Wednesday, July 18, 2018

I'm back, bigger and better.







It has been a hot minute since I have posted a blog! I have actually missed it more than I thought I ever would.

I have undergone a lot of changes, and feel ready to get back into this wonderful world of blogging. I still read a lot, and still want to share my books with you, but I also want to get back to my blogging roots and chat about fashion and beauty. Including self love, (I know, it is flooding the internet), but this is more about my personal journey to self love. How it is an ever evolving, life long commitment for me. 

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE for you to join me on this ride, so that we can share all of our ups and downs and everything in between with each other. To support and love one another. 

I am working on updating this site, giving it a nice new shiny look. So be sure to follow me here and on my IG for all the lastest!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My Take: Summer Sisters by Judy Blume


Summer SistersSummer Sisters by Judy Blume
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like so many others, I grew up on Judy Blume books. My most memorable ones being, Blubber and Are you there God? it's me, Margaret.

So, when I recently came across this book, I knew I had to have it.

This is a quintessential Judy Blume book. One can look at this as a coming of age read, but where most coming of age books stop, this moves on well into adulthood.

This is a story of two unlikely friends, Caitlyn Somers and Victoria Leonard, who are growing up in the 1970's. They come from opposite backgrounds. Caitlyn comes from money, while Victoria's family has to work hard for every penny. One summer, Caitlyn invites Victoria to come stay with her family vacation home at Martha's Vineyard. Victoria is excited to escape a summer of watching her younger siblings. But is also surprised that someone as amazing as Caitlyn would want to be friends, much less spend an entire summer with her.

And so, that one summer starts a friendship that spans from the 70's through the 90's. Nearly three decades of summers filled with laughter, friendship, self discovery, along with betrayals, heartaches but ultimately forgiveness and hope.

This book has so much depth with complex and believable characters, that I feel everyone could identify with. We all look back on our youth, and people we knew and experiences we had. So, there is something about reading/watching peoples lives go by through years that strike an emotional cord within me. And that is exactly what this book did. I felt emotions for the characters . I laughed and cried right along with them. Because I felt I was one of them. Because I am one of them.

This is a perfect summer read, but I could read this book anytime of the year to be honest.

I highly recommend this book.

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

My Take: The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss


The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was just as brilliant and engrossing as the first book, but I will not go into a long poetic description, employing big words like I'm some big literally critic.

This is a beautiful tale that has captured my imagination and whimsy. I care about the world and the characters, (well, at least most of them) in a way that leaves me thinking about them even after I have put the book down.

The Wise Man's Fear, obviously picks right back up where The Name of the Wind left off, and we continue the journey of Kvothe's life. He is still at the University for the first part of the book, but due to some trouble that seems to find him, he is advised to take some time off. And so he finds himself back on the road traveling where many intrigues and people are to be met along the way.

Patrick has a way to make everything in the world feel so alive and real. Everything down to the streets Kvothe walks on is just as important as Kvothe himself.Even characters in passing take on a whole life of their own on the few pages they may grace. So, you never feel like he is over explaining things or that the flow of the story stopped. Which no easy task I'm sure, but Patrick makes it look effortless.

Now, I'm tasked with waiting for the third book in this series, wondering how I'm going to make it without it.



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Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Take: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall



A Little Something DifferentA Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the such a sweet romance story.

This book revolves around two college students, Lea and Gabe, as told by fourteen points of view. Yes, fourteen. With a couple of them being quiet unexpected, and added to the quirky charm of the book.

Now when I heard about how many POV's were adding to this story, I was a little concerned that it would be jumpy and all over the place. I was pleasantly surprised at how beautifully it flowed together. I didn't feel lost or annoyed by it at all. In fact, it complimented the story.

For the first time, I really enjoyed each character I encountered here. Despite not having full background story on them, Sandy Hall was able to made each one of them interesting. I could read more about each and everyone of them and not get bored. Sandy Hall really demonstrated what a wonderful story teller she is.

This is a stand alone book, but I wish I could read more. I would love to hear the stories of the people we spent so much time listening to. The bus driver, the waitress, Maribel and the others.

This isn't a big epic book, that was meant to send us on a journey of grandeur or life changing ideas. It is a sweet, fun, happy read. And it is perfect in that way. I love this book and feel happier for having read it.








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Monday, August 11, 2014

My Take: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a hauntingly beautiful novel.

This is my first experience with Neil Gaiman and will not be my last. I am hooked. He writes in such a powerfully poetic way that pulls you in and refuses to let go. Not that I was struggling to get away.

This book follows a man who returns to the place of his childhood home. He drives past where his house use to be, and on to the end of the lane, where the house of the women who changed his life still stands. We are transported back to his childhood and the events and people who brought to his life, fear, sadness, magic, friendship and love.

It reads very much like a dream, where you float along, but feel very much a part of the world. Everything feels so vivid and real.

This book was filled with childhood wonder, magic and the mysteries that get lost on the road to adulthood. There was so much whimsy, heartache and sacrifice. And I feel somewhere among all that emotion...hope. Hope for the day when we can grasp what we have lost and appreciate what we have been given.


"She said, "No", but she said it kindly. "You get on with your own life. Lettie gave it to you. You just have to grow up and try and be worth it."

Oh man. My heart ached so much as I read through to the last page. There was just so much power in these pages.

I. Love. This. Book. and it plowed right through to my top 5 reads of 2014.



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Monday, July 14, 2014

My Take: Since You Been Gone by Morgan Matson


Since You've Been GoneSince You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a good summer read, then this is it!

This is about Emily, who finds at the start of Summer that her best friend Sloane is gone. Moved. Without a word. She is confused and disheartened and feels lost. Until one day she receives a letter in the mail from Sloane. All it was, was a list of things Sloane wanted Emily to do during the summer time. No return address no explanation to her where abouts, just the list.

Emily, being an introvert/shy personality, is a bit thrown over some of the things Sloane wants her to do. But she feels like if she does these things, it will somehow lead her to her best friend.

As she starts doing some of the easier things on the list, she finds that it is bringing people into her life, that she least expected. And Sloanes list brings her more than just things to mark off a list.

She starts really coming into her own. Discovering who she is, and what she able to do.

This book, which is about two friends, ends up also being about finding friends, love and finding confidence in yourself.

I felt I could totally identify with Emily, in that I am an introvert who was and still is best friends with my "Sloane". A friend who very much is a extrovert, who brought out in me, confidence, support and a lifelong friendship. We balance each other out and bring out, I feel the best qualities in each other.

I connected with, not only the main characters, but the others as well. Dawn, Matthew, even Gideon. Everyone felt true to life, and like people I know or knew in real life.

This is a feel good book that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a book to dive into and get lost in.

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Take: Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly by P.T. Jones


Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't FlyFloating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly by Stephen Graham Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I actually give this book a 3.5 stars.

This is a story about a 14 year old girl named Mary. Who at a cousin's birthday party, watched with the rest of the guests as one boy climbed a tree and floated away.

What follows is confusion and ultimately chaos in the small town of Ipswich,Massachusetts. She finds herself going up against a mad scientist and a sudden outbreak that puts all the adults either in the hospital or a mob-like state as they panic with fear. While the youth face other, less sick type of reaction to the outbreak.

I was curious from the start as to what it was that made this floating boy float. Was it magic? What and where did this outbreak come from? I had no idea, but it was a mystery I wanted to solve. And as I read, the mystery grew and I liked it.

I enjoyed the funny little quips and references throughout the book. I laughed at her use of "muggles" to describe her unbearable aunts and uncles. Who doesn't love references to Harry Potter?! It gave it a real world feel. And gave Mary a fun, relatable personality. She was a typical funny teen in that way.

The Floating Boy, as he unfortunately was called throughout the book, was around the same age as Mary. And I was, naturally, curious about him. And once he reappeared after his first sighting, instantly felt attached to him and as the story went on, I wanted to just give him a big hug. He was so sweet and as I learned more about him, I just felt for him.

The overall plot was interesting and something I haven't read before. And I really didn't know how it would unfold, which I appreciate that it didn't feel predictable.

Now, the issues I had with this book was how Mary handled certain situations. I understand that she was only 14, but when her little brother started showing signs of "strange behavior", she didn't act upon it, like how I feel a normal kid would react. Like, call her parents... It just didn't seem like a natural reaction, even despite her issues with anxiety and the issues that came with that. There are a few other little examples, but I feel they would be to much of a spoiler to say here.

Also, I wasn't really satisfied with the ending. It felt a bit rushed and incomplete. I would change my mind on that if I knew there would be a book two. But as it stands, it just didn't feel..right, and it left me with questions, that again, I can't express here without spoiling.

Overall, I did enjoy reading this book and couldn't put it down. I read it pretty quickly in just a few hours.

It is a good read that I think a lot of people can enjoy.






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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Take: Landline by Rainbow Rowell


LandlineLandline by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Landline by Rainbow Rowell is an adult contemporary. So, don't go in expecting a typical Rainbow YA experience.

This book is about a married couple, Gorgie and Neal. They have two kids, Alice and Noomi and a marriage that is on rocky ground.

Gorgie has a very demanding and time consuming job as a tv sitcom writer and Neal is a stay at home dad. (I love that!) And it is Christmas time and a show that her and her lifelong friend and colleague, Seth, have been planning for years is finally getting picked up for a pilot. This means she has to work through Christmas break and be away from the family, yet again. Neal makes a decision to head out to his parents in Omaha with the girls anyway. Without Gorgie.

Even though this book is realistic, something mysterious and almost magical happens to Gorgie. And it is something that could save or erase the life she has lived with Neal and her daughters.

The characters in this book felt extremely real. Which really is something Rainbow Rowell does well. She writes characters who are interesting and relatable. That have rich backstories and are just all around well developed, and Landline is no exception. I just love the personalities of the characters, they just come to life on the pages. I LOVE how, again, real the characters are with each other. Noomi, for example, is four and thinks shes a cat and how Gorgie indulges her by meowing back. She is the sweetest little girl! I just adore them all.

The story itself had it's range of emotions. We got to experience how they met and how they ended up where they are. It addresses the very real issues of everyday married life, and just life in general. How we get so caught up in our own issues and day to day routines, that we lose focus on the relationships around us. And how it affects everyone. This book had its share of sadness, but also hope and love. A lot of love.

I think Landline will brings in a whole new audience for Rainbow, and completely satisfy the fanbase she already has. This is another hit for me and just cements my own love of Rainbows work.

I won an ARC of Landline, but all opinions here are my own and honest.




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Review: The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson


The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and DisappearedThe 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"The 100 Year Old Man..." is the story of Allan Karlsson, who upon his 100 birthday in the old folks home he now resides in, decided quite suddenly that he wanted nothing more to do with any of it. So, he climbed out the window in his room and left. As simple as that.

He was soon on a journey that sends, not only him, but the reader on an adventure of a lifetime. A run in with a criminal who entrusted the old man with a mysterious suitcase while he goes to the bathroom at the train station, sets everything into motion.

As he meets with people on his journey, we get filled in on the extraordinary life of Allan.

This book is filled with historical, mostly political figures, places from all over the world and a beautiful insight to the man that is Allan.

I thoroughly enjoyed how Jonas Jonasson weaved real historical people and events with the characters he created. It was so entertaining throughout the book to see these people in a very real way. And how Jonas put Allan right smack in the middle of these events. How he allowed Allan to have a direct influence.

This book is rich with story and character development. The humor and wit was perfect and Jonas proved to have the ability with the timing of each twist and turn and humor.

This book is brilliant and entertaining from start to finish.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

My Take: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments is an adult contemporary novel by Rainbow Rowell


Endearing. Quirky. Funny. Warm-fuzzy comfort in the form of a hardcover. 

That sums up my instants thoughts on this book. 

This book is set in the late 90's and centers around Lincoln. A sweet, somewhat socially awkward, smart guy. He has acquired many degrees, plays Dungeons and Dragons, had his heart torn out by his first and only love, and has moved back home with his Mom. He is so sweet and loveable and is tall, with broad shoulders! I love a man with broad shoulders guys! I just want to hug him! 

He gets hired at a newspaper as an IT guy, to monitor the work emails and internet usage.  When an email gets "flagged" as inappropriate, he is suppose to send out warnings to the sender. 

Enter Beth and Jennifer, whose emails to each other get flagged. A lot. As he reads through the email, he finds the emails draw him in. The interaction between the two friends is so endearing to him. He does struggle with this. He knows it is wrong on so many levels, but he feels this apprehension to sever the only contact with them. I know, I know. How very stalker and creepy...right? But no! It was written in a way that I think a lot of people can relate to. It doesn't read as creepy. HONEST! Lincoln is just...he is just...It's innocent I tell ya! 

The story unfolds through the emails, as well as through Lincoln's personal story. We get to be a little voyeuristic with Lincoln, and I think that was really interesting and fun. And it was really well done. The flow was perfect throughout the book. 

Jennifer, I really liked her. She is a nice person with a crappy Mom, who left her with this constant sense of foreboding and doubt. But it didn't leave her being a dull and unlikeable character. In fact, it was quiet the opposite. I felt more attached to her.  She is married to a  man who is perfect for her. A man who sees what a great person she is. And is very patient with her inner struggles. 

Now, Beth. She is another great character in this book and the one the Lincoln really feels a kindred spirit type of thing for. She works as a movie critic for the newspaper. Beth is witty, clever, so caring and just a really good friend and person. Her friendship with Jennifer is so authentic and wonderful. She is in a relationship with a rocker guy who is less than attentive to Beth. It was so fun to read Beth's emails talking about a really cute guy she has seen in the office. (so giddy!!)

I loved how so many chances for them to meet, left me feeling excited and giddy. And without giving any spoilers away, to find out, how paths come so close to crossing.  

The chapters where Lincoln is with his friends were so well done. I enjoyed seeing him with people he was comfortable with. And the scene in chapter 80 had me cracking up. Lincoln had been not showing up as often to the D&D nights and Dave pointed out that "Either you're in the game or not, Troy has been dragging your unconscious dwarf on an earth sled, just to keep you in the campaign. You're a constant drain on his magic."  Dave, Lincoln and Troy continue on like that for the rest of the page. That whole interaction between the three was just hilarious. 

This book, I have to say, is the first book that I felt I could fall in love with the lead man. Yeah, I have swooned over the hot hunk in other books. Or really liked the male leads. But Lincoln is seriously someone I feel I could fall in love with. That I want to fall in love with. 

The sincerity and lack of fear in showing his vulnerable side makes him endearing. And the fact that I feel he isn't afraid of stepping up and being a man and "protecting" his loved ones makes him feel like a total package. 

I love this book. I love Lincoln and Beth and Doris and Troy. I just love it all. 

Attachments has definitely leaped to my top favorites list. 


I give this novel an obvious 5 out of 5 stars! 

Have you read this book? If so, tell me what you thought of it! 

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Take: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell



Fangirl  is a contemporary novel by Rainbow Rowell. 

It is set in a college in Nebraska, where twins Cather and Wren (That would be Catherine, the estranged mother couldn't be bothered to give them two actual names.) are set to start their first year.

Despite being twins, they couldn't be more different. Cather is an introvert who prefers the world of imagination, whereas Wren is completely extrovert, who thrives on being in the middle of any social scene. 

But they both were extremely close growing up and both loved The Simon Snow Series. Think of Simon Snow as Fangirls version of Harry Potter. The two girls are so in love with Simon Snow Series, they write fanfiction for it. Mainly Cather, who ultimately is the main author. Her fanfic ends up gaining a huge audience. Thousands, tens of thousands! This is where Cather thrives, this is where she feels calm. This is the backbone of Cather's life and the link throughout the book. 

As college approaches, she finds her relationship with Wren strained. Distant. And then Wren decides to not room with Cather, which sends Cather into this state of loneliness, frustration and sadness. Cather does not feel equipped for life on her own without her built in friend. Her codependence on that sisterly relationship left her ill equipped for the social necessities of college life. 

But she is forced to learn how to be more independent. To "make nice" with these strangers who insist on being friends or at least friendly with her.  To grow as a person, no matter how resistant she feels about the whole thing. To live outside of her head. She meets her roommate, Reagan and Reagan's "boyfriend" Levi. Who play a pivotal role in Cather's life as just Cath, and not MagiCath or twin Cath. Just Cath. Just.

I did find I could identify with some of Cathers personality. Being somewhat of an introvert myself, who loves dreaming away about fantastical worlds. But, (and this is kind of a pretty big but), I felt frustrated by her lack of ability to adapt to the changes around her. Her absolute resistance to some very basic and what I felt were simple changes. It felt like pulling teeth with her sometimes and it left me feeling moments of annoyance. Not in any breaking way, but just like "Really Cath? Come on!" 

I felt the way she dealt with the last big assignment for her fiction-writing class wasn't accurate to Cather. Who I felt was very studious and serious about her education.  I just didn't buy that little story line at all. But it was a very minor issue I had.

Her growth throughout the book, as slow as it may have seemed, can, I feel, be related by so many people.  I sympathized with her on so many levels. I appreciated, her efforts at times. And I just adored the scene where this was said:

"And then she kissed my receding hairline and cried, she imagined him saying. In her imagination, Levi was Danny Zuko, and his roommates were the rest of the T-Birds. Tell me more, tell me more." 

The realness of this chapter, of the moment that was happening, and how I could so identify with her on that level had me laughing so hard! There was something very real about Cather and the other people in this book.

Dad and his struggles of being a single working parent of twin girls! The trauma of the abandonment of his wife, mother of his girls.  The complicated relationship between him and Cather and Wren.

Levi, what a great guy! He was such a likable character that I felt I would love to know in real life. He wasn't some perfect hottie who said all the right things at the right time. He was just a breathe of fresh air. 

Wren. What can I say about Wren. I was not happy with this chick at all. And rightfully so. I wanted to understand her, but I just couldn't. When dealing with a novel, you don't get all the meaty parts you can get with a trilogy or a series. There just isn't enough time for all that extra. So, without getting a Wren POV, I was left feeling frustrated with her for most of the book. 

No, this wasn't a story about Wren, or Levi, or Dad or Mom. 

This was a book about Cather. No. One. Else. This was her story. Her coming of age, love story. Her breaking out of her shell (albeit, against her will) story.

And it was beautiful. 

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars!




Have you read Fangirl? Leave me a comment below what you thought of the book!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

  




I'm back, bigger and better.

It has been a hot minute since I have posted a blog! I have actually missed it more than I thought I ever would. I have u...