April Currently Reading & A Court Of Thorns And Roses Re-read

Hey guys! Just checking in to update you all on what I’ve been reading and what books I have planned to read for the rest of this month!

First up, I decided to read the great classic The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Last year I heard the news that a Hulu series based on this book was going to be made and released this year. It’s kind of sad to me how I tend to discover books, or they won’t won’t spark my interest, until I learn about them being optioned for a TV or film series. But, I digress.

I’ve seen this book on numerous favorite books lists across the internet and I’ve always been intrigued by it. Except, for some reason I kept forgetting to read the synopsis. I really didn’t know what this story was about or how profound and alarmingly eery it relates to our time. Especially right now. Synopsis aside, I honestly thought it was written in the late 1800’s. In my defense, I came up with that assumption based off of the cover. It just looks so classic and medieval!

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However, I did do my research and realized how fitting and timely it is for this book to be made into a series. And even more so, now that we’re living in a He who shall not be named, era where women’s right’s and equality need to be fought for even harder. It’s daunting, but I’m glad this book is getting new attention and gaining more readers. I did start reading a copy from the library and I was able to get drawn into the story, but I noticed that a lot of people expressed that they enjoyed listening to the audiobook so I decided maybe listening to it would help me keep my interest in tact. I re-activated (then cancelled, shhhhhh) my audible subscription so I could purchase it for $14 instead of $29.

A cool thing about this audiobook is that it’s narrated by the actress Claire Danes, who, besides Elizabeth Moss playing Ofred in the Hulu adaptation, is so great and really brings Ofred to life in the book. I’m kinda, almost halfway through and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ll update with a full review once I finish!

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The other book I’m reading is Letters To The Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. This is a YA book about a girl named Juliet Young. Juliet recently lost her mother and she’s still grieving. Juliet visits her mother’s grave every day, leaving her letters that she wrote. One day she returns to her mother’s grave to find that someone has replied to her last letter. At first she’s furious, but then she writes back to the stranger who, in turn, replies again. That stranger is the rumored notorious senior class “juvenile delinquent” Declan Murphy. Declan is doing community service at the cemetery for a crime that haunts him every day. One afternoon he answers a letter he finds on a headstone.

Neither Juliet nor Declan know who one another is. Actually, they both know OF one another, but they don’t know that either of them are behind the letters that they send. Juliet and Declan are somehow drawn to one another after a series of run-ins at school. I’m about midway through and I like it a lot. It does kind of remind me a little of ‘You’ve Got Mail’ with the anonymous back and forth in messaging, but I love ‘You’ve Got Mail’ so I’m down with that. Actually, I’m at a part where Declan has found out who his “Cemetery Girl’ is, and he’s struggling to decide if he should tell Juliet outright who he is, or keep his identity hidden. I kind of like knowing something that the main character doesn’t.


I’ve took out this graphic novel, Giant Days Vol. 1 by  John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Whitney Cogar. These graphic novels chronicle the collegiate lives and adventures of three girls, Susan, Esther, and Daisy.

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I also grabbed our copy of the graphic novel Nimona by Noelle Stevenson from the library. This one’s about a young, villainous shapeshifter named Nimona and her sidekick, Lord Ballister Blackheart.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and I’m in an adventurous mood. I’m also going to have a long weekend due to the Easter holiday, so these will be perfect for my little staycation!


Lastly, my friends, I am going to talk for the billionth time about the near masterpiece that is Sarah J. Maas’s A Court Of Thorns And Roses series. If you have not read it yet, or plan on reading it, there are spoilers ahead so ah, proceed with caution as they say.

A Court Of Wings And Ruin  or ACOWAR, is just 20 days away. 20 . DAYS. AWAY. I am so excited and so nervous and so ready to go back to the Night Court and hang out with Feyre and Rhys and the rest of the Night Court gang and go on new adventures with them. I just get so giddy about this series, it’s ridiculous. As I previously mentioned in my ACOMAF Playlist blog post from two weeks ago, I am mentally preparing myself for this next installment. I’ve been listening to my playlist non-stop, gabbing about it at work with my dear friend and co-worker, Michallyn. I’ve bought a gorgeous ACOMAF quote bookmark, I even bought bookish ACOMAF themed candles (don’t @ me, I admit I am obsessed), and as of this morning I finished my re-read of ‘A Court Of Thorns And Roses’.

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I have so many thoughts. There are so many things I missed reading this the first time around. One thing I love about re-reading, and especially going back to the first installment of a series after reading the books that follow, is combing through and discovering things that connect and bring the story together. Like events, phrases, or even characters you may have had previous opinions of based on the events in the first book that may have changed in the second *ahem* Rhysand. But now that you know what happens and how things play out, you can weave everything together and be like, “OHHHHH MY GOD THAT MAKES MORE SENSE!”

*Coughs*

Like Rhys and Feyre.

LIKE RHYS AND FEYRE.

RHYS. I hate how the first book takes literally twenty chapters for him to make his entrance in the story, but now that I know his real deal, every time he would come up in a scene I’d squeal like an idiot. If you think this is embarrassing, and I don’t blame you for rolling your eyes nor do I blame you if you’re suffering from secondhand embarrassment already, because, same. But even worse, and I know I’ll go back and re-read this in a few months time and want to throw my phone or computer, but I just love Rhys so much. I feel like he’s real, even though I am fully aware he is not. I literally have to take off my cardigan at work whenever my friend Michallyn and I talk about him because I get hot flashes.

Okay let’s move along before I die of heatstroke thinking about Rhys.

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But for real, I missed so many things. Like how much of an ass Tamlin was. Even though he was trying to protect Feyre, *insert eye rolling emoji* but also trying to make sure she was eavesdropping on his conversations with Lucien about the current state of affairs regarding Amarantha as well as the other courts in Prythian, he wasn’t as romantic to me as he was the first time I read this. Probably because I literally jumped overboard the ‘Famlin’ ship and onto the ‘Feysand’ ship of dreams (see what I did there?), but still…

Other things that stood out/ I’ve re-discovered/realized:

  • Lucian is wonderful and I hope that even though Feyre will be spying at the Spring Court, that her and Lucien will reconnect. I love their friendship so much.
  • I keep wondering if during Fire Night, when Feyre kept hearing that voice inside her head telling her “Go, go see.” WAS THAT RHYS? In some, weird, way.

Which brings me to another question: In ACOMAF, Rhys tells her that he could see her when she was living at the cottage, long before she ever murdered Andras. HOW?! I understand their bond because of the tattoo be puts on her to signify their bargain, but HOW did he know? Just, HOW??

  • “There you are, I’ve been looking for you.”

When I first read this book last spring, I was like, who the eff is this asshole?! Now I’m like HE’S YOUR MATE, FEYRE, RUN INTO HIS ARMS AND NEVER LET GO. *clears throat*

  • “It took me a long while to realize that Rhysand, whether he knew it or not, had effectively kept me from shattering completely.”

YUP. You’ll see, Feyre.

  • “When you healed my arm… You didn’t need to bargain with me. You could have demanded every single week of the year.” My brows knit together as he turned, already half-consumed by the dark. “Every single week, and I would have said yes.” It wasn’t entirely a question, but I needed the answer.

A half smile appeared on his sensuous lips. “I know,” he said, and vanished.

Okay this part made me confused. Like, I feel like this is a moment where her previous assumptions and opinions on Rhys were shaken a bit. This also further alludes to one of the reasons why he helped her under The Mountain in the first place. One of them being that, although the mating bond didn’t click for him, yet. He knew.

  • When Amarantha is literally ripping Feyre apart and Rhysand screams “Feyre!’

I died. Not Tamlin. Not Lucien. Rhysand. Rhysand. Did. That.

  • Rhys and the mating bond

When I first read this, the part with Rhys and the mating bond literally flew over my head. Until I read other reader’s reviews and they were all asking “What was with Rhys in the end? Why did he stumble?” and I was like, “Wh- whaaaaaaa?!

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BUT NOW I KNOW EVERYTHING

I also realized that it didn’t click for Rhys until that moment because while they were talking, Feyre was mostly looking out at the mountain and then talking about her new fae body and looking at that. BUT,  when they finally gaze into one another’s eyes, intently, Rhys is like, IGOTTAGOBYE

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These GIFs are literally perfect considering I picture Brendan Urie as Rhysand so… *Coughs politely*


So that’s it for today. I’m gonna go read ACOMAF and die and think about Rhys…

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October & Halloween Reads! 


Happy October, everyone! I’m going to admit something. I used to hate Halloween. I know, it’s crazy, but it’s true. I mean don’t get me wrong, being a kid, dressing up and filling my pillowcase full with candy was always a highlight every year, but that’s about it. I hated anything scary. Most of it was due to a memory from one Halloween when I was a kid, that I couldn’t shake for some time. When I was 9, my sisters and I went to my aunt’s, who lives a town over, to go trick or treating with my cousins. They lived right next door to my grandparents, and every year we’d go and see my grandparents before we went out into the night in search of candy clad in various costumes. My grandfather would give my sisters and I each $20.00, candy, and a glow stick on a string to wear around our necks (so we wouldn’t get kidnapped because what better way to throw off a captor than a bright, shiny glow stick!?. Joking aside, my grandparents let us go out alone, just us cousins but wanted us to be safe all the same.

Once we had those things we were ready to traipse around the neighborhood and get as much candy that we could get our hands on. Everything was going fine that night. I got a decent amount of candy, even a bunch of change. We even found a house with a family outside grilling hot dogs and handing out sofa to trick or treaters table of hot dogs!  And then we came upon another house, about a block away. It was decorated and the lights were on. I seemed inviting; there was an bowl full of candy on the porch step, and next to it was a person, or maybe it was a scarecrow? I couldn’t tell. All I remember was watching my cousin, Jordan, walk towards the porch to grab some candy when the whirring of a chainsaw pierced the cool, night air and who I thought was a scarecrow, was actually the owner of the home. They  jumped up and began chasing trick or treaters down the sidewalk. I was mortified. I ran away. And ever since then, every house we went to I was terrified to grab any candy for fear that I’d be jump-scared out of my wits and chased down the driveway.

I hate being scared. I avoid haunted houses and haunted attractions. I don’t like scary movies. I do not like jumping out of my seat, close to wetting my pants due to a demon or ghost or what have you, popping out of the screen in front of me. I like creepy thrillers, but even then, there’s always a bang just a tad too loud that forces me to adjust myself in my seat to make it look like I wasn’t scared, I was just fixing my wedgie?

With that being said, I know it sounds like I’m a monster. But I do like Halloween. I like old, creepy movies. And as much as I like old, creepy movies, I like creepy books. Once October arrives, I scour Goodreads to find the book that will keep me up at night. I love scary books because yes, they may scare me, but they won’t make me jump or adjust myself in my seat.

I wanted to share the creepy stories I’ll be diving into this month. Some are scary, some are thrilling, and some are just full of monsters and things that will go bump in the night. I also started reading ‘Outlander’ to lift the mood a little. After I finish each I’ll post a mass review and share my thoughts!

The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

Through The Woods by Emily Carroll

This Savage Song  V.E Schwab

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by Leigh Bardugo and others

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Review: ‘Everything, Everything’ by Nicola Yoon 

 

I haven’t posted a review in a bit, but I’m back again! Just enjoying the summer and reading away! I’m 22 books away from hitting my 2016 Goodreads Challenge goal of 50 books for the year! I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve always been a big reader. The kind of person  who’s always got a book on their desk or bedside table. But compared to last year, I’ve read more this year alone than the past 3 years combined!

Now onto my review:

A couple of weeks ago I read ‘Everything, Everything’ by Nicola Yoon. I loved it! It was that kind of first love story that makes you sigh. I only hope one day I’ll be able to relate.

This story is about an eighteen year old girl named Madeline Wittier. Maddy for short. Maddy has an extremely rare disease, called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or (SCID). it’s a rare, genetic disorder that disturbs the function of B and T cells in the body, which puts victims extremely vulnerable to infectious diseases. Basically having this permits you to living in a sterile bubble.

Maddy doesn’t remember very much before her disease took over her life. Her father and older brother died in a car accident years before, leaving just Maddy, her overbearing, albeit, loving mother, a doctor, and her nurse, Carla. Maddy doesn’t know what it’s like to be outside, play sports, go to the movies, or have any friends outside in the real world. She desperately wants to be a normal teenager,  but instead she’s trapped by the fear brought upon by both her disease and her over-cautious mother.

Maddy takes classes online, communicating with her teachers through email or over Skype. One tutor is allowed to visit Maddy, but in order to do this, he needs to completely disinfect himself before setting foot in her heavily filtered house. One day, though, Maddy notices a moving van parked outside the house next door. Peering through the curtains of her room, Maddy sees a family consisting of a harried, timid mother, an overly dominant father, an angst-ridden teenage girl, and an older teenage boy who seems to be her own age. Maddy feels drawn to him. The only thing pulling her away from her clean, hypoallergenic curtains, is the moment they lock eyes.

After countless curious afternoons spent looking through her bedroom window for the boy next door, Maddy is smitten. Her nurse Carla calls her out on it, and while she pleads that Carla keep it from her mother, she doesn’t refrain from memorizing his schedule. Soon Madeline learns that his mom and sister call him Olly. His dad, she realizes, calls him Oliver.

One afternoon, shortly after Olly and his family are moved in, Maddy hears the doorbell ring. Maddy runs toward the door only to be held back from Carla. Her curiosity gets the best of her when she hears a boy and girl’s voices at the front door. She realizes it’s Olly. And he has a cake. Him mom baked it , but Maddy’s mother must refuse. Instead of giving the true reason behind her refusal, Olly’s sister calls Maddy’s mother out for her rudeness. Following the cake incident, Maddy retreats to her bedroom window, and sees Olly and his sister met by their father on their front lawn. Their father looks angry. The next thing she knows, Olly’s father takes the cake and throws it on the ground. Maddy watches as Olly ‘s father yells at him to clean up the broken plate, as the cake didn’t crumble. From this Madeline learns a bit more about Olly and his home life.

Soon Maddy finds herself communicating with Olly through their adjoining bedroom windows. From there they begin emailing one another after learning one another’s email addresses written across their windows.

From their smitten and coy emails, Maddy decides she wants to meet Olly once and for all. She proposes the idea for Olly to come over to Carla. After several “no ways”, Carla submits. Declaring to Maddy that love could be a good thing. They keep their plan between them and arrange for Olly to come over as long as he and Madeline do not touch and stay on opposite sides of the living room.

After several secret visits and emails, Maddy finds out that she likes Olly very much. And he really likes her.

One day when Olly comes over, they kiss. And when Maddy is left waiting for the worst to happen to her, she realizes that Olly touching her did not hurt her. It’s only when Maddy is woken in the middle of the night to Olly’s father drunkenly screaming at Olly his Mother out on their front lawn that Maddy discovers that her condition may not be all that she thought it was. Soon Maddy finds herself out of her bed, out of her house, and running through her front door with her mother at her heels when she finds that she’s breathing the outside air and she isn’t dying.

This moment is what brings Maddy to the decision to take a giant leap of faith and finally live the life she’s always wanted. To experience the normal, teenage moments she’s always wanted to, with Olly at her side. When Maddy and Olly decide to take an adventure together, she discovers that her disease and her mother won’t hold her back  much longer, not if she can help it.

This one was a solid 4/5 stars for me. TI enjoyed the format. The email messaging format of Olly and Maddy’s early conversations. Her doodles were cute and had me shaking my head and saying “Same!” in agreement. The end had me speechless. There are a lot of questions I had about the ending. I’ll discuss them below, because if you haven’t read this yet, I don’t want to spoil it for you, Hence the condensed review.

 

 


 

 

 

 

So when Maddy runs away to Hawaii with Olly and she tells him she bought pills online that will help her function outside her sterile living environment. But she’s lying. And then Maddy begins to realize that hey, she’s not dying! Then she passes out. But what she assumes the reason for her passing out is her condition, the doctor tells her that she’s never had the condition in the first place. That her mother was lying to her for all that time?! I was like, “WHAT THE WHAT?!” I couldn’t believe that this girl’s own mother, a doctor, by the way, would keep her daughter locked up in her house, fully convinced that she has this extremely rare disease. Basically knocking on death’s doorstep and prone to be taken to heaven at any time. How are you not taken to jail? How would Maddy forgive her mother for that?! I understand her mother was hurting from the deaths of her husband and Maddy’s brother, but, honestly, WHAT THE FUCK?! She needs help. And I don’t mean that in a condescending way. I truly mean it in an honest way. She needs help with her grieving. Maybe let’s not lie to your now, only child, that she has this rare disease in order to ensure her safety! Does she not understand how mentally damaging that would be for her daughter?

That’s really the only thing I couldn’t wrap my head around in this novel.  Other than that I thought it was sweet. A beautiful novel of first love and discovering who those who love you really are.

The Danish Girl

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I’m going to be honest, I originally picked another ebook to read after I finished ‘The Deal’. I started reading the ebook and after about two chapters in I wasn’t feeling it. Normally if a book isn’t grabbing my attention from the beginning I try and see it through to the end, but sometimes you just have to decide if you WANT to continue as a reader, or if you want to read something else because you just aren’t into it. And THAT’S OKAY. Sometimes certain books aren’t for us, but that doesn’t mean someone else won’t enjoy them or think they’re great. So in the end I went back to the drawing board (in my case, my TBR jar) and ended up picking ‘The Danish Girl’ instead. I’m super excited to read this. The movie was lovely and both Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander did a beautiful job in their roles. All which made me even the more excited to get into this one.