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!

August 30, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: Jane, Ulimited

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

Title: Jane Unlimited
Author: Kristin Cashore
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family's island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: "If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you'll go." With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn't know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

Why I want this: At first I didn't think that Jane, Unlimited sounded like my kind of book. But after reading some early reviews and realizing it's about parallel universes and about how different decisions can change everything, I jumped on board!

What are you waiting for?

August 28, 2017

Book Review: The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby

Title: The Stranger Game
Author: Cylin Busby
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Length: 288 pages
Genre: YA, Mystery
Source: eARC
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

The Stranger Game is a dark, suspenseful, and twisty young adult novel—perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver and E. Lockhart—about fifteen-year-old Nico Walker, whose sister returns home after a four-year disappearance.

When Nico Walker's older sister mysteriously disappears, her parents, family, and friends are devastated. But Nico can never admit what she herself feels: relief at finally being free of Sarah's daily cruelties.

Then the best and worst thing happens: four years later, after dozens of false leads, Sarah is found.

But this girl is much changed from the one Nico knew. She's thin and drawn, where Sarah had been golden and athletic; timid and unsure, instead of brash and competitive; and strangest of all, sweet and kind, when she had once been mean and abusive. Sarah's retrograde amnesia has caused her to forget almost everything about her life, from small things like the plots of her favorite books and her tennis game to the more critical—where she's been the last four years and what happened at the park on the fateful day she vanished. Despite the happy ending, the dark details of that day continue to haunt Nico, and it becomes clear that more than one person knows the true story of what happened to Sarah. . . .
My Review:

I always enjoy a good little mystery, especially one that is quick to read and easy to follow. Which is what I found with The Stranger Game. It wasn't anything particularly memorable which is probably why I'm struggling to write this review.

One aspect that I remember very clearly was the Sarah, the girl who is missing, was an absolute bitch before she went missing. I had a very hard time feeling bad for her even if she was kidnapped and forced to do horrible things. She just seemed like a really horrible person and acted like she was better than everyone else because she was beautiful and thin. At least, that's the way the reader see her through Nico's eyes.

Even after Sarah is found, I had a pretty good idea of what was going on even though I wasn't exactly sure what had happened to her to make her go missing. I was pretty shocked when the truth was revealed, which is good, because I don't like to guess the ending. I always like to be on the edge of my seat, looking around the next corner and anticipating the next twist!

What I found most fascinating was the dynamic of the family who had lost one of their own and the uncertainty of whether or not Sarah was dead or alive. Busby did a good job of writing the grief, the anger, the denial, the depression and the attempt at moving on with the unknown always looming over their heads.

The Stranger Game is a very YA type book, one that is sort of forgettable and yet enjoyable while I read it. It was a good enough mystery to have me guessing all the way through! 

August 26, 2017

Book Review: All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Title: All Our Wrong Todays
Author: Elan Mastai
Publisher: Dutton Books
Release Date: February 07, 2017
Length: 373 pages
Genre: Fiction/Sci-Fi
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn't necessary.

Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.

My Review:

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai is probably one of the most unique books I've read this year. I've literally read nothing like it so the story will always stand out in my mind. Even though it's says in the synopsis that it's about time-travel gone wrong, I agree but I would put it more on the plane of parallel universes because of time-travel.

One of the things I didn't like about All Our Wrong Todays was all the scientific jargon. I'm not a science person at all so a lot of it went over my head. And I would have to imagine that Mastai, who is a writer, had to do a lot of research to get all this scientific jargon correct or he just made it all up. And if he did make it all up, he sure fooled me because I'm not sciencey enough to know the difference! Another thing I didn't like was the character of Penelope in the second world. She was a classic manic-pixie dream girl and I just thing that stereotype is so flat and a little boring. And I think she just went along too easily with everything that Tom was telling her.

I don't want to give any spoilers away but I really loved how the book was structured. I love how it started in one place, went to a whole completely different universe and then ended up where it should be. I know that sounds super weird but if you've read the book then you know what I'm talking about! It's definitely worth the read because it is so different from anything I've ever read before. I would also recommend it to you if you like sci-fi because it definitely has those elements!

August 24, 2017

Let's Discuss: Books that Made me Cry

Hey readers! Welcome to Let's Discuss; a weekly post discussing book related topic. This week's topic is one of my favorites: books that made me cry.

I love books that make me cry. In my opinion, if a book is powerful or moving enough to make me cry then it leaves a long lasting impression on me; one that I am not quick to forget. There are many books that have made me shed a tear here and there but there are only a few that make me cry the ugly cry.

In no particular order, here are the most memorable books that made me cry:

The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy by Jenny Han: I am a sucker for moms dying of cancer. It gets me every time! I don't really know why because my mom is alive and well but I always sob like a baby! It's probably because I'm so close to my mom and I know I will be devastated they day comes that I have to say goodbye.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom: Tuesdays with Morrie is the only
Mitch Albom book that I've read and I literally cried through every page of it. I honestly can't remember anything that happened in this book but I remember it being touching and again: it's a person dying that the main character cares for and to me that is always moving. Maybe someday I'll pick up another one of this books.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my all time favorite books that I read way back when I was in college. The love story between Henry and Clare is so deep and pure and beautiful. When the end happened it literally tore me to pieces! This book definitely deserves a re-read soon.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes: I believe I read Me Before You about three
years ago because someone in my book club picked it for the monthly read. I didn't cry when I read this book; I WEPT. I sobbed and I hiccuped and I cried rivers. It was embarrassing. That letter at the end just shattered me.

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder: Here we go again with cancer. Except in The Probability of Miracles, the main character, a teenage girl has cancer and her mom is trying to do everything she can to find a cure for her. It's just so, so sad and it kind of reminds me of The Fault in Our Stars but to me it felt more authentic and heartfelt.

And just for fun, here are some books on my TBR that I'm pretty sure are going to be cry fests.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi: From what I've heard everyone that has read this book has cried!

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler: I have not read an Ockler book that has not made me cry!

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara: I haven't read this yet for two reasons. The first is that it's gigantic and I own the hardcover. Number two is that I know if I get into it I'm really going to cry.

Do you have some memorable books that have made you cry? Let me know in the comments!

August 23, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: Copycat

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

Title: Copycat
Author: Alex Lake
Release Date: September 05, 2017
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

Your stalker is everywhere. Your stalker knows everything. But the real problem is that your stalker is you.

Sarah Havenant discovers–when an old friend points it out–that there are two Facebook profiles in her name.

One, she recognizes: it is hers. The other, she has never seen. But everything in it is accurate. Recent photos of her and her friends, her and her husband, her and her kids. Even of her new kitchen. A photo taken inside her house.
She is bemused, angry, and worried. Who was able to do this? Any why?

But this, it soon turns out, is just the beginning. It is only now–almost as though someone has been watching, waiting for her to find the profile–that her problems really start…

Why I want this: Just the notion of someone being inside your house without you knowing is so scary and very unsettling. And then someone who knows so much about your life that they can make a one hundred percent accurate social media site it just crazy! I can't wait to read this!

What are you waiting for this week?

August 21, 2017

Audio Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Title: I See You
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Narrator: Rachel Atkins
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Length: 10 hours & 58 minutes
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Audible // Goodreads

Every morning and evening, Zoe Walker takes the same route to the train station, waits at a certain place on the platform, finds her favorite spot in the car, never suspecting that someone is watching her...

It all starts with a classified ad. During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her; a grainy photo along with a phone number and a listing for a website called

Other women begin appearing in the same ad, a different one every day, and Zoe realizes they’ve become the victims of increasingly violent crimes—including murder. With the help of a determined cop, she uncovers the ad’s twisted purpose...A discovery that turns her paranoia into full-blown panic. Zoe is sure that someone close to her has set her up as the next target.

And now that man on the train—the one smiling at Zoe from across the car—could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move…
My Review:

Have you ever read or listened to a Clare Mackintosh book? No? Well I'm telling you, you need to change that right now. Mackintosh's books have some of the most shocking twits at the end that I've ever read!

I loved that I See You follows the main character Zoe in her everyday life. She rides the subway everyday, her everyday interactions with her kids and her boyfriend and Zoe going to work. So you see the ends and outs of her life and it really makes you realize how everything can just be the same and how easy it is for someone to start following you without you noticing it.

I See You also opened my eyes to the dark side of the internet. Although I do know that the dark net exists but to come face to face with what can happen on the internet is just terrifying. I use the internet for Youtube and discovering books to read and blogging and paying my bills. I don't usually think about all the bad things that can happen on the internet.

I See You is one of those audio books that makes me want to sit in my car and continue listening. Towards the end of this book I was a little bit shocked to find out who the perpetrator was. But then the last five minutes of the book shocked me so hard, I was in such disbelief that I just could not believe it!! If you haven't read Clare Mackintosh yet, you're lucky because she has two novel out for you to read and you need to go get them right now! 

August 20, 2017

The Sunday Post #5: I Survived my First Day of School!

The Sunday post is a weekly blog hop of weekly wrap-ups hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer!

Other than my first day of school, which was yesterday, my week was pretty uneventful and actually pretty boring. I just worked, read, cleaned and walked my dog everyday. I actually had a couple of pretty bad headaches after work this week and I wasn't able to post as many reviews as I usually do. I had my first day of school yesterday and it was amazing! Other than the fact that there is a ton about special education that I don't know, I'm really excited to learn everything I need to know to get through my first year of teaching. I can't wait for the rest of my program!

Read Last Week:

The Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Currently Reading:

Witch Slapped by Dakota Cassidy: I'm listening to Witch Slapped on audio book and it's really funny! I think this is going to be a really enjoyable series.

It's Always the Husband by Michele Campbell: It's Always the Husband is our August book club pick and I have to say, I'm really into the story! It's pretty mysterious and it goes back and forth from the past to the present. I'm interested to see what the big reveal is! 

Last Week on the Blog:

Wednesday: Anticipating There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Thursday: Discussing why I love non-fiction

Friday: Book Review of Mosquitoland by David Arnold

I hope everyone else had a great week especially since a lot of schools start back in this past week. School start as made me so excited for fall and really excited for fall and Halloween reads! Happy reading friends! 

August 18, 2017

Book Review: Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Title: Mosquitoland
Author: David Arnold
Publisher: Viking Children's
Release Date: March 03, 2015
Genre: YA Contemporary
Length: 336 pages
Source: Library
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange.

After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the "wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.

So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, Mosquitoland is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.
My Review:

Mosquitoland by David Arnold is a beautifully written, contemporary novel about a girl named Mim (Mary Iris Malone) and who is on a journey to, what she believes, is going to help her mother. But what she discovers at the end of her road trip is completely different. Even though Mosquitoland is a coming of age story, the road trip is a hilarious adventure full of twists and turns around every corner!

"Through the window, I see the ocean of trees, now in slow motion: each trunk, an anchor; each treetop, a rolling wave; a thousand coiling branches, leaves, sharp pine needles. My own reflection in the window is ghostlike, translucent. I am part of this Sea of Trees, this landscape blurred."

Please tell me that the cover of Mosquitoland reminds you of the movie Little Miss Sunshine? Because it totally does for me! I love that movie so this cover definitely drew me in! Even though now I totally understand the cover after reading the book, the cover in general is just awesome! Mim is such a great main character! Lately, in YA, I’ve been finding young sixteen year old main characters a little annoying and winny for my taste; maybe because I’m getting older. But I just loved Mim! I lover her grunge thrift store style, the journal she carries with her everywhere and her unstoppable drive to complete her mission. The only problem with Mim is her perspective of life and what’s going on around it is totally skewd. But Mim’s journey back to her family is the purpose of Mosquitoland.

I love the physical journey aspect of Mosquitoland! I’ve always been a sucker for a road trip book and this is still a road trip but in a very unusual sense. And the characters that she meets along the way are very usual indeed.

I gave Mosquitoland 4 stars because I just didn’t feel like a 5 star read to me. While it’s a memorable book, I can’t go as far as to say that it’s one of my favorite read this year. I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves YA contemporary!

August 17, 2017

Let's Discuss: The Case for Non-Fiction

Hey readers! Welcome to Let's Discuss; a weekly post discussing bookish related topics. This week I'm talking about non-fiction and why I love to read it.

Like I said before, I love to read non-fiction. And when I say non-fiction, I don't mean celebrity memoirs. Not that there's anything wrong with a celebrity memoir, I currently have one on my TBR just waiting to be read. But for me, when it comes to a non-fiction book, I want to learn something or I want to read a harrowing story from someone's life or I want to be blown away by something that happened in history that I would never known about unless I read this book.

Here are some of the non-fiction books that I've read previous and have really loved:

  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick- I read this book in 2016 and it was one of my favorite books of the year! It literally changed my world view and ever since I've been completely fascinated with North Korea. While reading Nothing to Envy, I felt like I was reading something that happened over one hundred years ago because it was so atrocious and inhumane but it happened when I was in the eighth grade. I highly recommend reading it!

  • The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner- Another book that created a new reading obsession: the FLDS cult of Mormons. I absolutely could not believe the way Ruth was raised and the squalor that she lived in. And Ruth's grandparents encouraged her mother to become one of the many wives of Ruth's father in the first place! It just seriously boggles my mind that some people are so easily brainwashed. The most heartbreaking were the things that happened to two of Ruth's sisters who were born mentally deficient. If you want to know what happens, read it! 

  • Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen- Let me start by saying that this book is not for everyone. There is a lot of medical jargon going on and a whole slew of diseases that I've never heard of, but I learned so much! If there is anything you wanted to know about infections diseases and where they come from this book is for you! Spoiler alert: Almost everything comes from monkeys. 

Here are some non-fiction books currently on my TBR that I'm hoping to read by the end of this year:

Do you read non-fiction as well? What are some of your favorite non-fiction books? Let me know in the comments! 

August 16, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: There's Someone Inside Your House

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

Title: There's Someone Inside Your House
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

Why I want this: I've read Stephanie Perkins other books and they were enjoyable. I'm really looking forward to There's Someone Inside Your House! I think it's going to be one of those perfect reads for fall and it comes out on my birthday! I'm also interested to see how Perkins writes another genre!

What are you waiting for this week?

August 13, 2017

Sunday Post #4: I Can't Make Any Decisions

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

I'm pretty sure I've said this before but I am more than ready for summer to be over. I'm sick of the heat (Vegas heat), I'm ready for school to start and I'm ready for some cooler weather. I'm also ready for Halloween; I LOVE Halloween! I'm just getting really bored with all the sameness. So, to try to switch things up, I went on my OverDrive app to find something fun to listen to. I started listening to The Queen of the Tearling and after a few hours, I just could not get into it, so I returned it. Then I started listening to Strange the Dreamer and I have to say, it was just a little too strange for my liking. I also returned it. So I then downloaded The Girl from Everywhere and I'm pleased to say that I'm highly enjoying the story!

Read Last Week:

The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby
Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Thanks Angela @ Musings of a Literary Wanderer for the awesome recommendation! 

Currently Reading:

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig: Like I said before, I'm listening to this on audio and I'm really enjoying it right now!

A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic by Lisa Papademetriou: I'm just in the very beginning of this book but so far it's really cute!

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen: I'm reading Hatchet because I tutor a sixth grader and this was her summer reading. I'm catching up so we can work on her reading comprehension.

Last Week on the Blog:

Monday- Book Review of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Wednesday- Anticipating From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

Thursday- Discussing Book Buying Habits

Friday- Book Review of The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Coming up this Week:

Monday- Audio Book Review of I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Tuesday- Let's Discuss: TBD

Wednesday- Can't Wait Wednesday: TBD

Friday- Book Review of Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

I'm so excited for school to start this coming up week! I don't have any kids but school start for me as well and I'm ready to get into the swing of things. I'm also hoping to finish a few books this week, especially the audio book of The Girl from Everywhere because I'm really enjoying the story. I hope all you bookworms and readers have a great week as well! 

August 11, 2017

Book Review: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Title: The Light We Lost
Author: Jill Santopolo
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: May 09, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 328
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

He was the first person to inspire her, to move her, to truly understand her. Was he meant to be the last?

Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story—their story—at the very beginning.

Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts.
My Review:

I heard about The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo from theSkimm. I only subscribe to their newsletters for their Friday post because they always have a book recommendation. In the beginning of the summer, The Light We Lost was one of their recommendations and after reading the synopsis, I went out and bought it. And I'm so glad I did! I loved this book so much and I'm so glad I own a copy!

The Light We Lost is, basically, a super long letter that the main character, Lucy, is writing to Gabe, her ex-boyfriend that she met in college. Since Gabe is away most of the time pursuing his dream as a photojournalist in the Middle East, Lucy has since gotten married and continued pursuing her own dream of creating educational TV shows for children.

What I love so much about The Light We Lost are the characters, especially the differences between Gabe and Darren (Lucy's husband). Santopolo has created these two very different men and, as a reader, I could feel the different ways they interacted with Lucy. Gabe is the typical artist, so full of passion and life that I could just feel it coming off the page and he had such a fire for Lucy, as well! Darren is kind of boring and is interested in more of a typical lifestyle: being the husband who brings how the bacon and Lucy being the stay at home mom. As much as he loves Lucy, he doesn't appreciate her artistic side nor does he believe her career is anything to be proud of because it's just a silly TV show. I can definitely understand why she felt like she was settling when she married Darren but Gabe, because he was based in the Middle East, was always unavailable.

As much as I don't like open-ended endings, I really loved it for The Light We Lost. It really leaves Lucy at a cliff-hanger and the reader gets to continue Lucy's story in their minds and end the story for themselves. If you're a fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid, they I would highly recommend The Light We Lost! Go pick it up now, because it is so good!!

August 10, 2017

Let's Discuss: Book Buying Habits

Welcome to my weekly discussion post called Let's Discuss! This week I'm talking about our book buying habits!

Ever since I became a blogger (which actually was a while ago because I used to run another blog) my book buying habits and shot through the roof. I used to be the type of person that would read a book and then I would go out and buy another book. Which is how I was for most of my life. My parents would take me to the bookstore when I wanted a book, which I would read and put on my shelf or let my friend borrow it.

Then I discovered the book blogging community around 2012 and my whole world changed. Before I took the deep dive into the dark side of buying books, I start requesting a ton of them from the library. I would come home stacks and stacks of book but then I had to return them. So then I started buying them and it was crazy.

Now that I'm married I'm more mindful of how many books I buy and how often I buy them. I definitely use the library a lot more again. The library allows me to discover books that I love, read them and then purchase them when I get the chance. I'm a Barnes & Noble member so I always buy a book when I get a coupon. And every once in a while I'll make a large Book Outlet order. I also always keep my eye on Book Riot's Deals of the Day and when something catches my eye, I purchase it for my Kindle.

There are times when I slip up and I know I get a little crazy with buying books. At those times, I cross my fingers and hope and pray real hard that my husband doesn't notice the charge on the credit card. But he knows how much I love books and that I will get to those books eventually.

What are some of your book buying habits? Did you book buying habits change when you became a blogger? Let me know in the comments!

August 9, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: From Here to Eternity

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

Title: From Here to Eternity: Travelling the World to Find the Good Death
Author: Caitlin Doughty
Release Date: October 03, 2017
Find it Here: Amazon // Goodreads

Fascinated by our pervasive terror of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for their dead. In rural Indonesia, she observes a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body. Grandpa’s mummy has lived in the family home for two years, where the family has maintained a warm and respectful relationship. She meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette- smoking, wish- granting human skulls), and introduces us to a Japanese kotsuage, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved- ones’ bones from cremation ashes. With curiosity and morbid humor, Doughty encounters vividly decomposed bodies and participates in compelling, powerful death practices almost entirely unknown in America. Featuring Gorey-esque illustrations by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity introduces death-care innovators researching green burial and body composting, explores new spaces for mourning— including a glowing- Buddha columbarium in Japan and America’s only open-air pyre— and reveals unexpected new possibilities for our own death rituals.
Why I want this:

Did you read my review of Caitlin Doughty's debut memoir Smoke Gets in Your Eyes? It was morbid and fascinating and I just can't get enough of Doughty's voice and her point of view. She's smart and asks all the right questions. Like I said in my review, this is the book that the history nerd in me has been waiting for! 

August 7, 2017

Audio Book Review: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Title: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory
Author: Caitlin Doughty
Narrator: Caitlin Doughty
Publisher: W.W. Norton Company
Release Date: September 28, 2015
Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir
Length: 7 hours and 44 mintues
Source: Purchased
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Find it Here: Amazon // Audible // Goodreads

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.

Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?

Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin's engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).
My Review:

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty is one of the most interesting and unique memoirs I've ever read. I'm actually not all that into memoirs because the ones that I usually come across are celebrity memoirs and they just don't hold any interest for me. I believe I first heard about Smoke Gets in Your Eyes on the My Favorite Murder podcast and they only had good things to say about it.

Do you ever wonder why we do the things we do with our dead? Why do we preserve them and keep them looking as life like as possible? Why are we so afraid of letting them go? As Caitlin begins her career in the death industry, these are the questions she begins to ask not only herself but America.

Caitlin begins her career in death at a crematory to fulfill her somewhat morbid curiosity with death. As she goes deeper into the industry and learns more about the business, she comes face to face with other cultures and only just begins to scratch the surface of this aversion that Americans and the modern world have to death. As I continued listening to this memoir, the history nerd in me was hoping that she would go deeper into the way various cultures differ in how they deal with their dead. Luckily for me, her new book that's coming out soon is about just that!

If you're a bit of a nerd like me and you've always wondered what happens behind the closed doors of the crematories or funeral homes, I highly recommend Caitlin Doughty memoir. The audio book is just great and I guarantee you will learn more than you think! **Side note** If you like true crime and murder especially, I highly, highly recommend the My Favorite Murder podcast. You won't be disappointed! 

August 6, 2017

Sunday Post #3: This Week Flew By!

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Last week went by super slow but this past week just flew right past me. A lot of things were going on in regular life and I didn't get a whole lot of reading done. I only finished one book and that's only because I was already at the very end! That's very unusual for me lately as I'm been reading a least two books a week. 

We also had some family come in from out of town and they stayed with us so I literally got no reading done. We went to a buffet, we played some bingo, my brother-in-law gambled a lot and all around we just had a good time hanging out with family that we hadn't seen in a long time. Basically, whenever family comes into town, this is what we do:

I feel like I ate way too much but all in all we had a good time.

Read Last Week:

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastri

Currently Reading:

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: I've had this book since forever and I still haven't picked it up yet. Since I decided that for the next week or so I wanted to read books on my Kindle, I found the audio of The Queen of the Tearling on Overdrive and thought, why not?

The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby: I found a really old eARC on my Kindle of The Stranger Game and for some reason it just really piqued my interest. I'm really loving the mystery of it and the amount of questions it's going to have to answer by the end.

Last Week on the Blog:

Monday- Book review of Party Girls Die in Pearls by Plum Sykes

Tuesday- Discussing Seasonal Reading

Wednesday- Anticipating The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker

Thursday- July Wrap-Up

Friday- Book review of Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Coming up this Week:

Monday- Audio book review of Smoke Gets in your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Tuesday- Let's Discuss: TBD

Wednesday- Can't Wait Wednesday: TBD

Friday- Book Review of The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Book Haul:

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine
Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

As I said, this week just flew by and I just didn't get to dedicate the time to reading that I usually do. I'm really hoping to get some major reading in this coming up week. I'm also hoping that I have some extra time to relax as well as time to clean up my house. I'm ready to get back to peace and quiet! 

I hope everyone else has a great week and everyone has all the time in the world to read!