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New website

hello! I’ve moved to self hosting so I have my one site now. Please follow me on there. You can subscribe in the corner and then keep up to date with my posts. I’ll also be having a newsletter coming soon (once a week only).

One Last Chance [NetGalley ARC Review]

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4 stars ⭐️

Format: NetGalley eARC

I didn’t read the other two books, hence I cannot comment on how they hold up in comparison.

This is the book about the last of the Roux sisters. She was closest with their dad who passed away from cancer. This impacted her a lot and led her to decide to marry her best friend, Sawyer. This is where the book begins, I guess.

Zoey and Sawyer were best friends for seven years. She would be his fake girlfriend at family events. Her dad dies so they get married. However, they aren’t together for long before she leaves. They don’t divorce. Zoey and Sawyer just have not seen one another for six years until a marathon where they see each other and she states perhaps they should finally get divorced. They end up having to spend time together, and it causes a re-evaluation of their relationship.

Mmm, so I am not a huge fan of the flashbacks in this book. But they are needed for the build up. Since it’s a second chance romance, there has to be depth and connection between them. Sawyer and Zoey have a long history, and it’s illustrated well. I just didn’t really like the back and forth, but I can see the value.

This was a wonderful romance! I plan to read the other books in the series. I love the diversity of the cover and the setting being in South Africa, it made the book even more awesome.

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for the advanced review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I did a thing…! Announcement and more 2020 plans.

I signed up to help Reads and Reels by writing book and movie reviews. I’m so excited to work with them and my first post is live there. Check it out here.

That’s all. I’m so stoked to be doing something fun with new people. I’m trying to branch out to help my blog grow and become more sociable online.

I also may be helping out my partners band with their social media. 2020 is going to be a great year. I also am waiting to hear about grad school so let’s see what next year will be like.

Blogmas 2019

Hello! I have returned from the dead. Although I’m not dead. I’ve just been doing grad school things, reading, watching Hulu, and taking care of my family. All good things, you know? But I knew I wanted to come back in time for Blogmas. I didn’t do perfect on Blogtober, but I still had fun so I’m going to be doing Blogmas too. Since I’m not creative, I have totally stolen all of my ideas from Emily at The Little Book Affair. so all credits for these prompt belong to her and her boyfriend. Sorry I’m stealing them, but thank you for making them so I can do Blogmas. You’re awesome.

So here’s the schedule for Blogmas 2019!

Dec. 1 – December TBR

Dec. 2 – Winter Bucket List

Dec. 3 – Favorite Warm Drinks

Dec. 4 – Bookish Gift Guide

Dec. 5 – Holiday Movie Recommendations

Dec. 6 – Fake Christmas Trees vs. Real Christmas Trees

Dec. 7 – Books with Red/Green Covers

Dec. 8 – Favorite Christmas Candles

Dec. 9 – My Holiday Traditions

Dec. 10 – Favorite Christmas Songs

Dec. 11 – Top X Books I’ve Gotten for Christmas

Dec. 12 – The Festive Christmas Book Tag

Dec. 13 – Best Books to Read If You’re Snowed In

Dec. 14 – Favorite Holiday Treats

Dec. 15 – Christmas in My Home

Dec. 16 – Would You Rather – Christmas/Winter Edition

Dec. 17 – The Christmas Song Book Tag

Dec. 18 – Books That Would Make Good Tree Toppers

Dec. 19 – Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Dec. 20 – 2019 Releases That I’ve Read

Dec. 21 – Books with Christmas/Winter Covers

Dec. 22 – Upcoming Winter Releases I Want to Read

Dec. 23 – Wrapping Paper Haul

Dec. 24 – Books I Hope Santa Brings Me

Dec. 25 – Merry Christmas!

I hope I will see other friends doing Blogmas. I’ll also be posting reviews as well so some days it’ll be two posts, but I’m not trying to stress myself out to read so please don’t be mad if I’m doing less reviews. I promise it’ll be quality over quantity for my reviews.

The Apprentice [Book Review]

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Thriller

Second book in the series.

It’s super good. I’m just upset the show took the first two books and made them into one episode… it missed out on so much more the book has.

Jane Rizzoli is finally the main character, which makes more sense since the first book seemed unsure about how it was going to handle Jane. But the books are so much more in depth and darker. Don’t get me wrong, I deeply enjoy the show. The show is just more lighthearted and funny at times while the books are super intense and psychological.

The second book is the hunt for another serial killer, one who is working with the surgeon so it’s interesting. Rizzoli is having a hard time dealing with her experiences… major post traumatic stress… but she doesn’t want to admit it. There’s also an FBI agent working the case, but he won’t share why. So there’s tension between the two.

Maura Isles is introduced, but she’s a side character. She’s much different from the show, but both characters are interesting in their own ways. It’s definitely not like the show where Rizzoli and Isles are working together yet. But it’s still a good second book, and I couldn’t stop reading even though I knew the outcome. I definitely recommend this series.

Semi Hiatus [Just for about a month]

Hi all,

I’m just sending out this quick post to say I’ll be on semi hiatus for the next month. I’m applying to grad school so I actually have a fair amount of work to do. So I’ll be posting some book reviews and such when I have time. I hope once I’m back to this more than half time, I’ll also have a keyboard for my iPad to make my life easier. Wish me luck with grad school. I’ll be replying to comments… If I get any… on weekends.

See you soon!

October Wrap Up [Blogtober]

Oh, my goodness. It’s the last day of Blogtober. I did miss a few days, but I am still proud of myself. I am looking forward to Blogmas in December. The plan for November seems to be Nonfiction November and One Tree Hill Athon, but casually. Here’s everything I read this month:

This is probably my best month of reading so far, and I’m pleased with all of the reading I got done. Even if I didn’t love all the books, it still was awesome. It was great to pick up audio books again, and I’ll be using my library for those more often in the future.

What did your month look like? I would love to hear all about the posts you made and books you read. Share it all with me. I’m eager to chat books and whatnot all the time. Find me on Goodreads and Twitter too!

ARCs… helpful yet hurtful, in my opinion. [Discussion/Blogtober]

These are all my own thoughts and opinions. Everyone has different experiences so if you have different thoughts, I’d love to discuss them.

I’m going to talk about these points as well as my own complicated relationship with ARCs. First, let me show you what’s currently on my NetGalley TBR:

I’m finally happy with my tbr on NetGalley because I went through a phase where I was requesting way too many, and it was overwhelming. Especially when I didn’t like the books a lot or felt pressured to read them quickly since I was approved for a few which all came out the same day. These are all books I’m looking forward to reading and writing good reviews on.

And this is what I have pending:

I’m still waiting on these 7 books. The longer I’m waiting, the more I’m wondering why I even wanted them in the first place. Honestly I think there are two books on there I really want at this point… Love, Unscripted and A Good Girls Guide To Murder. The rest were part of binge requesting I now regret. The other books don’t make me excited. I wish there was a way to just cancel requests and just create a system so if you cancel, you can’t request again. It’s better than leaving a reader waiting and wondering if they will be chosen. I hate the am I good enough for this book game? It’s wearing thin, and it hurts me. I’m sure it’s not great for other readers either.

Yes, I was declined for 33 books. It’s a discouraging number, and I end up feeling like I am not good enough when I am trying my hardest. I understand publishers need to promote books and do their jobs, but I have been trying so hard with my blog it feels like I’m a failure when I get rejected. This makes me not want to read, and I don’t think this should be so tough on my reading. But it is. Reading should be fun, and I’m putting unneeded pressure on myself for a hobby I’m supposed to love.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about ARCs recently… especially because of posts from Morgana at Morgana’s Book Box and Jess from Fiction No Chaser.

Each post brought up some interesting points for me. Specifically, I want to bring up points from each because these posts were very thought provoking for me.

In regards to Morgan’s post, the points which really resounded with me were:

  • The NetGalley trap and how you end up with a huge TBR pile.
    • This has done so much harm to me as a reader since I decided to go back to blogging. I thought I needed to read all of these books and write the best reviews so authors and publishers would love me. Then I would have an amazing blog, and I would be so happy. All I did was place a lot of stress upon myself and made reading A chore. I am constantly stressing about how much time I have to read and how hard it is to finish books I don’t like so I don’t end up with lower ratios.
  • ARC policy and having to give a review.
    • I know ARCs are voluntary. But I end up feeling like I have to write a huge review to make the publisher or author happy. Sometimes I don’t have a lot to say about a book, other times I don’t. I end up stuck in this trap of forcing myself to write a good review even when I didn’t enjoy the book because the author sent me the book or because I don’t want to hurt my chances for approval. Especially when you are approved right before the release date and there seems to be even more pressure to get it done.
  • All the reviews that begin with I received this book in exchange… etc.
    • I am guilty of doing this too because it’s supposed to be done because of rules. I understand this. It just makes reading reviews less enjoyable. I wish there was a way to just send a thank you via NetGalley to both parties so reviews can stop being weighed down by this. I’ve grown so sick of writing in this my reviews, and I don’t even want to look at other reviews when this is all I see. I want to just send an email privately to say thank you instead of this whole writing in my reviews and causing me to not want to write reviews, which is something I enjoy doing.

With the post from Jess @ Fiction No Chaser, I really liked her points about:

  • ARCs can be very overwhelming.
    • This is all about NetGalley again. I like how you can request a lot, but I think there should be a limit. That way, you can actually get through all the books you need to and enjoy them. Otherwise it’s just getting them done by the pub date and either rating them low or writing a fake review just so you can keep up. It’s not good for anyone.
  • NetGalley and its ratio system
    • The ratio system is tough. It causes readers to either plunge down because of too many requests…or you just write poor reviews to keep it up. I feel way too much stress when I lose my 80% badge and then stress until it’s back. This takes away my joy from reading. I am sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.
  • eARCs… preference for them, how they should be available worldwide, and the harm of poorly formatted eARCs.
    • eARCs are easier for me. I can have them on my iPad or iPhone so I can read anytime or place, which is convenient. I also like how easily they can be accessed versus paper ones. Paper ones usually make me sad because I would see more popular people get those sent to them or at events. I understand these people have influence and work well to help promote books, but it’s hard when you don’t have the influence to get those books or the money to go to events. EARCs are accessible for everyone. That’s why they should be available all over the world. They are a lot of readers and they all deserve access to books, not just some people. Some people can’t afford books, and this gives me them a way to read. Poorly formatted ARCs just make me annoyed. I got a few from Harlequin, and I was shocked since they are since a big publisher. If you want your product to do well, take the time to do proper formatting so your readers can enjoy the book and not give it a lower rating for an easily fixed issue.

I’m curious to know what everyone’s thoughts on ARCs are. If you love them, awesome. Or if you feel like me, let me know. This is an interesting topic I’d love to talk about. I’m sure everyone can bring a different perspective to the table, and I would love to delve into all sorts of thoughts about this topic. Let me know below. And thank you once again to the people who inspired me to write this. You can find their blogs above. Be sure to check them out.

Until I rant about books again,

Top Ten (5) Tuesday [October 8 2019]

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

October 8: Character Traits I Love (submitted by Hannah @ Books Life and Other Oddities)

So I tend to like Villains more often so I thought I would discuss 5 “negative traits” I like. It’s from this list and I stole the list from Kitty.

  1. Unreliable: I live for the unreliable narrator. You don’t really know who to trust or what to believe. It leaves you wondering what’s going to happen or what’s being left out. Some of my favorite examples of unreliable narrators are from Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.
  2. Malicious- When it’s done well, a character full of malice is life. I like the character getting revenge on those who did them wrong and having no regrets. I understand karma will catch up with them, but the moment is so sweet, I savor it until it’s over. Acrimony, the Tyler Perry movie, does this well. Of course the revenge doesn’t even well for her, but I enjoyed her dark descent down that road.
  3. Blunt- I don’t have a filter… I just say whatever comes to mind. This is a trait I enjoy in characters. I believe my reasoning for enjoying it so much is because there’s just something so scrumptious about a blunt character just swooping in and knocking everyone back to reality.
  4. Cunning- By any means necessary. I love characters who will do whatever it takes to get what they want. Lying, stealing, all the bad things. Victor from Vicious does this well. He’s the bad guy, and he will not stop until he’s achieved the end to his means.
  5. Obsessive- I’m someone who gets like way obsessed with things, where they consume me whole. A character who does the same just lights a fire in my soul. Joe from You. A terrible person, but his character is so interesting. His level of obsession is intense, and it makes for an unforgettable experience while reading.

I’d love to hear about your favorite character traits, be them negative or positive. Let me know below.

Until I rant about books again,

Spooky Middle Grade Reads [Blogtober]

Today is an awesome day. I’m so stoked to be able to talk about some spooky middle grade reads. I like creepy Victorian middle grades or horror from the genre. They are the best type to me. I was introduced to them by Richard from Bookishly Richie.

Please enjoy this list of spooky reads and be sure to read them all!

In the seedy underworld of Victorian London, a boy is born and abandoned. Snatched up by an unscrupulous and abusive showman, Wild Boy, covered in hair from head to toe, becomes a sideshow freak. Isolated from other children and wickedly abused by the cruel master who bought him, Wild Boy becomes an avid observer, developing Sherlock Holmes – like deductive skills. Although he is tormented and insulted, kicked and spat at, his quick mind takes in everything he sees. When a murder occurs at the fair, Wild Boy is hastily accused. Can he use his powers of deduction to save himself? And will the talented and spunky young acrobat Clarissa be with him – or against him? Readers will be swept along by the cinematic pace, immersed in the vivid historical setting, and gripped by suspense as they wait to find out if a better fate could possibly await someone so very different.

Find this on Goodreads.

Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.

But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.

Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?

Find it on Goodreads.

When Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan. comes to stay with his uncle Jonathan, he expects to meet an ordinary person. But he is wrong. Uncle Jonathan and his next-door neighbor, Mrs. Zimmermann, are both magicians! Lewis is thrilled. At first, watchng magic is enough. Then Lewis experiments with magic himself and unknowingly resurrects the former owner of the house: a woman named Selenna Izard. It seems that Selenna and her husband built a timepiece into the walls–a clock that could obliterate humankind. And only the Barnavelts can stop it!

Find it on Goodreads.

I haven’t read spooky middle grade for awhile. October is the perfect month so I need to get onto it. Do you have any spooky middle grade suggestions ? I’d love to hear them.

Until I rant about books again,