Monthly Wrap-Ups

September 2017 Wrap-Up

It’s finally fall! I have had a slow reading month this September, because I have been busy performing in A Chorus Line in Colorado! Although I’ll be sad to say goodbye to this beautiful show, I am ready to get back to NYC and kick my reading into gear again!

IMG_6553

Books Read:

Books Acquired:

Currently Reading:

33571713

Broadway Book Chat: Anthony Chan from The King and I

22052419_10212132067270699_1345771705_n

September Reviews:

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

Bubblegum ARC by Sari Taurez

September Posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Were A Chore To Get Through

Top Ten Tuesday: Throwback to My Favorite YA Series

The Mystery Blogger Award

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Feature Sisters

 

Advertisements
Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Anthony Chan

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and castmates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

22052419_10212132067270699_1345771705_n

Anthony Chan

Currently playing Prince Chulalongkorn on the National Tour of The King and I

www.chan-anthony.com

instagram/twitter: @chanttt

What are you currently reading?

I just finished All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (for the second time, hehe).  There is something about WWII that fascinates me, and this book really hit it out of the park me– the way the book progresses, the dynamics in which the characters are written, and how much detail is put into each short chapter that switches between the story of the boy and the story of the girl.

What is your favorite book series?

Harry Potter. Next question, please! Haha. Seriously though- I remember getting the books when I was a teenager and finishing them the minute I got home.  I couldn’t put those books down!

Who is your favorite author?

Untitled design (7)

Kurt Vonnegut! I remember reading Cat’s Cradle for one of my summer reading books for Honor’s English class in high school, and his weird way of story telling got me hooked.

What book inspires you and why?

This may be a weird answer, but You’re A Badass by Jen Sincero.  That was the first book I read in 2017, and it truly did direct me in a path for the coming year.  It’s a self-help book, indeed, but it inspired me to take 2017 into my own hands and get it DONE.

Which literary character would you like to play?

Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye.  He’s such a complex character and goes through so many of the same things that most teenagers go through.  He’s also a badass.

What book would you like to see turned into a movie/musical/play?

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan! They’re already in production for the movie, and I cannot wait to see the drama unfold on the big screen! And the fact that the movie cast Asian actors to portray roles written for Asians!

What book is next on your reading list?

Next up is a book that the incomparable Laura Michelle Kelly, our leading lady Anna Leonowens, bought for me– Identity: Discover Who You Are and Live a Life of Purpose by T.D. Jakes.  But after that, I want to read The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly.  I’m not a big fan of romance novels, but my Big really liked it, so I thought I would give it a whirl haha.

22052409_10212132067110695_1574562148_n

Catch Anthony and the rest of the cast of The King and I on tour around the US!

www.thekinganditour.com

I feature a new performer every month! I would love some suggestions for questions, or things you would like to know! Leave them in the comments and I will add them for future interviews! A huge thank you to my love Anthony Chan for sharing with us! ❤

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Feature Sisters

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s prompt from The Broke and the Bookish was “Ten Books That Feature Characters ____________.”  After spending some much-needed time with my sister this weekend, I was inspired to do a list of books that feature sisters and the complex relationships they share.

True Colors by Kristin Hannah, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, The Fifth Avenue Artist’s Society by Joy Callaway, Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz, Sorority Sisters by Claudia Welch, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Aimee Friedman, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, The Pretty One by Cheryl Klam, The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

sisters

My sisters ❤

557004_10151230394496031_741137853_n

❤ Chi Omega Yours Forever ❤

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books on My Fall TBR List

I love Fall.  I don’t care how basic it is, but I love me a jean jacket, a pumpkin spice latte, and a good pair of boots.  I also love cuddling under a cozy blanket and reading a new book.  This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme from The Broke and the Bookish celebrates our Fall To Be Read Lists! Here are 10 books I am looking forward to reading this fall!

33571713A Column of Fire by Ken Follett: I have been waiting FOREVER for this book to come out! Ken Follett is my favorite, and his Kingsbridge series are my favorite books of all time.  I am currently reading this one, and loving it.

 

29923707One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake: I can’t wait any longer for this book.  I am dying to find out what is going to happen!! The suspense is killing me!

 

 

25740412The Black Witch by Laurie Forest: This book has a lot of controversy.  It sounds like something I would love, and I’m excited wait to see what all the fuss is about.

 

 

cover118067-mediumSparked by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous: I requested this book on Netgalley, and have been waiting for the right time to read it.  It sounds kind of spooky, which is perfect for fall.

 

 

cover117283-mediumThe Canary Club by Sherry D. Ficklin: I love the Roaring 20’s, especially after having lived in them on stage for 2 years, and this Netgalley book caught my eye immediately.

 

 

cover115302-mediumThe Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert: This book sounds so interesting, and after reading the first few pages, I think I’m going to like it.  Another book with a perfect fall vibe.

 

 

1278752The House at Riverton by Kate Morton: I fell in love with Kate Morton after I read The Forgotten Garden.  I bought this book a while ago, and have been staring at it on my shelf.  With Morton’s gothic undertones, it sounds like a perfect cold fall snuggle day book.

 

32283133I love Dan Brown.  I have read all of his books, and I can’t wait for this one to come out on October 3rd!  They are always such fun and exciting reads, and I love Robert Langdon!

 

 

16034235Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: After becoming obsessed with A Court of Thorns and Roses, I figured I HAD to start this series.  Plus I have heard a million great things.

 

Book Reviews

Bubblegum ARC Review

*I received an ARC copy in return for an honest review! Thank you Sari Taurez! Expected Publication 10/9/17*

35615310Goodreads Summary: Tiana is your typical pampered young blonde with a love for expensive shoes, hot guys, and murder.

After Tiana is cut off from her family’s riches, she takes advantage of her talents and becomes a killer for hire. It’s a lucrative business in her country, where a call to the police can amount to a lifetime of debt.

Her first client: Julia, a lower-class IT genius, lesbian, and devout Catholic. When the orphanage Julia volunteers at is targeted by the infamous brothel-owner Bobby Nails, Tiana is excited to take the job. But when she discovers Bobby Nails has a full army of mercenaries at his disposal, Tiana wonders if she may be in over her head.

Tiana and Julia face an unexpected adventure as they seek vengeance against the elusive Nails. Along the way they are joined by Ruby, a pyromaniac ex-prostitute who catches Julia’s eye, and William, a mysterious acrobatic fugitive searching for his daughter.

In the end, will they be enough to stop Nails and the chaos he has created?

My Thoughts: When Sari Taurez contacted me about reviewing her new book, Bubblegum, I was immediately attracted to the cover and the synopsis. It sounded very refreshing, unique, and full of girl power.  I knew from the prologue that I was gonna be in for an interesting journey, and I was not wrong.  This book moves fast.  The plot is action-packed and exciting, and for such a quick read, a lot happens.  There were so many great action sequences, that I found the transitions a little lacking, and would have liked  more development between each major event.  The plot line was unique and fun to follow.  It definitely has a heightened comic book vibe, and I think it would be fantastic on screen.  It has a few twists that I really enjoyed (even if I did see them coming).  Our protagonist, Tiana, is a feisty, selfish, impulsive, and sarcastic anti-hero, and I liked her.  I rooted for her throughout the entire book, and connected with her character more than any of the others.  As an actress, I kept thinking how fun she would be to play.  Her partner in crime, Julia, I found to be really dull in comparison, and I wanted her to have a stronger arc.  This book has such an array of diverse characters, which was refreshing to read, but they seemed a little under-developed and one dimensional to me.  The futuristic world of Bubblegum was interesting, and I wish we could have had it fleshed out a little more.  The concept was cool, but the way she described it was pretty vague, and I would have loved a few more details and explanations.  We only got glimpses into how the world worked, instead of being completely immersed in it.  There were a few inconsistencies in the perspective switches too, and I often had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to see who’s perspective I was supposed to be reading. This book’s main focus is in its actions, and although it had exciting scenes, I needed more than that to hold my interest.  All in all, I didn’t love this book.  It was ok, but was a little lacking in everything but girl-power and action.

Untitled design (2)

Tags

The Mystery Blogger Award

mysteryblogger

I was nominated for The Mystery Blogger Award by the lovely Rose from Tea with Roses Tomes. Her blog is fantastic, and her tea recommendations are on point!  This award was created by Okoto.

The Rules:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  • Share a link to your best post(s).

Three Things About Me:

  1. I am blind as a bat.  I have had glasses since third grade, and contacts since 6th.  I cannot see ANYTHING without my contacts/glasses.  I even have to special order lenses because my prescription is too thick for most frames.
  2. I have been dancing since I was two.  I grew up in my Grandma’s dance studio, and then my parents took it over when she retired. It’s my second home.
  3. I still sleep with my stuffed Bunny (Bun Bun) from when I was a baby.

Questions From Tea With Rose’s Tomes:

What is your favorite trilogy of all time?

Dang. This is a hard question. The Spoils of Time Trilogy by Penny Vincenzi, The King Killer Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss will be once that third book comes out……

What is your most loved and hated trope?

I’m kind of indifferent towards tropes.  I think it depends on the book and how well it is written.  I’m not the biggest fan of insta-love though.

Favorite book boyfriend/girlfriend?

Jamie Fraser, Rhys, or Eric Northman… I can’t pick one.

What is your favorite beverage?

COFFEE.

If you were immortal for a day, what would you do?

Hmmmm… A day is not very long… I feel like this should be some sort of spiritual answer, but all I can think of is playing with tigers.

My Questions for Nominees: 

  1. Who is your favorite author?
  2. Who would play you in the movie about your life?
  3. If you could be any animal for a day, which would you choose?
  4. Which character would you like to bring to life?
  5. What was the last book you read?

My Best Posts:

Broadway Book Chat: Blaire Baker

Love & Gelato Review

I nominate Amy at Inkyspells, Sarah at Book Hooked Nook, Kelly at Kelly New Book, Jessica at Reading With Jessica, Kathy at Books & Munches, Paige at Books and Belle, Mikaela at The Well-Thumbed Reader, Holly at Dressed to Read, Kat at A Bookie’s Books, and Caro at CJRtheBrit

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Throwback to My Favorite YA Series

Happy Top Ten Tuesday friends! Today’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is a Throwback Freebie, so I’m throwing it back to some of my old favorite YA series!

  1. Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar (2002)

2. The It Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar (2005)

3. The A-List by Zoey Dean (2003)

4. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (2000)

5. The Mediator by Meg Cabot (2000)

6. Airhead by Meg Cabot (2008)

7. Magic In Manhattan by Sarah Mylnowski (2005)

8. Pretty Little Liars by Sarah Shepard (2006)

9. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (2001)

10. The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (2005)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Were a Chore to Get Through

I missed last weeks Top Ten Tuesday, but I’m glad to be back with this one! This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish was “Books That We Struggled With.”  Here have been some of my hardest to get through reads.

119089The Witching Hour by Anne Rice: I love witches.  I always have, and I also love a book with a deep background and character history.  So, this book should have been perfect for me.  I hated it.  There was hardly any plot and read it like a text book.  There were a few exciting sections that I actually enjoyed, but when there are maybe 100 entertaining pages in a book of 1200 pages, that is a problem.  I pushed through, but when I finished I was left wondering why I bothered.

17465453The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert: Eat, Pray, Love changed my life, in the most cliche and uncliche ways possible.  When I found out that Elizabeth Gilbert also wrote a few fiction books, I was so excited, but this book was a STRUGGLE for me.  I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and the plot was too slow to keep me entertained.

 

10988Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon:  I loved Outlander, but as the series went on, I kind of lost my enthusiasm.  I still plan on finishing the series, but I’m more hesitant to start the next one because I know it is going to be a big undertaking.  I am also less invested in the plots of the later books and they seem to drudge on more and more, unfortunately.  Jamie Fraser still has my heart though.

10692The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: I read this book on spring break in high school, and it took what seemed like FOREVER to finish.  It seemed so intriguing at first, and then I was just lost and reading to get to the finish line.  Probably not the best choice for a beach read though..

 

37442Wicked by Gregory Maguire: As a huge fan of the musical, Wicked, I just had to read the book.  It is very different from the stage version.  It is darker, very political, and I didn’t enjoy it.  I wanted so badly to love it, but I couldn’t get on board.  Still love the idea though.

 

2520383The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie:  I found this book at Half-Priced Books, and the cover was beautiful, and the description sounded amazing.  It was not.  I honestly could not even tell you what happened in this book because it made absolutely no sense.  For some reason I finished it…

 

6101718The Magicians by Lev Grossman: This book had so much hype, and the TV series was coming out, and I thought I was going to be obsessed.  I hated it.  It was so pretentious, all of the characters sucked, and the entire book was so negative I couldn’t handle it.  I did not go on to read the rest of the series, although I hear the TV show is better than the book.

 

18730321Paris by Edward Rutherfurd:  I read this book when I went to Paris with my grandma, and it was cool to get the history of the city.  It was a little confusing with all the switching perspectives in different time lines, and it took me longer than I would have liked to read it.  I wanted to tackle this 800 page book, and even though it was sometimes a struggle, I did enjoy it overall.

 

21996The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson: This book was interesting.  I really loved the parts about the serial killer and that mystery, but the rest about the architects was too slow for me and I feel like I skimmed a lot of it to get back to the exciting parts.  I was happy when it was over and I could start a new book.

 

18405Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: I LOVED this book, but man was it hard to get through.  Its 1000 pages were beautiful, and I am obsessed with Scarlett and Rhett, but it was no picnic.  I remember feeling so accomplished when I finished it.  I find myself wanting to re-read it, even though it’s a beast.

 

Book Reviews

The Thousandth Floor Review

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

24921954Goodreads Summary: NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.
A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.
WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.
A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.
LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.
ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.
RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?
WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.
And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.
Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….

My Thoughts:

I am obsessed with this book.  To say that it was addictive is an understatement.  I could not stop thinking about these characters or this story when I was not reading.  I couldn’t even get it out of my head when I was out at the bar with friends.  It’s that good.  Katharine McGee did an amazing job creating a futuristic New York City.  It was kind of surreal to read about a futuristic NYC, while being in the current one.  Everything was over the top, but not to a ridiculous standard.  The idea of vertical urbanization, is a very realistic, and logical way that huge cities can continue to grow and expand with technology.  I loved the tech and gadgets that she created for this time period, which all made sense with the trajectory we see technology moving toward now.  I loved learning about the structure of the tower, and the way that it completely changed the dynamics of the city as a whole.   The use of the phrases “up tower” and “down tower,” as the common vernacular, really tickled this “up-town” girl. The fact that people could live a completely full life, just as we do today, without ever leaving the tower was mind blowing.  The few glimpses that we got of the rest of the world were also super intriguing, and I want to know more about what the future outside The Tower looks like.

Inside this beautifully crafted world, were a group of super dynamic characters.  McGee did a great job of writing diverse characters, without seeming like she was trying too hard to be diverse.  They all had interesting and developed arcs, especially Leda and Eris (who was my favorite).  The switching of perspectives with each chapter weaved together a very exciting and fast paced plot.  There was never a character whose chapter I dreaded.  I connected with them all in different ways, and could not wait to find out what was going to happen to them.  I finished the book with my jaw on the floor, and celebrated when I realized I only had to wait a week until the second book was released (it is now in my hands and I could not be more thrilled)!  I still have a humongous book hangover, and I think The Dazzling Heights will be the only cure.

Untitled design (5)

Book Hangover