Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"What You Left Behind" by Jessica Verdi

Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Kindle
Publication: August 4, 2015 by Source Ebooks
Cover Rating: 2/5 Stars

From Goodreads: It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?


My Thoughts: First of all, I would like to say a huge thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for giving me an ARC of this book.

What You Left Behind sucks you in from the very first page. I'm not kidding. From the first few pages I knew that I would enjoy this book and that I would go through it pretty quickly (and I did). I really felt connected to these characters and truly cared about what happened to them. They were so relatable. Although, I'm not going to lie, as a new momma there were times when I really just wanted to punch 17 year old baby daddy Ryden in the face for making poor choices when it came to his baby. But overall, I liked him as our narrator and protagonist.

I also loved the chemistry between *all* of our characters. Nothing felt cliche or stiff. I really enjoy when an author takes time to make all the characters feel real and not cardboard. Jessica Verdi did a wonderful job of connecting everyone together.

Okay, so the plot probably reads kind of cheesy at first glance, but I promise it's not, because it's so well executed. Yes, there's teen pregnancy and cancer, but there's also coming of age. It's not your typical Hallmark-y fluff.

Bottom Line: Overall I enjoyed it and would recommend it

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Bookish Things I Want to Quit Or Have Quit

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Bookish Habits I Want to Quit:

1. Feeling like I have to finish a book that I'm not enjoying. I don't know why I do this, but it's like my OCD kicks in and I feel like I have to finish a book once I've started it.

2. Feeling guilty over guilty pleasure books. You know, the cotton candy, fluffy, sugary good kind.

3. Not finishing a series I used to love, only because I can't remember what happened in the previous books.

4. Not taking notes so the above doesn't happen.

5. Reading one particular genre for so long until I run it into the ground and no longer enjoy it. I need more variety.

6. Accidentally zoning out when I'm listening to an audio book. This is super rare, but usually happens when I have a lot on my mind.

7. Stressing out over meeting my reading goal of the year. I have actually put books off for a little while because I would be behind on my reading challenge and I know they would take me longer to read than something else.

8. Not saving up or putting money aside for sequels, thus having to wait forever before I buy them (see #3).

9. Hoarding books that I know I will *never* read (like any L.J. Smith book that's not the original Secret Circle series).

10. Snapping at the hubs when he interrupts me from a 4 hour reading session.

Monday, October 5, 2015

"Confess" by Colleen Hoover

Genre: New Adult
Format: Kindle
Publication: March 10, 2015 by Atria Books
Cover Rating: 4/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

My Thoughts: Sigh. Sadly, there's not a lot I can say about Confess. There is no doubt that Colleen Hoover is amazingly creative. The woman incorporates poetry, music, art, etc into all of her novels, and we've witnessed some amazing work from her because of it. But (and I think I must be in the minority here), I just have a hit and miss relationship with her books. Which makes me so, so sad because when I do love her books, I really LOVE them. For instance, Maybe Someday is one of my all time favorite New Adult novels. It's just incredible. Enough to where I've read it twice. I also really loved Slammed and Finding Cinderella. However, Confess just fell flat for me. Besides the fact that she was super original by including actual art work in her book, nothing really stood out. The characters were meh at best, the plot felt silly, and the romance rushed. I don't know what happened or if it's just me, but it felt mediocre.

Bottom Line: I would skip it.

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Sunday, October 4, 2015

"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell

Genre: YA/ Coming of Age
Format: Kindle
Publication: September 10, 2013 by St. Martin's Press
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My Thoughts: First off, can I just declare my love for Rainbow Rowell for a second? Not only does she have one of the coolest names ever (and this coming from me- Sonnie Rainey), but the lady can write some of the most emotionally gripping stories ever. I feel like if her and John Green came together and wrote a story, it would leave us all emotionally crippled for life. FOR LIFE. I just want them to by my Aunt and Uncle. Aunt Rainbow and Uncle John. I would have went to them with all my teenage/ new adult angst and they would have understood and made it better. Because they're Rainbow Rowell and John Green and they get it.

Okay, moving on. Fangirl has been sitting on my Kindle for ages because I was just so sure that it couldn't live up to the phenomenal Eleanor and Park. But finally, I decided that enough time had passed that if it didn't live up to my high expectations I wouldn't be too terribly disappointed. Well, I'm here to tell you I was wrong. I was so flippin' wrong. It was amazing. SO AMAZING. I instantly fell in love with Cath. I AM Cath. Okay, no, I'm not. I don't write fanfiction, but I just got her, you know? She was so relatable. She was me as a Freshman in college, where everything is new and big and so so scary- even the damn cafeteria is scary. And Rainbow Rowell captured all of it perfectly.

And if that's not enough, you even get a story inside of a story. So, while Cath is experiencing college, we also get these awesome, coinciding snipets of a Harry Potter-isk novel called Simon Snow and the.... It's a fantasy series that has been a huge part of Cath's adolescent life, and one that she has recreated in her fanfiction called Carry On, Simon. I think you have to be pretty talented to write a novel inside of another novel and keep the readers attention at the same time. But Rowell does it. Because she's amazing. She captures the whole art of fangirling while at the same time creating a whole NEW fandom! Because this whole time that sneaky little woman was writing a novel called... wait for it... CARRY ON about SIMON SNOW. It comes out this week. WTF. Mind blown

Bottom Line: Just go by all of Rainbow Rowells books. Now. Go now.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Saturday, October 3, 2015

100 Things I Love.

  1. Jesus Christ.
  2. River Alexandria.
  3. My Husband.
  4. Family/Friends in general.
  5. A room filled with books.
  6. MaddiePup.
  7. Candles, especially Fall scents.
  8. Fuzzy socks.
  9. Goodbye morning kisses from Zachary when his beard smells like the woodsy oil he uses on it.
  10. Homemade soaps.
  11. A clean house.
  12. Over-sized Sweatshirts.
  13. Strolling River.
  14. Writing.
  15. Pens. Tons of pens. 
  16. Notebooks.
  17. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  18. Heating Blankets.
  19. Reading outside.
  20. Dark fingernail polish.
  21. Harry Potter.
  22. Chicken Alfredo.
  23. Red Wine.
  24. Secluded Houses/ cabins.
  25. Scary movies.
  26. Graveyards.
  27. Cherry Coke.
  28. Board Games.
  29. Collecting anything.
  30. Snuggling up with Zack before falling asleep.`
  31. Freshly shaved legs against clean sheets.
  32. Rainy, lazy days curled up on my couch with hot tea and a book.
  33. Reading bedtime stories to River before she falls asleep.
  34. Crimson. The color... and the Tide.
  35. Listening to my grandmothers tell me old stories about their childhood.
  36. Organized bookshelves.
  37. Starbucks coffee at B&N while I roam the store like I have money to spend.
  38. Driving with the windows rolled down listening to music.
  39. The smell of books... especially old books.
  40. Letters.
  41. Fluffy pillows.
  42. River's laugh.
  43. John Green quotes.
  44. Any Jane Austin movie.
  45. Black Chuck Taylors.
  46. The 10th Doctor...Allons-y!
  47. Lists. Grocery Lists. To Be Read Lists. Best of Lists. Organization period.
  48. Creepily watching my husband be completely absorbed in a book and realizing that I married my soulmate.
  49. Traveling.
  50. Slip on shoes. 
  51. Leggings. Lots of leggins. I'm one of those annoying people who will wear leggings with everything as soon as it's seasonably appropriate.
  52. Chocolate.
  53. Being nostalgic.
  54. Blogging.
  55. Flannel.
  56. The grunge period of the 90's. I seriously belong there.
  57. Pinterest.
  58. When Harry Met Sally.
  59. Now. I love myself/ my life right this second. I've never felt more comfortable in my own skin.
  60. The sound of a typewriter.
  61. Using the fireplace on cold winter nights.
  62. A mixed CD filled with Bon Iver that my cousin made me in '09.
  63. Bubble baths. With wine and a book.
  64. Being a Mom.
  65. Holding hands.
  66. My wedding rings.
  67. Fangirling.
  68. Falling in love with fictional characters.
  69. Dark hardwood floors.
  70. Face lotion.
  71. Driving through the Christmas Lights house every year with Zack since we've been together.
  72. Baking... especially cookies.
  73. My glasses.
  74. How big and bright blue River's eyes are.
  75. Taking advantage of the library.
  76. Bobby Pins
  77. The red in Zack's beard.
  78. Seeing someone read an obscure book that I love and then instantly connecting with them.
  79. Taking pictures.
  80. Walking the beach at night.
  81. Lit class.
  82. Poetry.
  83. Scottish dudes. It's the accent.
  84. Audible.
  85. Goodreads.
  86. Seeing my entire family on Christmas.
  87. Brushing my teeth before bed.
  88. Witch Hazel + Lavender.
  89. Owl figurines/ trinkets.
  90. When my husband cooks.
  91. Musicals. Especially RENT. And Buffy's "Once More with Feeling".
  92. Chandler Bing.
  93. Surprises.
  94. Hearing River say "Momma".
  95. Reading out loud.
  96. Studying my Bible.
  97. Marathon-ing fantasy movies with the hubs.
  98. Reimagined fairy tales.
  99. Noses. Long, straight noses. I have a thing. It's weird.
  100. Weekends.