adult, contemporary, fantasy, mystery, thriller

Down the TBR Part 2!

Ok, I was super excited to do the first installment of this series. I got done, felt so accomplished, and just wanted to keep going! I feel like this is going to be a great way for me to clear out all this stuff I have clogging up my list so it can be functional!

Also, I know it isn’t Sunday. I had this post all done and ready to go, but my kid got tubes in his ear today (Thursday) and I just don’t have it in me to do another post. I’m tired, he’s tired. We’re just ready for bed. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite posts though, so you may see a lot more of them. Let’s dive right in!

Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

  • Date Added: June 26, 2015
  • Thoughts: I’ve heard alot about Sherrilyn Kenyon. I was kind of immediately turned off by the fact the MC was 14. I feel like I’m just too old for that. The friends trying to kill him sounds great, then it just kind of goes downhill for me.
  • Keep or Delete: Delete

Face of Betrayal by Lis Wiehl

  • Date Added: June 26, 2015
  • Thoughts: Crime novel. Features an FBI agent. Count me in!
  • Keep or Delete: Keep

Burning Alive by Shannon K. Butcher

  • Date Added: June 26, 2015
  • Thoughts: Paranormal romance. Boy and girl come together to fight off darkness. Feels very meh.
  • Keep or Delete: Delete

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

  • Date Added: June 26, 2015
  • Thoughts: My mom is a huge Sophie fan, and we don’t really like the same books. Right off the bat I’m having reservations. After reading synopsis/reviews, doesn’t seem like my cup of tea.
  • Keep or Delete: Delete.

Sunny Chandler’s Return by Sandra Brown

  • Date Added: June 26, 2015
  • Thoughts: I must have added this one because of my mom too. Okay, but this sounds kind of good, and steamy. So why not?
  • Keep or Delete: Keep

Tough Customer by Sandra Brown

  • Date Added: June 26, 2015
  • Thoughts: Ok, another Sandra Brown. Completely different from the one above. This sounds like a crime/stalker novel so I’m all in.
  • Keep or Delete: Keep.

44 Charles Street by Danielle Steel

  • Date Added: June 26, 2015
  • Thoughts: Reading the synopsis was just Eh. This was another I added because of my mom, but I think I’ll pass.
  • Keep or Delete: Delete

Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin

  • Date Added: June 26, 2015
  • Thoughts: This seems interesting. Married woman sees the one who got away and starts questioning everything.
  • Keep or Delete: Keep

Sandra Brown Compliation

  • Date Added: June 26, 2015
  • Thoughts: The only one that strikes by fancy is the last book, Send No Flowers. So I’ll probably delete this, but add that one. So it’s a draw.
  • Keep or Delete: Draw.

Visions in White by Nora Roberts

  • Date Added: June 26, 2015
  • Thoughts: I wasn’t too into the idea of four parts of a wedding planning company finding love. Just seems, I don’t know. Eh?
  • Keep or Delete: Delete.

Conclusion

My TBR today started at 1981. I kept 4 books, deleted 5, and had a draw on one – deleted the compilation but added one of the 3 back. So That brings my TBR to 1978.

I wasn’t expecting to keep any of these books, really. Except the crime one. I was surprised at how good the Sandra Brown and Emily Giffin books sounded. Hopefully they will live up to their synopsis!

Can’t wait for another edition of this with you guys!

Until next time…

ARC, contemporary, three star book, ya

You, Me and Letting Go ARC Review

  • Title: You, Me & Letting Go
  • Author: Katie Kaleski
  • Book Form: E-ARC
  • Pages: 286
  • Publisher: Swoon Romance
  • Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
  • Rating: ★★★.5

A love so epic, no label is needed.

Van Sato’s got labels. Tourettes, ADHD, SPD – words that have defined his existence since the time he was old enough to know what they meant. Now, Van wants to prove he’s more than an acronym, a syndrome, a problem kid. He takes a summer job as a day camp counselor to prove he’s capable of independence and moving on to the next phase in his life. Maybe, he might even make a friend while there. Someone who’s got just as many or even more labels than him. Someone who understands what it’s like. 

Tabby Dubanowksi wants to forget about everything, the hospitalization, the judgment, the whispers behind her back. As a camp counselor, she will be admired, looked up to, and able to help people who don’t know anything about her old life. Tabby wants a fresh start and a chance to re-ignite her passion for film-making, if only for one summer.

After running away from their pasts, Van and Tabby collide in a storm cloud of attraction laced with self-doubt, insecurity, shame, and blame. Now, with Van feeling like he might have to quit his job, and Tabby struggling to quell the urge to cut, they will struggle to find themselves in a world designed to keep them apart.

– Goodreads

Thank you to Swoon Reads for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I have a thing for books with teens with diseases this month, apparently.

You, Me & Letting Go is a story about Van, who had Tourette’s along with ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder, and Tabby, who had anorexia and self-harmed. They meet at their summer job and young love ensues.

This was the first book I have ever read that features someone with Tourette’s, so that was nice to have that rep. I really enjoyed Van’s story and struggles – especially how he and Tabby helped each other deal with their issues.

This was a quick, easy read. I read it in about 4 hours with my two year old interrupting me. Though it was quick, the story packed a punch and I was invested in the characters. I’ll be on the lookout for more by Katie Kaleski!

Until next time…

ARC, contemporary, three star book, ya

Cursed ARC Review

  • Title: Cursed
  • Author: Karol Ruth Silverstein
  • Book Form: E-ARC
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Teen
  • Genre: YA, Contemporary
  • Rating: ★★★.5

A debut novel for fans of The Fault in Our Stars that thoughtfully and humorously depicts teen Ricky Bloom’s struggles with a recent chronic illness diagnosis.

As if her parents’ divorce and sister’s departure for college weren’t bad enough, fourteen-year-old Ricky Bloom has just been diagnosed with a life-changing chronic illness. Her days consist of cursing everyone out, skipping school–which has become a nightmare–daydreaming about her crush, Julio, and trying to keep her parents from realizing just how bad things are. But she can’t keep her ruse up forever. 

Ricky’s afraid, angry, alone, and one suspension away from repeating ninth grade when she realizes: she can’t be held back. She’ll do whatever it takes to move forward–even if it means changing the person she’s become. Lured out of her funk by a quirky classmate, Oliver, who’s been there too, Ricky’s porcupine exterior begins to shed some spines. Maybe asking for help isn’t the worst thing in the world. Maybe accepting circumstances doesn’t mean giving up.

– Goodreads

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Cursed definitely got better for me as time went on. It follows the story of Ricky, short for Erica, who has a chronic illness. She’s been skipping school for SIX WEEKS and finally gets caught. 

We follow Rickey as she goes back to school, tries to connect with her crush, and tries to find acceptance. 

The writing seemed juvenile at first – but that was just Ricky. She had a lot of growing up to do. She did it with the help of her most-hated-turned-favorite teacher. 

You don’t discover what illness RIckey has until about halfway through the book. I started picking up on it pretty early on. I had some knowledge of it being a nurse, but my best friend’s sister also has the disease. 

I loved that it was own voices. It’s nice to see representation of someone with this “mystery illness”. This is the first book that I’ve read that featured that illness. 

Also, shoutout to whoever designed the cover! It’s a nice nod to the pain scale we use in healthcare for patients to rate the amount of pain they are in.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading about kids with illness or loves YA contemporary.

Warning: this book does contain swearing!

Until next time…

fantasy, Five Star Book, Sci-Fi, ya

Memento Review

  • Title: Memento
  • Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • Book Form: Physical
  • Pages: 82
  • Publisher: Knoph Books for Young Readers
  • Genre: YA, Fantasy
  • Rating: ★★★★★

December, 2574. Forty-three days before the BeiTech attack on Kerenza IV.

This is the story of my first friendship.

This is the tale of my first murder?

Some monsters are born.

But I?

< ERROR >

I was made.

– Goodreads

Wow. I mean. How can a book wreck me in 82 pages?

Amie and Jay have done it again. I was instantly sucked in by the format, as it’s been with this whole series. I was so quickly engrossed and just cared about these people. I loved learning more about AIDAN and his backstory. Yes, the AI has a backstory and it’s insane. 

What struck me most was the letter that was sent at the very end by AIDAN. I. Was. SHOOK. I think I just stared at the last page with my mouth open for five minutes. 

Did I laugh? Yep. Did I cry? Yes. This book makes you care so much you cry in 82 pages. I’m still kind of in awe of that. 

If you didn’t pre-order Aurora Rising to get this, I’m so sorry. It might be a decision you will regret forever. Sorry!

Until next time…

ARC, fantasy, three star book, ya

The Lost Coast ARC Review

  • Title: The Lost Coast
  • Author: Amy Rose Capetta
  • Book Form: E-ARC
  • Pages: 352
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • Genre: Fantasy, YA, LGBT
  • Rating: ★★★ .5

The spellbinding tale of six queer witches forging their own paths, shrouded in the mist, magic, and secrets of the ancient California redwoods.

Danny didn’t know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they’re ordinary and everyday, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn’t just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill. Lush, eerie, and imaginative, Amy Rose Capetta’s tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery — and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward. 

– Goodreads

** Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **

I wanted to love this book. I did. The premise sounded amazing. And part of the book was amazing. It just took too long to get there. 

I thought The Lost Coast was very… wordy? Like just so many words that it was hard to follow. It took me a while to really get into it. 

The last 40% was great. I couldn’t put it down. But getting through the first 60% was hard for me. And I so wish it wouldn’t have been. 

Now. What I loved most was the LGBTQIA+ rep. There were so many different sexualities represented. Also so many nationalities and body types! I think everyone can find a little of themselves in The Greys.

Until next time…

ARC, contemporary, Four Star Book, ya

Symptoms of a Heartbreak ARC Review

  • Title: Symptoms of a Heartbreak
  • Author: Sona Charaipotra
  • Book Form: E-ARC
  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Imprint
  • Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
  • Rating: ★★★★

Fresh from med school, sixteen-year-old medical prodigy Saira arrives for her first day at her new job: treating children with cancer. She’s always had to balance family and friendships with her celebrity as the Girl Genius—but she’s never had to prove herself to skeptical adult co-workers while adjusting to real life-and-death stakes. And working in the same hospital as her mother certainly isn’t making things any easier.

But life gets complicated when Saira finds herself falling in love with a patient: a cute teen boy who’s been diagnosed with cancer. And when she risks her brand new career to try to improve his chances, it could cost her everything.

It turns out “heartbreak” is the one thing she still doesn’t know how to treat.

– Goodreads

Thank you Netgalley for a free copy of this book In exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own. 

Omg. Love this book. 

It’s contemporary. It’s ya. It’s medical. It’s romance. It’s everything! 

I’m a nurse, so I love me a good medical story. This follows Saira, the United State’s youngest doctor. 16 years old. Okay. I’ll roll with it. 

Her first day on the job she meets a boy. A patient. And love ensues. Obviously. 

She has her ups and downs on the job. People are hard on her. They don’t think she should be there because of her age. And it shows, as it should. A 16 year old doctor will still have a 16 year old’s feelings. 

I loved the ups and downs of her career and life. It felt real even though it’s kind of unheard of. And honestly, I’d be scared of a 16 year old doc too. I know I wouldn’t have been as amazing as the nurse practitioner in the story. (One complaint though. He acted more as a nurse than a nurse practitioner, but most people not in the medical field wouldn’t pick up on that.) 

Would I recommend this book? Yes. 100%. Will you like it even if you aren’t in the medical field? Yes. Think of it as a YA Grey’s Anatomy with a little doctoring and a lot of drama.

Until next time…

adult, ARC, contemporary, Erotica, fantasy, Five Star Book, Four Star Book, graphic novel, Memoir, Nursing, three star book, two star book, ya

May Wrapup AND June TBR. What?!

Yall. This month has been CRAZY. I’ve been getting back to the gym. My husband had his wisdom teeth taken out. I have a two year old so that’s crazy.

I’ve gotta carve out more me time somewhere! I also need to read. Its June 9 and I have read a whopping ZERO books this month! Omg.

I am almost done with an ARC from Netgalley that I’m so excited to share with you guys! Its serving YA, contemporary, medical realness and I am in LOVE!
Okay, so maybe I have been watching A LOT of Queer Eye this month and I am OBSESSED. Especially with Jonathan. Be my bff? Please?

Jonathan if he ever sees this post.

ANYWAYS. So May reads.

The Beautiful Brain.
Audible Original.
Four stars for a medical book about CTE and brain injuries. I loved it. Most people probably won’t though, I wouldn’t think. I just look a good medical book.

The Shift.
Four Stars.
I read this in honor of Nurse’s Week that was May 6-12. Its a memoir about a day in the life of a nurse. I loved it. It brought back the feels of being a nurse on the floor I used to have.

Nimona.
3.5 Stars. This is a graphic novel, but I listened to the audio. The audio was good, the actors were good. But I think I would have liked the graphic novel better.

Collective 3 stars for this sci-fi romance series. Each book follows a different alien and his mate. They were good. The romance scenes were spicy. It just didn’t jump out as being over a 3 star.

Aurora Rising.
Oh my.
Definitely my most favorite read of the month and will probably be top 5 for the year.
I am LIVING for Kal. I mean. I want that body. haha!
Plus, I got to talk DnD with Jay Kristoff after our author chat. He is the sweetest, most genuine guy. I love him and want to play DnD with him. Love him. Love this book. Full review to come but just go read it right now.

Caraval.
Four star book.
This was a great book about magic and carnivals and deception. I can’t wait to read the next two installments!

Illuminae.
Five stars.
This was a reread. I read the physical version last year and LOVED the format. It was so interesting and original.
I listened to the audio this month and it may have been better! It was full cast. All the voice actors were amazing. Its a book that I would love to listen as I read along.

Whatever Normal Is.
Two stars.
This was the very first ARC I received.
I loved the cover, but the story was just… not good.

12 Days of Forever.
Three stars.
Typical audio romance. Wasn’t great, but wasn’t bad.

Gemina.
Five Stars.
Book two of the Illuminae files.
AMAZING. Again, I read the physical. The format was amazing. It follows different characters, so I was scared I wouldn’t like them as much. This was not the case.
New book boyfriend in the bad-boy main character.

Standing Sideways.
Four Star.
Full review posted. This was an arc I received and I really loved the way it looked at loss and redemption.

June plan? WHAT June plan?

I’m just trying to read a book, guys. But really, my plan is to read as many ARCs as possible and get caught up. Fingers crossed!

Until next time…

ARC, contemporary, Four Star Book, ya

Standing Sideways ARC Review

  • Title: Standing Sideways
  • Author: J. Lynn Bailey
  • Book Form: E-Arc
  • Pages: 318
  • Publisher: J. House Publishing
  • Genre: YA, Contemporary
  • Rating: ★★★★

When Livia Stone suddenly loses her twin brother, Jasper, she must learn to navigate her new life alone. As she faces tragedy and starts down a road toward 
self-destruction, Daniel enters Livia’s life—at a moment when she needs it most. 

Standing Sideways is a poignant, relevant, and touching story of survival, courage, and compassion that will have readers crying, laughing, and most of all, debating the issues affecting the lives of parents and teens alike on a journey of hope and forgiveness.

– Goodreads

Wow. May was INSANE. It was my son’s second birthday. My mom moved and had a garage sale. We were just generally much busier than normal. I’m so sad my blog got neglected! My reading did, too. I only read 12 books this month. Eek. But more on that tomorrow, hopefully!

The plan is to do my May wrap up on June 1, then my June plan on June 2! Crossing my fingers.

Alright. Lets get into this review.

Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and the publisherfor a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.

This was such a good read. Although quick, it definitely wasn’t easy. This was definitely a page turner. I kept wanting to read to find out what happened to Livia’s brother and how her life would end up.

Standing Sideways follows the story of Livia, who just lost her twin brother. The better twin, as she says.  You see all had decisions after the death. The bad, and good, decisions. It shows how everyone deals with grief differently. Not all ways are good. 

This book took a few twists and turns. Some parts surprised me. I keep rooting for Livia to make the right decisions and to follow who she ‘used to be’. A bit toward the ending got a little muddled for me, but it ended up nicely!

At the end of the book, I was surprised to learn this is based off a true story. It made it that much more real, heartbreaking, but also joyous. Also— all proceeds of this book go to charity so how great is that?! 

I would definitely recommend this book. It gave me all the feels.

Until next time…

adult, Four Star Book, Memoir, Nursing

The Shift Reveiw

  • Title: The Shift
  • Author: Theresa Brown, RN
  • Book Form: Ebook
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Genre: Memoir, Health/Nursing
  • Rating: ★★★★


In a book as eye-opening as it is riveting, practicing nurse and New York Times columnist Theresa Brown invites us to experience not just a day in the life of a nurse but all the life that happens in just one day on a hospital’s cancer ward. In the span of twelve hours, lives can be lost, life-altering medical treatment decisions made, and dreams fulfilled or irrevocably stolen. In Brown’s skilled hands–as both a dedicated nurse and an insightful chronicler of events–we are given an unprecedented view into the individual struggles as well as the larger truths about medicine in this country, and by shift’s end, we have witnessed something profound about hope and healing and humanity.

Every day, Theresa Brown holds patients’ lives in her hands. On this day there are four. There is Mr. Hampton, a patient with lymphoma to whom Brown is charged with administering a powerful drug that could cure him–or kill him; Sheila, who may have been dangerously misdiagnosed; Candace, a returning patient who arrives (perhaps advisedly) with her own disinfectant wipes, cleansing rituals, and demands; and Dorothy, who after six weeks in the hospital may finally go home. Prioritizing and ministering to their needs takes the kind of skill, sensitivity, and, yes, humor that enable a nurse to be a patient’s most ardent advocate in a medical system marked by heartbreaking dysfunction as well as miraculous success.

– Goodreads

So Nurse’s Week is May 6-12. I read this book in honor of Nurse’s Week. And I just love nursing memoirs. It reminds me why I became a nurse, because it’s so easy to forget sometimes.

This follows Theresa Brown, RN through one of her shifts. Just 12 hours. Parts of it my soul remembered, and reminded me why I now have a desk job. Parts of it my soul remembered in a good way, and made me miss patient care. I loved growing close to patients and feeling like I made a difference. I wasn’t as excited about the difficult patients, though.

Theresa works on an oncology ward – cancer and blood diseases. When I was a nurse, I worked medical-surgical (medical illnesses and some surgery post-op). We were right next door to the oncology unit, so I got pulled there frequently. The nurses over there always had the best attitudes and were so friendly, which surprised me since they dealt with cancer daily.

There were some major differences, though. Theresa talks about having four patients and being overwhelmed. If I had four patients, my day was going good, but it would probably go to shit. I routinely had 5-6 patients. Sometimes SEVEN. SEVEN PATIENTS to ONE ME. There is no time to adequately assess seven patients. Theresa talks about her struggles with four.
On that note, did you know California is the ONLY STATE with SAFE nurse/patient ratios? Yeah. When you think your nurse doesn’t care, maybe she doesn’t. Or she may have 7 people she’s trying to keep alive for 12 hours.
NEWSFLASH – If you want better nursing care, we all have to fight for safer nurse/patient ratios, whether you are in healthcare or not. It could be you laying in that bed one day. Would you want your nurse to be looking after you and three others, or you and six others? Yeah, I’ll let you think on that.

Ugh, sorry for that rant. That’s why I left bedside nursing. I currently am in love with my job. But I know I’ll never go back bedside unless safe ratios are established.

Back to the book. Theresa talks about feelings of inadequacy as a nurse. I should have done that sooner. I should have picked up on that. Is there something wrong here, or am I just freaking out? Nursing is STRESSFUL yall. We are the eyes and ears for the doc. The doctor sees them for 5 minutes. We see them for 12 hours. It’s up to us to pick up on anything and everything.

This was such a great read. If you want to know what nurses really do, please read this book. It’s such a realistic view into a day in the life. A life we all chose. A life some regret choosing. It’s hard. It’s emotionally draining. But sometimes, its the most rewarding profession in the world.

Until next time…

fantasy, Historical Fiction, three star book, ya

An Affair of Poisons Review

  • Title: An Affair of Poisons
  • Author: Addie Thorley
  • Book Form: E-Book
  • Pages: 391
  • Publisher: Page Street Kids
  • Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, YA
  • Rating: ★★★.5


No one looks kindly on the killer of a king. 

After unwittingly helping her mother poison King Louis XIV, seventeen-year-old alchemist Mirabelle Monvoisin is forced to see her mother’s Shadow Society in a horrifying new light: they’re not heroes of the people, as they’ve always claimed to be, but murderers. Herself included. Mira tries to ease her guilt by brewing helpful curatives, but her hunger tonics and headache remedies cannot right past wrongs or save the dissenters her mother vows to purge.

Royal bastard Josse de Bourbon is more kitchen boy than fils de France. But when the Shadow Society assassinates the Sun King and half of the royal court, he must become the prince he was never meant to be in order to save his injured sisters and the petulant dauphin. Forced to hide in the sewers beneath the city, Josse’s hope of reclaiming Paris seems impossible―until his path collides with Mirabelle’s.

She’s a deadly poisoner. He’s a bastard prince. They are sworn enemies, yet they form a tenuous pact to unite the commoners and former nobility against the Shadow Society. But can a rebellion built on mistrust ever hope to succeed?

– Goodreads

I was so, so excited to read this book. The description was amazing. Then, only on page 1, was this quote:

Today I will kill a man.

– Mirabelle

So I’m like, hell yeah! I’m here for this girl who is so nonchalant about killing. But then, I just couldn’t get into it. I stopped and started this book multiple times throughout the month. It wasn’t that it was bad, it was just … slow.

The action was so slow to build. It took over half the book. But once the action hit, man it hit. Once they started making plans, acting them out, and creating potions for the right reasons, I was here for it! It just took a little too long to get to it.

I loved that it was set in Paris around the time of Versailles. I am in love with that time period in Paris. There was a little French here and there, but not near as much as Enchantee. I loved the premise of this book. A girl making potions for a society who gets caught up in things she doesn’t agree with, so she decides to make a change. Yes, please. It sounds amazing. I just think it took a little too long to get there.

Up until the end, I wasn’t invested in the characters. I didn’t care who lived or died. The last like, 25% though really changed my mind. But that’s a lot of book to get through before you start caring.

If you like old Paris, poisons, and political unrest, give this book a try. Maybe it will suck you in from the beginning. I hope it does, because the ending was great.

Until next time…