Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #36

We’re slowly making headway on clearing out the good ole Goodreads TBR list, as it also steadily grows on the other end haha. Here is the next installment of the Down the TBR Hole meme that was started by Lia @Lost In a Story!

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?


One-Hit Wonder by Lisa Jewell

Shy and gawky, Ana has always daydreamed about living the life of her exotic half-sister, Bee, a pop singer who had a #1 hit single before she inexplicably vanished from the celebrity scene. When Bee turns up dead, Ana is dispatched to the big city to clear out her apartment. Instantly seduced by the second-hand glamour of Bee’s baubles, bangles and bottles of Pierre-Jouet, Ana takes up with Bee’s wild club-hopping cronies. News of a missing cat and a remote country cottage soon convince Ana that her sister was leading a secret life. Now Ana is on a mission to discover what really happened to Bee Bearhorn, the one-hit wonder–and what is about to happen to the unremarkable Ana Wills. 

My Thoughts: I’ve read, and really enjoyed, a few other Lisa Jewell books, and this one sounds a little darker and very interesting. VERDICT: KEEP


Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more — though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was — lovely and amazing and deeply flawed — can she begin to discover her own path in this stunning debut from Ava Dellaira, Love Letters to the Dead.

My Thoughts: This sounds like it could be really cool and unique. It also has a pretty goof rating on Goodreads… VERDICT: KEEP


Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Two best friends document their post-college lives in a hilarious, relatable, and powerfully honest epistolary memoir.

Fast friends since they met at Brown University during their freshman year, Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale vowed to keep in touch after their senior year through in-depth—and brutally honest—weekly e-mails. After graduation, Jess packs up everything she owns and moves to Beijing on a whim, while Rachel heads to New York to work for an art gallery and to figure out her love life. Each spends the next few years tumbling through adulthood and reinventing themselves in various countries, including France, China, and Australia. Through their messages from around the world, they swap tales of teaching classes of military men, running a magazine, and flirting in foreign languages, along with the hard stuff: from harrowing accidents to breakups and breakdowns.

Reminiscent of Sloan Crosley’s essays and Lena Dunham’s Girls, Graduates in Wonderland is an intimate, no-holds-barred portrait of two young women as they embark upon adulthood. 

My Thoughts: This sounds like it could be a fun adventure, but if I’m being honest, I will probably never get around to picking this up… VERDICT: TOSS


If Only by A.J. Pine

Sometimes it takes crossing an ocean to figure out where you belong.

It’s been two years since twenty-year-old Jordan had a boyfriend—which means it’s been forever since she, well, you know. But now she’s off to spend her junior year in Aberdeen, Scotland, the perfect place to stop waiting for Mr. Right and just enjoy Mr. Right Now.

Sexy, sweet (and possible player) Griffin may be her perfect, no-strings-attached match. He’s fun, gorgeous, and makes her laugh. So why can’t she stop thinking about Noah who, minutes after being trapped together outside the train’s loo, kisses Jordan like she’s never been kissed before? Never mind his impossible blue eyes, his weathered, annotated copy of The Great Gatsby (total English-major porn)…oh, and his girlfriend.

Jordan knows everything this year has an expiration date. Aberdeen is supposed to be about fun rather than waiting for life to happen. But E. M. Forster, Shakespeare, and mistletoe on Valentine’s Day make her reconsider what love is and how far she’s willing to go for the right guy.

My Thoughts: I was ready to toss this one, but then I re-read the blurb and now my Scotland wanderlust is strong. I live for a love triangle too (sue me). VERDICT: KEEP


Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

My Thoughts: WOW. So many thoughts on this one. It has amazing reviews, and sounds terrifyingly awesome in concept and I do love a good dystopian. However; people also say it’s very disturbing and almost horror like which is not my favorite thing to read… I am very intrigued. VERDICT: KEEP


Which books would you have kept? Which would you toss? Let’s chat in the comments! ❤

Discussion Posts

TBT: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Hello my friends! I’ve decided to start a new monthly feature: Throwback Thursday, where I re-read old favorites and give my updated thoughts and opinions. This month, we’re still plugging away with the Twilight series with the third installment Eclipse. This was my favorite of the four books originally, so I am excited to see how it stands up now.


Sheesh! Edward is so controlling!

I can’t believe I ever thought that Edward’s controlling behavior meant that he cared so much. He’s a crazy and him keeping Bella from seeing her friends, or really doing ANYTHING, without his “permission” is insane. Also he literally kidnaps her and forces her to stay at his house with Alice while he’s away so she can’t do anything he doesn’t want her to…. can you say psycho? You’re really pushing me into Jacobs arms here Edward.

I love me some Charlie Swan.

What a good guy. He might not do everything perfect, but he’s human. He cares about Bella so much even though he doesn’t always know how to show it.

Rosalie is a freaking QUEEN.

Rosalie might be my favorite character in the whole series. I love getting her backstory in detail in this book and it just reiterates again how awesome I think getting books about each of the Cullens would be.

I’m leaning heavily towards the #TeamJacob train.

Jacob and Bella’s friendship is just so sweet and their connection seems so much stronger than Bella and Edward’s. In most ways, their relationship makes more sense.

Jasper’s character is so complex.

Another backstory that I love. Jasper is such a complicated character and his story is so sad. Getting to know him better in this book is one of my favorite parts.

PSYCH. Jacob is also extremely toxic.

Uh-UH! Just when I thought you had me Jacob, you go and force yourself on her. I knew this happened, but the scene in the book is SO much worse than in the movie. Hearing Bella’s uncomfortable thoughts and then the sadness of her shutting down and just letting him assault her to get it over with is heartbreaking and makes me hate Jacob. Who do you think you are and why do you think you’re entitled to anything from this girl!? GET OUT.

I love how werewolves and the pack work in this series.

The pack dynamic and history is so cool. I completely forgot that we get in depth with it in this book and the pack mind is so fascinating.

Edward is redeeming himself.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s still possessive, but he is learning and realizes that his behavior isn’t good and will push Bella away (YA THINK!?). Especially after Jacob’s abhorrent behavior, Edward is starting to look pretty good again. I also love the conversation between Edward and Jacob when Bella is “asleep”. He really comes off well in that.

OMG JACOB IS THE WORST.

That’s right Jacob- you officially lost me. Threatening to kill yourself unless she says she loves you is the LOWEST and most manipulative move you could make. What a psychopath. I was so mad when I was reading this that I almost had to stop. #TEAMEDWARD forever!

This is still the best book of them all.

There is so much in this one. The story is good, the backstories are fantastic, the love triangle is at its all time high, the plot is exciting. Now I remember why this one was my favorite and after all this time it still is. It is the best book by far.


We’ll be back next month with the final installment of the TBT:Twilight edition, Breaking Dawn.

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #35

We’re slowly making headway on clearing out the good ole Goodreads TBR list, as it also steadily grows on the other end haha. Here is the next installment of the Down the TBR Hole meme that was started by Lia @Lost In a Story!

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?


The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston

“The dead are seldom silent. All that is required for them to be heard is that someone be willing to listen. I have been listening to the dead all my life.”

Lilith is the daughter of the sixth Duke of Radnor. She is one of the most beautiful young women in London and engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor. She is also a witch.

When her father dies, her hapless brother Freddie takes the title. But it is Lilith, instructed in the art of necromancy, who inherits their father’s role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. And it is Lilith who must face the threat of the Sentinels, a powerful group of sorcerers intent on reclaiming the Elixir from the coven’s guardianship for their own dark purposes. Lilith knows the Lazarus creed: secrecy and silence. To abandon either would put both the coven and all she holds dear in grave danger. She has spent her life honoring it, right down to her charming fiancé and fellow witch, Viscount Louis Harcourt.

Until the day she meets Bram, a talented artist who is neither a witch nor a member of her class. With him, she must not be secret and silent. Despite her loyalty to the coven and duty to her family, Lilith cannot keep her life as a witch hidden from the man she loves.

To tell him will risk everything.

My Thoughts: Ummmmmmm…. HOW HAVE I NOT READ THIS YET!? Witches and Edwardian England?! My two favorite things in one book. Not only am I keeping this, but I’m moving it up the list. VERDICT: KEEP


Hope in a Jar by Beth Harbison

Twenty years ago, Allie Denty was the pretty one and her best friend Olivia Pelham was the smart one. Throughout high school, they were inseparable…until a vicious rumor about Olivia— a rumor too close to the truth—ended their friendship.Now, on the eve of their twentieth high school reunion, Allie, a temp worker, finds herself suddenly single, a little chubby, and feeling old. Olivia, a cool and successful magazine beauty editor in New York, realizes she’s lonely, and is finally ready to face her demons.Sometimes hope lives in the future; sometimes it comes from the past; and sometimes, when every stupid thing goes wrong, it comes from a prettily packaged jar filled with scented cream and promises.Beth Harbison has done it again. A hilarious and touching novel about friendship, Love’s Baby Soft perfume, Watermelon Lip Smackers, bad run-ins with Sun-In, and the healing power of “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific.” Hope in a Jar: we all need it.

My Thoughts: This sounds cute and I love stories about friendship. This might be a book I would pick up if I saw it at the library, but in terms of keeping it on the TBR…. Idk. VERDICT: TOSS


Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

In a Ya-Ya Sisterhood for teens, Peaches combines three unforgettable heroines who have nothing in common but the troubles that have gotten them sentenced to a summer of peach picking at a Georgia orchard.

Leeda is a debutante dating wrong-side-of-the-tracks Rex.

Murphy, the wildest girl in Bridgewater, likes whichever side Rex is on.

Birdie is a dreamer whose passion for Girl Scout cookies is matched only by her love for a boy named Enrico.

When their worlds collide, The Breakfast Club meets The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in an entirely original and provocative story with a lush, captivating setting. 

My Thoughts: This has been on my list for such a long time. I vividly remember adding it back in my Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants phase. It has decent ratings on Goodreads too… VERDICT: KEEP


Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle

In 1837 London, young daughters of viscounts pined for handsome, titled husbands, not careers. And certainly not careers in magic. At least, most of them didn’t.

Shy, studious Persephone Leland would far rather devote herself to her secret magic studies than enter society and look for a suitable husband. But right as the inevitable season for “coming out” is about to begin, Persy and her twin sister discover that their governess in magic has been kidnapped as part of a plot to gain control of the soon-to-be Queen Victoria. Racing through Mayfair ballrooms and royal palaces, the sisters overcome bad millinery, shady royal spinsters, and a mysterious Irish wizard. And along the way, Persy learns that husband hunting isn’t such an odious task after all, if you can find the right quarry.

My Thoughts: This book sounds like it would be right up my alley, but after reading some reviews on Goodreads, I think it might not be worth the time… VERDICT: TOSS


The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow

Three sisters. One billionaire father. What could go wrong?

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad — a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite.

Suddenly the Strip’s most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

My Thoughts: Ok I was gonna toss this, but then I saw that Booklist called this Gossip Girl meets Princess DiariesVERDICT: KEEP (for now)


Which books would you have kept? Which would you toss? Let’s chat in the comments! ❤

Discussion Posts

TBT- New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

I have never been a re-reader. This phenomenon never made sense to me- until the pandemic when I went in search of certainty and comfort. Now my old favorites are screaming at me from my shelves and I want to get back in these worlds. I wrote a post about re-reading back then, and then did another TBT post revisiting Twilight. Well- here we are, with a potentially new monthly TBT feature where I will share my updated thoughts about these old treasures. This time we’re taking a look at New Moon, part 2 in the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer! Here are my main take aways from this reread.

Please ignore the nasty sticker residue on my cover haha

Edward and Bella’s relationship escalates so quickly.

At the beginning of New Moon Edward and Bella have been together for six months. SIX MONTHS. That used to seem like a LIFETIME to me. You’ve been together six months and you’re ready to give up your mortality for this guy?! It’s sus.

The way Edward leaves her is seriously messed up.

Idk if I just knew it was coming this time, or if I wan’t as invested in their love, but the way he ends things and then just leaves her in the middle of the forest is beyond cruel. And then he tries to come back at the end and be like “I WAS LYING”. The audacity.

The month section is ICONIC.

I 👏🏻 CON 👏🏻 IC 👏🏻. This section blew my little tween mind and really made me feel something I had never experienced in reading before. Say what you want about the series, but this way of storytelling was brilliant. Even if looking back I think Bella is way melodramatic about the whole situation.

Book Bella is 10x better than Movie Bella.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s still kind of annoying and cuckoo bananas, but I got so used to the movie version that I forgot how emotional she is in the book. She is actually pretty much ruled entirely by her emotions vs being a cardboard cutout. In fact, all of the characters lost A LOT of dimension and charm in the movies.

Jacob is really loveable.

Speaking of characters losing charm in the movies… Jacob is awesome in this book. I had forgotten why I ever liked him to be honest. Yeah, Taylor Lautner was hot, but Jacob’s wit and dimension were completely lost in the films. And his relationship with Bella actually develops, unlike with a certain vampire we know and love… for a moment… I started thinking that I might now be *GASP* #teamjacob.

Bella really does Jacob dirty.

The poor guy. To be fair, she upfront tells him she doesn’t feel that way for him- but then she goes and plays with his mind by acting the opposite. I get that she’s trying to figure out her feelings, but she straight up uses him and it kinda makes me mad.

The ending was gripping.

….and then Edward came back into the picture and the book PICKED UP. I didn’t even realize that it was sort of dragging (I think knowing the werewolf secret took out a bunch of the impact there), until we’re launched into the rescue mission and on a flight to Italy. I LOVE the Volturi and think a series about their origins and backstories would be incredible. There was a real sense of danger and fear and I was hooked, even knowing what was coming.

Overall, this book was better than Twilight.

Maybe I was desensitized, or prepared, after rereading Twilight, but this book seemed significantly better than the first. I’m really excited for Eclipse because that was my favorite in my first read through.

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #34

We’re slowly making headway on clearing out the good ole Goodreads TBR list, as it also steadily grows on the other end haha. Here is the next installment of the Down the TBR Hole meme that was started by Lia @Lost In a Story!

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?


Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future.

That was half a life ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband George is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone. All that’s left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own unspoken dreams and desires.

It’s a lot, but not enough to keep Eby from relinquishing Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand, and calling this her final summer at the lake. Until one last chance at family knocks on her door.

Lost Lake is where Kate Pheris spent her last best summer at the age of twelve, before she learned of loneliness, and heartbreak, and loss. Now she’s all too familiar with those things, but she knows about hope too, thanks to her resilient daughter Devin, and her own willingness to start moving forward. Perhaps at Lost Lake her little girl can cling to her own childhood for just a little longer… and maybe Kate herself can rediscover something that slipped through her fingers so long ago.

One after another, people find their way to Lost Lake, looking for something that they weren’t sure they needed in the first place: love, closure, a second chance, peace, a mystery solved, a heart mended. Can they find what they need before it’s too late?

At once atmospheric and enchanting, Lost Lake shows Sarah Addison Allen at her finest, illuminating the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places.

My Thoughts: This sounds sweet, and if I found it at an air bnb somewhere I might pick it up, but I don’t think this will be one I will actively search out. VERDICT: TOSS


Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

LILLIA, KAT, AND MARY ARE NOT FRIENDS.

In fact, they barely know one another. But a chance encounter in the girls’ room proves they have something big in common. The girls have all been hurt — by a bullt, an ex-friend, an almost boyfriend — and now they want payback. They hatch a scheme to work in secret, to help each other right the wrongs. Forget waiting for karma. They’re taking matters into their own hands.

My Thoughts: I mean…. Jenny Han meets John Tucker Must Die? I’m sold. Idk how I haven’t heard more about this one. VERDICT: KEEP


Crash by Nicole Williams

Southpointe High is the last place Lucy wanted to wind up her senior year of school. Right up until she stumbles into Jude Ryder, a guy whose name has become its own verb, and synonymous with trouble. He’s got a rap sheet that runs longer than a senior thesis, has had his name sighed, shouted, and cursed by more women than Lucy dares to ask, and lives at the local boys home where disturbed seems to be the status quo for the residents. Lucy had a stable at best, quirky at worst, upbringing. She lives for wearing the satin down on her ballet shoes, has her sights set on Juilliard, and has been careful to keep trouble out of her life. Up until now.

Jude’s everything she needs to stay away from if she wants to separate her past from her future. Staying away, she’s about to find out, is the only thing she’s incapable of.

For Lucy Larson and Jude Ryder, love’s about to become the thing that tears them apart.

My Thoughts: This sounds like Step Up to me. While I would probably enjoy this, I just don’t see myself ever getting around to reading it. VERDICT: TOSS


Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

Every so often that story comes along that reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time—against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever.

Lily Davis Woodward was married for just days before her husband was sent abroad to fight in World War II. Now he and the other soldiers are returning, and Lily and the small town of Toccoa, Georgia, plan a big celebration. Jake Russo, a handsome Italian immigrant, also back from war, is responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned. After a chance encounter in a starlit field, he steals Lily’s heart and soul—and fulfills her in ways her socially minded, upper-class family cannot. Now, torn by duty to society and her husband—and the poor, passionate man who might be her only true love—Lily must choose between a love she never knew and a commitment she’d already made.

Debut author Jeffrey Stepakoff takes us to a moment in time that will resonate with readers long after the book’s unforgettable conclusion. Poignant and elegant, Fireworks Over Toccoa is a mosaic of all the emotions that only love can make possible.

My Thoughts: This one has me torn. It has pretty polarizing reviews and is compared to Nicholas Sparks books- which I have a love/hate relationship with. The plot sounds good, and I do love a good romance… hmm I can’t decide. VERDICT: KEEP (for now)


The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfeld

All children mythologize their birth…So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter’s collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.

The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself — all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter’s story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.

As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.

Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida’s storytelling but remains suspicious of the author’s sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter and, in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life. 

My Thoughts: I have been drawn to this book for so long, and I actually have a copy somewhere in storage in NYC I think. It definitely gives me a certain vibe that I know one day I’m going to need. VERDICT: KEEP


Which books would you have kept? Which would you toss? Let’s chat in the comments! ❤

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #33

I joined Goodreads a while 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 and useful 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?


Abandon by Meg Cabot

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

My Thoughts: This is one of the few Meg Cabot books that I haven’t read, and I do plan to get to it. I love everything she writes and she’s one of my top 5 favorite authors. VERDICT: KEEP


The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

Kostova’s masterful new novel travels from American cities to the coast of Normandy, from the late 19th century to the late 20th, from young love to last love. The Swan Thieves is a story of obsession, history’s losses, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe, devoted to his profession and the painting hobby he loves, has a solitary but ordered life. When renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient, Marlow finds that order destroyed. Desperate to understand the secret that torments the genius, he embarks on a journey that leads him into the lives of the women closest to Oliver and a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.

Kostova’s masterful new novel travels from American cities to the coast of Normandy, from the late 19th century to the late 20th, from young love to last love. The Swan Thieves is a story of obsession, history’s losses, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

My Thoughts: This summary sounds really beautiful and intriguing… however; I hated The Historian. I pushed through to finish it but it was one of the slowest books I have ever read, which deters me from trying another one by this author… VERDICT: TOSS


City of Dreams: A Novel of Nieuw Amsterdam and Early Manhattan by Beverly Swerling

A sweeping epic of two families—one Dutch, one English—from the time when New Amsterdam was a raw and rowdy settlement, to the triumph of the Revolution, when New York became a new nation’s city of dreams.

In 1661, Lucas Turner, a barber surgeon, and his sister, Sally, an apothecary, stagger off a small wooden ship after eleven weeks at sea. Bound to each other by blood and necessity, they aim to make a fresh start in the rough and rowdy Dutch settlement of Nieuw Amsterdam; but soon lust, betrayal, and murder will make them mortal enemies. In their struggle to survive in the New World, Lucas and Sally make choices that will burden their descendants with a legacy of secrets and retribution, and create a heritage that sets cousin against cousin, physician against surgeon, and, ultimately, patriot against Tory.

In what will be the greatest city in the New World, the fortunes of these two families are inextricably entwined by blood and fire in an unforgettable American saga of pride and ambition, love and hate, and the becoming of the dream that is New York City.

My Thoughts: I bought this book on a whim on my kindle YEARS ago and still haven’t read it. It sounds like a story that is right up my alley and since I own it, I will probably read it someday. VERDICT: KEEP


Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker by Camille DeAngelis

In this brilliantly imagined tale of adventure and timeless romance, acclaimed novelist Camille DeAngelis blends WWII heroics with witchcraft and wit, conjuring a fabulously rich world where beldames and mortal men dare to fall in love.
Evelyn Harbinger sees nothing wrong with a one-night stand. At one hundred and forty nine years old, Eve may look like she bakes oatmeal cookies in the afternoon and dozes in her rocking chair in the evenings, but once the gray hair and wrinkles are traded for jet-black tresses and porcelain skin, she can still turn heads as the beautiful girl she once was. Can’t fault a girl for having a little fun, can you?
This is all fine and well until Eve meets Justin, who reminds her so much of a former lover, and one night is no longer enough. Eve spends more and more nights—and days—romancing Justin as her younger self, and noticing the many peculiar ways in which he is so like Jonah, her partner behind enemy lines in WWII and the love of her life. Experts in espionage, Jonah and Eve advanced the Allied cause at great personal sacrifice, and Jonah lost his life. Now Eve suspects that her Jonah has returned to her, and despite the disapproval of her coven, and the knowledge that love with a mortal man can only end in sorrow, she can’t give him up. But can she prove it’s really him?

My Thoughts: This book has been on my radar for a while. I own it, it stares at me from my bookshelf and it sounds like a good mix between historical fiction and fantasy- both my faves. VERDICT: KEEP


Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson

At twenty-one, Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Natty, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced Catholic mother and Jewish father. She’s got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up in a gas station mini-mart and falling in love with a great wall of a man named William Ashe, who willingly steps between the armed robber and her son.

Shandi doesn’t know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It’s been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his universe. But William doesn’t define destiny the way other people do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in science and numbers, destiny to him is about choice.

Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, in a funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness,; about a virgin birth, a sacrifice, and a resurrection; about falling in love, and learning that things aren’t always what they seem—or what we hope they will be. It’s a novel about discovering what we want and ultimately finding what we need

My Thoughts: I have absolutely no desire to read this anymore. I’m sure it’s a sweet story, but this type of thing just doesn’t appeal to me like it used to. VERDICT: TOSS


Which books would you have kept? Which would you toss? Let’s chat in the comments ❤

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #32

I joined Goodreads a while 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 and useful 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?


Little Night by Luanne Rice

Clare Burke’s life took a devastating turn when she tried to protect her sister, Anne, from an abusive and controlling husband and ended up serving prison time for assault. The verdict largely hinged on Anne’s defense of her spouse—all lies—and the sisters have been estranged ever since. Nearly twenty years later, Clare is living a quiet life in Manhattan as an urban birder and nature blogger, when her niece, Grit, turns up on her doorstep.

The two long for a relationship with each other, but they’ll have to dig deep into their family’s difficult past in order to build one. Together they face the wounds inflicted by Anne and find in their new connection a place of healing. When Clare begins to suspect her sister might be in New York, she and her niece hold out hope for a long-awaited reunion with her.

A riveting story about women and the primal, tangled family ties that bind them together, Little Night marks a milestone for Luanne Rice—the thirtieth novel from the author with a talent for creating stories that are “exciting, emotional, terrific”

My Thoughts: This sounds like it could be interesting, but if I’m being honest with myself, I probably will never get to it. VERDICT: TOSS


Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.

Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny.

Funny, haunting, and thought-provoking, Sisterland is a beautifully written novel of the obligation we have toward others, and the responsibility we take for ourselves. With her deep empathy, keen wisdom, and unerring talent for finding the extraordinary moments in our everyday lives, Curtis Sittenfeld is one of the most exceptional voices in literary fiction today.

My Thoughts: I remember really liking Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld and I’m fascinated by psychic abilities, so this book is exciting to me. VERDICT: KEEP


Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Edward Warren, twenty-four, has been living in Thailand for five years, a prodigal son who left his family after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. But he gets a frantic phone call: His dad lies comatose, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara.

With her father’s chances for recovery dwindling, Cara wants to wait for a miracle. But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate his father’s organs. Is he motivated by altruism, or revenge? And to what lengths will his sister go to stop him from making an irrevocable decision?

Lone Wolf explores the notion of family, and the love, protection and strength it’s meant to offer. But what if the hope that should sustain it, is the very thing that pulls it apart? Another tour de force from Jodi Picoult, Lone Wolf examines the wild and lonely terrain upon which love battles reason.

My Thoughts: I’ve liked most of the Jodi Picoult books I have read and I think this one was added for author alone cuz this one doesn’t sound appealing to me. VERDICT: TOSS


Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole

A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.
 
March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.
 
June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.

My Thoughts: Scotland and World War I!? Plus its high Goodreads rating? I’m sold. VERDICT: KEEP


Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar with her boardinghouse roommate stretching three dollars as far as it will go when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with royal blue eyes and a tempered smile, happens to sit at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a yearlong journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool toward the upper echelons of New York society and the executive suites of Condé Nast—rarefied environs where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.

Wooed in turn by a shy, principled multi-millionaire, and an irrepressible Upper East Side ne’er-do-well, befriended by a single-minded widow who is ahead of her time, and challenged by an imperious mentor, Katey experiences firsthand the poise secured by wealth and station and the failed aspirations that reside just below the surface. Even as she waits for circumstances to bring Tinker back into her life, she begins to realize how our most promising choices inevitably lay the groundwork for our regrets.

My Thoughts: I have been wanting to read this book for so long and I own a copy, so I will definitely be getting to this one eventually. VERDICT: KEEP


What do you think of my decisions? Do you agree? Let me know in the comments! ❤

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #31

I joined Goodreads a while 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 and useful 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?


Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you’re close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner’s heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly – and she must be very careful who she trusts . . .

Vanessa Adler attends an elite ballet school – the same one her older sister, Margaret, attended before she disappeared. Vanessa feels she can never live up to her sister’s shining reputation. But Vanessa, with her glorious red hair and fair skin, has a kind of power when she dances – she loses herself in the music, breathes different air, and the world around her turns to flames . . .

Soon she attracts the attention of three men: gorgeous Zep, mysterious Justin, and the great, enigmatic choreographer Josef Zhalkovsky. When Josef asks Vanessa to dance the lead in the Firebird, she has little idea of the danger that lies ahead – and the burning forces about to be unleashed . . .

My Thoughts: I just finished Tiny Pretty Things, and I am so into this elite ballet school vibe lately. There always seems to be a dark twist to them and it makes them addicting. Will definitely keep this in mind when I’m in the mood for another one. VERDICT: KEEP


Starstruck by Rachel Shukert

A new series set in the golden age of glam . . . Set in Old Hollywood, Starstruck follows the lives of three teen girls as they live, love, and claw their way to the top in a world where being a star is all that matters.

My Thoughts: I wish this had more of a synopsis… I do love Old Hollywood. From reading reviews it almost sounds like an new version of Valley of the Dolls, which is one of my all time faves. It seems to be a trashy and enjoyable read… VERDICT: KEEP


Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould

Venice, 1585.

When 16-year-old Laura della Scala learns that her older sister, Beatrice, has drowned, she is given no time to grieve. Instead, Laura’s father removes her from the convent where he forcibly sent her years earlier and orders her to marry Beatrice’s fiancé, a repulsive old merchant named Vincenzo. Panicked, Laura betrays a powerful man to earn her way into the Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency—secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura’s prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister’s death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder—one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trust.

My Thoughts: Ummmmm this sounds amazing!? It has good reviews, but not that many of them. I am really intrigued by this book and may have to bump this up on the list.. VERDICT: KEEP


The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

Henry’s fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry’s gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners’ team captain and Henry’s best friend, realizes he has guided Henry’s career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert’s daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.

As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. In the process they forge new bonds, and help one another find their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment – to oneself and to others.

My Thoughts: I added this book because I had heard good things about it from friends, but it doesn’t really call to me. I feel like it’s a book that I could potentially like, but with so many other books that I am actually drawn to, I probably won’t ever get around to this one. VERDICT: TOSS


Delirium by Lauren Oliver

In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn’t about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the “Wilds” who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love? 

My Thoughts: I haven’t read a dystopian YA in a LONG time. This one sounds interesting. We love an ill-fated romance. VERDICT: KEEP


What do you think of my decisions this time? Do you agree? Let me know in the comments! ❤

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #30

I joined Goodreads a while 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 and useful 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?


The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

East London, 1888 – a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths. Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger’s son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save, and sacrifice to achieve their dreams.

But Fiona’s life is shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man take from her nearly everything-and everyone-she holds dear. Fearing her own death, she is forced to flee London for New York. There, her indomitable spirit propels her rise from a modest West Side shop-front to the top of Manhattan’s tea trade. But Fiona’s old ghosts do not rest quietly, and to silence them, she must venture back to the London of her childhood, where a deadly confrontation with her past becomes the key to her future.

My Thoughts: This books sounds really intriguing. It’s set in my favorite time period and setting to read in the historical fiction genre, and it has a high goodreads rating! Definitely going to keep my eyes open for this one. VERDICT: KEEP


The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries #1) by L.J. Smith

A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror…

Elena
Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.

Stefan
Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.

Damon
Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.

The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

My Thoughts: Honestly, I loved the TV show but I don’t think I need to read this series. Maybe if I am in major need of a vampire fix, but there are other series I would go to first. Sooooo… VERDICT: TOSS


The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston

In her small early nineteenth century Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana, who has not spoken since she was a young girl. Her silence is a mystery, as well as her magic. Concerned for her safety, her mother is anxious to see her married, and Cai Jenkins, a widower from the far hills, seems the best choice.

After her wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving her mother, and wary of this man, whom she does not know, and who will take her away to begin a new life. But she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the wild mountains that surround it. Cai works to understand the beautiful, half-tamed creature he has chosen for a bride, and slowly, he begins to win Morgana’s affections. It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. A dark force is at work there—a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana. Forced to defend her home, her man, and herself, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.

My Thoughts: I have read one of Paula Brackston’s other books and I loved it. The rest of her books have been on my TBR for so long, and for some reason I just haven’t read them yet. I think it’s time. VERDICT: KEEP


Little Known Facts by Christine Sneed

The people who orbit around Renn Ivins, an actor of Harrison Ford-like stature–his girlfriends, his children, his ex-wives, those on the periphery–long to experience the glow of his flame. Anna and Will are Renn’s grown children, struggling to be authentic versions of themselves in a world where they are seen as less important extensions of their father. They are both drawn to and repelled by the man who overshadows every part of them.

Most of us can imagine the perks of celebrity, but Little Known Facts offers a clear-eyed story of its effects–the fallout of fame and fortune on family members and others who can neither fully embrace nor ignore the superstar in their midst. With Little Known Facts, Christine Sneed emerges as one of the most insightful chroniclers of our celebrity-obsessed age, telling a story of influence and affluence, of forging identity and happiness and a moral compass; the question being, if we could have anything on earth, would we choose correctly?

My Thoughts: This synopsis is giving me Evelyn Hugo vibes. I do love stories about Hollywood and celebrity. Hmmm. This is a tough one. It sounds good, but if I’m honest with myself I will probably never get around to reading it with so many other books on my TBR… VERDICT: TOSS (with potential of re-adding in the future)


Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees…
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

My Thoughts: I don’t know what it is, but something about books about angels turns me off. I think a big part of it is my aversion to religion, and the fact that there is usually some sort of religious undertone when dealing with angels. However; this book has some good and intriguing reviews that make me think twice about letting it go… VERDICT: KEEP


What do you think about my decisions? Which ones would. you have kept or tossed? Let me know in the comments! ❤

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #29

I joined Goodreads a while 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?


Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks comes a tender story of hope and joy; of sacrifice and forgiveness — a moving reminder that love is possible at any age, at any time, and often comes when we least expect it. At forty-five, Adrienne Willis must rethink her entire life when her husband abandons her for a younger woman. Reeling with heartache and in search of a respite, she flees to the small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina to tend to a friend’s inn for the weekend. But when a major storm starts moving in, it appears that Adrienne’s perfect getaway will be ruined — until a guest named Paul Flanner arrives. At fifty-four, Paul has just sold his medical practice and come to Rodanthe to escape his own shattered past. Now, with the storm closing in, two wounded people will turn to each other for comfort — and in one weekend set in motion feelings that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives.

My Thoughts: I went through a Nicholas Sparks phase, and added all of his books to my TBR. I have actually found that I tend to prefer the films (I know, that’s sacrilegious) and don’t really feel the need to read this one anymore… VERDICT: TOSS


The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith

Don’t get mad. Get everything.

When their best friend commits suicide over her divorce, Elise, Brenda and Annie decide enough is enough. Each was crucial to her husband’s career. But now that the men are successful, they’ve traded in their wives for newer, blonder models.

Over lunch one day they form the First Wives Club. But this is no support group. This is the SAS in Chanel. Painstakingly, inexorably, they plan the downfall of the men who’ve wrecked their lives – and know that revenge has never tasted sweeter…

My Thoughts: I absolutely adore this movie, and because of that I don’t think I need to read the book. VERDICT: TOSS


The Pact by Jodi Picoult

For eighteen years the Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other, sharing everything from Chinese food to chicken pox to carpool duty—they’ve grown so close it seems they have always been a part of each other’s lives. Parents and children alike have been best friends, so it’s no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily’s friendship blossoms into something more. They’ve been soul mates since they were born.

So when midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the appalling truth: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There’s a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris took from his father’s cabinet—a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris has described. 

My Thoughts: I went into this thinking I was going to get rid of this one, but it actually sounds really good. I’ve liked the books by Jodi Picoult that I have read in the past and this one has high ratings. VERDICT: KEEP


The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper

Italy . . . Shakespeare . . . but no romance?

Kate Sanderson inherited her good sense from her mother, a disciplined law professor, and her admiration for the Bard from her father, a passionate Shakespeare scholar. When she gets dumped, out of the blue, for the Practically Perfect Ashley Lawson, she vows never to fall in love again. From now on she will control her own destiny, and every decision she makes will be highly reasoned and rational. She thinks Shakespeare would have approved.

So when she is accepted to a summer Shakespeare symposium in Verona, Italy, Kate sees it as the ideal way to get over her heartbreak once and for all. She’ll lose herself in her studies, explore ancient architecture, and eat plenty of pasta and gelato. (Plus, she’ll be getting college credit for it—another goal accomplished!) But can even completely logical Kate resist the romance of living in a beautiful villa in the city where those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet met and died for each other? Especially when the other Shakespeare Scholars—in particular Giacomo, with his tousled brown hair, expressive dark eyes, and charming ways—try hard to break her protective shell?

“In fair Verona, where we lay our scene . . . “

My Thoughts: This sounds really cute and like a great summer beach read. I definitely have other books that will come before it, but it does sound like something I would still enjoy. VERDICT: KEEP


Looking for Alaska by John Green

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.

My Thoughts: I honestly just have no desire to read this anymore. I really enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, but did not like Paper Towns at all. I just feel like while this would probably be a quick read, there are other books for me to spend my time on. VERDICT: TOSS


What do you think about my decisions? Let me know in the comments 🙂