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Introduction

Introducing me, my favorite books, and a little bit of my reading background

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Hi, everyone! I hope you all are having a great day! My name is Jessica and I am so excited to start doing more bookish things on this blog that I can’t always do on my bookstagram account. I figured that since I am just now starting a blog post, I should introduce myself a little bit.

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I have always been an avid reader, ever since I was a child. I always had books around my house growing up, which made my love of books grow as time went on. However, not all of that time growing up was pleasant. I was bullied constantly by my neighbors and other people around school, and books became an escape from that. I tend to go read when I have something going on and need an escape from it, even if it’s only temporary.

Now, most of us probably have a few favorite books (if we can narrow them down enough to pick) so I’m going to say a few of mine, which are The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, We Are Okay by Nina LaCour, and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

I am always looking for more recommendations for books to add to my massive TBR, so if you have any that you think I would like, please feel free to send them to me! I would love to hear from you guys and I am so excited to see where this blog takes me! 🙂

The Halves of Us by Sydney Paige Richardson – Spoiler Free Review

This book is available on Amazon as well as the Parliament House Press website if you are interested in learning more. 

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Twin Sisters: one destined to rule, one cursed to destroy.

Some say blood is thicker than water. But for twin sisters, Adie and Aura, their connection runs even deeper than blood.
After investigating a surprise attack carried out by dark souls controlled by the Wicked Willow, an evil  residing in a neighboring region, Aura uncovers a family secret: she is the fulfillment of a curse placed upon her family centuries ago.

While Aura is destined to destroy their planet, Thindoral, Adie is fated to follow in their mother’s footsteps and become Ruler, but even Adie’s path comes with revelations. Dangerous premonitions plague her dreams, all depicting Thindoral’s demise at the hand of her sister.

As darkness takes control of her mind, Aura must determine whether defying fate and time is the choice that will seal her destruction, or if self-sacrifice will save all she holds dear. Meanwhile, Adie is faced with an impossible decision: save her sister, or protect their world?

 

 

Review: 

*I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

DNF @ 69%

Unfortunately, I think this is one of those books that has a great premise, but the book itself is just not for me. I absolutely loved the premise of this book, and it sounded so interesting and unlike something I had read before (though the trope is used a bit in YA). However, I could not get into the story and a lot of the problems between the main characters really bugged me because it felt like they were completely unnecessary.

If you are looking for a high fantasy book as an introduction to fantasy, than this would probably be something you’d enjoy. However, as someone that reads fantasy constantly and picks up on tropes relatively easily, I’d say that this is probably not the book for you.

Blinding Night – Review

I was sent a PDF copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Blinding Night Cover

 

Synopsis:

What if you were the missing piece in one of the world’s most epic legends?

Despite being an art history student, Summer isn’t thrilled to be stuck with her archeologist family all summer in Greece. While the rest of her college friends are posting a million selfies by the pool together, Summer is stuck alone, trying to entertain herself alone in a place where she doesn’t even speak the language.

Upon her arrival to Greece, strange dreams and even stranger shadows seem to haunt Summer, leaving her to ponder the meaning of pomegranate seeds and twisted, darkened faces.

Suddenly, her stay abroad leads to tragic twists, leaving Summer in the arms of a dark stranger, who claims to be the god, Hades, whom she feels like she knows from another life. In a whirlwind through the busy streets of Athens, Summer is seduced to the lowest point of Greece where Hades’ lair awaits…the Underworld. Determined to find out who she is and where she belongs in an age-old myth, Summer joins Hades to discover that the secrets about her past life are beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

 

Review:

This book was so good! I went into this book with little to no expectations as to what was going on and how I would feel, and I am so glad that I went into it that way because I don’t think I would have enjoyed this as much otherwise. I think the only reason this book isn’t getting a full five-stars from me is because it took me so long to get through it and I could’ve easily binge read it if I wasn’t so busy.

I loved the characters, and could appreciate the characters that you were meant not to like. This book put me through so many different twists and turns, and the feels about this book were all over the place. I loved seeing the twist on the Underworld setting, and getting to see this almost alternate side of the story of Hades and Persephone that is completely different from what we end up seeing in myths and history. This was such a great twist on a myth that we know a little bit about, but not as much as we could.

Overall, this book is great for teenagers that are junior year of high school or higher, anyone that has a true love for Greek mythology and liking the stories of the time, and young adults would probably really like this. Overall, this book is great and I need to get my hands on book two as soon as possible.

 

This book is available on the Parliament House Press website as well as on Amazon!

Lost in the Book World – Tag

One thing that I have noticed is that I ALWAYS forget to do tags on my bookstagram since I get tagged in so many, so I am going to try and stay on top of them by doing them on the blog! If these posts aren’t exactly your thing, please feel free to skip this post and look at one of my others. All I want to do is put out content that makes me happy 🙂

I was tagged by the lovely @booksandpurls on Instagram to do the #lostinthebookworldtag so let’s do this!

 

Favorite Writer: 

Ugh this one is hard! I love Cassandra Clare and Sarah J Maas’ writing, but I also love Becky Albertalli’s and Angie Thomas’ writing! And we can’t forget J.K. Rowling! These five authors are my top favorite writers, and I can’t wait to see what else they come out with!

Genre: 

I am definitely a fantasy reader! I grew up reading Harry Potter and that has always been the kind of books that I want to read more of! I think starting to read fantasy as such a young age definitely shaped my reading, so fantasy is definitely my top genre to read! I’m also trying to get into more contemporary books!

Books in the Bookstore to Read: 

ALL OF THE BOOKS! I always discover new books when I go to the bookstore so I love being able to go in and discover new books, while also seeing the books that are on my TBR that I can’t wait to get to!

Book Begun But Never Finished 

I recently DNF’d Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, and I wish I had more of an urge to pick it back up but I just don’t! I don’t know if my expectations were too high or if I was just overall not in the mood for it, but I could not get into this book! It felt like one of those, “great concept, poor execution” books to me, so I hope that one day I can get back into it and love it. However, right now, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

Season In Which You Read the Most: 

I tend to get a lot of reading done in fall and winter! I think it has something to do with how cold it gets that makes me want to curl up with a book under a blanket with a mug of apple cider next to me, but I always end up getting a lot of reading in during the fall and winter!

What Do You Eat While Reading? 

I tend to have something sweet nearby when I’m reading! Whether that’s a couple pieces of chocolate or some sort of dessert, I tend to have something sweet near me when I’m reading. I definitely have a major sweet tooth!

 

That’s all for this Tag Thursday! I can’t wait to see what I end up doing next!

Update – Where I’ve Been

It’s been a little bit since I’ve updated this blog. Between working this summer and trying to balance school and reading, I’ve been pretty busy trying to balance it all. I’m going to try to get better about posting on here, and there are a few things going for me right now that I would love to talk to y’all about!

What’s going on with me now?

I’m currently in my senior year of high school and have been working towards college applications and visits and homework and everything else a senior in high school has going on. I end up doing homework for a couple hours every day, so finding the time to read for fun is proving to be a challenge right now. I’m hoping that with what I’m talking about later, I can get back into the groove of things and get back to blogging and writing.

I’ve also been in a major reading slump the past couple of months and am struggling to get out of it. Maybe it’s a combination of stress and not picking things up that are really interesting to me, but it’s definitely impacting my reading and how many books I can get to at a time. I’m hoping that picking up some of these fantasy books I have been sent for review will get me right back into reading!

What’s new?

I am now a reviewer and social media rep for Parliament House Press, which is a smaller publishing house that has a lot of books that are things that I would enjoy! I’ll be making blog posts for cover reveals, reviews of their upcoming releases, and other publicity of the books they are publishing and I am so excited to be a part of this great community! Expect my first post related to this publishing house very soon!

I have also been working to take more pictures to include in the blog posts that I have, whether they are from my bookstagram account or just some that I’ve taken for fun! I’m going to try to include more pictures in my posts instead of how they usually look so maybe I can get some really good pictures taken soon!

Anything changing on the blog?

I’m going to work on getting a posting schedule together, but right now I think it’ll look something like this:

  • TUESDAY —-  Cover releases, reviews for books I’ve been sent for review, release announcements, etc.
  • THURSDAY —-  Tags from Instagram or Top Ten Thursday
  • WEEKEND  —- Any other bookish posts or reviews of books I am totally obsessed with at the moment

I’m going to do my best to stick to this schedule and get blog posts written as much as I can. I’m hoping to really get back into blogging and get more into what makes me happy so I can talk to you more about books!

Anyway, that’s essentially all that’s new for me. I can’t wait to see where this blog takes me in the future and seeing how much I can connect with people. Talk soon!

 

 

TBR – July

For this TBR, I had originally wanted to try and get through some of the big series that I haven’t finished yet and the trilogies that I own that have been sitting on my shelves for months (or years in some cases). At about ten days into the month, I decided that this wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore and came up with a new way of deciding my TBR: I put all of my books into a random generator and picked a certain number of books. On top of the book club picks and the review books that are on my kindle that I want to get to, this is my TBR!

What I’m Currently Reading Now: 

  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (on page 213/378)
  • The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson (on story 5/11)
  • Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (75% through)
  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (9% through the audiobook)

What I’m Hoping to Get to: 

  • The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
  • A Thousand Beginnings and Endings: 15 Retellings of Asian Myths and Legends (edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman)
  • Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
  • What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
  • One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  • The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  • The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
  • The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
  • All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor
  • Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

Book Club Books: 

  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  • Save the Date by Morgan Matson
  • One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Review Books I Hope to Get to:

  • Pinnacle by Lynn Veevers
  • Forever Ends by Carol Hibbs
  • Zarox by Louis Smith

 

There may be more added to this list if I manage to get a lot read, there may be books that are added to next month’s TBR. Some will be ebooks, some will be audiobooks, and some will be physical books that I carry with me and read when I can. Whatever happens this month, I can’t wait to get around to it and see what happens! Hopefully I can have a decent sized wrap up since I’ve read four books so far!

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts on them? I’d love to know what you thought of some of these books!

George by Alex Gino – Spoiler Free Review

George Cover - Alex Gino

Synopsis:

BE WHO YOU ARE. When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part… because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte – but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

Review: 

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, and I figured it would be cute and an easy read that I would enjoy and nothing more. Boy was I wrong.

This book was amazing in just about every way you could think of. You really got to see George (who prefers Melissa) struggle with people not accepting her for who she is and then some people having to learn that it’s okay for her to be who she is. We saw her be bullied, we saw her struggle to come out as trans, we saw her be able to be who she wants to be by the end of the book and it was amazing.

This is such an informative read and it truly is an eye-opening story that no one would really understand unless they have experienced this themselves. This is an own voices novel, and I cannot believe I left it this long to read this book! I recommend this to everyone, especially those looking for a short book that will surprise them in every way possible.

Audiobooks – My Favorites and How I Listen to Them

I personally love audiobooks; they are how I get most of my reading done during the school year and when I physically can’t get myself to pick up a book. However, it took me a while to really get into listening to them. I found some ways that I can really listen to audiobooks and focus on them, and I figured I could share some of them with you!

  • Driving ~ I tend to listen to audiobooks when I’m driving so long as I am by myself. I can focus on driving and still be able to fully engage in the story when I’m driving to and from school, driving anywhere by myself, just driving in general. If I could listen to them more often, I would.
  • Writing Blog Posts ~ I tend to listen to audiobooks while I write blog posts, because this is something that I can do easily and not worry too much about missing something important in the story. Blogging is something that I have loved to do (even though I haven’t had a ton of time to really update on here lately) and I can always fix anything on here while I can’t do that on school assignments
  • Busy Work Assignments ~ In school, there are some assignments that take me no time at all and are just assignments to keep me busy so the teacher can work on other things. When I get these assignments, I tend to listen to audiobooks because the assignments tend to take me no time at all. For the easier homework assignments or the assignments where I can multitask (such as making flashcards), I tend to listen to audiobooks.
  • Cleaning ~ No one likes cleaning, at least a very small number of people actually like it. Whether I am cleaning out my closet or just tidying up my room, I can listen to audiobooks and focus on them. Speaking of which, maybe I can clean out my closet soon and get through an audiobook?

 

Now, I have listened to a lot of audiobooks over the past year and a half or so. Some were great, some were not as good as I would have hoped. Here are some of my favorites

  • Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith ~ I listened to two of these books through audiobook and I loved them! The narrator was great and I was engaged the entire time.
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by Kerri Maniscalco ~ I’ve listened to both of the books in this series that are currently published and I loved both of them! The narrator is phenomenal and really captures the different accents of the characters and the differentiated between all the characters, which helped my enjoyment.
  • Sarah J. Maas’ books ~ I have listened to Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, and A Court of Wings and Ruin and loved all three audiobooks! I hope that I can get the audiobook for Kingdom of Ash when it comes out this fall!
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas ~ I went back and forth between physically reading this book and listening to this book, and that was one of the best ways to read this book. If you haven’t read The Hate U Give yet, I highly recommend you pick it up!

 

Well, that’s the main audiobooks that I’ve listened to and loved that I can remember off the top of my head. What are some of your favorite audiobooks if you listen to them? I am always looking for some new audiobooks to listen to while I drive!