Tuesday, May 23, 2017

April Wrap Up

April was a crazy month! We sold our house, bought a new one and have started moving. Lots of work is being done in the house right now so we can't really move stuff into the house, it's all sort of piling up in garage. I did manage to read nine books is April, though only one counted for the RMSC, the 'Whole Deal' post about that can be found here. I expected things to slow down a bit as far as reading this month since my books have been packed up for a while now.

***I wrote the above before we moved. I've been working on this post for a while! Please forgive it's lateness and shortness!


Books I Read in April

1. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
2. Some Practical Magic by Laurie C. Kuna
3. The Furthest Station by Ben Arronovitch
4. The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan
5. The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan
6. Welcome to the Farm by Shaye Elliott
7. Falling for the Babysitter by Penny Wylder
8. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata
9. Molly Bell and the Wishing Well by Bridget Geraghty

The one book that counted for the RMSC puts me at 10 out of 25 for the year. Which means I'm a little behind but have plenty of time to catch up!

Reading Habits 

So my favorite tea shop has officially closed. But I haven't been drinking much tea or coffee lately. Right now it's ice water and Gatorade. Reading at Biggby hasn't been happening because I'm in bed by 8:30 PM most nights lately. I also never found that 'toddler-proof' bookmark that The Toddler hid on me, even with packing things up and emptying out the house it never turned up.


I'll write more for my May Wrap-Up in the next couple of weeks.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Quick Update Again

I have internet! Our internet just got installed in the new house today! I have posted a review (here) and I'm hoping to have my April wrap-up ready to post tomorrow! It's only 3 weeks late, right?

And because I didn't clarify in the review, I am still pregnant! No bad things to report on that front.

I haven't done much reading in the last week, but we are buying and installing bookshelves this weekend for me and The Toddler so some bookshelf organization posts should be coming soon!

Upcoming important stuff that will probably get posts;
Book Club meeting - May 30th
1st Prenatal Dr.'s appointment - May 30th
Bookshelves - Middle of next week (I hope)



Review: 10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac


Image from Goodreads

Think positive.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.


Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.

Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?
(Blurb from Goodreads)


Sometimes a book comes along exactly when you need it too, and I needed this book. Today my anxiety is through the roof because today I am pregnant and I know that it won't last. I honestly don't think it will last the weekend. And it's Mother's day weekend. I'm going to miscarry on Mother's day. How ironic. I've spent today trying to keep myself busy. I've tried to ignore the fact that I'm pregnant, I've tried to hold it all together and I just can't. I keep thinking about how after the age of thirty (and I'm thirty) the miscarriage rate goes up by 12%. How 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. How only 76% (I think) of miscarriage women go on to have healthy pregnancies. I'm sure I read that somewhere.
I keep thinking that it can happen to anyone, and every story and blog post I read today, trying desperately to find some hope, some kind of solace to ease my mind just for a little while, was written by a woman who'd had multiple miscarriages. Multiple. So many women, and so much loss, and why should I be exempt from that? If it can happen to them for no apparent reason, it can happen to me. I think I also read somewhere, after my first miscarriage, that only like 4 or 5% of women have multiple miscarriages, and today I think I read every single one of their blogs. The 4 or 5% thing can't be accurate. There's no way that every single woman who's had multiple miscarriages has a blog and/or visits the same forum. They can't. It's not possible. 

And that's anxiety. 

And it's portrayed perfectly in 10 Things I Can See From Here. Today I was not alone in my anxiety. Although Maeve and I were worrying over totally separate things, just to know that her brain worked like mine does, and no one understands that, that made me not alone today. 

The only complaint I'd have about this book is that I wanted more. More of the characters. I want to know more about Salix and if she got into Julliard, what her life was life growing up in a bus, I want to know what happens to Maeve and Salix when Maeve goes home with her mom, I want to know how Maeve's relationship with her mom changes when she comes home, I want to know more about Billy and his sobriety. Just more. 

I need like a whole series of these characters. 

5 out of 5 stars. Highly recommend.  Read it. 

Note: I received a free copy of this book through Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May


Image from Goodreads

One girl's nightmare is this girl's faery tale

She's a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She's a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she's leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She's a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She's a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder—but she'll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.

(Blurb from Goodreads)

I picked this book purely based on the cover. I love the cover, and was happy that the book lived up to it. There were some really unexpected elements to this story that I ended up really enjoying, the steampunk element being the most surprising. 

I usually try to avoid steampunk. I've read a few books with steampunk in them but never really enjoyed it. The ones I read were just too illogical for me to be able to buy into the story, and now I just try to avoid them. This book went pretty light on the steampunk elements, just a few things here and there to let you know it was part of the story, you know, horseless carriages, a personal flying machine, no giant half-machine half-blue whale things flying around bombing the shit out of small towns or anything. 

It was light on the romance. This is a big one! The romance didn't really come into it until the end. I mean through out the book it's clear she's trying to deny feelings for Kiaran, there's a couple of points where I was sure they were going to kiss, but of course they didn't. I can see where the author is trying to get the whole 'love triangle' thing going on but I didn't really get that vibe from Gavin. Like I could see him being gay and them being really good friends but not a love interest. 

This book was a bit frustrating though. There were parts where I was just like "Tell the fricking truth, the whole truth!!" It would have avoided some frustration for the characters and Aileana does start doing that towards the end. 

This book is pretty sterotypical YA fantasy. The main character is beautiful, but she doesn't know it. She's clumsy, except when she's fighting gracefully and effortlessly killing monsters, She's tired of her life being caged in by society, but she's not ready to ditch her comfortable life in order to change it. If you've read a lot of YA you've probably read a lot of books like this one. Fortunately for me, I happen to love books like this and I think this main character manages to set herself apart with her interest in engineering, she builds her own weapons and vehicles, and I love that.  Also, the violence! This main character lives for the rush she gets from killing and the way it is written is wonderful, there are more eloquent prose about killing faeries then there are about the romance elements and I love that even more!

The thing I love/hate most about this book? The ending. OMG THE ENDING! I was reading and all the sudden it just stopped in a place where no book should stop. What? What! WHAT?! I was not happy and I loved it at the same time. It is certainly a cliff hanger and I'm so looking forward to the next book!

As for a rating, this book is not perfect, but I loved it anyway. 4 stars out of 5.
Note; I received this book for free, through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Quick Update

Things have been crazy busy but I wanted to post a quick update on whats been going on. I've acquired a few new books I'm really excited about and there some personal stuff I'm excited about too!

First; I got this!!!!!
  Second; I got this!! It's my first ever physical copy of an ARC!! I'm really excited to read it, it's about anxiety but I don't know much else.

Third: This is happening!!!! Janurary 15, 2018!!
 If that's not exciting I don't know what is! Right now I'm only about 4 weeks along, so it's still super early, and I haven't told anyone except The Husband and my mom, and a few friends, but I'm excited/nervous/terrified and I wanted to tell someone today.

I'm trying to have a few new posts up this week but our official move date is Friday and things are still really busy, but there will be new posts soon!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Review: The Furthest Station By Ben Aaronovitch

Image and blurb from Goodreads
There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there's a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.

Enter PC Peter Grant junior member of the Metropolitan Police's Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying the crush of London's rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.

Joined by Peter's wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person's life might just be on the line.

And time is running out to save them.

With this new novella, bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch has crafted yet another wickedly funny and surprisingly affecting chapter in his beloved Rivers of London series.


This is a novella of the Peter Grant series, it's number 5.7. I honestly never heard of this series until I got the E-ARC for this book and now I'm reading them all. This book was so funny, I loved Peter's dry sense of humor. I love the premise of ghost police in London. I'm not a big fan of the mystery genre but supernatural mysteries, like this one, are so fun to read. 

It gave me the same feeling as reading Angie Sage's Septimus Heap series did. It's not that these are children's books by any means, there's an F-bomb every once in a while and it's a pretty adult concept, but the writing style felt similar, and the attitude towards ghosts and magic felt similar to me. And that's a great thing since I adore the Septimus Heap series. 

The Folly is also a pretty interesting organization. Everything is very scientific. The ghosts are classified into categories, there's methods for testing theories, and yet it combines that science with classical education, learning Greek and Latin. 

I jumped into this series with this novella so I didn't fully understand everything right off the bat but it's written so well, giving just enough information so that even if you're reading out of order you can grasp whats happening, but not overloading you with information either. I loved it enough to go back and read the whole series. I currently reading book 2, Moon Over Soho, and I highly recommend this series. 4 out of 5 stars!

This novella is being released June 30th, so you have plenty of time to go read the other books before this one comes out! 

I received this book for free, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Review: Molly Bell and the Wishing Well by Bridget Geraghty

Image and blurb from Goodreads
Molly Bell is an eleven-year old girl who used to be a whimsical, sporty type of a child with a zest for living. All that has been turned upside down by the untimely death of her mother two years ago. To make matters worse, her father is getting remarried to a high-maintenance beauty that Molly seemingly has nothing in common with, and she comes with an annoying six-year old son, Henry, who finds a way to wreck everything in his path. Molly can't find anything about her new circumstances to be excited about, until her Aunt Joan tells her about the wishing well at Molly's grandparents' farm. According to Aunt Joan, every wish she ever made there came true. And it just so happens that Molly and Henry will be staying at the farm for a week while their parents are on their honeymoon. Molly is convinced if she could just find that wishing well, she could wish for her mom to come back to life and everything will be okay again. But Molly is in for a few surprises, and more than a few hard lessons about being careful what you wish for when the consequences of Molly's selfish desires wreak havoc on her entire family. Can Molly make things right again through the wishing well? Or will she need to find it within herself to bring back the joy in her life that has been missing all this time?

This book was magical. Not in the Harry Potter, Gandalf, Unicorns, kind of way, but in a much more real way. It's about the magic of love, and it's power to heal. It's about how a shift in point of view can change your whole life, and it's about letting kids who are struggling with loss know that they can find a way to be happy again. 

About 20 years ago I was one of those kids. My dad died when I was 1o, from cancer, like Molly's mom in the story, and though I didn't have that shift in perspective that Molly does in the story for many years, reading this book brought me back to that time. 

I loved the way the author wrote about Molly's feelings towards everything going on in her life. Her anger and sadness at her Dad for 'replacing' her mom, her dislike of her new step-mom, her complete indifference to Henry, her anger and disappointment in her friends for seemingly abandoning her when she needed them, and the complete, overwhelming grief for her mom. The part about Molly's friends really hit me because it was so true. When my dad died my friends seemed to disappear, no one at school would talk to me or even look me in the eye; most adults were the same way, murmuring meaningless words before shaking their heads and walking away. People don't know how to handle that kind of overwhelming grief, and that's why I think this is an important book for everyone to read. Having a better understanding of the feelings that go on when a child has lost someone can help them immeasurably, just to know that someone stills sees them the same way, and is still there and willing to sit next to them and look them in eye and say 'I'm here' when everyone else in their life seems to be avoiding them, is an amazing thing for a kid going through that kind of loss. 

The only criticism I'd have for the emotions portrayed in the book is that Molly's anger seemed really downplayed to me. In my experience the anger that comes with that kind of grief runs a lot deeper and is much harder to suppress than it seemed too for Molly. The author could have had a much different experience than I have with grief and everyone does process things differently so I can't say that her portrayal was wrong or bad in any way, though. 

I also loved Molly's Grandpa Cody, in fact he was probably the most emotional character in the story besides Molly.  Grandpa Cody letting go of his anger towards the wishing well was probably something that helped Molly let go of hers and including his PTSD from the war  made him a very real character. 

I loved this book. It's easily 5 out of 5 stars for me and I highly recommend it for everyone. 

Note: I received this as a free e-book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  You can pick it up on Amazon here