Friday, June 23, 2017

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Heartless by Marissa Meyer + 50/50 Friday

Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.

I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.

This week I'm featuring one of my current reads, Heartless by Marissa Meyer, which is my second book for Summer 2017 Bookish Bingo - it will fulfill the Royalty square.  I'm really looking forward to trying out something new by Marissa Meyer since The Lunar Chronicles is an all-time favorite series.  To help me decide what to read next to complete this column, which I'm hoping will be my first bingo, I actually had a poll on Twitter - so thanks to the voters for deciding for me!  I've got extremely high hopes for this one!


Three luscious lemon tarts glistened up at Catherine.  She reached her towel-wrapped hands into the oven, ignoring the heat that enveloped her arms and pressed against her cheeks, and lifted the tray from the hearth.  The tarts' sunshine filling quivered, as if glad to be freed from the stone chamber.


"It was... I thought I saw... nothing."

"I see nothing all the time."

"As I said before, it was very warm inside, that's all.  And I've barely eaten all day."

"No doubt the corset of tortures didn't help.:

Her scowl deepened.  "A lady's undergarments re not a suitable topic of conversation."

He raised his hands in surrender.  "Only a theory, my lady."

This week I'm also taking part in a linkup called 50/50 Friday, which is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they'll have a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - this week the topic is Favorite/ Least Favorite Format of a Book.

Favorite: Hardcover - Beautiful, durable, and great to add to your collection - if only they weren't so expensive.

Least Favorite: Audiobook on CD - Don't get me wrong, I love listening to audiobooks, but this particular type is the least convenient.  I definitely prefer the mp3 download format or the Playaway.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't.  Here we go in order of series title:

Delirium by Lauren Oliver - 3 books

The First Law by Joe Abercrombie - 3 books, and 3 stand alone books in the same world

Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore - 3 books

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman - 3 books

Inkworld by Cornelia Funke - 3 books

Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews - 9 books (so far)

The King Killer Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss - 2 books (so far) and a novella

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson - 6 books (so far)

Red Rising by Pierce Brown - 3 books

Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce - 4 books

Have you started and/ or read any of these series?  If so did you enjoy them - which would you recommend first?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and for perhaps commenting down below.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Music Monday: Ryan Cabrera

Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.


Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

I'm getting a bit nostalgic this week with Ryan Cabrera.  He got a lot of radio time back when I was in high school, and I have to admit that his music was pretty addicting - particularly those two singles (you've probably heard them) "On the Way Down" (2004) and "True" (2005).  Anyway, within the last few weeks I've suddenly started hearing a lot more of these on the radio and I remember how much I enjoyed listening to his music.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - Review

❋ ❋ ❋  

Starr Carter has struck up an uneasy balance between two worlds - the poor neighborhood she lives in and the elite prep school she attends. One night, though, that uneasy balance is irrevocably shattered when she witnesses the shooting of Khalil, a childhood best friend, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil's death makes national news soon after and many are calling him a thug, a drug dealer, and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets to find justice for Khalil. Some police officers and drug lords try to intimidate Starr and her family. Everyone wants to know one thing that only Starr can answer: What really happened that night?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is an absolute must-read. It's a truly stunning debut that truly lives up to the hype surrounding it. Not only is it an incredibly well-written novel filled with characters who could walk right off the page, it's also extremely important as it realistically handles the complexities of the Black Lives Matter movement. I honestly want to put a copy of this important novel in everyone's hands. My favorite part of this novel are the characters. While I liked Starr, I absolutely loved Starr's parents. Lisa and Maverick have easily made my list of all time favorite YA parents. I was also pleasantly surprised by Starr's geekiness, especially when it comes to Harry Potter. Maverick's Harry Potter theory is one of my favorite scenes!

Overall, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is one of the best YA debut novels I've read in quite a while. The audiobook production by Bahni Turpin is absolutely fantastic - I'll have to look into more of the audiobooks she's narrated. If you haven't read this novel yet, you need to pick up a copy ASAP. I can't wait to see what Angie Thomas does next!

I listened to this audiobook from May 27, 2017 - June 1, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Anything But Books Tag

I spotted this tag over at Erica Robyn Reads (created by ReadorRot) and I tagged myself.  It's looks like it's going to be fun!  Here we go:

1. Name a cartoon that you love.

Danny Phantom - Recently I was poking around on Pinterest and saw a pin about the show - totally reminded me of how much I loved it!  I wouldn't mind if it made a come back!

2. What is your favorite song right now?

There are too many!  My Music Monday posts should give you a pretty good idea of some of my favorites!

3. What could you do for hours that isn't reading?

I absolutely love going on bike rides - I could do that for hours!  In fact, I did it for four hours (26.6 miles) on Thursday!

4. What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

Finger knitting - I haven't done it in a little while, but it's kind of addicting.

5. What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

I love learning about women in WWII, particularly the WASPS (Women Airforce Service Pilots).  I wouldn't exactly call it unnecessarily specific, but it's still fascinating.

6. What is something unusual you know how to do?

I think my answer for number four can fit here - so finger knitting.  I actually learned how in middle school art class.

7. Name something you’ve made in the last year.

Glass painting was a library craft earlier in the year - the coating is Elmer's glue, food coloring, and water) - and I think mine turned out pretty well!

8. What is your most recent personal project?

Family genealogy - it's been an ongoing project for a while actually.

9. Tell us something you think about often.

Book, books, books, and more books!  Personally and professionally, of course.

10. Give us something that's your favorite, but make it something oddly specific.

Since it's summer, ice cream!  Oddly specific favorite - black raspberry with cinnamon apple topping and gummy bears from Friendly's!  Sounds terrible, but it's really delicious!

11. Lastly, say the first thing that pops into your head.

I wish my local Friendly's hadn't closed... I miss it so much!

As always, thanks very much for visiting my blog and perhaps commenting down below!  If you'd like to take part in the Anything But Books Tag, consider yourself tagged!

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley + 50/50 Friday

Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.

I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.

This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads, The Mists of Avalon (Avalon #1) by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  I've been told I need to read this classic Arthurian fantasy novel for ages and now that I'm taking part in Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge I've finally decided to tackle this huge epic novel.  Appropriately enough it's fulfilling the twelfth task which is to read a fantasy novel.  I'm only on chapter two so far, but I think I'm already hooked.



Morgaine speaks...

In my time I have been called many things: sister, lover, priestess, wise-woman, queen.  Now in truth I have come to be wise-woman, and a time may come when these things may need to be known.  


She said resentfully, "Why should we be punished beyond this life for what we were bidden to do?  Did the priests think it right that we should suffer for obeying them?"

This week I'm also taking part in a linkup called 50/50 Friday, which is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they'll have a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - this week the topic is Favorite/ Least Favorite Book Of The First Half Of The Year.


I've actually had 31 five star reads this year (out of 99 books), so it's hard to narrow it down to just one.  However, the three that really stood out to me are Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, The Girl With Ghost Eyes by M.H. Borson, and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

Least Favorite:

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza - This is actually one of two books I've DNF'd so far this year, unfortunately, and I'd had such high hopes for it, too.

Have you read any of the books I talked about above?  If so, how did you like them?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Amish Guys Don't Call by Debby Dodds - Review

❋ ❋ 

I received a free eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sam's finally starting to get her life under control in her junior year of high school, after all she's finally been accepted to join the Sherpas, the most popular girls in school. Her best friend, Madison, who put in a good word to get her into the Sherpas in the first place, has made it her mission to find a boyfriend for Sam. Things get complicated when Sam realizes that her new boyfriend, Zach, grew up Amish has chosen not to end his Rumspringa possibly bringing complete shunning from his family. Of course, Sam's friends can't help but torment her about all of this. Sam's carefully constructed world begins to collapse due to cyberbullying, never coming to terms with her parents' divorce, and Zach's apparent return to the Amish community. As a result she return to her old shoplifting habits. I mean, does she even want friends like the Sherpas anymore and will Zach find his way back to her?

As soon as I saw this YA Contemporary, I knew I wanted to try it. I mean, when's the last time you saw a mainstream YA Contemporary featuring the Amish? I live in rural central Ohio, not too far from Amish country, and it's always interesting to visit the area. I have to admit that I particularly liked how the Dodds explores Amish culture and religion in Amish Guys Don't Call. In fact, Zach is easily my favorite character in the novel and I really enjoyed following his journey over the course of the story. However, I just wish Sam didn't have to spend 49% of the novel wondering what Zach's deal was since she didn't realize he's Amish until half of the book has gone by. Personally, I thought that made her kind of foolish since there are so many hints aside from the fact that the story is set in Lancaster, PA. Actually, I think the summary and the title give a way a little too much, and I wasn't surprised by any of the turns in the novel. I may have preferred to see this story told from both the perspectives of Sam and Zach. My favorite thing about Sam is just how big of a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel she is. Now, if only her mother and friends weren't so terrible and useless.

I read this eARC from June 7 - 8, 2017 and my review is also available on Goodreads.

Top Ten Tuesday: Worst Dads In Fiction

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is a Father's Day related freebie - the topic I've selected is Worst Dads In Fiction.  All of these dads below are from some of my favorite books (and adaptations).  Here we go, in alphabetical order by character:

Denethor II from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Harry Wormwood from Matilda by Roald Dahl

Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Jack Torrance from The Shining by Stephen King

King Lear from King Lear by William Shakespeare

Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Marvin Burke from Scowler by Daniel Kraus

Old Nick from Room by Emma Donoghue

Tywin Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Victor Frankenstein from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Who would make your list of worst dads?  Have you read any of these books, or seen any of the movie adaptations?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog, and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Summer 2017 Bookish Bingo

Thanks very much to Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense for introducing me to this new-to-me reading challenge hosted by Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews!  I've taken part in book bingo's before and I think they're always fun!  I really like the look of this board.  Anyway, the goal of this challenge is to get as many bingos as possible over the course of June, July, and August (I'll be starting a bit late, but I should still be in decent shape).  You don't even have to review the books that you read for this challenge (although I probably will be to some degree at least), just read the books to get your bingo.

So, I've already decided what books I'm going to read for each square - and for the most part they're books I already own.  This will definitely help me whittle down my mountainous tbr!  I don't know if I'll be able to get to all of them, but here are the books I hope to get to with this challenge.  Breathe.

Ace Rep: 

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee - YA Contemporary is a bit outside of my wheelhouse, but this sounds like an absolute must-read, plus the main character has a web series that is a modern take on Anna Karenina!

A Book About Fandom:

The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash - I've been eyeing this at the library for quite some time and this challenge may give me the excuse to finally pick it up.

Family Drama:

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3) by George R.R. Martin - I have no clue why I haven't caught up with this series, although you have to admit it is kind of intimidating... but I say it perfectly fits the category!

A Sequel:

Cold Days (The Dresden Files #14) by Jim Butcher - I love this series so much!  It's about time I jump back in feet first!

Flowers on the Cover: 

Big Fish by Daniel Wallace - This novel inspired one of my all time favorite Tim Burton movies (and one of the more underrated) so it's about time I see what the source material is like.

Over Five Years Old:

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty - This is obviously a fair bit older than five years old (it was first published in 1971), but I need to check out the story that inspired that classic horror movie.


Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown - Again, I don't know why I haven't read this yet - my guess is that the hype scares me...

Blue Cover: 

The Ferryman Institute by Colin Gigl - The summary for this sounds awesome and I've heard great things about it!  Plus, it's been compared to The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde which is one of my favorites.

Name in Title:

True & Nellie (Tru & Nellie #1) by G. Neri - Fictionalized MG story of (real life) childhood friends Truman Capote and Harper Lee - sounds fascinating.


Into the Dim (Into the Dim #1) by Janet B. Taylor - In my book time travel definitely counts!  Plus, it looks like the main character has to go to Scotland, so there.


The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith - Another that I have no clue why I haven't already read it... I feel like I'm missing out!


The Bane Chronicles (The Bane Chronicles #1-11) by Cassandra Clare - Magnus Bane is one of my favorite characters from The Shadowhunter Chronicles, so this will be fun. (I wish it didn't have movie Magnus on the cover - such a disappointment!)

Free Space: 

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff -  This will be good!  I've been needing an excuse to pick this one up!


Heartless by Marissa Meyer - Queen of Hearts, before she was the Queen - yes, please!

Outside Your Comfort Zone:

Giant by Edna Ferber - The movie is an absolute classic, and it's time I try the original.

Red Cover:

The Rook (The Checquy Files #1)by Daniel O'Malley - This sounds absolutely awesome and right up my alley - I can't wait to start in on it.

Summer Release: 

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee - I expect this is at the top of everyone's summer reading list!

On Your TBR Forever: 

Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows #1) by Kim Harrison - Again, how have I not already read this - sounds like a fun urban fantasy series to work my way through.

A Book With A Map:

Crown of Midnight  (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas - Since I've just reread book one, I'm fully prepared to jump into the sequel!


Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers - This has been sitting on my shelf unread for far too long - it's high time I get to it.

Latinx MC:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz - No clue how I've missed this and I feel like I'm out of the loop.  Luckily this challenge will give me another reason to finally find out what all the hype is about for myself.

White Cover: 

The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaid - I've heard a lot of good things hear and I've been looking forward to giving this a try.

Revolution and Rebellion:

Promise of Blood (Powder Mage #1) by Brian McClellan - Fantasy take on the French Revolution involving gunpowder magic.  I can tell this is going to be great.

Author From Another Continent:

Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist - Let the Right One In is one of my recent favorite vampire books (and the original movie adaptation is a favorite vampire movie), I need to see what the author does with zombies.  By the way, the author is Swedish.

Award Winner:

Unwind (Unwind #1) by Neal Shusterman - Just look at all the awards that this book has won!  Wow!  I will be listening to this on audiobook - the narrator is Luke Daniels, one of my favorites!

Whoo! What a list!  This is going to be quite a challenge isn't it!  I think I'm going to aim for that middle column first - The Cuckoo's Calling, The Bane Chronicles, Nevernight, Heartless, and Giant.  Wish me luck!