Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Bookmarks

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topic is:
Favorite Bookmarks

I LOVE collecting bookmarks, probably as much as I love adding books to my shelves, lol! And just like choosing my favorite books, it was also tough to choose my favorite bookmarks. Quite a few of them, like the Lisa Simpson bookmark in the photo below, have grown in sentimental value over the years because I've had them for so long. Often I'll try to find bookmarks of my favorite characters, and not just from books, but from movies and TV, too, as you'll also see from the photo. :D

1. The Millennium Falcon
A Star Wars bookmark is an absolute must have for this fangirl.

2. The Avengers
This bookmark was a tie-in for Endgame. It's currently holding my place in Neal Shusterman's Scythe.

3. The Raven Cycle
I got these adorable bookmarks of the characters from Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle from Happy Hello.

4. Lisa Simpson
I've been a Simpsons fan from the beginning, and I love the inspirational quote on this bookmark.

5. YALLFest
I just picked this up over the weekend during YALLFest 2019, and this bookmark features this year's artwork for the festival.

6. Ron Weasley
How cute is this bookmark of Ron?!

7. Keep Calm and Read On
What I tell myself all the time. :D

8. Dumbledore
I know I included two Harry Potter-themed bookmarks, but this is my favorite Dumbledore quote and one of my favorite quotes from the whole series.

9. The Infernal Devices
Another set from Happy Hello, featuring Will, Jem, and Tessa.

10. New York
I got this at The Cloisters museum a few years ago during a trip to New York to always remember my hometown. ♥

What are your favorite bookmarks?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Book Loot (38)

Yikes—it's another Book Loot post already! I've dubbed this my Pre-YALLFest Haul because I'm taking some of these to hopefully get signed at YALLFest in Charleston this weekend. :D

I'm about halfway through Neal Shusterman's Scythe, and all I can say is: why didn't I read this book, or any of Neal Shusterman's books, sooner?! It's definitely going to be one of my 2019 favorites.

What books have you added to your shelves lately?


Angel Mage by Garth Nix
Much thanks to Epic Reads!


The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
Reveal Me by Tahereh Mafi

Thursday, October 31, 2019

October 2019 Recap

Wow! There's actually a recap this month because . . . there's some stuff to recap, lol!

Last week I got to see the touring production of Les Misérables at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando. I first saw the show about 20 years ago on Broadway when I was living in New York. I'm a bit of a Les Miz nerd, lol; I've watched the anniversary concerts and the movie adaptation of the musical with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway more than a few times. ;) When I found out that the current tour was making a stop in Orlando, I jumped at the opportunity to see the show again.

I admit that I got chills when the orchestra began playing the opening notes! This was a wonderful production; everything from the performances to the sets was amazing! If you're a Les Miz fan and have the chance to catch this tour, don't miss it!

On the bookish side, I read 2 books this month, and both were 4 star reads. I'm trying to keep that momentum going and am currently reading Neal Shusterman's Scythe, which has been very, very good so far.

Yesterday the temperature here in Florida was 90 and felt like 97. Um, hello? Tomorrow's November? We're hoping to finally experience some sweater weather when we head to Charleston next week for YALLFest.

How was your October?

Reviews Posted:

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Spookiest Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

It's a Halloween Freebie this week, so I've made a list of the spookiest books I've read. My list is actually a little short because I'm such a wimp when it comes to reading horror or anything close to it, lol.

1. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

It's a really good thing that the protagonist, Cas, is hilariously snarky because this is one scary book, and I probably would've been too much of a chicken to read it otherwise.

2. The Diviners by Libba Bray

I do most of my reading at night, and when I read this, I couldn't go to sleep right away because I was afraid of having nightmares from it, lol.

3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

The scene where Harry and Dumbledore fight the Inferi creeps me out more than anything else in the series, including any scene with Voldemort.

4. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

This falls under mystery, but the sense of foreboding that pervades the book is as chill-inducing as a horror story.

5. Sabriel by Garth Nix

The title character is a necromancer, and although she's a heroine, this book is still filled with plenty of scary moments.

6. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

This novel about a changeling features some very creepy supernatural beings.

7. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Another Maureen Johnson title, this one about a Jack the Ripper copycat terrorizing modern day London. The paranormal element gives the book an eerie twist.

What are some of the scariest books you've read?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1)
By Jenny Han
Simon & Schuster BFYR
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: Lara Jean’s life is about to change in some big ways—the start of a new school year and the departure of her beloved older sister for college abroad in Scotland. Nothing can prepare Lara Jean, however, for the horror of seeing the secret letters she’s written to every boy she’s loved somehow mailed out to the recipients. In an equally bizarre twist, Lara Jean finds herself pretending to be the girlfriend of one of the addressees, Peter Kavinsky. At first she thinks she’s long over him, but as their supposedly fake relationship continues, Lara Jean realizes that she just might want it to be real.

Review: Once again, I’m way behind the curve in reading a massively popular book, in this case Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. This book had been on my radar even before the release of the equally popular Netflix adaptation, in part thanks to the gorgeous cover. I don’t read much contemporary and so didn’t make this much of a priority read until Twitter exploded with all the love for the film. And then it still took me a while to finally read the book.

Seeing all of that love for the movie on social media made me feel like I already knew Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky before reading a single page. It took reading maybe five pages to fall in love with MC Lara Jean’s narrative voice. It was instantly engaging, and I also loved the immediate sense of closeness between her and her sisters. When the novel opens, eldest sister Margot is preparing to head off to college in Scotland, leaving Lara Jean to step up to being a mother figure for their younger sister, Kitty. Margot took on the role of looking after her sisters and their father a few years before after the death of their mother. Taking on more family responsibilities, having her sister in another country, and starting a new school year end up being the least of Lara Jean’s worries, though, when something unthinkable happens. The letters she’s written to every boy she’s loved and keeps hidden in a hatbox her mother gave her somehow get mailed to each boy.

Enter Peter Kavinsky, a past love of Lara Jean’s and therefore the recipient of one of her letters. In order to do damage control with another letter recipient, Lara Jean enters into a pact with Peter to fake being a couple, an arrangement that benefits Peter, too. At first Lara Jean finds him to be true to his reputation around school—arrogant, egotistical, and the kind of guy who eats the last slice of pizza. Peter is also pretty unfiltered and unapologetic about it, which may not appeal to everyone, but which I often found hilarious.

Part of Lara Jean’s growth in the novel is discovering that there’s more to Peter K.’s handsome face and too-cool-to-care attitude. He does, in fact, care about a lot of things. I thought that Lara Jean’s character development was well done. She can be petty and even mean at times and makes some less than wise decisions, but she has the self-awareness to call herself out.

I was very much enjoying this book until the end. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with how things were left. I’m not into Hallmark Channel Christmas movie-perfect endings, but I felt this one could have some more closure, even if it is the first book in a series. On the upside, now I absolutely have to read the sequel to see if my questions are answered.

All in All: I typically don’t go for contemporary YA romance, but this was a sweet, winning read. Perfect if you love breezy novels like Stephanie Perkins’s Anna and the French Kiss.

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