Apparently, I’m a Seattle snob | Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett [ARC]

Serious MoonlightBirdie and Daniel had possibly the most awkward first encounter of all time (they had sex and then Birdie ran away). Birdie would have been fine to never think about the experience again, except that Daniel is working at the hotel where she just got her first job. Determined to push past their initial encounter, Birdie and Daniel embark on a journey to solve a local mystery.

TL;DR – Not as good as Alex, Appoximately.

eBook | Hardcover

My first problem with this book is the cover. It’s great that they were able to get a model with long hair for Daniel, but where is Birdie’s flower? That’s such a key part of her character and I don’t feel like it would have been that hard to include that in the cover, but whatever. I mean, they’re eating pie, Birdie has a book…how did they miss the flower???

Some of you might remember that I LOVED Alex, Approximately so I was fully prepared to love this book too. Unfortunately, it seemed a little too reminiscent of Alex, Approximately and wasn’t as enjoyable to me. Obviously there were some different plot points, but it was the same formula of “sheltered and somehow damaged girl meets extremely charismatic and attractive boy, boy pursues reluctant girl, girl discovers boy is also damaged, girl and boy get together”. It just felt too the same to me.

Then we get to the setting. I was born and raised in a suburb near Seattle and I just felt like this was a very tourist portrayal of the city. I mean, I guess maybe people who live in the city proper are different? But I don’t think so and I found it detracted from the book for me. I mean, Daniel calls Safeco Field “The Safe”. Literally nobody calls it that. Okay, I googled it and apparently some news stories have called it that, but I have never heard a local call it that. Literally never. Besides, it’s T-Mobile Park now so that “nickname” is already dated. There’s also a line where Birdie mentions that a Fremont Troll sized weight is lifted off her back or something. What. Who thinks stuff like that? It’s literally only in there to namedrop another Seattle landmark. And the weather is mentioned by Birdie way too often. Growing up, I would never think about the weather. If it’s raining, I’d grab my jacket and that was it. I never dwelt on the fact that it was raining in June or whatever. I hardly even noticed if the sky was overcast. Locals also never talk about the “Seattle freeze”. So there we go. Apparently I’m a Seattle snob or whatever. Don’t @ me.

Besides those things, I thought the side characters were okay. I liked Mona, Birdie’s grandpa, and Joseph, but we never really get time to know much about any of them. I thought the setting of the diner was good too (every pie sounded AMAZING). I didn’t love Birdie as a character, however. She complained about her grandmother A LOT and never seemed to really think about why her grandmother was so overprotective–she just kind of complained about it. I also never understood why she was so resistant to learning about and dealing with her narcolepsy? I guess maybe I didn’t realize that there was a stigma around it. Daniel was okay as a character if a little too perfect.

Daniel and Birdie’s relationship wasn’t super compelling to me. There was just too much angst (created by Birdie). It was so obvious the entire book that Daniel was SUPER into her, but Birdie was really hesitant and kind of held back the entire time. Even after she and Daniel “got together” and his mom had told Birdie that he was super into her, she was still really paranoid and doubtful. It just made Birdie not make much sense to me as a character.

Overall, I just didn’t find this book, the characters, the subplots, or the setting as enjoyable as Alex, Approximately. I probably shouldn’t be comparing the two, but I can’t stop myself. I will say, this was a very sex positive book portraying teens practicing safe sex and consent, so it’s got that going for it. I haven’t read Starry Eyes yet, but I’m a little more hesitant to pick it up now.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: Moderate
Violence: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: Moderate

Note: I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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24 Best Book Deals for 4/13/19 : Yes Please, It’s Not Like It’s a Secret, Wild Beauty, Feminist Fight Club, and more

You guys might have noticed (or not) but I’ve been MIA for a little over a week now. My personal life has pretty much just exploded and I’ve been crazy busy (I’ve barely even had time to read let alone blog). I’m hoping to get back in the groove of things soon, but it might not happen until April’s over. Until then, here are some book deals.

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
Free

Ella, the Slayer by A.W. Exley

Less than $1

Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Series #1) by Roshani Chokshi

I’ll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Less than $2

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Get It Together, Delilah! by Erin Gough

Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Denial: Holocaust History on Trial by Deborah E. Lipstadt

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura

Less than $3

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Loves, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Less than $4

I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson

Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett


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March Mini-Review Madness

Did anyone else do a bracket for March Madness this year? My husband’s family is super into sports so we do a family competition every year. This year, I really didn’t put much thought into it and ended up barely beating my nephew (who is 4). I know games are still being played, but at this point I don’t have any of the top 4 so…I’m out. But on to the reviews!

mini-reviews

A Darker Shade of MagicA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I’d been meaning to read this series for forever and I’m so glad that I finally picked it up! I love the covers and am looking forward to one day having the whole series on my shelf. I thought the initial world explanation all happened really smoothly. Schwab also did a great job of making Kell (and Lila) super likable right from the start. She’s obviously put a ton of thought into this world with the magic system and languages. I appreciate that she doesn’t shy away from hard decisions (i.e. killing characters, no spoilers). Where I was most amazed, though, was how she managed to create a sympathetic character out of Holland (at least, for me). I get the sense that he isn’t as evil as he portrays himself. Don’t get me wrong, he did some truly evil things in this book, but I still sympathize with him for some reason? And she doesn’t even tell us that much about him! That’s what’s truly amazing. 4.5/5

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

VoicesVoices by David Elliott [ARC]

I’ll premise this review by saying I know almost nothing about Joan of Arc. I wasn’t going to pick up this book, but then I read an excerpt and found it really compelling. I’ll also say real quick that I know pretty much nothing about poetry and what makes good poetry. So take my comments with a grain of salt, I guess. With that being said, I thought the poems were interesting and beautiful at times. I really liked the perspectives from the different objects and I found the fire to be especially impactful for some reason (though I do feel like the fire’s last poem was missing, but maybe that was just because I had an ARC?). I also really liked the short sections that were quotes from her actual trial. In the end, I used to know nothing about Joan of Arc, and now I feel like I know a little bit about her. 4/5

Note: An ARC of this book was provided to the library where I work.

eBook | Hardcover

The Girl Who Drank the MoonThe Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Trigger warning: Intended infanticide

Ever since having a baby myself, I’ve found mentions of babies dying to be really hard. So the beginning of this book was difficult for me. But then we get into it and Xan is amazing and I love her for saving all the babies. I really enjoyed all of the (good) characters in this book and the found family aspect was really fun to see. Luna, in particular, was a great character though I wish we’d gotten to know her and her personality a little bit better. I thought the ending was fantastic and tender and so much more than I had even realized I wanted it to be. The only thing about this book is that I question its middle grade-ness. I feel like if I was middle grade age, so much of this book would just go straight over my head. Only as an adult do I feel like I can even scratch the surface of what this book is about. 5/5

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

The Other EinsteinThe Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

This book was not my cup of tea. First of all, it’s never clear throughout the whole book which parts are completely fictionalized and which parts are true or partially true. I think I needed an author’s note in the beginning or something because I felt pretty confused throughout most of the book. I didn’t like any of the characters and found most relationships between characters to be stifling. I felt like Mileva was an extremely weak character and I just wanted her to stand up for herself. I also came out of this book completely hating Einstein which is kind of a weird feeling… 2.5/5

10 books I can’t wait to share with my son

My baby turns 1 today! How is that even possible??? It seems like not that long ago that we were finally bringing him home from the NICU. But then it also feels like he’s been part of our family forever. It’s weird. In honor of D’s 1st birthday, though, I’m dedicating this post to him.

I’ve always thought about what books I would want to have in my library from my childhood for my kids to read. I love watching my son as he develops his love for reading. Here’s a picture I took just the other morning (yes the book is upside down haha).

Baby reading

I look forward to when he is able to move past the board books. Here are some of the books that I can’t wait to share with my baby!

Dr. Seuss

These books are just classic. The illustrations are fun and so is the rhyming.

Nate the Great

I loved these books when I was a kid! They always left me craving pancakes though…

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

I wasn’t always the best-behaved kid myself, but I enjoyed reading about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s clever ways to help parents with their kids.

Magic Tree House

I was OBSESSED with these books in elementary school. I could not get enough! And I feel like there have to be at least…50 by now? Maybe more?

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

My husband and I both loved this book when we were growing up. Who wouldn’t want to spend the night in a museum?

Harriet the Spy

Harriet is so spunky and I’m pretty sure I even started my own spy notebook after reading this book (despite how it ended up for her…)

The Lightning Thief series

I have always loved Greek mythology and so I hope these books can be a good introduction for my son.

Harry Potter

DUH.

The Hunger Games

I know there’s a lot of controversy about the level of violence included in these books, but I feel like they were really influential on a lot of readers. When I read these books, I fell in love with the series, and I want that for my son as well.

Sherlock Holmes

I have also always been obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. I had an abridged version of his stories when I was growing up and I look forward to sharing the books and the shows with my baby when he gets a little older.

What books do you guys want to share with your kids one day? If you already have kids, what’s been the most fun thing to read with them?

TTT | So this is how my TBR gets so long…

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Tuesday Blog

Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

If you want to know what makes me add a book to my TBR, it’s usually at least one (perhaps even a combination) of the following things.

Pretty Cover

Yes, of COURSE I judge books by their covers. Of COURSE.

One of my auto-read authors

Sarah Dessen, Jennifer E Smith, Morgan Matson, Malcolm Gladwell, Victoria Schwab. Welcome.

Interesting premise

This might sound like a no-brainer, but once the pretty cover catches my eye, if it doesn’t sound interesting then I’m going to put it back down.

Recommended by someone I trust/good reviews

If people I trust are raving about a book, I’m a lot more likely to move it up my TBR. Same if it has a rating higher than 4 stars on Goodreads.

I have to/assigned reading

Either it’s the book for one of my book clubs, or I have to read something in that genre for work.

Next in a series

I’m a lot better at quitting mid-series than I used to be. That being said, I’m also always hopeful that the next book in the series will be better–especially if I really enjoyed one of the first ones.

It’s a classic

This is a little different from assigned reading because no one is expecting me to read it. Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been wanting to read more classics in order to feel more well-rounded in my reading life.

Just happens to catch my eye

Working at a library is simultaneously the best and worst thing for my reading life. I’m tempted by so many books every day!

That’s all I could come up with for this Tuesday!

What do you think of my list? Link your TTT in the comments!

April TBR

March was an AMAZING reading month for me and I’m not expecting to have the same thing happen this month. There are, however, a few things that I NEED to read this month, so I’ll be prioritizing those things.

monthly tbr

Honestly, I doubt that I’ll get to all of these, but I’m going to try!

What books are you planning on reading this month? Link your April TBRs in the comments!

Enter John Ambrose

Late this last week, Netflix made the announcement of who would be playing John Ambrose McClaren in the second To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie. Spoiler: It isn’t the guy from the end of the last movie. How would it feel to be that guy? Geez. I wasn’t a huge fan of that guy’s look in the first place, but I still feel bad for him.

Anyway, John Ambrose will be played by…drumroll…Jordan Fisher!

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So there we go. I’ve been a fan of Jordan Fisher since his Teen Beach Movie days, but especially after Grease Live. I’m actually super excited about this casting and I continue to be, as ever, #teamJohnAmbrose. We welcome any and all new recruits.

How do you guys feel about this casting announcement? Are there any other actors you had in mind for John Ambrose?