A Book for Different Times of Day

Well hello! I hope you’re doing well and happy spring!

So, I had a realization at the time I began writing this that I currently have books for different times of the day/scenario I’m in:

  • A book for daytime reading
  • A book for before bed reading
  • An audiobook for driving

This makes me feel like I’ve reached a new level of nerd lol

Anyway, I find it interesting because my reading habits aren’t what they were a few years ago when I first started blogging and really getting into the reading scene. Now I read mostly webtoons, like Your Letter and Lore Olympus, but I’ve been trying very hard to get back into novels again.

I know part of the reason I’ve been struggling is because I’ve been overwhelming myself very easily with wanting to do all the things, but not having enough time or energy to do them, so I just… don’t. So, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort recently to just pick something up that sucks me in and go with it.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson has been one of those books for me for months now. Yes, months. I don’t know if you know this, but the audiobook is over 45 hours long, and I really only listen to it on my 25-30 minute drives to and from work. And then sometimes I don’t even listen to it at all for a few weeks so I can listen to some music instead.

The story didn’t hook me right away because I had tried to start it a couple of years ago, but failed, so when I started anew? Oh yeah, I was hooked, and now I’m at the beginning climax of this installment of the series and I AM HERE FOR IT. The characters and world building are fantastic, and the voice actors who read the books do a phenomenal job acting out all the parts and such.

So since I’ve been having such great luck with the audiobook, especially lately, I then realized I am in one HELLUVA mood for romance. And I’m not talking that cheesy stuff (but, I mean, I also won’t say no to it if it grabs my attention lol), I’m talking about a slow burn or steamy or just passionate type of romance read. And that’s where Graceling comes in.

I recently watched a video by Hannah of A Clockwork Reader on YouTube about five underrated series she thinks others should definitely get more hyped about, and in it she mentioned the Graceling Realm trilogy by Kristin Cashore and talked about how the first book in particular has a much heavier focus on the relationship and romance aspect than the others.

And I happened to remember my husband owned a copy.

So of course I made him dig it out of boxes for me and I started it and it’s already got me hooked. I wanted to start really winding down more when it’s time for bed and not be on the computer or have my phone in my face, so I decided to make it my before bedtime read.

Besides, studies have shown that reading before bed can be very beneficial to your health, such as reducing stress, higher creativity levels, and more brain power. So if you’re not on the read before bed train, hop on! You might find yourself in a much better mood the next day as a result of it.

And then I have my daytime reading. I’ve discovered a way to read at work without having a physical book behind the counter because sometimes it’s so incredibly slow that I don’t have a customer for a half hour or more at a time, so instead of just sitting there and browsing news articles I don’t care about, I open a book through Amazon on the Kindle Cloud Reader app on their website.

To access it, simply go to your latest digital purchases, click on the book you want to read, and then click the green “Read Now” button. If you’re on a computer, it’ll take you to the Cloud Reader for easy reading. Just be careful using your left and right arrow buttons because I’ve noticed that that messes with the page formats, so you’ll have to actually click the next button on the screen to go to the next page.

I decided the day before publishing this, in fact, that I was going to sample A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness because I had continued to keep seeing it pop up all over the place, and so I decided to give it a try. Well, as of the time I’m writing this, I’m only one chapter two and hooked. Of course I’m going to continue to read it once I’m home after work, but still, I have options to read when I’m at my job.

So though my reading habits have changed a lot over the last few years, I’m doing my best to not give up and to keep going back to the stories I love, the stories I want to read and live, and the stories that my heart desires. And what better way to do that than to find different ways to incorporate those stories into different facets of my life?

Let’s Chat!

What books do you like to read before bedtime? Are you a nighttime reader? If not, do you read when you wake up during breakfast? Do you listen to audibooks on your commute to work? Or do you just read whenever you want and not have designated books for certain times and scenarios during the day? Tell me all the things!

Leigh Bardugo Book Signing | King of Scars Book Tour

That’s right, my peeps: I went to Leigh Bardugo‘s book signing for King of Scars at Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA on January 30th, and it was a great time!

So I happened to be perusing Twitter one day some time in December and saw that Leigh was going on a book tour for King of Scars. Well, authors don’t always come to my state, so I was like, “There’s no way she’s going to come here.”

And then I looked on her website and, lo and behold, there was a tour stop date listed for not only my state, but also for my favorite independent bookstore. Of course I had to go! I’d be stupid not to. (Plus it was my half day at work, so I didn’t have to rush around to get out to the Boston area on time).

So I drove to Alewife, which is a parking garage in the city, and took the train in (which I love doing; I’m such a tourist). Mind you, the polar vortex was coming in that night, so I knew it was going to be cold, but wasn’t expecting what came once I left the store. Anyway, I’m enjoying my trip in, and I get there about quarter after 5PM, which was when people could line up to get in.

I saw a few cosplays as I made my way around toward the end of the line… which was wrapped around the block and down the street a bit. Fun stuff.

It might not look like a long line, but trust me, in 10 degree Fahrenheit weather standing outside for over a half hour? It was long enough.

So once I finally got into the store, the way they had the lines sectioned was by group: group one had green wristbands and were guaranteed seats downstairs where the Q&A and signing would be, the blue wristbands would be in the standing section of the downstairs, and then orange bands would be in a line upstairs, but still hear all of the event going on and such.

I got a blue wristband, which meant I got to stand in the back for when the event took place. Whoop whoop!

So when I finally get into the store and grab my book, there were SO many people! It was crazy! The photo doesn’t really do justice to show how many people were in there, but it was a lot.

There were stations set up around the store where you could find out which Grisha Order you fall into, as well as pins that correspond to the orders (and a Darkling one). I took the little quiz on the card and discovered I’m Etheralki! (I was secretly hoping for Corporalki, but I’ll take this one, too.) My heart says I’d be an inferni, but I’d probably be more useful as a tidemaker, who knows? I also took one of each pin because, well, why not?

If you want to take the fun little quiz yourself, here’s the card! I posted the questions below it.

Tally up the amount of A’s, B’s, and C’s, and then check to see whether you’re a member of the Corporalki, Ehteralki, or Materialki!

Mostly A’s: Corporalki, the Order of the Living and the Dead.
Mostly B’s: Etherealki, the Order of Summoners.
Mostly C’s: Materialki, the Order of Fabrikators.

The next two stations included a polaroid that you could take against a King of Scars backdrop, and then have it taped into the passport you could get at the station after that! I thought it was really nifty, and you can use the passport at other Leigh Bardugo events and get the stamp that corresponds to that event! Pretty exciting, not gonna lie.

So then I go downstairs and I’m waiting for the event to start, and, well, let me just show you where I was and how quickly it filled up:

Yeah… I was at the very back by the employee door. It was fine, though, because Leigh actually walked out from behind me through that door, and all of us in that area were awestruck and I said hello, and she said hello back, and I was super fangirling internally at that point. XD It was great.

So then the Q&A starts and it was so much fun! The staff did a great job of maintaining the crowd and having the event run smoothly, and Leigh was so funny! She’s got a great personality, and even when she speaks it’s like she’s telling a story. We laughed, we gasped, we made sure that no spoilers were given (one almost was for Crooked Kingdom, but Leigh asked if there were still people that haven’t read it ((aka me and a few others)), so she refrained from saying anything too spoilerly, thank god).

It was a really fun time. I ended up getting King of Scars signed and personalized, as well as Leigh’s other new release, The Severed Moon: A Year-Long Journal of Magic, which is a journal that consists of prompts and quotes for 365 days to spark your creativity in writing, and I also got my passport signed.

And even though I didn’t get these signed, I also bought the paperbacks of the Shadow and Bone trilogy in the new covers because I think they’re gorgeous and I’ve been debating with myself for months on whether or not I should get them, soooooo, here were are.

All-in-all, it was a very fun event and I had a really great time. I plan on finishing Six of Crows soon, then Crooked Kingdom, and then jump into King of Scars.

Let’s Chat!

Have you been to a book signing recently? How was your experience? Are you excited to read King of Scars? Which Grisha Order do you belong in based on the quiz? Let me know all of the things!

The Chase Book Review

Title: The Chase
Series: Briar U #1
Authors: Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Elle Kennedy Inc.
Publish Date: August 4, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Fiction – Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 378
Format: Kindle eBook

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother. 

And that his best friend has a crush on me. 

And that I just moved in with them. 

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates? 

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing? 

He knows where to find me.

Diving back into the stories of the college students of Briar U was something I was really looking forward to! I remember loving the original four books of the first series, instantly hooked on the hot hockey dudes and the beautiful girls they fell in love with.

This story, though? It… kind of fell flat for me. But that’s not to say that it still wasn’t enjoyable as far as entertainment value is concerned.

So let’s talk about the characters first:

Summer is Dean’s sister (he’s the main lead in The Goal) and as such, she’s drop dead gorgeous like her brother and has just a big of a personality as he does. And as much of a sex drive as he does. Of course she’s more than just that, and it’s often revealed and talked about throughout the story how she wants to be seen as more than just her family’s money or more than just her looks: she may not be academically smart, but she’s got a lot of passion for fashion, which is what she’s studying; she believes in woman power and building other women up instead of tearing them down; and she had an orbit about her that draws people in.

She’s also a lot of drama. Like. Holy crap, a lot of drama. I found myself often thinking that a lot of her reactions were over the top and that they didn’t really warrant to be as such for the situation. I get that’s supposed to be her personality, but a lot of the reactions seemed forced or even out of character.

Colin Fitzgerald is one of the hockey players for Briar U and he’s a tattooed, video game designing man who wants to work for a big game company when he graduates. He’s even made his own video game and has others he knows beta test it, which is pretty cool. He’s also very sexually driven, I found throughout this story, which is fine but sometimes I thought it was a bit much. He also has a bit of social anxiety, which is understandable given his back story and the way he grew up.

So, as far as plot goes: there was a lot of back and forth between Summer and Fitz (obviously, it’s not called “The Chase” for nothing) where they would often inner monologue how they’re very attracted toward the other and they want to get in each other’s pants, but never know what the other is thinking.

My biggest issue with this was how it made the characters feel so shallow and kind of two dimensional. So much of the plot centered around the sexual aspects that I felt it took away from the characters and their growth, because I actually did find the stuff happening outside and around them interesting.

I found that the anxiety was handled really well, though, and it was very believable how the characters tried to cope with their anxiety, either on their own or with help from another.

Overall, I found this to be a book that focused highly on entertainment value than on character development, which is fine, but I still wish we could have seen more come out of the characters. Some of the situations felt forced or rushed or pretty unbelievable, but otherwise it was a fun story with steamy scenes and some laughs.

★★★☆☆

Books & Cookies Tag

That’s right, my friends, it’s time for a tag. A delicious one, at that.

Today I’m going to be doing the Books & Cookies tag! I first saw Cait @ Paper Fury do this tag, but the original is by Sorry I’m Booked. The original post had seven questions, but Cait added a few of her own, and I think I’m going to change just one that Cait added because… why not?

Anyway, let’s jump into this delicious tag~

Chocolate Chip | A classic book that you love

I, uh, don’t really read classics. The last one I read was Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen back in like… 2014. And I don’t really remember it. Sooooo… Yeah, I don’t really have an answer for this one, sorry.

Thin Mints | A hyped-up book you want to read

Oh man, definitely The Wicked King by Holly Black. I’ve recently read The Cruel Prince and let me just say: I need the next book now, please and thanks.

Shortbread | An author you can’t get enough of

I love, love, love Elle Kennedy‘s new adult series. She’s got a really good way of keeping you hooked on the story and the characters. Her Off-Campus series? So good, my friends. If you’re looking for steamy romance, hot guys, dynamic girls, and hockey? Oh yes, definitely recommend.

Samoas | An emotional rollercoaster

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the Illuminae Files on my blog… Nope, never, not once *coughI’mlyingcough*

Okay, but let me tell you: THESE BOOKS WERE AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER IF THERE EVER WAS ONE. I think the visual elements of the books really helped to make the story much more atmospheric and to really make you invested in the story. At least that’s how it was for me because, oof, I love this trilogy so much, and it made me laugh, cry, worry, rage, celebrate… It’s so good.

Oreos | A book whose cover was better than the story

Hey man, I feel like this is an insult to Oreos… anyway, one book that comes to mind is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. The covers to this series have always been a favorite of mine, but the first book? Ehhhh, not so much. I really think that Unravel Me really changed the game and made the series better, but Shatter Me was just okay.

shatterme

Gingerbread Cookies | Where the story was better than the cover

Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of crap covers out there (but I’ve seen a lot of beautiful ones come out lately, which is nice!). But what really matters is the story behind the crap cover, and these are just a few that I can think of that I personally really liked, even if the cover was meh at best.

Peanut Butter Cookies | A book that wasn’t what you expected

Well, I’m currently listening to A Way of Kings: The Stormlight Archive Book ONe by Brandon Sanderson (a 45+ hour long novel, mind you, that I’m about 16 hours into), and it’s SO much better than I was expecting. Like, I’ve read really good fantasy books before, but this? THIS is what I call an epic fantasy story.

The plot is so intricate and detailed and woven really nicely, the characters are ones that I’m invested in and desperately want to know more about, the voice actors do an amazing job bringing said characters to life, and the world it’s written in is so vast and fascinating and I have SO many questions. Ugh, I can’t wait to continue.

Snickerdoodles | A book you’ll never stop rereading

I don’t really reread books all that often. There’s a few that I definitely want to reread, though, from when I was a teenager and see if I still consider them timeless favorites for me, personally, or if I’ve moved on from them. They are:

Memoirs of a Geisha | The House of the Scorpion | A Certain Slant of Light | Chinese Cinderella

Oatmeal Raisin | A book you love and yet others… might not

Okay, this is the question I’m making up, but my dudes: I LOVE OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES. Soooo many people I’ve talked to hate them, and I just don’t know why!

Anyway, my pick for this is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Okay, look, every book has its faults. Every series has its faults. Yes, even your fave, but as much crap as this series has gotten over the years, as many issues as it has, it’s still one of my all time favorites and I’m sticking by that opinion. I mean, I still need to finish it, so what the hell am I waiting for?

Macaroon | Sequels you liked better than the first

For me, the first one that comes to mind is the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I remember each book getting better and better and that the last one definitely satisfied me as far as endings go. I found it difficult to get into the first book even though I still liked it, and then the second one was great, and the third one was even better.

Let’s Chat!

What’s your favorite kind of cookie? What about a book that you’ll never stop rereading – or one that you had from your younger years that you really want to pick up again?

The Cruel Prince Book Review

Title: The Cruel Prince
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Authors: Holly Black
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: January 2, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Kindle eBook

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


What a ride it was to be back in Holly Black’s land of Faerie. I read her Tithe series way back in the day, probably when I was in middle school or high school, and I absolutely fell in love with it. The story was so fascinating to me, and it’s really the thing that pushed me to fall in love with faeries from that point on.

Now, in this new book, it shows a much darker side to Faerie than I’m used to. I mean, I’m used to reading dark tales about Faerie because, let’s be real, it can be a very cruel place not just to mortals, but to the other Fey as well, but this story brought on a lot more betrayal, hatred, and a general sense of apathy than anything.

Let’s talk characters because there were a lot of characters introduced to us through Jude’s eyes, and I want to give some of my thoughts on them.

Jude, herself, was a very melancholic character. We were often reminded of how much she hated life in Faerie and how she loved Madoc, though he’s a monster, and how she despised Cardan. I’m not saying those points were annoying, but I did pick up just how often they were said and I kind of felt it was redundant. I also felt her character was a bit… lacking? She was very much just a ball of anger at the world around her. Any emotions other than general discourse or anger felt outside of her realm and I didn’t really feel any particular attachment to her, especially through the first two thirds of the story. More on that in a minute.

Cardan was quite the cruel prince (but not the main reason for the title of the book, let me tell you lol) who enjoyed seeing Jude suffer, but also did very, very subtle things to ensure nothing harmed her to the point of death. In the latter half of the book it felt almost like I was reading about an entirely different character? At least in some parts he felt a bit too open, a bit too friendly, even, but that familiar cruelness came right back at the very end and I was like, “Ah, yes, there he is.”

Madoc, Balekin, and Dain all had fairly significant parts to play throughout the story, and each of them played it well. Overall they all felt very cunning, very manipulative, and willing to do anything to get what they wanted. But my biggest point here in talking about these three: I wanted to learn more about them and why they were the way they were, even as fey.

Valerian, Locke, and Nicasia were friends of Cardan’s, and I didn’t very much like them. Valerian was a huge jerk, Locke always seemed like there was something more mischievous and cunning underneath everything that he did, and Nicasia… well, I actually kind of liked her, despite her being a horrible person.

Taryn and Vivienne were Jude’s sisters, and though they had their parts to play in the story, I also felt like they were just there when it was most convenient for the plot. I do, however, really like Vivi and her determination to do everything in her power to go against her father’s, Madoc’s, wishes.

Okay, now let’s talk about the plot, because I have some things I want to say about it, as well as the writing through the first two thirds of the book.

First off, the writing continuously felt like it was jumping and cutting out scenes that should have taken place. When I was reading some parts and it instantly jumped from, for example, Jude about to go somewhere, it then jumped to her having already done it. Or there was no real dive into any sort of emotions – not often, anyway – or a real look at surroundings or situations that I really craved for.

There was no middle ground, no “filler,” I guess you could say. But it wasn’t just that that bothered me, it was my desire to feel something more for what was happening to Jude and what was happening around her.

I didn’t feel as connected as I was hoping because I felt so disconnected because of the jumpy writing – at least for the first two thirds of the story.

And then? Oh man, did it kick off right at the climax of the book, and even the writing got a lot better and I felt like I was following it a lot better than I was before.

The plot was leading up to the grand coronation of one of the princes, and when the thing (I won’t spoil it) happened, and then a lot of chaos ensued, I was shocked. Seriously, I hadn’t been expecting it to go down the way it did, and there was a lot of bloodshed and just… a lot of stuff happening.

The last third of the book really held my attention and, more than once, especially in the last chapter, I had to catch my breath because I was so anxious as to what was going to happen next, how it was going to play out, and if the plan was going to succeed.

Overall, I found that the last third of the book was much more enticing and dynamic than the first two thirds, but that’s not to say it was a bad read. I actually really enjoyed the book and found myself hooked into reading it, despite the flaws that I personally found. And I can’t wait to read the sequel; it’s going to be so good. THAT ENDING THOUGH. UGH, MY HEART.

★★★★☆