Top Ten Tuesday · Uncategorized

Top 10 Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2020

As this crazy year comes to a highly anticipated end, I’m looking back on all the amazing books that got me through it. I am so thankful for literature and the bookish community as I truly believe that without it I would have entirely lost my sanity this year. So let’s celebrate the greats with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl, Favorite Books of 2020.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

This was one of my first reads of 2020, and I fell in love with these characters and Emma Lord’s writing. It was such a heartwarming rom-com.

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

I am obsessed with the movie Grease, and have been for my entire life, and I absolutely adored this modern, LGBTQ+ retelling. It even made me cry in public on the subway…

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Kate Morton is one of my all-time favorite authors. I have yet to read a book of hers that has not given me a book hangover and The Clockmaker’s Daughter was no exception. The format was unique and beautifully crafted, and it left me in awe over her writing prowess and how deeply she makes me care about her characters.

The Deverill Chronicles by Santa Montefiore

This series is in the running of having my #1 spot this year. It was too hard to pick which book I liked the most, so I’m counting it all as one.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Another series that I just can’t decide which is my favorite so I’m including them all. It is so good and I am really grateful that I finally read them, even if I’m super late to the party.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I loved this book. It is the first book to ever give me similar feelings to reading Harry Potter for the first time. It is insanely clever, funny, sweet, and exciting. I’m really looking forward to continuing the rest of the series.

Fable by Adrienne Young

I devoured this book. It really took me by surprise how much I loved it and I cannot wait until book 2. Also, this cover is so stunning. I read this on my kindle and want to buy a physical copy just to look at it on my shelf.

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

This probably comes as no surprise, but this is also in the running for my top spot. I love Alice Hoffman and this series in particular. The Owens women have such a strong place in my heart.

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

It took me way too long to pick up this book, but I am so glad I finally did. Will definitely not be waiting as long to get book 3 this time!

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

Just another masterpiece by my favorite author.

What are your favorite books of 2020?! Leave them in the comments so we can gush about them together or I can add them to my TBR! ❤


12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

Hello everyone and happy Christmas Eve for my fellow Christmas celebrators! I would normally be bringing you a Broadway Book Chat today, but I got a little too into the holiday spirit and wanted to do something Christmasy, so check back in January for the next Broadway Book Chat!

I found this tag over at Kristin Kraves Books and it was created at Falling Down The Book Hole. The 12 Days of Christmas has always been one of my favorite Christmas songs, as well as being one of my favorite routines in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, so I knew I wanted to do this tag.

Some of these questions were hard y’all, so I’ve decided to limit my answers to books I have read this year in 2020!


The partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favourite stand alone?

I realized I haven’t read that many standalones this year and two of them were by Emma Lord (I absolutely loved both and can’t wait for her to write another book). I just finished this one and it’s still tugging on my heartstrings, so I’m gonna say this was my favorite this year.


Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?

Ugh this one is hard. I love romance and there are so many. I think I have to say Tessa and Will from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. I’m only at book 2, and right now I’m pissed!


In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have read?

I still need to read the last book, but the first two both gave me book hangovers and this trilogy has quickly become one of my all time favorites even without knowing the ending.


Since series usually consist of four or more books, what is your favourite series?

I haven’t really binged any series this year, and I’ve been kind of sporadic with reading a bunch of different ones, but I think my favorite one that I’m in the middle of right now is The Shadow Hunter books by Cassandra Clare. I love all of them and kind of view the different series all as one giant one.


One ring to rule them all! Who is your Favourite Villain/Antagonist?

Hmmmm… I finally finished the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, so I am going to count the whole series as a valid choice for this one, even though the books I read this year did not have the same villain, and say Warner. I’m obsessed with his whole character arc.


Creation is a beautiful thing. What is your favourite world/world-building?

Once again, I have to say The Shadow Hunters universe. It is so beautifully crafted and expansive.


Who needs seven swans when all it takes is one good animal sidekick? Who’s your favourite animal sidekick?

hmmmmm…. I don’t read a lot of books that have animal sidekicks….. does Grover from Percy Jackson count? hahaha


Milk is so 18th century. Which book or series takes beverages/food to a whole new level?

The things Leo cooked in You Have a Match by Emma Lord sounded so delicious.


Dancing is just one skill of a Lady! Who is your favourite kickass female lead?

I’ve read about so many awesome females this year, but Fable is about as kick-ass of a female lead as you can get. I LOVE her.


How about your favourite leading lad?

Ahhh. These questions are so tough. I think I have to say Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices.


What is your favourite book or bookish thing with musical influence? (It can be about music, reference music a lot etc.)

I love this series and this book in particular had a lot of music in it with Henry as a main focus.


Drum roll please…what is your favourite read of this year?

Oooooof. I still have a few more days of reading left, so this one I’m going to leave TBD…

What do you think of my choices? What would your answers have been? Let me know in the comments ❤

I tag anyone who has had a peppermint mocha recently and let me know if you do it so I can see your answers! 🙂


Top Ten Tuesday (Thursday?): Books On My Winter TBR

Hello everyone! I took last week off of blogging because I was moving and it was pretty hectic. I am back with a Top Ten Tuesday on a Thursday, because what better way to get back on track?! This week’s theme, hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl, is Books On My Winter TBR.

Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer Armentrout

Influence by Sara Shepard and Lilia Buckingham

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

What books are on your Winter TBRs? Let me know in the comments! ❤


Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #26

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?

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

Assigned to the same dorm their first year at Smith College, Celia, Bree, Sally, and April couldn’t have less in common. Celia, a lapsed Catholic, arrives with her grandmother’s rosary beads in hand and a bottle of vodka in her suitcase; beautiful Bree pines for the fiancé she left behind in Savannah; Sally, pristinely dressed in Lilly Pulitzer, is reeling from the loss of her mother; and April, a radical, redheaded feminist wearing a “Riot: Don’t Diet” T-shirt, wants a room transfer immediately.

Together they experience the ecstatic highs and painful lows of early adulthood: Celia’s trust in men is demolished in one terrible evening, Bree falls in love with someone she could never bring home to her traditional family, Sally seeks solace in her English professor, and April realizes that, for the first time in her life, she has friends she can actually confide in.

When they reunite for Sally’s wedding four years after graduation, their friendships have changed, but they remain fiercely devoted to one another. Schooled in the ideals of feminism, they have to figure out how it applies to their real lives in matters of love, work, family, and sex. For Celia, Bree, and Sally, this means grappling with one-night stands, maiden names, and parental disapproval—along with occasional loneliness and heartbreak. But for April, whose activism has become her life’s work, it means something far more dangerous.

Written with radiant style and a wicked sense of humor, Commencement not only captures the intensity of college friendships and first loves, but also explores with great candor the complicated and contradictory landscape facing young women today.

My Thoughts: I really enjoy stories about female friendship. This kind of sounds like a more grown up version of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which I adored. However; after reading some reviews and getting an insight into the style of this novel, I don’t think I’ll get around to reading it. VERDICT: TOSS

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow.

Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

My Thoughts: I came into this expecting to toss this book, but after re-reading the synopsis and some reviews, my interest is piqued and this sounds like a really good read. VERDICT: KEEP

Penelope by Rebecca Harrington

When Penelope O’Shaunessy steps into Harvard Yard for the first time she has lots of advice from her mother. “Don’t be too enthusiastic, don’t talk to people who seem to be getting annoyed, and for heaven’s sake, stop playing Tetris on your phone at parties.” Penelope needs this advice. She is the kind of girl who passes through much of her life with coffee spilled on her white shirt, who can’t quite tell when people are joking, and who, inevitably, always says the wrong thing. But no amount of coaching will prepare Penelope for the people she meets at school.

Capturing the social hierarchy of Harvard, gloriously skewing the various college types, and skillfully parodying the pretentiousness of academia, Penelope is the ridiculous, snarky, brilliantly funny story of one of the most singular, memorable heroines in recent fiction.

My Thoughts: This just doesn’t sound good to me anymore. It also has a pretty low rating on Goodreads, which usually doesn’t bode well. VERDICT: TOSS

The White Forest by Adam McOmber

Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father in a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret—an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of man-made objects—and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan.

But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by the feelings both girls develop for Nathan, and by Nathan’s interest in a cult led by Ariston Day, a charismatic mystic popular with London’s elite. Day encourages his followers to explore dream manipulation with the goal of discovering a strange hidden world, a place he calls the Empyrean.

A year later, Nathan has vanished, and the famed Inspector Vidocq arrives in London to untangle the events that led up to Nathan’s disappearance. As a sinister truth emerges, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent, and use it to find Nathan herself, before it’s too late. 

My Thoughts: First of all that cover is absolutely STUNNING and makes me want to read the book. The story sounds dark, magical, and complicated which I always love. VERDICT: KEEP

The Half-life of Hannah by Nick Alexander

Exciting new drama from Nick Alexander, author of the number one hit The Case Of The Missing Boyfriend.

If your first love came back to offer you everything you ever dreamed of, what would you do?

Hannah is thirty-eight and the happily married mother of eleven-year-old Luke, the diamond in her world. Her marriage is reassuringly stable, and after fifteen years she has managed to push the wild dreams of youth from her mind and concentrate on the everyday satisfactions of here and now. The first half of her life hasn’t been as exciting as she had hoped, but then, she reckons, whose has?

When she succeeds in convincing husband Cliff to rent a villa in the south of France for a summer vacation with her sister Jill, and gay friend Tristan, she’s expecting little more than a pleasant few weeks with her family.
But they each have their own baggage – their own secrets – ready to explode on this not-so-relaxing holiday in France.

When a phone call at the villa announces the imminent arrival of a ghost from her past the ambiance is transformed into a raging sea of jealousy as Hannah is forced to question everything she thought she knew and believed.

But is she brave enough to make the life-changing decisions her future happiness requires?

My Thoughts: I’m sure this is a nice women’s fiction book, but this story line just doesn’t do it for me right now. I’m not feeling the vibe. VERDICT: TOSS

What do you think of my choices? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments! ❤


Broadway Book Chat: Allison Hunt from Untitled Millennial Project

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 cast mates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Allison Hunt

Creator and star of Untitled Millennial Project

Instagram: @ahunt4cookies

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Beach Read by Emily Henry. It’s a super cute summer rom-com.

What is your favorite book series?

Harry Potter…duhhhhh. I have read it in full too many times to count. I recently listened to the whole series on audiobook. It was really cool to discover the story in a new way.

Who is your favorite author? What makes them special to you?

I love anything Mindy Kaling does: from her writing on The Office to her autobiographies, to her creating her own series with The Mindy Project and Never Have I Ever, I think she is just so hilarious and relatable. I love that in her work her voice is so clear. It is just like one of your best friends is talking to you. That is a quality that I aspire to bring to my writing.

What book inspires you and why?

Last summer, I did The Artist Way by Julia Cameron and I would recommend it to anyone who is feeling “stuck.” For lack of a better way to describe it, The Artist Way is a 12-week self-guided course to help discover/rediscover your own creative path forward and through. I was at a point in my life where I thought something had to give, and this book definitely helped me to get through that.

Do you have a favorite genre bubble or are you adventurous?

I read a bunch of different genres BUT I am a dystopian-romance-fantasy STAN.

Which literary character would you like to play?

For some reason, even as a little girl, I remember always wanting to play Joan of Arc. Although I don’t describe myself as religious, I love her strength, hope and determination. Also WE LOVE the fact that she is a BAD A** BOSS LADY leading an army into battle.

If you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be and why?

I have been in a musical twice called I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change where I play a bunch of women in various stages of a relationship; all the way from awkward first dates to sad divorces. I would totally grab drinks with any of them, I mean, we all probably need one…or two…or five ;).

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

I am dying to see The Red Queen series or The Throne of Glass series made into a movie or TV show.

What is the next book on your reading list?

I am going to start White Fragility by Robin Diangelo. It is so important that we educate ourselves so that we can be better allies. #blacklivesmatter

What are you working on right now?

I wrote a comedy series with a friend! It’s called Untitled Millennial Project and tbh, it’s really funny (…at least that’s what our moms keep telling us). It’s as if Broad City, PEN15, and RHONY had a baby. We just had a big event to launch the project and to start fundraising for the show right before all the shut downs hit. Unfortunately, like everything else, fundraising/production has been put on hold but there have definitely been tons to do behind the scenes. I can’t wait for everyone to see it :).

Where did the idea for the Untitled Millennial Project come from? What was the writing process like?

My friend Tyler and I met where all out-of-work-actors go, Lululemon . We were always cracking ourselves up on our shifts together so we decided to write something because literally why not. Our dynamic in itself is so funny (not so #humblebrag) so we thought we’d “write what we know.” We decided to write about ourselves in super relatable and millennial (…I mean it’s in the title of the show peeps) situations. Almost every episode is based on something that happened to us in real life.

The writing process was honestly so fun. You know when you’re kind of arguing with someone but in a funny banter-y way where you’re both laughing and neither of you are actually mad at each other? That’s basically our process. We jotted down a bunch of episode ideas and then would pick whichever one was speaking to us that day. We would create a very basic arc of the plot to make sure we covered all our bases and then start writing to get everything down. After, we start editing and revising the scripts. We literally are always editing.

What is your favorite project you’ve been a part of and why?

Untitled Millennial Project is definitely my favorite. I have loved building the project from nothing to what it is today. It is only going to keep getting bigger and better and I can not wait 🙂

Follow @untitledmillennialproject on instagram and facebook!

Donations to help support Untitled Millennial Project (#Savethearts) can be made through PayPal to: untitledmillennialproject@gmail.

Huge shout out and long distance hug to my main girl Allison for sharing with us. I feature a new performer every month, so check back for our next guest! I would love some suggestions for new questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know from our performers.  Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! ❤


Redhead in a Blue Convertible Review

Buckle up. The ride is about to begin…

British doctor Sarah Farnsworth’s life spirals out of control when she loses a patient during surgery, then soon after, loses herself.

When it looks like she will be lost forever, the road of fate leads her to a blue convertible owned by the mysterious Billy Caldwell.

She is informed Billy has twenty-four hours to get out of town and needs her help to get all of his affairs in order.

But why does he have to leave? And what is the big hurry?

As they drive around Atlanta in Billy’s ragtop, visiting the people and places dear to him, Sarah realizes the crisp, October air has breathed new life into her due to her new friend.

What she doesn’t realize is Billy has been watching her. For years.

And someone has been watching Billy. For decades…

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review! Thanks to author Ivan Scott for the opportunity!*

Redhead in a Blue Convertible by Ivan Scott is an uplifting read- similar to something you might see on The Hallmark Channel. The idea was sweet, but it was a bit over the top, surface level, and old fashioned. Our main character, Sarah, who I couldn’t help but picture as Emily Blunt, is a renowned surgeon with an overbearing and cruel mother (think Mamma Grey from Grey’s anatomy) who has raised her to have no self esteem. When she loses a patient during surgery, her life spirals out of control and I felt for Sarah’s struggle with grief and self-doubt. To help her come out of her shame spiral, her best friend and boss, Steve, sets her up with a job driving for the mysterious billionaire, Billy Caldwell, for 24 hours to help get his affairs in order. Billy takes Sarah all over the city of Atlanta to meet his friends and give her a day she will never forget. The events get more and more lavish and fanciful as the night goes on and Billy helps to bring Sarah back out of her shell. My main problem with this book was that the characters were really one dimensional. The only qualities Billy had, and it was mentioned a lot, was that he was extremely nice to everyone and that he drank Four Roses bourbon. There was a slight mystery to his circumstances, but it wasn’t developed enough throughout the book to make the pay off worth it at the end. In fact, I thought it felt a bit disjointed and seemed to come out of nowhere. Sarah’s main personality trait was her constant use of British slang, that no one seemed to understand (even the most common phrases). She also had a lot of, what I thought were, unrealistic reactions to men’s behavior towards her- it was clearly apparent that this book was written by a man. The two of them were supposed to have formed this incredibly deep and meaningful connection, but I, unfortunately, didn’t feel it. There wasn’t enough there for me to believe in them. Even though each event of their day together was fun, I didn’t understand how they added to Sarah’s supposed journey back to the light. There wasn’t enough connection between the events and Sarah’s character arc. It seemed that just because she had one epically great day that all of her problems were fixed instead of her actually learning something and growing throughout the experience with Billy. While the overarching story was sweet and well-intentioned, Redhead in a Blue Convertible didn’t fulfill my expectations of what it was set up to be.


Top 10 Tuesday: Books On My Summer 2020 TBR

Happy Tuesday my lovelies! I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump the past few days, but I’m hoping I can get back some good books soon. I have so many books that I am looking forward to getting to, so this summer’s reading is looking up! This week’s topic, hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl, is Books On My Summer 2020 TBR.

Majesty (American Royals #2) by Katharine McGee

Is America ready for its first queen?

Power is intoxicating. Like first love, it can leave you breathless. Princess Beatrice was born with it. Princess Samantha was born with less. Some, like Nina Gonzalez, are pulled into it. And a few will claw their way in. Ahem, we’re looking at you Daphne Deighton.

As America adjusts to the idea of a queen on the throne, Beatrice grapples with everything she lost when she gained the ultimate crown. Samantha is busy living up to her “party princess” persona…and maybe adding a party prince by her side. Nina is trying to avoid the palace–and Prince Jefferson–at all costs. And a dangerous secret threatens to undo all of Daphne’s carefully laid “marry Prince Jefferson” plans.

A new reign has begun….

Now and When by Sara Bennett Wealer

There’s something about Truman Alexander that Skyler Finch finds incredibly annoying. Actually, several things: his voice (grating), his arrogance (total know-it-all), his debate-team obsession (eyeroll), and his preppy vibe (does he iron his shorts?). She does her best to avoid him and focus on the important stuff: friends, school, and her boyfriend, Eli. His promposal was perfect–just like he is–and the future is looking bright. Or is it?

For some unexplainable reason, Skylar’s phone is sending her notifications from the future . . . a future in which, to her horror, she appears to be with Truman. As in, romantically. As in, Skyler cannot let that happen.

But trying to change the future means messing up the present, and what Skyler sees keeps shifting. Classmates disappear and reappear, swap partners and futures. Turns out there are no actions without reactions, and life doesn’t come with a road map. But sometimes the wandering leads you exactly where you need to be, and people–like glitchy phones–are full of surprises. 

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha #2) by Tomi Adeyemi

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Curse Breakers #2) by Brigid Kemmerer

Find the heir, win the crown.

The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.

Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. 

The Secret of the Irish Castle (The Deverill Chronicles #3) by Santa Montefiore

It is 1939 and peace has flourished since the Great War ended. But much has changed for the Deverill family and now a new generation is waiting in the wings.
Martha Wallace came to Dublin from her home in America to find her birth mother. But instead she has lost her heart to the impossibly charming JP Deverill. Then she discovers that her mother comes from the same place as JP, and her fate seems sealed.

Bridie Doyle, now Countess di Marcantonio and mistress of Castle Deverill, is determined to make the castle she used to work in her home. But her flamboyant husband Cesare has other ideas. And as his eye strays away from his wife, those close to the couple start to wonder if he really is who he says he is.

Kitty Deverill has come to terms with her life with her husband Robert, and their two children. But then Jack O’Leary, the love of her life, returns to Ballinakelly. And this time his heart belongs elsewhere… 

A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears.

A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him.

Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.

The War of the Twin Swords by Julia Goldhirsh

On the night before her Choosing, there were whispers of war in the air.

After binding herself to Clarent, Opal is given a grim prophecy of her future. Alone and ostracized from her clan, she finds an unlikely ally in the sorceresses’ leader, Joan.

Joan is the reason the Sorceress clan wants to attack. She’s prophesied to pull Excalibur from its stone. But her clan wants its powers for a darker purpose.

They have to band together to stop the Sorceress clan’s invasion. Excalibur is on their side, but they’re outnumbered five to one. Can Opal escape this war unscathed?

Or will her prophecy come true?

The F List by Alessandra Torre

There was a lot I did to get to this point, to get 42 million followers. Some of it I was proud of, most of it I wasn’t.

There was a group of us, all internet celebrities, and everyone wanted in, which is how six of us ended up living in this mansion, a camera always on, the public always watching. Two months and nine carefully scripted TV episodes that would get us more of the three F’s we were desperately chasing.

Fame. Fortune. Followers.

I knew my role. I was Emma, the unlikeable one. The dark villain with the devious smile. The package of dynamite that would blow up any chance of peaceful living and harmony.

Cash knew his role. He was the good guy. The lovable one. The one that everyone, even the darkest cast member of them all, would fall in love with.

They were supposed to just be roles.
None of it was supposed to be real.

My heart didn’t get that memo.

What books are on your Summer TBR’s? Anything you’re super excited about?


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.

Broadway Book Chat · Uncategorized

Broadway Book Chat: Kevin Clay from The Book of Mormon

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!

Kevin Clay


Currently playing Elder Price on the European Tour of The Book of Mormon

Instagram: @kclay6

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Hero of Ages, by Brandon Sanderson. It is the third book in his Mistborn trilogy. I first started reading Sanderson’s books after being recommended his Stormlight Archive series. He has such a knack for making brilliant magic systems and rules that define his worlds paired with extensive lore and histories. Certainly someone to check out if you want some immersive fantasy.

What is your favorite book series?

Hm, this is a tough one. Though not a traditional “book series,” I am always reading the latest issues of Batman comics and associated graphic novels. One of my favorites growing up was Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan. They inspired my initial love of classical mythology. Of course, I’ll always be a big Harry Potter nerd (as made evident by my Slytherin House robe I wear backstage). I think my true favorite series, however, is one that isn’t finished yet: The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss. Perhaps it’s gripping me so much simply because it isn’t finished, but it’s been a long time since I have connected so strongly to a protagonist.

Who is your favorite author?

Ernest Hemingway, for sure. His writing is such a strange combination of dry minimalism and sweeping detail work. No other author has been able to elicit such emotional responses in me from written work as Hemingway. If you want a good read and probably a good cry, pick up A Farewell to Arms.

What book inspires you and why?60647322_457453288392578_9113568406203793408_n

I always come back to The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Most of my friends know my love for this novel. Edmund Dantes may be a bit of a dark character to be inspired by, but there is something so compelling about a man who has had everything wrongly taken from him only to come back stronger than ever. In my mind, The Count is like an 1800’s Bruce Wayne and I love it.

Which literary character would you like to play?

My nerdy side says that I want to play Tim Drake (the third Robin under Batman). My sophisticated side says Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, to sound impressive. Seriously though, I love the book so much, and Heathcliff and I, in most regards, are stark contrasts. I’ll need to age up a few more years before I think I would be appropriate for the character, but I can wait.

If you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be and why?

Being a Jet in West Side Story is the greatest. The first time I was in the show in high school, I played Baby John; a few years later, I got to play A-rab. I think that, as misguided as they are, I would like to be friends with the Jets and maybe have a little chat with Riff before he puts that switchblade in his pocket.

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

I’ve said for years that I would love for The Prestige (novel by Christopher Priest, film by Christopher Nolan) to be adapted into a Sweeney Todd-esque musical. There is plenty of meaty character development and potential for spectacle all wrapped in a macabre overtone. The show would rely on finding an incredibly talented pair of twins, but I’m sure there are plenty out there!

What is the next book on your reading list?

I’ve been reading Sanderson novels for a few months straight now, so I’m ready to switch up genres. I’ve already downloaded Supermarket, by rapper Logic, onto my kindle. I’m a huge fan of his music, so I am definitely curious to see how his style translates to a novella.

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

There are so many times when I come up with what I think is a brilliant idea, jot it down, and then return to it only to be disappointed and uninspired later. I have one idea for a graphic novel that still excites me so I’m clinging to it and continually come back to it. My favorite idea, however, is for a science-fiction novel. I was playing around with the notion of writing my own creation myth that could be the foundation of a religion and from that developed a world that would observe this faith. I even adapted the world slightly to be used for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that I dungeon mastered, and it surprisingly gave me a lot of inspiration. There is a lot of work to be done, specifically how hard it is to actually write the text itself, but the bones are there.

What show are you working on now?

I am currently playing Elder Price in a new Book of Mormon European Tour. Before that I was Elder Price on Broadway and before that Elder Price on the US National Tour, and before that Elder Smith on the US National Tour……. So I’ve been with the Book of Mormon for quite a journey! It is the greatest show that I’ve ever been a part of and it has taught me a lot of what it means to be a professional performer.

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

Other than The Book of Mormon, I always hold a special place in my heart for West Side Story. Like I wrote earlier, being a Jet is indescribably special. It’s the kind of show that, whether you like it own not, you will feel completely connected to the whole cast by the time you’re done.

I feature a new performer every month, so check back in June 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 friend Kevin for sharing with us from across the pond! 🙂


Cleaning Up My TBR- Down the TBR Hole #8

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?

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

7227174Sometimes all you can do is fly away home . . .

When Sylvie Serfer met Richard Woodruff in law school, she had wild curls, wide hips, and lots of opinions. Decades later, Sylvie has remade herself as the ideal politician’s wife-her hair dyed and straightened, her hippie-chick wardrobe replaced by tailored knit suits. At fifty-seven, she ruefully acknowledges that her job is staying twenty pounds thinner than she was in her twenties and tending to her husband, the senator.

Lizzie, the Woodruffs’ younger daughter, is at twenty-four a recovering addict, whose mantra HALT (Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?) helps her keep her life under control. Still, trouble always seems to find her. Her older sister, Diana, an emergency room physician, has everything Lizzie failed to achieve-a husband, a young son, the perfect home-and yet she’s trapped in a loveless marriage. With temptation waiting in one of the ER’s exam rooms, she finds herself craving more.

After Richard’s extramarital affair makes headlines, the three women are drawn into the painful glare of the national spotlight. Once the press conference is over, each is forced to reconsider her life, who she is and who she is meant to be.

Written with an irresistible blend of heartbreak and hilarity, Fly Away Home is an unforgettable story of a mother and two daughters who after a lifetime of distance finally learn to find refuge in one another. 

My thoughts: I’m pretty sure I added this because I was obsessed with the movie Fly Away Home when I was a kid…. definitely not the same story.  I really like Jennifer Weiner’s writing, and while I don’t tend to read much women’s fiction any more, this one sounds really intriguing still. VERDICT: KEEP

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Seventeen-year-old Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her 6400090parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father . . . until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.

The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story about love in its myriad forms – first love, the love between parents and children – that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts . . . and heal them. 

My Thoughts: I went through a Nicholas Sparks phase, once upon a time, and I didn’t get to all of his books.  I’ve realized that I like the movies better *GASP* and don’t feel the need to read them anymore. VERDICT: TOSS

Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Karus

6487537In the highly anticipated follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller, Nan returns to New York City after 10 years away. Discover how she–and the city–has changed in her absence.

My thoughts: I liked The Nanny Diaries, but I wasn’t crazy about it.  Seeing as it has a 2.91 Star rating on Goodreads, this one is easy.  VERDICT: TOSS




Insatiable by Meg Cabot

6953500Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper. 

But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them. 

Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die. (Not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does.)

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It’s a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, Lucien’s already dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own. 

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare. 

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . . 

If she even has one.

My thoughts: I love everything Meg Cabot has ever written, and I honestly can’t believe this is on my TBR and I haven’t read it yet.  VERDICT: A resounding KEEP

How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls by Zoey Dean

1022411Recent Yale graduate Megan Smith comes to Manhattan with big plans for a career in journalism and even bigger student loan debt: $75,000. When she flails at her trashy tabloid job, she’s given an escape hatch: tutor seventeen-year-old identical twins Rose and Sage Baker–yes, the infamous Baker heiresses of Palm Beach, Florida, best known for their massive fortunes and their penchant for drunkenly flashing the paparazzi — and get their SAT scores up enough to get into Duke. Impossible job — yes. But if she succeeds, her student debts are history. Unfortunately for Megan, the Baker twins aren’t about to curtail their busy social schedules for basic algebra. And they certainly aren’t thrilled to have to sit down for a study session with dowdy Megan. Megan quickly discovers that if she’s going to get her money, she’ll have to learn her Pucci from her Prada. And if she can look the part, maybe, just maybe, she can teach the girls something along the way.

My thoughts: I was in love with Zoey Dean’s The A-List series, and I really enjoyed the short-lived TV show that they made from this book.  I think this one will be low on my priority list, and I don’t know if I’ll seek it out, but if I come across it at the library… VERDICT: KEEP

What do you think of my decisions?  Did I make any mistakes? Let me know in the comments 🙂