Sunday, August 26, 2018

Let's Talk: "Sadie" by Courtney Summers

Title: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: YA Thriller 
Page Length: 320 pages
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Date Started: August 21, 2018
Date Finished: August 23, 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars

*I was sent an arc of this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

Prefacing this review, I would like to put a trigger warning for this book for mentions of child abuse, self harm, drug use/addiction, and more. Please read responsibly. 

Wow. Just...wow. This book man. I'm not going to say I loved it, because I don't think this is a type of book someone can love like they do a contemporary--I say this just because of all of the terrible things inside--but I did feel it. I felt this book deep in my chest and I know I'm going to be thinking about it for a very long time.

Like I said, this isn't a book I can love. The things that the main character and other characters go through in this book...they're not pretty or pleasant. This book truly delves into the horrors of mankind and leaves you breathless...and not in a good way. 

My heart breaks for Sadie, it really does. She's just lost her sister, only a few years after their mother walked out on them. She's all alone, save for a grandmother-type figure, and feeling the immense guilt of her sister's murder. She knows, or at least she thinks she knows, who killed her sister and she leaves her town on a wild ride to hunt down this person. 

It was an intense journey, to say the least. We're pulled along Sadie's journey through her eyes. We're seeing her grief and her struggles to stay sane. Every step of this hunt, we're right there with Sadie. My god, I just...this book really knows how to strike a person to their core.

We don't just follow Sadie's direct story, but we also follow a podcast that is hosted by a man who is searching for Sadie at the pleading of the grandmother-type figure. That was more of a true-crime podcast and I think that it definitely added to this story for me. I don't want to say how it had an impact on my reading experience because I don't want to spoil the book, but it definitely was an interesting and much-needed addition to the novel. 

I just...as I write this my thoughts are muddled yet racing at 100 miles an hour. I don't know what to think and I'm confused. I feel like I know Sadie. I feel like I don't know Sadie. I have so many questions. I want more answers but I also don't because the ending was so powerful. 

I think to wrap-up this review, I'm going to just say that this book will mess with your mind. It was a slow start for me getting sucked in but by the time I was done, I was surprised that 300 pages had just vanished. It's a fast story yet a slow one. I don't know how to describe it. I read about 75 pages of and binge-read the rest in one sitting. It was fantastic.

I don't normally read thrillers and I'm more of a fantasy person myself, but this book shocked me. It's the first thriller that I've read that I actually felt was a thriller. It messes with your head and exposes the darker sides of humanity and shows you that not everything is as it seems. Gosh, it was brilliant. I didn't love it, because I can't love a book where the characters suffer so much, but it was a bloody brilliant thriller. And it had to be, because I've hated every thriller before this. 

Hats off to Courtney Summers. I will definitely reach for more of her works next time I'm in a thriller mood. 



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Friday, August 24, 2018

Let's Talk: "Harnessing the Winds" by Morena Silver

Title: Harnessing the Winds
Author: Morena Silver
Series: "A Tale of the Abandoned" #1
Genre: New Adult/Adult Nautical RH 
Page Length: 226 pages
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Date Started: August 18, 2018
Date Finished: August 19, 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars 
Goodreads

*I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

I really enjoyed this book. It was refreshing to read a newly released RH that wasn't just insta-love, smut, and possessive men. This one had an actual storyline, developed side characters, and a likable main character as well as smut and hot men.

Things I liked about this book:

  • The main character's badassery about pretty much everything.
  • The fact that the crew was all women and feminist. 
  • All the side-characters played an actual role and were active in the story instead of just being there to further the main character.
  • The action and slower scenes were balanced.
  • The smut scenes.
What I wished had been better:
  • There was a bit of insta-love, so I feel the story could have been a little bit longer to allow for a bit more of a development on that side of things. Once the characters were all in love, it was fun, but I did think it was rather abrupt
  • There wasn't as much of the men as I would have liked. I still loved them, but I would have liked to see a lot more of all of them together and having a good time outside of smut or action scenes
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I'm only hoping that the series continues on following these characters so that I can get more of the relationships between the main character and her men. I thought that for a start to a series, it was strong. 

I highly recommend this book to RH fans everywhere! 




Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Guest Post: Alexandria Warwick - "The Demon Race"


Hello everyone, today I am super excited to welcome Alexandria Warwick, author of the upcoming fantasy release The Demon Race, to my blog! You can look for my review on this book either before or on release date (September 18), but without further ado, welcome Alexandria!



Theme and Symbolism

Hello, everyone! First, thank you to Lauren for hosting me! I'm really excited for the opportunity to talk about my two favorite literary elements: theme and symbolism. They can bring so much depth to writing, to the story, so that what you read is more than what you read. Ultimately, I want the reader to question larger moral dilemmas. I want the reader to peel back the many layers of a story and discover how certain elements connect.

In The Demon Race, the largest and most obvious theme is darkness versus light (a tried and true classic!). I showcase this in many ways. The deities represent dark and light. The daevas, who represent darkness. Day versus night. The sun and the moon and what happens when the two come together in a solar eclipse as the moon blocks out the sun, which ties in with the question, Will Namali overcome the darkness in her heart?

Another personal tendency I have is to create an environment that acts as a reflection of the character's inner struggles. Let's take the Saraj, which symbolizes the theme of change. Namali is at a point where she doesn't feel in control of her own life, and the vast and ever-changing desert reflects that inner conflict. I asked myself a lot of questions when developing Namali's relationship with the Saraj, such as, How does Namali change throughout the story? How does her view of the Saraj change as well? In this way, the sense of place is heightened and becomes personal. When it's personal to the character, we care, right? The great thing about theme and symbolism is that they can be utilized in diverse ways. I'm always experimenting with new ways to deepen the human experience, and theme and symbolism are the elements I continue to return to time and time again.





Links

Author Bio
Alexandria Warwick is the #1 fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Demon Race is her first novel.






Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Let's Talk: "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" by Jenny Han

Title: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Series: "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" #1
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length: 355 pages
Publication Date: March 20, 2015
Date Started: August 17, 2018
Date Finished: August 17, 2018
Rating: 5/5 stars

I loved this book. I'm generally not one to reach for contemporary reads, but this one was so fantastic. I can tell why this book has gotten so much hype--and a movie. Frankly, I expected to like it but I ended up being blown away.

I've had this book on my wish list for a very long time--ever since I started watching BookTube over three years ago. It had always sounded like a cute contemporary, but I lost touch with my want over the years. There were also always books that I prioritized buying over this one. Well, let me tell you...that was a mistake! I should have read this book years ago because I would have loved it! I've been so thankful the past few days that a wonderful twitter user gifted me this book because I absolutely feel like my reading experience has been enriched by this book.

Let me just say, Lara Jean is amazing. I love her! I feel like everything about her is just amazing. She keeps her head on straight even with all of these guys around her. A lot of stories these days make it out to be that the moment a guy leans in to a girl who's never had a boyfriend before, her mind goes blank. Lara Jean never did that? Ugh, I just love her. Her inner monologues and just overall personality and actions have placed her very high on my favorite characters list.

And Peter...oh my lord Peter! He was so great. I mean, there were times I was frustrated with him..but that was because Lara Jean was frustrated with him and we were seeing the situations through her eyes. I just...I loved him. He was great. I can't wait to continue on in the trilogy so that I can find more Peter.

The sisterly bonding, oh my lord. I loved it. Rarely in books--at least most of the ones I've read--do we get a lot of sibling bonding. Usually, the family always takes a back burner and aren't even referenced as much as secondary characters. In this book, we get plenty of the family and sister dynamics. I loved that. Particularly because I have a sister and I can very much relate to Lara Jean and her siblings.

Plot wise, it was fun. A little predictable but super fun nonetheless. Plus, the ending left me wanting so much more! The cliffhanger-ness of it all....*screaming* The pacing was also pretty good. I was never bored or wanting it to speed up. By the end of the book, I was turning pages as fast as I could to see what happened.

Overall, I loved this book. It was phenomenal and so freaking cute. Plus, I'm really hungry after reading about Lara's baking. I immediately ordered the second and third book when I finished this one and I can't wait to read those! I have a feeling that Lara Jean and everyone else in these quirky stories will have a strong hold on my heart for a long time.

P.S. The movie was freaking amazing. It was quite different from the book but I loved it so much. Especially Noah as Peter. Omfg movie!Peter and movie!Lara were exactly as I pictured them and just perfectly cast.



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Friday, August 17, 2018

Let's Talk: "The Cruel Prince" by Holly Black

Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Series: "The Folk of the Air" #1
Genre: YA Fantasy 
Page Length: 370 pages
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Date Started: August 6, 2018
Date Finished: August 9, 2018
Rating: 3/5 stars

*This review is non-spoiler until noted otherwise*

So...I wrote an entire review and then in the same day decided those thoughts I had were completely wrong and I only had because I wanted to fit in with the hype. Unpopular opinion: this book wasn't fantastic. So, without further ado, here's my revised review.

Honestly, I thought I would love this book. I really did. It seemed like it had everything I love in a book: political intrigue, a badass main character, a forbidden romance, faeries, and so much more. I was let down. I really was.

Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy reading this book. I did enjoy reading it, but the more I look back on it, the more I’m disappointed by what I read. Everyone seemed to love this book and I can see how that might be the case, but for me, it missed the mark.

Most of what I have to say in this spoiler-free section is about the main character, the writing style, and the plot/pacing. I’ll go more in depth for specific characters and events in my spoiler-section. For now, let’s just talk about Jude.

I’ll say my relationship with Jude right now is on the rocks. Half the time I was reading from her, I was more annoyed or confused by her actions or inner monologues while the other half of the time I was screaming “Go Jude, get it girl!” in my head. I really wanted to love her, but I’m not entirely sure that I do. She was hypocritical or selfish a lot of the time, while other times she was very self-sacrificing to ensure that those around her weren’t hurt or in danger. It gave me whiplash, honestly.

Cardan…oh Cardan. When everyone talked about how awesome Cardan was, I expected him to be awesome. He wasn’t. He just…wasn’t awesome? He wasn’t a bad character, I guess, but he wasn’t as fantastic as all of this hype made him out to be. I’ll speak a lot more about him in my spoiler-section below, because I do have a lot to say.

For me, the writing wasn’t the best? It wasn’t terrible by any means, but I felt that I could have been done a lot better. Personally, it took me a while to get used to the first person writing. For complex fantasies, I’ve gotten used to reading third person. For me, the use of first person felt awkward and it took me a solid fifty or so pages to get used to the writing style. The use of first person also limited our view because we had to see exclusively through Jude’s rose-tinted glasses and take everything she said or thought as the absolute truth in that moment. I feel like I would have liked Jude more as a character had we not been inside her head the entire freaking book.

It read like a middle grade. The use of first person on top of the fact that most of this book didn’t follow the rule of “show, don’t tell” made me feel like I was reading something for middle-grade readers. There’s nothing wrong with middle-grade, of course, but when I want to read a complex story with political intrigue, I want the writing to reflect that? We were shown barely any political mess. Most of the action scenes or anything interesting weren’t detailed and it seemed as if we were getting a second-hand account of what was happening. I probably would have loved this book a lot more had I gotten more details.

I also didn’t connect with any of the characters, except maybe Jude a little. Just the writing style and lack of details made it almost impossible to connect to what a lot of the characters were feeling. I think that it being told first person from Jude’s point of view left us with only her views on the other characters, which I didn’t enjoy very much. The characters also felt very immature to me most of the time, and not just the younger ones but the adults too.

The plot was enjoyable but not amazing by any means. It definitely wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t realize that a good portion of the book would be schoolyard fighting and going to lectures. I thought that the plot background that we were given at the beginning was way too long and left the ending feeling rushed. Everything was slow, or moving at a comfortable pace, and then so much happened in a short amount of time that I was left reeling and confused, and not in the good way.

Overall, I just want to say that this book really disappointed me. I think that I let the hype get to me, which I usually don’t do, and I was left underwhelmed and confused as to why everyone thought this book was so new and fresh and amazing. To me, it seemed like every other good-but-not-great fantasy book that I’ve ever read. I enjoyed reading it, still. I thought that there were a lot of amusing parts and other scenes that kept my heart rate up. I do have the second book preordered because I think that this series has potential, I just wish that the things I discussed above had been more thought out. To me, this seemed like a second or third draft that still needed a lot of filling in.

**SPOILER TALK: Cardan**

I am going to be discussing Cardan for just a moment and there will be spoilers, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, I highly suggest coming back to this part of the review after you’ve finished the book! I just really need to rant/discuss Cardan for a second.

Okay, I just don’t understand why everyone loves Cardan so much. I’m a sucker for the bad-boy who can be a bit mean but turns into a nice guy trope. I lot of my favorite books are like that. But Cardan? I don’t see it. He’s mean, but he’s not just mean. He’s a bully, he’s abusive, and he’s (pardon my language) a huge dick. We got a little bit of an explanation to why he is the way he is: his brother beats him. I can sympathize with his struggles there, but his trauma is not an excuse for him to go and hurt other people (i.e. Jude). He literally lets his friends drug and embarrass her, almost kill her in a river, and so much more. Even though he explained that he never wanted her dead and would never let it go that far, he was still hurting her. And it’s not just a little teasing or mean comments here and there like a lot of other books with this trope have. No, he was actually bullying and being abusive to her. I don’t like him. I feel like maybe I would have liked him had the excuse for his actions not been that he was abused. It just gets my blood boiling that some people think that being abused is a suitable excuse for abusing others. It’s not. Because once Cardan’s brother was mean to Cardan, then Cardan was mean to Jude, she was mean to others, and it became a cycle.

Overall, my rant on Cardan is done. I don’t like him very much. He’s much more of a likable villain in my eyes than a possible love interest. His actions have completely turned me off of liking him and I don’t understand how some people don’t see that everything about him sends a toxic message. He has a long way to go before he is redeemed in my eyes, and I don’t even know if that will ever happen. Rant over.



Thanks so much for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Monday, August 13, 2018

Let's Talk: "Captivating Melody" by Katherine McIntyre

Title: Captivating Melody
Author: Katherine McIntyre
Series: "Discord's Desire" #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Publication Date: June 25, 2018
Date Started: August 4, 2018
Date Finished: August 5, 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars 

*I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

I really enjoyed this book. From the moment that I read the synopsis, I was so interested in this story. This book really had everything I like in a paranormal romance. It was interesting and steamy and awesome and about a band...I really am a sucker for band stories.

There were multiple sexy, funny men (even if the main character is only interested in one, the others are fun to learn about, too). I love that they weren't all the same, either. A lot of the time with romance books, I find that a lot of the characters are almost exactly the same even if they have different names and backgrounds. These characters were all different and I could actually tell them apart. I loved getting to know each of them and I can only hope that the others in the series focus on different band members.

The main character was also awesome. She was so realistic and I absolutely loved it. I could identify with her a lot because she's one who hides her emotions and what she's really feeling, even around those who she's closest with. That's something that I struggle with to this day and I could really understand her character. I also thought that she was funny and just very relatable.

The plot was fun, if a bit slow at times. I enjoyed every second of me reading this book and I was never bored. I thought that it went to realistic lengths and I enjoyed reading these characters' adventures. I also loved that it was about fae and brought in that lore. With the whole fae deal, I was really impressed that it wasn't the exact same as a bunch of newer fantasy novels that deal with fae. I really enjoyed it, overall.

In short, I thought this book was great. It was fun...it was steamy...it was adventurous and action-packed...it was awesome. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves paranormal romances!



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Friday, August 10, 2018

Let's Talk: "Seafire" by Natalie C. Parker

Title: Seafire
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Series: "Seafire" #1
Genre: YA Nautical Fantasy
Page Length: 384 pages
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Date Started: August 1, 2018
Date Finished: August 2, 2018
Rating: 4.5/5 stars 

*I was sent a free e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and spoiler-free. *

Wow. That's all I can really say at the end of this book. It wow'ed me. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I mean, I expected to like it, but I didn't think that I would love it like I did. It was a very fun and excellent ride.

I started reading this at about 10 at night, just intending to get a few pages in before I went to bed. I ended up reading about a fourth of it and absolutely loving it. Then, between my breaks at work and the time I had when I got home, I finished it off the next day. It was binge-worthy and kept my attention the entire book.

I loved these characters, this story, and the world. I thought that everything was well-planned out and all the strings were connected, yet it wasn't too complex and overwhelming. I never knew for sure what was going to happen and while it terrified me, I also loved that aspect of the book.

The thing about this book is that the characters really make it a game changer. This book is primarily about a group of female characters, with only a handful of men in the entire story. I loved that. It was awesome to see an all-girl crew that knew how to fight and be strong without men. In fact, one of the rules on the ship is that no males are allowed. I just loved how feminist and badass they all were.

Not only were these female characters badass, but they were all diverse and had their own way of bringing something new to the table. We had amazing representation in this book with POC characters, deaf/disabled characters, LGBTQ+ characters, characters who struggled with addiction, and more. I think that was just awesome because not only does it let people who fall into those categories have a character or two that they can identify with, but it also shows that just because someone isn't the textbook definition of strong doesn't mean they can't be a badass in their own way.

There were a lot of character arcs in this book but the one that really stands out is Caledonia, the main character. As we're viewing this story from her POV, it's easier to see her character development than others, but if you were to look at one character at the beginning of the novel and the same character at the end, you'll see the difference.

I personally loved Caledonia's perspective and just her as a character. She's not perfect and I think that's what was awesome. So often in YA novels we're told that a female character is a badass who can do no wrong and they end up always saving the day and making the right decisions and everything goes perfectly as planned. For Cala, that was not the case. She made mistakes, she has doubts and guilt, and nothing seemed to go as planned for her. Yet she always found a way to continue on and figure something out for her and her crew. She's strong, yes, but she's also vulnerable. And seeing her journey from the beginning of the book to the end was awesome.

The world building was just enough for me to not be confused by what was going on but the author didn't overwhelm me with unneeded details. We got what we needed for the plot at the time, and I can only imagine that the world will build even bigger in the next installment. I'm so excited to learn more about the world and different cultures and, more importantly, how the antagonist got to where he is.

I've been dying to read a pirate book for so freaking long. I have a few nautical fantasies on my shelf right now that I'm itching to read too, but it's just a pure stroke of luck that I ended up being sent a review copy of this one. I loved the nautical aspects of this book and I thought that they were really well researched and well-done. I can't wait for more pirates and ships and sea-battles in the next book. This brings me to another thing: I loved the technology. Usually in a lot of fantasies, there's not as much modern technology, but this book had solar energy and batteries and electrical weapons and so much more. Of course, they were named other things, but I loved seeing the technology woven in with everything else.

The plot was excellent. I thought that everything was paced well and there were plenty of high-action scenes mixed in with the more calm ones. Still, everything kept me turning the page and reading as fast as I could because I needed to know what happened. I'm both happy and sad at how this book ended. Some things I wanted to happen, happened. But others didn't happen, or happened in a way I wasn't expecting, or ended in a freaking cliffhanger! *cue me crying because I just want more*

My heart is full, yet also breaking. I can't wait for the sequel and can only hope that I'll get my hands on an arc when they are printed. I'm so grateful that I was given a chance to review it early and I'm so happy that I loved it this much. Seafire has definitely found a home in my favorites.



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Monday, August 6, 2018

July 2018 Book Haul!

I once again got less books this month than in prior months, so I'm pretty happy with that. I still got quite a few books this month, but I bought less than half of them, so I would call that a win! I'm super excited about all the books I got, so I can't wait to tell you all about what I got! I ended up with 11 new physical books, 4 ebooks, and an audiobook!




The first physical book that I got this month was Flame in the Mist by RenĂ©e Adieh. there was a preorder campaign for the sequel being run where you could also send in a postcard to get a signed bookplate and a paperback copy of the first book, so I decided to send in the postcard! This cover is absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to read this Mulan-inspired story!

Next, I traded someone on twitter for an arc of Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand! This is a spooky novel about a bunch of diverse girls in a thriller-esque plotline. I can't wait to read it and I'm so excited to be able to read it before it releases!

The next book I got was a gift from my best friend, Lexi, and that is Vicious by V.E. Schwab! I've seen this book around forever but never had super interest in it until the gorgeous new cover came out and I bothered to look at the synopsis (spoiler: I decided I needed it). Lexi bought two copies and gave one to me for us to buddy read, and I honestly don't deserve her amazing self in my life.

Then I got a copy of The Red Ledger by Meredith Wild from the publisher through BookishFirst. This book initially drew my interest when I read the synopsis and sneak preview. Essentially, it is about an gun-for-hire man with amnesia who doesn't remember his past life and is about to kill an unknown woman when she speaks his name. Everything changes after that and he's drawn into spy stuff, I assume. This book sounds so cool and I can't wait to read it!

Next, I got my preorder of Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. This is the sequel/companion to Uprooted (set in the same world but different characters) and I'm so excited to have both of these now! They're fairytale retellings and I've heard nothing but good things about both of them, so here's to hoping that I get around to reading Uprooted before 2018 is up!

After that, I received an arc of Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram. This book sounds awesome and amazing and I'm so excited to be able to read it early. I got my copy through BookishFirst, and I'm hoping to read it before September is through!

Next, in the holy grail of all book trades, I got an arc of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. As an avid Sarah J. Maas collector, I've been looking for an arc of any of her books for over a year and a half now, to no avail. But lo and behold, one day I had this amazing person respond to my ISO tweet that they were willing to trade ACOTAR for an arc that I had. I definitely freaked out!

Then, blessed be the gods, I got a signed arc of Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco! I loved the first book in this quartet and I'm so excited to have an arc of the third book! I believe I also talked about hauling this book in a previous haul, but I ended up trading that copy away for ACOTAR. I knew I still wanted a copy though, so I found a glorious human being who was trading a signed arc of EFH and I couldn't be happier. Not only am I beyond excited for what adventures await in this book, but the arc has a different ending from the final edition, so I can't wait to see the differences there!

Next, I was sent an arc of The Demon Race from the author herself, Alexandria Warwick. This book comes out in September and I'm really excited to read it! It's a fantasy novel that just sounds completely awesome. Plus, I'll be a part of the blog tour for this book and I can't wait to share even more about it with you guys!

After that, my friend and I ended up going to our local used bookstore (my first mistake) with my niece (my second mistake) and I ended up leaving with three books. One was for my niece, but the other two were books that I didn't really need but ended up getting anyway. The first of these is the graphic novel for Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I've had my eye on this for a while now and when I saw that they had it at my local bookstore, I bought it so fast!

The second book I got that day was The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I had the first and the third books in this series so when I saw the second one sitting in perfect condition at the store, I knew that I needed to buy it. Now I can binge read the entire trilogy!

Lastly, I got a copy of Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. I've seen nothing but good reviews for this book and I'm super excited to finally have my hands on a copy! It also took forever for me to find this edition of the book, but I'm thrilled to have it on my shelf. All I really know about it is that it's a high adult fantasy with assassins and awesomeness!



I also ended up getting four ebooks this month, apart from those that I discovered in Prime Reading (who knew that was a thing? not me). I'm super excited about these and can't wait to read them all and discuss them all.

The first that I got was Heart of the Assassin's by Stacey Brutger. I'm a little ways into this book and I'm enjoying it. I think, however, that I should really reread the first book before I get further into this one since I can't remember everything from the first book.

The next ebook I purchased was The Martian by Andy Weir. It was on sale for a dollar and I knew that since it was one of my favorite sci-fi books, I had to get it! This story is one that I read years ago when the movie was coming out and absolutely loved. It was witty and hilarious but also adventurous and so science-y. Honestly, I still recommend it to pretty much everyone who says they like sci-fi.

Next, I got Strength by Jaymin Eve & Jane Washington. This is the fourth installment in the "Curse of the Gods" series and it was amazing. So much character development and plot growth happened in this book and I can't wait to see where the final book takes us!

The last ebook I purchased was Two Kingdoms by Kristy Cunning, which is the third in an awesome, dark, wacked out series that I've grown very attached to. I've been waiting for this release for a few months now and I was completely surprised one day when it showed up in a recommendations section on Amazon! I can't wait to read it, although I may reread the first two books first!



I only got one audiobook this month, using my last credit before I had to cancel my Audible subscription until I have a job during the school year. I decided to pick up Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. I love this book, as I stated earlier in this haul, and I've been meaning to do a reread. I've also had the audiobook on my wishlist for a while now, so I'm super excited to listen to it and see how much I fall in love with the characters all over again!





Thanks so much for reading! I hope you all enjoyed my haul for the month of July.
xoxo
Lauren



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Friday, August 3, 2018

July 2018 Wrap-Up!

Hello all! I am so excited to share my July wrap-up with you! Now, I have mixed feelings about July...I only read 4 books, but I watched a bunch of tv seasons and movies. And considering last summer, I only read 4 books in the months of June and July combined, I'm feeling pretty happy about the number of books I read this month.

Take into account that I've been working almost daily and babysitting and preparing to go back to college, I'm feeling really successful. Especially since I finished a 400+ page book on the first day of August as I write this. Hopefully I'll be able to reach my reading goal by the end of the year, but I'm a little behind. Either way, let's get into my wrap-up for the month of July!



BOOKS READ
1. 
Title: Red Agenda
Author: Cameron Poe
Rating: 1/5 stars

2. 
Title: Obsidio
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Rating: 5/5 stars
Review
3.
Title: Strength
Authors: Jaymin Eve & Jane Washington
Rating: 5/5 stars
Review

4.
Title: Terror is Our Business: Dana Roberts' Casebook of Horrors
Authors: Joe R. Lansdale & Kasey Lansdale
Rating: 3/5 stars
Review



BLOG POSTS



TV/MOVIES
Somehow I managed to watch seasons 4, 5, 6, and 7 of Bones all this month. I'm hardcore trucking through this binge-watch, although I've been slowing down the past week or so. I know I'm nearing the final few seasons and I don't want it to end! These seasons have been amazing and I just know that when I rewatch it eventually, there will be plenty of material for me to occupy myself with!

I also rewatched all three Shia Leboeuf Transformer's movies. I love these movies, even though I haven't seen the ones after Shia, and I really enjoyed rewatching them with my family. I'm even seriously considering continuing onto the others in the series.



Thanks so much for reading! Stay tuned for a bunch of amazing posts this month...I have big plans!
xoxo
Lauren



Follow my Instagram here. New giveaway will be posted very soon!

Get 10% off your first order, plus 50 rewards points, when you use this link to purchase a personal aromatherapy diffuser from Monq

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorites I'd Like to Revisit

Hello everyone! I'm finally back with another Top 5 Wednesday and I'm super excited to be getting back into these. I find that they're not only fun and make me think, but I love reading about other people's lists! 

This week's theme is "Favorites You'd Like to Revisit" and is all about your favorite books, movies, Tv shows, etc that you'd like to revisit! I love this prompt as it lets me talk all about my favorite nerdy things! Let's go ahead and just jump right in. 



For number 5, I picked Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. This is my favorite Cassie book that I've ever read, but it has been over two years since I first read it. I also haven't read the sequel, Lord of Shadows, yet so I feel like it's definitely time to reread this and continue on with the next one! (Book Review)

At number 4, I decided to go with Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. I loved loved loved this book when I read it around the time it released! I haven't continued on with the series though due to a pretty bad reading slump, yet I have copies of the second and third book sitting on my shelf. I decided to just go ahead and reread this one before I dive into the next two just because I loved this story so much. 

Coming in at number 3, I have the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This is another one where it's been three years since I first read these books and not only do I miss the story and characters, but there's a spin-off releasing in October that I already have a copy of and can't wait to read! This series is so fun and lighthearted and I can't wait to read it again!

For number 2, I decided to pick a tv show this time: Teen Wolf. This is my favorite tv show of all time and I've discussed at length on my blog before about how much this show has impacted me and changed my life. If you want to know all about how much of an impact this show had on me, you can find the blog post here. All I know is that it's been almost a year since the final season aired and ended and it's been almost a year of my heart still being broken. I'll hopefully binge this one after Bones!

And finally, my number one favorite I'd like to revisit is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I just finished my reread of the prequel novellas today and my feels are in full swing. I can't wait to continue on with my reread for the release of the final novel in October! This series has also impacted my life in so many ways and I'm sure I'll write a blog post about it in October, but all I'm gonna say now is that I love this series nonstop. You can find my reviews for The Assassin's Blade, Throne of Glass, Heir of Fire, Empire of Storms, and Tower of Dawn here. 



Thank you so much for reading! 
xoxo
Lauren



Follow my Instagram here. New giveaway will be posted very soon!

Get 10% off your first order, plus 50 rewards points, when you use this link to purchase a personal aromatherapy diffuser from Monq

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