November 30, 2014

Month In Review - November Edition

~ November Edition

What happened on It's a Book Life?
  • I participated in the Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Read-a-thon. Not only did this help me catch up in my goodreads challenge, but it gave me the chance to actually read some holiday books this year.
  • I started a new discussion type feature called "I Feel Like Gabbing Today." It's a fun way for me to tell you all the random bookish and non-bookish thoughts that pop into my head throughout the week. So far I have had two posts and hope to keep it up. I'm thinking I will do this feature every other week.
  • I also brought back Book Prescriptions, previously titled Book Recommendation Friday. I plan to post this on the first Friday of every month. I won't have a post for December, but I plan to make this a for sure thing every month in 2015.
  • I posted only 5 reviews this month.

My Favorite Read of The Month
The very very long wait for this book was worth it!

What went down behind the blog?
  • I got a new car! My old 2001 Pontiac Sunfire was slowly falling apart and becoming a pain. It got to the point that it wasn't worth fixing up anymore. Luckily for me my dad works for Ford and I got a really good affordable deal on a new Ford Fiesta. It's a pretty blue color.
MY NEW CAR :)

My Biggest Moment in November

I participated in and WON NaNoWriMo!

I can't believe December starts tomorrow!

My Bookish and Non-Bookish Goals for December
  • Take time to actually relax and enjoy the holidays with my husband and the rest of my family.
  • Finish my goodreads challenge goal! This means I must read 15 books in the month of December. I got this.
  • I need to catch up on blog post comments. Since I was so busy in November they kind of got away from me.
The December Release I Look Forward to The Most
10 comments
November 26, 2014

I Feel Like Gabbing Today - Holiday Edition

THIS POST WAS INSPIRED BY BOOKISH (AND NOT SO BOOKISH THOUGHTS) @BOOKISHLY BOISTEROUS
AND THOUGHTS FOR THURSDAY @THE QUIET CONCERT.

**I have no idea how often I will have this post or when exactly I'm going to post it. This is a work in progress. I do however know that I want to share my very random thoughts that pop into my head with you. Many are bookish thoughts and many are not. Sometimes these posts will be one topic and sometimes just a list of random ideas, who knows. This week it is a list. I feel like I don't have enough discussion type posts on the blog so I am giving this a whirl.

1. I don't start celebrating Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving (really the second after Thanksgiving is over). I decorate, listen to some Christmas music, and have a blast doing it, but not until the day after Thanksgiving.

2. I love food and around the holidays that is a problem. I eat too much on Thanksgiving and pretty much the entire holiday season. I swear I gain a couple of pounds every year.

3.If you have yet to do so make sure you stop and give thanks on Thanksgiving. Just pause and say thanks before you start your brave Black Friday shopping.

4. I used to really love Black Friday shopping and it was a family tradition, but they have been starting earlier and earlier every year making me like it less and less.

5. I like snow... when it is less than an inch and doesn't stick on the ground.

6. I would rather be cold than hot, but I would most rather be the perfect temperature.

7. I love buying/making/arranging gifts for other people. I like it more than getting gifts. (Maybe not more than getting books.) It's fun and I am good at it. :)

8. I used to love going out to the bars on New Year's Eve. Now I enjoy going to a small apartment or house party with close friends. I do wish one year I could go somewhere where you get all fancy, but I don't have the money to do such things.

9. Being married and juggling two families for the holidays is kind of a pain.

10. The Christmas song I look forward to listing the most each year... Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by Nsync!

11. I tend to binge watch ABC Family and Hallmark Christmas movies in December for like a week. I'm not ashamed.

12.I'm thankful for my good health, my family, my amazing husband, my job, my friends, books, and most importantly, my blogging friends and the book blogging community in general.

13.My husband is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**Update: In case you were curious... my husband wrote number 13 without my knowledge. lol But I do think he is awesome.
10 comments
November 24, 2014

Review: The Assassin's Blade by: Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass 0.1-0.5) by: Sarah J. Maas (March 2014)
448 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
Goodreads Summary: Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins' Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.

Arobynn's enemies stretch far and wide - from Adarlan's rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate - and cut her heart in two forever...

My Review

Initial Reaction: I don't normally read novellas, but I say bring these on.I love Celaena. Always.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord - We get to find out more about Celaena before she ended up in the slave camp where Throne of Glass begins. I liked this one.
The Assassin and the Healer - I love the minor characters in this one. I really start to feel like we are getting to know our most beloved assassin.
The Assassin and the Desert - I am proud of Celaena. Has she always had such a tough life?
The Assassin and the Underworld - This one was frustrating and depressing.
The Assassin and the Empire - Full of heartbreak, grief, and betrayal. I knew it was coming, but it still killed me.

Overall: This is a great addition to the Throne of Glass series. We get to see Celaena really grow throughout these short stories and get to know more about her and more about Sam and Arobynn Hamel. The best part, it reads like one big bonus book. If only we had something like this for Chaol.



6 comments
November 17, 2014

Review: Boomerang by: Noelle August

Boomerang by Noelle August (#1) (July 2014)
336 pages
Genre: New Adult/Romance
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Source: The library.
Goodreads Summary: The first book in a sensational New Adult trilogy from Noelle August.

Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments match ups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?

My Review

My Initial Reaction: HAHAHA (this is me laughing out loud). This is awkward yet awesome. I’m caught.

I think it’s hard to find a really good new adult novel so I’m glad I was told to read Boomerang because it truly is a good new adult novel.

Boomerang is fun, cute, amusing, and at times it is filled with some pretty hardcore sexual tension. In other words, it is delightful.

The plot and dialogue may be pretty standard for a romance novel, but there was also a hint of charming uniqueness that made it more. It was crazy, but funny. I just wish it would have been either a little more cute or a little more steamy instead of kind of being stuck in the middle of the two.

I liked Mia and Ethan, both are genuine good people. It doesn't hurt that they are also just oh so entertaining. One of my favorite parts of the novel that I immensely enjoyed was their friendly competition for the job opening after the internship. I loved seeing them grow and their relationship evolve as well. When they finally get together it is HOT. I also loved the secondary characters in Boomerang and look forward to seeing who shows up in the next two books in the trilogy.

The Bottom Line: Boomerang is a nicely done new addition to the New Adult genre. It’s a sure thing for when you are in a crappy mood. Boomerang will make you smile.


4 comments
November 14, 2014

I Feel Like Gabbing Today

THIS POST WAS INSPIRED BY BOOKISH (AND NOT SO BOOKISH THOUGHTS) @BOOKISHLY BOISTEROUS
AND THOUGHTS FOR THURSDAY @THE QUIET CONCERT.

**I have no idea how often I will have this post or when exactly I'm going to post it. This is a work in progress. I do however know that I want to share my very random thoughts that pop into my head with you. Many are bookish thoughts and many are not. Sometimes these posts will be one topic and sometimes just a list of random ideas, who knows. This week it is a list. I feel like I don't have enough discussion type posts on the blog so I am giving this a whirl.

1. Every time I try to relax and just do nothing I last about 20 minutes. I just feel like I always need to be productive. I do this to myself, I know, but I would love a day just to relax and do nothing and not feel guilty about it.

2. I'm loving this season of The Walking Dead. It may make me cringe sometimes, but I still love it. Talk about a show that really makes you stop and think.

3. I feel like I can never be on top of things when it comes to Twitter, or blogging for that matter.

4. I convinced my husband to take me to see Big Hero Six today. It was super cute, heartwarming, sad, and I loved every second of it.

5. I am always worried I have messed something up at work. I don't know why. I just am paranoid about it I guess. I don't want to fail.

6. Modern Family makes me laugh every single time I watch it.

7. I am addicted to iced coffees and iced lattes, and now that it is colder out even though I generally drink hot coffee, I can't seem to let up on the iced drinks.

8. I just downsized my to-read shelf on goodreads by 100. Now I only have 266 books on my to-read shelf. Sadly I still have 233 on my maybe-to-read shelf.

9. No matter how many to-do lists I make I never seem to be that organized. Nothing ever seems to get done.

10. I have a love/hate relationship with NaNoWriMo.

11. I'm re-reading the first two Mara Dyer books before I read the last one that was just released. I am not sure why but I feel like it is cheating to count the re-reads for the goodreads challenge, and then I saw that someone said goodreads doesn't count re-reads anyway. It is kind of weird... I feel like it should be your choice.
8 comments
November 13, 2014

Review: Chaos by: Sarah Fine (Guards of The Shadowlands #3)

Chaos by: Sarah Fine (Guards of The Shadowlands #3) (Oct. 7 2014)
388 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: The Library
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
**May contain spoilers of the two previous books in the trilogy.
Goodreads Summary: With Juri in control and everything in absolute chaos, Lela plunges into the depths of hell to free Malachi from creatures that have waited decades to exact their revenge. But the Judge has her own way of doing things, and Lela must work with Ana, the new Captain, who has a very personal mission of her own. Together, they infiltrate the most horrifying realm either has yet encountered in the Shadowlands the bitter landscape ruled by the Mazikin.

The stakes could not be higher, and Lela must accept the help and love of people she barely knows or trusts. As alliances and loyalties shift and she realizes the soul she came to save isn't the only one in need of rescue, can Lela summon the strength to see the fight through to the very end?

My Review

The second I started reading Chaos I remembered how much I love this series and how much (in a scary way) that I LOVE Malachi. Talk about a great book boyfriend. I also love the MC, Lela, man that girl is strong in every way. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two Guards of The Shadowlands books and the last book, Chaos, was just as amazing. I honestly have no idea why more people aren't reading these books. They are dark, gruesome, full of action, heartbreaking, hopeful, beautifully written, and has a love that kills me in the best way.

Instead of just writing a rambling/fangirling review I decided to share with you the goodreads updates I did while reading along with some gifs to round out my feels. Enjoy!

When I finally got my hands on a copy!


Now in GIF format: My emotional journey while reading...


I know I have used the GIF below before but it basically sums up everything.


2 comments
November 11, 2014

TTT #28 - Top Seven Characters I Wish Would Get Their Own Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.

For some unknown reason I had a hard time coming up with ten people for this list. So here are my top ten seven characters I wish would get their own kook. My list seems to be mostly guys, but I'm thinking that is because most of the books I read have female MCs.

- She is hilarious. I want her as my best friend. (Not saying I don't love my current one.)

 - I'll take a novella or a full length book. I just can never get enough of Chaol.

- Do I need to explain myself? She rocks. I would love to read the previous books from her POV or have books about her that take place in the future. I'll take anything really.

-  Seriously, why wouldn't I want a book all about this charming devilish man?

- Another charming devilish captain that I can't get enough of.

- I found his character interesting, and I'm sure since he is a vampire he has a lot of stories to share.

- Mysterious. I can't wait to find out more about him, a whole book wouldn't hurt.

10 comments
November 10, 2014

A Straight To The Point Review: On The Fence by: Kasie West

On the Fence by: Kasie West (July 2014)
296 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: I bought it!
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
Goodreads Summary: For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

My Review

On the Fence is a contemporary romance you don't want to pass up.

Here is why...

Kasie West wrote it. She never seems to write anything that is less than amazing.

It is full of sibling banter. The main character, Charlie, has three older brothers. Every single character in On the Fence is easily likable.

It is sweet, adorable, and everything you could ask for in a romance novel.

I sincerely enjoyed the friend to boyfriend plot line.

It made me laugh, get teary eyed, and say awwwww with a smile on my face.

Bottom Line: I can't wait for West's next book!


6 comments
November 9, 2014

The Bookish Report

Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. I put this post up every Sunday so come back again next week for more bookish awesomeness.Click away and enjoy your Sunday!

News

Lemony Snicket is coming to Netflix. I've never read the books but a lot of people seem to be excited by this news.
This post is so true. See how it is to be a writer in the real world.
Metro riders get free e-books in Moscow!
Epic Reads never disappoints. I love their YA historical fiction timeline.
For fans of The Walking Dead, Reign, and a variety of other television shows, I suggest you read this article that pairs reading suggestions with television shows.

Fellow Book Blogger Posts

The Quiet Concert'sI Wear Genre Goggles - I think I might do this.
Maji Bookshelf'sWhich Cover is Calling For You? - This is fun!
Shae Has Left the Room'sIt's a Book... With Pictures! - I am going to try and read some graphic novels.

It's Here!!



For Another More Bookish Laugh

Reddit

6 comments
November 7, 2014

November Book Prescriptions: If You Liked Throne of Glass...

Book Recommendation Friday is back with a new name and a new look! I plan on posting this feature on the first Friday of every month. (I know I haven't posted for months but I'm really hoping to change that.)

Each month I will come up with at least five different and unique reading suggestions for each post. I only recommend books I have already read unless noted.

The Books I suggest aren't always necessarily the same genre/plot so much as they have the same feel... and are great reads of course.

Click on the book title to found out more about each one. Enjoy!

If you like Throne of Glass by: Sarah J. Maas then you should try...

1.For a Kick-Ass Heroine - Graceling by: Kristin Cashore
2.For Romance Fans - The Kiss of Deception by: Mary E. Pearson
3.For War Strategists-The Winner's Curse by: Marie Rutkoski
4.For a Unique Read - Half Bad by: Sally Green
5.For Non-Stop Action - Shadow and Bone by: Leigh Bardugo
6.For an Adult/Young Adult Crossover - The Queen of the Tearling by: Erika Johansen


Please share your book recommendations below and any other ways you think I could make this feature even better! If you have a specific book you want me to highlight in the upcoming months please feel free to share them with me. For other reading suggestions that I have completed in the past check out myIf you liked...Then read...page.

12 comments
November 4, 2014

Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Read-a-thon Sign Up & Goals

This read-a-thon is hosted byCaffeinated Book Reviewer and The Book Shelfery

Details HERE//Start Date: 11/6/2014 // End Date: 11/11/2014

Every year I say I want to read some holiday themed books and for whatever reason I never get around to it. Probably because there are just so many books I want to read and there will never be enough time for me to read them all. Anyway, this year I really do want to read some holiday books so I decided to take the first step and sign up for the Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Read-a-thon.

Reading Goals
~ Read three holiday books.

Social Goals
~ Participate in the Twitter Party.
~ Participate in at least one challenge.
~ Discover at least two new book blogs.

The Books
~ My True Love Gave To Me by: Stephenie Perkins and various authors
~ Let It Snow by: John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myrcle
~ Starry Night by: Debbie Macomber

Day 1 / November 6th
Book I started: None. :(

Mid-Point / November 8th
Books I’ve finished: None. :(
Book I’m reading now: My True Love Gave to Me

End Wrap-Up / November 11th
Books I’ve finished: Three!
Book I’m still reading: None. I finished all three!
12 comments
November 3, 2014

Review: Heroes Are My Weakness by: Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Heroes Are My Weakness by: Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Aug. 2014)
384 pages
Genre: Adult/Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: The library.
Goodreads Summary: New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips is back with a delightful novel of a killer love that is filled with her sassy wit and dazzling charm.

The dead of winter.
An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
A man.
A woman.
A sinister house looming over the sea . . .

He's a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.

But she's not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes. It's going to be a long, hot winter.

My Review

Heroes Are My Weakness wasn’t what I was expecting, but then again I really don’t know what I was expecting to begin with. In the end, the story inside the pages of Heroes Are My Weakness captivated me for whatever reason.

What I Liked
  • The secrets. I love a book full of secrets.
  • The gothic elements. This book had many shout outs to Jane Eyre among other gothic novels, and well… I love gothic novels. This one definitely had its creepy moments. It also reminded me of Beauty and the Beast.
  • There was actually some surprises that I didn’t see coming.
  • The characters are complex. Did I always relate to them? Nope. But I kind of loved that they all seemed a little crazy, making for some funny moments.
  • The romance was pretty decent, although also pretty run of the mill.
  • It managed to grab my attention and keep hold.

What I Didn’t Like
  • The MC, Annie, can be a little bit dumb at times and a little too harsh on herself.
  • The puppets were not my friends. I’m not a fan of puppets to begin with (they are kind of creepy), but Annie tends to talk to herself in her puppets' voices. It was just a little too weird for me. It just wasn’t working for me, and it happens during most of the novel. I understand that Annie is using the voices like a conscious to reason through certain actions she is making but it is still a little weird that it comes from the voices of her puppets.

Bottom Line: I honestly don’t know who I would recommend this one to. I guess if you are already a fan of this author you may as well give it a shot. I haven’t really read anything by her previously. Either way, I did enjoy reading Heroes Are My Weakness. It was different, spooky, and steamy.

2 comments
November 2, 2014

The Bookish Report

Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. I put this post up every Sunday so come back again next week for more bookish awesomeness.Click away and enjoy your Sunday!

News

See what the "it" book of 2014 is on goodreads (I have read the book, it's good), and voting for the Goodreads Choice Awards begins on Monday.
Publisher's Weekly also has their list out of the Best Books of 2014.
Anyone who wants to participate, is participating, or just thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo may want to read this post about writing a novel in 30 days.
The cover forA Court of Thorns and Rosesby Sarah J. Maas has been revealed. I love it.

Fellow Book Blogger Posts

My Friends Are Fiction - If a book makes you ugly cry do you rate it higher?- I do take that into an account in reviewing. If a book gets me that emotional...
The Broke and the Bookish - 5th Annual Secret Santa Sign-ups- I may actually participate this year!

Harry Potter Crafts

I found this HP craft board on Pinterest. No regrets. I now want to throw an HP party and I want to figure out how to make this howler ornament.
Source
2 comments
November 1, 2014

It's NaNoWriMo Time


I'm happy to say that I am officially participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) again this year! This is my second time participating. I feel like I should be more confident but really that isn't the case, but I better get over it because NaNoWriMo starts today!

Why am I participating in NaNoWriMo?

  • I work better with a deadline and a dazzling finish line.
  • I had fun last time so I am hoping it will be fun again.
  • I won NaNoWriMo last year and it was a GREAT feeling. I actually went over the goal and I am hoping to do that again this year.
  • I have so many crazy book ideas that float around in my head that I figured it would be good to put some of them down on paper so I can free up some more brain space.

What will my second novel be about? (What I know so far.)

  • Zombies.
  • It's going to be more of a comedy.
  • The setting: a college campus.

What does this mean for It's a Book Life?

Nothing will change on the blog. Most of my posts are already done and ready to go for the month of November. It may take me a little while longer to reply to comments and read other blog posts but that is about it. So don't worry blogger buddies, I'm not going anywhere.

**Wish me luck! If anyone else is participating in NaNoWriMo let me know and I will totally cheer you on! My NaNoWriMo name is AKayR08 if you want to add me.
10 comments
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