Review: The Last Time I Lied // So Frikkin Good

By Riley Sager

Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Community Rating: 4.18

Genre: Psycho Mystery / Thriller

Publication Date: July 3rd 2018

Format Read: Kindle Ebook

Goodreads Summary: Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.

And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

Continue reading “Review: The Last Time I Lied // So Frikkin Good”

Mid-Year Review: 2018 Ups and Downs

It’s hard to believe that its already August. I feel like it was just a month ago that the air was freezing cold and nobody wanted to go outside because it was April and still felt like January. But we’ve made it, and that means that not only the summer, but the year, is already half over!! This year was wild, since it was the first where I was in college for the entire thing, and made my blogging life way different than it used to be. That being said, I still had a fun year, and I’m here to tell you guys all about it.

Continue reading “Mid-Year Review: 2018 Ups and Downs”

My (Physical) TBR Shelf Review // How Did I Get So Many?

Today, I’m planning on doing something that I don’t think I’ve ever done before, and that’s go over my physical TBR with all of you. Since I got home from school, I’ve reorganized my room so that my bookshelf only consists of books i’ve already read, and the shelf above my desk is filled with the books that I haven’t read, but desperately need to. Since I’ve been sitting on my bed staring at that very shelf for about an hour now, I figured it could serve as pretty good inspiration for a post. So, welcome to my physical TBR:

Continue reading “My (Physical) TBR Shelf Review // How Did I Get So Many?”

Intro to 2018 // Goals, Predictions, and More

Happy New Year Everyone!!!! It feels bizarre that the year is 2018… I mean, I still sometimes think it’s 2008, the fact that it has been 10 years since then is just weird.  But anyways, I can’t wait for this year, and have already been working on some resolutions/goals, and a TBR to share with you all.

Continue reading “Intro to 2018 // Goals, Predictions, and More”

August Intro: TBR and Future Goals

I actually cannot believe that it’s August, because that means I’M LEAVING FOR COLLEGE SOON. WAY TOO SOON. WAY WAY WAY TOO SOON.  Don’t get me wrong I’m super excited I’m just freaking out too. And you guys should be too, because gods only know how much I’m going to be able to blog in college.  It’s a whole new world out there and I’m not sure if I’m ready to experience it.  Time management? Like WHAT? Remind me what that is again?  Since it’s the last month of summer, I’m going to try to make a reasonable* TBR and set goals that I think I can genuinely reach.  Here we go.

*yes, yes, I know reasonable isn’t really my strong suit.  But I’ll succeed this time, I PROMISE (cue awkward laughing)

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Ebook / eARCs

Not the Only SkyThe Readers of Broken Wheel RecommendSelect (Untitled #1)

  1. Not the Only Sky— Yes, yes I know I’ve been reading this for three months and so shouldn’t be putting other books on this list too since I really need to finish this one, but I promise I’ve been putting work in on it recently.  It’s not that bad, really.
  2. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend— I got this book from JellyBean, they finally opened it up the the US (YAY), and I can’t wait to read it. It looks adorably fun and the ultimate bookish book so CAN’T WAIT.
  3. Select— This is an October ARC that I desperately want to finish before October, which is why it’s on the chart in August. That should mean that I’ll finish it by late September.

Physical Books

The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1)The Valley of Horses (Earth's Children, #2)Big Little LiesThose Girls

  1. Clan of the Cave Bear— I’m already about halfway through this one (it’s only the 26th as I write this, so maybe I’ve finished it by now, but I’m not gonna update my July Wrap or this post, so let’s pretend and it’ll all be okay) and I FREAKING LOVE IT.  AND IT’S A SERIES.  My mom sort of forced me to start, and it’s so well written it makes me work to read it but yet is actually a great story I’m not sure why it took me so long to find this beauty.
  2. Valley of the Horses— The Clan of the Cave Bear Sequel, ya’ll (i’m not sure what’s gotten into me).  I’m not sure if i’ll read these both one after the other or interject one in between, but I can’t wait.  Can’t wait at all.
  3. Big Little Lies— This has made several appearances on my TBR, but this is gonna be the month that I will truly do it.  I like Liane Moriarty books, they’re predictably constant in their 4 star-ness, and plus I want to watch the TV show, so it’ll be a double win.
  4. Those Girls— I got this book at the library for 50 cents, and it looks incredible, and is in perfect condition.  It’s a light paperback, so I’m putting it on the TBR solely to bring to the beach with me.

Audiobooks

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

  1. Strange the Dreamer— This is 18.5 hours, so I think it’ll be the only one I’ll finish this month, but it’s also something I’m VERY VERY VERY EXCITED to read.  I can’t believe it finally came in on Overdrive.  now I just have to finish it before it expires.

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Blogging

Reach 450 Followers– I have so much trouble setting this goal every month, because either I dream wayyyyy too big or I don’t dream at all and assume that literally only 1 person will find me and want to follow me, because let’s be honest who would really want to follow me.  I think 450 is a solid goal, and it’ll make me super happy to get there!

Post a Review Every Friday– I think that this will be an easy goal, it’s just a matter of sitting down and actually writing the posts.  I already have 2 scheduled, and I’ve read enough books to have one for every Friday, it’s just a matter of writing them.

Find 3 New Blogs to Follow– I haven’t “gotten out” into the blogging world in a long time, and it’s sort of stalling me out in terms of new followers and also just enjoying the blogging community.  I want to make sure I follow at least 3 blogs that I GENUINELY ENJOY this month, and comment consistently on their posts.

Comment on Blog Posts More– This sort of relates to the last one, but I want to make sure I’m commenting on my current bloggy friends whose posts I already love and enjoy, because I need to KEEP UP MY FRIENDSHIPS.  Yes, Joce, this takes work.

Writing

Finish outlining Chemical Capitalists– I set this aside for a long time now, but I’m starting to get the feeling where I NEED to work on it again, and so hopefully August will be the month where I crank through and write my outline.  I epically failed camp nano and so this will be a good makeup month to get me on track for real NaNo in November.

Decide what I want to do with my Calipso story and Walk story– I wrote a half outline for Walk, and I’ve been thinking about this other story for a while, and I just want to think and figure out which one I want to work on first, or if I want to put CC before either of them.

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What are your plans for August? Have you read any of the books on my TBR? What do you think?

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July Intro: I’m very Excited About This Month!

I love July.  It’s my favorite month of the year BY FAR because it’s purely summer and no responsibility except for sitting out on the beach and trying to get a little tanner*.  When it comes to blogging, it’s actually difficult for me because I don’t want to be sitting inside on my computer, so I have a strong feeling that I’ll be doing a bit of slacking.  Luckily for you, I have a book review scheduled for every Friday for the whole month, meaning that you will, at the very least, get 1 post per week!

*my white af body will never be what you would consider tan, but one can hope

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This month, I don’t think I’m going to be able to read many of my ebooks, because I love reading physical books on a beach or which I go on vacation, I don’t know why, but I put them on the list just in case.

Ebook / eARCs

Not the Only SkySelect (Untitled #1)

  1. Not the Only Sky— I started this book, and although the concept is interesting, it doesn’t have me hooked, so I’m going to have to sit down and read it for a longer period of time to really understand it and figure out if it’s working for me.
  2. Select— I don’t even know what this is about, it’s just a backup…. (I feel like I sound spoiled having backup books but I never expected to get approved for this eARC)

Physical Books

Big Little LiesLola

  1. Big Little Lies— I’ve had this book on my shelf for the past couple of months, and have wanted to read it for at least a year.  Since I own it AND can watch a TV show right after, it seems dumb not to go ahead and put it on my TBR. (also side note but I got the TV show edition since it was on sale for $.50 but look how pretty the real one is)
  2. Lola— I got this book from Library Thing a little while ago, and I’m looking forward to finally starting it and reading my 2nd ever physical ARC!!!!!!!!! It also has an incredible cover, which makes me want to carry it around everywhere I go just to show off all the bright colors.

Audiobooks

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianImage result for beyond the beautiful forevers

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian— I’ve already started this book, and although I don’t love it, it’s interesting.  I think it would be better not as an audiobook because the way this person talks really annoys me (I’m sorry that sounds super judgy and I’m not that way normally but when it comes to audiobooks I’m sorta picky).  It was on my suggested reading in 10th grade and I never got to it, so I’m excited to finally be catching up!
  2. Behind the Beautiful Forevers— This book is beautiful, just like the title implies.  I can’t guarantee how accurate it really is (Mumbai slum life is not my specialty) but it’s powerful and really resonates with me.  The way it develops characters so far is absolutely incredible.

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Blogging

I want to read 450 followers this month, which is a little over 50 WP followers more than I have right now, which is going to be difficult considering I’m having trouble being on that much.  But go big or go home!!!!

I would also love it if some people could submit guest posts that I’ll put up on the blog! they can be about anything even remotely related to books and writing, as long as it’s either well written or has a good sense of humor or I like you and what you’re trying to say.  I’m hoping to get lots of submissions.

 

Writing

I am going to do Camp NaNo this month for outlines, which will hopefully get me through the outline of my current novel.

If any of you guys are doing Camp NaNo and want to make a cabin I would love to!

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What books do you plan on reading this month? Have you read any books on my TBR?  What are your blogging goals for the month?

June Releases I’m Excited For

This month, there are a LOT of good books coming out, because it’s summer, and everyone knows that’s the best time to publish (I don’t actually know that, it’s just a guess).  Since I’m doing a whole separate post for releases rather than mixing it in with my intro post like I normally do, I’ll hopefully be way more organized and make this section more useful to you!  So now, the top 10 books of June…

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Mystery / Thriller

He Said/She Said

He Said/She Said (June 6th)– omg I cannot even tell you how good this looks.  It seems really interesting because there’s a lot of backplot going on, and plus I’ve never heard of anything that sounds quite like this.  I’m 150% putting this on my TBR.

On the eve of a solar eclipse, a couple forced into hiding discovers that they can no longer run from their past in this taut psychological suspense novel.
In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Kit is an eclipse chaser; Laura has never seen one before. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share.
But in the hushed moments after the shadow passes, Laura interrupts a man and a woman. She knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. It is her word against his.
The victim seems grateful. Months later, she turns up on their doorstep like a lonely stray. But as her gratitude takes a twisted turn, Laura begins to wonder—did she trust the wrong person?
15 years later, Kit and Laura are living under assumed names and completely off the digital grid: no Facebook, only rudimentary cell phones, not in any directories. But as the truth catches up to them, they realize they can no longer keep the past in the past.
From Erin Kelly, queen of the killer twist, He Said/She Said is a gripping tale of the lies we tell to save ourselves, the truths we cannot admit, and how far we will go to make others believe our side of the story.

The Silent CornerThe Silent Corner (June 20th)– I’ve never heard of this author, but apparently he’s popular, and this book looks amazing.  Not only is it a thriller, but it looks like it’s going to feature a totally badass woman and I’m always down for that.

I very much need to be dead.
These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demands: find the truth, no matter what.
People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important so terrifying that they will exterminate anyone in their way.
But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.The Fourth Monkey

The Fourth Monkey (June 27th)– I read and reviewed this book a couple months back, and it was a pretty good read!! If you already own the book or enjoy police crime thrillers, I would recommend.  You can read my review here, but I think my perspective was colored by the fact that I’m not a huge fan of police narratives.

For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive. 
As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.
With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller.Final Girls

Final Girls (June 29th)– If you buy one thriller this year it has got to be this one.  It was so dark, mysterious, and yet fun to read.  I adored the characters and pretty much everything about it, and despite the fact I read it in January when I think about it I get excited all over again!! Read my review!

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

Adventure / Dystopian

The Sandcastle Empire

The Sandcastle Empire (June 6th)– I had heard a lot about this book on Twitter, I think because I follow the author, and it looks exciting.  Even though it’s dystopian, a genre I feel like is sort of overdone, this seems like a fresh take.

When all hope is gone, how do you survive?
Before the war, Eden’s life was easy—air conditioning, ice cream, long days at the beach. Then the revolution happened, and everything changed.
Now a powerful group called the Wolfpack controls the earth and its resources. Eden has lost everything to them. They killed her family and her friends, destroyed her home, and imprisoned her. But Eden refuses to die by their hands. She knows the coordinates to the only neutral ground left in the world, a place called Sanctuary Island, and she is desperate to escape to its shores.
Eden finally reaches the island and meets others resistant to the Wolves—but the solace is short-lived when one of Eden’s new friends goes missing. Braving the jungle in search of their lost ally, they quickly discover Sanctuary is filled with lethal traps and an enemy they never expected.
This island might be deadlier than the world Eden left behind, but surviving it is the only thing that stands between her and freedom.

Adult Contemporary

The People We Hate at the Wedding

The People we Hate at the Wedding (June 6th)– This book looks really fun, with a lot of family drama and a fancy wedding!!  I’m really hoping for a cute book with lots of character development from this one.

Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins.
They couldn’t hate it more.
The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a less than perfect family. Donna, the clan’s mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best friend while watching House Hunters International. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable, though enjoyable, affair with her married boss. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing undergrads. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. To top it off, she’s infuriatingly kind and decent.
As this estranged clan gathers together, and Eloise’s walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in the most bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel you’ll read this year.

The CircusThe Circus (June 13th)– holy shit this book looks amazing and I hadn’t even heard of it before finding it on a June releases list while making this post.  It seems super emotional and yet exciting and nerve wracking and I cannot wait to read it.

Why would a girl who has everything want to run away and never be found?
Willow has staged runaways ever since she was a little girl. She has everything a young person should want: a rich daddy, clothes, money, a pony and a place at a prestigious boarding school. In reality, she has everything except the thing she really wants: a father who cares enough to find her.
Aged sixteen, on the eve of her father’s wedding, she ruins the bride’s dress and escapes through a window, determined never to return. Her missing mother was a circus performer, and Willow wants to follow in her footsteps. But the performers she meets don’t want her. When her last bit of money is stolen by Suze, another runaway girl she thought she could trust, Willow becomes really homeless. Then Suze comes tumbling back into her life and a desperate Willow has to decide whether to trust her all over again . . .
So begins their frightening, exhilarating odyssey though hunger, performance, desperation and dreams. Will they both survive and will Willow make it to the circus of her imagining?
Olivia Levez takes you into the very heart of a girl who wants so hard to be lost, but saves herself through a powerful friendship and the awakening of a need for home.

The Sisters ChaseThe Sisters Chase (June 27th)– This looks really emotional, and it’s a story of 2 sisters who love each other and yet still have secrets, which I think is an underrepresented side of literature.

The hardscrabble Chase women—Mary, Hannah, and their mother Diane—have been eking out a living running a tiny seaside motel that has been in the family for generations, inviting trouble into their lives for just as long. Eighteen-year-old Mary Chase is a force of nature: passionate, beautiful, and free-spirited. Her much younger sister, Hannah, whom Mary affectionately calls “Bunny,” is imaginative, her head full of the stories of princesses and adventures that Mary tells to give her a safe emotional place in the middle of their troubled world.
But when Diane dies in a car accident, Mary discovers the motel is worth less than the back taxes they owe. With few options, Mary’s finely tuned instincts for survival kick in. As the sisters begin a cross-country journey in search of a better life, she will stop at nothing to protect Hannah. But Mary wants to protect herself, too, for the secrets she promised she would never tell—but now may be forced to reveal—hold the weight of unbearable loss. Vivid and suspenseful, The Sisters Chase is a whirlwind page-turner about the extreme lengths one family will go to find—and hold onto—love.

YA / Teen

The Unlikelies

The Unlikelies (June 6th)– I really like the sound of this book, because it’s about 5 kids who just become friends, rather than having been friends their whole lives, and they actually try to do good rather than just messing around and having fun.

Five teens embark on a summer of vigilante good samaritanism in a novel that’s part The Breakfast Club, part The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and utterly captivating.
Rising high school senior Sadie is bracing herself for a long, lonely, and boring summer. But things take an unexpected turn when she steps in to help rescue a baby in distress and a video of her good deed goes viral.
Suddenly internet-famous, Sadie’s summer changes for the better when she’s introduced to other “hometown heroes.” These five very different teens form an unlikely alliance to secretly right local wrongs, but when they try to help a heroin-using friend, they get in over their heads and discover that there might be truth in the saying “no good deed goes unpunished.” Can Sadie and her new friends make it through the summer with their friendships–and anonymity–intact?
This rich and thought-provoking novel takes on timely issues and timeless experiences with a winning combination of romance, humor, and wisdom.

Nonfiction

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud (June 20th)– This is a really unique take on celebrities and how their success relates to feminism, and I feel like it’s something that everyone should read (although I haven’t read it yet so how should I know) and it’s written by a Buzzfeed author so it’ll probably have some lighter comedic elements in it.

From celebrity gossip expert and BuzzFeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen comes an accessible, analytical look at how female celebrities are pushing boundaries of what it means to be an acceptable woman.
You know the type: the woman who won’t shut up, who’s too brazen, too opinionated, too much. She’s the unruly woman, and she embodies one of the most provocative and powerful forms of womanhood today. In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, Anne Helen Petersen uses the lens of unruliness to explore the ascension of pop culture powerhouses like Lena Dunham, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian, exploring why the public loves to love (and hate) these controversial figures. With its brisk, incisive analysis, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud will be a conversation-starting book on what makes and breaks celebrity today.


That’s all for June!!  *heads out door to go buy all of these books on the list*

Let's Talk

What other popular books are coming out in June?  Have you read any books on this list? Are any on your TBR? What book are you most excited to read this month?

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June Intro: The Start of Freedom Means More (Hopefully) Reading

As I sit down and write (the first draft of) this post in mid-March, it’s hard to believe that exactly 1 month from now I’ll be graduating high school and entering the free world.  Well, not really.  I still have college, but that’s completely different and way more independent and I’m very excited.  (actually, on that vein of thought– I’m going to school in Boston next year so I’d love to do a blogger meetup!)

Because I have school in half of the month and then summer for the other half, I think that I’ll be able to read somewhat more books than I normally do, while still managing to keep up on blog posts and the like.  Also, because of the fact that I have less time to write during the summer, I’m breaking up what normally comes in this post into two separate days.  Today will consist of a TBR and blogging goals, and on Monday I’ll send you all a list of hot books being released this month.  I see a lot of book bloggers do similar things, and so I figured that it would be better this way for my own personal schedule.

halfway (38)Before you roll your eyes, yes I realize that I have a shit ton of books on this list, but I really truly think that I’ll be able to do it this time. (yes, even I’m rolling my eyes now)

Ebook / eARCs 

The Darkest LiesNot the Only SkyThe Handmaid's TaleSelect (Untitled #1)

  1. The Darkest Lies— I’ve been reading this book for almost 2 months, and it’s wayyyyyy overdue for a review, but I just can’t seem to get into it enough to stay interested.  My mind is drifting all over the place, and I would rather be on Twitter than reading it, which is a problem since the book is on my phone.
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale— I had been SO FREAKIN EXCITED for this book, and now that I have it, the writing style is weird, and I just haven’t been reading it for enough time all at once.  I need an hour or so to read constantly to get into it I think.
  3. Not the Only Sky— I’ve had this book on my Netgalley shelf for forever and since it came out 2 months ago, now is as good a time as any to start reading it.  It looks really good, and I’m looking forward to the chance to download it and start.
  4. Select— I don’t think this book comes out until October, which is good because it means I’m not even behind!! I’m putting it on the list now because I can read it on my phone after I finish Not the Only Sky, and then I’ll type up a review and have it on file for the fall.  I honestly don’t even know what this is about, I’m just going for it.

Physical Books

Big Little Lies

  1. The Glass Castle— I never had much of an interest in reading this book, although it was recommended to me a couple of times, but I just found out that it’s going to be a movie sometime in the fall, and that’s enough for me to read nearly any book.  Plus, it was on a bunch of “Must Read” lists, so I clearly need to give it a chance.
  2. Big Little Lies— I’ve had this book on my shelf for the past couple of months, and have wanted to read it for at least a year.  Since I own it AND can watch a TV show right after, it seems dumb not to go ahead and put it on my TBR. (also side note but I got the TV show edition since it was on sale for $.50 but look how pretty the real one is)

Audiobooks

Orange Is the New Black

  1. Orange is the New Black— Unlike Big Little Lies, I want to read this book because I’ve started watching the TV show and it’s INCREDIBLE.  I genuinely never thought that I would enjoy it this much, because I heard that it was just over sexualized nonsense, but I’m loving it and so I might as well hear the accurate story, and what better mode of doing that than listening.

halfway (39)Blogging

This month, I really just want to get ahead on my blogging and schedule my posts for the entire summer.  I’m road tripping to Colorado, and I plan to document that on Our Voices Matter (my other blog), so that’ll take up a lot of time and use of the internet and I can’t be worried about uploading blog posts for the end of June –> July.  Don’t worry though, I’m sure I’ll be VERY active on Twitter.

Besides just posting early, I plan on reaching 400 followers, which I’m aware is a giant number but I think it would be awesome.  (For added incentive, I’m doing a giveaway when I hit 500)

Writing

I decided a couple of weeks ago to set aside the story I worked on for all of Camp NaNo because there’s wayyyyyy too many plot holes, and now I’m going to work on the story I wrote a blurb for in Mahriya’s challenge.  I’m drafting characters and plot FIRST this time, which should greatly improve it, since before I felt like I didn’t know the characters 40 pages in.  Read my blurb and excerpt and let me know what you think!

Buying Books

Since I’m going to be in summer this month, which means day trips and vacations, I want to buy a book at every place I go to, and write in the covers where I purchased them.  I think this could be a really good use of my money because I’ll have mementos and books to read.  Win win!!!

Let's Talk

What books do you plan on reading this month? Do you think my TBR is too big?  What are your blogging goals for the month?

April Intro: So Many Books to Finish!

Welcome to April!! I’m so excited for this month because in just a few days I’m going on Campus Preview Weekend at my college, then it’s April break, and then it’s two more weeks of school and then the month is over!!  Plus, it means that spring should (I hope) finally be here to stay.  If it snows again I think I’m going to go crazy.  But anyways, enough about my personal life, and let’s get to bookish stuff

My TBR…

I grossly overestimated what I was going to read last month, so this time I’m keeping it simple.  5 books, 4 of which I’ve already started.  That should *knock on wood* give me plenty of time to get through absolutely everything.

5188551. I plan on coming back to this one after I finish I’ll Give you the Sun.  Since they’re both physical/kindle, I read them at the same times so I had to put one on hold.  Sorry Philippa.
208209942. This is one of the most depressing books I’ve ever read so far. Jude and Noah’s lives are both shit and I’m just hoping that it’ll get better, ASAP.  (but it’s a really good book I love it)51wxen3hdul-_sy346_3. This is a review copy, and so I’m trying to really get this done.  I can’t get over how cute the main character of this book is.  I love her.the bone witch

4. This one’s another review copy, and I plan to start it after S&S is done.  Everyone has been talking about how they either loved it or hated it and I’m nervous but excited so we’ll see!the_host

5. I don’t actually know why I picked this to read, because it’s already terrible and I’m only 20 minutes in, but it was available immediately as a library audiobook and I was in the book for something less serious, and I enjoyed the movie, so here we go.

I also received a physical review copy of The Roanoke Girls, and an ebook of The Select, but I don’t think I’ll be able to get to those in the next month, so I’m leaving them off for now.

Releases I’m Excited For…

I don’t have a whole lot this time, because none that I’ve seen have really grabbed me, but here’s the top 3 that got my attention.  The cover has a link that will take you to Goodreads
the upside of unrequitted

The Upside of Unrequited (April 11th)— This book looks super cute, and I’m 95% sure other people liked it when they received ARCs.  It has diverse relationships, and in general seems to be a fun story about high school twins.

Goodreads Summary: Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.  Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.  There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?witchfinder's sister

The Witchfinder’s Sister— A “literary historical thriller”.  Holy shit.  what could be better? my favorite genres combined in one!!! Sign me up!!!  If anyone knows the best (cheapest or free) place to find a copy of this I need one!

Goodreads summary:  Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth–but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew’s soul.   There is a new darkness in the town, too–frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice’s blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he’s become, Alice is desperate to intervene–and deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew’s reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul.   Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother’s brutal mission–and is drawn into the Hopkins family’s past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evils–before more innocent women are forced to the gallows.
Inspired by the real-life story of notorious “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins, Beth Underdown’s thrilling debut novel blends spellbinding history with harrowing storytelling for a truly haunting reading experience.spindle fire

Spindle Fire (April 11th)— A Sleeping Beauty retelling with a badass female protagonist.  This sounds awesome, and I can’t wait to read it!

Goodreads Summary: Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.  And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.  As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.  Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.  Spindle Fire is the first book in a lush fantasy duology set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.

Blogging Goals…

  1. Reach 250 Followers– I just hit 200 last month and I couldn’t be more excited!!!! I still can’t figure out just how 200 people decided that I have good enough content to want to read it all the time.  It’s amazing.  Also, it’s the reason I’m having a giveaway below.  Make sure you enter if you haven’t already.  But anyways, I digress.  This month I’m hoping to get to 250, which is a lot, but it will put me at halfway to my goal of 500 for the end of the year, which I think will mean that I’m generally on schedule.
  2. Start Promoting Indie Authors– I’ve done some indie author promotion, and I accept their book review requests, but I don’t tend to read a lot of them, and I don’t normally do interviews and promotional stuff with them.  I’m hoping to change that this month, and try to get more indie authors on the blog.
  3. Find another story to edit– I completed my first paid editing job last month!! It was so fun and I’d love another, especially for after April break.  (aka starting the 17th)
  4. Start reading more blog posts– I haven’t been on my Reader enough lately, and so my commenting skills are lacking severely.  I want to go back through and make sure that I am reading everyone’s blogs I love, and unfollow all of the ones that do not interest me.
  5. Not exactly a goal, but camp NaNo starts this month!! I’ll be updating you with my progress periodically 🙂

Have you Entered the Giveaway Yet?

Finally, the giveaway!!!!  I mentioned this in my last post, but I’m saying it again for those of you who forgot: I’m at 200 followers and I’m thanking you all with a book giveaway!! Enter for a chance to win any book from my book review index that is under a $15 value on Amazon.  Open wherever amazon ships (if shipping price is obscene, I may lower book price cap)

Rafflecopter giveaway

A Personal Favor…

I’m running for the Hood scholarship, because I desperately need money for college, and to win it I need votes.  You can vote once a day, and I will love you forever if you go out and vote for me.  I’m from CT and go to Bacon Academy.  It only takes 2 minutes to cast your vote, so if you have a chance please please please go vote

Have you entered the giveaway?  What April releases are you looking forward to?  What is your April TBR? Do you have anything exciting happening this month? Comment!!!!!


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~ Now venture out and change the world ~

Looking forward on March (There’s so many good books in my future)

Welcome to March!! With luck Spring will come, the weather will become warm, and I will start my first real coaching job!! Woohoo, things to look forward to!! Besides that, obviously, I should be reading!

March TBR…

This month is very, very ambitious, with a total of 7, but I’ve already started the first 3 so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to manage at least starting all of them.518855

  1. The Constant Princess– so far so good, I love learning about history in a romantic, definitely fictional way (I say that with zero sarcasm). BUY ON AMAZONfourthmonkey_3d2
  2. The Fourth Monkey– I can’t wait to find out what happens, and love the way the plot works.  BUY ON AMAZON21853621
  3. The Nightingale– Isabel is my favorite person EVER.  If I lived 70 years ago we totally would have been best friends. BUY ON AMAZON20820994
  4. I’ll Give you the Sun– I read the first chapter of this before being delayed by my buddy reader, and I can already tell that I’m going to love it, and it seems like a cute, easier read which is always fun. BUY ON AMAZONImage result for kit's law
  5. Kit’s Law– I bought this at Book Barn last Spring, and it still sounds really good, I just for some reason haven’t read it.  Well, it’s about time, and I’m going to break it open. BUY ON AMAZONGo Set a Watchman (To Kill A Mockingbird #2)
  6. Go Set a Watchman– It seems weird that I haven’t read this yet since I was so excited for its release.  After I finish Nightingale, I plan on getting this as an audiobook and cranking through it. BUY ON AMAZON

    caravaltyink
    Carval // The You I’ve Never Known
  7. Caraval or The You I’ve Never Known– I have a $12 Barnes and Noble gift card which means that I’m going to buy a physical book to add to my collection.  I want both of these so badly so it’s probably going to depend on my gut when I’m actually in the store.  I’m leaning towards TYINK right now, but if I can get to the store in the beginning of the month it might be Caraval, as The Perks of Being a Book Addict is doing a group read of that right now. BUY CARAVAL // BUY THE YOU I’VE NEVER KNOWN

Hot Releases…

Just a reminder that to pick these books I scroll through the Goodreads list of all 200 top rated March releases, “open in new tab” all the ones whose covers and/or name grab me, and then flip through and narrow those 25 down to 5.  So I’m missing a lot of good books, and this is by no means the end all be all of book publishing. Summaries are from Goodreads, book cover links go to Goodreads.

25150798The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (March 21st)– A thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple.  Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate—the first automobile any of them have seen—and a stranger arrives.  In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people. In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her readers. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city.  After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.  A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.

Okay guys Lisa See is literally amazing so you’d be dumb to pass up on this one if it even sounds remotely interesting to you.

Buy The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane on Amazon

30753708The Cutaway (March 21st)– When brilliant TV news producer Virginia Knightly receives a disturbing “MISSING” notice on her desk related to the disappearance of a beautiful young attorney, she can’t seem to shake the image from her head. Despite skepticism from her colleagues, Knightly suspects this ambitious young lawyer may be at the heart of something far more sinister, especially since she was last seen leaving an upscale restaurant after a domestic dispute. Yet, as the only woman of power at her station, Knightly quickly finds herself investigating on her own.  Risking her career, her life, and perhaps even her own sanity, Knightly dives deep into the dark underbelly of Washington, DC business and politics in an investigation that will drag her mercilessly through the inextricable webs of corruption that bind the press, the police, and politics in our nation’s capital.  Harkening to dark thrillers such as Gone Girl, Luckiest Girl Alive, and Big Little Lies, The Cutaway is a striking debut that will haunt you long after you reach the last page.

Ohhh this could either be really good or really bad and I don’t know which so here it is for you guys to judge!! Knock on wood the former, but I guess I’ll have to read it to find out.

Buy The Cutaway on Amazon

30754003Our Short History (March 21st)– Karen Neulander, a successful New York political consultant, has always been fiercely protective of her son, Jacob, now six. She’s had to be: when Jacob’s father, Dave, found out Karen was pregnant and made it clear that fatherhood wasn’t in his plans, Karen walked out of the relationship, never telling Dave her intention was to raise their child alone.  But now Jake is asking to meet his dad, and with good reason: Karen is dying. When she finally calls her ex, she’s shocked to find Dave ecstatic about the son he never knew he had. First, he can’t meet Jake fast enough, and then, he can’t seem to leave him alone.  With just a few more months to live, Karen resists allowing Dave to insinuate himself into Jake’s life. As she tries to play out her last days in the “right” way, Karen wrestles with the truth that the only thing she cannot bring herself to do for her son–let his father become a permanent part of his life–is the thing he needs from her the most. With heart-wrenching poignancy, unexpected wit, and mordant humor, Lauren Grodstein has created an unforgettable story about parenthood, sacrifice, and life itself.

This sounds so good for the right audience (not sure if that is me) and you’ll probably cry a lot reading it so I recommend.

Buy Our Short History on Amazon

30653967The Women in the Castle (March 28th)– Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.  Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resistor murdered in the failed July, 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.  First, Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naïve Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resistor’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.  As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.  Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.

This book first grabbed me because LOOK, it says “women” instead of “girl”.  That’s super exciting.  It also takes place AFTER Nazi Germany’s invasion (something I don’t often read about) and mentions The Nightingale, so like it’s perfect and going on my Want to Read list.

Buy The Women in the Castle on Amazon

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Strange the Dreamer (March 28th)– the aftermath of a war between gods and men.  a mysterious city stripped of its name.  a mythic hero with blood on his hands.  a young librarian with a singular dream.  a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled.  alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.  Welcome to Weep.

I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THIS BOOK IT LOOKS SO SO SO GOOD!!!!!  It was on the list for sure, and I’m really hoping to get it sometime soon (*cough cough* little, brown books *cough cough*).

Buy Strange the Dreamer on Amazon

Writing Progress…

I’ve finally decided to stick with The Chemical Capitalists and run with it, so I should be able to move a tiny bit faster from here on out.  I would love it if I could talk to someone about diversity stuff, or maybe help me flesh out character development.  If not I’ll take it to Fictionpress and have that fam help me out.  I’m currently working on chapter 7, and plan to finish chapter 10 by the end of this month.

Editing Progress…

I’m over halfway done with my current project right now, and so I am in the process of looking for someone who wants an editor for their manuscript sometime in the next month or two! Head over to the editing service page to see if you are interested.  Services include editing, character development, finding plot holes, writeups, and anything you could possibly want me to do.  I do charge, but if you have a legitimate reason (ex. you’re in college, or just don’t have much money) I will lower the rates dramatically.

That’s all for me!  What is on your March TBR?  Are you writing a novel? Which March releases are you most excited for?


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~ Now Venture out and Change the World ~