May 19

Feeling Validated

Education 6

SSS

Throughout both my first and second year teaching I’ve loved doing it. It’s had it’s hard and stressful moments for sure, but overall I couldn’t be happier making this change. As my second year of teaching comes to a close I can say that I finally feel validated in my the career choice.

Every year our students take the state mandated SOL tests. Last year was rough for me. It was only my first year teaching, but there is a lot of pressure on students and teachers on these tests, and it didn’t go particularly well for me. My Geometry pass rate was 60%, under the state recommended pass rate of 70%. My fellow teachers were very supportive and reminded me constantly that as a first year teacher I was not expected to have the same scores as veteran teachers, but it still stings. I like to be successful at the things I do!

This year has also had it’s ups and downs but teaching the same thing for a second year helped a lot in terms of how I understood the material and my ability to explain it to students.

I still have one class left to test, but for my other two classes my pass rate is 78%!! I could not be more excited!!! I finally feel like I do actually know what I am doing!

Kimberly


May 17

Oh the Places You’ll Go… Changes are Coming!

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging 3

RTB2Blogging has been hard lately. I just don’t seem to have much to say in the way of books. I’m not interested in writing reviews, Top Ten Tuesdays or feature posts… or anything really. I’m still reading, quite a bit actually, but I’m not keeping up with Feedly nor commenting on other people’s blogs. I wish I could say that it’s a time thing, but it’s not, I just don’t have the desire.

I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to do with this blog. I’ve considered stopping, but that made me a little sad as I love my little blog (which I know is weird to say when I’m having trouble with it). Rather than stop I’ve decided to make it more of an eclectic blog. I realize that that might not be what people are looking for, but that’s ok, this blog is for me anyway.

I have other things to talk about. As a high school teacher I have plenty of stories (cute and ridiculous) and ideas that I could share. I have things I want to share about my home improvement stuff. I’ve also been working on a very personal post that I’m not quite ready to share yet, but come hell or high water I will be sharing it in June!

I hope to be able to put together some things this summer that will be awesome. I know I will have the time, it’s the desire I’m worried about.

I’ve been blogging for over three years now and that is quite a bit of time, but things have changed, including me. I don’t have the desire to own all the books like I did before (I’ve culled a large amount of books). I’ve made serious use of my library’s ebook/eaudiobook collection (I always look there first before purchasing).

Another sign things are changing… I’m not even that upset that I couldn’t go to BEA this year. To be honest, I’m glad I’m not going. The other two times I went I read less than half of the books that I got. Cost to benefit ratio of attending BEA is very low for me.

I’m not even in to book signings that much. I had fun at the last one that I went to, but a good part of that was the company I kept more than the authors that were there.

I’ll still be reading (forever), there were still be books on this blog, I’m just not sure how much. There will be other things too. Not sure of how much either. Basically, I’m winging it!

I hope that everyone understands, and enjoys the new posts that will be coming your way!

Kimberly


May 11

Bout of Books Challenge – Bookish Survey

Bout of Books 0

BoB-200x200-NodateThe first challenge of Bout of Books is here and I’m actually ready. *Pats self on back*

The Bookish Survey is hosted by Writing My Own Fairy Tale.

1. How do you organize your shelves?

I have one shelf for my Mass Market Paperbacks, one for Trade Paperbacks and Hardcovers and one for my TBR books. All are alphabetized by author because that’s how I roll.

2. What is one of your favorite book that’s not in one of your favorite genres?

Kasie West Pivot Point

This is a tough one, but I think I’ll go with Pivot Point by Kasie West, but there are other contenders.

 

 

 

3. What is the last 5 star book you read?

All Played Out

All Played Out by Cora Carmack. It was exactly what I needed when I read it.

 

 

 

4. What book are you most excited to read during the read-a-thon?

False Memory by Dan Krokos. I started reading False Memory in the beginning of April and lost it, but I spent yesterday finding it so it’s all good now!

5. What book do you recommend the most?

I know this is going to sound a little crazy, but I don’t actually recommend a lot of books, and when I do recommend books it’s based on what I think someone would like more than pushing just one book at people. With that said, I would say the two books I’ve generally recommend the most are Gone Girl and Ready Player One.

Gillian Flynn Gone GirlErnest Cline Ready Player One

Kimberly


May 07

Bout of Books 13 – Bring It On!

Bout of Books 3

BoB-200x200-Nodate

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Time Devoted to Reading

Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what I say here, because things change anyway, but it’s standardized testing week at my school which means I won’t have any work to do outside of school because there will be nothing to grade!

My Goals

To read. Have fun. Maybe participate in a twitter chat.

Books to Read

  • Finish: False Memory (if I can find it!)
  • Finish: Every Last Breath (audio)
  • June Release Books: The Revenge Playbook, Can’t Fight This Feeling, Kiss Me, Miss Match Under the Lights
  • The Heir (because I know it will only take a hot minute to read this)
  • Whatever I feel like

Updates

Monday
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Total number of books I’ve read:
Books:

Tuesday
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Wednesday
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Thursday
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Saturday
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Kimberly


May 04

Review * Wrong About the Guy by Claire LaZebnik

Reviews 2 ★★★★

I received this book for free from Borrowed in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Wrong About the Guy by Claire LaZebnikWrong About the Guy by Claire LaZebnik
Published by HarperTeen on April 21, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Claire LaZebnik's latest twist on a beloved classic asks the age old question: Could the girl who knows everything be wrong about the guy?

As the stepdaughter of a TV star, Ellie Withers has it all: an amazing house in LA, a devoted friend who loved her before she even knew who Ellie’s stepfather was, and a burgeoning romance with handsome Aaron Marquand. But Ellie isn't the kind of person who’s content with simply having it all—the people in her life have to be equally happy. And, of course, she knows exactly what they need.

When Ellie’s plans for her family, her friends, and even her love life don’t turn out the way she imagined, she begins to wonder if maybe she could stand to learn a thing or two after all. Most surprising, though, is that the perfect person to teach her is the last person she'd expect.

Read more »

Kimberly


May 02

April In Review

Month in Review 1

Month In Review

April was a crazy month for me. It was spring break and my dad came for a visit, which was awesome. I bought a new heat pump, which was not awesome. I was able to read more than I anticipated I would be able to, which was awesome. My refrigerator started leaking, which was not awesome. That’s pretty much how my month went.

Books Read

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Reviews

Other Posts

New Books

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 8.10.45 AM

From Netgalley

Can’t Fight This Feeling by Christie Ridgway

Kiss Me by Susan Mallery

Purchased

All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

All Played Out by Cora Carmack

Asa by Jay Crownover

Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn

Fall With Me by Jennifer L Armentrout

Upcoming in May

Some changes!

 

 

Kimberly


Apr 30

Review * Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart

Reviews 1 ★★★

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Wild Hearts by Jessica BurkhartWild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart
Series: If Only...#4
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on May 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Not in the Script
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Brie Carter's father's land development business has taken her family all over the world, but as soon as they arrive at their new home in Lost Spring, Wyoming, the town turns out to protest. They don't want a new hotel if the resident mustang population will be displaced or hurt as part of the deal. Then Brie meets Logan, a gorgeous local who has a special connection to the mustangs, and she is immediately drawn to him . . . and the horses. However, with Logan's father leading the protests and Brie's father refusing to budge, it's clear that their parents are heading towards an all-out war. Can Brie and Logan find a way to save the mustangs and be together? Or is their love doomed from the start?

What I Thought…

• Cowboys! Horses! Conflict! What’s not to love?

• I don’t read too many books set in the west with cowboys and this one has me thinking I should make more of a point to do so. I loved the setting of Lost Spring, Wyoming, and all it’s small town glory and togetherness.

• The center of the plot revolves around a group of wild horses being displaced as Brie’s dad works on building a new hotel that will bring in money for the town. It’s a catch-22 for the town of course because the money it will bring in is great, they love their wild horses.

• Brie and Logan are drawn together and are cute, though things happened super fast between them and it’s not as Romeo and Juliet as it seems. Their dads are fighting against each other, but are not completely unreasonable. The relationship drama is minimal.

• I love that Brie and Logan come up with a plan on how to save the horses and work on it to show their fathers that there is a solution. The plan had one downside that made me sad though. View Spoiler »

Overall I enjoyed Wild Hearts.

Kimberly


Apr 29

Waiting on Wednesday * May Releases

Waiting on Wednesday 1

WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases.

Today I’m waiting on some May releases.

Nowhere But HereSeventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.


PS I Still Love YouLara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.


Under the LightsChase Sanders’s life has taken a lot of crazy turns lately. But returning to his hometown to help his old coach keep his high school football team afloat might be the craziest thing to happen to him yet. That is, until he starts falling for the last person he should—Coach’s gorgeous daughter…

Kelly McDonnell learned the hard way that cocky, charming men are nothing but trouble, so she knows Chase is bad news. Still, she can’t resist his smile—or the rest of him. But when his loyalty to her father conflicts with their growing attraction, any hope for a relationship might be blocked before it can even begin…

Kimberly


Apr 27

Review * Wild Heat by Lucy Monroe

Reviews 1 ★★★★

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Wild Heat by Lucy MonroeWild Heat by Lucy Monroe
Series: Northern Fire #1
Published by Forever on April 28, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Sometimes old flames are the hottest of all . . .

In the quaint little town of Cailkirn, Alaska, it's impossible to keep a secret, especially one as juicy as the unexpected return of Kitty Grant. Tack MacKinnon remembers her wild red curls and even wilder spirit—and still feels the sting from when she shattered his heart in college. But there's a pain in Kitty's gorgeous eyes that guts him to the core, and Tack is determined to do whatever it takes to see the woman he still loves smile again—even if it means taking on her demons as his own.

After fleeing an abusive ex-husband, Kitty decides that the best way to heal her broken heart is to come back home. But she gets a whole new shock when she sees how undeniably sexy Tack has become. More handsome, more muscular, more charming—more everything—he's impossible to resist. Before she knows it, they're reigniting sparks that could set the whole state of Alaska on fire. Yet trust doesn't come easy to Kitty anymore, and as things heat up between her and Tack, she can't help but wonder if one of them is going to get burned . . .

What I Thought…

• I love a good small town romance, and it’s an extra bonus that it’s a rekindled romance as well. Wild Heat has everything I look for in small towns, a few quirky residents, everyone knows everyone’s business and they are protective of their own.

•Kitty is returning to Cailkirn, Alaska after a long absence, fresh from a divorce from her abusive husband and battling problems of her own. Wild Heat is as much about her and Tack coming together as it is Kitty finding Kitty again. Her ex-husband was physically and emotionally abusive, to the point where her already precarious eating habits turned into an eating disorder.

• I was happy to see that Wild Heat focused more on Kitty dealing with her eating disorder and less about her ex-husband. He does make a brief appearance (which to be honest could have been left out) but other than that he is only referenced in terms of what Kitty is dealing with.

• Kitty’s eating disorder was front and center and we not only got to see how Kitty was getting better but also how her aunts, Tack and other loved ones reacted to her eating habits. There hearts were in the right place, but you can’t just force someone to eat (in fact that can be quite dangerous). I thought it was wonderful how Kitty worked through her issues with eating and how to handle her loved ones so they understood how best to help her.

• Tack was absolutely delicious. He struggled to separate and deal with his old feelings for Kitty with his new feelings for her, but always had her best interest at heart, even if that meant it wasn’t him that she needed/wanted. He was hilarious at times and I loved watching him with his brother and friends and their banter back and forth.

• It goes without saying that Kitty and Tack make a good couple, and you can tell right from the beginning when Tack doesn’t press her to talk about her eating disorder but rather lets her talk about it in pieces.

• Wild Heat was all sorts of steamy!

Overall if you like small town steamy romances, Wild Heat is for you!

Read more »

Kimberly


Apr 23

Review * Trouble From the Start by Rachel Hawthorne

Reviews 2 ★★★★

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Trouble From the Start by Rachel HawthorneTrouble from the Start by Rachel Hawthorne
Published by HarperTeen on April 28, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Lauren Barnholdt, and Susane Colasanti, Trouble from the Start is a sweet and romantic read about a good girl who falls for a bad boy.

Avery knows better than to fall for Fletcher, the local bad boy who can't seem to outrun his reputation. Fletcher knows he shouldn't bother with college-bound, daughter-of-a-cop Avery. But when their paths cross, neither can deny the spark. Are they willing to go against everything and let their hearts lead the way? Or are they just flirting with disaster?

A companion novel to Rachel Hawthorne's paperback original The Boyfriend Project, this title is perfect for fans of summer beach reads and sweet treats.

What I Thought…

• I really enjoyed Trouble From the Start. Avery is your typical good girl and Fletcher your more than meets the eye bad boy.

• Avery is ambitious and strives to do well in school and do the right thing. Even though this makes her sound like a goody two shoes, she’s not. She is overly afraid of disappointing her parents and not always very good at standing up for herself.

• Fletcher is seen as a bad boy by the school but isn’t as bad as he seems. He has a lot of home issues, which is how he comes to live in the apartment over the garage of Avery’s house. Despite all his issues he is very easy to like. I really like that he’s had some issues in school, he is already a year behind and still might not graduate this year. Hawthorne handles these issues fairly well and shows that there are people who are willing to help you graduate, even after you dug yourself a pretty big hole.

• I absolutely LOVED Avery’s parents. They around, they were involved (but not too involved) and they weren’t crazy. They were just your typical run of the mill parents, which is why I loved them so much.

• Avery and Fletcher were cute together, even when they were fighting it. I wish Fletcher had given up his “I’m not good enough for you” thoughts a bit sooner, but no big deal.

• The only thing that was off for me is at the very end Avery and Fletcher are of course together and all of a sudden there are I Love You’s everywhere. I teach at a high school and I know that they do tend to overuse/misuse I Love You, but it just didn’t fit for Avery or Fletcher.

• I’m very curious about Kendall and Jeremy. We don’t really get to know them too much in Trouble From the Start (other than the fact that they are all over each other) and I am waiting to see what happens with them in The Boyfriend Project.

Overall I really enjoyed Trouble From the Start. It’s a cute summery romance that won’t let you down.

Kimberly