Monthly Archives: April 2016

My Summer TBR

So if you’re like me, you get most of your reading done in the summer because you’re not a huge fan of the 90 degree weather. You would rather stay inside with the air conditioning going and a good book to read. This summer (I count May in with summer, is that weird?) I plan on tackling most of the books on my TBR shelf! I have to read books based on the season usually, this will be the first summer that I have a wide array!

First off, I plan on reading my husbands book The Goblin Wars, this is his omnibus edition goblin warsthat has all three of his fantasy books from the series in it. It’s a huuuuuuge book and I keep on making excuses for why I don’t have the time to read it, but since summer is here, I figure it’s time. If you want to purchase his book(s) you can find them pretty much anywhere, Amazon is the best place. Sometimes there’s specials on the individual book. Be sure to leave a review if you read it! I’m not a big fan on anything other than YA, which is why it’s taken me so long to read this. If you love Lord of the Rings and other high fantasy books, you need to check this one out. I’m so very proud of him for this accomplishment.

 

 

 

Over winter, I read the novella to this book, wasn’t too thrilled with it. Pretty sure I gave itMaybe-Someday-Colleen-Hoover a 1 star review. I thought I’d give the author another shot and read one of her novels and this one is actually based off of the novella from her, Maybe Not. This one has been on my TBR shelf for a month or two now. I know I can knock it out in one weekend, so I’m literally saving it for a rainy day. I don’t have high hopes for this one but I do hope that it’s entertaining and better than the novella. Any Colleen Hoover fans out there? Do you recommend any of her other books?

 

 

 

 

 

All right, I’m late on the bandwagon for this one, but I’ve heard nothing but praise. I just started The Raven Boys so this summer I plan on reading through the whole series. I read Maggie Stiefvater’s  Shiver series and felt like it kind of fell flat after the first book, so I’m hoping that doesn’t happen with this series. So far, I’m sort of enjoying the first book. The pace is great,  and I have no clue what’s going to happen next. These covers sure are amazing though!

 

This next one is on my pre-order list. It comes out May 17th, just in time for summer! It’s 2506378112 short stories from a bunch of different YA authors and the cover is adorable. Pretty much, if you’re as in love with summer YA contemporary romance, this book is for you! Look at all of those amazing authors! Even if you don’t plan on reading any of my summer read recommendations from last weeks post, at lease read this one. A story a day isn’t bad on top of your huge TBR pile.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sure there will be plenty more summery books that I pick up and plan on reading, but for now this is my MUST FINISH this summer. Follow me if you want to see reviews on any of these books, I will be posting a review on all the books that I read.

Here’s to many cozy, rainy reading days this summer.

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April Book Haul

Hello readers! So I did a bad thing this month. Actually, it’s been a bad thing for the whole year so far. I use to buy one book at a time but then I was introduced to the booktube world and the idea that you can have a TBR shelf. As in, an actual shelf of books that you bought and plan to read!!

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Yeah, it’s taken me that long to realize that. So now I have two shelves of books to read but I still want to buy more books! Maybe I should make myself a goal to not buy any more books in May.

So, here we go. Here’s all the books I bought in April!

 

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The books above are from my local library, they were having a used book sale so I only spent about $7 on books that would have cost me over $100. I was pretty proud. We’re doing some traveling this summer, so that’s what the travel books are for!

 

 

 

 

I’m a Barnes and Noble member so I occasionally get two 20% off coupons plus the percentage off of hardback books, so I usually spend those on my Walking Dead books. I’d already have all the books if they weren’t about $40 a piece, with my membership and coupons, it brings them down to about $18 each. These are the next two that I have to read, I’m hoping to catch up with the comic books this summer before the next season comes on! I hate how everyone has been spoiling it for me!

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If you’ve been following my blog, you would have seen my Outlander book tag a week or so ago. I just finished the first season and it blew my mind! So I wanted to get deeper into the world of Jamie and Claire by buying the book. Then I saw it was 800 pages and now I’m a bit overwhelmed by it. Haha. I know I’ll get around to reading the books eventually.

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Then here’s this random book I got. My husband and I have been watching a ton of My Cat From Hell and we saw that Jackson Galaxy put out a book about building cat toys, so Stu ordered this. Interesting book! I’ve already picked out a few projects for us.

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And last but not least, I purchased When We Collided. I thought this would be a fun and easy read. Figured it could start off my summer reading next month! I’ve seen a few booktubers and bloggers talking about the release, so I thought I would give it a try. I also thought the cover was really cool.

Please follow me if you want to see reviews on these books! 

 

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My Top 5 YA Summer Reads

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Ah, summer is almost here! I can see my husbands skin turning into a lobster from the summer sun already, lawnmowers are up and moving, and all the neighborhood kids have come out from their winter hibernation to wreak havoc. Me? I’m where I usually am, avoiding sunlight and the heat. Lying on the couch with my blanket, reading my life away when I’m not required to be at work. It’s perfect. I do recommend you go out and enjoy the nice weather, but if you’re not outdoorsy, here’s some of my favorite young adult summer reads that will make you gush over all the potential fictional boyfriends!

The following are all books that I have read, next month I’ll be posting some books that I want to read this summer!

 

5.) Stolen by Lucy Christopher

In this book, Gemma writes a letter to her kidnapper, Ty who kidnapped her from an airport and takes her out to the middle of a desert in Australia. This isn’t a ‘feel good contemporary romance, but you will ‘feel the heat’ coming from this desert because it’s described so much. I read this a few years ago and this book is still one of my favorites! It deals with Stockholm Syndrome and the idea that you can’t make someone love you. If we were talking about all time favorite books, this would be higher on my list, but since we’re talking YA summer reads, I put it last on my list because it’s not a ‘easy read’. This book brought so many emotions out in me. If you haven’t read this book, pick it up right now!

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4.) Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Are you not a beach bunny? Do you prefer lakes? Second chance summer is the book for you! Taylor and her family have just received devastating news so they decide they need to spend one last summer at their lake house. The family starts coming closer together and of course Taylor’s old boyfriend from the lake walks back into her life. This one is definitely more up-lifting than Stolen. I’d read this as a pick-me-up after you finish Stolen.

 

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3.) Anything by Sarah Dessen!

Am I the only one who loves Sarah Dessen’s books? I love that she bases them all out of the same cute little beach town, Colby. I couldn’t just pick one to recommend but my favorites were Just Listen, The Truth About Forever and This Lullaby. Colby boys are the greatest! The perfect companions for your summer break!

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2.) The Summer I Turned Pretty Series by Jenny Han

This series is one of the best I have read in YA Contemporary, and my favorite of Han’s. I devoured this series! We follow a girl named Belly who dreams of summer break at the beach house. She’s town between two brothers, Conrad and Jeremiah who are family friends. There are so many twists and turns throughout this book series. If I didn’t have so many books on my TBR, I would read them again.

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1.) 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

My all time favorite summer book and possibly my favorite book period is this one. Not only is the cover and dust jacket beautiful but it’s such a great summer read. I don’t normally 5 star a book, but I did on this one. The book is written in days (which is why it’s called 99 Days, obviously). I’m just going to copy and paste my GoodReads review so you can see how happy I was to read this. So many people have given this book 2 stars or below and that breaks my heart because I loved it so much.

If I died tomorrow, I would die happy with this book being the final one that I read. The dust jacket is adorable and I’m not going to lie, I might have only bought it because of the cat picture inside.

Now, let’s be real. I feel like this book was written for me. There’s not many books that have made me feel that way, but this was one of them. Cotugno, created so many 4-diminsional characters, me relating and understanding all of them. I had this huge hatred for Julia though. I’d describe this If I died tomorrow, I would die happy with this book being the final one that I read. The dust jacket is adorable and I’m not going to lie, I might have only bought it because of the cat picture inside.

Now, let’s be real. I feel like this book was written for me. There’s not many books that have made me feel that way, but this was one of them. Cotugno, created so many 4-diminsional characters, me relating and understanding all of them. I had this huge hatred for Julia though. I’d describe this book as the ‘what happens after a love triangle goes to shit’ book. I’ve read so many young adult love triangles that end with a ‘happily ever after’, but this book… this tells you the messy truth. I wanted to defend Molly Barlow’s actions so much because I’ve been in her shoes. IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO! It wasn’t the ending I was hoping for, but I think it’s the ending the book needed.

This one is going on my favorites shelf.

And Katie Cotugno, if you’re reading this, please write a sequel! I feel like the story of Molly, Gabe and Patrick still needs attention. Thanks for showing me it wasn’t Molly’s fault, and it wasn’t mine either.

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And that concludes my YA Summer Read Recommendations! Read on!

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Book Blog Newbie Tag

Hey readers! Me again! Today since it’s Friday, I thought I’d do a fun book tag. I was going to do a Camp Nanowrimo update but if I’m being honest… I’m slacking on my novel. There’s always June’s Camp Nano right?

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Welcome to my Book Blog Newbie Tag!!

1.) Why did you start this blog?

I started this blog because I feel more comfortable writing than speaking in front of a camera. I did booktube stuff for about a year and got a handful of subs and about 14k video views but I just don’t feel myself when recording. I feel like I can put more effort and creativity into a blog that I couldn’t do with the videos. If you do want to check out my video’s you’ll find them here.

2.) What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

Do cat memes count?

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Haha, I’m serious though. I’m a major cat lady, so I thought it would be fun to put a bunch of cat pictures into my blogs. Cats + Reading = World Domination

3.) What are you most excited about for this new blog?

I’m excited to finally be doing something I love. I went to college and received a degree in English, and I feel like this is a decent way to use it. Yes, I’m not making money but everyone does tell you to do what you love. Well here I am!

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4.) Why do you love reading?

Ah, I’m not too positive. I used to hate reading, up until my senior year of high school I dreaded books. Then the Twilight pandemonium hit and I devoured the books! I mainly read young adult so I think I like reading because it let’s me live the high school life I never had. Does that sound cheesy or dumb?

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I was kind of a quiet person in high school, I had a great group of friends, but I never partied or really dated anyone. The characters in the YA novels seem to have way more entertaining lives that I did/do.

5.) What book or series got you into reading?

Twilight! Durr! I was 17 when I read those books and I believe Twilight was already one or two years old. My friend recommended it because I wanted to start reading more, when she showed me the book I was all…

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But then after I read it…

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I will always love those books and disown anyone who says they’re awful.

6. What questions would you ask your favorite authors?

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But seriously, I read mostly contemporary YA, so the book usually ends without me having an questions. If anything, I want to know what happens after the final kiss. I’d also just want to know how long it takes them to write a full novel, where they get ideas from, just your basic writing questions.

7.) What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome?

Probably reading books enough to post a review. Sometimes I get in a reading rut and can’t seem to get through at least one book a month. I work full-time and have a busy schedule, so reading happens right before I fall asleep. I also have the issue where I use the same books over and over for every tag.

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8. When did you start reading?

Can’t pinpoint an actual age… I just remember growing up with a bunch of books in my room.

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 9. Where do you read?

You can find the answer to that, here, in this fabulous blog post for that question. Enjoy!

10. What kind of books do you like to read?

Contemporary YA mostly. The occasional New Adult/ Romance. I usually stay away from fantasy and what not but I’m trying to branch out a little.

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Looks like that’s all. If you guys come across a tag you’d like me to do, send it my way! Have a fantastic book weekend! I’m currently reading the first Raven Boys book! They’re so dreamy!!

Why I Hate my English Major

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If you’re like me, you had no idea what you wanted to do once you left high school, you just knew you wanted to go to college because that’s what ‘everyone does’.

Just because everyone’s jumping off a bridge, doesn’t mean you jump too.

Ah, but going to college is what everyone expects you to do, especially if you want to get out of your home town. The way I saw it in my home town, you had two options.

  1. Go to college
  2. Stay in the town and marry your high school sweet heart/ have a baby

I mean this in the nicest way, I went to school with some great people but staying in that town wasn’t going to help me. Most of the kids I went to school with were farmers sons and daughters, they worked on the farm their whole life and they were going to work their for the rest of their lives. Sometimes I wonder when it would have been like if I had taken that path instead, there is something charming about a mid-west farm town.

There were also a few teachers in middle school/high school that told my parents that I would never amount to anything and I wasn’t intelligent enough for college. I was tossed in ‘slow reading’ classes and yet I read two grade levels above where I was supposed to be. I even tested out of most of those classes but I told them I wanted to stay (easy A and I was already pissed about wasting three weeks in the class).

So college was basically my way of ‘sticking it to the man’.

They tell you once you’re in college, to study something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. And that, my friends, is exactly what happens when you study something you enjoy. I’m turning 26 and still working at the same place as I was when I was in college.

I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, so I just went with something I enjoy. I liked reading, I liked writing. Boom! An English major was born!

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Don’t get me wrong! I love my English major (check back next week for a post on Why I Love my English Major) but there are a few things I hate hearing about it. Here are a few things that get said to me regarding my degree that I absolutely hate being asked/told.

  • Do you want to be a teacher?
  • So what do you do with that?
  • I guess you never use that in real life then?
  • There’s a spelling/grammatical error in your post, I thought you majored in English.
  • So have you published a book yet?

The last thing I wanted to do with my English major was become a teacher. I love kids, but at a certain age, I start to be terrified of them.

I do use my English degree. I work in an office where I have to type everyday and speak clearly, I get asked how to spell things all the time at work. I may not be an English teacher or write for an actual living, but I do use things I learned while in college. I also started this blog that I’m really enjoying… so there’s that.

And guess what, everyone makes mistakes. So what? I spelled something wrong? Who cares, just you Grammar Nazi.

As for book publishing. I’m trying my hardest. My dream would be to become a full-time author. Sitting at home, writing all day, it sounds perfect but it takes time. I’m currently editing something I started two years ago. Goal is to have it completed before the year is up.

If you’re thinking about majoring in English, don’t let anyone let you feel like it’s the dumb thing to do. I don’t regret my major at all, I just hate the stupid things people assume about it. Knowing every classic book might not be as beneficial as anything you would learn as a mathematics major but it’s still a fun thing to brag about, right?

Come back next week to see why I love my English major!

 

The Outlander Book Tag *swoon*

 

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Hello readers! Welcome to the first ever book tag I’m doing on my blog! I recently started watching the Outlander series (it was free On Demand) and holy crap! I’m addicted!

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I know, I know. I should really stop watching and read the books first, but guess what. I did buy the first book and I plan on starting it in the next few months. My wonderful gal pal recommended it to me a year ago (and I’m just now taking her advice) and I wish I would have gotten into it sooner. I recently saw Abookutopia from YouTube do this tag and I thought, ‘I need to do this one now!’ Here we go!

  1. Jamie Fraser: Your badass fictional boyfriend

I’m going to go with Dimitri Belikov from The Vampire Academy series. He made me swoon so hard throughout college when I read those books. There’s something about a forbidden romance. Plus that accent!

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2. Claire Fraser: Your independent fictional BFF

This would have to be Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim VS The World. Ramona is so badass and doesn’t need anyone’s help. She’s also pretty drama free (aside from Scott needing to defeat all her evil exes in order to win her heart). Love Ramona! Especially when she kicks butt against one of her own exes.

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3. Black Jack Randall: Fictional character you loathe

Bridgette from Colleen Hoover’s ‘Maybe Not’ wins this one hands down. She’s one of my lease favorite characters that I’ve read in a book. She has zero redeeming characteristics and her character almost turned me away from reading any more from Hoover, even at the end of the book I hated her.

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4. Dougal MacKenzie: A character you hate, but can’t help but love

Ty from Stolen by Lucy Christopher; I read this a few years back and I know I should hate his character because he is a kidnapper but Christopher had a way of making the reader feel bad for Ty. She managed to give him friendly qualities and by the end, I didn’t know who to feel bad for. Ty or Gemma.

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5. Colum MacKenzie: Your favorite disabled character.

Well…. Rick Grimes loses his arm in The Walking Dead comics….

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6. Geillis Duncan: Most shocking cliffhanger

This is tough, I don’t really pay attention to cliff hangers. I don’t know!!! But Geillis was a great cliff hanger!!

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7. Frank Randall: An OTP that shouldn’t exist

I’m four books in on the Walking Dead comics and whatever weird thing went on between Dale and Andrea was just weird. Like really weird… Make it stop. And I’m not putting in a picture of Frank and Claire because I hate that pairing so much.

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8. Sassenach: A book based outside of your country

Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts. It’s based in Australia and in my opinion it’s way better than TFIOS if we’re talking ‘cancer books’.

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9. Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ: Your favorite book insult

There’s this one scene in Scott Pilgrim where the ‘vegan’ is just trash talking and then he tries to create an insult but it just crashes and burns.

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10. Craigh Na Dun: A fictional place you want to time jump to

I don’t know of a fictional place I’d really like to jump to. They all seem dangerous from what I’ve seen. The only one that strikes me as a fun place to be is Colby from the Sarah Dessen books. Her city that she created feels like a fun summer beach town with tons of cute guys.

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11. Castle Leoch: Your favorite cast of characters

Let’s just say I’ll always be a Twihard…

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12. Shinty: Who would be your ultimate team? Pick 12

  1. Eric Northman
  2. Jamie Fraser
  3. Katniss Everdeen
  4. Four (Divergent)
  5. Alice (Twilight)
  6. Gavril (Coldest Girl in Coldtown)
  7. Damon Salvatore
  8. Gideon (from The Goblin Wars)
  9. Gansey (Raven Boys)
  10. Adam (Raven Boys)
  11. Rue (Hunger Games)- Though she be little, she is fierce.
  12. Bella Cullen (once she’s changed).

Okay, sorry I chose so many guys…. what can I say? Tonight I just want to be covered in all the Jamie Fraser’s….

 

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Waverly Hills Sanatorium Historical Tour

My husband and I enjoy going on really weird trips where we can check out old abandoned places. This was not a ‘looney bin’ like most people believe, it was a Tuberculosis treatment hospital for most of it’s time. You can find more of it’s history here.

Though this one isn’t actually abandoned (the owners do live on the property), it is old and has a ton of history behind it. If you’re planning on visiting Louisville Kentucky anytime soon, I recommend you purchase tickets for this tour (they sell out fast, so purchase tickets in advance). Tickets are $25 a piece for a 2 hour tour, and it’s well worth it.

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You arrive 15 minutes early where they check your name off the list and make sure you don’t have any extra guests, you drive up the hill and to the gravel parking lot. They’re traffic directors are fantastic by the way. You’ll then meet at this statue for the person who will take you to the main meeting area where the tour will start.

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Once you’re in the start area, also used as the gift shop. You wait there to be slit into two groups. Group limit is 25 people I believe. They have various ghost hunters shows that have been there playing on the big screen while you wait for the tour to begin. Once everyone arrives and you’re in your group, let the show begin!

Here’s some of my favorite pictures from our tour.

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Something I was excited about was hearing the truth behind Room 502. Let’s just say, most of what you hear is just urban legend. I don’t want to tell the whole story because I don’t want to spread any more ‘gossip’ on the room, just go see for yourself. What I will say is, the nurse did not hang herself in room 502, it was outside between that room and the elevator. She was pregnant though, that is true.

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Hearing the truth behind the stories from our guide.

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Our tour ended in the death tunnel, we walked halfway down. They’re debating on taking this out of the daytime tour and only leaving it for the night tour people.

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One thing I hate is all the graffiti and damage people have done here. The owners are working their butts off on trying to get this place in better shape. It’s a beautiful piece of history. When you trespass and destroy property like this, it hurts more people than you think. Please don’t visit this place without reservations, and please please please don’t steal or destroy things here (or anywhere).

I’m begging my husband to write a horror novel on this beautiful sanatorium.

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Interested in visiting?! Here’s the website!

Books vs E-Books (The Great Debate)

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Here lately I’ve been purging a lot of items around my household (clothes I haven’t worn in forever, shoes that never actually fit me, old kitchen stuff we never used and never will use, all my useless items). One thing I can’t purge though, books.

I’ve always been anti-e-book. I love smelling an actual book, being able to see how much I’ve read, feeling the copy in my hands, being able to stare at my bookshelves and see how many books I’ve read and so on. I bought a Nook (Barnes and Nobles version of the kindle) in college and I read a couple books on there but didn’t enjoy books as much when reading the electronic version. Plus I hate the idea of having to charge a freaking book!

I’ve been getting into the idea of ‘tiny house living’ too. I’m not saying I want to live on a trailer with a compost toilet and hardly any bed space in the loft, I’m saying I just want to move into a small little cottage one day. Maybe a 2-3 bed, 2 bath, small finished basement or upstairs house. The house we currently live in is 3 bedroom, 2 full baths, 2 half baths, and finished basement. I like my house but I feel like there’s too much space for just me, my husband and our future child (and when I say future, I mean a child in about 3-5 years).

Let’s get back to books.

You can’t have a ton of books and a tiny house. We currently have five bookshelves full of our books. Is it time for me to stop and just go to e-books only? I’ve been debating it, but then I just keep on buying paperbacks because of the beautiful covers. I also like having the actual copy when I do my video book reviews because it gives my viewer something to look at instead of just me. I think if I purchased a kindle, I might be more likely to start reading less paperbacks and more e-books, but my heart is still torn.

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Maybe once I finish my current TBR pile, I’ll go to e-books. Or maybe I’ll keep on buying the actual book because I’m terrified of the day that books and bookstores no longer exist.

For now, picture me as this cat. Happily surrounded by my ever-growing book collection.

***This cat is Mr. Boogie’s long lost twin!!***

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My Reading Spot

If you’re like me, you can’t read just anywhere. I’ve tried to read in many places, my couch, my bed, outside on a nice day, on a long car ride, etc. I can never relax and concentrate enough to read in these places, there’s always a distraction. So where is the one place that I can shut the rest of the world out and just read?

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This is it. I don’t even know how old this chair is but my husband brought it with him when we moved in together. I have a weird love for this chair, when my husband and I were just dating, I’d take naps in this chair while he played Hearthstone, I’d write on my laptop while he typed his novels on his desktop and I would relax after a long day in this chair. It’s leather, so in the winter I have to bundle up in blankets and PJ pants but in the summer, it’s coolness is glorious.

This is my chair. This is my happy place. My reading spot.

As you can see, sometimes my cats think it’s cute to hop in my lap and get some cuddling action. They don’t bother me too much (I don’t think they like the leather, they prefer the couch), but sometimes I have to ditch my reading spot and lock myself in my room to get through a book.

My dream is to create a room filled with books and put this chair in it. Sadly, it’s too large and heavy to fit down the stairs to our current makeshift library.

Where do you prefer to read?

***Pictured above, me with Ichabod Crane the cat. She’s pretty good about just chilling in my lap and not getting in the way. Boogie man (our other cat), however, isn’t so good at giving me space.***

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn Book Review

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I was so excited to read this book all because of the cover, remember when your librarian told you, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ Well I did, and my hopes of entertainment were shattered. This book had one major thing wrong with it, punishment for child pornography. Everyone knows that if you distribute or view a picture or video with someone under 18, that you’ll be charged with child pornography, but clearly not the kids in this book.

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Mercedes is just your normal high school girl that has a mom who’s never around, a friend who is completely oblivious and a boy who loves her, except she also has a big secret. She helps the virgins of the school through their first time so they can give their girlfriends good first times. (Why did I think this was going to be a good book?)

This book is filled with too much unnecessary drama and teen angst.

****Spoiler****

When Charlie starts sending the video of Mercedes with one of the other guys around, Mercedes should have immediately called the cops (are there no cops in this town?) she didn’t know she was being filmed so she would have been off the hook. Charlie, however, would have been in deep trouble, along with everyone at the school that watched the sex tape. THIS KILLED THE BOOK FOR ME!

I gave this book 2 stars on good reads for this reason. Check out my video rant for more.

So here’s the wonderful rubric break down:

Enjoyment/feels

Characters/ships 5

Plot twists 2

Un-put-down-able 3

Re-Read Worthy 1

Characters

Representation 1

Likeability 2 (only because I loved Zach)

Development 3

Plot

Predictability  1

Complexity 1

Conclusion 2

Reality 3

Writing

POV’S 2

World Building 4

Language/Word Choice 3

Voice/ Style 3

Quotable 1

Themes/ Content

Complexity 1

Execution 1

Meaningful 1

Unproblematic 1

Total: 40/100

Grumpy-Cat-Disappointment-Meme

Though I gave this book a very low grade, I will give the author another chance if she publishes again. This book would have been way better if Charlie hadn’t been such an awful human being and if Mercedes read up on law instead of all the online gossip about her.