Friday, February 26, 2016

Weekly Rewind 2.27.16

Friday, February 26, 2016 8:27 PM with 5 comments
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Weekly Rewind
The new books on my shelves and my week in a nutshell.

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: Last weekend ended up being really fun. My husband and I met at the halfway point and stayed the night in a motel. The town we stayed in was so small that we really just ended up staying in our room. I'd had the foresight to bring my DVD player, so we watched Sicario which I had checked out from the library (it was pretty good. Not my favorite, but I love how versatile Emily Blunt is as an actress. She is amazing). I'm heading up to PA this weekend and after that probably won't go back up until my spring break in late March. I really did like meeting him halfway through. Two hours is so much more palatable than four.

This week has been SO long. This has been the first full week I've worked in...I don't know how long. Between three-day weekends, snow days, and the time I took for my b-day, I've had a lot of short weeks in a row. My students were kind of crazy this week. I think we are all going through that late winter slump when winter break is far behind you, but summer break is still months away. I definitely remember feeling this way last year, too (and of course I remember it from being a student myself). I'm ready for spring. Snowmageddon notwithstanding, this has been a pretty mild winter, but I'm still ready for nice weather and flowers and, you know, all that stuff.

What has been good this week is that I finished the curriculum a couple of days earlier than the other English teachers, so I snuck in a unit on the hero's journey and gave them a creative writing assignment to create their own hero's journey short story. Most of them are super into it (even the ones I didn't think would be). I'm really excited to read their stories...and I know they are really excited to share them with me. I love being able to step away from the standards for a couple of days and let them do a fun assignment (not that a creative project is even really stepping away--I do teach English, after all).

Blog and reading: Just a WoW this week. I'm currently reading A Darker Shade of Magic, re-reading Attachments, and listening to Just One Day. While I'm enjoying A Darker Shade, I don't love it nearly as much as I did Vicious (which is one of my all-time favs). I do love her writing, though. I have a trillion books to read right now between the library and arcs. I haven't been reading nearly as much as I'd like these past couple of weeks either. I've just been so beat every day after trying to wrangle 70 eleven/twelve year-olds all day.

New books: I've a handful of pretty titles to share with you this week. So without further ado, I hope you are all having fabulous weekends!

For Review

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Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller
I'm excited about this historical fiction YA about a girl who must go to China with her dad to find a rare orchid else he gets thrown into jail and her sisters into an orphanage. 
Map of Fates Maggie Hall
I need to read A Conspiracy of Fates first, but I've heard good things and definitely plan on trying to squeeze it in this week.
Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer
I'm not going to lie. I'm a bit wary of this one. I loved Nirvana when I was in high school. I cried when Kurt Cobain died. Has anybody read this one?
The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier
The mist that usually keeps a kingdom hidden is lifted and a girl needs to save it somehow...
Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate
I love the idea of the seven deadly sins as archetypes. I hope this is as cool as it sounds.
Shades of Darkness by A.R. Kahler
All I know about this book is that it takes place at a boarding school and maybe has a murder mystery. The one review I skimmed said it was so confusing that it didn't make a lot of sense, so, we'll see.
The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins
I know this is a Grimm story retelling, but I can't remember which (lesser known) origin story it is based on.
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Three teens try to survive their senior year with diverging paths that threaten their friendship.

What I snagged from the library

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Books:
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
I'm reading A Darker Shade of Magic right now so that I can dive into this next.
After the Woods by Kim Savage
This book has long been on my top of 2016 most anticipated list. I'm excited it came in on its release date (with AGoS).
Audio:
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
This has been on my TBR list for ages. I've been trying to tackle my very backed-up list with audio books for my commute (and long drives home).
Movie:
Spectre
I'm not a super Bond fangirl, but I do enjoy these movies. I do kind of think Daniel Craig is a tool...even if I do like looking at him.

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, February 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (139) Forever, Again

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 10:31 PM with 5 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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Forever, Again

Author: Victoria Laurie
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: December 13, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Lily Bennett is less than thrilled to be the new kid as she starts her junior year in high school.

But soon after classes begin, she meets a classmate, Cole Drepeau, with whom she forms an immediate and intimate bond. As Cole and Lily grow closer, Lily learns about the murder that divided the town more than thirty years before. In 1985, graduating senior Amber Greeley snapped, killing her boyfriend Ben—Cole’s uncle—and taking her own life.

Lily feels inexplicably linked to Amber, and she can’t help but think that there’s more to the girl’s story. Determined to investigate the truth about Cole’s uncle’s death, Lily and Cole are pulled into a dark mystery—one that shakes the constraints of the world they’ve always believed in.

Masterfully told by best-selling author Victoria Laurie, this novel alternates voices between Lily and Amber, a generation apart, as decades of dark family secrets and treacherous betrayals are woven into the most epic of love stories.


Why I'm excited:
I love that this has alternating POVs between Lily and Amber. I love a good mystery, so the reason behind Cole's uncle's death is intriguing.  Family secrets, treacherous betrayals, and epic love stories! Everything about this sounds awesome, so I'll definitely be keeping my eyes 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, February 19, 2016

Weekly Rewind 2.20.16

Friday, February 19, 2016 9:21 PM with 9 comments
Image result for natflixandbooks
Weekly Rewind
The new books on my shelves and my week in a nutshell.

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: I'm pretty excited this weekend. I was planning on going home this weekend, but ended up getting a nail in one of my tires and no one could take me yesterday (Thursday) so I had to make an appointment for tonight after school. I knew that I wouldn't be able to get on the road until late and didn't want to drive alone until, like, midnight. My husband also wasn't able to get out of town today. So we've decided to meet in the middle tomorrow and stay the night in a motel. The town half-way is this podunk little town, but it has a couple of motels and it's not like we need a 5 star resort for one night. I'm excited that I get to see him without having to drive the four hours, and it is always fun to stay in a motel because it feels like vacation. It will be fun!

The weather here has been crazy. It is supposed to warm up this weekend, but we had another snow day on Tuesday (which was awesome because we had Monday off for President's Day so free four-day weekend). I'm definitely ready for warm weather and to back to a normal schedule. This isn't in any way a complaint, but I can't remember the last full week I've had to work between snow days, 3-day weekends, and time I took off for my birthday. The kids need to get back into the groove of school--and I really don't want days to be added on to the schedule.

Blog and reading: I posted a TTT and a WoW this week. I'm currently reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue...kind of...I decided to slow down on it so that I finish it a bit closer to The Raven King's release date. I didn't mean to do it, but I picked up Attachments, and immediately started rereading it and can't put it down--again. I'm currently listening to The Lonely Hearts Club which is also a reread. I just get in these moods sometimes where I just want to read/listen to familiar books. I'm fine with it because when I get overwhelmed with new releases/arcs (like I am right now), I can easily slump and rereading keeps me reading, at least. It is what it is. I don't beat myself up about reading anymore as long as I'm reading something.

New releases: I have a fairly hefty haul to share with you this week. So without further ado, I hope you are having fabulous weekends!

For Review

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The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks
A girl finds herself on a lifeboat with a group of popular kids--including her ex-best friend--after a tsunami hits a party she snuck into. This looks really fun.
Seven Black Dimonds by Melissa Marr
So I'll be honest, I don't really read books about the fae...and I'm not familiar with this author's work although I know she is popular, but something about this synopsis drew me in and I hope I enjoy this.
The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan
A girl's boyfriend leaves for a gap year before the two go to college together. I think it is pretty easy to figure out what happens by reading the synopsis, but I won't spoil it for those of you who don't read them.
Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu
This is another former friend murder mystery, but the youtube star aspect give it a fresh spin (hopefully).
Charmed by Jen Calonita
I haven't read Flunked yet, but I love these covers so much. So pretty!
A group of kids decide to make a zombie film. I hope this is as fun as it sounds.
Feminism by Nadia Higgins
Rock on.
American Girls by Nancy Jo Sales
As both a teacher and a wannabe author, I find books like this fascinating.
The Literature Book by DK Publishers
I love this series of books from DK. They are so fun and easy to read, plus they are super informative.

What I snagged from the library

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Book:
Riders by Veronica Rossi
About the four horsemen of the apocalypse. I've been excited for this one.
Audio:
Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
I read this years ago, but don't really remember it. It's fun on audio so far.
Movie:
Bridge of Spies
I love Tom Hanks. I'd watch him in anything.

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!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (138) As I Descended

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 7:27 AM 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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As I Descended

Author: Robin Talley
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September  2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

From acclaimed author Robin Talley comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair.


Why I'm excited:
YA MacBeth! With a lesbian couple! WANT! Seriously want. Right now. This looks and sounds amazing and that cover is gorgeous.

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, February 15, 2016

TTT: Songs and Stories

Monday, February 15, 2016 10:19 PM with 10 comments
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/original feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link to go to their site to see the original list for today, plus links to a whole slew of other blogs...After you read mine, of course.




Songs That Have a Story (that I want to write)

It's fitting that I'm drafting this as I watch the Grammys. Music has always played a huge part of my life. There was always music in my house growing up, and whole moments of my life still burn bright in my mind because of the song in the background. The following songs are the ones that I think have a story inside of them. A lot of my choices are because the story they tell is a story that is inside me...if that makes any sense...

Mazzy Star: "Halah"

I think almost all of us can relate to these lyrics:

Surely don't stay long I'm missing you now.
It's like I told you I'm over you somehow
Before I close the door I
Need to hear you say goodbye.
Baby won't you change your mind?

You believe you are over somebody until they are standing in front of you. I first heard this song the day before I graduated high school after spending my entire high school career in love with a boy who was sometimes my boyfriend (but usually not). I love Mazzy Star.

John Mayer: "Comfortable"

About a boy who is trying to date someone new who all his friends say is perfect, but all he wants is his first love. He talks about her crashing a shopping cart into a rack full of magazines, how she could tell the difference between Coltran and Miles, and how she is most beautiful in sweats and without make-up. So cute.

That you were my first love
Is just dumb luck, A technicality
Why'd I have to practice on you?
Why'd I have to practice on your heart?

Van Morrison: "Into the Mystic"

What I imagine for this song is a time-traveling love story.

And I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And magnificently we will flow into the mystic

Ryan Adams: "English Girls Approximately"

Dude is in love with an English girl who doesn't love him back. I adore Ryan Adams. I seriously hopes he tours this summer because I seriously need to see him live. These are the lyrics that envoke a story for me:

She's got eyes as pretty as a pair of jewels
Falling down a canyon like a couple drunken criminals
She had a messy bedroom on the edge of town
I ain't ever been good enough to ever keep around
Said you didn't love me, it was right on time, I was just about to tell you that it'll be alright

Dave Matthews: "Some Devil"

This is one of the most beautiful songs about grief that exists. This will be played at my funeral. While I don't usually enjoy stories about recovering from the death of a loved one, I do believe this song could be the basis of a lovely story.


Too drunk and still drinking
It's just the way I feel
It's alright
Is what you told me
Cause what we had was so beautiful
Feel heavy like floating
At the bottom of the sea

Tori Amos: "Little Earthquakes"

Man, I must be feeling melancholy tonight (my relationship is fine, I promise). Tori Amos has been important to me for years. I debated between this one and Cornflake Girl which could be a great fairytale, but I think there is a beautiful story of a long-term relationship reaching its end in the haunting song.

We danced in graveyards
With vampires till dawn
We laughed in the faces of kings Never afraid to burn
And I hate and I hate
And I hate and I hate
Disintegration
Watching us wither
Black winged roses that safely changed their color

Fleetwood Mac: "Gold Dust Woman"

This story is definitely about a bad-ass queen with more power than she knows what to do with. This song gives me shivers.

Rock on, ancient queen
Follow those who pale in your shadow
Rulers make bad lovers
You better put your kingdom up for sale, up for sale

Don Henley: "Boys of Summer"

It's the end of summer in a beach town and all the "summer" boys have left leaving the protagonist the win back the girl he lost. This could be the sweetest summer love story.

But I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin' in the sun
You got your hair combed back and your sunglasses on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

Tom Petty: "Saving Grace"

A man goes back to his father's home, but it doesn't feel right.

You're rolling up the carpet
Of your father's two-room mansion
No headroom for expansion no more
And there's a corner of the floor
They're telling you is yours
You're confident but not really sure

Pink Floyd: "Wish You Were Here"

Because these are my favorite lyrics of all time and I know there is a story here:

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.
 

This was hard, y'all! I feel like it's been hours since I sat down with my laptop! I could think about this forever (and I have no doubt that I'm going to go: OH, I should have put this song on the list), but I need to stop thinking about this for now. What music made your list? Link me up!


Friday, February 12, 2016

Weekly Rewind 2.13.16

Friday, February 12, 2016 11:32 PM with 8 comments
Image result for natflixandbooks
Weekly Rewind
The new books on my shelves and my week in a nutshell.

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 totally caught the cold my husband was suffering with when I was home last weekend and have been miserable all week. I started getting sick on Monday night and had a rough week. I'm starting to feel a little bit better today, but am still definitely under the weather. I was hoping to get back home for the weekend because this is the last three-day weekend I'm going to have for quite a while. I had my bag packed, but after checking the weather obsessively all day decided not to risk it. There are supposed to be squalls in between VA and PA causing poor visibility, plus a snow covering that is supposed to almost immediately turn to ice because it is so freaking cold in the northeast right now. I'm bummed because I just miss my husband. This year has definitely been better than the year I spent in FL, but I just miss seeing him every day. Three days of rest should help me feel better, at least.

Blog and reading: Just a WoW this week (and that almost didn't happen). I'm currently reading and listening to The Dream Thieves. I love getting the audio of the book I'm reading so that I can continue the story in the car. For research purposes I'm reading The Modern Guide to Witchcraft. I have this seed of an idea and truly hope this one goes somewhere.

New Books: I've some pretties to share today. So without further ado, I hope you are all having fabulous weekends!

For Review

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A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Descendants of Holmes and Watson go to the same prep school. Pretty excited for this one!
Titans by Victoria Scott
A Story of mechanical horses. Sounds interesting. And a stand-alone!
The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Four lives intersect in 1970s Alaska. This cover is so pretty.
Movie Freak by Owen Gleiberman
So it probably won't come as a surprise that I love movie critics. Entertainment Weekly is the one magazine that I subscribe to, and I really enjoy Owen's reviews.

What I bought


Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
From what I've heard this book is full of cupcakes and ice skating (and I'm pretty sure the love interest is a hockey player *swoon*).
The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
I remember being so excited for this one based on this cover but getting scared away based on some middling review, but I just couldn't resist the charm of this cover when I found it for a couple of dollars.
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
The popular blonde cheerleader is hiding the fact that she is secretly a comic-book nerd. This looks adorable and will probably be read first.

What I snagged from the library

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Books:
The Siren by Kiera Cass
I never got into The Selection series (and never will--it just doesn't sound like my cup of tea at all), but I do love me some mythology, so I hope to enjoy this one.
The Modern Guide to Witchcraft by Skye Alexander
I've been reading a lot of screenplay writing guides lately. This has led to a seed of an idea. This book is for research. I love this cover; it is even prettier in person.
Audio:
How to be Single by Liz Tuccillo
I've owned this book for years, but just have never gotten around to reading it. The movie looks pretty cute.
Movie:
Sicario
I've heard that Emily Blunt is badass in this. I'm excited, but will probably wait to watch it until I go home next because I'm sure my husband will like this one.

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!