Sunday, May 27, 2018

15 Before 30

You may have heard people make goal lists that are thirty things to do before they are thirty. However I'm a little late to the game. I'm turning 27 this year so I decided to make a list of just fifteen! Five goals a year seems reasonable so that's my focus. I hope you enjoy and if you have any suggestions for goals to add, I would love to hear them.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Reviews - The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)
Series: The Diviners #1
Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal
Age Group: YA
Hardcover - 578 pgs
Source: Purchased
Published: 2012
Add it // Buy it

Rating: 5/5

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

To quote Whitney Novels: " The best way I can describe this book is The Great Gatsby meets Buzzfeed Unsolved." 

After owning this book for years, and trying it several times, I finally picked it up and read the entire thing! The Diviners has slowly picked up steam over the past few years and I've heard more and more about it. After watching the series go through three cover changes, I was intrigued enough to try again. I am so glad I did. This book is fantastic.

There are a lot of different perspectives to follow and a lot diversity contained as well. We have a POC as a lead character as well a character with a disability. There are several strong women in this book. We address abortion, abuse, war and loss, workers rights, murder, racism, homophobia, xenophobia as well as the influence of hate and fear. All of these are rolled together and viewed through different lenses as we follow characters that represent a spectrum of New York at the time.

The audiobook really helped me through the first one hundred pages, which is where I stopped reading before, and made the reading experience absolutely stellar. The narrator is exceptionally talented and I plan to read the other two books in this series as audiobooks as well. I was completely drawn in by the narration. Each voice is distinct and January LaVoy did an amazing job with the effects and sections that required her to sing as well. I could not stop listening to this book.

Libba Bray did a wonderful job of creating mood of the book. The setting and even some of the characters feel veiled in shadows and mystery. The atmosphere is divine and everything from the bright lights of the stage to the dark dank house on the hill felt like I was there with Evie. Not only that, but the slang and dialogue between the characters was on point. The Diviners was incredibly well researched. In so many historical novels I've read, the descriptions are historically accurate, but the conversations feel modern. I admire how much time Libba Bray must have put into researching the 1920's and I appreciate her efforts.

Bray created a unique story that blends paranormal abilities with mystery and historical fiction. This book was crafted and I fully intend to pick up book two very very soon. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Bookshelf Reorganization and Unhaul

This month I've been going through a lot of my books. Moving makes you rethink what you want to keep and what you can part with. Even though I've done even more cleaning out since I filmed this, I feel like I've lifted a weight off me by donating some of these. Hopefully someone will find joy in a book I'm no longer interested in or didn't enjoy.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Bout of Books 22 - Vlog and Wrap Up

Bout of Books is over! Commence the tears. I love this readathon and today is the wrap up and conclusion of a week of fun and reading. There is no way to fail during this readathon so I can count it as a complete success. I abandoned my TBR as is typical so you'll need to watch my vlog to see exactly what I chose to read!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Review - An Unnatural Vice by KJ Charles

An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities, #2)
Series: Sins of the City #2
Genre: Historical M/M Romance
Age Group: Adult
Ebook - 250 pgs
Source: Overdrive
Published: 2017

Rating: 4/5

Crusading journalist Nathaniel Roy is determined to expose spiritualists who exploit the grief of bereaved and vulnerable people. First on his list is the so-called Seer of London, Justin Lazarus. Nathaniel expects him to be a cheap, heartless fraud. He doesn’t expect to meet a man with a sinful smile and the eyes of a fallen angel—or that a shameless swindler will spark his desires for the first time in years.

Justin feels no remorse for the lies he spins during his séances. His gullible clients simply bore him. Hostile, disbelieving, utterly irresistible Nathaniel is a fascinating challenge. And as their battle of wills and wits heats up, Justin finds he can’t stop thinking about the man who’s determined to ruin him.

But Justin and Nathaniel are linked by more than their fast-growing obsession with one another. They are both caught up in an aristocratic family’s secrets, and Justin holds information that could be lethal. As killers, fanatics, and fog close in, Nathaniel is the only man Justin can trust—and, perhaps, the only man he could love.

One of my absolute favorite tropes is the enemies to lovers trope and KJ Charles works magic between these two. Honestly, I wasn't sure Justin would win me over. He is a truly detestable character at the beginning and his profession is rather deplorable as well. Even so, I became so invested in these two characters and their relationship I had to cry towards the end. Justin and Nathianel affected me that much.

The characters are well developed and complex which I always appricaite. Each of these men is unqiue and has their own moral code. They are complete opposites and their voices are distinct. Even though this story is short, they both grow a lot and their histories are completely fleshed out. I really enjoyed their character arcs.

The mystery aspect of this story still didn't blow me away. Overall, it is just messy. There are a lot of moving parts and names. Though I tried to focus on the mystery elements, I was more interested in our characters, especially our lead characters, to really focus. I got lost easily and had to reread sections to grasp what happened when. I continued on because I was intrigued by the mystery even though I was confused, but I was sad to leave these two behind.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Currently: May 2018

This week is a busy busy week in my life. Even so, I wanted to do an update of sorts. Even though I've been doing a lot of posting, I feel disconnected from reading and I haven't finished a book in over a week. I have been doing a lot of other stuff though! As the weather has gotten warmer, I've been outside more and hanging with my friends on a more regular basis. I love the warmer weather and it is so nice to see the sunshine! After weeks of dreary days, there have been a bunch of warm sunny days in a row and I glory in it.

Anyway here's what I am currently up to in my life and on the blog.

Currently Reading: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. Real Talk: I'm not really into this book. I was hoping to finish it before now, but things are moving really slowly. I only care about half of the storylines so I'm struggling a little. Maybe this series isn't right for me anymore?

Also I'm working on my Bout of Books TBR because Bout of Books Round 22 is this week. It is my favorite readathon and I'm really excited about the books on my TBR! I'm tackling Strange the Dreamer first and hoping to move onto one of the historical fiction books next. Today is only the second day of the readathon though so I haven't made a lot of progress.

Currently Listening to on audiobook: The Murder of the Century by Paul Collins. This is outside of my comfort zone because it is a True Crime novel. After watching the Restricted Section Liveshow this month, I decided to put more effort into my read harder challenge.

Currently Listening to: Hamilton. I am back on this bandwagon (this amazing never ending bandwagon) after listening to First Burn. I am obsessed with that song and I adore what it adds to the story. 
Also the radio. In the spring when I can roll the windows down, I tend to turn on the radio so I've been listening to the latest county hits. (Don't at me. I'm trash for country music in the summer) 

Currently Eating: A cake donut, but I am craving ice cream. 

Currently Drinking: Iced Tea. I make a lot of iced tea when warm weather hits and I've made so much this week. My body is probably screaming from the influx of sugar and extra caffeine (I try to only drink one cup of coffee a day), but  I just don't care. Summer = tea.

Currently Wearing- White Leather Jacket. I've been obsessed with 80's Mercedes by Maren Morris for months now. When I saw a white leather jacket on the clearance rack recently, I knew I hit the jackpot. I am loving this and need to do some kind of photo shoot with my 00's Honda.

Currently Watching- I've been watching a lot of Marvel movies recently and I really want to take a break from them. Except for Black Panther. I need to see that one more time before it leaves theaters. I think I'm going to start rewatching NCIS. I watched that show for a long long time but I'd like to catch up. What better way than to start from the beginning? So that's the long term plan.

I've also been watching  A LOT of baseball. Baseball is my favorite sport and I miss the games so much over the winter. Watching so much baseball really cuts into my reading time, but I love this game so much.

Currently on my to-buy List - House stuff. Yes, I'm still moving. 

Currently Waiting to be Released - My Plain Jane. I am so excited for this book. My Lady Jane was hilarious and one of my favorite books a few years ago. 

Currently adding to my Goodreads TBR - These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch. The premise sounds like pirates and politics, but I'm worried there will be a love triangle. The cover is excellent though. 

Currently adding to my physical TBR- Circe by Madeline Miller It is gorgeous. I can't wait to read it. 

Currently recommending - *Sigh* I recommend reading even though I'm having a hard time doing it lately.

Currently talking about on the blog - All my booktube videos. I'm sorry it has been so video heavy lately! I have a lot of content to put up.

That is all my currentlys for right now. Life if happening and I hope I can update you again soon. You may have heard I'm moving (more like migrating from my parents' house to my new place) so even though I'm posting a lot I'm not reading much. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

I Love Spring Tag

Spring has finally, properly, sprung! After a long delay the warm weather is here and I don't need to wear a heavy coat every day to work. I love it. I love being less bulky and since the days are longer I've been out and about more with friends!

Check out the video description for the creator and more links

Friday, May 11, 2018

Bout of Books TBR - May 14th-May 20th

Next week the Bout of Book Readathon (Round 22) begins! This is one of my favorite readathons and I've enjoyed participating a lot in the past. I'm really excited to start reading for the readathon since I've only finished two books this month and I'm hoping this readathon will inspire me to start reading every day again.

Books Mentioned: 
Strange the Dreamer by Lani Taylor
Rebel Rising by Shanna Swenson
Imprudence by Gail Carriger
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review - Rebel Magisters by Shanna Swenson

Series: Rebel Mechanics #2
Genre: Historical Alternate History
Age Group: YA
Paperback - 336 pgs
Source: Purchased
Published: 2016
Add it // Buy it

Rating: 4/5

Tea, Love ... and Revolution!

The Rebel Mechanics aren’t the only group plotting revolution against the magical British Empire. There are rebel magisters, as well, and Verity Newton and her magister employer, Lord Henry, know that the only way for the revolution to succeed is if both groups work together. A diplomatic mission seems like the perfect opportunity for them to meet with rebels in other colonies and gather support—right under the governor’s nose.

From drawing rooms, ballrooms, and the harbor in Boston to the streets of Charleston, Verity and Henry find themselves up against stubborn factions of both magisters and Mechanics and increasingly aware that they can only really count on each other as their relationship deepens. It may take a real crisis to unite the rebel movements and rally them to the cause—but could such a crisis also tear them apart?

What I really love about this series is how fun it is. The story is fast paced and action packed. There are very few dull moments, but the action is different in every scene. Verity may be working her spy skills or they may be running down an ally from police! The story is exciting and I have a hard time putting this series down.

Verity continues to be resourceful and clever. She doesn't back down from a challenge and even when she doubts herself she stays focused on her mission and the revolution. She gains even more confidence and I really enjoy her story arc so far. I hope she continues to grow in the next book. There is a romance but it doesn't take up a lot of page time. It is a slow burn that it extremely sweet. I really enjoyed how both characters involved cared about one another without it being hot and steamy. Their relationship is focused on trust and I love both characters a lot.

Even though the big plot points in this story are a little predictable, how those events play out is very interesting and original. I like how charming this series is and Swenson builds up the duel revolution in a believable way. I wish magic was more of an essential part of the story rather than something that feels thrown in when our protagonists get in trouble. This element improved in this book since we were dealing with Magisters rather than Mechanics, but there is still room for this part of the world to grow.

I'm excited for the next book in the series and hope that the third isn't the last. I really enjoy these characters and I could spend a lot of time in their world.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Top Five Wednesday - Books I Didn't Read in 2017

This week on the throwback Top Five Wednesday I wanted to talk about five of the books I wanted to read in 2017 and never picked up. This isn't an exhaustive list. In fact, there are a lot more on my TBR shelf from before 2017 too. These are five I've had a desire to read recently even though I wish I had read them month ago.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover

If I was required to choose just one color. My favorite color would be purple. However, my favorite colors are those deep purples and blues that swirl together. I love galaxy print and that mix of dark rich colors. As you can see below I've come across a few covers that mix all these colors beautifully while other just have purple.

Enjoy Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl!

A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1) Abhorsen (Abhorsen, #3) Poison or Protect (Delightfully Deadly, #1) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) Onyx (Lux, #2) 
For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1) The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4) The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1) The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2)