Posted in General Books, Sundays In Bed With..., Weekly Wrap Up

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I spent this Sunday in bed finishing up both Malamander and Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven!

Utterly unique in its astonishing intimacy, as jarringly frightening as when it first appeared, Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me defies our expectation that we would surely know if a monster lived among us, worked alongside of us, appeared as one of us. With a slow chill that intensifies with each heart-pounding page, Rule describes her dawning awareness that Ted Bundy, her sensitive coworker on a crisis hotline, was one of the most prolific serial killers in America. He would confess to killing at least thirty-six young women from coast to coast, and was eventually executed for three of those cases. Drawing from their correspondence that endured until shortly before Bundy’s death, and striking a seamless balance between her deeply personal perspective and her role as a crime reporter on the hunt for a savage serial killer — the brilliant and charismatic Bundy, the man she thought she knew — Rule changed the course of true-crime literature with this unforgettable chronicle.

Utterly unique in its astonishing intimacy, as jarringly frightening as when it first appeared, Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me defies our expectation that we would surely know if a monster lived among us, worked alongside of us, appeared as one of us. With a slow chill that intensifies with each heart-pounding page, Rule describes her dawning awareness that Ted Bundy, her sensitive coworker on a crisis hotline, was one of the most prolific serial killers in America. He would confess to killing at least thirty-six young women from coast to coast, and was eventually executed for three of those cases. Drawing from their correspondence that endured until shortly before Bundy’s death, and striking a seamless balance between her deeply personal perspective and her role as a crime reporter on the hunt for a savage serial killer — the brilliant and charismatic Bundy, the man she thought she knew — Rule changed the course of true-crime literature with this unforgettable chronicle.

What are you currently reading?

It’s been such a stressful Sunday, friends and I’m so over it. Although I haven’t been feeling the best over the last two days, the day started off well enough. I got a few hours of sleep, finished a couple of books, and I watched the adorable movie on Netflix called Klaus! I love a good animated film and this was no exception; it was touching, sweet and funny and I’m so glad it popped up on my suggestions today! It’s the well-imagined backstory of how Santa Claus came to be and I thought it was inventive and entertaining! I’ve possibly been feeling a little more emotional than usual lately but it definitely had me shedding a couple of sad-happy tears and I loved it! Would 100% recommend it if you’re looking for a cute holiday movie to watch, whether alone or with family!

Aside from that it was a relatively chilled out weekend until late this afternoon when there were some work things that came up and stressed me out big time. I’m leaving on a very short work trip tomorrow but it’s so disorganized, everything is feeling a little too last minute and chaotic for my tastes and it’s making me feel extremely anxious. I especially hate that it’s put a damper in my evening as I scramble to do last minute things that people request of me. I really should learn how to say no… That said, I’m going to put on How the Grinch Stole Christmas after this because that black heart is a mood right now ๐Ÿ˜…

Reading & Blogging Recap

I finished four books this week which isn’t bad considering how busy and stressful it was. I managed to read my first Nonfiction November read and I also finished my first successful week of the Triwizardathon! I had originally set out to read three books to complete the challenges, but in the end, I completed four prompts for the two challenges in my first task! The graphic novel that I listed in my Triwizard post wasn’t the one I ended up reading in the end, but it still counts towards completing the challenge. Not off to a bad start, if I do say so myself ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’ve been doing pretty well on the blogging front as well, although I only posted one review and I’ve still got tons to write for books I read last month ๐Ÿ™ˆ Slowly, though, right? As usual, in case you missed any of my posts from this week, you can find them all listed below:

Top 5 Saturday: Books by Unread Authors!
Friday Favorites: Hyped Books!
First Lines Friday: 15 November
Review: The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
The Book Snob Tag!
Thursday Discussion: Books That Make Me Laugh Out Loud!
This or That Book Tag!
#WWWWednesday: 13 November
Triwizard Tournament Readathon: Task 1 Possibility Pile
#TopTenTuesday: Favorite Bookmarks!
Down the TBR Hole – 07
Goodreads Monday: 11 November

I’ve been listening to a lot of throwback tunes this week and it’s all thanks to discovering that there’s a musical inspired by Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill album! I’m sharing the video that set me off on this jaunt down the 90s to early 00s music memory lane below. This is the cast of the musical singing one of my favorite songs off Morissette’s album: You Learn.

How has your week been? Hope everyone has/had a great weekend!

Posted in General Books, Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday: Books by Unread Authors!

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: books by unread authors you want to read. Friends, I’m loving and hating this prompt because it’s a keen reminder of all of the unread books sitting sadly on my shelves and the guilt is making itself known just a little bit right now and it’s making me feel like such an irresponsible reader! *flails dramatically under mountain of guilt* Now, with that out of the way, here are five books by unread authors that I’m hoping to read before the end of 2019! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

SYNOPSIS: How far will you go to protect your family? Will you keep their secrets? Ignore their lies? In a small town in Virginia, a group of people know each other because theyโ€™re part of a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of conditions from infertility to autism. But then the chamber explodes, two people die, and itโ€™s clear the explosion wasnโ€™t an accident. A powerful showdown unfolds as the story moves across characters who are all maybe keeping secrets, hiding betrayals. Chapter by chapter, we shift alliances and gather evidence: Was it the careless mother of a patient? Was it the owners, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? Could it have been a protester, trying to prove the treatment isnโ€™t safe?


The Farm by Joanne Ramos

SYNOPSIS: Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massagesโ€”and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big moneyโ€”more than you’ve ever dreamed ofโ€”to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your รผberwealthy clients. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on deliveryโ€”or worse.


Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

SYNOPSIS: Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own. Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, sheโ€™s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her fatherโ€™s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayerโ€”a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago. Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akiraโ€”a brilliant investigator whoโ€™s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?


How to Make Friends With the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

SYNOPSIS: Here is what happens when your mother dies.
Itโ€™s the brightest day of summer and itโ€™s dark outside. Itโ€™s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart.
Thatโ€™s how it feels for Tiger. Itโ€™s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tigerโ€™s mother dies. And now itโ€™s Tiger, alone.
Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.


Birthday by Meredith Russo

SYNOPSIS: Two kids, Morgan and Eric, are bonded for life after being born on the same day at the same time. We meet them once a year on their shared birthday as they grow and change: as Eric figures out who he is and how he fits into the world, and as Morgan makes the difficult choice to live as her true self. Over the years, they will drift apart, come together, fight, make up, and break upโ€”and ultimately, realize how inextricably they are a part of each other.

Are any of these books on your own list? What books by unread authors would you have on your list? Any of them to be read before 2019 ends?

Posted in Friday Favorites, General Books

Friday Favorites: Hyped Books!

It’s time for another Friday Favorites hosted by Kibby @ Something of the Book! This weekly meme is where you get to share a list of all your favourites based on the list of prompts on Kibby’s page. Sounds fun, right? This week’s prompt is: favorite hyped books! Oh, the hype. It’s something that all of us are familiar with and all have different reactions to, right?

Some readers feel FOMO and immediately race out to buy whatever book is currently all over the gram. Some wait a little while for the hype to die down before caving and reading the book. Others stay as far away from hyped books as possible and sometimes never pick them up until the hype is completely dead and years have passed, if ever. I’m pretty much a mix of all of these reactions — sometimes I can’t stand the FOMO and race out to get the book ASAP, but most of the time I wait until the hype dies down a little before I cave. To be honest though, most times when I get the book as soon as it comes out, I usually let it linger on my shelf (unintentionally!) and next thing you know, the next hyped book is out, that ‘old-new’ book stays untouched, and the cycle continues ๐Ÿ˜‚ There are SO MANY HYPED BOOKS coming out all the time, I feel like I can never keep up, and so (mostly) I don’t. Pretty much all of the books mentioned below have already made countless repeat appearances on my blog (sorry I’m boring!) so it’s no surprise that they’re coming back again as my favorites!

With such a long introduction, I’m going to keep this short and sweet by sticking with sharing the book covers. These are just 20 of the most hyped books that I could think of (lies, they’re the books that are already in my media gallery but all of them are hyped)!

Do you recognize all of these hyped books? Would any of them make your list of favorite hyped reads or am I the only one who loves them?

Posted in First Lines Friday, General Books

First Lines Friday – 15 November

Yayaya, HAPPY FRIYAY, book lovers and friends ๐Ÿ˜We’re back with another First Lines Friday! This is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are THE RULES:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but donโ€™t give anything else about the book away just yet โ€“ you need to hook the reader first
  • Finallyโ€ฆ reveal the book!

First lines:

“There was a reason Gavin Scott rarely drank.
He was bad at it.
As in, face-planted on the carpet while reaching for the bottle bad. And too drunk to see in the dark so might as well stay down bad.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Okay, okay, calm yourself Loki, mate...

*drumroll please!*

The book is: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

The first rule of book club:
You don’t talk about book club.
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. Heโ€™s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, itโ€™s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes heโ€™s let his pride and fear get the better of him.ย 

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titledย Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

Have you read The Bromance Book Club or is it on your TBR?

Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy, General Books, Young Adult

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Stranger Beside Me
Genre: True Crime, Non-fiction
Panda Rating:

Utterly unique in its astonishing intimacy, as jarringly frightening as when it first appeared, Ann Rule’sย The Stranger Beside Meย defies our expectation that we would surely know if a monster lived among us, worked alongside of us, appeared as one of us. With a slow chill that intensifies with each heart-pounding page, Rule describes her dawning awareness that Ted Bundy, her sensitive coworker on a crisis hotline, was one of the most prolific serial killers in America. He would confess to killing at least thirty-six young women from coast to coast, and was eventually executed for three of those cases. Drawing from their correspondence that endured until shortly before Bundy’s death, and striking a seamless balance between her deeply personal perspective and her role as a crime reporter on the hunt for a savage serial killer — the brilliant and charismatic Bundy, the man she thought she knew — Rule changed the course of true-crime literature with this unforgettable chronicle.

Where do I even start in reviewing a book like this? My mind is still trying to process everything that I’ve read. Plus, I’ve just stumbled down an Ann Rule-Ted Bundy-Carol Ann Boone wormhole and after watching an interview of Bundy on YouTube (why did I do that?) I’m still not sure I’ve been fully spit back out yet.ย I’m covered in full-body chills and it’s a sweltering 35โ„ƒ right now!

โ€œAnd, like all the others, I have been manipulated to suit Tedโ€™s needs. I donโ€™t feel particularly embarrassed or resentful about that. I was one of many, all of us intelligent, compassionate people who had no real comprehension of what possessed him, what drove him obsessively.โ€

I’m not usually a non-fiction reader but this book has been on my radar for several years now. I don’t know when I first learned about Ted Bundy and I’m pretty sure that the majority of people in my circles wouldn’t know who he is or at most his name might ring a bell. I knew he was good looking and charming but I never knew the details of when, where and how he operated. I never knew how much of a sociopath he was. I didn’t know how he was caught and for what he was actually convicted of. This book answered so many questions I didnโ€™t know I had about him, but it also left me with more questions about his psyche too.

I canโ€™t even fathom what it took Ann Rule to write this book. I know I just read it but Iโ€™m still not sure anyone will ever really understand what it’s like to write a detailed account of cruel and violent murders perpetrated by someone who you (thought you) knew so well. Someone who you were close to; someone whose connection with you was formed based on the loss of your brother; someone whose persona you knew to be so different to how others described him. It makes you think:ย how is it possible to judge a character so wrongly?ย Based on what Rule shared in this book, it’s not that difficult to understand when it comes to Bundy because he had so many sides to him it was almost impossible to know which was theย REALย one, even at the end.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Bundy was a deeply disturbed individual. What he did was… I don’t even have the words for how angry and beyond disgusted it makes me feel to think about what he did and what he got away with so easily and for so long! Ted Bundy was a man with chameleon-like good looks, with a bright mind and endless charm, and I think what really got to me while reading this is how Rule managed to somehow… humanize him? Even though it took a long time for her to come to terms with his guilt, she didn’t excuse or try to justify what he did and I honestly don’t think she intentionally tried to make readers feel sympathetic towards someone as deplorable as him. And yet you can’t help but feel a little mournful(?) of the waste of life (all around) and how differently things could’ve turned out for him (and others like him) if his childhood was better… I know that’s an oversimplification and perhaps it was inevitable for him to turn out this way, it maybe would’ve taken him longer, but you canโ€™t help envisioning him as the person that Rule initially described him as. Just to be clear, this isn’t me sympathizing or feeling sorry for him — no way! — this book just took me (emotionally) by surprise.

“According to the FBI information and several reporters who were deluging the Pensacola detectives with calls, they had caught a man suspected of thirty-six murders, a figure they found hard to believe.
When Chapman asked him about that during the post-taping conversation, Ted had reportedly replied, “Add one digit to that and you’ll have it.”
What had he meant? Was he being sarcastic? did he meanย thirty-sevenย murders? Or, no, it couldn’t be… did he mean a hundred or more murders?”

I don’t know how to emphasize how horrifying it was to know how easy it was for Bundy to fool everyone around him. That he was smart and so meticulous about not leaving a single clue at each scene was beyond terrifying and it blows my mind to think how long this would’ve continued had he not been caught for other things. My gut churns knowing that the remains of the women he killed will never be found… and who knows how long he has been killing and how many women he actually killed in his lifetime…ย But I digress.ย Kind of. I don’t want to go on too much about what I read and learned, not because I don’t want to spoil the book, as I’m sure you can find the majority of information online or by watching the documentaries about him and the movie based on the book. I could go on about my thoughts on this but I’d likely end up repeating myself because there really are no words.

In the end, would I say I enjoyed this book? I mean, if you consider that I didn’t want to leave this book for too long, then yes, I did enjoy it because I read it faster than I thought I would. Every time I put it down I would think about it until I picked it up again. But it also feels wrong to say that because of what it’s about. The contents of this book have been tumbling over in my head since I finished reading it and I have a feeling that it’s one that will stick with me for a long, long time.

Have you read The Stranger Beside Me? Do you enjoy true crime?

Posted in Book Tags, General Books

The Book Snob Tag!

Despite having a million tags that I was actually tagged in but haven’t done yet *cough* I saw this tag on Emer’s page a while ago and decided that it was a fun quick tag that I wanted to do! Don’t you just love book tags?!

ADAPTATION SNOB: Do you always read the book before seeing the film?

I’d be lying if I said “yes, always” because *looks at LOTR* but for the most part I do! There are so many adaptations (both films and shows) that I haven’t watched yet because I haven’t read the book and I’ve convinced myself that I’ll want to read the book first so, yeah. I swear I’ll get to all you beauties eventually!

FORMAT SNOB: You can only choose 1 format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which one do you choose: physical books, eBooks, or audiobooks?

BUT WHY? I want to say ebooks because I travel so much and I’d love to be able to keep all my books with me wherever I go for always, but… Do I really think I could ever give up physical books? Nup! Physical books it is then! ๐Ÿ˜‚

SHIP SNOB: Would you date or marry a non-reader?

UM… In a perfect world I’d only date people who read lol I mean, that’d be really ideal. But… I guess I’m not opposed to dating a non-reader IF they’re understanding about what books and the book community mean to me! If a person can’t support me with my bookish love then buh-bye. Sorry not sorry–ain’t nobody got time for that!

GENRE SNOB: You have to ditch one genre โ€“ never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

Hah, this isn’t hard because I am the ultimate chicken and I rarely, if ever, read this genre: I would ditch horror in a heartbeat! ๐Ÿ˜…

UBER GENRE SNOB: You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

I… I don’t know! Part of me really wants to say contemporary romance because I’M A SUCKA FOR DA LOVES but I’m gonna go with contemporary fiction. Even though I feel like I’m betraying my fantasy love by saying that, please see Darcy gif above and forgive me ๐Ÿ˜…

COMMUNITY SNOB: Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: ROMANCE! Why do people have such a strong dislike towards romance? I mean, my reading about romance doesn’t affect you so why does it matter what I enjoy? I will say that I’m glad to see more non-romance readers opening up to reading the genre lately and finding that they enjoy it! It’s a sweet satisfaction ๐Ÿ˜

Now wasn’t that a fun tag?
Don’t forget to tag me if you do this tag so I can see your answers too!

Posted in General Books, Thursday Discussion

Thursday Discussion: Books That Make Me Laugh Out Loud!

Hosted by Ally Writes Things, Thursday Discussion is a biweekly meme where you write a post based on the prompt for that week. The post can be as long or as short as you want, and you can talk about as much or as little as you want.

Over the last month I’ve seen some Thursday Discussion posts on some of my favorite blogs and I’ve been interested in taking part but one thing or another always took me away from posting (most likely my laziness). I finally decided to join today — although with a different topic than what’s post! Oops, yes, hi! It’s just that this week’s topic is childhood favorites and I have two posts about that already, which you can read here and here. So instead I decided to do my post on a previous discussion topic about books that make me laugh out loud!

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. Honestly, Hazel is just the funniest character. I love her spunk and vivaciousness and how she was unapologetically herself!

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman. There was a lot of awkweirdness in this book that had me laughing out loud because not only was it awkweird but it was also incredibly relatable. I laughed quite a lot every time Nina and Tom interacted with each other!

Saga Series by Brian K. Vaughan. This series!!! It’s no secret that this might be my favorite graphic novel ever! I just love everything about it. Some of the characters in this book, especially Lying Cat ๐Ÿ˜ป, really had me cracking up!

Nevernight and Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicles #1 & #2) by Jay Kristoff. I have to hand it to Kristoff, as bloody and gory as this book can be, there are so many moments where he can still really have me laughing out loud with his dark and dry humor! Gotta love it ๐Ÿ˜‚

What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli. As much as there were cringey moments in this book that made me feel my age, the characters and their awkwardness really had me laughing out loud. As a side character, Dylan never failed to make me laugh. Arthur was a lottle OTT sometimes but his bumbling innocence really had me laughing too (not in a mean way)!