A review of Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Excuse me while I stumble around in my brain for appropriate words right now. I’m speechless, but for all good reasons! Caraval is a book of adventure, romance, mystique and a little danger. But don’t believe everything you hear and see, for you don’t want to get too swept away in the game you might go crazy!

I read this book in 24 hours and if that doesn’t speak volumes then I’m not sure what does. Caraval is one of the most captivating, magical, thrilling books I have ever read and has quickly nudged it’s way into the top of my favorites list. I could feel my heart beat speed up with the tense and emotional parts, and my brain was all muddled with the twists and turns of the game. It was so much fun to keep reading and try to figure out if someone was Legend, or if Scarlett would get all the clues and save Tella. I wish I could have a chance to play the game of Caraval, but maybe I’ll feel differently after I read the 2nd book, Legendary. It sounds like Master Legend might have upped his game. 😉

If you’re looking for a wild ride, in a mysterious world then this is the book for you… no ticket needed! Just keep your arms and legs safely inside the ride and don’t stop reading! 🤓

Will you play or will you watch?

Oh my lord, I have been swept away by a book and I do not care to come back! I started reading Caraval by Stephanie Garber last night, and ever since I have been sucked in. You won’t hear me crying for help to get out of the rabbit hole I’ve just fallen into! This is the first of three books.

“A legendary competition. A mesmerizing romance. An unbreakable bond between two sisters. Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Stella, live with their powerful. And cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval–the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participated in the show–are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dream-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game at eover or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval… beware of getting swept too far away.”

Need I say more?? The alluring story of a secret yearly performance, that is invitation only, with a catch. Stephanie Garber has written words of magic with this dark world of Caraval, and the characters who must play or suffer the consequences. I will definitely be finishing this book tonight!! Stay tuned for a review to come soon, but while I finish it up I will be feasting on my delicious dinner that I just cooked! Check this out for an easy summertime meal! ☀️😊

Tonight’s meal is grilled chicken and Campari tomato with a merlot marinara over gluten free pea rotini pasta. Sprinkled mozzarella and parmesan, with a drizzle of balsamic. It was very quick and easy to make, if you need it to be dairy free too obviously don’t add the cheese (which is what I should have done). Would also be good as a cold meal, like pasta salad but without the mayo or marinara and maybe an Italian dressing/Greek dressing/or balsamic vinaigrette.

I am definitely looking forward to these leftovers for the week!! 😄😋

I’m going to go continue this Epic read, and my delicious meal. Happy Reading and Buon Appetitive!! 🤓

What day is it?

Do you ever wake up and just go through the motions of your daily routine and then have a dawning realization that you aren’t really aware of what day it is? Yeah, that’s me Today. Hellooooo Lauren, wake up and smell the coffee girlfriend! I went my entire day without really comprehending that it’s Wednesday. *facepalm* I swear I get so busy sometimes that I just know what I need to do and when I need to do it, but I am not aware of the day of the week. It’s times like those that I find I really need to stop and take a break, which usually means reading therapy. Due to how busy I’ve been lately and the fact that it was Mother’s Day weekend last weekend, I have no fun food pictures to share with you and I’m sorry for that. I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the seafood boil my brother cooked for Mother’s Day, it was quite something! Corn cobs, potato, onion, sausage, shrimp and crab legs!! We dumped it all in a pile on the dining room table and went to town. Yummmm!!!

I have also been busy reading books, but no surprise there! I just recently posted a review of an ARC of Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford, which was a fantastic read that I gave a 5 star rating to, so please feel free to check that out! I’ve also finished 3 other books prior to the ARC. That brings me up to 6 books read for May so far, I’d like to read at least another 6 books before month’s end.

  • Wayward (book 2 in the Wayward Pines series) by Blake Crouch – 5 stars
  • Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez – 4 stars
  • Dreamers by Yuyi Morales – 5 stars

Ever since I read Dark Matter by Blake Crouch in 2018 I had decided that I would continue reading his other books, and so this year I’ve been reading the Wayward Pines series he wrote. Luckily they are all on Kindle Unlimited so I’ve been enjoying those with the audio book narrations. The Wayward Pines series is a Scifi series and I don’t want to say much more than that because it’s too easy to let slip a spoiler. The first book, Pines, really threw me for a loop and hooked me on the rest of the series. I just have to know what happens, so I’m in it til the end!

Things We Lost in the Fire and Dreamers were two books I read to complete topics for the 2019 BookRiot Read Harder Challenge. I needed to read a Children’s or Middle Grade book that has won a diversity award since 2009, so I chose Dreamers by Yuyi Morales. The illustrations were so vibrant and imaginative that I found myself looking at the pages for a longer amount of time than it took to read the picture book. It was such a cute story about a young mother and her son who come to the US for a better life and find a love to read at their public library. Such an adorable picture book and it portrayed a great story for little developing minds. The other book completed the topic for a translated book written by and/or translated by a woman, which my book was written and translated by a woman. It was a bunch of creepy stories about characters in Argentina, and the stories almost always portrayed socio-economical diversity and struggles among the characters. Some of these stories sent chills down my spine, so of course I absolutely loved them!

 

I know that Reading Challenges are kind of intimidating, especially the typical challenge like the self-imposed Goodreads yearly challenge of “I’m going to read this many books this year”. Many people either miserably fail or blast that challenge out of the water. I always set a Goodreads yearly goal, but I never pressure myself to stick to it. If I read less than what my goal is Great!, or if I read more.. Great! LOL. What I find beneficial are the Reading Challenges that encourage you to read outside your comfort zone and expand your horizons. How do you really know that you don’t like a certain genre, trope, or topic if you’ve never tried it? I always thought I hated Non-Fiction, until I tried one for a Reading Challenge and found that I actually like Non-Fiction, especially books about Serial Killers. Do any of you participate in Reading Challenges? BookRiot has the Read Harder challenge, PopSugar does a yearly challenge… which one do you do? Or do you just read and not keep track? I’d love to know, so please leave a comment! 🙂

 

Well I’m off to go start another book for my local Book Club who follows the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge, this month we are discussing the Children’s book with a diversity award and a Non-Violent True Crime. I’m starting The Map Thief by Michael Blanding, the gripping story of an esteemed rare-map dealer who made millions stealing priceless maps. Drop a comment with what you’re currently reading, I’d love to know!!

Happy Reading!

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford- A Review

I received a ebook copy of Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford from NetGalley, and I was immediately drawn to it by the description and it’s cover.

It’s absolutely gorgeous and hello, there is the ocean and people have an entire village suspended over it! Amazing!!! I seriously love anything to do with the ocean, but even more so when there is folklore behind it (real or made up).

Description- from NetGalley

“For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen…and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

Everyone needs to read this book!!!! I couldn’t put it down!!!! I was even sneaking time on my phone on Mother’s Day just to keep reading it. 😳😂 I absolutely loved the magic of the village of Varenia and the magic and danger surrounding the Blood Coral. Not to mention who doesn’t love a cruel prince and a love triangle? Nor and Zadie definitely share an unbreakable twin bond and it was so heartwarming and heartbreaking to see how far they would go for each other. Tarin is definitely my newest book boyfriend, so hands off ladies!! He’s the younger half-brother of Ceren, the Prince and crown regent who is to marry Nor (disguised as Zadie). The character development was well done, and the world building is great! I want to know more about what is outside or surrounding Varenia and Ilara though, so maybe that will come with a sequel? Hope so!

I don’t feel that this story is quite finished based on the ending of the book, so I’ll be heartbroken if I find out that Mara isn’t planning on writing a sequel. I just didn’t feel there was enough of a resolution for it to be a standalone. However, this is definitely another ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read for me! I can’t believe how many 5 star reads I’ve had this year, but hey… I’m not complaining!! Keep ’em coming! 😃

Ok well I have to get moving and off to work soon, not that I’ll be functional after the book hangover this read has left me with. 😂 Happy Reading friends! 🤓

Tuesdays are for Tacos

TACO TUESDAYYY!!!! Except I’m not having tacos for dinner. I know, I know… why no tacos? I have pulled chicken to eat, and I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to pair it for dinner tonight, but at least I’ll eat. More importantly, what will I be reading!

Lately I haven’t really been reading as much as I normally do. I finished a book over the weekend, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare which is the third book in the Infernal Devices trilogy. It was amazing, definitely a five star read!! I’m not sure how Cassandra does it, but each of her books gets better and better. I’m really looking forward to continuing on with the Mortal Instruments series, but they’ll have to wait a month or so. My current reads are Wayward by Blake Crouch (2nd book in the Wayward Pines series), The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (for my local book club who follows the Read Harder BookRiot yearly challenge), Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez (also for my group following the Read Harder challenge), and The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (which is for my other local book club).

I’ve been a HUGE mood reader lately, which is why I have more than two books going at a time right now. It’s not really helping with my Book Club reads, but at the same time it’s helping reduce my gigantic TBR list. That list is probably 10 miles long! I might have a teeny tiny little book problem. It’s a good problem to have though. I do have some required reading for work, it’s rework for a Leadership Development class that I’m taking starting Thursday. Those will have to take priority!!

I did stop at my Library to pick up a book hold that came in, and to find some options for a Non-Violent True Crime Story. I’m excited for what I found, I like history and the options sound interesting. I figured if one was boring maybe the other would work. I’ll probably start The Map Thief by Michael Blanding first, and I’m also hoping to read Inspection by Josh Malerman this weekend.

Do you enjoy reading True Crime? Have any favorites, drop them in the comments. Who else is excited for Inspection? Well, my stomach is grumbling like crazy so that means it’s time to sign off and go eat and read. Happy Reading friends, until next time! 🤓

Blood and Other Matter

Hello again my friends! I have finally finished an ARC, Blood and Other Matter by Kaitlin Bevis, from NetGalley that I had been slowly reading. The book wasn’t slow, it was just me. 😂 I was attempting to finish the book last night but my body was so tired that I fell asleep, head crashed into Kindle and all!! That’s talent folks.

Blood moon rising…

Derrick Hernandez and Tess D’Ovidio have been best friends forever. There’s nothing they wouldn’t do for one another. But their childhood bond is put to the test when Tess shows up on Derrick’s porch covered in blood… 

Tess has no memory of what happened. She’d gone to a bush party with one of the football players. She remembers the bonfire…and then, nothing. Working backward, Tess and Derrick learn that she and seven other players were the only ones to make it back from the party alive. 

During the next few weeks, each of the survivors is plagued with nightmares that reveal fragments of memories from the horrific night. But when the young men start dying under mysterious circumstances, Derrick can’t figure out if Tess is next—or if she’s somehow responsible. All he knows is that he has to save his best friend—or die trying….”

– description from NetGalley

I gave this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️, as I felt it was a well done original storyline. I enjoyed the relationship between Tess and Derrick, they had such a deep history having been childhood friends but to see the romance develop was adorable. I felt the author introduced other characters at appropriate times, even though I couldn’t stand the football players. That’s sign of a good author though, when they can write a character so well that it gets to the point where you can’t stand them and want to reach into the pages and strangle them!

I really enjoyed that there was a side plot that followed the strained and tragic story of Tess’s home life with her terminal mother. I felt that getting snippets of that helped breakup the crazy events of Tess’s doomed night at the bonfire. Overall, there was action, folklore, a little romance and creepy demon smiles. What more can a girl ask for? Oh, but wait! Well…no I don’t want to spoil it for you… guess you’ll just have to read it for yourself! It officially released on April 17th so go now and grab yourself a copy!!!

Happy Reading! 🤓

I’m seriously mooning over Serious Moonlight

So I’m being corny, you all love it!! 😬 If you haven’t heard about this book then you need to go pick up a copy from your library and read it!!! Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett is a YA Romance, but it is sooo much more than a romance. Newly released earlier this month, this beautiful story will tug on your heartstrings and open your eyes to more sensitive topics like taking care of your health and mental health issues. FIVE STAR READ!!!!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.

In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers himself as guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner, where Birdie waits for the early-morning ferry after work.

Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer, never before seen in public, might secretly be meeting someone at the hotel.

To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that the most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.”

I am not normally a huge fan of the Romance genre, but this book totally swept me off my feet!!!! Not just about young love between Birdie and Daniel, but love between Birdie and her Grandfather and Aunt Mona. It touches of family, trust, mental health, and other health issues. You follow Birdie and Daniel on their grand adventure trying to solve the mystery of the ever elusive writer, and you solve so much more than that. Not wanting to spoil anything, all I can say is that everyone must read this book! READ THIS BOOK, for the love of god please everyone read this book! 😂😍🥰😄😬🤓🤩 Did I make myself clear? I love this book, it is amazing and you need to read it. Hahahahaha. Ok, that’s enough of that. Never in my life have I seen such character development, such raw emotion and such endearing characters! I just wanted to reach into the pages and hug Birdie so many times. I also would love to go solving mysteries with her, we could be real Nancy Drew characters!!!

I am incredibly sad that this book is over, my life will never be the same. *sniff, sniff* Can I have a box of tissues please? Man, it’s going to be hard to jump back in to one of my other books after that five star read. Let me know if Serious Moonlight is on your radar and what you think of it! Have you had any other books that left you feeling like this? What are they? 🙂 Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Reading!! 🤓

Reviewapalooza

Wow, I have 5 books to review. Where have I been? What have I been doing? Reading probably! I’ve also been to Book Club, Painting with a Twist, and oh yeah… Easter happened. LOL! I can’t believe how busy it’s been over the last week or so. Has everyone else been busy? Let me know what you’ve been up to, I’d love to hear about it. 🙂

The 5 books I’ve finished since April 7th are….

  • On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
  • Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
  • Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

 

A Review of my 3 star read, Start With Why by Simon Sinek.

Why do you do what you do? Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over? In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way—and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be lead, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.” – description from goodreads website (not the full description).

I am a big fan of leadership books, as I find them very inspirational and they fuel my desire to strive for better in not only my career, but my life. I loved the concept of this book, to look at the “Why” of certain behaviors or actions to produce the motivation behind it. I found it quite wordy though, almost as if each chapter was about the same thing but titled something different. Yes, this is a skill that you continue to build upon the foundation of it, but sometimes with these types of ideas or skills less is more. Maybe it was just me though, as I know a lot of people loved this book. For me it was just meh! I did the audio book version of it, as I couldn’t stay focused with the book itself. Don’t let this discourage you from reading this book though! I tend to rate self-help and career development books on a stricter level than fiction.

 

A Review of my 4 star read, The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell.

When newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge, what greets her is far from the life of wealth and privilege she was expecting . . .


When Elsie married handsome young heir Rupert Bainbridge, she believed she was destined for a life of luxury. But with her husband dead just weeks after their marriage, her new servants resentful, and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie has only her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. Inside her new home lies a locked door, beyond which is a painted wooden figure–a silent companion–that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself. The residents of The Bridge are terrified of the figure, but Elsie tries to shrug this off as simple superstition–that is, until she notices the figure’s eyes following her.


A Victorian ghost story that evokes a most unsettling kind of fear, this is a tale that creeps its way through the consciousness in ways you least expect–much like the silent companions themselves.” – description from goodreads website.

A true Gothic Horror story for sure! The Silent Companions had me on the edge of my seat, obsessing about what would happen next! Not a gory or extremely violent story, it was tastefully written to inspire that slow build of tension and spookiness that has you looking over your shoulder to make sure there are no silent companions haunting you. Laura Purcell had a way of writing the story that had me constantly second guessing myself if the events were really happening or just psychotic delusions of a poor mad woman. A definite read for all lovers of classic horror and haunted house stories! I will definitely be adding Laura Purcell to my list of must read authors!

 

Reviews for my 5 star reads

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.” -description from the goodreads website.

Wow, Angie did it again! Her 2nd book after her debut with The Hate U Give, and it did not disappoint. Bri was such an amazing character, a headstrong and passionate woman who wants to make it big time rapping to get her family out of the neighborhood and financial situation they are currently in. Her mom is a recovering drug addict, and her brother came back home after graduating college to work in a pizza shop to help pay the family bills. Living in Garden Heights, a small tie in to Star and The Hate U Give, you really get a feel for what it’s like for Bri and her family. The struggle and the desperate need to elevate her family above where they currently stand in life, but also the struggles of a teenager and the consequences of expressing yourself without filters on Social Media. This was an absolute AMAZING book, and probably my favorite of 2019, or at least Top 5!

 

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?”

OK, I have never laughed so hard in my life because of a book before. This witty, charming and hilarious story of two friends who reconnect years after graduating college and decide to set each other up on blind double dates is one of the funniest and heartwarming romances I have ever read. I really related to Hazel on so many levels. We are about the same age, and both are super crazy about animals, as well as being quirky to a fault where it almost scares people away but we aren’t ashamed of it. Hazel is my spirit person, even though she is fictional. I absolutely loved the friendship that blossomed between Josh and Hazel, as well as the result of it. If you are looking for a cute, quick read then this is definitely the right book for you!

 

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.”-description from the goodreads website.

I loved, loved, loved this book and read it in one sitting! For those of you who know me well, Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favorite Disney movie (with Alice in Wonderland as a close 2nd), so of course I HAD to read this B&B retelling!!! I really enjoyed that Harper was a character from modern day, and that she had a disability as it added a certain strength to her character. Rhen, a sure heartthrob, was your traditional tortured soul and a Prince. I fell totally in love with him. He’s mine ladies, you can’t have him!!! LOL! This story flowed so well and I couldn’t put it down. I actually made a sandwich while reading! No joke, I was more interested in the story that how I was making my lunch. The character development was really well done and the ending left me satisfied with the events of the book, but curious and wanting more. I might have cried when I found out I have to wait until JANUARY 2020 for the sequel. Ahhhh!!! So if you haven’t read this book then please immediately order yourself a copy, or get it from the library and enjoy!!!

 

What I am currently reading! 🙂

In order to stick with my beginning of the week schedule, you’ve seen what I read recently but I know you’re wondering what I am reading now. I currently have 3 books in progress now. The first is an audio book through my Kindle Unlimited subscription, and it is Pines by Blake Crouch (book #1 in the Wayward Pines series). It is a Sci-fi book about a Secret Service agent who is sent to Wayward Pines, Idaho in search of 2 agents from his field office who disappeared while on assignment there 10 days ago. Ethan ends up in a car accident and wakes up in the Hospital in Wayward Pines and his adventure goes south from there. He finds that the townspeople are very peculiar, and that something just isn’t right. I can’t seem to stop listening to this book, especially as the narrator does a great job!

My second book is an ARC called Blood and Other Matter by Kaitlin Bevis, which I received from NetGally. This book’s description is, “Derrick Hernandez and Tess D’Ovidio have been best friends forever. There’s nothing they wouldn’t do for one another. But their childhood bond is put to the test when Tess shows up on Derrick’s porch covered in blood…Tess has no memory of what happened. She’d gone to a bush party with one of the football players. She remembers the bonfire…and then, nothing. Working backward, Tess and Derrick learn that she and seven other players were the only ones to make it back from the party alive.During the next few weeks, each of the survivors is plagued with nightmares that reveal fragments of memories from the horrific night. But when the young men start dying under mysterious circumstances, Derrick can’t figure out if Tess is next—or if she’s somehow responsible. All he knows is that he has to save his best friend—or die trying…”. I’m not very far in this book, but so far I am intrigued. Hoping to have this finished by the weekend.

My third book I am currently reading is called The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. This is also a Sci-fi book set during China’s cultural revolution and is about how the government sends a communication to an Alien race and they then decide to try and take over China (or the world). So far it’s a lot of weird and interesting things and a lot of science talk about nanotechnology and physics theories. You definitely should be interested in aliens and science to enjoy this book. More to come once I’m farther through it.

 

If you’ve made it this far then I thank you very much for taking the time to read all of my reviews!! Yay, you made it! Hahahaha. Today is National Book Day, so don’t forget to take a little time and enjoy a good story! Happy Reading!!

 

 

What to eat Wednesday….a day late

Heyyyyy there! 😊 So I’m a day late getting this post up due to my body commandeering my consciousness last night. I was comfy on my couch watching Netflix, and next thing I know I’m waking up and it’s bed time! 😱😬 Yes, yes, you heard me correctly…. I was watching Netflix and not reading. *GASP* Even I take a little break from reading every once in a blue moon. I did manage to get a few hours of my audio book in at work. I’m listening to Start With Why by Simon Sinek. So far I’m enjoying it and am finding it very interesting and motivating.

Last night I had the hardest time deciding what to eat. I was running through the options in my head, a GF sandwich, breakfast for dinner, a kale salad, and then I remembered there was a new-ish Indian food restaurant near my office. Win!! I decided to swing by there on my way home. It is called Naan-Tastic and is set up kind of in the style of Chipotle or Moe’s, where you tell them what you want (wrap, bowl, or Naan Taco) and then hit the register at the end. The restaurant was very clean and inviting, music not too loud and the staff were all smiles and very personable! Nothing worse than a grumpy food service rep, but you won’t get that at Naan-Tastic!!!

So the big decision….. do I go GF wrap, bowl or Taco Naan….hmmm 🤔 Bowl, of course! I chose turmeric rice for my base, went with the lamb, and added chopped cucumbers, red onion, fresh diced tomato, fresh chopped cilantro, chickpeas and their Punjabi Mac (a vegan and GF Mac salad). For the sauce I went with the spicy vindaloo sauce. (9% of their menu items are gluten free, and they have great options for vegans)

Holy Moly!!! 🤤🤤🤤 That was some of the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten! Everything was very fresh and perfectly cooked and seasoned. The sauce had a great kick to it and the Punjabi Mac has great texture and flavor. I will definitely be eating here again, especially for the great low cost of $7.99 for a make your own bowl!!! (Also easy to eat if you’re reading!😂)

Two thumbs up for Naan-Tastic!!! So happy we have this great place to eat nearby. For anyone who is local, you must go eat here!!!! Ok, well I really should be starting my work day, so have a great day everyone and remember…. tomorrow is Friday! Happy Reading! 🤓

Monday blues? I think not!

It’s Monday and you know what that means!!! It’s time to talk about what I read last week and what I hope to read next! Last week was a pretty good reading week for me, I finished 3 books. 🥳

– On The Come Up by Angie Thomas ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wow, I read some fantastic books last week! The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell was a gothic horror novel. A truly amazing classic haunted house story with a creepy twist….. wooden companions. There was a great creep factor to this story, and the characters were perfect! This is a great scary story for people who don’t like to be really scared! I highly recommend and don’t want to say much because I don’t want to give it all away.

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas. Y’all she gone and done it again!!!! The Hate U Give, which was Angie’s debut novel, was a #1 bestseller and award winner as well as turned into a movie. I would be extremely surprised if On The Come Up does not follow in THUG’s footsteps!! Angie knows how to grab you right from the start, and man do you need to buckle your seatbelt because you’re about to go on a rollercoaster to the end of the book. I smiled, I cried, I got mad and sad and I devoured the book. You go girl! Angie you have big things coming and I can’t wait to see what you write next!!!!

Last, but definitely not least, the book that I have been dying to read for a while and received in my 1st Fairyloot book box….. A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and Brigid definitely made it her own. My mind is still reeling with the details of this story. The character development was strong, the story moved along so well and boy did I loathe the Enchantress!!! The sequel comes out January of 2020 and I don’t know how I will wait that long to see what happens in the Kingdom of Emberfall with what we’ve discovered. All I know is I hope Harper and Rhen get married and I am super excited to find out more about Grey!!!

So what’s next on the docket? Well, a few different genres!! I’ve got Adult Contemporary Romance, Sci-Fi/Alternate History, and YA Fantasy!!

– Josh + Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren (Adult Contemporary Romance)

– The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (Sci-fi/Alternate History)

– A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (YA Fantasy and another Beauty and the Beast retelling)

I like to shake up the genres that I’m reading so I don’t get overloaded from reading too much of one. I do mainly read Fantasy, but like to mix it up with Sci-fi and Horror mostly. It’s good to expand your horizons because you never know what you’ll end up liking.

Time for me to go stick my nose in a book! Happy Reading! 🤓🍻