Books

Show Us Your Books- What I Read In October

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

Happy Show Us Your Books Day with Steph and Jana! Life has definitely been a whirlwind around these parts with the addition of our little girls, but I couldn’t miss the chance to talk about books today! Last month was definitely a good reading month for me, which is a good thing considering I haven’t been able to read much at all since the girls arrived. Hopefully that will change in the weeks to come so that I actually have something to talk about next month, but we’ll have to wait and see! Anyways, let’s get on with the book reviews!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare ★★★★★ 5 stars

This was the last installment in the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, and I thought that it did a great job of wrapping everything up. The only thing that I didn’t really love was actually the epilogue. Usually that’s one of my favorite parts of books, but I hated the love triangle part of this series, and I thought that the epilogue was kind of a cop out to make everybody happy. It was really cool though to see how everything tied together from the Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices as well though.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J.K. Rowling ★★★★ 4 stars

It seems like everybody and their mom had negative opinions about the Harry Potter screenplay, so when I started to read this book I definitely went into it with really low expectations. Maybe that’s the reason why I ended up liking it. It definitely wasn’t an original Harry Potter book, but I really enjoyed the storyline and how you still got to see what the other characters were up to like Ron and Hermione. Now the screenplay definitely didn’t have all of the details that we’ve all grown to love about the Harry Potter series, but when you take it for what it is, I think that it’s a pretty good sequel. Just remember to go into it with an open mind and I think that you’ll enjoy it.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books

All The Ugly And Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood ★★★★ 4 stars

I wrote a pretty detailed review of this book here for the Beyond Words Book Club last month. This book was really tough for me to review. It definitely kept me entertained and flipping the pages, but there were a few things that definitely bothered me about this book. The two main characters are quite a few years apart and they meet when Wavy is 8 and Kellen is in his early 20’s and they fall in love and develop a relationship, when she’s like 13 years old. While I definitely did care for the main characters and thought that they really did love each other and care for each other, it was hard to see past the age difference, especially since Wavy was SO young. Although, you could definitely make an argument that by the age of 13 she’d lived through way more than most people live through their entire lives. Anyways, it was a story that tugs at your heart strings and really makes you think twice about what relationships and love can look like.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books

Twelve Hours’ Sleep By Twelve Weeks Old by Suzy Giordano ★★★★ 4 stars

I have to admit I didn’t do a whole lot of book reading about babies and pregnancy and birth while I was pregnant. I mainly stuck to the What To Expect When You’re Expecting, a few apps, and a lot of blog reading. But one book that a lot of people recommended to me, especially for getting sleep with multiples was this Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old. The book was really short and I was able to read it one afternoon, and the best part is that included a lot of really good ideas. Obviously we can’t try them out right now, but I’m hoping to try them out within the next month or two.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson ★★★★★ 5 stars

I had originally selected The Horse Dancer as my last book in Erin’s Challenge this time around, but I just couldn’t get into it. The Butterfly Garden had been sitting on my Kindle for forever and after hearing so many people rave about how good it was, I decided to switch this one out for the “animal on the cover” category. I’m so glad that I decided to make the change because it was so good and probably my favorite book of the month!

The Butterfly Garden tells the story of young women who are kidnapped and turned into butterflies for The Gardener. Even though they are cared for by the garden, they know that they aren’t safe for long and subjected to repeated rapes. I’m a huge fan of shows about serial killers, so this was right up my alley, plus it had me on the edge of my seat a lot. I thought that it was really interesting how the author told the story and flipped between the present time and Maya’s story of her time in the Garden. It helped to keep my interest up because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next during both sides of the story!

Overall this was a really good reading month for me. I read a lot of books that I really liked and I was able to finish up Erin’s Book Challenge as well! After not finishing up last challenge, I was determined to finish up this one, and I’m so glad that I did. Even better that it wasn’t on the last day of the challenge either! Hopefully I’ll have some books to linkup with next month, but no promises as we seem to be watching a lot of TV lately in between taking care of the girls! But one can hope, right!

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The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books

My Erin’s Book Challenge 7.0 Choices:

My Erin’s Book Challenge 7.0 Results:

5 points: Freebie: Read a book that is at least 200 pages
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (352 pages, 5 stars).
10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “B”
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris (351 pages, 4 stars).
10 points: Read a book that has a (mostly) yellow cover
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber (336 pages, 3 stars).
15 points: Read a book that has a picture of an animal on the cover (submitted by Mattie)
The Horse Whisper by Jojo Moyes (518 pages) Changed to The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchnson (288 pages, 5 stars)
20 points: Read a book that was published in 2017 (submitted by Olya)
The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond (432 pages, 4 stars).
20 points: Read a book with a compass or cardinal direction in the title (submitted by Mary)
One Half From The East by Nadia Hashimi (272 pages, 4 stars).
25 points: The ALA’s “Banned Books Week” occurs while our challenge is happening. Read a book from this list of the most commonly banned books in America: https://en.wikipedia.org/…/List_of_mo…… (submitted by Christina)
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child- Parts One And Two by JK Rowling (343 pages, 4 stars).
30 points: Read a fictional book about mental illness (submitted by Jamie)
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica (352 pages, 3 stars).
30 points: Read a book with a non-human main character; i.e. animals, elves, gods, robots, merpeople, etc. (submitted by Bev)
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (567 pages. 5 stars).
35 points: Read a book a Disney movie was based on OR a book based on a Disney movie
Heartless by Marissa Meyer (453 pages, 4 stars).

PREVIOUS POINTS: 130
TOTAL POINTS: 200

Beyond Words: All The Ugly and Wonderful Things

The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words A Blogger's Book Club

I swear the days just keep on flying by faster and faster, and I can’t believe that it’s already the last Friday in October, which means that it’s almost time for Halloween! We really don’t have anything planned this year for Halloween other than a doctor’s appointment and handing out candy to trick or treaters, but I’m kind of OK with that. I’m just hoping that means that I can finally get Chris to watch Hocus Pocus with me! October can’t pass without that, and October also can’t pass without me linking up for the Beyond Words: A Blogger’s Book Club with  Carolann and Christy! This month we read All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood.

The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words- All The Ugly And Wonderful Things

Young Wavy is definitely a strange child. which is very apparent when she shows up at her Aunt’s house after her mom and dad are both sent to prison for dealing Meth and possession of Meth. Wavy doesn’t speak and she doesn’t eat, well at least not in front of anyone, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t take car of herself, which is exactly what she does when her mom is released from prison with her newborn brother. A couple of years later, not too long after starting to live with her mom again, one of the guys that helps with her dad’s Meth business crashes in their front yard. After he recovers, Kellen and Wavy form a special bond and she opens up to him in ways that she hasn’t been able to with anybody else. Over the years that special relationship develops into more than a friendship, but not everybody can understand the love that Kellen and Wavy have for each other.

Oh my goodness where to even start with this book! I guess that I should first start with Wavy. With Wavy’s upbringing I’m seriously so surprised that she was able to even function at the level that she did. Her mom was a clean freak that literally washed her mouth out with soap and bleach when she would d something that she deemed as “dirty” and then her father was a Meth dealer that constantly cheated on and abused her mother right in front of her. It literally just breaks my heart to think about everything that this girl has been through, and she’s not even a real person. But it’s also so sad to think about all the kids that do go through similar things on a daily basis.

I really did love Kellen and Wavy’s relationship, at least how it started out. He was kind of like the big teddy bear and best friend that she could turn to when things started to get rough. He also protected her and looked after her. She could have ridden the bus to school, but he drove her on his motorcycle so she didn’t have to deal with the other kids bullying her. He also brought her groceries so she could cook for her and her brother because her mother was too addicted to actually provide for her children.

What I didn’t like was how things progressed very quickly. At the age of 13 or 14 Wavy started to put moves on Kellen and he wasn’t able to resist. They started having a physical relationship and even though I knew that he hadn’t really thought about her in that way before I couldn’t get over how creepy it made me feel. I don’t have an issue with a big age difference between people who are involved romantically, but Wavy was just too young. I think that the author wrote about the character of Wavy and everything that she had been through so that you could see that she was probably way older than what she was, but it still really creeped me out!

Even though I didn’t care for how young Wavy was when she and Kellen started becoming romantically involved, I still really enjoyed this book. It made me uncomfortable in some ways, but I thought that the way the author had written the book was a really interesting way to introduce you to the characters and tell their story. She sometimes used very minor characters points of view to explain a part of a story without giving you insight into what the main characters were thinking. I don’t think that it could work all the time, but it really worked in this instance.

So bottom line is while this book made me really uncomfortable at times, I still really enjoyed it and couldn’t stop reading it. While I didn’t agree with how young Wavy was when her and Kellen started having a more physical and romantic relationship, the author created the characters and their relationships in such a way that you didn’t really mind too much. I think that’s because she created characters that were going against the odds so much that you just wanted them to be happy. I gave this a 4/5 stars and definitely recommend it to everyone if you haven’t read it by now. Be sure to linkup with us next month when we read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng!

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Beyond Words- All The Ugly And Wonderful Things- While this book definitely made me feel uncomfortable, it definitely was a great read!

Show Us Your Books- What I Read In September

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

Seriously how in the world is it already time for the Show Us Your Books linkup with Steph and Jana already, and it’s the third anniversary of this awesome linkup for book lovers! Thanks again for continuing to host every month, I know that we all love it so much! The month of September really flew by and I didn’t get as much reading done as I would have liked to, but I did get a lot of books read for Erin’s Challenge, and I think that I’ll be able to finish it up this month! So let’s get on with the book reviews!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In September

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★ 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

After hearing about TJR for the past year, I finally understand what all of the hype is about! She manages to write a beautiful story that engages the reader and keeps them wanting to find out what happens next. I seriously don’t know what took me so long to read one of her books!

Emma started dating Jesse when they were in high school and after college they got married. They were so happy and perfect for each other so when Jesse disappears after a helicopter crash Emma is devastated and heartbroken and doesn’t know how to put her life back together. She moves home and slowly, and slowly but surely things start coming together, including meeting and becoming engaged to another man. So when Jesse shows up alive and well, Emma is torn between the two men that she loves, her true loves.

I’ve read my fair share of Nicholas Sparks books and while I do enjoy them, they can definitely be a little hokey if you know what I mean. This is so not true with One True Loves. TJR does a great job of making the characters and their decisions relatable and also very real as well. I’ll definitely be picking up more of her books in the future!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In September

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond ★ 4 stars

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

As somebody that is married, one thing that you always hope for when you take that step and decide to get married is that your marriage will last forever. When Jake and Alice decide to get married, that is their exact hope as well. So when they receive an unexpected wedding gift that gives them the opportunity to join a special group called The Pact that guarantees their marriage will last forever, they jump at the opportunity. Little do they know that The Pact and its members are not what they seem.

I stayed up late several nights reading this book and literally couldn’t put it down. It took a while to figure out what The Pact was all about, but I think that was part of the appeal of the book. The only thing that sucked about this book was that it kind of ended a little vaguely, and I would have liked a more solid ending, but it didn’t stop the book from being good. If you’re looking for a good thriller with a little bit of a different premise, definitely make sure to pick up The Marriage Pact!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In September

Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber ★ 3 stars

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Jo has had a pretty tough life. Her father was murdered at a young age, afterwards her mother ran off to join a cult, and her sister turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with it all. Despite all of that she’s managed to create a pretty good life for herself in NYC, until a brand new podcast starts to reexamine her father’s murder and Jo begins to question everything she believes to be true.

The premise of this book sounded really good and it was definitely a little more thrilling than other thrillers that I’ve read recently, but it just wasn’t my favorite book that I’ve read recently. I felt like it jumped around a bit between the past and the present which was sometimes hard to follow. I also normally like that in books, but it just didn’t work for this one. What I did like though was reading the excerpts from the podcast which was pretty interesting. I’d consider it more like a 3.5/5 stars.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In September

One Half From The East by Nadia Hashimi ★ 4 stars

I read my first book by Nadia Hashimi about a year ago called The Pearl That Broke Its Shell. It told the story of a young Rahima that became a bacha posh (a custom where a boy becomes a girl in Afghanistan in order to help out their family). It was one of the most moving books that I’ve read in a while and it is a book that has stayed with me as well. It was such beautiful writing and storytelling and it made you very thankful to be a woman in the western world.

When I saw that Nadia Hashimi had a new YA book out that was on the same subject I knew that I had to read it. Sometimes it’s hard for YA books to approach difficult subjects, but I thought that Nadia did a great job. I was also very pleasantly surprised when I started reading this book and recognized names and characters and storylines from The Pearl That Broke It’s Shell.

One Half From The East tells the story of another bacha posh that becomes a boy to help her father come back to them after a tragic bombing in Kabul. Obyad meets Rahim (The Pearl That Broke Its Shell) and they quickly become fast friends and vow to never be girls again. What follows is another beautiful story of how life in Afghanistan is harder for women but the strength of the girls and women that live over there. If you’re a fan of The Pearl That Broke It’s Shell or The Kite Runner, definitely pick this one up!

So while I didn’t get a ton of reading done this month, I thought that I read quite a lot of books that I really enjoyed and would highly recommend, which I feel like is better than last month where I had a lot of books that I didn’t really love.

Have you read any good books lately? Have you had a chance to pick up a TJR book yet?

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Show Us Your Books- What I Read In September reviews of One True Loves, The Marriage Pact, Are You Sleeping, and One Half From The East.

My Erin’s Book Challenge 7.0 Choices:

My Erin’s Book Challenge 7.0 Results:

5 points: Freebie: Read a book that is at least 200 pages
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (352 pages, 5 stars).
10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “B”
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris (351 pages, 4 stars).
10 points: Read a book that has a (mostly) yellow cover
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber (336 pages, 3 stars).
20 points: Read a book that was published in 2017 (submitted by Olya)
The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond (432 pages, 4 stars).
20 points: Read a book with a compass or cardinal direction in the title (submitted by Mary)
One Half From The East by Nadia Hashimi (272 pages, 4 stars).
30 points: Read a fictional book about mental illness (submitted by Jamie)
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica (352 pages, 3 stars).
35 points: Read a book a Disney movie was based on OR a book based on a Disney movie
Heartless by Marissa Meyer (453 pages, 4 stars).

PREVIOUS POINTS: 75
TOTAL POINTS: 130

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