Reading Challenge

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At the beginning of the year I gave birth to my third baby, so when it came time to make my 2017 Goodreads challenge goal, I aimed low. I only put 20 books down and I am already close to doubling that. When I was doing night feedings and putting him back to sleep I was able to read a lot of ebooks. Which I’m pretty impressed with and probably means I won’t get a lot of reading done next year lol So for the remainder of this year, I really want to challenge myself to something fun. So yesterday I went on my pinterest and found a bunch of book lists and I have narrowed it down to one that I think I can feasibly do.

Here is where you can click to see all the books with their synopsis. The books are also going to be listed below:

  1. I See You by Clare Mackintosh
  2. Ill Will by Dan Chaon
  3. The Girl Before by JP Delaney
  4. Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia
  5. The Secrets You Keep by Kate White
  6. A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
  7. Behind Her Eyes by Sara Pinborough
  8. Little Deaths by Emma Flint
  9. Into The Water by Paula Hawkins 
  10. The Child by Fiona Barton
  11. Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica
  12. Final Girls by Riley Sager
  13. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
  14. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
  15. A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapena

As you can see I have 14 books to read in a little less than 5 months, which I think is totally manageable. Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? Also, let me know how you are doing on your Goodreads challenge.

~Cassie

Buying Books

I thought I would share some of my favorite places that I buy books. It’s not in my budget to spend a lot of money on books so these are my 3 go to places.

Thrift Stores: This is a pretty common place for cheap books but I also love it because it’s always a surprise what they have. There are the rare times I don’t find anything though, which is always a bummer haha

Book Outlet: This is a very popular website on booktube but most of my friends and family had never heard about it.  They have amazing deals on books and they recently started doing free shipping on orders $35 and more.  I have never spent more then $5 on a book from them and there is always so many books I want to get that I have to restrain myself.  Click here to check it out

Bookbub:  This is the absolute best place to get ebooks. It is a daily round up of the best  deals based on the genres that you tell them you like.  Most of the books that I get from them are free but they can go up to $2.99.  The deals are mostly Amazon kindle deals but they do occasionally have options for other ebook readers. Click here to check it out

What are some of your favorite places to buy books?

~Cassie

Book review: Six Stories 

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The novel is constructed as a series of podcasts, in which an investigative journalist describes the circumstances around the death of a teenaged boy in an outward-bound centre, interviewing witnesses, suspects and people close to the incident. Their six accounts form the six stories of the title, creating a “chilling and compelling, page-turning thriller that also delves deep into notions of truth, perception and loyalty”.

Title: Six Stories

Author: Matt Wesolowski

Genre: Mystery

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication Date: March 30, 2017

Goodreads Rating4.1

My Rating: 4/5

This book was so great for so many reasons. The first being the whole premise and layout of the story. Twenty years ago, 6 friends were camping with a couple of adults when 1 of the kids, Tom, went missing. A year later, Harry, whose father owned the area the kids were staying on, was there with a couple of friends when they found Tom’s body in the marsh.

The story is told in two different ways. The first is through Harry and his narrative which constantly changes between what happened 20 years ago and what is happening in the present. The story is also told through a 6 episode podcast where the host, Scott King, interviews a key person who was present at the camp ground to tell the mystery of what happened to Tom all those years ago.

I really love they way the author told this story.  By using the format of the podcast it allowed the story to really be told in layers, which just built the anticipation up for the ending more by each “episode” we went through. It also felt so real, like I was really listening to the podcast. I think in the future I might even listen to the audiobook because I think it would be so fantastic to hear the story come to life that way.

The ending was also something that I didn’t see coming which is always such a plus with a mystery. For the sake of not spoiling it, all I with say is that I found it very creepy and part of me wishes that it went on longer.

Thanks for reading!

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Booktube-a-thon Wrap-Up

Yay for completing my first readathon 🎉 I’m impressed with how much I was able to read but the best part was reading as a community. The book community is so nice and encouraging which makes reading that much more enjoyable.  My reviews for the books are going to be shorter to keep this post from being ridiculously long.

STATS:

Books read: 5

Reading challenges: 5/7

Pages read: 1,253

booktubeathon-2017-prompts

REVIEWS:

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*Read a book with a person on the cover & read a book in one day

Title: If You Find Me

Author: Emily Murdoch

Genre: YA Fiction

Rating: 3/5

There are some things you can’t leave behind…

A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down. 

I really enjoyed the first half of this book. From the first chapter I was really rooting for these two characters and spent the rest of the story admiring how strong the main character, Carey, was.

There were two huge faults with this book though. The first being the random romance that appeared in the last two-thirds of the book.  Then something was explained and it didn’t feel that random and she refers to him as her best friend. I was like thank you for not rushing into something after everything you’ve been through. Then, the next line, she is gushing about her love for him and to be honest, I just skimmed through that paragraph because I hate when books do that. People can be best friends and have intimacy and understanding without immediately falling so in love with each other. This is my big problem with YA books but maybe for some you it’s not that big a deal haha.

The second fault this book had was the big secret that Carey had.  Once we got to the end it was pretty easy to guess what it was but my real problem with it is I still can’t figure out why it was such a big deal! I mean yeah, it’s a big deal, but in the grand scope of what was happening in that situation I don’t think it was this terrible thing she was making it out to be the whole book.  Even when she told someone her secret they basically told her it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Overall, I think this is a really great read and it definitely kept me enthralled enough to finish it in one day.

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*Read a hyped book

Title: Into The Water

Author: Paula Hawkins

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 4/5

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

This book wasn’t at all what I thought it was going to be.  Although, now I can’t even remember what I thought it was going to be lol My favorite thing about this book was the characters. I love multiple perspective books and this book sure had a lot of them! In fact, I marked this book down a point because it took me about 50 pages to get into the story due to the constantly changing narratives. Once I got a grasp on the plot and the story I was totally hooked. Another downside was that two of the character perspectives we got, maybe even three, were completely irrelevant to moving the plot forward and just took away from the story.

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*Read a book about a character different from you

Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Author: John Boyne

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Rating: 3/5

Berlin, 1942 : When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

This book. This book y’all. I still don’t know how I feel about this book. I already lowered the rating from a 4 to a 3. I’m thinking about maybe even giving it a 2. I honestly can’t get over how naive (if I’m being nice) or completely unrealistic (if I’m being honest) the main character was.  I have an 8 year old son and while he doesn’t understand big concepts like racism and we live in a world where the news shows us devastation on the daily, how did Bruno never realize what was really happening in the camp? He seriously, all the way up until the end, thought it was a village. Even though he saw people that were beyond thin and even saw soldiers shooting people he never got it??????? I think even my 5 year old would understand the basic premise that something was seriously wrong over there.

I understand why the author wrote Bruno like that, to give the reader a very clear look at the differences between the two boys, but I still feel like it would have made more sense to have Bruno understand that the camp was a bad place where bad things happened.  Even the ending could have still worked because Bruno was very loyal to his friends and he would have helped Shmuel to make up for previously letting him down.

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Title: Every You, Every Me

Author: David Levithan

Genre: YA contemporary

Rating: 3/5

In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he’s been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan’s starting to believe it’s Ariel that’s behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.

I don’t really have too much to say about this one. It was a good book but from the synopsis I was expecting more. It is kind of like a twisted coming-of-age story. I did like the pictures and they definitely add to the story. The ending was ok and a tad weird haha. The best part of this book was the author’s note where David Leviathan reveals that he wrote each part of the book when he would receive new picture(s) from the photographer, Jonathan Farmer. The book flows together really well and I never would have guessed he wrote it that way.

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*read a book outside (this one i kind of cheated because I read most of it in the car on the way home from the beach)

Title: The Wave

Author: Todd Strasser

Genre: YA fiction

Rating: 3/5

The setting of the book is Gordon High School in Spring 1969. The plot revolves around a history teacher Mr. Ben Ross, his high school students, and an experiment he conducts in an attempt to teach them about how it may have been living in Nazi Germany. Unsatisfied with his own inability to answer his students’ earnest questions of how and why, Mr. Ross initiates the experiment (The Wave) in hopes that it answers the question of why the Germans allowed Hitler and the Nazi’s rise to power, acting in a manner inconsistent with their own pre-existing moral values.

The reason I liked this book so much was because it is based on a true story in Palo Alto, CA which is near where I live. I do want to look up how much of this story is true though because the experiment only lasts 9 days in the book and that doesn’t seem like enough time for people to start acting so extreme.

I also liked how this gave yet another perspective into Nazi Germany from the German POV which, until this readathon, I have never read before.

 

Those are all the books I completed for booktube-a-thon. If you participated, how did you do? If you not, what was something you read last week?

Goodreads

July Book Haul Part 2 

*Also known as the Pretty Little Liars Haul. Also known as the post where you find out how crazy I am 😂

I bought every PLL book I didn’t previously own that Book Outlet had. Because they had a sale and there is free shipping over $35. Also, did I mention how disappointed I was in the show. I have put all my PLL energy into collecting and reading this series. I was the person who spend the days between shows reading all the theories on Reddit and trying to connect the dots myself. With the books I can’t really do that because I know some of the main spoiler things but it is fun to be back in the world of Rosewood again. 

I have read the first four books in Arc 1 and I am almost done with the fifth book. I put Unbelievable down to concentrate on the booktubeathon but I will be picking it up again on Monday. So far I’m liking the books more than the show because it is more dark and twisted. 

Have you ever read any of the books? Were you a fan of the show? If you were, how did you feel about the ending? 

*I thought the picture above would be more useful to understand how the books fit together rather than just a picture of all the books I own. Thank you google and the PLL wiki for the picture. 

Instagram

Friday Faves

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I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite things from my week. This will also be an easy way for you all to get a glimpse into my non bookish life.

  1. I started my blog this week! I’m loving this community and I already have a huge list of books I’ve learned about from fellow bloggers.
  2. My baby cut his fourth tooth haha #momlife
  3. I’m participating in my first readathon. I’ve quickly fallen behind where I need to be to complete all the booktubeathon reading challenges but for my first time I’m just happy to be participating lol
  4. It hasn’t happened yet but tomorrow we are having a beach day which is a favorite place for all 5 of us.
  5. Today my older boys and I went to see the Captain Underpants movie and while it was definitely not a movie that I liked, it was fun to see how much my boys enjoyed it.

What are some of your favorites from the week?

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July Book Haul Part One

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Some months I hardly buy any books.  Rare months I don’t buy any books.  And then there are those months where I buy all the books.  July was one of those months.  Four are thrift store finds, 1 is a preorder and 2 (one of them is not pictured) are from Amazon.

The show Pretty Little Liars recently ended and I was so disappointed that I have decided that I need to finally read the books. And then I found these two at the thrift store so I took it as a sign that I should start reading them asap.  I already had the first one on my iBooks because it was a free download awhile ago and I have found a couple of the other ones for cheap so I was excited when I found Wicked and Killer.

I picked up Hide And Seek because last month I found one of the books in this series at the Dollar Store. I have never watched the Lying Game show but it sounds intriguing and  they were both cheap so I figured why not.

Also at the thrift store I found A Little Life by Hanya Yangihara which I was probably the most excited about even though I don’t think I will be getting to this book anytime soon.

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware I had preordered because the synopsis gave me strong Pretty Little Liar vibes. I have been gifted her other two books, The Woman In Cabin 10 and A Dark Dark Wood, but I have never read them. I plan on reading this book next week after booktubeathon is over and maybe her other two shortly after that.

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I recently read The Shining by Stephen King so I ordered the sequel, Doctor Sleep used off of Amazon. The spine came pretty broken but since I only paid a few dollars for it I’m not too upset by it.  I plan on reading this in October.

Let me know if you have read any of these and what you thought of them. Part 2 of this haul will be coming in a couple of days.

Goodreads

 

Introduction

IMG_9097Hey Everyone!

My name is Cassie and as I’m sure you have guessed by now this is my blog dedicated to all things book related.  I’ve been reading as long as I can remember and I’m excited to share my deep love of books and reading with you all.  I have been with my husband for 10 years and we have 3 boys (8,5, and 6 months). I hope to occasionally share books that my boys are loving and what we are loving to read together.  I will also be posting hauls, reviews, wrap ups, tags, and whatever other book related goodness I can think of.

I can’t wait to get know more fellow book lover and bloggers so please introduce yourself in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂