Where Have I Been?

Maybe you’ve noticed, but probably not, that I’ve been absent for a while. I feel like I’ve been non-stop since the holidays!

 

Long story short, our credit was finally in a good enough place to where we are able to buy a house, so we were DEEP into that process for a while. Trying to find a starter house that both of us can agree on that we like has been more of a challenge than I realized.  We finally found one and went into that whole process of information that is needed. Add on top of that, we took a small vacation with some friends, I spent a weekend away for one of my best friends bachelorette weekend, my car window got busted out during said weekend, then her actual wedding, some birthdays, packing, moving, etc…. I’m exhausted just typing it out, and I’m not even listing everything!

I haven’t read as much as I had planned, which Goodreads so graciously reminded me that I am 6 books behind schedule. Thank you for that.

I am going to put our a few reviews to be caught up though, and I hope that you stick with me! Moving is stressful and I’m so looking forward to the calmness that comes with having everything finished!

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Book Review||Crazy House by James Patterson

CrazyHouse

 

Title: Crazy House

Author
:  James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet

Publisher
: Hachette Book Group

Genre
: YA, Science Fiction > Dystopian

Page
 Count: 368


Synopsis
 from Goodreads:

No one gets out alive.

Seventeen-year-old Becca Greenfield was snatched from her home and thrown without reazon into a hellish prison known as the Crazy House. To avoid execution, she’s told to shut her mouth and keep her head down.

Becca was never really good at either.

Her only hope for survival is for her sister, Cassie, to find her—that the “good twin” will stop following the rules and start breaking them, before it’s too late. Because the jailers at Crazy House soon discover they made a mistake that could get both sisters killed…


Let’s Talk About It
:

This is my very first James Patterson read and I was admittedly a bit hesitant at first, but it promised to be the next Hunger Games so obviously I had to see what it was all about. I quickly learned that the synopsis doesn’t do the book any justice.  And the next Hunger Games it is not.

So the story opens up with Becca Greenfield missing from her home. Her twin, Cassie, went out to find her. Where they live is called a cell and is only so big, so Cassie should surely be able to find her. What she finds is that her sister had been leading a sort of secret side life. Cassie didn’t exactly find her, she ended up getting kidnapped as well, and to her horror, she joined her sister in a prison just for kids. In this prison, children were forced to fight for their survival, because they were on the Death Row.

Other interesting parts of this story was the focus on cell balance.  We learn that if a couple wants to start a family or have multiple children, they first have to apply for and be approved for a child license. The only way that the couple is granted the license is if someone has died and basically cleared up space for them to have a child. We learn that if a person is getting too old or not useful for The United, then they are offered assisted suicide. (Curious how that works for a family to have twins?? Would multiple people had to have died and why did they grant this family a license for two?)

The characters were somewhat fascinating. The story was told alternatively by Cassie, Becca, Nate (another kid from their cell) and Ms. Strepp, the prison warden. She was definitely the most intriguing among all the characters, I couldn’t really figure her out.  She reminded me a little of Effie Trinket and at times I didn’t know if I hated her or liked her.  However, the ending answered some questions I had about her.

I also liked how the story unfolded. We were gradually taken from the normal routine of the everyday life that was changed by Becca’s disappearance, and then we get to the Crazy House.

I TORE through this book in 2 days. I just HAD to see how it ended.

My Rating:

Ok so while I did devour this book in 2 days, there were some things I didn’t like about it. FIRST, don’t make a promise to me on the cover of this book that I can stop waiting for the next Hunger Games – BECAUSE I’M STILL WAITING. But back to the review…

Cassie and Becca’s voices were too similar and hard to tell apart at times.  One could argue that this was because they were twins, but eh. As far as I know, this book is a stand alone, but the ending and questions left unanswered could easily leave this open for another book or possibly a series. I liked it more than I didn’t so I’m going to give it a solid 4.

I’m Out Of Hiding!

Hey! Hey! Hey!!

How have you all beeeeeeeeeeeeen?? I didn’t mean to go into hiding, but oh man, holidays! Amiright?

Sometimes there just aren’t enough bottles of wine!

I have read some books! Not as many as I would have liked, but again, holidays.

And one other big thing – I STARTED A BOOKTUBE CHANNEL! This time last year, I didn’t even know Booktube was a thing. But a friend told me about it, and I have been hooked ever since! I was about 4 videos into watching and was just like

But I haven’t forgotten about you all! I still have many a review to post! But in the meantime, if you would like to see what I’ve been up to on my channel, hop on over to

Lattes, Lip Gloss, and Literature

and let me know what you think! But be GENTLE because I’m new and also the world doesn’t need negativity. So be gone with that!

2017 Christmas Tag

Hello everyone! I saw this tag and since I love everything Christmas, I decided to do it!

Favorite Christmas movie and why?

I can’t pick just one, so here’s a few – A Christmas Story because its so nostalgic. Everything about it. I grew up watching it with my dad each year and I haven’t stopped yet. Christmas Vacation because I am always down for a great holiday comedy. The Santa Claus. Aaannnsdd The Family Stone because the setting is Christmastime, and I bawl like a baby each time I watch it.

Top three songs on your Christmas playlist?

  1. Band Aid – Do They Know Its Christmas?
  2. Mariah, duh.
  3. The whole NSYNC holiday album 🤓

Favorite Christmas tradition?

Decorating the tree. There’s just something about the family working on it together and listening to Christmas music.

What is on your Christmas bucket list?

Ice skating in New York City.

Buddy the Elf or Ebeneezer Scrooge?

Uhh..obviously Buddy the Elf! He’s my favorite.

will ferrell smile GIF

Favorite thing about Christmas for you? (Alternative if a parent; Best thing about being a parent at Christmas?)

I’ll answer both. For me it’s just the buzz in the air. Everyone is so excited but its also more peaceful. As a parent, it’s the magic and seeing her face on Christmas morning when she gets to open the gifts she asked Santa for.

What is one present you asked for as a child but never received?

I never really asked for much and I got at least one thing I asked for so honestly I’m not sure.

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

Hot chocolate, A Christmas Story, and one small gift opened.

Which festive beverage tickles your tinsel?

Gingerbread chai!! Sometimes I’ll get a little indulgent and add a little bit of white chocolate but oh man is it delicious!

Best present you ever received?

Oh, I really don’t know. I’ve never gotten anything extravagant enough to say it’s the best present ever. 

Sprouts on Christmas dinner? Yay or nay?

Is that a thing? I’ve never even heard of that before.

What is your ideal Christmas?

My ideal Christmas would be one where I could actually have all of my shopping done months in advance and can actually enjoy all of the holiday season stress free!

Well that completes the 2017 Christmas Tag!

If you are reading this and want to do it, go ahead! I tag YOU!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

My Rad Life

Title: My Rad Life

Author
: Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl

Publisher
: Ten Speed Press

Genre
: Journal

Page
Count: 176


Synopsis
from Goodreads

An inspiring, empowering journal that encourages its owners to think, create, reflect, and explore their own radness

A companion to the New York Times bestseller Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide, this cool guided journal draws from a number of the “rad” women featured in both books, while also including a diverse range of new women, all of whom come to life via inspirational quotes and paper cut portraits.Blank pages invite doodling, lined pages encourage writing, and a collection of thought-provoking prompts encourage users to get to know themselves better by recording their thoughts and ideas on paper.


Let’s Talk About It
:

I am a huge huge fan of journals. I have been journaling since middle school. Even before that if you consider having a diary as journaling. Sometimes you may want to journal but have writers block or aren’t real sure where to begin. In steps My Rad Life. This book is such an inspiring journal full of quotes from many women throughout the generations. Theres so many powerful and smart women featured. Beyonce, Janelle Monae, Mindy Kaling, Gloria Steinrm, etc. There are some blank pages, pages for when inspiration strikes you, places you’d like to visit. I feel like I could turn to any page and be ready to get pen to paper. 

My Rating:

Ok so while I did receive this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review, I’m still going to be super honest with you. I loved this journal but I also want more. I want to keep it pretty but I also want to write on each possible space in this book. I may wait until the new year and start it. 

Turtles All The Way Down

You know what I love more than getting books? 

Getting books that come with free swag! There’s so much hype surrrounding Turtles All The Way Down (two YouTubers I follow – Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart – both have posted this book!) that I just had to snag it while I was out. 

Normally, I avoid a particular Books-A-Million because I used to be a manager there and the store manager and I…..aren’t on the best terms. But it was the closest one while we were out and I’m glad I stopped!

Truth be told, I’ve actually never read anything by John Green.


I’ll wait for you to calm back down. Are we calm now? 

I know I’m behind on the whole John Green…fandom? I think the fact that I’ve not read anything by him and that this deals with OCD, I don’t know, its just luring me in!

So I need to know – have you read it yet? How quickly did you burn through it?

Book Blogger Test

Hey guys!

I’ve been seeing this tag float around, most recently on this blog. And while I wasn’t tagged by them, I love doing tags and reading them, so I’m tagging myself 😁 Newbie Life.

RULES

1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog
2. Answer the ten questions asked on this post
3. Nominate at least five people to do it also
4. Let your nominees know you nominated them


TOP THREE BOOKISH PET PEEVEs

  1. Friendships/Relationships out of nowhere. I want to read HOW they got to that relationship, or WHAT exactly made them friends. Don’t tell me you fell in love over the course of a weekend, because I won’t believe it.
  2. Bad dialogue. If I spend more time rolling my eyes at dialogue than actually reading it then we have a problem.
  3. When an author writes themselves into a corner and pulls some random ending out of their wazoo.

THREE BOOK CONFESSIONS

  1. I’ve never read the Harry Potter series and I’m not sure I even plan to.
  2. I’m in my early 30’s and I still enjoy young adult books over actual adult books.
  3. I don’t know that I have any secrets. I throw books if they upset me. I live in these worlds so my emotions can get the best of me. I’ve had book plots completely ruin my day.

LAST TIME YOU CRIED READING A BOOK

I think it was A Thousand Boy Kisses. And it was an audiobook, so I probably looked insane bawling my eyes out while driving.

NUMBER OF BOOKS ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE

3!

FAVORITE READING SNACK

I don’t really eat while reading because I don’t want any sort of fingerprints on my pages. But I love coffee or tea while I read.

THREE BOOKS YOU’D RECOMMEND TO ANYONE

Hmm…ok so in no particular order and may change depending on my mood.

  1. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  2. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  4. Hunger Games (had to add a 4th, because..Hunger Games)

A PICTURE OF YOUR BOOKSHELF

This is actually the top of my bookshelf. The rest of it is a mess because its in our living room so my toddler gets the bottom shelf and everything she’s not allowed to have gets chucked on the higher shelves.

HOW MUCH DO BOOKS MEAN TO YOU?

They mean a LOT. I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember, so it’s just part of who I am. When reality gets too rough or too boring or too overwhelming, I know that I can escape to books. 

BIGGEST READING SECRET

I enjoyed the House of Night series a lot more than I’ll admit to anyone.

I TAG

LanetteNovels and Hops

Kierstyn @ Reviews from Kierstyn

Kathy @ Books and Munches

Cal @ Constant Raving Reviews

 Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads

Twisted: Book Review

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Title: Twisted
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (2007)
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Teen
Page Count: 250

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background—average student, average looks, average dysfunctional family. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer doing outdoor work to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn’t believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his father’s boss’s daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy—and Tyler’s secret crush. And that sets off a string of events and changes that have Tyler questioning his place in the school, in his family, and in the world.

Let’s Talk About It:

Let me first start this by saying that I’ve heard good things about LHA’s writings, but have never read anything by her until Twisted.  That being said, I’m not sure I will ever pick up anything by her again.  But I’m getting head of myself here.

Twisted is about a nobody who did “a foul deed” at the end of his junior year and got caught.  He was court ordered to do community service so he worked with the schools janitors all summer, as well as with a landscaping company – which helped him build muscle. Ugly ducking/beautiful swan type deal here. He also has to deal with his not so perfect home life – stressed dad, alcoholic mom, popularity obsessed younger sister – all while balancing AP classes, his probation officer, his reputation….oh, and did I mention being on the Queen Bee’s radar?  Bethany, the sister of one of the schools popular jocks, suddenly has her eyes on him as well.

My Rating:

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I really can’t give this more than 3, I really can’t.  While there were some parts I was curious to see play out, there was just so much that I couldn’t connect with.  This book just really didn’t do it for me.  I’m also not the intended audience for Twisted, so take my review how you will. If I were a senior in high school….maybe…?? I would have enjoyed this.  But as an adult who has been through some things in life….I just can’t.  I understand that each of LHA’s book deal with something big, like rape or anorexia, the wrap up of this book was just too unbelievable for me.  Without giving too much away, the issue that LHA wrote about isn’t wrapped up so nicely as it is in this book.

Have you read this? What did you think? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Does it bother anyone else when books are given a new cover so you think its not the same book you’ve ignored in the bookstore for years and then feel duped?

Let me know!

 

Book Blogger Newbie Book Tag 

Lanette over at Novels and Hops tagged me in this Newbie post and I love these so I’m excited! Check her out and at the bottom I’ll add who I’m tagging, so be sure to check them both out!

 OK, let’s get started 🙂

1. Why did you start this blog?

I started my blog basically just because I wanted to start a blog. Lanette and I had been talking about starting blogs but never knew what to write about. As Mama’s, sometimes you need something thats entirely your own to focus on! Lanette and I always talk books anyway and when she messaged me with the idea, I was totally on board. And the idea was born from there! I know that I won’t primarily blog about books, I may talk about life, toddlers, wine, makeup, rum, stress, anxiety….who knows! You’ll have try stick around to see 😜

2.What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

I don’t know if I’ll bring anything unique, but I may bring some Younique! Haha, see what I did there? See it?! Shameless plug there, but I do love makeup.

Honestly though, I don’t know if there’s anything super unique I can bring to the table, we’ll just both have to see where this all goes.

3.What are you most excited for about this new blog?

I guess I am just really excited about the potential of this blog and where it could lead me. I’m a big dreamer, so maybe one day this could lead me to meeting authors, or going to book cenventions, who knows!

4.Why do you love reading?

I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. I love the escapism it gives me. With anxiety, books fill my brain and get me out of my own head, if that makes sense. I love “meeting” new characters and seeing where they take me. I can solve mysteries with them, or fall in love with them. Their losses are my losses. I feel like I’m gushing about books, am I gushing?

5.What book or series got you into reading?

 Since I’ve been reading so long, I can’t pinpoint what book or series got me into it. I’m not a early 20something-ish book blogger, so I’m a bit more old school. I remember reading The Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High, California Diaries, Where the Sidewalk Ends… I was the kid who hid under her blankets with a flashlight to read until her eyes couldn’t stay open for one more word.

6. What questions would you ask your favorite authors?

 Maybe where they draw their inspiration from or what THEIR favorite books are. Also, they probably get a lot of the same questions, so I’d want to ask something that throws them off.

7.What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome?

Keeping up with reading and posting reviews in a timely manner. Having a toddler is hard work sometimes, they are full of energy and require a lot of attention. I also want to be sure my posts are worth reading, so I sit and reread my posts over and over before posting. 

8.When did you start reading?

I don’t even remember. I learned to read before going to school, and my brother was a year ahead of me, so I was reading the papers and books he brought home from school. Reading has just always been in my life.

9.Where do you read?

I don’t have a certain place. I like being comfy when I read so it’s usually the one side of the couch. I’ve also a bed reader as well. If its an audiobook, I listen while driving, doing housework, if I’m not interested in what the family is watching, while I’m showering. Any time, any place basically!

10. What kind of books do you like to read?

Obviously I love YA/NA. I think that genre has really developed over the years and isn’t just cutesy books anymore.  I also have a soft spot for Nicholas Sparks, even thought his books are mostly the same. Two people fall in love, something tragic happens, love prevails at the end. I know that and I’m ok with that. 

That’s it! Thanks so much for reading and I hope you learned a little bit more about me!! Leave me a comment down below and don’t forget to subscribe to see more reviews, tags, and other random things I post! 

Also, I want to tag Kierstyn of Reviews From Kierstyn! Go check her out as well!