July 31, 2017

Book Review: Party Girls Die in Pearls by Plum Sykes

Title: Party Girls Die in Pearls
Author: Plum Sykes
Series: Oxford Girl Mysteries #1
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: May 09, 2017
Length: 331 Pages
Genre: Mystery, YA
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

It’s 1985, and at Oxford University, Pimm’s, punting, and ball gowns are de rigeur. Ursula Flowerbutton, a studious country girl, arrives for her first term anticipating nothing more sinister than days spent poring over history books in gilded libraries—and, if she’s lucky, an invitation to a ball.

But when she discovers a glamorous classmate on a chaise longue with her throat cut, Ursula is catapulted into a murder investigation.

Determined to bag her first scoop for the famous student newspaper Cherwell, Ursula enlists the help of trend-setting American exchange student Nancy Feingold to unravel the case. While navigating a whirl of black-tie parties and secret dining societies, the girls discover a surfeit of suspects. From broken-hearted boyfriends to snobby Sloane Rangers, lovelorn librarians to dishy dons, none can be presumed innocent—and Ursula’s investigations mean that she may be next on the murderer’s list.
My Review:

I really loved Party Girls Die in Pearls. It is really cute, fun and fast-paced. The characters are fun, the writing is really fresh and I flew through it page after page. It's probably pretty unrealistic but I don't read fiction like this for realistic stories.

Party Girls Die in Pearls takes place in 1985 at Oxford University and mainly follows two students: Ursula, a freshman at the University and Nancy, an American studying abroad. The two hit it off immediately and not only become friends but end up solving a murder together. Ursula sees herself as a very plain country girl, quiet and meek at first, who doesn't come from much but just wants to do well at University. Nancy is her complete opposite and the very epitome of a rich college girl in the eighties!

**SIDE NOTE** Did you know that Oxford University isn't like a standard university with a building and dormitories? It's actually made up of 38 different colleges across the city that accept their own students and hire their own faculty and you basically live in the same building as your main class. All these separate colleges and buildings make up the whole of Oxford University. I had no idea!!!

Back to the book. I'm really excited to see where the author takes this new series! I hope that the next books in the series are just as fun, light and fresh as Party Girls Die in Pearls! If you're looking for something quick and refreshing, I definitely recommend this book! 

July 30, 2017

Sunday Post #2: Work Sucks


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. 

It's been a long week at work and I'm so glad the week is over. It's so exhausting to work at a hotel that is literally fully occupied (to the point of being over sold) and every guest is just complaining about something. I am burnt out, ready for the summer to be over and ready to go back to school.

In other news, I'll be starting a new job as a private tutor which will allow me to cut my hours even more at the hotel. I'm really lucky this job fell into my lap because it will allow me to be really flexible with my schedule as I start my teaching program.

Currently Reading:



All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai: I just start this book the other day and I haven't had all that much time to read. I'm only about 100 pages in but it's pretty good so far and definitely a unique novel.

The Monet Murders by Terry Mort: I'm listening to this really fun murder mystery on audio book. It's an old Hollywood private eye story that takes place in 1934 that's pretty funny and engrossing.

Read Last Week:



Last Week on the Blog:


Monday- Book Review: Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

Tuesday- Let's Discuss: Reading Multiple Books at Once

Wednesday- Can't Wait Wednesday: This Darkness Mine

Friday- Book Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Coming up This Week:


Monday- Book Review: Party Girls Die in Pearls by Plum Sykes

Tuesday- Let's Discuss: TBD

Wednesday- Can't Wait Wednesday: TBD

Friday- Book Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Book Haul:


Purchased:



When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
The Leaving by Tara Alterbrando
The Farm by Tom Rob Smith

Library:




Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I picked up these two books at the library after Angela @ Musings of a Literary Wanderer recommended Taylor Jenkins Reid. Since I didn't know where to start, she recommended that I start with her first novel, Forever, Interrupted

Won in a Giveaway:



How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Like I said, I am so glad this week is over. Since I'm taking two paid days off next week and we have some family coming into town, I'm hoping it's going to be a lot less stressful! Happy reading!

July 28, 2017

Book Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Title: The Female of the Species
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Length: 352 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.
My Review:

Even though Mindy McGinnis has many book out by now, The Female of the Species is the first of her books that I've read and I only read it recently. But let me tell you I absolutely inhaled it!

“You can love someone down to their core and they can love you right back just as hard, and if you traded diaries you’d learn things you never suspected. There’s a part of everyone deep down inside of them not meant for you. And the sooner you learn that, the easier your life is gonna be.”

Alex is the main character, who's older sister was murdered a few years before. Alex believes she has this darkness inside of her that drives her to be somewhat of a vigilante. She feels like she is this dark, other person disguised as a teenage, high school senior girl. There is so much darkness in this book and McGinnis writes it beautifully!

I loved all the four main characters and how much their lives changed in their senior year. Alex tries her best to keep her darkness in check, but when she hears of bad things that have happened around town, her inner vigilante comes out. She tries to hide it from her new friends but the inevitable happens and the ending is absolutely bonkers; something I definitely did not see coming.

I highly recommend The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis to those who are looking for a contemporary that's a little bit darker. But just a note, it does come with a trigger warning for rape and animal cruelty. 

July 26, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: This Darkness Mine


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme featuring our most anticipated to-be released novels! This meme is hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings.

Title: This Darkness Mine
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

Sasha Stone knows her place—first-chair clarinet, top of her class, and at the side of her oxford-wearing boyfriend. She’s worked her entire life to ensure that her path to Oberlin Conservatory as a star musician is perfectly paved.

But suddenly there’s a fork in the road, in the shape of Isaac Harver. Her body shifts toward him when he walks by, her skin misses his touch even though she’s never known it, and she relishes the smell of him—smoke, beer, and trouble—all the things she’s avoided to get where she is. Even worse, every time he’s near Sasha, her heart stops, literally. Why does he know her so well—too well—and she doesn’t know him at all?

Sasha discovers that her by-the-book life began by ending another’s: the twin sister she absorbed in the womb. But that doesn’t explain the gaps of missing time in her practice schedule or the memories she has of things she certainly never did with Isaac. As Sasha loses her much-cherished control, her life—and heart—become more entangled with Isaac. Armed with the knowledge that her heart might not be hers alone, Sasha must decide what she’s willing to do—and who she’s willing to hurt—to take it back.

Edgar Award–winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a dark and gripping psychological thriller about a girl at war with herself, and what it really means to be good or bad.
Why I want this:

I know Mindy McGinnis has a bunch of books out but I've only ever read The Female of the Species by her but I really loved it! I loved her writing and the way she depicted a dark character and I hope those great qualities come through in This Darkness Mine!

July 25, 2017

Let's Discuss: Reading Multiple Books at Once



Welcome to my weekly discussion post called Let's Discuss where I discuss a hot topic from around the book blogosphere. This week I wanted to talk about read multiple books at one time.


Which I am absolutely terrible at! There have been times that I would be reading a physical book, reading a book on my Kindle and listening to an audio book all at one time. But I have found that it takes me forever to finish just those three books. It mostly becomes a battle between my Kindle and the physical book. It is much easier for me to immerse myself in once story at a time that I read with my eyes and one story that I listen to.

I wish I had the ability to read more than one book at a time because sometime when I'm reading a real chunker, it's really a pain to carry around. But from much trial and error I know that I can only read one book at a time. Are you able to read multiple books at one time? Let me know in the comments!

July 24, 2017

Book Review: Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

Title: Dear Daughter
Author: Elizabeth Little
Publisher: Viking
Release Date: July 31, 2014
Length: 364 pages
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

LA IT girl Janie Jenkins has it all. The looks, the brains, the connections. The criminal record.

Ten years ago, in a trial that transfixed America, Janie was convicted of murdering her mother. Now she's been released on a technicality she's determined to unravel the mystery of her mother's last words, words that send her to a tiny town in the very back of beyond. But with the whole of America's media on her tail, convinced she's literally got away with murder, she has to do everything she can to throw her pursuers off the scent.

She knows she really didn't like her mother. Could she have killed her?
My Review:

Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little was the book club pick for June and I was really excited to start reading it. Like I've said before in my reviews, I usually always try to finish the book club book. Dear Daughter is a mystery/thriller type novel set part of the time in Los Angeles and most of the time in the mid-west while the main character tries to figure out who really killed her mother.

Janie Jenkins is probably one of the most unlikable characters I've ever read. Her inner dialogue was so irritating because she was always complaining about something or someone throughout the whole novel. To top it off and make me dislike her even more, she literally thinks she's the shit.

  1. She thinks she's God's gift to men and society
  2. She thinks she has the world figured out
  3. She thinks she's smarter than everyone
  4. She's vain and completely shallow
  5. Her biggest concern was looking "hot"

 I can't stand characters like that.

The only thing that made Dear Daughter readable was the story line and the mystery that Janie was trying to uncover. I'm always drawn to a premise when it's about a small town and their dark secrets which is exactly what this is. And the only reason I'm giving this book three stars is because I didn't really guess who the killer was until it was obvious. If you're into unlikable characters then this book is for you!

July 23, 2017

Sunday Post #1: Look Who's Going Back to School!


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Hi readers! Welcome to my very first Sunday Post! This week has been a pretty slow week for me at home. Which is nice because it means I can read and blog and comment back to everyone. It felt like work was really busy everyday and I am just wiped out. I'm looking forward to a long weekend of just reading, blogging, cleaning and relaxing. 

My most exciting news this week is that I've been accepted into an accelerated program with my local school district in the hopes of finally becoming a special education teacher! It's a ten week program that starts in August and at the end, I will be eligible to be hired with the school district almost immediately afterward as a regular, full-time teacher! It's going to be a lot of work for the next three years or so, but once I earn my standard teaching licence, I know it will all be worth it!

Currently Reading:


I'm currently reading The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. I just started it but since I have a long weekend I hoping I can knock it out and move on to P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han. I'm also currently listening to If I Can't Have You by Gregg Olson. I have a little bit of a thing with true crime and this book is pretty crazy because it's obvious that her husband killed her. I'm really interested to see where this is going because apparently something happens to the children as well. 

Last Week on the Blog:


Book Review of I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Discussion of posting negative reviews on your blog

Can't Wait Wednesday: Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw

Book Review of Perfect Nightmare by John Saul

This Week on the Blog:


Book Review of Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

Discussing how many books I read at one time!

Book Review of The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Book Haul:




Clearly, I did a thing, I went to my local library because they were having a sale. This isn't even half of the books I picked up! They do a bag sale where you can fill a whole bag and it's only $5. So I stuffed my bag full. Here's what I got:

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Armada by Ernest Cline
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
Shopgirl by Steve Martin

That's all for me this week. I hope everyone had a great week and that we all have all the time in the world to read what we want. Happy reading friends! 

July 21, 2017

Book Review: Perfect Nightmare by John Saul

Title: Perfect Stranger
Author: John Saul
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: April 25, 2006
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

If you open your house to strangers, who knows who might come in. And what they might be after. Or whom. Now, ponder the unthinkable and surrender to your darkest dread, as sinister storyteller extraordinaire John Saul weaves a heart-stopping tale of lurking terror and twisted intent.

Every parent’s nightmare becomes reality for Kara Marshall when her daughter, Lindsay, vanishes from her bedroom during the night. The police suspect that the girl is just another moody teenage runaway, angry over leaving behind her school and friends because her family is moving. But Lindsay’s recent eerie claim–that someone invaded her room when the house was opened to prospective buyers–drives Kara to fear the worst: a nameless, faceless stalker has walked the halls of her home in search of more than a place to live.

Patrick Shields recognizes Kara’s pain–and carries plenty of his own since he lost his wife and two children in a devastating house fire. But more than grief draws Patrick and Kara together. He, too, senses the hand of a malevolent stranger in this tragedy. And as more people go missing from houses up for sale, Patrick’s suspicion, like Kara’s, blooms into horrified certainty.

Someone is trolling this peaceful community–undetected and undeterred–harvesting victims for a purpose no sane mind can fathom. Someone Kara and Patrick, alone and desperate, are determined to unmask. Someone who is even now watching, plotting, keeping a demented diary of unspeakable deeds . . . and waiting until the time is ripe for another fateful visit.
My Review:

Perfect Nightmare was this month's (July) book club pick by a member of my book club. I usually try to read the book club pick first, just in case I don't like it, I can get it out of the way and spend the rest of the month reading books that, hopefully, I'll enjoy. Which is the case this month. I really wanted to DNF this book but I'm actually kind of glad that I didn't because the ending was so shocking!

One of the reasons that I didn't like this book is that I just didn't really care for the characters. All these awful things were happening to them and I was more interested in the story line and figuring out who was responsible for all these horrific things instead of caring about the victims feelings.

I thought a little of what happened was unrealistic. I find it completely plausible that someone would target victims through open houses, coming in as a potential buyer but then hiding and kidnapping their target. But the other tragedies that happened in the midst of everything else just seemed unrealistic.

The other reason I didn't like the book because there were some parts that were from the perpetrator's perspective. Normally I don't mind that because it can be a little creepy. But these little pieces of perspective made me feel dirty because he wanted to touch a teenage girl and he was smelling her underwear. That just felt wrong and I am not down with that.

This is only the first John Saul book that I've ever read so I don't know if all his books are like this or not. I've actually heard that some of this other books are paranormal so I'm not going to completely write this author off until I give another one of his books a try. I was going to give this book only 1 star but that ending was so shocking that I decided to bump it up one more. If you want to try John Saul I would recommend picking up one of his other books. 

July 19, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: Strange Practice


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme featuring the books that we're eagerly waiting to be released! It's hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings.

Title: Strange Practice
Author: Vivian Shaw
Series: Dr. Greta Helsing #1
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

Greta Helsing inherited the family's highly specialized, and highly peculiar, medical practice. In her consulting rooms, Dr. Helsing treats the undead for a host of ills - vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. Although barely making ends meet, this is just the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta's been groomed for since childhood.

Until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.
Why I want this: I love books with creepy atmospheres and have a little bit of the supernatural to them. I also want to blow that cover up and put in on the wall in my book room. It's so amazing!! Even though it comes out next week, Strange Practice seems like one of those great books to read around Halloween time. And I love to plan my Halloween reads way in advance! What are you waiting on this week?

July 18, 2017

Let's Discuss: Negative Reviews


As a blogger, I have found that writing or giving negative reviews can be a hot-button topic. Everyone loves to write glowing reviews and fan-girl over the books we love. And when it comes to the YA a community, a lot of books and/or series have very dedicated followers. But what if you didn't love that book? What if, actually, you though it was really boring or just plain bad? What do you do?



I have no problem writing a negative review. I'm always very honest on my blog and I will never pretend to love a book that I don't. If a book interests me enough to finish it, I will most likely post a review, whether positive or negative. I like to read other blogger's negative posts as well because I really want to know what I'm getting myself into before picking up a book.

Goodreads is a great example of where you can find great reviews and negative reviews of the same book. I like to see both sides of it. I want to know why people love the book and why some people didn't connect with it. And I will always let you know if I didn't connect with a book.

As a blogger, do you post negative review? Do you like to read negative reviews? Let me know in the comments!

July 17, 2017

Book Review: I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Title: I'll Meet You There
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Henry & Holt Co.
Release Date: February 03, 2015
Genre: Contemporary YA
Length: 388 pages
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

If Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing separating Skylar from art school is three months of summer…until Skylar’s mother loses her job, and Skylar realizes her dreams may be slipping out of reach.
Josh had a different escape route: the Marines. But after losing his leg in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be.
What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and, soon, something deeper.
Compelling and ultimately hopeful, this is a powerful examination of love, loss, and resilience.
My Review:

LOVE LOVE LOVE! I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios is one of those perfect contemporary novels that I would recommend to all readers no matter what genre they prefer. The story is wonderful and the romance is absolutely beautiful!

"If you could make a beautiful piece of art from discarded newspaper and old matchbooks, then it meant that everything had potential. And maybe people were like collages-no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered." -pg. 103
I’ll Meet You There has, what I like to call, the perfect love story. There’s no insta-love, there’s no I-just-met-him-but-I-know-we’ll-be-together-forever type thing and there’s no “perfect” characters in this novel either. Skylar and Josh are somewhat like acquaintances when we first meet them. Two years prior, Josh had graduated high school and went off to Afghanistan and Skylar had just started her junior year. Now Skylar has graduated and Josh has come home and their paths seems to cross no matter what. Which is good cause they’re getting to know one another and they have this tension between them that just keeps building in the best way possible! They take the time to build this strong foundation of friendship before anything crosses the line.

Josh has experienced all kinds of tragedies because of the war and Skylar has a lot of home problems with her mom which has made her wise beyond her years. They are just the perfect match for each other! They’re both learning how to cope with a major life change and they lean on each other for their support. They couldn’t have been brought together at a more perfect time! Everything about this story and Josh and Skylar’s relationship just seemed so perfect to me! It was friendship and then is was a little something more and then it was intense and learning to trust each other and learning to be vulnerable and learning how to cope and being open with each other. It’s a great example of how a healthy relationship can start out small and grow to become more!

Heather Demetrios really hit it out of the park with I’ll Meet You There! And, like I said, I recommend it to everyone!

July 14, 2017

Audio Book Review: The Witness Wore Red by Rebecca Musser

Title: The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice
Author: Rebecca Musser
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Genre: Non-Fiction
Length: 14hrs and 10min
Source: Purchased (Audible)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads
Rebecca Musser grew up in fear, concealing her family's polygamous lifestyle from the "dangerous" outside world. Covered head-to-toe in strict, modest clothing, she received a rigorous education at Alta Academy, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' school headed by Warren Jeffs. Always seeking to be an obedient Priesthood girl, in her teens she became the nineteenth wife of her people's prophet: 85-year-old Rulon Jeffs, Warren's father. Finally sickened by the abuse she suffered and saw around her, she pulled off a daring escape and sought to build a new life and family.
The church, however, had a way of pulling her back in-and by 2007, Rebecca had no choice but to take the witness stand against the new prophet of the FLDS in order to protect her little sisters and other young girls from being forced to marry at shockingly young ages. The following year, Rebecca and the rest of the world watched as a team of Texas Rangers raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch, a stronghold of the FLDS. Rebecca's subsequent testimony would reveal the horrific secrets taking place behind closed doors of the temple, sending their leaders to prison for years, and Warren Jeffs for life.
THE WITNESS WORE RED is a gripping account of one woman's struggle to escape the perverse embrace of religious fanaticism and sexual slavery, and a courageous story of hope and transformation.
Review:

I've always been fascinated with religious cults especially the FLDS Mormons and their polygamous ways. After reading The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner I knew that I would pretty much want to read anything that had to do with women escaping this harmful and dangerous cult.

I listened to The Witness Wore Red on audio book and I actually think that was a disservice to the book. It's read by it's author, Rebecca Musser, and she's not exactly a trained voice actor. While I know that all audio book narrators read the book off the page, most of the time it doesn't sound like they're just reading it off the page because they're pretty good a voice acting. Rebecca Musser sounded like she was just reading the book off the page and it made the narration sound forced.

As far as the validity of this book, I have no doubt that all of the horrors and atrocities actually took place just like Rebecca Musser says they did. But as far as remembering all the details from many years ago and which dresses each of her sister wives wore and the exact words from all the conversations she had with Warren Jeffs and the other various leader of the FLDS church, there was probably a lot of filling in the blanks. I can't remember what I had for lunch last week much less a word for word conversation that I had with my mom over ten years ago.

Rebecca Musser is so brave and courageous for being able to just escape the church and lie low much less to go public to testify against Warren Jeffs and then write about book about her experiences in the church. There are a lot of personal details and her personal experiences of being married to a man who was more than fifty years older than her. She truly is an inspiration to those who are in a bad place and want to change their life.

If you interested in more information on the FLDS Mormon Church I highly recommend both The Witness Wore Red by Rebecca Musser and The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner. Both are great and encouraging stories of women who would not all themselves to be oppressed or held back any longer! 

July 12, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Little Fires Everywhere

Waiting on Wednesday is my favorite weekly meme because we get to talk about all the books that we are eagerly waiting to be released. This weekly feature is hosted @ Breaking the Spine.

Title: Little Fire Everywhere
Author: Celeste Ng
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Find it here: Amazon // Goodreads

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother - who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.
Why I want it: I loved Celeste Ng's debut novel Everything I Never Told You. It was so much more than just the mystery of this teenage girl's death. She is so great a writing what everyone thinks is the perfect idyllic town with so much more lurking beneath the surface. I expect Little Fire Everywhere to hold that same quality. 

July 11, 2017

Let's Discuss: DNFing Books


Reading is one of the true joys in my life. I can spend hours lost in a book without any thought of the world around me. But let's be honest about the books out there; they're not all created equal. I enjoy most books that I read because again, being honest, I'm pretty easily entertained! But there are a pretty good amount of bad books out there and I have no problem with not finishing them. In other words, I DNF books and I am so much happier that I do. 

When I DNF a book, I usually have very specific rules. Not a lot but for me to officially DNF a book and never pick it up again or possibly get rid of it, it has to meet these specifications: 
  1. Read a least 100 pages of the book
  2. Don't connect with or am very irritated by the characters
  3. Don't feel like I'm invested in the story
  4. Don't really care what happens at the end
I don't think book blogger and readers in general should feel bad about DNFing books. There's nothing wrong with it. My philosophy is that not all books are going to connect with all readers. You have to find what works for you and quickly move away from what doesn't. 

Since it's July and half of 2017 is now gone, I though I would share the books that I've already DNFed this year.




A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet: I really wanted to love A Promise of Fire. And I almost read the whole book. I really love the banter between the main character and the guy who was obviously her love interest. I just could not get over her immaturity and the cheesiness of this book.

Moral Disorder and Other Stories by Margaret Atwood: Sometimes Atwood's writing style just doesn't mesh well with my reading style. I found most of these short stories to be bland and the whole book itself just could not hold my interest.

Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell: Another collection of short stories. I actually really loved how weirdly fantastic the first two stories in this collection were but third one was literally a 180 difference and I didn't understand how they could be part of the same collection.

There you have it, the three books that I've DNF this year so far. I'm actually shocked it's only three because I feel like it should have been more. What are you thoughts on DNFing books? Let me know in the comments!

July 10, 2017

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Book Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Title: Into the Water
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: River Head Books
Release Date: May 02,2017
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Length: 386 pages
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she'd never return.
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.
My Review:

I read The Girl on the Train a few years back and after finishing the book I knew that Paula Hawkin's would have a writing career that I would want to follow. Normally I find multiple POV's and going back in forth in time to be confusing and not all that remarkable, but Paula Hawkin's made it easy to follow and actually quite enjoyable.

As soon as Into the Water was announced as Paula Hawkin's sophomore novel, I knew I'd probably purchase it and read it immediately which is what I did! Where as The Girl on the Train was more fast-paced with a plot line I found very entertaining, Into the Water is more character driven with a deep dark mystery brewing behind the surface. Into the Water takes place in a small down that has what all the townspeople call "the drowning pool." As part of their history, way back in the day during the witch trials, many women were murdered in this small lake after being accused of being a witch. Ever since, women have taken their own lives by jumping from the rocks into this "drowning pool."

Although Into the Water seems to be an investigation of these women who have committed suicide in "the drowning pool", it quickly begins to reveal the secrets lurking behind all these people who have lived in the town for many years. All the rumors about the women who died in "the drowning pool" turn out to be just that; rumors and soon the truth about what really happened to most of these women is shockingly uncovered.

Into the Water is a must read for those who already read and loved The Girl on the Train! Paula Hawkins is really showing her range of writing in Into the Water and I can only expect more great novels to come!

July 7, 2017

July 2017 TBR

I always like to select some books that I plan on (or hope to be) reading for the month so that I can have some sort of structure. When I have a least a little structure, I avoid falling into that really weird reading funk where none of my books feel right. When I know that I've planned on reading specific books I generally tend to read more books during the month.

Here's what July is going to look like for me:


Adult Fiction:

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

I consider Royal Assassin my long haul book. It's also my carry over book from June that I haven't finished yet. But that's okay. It's a long and complicated book and I like that I've been dragging it out. I like to sit down with it on Sunday's and read 75-100 pages or so. I'll finish it eventually and then I'll move on to the 3rd book in the Farseer Series! 

Death Stalks Door County by Patricia Skalka
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

YA:

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Book Club:

Perfect Nightmare by John Saul

This is actually a pretty big monthly TBR for me but I've recently been flying through books so I wanted to make sure I've planned enough books just in case my reading pace keeps up. 

I can't wait to start reviewing all the great books I've been reading lately and finally getting back into the swing of things when it comes to blogging. I've really missed it! So long for now friends! Happy reading!