Adult Fiction · Chick Lit · Contemporary · Fantasy · Random Stuff · YA

Mini Reviews August Wrap Up

This is what I read in August. . . let’s see how September goes!


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell  – I’m so excited to finally be in this world fully!  It’s hard to not see Harry Potter characters in my head while listening but I enjoyed trying to mash them up to see who is who. I loved it, and I loved what I think were small references to a few other author’s books. Nice to see Levi’s coffee creation lives on. 5/5

Ice Planet Barbarian Honeymoon by Ruby Dixon – Did I do the two month free trial of kindle unlimited to keep reading these? SIGH. MAYBE. It’s interesting enough to continue that’s for sure. This was just a quick inbetween story. 3/5


Rise of the Witch by C. Rochelle – This is a reverse harem surrounding Baba Yaga lore that I heard about through tiktok, the author popped up on my FYP.  When you see RH you think one thing but there was an actual story here and it was really good! The writing wasn’t as great though so I think I’ll stop here in the series. 4/5


It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey (audio)- This is my first book by Ms Bailey but it will absolutely not be my last.  The male lead is an example of why you shouldn’t settle.  WOWZA.  It moved fast but the story was great and the characters were likeable; fair warning the audio isn’t something I’d listen to without headphones.  Can’t wait to read Hannah and Fox’s story! 4/5


The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (audio) – I’ve listened to Daring Greatly at least five times so far but have never listened to this one.  I feel like I pick up something new with each listen of her books and this one I think will be the same (I will definitely have to relisten).  While I fully understand and agree with her thoughts I still can’t make myself follow her advice out of fear.  5/5


Neon Gods by Katee Robert (audio) – Another new to me author, though I’m not sure if this was a rec by a friend or something I found on TIktok too.  I know I see the author on my FYP so anything is possible.  This was a “spicy” retelling of Hades and Persephone.  It wasn’t a bad story, but something was missing for me.  I’ll probably continue with the series though.  3/5


The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson (audio) – This was my favorite in the series by far!  Loved the mystery in it and most of it was a complete surprise.  BUT. . .while I’m aware of Stevie being a teen I feel like Stevie made absolutely no growth or learned a single thing from the main series.  A lot of selfish things were done and I wasn’t a fan.  I feel like everyone else grew overall though.  I also think it would have been a little better reading versus audio, the narrator’s interpretation of the male voices threw me a bit. 4/5


Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher (audio) – I’d been wanting to read this one for a long time.  Something about it told me it would be special.  Grief is hard and it is unique to every single person.  It was a wonderful and heartbreaking book though it read more like I was reading a Nicholas Sparks novel.  I wouldn’t ever think of a teen speaking like these characters.  4/5


Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – This one is from my 12/12 (but really 13) recommendations from friends.  I’ll have more on that post but overall it was a quick and cute read.  3/5


Giant Days Volume 10 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – It took forever for my library to order these and I’ve been reading as they come in.  Such a cute series, I love Susan and McGraw. 4/5


Giant Days Volume 11 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – Cute as always.  Fingers crossed for Ed! 3/5


Giant Days Volume 12 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – I know things arecoming to an end and I’m sad.  This is by far one of the cutest graphic novel series I’ve ever picked up.  4/5

Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert (audio) – Another 12/12 read from friends.  The narrators was very monotone to me at normal speed so I had to speed it up.  Fun fact – before I started reading this book I’d found book two without realizing this was a series and that I’d found book two, LOL.  A cute but awkward read. 3/5  


If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy (audio) – This was a bout of books choice.  This was a hard one to rate.  I loved the story overall and the audio – it gave me Beauty Queens from Libba Bray vibes but on the other hand I HATE the premise of The Bachelor.  The idea of a group of women fighting over one man makes me want to punch a wall.  You only see from Cindy’s POV as well so you just have to hope Henry’s intentions are pure.  I almost went with 3 stars on this one but there was a letter written by someone near the end that had me crying.  4/5


The Comfort Book by Matt Haig – A self-help/inspirational book about when you are feeling low and need a pick me up.  It’s definitely worth a look.  3/5


Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – This was a book I carried around for a long time, never opened, and when I finally sat down to read I was mad at myself for waiting so long.  I think the size was more off putting than anything but it moved quickly.  Glad I already have book two ready to go! 4/5


Rat Queens Volume 8 The God Dilemma by Ryan Ferrier, Moritat, Casy Silver, Priscilla Petraites, & Marco Lesko – To be completely honest I’m completely lost to the storyline of this series.  I have no idea what is going on anymore but I’m going to keep reading.  3/5

Uncategorized

Mini Reviews/July Wrap Up

I haven’t read much this month, there has been a lot going on work wise and family wise.  I have decided I need to start writing again on some level so to ease myself into reviews again we are going to try for 1-3 mini review posts each month.  I’m not going to set an exact number in case I move on to full reviews or read one book and don’t post till the end of the month but either way I want to share what I’m reading and what I thought!  

Gideon Falls Volume 5:  Wicked Worlds by Jeff Lemire/Andrea Sorrentino – This story has turned dramatically, I don’t think I saw anything happening coming, and I honestly don’t know where it is going anymore.  3/5


Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon (audio) – Once I got past the quite horrible opening (not the writing, the acts happening) it actually was a fun story and not as steamy as booktok made it out to be.  Maybe that’s in later books?  I’d continue with the series.  3/5


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (audio) – This was a reread via audio to read the Carry On series.  Still adorable, still love it.  5/5


Fangirl Vol 1:  The Manga by Rainbow Rowell, adapted by Sam Maggs/Gabi Nam – Just another version of the above.  Adorable.  5/5


Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne (audio) – This is the second book I’ve read by Sally and it was pretty cute, there were multiple secondary characters I’d love to know more about, I hope we can revisit this setting again! 3/5

The Dead Mom’s Club by Kate Spencer – The second I knew this book existed I requested it from the library.  Every single person goes through grief differently but being another member of the Dead Mom’s Club in a somewhat similar way to the author helped me in feeling validated in how I grieve.  This made me feel more normal than I have in quite some time.  5/5


Lumberjanes Vol 17:  Smitten in the Stars and Vol 18:  Horticultural Horizons by Shannon Watters – These are like reading a friendly hug.  The adventures the Janes get up to are always entertaining.  3/5

What about you? What did you read in July?

Fantasy · retelling · Sci-Fi · SERIES · YA · YA Series

Winter by Marissa Meyer

WINTER by Marissa Meyer

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long. 
Other books in series:  Cinder, Scarlet, Cress
Source:  audio via library 

SPOILER WARNING:  Being as this is the fourth book in a series I want to make it clear there will be spoiler moving forward in some way no matter how small.  If you haven’t read the series STOP HERE!

OVERALL THOUGHTS:

I know I procrastinate on final books in series but I dropped the ball on this one big time.  I first had to go back and reread via audio books 1-3 to refresh my memory of past books.

I think one of my favorite things about this series is that Ms Meyer finds a great balance of characters.  While one book is supposed to be about certain character there were so many other throwbacks to past books and their events that I never felt like anyone was forgotten along the way.  They were all main characters and though Winter wasn’t centered on Cress or Cinder (examples only – not playing favorites I swear!) they were still very much a huge part of Winter’s story and I loved that.  I definitely want to remain as spoiler free as possible for everyone but I can admit it did not end the way I thought which shocks me because I’ve gotten pretty good at guessing the outcomes, but I still have Stars Above to read so I’m curious if what I was imagining could still happen. . .

I did read this via audio (the hardback is massive!) so there was a small drawback for me on that because I wasn’t a huge fan of the narrator but more so for the voice she gave Winter.  It was hard to imagine her being a teen when it felt like the voice was of a 5-6 year old.

Story wise though?  I would love a whole spin off series centering on Thorne and Cress though  They are an absolute delight and I think there would be so many adventures they could get up to, so many new experiences for Cress, and I’d just love to check in with everyone

Such a wonderful and heart wrenching conclusion to a unique series.  There was loss, but also hope given and with hope anything is possible.

5/5

 

for everyone · Holiday Stuff · Let's Celebrate!

Inaugural Boo Box Barter

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

 

Hello and Happy Fall!!

As you may or may not have seen over on twitter I was wishing for someone to host what I’ve been calling a “spooky season” or fall exchange.  After thinking about it for a bit I decided to give it a go myself!  This is truly my favorite time of year and I know so many others enjoy it too so I wanted to see if y’all might want to participate . . . and the majority said yes!  (Cue I’m so excited!! a la Jessie Spano.) So let’s get started on the first (annual?). . .

BOO BOX BARTER

I’m a sucker for alliteration what can I say?

So do you love Spooky season?  Is Halloween your favorite holiday?  Dress mainly in black (the color of your heart)?  Love skulls, witches, or follow Doth the Doth and wonder how he is so hot?  WELCOME, you are among friends!!

Or maybe that isn’t your scene and you are more into scarves, knee high boots, seasonal Starbucks drinks (Salted caramel FTW!), love football, tailgating, baking, etc?  Love a world where there are Octobers?  WELCOME.  Any and everyone who loves fall and anything that it encompasses are welcome to participate!

Now, for a few rules.  (I know, but there is always at least one bad egg.)

RULES

Since this is the inaugural exchange I’m going to keep it US only.  I’m sorry international friends but being as I’m getting this started later than I’d like and I’m not sure how participation will turn out I think that will help us get a base.  If the exchange goes well I will 100% guarantee to offer an international option next pass.  I do have another exchange I was hoping to start in July next year but again the first will be US only to get started if it gets off the ground.  Look at it this way – we can work out all the kinks before you join and make it that much easier for you!

*  Exchange will be US only

* Sign ups will run from NOW (YAY!!!) till Tuesday October 22 at 5:00pm/c.  I’m hoping to have everyone sorted within a day or two after so that way if anyone is more into the spooky side of things everyone has a little time before Halloween items are gone from the shelves.  If the swap goes well I plan on moving up the timeframe next year to give more time for my fellow spooky friends.

*  You must be willing to commit to mailing a package in the group you sign up for.  Failure to do so will result in a ban in any exchange moving forward.  There will be two groups to choose from so please think before signing up.

*  You must be active in the book community on some level.  Whether it twitter, Instagram, or your actual blog you must be active somewhere that we can verify.  Now you do not have to have a blog to participate – just be active among friends!  We will be checking to make sure so please make sure we can see your profiles.  I do not have a facebook so that is not an option for verification.

*  Try and provide a contact.  Obviously this is a loose rule. . .we’d like for you to give someone and I will specify here that the buddy should be someone active on one of these social media options as well so that your giver should feel they can trust to understand if help if needed but if you don’t have someone we won’t deny your participation.  Just know your survey is all they will have to work with and you might be short changing how awesome you are!

*  Failure to answer all questions will result in you being removed from the exchange so please fill out the survey in full!  Please email your completed survey to us at gonepecanla@gmail.com with your group number and “Boo Box Barter” as the subject.  I will do my best to respond that it was received and you have been verified.

*  Tracking will be REQUIRED and you will need to email that number to us once mailed.  I will be keeping all tracking information for reference.  Direct shipments from amazon, etc will not be allowed.  This is supposed to be a box you made specifically with someone else in mind, someone out there is making the same effort for you!

* Follow the deadline to mail.  All packages should be mailed no later than Wednesday November 13th.  I don’t want this exchange to interfere with any Christmas exchange.  This is a fall exchange which for me covers Halloween and Thanksgiving times, not Christmas.  Please do your best to commit to this time frame but I understand things may come up.  Please contact me immediately if you might be a little late and why so that I can let your person know they haven’t been forgotten.

*  Thank your giver.  We are asking that if you want to chat on twitter to use the hashtag #booboxbarter.  As of right now we are not planning a chat since it is a quick turnaround but please use the tag to help each other out, ask more questions, share hints if you want, and to thank your giver!  If doing a post on your blog or a post on Instagram please use the same tag in your post!  It is always nice to share and I’d love to get the word out so we can do this swap again next year.

Ok!  I THINK that is it for the rules so without further ado here is the survey for the BOO BOX BARTER!

Photo by Andrés Gómez on Unsplash

SURVEY

1. Please provide your complete shipping address.  Remember US only this go!

2.  Which do you prefer, Spooky Season or Fall in general?  Maybe a healthy mix of both?  (I will do my best to pair with someone who loves the same things you do to help but no promises!)

3.  Age.  Are you over or under 18?  Both are welcome as long as you can meet all other requirements for cost and time frames.  If you want to provide your exact age I will do my best to match you to someone close that might share more with you but I’d never require they provide their exact age. 🙂

4.  Links to your social media, blog, etc.  What platform do you use the most?

5.  Contact – who is your person?  You can provide a social media link or direct email, whatever they are ok with but again please make sure it is someone in the community on some level and that they are aware you are making them a contact.  If you do not have contact you must clearly state you do not and again understand your person is relying strictly on what was written and what you show online.

6.  Which group would you like to participate in?  We have two to choose from:

  • Group 1 – Price is $15 – $20.  This cost does NOT include shipping and you should have at least one book plus a minimum of one goodie, etc.
  • Group 2 – Price is $25 and up.  This cost does NOT include shipping and should have at least two books plus a minimum of 2-3 goodies, etc.

7.  Wish lists – Please provide a either a link to (must be public!) a wish list dedicated to this swap or a list of titles below.  If you use a shared wish list or a list you purchase from you could end up with doubles and that wouldn’t be fair to your partner.   I’m asking that if you sign up for group one please provide a minimum of five books and if you sign up for group two please provide at least ten titles.  These titles should be books that have already been released.  You can include ARC titles as well but they do not count towards these requirements.  Not everyone has access to ARCs and they should not be expected.  If you certain book preferences please include that here as well (hardback, verses paperback).  Used books are allowed but must be in good condition.

8.  A few of your favorite things.  What are the things you love most about fall/spooky season?  Favorite scents?  Collections?  Favorite authors?  Maybe you have a genre of books you love to read at this time of year?  There are no wrong answers!  The more info you give your person the more chances of you getting the best box possible.

9.  Lagniappe.  Down south we have a word for a little bit extra.  You guessed it – it’s lagniappe. (Lan-yap) So did I forget something that you want to include?  Add it here!

QUICK RECAP:

US Only at this time

Sign ups are from the start of this post till Tuesday October 22 at 5:00pm/c

Must provide tracking to the gals at GP by deadline for mailing, end of day Wednesday November 13. EMAIL:  gonepecanla@gmail.com

So if you have further questions feel free to email directly or reach out to me (Kristina) on twitter – my DMs are open there.  I will do my best to respond as quickly as possible!

Contemporary · Guest Post/Interview · YA

The Way You Make Me Feel – Blog Tour: Guest Post – Favorite Food Trucks

Welcome to the first stop on the blog tour for. . .

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo 

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? 

Continue reading “The Way You Make Me Feel – Blog Tour: Guest Post – Favorite Food Trucks”

Addresses Issues/Diverse · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance Challenge 2016 · Diverse Characters · YA

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

SOURCE:  ARC via fellow blogger (Thanks!)

 

Continue reading “Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West”

Addresses Issues/Diverse · Contemporary · Diverse Characters · POC Author · YA

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

SOURCE: finished copy

Continue reading “Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi”

Addresses Issues/Diverse · Children/Middle Grade · for everyone

What the World Needs Now Is Love

What the World Needs Now Is Love by Burt Bacharach, Hal David, and Kate McDevitt

With its soothing lyrics and calming tones, “What the World Needs Now Is Love” has become a beloved song worldwide since its release in 1965. Now, for the first time ever, these captivating lyrics are in book form accompanied by gorgeous illustrations, and perfectly packaged with a ribbon enclosure.

Both a reminder of the importance of love and a call to make the world a better place, this book is the perfect gift for anyone you care about–or for yourself when you need some gentle comfort.

SOURCE:  finished copy sent from publisher (Thank you!

Continue reading “What the World Needs Now Is Love”

Fantasy · Sci-Fi · SERIES · YA · YA Series

A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle

A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle

Just before Meg Murry’s little brother, Charles Wallace, falls deathly ill, he sees dragons in the vegetable garden. The dragons turn out to be Proginoskes, a cherubin composed of wings and eyes, wind and flame. It is up to Meg and Proginoskes, along with Meg’s friend Calvin, to save Charles Wallace’s life. To do so, they must travel deep within Charles Wallace to attempt to defeat the Echthroi – those who hate – and restore brilliant harmony and joy to the rhythm of creation, the song of the universe.

SOURCE:  finished copy borrowed from library Continue reading “A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle”

Fantasy · Magical Realism · YA

The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Glaser

The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Glaser

Emma is used to things going her way. Her father is headmaster of her prestigious boarding school, her friends take her advice as gospel, and she’s convinced that a relationship with her long-time crush is on the horizon. 

As it turns out, Emma hasn’t seen anything yet. When she finds an old book in an abandoned library, things really start going Emma’s way: anything she writes in the book comes true. 

But the power of the book is not without consequences, and Emma soon realizes that she isn’t the only one who knows about it. Someone is determined to take it from her—and they’ll stop at nothing to succeed.

A new boy in school—the arrogant, aloof, and irritatingly handsome Darcy de Winter—becomes Emma’s unlikely ally as secrets are revealed and danger creeps ever closer.

SOURCE:  ARC via publisher for review (Thanks!)

Continue reading “The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Glaser”