Sep 05

Down the TBR Hole #23

Books/Writing 0

down the tbr hole

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story (who has, somehow, already made it completely through his own TBR)!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. Last week I made quite a bit of progress through sheer organization, and I this week I haven’t added that many so I am at 638. Off we go again!

Title/Author: Marley & Me, by John Grogan

Date Added: June 9, 2015

Thoughts: Because of course I want to bawl my eyes out on a dog book.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Hands of Light, by Barbara Ann Brennan

Date Added: June 9, 2015

Thoughts: Still not sure what I think of this subject, but am particularly intrigued by this book because the author is a physicist by profession.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine N. Aron

Date Added: June 9, 2015

Thoughts: Recommended by a good friend. Bought a copy. Unread on the shelf because I’m afraid of finding out more about myself.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Essential Reiki, by Diane Stein

Date Added: June 9, 2015

Thoughts: I actually ended up taking a class on Reiki.

Judgment: Go.

  

Title/Author: Insurgent, Allegiant, and Four (Divergent series), by Veronica Roth

Date Added: June 11, 2015

Thoughts: Despite having the end of the series MASSIVELY SPOILED for me after I read the first one, I’d still like to finish it at some point.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Inceptio, by Alison Morton

Date Added: June 11, 2015

Thoughts: I have no memory AT ALL of this, and no one I know how read it…where did this come from?

Judgment: Go.

Title/Author: Shadow Wolf (Wolves of the Beyond #2), by Kathryn Lasky

Date Added: June 13, 2015

Thoughts: Yes, at some point I want to finish reading this adorable little series…I read the first one but never picked up the rest!

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: The Aeronaut’s Windlass (The Cinder Spires #1), by Jim Butcher

Date Added: June 14, 2015

Thoughts: I pre-ordered this book. HOW HAVE I NOT READ IT YET??

Judgment: Keep. Obviously.

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Well, down by 2 this week. Not great, but better than none. Now if I could just read more! Until next time…

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Sep 05

Repost from Word Wonders

Books/Writing 0

Check out Fadwa’s blog!

This was a super interesting read and brought up ideas and points about representation that I had never, ever thought of. Definitely worth the time to read and consider – I’m always trying to expand my horizons and see outside the box of my own experiences. I hope maybe at some point Fadwa puts out a list of her recommendations for books with this kind of rep!

Maybe I’m just technically challenged, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the actual “reblog” function to work to THIS site (it kept sending to my old wordpress.com hosted site), so I did it this way.

 

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Sep 04

August Recap

Books/Writing 0

august recap

Happy Labor Day, fellow bookworms! I am thoroughly enjoying my long weekend. In lieu of the Sunday Post this week you are getting my August recap! Pretty short this time…I have been reading some – not a lot, but some, which is a huge improvement over most of last month. However, August did see the return of my reading mojo, to some extent. Still not up to where it was this time a year ago, but it’s progress. I’ve had a ton of other stuff going on in the last few months so I’m just grateful to be able to read and enjoy at all! I’ve ALSO been working on a new project near and dear to my heart…which I’ll be sharing with you guys later this week. If I can wait that long. 😉

Read:

  

Generally speaking, I suck at reading sequels so I was super proud of myself for finishing Silver Stars…which I thought was the end of a duology but naturally turned out to be the 2nd of a trilogy. Oops. But I’m super excited for the next one, Purple Hearts, which (also naturally) won’t be out until January 2018. *eyeroll* Because of course. In the meantime you can read my review of the FIRST book in this series, Front Lines – and hopefully sometime in the next few weeks I’ll have a Silver Stars review up!

I enjoyed RoseBlood much more than I thought I would after reading some super scathing reviews! I was so happy because I had high hopes and I feel like A.G. Howard really delivered. More on that later as well!

The book on Rottweilers was because we are looking into obtaining one as a service dog for my husband. It was very informative and the authors obviously had a lot of experience. No plans to review this one!

Reviewed:

 

You can read Night Swimming here, and Hyperbole and a Half here! Obviously I am a bit behind and have slowed waaaaay down on reviewing…I’m hoping to get caught up eventually. I might do a mini-review post of several recent books…we shall see!

Currently Reading:

Because when you’re in a bit of a reading slump, you (obviously) start multiple books in a effort to see what speaks to your inner bookworm (like a muse, but for readers, courtesy of my friend Anne). Also you read self-improvement books because my life is going to be a ROLLERCOASTER for the next several months and I want to swim, not just tread water.

  

How about you? Was August a good reading month for you? What’s on your radar for September?

Follow me on social media, and be sure to subscribe!

 

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Aug 31

Down the TBR Hole #22

Books/Writing 2

down the tbr hole

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story (who has, somehow, already made it completely through his own TBR)!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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It’s a little past Monday (my usual day for DtTH), but better late than never! So here we go. When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. As of today, I have…652. It keeps going up! Eeeeek!  As usual covers link to GoodReads. 🙂

Title/Author: And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily #1), by Tasha Alexander

Date Added: May 26, 2015

Thoughts: Historical, looks well researched, and a mystery. Yes please! Now how about a clone of me that can just read all day every day…

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Point of Honor, by Madeleine E. Robins

Date Added: May 26, 2015

Thoughts: Eh, what? Where did this come from?

Judgment: Go.

Title/Author: The Summer Queen, by Elizabeth Chadwick

Date Added: May 26, 2015

Thoughts: This is yet another author I’ve long wanted to try but still haven’t gotten around to! Shame on me.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #6), by Philippa Gregory

Date Added: May 26, 2015

Thoughts: Oops? I haven’t read any of this series and while I do mean to read another of Gregory’s books at some point, I wouldn’t start with this one.

Judgment: Go.

Title/Author: Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind, by Ann B. Ross

Date Added: May 26, 2015

Thoughts: This is another one of those…where did this come from??

Judgment: Go.

There were 9 books on PTSD that I had on the list at this point, that I moved to their own list, because I was keeping them as a reference more than anything else at the moment…not going through them all here, but that dropped my number some more!

Title/Author: The Buried Giant, by Kazoo Ishiguro

Date Added: June 5, 2015

Thoughts: Interesting enough concept, but based on reviews I don’t think I would make it through the entire book.

Judgment: Go.

Title/Author: Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs #3), by Jacqueline Winspear

Date Added: June 1, 2015

Thoughts: I really suck at reading sequels…and this one is even on my actual shelf!

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Redwall (Redwall #1), by Brian Jacques

Date Added: June 5, 2015

Thoughts: I have no idea how I didn’t read this series when I was younger, but I simply MUST.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Wildwood (Wildwood #1), by Colin Meloy

Date Added: June 5, 2015

Thoughts: This still intrigues me to no end, and I love kids’ books!

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: All Dogs Go to Kevin, by Jessica Vogelsang

Date Added: June 9, 2015

Thoughts: Because I love dogs, and we all need a good dog story now and then.

Judgment: Keep.

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Well, with the additional sorting of the PTSD books this week, I went from 652 books to 639. AWESOME SAUCE. Phew! That felt good. Until next week!

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Aug 28

Sunday Post #3

Books/Writing 6

Linking up with Kimberly over on Caffeinated Book Reviewer today! Shhhh…we’re going to pretend this post went up yesterday, instead of early this morning. 😉

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This Week:

The pace was slightly slower. It made me VERY happy. The coming week should be even better. I finished THREE books! Do you know how long it’s been since that happened? I don’t even know, so it’s been forever.

One of said books was A.G. Howard’s RoseBlood (as the picture above shows – the text was in a deep red, very unusual). Which I thoroughly enjoyed purely FOR it’s gothic un-realism (what many people complained about in reviews), haha. More on it in its own post.

You see how blurry that photo is? Well, it’s due to my hands shaking from HUGE EXCITEMENT of being chosen for an ARC of Katherine Arden’s upcoming second book!!!! I got an e-mail out of the blue from the publicist and nearly had a full-on heart attack from joy. I loved her debut in January, The Bear and the Nightingale, and CAN NOT wait to sink headfirst into this one.

Next Week:

Down the TBR Hole #22
Scythe (YA review, moved from last week)
Silver Stars (YA review)

That’s it for me for now, everyone! Hope you have a fantastic week!

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Aug 26

Hyperbole and a Half Review

Book Reviews 1

Hyperbole and a Half ReviewHyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
Published by Touchstone on October 29th 2013
Genres: Graphic Novel
Pages: 371
Goodreads

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative--like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it--but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

PicturesWordsStories about things that happened to meStories about things that happened to other people because of meEight billion dollars*Stories about dogsThe secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

Someone gifted me this book in APRIL! I read it almost immediately, but between having ALL sorts of feelings about it and the move, I never put up a review. Obviously it’s been hugely popular (131,295 ratings on GoodReads!), but it just wasn’t on my radar due to my general dismissal of graphic novels. Then I read Marissa Meyer’s Wires and Nerve in January (also never reviewed) and became OBSESSED with them! I still have only read a handful but I have SO MANY on my list now. But I digress. Presenting my long overdue Hyperbole and a Half review!

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Hyperbole and a Half is hilarious and immensely relatable. IMMENSELY. Allie is clearly a nerdy, bookish, animal-loving introvert, and so many times I felt like the book was ABOUT me. Sidenote: I had no idea this was where the phrase “ALL THE THINGS” originated, despite it being one of my favorites! I laughed until tears ran down my face, and then a little bit later I actually cried, because I couldn’t believe someone else actually felt the way I had the last year or so. I took pictures of the pages to send to my best friend, because I hadn’t been able to explain to anyone how I felt, and this book had just done it.

Just wanting to stop existing. Just wanting to disappear. Not permanently, really, at least not in my mind.

How did she articulate that so well? I could have written that myself if I could have just figured out how. She goes on to briefly mention that she discovered she was not the only one who felt this way, that while not a healthy state of mind, it did not make her weird or an outcast, even if it felt like that. She obtained help for her depression and went on to feel like her usual self again, able to enjoy her relationships and her dogs. She doesn’t dwell on it, and the book moves along to happier, more hilarious scenes…but this is what really stuck out to me and earned this book a permanent place on my shelf and will have me recommending it to every introvert kindred spirit, ever.

Allie Brosh ahas been disappointingly silent in the past couple of years, with nothing else released that I could find. But, as a fellow introvert, I get it. I do hope she comes back, but she deserves her privacy for her own mental health and her life. 🙂 In the meantime, you can read through all her old comics here, and she her most recent media interview seems to be this YouTube video from Will Wheaton (wait, what? He’s not just a Big Bang Theory construct??).

 

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Aug 21

Down the TBR Hole #21

Books/Writing 6

down the tbr hole

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story (who has, somehow, already made it completely through his own TBR)!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. As of today, I have…648. As usual covers link to GoodReads!

Title/Author: Midsummer: Magical Celebrations of the Summer Solstice, by Anna Franklin

Date Added: May 17, 2015

Thoughts: Still intrigued by this, not sure when I’ll get to it but at some point…

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Mr. Churchill’s Secretary (Maggie Hope Mystery #1), by Susan Elia MacNeal

Date Added: May 19, 2015

Thoughts: Still interested…I just got out of reading historical fiction for awhile, even though I still love it. Also apparently this series has been quite popular and now has 4 books!

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: A Letter of Mary (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #3), by Laurie R. King

Date Added: May 20, 2015

Thoughts: Whaaaa?? It’s been 2 years since I finished the 2nd Mary Russell book??

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Constantine, by John Shirley

Date Added: May 22, 2015

Thoughts: Where did this even come from? Apparently it’s based off a movie…?

Judgment: Go.

Title/Author: Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, by Erynn Rowan Laurie

Date Added: May 22, 2015

Thoughts: If I had a better way to keep a list of books for reference, I would. These sort wind up on my TBR because no, I haven’t read them, and would just like to remember they exist for possible future reference…while in the meantime they make my TBR number go up. Grump.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: The CR FAQ: an introduction to Celtic Deconstructionist Paganism

Date Added: May 22, 2015

Thoughts: See above.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton

Date Added: May 22, 2015

Thoughts: Still sounds fascinating, and I have an ebook copy. One of these days.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty

Date Added: May 22, 2015

Thoughts: This seems like one of those authors everyone has to read at least ONE book by, just because they are SO damn popular.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin.

Date Added: May 22, 2015

Thoughts: Apparently this was a day where I was just in the mood to add ALL the books…because eh.

Judgment: Go.

Title/Author: Flaming Iguanas: an All-Girl Road Novel Thing, by Erika Lopz

Date Added: May 25, 2015

Thoughts: Why have I not got my hands on this yet? Because road trips and motorcycles, yes please.

Judgment: Keep.

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Ai-yi. 2/10. That’s not exactly helping much, is it? 😛 Must. Read. Faster. ALWAYS.

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Aug 20

Blog Tour: The Hummingbird Heart by A.G. Howard

Book Tours, Books/Writing 2

I nearly missed this! With everything else going on in life this last week…but better late than never, right? And there’s still time to enter the giveaway! I loved the first book in this series (you can see my The Architect of Song review here), it was just too sweet and sappy for words, hehe. <3
I am so excited that THE HUMMINGBIRD HEART by A.G. Howard is available now and that I get to share the news!
 
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author A.G. Howard, be sure to check out all the details below.
 
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a 5 AMAZING Prizes courtesy of A.G. and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About The Book:
Title: THE HUMMINGBIRD HEART
Author: A.G. Howard
Pub. Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Golden Orb Press
Pages: 339
Formats: Paperback, eBook
 
Set 19 years after The Architect of Song:
Shortly after escaping a circus tragedy, young Italian orphan, Willow Antoniette, seeks refuge at The Manor of Diversions—a holiday resort in England born of a ghost story. For eleven years, she’s raised alongside the children of the resort’s owners: Julian, his twin brother, Nick, and their younger sister Emilia. Now that Willow is of marriable age, she’s determined to escape finishing school along with everyone’s efforts to make her a proper lady. The only man she wants to spend her life with is Julian, after all. Yet how can she tell him, when he thinks of her as nothing but a friend?
As a machinist and engineer, Julian Thornton prefers a governable life. He can’t allow his ever-deepening attraction for Willow to distract from his amusement park plans to lure a younger, wealthier clientele to their family’s resort. In hopes to escape Willow and find investors, Julian sets off on a transatlantic ocean liner headed for the St. Louis World’s Fair, unaware Willow has secretly stowed away on the same ship.
A tiny, mute orphan named Newton and a pair of haunted Italian shoes bring Willow and Julian face to face on deck. Forced to work together to solve the mystery of Newton and his vindictive, ghostly companion, Julian and Willow can no longer fight their untapped passions. However, time to admit their true feelings is running out, for the ghost and her murderer have enlisted them as unsuspecting pawns in a karmic game of cat-and-mouse that could cost all of them their lives.
Grab book 1!
 
Title: THE ARCHITECT OF SONG
Author: A.G. Howard
Pub. Date: August 15, 2016
Publisher: Golden Orb Press
Pages: 425
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonGoodreads
 
A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through
romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

New Adult: Recommended for ages 17+.
Excerpt:

In the dream, Willow was a child again. With each barefooted step around
the stacks of baggage in steerage, she found them taking on new shapes:
pyramids of clowns, bears, horses and feathered performers, all balanced atop
one another. She was back at the circus, albeit a much hazier and dimmer
rendition than she remembered. She skipped along the center ring, excited to be
home at last. Grit and discarded trash snagged between her little toes. A
spotlight clicked on to illuminate a trunk. From within came a thumping sound,
and girlish giggles.
“Tildey!” Willow cried out, racing across the distance to find her doll,
her pigtails slapping her face and neck upon each bounding step. The creak of
abandoned trapezes swung overhead, cutting intermittently through a thick cloud
of fog. Yet it wasn’t fog. It was tobacco—a stench that seeped into her
leotard, her tights, her very pores, until she could taste it coating her
tongue like bile.
The spotlight shifted from the trunk to a trapeze just above her where a
shape took form in the light: a graceful silhouette in a shimmery leotard and
glistening tutu.
“Mama?” Willow whispered in the dream, forgetting Tildey for the chance
to see her mother perform once more.
The trapeze vanished into thin air but the aerialist continued a controlled
descent toward her, held in place by harnesses attached to the center pole. A
face came into view, painted white like a clown, with bloody eyes and a hollow
of a mouth—stretched wide on a perpetual scream. Willow yelped and squeezed her
lashes shut, willing away the creature … for it was not Mama.
When she opened them again, the freakish performer exploded into a flock
of hummingbirds made of ink. They skittered around Willow, buzzing wings
scraping her skin and hair, imprinting tattoos everywhere they touched. She
screamed and stumbled backwards, bumping into the trunk which was somehow right
behind her. A tinkly, off-key lullaby drifted from inside the giant box. The
lid shook and shuddered, as if something wanted out.
Whimpering, Willow tried to back away, but her feet grew heavy. She
looked down and ballet shoes, covered in steel spikes, swallowed them up. The
empty harness that had held the ghastly aerialist slithered toward her like a
snake, coiling itself around her legs and arms to hold her in place.
On the final haunting strains of music, the trunk’s lid popped open, and
out from the midst rose a hunched old man, holding Nadia’s haunted shoes upside
down. Blood and water gushed out of them—a stench of copper and stagnancy—and
the man laughed with a voice that gnawed into her bones like a thousand
snarling wolves.
About A.G. Howard: 

 

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would’ve happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.When she’s not writing, A.G.’s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.
Giveaway Details: All International
(1) Grand prize: Signed set of The Architect of Song & The Hummingbird Heart PB
(1) First Place prize: Signed The Hummingbird Heart PB
(1) Second Place prize: Signed The Hummingbird Heart poster
(3) Third – Fifth Place prizes: Signed The Architect of Song & The Hummingbird Heart swag pack sets

 

 

 

 

Ends on August 22nd at Midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Aug 20

Sunday Post #2

Books/Writing, Life 2

sunday post

Linking up with Kimberly over on Caffeinated Book Reviewer today! I obviously fail at doing things on a weekly basis right now (my last Sunday Post was over a month ago…), but here I am again at long last.

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This Week:

Life has been nuts. And I mean absolutely NUTS. I totaled up how many hours I was spending at work or commuting to/from work, and it was over 70 a week. No wonder I was feeling exhausted and kept complaining that I needed a clone to get everything done! HOWEVER, on Monday this past week I was abruptly moved to a different position, one that cuts my hours in nearly half! After the initial shock (but I was JUST getting used to all you people!), I am delighted. This works out very well for me as I’m trying to transition out of full-time work and into full-time student/part-time work. Hopefully this also means I can get back into blogging regularly, and that both my reading and writing mojo will return!

sunday post

I did manage to finish a book this week, Silver Stars (Front Lines #2) by Michael Grant. It was really, really good. Really good. Also I had to show off this lovely bookmark a friend made for me!

sunday post

I STILL haven’t read ACOWAR. I am afeared of what is to come. Also that people don’t seem to be nearly as happy with it as they were with ACOMAF. But I am obsessed with my new book sleeve, which (shockingly!) actually fits it! I love the moon fabric. Anyone else geeking out over the eclipse tomorrow?

Next Week:

THE ECLIPSE!! Ahem. I’m way too excited for less than 3 minutes of strangeness.

Down the TBR Hole #21
Hyperbole and a Half – graphic novel review
Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1) – YA review

Those reviews are LONG overdue, I read them both before we moved from Korea! Eeeps. But, life. 😛

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Aug 06

Review of Night Swimming by Steph Bowe

Book Reviews 0 ★★★½

Review of Night Swimming by Steph BoweNight Swimming by Steph Bowe
Published by Text Publishing on April 3rd 2017
Genres: Modern, Young Adult
Pages: 311
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads three-half-stars
one-flame

Imagine being the only two seventeen-year-olds in a small town. That’s life for Kirby Arrow—named after the most dissenting judge in Australia’s history—and her best friend Clancy Lee, would-be musical star.

Clancy wants nothing more than to leave town and head for the big smoke, but Kirby is worried: her family has a history of leaving. She hasn’t heard from her father since he left when she was a baby. Shouldn’t she stay to help her mother with the goat’s-milk soap-making business, look after her grandfather who suffers from dementia, be an apprentice carpenter to old Mr Pool? And how could she leave her pet goat, Stanley, her dog Maude, and her cat Marianne?

But two things happen that change everything for Kirby. She finds an article in the newspaper about her father, and Iris arrives in town. Iris is beautiful, wears crazy clothes, plays the mandolin, and seems perfect, really, thinks Kirby. Clancy has his heart set on winning over Iris. Trouble is Kirby is also falling in love with Iris…

I bought this book after reading a review of it over on Paper Fury. Because Cait does amazing reviews, and I’d be wanting to read something from an Australian writer/publisher, and she’s Australian so obviously she would be a good judge of Australian YA books! Perfect. This was, actually, my very first Aussie read (I feel embarrassed admitting that but ehhhh I’m going to try not to feel awkward). So without further ado, my review of Night Swimming!

Feels: Just…awwwww. Lots and lots of awwww moments. Between the besties Kirby and Clancy to the awkward anxiety of a new crush, there was just so many times I got a case of the warm fuzzies. Also, Kirby’s grandfather. My heart hurt for him, and for Kirby and her family. I remember my great-grandmother as dementia set in for her, and it was absolutely heart breaking. It’s difficult sometimes as a teenager or young adult to see our loved ones growing older when we feel like we’re just starting out in life.

Characters: I love Kirby. She is unapologetically (though sometimes embarrassed) nerdy and unfashionable, and I wish I had her self confidence. Her quirky family, complete with unaffectionate mother and absentee father, is endearing even while they exasperate Kirby. Clancy is just hilarious and unpredictable (except to Kirby, who knows him better than he knows himself, it seems) and I loved how he repeatedly scandalized their small town with his antics.

There is a lot of minority representation in this book. That was probably my favorite part, besides the general Australian-ness (is that a word?) of it, which had me chuckling over slang I didn’t quite understand. Kirby is gay, while Clancy and Iris are both minorities. I was a little sad that the book glossed over Iris’s mental health issues, but I guess you can only do so much in a relatively short book.

Plot: So, this is where I felt the story was a bit weak. The plot line just sort of dragged while it skipped around somewhat and left me a little bit confused about what was going on in places (though maybe if I had paid a little more attention to the dates at the top of some of the chapters, that would have helped). There are a couple of side plots that were interesting but then turned out to not be so interesting or they were just finished off so quickly it felt a bit disjointed. Then at the end it felt like the author realized something exciting needed to happen and threw that little disaster in the works to shake everything up. Which it did, but it didn’t have enough time to resolve, in my opinion.

Oh! How could I forget.

You’re welcome.

STANLEY! You should definitely read the book just for Stanley. Because everyone, apparently, needs a pet goat.

Overal, 3.5 stars. 1 flame because there are a couple slightly sexy scenes but nothing over the top or that I felt would be inappropriate for a young teen reader.

three-half-stars

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