Sunday, April 22, 2018

Weekly Recap: 4/15 - 4/21


TRACY'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi, everyone! This has been a busy, but fun week! My mom was here for the whole week visiting for my birthday and she watched Harry Potter all the way through for the first time (after ten years of trying to talk her into it)! On Tuesday we went to a nighttime event at Disney's Animal Kingdom with some friends and spent some time in Pandora, then on Thursday we got to go to the Tampa Zoo. I didn't get much reading in, but we did get to spend lots of quality time together! Cornerfolds Candles April Prythian Boxes have all arrived and the unboxings have started! Our May Caraval box has been selling out quickly and I'm so excited for them to go out next month! If you've never seen our candles, you can find them through the "shop" link in the nav bar!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK



THIS WEEK I READ

Nothing read this week!



CHELCIE'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hello, Everyone! This week has been utterly crazy! With the weather being crazy, I had to move my trip to Rhode Island until this weekend. So I’ve been packing and working and making sure my horse and I are prepped and ready to go. I’ll probably be on the road when y’all get the chance to read this.  I’ve got an arsenal of audiobooks ready for my drive lol. And hopefully by this time next year I’ll have a little baby horse running around my pasture :). Anyways, I did manage to read a couple books this week and I also got a few as well.


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

    


THIS WEEK I READ

 



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The topic was covers my mom hates for Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday audiobook review of The Bone Witch
On Thursday Chelcie shared some favorite childhood books
Friday ARC review of Bookish Boyfriends


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Friday, April 20, 2018

ARC Review: Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt

Title: Bookish Boyfriends (Bookish Boyfriends #1)
Author: Tiffany Schmidt

Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 400
Add to Goodreads


Boys are so much better in books.  At least according to Merrilee Campbell, 15, who thinks real-life chivalry is dead and there’d be nothing more romantic than having a guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories.  Then she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer to Reginald R. Hero Prep—where all the boys look like they’ve stepped off the pages of a romance novel.  Merri can hardly walk across the quad without running into someone who reminds her of Romeo.

When the brooding and complicated Monroe Stratford scales Merri’s trellis in an effort to make her his, she thinks she might be Juliet incarnate.  But as she works her way through her literature curriculum under guidance of an enigmatic teacher, Merri’s tale begins to unfold in ways she couldn’t have imagined.  Merri soon realizes that only she is in charge of her story.  And it is a truth universally acknowledged that first impressions can be deceiving…

While I was at Yallfest this past year this is one of the books that my mom was able to snag for me.  It honestly wasn't something that I would've picked up on my own as I'm not the biggest fan of contemporaries, but I am so glad that she did!  This book is everything that my book-loving heart needed.

Disclaimer: I have not read Pride & Prejudice(shame on me!) so I cannot for sure say that this book has any elements from that classic, but it does have a lot of elements from other classic works such as Romeo & Juliet. I really would like to read Pride & Prejudice now to see if I can pick out where it was integrated into this book.

From the moment I read the first page I knew I was going to love this book.  Not only does it bring to light everything a book nerd thinks while reading and interacting with actual people, but it also pay homage to many well know literary works.  Each and every one of the cast of characters is relatable in some way or another.  Especially the quirky and well read main character, Merrilee.

I absolutely love Merrilee!  I swear someone watched my 15-year-old self and then wrote this book.  I would think the same things as her like how a certain interaction with a person would make a great scene in a book.  Or how a sentence said in a conversation would make a great line for a book.  And at least when I was her age, boys in books were so much better than the ones in real life.  To this day, they still can be better lol.

There was one point in the book where I was a tad concerned as the main love interest was introduced because the way they acted was a little strange.  I definitely wouldn't have gone alone with most of it, but as Merrilee is star-struck with possibly having found "the one" I can see why she did what she did.

You definitely need to read this book if you love classic literature, have any bookish boyfriends, or just love reading books with characters that are just as nerdy as yourself.  Again, I am just so thankful to my mom for picking this ARC up for me.  She really is the best ever!

Do you bookish-loving self a favor and pick up this book when it comes out!



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ten best (mostly horse-related) books from Chelcie's childhood

I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember.  There was a point that I went through a stage where I would only read horse books, but thankfully I got introduced to YA novels.  While I read a ton of books as a kid here are a few that have really stuck with me since I’ve grown up. Disclaimer: I will try not to make this list all horsie, but I'm making no promises.


CLIP CLOP BY NANCY HOAG

This book is the first one that I can remember reading.  The copy that I had of this book was fairly old and tattered.  I think it used to be my uncle’s before it became mine.  Anyways, this book was about a young horse that was told he was getting his first pair of shoes.  He fantasizes about what his shoes will look like and he pictures himself wearing some shoes that the people around him wear until he is shown what his actual shoes look like.  I was obsessed with horses (and still am lol) at a young age, and this book just furthered my obsession with them.


THE MAGIC TREE HOUSE SERIES BY MARY POPE OSBORNE

This series was one of the only series I read that didn’t have much to do with horses.  I got really hooked on these books after going to the library and having the librarian recommend them to me when I was looking to step up to a chapter book.  I don’t know exactly how many of them I read, but it was a LOT.  These books transported me to a bunch of different places and times in history.  I particularly liked the books set in Ancient Egypt and Pompei


ANIMAL ARK SERIES BY LUCY DANIELS

This isn't a very well-known series, but I can always remember getting those Scholastic pamphlets from school were you could order books from and asking my parents to buy this series for me.  This series follows the daughter of veterinarians and her friend as they try to help animals.  And each book follows a different animal like cats, dogs, horses, etc.  While this series wasn't specifically about horses, there were some books that did follow them so I collected all the horse books I could find, but I did also get some of the other ones as well.


WINNIE THE HORSE GENTLER SERIES BY DANDI DALEY MACKALL

This series follows a girl named Winnie who just moved to rural Ohio and wants to get a horse.  She ends up rescuing a horse and being able to keep it and train it along with being able to train a bunch of other horses throughout the series.  These books are what seriously got me wanting to train horses just like Winnie.


THOROUGHBRED SERIES BY JOANNA CAMPBELL

In this series a girl has to move from their Thoroughbred race farm to another where she meets a foal that has everything stacked against her.  This girl takes a chance on the little filly and the series follows the both of them as they face challenges at the race track and at the farm.  I maybe read the first 10-15 books, but after that they start splitting off to other side characters and eventually the main characters daughter.  One day I would like to go back through a completely read the series.


THE SADDLE CLUB SERIES BY BONNIE BRYANT

If you loved horses and have not heard of this series you may have been living under a rock.  This series even had an amazing TV show based off of it.  These books follow a trio of girls that love horses and horseback riding at a stable called Pine Hollow.  I think there are just over a hundred books in the series plus a spin-off series about the girls in the later teen years and special editions and I own them all.  My mom found this company that sent out 4-5 of the books in the series plus a little goodie every few weeks or so until eventually you have all the books.  So I guess you could say it was my first book subscription box lol.


HEARTLAND SERIES BY LAUREN BROOKE

This is another series about a girl who trains horses.  After the tragic loss of her mother, Amy Fleming copes with her loss by continuing in her mothers footsteps and trains problem horses.  This is another book series that also has a TV show, and it's still airing to this day.  I only read about the first 7 or so of these books, but I have almost all of them.


THE RANGER'S APPRENTICE SERIES BY JOHN FLANAGAN

I was recommended this series right as I was getting out of my horse phase by my pastor.  He had read them and loved them so he thought that I may as well.  And boy was he right!  This series follows a boy named Will who is in training to be a Ranger, which is essentially a spy for the kingdom.  Will is trained in battle and surveillance, but soon he finds out that there is a deep threat to the kingdom brewing.  I loved all the action in this series.  Plus there isn't a big romance that overpowers everything.


THE PHANTOM STALLION SERIES BY TERRI FARLEY

This series was set out west and followed a girl named Samantha as she returns to her fathers cattle ranch following a bad fall of her horse Blackie.  Since that day her beloved horse Blackie has been missing.  As she fights to fit back into her father's ranch, she learns the fate of a mysterious mustang-who may or may not be Blackie-rests in her hands, she has to learn to mount up and be a real cowgirl.  This series started my love of mustangs and all things Old West.  Still to this day I want to own a ranch and save a few mustangs.


ANIMORPHS SERIES BY K.A. APPLEGATE

I'm pretty sure these were my first sci-fi books that I had ever read.  This series follows a group of kids that encounter aliens that are trying to take over the planet.  These kids have the power to morph into animals and they fight to protect the world they know.  I got the first couple books in this series from a book sale at my library, but I never ended up getting the whole series nor have I read all of them.



From this point on I started reading more and more YA books.  I wished that I had read a few more non-horse books while I was growing up, but I can't complain too much.  I'm just now realizing it, but what is up with all the series that end up having like 40+ books?  Most of the series I just listed have an outragous amount of books in them.  Either way, it ment more reading material for younger me.

I hope y'all enjoyed this little peek into my reading of my childhood.  I hope it lets you get a bit of an idea of who I am as a reader and why I love the books and things that I do today as these books really shaped me as a reader and a person.

What are some of the books that you read as a kid?  Did you read any of the books that I did?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Audiobook Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Title: The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1)
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 432
Add to Goodreads

In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles...and make a powerful choice. 

I've put off reading The Bone Witch despite having owned it for over a year because a friend told me I would hate it. However, after hearing how amazing it is for months, seeing the gorgeous cover for The Heart Forger, and being told by another friend that I absolutely SHOULD read it, I finally gave it a try!

Tea, not pronounced like the beverage, is the Bone Witch and she is special. She has rare, strong powers that she uses as a child with no training to bring her brother back to life. She is taken by an older bone witch to learn how to be an asha. Intertwined with Tea's narration is that of a bard who has come to find older, banished Tea and learn her story. I enjoyed the way the two storylines were told and anticipated them coming together at the end of the book. All of this sounds awesome, and the beginning had me hooked!

Unfortunately, The Bone Witch becomes incredibly boring and tedious after the first few chapters. There are countless descriptions with very little action throughout most of the story. Tea goes to class, Tea has dinner, Tea makes friends, Tea gets new clothes, Tea has a crush, and on and on and on. Buried within all this monotony is a good story, but it takes so long to get to it that I just couldn't force myself to stay interested.

I found the characters themselves to be just as boring. Honestly, I can't remember any of their names besides Tea and her brother, Fox, who was probably the most interesting character in the entire book. I wanted desperately to care about Tea, but she came off as a special snowflake (is there another word for this that we can use now?) who has amazing powers for... reasons... and she is more powerful than anyone around her for other reasons. She also knows how to use them without training, which is, of course, out of the usual. I really wish more had been explained about why Tea was so much more advanced than the other girls around her.

Something I did love about The Bone Witch was the world building. Since 92% of the book was spent on descriptions, I definitely had a good idea of the world and what it looked like. There was some interesting backstory to the magic and the city, and I thought some of the creatures and especially the daevas were really unique. But again, all this comes at the expense of a plot. There is none.

Finally, I despised the ending. In fact, I thought the audiobook hadn't downloaded the last part and double checked, then texted a friend asking if I'd missed something major. The two storylines I mentioned earlier never came together. What I'm guessing is the middle of the story is shown at the beginning of the book, then we work towards that point from Tea's perspective, but the book ends well before the two converge. It left it all feeling very unfinished.

I didn't completely despise this book, but I was left extremely underwhelmed. I prefer to read series and don't mind a cliffhanger at all, but I hated the way this one was written. I don't mind stories that aren't completely plot-driven either, but this one barely had a plot at all and the characters were forgettable. In the hands of another author, I think this is a story I really could have loved. I just don't think Rin Chupeco is the author for me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #183: Covers My Mom Hates


Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Covers My Mom Hates

For today's freebie I decided to talk about things I hate instead of things I love. Then I started looking at covers and was struck with inspiration! Since my mom is visiting, I got her to look through Goodreads and find ten covers she hated with absolutely no idea what any of the books were about. Hilarity ensued and these are the ten we came up with. 


The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana
Nil by Lynne Matson
Parasite by Mira Grant



The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
Sunday, April 15, 2018

Weekly Recap: 4/8 - 4/14


TRACY'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Yesterday was my birthday!! I think I might be officially old now, but I'm honestly not sure. I spent this cleaning and getting my guest room ready for my mom to visit and she'll be here for about a week. I didn't have time for much outside of that! I may have been living in my house for a year, but it is still so unfinished. One day it'll be done (maybe)! I finally completed my A.G. Howard collection this week with the Splintered/Unhinged sampler combo and my friend Erin sent me a copy of Grim Lovelies to borrow! To celebrate my birthday (and the birthday of my business partner, Christina), Cornerfolds Candles is hosting a giveaway for a set of all four House candles! You can head over to Instagram to check that out if you're interested!

My new co-blogger is also here and you'll start seeing her around this week! For today she sent along a quick message. You can find out more about her on the about page!


A NOTE FROM CHELCIE

Hello there! *waves* I am so very excited to meet y’all!  As you may know I wrote a post here once upon a time, but now I’m so glad that I can write for y’all more often.  I can’t wait to get to know everyone and fangirl and gush over books.  Here’s to many bookish adventures!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK



THIS WEEK I READ

 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The topic was books I might re-read for Top Ten Tuesday
On Wednesday I discussed Fantastic ARCs and Where to Find Them
Thursday blog tour ARC review of Winter Glass


UPCOMING REVIEW

 


We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!