Where Have I Been??

Hi everyone! I just want to take some time to apologize for disappearing and let everyone know that I have not abandoned the blog and I do plan on returning full-force!

So the latter half of the year has been pretty crazy in terms of my personal and professional life. I moved to a new a state, found a new job in something I’ve never done before, ended a long-term relationship, started a new relationship and basically for the first time feel like I’m really trying to do the whole adulting thing.

So the move was a much bigger life-changer than I expected. I wasn’t really crazy about moving I like being close to family and there was a certain level of comfort I had with everything. But my ex was eager to get out on our own and I can’t lie I really did love the idea of not having to live in a basement. So we took the plunge and found a place to rent. I was having a lot more trouble than I expected on the job front but we had moved to a rather touristy place so I tried my hand at getting a hotel job. Lo and behold I now found myself working at the front desk of a Marriott. The hours are crazy (someone does have to be at the front desk around the clock) and it’s a totally different atmosphere but I’m enjoying it and figure you can never go wrong learning new skills, right?

The relationship stuff I’ll just gloss over but basically we broke up I decided to stay and he moved back home. I couldn’t afford the place so I moved closer to the job where I can still barely afford it hahaha.

Overall 2016 has just been a crazy unexpected year. I haven’t read nearly as much as I normally do but as we get closer to 2017 one of my goals for the year is to get back to being me. I’m going to be updating my reading challenge page and really just focus on getting back into this great blogging world.

What are your reading goals for the new year? Any suggestions for a book to get me back into reading?

 

Thank you everyone!

XOXO,

Mary

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post and, if you want to, add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s posts (typically put up midnight EST on Tuesday) so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
This week’s theme is Top 10 Books Favorite Releases of 2016. This is an awesome topic which will include some books I’ve finished reading and others that I’m currently (or hopefully soon will be) reading.
1. A Study in Charlotte 
A Study in Charlotte
2. In The Hope of Memories 
In Hope of Memories
3. The Siren
The Siren
4. The Curse of the Bruel Coven
The Curse of the Bruel Coven
5. The Glass Sword
Glass Sword
6. Everland
Everland
7. Replica 
Replica
8. My Lady Jane
My Lady Jane.jpg
9. A Torch Against the Night 
A Torch Against the Night
10. Salt to the Sea
Salt to the Sea
What are you favorite reads of the year? Anything you’re still looking forward to?
XOXO,
Mary

Top 5 Wednesday

 Top 5 Wednesday

This weekly book meme officiated in November 2013 and is still going stong! Every week there is a topic and your list will be based off this topic. For further information check out the Goodreads Page here.

June 15th: Favorite Literary Fathers/Father Figures
In celebration of Father’s Day this month for most countries, talk about your favorite dads!
Arthur Weasley
I don’t know about you guys but I always dreamed about having a dad like Arthur; funny, brave and overall embarrassing lol
Atticus Finch
I’m just going to ignore the events that unfold in Go Set a Watchman and focus on the brave and righteous Atticus
Mr. Earnshaw
This guy is barely in Wuthering Heights but his impact pretty much sets the whole story in motion. He is a good guy who wanted to do the right thing and adopts poor Heathcliff despite his skin color and most of the family’s dislike of the child. He dies way too soon and I would love to know how things would have been different had he lived (maybe a happy ending for Cathy and Heathcliff?).
Shalom Singer
America’s father always wanted the best for America and her siblings. He just genuinely seems like a good guy who wants his family to be happy.
And I can’t think of a fifth one….yikes. If anyone has suggestions I’m sure I’m forgetting some awesome dads but my brain feels like mush after a late night at work.
XOXO,
Mary

The Liebster Award

Omg I can’t believe I’ve been nominated for an award it’s so exciting and sweet and wonderful! I was nominated by the wonderful Lisa over @ Nefarious Reader. She’s new to the blogging world but you would definitely not know that she writes like a seasoned pro so go check her out!

The Rules

★ Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.
★ Answer the 11 questions that the blog gives you.
★ Give 11 random facts about yourself.
★ Nominate 5-11 blogs that you think are deserving of the award that have less than 200 followers.
★ Let the blogs know you have nominated them.
★ Give them 11 questions to answer.

The Questions

  1. Why did you start this book blog? I really enjoy reading and since it can be rather a solitary task I was looking for a hobby where I can continue my love of reading but still meet new people. This blog has helped me not only find new and great books to read but has also introduced me to a lot of wonderful people and has helped me feel part of a community.
  2. What’s your next read? I am a mood reader so I tend to start a bunch of different novels and then just stick with whatever catches my interest in the moment. If I had to guess I would say I’m most likely to finish The Bruel Coven while also really diving into Replica
  3. Who’s your favourite book girlfriend? Hmmm I’ve gotta go with my girl Ginny. Even though we don’t get to see her too much in the girlfriend role she was also supportive and brave making her the perfect match to Harry. Plus she always continued to be her own person despite her crush and eventual relationship with Harry.
  4. Which bookish place would you like to go? That’s a toss up between Hogwarts and Neverland. I love the idea of being a witch and learning magic but I also love the thought of never having to grow up hahaha but I would miss my family a lot so Hogwarts would ultimately be the best fit for me.
  5. Weirdest character in a book? Is it bad that I am totally blanking on this one? Honestly, no one is coming to mind at that moment.
  6. How many books do you own? On my physical shelf I’ve got maybe 50 which isn’t too bad at all. I try to donate when I pick up something new so basically whatever is on my shelf is something I really really love. On my tablet I would say probably around 30 also not too bad considering it can hold a lot more. Most of my tablet books are ARCs though so they get deleted once the book comes out.
  7. What is the prettiest book you own? (+ picture maybe) It’s a toss-up between a few different leather bound bargain titles from Barnes and Noble but I’m gonna go with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Alice's Adventures.jpg
  8. How do you know what to read next? Like I said before I’m a mood reader so I don’t really know what to read next when I finish something. Typically I start a few different books pick one that really speaks to me read it through and start the process over again. Sometimes when I finish one book of a particular genre I find myself wanting to read a completely different genre so that makes the pickings a little easier.
  9. What makes you hate a book? I tend to be pretty character driven so usually my DNF pile is composed of books with characters that were way too flat. I need to feel a pull toward at least one main character in order to have a book work for me. Of course setting also plays a big part especially in fantasy books I need to be sold on the setting.
  10. What makes you love a book? Characters that I can’t get out of my head make for great books. Also an engaging plot but that’s more secondary for me as when I start a book I want to be invested in the characters.
  11. What is the coolest title in a book you have read recently? In the Hope of Memories. This title was really clever because it was about a girl named Hope who had died and her friends went on a scavenger hunt to honor her memory and to keep Hope alive both literally and figuratively).

11 Facts:

  1. I can play the flute, saxophone and the xylophone
  2. I originally planned to study Music Education at college but then switched to English Literature
  3. I am left-handed
  4. I have an obsession with stuffed animals. If it’s cute fluffy and fun colored I must have it
  5. I want to live in Storybrook (yes I mean the town from Once Upon a Time lol)
  6. My favorite place to vacation is Disney World (I haven’t been there since high school but I’m definitely taking my son there soon)
  7. My favorite non-animated film is The Princess Bride (I’ve never read the book though shame on me)
  8. I am super paranoid about being late I have to be at appointments I least a half hour before schedule
  9. I’m currently obsessed with American Authors
  10. If I could be a character from any book I would want to be Mare from Red Queen (what can I say I love Maven and Cal lol)
  11. My favorite Disney Princess is Rapunzel she’s sweet, talented and a dreamer

Nominees and Questions

I am going to nominate everyone who hasn’t already done this. I’m not sure how many followers everyone has but I will call out a few specific people:

Monique @That Wild Soul

Katie @Kate’s Jumbled Thoughts

As for the questions:

  1. Coke or Pepsi
  2. What fantasy world would you want to live in?
  3. Least favorite book character?
  4. Ideal vacation spot?
  5. One book you recommend to everyone?
  6. Most memorable book character?
  7. Most over-hyped book you’ve read?
  8. Why did you start blogging?
  9. What book got you hooked on reading?
  10. Favorite movie?
  11. Character you want to trade places with?

Thank you again for the nomination!!!

XOXO,
Mary

 

Most Likely To…Book Tag

So the aim of this game is write down 18 character names on pieces of paper, and choose three out at a time. Then with each round, there will be three options, and you sort them into who would be “most likely to” do each thing.

Round One:

1. Get Arrested

2. Cry in a Movie

3. Have Kids First

The Characters:

Charlotte Holmes (A Study in Charlotte) has been arrested so she fits perfectly into that category . Augustus Waters (The Fault in Our Stars) would cry in a movie I can totally see that he’s so over-the-top I can’t help but picture him getting worked up over a movie. Peet Mellark (The Hunger Games) would have kids first since he already has two.

Round Two:

1. Become a Multi-Millionaire

2. Write a Best-Selling Book

3. Donate All Their Money to Charity

The Characters:

Elias (An Ember in the Ashes) would donate all his money to charity he’s just that kind of guy. Maven Calore (The Red Queen) would be a multi-millionaire although I won’t comment on the methods he uses to get there. Edmund Pevensie (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) would definitely write a book about all of his adventures in Narnia.

Round Three:

1. Join a Cult

2. Beat Donald Trump in a Presedential election

3. Be a Closet Nerd

The Characters:

Poppy (Wink, Poppy, Midnight) would join a cult, actually she would probably be running the cult. Ron Weasley (Harry Potter) would be Trump in an election although we would probably all vote for him just to see Hermione as the first lady. Aiden (Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between) the lacrosse player is most definitely a closet nerd.

Round Four:

1. Have the Most Piercings

2. Get a Stalker

3. Open an Orphanage

The Characters:

Mare Barrow (The Red Queen) would have the most piercings out of this group. Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson) I can totally see him picking up some stalkers along the way thankfully he has Annabeth to fight them off. Lucy Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia) the youngest Pevensie has a heart of gold and I can totally see her opening an orphanage.

Round Five:

1. Became an Actress

2. Join a Gang

3. Open a Bakery

The Characters:

Kahlen (The Siren) would totally open a bakery with Akinli just because it’s something she’s never been able to do. Alice (Alice in Wonderland) this girl would definitely definitely join a gang before realizing how crazy it is and  backing out. America Singer (The Selection) would be an awesome actress I think.

Round Six:

1. Go Christmas Caroling

2. Have a Goth Phase

3. Murder Someone

The Characters:

Aurora Rose (Once Upon a Dream) would go through a Goth phase she missed out on so much of her teen years that it would only make sense for her to rebel in this way. Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter) I think he has the most potential of these three to murder someone but I don’t know if he would. Audrey (Finding Audrey) sweet Audrey and her crazy family would totally go caroling.

If you haven’t done this already consider yourself tagged. I had a lot of fun with this and was laughing out loud while looking at the 3 characters and trying to figure out which category best fit them.

XOXO,
Mary

Book Review:

In Hope of Memories
In the Hope of Memories
By Olivia Rivers
E-Book March 2016
Available Here

Hope is dying.

Hope Jackson has lived her short life to the fullest, but her four closest friends are dangling on the brink of disaster. Right before dying of a rare heart condition, Hope sets up a scavenger hunt across New York City using her graffiti art. The directions she leaves her friends are simple: Solve the clues hidden in her art, and they’ll solve the problems haunting their lives.

Hope is dead.

Two days after her heart fails, Hope’s friends are thrown together:

Aiden, her best friend, whose plans to attend college have been scattered by his OCD.
Kali, her foster sister, whose last ties to sanity are as razor-thin as her anorexic waistline.
Erik, her high school crush, whose success as an athlete is based on a lie with no end in sight.
And Sam, her online pen-pal, whose perfect life exploded into chaos in the aftermath of a school bombing.

Together, the four teens take to the streets of New York to complete Hope’s scavenger hunt and fulfill her dying wishes. But in order to unravel the clues hidden in Hope’s graffiti, her friends will need to confront their personal demons head on.

Hope is within reach.

The Good:

-OK first we have to talk about the cover. I love the colors and the multi-surface effect. The picture within the picture is awesome and honestly the cover alone had my attention so I was definitely going to read it regardless of the subject.
-I love the characters all of them (ok there was 1 that I found sort of problematic but we’ll get to that later). Aiden was sweet and always had good intentions even if he came off as robotic at times, Erik had that awesome bad boy vibe even though he was all soft and squishy inside, Kali was the tough girl who was really really broken, and Sam was the friend Hope had never met in person but they still had a strong bond. All in all there 4 unique voices that made this story truly exceptional.
-The scavenger hunt. I love books with the scavenger hunts and I don’t know why but it makes the perfect summer read for me.
-The ending was sweet and not so over the top happy that it worked for me and made sense for the characters.
-There was no romance well for the most part. There was a romance between Erik and Hope but since she was dead there wasn’t any over the top insta-love.
-The author mastered a plot and character driven plot perfectly. We got to see a ton of growth from all the characters and the plot was never bogged down.
-There were actually parents in the book!! And they were good for parents for the most part which is a nice change from the usual YA book so kudos for that.
-There was a lot of tough subject matters (eating disorders, mental health, grief, sexuality issues) and all were handled with grace and executed extremely well.

The Bad:

I said there was one character I had a hard time connecting with and that would be Hope. To me she seemed more of a symbol than a character. I didn’t find her as fleshed out as I had hoped for considering she’s the thread that brings these 4 together. She was a little too perfect and with 4 other characters who are so amazingly un-perfect she ended up falling flat for me.
-The clues are all done in Hope’s graffiti art and it would have been amazing to see some of it come to life on the pages.

The Rating:
5 Stars

This book was amazing. I laughed, I cried, I shook my head in frustration (sometimes it was all within one chapter). This book executed multiple POV’s flawlessly you were never confused with who was narrating and all of their stories played perfectly off one another. The book ended on a hopeful yet realistic note and for me that’s the mark of a great contemporary read. I’ve never read anything by this author but I definitely implore you to pick this book up ASAP you will not regret it.

(I received this book for free in exchange for a review from Netgalley).

So, yes I am totally a day behind and I’m not reviewing the book I intended to review (way to already be breaking my goals hahaha). Alas, I am a mood reader and I couldn’t get this book off my mind once I received it so I had to read it and I’m so happy I did. What are you reading this week? I’m not sure what I’m in the mood for right now so I’m going to start a couple different books and see what grabs me. 

XOXO,
Mary

Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by GingerReadsLainey,  and is now hosted byThoughtsOnTomes. To find out more/Join, check out the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads group here.

June 8th: Favorite Character Names
-Fairly self-explanatory. Names you like for whatever reason!

Ginevra “Ginny” Weasley
Ginny is my favorite character in the Potter series she’s a total badass and a great friend. Plus I’ve always wanted to be a red head hahaha. I love the nickname Ginny it’s definitely on my list of possible girl names should I have a daughter in the future.

Ginny Weasley

Charlotte Holmes
Charlotte is such a classy name and Charlotte despite her flaws is a pretty classy I think. Charlotte is a strong force to be reckoned with and I admire her for always standing by her convictions and for relying on her brains.

A Study in Charlotte

Alice 
Oh Alice how I love you. She’s curious, playful, and imaginative and I just love her to pieces. Plus whenever I take any of those what is your Disney name I always get Alice.

Alice in Wonderland

Primrose Everdeen
Prim is a beautiful name for a strong and beautiful character. She was independent and strong in a way that complimented Katniss and she could always bring out a softer side to our at time jaded main character.

Primrose.jpg

Cadence Sinclair
Cadence has been a favorite name of mine for years so I was super excited to find a book with Cadence as a MC. Her name evokes power, money, and is just overall alluring.

We Were Liars

As you can see I have pretty girly classic taste in names lol. What are your favorite character names?

XOXO,
Mary

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post and, if you want to, add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s posts (typically put up midnight EST on Tuesday) so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
This week’s theme is Top 10 Reasons I Love X. I love and hate this theme at the same time there are so many things I can talk about how do I choose just one? I’ve decided to go off the book realm and choose….DISNEY
1.  Disney World is my favorite place in the world
Disney World.gif
2. My goal is to be a Disney Princess when  I grow up 
Rapunzel.gif
3. I can watch it with my 3 year old and enjoy the hidden adult humor 
Toy Story.jpg
4. The music is awesome and addictive and makes me happy
Ariel
 
5. It introduces people to classic literature fairy tales, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland even Greek mythology
Alice.jpeg
6. Everyone is so attractive even when they’re just waking up lol
Anna Frozen.gif
7. When I’m sad I know I can turn on a Disney movie for an instant pick-me-up
Beauty and the Beast.gif
8.  PIXAR
Inside Out.gif
9. The sequels are so good I mean the Toy Story movies are perfection
Toy Stiry 2.gif 
10. Walt Disney followed his dreams
Walt Disney.gif
For me Disney is timeless and wonderful and I have never associated Disney with anything but happy memories. The movies are amazing and unique with a wonderful set of memorable characters. I admire Walt for taking nothing and turning it into a lifestyle. I love that just like books my love of Disney has helped to introduce me to cool new people.
What was your Top 10 list this week?
XOXO,
Mary

Book Review: A Study in Charlotte

A Study in Charlotte.jpg
A Study in Charlotte
Brittany Cavallaro
Hardcover March 2016
Available Here

The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

The Good:

-I love love love the cover. It’s such a unique mix of colors and it’s quirky and eye-catching it’s what made me pick it up in the first place
-Unlike a lot of the readers’ I adore Charlotte she’s sassy, smart and doesn’t change for anyone. Plus there were parts where we did get to see her vulnerability and it felt organic and interesting.
-It was a true straight up mystery not so much the thriller I-lost-my-memory type mystery just a classic Sherlock or Agatha Christie styled mystery and I really really enjoyed that (not that I don’t enjoy the unreliable narrator twist-ending style book).
-The relationship between Jamie and Charlotte was interesting and fun to watch grow. I really like when he complained about her always taking the love seat so she bought him a fold out beach chair it was just really funny.
-The way Moriarty fits into the plot was fun
-The writing was smooth and sharp and definitely keeps the reader interested.

The Bad:

-Jamie was a little annoying at times. I liked the relationship between him and Charlotte (even the potential romance) but he was a little whiny with his mooning over her. I could have done with a little less of his questioning feelings.
-The rape could have been expanded on a bit more but since we don’t get to hear Charlotte’s voice (only in the epilogue) we don’t get to delve into as much as I would have liked

Rating:
4 Stars

This was such a fun and engaging read. I loved reading about a female Holmes and seeing the two leads as teens was a lot of fun. I’m super excited to read more about Charlotte and Jamie I even kind of wish there were going to be more than three books in the series. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a fun and engaging mystery novel.

What do you guys think about a Holmes and Watson romance? 

XOXO,
Mary

Blog Goals

I am most definitely a goal-oriented person and it’s much easier to hold myself accountable if I write my goals down so that’s exactly what I’m going to do and then hopefully between writing them down and having you guys now them I’ll be able to accomplish them.

1. Maintain a Blogging Schedule
Consistency is key and I think I’ll be able to better achieve my other goals if I establish a schedule. The one I’m testing out this week is as follows:

Sunday:  Sunday Post
Monday:  Review
Tuesday:  Top 10 Tuesday
Wednesday:  Top 5 Wednesday
Thursday:  Review
Friday:  Book-ish Post/Discussion
Saturday:  Style Saturday

2.  Utilize GoodReads
I need to use the shelves more and stay more up-to-date with posting my reviews there. I also want to join a group but it seems a bit overwhelming with all the choices. If anyone is part of one they really like please let me know so I can check it out.

Find me Here

3.  Create Blog Branding
I should be starting a full-time job in a couple weeks (fingers crossed) s my plan is to buy my blog and create more custom branding. I’m lucky to have a friend who does graphic design so I’m going to meet with her and create some logos and such. I also want to go through and settle on a layout for all my reviews.

4.  Bloglovin’
I have no idea how to use this to generate followers but I’m determined. So if anyone has tips on that I would be eternally grateful.

5.  Twitter and Instagram
Take the time to set up both of these accounts and again utilize it for more promotion and to help gain followers and find new blogging friends.

6.  Take Notes
While reading I want to spend more time jotting things down like quotes and discussion points to make the posts more interesting and generate talk.

7.  Find More Blogs
Always looking for more friends and blogs outside the literary world so feel free to leave me some links to your favorite blogs.

8.  Add Something Beyond Reviews and Memes
I’m not sure if this will be in the form of discussion posts or maybe reading challenges I haven’t quite figured it out but I’m open to suggestions.

9.  Utilize a Planner
It goes hand-in-hand with my goal-oriented personality and that would be a planner. I have a small one that I haven’t been using so I decided to set it up for my blog. I’m using the calendar to track my posts, I have a note section set up to jot down key things from the books I’m reading, a list of my most current and pressing TBR, and I ordered a tracker so that I can keep track of my social media followers

10.  Be A More Open-Minded Reader
I love my teen/young adult reads but I tend to get stuck in the world of fantasy/adventure and I feel like I miss out on a lot of great authors so I’m aiming to read more contemporary/romance/mystery.

So there you have it my goals for half-way through the year. Is anyone else examining their blogging goals at this point?

XOXO,
Mary