Weekly Update

 In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

  • Review: Sticky Notes by Indy Yelich
  • Review: How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner
  • Review: Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite book bloggers! ❤
  • Review: People Like Us by Dana Mele
  • Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
  • Mini-reviews: The Billionaire’s Secret duology by Ivy Layne

Tags this week:

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

I might be on a book-buying ban, but I am not on a book-acquiring ban…

3 things this week:

  • My mom called to tell me that she’s mailing me all my books from her house, which is nice, but also… where am I going to put them. 😐
  • So, going along with the point above, what do you think is the best way to get rid of books? I mean, first I have to decide which books to get rid of and that’s going to take me six years, but… once I do that, should I donate them somewhere? Drop them off in a Little Free Library? Give them away? Help.
  • I scheduled this post last night, but if all has gone according to plan, I should be on a road trip to very rural Virginia when this post goes up. (Probably somewhere around Baltimore or DC, depending on traffic.) Anyway, please save me. I would rather be at home with my cat.

Blog hopping:

  • Brianna shared a list of feel-good books in case you need some cheering up! ❤
  • Angelica talked about writing negative reviews.
  • Vicky wrote about the difference between problematic books and characters acting badly.
  • In honor of the TATBILB adaptation’s release, Aurora speculated on what would be in Lara Jean’s library.
  • Teagan & Jess reviewed The City of Brass and yep, it’s on my TBR now.

Weekly playlist:

I was going to make an actual playlist this week of songs from the current pop charts that I really like, but then I looked at this week’s Hot 100 and… I only like a couple of the songs (Delicate, FRIENDS, Weezer’s cover of Africa… I’m pretty sure that’s it) and that would be a sad playlist. So, instead, here’s Glitterbug by The Wombats, which I recently remembered that I’m in love with. My favorite is Greek Tragedy, which is also the first song from the album that I heard. But I also really love EmoticonsBe Your Shadow, and Headspace. I mean… I actually love the whole album, but those are my top four.

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Tag: The Office Book Tag

THEOFFICEBOOKTAG

I was tagged by Leslie for The Office Book Tag! Confession time: I have watched an episode of The Office here and there, but I haven’t watched all of it! I know!! I need to get on that soon!


1. Michael Scott – Book that tried WAY too hard:

I really wanted to love I Hate Everyone But You but it fell so short for me. I think I get where the authors were trying to go with it, but they went so far that I just ended up hating it.


2. Dwight Schrute – Book that ended up being a lot more complex than you thought it would be:

I Stop Somewhere ended up being a lot more serious than I expected. It was a really heavy book and while it was good, I don’t know that I would actually recommend it.


3. Jim Halpert – YOU in a book. Book/character that you related to a ton:

I have to go with Leslie’s answer — Penny from Emergency Contact. I mentioned in my review that I had a friendship a lot like Penny and Sam’s when I was that age, and I just really loved this book.


4. Pam Beesly – Seriously underrated but amazing book you wish everyone would read:

Starry Eyes! I know that I talk about this book all the time, but I wish that it got more attention because it’s just so good.


5. Ryan Howard – THE INTERN. Debut novel that impressed you:

My favorite debut so far this year is Love Scene, Take Two! I can’t wait to read more from Alex Evansley.


6. Andy Bernard – ANNOYING book/character that you can’t help but love (or not):

Actually, every character in Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List is terrible and I would never want to meet any of them in person, but the book as a whole was really entertaining.


7. Robert California – Book/character/plot that went over your head or was really confusing:

I don’t actually know if A Visit from the Goon Squad was confusing or if it went over my head, but it was a real mess and I don’t know how it won a Pulitzer.


8. Angela Martin – Book with a plot that didn’t appeal to you at first but you ended up loving:

I really wasn’t sure about Sky in the Deep when I first picked it up, but I ended up really loving it!


9. Kelly Kapoor – Favorite sassy character:

Meredith from Arrogant Devil is pretty sassy!


10. Kevin Malone – Book that features music:

Seven Ways to Lose Your Heart by Tiffany Truitt features a whole music festival!


11. Phyllis Lapin – Book that made you feel warm and fuzzy:

Anything Jenn Bennett writes makes me feel warm and fuzzy, but for the sake of this prompt, I’ll go with Alex, Approximately.


12. Oscar Martinez – Book that has an awesome LGBT character that defies stereotypes:

There are a lot of LGBT characters in Running With Lions and I don’t really think any of them fall into common stereotypes.


13. Stanley Hudson – Character/book that DGAF: 

I’m once again going with Leslie’s answer — Mia from Nevernight absolutely doesn’t give a fuck.


14. Meredith Palmer – Book you couldn’t stomach (too graphic/violent/romantic/vulgar – or whatever your reason!):

Definitely Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk. I loved his books when I was in high school, but I read this one in college and just couldn’t do it. I mean, I finished it, but I hated it and I really clearly remember laying on my boyfriend’s couch and complaining to his roommate about it.


15. Creed Bratton – Book/series that only ever made you ask more questions:

I love V.E. Schwab and everything she writes, but A Conjuring of Light ripped my heart out and then left a lot to be desired. I still had a lot of questions at the end of the book, and, well, it’s the last book in the series, so that’s not really a great thing…


I’m tagging:

Any fans of The Office and anybody who wants to do this!
Please link back to me if you do it so that I can see your answers! ❤

Mini-reviews: The Billionaire’s Secret duology by Ivy Layne

The Billionaire’s Secret Heart by Ivy Layne
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: AmazonGoodreads
Publication Date: June 6, 2016
Source: I think this came from someone’s mailing list?

Josephine:
It was the worst blind date in the history of the universe, until Holden Winters swept in and rescued me.
Are you kidding? Holden Winters?
A scion of the notorious Winters family, Holden is gorgeous, wealthy, and brilliant. He dates socialites and pop stars, not computer science grad students more comfortable in a hoodie than couture.
Our night together was a fantasy…and a huge mistake.

Holden:
I don’t usually steal other guy’s dates. I don’t have to. A look is all it takes, and the women fall over themselves to get to me. Then I saw Josephine, sitting with her dweeb of a date, just waiting for a man who could appreciate her lush curves and sharp brain. When she ghosted on me, I shouldn’t have been so shocked, but women never walk away from me. Josephine thought she could call the shots – she didn’t realize that a Winters man always gets what he wants. And I wanted her.

The Billionaire’s Secret Heart is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It’s the first in the Scandals of the Bad Boy Billionaires series, and introduces the notorious men of the Winters family. You can read it on its own, but you might want to read the others once you get a taste of the Winters men.

Here we are again, hate-reading another book from the dark, dusty corners of my Kindle. Someone remind me why I do this reading challenge. I would prefer to just forget that these books exist.

This one doesn’t actually start off that badly. I mean, from the beginning, I really disliked that the hero is named Holden. I think that name should be reserved for one character only and not used on an asshole billionaire, but let me just set that aside. The beginning is actually really funny! I love reading about terrible, cringy dates. It makes me feel better about my teenage years. And an awkward, cringy date is how this book opens.

It all falls apart around 5% when the author not only forgets how she spells her own character’s name (is it Stuart or Stewart?) but also then forgets that said character even existed. Holden whisks Josephine away to his private penthouse, or something, and they have a lot of sex. A lot of sex. So much.

Then there’s just drama. One thing after another. There’s a weird love triangle, some instalove thrown in for good measure, and a “you’re not like any other girl I’ve dated,” which is, admittedly, a step up from “you’re not like other girls.” Josephine borrows her friend’s dress (fine, nice, okay) and also borrows her friend’s bra (not fine, not okay, just weird). At one point, Holden says, “Take off your bra” even though Josephine’s “full breasts spilled free” not even three paragraphs earlier. This book was terrible, but at least they used condoms every time.

Some quotes:

  • “I’m a scientist and I rarely exaggerate.”
  • “I jumped out of the bed like a scalded cat.”
  • “I was guessing he had a big cock. Exact inches didn’t matter.”
  • “I hadn’t just slept with him. I’d fucked him three times.”

#killingthetbr: 1 year on shelf


The Billionaire’s Secret Love by Ivy Layne
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Links: AmazonGoodreads
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Source: I think this came from someone’s mailing list?

Emily
I tried to say no. I did more than try, I flat out turned him down. Repeatedly. But Tate Winters doesn’t take no for an answer. He’s smart, hot, and he knows how to get to me. Before I can stop myself, I’m falling for him. But Tate doesn’t know my secrets. He doesn’t understand that we can’t be together, no matter how much we both want it.

Tate
I like things easy, at least when it comes to women. I’m Tate Winters – I’ve never had to work for a female in my life. Emily is worth the effort, I know she is. She’s beautiful, brilliant, and real. The only woman I’ve ever known who can match me. She keeps running from me, but I won’t let her get away. Emily Winslow is mine. I just have to prove it to her.

The Billionaire’s Secret Love is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It’s the second book in the Scandals of the Bad Boy Billionaires series, and reveals more about the notorious men of the Winters family. You can read it on its own, everything you need to know from the first book is explained, but you might want to read the others once you get a taste of the Winters men.

So, I was a little nervous to read this installment of the series because

  1. It’s not like the first book was good (at all), and
  2. Let’s be honest, Tate sounds like a rapist from the synopsis.

And, yeah, turns out that this book is even worse than I thought it would be. I mean, what can I even say? Tate tells us what a gentleman he is and then promptly starts stalking Emily. Emily turns him down, so he asks if she’s a lesbian, because that’s the only reason he can come up with that a woman wouldn’t be falling all over herself to date him. At one point, Tate tries to “trap her without making her feel trapped.” There’s also a tense change mid-sex scene, so that’s great. Oh, and a very brief side plot about murder and paparazzi and crime scene photos that’s promptly forgotten because of the “stupendous” sex that Tate and Emily have.

This book is only 99 pages but it was a struggle to finish.

Some quotes:

  • “At the memory of Tate’s strong hand on my arm as we crossed the street, I shivered again, my nipples tightening, an ache rising between my legs.”
  • “My cock wasn’t exactly small, or even average.”
  • “When his hand slid under my shirt, I broke the kiss and said, ‘I made you a picnic.'”

#killingthetbr: 1 year on shelf


Have you read this duology? Let’s talk in the comments!


Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Tag: Three Bookish Things

This Three Bookish Things tag looks like so much fun and I was so happy to see that I’d been tagged by Siobhan! If you haven’t checked out her blog, go now! What are you waiting for?!


Three Read Once and Loved Authors

  • Alex Evansley
  • Mary H.K. Choi
  • Sally Thorne

Three Titles I’ve Watched But Haven’t Read

I don’t watch a lot of movies and I read a looooooot of books, so this was kind of hard! I had to go way back in my memory to think of three titles!


Three Characters You Love


Three Series Binged


Three Unpopular Bookish Opinions

  • I didn’t like Six of Crows. Take away my book blogger card now.
  • I think Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series turned into a total mess.
  • One of my least favorite things is when a romance novel ends with a surprise pregnancy.

Three Current Favourite Book Covers


Three Goals for the Year

  • I want to continue to read more books outside of my comfort zone. Some of my favorite books of the year have been from genres I wouldn’t ordinarily pick up.
  • I want to do more unconventional reviews! I have so much fun with them and sometimes they take a little longer, but I think they’re worth it in the end.
  • I want to keep getting to know other bloggers by interacting on WordPress, Goodreads, and Twitter. I think right now I’m pretty good on WordPress, I’m decent on Goodreads, and I’m terrible at Twitter but I’m working on it.

Tag Time!

Jamsu | Lori | Princess of Pages | Bethany | Jackie | Charleigh | Caidyn & Chantel

As always, no pressure! Let me know if you like tags and also if you hate them. Please feel free to steal this tag from me and don’t forget to link back to this post so I get a notification to check out your answers! ❤

Book review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads
Publication Date: February 14, 2017
Source: Borrowed

You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

One of my goals for this summer was to read more books by Nina LaCour. I really enjoyed You Know Me Well when I read it a couple years ago, but life got in the way and even though at least three of her books have been on my TBR forever, I never got around to actually reading them. I put a library hold on We Are Okay months ago. When the hold finally came in, I promptly forgot that I had the book and realized, as I was packing for my trip to Wisconsin, that the book was going to expire the next day. I read it in the airport and I usually love books that I read in airports, but this one was only… okay.

I think the biggest problem I had was that the book is just super character-driven, to the point that not a lot actually happens. And I get it, I really do. The whole point of the book is that Marin’s grandfather has just died and she’s trying to deal with her grief and all the changes in her life and she’s trying to figure out what everything means for her. I get it. But I wanted something more to happen. Something to keep me interested. Something other than just beautiful writing.

The book was just so sad and I didn’t see much of a point to it other than that. Three stars for the writing alone, but if I’m being honest, I’m pretty disappointed.

#mm18: vacation reads
Goodreads summer reading challenge: take pride


Have you read We Are Okay? Have you read any of Nina LaCour’s other books?
Let’s talk in the comments!


Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Tag: Three-Day Lyrical Challenge | Day 3

TOP TEN TUESDAY_

Lori was so kind as to tag me for the three-day lyrical challenge, and here’s day three!


The rules are simple:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
  3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

For the last day of this challenge, I’m throwing it way back to 2003 with 21 and Invincible by Something Corporate! I blasted this song non-stop in my tiny little studio apartment on my 21st birthday and it was the best. THE BEST. (Side note: I did the same thing with 22 by Taylor Swift on my 22nd birthday.) It’s still impossible for me not to smile when I’m listening to this song.

Some days go by, I wish I was famous
Or maybe religious, so I could go to heaven
Just like you

I could have a big house, complain about taxes
Pay off my exes, ain’t that living?
No one makes fun of me, cause I can’t stand up for myself

Whoa, 21 and invincible
Whoa, can’t wait to screw this up
And woah, 21 and invincible
I’m in power for the hour
I guess today’s gonna blow us away

I’ve got a girlfriend
She tells me she needs me
And she loves me
We’ll probably get married
Oh no, and everyone will bite their tongues so hard they’ll bleed

When my mom hears this song
She’ll tell me I’m crazy
And she’ll say to me
“Son, you’re much too young,
Go have some fun,
Don’t waste your youth like I did”

And whoa, 21 and invincible
Whoa, can’t wait to screw this up
And woah, 21 and invincible
I’m in power for the hour
I guess today’s gonna blow us away

And it’s been autumn since the day that I met you
If I hit bottom, must I crawl out alone?
And I don’t wish to know the secrets of summer at all

Let’s go

And whoa, 21 and invincible
Whoa, can’t wait to fuck this up
And woah, 21 and invincible
I’m in power for the hour
I guess today’s gonna blow us away


Today I’m tagging: 💚 Sahi! 💙 Leslie! 💜 Loretta🧡

As always, no pressure! Let me know if you love tags and I’ll add you to my list! Let me know if you hate tags and I’ll stop bothering you! And if I didn’t tag you and you think this looks like fun, please do it and link back to me so I can see your answers! ❤


(PS: A big thanks to Alyssa Grace for letting me know that my original link was US-only! I’ve updated the post with the new video she found!)

Book review: People Like Us by Dana Mele

People Like Us by Dana Mele
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Source: Borrowed

Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple.

The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make…not something that happened.

People Like Us was my most anticipated YA thriller of 2018. I love boarding school books, I love books about cliquey mean girls, and I love reading debut novels. The plot of the book gave me some real Pretty Little Liars vibes, and let’s be honest, I was so into that show that it’s actually a little embarrassing. So what did I end up thinking about this book? Not a lot, actually.

If anything, the book is a little too PLL for my tastes. It feels like it would make an awesome CW show, but as a book? I don’t know. It’s a little disappointing. I was entertained and I would never call this a bad book, but I never really got a sense that Kay was all that concerned about the threatening website or that she really cared too much about being blackmailed. I also tend to dislike books with love shapes, and this was more of a love… hexagon? I don’t even know. It’s a tangled web, that’s for sure.

I appreciated the representation and that nobody really made a big deal over Kay’s sexuality (or anybody else’s, for that matter), but that wasn’t enough for me to love this book.

#mm18: vacation reads


Have you read People Like Us? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!


Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’