8/7/17

On Reading Multiple Books

I've had this post simmering in the back of my mind for a few weeks now, and seeing this post on Book Riot propelled me to actually write it.  I have multiple books on the go at the moment, and by multiple books, I actually mean five.  FIVE BOOKS.  The funny thing is that I actually wrote a post with an identical title back in 2014, where I explained my thoughts on the matter in a completely different way (click here if you want to see what 2014 me thought on the topic), or keep reading to see how 2017 me thinks differently.

In 2014, I'd just delved into e-reading, so I found myself with a physical book, an audiobook and an ebook on the go at the same time.  Bouncing between formats was fine, but I'd decided that this was too much and I was going to slow down and read only a physical book and an audiobook at the same time.  Flash forward three years, and I've upped that quotient, but strangely enough, I'm okay with this.  My feelings on the matter are very in line with the Book Riot article, where the writer talks about taking the time to savour a longer read, but knowing that she'll feel like a book slump is coming on if she reads the same book for too long.  THIS IS SO ME.

I read Shantaram last month and it took me exactly one month from start to finish.  I loved it, every moment of it, and I spread it out over the month on purpose, planning to read 30 pages per day.  In all honesty, part of me thought that it might end up being the only book that I read in July, but I found myself reading through my 30 pages on the train to and from work, and then reading another 30 pages in the evening, resulting in me being a day ahead of schedule.  So, at one point over the long weekend in July, I set aside Shantaram and read a thriller.  Then, there were a few scorching hot days where my brain was melting and I picked up a lighter read.  Every time I went back to Shantaram, it was because I was excited to pick it up, not because I was trying to get my pages read.  In the end, I ended up finishing the book ahead of schedule because I was enjoying it so much and tore through the last part of the book, but I absolutely loved both taking the time to savour it and allowing myself to read other things at the same time.

Yesterday, Tome Topple started and, although I haven't posted a formal sign-up post, I'm joining in.  I picked up Strange the Dreamer, which I hadn't planned to read this year, but it's been calling my name from the shelf.  It's just over 500 pages, so it satisfies the challenge, and I totally plan to savour it over the next couple of weeks because Laini Taylor's writing is utter perfection.  I also have a non-fiction book on the go from the library (the GTD method, which I heard about on Boho Berry's channel), plus I'm finishing up the Lux series and I have two audiobooks on the go.  And, you know what?  It's totally working for me.  Although it's a lot of books, I find myself gravitating towards what I'm in the mood to read, and I'm actually reading more this way than I have in previous years.  I've already read 52 books this year and, if I can stick to my reading plan, I may even finish all of the books that I had planned to read this year (for the first time EVER!)  I love that I'm still reading what I want, when I want, and haven't felt slumpy at all in recent months.

So, we'll see if there's another similarly titled post in three years' time about how reading multiple books isn't working for me, but for now it's working just fine.  If you read multiple books, or if you don't, please let me know why in the comments below!

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8/3/17

Leave Me - Gayle Forman


I read If I Stay back when I first started blogging, and didn't enjoy it much, but I really liked the movie when I was home sick one day and found it on TV.  I picked up Just One Day when the blogosphere went crazy over it and liked it, but I felt a little underwhelmed.  I chalked it up to the hype, and thought I'd give Gayle one more chance with Leave Me.  It's an adult novel about a mother, so I was ready to connect with the main character and feel all kinds of feelings.

Nope, nope, nope.  This book just did not work for me.  I stopped reading the physical copy and switched to the audio so that I could get through the story and see if the main character redeemed herself at all by the end, and was supremely disappointed.  First of all, the premise is that the main character has a woman who's so busy juggling her life (husband, twins and work) that she doesn't realize that she's had a heart attack.  While recuperating, she packs her bag and leaves.  Just up and leaves her family!  Although I understand her perspective of being the rock that holds the family together (I sometimes joke that my husband would be lost without me because he doesn't know the password to his own email account), there is absolutely no way that I would ever walk away from my family like that.  Granted, I've never suffered a major health crisis, and it's hard to predict with any certainty how I would react in that situation, but the whole point about fiction is to explore these imaginative situations and "experience" them in a safe way, like having a dream about doing something you'd never do in real life.  No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't connect with her actions, and the fact that she stayed away for a ridiculously long amount of time.  If the story had been spread out over a weekend, and she'd panicked and fled, and just needed a day to calm down and return home, I think I might have connected with her a bit better.  She was gone a LONG time, and it just didn't feel realistic to me.

If you're a fan of Gayle Forman's other books, you'll definitely like this one, as it has her signature writing style and character development.  It's no better or worse than her other books, but reading this has solidified my belief that I'm just not a Gayle Forman fan.  I wish I could say differently, because she's so loved by so many readers, but this is my unpopular opinion.

Note: I received an egalley of this book for review from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence my review of this book in any way.
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8/1/17

The Secret History of Us - Jessi Kirby

Jessi Kirby is one of those underrated writers that really deserves more credit.  My first of her books was Things We Know By Heart, which I read as a review book a couple of years ago.  I had Golden sitting on my shelves for a couple of years, and read that one shortly after.  I still have two of her books on my TBR and I'm grateful for that fact because each of her books have managed to wow me in a different way.  Some contemporary writers write a particular style of book that works for them (think Sarah Dessen and her perfect of growth and learning books), which is awesome and I love the predictable enjoyment factor.  With Jessi Kirby's books, however, I go into each one not really knowing what type of story to expect, which I LOVE.

The Secret History of Us is a thriller and opens with a girl being pulled out of the lake.  Everyone around her is certain that she's dead and her rescuer begins performing CPR.  The girl lives and its her story that we read, as she tries to piece together her memories of that fateful night.

The opening scene perfectly set the pace of the book; I was sucked into the story from page one and couldn't put it down.  Liv's character development is so real and genuine and I found myself really connecting with her as she tried to puzzle through her life.  It's a short, well-paced book and I flew through it in 24 hours, sneaking a page or two in whenever I could.  This book releases in the summer, and is perfect for a camping trip read, curled up by the campfire or stretched out in the sun on a warm dock, but will also be perfect to curl up with in front of a roaring fire when the weather turns chilly.

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

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7/31/17

Reading Round-up - July

A little part of me misses writing reviews, but not the full length kind.  So I thought I'd try something new and recap a little of what I read this month!


Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh
I've struggled with graphic novels over the past couple of years, and I think I've finally decided that the genre just isn't for me.  Although I have read a couple of exceptional graphic novels (Blankets and The Sculptor), on the whole I end up underwhelmed with most of the ones that I've picked up.

The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby
This was an eARC, so watch for my review tomorrow!

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
I wanted to love this one.  I wanted to have more Morgan Matson to read while I wait (not so) patiently for her next book.  But I was disappointed with this one, and it was just okay.  Not worth continuing with the series.


The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
I love, love, loved, LOVED this one.  Super sweet middle grade book, told through the eyes of a gorilla.  It reminded me a little of Ishmael, full of profound truths and fascinating observations.  A little gem of a book for sure.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
I decided earlier this year to re-read the Throne of Glass series in preparation for FINALLY reading Empire of Storms, and I'm glad I did.  I'm re-reading it all on audio, and I've been enjoying it.

The Gammage Cup
I haven't DNFed a book since January, but I just couldn't get into this one.  I even switched it up and tried in on audio, thinking I could quickly get through five hours on audio, but nope. 


Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
I FINALLY READ SHANTARAM YOU GUYS.  If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that I picked this book up when I was pregnant (circa November 2012), but ended up putting it down when I developed pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel and the book was too heavy to hold.  I've wanted to pick it up since then, but it's also hella intimidating.  Not to mention the fact that anyone who saw it on my shelves raved about it, so the hype was a real thing.  But I LOVED IT.  And I'm so, so, so glad that I finally read it.  I laughed, I cried and I devoured the book in less than a month.  So worth it, and I'll be recommending this to others for sure.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Another eARC (summer books are READ!) and I'll have a review up for this one on its release date in early September!
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7/27/17

The Best of Adam Sharp - Graeme Simsion

I read, and LOVED, The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect in early 2015, so when I saw that Graeme Simsion was writing a new book, I knew that I had to get my hands on a copy.  I saw the book pop up on Netgalley, and requested a copy on a whim, feeling pretty confident that my request would be declined, so imagine my surprise when it was approved!  I immediately downloaded it and started reading.

I loved the book from page one, and knew that, although I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy for review, I just had to savour this one in printed format.  For one, it was a PDF, which means I have to read it on my iPad, rather than on my Kobo and it's a little harder on my eyes.  So I pre-ordered a copy from Chapters and dove into it as soon as it arrived.

Although I'm incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to read it in advance, I'm SO GLAD that I waited and read the hard copy because I would have missed out on something truly, truly incredible.  THIS BOOK HAS A PLAYLIST.  It might be included in the ARC (I didn't go back to check), but it's at the back of the physical book.  It lists off all of the songs referenced in the story, and THERE'S A SPOTIFY LIST THAT GOES WITH THE STORY.  It was mind-blowing you guys.  MIND BLOWING.  I love music (love, love, LOVE) and I'm always a sucker for stories that have music interwoven (like Amy & Roger's Epic Detour or Just Listen).  For me, it's a fine balance between making music an integral part of the story, and just name dropping music and artists (like Love is a Mix Tape, which felt like the writer was just showing off his musical prowess).  This book did the music and story blend so well; on a scale of one to ten it was utter perfection.

This book isn't long, but it took me close to a month to finish because I'd read a few paragraphs, listen to a song, read the lyrics to the song, go back and reread the paragraphs, listen to the song again and just feel all the feels.  I knew some of the songs referenced in the book because my dad raised me on a steady diet of oldies, but loved discovering new songs and learning to love the songs even more.  Patti Smith's "Because The Night" is a new all-time favourite because of this book.  I knew the song before, but I truly love the song now.

Music aside, The Best of Adam Sharp is an untraditional love story.  It's the story of Adam, who lives with a bit of regret over the great love of his life, Angelina, and how they ended their relationship.  Life gives them a very strange type of second chance, and it gives them a chance to consider what could have been as well as the paths that their lives took because they went their separate ways.  In some ways, this book felt like a Taylor Jenkins Reid novel because he portrays these messy relationships in a way that makes them feel completely real.  We, as human beings, aren't perfect and our relationships and lives are fraught with moments of "what if?"  This book captures all of those moments, and then some.

If you've read the Rosie books, please know that this book is very different.  It's heartfelt and raw and delicious and wonderful and utter perfection, especially if you opt to listen to the playlist as you read the book.

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

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7/12/17

A Blogging Identity Crisis

On April 15th, I started writing this post.  And by "writing," I mean that I wrote in a title for the post and hit save.  That's basically how I lock down my ideas, with the intention of coming back later to flesh out the idea.  This post has been simmering on the backburner of my mind for a while now, and I've opened the draft post a few times, but the words didn't come.  Until tonight.  Tonight I feel ready to share.

This November, I'll be celebrating six years of blogging.  SIX YEARS in this little corner of the internet.  It's still quite little after all these years, mainly because I have never really had enough time and energy to devote to networking.  I admire those bloggers that can pour so many hours into their blogs, and their devotion shows in reader engagement and content development.  I wish I could be like those bloggers and, to be honest, sometimes those feelings are what gets in the way of blogging. It's not a numbers game for me, but it's more a frustration over the quality of my content.  I shared a post a while back, sometime after Marko was born, where I reflected on the thought and care that I used to put into book reviews when I had the time and energy to write them.  As time has gone by, I've stopped writing reviews (except for review copies and if I have a burning need to say something) and have toyed with a number of bookish content ideas.  In all honesty, after so many years of writing about books, I think I'm just running out of bookish ideas.

Which leads me to the topic of this post -- my blogging identity crisis.  I've been wrestling with the idea of making this blog about more than books (and I even tried doing this last year, but didn't follow through).  I have other interests, and spend a lot of time watching videos or looking on Pinterest to support these hobbies (searching for bullet journal ideas on either one is a BLACK HOLE).  I've also discovered non BookTube channels lately, like Cheyenne (Studyrose on YouTube) who I discovered through her Plan With Me videos, but then got caught up in all of her other creative content.  I was watching a video the other day where she mentioned listening to inspirational podcasts, and I thought to myself, "Yes, I should find some of these podcasts to listen to on my commute."  And then I had a huge realization: I have been spending more time lately passively engaged with my hobbies instead of actively engaged with them.  I look for lettering inspiration and bullet journal layout ideas instead of picking up my pen and journalling.  I scroll through Goodreads to see what my friends are reading and watching TBR videos on BookTube instead of reading a couple of chapters of my current read.  I spend more time adding to my TBR pile than subtracting from it, or more time planning and deciding what to read than actually reading.

I'm going to start actively engaging in my hobbies, instead of passively engaging with them.  I'm going to write more on here, write more in my bullet journal, reading more books and, most importantly, reconnecting with my yoga mat.  I've just done two days in a row and am feeling amazing.  I'd like to keep this up ... for once.  And I'm going to blog about whatever the heck I feel like blogging about.  I thought about making a plan for how to roll out new features and content but, you know what?  I barely have time to blog, so I'm just going to go with it and see where it leads me.  If you've stuck with me this long, please know that I am eternally grateful for you and the fact that you pop by every now and then to read these words.  Let's see where this leads, shall we?

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7/10/17

Marko Monday [23] -- Going to the Zoo!

Holy smokes -- it's been a long, long time since I posted one of these!  Now that I'm slowly putting a tentative toe back into the blogging pool, I want to focus on the posts that bring me joy, and this is definitely one of them.  So, you'll see a few more regular picture book reviews popping up here and there, as well as photos of my beautiful boy.

Most of Marko's books come from Value Village, or other used bookstores.  We scored this one from our local used bookstore (which also sells amazing organic loose tea) and it was an immediate hit.  It's written to the tune of "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," but features all of Marko's favourite jungle animals.  We read it again and again and again.  The brightly coloured pictures are paired perfectly with words that have the perfect read-aloud rhythm.

Tigers and snakes have been a household favourite since we watched the new Jungle Book a couple of months ago.  Although I struggle with the idea of supporting keeping animals in captivity, I finally decided that Marko would really gain a lot out of a trip to the zoo.  So we went, and he LOVED IT.  He got to touch a python, saw a real Shere Khan pacing back and forth waiting for meal time and saw a few of his other favourites up close.  My husband was absolutely blown away by seeing a real live giraffe (picture below).  On the way home, Marko said that his favourite part was the "cobra brastrictor" -- ha ha ha!



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6/30/17

June Wrap-up!

The year is already halfway gone.  I'm normally a glass full kind of gal, but with time I have to look at the year as halfway behind us already... SLOW DOWN TIME.

The Books

Books Read: 6 (Lord of Shadows, The Handmaid's Tale, The Best of Adam Sharp, Burn, Heir of Fire, The Girl at Midnight)
I really took my time with Lord of Shadows and loved every minute.  My review for Adam Sharp is forthcoming, and will explain why it also took me a long time to read, despite it being a short-ish book.  AND I FINALLY READ BURN. #lifegoal  Also, I read all five books on my spring TBR!!!!

Books Acquired: 5 (The Best of Adam Sharp, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Once and for All, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, The Life Intended)
No regrets.  No regrets at all.

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +16 (Lord of Shadows, Burn and Heir of Fire)
TBR Challenge: +2 (Burn and The Girl at Midnight)
Flights of Fantasy: +2 (Lord of Shadows and Heir of Fire)

The Blog

I'm sloooooowly getting back into the swing of blogging, and have my sights set on mid-July when my course is done and I'll have two glorious homework-free months!  I did a second round of the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag and shared my summer TBR.  This week, I looked back at my reading resolutions and reading challenges to see where I was at.

 The Other Stuff

Summer has definitely arrived in British Columbia, and we celebrated Father's Day by purchasing our first "grown-up" BBQ (i.e. the first time that we haven't bought the cheapest one that we could find, knowing that we'd buy another in a year or two).  We have a natural gas hook-up on our deck, so it's also nice to BBQ without worrying that we'll run out of propane.  My husband LOVED making a BBQ feast for us for Father's Day, and we've also had some friends over to enjoy some yummy BBQ. This weekend, one of my best friends is coming to stay for the weekend and I'm already looking forward to more yummy BBQ as well as finding some Canada Day celebrations to enjoy.

Otherwise, it was a fairly quiet month.  I'm finishing up my course in mid-July, and already looking forward to some blissful time off.  We're Alberta-bound in August for some family time as well, and I can already see myself lounging on my mother-in-law's deck with a good book and a cup of tea.

How about you?  Anything exciting happen to you in June?  Let me know if you've read something amazing so far this year and which books are on your summer TBR!  Thank you for stopping by =)

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6/28/17

Reading Resolutions - Halfway Point

I like looking back at my resolutions halfway through the year to see where I'm at ... I'm doing well, but still a ways to go.  Let's break it down...

1. Reduce my physical TBR to less than 100 books.
Although I didn't have a specific number at the beginning of the year, I guesstimated that I had approximately 130 unread books on my shelves.  Today, I have 122 books.  I have been reading most books from my shelves, but there were also a lot of new releases to buy this year (plus others that have wandered onto my shelves).  The remainder of the year doesn't have as many new releases, so this challenge still feels achievable.

2. Reduce my e-book TBR to less than 20 books.
I've been really good about not buying too many cheap e-books this year, and knocked off quite a few short reads in March, but I'm still sitting at 27 books.  I usually pack one book and my Kobo when we head to Alberta in the summer, so hopefully I'll gobble up a few e-books under the prairie skies.

3. Finish 10 series.
I've finished two of the 10 series that were on my original list, but I also binge read the entire Darker Shade of Magic trilogy, so I'm counting that one as well.  Still a ways to go on this challenge, but I'm hoping to focus on series over the summer.

4. Blog whenever hubby plays video games.
Well, hubby promptly stopped gaming after I posted my new year's resolutions!  There has been a LOT of hockey on this year, as my husband's beloved Oilers made the playoffs this year.  I've been popping in my earbuds and listening to Peaceful Piano on Spotify, and have been doing well at tuning out the hockey and getting some reading done.  I've also taken a couple of non-intentional breaks from blogging -- I think I was burning out a little with blogging.  I'm coming up on six years in November and, although I do still love my little corner of the internet, I've been having a blogging identity crisis.  Hopefully, I'll have a post soon detailing exactly what that is and what it entails, but I haven't quite decided just yet.

5. Participate in three online events.
This is a success already!  I participated in the Love-a-Thon, the All the Short Ones readathon and the third round of Tome Topple.  YAHOO!  In the remainder of the year, there will hopefully be a second round of Tome Topple and my favourite event of all, the Broke & Bookish Secret Santa.

Did you making reading resolutions and, if so, are you on track with your goals?  Let me know in the comments below, and thank you for stopping by =)

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6/26/17

Reading Challenges - Halfway Point

To start with, I set my Goodreads reading challenge at 50 books, despite the fact that I read 73 books last year.  So far, I've read 42 books.  I've enjoyed taking my time with a few chunky reads, and setting my target lower has really helped with that.  Plus, participating in the All the Short Ones Readathon in March helped to rack up the read books quickly, and then I slowed right down in April with Tome Topple.


My goal is 30 books, and I've read 15 books so far.  There have definitely been quite a few ARCs read this year, as well as some library books, but having my books out of storage has been great, and I've read a lot of books off my shelves so far too!

My goal for the Prequel & Sequel Challenge is Professional (76 to 100 points).  I thought I was super behind on this challenge, but I'm actually at 66 points already!  I've completed four series already, which I think is definitely helping.  If I manage to knock a couple more off my TBR pile, I'll complete this challenge with no issues.


My goal is 12 books and I've read 13 books so far!  I've been really, really enjoying the fantasy books that I've read this year, and am already looking forward to reading some more before the year is up.  CHALLENGE COMPLETED!

How about you?  How are you doing on your reading challenges so far this year?

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6/20/17

Summer TBR!

I also had one book from my spring list that I didn't get to (The Girl at Midnight) and I'm currently reading Burn, but will complete it soon.  Our summer weather has been all over the place (hot and sunny one day, cold and rainy the next) so my reading tastes are a bit all over the map.  Even if I don't read these precise books, my focus this summer will be on the books that I had originally planned to read this year, with a specific focus on series.

1. A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
Out of all of the books on my Kobo, this book has been calling to me lately.  It's on the list of 17 books that I had planned to read this year.

2. The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall
I tried to read this a month or so ago, but put it aside.  I'm not 100% sure that I'll enjoy this, so I may end up DNFing it, but I have to give it a try this summer.

3. Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This is the next in a series on my TBR, but I think it would be an easy, summery read.

4. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
I have a plan for reading this book in bite size chunks throughout July.  I'll write a full length post on this at some point, but this strategy has been working well for motivating me to read intimidating books lately.

5. ARCs
Another of my big (and lofty) summer goals is to catch up with my ARCs.  I have two books that I have read and not reviewed, one that I'm about to finish, and one long-expired ARC that I still haven't read.  I also have six fall e-galleys to read.  At the bare minimum, I would like to catch up with my ARCs, but it would also be lovely to read ahead.  I've got big dreams.

How about you?  What's on your summer TBR?  Let me know in the comments below =)

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6/16/17

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag - Round 2

I did this tag last year, and saw it popping up all over BookTube again, so thought I'd join in the fun with a 2017 version!  The tag was originally created by ReadLikeWildfire (see her video here) and Ely Jane (see her video here).

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017. 
Everyone's going to say this, so I'm going to pick the two most popular answers to this question: A Court of Wings and Ruin and A Conjuring of Light.  There, I said it; however, they're both just PERFECT SERIES ENDERS.  PURE PERFECTION.

2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2017.
Ha ha ha, see above!  Clearly I should have read the questions through first before I started answering.

3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to.

I still have The Names They Gave Us, Once and For All, Strange the Dreamer, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and Always and Forever, Lara Jean to read!  This time last year, I only had one unread new release ... umm, OOPS?

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo in September.  I'm also excited for Renegades by Marissa Meyer and Warcross by Marie Lu, but I'm not a fan of the covers for both books, which has reduced my enthusiasm for both.  Of course, there's also Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas but I haven't read Empire of Storms yet (I know, I know!) so that's also reduced my enthusiasm.

5. Biggest disappointment.

The Bane Chronicles.  I love Magnus Bane's character, but this series of novellas about his character was just meh.  It made a mindless project at work a little more bearable with this book on audio, but other than that I was very underwhelmed.

6. Biggest surprise.

The Hate U Give.  As soon as I saw that Jamie @ The Perpetula Page-Turner had loved it, I downloaded an e-galley.  I knew that I would love it too, but the surprise for me was that I loved it that much.  It blew me away.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

V.E. Schwab.  I DEVOURED the Darker Shades of Magic series.  Absolutely DEVOURED.  I loved it so much that I'm tempted to try This Savage Song.  The premise sounds intriguing, but I've heard others say that the either love her adult books, or her young adult books, but people rarely love both.  So I think I might just stick with her adult books.  BUT I loved the series so much that I also wonder if I might be part of the small group that loves all of her books.  So conflicted.

8. Newest fictional crush.

I'm not much of a book boyfriend kind of girl, so can I just pick Rhysand again this year?

9. Newest favourite character.

Lila Bard.  Hands down, no question.

10. Book that made you cry.
LORD OF SHADOWS.  It's been two weeks since I finished that book, and I'm still not okay.

11. Book that made you happy.
Although graphic novels aren't my favourite thing, it did make me happy to have a little bit more time in the Lunar Chronicles' world.  And Iko.  More Iko is happiness inducing.

12. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received)
Strange the Dreamer.  Maybe because I also know that Laini's beautiful writing awaits inside those gorgeous covers.

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
OH MY GOSH.  So many.  In order to finish the 17 books that I had planned to read, I still need to read The bone Season, Empire of Storms, Unraveling, Burn, Graceling, Shataram, The Girl at Midnight, A Man Called Ove, The Gammage Cup, Robber Bride and a Brandon Sanderson book.  And I've only read two of the ten series that I had planned to read this year, which still leaves the Lux series, the Throne of Glass series, the Magyk series, the Unwind dystology, the Everneath trilogy, the All Souls Trilogy, His Dark Assassins trilogy and the Pure trilogy.  I'm currently reading Burn, which will knock one of each list (hurrah!)  But that would still leave a total of 31 books to read!  Considering I've already read 41 books, it's possible!

Although the questions don't actually ask me to tag anyone, I'm gonna do it anyways, because I'm crazy like that.  I tag Jessica @ Novel Cravings and Lauren @ Lose Time Reading.

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5/31/17

May Wrap-up!

Let me not even start on how quickly May disappeared, and marvel at the fact that SUMMER is nearly here.  SUMMERTIME PEOPLE.  Wasn't it just Christmas last week?

The Books

Books Read: 5 (The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules, A Court of Wings and Ruin, Crown of Midnight, Lady Midnight, Milk and Honey)
Again, less books than last month, but two of them were long reads, and I enjoyed taking my time with both of them.

Books Acquired: 3 (A Court of Wings and Ruin, The Names They Gave Us, Lord of Shadows)
So many good books came out in May, and I'm so happy to have these three on my shelves.

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +14 (ACOWAR and Crown of Midnight)
TBR Challenge: +1 (Lady Midnight)
Flights of Fantasy: +3 (ACOWAR, Crown of Midnight, Lady Midnight)

The Blog

This is actually the first and last post of this month!  I unintentionally took a month off of blogging, and I think it was a needed break.  I'm slowly feeling like I'm ready to jump back into it, but we'll just see where things go after this post.  I'm looking forward to reading some good books next year (currently reading Lord of Shadows, and I think I'm off to a good start) and slowly climbing back aboard the blogging train.

 The Other Stuff

May feels like it was really busy, but now I'm struggling to remember exactly what made it so busy. We had my in-laws visit at the beginning of May, when my niece and nephew were baptized.  It was a fun, family-filled week, but it was also nice to have our house back to ourselves after everyone went home again.  Then, for the Victoria day long weekend, we went to the Island to visit my family.  Again, a lovely weekend, but it's just as tiring to be away from home as it is to have people visiting.  I'm such an introvert =P  I like the time with family, but I also need that time to recharge from all the craziness.

We all came down with a summer cold, and I used my first official sick day.  My previous job didn't have sick days, so I'd drag myself in feeling like crap, or have to use a vacation day if I wanted to be paid for staying at home.  There's no legislation in British Columbia to require employers to provide sick days, but many choose to do so as a courtesy to their employees.  Honestly, it was lovely to be able to take the time to catch up on some much needed rest, and I felt SO MUCH better the next day.  Generally, it would take me a week or so to really get over a cold since it would linger, but I honestly felt like I kicked it in a day, since I had the time to rest and recover.  Sick days really should be part of our minimum employment standards, like minimum wage and maternity leave.  I'm so grateful for this new job, since I know in my heart that I already have a better work-life balance than I've ever had before.

The weather has been cold and rainy ALL SPRING so far, but it just warmed up last week and got HOT.  We've had 25ish degrees for the past week, and my body is already craving fall.  We haven't busted out the A/C just yet, but I have a feeling that day is not too far down the road.  Plus, I'm already itching to start planning my summer TBR list.  Anyone else get that itch as soon as the weather gets warmer?  I do the same thing as summer nights start to get colder, imagining which books I'll be reading when I get my Snuggie back out, which books I'll be reading by the fireplace in wintertime, and then which books I imagine reading next year.  I'm always planning for the next season =)

How about you?  Anything exciting happen to you in May?  Let me know if you've read something amazing so far this year and if you're planning your summer TBR too!  Thank you for stopping by =)

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4/28/17

April Wrap-up!


I start to feel like a bit of a broken record ... but seriously, how is April over already?

The Books

Books Read: 6 (A Gathering of Shadows, A Conjuring of Light, The Glass Arrow, The Bane Chronicles, Throne of Glass and The Midnight Star)
This seems like a much smaller number than last month; however, I participated in Tome Topple, and two of these books were over 500 pages, so I'm pretty proud of myself.  At the time of writing and scheduling this post, I'm not quite finished The Midnight Star, but I'm 99% sure that I'll have it done by the 30th.

Books Acquired: 8 (The Anne of Green Gables series)
I've been craving a re-read of this series for a while now.  I read the first few when I was younger, but never continued all the way through the series.  If not this year, then I will definitely make this a new year's resolution for next year.

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +28 (finished two series!)
TBR Challenge: +3 (The Bane Chronicles, The Glass Arrow and The Midnight Star)
Flights of Fantasy: +5 (all except The Glass Arrow, it was a good fantasy month!)

The Blog

Another quiet month on the blog -- just a few reviews shared, and my Tome Topple post.  I think I've been in a bit of  a blogging slump, and lacking focus with what I want to write on here.  I'm going to do some deep thinking in May and see what comes next.

 The Other Stuff

I started my new job on April 3rd and I am loving it so far.  In previous jobs, I've always been tossed into the workload, and just learned as I went along.  This company had a very formal training program set out for me, with lots of time to read and learn and explore before starting with my real work.  It was a refreshing change to be able to take the time to learn, but I'm also super excited to start doing my actual job.  My team members are all really nice and welcoming, and I am incredibly grateful that this change has worked out so well.

Our bathroom renos finally wrapped up on the Easter long weekend, and we've spent a ton of time cleaning and organizing and getting the house put back together.  And, of course, a couple more trips to Ikea for a few more things.  Finally, I think we're almost done with purchases and renos (with the exception of a reading armchair for me).  And just in time as it appears that the warmer spring weather is approaching!  We've been to a few local parks and explored some trails, and I cannot wait to spend more time outdoors this summer.  Here's a photo of Cliff Falls, a beautiful waterfall that we just stumbled across a couple of weeks ago.


How about you?  How was your April?  Let me know if you've read something amazing so far this year!  Thank you for stopping by =)

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4/26/17

Tome Topple Wrap-up

Tome Topple was hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes.  This challenge wrapped up last Friday, April 21st, but I've been lazy about posting my wrap-up!

CHALLENGES: 
1. Read more than 1 tome
2. Read a graphic novel 
3. Read a tome that's part of a series
4. Buddy read a tome 
5. Read an adult novel

I started A Gathering of Storms before the readathon started, but finished it a few days into the readathon.  Then, I read and finished A Conjuring of Light, which was over 600 pages!  So, technically, I completed three challenges: I read more than one tome, read a tome that was part of a series, and read an adult novel.  I'm pretty proud of myself for finishing the entire series this year though (pats self on back).  I'm already looking forward to the next round of this readathon!

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4/18/17

Fireworks - Katie Cotugno

I
I loved Katie Cotugno's debut novel, How to Love, and really enjoyed her second novel, 99 Days.  While I enjoyed Fireworks, there were a few things that fell flat for me.

The story follows Dana and Olivia, two best friends.  Olivia has her sights set on being a singing star, while Dana is waiting tables in their hometown.  When Olivia heads to an audition, Dana decides to tag along and ends up getting cast in a girl group alongside her best friend.

First, the things that I liked.  The book is set in the 1990s, so there were a lot of elements of my own teen years that I could identify with.  Dana's character development was also incredibly strong, as she struggled with her alcoholic mother and her feeling of entrapment in her hometown.

Unfortunately, the friendship between Dana and Olivia fell flat for me, and I found Olivia to be quite annoying and immature.  The whole idea of one friend being famous and another being along for the ride was very reminiscent of Emery Lord's Open Road Summer, but ORS handled the friendship better than this book did.  The book also addressed eating disorders, but it felt like the issue was overshadowed and not properly handled.  It also seemed quite unrealistic that Dana would be given the opportunity to be part of a singing quartet with no formal training, other than dancing and singing in her friend's living room.

I did enjoy Katie's writing, as I did with the previous books, and am already looking forward to picking up her next book.  I still liked this one, even though it didn't wow me like her previous books.

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

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4/11/17

Literally - Lucy Keating

I first heard about Lucy Keating last year, when I saw the beautiful cover of Dreamology all over Bookstagram.  Although I haven't picked up that book, the premise of Literally drew me in and I knew that I wanted to give Lucy's books a shot.

As a former English student, I loved the metafiction aspect of this book.  Annabelle, our main character, discovers that she's actually a character in a story, and the author makes an appearance in the book when Annabelle finds out that Lucy is controlling her life in order to create a Happy Ending.  There's so much excellent commentary on what makes a good story -- from happy endings to love triangles and everything in between.

If you haven't guessed from the amount of reading nerdiness on this blog, I am a massive book nerd and this book warmed my nerdy heart.  Annabelle's character irked me a little at the beginning of the book, but quickly grew on me and I found myself tearing through this short, sweet little book.

For those of you who like your contemporaries short and sweet, this book is perfect.  And if you're a literary connoisseur, you'll enjoy this book even more =)

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

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4/5/17

Tome Topple TBR -- Round 3

Crazy that this is the third round of Tome Topple!  I participated in both rounds last year, and really enjoyed taking the time to enjoy a chunkier read.  Too often we overlook these chunky books on our shelves in favour of quicker reads so that we can meet our Goodreads challenge or other reading challenges.  Having just finished the All the Short Ones Readathon, I'm really looking forward to savouring a lengthier read.  I have a lengthy list of books because I just frankly can't choose what I'd like to read at this exact moment.  I had added a poll on Goodreads to ask for help, and A Gathering of Shadows was picked for me; however, A Conjuring of Light then showed up at my library, so I had to start AGoS before Tome Topple so that I can read ACoL.  Book nerd problems, I tell ya.

This challenge is hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes.  It starts on April 7th at midnight in your time zone, and runs until April 20th, again at midnight in your time zone.

CHALLENGES: 
1. Read more than 1 tome
2. Read a graphic novel 
3. Read a tome that's part of a series
4. Buddy read a tome 
5. Read an adult novel

Books that I'm considering:
1. A Conjuring of Light (because it's a library book)
2. The Bane Chronicles (because it's ridiculous how long this has sat on my shelves)
3. Strange the Dreamer (because it's pretty and just showed up in my mailbox)
4. Lady Midnight (because I think I'm the only person in the world who hasn't read this yet)
5. Shantaram (because it's intimidating as hell and I said I'd read it this year)
6. The Name of the Wind (see above)
7. The Way of Kings (see above, yet again -- is there an intimidating books readathon?  because I think I should join that one too)

Clearly I'm not going to complete all the challenges (especially because there's no graphic novels on this list!) and I definitely won't read all of the books on the list, but there's some good (and intimidating!) books to choose from.  Anything that you've read that I should bump to the top of my pile?  Let me know in the comments below.  If you're participating in this readathon, hope your enjoy your tome(s)!

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4/4/17

Gem & Dixie - Sara Zarr

I've read, and thoroughly enjoyed, two of Sara Zarr's previous novels (Sweethearts and How to Save a Life), so I went into Gem & Dixie hopeful that it would be another heartwarming contemporary.  I liked it, I did, but I think it was missing a little bit of the "wow factor" that I felt in her other two books.

The story follows two sisters, Gem and Dixie, who live with their mother who is often absent from their lives, due to working evenings and her on and off again struggle with drugs.  The story is told from Gem's perspective, the older sister who is struggling to shelter and take care of her younger sister who, in turn, is trying to pull away from his sister's shadow.  When the girls' father comes back into their lives suddenly, a series of events spinball from there that tests the strength of their relationship and their sense of identity.

I think my main struggle with this book is that I found it hard to identify with either of the girls.  At first, it seemed like I would identify with Gem, since she's an older sister, but I found it hard to for most of the book.  I've been thinking and reflecting about the characters and the story for a couple of days now, and I still can't quite put my finger on what it is that caused Gem to rub me the wrong way.  There were definitely some moments where I just couldn't understand her rationalization for doing the things that she was doing, and it made it hard to connect to the story.

With that being said, I do think that this is an excellent story of sisterly bonding and touches on the imperfect family bond in a thoughtful way.  Although it's not a new favourite, it's still a solid contemporary with serious heart.

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

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3/31/17

March Wrap-up!


The Books

Books Read: 14 (The Mothers, Girl Coming in for a Landing, The Tiger Rising, Freak the Mighty, A Little Something Different, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Little Knife, The Too-Clever Fox, the second and third Harry Potter novellas, Lips Touch, The Assassin's Blade, Gem & Dixie and Exit, Pursued by a Bear)
My ADSOReadathon TBR was 14 books, and I honestly didn't think that I could read that many.  Although I didn't read exactly the 14 books that I had planned to read, I did read the number that I had planned to read!  SUPER proud of myself this month.

Books Acquired: 1 (Strange the Dreamer)
Just the one pre-order!

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +4 (the novellas!)
TBR Challenge: +12 (all except The Mothers and Gem & Dixie)
Flights of Fantasy: +1 (Lips Touch)

The Blog

Definitely a quieter month on the blog, but I had a lot going on in the real world (more on that in the section below!)

 The Other Stuff

First of all, let me just tell you that I AM SO READY FOR SPRING.  We've had the snowier and colder winter than any other year, and I am so done with the white stuff.  It even snowed in early March.  MARCH!  On the West Coast of Canada, we generally get a couple of cm of snow in early December, maybe a week or two of chilly weather, but it just rains for the majority of the season.  This year we had weeks and weeks of snow, and weather so cold that the snow never melted!  I'm ready for rain, sunshine, cherry blossoms, daffodils and tulips -- bring on the balmy spring weather!

We started some more renovations in our house and are currently close to completing the addition of a bathroom in our basement.  The house came with the plumbing roughed in, but we had to do the rest.  Or our contractor did actually, but it was fun to learn a little bit about construction along the way!  I'm writing my final exam for my course in early April, and am already looking forward to having a break from school to A) read a ton and B) deep clean my house from all of the renovation dust that has spread into every little nook and cranny!

Finally, the highlight of the month is that I found a new job!  Since we moved, the commute has been less than ideal, with a drive, a train and a bus ride in order to get to work.  Plus, I've been wanting to move into more of a managerial role, and there weren't any opportunities for advancement at my current workplace.  So, I started looking for something downtown, which is geographically further away from my home, but more accessible because there's a direct train that connects the outlying city where I live with the downtown core.  I found a job that will be challenging, but will also provide me with some growth opportunities, so I'm excited!  My first day will be April 3rd.

How about you?  Are you as ready for spring as I am?  Let me know if you've read something amazing so far this year?  Thank you for stopping by =)

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3/16/17

ATSOReadathon -- Halfway Point!

It's hard to believe that we're already halfway through March, and halfway through the All the Short Ones Readathon, hosted by the lovely Jessica @ Novel Cravings.  I thought I'd take a moment to share the books that I've already read this month...

1. The Mothers by Brit Bennett
I honestly didn't know what this book was about, but as a mother I thought I'd like it.  It was a heartwarming, incredibly unique story and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

2. Girl Coming in a for a Landing by April Halprin Wayland
This was cute, but a bit too cute for my tastes.  It's a middle grade collection of poetry and was a quick, easy read.

3. The Tiger Rising by Kate diCamillo
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Kate's books.  While this one wasn't as amazing as The Tale of Despereaux or The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (two of my favourite books of ALL TIME), it was still a beautiful middle grade story.

4. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
I loved the movie when I watched it years ago, and have had the book collecting dust on my shelves for years.  It was great, and I enjoyed it, even if it didn't tug on my hearstrings the same way the movie did.

5. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
This is the only genuine disappointment of the readathon so far.  The structure of this book was AWESOME -- told from nine (I think?) different perspectives, including a squirrel and a bench.  But I just couldn't get past the fact that everyone in the story only thought or talked about whether the two main characters (whose perspectives we do not see) are going to get together.

6. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
This book slowed me down a little, as it's short but the content was a little heavier than the previous few books.  It was really different than I had expected (honestly, I wasn't too sure what to expect!) and I really, really enjoyed it.  Definitely glad that this readathon is motivating me to pick up books that I otherwise would have continued putting off!


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3/10/17

Spring TBR!

I didn't quite finish my winter TBR pile (just The Bone Season left) but I definitely plan to catch up and read these five books now that spring is here!

1. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
So, here's a funny thing -- I have a list of TBR books in my bullet journal, and I accidentally checked this off, when I meant to check off a different book.  So now I have to read it, like ASAP.

2. Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
This book is on my All the Short Ones readathon TBR, so it'll be finished by the end of March.

3. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
4. Burn by Julianna Baggott
I'd like to knock a couple of series off my TBR list this season.

5. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
I read, and loved, A Darker Shade of Magic last month, and I want to keep reading this series while it's fresh in my mind.

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3/7/17

Forever, or a Long Time - Caela Carter

I used to be a big middle grade reader, but slowly veered away when I discovered YA.  I've picked up a couple of middle grade books in the past few years and have been absolutely blown away, which has reminded me that these books can pack a serious punch, even if they're targeted at younger readers.  Forever, or a Long, Long Time is one of those books -- the cover looks sweet and innocent, but this book is heartfelt and heavy.

The story follows an older sister and younger brother who have been bounced around in the foster care system.  They have both been adopted into a loving blended family; however, they still bear the scars of their traumatic past.  Each sibling needs to learn to trust in the idea that this home is forever and relearn what family and love mean.

There were moments in this book that tore my heart out and moments where I was smiling through my tears.  Although the subject material may not be for everyone because of its triggering nature, the way these two children see the world is so unique.  I loved exploring the world through their eyes, and learning to trust the things that most of us take for granted.  The writing is beautiful, the characters are absolute perfection and the story is one that stuck with me long after I'd savoured the final pages.

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

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3/1/17

February Wrap-up!


The Books

Books Read: 4 (Forever or a Long, Long Time, Wires and Nerve, A Darker Shade of Magic, Station Eleven)
A much quieter reading month, but I started back at school and have been trying to figure out a way to balance it all.  Plus, I took my time and savoured ADSOM and LOVED IT.

Books Acquired: 4 (Wires and Nerve, A Darker Shade of Magic, A Little Life, A Gathering of Shadows)
Two Chapters trips this month -- oops -- plus a pre-order.

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +1 (can I count Wires and Nerve?  I think so.)
TBR Challenge: +1 (Station Eleven)
Flights of Fantasy: +2 (Wires and Nerve, A Darker Shade of Magic)

I still need to switch gears and focus on some series books and my TBR challenge, but I am proud of myself for already reading three of the ten fantasy books that I had planned to read this year!

The Blog

I started to write that it was a quiet month on the blog, and then remembered that I participated in the Love-a-thon this month, so it was actually quite busy!  I won't link up all the posts, just my introductory post.  This was my second year participating and I had a ton of fun, although I got sick halfway through the weekend, so I didn't get to do as much on Sunday as I had hoped.  I also read and reviewed my first book of poetry since my university days, The Princess Saves Herself in This One.  I loved The Hate U Give as much as I had hoped that I would!  I'm also looking forward to Novel Cravings' month-long readathon All the Short Ones, and planning to catch up a bit with my TBR pile challenge.

 The Other Stuff

OK, seriously, how is it March already?  I have a feeling that this is going to be the question that I ask each and every month -- time is just flying.

The highlight of the month, by far, was celebrating Marko's fourth birthday.  I should have shared a birthday post on the blog, but it was such an emotional week for me.  He came down with a low-grade fever the day before his birthday, and then I was a MESS at work the next day, worrying about him.  My co-worker offered me a ride home mid-day and I gratefully accepted, just feeling like I needed some Mama-Marko time.  I absolutely loved the afternoon that we spent together, just playing and hanging out.  He knew that I'd come home early as a special treat, and it was absolute bliss.  Next year, I'm definitely taking his birthday as a holiday from work -- I just felt like I needed to be with him that day.  Any other mamas feel that way?

The lowlight of the month was the stomach flu.  My husband came down with it on a Thursday evening, and we both called in sick on Friday, him because he was sick and me because I was sleep-deprived after being awake with him all night.  Then early Sunday morning, I succumbed to the flu, and ended up off work Monday as well.  We were so lucky that Marko didn't catch it, as neither of us have been that sick in a long, long time.  Thankfully, we're all healthy now, and hopeful that this is the end of the flu season for our family!  As a result, yoga has taken a bit of a back seat, but hoping to get back on that train in March.

How about your?  Have you stayed healthy so far this year?  Let me know if you've read something amazing so far this year?  Thank you for stopping by =)


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2/28/17

The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

This book first appeared on my radar after Jaime @ The Perpetual Page-Turner tweeted that she'd finished reading it and wanted to know if anyone else had because she was dying to talk about it.  I love books that make me instantly want to discuss them, so I searched it out on Edelweiss.  Plus, any book that Jaime enjoys is almost a definite win for me as well, so I went into this one with the highest of expectations.  The bookish hype is fully deserved for this book.

I was sucked in from page one and read this book in TWO DAYS.  TWO DAYS.  I have a full time job, an almost four year old and a big house that takes forever to clean.  Plus I'm kind of hooked on the new season of The Bachelor.  That doesn't leave a lot of time to read these days, but I shoved all of my other obligations aside one weekend and absolutely devoured this book.  Bathrooms can be cleaned later, right?

The characters were so strong in this book.  Starr's family was one of my favourite parts of this story.  Everyone was so real and genuine that I felt like I was sitting around their living room, living the story alongside these characters.  And the story, what a story.  It is especially fitting that I'm writing this review on the day that Trump is officially sworn in as the President, while the entire world holds its collective breath and waits to see what will happen next.  This story addresses racism and self-identity and fitting into a pre-determined place in society and socio-economic differences and what it means to assume things about others.  It's a total issue book, but it tackles all these issues in such a powerful way that I never felt that I was being preached to, the way other issue books have felt to me in the past.

In short, this is a book that captured my heart and wouldn't let go, long after I'd finished the last page.  I will definitely be buying a physical copy for my shelves, and it's a book that I will reread for sure.  If you're looking for a book that will change you for the better, add this one to your TBR.  If Trump does what he plans to do, we're going to need to continue to love one another and this book will teach the world how to love, one page at a time.

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not affect my opinion of this book in any way.


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2/22/17

All the Short Ones Readathon


I love the idea of readathons, but it's hard for me to participate because, on average, I read about a book a week, not seven.  So when my friend Jessica @ Novel Cravings told me that she was holding a month long readathon, I was immediately intrigued.  Now this is the type of readathon that I can get behind -- a whole month to read books, and the focus is on short books!  Without any further ado, here's my TBR pile...

1. The Tiger Rising
2. Freak the Mighty
3. The Passion
4. Milk and Honey
5. For One More Day
6. Exit, Pursued by a Bear
7. A Little Something Different
8. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
9. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore
10. I Shall Be Near to You
11. Little Knife
12. Too Clever Fox
13. The Beedle & the Bard
14. Half-Blood

I doubt that I can read 14 books in a month, but we'll see.  If I can, it would be awesome, as all 14 would count towards my TBR challenge since I've had them on my TBR piles for a while.  Five of them are e-books, which would reduce my e-book TBR (one of my 2017 reading resolutions) and one of the books is on my 17 books to read in 2017 list.

If you're interesting in joining this readathon, head on over to Novel Cravings for more info!

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2/19/17

Mini Challenge #8 - On the Road

Last mini challenge of the Love-a-thon -- how fast did this weekend go by?  I have a hot cup of tea, Station Eleven and the couch calling my name, so this is going to be short-ish.

In my perfect road trip, Morgan Matson would have prepared all of the road trip mixes.  Amy & Roger's Epic Detour holds a special place in my heart, as it's the one book that I've read that perfectly, PERFECTLY pairs music and literature.  In fact, I bet someone has the soundtrack to that book on Spotify, which is the perfect excuse for a re-read.  *checks Spotify*  Yup, there totally is a playlist.  This is going on my summer TBR pile for sure.

So, Morgan's in the backset because we have an iPod with a long auxiliary cable so she doesn't need to be in the passenger seat.  In the passenger seat we have Macy from The Truth About Forever because she's serious and studious and would map-wield like nobody's business.  And because she started the book off quiet and serious, but learned how to open up and relax a little, which is what she's going to learn on our road trip as well.

And finally, the second body in the backseat is Dana from Fireworks because she needed to get out of town with someone who is not Olivia and I can be her ticket out.  You'll have to wait for my review in April to hear the rest, but Dana was the stand-out character in this book for me.

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Mini-Challenge #7 - Let Me Sing You a Love Song

Music and reading are my two biggest hobbies, and I have really struggled with this post.  I love so many books, and so many songs that pairing the two was almost impossible.  BUT, I think I've come up with a few good ones.


To Auggie from Wonder...All of Me - John Legend
Wonder is all about appreciating inner beauty and looking past physical imperfections.  Even though this is a romantic song, the lyric "Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections" always reminds me of this incredible book.


To Celeana from Throne of Glass...Unstoppable by Sia
This is my theme song these days.  Whenever I'm feeling a little low, I just crank this up and it gets rid of the blues instantly.  I love the growl in her voice, and the lyrics "I'm so powerful, I don't need batteries to play."


Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury...Quit Playing Games with My Heart by The Backstreet Boys
I wasn't the biggest fan of Rhysand in ACOTAR, but he stole my heart in the sequel.  And I'm not a bookish crush kind of girl.  Usually I answer those questions with "I don't have one."  But this worries me, because I wonder if he's going to be one of those love to hate and hate to love characters, and I'm going to end up despising him.  Maybe this song should be dedicated to Sarah J. Maas?

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Mini-Challange #6 - Valentine's Care Package

If I had the opportunity to send a Valentine's Care Package, I would send one to Hermione at Hogwarts.  Since we're both fellow bookworms, I'd include a couple of books that I'd read and loved, and just knew that she'd enjoy them too.  I'd include a cute little notebook and a pen, since she'll either be writing down her thoughts on the books or journalling a little.  There would also be some cute little magnetic bookmarks because there's NO WAY that Hermione would dog ear her books.  Nuh uh.

With all that reading and writing, I'd also include some earl grey tea and a cutesy bookish mug.  With all those and cold snowy nights at Hogwarts, Hermione must have curled up with a cup of tea on many occasions.  No good cup of tea is complete without nibble of some delectable dark chocolate.  I'd include a bar of dark chocolate that has a hint of strawberries, because my OTSP Secret Sister sent me this chocolate two rounds ago, and I can't stop buying it.  It is my new favourite thing ever.  I'd enclose a pack of thick, cozy reading socks since Hogwarts must be cold and drafty, and cuddly socks are the best for reading.

What would you send Hermione in a Valentine's Care Package?

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Mini Challenge #5 - X Meets Y

I'm not a huge movie/TV watcher.  There are not enough hours in the day to do all of the things that I love, and movies and TV often don't make the cut.

BUT, with that being said, my husband and I are Bachelor addicts and are currently hooked on finding out whether Nick ends up picking Corrinne.  Because, honestly, I think he just might.  I'm still rooting for Vanessa, because she's got a good head on her shoulders, and she's Canadian, but I also think that she's too good for him.

If you love the Bachelor too, and you haven't picked up Sally Thorne's The Hating Game -- YOU MUST.  This book has been all over the online book community, and the love and praise is well deserved.  It's smart and it's funny and it's pure chick lit perfection.  I love to hate the Bachelor (or hate to love depending on the day) and the love-hate dichotomy fits in well with this book.

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2/18/17

Mini Challenge #3 - Book Spine Poetry


Before I go to sleep, before I wake,
I shall be near to you.
The start of me and you,
The love that split the world,
The truth about forever,
Lips touch: the marriage plot.

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