Friday, July 3, 2015

Weekly Rewind 7.4.15

Friday, July 3, 2015 11:50 PM with No comments
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Weekly Rewind
The new books on my shelves and my week in a nutshell.




Since I started this blog I've participated in Stacking the Shelves, which is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and I'm going to continue linking to that meme. Throughout my student teaching semester I was using my weekend post as a way to let people know what's going on in my life, so I've decided to rename my weekend post because this feature is more personal than just what books I've received. The Weekly Rewind will be about what's going on with me and my blog, as well as about the books I've added to my shelves.


My Life and Blog

Life: This is going to be super quick because I'm getting ready to go out to dinner for my 10th year wedding anniversary. I can't believe I've been married for a decade! Ofcourse, my husband and I have actually been together for eighteen years, so it's all relative. 

On the job front I had a job interview yesterday. I won't hear back about it until next week, but I wasn't getting the: you're the one vibe from my interviewers, so...It is what it is. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed, but like I said last week, it is looking like I will be heading back down to FL for another year. We're not happy about it, but it could be worse. Again, I really do like the school, administration, and staff, and I'm incredibly thankful to have a job. 

New books: Not a whole lot this week on the review which is good because I'm sooooo behind. I did buy a couple of books I've been dying to read and snagged a couple from the library I'm really excited about, too. So without further adieu, I hope you are all having fabulous weekends! Also, Happy 4th of July!!!

For Review

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Armada by Ernest Cline
Gamers on called on to be heroes when aliens attack (isn't that the premise of the movie Pixels coming out in a couple of weeks, too?). I'm so excited to read this one.  
Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams
A girl is on the run in the wilderness after escaping her serial killer captor. Sounds exciting.
No Such Person by Caroline Cooney
I'm not exactly sure what this one is about except that it follows two sisters and is being described as "twisty."

What I bought




Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson
I've heard great things about this and the sequel comes out in a few days, so...
Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
I can't believe I haven't read this yet. I love feminist fiction! 

What I snagged from the library

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Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
I love Aziz Ansari and think that it's awesome that he wrote a smart, funny, useful piece of non-fiction instead of the usual comedic memoir. I'm also very happy that I found love before the time of Tinder, smart phones, and Facebook. I'm about 1/3 of the way through this and it is truly interesting. 
Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
This looks cute and fluffy which I was in the mood for when I snagged it.

Well that's it for me this week. Feel free to leave a link to whatever weekend post you do (Stacking the Shelves, In My Mailbox, etc). I love to see what books people have recently snagged and especially enjoy hearing about my fellow bloggers' weeks. I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.


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The Mystery of Hollow Places

Author: Rebecca Podos
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 26, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:


All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It's the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn't come back. Neither Imogene's stepmother nor the police know where he could've gone, but Imogene is convinced he's looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she's gleaned from a lifetime of her father's books to track down a woman she's never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she's carried with her for her entire life.

Rebecca Podos' debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us - the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.


Why I'm Excited:
I love a good mystery, and this one sounds really interesting. I love that her dad writes medical mysteries and am curious to find out what happened to her mother...and her father. Will definitely be keeping my eye open for this one. 

What are you waiting for on this Wednesday? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Weekly Rewind 6.27.15

Friday, June 26, 2015 10:51 PM with 12 comments
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Weekly Rewind
The new books on my shelves and my week in a nutshell.




Since I started this blog I've participated in Stacking the Shelves, which is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and I'm going to continue linking to that meme. Throughout my student teaching semester I was using my weekend post as a way to let people know what's going on in my life, so I've decided to rename my weekend post because this feature is more personal than just what books I've received. The Weekly Rewind will be about what's going on with me and my blog, as well as about the books I've added to my shelves.


My Life and Blog

Life: While my plan was to put more time in on the blog over the summer, that hasn't really happened yet. While I am reading, the only book I finished this week was a reread of To All the Boys I've Loved Before--a book I've already reviewed on this blog. Lol. I still have 6 weeks at home (at least), so hopefully I'll get some posts out in the next month or so. 

The job search is still not going as hoped. I did have an interview this week, but didn't hear back from them regarding the second round...which means I didn't make the cut. I'm not giving up hope as I still have resumes/applications out to schools whose deadlines were very recent--or haven't even passed yet, but it is looking more and more likely that I will be heading back to FL for another year. During the coming school year, if I am in FL, I plan to study up on passing a couple of PRAXIS tests to add a certification or two. Anything I can do to make myself more attractive to the powers that be. *Sigh* Keep those fingers crossed for me! Hopefully something in PA will pan out very soon.

Being home is awesome. There are days, like yesterday, where I've just laid around watching movies and reading, but I've also been seeing my friends and doing fun things. My husband and I are catching a baseball game tonight with my old cooperating teacher and his wife. Tomorrow I'm going out to lunch with one of my best friends. Hubs and I are looking at taking a tropical vacation at the end of July to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. Things are good...and I'm sure the job thing will work itself out. 

New Books: I have a pile to show you. So without further adieu, I hope you are all having fabulous weekends!

For Review

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From the moment I saw this cover, I've been wanting to read this book. I'm a little worried by some early reviews, but am keeping an open mind. 
Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
I have yet to read a book by this author (even though this is the second-or third-book I've gotten for review...oops). This one looks really cute. About a girl and a country music star.
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This chick-lit novel sounds very Sliding Doors-ish, but I loved Sliding Doors, so. 
The Woman Who Stole My Life  by Marian Keyes
New Marian Keyes!
Paperweight by Meg Haston
A girl trapped in a rehab facility for eating disorders is planning her suicide for the anniversary of her brother's death...sounds pretty heavy, but I love that cover. 
Don't Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom
A girl who wants to be a writer realizes she hasn't lived the type of life a good writer should.
A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery
After her twin sister dies, a girl pretends to be her when she finds she can't tell her dead sister's deployed boyfriend. Sounds like a hot mess, but it's getting some positive reviews.
The Hand that Feeds You by A.J. Rich
After her dogs maul her boyfriend to death, a woman finds out he isn't exactly who she thought he was. This sounds intriguing.

What I snagged from the library

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Books:
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
I'm so excited to finally read this. I started it a couple of weeks ago before realizing I definitely needed to reread the first book first. My book memory is so bad!
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
I've heard nothing but love, love, love for this one.
Split Second by Kasie West
Why haven't I read this yet? I don't know. I have no explanation. I seriously even reread the first book right before this came out over a year ago to prepare...
Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow
For years writer/director/producer Judd Apatow has been conducting interviews with the comedians he surrounds himself with and now they are all compiled in this book.
Books on CD:
The Diviners by Libba Bray
I have to reread this before diving into Lair of Dreams, but I don't actually want to reread it. Audio to the rescue. 
Movies:
Kingsmen starring Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson
I watch this yesterday. It was pretty good...violent. 
Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson 
Finally! I've been dying to watch this movie. 

Well that's it for me this week. Feel free to leave a link to whatever weekend post you do (Stacking the Shelves, In My Mailbox, etc). I love to see what books people have recently snagged and especially enjoy hearing about my fellow bloggers' weeks. I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (104) Down with the Shine

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 11:33 PM with 9 comments
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.


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Down With the Shine

Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 26, 2016



There's a reason they say "be careful what you wish for." Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for "balls of steel" and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.


These are things Lennie only learns when it's too late-after she brings some of her uncles' moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn't mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles' moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their "important family legacy," she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can't be unmade...


Why I'm Excited:
This sounds hilarious and original. I love the idea of magic moonshine and the wishes--especially for her friend--sound messy. I've never read anything by this author, although I do own Another Little Piece and have been meaning to read it for forever. Anybody read that one? Regardless, I'm definitely keeping my eye out for this one.

What are you waiting for on this Wednesday? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Weekly Rewind 6.20.15

Friday, June 19, 2015 3:38 PM with 15 comments

Image result for natflixandbooks



Weekly Rewind
The new books on my shelves and my week in a nutshell.




Since I started this blog I've participated in Stacking the Shelves, which is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and I'm going to continue linking to that meme. Throughout my student teaching semester I was using my weekend post as a way to let people know what's going on in my life, so I've decided to rename my weekend post because this feature is more personal than just what books I've received. The Weekly Rewind will be about what's going on with me and my blog, as well as about the books I've added to my shelves.



My Life and Blog 

Life: So I'm home for at least the summer which is awesome. It is so nice to be around my husband and cats and friends and just live my life. The job search is not going the way I'd hoped. I've only had one interview (yes, it's only been a couple of weeks), but I've already heard back that I did not advance to the second round of interviews. I do have an interview scheduled for next week in a town a few hours east of my city, but after being 14 hours away, I'll take 4 hours. At least I'd be able to come home on weekends. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I don't have a whole lot else to say. I've been doing some reading and for the most part just hanging out. It's been relaxing and, well, awesome.

Blog: I posted a review for The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly and a WoW post this week. 

New books: I have a couple of review books to share and have been hitting up my library like a fiend. So without further adieu, I hope you are all having fabulous weekends!

Review Books

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The Leveller by Julie Durango
A girl works as a "leveller": someone paid to drag kids out of virtual realities for their parents. At 250 pages, I expect this will be a quick, easy (hopefully entertaining) read. 
Killing Monica  by Candance Bushnell
I'll be honest, I always want to like Candance Bushnell's books more than I ever actually do. They'll sound interesting and then...I'm curious about this book where an author fakes her own death in order to escape her famous creation (Carrie/Sex in the City). 
Between Us and the Moon  by Rebecca Maizel
Another summer romance.
Local Girls  by Caroline Zancan
Three friends out of high school find their friendship tested by the arrival of a celebrity in their dead-end town. 

 What I snagged from the library

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I'm not going to link the books because Blogger is acting up and I just don't the patience for it, like, at all. I'm about to Hulk smash my computer...
But look at how they are all black and red. Huh. 

Well that's it for me this week. Feel free to leave a link to whatever weekend post you do (Stacking the Shelves, In My Mailbox, etc). I love to see what books people have recently snagged and especially enjoy hearing about my fellow bloggers' weeks. I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (103) Up to This Pointe

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 11:15 PM with 6 comments

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.


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Up to This Pointe

Author: Jennifer Longo
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: January 19, 2016



A refreshingly original contemporary YA, unlike anything readers have seen before. Perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, John Corey Whaley, and Libba Bray.
 
She had a plan. It went south.

Harper is a dancer. She and her best friend, Kate, have one goal: becoming professional ballerinas. And Harper won’t let anything—or anyone—get in the way of The Plan, not even the boy she and Kate are both drawn to.

Harper is a Scott. She’s related to Robert Falcon Scott, the explorer who died racing to the South Pole. So when Harper’s life takes an unexpected turn, she finagles (read: lies) her way to the icy dark of McMurdo Station . . . in Antarctica. Extreme, but somehow fitting—apparently she has always been in the dark, dancing on ice this whole time. And no one warned her. Not her family, not her best friend, not even the boy who has somehow found a way into her heart.


Why I'm Excited:
I'm always--always--drawn to books about ballerinas. If you follow me at all, you are probably aware of this because I've mentioned it a few hundred times. I so wanted to be a dancer growing up, and love the world. The addition of the Scott family legacy and a trip to Antarctica make this sound interesting and original. Definitely keeping my eye out for this one. 

What are you waiting for on this Wednesday? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly (Book Review)

Monday, June 15, 2015 12:48 AM with 1 comment

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The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Author: Stephanie Oakes
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: June 9, 2015

Synopsis:

With a harrowing poetic voice, this contemporary page-turner is perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, Julie Berry's All The Truth That's in Me, and the works of Ellen Hopkins.

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.

And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something—but she's not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.


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My thoughts:

I was intrigued by this book the minute I first learned about it, and even had it as a WoW pick months ago. I was hoping to snag an early copy, but honestly, I've barely (*ahem* haven't) been able to get to my review books anyway, so it wasn't a big deal that I wasn't able to. Regardless, this was the first book I dove into to start off my summer break, and I couldn't have picked a better one. The Sacred Lies is wonderful. I was immediately hooked by Minnow's story and never got the "middle-of-the-story" blahs that often makes me "set a book aside" in favor of another one. 

From a very young age, Minnow Bly has only known life in The Community--a cult living deep in the forests of Montana. The Community follows a bat-shit crazy religion called Kevinism (as in their leader is named Kevin, although he is known as "The Prophet") that believes that God was "born" in the 1700s in America. How God couldn't have existed until the 1700s is just one of the questions that plagues Minnow about the religion her parents so blindly follow. The older Minnow gets, the more she questions life in The Community, until her rebellion gets to be too much for The Prophet and he orders for both of her hands to be chopped off. This sets off a string of events that leaves The Community burned to the ground and The Prophet dead (the book is mostly told in flashback--that wasn't a spoiler). 

When we first meet Minnow she is being thrown into a juvenile detention center until her 18 birthday for stomping a stranger almost to death. She has the next several months to prove that she should make parole, or she will spend the next better part of a decade in prison once she reaches 18. The doctor/counselor/cop that has been assigned to her case makes her a deal: if she tells him who murdered The Prophet, he will vouch for her at her parole hearing. It is through their conversations, and the memories of her past life that sneak up on her during her confinement, that we learn about the horrific life she had at the hands of an evil man...really at the hands of the evil men, and women, who have tried to escape society and only succeeded in becoming the very worst of it. 

I could write a huge review of this book, but I'm not going to. I want for you to discover Minnow's world on your own. What I will say is this: I was equally enthralled with Minnow's life in the detention center--especially with her roommate Angel--and the world of the cult she escaped. 

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly tackles many issues: religion, faith, friendship, autonomy, but more than anything it looks at the atrocities that girls and women face every single day. The Prophet punished anyone who steps out of line, but you can see that he takes the most pleasure in punishing girls--not women, girls. Minnow has a couple of profound moments of clarity about how the girls around her in juvie are there because they were cast aside by those that should have loved them the most. 

I really cannot recommend this enough. I rarely had time to read this year and when I did, I often found it difficult to get into anything. It was truly the worst slump I've ever gone through. I wanted to read this. Even if this doesn't sound like a book you wouldn't normally go for, I still say give it a try. It's different and important.

Highly recommend.