Book Review: What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee

Hello there and happy Monday! I’m 14 reviews behind, but if I write this one there is one less in that massive stack. I’m so glad to be here today with a review of What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee. This book was sent to me for review by the publisher, but does not have any affect on how I read and review it. Thank you Simon Teen for sending me a copy!

Title: What I Leave Behind

What I Leave Behind
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Alison McGhee

Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Release date: May 15, 2018

My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars

After his dad commits suicide, Will tries to overcome his own misery by secretly helping the people around him in this story made up of one hundred chapters of one hundred words each.

Sixteen-year-old Will spends most of his days the same way: Working at the Dollar Only store, trying to replicate his late father’s famous cornbread recipe, and walking the streets of Los Angeles. Will started walking after his father committed suicide, and three years later he hasn’t stopped. But there are some places Will can’t walk by: The blessings store with the chest of 100 Chinese blessings in the back, the bridge on Fourth Street where his father died, and his childhood friend Playa’s house.

When Will learns Playa was raped at a party—a party he was at, where he saw Playa, and where he believes he could have stopped the worst from happening if he hadn’t left early—it spurs Will to stop being complacent in his own sadness and do some good in the world. He begins to leave small gifts for everyone in his life, from Superman the homeless guy he passes on his way to work, to the Little Butterfly Dude he walks by on the way home, to Playa herself. And it is through those acts of kindness that Will is finally able to push past his own trauma and truly begin to live his life again. Oh, and discover the truth about that cornbread.

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This was a really, really quick read for me. I sat down with it one afternoon and knocked it out. To be honest, I didn’t know about the 100 word chapters, and in retrospect, I have mad respect for McGhee pulling it off. It’s super easy to get lost in the words and describe everything, but this book was all about being concise. I appreciate how she did it and I applaud her for it.

That being said, I do wish it was a little longer! I feel that I couldn’t get a huge feel for Will throughout the book. I wanted to get to know him more beyond what was given. I also wanted to know the other characters more.

One thing I liked about the book was the constant action. Because the chapters were only 100 words long every word counted. There wasn’t much time spent on descriptions of things or people, it was almost always action. I liked the pacing of the book as a whole, and I liked how Will took you backward in time to explain some things.

I wish I had gotten to know Playa more! She seemed like a really fun character, and a lot of what Will does is because of something that happened to her. I understand that this is Will’s story in the end, but maybe there can be a book about her in the future?!?!?!

All in all, this was a good book, but it didn’t wow me. I wanted more from it, and while I appreciate how hard it must have been to write it, this didn’t quite get there for me. I encourage you to read it yourself though! It may be the book for you!!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

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Book Tour: Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington

Welcome to out tour stop for Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington! We’re so happy to host Jess here with an interview.

About the BookLove Songs & Other Lies Cover

Title: Love Songs & Other Lies

Author: Jessica Pennington

Publisher: Tor Teen

Release Date: April 24th, 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: It’s summer romance and second chances, the songs that stay in your head, and the boy you’ll never forget.

Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Powell’s

| Book Depository | Macmillan

 

 Jessica Pennington.jpg

About the Author

Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. She lives in a Michigan beach town suspiciously similar to the one in her books, where she’s currently finishing her second novel, WHEN SUMMER ENDS, out April 2019.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Rules:

1 winner will receive a signed hardcover of LOVE SONGS & OTHER LIES along with a swag bag filled with a t-shirt, bookmark, stickers, buttons, etc.

Rules are included inside the Rafflecopter giveaway

US only, 18+ or with parental permission

Ends on midnight May 12th, CDT

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f13123ce22/

Interview

Hi, Jess! So glad you could be here with us today. Why don’t you kick things off by telling us something we can’t find in your bio.

Hi, Sophie! I’m so excited to chat with you! I’m mildly obsessed with penguins. Is that in my bio? I don’t think so. But I am. I have a collection of penguin Christmas ornaments, and I don’t consider a zoo “legit” unless they have penguins on exhibit. The selfie I’m most proud of is one I took with a penguin (which was not easy!).

Describe your book in five words or less.

Oh, this is torture! Here goes nothing… first-love gets a second chance

A big part of this book is music (obviously lol). Do you listen to music while you write? What music got you through this novel in particular?

I listen to basically basically any time I’m awake. This book in particular, I listened to a lot of songs about love and breaking up. Which are my favorite kinds of songs anyway!

I love Vee! She’s an awesome MC. What was your favorite part about writing her?

Oh man, this is hard because I love a lot about Vee! I love how strong she is—even though she’s flawed and has fears like any teen girl—and also that she’s really open with people. I think there’s a real vulnerability about Vee and how she connects with people—you see it even in the way she connects with some of the crew on the tour bus.

If Vee were a song, which one would she be?

Well, most literally, she would be Meet Virginia by Train, because her parents named her after that song. But Yellow Shirt by The Icarus Account (which is Vee’s favorite song in the book) is one that I think describes her…she doesn’t see herself quite as clearly as those around her, but when she does, she’s this really magnetic kind of force.

There are a lot of details about touring and the music competition. Did you have to do a lot of outside research for this novel?

You know, there’s never been a reality TV show like the one in LS&OL (maybe there should be??) so I did have to rely on piecing together what I could find out about music tours and TV production and reality shows in general. I looked up layouts for tour buses, and for some of the venues they visit on the tour, and I had to map out the whole tour and how long it would take them to get from place to place. I have a whole road-trip map somewhere! That was actually one of the biggest pieces of research…figuring out the schedule for the whole show, and when they’d land where!

This is set after Vee’s first year at college which is awesome! I love books set in this time period. Why did you decide to write about that summer?

I didn’t set out to write anything set in college, or even to write a dual-timeline novel, it just happened! I had written most of the THEN chapters before realizing that their story wouldn’t end in high school. But I chose that timing for them to meet again, because I wanted them to have enough time to grow and change a bit, but not enough that they’d totally healed from what happened between them.

Okay let’s wrap things up here, if you could collab with any author who would it be and why?

Oh man, this is a hard question! I think I’d say Katy Upperman, because I loved her debut novel Kissing Max Holden, and just finished an ARC of her second, The Impossibility of Us, which left me reeling. I think we have similarities in the kinds of stories we like to tell and the way we tell them. And she loved Love Songs & Other Lies, so I think we have that mutual appreciation for each other’s work, which would be important when doing a collab!

*****

Thank you, Jess for this amazing interview!! Be sure to pick this awesome book up!! Follow the rest of the tour here:

Monday 16th

LILbooKlovers – Interview

Ashleigh’s Bookshelf – Review

Tuesday 17th

The Clever Reader – Dream Cast

Tale Out Loud – Review

Wednesday 18th

Smada’s Book Smack – Top 10 Quotes

BookCrushin – Review

Thursday 19th

My Fangirl Chronicles – Excerpt

A Blunt Book Blog – Review

Friday 20th

BookishBitsBlog – Guest Post

Books. Life. and Everything Else. – Review

Monday 30th

The Candid Cover – Interview

Belle’s Archive – Review

Tuesday 1st

The Cursed Books – Playlist

The Heart of a Book Blogger – Aesthetic

Wednesday 2nd

Portrait of a Book – Aesthetic

Vicky Who Reads – Review

Thursday 3rd

The Mind of a Book Dragon – Interview

Boundless Bookaholic – Review

Friday 4th

Claerie’s Tales – Fanfiction

Librarian Laura – Interview and Excerpt

Happy reading,

Sophie:)

 

Sneak Peek Sunday: Love & Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonsalves

Hi all! I haven’t been very active lately, and that’s mostly due to my schedule heating up in the past weeks. I’ve had a lot to do and very little time to do it. Unfortunately that means I’ve pushed reading and blogging to the back burner, but I wanted to pop in because I recently finished an amazing book that’s set to come out soon!

This book was sent to me for review by the publisher. That does not affect the way I read and reviewed this book in any way. Thank you, Little, Brown!

Title: Love & Other Carnivorous Plants

Love & Other Carnivorous Plants
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Florence Gonsalves

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Expected release: May 15, 2018

My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars

Freshman year at Harvard was the most anticlimactic year of Danny’s life. She’s failing pre-med and drifting apart from her best friend. One by one, Danny is losing all the underpinnings of her identity. When she finds herself attracted to an older, edgy girl who she met in rehab for an eating disorder, she finally feels like she might be finding a new sense of self. But when tragedy strikes, her self-destructive tendencies come back to haunt her as she struggles to discover who that self really is.

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I was so excited to be able to read this book, and I was happily surprised when I picked it up from my mail. This book is set right after Danny’s freshman year of college, and I appreciate that this time is being written about. Here are some of my initial thoughts from Goodreads:

I had to set this down for a second because I had to read a different book by a certain date, but once I was done with it I came right back to L&OCP. This was a quick, sweet read altogether. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen, and I think it addresses the topic of mental health in an honest light. 

Between starting and finishing this book I had to read two books to prepare for interviews I had. (Hopefully I’ll have more to share on that later!) I was a little disappointed I wasn’t able to finish before those others, but that meant I couldn’t wait to get back to Love & Other Carnivorous Plants. I was curious to know what would happen, and I found Danny to be a compelling character.

The whole of the story focuses on how Danny struggles with the changes that college brings and how she feels unmoored going to Harvard. Something happens with her long-time best friend Sara that triggers Danny’s self-destructive behaviors. It’s interesting to see how Danny picks up the pieces afterward and how she decides to handle going to treatment.

This book does a good job of honestly portraying mental health. As someone who also struggles with mental health issues, I felt this was written with sensitivity and care without being too filtered. I know this isn’t representative of everyone’s experience with mental health, but I found it to ring a little true for me.

Another thing I really loved about this book was the way it talked about college.  I’m currently finishing up my freshman year and I can attest how hard the transition is. I can’t imagine ever going to a school as competitive as Harvard. I feel that a lot of the emotions that Danny felt and the change in her friendship with Sara are accurate in terms of what can happen. Again, I know this isn’t representative of everyone’s experience at college, but friendships change a lot when you go to college. Some adapt and flourish, others fade away, and some become broken beyond repair. It’s hard when things change. It’s hard when what you thought to be true turns out to be something else. I’ve had my fair share of changing friendships since coming to school, and it’s been hard. My heart went out to Danny and Sara as they tried to repair their relationship.

Overall, this book was compelling and I highly recommend it, especially to college freshmen or those soon to be one!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

I can’t believe it took me so long to start this book!! It was so good, and I mainly read it through audiobook. (Thanks to my library for bailing me out all the time!!!)

Title: Flame in the Mist

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Release date: May 16, 2017

Source: Hardcover/Audiobook

My rating: 5/5 Goodreads stars

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

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I really love Ahdieh as a writer. I will always read what she writes. Her first series The Wrath & the Dawn and The Rose & the Dagger were riveting, and I loved her storytelling in that series. This book is unrelated to that one and can be read without knowing anything about her first duology.

Something that prevents me from picking up books for such a long time is the amount of books that I want to read coming out at the same time. Literally there are too many that I’m anticipating that are released around the same time, and I can’t get to them all for a very long time. It makes me sad.

ANYWAAYYYYY! I wish I had picked this book up sooner. The world building of feudal Japan, the characters, the plot; everything was heckin awesome. I was immersed into a world of intrigue and different plot lines intersecting.

One thing I had a hard time with was keeping track of all of the different stories going on at the same time. Sometimes I would be reading about Okami, but I wouldn’t realize it until they said his name a few times, and even then I wasn’t 100% sure. I’m sure once we get Smoke in the Sun all of the strings will tie together and make more sense.

This was a bit of a retelling of Mulan. If you didn’t know, Mulan is one of my all time favorite movies. One time I watched it instead of doing homework on a Thursday afternoon. (I got everything done eventually, don’t worry!) Ahdieh takes the basic ideas of the story and builds her own world out of them. I like that it was taken to Japan instead of staying in China. I like how Mariko fought for her freedom and chose to infiltrate the Black Clan to save herself.  I like that the Black Clan was a rogue group instead of an army. There are a lot of recognizable themes with a different twist.

Mariko was pretty awesome. There were times that I couldn’t stand her much, but I knew that she would get there eventually. She really comes to her own toward the end and I’m so excited to see where she goes in the second book!!

The storytelling is rich and interesting. At first it was a little slow, but once I really got into it I finished it quickly. I highly recommend this book to someone looking for a different take on a classic story and a kick ass woman.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Sneak Peek Sunday: Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy

It’s Sunday again, and you know what that means — ARC review!! I am so grateful to all of the people who share ARCs with me and send them in for review. It’s one of my favorite parts of being a blogger and reader. You know what my most favorite part of this is though? Getting to meet other bloggers, readers, and writers. I have made so many amazing connections because of this wonderful community. One of the people I’ve met is Cori. She is one of my favorite people in the world. She creates such well-crafted stories that I get immersed every time. It’s thanks to her that I’m able to write this review for you today! This was given to me in exchange for an honest review. 

Title: Now a Major Motion Picture

Now a Major Motion Picture
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Cori McCarthy

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Expected release: April 3, 2018

My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars

Fandom and first love collide for Iris on the film set for her grandmother’s famous high-fantasy triology—perfect for readers of Fangirl!

Unlike the rest of the world, Iris doesn’t care about the famous high-fantasy Elementia books written by M. E. Thorne. So it’s just a little annoying that M. E. Thorne is her grandmother—and that Iris has to deal with the trilogy’s crazy fans.

When Iris gets dropped in Ireland for the movie adaptation, she sees her opportunity: if she can shut down production, the Elementia craze won’t grow any bigger, and she can finally have a normal life. Not even the rascally-cute actor Eamon O’Brien can get in her way.

But the crew’s passion is contagious, and as Iris begins to find herself in the very world she has avoided her whole life, she realizes that this movie might just be amazing…

*************

I packed this in my spring break bag and didn’t get to it until the last day. I knew it was something I *wanted* to get to so I’m glad I had it with me. This novel jumped in on the action right off the bat. We’re immersed in Iris’s world at the start of her trip to Ireland. I loved the whole scene at the airport! It’s something I would have done myself if I’m completely honest.

There were so many references in this book I felt out-nerded. It was awesome. I feel like if I had a background in the different fandoms, I would have enjoyed the book a little more, however this didn’t hinder my reading altogether. It was more like I was missing out on an inside joke that I had a vague idea of what it was. I got a lot of them because LOTR and a lot of fantasy is immersed in pop culture, so I could make my way through the references easily.

At times I wasn’t sure I liked Iris. Every time I feel this with a character I have to remind myself that they have to be flawed to a) grow and b) be truly human. Too often we expect characters to be perfect and without the flaws that we have, especially women. It’s something that I’m trying to counteract by remembering that people aren’t, in fact, model citizens. And that’s totally okay. Iris grew on me over the course of the entire book. She ends as such a different person, and I loved that. She has problems with self-confidence because she feels that she’s living in two shadows — her dad’s and her grandma’s. Going to Ireland helped Iris discover herself and who she wanted to be.

Iris’s passion for music and desire to work with it is something that a lot of people face. It’s hard to tell others that you want to do something without a direct profession to point to when the obvious ones (i.e. writer, musician) don’t make a lot of money. This is something that a lot of people ask themselves many times and I really like how this is handled in the book. There are so many different answers to one question that people overlook, and I think this is emphasized well.

This book made me want to go to Ireland so bad!! I’m hoping to study abroad there, and I fell in love with it more and more with every turn of the page. The descriptions of the locations were gorgeous and vivid; I could see them clearly. Ireland lent a beautiful atmosphere to the story as a whole.

Overall, I highly recommend this to people who are looking for a different fantasy to fall into. It’s lovely and gorgeous.

Happy reading!

Sophie 🙂

Review: Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Oh man, I love these two collaborating on books, always and forever. Hey there! I see you’ve wandered into my corner of the internet. Welcome! Thanks for stopping by, maybe even reading my jumbled up thoughts about books?! You rock.

Today I’ll be chatting about this lovely little novel that is a follow up to the first book Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares which is so adorable. You must read that book before reading this one. So if I have to redirect you from this review to avoid spoilers, please take this as your opportunity to do just that. I highly recommend you take a moment to read that book first. You won’t regret it 🙂

Title: Twelve Days of Dash & Lily

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily
Goodreads | Amazon

Authors: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Reads

Release date: October 18, 2017

My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars

Dash and Lily have had a tough year since they first fell in love among the shelves of their favorite bookstore. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition.

With only twelve days left until Christmas—Lily’s favorite time of the year—Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends must take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the unique holiday magic of a glittering, snow-covered New York City in December.

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These two were adorable and so fun to get re-acquainted with. I remember reading Dash & Lilly’s Book of Dares and loving it so much. Cohn and Levithan are one of my two favorite author combos, and I’m so excited to read whatever they write.

I think something they capture well is the time period after people get together and what happens when they leave the honeymoon phase. I think that New York played a big role in helping Dash and Lily find new things to entertain themselves with, and it was nice to see the city through both of their eyes. I think a big thing that people in general struggle with is communication especially with the lack thereof. This was something that felt really relatable and true to anyone’s experience in all types of relationships.

The atmosphere of the book was perfect. Even though I read it after the holiday season it still brought back the warm, fuzzy feelings that usually surround the winter time. I love that time of the year most for a lot of the reasons that Lily does. My family is really big and it’s nice to see them all under one roof having a good time.

One of the strengths of this book was the theme of the twelve days of Christmas. I love how Dash tried really hard to make the days leading up to Lily’s favorite holiday so special. The concept is totally swoon-worthy, and it was lovely to see unfold.

I highly recommend this to people looking for a quick read and something light. I think that reading the first book of the two would be very helpful for really getting the most out of this book.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Chat: February Wrap-Up

Can you believe it’s already March tomorrow? I feel like the year has just begun, not like it’s already going to be the third one. It’s crazy how fast time flies — I’ll be finishing the last half of my second semester so soon. I think once I get back from spring break it’ll be really quick from there.

I read a lot this month. Like so much. I can’t believe I had so much time to finish these books. To be honest, a lot of what got me staying on track were my audiobooks. I love listening to these as I walk to class or to practice.  I use Overdrive through my library, so I save money, too, which is always a plus being a broke college student and all.

Here’s a summary of what I read:

  1. Your One & Only by Adrianne Finlay
  2. Rookie on Love ed. by Tavi Gevinson
  3. American Panda by Gloria Chao
  4. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
  5. Flight Season by Marie Marquardt
  6. Fireworks by Katie Cotugno
  7. Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
  8. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
  9. Hope Nation ed. by Rose Brock
  10. Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  11. Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

I’ve been quite busy with all of the school things going on, too. I promise that in between all of these books I’ve been doing my homework! I wish I had more time to read, I really do.

What am I currently reading?

  1. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
  2. Where I’m From by Brenda Rufner
  3. Three Sides of a Heart ed by Natalie C. Parker
  4. The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

Yeah, I know it’s a little excessive. I’ve hit a bit of a wall with TSOAH, but I’m waiting for the audiobook to finally finish this one. I think it’ll finally push me to finish that one. I’m really making slow progress through The Belles but when I do pick it up, I love the writing! The Final Six is slated to release next Tuesday, and I’m really into the prose so far. Hopefully there will be a review for you this coming Sunday of that!

Alright, that’s all for now folks, see you soon!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

 

Review: Meet Cute ed. by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Hi guys! I’m going to try to keep up with my reviews this year. I missed reviewing a lot of the books that I read, and maybe one day I will catch up on them. Today is not that day, though. I’m already behind on my reviews for the year, but no fear! I am working on them when I can. Today I’ll be starting with my first read of the year — Meet Cute, an anthology of first meetings edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Title: Meet Cute: Some People are Destined to Meet

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Various, edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publisher: HMH Teen

Release date: January 2, 2018

My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

****************

This was the perfect way to start off 2018! I know 2017 was a rough year for many people, myself included, so to help with the changes I let myself get sucked into many different love stories — one of my favorites to read. Here are some initial thoughts on Goodreads:

First read of the year! It was sweet and quite lovely to read each story. I love the anthology format because of the natural stopping points. Now my high expectations with romance make even more sense! 😉

It’s true that I have a few high expectations with love! I read so many perfect love stories that somehow come together in the end that I can’t help but want a little piece of it for myself, is that too much to ask for?! However, I do realize that these are fictional stories not bound by the conventions of the real world (fortunately anything can happen here).

One of my favorite stories by far was Nicola Yoon’s story about a Relationship Doctor and a Client. The main character is an expert in heartbreak and she works for the institution of love as a specialist in heartbreaks and detecting how they happen. You can imagine what comes next. I honestly want this one to become a full-length novel. It sounds like a beautiful world that could be built from this little beginning here. Think Love Charms and Other Catastrophes by Kimberly Karalius but a shorter story and written by the wonderful Nicola Yoon.

Another wonderful story in this book was Jennifer Armentrout’s! I love the idea of meeting my s/o in a bookish setting and the library hits the nail right on the head. I can’t get over how beautiful and perfect it all came together. It was pretty zazzy in my opinion 😉

This gave me the perfect feel good vibes that I wanted. The natural breaks between stories made it easy to read in spurts. I wish they were all longer — I want to know what happens to our heroes!!

Definitely pick this one up if you’re looking for a little romance or to renew your belief in that L-word.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Chat: Favorite Books About Love

Happy Valentine’s day everyone! I would say this is a bit of a Hallmark holiday with all of the extra things that go along with it. However, I don’t think it’s wrong to take a day to say a little something extra or special for those you love. Plus I will never say no to an opportunity to eat more chocolate! 😉 Buckle up and pull that blanket over your legs and cozy up with one of these great reads.

For the activist: Love, Hate, & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Goodreads | Amazon | Review

Love, Hate, & Other Filters is an amazing book that tackles Islamophobia in an excellent and beautiful way. Maya is a lovely character that everyone should meet. In addition to the lovely plot line, there is a great element of ~*romance*~ involved 🙂

For the first love: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Goodreads | Amazon | Review

This is a classic love story. I absolutely love Jenny Han’s work and this one is perfect for this time of the year! I am definitely in need of a re-read. Be sure to read Lara Jean’s love debacle as the letters to each of her past loves are mailed out.

For the hopeless romantic: Meet Cute ed. by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Goodreads | Amazon

What better than this *cute* anthology to get you through this day? I loved these little stories so much! Each piece was excellent and made me swoon every time. From people like Katie Cotugno to Nicola Yoon, you are sure to find a story you love. Be sure to check out my review of this next week!

For the paranormal lover: The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Goodreads | Amazon

A heartbreaking and beautiful novel, this will take you on a great journey. The writing is lyrical and full of great characters. Dee ‘s world is full of demons and when she sells her heart to make a deal with one she finds herself getting more than what she bargained for.

For lover: Rookie on Love ed. by Tavi Gevinson

Goodreads | Amazon | Review

This book is a wonderful collection of essays, short stories, comics, and other good pieces. The topics range from love for your dog to love for a book and you’re sure to find one you love.

For the retelling fan: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Goodreads| Amazon | Review

Take a ride on the Magic Pumpkin as Elle navigates her way through her summer determined to get to ExcelsiCon and win the cosplay contest. Add in a secret love a la A Cinderella Story and you’ve got an epic geek love on your hands.

 

Do you have a favorite romance novel? Tell me in the comments below!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Kick-off to 2018: My Goals & What I’m Up To

Hi all! I know this is a bit late and that I’ve already posted a bit since the year has started, but I really haven’t gotten into blogging the way I used to.

I came into 2018 wanting to do a lot more with this blog than I have in the past couple of years. It had become a bit of a chore because I felt like I didn’t have a lot of content to write about and with the number of posts that I wanted to do versus the time that I had to write them was few and far between.

That being said, I don’t think it’s ever too late to try to make something work or reinvent something you used to love. Since coming to college, I have tried so many different and new things that I have truly loved and things that I realized don’t have a place with me anymore. It’s truly a time of great change that a lot of people talk about, and it’s slowly being written about in today’s literature.

This post started out as a resolutions post, so why not continue with that theme? Here are some personal resolutions I have set for myself:

  • Read 100 books — I read 104 last year, exceeding my goal of 80, so I thought I’d set the bar high again. Maybe I’m a little ambitious?
  • Drink more water — seriously, I don’t do this enough and I find that sometimes I think I’m hungry but I drink some water and it turns out I was just really thirsty
  • Achieve at least a 3.5 GPA — I push myself hard academically, so this is nothing that isn’t new to me. I’m really hoping to keep up the good mojo I have from last semester!
  • Blog at least 3 times per week — Needless to say, I’ve already failed at this one, but I’m trying to work out a better schedule for myself to write more and sacrifice a little bit of my reading time
  • Complete another year of bullet journaling — Last year I got into the trend of bullet journaling! I made it through the whole year and it’s been a very useful tool for me. It’s also one of my creative outlets that I’ve found to be really relaxing.

Do you set resolutions? I know a lot of people do and a lot of people don’t. It’s something that I don’t always do, but turning over a new leaf and trying to cultivate some better habits for myself is always something I look to achieve.

With that I’m ready to wrap up this post! Thanks for joining me on this rambling post of mine.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂