Friday, June 24, 2016

Daisy's Mini-Review of A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Title/Author: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury USA Children's, May 3rd 2016
How I got this book: bought myself a nice shiny finished copy :)


I LOVE Sarah J. Maas' writing and OMG I NEEDED this book because ACOTAR was AMAZING and I just love Feyre and Rhys and everybody. So yeah. There was flailing when this finally arrived in my home.

And I have to say that this was even better than the first one. I loved that we explored more of the world Sarah J. Maas created and we get to know some characters better and meet some fun new ones and get so much more backstory! I LOVED it!

And YOU GUYS! SO MANY SWOONS! I really don't want to give anything away but there's just SO MUCH YES! I ship it so hard, I cannot even. Seriously.
Do you ever have that feeling that the book you're reading was written just for you? Cause that's how I felt reading ACOMAF.

I'm not sure how I'm going to survive that ending though OMG the wait will quite possibly kill me. Mind was blown several times and then some. If you're not already in on this action, you're going to want to hurry up and get on that. I'm not really a fan of fae novels, but this is everything. Go and read it.

My rating: 5+ stars

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far This Year

Today marks our SIX YEAR BLOGOVERSARY!!! That is six years of this blog and SIX YEARS of Top Ten Tuesday!! Have a cupcake on us today! Well, pretend its on us! Thanks for all the book talk and making our TBRs grow every week!

And now back to our regularly scheduled Top Ten Tuesday.....

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!
Today we are talking about our favorite 2016 releases thus far!

Daisy's Picks

1 -- Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima: the first book in a series that is set in my beloved Seven Realms both broke my heart with some things and reminded me why I love this world and the author so much. If you haven't before, you should definitely read the Seven Realms series and then this one. 

2 -- A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab: this might even have been more amazing than the first book in this series A Darker Shade of Magic. Read this all in one sitting during the readathon and it was AWESOME.

3 -- Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye: I didn't expect to, but I LOVED this book! I mean, I love Jane Eyre and I'll always be intrigued by something that's marketed as a span on the classic, but I was surprised by how much I adored it! I had so many feelings!
My Review

Lauren's Picks

4 -- Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton: I was lucky enough to receive this title to review from Netgalley and I was not disappointed. An easy 5 stars. And have you seen that cover? JUST LOOK AT IT.

5 -- The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner: So... I may have only just started reading this book, but its going on the list. Unless the world fold unto itself and we are in a different dimension before I finish this one, I know it will be a new favorite. (Jamie seconds this one)

6 -- Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: Now I loved the author's other novel, Between Shades of Gray, just as much as the rest of the world... but his book in particular was absolutely amazing. It is tragic and heartbreaking, but the writing was beautiful and would fill up your soul. And because historical fiction is the genre that was my first love, this book just made me fall in love again. (Jamie seconds this one)

7 -- The Passenger by Lisa Lutz: I read this over a month ago I think and I'm still thinking about it. I just don't see those kind of books anymore. The ones that really stick with you. I'm honestly thinking of giving it a re-read already. 

Jamie's Picks 

8.  Girl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes: If you love contemporary YA, this is a must read. Cutest romance! It made me happy and made me cry and I just loved it.  You can read my full review of Girl Against The Universe!

9.  Truthwitch by Susan Dennard: Okay technically I read this last year so I didn't read it this year but it's still one of my favorite 2016 releases!! I loved this start to a new fantasy series and cannot wait to reunite with these beloved characters in the second installment. 

10.  The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson: Another incredible contemporary YA book from one of my favorite authors! Morgan always delivers the perfect story and characters that I didn't know I needed in my life. Perfect read to get to this summer! Great romance, complex friendship dynamics and an amazing father/daughter story. Oh and DOOOOOGS. Also, little Easter eggs if you've read her other books!  

Tell us your fave 2016 releases so far this year!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Summer Reading Illusion

My sister and I at Cedar Point
Hey guys. I don't have a review for you today. Why? Because my summer reading has dropped to
nothing. It's funny, as a kid, summer would be all about books being read under trees outside, taking a break from the hot sun. But now at almost thirty, I find myself navigating away from the stationary. Sign me up for sand volleyball or an all day softball tournament (seriously my forehead is still peeling).

The only time in summer that I gravitate toward books is when I am on a beach. But alas! I live so far from beaches. And in Ohio, I am choosing the walks with friends, the cookouts, the game nights over the solitary reading that I used to do not that many summers ago.

So I was curious. Do you all share my pain? Or is summer a high reading time for you guys? 

PS. We won the softball tournament on Saturday, and are undefeated in my Monday night league (somehow). Volleyball we lost tonight 2 - 1 but I had a nice run of 5 or so points, and it was a close game each match. Couldn't ask for anything better :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Daisy's Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

1. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: OBVIOUSLY this is at the top of my list because holy wow, Six of Crows was AMAZING and I need this book in my life.

2. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas: I expect this will be on lots of list today and it's on mine as well, I LOVE this series and am very excited to see how it'll continue!

3. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling: so obviously this will be another one on lots of list probably. I really need to stay off everything so I won't come across spoilers..

4. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West: I will forever read Kasie West's books because she always gives me all the feels and her contemporaries never fail to make me smile and swoon.

5. The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson: I'm also sad because this is the end of this series but I need to know how it'll end!

6. How To Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo: this is not a book that I would have usually picked up based on the summary, but I ADORED How To Say I Love You Out Loud and I need to have more of Karole Cozzo's storytelling in my life.

7. The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: I'm both dreading the end of this series and really excited about it, can't wait for this one!

8. A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean: Sarah MacLean is one of my favourite historical romance authors and I'm always excited when she has a new book coming out!

9. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst: I'm not gonna lie, this is exciting both because I love a good fantasy plot, but also because it's a YA fantasy that has a romance brewing between two princesses and I don't come across those often. I really hope this awesome.

10. A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess: basically this sounds like an epic new fantasy series and I'm always looking for those!

So tell me, do we share any? And please do tell me what I should definitely at to my TBR as well, because shiny new releases are always welcome :)

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly link-up in the community where we provide a prompt and other lovers of listmaking join in on it with their own top ten list. Feel free to have less than 10 or more if you need to at times and put a spin on the topic if you need to! Just please link back to us if you are participating :)

To join, link up below with the URL to your blog POST (not your blog), your name and your email (which will remain hidden). Then bounce around the Linky!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New Library Card

Back in November, I moved in with my boyfriend.  This entailed moving an hour away, to a town that I had been going to all my life because my grandparents lived there.  I had long romanticized the little town and wanted so badly to move there and become a part of the daily life.  Couldn't explain why if I had to.  It's been the inspiration of a few stories that I've had running through my head, formulating themselves, for ages.  Basically, I love it here.

Ever since I started law school, I have truly been living the "broke" part of our title.  And, fortunately, since about the end of the semester, the "bookish" part has come back to me as well.  We don't have a real book store up here.  The closest one is a good hour away.  But that doesn't matter because I am broke.  :)

I decided a while ago that I wanted to get a library card.  I figured that 1. it would help me be more a part of the town and 2. it would be a cheap way for me to get access to new to me books.

Somewhere around high school, I figured that I really sucked at libraries because you have just two weeks to read the book and return it (they didn't have online renewal yet), so I just gave up on libraries as a viable option for me.  But, now that we've got online renewal, I can check out a book for quite a while and hopefully get to it in time, and my need is surpassing my former attitude.

I was still on the fence about it until last week at the pool.  One of the ladies there asked what I was reading, showed me what she was reading, and said she got it at the library on a whim.  Internally, I was like, "I'd like to get books on a whim and not risk getting burned!"  A couple of days later she described the book and it sounded amazing!  A quick look at my bank account made me realize that I couldn't buy my own copy even if we had a book store in town.  That really kind of settled it for me--I needed to get a library card asap.

Yesterday I had some time to kill before the pool opened, so I took the plunge.  I grabbed a utility bill that was in my name and headed downtown, on a mission.  As I drove, I couldn't help being pretty excited--I was getting a library card--I was becoming a real citizen here.  It all just felt big.  I'm sure someone, probably even several someones, reading this post will understand what I mean.

I filled out the form.

Then they handed me this:

Yay!  It wasn't quite the Harry Potter getting a wand moment, but it was maybe a little close since the AC kicked on and a slight breeze blew my hair back.

After getting the card, I looked around for the book.  My pool friend still had it checked out.  So I wandered around a little bit.  I almost picked up a huge annotated Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but it's sheer size kept me from wanting to take it to the pool (I definitely filed it away for later).  Randomly, I picked up and checked out Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut--started it at the pool, and so far so good.

I also put a hold on the book my pool friend has so as soon as she returns it, that sucker is mine!  At least for a week.

I'm even looking at the two week limit as a challenge as opposed to a restriction.

As much as libraries have stayed the same since I was a kid, they've also changed a lot!  For the past nine years, the only libraries I've been in have been on college campuses.  They have all of the latest technology and, in many ways, are more about creating a research-friendly environment as opposed to fulfilling a civic service.  This library had plenty of technology for the community, which is great, but they were definitely still book-centered.  And the summer reading program.  I wish there was one for grown-ups.

But my favorite thing is that now they'll send you texts when your books are due or when holds come in.  Awesome!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ten Reasons Jamie Loves The Online Book Community

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!
This week's topic: Ten Reasons I Love X -- could be a certain book, character, author, your indie bookstore, a fandom, a tv show, reading, a hobby, a genre. Honestly anything you want to gush about. 

6 years ago this month, these fabulous ladies and I started planning this blog and what we wanted to do with it. While our blog anniversary isn't until the end of the month when we actually debuted the blog, today I just want to spread some love and talk about why I love the online book community so much in honor of 6 years in this great community!

1. You will never run out of things to read -- seriously being around you people makes my TBR grow exponentially! It's kind of ridiculously how many books I've added because of this community over the past 6 years.

2. When you NEED to talk about a book or some bookish problem, there is ALWAYS someone available for you: The best thing about being friends with people online is that people are from ALLLL AROUND THE WORLD. So like when I finish a show that breaks my heart into a million pieces or a book that I just HAVE to rave about -- there is always someone there for me. Like that time I watched Dance Academy and got to THAT PART at 2am and thank the lord because so many of my friends across the pond were there for me!!

3. Along with that, having friends around the world pretty much means every time I travel I PROBABLY have a friend I can visit wherever I go:  It was so nice last month when my husband and I were in London because I got to meet up with some London bloggers I adore!  FRIENDLY FACES ALL OVER THE WORLD.
4. Everyone is so generous and wonderful -- I see the generosity of this community constantly -- sharing books, giving advice, authors taking time to chat with fans or give encouragement about writing, rallying together around people, raising money for important causes or for our friends in the community! It's such an amazing community.

5. It's so easy to meet friends or make really great connections because of the way books are so personal: What I mean is that I find the nature of talking about books a pretty personal thing because every reader brings their own life and experiences into it and I LOVE how this easily opens us up to connecting with people just by talking how we relate to something in a book or by gushing about our favorite characters or thinking critically through a book together.

6. Creativity abounds: I've been in this community for 6 years and I am ALWAYS so impressed by the creativity in this community.

7. We are made up of passionate readers: WHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD CAN YOU FIND MORE PASSIONATE PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO TALK IN ALL CAPS ABOUT BOOKS????? The bookish online community is unparalleled LETS BE REAL. I'm so proud of this community for being so passionate about reading and literacy and connecting people with books they love. I've seen that passion do many things for the publishing industry and for readers. I'm seriously so proud of what our passion has accomplished and how we champion books and authors we love and use that passion also for better representation and to fight some of the broken things in publishing. This community CARES SO MUCH about books and readers and authors and just publishing as a whole and pour soooo much time and energy into it.

8. There's so much to learn from it: I don't think I have ever learned so much from any other community I've been apart of. When I started this journey of blogging back in 2010 I wasn't aware of sooo many of the things the bookish online community has taught me. I thought feminism was stupid and in these years I learned what feminism really is and am proud to be a feminist. I didn't know much about sexism. I really didn't know about many of the racism issues that happen or the daily microaggressions I've now seen people I care about have to deal with. I didn't realize diverse representation was a problem. I really didn't know much about the LGBTQIA+ community. THERE WERE SO MANY THINGS I JUST DIDN'T KNOW. And it was humbling because I realize how many things I've said were just SO WRONG in my life because I JUST DIDN'T KNOW -- slurs and sexist thoughts and so many other things that I never knew were harmful which is something I would have never wanted to do. I'm happy to learn and do better. This community has taught me SO many things and I get to learn from such a diverse group of people.

9. I am able to get personalized book recommendations: I mean, I can't walk into many places and have someone be like JAMIE JAMIE JAMIE this book is for you. But the online book community doesn't hesitate to let me know if they think I would love a book because they KNOW me or what kinds of books I like. Or when I am looking for something super specific I can shout it out on my blog or Twitter and people rush in with very specific recs to my very specific reading needs. IN AN INSTANT.

10. Because y'all make me feel like I belong: seriously, this community has been a lifesaver for me in SO many ways over the past 6 years. It would take me forever to explain why. What I do want to say is that this community made me feel like I found my people and gave me the courage to BE the person I am rather than the person I was putting on. I embraced things I loved that I previously hid. I just really grew into my own because of this community -- because I felt like I was heard, understood and that I could be so ridiculously open in a way that I couldn't with a lot of people in my life. I was more myself HERE then I was IRL.  All of this really translated into my IRL life through the years and I finally felt like I knew who I was and I was happy with it.

SO...I love all you online book people whether you blog or vlog or take pictures of books or tweet or WHATEVER YOU DO. If we've connected over books....I HEART YOUR FACE.

Monday, June 6, 2016

I'm A Mess

This is a hard thing to admit to the internet. Especially an internet full of Pinterest perfect photos and clean, white spaces.

My name is Jamie and I'm a mess. 

Ever since I can remember I have been what I like to call organizationally challenged. You could also call it messy or the opposite of tidy or having a natural proclivity towards having things in disarray.

I don't know if it was revolting from my mom's EXTREME cleaning ways (honestly I do think she had some sort of OCD about cleaning because of her own childhood but that's a story for another day) but when left to my own devices I'm a mess. The only time in my life I can remember consistently keeping things tidy was because I lived at home and my mom MADE me (but lols to how clever I got about hiding my mess to give the appearance of clean). My sister and I had to clean for HOURS (like literally most of the day) every Saturday, our rooms and bathroom had to be picked up every day and all sorts of other various cleaning things happened. True story, I was once grounded because I left a piece of paper on the floor of my room -- and it wasn't even a full piece of paper it was that crap on the end of your paper when you pull it out of a notebook.

So maybe when I'm left to my own devices I'm just not inclined to be tidy because I'm rebelling against years of strict cleaning or maybe I'm just down right messy to my core.

Read: MESSY, not dirty. Big difference.

Ever since I was younger and especially now as an adult I have always come up with so many plans of attack to Be Neater and Keep It Clean. I'm armed with my sharpies to write cleaning schedules. I read all sorts of listicles from the internet and magazines to help me Become More Organized and Keep the Clutter Away. I'm all jazzed up to create Systems That Work. I'm Tossing and Recycling and Minimizing My Stuff. I'm Marie Kondo-ing the shit outta my life.

And everything, no matter how much gusto is propelling me forward, I fail. The clutter piles up. The systems last two days. The disorganization comes back full force. The energy to keep it up flees. And the mess is back and I feel like a failure -- like I'm never going to have this neat space I dream of.

And the thing is I REALLY DO WANT THAT in my heart of hearts. I don't want the perfect perfectness I see online but I want a space that I'm not like "OH SHIT OMG I NEED TWO DAYS TO CLEAN UP SO NO YOU CAN'T JUST DROP OVER TODAY."

I really do feel less stressed out and even happier when my place is neat and organized. I just don't know how to make it stick in a way that doesn't involve me hiring someone to come clean my place or like cleanse my brain or hypnotize me to make me less messy or like 50 bajillion hours a day of cleaning.

I've tried Marie Kondo.
I've tried books that help with organizing all aspects of your life.
I've tried every Pinterest list, every blog list, every trendy method.
I've tried schedules.
I've tried it all and I can't make it stick.
It just always gets out of control.

It's like my brain just doesn't speak organization or something. Or maybe I just haven't found the RIGHT thing in my search. Maybe there is something out there for the messy at heart? Or maybe I just choose not to prioritize it even though I WANT it to be a certain way?

All I know is that I am trying to #adult and keep a semi tidy home and I feel like I'm failing so hard.

I would LOOOOOVE your best tips or resources or books that maybe would help me. Please tell me how you keep your space neat and organized! Or come commiserate with me if you struggle! I NEED SOMETHING TO STICK.
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