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!

11633250-6865605-image-m-199_15538868887244917332711594932967.jpg

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?
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11 Best Book Deals for 3/2/19: The Vacationers; Alex, Approximately; Seabiscuit; and more

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

Reign of Queens by Melissa Wright

A Throne for Sisters by Morgan Rice

Less than $2

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Less than $3

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Seabiscuit by Lauren Hillenbrand

Less than $5

Timebound by Rysa Walker


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January Wrap-Up & TBR Update

I did an okay job sticking to my TBR. Not fantastic (I should have known I couldn’t stop at the first book in a series) but I did alright. And I even did a good job of posting reviews for the books I read this month!

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of January = 383
Books added to TBR = 31
Books deleted from TBR = 0 (I didn’t keep track, but I hope to track this stat in the future)
Total on TBR now = 411

Let’s just say it’s been a while since I’ve read some of these books [Mini-Reviews]

There are so many books that I read last year that I still haven’t gotten around to reviewing. Hopefully, this post can make a (small) dent in that list.

mini-reviews

The Conspiracy of Us and Map of Fates by Maggie Hall

map of fates

conspiracy of us

I really thought I was going to like these books because it seemed like it was going to be one massive treasure hunt. Instead, we’re gifted with insta-love and a completely unnecessary love triangle. I also don’t really understand why there’s this slight magical element? I mean, one of the characters is literally fireproof and I don’t know how that can be explained without magic. The main character is so naive and very annoying. I never understand why protagonists have such a hard time being left behind on “missions” when they have no training and would clearly only get in the way. I, personally, would be happy to sit on my behind in the hotel room and let people with ACTUAL TRAINING take care of the dangerous stuff. I honestly don’t know why I even bothered with the second book, but I am definitely NOT going to be reading the third one. 3/5

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

Orphan Monster SpyI wasn’t super impressed by this book. I thought it actually started off pretty strong, but it didn’t maintain that excitement through to the end. While I felt like it had a different tone from most books, that didn’t really make things any more interesting. The plot was fine, but not super engaging and I had a hard time figuring out what the end goal was supposed to be. Our main character is going through a bunch of stuff, but for what? I also didn’t find myself connecting to any of the characters. The main character was…fine. Kind of bland–you really don’t get to know her that well. The author also chose to include some pretty messed up characters, but I didn’t really feel like they added to the story. 3/5

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The ArchivedThis book had been on my TBR forever because I really liked the Monsters of Verity duology. Also, I love any kind of twist on the “library” so if you know any good alternate library books, let me know in the comments! To get into my review, I felt like the world was pretty complex and didn’t really get explained very well at the beginning, which just left me feeling confused. I was also very confused for the first three chapters because I didn’t realize that Da and Dad were not both Mackenzie’s father. I liked Mackenzie as a main character, but she made some really questionable decisions. I never really understood her resistance for sharing information with the librarians, but especially Roland. He seemed to obviously be on her side and some things could have been prevented if she had been more transparent. I thought Wesley was a bit much as a character, but I did like watching his relationship with Mackenzie develop. Owen, on the other hand…that relationship seemed to come out of nowhere. In the end, there was a twist that I did NOT see coming and I’m just left with so many questions. Like, what is up with Ms. Angelli? Such a mystery. 4/5

ebook | Paperback

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

The ChristmasaurusThis is such a fun middle grade Christmas book. The language was pretty silly throughout, so I would definitely recommend for younger middle grade readers, but I think that age will find the silly language really enjoyable. This book has wheelchair representation which I don’t think I’ve seen in any other books–let alone middle grade. I’m no expert, but it felt like it was portrayed accurately and definitely felt super respectful. I also thought that the characters developed in a realistic way. Even though Brenda is horrible, I felt like I understood her and that’s not always the case with antagonists. I loved all of the illustrations throughout and the Christmas feels were SO STRONG. There’s a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming (am I just oblivious???) which was such a fun surprise. I recommend getting the version of the book that comes with the soundtrack–not necessary, but a really fun and festive bonus. 4/5

ebook | Hardcover | Musical Edition

Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

Two Dark ReignsOkay, I’m hoping to get through this review without any spoilers, but it’s book three in the series, so I’m really sorry if I reveal anything from the first two books–unintentional. After the second book I wasn’t sure how invested I would be in the rest of the story–I didn’t really see where Blake could take it from there. However, the third book got me reinvested real quick. I found myself liking this book much more than the second one and the different POVs continued to be a nice change of pace. I enjoyed each POV equally. There continue to be many, many questions and I need the next book asap. The ending took me by surprise and I’m still not sure exactly what’s going on or what’s going to happen. There’s some interesting things going on on the island and I guess we’ll just have to see what happens next. 4/5

ebook | Hardcover

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, & Brodi Ashton

my plain janeI love this series! The tone is fun and light and easy to enjoy. Once again, I thought the rotating perspective worked well, but Jane’s sections were probably my least favorite. I do wish that I’d read Jane Eyre first, though, because there are certain plot points that were so strange and I don’t know if they were extra or if they’re part of the original text. This is partly why one of my 2019 reading goals is to read Jane Eyre. I also liked that this is somewhat of a “Jane Eyre origin story”. The plot itself was good, but not completely thought out or explained. Why do the talismans work on ghosts? What really determines if a ghost moves on or not? Is a special “moving on” room really necessary? I also felt like red rooms were mentioned several times and I don’t really know why. Despite all that, the tone of the book is so enjoyable that I happily overlooked the times when things weren’t fully explained and I’m excited to continue on with this series. 4/5

ebook | Hardcover


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My Top 6 Reads from 2018

I was looking back through my Goodreads for this post and I was so surprised to see the books that I’d read at the beginning of 2018–it’s just felt like so long since I read those books. Does that happen to anyone else? By December, I’ve completely forgotten what I’d read in January. But anyway, here are my six favorite reads from 2018.

Favorite Reads 2018

I Am the MessengerI Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Reread: 1/20

I love this book. It delivers such a powerful message in a really understated way. It makes me think about all the choices we make every day and the people that we pass on the street. We never know someone else’s story or how a small kindness from us may impact their lives. In the end, this book just makes me want to be a better person.

My Review | Hardcover | ebook

Alex, ApproximatelyAlex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Read: 2/5

This was such a cute contemporary romance! Was the plot predictable? Extremely. And yet…that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of it. I loved the summery, beachiness vibe that was coming off it. Even though it wasn’t summer when I read it, I almost felt like I was at the beach on a nice summer day. If her other books are as good as this one, she’ll definitely be a new auto-buy author for me.

My Review | Hardcover | ebook

Bone GapBone Gap by Laura Ruby
Read: 3/3

I haven’t read a TON of magical realism, but this book makes me want to read more. The magic in it was so subtle and it was so beautifully written. The characters are sympathetic and the “twist” towards the end really took me by surprise. It’s an interesting story with interesting characters. I would definitely recommend this book.

My Review | Hardcover | ebook

Now, I know what you might be thinking, “What? No good reads between March and October? That’s seven whole months!” Well, what happened was…I had a baby. I had a baby at the beginning of April and then I wasn’t really reading very much (I was bingeing Parks and Rec and playing Zelda instead). But then I did start reading again and this is where the rest of this post picks up.

Muse of NightmaresMuse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Read:  10/18

Muse of Nightmares was almost everything that I hoped it would be. Still wildly imaginative with amazing writing. It also brought in another element that created another dimension to the story. Without giving away any spoilers, this was a good follow-up to Strange the Dreamer, even if there were some choices that I didn’t quite agree with. I also liked how Taylor subtly tied this book in with her other series. (And the hardcover is only $10 right now which is cheaper than both the paperback AND the ebook! Click link below.)

Hardcover | ebook

NeverwhereNeverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Read: 11/20

So, apparently, I’ve been sleeping on Neil Gaiman this whole time. Like, I’d read a couple of his books, but after reading this now I need to read EVERYTHING. My friend picked this for book club and I wasn’t really expecting much, but WOW. Easily my favorite read of 2018. Gaiman is funny and insightful and obviously a very, very talented writer. Please. Just read this book.

My Review | Hardcover | ebook

The Feather ThiefThe Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson
Read: 12/19

I legitimately never thought that I would like a non-fiction book like I like this one. It’s FASCINATING. I obviously love all things heist and the fact that this is an actual heist makes it that much more exciting. Johnson does such a good job of making every aspect of this book interesting–not just the crime part. The history of Wallace as well as all the information on Victorian salmon fly-tying is so easy to read and digest. Do yourself a favor and pick this up.

My Review | Hardcover | ebook

A brief issue with bookstagram

I’ve been noticing that a new trend has hit bookstagram some time in the last year… All of these bookstagrammers are posting pictures of paperback books with the cover folded all the way back so you can see the title page. What is this madness? Every time I see one of those pictures I just think about how that poor cover is never going to lay flat again! I would post some examples, but I don’t want to put anyone specifically on the spot–especially since it seems like EVERYONE IS DOING IT. I mean, people can do whatever they want with their own books, but I could never imagine making that sacrifice for the gram.

Do you guys have any bookstagram pet peeves?

I disappeared! Here’s why.

I owe you guys an explanation. I was just getting my blog up and running again, but something happened that made me need to take a quick, unexpected break:

Some of you may have already known I was pregnant, and my due date was May 11. Well, this guy decided he wanted to be an April baby instead and he made his appearance on April 3rd. He was in the NICU for a couple of weeks and then we were able to bring him home. My husband and I were COMPLETELY unprepared (we didn’t even have his crib set up). Luckily we had a little bit of time to get things together while he was in the NICU, but we’re still getting the hang of things with him home.

The next thing that’s happening is that we’re moving for the summer. My husband has an out-of-state internship that we’ll be leaving for soon. So, with the baby and moving, I’m not sure when exactly I’ll have time to start blogging again, but I am planning on coming back! It just might take me a bit. In the mean time, what are you guys reading right now? Let me know in the comments!