Waiting on Wednesday: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen

Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.

I can't pick only one thing that I'm most looking forward to about this book, I'm just excited for it all! The secrets, the asylum, criminal psychology, how Grace will be assisting at crime scenes and a book that's a historical thriller?! Oh my goodness, yes please! Also, look at that cover. It's beautiful! I'm also a huge fan of the title too, I feel like it fits the summary so well. A Madness So Discreet is one of my most anticipated of 2015 so I cannot wait until October. It's going to be an awesome Fall read!


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

Review: Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita

Received egalley for review from Netgalley.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Published: March 3, 2015
Series: Fairy Tale Reform School #1
Amazon - Goodreads

Would you send a villain to do a hero's job? An exciting new twisted fairy tale series from award-winning author Jen Calonita.

Full of regret, Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.

Impish, sassy 12-year-old Gilly has a history of petty theft and she's not too sorry about it. When she lifts a hair clip, she gets tossed in reform school-for at least three months. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there's more to this school than its sweet mission. There's a battle brewing and she starts to wonder: can a villain really change?

The main character, Gilly, is the daughter of a shoe maker. You know, that fairy tale of the family that lives in a shoe? Yep, that's Gilly's family. After getting caught stealing to feed her family Gilly is sent to the Fairy Tale Reform School in order to stop her from continuing down the path towards becoming a villain. The school is run by reformed villains: Flora a.k.a. Cinderella's Evil Stepmother is headmistress and the teachers are other well-known villains like the Evil Queen, the Big Bad Wolf and the Evil Sea Witch.

I absolutely loved the concept of a villains reform school, but I felt like it just didn't go all the way for me. It took almost until the end of the book before the story really grabbed my attention. It is the first book in a series, so maybe it'll be easier to get into the next book more quickly than this one.


Flunked is a middle grade book, but it almost felt like it should have been young adult during some places. In a way it reminded me of the television show Once Upon A Time and the young adult book Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. It was like a hybrid of those two, but for a younger audience.


**I received this book for review through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Dewey's Read-A-Thon: Wrap Up



I can't believe it, I actually read what I set out to read! It wasn't all during the read-a-thon, but this event seriously got me out of a reading slump.

On Friday night, the day before the read-a-thon, I read Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School and wrote the review (which will be posted on Monday.)

Saturday during the afternoon I read Hit and later in the evening I started Everything That Makes You. I'm 106 pages in and I'm absolutely loving it!

I will definitely be participating in future read-a-thons, it was so fun. I love all the encouragement from other readers and just the awesome sense of a bookish community.

Thank you so much to Heather and Andi for being such awesome hostesses of the read-a-thon!

Dewey's Read-a-Thon: Mid-Event Survey


The Read-a-Thon is halfway over! 
Here's a Mid-Event survey for Hour 12. 

1. What are you reading right now?
I'm about to start Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay.

2. How many books have you read so far?
One. Hit by Delilah S. Dawson

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I only plan on reading one more book which is Everything That Makes You. I probably won't finish it today, but I'm excited to get a good chunk of it read!

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Just a few little ones every now and then, but I was able to go right back to reading.
I took a little break for lunch and a two hour one for dinner and Netflix. After I'm done writing this post I'm going to get back to reading.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
I'm shocked that I actually finished a book! Woo! I'm also surprised I want to keep reading. I thought I'd be drained by now, I think the break definitely helped.


Dewey's Read-A-Thon: Treasure Hunt (Mini Challenge)



Mini-Challenge hosted by Boghunden

Task: Find books with a Tree, Snow and a Weapon on the cover.



I'll be doing a few quick mini-challenge posts throughout the day. Since I want to spend the majority of my day reading, the photo quality won't be that great since I'm just using my phone camera and won't be doing any editing.


Books Read:
-96 pages in Hit by Delilah S. Dawson


I'll be back in an hour or two to post another mini-challenge and update! 

Happy Reading! 

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon


I've been in a reading slump all of April, I haven't even read a single book, seriously! It's going to be raining most of tomorrow and I have quite a few books I need to read for review so I thought this was the perfect time to participate in my very first read-a-thon!

Here are the books I want to read:

1. Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita
I've been about twenty percent done with this book for weeks. I'm having a bit of trouble getting into the story, but I received this from Netgalley and I really want to finish it so I can get a review up. It's a middle grade book so it shouldn't take too long to read.
EDIT: I finished this Friday night before the Read-A-Thon!

2. Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay
A book for review that I got this week that I'm absolutely dying to read, it sounds so interesting! It's inspired by that 'what if' question we all have in our lives. There's two sides to this story: Fiona, the version of our main character who has thick scar tissue on her face and Fi, other version that never had an accident. I'm super curious to see how this plays out and how different or similar the main character's life will be.

3. Hit (Hit #1) by Delilah S. Dawson 
I keep picking up Hit to start reading, but end up putting it right back down since I haven't been in the reading mood. I know I won't be able to finish this book during the read-a-thon, but I'd like to at least get a good portion of the beginning read.


There's so many awesome ways to get involved and stay motivated. There's Hourly Challenges, Cheerleaders, prizes and Twitter chats. I probably won't do every Hourly Challenge, but I'm planning on participating in a few!

The Read-A-Thon's website has start times up for all over the world so everyone can start at the same time. My time zone begins at 7am, but I'm sorry, but I'm totally not getting up that early on a Saturday! I'll probably set an alarm for 10:00!

For more info you can check out these Read-A-Thon links:
Website
Twitter


Are you doing the Read-A-Thon?



Waiting on Wednesday: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh


Release Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile 

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

I have a feeling The Wrath and the Dawn is either going to totally blow me away or I'm going to hate it. I'm hoping this book will be a super atmospheric read and have lots of character growth. I really want to find out why after every sunrise Khalid has his new bride killed and I definitely want to find out about Shazi, she already sounds like a total badass for going in to that brutal situation to avenge her friend. I love the unique concept, so I'm totally crossing my fingers that I'll enjoy it!


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine

Review: Wait for You by J. Lynn

Bought: Amazon ebook for kindle
Publisher: J. Lynn
Published: February 2013
Series: Wait for You #1
Amazon - Goodreads

Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

So this is definitely a bit more 'steamy' than the books I usually read, but I kept seeing it all over book blogs and I had to see what all the fuss was about. Like most books in the new adult genre Wait for You had plenty of angst and a main character with a dark past, which if I'm honest is why I stay away from this genre. However, J. Lynn's writing flowed great throughout the story which made Wait for You stand out among the other books of its kind.

The best part of the book for me was Cam, the designated hot guy that the main character, Avery, always pushes away, even though deep down she doesn't want to. During some parts I felt like their relationship reminded me of others that I've read about before, but there was still something really genuine and sweet about it that kept me rooting for them.

There was definitely character growth, which I love, and no insta-love, which I definitely appreciate! I read this book pretty quickly, J. Lynn's writing held my attention and I wanted to know what was going to happen with the characters. I felt like the plot followed most of the books in this genre, but that the characters and the writing helped it stand out among the others. I definitely recommend Wait for You for fans of the new adult genre.


I didn't know how to rate this one, so far it's been my favorite new adult book, but not an all-time book favorite, so I'll just give it four stars. Maybe three? Ahh, I'm over thinking this star rating system again, aren't I?

The Music Files: The Maine

american-candy-the-maine

In 2009 during my sophomore year of high school a friend and I exchanged mixed tapes for Christmas. It wasn't a huge deal because he gave all of his friends the same exact mix tape, but it still stands that the music was really good.

On it were gems like The Girl's A Straight-Up Hustler by All Time Low, Face Down by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Addiction and Her Name by There For Tomorrow and, of course, Everything I Ask For by The Maine.

My love for The Maine slowly started with that one song; at first I listened to it on repeat from my CD player, then I bought it from iTunes so I could always carry it with me, and soon after I bought the entire album, Can't Stop Won't Stop. 

My love for The Maine began when I was fifteen. 
I'm twenty-two now and I couldn't love their music more.

I love how their music has grown with me and that each album is something different, but the core of  of it still the same with the catchy music and meaningful lyrics. The guys work so hard and are so generous to their fans.

Bottom Lounge - House of Blues

I've been to three of their concerts and there's not much that can make me as happy as being there. I saw them at The House of Blues in Chicago, The Rave in Milwaukee and at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago. At the Bottom Lounge it was just them. They played their new album at the time, Pioneer, from start to finish and then came back out for a second set to play some old favorites and cover songs. It was amazing, I just feel so alive when I listen to their music and being there with everyone singing along to the songs we all love is incredible.

Not my video, but I was there! Song starts around 2:35, but the beginning part is fun!
Pioneer Tour - Bottom Lounge - Chicago - Dec. 21, 2011

Their third album, Pioneer, will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the one I saw entirely performed live and they did it all on their own. They left the bigger record company because it wasn't letting them produce the music that they wanted to. The guys were in a situation that was bad for their growth, so they left. They worked their asses off and created their best album yet, Pioneer. They didn't let anyone stop them from making the music that they wanted to.

One of my favorite things about The Maine's music is that they write it and it's amazing. The lyrics are always so incredible. Here are just a few of my favorites:

"Oh, I'm learning to be free."
-Free

"Some days taste like lemonade, 
some days can feel like razorblades. 
I wish I could float away, some days."
-Some Days

"We go together like the winter and a sweater."
-Ho Ho Hopefully 

"Unaware of where I'm going 
or if I'm going anywhere at all,
but I know I'll take the leap 
if it's worth the fall."
-(Un)lost

"Give me thunder, give me lightening, 
and I will give you every part of me." 
-Take Me Dancing



On March 31st of this year The Maine released their fifth album, American Candy.
I love it. I love how each of their albums always finds a way to be relevant in my life no matter where I'm at. It's more upbeat then their most recent album, but I think we all could us a little lightness to our lives right now, at least I know I could. The lyrics are still amazing, the music is incredible and I can't stop listening! It's been on repeat since last Tuesday.
All of the tracks are up on their YouTube channel, you should check it out here!

-source
Garrett - Jared - John - Kennedy - Pat

I seriously could keep going about how amazing The Maine is and how generous they are with their fans (always touring, staying late after shows to meet fans, being active on social media, super affordable tickets/merch, and always creating amazing music) but that could get a little bit too long. So if you're interested in listening to or finding out more about The Maine here are some of their links:

Website
Twitter
YouTube

Review: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Bought from Target.
Publisher: Dey St.
Published: October 2014
Amazon - Goodreads

In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book is full of words to live by.






After binge watching Parks & Rec on Netflix I knew I wanted to read Amy Poehler's book. I love her sense of humor and straight-up honesty in her book, Yes Please. She talks about when she was working in Chicago, to her time at SNL,  Parks & Rec days and her personal life.

I listened to the audiobook and followed along in the physical copy. I highly recommend listening to it! This was my first audiobook and I think I'll consistently listen to memoirs from now on. Amy is the narrator, she is just so funny and I felt like listening to Amy tell her own story added a whole other level to the book.

A little towards the middle, it got a little bit slow for me, but the first part of the book was awesome. There's a lot of funny parts, some bits of insight  and a much appreciated look into Amy's past days in comedy.

I loved Amy's voice (both literary speaking and literally speaking) it stood out and made it seem like I was sitting down and talking with her. She's so likable and doesn't hesitate to bring up times when she wasn't the best person she could have been, which is awesome to see someone acknowledge their mistakes and it's inspiring too.

Overall, Yes Please is a wonderfully hilarious book with some serious bits mixed in. I loved learning more about Amy's Parks & Rec days and falling in love with her kick ass attitude.


If you've read and enjoyed Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) then I definitely recommend you pick up Yes Please, they both have that honest yet hilarious feel to them.
You can check out my review of Mindy's book here.

Quote It: The Miniaturist - Unravel Me - Fangirl

Whenever I read I make sure that I have my trusty post-it note flags by my side. The past few years I started marking my favorite quotes in the books I've been reading. It's really awesome to be able to go back and see what lines caught my attention. 

I hadn't really done anything once I marked the quotes, so I figured I should change that and start picking out a few of my favorites and share them in some blog posts. 

For this post I chose 2-3 quotes from three books I read last month.


The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
"Freedom is a glorious thing. Free yourself, Marin. The bars on your cage are of your own making."

"But the problem is .... those with no horizons want to pull yours down."

"From little seeds great flowers grow."


Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
"Loneliness is a strange sort of thing.
It creeps up on you, quiet and still, sits by your side in the dark, strokes your hair as you sleep. It wraps itself around your bones, squeezing so tight you almost can't breathe. It leaves lies in your heart, lies next to you at night, leaches the light out from every corner. It's a constant companion, clasping your hand only to yank you down when you're struggling to stand up."

"Because sometimes you see yourself - you see yourself the way you could be - the way you might be if things were different. And if you look too closely, what you see will scare you, it'll make you wonder what you might do if given the opportunity. You know there's a different side of yourself you don't want to recognize, a side you don't want to see in the daylight. You spend your whole life doing everything to push it down and away, out of sight, out of mind. You pretend that a piece of yourself doesn't exist."


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 
"I look like this because I'm alive," Reagan said. "Because I've had experiences. Do you understand?"

"They slow your brain down," he said, clutching an orange bottle of pills. "They iron out all the wrinkles. . . . Maybe all the bad stuff happens in the wrinkles, but all the good stuff does, too. . . . .
"They break your brain like a horse, so it takes all your orders. I need a brain that can break away, you know? I need to think. If I can't think, who am I?"

"Just . . . isn't giving up allowed sometimes? Isn't it okay to say, 'This really hurts, so I'm going to stop trying'?"
"It sets a dangerous precedent."
"For avoiding pain?"
"For avoiding life."

Do you mark your favorite quotes?

March Wrap Up 2015


I didn't read as many books as I read in February, but I knew that insane total of eleven books wasn't going to be repeating in March. I usually read in the evenings, but last month I binge-watched the entire series of Parks & Rec so that took away a good chunk of reading time. I so don't regret it though, I'm totally in love with that show, I just wish it wasn't over!


 Books Read:
1. Shadow Scale (Seraphina 2) by Rachel Hartman
2. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (My Review)
3. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles 3) by Marissa Meyer  
4. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover  (e-book, not pictured)

Total number of pages: 1,984

I'm in the middle of listening to Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I'm seriously loving it so far! Amy narrates it and there's also a few special guest narrators like Carol Brunette, Seth Meyers, Patrick Stewart and even more. I have the physical book too, so I'm following along with the narration since I'm not the greatest at concentrating while someone else is reading.

I also started Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover because of an awesome review by Benish from Feminist Reflections (you can check out Benish's review here.) I'm a little over halfway through and can't wait to see what happens next!


Reviews Posted:
1. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman 
2. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
3. Soulless (Parasol Protectorate 1) by Gail Carriger 
4. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
5. Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi


This month I plan on reading and reviewing Hit by Delilah S. Dawson, Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, Trigger Warning: Short Stories and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman and Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School 1) by Jen Calonita.

Waiting on Wednesday: Da Vinci's Tiger by Laura Malone Elliott

Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Amazon - Goodreads
Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de’ Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties. Her poetry reveals her deepest feelings, and she aches to share her work, to meet painters and sculptors mentored by the famed Lorenzo de Medici, and to find love.

When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for. She is instantly attracted to the handsome newcomer, who admires her mind as well as her beauty. Yet Ginevra remains conflicted about his attentions. Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand. In a rich and enthralling world of exquisite art, elaborate feasts, and exhilarating jousts, she faces many temptations to discover her voice, artistic companionship, and a love that defies categorization. In the end, she and Leonardo are caught up in a dangerous and deadly battle between powerful families.

Absolutely everything about this book appeals to me. Renaissance Florence, a creative main character that is trying to find her voice and it seems like art will be an important presence in this book as well. I feel like the character growth and setting are going to be amazing! I'm seriously counting down the days until November 10th.


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine