TBR Book Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

I’m back with another book tag, and again, I found this on rachaelrexds blog so you can check out her post here.

How do you keep track of your TBR?

Officially I keep track of my TBR using Goodreads. But it isn’t difficult for me to look up at my bookcases and see what books I’ve read and what ones I still need to read.

Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

I sometimes fluctuate between the format I’m in the mood for, and lately I have definitely been more of a fan of print books, so I’d say my TBR is predominately print.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

If I have a review for an ARC or e-galley then it has top priority on my TBR, but otherwise I pick what to read based on what kind of mood I’m in. Recently that seems to be cute contemporary romances. Sometimes I’m just in the mood for a Middle Grade book or a graphic novel or poetry or Fantasy/Sci-Fi.

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest.

Hmm…let me check on that one…okay, one of the books that has been on my TBR the longest–which is only since 2010 because that’s when I joined Goodreads…is The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I own the book; I just need to find the time to squeeze it into my reading list.

A book you recently added to your TBR.

Honestly the answer to this is books…but my boyfriend recently got me into the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I’ve read the first four books so far, and I have the rest of the series on my TBR. Again, I just need to find the time to read them.

A book in your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover.

I don’t pick books just because of the cover, but here are some recent additions to my TBR where the cover drew me in and made me want to know more. Then the concept sounded interesting so I added it to my TBR.

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading.

Umm…if I plan to never read it then I don’t have it on my TBR. I try to go through my TBR list a couple times a year or so and weed out books that I just don’t think I’m going to get around to reading.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for.

I’m excited for a lot of books, and you’ll hear about some of them in my Most Anticipated Summer Releases post, which is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24th, but I also threw in a few Fall Releases to this answer. Of course I’m also super excited for the fourth book in Marianne Curley’s Guardians of Time series.

A book on your TBR that basically everyone’s read but you.

Well, I think that the Lunar Chronicles applies for this question. I know, I know. I just haven’t gotten around to them yet. I’m sure I’ll enjoy them though.

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.

This is a hard one. Most people don’t recommend books to me all that much anymore. Most of my recommendations these past months come from BookTube. So I guess my answers for this are:

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read.

Okay, this one is easy. I am dying to read Waterworld by Rachel E Kelly. This is the sixth book in the Colorworld series and I am so in love with all of these books. Get writing, Rachel. I need to know what happens next!

How many books are on your TBR shelf?

According to Goodreads I have 921 books on my to-read shelf. I’m due for another list weeding though, so I don’t know how accurate the list is.

Okay, well that’s all for the TBR tag. As always, if you wish to do this tag yourself then consider yourself tagged. If you do decide to do this tag, be sure and let me know because I would love to check out your responses.

Oh, and get ready, because I have posts every day from now until I leave BEA and BookCon, so that’ll be fun. I have nine book reviews coming, my Most Anticipated Summer Releases post is coming, my TBR for next month and this month’s wrap up are coming, and of course a couple of posts about BEA and BookCon. It’s going to be a fun and slightly chaotic couple of weeks. I’m excited. See you tomorrow.

Review: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Hey all, Dani here.

After reading this book I found myself chuckling at the author bio. Riley Redgate went to college in Ohio (which is where I’m from) and she lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (which just happens to be where my favorite author lives). That’s an amusing and random fact.

Anyway, I’m back with another contemporary book review. What can I say guys? I’m just craving some light fun adorable reads. I’m fitting some fantasy books in too. It’ll all balance out eventually.

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Summary

A cappella just got a makeover.

Jordan Sun is embarking on her junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts, hopeful that this will be her time: the year she finally gets cast in the school musical. But when her low Alto 2 voice gets her shut out for the third straight year—threatening her future at Kensington-Blaine and jeopardizing her college applications—she’s forced to consider nontraditional options.

In Jordan’s case, really nontraditional. A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshipped…revered…all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

Jordan finds herself enmeshed in a precarious juggling act: making friends, alienating friends, crushing on a guy, crushing on a girl, and navigating decades-old rivalries. With her secret growing heavier every day, Jordan pushes beyond gender norms to confront what it means to be a girl (and a guy) in a male-dominated society, and—most importantly—what it means to be herself.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars

This was an interesting book. It felt a little slow for the first half but then I was completely engrossed in everything that was happening. Understandably everything needed to be set up, from us getting to know Jordan and her struggles as an Alto 2 at a performing arts school to setting up the whole undercover scheme with the Sharps.

I have to say that I really enjoyed watching as Jordan (or Julian as she calls herself with the Sharps) started to feel that kinship with the guys and started to feel as if she belonged. I know there have to people who are so isolated, even in an artsy school, but I can thankfully say that I never felt that way with my own liberal arts studies.

The acapella rivalry plot was a fun yet intense one. It really did show how complicated and political the group dynamics can be in a high pressure performing arts school, especially in preparation for a big important competition.

The only thing I would have liked to see was a little more exploration into Jordan being bi. While it wasn’t glossed over or anything, it was such a tiny part of the book. A lot of time was spent with Jordan dealing with the aftermath of breaking up with her boyfriend of the past couple years, and then she obviously ends up starting to fall for one of the Sharps (I won’t say who though. You’ll have to read it to find out), and she had the tiniest flirtation with a girl–while she was masquerading as Julian, but that was basically it. Yes, I get that there are bisexuals who still prefer one gender over another, but I would have appreciated a bit more focus on that instead of spending so much time with Jordan suffering after her breakup with a not so great guy.

But I will say that there was a wonderful amount of diversity in this book: racial diversity, sexual diversity, religious diversity…it was great. The Sharps themselves were just all kinds of diverse and I adored it. They were so accepting and inclusive and just a great group of guys. And once you were a part of their group then they would defend you and protect you and help you. I loved that sense of brotherhood. I would totally read a sequel just to see how Jordan’s senior year with the Sharps turns out.

Where to Buy

You can pick up your own copy of Noteworthy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore.

Anything But Books Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

So, I found out about this tag from another blog I follow (rachaelrexds) and it sounded pretty fun so I figured I would just toss it into my blog schedule.

Name a cartoon that you love

I don’t watch many cartoons nowadays, so this is a bit tricky. As a kid I liked watching Scooby Doo, Peanuts/Charlie Brown, and later I enjoyed Kim Possible. Of course I did/do watch some anime, including Sailor Moon, Fullmetal Alchemist, and most recently FairyTale.

What is your favorite song right now?

Hmm…favorite song…well I suppose I’ll go with “My Shot” by Lin-Manuel Miranda…or maybe “Non-stop” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. At the moment the Hamilton soundtrack is my favorite album.

What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?

What I do for hours that isn’t reading is play Dungeons & Dragons. Of course I also sometimes spend time binge-watching TV shows.

What is something you love to do that your follows would be surprised by?

I actually really like going to hockey games. I have started to get pretty into it, wearing a jersey to the games and joining in on the yelling and cheering and chanting and everything. But I have to actually be at the game. Watching it on a TV screen just isn’t the same.

What is something unusual that you know how to do?

I’m an avid reader so I don’t know how unusual this is, but I am quite good at walking with my nose in a book and not running into anyone or anything.

Name something you made in the last year and show us if you can.

Wow, these are not the easiest of questions. Okay, well I do enjoy cooking and baking so I like to make cupcakes for friend’s birthdays and such. I have one friend who is obsessed with pumpkin spice lattes, so for his birthday I found a recipe for PSL cupcakes and made them for him. Everyone really seemed to enjoy them.

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What is your most recent personal project?

My most recent personal project(s) are trying to finish up the last couple chapters of my second book, Project Death: Revelation, and I’ve also been preparing for starting up my own channel on BookTube. I keep procrastinating on that because I’m nervous about it. I’ll get there at some point.

Tell us something that you think about often.

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about life and fate and choices and the future. Those are all topics that a person can get lost in quite easily; they are so expansive.

Give us something that is your favorite.

Let’s see, favorites…my favorite pizza is a Margherita pizza, my favorite food is probably pasta but I like a lot of foods so…, my favorite color is green, my favorite beverage is sweet tea, my favorite holiday is Halloween, my favorite season is fall/autumn, my favorite thing about myself is my mind/intelligence, and my current favorite tabletop game is Killer Bunnies.

Say the first thing that pops into your head.

I can’t say that because the first thing that pops in my head is books and this is the anything but books tag. But hey, it is Thursday so the next thing that pops in my head is Critical Role, which is a seriously awesome show that features a group of nerdy voice actors as they sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons.

Okay, well I guess that is all for this tag. If you’d like to do this yourself then consider yourself tagged. Oh, and if you do decide to do this tag, let me know because I’d love to check out your answers as well.

Review: ACOWAR by Sarah J Maas

Hey all, Dani here.

Yes, this review will be SPOILER FREE. Don’t worry fellow bookworms, I wouldn’t ruin a highly anticipated release like this one. I just didn’t want to wait too long before posting my thoughts and feelings on the book.

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Summary

A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars…maybe a 4.5 but I’m going to leave it at 5 for now. I’ll decide fully after a reread.

Okay, yes, I was looking forward to seeing how Feyre handled being back in the Spring Court, especially after how ACOMAF ended with us learning her new status as High Lady of the Night Court. But can I say that I was disappointed by how brief that segment of the book actually was? I wanted more in depth intrigue and psychological warfare basically.

I can also admit that I wanted the Spring Court segment to be over with so Feyre could be with Rhysand and all the others again. See, I can be torn in what I wanted to happen.

Again, I think side character development is one of Sarah J Maas’s strongest elements in storytelling. While I do appreciate Feyre and Rhysand, I found myself wanting to know more and more about Amren, Morrigan, Cassian, Nesta, Lucian, Azriel, and Elain.

In some parts I felt like this 700 page novel was taking its time with developing character relationships and growing the plot and such, but other times it felt like a somewhat hasty rush to get to something else. Nowhere did I feel this rush more than when getting to a nice steamy scene with Feyre and Rhysand. After the glory of ACOMAF I couldn’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by ACOWAR.

As we neared the end and the impending war loomed overhead, there were so many twists and turns and shifted allegiances or hidden motives that it was actually pretty impressive and propelled the story to its conclusion, which while it may wrap up the main story for Feyre and Rhys, we still have much more in the world to look forward to. I know I’m very much looking forward to the focus shifting to some of my favorite side characters. I truly hope it doesn’t disappoint.

Where to Buy

You can pick up your own copy of A Court of Wings and Ruin basically anywhere you can buy books. Seriously, I think grocery stores have it in their little book section. Of course you can always get a copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, fine, yes, I know I said some fantasy reviews would be coming, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to review this adorable contemporary romance. Will you forgive me if I say that this book involves geeky characters and a lot of the book centers around the fandom of a sci-fi TV show and its upcoming movie reboot? Oh, and there’s also a fandom convention in the book too. It was just such a good book. I have to gush about it, okay?

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Summary

Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

This book was so cute! I loved it so much! First off, the cover is adorable, and the quality of the books pages, as well as the cute artwork on the inside of the cover and the title page is just wonderful. It is absolutely an adorable geeky modern take on Cinderella.

Elle and Darien and even Sage were such great characters. I really enjoyed watching the development of the characters and seeing them interact. Sage was a fantastic “fairy godmother” and I frankly would like to have a companion book or sequel that focuses on Sage. That would be really cool.

I love that this book showcases how a passionate fandom of a show reacts to a movie reboot of a beloved TV series. I related to it so much, because I have been one of those people with concerns when a new adaptation or a reboot is announced. You worry that the cast won’t be how you think of them, you worry that it just won’t feel the same, you worry that they will completely screw up the plot. So I greatly appreciate that Elle was one of those Starfield fans who really cared about the show.

I also really enjoyed that Darien was a fan of the show himself, and wanted the reboot to go well because he cared about Starfield and portraying the Carmindor the right way. I felt bad whenever people assumed that he wasn’t a true fan and that he would ruin the movie.

So basically this book really lets you feel for the characters. And obviously the plot pretty much follows the basic Cinderella story, so I don’t think I need to hash that out for you. But can I say that I loved that the ball was actually a cosplay masquerade ball at the convention? It was adorable and awesome.

Oh, and the fact that Sage and Elle worked in a food truck called The Magic Pumpkin? Come on, that is fantastic!

I could just gush on and on about this book, but I’ll just stop now by saying that you need to go and pick up this book. It is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year! It just made me feel so happy and the fangirl in me absolutely adored it.

Where to Buy

You can pick up your own copy of Geekerella from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Review: No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista

Hey all, Dani here.

All right, I am trying to get back in the swing of regular book reviews here. We’ll see what happens. Right now I’m doing all right. Today I’m back with another review of a contemporary read that I finished up last month, but wanted to give a proper review, since I’m probably going to want to read and review the rest of the books too. For those of you who stop by here for more of my fantasy reads, I promise that some of those are coming soon. I’m reading and reviewing some of my current reads as I complete them.

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Summary

It’s all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.

Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

Welcome to Dodge Cove, which basically is a split between the wealthy fashionable upper class and then the working poor lower class. When the story starts we are at a country club and Caleb is breaking up with his current girlfriend because she has gotten too attached, and his one rule is basically “no love allowed.” He prefers his relationships to be no strings attached.

Unfortunately for Caleb, his now ex-girlfriend is the daughter of his dad’s biggest legal client, which his dad sees as a problem. So if Caleb wants to keep his plan of having a gap year between high school and college, as well as having a nice trip across Europe, he has to intern at the law firm and attend all of the events held by the firm. Of course doing this solo would mean being thrown to the wolves, otherwise known as the mothers and grandmothers looking for a wealthy heir to set up with their own children/grandchildren.

This is where Didi, a former waitress from that same country club comes in. She is one of the last remaining young ladies in the area who Caleb hasn’t dated, and she jumps at the change to attend all these parties with Caleb…for a small price. She wants Caleb to pose for her so she can draw him. She’s even totally cool with the whole pretending to be his girlfriend thing.

Obviously, we already know that the two of them will actually fall for each other. My favorite characters in this book were actually Caleb’s cousins, Nathan and Natasha. Thankfully Nathan gets the second book in the trilogy and Natasha’s story is the final book.

The only problem I had with this book is that I felt like the plot of Didi’s mental health issues wasn’t as detailed and in depth as I felt it deserved. Yes it was explained that Didi had medications to take to deal with some of her issues, and later her mother said that Didi had bipolar disorder, but it was such a small part of the story that I personally felt as if it was basically glossed over.

I still really enjoyed the story though. Nathan giving Didi a wardrobe makeover was nice, and Didi finding a friendship with Natasha was really nice. It was a cute sweet summery contemporary romance that is perfect if you are looking for something that doesn’t get too serious or dark or anything like that. I am greatly looking forward to reading the sequel, No Holding Back. Also, the final book in the trilogy is out today so you can jump in and read the whole trilogy now. That’s pretty awesome. I’ll try and have reviews up for the rest of the trilogy as soon as I read them.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of No Love Allowed from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore.

Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Hey all, Dani here.

I read this last month, but I really wanted to write up a proper review for it, mostly because I have loved every single book I have read from Brigid Kemmerer. Seriously, I adored her Elemental series. This one is a bit different because there are no abilities or anything; this one is straight up contemporary. That doesn’t lessen the enjoyment I found in reading it though.

Okay, well let’s just jump into this, shall we?

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Summary

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

This book was so good. I love Brigid Kemmerer’s writing and I have been looking forward to this newest release because the concept sounded intriguing. It is a story of two teens connecting while sharing anonymous letters with each other. This story deals with grief, guilt, friendship, and secrets, and I was blown away by the characters and their tales.

I was actually pleased and surprised that it jumped into the letter exchange so quickly. But then it took me a little while to completely adjust to the story format, because almost after every letter (or later e-mail) sent, the perspective changes to the other person. So yes, this is a dual POV story.

The home lives of both of these characters are so different and yet they both share enough similarities that Juliet and Declan can connect through these anonymous exchanges. What is amusing is that basically right after this letter exchange begins, Juliet and Declan start randomly running into each other at school. The difference in their interactions in person from their interactions via the written word is quite vast, but nevertheless enjoyable.

When you start to read this, it is obvious that at some point one or both of them will figure out who their anonymous pen pal is, but when that revelation happens there are also so many other revelations happening that it becomes this whirlwind of details and secrets and lies. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t say more on the topic, but the nearer we got to the ending the more invested I was in the story. I needed answers and I wasn’t willing to put the book down until I got them.

And, I don’t know, maybe there is room for a sequel or a companion novel. I think I’d like to know more about Declan’s friend Rev.

Basically I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to seeing what Brigid Kemmerer will come up with next.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of Letters to the Lost from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

April Book Haul and May TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

See, I told you I’d have another post up soon. I actually had another okay month when it comes to buying books. Yes, I bought a few but I didn’t go overboard like I have in certain past months. Plus, let’s consider that May is going to be a decent month for new book releases that I must have–I think there’s like 6 books that came out yesterday that I’ve already purchased.

Oh, and I guess I should also point out that at the end of the month I will have my May Wrap Up as usual, but then I’ll also have a BEA and BookCon Wrap Up post, and then I’ll have a special post regarding my June TBR. So, there’s lots of stuff in the works for the next few weeks/couple months.

Let’s just jump into it. Here’s my April Book Haul.

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Why yes, I do already own the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, but I owned the US paperbacks, so now I have the UK paperbacks. I can’t help it; the covers for the UK versions of all of his books are so pretty.

The stack on the right hand side is all from Book Outlet, which includes the Illustrated version of Game of Thrones. The artwork is stunning and I am so happy that I got this beautiful hardcover edition for only $15.

All right, now that I’ve finished with that, it’s time for my May TBR. This is going to be a decent sized list, because: 1) a nice number of my most anticipated books are released in May, and 2) BEA and BookCon are at the end of the month/beginning of June and I’m going to try to avoid spoilers as much as possible, which means needing to read a bunch of new releases.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Avenged by Amy Tinterra

Noteworthy by Riley Redgrave

The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

The Traitor’s Kiss by Emily Beaty

And, if I can get a copy and read it before I leave: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

How’s that for a monthly TBR list? I already know ACOWAR and LoS are going to be long books. Thankfully a few of those books on the list I know will be fairly quick reads (Avenged, Noteworthy, and Flame in the Mist). Plus, I should have a decent amount of reading time at work, kind of like last year when one month I read 31 books…most of those were completed while at work. We’ll just see what happens.

What was your favorite book (or bookish) purchase in April? And/or what book are you most looking forward to reading in May? Let me know in the comments.

April Wrap Up

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, so normally I would have a separate post for my April Wrap Up and my Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Wrap Up. However, since work scheduled readathon day as a work day, I knew I probably wouldn’t read as much as last time and could get away with combining them. That being said, I have decided not to include my April Book Haul or my May TBR in this post. So expect another post in the next day or two.

As I mentioned in my April Update post, this was an interesting month in the best way possible. My social life has definitely improved the past few months, and I imagine that trend will continue in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. But with my being moved to a different shift at work, I might actually have an increase in reading time for the next couple months, so I hope to get back to regular review posts.

For now, let’s just jump into the books I read in the month of April.

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Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward (5 stars)

Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward (5 stars)

Mind the Gap, Vol. 1: Intimate Strangers by Jim McCann (4 stars)

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett (5 stars)

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer (5 stars)

No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista (4 stars)

It started off as a slow month, but my boyfriend loves the Black Dagger Brotherhood books and now I’m getting completely hooked on them–though, honestly, I need to take a small break from them for a bit. So I decided to pick up a couple cutesy contemporary books, which I typically like to do in late spring/early summer. They are nice quick reads and just so adorable.

Then it’s on to my wrap up for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. This was my third time participating and it might have been my most challenging session because of needing to work for 8.5 hours of the day, and then going to the boyfriend’s for the remainder of the weekend. Still, I think I did all right for my reading total.

For me the readathon began at 8:00am. After not getting a good full night’s rest, I know this might be a bit of a challenge when it comes to focusing, but I’m ready to dive in and see what happens. Or not…I seriously fell asleep because it was raining and that makes me sleepy. So, I’m finally starting with my first book: Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings by Lydia Sherrer, and it’s actually 10:30am.

I couldn’t seem to stay focused, too busy thinking about seeing my boyfriend after work. I finally finished my first book at 4:30pm. Overall I give it 4 stars out of 5.

Then I immediately jumped into my second book of the day…a book that I randomly picked up and brought to work with me. It wasn’t on my tentative TBR. My second read for the day is Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. I’m hoping this will be a fairly quick read as it is only 169 pages long.

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Okay, yeah, so it was a pretty quick read, but I was interrupted numerous times for work. And by the time I finished with my second read of the day–which I gave a 4 star rating–I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it through any other books before my shift ended.

So that’s it for my Dewey’s 24 Hour Wrap Up. I read two books which ended up being fewer than 400 pages. Hopefully October will prove to be a better readathon for me.

Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Hey all, Dani here.

Look, I actually have a book review to post this month. I have read a few books but since I’m reading through the Black Dagger Brotherhood, I wasn’t sure if you all would be interested in me reviewing every book in the series. If you do want to know my opinion, let me know in the comments. I can certainly write them up and start scheduling them over the next couple weeks.

Anyway, my review today is for a book that came in my April subscription box from Lit Cube. The theme was “You’ve Got Mail” and the book included in the box is a new release that is actually a YA retelling of the story. It also happens to be a contemporary novel. Still, I read it fairly quickly and I’m excited to share my thoughts with you now.

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Summary

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Oh my goodness, this book was so cute and fun and I loved it! Sometimes I get into contemporary moods, usually when the weather starts getting nice. This contemporary kick was also helped by my binge reading the first four books of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I needed a break from the steamy romances, so I figured a cutesy romance with some mistaken identity would be perfect.

I loved Bailey aka “Mink” and Porter aka “Alex”. Their online movie conversations were wonderfully geeky, and their in-person connection was kind of magnetic. Bailey’s dad was also a bit of a geek, especially when going on about sci-fi movies or the game Settlers of Catan; either way he was a cool guy. And I liked Porter’s family too, though I actually would have liked a little bit more time with them.

I loved the rom-com style of this book. It was great, and the more I read, the more I wanted to keep reading. Oh, and the movie quotes at the beginning of each chapter really worked with this story too, considering that both Mink and Alex are film buffs.

The cast of characters and the relationships they all had with each other were probably the strongest aspect of the book, at least for me. I was totally swept up in their lives and their stories.

This is not my first Jenn Bennett book, but it is the first contemporary of hers I have read, and I can definitely say that I will pick up more in the future…though I like her paranormal romance books as well.

Where to Buy

You can pick up Alex, Approximately from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.