Saturday, February 9, 2019

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Lately I've been binge-watching Netflix and Hulu shows instead of reading all of the glorious books on my shelf that I've been wanting to read forever. And I've noticed that the more I do it, the less interested in reading I become! Ahhh! Sabotage! πŸ˜–

So without further ado, here are some of the shows that have been distracting me from my bookshelf and causing my reader heart angst, while also entertaining me in the best way. 

This is my most recent binge and I've got to say: first of all, I adore Natasha Lyonne. I've loved her since her American Pie days (Yes, I'm old) and everything she's ever in, is better for it. For instance, Orange is the New Black will always be one of my fave shows, and Natasha is fantastic in it.

Russian Doll is like an updated Groundhog Day, but better and definitely rated R. The show uses music fantastically. The song she hears every time she dies and comes back, 'Gotta Get Up' by Harry Nilsson, pulls you into her experience perfectly. Also, her friend saying, "Sweet birthday baby!" over and over again will be stuck in my head FOREVER.

I'm a huge fan, even though the last episode did leave me wanting a little more. I suppose though, that the best shows do. There are 8 episodes that are roughly 30 minutes long each. I recommend it highly! πŸ™Œ

Listen, first of all, I swear I'm not a Bundy fangirl, however I do watch a lot of true crime documentaries. I'm also a psych major, and with the movie coming out and all the controversy about it in general, I found myself curious. Most of this happened before I was born, so I didn't know much about him, so this Netflix series was educational and creepy. He was a truly disturbing person.

If you like true crime, you'll like this. It's just 4 episodes, each one about an hour long. It has a lot of info about how exactly he was able to get away with what he did for so long. It was truly a different era with technology and he was smart enough to find ways out of many situations, even escaping several times. It's chilling to see how much horror he inflicted and I'm glad to know he is no longer on this earth.

Okay, so The Resident is on Hulu, not Netflix, but I've had it on my watch list for awhile now. This show is a lot like most shows that are medical in nature, but I really love a lot of the actors. Matt Czruchy from Gilmore Girls, Emily VanCamp from Revenge, and Shaunette Renee Wilson from Black Panther; to name a few. 

This one is easy to get caught up in, with a great cast and interesting story lines. It focuses more on problematic issues in the medical field, as well as corrupt and dangerous people in power. To be honest, it's not anything terribly new, or groundbreaking, but I did enjoy it and will likely continue to watch as long as it airs. There are 28 episodes, at about 43 minute each to stream now if you need a new thing while you wait for your other favorite shows to return.

I watched this one after my sister (and fellow true crime fan), Samantha, recommended it. Mindhunter is about the early stages of serial-killer profiling. Two FBI agents interviewing and compiling data on notorious killers, so that they can better understand what kind of damaged psyche it takes for a person to commit violent murders and predict what suspects will do next. It's based on a true crime book, which I have not read, called Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit.

The cast is really incredible and it was fascinating to go back in time a bit and see a portrayal of life before psychology was taken seriously, or considered useful by investigators. There are 10 episodes that run about 50 minutes each and a second season is coming!

I watched this one a few months back after hearing so much about it and I'm so glad I did. You guys, this show is incredible. One of the best things I've ever watched. I tell people about it all the time and I'm constantly peer pressuring people to give it a try, even if they don't like scary things. I'm honestly already excited to watch it again because I'm still geeking out about it. πŸ˜

So, why should you watch it if scary isn't your typical thing? THIS FAMILY. You will love them and worry about them and be absolutely invested in their lives. The story flashes back and forth to when they lived at the house as children, to their lives in the present. Each person in the family experiences the house differently and the way each handles what they went through is absolutely dynamic and gripping.

Also, YES it is scary, at times, but also most of the time it's not. It's about these people; these unnervingly beautiful people (seriously.. every single one of them is super and you will be hooked from the first of its 10, hour-long episodes.

Have you seen any of these? Did you like them? Dislike them?

Also, please recommend your faves in the comments below!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Like December, January was ultimately a month for re-reading. Work kicked my butt and I honestly didn't have much time to physically read, so I've been re-listening to some old favorites. I did check out a few new books, and though they were pretty great for the most part, there were a few duds in there. I really do need to start trusting my gut more. If I can't get into a book the first time I pick it up, chances are, it's not going to be a great read the next time I pick it up either. 😩

And without further ado, here's what I've been reading lately...

(More on why I've gone to this format here in lieu of traditional reviews for each.)

Y O U N G   A D U L T

The Wicked King* - DEAD. I'm so dead after this book. But I did write a spoilery thing with Sabrina about it, if you wanna check it out. πŸ˜„ 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Dragon's Bait - I just happened to be scrolling through GR or Twitter and saw someone mention this book, and I couldn't believe I hadn't read it before. It sounded awesome! And it pretty much was. Basically, this girl is called a witch because the townspeople are awful and so she becomes food for a dragon who's been terrorizing them. Except that her brazenness makes the dragon curious and they become allies in revenge. I would not call them friends and there is definitely no romance to speak of, but that's not even the point because despite all of this, they develop a bond based on nothing more than an intense loneliness and it is sad but lovely...if not a bit horrifying at times. Definitely recommend. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Slayer* - I don't know that this was exactly what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it. A reluctant slayer who blames Buffy for the world torn asunder by the rift between Slayers and Watchers. Family secrets. Fight scenes. Forbidden romance. And a demon named Doug. This book had it all. And yet, all I wanted while I was reading it was to binge Buffy again. 😩 🌟🌟🌟

*ARC received from publisher for review purposes. This does not affect my review in any way.


Crazy Rich Asians - This novel was about what I expected. Extravagant and opulent, with insane family antics and expectations, and rife with food, fashion, and customs. There were so many storylines and I'm still not sure which persepective was my favorite. But it made me laugh. It made me cringe. And it made me think on more than one occasion: And I thought my family was crazy. I definitely plan to see the movie, if only to better visualize the level of opulence, and I have the next book on hold at the library already. πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

On the Edge - I fully planned to binge this series, and then I discovered upon starting the second book that it's not all about Rose and Declan and Georgie and Jack -- though I think the boys play a bigger role later in the series and also become side characters in the Innkeeper Chronicles. I really liked this first book, and I may continue the series one day, but for now, I think I might need a break from Ilona Andrews, lol. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Between the Devil and the Duke - I've never read a novel by Kelly Bowen before but I quite enjoyed my first by her, and I'm sure it won't be my last. For some reason, most of my favorite historical romances take place in gaming hells, and this story is no different. I loved that the heroine was a genius at numbers, and instead of thinking her odd, the hero is charmed by this fact. Also, Ashford McNab is fabulous at narrating historical romance. She also narrates the Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt, which I also very much enjoyed. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Book Boyfriend - I tried to read this one awhile back and it was...just not great. Not awful but not very engaging either. But I saw it offered on Hoopla and I thought it wouldn't be so bad to listen to it. At least I wouldn't be wasting my precious reading time, which is so very hard to come by these days. It felt like the worst kind of wish fulfillment and also didn't do a very good job of covering how grossly inappropriate the hero's actions were. I had intended to listen to the other books in this series, but that's not gonna happen now. πŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

My Favorite Half-Night Stand* - I gave up reading my ARC of this title several months ago because it wasn't what I was in the mood for at the time. But I borrowed the audio from the library when it became available because at that point, I was kinda jonesing for some Christina Lauren. Their books are either hit or miss for me, but this one was very middling. I can see why it had a hard time holding my interest upon my initial read. It was one of those stories where a little communication could have saved everyone a lot of time and energy and frustration. I'm not giving up on this author duo, but I'm definitely disappointed in this one. 🌟🌟

Sprig Muslin - I am such a fan of Georgette Heyer's. I believe I've listened to every audiobook available from the library, and so now I'm branching out to their ebook offerings. But I still imagine I hear Richard Armitage narrating them for me. πŸ˜‰ Especially with this one, although I did imagine Sir Gareth more like Westley Γ  la The Princess Bride, with his easy-going manner and propensity to take everything as it came as his wayward charge led him on a merry chase. Lady Hester, a would-be spinster, wasn't near the simpleton her family perceived her to be, and I hoped her altruistic nature would lead her back to our hero. The story takes a very circuitous route, with Sir Gareth and his charge working at cross purposes and the hero and heroine spending a good portion of the novel not in each other's company, but it was humorous, if a bit tangential at times, and I loved seeing what young Amanda would come up with next. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Marriage Vacation - Have you ever seen the show Younger? (And is it ever coming back? #TeamJosh) If you haven't, then a little backstory: the characters work in publishing and the wife of one of the love interests writes a book under a pseudonym. A book about the time she spent away from her marriage to him, the head of the publishing company. Yep, "Kate" just up and leaves her family on a soul-searching quest and this book is basically about her adventures while she was away. It starts out self-involved and ungrateful but evolves into something more substantial. Kate wasn't away trying to regain her lost youth, just trying to find out who she was outside of her marriage and being a mother. She wanted her life to have meaning, and she wanted to pick her writing back up. I didn't love it, but I wasn't expecting to after meeting her character on the show. But it surprised me. I felt compassion for this woman. I empathized with her. I didn't wholly agree with the decisons she made, but I could understand them to some extent. I kinda didn't love the ending, though. Having said that, p. 58 was everything it was purported to be on the show. πŸ˜‰ I liked the tie-in but that the book could also be read having never seen Younger. 🌟🌟🌟

The Witch Elm* - This is likely to be my least favorite of Tana French's novels. They're all long, but this one was just sooooooo boring until at least the halfway point and that was nine or ten hours into the story. Then I started putting things together and got frustrated with the characters about three-quarters of the way through, but I'd already made it that far, so I couldn't very well put it down without knowing for sure because if you've read Tana French before, you know that the ending matters. I think she's just better with police procedurals, writing from that perspective with all the ins and outs of investigating rather than as a potential suspect and novice detective who may or may not have suffered permanent damage due to trauma at the beginning of the story. I liked Toby, despite my better judgment because I know by now not to trust anyone in a Tana French novel, and I loved the narrator for this novel. The story just took forever to engage my interest and it didn't do a great job of holding it for any length of time. I kept taking breaks from the audiobook, hoping that I'd be overcome with curiosity to return to it, but it often felt like a chore and that's just not how I like to read. 🌟🌟🌟

*ARC received from publisher for review purposes. This does not affect my review in any way.

B I N G E   R E A D S   |   R E - R E A D S

The Falconer trilogy - Well...I planned on binge-reading this series after re-listening to the first book, but the audio isn't available for the last two books. 😒 I got them from my library, but I just haven't had much time to physically read this month, and when I did, I usually had a headache or trouble focusing. So, the plan is to read them in February. I'm leaving them here as a reminder...

Seven Realms series - I saw a friend reading these books for the first time at the end of 2018, and I realized it had been over a year since I'd re-read them, so I went all in. Which is for the best since I believe the final book in the spin-off series also releases this year. And despite that devastating first book, I fully intend to catch up on that series, as well. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Fangirl & Carry On - My bestie finally, finally caved and read Fangirl like I've been telling her to do for literal years, and she squeed so much about it that I decided I was due for a re-read. And you can't read those bits about Simon Snow without also wanting to read his story. :D 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Tairen Soul series - I was in the mood for some good fantasy and also having trouble getting over my reading slump thanks to The Wicked King, so I dived back into this series. I didn't love it quite as much as I remember, but it worked as a palate cleanser. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)

The Raven Cycle - Because it was time. And also I just needed to be back in Cabeswater as I wait for Ronan's series. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Find any new titles to check out? ;0)

Until next time! Happy reading!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Listed: Mini Reviews {January 2019}

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 with 4 comments

Hello lovelies! Jen has her own awesome overview post called 'What I've Been Reading Lately," so rather than use the same format and make it confusing about who's posting, I decided to stick to my short review style from The Forest of Words and Pages. Though truthfully, the fact that Jen literally reads 10 times the amount of books as me will also likely be a dead giveaway.

 So, whether I loved these books or not, I’m going to lay out a few bullet-pointed reasons you should, or shouldn’t spend your time reading some of my recent reads.


The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

Source: Audiobook from Library

✽ I was interested in this book primarily because I loved Kiersten White's book And I Darken. Though to be honest, I haven't loved many of of her books and I haven't read the rest of the Conqueror's Saga YET.

✽I did love that this story is centered on a female perspective. I enjoyed Elizabeth and found her story intriguing. However, I did see a lot of the twists coming and whenever that happens it leads to my feeling that the protagonist is naive for not seeing what the reader sees.

✽ As a follow up point to my last point, I really dislike seeing all the things that are being foreshadowed too clearly, way early on. It feels like you've already reached the end of the story when it is too predictable.

✽ My favorite parts of the story were the parts when Elizabeth and Victor were children. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if more time was spent there and it had went chronologically, instead of back and forth. I did sincerely love Elizabeth as a character and that made me keep picking this one back up.

✽ Final thoughts: If you love Frankenstein retellings, this is probably a story you will enjoy. It was an original take on a classic story. I realize that I'm usually not a big fan of this particular story. I've read a few retellings of Frankenstein and I haven't 'loved' any of them. Kiersten's writing here did keep me coming back for more, but I was satisfied, not enthralled, by this tale.

Bottom LineIt was okay🌟🌟🌟


Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

Source: Purchased

✽ I love me some April Genevieve Tucholke and I love stories about badass girls dealing in death, so my body was ready for this experience.

✽ I didn't exactly dislike The Boneless Mercies, but it also is far from my favorite AGT book. Usually I get delightfully caught up in the weirdness of her stories, but this one just didn't grab me like I'm usually grabbed. Parts of this story were lovely, many parts dragged on and felt like filler.

✽ The female friendships in this book are perhaps my favorite part. I loved the different characters and the realistic dynamics that played out. Complicated and dynamic relationships for the win!

✽ Confession: I have never read Beowulf. So it's quite possible, that you way-cooler, better-read nerds will totally love this because of gorgeous elements that went over my head.

✽ If you love, April GT, you should read this, but expect a different experience.

Bottom LineIt was okay🌟🌟🌟


An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Source: Purchased

✽ I am unconditionally, and irrevocably in love with the autumn prince, Rook (a little Twilight humor.. since I shamefully binged the movies on Prime last week). But seriously, Rook trumps other fae book boys. He just does.

✽ I can confidently say that this book is better than it's cover and the cover is stunning. I adored it and wish I'd read it way sooner. So GO READ THE BOOK if you haven't. This story deserves all the love and hype.

✽ Isobel is a lovely, fierce, smart AF and relatable heroine. Her journey involves bravery and vulnerability ( I adore a book girl with both) and her character added so much magic to an already gorgeous tale.

✽ The characters and setting of this book are so vivid and engaging. I loved the detailed descriptions and dynamic people of this story. I felt like I was experiencing this story with the characters.

✽ One of my favorite reads in the last several months. Super highly recommend. Thanks to Jen for telling me that I'd be a fool to not read it. <3

Bottom LineLoved it! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Also FYI, Margaret Rogerson has this gorgeous book coming out in June! Can't wait to read it too!


The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Source: Audiobook from Audible

✽ Listen... I wanted to love this one. I really did and there is a strong possibility that this is a case of incompatibility of mood and book. But I truly struggled to be interested in this story almost the entire way through.

✽ A huge part of my dislike is centered on the first 75% of the story. For me, it was extremely slow and involved a lot of detail that didn't hold my attention. Normally, a slow beginning is not a deal breaker for me. However, there were so many character names to keep up with, and because I listened to the audiobook, I kept getting lost wondering who a character was. This really kept me from getting truly invested in the story.

✽ I did like the ending much, much more. A lot of deeply beautiful story elements came together in a way that I wish the entire story had going for it. I know a lot of people really loved this book and I wonder if I had read a physical copy, if I might have liked the story better.

✽ Vasilisa is the one constant part of this tale that I did very much enjoy. I loved her eccentric nature, her determination and the way she navigates her own beliefs and values in a town rich in spirits and lore.

✽ Again, while this was not a book I would push into your hands with pure, geeky excitement myself, plenty of readers I respect and trust, really loved this one. So give it a chance if it sounds like your thing.

Bottom LineIt was okay🌟🌟🌟 



Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Source: Audiobook from Audible

✽ I have not laughed out loud this much with a story, maybe ever. I ADORED this book. And yes, for all of you judging me for just reading this, I KNOW, I'm judging me too.


✽  Cath's roommate, Reagan, is seriously sarcasm & honestly goals. She is the kind of friend I always look for in this world and the kind I hope to be, so her and Cath's friendship was a huge part of my love for Fangirl.


✽ To be fair, there is literally, not ONE thing that I can think to say about this book that isn't actually fangirling about it, so if you, like me, have had this on your shelf waiting to get to it, DO THE THING! READ the book! It's the actual BEST.


✽ I think this book resonates with so many of us in this community because we have things in common with Cath: the online community of 'internet friends' that is not always understood by people who don't do online communities, the way it's easier to relate to people online sometimes because we are anxious, or introverted, or both. Cath is relatable and lovable and this story hit me right in my soul.

✽ Lastly, more books with college-aged people and swears please! I'd fucking love to read a thousand more stories with the magic that Fangirl has. Super jealous of anyone who hasn't read it yet. This will be a frequent re-read for me for sure.

Bottom LineLoved it! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟



Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them? Despise them? Despise my review of them? Let me know in the comments!

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