Sunday, December 29, 2019

2020 New Year New Book Goals

Hey Reader Friends!  Happy almost new year! 

It's already the end of 2019, which, WHAT?!  But that means it's almost the 20's!

Anyway, let's talk about bookish goals.  I have a few things I'd like to accomplish in the new year.

1. I'm going to set my Goodreads goal at 100 books again - and in 2020 I am going to actually meet that goal!  2019 got away from me, and I did not hit my GR goal. 2020 is my year!

2. Get more active in my two favorite book groups on Facebook: The Booket List and Fiction Feud Society.

3. Post on my blog at least 3 times a week.

4. Interact more with fellow bloggers on their blogs, the twitter, etc.

If you are a reader, blogger, etc - what are your bookish goals for the new year? Talk to me in the comments and share your 2020 goals.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books on my Winter 2019/2020 To-Read List

Hi everyone - welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Top Ten Books on my Winter 2019/2020 To-Read List.

So, reader friends: Here are my top ten books that I am most excited to read this winter!

1. The Priory of the Orange Tree - Samantha Shannon
2. Seraphina - Rachel Hartman
3. Girls of Paper and Fire - Natasha Ngan
4. Kingdom of the Rising Phoenix - Julie C. Dao
5. War Girls - Tochi Onyebuchi
6. The Starless Sea - Erin Morgenstern
7. Empress of All Seasons - Emiko Jean
8. Shit It - Britta Lundin
9. Zombie Abbey -  Lauren Baratz-Logsted
10. Winterwood - Shea Ernsted


 Your turn, reader friends - what books are you most excited to read this winter? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Dating Profile Friday - Jason Voorhees

Name: Jason Voorhees
Hobbies: Murder, stalking people, wielding my machete.

Likes: Mass murder, machetes
Dislikes: Drowning, people

About Me: I am pretty much invincible. I can go all night long. I enjoy being up at night because that's when I find other people are more vulnerable.  I enjoy long stalks through the woods and occasionally small cities and towns. I spend my free time cleaning and sharpening my machete. If you are down to hang with someone who has a dark sense of humor and lots of toys, let's get together sometime. You can find me in my darkened basement playing with all my toys.  Email me - let's talk:

Friday, December 6, 2019

Dating Profile Friday - Gimli

Name: Gimli
Likes: Charging orcs and killing them with my ax.
Dislikes: Elves.  Legolas is acceptable. The rest are fiends.

About Me: I was heavily involved in the fellowship and assisting Frodo with returning the one ring to Mordor. I have killed many people and befriended many more. I enjoy pints of beer as much as the next dwarf and would happily entertain the idea of having a partner who likes pillaging as much as I.  You may find me among the Glittering Caves. I look forward to our meeting. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Bookworm Crush - Lisa Brown Roberts

Title: The Bookworm Crush
Author: Lisa Brown Roberts
Format: Paperback
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Shy bookworm Amy McIntyre is about to compete for the chance to interview her favorite author, who hasn't spoken to the press in years. The only way to win is to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight, but that level of confidence has never come easy.
The solution? A competition coach. The problem? The best person for the job is the guy she's secretly crushing on...local surfer celebrity Toff Nichols.
He’s a player. He’s a heartthrob. He makes her forget basic things, like how to breathe. How can she feel any confidence around him?
To her surprise, Toff agrees to help. And he’s an excellent teacher. Amy feels braver—maybe even brave enough to admit her feelings for him. When their late night practices become less about coaching and more about making out, Amy’s newfound confidence wavers.
But does Toff really like her or is this just another lesson?

I picked this book up after hearing so many people in the bookish community rave about it.  I thought "Hey, a book about someone who loves to read and has their own book blog! Awesome!"

What I got into felt more like a steaming pile of meh.

This book certainly had a cute premise - a shy bookworm enters a contest and has to increase her social media following to have a chance to win, and in the process gets a chance to hang with someone she has a crush on while he coaches her to be more outgoing and get more followers.  What we have is a book that isn't as well written as it could be and, to me, has some content that probably shouldn't be in a book marketed towards young adults.  I mean, look, I know teens can handle a lot.  They are smart and capable, and many times they read books for adults as well.  That doesn't mean that they should have content in their books that is much more mature than they are.

I did like the relationship between Amy and her brother - I think the author caught the sibling relationship very well.  I also really liked that the parents were present and active in their kids lives in this book. I've noticed a lot of books lately that have absent parents in books - and to that I say, just because teens are getting older doesn't mean they don't need their parents!

I also really loved that even though Amy had this huge crush on Toff she didn't just give up her friendship with Viv once Amy and Toff started spending more time together, and "dating"/dating.  Too often people get caught up in romantic relationships and leave their friendships at the side.

So far you're probably thinking - okay you loved some of the relationships, so what didn't you like.

Well, see first long paragraph above, dear reader friends! 

In addition, I felt like Toff was too selfish and didn't really care about anyone by himself.  I know teens can be very focused on themselves - it's the way their brain chemistry works.  BUT, even teens can learn how to focus on others more and develop a sense of awareness about people other than themselves - especially older teens. 

I also felt like the writing was subpar, even for a YA book. I've said it before and I'll say it again - teenagers are smart, so write books that treat them as smart! 

I think the relationship between Amy and Toff was a bit forced. I personally felt like they didn't really have enough in common or enough chemistry with each other to really have a romantic relationship.  Thinking someone looks good is not enough of a reason to have a romantic relationship with them.


Okay reader friends - I am curious to know what you thought of this book. If you've read it, drop a comment down below! 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Holiday Book Recommendations

Hi reader friends!  It's that time of year when a lot of people are celebrating holidays where they like to give people presents.  So, if you have someone you know who likes to read, here are some book recommendations that may help you find something they will love!  (This list can be handy for birthdays and other events as well!)

* When Dimple Met Rishi - Sandhya Menon
* From Twinkle, With Love - Sandhya Menon
* There's Something About Sweetie - Sandhya Menon
* I Believe in A Thing Called Love - Maurene Goo
* The Way You Make Me Feel - Maurene Goo
* Somewhere Only We Know - Maurene Goo
* Listen to Your Heart - Kasie West
* Lucky In Love - Kasie West
* Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli
* The Upside of Unrequited - Becky Albertalli
* They Both Die At the End - Adam Silvera

* Coraline - Neil Gaiman
* The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
* The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
* The Evolution of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
* The Retribution of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
* Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo
* Siege and Storm - Leigh Bardugo
* Ruin and Rising - Leigh Bardugo
* Six Of Crows - Leigh Bardugo
* Crooked Kingdom - Leigh Bardugo
* Truthwitch - Ssusan Dennard
* Windwitch - Susan Dennard
* Bloodwitch - Susan Dennard
* The Young Elites - Marie Lu
* The Rose Society - Marie Lu
* The Midnight Society - Marie Lu
* Legend - Marie Lu
* Prodigy - Marie Lu
* Champion - Marie Lu
* Divergent - Veronica Roth
* Insergent - Veronica Roth
* Cinder - Marissa Meyer
* Cress - Marissa Meyer
* Scarlet - Marissa Meyer
* Winter - Marissa Meyer
* The Maze Runner - James Dashner
* The Scorch Trials - James Dashner
* The Death Cure - James Dashner
* Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs
* Hollow City - Ransom Riggs
* Library of Souls - Ransom Riggs
* The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman
* The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman
* The Amber Spy Glass - Phillip Pullman

* Warcross - Marie Lu
* Wildcard - Marie Lu
* The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
* The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
* Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

* The Lightening Thief - Rick Riordan
* The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan
* The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
* The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
* The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
* The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan
* The Son of Neptune - Rick Riordan -Rick Riordan
* The Mark of Athena - Rick Riordan - Rick Riordan
* The House of Hades - Rick Riordan - Rick Riordan
* The Blood of Olympus - Rick Riordan - Rick Riordan
* The Lightening Thief Graphic Novel - Rick Riordan
* The Red Pyramid Graphic Novel - Rick Riordan
* The Sea of Monsters Graphic Novel - Rick Riordan
* The Titan's Curse Graphic Novel -Rick Riordan
* The List Hero Graphic Novel - Rick Riordan
* The Throne of Fire Graphic Novel - Rick Riordan
* The Son of Neptune Graphic Novel - Rick Riordan
* The Serpent's Shadow Graphic Novel - Rick Riordan
* The Sons of Sobek - Rick Riordan
* The Staff of Serapis - Rick Riordan
* The Crown of Ptolemy - Rick Riordan
* The Sword of Summer - Rick Riordan
* The Hammer of Thor -Rick Riordan
* The Ship of the Dead - Rick Riordan
* The Hidden Oracle - Rick Riordan
* The Dark Prophecy - Rick Riordan
* The Burning Maze - Rick Riordan
* The Tyrant's Tomb - Rick Riordan
* The Tower of Nero - Rick Riordan
* The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
* The Throne of Fire -Rick Riordan
* The Serpent's Shadow - Rick Riordan

* Midnight for Charlie Bone - Jenny Nimmo
* The Time Twister - Jenny Nimmo
* The Blue Boa - Jenny Nmmo
* Charlie Bone and the Hidden King
* Charlie Bone and the Wilderness Wolf - Jenny Nimmo
* Charlie Bone and the Shadow of Badlock - Jenny Nimmo
* Charlie Bone and the Red Knight - Jenny Nimmo

* The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket
* The Reptile Room - Lemony Snicket
* The Wide Window - Lemony Snicket
* The Miserable Mill - Lemony Snicket
* The Austere Academy - Lemony Snicket
* The Ersatz Elevator - Lemony Snicket
* The Vile Village - Lemony Snicket
* The Hostile Hospital - Lemony Snicket
* The Carnivorous Carnival - Lemony Snicket
* The Slippery Slope - Lemony Snicket
* The Grim Grotto - Lemony Snicket
* The Penultimate Peril - Lemony Snicket
* The End - Lemony Snicket

* American Gods - Neil Gaiman
* Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan Mcguire
* Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire
* Beneath the Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire
* In An Absent Dream - Seanan McGuire

Friday, November 22, 2019

Over the Top - Jonathan Van Ness

Title: Over the Top
Author: Jonathan Van Ness
Format: Hardcover

Who gave Jonathan Van Ness permission to be the radiant human he is today? No one, honey.

The truth is, it hasn't always been gorgeous for this beacon of positivity and joy.

Before he stole our hearts as the grooming and self-care expert on Netflix's hit show Queer Eye, Jonathan was growing up in a small Midwestern town that didn't understand why he was so…over the top. From choreographed carpet figure skating routines to the unavoidable fact that he was Just. So. Gay., Jonathan was an easy target and endured years of judgement, ridicule and trauma—yet none of it crushed his uniquely effervescent spirit.

Over the Top uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw, and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen. JVN fans may think they know the man behind the stiletto heels, the crop tops, and the iconic sayings, but there's much more to him than meets the Queer Eye.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll come away knowing that no matter how broken or lost you may be, you're a Kelly Clarkson song, you're strong, and you've got this.

You'll notice I did not give this book a rating. Well.  Look - I adore JVN. I think he is one wonderful classy dude.  And I loved most of this book.  BUT, I feel like it is so hard to rate someone's memoir - I mean how the hell do you rate a story about somebody's life?! 

So, let's just say I loved JVN's story, and even though parts of this book were a bit clunky, I think it's good that he had the guts to share a part of his life that people are still very judgmental about. (I mean come on, it's 2019 - can we, for the love of all that is good in this world, stop treating people like crap just because they have HIV?!)

Anyway - if you've every watched the Queer Eye show on the Netflix you already know who Jonathan Van Ness is.  His fabulousness just sort of explodes any time he is talking with people about their hair and skin care stuff. 

But Honesty Time: I felt like JVN did use humor as way to avoid actually going to deep into his life in some places.  Like when he was talking about his childhood - and getting just to the edge of what it was like growing up in a small midwest town as a gay person, and he'd make hints about that, but stop before actually delving too deep into what that was like.

I think the biggest thing (that was pointed out in another review I read as well) is that JVN is not a writer - and this felt like he was just taking the way he would talk and putting it on paper without much change.  It made the book feel like I was being talked to by some random person about JVN's life, instead of actually having this well written story about his life.  I know it takes a lot of strength and guts to share your life with someone - especially, like I said, in a society that still strongly judges people (and especially gay men) who are HIV+.  But I felt like a good editor could have really helped JVN make this book not just a story but a really well written book.

So: Long story short: I adore JVN, and I liked his book and learning more about him. But the book itself could have been better edited and more well written.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Pumpkin Heads - Rainbow Rowell and Faith Hicks

Title: Pumpkin Heads
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks
Format: Paperback
Rating: 3.5 Stars


Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure? 


I've enjoyed a couple of books by Rainbow Rowell. However, this one was just fair reading to me.  It wasn't my favorite book by her - though it certainly had it's merits.

Faith Hicks art throughout the book was lovely and well done.  I really enjoyed seeing her work throughout this book.

The dialogue was good, and the banter between the friends felt real. I appreciated that even though Deja and Josiah only saw each other 2 months out of the year, they still had this great friendship with each other. Friends don't need to see each other every day to still have a good relationship with each other.

I thought it was a little odd that they would be able to just leave their post at work and run around the entire evening without getting reprimanded.  I mean, sure - it's their last night and they are teenagers who want to have fun. But when you're at work, you should be doing your job?  You can still find a way to have fun without just abandoning your job.

The theme for the book was super cute. I liked how fallish it is - Autumn is the perfect season after all!  Fight me - I dare you.

Since this book was so short (in the sense that it only took place over the course of a few hours) there wasn't really room for much character development. That being said, it *was* nice to see that Josiah had the chance to meet his crush - the fudge stand girl - and realize that she wasn't really his type after all.  I won't say anything more than that, because you should find out how cute the ending is on  your own.

Overall, this was a perfectly cute fall read. If you like graphic novels, and Rainbow Rowell, you'll likely enjoy this book.

If you have already read this book, let me know what you thought of it in the comments!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Brightly Burning - Alexa Donne

Title: Brightly Burning
Author: Alexa Donne
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 2 Stars

Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind.

But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.
SPOILER ALERT: This review has spoilers, so, I guess don't read the review until later if you don't like spoilers. 

I started out really enjoying this book. By the time I finished, I felt like I had just trudged through 50000 pounds of quicksand AND the fire swamp from The Princess Bride AND the bog of eternal stench from Labyrinth.

This book is a futuristic retelling of Jane Eyre.  Cool, right?  Well, turns out, not so much.

The book has things you'd expect in a retelling of Jane Eyre - hauntings, a young nanny, a brooding alcoholic 19 year old.  Wait, did I jut say brooding alcoholic 19 year old? Yes, yes I did - because that's how old Hugo Fairfax, the captain of the Rochester, is. He became the captain of the ship at 14 after his parents died, because obviously a 14 year old is mature and capable enough to be the captain of a ship.

Anyway, let's break this book down.

The Characters: were about as well written and well developed as a bag of bricks.  They were all flat and uninteresting.  There was nothing about any of the characters that I found to be special or that made them stand out to me.  They were stock characters with limited traits, and they had limited growth throughout the book.

The plot was predictable and boring. There wasn't really much of a surprise as to what would happen, and there were too many things that felt forced, like they were added to the story just for the sake of being there, and not for any real purpose. 

I found it unrealistic that the *only* books they would read were books from at least 200 years in the past or older.  Now, I like me a good classic - I love classics.  But, I love modern books as well.  However, this book only mentioned books like Harry Potter, all the way back to books that are classics in our current time of 2019.  They did not mention any new books that people might enjoy during their time period.  That didn't feel very well planned out to me. People read classics, yes, and classics are important, but to me it just isn't realistic that these are the only books people would read. 

I thought a few things were a little unrealistic - like the fact that people in this society suddenly only usually live to be around 35, maybe 40. (Unless you are a worker on the Rochester. Then apparently you live past middle age.) I would think that in such an advanced time period they would have found a way for people to live for more time, not less, but that's just me.  Also, what's with treating a bunch of teenagers like they are old maids if they are not married off by the time they are 18!?! As if a person's entire identity is tied up in whether or not they are married?  People are more important than that, and shouldn't be treated like the only thing that matters is landing a spouse. 

Overall, this book ended up being a bit of a dud for me - read it if you want, but don't go into it with high expectations

Okay, reader friends - have you read this book?  If so, tell me what you thought of it in the comments below! 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Nanowrimo - Some Musical Inspiration

Hi reader friends! 

This post is not at all related to reading, but it is related to books so it still counts right?! 


I DECIDED TO DO NANOWRIMO! (at the very, very last minute.)  I've had a project idea rolling around in my head for a while, and lately I haven't been feeling very motivated to write.  So, I thought I would do Nano again, and give my writing slump a kick in the butt. 

So: Some years I am super motivated to do NanoWrimo, and some years I don't even think about it.  So I have been around the nano community for years, but haven't completed many projects.  This year I am going to go all the way!  The point is, since the last time I did Nano, things have changed around their site a bit, they've added features, they've changed things up a bit.  Which is cool.  One thing they give you an option to do is add a playlist for your book!  And I thought - Hey, Awesome!  I love music.

So, here are some songs that my character (and myself....) would love!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

TBR Time

Hi reader friends!  I thought I would take time to show you the books on my TBR right now.  Loose TBR - you know how it is with books: I have one I am currently reading (and loving), but we'll see how I feel when I really start getting into the rest of them.

(Also, for some of these books, it seemed totally appropriate to show off the mug I won in the Supernatural room at Fargo CoreCon earlier this year!  Totally awesome, right?)

Currently Reading:

Coming Up Next:

Okay, reader friends - your turn. What's on your TBR right now?  Share some books with me down in the comments.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Book Blog Post Ideas

Good day reader friends!  If you are a book blogger. chances are, at some point you've found yourself wondering what the heck to post about.

So, I've put together this lovely post full of idea you can use any time you're searching for ideas and just don't know what to do!

(And yeah, like these are geared towards bloggers, since I am a blogger as well - but they'll also work for booktubers if that's what you do!)

Anytime Of The Year
* Get to Know Me Posts - Perfect for new blogger
* Book Hauls
* Library Book Hauls 
* Kiss, Marry, Kill 
* Monthly Wrap-Up Posts
* If you liked ________, Try _____________!
* Who are your favorite fictional characters?
* Bookish giveaways
* Soundtrack Posts - which songs would it really well with whichever book you are reading?
* Favorite reading positions
* Favorite bookish snacks
* Bookshelf Tours
* Book Club Book Ideas
* Favorite Book Quotes
* Favorite fictional characters (can be series specific, or random based on any characters you really love)

Weekly Memes:
* Mailbox Monday: Hosted By Mailbox Monday, this weekly meme gives you the chance to talk about books you've gotten in the mail over the past week
* Top Ten Tuesday: Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, this weekly meme gives you a chance to post your top ten books based on a certain topic. 
*Can't Wait Wednesday: Hosted by Wishful Endings, this weekly meme gives you a chance to talk about upcoming book releases that you just can't wait to read! 

* Beginning of the Year Book Haul
* Books You are most looking forward to reading in the new year
* January 2 is Science Fiction day: Write about your favorite science fiction books

* Favorite Romance Books 
* Favorite Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends/Theyfriends
* A couple days in February have been named "food themed holidays." What are you favorite books that revolve around food?

* Mid Year Book Wrap Up
* New book releases you are most looking forward to for the rest of the year
* Summer Reads you are most excited about!

* Favorite Summer Romances

* Favorite books about school, that feature school, etc

* Favorite horror books
* Favorite Halloween-ish/Scary Characters  

* Books/Authors you are especially thankful for

* Books you are hoping to get as holiday gifts
* End of the year wrap-up
* Favorite books featuring a December Holiday (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or others)

Okay, reader friends - now it's your turn!  If you have any other ideas your fellow book bloggers can use on their blogs, post some ideas in the comments below. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Doll Bones - Holly Black

Title: Doll Bones
Author: Holly Black
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 2 Stars


Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice.

But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . . 

Zach, Poppy, and Alice are three kids who have been friends their entire childhood.  They have played a game of piracy and adventure for years.  Then Zach's dad gets angry, tells Zach that, at 12 years old, Zach is "too old to be playing these games," that it's time for Zach to grow up, and then he throws away Zach's action figures.  Keep in mind that Zach is 12 YEARS OLD!

Ok, so this leads Zach to shutting himself off from his friends - oh no, wait, just Poppy.  He still thinks Alice is the shit and wants to hang with her.  But Poppy and her friendship and the insistence on playing the game are just too much for him.

So, after a few days, Poppy says that the Queen, this bone china doll in her home, has been sending her dreams that the person she was created from needs to be buried and given a proper funeral so she can stop haunting people.  This leads to Alice, Poppy, and Zach leaving their home at like 2 in the morning to go running off on a bus to some town hours away to bury a doll.  And they are 12 YEARS OLD!

Anyway, rambling about the fact that they are 12 aside, let's talk about what I thought.

I wish that Poppy would have been the main protagonist.  She drove the story, but Zach was the narrator.  Everything they did in the story revolved around Poppy, though, and she was the one who made everything they did happen.  She should have been the narrator.

The romance in this story was small, but it was there, and it was completely unnecessary.  About 3/4 of the way through the book, Zach suddenly decides out of nowhere that he wants to go on a date with Alice, who's wanted to date him for a while, and again I feel I must point out THEY ARE 12. This little snippet did nothing for the story and plot and the nothing would have been different in this book had the romance not been there.

I found it hard to believe that these kids just took off and nobody was looking for them while they were running around god knows where trying to bury a doll in some cemetery in East Liverpool.  Don't you think there parents would have had people searching for them?!

The ending, to me, was just a bit too convenient and wrapped up a bit too nicely.  Poppy and Zach spent a lot of the books fighting - I still don't really know why, but from what I gather it was just because Zach was annoyed that she wanted to play the game, and even though he did too he pretended he didn't because his dad threw away his toys.... So, like he was sort of just annoyed with his dad and taking it out on Poppy.  Anyway - the ending!  THE ENDING!  It was just off to me.  They get to this graveyard after sneaking out of the library (where a librarian conveniently showed up on her day off and forced the kids to call their parents.)  So, anyway, they are out of the library, they find THE GRAVEYARD they've been looking for.  And in a span of just a few pages, they bury the doll, their parents show up and DON'T SAY A DAMN THING TO THEM, and everything between Poppy and Zach is wrapped up nicely by the simple act of burying a doll.  In fact, one of the things that happens on the last page is one of them asking the other "Wanna play?" And the other agreeing.  Like no talk about all their tension, all their anger towards each other, nothing.  I mean, it's been a long time since I was 12, but I just think there would have been more talk about them being mad - I don't know that they would have gotten over it that quickly.

Anyway, this book ended up being a bit more of a dud for me than I thought it would be. If you've read it, let me know what you thought in the comments!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Dating Profile Friday - Arya Stark

Name: Arya Stark

Likes: Sharpening Needle, tormenting Sansa, Becoming a Faceless Woman
Dislikes: Joffrey Lannister, Whoever killed Nymeria

About Me: When I first started learning the art of combat, nobody believed I could become a good fighter.  I proved them wrong, and showed them that a lady can do anything. I have killed, but only when necessary, and would do anything to save Winterfell from outsiders.

I plan to take over the world, lead the charge against any living Lannister, and become a powerful queen. If that doesn't intimidate you, you can find me at Winterfell. I'll be creating a plan for the Stark's to rule everything.

If you've created your own fake dating profiles for fictional characters, I'd love to see them. Drop a link in the comments.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark - Alvin Schwartz

Title: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Author: Alvin Schwartz
Illustrator: Brett Helquist
Format: Paperback
Rating: 3 Stars

This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz's popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright. There is a story here for everyone -- skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney. Stephen Gammell's splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories -- and even scary songs -- all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark.If You Dare!

When originally published, the illustrations were done by Stephen Gammell, but the version I read had updated illustrations by Brett Helquist - also known as the guy who illustrated the Series of Unfortunate Events books.  Just thought I'd put that out there.

I read this as a group read with a facebook group I am in (The Booket List - come check them out if you're in the mood to join a really fun great book group!)

So, you can imagine that these stories are about as scary as a hangnail for grownups.  If you read the book as an adult, you are probably not going to be scared.  That being said - this was a fun and quick book to read.   The stories are fun and at some points even funny.  Yes, I said it - I laughed at some of these stories.  But I am 38, and was reading this book for fun and not really expecting to be scared.  

If you have kids who love to be scared and who love a good spooky story, this would be a great book to read with them!  

There is literally no character development here, and no plot to anything because these stories are all less then 5 pages.  So don't go into this thinking you're going to be reading some deep stories here, because you're not.  Just go into this with the expectation of having some (rather cheesy) fun.  While you're at it, use this as an opportunity to be like me and try to scare some kids you love.  (IF you feel they can handle it.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Extraordinary Book Titles

Hi everyone - Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday - a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This weeks topic is Extraordinary Book Titles. The titles I've picked are either books I've read and loved, or books that I have on my TBR that I am super super excited to read.

1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
2. All The Light we Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
4. Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix - Julie C. Dao
5. 100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
6. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
7. The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
8. Between Shades of Grey - Ruta Sepetys
9. The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World - Amy Reed
10. The Gulag Archipelago - Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn

Your turn reader friends - what book titles do you just absolutely love?  Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman

Title: The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

The Rules of Magic is a prequel to the book Practical Magic, and follows the stories of Jet, Frannie, and their brother Vincent while they are young.

This novel had many magical aspects that made it very enchanting and fun to follow.   There was one thing that happened near the beginning of the novel that nearly made me stop reading though. One of the characters has this trait of being irresistible to others romantically.  So many people are attracted to him,  and one of his aunts neighbors uses that to her advantage and does stuff with him that no adult should ever do with a 14 year old child.  The authorities have used this as a chance to speak out against rape and sexual abuse against minors, but she didn't.  She should have because iny mind there is no reason a grown ass adult should ever be doing that with a child.  A leaning opportunity was sorely missed.

All that being said,  there were many things I did enjoy about this book.  I feel that the way the siblings learned about their magic in their own ways was good.  Their learning about who they are and coming of age as witches was well developed.

There were many different layers to this story - the side characters, the interactions between those characters and the main characters, the way we learned about the main characters and what they liked, and what they were like when they were young and as they got older.  The story is just filled with so much stuff that adds depth to this story and really makes you want to finish reading it.

I liked that this book had different settings and that the kids traveled and spent time at their aunt's house as well - I think having the story split between NYC and their aunt's house was good for the development of this story because it gives readers the chance to see what they kids are like in their home and in a different place.

Overall, I don't know that I would read this again, but it was a decent book and if you like magical realism you will probably enjoy this book.

Monday, October 7, 2019

My Zombie Apocalypse Team

Hey reader friends!  HAPPY OCTOBER!

Today, I am bringing you Literary Characters that would be on my Zombie Apocalypse team!  This post idea came from a list of prompts by Kelly over at Another Book In The Wall!

1. Tom Imura - Rot and Ruin Series.  If you've read these books, you know what happens to Tom.  That being said, I'd still have him on my team to fight the zombies.

2. Mad Eye Moody - Ok, so we all know Mad-Eye is, well, mad.  BUT, let's face it - having one of the best auror's ever on your side?  SO WORTH IT.

3. Baghra - sure, she was, you know, the Darkling's mother. But she's one bad ass lady, and she'd kill some zombies like it's going out of style.

4. Nina Zenik - I don't think I need to go into the details.  She kicks ass, and she has to help kill all the zombies.

5. Inej Ghafa - the baddest badass of all badass ladies - she'd be killing zombies before we could even know what was going on.

Ok, reader friends - your turn. If you had to pick some literary characters to be on your zombie apocalypse team, who would you pick?

Friday, October 4, 2019

Dating Profile Friday - Harry Potter

Name: Harry Potter
Education: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Job: Auror
Status: Divorced

Likes: Quidditch, brooms.
Dislikes: Haters, the Malfoys

About Me: I was a student at Hogwarts and though I didn't complete my NEWT's, I have gone on to become a successful auror with the Ministry of Magic.  I married my school sweetheart, and that didn't work out well, so now I am seeking one that I truly can spend the rest of my life with. I killed the worst dark wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort. I guess you could say I'm still pretty amazing. 

If you send an owl, they'll always know where to find me, even when I'm traveling for work. 


If you've created your own dating profile for a character, post your link in the comments below - I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Can't-Wait Wednesday

Hi everyone - welcome to Can't Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings.

Now, you'll have to forgive me, because 2 of the books on my list have already been released (SHOCK AND AWE!) But to be fair, they were released yesterday, and it might be a while before I get to them because my TBR is HUGE!

The third book I am super super excited for right now is a romance by one of my FAVORITE YA authors -

I have to sit on my hands and wait because this book isn't being released until February 18, 2020!  But I am SO EXCITED. 

Your turn reader friends.  What upcoming books are you really excited to read right now?

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Books On My Fall 2019 TBR

Hi y'all - welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday.  Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. 

This weeks topic is: Books On My Fall 2019 TBR

Some of the books on my list are older books that I've been meaning to read for a while - and I am determined to get through them this year!  

Some of them are still older books that are in a series that I really want to finish!

And books I want to read but don't have pictures of right now: 

1. Artemis Fowl
2.Artemis Fowl - The Arctic Incident 
3. Artemis Fowl - The Eternity Code
4. Artemis Fowl - The Opal Deception
5. Artemis Fowl - The Lost Colony 
6. Artemis Fowl - The Time Paradox
7. Artemis Fowl - The Atlantis Complex
8. Artemis Fowl - The Last Guardian