Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My Weekly Pull [25]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, leave a link in the comments. I would love to stop by and check it out!

Shanghai Red #1 by Christopher Sebela, Josh Hixson, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #20 by Jody Houser, Scott Koblish, Ryan Stegman
Ant-Man and the Wasp #2 (of 5) by Mark Waid, Javier Garrón, David Nakayama
Hunt For Wolverine Claws of a Killer #2 (of 4) by Mariko Tamaki, Butch Guice, Greg Land
Infinity Countdown Champions #1 (of 2) by Jim Zub, Clayton Crain
Runaways #10 by Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka

Shanghai Red looks intense! Here is the synopsis: Red is one of hundreds shanghaied out of Portland in the late 1800s. Drugged, kidnapped, and sold to a ship's captain, she wakes up on a boat headed out to sea for years, unable to escape or even reveal who she truly is. Now she's coming back in a boat covered in blood to find her family and track down the men responsible for stealing her life out from under her.

I know it's wishful thinking, but I hope it's not going to be as bloody and violent as it sounds. A little bit of fighting and gore doesn't bother me, but sometimes comics take it too far. 

Question: What is the actual title for this comic?
  1. The Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows
  2. Amazing Spider-Man Review Your Vows
I'm asking this question because the cover says one thing, and the world says another. Goodreads, Comic List, and even my LCS have it listed without the "The" at the beginning. However, isn't that what the comic is called? I'm going to do a little research today/this week and see what I can find out! It's been bugging me for awhile now.

I am loving the Runaways cover! I'm a little behind on the series, but I'm curious how Alice in Wonderland ties into their current story... I'm not caught up because I'm still missing one of the earlier issues, and I like to read them in order. Skipping ahead feels like I'm cheating on the comic, lol.

That's all for me this week! What comics are you reading?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.

Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him...even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.

Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know?


A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax.
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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I know I said this in a Goodreads update, but Bring Me Back made me think of Clue. Players are supposed to weed out potential suspects to determine who the killer is, what weapon was used, and where the murder occurred. This book made me feel like I was playing that game, only I didn't have any cards and didn't know all of the rules. There were a few times when I had no flarking idea what was going on. 

Finn was quick to second guess himself and everyone around him. It was hard to follow his train of thought sometimes, and occasionally he would make connections with information that would have been impossible for the reader to know. When he originally attempted to decipher the email address, he comes up with something that's completely bananas.

I will say that my theories were disproven time and time again. I was always wrong with my assumptions, and frankly... that was infuriating (in a good way). I quickly became just as frustrated as Finn. Nothing made sense and everything was misleading. If you enjoy books that are nearly impossible to figure out, Bring Me Back might be a good fit for you. 

Even though I was engrossed in the mystery of this book, it wasn't too hard to put down. I think it's because I felt like the story kept going around in circles. We keep coming back to the same theories that have been reviewed and examined multiple times. The characters also tend to do the same things over and over again throughout the book.

It's always a little irritating when the main character refuses to involve the police, even when it's clear to everyone else that they should. I felt like a lot of things could have been avoided if Finn had just picked up a phone. Oh, and his obsession with Layla was strange. I didn't really understand why he felt so connected to her, or why his feelings were as intense as they were. It was literally love at first sight and also love at twelve years later, even though he hadn't seen or spoken to her.

Bring Me Back was an interesting story with a mystery that I wasn't able to solve on my own. I was kept in the dark with Finn until the very end, and I'm sure Colonel Mustard would be proud.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) by Marissa Meyer

Narrated by Rebecca Soler
Synopsis (via Goodreads): In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are
fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
“It always came back to love. More than freedom, more than acceptance—love. True love, like they sang about in the second era. The kind that filled up a person's soul. The kind that lent itself to dramatic gestures and sacrifices. The kind that was irresistible and all-encompassing.” 
The audiobook for Cress is almost twice as long as the others, but I'm not complaining! I've enjoyed everyone's adventures and really liked the newest character, Cress. She's crazy smart, tech-savvy, and can hack into anything, spy on anyone, and daydream like no other. Her opera singing, line-dancing, and unfamiliarity with the outside world made her an endearing character that I instantly wanted to protect. She's been through a lot, but somehow comes across as sweetly naïve and innocent. 

Initially, I didn't think I would like Thorne. He's arrogant and rarely says the right thing. He's like an attractive pirate... in love with his ship, in love with himself, thinks everyone else should immediately be charmed by him, and he's always looking for booty. However, my opinions about him changed drastically while reading this book. We learn more about his history and see what he's willing to do for his friends. Thorne also doesn't think like everyone else, so he's able to bring a unique perspective to the table. His words may come across as cocky, but I believe he speaks from the heart. 

Queen Levana needs to die... or be stripped of her powers and thrown into a jail cell. Personally, I hope someone destroys her. She's unbelievably cruel, and it makes me angry to think about all the pain she's caused. The lives of others mean nothing, and she's willing to maim or kill anyone that disagrees with her or gets in the way.

This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites! Marissa Meyer is an incredible storyteller and I look forward to reading anything else she writes. I believe Winter is next in this series, but I don't know how I feel about her just yet. She's only in Cress briefly, but a lot was said with very little.

Let's get this revolution started!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Wild Child by A.S. Green

Expected publication: June 18, 2018
Synopsis (via Goodreads): I have never been to a place so tiny. Little Bear Island could fit in New York's armpit. Still a job is a job and, after surviving Afghanistan, what's twenty-four hours in podunk hell?

Providing private security for a celebrity wedding is nothing new...until I come face-to-face with Natalie O'Brien. The woman who chose someone else and kicked me to the curb six years ago. Time has done nothing to tame her. She's a red-headed beauty with a sharp tongue and nerves of steel who could seriously knock me off my game…


When my assistant bails, Natalie jumps at the chance to get off this tiny island. Now we're stuck criss-crossing the country in my SUV, with her tantalizing scent filling the cab and her smart mouth making me very...uncomfortable. Good thing the job will be over soon. So why does the thought of saying goodbye a second time make my heart stop? 
“I never spill hot coffee on my crotch,” he says as he shifts out of park. “Call it a gift.”
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, the quote I used may have changed or been altered in some way, but I am quoting from what I received.

I could not put this down! I sacrificed a ridiculous amount of sleep to keep reading Wild Child, and I don't regret a single second. This is a slow-burn romance that will make your toes curl! Natalie and Jackson make you work for the feels, but it's totally worth it. 

Veronica Mars and Jessica Jones are my original loves when it comes to stories about private investigators. The lifestyle might not be luxurious, but they get to look for clues and catch people doing things they shouldn't. I feel like that would be an extremely satisfying job! Jax does security detail (when I first typed this it said, "sexurity detail"), but he's mainly a private investigator. His jobs on the road with Natalie were some of my favorite moments, and I wish they'd had more time for adventures together.

However, once they arrive in New York, they stop teaming up and doing field work with each other. The book doesn't suffer because of it, I just thought it was an exciting aspect of the story that I enjoyed and wanted more of. Natalie is plenty busy with her new job, and Jax is... Jax. Dude has issues he's working on, and they are completely valid and understandable. I liked that Natalie didn't judge him for being so different after six years, because a lot can happen in that amount of time.

Wild Child kept me on the edge of my seat, made me laugh often, and was very authentic and solid. There isn't anything I would change about the story (cough.. more field work... cough), and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. There are some pretty intense scenes that made my heart race, but there are also sweet moments that are definitely worth revisiting. I cannot wait to add a physical copy of this to my shelves!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Mini Reviews [7]

Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition
of the Inuit by Edward Field (Translator) and 
Mike Blanc (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition of the Inuit is a modern translation (1965) of a very old Inuit creation story by nationally known poet Edward Field. As a poem it captures beautifully the intimate relationship this Arctic people have with their natural world.

Magic Words describes a world where humans and animals share bodies and languages, where the world of the imagination mixes easily with the physical. It began as a story that told how the Inuit people came to be and became a legend passed from generation to generation. In translation it grew from myth to poem. The text comes from expedition notes recorded by Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen in 1921. Edward Field got a copy from the Harvard Library and translated it into English.


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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is a beautiful children's book! My four-year-old was fascinated by the idea of people turning into animals and vice versa. He started talking about the different animals he would want to morph into, and I loved the conversations that followed. Some of the illustrations, which were breathtaking and utterly captivating, showed what appeared to be animal-human hybrids. A human face with deer legs and a fish tail, for example. 

Magic Words also emphasizes how important words are, and that saying them can have unforeseen consequences. Words have the potential to be powerful, and people should be careful how they use them. 


Tiny Fox and Great Boar: There
by Berenika Kolomycka
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Tiny Fox lives alone beneath his apple tree in the distant hills. He is a happy little animal, busy looking after himself and his foxy things. Then one day, a Great Boar appears and moves in under the apple tree, bringing with him a time of change and adventure. Is Tiny Fox ready? 
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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

I thought the illustrations for this one were really interesting! Some of the original sketch marks are still included, so you can see how a few of the pictures evolved and were created over time. It also gives the appearance of movement, which is awesome all on its own.

As for the story, it was good. I think the author shows the importance of friendship, and that being alone can be hard. A single friend has the power to change all of that, but you have to be willing to compromise and make adjustments.

I wish there had been more of a story, but Fox and Boar have very limited conversations over the course of a few seasons. As an adult, I could see what their problems were and how they likely needed to deal with them, but I'm not sure it's something a child would easily grasp. My son was more focused on the things they were doing, and not the things being left unsaid. He may have been a smidge too young for this comic-like book, but he did enjoy it overall.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is definitely a book we will be adding to our shelves! I loved the main character's tenacity and creativity. She's dedicated and incredibly focused on perfecting her idea. As the reader, we have no idea what she's trying to make, only that she tries again and again to make her project match what's in her head. As she gets increasingly frustrated, she starts to lose patience with her creations and pays less attention to what she's doing.  

In the end, her dog saves the day. He sees her frustration and offers a simple solution to help her refocus on what she was trying to accomplish. They made the perfect team, and I really enjoyed watching their story play out. I had no idea what she was trying to make at first, but the end result was absolutely perfect

This book would be great for teaching children to remain calm when they get frustrated, and how getting angry and upset only makes things worse. The Most Magnificent Thing shows readers how taking a step back can offer a different perspective and allow things to be viewed as a whole.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

My Weekly Pull [24]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday (only a day late, which is an improvement from last week) to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, leave a link in the comments. I would love to stop by and check it out!

I think I'm finally getting my groove back after taking a week or so off! I have a few posts scheduled, I've been responding to comments, and even venturing out and visiting some blogs myself! It took a few days of being back to feel like I was back. Blogging is a huge time commitment, and it's hard to blog about books and comics if you haven't been reading any, haha! 

Analog #3 by Gerry Duggan, David O'Sullivan, Phil Noto
Kick-Ass #5 Mark Millar, John Romita, Ozgur Yildirim
Magic Order #1 (of 6) by Mark Millar, Olivier Coipel

Domino #3 by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Greg Land
Hunt For Wolverine Adamantium Agenda #2 (of 4) by Tom Taylor, R. Silva, Greg Land
New Mutants Dead Souls #4 (of 6) by Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Gorham, Ryan Stegman
Venom #2 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman

Analog is a little more violent than I would like, but the story is insanely good. What would our world look like if someone removed the internet, or at least every ounce of your privacy? What would you do? Would you choose to still use it? People in power have started using carriers that transport messages all over the world in briefcases. Their jobs aren't exactly easy, and hands tend to get cut off or blown up. People will still kill for information, despite it being harder to track down. "Aunt Sam" just made an appearance, and I don't think that means anything good for Jack.

Kick-Ass has been pretty good so far, but I'm a little worried now that they're introducing Hit-Girl into the comic. For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that I really disliked Hit-Girl and everything she stood for. She's just as bad as the criminals she chooses to kill. She even uses small children to get what she wants. If this Hit-Girl is anything like the one I've read about in the past, I will probably stop reading Kick-Ass as well.

Magic Order is something new that Jacob brought to my attention. It's about five families of magicians that have sworn to protect our world from monsters every generation. Now there is an enemy that is killing them off one at a time, and I guess they need to determine who that is and stop them. It's a mini series, so everything should happen pretty quickly!

The last issue of Domino had a spectacular cliffhanger that I still think about occasionally. I need to know what happens! New Mutants Dead Souls is getting good too. Magik had to show her true self in order to break through a magical seal, but then something unthinkable happens... The different mini series for Hunt for Wolverine have been interesting. Everyone goes about looking for him in their own way, and the different teams are awesome if somewhat unexpected. Donny Cates killed the first issue of Venom! I cannot wait to see where this story goes!

Have you started any new comics? Enjoying some older issues? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood

Synopsis (via Goodreads): One summer will challenge everything the Garrett sisters thought they knew about themselves—and each other.

Kat lands the lead in the community theater’s summer play, but the drama spills offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are cast too. Can she get revenge by staging a new romance of her own?

Bea and her boyfriend are heading off to college together in the fall, just like they planned when they started dating. But Bea isn’t sure she wants the same things as when she was thirteen…

Vi has a crush on the girl next door. It makes her happy and nervous, but Cece has a boyfriend…so it’s not like her feelings could ever be reciprocated, right?


As the oldest, Des shoulders a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore. Except it’s hard to dream big when she’s so busy taking care of everyone else.

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

This was the perfect summer read! Jessica Spotswood has successfully made me want to buy a boat and live near a marina. Just the idea of laying on the deck and watching fireworks makes me smile! It sounds so relaxing and fun. One of the sisters, Bea, makes a comment about it being like a tiny house on the water, which would definitely force me to be a minimalist. 

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls had a very Gilmore Girls vibe that I enjoyed. They live in a small town where it's impossible to keep secrets, and the townspeople live for the gossip. There are also no strangers except for the tourists they occasionally see throughout the year. There's an old bookstore, a Tabby Cat Café that has literal cats (they can also be adopted from there!), and even a yearly reenactment that people get really excited about. 

I loved their Gram and how accepting she was of her grandchildren. They were all so very different, and she treasured them like they were her own. The girls also appreciated their Gram and how much she's done for them over the years. She trusts them to do what is right, and is there for them when they make a mistake. 

I feel like there was a lot that could have been elaborated on, but I understand that can be difficult when you're telling a story through five different perspectives. There is a lot going on in each of their lives, and unfortunately some of the details were left out. They were small threads that I was following in the background, but most of them are never mentioned again. An example would be Bea's movie date with Erik and how Savannah taunted her with bringing Gabe. Bea gets ready for her date, but we have now idea how it went or if Savannah followed through with her threat. Bea was also really nervous about the date, and I was curious about how it ended.

The bookstore belongs to the Garrett family, and the author references a lot of YA authors and titles. She specifically mentions Nina LaCour and a variety of LGBTQ books. One of the characters is openly gay, another is bisexual, and one is still figuring things out. I thought Jessica Spotswood did a wonderful job of creating characters that a lot of people will be able to relate to. 

There are a lot of Harry Potter references. Pets were named Remus, Sirius and Crookshanks, but there were also a lot of shirts and sayings that related to the books. It felt a little forced at times, but it wasn't too over-the-top. I was also happy about the X-Men shout out! Three of the horses were named Storm, Gambit and Rogue. 

I think there were a lot of good points made about women's rights, equality and acceptance. 

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls touches on family, friendships and how those two things can change over time. It was a fun story that I really enjoyed reading and had a hard time putting down. Every chapter was about a different sister, and I was quickly caught up in each of their stories. There were a few times when I cringed internally at someone's behavior or actions, but that's life. People make mistakes, but it's how they learn and grow from them that matters. I think each individual sister did a lot of growing over the summer, and I thought their story ended in a really great place.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

My Weekly Pull [23]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday (sorry it's a few days late) to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, leave a link in the comments. I would love to stop by and check it out!


Ant-Man and The Wasp #1 (of 5) by Mark Waid, Javier Garrón, David Nakayama 
Ant-Man and The Wasp Living Legends #1 by Ralph Macchio, Andrea Di Vito, Todd Nauck
Astonishing X-Men #12 by Charles Soule, Gerardo Sandoval, Greg Land 
Dazzler X Song #1 by Magdelene Visaggio, Laura Braga, Elizabeth Torque

Hunt for Wolverine Weapon Lost #2 (of 4) by Charles Soule, Matteo Buffagni, Scott Koblish
Infinity Countdown #4 (of 5) by Gerry Duggan, Aaron Kuder, Nick Bradshaw
X-Men Red #5 by Tom Taylor, Mahmud A. Asrar, Travis Charest

I am ridiculously excited for the Ant-Man and the Wasp movie! I think Paul Rudd does an excellent job portraying the character, and he also adds his own humor to the role. The first Ant-Man is one of my favorite Marvel movies, and I loved his part in the Avengers (Winter Soldier? Maybe? I can't remember... it's the one where all the Avengers are fighting against each other.) I also think Evangeline Lilly is an amazing Wasp! I read somewhere that Wasp actually came up with the term "Avengers" for the group, and that she has led the team in the past.

I was ready to quit reading Astonishing X-Men two issues ago, and I don't feel differently now. I kept trying the newer issues because I really enjoyed how the series started, but I just can't do it anymore. This will be the last one for me, but only because of the stupid cliffhanger. It was something I had always suspected, but I'm a little curious what that means for everyone. Also, there are a lot of awesome characters in this, but the story doesn't really focus on more than two people each issue. Mystique and Rogue, Gambit and Bishop, Archangel... sooo many great people to work with, and I feel like the majority of them get overlooked. 

I didn't know very much about Dazzler until I started reading Runaways, so I'm excited to see how she will be portrayed in this new comic! I always love reading the first issue to see how I feel about it before officially adding it to my Pull List. (Edit 6/10/18: Dazzler is not in the Runaways comic! I got her confused with someone else, hah! Ooops. Sorry about that everyone!)

X-Men Red is still killing it! I love the cast of characters and the story Tom Taylor has created. I think he makes a lot of relevant points that correlate (or are applicable) to the world we live in. Right now people are being controlled by their fear of mutants and the baddies are using social media to amp up that fear and hatred. It's spiraling out of control, and even the mutants themselves can be affected by it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Royally Screwed (Royally, #1) by Emma Chase

Narrated by Andi Arndt & Shane East
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn't bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

Dating a prince isn't what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There's a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they've traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven't chopped anyone's head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King... or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.
“She has no idea who I am … Her ignorance is rather…thrilling. There are no expectations, no hidden agendas, no reasons to pretend – what she sees is what she gets. And all she sees is me.”
I'm sorry I haven't posted in a few days! I've been dealing with family stuff, which I'm sure everyone can relate to. It's just something that happens.

Anyways... Royally Screwed was exactly what I needed this week. It was crazy fun and made me laugh constantly! I loved Olivia and her no-nonsense attitude. She would flirt and play with Nicholas, but she didn't put up with his crap. I think it made him appreciate her more in the end.

Nicholas and his brother Henry were genuinely good people that cared about their country and its inhabitants. There is a war being fought in the background (there aren't too many details given about it), but it does impact Henry in a big way. There were a few darker threads to this story, which were unexpected but really added a lot of depth to the characters. It made them feel more real. Their pain and struggles, despite being royalty, were raw and honest. Nicholas mentions at one point that they have to be men worth fighting for. They're in a position to help people, so they need to do whatever they can to benefit the lives of others.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Olivia and Nicholas. I don't think she truly understood his position in life until she spent some time with him in his country. There were no expectations when it came to what he could offer her, Olivia was just happy with what they had and wanted to enjoy it while it lasted. I also liked that she wasn't a catty girlfriend even if she did have sparks of jealously. I can imagine all the comments being directed at her just for being in a relationship with a prince.

This is going to be random, but I also loved Nicholas' personal security team. They are people I would want to be friends with, and I'm hoping the next book in this series is about one of them and Olivia's sister... fingers crossed.

Steamy sex scenes for the win!

In the end, Royally Screwed kept a smile on my face and was a joy to listen to. The audiobook was absolutely perfect! The voices really matched the characters and made their stories even more believable. Someone was reading this book recently, and I want to thank you! If I hadn't seen it on your blog I wouldn't have started it when I did.

Warning: this book will make you crave pie, so it might be a good idea to have some nearby! Halfway through the book I started making an apple crumble (not really the same thing, but close), haha. I just couldn't help myself! 

Friday, June 1, 2018

It's My Birthday Giveaway!

I've been waiting weeks to share this post with you! It's been awhile since I've done a giveaway, and I thought my birthday would be the perfect time. 😁

I decided to give away one of my favorite books this year: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett (read my review here). There's also a flowery book sleeve and a mug that says "life is the adventure," which is so true! I am constantly reminding myself to enjoy the day and live in the moment, because I don't want to miss anything! 

Prizes include:
*display flowers not included
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Book Sleeve
Mug

Rules:

This giveaway officially starts on June 1, 2018 and ends on June 29, 2018. The winner will be announced on June 30, 2018 (my birthday!) on this post within the Rafflecopter form - and also notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or I will choose another winner (read my full giveaway policy here).

International entries are okay but not for the prizes shown. I wanted to make sure everyone was included, so the international prize is just going to be the book Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett from The Book Depository. Just make sure they ship to your country (← hover over the text for the link).

To enter – fill out the Rafflecopter form and answer the question: Do you like to go camping?

Extra Entries:

+3 if you follow this blog (Bloglovin', email, or Feedburner) *links in the sidebar


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 31, 2018

DNF&Y [5]

DNF&Y is used to explain why I gave up on certain books, and what about them just didn't work for me. What I didn't like about something, might be what you love, so it helps to share your thoughts even when they're negative! If you would like additional information, please click on the DNF&Y tab at the top. If you want to join, you can link up at the bottom!
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The Favorite Sister by
Synopsis (via Goodreads): When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…

Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her cast mates.

Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.

Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends—and resentment soon breeds contempt.

Lauren, the start-up world’s darling whose drinking has gotten out of control, is Goal Diggers’ recovery narrative—everyone loves a comeback story.

And Jen, made rich and famous through her cultishly popular vegan food line plays a holistic hippie for the cameras, but is perhaps the most ruthless of them all when the cameras are off. 

DNF at 15%
We have choices as women, and there is no right one to make—especially because no matter what you decide, the world will tell you you’re doing it wrong. But when you make the choice to become a mother, it becomes the choice that defines you, fair or not.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, the quote I used may have changed or been altered in some way, but I am quoting from what I received.

I really wanted to like this one, but I could not get behind the characters and their story. There was a lot of subtle body-shaming disguised as praise for women with tiny waists and big breasts. These women were supposed to be part of a show about supporting each other and being successful in a world of men; however, they just use each other and look for ways eliminate their competition. I really liked the concept of sisterhood and feminism, but that isn't what we see.

These women are catty, underhanded and cruel people that take advantage of others to benefit themselves. One person even uses her twelve-year-old daughter as a pawn to make herself more desirable. Another woman referred to a mother as "udders," because being a parent isn't good for business. It was appalling what these women would do, and I didn't want to continue reading about them. I felt like this book had the potential to be so much more than it was.

I was also a little confused about who was what, when, where and why. The timelines were a little skewed and I occasionally forgot where I was supposed to be. The wording was weird, too.

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The Lost Path by
Synopsis (via Goodreads): If you've got the taste for adventure, come join this treasure hunt! Three young boys set off from Camp Happiness, map in hand, determined to be the first to find the treasure before anyone else. But the shortcut they take leads to something far more spectacular and sinister! All manner of magical beasties live in these woods, and the kids find themselves caught between warring Forest Spirits. Will the three boys find their way out of trouble? Get your map and ready, set, go! Amélie Fléchais's incredible artwork combines the best of French illustration with manga influences. A spooky new fairytale, for fans of Over the Garden Wall.

DNF about halfway...

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

I thought this would be a fun book to read with my son, but neither of us were very invested in the characters. The boys picked on each other and didn't get along, but they also seemed oblivious to their surroundings. 

I enjoyed the history behind the forest and the monsters lurking there, but in the end it fell flat. I was bored with the story and their journey. The colorful illustrations were breathtaking, but the black and white didn't appeal to me as much. I'm sure there was an artistic reason for it, but I wish the entire thing had been done in those beautiful, vivid colors.

I only had two DNFs this month! What about you? Was there something you just could not finish?


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

My Weekly Pull [22]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, leave a link in the comments. I would love to stop by and check it out!

The Amazing Spider-Man #800 by Dan Slott, Stuart Immonen, Ron Frenz
Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #19 by Jody Houser, Nathan Stockman, Ryan Stegman
Marvel Two-In-One #6 by Chip Zdarsky, Jim Cheung, Gerald Parel (Deadpool Variant)
X-Men Red Annual #1 by Tom Taylor, Pascal Alixe, Travis Charest
You Are Deadpool #5 (of 5) by Al Ewing, Paco Diaz, Razzah, Salva Espin (RPG Variant)

I have been really bad about posting things on time this week! Summer makes me lazy, haha. It's too hot to do anything, and going outside drains all of my energy. By the time I get the kiddos to sleep at night, I just want to binge-watch Fairy Tail or read. I have to force myself to clean and water the garden.

The Amazing Spider-Man hits #800 this week! Crazy, right? This comic has been ongoing for years. Just think... if they release one new comic every month, that's twelve comics in a year... and this is up to 800

Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows is still one of my favorite comics ever.

I almost stopped reading the Marvel Two-In-One, but it started to get really good last month! I actually feel invested in the characters and what they're doing. So happy I stuck with this one! I also really love its Deadpool variant!

I'm actually behind on X-Men Red, but I plan on reading the last two issues back-to-back when I get a chance! See? Summer makes me lazy! 😉

This is the last issue for the You Are Deadpool mini series! It was like a choose your own adventure type book, and I wanted to have them all before I started! I just knew that I wouldn't want to start this one and then have to wait a week before continuing. Now I don't have to! (It had a weekly release instead of a monthly.)

Are you reading anything new this week? Let me know! Also, if you have a comic/graphic novel feature that you do every week/month, leave a link in the comments! I would love to check it out and maybe include my post, too. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1) by Helen Hoang

Expected Publication: June 5, 2018
Synopsis (via Goodreads): A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...



Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...
"I like you better than calculus, and math is the only thing that unites the universe."
I received an ARC from Penguin's First to Read in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, the quotes I used may have changed or been altered in some way, but I am quoting from what I received.

This is easily one of my favorite reads this year! The Kiss Quotient was everything I wanted and more! Helen Hoang did a remarkable job conveying Stella's personality and how having Asperger's shaped her life. Her routines and methods for getting through a single day seemed exhausting, but she was more frazzled when something was done out of order. This made having a relationship difficult and overwhelming.

Stella's perspective was incredibly interesting to read from. She doesn't want her autism to define her, or be the only thing someone sees when they look at her. She chooses to hide that aspect of herself away from the world, so very few people actually know the real Stella. 

Thank Thor for Michael! I was a little concerned about his motivations for escorting in the beginning, but we quickly learn the reasons behind his actions. He may be an Adonis, but he lacks confidence in himself. His self-deprecating thoughts would crush my heart, because it was obvious how genuinely good he was. He would do anything for his family, even if that meant putting his own dreams on hold and keeping secrets. 

These two were absolutely adorable together! I wish they could have seen what we did, but then the book wouldn't have lasted as long. Stella doesn't think she's good enough because of her Asperger's, and Michael doesn't think he deserves Stella because of his past and the demons that lurk there. Their connection is immediate and consuming, but they both choose to keep their innermost thoughts to themselves instead of sharing them with each other. 

I had to fan my face during some of their more intimate scenes...wow. "Only in his line of work was blindness by nipple assault a true hazard."

The Kiss Quotient is about a beautiful and brilliant econometrician, and a dashing designer that can cook while wrestling with one of his sisters. Their relationship was unconventional and quirky, but immensely enjoyable to watch. I was on the verge of violence a few times (because assholes), but most of the time there was a smile plastered to my face. I really cannot say enough good things about this story or how I felt about it. I'm definitely looking forward to reading it again!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Domino (#1-2) by Gail Simone

Domino (#1-2) by Gail Simone, David Baldeón (Illustrator), Greg Land (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Impossible curves. Impossible shots. Impossible targets. Marvel's #1 soldier of fortune is back in an explosive new ongoing series! The product of a failed super-soldier program, Neena Thurman always made her own luck as the sharpshooting mercenary known as Domino… but what happens when her own powers betray her? The hunter becomes the hunted as every mercenary in the game smells blood in the water! Plus: A pair of beloved Marvel characters return!

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I was really excited when I saw Marvel was releasing a new Domino comic! I've always thought she was an interesting character, but she's also not someone we see every day. I normally wait until I've read at least three issues of a new volume before commenting or reviewing, but I am loving this!

In the first two issues we see a few familiar faces (Colossus, Hulk, Deadpool and others), and it's nice to read about them outside of their own comics. I guess you could say the entire Marvel Universe overlaps in one way or another, but we don't often see them interacting with Domino and her team. Also, when push comes to shove...these guys will fight for their friends. The majority of them are mercenaries, so it can get a little messy.

I'll be honest when I say I went into this one a little unsure about Domino's powers and general abilities. It's the first time they've been explained (to me) in great detail, so now I have a better understanding of how she uses them how they benefit her. It's not like she can activate her luck to assist her when she fights, but it's there when she needs it. Luck might not always be kind to her, but it makes sure she survives.

Two issues and I'm hooked! The last one left me feeling anxious and angry, which is when waiting a month between issues becomes brutal. The villains are unfamiliar (to me at least), which makes their actions incredibly surprising. I have no idea what they're trying to do.

If you're looking to start something new, I highly recommend this! It's only on the second issue, so it wouldn't take very long to catch up. There's a lot of action, dependable friends, Deadpool, and even an adorable puppy! The story itself is engaging, the artwork is phenomenal, and Domino is a very likeable and complex character. I would like to learn more about her past, but I cannot wait to see what happens next!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Cocktales: A Cocky Collective

Cocktales, a limited-release anthology of original, never before published material, from some of your favorite bestselling authors is available now!

Each story was specifically written for this anthology. The goal of the Cocktales Anthology is to raise funds to fight against obstruction of creative expression. Specifically, what we believe are obstruction attempts through the trademarking of common (single) words for titicular use in books / or as a book series (eBooks, print, and audio).


Cocktales will only be available May 26th-August 26th. 

Download your copy today:

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/Cocktales

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/CockTalesGR


Contributing Authors Include:

Nana Malone, USA Today Bestselling author – Foreword
Dylan Allen – 'Cocked and Loaded'
Jana Aston, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Double Cocked'
Whitney Barbetti – 'Cocksure Grin'
Author Sawyer Bennett, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – 'A Wicked, Cocky Plan'

K.f. Breene, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Magical Cock and Bull'
Ruth Clampett, Amazon top 20 Bestselling Author – 'Don’t Get Cocky'
L.H. Cosway, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Illusionist Seeks Neanderthal'
Mariah Dietz – 'Landmines'
Amy Daws, Amazon Top 25 Bestselling author – 'Cock and Balls'

BB Easton, Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author – 'Cocky BB: Two Boys, One Prom.'
Jaymin Eve, USA Today Bestselling author – 'The Cockier the Dragon, the Harder They Fall'
Emma Hart, NYT and USA Today Bestselling author – 'Tricky Bond'
Staci Hart, Amazon Top 10 Bestselling author – 'Cockamamie'
Jessica Hawkins, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Cocky Couture'

Julie Johnson Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author – 'Culinary Cock-Up'
Karpov Kinrade, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Crimson Cocktail'
Adriana Locke, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Swag'
Lex Martin, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Love & Hate at the Stallion Station'
Aly Martinez, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Going Down'

Katyi McGee - USA Today Bestselling author – 'Cocksure Co-Star'
Corinne Michaels, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Cockblocked'
Liv Morris, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Getting It Up'
Red Phoenix, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Her Cocky Russian'
Daisy Prescott, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Confessions of a Cockblocked Wingman'

Jessica Prince – ‘A Cocky Corruption Engagement’
Meghan Quinn, Amazon Top 20 Bestselling Author – 'Fight or Flight'
CD Reiss, NYT and USA Today Bestselling author – 'Cocky Capo'
Penny Reid, WSJ and USA Today Bestselling author – 'Beard and Hen'
Julie Richman, USA Today Bestselling author – 'The Color of Love'

Aleatha Romig, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Aligned'
Kennedy Ryan, Top 40 Amazon Bestselling author – 'All'
Kylie Scott, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Short Story with Mal and Anne from The Stage Dive Series'
Sierra Simone, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Until the Cock Crows'

Tara Sivec, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Chocolate and Cockup'
Kate Stewart, Amazon Top 30 Bestselling author – 'The Golden Sombrero'
Leia Stone, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Cocky Alpha'
Karla Sorensen – 'Tristan & Anna: A Bachelors of the Ridge short story'
Rachel Van Dyken, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – 'Cocky Mafia'
April White, Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author – 'Code of Conduct'

*ALL* net profits will be donated to:

Authors already impacted by creative-obstruction (10%), and Romance Writers of America (RWA) (90%) as a general donation intended for their Advocacy Fund.

*Disclaimer: This anthology is not being conducted on behalf of RWA, nor does RWA endorse this anthology or effort. They have, however, graciously agreed to accept the funds.

For more information, visit: https://www.cockyauthors.com


Do you see any of your favorite authors? What story are you most excited to read? There are so many to choose from, but I think Kylie Scott's short story about Mal and Anne is what I'm looking forward to the most! I really enjoyed the Stage Dive series, and am curious about what's been going on in their lives. Also, Killer (their dog) is adorable! 😁

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Mini Reviews [6] We Are Okay, You & Sloppy Takes the Plunge

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Narrated by Jorjeana Marie
Synopsis (via Goodreads): You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

“I wonder if there's a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn't yours anymore.”
I've been meaning to read this one for a long time, and when I realized the audiobook was short (I think it was around 5 hours) I decided to just go for it! I was pleasantly surprised by the story, although it does start off a little slow. It's a story about loss and betrayal, but also love and hope. It's hard to forgive someone when they've wronged you in the worst way imaginable, but we see Marin's progress as she struggles through her thoughts and feelings surrounding the event.

There are a few flashbacks to the past that give us an idea of Marin's present, but in the end I couldn't make sense of her actions. They seemed too extreme. She essentially dropped everything and did the unthinkable, but her reasoning was... off. Her reaction didn't make sense to me, because I feel like she had so many other options. I'm not sure how this one event was able to change the core of her so drastically. 

We Are Okay deals with loss and the importance of friendship and love. Love doesn't have to come from people you're related to, and sometimes you just need to look a little closer to realize it's something you've had all along.


You (You, #1) by Caroline Kepnes
Narrated by Santino Fontana
Synopsis (via Goodreads): When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.
“I don't say anything. I know the power of silence. I remember my dad saying nothing and I remember his silences more vividly than I remember the things he said.”
A friend recommended this to me before I knew it was going to be a movie, but seeing the trailer just made me want to read it even more! I like Penn Badgley and could easily picture him and his voice as I listened to the audiobook. Side note: the narrator is also Prince Hans from Frozen! I'll never be able to watch that movie the same way again. 

I was really addicted to this book when I first started it! It was crazy (literally) being inside Joe's head and seeing how he viewed the world. He has a skewed sense of right and wrong, and what should be done to "punish" those that fall into the latter category. I'll admit... it was oddly fascinating to watch how his mind worked. 

Beck and her friends annoyed the heck out of me. I never connected with any of the characters and wondered how anyone could be so selfish and vain. They were spoiled, insecure, obnoxious people that behaved one way in public and another in private. I could actually understand Joe's frustrations with society and how fake people appeared to be.

However, about halfway through the book I started to get bored with the story. It felt like the same things were being repeated in a different way with different people. I'm also not a big fan of the way it ended. I was briefly surprised, but that was quickly eclipsed by everything else going on. 

If you're looking for a good mindfuck, this is the book for you. My brain feels tainted just from being inside Joe's head for so long. I think listening to the audiobook made it feel more real, and it was a great audiobook. I just wish the middle had been condensed a lot more!


Sloppy Takes the Plunge by Sean Julian
Expected Publication: September 4, 2018
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Everyone loves a good hug and a good bath!

Sloppy the tree dragon doesn’t want to take a bath.

“Being mucky is what a tree dragon is all about.” Could it be that getting clean is nearly as fun as getting dirty?


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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

This was such a cute book! If your child wants to play in the mud and not take a bath afterward--this might be a book for you!

Dewdrop uses a hug as incentive for Sloppy to take a bath, and it was fun watching this dragon inspect the water with a few ducklings to make sure it was safe.

I also loved the illustrations and how there was a giant plug in the lake making it resemble a bathtub. My son really enjoyed this one, too!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

My Weekly Pull [21]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, leave a link in the comments. I would love to stop by and check it out!

Hunt for Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor #1 (of 4) by Charles Soule, Jim Zub, David Marquez, Chris Bachalo
Legion #5 (of 5) by Peter Milligan, Wilfredo Torres, Javier Rodriguez
Moon Knight #195 by Max Bemis, Ty Templeton, Greg Smallwood (Deadpool Variant)
Old Man Hawkeye #5 (of 12) by Ethan Sacks, Marco Checchetto

My pull list is going to start looking a lot smaller! I've decided to stop including the comics Jacob and I get together each week, and instead focus only on the comics I'm reading. I've decided to do this for a lot of reasons: a) time commitment, b) I'm not actually reading some of them right now (but I might in the future), and c) it's hard for me to respond to questions about comics I haven't actually read yet.

This week we're continuing with Hunt for Wolverine from a different perspective. I finally read the first issue (!!!) and now know that there are different teams looking for Wolverine, so these different mini series are the different groups that are out looking. I love how it's pulling in a lot of different characters! Daredevil, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, etc. This issue is going to focus on a group of women that are looking for him, like Rogue and Storm. 

Legion is on its last issue and I don't know what the flark is going on. I think I've been inside his head for too long, and there is some weirdness going on (if that cover is any indication). 

I love the Deadpool variant for Moon Knight! His speech bubble says, "How in the world am I supposed to keep this outfit clean?!" 🤣 It's a very Deadpool thing to say from a Moon Knight perspective.

As for Old Man Hawkeye...it's getting dark. I'm actually hesitant about reading this newest issue. It might make or break the series for me, to be honest. I've always loved Hawkeye, especially the Kate Bishop version, but I don't know if I can stick with this series for seven more issues. 

Reading any new comics this week? Old?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I (Virginia Shreves, #2) by Carolyn Mackler



Expected Publication: May 29, 2018
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Virginia Shreves’ life is finally back on course: she’s accepted who she is inside and out and is rebuilding her relationship with brother Byron, whose date-rape charge shattered everything.

But just as she adjusts to her new normal, her world turns upside down again. Sparks with boyfriend Froggy fade, her best friend bombshells bad news, and then the police arrest Byron. As Virginia struggles to cope, she meets Nate, an artist with his own baggage. The pair vow not to share personal drama. But secrets have a way of coming out, and theirs could ruin everything.
For some girls it’s sexy when a guy bench-presses or throws a football, but he’s slaying me with the book references.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, the quote I used may have changed or been altered in some way, but I am quoting from what I received.

I didn't realize this was the second book in a series, but The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I was able to stand on its own. If anything, it makes me more curious about the first book!

I'm relieved Virginia didn't immediately back her brother when he was charged with date-rape. Families tend to do that with their loved ones, because they don't want to see them in pain or in trouble, despite what they've done. Virginia knew Byron's actions were wrong, but she also remembers her brother from before the suspension and charges. She's conflicted over her feelings, but never wants Byron to avoid punishment. It was an interesting perspective to read from, because her head and heart were constantly conflicted.

Virginia was an amazing character. I hated that her parents would body-shame people in front of her, or even hint that she could do better herself. It was awful to view from the outside, and I cannot imagine how someone would feel on the receiving end of those offhanded comments. They destroyed her confidence and made her question herself. Parents: love your children as they are. I never want my children to feel like something about them needs to be changed. Society has dictated what people should look like today, and frankly... it's bullshit. I'm a "curvaceous chick," too. We should respect all body types and love people for who they are.

I wasn't sure where this story was going to go, and I was a little disappointed by the ending. It was similar to being suspended on a roller coaster and waiting for a drop that never happens. There wasn't a cliffhanger, or any indication that things would be continued later on, and maybe an epilogue would have made the story feel more final. Instead, I'm left with questions and feeling like there is more story to be read. Twice I've caught myself going back to pick this book up, only to remember that I've finished it and there's nothing left to read.

Overall, the story was wonderful and I really enjoyed being in Virginia's head. She's an incredibly compassionate person that appreciates people. She makes a point to learn their names, so they're not simply referred to by their job descriptions (example: the tree woman or the lawn man). Her relationship with Sebastian was sweet, and I loved their interactions with each other. The family dynamics were imperfect but realistic. There were little arguments and disagreements, but they did care about each other. They may not have always shown it in the best way, but it was there.

Everything about this book felt authentic, and now I feel like the author purposefully ended the story the way she did. It feels like Carolyn Mackler stopped in the middle of a thought, but that's life. Life is forever flowing around us. Virginia, Sebastian, Bryon, Annie... their lives are going to continue moving forward in one way or another. We get to see a glimpse of what might happen to them, but there are so many different paths they could take. I think we're supposed to be left feeling curious and optimistic about their future.