Aug 15

Review * Game On by Michelle Smith

Reviews 3 ★★★★

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

Review * Game On by Michelle SmithGame On by Michelle Smith
Series: Lewis Creek #2
Published by Bloomsbury Spark on August 16, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 328
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
As king of baseball in the small town of Lewis Creek, Eric Perry can have any girl he wants and win every game he plays. But when a fight lands him in jail, he’s only got one more strike before his baseball career is over for good. His only chance for redemption? The girl next door, Bri Johnson.

Bri hasn’t talked to Eric in months—for starters, she’s been too busy dealing with her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, not to mention the fact that Eric’s been preoccupied trying to drink every keg in the country dry. But when he needs a way to stay on the team, she proposes a plan: if he helps her out with community service, he can stay on the team. At first it’s a nightmare—Eric and Bri stopped being friends years ago, surely that was for a good reason, right? But as volunteering turns to bonding over old memories of first kisses under the stars, they start to have trouble remembering what pushed them apart.

In a town as small as Lewis Creek, nothing stays secret for long and their friendship and romance might mean bad news. But in this final, tumultuous spring before graduation, Eric and Bri are about to realize that nobody’s perfect alone, but they might just be perfect together.

What I Thought…

• Game on was one of my most anticipated books for awhile. I loved Play On and was so excited to see that there was going to be another book set in Lewis Creek. I flew through Game On and have no regrets of staying up late to finish it.

• I’m a huge fan of boy/girl next door books and this one is even better because they were friends when they were kids and just kind of grew apart. I love that they were able to fall back in to that friendship.

• At the beginning Bri is dating this asshole Matt. He is controlling and Bri is finally starting to see that she needs to get out, but has a hard time with it. While it was painful to read at times, it was realistic… it’s easy to get stuck in these relationships and have a hard time getting out. View Spoiler »

• Eric is quite the trouble maker. It annoyed me how much got covered up in the beginning, but we all know that in some places student athletes get things covered up, and I’ve heard of a lot worse. I really like that Eric finally started to understand that it was a bit of self fulfilling prophecy and that he needed to change.

• Bri has a rough family situation and my heart just broke for her. Her mom left when she was a kid and her dad is a truck driver so she is alone a lot. It’s a good thing that Eric has an awesome family and they are right next door.

• I think one of the best things about Game On was that there were adults, and adults that were not idiots and just there because the author decided to throw an adult in. They played a good roll in the story and I loved Eric’s parents. Honestly, I loved his whole family, they are the kind of family that you can’t help but love in all their craziness.

• There needed to be more kissing. Definitely not enough kissing.

• I also wish that the plot line with Bri’s ex Matt would have not overshadowed Bri and Eric’s developing relationship. I felt that it dragged on a bit and there were enough other things going on for Bri and Eric to deal with.

Overall I loved returning back to Lewis Creek and Game On is a perfect summer read!

Kimberly


Aug 09

Top Ten Tuesday * Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday 2

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Freebie – Fun Facts about Moi!

I missed this one while I was on vacation and wanted to do it so… here we go! Some are book related some are not. Enjoy.

1. I have never proof read a paper I wrote. Way back in elementary school my mom would type my papers as I dictated to her and she would fix them up as we went. When I started typing my own papers I would give them to my mom to proofread. This went on through high school, college, my teacher certificate program, resumes, and cover letters.

2. I have tendinitis in my fingers and my right elbow. I used to play piano, which is the reason why I sometimes have trouble with my hands today. My elbow is a bit more of a mystery, but it’s a combination of how I sit in a car, my work at McDonald’s and my work on the computer.

3. Last year I got rid of almost 200 books that I owned. I made a promise that I would never go past my one bookshelf for my read bookshelf so I’ve culled a lot. I also culled a lot of TBR books that I know I’ll never read.

4. I don’t feel the same way about blogging as I used to. This one hurts a bit to admit, but I used to be bothered if I didn’t post, but now I’m not. My life priorities shifted and blogging is just not up there like it used to be. I still want to do it, I just don’t have it in me to build it up more.

5. I belong to the best book club in the history of ever. We’re more than just a book club, we’re friends and that’s what makes us so awesome.

6. I have Apiphobia, fear of bees. They make me panic and hyperventilate and all that jazz. Last year I got stung twice at the same time (by two bees or one bee twice) and it was actually not as terrible as it was in my head. You would think that would lesson my fear some but now I am afraid that I am allergic to bees, the first sting is usually free, it’s the second time you get stung that you learn if you are allergic or not. I’m not terrified I will get stung and no one will be around.

7. I used to have to own all the books in a series (preferably in the same format), but I’ve managed to let that go, especially for series I’m not in love with. Looking at my bookshelves I have a few first in series books, a few series that I have a mix of traditional and arcs and a few series that have mis-matched covers. The only one that actually bothers me is my ARC of This Shattered World has just a white spine. Drives me nuts!

8. I will never give away my copy of Wither by Lauren DeStefano. I will never read the rest of the series but damn that cover is one of the prettiest covers ever.

9. Despite my love for Harry Potter I don’t plan on reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. There are a few different reasons, but the biggest one is that given what I’ve heard about it already I don’t think it’s going to invoke those same feelings that the series did for me and I don’t want the memories I have of those feelings to go away.

Dean10. I’ve started watching Supernatural, which I am enjoying despite the fact that I am a scaredy cat. Except one episode, that one instilled fear in me for about a week. But other than that… it’s all about Dean.

Kimberly


Aug 05

Back to School!

Education, School 4

via GIPHY

Hello Everyone! This sums up my feelings on school supplies. I have a hard time saying no and have already dropped a good chunk of change for the upcoming school year. But it’s all good because I am pumped and ready for a fresh new start.

This year I’ll be at a new school and I am both excited and a wee bit nervous. I’m not always very good with change but I just could not pass up this opportunity. I know someone that works at my new school who absolute loves it there and it’s only 15 minutes away versus the 40 I was driving before.

Every new school year is a fresh start, but this one more so because it’s a new school too, so the students don’t have any preconceived notions about me. I’m not really able to work on much curriculum wise (which to be honest I don’t really need to because I am not teaching anything new), but I’ve been working on things for the classroom.

#1 – The Bulletin Board

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Someone posted it this to my Facebook a few months ago and I knew this was something I wanted to put up in my classroom to turn those negative feelings around.

#2 – The Happy Board

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I got this idea from another teacher to keep things that the students wrote/gave me so that if I have a bad day I can look at these things and remember them. I left plenty of white space for things from my new students!

I also wanted to take a moment to share the card. It’s definitely the best thing I’ve gotten from a student in my three years of teaching.

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#3 – Student Quotes

The last two years I’ve had my Geometry students write letters to future students. This years letters were REALLY GOOD and they had some very helpful advice so I made a quote poster. The plan is to hopefully have it blown up and printed on big paper to display in my classroom, but I’m not sure that my school has that machine. If not I will just make copies and pass them out to students.

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I really hope that I can get it in color too, but we’ll see.

That’s about all from me now. I hope to have some more reviews and things coming soon!

Kimberly


Jul 30

Review * To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne

Reviews 0 ★★★★

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

Review * To Have and to Hold by Lauren LayneTo Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #1
Published by Pocket Books on July 26, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Discovering her fiance is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin's business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet—if slightly spoiled—hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings.

Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya's fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiance is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning... is theirs?

What I Thought…

Seth and Brooke’s story blew me away! I read it in one day, and would have read it in one sitting if it wasn’t for the fact that I had an appointment. I loved their instant attraction, and unwillingness to follow through on it…. at first. Their banter back and forth and unease with the situation could be felt through the pages. Their relationship wasn’t just built on lust and they had some fairly big arguments (and good ones too).

I also loved the how the whole situation with Seth’s sister Maya getting married. It’s tough to see someone you love have a whirlwind romance and marriage and while Seth did not handle things well, he handled it realistically. I enjoyed the roll that Seth’s best friend Grant played and his no b.s. way of dealing with Seth’s boneheaded moves.

Overall I loved the other two wedding planners, Heather and Alexis (especially Alexis – she’s just got to be with the Brit!) and I can’t wait to read their stories.

Kimberly


Jul 26

Top Ten Tuesday * Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do

Top Ten Tuesday 5

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them

Breathe Annie Breathe 11.22.63 Nefertiti Wild Master of Murder Ruby Angels Fall Confessions of a Shopaholic The Client Twister

 1. Breathe, Annie, Breathe made me want to become a runner. I still sometimes think about becoming a runner, but…. it’s probably not ever going to happen.

2. 11/22/63 made me want to learn more about the assassination of JFK, which worked out good because my mom knows a lot about JFK.

3. Nefertiti made me want to learn more about early Egyptians. I’ve read a couple of other books similar in nature and enjoyed all of them.

4. Wild made me want to go hiking, which is completely ridiculous because I am not an outdoorsy person AT ALL. I really, really hate bugs.

5. Master of Murder made me want to become a writer. This was a short lived fantasy as I realized rather quickly that I don’t like writing.

6. Ruby made me want to go to the bayou, which I got to experience a bit of two years ago when I went to New Orleans.

7. Angels Fall made me want to become a chef. After I read this I got all gung-ho about cooking and like the writing, I quickly realized that I am not meant to be a chef.

8. Confessions of a Shopaholic made me want to go to England. It’s still on my list of places to go!

9. The Client made me want to become a lawyer, until I realized how much more schooling I would need to do. Sometimes I still wish I had become a lawyer, but then I remember how much I love my job.

10. I know it’s not a book, but Twister is the reason why I love any and all natural disaster stories. I gobble them up like nobody’s business. I know this sounds awful but when they happen in real life I am enthralled with the tv coverage, but please note that I do not ever want them to happen or to see anyone get hurt/die because that’s just not cool.

Kimberly


Jul 21

Review * Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

Reviews 2

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

Review * Cream of the Crop by Alice ClaytonCream of the Crop by Alice Clayton
Series: Hudson Valley #2
Published by Simon & Schuster on July 12, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
Manhattan’s It Girl, Natalie Grayson, has it all: she’s a hot exec at a leading advertising firm, known industry-wide for her challenging and edgy campaigns. She’s got a large circle of friends, a family that loves her dearly, and her dance card is always full with handsome eligible bachelors. What else could a modern gal-about-town wish for? The answer, of course, is...cheese.

Natalie’s favorite part of each week is spending Saturday morning at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, where she indulges her love of all things triple cream. Her favorite booth also indulges her love of all things handsome. Oscar Mendoza, owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery and purveyor of the finest artisanal cheeses the Hudson Valley has to offer, is tall, dark, mysterious, and a bit oblivious. Or so she thinks. But that doesn’t stop Natalie from fantasizing about the size of his, ahem, milk can.

Romance is churning, passion is burning, and something incredible is rising to the top. Could it be...love?

What I Thought…

• I really enjoyed Natalie. It’s not often that you find a truly plus sized girl in a contemporary romance but she’s here and she’s likeable. My only issue with Natalie is that given her back story I didn’t see the connection between how she got from there to having confidence in herself and her body and I wish those connections would have been made.

• Oscar was equally as awesome. He is a farmer and a cheesemaker and while I NEVER want to see cheese being made, I do love me some cheese. He was a little awkward at times, but that just made him more adorable.

• Cream of the Crop is not Clayton’s most hilarious book (that honor still goes to Wallbanger), it is still funny and there are quite a few ridiculous moments to get your laughs in. Don’t worry, there are plenty of steaming moments too.

• I love a good small town and Baily Falls does not disappoint. I also loved that it provided the tension between Oscar in Bailey Falls and Natalie who resides in NYC. They are such contrasting places and I enjoyed their fish out of water experiences.

• Natalie and Oscar are cute together but other than their great physical relationship and love of cheese there didn’t seem to be much for them to go on, but by the end you see there love and you know all will be well.

Overall Cream of the Crop is another fun read from Alice Clayton!

Kimberly


Jul 17

Sundays in Bed With… Moon Called

In Bed With... 1

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Sundays in Bed With… is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed!

Moon CalledToday I’ll mostly be working, but I hope to have time later to finish up Moon Called. It’s our July book club book (yes, our book club is awesome enough to pick non traditional book club books!). So far I’m enjoying it, though there seems to be a lot going on right at the moment!

I also might start an audio book today, but I’m having trouble deciding which one so I might not. We’ll see how I feel!

What are you reading today?

Kimberly


Jul 15

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things!

Misc 2

Guys, I’m really trying to get back into the swing of things. I love my book blog but lately I haven’t been reading as much and just generally not feeling it. However, I’m back from vacation and feeling relaxed and refreshed and reading to get back into it. I hope to have a few reviews, a TTT or two coming in the next few weeks. For now, enjoy these pics of my vacation!

IMG_1697 IMG_1715 IMG_1740 IMG_1769 IMG_1759 IMG_1775 IMG_1749 DEIZ1690 IMG_1797KNQM8143INBH2669MTJA2700

Kimberly


Jul 05

Top Ten Tuesday * Under 2000 Ratings on GoodReads

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TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Books I Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

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  1. Glimmer by Phoebe Kitandis – A ghostly story that kept me on my toes!
  2. Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuenert – I don’t normally read hard to read stories like this one, but it was so incredibly worth it. I would recommend this one to almost anyone.
  3. Leaving Amarillo, Loving Dallas and Missing Dixie by Caisey Quinn – This trilogy gave me so many feels, and the last one almost broke me.
  4. Play On by Michelle Smith – Cute and fun, boys and baseball!
  5. Trouble From the Start by Rachel Hawthorne – Another cute and fun, though I didn’t care much for the companion novel.
  6. From Russia with Claws by Jacey Conrad (aka Molly Harper) – Read this for a fun book club read and it was so much fun (as are all of Molly Harper’s books).

Kimberly


Jun 11

The End of the School Year is Here… and I’m a Crying Fool

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Obviously this post is not about books, but I haven’t done much reading so I there isn’t much to talk about there. Plus I NEED to say these things about the end of the school year.

Several weeks ago I accepted a job at another high school closer to home. I KNOW this is the right decision for me. It cuts my drive time from 1 hr 20 min each day to 30 min, plus gas, mileage, etc. I already know someone that works at the school who is really happy there so I know I’m getting something good.

So why all the crying? Because my kids were awesome this year and I’m not ready to let them go. I know that it’s time. I know that there is zero chance that I would teach any of them next year. I know that all my precious juniors would only have one more year and they would be leaving me. I know that when September rolls I’ll have new kids who will be awesome too and these kids will have new teachers.

But it’s so damn hard.

I really bonded with my kids this year – and I know that went both ways. Kids who HATE math willingly came to my room to hang out. We laughed and joked and had a few serious conversations. The best thing that came out of this year was that THEY CHANGED ME. I like to think that I changed them too, but I don’t know that for sure.

The hardest thing I had to do was tell them I was leaving. For the most part kids reacted as I expected, but one student stormed out of the room. When he finally came back in he wouldn’t talk to me. It hurt my heart. Later that day I read the Dear Geometry Student Letter he wrote that morning (before he found out I was leaving) and my heart broke in to tiny little pieces.

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My heart breaks a little more every time I read it.

My kids aren’t making it easy either. Constantly reminding me of all the good times this year… and some of the bad times too.

One student told me that two other students were planning something, possibly hay baling my car *cries a little*. When I asked if I was being punished he said, “No, that’s how they show their love.” I don’t know if they are actually going to do it, or if they just like torturing me with the knowledge that they can, either way, I’m having fun with it. Here is their diagram. Please excuse the spelling of “vanilla”.

My Car and Hay Bales

That’s my car. Surrounded by hay bales. And a nice Walmart chair and umbrella so I can sit down and enjoy my Vanilla Coke Zero.

This is only my third year as a teacher and I never really thought about this part of the job, that I would care about them so much that it would be this hard to leave them, but sadly that’s a part of the job every year, because we certainly don’t want them staying in high school forever!

Kimberly