Tuesday, August 13, 2019

July and August Books

I didn't read a lot at the end of June an into July so I skipped the last Show Us Your Books link up with Steph and Jana, but I wanted to pop in (late) today to share the last couple of months of reads! You can also follow along on my Bookstagram  where I show how many unread books I have on my new shelf and what I'm actually reading in semi real time!

Since there's quite a few this month, I won't go into full details on every single one or you'd be here way too long when you should be reading ;)

Little Girls Sleeping // Jennifer Chase 
NetGalley eARC 
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Fiction/Mystery
Challenge: N/A 

I enjoyed this book! It's definitely more of a police procedural than a thriller but it's well written and I can't wait to find out more about Katie in the coming books!

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The Swallows // Lisa Lutz 
NetGalley eARC Rating: 4/5
Genre: Fiction
Challenge: N/A

It took me a little bit to get into this book during the story set up, but once I did, I was hooked! The story is a little far fetched in the premise because there are about 5 adults and hundreds of students in a boarding school, but I liked the story being told about the toxic culture that is still pervasive and needs to be stopped. I kept waiting to figure out what the big twist was going to be - I didn't guess it and I thought it was really well done and truly made sense for story being told. I will definitely recommend this book!

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Once a Liar // A.F. BradyPhysical copy from publisher Rating: 4/5
Genre: Mystery/Fictin 
Challenge: N/A 

When I first started this book, I was nervous because holy, wow, what a terrible, unlikeable narrator! Typically, if the narrator is super unlikeable, I struggle to enjoy the book but that was NOT the case with this book!A.F. Brady created a great story around Peter Caine, a defense attorney in Manhattan who is just terrible to everyone in his life. Peter is not a great person, but does that mean he's a murderer?! That's the question laid out in Once a Liar. I loved playing "who dunnit" and trying to figure out if Peter was just terrible enough to have murdered his mistress who is also the daughter of his professional rival.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone // JK Rowling 
Duh, I own this. Illustrated version. 
Rating: 5/5
Genre: Fantasy
Challenge: Popsugar - a book that makes you nostalgic

I mean, what is there to say? Ha. I am rereading the series right now!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets // JK Rowling 
Duh, I own this. Illustrated version. 
Rating: 5/5
Genre: Fantasy
Challenge: Popsugar - a book inspired by myth/legend/folklore 


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One Little Secret // Cate Holanan
Physical ARC 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Mystery 
Challenge: N/A 

This was a page turner! I thought the premise was kind of weird -- because who goes on vacation with people you don't really know but it really set up a fun "who dunnit" that I couldn't put down and they ended up knowing each other more than you first realize. There were a few characters that I really hated and just kept hoping they would get what was coming to them and I wasn't disappointed. This is a fast paced, great summer thriller!


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine // Gail Honeyman
Own - used book store find 
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Fiction
Challenge: July Book Club

I know this book is so adored and I liked the second half of the book but the first part was so hard for me to get into it. The plot felt so slow at times and I was dragging myself to finish in time for book club and barely finished it! I can see how others really enjoy it so don't let my lukewarm review dissuade  you if its on your list!
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The Wedding Party // Jasmine Guillory 
Library 
Rating: 3.5/4
Genre: Contemporary romance
Challenge: N/A

This was my least favorite out of all of Jasmine's books but I still enjoyed it! There were some parts that seemed a little less believable than some of her other books (like, the couple orders more pizza that I've ever seen in my life.. all of which are "specialty" pizzas and definitely not the 7.99 take out deal at Pizza Hut). It was also fun to see events of the other books portrayed through the eyes of what are the main characters here but were side characters in the other books!

Everything, Everything // Nicola Yoon 
Library 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Young Adult
Challenge: August Book Club

Oh, gosh I loved this! I read The Sun is Also a Star earlier this year so when we were picking August's book club I quickly suggested this one! I really liked this one, too, and I kind of guessed the twist but was still shocked when I was right! I really want to watch both of these movies this weekend!

Ask Again, Yes // Mary Beth Keane 
BOTM pick for June 
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Fiction
Challenge: Erin's - a book with a picture of a building

I really did enjoy this book and it's a wonderful look at life and the challenges it brings as you grow up. I liked the way it flipped between perspectives and years but I found some years/perspectives to be a little slower. Maybe if it wasn't so hyped on Instagram, I would have had lower expectations and therefore given it a higher rating! 
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Currently Reading: 

The Year I Left //Christine Brae
The Two Lila Bennetts // Liz Fenton 
The Island of Sea Women // Lisa See (when will I throw in the towel on this audio book...) 

Currently Checked Out from the Library: 

Dare to Lead// Brene Brown
Little Lovely Things / / Maureen Joyce Connolly
One True Loves // Taylor Jenkins Reid 
 

August's Book Club: 

Everything, Everything


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. 

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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. 

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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! 

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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. 

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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. 

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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!

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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!

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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! 

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