The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder

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Loyalty. Envy. Obligation. Dreams. Disappointment. Fear. Negligence. Coping. Elation. Lust. Nature. Freedom. Heartbreak. Insouciance. Audacity. Gluttony. Belief. God. Karma. Knowing what you want (there is probably a French word for it). Saying Yes. Destiny. Truth. Devotion. Forgiveness. Life. Happiness (ever after).

Hannah and Zoe haven’t had much in their lives, but they’ve always had each other. So when Zoe tells Hannah she needs to get out of their down-and-out New Jersey town, they pile into Hannah’s beat-up old Le Mans and head west, putting everything—their deadbeat parents, their disappointing love lives, their inevitable enrollment at community college—behind them.

As they chase storms and make new friends, Zoe tells Hannah she wants more for her. She wants her to live bigger, dream grander, aim higher. And so Zoe begins teaching Hannah all about life’s intangible things, concepts sadly missing from her existence—things like audacity, insouciance, karma, and even happiness.

An unforgettable read from the acclaimed author of The Probability of Miracles, The Museum of Intangible Things sparkles with the humor and heartbreak of true friendship and first love.

Goodreads

Title: The Museum of Intangible Things

Author: Wendy Wunder

Genre: YA Contemporary

Page Amount: 304

Publisher: Razorbill

Publication Date: April 10, 2014

Goodreads Rating: 3.62

My Rating: 2/5

There are so many parts of this book that I seriously dislike. I would never recommend this book to anyone because that’s just how bad it is. I heard someone say once that a book character was too stupid to live and that describes the main character, Hannah, in this book so much.   I could easily give you a list of twenty things that were so completely unrealistic it was actually offensive. But I still rated it two stars because the first 100-150 pages were so promising.

Honestly, if you want a story about how to be the worst best friend than this is the story for you. Hannah’s best friend, Zoe, is bipolar and is suffering a breakdown following an incident with a boy at a party.  Instead of getting her best friend help, or even telling someone that something happened with the boy, she decides that Zoe’s idea of running away is a good idea. From there things only get more and more unrealistic.

Another thing that majorly frustrated me with the story is the romance. My biggest problem with YA books is how they portray romances and this one was just terrible. Like the story, it started out so promising and quickly got more and more unbelievable. I don’t want to give any spoilers away but like the story, I could easily give you twenty reasons I hated the romance.

Despite all that, this is a book that will sit on my shelves forever because it is freaking pretty. Which makes me happy I bought it even though I didn’t like the story. Do you have any pretty books that you kept even though the story wasn’t good?

Also, I wanted to add that I’m not sure how well the author portrayed bipolar disorder. I looked at probably ten reviews and none mentioned that there was an issue about it. I just wanted to mention it because while, I don’t recommend this book at all, I still want to be aware of not taking the issue of mental health lightly. Which does raise an interesting point of view; maybe this book could be taken as a cautionary tale of what could go wrong by not taking the symptoms of bipolar disorder seriously.

If the plot of this book sounds good to you then please check out Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone. It has the same premise of a best friend trying to help her bestie get more out of life and has the same adventure feel. Also, the romance in Since You’ve Been Gone is so much better.  However, this book does not deal with any mental health issues.

~Cassie

The Art Of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

*Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for allowing me to read this book early. 

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What would you do if you learned that the life you lived was a lie?

Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.

Goodreads

Title: The Art of Hiding

Author: Amanda Prowse

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Publication Date: August 22, 2017

Goodreads Rating: 4.2

My Rating: 4/5

I just want to start off by saying how bizarre some aspects of this book mirrored my life.  It sounds so weird but I am a stay at home mom of boys (although 3 not 2 like the story) and my oldest boy is named Connor as well. Also, I identified so much with the social anxiety the main character, Nina, has when it comes to school activities and interacting with other parents.

Nina, is a rich mom of 2 who spends her days cleaning her humongous house and cooking and taking care of her husband and sons. She is very happy with her life when all of sudden her husband dies in a car accident.  After his death, she is confronted with the betrayal of a husband who hid their severe money problems from her. The book does such a good job of detailing this and making us really feel the loss of not only her husband but also of the life they lived together.

Since Nina is now broke and nowhere to live she brings her two boys back to her hometown and rents a flat (apartment) from her cousin.  It is a very rundown apartment in a not that great area of town.  Nina’s sister, Tiggy, lives in the same town and they are able to start building their relationship back up after years of drifting apart. Nina obviously doesn’t have much money so she spends a good chunk of the story trying to find a job.  Which, was so nice to see her struggle with this instead of the author having her find a job quickly.

My favorite thing about this book was how realistic it all felt. Amanda Prowse really understands how to write about the complexity of emotions in a such a beautiful way. From dealing with her unexpected loss of money, to her relationships with her kids, to her healing relationship with her sister and in so many more ways.

I took a star off of my rating for two reasons. One, is that her oldest son, Connor, is understandably very unhappy with the recent developments in his life and spends most of the book angry at his mom and their new circumstances.  However, their is a moment in the book when the Nina is forced to confront some truths about her past, which Connor overhears and then for the rest of the book is pretty mild mannered and sweet.  His behavior is also explained by a couple of other events in his own life that happen but I still wish it hadn’t been such a stark contrast in his behavior.  The other reason I couldn’t give this book five stars is because I think the author could have done a better job in how she handled the job of stay at home moms. The last half of the book, being a stay at home mom is portrayed as something weak and negative.  Nina did take things to the next level by pretty much being a servant for her family and just doing whatever her husband wanted all the time. Which I completely agree is a huge negative and she should have been a complete partner in her life with her husband.  But a woman can have a job outside the home and still let her husband have complete control of the finances and be submissive to him. In fact, Nina was quite happy with her life, so had Finn not died she would have never been upset with how unbalanced their relationship was. Being a stay at home mom was never the problem, it was Nina allowing her husband to take complete control over their life and relationship.

Overall, The Art of Hiding, is a great story about a woman who finds the strength within herself to overcome the immense loss she is dealing with and really rises to the challenge.  It is also a great story about a mom and her kids.  I love how her kids really motivated her to be strong and keep it together, even when she just wanted to hide in bed.

~Cassie

Thrift Store Haul #1

I unhauled 12 books today at the thrift store and I found 10 more to replace them.  There were about 5 more that I wanted but I thought I would show some restraint for once haha

9200000010138811 The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

book_cover-sara_gruen-water_for_elephants-800x1200-85 Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

cvr9781451673319_9781451673319_hr Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

the-pearl The Pearl by John Steinbeck

vintage-28544palahniukinvisiblemonsters Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk

the-joy-luck-club-by-amy-tan The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

kept-woman-karin-slaughter The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

girl_online_front_noncomp_rgb Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

e8fdfaeabcf3566fe00836a6f982c815 Sweet Valley High #110 Death Threat

saga-patman-outer Sweet Valley Saga The Patmans of Sweet Valley

I’m most excited to read The Wicked Girls.  All I read was the first two lines on the back of the book and I was totally hooked. On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two eleven-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Sounds so good right?

One of my goals in life is to collect and read all the Sweet Valley books so I was super excited to add two more to my collection.

Have you read any of the books I just bought? If so, what did you think of them?

~Cassie

 

Friday Faves

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Another weekend is about to start which is always so exciting and fun.  Since school starts in the middle of the month, I have been letting my older boys decide how we spend each day and majority of the time they have picked staying home and having a pajama day. So, we have been keeping things pretty relaxing before the hectic school routine starts again.

  1. My husband had Wednesday off of work which was such an awesome break in the middle of the week.
  2. While he was home, my hubby took our 5 year old to see Despicable Me 3 and the humongous smiles Hunter had when they got back made me so happy.
  3. I will probably only finish two books this week but I am really into the stories of both.
  4. Yesterday I ordered a book that I am excited to share with you guys.
  5. This weekend I will be unhauling some books at the thrift store, which also means I might as well browse their book section while I’m there.
  6. Also this weekend, my husband, Will, is going to help me rearrange our room, including our bookshelves.  They have gotten so disorganized so I’m really looking forward to organizing them and making them look pretty.

I hope you all had a great week. What are some of your favorites from the week?

~Cassie

 

Reading Challenge

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At the beginning of the year I gave birth to my third baby, so when it came time to make my 2017 Goodreads challenge goal, I aimed low. I only put 20 books down and I am already close to doubling that. When I was doing night feedings and putting him back to sleep I was able to read a lot of ebooks. Which I’m pretty impressed with and probably means I won’t get a lot of reading done next year lol So for the remainder of this year, I really want to challenge myself to something fun. So yesterday I went on my pinterest and found a bunch of book lists and I have narrowed it down to one that I think I can feasibly do.

Here is where you can click to see all the books with their synopsis. The books are also going to be listed below:

  1. I See You by Clare Mackintosh
  2. Ill Will by Dan Chaon
  3. The Girl Before by JP Delaney
  4. Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia
  5. The Secrets You Keep by Kate White
  6. A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
  7. Behind Her Eyes by Sara Pinborough
  8. Little Deaths by Emma Flint
  9. Into The Water by Paula Hawkins 
  10. The Child by Fiona Barton
  11. Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica
  12. Final Girls by Riley Sager
  13. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
  14. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
  15. A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapena

As you can see I have 14 books to read in a little less than 5 months, which I think is totally manageable. Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? Also, let me know how you are doing on your Goodreads challenge.

~Cassie

Buying Books

I thought I would share some of my favorite places that I buy books. It’s not in my budget to spend a lot of money on books so these are my 3 go to places.

Thrift Stores: This is a pretty common place for cheap books but I also love it because it’s always a surprise what they have. There are the rare times I don’t find anything though, which is always a bummer haha

Book Outlet: This is a very popular website on booktube but most of my friends and family had never heard about it.  They have amazing deals on books and they recently started doing free shipping on orders $35 and more.  I have never spent more then $5 on a book from them and there is always so many books I want to get that I have to restrain myself.  Click here to check it out

Bookbub:  This is the absolute best place to get ebooks. It is a daily round up of the best  deals based on the genres that you tell them you like.  Most of the books that I get from them are free but they can go up to $2.99.  The deals are mostly Amazon kindle deals but they do occasionally have options for other ebook readers. Click here to check it out

What are some of your favorite places to buy books?

~Cassie

Book review: Six Stories 

six-stories

The novel is constructed as a series of podcasts, in which an investigative journalist describes the circumstances around the death of a teenaged boy in an outward-bound centre, interviewing witnesses, suspects and people close to the incident. Their six accounts form the six stories of the title, creating a “chilling and compelling, page-turning thriller that also delves deep into notions of truth, perception and loyalty”.

Title: Six Stories

Author: Matt Wesolowski

Genre: Mystery

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication Date: March 30, 2017

Goodreads Rating4.1

My Rating: 4/5

This book was so great for so many reasons. The first being the whole premise and layout of the story. Twenty years ago, 6 friends were camping with a couple of adults when 1 of the kids, Tom, went missing. A year later, Harry, whose father owned the area the kids were staying on, was there with a couple of friends when they found Tom’s body in the marsh.

The story is told in two different ways. The first is through Harry and his narrative which constantly changes between what happened 20 years ago and what is happening in the present. The story is also told through a 6 episode podcast where the host, Scott King, interviews a key person who was present at the camp ground to tell the mystery of what happened to Tom all those years ago.

I really love they way the author told this story.  By using the format of the podcast it allowed the story to really be told in layers, which just built the anticipation up for the ending more by each “episode” we went through. It also felt so real, like I was really listening to the podcast. I think in the future I might even listen to the audiobook because I think it would be so fantastic to hear the story come to life that way.

The ending was also something that I didn’t see coming which is always such a plus with a mystery. For the sake of not spoiling it, all I with say is that I found it very creepy and part of me wishes that it went on longer.

Thanks for reading!

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