Monday, July 16, 2018

Weekly wrap up #29 ;) july 9th - july 15th

Hello my awesome people :) oh, what an amazing reading week I had... or to be exact, reading weekend cause easily more than half of the pages I inhaled happened over the last two days :) but I worked really hard to achieve that... and I mean that :) I worked on all blog related stuff during the week... especially thursday and friday evening, when I was super tired, just so I could finish up everything on saturday morning and had the rest of the weekend totally off... oh, how I needed that :) and it was glorious :) I forgot what a freeing feeling it is when you don't have to do anything productive... so I read, watched some movies and just generally chilled :) it was awesome :) so let me share with you guys all the books I read, starting with the ones I managed to finish, then telling some more about the ones I read entirely and finishing with the ones I'm still in the middle of :)


"The allure of Julian Lefrey" by R. S. Grey
from 51% to 100% -> 180 pages; finished

I finished the audiobook around the middle of the week :) it was... good :) it wasn't one of those drop-everything-and-read-it kind of stories, but the narrators were really good, and the story was cute and really well written :) I definitely don't regret reading it, but I also liked her other stories more :) although it did make me curious about the second book in this series, where secondary characters from this one are the main couple :)


"Magic bites" by Ilona Andrews
from 11% to 100% -> 225 pages; finished

I inhaled this one much faster than I anticipated :) the first installment in an urban fantasy series that I've been hearing about for years centered around a kick-ass female characters, it did not disappoint :) it was a really good beginning, with lots of world building and it certainly got me hooked :) expect that I will pick up the sequel in the upcoming weeks :)


"Fullmetal alchemist vol. 1-3" by Hiromu Arakawa
from page 193 to page 576; finished

I am absolutely in love with this series :) two brothers attemtping to fix things after an alchemy experiment gone wrong left one of the without an arm and a leg and the other one a soul in an armor... it's hilarious, awesomely written / drawn and touches upon many serious topics... much more than I expected... :) I'm very happy that I ordered the rest of the volumes while I was reading this one, cause now that I already have them I can pick up the sequel very soon... especially since this one ended on a cliffhanger :)


"Ocean light" by Nalini Singh
from page 22 to page 403; finished

This was the last book I read this past week... and also my 100th book this year :) I am on fire :) it's the newest installment in one of my all time favourite series... it was a good addition, but definitely not my favourite of them all... but I sort of expected it going in... Bowen was not a character I was the biggest fan of before, but he managed to change my mind :) and even though I had some problems with it, there were many aspects I adored, so all in all I enjoyed it :)


"Going up" by Tawna Fenske
from 1% to 100% -> 151 pages; finished

This was a short and cute story... and of course hilarious, but I expect nothing else from Tawna Fenske :) her books always put the biggest smile on my face :) since this gem goes live tomorrow be sure to come back to check out my full review to get to know some more details about it :)


"Herding cats" by Sarah Andersen
from page 1 to page 108; finished

I inhaled this collection of comic strips very quickly on saturday evening :) there's not much else I can say about it, just that I absolutely enjoyed it :)


"Robbie" by Ella Frank
from 27% to 44% -> 48 pages

I am listening to the audiobook, but not the was I usually do :) I almost exclusively listen to them on my commute to and from work but this one is too... *fans herself* to listen in public places, so I do it at home when no one can judge my blush ;) I am determined to finish it next week, because I am curious to see how the story will go :) the more I read the more I am starting to fall in love with these guys :)


"Getting schooled" by Emma Chase
from 1% to 29% -> 89 pages

Since I can't listen to "Robbie" on my commute, after finishing "The allure..." I picked up this one :) I fell in love with Emma Chase's writing style with her Royally series, so I was curious to see if I would love one of her other books just as much ;) and the answer is: yes, yes I do :) I am absolutely loving this one, and am planning to finish it very soon :)

Total page count of the week: 
1565

I had a really good reading week :) I absolutely loved or really enjoyed every story I inhaled... and there were six of them that I completed :) woo hoo ;) and this week I have just as ambitious plans... not only I'm planning to finish the two audiobooks mentioned above, I will read three more e-books :) I'm not gonna say anything else right now, besides the fact that they are all eARCs and I'm super excited to get my hands on all of them... if you want to know more before the next #WeeklyWrapUp post, be sure to follow / friend me on Goodreads -> CLICK ME <- I update it regularly :) so another five books will be added to my yearly goal :) I am so ahead of schedule that I will probably be changing my Goodreads goal in a month or two... we shall see :) and what have you guys been reading lately? :)

XOXO

A

Thursday, July 12, 2018

J says :) #28

Let’s talk about…
Novellas!

Hi guys, it’s another thursday already, so I welcome you warmly as always and with a brand new theme ;) are you ready? I hope you’re nodding, because today is all about novellas. I honestly thinks they're often overlooked for many reasons. So here and now I’m gonna prove to you, that they should definitely be on your bookshelves :)

First of all, I’m sure many of you experienced this one unhappiness that affects most of us bookworms all across the world… and yes, I’m talking about lack of time *gasps in horror everywhere* I know! This sukcs… but who among us doesn’t have a #BookMountain it’s a real problem, because there always gonna be too many great stories and too little time. In fact I remember the days (believe me or not) when I only read when I got like minimum two hours time, you know to really appreciate book. Now? I’m reading everywhere, mostly on my way to work. My office is almost an hour from my home, so that alone gives me like two hours reading time alone :) But more times than not I’m turning into a reading zombie, walking slowly with my face in the phone (because e-books people, not the internet or some stuff like that). But after work even when I’m not meeting with my friends or something I still have some stuff to do, so all I really get for my reading time is the night… but come on who needs sleep anyway ;)

My point is that sometimes I still like to read a story in one sitting. You know to really feel the atmosphere in the story and capture it all. Just forget about everything and dive into it. I don’t have enough time to read the whole book so a novella is the answer :) I know that some of you may think that novellas are somehow worse than books, too short or some other thing, but I’m here to set the record straight and convince you to give them a try ;)

Remember that novella is a great way to see for yourself if a certain series of books, author or even genre are for you. It’s a great way to dip your toe in the water and just try it. It’s a quick way to fall in love with a writer's style or quite the opposite, because not all stories are for everyone. That’s why we need more novellas people :)

Ok, so this is a place where I usually say that I have a few recommendations for you… yeah I might have gotten a little carried away this time… because below you’re gonna find a couple more stories than I thought I would present to you… seriously I promised A (and myself) it would be different this time and she said: “you said that last time!” And I went well yeah, but this time I really mean it. And she said: “you said it last time as well!” Ok but this time… and she said: “don’t even…” so yeah I’ll try to write about them a little less than usual but I really can’t promise anything ;) so here it comes:

Partners in Persuasion 
(novella #11,5 from Wild Embrace book in Psy Changeling series, 
written by Nalini Singh)

If you heard some things about Psy Changeling series, and you should because I alone mentioned it a couple of times already, it’s the perfect story to see what it’s all about ;) Why this one? Well because I say so... but seriously I loved it so, so much. It’s about a couple of changelings. One of them - Dezi is a leopard, and Felix is a wolf. But their relationship comes with a twist, she’s the dominant one and he’s more of a submissive and shy kind of a guy. And in most books it’s vice versa, so definitely an interesting read :) Maybe there is not much Psy in this particular story, but I’m sure you’ll fall in love with nonetheless. And then you can start reading this series from the very first book :)

The Prince of Ebon Rih 
(novella from Dreams Made Flesh book #5 in The Black Jewels series, 
written by Anne Bishop)

This story is a great way to just forget all about your regular lives and dive into a whole another world. A place full of magic, warriors and characters that you won’t like to leave. But you should definitely risk a major book hangover and try it nonetheless ;) It’s a story about Lucivar, a winged Eyrien warrior who’s in desperate need of a housekeeper. Let’s call it destiny, because Marion is in need of a shelter and work. So a perfect solution, right? It would be, but he’s having some inappropriate thoughts about his new employee… Anyway I love how their relationship is progressing through the whole story :) And, as I always say, you can learn something new from every story you read, in this case: how about a lesson in self defense with kitchen supplies? ;)

Kissing Tolstoy 
(novella #1 in Dear Professor series, written by Penny Reid)

This story confirms that if you’re going on a blind date you have to be ready for taking a risk… Why? Because your date can turned out to be your professor next semester ;) I’ll say what everyone thinks… awkward ;) Anyway, what can you do? Just power through I guess and hope for the best or just pray for a swift end to your misery, of course. Seriously though I really liked this story, it took me a little by surprise, but both Luca and Anna were great. I enjoyed the progress in their relationship, with each passing conversation about Russian literature their feelings grew stronger. Even though the chemistry was there right from the start, they didn’t rush it which was fun to read :) I can definitely recommend it for you to try :)

Angel’s Dance 
(novella #3,5 from Angel’s Flight book in Guild Hunter series, written by Nalini Singh)

Give me in a story an angel as a winged warrior and I’m sold ;) If you add to it vampires and kick-ass humans it’s the perfect mix. If that’s the case with you I have the answer. This novella is actually a prequel kind of story, cause in the book #1 in this series this couple is already paired. But if you want to take a look at this world, it’s the best place to start. Anyway it’s about Galen - he’s the warrior, actually one of the Raphael’s Seven, an elite team of amazing men who fight with and for him. On the other hand we have Jessamy - she’s a teacher of the little ones. Mostly buried in books and kind of shy, because of her disfigured wing. But he doesn’t see her like that, what she is to him is an amazing woman, who is too good for him. But he’ll try to claim her heart nonetheless. It’s a really romantic story about the beginnings of their relationship :)

Two in the Afternoon 
(novella #2 in A Day of Pleasure series, written by Cora Cade)

If you’re in a mood for a contemporary romance about a couple with great chemistry and sparks flying everywhere pretty much right from the start look no further :) This is it, cause get this… Molly is starting a whole new chapter in her life. After surviving an attack and being harassed from a jail cell she travels to a little town to be closer to her brother. There she meets Cal, he agreed to watch over her while her brother is away. You know how this goes, since he’s watching her real close, of course he’s got trouble resisting her. It’s the same for her, but since he’s going back to the army soon, the only thing for them is uncomplicated fling… Yeah, nice try ;) Also as you damn well know by now, opposites attract and it’s definitely the case here. Since she’s kind of small and a spitfire and he’s huge and more of a silent kind of guy :)

The Wicked 
(novella #5,5 in Elder Races series, written by Thea Harrison)

If you don’t know this series already you should fix it right now :) I think I found an ideal story to draw you into this world… It’s about Olivia and Sebastian. She’s a librarian (so perfect right?) who was asked to participate in the expedition to transport the collection of books owned by the Vampyre sorceress Carling. It’s a pretty nice deal, don’t you think? You deal with some cool books in the kick-ass library on the mystical island. Adventure of a lifetime, one might say :) And it sure was, since she met there Sebastian - an owl Wyr (something like shape shifter), and a head of security for the expedition. The attraction was there right from the start, constantly growing with each passing day. But don’t think it’s simply a romance on a mysterious island, this story is so much more. There’s a curse cast by a dead shaman, a genie with an attitude and a traitor who will betray them all. So I hope you’re ready for all of it and still decide to join this adventure :)

Melting Point 
(novella #1,5 in Hot in Chicago series, written by Kate Meader)

Which one of us don’t love an amazing romance with a true hero? In real life, as close as you can get to a superman is for example - a fireman, don’t you think? If you add to if a former Marine (now a chef) it’s double the hotness ;) In this story there are sparks flying everywhere, and not only because they’re both working in jobs with lots of fire involved ;) But seriously Gage and Brody are such a great couple, they’re totally opposites. One of them is open and friendly while the other one is anything but… Brody is more of a silent type, but with all the tattoos and scars (most of them on the inside) he’s definitely the sexy one ;) So be ready to get a little burned by them ;)

Hades 
(novella #2 in Demonica Underworld series, written by Larissa Ione)

The main heroine in this story cannot catch a break… get this: she was kicked out of Heaven thanks to her unwitting participation in another angel’s plot to start Armageddon, you know how those things can go ;) Now she’s a fallen angel called Cataclysm (fitting, don’t you think?) in service of Azagoth. All she wants is to redeem herself, but she unintentionally starts a riot instead. To her rescue comes Hades. With all his glory, leather pants and a blue mohawk ;) He spent thousands of years serving as Jailor of the Underworld, but now first time ever he wants something for himself and he’s willing to risk everything for her :) It was a surprisingly sweet read for a story that takes place in the Underworld ;)

A Wallflower Christmas 
(novella #4,5 in Wallflowers series, written by Lisa Kleypas)

This is a perfect solution for all of you, who still don’t know if historical romances are the right choice ;) or maybe you’re a fan of the Wallflower series and still want more of their adventures ;) Either way the story about Rafe (he’s a brother to heroines from books #2 and #4 in the series) and Hannah. Maybe she’s not from the original team, but she’s an honorary wallflower. Because of that all the girls want her to find happiness. But can she find it in the arms of a cynical rake? If many stories taught us anything I’ll say hell yeah, she can and she will ;) I have to confess that sometimes I enjoy a little Cinderella vibe, do you? A little bit of witty banter between the main couple and some awww moments between hot and steamy ones :) I guess it’s all we can ask from a story like this :) And not only we get the new couple, but we visit the ones from previous books… to sum up: it was so good ;)

Cloak and Silence 
(novella #5,5 in The League series, written by Sherrilyn Kenyon)

Once upon a time Maris was one of the fiercest soldiers his race has ever had, but after everyone learned his secret nothing was the same. It cost him everything: his birthright, his family and his exceptionally military career. Then one day he meets Ture and his whole world is shifting again. Two men who don’t trust easily will risk it all for a chance at happiness. If you want to try out this series it's a great place to start, because a story that takes place in space or on totally different planets is definitely something you should try, at least once :)

Bikers and Tinsel 
(novella #3,5 in The MC Sinners series, written by Bella Jewel)

This christmas story can be read whenever you like, not necessarily in december, ;) but it definitely has a holiday theme, with a little MC twist. So if romantic stories about prince charming is more your speed, than just scroll below (I don’t judge), but if this year you want to be on a Santa’s naughty list maybe it’ll give you some ideas ;) It’s a story about Muff and Janine, but there are also three couples from previous books, so it’s a lot of fun ;) I feel like I should warn you… there's gonna be some games played, Santa hats will be placed on places where they’re shouldn’t have been… christmas carols (the dirty versions) with dancing and only one injury caused by a strange sexual position, that I can’t even describe ;) So if you’re looking for a trial run, bikers style, it’s a great way to start :)

Tarnished Knight 
(novella #1,5 in London Steampunk series, written by Bec McMaster)

If you’ve never before read a story with a steampunk vibe you should definitely fix this situation ;) But don’t worry, I’ve got your back… You won’t be disappointed by my choice for you. This novella is just perfect, with vampires, werewolves and slasher gangs all in Victorian London. What can go wrong? Well pretty much everything if you’re a woman in the middle of it all, just like Esme. Her closest friend Rip six months ago was brutally attacked and now he’s constantly fighting with his dark side. Only one person can shatter his hard earned control and it’s Esme. He won’t risk her but when everything is falling apart, he’ll do anything to protect the only woman he’s ever loved :) 

Rock Courtship 
(novella #1,5 in Rock Kiss series, written by Nalini Singh)

If you want to immerse yourself in the world of music, ok I’m talking more about musicians, but still ;) I may have a suggestion. Have you met already the Gentleman of Rock? If not, let me present to you *drumrolls please* David, a drummer in the hottest rock band in the world called Schoolboy Choir. He’s the quiet one, always responsible and never one to cause problems. But he has one weakness - her name is Thea. She’s the band's publicist and the woman who steals his breath away all the time. But of course Thea has one rule: never date her clients, so you see, it’s not gonna be so simple ;) It’s an amazing story that proves that you can get a woman simply by writing really good memos ;)

Midnight in Death 
(novella #7,5 in In Death series, written by J. D. Robb)

If you’d like to try out a story with a mystery, maybe a murder or two, there’s nothing better than this one. Well maybe not exactly only this one, cause to be honest I don’t remember much about it… What I do remember is that I loved it as much as a regular book in this series ;) It didn’t feel hurried at all, there was not only a murder investigation but also some sweet and funny moments. If you don’t know Eve Dallas you definitely should, because this woman is a kick-ass heroine and people need more characters like her in books ;) But she’s not the only good thing in this story, all the other characters are as well… and on top of that an escaped madman loose in the city right before christmas? You’ve got to be a little curious, am I right? ;)

I hope I encouraged you to give novellas a try, you’ll definitely find some great stories with all the examples I presented above ;) I’ll bet you’re planning right now, when you’re gonna be able to read them, if so my job here is done ;) See you next week, this time I’ll be back with a recommendation for another series that you should inhale, and it’s quite something :) But that’s all I’m saying, you have to visit me next week to know more :) See ya :)

J

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Movie madness #6 ;)

Well hello my awesome people :) it’s time for a brand new #MovieMadness… a little series that me and my lovely sister J do for you and post every second wednesday of each month, starting this year :) each month we pick a different theme and talk all about our faves :) this time, we have for you our favourite retellings :) and I don’t mean by that adaptations of books and such, so you won’t find here Harry Potter or anything like that… because that’s a subject for a whole another thing… *note to self, write down the idea for future using* :) but today, we are gonna be talking all about retellings of stories / characters that we all probably know, but in each movie we will be mentioning it was done with a unique twist :) so sit back and enjoy… and before you say anything, yes there will be movies that you probably read about in one of our posts already… once or twice :) but there are important reasons for that... they are just that awesome :) besides, we have a bunch of new ones as well :) ok, let’s dive in, starting with the trailer in each case and then moving on to me or J’s short written part :)

Dracula untold


J: I have two words for you: Luke Evans! You can say I’m shallow all you want, but I don’t really care, cause have you seen him? All dressed in black, those eyes and longish hair… you know the type: tall, dark and dangerous… What was I saying? Ahh that’s right… I loved this movie. The visual effects with the bats and everything, and don’t get me started on the music in the trailer, chills ;) Also what can I say, I enjoy stories about so-called villains, I’m just that kind of girl ;) Besides, was Dracula really a bad guy? It’s not for me or you to judge, but a man who is willing to sacrifice everything for the people he loves can’t be all bad… You know what they say: sometimes to fight evil the world doesn’t need another hero, sometimes what it needs is a monster…

Cinderella


A: I liked Cinderella when I was younger, but never as much as Belle from Beauty and the beast… more about my love for her a bit later in this post :) but once I saw this newest version of the story we all know… *sighs happily* I definitely fell in love :) this particular retelling is such a lovely gem… I always tear up during it, don’t ask me why… it’s such a heartwarming story, with a really spot on casting: Lily James as Cinderella, Richard Madden as Prince Charming and Cate Blanchett as the stepmother… perfection… I still get a little bit week in the knees when I think about Richard Madden's blue eyes ;) if you are looking for a family movie, something to watch that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy, definitely check this one out :)

The legend of Tarzan


J: I have to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Tarzan as a little girl, it’s not that I didn’t like him, I just liked different stories more, you know like Pocahontas… but after seeing this movie (or even trailer - music from it is still haunting me) it's so not the case anymore ;) and I’m not talking about the half naked Alexander Skarsgard running through the jungle, but he definitely didn’t bother me either ;) But since we’re talking about the cast I just loved Margot Robbie as Jane, she was a kick-ass character that wasn’t just waiting to be saved. And let’s not forget about Samuel L. Jackson who added a little extra entertainment with his role :) But it’s not just the cast that was incredible, the views, culture and all the animals… All of it together made a great movie, that I already watched too many times to admit out loud ;)

King Arthur legend of the sword


A: I think that in previous #MovieMadness posts either me or J said everything that can be possibly said about this gem… :) so long story of our absolute love for this one short is this: it’s a King Arthur’s retelling with a more gritty twist… it’s full of sarcastic humor, action, stunning visuals and strong characters, including women, which is less common than I would want to see it… it’s a movie with amazing soundtrack and special effects that blend really well with this story and not overwhelm you :) it’s just pure perfection and every time I think about the fact that more people didn’t loved it as much as I did and so there won’t be any sequels I die a little bit inside… *insert sad face* but worry not, it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger… it’s a perfect movie to take your mind off of reality so if you haven’t already, be sure to check this one out :)

Snow white and the huntsman


The huntsman: winter’s war


J: Are you ready to double the fun? If so, I have a perfect recommendation for a movie night… come on who doesn’t love a mini-marathon. I would try to pick one that I loved more, but I can’t even… just no… don’t make me ;) Both of them were great, each one about different adventure. First was focused on Snow White, but the second one's main hero was Huntsman and as you may know already Chris Hemsworth is one of my favourites… so I was really excited for both these movies. What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with the villain. I’m talking about the amazing Charlize Theron playing the evil queen… She was magnificent, don’t get me wrong she was the worst person ever, but how well she played it. And can you believe that in the second movie they gave as not one but two bad-ass women, I’m talking about Emily Blunt as Snow Queen and Jessica Chastain. Dwarfs were present in both movies, just saying ;) And of course all the visual effects (like: crows, mirror, magic in general) will blow your mind just like music will give you chills, you don’t have to trust me, just watch and listen to the trailers and you’ll see ;)

I, Frankenstein


A: so if we’re being completely honest… I don’t remember much about this particular movie :) I saw it only once, a while back, but I do remember I really loved it :) Frankenstien’s monster is a theme that appeared in movies many times… although to be quite honest, I haven’t seen most of them :) so instead let’s just concentrate on this particular example :) although… I can’t really get into that many details about how this story is different from all others, because… I don’t remember a lot about it :) I watched it just once, a few years ago… BUT it did survive many trimmings of my DVDs collection so I have only good feelings associated with it :) what I do remember is how cool the visual parts of the whole story was… that’s pretty much all I can say about it ;)

Maleficent


J: We all think we know the story about Sleeping Beauty, but what if we were wrong? Maybe there was something going on that we haven’t seen before? But now is time for Maleficent story to be told… I loved Angelina Jolie in this movie, her character was strong and vulnerable at the same time, we saw her transformation and how she became the so-called villain. Have I mentioned before how I love a story like this? Well it’s true. Full of magic, amazing effects and lots of humor (seriously those three little fairies should not be in charge of taking care of the little girl) it will blow your mind :) By the way I kind of have to mention here that one song, which is both incredibly creepy and just as much haunting. It’s Lana Del Rey's version of Once upon a Dream. It fits perfectly with the movie and it’ll give you chills for sure ;)

Beauty and the beast


A: what can I say about this movie that I haven’t said before… :) it’s a retelling of one of my all time favourite stories… it’s a trope I look for anywhere… mostly in books :) but in this case I mean the animated Disney version :) but the live action version is actually much better in my opinion :) a lot of plot points and characters were handled much better in this newer version than in the original one… too many to list them all here, just watch and find out ;) I’m not gonna get into details what the story is all about, because we all know at least a bit about it… :) instead, let me list all the reasons why I adore this movie… phenomenal characters, both main and secondary ones… beautiful costumes and scenography… wonderful music and songs… adventures, humor and quite a few emotional scenes as well, this one is the perfect mix for an evening of heartwarming entertainment :)

Alice in Wonderland


J: It’s another perfect example how a movie can be so much better than a story we know from our childhoods. For me Alice in Wonderland was always this weird story that didn’t make much sense whatsoever… and then Tim Burton had his way with it and magic happened :) Not only the whole cast was spot on, with Mia Wasikowska in the main role, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway both as queens and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, I mean they all had great chemistry and it all just clicked. The story was so much better than I remembered, still weird as shit don’t get me wrong but this time I can say I really enjoyed it :)

Hercules


A: ok, so this one is another case of I-only-watched-it-once-a-long-time-ago-so-I-don’t-remember-a-lot situations… :) BUT as with I, Frankenstein I do remember really loving it while I was watching it :) and again, it’s still on my shelf and that is saying something :) I remember loving the action and the humor… not to mention quite a few surprising twists I so did not see coming :) don’t worry I won’t spoil you anything… mostly cause I don’t remember the details :) but after looking for a good trailer to share with you guys… I think I will watch it again soon… :) because it looks sooooo good :)

XOXO

A + J

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Review: "The accidentals" by Sarina Bowen


Author: Sarina Bowen
Standalone
Main character: Rachel

Synopsis

Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth.

I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face.

My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it was her only secret. I was wrong.

When she dies, he finally appears. Suddenly I have a first class ticket into my father’s exclusive world. A world I don’t want any part of – not at this cost. 

Only three things keep me going: my a cappella singing group, a swoony blue-eyed boy named Jake, and the burning questions in my soul.

There’s a secret shame that comes from being an unwanted child. It drags me down, and puts distance between me and the boy I love. 

My father is the only one alive who knows my history. I need the truth, even if it scares me.

I voluntarily reviewed an early copy of this book :) I love Sarina Bowen as an author, I've read many of her books... not all of them yet, but very close ;) and she has yet to disappoint me :) but so far she has been writing in new adult / contemporary genres, and this is her very first venture into the young adult world... and we have another winner in our hands you guys :) I loved this story to pieces... but before I get into all the reasons why, let me actually say a bit more about the actual plot :)

The main character of this story is Rachel... and before you ask, yes, there is a romance plot in this novel, but it's not the biggest one, that's why I'm not talking about the main couple :) Rachel is just finishing her junior year in high school and she's dealing with a lot of issues... she just lost her mother, who was raising her alone, to cancer... she's moving away to attend her senior year in a different school... and if that wasn't enough, she's meeting her biological father for the very first time... who is a famous musician... it's a lot for a very young person... the whole book takes place over the span of less than a year, showing us how Rachel handles everything happening in her life... I don't really want to tell you anything else about the actual plot, because quite a few things really surprised me, so instead let me share all the reasons why I adored this book so much :)

The biggest reason was, like it usually is in my case, the writing style :) we all have personal preferences and like / dislike certain tropes / types of characters in books... and no matter what, we will love more or less certain novels because of that :) but the writing style is what matters the most to me and what keeps me coming back to some authors more often than to others... Sarina is definitely one of the good ones ;) she has this amazing talent to perfectly mix serious subjects with more lighter and funny moments :) this novel is the best example... Rachel struggles with a lot of things... she's flawed and makes mistakes... but she's still very young and so we can easily forgive her for them... on the opposite side of the spectrum, we have her roommate and new friend in high school, Aurora... their friendship is lovely :) add to that Rachel's another... friend ;) Jake :) he's just so adorable and cute... and as you can probably guess, he's also the part of the romance plot I mentioned earlier... again, it's not a huge part of the book and definitely a slow burn one as well, but it fits the story perfectly :) Rachel's relationship with her father is a whole different thing... in my opinion, it's the biggest and most important part of the book... how exactly do you navigate such situation? when you are building a relationship with a person who is supposed to be one of the most important ones in your life and yet you are meeting just now? you can imagine the amount of unanswered questions in Rachel's head... I have to say that I loved how everything about it was handled in this story... again, I won't go into more details, because I don't want to spoil you certain situations... :) so very long story short: pick up this gem immediately :) it was such a wonderful read... tackling some very serious subjects... showing us Rachel's long and hard journey and how she navigates her life now with all the changes... the ups and downs and everything in between... :) there were parts that broke my heart... parts that made me smile... other ones that made me tear up... and of course parts that made me swoon a bit as well ;) there are many reasons why I keep coming back to Sarina Bowen and her fantastic books... but the main one is this: her stories... characters she creates... tend to stay with me for a long time after I finish reading... her books always hit me in all the feels and I will never stop recommending them :) so definitely add this gem very high on your to-be-read lists, it's definitely worth it :)

GET THE BOOK:









XOXO

A

Monday, July 9, 2018

Weekly wrap up #28 ;) july 2nd - july 8th

Hello my lovely people :) this past week was... challenging... yeah, let's go with this adjective... :) my work week was... a bit crazy... and then I spent the majority of my saturday decluttering my room, getting rid of a bunch of stuff and making space for more books... ;) after a very busy and stressful week, that saturday was actually a welcome change... even though I am still tired after that day, it's a good feeling... the one you get after you did a lot of work, but can see the results and it was sooooo worth it :) it's exactly how I feel right now :) so taking all that into consideration I am actually surprised by how much I read this past week :) so let's start with the books I managed to finish and then I will tell you all about the ones I'm still in the middle of :)


"The accidentals" by Sarina Bowen
from 23% to 100% -> 246 pages; finished

I finished this absolutely stunning young adult novel and I highly recommend it to you guys :) be sure to come back tomorrow to check out my full review of this gem on the release day, but long story short, it's a book about Rachel, who lost her mother recently and has to navigate a whole lot of changes... including meeting her biological father for the first time... written beautifully, like all Sarina's other stories it hit me in all the feels :)


"The upside of unrequited" by Becky Albertalli
from page 87 to page 336; finished

Soooo... I did not planned to finish this particular paperback... I picked it up on sunday evening, and I intended to read just a few chapters... which then turned into just a few more... which in the end turned into me finishing it because I just had to know how it ends... and you guys... *sighs dreamily* this story was just so stinkin cute I can't even... :) it left me with the biggest grin on my face :) even though our heroine Molly is so much younger than me, I related to her very much :) I will definitely need a day or two before I will be able to sit and write down all my thoughts and feelings, but if you haven't yet read this author, definitely do it :) after loving "Simon vs. the homo sapiens agenda" by her, this is another fave of mine :)


"Robbie" by Ella Frank
from 10% to 27% -> 48 pages

I usually listen to audiobooks on my way to and from work but I can't do it with this one... it's just too... *fans herself and blushes* yep... :) so I listen to it at home... and this past week... I didn't really have the time... and once I did had the time, I just... picked other stories... but I absolutely adore this sizzlingly hot story about three men... ;) especially since the narrator does a phenomenal job changing his voice to represent all three personalities... :)


"Fullmetal alchemist vol. 1-3" by Hiromu Arakawa
from page 142 to page 193

This is such a great story... a bit of fantasy mixed with steampunk elements... this manga is full of adventures and soooo funny :) and since it's full of these smaller stories, it can easily be read when I don't have a lot of time in between other tasks :) it's about two alchemists brothers that are trying to fix the consequences of their failed experiment...the story itself is of course much more complicated, but you're gonna have to wait for more details when I actually finish it :)


"The allure of Julian Lefrey" by R. S. Grey
from 1% to 51% -> 189 pages

Since I can't listen to "Robbie" on my commute, I picked up another audiobook :) after reading and loving "Arrogant devil" by this author recently, I wanted to check some of her other books... :) this is such a sweet contemporary romance about a fashion blogger and her new boss... the writing style is effortless and hilarious and the narrators are doing a wonderful job bringing these characters to life :) I smile all the time :)


"Magic bites" by Ilona Andrews
from 1% to 11% -> 28 pages

Before I tell you a bit more about this book, I have to get one thing out of the way... muahahahahaha K, I was first ;) even if you do start your book, you will forever have to acknowledge that I was first :) ok, now let me explain :) one of my closest #BookBesties that I have never met face to face because we live in different countries recently discovered that I've never read anything by Ilona Andrews... she was shocked... we got to talking and I said I recently got this story on sale... she on her side, confessed that she has yet to read In death series by J. D. Robb, and she has the first book of that series... naturally I gasped in shock and said we can no longer be friends xD no worries, I'm just kidding :) we got to talking and said that whoever will read her book first will get the bragging rights and the shaming rights over the other one :) all in good humor of course, no #BookShaming here so don't get your panties in a twist :) I was in a mood to check out an urban fantasy story, so I picked this one up... with all the extra motivation ;) I'm only at the beginning, because there is a lot of world biulding happening at once, so I need some time to get into everything, but I see a lot of potential :) expect more thoughts next week :)


"Ocean light" by Nalini Singh
from page 1 to page 22

I only read like the very first few chapters, because I started this one late on sunday evening, but... well, I do love Nalini's writing style and I am intrigued to know more about sea changelings... we shall see :) I was hesitant about starting this one, because Bowen, the hero, was never my favourite secondary character in previous books, but my sister read it before me and eally loved it, so I decided to just dive in and see for myself :)

Total page count of the week: 
833

Based on how much I was busy and exhausted throughout this past week, I am very pleasantly surprised by the amunt of pages I actually managed to read :) granted, a lot of that reading happened on sunday, but it still counts :) I'm not sure how this week will go... on the one hand I think I may be in a better mood to read... cause I was in a weird falling-into-a-reading-slump-but-not-quite mood almost all of last week... and now I feel like I might be shaking that off :) plus, I am actually very excited about all the stories I started :) but then... I'm not sure how much work I will have and how tired I will be after I actually do all of it... I mean both my day job and blog related stuff :) so you'll just have to come back next week to see how much I was able to read :)

XOXO

A