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Book Reviews

Home Before Dark Book Review

Every house has a story to tell and a secret to share”

Riley Sager – Home Before Dark
5/5 Haunted Houses (stars)

Synopsis

When Maggie Holt was five years old, she and her parents spent 20 days living in Baneberry Hall, a creepy mansion with a dark past. Maggie’s father wrote a story about their days in that house, claiming it was a horror house. Maggie doesn’t remember anything and doesn’t believe a word in her dad’s “horror novel”. After her dad passes, Maggie finds that the house is now hers and she decides to go get it ready to sell. Despite her father’s final warning to Maggie to not go back, she goes to try and uncover the truth in those dark and horrifying 20 days, even if it means unburying some old ghosts.

My Thoughts

This was a much anticipated read for me and I finally got it from Book of the Month. I knew close to nothing about this book but was very intrigued by the cover and the title, so I went out on a limb and gave it a shot.

The first 40 pages or so of this book, I was a bit irritated because it was very similar to the Netflix series, the Haunting of Hill House. I read that book and the series was nothing like it…this book does a better job outlining and telling that story, that one would easily think the show is based off of this book. The haunted house, the short stay, the spooky things happening, the grounds keeper, etc., all are things that were part of the show too! However, I love a Haunting of Hill House and was quickly over my irritation. I almost wished that the show was based off of this book (but maybe the book was based off the show…who knows?!).

The writing of this book was fantastic. The chapters rotated from Maggie’s perspective to the chapters in her father’s novel. It was so interesting to be able to read a book inside of a book. Sager did a phenomenal job connecting the present perspective with the book’s perspective. For example: One of Maggie’s chapters ends with the sentence; “Some promises do indeed need to be broken” and the next chapter (from her dad’s book) starts with “I need you to make a promise”. This happens quite a few times and I loved how it flowed so nicely even though it was two different perspectives. The chapters complimented each other very well.

I also think that having this “book in a book” aspect added to the mystery and suspense of the story. I was so invested in the story Maggie’s dad wrote, that I was believing every word of it, even if Maggie didn’t (maybe I’m gullible?). His book really brought the horror aspect of the story and then intensified the things Maggie felt and experienced during her short stay as an adult.

I enjoyed Maggie very much. Seeing the story unfold through her eyes and watching her hatch out the mysteries of the house step by step was fascinating. Having to dive into this time of her life that she only knew from the pages in her father’s book was hard for Maggie. It added to the suspense of the story. I found myself trying to decide if her father’s book was fiction of non-fiction and then I was on my toes as Maggie began digging into the past of Baneberry Hall.

Holy Plot-Twist x 2! I didn’t see the ending coming at all (also because I’m dumb when it comes to twists). I was thrown through a loop twice at the end of this book and I loved every second of it! Sager did a fantastic job building the characters, the suspense, making readers formulate their own ideas, and then he threw a wrench in everything and had me reading faster than ever before!

I couldn’t put this book down. From the first chapter I was invested in what was happening in Baneberry Hall. I also loved that the house itself was portrayed as a character; “it never forgets”, “it remembers”, “it breathes”, things like that make the house so much more than just a setting. Some of my favorite thrillers have the setting become like a character and I can add this book to that list too!

There were some parts where I would have liked some more description or scare factor, but other than that, I can’t complain about this book! It wrapped up nicely and I didn’t feel like it was rushed or dragged on. I’ll say it again too, I REALLY loved the book inside of a book writing style too. I recently read Colleen Hoover’s Verity and that also has a similar writing style (I enjoyed that book too, a fun mystery…also a bit creepy).

Overall, I can’t rave enough about this. I’m going to talk my fiance into reading this book because he also loves the Haunting of Hill House and I think he’ll love this book. I may or may not have been raving about it when I finished and it got him interested.

So…if you got anything out of this, let it be to READ THIS BOOK! If you like a good thriller/mystery, this is a great one to try! It had my skin crawling a few times and I was definitely creeped out too!

Buy this book here!

Book Reviews

The Vampire Academy Series Book Review

Some people read books for fun.”

Dimitri Belikov (Richelle Mead)
  • Vampire Academy: 3/5 Stars
  • Frostbite: 4/5 Stars
  • Shadow Kiss: 4/5 Stars
  • Blood Promise: 3/5 Stars
  • Spirit Bound: 4/5 Stars
  • Last Sacrifice: 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

The Vampire Academies takes place at St. Vladamir’s Academy; a school for dhampirs and Moroi. The Moroi are vampires and dhampirs, are half Moroi, half human, and they train to become guardians of the Moroi. A dhampirs life work is to protect their assigned Moroi (especially the Royals); they come first. Rose Hathaway is a dhampir that has a special bond with her Moroi best friend, Princess Vasilisa Dragomir. Rose is able to visit Lissa’s mind and see through her mind, but Lissa cannot do the same for Rose.

The six books in the series follow Rose through all of her trials and tribulations as a fiery spirit. Rose faces death, puts her life on the line for Lissa, finds and loses love, and a lot more, all while fighting professors, Strigoi (bad vampires), and whatever else threw at her. Each book brings a new story in Rose’s timeline and we get to see her life through her eyes (and through Lissa’s via Rose!). I don’t want to spoil the books, so if you like vampires, action adventures, slow burns, and some (non-steamy) romance, these books are perfect!

My Thoughts

Characters:

  • Rose: I could not love Rose more. She is so fiery and will beat down anyone that threatens her friends. She has spunk and stands up for what she believes is right. Rose’s sarcasm and attitude really won me over. I am SO glad that she was the narrator of the story!
  • Lissa: Lissa wasn’t a favorite of me. She was whiny and, in my opinion, didn’t deserve all the love and effort that Rose put into her. Rose wouldn’t be here without Lissa but still…she might be a princess but she was a royal pain in my butt.
  • Dimitri: My love. Ugh. I loved him and couldn’t get enough of him. His character is the reason I had a lot of tears! He was a great instructor at the academy, but he had a great heart.
  • Adrian: My sultry, comedic relief (also my love). I was very torn about wanting Rose with Adrian or Dimitri (couldn’t she have both????). He had his issues and addictions, but he was a good friend with a good soul. I’m glad he was in the series.
  • There were A LOT of other characters, but these are the ones that I felt like touching on. Christian was annoying but I liked what he brought to the table. There were other royals and minor characters that added here or there to the story. Abe was a fun, ominous character and I liked the dark humor he brought into the characters’ lives.

Plot:

I enjoyed the plots of each of these six books! They had decent purposes and I didn’t feel like the plot in the later books became boring (like it tends to in longer series). There were things that I thought could have been left out, but overall, the events in the books were essential and Mead did a nice job portraying them through Rose’s eyes. My favorite was the Strigoi piece. I was intrigued by the two different ‘breeds’ of vampires and liked how they differed so much from each other! By the time I was in the second book, I appreciated that the focus was more on the dhampirs and how they spend their lives defending the Moroi. The dhampirs are the reason that this was so action packed, not the vampires!

Writing:

I thought that the writing in these books flowed nicely. Sometimes there were spots that I felt could have been less/more descriptive, but otherwise it was pretty cohesive. The one things that did ruffle my feathers was that at the beginning of the 2-6 books, Rose explains things from the previous book(s). I feel like these aren’t books that can be read out of order, so if someone read the previous book, they shouldn’t need the information dump (just my thoughts!). Mead did a nice job making the typical teenage drama (love triangles, looks, and everything in between) feel like the movie Mean Girls (my fave!). However, I expected some more vampire action, I think because I love Vampire Diaries and True Blood, I expected it to have that level of drama and vampire-ness, but it didn’t. I thought that might detract from the story, but it didn’t. I was so intrigued by the plot and characters that i didn’t mind the lack of typical vampire shenanigans!

Overall:

Overall, I really did enjoy this series! The characters were compelling, the plot of the series as a whole was entertaining and engaging, and I enjoyed the writing style a lot! I would recommend this series to anyone that loves teenage drama with a splash of vampires!

Buy the series here!

Wrap-Ups

July Reading Wrap-Up

Goodbye July, I can’t believe that you’re already gone! The beginning of the month seems so far ago, but somehow the month is over just like that! I went through a slump mid month, but picked up after that just fine! I think I hit a new Allison record this month! Stick with me and take a peek at the books I enjoyed this month!

Statistics

  • Books Read: 15
  • Pages Read: 5,985
  • Genres Read: Young adult, adult, new adult, contemporary, fantasy, romance,

Rereads First!

Only one reread this month! This was my fifth time reading ACOMAF and it’s still 5 stars for me! This will be seen many more times!

Newbies

5/5 stars. Absolutely a must read. Heart-wrenchingly relevant to what’s going on in 2020.
5/5 stars. Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite authors. This book is a great look at life through a mother/daughter perspective.

5/5 Stars: Fun, light romance novel with compelling characters!
5/5 Stars: This was BEAUTIFULLY written. Highly recommend.
4/5 Stars: The words in this story were entrancing and absolutely stunning. (Thank you NetGalley for providing an eARC in return for an honest review).
2/5 stars: Extremely problematic for me (see review/video for full thoughts).
4/5 Stars: Loved, loved, loved this book. Some questionable material, but still enjoyable!
3/5 Stars: Writing was a bit hard to follow, as was the story. The main character wasn’t enjoyable, but the premise of the story was good. Thank you NetGalley for providing an eARC for honest review.
First book was a 3/5 stars but the rest were 4/5! This was a compelling series to read and I really enjoyed the characters; especially Rose, Dimitri, and Adrian. I’ll be doing a full review on these soon!

Other Highlights of the Month

  • Started organizing my craft room into a library as well! I bought two new shelves and cleared ones I already had (And used for something else).
  • I got two Sarah J Maas autographed books!
  • I discovered there are a series of used book stores about an hour away from here and am going to plan a road trip!
  • I bought 14 books for $40 at the used book store in town!
  • I joined some monthly book subscription boxes.
  • I scored some Alice Clayton signed books on ebay, as well as a signed copy of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles (my second favorite book).
  • I only fangirled about SJM books multiple times a day…oops. Sorry not sorry!
Tags

Quarantine Book Tag

I, like a lot of people, have been going absolutely stir crazy during this quarantine! To take up time and actually enjoy myself, I’ve been spending my time reading (and buying absurd amounts of books). I figure that I should put some of my book knowledge to use by creating a fun and quirky quarantine book tag. I’ve never made a tag before, but as long as it’s fun, who cares if it’s awful? All answers should include something from a book (character/location/etc).

So, if you stumble across this, consider yourself tagged! You can do a blog post or a video for booktube/IG/booktok etc! Have fun and enjoy!

Questions

  • Corona Virus has spiked in your local area. You’ve been ordered to stay home, except for emergencies. Lucky for you, you live with two other people, so you’ll at least have some socialization. What 2 book characters do you live with?
  • Where exactly are you quarantining?
  • While quarantining, your neighbor is ignoring all the rules. They’re constantly having guests over and leaving their house to fetch non-essential things. Which book character is your annoying, rule-breaking next-door neighbor?
  • While bored one day, you find yourself scrolling the internet looking for a pet to adopt post-quarantine. What fictional pet/creature would you adopt as your own?
  • What book quote is getting you through this quarantine?
  • As the days move on, you grow more and more restless. You pick up your favorite book, one you could read over and over again without tiring of it, and dive right in. What book are you reading?
  • After months of being home (staying safe of course!) your town is loosening up on restrictions. You finally get to see your significant other (or best friend!) and go to your favorite place! Who are you going with and where are you going?
  • If Corona Virus were a person that could be defeated, what character would you call upon to stop it and save the world?

My Answers!

Corona Virus has spiked in your local area. You’ve been ordered to stay home, except for emergencies. Lucky for you, you live with two other people, so you’ll at least have some socialization. What 2 book characters do you live with?

Hmmm, I would probably live with Bryce from SJM’s Crescent City and Rose from the Vampire Academy series! I think they’re both badass and would make great roommates. They’re both independent and would understand when I need my alone time, but they’re loyal to their friends and would know how to have a good time, even stuck at home!

Where exactly are you quarantining?

I want to go with my obvious answer, which would be Velaris, but let me not be predictable. I think being Quarantined in Maui (like in the Unhoneymooners) would be pretty awesome. If we lived on like a private beach, we could still enjoy nature and be safely away from other people! What a dream that would be!

While quarantining, your neighbor is ignoring all the rules. They’re constantly having guests over and leaving their house to fetch non-essential things. Which book character is your annoying, rule-breaking next-door neighbor?

Bill Compton from the Sookie Stackhouse series. I can’t stand Bill (sorry Bill lovers), but I feel like he would just do whatever he wanted because he’s a vampire and, if he goes at night, who would see him? I’d see you Bill…ugh. You might already be dead, but the rest of us don’t want the virus because you can’t keep your fangs in your head.

While bored one day, you find yourself scrolling the internet looking for a pet to adopt post-quarantine. What fictional pet/creature would you adopt as your own?

UGH! There are so many pets that I would want…some small and some large. I think I’d want to adopt either Abraxos from the Throne of Glass series or the cat, Clive, from the Wallbanger series. Both are fantastic and they would be fierce pets to have! Can I have them both?

What book quote is getting you through this quarantine?

Cliche but super helpful during quarantine: “Don’t let the hard days win” from SJM’s ACOTAR series (I believe Mor says this to Feyre). Quarantine has good and bad days, so remembering to keep the faith and get through the hard days is helpful and inspirational!

As the days move on, you grow more and more restless. You pick up your favorite book, one you could read over and over again without tiring of it, and dive right in. What book are you reading?

Literally happening all through ‘real’ quarantine: A Court of Mist and Fury. I’ve read it at least twice a month since April and have yet to tire of it. This book has truly gotten be through quarantine and I will forever be thankful to SJM for writing such a fabulous book.

After months of being home (staying safe of course!) your town is loosening up on restrictions. You finally get to see your significant other (or best friend!) and go to your favorite place! Who are you going with and where are you going?

My SO would 100% be Rhysand from ACOTAR and we would probably go to the fabulous little restaurant in Velaris that he takes Feyre to (that is if we can eat on the patio). If outdoor seating isn’t available, I think just walking around the Rainbow of Velaris would be therapeutic and a breath of fresh air. I mean…with Rhysand as my boyfriend, I think I’d be more distracted by him anyway, so we could go to the dump for all I care.

If Corona Virus were a person that could be defeated, what character would you call upon to stop it and save the world?

I’d call Pippa from A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. She’d be able to track down the location, discover it’s weakness, and figure out the best way to kill it. I have full faith in Pippa! Brains >> Brawn (or something like that right?).

So, those are my answers! My brain instantly thinks of Sarah J Maas books so it was hard to get around them! I can’t wait to see/read what yours answers are!

Book Reviews

One to Watch Book Review

2/5 Rings (Stars)

My Thoughts (this will most definitely contain spoilers…I have A LOT of thoughts).

So, I usually start my reviews with a favorite quote and a summary of the book…not for this one. I have to dive right in and I’m not holding back. So, buckle up and join me for the roller coaster of thoughts that this book elicited from me.

Just for some background on myself, I am (and almost always have been) considered plus sized in this crazy society we live in. I have hips, a butt, love handles, curves all over, jiggly arms and tummy, and then some. I’m a size 16/18 in pants/dresses (when I buy pants/dresses that are labeled numbers) and there was once a day, not too long ago, that I would be embarrassed to post that publically. I was bullied through middle and high school for being fat and still deal with people making quipps here and there. So, I was very excited to read a book with a plus sized main character that sounded very badass! There were also an exceptional amount of 4 or 5 star reviews on Goodreads, which made me even more hyped to dive in.

Then…I started reading the book. I was into the plot of Bea being a plus-sized fashion blogger. I love that and enjoyed those aspects of the book. I know how hard it is to find clothes that are cute AND flatter my body, so I liked how Bea took her experience in Paris and turned it into a career. However, the bachelorette-esque part of the plot really bugged me. Bea seemed so miserable 99% of the time she was part of the show and it made her really irritating to listen to. I did appreciate that Bea wanted to have diversity on the show, but the producer, Lauren, didn’t really follow through with that as she said she would (seems to be a theme with Lauren). I also was extremely angry at Lauren’s character and how she planned for the men to be nasty to Bea (she had one look at Bea for the first time and then walk off because he couldn’t ever love a fat woman). Yes, plus sized people are actively bullied – online, in person, behind their backs, etc. However, I can’t imagine how triggering reading some of the things these men said must have been for people (Bea included). The constant references to cows and diabetes were ridiculous. I was uncomfortable reading a lot of the dialogue and then, found myself pissed because the men were never confronted for the things they said to/about Bea. Bea didn’t stand up for herself either, which lost some points from me.

Stayman-London used a mixed media format throughout this novel as an enhancer. In some books, the mixed media would have played out nicely. In this novel, however, I found the mixed media to feel like it was a place-holder that never got replaced. Also, a lot of the media included was extremely negative and fat-phobic. The things these “blog posts” said were appalling. Yes, I understand that this is some people’s realities, but for someone that went in to read about this awesome, relatable, plus-sized character, these were more like a slap in the face. I found myself delving into the deepest parts of my memory remembering the horrible things that peers/adults have said about/to me, and the things that I have thought about myself. Had I known that this book would be so triggering, I probably wouldn’t have read it.

I was SO happy at the end of the book when Bea turned down both of the final contestants and decided she was going to love herself instead. THEN, she went and got serious with a different contestant, completely doing the opposite of what she planned. She went on the show in the first place to further her career, convinced she wouldn’t fall in love because she still loved her old friend, Ray. Bea was, like I stated, miserable for most of the TV show, faking it until she made it. I feel like Bea had a decent acceptance of her body in the beginning of the book, but after being verbally shamed on live TV over and over again, you can definitely see where the comments took a toll on her self-esteem. I don’t know if I was a fan of her staying on the show. I think if she ended up leaving/breaking contract, it would have made a bigger difference and the story could have taken a different turn.

As for the men in the story, there were 25 contestants plus Ray. I’ll start with Ray, ugh. I was beyond irritated and Bea’s behaviors toward Ray. He was a dick to her, but she still wanted him (something I don’t see the appeal in, but I know that some may). She was going through heartache the whole book, over Ray, and I don’t think she should have been on a TV show that ended in proposal, when she still had feelings for him. Then, there’s the 25 min. I could not follow all 25 of them and had a hard time figuring out how the TV show worked (I don’t watch the bachelor so I was going in blind). Most of the contestants were stereotypical and had crappy personalities. They were spewing fat-phobic comments constantly, and I wanted Bea to throw some hands. I liked Sam and rooted for Asher, but the rest I hated. Luc, for one, slept with Bea after telling her sweet things and then turned around and slept with Lauren, hours after he had warmed Bea’s bed. I can’t imagine how Bea was feeling, but I know that I was angry and really wishing I hadn’t read this book.

Overall, I was hoping for a fun romance with a body-positive message. I looked passed the writing, poorly-placed mixed media formatting, and extreme (shallow) character overload, but I couldn’t look passed the rest of the story’s details. I got a story with the potential of a great plot, but it was splattered with fat-phobia, stereotypes, and the negativity that society has made us all associate with the term ‘plus-size’. I didn’t feel good about myself after reading this book. I was angry, self-conscious, and disappointed. I had high hopes for this book, and felt that the plus-sized community was done a disservice with this story. I wanted more from Bea, more representation, but it fell flat. I did enjoy a few of the aspects of the story, like Asher’s children and Bea’s family. I appreciated the direction the author tried to take the story, but for me it just didn’t work. So, this book has earned two stars from me and will probably get sold at my next yard sale (too harsh?).

Please remember that these are my unprofessional opinions, but these thoughts all came from my heart. I want to see more plus size representation in books. This book had the potential, and had a great idea, but it didn’t sit right for me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book! Please let me know what you thought! Was it the same as me? Different? There seems to be a lot of mixed reviews and I am very curious to see how others interpreted the story!

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Beach Read Book Review

“Love, after all, was often made not of shiny things but practical ones. Ones that grew old and rusted only to be repaired and polished.”

Emily Henry – Beach Read
5/5 Clackers (stars)

Synopsis

This book follows the lovely character of January as she navigates some pretty difficult news, all while trying to write a new book for her publisher. January’s father recently passed away and she found out some earth shattering news about him. She now has to spend her summer cleaning out his private house while trying to compose herself enough to write this book. Upon moving into her temporary home, she realizes she has a grumpy neighbor – he’s very unpleasant. Later, January finds that her neighbor is none other than Augustus Everett, her rival author from college. Push comes to shove and they decide they have to interact with each other since they’re now neighbors. They make a bet: Gus has to write a book with a happy ending and January has to write the next Great American Novel. They spend time each week researching each other’s genres and work together to figure out this bet. So, now January has another thing to add to the mix, and that is whether or not she’s going to let Augustus Everett blur her vision or not.

My Thoughts

Characters:

  • I loved the characters in this book! January and Augustus worked so well together and brought forth a great enemies to lovers trope.
  • I would LOVE to see a book about Pete and Maggie. I enjoyed their dynamic and thought they were awesome characters.
  • January’s best friend was a decent character. I enjoyed her weird taste in men, but didn’t quite like her and January’s friendship.

Plot

  • The plot was creative and easy to follow. Two authors competing in a bet: something I’ve never read before. I enjoyed how January and Augustus switched genres and made a bet to write a book in that genre. The fact that their hobbies/careers were a huge part of the plot really made it move forward, too. I don’t know anything about being a writer, except for making semi-decent blog posts, but I feel like the details about being an author were exceptionally well done. From writer’s block to scheduling daily time slots to write in, it all felt real. I can’t know for sure that’s what it’s like to be an author, but it was pretty convincing.
  • January fights for this idea that “women’s fiction” is deeper than something that is light and fluffy. It has depth and meaning , even if it has fluff and happy endings! Women’s fiction has such a negative connotation to it these days, it’s much appreciated that January makes it have meaning.

Writing:

  • The writing of this book was well done! It didn’t feel rushed at any parts, but it also didn’t feel like it was being pro-longed in any sense! It gave the right amount of information and really pushed the story forward in a good way!

Overall, I loved, loved, loved this book! It was so fun to read! The chemistry between the characters was believable (as was their constant bickering and cold-shouldering). The writing had a great flow, and the plot moved along nicely. I can’t recommend this book enough. If you’re like me, save it to read at the beach (it adds some authenticity!).

Buy Beach Read Here

Book Reviews

Regretting You Book Review

Sometimes you have to walk away from the fight in order to win it.”

Colleen Hoover – Regretting You
5/5 Film Clappers (Stars)

Synopsis

Morgan and Clara are a mother/daughter duo that are the complete opposite of what you’d expect. Morgan and her high school sweetheart, Chris, had Clara young, but have been together forever. Jenny, Morgan’s younger sister, was in love with Jonah but things got messy and they split. Fastforward 17 years and Chris and Morgan have Clara (now 17) and Jenny and Jonah (back in the picture) have a sweet, newborn baby. One day, the families wake up in their own houses and their lives are turned upside down. They face a trauma and Jonah and Morgan uncover some long kept secrets. They try to keep these secrets hidden from Clara and it puts a strain on Clara and Morgan’s relationship. Meanwhile, Clara is coping with the trauma by falling head over heels for Miller, the one boy that Clara’s dad forbade her to be with. Things get messy and hard, relationships all around are strained, but it’s a beautiful story that will encapsulate your heart all the way until the end.

My Thoughts

Characters:

  • I really enjoyed the characters in this story. Clara was a typical teenager and I feel like the way she dealt with the trauma was how kids I grew up with acted in general. Her acting out (smoking, drinking, sneaking out, etc.) was how kids I went to HS with acted anyway, so she’s a basic teenager for me.
  • Miller was awesome. I loved that he was into film and was a decent guy, despite Clara’s dad thinking he wouldn’t be because of who his parents were. I also LOVED his grandad. Love a good old person character!
  • I liked Jonah when he was younger, but he was a bit annoying to me, honestly. I liked Morgan too, but I feel like she was struggling as a parent before anything substantial happened to her. She was doing the best she could, but sometimes I wondered if it were true.
  • There were a handful of side characters that I really enjoyed as well. They added to the characters, specifically Clara’s best friend/boyfriend. Colleen Hoover always does a nice job building up characters and making sure they have a purpose.

Plot

  • Ugh Colleen Hoover forever ruining me. I enjoyed the plot of this story. I liked how different, yet alike, Clara and Morgan’s stories were. They parallelled nicely with each other, as they struggled through dealing with a trauma that impacted them both in many different ways.
  • The bit of plot that dealt with film-making and being an actor was a nice tidbit to have as well. That information helped build who Miller and Clara were as people and gave them a way to relate.

Writing

  • Colleen’s writing is always wonderful (in my opinion). I don’t feel like she rambles about anything and I don’t ever find myself wishing a chapter would end. She gives the right amount of detail and does a great job captivating me (and keeping my attention).
  • I didn’t find that there were any lulls in the story and it kept moving nicely. When I read Verity by Colleen Hoover a few months ago, I was very angry at the ending. With Regretting You, I had the closure I wanted and didn’t feel like the ending was rushed.
  • Part of me was piecing together the puzzle between the characters, and when we discover what was actually happening, it’s still surprising because it’s so tragic (and upsetting). Hoover set that up with her writing and really submersed readers into the story.

Overall, Colleen Hoover did not disappoint (she never disappoints me….). This story is captivating and a great show of a mother/daughter relationship as they try to navigate life together.

Buy this book here

Book Reviews

The Hate U Give Book Review

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give
5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Starr is a high school student that has to act like two different people: the proper, black girl that attends a private school in a white neighborhood, and the girl she really is and wants to be, living in a mostly poor, black neighborhood. On the way home from a party, Starr witnesses a a fatal shooting, at the hands of a police officer and her life is changed. Starr has to live with the memories and figure out if and how she is going to use her voice to get justice for the person she saw murdered, and all the other people of color that are murdered and dealt injustices at the hands of cops.

My Thoughts

Angie Thomas did a phenomenal job with this story. This was published 3 years ago and it is still relevant to what’s happening in our world today. Being a teacher, I saw Starr as one of my students and couldn’t help but wonder what I would do if a student came to me with a story similar to Starr’s. Thomas portrayed the characters and the neighborhood realistically. She brought light to the situations that the black community is facing and has been facing for years, all while subliminally educating readers. I can’t imagine being in the situation that Starr was in. If she’s quiet, nothing is going to change, but because she’s black, if she were to speak out, who would believe her? The struggles of the characters, adults and children, were real struggles. Thomas also portrayed the ignorance of people very well, especially Starr’s white friend from her high school that denied being racist multiple times. These are things that black people deal with all of the time, and as a white woman, I feel like we as a society, are living with blinders on. We are doing such an injustice to our black neighbors and communities by staying silent and not educating ourselves. I feel like this book is something that every white person, everywhere needs to read. It helped put myself in Starr’s shoes and see what’s going on in our world through a different lens.

Though this is a work of fiction, with fake characters, the events and happenings of the book are VERY real. Educate yourselves to what’s happening in our world. We need to do better as a whole – white people I’m looking at you. Use your voice…as the quote above says ““What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Buy this book here or support a local bookstore!

How to continue your support of the BLM movement:

Tags

Book Life Tag

I stumbled across this tag on this blog, and just had to participate! It’s short and sweet, but I love the concept! Should we take bets on how many Sarah J Maas characters I reference? Here we go!

Who Would be Your Parents?

My parents would be Morgan and Jonah from Colleen Hoover’s Regretting You. They both had some questionable parenting moments, but I feel like they would give so much love and would crush parenting together. Morgan is more strict when it comes to life in general, but Jonah is lax. They compliment each other well and would make for a great set of parents.

Who Would be Your Sister?

I’m an only child, so picking a sibling that would live up to my expectations is fantastic. My sister would have to be Pippa from Holly Jackson’s A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. I’d be older than Pippa, but she has such a great personality and is book smart. I feel like she could solve all my problems. She was a great big sister in the book, so I feel like she’d be a great little sister to have!

Who Would be Your Brother?

My mind traveled to Cassian from SJM’s ACOTAR series as a brother…because he would be an awesome big brother. However, I’ve had some VERY un-brotherly thoughts about Cassian so I can’t choose him. Sticking with SJM, Ruhn Danaan from Crescent City would be a great brother. He’s caring and would do anything for his siblings. I’d like to have a big brother that’s fun and also caring and more responsible than I am (but not a complete wet blanket).

Who Would be Your Pet?

There are so many SJM options, but I think I would go with Clive the cat from Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger. This cat is sassy, loving, and knows what’s up. He cuddles his owner AND protects her, unusual for a cat. I also love cats and SJM books don’t really have them (although, Abraxos is a close second).

Where Would You Live?

Velaris hands down. What a paradise. Thank you Sarah J Maas for bringing this beautiful place to our minds. Velaris has all that I could ever ask for and it’s extremely safe! From artists quarters, to theaters, to food, shopping, and community…Velaris has everything!

Who Would Your Best Friend be?

Bryce from Crescent City (we can add Danika in there too). This duo would be so much fun to hang out with. They’re funny, sassy, and bad-assy. They are thick as thieves and would be great people to have around; whether it’s for venting, chilling with, or doing something extreme. I feel like they would pull me out of my comfort zone and make me better.

What Would You do for Fun?

I swapped “where would you go to high school” out for this question because I can answer it better than the former. For fun, I would go out with my best friend! She knows all the hip places to go and have fun…she also knows how to have a good time and would keep me safe. I think I would also enjoy the small businesses in Velaris. I’d probably spend way more money there then I should, but it would be going to a good cause!

Who Would be Your Significant Other?

Rhysand from SJM’s ACOTAR series, no ifs, ands, or buts! Rhysand is just the epitome of unf. Brooding, dark hair, eyes so blue they’re violet, flirtatious, willing to do whatever it takes to protect his mate (me, duh)…what’s not to love? He loves his friends so much, I know that he would be a great BF or husband or mate. I’ve loved Rhys since he showed up on Fire Night…it’s been a rough time living in the real world when characters like Rhysand exist (and honestly, the whole inner circle could get it).

What a fabulous family that would be. I only mentioned SJM a lot…it’s like I didn’t even try not to!

If you like this and want to complete it, consider yourself tagged! I’d love to see your book families too!

Wrap-Ups

June 2020 Book Wrap-UP!

Just like that, June has come and gone! Quarantine started so SLOW and now the months are flying by. June was a weird month for me. There were days I would pick up a book and set it down and start another one, then there were days when I couldn’t stop reading. There were even books that I started and still haven’t finished! The books I read in the beginning of June felt like they were read in May because it seems so far away. Time is such a crazy concept, and without any true routine, I have no idea what day it is anymore! That being said, I was pretty productive reading wise in June! So sit back, relax, and scroll your way through my books of June!

Statistics

  • Books Read: 13
  • Pages Read: a little over 4,300
  • Genres: Thriller, mystery, romance, fantasy, contemporary; adult/new adult/young adult

This month consisted of 10 new books, one being one that I reviewed on NetGalley, and three books that I reread. My TBR cart was glaring at me as I sauntered back to my favorites, ignoring the stack that needs my attention! I am failing miserably at keeping up with review blogs/GR updates/videos etc, but I’m doing my best! So, even though it’s July 2nd now, here is my June Wrap Up!

Rereads First!

This isn’t the first time you’ve seen these in my posts, and it sure won’t be the last! I started ACOWAR at the end of May and finished it in June. Then I started the series over, obviously starting with ACOTAR! Smut weasled its way into my reading list because I loved it so much and couldn’t stop thinking about the main characters. These are all 5 star reads for me!

Newbies!

This book was amazing! I did a review video about it, so check out my booktube to see my thoughts! This was a great mystery and I will definitely be reading more from Alex North. 4 stars!

This was a book we read at work and I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did! The Terry does a great job explaining the horrors of Middle School, especially when you’re struggling with who you are as a person with a disability. 4 stars!
3 stars: this was a tough topic to cover and the author did it justice. However, the writing style was not something I was used to and I found myself struggling to read this one, even though I was into the plot!
3 stars: this was a fun read, but it was nothing that wowed me. There wasn’t a lot of smut (why I read it in the first place) and the characters were a bit irritating to me. I am interested in more from this author though!
4 stars! This book was so cute! I loved the characters and the plot…however the ending RUINED me and it took me a few days to recover. A fun, young adult romance!
5 stars! I LOVED this book so much! The main character is AMAZING and I love her story. This will bring you up, down, and then back up…all while crying! Great story!

5 stars! What an awesome mystery! Jackson does a PHENOMENAL job getting readers into the story and trying to solve the mystery. Loved the mixed media format, and Pippa, the main character, is a badass!
3 stars! I didn’t love this as much as I anticipated! There was so much hype, and it didn’t WOW me. I do, however, love the Darkling and wish there were more of him in the book! Stay tuned to see a review of the whole trilogy!
3 stars! This was a fun enemies to lovers story. I enjoyed the main character, she was fierce, and I liked the premise. The smut scenes were awkwardly written and they really took me out of the story. Other than that, this was a great read!
This is the book I reviewed on NG and can we just talk about the artwork? I want this book because it is BEAUTIFUL! The whole book is amazingly illustrated and I hope to own this one day! It’s also a fun way to learn about mythical creatures that originated in different parts of the world!

Final Thoughts!

I had a nice variety of books this month, and am happy that none of them rated lower than a 3! I did enjoy each of the books and they were all unique in their own way. I haven’t made a July TBR list yet, but think I’ll just see where the book gods take me! Let me know your thoughts on the books if you’ve read them; I’d love to chat!

See my review video here on Youtube!