My September Reading Re-Cap!

 

Hi guys! I’ve been less active lately last month because school has been super busy, and I mean, super busy. This past week was mid-terms week, which definitely was full of cramming pages and pages (I mean eight 30-page chapters for AP US History) of information from colonial, revolutionary, and republican American history to genetics, organic molecules, and cellular respiration and photosynthesis in AP Biology. I’ve also had an audition, a concert, a festival, and a field trip lined up these past few weeks. Yeah, I’ve been really busy, which is why I haven’t blogged as much in September. BUT, I have read quite a few books last months so I have some great reviews and posts out soon!

September Re-Cap


5 Stars

Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski

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Goodreads


4 Stars

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

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Goodreads

The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis

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Goodreads

The Star Wars Rings by Tomas Pueyo Brochard

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Goodreads


In Case You Missed This Month’s Posts

September 1st – Hunting Prince Dracula Blog Tour: Top Ten Quotes from Stalking Jack the Ripper

September 3rd – My August Reading Re-Cap!

September 4th – Middle Grade Author Nancy J. Cavanaugh Talks About the Process of Writing Her Latest Book – Elsie Mae Has Something to Say

September 11th – Exclusive Interview with Debut Sci-Fi Author Scott Reintgen, Author of Nyxia

September 16th – The Lunar Chronicles (Books #1-#3) by Marissa Meyer – Book Review! (Cayli)

September 18th – ARC Review: This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis

September 25th – E-ARC Review: Submerge by Tobie Easton


Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!

Email| Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Bloglovin

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The Lunar Chronicles (Books #1-#3) by Marissa Meyer – Book Review!

Hey, guys! This is a post I’ve so been excited for!

If you guys don’t know my love my fantasy by now… Well, I’m in love with fantasy books! I adore princesses and princes and dragons and fighting and magic… everything it has to offer!

So this is why I finally picked up this series. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer! Long time ago, when I was in middle school, I actually picked up Cinder to read. Back then I took so long to read it, I had to give it back before the overdue date. Sad times.

But then I bought the book for myself and I got to read at my own pace! However, I was so hooked, it did not take long for me to finish it and move onto Scarlet.

Why am I not doing a  review over the last book Winter? I kind of want to share my thoughts on what I expect. I love trying to predict the endings to series. Scroll down to the very end to skip all the other books and get to the spoiler section if you wish. 

Book One: CINDER

Synopsis: 

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.11235712
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

It’s no joke that this series it based off the retellings of fairy tales we’ve heard. Obviously this one is a retelling of Cinderella.

We meet Cinder in the first book… fixing her foot. Great way to start off a book. This girl has no foot. Get over it.

And she lives in this dystopian society, but it has this big magical twist to it, which made me fall in love with this book. There are no dragons or swords or whatnot, but the sci-fi fantasy with the princes and androids really what drew me in.

At first we are met with the serious problem of the plague: letumosis. It’s incurable and roams all of earth taking lives with it. Major problem. That’s what we are also thrown into in the first chapter of this book. You understand the seriousness of this sickness and what happens when someone gets it… I’ll leave it there.

But then it’s more than just the plague. Like the story of Cinderella has, there is a ball and EVERYONE is invited. But you know how the stepmom ordeal goes. “Fix this first, then do this. And once you have done everything else, maybe you can go.”

Can I just say I LOVE story retellings. Having a Cinderella retelling within a world of cyborgs and extraterrestrial movement between the earth and the moon… phenomenal way of owning a retelling.

Going on we meet Levana. LeVaNa. She’s the queen of Luna, or the moon. She can do weird stuff to people with magic (sorry, bioelectrical manipulation…) and she can make them bow down to her. Which is why she is such a strong enemy. No one can just disagree with her. She’ll kill you on spot or she’ll make you love her. She’s wanting an “alliance” with Earth, and to do that, she has to marry Prince Kai. I won’t go into detail with that. Just know I pulled out hairs stressing out about this lady.

So yes, I loved this book. If you like romance, if you like sci-fantasy, if you love awkward, if you love sassy androids who have crushes on the prince, then pick this book up! Don’t be like me and hold off on it. PICK IT UP. You won’t regret it!

5 Stars

Book Two: SCARLET

Synopsis:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as

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to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably

drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

I have no idea which book I love better: Scarlet or Cress. Both gave me so many feels, so many smiles, so many laughs.

If you didn’t know, this is the retelling of Little Red Riding Hood… except Little Red Riding Hood falls in love with the “wolf”… ANYWAYS.

We meet Scarlet, who works on a farm with her grandmother. She’s really good at what she does, she loves her grandmother a lot, and she has a fiery attitude that isn’t afraid to say what it thinks.

It makes it WAY better that she’s French, so she has that petite, cute accent when she gets mad. I personally find it funny when she gets all grumpy and snappy.

But alas! Her grandmother has gone missing, and she has no idea where she went. The authorities have stopped looking, but Scarlet is far from giving up on the person who raised her when her actual parents couldn’t.

Cinder comes into play a little bit in the beginning, mostly the people in the tavern talk about how she is wreckless, a freak, the real enemy. Then Scarlet, being the way she is, stands on top of a table and tells them all off. She’s just a teenager. How about you get the real story before judging someone. All that jazz.

Then she meets a street fighter named… wait for it… WOLF. A cuddly, old fool who will snap your neck in seconds. Love the guy. Scarlet runs her mouth in the tavern, gets the drunk guys mad, and Wolf is the one to step in to save Scarlet from being beaten up by these guys.

That’s mostly the beginning, I won’t go further, but for the fact that Scarlet and Wolf do come together in an alliance. Cool stuff goes down. We also go into Cinder’s POV after a while and see what’s she up to. Levana is in control still. She’s doing weird things to Wolf, she’s being her evil self. Great book. I loved it so much. I love Scarlet, I love Wolf, I love THORNE. 

I give this five star as well, but I wish there was such a thing as a six, because this is what this book was. 5 Stars

Book Three: CRESS

Synopsis:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

13206828When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

This was also a favorite of mine, as I said before. This Rapunzel retelling makes me want to cry whenever I think about it. My favorite character being Thorne, and falling in love with Cress’s character, I think I squealed a lot with the interactions between them. I’m a Cress. I relate to her on so many levels. At least she has a reason to be socially awkward from being locked away for half her life.

We meet Cress. She’s locked up in this satellite, forced to spy on the Earthens. She’s forced to get information on Kai, Cinder, the mix. Her guardian is Levana’s right hand woman.

Cress has also gotten fantasies stuck in her head about Captain Thorne. She’s in love with this dude, and she’s never met him. She’s only read like all his life records. But I mean I would too if I was shut in a room with nothing to do.

The gang of Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf all go to get her out of the satellite. Little do they know, Sybil (the right-hand witch person) finds out and catches Thorne as he volunteers to go down himself and retrieve Cress and bring her back.

Sybil tries to kill them by tying them up, and turning off the gravitational stuff on the satellite. So now Sybil is going after Cinder and the rest while Thorne and Cress fall to their deaths.

Cress saves them with her awesome hacker skills, but they still have a bumpy landing getting to earth… IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SAHARA DESERT. It’s a rough journey for the two, but without it, Cress and Thorne would have never gotten as close as they did.

I loved this book, too. After some thought as I write this post, I think I do feel like Scarlet is my favorite out of all three. While I did like the characters in Cress, I did have some issues with some… logic in this book. I was really confused about some dialogue and how it developed here and there. But overall I do give this book another five out of five. Completely recommend!

5 Stars


 

SPOILER SECTION DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THESE THREE BOOKS

Okay, so Winter.

I’ve actually started this book, so I know the beginning and all that.

Romance wise…

There are so many couples in this series. I love romance, so I’m not complaining. Scarlet and Wolf have this passionate type of relationship. “I’ll be your alpha female.” I cringed so hard at that, you don’t even understand. Nevertheless, they make me laugh. I love how much they care for one another. I love how Wolf went from fierce to lost puppy when Scarlet was taken. It really shows how much Wolf cares about her. I really want to see Wolf find Scarlet, beat up some people, then share a kiss as he’s her hero.

Cinder and Kai make me laugh all the time. i get all smiley when they kiss. I BETTER see someone get married at the end of Winter, and it better be Cinder and Kai. PLLLEAAASEE.

Thorne and Cress’s relationship is by far my favorite. While Scarlet and Wolf’s relationship was fast and passionate, Kai and Cinder’s relationship was formed on friendly conversations that led to a mutual agreement of love, Thorne and Cress is like the complete opposite of either of those. Cress is IN LOVE with Thorne, no matter how much she wants to deny it. She’s Thorne’s top fangirl. She stares at him when he walks into rooms, she gets jealous when he flirts with other girls. Then she gets these moments when she thinks Thorne is hitting on her for real, but then he turns and starts flirting with Iko. Then she gets all depressed, saying how he’ll never love her and all that.

I feel like their relationship feels a lot more real in my eyes. I’m not a go-getter when it comes to boys. I don’t feel confident in myself to walk up and tell someone I like them. Cress is the same way. She’s shy and awkward, just like me. When they do get together… sorry, I got lost in thought imagining how great it would be.

As for Levana… I CANNOT WAIT FOR AN EPIC SHOWDOWN BETWEEN HER AND CINDER. Please let it happen!!! I want to see Cinder use her Lunar powers and take over Levana, and bring her down! I want to see Levana lose her power, and let the world see how ugly she is. Like I need this to happen.

I want to see Winter get the throne on Luna. She’ll be the new queen of Luna, Cinder will back to Earth and marry Kai as the queen… This better happen.

I want to see that wolf from Winter’s playroom thing let loose. I get sad thinking about how he’s locked up like that… Scarlet too, but she’s tough. She’ll get through it.

I’m really sad that Kai ends up leaving (I’m currently at that part where he’s walking into the podship). I really wished I could have seen him kill some things first, but I guess he’s only useful for talking. Oh, well. Maybe later I’ll get to see him shoot something. Maybe Levana… or that Aimery dude. That’d be cool.

OH MY GOODNESS. I almost forgot about Jacin. I have such a love/hate relationship for him. I kind of hated him in Cress. He was a jerk face. But then he comes back, and I want to love him because he obviously loves Winter and will risk his life for her.

I love the part where he’s assigned to be her personal guard, and when he tells her he can care for her more than he should and goes back outside her room to stand guard, Winter follows him with her solar system project, sits next to him, and says, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t see her there.” And Jacin can’t argue with the Princess, so he stands there and even touches the top of her head… It was such a cute moment. Jacin is a good person in a way he protects those he loves. You can call out Cinder any day, but don’t you dare glare at Winter. He’ll mess you up.


Wow, this feels long, but I love getting all of this out! If you haven’t read the series, please give it a try. it’s sci-fi, it’s comedy, it’s romance… Marissa Meyer made a masterpiece with this series, and I can’t wait to finish Winter so I can experience this ending that better have everything I hope for.

 

The Divinity Bureau by Tessa Clare! Review

School’s in session, and this is just week one. Already wishing it was over again haha! However, I’m pleased with my classes. So far I’m not wanting to cry on my study notes!

But enough about me. Tessa Clare’s Divinty Bureau is SO close to being released. I was given the wonderful opportunity of being given the first ten books ever made. Thank you, Clare!

As I said that, I will also say a disclaimer: This opportunity does NOT affect my honest opinion in any way.

And my opinion?

4 Stars

SYNOPSIS

Roman Irvine is a disgruntled IT Technician for the Divinity Bureau, a government agency that uses random selection to decide who lives and who dies. In a world where overpopulation has lead to pollution, a crippled economy, and a world in crisis, he’s accepted the bureau’s activities as a necessity… until he meets April McIntyre.

April has every reason to be suspicious of Roman. He works for the Divinity Bureau, which sent her father to an early grave. But he’s also sweet and loyal, and unbeknownst to her, he saved her life. As Roman and April fall deeper in love, the deeper they’re thrust into the politics of deciding who lives and who dies. Someone wants April dead. And the bureau’s process of random selection may not be so random after all…

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Divinity-Bureau-Tessa-Clare/dp/1947015001

 

About the Author: Tessa Clare

“If you could travel to any fictional book world, where would you go and what would you do there?” – Unknown Goodreads user

Tessa’s answer: Hogwarts, because I’m still a kid at heart (and magic is cool, no matter how old you are).

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16900628.Tessa_Clare

My Review

The whole story about two people, and a girl and a boy, living in this dystopian society that is completely destroyed from population… and the people running the government. 

Everything is in ruins. Everything is messed up. Basically every dystopian novel out there. Nevertheless, I heavily enjoyed it. Roman and April have this very unique relationship I really enjoyed. Tate, Autumn, Finn… I enjoyed learning more and more about each of them. 

Though a bit slow at first, the plot was very interesting as it went through. It escalated, then it was brought down, then up again… like a huge rollercoaster!

The relationship between Autumn and April was what I really liked. At first they did not have a good relationship but when times came tough, they stuck together. I loved that a lot. One thing I love just as much as a romance, is a relationship between siblings or best friends. They matter just as much as the romantic relationships in my opinion. 

If you are a lover of romance and dystopian, pick up this book! But the things I did not enjoy were the slow beginning, some confusion with the world I was being brought into, and some character decisions.   But they are so very minor, I got over them pretty quickly. 

By the way, does anyone ever have that urge to pull your hair out when a character does something dumb? Like AAARRRGGFHHHHHH.

I was honestly hooked once Roman and April finally met. I loved April’s rebellious attitude and Roman’s introvert manner. Put them together and you have the end of the Divinity Bureau! 
I hope this review sits well! I got to get to my Big Brother now 😉 (any BB fan in here?) Thank you again, Tessa Clare for letting me read this story. Check her out in the links above! 

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh! Book Review

School is back in session, folks! What best to kick it off but with a review!

I can’t believe I have not reviewed this book yet. I finished it not too long ago, but long enough to be in the middle of another book.

Let’s get straight to it, because I can’t wait to talk about everything.

My rating…


I have so many positive things about this book, it’s actually on my top thirty. When I found out in the middle of the book that there is a second book and it’s not a standalone… I started freaking out because I don’t have that second book. That’s a major problem.

The plot was straight to the point. Forget going through the reason why Shazi was there, she was just there. And I like my books starting off strong like that. It really pulls me in. Frankly, I am more likely to put down a book when I feel like I’m wasting my time. Sorry, but it’s true. The starting of a story is always the hardest becaue I love action.

Shazi was great. I really dug her character. A part of me was a bit salty about her attitude in the beginning. I don’t know, just her being overly prideful I think what was getting to me. But over time, I came to love her through and through. She really has that independent woman vibe.

Khalid… oh, Khalid, Khalid, Khalid…

I liked Tariq in the beginning. I really did even though I knew he was going to get in the way of Shazi and Khalid… I didn’t expect a full out war. ;-;

Jalal was my favorite. Like when they said he had purple hair, I immediately knew he was going to be my favorite. And it’s not like he’s the hot, mean one. He’s super caring even when he doesn’t admit it. He’s always there for Shazi. To me, Khalid is Shazi’s Tariq, and Jalal is Shazi’s Rahim.

I expect a lot out of the next book The Rose and the Dagger. 

I’m soooo exciteedd!!! It’s been awhile since I’ve read such an entertaining fantasy story. I really miss romantic plots and ugggghh this is exactly what I need.

 

I am almost done with Divinity Bureau by Tessa Clare! I’ve seen reviews on this book, and I’m excited to share my thoughts with the rest of the reading community.

 

Summer of Authors #14: Exclusive Interview with Sheba Karim, Author of That Thing We Call a Heart!

Hi guys! Today I’m leaving my summer engineering camp, and I’m so nostalgic right now! These past few days have been super fun (I hope, I’m writing this two weeks ahead.) To celebrate the end of camp (and the end of summer approaching so soon!), today I’m welcoming Sheba Karim, author of That Thing We Call a Heart (which I really loved), on our blog today! I met Sheba- who is a local author in Nashville- twice, the first at the SE-YA Book Fest and the second at Sandhya Menon’s signing and launch event for When Dimple Met Rishi! I was so glad to win an ARC of TTWCaH and I’m so glad to have the chance to interview Sheba! Enjoy!


About That Thing We Call a Heart25752164

Shabnam Qureshi is a funny, imaginative Pakistani-American teen attending a tony private school in suburban New Jersey. When her feisty best friend, Farah, starts wearing the headscarf without even consulting her, it begins to unravel their friendship. After hooking up with the most racist boy in school and telling a huge lie about a tragedy that happened to her family during the Partition of India in 1947, Shabnam is ready for high school to end. She faces a summer of boredom and regret, but she has a plan: Get through the summer. Get to college. Don’t look back. Begin anew.

Everything changes when she meets Jamie, who scores her a job at his aunt’s pie shack, and meets her there every afternoon. Shabnam begins to see Jamie and herself like the rose and the nightingale of classic Urdu poetry, which, according to her father, is the ultimate language of desire. Jamie finds Shabnam fascinating—her curls, her culture, her awkwardness. Shabnam finds herself falling in love, but Farah finds Jamie worrying.

With Farah’s help, Shabnam uncovers the truth about Jamie, about herself, and what really happened during Partition. As she rebuilds her friendship with Farah and grows closer to her parents, Shabnam learns powerful lessons about the importance of love, in all of its forms.

Featuring complex, Muslim-American characters who defy conventional stereotypes and set against a backdrop of Radiohead’s music and the evocative metaphors of Urdu poetry, THAT THING WE CALL A HEART is a honest, moving story of a young woman’s explorations of first love, sexuality, desire, self-worth, her relationship with her parents, the value of friendship, and what it means to be true.

Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Sheba Karim

1. Why do you love writing? When did you first have a love for writing, and how was it formed?

When I was young, my love for reading prompted me to try to create my own worlds and stories, and I began writing.  I loved writing, and still do, because it’s such a powerful and expressive use of the imagination.

2. What are your favorite books, genres, and authors? Which ones have impacted you and your writing style the most?

Growing up, I loved British lit, Austen, the Brontes, E.M. Forster.  I also loved a lot of seminal YA literature like The Chocolate Wars and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  In college and beyond, I started reading a lot of South Asian and diaspora fiction, Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rohinton Mistry. I read YA and lit fiction pretty broadly now, though I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like.  I’m always inspired by literature that skillfully incorporates humor.

3. What do you do when you’re not writing? Is writing a part-time or full-time job?

I write full time.  When I’m not writing, I’m playing with my daughter, cooking, reading or catching up with a show on Netflix.

Continue reading “Summer of Authors #14: Exclusive Interview with Sheba Karim, Author of That Thing We Call a Heart!”

Review: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Hello, Book Lovers! This is WAY overdue. The movie was not the first thing to introduce me to this book. I’ve heard about it all the time. A friend of mine was in LOVE with this book. I didn’t pick it up until after the movie came out. (Also I have not seen the movie yet 😦 )

EVERYTHING EVERYTHING.jpgMy disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Find it on Goodreads HERE.

Also look up The Sun is Also a Star HERE.


Nicola YoonNicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7353006.Nicola_Yoon

Website: http://www.nicolayoon.com/

 


 

TO THE REVIEW…

My rating…

4 Stars

On Goodreads, I have this book rated five out five stars. The reason I am changing it is because I have had time to think about the story, everything that happened, and how I feel about it. Even then, I was a little uneasy with giving it a good five out of five. Why? Proceed to read…

I love the characters. Maddie longed for adventure. Olly was there to give it to her. Everyone else I enjoyed learning about. Her mother, his parents, CARRRLLLA. I really loved Carla because she was the mentor of the story. She knew what Maddie needed, and was there for her through her rough moments. The risk of losing her job did not faze her to do what was right.

Maddie and Olly’s relationship was on point. I loved how Olly cared about her, was careful when he was around her. And when Maddie left her house to go protect him… that was absolutely the sweetest thing ever.

I want to say it felt a bit rushed while reading it, but I also read it start to finish on an airplane, so I’m trying to figure out whether it was me or the book. Probably me. I just did not feel as satisfied when I finished as I thought I would have.

The ending really blew me away. I did not expect something like that to happen. I kind of did not like it, because it mellowed out the ending a little. Yeah, I was mad. I was trying not to cry. But I didn’t like the calm feeling I got as soon as it happened. It made me a little annoyed. But that’s just me. A lot of people enjoyed this book to its full extent. I did too… it’s just not my favorite.

My favorite thing about this book? Maddie wanting to know the world, and using her father as her way of pushing forward. Her stubbornness to do what she wants and to not let her sickness get in the way. There is so much more to life than your limitations.


So happy to be able to put my review out there! TBR list filling up more than I can read. But I love reading, so I’ll continue to attempt the monster load of books.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

“I’ve lost control of everything, even the places in my head.”

When I bought this book, I was in Florida. So I did not get the memo that my parents already had this book. Apparently they gave it off to my cousin. Welp, I just bought it again.

the girl on the train

SYNOPSIS

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paula Hawkins is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkinswhich was made into a major motion picture. Her new novel of psychological suspense, Into The Water, is coming May 2.

 

 

 

On Goodreads I gave this book a five out of five. In some ways, I really want to make it a four out of five. There’s a little part of me that feels a bit off. Can’t quite explain what it is… maybe it was the frustration that I found myself having throughout the story. But I like books that make me give me emotional instability (lol okay…).

5 Stars

First off I really want to talk about the frustration noted above. I am not very accustomed to reading about characters who are…so flawed in their nature, I guess. You have an alcoholic, you have a liar, a cheater… and it does not end there. Just the decisions that a lot of the characters made were not exactly what I would call the “right” ones. It made me so mad to sit here and watch their lives fall apart. And Anna’s personality… I had to put the book down sometimes and scream into a pillow. She was the most aggravating out of all of them. But that’s what made them so unique and fun to read about! I really appreciate how different every character was, and how their flaws shaped the story of The Girl on the Train.

I just want to point out my favorite character was Kamal, and I honestly wish it wasn’t.

The story itself was astonishing. Hawkins did an outstanding job at pulling you away from the truth. The ending was so unexpected. Throughout the reading, I was constantly changing who I thought was the killer. The words twisted you around and around. It felt you confused and wanting more. It left you needing to know who did it, who killed who, who did what. It was the latest gossip murder scene!

I recommend this to people who are in the need of a mystery. This is definitely something for you. The characters are super interesting, don’t get me wrong when I say they are annoying sometimes. They are different from anything I have ever read. I liked Rachel, but also understood why everyone around her thought she was crazy. Just stuff where I kind of liked them, and also understood why others don’t. It’s very important that you are open-minded when reading this due to this.

 

 

 

My June Reading Re-Cap! (My First Re-Cap!)

Hi guys! June has been a wonderful month full of reading, and I managed to get 14 books! I’m so surprised that I read this much! It’s a new record! Now, I’m going to try to do a new bit on the blog, which are re-caps (or wrap-ups as some people call them). I just like the name “Reading Re-Cap” so that’s what I’m calling them. I’m going to organize each of the books I read over the past month by star ratings along with a synopsis and a mini-paragraph of my feelings! Hope you enjoy my first ever re-cap!

Note: The lowest rating I’ll give to a book I finished is a 2-star. That just means that it’s “decent” enough for me to survive the entire thing. I only reserve 1-stars for DNF’s that I just do not like and recommend at all. 5-stars are new favorites, and 4-stars are really enjoyable books. 3-stars are pretty average or neutral.

NEWS UPDATE: I’m going to be moving over to posting two times a week on Mondays and Fridays, which will switch between reviews, interviews, guest posts, and discussions. I’m planning on doing a monthly reading re-cap the first Sunday of the month, with a monthly discussion sometime during the month. Cayli and Kelsey will post whenever they can, and please look out for their posts, too!

Reading Recap June


5 Stars

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Mother Teresa of Calcutta: A Personal Portrait, by Fr. Leo Maasburg (Abridged)

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Starswept by Mary Fan

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The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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14 Hollow Road by Jenn Bishop


Continue reading “My June Reading Re-Cap! (My First Re-Cap!)”

COVER REVEAL: The Reckoning by T. Damon

Today I’m helping reveal the cover for the third book in the Forest Tree Spirit The Reckoning by T. Damon! The was designed by Lia Warward of Free Your Words!

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SYNOPSIS

An ancient coven of sibling warlocks known as the Controllers has returned to the Forest, dead set on continuing the destruction of the spiritual balance among the kingdoms of beings and animals. Someone has released them further implement the downfall of the Forest–but who?

Once protected portals are no longer being guarded, zombies roam freely at will, and more and more beings of light are succumbing to possession from the inescapable negativity that is now commonplace. The Forest has reached its time of reckoning, and it seems as though all hope to save the kingdom may be lost forever.

Unless, of course, King Felix, Queen Eleonora, and their multi-species army are able to stop the Controllers before they destroy the Higher Spirits once and for all, prompting the entire Forest to fall into complete and utter ruin. But will they succeed before the Forest descends entirely into darkness?

TITLE: The Reckoning (Book Three of The Forest Spirit series)

AUTHOR:  T. Damon

RELEASE DATE: August 22, 2017

PUBLISHER: Snowy Wings Publishing

Add it to your Goodreads TBR right now! Click here to fast-travel across the world of internet. 

if you want to start from the beginning, click here to be taken to The Falling, the first book in The Forest Spirit series. 

Catch the Spark Within! By Alex Abaz- Chapter 32 and 33

What a summer it has been so far! I hope that your summer so far was as delightful to you as it has been for me.

I haven’t done another one of these in awhile, but don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten about it.

CHAPTER 32 – Are you a big prankster?

This chapter could not be anymore right. Now in school, we all have those boring classes. Those classes that just feels like a waste of time or maybe you just find the whole thing uninteresting.

But then throw a class clown in there. Throw in a teacher who loves to joke around. Maybe a friend or two who get you in a way that makes you bust out laughing in the middle of lecture. It makes it ten times tolerable, right?

As Abaz says in her chapter, “injecting humor into our lives id necessary and not hard to do.”

As for me? I don’t find myself being a “clever” comedian. Sometimes it takes me a minute or two to get a pun, but once it clicks I hardly know how to stop laughing. I love puns…

But I love making other people laugh. I love watching people smile. I love making someone’s day. I have friends who tell me they enjoy talking to me just because I make them laugh.

And Abaz says in her chapter how it’s not good to not know how to laugh and have fun. It reminds me of Elf, when his father was always frowning and never laughed at how silly his son elf was being; everyone else on the other side of the screen was cracking up. You miss a lot by letting seriousness take over too much.

And when I try and tell a joke, saying something very sarcastic here and there, and someone doesn’t get it–it’s a bit of a downer, you know?

I remember one time when I was playing a card game with a friend’s family, and I said something sarcastic because the guy was trying to teach me something I already knew how to do; then he got onto me for not thinking it through… the whole table told him “hey, you know she’s being sarcastic right?” And I continued to sit there and smile at him while the realization hit him.

Maybe there’s a little humor in that too. Seeing someone laugh at themself for missing the joke completely.

And TV shows. Oh myyy. I think my favorite comedic show ever is Impractical Jokers. I absolutely love that show. Oh! And The Office. And Parks and Recreation. I love getting on social media, seeing people upload memorable moments from these shows to laugh at once again.

And for my favorite movie, I love Ride Along! Any movie with Kevin Hart I know it’s going to be good.

What’s your favorite comedic show or movie? Comment below! Maybe I know what you’re talking about. If I don’t, I’ll definitely give it a try!

CHAPTER 33: My child has always been enamored with cats and dogs.

Okay, I love dogs. I love, love, love dogs. I tend to enjoy big dogs a lot more, like German Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, Great Danes, the like. But I also lovvveee small dogs. Right now I have two yorkies that I love to cuddle with when I sleep. They’re spoiled brats and sometimes take my food when I’m not paying attention, but I love them to death.

My parents and my grandmother used to tell me stories about how protective the dogs we owed were over me. I would go outside to play and they would follow me around to make sure I didn’t run off. When I was still in my crib, my mom used to have a husky that would wake my mom up whenever I started to cry.

When I was around five or so, a friend of my parents gave me a baby Siberian Husky. I named her Jackie. She was also a very protective dog. When my brother was born, he was crawling around dangerously close to the stairs. My mom was there watching Jackie as she stepped in front of him to block him off from falling. My brother would try to get around, and Jackie would position herself to guard him again.


This one I consider a funny story but nonetheless terrifying when it happened. I would hang out at my grandmothers all the time because my mom had to work. Two houses down was my cousin who would walk up to play with my brother and me. Well this small blue house had this dog. I believe it was around the pitbull mix (disclaimer: this is not claiming the breed is a harmful). The house had a “Beware of Dog” sign, and the dog was kept on a lease. BUT for some OOODDDDD reason the dog was off her lease. So my cousin comes down to play. He calls me and tells me that he can’t come down, because this dog is growling and snapping her teeth at him.

When I get outside, the dog is cornering him. And it’s not if he runs away, the dog will be satisfied, right? It’s asking for a game of tag. So I run up (because I’m such a hero…) to try and distract the dog. The dog turns his attention on me… and my blood runs cold. I backed up, she stepped up. My cousin took off back to his house to get his grandmother. My brother was watching from the porch.

And so I backed up a bit more, and took off. That dog chased me down the road, his paws  scratching my heels, until I got into my driveway, into my grandmother’s arms. I want to say that that what I did showed the bit of bravery in me, but believe me… that courage ran out the door pretty quickly. I guess I didn’t understand at the time how scary dogs could be. I always grew up around sweet and lovable dogs.

But I’m guessing the reason was territorial. After all, the road led right by the house, where the dog is usually chained up in the small driveway. She probably didn’t like that we were invading her. Who knows? After that day, I never really saw that dog again. I think it was relocated to a safer place.


But either way, I love dogs. Whenever I see one I want to go up to it and hug and kiss it. But as Abaz says in this chapter, all creatures have a wild side. That dog that chased me had a wild side. Jackie disappeared one day because she loved to adventure into our woods. We believe a pack of coyotes found her, but who knows? That was the wild side of both Jackie and the coyotes.

What are some of your tales about canines? Funny ones? Scary ones? Stories that make you go “awww…”?