Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Books Lately

Happy Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! I have not been a reader lately. August was weird. Maybe one day I'll be back to normal, but it is not this day.

historical fiction, dual storylines
Well, not quite 'couldn't put it down' because nothing was unputdownable in August, but this was thoroughly delightful. Wish I had re-read A Hundred Summers before this one since apparently there are some reappearing characters. I adored Vivian, didn't really feel like I knew Violet as much, but overall it was a super fun, easy, enjoyable read. Teeny tiny quibbles about a few things, but nothing too big.
Tweet Cute - Emma Lord
teen rom-com, family business tweet war
This was super adorable, sickeningly sweet. I thought it was unique and fun and exactly what my brain needed. Made me hungry. Definitely recommend if you enjoy YA.
beauty and the beast retelling... kind of
I was so excited for this book - and the movie - that I preordered it. In 2017. It is now 2020. Honestly, it's like when I purchase a book it almost guarantees that it won't get read for a few years. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I'd read it back when I purchased it, maybe not. It was cute, and fun, but not my favourite b&tb retelling. I liked the love & death characters, I liked the story within a story, but as a b&tb telling, mostly meh. It was fine and cute. Took me 2 months to read and 3.5 years to get to. Gorgeous cover though.
Boy Swallows Universe - Trent Dalton
coming of age, 1980s australia, convicted murderer babysitter, drugs, mute brother
This is quite possibly the weirdest book I’ve ever read lol. I have no idea how to describe it. The writing was absolutely beautiful, but sometimes it was a bit much and over the top and it’s almost like you couldn’t see the story for all the metaphors and imagery. I picked it up because it had really good reviews and because I’m trying to read more aussie authors – and I will say, 90% of my enjoyment of this book came from how Australian it was. From the dialogue, to the mentions of places, things, people, sports teams, to the food -oh the food! Man. This book made me so hungry and miss home so much. Some of it went over my head because I’m not from Brisbane and it’s set in the 80s, but for the most part, it felt like I was home when I was reading it. Anyway – the book. It’s kind of bonkers. I loved several lines, I laughed a few times, I was shocked and worried in certain scenes, I felt like I knew the characters. Completely crazy that it’s apparently semi autobiographical. 
Oh, this was such a disappointment. I love Avery Flynn. This felt like a different author. I was so confused and disconnected in the first chapter and I feel like it never got any better. Definitely needed some more development/back story before throwing us in there, no build up whatsover so absolutely no chemistry or tension for a supposed enemies to lovers. Such a disappointment and I am sad. I mean, I didn't hate it, but it was not at all what I was expecting and Avery Flynn was one of those authors I knew exactly what to expect from so it was extra disappointing.


Don't Hex and Drive - this publishes today so I'm a bit behind, but I loved the first one. 

Linking up with Steph & Jana

Life According to Steph


TL;DR - I recommend the Violet Grant - that was a solid read.

Read anything decent lately?

Thursday, September 3, 2020

August 2020 - What's New With You

Hello all, time for another what's new with you link up! Thanks again if you join me, I always appreciate it. You don't have to display the button if you don't want to, but don't forget to mention it somewhere in your post and check out some of the other posts!

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Man, I hate the new blogger. Anyone else?

Anyway. August. Busy busy busy. Stuff happened and I tend to overthink everything, which makes me feel busier, when in reality I'm not. Just my mind. How's that for vague? It's fine, I'm fine, everything is fine, everything will be fine. But for such a busy/complicated/exhausting month, I don't have much to show for it. But what else is new in the time of covid?

So, August. Lots of drinking at work or out with work people (safely, of course). Hanging out and drinking with friends. Cats and dogs. Went to the gym, it was way more packed than July and I was not comfortable, think I mentioned that last time but it was technically in August so mentioning again. Put my membership on hold and sticking with running and yoga for now. 

Surprisingly, not a lot of books because my brain was tired. But, lots of tv time! The second season of that umbrella show was pretty good, I liked it. Also, watched Miss Fishers for the.... millionth or so time. It was amazing. I still haven't seen the movie. I'm scared! Maybe this weekend. I did watch Emma with Heather though - I love virtually watching movies with her, we talk the whole time. If we ever watched one in real life, we'd miss half the movie. Got my hair done! That was fun. Socially distanced book club, The Secret Life of Violet Grant - SUYB on Tuesday for thoughts on that.



And that's it! What a terribly exciting life I lead. This feels like it will never end. I'm glad I have a pretty solid bubble of people I feel comfortable and confident hanging out with. Work people and the same group of friends. But, man. This sure is getting old. I know it's wishful thinking, but I sure hope this is over by winter. 

Anywho. On that note, if you want to link up, please do so below!

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So, what's new with you?

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Link Up Reminder

Hello all! Just a quick reminder to anyone who wants to link up - this Thursday the 3rd is the next What's New With You link up if you want to join me! 


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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Books Lately

Happy Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! I do not have a lot to share today. I'm still reading the book I was 'currently reading' last time. I don't know if it's me, the books, the world, my life being a bit busier... I'm sure it'll pick up again soon. I feel like this SUYB came around quickly... but that might just be me.


Court books #2 & #3 - Sarah J Maas

sequels to a court of thorns and roses
I mentioned when I read the first Court book, but skipped over the second, so this is basically for the whole trilogy. I was cranky when I finished the first book because of where I thought it was going - and guess what, it went exactly there! And I loved it! I already want to re-read them. So good. Can't wait to read the next one. Everyone who said I would love this trilogy, you were right. I think... I might like it more than the throne of glass series.
The Voting Booth - Brandy Colbert
two teenagers trying to vote for the first time
This was super cute. It touched on a lot of intense heavy topics but was also still light and full of teenage stuff. It was a very quick, easy read. Well timed, too. I will say the one thing that annoyed me, and this is kind of spoilery, if one of my cats went missing, I wouldn't chill out and go to the beach. But that's just me.
follows a girl and her dad driving/living on a school bus after the death of mother & sisters
Heather recommended this one and I really enjoyed it. It was hilarious and silly and heartbreaking. Plus, cat! It was quirky and fun. I loved all the shenanigans and the not judgmental friendships made along the way. Lots of little lessons in there. I had a few quibbles with the father and how he acted and stuff, but it involves some pretty traumatic stuff and grief, so. I tried not to be too nitpicky.
Protect the Prince - Jennifer Estep
sequel to kill the queen
It took me a year and a half to get to this one, so of course I didn't remember enough of the first one. It does a relatively good job of recapping without being overkill. It wasn't as enjoyable as the first, but I liked it well enough and I am curious about the next one. And of course I love the romantic subplot.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford

I have owned this for years and I'd heard such good things, I finally put it on my Erin challenge list... oh. my. god. Snooze city. I am so in the minority. Struggle street. I found it super hard to relate to these children supposedly having these very complex feelings, I didn't love the writing so maybe I couldn't see the story past that, you know? Blergh. Not my jam.
It Happened One Wedding - Julie James

Julie James books remind me a bit of Jill Shalvis books in the sense that I always know what I'm going to get, I'm going to enjoy myself but rarely be blown away. That's not a bad thing, they are solid, good, enjoyable reads. I think they are cute and I laugh and get all mushy. But they rarely have things that stand out about them, you know? So while that sounds like a lacklustre review, it's not. Solid 4 stars, enjoyable, just don't remember much about it now.
good old solid historical romance. I enjoyed it more than the second but I don't think anything will ever compare to Ian Mackenzie. I really liked the heroine in this one. Yeah, not much to say, if you like historical romances, this series is definitely a good one.

Still reading Boy Swallows Universe... and a few others. I feel like my brain can't focus.

Linking up with Steph & Jana

Life According to Steph


TL;DR - I recommend the Coyote Sunrise book if you like middle grade, and the Court trilogy if you like Sarah J Maas books lol.

Read anything decent lately?

Thursday, August 6, 2020

July 2020 - What's New With You

Hello all, time for another what's new with you link up! Thanks again if you join me, I always appreciate it. You don't have to display the button if you don't want to, but don't forget to mention it somewhere in your post and check out some of the other posts!

I will have a recap up soon. July was insane and my brain is still catching up lol. But please feel free to share yours!

Sorry to alarm anyone, I was just super busy and not totally sober when I remembered I hadn't done this post. I left that note up there because it was funny. I am quite proud of intoxicated me for getting this post and the link party up.

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So July! It was super busy (well, busy for covid). I actually started doing stuff, whereas before I was just work-grocery-friends places. I still mainly did those things, but I went to the gym and a restaurant. And apparently drank a lot of alcohol. We also had a Hamilton watch party with indian food (yummm) and I have no strong feelings about it, to be honest. Am I allowed to say that?
^ anyone watch Brandi TV? good lord she is hilarious.

The gym was great the first time I went, not a lot of people, everyone stayed far apart etc etc. The second time I went, not good. Too close, made me uncomfortable, will stick with running + yoga a bit longer.

We see lots of deer and ducks while running. I didn't get a photo of this, but one morning we were running and there was a deer stuck in a soccer net. We tried calling animal control but they weren't coming out because of covid. We (and a couple other runners) ended up scaring the poor thing so much he twisted himself out, which was good. Once he was out, I ran for the hills. Have I ever shared that I am afraid of deer?
^ It wasn't supposed to rain. It did. A lot.

The highlight of July! Millie has had this breathing issue for months and months and then Penny started doing it too and naturally that freaked me the hell out. I made them an appointment with their normal vet but they couldn't fit me in until later in the month (and that vet had already seen Millie and not fixed the problem, so, I'm glad we were 'forced' to go elsewhere). I was fine to wait until Millie had a really bad day and then obviously I didn't want to wait any longer. There's a vet that has long weekend hours and they were able to see us the next day so I took them both. The experience wasn't the best, they clearly did not have their covid shit down, we sat outside in 90 degrees for over half an hour past our appointment, and then after I had checked out, I waited another hour for them to bring my cats out. Unfortunately, Penny did not handle it well and apparently they couldn't examine her at all, couldn't even listen to her heart because she would hiss and scratch (I was kind of like... isn't this your job? To know how to restrain a cranky cat?) but because it was the same issue as Millie, and I'd showed them videos of what the cats were doing they said they felt comfortable 'diagnosing' them both. The vet was really nice and explained the issue better than the last vet and anyway, long story long, they were on medication for 10 days and it's been 2 weeks with no episodes/attacks. Hallelujah!
My cats despise the car and their carriers. But guess where they hang out if I leave the carriers out? Rage. Good thing I love 'em.

Other than that, the usual - books and cats. 


^ book club was I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown and BYO food. Covid has screwed with everyone and everything and this is such small potatoes, but one of the main things I miss is our big book club food spreads. 
^ oh! lowlight of the month, bloody mouse. I'm not afraid of mice but no, do not want them in my home thanks. My cats were completely useless. A friend had a bunch of traps from when she had a mouse problem and I caught the little guy almost immediately but... I just couldn't leave him or kill him. I couldn't do it! So I walked across to a wooded area and let him out. I know, I know. But I couldn't do it ok. I can kill a bug and that's about it.

So that was my July! There were a couple other things in there that aren't show and tell-able, but added to the overall busy feeling.

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So, what's new with you?

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Link Up Reminder

Hello all! Just a quick reminder to anyone who wants to link up - tomorrow the 6th is the next What's New With You link up if you want to join me! 

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Books Lately

Happy Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! I hit a bit of a reading wall in June, read two duds and it just killed my reading mojo for a couple of weeks. But thankfully things picked up again, as they do, so I actually have some books to share today.

The Switch - Beth O'Leary
woman and her grandmother switch houses for 2 months
I absolutely loved The Flatshare so I had high expectations for this one. It's completely different (obviously) and definitely less of a romance, which was a bit of a bummer for me personally, but not enough of a bummer to take away from the book. The characters and the story were delightful and I adored everything. I think what I loved about both books is O'Leary's writing, not only the content. The characters really make the book in this one, they are so realistic and endearing. I loved Eileen and Leena, loved their relationship and how they dealt with their grief. The small town was so charming, I loved all the characters and the cats, loved Eileen making friends with all the people in London. Thanks to Heather for gifting me this one! It doesn't come out in the US until August.
Such a Fun Age - Kiley Reid
privilege, race, economic status
I honestly don't know how to talk about this book? I'm still not quite sure how I felt about it. I think I expected it to be more about 'the event' in the beginning, but I really enjoyed that it was about more everyday things, while still touching on quite intense and hard topics. This would make a fantastic book club book. There's a lot to think about and would spark a lot of discussion. It stayed with me a long time after finishing it. I think overall, I really liked it. I liked the characters and also loved to hate some characters. It was a page turner for sure.
One to Watch - Kate Stayman-London
plus size fashion blogger stars in bachelorette type show
Oh my goodness, was this book was a roller coaster. I’ve never watched the bachelor or bachelorette, so didn’t think this would be my jam - but I kept hearing about it and couldn’t resist. That cover! It was so delightful and lovely, such an easy and quick read - though at times, gosh, broke my heart. I can't believe how awful some people can be. Overall, very entertaining and I just adored the characters - definitely recommend if you're looking for a light read. I don't personally consider this a romance even though she's on a show meant for people to find love, but obviously it involves a bit of romance so if that's not your jam, skedaddle.
Received from Netgalley.
The Vanishing Half - Brit Bennett
follows the lives of once close but now estranged twin sisters and their children
Man, the character development in this book! Freaking amazing. These characters. Loved them all. Loved their stories. Loved getting to know them. It was beautifully written. I wish I was better with the words - all I can say is that I highly recommend.
mom and daughter go on college tour
This is my second Abbi Waxman book and after Nina Hill, I had high, high, high expectations. I knew it would be nothing like Nina, so I think that helped. I am not a parent and I'm not american, so the whole college thing was hard to relate to, but not too bad. It was really entertaining and easy to read. I loved the two main characters, especially getting both of their POVs on the same thing, analysing each other. Overall, I really liked it - it was a light read, funny and sweet, thoroughly enjoyable.
Her Last Flight - Beatriz Williams
lost pilot and wartime photographer, historical fiction
I did enjoy this one though it was a bit slow, took a bit to get into. It takes place between 1928 and 1947, but I feel like it’s written in such a modern way – especially with the way characters behave – that I would forget until something specific was mentioned. I enjoyed one time period/character's story more than the other, as is almost always the way with books like these that are split into two time periods/characters. The second half is definitely better than the first and I love how this author connects everything and always has a good twist or turn. And of course, a bazillion stars for the cat, Sandy. What a sweetie.
Received from Netgalley.
The Heir Affair - Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
sequel to the royal we
To say I was excited for this would be a massive understatement. It didn't disappoint. This book is drama drama drama and very emotional - I’m glad Heather gave me a heads up on the trigger warnings because it was emotional and hard to read in parts. I don’t want to spoil anything but I thought it was handled with sensitivity that you don’t always see in books with those situations. I admit I was a wee bit disappointed in one character's ending but, what can you do. Getting a sequel to a beloved book is always wonderful, but even better when the sequel is actually good! Eleanor in this book was fantastic. It was a joy to read, perfect escapism, so much fun. If you loved The Royal We, you’ve got to read this one.
Received from Netgalley.
The Weight of the Stars - K Ancrum
This is my first DNF of 2020. I really wanted to love this book, but it was confusing and weird and not what I thought it was at all. I thought it was going to be sci-fi, but it was just about teenagers with a few mentions of a space program? Nothing made sense and I disliked everyone. Think it's a case of me not being the intended audience or something, maybe it's me not the book, but good lord that was a chore.
Stealing Home - Sherryl Woods
ooh boy I was *not* a fan of this. I absolutely should have DNF'd but I'm a sucker for reading things so I can watch the show/movie. There is so much wrong with this book - with the double standards for men and women, the annoying teenagers, the women hating other women, the fat free nonsense, the lets throw in a random eating disorder but not actually deal with it, ughhhhhhhhhh. This book made me MAD. The show was cute though, if a bit cringey (what, I told you I was a sucker).
Take a Hint, Dani Brown - Talia Hibbert
I love Talia Hibbert. I could probably just end the review there, tbh. This was fabulous. I loved Dani, I loved Zaf. Loved them together. I loved how light and silly and hilarious this was. I loved how intense, heartbreaking and realistic it was. And steamy as all get out, of course. Who doesn't love a fake dating trope? Would read anything Talia Hibbert publishes.
The A.I. Who Loved Me - Alyssa Cole
I loved this. It was fun and different and I wish it was longer. I hope we get more like this. This was originally an audible exclusive, but I waited for the ebook because I prefer reading over listening when it comes to romance. It was very short so nice and quick, and I loved how unique it was. Made my cheeks hurt from smiling.
Loud Mouth - Avery Flynn
This was so much fun, quick and definitely starts with a bang (pun intended). I really love her writing, she's one of those authors that I know exactly what I'm getting and I love it - this one was no different. Very readable, enjoyable, silly and fun. Steamy and adorable too.
Not Like the Movies - Kerry Winfrey
This was really cute - I liked it more than the first (Tom Hanks), not that there was anything wrong with the first, just connected more with this one. I really liked Chloe, though not as selfless as her I related to her a lot. Nick just sounds absolutely amazing. It was fast paced, funny, adorable, written well. Really enjoyed it. Loved all the side characters, the chemistry between Chloe and Nick, the friendship between Chloe and Annie. It was fun and sweet, a delightful read. Definitely recommend, especially if you like rom-coms!
Received from Netgalley.
Mermaid Inn & Paradise Cove - Jenny Holiday
These were absolutely delightful. I love her writing, love the characters, the friendships and the relationships. Her books always feel really realistic to me, and they are super readable. Second chance isn't my favourite, but the first was well done - I preferred the second just because I liked the characters a bit more and the trope was way more my speed. Highly recommend both. Reminds me a lot of the Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis, if you're a fan of those books.
Received Paradise Cove from Netgalley.


Linking up with Steph & Jana

Life According to Steph

I also read So You Want to Talk About Race, White Fragility, Just Mercy, and Me and White Supremacy and none of those really need reviews, but I definitely recommend them if you're looking to educate yourself.

TL;DR - I recommend any and all of the above if they sound like your jam.

Read anything decent lately?