Top 10 Tuesday #5

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

This week's topic, Standalone Books That Need a Sequel, was way harder than I thought!  First, I discovered that I read a lot of series!  Also, that I really like the way most of my favorite books end, so they don't really NEED a sequel.  Here is what I came up with, and I definitely had to explain myself with a few of them.

The Book Thief 1000% doesn't need a sequel, however, I really love Liesel Meminger and would definitely read a book about how her life turned out.  But in all honesty, I'm satisfied with the way The Book Thief ended.

I loved reading about the beginning of Nick and Bex's relationship!  Though I did think this book was a little bit too long, I really enjoyed the characters and the events leading up to ... (not telling).   I would definitely read a book about Bex's first few years as a princess and learning her way around royal life.  I feel like that would be really entertaining.

This is another book that really doesn't need a sequel, but I wouldn't turn down another summer tour guiding around Europe with Aubree! I'd love to see her explore some different countries or maybe even tour guide on a different continent.

I really loved Amelia's work ethic and her love for the business in this book.  I'd love to see how she does the next summer and how the changes affect Meade Creamery.

This is another book that I was completely satisfied with and it definitely doesn't need a sequel.  BUT I just love the characters so much and I would definitely read another book about them.  I would also want any sequels to be epistolary, too!  I love that style!

There was a lot left unresolved at the end of this book which makes me wonder if there is actually going to be a sequel.  There definitely could be and I would 1000% read it.

This doesn't need a sequel but 100 books just like this one would be great, ha.  I really love the romantic comedy vibe of this book and would love to read 100 more.

This one doesn't need a sequel either, I just really want Sarah Addison Allen to write another book.  I love the southern charm and slight magical realism in her books.  I chose this one because one of the characters "magics" is that the right book always comes to her.

I know there are spin offs from this book, but not any actual sequels.  This is another book that had awesome characters that I just want to read more and more about.  I do still need to read the spin-offs, too.  I just haven't gotten around to them.

This book was actually supposed to be a series.  I read the ending and was like there is no way this is how it ends.  So I googled the book and found out that it didn't sell well enough for them to invest in the next books in the series.  I LOVED this book so I was sad to find that out!

Book Reviews: February

Monday, March 11, 2019

Man, I really sucked at reading in February!  Between my school workload becoming a bit overwhelming as well as my work schedule getting a bit more hectic, I haven't been able to read as much as I'd like.  So, here is my one book for February:

Fairy tales, Harry Potter, dogs and a scavenger hunt - what's not to love!  I loved Elsa's character so much, especially her love of Harry Potter.  I really liked how the fairy tales weaved together with real life; it reminded me of Winter Garden (one of my favorite books).   I loved how all of the people who lived in the house were all connected and I loved learning about each of them as Elsa learned about them.  It's a little slow in the beginning, but it's such a great story if you push through.

Top 10 Tuesday #4

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

This weeks topic is Characters I'd like to switch places with.  This one was way harder than I thought it would be!  There are so many different worlds that I'd love to explore, but I really wouldn't want to be the character!

 Cassidy Blake: How cool would it be to be able to go "behind the veil".  I mean the whole almost dying thing doesn't sound fun, but having an "invisible" best friend does.

Addie:  I mean, really I just want to go to Ireland ... but road tripping around sounds like so much fun! 

Amy Lennox: Please let me jump into all of my favorite books!!

Lina:  Spending the summer in Italy and meeting a cute Italian boy ... what teenager would turn that down?

Aubree Sadler: Tour guiding around Europe for the summer sounds like a dream come true!

Hermione Granger: Probably my favorite book character of all time.  I'd love to be as brilliant as Hermione ... and go to Hogwarts - duh.

Rebecca Porter: If you say you've never wanted to marry a prince at least once in your life, you're lying!  Also, I think Bex was a great character.  Plus ... London.

America Singer:  Definitely not about that "Bachelor" style game show thing, but I really loved America as a character.  I also really liked Maxon - so if I had to be competing for someone, he doesn't seem like a bad choice.

Luna Lovegood: Such a quirky character, and she's 100% herself.  I wish I could be more like Luna.  Plus, we're both Ravenclaws.

Jordan Woods: I wish I was badass and confident enough to play football on a boys team.

Top 10 Tuesday #3

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

I LOVE this weeks topic!  Places Mentioned in Books I'd Love to Visit.   There are really no rules so I'm doing both real and fictional places on my list. Also, I'm only doing places I've never been.  I've read plenty of books that take place in places I'd love to return to, but these are all places I have never been but really want to see.   I've always loved to travel and one of the things I'm looking forward to most when we're debt free is traveling more!

Hogwarts School, England - Harry Potter 

Havana, Cuba - Next year in Havana

Edinburgh, Scotland - City of Ghosts

Ireland (all of it) - Love and Luck

Chile (I want to go to Patagonia) - The Rhythm of Memory 

Prague, Czech Republic - The Lost Wife

Santorini, Greece - Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Paris, France - One Paris Summer

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - 13 Little Blue Envelopes

Salzburg, Austria - Wanderlost

Top 10 Tuesday #2

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

I'm not going to lie, I had to cheat a little bit on this one.  I only found one book that I loved that had less than 2000 ratings, and that is the first one on the list.  So I looked for books with less than 2,000 reviews which was still hard but doable (what can I say, I'm a follower).  I also looked at the ratings and made sure they were on the lower side (usually less than 5,000).

This book definitely isn't for everyone, but as someone who lost a close friend at a young age I really enjoyed this book.   I could totally relate to Cloudy at certain points of the story, which made it both uncomfortable and enjoyable to read.
{My Full Review HERE}

I really enjoyed this book but I do understand why some people don't.   It didn't have the emotional punch I was expecting to happen, but it did offer a different perspective on school shootings.  Most books I've read focus on when the shooting is actually happening and the events leading up to it.  This one takes place months after the shooting and deals with the long term effects. I think it's worth reading, it's not perfect, but its good.
{My Full Review HERE}

 This was a sweet book with a good message.  Not a masterpiece or anything but entertaining and I enjoyed the setting and the "girl power" vibe of the book.
{My Full Review HERE}

This was one of my favorite books of 2017.  Such a great story about the resistance during world war 2 in Austria.  HIGHLY Recommend for those who love  historical fiction.
{My Full Review HERE}

Isn't it every book lovers dream to be able to jump right in to their favorite stories and live there?  That's why I loved this book so much!  It wasn't perfect but I loved the idea of being able to jump in and interact with your favorite book characters!
{My Full Review HERE}

Travel, coming of age, beautiful European scenery, and colorful characters - what could be better!?  While I did have some issues with certain parts of this book, all of the great things about it totally overshadowed them.  Totally recommend to anyone who loves to travel.
{My Full Review HERE}

To be honest, I really haven't met an Alyson Richman book I haven't loved.  I always learn so much from her books and this one was no exception.  I had never read a book set in Chile before and didn't know much about the conflict there until I read this.   Definitely recommend to historical fiction lovers.
{My Full Review HERE}

I read this book in 2011 but I remember really enjoying it, especially all the different recipes throughout the book.  I remember really loving the characters and how the main character bonded with her granddaughter over baking
{No Review: read before blogging}

Another Alyson Richman book.   Her books always get me in the feels and this one really, really got me!  This was the first book I'd read on Italy in world war two and I couldn't get enough.  The whole story is just beautiful and I can't recommend it highly enough.  Just don't read it on vacation like I did, bawling on a cruise ship is not cool!
{My Full Review HERE}

I literally love all of the Hundred Oaks books but I chose this one because it had the least amount of ratings, probably because it's newish.   I love these books because they usually involve sports and because they're super realistic and not filled with annoying drama even though the characters are high school aged.
{My Full Review HERE}

Top 10 Tuesday #1

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Since my life is pretty much school, work and reading I'll probably be writing a lot about books over the next year.  So, I decided to start participating in this Top 10 Tuesday.  I can't remember  how I came across this but I loved some of the upcoming topics!  Today's topic is Favorite Couples in Books.

1. Eleanor and Raymond from Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I'm really surprised by how much I loved them.  I think Raymond changed Eleanor for the better and eventually brought out the best in her.

2. Lucy and Joshua from The Hating Game by Sally Thorne 
How can you not love their bantering and romantic comedyish relationship?

3. America and Maxon from The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
I loved that their relationship wasn't instant and I loved how sweet and respectful Maxon was.

4. Louisa and Will from Me Before You by Jojo Moyes 
If you don't love their relationship, I think you may be a sociopath.

5. Cath and Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I loved how much Levi obviously adored Cath and how he helped to come out of her shell.

6. Elizabeth and Wynn from When Calls The Heart by Janette Oke
They may be my favorite of all of these couples.  I love the old fashioned (late 1800s early 1900s) relationship.  I love Wynn Delaney so much, he's super respectful of Elizabeth and really sweet.

7. Bex and Nick from The Royal We by Heather Cocks
While I thought the book was a bit too long and drawn out, I really did like both Nick and Bex.  I thought they were great characters and I liked them together.

8. Ashley and Dash from Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber
I just found their entire relationship hilarious.  It was meant to be goofy and that's what I loved about it.  No dumb drama, just silliness.

9. Luke and Sophia from The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Maybe I'm projecting the movie on to this a little bit, but they're probably my favorite couple from all of the Nicholas Sparks books I've read.  I also really love Ira and Ruth in this book. 

10. Henry and Jordan from Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally 
While they weren't the main focus of the whole book, I loved them way more than Ty and Jordan.  They started out friends and I think it made their relationship great.

Book Reviews: January

Monday, February 11, 2019

This January I decided to participate in Erin's Challenge again which pushed me to read some really great books before school started up at the end of the month.  I hoped to finish the challenge this month (10 books), but it didn't end up working out for a number of reasons.

This book was recommended to me by my sister.  I was slightly hesitant to read another Sarah Dessen book because I just could not get in to the last one.  Luckily, this one had me hooked from the beginning and was probably my favorite of hers. I loved the supporting characters, I loved that she didn't just gloss over some of the difficult-to-talk-about issues (I think she handled them very well), and I loved Owen.  I also loved that you could see Annabel grow and realize things about herself that she needed to change and work on.  Overall, a very well done story.

I really, really wanted to like this book, but I'm sad to say that I really didn't.  The first probably 50 pages were good and I had high hopes for it, then came the unexpected magical realism.  Usually I like magical realism but I don't think it worked for this book and it kind of ruined it for me.  I expected this to be about the characters journey out of their home country and the struggles of migrating from a war torn country, but it definitely was not.  Also there were a whole bunch of random vignettes throughout the book which didn't tie into the story at all.  The worst for me was that I didn't connect with the characters at all, I didn't care about them and wasn't invested in their story.  Honestly, I probably would have DNF'd this if it wasn't one of my books for Erin's Challenge.  Overall, extremely disappointing. 

This was a strange book.  It's a newberry award winner, but I really don't think I would have liked it as a kid.  It's a bit dark, and really slow paced.   The first half of the book was super slow and I really couldn't get in to it, but the last 100 pages were enjoyable.  There were a lot of things that really didn't make sense in the story but it didn't bother me if I didn't overthink.   This book was just OK - I wouldn't say don't read it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it either.

I have no words for how much I loved this book.  Ever since I watched the Dirty Dancing spin off Havana Nights, I've been fascinated by Cuba.  I learned so much about the Revolution and modern day Cuba reading this book, and ended up doing my own research about different events mentioned in the book.   I really loved both the past and present stories (though, I did love the past one more).  Elisa is the kind of character that I love because she was completely realistic.  I found part of the ending of the present day story a little hard to believe, but other than that I loved every bit of this book.   If you love historical fiction, go get this book right now! 
Hayley Larue Design