December 27, 2016

TTT #72: The Best of What I Read in 2016

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

As of today I have read 145 books this year. Out of those books I have picked my favorites across a variety of categories. I had way too much fun with this topic. I love making lists of my favorite books of the year! All of the books on my list deserve their title. They earned it. If you haven't read them yet, you really should.

The Audiobook (It's a Tie!)



The Graphic Novel



Fantasy (It's a Tie!)

 


New Adult



Debut Author



Author Still Going Strong (Another Tie)

 


Unexpected Favorite



The Entertainer



Mid-Series Captivator



Most Unique



All The Swoons



**The Best of the Best**



Did any of my favorites make your list? Tell me below!


11 comments
December 26, 2016

Short & Sweet Holiday Review: Miracle on 5th Avenue

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan (Nov. 2016)
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Adult Romance/Holiday
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: I bought an ebook copy of the book!
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York! Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she's given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn't expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner. Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife's death looming, he's isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn't appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

My Review

If you want to squeeze in one more holiday book this winter then I suggest you give Miracle on 5th Avenue a try.

Eva Jordan is a romantic who although is rather happy with the success of her up and coming business she runs with her friends, is actually struggling with the grief of her grandmother's passing. With the holidays approaching she tries to get into the festive spirit. There is also Lucas, a horror fiction author who is having a hard time believing in love after losing his wife three years before. These two are alike and yet completely different. Readers will enjoy watching them go from barely tolerable towards each other to falling in love.

Christmas is present in this novel, but that isn't all what it is all about. It centers on love, friendship, and family. One other big thing I enjoyed was the snowy NY setting. I was immersed in the setting while reading. I could close my eyes and just see the snowy wonderland.

Miracle on 5th Avenue will make you giggle, smile, tear up, and make you just want to smoosh the two main characters faces together. Yeah, I went there.

3 comments
December 19, 2016

Short & Sweet Holiday Review: A Christmas to Remember

A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale
Length: 318 pages
Genre: Adult/Holiday/Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: I bought an ebook copy.
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Everyone loves Christmas – don’t they? Carrie Blake loves her job as a nanny but, while her friends are settling down, all of Carrie’s spare time is spent with other people’s families. Though it breaks her heart, her New Year’s resolution is to embark on a new career and fix her love life. As Carrie starts her last job, she’s sure she’ll be going out on a high – the house is amazing , the kids are adorable, and she’s in charge of decorating the tree! The only problem could be her boss… single-dad Adam Fletcher might be both handsome and successful, but he’s always working. Doesn’t he realise he’s missing out on precious moments with his son and daughter? As Adam’s family arrive for Christmas including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realises that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. There’s still time for Carrie to make this the best Christmas ever… after all, Christmas is the time for miracles, isn’t it? Let the festivities begin!

My Review

I have been in the mood to read ALL the holiday romance books this December. I don't know why, but I have been craving them. So I just jumped right in. This was my second book of the season, and it was pretty good.

A Christmas to Remember has an interesting cast of characters and adorable children. It will give you warm feels and make you smile, which is exactly what I am looking for in my holiday books. Even though I liked Carrie the nanny, and the sexy single-dad Adam, I was really hoping for more interactions between the two! We spend so much of the story inside Carrie's head that we don't get nearly enough dialogue between the two main characters. This was a big bummer and the reason I gave the book three stars instead of four.

Although this book wasn't perfect for me, I am sure many will enjoy this holiday romance. A Christmas to Remember was sweet. If you are looking for a book full of Christmas feels, then this one is a good choice.


1 comments
December 17, 2016

Baby It's Cold Outside Read-a-Thon


I just came across this challenge and at the very last minute decided to give it a try. I know we are probably all a little busy at this time of year, but I have been in some weird reading funk and I am trying to kick it. I figured this is a great way to try and get me to actually sit down and read! Just visit Read. Sleep. Repeat. to sign-up yourself!

Read-A-Thon Goals

  • To finally FINISH The Night Circus (I have been reading this for weeks.)
  • Read one more holiday novel. I am thinking What Light or Miracle on 5th Avenue.
  • Read one of my ARCs. I am leaning towards The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett.
  • Participate in at least one challenge.
  • Participating in the Twitter Chat tonight.

My Progress

Day 1 - December 17
  • Currently Reading: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Day 2 - December 18
  • Currently Reading: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Day 3 - December 19
  • Currently Reading: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (STILL)
Day 4 - December 20
  • Currently Reading: The same freaking book.
Day 5 - December 21
  • Currently Reading: This is getting embarrassing. I will finish this book!
Day 6 - December 22
  • Currently Reading: I DID IT! I finished The Night Circus.
Day 7 - December 23
  • Currently Reading: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti
Day 8 - December 24
  • Currently Reading: Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan (I read this one in a day!)
TOTAL: I read two books and made it halfway through a third! I also did one challenge and participated in the Twitter chat. I think this read-a-thon was a success considering how busy I was.

3 comments
December 16, 2016

Library Loot #54

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

I haven't done a library loot post in ages. I really haven't been getting that many new books, until now. I have been having a weird reading slump going on. Hopefully I will get over that soon.



My Library Loot

1. It has come!!!!!

2. I just kept seeing so many positive reviews on this book that I had to get it.

3. This one sounded too interesting to ignore. (Also, that cover!)

4. I haven't read a book written in verse in forever.

Is there one you think I should read first? Let me know in the comments below!


6 comments
December 12, 2016

Short & Sweet Holiday Review: 12 Days of Christmas

12 Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber
Length: 304 pages
Genre: Adult/Holiday/Romance
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Friendly and bubbly, Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, but her standoffish neighbor, Cain Maddox, presents a particular challenge. No matter how hard she’s tried to be nice, Cain rudely rebuffs her at every turn, preferring to keep to himself. But when Julia catches Cain stealing her newspaper from the lobby of their apartment building, that’s the last straw. She’s going to break through Cain’s Scrooge-like exterior the only way she knows how: by killing him with kindness. To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas.

My Review

I wasn't a big fan of Debbie Macomber's holiday book last year, Dashing Through the Snow. From what I remember it was somewhat predictable and a little too cheesy for me. Well what about this year's release you ask? I adored it! I found 12 Days of Christmas to be sweet and funny. I was charmed by Cain as much as the main character Julia.

I loved the idea that Julia had to write a blog and get a lot of followers to get a social media job. Not only did I find this interesting, but it does make sense, it works. So when her very grumpy neighbor really pushes her buttons one morning her friend suggests that she kill him... with kindness. I loved it! Not only does the book send a great message about kindness, which I think we all need lately, the author managed to make a believable enough story and changing/complex characters over the span of  just 12 days. That takes some skill.

12 Days of Christmas is a great book for this holiday season. It's a quick read that you can easily sit down with in between your holiday parties, wrapping, shopping, and baking. It will be the perfect little escape.

2 comments
December 8, 2016

Mini Movie Reviews

This is going to be a new feature here on the blog! I love movies almost as much as I love books. (Almost, but not quite.) So I figured it was time I start sharing another passion of mine with you all. My husband and I get a lot of movies from the library and try to go to the theater as often as our wallets allow us. Here are some movies I have watched recently. See which ones made me smile and which ones bored me.

The Nice Guys


I am a huge Ryan Gosling fan. I think he is a wonderful actor, and is easy on the eyes. ;) Since I missed watching this movie in theaters I put it on hold at the library super early. The verdict? This movie was hilarious. Both main guys are nice and yet not so nice. The girl who plays Holland's (Gosling) daughter, Holly (Angourie Rice), was a real hoot and stole the show many times throughout the movie. This movie takes place in the 1970's and centers around the two main guys who are kind of private investigators and the death of a famous porn star. It was interesting.

Captain America: Civil War


Just another super hero movie? Not quite. The action/fighting scenes in this movie alone are enough of a reason to watch Civil War. Even though I understood both Cap and Iron Man's sides, I think I am still leaning towards being on Team Iron Man. The new Spider-Man was incredibly hilarious. The addition of Paul Rudd as Ant Man didn't hurt either. This was a very entertaining and intense movie. It had a good combo of funny and serious.

The Jungle Book


This movie was kind of intense. I liked the Disney cartoon The Jungle Book, but it wasn't my favorite growing up so I wasn't in a rush to watch this one. We did finally get it from the library and enjoyed it a lot! It was a darker movie than I remember. I thought the child that played Mowgli did a great job, and all the famous voices were fun, but sometimes it was a little weird with the talking animals. Mostly they looked okay, but a few times they reminded me of old scary rides with the animatronic animals. Overall, the movie was good, but maybe for older kids.


Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates


WTF?! I am not sure what I just watched, but I laughed A LOT. It was so weird. So very weird. That's all I got.

Ghostbusters


Eh. I loved Kristin Wig, Melisa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. Those four made me laugh A LOT, but the other Ghostbuster along with the main villain didn't work for me. I still love that they did a Ghostbusters reboot with women as the main characters, but I was not that impressed. I did still enjoy it.


Finding Dory


Baby Dory is the CUTEST!!! This movie made me cry. It was so sweet and funny. I loved it. It isn't quite as good as Finding Nemo of course. Then again, nothing is.

Doctor Strange


Was Doctor Strange good? Heck yes! Is Doctor Strange my new favorite Marvel movie? It very well may be. I freaking loved this movie. It was dark and funny, smart and entertaining, it was everything. Not to mention the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch is Doctor Strange. I should also note that the action was breathtaking. You still have time to get see it in theaters if you haven't yet!

6 comments
December 7, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #12

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Because... I Love this Author

Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Goodreads Summary: DOMINO: A girl with blue hair and a demon in her mind. CAIN: A stone giant on the brink of exploding. MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience. WILSON: The one who will destroy them all. When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind. Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

Because... Different Realities

Traveler by L.E. DeLano
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Goodreads Summary: Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles…Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… this Jessa is going to live.

Because... Standalone Fantasy

Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Goodreads Summary: Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne. Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life. Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself. As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

What are you waiting on?


18 comments
December 5, 2016

Mini Reviews: New Adult Reads

Last Will and Testament (#1) by Dahlia Adler
Goodreads


This was a more serious romance than light and fluffy, which one could probably guess from the title. Anyway, Lizzie wasn't getting the best grades in college but she was having fun, until her world crashes down around her. Her parents die in a tragic accident and she is left to take care of her two younger brothers. Last Will and Testament will take the reader on an emotional roller coaster. Lizzie must get her grades up to keep her scholarships so she turns to her overly serious TA for help. It doesn't hurt that he is also hot and nice to her brothers. This is a story full of heartbreak and romance. I think it is a great addition to the new adult genre.

Wallbanger (#1) by Alice Clayton
Goodreads


This book was pretty funny. I was a little hesitant to read this book because although I like steamy scenes in my books, I don't like them to cover every single page. I actually think this book made me laugh more than blush. It had a great mix of comedy and romance. When Caroline moves in she doesn't except her neighbor to make so much noise next door. She also doesn't expect him to be not only attractive and interesting, but a good friend. I would have liked some stronger supporting characters, but the two main characters were a delight to read about.


East of Redemption (#1) by Molly E. Lee
Goodreads


This book is a standalone novel. (Although I highly recommend that you read the first book in the series.) East of Redemption is an action packed romance novel. Easton is a treasure hunter who has his own survival reality show. Rain is a professional photographer, mostly of the dangerous animal variety. They were together as teenagers, but a horrible accident resulting in the death of Rain's father pushes them apart. Years later they reconnect on a hunt for the treasure Rain's father always tried to find and to help save Easton's show from being canceled. They never forgot about the other, and neither did their bodies. Survival, lust, love, a lot of close calls, and someone hot on their trail makes for one amazing new adult romance novel.


4 comments
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