Top 5 Wednesday: Bookish Things I’m a Grinch About

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday, hosted by the Good Reads group, is: Bookish Things You’re a Grinch AboutSince being a Grinch is a funny thing, try not to make this serious topics that make you angry (like lack of diversity or abusive relationships in fiction, etc.) as this is supposed to be more of a petty bookish things you hate. This can be stuff about covers, dumb tropes, etc. Have fun with it.

DT138 - Grinch Stealing Christmas Lights Pattern

1. Not being approved for an ARC on NetGalley. 

I know it’s very petty, since advanced copies can obviously not go to EVERYONE, as the purpose of publishers is to make money, but when I don’t get approved for an ARC on NetGalley I will almost NEVER buy the book. I’m not good enough for your ARC? You don’t get my money! (I’ll still go to the library, though.)

2. Surprise-You’re-a-Father romance trope.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it really is my least favorite trope. I don’t love when kids/babies are a big part of the plot and I HATE miscommunication being the main point of conflict in a story and this trope combines the two.

3. The Good Reads Choice Awards. 

Every year I’ve only read a handful of the nominees – and I’m usually only a fan of one or two of the ones I’ve read. I always think I read books that are relatively popular, so I don’t understand why I don’t recognize so many of the books. And this year only one book I voted for won (Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham!).

4. Books not at my e-library. 

As we all know by now, I’m super stingy when it comes to buying books (and pretty much everything else). The e-library site I use is one of my favorite things in life, but I hate when books I want to read aren’t there! There are so many books I see great reviews on that I go over to the library to put on hold and they’re just not there.

5. Harry Potter. 

I’m just never going to read these books. I have no desire to watch the movies (though I was coerced into one once) either. I just missed the whole Harry Potter movement when they were in their prime and now I just don’t care.

What are some bookish things you’re a Grinch about?

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Review: First Frost (Waverly Family #2) by Sarah Addison Allen

First Frost (Waverley Family #2)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

It’s October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree… and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.

Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.

Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.

Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?

When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.

Lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen’s enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It’s where the real story begins.

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

I didn’t think it would be possible to like this book as much as I did Garden Spells, but I was once again pleasantly surprised. Allen effortlessly weaves together multiple perspectives and storylines into one heartwarming tale of magic and family.

First Frost picks up ten years after Garden Spells ends. While Claire and Tyler and Sydney and Henry are still all happily married, they are not without their problems – mostly brought on by the magical craziness that always accompanies the wait for the first frost of the season that brings the temperamental apple tree into bloom. Claire has ditched her catering business in favor of candy making, which is a national success. However, she doesn’t find the growing success as gratifying as she thought she would and she begins to question to her magical Waverly ability. Sydney is obsessed with getting pregnant so she can give Henry a son, but things are not going according to plan. Bay is now a teenager and has found the boy that she belongs with, who happens to be the son of Sydney’s old high school boyfriend, but he – and the rest of the school – is not quite convinced.

I love Allen’s writing style. We get the perspective of many different characters which could become overwhelming, but here it’s balanced very well. There was never a time I felt was spent too long with one character and one perspective was never left in a cliffhanger. My only complaint is that I would’ve liked to have seen more from Tyler and Henry’s POV, but at it’s heart, the story is about the Waverly women, so I was ok with it.

Overall, I really enjoyed First Frost. It’s a very character driven novel, which I always appreciate. Even though I was skeptical of seeing these characters ten years later from the first book, I loved them just as much and enjoyed seeing their growth. There were plenty of sweet moments and a few surprising twists. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has read Garden Spells, and if you haven’t read Garden Spells, you should do that now!

Overall Rating (out of 5)

4 stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Things that make your life as bloggers easier/better

I decided to join in the fun and do my first Top Ten Tuesday, sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish.

1.Good Reads: – This just makes life easier in general. Since I have a tendency to forget things, as soon as I see a book that looks interesting I immediately add it to my To-Read shelf on Good Reads. It’s also amazing for keeping track of how many books you’ve read (so far this year I’m at 102), as well as what rating you gave it, how many pages it is, etc.

2. Other Bloggers: I’m still pretty new at all this so seeing other people’s blogs definitely gives me ideas and motivation to make mine better. I’m also loving all the reviews on new books I need to read.

3. My Nook! I love my Nook. Don’t get me wrong, I still love having an actual book  in my hands, but the ease and portability of an E-reader is just wonderful. Also, getting e-books from my library is basically my most favorite thing in life.

4. Memes: When I first started I was only going to do straight up book reviews, but I really enjoy the flexibility to do more. They’re also a great way to discover new blogs!

5. NetGalley: A site with free advanced copies of books! I’m still just kind of getting into this. I’ve gotten 3 great books so far: The Bone Season, Unseen, and Hollow Bones – which is next on my list after I finish the series I’m on.

I realize this is only 5 things, but it’s all I can think of at the moment. It’s my first Top Ten Tuesday, I’m easing into it.