Review: Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

General Information

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love StoriesPage Count: 388 pages
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: Summer Days and Summer Nights


Official Summary

“Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.” (Source)


[I’m setting up this review a little differently than previous ones. I’m going to start by reviewing the collection as a whole, then move onto mini reviews for each piece.]Read More »


Movies I’ve Seen But Haven’t Read the Book

Confession: My movie knowledge repertoire is shallow. I don’t watch a ton a movies (or tv shows) and when I do get around to watching something, I generally am very picky about what I enjoy, and all of these have surprised me. Typically I refuse to go see a movie without reading the book first, but these sneaky ones have crept in under my radar.

Obviously, I’m sure there are tons more movies out there I’ve seen that have a book tied to it that I haven’t read. These are my top five movies I’ve seen and enjoyed and that have inspired me to consider reading the book that goes along with it.

I dread the day I get tired of watching this movie. What a CLASSIC. Bridget Jones is one of the best rom-com heroines and I really feel like I’m missing out by not reading the books. I’m already a huge fan of the movies (I recently watched the third and newest one and was BLOWN AWAY by how good it was. I was literally cracking up.) so I imagine the books have to hold some weight as well, especially since typically speaking, books are usually better than the movies.Read More »

Down the TBR Hole #02: Books 11-20

This is my second attempt at Lost in a Story’s “Down the TBR Hole,” which makes you question your most intimate life decisions from the past four years.

Actually, it just makes you set your Goodreads “to-read” shelf with the oldest books first, and then go through about ten books a time and decide if you’re going to keep it or not. But like, it basically the same thing. We’re cleaning out of hopes and dreams from the past few years.

I’m being dramatic, but it’s justified. At the end of my last attempt I had an even 1,100 books on my “to-read” shelf. Currently, I have 1158. I’ve added a few 😐 Books are being produced faster than I can read!! Slow down!!

I cheated and skimmed ahead at these ten books and idk these are going to be h a r d to narrow down. They’re all classics that I feel more or less obligated to read at some point in my life. It’ll be an emotional adventure. I’m just gonna write off the record here we go.Read More »

Review: Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

General Information

Page Count: 245 pages
Publication Date: October 1st, 1995
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: Like Water for Chocolate


Official Summary

“Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother’s womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef. She shares special points of her favorite preparations with listeners throughout the story. The Spanish language edition of the best-selling “Like Water For Chocolate” is a remarkable success in its own right.” (Source)Read More »

Discussion: What I’m Hoping For in Leigh Bardugo’s New Grishaverse Novel

Leigh Bardugo recently edged herself into my auto-buy author category, so naturally when all of Twitter informed me that her next Grishaverse edition, King of Scars, is expected in winter of 2019, I exploded.

King of Scars is an upcoming duology centered around Nikolai Lantsov, who makes appears in both of Bardugo’s Grishaverse series. Nikolai was first introduced in Siege and Storm as Sturmhond, a pirate/commander who is soon discovered to be the prince of Ravka. Later in the Grishaverse timeline, he makes an appearance in Crooked Kingdom.

While I was underwhelmed with Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone series, Nikolai was probably one of my favorite characters (and I’m definitely not alone). The ending of both Grishaverse series left some loose ends that I’m hoping to be furthered addressed in this new series.


“Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself.  But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.” (Source)

The rest of this post will contain spoilers.

Read More »

NYT Bestsellers Birthday Challenge 1997-2000

If you’d like to catch up with my shenanigans, you can read my guidelines in this post.

For my September books I chose to read The Bridges of Madison County, Like Water for Chocolate, Politically Correct Bedtimes Stories, and Primary Colors. I read 3 out of the 4; I DNF’ed Primary Colors around 50 pages in. It was confusing, and I couldn’t really get into it. I may pick it up to read again one day, but right now my time is too limited to be focusing on books that I’m just not into. My favorite book of the choices was Like Water for Chocolate.

In October I’ll be reading four books from 1997-2000. I’ve listed each bestsellers list, the four books I’m choosing from, any books I’ve already read, any runner’s up (books I find particularly interesting, or books that I’d prefer to read rather than the ideal four), and my entertaining commentary to keep you from getting bored and clicking on a different post!

NYT Hardcover Bestsellers Week of March 23, 1997


#1: The Partner by John Grisham
26 weeks on list: The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Already read: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks


#1: Murder in Brentwood by Mark Fuhrman
50 weeks on list: Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
Already read: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

I’m super psyched to have already two books off the list this year. Granted, they’re pretty popular books but I’m holding onto this confidence booster and gripping it until my knuckles turn white! The Celestine Prophecy is also still sitting on the NYT Bestsellers a comfy 154 weeks later. Honestly, that gigantic three digit number is urging me to read but I just honestly don’t think I’ll like it and I don’t want to waste my time reading it. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is also still sitting on the Bestsellers List a year later. I’m disappointed to find none of these four books truly interest me this go-round. By process of elimination I’ve chosen The Deep End of the Ocean. It seems like something I might enjoy, but I’m not entirely sold on it.Read More »

Get Graphic Readathon TBR

In middle and high school I went through a “graphic novel phase;” I probably spent literally thousands of dollars on manga (I had a discount card at the local Japanese bookstore–if local is 45 minutes away). Then I got smart and started borrowing manga in stacks from the library, which only fueled the fire.

I put quotes around “phase” because it never really ended; I just went to college and didn’t have easy access to the library anymore and spent less money on books because I had to spend more money on textbooks 😭

SO, I was beyond excited when I came across the Get Graphic readathon!

The Get Graphic readathon (#GetGraphic or @GetGraphicThon for twitter) takes place from October 6, 2017 starting at 5pm (your local time) and lasts until October 8, 2017 at midnight (your local time). It’s hosted by Kristin (@whatskappening), Kayla, (@BOOKadoodles7), Samantha (@thoughtsontomes), and Adriana (@perpetualpages).

There’s 6 reading challenges for the weekend:

  1. A new-to-you series
  2. Two installments from the same series
  3. Read a work over 300 pages
  4. Read black & white art
  5. A recommendation by a friend
  6. Read 5 things

I’m going to try to aim to complete all six, but in between ordering some books off Amazon and waiting for my library holds to come in I’m not entirely sure how successful that will be.Read More »

September Reading Wrap Up: Insomnia, Ghosts, and Stew

Books Bought:

  • Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
  • Maximum Ride #1-9 by James Patterson
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita
  • The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • Little Bee by Christ Cleave
  • The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour
  • Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis

Books Read:

September was a long, draining month. I wrestled with heavy insomnia since the middle of August, which left me dreary around 8pm. I was fortunate to rediscover the joy my library card brought to me and how easy it was to place holds on line, and it rendered buying books almost unnecessary!

Or so I thought, until I walked into two used book stores. In the same afternoon. I was doomed.

I read two really incredible works this month: Meddling Kids and The House of the Spirits. I juggled reading both at the same time only because they were so vastly different but equally enjoyable.

Read More »

NaNoWriMo Prep #1: 5 Steps to Planning Your Writing Vacation

Well, it’s almost October, which means it’s almost November, which means NaNoWriMo season is upon us.

I’ve been struggling with NaNoWriMo for the past two years but I’ve decided that this will be my 👏 year 👏 and I will finally win this stupid thing.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which has been taking place since 1999 every November. It’s sponsored by a non-profit organization that runs NaNoWriMo, as well as Camp NaNoWriMo in the summer. NaNoWriMo encourages writers to write an entire 50,000 word novel in a month by providing support, resources, and a great community.

In the NaNo community, writers are often divided in three categories:

  • Plotters: writers who need to meticulously plan out their characters, world, and plot before the even begin to write
  • Pantsers: writers who like to “fly by the seat of their pants” and start writing with a vague idea and see where it goes
  • Plantsers: writers who are a mix of both

Participating in NaNoWriMo is kind of like taking a vacation. If your vacations are usually oodles of mental exercises that eventually lead to tears of exhaustion.Read More »

Review: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

General Information

Page Count: 336 pages
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Age Range: Adult
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: Meddling Kids

TW: suicide, sexual assault

Official Summary

“SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.” (Source)Read More »