Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It's my First Blogiversary!!

Image source: Google
 
I can't believe it's already been one year since my first Palmer's Page Turner's post! I've enjoyed this year so much--I've met so many other book blogger friends, read some fantastic books, discovered new authors, and made a regular practice of writing. I'm so thankful to all my readers and people who've helped me along the way :)
 
Thank you, and Happy Reading!!!

Top Ten Books Recently Added to my TBR


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Books I Recently Added to my TBR! This was an easy one because I'm CONTANTLY adding books to my TBR! Here's the latest:

23278464
 
18693922
 
22242483
 
23281853
 
23009402
 
23492736
 
22573873
 
23215478
 
23318375
 
24992445
 
What are some books you recently added to your TBR List? Happy Reading!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: After I Do

18775359Title: After I Do
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
352 pages, published July 2014
Genre: Women's Fiction, Contemporary
Source: downloaded on my Kindle

From Goodreads:

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.


My Review:

I had several friends recommend this book to me, and I'm happy to say that I absolutely loved this book. I devoured it in a weekend and couldn't put it down! What I loved most about this book was how real it was--I said in one of my first status updates that "it's like this book was written about my life."

This book was realistic, heartbreaking, emotional,and brutally honest. If you're wanting an honest portrayal of marriage, this is it. On a personal note, I can absolutely relate--though  it wasn't as extreme or led to separation, my husband and I have dealt with many of the same issues as Lauren and Ryan only to realize that we just have to be honest and truthful about what we want (even if it's something as simple as what we want for dinner) and to never, ever give up. Marriage takes work, and this book illustrates that.  It's so refreshing to see a realistic portrayal of love and relationships. Not that I don't love a nice, cheesy, romance, but books like this show why I love fiction--because we can relate to it and know we're not alone.

The writing style was excellent and allowed the book to flow well--contributing to its hard to put down status. If you're looking for a relaxing read that has some depth and emotion to it, this book is perfect.  There were so many quote-worthy passages from this book, but my favorite, and one that embodied the theme of the book, was this:

"Just because you can live without someone doesn't mean you want to."

  Overall rating for "After I Do": Five Stars

Happy Reading!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dewey's Readathon is April 25!



It's that time again! Dewey's 24 hour readathon is Saturday, April 25, 2015! Signups just opened yesterday, and I'm excited to participate again this Spring! If you'd like to sign up, you can do so here. I don't have any specific goals at this point other than to enjoy a day of reading, and I'm excited to connect with other bloggers on yet another readathon!

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Review: Confess

Title: Confess
22609310Author: Colleen Hoover
320 pages, published March 10, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, New Adult Romance
Source: Purchased for myself

From Goodreads:

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…


My Review:

Colleen Hoover never fails to blow me away, and she's done it a gain with Confess. If you've read my reviews you know I LOVE this author, but trust me, all the hype is worth it. She is that amazing! Rather than blabbing on about how wonderful the book is (because let's be real, EVERYONE is posting how wonderful it is), I'm going to change this review up a bit with some confessions, to go along with the theme of the book!

I confess I read the book in less than 48 hours. The story sucked me in completely.

I confess that my new book boyfriend is Owen Mason Gentry. OMG! I hope my husband doesn't mind...lol. Owen was amazing! Such an intense, powerful, strong character!!

I confess that I am once again impressed by the creativity of the plot for this book, and how the theme of confessions is woven through every aspect of the story. CoHo is brilliant!

I confess I immediately pre-ordered Hoover's next book, November Nine, within minutes of finishing Confess. Without even reading the synopsis.

I confess this book stuck with me long after I finished reading it.  Such a powerful story of love.  My heart broke for Auburn.

There are so many wonderful quotes from this book, but this one struck me the most. I can completely relate to that instant, I feel like I've known you my whole life connection:

“There are people you meet that you get to know, and then there are people you meet that you already know.”
 
Overall rating for "Confess": Five Stars
 
What are some of your confessions about Confess? Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Ten Books from my Childhood I'd Love to Revisit


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Books from my Childhoold (or teen years) that I'd Love to Revisit! What a fun theme!! I've loved books all my life and have so many fond memories of my mom reading books to me as a kid! Here are some of my favorites!

39988
 
77766
The whole Little House series

763588
24178
 
412452
I took figure skating lessons as a kid...loved these books!

233722
Loved all the BSC books!

 30119

18131

232187
317500
The Narnia series

 
What are some of your favorite books from childhood?
 
Happy Reading!
 
 
 

 

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Great and Powerful A-Z Theme Reveal Blogfest!


This year I am participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge for the first time this year! My friend Mel over at Double Stacked Bookshelves has participated for several years and has inspired me to participate this year!! I think this will be a fun challenge to motivate me to write more, be creative, and network with other bloggers!

One aspect of the A-Z challenge that makes this fun is selecting a theme for your posts.  They let your readers know what to expect, and allow you to have a clear vision for your posts for the month.  Having a theme also allows your to participate in today's Blogfest!!


So without further ado, my theme is...

Places I Want to Visit, Real or Fictional!
 
I'm so excited for this theme! It combines my love of travel with my love for books--since I'm including fictional places that I want to visit. Also, many of the places I want to visit are because of books I've read, though many are based off some of my other interests. So, throughout April, you'll get to know a little more about me in addition to bookish related topics!
 
Some teasers of my letters to be featured:
 
I: Island Books (from Storied Life of AJ Fikry)
 
M: Moloka'i, HI: based off my love for the state of Hawaii and the book)
 
T: Tuscany (because I've been dying to go to Italy!)
 
 
I'm still finalizing my list, and I'm so excited to share them all with you during the month of April! Interested in signing up and doing the challenge yourself? You can do so here!
 
Happy Reading (and Blogging) friends!!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Beginnings: Honolulu



Book Beginnings Fridays is a weekly event hosted by fellow Oregon blogger Gilion at Rose City Reader.  The purpose is to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

This week I started reading Honolulu by Alan Brennert.  Those of you who've been reading my blog for awhile know that I consistently recommend Brennert's other novel, Moloka'i, one of my absolute favorite books of all time. I've been wanting to read Honolulu for quite some time, but I think I've been putting it off because  I just KNOW I'll have a huge book hangover after reading it, and I'll be sad there are no more Brennert books set in Hawaii to read (his other books are set elsewhere). But this week, I felt the desire to engulf myself in this book, and it's been everything I've hoped it would be.  Here's the first sentence:

"When I was a young child growing up in Korea, it was said that the image of the fading moon at daybreak, reflected in a pond or stream or even a well, resembled the speckled shell of a dragon's egg."

I'm already halfway through this book, and completely in love!Here's the synopsis:

8119809Honolulu is the rich, unforgettable story of a young “picture bride” who journeys to Hawai'i in 1914 in search of a better life.

Instead of the affluent young husband and chance at an education that she has been promised, she is quickly married off to a poor, embittered laborer who takes his frustrations out on his new wife. Renaming herself Jin, she makes her own way in this strange land, finding both opportunity and prejudice. With the help of three of her fellow picture brides, Jin prospers along with her adopted city, now growing from a small territorial capital into the great multicultural city it is today.  But paradise has its dark side, whether it’s the daily struggle for survival in Honolulu’s tenements, or a crime that will become the most infamous in the islands’ history...

With its passionate knowledge of people and places in Hawai'i far off the tourist track, Honolulu is most of all the spellbinding tale of four women in a new world, united by dreams, disappointment, sacrifices, and friendship.


Happy Friday and Happy Reading!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)



Title: Cress  (Lunar Chronicles #3)
13206828Author: Marissa Meyer
550 pages, published February 2014
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Fairytale Retelling
Source: Library


From Goodreads:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.


My Review:

Cress is definitely my favorite book in the series so far!! What an exciting next chapter the series this book was.  Don't be intimated by the 550 page length--it reads so fast as you get sucked into the story.  Though Cinder is still my favorite character, I adored Cress.

What I love most about this series so far (and there are SO many things to love!) is how all the characters are so intertwined. When I first heard of the series, I pictured them more separate for some reason. I was so happy to  see all the characters from Cinder and Scarlet come back to continue the journey.

It's hard to say too much more without revealing any spoilers, so I'll just say that Cress is an excellent continuation of the series and I can't wait for Winter to come out in November!

Overall rating for "Cress: Five Stars

Also...they just release the cover for Winter!!!!  How GORGEOUS is this cover?! I think it's my favorite of the series!!! Now the wait until November begins...

13206900

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List! I have so many books on my TBR list in general, but these ones are ones I'm excited about in the near future!

18460392
 
24422492
 
22237149
 
 
23278464
 
23245587
 
24992445
 
24778187
 
1417639
 
22573873
 
22552374
 
What's on your Spring TBR List?
 
Happy Reading!
 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: Help Yourself

24647891Title: Help Yourself
Author: Rachel Michael Arends
193 pages, publication date March 17, 2015
Genre: Women's Fiction

Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

When it’s time to change your life for the better, everyone could use a little help.

Merry Strand is spinning her wheels in her rural mountain hometown when Fritz Forth, her late father’s attorney, suddenly appears with a strange and wonderful proposition. Merry has a substantial inheritance coming, he says… but it’s conditional. Merry must accompany Fritz to the Atlantic coast and complete a series of life-improving tasks to earn her windfall. Like a fussy fairy godfather, Fritz promises to help Merry, though he makes it clear that he’d really rather not.

Arriving on an abandoned barrier island in the offseason, Merry meets her curmudgeonly Uncle Max, who is hoping to steal her inheritance. Jack Morningstar, a depressed Midwestern widower, numbly occupies the beach house next door. Added to the mix are a philosophical dead Englishman, a crazy mountain town radio therapist, a suicidal software engineer, a matchmaking dog, and, possibly, a ghost.

With empathy and wit, Rachel Michael Arends chronicles the ups and downs and eventual transformations of her richly drawn characters as they learn to help each other, and ultimately, to help themselves.


My Review:

First, let's take a moment to appreciate this amazing cover! It's what drew me to the book. Sign me up for a spot right there on that beach!  I ended up really enjoying this book.  I found myself envious of Merry getting to live in a beach house and a chance to reinvent her life!

I loved the writing style of the book! Each chapter is told by a different character's perspective--either Merry, Jack, or Fritz.  Each chapter has a fun title too. For example, Chapter One is entitled "In which Merry is presented with an unexpected opportunity--As told by Merry Strand herself." There are several that are more comical, but I don't want to give anything away!  It took a couple chapters to get used to this but by the end I loved the quirky writing style! Another thing that really impressed me about the writing style is that the style changed depending on the character--the writing style for Merry's chapter was different than Fritz's chapter and Jack's chapter. That can be a huge deal breaker for me if not done right.

To be honest...until about 75% of the way through the book, I wasn't loving it. I was liking it, but not loving it. I found it a bit too predictable. But then...the ending! The ending I didn't see coming!  The ending definitely made me love the book and give it my 4 star rating instead of a three star. 

This book is short--less than 200 pages. It's a perfect weekend read, or a perfect beach read. I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a feel good, entertaining read.

Overall rating for "Help Yourself": 4 Stars

Happy Reading!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Book Beginnings Friday: After I Do



 

Book Beginnings Fridays is a weekly event hosted by fellow Oregon blogger Gilion at Rose City Reader.  The purpose is to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

This morning I started After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid, so it was perfect timing for this meme. I downloaded this book to my kindle at Brandie @ Brandie is a Book Junkie 's recommendation! We like so many of the same books. Here's the beginning:

"We are in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium, and once again, Ryan has forgotten where we left the car.  I keep telling him that it's in Lot C, but he doesn't believe me."

I just started it this morning so I don't have too much of an impression yet but I've heard so many good things and I'm super excited to read it! Watch for my review in the near future! Here's the synopsis:

18775359When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.



Happy Friday and Happy Reading, friends!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Life of a Blogger: Favorite Quotes


 
Life of a Blogger is a weekly event hosted by Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat. This week's topic:
 
Favorite Quotes
 
 I love this topic because I am a quote fanatic. I have quotes dictionaries, a quote journal...love them! Here are some of my favorites!
 
"Let us read and let us dance--two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." -Voltaire
 
"The important thing is not to stop questioning." -Albert Einstein
 
“Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly.” - Arnold Edinborough
 
The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men."
 
"There's only us, there's only this: Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way, no day but today." Rent"
 
And here are a couple directly from books:
 
"Holding Eleanor's hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive." Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park
 
"You know how Hemingway writes? He couldn't write about this girl's face.Because he'd say something like, 'It was a pretty face.' And that wouldn't be enough. This face needs someone like Dickens,or maybe Tolstoy. Someone who'd take a whole page and spend some time on her eyebrows and her cheeks, or maybe notice the shape of her mouth when she's concentrating on walking with her cane."  Andrew Clements, Things Not Seen
 
As you can see, the themes of my quotes are things I believe in and love: education/reading, animals, and dancing :)
 
What are some of your favorite  quotes?


Happy Reading!
 


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Top Ten Books for Readers Who Like Contemporary YA



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Books for Readers Who Like_______.  I chose to go with Top Ten Books for Readers Who Like Contemporary YA. I've been reading a lot of YA lately and just love the genre in general. It bugs me that people give adults a bad time for reading YA.  If you love it, read it! :) Anyway, here's my Top Ten!


96277556936382 9961796 
1574575313573503



2767052
The Hunger Games series, not just the first one :)
24873066


54275215717943

6
The whole HP series, not just #4
Happy Reading!