August 2018 Recap

The McKinley Monument

My August was a pretty good end to the summer. My sister’s family came down from Canada for a week and we had a good time. My niece is 3 now and she’s a lot of fun (but kind of exhausting). At one point in time she turned down ice cream because she “just wants to play with Aunt Steph,” so I felt on the top of my Aunt game. I also got to see my brother’s family and my other baby niece who is one of the sweetest babies I’ve ever come across. We also went to the McKinley museum and monument which I have not been to since I was a kid and was pretty cool! What home town attractions do you have that you forget about?

Twinning with my niece. My sister sells leggings and made these shirts.

I also got to see Karin Slaughter again with Amanda. It was a great time, even if I didn’t get any pictures of her! Here’s one of Amanda and I,  though (I look really stupid, but isn’t it a great picture of Amanda?).

    

Books Read: 12

Adult: 5
YA: 7

Favorite Book I Read This Month:

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Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

  Books Reviewed: 5

Catch Him If You Can (Accidentally Yours #2) by Jennifer Shirk – 4/5 Stars

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones – 2/5 Stars

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren – 3.5/5 Stars

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter – 4/5 Stars

Hard Sell (21 Wall Street #2) by Lauren Layne – 4/5 Stars

Books Read in 2018 Overall: 104

Funny Fridays:

This is definitely what I need to do!

August 3

You have your priorities, we have ours. #RandomHouseMemes #bookworm #bookstagram #igbooks #igreads #booklove #booknerd #bookpeople #reading

August 10

25 Signs Youre Addicted To Books--great collection of book love one-liners:)

August 17

my best friend knows I do this ALL. THE. TIME.

August 24

Other Posts:

July 2018 Recap

Top 5 Wednesday: Biggest Disappointments of 2018 (So Far)

Reviewing the Unreviewed: August 2018

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

10 Books You Should Read After To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

I remember liking the book ok, but I just absolutely adored the movie! If you have Netflix and haven’t watched this yet, then you really need to change that! I felt like they actually made it a little more innocent than the book was instead of the other way around, which is something that I completely support. Some of the acting wasn’t the best and I definitely understood why this was on Netflix and not a movie theatre, but I was still so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. And can I be the millionth person to comment on how amazing the kid playing Peter Kavinsky is? I may have already re-watched this one a couple of times….

Looking forward to September

TV Trailer for You by Caroline Kepnes Starring Penn Badgley *I couldn’t be more excited!!* – Book It Forward

You premieres on Lifetime on September 9th (though your local listing may be different). You remains one of the most messed up books I have ever read and I am really looking forward to seeing what they do with it on the screen. Here’s hoping Penn Badgley’s Joe can be a better kind of creepy than Dan Humphries…

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July 2018 Recap

   

July was a great book event month for me. First, I got to see Linda Castillo. She comes to the area every year on book tour and it’s always one of the highlights of my summer. This year she did a writing seminar before her regular author event. It was really interesting to learn more of her process and I even asked a question (if you know me, you know this is kind of huge deal for me to talk in front of a crowd). When I got to talk to her afterwards to get my book signed, she remembered my name which is pretty awesome.

      

I also went with Amanda to see Linwood Barclay! He’s one of my favorite authors and I have always wanted to meet him so it was definitely a Book Nerd Bucket List moment. He was pretty funny and I enjoyed hearing how some of his real life moments make it into his books. There was this elderly woman there that basically begged him to continue a series he ended over a decade ago that was really funny. She also had a big tote bag full of all of his books she wanted him to sign. I want to be her when I grow up. When it actually came time to get my book signed I was basically a mute idiot…but that should come as no surprise to anyone. It was a great time and it was also so nice to catch up with Amanda, even though most of it was spent with me venting all my family drama. Thanks for listening, Amanda!

5 Year Blogiversary

I think I forgot to mention that my blog turned 5 back in June? I really meant to do a whole post and maybe a giveaway for it. But…I obviously missed it again. Maybe next year.

Books Read: 10

Adult: 8
YA: 2

Favorite Book I Read This Month:

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Close to Home (DI Adam Fawley #1) by Cara Hunter

  Books Reviewed: 7

A Gathering of Secrets (Kate Burkholder #10) by Linda Castillo – 4/5 Stars

I Think I Love You (Oxford #5) by Lauren Layne – 4/5 Stars

Girls’ Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke – 2/5 Stars

Dead Drift (Chesapeake Valor #4) by Dani Pettrey – 4/5 Stars

Good Luck with That by Kristan Higgins – 4/5 Stars

Close to Home (DI Adam Fawley #1) by Cara Hunter – 4.5/5 Stars

Our House by Louise Candlish – 4/5 Stars

Books Read in 2018 Overall: 92

Funny Fridays:

July 6

5 Steps to Becoming a Happier Person | books, reading, quotes

July 13

You can't read all day. If you don't start in the morning.

July 20

Haha

July 27

Other Posts:

June 2018 Recap

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag: 2018

Reviewing the Unreviewed: July 2018

Looking forward to August

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One more author event of the summer! Amanda and I get to see Karin Slaughter again as part of her Pieces of Her book tour.

Reviewing the Unreviewed: July 2018

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. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

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Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson. Read July 1-3. 3 Stars. 

This wasn’t bad, but it didn’t live up to the hype for me. I developed a theory about how the two storylines were connected fairly early on and it ended up being right. When that was finally revealed to be true I kept expecting something else shocking or twisty to happen at the end of the book, but nothing did. So I guess if you didn’t figure it out early it would appear as a fun twist, but it was just kind of ho hum for me. I did like the different POVs, though, and I really liked Gabe, even though he frustrated me many times.

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Sirens (Aidan Waits Thriller #1) by Joseph Knox. July 4-6. 4 Stars. 

This book is dark and kind of messed up, but I really enjoyed it. Short chapters and a fast pace made it a pretty quick read. I wavered a little bit with what to rate it because I found myself sometimes not really understanding what was going on and the writing seemed a little scattered at times. However, I liked that Knox was able to take a rather cliched storyline (addict/kind of dirty cop main character, drugs, murder, etc.) into something that really did seem unique. I thought the mystery was pretty well done and it kept my interest the whole time. I’m definitely looking forward to more from this series.

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My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. Read June 27-July 7. 2 Stars. 

I am so disappointed!!! My Lady Jane is one of my absolute favorite books and I have been looking forward to My Plain Jane for so long. Unfortunately it just fell so short of my expectations. The humor that I loved in the previous book felt so forced here. This book got a couple of chuckles out of me, but much more eye-rolling. I also didn’t love the Jane Eyre-Ghostbusters mash-up. I felt like the story really dragged and it did not keep my attention. I actually read two other books in the time it took me to finish this one. I had originally really liked the idea of having Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre both be characters, but I didn’t end up liking either of them. Alexander was probably my favorite POV of the three, but I didn’t really care that much about him either. I’m just overall really underwhelmed and disappointed with this one.

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Catch Him if You Can (Accidentally Yours #2) by Jennifer Shirk. Read July 19-21. 4 Stars. 

This book was so cute! After reading a number of mysteries/thrillers lately I was really in the mood for something light and sweet and Catch Him If You Can was exactly what I needed. I found myself smiling through the whole book. Full review to come closer to release date. 

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I Knew You Were trouble (Oxford #4) by Lauren Layne. Read July 22-23. 3.5 Stars.

This wasn’t my favorite Lauren Layne book, but it was still enjoyable. I liked Nick. Taylor took awhile to grow on me, but she wasn’t bad. I was looking for something light and quick to read and this was perfect for that.

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Hard Sell (21 Wall Street #2) by Lauren Layne. Read July 27-28. 4 Stars.

I love both Fake Relationship and Hate-to-Love stories and this book utilized both. Full review to come closer to release date. 

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Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. Read July 28-29. 3.5 Stars.

I’ve had some mixed reviews with the Christina Lauren books I’ve read so I’m never really sure what to expect when I pick one up. However, I do know that there will be some addicting writing that will make the book hard to put down and Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating was exactly that. Full review to come closer to release date.

June 2018 Recap

June was a pretty good reading and blogging month for me, as you’ll see below, so I’m going to take a moment to talk about some life updates. My parents’ dissolution was completed this month. It’s been a very stressful several months and there has been a lot of changes in our family and I’m glad we can all finally move on. My mother has been staying with me, in my one bedroom apartment, for over 7 months. (I’m not sure what the qualifications are for sainthood, but I’m pretty sure I meet them haha.) She is finally going to get back to her condo soon and I think we’re both pretty pleased about that. Maybe one day I will do a whole post about the events that led up to all of this. I think it could be kind of cathartic. It’s felt like a poorly written Lifetime movie. Anyways, on to the books!

Books Read: 14

Adult: 12
YA: 2

Favorite Book I Read This Month:

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The Promise (DI Imogen Grey #4) by Katerina Diamond

  Books Reviewed: 9

The Book of Me by Peng Shepherd – 3/5 Stars

Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering – 4/5 Stars

The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash – 4/5 Stars

Providence by Caroline Kepnes – 2.5/5 Stars

Find You in the Dark by Nathan Ripley – 2.5/5 Stars

One Small Thing by Erin Watt – 4/5 Stars

The Date by Louise Jensen – 2/5 Stars

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage – 3/5 Stars

Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall – 3.5/5 Stars

Books Read in 2018 Overall: 82

Funny Fridays:

I assumed you owned a bookstore.

June 8th

Blessed are the children of the bookworm for they shall inherit the books.

June 15th

June 22nd

Other Posts:

May 2018 Recap

Top Ten Tuesday: My Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Given up on / Don’t Plan to Finish

Reviewing the Unreviewed: June 2018

Bellarke

bellarke reunion hug | Tumblr

I’ve never been a huge fan of the show The 100, but I’ve watched it – mostly as background noise – since it’s been on. I’ve always shipped Clarke with Bellamy and that has basically been the only reason I’ve stuck with the show for so long. However, I’ve really been enjoying this season so far and decided to go back to the beginning because I don’t remember who a lot of these characters are or how they got there. Between the current season and the first couple of seasons I’ve re-watched now I’ve become, like, a #Bellarke super fan. I spent so much time on Pinterest lately looking at Bellarke pins. It’s a problem, but I can’t help myself. I ship them so hard!

Looking forward to July

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There are 2 author events I’m really excited about in July. As part of my favorite Summer tradition, Linda Castillo will be in the area for her book tour. (Look for my review of her latest book on July 2nd). She is also holding a writing seminar while she’s here that I’ve signed up for. I am also going with book buddy Amanda to see one of my favorite authors, Linwood Barclay!

Reviewing the Unreviewed: June 2018

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. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

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The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth. Read June 1-3. 3 Stars. 

I think maybe I’ve just read too many books like this lately. The writing was fine and I liked all the POVs we got, but I just didn’t really like the characters or their problems. I did like the twist. I had several guesses and none of them were right, so I’m giving an extra star for that twist.

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After Anna by Lisa Scottoline. Read June 3-6. 3.5 Stars.

I liked the structuring of the novel. Chapters alternated between Noah and Maggie’s POVs and the timeline was played around with, too, very effectively. However, I just felt like for the most part the pace was very slow and once the conclusion to the trial was reached the timeline stayed more linear and it kind of threw me off. I absolutely hated Maggie, too. I just found her so unlikable. The end of the book picked up a little, but I thought the developments were kind of unbelievable. However, it was still an enjoyable book and it did have a nice twist that I was hoping for.

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Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington. Read June 9-10. 4 Stars. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was a lot more angsty and heavy at times than I was expecting, but it worked. I liked the alternating POVs and timelines and thought it was used effectively. I loved Cam. I liked Vee in the “Then”, but found her kind of hard to like in the “Now” until towards the end. I thought the romance was super cute (though angsty for awhile). I loved the reality competition show angle and would’ve liked to have seen even more of that. Overall, this was exactly the cute weekend read I wanted and I will be checking out more from Pennington in the future.

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I Think I Love You (Oxford #5) by Lauren Layne. Read June 12-14. 4 Stars. 

To be honest, the synopsis for I Think I Love You almost scared me off. Anything where the plot sounds like it’s centered around a physical relationship is not generally my thing. However, I’ve learned that when it comes to a Lauren Layne book, it’s always best to give her the benefit of the doubt and I’m once again glad I did. While there were a few of the too-graphic scenes I don’t really appreciate, there weren’t more than her other books I’ve read have had. Full Review to come next month.

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The Promise (DS Imogen Grey #4) by Katerina Diamond. Read June 15-16. 4 Stars. 

Last year I read and fell in love with the DS Imogen Grey series and The Promise was one of my most anticipated books of 2018. I’m so happy to report that it completely lived up to my expectations. Full review to come closer to release date.

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The Other Woman by Sandie Jones. Read June 16-18. 2 Stars.

I thought the synopsis for this sounded kind of like a Lifetime movie and I was expecting a really fun, guilty-pleasure type of read. Unfortunately, it fell short of my expectations. Full review to come closer to release date.

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Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris. Read June 20-21. 3.5 Stars. 

After all the mixed reviews I’ve seen on this, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I found it really enjoyable. The short chapters and alternating timelines or POVs gave it a steady pace and helped make it a quick read. I did have a couple of theories going for awhile before I finally settled on one which ended up being right. I was ok with it, but when it came time for the explanation of how it all happened to be revealed I found myself kind of disappointed. It just seemed a little far-fetched and I thought it could have been done in a more fun-crazy way. So even though I enjoyed reading it, I have to dock a little bit of points from my rating for the ending.

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Girls’ Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Read June 22-24. 2 Stars. 

Well, I really did not care for this book. Unlikable characters and an entirely predictable plot made it a struggle to complete and I wish I didn’t waste my time on it. Full review to come next month. 

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Our House by Louise Candlish. Read June 24-26. 4 Stars.

Our House is one of my most anticipated books of the summer and while it wasn’t quite what I expected, I definitely enjoyed it. Full review to come closer to release date.

********Back on the TBR********

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The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. My hold for this finally came in at the library, but I just never got to it before it expired.

May 2018 Recap

Like I’m sure most other bloggers do, I drafted this post awhile ago, to finish editing closer to the posting date. However, as I tried to add pictures I’m having a lot of problems with WordPress. Once a picture is added, it will not let me edit it. I can not select the picture to re-size it and whenever I try to click on it, the whole page shifts up or down. Am I the only one this is happening to? I’m also having issues with Goodreads. I finished a book and marked it as read, but it would not let me enter a Finish date, which means it doesn’t update my reading challenge. Again, is this just me? I’m so frustrated right now. Sorry this post looks like crap.

Books Read: 15

Adult: 10
YA: 5

Books Reviewed: 10

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin – 2/5 Stars

Hangman (Detective William Fawkes #2) by Daniel Cole – 4/5 Stars

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll – 2/5 Stars

Hot Asset (21 Wall Street #1) by Lauren Layne -4/5 Stars

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne – 3.5/5 Stars

The Ever After by Sarah Pekkanen – 3.5/5 Stars

Just One of the Royals (The Chicago Falcons #2) by Leah and Kate Rooper – 3/5 Stars

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier – 4/5 Stars

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West – 4/5 Stars

Nearlyweds by Beth Kendrick – 4/5 Stars

Books Read in 2018 Overall: 68

Funny Fridays:

May 4

May 11

May 18

May 25

Other Posts:

April 2018 Recap

Kindle Unlimited Review