WWW Wednesday #37 | January 16, 2019


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

It has been a seriously good reading week. Don't you love when that happens? The book I just finished was ah-mazing and my first five star read in months. My current audiobook is so good that I sit in the parking lot when I get to the office because I don't want to stop listening. And this morning I started a book by one of my favorite authors. Seriously good reading week!


WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
     
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) - Holly Black
I'm barely over the 50% mark in the audiobook and I can hardly stand to stop listening. I love being back in the land of Fae, surrounded by their cleverness and their trickery. There is so much political intrigue and every step could be the wrong one, and it's all offset perfectly by the delicious push and pull between Jude and Cardan. Love it!

Speakeasy (True North #5) - Sarina Bowen

I haven't even made it past the first chapter and I'm already happy to be back in this world with these characters. 

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?
Archer's Voice - Mia Sheridan
This. Book. Owned. Me.
I'd put off reading this one for years. I knew I was going to love it and I relished still having that reading experience ahead of me. But I finally picked it up... and oh my goodness was it ever worth the wait. My review will come soon so all I'll say for now is that Archer Hale is one of the most precious souls ever put to paper.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'LL READ NEXT?
     
I'm nervous to pick what's next because I want this reading streak of pure awesomeness to continue! But Verity is a possibility as is the ARC of On Thin Ice.

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

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Want to Read in 2019

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


This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
New-to-Me Authors I Want to Read in 2019

This week's TTT topic is actually new-to-me authors I read in 2018 but since I just covered that three weeks ago courtesy of KimberlyFaye's #Top10of2018 I'm going to switch it up a bit. Instead, I'm going to share the ten authors that I want to read for the first time in 2019.


Tara Sivec
Brittainy C. Cherry
Penelope Douglas
Melanie Harlow
Marissa Meyer
Morgan Rhodes
Ginger Scott
Alessandra Torre
Corinne Michaels 
Devney Perry

Have you read any of these authors?
What author do you want to read in 2019?

The Sunday Post #137


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:


This was the first full work week since before Christmas - and it seemed to last forever. Oh my gosh, by Tuesday I was already thinking "is it Friday yet?" Never a good sign.

Friday night we met up with family at a Japanese steakhouse/hibachi restaurant for my niece's 11th birthday. She had a blast it was great to see her have such a good time. Her gift request had me laughing, though. She wanted a body pillow. LOL Seriously? Not a toy, clothes, a game, electronics? Nope, a fuzzy/furry body pillow. So Aunt Tanya (and Uncle Robert) made it so. :)

Yesterday was filled with errands - car maintenance, hair appointment, etc - so hopefully today is less busy with more reading time. What's on your agenda today?

After watching this, I totally want to know the question that Chrissy answered with "Jimmy Fallon." :)






Tuesday, January 8
My Year in Reading - 2018

Wednesday, January 9
WWW Wednesday #36 

Thursday, January 10
TBB Asks: Keep Me Entertained

Friday, January 11


WHAT I READ IN THE LAST WEEK:

     
The plot twists in this one had had my head spinning. What an end to the trilogy. My review will go up in the next week or so, closer to publication date.

Super sweet romance. My first by Annabeth Albert but I'm sure I'll read more from her.

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING: 

I've had this book on my shelf for at least four years. I've been dying to read it. It's a predicted 5-star read (do you ever predict your own 5-star reads?). But I kept putting it off because I enjoyed the anticipation too much (don't ask... I do this all the time). But I'm finally reading it and I'm in love. I don't ever want this book to end. (P.S. Another prediction: this book will most certainly crush my heart.)

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY LISTENING TO:

I just started the audio of this one so I'm only on chapter two or so, but that's all it took to remind me what a total badass Jude is.


Not a thing!
    





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

Review: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

The Simple Wild 
K.A. Tucker
Publication date: August 17, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Atria and NetGalley
Calla Fletcher was two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when her father reaches out to inform her that his days are numbered, Calla knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this new subarctic environment, Jonah—the quiet, brooding, and proud Alaskan pilot who keeps her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. As time passes, she unexpectedly finds herself forming a bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago.

It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.


Tucker has outdone herself. I do believe The Simple Wild has just taken the top spot when it comes to all I’ve read from this talented writer (or at least given the others a good shake-up).

I was captivated even from the prologue, when two year old Calla is taken away from her father by a mother who can no longer tolerate the reality of rural life in the Alaskan wild. More than two decades pass before Calla returns. Now twenty-six, she is very much a city girl but her life in Toronto is also at a crossroads. Receiving a call that her father has terminal diagnosis, Calla packs a bag (actually many bags) and returns to Alaska. Filled with questions about her parent’s past, uncertainty about a father she barely knows, and years of hurt over his absence in her life, Calla is unprepared for what she finds. Not only the harsh reality of life in Alaska, but also her taciturn father and Jonah, the gruff and grouchy pilot who instantly pegs her as high-maintenance, pampered and shallow.

Calla starts off as the classic fish out of water when she arrives in the fictional town of Bangor. Bemoaning her missing luggage, teetering through the mud in high heels, and annoyed without her morning latte with soy milk, she doesn’t exactly fit in. But as Calla spends time with her father, and with Jonah, she sees a different side of life in Alaska - the beauty of the land, the tenacity of the people, and a way of life that is unlike anything she has known.

I loved the evolution of Calla’s character over the course of the novel. From arriving with little more than a sense of duty and a desire to quickly return to her life, to slowly getting to know the father she barely knew and understanding the choices he’d made, Calla shows real growth and questions what she truly wants for herself. It was obvious she wouldn’t leave Alaska the same person as when she arrived. I felt her frustration as she tried to get to know her father. Watching the two of them tiptoe around each other and seeing the small, tentative steps they took towards one another touched my heart.

Jonah and Calla appeared to be total opposites. With a strong sense of commitment to his job and the people it impacted, Jonah was hard-working, adventurous and a risk-taker. He was also close to Calla’s father and understood him in ways that Calla didn’t.  He had no problem putting Calla in her place at every opportunity and their bickering and banter was priceless. As the animosity turned to attraction and then a relationship, it seemed inevitable that history would repeat itself and Calla would follow in her mother’s footsteps.  I loved the way their relationship unfolded. I’m not a fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope but this didn’t feel like a trope at all. Instead it felt utterly realistic. Calla, with her preconceived notions of who and what she would find in Alaska; and Jonah with his suspicion of Calla and disapproval of her relationship with her father. The long thaw between them helped to make the eventual turn in their relationship feel completely believable.

Tucker made rural Alaska come alive and the setting felt as if were another character in the story. The imagery is stunning and brought every scene to life, making it easy to fully immerse myself in the story.

Powerful and emotional, this is a tale of coming to terms with the past, recognizing our parents as flawed individuals, acceptance and forgiveness, and having the courage to embrace a future that is unlike anything you imagined for yourself. At times so raw and real that it made my heart ache, The Simple Wild pulled me in from the very start and kept me completely invested in these characters and their lives through every turn of the page. One of my top reads of 2018.

4.5/5 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.

TBB Asks: Keep Me Entertained

TBB Asks is hosted by The Blended Blog.

This month's theme is Keep Me Entertained which should be fun!

BOOK(S) YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES
The Addicted series by Krista & Becca Ritchie, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, Him and Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy, the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

FAVORITE BOOK/AUTHOR OF ALL TIME
Gah! Seriously? Like there could be one? That's so cute.
Favorite books:
The Bronze Horseman, The Nightingale, Outlander, Ugly Love
Favorite authors:
Colleen Hoover, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Jennifer L. Armentrout, K.A. Tucker

FAVORITE TV SHOW TO BINGE
*shrugs* I don't watch TV.

FAVORITE NEW-ISH SHOW
see above

FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME
Peter's Friends

MOVIE YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO WATCHING
The Nightingale. 
There's no release date yet but it's still expected in 2019.

FIRST CONCERT YOU ATTENDED
Duran Duran in 1984 or 1985

ULTIMATE CONCERT (EVEN IF IT CAN'T HAPPEN)
Queen. 
I would have loved to see Freddie Mercury perform live.

FAVORITE MUSIC ARTIST/BAND
I love music but I don't keep up much with current artists/bands. I tend to just like random songs. To pick just one, though, I do like some stuff from Imagine Dragons.

HOW DO YOU LISTEN? STREAMING, CDS, VINYL?
In the car I listen to Sirius/XM (80's station, First Wave). At home I use my iPod or the iHeartRadio app.

WHAT'S THE FIRST CONCERT YOU EVER ATTENDED?

WWW Wednesday #36 | January 9, 2019


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

I was grabbing my Kindle early this morning to read a few minutes before starting my day when I realized that what I really wanted was to pick up a physical book. My last 7 or 8 reads in a row have been either ebooks or audiobooks and I'm craving the feeling of having a physical book in my hands. Does that ever happen to you? You get burned out on a particular platform and feel the need to switch it up? All I know is as soon as I finish the arc I'm currently reading, I'm hitting up my bookshelves and grabbing an honest to goodness physical book to read. :)


WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
     
Moonlight Scandals (de Vincent #3) - Jennifer L. Armentrout
I'm about 75% through this arc of the final book in the trilogy. While I'm definitely enjoying the overall plot and unraveling the mysteries surrounding the family, I can't say that I'm sold on the relationship in this one. It's definitely a case of "it's not you, it's me" because I'm not a big fan of the hate-to-love trope and that's in full effect here. Still, the plot is twisting all over the place and I'm loving that aspect.

Jet (Marked Men #2) - Jay Crownover

My re-read (well technically re-listen) of the Marked Men series continues. I seem to have developed a tradition of listening to the entire series every year. I love revisiting these characters. They feel like old friends. 

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?
     
The Christmas Sisters - Sarah Morgan
While this won't go down as a particularly memorable read, it was still enjoyable enough and I really liked the contemporary Scottish Highlands setting.

Better Not Pout - Annabeth Albert

I was looking for a quick holiday(ish) audiobook on Hoopla and came across this one. What a treat it turned out to be. I adored Teddy and his cheery, optimistic disposition and even the gruff and grumpy Nick was no match for his kindness.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'LL READ NEXT?
     
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) - Holly Black
I'm fairly certain The Wicked King will be coming up next. However, I plan on listening to the audio version which means that I'll still be hitting up my bookshelves for a physical book after I finish my current read. No idea yet what that will be, though. 

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

My Year in Reading - 2018


My reading in 2018 was a mixed bag, just like the year itself. There were periods of nonstop reading and times when it was almost non-existent, which directly correlates with what was going on in my life at the time. In May and June I needed the distraction and was reading constantly. In September I was bogged down with our move and my reading slowed to a snail's pace. I also read less in 2018 than I had in the last five years. And if it hadn't been for audiobooks, the number would have been even lower. I actually don't get all wrapped up in numbers and I never try to "beat" previous reading goals. I purposely low-balled my reading goal last year and did the same for this year. It'll be nice to reach the goal, whenever that happens, and whatever I read beyond that is just gravy. :) But enough chatter. Here's a look at my year in reading...



For the last couple years my longest books have been from Sarah J. Maas, as each book in the ACOTAR series released. She was unseated in 2018! :) 

How is it that only 23 people have read Juniper Skies?! It hurts my heart that this is such an underrated contemporary YA series. If you love contemporary YA, please read Lora Richardson's Juniper trilogy. They're priceless.


Now here's an interesting little piece of data. The same book that is the "Least Popular" is also the Highest Rated (with a 4.68 average!). So obviously not many people read it, but those that did loved it. Now do you believe me when I say you need to read this book/series? :)

And now all the books that made up my year...



I actually now see a book that doesn't belong in the list. This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story was a DNF but I'm too lazy at the moment to go back and fix the graphic. ;)

How was your year in reading?
What was the least popular book you read? The longest? I'm curious! 

The Sunday Post #136


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:


Happy New Year! I hope 2019 is off to a good start for you. Do you start the year with resolutions and goals? I don't tend to make them but there's always that mental checklist of things I want to get done/make happen/experience.

It was back to work this week after taking Christmas week off. But I was off on Tuesday for New Year's Day so that helped ease back into it. :) New Year's Eve was low-key (we took my mom out to dinner at a Japanese steakhouse), and the rest of the week was work, a couple medical appointments, errands and some reading. It was unseasonably warm all week (temps in the 70's) and I am so ready for some winter weather!

If you're determined to whip your bookshelves into shape this year, BookBub shared some beautifully organized examples to inspire you.


They also shared some of the best/most anticipated books coming out in 2019, including: thrillers, sci-fi, YA, and romance. Something for everyone!

And now I'm off to my monthly breakfast with my mom and sisters. Do you have any special plans today? 


WHAT I READ IN THE LAST WEEK:

     
Kind of a middle of the road read for me. I didn't dislike it; didn't love it. I didn't connect to any of the sisters, but there were some good secondary characters and it was a nice enough story.

It was time for a re-read (well, re-listen) to one of my favorite entries in the Addicted/Calloway Sisters series. No matter how times I read or listen, this one never gets old and always packs an emotional punch.

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING: 

I'm reading an arc of the final book in the de Vincent trilogy which comes out on the 29th. I've been looking forward to Devlin's story and hopefully this one will answer a lot of questions and tie up some loose ends.

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY LISTENING TO:

I downloaded this one on a whim from Hoopla when I was looking for something short and sweet and holiday-ish. I almost passed it by because of the cutsey title (ugh, I have such a pet peeve about cutesy/silly/punny titles) but it's actually a sweet story and I'm enjoying it. Teddy is an absolute sweetheart and grumpy Nick is coming around - and even getting in the holiday spirit. :)


eARC FOR REVIEW:
    
I loved the previous two books in this series and I'm excited for this one.
    





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