Book Review | One Day in December by Josie Silver

One Day in December. By Josie Silverman. Broadway Books, 2018. 416 pages. $8.99 (Adult).

Buy it here.

This book was, what I’m going to call, a blind book. What I mean is, I went into this one, with no idea about the plot whatsoever. All I knew is it was a romance novel.

Apparently, I’ve decided to kick the year off with romance novels – don’t ask me why cause I don’t know!!! Regardless, I saw that this was a Book of the Month pick in 2018 and I added it to my TBR (because I’ve yet to be truly disappointed by a BoTM selection). Anyway, the point is, I added this to my TBR because of BoTM.

One day, I was browsing Libby to see if there were any books I would be interested in borrowing for downtime at work. Bam! This was at the top of my available books. So I borrowed it.

I was not prepared.

Laurie encounters the love of her life at a bus stop. But… she doesn’t even know his name. She memorizes his face and recounts his looks to her best friend, Sarah. So begins Lu and Sarah’s quest to find the man they’ve dubbed “bus boy”. The duo spends a literal year looking for this man. Sarah claims she has heard enough about bus boy that she’d be able to find him without Lu’s help. How wrong she is.

Thus begins the nearly decade long journey of Lu realizing and then finding her true love over and over again. It’s a roller coaster of emotional turmoil of the best sort. Is it a little soap-y? Totally. But I. Was. Here. For. It.

The entire time I was reading this book, I was laughing and crying and totally enjoying myself. That’s the mark of a good romance novel, in my opinion.

Here’s the thing though. I love a good smutty book. This was not that. It was totally cutesy and adorable and just quintessentially British. I couldn’t help but feel charmed while reading this. Overall a totally enjoyable read and I would recommend it to anyone doubting that home is not a place; it’s a person.

Book Review | On a Tuesday by Whitney G

On a Tuesday. By Whitney G. WGW Books, LLC, 2017. 228 pages. $2.99 (Ages 18+).

Buy it here.

            What if the best and worst of everything in your life happened on one specific day of the week? For Grayson and Charlotte, that’s exactly how Tuesdays are. Anything and everything happens to the pair on a Tuesday – aptly titling the novel.

            Grayson Connors is the college football player. Likely to be the NFL’s number one draft pick after his graduation from Pitt, everything is looking great for him. There’s just one thing… he doesn’t date. Charlotte Taylor is the perfect student. Set up to go either to art or law school upon her graduation from Pitt, she’s just two courses shy of graduating on time. The only way to make up for her missing credits is to take on a tutoring gig. Her problem comes in the form of one soon-to-be NFL star.

            This love story is really fast paced. Altering between past and present day, we get a glimpse into how quickly Charlotte and Grayson fall in love and just how quickly the tides can turn. Considered a second chance romance, Charlotte and Grayson’s love story definitely had my attention from the beginning.

            While this is not my first Whitney G romance novel I have to say, it was MUCH tamer than I remember her other novels being. This one is a slow build and doesn’t have naughty scenes ever other page like a lot of Kindle books. While I found Grayson to be an egotistical ass most of the time, he grew on me. Charlotte did not really stand out to me much – I actually find that, as I reflect on these characters, that their personalities are more present that what I can remember of their looks. I actually think I can appreciate this more than if I only remembered how they looked…

            What I personally found the most fascinating about this book is the concept of everything happening on one day of the week. I mean, even the main event of this book (a random seven year college reunion) happen on a freakin’ Tuesday. I get that this is a simple reason to be interested in a book, but it’s what kept pushing me through.

            Ultimately, the twist about why the relationship fell apart was pretty surprising to me. In hindsight, it shouldn’t have been… but it was and I was thrilled to be wrong!  Overall, this book kept me on my toes and consumed my thoughts.

Book Review | Shortcake by Lucy Watson

Shortcake. By Lucy Watson. Lucy Watson Books, 2019. 413 pages. $2.99 (Ages 18+).

Buy it here.

Benjamin Crawford and Emelia Anderson are polar opposites. At least, that’s what the author would have readers believing. Turns out, they’re not as different as one might think. They have at least one thing in common – mutual dislike for the other. But is that all?

Love it or hate it, the enemies to lovers trope is here to stay. Shortcake
brings a breath of fresh air to this moderately overdone trope with laugh
out loud funny moments to help counter the heavy dramatics that generally run rampant in romance novels. It’s refreshing to experience a romance novel that isn’t just wild sex every five pages.

Ben and Emmy’s whirlwind romances is kicked into action when Ben’s Grammy Rose passes away – leaving both Ben and Emmy as sole proprietors to her estate. In order to “earn” their inheritance, Ben and Emmy must follow a weirdly specific set of instructions. This, in my opinion, is a really fun way to set up and build upon the romance. The will, and these oddly specific instructions, are what help drive the story… aside from the two main’s mutual hatred of one another.

A serious slow build romance that will keep you on your toes. Toxic
masculinity? Yes. Inordinately hot men? Also yes. Potential for spinoff
romances? Obviously.

2020 Goals!

Happy New Year!! It’s time to outline my goals for the year. Per usual, my goals are outlined in categories.

Goal 1: Reading Goals

In 2019, I surpassed my reading goal of 70 books by reading 88 books. This year, on top of finishing grad school, I plan to read 85 books.

Goal 1b: Journaling

I’m lumping this into my reading goals because I fully intend for my journaling to center around books. I’m planning on joining (and maybe even starting!) a Facebook reading group so I can journal about prompts posted here.

That seems like a lot, but I want to start thinking outside of the box in terms of my reviews.

Goal 2: Social Media Goals

Yeah, I know. This is a yikes. Last year was a trying year for me. I let my anxiety run my life and didn’t post to my social media accounts consistently – even though it’s something I enjoy doing.

Included in this goal are:

  • Setting and following a consistent YouTube schedule
  • Posting 1 time a day on Instagram
  • Posting 1 blog post per week NOT including book reviews
  • Branch out of the book niche a little bit and incorporate lifestyle posts on the blog.

Goal 3: Personal Goals

I try to set personal goals each year to help better me as a person. This year my goals are pretty similar to last years.

  • Exercise at least 2 times a week (while enrolled in school)
  • Eat healthier by cooking more meals at home
  • Shop ethically (new & used!)

What are some of your goals for the new decade? Do you like to start the new year fresh, or are you the type of person who sees every day as a chance to grow?

A Change | Revamping my Book Reviews

I never thought I’d say this… I’m changing the way I review books.

I am now halfway done with my Master of Library and Information Science and I have a course where I practiced writing librarian reviews in said course. Because of this course, I am revamping the way I write reviews on my blog because I want to get as much practice as I can.

So, the change in question is going to be focused on this blog. Here, you will find my librarian reviews – to get spoiler-y and more in-depth reviews, you’re going to have to head to my YouTube and Goodreads.

Another change?

My librarian reviews are not going to have ratings. Again, to get my rating, you’ll have to check YouTube or Goodreads.

The intent of revamping my blog reviews is to practice. I don’t intend to become a librarian upon completion of my education because I have other career goals in place at this moment in time. But, I still want to keep practicing in case that ever changes… I’m only 29 after all.

Overall, the biggest change is the taking away of ratings on here. I really think that including a short review on here is going to help me achieve my goal of reviewing every book I read. I also really like the idea of having non-biased reviews listed here. (Don’t worry, I’ll leave links to where you can find those in-depth reviews on each post!)

I’m really excited to start sharing these reviews with you all – but I’m not starting until 2020.

End of Term Two/Middle of Term Three | The Road to Librarianship

It’s been a really long time since I’ve written about school. Actually, it’s been a really long time since I’ve written period. About two months to be exact. 
It’s been a really hard few months for me, and I’m just now starting to feel like I’m getting back to normal… kind of. 

My anxiety is at an all time high and that’s largely due to some personal and professional circumstances that I’d rather not go into. The main reason for mentioning it is because it’s also affecting my drive to be in school. I just… kind of… don’t care about school anymore. I even considered dropping out. (Spoiler alert: I’m not going to because I still love it; it’s just been hard!) 

So, let’s talk about my second term first. 
In my second term of library school, I took two classes: Principles of Management for Information Professionals and Literacy Through School Libraries. 

When the term started, I was most nervous about the Management class. I thought I was going to hate it because it sounded like an add on to a lot of material I learned over the course of my time in the Navy. As it turns out, I actually really loved this class! 

First of all, my instructor was awesome. His feedback on my assignments actually gave a lot of insight about what I could do to improve on the following assignment which I totally appreciated. He was also really understanding and let me miss a night of class without penalizing me when my 5 year old came home from a two week vacation at my dad’s house. 

The class offered a lot of creative outlet through assignments which really helped me retain the information and the textbook is actually one I looked forward to reading each week! 

I hit one small snag in submitting an assignment, but my teacher reached out to me and didn’t take points off for lateness because it was a technical issue. I ended up walking away from the class with an A+, which helped boost my GPA! 

Literacy Though School Libraries was my elective. I selected it because Youth Services was full! I wasn’t excited about this class, but I looked forward to it more than Management because I want to work in a Youth department when I graduate. Here’s the truth: I really disliked this class. 

With a focus on School Libraries, this course is obviously geared more toward School Media Specialists. I made it work and enjoyed working on my assignments – which all pooled together to create a really nice portfolio at the end. The assignments included writing lesson plans, individualized lessons, and a program. Obviously my favorite part was working on the program! 

The reason I disliked this class so much is it always ran late. I understand the occasional late night, but when it became an every week thing, it really started to wear me down. It was especially difficult because my children were still awake during the class period and I wanted it to end so I could spend some time with them before bedtime. 

I ended up with an A+ in this class too! Which was a surprise because I really didn’t feel like I gave it my all (I missed class more than once and waited til the last minute to work on projects). 

When the term ended, I was happy with my outcomes and not feeling discouraged. I was so ready for my third term. 

Which brings us to my middle of term three update. 

This term, I’m taking the Youth Services class (YAY) and a core requirement – Information Resources: Organization and Access.

So far, my Youth Class is rocking! I’ve written two papers – a Genre Study on Dystopian Fiction (that I got 100 on) and I just submitted a Book Talk assignment. 

My dystopian paper focused on the history and included an annotated bibliography of titles I consider exemplary. All of my titles were YA. I’m thinking about turning this assignment into a series on this blog because I honestly had so much fun working on it! 

The second assignment was a Book Talk assignment – I chose to go with little kids for this and write my paper and learning segments on Women Making History. So my talks were on five books that feature women in history. It was really fun and I am looking forward to giving my book talk to my class. 

This class rocks because there are only seven students. I love small classes because it allows for more natural discussion in our live session each week. We’ve also been assigned Book Talk Buddy’s and mine is also a Lady Veteran! 

Organization and Access is an actual nightmare for me!

I like the class, don’t get me wrong. It’s just so. damn. hard. I don’t get it!! 

Metadata, MARC, RDA, OCLC!! It’s all gibberish to me. The good news is, my instructor is a really fair grader and she gives you credit for trying. She also doesn’t take away full points (my biggest fear in a class that’s only worth 100 points) for mistakes. It’s more like tenths of a point. 

I feel like I’m learning a lot, but it’s still really hard for me at this point in the course. I’m hoping that the switch flips soon and I get the hang of everything. 

So what’s next? 

When this term ends, I’m planning on taking my last two core requirements in term four and then term five will be two electives. My final term, I plan to dedicate to my last elective and my internship. 

The biggest appeal to Syracuse’s LIS program is that I have to obtain an internship to graduate. It gives me hope that I’ll be able to find a job more efficiently if I have the internship under my belt. 

Oh! One last tidbit about what’s coming up for me! 

It’s now time to consider when to go to Immersion Weekend (another graduation requirement). Immersion is not offered in Winter, I can’t go in Summer (because of work), and Fall will be too late for me… which means I have to go to Spring Immersion. This year, Spring Immersion isn’t on Campus. It’s in New York City which means I get to make a trip to New York for school. This is thrilling to me because I’ve never been to NYC before! 

In the meantime, I’ll be over here chugging through my coursework and reading. 

Here’s to finishing Term Three strong! 
(and hopefully posting more on here). 

Book Review | Night World by LJ Smith

Never have I ever read an LJ Smith novel before… until now. 

Look, I love a good paranormal romance (thanks Twilight) so I don’t know how LJ Smith’s work flew under my radar for so long. Like, I don’t even know how long she’s been writing books, but she’s published at least 20 that I know of. Basically, it’s all thanks to my friend, Becky, that I bought this author’s work. Becky’s the one who turned me on to The Vampire Diaries (television series) hence forcing me to want to read the books to see if they’re any good. 

Wow. Rambling aside… Night World Book One (i.e. Secret Vampire) ended up on my TBR for September by chance. (I decided to randomize my TBR again, for fun). I picked this one up first because my idea was to front load my month with YA so I can read all of the adult books after my classes end. 

This was a doozy. 

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

The diagnosis for Poppy was death. there was no hope–until James, her best friend and secret love, appeared in the hospital. But this was a James she didn’t know. He offered Poppy eternal life. Only he could open the door to the Night World. They’re soulmates–but can she follow him into death and beyond?

Character Development

It’s a yikes for this one, guys. Honestly, the only fully developed character here is Poppy (one of the main characters). I can’t even pretend like James (the other main)  is also fully developed because I don’t feel like there’s enough we learn about him in this short novel. What we learn about James is he knows how to turn people into vampires because he accidentally almost turned someone when he was a child. He can stop aging whenever he wants because he’s a born vampire. He doesn’t have a good relationship with his parents, and he hates his cousin, Ash.

Poppy is more developed in that we get to see into her life before she turns. We know more about her by design. Actually, now that I think of it, I’m not sure if I can consider Poppy fully developed because we don’t actually get to see much of her backstory – just that she and James have been besties since they were five and now she has cancer. 

The side characters almost didn’t even have a need to be in the story. For instance, Phillip (Poppy’s twin brother) was basically only there to help either stop Poppy’s transformation or help move it forward. The part in the story where he threatens to kick James’ ass is laughable. I honestly didn’t see a point for this, or any, side characters. 

Even Ash as a side character was only there to cause chaos. Which brings me to my next point. 

The Plot

Poppy gets a terminal cancer diagnosis and the only way to save her is to turn her. Ok, I’m on board, but that’s a little boring. 

Ok, how about we turn her, but it’s illegal. Even better.

But wait? Who’s going to KNOW it’s illegal? 

Better add in a character to stir the pot. 

This is basically the plot of the novel. It doesn’t reach a boiling point until page 193. How? In this sense, this book was a shorter, less interesting Twilight. I mean, wow. 

The plot of this book had me rolling my eyes so hard I thought they’d get stuck. 

General Thoughts

Would I read more of this series? Probably.

Does this fall into a specific category of book? Yep. Love to Hate. Cringe. Eye Roll worthy. To name a few.

Overall, I can totally see this being a book that a younger version of myself would love. It was easy to get through, cringey, and laugh out loud worthy as an adult. Smith’s writing took only a few chapters for me to get used to and ultimately, I found it enjoyable. 

While I would describe this as eye roll worthy and cringey, I don’t think these are bad traits in books. In fact, these factors almost make the books more enjoyable for me as an adult YA reader. It’s literally why I bought the entire Twilight series as an adult. Books like this are fun to read and talk about. Besides, I want to be a YA librarian, so there’s that…

Rating: 🌟🌟💫

I didn’t hate this, but I also didn’t love it. The plot really was a bit too boring for me to give this a higher rating. I did like Poppy and James though so I guess that’s the saving grace of this book. I’d say someone who’s around 13 would probably really love this book, but it definitely wasn’t for almost 30 year old me. 

Let’s chat! 

Let’s talk about paranormal romance in the comments! Love it? Hate it? You tell me. Don’t forget to let me know why! 

Book Review | Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner

August was a month of firsts.

I created my first ever randomly generated TBR and I read my first piece of crime fiction.

This isn’t the first crime fiction book I’ve read, but that’s because this is a second book in a series. So obviously, I had to read the first book, well, first. I read Missing, Presumed before reaching for this, but I’ll just say this: you don’t need to do this. It helps to understand who Manon’s son is, but you don’t necessarily need to read Missing, Presumed before this.

On to the review!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

The sequel to Susie Steiner’s bestselling MISSING, PRESUMED

Manon has settled back into life in Cambridgeshire with her adopted son Fly. She’s perfectly happy working on cold cases until a man is stabbed to death just yards from the police station, and both the victim and the prime suspect turn out to be much closer to home than she would like. How well does Manon know her loved ones, and are they capable of murder?

The Writing

I really like Steiner’s writing. It’s engaging and enjoyable. I think she drives her plot with her characters. I don’t need descriptions when it comes to her characters because their personalities really shine through her writing.

For example, the only description of Manon I can remember is she’s not petite. But I don’t need to know that to know Manon is a no-nonsense, take no shit, straight-laced detective. She’s hard and that really shines through how Steiner writes.

This is probably one of the most enjoyable elements of this novel, in my opinion.

The Plot

Okay, the plot for this one was SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING than in Missing, Presumed. I mean, we have one of Manon’s loved ones accused of murdering a man in a park near their house? Obviously, I’m intrigued!

One thing that was hard for me is the mystery element though. I’m so used to reading mystery/thrillers that it was a bit shocking to get so much information up front from side characters. It was interesting to read about the police force trying to solve this murder, but at the same time it was irritating to KNOW who was behind the crime.

However, there was a plot twist toward the end that shook me, so I’m overall pleased with this.

The Characters

I didn’t really like Manon in Missing, Presumed – she just seem too brusque for me to enjoy her character. That changed with this one. I think her being pregnant throughout this novel made her much more likable and human.

Side characters in this were super important as you get a lot of information through these characters – particularly Birdie. But my favorite is, and probably always will be, Davy Walker.

Davy was under Manon on the Hind investigation in Missing, Presumed, but in Persons Unknown he is taking the lead. I loved seeing the growth of his character over the course of this book. I hope he makes an appearance in the next installment!

Fly, Ellie, Solly, Harriet, Bryony, Gary, Mark – they’re all important for telling this story, but I especially loved the snippets of the story from Birdie and Angel’s points of view.

Overall Thoughts

I can honestly say I enjoyed this one much more than the first one. The writing improved, the plot was more interesting, and the character growth was incredible.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟💫

I’d recommend it. It was enjoyable, just wasn’t able to read huge chunks at a time!

Let’s chat!

Do you have a favorite crime fiction novelist? Share in the comments!

Book Review | Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

I’ve never read an Abbi Glines novel before now.

In fact, I’ll be quite honest, I’d never even heard of Abbi Glines before I purchased this novel. I saw it, figured it would fulfill my Friday Night Lights needs, and we’d call it a day.


I was roped into something and I see no means of escape.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

Let’s start with the issues (Spoilers Ahead!!)

Okay, straight out the gates, West is NOT like my man Big Tim Riggins (i.e. RIGGO!) as far as I can tell. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what West looks like. He’s, in my mind, a nondescript white boy. Taylor Kitsch could not play him in the straight to TV movie adaptation of this novel. HOWEVER, where Glines lacked in writing a character description, she certainly made up for it in character traits. West is an arrogant, sad boy. He’s really going through it in this novel and, to be frank, I’m not surprised with his measures of lashing out.

Where Glines lacked in character description for West, she made up for it in her development of our other protagonist. I can vividly picture Maggie in my mind. I actually liked her character a lot, which I found surprising. She’s strong and sweet and has been through hell and back, but still survived. I admire that in characters.

Here’s my biggest issue with this book. It’s kinda… instalovey.

I mean, West basically shoves his tongue down Maggie’s throat on their first encounter and, her being mute for the first quarter of the book, she doesn’t stop him. But from her perspective, she doesn’t want to. I get attraction, but this girl literally makes no move to consent – no gesture that she’s okay with their first (her VERY first) kiss whatsoever. I think this sends the wrong message to young readers – the target audience for this book.

On top of this, I cannot condone the first sex scene either. It’s not that I didn’t find it believable; again, I just don’t like the message it sends young girls. For me, it felt like Maggie and West hooking up in his truck was made okay by the fact that he was hurting. However, I will give this much to Glines; in this scene, Maggie actually does give her consent so I can’t hate too much.

So what did I like?

It was not a difficult read. Much like Colleen Hoover’s writing, I found this novel to be un-putdownable. I mean, I did put it down to like, fold laundry and stuff, but it was so interesting. I was invested in the characters and the plot. I liked it enough to stay up late on a Sunday night, KNOWING FULL WELL that Mondays are my nemesis to finish the book.

I also enjoyed the dual POV writing. I don’t normally go for this, but Glines made characters likable enough for me to feel invested in all parties. I wanted to know Maggie’s thoughts as much as I wanted to know what West was thinking. This was a pleasant surprise to me.

I also really liked the plot. It was refreshing to see tragedy dealt with in the manner in which Glines chose. I liked the fresh outtake on having a mute main character. While Tiffany Jackson’s Allegedly discusses the main character being mute, Glines actually shows us the awkwardness of a mute main character. That’s why I consider it fresh. Sure we get her thoughts, but before she actually starts speaking to West, you can feel the tension in the characters who try to communicate with Maggie.

General thoughts

I liked this book. In fact, I’d probably read more of this series (Field Party, this is Book 1). I’d absolutely pick up a Field Party novel on Nash or Brady so Ms. Glines, if you’re reading this… maybe… consider my proposition? 😀

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟💫

It met my needs for a cutesy contemporary. I liked the writing, but my issues with the book are still weighing heavy on my mind… so…

Let’s Chat!

Let’s take a different course of action this time! I loved the show Friday Night Lights. If you’ve watched it, leave me a comment telling me who your favorite character was. Mine is pretty obvious if you’ve read this post 😉

Or if you haven’t watched the show, leave me a comment telling me your favorite sport! (My favorite is hockey! I’m a Pittsburgh fan!)