Reading Wrap-up: October 2015

Allow me to begin this post with a big ol’ WOMP-WOMP-WOMP. Not only have I completely neglected my poor blog this month, but also my reading list! I only read TWO books this month, and one of them was even a re-read. What a disgrace! Hahaha I’m only joking. Sometimes things are more important than blogging and/or reading (gasp!) and for me, those things include Halloween!

I had such a great Halloween! Hoping to get a post up about our night & our costumes soon! Tutorials to follow, because I’ll have to make those from scratch again.

Anyway, the two books I read in November:

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Yeah, that’s it. Those are my two! Hopefully I can get myself back on track for November (even though I’m actually 1 ahead of schedule on my Goodreads challenge). We’ll see!!

What did you read in October? What are you looking forward to in November? You know I’m always adding to my TBR & would love some more titles on it!

I likely won’t be back tomorrow, since I’m taking a 3-day weekend, but I’ll do better next week. I miss you, blog!

Until Next Time ❤

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Reading Wrap-Up: September 2015

UGH. Slacker. It’s October 15. But you know what? Let’s talk about what I read in September anyway, because it was a great reading month for me!

I’m gonna try something a little different with this post, so let me know how you like it in the comments!

Click the photos to see the Goodreads page for each book

Reading Wrap-Up

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The Design/ The Duet Review    //   Original Heir of Fire Reivew

I can’t believe I actually read this many books in a month. I mean, technically The Martian started at the very end of August, but even then – I think this is my highest volume reading month ever. Feels kinda awesome, you guys.

Until Next Time ❤

Books, Revisited: Why I Re-Read Books

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HAPPY OCTOBER, EVERYONE! Ok, so I’m not sure if you’d figured this out yet, but holy crap I love October. I’m so excited it’s here & cannot wait for Halloween (except that whole “I really need to start working on my costume” thing). Anyway, I’m feeling refreshed and totally energized by the prospect of a new month and a new season, and my trip to the salon a couple weeks ago definitely helped things, as well! Clearly, I’m feeling like rambling because of all the excitement. I haven’t had that much caffeine yet today, I swear!

Today I wanted to talk about revisiting/re-reading books. I’ve only read a handful of books more than once (children’s books excluded), and I was thinking this morning –  since I just finished re-reading Heir of Fire & have moved on to re-read Queen of Shadows – about which books I have chosen to devote more of my time to than others, and why.

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Similarly to re-watching movies over and over again, re-reading a book gives you new insight to the story. You pick up on things you didn’t notice the first time around and you put the pieces together in the way the author intended, rather than the way your brain decides to piece it all together before the author comes out & explains it (did that even make sense?). Let me try again: I love using an author’s foreshadowing & tiny clues to try and figure out the twists and secrets before they are revealed later in the story. At the same time, by doing that, I miss out on just experiencing the story and taking time to really connect with the characters. On a second (or third, or fourth) read-through, you know where the story is going & you can just marvel at the way the author brings the narrative together.

The obvious difference between re-watching a film and re-reading a book, though, is time commitment. I’m not a very fast reader, so reading a book multiple times really is a commitment & takes away from the time I could spend reading new books (and putting the tiniest of dents into my To Be Read list, you feel?). So, what makes a book re-readable for me, personally?

  1. FEELS. This is the primary reason I will re-read a book. If it makes me feel strongly – any emotion, really, but just resonates on an emotional level? It’s definitely worth reading again. This is basically the first criteria for whether or not I’ll take the time to revisit a book. If I didn’t feel anything for it, why bother, right?
  2. BEAUTY. I am a sucker for poignant books with beautiful language or beautiful settings. I have read The Great Gatsby more times than any other book (I think I’m sitting around 5 or 6) because it is just so beautiful to me. Tragic, of course. But beautiful. I’m certain that as my experience with classic novels grows, there will be a few more that I add to this list. I’ve also re-read the book The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant three times since the first time I read it. That book is like soul food for anyone obsessed with Renaissance-era art history.
  3. SEQUELS. So series are a huge thing right now, obviously. Seems like every book you pick up these days is part of some series or another, and finding stand-alone novels can really be a daunting task. What about that feeling when you finish a book that you didn’t KNOW was in a series and then you have to wait a year (or more) for the next installment? That might be one of the worst feelings. By the time that next book is released, you’ve likely forgotten some of the key points of its predecessor, and a re-read would help pull you back into the world and better understand what is happening in your new book.
  4. ADAPTATIONS. This is one I haven’t really experienced yet, but would definitely qualify as a reason to re-read something. In a time when Film/TV adaptations of best-selling books seem to be the norm, it’s likely that one of your favorite book series is going to be adapted at some point. Now, my previous exprience has just been to read books once the adaptation is already nearing completion, so it’s not a re-read scenario, obviously. But The Selection and Throne of Glass series have both been optioned recently for adaptations, and you can rest assured I will be re-reading if/when those projects reach completion.
  5. NOSTALGIA. There are always those books you read when you are young that stick with you because they resonate on some level or are really integral to developing the person you choose to become.  I started a Harry Potter re-read this year for that very reason. It’s a series I love desperately, that had a huge impact on me as a teenager (obviously I’m not alone in this), but I haven’t read the books since Deathly Hallows was released.  Another great example of this for me is Ella Enchated by Gail Carson Levine. I adored that book the first time I read it & it may have been the book that really cemented a love of reading in me. I have re-read it a few times over the years, but I’m actually probably due for a another read-through soon.

I mean it when I say I don’t have many books on my re-read shelf. It really takes a hugely emotional connection to a book before I’ll consider spending extra hours on it. Because, why would I when a new favorite could be next on my TBR pile?

Here’s a look at every book I can remember reading more than once. Again, excluding children’s books & beginning at about mid-grade level:

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Fun fact: Twilight should technically also be on this list, but I didn’t include it because the only reason I’ve read it more than once is that I completely forgot I had read it the first time. I don’t know if that’s on me or Stephanie Meyer, but apparently it really didn’t resonate that much the first time through.

So, how about you? Do you tend to read books once and move on, or do you re-visit old favorites? How do you choose? I’d love to hear from you!

Until Next Time ❤

Fall/Winter TBR List: Books Galore!

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Well, I think I’ve finally put a finger on why I’m feeling so stressed out lately! Regardless of how excited I am for Fall (and Halloween, of course), I haven’t been able to shake this feeling like I’m never going to accomplish everything I want to by the end of the year. It’s been really discouraging, but I’ve realized it’s just because I’m too damn ambitious.

I read a quote the other day that was along the lines of “having too much freedom and too many options leads to procrastination” and I think that completely sums up my entire life perfectly. So. I’m going to try and cut back on my expectations of myself and work towards smaller goals – with the help of my trusty Passion Planner, obviously – and just make things more manageable for myself until I have developed better habits. All that’s a post for another day, though.


Today, I’m going to start small and share my To Be Read (TBR) list for Fall/Winter 2015. I’m under no delusions that I will actually get through all of these books in the next three months, but I’m already on track to make a pretty big dent (assuming I don’t hit a book slump after finishing Queen of Shadows for the 2nd time…eek!).

I went back & forth on whether I wanted to share these by genre or by the order I have tentatively assigned to them, and I think I’m going with my random order, so we can see how many I end up skipping by the end of the year. Because *that* won’t be discouraging to look back on (sarcasm sarcasm sarcasm).

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  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas (re-read)
  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas (re-read)
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman (AB read-along)
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (bookdrunkinlove read-along)
  • Through the Woods by Emil Carrol (AB graphic novel read-along)
  • Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (re-read)
  • Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (re-read)

Books 11-20

  • I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
  • Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn
  • The Last Command by Timothy Zahn
  • The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  • With this Heart by RS Grey
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
  • Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (re-read)

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Aditionally, I’ve got the following graphic novels that I’d like to finish before the end of the year:

  1. Sex Criminals vol. 1
  2. Wicked + Divine vol. 2
  3. Hawkeye vol. 1
  4. Saga vol. 5
  5. Halloween Eve

So needless to say, I’ve got an overly ambitious reading list for the season, and that’s only one aspect of my life I’ve been planning out. There is physically no possible way to get everything done that is on my to-do list, and I think that’s really got me frozen in place and feeling stuck. I’m sure someone out there can relate. I hope someone out there can relate…

In the end, I think it’s a matter of recognizing that it’s not the end of the world, and it’s definitely not something to be ashamed about if I don’t get around to everything. I mean, I’ve already surpassed the number of books I read in 2014. Right now I’m sitting at 33 books read this year, plus a ton of comics that I haven’t even counted towards my goal. I’d say I’m doing alright. And I need to look at things from this perspective more often. I also need to prioritize all of my 2015 goals to determine which ones I want to focus on for the next 3 months. It’s a work in progress, you guys… but aren’t we all? 🙂

Until Next Time ❤

*AB = AdultBooklr (what’s that?)

[9] Obsessive Wednesdays: August Obsessions

Hello again! I’m back. I told you I’d be back and, while I’m a little late, I AM here! I figured I’d just ease myself back into this whole thing today with a quick little obsessions post, because my body has the worst timing & decided to come down with its second case of bronchitis this year – YAY! Not…

So I’ve got a whole month to catch up on with obsessions, but I’ll try to keep things to a minimum today…key word: try.

First of all – BOOKS

The Martian

So, this was an AdultBooklr August read-along that I started on September 1 because I’m a slacker. Regardless, I cannot tell you how many times I was reading this book and laughed out loud. I mean really, REALLY loudly. I highlighted something like 25 lines throughout this book. I loved it so much. I have a full review coming, so I don’t want to spill all my thoughts here, but holy crap. I loved this book. I kept turning to my husband to say “you HAVE to read this book”, “PLEASE tell me you’ll read this book?”, or “it would make me SO happy if you would read this book”. He’s probably tired of hearing it. Too bad. It’s so good. So, y’all gotta read it 🙂

Queen of Shadows

The moment so many of us have been waiting for! The 4th installment in the Throne of Glass series was released on September 1, and I cannot wait to read it! I pre-ordered the UK paperback from The Book Depository, which has not arrived on my doorstep yet, BUT I did get a Kindle copy from my library just this morning (eep!), so I’m FREAKING out! I’m actually about 30% of the way through Assassin’s Blade right now, because I didn’t expect to get my hands on Queen of Shadows until closer to the 15th. So now I’m going to be power reading Assassin’s Blade today so I can hopefully start Queen of Shadows tonight and AHHHH! I’ve heard some rather discouraging things about this installment, so I’m a tiny bit worried, BUT still open-minded. If you want to follow along with my escapades, check out my #OGFQoS tag on Tumblr or the Unofficial AdultBooklr Read-Along thread on Goodreads!

COMICS

The Wicked + The Divine

The official AdultBooklr read-along graphic novel for September is volume 1 of The Wicked + The Divine. I’ve had this trade for a couple months, now, and just picked it up a couple weeks ago, after we had selected it as our read-along for September. I still haven’t actually finished it, because I got distracted by The Martian, but I’ve only got one issue left in the first volume & then I also own the 2nd and all the current single issues, so I can get all the way caught up! This series is based on a really unique premise of 12 Immortals, who return to Earth once per century to live among the humans for 2 years before they die. This event is called “The Recurrence”, and is the basis for the whole series. I don’t have much more information beyond that, except that it’s exciting & unpredictable and the artwork is just utter perfection. Highly recommend.

Batgirl

August’s AdultBooklr graphic novel read-along was Batgirl of Burnside by Cameron Stewart, with art by Babs Tarr. I was late on this read-along, as well, but instantly fell in love with Barbara & this storyline of hers. I’m constantly mesmerized by Babs Tarr’s artwork, and have been a  fan of hers for a while now. I have the newer issues of this run, as well & I’m really looking forward to reading them.

Scarlet Witch

So, Wanda’s getting a new solo arc this fall and you know that makes me hella excited. I love her redesign by Kevin Wada and this cover by David Aja. I can’t wait to see what Marvel does with her. Again, I’m a little bit skeptical, but still optimistic. They did make some pretty huge changes to the character’s origin story, which is super obnoxious. Thanks, copyright. Bah.

LIFESTYLE

FabFitFun

Hellooooo, new favorite subscription box! Ok, I’ve done a bunch of different subscriptions over the last couple years & this one takes the freaking cake. FabFitFun is a quarterly box that combines fitness, lifestyle, and beauty products into one.  Every box is the same, but they jam nearly $250 worth of products into a $50 box every 3 months, and it is AWESOME. Take a look at  their summer box:

That’s a wireless bluetooth speaker, a 14k gold necklace, an exclusive jump rope, fragrance sample, tarte lip gloss, hair repairing spray, spray-on moisturizer, nail wraps, cleansing sponge, and a gift card to Headspace, which is a guided meditation app! Total value is near $300.

I actually loved this box so much that I ordered one for me & then a 2nd for my BFF as a birthday gift! The necklace alone is worth over $100. I got the yellow gold version with a moon pendant, and Kristi got the rose gold version with a horseshoe pendant. We both love them & I’m so excited to see what’s in the Fall box, which ships in a couple weeks! If you’re interested in checking out this service, you can get $10 off your first box with this link!*

*I have not been paid or sponsored by FFF. I just REALLY love this box <3.

Passion Planner

Yep. Still loving my Passion Planner! Thought I’d bring it up again, because we’re closing in on the end of the year AND they’ve been having lots of flash sales on their Academic planners! I’m finally working out an effective system & I need to do my August reflections/ September goal-setting and I’ll be writing up a thorough review in the near future!

TECHNOLOGY

Photo Candy App

I almost never pay for my apps. I don’t really see the point. BUT, I found this cute photo editor app & loved the different options it gives. PLUS, one of my credit cards has iTunes rewards, so I just recently received a $25 iTunes gift card, so it didn’t REALLY feel like spending money on an app. Anyway, Check out some of the cute edits I’ve done with this app! There’s a free version, too, by the way! You just get ads & a few less features. Still a totally great app, though!

I used it to create a couple fun Instagram posts last week:

    

OSMO

This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Osmo is simple. It’s an iPad accessory that turns your tablet into an interactive game system. You get a stand and a little mirror attachment that hooks over your camera, as well as some Tanagram pieces & a set of both red & blue letter tiles. You then you download their free apps to play. There’s a Tanagrams game, multiple Word games, Physics games, and even an Art studio game. My mother-in-law bought this for Kiddo’s birthday and we have been having a BLAST with it. Check out the video below for more information!

BB-8

Ah yes. Last, but CERTAINLY not least. BB-8 is the newest addition to the Star Wars Droid family. In case you hadn’t heard, Sphero has developed a remote-controlled version of the little guy with some seriously cool features. You can control him via any iOS or Android device, he responds to your voice, you can record and display holographic messages, he’s got an autonomous setting, and he has an adaptive personality. I have watched a number of BB-8 demos, and wanted to order one more than ANYTHING on Force Friday (September 4). Unfortunately, the price tag was a little high at $150. BUT THEN I GOT A SURPRIIIIISE today, when my husband informed me he ordered one!! We’ll have our very own BB-8 this time next week! Booyah ( yes, that just happened. deal with it)

Whew. OK, so I didn’t do a GREAT job being brief today, but I’ve had a lot of time to obsess without talking about it! It’s been a MONTH, you guys! A whole month where I didn’t write a thing. Nothing. It feels good to be back 🙂

How about you? What’ve you been up to since I disappeared? I’d love to hear from you!

Til Next Time ❤

5 Fandom Friday! 5 Fictional Pets I Wanna Adopt

My goodness, I miss 5 Fandom Fridays! What is wrong with me? Why do I think I’ll be fine skipping a week? It makes me so sad when I don’t get to hang out with everyone for 5FF!

This week’s prompt is hella cute: 5 Fictional Pets I Want to Adopt, and I’ve put a lot of thought into this. This list is, for once, in order of want.

5. Marcel (FRIENDS)

Sure, he’s kind of a little shit, but he’s so cute & smart & loyal. I’d snuggle him for sure.

4.  FalKor

Not TECHNICALLY a pet, but I want a Luckdragon!! Adventures abound!

3.  Abraxos

Loyalty and ferocity. Perfect for a badass pet.

2.  Lying Cat

Heh. The cake is a lie, you guys. Don’t even pretend you don’t want a Lying Cat.

1. Hedwig

Because duh.

 

So, yay for 5FF! Created by Kristin & Megan! Check out #5FF or #Fandom5 to see more!

 

Until Next Time ❤

[Book Review] Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)

I did it. I finished Heir of Fire. I have a lot of thoughts here, so I’m going to try & organize them as best I can. I’ve tried my best to avoid spoilers for the other 2 books in the series, but if you haven’t read those & don’t want to risk it, I suggest you go back to one of my earlier reviews: [Throne of Glass] or [Crown of Midnight]!

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

First of all, this book took me a LONG time to read (I guess some people don’t consider 3 weeks that long for a book, but I definitely do). I just couldn’t binge-read it the way I did with the first two books. Now, this could easily be attributed to book burnout after the aforementioned binge sessions, OR it could be because the storytelling in this book changed so significantly & felt really disjointed compared to the rest of the series. My guess is it was the latter, but the whole burnout thing is maybe a contributing factor.

The thing about this book compared to the first two is that we’re following multiple concurrent story lines. This I have no problem with – I mean,  our favorite characters get separated & we start following each of them independently – duh. There was just something about the way it was executed in this book that felt…choppy? Every time I started getting invested in one of the story lines, the narrative would switch over to a different one & I’d lose my momentum. And then put the book down and not feel that burning desire to pick it back up.

The book is divided into two “Parts”, which are directly related to a decision Celaena has to make. I’ll say that Part 2 was MUCH more consistent than Part 1 & only took me a few days to read. Once I hit the 70% mark in the book, I got that fire back for the series. It was just one of those instances where the book in the middle of the series is spending so much time building up to what’s to come that nothing REALLY happens. Except for that one thing that happens in the last 100 pages. Because Damn. That HAPPENED.

Celaena’s character development is basically stunted for the first 2/3 of the book. She’s her same stubborn self, still reeling from the events of Crown of Midnight.  It takes a long time for her to start climbing out of the abyss of despair she was dropped in, but once she takes that first step, things really start to pick up.

We’re also introduced to quite a few new characters – dare I say too many? I think maybe. Perhaps not too many for the entire book, but too many in close succession, for sure. Things got kind of chaotic for a little bit during Part 1 & it was hard to keep track of the pieces that were flying in every direction and in no way coming together.

All-in-all, I did really love this book once I had finished it. I gave it 4/5 stars on Goodreads because I think it’s setting us up for something absolutely, undeniably epic in the next two installments. It just suffered a little bit from what I call “The Two Towers” syndrome – where the middle of the story is just the middle of the story & has no beginning or end of its own. Can’t fault a series book for that, but it does make it EXTRA frustrating to have to wait around for the next installment!

4 star

Have you finished Heir of Fire? What did you think?! I need to know! I need someone to talk about this book with, please tell me!

Until Next Time ❤

[5] Obsessive Wednesdays: Music Madness!

Welcome back to Obsessive Wednesdays! This week is a little music-heavy (and, consequently, Youtube-heavy). Likely due to the Cincinnati road trip a couple weeks ago 🙂 Kristi & I discovered LOTS of new faves. I’m just gonna share a couple, though. Let’s not get crazy.

MUSIC

New Miley! (Nightmare)

Guys, this song leaked on the internet yesterday & I’m in love. I actually really love the majority of Miley’s music since “We Can’t Stop” came out. And I’m not ashamed to admit that. Sure, her antics have been INCREDIBLY eyeroll-worthy. But I can forgive that. She’s making huge strides with her charity, which I greatly admire. She really does have a heart of gold. And this song is LE-GIT.

1989 Mashup / Sam Tsui & Kurt Schneider

This is maybe my favorite mashup/remake/cover/whatever that I’ve ever found on YouTube. I just can’t. I can. Not. It’s so good.

Also, check out Sam Tsui’s Sam Smith/Ed Sheeran mashup, because it’s a close contender.

Anna Kendrick’s/ John Krasinski Lip Sync Battle

This is maybe old news to some of you, but I just got around to watching it last week and HOLY SHIT. Anna Kendrick is a freaking goddess. It takes a LOT of courage to take on J-Lo and she totally kills it. Even with her little white girl booty. Just more proof that any booty can be a great booty.

Last-minute entry! Happy Playlist!

 

I dare you to be in a bad mood while this playlist is running. I DARE YOU. (playlist by @loudlysilent)

YOUTUBE

Carmilla

 

Moving along from music, bookavid was a terrible human being & made me start watching the web series, Carmilla, about a quirky girl whose roommate disappears & is replaced by a vampire. The cast is just phenomenal, and I blew through the first season in a couple days. The majority of characters in this series are gay, but it’s never really “addressed”, which I found fucking refreshing. Nobody needed to quantify their affections for whoever they were into. Everything was just accepted as normal. This is the way the world should work. Woah. That might have been a borderline rant. My bad.

BOOKS

P.S. I Still Love You / Jenny Han

I finally picked this up from the library & cannot wait to dive in. I need to finish Heir of Fire first, but I’m getting close, so YAY! I really, really enjoyed (review) To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and I am super excited to read the ongoing adventures of the Song Sisters! Also super excited to do a joint review of the book with @loudlysilent for The Wind-Up Books Chronicle this month!

Stephanie Perkins Novels

I also picked up the 3 Stephanie Perkins novels – Anna & The French Kiss, Lola & The Boy Next Door, and Isla & The Happily Ever After – from my library. I’ve definitely gotten the tiniest burnt out on fantasy lately, so I’m really glad to have these contemporaries (with INCREDIBLE reviews) at the ready for me!

A Court of Thorns & Roses

When I’m ready again for more fantasy, I’ve got this beauty at the ready!! I know I should probably move on to another author, but I’ve heard such INCREDIBLE things about this book that I just don’t see the point! Sarah J Maas does fantasy like nobody I’ve ever read, and I am a FAN.

BEAUTY

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Everybody & their mother is pooping their pants over this. And with good reason. Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky palette is set to be released next month, and people. are. excited. Just look at the gorgeous packaging & the perfection that is every single shade of shadow! I don’t have any UD palettes in my arsenal, but this seems like a good one to get for me. When Kristi & I were sharing makeup, I always reached for her UD palettes before my own, so I know I’ll get good use out of it! These are TOTALLY worth the price tag.

HOME

Julia Goodwin’s San Francisco Home

Holy crap, you guys. This is like my dream interior. Every single photo in this home tour has me slobbering all over my keyboard. Seriously. I had to restrain myself from posting ALL of the photos right here. Every. Single. One is gorgeous & I have so much inspiration for my own spaces now!

Speaking of my spaces…

My New Bookshelves!

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Last but certainly not least – I have bookshelves now! Apologies for the crappy-lighting photo. My bedroom needs some serious work. If you follow me on Instagram or Tumblr, you may have seen that these suckers are getting lots of love from me. They’re a little sparse because my book collection is just getting underway. Having these right next to my bed has been AMAZING this week. They’re the perfect nightstand. I’ll do a whole bedroom tour once my room is no longer an embarrassment. K? Thanks.

I think that’s long enough for today. Let me know in the comments if there’s something YOU’RE completely obsessing over right now? Maybe it’s the new Mockingjay trailer? Or an announcement that something you love is being brought to screen (Lumberjanes, anyone?). I want to know!

Until Next Time ❤

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases Remaining in 2015

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Woo! So I was going to do something a little different today, but it’s going to take more time than I had anticipated to put it together. Hopefully it turns out well & becomes a regular feature I can do here. Ooooh surprises! I hope to have it done by next week for y’all 🙂

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is Most Anticipated Releases For The Rest of 2015 – and boy, do I have a few of THOSE suckers. A few of them have come up in my Waiting on Wednesday posts, but most of the ones I’d posted for that have already been released this year (YAY!) so there are quite a few new ones on this list!

1. Queen of Shadows / Sarah J Maas

2. Library of Souls / Ransom Riggs

3. The Rest of Us Just Live Here / Patrick Ness

4. Armada / Ernest Cline

5. Lair of Dreams / Libba Bray

6. Carry On / Rainbow Rowell

7. The Stars Never Rise / Rachel Vincent (released today: COUNTS!)

8. The Trouble With Destiny / Lauren Morrill

9. Ink and Bone / Rachel Caine

10. Soundless / Richelle Mead

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly link-up hosted by The Broke & The Bookish
Until Next Time ❤

[Book Review] Crown Of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)

HOLY… Everything. Holy everything. This book. Well, this book destroyed me. Ripped out my heart & crumbled it a la Regina Mills.  Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series, and it really outdoes the first in terms of eliciting emotional responses.


 CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by SARAH J. MAAS

Celaena Sardothien is the king’s Champion—yet she is far from loyal to the crown, for the man she serves is bent on evil. But working against her master in secret is no easy task. As Celaena tries to untangle the mysteries buried within the glass castle, she can trust no one, not even her supposed allies Crown Prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and foreign princess Nehemia.

Then, an unspeakable tragedy shatters Celaena’s world. She must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie . . . and whom she will fight for.


The instant I turned the last page of Throne of Glass, I hopped into the car with kiddo and drove to Half Price Books to pick up the rest of the series (not exaggerating). They didn’t have any in the store, so I just picked up a couple books for mini-me and we headed over to Barnes & Noble, pushing dinner back by a couple hours in the process (oops!). Anyway, I grabbed Crown of Midnight and had intentions to get the rest of the series, but Heir of Fire is only released in hardcover right now and they didn’t have any paperback copies of Assassin’s Blade. Gotta make sure the set matches, yo!

Crown of Midnight picks up basically where Throne of Glass left off, so there are going to be a few mini-spoilers for Throne of Glass in my review, because it’s basically unavoidable.

The general premise of this second installment is that Celaena is now the King’s Champion and, as such, is contracted to eliminate targets deemed to be a threat to the crown. She uses her position to continue the mission set forth by Queen Elena in the first book, investigating the secrets held within the castle while maintaining the appearance of a loyal servant to the King. All the secrets she is keeping begin to cause tensions between those closest to her, with everyone questioning each others’ intentions.

Crown of Midnight weaves a pretty intricate web, and reveals even more about Celaena’s past as the castle’s secrets begin to become her own.  We get to see the lethality of our favorite assassin on a number of occasions, as well as seeing her softer side as she  learns to trust her friends and puts their needs above her own time & time again. We experience incredible heartbreak as she is betrayed (more than once) and we finally have the opportunity to witness the power of magic in the world of Erilea.

I reiterate, this book is filled with SO much emotion. Celaena is learning about herself and what she wants for her life once she is free from the King’s command. She begins to heal old wounds, only to have them ripped wide open as her secrets begin to unravel. It’s a gut-wrenching ride from beginning to end, and I found myself in tears more than once (thank you, husband, for not laughing at me as I sobbed over the pages of this book!).

As in the first book, I found a few of the plot twists to be somewhat predictable but, unlike the first installment, it in no way affected my opinion of this book.  Watching all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place was incredibly satisfying, even if my suspicions were right on-point. And the ending….well, you really need to read this book.

Final Verdict:

5 star

No surprise here, I am OBSESSED with this book, and really looking forward to diving deeper into the story with Heir of Fire!

Did you read Crown of Midnight? Did it affect you the way it affected me? I’ve been chatting with some other fans of this series & we all agree – this book cuts through you like a knife (or maybe one of Celaena’s daggers)!

Until Next Time ❤