Review: An Unconventional Holiday Rom-Com with The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

 

The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Page Count: 400 pages
Publication Date: Oct 24, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: The Afterlife of Holly Chase

 

I forced myself to read a Charles Dickens book before reading this (vom dot com). Was it worth it? Eh…

I really only like reading cheeseball romantic comedies in the summer when I’m lounging at the beach (which is like maybe once a year, sadly) or in the two week period right before Christmas.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase is honestly the perfect book to read right before the winter holidays. It’s very festive and heartwarming and just a really fun book.

Cynthia Hand wrote a retelling of Dickens’s A Christmas CarolΒ which is a paranormal story disguised as a contemporary. It follows Holly Chase as she works for a company called Project Scrooge which employs staff to reenact A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve every year, trying to guarantee a change of heart for a different “Scrooge” every year. Holly has a lot of a experience with this because she was a failed Scrooge; instead of seeing the errors of her selfishness she ends up dying, just as she is warned. Continue reading “Review: An Unconventional Holiday Rom-Com with The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand”

Down the TBR Hole #36: Books 601-620

Lia fromΒ Lost in a Story’sΒ challenge “Down the TBR Hole” has helped me whittle down my massive virtual TBR, or at least get me thinking critically about what books I’m actually going to read. I’ve realized I’ve added a lot of books in 2012 and 2013 that I’ve never read and will probably never get around to reading!! There’s also a ton of books that I added in the moment that I’ve never even thought of since then.

“Down the TBR Hole” works like this: order your Goodreads “to be read” shelf with the oldest books first and remove the ones you’re no longer interested in reading. I’ve added in two of my own personal rules: if I have multiple books in a series I’ll only keep the next (or first) one I have to read, and I’ll remove complete works or collections (unless it’s a collection I already own).

Fun Camp by Gabe Durham
Date added: Jan 2, 2017
remove

The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi
Date added: Jan 2, 2017
remove

Art Girls are Easy by Julie Klausner
Date added: Jan 2, 2017
remove

Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell
Date added: Jan 2, 2017
remove

Can You Say Catastrophe? by Laurie Friedman
Date added: Jan 2, 2017
remove Continue reading “Down the TBR Hole #36: Books 601-620”

Review: A Survivor’s Struggle and Strength in The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

 

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)
Page Count: 370 pages
Publication Date: Jan 2, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: The Cruel Prince
cw: murder, physical and sexual abuse, suicide

 

I really forced myself to just to power through this one but dang am I glad I did.

When I was younger, my family would spend our entire summer at the town pool. My brothers would always rush right in, but I’d camp out in my mother’s favorite spot by the picnic tables in the shade. I’d put on my sunscreen, maybe read a little bit of my book (one summer I outlined my entire 40 chapter fanfiction in one afternoon at the pool) and then was I was ready I would get in line at the diving board and dive in literally head first.

That’s literally how I start reading hyped books.

I’m slow you guys. I don’t jump on the bandwagon right away. But eventually, when I get there, I’m obsessed. Continue reading “Review: A Survivor’s Struggle and Strength in The Cruel Prince by Holly Black”

December Wrap-Up: Wrapping up the year with some powerful and enjoyable reads

Books Bought:

  • Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister
  • A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
  • Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver
  • The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay
  • Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Six of Crows collector’s edition by Leigh Bardugo

Books Read:

  • Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
  • Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  • Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister
  • Love Works by Janice Mirikitani
  • I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  • Horimiya vol. 8 by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara
  • George by Alex Gino
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Out of the 11 books I received this month I read THREE of them which is a record for me! Usually I don’t read the books I buy until many months later πŸ˜…

I wasn’t planning on buying this many books this month after my colossal book haul in November, but it kind of just happened. Every month after making my TBR I decide which books I’m going to buy and which books I’m going to borrow, but I had a few books I had been putting off buying so I just went out and bought all of the books I still wanted to so I would have a clean slate for the new year.Β  Continue reading “December Wrap-Up: Wrapping up the year with some powerful and enjoyable reads”

21 Highest Rated Books On My TBR (2019 TBR)

Since I’m ~extra~ my Goodreads shelves are flush with my physical shelves because I like to have things organized. I have a shelf of all the books I already own that I haven’t read yet, so I organized that shelf by rating to draw out the highest rated books I already own! This is going to be my loose 🌟 2019 TBR 🌟 which means I roughly have to read two of these books per month.

Many of these books are books I’ve been wanting to read for a while (big surprise) so hopefully this will help me 1) actually read the books I already own and 2) read books that I’ve been meaning to read since the dawn of time.

(I chose 21 books because that’s the number of books that fit the best in the graphic I made if you just want to scroll through to the end of the post since it is pretty long!)

Becoming

Becoming by Michelle Obama
Avg. rating: 4.70

This literally just came out so most likely this high rating is due to the swarm of enthusiastic readers starting this and loving it straight from the gate, so I’m curious to see how well it holds up. Still I’m beyond excited to read this and I’m so glad to see it in the top spot!

Fullmetal Alchemist (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 2Fullmetal Alchemist (3-in-1 edition) vol. 2 by Hiromu Arakawa
Avg. rating: 4.61

So this is kind of cheating because I’ve already read this series, but I borrowed the individual volumes from the library years ago, and I’m planning on purchasing the series and thought the 3-in-1 editions would be the best. Before reading this one, I’d obviously like to reread the first volume I own.

In This Corner of the World Vol. 1In This Corner of the World by Fumiyo Kouno
Avg. rating: 4.56

I bought this recently without knowing anything about it, so I’m very excited to see it was received so well! I’m not surprised to see manga this high up on the list because I feel like manga is such a niche category and much of the manga I read I love so I can’t wait to pick this up.

The NightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Avg. rating: 4.56

I read my first Kristin Hannah book this year and absolutely loved it.Β  While this book had been on my radar for awhile, I didn’t go out and buy it until immediately after I finished The Great Alone. I’m already planning on this in the next few months.Β  Continue reading “21 Highest Rated Books On My TBR (2019 TBR)”

Down the TBR Hole #35: Books 581-600

Lia fromΒ Lost in a Story’sΒ challenge “Down the TBR Hole” has helped me whittle down my massive virtual TBR, or at least get me thinking critically about what books I’m actually going to read. I’ve realized I’ve added a lot of books in 2012 and 2013 that I’ve never read and will probably never get around to reading!! There’s also a ton of books that I added in the moment that I’ve never even thought of since then.

“Down the TBR Hole” works like this: order your Goodreads “to be read” shelf with the oldest books first and remove the ones you’re no longer interested in reading. I’ve added in two of my own personal rules: if I have multiple books in a series I’ll only keep the next (or first) one I have to read, and I’ll remove complete works or collections (unless it’s a collection I already own).

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
keep

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
keep

Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Mass
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove Continue reading “Down the TBR Hole #35: Books 581-600”

December in Review: 15 Books

HAPPY NEW YEARΒ πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰Β New Year’s is one of my favorite holidays, but before I get into my 2018 favorites, reviews, and wrap-ups, I can’t ignore December as a whole month!

I had some fantastic reads this month, and also a few disappointments. The large majority of my books this month were 4 and 5 star reads!

Different from my monthly wrap-ups, which focus more of patterns in my reading habits and is just me rambling on forever (because that’s my brand), monthly reviews are more like lists: easy to scroll through to get the whole picture of my reading month. Listed is the title, author, publication date, and cover along with the genre and age range (if applicable). I also have my rating and a three-word description of my reading experience! The links will either go to a longer review I wrote on this blog or a shorter review I wrote on Goodreads. All the cover photos are linked to their Goodreads page.

TOTAL BOOKS: 15

🌟: 0
🌟🌟: 2
🌟🌟🌟: 1
🌟🌟🌟🌟: 8
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟: 4

 

Fake BloodFake Blood by Whitney Gardner
Published: Sept 4, 2018
MG Paranormal
hilarious, satirical, realistic
🌟🌟🌟🌟

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of OrΓ―sha, #1)Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Published: Mar 6, 2018
YA Fantasy
bingeable, dynamic, intense
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
Published: May 2, 2017
History
repetitive, feminist, digestable
🌟🌟🌟

 

Into the WaterInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
Published: May 2, 2017
Mystery
confusing, underwhelming, blah
🌟🌟

 

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's AngerGood and Mad by Rebecca Traister
Published: Oct 2, 2018
Feminist Theory
powerful, fierce, phenomenal
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Love WorksLove Works by Janice Mirikitani
Published: Jan 1, 2003
Poetry
stunning, emotional, historical
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for WhitenessI’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
Published: May 15, 2018
Memoir
transforming, digestable, personal
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Exit WestExit West by Mohsin Hamid
Published: Mar 7, 2017
Magical Realism
condense, evocative, timeless
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

CirceCirce by Madeline Miller
Published: Apr 10, 2018
Fantasy
lyrical, complex, engaging
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The CorrectionsThe Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Published: Sep 24, 2001
Contemporary
lengthy, overwhelming, extra
🌟🌟

 

Horimiya, Vol. 8Horimiya vol. 8 by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara
Published: Jul 18, 2017
YA Romance
cute, fluffy, charming
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

GeorgeGeorge by Alex Gino
Published: Aug 25, 2015
MG Contemporary
simple, accessible, relevant
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Published: Dec 19, 1843
Holiday Classic
uplifting, atmospheric, descriptive
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Sister Outsider by Audre LordeSister Outsider by Audre Lorde
Published: Jun 1, 1984
Essays
academic, intersectional, critical
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Published: Jan 2, 2018
YA Fantasy
disturbing, surprising, addictive
🌟🌟🌟🌟

I read some surprisingly great books this month and thoroughly enjoyed most of them. Let me know if you’ve read any of these because I’d love to talk about them? Which books were your favorites for December?

January TBR: 8 Books

It’s my first TBR with my new 2019 structure and I’m SO excited! I have so many great books picked out and I can’t wait to start the year off strong.

Out of the 5 books on my December TBRΒ I have read a whopping zero of them! Not a great month for me reading wise; I read a lot of audiobooks and I was trying to wrap up all of the books I’ve been drudging through since like October πŸ˜…Β (I finally finished The Corrections literally last night and I just feel so free.)

I’ve set this post up with the book, a simplified summary from Goodreads, and a short note about the book. Cover photos are linked to their Goodreads page!

TBR Jar Picks:

The Daughters by Joanna Philbin

The Daughters (The Daughters, #1)

The only daughter of supermodel Katia Summers, witty and thoughtful Lizzie Summers likes to stick to the sidelines.Β The sole heir to Metronome Media and the daughter of billionaire Karl Jurgensen, outspoken Carina Jurgensen would rather climb mountains than social ladders.Β Daughter of chart-topping pop icon Holla Jones, stylish and sensitive Hudson Jones is on the brink of her own music breakthrough.Β By the time freshman year begins, unconventional-looking Lizzie Summers has come to expect fawning photographers and adoring fans to surround her gorgeous supermodel mother. But when Lizzie is approached by a fashion photographer who believes she’s β€œthe new face of beauty,” Lizzie surprises herself and her family by becoming the newest Summers woman to capture the media spotlight.

I’ve had this on my bookshelf probably since I was a freshman in high school and I’ve gone through many unhauls since then and for some reason there is just something about this book that I’ve been holding onto so while I was originally a little disappointed I picked this, ultimately I’m relieved to finally be reading it! Continue reading “January TBR: 8 Books”

January 2019 Book Birthdays: 8 Books

Welcome to a new monthly installment! This originated as an anticipated new release list for the first half of 2019 but it was way too long, so I cut it down to the first quarter of 2019, and then I ultimately decided it was just more manageable for me to do this at the beginning of each month! This way it’s fresh in my mind and all the covers will be released and it will just be overall pleasant for everyone involved!

I have six books on this list ranging from middle grade, young adult, to adult (with the majority being YA this month). I am beyond excited for all of these books!

I’ve set this post up with the book, a simplified summary from Goodreads, and a short note about the book. Cover photos are linked to their Goodreads page!

(These dates reflect US releases.)

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart (January 8)

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote SunriseΒ Five years.Β That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.Β It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.Β Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished―the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box―she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it.Β 

Ok so I wasΒ completelyΒ enamored by this cover but briefly skimming the dozens of 5-star ratings has me convinced that I absolutely need this. I’m probably going to cry reading it, but what else is new!! Continue reading “January 2019 Book Birthdays: 8 Books”

Writing Goals for 2019

So if you thought my reading goals for 2019 was excessive you’ll be in for a real treat 😈

I have some ambitious writing goals for this upcoming year, mostly because my writing habits this year were crap and I’d like to go into 2019 with a bang and actually get myself in gear. Following a bunch of writers on twitter has been really inspiring and I’ve been craving a more consistent writing routine.

I’ve broken down my goals into two different categories: blog writing and fiction writing.

Write two reviews a week

Reviews have been some of my hardest posts to write; I just don’t enjoy them! I think it’s because I wait too long to review a book and I can’t remember what happened. I also don’t think I’m very good at it, but like obviously I can’t get better if I’m not actually writing any πŸ˜‘

Since I have to read about two books a week to meet my 100 books a year goal, I should be reviewing every book I read. This will definitely be a struggle and will be time consuming, but there are little no downsides to this. This will make me a better writer, blogger, and reader so like I just got to get over this fear and realize that my reviews might be a little sucky for a while.  Continue reading “Writing Goals for 2019”