Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Spring Break 2019: Books, Bathing Suits, and Clothes

Since the demise of Polyvore (RIP), I haven't been doing as many fun posts like these.  They're just not as easy and breezy as they used to be.  Still, Spring is such a big time for books and I don't want to stop doing this annual post just because Polyvore screwed us all over.  If you want to see my previous posts, you can find them HERE, HERE, and HERE.

So, I've found an acceptable alternative (although the clothes aren't as cute or easy to find), and I put together a list of books I think would be fun to read in Spring Break locales.  Even though it's practically summer at this point, let's just pretend we're all going on Spring Break today....

**As always, I try to keep the costs down.  Most items are under $50, some are under $100, and very few pricey exceptions exist.**


If I'm Being Honest by Emily Wibberly & Austin Siegemund-Broka

  • This cover screams Spring/Summer.  Also, I would totally read a book about a reformed mean girl at the beach!
  • The Outfit: Obviously I was inspired by the palms and pink on the cover.  I stole the hat from the cover too-- and I think I'm going to get me a hat like this!


Dark Shores (#1) by Danielle L. Jensen

  • Who wouldn't want to read a Fantasy called DARK SHORES while at the beach??
  • The Outfit: I love a cute one-piece.  I chose the ombre towel to go with the background on the cover.


Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

  • Space Opera at the pool sounds legit.
  • The Outfit: As soon as I saw this cover, I knew I had to find a galaxy bathing suit to go with it.  The star-themed cover-up was icing on the cake :)


Hearts Made for Breaking by Jen Klein

  • A book about high school dating seems kind of perfect for a day out-- maybe a day-date??
  • The Outfit: I love a cute wedge for daytime.  Also, I couldn't resist the broken heart earrings to go with the cover.

Night Out

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

  • A night out is a must during Spring Break.  Even if you're just staying home with family, getting dressed up and going out one night should still be on the agenda!
  • The Outfit: When talking anything Cinderella, shoes are key!!  The phone case says: My Shoes are my Solemates... and I know if I had these shoes., they'd be loved and adored like a soulmate for sure!

Casino Night

King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody

  • This book screams Casino Night!!
  • The Outfit: This Kate Spade bag went with the Casino theme too well not to use.

Amusement Park

Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

  • Why not go to an amusement park over Spring Break-- if it's open!  I can't wait to read this book about a girl working at one.  Every book I've read that was set in an amusement park created an atmosphere that was captivating!
  • The Outfit: I had to go whimsical when we're talking about theme parks.  And a backpack seemed like the best way to hold on to your stuff without it falling out (unless you're one of those fanny pack people-- of which I am not!).


No Place Like Here by Christina June

  • The story about a self-proclaimed "indoor girl" having to go on a rustic retreat should definitely  get you in that "roughing it" mood.
  • The Outfit: I'm definitely an "indoor girl" and won't be camping or glamping anytime soon (I have camping trauma from my childhood I'm still dealing with).  That may or may not be what inspired me to pick the Crystal Lake tee :)


Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

  • Maybe you're like Lucky and are in search of that perfect hamburger (you wouldn't be the first)-- Whitecastle, Shake Shack, In-and-Out-- they've all been road-tripped for.
  • The Outfit: Comfy jeans and cute sunglasses seem like a must for any road-trip.


Earth to Charlie by Justin Olson

  • Hoping to get abducted by aliens??  Probably the middle of the desert is a good place to try!!
  • The Outfit: Fringe + leggings?  Perfect for Coachella in so many ways.  Also, multiple days = multiple outfits.

I hope you all had an awesome Spring Break-- even if it was just a day or 2 off for Easter.  I know this is coming at you at an almost Summer Reading time... but these books are pretty fresh and would look great on your Summer TBRs as well!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday-- Books I Want As Movies

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (May 14h) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Books I Think Would Make Cool Movies

  • I'm one of those people who get supremely terrified when my favorite books get made into movies!!  I'm always afraid it's going to feel different (and I kind of don't like sharing my fave books with the non-reading population??  Like, I just feel once it's a movie, then it REALLY belongs to the world of pop-culture and I don't wanna share!!).
  • But at the same time, I feel slighted when my fave books don't get optioned??  It's a weird life I live.
  • Here are the books that I feel have all the elements to make movies out of:

1.  The Opposite of Here by Tara Altebrando
  • I love the cruise setting.  And the twist at the end!!!  I would love to see that on the big screen.

2.  Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
  • More Scooby-Doo!!!  I will always want more Scooby-Doo.

3.  Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
  • I just really want to see Fright Farm AKA Murderland come to life.

4.  The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
  • Summer Camp!!!  Ever since the Friday the 13th franchise, Summer Camp has been the creepiest setting for horror for me.

5.  Slayer by Kiersten White
  • The Buffy movie in the 90's was one of my all-time faves (RIP Pike), so I would love another movie-- but with the same feel??  So maybe they could change this book a little and make it more playful.

6.  A Week of the Mondays by Jessica Brody
  • I love a good Groundhog's Day movie.  I think it's fun to watch the same day play out while a character tries to change it.

7.  The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
  • This could be like Something Borrowed but TEEN MOVIE VERSION.

8.  There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
  • Ever since Scream, I've wanted more movies like it.  This one has a similar feel and I think it would make a good movie.

9.  In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody
  • I know it's another Jessica Brody book, but all her books would make such good movies!! In Some Other Life is a alternate-dimension story of a girl who gets to see how the road not travelled ended up.

10.  The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
  • I want to see the technology and the Tower!!

What books have you read recently that you think would make awesome movies?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday-- ME Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (May 7th) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Characters That Remind Me of Myself

  • HA!!  This was a hard list to put together.  I basically had to Google Unlikable Female Protagonists to get here-- hahah, I did not in fact Google that, but I thought about it.
  • Also, thank you in advance for not judging me.

1.  Bad Girls with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten- Sasha.  I related so hard to Sasha because I am also not about that overly romantic stuff and I have that hard outside to me, but I have soft spots for certain people and my walls can be broken down.

2.  Grit by Gillian French- Darcy.  I felt a real kinship with Darcy.  She has complicated relationships, people have an idea about her that isn't even what she's really like.... I just felt like we were the same peoples.

3.  Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver- Dara.  Unfortunately, I am a whirlwind of destruction sometimes.  I lose things, I break things, I borrow and don't give back.  My dad calls me "the black hole".  A lot of times someone (my mom, my friends, my husband) has to come around and clean up my messes (literally and figuratively).  I wish I was more of a Nick, but I'm not-- and it was hard reading this book and having a mirror held up to my sucky side.

4.  Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills- I wish I was like Claudia, but I'm much more like Iris.

5.  Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios- Grace.  I wish I didn't see myself in Grace, but as her relationship progresses with Gavin, I SO saw myself in everything she did.

6.  Tease by Amanda Maciel- Sara. I totally had a friendship like Sara had with Brielle-- toxic.

7.  Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski- Violet & April.  I feel like I see different parts of myself in both of these girls.  Their overall attitudes definitely remind me of me and one of my friends in high school.

8.  Crash & Burn by Michael Hassan- Steven Crashinsky.  I was WAY too much like Crash as a teenager.  Just no sense of boundaries, always wanting to push the limits, kinda self-centered.

9.  The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard- Colt.  Totally know everything he's going through and our personalities are SO similar. 

10.  Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett- Rose.  I relate to her inner dialogue and anger.  I also was once naive (although never quite as sexy-time challenged as Rose) and I cringe with familiarity when I see it on her.

Do you have an easy time finding characters that remind you of yourself in books??  Or are you more like me and usually just read about people that are nothing like you?

Monday, May 6, 2019

Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen-- Cute, Fun, but Done Before

Happy Messy Scary Love

Olivia spends her spare time watching horror movies and talking about them on Reddit.  She's even formed a friendship (and maybe a crush?) on a fellow horror-fan there.  Although, in a panic she's sent him a picture of her best friend instead of one of herself.

When her summer plans fall through, this indoor girl ends up in the Catskills working at an outdoors job.  And on her first day, guess who happens to be working there too??  None other than her Reddit friend, Elm aka Jake!!  He doesn't recognize her (due to the picture switch), so Olivia decides to not say anything about it either.

She works and flirts with Jake by day as Olivia: "girl who hates horror", and talks about movies with him by night as Carrie: "future horror screenplay writer".  This isn't going to turn into a shit-spiral.... no way!!

I want to start by saying Happy Messy Scary Love was an adorable book and I really enjoyed reading it.  It was written in a way that brought me in and got me invested in the story, however unbelievable that story was...

If I didn't stop and actively think about it, it was easy to just fall in with the characters and the inevitable downfall of Olivia's "plan".  I'm a thinker though, so I did eventually pause and note the fact that this scenario was pretty far-fetched.  We're supposed to believe that Olivia, who lives in Brooklyn, meets a guy from North Carolina on Reddit-- and they both coincidentally end up in the Catskills working at the same outdoor zip-line tour company, without either of them knowing beforehand.  The world is not that small.

Also, instead of just TELLING Jake that she is the girl he's been chatting with (which is what EVERYONE ON PLANET EARTH WOULD DO), she pretends she doesn't know him and starts pretending to be someone different in real life in order to differentiate herself from her online self.  It was just head-shaking behavior.

Putting that out of my head, the romance was cute.  Olivia and Jake had real chemistry (online and in real life), and I loved how aware Olivia was of it.  She was self-conscious, obviously, but she wasn't one of those people who have zero awareness about a connection they are making with someone.

The thing is, I've read this book before.  And yeah, I like reading books like these every now and again-- but I want the story to be different in some sort of way from the other stories.  I didn't find that here.  That also takes the surprise-factor out of it, because I knew how this was going to go.

By the time the best friend, Katie, shows up to help push along the big blow-up, I was thinking it was time to wrap this book up.  It kind of goes on a little too long where the characters go on and on about horror movies (sometimes out loud and sometimes in their heads) because they literally have nothing else to do but wait for this lie to come out.  Speaking of BFF Katie-- I HATED her.  Maybe it's just me, but OMFG this girl was awful and the book kept telling me she was wonderful.  Just no.

Maybe if they were working somewhere that pertained to horror movies, the coincidence would make sense.  Maybe if Olivia didn't try to pretend she didn't like horror and be a different person, I would've been more on board with the lie.  Maybe if the story was somehow different from all the other "You've Got Mail" retellings.  I have a lot of maybes here, but somehow I still really enjoyed reading this book?!?!?

OVERALL: It's cute, it's light, it's fun.  It's been done before.  I've read this exact book before with different characters and settings.  Luckily it was written in a way that allowed me to fall into it without being too bored or annoyed, but I still don't think that makes up for an unbelievable/unoriginal story.  I do recommend it due to it being completely readable and fun, but if you're into YA Contemporary Romance, be ready for déjà vu.

Date Published: 5/14/2019
How I got this book: Thank you to ABRAMS for sending me a finished copy to read and honestly review
Publisher: Amulet Books

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 3.5/5

Character: Olivia Knight
Book: There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

  • I think Stephanie Perkins tried to play with the horror genre by combining Horror with Contemporary Romance-- and I think this is right up Olivia's alley.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Break-Up Letter to Ghost Books

Dear Surprise Ghost Books,

It's hard for me to say this, but I just don't think we're right for each other.  It's not that I don't like a good paranormal/haunting book, it's just that I like to KNOW what I'm getting myself into before reading and you like to surprise me.  I know you think that is sweet, but I don't want to be surprised by your ghosts.

You see, I need to be in the mood to read most books-- and when I get a surprise ghost??  It makes me have to get in a completely different mood, and most times I consider not even wanting to finish reading you.

THEN, sometimes when you surprise me with the ghosts, you make them romantic interests.  And then living humans are making out with ghosts-- and I just......

The first major one I can think of is How to Hang a Witch, and it's true that book had other issues as well, but the main thing was: SURPRISE GHOST LOVE INTEREST.

Next, there was The Name of the Star (Shades of London) by Maureen Johnson.  Maybe I'm dense, but I really didn't know there was a GHOST killer until it happened.  And I did not like.

Finally, A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma, which was one where I'm not even sure who was dead-- but some people definitely were.  Not a fun twist considering it was obvious that some people were dead/ghosts.

So, rather than to keep torturing each other, I propose that we just end things.  You let me know up front that you are a ghost book, and I'll decide if that's something I'm interested in reading-- and if you are a ghost romance book, I'll probably be passing.