brother and it makes me smile whenever I see him (they’re the same age too which I think is such a funny coincidence!).

Makeup:

Colourpop’s new lip tints

I saw them on Twitter a few days before they were released and I bought the entire collection the day they were released. They are so nice!! I’ve been looking for lighter lip products that aren’t drying and these came out at the perfect time. They’re apply light but you can build the color easily and they fade so nicely. I’ve only gotten a chance to wear a few of the colors so far but I’ve really liked each one! Colourpop is one of my favorite brands to use to experiment with colors because they’re so cheap.

I’ll insert some swatch pictures when I have a chance to take them in good lighting 🙂

Clothing/Accessories:

Tevas

I had to finally bite the bullet and purchase a new pair of Tevas because I lost the pair that I got last summer (very sad about that, I wore that other pair constantly last year 😦 ). This new pair is really cute and comfortable (despite the fact that they’re slightly too big, which is unfortunate because they’re technically in a children’s size). I wore them quite a bit after I got them. They provide a lot more support than my old pair did and honestly what more can I look for in a shoe, support and ease of wear. PERFECT.

I’m also really excited to have these because I finally got a new state park pass so I can go hiking!! I have a camping trip planned in the middle of August that I’m really looking forward to and I know I’ll be wearing these shoes for that entire trip. I have a big issue with hiking in close toed shoes over the warmer months. My feet get too warm and if my feet get too warm then my entire body overheats and feels really bad (thank you sensory issues) so I prefer hiking in sandals. I’ve tried Chacos but could never get the pair I had to fit my feet well and they took forever to put on so I’ve turned to Tevas instead and have not looked back. In the cooler/muddier months I wear a pair of hiking boots from the brand Oboz.

Food/Drinks:

Lychee Bellini tea from David’s Tea.

Picture from the David’s Tea blog

I bought two new teas from David’s Tea in July and the Lychee Bellini kind was my favorite. I’ve only made it a few times because I’m lazy but I’ve been brewing it hot and then sticking it in the fridge overnight and mixing it with lemonade before drinking it. It’s from their Mocktail Collection and I highly recommend it! It smells wonderful and is really fruity and sweet. I’m really trying to make myself drink more tea and less pop but it’s a struggle.

Other:

Crossword puzzles

I spent many, many hours doing crossword puzzles in the last few weeks of July. It was my way to force myself to stay off of social media and still act like I was being productive. Things just got pretty bad with burnout in July and I stopped doing everything that wasn’t just scrolling mindlessly through social media until I literally ran out of stuff to scroll through. I couldn’t hold my concentration to read anything longer than a Tweet and I basically just gave up on doing anything other than go to work and sleep. I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t done crossword puzzles that I would’ve spent my weekends starting at various walls in my house and acting catatonic. Tons of fun.

Anyways, so I’ve been working my way through a book of crossword puzzles and really enjoying that. It’s a good and easy way to do something without really putting out too much mental power so it felt like I was still basically doing nothing but I didn’t feel as guilty about it.

My new logo

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I gave my blog a little bit of a makeover when I finally had the motivation to do so and I created a really basic new logo. I really like it and I’m excited to continue on in this blogging journey!

So those are some of the things that I enjoyed in July. I can’t believe tomorrow is already August. This year is going by way too fast and I hate it!! What do you guys have planned for August?