JULY 2016

Can you believe it will be August tomorrow? Sigh, this year is really flying by.  I think my TBR lately has gotten so freaking exciting, so I’m super excited to get started!  Anyways, this monthly summary has all the goodies in it.  Enjoy!


Book I’ve Read

  1. The Harry Potter series.  Well at least books 1 and 2.  It’s absolutely fascinating seeing just how different the books are to the movies.  There’s so much that was left out and it’s awesome experiencing it all over again.
  2. A Darker Shade of Magic (review) and A Gathering of Shadows (review) by V. E. Schwab from her Shadow World series. SOOOO GOOOOOD.
  3. Poison Princess by Kresley Cole.  I just finished this book today and give it 2.5/5 stars.  No idea how this book is rated like 4.3/5 on Goodreads. ~hisses~.  Since my review slay probably wouldn’t be nice, I don’t think I’m going to review this.  If you want me to let me know.

Posts This Month

THIS MONTH IN YA | July Releases (HP OBVS + others)

TAG | The Secret Life of a Book Blogger

TOP TEN TUESDAY | Ten Facts About Me

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY | Books I Want Sequels For

THIS OR THAT THURSDAY | Do You Lend Out Your Books?

TOP TEN TUESDAY | Ten Books I Enjoyed Set Outside of the US

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY | Most Recent Additions To My TBR

Do You Have a Twitter?

REVIEW | A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab

REVIEW | A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab


August is hopefully going to be a great book month for me!  I’m really looking forward to my TBR (I’ll post it tomorrow).  How was your July? Send me over your monthly summary! My evil WordPress is glitching like crazy so apologies for the extra janky post today.

June Wrap Up (SUPER MYSTERY SINCE I’VE BEEN MIA + BOOK RANT ON UF SERIES)

June was a slower reading month for me, but I did go through about 7.5 books.

I went through a couple genre phases that really didn’t play out brilliantly.  For a while I was really into urban fantasy and wanted to find a series similar to Jeaniene Frost’s Nighthuntress series (check it out the first book, Halfway to the Grave) and a few weeks later I was looking for a historical romance similar to Lisa Tawn Bergen’s River of Time series (you can see more info on the first book, Waterfall, here).

Anyways, let’s get started!


What I’ve Read

So, if you can tell from the covers above, to placate my urban fantasy whim I found out on Goodreads that J. R. Ward wrote a really popular UF series called Black Dagger Brotherhood.  You can check out the first book, Dark Lover here.  Anyways, the series looks super successful and has over 7 books thus far so you know that you’re in for a treat.  If you’ve never read urban fantasy before, know that you are likely walking into a intense sexual scenes and really tacky romances.  This series was no exception to this rule. Ever.

After the first book, I was like “Yeah, that was good” and then by the third book I was like “Yeaaaah…. Eh?” and then by the 4th-5th book I was like “Yeah…. no…..” and by the 6th-7th book I was utterly sick and tired of how fucking tacky this series was.  Like excuse my French but HOW is this series so popular?!?!?! It literally made me want to flip over my table and set my food on fire.  And it wasn’t just how whiny Ward made the characters that irked me, it was her ridiculous spelling antics too.  The main characters names were like Rhage, Phury, Zsadist, Wrath, Vishous, and it’s just like what?!  And key terminology for the series was also spelt weird and it just got so frustrating.  These MC’s are supposed to be great vampire warrior knight people and they just don’t fit the bill.. at all.  *angry sigh*

Can you tell why I didn’t write a review yet? LOL.

So two more books I read,

  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  I’ve been hearing about this book now for months and I thought I would finally take the plunge.  I’ve read about 1/4 of the book and I just don’t really know if I like it enough to continue?  The book has some parts in second person and it’s not a reading style I’ve ever read in a published book.  It also keeps alternating between characters/settings and it just comes off as really messy and odd.  Like I said, I’m just not sure if I like it so it was put on a back burner.
  2. Intertwine by Nichole Van.  I found this book on Goodreads after trying to find another historical romance/time travel thing.  I ended up giving this book a 3/5 stars because it was an easy read.  The series does continue but I don’t think I’ll be reading more.

What I’m Currently Reading

  1. The Mark of Cain by Lindsay Barraclough (4.07 on Goodreads).  I’m about 40 pages in and I’m interested to actually get into the plot.  There was this 30 page long prologue that was rather excessive.. but I’m sure it provided some sort of context for later on.

    Damaris lowers her voice still more. I hold my breath to catch the words: “You know, there is something about the girl, Zillah. The spirits come to her.” Damaris pauses. “I—I have heard the child whispering in the voice of another.”

    In 1567, baby Aphra is found among the reeds and rushes by two outcast witches. Even as an infant, her gifts in the dark craft are plain. But when her guardians succumb to an angry mob, Aphra is left to fend for herself. She is shunned and feared by everyone she encounters, except one man: the leper Long Lankin. Hounded and ostracized, the two find solace only in each other, but even this respite is doomed, and Aphra’s bitterness poisons her entire being. Afflicted with leprosy, about to be burned as a witch, she manages one final enchantment—a curse on her tormentor’s heirs.

    Now, in 1962, Cora and Mimi, the last of a cursed line, are trapped in an ancient home on a crumbling estate in deepest winter, menaced by a spirit bent on revenge.

  2. Paganism: An introduction to earth-centered religions by Joyce and River Higginbotham.  A couple of my friends from college were pagans and I finally decided to look it up and see what it was all about.  This book was highly recommended on Amazon so I’ve been reading through it.  I’m not a religious person at all, but so far I really like how earth-centered “paganism” really is.  I do have a Bachelor’s of Science degree so I’ve always been pretty skeptical of any religion that doesn’t provide me solid evidence. If you want me to make a blog post / review on this book I totally will, just let me know.  I must say that I feel like SJM drew from this religion in ACOTAR/ACOMAF and I’m kind of tempted to go back and see if I’m right.

    This book presents the basic fundamentals of Paganism. It explores what Pagans are like; how the Pagan sacred year is arranged; what Pagans do in ritual; what magick is; and what Pagans believe about God, worship, human nature, and ethics. For those who are exploring their own spirituality, or who want a good book to give to non-Pagan family and friends A hands-on learning tool with magickal workings, meditations, discussion questions, and journal exercises Offers in-depth discussion of ethics and magic.

  3. The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye.  I haven’t started reading this book yet but it has a 3.80 rating on Goodreads.

    Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

    And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

    Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

    For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

    And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself.

    As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


Life Updates

I don’t really have anything much to report.  I’ve been doing a lot of work on our Etsy, our website, Amazon, etc.  My foster dog from February was finally adopted in late May and like a week or two later I found fleas in my house.  So…. fuck.  It’s literally been the worst. Fleas are still not gone but I’ve finally gotten a handle on everything.  Apparently because it’s been so dry the fleas are coming out from the forest (a few feet from our house) and have just royally screwed us.  I have to clean our home every day and it takes me like 2 hours to vacuum everything, I have to lift up all the furniture and vacuum every little crevice in existence.

I’m also at a point where I’m doing okay.  Some of you oldies here know that I found out I was being cheated on in February and I am better but it still fucks with me.  Him and I are still talking, he hasn’t seen her since the day after I found out (he was only hanging out with her, apparently. Yes, I know what you’re thinking), we are NOT dating.  We will not be dating any time soon.  Truthfully, I don’t know how someone can come back from that, the trust isn’t back yet and I deserve respect.  So that’s what a lot of my time has been dedicated to… just working on myself.  I got Invisalign, I’ve been doing some self tanning, and I’ve been going to the gym about 5 times a week. I’m doing me because I deserve it.


Anyways, that’s all for now!  If any of you guys want to talk or get to know me better send me a comment or a message.  I’m more than willing to talk to y’all on Facebook or some other means.  I don’t have a twitter but I’ve thought about it.

Let me know your thoughts on my books!  Any recommendations?

The Pixar Tag!

It’s day 3 of the Book Blogging Extravaganza and today’s prompt was to do a tag!  Which is perfect because I absolutely love Pixar.
The Pixar Tag was created by Mishma over at Chasing Fairytales and it’s total perfection.  I feel like her GIF choices were part of the tag… so I’m leaving them. :]
tumblr_lpruh6oJ1I1qm6oc3o1_500.gif
Oh GOD! I went through a list (yes seriously) of all the Pixar movies ever made. Why? Because I’m old (23), I’ve seen them all, and my memory isn’t as great as it used to be.  Anyways, it comes down to a tie: Ratatouille (yessss), Finding Nemo (YAAASSS), and Inside Out (I CRIED).
finding-nemo.gif
giphy.gif
Harry Potter! Guys, its our generations book, how can you not say Harry Potter? I will forever love it.
Okay, since I’m all about being honest and slaying certain fandoms (only on Mondays, I promise, sorry if you like the book).  I’m calling out Holly Black’s The Iron Trials because holy cash cow Batman all I saw was Harry Potter warning bells flashing before my eyes.  If I wanted to read Harry Potter again I will do just that.  
OH! oh! OH! I know! GUYS if you’ve read Falling Kingdoms, you are probably riding the same train as me when it comes to Magnus.  Oh Magnus *sighing forever*.  I definitely feel like he’s supposed to be a villain but I just… don’t… I want him and Cleo to be a thing and I want him to become good.  Why can’t it happen? Whyyyyyyy :'(.
One family I absolutely loved in literature? The Bennet sisters from Pride and Prejudice.  I just loved their kindred spirits, love, and dedication.
tumblr_llqfc4x1mt1qclvq3.gif
I have always love Clary Fairchild’s ability to create angelic runes in The Mortal Instruments so I have to go with that

tumblr_mp1z2052041rh7pc9o3_r1_500.gif
Basically all of the Chronicles of Ixia by Maria V. Snyder.  There is so much traveling done that it’s sometimes hard to keep track of it all.  Yelena, Valek, Leif, Janco, etc. are ALWAYS going somewhere days away.
One of them is definitely Alec from The Mortal Instruments.  His character always drew me in and he was a perfect fit for Jace.
tumblr_mklr4fhL821rp92vzo2_500.gif
Indie author Laura Thalassa’s The Queen of All That Dies. Oh my god! If you have not read it GET ON THAT.  I freaking love this series.

So I’m not sure if it’s the most beautiful, but I really loved Celaena and Sam’s love in the Assassin’s Blade.  It just hit home so hard and gave me all the possible feels.  I also really loved Shatter Me‘s Juliette and Aaron love story.  I think it was the poetic writing style Mafi had that really drew me in.
OH 100% AELIN ASHRYVER GALYTHINIUS. DEFINITELY 100%.
Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas, Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi, and Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare.  Seriously all the feels EVER!
Tag, you’re it!
 
Nova @ Out of Time

Day 2 Blogging Extravaganza! | Bookish Things You’d Give a Kidney For

Happy Friday everybody!  Today is day 2 of the blogging extravaganza.  This is a super exciting month long (!) blogging extravaganza hosted by Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf! You can get alllll the details here.  Today is only the second day, so join if you haven’t already!

Today is World Kidney Day, so today’s prompt is perfect.  There aren’t many bookish things I would you give a kidney for? But these would make me consider it.

  • ARC of Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
  • Amy Engel, author of The Book of Ivy, to write another book
  • Laura Thalassa to write ALL OF THE BOOKS EVER
  • Go to BookCon and get all the books ever
  • Be able to travel into any literary world and interact with it and the characters.

What do you guys think?  Is there anything you’d add?  I’m trying to finish my ARC from NetGalley tonight, then I’ll be moving onto Lady Midnight. :]

Get Up Offa That Slump Blogging Extravaganza! | Day One: Interview.. with me!

I’ve decided to jump on the train and participate in a super exciting month long (!) blogging extravaganza hosted by Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf! You can get alllll the details here.

I thought it’d be fun to get some new topics spurred on my blog and also see your guys’ posts!  So participate! Join the party! It starts now! :].  These posts will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Day One consists of me interviewing myself, so let’s get started!


 

Let’s start this easy.. how old are you?

I am the sweet age of 23.  Fun fact, I had to Google how old I was the other day because I genuinely did not know. #oldage #ohmygod

Did you go to college? 

Yes! I graduated in May 2015 from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree.  I studied Natural Resources – wildlife conservation, animal rehab, science, more science, science.  Yes, I went Ivy. And yes, I am totally proud of myself for doing it.  I had a hard upbringing so doing something that big was a milestone in my life.

What would your perfect day look like if you based it off of meals?

Oh. my. god.

Are you hungry guys? because this shit is about to get real.

Breakfast
Location: 
Cracker Barrel
Meal:
White chocolate and fresh berry French toast with whipped cream on the side

efbf616e69cc974c2a1d1bc7789b7c8b.jpg

Lunch
Location: Ted’s Hot Dogs
Meal: Foot long hot dog with mayo and ketchup, fries, and a strawberry shake

0517121352.jpg

Dinner
Location: Jack Astor’s
Meal: Cheesy garlic bread & mozzarella sticks (appetizers).  For my entree, a cheeseburger

4430054961_8ce3439f9b_b.jpg

tumblr_lsxhe5OZ0Y1qgbrct.jpg

Dessert
Location: Cheesecake Factory
Meal: Strawberry cheesecake

CCF_FreshStrawberryCheesecake.jpg

Sweet, sweet paradise *mmmmmm*

Where would you like to live?

Honestly I’d really love to live in Florida.  I don’t like the cold weather at all.  I also thought it’d be really nice to live in England for awhile.  My paternal side of the family all hail from there.

If you won the lottery what would you do with the money?

Pay off my student loans faster than you could flip a pancake.  Pay off my parents debts and give them extra.  Donate to animal rescues. Save the rest.

What kind of music do you like?

It depends on my mood but alternative has always been a steady choice for me.  I love old school Paramore, Fall out boy, Panic!, All American Rejects, still digging MCR.

Do you have any pets?

Yes! I have a 9 year old cat named Butters, a rescue dog named Marley (she was just recently featured on Susie’s Senior Dogs!!!), and my foster chihuahua, Joey.

Favorite type of cookie?

Double chocolate. YUM.  I was thinking of making a baking post with them (plus my recipe!) but I wasn’t sure how it would be received.  You might get diabetes just looking at the photos hehe.

Favorite book trope?

I’m loving the whole badass female assassin books.  PRAISING SJM FOREVER.

What are you feeling right now?

#thebern


 

Okay, I’ll end it there guys!  I’m terrible at thinking of questions.  If you have any more for me ask below!  I don’t mind and I love letting you guys get to know me better! 🙂

February Wrap Up!

Hey everyone, I’m back. I promise.  And juuuuust in time.

This is what I read this month:

I can’t wait to finish my current books!  I LOVED the books I read this month.

Can’t wait to see everyone elses wrap ups.  Let’s have a great March :)!

January 2016 Wrap Up! Books & Lifestyle Favorites!

January is almost over, the snow is still falling, it’s one month closer to the summer!

This month has been full of excitement, I did so much reading, exploring, and experiencing.  It’s been a good month.  Coincidentally, it is actually the end of my first month of blogging and I feel really happy because time has flown by.  The blogging community has been so sweet and supportive, I can’t wait to get to know everyone better!

Let’s get started!


 

Books

This month I read a total of 11 books!  I believe on Goodreads Reading Challenge I chose 100 for the year, so I’m already ahead of schedule! This month was all fantasy for me, and it was beautiful.  Have any recommendations for me? Let me know!

I’m currently in the process of reading Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.  I am banning myself from reading anything else until I finish these two books.  After that, I have 2 ARC’s on NetGalley to read so that will be my life.  #sigh.


Shows

Okay so this is pretty horrible but our TV remote died an awful death about a week ago and we hadn’t replaced it until today… Meaning many shows I am super pumped for have aired and I am super behind.  These (kind of) are my current shows:

I believe Grey’s comes back mid-February (HALLE-FREAKING-LUJAH) and I really want to get back into OUAT.  The last season isn’t on Netflix yet (or am I on the newest one? I don’t know).  Jane The Virgin is actually super hilarious, I recommend it to everyone!


It’s the little things in life

So I recently bought a new purse and I am LOVING it!  It’s the Lauren by Ralph Lauren Crawley Hobo Bag in black.  It’s a beauty!  I used to have a Fossil Erin small crossbody in bright yellow and it’s time was over.  Huzzah for material goods!

lauren-by-ralph-lauren-crawley-hobo-black-black-hobo-handbags.jpeg

I also bought a planner! It’s called a Happy Planner.  I wanted to properly plan out my weeks with my online businesses and blog posts.  I’m currently procrastinating on buying sticker paper, but once I get it I will have so much fun using my Silhouette to make planner stickers. n_n.

PLNR-03_1024x1024.jpg

I’m was a subscriber to a monthly Artisan box subscription called GlobeIn (click here for more info!), and I’m pretty sure this month was my last time getting it.  The theme for January was “Bathe” and I was pretty satisfied with what I got.  Here’s a couple photos from their website:

The stuff was pretty cute but I just kind of lost the appeal after awhile, I didn’t really use the things I got.  However I do recommend it to anyone who is interested in artisan things!  You get cool little things made from all around the world.

Note: If you have a nut allergy (like me) make sure to email them and tell them.  One of my boxes had this chocolate bar with tree nuts and I would have ended up in the ER if I didn’t read the label soooooo… It’s a lot of money to spend and not be able to eat/use the things they send you.

PS: This isn’t sponsored….? I feel like I should state the obvious…..


Colombia

Ok so if you didn’t know, I was in Colombia for a whole month and just got back almost two weeks ago.  While there, I got the joy of eating Colombian food all day every day.  My Tia and I made empanadas (aka beef patties…? I think that’s the translation), they were THE FREAKING BOMB.  I have a video of us making them on my Instagram.  Anyways, here are a few photos of my trip!  You can see the rest of them on the ‘gram. :]

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 11.05.43 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-29 at 11.05.05 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-29 at 11.05.23 PM


February

Oh February, it’s definitely one of my favorite months.  I’m a sucker for Valentine’s Day. I’m pretty sure le boyfriend and I will be doing something cutesy.  I was in South America for our 3 year anniversary, my birthday, and Christmas so we need a little vacation.

I’m planning on doing a little road trip mid-Feb to go to the Susan Dennard / SJM book signing at Barnes & Noble in PA. So exciting!

Anyways, I’m super hungry and my floor is finally dry after mopping. I AM OFF TO EAT. Tell me about your favorite things this month! :]

Most Anticipated Books of 2016

Huzzah! It’s almost the end of 2015 and with it comes my newfound preparation of what’s in store for next year.

After reviewing my “to read” list on Goodreads, I noticed that a huge amount of the books I’m waiting to read are being released this upcoming year.  

I thought I’d take the ever time-consuming leap and look up all the release dates for the bookish world.  Some publishers have yet to release specific dates on some of the books, so I’ve left them at the end.  Once there’s new info I will add it accordingly!

January 5th – Endure (Defy #3) by Sara Larson 

AND Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken

January 26th – Night Study (Soulfinders #2) by Maria V. Snyder

** Note, if you’re new to the Soulfinders series, read Maria Snyder’s Poison Study trilogy first.  This is “technically” book #5 of that series ;).  ALSO THERE IS A HUUUGE SPOILER TO BE REVEALED IF YOU READ THIS ONE FIRST**
Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 8.58.04 PMFebruary 2nd – Assassins Heart (Assassin’s Heart #1) by Sarah Ahiers
February 9th – Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard
Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 8.57.57 PM
March 8th – Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare AND The Great Hunt (The Great Hunt #1) by Wendy Higgins
Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 8.57.47 PM
April 5th – The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2) by Jodi Meadows
Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 8.57.40 PM
May 3rd – A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah. J. Maas
AND The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Ahdieh
Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 8.57.32 PM
August 2nd – The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3) by Mary Pearson
AND United (Alienated #3) by Melissa Landers
August 30th – A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir

NO DATES YET:

Untitled (The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu
Untitled (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas
Torn (A Wicked Saga #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

GUYSSSSSS!!  All the feels now that it’s a tangible list in front of my eyes.  The books I’m most excited for are those by Sarah J. Maas (who are we kidding, amirite?) and Maria V. Snyder.  If you haven’t checked out Maria V. Snyder, get that on your to-do list because her writing is fantastic.

What books are you most excited for? If I’m missing anything or need to check a new series out let me know!