Friday Reads & a Lil’ Chat…

Happy Friday Readers!!! It’s been a hot minute since I posted a #Fridayreads & I thought today would be a good day to bring that back here on the blog. I’m typically reading (devouring) books & reviewing but lately I have been feeling a bit slumpish. I’m still reading & keeping up with reviews cuz ya girl doesn’t cope well with letting people down lol, I’m just not doing as much as I was before my move. This got me thinking…what is hindering me from enjoying these amazing arcs? it’s not a shortage of books, ya’ll know your girl has a book buying problem…then what is it? Whelp before I get into that, this is a Friday Reads post so lets start with what i’m currently reading…

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence is my 1st Adult Fantasy book in YEARS! I’m a newb to Mark Lawrence, this being my 1st book of his but LOOK ^^^ uhh, he re-tweeted me getting ready to sit on the top staircase at work & read his book…what I didn’t expect were the Seagulls that landed on the roof & proceeded to give me a full on orchestra of cries. I do not lie…ask Gretchen @Chicnerdreads who has a voice note of said evil Gulls making a liar out of my tweet cuz no reading got done once they got startedπŸ˜‚anyways, Red Sister is EPIC bad assery @ its finest. It’s a pretty big book but I don’t mind cuz not one bit drags & I keep finding things to love. Think Arya Stark/X-23 aka Wolverine’s protΓ©gΓ© on her 1st day at Hogwarts…less magic…more fight training yet similar concepts. If like me, you are looking for more books with female friendships then this will check that box off for ya πŸ˜‰ I am reading a ton slower than usual but its not for lack of enjoyment. I’m actually wondering what I’m going to do with myself once I finish reading Red Sister…maybe buy all of Mark’s (yea 1st name basis after you re-tweet me lol) previous books? most likely smh *covers face* 

I recently sat down to update my arc spreadsheet, something I found has helped me immensely with staying on top of publication dates. Now as much as it has helped with my anxiety…it has also contributed to it if that makes any sense? πŸ˜‚ I’d like to think i’m a pretty nice person…responsible @ least & so its been my thing to post reviews 1-2 weeks prior to pub date with all of my arcs. With the exception of two that I posted a few days after, I’ve been successful on this front…but what happens when life gets in the way? few know me well but those that do, know I’m not one to delve too deep into my personal life. I’m a listener & not much of a talker but I thought it time to share a little bit about myself with you, my faithful book blogging buddies/readers…

Most of you know I’m a “young” mom of 2 tiny humans & that I married my very 1st bookworm buddy over a shared love for Harry Potter smh LOL! (8 years strong). I also have a full time J-O-B in what can sometimes seem like a stuffy office (accounting for ya *sobs*). About a year ago I decided to start this blog as a way to connect with other readers (non-husbands) over one of my biggest passions…BOOKS! I also felt the need to create something of my own, my own little corner of the internet where I could retreat to after hours.  See, about 2 years ago I was diagnosed as Diabetic. Something I knew was a real possibility after 2 complicated pregnancies & a family history with diabetes. I was NOT however, prepared to accept that diagnosis. I was under the care of a nutritionist & had lost 18lbs. all on my own but in the end my genetics won that battle. I thought after losing my father to the disease, that I knew enough…I was wrong. I decided to educate myself, get under medical treatment, joined the gym, and changed my diet. When I say change diet I mean I followed docs orders & started eating more smaller meals to wake up a dead metabolism. Plenty think that all diabetics have an over eating problem…whelp here’s one diabetic that can’t seem to work up an appetite to eat more than 2 meals (if that) per day & is still not thin by any means. Diabetes is frustrating in that it contradicts itself at every turn. Eat too much = elevated sugar/eat too little = elevated sugar. Finding the perfect balance is something I still work hard for every hour of the day. Exhaustion comes at any hour of the day as an indicator that my sugar may be too low or too high. Often times, you will feel as if you are experiencing a bad hangover if not controlled. I work super hard to stay on top of my #’s but I am human & will sometimes falter. I power walk whenever possible & as much as possible, having a 3 train commute to & from work helps keep me active. Also, my new place has a gym in the lobby that is currently being set up with all of the amenities you’d find at a sportsclub! *eeeK* …However, there are days where it’s completely out of my control & I wake up with a high base just because overnight my hormones interfered with my glucose levels. It sometimes feels like a losing battle & that’s when depression kicks in, one of the well known symptoms of this disease. I have a ton to be happy for especially with finally getting a place I can call safe to live in. Yet there are days where the dark clouds take over & a book is the last thing on my mind…

I’m sharing this with you all because this has become my home away from home on some of my darkest days. I don’t like being moody with my loved ones when I’m feeling unwell & so take to distracting myself by reading all of your posts. I may not post as frequently but you will always see me hanging around your blogs, twitter, Instagram, & Goodreads. Some of the friendships I’ve made through blogging have really been a source of joy for me. Reading your comments & interacting with some of you on a more personal level has kept me company on days where I felt I made poor company for those physically around me. I have a loving husband & 2 tiny humans that I dote over even when I’m at work (yea I stalk the teacher lol), I love them to the moon & back…sometimes I do need ME time & that’s when I come to you, my second family. This blog has helped keep my anxiety low & my depression at bay on more days than I can count & for that I am thankful to be in this amazing community. Thank you to those that reach out with kind words, comments, GIFS, likes, loves, anything really lol, it means so much to me.

I’m really hoping to get out of this funk soon so that I can get back to reading ALL the books on my spreadsheet & hopefully from my own shelves lol. I mentioned to my twin Gretchen @Chicnerdreads that I was also experiencing a bit of a YA Fantasy burn-out due to my arc binge of the genre. I have no one to blame but myself for this LOL! I’m definitely done requesting for some months, I miss reading from my shelves a bit. The one great thing that has come from this reading slump is that discussion/chat I promised ya’ll in December as part of my New Years Goals! it’s coming πŸ˜‰

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Bahaaaa! this is totally me with my 2 tiny humans everyday, one is def more livelier than the other LOL!

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Friday Reads aka Currently Reading

Happy Friday Readers!!! It’s been a L-O-N-G and unexpectedly emotional week for my little fam & I. Today completes Izzy’s (my 5-year-old daughter) first week & a half (lol) of Kindergarten & although my girl is usually ready to conquer the world with her larger than life old soul personality…this was a new beginning & there were some tears from the both of us. I was allowed to walk her to class the first 2 days after which I was then told that my baby was growing up & basically it was time to β€œcut the cord” drop off’s would be in the cafeteria…does anyone else find the cafeteria to be one scary big place? I always have. Nonetheless, off I went to work but not before I had myself one good sob during my 7-minute walk to the train station on the phone with my husband. I boarded the train & to be honest had no desire to read. By Wednesday, Izzy & I had befriended the cafeteria lady & her daughter who also attends the school. Needless to say this brought me much comfort & Izzy re-assured ME (smh) that she was NOT scared. With her assurance I boarded my train & dived back into SJM’s Empire of Storms…

Empire of Storms by Sara J. Maas is the 5th book in the Throne of Glass YA Fantasy series & one of my most highly anticipated reads for the second half of 2016! I hadn’t realized how much I had missed certain characters in this world, specifically my favorite kick butt witch Manon & her Wyvern Abraxos who would follow her to the depths of the world if need be. I think what appeals to me most about these characters is the loyalty they have to each other (excluding Celeana who at times makes questionable decisions). I am really enjoying seeing the friendship btwn Aedion & Lysandra develop as well as Lorcan & Elide. Whether these friendships develop into something more, I’m not sure yet (on pg. 400 of 693) but wouldn’t be completely surprised if they do. Yes, SJM enjoys coupling up her charcters making it a bit predictable at times but I think it’s done well. In any case, I love these books for the character development & world building. I am currently OBSESSED with the Manon chapters smh, in the beginning I really just wanted to get to those chapters alone. Thankfully πŸ™ŒπŸΌ the story picks up the pace fairly quickly & never stops. Can this be the best book in the series? It’s sure looking that way but I still have about 300 pgs to go & that leaves Maas plenty of time to turn my world upside down. I kid you not, I really do think she types away with an evil smirk on her face, knowing she’s going to leave us in our feels in need of our blanky’s & the nearest teddy πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


The other book I’m reading or rather should I say listening to? Is Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. I had used one of my Audible credits a few months back on this one but could NOT for the life of me, get people to stop interrupting me while I listened. After reading a review for this book on Amanda’s blog Cover2CoverMom, I decided to pick it back up again. For the most part, I’d rather listen to than read comedienne’s memoirs. They narrate their own books & therefore know when a line should read as funny or not. This makes a big difference for me. Perfect example is  Mindy Khaling who I adore for the goddess that she is πŸ™ŒπŸΌ has written 2 books & it wasn’t until I switched to audio that I was able to enjoy her narrative. To be honest I had never heard of Jenny Lawson but the cover with the over the top excited raccoon made me smile every time I walked by it in B&N. After reading the synopsis & seeing that Jenny suffers from mental illness and that this was a collection of stories infused with her humor…I was intrigued. Now, I’ve heard great & not so great things about this book. Primarily, people taking offense to her use of humor when it comes to the topic of her mental illness or labeling herself. As a person who deals with anxiety, mild OCD, and others I don’t need to list…my sarcasm/dark humor IS my coping mechanism. It’s the blanket that provides comfort when faced with the alternative which is to let it overcome & that’s just not the choice that I’ve made. I’m now following Jenny on her blog The Blogess & I’m listening to Furiously Happy. Jenny’s husband Victor reminds me a bit of my husband. She does not shy away from listing their differences & the less than “normal” but still very humorous arguments they have because of her mental disorders. Her interactions with her pets (Ferris Mewler is a fave of mine) including Rory the raccoon who is deceased but has been brought back through her friend the taxidermist, provide plenty of entertaining moments. Overall, what I’m finding the most enjoyable are the many relatable day to day moments & thoughts she has  at home and in social situations…

Review: Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

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Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

Published by: Atria Books

Date of Publication: July 7th 2015

Genres: New Adult

Pages: 336

Format: e-book

Rating:β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Armed with two years’ worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn’t let her die, but he also couldn’t risk being identified at the sceneβ€”so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move.

Maybe it’s because he saved her life, or maybe it’s because he’s completely different from everything she’s left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone.

And River isn’t the kind of guy she’d want to catch.

 

Having loved the previous two books in this New Adult series, I’m not sure why I went into this one with some sort of skepticism. I thought that I couldn’t love a new couple more than I already do Jesse/Alex & Rain/Luke…Once again K.A. Tucker has managed to suck me in with her deeply layered characters, beautiful settings, and crazy story telling. I ADORE Amber & River to pieces!!!! This time we were transported to beautiful Ireland & given a good amount of historical background on the events that lead to the formation of the IRA. Up until this book, I only knew of the great famine in Ireland but not much more. It’s only a plus when I come away with knowledge of actual historical events from a book that isn’t non-Fiction. We also get to see some of our favorite characters from Burying Water (Burying Water#1)Β  make an appearance in this book in K.A. Tucker fashion. Rich with Irish history, obstacles to overcome, violence, and amazing characters, this story of 2 lovers from opposite sides of the world was a smash hit in my book!


Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β Β  Β 

Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β Β Β  Β  ****SPOILERS****

I totally did NOT see myself liking Amber at all in this book since I did NOT enjoy her parts in Burying Water. Amber was very judgmental & was comfortable being a part of the “mean girls” clique during her High School days. As an adult, she never ventured outside of her small town nor did she attempt to look outside the box. There were rules & Amber followed them to the tee. My biggest issue with Amber was how harsh she was on her brother Jesse in Burying Water, it was as if she chucked him off to be a low life because of some mistakes he had made as a teenager (given Jesse was a magnet for shit but still lol). I LOVED seeing Amber step away from her small town in Oregon & travel to Ireland. Her family doubted she would ever leave her comfort zone & it was a major step for her. Amber meeting River may not have been in the most romantic of ways (I won’t give that away), but from the minute he entered her life, all her inhibitions were thrown out the window. Now this is an Amber that I could be friends with. From her unlikely friendship with the tattoo artist Ivy to falling in love with River whose family history was deeply entrenched in the IRA of before & current day…she kept surprising me. I loved the travel bucket list she created with Alex the night they were a bit tipsy on wine & the fact that River managed to get his hands on it & continued to tease her about it. Actually, being that I got to know her as a rule follower, I was a bit embarrassed for her every time I thought about #1 on her list…Have a torrid affair with a foreigner, Country:TBD <—BWAHAHAHA! I would’ve DIED if it were me & the hottie I’m interested in, found my list. Then again I was kind of smirking BECAUSE for a change, she was the one chasing the guy and putting in some work (he really did make her work for it though lol). This book also stirred up so much hope in me for these two, I wanted so badly for everything to work out but it seemed that all odds were against them. There were definitely some casualties along the way…I cried when Rowen’s leg had to be amputated & cursed Aengus all throughout for putting Ma & Da through it. I am currently jumping right into the last book in this series Surviving Ice (Burying Water #4). I’m excited to get Ivy’s story & even more eager to see if there’s a glimpse of Amber & River because it’s K.A. Tucker & I love all of her characters! it always feels like a treat when we hear about one of the couples or characters from the previous books.

Review Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

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Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

Series: Burying Water #1

Published by: Β Atria

Date of Publication:Β October 7th 2014

Genres: New Adult; Contemporary

Pages: 354

Format: e-book

Rating: 5 Stars

The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memoryβ€”and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.

Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survivesβ€”but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to β€œJane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself β€œWater” for the tiny, hidden marking on her bodyβ€”the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Non-Spoilery Review
I intentionally posted a partial synopsis from Goodreads because the entire length of it is very spoilery. Burying Water was a roller coaster of emotions for me. Alexandra was very young & poor when she met the man 20 years her senior who would sweep her off her feet. Handsome, successful and yet still managed to set his eyes on her? It all seemed too good to be true…their courtship eventually led to marriage and a life she would pay a heavy price for. A husband who treats her like a trophy wife, physically harms her, an adulterer, and a key player in the Russian mob. Alexandra Petrov found herself quickly drowning with no way out until one rainy night when her life changed its course.

 

β€œThe mind, it can be a deceitful thing. But it is no match for the heart.” 
― 
K.A. Tucker,Β Burying Water

 

Spoilery Review

The first half of this book was at times brutal and harsh to get through. I felt a range of emotions & quickly found myself loving Alexandra. A protagonist who was β€œresilient” and strong underneath all the hurt, I couldn’t help but root for her triumph. Viktor Petrov, a man in a position of power attained through illegal activity in the Russian mob viewed his wife as someone to satisfy him sexually & in all the traditional (old school) ways. Alex however, had dreams of becoming a nurse & was enrolled in courses which Viktor saw as taking time away from him. This alone angered me! Then there were often times Viktor had her dress up in skin tight revealing clothes to accompany him to the night club where all of his nefarious dealings took place. I could FEEL the awkwardness & out of place feelings Alex was experiencing. I couldn’t help but scream YES GIRL!!!! whenever she dished out a bit of anger when answering his questions. I also found it hilarious that Alex continued to have car trouble throughout the book simply because she wasn’t the type to drive expensive cars.

ENTER Jesse who I view as β€œthe BOY next door” type, this should be a thing lol. Jesse aka the mechanic savant, finds Alex on the side of the road & helps her get gas, they exchange a kiss which is the beginning of many more encounters that feel very kismet. Jesse was everything that Viktor was not. He’s only 2 years Alex’s senior, blunt when speaking yet always conscious & caring of who he’s speaking to, and overall laid back. Of course, Jesse had his flaws mostly based off of bad decisions he made when he was a teenager running with the wrong group of friends. His relationship with his father the sheriff was strained because of those bad decisions in his past. Having an affair with a married woman didn’t seem like it would mend that relationship any time soon yet it felt right for both Jesse & Alex. Viktor hiring Jesse to restore/repair one of his most prized cars in his home garage felt like fate. When Alex finally made the decision to leave Viktor (after many brutal beatings), I was over the moon happy only to have that feeling squashed by the events of the night that Viktor tried to kill & leave her body buried in a snowy mountain. Thankfully, Jesse is tipped off to what happened & manages to get her the medical attention needed. When Alex wakes up, she can’t remember anything not even her name. She’s left with a scar from her temple all the way down to her chin. See Viktor wanted to make sure he robbed her of her beauty. He raped her, slashed her face, and physically beat and broke her ribs along with other body parts. I’m glad that at the end of the book she never quite remembers the events of that night in its entirety because it really was a second chance at life.

Alex’s journey leads to an amazing cast of characters, my favorite being the grumpy and recluse little old lady Ginny Fitzgerald. Ginny gave me so many laugh out loud moments but also much heart ache. Alex and Ginny’s stories have small similarities but two stuck out the most to me. The fact that she was raped in her youth by someone she also trusted & that both her rapist and Alex’s killed themselves (inadvertently or not). Ginny’s ability to take in another rape victim & help her heal after so many years of secluding herself makes Ginny hold a special place in my heart. Lastly, I loved seeing the relationship between Jesse and his parents (specifically his Dad) mend. Jesse’s parents were key characters in this book & I can now add them to my very short list of fictional parentals that ROCK!