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Top Ten Tuesday: Longest Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.


This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
Longest Books I've Read

This week's topic is actually Bookstores I'd Love to Visit but I've gotta be honest - the topic wasn't thrilling me. And I certainly couldn't have come up with ten examples unless I just randomly started pulling cool bookstore pics from Google and that seemed rather pointless. So instead I'm taking a page out of Shannon's book (see what I did there?) and I'm going to backtrack and do last week's topic, which I missed. 

I've never understood the people who have an instant bias against long books. Or the kids in school who automatically chose the shortest books possible from the reading list options. If it's a good book, don't you want it to last? I know if I'm loving a story and am totally invested - I want more! I don't want it to end. Yeah, there are times when a book feels needlessly long. Like, hello? Where was your editor? Because a good 200 pages could have been cut with zero impact to the story. But for the most part, give me a big chunky book and I'll be happy! And now for the longest books I've read... from the shortest (a relative term, in this case) to the books that double as doorstops (or weapons, in a pinch).



707 pages
A Court of Wings and Ruin | Sarah J. Maas
724 pages
The Girl Who Played with Fire | Stieg Larsson
733 pages
City of Heavenly Fire | Cassandra Clare
756 pages
Breaking Dawn | Stephenie Meyer
834 pages
After We Fell | Anna Todd
870 pages
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix | J.K. Rowling
894 pages
The Bronze Horseman | Paullina Simons
1,153 pages
The Stand | Stephen King
1,207 pages
The Witching Hour | Anne Rice
1,443 pages
The Fiery Cross | Diana Gabaldon
   

Have you read any of these books?
What's the longest book you've read? 

The Sunday Post #124


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

The big news this week? We closed on the old house last Tuesday so that sale is in the books. *cue sheer relief* It feels great to have that behind us. We had a super productive day yesterday with the delivery of the stools for the kitchen island, the unpacking of a few more boxes, weeding out some files, and hanging some artwork. Plus, The Husband installed these nifty little things on the kitchen cabinet doors that makes them close softly instead of banging shut. *stops to marvel at the fact that genuine excitement is being felt at soft-closing cabinet doors*

I've signed up for the Black Friday Book Bonanza Giveaway Hop which is co-hosted by Kim @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. There was a time that I braved the crazy crowds on Black Friday but now I'm all about staying in and enjoying a quiet day at home. And if that can be combined with a bookish giveaway... even better. :) Are you taking part in the giveaway hop?

We stayed in last night and watched Pitch Perfect 3 and all I can say is... meh. As someone who loves the first movie, and truly enjoyed the second one, the third was quite a letdown. There were a few good laughs but it mostly fell flat and often felt ridiculous. *womp womp*

Shatter Me fans: did you see the news?! Kenji is getting his own novella! *YAS!!* I've been wanting something from Kenji's POV since book one and I'm so excited it's finally happening. And the cover... a thing of beauty! The wait until March 5th begins!

Today The Husband is headed to a car show and I'm going to do some organizing in the library and maybe take a little jaunt to T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. And read. Definitely need to make time to read. What's on your agenda today?

WHAT I FINISHED IN THE LAST WEEK:
   
Not a thing. Very little reading time in the past week.

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING: 
Still reading this one. It's not at all a slow read, and I'm totally enjoying it, just very short on reading time this week. :(

              
KINDLE BOOKS:
Despite the sorta cringey cover, I was taken in by the synopsis. I've never read anything by Meghan Quinn but this one sounds good and angsty. 

AUDIO BOOKS:
     

I've never read anything by Force but OMG is this woman prolific! According to GoodReads she has something like 120 distinct works. Um, wow. Anyway, the military aspect of this one captured my interest and I pre-ordered the audio version.

I just read this one a couple weeks ago and totally enjoyed it. I happened to hear a snippet of the audio version a couple days ago and fell in love with the narration. It's so perfect! Sometime soon I'll do a re-read but on audio this time.

I listened to the first three books in the Royally series earlier this year and was surprised at how much I loved each one. I used Overdrive to listen the first time but decided I needed to own them myself. Obviously. Plus it's narrated by Andi Arndt and Shane East and they are always perfection.
    




How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
I'd love to hear about it!

Short Take Reviews: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, Someone I Used to Know, More Than We Can Tell



The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
Mackenzi Lee
Publication date: June 27, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, LGBT
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores. 

My first thought when finishing The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue? Why did I wait so long to read this?! Because I totally enjoyed this historical tale that reads like an 18th century road trip. In Monty, Lee managed to create a character who was completely self-absorbed, privileged, and a drunken rake, and yet still totally lovable. Monty's flippant wit and sarcasm hid a darker private life and I loved the evolution of his character over the course of the story. And then there was precious Percy who I adored. Percy is thoughtful and sensitive and has his own set of challenges as a biracial young man in 1700's England. There was never a dull moment and how could there be in a story that managed to seamlessly weave together action, adventure, romance, pirates, history, feminism, humor, and so much more. I switched between reading and listening and the audio narration is perfection so you can't go wrong no matter how you choose to enjoy this one. The Gentleman's Guide is a fantastically good time.

4.25/5 STARS


Someone I Used to Know
Patty Blount
Publication date: August 7, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
It's been two years since the night that changed Ashley's life. Two years since she was raped by her brother's teammate. And a year since she sat in a court and watched as he was given a slap on the wrist sentence. But the years have done nothing to stop the pain.

It's been two years of hell for Derek. His family is totally messed up and he and his sister are barely speaking. He knows he handled it all wrong. Now at college, he has to come to terms with what happened, and the rape culture that he was inadvertently a part of that destroyed his sister's life.

When it all comes to a head at Thanksgiving, Derek and Ashley have to decide if their relationship is able to be saved. And if their family can ever be whole again. 

Someone I Used to Know is a powerful story of one girl's fight to move from victim to survivor after being raped by a classmate. What I appreciated most was that Blount chose not to focus solely on Ashley but also told her brother's story. Derek had to come to terms with his own participation in the "game" that was a tradition for the football team and led to his sister's rape. Derek's story was every bit as moving and compelling as Ashley's as he struggled with guilt and his own perceptions and actions. Ashley was a character who was easy to pull for and admire because she refused to be silenced and would not allow her fear to stop her from demanding change. Blount takes a hard look at rape culture without ever becoming preachy. Shining a spotlight on the 'boys will be boys' mentality, victim blaming, locker room talk, and overtly sexual advertising, Someone I Used to Know does an amazing job of showcasing the effects of sexual assault on not just the victim but family, friends, and the community. While not always an easy read (Ashley's memories of the rape interspersed throughout the book are enough to make you heartsick), this is one that should be in every school and every library.

4.25/5 STARS

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. This does not my opinion of the book or the content of this review. I received no compensation and my review is voluntary.


More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost #2)
Brigid Kemmerer
Publication date: March 6, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay...until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling. 

Rev was a stand-out secondary character when I read Letters to the Lost* so I was thrilled to get his story in More Than We Can Tell. And I was not disappointed. Learning more about Rev's past was heartbreaking but what was equally sad was how his past continued to impact his present. His earlier years with his father were filled with physical and emotional abuse, and twisted interpretations of love and religion. Now his father is contacting him and trying to reassert his control and Rev's life is thrown into turmoil. Despite the amazing support system provided by his adoptive parents, Rev hides how tormented and emotionally fragile he actually is. New friend Emma is able to provide an impartial point of view even while she is dealing with issues of her own. While I didn't connect with Emma as strongly as I did with Rev (her naivete often left me frustrated), I was still drawn into her story and was invested when things took a turn into scary territory. But it's Rev that captured my heart and will stay with me. This kind, introspective, mature, and self-aware young man made a huge impression on me and is without a doubt one of my favorite characters ever.

*More Than We Can Tell takes place in the same universe as Letters to the Lost, and features many of the same characters, but can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.

4.5 STARS

WWW Wednesday #27 | October 10, 2018


WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.
Just answer three questions and share what you're reading.


WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
One Day in December - Josie Silver
This one has been slow-going and it has nothing to do with the book and everything to do with lack of reading time. I'm totally enjoying this story of missed opportunities and I keep wanting to beat my head against the wall for all the inopportune circumstances that are keeping these people apart. Who happen to be perfect for one another. I'm at about 35% and I've got my fingers crossed that I'll finish it this weekend.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzi Lee
What a totally good time this one was! Monty was hilarious (even while he was self-absorbed and spoiled) and I loved the perfect balance of plot and characterization. Loads of fun!

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'LL READ NEXT?
Drumroll, please! Oh. YES. Coming up next is none other than The Darkest Star. One of my most anticipated books of the year. A return to the Lux world! Luc's book! And Armentrout has assured me (well, not me personally LOL) that there will be plenty of cameos from favorite characters. I. Am. So. Ready! 

What are you currently reading?
I wanna know! :)

The Sunday Post #123


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

Another busy week, but one that came with some good news: we close on the old house in a few days! It was supposed to happen a month ago but there was a last minute hiccup with the buyers and the whole thing had to be extended for a month. It's been a tense few weeks but now the end is near. It'll be great to have that behind us.

We had a little night on the town last night with dinner and a movie. But not just any movie: Harry Potter + the Symphony Orchestra! Last year my sister and I went to see the first movie in concert and this year they continued with The Chamber of Secrets. They really went all out with props for photo ops, the staff were dressed in robes, and lots of people in costume. Even better, The Husband was with us this time. We all had a great time and I'm hoping the Symphony continues the tradition next year.

     



Tuesday, October 2
Top Ten Tuesday:

Wednesday, October 3


WHAT I FINISHED IN THE LAST WEEK:
   
A good time start to finish!

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING: 
When the editor calls it Love, Actually + When Harry Met Sally in book form... it sounds like it was written just for me! :)

              
KINDLE BOOKS:
An old favorite by Green. It's been probably 15 years since I read it, it popped up on sale at Amazon, so I nabbed it. Maybe one day I'll give it a reread.
    



How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
I'd love to hear about it!