Monthly Archives:: November 2013

Nov 26

Top Ten Tuesday: What I’m Thankful For This Year

Top Ten Tuesday 4


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 Top Ten Things I Am Thankful For

1. My family: I have a pretty awesome family and they have been extremely supportive of me this year throughout all my classes and starting my first year of teaching. I don’t know where I would be without them.

2. My book club: I have a seriously kick-ass book club. We are an eclectic bunch with different tastes in books and we have awesome discussions. What more can you ask for?

3. All those who have answered the phone to listen to my crazy: Brad, Brenda, Kate, Courtney, Laura, Jan and Kevin. I owe them lots for tolerating me this year!

4. My new coworkers: I couldn’t have asked for a better group of coworkers for my first year of teaching. They are incredibly helpful and do what they can to help me be successful. I’m especially grateful to my mentor who has not only allowed me to vent, but validates the fact that I am a teacher not a tutor and reminds me that I can’t help a student who won’t first help themselves.

5. My students: I’m thankful for all my students and I hope that I am giving them the best education possible. I love seeing the look on their faces when they figure something out. I love it even more when they are proud of the fact that they did it!

6. Reading: I’m thankful that I know how to read and that I have so many books at my disposal. And not to rub it in, but I am also grateful that I can read fast!

7. Quality of Books: I’ve read so many amazing books this year. I only have 5 books rated below three on GoodReads, and I feel like that is a good representation of how I feel about the books this year. I don’t know if it’s because I’m better at picking out books for me or if it’s because I’m lucky, but either way I’ll take it.

8. Audiobooks: This was the year that audiobooks really took off for me. I was a resister, but now I’m a lover, though I do not love the fact that the audible app has been giving me trouble lately. I have put in a lot of listening hours and I am not willing to part with my stats!

9. Blogging Friends: I’m thankful for all my blogging friends, especially knowing that I’ve been mostly in and out since school started.

10. My Neighbors: They have done some yard work for me and I will be forever grateful (and I’m paying them back in pumpkin pie).


Nov 23

Catching Up!

Misc 3

Catching up is hard to do!

I’d like to say that I’ve settled on a new routine, but really I’m still figuring things out! I’m still reading though and slowly getting back into the swing of blogging (I miss you guys so much!)

Things I’ve read recently

I’m not sure I’ll ever get around to giving these books a full review but I wanted to make sure they got some attention!

Completely Awesome Books

Not a Drop to DrinkNot a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis was everything I hoped it would be. It was dark, with just the right amount of hope. I loved the characters and the plot. The ending was also exactly how a dystopian should end. I would recommend Not a Drop to Drink to anyone who likes dystopian or dark books. Also it is a standalone!

5 Stars


Jill Shalvis Always on My MindAlways on My Mind by Jill Shalvis became my absolute new favorite in the Lucky Harbor Series. Shalvis’ books keep getting better and better. Shalvis writes such wonderful characters and I will always come back for more!

5 Stars



Diane Setterfield Thirteenth TaleI read The Thirteenth Tale for book last month and it was the perfect October book. It was creepy and disturbing (a little bit of old school VC Andrews). it’s the perfect book for book lovers too!

5 Stars



Excellent Books

Susan Ee Angelfall Angelfall by Susan Ee was recommended to me by Kelly of Radiant Shadows a long time ago and I just recently read it and loved it! Whether you are a fan of angle books or not I encourage you to give Angelfall a try. Ee’s world building is fantastic and the storyline was amazing. And for those that are worried about this being paranormal romance, it’s not. I can’t wait to start World After.

4 Stars


Maggie S Dream ThievesI enjoyed The Dream Thieves just as much as I enjoyed The Raven Boys. Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is magical, the plot is magical too. My only complaint is that I still don’t feel like any questions were answered!

4 Stars



Good Books

Myra McEntire InfinityglassWhile I liked the ending to the Hourglass Trilogy I didn’t enjoy Infinityglass as much as Hourglass or Timepiece. The storyline was fine but I didn’t really connect with either Hallie or Dune.

3 Stars



Not So Good Books

Gabriel Honestly I have never been so baffled by a book’s high rating before. Not even with Beautiful Disaster. The characters were incredibly annoying, there was no showing only telling. Also there was no sex until the very end. There wasn’t even any sexual tension or steamy make-out scenes!

1 Stars


Nov 21

Review * Parallel by Lauren Miller

Reviews 3 ★★★★★

Review * Parallel by Lauren MillerParallel by Lauren Miller
Published by HarperTeen on May 14, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten.

With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby's senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby's never even met.

As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.

What I Thought…

  • I’ve heard a lot of good things about Parallel but I was a little nervous because it has also been compared to Pivot Point, which I absolutely loved. I can see the similarities between Parallel and Pivot Point, but it was also quite different, and I loved it!
  • The multi-verse/parallel universe concept is one that I’ve just recently gotten excited to read about and I loved where Parallel took me. There were a few parts that were a little sciency and I’m not ashamed to admit that it made my eyes gloss over and I just kept right on plugging through. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I really don’t care if the science actually works, as long as the plot does.
  • In parallel there is an incident and two parallel worlds collide and Abby’s whole future changes and there is some fluke that causes Abby to be affected differently than everyone else and she remembers her other past not the parallel’s past, until her parallel lives out the year (yes, I know that was confusing)! Obviously every decision parallel Abby makes affects Abby. Small decisions may go unnoticed in Abby’s new life but big ones have a huge impact. I like that Miller paid attention to those facts and had both little and big changes in Abby’s life. There were also a few subtle hints throughout the book about how things were going down.
  • Abby’s two different lives were vastly different, resulting from the fact that in her own life she took a drama class and in her parallel’s life she ended up with astronomy. Despite all the differences it was nice to see that Abby was still (kind of) the same person.
  • I didn’t love Abby, but I didn’t hate her either. Even with the memory gaps Abby made some baffling decisions, though I can believe that some of it came from the stress of what is happening.
  • Obviously there is a love triangle. We have Josh who is in her past (parallel Abby’s life) and Michael who is in her present. I was so much more drawn to Josh than Michael. There wasn’t anything particularly awful about Michael, but he just wasn’t who I wanted for Abby. I liked the twist involving the two boys and even though I didn’t see it coming, it didn’t surprise me either.
  • Abby’s BFF Caitlin was my least favorite character. I thought Abby and Caitlin had a great friendship though, but Caitlin rubbed me the wrong way a lot of times. She was just a little too perfect.
  • What made Parallel so amazing was the ending. I loved how it came together, how Abby made her choices (not just regarding the boys, but everything in life) and how it impacted others.
  • I’m so glad that this isn’t a trilogy or series. Sometimes it’s just great to read a standalone!

Notable Quotes

“That’s the funny thing about life. We’re rarely aware of the bullets we dodge. The just-misses. The almost-never-happeneds. We spend so much time worrying about how the future is going to play out and not nearly enough time admiring the precious perfection of the present.”


Nov 11

Review * Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Reviews 4 ★★★★

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 * Crash Into You by Katie McGarryCrash Into You by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #3
Published by Harlequin Teen on November 26, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 474
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Take Me On, Breaking the Rules
Add to: Goodreads
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

What I Thought…

  • Katie McGarry + Fast and the Furious = WIN!
  • I’m not a car person in terms of knowing what’s under my hood (because I have no freaking clue) but I loooooove fast cars, especially the sleek and sporty ones. I love the Fast and Furious movies SO MUCH (except the Tokyo one, that one doesn’t count). When I saw that not only was McGarry writing a book about Isaiah but that it was going to involve some car racing I was super excited.
  • Crash Into You starts with a street race and ends with a bang and keeps you interested the whole way through.
  • I was slightly worried that I might not like Isaiah, he isn’t the most likeable person in Pushing the Limits or Dare You To but once you get inside his head you can’t help but like him. He’s not the guy you think he is, and that’s not a bad thing. I loved learning about how he got where he is and seeing more of that family relationship between him and Noah.
  • On the surface Rachel seems like the girl that you want to hate, she’s nice, rich and on the surface doesn’t have any worries. However the deeper you go the more I just wanted to reach out and help Rachel. Her family puts an obscene amount of pressure on Rachel and it’s amazing that she even made it as far as she did without it coming to a head. Her mother is not my favorite person.
  • You would think that given Isaiah’s upbringing and current situation that he would be the one that had the bigger issues to overcome, but it was actually Rachel. McGarry does a great job of bringing them together and having them work through some of their issues separately and together.
  • We get to see a lot of familiar faces and some new ones. I can’t wait for the next book that features Rachel’s brother West!

Notable Quotes

“When I’m with you, even my past seems like a bad dream,” he says. “I’ve sat on this hill a hundred times, and all I used to see were lights that represented places where I wasn’t wanted, where I never belonged. Now, when you aren’t with me, I look east and know one of those lights represents you, and I don’t feel alone anymore.”

Pushing the Limits