December 18, 2018

TTT #92: My Winter TBR Pile

Although I don't always stick with them, I love making TBR piles. Here are the titles that made it onto my Winter TBR Pile. I can't wait to read these beauties!

1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
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I have really only heard wonderful things about this book, and I think it is time I read it.

2. The Wicked King by Holly Black
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I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince and can't wait to see what happens next between Cardan and Jude.

3. Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry
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I have enjoyed other books (my favorite being Nowhere but Here) by this author so I can't pass this new one up.

4. The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
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I adored The Wedding Date and I can't wait to give this one a try. Plus, being proposed to in front of so many people sounds horrifying and I want to see what happens.

5. Internment by Samira Ahmed
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This book sounds horrifying as it is set in a near-future US where Muslim Americans are forced into interment camps, but will hopefully spark much needed conversations about what is currently going on in our country.

6. Unnatural Disasters by Jeff Hirsch
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I will read just about any survival story, especially one sounding so cryptic. 

7. Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
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All of Marissa Meyer's books are automatic reads for me, and I loved Renegades and can't wait to see what happens next.

8. Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart
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I met this author and her pitch for her book sold me. As soon as she said you have to fit in a volcanic pit for food, I was sold.

9. Switchback by Danika Stone
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Another survival story? Sign me up!

10. The Birds, and the Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh
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This is a new Swoon Reads title and it sounds both delightful and serious. Just look at the cover!

Are any of these titles on your Winter TBR piles?

December 16, 2018

2019 Beat the Backlist Challenge

Sing up here! | Jan. 1 2019 - Dec. 31 2019 | Hosted by NovelKnight

Besides the Goodreads challenge, I have not been participating in reading challenges the last two years thanks to graduate school keeping me busy. However, I am officially done with grad school (as of Dec. 10) and I will now have some more time on my hands! When I stumbled upon this challenge on a few other book blogs I knew I had to give it a try. There are so many books that have been on my TBR pile for quite some time that I have ignored. I am hoping to change that in 2019, especially getting to the books I actually own that are just sitting on my shelf.

My Goal

To read at least one backlist book a month, but hopefully read a total of 24! Let's all keep our fingers crossed. I always have the best intentions at the beginning of the year, and then I kind of just forget about the challenges I have signed up for. I am truly hoping that I stick with this one. Perhaps I will make a physical Backlist TBR Shelf on my bookcase for inspiration.

Backlist TBR Pile

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (2006)
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick (2012)
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (2012)
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (2013)
The Elemental Series (#1-5) by Brigid Kemmerer  (2012-2014), Own
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (2013)
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson (2014), Own
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (2014), Own
Magnolia by Kristi Cook (2014), Own
Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay (2014)
The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (2015), Own
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall (2016)
Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal (2016)
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis  (2016), Own
The Reader by Traci Chee (2016), Own
The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan (2016), Own
The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee (2016), Own
The Borden Murders by Sarah Miller (2016)
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (2017), Own
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (2017)
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart (2017), Own
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson (2017)
Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton (2017), Own
Lucky in Love by Kasie West (2017), Own
This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada (2017)
Beartown by Fredrik Backman (2017)
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo (2017), Own
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (2017)
Carnegie's Maid by Marie Benedict (2018)
These Vengeful Souls by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas (2018), Own
Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart (2018), Own
Dreamer by L.E. DeLano (2018), Own

I have also decided to join team Ravenclaw! 

Which books from my list are must reads?

Will you be participating in Beat the Backlist?

December 14, 2018

Five on Friday: Recently Added to My TBR Pile

This week's Five on Friday features the books I have recently added to my TBR pile. I can't wait for these ones! It is starting to look like 2019 isn't going to help keep my TBR pile from growing to epic proportions.

1. The Antidote by Shelley Sackier
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Magic isn't allowed, and yet Fee can only save her best friend by using magic. What is she supposed to do? I love a good book about forbidden magic, and this cover is gorgeous.

2. The Beautiful by Renee Ahdied
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She's bringing vampires back, and I am ready! *grabby hands*

3. Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan
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The delightful people on the cover in the fun costumes work at Magic Castle Playland, and it may be closing!This book sounds like a perfect summer read full of friendships and disasters.

4. Stolen Time by Danielle Rollins
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I never say no to a time travel novel.

5. Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy
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The voice of the writing and the overall plot remind me of a mix of Cinder and Percy Jackson. Hell. Yes. Plus, a unique retelling of The Sword and the Stone? What more could I want? Nothing.

What's new on your TBR pile?

November 30, 2018

2018 Holiday Books and Movies

HOLIDAY BOOKS ON MY TBR PILE: I knew Snow in Love was going to make my list this year since it features a story by one of my favorite authors, Kasie West. Mutts and Mistletoe has cute dogs on the covers so I couldn't pass that up and Christmas Camp is written by the person who wrote the Netflix hit A Christmas Prince, which was horrible yet entertaining, making it another must read. Carols and Chaos offers a historical fiction Christmas story by an author I love while Moonlight Over Manhattan and Love & Other Train Wrecks just sounded like enjoyable reads.

NEW TO ME: With Vanessa Hudgens playing the main character I couldn't say no to The Princess Switch (Netflix). A sequel to A Christmas Prince? Of course I will be watching A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (Netflix). Switched for Christmas (Hallmark) features Candace Cameron Bure while Road to Christmas (Hallmark) stars Chad Michael Murray. The Holiday Calendar sounds like another Netflix Christmas hit and The Grinch is a favorite of mine.

OLD FAVORITES: As a fan of musicals and musical competitions, The Mistle-tones (Freeform) had to make this list. I watch The Holiday and Love Actually every single year, they both have a great cast! I haven't watched Olive the Other Reindeer in quite some time, but I am hoping to change that this year. Rise of the Guardians is such a well-made movie and I didn't get around to watching it last year. Yes. Die Hard is one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies. Yes. It is a Christmas movie. Fight me in the comments! ;)

Puppies Crash Christmas is both a wonderfully adorable delight, and gives me great anxiety. This video is only available on Hulu. It is 30 minutes of adorable puppies wrecking a cute Christmas scene with Netflix show Easter eggs scattered throughout.

Tell Me in the Comments: What holiday books are you planning to read? Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?

November 26, 2018

Review & Giveaway: Twelve Months of Awkward Moments

Twelve Months of Awkward Moments by Lisa Acerbo (Aug. 30, 2018)
Length: 234 pages
Publisher: Torrid Books
Source: I received a free review copy as part of Xpresso Book Tours. Thank you!
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating:
Synopsis: Dani can’t wait for senior year at college. A straight-A scholar whose anxiety is a daily struggle, being awkward, introverted, and studious has become a way of life. She vows this year will be different. It’s time to move beyond her comfort zone, but that’s not easy. Dani’s wild roommate and handsome best friend hate each other; her crazy family won’t leave her alone; and a new job forces her to be social. Unfortunately, when college romance finally calls, Dani is unable to answer thanks to a stalker who has her all tied up. Can she stay alive long enough to find love and graduate?

My Review

Twelve Months of Awkward Moments is a unique addition to the new adult genre. Dani is a smart girl who has anxiety. As someone who struggles with anxiety on a daily basis, I could easily relate to what she was going through, and I thought the author did a good job at capturing those feelings. The supporting cast of characters including her roommate, her best friend, and mother are also realistic and well-written. Dani has bad luck when it comes to men, and now she has a stalker. There was a good amount of suspense over who the stalker was, the author doing an excellent job at keeping us on our toes about who it could be. Poor Dani has had interactions with a lot of creeps. The plot was fast paced and the mystery kept me turning the pages. However, I was disappointed about how the stalker situation was resolved and the lack of a solid romantic relationship, but it did have a satisfying ending. The Verdict: Overall, I think Twelve Months of Awkward Moments is a fast-paced romantic suspense that I think fans of new adult novels will enjoy.

The Author

Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, two dogs, and horse. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and tries to pursue some type of further education. 


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November 19, 2018

Mini Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (#1) by Holly Black (Jan. 2, 2018)
Length: 370 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: I borrowed a copy from the library.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Synopsis: Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe. Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences. As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

My Review

I have always enjoyed books about the Fae. I am a big fan of A Court of Thorns and Roses, Wicked Lovely, and An Enchantment of Ravens, to name a few. With that being said, The Cruel Prince was as equally wicked as it was enjoyable. Although it was extremely hard to like any of the horrible characters, even the humans, I loved reading about their crazy antics on every single page. Jude is dramatic and power hungry while Cardan is cruel and selfish. Although they hate each other's guts, something else lies underneath their interactions. I may have enjoyed this quick read, but I would have liked a little more meat to some of the characters to better believe all their actions. Yet, I was still entertained by every lie and every secretive action. I also want to note that Holly Black does a wonderful job at describing this world of the Fae with its vicious creatures and beautiful lands so much so that I had no trouble envisioning this fantasy world while reading. I will be reading book two. The Verdict: It may not be perfect, but it's a strong addition to the young adult fantasy genre.

November 14, 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 halfway through The Cruel Prince by Holly Black and am enjoying it so far. I'm also finally reading The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang!


What I Recently Finished Reading

I adored What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, and laughed my ass off while reading the graphic novel Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner.


What I Plan to Read Next

I will be reading 12 Months of Awkward Moments by Lisa Acerbo for a book tour and another graphic novel for class titled All Summer Long by Hope Larson.

What are you currently reading?

November 12, 2018

Mini Review: What If It's Us by Albertalli & Silvera

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera (Oct. 9, 2018)
Length: 437 pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: I bought myself a copy!
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Synopsis: Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it. Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things. But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them? Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited. But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play? But what if it is?

What starts off with a meet-cute for the ages, turns into a whole bunch of date do-overs filled with both equally adorable and awkward moments. Arthur is my favorite character in this love story. He has no chill and talks as much as I do. I can't help but love him! Ben has his own flaws, but is also a great guy. Readers will get to see into each boys' lives with their complicated friendships, caring parents, and their thoughts on every interaction they have with each other. What If It's Us is incredibly well-written, all the characters have their own unique personality, and I couldn't help but laugh and swoon the entire time while reading. I ship Arthur and Ben so freaking hard, and I think many other readers will as well. I think fans of these authors will not be disappointed. The Verdict: Read it. Why are you second guessing yourself? Go get a copy!

October 22, 2018

Graphic Novel Mini Reviews

Check, Please!: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu (September 18, 2018)
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This graphic novel is about Bitty, a freshman on Samwell University's hockey team, and it is freaking amazing. It will make you laugh, and sigh with content. Bitty LOVES to bake, but is not a fan of getting checked on the rink. Reading about his freshman year adventures with the entertaining guys on the hockey team brought back my own college memories while enjoying Bitty's new ones. Bitty is wonderfully adorable, and the team captain he has his eyes on, is complex, dark, and brooding. The illustrations are fun, and Bitty's facial expressions are spot on. I can't wait for volume two! VERDICT: READ IT RIGHT NOW.

The Breakaways by Cathy G. Johnson (March 5, 2019)
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The Breakways feature a group of misfit girls on a not-so-good soccer team. The characters were incredibly unlikable at the beginning except for Faith who is sweet and kind and learning to be brave. As the other characters' backstories unfold, you are reminded that you never really know what someone is going through so you should always be kind. However, the kids in this book really aren't kind at all. I obviously have mixed feelings on this one. I did like the diverse cast of characters, and how accepting they turn out to be, not to mention that middle school being difficult is realistic, but I was just very underwhelmed. I also didn't love the artwork, but that is a personal preference. Therefore, my problems with this one may be more personal so please give it a try if it sounds like something you would enjoy! VERDICT: If you are curious, get it from the library.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (2015)
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I have read this graphic novel before and thoroughly enjoyed it. For my grad school class I had to listen to the audiobook and compare the two, and I was not disappointed. What a fun assignment! The full cast audiobook was a delight. The cast did a fabulous job catching each character's unique traits. However, even though they added a narrator that is not in the book to help describe the scenes the listener is missing due to lack of illustrations, it was still enjoyable. I did still think the story is best with the illustrations. VERDICT: I recommend reading the graphic novel while listening to the audio, but reading it in any format will do just fine as long as you read it! 

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.

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