Nov 23

Review * Everything But the Truth by Mandy Hubbard

Reviews 1 ★★★

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 * Everything But the Truth by Mandy HubbardEverything But the Truth by Mandy Hubbard
Series: If Only... #6
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on November 17
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Not in the Script, Wild Hearts
Add to: Goodreads
Holly Mathews' mom is the new manager of a ritzy retirement home, and they just moved in. But having super-rich retirees as her only neighbors isn't a total bust, because the gorgeous, notorious Malik Buchannan is the grandson of a resident. Just one problem: when they meet, Malik assumes Holly is there to visit her own rich relative. She doesn't correct him, and it probably doesn't matter, because their flirtation could never turn into more than a superficial fling . . . right? But the longer she lives in his privileged world, the deeper Holly falls for Malik, and the harder it is to tell the truth . . . because coming clean might mean losing him.

For anyone who has dreamed of their own Cinderella story, this romance shows that when it comes to true love, the best person to be is yourself!

What I Thought…

I absolutely adored Everything But the Truth. It was cute and funny, which is exactly what I needed at this moment. Holly was frustrating at times – lies and more lies get you nowhere, but the reason why it all started was so sweet and kind that it was hard to get really mad at her for doing it.

Malik had his own issues, which I wish would have been dealt with a bit more, but it was dealt with enough to keep me happy. I really enjoyed his grandfather, he wasn’t quite the curmudgeon I thought he was going to turn out to be.

I think the best thing about Everything But the Truth though was how Holly and Malik were an interracial couple, but that it wasn’t the core issue of the book, in fact it wasn’t an issue at all, it was just who they were. I really appreciated that the author didn’t turn it into a “people don’t want them together because they are interracial” story.

Holly’s best friend Alex isn’t the most likable person throughout the book, but I loved how her story was woven in through Holly’s, and what could have been a terrible secondary plot worked out beautifully. (Also, I’m tired of the terrible best friend in books, so I’m glad all was well.)


Nov 20

Hello… It’s Me

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging 2


It’s been awhile, but I’m in the mood to write a few posts so here we go.

Mostly I’ve been working. So much work. I love teaching, but hate the paperwork! I’ll sum up what teaching has been like with a few facebook posts:

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Also, my adorable niece turned one this week. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been one year!


I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting, but it’s my blog, so I do what I want. ;)


Oct 26

Review * Missing Dixie by Caisey Quinn

Reviews 2 ★★★★★

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

Review * Missing Dixie by Caisey QuinnMissing Dixie by Caisey Quinn
Series: Neon Dreams #3
Published by William Morrow on October 27, 2015
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Also in this series: Loving Dallas
Add to: Goodreads
Fighting for redemption…

I've lived most of my life in darkness, beneath the shadows of secrets and addictions. The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt the only girl I'd ever loved-the one who brought me into the light. In my entire life I'd made one promise-a promise I'd intended to keep. I've broken that promise and now I have to live with the fallout. Dixie Lark hates me, and I have to tell her that I love her. I also have to tell her a truth that might destroy us forever.

Can she love me even if she can't forgive me?

Learning to move on…

Gavin Garrison broke his promise to my brother and he broke my heart in the process. I may never love anyone the way I've loved him, but at least I won't spend my life wondering what if. We had our one night and he walked away. I'm finally beginning to move on when my brother's wedding and a battle of the bands brings us back together.

Our band is getting a second chance, but I don't know if I can give him one. How do you hand your heart back to the person who set it on fire once already?

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Leaving Amarillo, there are spoilers for that book.

What I Thought…

• Oh. My. God. Missing Dixie was one hell of an emotional roller coaster.

• While Gavin and Dixie start their relationship in Leaving Amarillo, it ends with them being apart, and that completely broke my heart because you know they belong together.

• Missing Dixie is dual narrated by Gavin and Dixie, which gives you so much more insight into Gavin and his childhood and how he became the person that he is. This is the part that wrecked me the most. There are just no words to describe this.

• Dixie is stronger in Missing Dixie. She knows what she wants and she isn’t tolerating Gavin or Dallas’s crap.

• Seriously it is really hard for me to articulate how I feel about Missing Dixie. It’s more than just a romance, it’s about life and change and it produced a lot of feels.

• I really enjoyed the epilogue. Sometimes they can be overly cheesy, but this one was perfect.

Overall this is one of the best books I’ve read in 2015 and I highly recommend this series to all the people!


Oct 15

Review * Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Reviews 2 ★★★

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

Review * Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffIlluminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: Illuminae Files #1
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 20, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 608
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Add to: Goodreads
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

What I Thought…

• Illuminae was all over the place for me. Overall I liked it.

Pro: The cover. I would not have been drawn to this book if it wasn’t for the cover. Check it out, it’s awesome. The inside is pretty awesome too.

Con: The writing style. I’m not hugely surprised but the unique writing style was a struggle for me. It is told through multiple viewpoints as a report so there are many different styles. This made it easy for me to be pulled out of the story, especially in the beginning. Once I got used to it, things rolled a little smoother.

Pro: Kady. She is pretty badass. Her lovey/dovey stuff with Ezra sometimes got on my nerves but her determination to save peoples lives more than made up for it.

Con: The middle third. It took me a long, long time to go through the middle third of the book. It seemed to drag on and not much was happening.

Pro: The last third. Lots of action and badassery and twists and turns and a big &$*# you at the end. I cannot even express how much I loved the ending and how it worked out.

Pro & Con: Phobos, the deadly plague. This is a pro because it is a pretty terrifying plague that made things interesting. It’s a con because it is a pretty terrifying plague and people died. And went crazy.

Overall I enjoyed Illuminae and I do plan on reading the next book, though I hope it’s a wee bit shorter. If you like space and unique writing styles then you will probably love Illuminae more than I did.


Sep 22

The Reading Slump of All Reading Slumps

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging 5

Since school started I have been very busy doing all the school things. We have a lot going on this year, and not all of it’s pretty, but that’s a story for another day. Today I want to talk about what is quite possibly the worst reading slump I’ve ever had.

Since September began, I have finished two books. TWO. I started my book club book on September 7th, and I’m still less than half way finished. And the book is GOOD. (Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty). I just don’t feel like listening to it. I started This Shattered World on August 21 and am less than half way  through as well.

Those things are good indicators that I am in a reading slump, but the one that hit me the hardest (and made me realize how bad of a slump I am in) is this:

Despite not finishing the book club book I went to book club. I know that this means that I cannot complain when I get spoiled. To be fair to my book club girls they made an effort to try not to spoil me, but it’s really hard to talk about the book without mentioning certain things, and in the end I was spoiled. And you know what? I don’t even care.

That’s right, I don’t care that I was spoiled, even though I know that I will probably never finish the book (that’s how I usually roll when I find out a spoiler), and even though it would have been amazing to find out the victim and the killer through the book rather than be spoiled, I just don’t care.

I have never not cared about spoilers before. But here I sit, not caring.

This past weekend  watched Netflix rather than listen to my audiobook when I was working.

I can’t even find a contemporary romance I find interesting.

I’m not even interested in rereading one of my favorites.

I’m not excited about any new releases.

Or the books sitting in my NetGalley Queue.

Or any book at all.

I’m not sure what’s going on, but this is the worst reading slump I’ve ever had. I’m not sure if it’s the tiredness from work or what, but I’m not motivated to pick up a book at all, and I’m not sure how long this feeling will last. Hopefully, not too much longer!!


Sep 01

Month In Review * August

Month in Review 1

Month In Review

August was not the month I thought it would be. I envisioned this great time where I would do all the reading. Instead I did other things, I’m still working my way through Sons of Anarchy (one season and two episodes left), I spent some time with awesome friends, and other stuff that I don’t remember. As I am writing this now it is the morning of heading back to work. School starts next Tuesday so this week is teacher work week. I am both excited and worried about this school year, I’ll share why in another post.Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 6.15.34 AM

Books Read



Other Posts

New Books

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From Netgalley/Edelweiss

Red Girl, Blue Boy by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Merry Me at Christmas by Susan Mallery

Ever After by Rachel Lacey

Exit Stage Left by Gail Nall

All Wrapped Up by Kimberly Kincaid

Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne

Missing Dixie by Caisey Quinn


From Russia with Claws by Jacey Conrad (aka Molly Harper)

Upcoming in September

It’s back to school time so less reading and more schooling!





Aug 31

Review * Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E Smith

Reviews 1 ★★★

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 * Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E SmithHello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E Smith
Published by Poppy on September 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they'll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this new irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

What I Thought…

• One of my favorite things in books is when there is an element of time involved, and in that regards Jennifer E Smith never fails to disappoint. Hello… takes place during the last night before Clare and Aidan leave for college as they go on a scavenger hunt of sorts to places that hold meaning in their relationship.

• I really enjoyed Clare and Aidan’s journey that night and where it took them in terms of their past relationship. It’s not often you get to see a relationship unfold in non consecutive pieces. Even the misadventures that led them to memories were great.

• I loved the ending, in terms of Clare and Aidan and how things were left.

• I did not care for all angst in making the decision to break up or stay together. View Spoiler »

• I loved Clare’s parents, especially how much they included Aidan.

• By far my favorite part of Hello… was Scotty and Stella. I loved everything about them and I wished we would have had more of Clare/Stella issues and Aidan/Scotty issues. I get that Hello… is about Clare and Aidan, but there could have been a lot more there, especially as those issues did impact Clare and Aidan’s relationship.

Overall I enjoyed Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between and would recommend it to all of Smith’s fans.


Aug 27

Review * Bounce by Noelle August

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 * Bounce by Noelle AugustBounce by Noelle August
Series: Boomerang #3
Published by William Morrow on August 25, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Rebound
Add to: Goodreads
Playing the occasional club gig just isn’t cutting it for twenty-two-year-old cellist Skyler Canby, who’s trying to support herself and her mother back home in Kentucky. Persuaded by her best friend Beth to accompany her on an audition for the first feature film launched by Blackwood Entertainment, she figures why not? Beth’s a shoe-in for the lead, but maybe Skyler’s newly dyed pink hair will help her stand out enough to score a small speaking part.

Never in her wildest dreams does Skyler imagine she’ll land the lead role or that she’ll have her shoes knocked off her feet by the kiss her audition partner, Grey Blackwood, plants on her—a kiss that feels very real and not at all “acted. ”

After throwing a party that causes thousands of dollars of damage to his older brother’s home, reckless musician Grey Blackwood gets roped into working off his debt on the set of his CEO brother’s newest project. Grey spends his days fetching coffee and doing odd jobs around the studio, but he lives for nights when he performs with his band. He knows if he can stay focused, success as a singer is just around the corner. But that’s tough with a distracting pink-haired girl occupying his every waking thought.

Skyler and Grey have every reason to resist each other. But, like a song neither of them can get out of their minds, they have no choice but to go where the music takes them.

What I Thought…

• As soon as I heard that Bounce was going to feature Grey I got excited. I found Grey to be one of the more interesting characters from Rebound, and one that I remembered well past finishing Rebound.

• Grey did not disappointment. There were times he acted a bit childish, but he is only 19, and he did bounce back from that behavior. He also really grew up throughout the course of the book and became someone that you could rely and depend on.

• I really liked Sky as well. She was funny and a bit insecure. She got the lead role in a movie, over her bff and you could really feel how torn she was about that. She wanted the part (though at first that wasn’t her intent) but she also felt bad that she “stole” it from Beth (which she didn’t).

• Garrett, Sky’s costar, was the best. He was witty and funny and was able to take Grey’s crap. In some ways he wasn’t your typical movie star, but he was in other ways. He knew how to turn his inner diva down. I loved how he supported Sky and Grey.

• We also got to see some of the other characters, most notably Adam, Ali and Mia. Ethan was there a little bit, but not as much. I enjoy seeing other characters pop up!

• Grey had to make a tough choice at the end, but I loved that he didn’t really see it as a choice. It showed how much he grew up.

• Sky’s family was a bit of a problem, her dad would leave for months at a time, her mom would be lost without him. This put a lot of pressure on Sky and her mom didn’t seem to realize (or care) that she was doing that to Sky. I felt that Sky’s emotions and how she worked through this to come to her decision was very realistic and hit me in the feels.

Overall Bounce is a great ending to this trilogy and I highly recommend it!


Aug 24

Review * If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

Reviews 1 ★★★

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 * If You Only Knew by Kristan HigginsIf You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins
Published by HQN on August 25th 2015
Genres: Adult, Women's Fiction
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
Wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate understands the happily-ever-after business, yet somehow she's still involved in her ex-husband's life. In fact, Owen's new wife may—inexplicably—be Jenny's new best friend. Sensing this, well, relationship isn't helping her move on, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she'll be able to bask in her sister Rachel's picture-perfect family life…and hopefully make one of her own.

Her timing couldn't be more perfect, since Rachel will need her younger sister. Her idyllic marriage has just fallen to pieces in spectacular fashion after she discovers her husband sexting with one of his colleagues. Second chances aren't in Rachel's nature, but the desire for an intact family has her rethinking her stance on adultery, much to Jenny's surprise. Rachel points to their parents' "perfect" marriage as a shining example, but to protect her sister Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a secret about their family she's been keeping since childhood.

During this summer of secrets and lies, temptation and revelation, Jenny and Rachel will rely on each other to find the humor in their personal catastrophes, the joy in their triumphs…and the strength to keep hanging on.

What I Thought…

If You Only Knew is a hard book for me to review. I LOVE Kristan Higgins’ books. They are everything I want and more when it comes to contemporary romance. However If You Only Knew is more women’s fiction than contemporary romance and I’ve never been a big fan of women’s fiction.

There were many aspects of If You Only Knew that I liked. Rachel and Jenny’s relationship. Leo. Evander. How everything played out with Rachel’s husband. I appreciated some of the family crazy (and one of the worst mother-to-be’s EVER) as well as the family dynamics.

As usual Higgins’ writing is spectacular and she really knows how to pull me in and get me emotionally invested in the characters lives. There wasn’t a single character (except Rachel’s husband) that I didn’t feel for.

But for me it was lacking the humor and fun of Higgins’ other books, which there is nothing wrong with, but it’s just not my kind of book.

I would recommend If You Only Knew to anyone who likes women’s fiction or any of Higgins’ books.


Aug 21

Getting Ready for the School Year!

School 2

In less than a week I’ll be back at school. Two days of professional development and one teacher workweek and the kids will be back in school! Right now all I can think about is school. Last year at this time I was so EXCITED for the school year to begin. This year I am more ANXIOUS. We’ve had a lot of changes and most of them are either not good or will add to my workload. To some extent I understand the changes, after all we did not meet the state requirements during the 2013-2014 school year, however the way the changes have been handled and some of the changes themselves are the problem. But that’s not what I want to share with you today, I want to share with you something that I am excited about!

Even though I’ve only been teaching for 2 years I have not been able to find a planner that I like. The ones the school gives us are vertical *cries* other ones have too small of a space to write in or other things wrong with it, so this year I decided to make my own!

Best thing is, it has everything I need, and nothing that I don’t need.

I had it printed at Office Depot and picked this pretty blue as my cover.
  First up is the yearly calendar. Then the monthly calendar.

Then the pièce de résistance: The planing calendar! I created it myself on excel so that I got EXACTLY what I wanted. The spaces are large enough for these mini post its so that I don’t have to worry about erasing or scribbling out when I have to move lessons. I also customized it to my school’s calendar so it already has days off and early release dates built in.

After the planner I put in my parent call log, just so I had a place to keep it!

I can’t wait to make good use of my planner this year!