January 10, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday: Blood Sisters

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly blog hop of anticipated book releases hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings.

Title: Blood Sisters
Author: Jane Corry
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

Three little girls set off to school one sunny morning. Within an hour, one of them is dead.

Fifteen years later, Kitty lives in an institution. She can't speak, and has no memory of the accident that put her there, or her life before it.

Nearby, Alison, a local artisan, struggles to make ends meet and to forget her past. When a job opens up in a prison as an art teacher, she takes it. Soon, though, she starts to receive alarming notes--followed by a frightening prisoner-on-prisoner assault while her back is turned. When an impressive new student arrives in Alison's class, things seem to settle down. But not for long.
For someone is watching both Kitty and Alison. Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day. And only another life will do. . .
What are you waiting for? Let me know in the comments!

January 4, 2018

2018 Reading and Blogging Goals

2018 is here and when the new year arrives, I always love to set new goals and challenges for myself in my reading life. After evaluating my reading from 2017, I found that I read a lot of just mediocre books and nothing really blew me away; nothing challenged my world view or really made me think. And just in general, not one single book that I read stood out to me. So here I present my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2018:

As you can see I've only challenge myself to read 25 books this year. There are many reasons why I've set my goal at only 25 books but the main reason is because I didn't meet my goal last year of 50 books. In September, I found out that I'm pregnant which really effected my reading life and I've only finished 2 books since then! I've been reading a lot more lately and I want to get back to a semi consistent reading life. But I am going to have a baby in May and I know that I'm not going to have a ton of time to read for the first few months. I also think that challenging myself to reading only 25 books this year will allow me to focus on quality books instead of the quantity of books that I read. I also have a bunch of books that are 800-1000 pages long and I don't want to feel guilty spending so much time on them. 

The second and final reading challenge that I'm participating in 2018 is the Beat the Backlist Challenge hosted by Novelknight. I feel like this one can really go hand in hand with my Goodreads Challenge because I know I have a lot of quality books on my shelves and I really want to read what I already have. I'm only setting my goal at 10 books which I hope I can achieve and then just see where it goes from there!

As far as blogging, I would like to post a least a couple times a month. I want to keep you guys in the loop, let you know what I'm reading and what's going on in my life and I know almost everyone loves cute, squishy baby pictures! I love blogging and reading and since I've been pregnant and I haven't had that aspect of my life, I have felt like something is missing because it's so important to me. So, even though I'm pregnant, I'm getting back to what I really love! 

Here's to an awesome 2018!!!

September 8, 2017

Book Review: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Title: The Accident Season
Author: Moira Fowley-Doyle
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Release Date: August 18,2015
Genre: YA, Magical Realism
Length: 304 pages
Source: Library
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it's bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it's just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season—when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17—is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think.

Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There's a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she'll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she'll uncover the dark origins of the accident season—whether she's ready or not.
My Review:

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle was a very enjoyable read for me. It's actually been on my TBR for quite some time so I decided to check it out from the library. I thought about purchasing it but I'm glad that I didn't because it would end up being just another mediocre book siting on my shelves. 

There are many aspects that I liked about The Accident Season and many reasons why I chose to read it. It really seemed to have a magical realism quality to it that I really love. There is something so intriguing in the synopsis that just brought me in but it didn't quite deliver what I expected. 

I loved that the book was set in Ireland. I visited Ireland many years ago and there's just something about it that has a magical quality. Like if there was really something called the accident season, it would probably be in Ireland. Fowley-Doyle is a really great writer and I truly enjoyed her lyrical writing style. The characters are all really great and while I was reading the story, I felt like I was invested in their lives. But really, I just wanted to know what was causing the accident season. And that was where the story fell a little flat for me. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but it turns out that all the magical realism aspects of the novel are actually just the main character's way of dealing with some of her trauma.

Other than that one aspect of the novel which isn't really revealed until almost the very end, I really enjoyed The Accident Season. I loved the way the story slowly unravels and reveals what is really going on. 

September 7, 2017

Let's Discuss: Reading Rituals

Hey readers! Welcome to Let's Discuss where I like to talk about book related topic! This week we're talking about reading rituals and what makes an environment conducive to reading.

I always like to know about people's different rituals and traditions. Do you have a certain reading chair, do you like to munch while you read, do you usually have some kind of beverage in hand while you read? I like to know little quirks like this about people.

Now that I'm so busy all the time, I literally get my reading in when I can. I read on my lunch break, I read a little before bed and if I get off work early and I'm not doing homework or working on this blog, then I'll get some more reading in. Before I started this program, I used to be able to sit down for long periods of time and read like half or at least most of a book in one sitting. When I used to have more time to read I would usually sit in my reading chair, get myself a cold beverage and sometimes I would like to snack on M&Ms or like a cheesy popcorn. Here's what my spot looks like:

I really love my reading chair and I wished I had more time to use it. But I'm not really like a ritual type person and I can read almost anywhere at anytime. 

Do you have any reading rituals that you like to practice? Do you have a favorite reading spot? Let me know in the comments! 

September 6, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: Caroline: Little House, Revisited

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly blog hop of anticipated book releases hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings.

Title: Caroline: Little House, Revisited
Author: Sarah Miller
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

In this novel authorized by the Little House estate, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in a dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before—Caroline Ingalls, "Ma" in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House books.

In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory. Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril.

The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline’s new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles’ hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses.

Why I want this: I loved the Little House books when I was a kid and I love the Little House show as well! It's a huge part of my childhood. I've also been to the original homestead that is in South Dakota which is just amazing! While I was there I purchased the whole set of original Little House books that I really want to dive back into. I also think it will be interesting to read what it might have been like for Ma to live in the harsh wilderness. That cover for Caroline: Little House, Revisited is just stunning!

September 5, 2017

Audio Book Review: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Title: The Girl from Everywhere
Author: Heidi Heilig
Series: The Girl from Everywhere #1
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Narrator: Kim Mai Guest
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Length: 10 hours and 9 minutes
Source: Library
Find it Here: Amazon // Audible // Goodreads

Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.
She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear.
My Review:

I really thought I was going to love The Girl from Everywhere because everything in the synopsis appeals to me and it right in my reading wheelhouse. We have time-travel, fantasy, a story taking place in the late 1800's, probably very little romance (but you never know until you read it) and a girl who is going on this awesome adventure! What could I not love about a story about maps that all people to time-travel to when the map was drawn? Turns out, a lot.

I actually did enjoy probably the first half of the book. It started off really great and interesting. Nix and the crew come into 2016 from some far away time in the hopes that her father can acquire a map of Hawaii of 1868, believed the be drawn in the year of 1868. They get the map and go back to when Hawaii had it's own king, but as soon as they get there, they realize that the map was not drawn in 1868 and therefore, they are not in 1868 Hawaii. The map was a trap and now Nix's father in on a mission to figure out how he is going to get to 1868. 

After a while, the story just got boring. The audio book narrator was great, I just found that the story was just not interesting anymore. I also felt like it was going completely off path of what had been set up in the beginning. As things are happening, I'm thinking to myself, "why are they doing this and why is this happening." 

I literally listened to 90% of the book until I just couldn't do it anymore. I had had enough of this story that was seemingly going who knows where and I was completely lost because it had become so boring that I found myself tuning it out. Needless to say, The Girl from Everywhere was disappointing and poorly executed when it sounded like it could really be a great YA fantasy series. 

September 2, 2017

August 2017 Wrap-Up!

Another month has flown by which means that summer is almost over (YAY)!! I'm so ready for fall! I's been a pretty interesting month off the blog; trying to balance work, school, marriage, reading and my blog. I think I've done pretty well and I've been able to keep the blog going and my reading up. I have fallen down on commenting and commenting back but that is definitely one of my goals for September. 

I'm so excited for September and all the wonderful things it's going to bring. I'm going to start on my Halloween reads, I'm doing a read along of A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki which is hosted by Jenni K Group Reads. And September is my birthday month which makes it the best month! 

Read in August:

The Monet Murders by Terry Mort ⭐⭐
It's Always the Husband by Michele Campbell ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle ⭐⭐⭐
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig ⭐⭐
Hatchett by Gary Paulsen ⭐⭐⭐
Witch Slapped by Dakota Cassidy ⭐⭐⭐
Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby ⭐⭐⭐

Reviews on the Blog:

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
Mosquitoland by David Arnold
I See You by Clare Mackintosh
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby

Discussions on the Blog:

As I said before I'm really excited about September! I briefly mentioned that I'm starting my Halloween reads this month. I'm currently reading Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin and I'm shocked by how much I'm loving it so far! I'm also planning on reading The Long Walk by Stephen King, The Deep by Nick Cutter and The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn. I definitely want to have a lot of horror and scary type books ready by October because I only want to do those types of reviews leading up the Halloween. 

I hope all you readers had a great month as well and that you're just as excited as I am that we're on the verge of fall! Happy September everyone!