Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Books Lately

Happy first Show Us Your Books in 2017! I read a lot since the last link up. I had some bad things happen and I'm the kind of person that needs to stay busy in times like that, but I'm too frazzled to actually do anything. Books are the best kind of 'something' because I can do something while sitting on the couch or curled up in bed, it keeps my mind occupied without doing anything. If I'm out somewhere and I start to freak out, I just open my kindle app or turn on an audiobook and focus on that instead of whatever I'm thinking about. I'm not in denial or anything, I just tend to over think things and stress myself out for no reason. I'm not trying to be vague, just not ready to talk about it yet. So I read, read and read some more. Sometimes it backfires and I hate the book, but for the most part, it helps. All that to say, lots of books in this post, so, shall we?


Red Rising Trilogy - Pierce Brown - 5 Stars
sci-fi dystopian, society based on colours, kinda hunger games-ish

Such a good trilogy! Normally I read series back to back if I have them all, but I needed several books in between each one of these because they are so intense. Can't even explain why I loved these so much.
The Rose Garden - Susanna Kearsley - 5 Stars
time travel historical fiction romance

I freaking adored this book. Gobbled it up. Loved it. Didn't even expect a twist, let alone see it coming. Wish the ending was a bit more flushed out, but other than that, seriously, loved it. Highly recommend if you like historical fiction or books with time travel.

Read for Erin's challenge - time travel category.
The Smell of Other People's Houses - Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock - 4 Stars
set in alaska in 1970s and I can't really explain anything else about it

This book was really good. The cover is gorgeous, the title is interesting, the synopsis.... eh. I didn't think I would like it as much as I did, and I love when that happens. It's quite a short book, beautifully written, I am not normally good with multiple POVs but they all worked and I love how the author tied everything and everyone together in the end.

Read for Erin's challenge - 6 word title category.
Dark Matter - Blake Crouch - 5 Stars NetGalley
complete and utter mind f*ck

SO good. Interesting, fast paced, terrifying, overwhelming, with a touch of feel good. Full of sciencey stuff that went straight over my head, but told in a way that made it okay to not fully understand it.

Read for Erin's challenge - genre you rarely read category.

Did You Ever Have a Family - Bill Clegg - 4 Stars
multiple people connected by heartbreak and tragedy.

More like 4.5 but not quite 5 for me. Very emotional story.  
Never Never - Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher - 5/4/3 Stars
two people lose their memory at the same time, don't know why or how

I haven't read a lot of Colleen Hoover books, but enough to know that when I started reading this series, it wasn't like her usual stuff. I could not put them down! But - spoiler - NOTHING is answered - WTF. The first book was like omg what is happening, I am so intrigued! The second book.. nothing new, more of the same. What. The third book? No resolution, just magically happily fixed. What the actual shit. I don't recommend them but I couldn't put them down.

Three Amazing Things About You - Jill Mansell - 4 Stars -  NetGalley
three women, three stories, all connected, rom com-ish

Totally adorable. I have read 2 other Jill Mansell books and they were all fun, light, the right amount of cheese. I was reading this one in public and I face palmed at one point because I was so embarrassed for one of the characters, and someone asked me what was wrong. Ha. It really was a fun, enjoyable read, and if you like 'chick-lit', I recommend.
Something like Normal - Trish Doller - 4 Stars 
marine comes home on leave, deals with best friend's death

I quite enjoyed this, very quick, pretty enjoyable. I have no idea what it's like to be a marine (or anyone else in the military) but I kept asking KC questions and he kept saying nope. Obviously not every marine and their experience is the same, but it was a bummer nonetheless because I so rarely read things that I can talk to KC about. Regardless of that, I quite enjoyed this. Heavy subject but enjoyable read.

Read for Erin's challenge - freebie category.
Persuading Annie - Melissa Nathan - 4 Stars
modern day persuasion retelling

Super adorable, different enough from Persuasion to be its own story, but the familiarity was there. I will say, Jake's note was nothing compared to Wentworth's original letter, and I'm bummed the author ruined that, especially with the spelling errors but eh. Overall, adorable.
The Hypnotist's Love Story - Liane Moriarty  - 4 Stars 
hypnotherapist meets a guy who happens to have a stalker. 

If you compare this to Big Little Lies or What Alice Forgot, you'll be disappointed. But honestly, I really enjoyed this story - of course, I always love the Australianisms Liane uses, but on top of that, I just plain enjoyed it. Much more than The Last Anniversary. It was perfectly enjoyable and passed the time just fine. 
When All The Girls Have Gone - Jayne Ann Krentz - 4 Stars - NetGalley
cozy romantic mystery

I really enjoyed this one, much more than her other book (Secret Sisters). I think if you read a lot of mystery, it might be too 'cozy' or predictable for you, but I was super into it and really enjoyed it.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock - Matthew Quick - 3 Stars
honest, sad, lonely, heartbreaking

I am super conflicted about this one. Once I got into it, I couldn't put it down, and some parts of it were so heartbreaking and I felt so much for this fictional character, but other parts, I wanted to hit the main character over the head, which I admit isn't very nice of me.

From Manhattan with Love series - Sarah Morgan - 4 Stars NetGalley
three books, three friends, three happily ever afters

Totally adorable and predictable, exactly what I expected and needed. Super cute.
Burn Baby Burn - Meg Medina - 3 Stars
ya set in new york 1977 - serial killer & black out

I don't know if some of it kind of went over my head or didn't scare me because I knew nothing about what actually happened (or even that it did until I was finished), I don't know how accurate it is. One of the characters reminded me too much of someone in my own family and it made me antsy. Overall it was an enjoyable read.
The Lover's Dictionary - David Levithan  - 3 Stars 
a love story told in a-z definition format

Very different from anything I've ever read and jumps all over the place. Super quick read, emotional and honest, but not exceptional.
kinda like sweet home alabama

Lordy I feel sorry for this book. I was in a not great place and I don't think anything would have survived my mood. I love fluffy light books but I think my mood made me pick at every little detail and everything annoyed me. A few days later I didn't hate it as much and I could see that it was a cute, enjoyable read, just at a very bad time for me.


Always - Sarah Jio - 2 Stars - NetGalley 
woman's ex boyfriend vanished, turns up years later as a homeless man

I thought this book was awful. I hate to sound harsh, but seriously. It made me cringe so many times and was just written really poorly. There were also a few plot holes and some things really bugged me. Not a fan.
Today Will Be Different - Maria Semple - 2 Stars - NetGalley
woman is a hot mess

Unfortunately, I was not a fan of this one at all. Thank goodness it was super quick, otherwise I would have given up for sure. The ending annoyed me.

Soundless - Richelle Mead - 2 Stars
everyone is deaf, they start going blind, surprise, they were lied to

You know that emoji with the monkey covering his eyes? That's how I feel about the way I feel about this book. I wanted to like it. I tried to go in with normal expectations even though I've only seen negative reviews.. but I just didn't like it. I thought it was boring. Boo.
Dead Witch Walking - Kim Harrison  - 2 Stars
witches and vampires and stuff

I'm so bummed I didn't like this one, as it's pretty popular... but I must be missing something. I thought it was pretty boring, and the things that were somewhat entertaining didn't end up making any sense. I know with series you want to keep readers guessing, but to have absolutely nothing in the first book resolved or making any sense just doesn't make me want to continue reading. Bummer.

Read for Erin's challenge - homonym category.

I also read Congratulations, By the Way which was super short and can hardly be considered a book but I still wanted to share it because it is so worth it to read something like that, we all know these things but it's nice to be reminded to err in the direction of kindness.

Linking up with Steph and Jana.

Life According to Steph



TL;DR - I would recommend Dark Matter to everyone, even if you don't like sci-fi. I'd also recommend the Red Rising trilogy, even if it doesn't sound like your jam. The Rose Garden if you like historical fiction romance, and basically everything else if it sounds like your jam.

Read anything decent lately?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

December Recap - What's New With You Link Up

Time for another What's New With You link up with Gretch & I! No real rules, all we ask is that you link back to us somewhere in your post - easy peasy. I'll be doing another monthly recap, since that's my jam. 

What's New With You

To be perfectly honest, I suffered from the winter blahs in December and really just felt.. well, blah. It was a weird month.

It started off pretty fabulously with officially selling our house.


 Got my hair done..


Went on a fun date-day to Panera & the movies to see Rogue One.


Had several hot chocolates with more and more whipped cream each time.


Started officially planning NZ & Oz. We booked our flights on the 30th!


Christmas was good - I finally convinced my mum to video call and got to speak with her and my nana. My mum kept holding the phone so all I could see was the ceiling fan. I took some screenshots but they'd be super cranky with me if they found out I put them on the internet.


We ended the year with friends, stayed out way later than I have in a long, long, long time.


A few workout snaps... one of those is after KC ran for the first time in 6 years. Not a lot, for like 10 seconds 5 or 6 times around the neighbourhood, but it was a big deal. Hopefully he'll be able to start running properly soon, but he's taking it easy because of his ankle injury (what made him stop back then).


aaaand some cat snaps.


If you'd like to link up with us, please do so below:



So, what's new with you?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Link Up Reminder

Happy Monday all - hope everyone had a great New Years! Just a quick note to remind anyone who wants to link up with us - this Thursday the 5th is the next What's New With You link up.

We hope you'll join us!

What's New With You



Thursday, December 29, 2016

Highlights of 2016

I love doing my yearly recaps because I like to look back on the memories (especially pre-blog days), but since I do my monthly ones, it's kind of pointless and repetitive.

So I thought I'd do a kind of highlights, if you will. Because I still like looking back on memories!

January

My mother in law turned 50 and we threw her a surprise party. It was awesome because we don't usually get to see that side of the family in the winter, and my mother in law had a great time.


Other things in January: finally got my new green card, which was a long time coming. KC and I started doing this every other Sunday thing where we made each other dinner, but that fizzled out in like February or March, I think. It was fun while it lasted!

February

I turned 29! Birthdays will always be highlights, right?


Other things in February:  the best part about birthdays is that everyone makes time for you, so I got to see a lot of friends and family and get lots of presents. Also, cake.

March

St Paddys is always a good time, KC and I got back together around then in 2012 so we always try and do something together.


Other things in March: we got a new TV! That was pretty exciting.

April

Thunder over Louisville! This was awesome because KC and I rarely get out and do Louisville-y things, so I'm glad we did, and it was a super fun day.


Other things in April: ran a half marathon and it wasn't my best, but it was my mental best and it's always a good race. I'm already signed up for 2017.

May

Kenny Chesney! Seriously was like the highlight of my year.


Other things in May: Oaks, Mother's Day and my first s'more.

June

Cruise!


Other things in June: car accident - boo.

July

Not much happened in July, but we did go to a Luau birthday party which was a good time.


Other things in July: Chelsea scared the living daylights out of me by playing dead a little too well, and it still scares me when I see her laying and she doesn't move immediately.

August

Birthdays! KC's & my friend's. Lots of outings.


Other things in August: Got my driver's licence/permit which allowed me to get my LIBRARY CARD.

September

Trip with my mum! Tons of fun. Still haven't recapped. Oops.


Other things in September:  I met the boy band of my childhood - Human Nature. It was also the longest KC and I had been away from each other since getting back together. It was weird! Also, I discovered Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, possibly a close second to the highlight of my year after Kenny Chesney.

October

We decided to sell our house about 2 years earlier than we originally planned. It was a hectic month with lots of painting and decluttering and stuff. We listed the house at the end of October I believe, and received an offer the first day.


Other things in October:  We bought a new bed (though we won't actually get it until we buy a new house). I ran another half marathon! We moved into my mother in law's basement - didn't want to have the cats at home while we were showing the house and stuff.

November

I ran another half marathon, this time in Richmond with Alyssa, Tracy & Lisa.


Other things in November: We handed over the keys at the end of November, though we didn't officially close until early December. Thanksgiving and stuff, obviously.

December

We officially closed on our house. KC and I aren't really pessimists exactly, but this whole process was ridiculously smooth, and we know so many people who have had issues selling, so we kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. It didn't!


Other things in December: well Christmas, obviously. Lots of bad food. NYE this weekend!

I've always said that each year has been better than the last since I was like 21  - which is awesome, and 2016 is probably the first that makes me think... welllllll. It wasn't bad, it definitely wasn't bad, and I am not saying that every year has to be better than the last, but it was a nice little thing I had going on. 2016 was so much more than these highlights obviously. There were lots of (super crappy) things that didn't happen to me exactly, but still had an impact on my year. There was a lot of stress and crappy things, but compared to other stressful and crappy things they weren't that bad. I'm not trying to complain, because all in all, it was a pretty great year.

But here's to 2017!

What was the highlight of your year?