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! 

September 1, 2017

Book Review: Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Title: Forever, Interrupted
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Release Date: July 09, 2013
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Source: Library
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.

Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year's Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn't expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they've eloped.

Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met and who doesn't even know Elsie exists.

Interweaving Elsie and Ben's charmed romance with Elsie and Susan's healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there's more than one way to find a happy ending.

My Review:

Taylor Jenkins Reid and her novels were recommended to me by Angela @ Musings of a Literary Wanderer and I'm so glad she did! I now have another author that I want to catch up on and read all her books!

Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid is the very sad story of a woman who meets the love of her life, they fall in love very quickly and getting married only a few months later. About a week after they're married, her husband tragically dies in an accident. The rest of the book is about grief, healing and learning that it's okay for your life to move on and to be happy again.

I really loved how Forever, Interrupted went back and forth from the past of when Elsie and Ben first meet and it would take place in the present and Elsie and Ben's mother are trying to heal from their loss. Throughout this healing process, a friendship emerges between Elsie and Susan (Ben's mother) and Reid really focuses on how these two women need each other if they're going to be able to move on with their lives. I also loved the relationship between Elsie and her best friend! Reid depicted a true friendship that can survive the think and thin.

If you really love women's contemporary fiction, then I highly recommend Forever, Interrupted and probably all of Reid's novels even though I haven't read them yet! Taylor Jenkins Reid is definitely an author that I will be reading for many years to come!

August 31, 2017

Let's Discuss: Series or Stand-Alone Novels

Welcome to Let's Discuss, my weekly discussion post about bookish topics that I'm always thinking about.

This week I really wanted to talk about series vs. stand-alone novels and which ones you prefer to read. I always feel like I'm really torn between the two. One the one hand, I love a good novel that just wraps me up completely but also has a nice perfecting ending; on the other hand I love diving deep into good multi-book fantasy series! I think when I really start to waver towards one side is when every book I pick up turns into a series, especially in YA.

A few years ago, when I was really heavily into blogging (on a different blog) and reading pretty much only YA, I just became overwhelmed with how many series I had started and only got a few books into because everything was a series. I was in the middle of so many series but found myself forgetting about what had happened in the other books which is partly why I was so behind.

I could go a lot more into this, but I eventually just stopped reading YA for a little bit and only read adult fiction. I find with adult fiction that it's so much easier to pick up a really good book and that's it; there's not a series attached to it. I still do read series but now I really have to love the first book to continue with the series. If I'm mostly likely going to forget what happened in the first book, then I'm going to pass on the series, but at least I gave it a try. So I have to say that I definitely prefer stand-alone novels but I'm not opposed to getting into a good series!

What about you? Do you prefer series or stand-alones? Let me know in the comments!