Monday, June 12, 2017

Blog Tour: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid | Review

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Chick Lit
Pages: 400
Source: eARC fro Publisher
Find on Goodreads




Goodreads Description

From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

My Thoughts


Before I started reading tis novel I admit I was a bit nervous. This isn't the kind of book that I normally read. Although I was intrigued by the synopsis I was still concerned I wouldn't enjoy it and have to for myself through. I decided to get it a try anyway and I'm so happy I did. From the moment I started reading I was hooked and had to know where the story would go.

The writing was amazing! There was so much that happened in this book that I wouldn't even begin to know details about but everything felt so real. The characters, the places they went, and the people they met, I felt as if I could see everything. There were even times where I wanted to look up different movies mentioned and gossip column articles, only to remember that this is a work of fiction and these things didn't actually happen.

I also really loved the characters. Each of them was flawed and so beautifully human. They all fought to live the life they wanted. They loved, lost, and hurt so deeply. Especially Evelyn Hugo. From the very beginning I felt so connected to Evelyn. I didn't always agree with her choices, honestly most of the time I didn't agree with her, but I understood each time why she chose what she did and how that choice benefited or hurt her lifestyle. Evelyn Hugo is probably the most flawed character I have read about but I appreciate that she realizes and accepts her faults and doesn't regret the decisions she has made.

I don't understand why I was so emotionally invested in this book and these characters but I was. It takes a lot for me to cry while reading a book and I cried three or four times while reading. That might not mean much to you but it means a lot for me. There were so many quotable moments throughout this novel, so many I wouldn't even know where to begin with my list. If this sounds even a little interesting I highly suggest trying it out. I don't think you'll regret it!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Stray by Joni Johnson | Review

Stray by Joni Johnson
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 22, 2017
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 250
Source: Received ebook from Author for Review
Find on Goodreads




Goodreads Description

Lila Baxter, 17, is abandoned at a gas station in a small town when her father, who was taking her to live with her grandmother, had a lapse in sobriety. Lila is left alone, unsure of where she is, with no money, and no cell phone. Gas station cashier Vance Larson, 18, offers to help the unwanted girl. And how does Lila repay him? By unwittingly unhinging Vance's whole life. Fixing the trouble she’s caused is next to impossible. And will any of it matter when her father returns?

My Thoughts


The synopsis of this novel gives a pretty good summary of what happens throughout the book. In a way I feel it almost gives too much away because the story starts before the information given in the description. The story opens with Lila going to her last day of high school. We get a little look at how her life is but not much. Lila thinks her father is about to kick her out since she's graduated high school but after getting home later that day she finds out he plans to take her across the country to live with a grandmother she's never met. I think knowing ahead of time that Lila would be abandoned at a gas station hut the shock factor of the moment. From the moment the two started on the road I was waiting for the moment Lila would be left.

The pacing of this story is pretty slow. The entire story takes place over about 2 weeks but it felt like it was longer. At some moments the pacing benefited the story, for example it made sure the romance didn't feel rushed, but other times it didn't. There were moments the story dragged and I found myself waiting for he next exciting moment.

I don't know anything about the background of where either of the main characters is from but they seemed real. The characters can make or break a story for me, and these characters made me want to keep reading to see how the story would end. I did feel their were some inconsistencies with Lila. She has trust issues because of the way she grew up, so much so that she didn't allow herself to open up and make friends. The only friend she had didn't really know anything about her life and she refused to tell him even when it could have helped her. However when she meets a complete stranger, Vance (and his mom), while she doesn't completely open up to them right away it seems like she almost completely trusts them.

I wasn't completely satisfied with the ending. I appreciated that there wasn't a perfect ending where everyone got exactly what they wanted because that's not how life is, especially Lila's. However there were some things that didn't quite add up and I had a lot of unanswered questions. One thing that didn't seem right was Lila's age. I know for parts of the story to make since Lila needs to be 17 but when looking at the timeline it doesn't make sense. Lila's birthday is in February and she just graduated high school so unless she skipped a grade Lila should already be 18. This wasn't a huge issue but it's something I noticed. My main issue with this story is all my unanswered questions.

  • Did Carl (Lila's father) leave her on purpose? 
  • If he didn't, was he on his way back to get her?
  • Why wasn't Lila's grandmother ever contacted? Even though she didn't know her, there was some way they could've found her contact information.
  • What did Carl's mother do when he and Lila never showed up?
  • Why didn't anyone contact Carl's next living relative once he was in the accident? Once again, there is a way they couldn't have gotten this information.
There are so many more questions I had but I don't want to spoil any of the story.

Overall, Stray was enjoyable. With some changes I think this story could've been incredible. I would like to see a little extension of the story to be able to see where life goes for Lila, and even Vance and his mother. If this synopsis sounds interesting to you, I think it's worth giving Stray a try.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

April Wrap Up + May TBR | 2017

I'm really late on posting my wrap up for last month so I'll share the video I uploaded on my channel talking about what I read in April. Although I was crawling out of a reading slump I had a pretty good reading month and finished 6 books.

I have five books on my May TBR. It's not a lot but there are some pretty hefty books. At least two of the books are over 600 pages! I've already finished one of the books on my TBR for the month so I'm off to a good start. Wish me luck!





Let me know what you guys read in April and what you plan to read in May. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Until It Fades by K. A. Tucker | Review

Until It Fades by K. A. Tucker
Publisher: Atria Books
Expected Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Pages: 368
Source: eARC from Netgalley
Find on Goodreads




Goodreads Description

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades? 

My Thoughts


I was apart of the cover reveal for this book a bit ago. When I first read the synopsis I knew it was a book that I needed to read no matter what. I like to think I'm still new to the New Adult genre but this book seemed to have everything that I have enjoyed within the genre so far, a passionate romance that made me want a real life version of the male character for myself. Imagine my surprise when it ended up being a lot more than the that.

The story is told in a dual timeline so there is an understanding of how Catherine is currently living and how exactly she got there. I'm not going to go into any details about how Catherine ended up being a single mother working as a truck stop waitress because that is a big plot pint that makes up the story. Catherine's current lifestyle in a way lead her to be in the right place at the right time to save Brett.

The formatting of the story, switching between Catherine's past and present, made the story a little slow at times for me. I understand why it was done and felt it was very effective to reveal important details but I felt that it was done too much. I didn't always care to relive those moments. Instead I would have like to see Catherine open up a little and talk about a few of the moments to get a sense of how she was feeling at the current moment in her life as opposed to when it first happened. Another thing I noticed was that while it didn't seem like insta-love, the romance happened pretty quickly. This might just be my personal opinion but a few months seems fast, especially considering Catherine's trust issues.

Despite those things, this book is more than the surface level the synopsis gives us. It's centered around making mistakes and dealing with the consequences and growing from the experience. It also deals with the meaning of family and friends, reconciliation, and being in love. I highly recommend Until It Fades, especially to those who love the genre.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mister Romance (Masters of Love #1) by Leisa Raven | Review

Mister Romance (Masters of Love #1) by Leisa Raven
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: April 30, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 317
Source: eARC from Author
Find on Goodreads




Goodreads Description

As his alter-ego Mister Romance, Max is a drop-dead gorgeous escort who makes romantic fantasies come to life. No sex, just swoon-worthy dates to die for, and the cream of New York's socialites can't get enough.  Whether they want a dominating billionaire, bad boy with a heart of gold, hot geek, sexy biker, or best friend who loves them from afar, Max can make it all happen, but he's careful to keep his real identity a secret. 

Enter investigative journalist Eden Tate. Having caught wind of the urban legend of Mister Romance from a lovestruck client, Eden is determined to publish a scathing expose on Max and his ability to swindle lonely society women out of their fortunes. 

Desperate to protect his anonymity and his clients, Max challenges Eden to give him three dates. If she doesn't fall in love with him, she can run her story with his blessing. If she succumbs to his charms, the story dies. 

Cynical Eden has no doubt she can resist his fake romance personas, but when the real Max admits he’s falling for her, she has to decide if the professional liar is telling the truth, or if the passionate man with the mysterious past is just one more character designed to con her out of her career-making story. 


My Thoughts


I wanted to put this up a few days ago but I was having a really hard time pulling all my thoughts together into a coherent review. When this book opens up we start getting to know one of our main characters. Eden is 25 and stuck in a job she hates. We quickly learn that she doesn't believe in romantic love and is set to spend the rest of her life single and only using men for her physical needs. After hearing about Mister Romance, Eden is determined to write an article exposing how this man is scamming New York's elites in order to advance her career.

Max, or Mister Romance, wants to make sure his business stays private. In order to do this he challenges Eden to go on three dates with him. If by the end of that time she felt the same as before he would allow her to publish her story. However, if Eden falls in love with him by the end of that time she has to drop the story. Of course because Eden doesn't believe in romance/love she agrees thinking she will soon be publishing her story.

I didn't always agree with Eden and how she chose to live her life but I found her to be such a relatable character. I'm personally a hopeless romantic (in disguise) but I shared Eden's skepticism about Max's business. From the moment Max physically entered the story I knew I would be in love. What starts as an attempt to get a reporter to drop the story about his business quickly changes to altering Eden's opinion of romance and love. The more Eden opens up and learns about his actions and the motives behind them, I started believing and accepting what Max was doing.

Another thing I loved about this story that wasn't really the main focus was the relationship between Eden and her family. There were a good number of parts that made me laugh throughout this book and the majority of them happened with her sister (Asha) and her grandmother (Nanabeth). Even though Eden doesn't believe in romantic love it's clear that she loves her family and will do everything she can for them. I do wish we learned a bit more about Eden and Asha's parents because I still had some questions when it came to them.

Mister Romance was one of those books that immediately grabbed my attention and didn't let go until I read the last word. This is the first book in a series (I'm really hoping it's a companion series) and I hope we get to see these characters again in the future. Leisa has quickly become an author that I'll read whatever she publishes! This is once all romance lovers need to read!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Hour 16 | Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

So...it's almost hour 16 of the readathon. My plan to sit and read all day didn't work out the way I wanted it to. From the time I woke up until now I have been interrupted for one reason or another and reading in between everything when I could. I'm still on the book I started with (Mister Romance by Leisa Rayven) but if nothing else I'm pretty sure I will finish it before the readathon is over. I'm going to continue to read until I get too sleepy to stay up.

Hour 2 | Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

It's officially hour 2 of the readathon! I woke up about 20 minutes into the first hour and after showering and putting clothes in the washer I haven't started reading yet. I've put water on for tea and I'm going to be eating frozen mangos (my breakfast) while I start my reading. I'm going to be starting with Mister Romance by Leisa Rayven.


Hour 1 Mini Challenge


Opening Survey

1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I'm reading from Texas in the US.
2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I'm most looking forward to finishing Mister Romance. Almost half way through the book and I'm in love with it! I can't wait to see where the story goes.
3. Which snack are you most looking forward to? Honestly, I'm not prepared and I don't have snacks prepared. I have some things around the house but I don't know how much snacking I'll be doing.
4. Tell us a little something about yourself! I've always suck when it comes to these things! I have been a reader for as long as I can remember. I'm willing to try almost any genre. Although I try to suppress it sometimes, I'm a hopeless romantic. 
5. If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? This is my first official time taking part in this readathon. I'm looking to see how much I can get read when I set aside so much time for reading.


Alright I spent way more time of this than I planned. I'm off to go start reading!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Introduction | April 2017




Wow! So I wasn't expecting to do this but I decided to officially participate in this round of Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon. I have attempted this readathon before but I'm pretty sure this is the first official time. Usually I'm doing a lot on Saturdays but for this weekend I'm going to try to spend my entire day reading.

If you watched the TBR video you will see the books I want to read. I know I want to finish at least two of theses books but I'm not going to restrict myself to only the ones I talked about since I am a huge mood reader. I will be doing updates here so make sure you guys check back to see how I'm doing and cheer me on if you're interested.

Alright I think that covers everything for now. I will be back in my first update. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Dream Bookish Panel

Have you ever thought about who would be on your dream bookish panel? Eventbrite has inspired me to do just that. I've briefly though about it before but for this I decided to throw all constraints out the window.

I had a lot of different authors that I would want to see on a panel speaking about a variety of different things. I quickly realized that I didn't have enough people to put in all the smaller panels I would have wanted. However when I started trying to put authors together they didn't all fit into different categories. Since this is my dream panel I decided to just go all out!

Location


As for locations, I would love to have panels all over the world to give me more incentive to travel. Of course that would be if I could get an all expense paid trip to wherever the panel is taking place. Since that's very unlikely I would love if the panels were in Dallas, Texas or closer if possible because that's still about an hour away. 

Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi


This would be one big panel of some of my favorite genres because I couldn't leave out authors or genres. A lot of these authors can fit into multiple categories so I figured why not just go for it.

Topics


  • I would love for the authors to talk about research they've done for their works. 
    • This includes talking about any favorite place to go for source material, and deciding what to pick out from research and use to fit their story.
  • I would also like to hear about their character development process, how to make romance work between characters in their setting, and how to make sure characters fit/are believable in the world they're living in.


Authors


  • Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Neal Shusterman
  • Sarah J. Maas
  • Rick Riordan
  • Chloe Neil
  • Amie Kaufman
  • Jay Kristoff


Contemporary


I have a soft spot in my heart for contemporary, so I couldn't leave out this genre when thinking about dream panels. This is just another random mix of authors covering different types of contemporary.

Topics


  • I would love to hear about the inspiration for characters and the process of developing characters
  • How do you make sure your story stays engaging?
  • What is your process of writing real world events in a fictional setting?
  • I would also like to hear about how to write a believable romance without making it too cheesy.


Authors


  • Nicola Yoon
  • Angie Thomas
  • Leisa Raven
  • Elle Kennedy
  • Becky Albertalli
  • Adam Silvera


If you can't tell I'm a writer. I would love to hear all these authors speak in panels while also getting useful advice for my own work. If you could choose your dream bookish panel who would be on it? What would they talk about? Thanks Eventbrite for this amazing idea! If you are looking for a resource to plan and track online registrations or search for conferences near you, check out Eventbrite.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Case of the Rereads

I know I have disappeared from this blog before but I'm not sure if it's ever been this long. It might not have even been that long but I feel like it has been forever since I have even typed in the link to blog. I don't think I have talked to anyone personally who has read my blog but I figured I would make a post talking about why I stopped posting completely and where I would like to go from here.

Towards the end of November I got some not so great news. From that point until basically last weekend I wasn't in the best living situation. In order to try to make myself feel better about the situation and not being able to film videos as much I put effort into trying to get out blog post. It helped a little but then I started working more and I need something to help me relax and think about other things. I think that's part of why I read so much in January.

After reading so much in January I was feeling a little burnt out on reading so I stepped back from reading and decided to watch Netflix and play the Sims until I felt like reading again. After half a month of not having the urge to read, I decided to pick up the couple books I had started at the very beginning of February. We are almost through March now and I still haven't finished any of those books that I started at the beginning of February. I only finished 3 books in February, they were all audiobooks and two of them were rereads.

Since my family and I are once again in our own place, I finally have all of my books from storage. While unpacking my books I decided to try reread one of my favorites which pretty much led to me writing this post. Hopefully revisiting a favorite will get me back in the mood to read because I have been feeling completely unmotivated.

* * * * *


So after getting all of that out, let's talk about the series/books I would like to reread this year.

1. Lux series - Jennifer L. Armentrout: This is the series I decided to start with. I wanted to reread this series last year but I never got around to it. I actually started reading yesterday and it has held my interest so far. I'm looking forward to getting back to it once I'm done with this post.

2. Vampire Academy series - Richelle Mead
3. Blue Bloods series - Melissa de la Cruz
4. A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness
5. Off-Campus series - Elle Kennedy
6. Starcrossed sereis - Leisa Rayven
7. Blood of Eden series - Julie Kagawa
8. The Duff - Kody Keplinger
9. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

That's everything I can think of right now that I would like to read right now. If you guys have any suggestions of books I might really enjoy or might help me get back into the reading please let me know! My usual go to is New Adult!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January Wrap Up

Can you believe it? I can't! This wrap up is actually going up on time. January was a really productive month when it came to reading. I read more than I usually average in a month. I think I may have burnt myself out because I haven't felt like reading during the last week and a half of the month. With all that said, let's get into the wrap up.

New to My Shelves




Books I Read



Some Girls Bite (4 stars) | Twisted Palace (3.5 stars) | Friday Night Bites (4 stars)


Illuminae (5 stars) | Gemina (5 stars) | The Inflatable Woman (1 star)


The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil (3.5 stars) | Dating an Alien Pop Star (3 stars) | Said the Shotgun to the Head (5 stars)


Music


I've never talked about music on my blog before but I figured why not try something new. Usually I'm listening to an instrumental playlist on spotify because that's what I listen to while I'm reading but this month I rediscovered Banks. I recently found out she released her second album The Altar and I'm obsessed! I have been listening to it almost nonstop (I'm even listening as I type up this post) since I found out about it. There are 2 or 3 songs that I don't really care for but I love everything else!

Coming in February


Hopefully February is another good reading month. I wanted to mention a readathon I would like to participate in during this month. TBR Takedown 5.0 is happening February 6th-12th  and there are 5 challenges that go along with it. I'm really looking forward to this readathon!

Currently Reading






Thursday, January 26, 2017

2017 Reading Goals + Challenges

So I'm back and super late with this post. I told myself that I was going to get better with my blogging but with my current living situation I haven't really felt motivated to keep up it. I'm probably going to be in the same living space for at least a couple more months but it could end up being longer so I'm not going to make any promises about being consistent. In order to help myself have some content going up here I have been sharing some of my Youtube videos here. I'm here today to post about my reading goals and challenges I want to participate in this year.

Reading Goals


1. Goodreads Goal: I have set my goodreads goal to 20 books for the year. I decided to do this for two reasons. First, I want to focus in on my writing. I have been talking about how I want to be a professional writer but I haven't written anything in about a year now. I figure by cutting back on a set number of books I want to read this year I will be encouraged to write more. The second reason is I don't want to feel the pressure to read a lot of books. The last couple of years I feel like I've been focused on the amount of books I read so I'm just keeping my goal at a number that I know I will most likely surpass.

2. Read more of the books I already own: This goal is pretty self-explanatory. Last year I bought so many books. The amount of books I was buying and the pace at which I was reading was not balanced so I ended the year with a lot of unread books. In order to stay on track I would like to read at least 5 of my own books before I purchase another one.

3. Diversify my reading: I feel like this will probably be on a lot of people's list of goals this year. Not only do I want to read a range of diverse subjects but I want to read books that are marketed towards different age groups, genres, location of origin, etc (basically read more than just YA). I feel like so far this year I have been doing a good job with picking up different kinds of books and I want to keep it up.

4. Read at least 1/2 of the series I own: While I was packing up my books to put in storage I realized I owned a good number of complete series or series that would be ending this year. I would really like to get through the majority of those series if possible within this year. Since most of my books are currently in storage it's hard to do that right now but I do have some complete series with me so I will focus on those for now and hopefully later in the year I can make more progress.

5. Read all my past Owl Crate books: Another thing I realized while packing up my books is that I haven't read any of the books I received through Owl Crate. I have been subscribed to this box for a little over a year and I haven't read a single book that I received from them! Since this is the year I am trying to read more of the books I own this is definitely a goal I would like to fully complete.


Reading Challenges


Around the Year in 52 Books
I started this challenge halfway through last year and even though I didn't complete the full challenge I think I did really good. I thought this was a fun challenge and an easy way to get me reading some books that I might not normally read so I decided to try this challenge out again this year.


I found out about this challenge at the end of 2016. After doing a little research, I thought this challenge would be perfect since I wanted to focus on reading books I own and starting this year they would all be considered Backlist books. Since I have my goodreads goal set at 20 books I'm just going to say that I want to have the goal for this challenge be to read 20 backlist books. I'm sure I'll read more than that though! If you want to follow along with the books I end up reading check here.

January Owl Crate Unboxing | 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Winter Book Haul | 2017

I feel like I always talk about how I'm going to make certain post but never end up doing that. I figured I would try cross posting some of my videos for some things. Let me know what you guys think about this!


Monday, January 2, 2017

December Wrap Up

Happy New Year! Can you believe we are already in 2017? I know everyone has been saying it but this year has gone by so fast for me. So much has happened, good and bad. It doesn't seem like it but I have been blogging for almost a year and a half. I'm sure you guys don't want to read my rambling (if you actually read all this) so I'll just get into the wrap up

New to My Shelves


I haven't been keeping track of the books I got in December because I wasn't suppose to be buying books. I plan on doing a winter book haul or maybe just a December and January book haul at some point and I plan on posting in on this blog.

Books I Read in December



Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland (2 stars) | Food Wars Volume 15 (4 stars) 


Paper Princes (3.5 stars) | Broken Prince (3 stars) 


Small Admissions (4 stars) | Monstress Volume 1 (5 stars)


To Come in January


I'm really working on getting organized so I can post more. I have a lot of end of the year post I want to get out in the next few weeks so be be looking out for those!

Currently Reading