Book Blog Hop

Time to Hop!

One of the things I’ve been trying to do a lot of since starting this blog is check out other awesome book review blogs and get involved in some of the weekly challenges and prompts they use.

Today I’m going to be taking part in the Book Blogger Hop! This is currently active over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer and bloggers all over the sphere get involved to answer the prompt, visit some of the other responses, and make new connections!

This week is a double question week! The first prompt comes from Nicki @ Nicki J. Markus/Asta Idonea and they asked: “Which is your favourite library (or which would you most like to visit)?

Our second question comes from Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews and they asked: “How often do you visit the library?

And my answer is: Second question first: I love the library. I am young and broke so the public library is my best friend when it comes to reading whatever I want. My favorite library service has to be the ability to rent audio and e-books from an app on my phone, I use that all the time. Libraries are so underrated! There are so many amazing events hosted there, I love the curated displays that always introduce me to something new, and librarians are some of the most interesting and helpful people I’ve met. And it’s free! As long as you turn your books in on time…Oops!

Which is my favorite library? Ooh, that’s a tough one. The most incredible library that I have personally visited has probably been The Old Library at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

However, there are also so many gorgeous libraries that I would love to visit! Here are just a few: The Library of the Benedictine Monstary, The George Peabody Library, the New York City Public Library, so many more.

Do you have a dream library? Where is it? Tell me in the comments!

Book Blitz, Reviews

From What’s Broken (+ Giveaway!)

This week I am taking part in a blog tour to celebrate the release of From What’s Broken by R.M. Demeester!

From What’s Broken is an Adult Contemporary novel about Matthew and Amanda, a happy couple who have a beautiful child…and then lose that beautiful child. This book is the story of their loss, but more importantly of their love, family, and journey to healing. From what I’ve read of this book it is whole-hearted and authentic and absolutely a tear-jerker.

Learn more about the book and enter for a chance to win a copy below!

From What’s Broken 
R.M. Demeester

Publication date: June 21st 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Amanda and Matthew are on the cusp of their happily ever after. They have a stable marriage and a lovely daughter, and they are eagerly awaiting the birth of their second. Suddenly tragedy strikes and the couple’s picture-perfect life crumbles. Ivory, their firstborn child, dies in an accident. Not knowing how to deal with their pain, Amanda and Matthew blame each other for their loss and drift apart. They soon realize their relationship might not bear the burden, leaving their surviving daughter to cope with the aftermath of two grief-stricken parents.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

R.M. Demeester lives in Saskatchewan, Canada. She is the mother of three young children, and owner of a rescue dog, a chocolate lab, Gainer. R.M. Demeester has been writing for as long as she could hold a pencil. She writes women’s fiction, new adult, and sweet romance primarily. She has two women’s fiction novels set to be released in 2019, along with several short stories.

Facebook / Twitter / Amazon / Instagram

Giveaway!

CLICK HERE

XBTBanner1

WWW

Its “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m reading now:

David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

I’m still reading this one! I’d only started it just before last week’s WWW and to be honest, I’m still enjoying it. It’s a somewhat slower read than I expected, lots of exposition and a style of language that’s new to me, but that’s not a complaint. Though it’s taking me a little longer, I’m loving the tone, humor, and wit of this book, as well as the fresh take on what can easily turn into predictable tropes in urban fantasy. Will definitely be reviewing this more fully when I finish. Fans of The Dresden Files looking for something new and interesting should look forward to this one!

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

I only read my first Christina Lauren book last month, when I reviewed The Unhoneymooners, but apparently she is a romance phenomenon that I have been missing out on for a while now. This book is already so adorable, sweet, authentic, and utterly readable. I can’t seem to put it down and I don’t mind at all. I’m about halfway through this one and am reading it for pure enjoyment and nothing else. Well, except that it’s also Pride Month, that too!

The Swallows by Lisa Lutz

I literally only started this one this morning so I don’t know too much, but I love what I’ve read so far. The synopsis alone has me intrigued: a new teacher at a school gets a disturbing response to a creative writing assignment handed back in without a name and must try and discover what’s really going on in the school, and why she was brought there. It reminds me a little of Big Little Lies so far, but that could also be because it’s on the brain with the new season of the TV adaptation dropping recently. Either way, this book is setting up to be eerie! Look for this one on shelves in August.

What I’ve recently finished:

The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins

I really enjoyed this. This ARC came to me through Netgalley and its also the author’s first foray into psychological thriller. I’ll be reviewing this more fully within the week, but suffice to say that for a first thriller it was pretty good! I didn’t see the twist coming, and the book had a somewhat methodical pace for so long that it did a good job of lulling the reader into forgetting the suspense and just enjoying the book. Can’t wait to share more about it with you all.

What I think I’ll read next:

A lot of fantasy this coming week! Love it.

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

I haven’t started this YA fantasy yet, but for exciting reasons! I won this book in a giveaway through my book club, The Book Democracy, and it JUST came in the mail yesterday! Not only that but I’m going to buddy read it with a friend (sup, Haley!) and I always love doing that. I’ve had this one on my TBR since its eagerly anticipated release so I’m expecting great things!

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This is a Book of the Month pick from my book club and I’m excited about it! I haven’t read any of Victoria Schwab’s other successful books, though they’re almost all on my TBR list, so I’m eager to see what the excitement is all about. This series in particular has so much positive buzz around it that I’m really looking forward to experiencing it myself, and I’m also a sucker for a paranormal story. Bring on the spooky!

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

This is another exciting pick for Pride Month! I can’t wait to read this. Not only is this YA fantasy wonderfully LGBT+ but it’s also one of the featured books in my book club this month! And aside from all of that, it just looks great too and so many of my friends can’t stop talking about it. Very optimistic about this one.

What are you reading this week?? Tell me below in the comments!

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is: “Most Anticipated Books of 2019 pt. 2”

It was SO HARD to pick only ten!

What are you excited about this year?? Tell me in the comments

Reviews

Baby Teeth

“It was hard to pour endless love into someone who wouldn’t love you back. No one could do it forever...”

Seven years ago, Alex and Suzette had a beautiful baby girl, who they called Hanna. Now they aren’t sure who their daughter is or what she needs. For one thing, she still doesn’t talk, and they have no idea why.

Hanna has other things on her mind like being Daddy’s ‘sweet-but-silent’ little angel, not going to school, and getting exactly what she wants. Only now she’s decided that she only wants one thing: her own happy ending. But there’s someone in the family who isn’t included in that picture anymore…

Wow, what do I say first?? Baby Teeth was insane, it was emotional, it was disturbing, and it was so riveting. I haven’t read anything else like it.

The thing this book does best is to weedle its way into your mind and set up shop. The author knows exactly which beats to hit along the way to send a shiver down your spine or make you stare at the book in appalled disbelief. More than once, I found myself up at night just thinking about this book. It is a perfectly unsettling adventure through this family’s life, and I would bet it’d be even more powerful if you’re a parent yourself. I read this book for my mark-up book exchange so I made notes in the book while reading, and there were so many times that I stopped, searching for the right words, only to end up writing just “…wow.” Sometimes the bite of this book left me speechless.

The subjects alone are enough to disturb any self-respecting person, but that’s not what makes it special. What makes this story so special is that it takes these distressing, confusing, sinister elements, a lot of them classic tropes, and then weaves them into her characters lives with an incredible amount of heart. I didn’t expect my heart to be so conflicted or broken open by a thriller! So much happens in this book and there are times when it’s almost impossible to tell who you’re supposed to feel the most for: the parents? The child? Everyone involved? (Which is where I landed, dang.) But the beauty of it is that every reader has to decide that for themselves. Her ability to shift such intense and full empathy onto every character, especially juxtaposed with the subject matter, is one of the most compelling things I’ve read in a long time.

A third aspect of this book that I loved was the authentic and relatable way that the author wrote a character living with a chronic illness. Suzette, the mother of this family, has Crohn’s Disease and it plays a huge part in her ability to care for family, to make decisions, even to live and work and feel like she has enough energy to be a whole person. I wasn’t expecting this in a suspense novel, but I needed it so badly. As someone else living with a chronic condition, it was obvious to me that Stage was writing from firsthand experience. So many subtle moments of Suzette’s suffering made me go “me too!” and to see and acknowledge that as a valid, human part of this story was a brilliant decision on the author’s part. Very well done.

From the very first chapter I felt a driving force pulling me further and further into the book. Every time I set it down I would end up glancing back over at it a few minutes later and, before I knew it, I’d be nose deep in it again. I had to finish, I had to know what happened. And one of the brilliant, most aggravating things about this book is…I still want to know more. That ending– gah! I wish to death that this book had a sequel, I would read it in a heartbeat. Something about the way that Zoje Stage chose to write this story has made me infinitely hungry for more: the choices in how its told, the style she wrote it in, the empathy and fear that she employs so skillfully.

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fiction that doesn’t flinch. Stage has written something so addictive and hypnotic that I finished it in two days while on a busy trip to Cleveland, which is saying something! This book is visceral, intense, and never looks away from the disquieting story it has to tell you. Enter at your own risk, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did once you’re on the other side.

Now write me a sequel, Zoje!

“Sweetness can be deceptive.”

Reviews

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered

“F**k politeness.”

“Politeness doesn’t require actual humanity. It’s just cultural ritual…
Politeness is fancy curtains in your front window. Kindness is the home-cooked meal on your dinner table.” 

Have you heard of the hit podcast My Favorite Murder? If not, you have now!

Authors and co-hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark wrote a book this time instead of sitting down for an episode and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Equal parts memoir, life advice, and humor, Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered shares new stories of the authors’ lives, pasts, and perspectives with authenticity and empathy. If you’re a fan of the podcast, don’t worry! There’s crime in here too, and a strong dose of the frank and unapologetic voices we know and love.

My favorite part of this book, and their podcast honestly, is their refreshing and freeing philosophy of “f*cking politeness.” These ladies talk about how hard it is for women to learn when politeness is and isn’t in their best interests and the importance of advocating for yourself. They open up a discussion with the reader about learning to value personal safety and wellness over being “nice” or “helpful.” I love this and it’s so important, especially today.

Conversational and compelling, I flew through this book. It was instantly readable and one of those books that you put down and realize you’ve read so much more than you thought you had! Whether they were discussing murder or mental health, vulnerable moments in their youth or smashing the patriarchy, I was right there along with them. The authors have done a great job of translating their podcast banter into a creative way of writing that includes the reader in the conversation it creates.

I highly recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a good collection of life stories, true crime, or even just hearing from two awesome ladies about their lives and what they think about the world right now. And don’t forget to check out their podcast if you’re looking for more murder than memoir! Have fun!

“I’m not a shitty person, which really is the point of life in my eyes: “Don’t be a dick and do good things.” That’s my other motto. It has the word dick in it.”