Friday, October 05, 2018

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Kobo
No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

“If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn't spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.”

The moment I read the synopsis, I knew that I had to read this book. Eleanor Oliphant is a lot like me - a forever single, socially awkward, office-working adult who is living with depression. While some may not see why I'd enjoy reading about a sad dork like myself, I honestly thought it was rather quite nice not to feel so alone. Representation matters!

I did see some reviews on Goodreads that talked about how mean Eleanor was, but I honestly didn't feel that way about her. True, she was blunt and honest, but I don't feel she ever really meant any harm by how she felt about others. She didn't have much experience with social interaction, and she was raised to think ill of people who didn't meet certain "standards," so I feel that her "meanness" stems more from her naive personality than anything.

It was fun (and often funny!) to see Eleanor transform herself throughout the novel - not just internally, but reading about her purchasing her first computer, or getting her first wax job, or getting her hair cut & styled for the first time and becoming "shiny." Her slowly improving perceptions of Raymond, the "bumbling" IT guy, really made me think about how initial judgments can really keep us from getting to know some great people. I was glad to see her overcome them in the way that she did - over time, rather than all at once.

There were a few turns that this novel took that I was not expecting, and a few that I did, but I won't get into them here. I will say that this was a great depiction of an aspect of depression (everyone's experience is completely different), and I applaud Ms. Honeyman for writing it the way she did. I also appreciate that she had Eleanor realize that there was nothing wrong with going to therapy, and find that it could actually be beneficial to improving your life, rather than something to be ashamed of.

I would honestly give this book 4.5 stars.


Friday, September 14, 2018

{Fanfiction Friday} Leo Inter Serpentes

Friday, September 14, 2018 with No comments

Hello everyone! I know I've been hiding for awhile, and rather than an awkward post about my depression and life, I thought I'd just jump right back in the game. During my blogger slump, I finally caved and decided to give fanfiction a try - and oh boy, I'm so glad that I did! I don't know why it took me so long to get into it. I sort of refused to try it for most of my life, but I was in a really depressive slump at the beginning of the year, and decided to give a Drarry (Draco/Harry) fic a try on a whim, and I have not stopped reading fics since - they've made up the large majority of my reading for the year, in fact. I love that I can just download them to my Kindle for offline reading!

I know I'm late to the whole fanfiction game, but I've come across some real gems, and thought I'd start 'Fanfiction Fridays' to spotlight some of my favorite recent reads. Each week I'll be highlighting a different fic (or series of fics) that I enjoyed reading.

Leo Inter Serpentes by Aeternum
Just one conversation between two eleven year old boys goes slightly differently, and the world changes. Just how much will be different with Harry being sorted into Slytherin, and how much will stay the same? A retelling of the original series, but this time, our hero wears green and silver, not red and gold.
This series was extremely well-written! It basically follows canon, though there are a few small changes that end up completely changing the outcome of the story - the main one being Harry's placement in Slytherin rather than Gryffindor. The trio in this series consists of Harry, Draco and Hermione (who is still a Gryffindor). 

There is (eventual) Harry/Draco slash, which I loved, but my favorite part about this series was the focus on the relationship between Harry and Severus Snape. While Snape starts off the series with his usual contempt for Harry, once Harry is placed in Slytherin, he is forced to realize that Harry is nothing like he assumed he would be, and is more like Lily than he would have thought. Snape eventually grows to like (and even care for) Harry, which eventually leads to him adopting him. As odd as the idea sounds, I felt that Aeternum wrote it in a rather believable fashion. This is kind of the relationship that I would have hoped for them in the series, since they are so much alike. I didn't like that Snape couldn't see past Harry's father in canon, but this series totally made up for that.

A few other fun things about this series that I loved include:

  • Draco's love of language - Harry is able to teach him Parselmouth, he learns Mermish for the hell of it, and even a bit of Gigantus
  • Harry's pet snake,  Ladon, who is snarky, intelligent, and overall wonderful
  • Dobby's crazy outfits
  • The cinnamon-roll/fireball that is Scarlett (an OC Slytherin that I just ADORE!)
Right now there are six "books" in the series, following Harry's first six years at Hogwarts, and the author is currently working on the seventh book. I'm so excited! I don't know when it's set to release, but if it's not any time soon, then I'll probably re-read this series again as a refresher (it's that good).

Have any of you read this series? What are your thoughts? If you have any fanfic recommendations, please let me know - there's so much out there to read! I don't mind what pairings (if any), I'll give anything a try.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Devil's Revolver by V.S. McGrath
(The Devil's Revolver Series #1)
Publication Date: September 5, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

She is Hettie Alabama — unlikely, scarred, single-minded, and blood bound to a revolver forged by a demon.

The first book in an epic, magic-clad series featuring the Wild West reimagined as a crosscultural stereoscope of interdimensional magic and hardship, The Devil’s Revolver opens with a shooting competition and takes off across the landscape after a brutal double murder and kidnapping — to which revenge is the only answer. Hettie Alabama, only seventeen years old, leads her crew of underdogs with her father’s cursed revolver, magicked to take a year off her life each time she fires it. It’s no way for a ranch girl to grow up, but grow up she does, her scars and determination to rescue her vulnerable younger sister deepening with every year of life she loses.

A sweeping and high-stakes saga that gilds familiar Western adventure with powerful magic and panoramic fantasy, The Devil’s Revolver is the last word and the blackest hat in the Weird West. 

Hettie couldn’t say what had woken her; her eyes had simply snapped open and she’d known something was amiss.
Sure enough, she found the rope had been chewed through, the frayed ends still wet. Dammit, Abby. This was the third time in two weeks. She yanked her coat over her thin nightgown, grabbed her boots and Winchester and padded quickly down the stairs. Outside, she pushed her bare feet into the cold, hard leather and checked her rifle’s action, loading it quickly. Coyotes were often seen roaming the ranch, and there’d been rumors of a pack of wolves roving the hills. But out here, it was men Hettie was more afraid of.

Vicki So, writing as V. S. McGrath, is a published romance author (as Vicki Essex) and has six books with Harlequin Superromance: Her Son’s Hero (July 2011); Back to the Good Fortune Diner (January 2013), which was picked for the Smart Bitches Trashy Books Sizzling Book Club; In Her Corner (March 2014); A Recipe for Reunion (March 2015); Red Carpet Arrangement (January 2016); and Matinees with Miriam (November 2016). She lives in Toronto, Canada

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Escape from Heartland by Jacquie Gee
(Heartland Cove, #2)

Publication date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
We hardly know each other, yet somehow, on some unexplainable level, it feels like we’ve known each other forever.

Jules Bates is a fish-out-of-water in conservative, small town, Heartland Cove. A modern girl with modern dreams that have so far taken her all the way to father’s bait shop at the end of town. There, she spends her days, elbow-deep in worm dirt. She can’t remember the last time she’s been on a date, or dressed in anything but a lumberjack shirt and hip waders. Her life seems to be at a stalemate. It’s like her best friend said, “The perfect guy doesn’t just walk through your door and sweep you off your feet, you know?”

Or does he?

Jayden Sievert is on a mission, to solve the mystery of his life. But first he needs to track down a ghost. One in particular. The legend of Heartland Cove. Arriving in the small town, with his ghostbuster wannabe equipment in hand, he purchases the Caldwell place, much to the horror of the townsfolk—a stately Georgian Manor overlooking the sea, with a less than pleasant past. No one’s been brave enough to set foot in that place for over a decade.

Is this man mad? Or perhaps just a little crazy?

Jayden ignores them all. He knows the key to his success lies in his ability to minimize distractions, but then he meets Jules. Could she be the answer to the long-buried secret that Jayden’s spent a lifetime searching for?

The second in the series of sweet romances set in fiction Heartland Cove, this contemporary coming-of-age romance features a deliciously unexpected paranormal twist!

Author Bio:

Jacquie Gee is the alias of Jacqueline Garlick. Maybe you’ve read her?

We are one and the same. Two faces of one author with very different writing styles. That way, I keep readers happy by keeping my writing passions separated.

On a personal note, I love to talk… strange for a writer, I know, but I do. I’m told I can be pretty funny, though, my kids see things in a different light. I love to write romances with a strong, sassy, heroines, and scrumptiously, gorgeous leading men. I write sweet romance surrounded by chocolate and an overweight sheltie. Neither of which are related. And there are always with fresh flowers in the room. Raised in a small town in the country myself, I like writing about them best. I mean, who doesn’t love a small-town? Enough about me, what about you?

Drop me a line and let’s get to know each other. I love to hear from readers!

As an FYI to my readers, I only ever participate in cover reveals for books that I am interested in reading. This book synopsis sounds really interesting to me (c'mon, small-town romance meets ghostbusters?!) and has been added to my TBR, which is why I thought I'd share it with y'all! Thanks for stopping by! ^^

Cassie @ Zombie Goddess Beauty has sorta re-vamped the Harry Potter tag by collecting 18 questions from around the Internets in one tag, so naturally, I had to participate! You can check out her answers HERE, and mine below:

1) What House Are You In?
Gryffindor! This is the house I always felt I belonged in, and it's also the house I was sorted into on Pottermore.

2) What Is Your Patronus?
Well....according to Pottermore my Patronus is a wild boar. I am slightly miffed by that, however. If I could choose, I'd rather it be a wolf.

3) What Is Your Wand?
Once again, per Pottermore, my wand is English Oak wood with a Unicorn hair core, 11 inches & with slightly springy flexibility. I'm quite pleased with it.

4) What Would Your Boggart Be?
Probably somewhere along the lines of Molly Weasley's boggart, by seeing the bodies of those I cared about.

5) What Position Would You Play In Quidditch?
For sure a keeper. It just seems like a fun, and somewhat realistic, position for me to play.

6) Would You Be A Pure-Blood, Half-Blood, or Muggle Born?
I feel like I'd be muggle born, but with wizarding blood far, far down the line (like too far for me to know that I have it). 

7) What Job Would You Want To Have After You Graduate From Hogwarts?
Oh, definitely an Auror! I'm a bad-ass that way.

8) Which Of The Deathly Hallows Would You Choose?
The invisibility cloak. How could I choose anything else?! Think of all the adventures that would await me!

9) Favorite Book?
The Prisoner of Azkaban. I just love everything about Harry finding out that Sirius is his Godfather.

10) Least Favorite Book?
It's a toss-up between book five and book seven, because EVERYONE I LOVE DIES!!!!

11) Favorite Film?
I suppose it would be the first one, because they were all so darned cute then!

12) Least Favorite Film?'s where I say that I haven't actually seen all of the films, only some of them (and I skipped some here and there). Sorry, I'm a book snob when it comes to HP, so I can't really answer this one.

13) Favorite Character?
Harry, of course.

14) Least Favorite/Most Hated Character?
It's a toss-up between Quirrell & Fudge.

15) Favorite Teacher At Hogwarts?
Professor Minerva McGonagall.

16) Least Favorite Teacher At Hogwarts?
Professor Quirrell!!!! Even moreso than Umbridge because of reasons.

17) Do You Have Any Unpopular Opinions About The Series?
That depends on what you would consider "unpopular," since almost every opinion on the series has a niche of followers. But I can say that I'm a bit snobby in that I love the books but don't care for the movies. Everything's just so much better in my imagination. Also, I like to pretend that Sirius is safe and sound, and I totally ship him with Remus. And I'm all for Harry/Draco, too. 

18) If You Could Save One Character From The Final Battle, Who Would You Save?

I tag anyone that would like to participate in this tag. If you do choose to answer, leave a comment with the link to your post so that I can check out your answers (or, if you don't have a blog, feel free to just answer in your comment)! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 11, 2017


Friday, August 11, 2017 with 1 comment
I seem to have stumbled across an amazing event over at Aentee's blog, Read At Midnight, called #TheReadingQuest, just in time! This event will be taking place from Sunday, August 13th, to Sunday, September 10th, and features some gorgeous artwork by CW @ Read, Think, Ponder - just see for yourself by checking out the awesome game board below (click the image to view the full size):

If you're curious to check out the rules of the event, you can check out the sign-up page HERE. But basically, like an RPG, you can choose your class, and this class will determine your quest (which in this instance is a reading quest). Below are the four classes that you can choose from:

I think I'll choose the Bard for this challenge, and aim for the following books (which are subject to change on a whim):

A Book That Has A TV/Movie Adaptation:

A Fairy Tale Retelling:

A Book Cover With Striking Typography:

A Book Translated From Another Language:

A Banned Book:

I don't really have any plans right now for any of the other paths, as I would be super lucky to even finish all of the above books within the time-frame. I'm curious to see how I do in this challenge, however. Most of the books above were chosen because they're books that have been sitting on my bookshelf, and still have yet to be read! So hopefully this challenge will help me out with getting to them, hehe.

Are you interested in signing up for #TheReadingQuest? Curious to find out the details of how this challenge works? Or, maybe you just wanna check out what the prizes are? Then head on over to Read At Midnight and find out, HERE!
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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Why I Became A Book Blogger

Wednesday, August 09, 2017 with No comments

Hello, readers! 

I just wanted to check in and give everyone an update on how things are going with this blog, and provide a light background on why I decided to become a book blogger in the first place. I know that I haven't been updating as often as I'd like, but I want to assure you that this blog is here to stay - I am just at a point in my life where I am making a lot of changes (including with this blog).

When I started this blog, I had just learned that book blogging was a thing, and browsing through books blogs for the first time had lit a spark in me that I hadn't felt in a long time. I used to be such an avid reader as a child, and breezed through Goosebumps and The Babysitters' Club books like other kids would breeze through an episode of their favorite cartoon.

I can't recall when exactly my reading habits had started to slow, but I only remember that it had dwindled somewhat in high school to the point where the only books I read where required readings or the occasional Dean Koontz novel, and then when college came it was almost nil. I was in a slump after college (and even during college, to be honest), getting bombarded with life events and family issues that felt like too much to handle. I knew that I had depression at the time, but my anxiety was so bad that I didn't feel that I could talk to anyone about it - in fact, I've had depression for well over 10 years, and it wasn't until a couple of months ago, in May 2017, that I finally was able to see a doctor for it, and get a proper clinical depression diagnosis.

But anywho, while I was going through all of this inner turmoil, I needed something to turn to, and so I decided to try book blogging out, since I felt it would give me a reason to read more. I always loved the comfort that I got from a good book, and challenging myself to read more for the sake of this blog kept my mind occupied and more often gave me that rare enjoyment that only comes when you've read a book that you truly love for the first time.

I'm very grateful for the book blogger community, and for this blog (especially for the numerous times that it has kept me in check with my reading!). While this past year I've been rather absent again due to unforeseen circumstances that have popped up in my life, I'm really hoping that things have settled down to enough of a standstill so that I can once again make a regular return to this blog. I'm going to be blogging again for myself, so that I can continue with challenging myself to read more, and to reflect more on my reading through book reviews and yes, memes (which are fun, and encourage me to think more creatively about the books I've read and hope to read).

Also, I'm not going to beat myself up about posting. I've always been relaxed with this blog, and will continue to do so - I've never kept to a regular schedule about having to post a certain amount per week or month, so I'm not going to start with that now. I always preferred posting when I felt a need or want to do so, and I feel no need to deviate from that path.

Thank you for sticking through this with me, and for taking the time to read this post. I look forward to seeing where this blog takes me, and I'm grateful to have you here with me! If there's anything you'd like to see more of from me, please let me know in the comments - I'd love to take your feedback into consideration when moving forward.