October 5, 2018

Five on Friday: Movies to Watch This October

I freaking love fall. I love the cooler weather. I love the sweaters, boots, and scarves. I love watching the leaves change colors. I love football and I love pumpkin spice everything. Last but not least, I love watching horror movies during the month of October as the days lead up to Halloween. Okay, I think I have declared my love for fall enough for one day. Today I am sharing with you some of my favorite movies to watch during the month of October.

Hocus Pocus
This is a must watch for me every year, and I am sure I am not alone. Some of my favorite movie lines come from Hocus Pocus. "Oh look, another glorious morning. Makes me sick!" I also love how many inappropriate jokes there are that I didn't realize until I was older.

The Cabin in the Woods
This clever and surprisingly fun (you can't normally say that about horror movies) take on the horror movie genre is a delight. There are a lot of shocking moments, and it certainly doesn't hurt that Chris Hemsworth is in the movie.

The Birds
I'm still not quite sure why I watch this movie every year since I actually am not a big fan of birds, but I do it anyway. Every time I see a whole bunch of black birds in one spot I get the chills. I have been watching this one since I was very young, and perhaps that is the reason why I am not a big fan of birds...

Practical Magic
I can never get enough movies about witches, especially badass ones. This movie has a fantastic cast with Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, Stockard Channing, and Dianne Wiest. If you are fan of this movie too then I suggest you read the recent anthology titled Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft.

A Quiet Place
This is obviously a new one that I have now added onto my rotation! Watching this movie in theaters was a unique experience. The theater had never been more quiet as everyone carefully ate their snacks, or avoided them all together.

September 25, 2018


Consumed by J.R. Ward (Oct. 2, 2018)
Length: 416 pages
Genre: Adult, Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Gallery Books
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
My Rating:
Summary: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Anne Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed... By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer. Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self. Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn't believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again--until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze. Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

My Review

This is my first ever J.R. Ward novel, and it won't be my last. As someone who is currently obsessed which Chicago Fire, I couldn't turn down a book that promises hot firefighters, a steamy romance, and a thrilling mystery. Consumed did not disappoint. After becoming injured in a fire, Anne finds a new career as an arson investigator. Danny misses Anne riding on the truck by his side and struggles to move on without her. When Anne starts investigating a dangerous case and Danny begins to act more and more recklessly, they are thrown back into each other's lives once again. I really enjoyed both characters who are different, strong, and most definitely steamy together. I thought Ward did an excellent job capturing the strong bonds between the firefighters and Anne's struggle with her identity after the fire that changed her life. This book has spark thanks to its thrilling scenes in the bedroom and out. A good choice for those looking for a romantic suspense novel to read on a chilly fall night.

September 4, 2018

ARC MINI REVIEW: Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman

Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman (Oct. 2, 2018)
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Young Adult Survival
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: I received a free ebook from the publisher through Edelweiss. Thank you! This did NOT affect my honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
My Rating:
Synopsis: The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers. Until the taps run dry. Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbours and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.

My Review

When water becomes scarce, people will do anything for just one drop. When Alyssa's normally quiet neighborhood turns deadly and since her parents have yet to return from their hunt for water, she has no choice but to befriend her eccentric but very prepared neighbor, and take her younger brother on an adventure they never wanted. This frightening possible future is so well written that you will surly be paying attention to your own use of water in the future. The growing threat of dying of thirst, the desperate people, the untrustworthy government, and a group of people coming together to stay alive make for a somewhat predictable but page-turning survival story. Although I would have liked a slightly longer book so we could get to know the characters a little better, they are still very interesting. Neal Shusterman, with the help of his son, deliver another must-read young adult novel. For fans of Monument 14, this one is for you.

August 29, 2018

TTT #91: Non-fiction TBR Pile

This week's topic is "Back to School." Therefore, I decided to highlight non-fiction titles that are on my TBR pile. I have been reading more and more of them lately, and can't seem to get enough.


1. (Don't) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health by various authors
This is an important topic. I will be reading this book and buying a copy for the library.

2. Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend by Karen Blumenthal
My dad and I used to watch the old Bonnie and Clyde movie whenever it was on late at night growing up. We may just have to read this book together.

3. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
As someone who enjoys writing and does lots of creative things for my job, I think I need to finally read this book.


4.The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the Trial of the Century by Sarah Miller
True Crime always spikes my interest, and this is one I have always wanted to know more about.

5. The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
This book has been getting a lot of recognition. 

6. Very, Very, Very, Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 by Albert Marrin
As someone who is afraid of dying and getting sick I probably shouldn't read this book, but I have heard too many good and interesting things about it to pass it up.

7. Blood, Bullets, and Bones: A History of Forensic Science by Bridget Heos
A friend of my recommended this one to me.

8. Goodbye, Sweet Girl by Kelly Sundberg
Since this memoir is about domestic violence I know it is going to be hard to read, but if the author wanted to share her story then I want to read it.

9. What Stands in a Storm by Kim Cross
As someone who grew up living in Central Illinois, tornadoes have always held my interest.

10. Stiff by Mary Roach
I have yet to read a nonfiction book by Mary Roach, and I am determined to change that.

Do you have any nonfiction reading recommendations?

August 25, 2018

ARC MINI REVIEW: The War Outside by Monica Hese

The War Outside by Monica Hesse (September 25, 2018)
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. This did NOT affect my honest review. Thank you Little Brown Books!
Purchase: Amazon | Banes & Noble
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: It's 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific. The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado--until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents once called home: Germany and Japan. Haruko and Margot meet at the high school in Crystal City, a "family internment camp" for those accused of colluding with the enemy. The teens discover that they are polar opposites in so many ways, except for one that seems to override all the others: the camp is changing them, day by day and piece by piece. Haruko finds herself consumed by fear for her soldier brother and distrust of her father, who she knows is keeping something from her. And Margot is doing everything she can to keep her family whole as her mother's health deteriorates and her rational, patriotic father becomes a man who distrusts America and fraternizes with Nazis. With everything around them falling apart, Margot and Haruko find solace in their growing, secret friendship. But in a prison the government has deemed full of spies, can they trust anyone--even each other?

My Review

During World War II, after being convicted of treason, Haruko’s Japanese father and Margot’s German father are forced into a family internment camp in Crystal City, Texas, where a 10-foot fence topped with barbed wire and armed guards surrounds their new home. Months later, Margot’s and Haruko’s families are reunited at the camp. Haruko spends her days trying not to worry about her brother fighting in the war while Margot focuses her efforts on studying and taking care of her mom. Neither of them expects to find happiness while living in a camp full of secrets and unrest, but when they meet, an unlikely friendship starts to form. Haruko is brave and naïve while Margot is studious and strong-willed, adding even more tension and intrigue to their friendship. Although the plot was slow-moving at first, its slowly unraveling mystery and unexpected ending make for a thought-provoking discussion. Hesse not only shines light on a dark part of America’s history that some may not know about, but her unique storytelling inspires further research on this tragic history. Hesse provides a brief note on historical accuracy at the back of the book which is also filled with further resources and helpful information. This powerful story will make a good addition to any young adult historical fiction collection.

August 20, 2018

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: To Be Honest

To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin (Aug. 21, 2018)
Length: 304 pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Source: I received a free copy as part of the Xpresso Book Tours. This did NOT affect my honest review. Thanks!
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | iBooks
My Rating:
Synopsis: Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats. Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.

My Review

To Be Honest in Three Words: Adorable. Strong. Honest.

Okay, I freaking adore this book! To Be Honest is the most honest young adult contemporary novel I have read in a while.

Savannah is bold. Savannah is amazing. Savannah is stubborn. Savannah is strong. Savannah is real. I wish I would have been as awesome as Savannah when I was a teenager. She is much more confident in her own skin than I was at her age, and that was a nice message to read.

Not only did I very much love Savannah, but I enjoyed reading about Savannah's relationships with her mom, sister, dad, her crush George, and best friend Grace. Her mom is struggling with her own body image, her sister is reliable and kind, Grace is sweet and fun, and George is nerdy and adorable. Each character impacts Savannah's life in a different way, and I loved reading about all of these different relationship dynamics.

I thoroughly enjoyed this quick read. However, I do wish the book would have been a little longer so we could have had more focus on some of the interesting and fun subplots that were going on. That is my only complaint.

The Bottom Line: To be honest, this book is worth every penny. Get yourself a copy sooner rather than later.

The Author

Maggie Ann Martin hails from Iowa City, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She has a shiny new BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, the most welcoming literary community in the world. When she is not writing, you can find her binge watching TV shows or passionately fangirling over fictional characters on the Internet. The Big F is her debut novel.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

August 15, 2018

WWW Wednesday

 WWW Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words

It consists on answering these three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I'm Currently Reading

I am listening to Geekerella by Ashley Poston on audio and it is so much fun and adorable! I also recently started reading Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman and I am devouring it.


What I Recently Finished Reading

I read Sadie by Courtney Summers and thought it was a well-done creepy mystery. I also finally got around to reading The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan, and I was not happy with that one. Reviews will be coming soon.


What I Plan to Read Next

Up next I will be reading To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin for a blog tour and To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. Both sound amazing.


What are you currently reading?

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