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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