Tuesday, June 11, 2019

June Books: A Little Underwhelming

I feel like I'm in a little bit of a reading slump because I have been busy with life and haven't been able to read as much. Then, this weekend, I had almost a whole day to read and I just wanted to veg in front of the TV which I never do. But, I caught up on a lot of shows, obsessed over the new Jonas Brothers documentary and watched some romcoms on Netflix and ended the weekend feeling refreshed so I'm cool with it! 

NetGalley eARC 
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Fiction
Challenge: N/A 

Honestly, I can barely remember what this book was about and I read it less than a month ago. So, that tells you how I feel about it, I guess. I felt like the main character was too unbelievable that it was hard to root for her throughout the story. 

44091295

Physical Copy - Thrift Store
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Thriller
Challenge: N/A 

I picked this one up at the used book store and realized it was part of a larger series and I had bought the first and last one of the "mini series" within the larger series. So I read this and then checked out the middle one (review below) so I could read them all in order. This one introduces you to Flora Dane and delves into her back story. I really enjoyed this and devoured it so quickly. 

25644437

Audiobook - Scribd
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Thriller
Challenge: N/A 

Bookstagram has been loving this book so I decided to listen to it via Scribd. Sadly, that is the glitchy-est app ever and I've had to end my membership since I haven't even been able to listen to the books I download but I was able to finally make it through this one and it was good! 

I had really figured out one of the book's twists, but the second one (and the last line!!) did really surprise me. When the last line was read I literally shouted "WHAT"to my Google home. Definitely recommend this one and I enjoyed the audiobook version if that's your thing! 

39796904

Library Book
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Fiction
Challenge: N/A 

This was the second Flora Dane story from Lisa Gardner and I really enjoyed this one, too! I loved getting to read more about Flora and how she is continuing to grow and heal from her past. I will say I liked Find Her a little more, but that doesn't mean I disliked this one. Look for Me tells the story of Roxy and her family. Except her whole family has been murdered and she's on the run. Did she do it? Or is she running from someone? I literally never guessed who it was which means it's a good book. 

35106781

Library Book
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Suspense?
Challenge: N/A 

Again, Bookstagram really wanted me to love this book and I did not. I thought the "twist" wasn't really a twist and there were plentyyyy of clues that you told you the truth. But, it was a well written story and I liked the author's style. So all in all, if you don't read many thrillers, you'll enjoy this one. But if you're like me, you'll be rushing through it so you can get to the next book. 

36212848

NetGalley eARC 
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Fiction
Challenge: N/A 

It took me a few tries to get into this book, but once I did, I really wanted to know where it was going to go. I liked that when it switched perspectives, we got a look at what the other character was thinking in key moments without having to fully rehash them from their perspective so that was very refreshing! I had a lot of ideas around the "twist" but I didn't really see it coming until the last two chapters so overall, it kept me guessing which I really like! Overall, not my most favorite thriller ever, but definitely glad I read it and I would recommend it for those who don't read a lot of thrillers!

46038280

NetGalley eARC 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Fiction
Challenge: N/A 

I was originally declined this ARC when I first requested it but was SO excited to get a follow up email with a copy a week ago! I dove right in. 

I LOVED Riley Sager's other two books - with Final Girls being my favorite thriller that I am constantly recommending - so I had really built this book up in my head and was so excited to read it. It didn't necessarily let me down, but it was my least favorite out of his three books. I definitely wanted to know what was going on and did not at all guess the truth - but I think that's because it felt a little out of left field when it was first introduced. I really enjoyed the way the story was told alternating between "now" with Jules in a hospital to the last 5 days leading up to her accident. Overall, it's a good book and I will absolutely suggest people read it, but don't except the same level of intensity as Final Girls. Rated a 3.5 so rounding up to 4!

41837243


Currently Checked Out from the Library: 

Nothing! I've bought so many books recently from used book stores and I've got a couple of physical ARCs that just arrived!

June's Book Club: 


As always, linking up with Jana and Steph!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

May Exhaustion Leads to June Napping

Whew. I won't lie, I LOVE May but I am exhausted at the end of it. So much so that we're 6 days into June and I just now had the energy to recap May and plan out June goals!

There were so many good things in May:
- Barre teacher training
- I got to celebrate my birthday with friends in between trainings
- Taught my first 5 barre classes!
- Hosted our housewarming party and finally hung all our pictures
- Spent 3 very full, fun days with my best friend in Chicago!
- Had a perfect, very relaxing Memorial Day weekend in Cville

I also did a pretty good job of reaching May's goals!

Read 6 books. I read 10! You can see this post on Instagram for a list and see a few reviews on this post with the rest to come next week!
Read all current ARCs on NetGalley. Nope. I did try on this one, but also others books called to me. I got 3 read and my favorite was Red, White and Royal Blue which is now published and I sung praises for on Instagram and in my last book post. I have now received a couple real books as ARCs that will need to get read and reviewed soon!

Host housewarming party. Done! And it was so well. It was so fun to have barre friends, BumbleBFF friends, internet friends and of course, my best friend there to hang out together. Thankfully everyone liked it each other and the rain didn't stop us from having a great time. So much so, I don't have a single picture from it.

Gain 75 more #bookstagram followers. Done! I'm currently sitting 130 higher than I was on May 1 and have received some "real" ARCs as a result!

Complete barre teacher training. Done!! I am officially on the schedule for 6 AM on Wednesday and 8 AM on Saturday through the summer (schedules change seasonally)!

Now onward to June. I'm looking forward to June because we don't have a lot scheduled as of right now and I want to just play in Cville, hang out with friends, teach barre, eat a lot of watermelon, kayak and lay by the pool.

Read 6 books.You know, the standing goal that I always blow past. 

Start Harry Potter Christmas Tree. In our basement, I'm turning our "bonus room" area into our nerd room and that includes a Harry Potter Christmas tree. Just wait til you see it! 

Finish current ARCs for NetGalley. I've got 6 as of right now and I really need to finish and review them to get my score up so I can keep requesting! 

75 more Bookstagram followers. Slowly but surely chugging along over there. I LOVE Bookstagram so much and I LOVE getting to read new books for free. 

Go kayaking at least once. We tried to go last weekend and shockingly, it rained. Like it has since the middle of September. So fingers crossed for us, please. 

Set up office at home. My work office is moving downtown in two weeks, so I am going to be utilizing my home office a little bit more. And, it's a total eyesore right now because its the only room still full of crap! 

Plan a weekend to go to Charlotte. We are looking to go back for a weekend in July to see our besties and our parents/grandparents since we haven't seen them in awhile. We also have some stuff in my grandparent's garage we need to get. 

Hang pictures. We need some new frames to hang the last 5 pictures! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

May Reading: The Best Love Story Ever

Wow, I have somehow read 12 books since the last linkup and that time has included my birthday, barre instructor training and a housewarming party. I am shocked. If you get nothing from these reviews today except read Red, White and Royal Blue immediately, I'll be happy.

Also, feel free to follow along on Bookstagram where I post everything I'm reading in real-ish time with reviews :) All links are to Goodreads so you can read others' reviews and add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Verity // Colleen Hoover
Amazon Ebook 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Thriller 
Challenge: N/A

I kept hearing about how twisted this book was and I just really needed to read it. I had a free trial of Kindle Unlimited and since this book is self published, you can only get it through Amazon but it was totally worth the read! Definitely dark and twisted and I stayed up way too late reading it! Highly recommend if you like thrillers.
41957126
The Evidence of the Affair // Taylor Jenkins Reid
Amazon Ebook
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Short Story 
Challenge: Popsugar - a book with no chapters/ unusual chapter headings/ unconventionally numbered chapters

I also kept hearing about this one and I just wasn't blown away? It's told solely as letters between two individuals who find out their significant others are having an affair with each other. It just didn't end up going the way I thought and we spent a lot of time in the weeds. That's the best way to put it so as not to spoil it! It's a super quick read, though, since it's a short story and is also on Kindle Unlimited!
41715227
The Proposal // Jasmine Guillory
Library Ebook 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Romance
Challenge: Popsugar - book with a two-word title (I had another book here that I'm still planning to read but it fit, so why not check it off?) 

I loved The Wedding Date so I had high hopes for this one, too! If you've read The Wedding Date, you'll definitely recognize Carlos in this book. I loved Carlos so I was happy to join him on his love journey, too. If you want to be totally surprised when reading The Wedding Date, read that one first, because this one isn't a sequel, but you do find out how the other ends. Her next book, The Wedding Party, comes out this summer and I'm sure it'll be great, too. These are such feel good books! 
37584991
Book of the Month Club 
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Thriller
Challenge: N/A

Not really my cup of tea. I waffled between a 2 and a 3 and ended up with a 3 star because there were some twists right at the end but overall, the book was slow. It's told in alternating points of view - which I do really enjoy, especially in thrillers - but you find out the "truth" pretty early in the book and the twist didn't do enough to save that, in my opinion.
40390756
Scribd Ebook and Library Book 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Nonfiction
Challenge: Erin's - book that was a Newberry Award winner (medal winner or honor book)

I ended up listening to most of this book via audiobook because I was short on time so maybe that was the reason I got a little lost on the names, but overall the story was heartbreaking. I am fascinated by WWII and Nazi Germany (I also HIGHLY recommend the Holocaust museum in DC) so this was heartbreaking to read about children who were used to carry out awful things for Hitler. 
93995
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Literary Fiction
Challenge: N/A

All of the cry face emojis for this book. I just cannot explain how great this book was. It tells the story of Annika and Jonathon who meet in college and then again 10 years later. The story alternates between them now in Chicago and meeting in college. Annika is on the spectrum but doesn't know or understand that so it's a brilliant story of her learning to thrive in life and also have this beautiful relationship with Jonathon. I cried a couple of times. Read it!
36117813
Rating: 4/5
Genre: YA
Challenge: N/A

I read To All the Boys I've Loved Before after watching the Netflix movie (twice...) and finally got to finish these because the hold was so long at the library! They're just so dang cute and I relate to Lara Jean a lot. I was very over the top romantic and day dreamy in high school. But, I didn't get the hot guy until college LOL.
20698530
Rating: 4/5
Genre: YA
Challenge: N/A

Again, so cute and adorable. I read the last one in less than two days. They're easy to read! They're also set in Charlottesville. And though they talked a lot about a SoulCycle that we for sure do not have, they did talk about my favorite bagel spot, Bodos so all is forgiven.
35247769
Book of the Month Club 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Thriller(ish)
Challenge: N/A

I put thriller(ish) because I thought it was a full blown thriller, but it also ended up being a story of growing up after trauma, rebuilding relationships and moving on. Yes, there's the whodunnit aspect of the murder but I was surprised by how much I liked this book even though it didn't focus on the twisty, gory aspects!
40381942
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Thriller
Challenge: N/A

I have read a few Karin Slaughter books (and I googled her and it seems like this really is her name?!) and enjoyed them. They are GORY though, so you've been warned. This one wasn't the worst of hers I've read but the serial killer's signature is rough. I really enjoyed this kick off to her Will Trent series and while reading it, I even went to a used book store and bought the next two in the series. I'm not sure if they need to be read in order, but I'm doing it. I'm also from Georgia and all her stories so far have been set there, so it's kind of cool.
21717
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Mystery?
Challenge:N/A

People on the internet love this book. I am on the fence. While I, again, thought it was more of a thriller, it was not. It's a story about a family and how they grow and relate to each other told in alternating perspectives and times. It switches between the daughter in law and mother in law from the moment they met, until the mother in law was possibly murdered. So yes, there's a mystery, but it focuses much more on relationships. Which is totally fine but I feel like there were so many "things" in this book (highlight if you don't care about seeing what they were) - ALS, infertility, refugees, money troubles, suicide, murder, infidelity and more. It was just a lot of "hot topic" issues thrown at one family that just seemed too far fetched for this type of story. 
39863405
NetGalley eARC 
Rating: 5/5
Genre: Romance 
Challenge: Booksparks SRC 2019

YAY FOR THIS BOOK! It's being published today and you absolutely must read it! I can't believe I'm rating a romance book 5 stars but here. we. are. This book has it all - politics, scandal, and most of all, a beautiful love story between the First Son of the United States (his mom is the president) and the Prince of England.

I have never read an LGBTQIA love story and I regret that choice immensely but I am trying hard to read more books and not just thrillers so this was high on my list and I'm so glad I was able to get it early! This book warmed my soul, made me laugh, cry and get chill bumps in the final chapters. I just... I want this to be the real America (it's set in the 2019/2020 election cycle) - so warm, welcoming, diverse and a freaking badass woman president who still has the same challenges of a mom! 

Ugh, just read this. Please. 
41150487

Currently Reading: 

Find Her // Lisa Gardner
The Women // S.E. Lynes (eARC) 

Currently Checked Out from the Library: 

Find Her // Lisa Gardner
The Other Woman // Sandie Jones 


May's Book Club: 

Educated // Tara Westover

As always, linking up with Jana and Steph!

Blog Design by Get Polished