The Sunday Post #35

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:

Hello! It's been two weeks since my last Sunday Post and I totally lay all the blame on WORK. This is always my busiest time of year, this two week period around the end of November and early December, and I always find myself just working to keep my head above water. And, unfortunately, everything else suffers in the meantime. Hence the sound of crickets here on the blog. :) I did manage two (super quick) posts but I haven't been able to visit a single blog in over a week. My inbox is exploding with notifications. Hopefully by next weekend I'll start to see the light and can get caught up - because I miss catching up with everyone's posts!

For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a great day with family or friends. We spent the day at my parent's house and I loved the time with them and my sisters. Since then I've been hibernating as much as possible - trying to decompress after a seriously stressful, albeit short, week at work and avoiding the Black Friday/shopping madness at all costs. How about you... do you go for the Black Friday shopping?

Thursday, November 24: On Thursday I shared a quick Thanksgiving post. I really try to remember to be thankful *every* day but it never hurts to have a day set aside to really focus on gratitude. :)

Saturday, November 26: I can't believe the #ShelfLove Challenge is almost over! I've had a great time participating each month. Yesterday I shared my thoughts on which bookish item I am most thankful for.   


It took me a little while to get into Fire In You but once I did I enjoyed it so much. (I don't think it was the book, more like I was feeling a bit slumpy.) And even though I read (well, listened to) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda just last month, I was already ready for a re-read. Definitely one of my favorites of the year!

Fire In You (Wait For You #6) - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Audio) - Becky Albertalli

Our Chemical Hearts - Krystal Sutherland
Jet (Audio) - Jay Crownover


*From my November Bookworm Box*
I already own The Lovely Reckless but now I have a signed version which is always awesome.
I'm not familiar with J.S. Scott or the Sinclair series but it looks interesting. Has anyone heard of this one?

The Lovely Reckless - Kami Garcia
No Ordinary Billionaire - J.S. Scott



Too Late - Colleen Hoover
Knight of Ocean Avenue - Tara Lain
Race the Darkness - Abbie Roads

How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
You know I want to hear about it! :)

November #ShelfLove Challenge: Thankful

November topic: Name one bookish item you are thankful for. This could be your favorite book, or gift, or author - you decide. Share pictures if you can.
I'm going to be totally basic when it comes to the bookish item I am thankful for, but honestly... it's my Kindle. I love it.

Ereaders have been out for many years. It was almost a decade ago when I bought a Sony Reader (anyone remember those?). But the Kindle seemed to revolutionize ereaders and when I bought one three years ago I was hooked. All of a sudden I could toss my Kindle in my purse and go. No heavy hardcover books to tote around, no paperbacks that would get mangled. If I finish one book while I'm away from home, I have hundreds more at my fingertips. I often find that I read faster on my Kindle than with a physical book. I love that I can download a book in seconds (sometimes you need the sequel *now*!). I love the ability to download books from my library's Overdrive app. I love being able to highlight favorite lines and passages and make notes.

Back in June I was lucky enough to win a new Kindle from Jennifer L. Armentrout (as if I didn't already love her enough, right?) so now my Kindle is even thinner, lighter, and just all around more awesome because it came from JLA. :)

People still debate over the pros and cons of ebooks and physical books but for me it's not an either/or choice. They're two separate things and one doesn't take the place of the other. I *love* my physical books. I love the gorgeous covers, I love the way they look on my shelves, I love reading them, I love seeing all the page tabs that mark parts that are special to me. I love all those things but I'm still so thankful for my Kindle and all the benefits it provides an avid reader.

What bookish item are you thankful for?


I will be spending my time with family today but I want to take a moment to wish all my friends here in the U.S. a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you're able to spend the day in whatever way makes you happiest.

I am so thankful for the friends I have made through this amazing book community. I am thankful for authors who create stories that move me, make me laugh, make me think, make my heart hurt, and become woven into the fabric of my daily life. I am thankful for an outlet where I can share all those thoughts and feelings with like-minded souls.

Today I am also remembering those who are far from home on a day that is spent with family. While I am safe at home, surrounded by the people I love, I am so thankful for those who selflessly serve this country and make so many sacrifices to do so. 

However you spend the day, no matter where you live, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not... I wish you a day of peace, of gratitude, of thankfulness, and happiness.

Sound Bites: Audiobook Reviews - Furiously Happy and Sisterhood Everlasting

I've really done an about face over the last year when it comes to audio books. I enjoy listening on my daily commute and I almost almost have one downloaded from my library's Overdrive app that I'm currently listening to (in addition to whatever I'm currently reading). But, I'm a total purist when it comes to reading and while audio books can be fun, for me it's never as rich an experience as actually reading the physical book. Because of that, my thoughts are pretty brief so I'm combining a couple reviews into one post.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Narrated by: Jenny Lawson

Synopsis:  In FURIOUSLY HAPPY, Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

According to Jenny: "Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos."

"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"

FURIOUSLY HAPPY is a book about mental illness, but under the surface it's about embracing joy in fantastic and outrageous ways-and who doesn't need a bit more of that?


WHAT I LIKED: I rarely reach for non-fiction/memoirs but this came so highly recommended by Grace at Rebel Mommy Book Blog that I had to give it a try. And there's that cover, right? I was happy (not quite furiously happy but still happy) that I did because this collection of stories/random thoughts/vignettes from Lawson was Just. So. Funny. There were many times that I was actually laughing out loud at the random ridiculousness and the imagery it produced. And there were also times when I would stop and thing, "Wow, should I be laughing at this? It's actually pretty sad." But it goes back to Jenny's proclamation of being furiously happy out of sheer spite. :) Lastly, Jenny's narration of her own words was such a perfect touch. So much of the humor came not only from what was being said but how she said it. It just wouldn't have been the same otherwise.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: My only quibble is that sometimes it just felt like too much. The over the top quirkiness was fun in small doses but I found myself having to listen in bits and pieces because too much at one time started to feel like overkill. Every random thought was taken to such an extreme degree that it was a bit exhausting.

3.5/5 STARS

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Narrated by: Angela Goethals

Synopsis:  From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares comes the welcome return of the characters whose friendship became a touchstone for a generation. Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting.

Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness.

Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected.

As moving and life-changing as an encounter with long-lost best friends, Sisterhood Everlasting is a powerful story about growing up, losing your way, and finding the courage to create a new one.

WHAT I LIKED: Um... *crickets*. No, that's not really true. It was satisfying to see the series to the end. And I will admit that the ending, while not very believable, was emotional and mostly satisfying.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Oh where to start? I can't recall reading a book where the main characters were all so thoroughly unlikable. What a bunch of miserable people! They were all equal parts selfish, self-absorbed and and just plain unlikable. The major plot line is a major spoiler so I'm just going to talk about the characters. Three of them, in particular. 

Carmen was as insufferable as ever and now, as a professional actress, came across as an obnoxious prima donna. She seemed to care more about her iPhone than anything else in her life. Seriously. She obsessed over it constantly.

Lena never had much of a personality but even less so here. She was living the smallest life possible and was so passive and timid it was pathetic. And the never-ending back and forth with Kostos... after a decade? OMG, enough already. I was desperate for one of them to just do something. Someone have enough backbone to take action. Gah!

Bridget seemed to have barely progressed since we last saw her at 19. At first it seemed like she had changed but after a significant event she was right back to her old ways - as flighty and destructive as ever. Except now, at the age of 29, it just smacked of self-indulgence and I had little empathy for her, especially when her flightiness included disappearing for months on a boyfriend who adored her. Who does that?! Any warm and fuzzy feelings I had left for Bridget vanished as soon as she behaved so cavalierly with someone who loved her.

I will say that Sisterhood Everlasting has an average rating of 3.9 on GoodReads so obviously this is a "it's not you, it's me" situation. So if you're interesting in revisiting the sisterhood and learning what has become of them, don't let my issues sway you. Because I'm definitely in the minority here.


Are you a fan of audio books? Have you read either of these?

Top Ten Tuesday: The Movie Edition

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme 
This week's Top Ten Tuesday theme is a movie freebie so I'm keeping it pretty basic and going with ten of my all-time faves. Narrowing it down to ten is kind of impossible and I was tempted to add about twenty "honorable mentions" but I'm playing by the rules this week (gasp!) and leaving it at these ten.


The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Chicago (2002)
Bride & Prejudice (2004)
Grease (1978)


Peter's Friends (1992)
Love Actually (2003)
The Goodbye Girl (1977)
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

Have you seen any of these movies? 
What's your favorite movie?

Short Take Reviews: Remembering Everly and After We Fall

Remembering Everly (Lost & Found #2) by J.L. Berg

Synopsis: After a stunning cliffhanger ending in Forgetting August, USA Today bestselling author J.L. Berg delivers the happily ever after that fans have been waiting for in the sequel, Remembering Everly.

He's forgotten his past, but it hasn't forgotten him. After losing two years of his life trapped in a coma, August Kincaid will do anything to win back the love of his life. But his past threatens to destroy his second chance at happiness, it's Everly who is in danger of paying for his crimes.

MY THOUGHTS: I was so excited to read the conclusion of August and Everly's story and get some answers after the cliffhanger ending in Forgetting August. 

In Remembering Everly we get more insight into August and the kind of man he was before the incident that stole his memories and put him in a coma. The pressure he was under was intense and many of his actions, the ones that left Everly feeling like a prisoner, made sense when told from his point of view. As his past begins to collide with his present, August is walking a fine line trying to find a way to move forward and live the life he wants.

Everly is once again planning her wedding to another man, but her feelings for August are far from resolved. Guilt-ridden by the secret she kept from August, and still missing the relationship they had, she's left feeling unsure of what direction to take.

I loved the connection between August and Everly in this one. As the story progressed and more truths came to light, it became apparent that, regardless of the past, they were so much better together than apart. They were both struggling with the aftermath of decisions August had made in the first book and neither of them were dealing with the fallout well. August worked to right past wrongs and Everly made decisions about who and what she really wanted and I was cheering for them all the way.

This was a completely satisfying ending to the Lost & Found duology and I'll definitely be reading more from Berg.

3.5/5 STARS

After We Fall (Take the Fall #3) by Marquita Valentine

Synopsis: A tough cop with an even tougher past, Hunter Sloan has never let anyone stop him from getting what he wants—and he wants Evangeline Ambrose bad. With her gentle curves and raw vulnerability, Hunter’s beautiful, mysterious new neighbor awakens his protective side. Determined to do right by a woman who’s gone through hell and back, Hunter could be the one to take away the pain—so long as his own secrets don’t sink their relationship before it begins.

Having escaped an abusive marriage, Evangeline simply wants to start over in the small, quiet town of Forrestville. She’s also avoiding all contact with the opposite sex, because she just can’t trust her instincts when it comes to men—not even with the sinfully sexy cop next door. So why can’t she stop thinking about him? Hunter has darkness in his soul, and yet no one ever made her feel so safe. For all her best laid plans, Evangeline didn’t count on choices this hard—or temptation this hot.

MY THOUGHTS: Evangeline (Eva) escaped an abusive marriage and has started over. Leaving everything behind, she now has a job at an animal shelter and is moving into a new apartment. She's come a long way but still has trust issues and doesn't let people get close to her.

Hunter has not forgot the woman he found on the side of the road, beaten and afraid. He did what he could and took her to a women's shelter. As a cop it's his job to protect those in need and move on to the next call, but even after six months he can't shake his reaction to the woman he helped.

When Eva moves into the apartment across the hall from Hunter, he's thrilled to see the woman he hasn't been able to stop thinking about; however, Eva is mortified to be face to face with the cop who saw her at her lowest point. As Hunter tries to befriend Eva and gain her trust, Eva slowly comes out of her shell and is willing to let Hunter into her life.

Told from dual points of view, I enjoyed getting to see both Eva and Hunter's thoughts and motivations. While I wish there had been more depth to their characters and more build-up to their relationship, it was still enjoyable to watch as it progressed.

Overall, After We Fall was an engaging contemporary romance and I look forward to continuing the series.

Do you prefer series or stand alone novels?