September 2015 Recap

Cute and Crafty 2015 Printable Calendar:

So this month my blog should’ve been named Stephanie’s Tags and Memes instead of Stephanie’s Book Reviews. I’ve been incredibly distracted and have not read many books and reviewed even less. Though I will give myself a little bit of slack since this month also included my sister, brother-in-law, and baby niece visiting for about a week and my little brother’s wedding. It was also the end of our fiscal year at work which is a crazy time. AND I started watching Parenthood on Netflix which took a lot of my time (can I also just say how MAD I am that season 6 didn’t start streaming on the 25th like it was supposed to!)

Books Read: 5

Genres Read:
Adult: 3
Young Adult: 2

Books Read in 2015 Overall:


Books Reviewed: 2

The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty – 3/5 Stars
After You (You Before Me #2) by Jojo Moyes – 3/5 Stars

girl and book

Top Ten Tuesdays:

Characters I Just Didn’t Click With

Finished Series I have YET to Finish

Movies/TV Shows I Wish were Books

Books on My Fall TBR

Funny Fridays:

September 4

this is pretty cool i mean id love this to happen to my local library XD: this is pretty cool i mean id love this to happen to my local library XD

September 11

Happens to me all the time. I am so glad that most of my favorite authors have stopped killing off characters.:

September 18

24 funny wedding signs: 'By the end, you wish you had a club and spade':

September 25


Other Posts:

Find Me Book Tag

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

Bath & Body Works Tag

Reviewing the Unreviewed: September 2015

Reviewing the Unreviewed: September 2015

Stephanies Book Reviews Header

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads

Pop Goes the Weasel: A Detective Helen Grace Thriller

Pop Goes the Weasel (Helen Grace #2) by M.J. Arlidge. Read August 29-September 1. 3.5 stars.

My review for this will actually come out in a couple weeks, closer to it’s release date. While I didn’t find it quite as good as the first book in the series, I still found it compulsively readable.


Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson. Read September 21-23. 4 stars.

This book was pretty adorable. I liked the main character and her friends and her relationship with her parents. I liked that she was from a small town and liked it. I liked how her relationship with Adam developed. I even liked some of the star metaphors, though some of them seem a little contrived. It dealt with some heavier topics, but I felt it was balanced well the adorableness.

Sweet Temptation (The Sweet Trilogy, #4)

Sweet Temptation (Sweet Triology #4) by Wending Higgins. Read September 9-27. 3 stars.

Unless you’re a super fan of this series, I would highly suggest re-reading the trilogy before giving this book a go. The narrative relies on the reader already knowing what is going on and it skims over big explanations and a lot of details. Since it’s been awhile since I read the series – especially the first two books – I didn’t remember a lot of details. Because of this it took me a little while to get into the book, but I eventually did and really enjoyed getting Kaiden’s point of view. Some of it was a little repetitive at times, but his inner voice was pretty different than Anna’s and it added to the overall series experience. I would recommend this to fans of the series, especially to those Super Fans.



Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)  Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)  Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Cinder, Scarlet, Cress – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

I decided to do a re-read of the series before Winter comes out in a couple months. It pretty much reinforced all my original feelings on the series. Each book gets better. I love the characters and the romance and the action. Meyer does a phenomenal job of juggling multiple perspectives. This is probably one of the best done YA series out there and if you haven’t started it, I highly recommend it. (And I love those covers! Especially Cress!)


Review: After You (Me Before You #2) by Jojo Moyes

Book Review Header

Synopsis from Good Reads:

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

After You is quintessential Jojo Moyes—a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and rejoice at being back in the world she creates. Here she does what few novelists can do—revisits beloved characters and takes them to places neither they nor we ever expected.


I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

After You will be available September 29, 2015.

**This review will include spoilers from Me Before You, the first book in the series.**

Though I’m a big fan of a good standalone, there’s often times I finish a book and just want MORE of those characters and that world. I usually do not get my wish, but every once in awhile an author answers the plea of the fans, and maybe even the calling of the characters themselves, and gives us all what we want. This is the case with After You.

It’s been a little while since I read Me Before You and I didn’t remember a lot of details. I was going to re-read it before starting this book, but honestly I just do not have the emotional fortitude to put myself through that again. However, I still remember the overall arc of the story and the feelings (oh the feelings!) of it. Though Will ending his life through assisted suicide was obviously heart wrenching, we were left with hope for Lou’s future, as she puts into practice all that she learned through her time with Will.

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say Assisted Suicide was glorified in the first book, the Pros of it were definitely highlighted. In this book, the other side of suicide is greater explored – the grief and pain it imparts on those left behind. When we meet up with Louisa again she is not living life to the fullest nor going on grand adventures as Will had hoped for her. She lives in a sparsely furnished apartment, working in a dead end job, has no friends, and is pretty deeply depressed coping with the loss of Will. After a drunken, life-threatening accident lands her back home, her parents insist she start attending a support group to help her cope. The support group wasn’t as big a part of the book as I expected it to be. Though they did provide some insight for Lou and many eccentric, humorous characters, I think one of the biggest roles it plays is re-introducing Lou to a possible love interest.

The turning point for Lou begins when the “figure from Will’s past arrives”. It’s really hard to talk about this without going into spoilers, so I will just say that this figure’s name is Lily. If I gave you three guesses as to how she’s related to Will’s past, you would probably get it right on the first try. I didn’t really mind that it’s kind of an obvious plot development, but what I did mind was how much I completely HATED Lily. I could empathize with her some, but I really have very little tolerance for such bad behavior. I hated her for walking all over Lou and the fact that Lou just let her made me start to hate Lou a little bit, too.

I enjoyed seeing Lou’s family again and some strife between her parents adds some humor to the story. I liked Sam, the new love interest, but I was never as invested in their relationship as I was with Lou and Will. That said, I think he plays an important role in Lou’s life and I like how their relationship arc goes.

Overall, I was a little disappointed in After You. Though I’m glad I didn’t end up an emotional wreck after this book like I was after the first, I would’ve liked to have felt a little more connected to the characters. I felt it was good to show the other side of assisted suicide in this book, but I wish Lou would have had a better support system. Though she did eventually join Moving On, she never really fully participated in it. She tried to use helping Lily as her salvation, instead. She did eventually learn to cope and move on and her relationship with Lily stabilized, though. I really, really hated Lily and I think that colored a big portion of the book for me in a negative light. Even though I was a little disappointed with it, I am very happy that Moyes answered her readers and gave us this follow-up to Me Before You and I think the fans will enjoy it – especially those who can tolerate Lily more than I could.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

3 stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR.

Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)

1. Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) by William Ritter. Published September 22.


2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Published September 29.

Pretty Girls

3. Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. Published September 29.


4. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti. Published September 29.

A Madness So Discreet

5. A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. Published October 6.

Carry On

6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Published October 6.

These Shallow Graves

7. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly. Published October 27.

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

8. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer. Published November 10.

Oblivion (Lux, #1.5)

9. Oblivion (Lux 1.5) by Jennifer Armentrout. Published December 1.

10. Backstage (Boy Band #2) by Jacqueline E. Smith. Published December 8.

What books are you looking forward to this fall? Are you looking forward to any of the above?

Bath and Body Works Tag

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September is a crappy month for my blog. I’ve decided to just accept it. I actually have written two reviews, but they’re both for ARCs that can’t be posted yet. To keep the blog from being completely unpublished, I thought it was time for another tag. I saw this over on Inspired by the Page and thought it looked fun. Enjoy.

1. Pure Paradise: A book that was simply perfection.


If you’ve followed my blog at all you know that I’m generally a pretty harsh rater and I haven’t really found book perfection yet. The book that probably comes closest – and is probably the most often mentioned on lists like this – is Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I gave it 5 stars before I started book blogging and it’s one of my favorites of all time.

2. Sweet Pea: A romance/contemporary novel that you really enjoyed.

If You Only Knew

If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins. This could be any Kristan Higgins book, honestly, but I’m going to go with her most recent.

3. Fresh Strawberries: A book you really enjoyed that came out this year.

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. I didn’t expect much from this book, but I ended up really, really enjoying it. I definitely recommend it if you haven’t checked it out yet.

4. Warm Vanilla Sugar: A character and/or book that made you feel all warm and smiley.

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord. I was smiling the majority of the time as I read this.

5. Paris Amour: A couple you majorly ship together.

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Juliette and Warner from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. They’re perfect together.

6. Dancing Waters: A book that takes place on a beach/perfect beach read.

Truly, Madly, Greekly

Truly, Madly, Greekly by Mandy Baggot. The beautiful setting in this book made me really, really want to go to Greece.

7. I  Cake Books: Favorite book/character.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

We should all know this answer by now, too: The Raven Boys and Blue. I love them so, so much.

8. Winter Candy Apple: A book set around Christmas or during winter.


Landline by Rainbow Rowell. Georgie decides to stay home and work as her family goes home to Omaha to see family for Christmas.

9. Beautiful Day: A book with an unusual/interesting/appealing setting.

Fairytale Beginnings

Fairytale Beginnings by Holly Martin. It’s set in a castle.

10. Dazzling Diamonds: Gorgeous cover(s).

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. Love the cover, not as impressed with the book.

Feel free to tag yourself if you’d like to participate!

Top Ten Tuesday: Movies/TV Shows I Wish Were Books

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a Freebie. One of my favorite past topics that I’ve done multiple times is what books I’d like to see as a tv show or movie so I decided to go the other way and pick TV shows or Movies I Wish were Books. I first thought of this when I saw the trailer for The Duff. I wasn’t really that inclined to watch the movie, but I thought to myself, “I’d read that book.” Then I found it actually IS a book. But after reading some reviews I don’t really think it’s the book for me and I think I’d like the movie version better. Maybe one day I’ll watch it. Anyways, my choices will be stories that aren’t based on books (at least to my knowledge).

TV Shows

Yay, a pic with everyone (except Jackson) before Logan screwed up everything! :):

1. Gilmore Girls

One of my favorite shows of all time. I love Lorelai and Rory and the eccentric townsfolk of Stars Hollow. I would ship Luke and Lorelai So Hard. And of course Rory and Jess. (If you are Team Logan I’m not sure we can be friends anymore).


2. Psych

There aren’t a lot of funny mysteries out there and I think Psych could really fill that void. Plus there’s a very strong bromance to enjoy and a Will-They-Won’t-They relationship to root for.

#Scandal ❤❤❤❤❤:

3. Scandal

While there are Government Fixer type of books out there, I think we can all agree that none are quite like Olivia Pope. There’s enough mystery and intrigue and shady politics and romance to make this series into a super guilty pleasure read.

The cast of Parks and Recreation recently finished filming their final season (capped off with a heartfelt performance of “5,000 Candles in the Wind“), and now they reveal the scenes they wanted to shoot but never got to.:

4. Parks & Rec

I love the characters and the humor in this show and I think they would translate well into books.

The Blacklist - Megan Boone as Elizabeth Keen, and James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington, NBC (2013):

5.  Blacklist.

Lots of opportunity for character development, with great mysteries and twists.


The Proposal (2009) Sandra Bullock - A pushy boss forces her young assistant to marry her in order to keep her Visa status in the U.S. and avoid deportation to Canada.:

6. The Proposal

Because as we all know by now, I Love Fake Relationship stories.

After serving as a bridesmaid 27 times, a young woman wrestles with the idea of standing by her sister's side as her sibling marries the man she's secretly in love with.:

7. 27 Dresses

It’s almost embarrassing how much I love this movie. It’s so super cheesy, but I will watch it every single time it’s on tv. I even bought the dvd when I found it for $5 at Target. It’s a cute Chick Flick and it would be cute Chick Lit.

Remember the Titans - The inspiring story of the successful integration of a high school football team in Alexandria, Virginia.:

8. Remember the Titans

This one of my favorite movies in high school and it would fit pretty well into the whole “We Need Diverse Books” movement that’s popular right now.

Never Been Kissed ~ 1999 Raja Gosnell:

9. Never Been Kissed

Another one of my favorite Chick Flicks that I think would translate well to Chick Lit

The Social Network- This is a movie that centered around media. Although I believe that movies are a media all in itself, this film told the story of how one of the most popular social media outlets came to be.:

10. The Social Network

A (perhaps loosely) based on real life story.

Would you read a book based on these TV shows/movies? What would you like to see made into a book?

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

I was tagged for this by the lovely Sarah at The Reading Petal. (You should go check out her blog, btw!) My blog posts have been a little sparse lately due to my Lunar Chronicles re-read so a tag is always a great post idea when the reviews aren’t coming.

How long have you been blogging?

A little over two years.

At what point do you think you will stop blogging?

Whenever it stops being enjoyable, I suppose. Over the past two years there have been several times where I felt pretty over it and thought about just letting it go. But then I read a book I need to talk about and I’m back in.

What is the best thing about blogging?

Discovering new books I probably would have never read otherwise, receiving ARCs, other bloggers, having a space to vent my feelings for a book – whether good or bad. I also love when someone tells me they decided to read a book because of my recommendation. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s cool when it does.

What is the worst thing about blogging? What do you do to make it okay?

ARC Envy and Stats Envy. I will never be one of those blogs that have thousands of followers (after 2 years I’m only a few hundred) and I’ll never be Auto-Approved for all the Most Hypable books and sometimes seeing other blogs that are those things makes me feel pretty crummy about my own little blog. But I try to remember that at the end of the day, my blog is for me and it’s pretty darn amazing that anyone at all ever cares enough to read what I have to say.

How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?

I don’t tend to use pictures very often so not long. Usually it’s just the book cover which I usually copy from Good Reads. For my Funny Friday pictures I search Pinterest and it usually doesn’t take more than a few minutes to find something that amuses me.

Who is your book crush?

Who is NOT my book crush is probably a better question. But since I’m re-reading the Lunar Chronicles right now I’m going to say Thorne and Kai.

What author would you like to have on your blog?

Rainbow Rowell is probably one of my all-time favorites and it would make my life to meet her/talk to her/have her here.

What do you wear when you write blog posts?

Pajama Pants and a comfortable shirt usually. If I’m home, I’m in pajama pants.

How long does it take you to prepare?

Usually not very long. Most of the time I’ll write a review immediately after finishing a book. If I wait more than that I probably won’t write a review for it. It needs to be fresh in my mind.

How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?

I enjoy it. Just like in real life, I’m not like SUPER connected with people. I don’t have like any Blogger BFFs that some people seem to have, but there are several blogs I always try to make sure and read/comment on. Overall, I feel like we’re a pretty friendly and open-minded bunch.

What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

Well obviously if I had good advice I would be one of those super successful blogs haha. But I would just say read what you enjoy, write what you really think, and you’ll have an enjoyable experience.

Who do I tag?

Anyone who enjoys a good tag!