Wrap-Ups

April Wrap Up

Beast by Katee Robert – This one follows Isabelle (Belle), Gaeton (Gaston), and Beast. I like the reappearance of multiple characters from the Wicked Villains series. That’s always fun to see how they are after their story. I liked Beast and Gaeton realizing that they like each other. The thing about these books are some have more plot than others and this was one that didn’t seem to have much of a plot except them working on their relationship. It was enjoyable but when a random conflict is thrown in and hurried at the end I felt like I was missing something. It’s the setup for the next book, but felt like it was forced. I’ve realized this is something that Katee Robert does with most of her books.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey – Piper is cut off from her rich stepfather and is sent to run this bar that her deceased father owned. It’s very Schitt’s Creek vibes. Piper is a lot like Alexis from Schitt’s Creek. I can just picture her in this book with her cluelessness and not knowing how to do simple things and Brenden looks a lot like Mutt. It also reminded me of Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker because she’s in this new place, becomes friends with the locals, and a boyfriend that makes her wonder if she should stay or go back to her old life.
This made me so excited for Fox (Brenden’s friend) and Hannah’s (Piper’s sister) book, Hook, Line, and Sinker.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Dragon’s Bride by Katee Robert – My first monster romance. It was a little weird, especially trying to remember that he’s a dragon when he seems very human. I liked Sol’s protectiveness of Briar. Once again a fast ending where my mind is trying to catch up. Seems like a normal ending for her, so I’ll have to get used to that, but you know it gives her a lot of room for steamy scenes.
I don’t think I’ll keep reading the series. I don’t think monsters are my thing.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane – Ahhh! New favorite genre is fantasy romance. I love a good fantasy book and a romance book, so squish them together, yes please. I like the trope of a woman that might be frail in body, but she’s strong, intelligent, and commanding. Yvenne was a queen, but had a warrior heart. I liked this way more than I thought I would. At first, it threw a bunch of names, territories, and weird animal monsters at me, but I quickly picked up what was happening and understood the world. It was interesting to read about their different gods and goddesses who actually intervened in their lives by talking and showing themselves. I was very confused by the Destroyer because when they describe him he sounds like a giant or maybe he’s like a demon. Anyways, the plot is that Yvenne’s father murdered Maddek’s parents, so Maddek kidnaps Yvenne planning to kill her, but then she persuades him not to and I’m not sure how much I should say after that in case of spoilers, but it’s so good. I actually wasn’t going to read it just from the cover and I thought it was historical, but it’s not and I’m glad I picked it up.
I loved how Yvenne wasn’t afraid of Maddek and they just fit really well together. I loved that he wanted to kill her at first, but is totally falling for her. He takes care of her on their long trip back home and it’s so sweet.
One thing, though, there was so much grunting, like he grunted an affirmative. I’m just like what does that sound like?

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Also they say things that I think are metaphors and then am surprised when they actually do it like [he really brought her her brother’s head and her father’s head and heart!
I also really loved the final battle scenes and the Syssians joining them. The townspeople coming out wielding pots and sticks. I also liked that Yvenne was this great shot with the arrow and how she shattered Zhalen’s knee! Retribution!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – This was the finale to the Illuminae Files. I liked it and thought it was a great way to end the series. I think I like sci-fi adventures. Aidan is so morally gray but he’s a robot so can you blame him? Everyone was going to die, it’s a sophie’s choice but I knew something like this would happen bringing him back online, I hated Aidan in the first book buuuut I like him in this one. It’s the whole is he bad or good? I’m into the morally gray. I loved Hanna’s drawings. For some reason I am still surprised when people are killed even though I know the authors are ruthless.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel – This is set during WWII and it’s about a girl, Yona, who has grown up in the woods and ends up helping Jews that escape from the Nazis. It had a great pace that kept me reading. I’ve read multiple WWII books and I’m surprised by how many different perspectives and situations there are still to be written. This is just another that I had never heard of: Jews hiding in the forest. Yona’s story was so interesting and the way she thought was intelligent and she cared so much for having been so isolated. It wasn’t just a survive in the woods story, there was some drama. There’s also a lot of death and just heartbreaking history.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Aleksander! It literally made me like bad shiver that he cheated on her. Also that he fell in love with her so quickly, that seemed to happen with Zus too. But I think more time passed than I realized because there were parts where it said months later that I could have easily missed. And I had a feeling that her dad was going to be a Nazi. That part sucked.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Between Shades of Gray: The Graphic Novel by Andrew Donkin, Ruta Sepetys – Honestly, I feel like graphic novels are the cliffnotes version and now I don’t need to actually read the book, although it did make me want to watch the movie. Maybe because of the visuals. A sad story that gives another perspective of WWII.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks – This was fun. Didn’t quite understand the title, I guess because her only friends were her brothers? I really liked the characters. There was humor. I liked the ghost but I wished there was something more to her or she talked. I really liked the family relationship. Also, Faith Erin Hicks created half of my favorite graphic novel, Pumpkinheads.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Reading Challenge

Reading Crawl

I am so excited about this post! It just happened on a whim and I automatically loved it. So, writers like to play different games or use different tricks to get their word count up. One of these is called a Word Crawl. It’s like a pub crawl, but you stay in the same place unless you want to physically go to different places, which just seems like a lot to me.

Word Crawls are just a bunch of writing sprints (timed challenge to get as many words as you can) put together in a fun way. They usually have a theme and they can kind of take on a choose your own adventure style.

I did this for my own writing and really enjoyed it, but then I thought I would really like something like this for reading. I searched a little bit and the closest I can think of is reading challenges, but the prompts are for one whole book, whereas I wanted to be able to “crawl” through one book.

So, I decided to take a word crawl and twist the words to pertain to reading. The following “reading crawl” is not my work. I have changed words, but the theme, most of the descriptions, and journey are someone else’s (the first person to create a word crawl.) There is a whole list of word crawls at this link here

Dewey’s 24 hour readathon is this weekend. This may be the perfect time to try out the reading crawl to help get you through the wee hours of the morning.

A fun idea is to find ambience on youtube that fits the category and read along to it. They are supposed to be a little challenging, yes, that is a 3 hour sprint at the end. Better grab a good book and some snacks.

Original Pub Crawl

By Emmylou

The Hound Arms

This Sherlock Holmes themed pub is very cozy but rather too full of drunken people shouting ‘Elementary’ for your tastes. Wanting to get on your way quickly, you start with a 5 Minute Reading Sprint.

The Highwayman Tavern

This city-based bar is full of bankers shouting into their phones. Several look like they’ve just stepped out of the eighties. Not wanting to stick around you do a 15 Minute Reading Sprint.

The Counselor

This is far more your style. It’s a gastro pub and you decide to stick around for some food. You take the time to do a 30 Minute Reading Sprint.

Ugly Castle Inn

The Ugly Castle Inn is not a castle, but it is very ugly and slightly sticky. Fortunately it’s also cheap. You make the most of the cheap booze with another 30 Minute Reading Sprint.

The Headless Woman

You are told that twelve ghosts haunt this building by the gleeful owner. Although this makes you pause, the place has a great spooky vibe and stormy weather. You pick something up with a ghost, mystery, thriller, or horror and read for a 1 hour sprint.

The Good Spectre

Oh no, this isn’t very good. It’s very noisy and – dear god – there’s a kids’ play area. You decide a short sharp burst of 10 pages is for the best. 

Bitter Anchor Arms

This place is on the coast and in your seat by the window you can look out over the stormy sea. Plus they have the best ale EVER and an open fire. Loving the atmosphere you decide to stick around and do a 100 page sprint.

Gobbling Rat Tavern

This has an amazing band. It’s wonderful what they can do with just three instruments and a kazoo! You stick around to listen for an hour. Put on epic music to read to, like this

Undead Midwife Tavern

Oooh this place is spooky. Either that or they’ve forgotten to take down their Halloween decorations. Not wanting anyone to think you’re chicken you stick it out for a 10 minute reading sprint.

The Free Artisan Tavern

Oh this feels like home. They’ve got a massive bookcase, comfy chairs, and a roaring fire. On the walls are pictures of all your favourite authors and you hear a rumour of a first edition Harry Potter on the premises. Your journey is complete and you can relax here as long as you want. Starting with a 3 hour reading sprint.

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Have you seen any reading sprints like this? Also, let me know what you think, if I should post more of these.

Uncategorized

Recents

Inspo for Project Ivy

What I’m Writing

  • Finished – the bucket list novella from last time!
  • Currently – Character profiles for a multi-main character idea and Project Ivy – the book I’m almost finished with

What I Watched (a lot)

  • Marry Me – This was better than I thought it was going to be. Jennifer Lopez is playing herself, but it was cute and entertaining. Sarah Silverman was a fun addition who added the humor. I’m not a huge fan of Owen Wilson, like I just don’t see him as a love interest unless he’s a car, but I think he did a swell job. I liked the original songs too.
  • Can You Keep a Secret? – This was a fun one and I am not surprised to find that it’s based on a book, which I may have to read now. This girl meets a guy on a plane and she pretty much tells him about her whole life during a turbulence scare. Later she finds out that he’s I think the cofounder of the company she works for.
  • Bridgerton – I watched the second season and I really liked it. Anthony was frustrating me a little bit, but I liked it and am so ready for the third season. I really want Eloise to get her own season soon, she’s my favorite.
  • Turning Red – This was so good! I can’t believe it hasn’t been getting more buzz. I liked this way more than Encanto. I loved the time setting and that they were obsessed with a boy band and that the boy band had original songs. I loved her friends and how they kept her from “turning red” with their singing.
  • Lucifer – A TV show where the devil solves crimes. It’s fun and I love his little quips when people mention the devil or God. Like if someone said “the devil made me do it,” he would be all I had nothing to do with this.
  • The Adam Project – I wasn’t going to watch this just because the preview didn’t make it look good or enticing and the last Ryan Reynolds movie I watched was Free Guy and I didn’t care it for it that much. Maybe because I went in with low expectations, I actually enjoyed it and really liked the kid that played younger Ryan Reynolds. It was funny and sci-fi, which I’ve been into lately.
  • The Lost City – I love Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum together. This was a fun and humorous movie about kidnapping and being forced to find a lost treasure. Daniel Radcliffe was in it and I have such a hard time seeing him as anyone but Harry Potter.

What I Listened To

  • Film Queens – a podcast by Gabby from gabbyreads and her sister. It’s just them talking about their favorite movies and TV shows, which sadly means the end of Gabby’s recently watched videos, but hopefully she’ll have some kind of episode dedicated to her recent shows/movies.
Wrap-Ups

March Wrap Up

Read through my Kindle:

Hate Crush by A. Zavarelli – I was going to say 3.5, but I couldn’t stop reading it, so that should be worth something. I didn’t know what it was about when I started and was very surprised to find that it was a teacher student relationship. He was a bit creepy and obsessive. THIS IS NOT A CUTE ROMANCE. IT’S DARK! Just in case you were like me, but obviously I went along with it pretty quickly. I don’t curse very often, but what his dad did to him and his sister is fucked up.
Stella is obsessive too, but I feel like he’s creepier because he instigated all of it and SPOILERhe could’ve chosen to buy her virginity and then not actually take itSPOILER also he’s older and a teacher.
Even though the relationship was hella weird I couldn’t stop reading it. I loved Stella’s relationship with Sybill and that Sybill was a good friend. I feel like a lot of books like these could easily turn a friend like her into a backstabber.
I really thought there was going to be a cliffhanger, I had it all figured out (obviously I didn’t read the goodreads synopsis) and knew how it would end, but I’m glad I was wrong and that we got an end. The very end and epilogue was so good.

SPOILERher father and the car chase was very dramatic but… I ate it up. Also it’s weird to have a guy like Sebastian be this bully through the whole book and be good all of the sudden and a family man

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Read through my Series:

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – You are missing out if you don’t read this book physically and listen to the audiobook at the same time!! It is an experience. The audiobook is full cast with extra noises, but the guy who narrated Jackson sounded too old, since he’s only 18. I got more personality through audio like the guy who summarizes the camera footage. But you need the book too, so you can see the illustrations in Hannah’s journal and keeping track of the beitech team as their pictures are X’d out.
This is such a good series. I was wondering how it would be when I found out this follows different characters, but I loved it.
Every time there was foreshadowing I’d think the worst because they will do that to me

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Clubs:

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes –  It was really fast-paced, which is nice with a mystery that doesn’t have thriller vibes. It did have Knives Out vibes, which I looooove. Her being thrust into a new world and drama made it interesting. She finds out she inherited money and a mansion from this guy who she doesn’t know, so his family is going Knives Out crazy on her. I hated the fake curses, but thankfully it didn’t happen too often because it was from a side character. The different puzzles were fun and how the house was filled with secret places.
I was a little disappointed with the Emily storyline and that its 2 brothers fighting over a girl and it seems like that’s going to happen again with Avery. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I hate love triangles.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley – I feel like thrillers and mysteries always start out slow and I have to take that out of the equation. Come to think of it I have a hard time with the beginning of all books usually, unless it starts out fast-paced. It reminded me of Only Murders in the Building, which I loved, with the apartments being able to see into other apartments and all of these people in one building and going to different floors.
From the beginning I didn’t really like Jess, but I feel she got better farther into the book. This book is all about her staying in this creepy apartment building while searching for her missing brother.
This was way better than The Hunting Party. I read The Guest List, which I really liked, and then I read The Hunting Party, which made me wonder was The Guest List as good as I thought? Because I didn’t really like the Hunting Party. I think I might’ve given it 3 stars which is probably too generous. I heard someone say that the Hunting Party was like practice for The Guest List and I can totally see that. So, I didn’t know if I was going to like this book, but I did and it was so much better than The Hunting Party.
I like a lot of characters and different perspectives, although halfway through she started ending perspectives in cliffhangers, so we would have to read about someone else before going back and that was excruciating, but keeps you reading. A lot of characters gives you more suspects, which I think is more fun.

SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSI was sus about the dad right away. The way that Sophie would talk about him, I thought he was dead, but not that he’s the one they killed. Also it was weird that the apartment building was just their family home and no one else lived there. I don’t count Camille since she was living with Mimi. I really didn’t think Ben would be alive. That was weird. If he was going to be alive I thought maybe he would be a “bad guy”

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Other:

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – It’s a little boring especially near the end. But there were some interesting points that I wrote down. You don’t need a degree in writing, there are plenty of authors who don’t have degrees, which makes me feel better since I don’t have a degree in writing, but I’m sure those who did get the degree learned some things.
Keep your day job, don’t put pressure on creativity to make your living. It sucks, but also a reality. (Ironic, since I just started a book called Don’t Keep Your Day Job.)
It’s not your baby, take it lightly so you can take criticism and might have to end up cutting a lot out.
Say yes to curiosity, little curiosity can lead to big magic

I didn’t like the whole everyone thinks they have to be damaged or angsty to write anything good. I mean it’s good she said this isn’t true, but also I don’t feel like that’s a thing anymore. There are a lot of writers that are doing just fine and I didn’t get anything from it because I thought that’s not me.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center – The cover doesn’t make me want to read the book, but I’m glad I looked past it because I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a romance or literary fiction. I’m so glad it ended up not being literary fiction. There were messages in it like forgiveness and supporting women and a very cute sunshine grump romance. And the sunshine was the guy while the girl was the grump! I didn’t realize I would like that trope so much. Owen was so sweet and fun to read. I loved seeing Cassie prove herself to the other guys and that she was better at stuff than them. She’s the only woman in their firefighter station and takes a lot of crap from the guys. She is a very strong female character.
Fake date to parents anniversary!! Fav trope!
I really liked the epilogue and that it was kind of like the end of a movie where they say what happened to all of these characters.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Made in Manhattan by Lauren Layne – I love Lauren Layne! She has become a go to author for me, her and Christina Lauren. I loved the sexual tension and the slow burn. Violet is roped into making over the long lost grandson of New York socialites. Cain is rugged, southern, and does not fit the part at all to take over a multi-billion company.
THIS!!
“What rule could he possibly think he’s breaking?”
“The one where you don’t steal another guy’s woman. Isn’t it obvious? He’s not going to put himself out there, not as long as he thinks you belong to Keith.”
Is this a new favorite trope for me? Also a one room trope
I also really liked that it was about you don’t have to change for other people and finding who you really are. Like even Violet realizes that she’s just been placating other people and choosing the safe options.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Tequila, Tequila by Emma Hart – Aspen and her best friend have a one night stand and both pretend that they don’t remember it because it was really bad. Aspen is not my favorite character, personality wise. She’s got the annoying “don’t mess with me” vibe, but really she’s not that tough and the whole all these guys want me, but I’m too good for them. But I liked the plot and the epilogue. I like that the 2 books I’ve read by Emma Hart don’t have the miscommunication/fight as the end conflict, but it’s usually the realization that they could have a relationship.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Reading Challenge

I Read Christine’s Favorite Books of 2021

Christine Riccio or polandbananasBOOKS on Youtube made a video of her favorite books that she read in 2021. So, I thought why not see if these books are actually that good.

These are in order of Christine’s least to favorite book. Disclaimer: I did not read all of the books that she listed.

Better Together by Christine Riccio

She put her own book on the list and fortunately her reading taste is better than her own writing. I didn’t get very far before I had to put it down. I couldn’t stand the main characters and their eccentricities. They were too quirky for me and I just wasn’t being hooked into the book. Guess I’ll tell you a little of what I know about the book. Two sisters were separated in a divorce and they are reunited at a summer camp and apparently they switch places. I didn’t get that far.

The Other Merlin by Robyn Schneider

This was like She’s the Man (my favorite) and it was perfect that I just watched Amazon’s Cinderella, which made me think about Ella Enchanted and these were just perfect ambience for this book with the old time setting, the humor, a prince who needs to marry.

Emry is the daughter of Merlin and when her twin brother is called to come to the castle and be the new wizard he has an accident that leaves him in a coma. So, Emry goes in his place, but she has to pretend that she’s her brother. It was a very fun and entertaining read.

I liked the friendship between Lance, Emry, and Arthur and I’m glad she got to know them with their guard down. I loved the parts where Arthur kept wanting to kiss her and then think why do I want to kiss this guy? I liked that the setting is fantasy, but doesn’t really feel like the middle ages. The way they talk and joke around is modern and the LGBTQ representation and having nobles with dark skin. Also there isn’t really a cliffhanger, so I’m fine waiting for the sequel.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

I had already read this book in 2021 and I have a review of it somewhere, but this was a really fun and cute one. The couple comes together through an app that says they are 100% compatible. If you like Christina Lauren, read it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I was surprised that it pulled me in the way it did. I’ve read two other books by her and I think it’s her writing that keeps me. The plots aren’t usually books that I would be interested in, but somehow they always come out to be 4 stars. I wouldn’t read it again, but it kept my attention. It was really fast paced.

It’s about these kids (well now adults) and their estranged famous dad. It goes between the past and present. The present takes place in one day where they’re getting ready to throw an annual summer party.

I don’t like that all of the books I’ve read by her are filled with toxic people and the three books I’ve read have cheating. But I liked how it ended and that it was about the siblings taking care of each other and the chance to start anew.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab

And Christine’s favorite book of 2021! Addie has a curse where she is immortal, but everyone she meets completely forgets about her as soon as she leaves their sight. I also recently read this book and my review can be found in the January Wrap Up. I really liked it. I know there are mixed reviews and some didn’t like how it ended, but I loved how it ended.

For those who have read it the dedication “I remember you” made me tear up. So good! I loved that it was all about leaving a mark on the world.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Despite her own book, Christine had some great reads. I had never even heard of The Other Merlin, so I’m glad she introduced that one to me. All of the books were over 3 stars, so I will definitely take more recommendations from her.

Wrap-Ups

February Wrap Up

Didn’t mean to, but this was a pretty good selection for February and Valentine’s Day

Worth It by S.M. Shade and C.M. Owens – Three girls go to a wedding and a lot happens. The stepbrother of one of them is the groom and is also the ex of one of them as well. This book was chaos. So many times I put my hand over my mouth in shock, laughter, and embarrassment. From the very beginning to the end there was something crazy happening and good romance although one of the guys at the beginning was borderline sexual assault.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Love Story by Lauren Layne – Lucy gets stuck on a road trip with her ex and they hate each other. I love the brother’s best friend trope, but I wish it wasn’t so I hate you, make out, I hate you again. I felt like I was getting whiplash.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

XOXO by Axie Oh – Jenny meets a guy in LA, but is very surprised when she goes to South Korea and finds the same guy at her new school is a K-pop star. I really enjoy reading teen Asian American books because their culture is so fun and different. I liked the romance, but it’s also like being in a different world. It was cool being in the world of a k-pop group as well and finding weird things like why they can’t be in relationships.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The King of Crows by Libba Bray – This is the final book in The Diviners series. It took me over 2 weeks to read this. I liked how it ended, but it was so long! These books could be shortened and I definitely started skimming a bit, over 100 pages from the end. That’s why it lost a star. I feel like it was drawn out when it didn’t need to be.
Also the fixing the problem seemed so simple, why did it take you 4 books to defeat this guy?

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood – Olive is a grad student and she kisses the professor everyone hates because she wants her friend to be okay with dating the guy that Olive went on one date with. It hooked me right from the beginning. I love fake dating and the sexual tension. There are a few things I wondered about: as an obvious Reylo fanfic, why is his name Adam but her name isn’t Daisy or another flower name? The parking lot scene with the stopped truck – there were so many people, why didn’t anyone else help him push the truck? The sitting on his lap was weird especially in a professional \school environment. But I really liked it!

For the chili pepper, there is the tension and I think maybe like one sex scene.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Saga #55 by Brian K. Vaughan – I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue with this series because of the ending, but here we are. It still leaves you with wanting more at the end. I’m not a fan of time jumps, but at least we don’t have to wallow in the pain of somebody’s death. I’ll miss the original storyline but I think this one will turn out to be pretty good as well. It takes some time to get used to the change, especially since I didn’t know if I’d continue after the last one.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Uncategorized

Monthly Recents

What I’m Writing

Current story inspo
  • Currently – A short story that I started in November, which turned into a novella and a sequel. It has gone off the rails, but it’s a cute rom-com about two college students who complete seasonal bucket lists and it makes me happy.
  • Should be working on – The novel I am almost finished with, but it’s just not calling to me right now
  • Up Next – No clue. Probably try the novel or another meet cute short story.

What I Did

  • Turned in my e-portfolio. This will determine whether I graduate grad school. Glad it’s over, but the day I find out whether it’s a pass or fail is looming. I’m going to send out positive energy and say that I pass.

What I Watched

  • Death on the Nile – It seemed a little slower than Murder on the Orient Express, but I think I need to see it again. I liked Murder on the Orient Express so much because I watched 3 times in one day and was able to pick out different things each time.
  • Tall Girl 2 – So good. If you loved the first, you’ll love this one. I appreciate the parents being funny characters as well. Did you know the Swedish guy has a band IRL? It’s Voila. I’ve only heard a little bit, but not bad. I also like how they handled the love triangle unlike other movies, *cough* To All the Boys I Loved*cough*
  • Tinder Swindler – This was crazy. It’s a true crime documentary and one of those where from now on meeting people you will go “I trust no one!” The end made me real mad though. Except I just saw news that he’s being sued by the real diamond family, so I’m happy again.
  • Dollface – I didn’t know much about this and wasn’t sure about the cat lady, but this is actually really good. It’s all about this girl getting dumped and relearning how to be single and have friends that are girls instead of just being someone’s girlfriend. It’s entertaining and empowering.

What I Listened To

  • Sing the Sorrow – one of my favorite AFI albums, which I mean is pretty much everyone’s favorite, but I also have other favorites as well like the underrated Crash Love, The Blood Album, Very Proud of Ya, All Hallows EP, I digress. I’ve had this one playing quite a bit because all of the sudden I got a craving to listen to The Leaving Song Pt. 1 and then I just got sucked into the rest of the album. I’m not good at describing music, but it’s pretty, dramatic, and fun to sing along to.

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  • Books Unbound – This is a podcast about, you got it, books. Most of the books they discuss are obscure to me and I don’t really get recommendations from them, but I do like to listen to them just because of their personalities and stories.
  • Hey Violet – There are random times of the year that I’ll just keep listening to them and have their songs stuck in my head and this month happened to be one of those times. Some of the songs are just so catchy that they’ll stay in my head for a week. Also they can be great for story inspiration.
Wrap-Ups

January Wrap-Up

I had a lot of time in January to read because I was in bed for a week with Covid.

I also decided to try something new since I read Young Adult and Adult romance. I didn’t want people getting mixed up on whether it’ll be a sweet romance or steamy, so I have added a red pepper to books that have more sexual content than an older young adult book would have.

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Paper Princess by Erin Watt – Ella’s parents are dead and she gets taken in by her dad’s best friend who also has some hot sons. There’s a whole lot more drama to it. I hated the ending so much that I started the second book right away. This book is a car crash that you can’t take your eyes off of. It was so fast paced, a good book if you just want something quick and doesn’t take thinking. I got invested in the story, but I just don’t feel like it’s 4 star quality. It had a lot of problematic things and I’m not a huge fan of the bully romance, but I can let it slide.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Broken Prince by Erin Watt – This is the second book of Paper Princess. This series is like a soap opera. I didn’t like that most of this book is that part at the end of every romance where there’s a misunderstanding right before they get back together. I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray – Third book in The Diviners series. It had slow parts, but I love being in this world. It’s definitely character driven and not good if you want a fast plot. There are parts where you think, wait are we done with this? Like the asylum was such a big part of the beginning to middle and then it’s not talked about again in the last half. Seems like things are just getting drawn out and it makes me wonder if the last book will be boring until the end. But like I said, I do love being in this world. I have spoilers in my Goodreads review if you’re interested.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen – Sometimes after reading a bunch of adult or fantasy or thriller books it is so nice to read a contemporary YA book. Auden visits her dad in the coastal town where she meets new friends and discovers the town at night with a boy who is a fellow insomniac. The writing, plot, summer beach setting is like a breath of fresh air. There was a great friendship between girls and had a different familial plot. I like that it took some time for the love interests to start hanging out and we got know Auden more first.

There was one thing I didn’t care for which was she kept leaving off at the end of a chapter and the new chapter will start a few minutes later but then go back to see how we got from the end of the chapter to this present moment. Just start from where you left off at the end of the chapter.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Roommate Agreement by Emma Hart – She’s a writer. They’re best friends. They’re roommates. Need I say more? Some of my favorite tropes. She let’s her best friend stay with her thinking he’ll move out soon and when it doesn’t happen, she decides that she needs to set some ground rules.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab –  Addie has this curse where no one can remember her. She can meet someone, have an amazing connection, and as soon as they walk out the door they don’t remember ever meeting her. That is until she meets Henry, who does remember her. This was wild and what an interesting concept. It’s all about the quality of life and leaving your mark. I actually loved the end. There are mixed reviews out there on that. I wouldn’t mind reading another book about Addie and Luc, maybe something like a fanfiction romance?? There were some slow parts, but it was also kind of fast-paced because I couldn’t put the book down.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley – This is so similar to The Guest List. Both have two timelines, past and present. Both don’t tell you who the victim is. I felt like I was reading the same book at least for the first half because it gave off the same feeling. A group of people in one place and they’re stuck there by nature. Of course they all have problems.
I feel like I knew who was murdered pretty quickly and wish it was just said. I also feel like some things could have been left out when they didn’t have much to do with why the person was murdered. Like the author was trying to make sure that everyone looked bad, there wasn’t a good one in the bunch.
I still enjoyed the last half as the pace picked up and finding out what happened got closer.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Desperate Measures by Katee Robert – What a series this is. Lots of warnings, there’s plot, but also pure sex, so if you like clean, nice romances don’t read this. These books are super fast, entertaining reads. It’s a twist on Disney villains. This one is Jasmine and Jafar and it didn’t change my view on the actual Disney characters because they were so different from each other.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Learn My Lesson by Katee Robert – This is Meg, Hades, and Hercules.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A Worthy Opponent by Katee Robert – This is Tinkerbell and Captain Hook. I’ve always imagined these two together and I felt like this one kind of had more plot than the other two, like more dealing with the bad guy and their relationship.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon – Shay and Dominic are archnemeses at the radio station they work at. When the station starts to let people go, Shay comes up with a radio show that will keep her there and unfortunately keeps Dominic employed there as well. It started out slow, but when it picked up and got into the radio show, Ex Talk, it got cuter as they discovered their feelings. I liked the inserts of the radio transcripts and tweets. But not my favorite romcom unfortunately. I’ve seen better ways of telling this plot

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Tags

Dream Author Goals

If you’ve been around, you know that I like to write fiction and participate in NaNoWriMo. Writing is the dream job for me. I would love to just write all day and then get paid for it. So I saw this tag and decided to make my own list of dream goals as an author/writer.

  • Go on a writing retreat
  • Publish a book (obviously)
  • Be someone’s favorite book/author
  • Be my sole source of income
  • Have a shelf filled with my books
  • Go to book festivals for fun and as a guest/panelist
  • See my book at the library
  • Have a writing routine
  • Be able to go where the book is set and write there
  • A youtube channel (like follow me as I write this book)

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Do you have any career bucket lists?

Wrap-Ups

December Wrap-Up

I thought I posted a December Wrap-Up, but I guess not, so I’ll make it quick by not going too much into detail.

Getting Lost with Boys by Hailey Abbott – It was a cute teen road trip romance. It did not age well, a lot of outdated references. Fun banter.
I liked the twist of instead a brother’s friend, it was her sister’s ex.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

After the Abduction by Sabrina Jeffries – I loved that he was after her and wanted to be married. I hate the trope of “I don’t believe in love, it’s not real” all because of his parent’s relationship. Maybe I should have read the books before this one, but I wasn’t lost and I felt like everything was explained. They were a hot couple, I’ll tell you that

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli – It was really fun. I liked the main character, Niki, and being in her head. I really liked learning about Indian traditions and culture, it’s way interesting and how close the whole community was.
I love that she made up stories about people while people watching, like Romeo and Juliet at the coffee cart. I got the happy feels when you just put a book down after finishing it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall -This was so fun. It had friends to lovers, fake dating, Christmas, music. I wish I had listened to the playlist while reading it. I liked all of the characters, loved to hate Amber. I love that her friends and Nick’s family was her family. There was humor, love, care, friendship, fights. It was just a fun read

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox – Like a hallmark movie. Not going on a favorites list.

Rating: 3 out of 5.