Friday, February 21, 2020

5 Fandom Friday- Literary Heroines

Hello, all!

This week's 5FF is all about literary heroines. I've been a hardcore reader my whole life, and there's tons of characters I've looked up to, so here are just a few.

1. Luna Lovegood: There are so many amazing female characters in the Harry Potter series, but I've always had a soft spot for Luna. I've always admired how true to herself Luna is. She's not afraid to march to the beat of her own drum, and I love how loyal she is to her friends.

2. Elizabeth Bennet: Pride and Prejudice is my favorite classic, and the 2005 version with Keira Knightly is still my go to movie when it's snowing out. Lizzie is such a force: she's strong-willed and stubborn, loves her family, and can admit when she's wrong.

3. Matilda Wormwood: Growing up, I spent hours upon hours either at the library or reading in my room. Like Matilda, I always felt like whatever I was going through, I could find the answers in books. I'm still hoping I'll manifest some telekinetic powers so I can move things around while dancing in my living room to Rusted Root.

4. Arya Stark: Game of Thrones is chock full of heartbreaking and gruesome deaths, and no one has been on the receiving end of loss like the Starks. From watching her father get beheaded, to being so close to her mother and brother while they were brutally slaughtered, Arya has been dealt many hard blows. Instead of letting those moments break her down, she uses all the hurt and pain to fuel herself into avenging her family.

5. Nancy Drew: I've always loved a good mystery, and Nancy Drew was the queen detective. These were the first series books I ever really read, and I wanted nothing more than to go along with her on these cases as she tracked down clues.

Lemme know some of your picks!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep Review

Hello, all!

What bookworm hasn't dreamt about being able to bring their favorite literary characters to life? When I heard that was the premise behind The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry, it immediately went on my TBR. Big thanks to Netgalley for the copy!

Pub Date: 1-21-20
Adult - Fantasy
All his life, Charley Sutherland has been able to read characters to life. Whenever he gets deeply into a story or character, they just seem to manifest right off the page. It's a special gift that he's been trying his whole life to keep a secret. The only ones who know about this ability are his family; his older brother Rob usually being the one roped into helping Charley put these rogue characters back where they belong. Charley has always believed he's the only one in the world with this power, but he soon finds out there's another, and they have it out for him.

After discovering an entire hidden street full of fictional characters that have been read to life, Charley and Rob find themselves in way over their heads. From being attacked by the Hound of Baskervilles, to shape-shifting Dickensian villains, the brothers must join forces with a character from their past before the entire world as they know it gets rewritten.

I loved the entire premise of this story, however, I didn't love the execution. There's a ton of action in this book, yet it read like wading through molasses. I loved the idea of all these famous literary characters banding together to stop a terrible evil, and while that is basically what happens, it feels more like a master class in Charles Dickens. While I get that that particular influence really drives the main plot, I just felt it made it slightly too difficult for me to fully connect. I did still enjoy this, just not as much as I had hoped.

Rating: 2.5/5

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Blogger Recognition Award

Hello, all!

I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by Michelle over at A Geek Girl's Guide! Thanks, Michelle!

Rules of this nomination

Thank the blogger who nominated you

Do a post to share your award

Summarize how your blog started

Give at least two pieces of advice for new bloggers

Nominate at least 15 other bloggers

Inform each nominee via a link that you’ve nominated them

How Nerdy By Nature Began

I started this blog off on a whim back in 2014 because for years I'd bored my friends with my constant nerd talking, and I figured it was time to give them a break. Also, I went to school for journalism, so I've always had a passion for writing, and I figured why not just mix the two together? I always toyed with the idea of starting a blog, but honestly, I didn't think many people would even be interested in my ramblings. So, it's awesome to see that some of you guys like it as well!

My Advice for New Bloggers

In the simplest terms, write what you know and write what you love. Writing about something that gets you excited will always come across way better than words you threw together just for the heck of it.

Also, don't write for other people. Don't change your views/opinions on something just to get more comments or anything like that. There's no fun in trying to please everyone, that's not what writing's about. Plus, it's your blog! (Just, don't be mean--No one likes a jerk.)

I also agree with Michelle's advice of pacing yourself. Brainstorming ideas for posts and setting them up can get a bit overwhelming at times. I always try to remind myself that I'm doing this because it's fun for me, and I don't need to put so much pressure on myself to create "perfect posts".

My Nominees

(I'm going to do 5)

Mariah @ Bizarre Brunette

Barb @ Hello, It's B

Emma @ Geeky Tourist

Jacie @ Come to the Nerd Side

Katy @ Oh So Geeky

Friday, February 14, 2020

5 Fandom Friday: Top Female Friendships

Hello, all!

Let's celebrate Gal-entine's Day with some of my favorite female friendships!

1. Buffy and Willow: Whether it was doing some crazy research in the library, lamenting about their relationship troubles (vampires, werewolves, you know, the usual), dying a lot or going full blown dark side, these two always had each other's backs.

2. Cher and Dionne: I was a huge fan of hanging out at the mall with friends when I was younger, and I can just picture these two being the best shopping partners.

3. The Golden Girls: I mean, come on! These gals are friend group goals. Need I say more?

4. Romy and Michele: Friends who coordinate their outfits together stay together. They invented Post-It's and have killer dance routines for cryin' out loud!

5. Daria and Jane: These two are literally me and my friend Sam. Our entire friendship is based on sarcasm and being cynical and anxious, only we do it over Chipotle instead of pizza most of the time.

Let me know some of your picks!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

A Witch in Time Review

Hello, all!

I'm a big Doctor Who fan, so I tend to love stories that have a bit of a timey-wimey aspect to them. Add in some witches and curses, and you basically have A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers. Big thank you to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 2-11-20
Fantasy - Historical Fiction
In France, 1895, sixteen-year old Juliet LaCompte is a naive farm girl who falls into a passionate, but dangerous, love affair with a married local painter, Auguste Marchant. After getting with child, Juliet's mother--a minor witch-- attempts to curse Marchant for what he's done to her daughter, but unknowingly summons a powerful demon, and binds it to Marchant and Juliet for all eternity. Now, Juliet is doomed to repeat her affair and die tragically young lifetime after lifetime as these star-crossed lovers are reincarnated time and again.

Each lifetime Juliet comes back different; different name, different age, different career, etc. The only constant in these lives are falling for Marchant, in whatever form he takes, and the demon himself, who always appears to Juliet as some mysterious, handsome benefactor just when she needs him most. The demon, Luke Varnier, also just so happens to have been in love with Juliet ever since her first lifetime, but she forgets him every time she dies. In all her lifetimes, he has to help remind her of their feelings for one another before it's too late. Each new rebirth seems to unlock powers within Juliet, such as mind control and healing. Now, on her fourth lifetime, this time as Helen Lambert, she's the most powerful version of herself yet. And it'll take all of her power to find a way to break the cycle before her time runs out.

I really enjoyed this. It was such a lush, sweeping love story throughout time. The different versions of Juliet were all fascinating to read about. I especially loved Nora's story as a Hollywood actress in the 1930s, but funnily enough, hated Juliet's. I found her a bit annoying and childish. I enjoyed how you discover it's not really a love story between Juliet and Marchant, but rather her and Luke. I liked them together, even though they could be a tad frustrating at times. I did think it was weird and not very believable that Helen's friend Mickey, who sort of went along on this journey of self-discovery with her, didn't even bat an eye at finding out his best friend is a witch who's cursed in a time loop. There were other small things like that that felt too unrealistic to me, but other than that, I liked this and would recommend if you're looking for a fantasical historical fiction read.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Temporary Wife Temptation Blog Tour

Hello, all!

Big thanks to Harlequin Desire for letting me be a part of the blog tour for Temporary Wife Temptation by Jayci Lee!

Pub Date: 2-4-20
Adult - Romance
Garret Song is so close to becoming the CEO of his family's famous LA fashion empire. The only thing standing in his way? His grandmother refuses to let him take over the company until he marries, and she's handpicked just the woman. Not wanting to marry a woman he doesn't know, Garret enlists the help of Natalie Sobol to pose as his fake wife.

With Natalie needing a spouse almost as badly as Garret, she agrees. As the pair dives headlong into this fake relationship, they discover it's not so hard to fake the passion burning between them.

I'll be the first to admit I love a good fake dating trope, but this one unfortunately was not for me. I didn't love the characters, and just couldn't really get into Lee's writing. I found Garret and Natalie together to be meh, and the romance to be okay, but nothing really stood out for me. The book isn't that long, so you're sort of thrown right into everything and the story develops very fast. I think if it was longer and had more room to breathe and grow maybe I would've liked it more, but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Rating: 2/5

Friday, February 7, 2020

5 Fandom Friday: Female Led Graphic Novels

Hello, all!

I'm so pumped 5 Fandom Fridays are back at The Sartorial Geek. As you know, I love doing my own Top 5's, and the topics they've chosen are so fun I just had to participate. This list was a bit hard for me to narrow down because there's so many awesome badass female led graphic novels, so here are just the first 5 that came to mind.

1. Blackbird: I originally picked this up just based on the artwork because I love Jen Bartel, but I ended up really liking the story. Nina Rodriguez is completely flawed but when her sister needs her the most, she is quick to confront her inner demons to get her back. Plus, it's all magical and gritty, and Nina takes no crap from anyone.

2. All-New Wolverine: Everyone loves Logan as Wolverine, but Laura Kinney is just as great in my opinion. I was a big fan of hers as X-23, and was so excited when she took over the Wolverine mantle. As a clone of Logan, she has all the same brutal killing aspects, but she has a way of making it entirely her own.

3. Silk: Out of all the Spidey-people in the Marvel line-up, Cindy Moon is one of my faves. Her story is so well-written and always action packed. She's also pretty funny and has all the same wit and snark that Peter Parker is known for, and she isn't afraid to get her hands a little dirty if needed.

4. Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes: I'm a huge Harley Quinn fan. Ever since watching her on Batman: The Animated Series when I was young, she's been my favorite Batman character. She's so zany and completely out of her bird, and I can't get enough.

5. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark: This was a no brainer for me. Elvira has always been my idol and so I immediately picked this up when it came out. What's better than a sarcastic Elvira? A sarcastic Elvira jumping through time and meeting some of the biggest names in horror history! This is such a fun series and really embodies what makes Elvira great.

Lemme know some of your favorites!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious #3) Review

Hello, all!

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know how much I love a good who dunnit, and the Truly Devious series by Maureen Johnson is one of my favorites. (You can read my reviews on the other two here and here.) I've been eagerly awaiting the last installment, The Hand on the Wall, so I could finally get the closure I needed on the Ellingham case. I'm happy to say, it did not disappoint.

Pub Date: 1-21-20
YA - Mystery
**Potential spoilers ahead**

Stevie Bell is the resident teen detective at the remote Vermont school for the gifted, Ellingham Academy. Back in the 1930s the school garnered quite a reputation after one student was killed, and the wife and daughter of the founder, Albert Ellingham, were kidnapped. Iris Ellingham was eventually found murdered, but the whereabouts of little Alice was never discovered. It was the cold case of the century, until Stevie solved it.

After every major breakthrough Stevie had in the case, it seemed another death came to Ellingham and the surrounding area. Now, after the third death took the life of her mentor, and fellow Ellingham murder conspiracy theorist, Stevie is convinced someone is trying to cover their tracks. When a massive snow storm leads to an evacuation of the school, Stevie decides it's the perfect opportunity to catch a killer. With the help of her friends, Stevie pieces together the clues that connect the three deaths in the past to those in the present, and finally uncovers the truth behind the Truly Devious murders.

You know how there are times when you're reading a mystery, and you finally get to the big reveal, and it's just so unsatisfying? This was definitely not the case here. I loved the way Johnson wrapped it all together, and was really able to tie all the loose ends up. Despite trying my best to ferret out the clues between all the books, I had no idea who the culprit was, and I felt just as shocked as everyone else when Stevie was revealing it all in her big "Ah-ha!" moment. Like the other books, we get to see snippets from the past, and I'm always so impressed with how seamlessly Johnson weaves those in as to not detract or make the rest of the story feel disjointed. My only slight issue was that I don't love the romance between Stevie and David, but that's just because I don't really like him as a character. That aside, if you're looking for a fast-paced, binge-able mystery series, check this one out.

Rating: 4.5/5

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Cast in Wisdom Blog Tour

Hello, all!

Not surprising to anyone, but I'm a huge fantasy reader. It's one of my favorite genres to read, and I love getting lost in all the different worlds. That's why I'm excited to be a part of the blog tour for Cast in Wisdom by Michelle Sagara. For my part, I'll be giving you all a little sneak peak exclusive excerpt. Big thanks to Mira Books for having me!

Pub Date: 1-28-20
YA - Fantasy

This is actually part of the Chronicles of Elantra series, which has everything from ancient cities to buried secrets to dragon companions. This latest installment deals with a villainous Shadow power that's escaped and the desperate race to stop it before the whole of Elantra is devoured. Hope you enjoy!

“You are such a coward,” Bellusdeo said when they’d reached the relative safety of the street. The roads in and around Helen were sparsely populated at the busiest of times, which this wasn’t. They would soon join roads that were crowded at the slowest of times, but Kaylin was dressed for the office. The Hawk emblazoned on her tabard encouraged people to make space. 

Had Bellusdeo hit the streets in her Draconic form, she’d have cleared far more of it—but some of that space would be created by panic, and panic could cause both accidents and the type of traffic congestion that caused the Swords to investigate. Also, it was illegal. 
“It’s not cowardice,” Kaylin replied, scanning the windows of the buildings above ground level. 
“What would you call it?” 
“Oh, please.”
“There’s no point in arguing with them now. Sedarias thinks it’ll be months before this ridiculous command performance occurs. We have months to attempt to talk her out of—” 
“Out of expressing any appreciation or gratitude?” 
Ugh. “You know they’re grateful. This isn’t about gratitude. It’s about rubbing that gratitude in the faces of the Barrani who attempted to brand you a—an army. An attacking army.” 
“I believe the term you want is Flight.” Bellusdeo’s eyes were orange. 
Hope squawked at the Dragon. Kaylin didn’t understand what he was saying. Bellusdeo did, but her eyes didn’t get any lighter. 
“You know as well as I do,” Kaylin said, emboldened by Hope’s entry into the discussion, “that this is not the time to visit the High Halls. I’m not sure the Emperor has ever been a guest there.” 
“We visited the Halls—more or less—when they came under attack, and the Barrani needed our help.” 
“From the outside. No one invited the Dragon Court in.” 
The chorus of Barrani voices that sometimes offered entirely unasked for opinions on the inside of her head maintained their silence for half a beat. The first person to break that silence was the fieflord. His words were tinged with amusement. 
You cannot expect that the cohort would suddenly cease to cause any difficulty, surely? 
I’m almost certain that the cohort understands why inviting a Dragon—any Dragon—to attend the High Halls would be a disaster. 
For the Dragons? 
For everyone. "

More info about the book can be found here:

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Rapid Fire Book Tag

Hello, all!

I found this book tag floating around Pintrest and The Splendid Shambles, and I thought it might be fun to do. Here we go!

1. E-Book or Physical Book?

I tend to lean more towards physical books, but I do love the convenience of an e-book.

2. Paperback or Hardback?

Hardbacks. I love paperbacks, but I don't like when the covers start curling after you read them a few times.

3. Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

Depends. You can usually find books for cheaper online, but nothing beats walking around a book store.

4. Trilogies or Series?

Series. Gimme as many books as possible.

5. Heroes or Villains?

Heroes, although who doesn't love a good villain every now and again?

6. A book you want everyone to read?

The Name of the Wind- Patrick Rothfuss.

7. Recommend an underrated book?

The Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn. One of my absolute favorites!

8. The last book you finished?

The Widow of Rose House- Diana Biller.

9.The Last Book You Bought?

Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames.

10. Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

Probably some sort of receipt.

11. Used Books: Yes or No?

Sure! I don't discriminate.

12. Top Three Favourite Genres?

Fantasy, Historical Fiction and Contemporary.

13. Borrow or Buy?

Both. I prefer to borrow, but if it’s a book by an author I already love or part of a series I already read, I'll buy it.

14. Characters or Plot?

Again, both. I feel like you can't have one without the other if you want your story to be good.

15. Long or Short Books?

A nice mix of both.

16. Long or Short Chapters?


17. Name The First Three Books You Think Of…

Harry Potter series, Circe- Madeline Miller, and Ready Player One- Ernest Cline.

18. Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

Honestly, not a whole lot makes me cry, but Bossypants by Tina Fey made me chuckle.

19. Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Both. I love reading about new places, but it's also nice to read something familiar.

20. Audiobooks: Yes or No?

Yes! I listen to them all the time at work.

21. Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

I hate to say it, but...yeah.

22. Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

I feel like TV might be better just cause you're able to fit more details in over more episodes.

23. A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

Jaws or Jurassic Park.

24. Series or Standalone’s?

Both. I love when a story can be wrapped up in one, but I'm always greedy and want more when I really enjoy something.

Lemme know if you do this tag as well, I'd love to see your answers!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

OwlCrate January Review

Hello, all!

The first OwlCrate theme for the year was "Vengeance will be Mine", so let's get right to it.

First up was this little storage pocket mirror designed by OwlCrate based off Nevernight. I always love a pocket mirror, and the fact that this has three little cubbies inside will make it super convenient to take on trips to put medicine in or other small bits.

I'll never pass up a candle! This one is by A Court of Candles and was inspired by Children of Blood and Bone. It says they put different versions in the boxes and I got Lighter, which is very orange-y, but I don't actually mind it too much.

Much like candles, I will never say no to socks. We had gotten a pair of Six of Crows ones in a past box, so I'm pumped to get a pair dedicated to the next book in that duology.

Then we had this pin banner based on The Hobbit designed by In the Reads. I'm actually not a huge fan of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, so while I think the design is cool, I'll probably pass this along to someone else.

Finally, my favorite item! This month we got the next Harry Potter mug from Cara Kozik. I absolutely love all the other mugs she's done, and this one based on Order of the Phoenix is no exception! The detail! The artwork! Everything is so amazing.

The book this month was Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim. This is basically a gender-swapped re-telling of The Count of Monte Cristo. It follows Amaya, who has been held captive on a debtor ship for years, and one day she decides to rescue a stranger from drowning. In return, this stranger offers her a chance to start over, riches beyond her wildest dreams, and the chance to seek revenge on the man who wronged her family and ruined her life. The deeper Amaya dives into this new life, the more complicated her situation becomes. Especially when she meets the son of the man she's plotting to take down.

What do you think of this month's box? Lemme know!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Next Year in Havana Review

Hello, all!

My maternal grandma is Cuban. Her family came to America in the 1930's, but she spent a lot of her childhood/early teens in Cuba. I've always been fascinated about learning more about her time there, and this past May, my second cousin and I finally got to visit Havana. It was definitely an emotional trip for us, we heard stories growing up from our grandmothers, but actually being there walking the same streets as them was something entirely else. What made the trip even more special was we found family that we didn't even know existed. We went to the address where our grandma's would stay while in Cuba, and we found their cousin, one of her daughters, and granddaughter. It had been 70 years since my grandma and my cousin's had been back to Cuba, and after the revolution, they lost all contact with their family there. Neither they nor their cousin knew if the others were still alive. Now, I speak to my Cuban family all the time, and I'm so thankful and grateful for that trip. (You can read all about my trip here, here , and here.)

Seeing as how I had that experience, my friend has constantly tried to get me to read Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton, to the point where she just ended up buying it for me. (Thanks, Melissa!)

Pub Date: 2-6-18
Adult - Historical Fiction
In Havana, 1958, Elisa Perez is a 19-year old Cuban socialite. Her father is a well-known sugar baron, who has done everything in his power to keep Elisa and her sister's sheltered from the political unrest that runs rampant in Havana. Despite her father's best interests, Elisa finds herself falling for a passionate revolutionary, and she must keep their relationship a secret for both their sake.

In 2017, Marisol Ferrera is a Cuban-American living in Miami who has grown up hearing stories about her grandmother Elisa's lavish life in Cuba before their family had to flee due to the revolution. After her grandmother passes, her last wish is for Marisol to scatter her ashes back in her homeland. Once Marisol arrives in Havana, she learns that there's more to Cuba than the stories her grandmother told her.

This book was absolutely beautiful. Cleeton's writing transports you and makes you feel as if you're actually in Cuba watching this all unfold. I knew bits and pieces about the revolution, but nothing to the extent of where this story goes. No part in this story is sugar-coated, and it was so eye opening and heartbreaking. I loved the dual timelines/perspectives, and how you really get the full picture of what Elisa's and Marisol's family went through. That was my favorite part of this, the family ties. The loyalty and love woven throughout this was so great. I also think the romances were nice and not too over the top. Being part Cuban myself, and getting the opportunity to visit Havana and discover family I didn't know, made this book hit so close to home that much more. If you're looking to get swept up in a story, this is definitely it.

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Will and the Wilds Review

Hello, all!

Big thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the copy of The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg!

Pub Date: 1-21-20
YA- Fantasy
Enna has lived her whole life in fear of the mystings that roam the woods near her small village. When one of these monsters breaks into her home and attacks her, Enna decides to take matters into her own hands. She summons Maekallus, a trickster Narval, to track down the Gobbler who attacked her, but she soon learns his help is not for free. His price? Just one kiss from Enna. The catch? She'll lose her soul.

After the pair strike a deal, Maekallus gets trapped in the mortal world which slowly starts to eat him alive. Only a willing kiss from Enna can help slow the process and save him. The downside to this temporary solution is the more kisses she gives, the more he starts to feel emotions he has never felt before. If Enna isn't able to find a way to break the binding spell on Maekallus, he'll be consumed completely taking her soul with him. If that wasn't enough, the pair must fend off an army of mystings hell bent on invading Enna's world in search of an ancient magical stone. The very same stone that Enna wears upon her wrist.

I thought the premise of this was really solid, but I didn't fully love the execution. I felt the romance between Enna and Maekallus fully took over the plot, and the mysting army that the pair were supposed to be fighting sort of fell by the wayside. In fact, when the big conflict did arise, it was over so quickly that it felt like there was no point to it at all. I also didn't feel any chemistry between them, so the romance just didn't seem believable to me. I wish we learned more about the Deep, the land of the mystings, and just more about them in general because all the different varieties seemed so interesting. Despite that, I did think the world was fun to read about and it was definitely very whimsical and a bit dark, I was just hoping for slightly more.

Rating: 2.5/5

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Girls with No Names Review

Hello, all!

The majority of the historical fiction I read tends to take place in England, so when I heard about The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick and how it's based in the early 1910's New York, I knew I wanted to pick it up. Big thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the copy!

Pub Date: 1-7-20
Adult - Historical Fiction
Born with a heart defect, Effie Tildon wasn't meant to live a very long life. Now, coming on 14 years old, she's grown accustomed to the overprotective and sheltered life she's lived along with her older sister, Luella, in their large family mansion. Determined to have a little fun, the pair start sneaking out and roaming the gypsy camps in the woods by their home. Here, Luella especially, starts to open up and enjoy all the things in life they had been kept away from, and her brazen attitude comes out tenfold after the girls accidentally stumble upon a secret their father has been keeping.

One morning, Effie wakes to find Luella gone, and she's convinced her parents have found out about the gypsy's, and have locked Luella up in the House of Mercy, a local home for wayward girls. She hatches a plan to get herself committed in hopes of finding Luella and breaking her out, but when she realizes she's made a grave miscalculation, the only hope for her survival is Mable, a tough girl with secrets of her own. The pair must learn to put their differences aside and truly trust one another if they mean to make it out alive.

This book had me completely hooked. It's told in three perspectives: Effie's, Mable's and Effie's mother, Jeanne. In Mable's case, it's mostly flashbacks detailing how she came to be in the House of Mercy, and all the hardships and betrayals she's had to face. I thought her backstory was so interesting and really pulled the curtain back on how life was like for young girls during this time period. She was such a strong character, but being on this journey with Effie and the way they interacted, brought an almost vulnerability to her that softened her hardness. I thought Effie grew so much throughout this as well. She started off a naive child who needed to be cared for and blossomed into one who could stand on her own and wasn't afraid of succumbing to her "blue fits." Aside from the characters, I thought that the setting felt very real to New York in the 1910's; it was gritty, grimy and unforgiving. My only small gripe was that I felt the story was a tad slow at times, and I would've loved to learn a bit more about the House of Mercy (which was a real place at the time), but other than that, I definitely recommend.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Little Bookshop on the Seine Blog Tour

Hello, all!

As a book lover, whenever a story takes place in a bookshop, it immediately goes on my TBR. Big thank you to Harlequin for having me be a part of the blog tour for The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin!

Pub Date: 1-7-20
Adult - Contemporary
Sarah Smith lives a small but quaint life surrounded by books. Never one to go against the grain, when the option to switch bookshops with her outgoing Parisian friend, Sophie, unexpectedly comes up Sarah jumps at the chance. Spending a few months in the romantic literary city is sure to be an experience of a lifetime, but Sarah soon finds out it's not at all as it's cracked up to be.

Sarah was hoping the Once Upon a Time bookshop would be her chance to break out of her shell and really come alive, but she feels more out of place than ever. From rude coworkers to ruder customers, Sarah has to fight for even the smallest bit of respect. It doesn't help that her travelling reporter boyfriends calls have gotten even fewer and far between. As the sales in Sophie's shop keep plummeting under Sarah's management, while hers are thriving under Sophie's, Sarah can't help but think she made a terrible mistake. Slowly, as she starts to carve out a life and friends in Paris, and with Christmas fast approaching, Sarah is determined to get the shop, and herself, back together and make her happily ever after a reality.

I really wanted to love this, but I ended up just thinking it was okay. I loved the idea of this gorgeous Parisian bookshop, but most of the staff there were just so arrogant that I didn't like most of them. I liked Sarah and really enjoyed watching her blossom into this independent woman, and I liked her dynamic between TJ and Oceane, but everyone else I could take or leave. The writing wasn't my favorite either; I felt it came off a bit unrealistic and pretentious at times. Sarah and Ridge's romance was alright, but didn't give me all the feels I was hoping for. Although I didn't end up loving this, I still would recommend it if you're looking for a quick holiday read.

Rating: 3/5

For more information on the book, check out the below!

Buy Links: 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

A Love Hate Thing Blog Tour

Hello, all!

You all know how much I love hate-to-love and second-chance romances, so I'm really excited to be a part of the blog tour for A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison. For my part, I'll be giving you all a review of this new YA contemporary. Big thanks to Inkyard Press for having me!

Pub Date: 1/7/20
YA - Contemporary
The last place seventeen year old Tyson Trice wants to spend his summer is in the wealthy community of Pacific Hills with a family he hasn't seen in ten years. Coming from the rough streets of Lindenwood, he knows he's in for nothing but stares and judgments, but after recovering from a gunshot wound and losing his family, Tyson doesn't really care about much. Especially not reconnecting with his childhood friend, Nandy Smith, whose family has taken him in.

Golden girl Nandy has it all laid out for her: she has the perfect boyfriend, the perfect grades, the perfect friends, and the last thing she needs is a thug from the 'Wood ruining the reputation she's taken so long to build. The more time the two spend bickering, the more the tension and underlying feelings they have for one another grows. As the pair start to rekindle their friendship, Tyson helps bring Nandy back out of her shell, and Nandy tries to show Tyson that holding onto his anger will do nothing but hurt him more in the end. As they try to navigate through their new way of life, the ever-present pull back to Lindenwood may prove too much for Tyson to resist.

I was a huge fan of The OC back in high school/college and this gave me all the same vibes. There was all the needless drama and overreactions that you'd expect in an early '00s teen show, as well as its predictability. While I did enjoy it, I was able to tell where the story was going before it got there, so that dropped it down a bit for me. I did really like Tyson and how complex he was. He goes through so much in this, and I love how he sought refuge in his writing. Nandy starts off being a bit of a spoiled brat, but eventually gains a whole new understanding and perspective of her world which was nice character growth. Their romance didn't blow me away, but it was cute. I also really liked the side characters, and would love to read a spin off about Shayne and Kyle. All in all, if you're craving a teen drama in your life, check this one out.

Rating: 3/5

More info about the book can be found here:

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Friday, January 3, 2020

Top 5- 2020 Goals

Hello, all and Happy New Year!

I'm not usually one for resolutions because I never tend to stick to any and then feel like a failure. However, with the start of a new decade, I figured I'd try something new. Here are just a few things I want to keep in mind heading into this chapter of life:

1. Work on my mental health: This past year or so has really taken a toll on me anxiety/depression wise, so I really want to work on pulling myself out of this slump and getting back to enjoying life.

2. Put down books I don't enjoy: For some reason, I always feel bad DNF-ing a book, so no matter how much I'm not liking it, I still force myself to finish. No more! I read somewhere that it takes 50 pages to get hooked on a book, so if by then I'm not feelin' it, I'm going to step away. My TBR pile is too long to waste it on books I don't enjoy.

3. Exercise and drink more water: I used to be really good about going to the gym and watching what I eat, but then I got lazy. I'm in my 30's now and I can't keep up the same diet I had in my early 20's. So, I'm going to try and be better about my choices and make it a point to get at least 20-30 minutes of exercise a day. Also, I'm the worst when it comes to drinking water because I have the bladder of a fruit fly, so I'm perpetually dehydrated. So, if you ever see me around, just tell me to drink some.

4. Go out more: This'll definitely be the biggest hurdle for me since I am a hermit down to my very core. I love nothing more than curling up on my couch in a blanket burrito. A lot of my seclusion this year was just due to not feeling comfortable around a lot of people anymore, but I want to make it a point to see my friends and make fun memories going forward.

5. Spend less: I'm not terrible with money, but I don't feel I'm particularly good with it either. I feel like there's so many better ways I can be managing it, so I want to learn how. I want to try not to spend a lot on things I only want but don't necessarily need. Especially when it comes to books. I've been pretty good about utilizing my library rather than buying tons of books every month, so I want to continue doing that. If anyone has any money saving tips, please let me know!

What're some goals you have? Lemme know!