REREADING FAVORITES & SERIES: 2019 Reread Goals

Us book bloggers (okay, ME) always talk about books that we need to reread.

I am definitely someone who’s been working on her rereading over the past two years -yes, my TBR still scares me, but we’re working on our relationship. I intend to reread the following books  at some point this year, either for revisiting a favorite read or necessary for continuing a series.

FAVORITES REREADS

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Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Stay Sweet was the type of book I went in expecting to love and I thankfully did. Siobhan Vivian has become one of my favorite contemporary authors. I’m really hoping her next book comes out this year, but nevertheless, I want to revisit Stay Sweet to re-experience those ice cream and summertime feels.

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The Anna and the French Kiss trilogy by Stephanie Perkins: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, & Isla and the Happily Ever After

The Anna and the French Kiss trilogy is such a YA staple. I often reference these three book in Top Five Wednesday or recommendations posts, so I think it’s time to re-learn why I love this series so much.

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FINALS AND FANGIRL READS: April TBR

April showers means spending more time inside with ALL the books right? This April is going to be a very busy month for me academically and socially, as the spring semester of my third year of college comes to a close. Yes, I’m probably freaking out about this just as much as stressing out over the size of my TBR.

Anyway, despite my finals load this month, I’m definitely going to need some time to escape to reading! Just thinking about all the books I’ll be able to read once school is over makes me want to also plan out my May TBR!

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Bloodwitch (Witchlands #3) by Susan Dennard

I devoured Susan Dennard’s Truthwitch and Windwitch this winter, so I’m excited to move on to the latest installment in the Witchlands trilogy, Bloodwitch. While I’ve seen much love for this series’ novella, Sightwitch, I’ve decided to become a bit of a test subject and read Bloodwitch without having read the novella. What can I say, I’m too impatient to reunite with Safi, Iseult and co.!

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Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (reread)

After recently doing a mini reorganization of my book shelves, I’ve recently decided that I want to dedicate some time to rereading in 2019. I really want to remind myself why I consider certain books to be my favorites, like Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss. Your girl is of course in the mean for contemporary all the time. What better way to escape finals season then through a trip to Paris, featuring St.Clair)?

 

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IT’S A LOVE STORY: The Girl He Used to Know Review

36117813.jpgSummary (from the publisher): Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game—and his heart—to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Over the past few years, I’ve been finding myself reaching more and more for adult contemporary fiction, which led me to Tracey Garvis Graves’ upcoming release, The Girl He Used to Know. Readers who love Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid will really enjoy this sweet love story about college sweethearts, Annika and Jonathan.

The Girl He Used to Know flips between the couple’s senior year of college at the University of Illinois and their present, set ten years later. I often have a love-or-just like relationship with narratives that flip between time periods, but this style really worked for this book. I loved learning about Anna and Jonathan’s past and seeing how their history has affected their present. I admit that I enjoyed the college years a tad more than the present, mostly because I loved seeing their relationship bloom. I also loved the support of Annika’s best friend and roomie, Janice.

At its heart, The Girl He Used to Know is about Annika and Jonathan’s second chance at  first love. While Annika’s perspective takes up the majority of the chapters, I did enjoy Jonathan’s point of view as well. The book’s few romance scenes were the perfect balance of romance and relationship building, as this is Annika’s first real relationship.

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A FAVORITE BOOK & TV MONTH: March 2019 Wrap Up

I’ve read many good books so far this year, but I think March has been my favorite reading month in 2019. I was on spring break for the first week of the month, in which I devoured 5 books while crying over school assignments and binge-watching two seasons of a Netflix show. While I have been reading for fun during the semester, I just felt so much like my reading self during the break, devouring books left and right! I read a total of 10 books in March and did get to some “meaning to watch” TV and movies this month.

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Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill (ARC) | 4/5

I’m always ready for a World War II historical fiction read, including Stephanie Morrill’s Within These Lines. This book is really unique in the genre, as one of the main protagonist is sent away to a Japanese internment camp in the 1940s US.

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The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne (ARC) | 5/5

The Wrong Side of Right was a recent TBR addition that I’m so glad is now part of my recently read shelf. I consider myself a connoisseur of my local library’s YA section, so I don’t know how I haven’t read this 2015 release before!

Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale (ARC) | 5/5

Small Town Hearts is 100% the summer contemporary everyone needs in their bookish lives. This book still has me craving beach days with an iced coffee in tow.

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Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (ARC) | 5/5

My most anticipated book of 2019, Serious Moonlight completely delivered in all the right feels. Jenn Bennett is seriously the queen of contemporary romance. I still find myself thinking about Birdie and Daniel’s story.

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March Favorites & Book Haul

While I’ll sometimes discuss my book hauls and non-bookish favorites in my monthly wrap-ups, I wanted to use another space to discuss my favorites and the books I picked up in March. The books that I read and TV shows and movies that I watched in March will be in m wrap-up on Sunday.

Favorites 

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Anastasia on Broadway My college hosts about 1-2 Broadway trips every semester, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to attend at least one show! I had heard fairly positive things about Anastasia, based on the 1997 animated film,but I didn’t really have any expectations. In short, I enjoyed Anastasia so much! I particularly loved the set and costume design (so many jewels!) and I loved the music. I had forgotten that Cody Simpson played one of the lead roles, Dmitry, and I was honestly blown away by his

performance. I don’t really remember listening to his music growing up, but nonetheless, my pre-teen friends and I would probably have been screaming! My favorite songs are “Journey to the Past,” “Once Upon a December,” and “In a Crowd of Thousands.”

I’m really happy that I had the opportunity to see the show before it closes on March 31. My roommates are seeing The Prom (my school’s other spring Broadway trip that I really can’t miss class for) this week, so I’m excited to hear their thoughts.

Zoella x ColourPop Brunch Date 

Zoe Sugg of Zoella is my favorite non-bookish YouTuber, although I do love her collaborations with WHSmith and when she does discuss her reading life. Since her beauty and lifestyle ranges are less available here in the US than in the UK, I was beyond excited by her Brunch Date collaboration with ColourPop! One of my co-workers highly recommended ColourPop, so I was very excited to try their product collab with Zoella.

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Top Five Wednesday: From Liking to Loving Books

March is known for being “in like a lion, out like a lamb.” This monthly mantra can also be applied to some of the books we read!

I’m pretty good at picking up books that I know I’ll like before even reading, but there of course have been that have put my ‘book choosing’ to the test. Today’s Top Five Wednesday is all about books I was nervous about or wasn’t enjoying in the beginning, but by the end, I was so glad to have added them to my ‘read’ shelf.onetrueloves-e1502725198699.jpg

 

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid- I read One True Loves pre-The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo taking over the book community and becoming Taylor Jenkins Reids’ most recognized book. One True Loves actually remains to be my favorite TJR book! Even after almost two years of finishing it, it’s a story I can easily recall in my mind and I love its uniqueness (not to mention the fact that the protagonist and her family own a bookstore).

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman- Despite the massive amount of hype and positive, I almost DNF’ed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine around the seventy page mark. It took me quite a while to adjust to Eleanor and her narration, but this book is seriously worth sticking out those first seventy pages or so. By page 100, you’re completely sucked in to this heart-warming tearjerker.

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MY READER HEART: A Heart in a Body in the World Review

Summary: After everything has been taken from Annabelle, she’s decides that there is nothing else to do but run. Running from her hometown of Seattle all the way to Washington D.C., Anna begins to run and tries not to think about why. But no matter how hard she tries, she just can’t seem to escape the tragedy from the past year and the person who haunts her. Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and tracked by her self-appointed PR team (her two best friends and brother), Annabelle forms into a reluctant activist as people connect her with her past and trauma. Being welcomed with block parties and being cheered on by crowds as she crosses borders is nice, but Annabelle is unable to leave her guilt and shame behind. Through good and bad distractions, Annabelle is set on running to Washington D.C. and face her past and future.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

Deb Caletti’s A Heart in a Body in the World was featured on many 2018 favorites lists this past December. Between the hype and being the contemporary fan that I am, I knew I had to read this book following Annabelle’s run from Seattle and Washington D.C. after a devastating tragedy. A Heart in a Body in the World is a heart-breaking, yet impactful and current read with a fantastic cast and writing style.

A Heart in a Body in the World writing style differs from most YA contemporaries, told in the third person perspective. However, this did not prevent me from connecting with Annabelle and the other characters. From the novel’s start, Annabelle starts to run and makes the decision to run the entire 2,7000 miles to Washington D.C. The tragedy that causes Annabelle to run in the first place isn’t fully explained until the end, but Caletti does provide snippets of her past life and experiences with “The Taker.” This book is very much a feminist YA read addressing toxic masculinity, mental health, violence, and loss. I found myself near crying in both in the novel’s happy and sad moments. The moment when Annabelle crosses into Idaho especially got me.

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