Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Emily Jeanne Phillips from Cats

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!

Emily Jeanne Phillips


Currently playing Jennyanydots on The National Tour of Cats

Instagram: @emilyjeanne4 (Follow her. She’s hilarious.)

What are you currently reading?


I just finished The Woman In the Window by AJ Fin.

What is your favorite book series?

Harry Potter.

Who is your favorite author?

I don’t currently have a favorite author! But I am starting to read all of Kristen Hannah’s books.

What book inspires you and why?

Becoming by Michelle Obama inspires me. She is honest and open about her time in the White House and her opinion on what’s going on with our country now. I think she’s brilliant and I would love for her to write more books.

Which literary character would you like to play?

The book I just read, The Woman in the Window, has a main character who is a woman and it’s a great thriller story. I’d love to play her if the book were turned into a movie.

What is the next book on your reading list?

The next book on my reading list is Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah.

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

I have thought about writing a book about the psychology of auditioning.

What show are you working on now?

I am currently in the National Tour of Cats as Jennyanydots the tap-dancing Gumibe Cat!


What is your favorite show to have been a part of and why?

My favorite show I’ve been of part of was a crazy off-broadway show called Attack of the Elvis Impersonators. I loved that experience because it got me my equity card and I bonded with a group of people who will forever be family.

I feature a new performer every month, so check back in August for our next guest! I would really love some suggestions for new questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know. Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Shout out to my kitty cat sister, Emily, for sharing with us.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Settings I Want to See More Of


Happy Top Ten Tuesday friends! Today our theme, hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl, is Ten Settings I Want to See More Of!

1. J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World

2. Boarding School

3. Old Hollywood

4. Ballet School/Company

5. Broadway Theatres

6. Medieval Europe

7. Alaska

8. The Pacific Northwest

9. Turn of the Century

10. Bookstores



Book Reviews

Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

32620332Summary: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

“I think the difference between an actress and a star is that the star feels comfortable being the very thing the world wants her to be.” -Evelyn Hugo

WOW.  This book is amazing.  First of all, Old Hollywood drama? Sign me up! But what’s really special about this book is its characters.  The entire book is an incredible insight into humanity and the light and dark in everyone.  Reid has done a remarkable job with creating insanely realistic and flawed humans to fill this story.  Evelyn Hugo is one of my new favorite literary characters.  She somehow manages to be a conniving, cutthroat and manipulative woman, while still being loveable, feisty, and sympathetic.  The use of her seven husbands as chapters in her story is brilliant and sets up the layout of the plot so well.  I loved how it explored all of the different types of love, and how all of them are important and complex in their own ways.  While I loved her relationship with “the one love of her life” (no spoilers here), I actually hated that character- which just made the read even more emotional and fantastic for me.  I am still blown away by the complexity of every single character in this novel.  This book is entertaining, beautifully written, and has so many important messages and themes.  It’s definitely a contender for my favorite read of 2019.

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Book Hangover (1)



I Have No Self Control: A Book Haul

So as most of you know, I am currently on tour with the Broadway Musical, Cats.  One of my favorite things about touring is getting to visit all of the amazing bookstores around the country.  However; as a bookaholic, this can make things difficult.  I have been living out of the same two suitcases for about 6 months now, and space is limited as you can imagine.  This fact does not seem to be able to deter me from book shopping, and I have wayyyy too many books with me on the road.  For all of you who will tell me to get a kindle, don’t worry, I have one of those too. 🙂 But how can I not buy the beauties I find in my bookish explorations!? Recently, my self-control has been extinguished and I have been on a book buying spree.  My luggage won’t thank me, but you know what? There are worse vices to have.


My Book Haul

Broken Throne (Red Queen #4.5) by Victoria Aveyard


Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas


The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston


The Summer Trilogy by Jenny Han

And believe me, it’s a miracle I haven’t bought more.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors


Hello gorgeous readers! Here we are back at it again with another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, Top 10 Auto-Buy Authors.  I have been doing A LOT, probably TOO MUCH, book shopping lately, and this week’s theme is just perfect for my bookstore habit.

1. Kristin Hannah

One of my all-time favorite authors, anything Kristin Hannah writes I will read.  All of her books are so good and she writes characters that really stick to your heart and won’t let go.

2. Meg Cabot

I LOVE this woman.  She has written so many amazing series and standalones that have crossed so many genres and age-groups.  I have grown up with her books and I look forward to every single one of them, and could honestly do a thorough Meg Cabot re-reading binge sometime soon.

3. Ken Follett (Historical Fiction Only)

Ken Follett has written my favorite book of all time, Pillars of the Earth, but all of his historical fiction novels are up there with it.  His characters are SO well written and the stories he tells are incredible.  I haven’t branched into his war thrillers yet, just because that genre is not my cup of tea.

4. Katharine McGee

I fell in love with Katharine McGee’s The Thousandth Floor trilogy, and now I will buy anything new that she comes out with.  I cannot wait for her next series, American Royals!

5. Taylor Jenkins Reid

I only recently discovered Taylor Jenkins Reid, but her latest two books have quickly become two of my favorite reads of the whole year.  I definitely want to check out her other books, and all her future works.

6. Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass is one of the best series I have ever read, and I loved ACOTAR too.  I am so excited for her new series coming out in 2020.  I’m a die hard fan now.

7. Victoria Aveyard

I love the cinematic The Red Queen Series so much and I’m dying her Aveyard to write another book or series.

8. Kate Morton

Kate Morton has written some of my favorite historical fiction books.  They are beautifully written, a little gothic in style, and so haunting.  I’m obsessed.

9. Libba Bray

I was so enamored by the Gemma Doyle Trilogy as a teen, and I’ve recently become obsessed with The Diviners.  I’m such a fan of Libba Bray.

10. Leigh Bardugo

Ok, so I’ve only JUST finished my first Leigh Bardugo book, but I am obsessed and already know she is going to become one of my faves!

Who are your auto-buy authors? Let me know who I’m missing in the comments ❤

Book Reviews

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim Review

42815556Summary: Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

*I received an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.  Thanks to Randomhouse Children’s for the opportunity!*

Ok. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book, and I was so wrong.  It’s really good.  It is a beautifully written story that has everything you could want out of a YA fantasy novel.  The adventure is epic and fun, the romance is swoony, the system of magic is interesting, and the main characters are wonderfully likable.  I absolutely loved the Chinese culture in this book, especially its influences on the magic system.  It all works so seamlessly and transports us to a really vibrant world that I can’t wait to see more of.  The whole story has a traditional folklore feel to it as well, which adds a level of maturity and simplicity in the storytelling.  Maia is a great heroine and really comes into her own by the end.  I loved her arc, but I do wish we could have seen it progressing a bit stronger throughout.  The chemistry and tension with her love interest are fabulous from the get-go, and the pace of their relationship was perfect.  The journey they take together is fun and fantastical and super fast-paced.  The ending packs a punch and left me wanting more.  I am so pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book and I cannot wait to see where this series goes.

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Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #13

I joined Goodreads a few years ago, way before I started blogging, so my profile is kind of a mess.  I really want to clean it up so I can make better use of it.  I thought what a better way to do that than to join the Down the TBR Hole meme started by Lia @Lost In a Story! I am going to do it once a month instead of weekly, and hopefully make my Goodreads a pleasant place to be again.

Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books

Decide: keep it or should it go?

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

76817._SY475_Sara Crewe, an exceptionally intelligent and imaginative student at Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies, is devastated when her adored, indulgent father dies. Now penniless and banished to a room in the attic, Sara is demeaned, abused, and forced to work as a servant. How this resourceful girl’s fortunes change again is at the center of A Little Princess, one of the best-loved stories in all of children’s literature.

My Thoughts: I LOVED this movie as a kid, and I actually watched it recently and sobbed like a little baby.  I feel like I would love the book as well and I consider it to be a classic so VERDICT: KEEP

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

First published in French as a serial in 1909, The Phantom of the Opera is a riveting 480204story that revolves around the young, Swedish Christine Daaé. Her father, a famous musician, dies, and she is raised in the Paris Opera House with his dying promise of a protective angel of music to guide her. After a time at the opera house, she begins hearing a voice, who eventually teaches her how to sing beautifully. All goes well until Christine’s childhood friend Raoul comes to visit his parents, who are patrons of the opera, and he sees Christine when she begins successfully singing on the stage. The voice, who is the deformed, murderous ‘ghost’ of the opera house named Erik, however, grows violent in his terrible jealousy, until Christine suddenly disappears. The phantom is in love, but it can only spell disaster.

My Thoughts: As a huge and long-time fan of the musical version, this story has always fascinated me.  However; seeing as I know the story so well from all of the adaptations, I don’t think I’ll need to read the book anytime soon.  Maybe someday, but for now… VERDICT: TOSS

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

11127Journeys to the end of the world, fantastic creatures, and epic battles between good and evil—what more could any reader ask for in one book? The book that has it all is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, written in 1949 by Clive Staples Lewis. But Lewis did not stop there. Six more books followed, and together they became known as The Chronicles of Narnia.

For the past fifty years, The Chronicles of Narnia have transcended the fantasy genre to become part of the canon of classic literature. Each of the seven books is a masterpiece, drawing the reader into a land where magic meets reality, and the result is a fictional world whose scope has fascinated generations.

My Thoughts: Ok, so I read The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe as a kid in school, but I never continued on in this iconic series and I’ve been meaning to get back to it forever. This one is obvious. VERDICT: KEEP

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

It’s New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast 9889at Tiffany’s. And nice girls don’t, except, of course, Holly Golightly. Pursued by Mafia gangsters and playboy millionaires, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly ‘top banana in the shock department’, and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.

My Thoughts: I have not seen the movie of this novella, but I know it’s a classic that I must watch someday.  Seeing as the novella is pretty short, I would like to read it as well.  VERDICT: KEEP

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

8546358Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be.

It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water’s heyday, and once the town’s grandest home—has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries of the haves and have-nots.

But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood—of the very prominent Osgood family, has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it.

For the bones—those of charismatic traveling salesman Tucker Devlin, who worked his dark charms on Walls of Water seventy-five years ago—are not all that lay hidden out of sight and mind. Long-kept secrets surrounding the troubling remains have also come to light, seemingly heralded by a spate of sudden strange occurrences throughout the town.

Now, thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the dangerous passions and tragic betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover truths of the long-dead that have transcended time and defied the grave to touch the hearts and souls of the living.

My Thoughts: Ok, this sounds so good.  I love a good Southern family story and mix it with a little magical realism and you’ve got me hooked. It also has pretty good ratings on Goodreads. VERDICT: KEEP

Alright, 1 out of 4 tossed.  Not too shabby.  What do you think of my choices? Let me know in the comments.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Favorite Harry Potter Characters


Happy Top Ten Tuesday folks! This week’s theme, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is a Character Freebie, so I thought I would celebrate my favorite characters from my favorite series.  Here are my Top Ten Favorite Harry Potter Characters.

Fred and George Weasley

They are my ultimate.  I love how fun-loving, sweet, caring, hilarious, family-oriented, and strong they are.  They know what they want and they go for it.

Remus Lupin

Lupin is the best.  He is such a great father figure and teacher for Harry, and I love their relationship.  I also love that he is flawed and imperfect and that we watch him struggle with his inner demons and that Harry doesn’t let him wallow in them and calls him out on it.

Molly Weasley

Is there a more bad-ass woman in Harry Potter? I don’t think so.  She is the fiercest mother, for both her own children and everyone else, especially Harry.  She loves unconditionally and is such a safe place for everyone.  Also, you can’t beat “Not my daughter, YOU BITCH!”

Lucius Malfoy

I know this is a weird one to be a favorite, but I can’t help but love the character of Lucius Malfoy.  His arc is so amazing to watch and I love watching him deteriorate.  He is such an incredibly flawed villain and his pride, and ultimately his cowardice, are his downfalls.

Severus Snape

The most imperfect hero of our time.  Do I love Snape as a person? Absolutely not.  But as a literary character, he is incredible.

Minerva McGonagall

My QUEEN.  How can you not love McGonagall?? So intelligent, caring, and the definition of a fantastic teacher.  She’s also got some great zingers.

Oliver Wood

My first book boyfriend ever, before I even knew what a book boyfriend was.

Sirius Black

I love Sirius.  He is wild and unpredictable but also arguably the most loyal character in the series.  His relationship with Harry is so sweet and I wish they could have had more time together.

Albus Dumbledore

Another flawed character.  I think it’s important to acknowledge Dumbledore’s humanity since I think we tend to think of him as a godly figure.  He was just trying to do the best he could with the information and power he had.  The development of his relationship with Harry is so complicated and wonderful.  He is just such an incredibly written character.

Rubeus Hagrid

Just the biggest teddy bear and purest of souls.  He was one of the first people in Harry’s life to show him kindness and true friendship.

Who are your favorite Harry Potter characters? Do you agree with my choices? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Book Reviews

ARC Review: The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets by Molly Fader

41887422Summary: What drove their family apart just might bring them back together…It’s been seventeen years since the tragic summer the McAvoy sisters fell apart. Lindy, the wild one, left home, carved out a new life in the city and never looked back. Delia, the sister who stayed, became a mother herself, raising her daughters and running the family shop in their small Pennsylvania hometown on the shores of Lake Erie. But now, with their mother’s ailing health and a rebellious teenager to rein in, Delia has no choice but to welcome Lindy home. As the two sisters try to put their family back in order, they finally have the chance to reclaim what’s been lost over the years: for Delia, professional dreams and a happy marriage, and for Lindy, a sense of home and an old flame–and best of all, each other. But when one turbulent night leads to a shocking revelation, the women must face the past they’ve avoided for a decade. And there’s nothing like an old secret to bring the McAvoy women back together and stronger than ever. With warm affection and wry wit, Molly Fader’s The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets is about the ties that bind family and the power of secrets to hold us back or set us free.

*I received a copy of this book from Harlequin- Graydon House Books through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Release Date July 16th, 2019

My Thoughts: This book is the epitome of a perfect, well written, summer beach read.  The plot was paced so well and I could not put it down until I figured out all of the secrets.  It was easy to read and had some really poignant metaphors and descriptions, along with some well developed and loveable characters.  We get to read from the four perspectives of the McAvoy women and they all had a distinctive, yet cohesive, voice.  Each woman had their own struggles that were relatable, intriguing, and helped to build a complex and wonderful set of characters.  I loved watching their relationships with each other evolve and discovering what had happened to wreck their former closeness.  The mystery was handled so well, and it ended up being a lot more exciting and dark than I had originally expected.  It dealt with a lot of difficult topics like dementia, abuse, grief, and depression, but was overall a story about family and connection.  I became so emotionally invested in these characters and their experiences that I was moved to tears more than once.  The afterword really wrapped it all up in a great dramatic way that had my jaw on the floor.  Overall, this was a super quick and easily investable story that I highly recommend for anyone looking for a great and fast-paced summer read.

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Mid-Year Freak Out Tag 2019

a baby shower for amelia

Hello dear readers! We are halfway through 2019! Where has the time gone?? I have been all over the United States touring with the Broadway musical Cats, and have had such a blast visiting all of the amazing bookstores in every city we visit.  I am a bit behind on my reading for where I wanted to be at this point in the year, but I’ve read so many great books and I’m pumped for all the ones I’m going to get to.  Without further ado, here is my 2019 Mid-Year Freak Out Tag.


I loved this series so much.  I know I’m way late on the train but it was just so freaking good.  I can’t wait for the next movie.



I was underwhelmed by The Cruel Prince, and The Wicked King really knocked it out of the park.  I’m super on board now and am dying to see what happens next.



I have no excuse.


I can’t just pick one.  These are my top 3 though.



I LOVED The Belles, and the sequel let me down 😦 It was okay, but not as good as I was hoping for.



I absolutely loved this book.



Taylor Jenkins Reid!! I devoured Daisy Jones and The Six and I cannot wait to read her other books.





Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Evelyn Hugo from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid



Ugh this book got me for some reason.  I just got so invested in the characters that my emotions were overwhelmed.



This book was so cute!!


I feel like I haven’t actually seen many this year….. Game of Thrones I guess?


I can’t think of one in particular, but I really love doing my Broadway Book Chat posts!



I love the cover of this one.  It’s so pretty!