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The Sunday Post #168

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:

  • A break from the heat! And just in time, too, because I was about to start crafting a voodoo doll of the weatherman and stick pins in it until he delivered better weather. ;) Yesterday it rained virtually all day and stayed in the 80's. A temperature that starts with an 8? What's next... snow?!
  • Yesterday was a fairly busy one. I had a hair appointment (I do believe Lindsi and I were sitting in a salon chair at the same time yesterday afternoon) and then The Husband and I ran a few errands. We made up for it with a quiet evening in, complete with take-out pizza and playing cards. We're extreme like that.
  • I saw Becky Albertalli announce some casting news for a Love, Simon TV series. It sounds awesome but honestly it will take a lot for me to watch it and actually stick with it. I am just not a TV watcher. I even gave up on the BH90210 reboot after one episode. LOL
  • In exciting (only to me) news, as of today I am down to only FOUR arcs between now and the end of the year. With no intention of requesting any more for the foreseeable future. My goal this year was to request less and Read. My. Own. Books. I'm excited to be doing that more and more often. I'm loving it! 
  • The heat may have lessened (slightly) but this still looks so cool and refreshing and I really, really want some.


I read two more Sea Breeze books in the last week. Abbi has a real tendency to write the same characters over and over again. The guys are all alpha types with serious caveman tendencies. I mean, seriously, they are all sex gods who are insanely jealous/possessive when they finally meet "the one". The girls are always virginal good girls who fall for the sex god-caveman, put up with his insanity/bad behavior, and he reforms and becomes a one-woman man (but is still jealous/possessive). So yeah, they're pretty ridiculous - and not exactly relationship goals (LOL) - but they're also crazy addictive and fun, quick reads. And, yes I'll admit it, there have been a couple times where Abbi has managed to create a few scenes that actually got an emotional response from me (but no tears - let's be real Ha!).


I'm taking a break from the Sea Breeze series to dive into The Reckless Oath We Made. Greenwood wrote one of my favorite books of  2016 (All the Ugly and Wonderful Things) and this is her first release since then. I'm only about three chapters in, but I'm already captivated by these unique characters. Zee is a waitress and also a part-time drug runner. She needs the money to help support her mother and nephew plus pay her medical bills. Gentry, who I've just met, talks and thinks in medieval English (is that even a thing? I don't know the correct term for it... obviously). He is a knight who watches over Zee. So yeah, interesting characters. I am so excited to see where this one goes. Greenwood astounded me with All the Ugly and Wonderful Things so I am expecting more greatness!


I one-clicked When You Were Mine about 2.5 seconds after reading Nicci's review. I'm convinced I will love it. I nabbed Verity when it went on sale for 99¢. I own a physical copy but I've been wanting The Husband to read it and he much prefers to read on his iPad. Rookie Move was another 99¢ steal. Again, I own the paperback but now I have options when I get around to reading it.


The Flatshare has been on my radar since way before it was even released. As soon as I read the synopsis I thought it was a total "me" kind of book. I discovered Tone Deaf when Sam included it in one of her Can't Wait Wednesday posts. Fingers crossed I get to both of these before they're due back at the library!

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

WWW Wednesday #58 | August 14, 2019

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

According to the local news, this is the last day of a twelve day heatwave. For once, let the weather forecasters be right! LOL The heat index will be between 105-115 today. Can we just close Florida until this is over? Or air condition the whole state? Who do I need to talk to about that?

Just For Now (Sea Breeze #4) - Abbi Glines
The Reckless Oath We Made - Bryn Greenwood
When You Were Mine - Lisa Swift 
I finished While It Lasts last night so I need to choose a new book this morning. And I'm torn between three. I'm wavering between 1) continuing my Sea Breeze series binge with Just For Now, 2) picking up my last August arc, The Reckless Oath We Made, or 3) or diving into my pre-order of When You Were Mine since it magically appeared on Kindle overnight (pre-ordered seconds after I saw Nicci's amazing review!). What to do, what to do...


My Sea Breeze binge had me completing books two and three in the last week. I enjoyed both of these more than Breathe (the first book in the series). The female leads weren't as saccharine sweet and the guys weren't quite as alpha-caveman (but the tendencies were still strong). These will never be considered examples of good writing (LOL) but they're fun and and juicy and totally hitting the spot right now.

What I read next depends on what I choose to read today. Because the two runners-up will be what I read next. So, really, the answer is the same as above... either Just For Now, The Reckless Oath We Made, or When You Were Mine. 

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Let's Be Friends (Book Characters I Want As My BFF)

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

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
Book Characters I Want As My BFF

There's not a lot to say about the topic this week so I'm just going to dive right in. Here are my picks for the characters I just know could be my best friends.

Krista & Becca Ritchie
I've always felt such an affinity with Lily. Rose could be fierce and intimidating. Daisy was a daredevil. But Lily... she was sweet, a little shy, she loved fiercely, a little nerdy (in the best way possible), and, even with her amazing growth as a character, she depended heavily on Loren. I could so be best friends with this sweetheart.

Becky Albertalli
When I read The Upside of Unrequited I felt as if Becky somehow got a peak inside my memories and was writing about seventeen year old me. I related so much to Molly and for that alone I would want to be friends.

Mackenzi Lee
Monty managed to be completely self-absorbed and yet still totally lovable. He was witty and sarcastic and with him as a BFF there would never be a dull moment.

Lora Richardson
You know that one special friend you had when you were younger? The one who totally accepted you without judgment, was loyal and trustworthy, and you were so close you felt more like family than friends? That would be Meredith. I loved this girl for so many reasons and would love to call her my best friend.

Christina Lauren
Hazel is an absolute ray of sunshine and I would love to have her as a friend. She's quirky and fun and I love to be around people who tend to be as positive and upbeat as I am.

Jay Crownover
I want to be friends with these women! They were such a tight-knit group and were there for one another through good times and bad. These were the friends who could call each other any time and they would drop everything to be there for one another. (If you're a Marked Men fan you'll notice that Salem isn't listed. That's because I never liked her and I've kicked her out of the squad. LOL)

Colleen Hoover
This guy... he's a hot mess but I love him. He proved himself to be such a good friend to Sydney - even though he'd been friends with Ridge for much longer. He was brutally honest when he needed to be, but also stood by her when things went bad (without any I told you so's). He's the jokester in the crowd but he's also a fantastic friend with a good heart.

Jennifer L. Armentrout
Katy and Dee are such down to earth girls. Well, one is an alien and one is a hybrid... but they're still down to earth. Katy is a book blogger who gets totally excited over book mail and new releases and who can't relate to that. She and Dee have been through A LOT but they're great friends and I want to be a part of their friend group.

Jennifer L. Armentrout
Okay, so Tink isn't even human, but I'm not holding that against him. He's sassy and overly dramatic and has a serious addition to Amazon Prime, but he's also loyal beyond measure and simply hilarious. I so want Tink as my BFF.

Sarah J. Maas
This is the ultimate friend group. They are total squad goals. Rhysand, Feyre, Morrigan, Cassian, Azriel, Amren... this tight-knit group is fiercely loyal and have seen each other through war, death, betrayals, separations, heartbreak, and more. There is a familiarity among them that comes from many years of togetherness and they are more family than friends. And even though Amren would terrify me... I still want to be friends with this amazing group.


The Sunday Post #167

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 heat is BACK. In full force. Yesterday was so, so miserable. Today it will be in the mid-90's but with the humidity factored in it will feel like 105. I'm so over summer!
  • I had lunch yesterday with my mom, one of my sisters, and my 11 year old niece. Afterwards we went shopping for Brooke's back-to-school backpack (a very important decision, don't you know) and it turned into quite the mission. Store after store - where we managed to find everything but a backpack. LOL I ended up buying Brooke a shirt and some school supplies and a Vera Bradley coin purse... and had fun doing it. :) I gave her some money to go back and buy the backpack we'd found at an earlier store and she said that was the most money she'd ever held in her life ($45 LOL). I love that kid!
  • The Husband was in North Carolina Friday and Saturday. He goes up there this weekend every year to participate in a car show with his brother. He had a pretty good day, I'd say. Check out this trophy!
  • Did anyone watch the BH90210 reboot this past week? I was obsessed with that show when it originally aired (1990) and watched it religiously every week. This reboot, though... yeah, I'm not so sure. It's very meta and not at all what I was expecting. They're playing themselves, not the old 90210 characters, and it didn't really do it for me. It's only six episodes, though, so I'll probably watch. After that I'll go back to being oblivious to the fact there's a TV in the house. LOL
  • This song has such a summer vibe to me... enjoy!


My decision to binge read the Sea Breeze series was a good one and these are proving to be just what I wanted and needed right now. :)


The Sea Breeze binge read continues! 

Not a thing this week!

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

Short-Take Reviews | The YA Edition: Hope and Other Punch Lines and Birthday

Julie Buxbaum
Publication date: May 7, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted by Sam (We Live and Breathe Books)



Abbi Hope Goldstein is like every other teenager, with a few smallish exceptions: her famous alter ego, Baby Hope, is the subject of internet memes, she has asthma, and sometimes people spontaneously burst into tears when they recognize her. Abbi has lived almost her entire life in the shadow of the terrorist attacks of September 11. On that fateful day, she was captured in what became an iconic photograph: in the picture, Abbi (aka "Baby Hope") wears a birthday crown and grasps a red balloon; just behind her, the South Tower of the World Trade Center is collapsing.

Now, fifteen years later, Abbi is desperate for anonymity and decides to spend the summer before her seventeenth birthday incognito as a counselor at Knights Day Camp two towns away. She's psyched for eight weeks in the company of four-year-olds, none of whom have ever heard of Baby Hope.

Too bad Noah Stern, whose own world was irrevocably shattered on that terrible day, has a similar summer plan. Noah believes his meeting Baby Hope is fate. Abbi is sure it's a disaster. Soon, though, the two team up to ask difficult questions about the history behind the Baby Hope photo. But is either of them ready to hear the answers? 

M Y   T H O U G H T S

Sixteen-year-old Abbi has lived her life in the shadow of 9/11 – not only as a survivor but as the subject of a famed photograph from that day. She longs to escape the notoriety even as she is dealing with health issues that stem from her exposure to the fall-out on that terrible day. She meets Noah while working as a summer camp counselor and is drawn into his project to track down everyone from the famous photograph. What starts as unwilling participation turns into a genuine friendship – and possibly more – when Noah and Abbi spend more and more time together. Their friendship was so genuine and the dual POV worked so well at showing how they both navigated the new relationship. Noah’s own connection to 9/11 broke my heart and, as truths were revealed, I definitely shed some tears. The secondary characters were stellar – including Abbi’s parents and grandmother, Noah’s friend Jack, and the other survivors from the photograph – and they each added so much depth and realism to the story.

I’m so, so tired of always worrying about our world splitting into a before and an after again.

A book whose narrative focuses heavily on 9/11 can be an emotional look at a tragic and defining moment in U.S. history – or a disrespectful plot device used to play on emotions. Thankfully, Buxbaum’s Hope and Other Punch Lines falls into the former category and she writes about 9/11 and its aftermath with respect and gravitas. This was a moving and unforgettable story. (So many thanks to Sam for sending me her hard copy of this book. A book is always a special gift and this one was truly a stand-out. Thank you, Sam!)
4.5/5 STARS

Meredith Russo
Publication date: May 21, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library Loan


Two kids, Morgan and Eric, are bonded for life after being born on the same day at the same time. We meet them once a year on their shared birthday as they grow and change: as Eric figures out who he is and how he fits into the world, and as Morgan makes the difficult choice to live as her true self. Over the years, they will drift apart, come together, fight, make up, and break up—and ultimately, realize how inextricably they are a part of each other.

M Y   T H O U G H T S

Oh, this book. I think it broke me. I had almost decided not to review it because, to put it bluntly, the story made me sad. And while I’m glad I read it I wasn’t sure I wanted to dwell on it or discuss it. But I can’t quit thinking about it so here we are. Birthday follows Eric and Morgan from the ages 13 through 18. We see their lives only once a year, on their shared birthday. They’ve been best friends since birth, but that friendship is tested as they both deal with changes within their families and within themselves. These two kids went through hell, much of it silently and all alone, and my heart broke over and over again. Morgan was going through the heartbreaking process of coming to terms with her gender identity – struggling with the fact that being a boy did not fit and was an uncomfortable mantle she had to carry. The chapters from Morgan’s point of view were filled with so much emotional pain and anguish that it was actually difficult to read. I wanted so badly to gather Morgan up in a hug and make the pain go away. Living in a small, rural Tennessee town, with a high school football coach for a father only added to her turmoil. Eric had his own troubles and even though his wealthy family looks stable from the outside, inside those walls he lives with a controlling and verbally abusive father.

I don't know if anyone will love me the way that I really am.

Birthday dealt with some serious topics – death of a parent, grief, suicide attempt, homophobia, transphobia – and it is to Russo’s credit that these characters felt so lifelike that I ached for them like I did. Morgan’s journey, in particular, made a real impact and brought me to tears more than once. This is an important book. And while I don’t know that I can say I enjoyed it (because it weighed on me so heavily), I am so glad I read it.

4.5/5 STARS