Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #23

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?


1984 by George Orwell

5470The year 1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell’s prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of “negative utopia”—a startlingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions—a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

My Thoughts:  This one is a no brainer.  It’s on my Classics Club Challenge TBR and I feel that it is a classic novel that needs reading.  VERDICT: KEEP


The Color Purple by Alice Walker11486

Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually, Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves. 

My Thoughts:  I have seen both the movie and the Broadway musical based on this book.  While I think the story is beautiful and important, having seen it in two other formats, I don’t think I have a need to read the book too.  VERDICT: TOSS


The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik

3137694When Ava Nickerson was a child, her mother jokingly betrothed her to a friend’s son, and the contract the parents made has stayed safely buried for years. Now that still-single Ava is closing in on thirty, no one even remembers she was once “engaged” to the Markowitz boy. But when their mother is diagnosed with cancer, Ava’s prodigal little sister Lauren comes home to Los Angeles where she stumbles across the decades-old document.
Frustrated and embarrassed by Ava’s constant lectures about financial responsibility (all because she’s in a little debt. Okay, a lot of debt), Lauren decides to do some sisterly interfering of her own and tracks down her sister’s childhood fiancé. When she finds him, the highly inappropriate, twice-divorced, but incredibly charming Russell Markowitz is all too happy to re-enter the Nickerson sisters’ lives, and always-accountable Ava is forced to consider just how binding a contract really is…

My Thoughts: When I saw this book on my TBR I couldn’t even remember adding it.  I can see why 2011 me added it, as I was definitely in a Rom-Com phase.  While I still love a good Rom-Com, the idea of this one does nothing for me now.  VERDICT: TOSS


The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman11378763

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora’s best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life. 

My Thoughts:  I don’t remember adding this one either, but I am definitely intrigued again.  It has some pretty mixed reviews on Goodreads which also interests me to see what the fuss is about.  Some people have said that it is like a YA Dan Brown book, which I shamelessly love, so I think I might keep this one….VERDICT: KEEP


Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

12792988Life is bleak but uncomplicated for sixteen-year-old Tess, living in a not-too-distant future where the government, faced with humanity’s extinction, created the Chosen Ones, artificial beings who are extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.When Tess begins work at Templeton, a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to Templeton than Tess ever knew. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

My Thoughts:  We love a Dystopian YA book.  This one has some really promising reviews on Goodreads too.  I’d be interested in checking this one out whenever I’m in the mood for a Dystopian trilogy, even though there are a few classic ones that I still have to finish.  VERDICT: KEEP


Flipped by Wendalin Van Draanen331920

Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.

My Thoughts:  I have such vivid memories of all of my friends RAVING about this book in elementary school.  I never read it and there is a big part of me that still wants to!  I’d be interested to see if it holds up to my middle school friend’s excitement over it as an adult.  VERDICT: KEEP


Stargirl by Jerri Spinelli

22232A celebration of nonconformity; a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity–and the thrill and inspiration of first love. Ages 12+

Leo Borlock follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don’t stand out–under any circumstances! Then Stargirl arrives at Mica High and everything changes–for Leo and for the entire school. After 15 years of home schooling, Stargirl bursts into tenth grade in an explosion of color and a clatter of ukulele music, enchanting the Mica student body.

But the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, and Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different. Somewhere in the midst of Stargirl’s arrival and rise and fall, normal Leo Borlock has tumbled into love with her.

In a celebration of nonconformity, Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity–and the thrill and inspiration of first love. 

My Thoughts: This one goes hand in hand with Flipped for me because it was around the same time that all of my friends were raving about Stargirl too.  The movie just came out in March on Disney+ and I do still want to read the book before watching the movie, and I just happened to have found it in my closet… VERDICT: KEEP


Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George3697927

A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew. 

My Thoughts:  I do love this fairy-tale, but I don’t know if I need to read another retelling of it anytime soon.  This one sounds pretty straight forward too.  VERDICT: TOSS


Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot

599953Meet Kate Mackenzie. She:

* works for the T.O.D. (short for Tyrannical Office Despot, also known as Amy Jenkins, Director of the Human Resources Division at the New York Journal)

* is sleeping on the couch because her boyfriend of ten years refuses to commit

* can’t find an affordable studio apartment anywhere in New York City

* thinks things can’t get any worse

They can. Because:

* The T.O.D. is making her fire the most popular employee in the paper’s senior staff dining room

* that employee is now suing Kate for wrongful termination, and

* now Kate has to give a deposition in front of Mitch Hertzog, the scion of one of Manhattan’s wealthiest law families, who embraces everything Kate most despises … but also happens to have a nice smile and a killer bod.

The last thing anybody—least of all Kate Mackenzie—expects to find in a legal arbitration is love. But that’s the kind of this that can happen when … BOY MEETS GIRL.

My Thoughts: Meg Cabot is an auto-read for me.  I don’t care what the subject matter is, I always end up liking her books.  I read the fourth book in this series of stand-alones and really enjoyed it so I imagine I will like this as well.  VERDICT: KEEP


Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn by Sarah Miller31185

What if you could see inside the head of the guy you love?  Know his every thought?  Feel his every dream and fantasy?  The mystery girl who’s Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn can. She tells us the intoxicating story of her beloved Gideon, an adorably clueless boy who flukes his way into New England’s fanciest prep school.
 
Gideon’s naïve compared to the wolves at Midvale Academy, especially Cullen and Nicholas, his charming, morally ambiguous roommates.  They welcome Gid by trashing his music and betting big on when he’ll lose his virginity. Will he lose it with the cute and feisty Molly McGarry? Or Pilar Benitez-Jones, the most beautiful girl Gid’s ever seen? Gid actually likes Molly and hooking up with her might be possible. But winning Pilar would be legendary. Gid is torn–he wants to prove himself to his roommates, but he also wants love.
 
Through it all there is one hysterically funny girl sharing every thought in Gid’s conflicted little mind. But who is she?

My Thoughts:  This sounds very interesting and different! I love the idea of a mystery narrator and I live for a prep-school setting.  I’m gonna look and see if the NYPL has this book because I am very intrigued by it.  VERDICT: KEEP


WHEW! I decided to get through ten books today instead of my usual five.  There were a surprising number of keeps today, and a few wild cards that I was not expecting.  What do you think of my choices?  Let me know in the comments.  I’d love to hear your opinions 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Must-Haves for a Harry Potter Party

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Happy Top Ten Tuesday everyone!  This week’s topic, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is Things I’d Have at My Bookish Party.  Obviously, I’m going to throw a Harry Potter party and there are certain things that will be absolutely necessary.

Hogwarts Letter Invitations

Of course we need to start the party off with a letter to Hogwarts!

Decorations

I would love to go all out with decorations! “Floating” candles, platform 9 1/3 entrance way, dusty books, wands, house colors etc.

A Sorting Hat

Once you get to the party, we’ll need to sit under the sorting hat and find out which house we belong to for the night.  Will also work out nicely for games to create teams.

Butterbeer and Cauldron Cakes

We obviously need magical sustanence to keep our energy up and keep the party going!

Potion Station

I’d love to have a “potion” making station where we could make different themed cocktails.

Reading Tea Leaves

Give Trelawney a run for her money with some tea and reading our tea leaves.  Hopefully no one will see The Grim.

Playlist with Harry Potter Music

We for sure would need the scores from the movies playing for ambience.

Quidditch Pong

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I’ve always wanted to play this!!

Costume Contest

It would be so fun to all dress up as different Harry Potter characters and then vote on who has the best costume.

A Harry Potter Themed Photobooth

Especially with the costumes, we would need a photobooth to commemorate the evening.  Props included.


Now I really want to throw a Harry Potter party!  Let’s get this quarantine over with so we can gather again! What would you have at your Harry Potter party? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Book Reviews · Broadway Book Chat · Monthly Wrap-Ups · Reading Challenges

April 2020 Wrap-Up

MonthlyWrap - Up

Hi everybody!  Well, the world is still topsy turvy, and we’re all still in hermit mode.  With the future so uncertain it can be hard to stay positive, but I am so lucky to be surrounded by the best people.  I am incredibly thankful for the technology that lets us feel closer to our people in this crazy time.  I’ve begun a new online D & D campaign with my crew, had too many virtual happy hours to count, and today I even got to be there for one of my best friend’s weddings virtually!  One day this will all be behind us, but for now I am feeling so grateful for all of the people I love and cannot wait until I can squeeze them all again.  I’ve gotten some good reading done thanks to the 2020 Magical Readathon, and I really fell in love with some of these stories.  I’m sending happy and healthy vibes to all of you and hoping we’ll be on the other side of this mess soon! ❤

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Books Read:

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas ★★★★

Among Shadows by Nina Walker ★★★★

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton ★★★★★ BOOK HANGOVER

When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger ★★★★

The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke ★★★★

Insurgent by Veronica Roth ★★★

My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong ★★

Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore ★★★★★ BOOK HANGOVER


Favorite Book of the Month:

I can’t pick.  I loved them both so much.


Currently Reading:

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Challenge Updates:

Goodreads Challenge: 29 of 30

Classics Club Challenge: 9 of 50

Beat the Backlist: 18 of 50

2020 Magical Readathon OWLS: 7 out of 7 (COMPLETED)


Broadway Book Chat: Ahren Victory from Cats

April Reviews

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. MaasThe Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke

April Posts

2020 Magical Readathon: O.W.L.’sCleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #22The Stay at Home Book TagTop 10 Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed But Rarely Talk AboutTop 10 Tuesday: Books I Wish I Had Read As A Child2020 Magical Readathon: O.W.L.’s Update

 

Reading Challenges

2020 Magical Readathon: O.W.L.’s Update

Hi guys! As this month draws to a close, so do the 2020 Magical Readathon O.W.L.’s.  This was the first real readathon that I have participated in and it was so much fun!  Thanks so much to Book Roast for hosting it and I cannot wait for the N.E.W.T.’s later this year.

As a recap, The Magical Readathon is a month-long reading challenge hosted by Book Roast, based on the wonderful Wizarding World we all know and love.  You pick a wizarding career path and based on your choice you have certain O.W.L.’s that you need to pass.  Each O.W.L. class has a specific prompt for a book to read to “pass the exam.”  The N.E.W.T’s happen later in the year and are a step up from the O.W.L.’s.  You can check out the readathon in more detail here.

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The career that I picked was Hogwarts Professor, leaning towards a focus in Charms.

 

For this career, I needed to pass 7 O.W.L.’s: A subject I wish to teach (Charms), Defense Against the Dark Arts, and 5 additional subjects of my choice.  I have chosen Herbology, Potions, Transfiguration, History of Magic, and Divination.  I am happy to say that I passed all of my exams! 🙂

Charms– Lumos Maxima: A book with a white cover

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THIS. BOOK.  You guys this book was so beautiful and had such a unique way of story telling that I adored.  Definitely gave me a book hangover.

Defense Against the Dark Arts– Grindylows: A book set at the sea/coast

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OMG.  I am IN LOVE with this book.  It takes place in Ireland, which I have always felt drawn to, during my favorite time in history to read about, WWI-1920’s, and it was the perfect scandalous family drama that I lived for.  I am so excited that there are two more books in the trilogy and can’t believe I haven’t discovered it until now!


Herbology– Mimbulus Mimbletonia: Title that starts with an “M”

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I read an ARC of this book for this OWL, and it was rough.  The main character is entirely unrelatable and it was hard to root for her.  I’ll have a full review of this coming out soon!


Potions– Shrinking Solution: A book under 150 pages

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I had taken an unintentional break from The Color Alchemist series, and reading this novella made me excited to get to the final book.  I love this world and this form of magic, as well as the characters.  More people need to read this series because its fantastic.


Transfiguration– Animagus Lecture: A book/series that includes shapeshifting

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I love SJ Mass so much.  I was nervous at first because this one took me a while to get fully invested in, but I wasn’t disappointed.  Its such a cool world and I love the mixture of all the different supernaturals.  Read my full review here.


History of Magic– Witch Hunts: A book featuring witches/wizards

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For this OWL, I read an ARC of The Scapegracers.  It was spooky, snarky, and badass and I really enjoyed myself.  It definitely has a darker vibe, which was different to the other things I have been reading lately.  See my full review here.


Divination– Third Eye: Assign numbers to your TBR and use a random number generator to pick your read.

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This book has been on my TBR for so long and I am thrilled that I finally got to read it.  It was super fun and scandalous, definitely gave me real-housewives vibes, and it was cool to revisit with some favorite characters.


How did everyone else fare in this years Magical Readathon?? Let’s chat in the comments! 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Wish I Had Read As A Child

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Hello my lovelies!  I hope everyone is having a great day and that you are escaping into fabulous bookish worlds.  Here we are with another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week’s topic is Books I Wish I Had Read As A Child.  Most of these I still have never read and feel like I have missed out on.  Hopefully, I’ll get to them all eventually!

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

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I read first two books in The Chronicles of Narnia, but I never continued on with the series.  It’s on my Classics Club challenge though, and I definitely plan on going back and finishing them all.

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume

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I feel like this book was such a staple to girls growing up, and I somehow missed it.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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This was so many of my friend’s favorite childhood books and I still, to this day, have never read it.  It was just not a book we had at our house.

The Witches by Roald Dahl

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I love Roald Dahl.  Matilda was one of my favorite books, and movies, as a kid, but I never read The Witches.  I don’t understand why, since I am obsessed with all things witchy, but I just never got around to this classic.

Beezus and Romona by Beverly Cleary

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Beverly Cleary was a big name in my elementary school, but I never read this series.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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I loved The Hobbit.  I read it a few years ago while on tour and I wish I would have read it as a kid.  It would have been right up my alley and probably would have given me an even bigger fantasy bug.

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

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Another classic that I never got to.  It sounds like such a cool premise, and I feel like little me would have eaten it up.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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This series is iconic and as a book worm, I feel ashamed for not having read it.

On The Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

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My mom and I read the first 3 of these books together when I was little.  We’d read a chapter every night before bed.  I never went on and finished this classic series and I wish I would have.

Percy Jackson and The Olympians by Rick Riordan

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I know younger me would have loved this series so much and it makes me sad that I never got into it at the right age.


What were your favorite childhood books? Wish ones do you wish you had read? Let me know in the comments! 

 

Book Reviews

ARC Review: The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke

cover184166-mediumSynopsis: An outcast teenage lesbian witch finds her coven hidden amongst the popular girls in her school, and performs some seriously badass magic in the process.

Skulking near the bottom of West High’s social pyramid, Sideways Pike lurks under the bleachers doing magic tricks for Coke bottles. As a witch, lesbian, and lifelong outsider, she’s had a hard time making friends. But when the three most popular girls pay her $40 to cast a spell at their Halloween party, Sideways gets swept into a new clique. The unholy trinity are dangerous angels, sugar-coated rattlesnakes, and now–unbelievably–Sideways’ best friends.

Together, the four bond to form a ferocious and powerful coven. They plan parties, cast curses on dudebros, try to find Sideways a girlfriend, and elude the fundamentalist witch hunters hellbent on stealing their magic. But for Sideways, the hardest part is the whole ‘having friends’ thing. Who knew that balancing human interaction with supernatural peril could be so complicated?

Rich with the urgency of feral youth, The Scapegracers explores growing up and complex female friendship with all the rage of a teenage girl. It subverts the trope of competitive mean girls and instead portrays a mercilessly supportive clique of diverse and vivid characters. It is an atmospheric, voice-driven novel of the occult, and the first of a three-book series.

*Release Date: September 15th, 2020*

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.  Thanks to Erewhon Books for the opportunity!*


Badass teenage coven!? Count me in.  I was so excited about this book and thankfully was not disappointed!  The Scapegracers is a fun, exciting, and thoroughly enjoyable read.  It has a dark and spooky vibe, which I lived for, and reminded me a little of The Craft.  The atmosphere was fully immersive and made me forget where I was in real life while reading, which is one of my favorite feelings in the world.  The characters in this book were fascinating, and I’m honestly not sure if I actually liked any of them, but it worked.  Our narrator, Sideways, had a snarky voice and she put on such a tough exterior to cover up her insecurity in navigating her emotions and new friendships.  Her new friends, Jing, Daisy, and Yates, were a different version of a typical popular highschool clique which was a cool choice.  While Yates was a sweet and loving friend, Jing and Daisy were a little terrifying.  I did have a little trouble visualizing what they all looked like, but their personalities were extremely vivid and strong.  Their banter was hilarious and sarcastic and felt like a real friendship.  I wish the development between the trio of girls and Sideways would have been a little stronger because it felt a little zero to sixty, and I would have enjoyed really seeing them bond and be vulnerable together to become the kind of friends that they became by the end.  I loved the diversity in the cast and there is a ton of good LGBTQ+ rep.  The magic system in this world is a little muddy, but the specifics that were there were fantastic.  I would have liked to see the coven really discover how the magic works instead of just guessing and letting things happen.  The idea of their “specters”, or a type of magic soul, was so cool, as well as the idea of the Book Devils in their spellbooks.  They mentioned other covens and there seems to be a big magical history in this world that we have only tapped the surface of, that I am excited and hopeful to learn more about.  I was fully engaged in the plot the whole time and the ending twist was great.  It made me really pumped to continue with the rest of the trilogy.  This book is a good read for anyone who likes witches with a spookier edge, and since the release date was pushed back to September, it will be a perfect fall read.

 

Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Ahren Victory from Cats

It's Liberation Day.

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


Ahren Victory

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Most recently seen as Silibub in the National Tour of Cats

Insta: @ahren.victory

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza

What is your favorite book series?

My all-time favorite series would have to be Harry Potter!

Who is your favorite author?

I ADORE Agatha Christie.

What book inspires you and why?

I think one of the most inspiring books I’ve read is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It’s a super simple read but it has incredible nuggets of wisdom for anyone interested in artistic pursuits, or even those who aren’t strictly artists.

Which literary character would you like to play?

A little bit of an older character, 😂, I’d love to play Miss Marple. She’s so clever and is always leaps and bounds ahead of detectives and professionals in the Agatha Christie mysteries.

IMG_5661If you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be and why?

I would for sure be friends with Sillabub. I LOVE animals and of course cats. She’s such a sweet little kitten, I’d love to be her human friend.

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

I’d like to see more mythologies from different cultures brought to screen! I love learning about different traditions/myths/legends from different times.

What is the next book on your reading list?

Next on my list is The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

I have! I really enjoy writing short/mini stories and even some longer fiction bits.

What show are you working on now?

Currently, I’m following my bliss in NYC after playing Sullabub in the National Broadway Tour of CATS!

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

With all honesty, I have to say CATS. I adored being a part of that iconic show, being able to perform it 8 times a week and see the audience reactions was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  I will carry that in my heart forever.


I feature a new performer every month, so check back for our next guest! I would really 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! Shout out to my girl, Ahren, for sharing with us this month!
Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed But Rarely Talk About

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Hello my lovelies!  Here we are with another Top 10 Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week’s topic is Books I Enjoyed but Rarely Talk About – celebrating the books we liked that might have fallen under the radar of our bookish enthusiasm or that I feel that I haven’t given enough love.


Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer Hamann

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I read this book in college in and it blew my mind.  At the time I remember thinking it was so beautiful and profound and was a new style of writing for me to enjoy.


The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

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I shamelessly loved this book.  I found it when I first got my kindle and read it in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down.  Was it the best literary story? No.  But man was it engaging.


Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

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I do talk about Meg Cabot a lot, but this series in particular I loved.


Something Wicked by Nicole M. Rubino

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This was one of those books that was a 4 star read (because of some magic clarity), but gave me a book hangover anyways.  I loved the characters and the story and I am excited to see what happens in book 2.


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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I know I was way behind the curve with this series, but I really enjoyed it and don’t think I have talked about it much on my blog.  I did a buddy read with Garan at Goblet of Fiction for this one and it was so much fun.


Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

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The world in this book was so unique and cool and I don’t think I hyped it enough when I read it.


Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

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This book started off my 2019 reading and it was so good.  I read it really quickly and loved the characters and subtle supernatural elements.


A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

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I know a lot of people love this book, but I don’t think that I have given it enough love on my blog.  Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale, and this retelling was so good.


House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

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Another fairy tale that I love is the 12 Dancing Princesses and this retelling was really cool and spooky.


Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

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I loved this story.  It reminded me of old legends and yet was still super fresh at the same time.


 

Tags

The Stay at Home Book Tag

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To be honest, I don’t really know what day it is anymore, but apparently, it’s Saturday!  All of the days seem to run together now, and without a schedule, it’s nearly impossible to keep them straight.  So here we are with the most fitting tag, The Stay at Home Book Tag, created by Princess of Paperback.  I found this tag over at Books Are 42 and knew that I had to do it as well.


Laying in Bed- Book You Could/Have Read in a Day

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I am so excited for the last installment in the Shatter Me series.  I almost don’t want to read it cuz I’ll be sad that it is over.  I usually read these books super fast because they are easy reads and I can’t put them down, so I imagine this one won’t be any different, especially during the quarantine when I have all the time in the world.

Snacking- A Guilty Pleasure Book

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I absolutely LOVED the Sookie Stackhouse books.  They are the best kind of trash read and the perfect definition of a guilty pleasure book.

Netflix- Series You Want to Start

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I have heard such amazing things about this series and have been wanting to start it for a while.  Unfortunately, I left the first one at home in NYC and don’t have it here with me… Maybe I could get it on my kindle from the library.

Deep Clean- Been On Your TBR for Ages

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I have been wanting to read this for SO LONG.  But it is a skinny book and was always so expensive at the store and I could never bring myself to buy it.  I finally just ordered it off of Thriftbooks and it should arrive at my house any day now!

Animal Crossing- A Book You Recently Bought Because of Hype

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I had been so excited about this book, as were a lot of people in the blogosphere, and I was sadly SO disappointed.  It was a struggle for me to get through, there was hardly a plot, and there were barely any vampires.

Productivity – Book You Learned from or Had an Impact on You

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I am a huge Elizabeth Gilbert fan, and Big Magic was such a lovely and inspiring book.  Being involved in a creative career can be terrifying, especially right now, and her ideas about the interworkings of creativity were mind-blowing and so impactful for me personally.  It also made me really want to write a book.

Facetime – A Book You Were Gifted

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One of my best friends bought me this book when my grandma passed away a few years ago, and I just recently found her card while clearing out some old storage containers.  It was such a wonderful, thoughtful, and unexpected surprise to get her package when I was feeling so sad.  I will always remember this particular gifted book.  Shout out to my girl Allison! ❤

Self Care – What is One Thing You Have Done Recently to Look After Yourself

I have been working out like a fiend.  I’m usually a fairly active person being a professional dancer, but I have been working out more than ever since being quarantined.  If nothing else, at least I’ll come out of this stronger!

BONUS – Name a Book Coming Out Soon

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I lived for The Selection (which is coming to Netflix now!! YAY!!), and I am so excited for this new series!!


I tag everyone who is bored at home right now! ❤ Let me know if you do it so I can see your answers too!! 🙂

Book Reviews

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas Review

44778083Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.


I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous at first because it took me a while to get into this one.  The world was so big and confusing at the beginning, and it took me a bit to grasp all of the different races, ruling hierarchies, and vernacular, but once it sunk in I was hooked.  The steam-punk atmosphere was so unique and cool and I loved all of the different types of supernatural beings in one world with the mix of magic and technology.  There is also so much room to grow with this world.  It’s already huge and could go in a million directions, which is very exciting.  I absolutely loved the main character, Bryce.  Her sarcastic and biting nature combined with her loyal and fierce heart made me root for her throughout all of her obstacles.  Even through her sometimes irritating stubbornness, I wanted her to succeed.  Her friendship with Danika was wonderful and I felt their connection in my soul with every interaction and how it drove her and motivated her every decision.  I really liked our other main character, Hunt, too, especially the more we learned about his past and his current situation among the angelic hierarchy.  His relationship with Bryce progressed so nicely with sexual tension galore and a deep and meaningful friendship.  I loved the arc of their relationship and how they both helped each other overcome their demons, literally, but there is still room for them to grow together in the next book.  The plot was interesting, action-packed, and different, and had a couple really good twists.  There were a few moments towards the end that felt a little out of character for our two heroes behavior-wise, but I still bought it.  Overall I thought it all worked out well and really enjoyed the conclusion. So, thank you Sarah J. Maas for once again giving us a gripping and epic story and world to fall in love with.  I cannot wait to see where it takes us.

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