Update and July Wrap Up

This has been such an odd month for me. I have been slumping hard on reading and blogging. I actually had planned this whole month of blog posts out but when it came time to sit down and write them I just wasn’t feeling it. I still have not been reading much but I have been feeling the itch to blog. So I am optimistically here with hopes that August will be a much more productive month for me.

I actually started a few blog posts but never finished writing them. I will probably just scrap my June wrap up since that ship has long since sailed. The other one is my 2nd quarter stats and I definitely want to finish that and post it. I compared my first and second quarter numbers and I find reading stats so interesting and I think a lot of other people do to. The other post is a book review so I will put that finishing touches on that as well.

As far as reading goes I only have read two books. I am currently in the middle of two other books but I don’t think I’m going to finish them before the month is over. There are so many good books coming out in August that I can’t wait to read so I’m hoping that will help pull me out of my slump. I also went to the library and got a bunch of graphic novels that I also hope will help me.

Now we are on to the two books that I finished this month. I did attempt to read a third but I dnf’d pretty early on because I just found myself getting so annoyed while reading it. Those books are as follows:

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The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

I really liked this book. It was a really good YA thriller that kept me guessing the whole way through. There was of course a romance thrown in but I didn’t mind it too much and actually think it added a nice element to the story. It was way too instalove for me especially given the history of the two characters but it also had its really cute moments. I also loved the ending and didn’t see it coming. It was dark and twisted which is exactly what I want in a thriller.

Rating: 4/5

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Friend Request by Laura Marshall

This is the book I dnf’d. I made it 20% through and nothing had really happened. Also the main character seemed so obsessed with old high school friends finally accepting her and it was just annoying me. The plot sounds so intriguing but it was way too slow with a character who I didn’t really care what happened to her.

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Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

This was also a really good YA thriller. I absolutely loved the setting of the book. It takes place near a horror themed amusement park and I wish more of the book had taken place there because it sounds so fun. I would love to visit a place like that. I love the way the mystery unfolded in this one and again I didn’t see the end coming. Unlike The Creeping though I didn’t really like the romance in this book. I enjoyed both of the characters but I didn’t really like them as a couple.

Rating: 4/5

I hope that you had a much better July than me and here is hoping that we have an awesome August!

~Cassie

Buzzwordathon Round 4 Wrap Up

Yesterday was the last day of the buzzwordathon so here I am today to tell you all about the books I read. The first book that I read and finished has kind of put me into a bit of a reading slump. Which is not something any reader wants to happen but especially not at the beginning of a readathon. Because of this I only finished two books the whole week. I did start two others so I with also share those with you and give you my initial thoughts on them.

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All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

This book really messed me up emotionally. I knew going into it that this book was heartbreaking but I was not prepared at all for how emotionally invested I would get in these characters. I’m sure by now that you can guess that this is the book that put me into a slump. I have never dealt with infertility but I did get the smallest of glimpses into what that must feel like while we were trying to have our youngest. The last few months of trying I would cry every single time I got my period and all I wanted was to be pregnant. My experience is barely a drop in the ocean of what women with infertility go through and I think this book does an amazing job of showing how devastating it can be. I also loved the relationship in this book. It isn’t perfect and they both make mistakes (some more serious than others) but I couldn’t help but love them together. Another reason that this book messed with me so much is because a lot of how Quinn describes her feelings for Graham is exactly how I feel about my husband. Although, thankfully we have never had to deal with some of the more serious issues that Quinn and Graham do. I also really loved how Hoover tells this story. It is told in alternating chapters of then and now and I really feel like it made the devastating parts that much more painful. Such a beautiful and heartbreaking story.

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This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

This is the only other book that I finished for the readathon. Unfortunately this also happened to be the worst book that I have read this year. The premise sounded so perfect for me and it started off ok but it quickly turned into a nonsensical mess. The book spent way too much time in the past and not enough time with the actual mystery. All of the characters made no sense with their thoughts or actions. The ending just kept getting worse and worse and I couldn’t wait for this book to end.

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Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

I am on page 67 and I am really liking this. So far I am thinking that this will be a five star read. The writing in this is really good and I can see why everyone raves about this book. I can’t wait to see how the relationship between the main character and Oliver plays out.

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Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia

29% in and this is progressing like a basic thriller. I am excited to keep reading this though because I have a feeling something shocking is going to happen or be revealed.

~Cassie

Smutathon Wrap Up

I’m here today to go over all the books that I read (and in one case, tried to read) during the Smutathon. This was a really fun readathon for me and I discovered the authors Christina Lauren that I absolutely adore and want to read everything they have ever written. Which is interesting because I think I inadvertently picked two of their most tame books smut wise.

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This was a fun read but it was definitely inspired by 50 Shades of Grey. I really enjoyed the romance between Kate and Drake. I didn’t like the over the top judgmental behavior of one character. I also didn’t like how Kate had to keep reassuring herself of what she wanted and it turning into a mini rant on BDSM. Maybe because I’m already on the side of people should do what makes them happy (as long as no one is physically or mentally hurt) but it became irritating every time we had to stop the story to have these moments.

Rating: 3/5

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I dnf’d this at 45%. I didn’t care about the characters and their insta love after so much time apart. I also didn’t like that Bailey kept making excuses for Adam’s behavior and he would never apologize. So when I got to the part where they didn’t use a condom after multiple times being told how many other people Adam has been with I just decided I was over this book.

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I loved Amy and Sebastian’s romance. It starts off in a fun way and I loved the way they were together. I didn’t so much like the “mystery” they were trying to solve and all the random family drama from Amy but overall this is good smutty fun. I definitely want to check out more of Saskia Walker’s work in the future.

Lastly, I read my first two Christina Lauren books and I am a fan. I loved the romance better in Roomies but the characters better in My Favorite Half-Night Stand. I can see why everyone raves about their books. I think I might have read their two least smuttiest books but they can write an amazing love story.

Roomies: 4.5/5

My Favorite Half-Night Stand: 4/5

~Cassie

May Wrap Up

May was a great reading month for me. Not only was I able to read a good amount of books I also “read” my first audiobook. I have tried numerous times to get into audiobooks but I would just find my mind wandering and would just give up. However, I have heard great things about the one I listened to and I am so happy that I gave it a chance. I will have another mini review post up on Saturday where some of these will be reviewed so be sure to check back then for more of my thoughts on these books.

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I loved this! Review to come.

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This is my least favorite of the series. Which is another way of saying that I really didn’t like this. Review to come.

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This should be required reading in schools. Such an amazing little excerpt of a speech that I want to find and watch. Review to come.

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This is such an amazing thriller. I loved everything about it. Full review to come.

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I was nervous to read this after disliking Beneath the Sugar Sky so much but this is my favorite in the series. So good and I can’t wait for the next book to come out. Review to come.

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Another freaking fantastic book. A definite must read if you love contemporary romances. My review.

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An okay end to the series. I plan on eventually continuing on with the series because I am fascinated by the world these books are set in and I enjoy learning more about it in each book. Review to come.

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A good mystery for fans of Pretty Little Liars. My review.

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My least favorite Wendy Walker that I have read. My review.

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This has the honor of being the second book that I have ever dnf’d. I made it 33% and just couldn’t do anymore. Review to come.

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This book has such a great premise but unfortunately it failed to deliver. My review.

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Another book with a great premise but ultimately left me wanting more. This book is beautifully written though. Review to come.

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My first audiobook! This is an absolutely stunning book. I am so happy that I listened to the audiobook but I also want to get my own copy and annotate all the amazing quotes that this book is made up of. I finished this the day my chance to pick the June book of the month books and I picked her newest release because I can’t wait to read more from Elizabeth Acevedo. She also narrates The Poet X audiobook and I highly suggest you listen if you can because she does an incredible job reading her book so much emotion and feeling. I will further be reviewing this book soon.

~Cassie

July Wrap Up

I never do wrap ups but July was a crazy month for me and I didn’t get to post hardly anything. Almost everything I posted last month was a review that I had started preparing for in June. I also never let you guys know how the Read EH thon went for me. I did pretty good with my reading last month, which means that I have a lot of catching up on reviews in August. I have realized that when things get hectic the first thing I drop from my “to do’s” is my blog. I really do enjoy writing and sharing all my thoughts with you so thank you for reading and supporting my blog ❤

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Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

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The Death Of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

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I read this for the ReadEhThon. The challenge this completed was a book written by a female author.

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This was also for the ReadEhThon and completed the challenge of reading about indigenous people. I believe that was the challenge although I feel like I worded it horribly.

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This is the last book I completed for the ReadEhThon. I believe the challenge this book fit into was having an E and H in the title- even though mine was backwards, it was the closest I could find 🙂

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Watch The Girls by Jennifer Wolfe

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Believe Me by J.P. Delaney

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Those are all the nine books that I read last month. Let me know what you read last month!

~Cassie

Buzzword Readathon Wrap-Up

This was a week long readathon and I only managed to complete one book. Although I am half way through two other books so it’s almost sort of like I read two books. Right?!?

 

 

I finished The Girl In 6e and I am working on a review for that to hopefully be up in a day or 2.  I wish I had been able to finish the other two books but I’m still happy that I participated. Hopefully my next readathon will be more productive.

If you participated in the readathon I hope it was as successful as you wanted it to be!

 

Booktube-a-thon Wrap-Up

Yay for completing my first readathon 🎉 I’m impressed with how much I was able to read but the best part was reading as a community. The book community is so nice and encouraging which makes reading that much more enjoyable.  My reviews for the books are going to be shorter to keep this post from being ridiculously long.

STATS:

Books read: 5

Reading challenges: 5/7

Pages read: 1,253

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REVIEWS:

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*Read a book with a person on the cover & read a book in one day

Title: If You Find Me

Author: Emily Murdoch

Genre: YA Fiction

Rating: 3/5

There are some things you can’t leave behind…

A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down. 

I really enjoyed the first half of this book. From the first chapter I was really rooting for these two characters and spent the rest of the story admiring how strong the main character, Carey, was.

There were two huge faults with this book though. The first being the random romance that appeared in the last two-thirds of the book.  Then something was explained and it didn’t feel that random and she refers to him as her best friend. I was like thank you for not rushing into something after everything you’ve been through. Then, the next line, she is gushing about her love for him and to be honest, I just skimmed through that paragraph because I hate when books do that. People can be best friends and have intimacy and understanding without immediately falling so in love with each other. This is my big problem with YA books but maybe for some you it’s not that big a deal haha.

The second fault this book had was the big secret that Carey had.  Once we got to the end it was pretty easy to guess what it was but my real problem with it is I still can’t figure out why it was such a big deal! I mean yeah, it’s a big deal, but in the grand scope of what was happening in that situation I don’t think it was this terrible thing she was making it out to be the whole book.  Even when she told someone her secret they basically told her it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Overall, I think this is a really great read and it definitely kept me enthralled enough to finish it in one day.

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*Read a hyped book

Title: Into The Water

Author: Paula Hawkins

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 4/5

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

This book wasn’t at all what I thought it was going to be.  Although, now I can’t even remember what I thought it was going to be lol My favorite thing about this book was the characters. I love multiple perspective books and this book sure had a lot of them! In fact, I marked this book down a point because it took me about 50 pages to get into the story due to the constantly changing narratives. Once I got a grasp on the plot and the story I was totally hooked. Another downside was that two of the character perspectives we got, maybe even three, were completely irrelevant to moving the plot forward and just took away from the story.

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*Read a book about a character different from you

Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Author: John Boyne

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Rating: 3/5

Berlin, 1942 : When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

This book. This book y’all. I still don’t know how I feel about this book. I already lowered the rating from a 4 to a 3. I’m thinking about maybe even giving it a 2. I honestly can’t get over how naive (if I’m being nice) or completely unrealistic (if I’m being honest) the main character was.  I have an 8 year old son and while he doesn’t understand big concepts like racism and we live in a world where the news shows us devastation on the daily, how did Bruno never realize what was really happening in the camp? He seriously, all the way up until the end, thought it was a village. Even though he saw people that were beyond thin and even saw soldiers shooting people he never got it??????? I think even my 5 year old would understand the basic premise that something was seriously wrong over there.

I understand why the author wrote Bruno like that, to give the reader a very clear look at the differences between the two boys, but I still feel like it would have made more sense to have Bruno understand that the camp was a bad place where bad things happened.  Even the ending could have still worked because Bruno was very loyal to his friends and he would have helped Shmuel to make up for previously letting him down.

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Title: Every You, Every Me

Author: David Levithan

Genre: YA contemporary

Rating: 3/5

In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he’s been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan’s starting to believe it’s Ariel that’s behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.

I don’t really have too much to say about this one. It was a good book but from the synopsis I was expecting more. It is kind of like a twisted coming-of-age story. I did like the pictures and they definitely add to the story. The ending was ok and a tad weird haha. The best part of this book was the author’s note where David Leviathan reveals that he wrote each part of the book when he would receive new picture(s) from the photographer, Jonathan Farmer. The book flows together really well and I never would have guessed he wrote it that way.

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*read a book outside (this one i kind of cheated because I read most of it in the car on the way home from the beach)

Title: The Wave

Author: Todd Strasser

Genre: YA fiction

Rating: 3/5

The setting of the book is Gordon High School in Spring 1969. The plot revolves around a history teacher Mr. Ben Ross, his high school students, and an experiment he conducts in an attempt to teach them about how it may have been living in Nazi Germany. Unsatisfied with his own inability to answer his students’ earnest questions of how and why, Mr. Ross initiates the experiment (The Wave) in hopes that it answers the question of why the Germans allowed Hitler and the Nazi’s rise to power, acting in a manner inconsistent with their own pre-existing moral values.

The reason I liked this book so much was because it is based on a true story in Palo Alto, CA which is near where I live. I do want to look up how much of this story is true though because the experiment only lasts 9 days in the book and that doesn’t seem like enough time for people to start acting so extreme.

I also liked how this gave yet another perspective into Nazi Germany from the German POV which, until this readathon, I have never read before.

 

Those are all the books I completed for booktube-a-thon. If you participated, how did you do? If you not, what was something you read last week?

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