#GiftmasInJuly Gift Exchange

Food For Thought, Freebie Fridays

Hello Readers!

Fellow blogger and in real life bff Miss Print text me to tell me that That Artsy Reader Girl and Brookeworm33 were hosting a Christmas in July gift exchange.  A big THANK YOU to you guys for hosting this gift exchange, and for making it a great one!

It’s been quite some time since I participated in a book/gift exchange so I decided to fix it! I decided to participate even though I had reservations. Reservations you ask?

I’ve participated in many a book/gift exchange in the past, and unfortunately I have been burned.  I’m not going to go into details because the past is the past, and I was looking forward to participating in this one!

So I signed up, went about collecting gifts to give to who I was gifting to (which turned out to be Emma/Miss Print herself … plot twist!), and patiently waited for my Christmas in July gift to arrive in the mail.

And a few days ago it did! And guys! I was not burned, nor was I disappointed!

Before I show and tell you what I received for Christmas in July, I want to say THANK YOU to Dani for gifting me this very thoughtful gift! I feel like she really knew me! And I appreciate the time she took to put this gift together just for me.

Dani gifted me a copy of Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw, a Gilmore Girls themed hair wrap, several pairs of earrings, an “adulting” to do list notebook to accompany the pink and blue gel pens, a pack of stickers, and a fruit punch scented lip gloss!

I definitely feel spoiled!  Again, I can’t say THANK YOU enough to Dani for her gift. When I received it in the mail, I had a terrible day. But when I opened up her very thoughtful gift, it turned my day around, and put a big smile on my face. Not only am I thankful for the gift, but I am also thankful for the joy this Christmas in July gift brought me.



Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Make Me Happy

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The above image was created on Canva for the purpose of this post.

Hello Readers!

Today I’m going to be talking about the top ten books that make me happy.

There are several reasons why these books make me happy: the writing is top notch, favorite characters live in each of these books, I connected on a personal level with the plot.

But the number one reason why these books are on this list is because they are favorites of mine! And how can a favorite book not make me happy put a smile on my face?!

The top ten books that make me happy are …

Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. Clarity by Kim Harrington To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid Sadie by Courtney Summers 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston Belles by Jen Calonita

So those are the top ten books that I love, and make me happy! What books make you happy? Please share in the comments!

(Book cover images from GoodReads)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I’ve Read the Most

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The above image was created on Canva for the purpose of this post.

Hello Readers!

Today I’m going to be talking about the author’s I’ve read the most books by. To be quite honest, I scoured my GoodReads read list to see what authors I’ve read the most. And I could only come up with 6. And I’m okay with that because these six authors are definite favorites of mine!

  • E. Lockart
  • Holly Black
  • Nic Stone
  • Tara Altebrando
  • Elizabeth Eulberg
  • Libba Bray

If you haven’t checked out any of the books written by these awesome authors, I would highly suggest that you check them out!

So dear readers, what authors have you read the most books by? Please share below in the comments.

(Book cover images from GoodReads)

Top Ten Tuesday Turns 10!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The above image was created on Canva for the purpose of this post.

Hello Dear Readers!

And Happy Birthday to Top Ten Tuesday!

In celebration, today’s topic is to pick or re-do a previous Top Ten Tuesday topic. Since I haven’t participated in Top Ten Tuesday for ten years, I decided it would be fun to create a themed listed on a previous topic I haven’t done before.

I decided that for today’s post, I am going to be talking about the top ten books that I read, but unfortunately can’t remember a whole lot about.

I know that sounds crazy, but seriously do you remember every single detail of every single book you have read?! Honestly, my memory just isn’t that great.

ANYWAY … moving on.

So I know I’ve read these books. But I either don’t remember most of the book’s plot, or I only remember small bits and pieces of the plot. The top ten books I’ve read but don’t remember a whole lot about are:

  • By These Ten Bones by Clare B. Dunkle
  • Madapple by Christina Meldrum
  • Falling into Place by Amy Zhang
  • Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood
  • This Is What I Did by Ann Dee Ellis

  • Rift by Andrea Cremer
  • This is W.A.R. by Lisa Roecker & Laura Roecker
  • Beauty Shop For Rent by Laura Bowers
  • The Sweetness of Salt by Cecilia Galante
  • Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers

So there you have it! The top ten books I don’t remember. Are there any books that you’ve read but you can’t seem to remember? If so, please share in the comments!

(Book cover images from GoodReads)


Clean Getaway


: Clean Getaway

Author: Nixmc Stone

Format Read: Audiobook

Rating: 5 Stars


When G’ma picks Scoob up in a green RV, he’s game for whatever adventure she’s about to take him on. Especially if it means he’s getting out of his grounding.

As Scoob travels alongside G’ma, traveling the same route she travelled many years ago with her husband (Scoob’s G’pa), he’s excited to learn, not just about G’ma but about history – his family’s history and the county’s history as well.

But the more he learns, the more he realizes that something just isn’t right. G’ma has secrets, and the history he’s learning isn’t only scary, but it’s incredibly unjust.

Will Scoob uncover G’mas secrets? And if does, do those secrets come with a cost?

What Didn’t Work:

In all honestly, I loved Nic Stone’s middle grade debut, Clean Getaway. Every aspect of this book genuinely worked for me.

What Did Work:

Nic Stone’s Clean Getaway is a fantastic book, and there are many reasons why. Let’s start at the beginning ….

Stone’s writing is strong, smart, and engaging. Readers of all ages will quickly love the story she crafted.  As an adult reader, I truly appreciated how her writing makes, not only Clean Getaway’s intended audience think, but all readers. I also appreciated that she clearly recognizes and appreciates how smart kids are.

Then there are her main characters and their relationship. G’ma and Scoob are complex characters that, I feel, are easy to relate. Scoob is smart, funny, and above all else lovable. G’ma is a real character! She’s got spunk and energy, and from my perspective has a whole lot to offer, not only Scoob but all readers.

The dynamic between these two characters, isn’t only rare, but it’s also special. I love how much they truly love each other, and I couldn’t help but think of my own relationship with my own grandmas.

Both G’ma and Scoob have secrets – secrets that will fill the plot with twists and turns that readers won’t see coming. But that’s not what makes Stone’s Clean Getaway was the history found within the pages. Important moments in our history are present throughout the book. But fear not! This book doesn’t read as a history text book – it reads like a great story full of important historical places and moments.

Obviously, I could go on and on about Clean Getaway! I truly loved this book!


Most definitely!

Similar Books to Read After:

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemienhart.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

The Fresh New Face of Griselda by Jennifer Torres


(Cover image from GoodReads)

Freebie Friday: All the Bright Place – A Movie Review

Freebie Fridays

The above image was created on Canva for the purpose of this post

All The Bright Places
A Netflix Movie starring: Elle Fanning and Justice Smith

Violet hasn’t been the same since her sister Eleanor died in a car accident. Suffering from survivors remorse, Violet hasn’t socialized with her friends, hasn’t gotten in a car since the accident. She hasn’t felt the want or the need to go back to the way things were.

That is, until she meets Theodore Finch, or just Finch for short. From the outside Finch is Violet’s opposite. He’s vibrant and full of life, he seeks adventure, and pushes Violet to do the same.

Brought together by a class project, the unlikely pair find that they have more in common than they thought. While Finch helps Violet see that life is worth living, Finch eventually looses sight of the same sentiment.

Will Violet and Finch be able save each other?

All the Bright Places starring Elle Fanning and Justice Smith, written by Liz Hannah and Jennifer Niven, directed by Brett Hailey is based on Niven’s YA novel by the same name.

I wanted to watch this, not because it was based on a YA book, but because I generally like Elle Fanning an an actress.

Acting wise, I wasn’t disappointed. Both Fanning and her male counterpart Justice Smith were believable. Even though the plot was deep, I felt that they added a lightness to the film, dare I say it, a brightness. But that doesn’t mean they diminished the seriousness of mental health and (spoiler alert!) suicide.

I’ve watched other movies dealing with the same subject matter in the past, and most of the time these heavy subject matters were dealt with honestly,  very visual. And while that is okay with some, it’s not for others.  All the Bright Places was different. Yes, the tough subjects were handled with honesty and with integrity, but it wasn’t obscenely visual.

While I haven’t read the book I cannot compare the film to it to see if the plot played out the way it had in the book. I thought the movie was honest, and emotional. As a viewer I was engaged from the moment the movie started. I also appreciated how this movie made me think.

American Royals


Title: American Royals

Author: Katherine McGee

Format Read: Audiobook

Rating: 3.5 Stars


Princess Beatrice has always known that someday in the far future she would be queen. When she was little, it was daunting, but she had time to wrap her head around it, time to let her nerves settle, and lessons that would prepare her.

But now, she’s older, all the lessons have been learned, and she still isn’t ready. But when her parents, the King and Queen of America, tell her it’s time to find her a king, Princess Beatrice resorts to picking the most bearable bachelor of the bunch. After all she’s marrying out of necessity, not love.

If she were marrying for love, she would have chosen someone different. She would have chosen the man she’s in love with. The man, that no matter how much she lives, she could never ever matter.

As much of a problem this is for Beatrice, it’s also a problem for her younger sister, Princess Samantha. You see, the bachelor that Beatrice is set to marry, also happens to be the guy that Princess Samantha is in love with!

Will these two Princess’s find a solution that makes everyone happy? Or will they be forced to live in a love triangle for the rest of royal lives?

What Didn’t Work:

When I started American Royals by Katherine McGee, I went into this book thinking this was going to be a five star book. After all, it’s a book featuring a royal family! And I like -scratch that – I love books about Royals and Royal families.

But what I found was a book about a royal family, set in the U.S, with no backstory so to speak.

Author Katherine McGee did a great job at imagining what an American royal family would look like – the pressures, the expectations, the life of the Royals behind closed doors, but for me, the backstory and the altered history wasn’t fleshed out. Without that, I spent a lot of time trying to fill in gaps. This aspect took me out of the story, and made it harder for me to really sink my teeth into this book.

Besides this I found that there were several big plot points that were very predictable. And some of these predictabilities were right off the bat. Basically, what I’m saying is that I figured out what was going to happen before it actually happened.

What Did Work:

American Royals was a fun read, even if it did fall short for me. I thought author MCGee’s writing was solid, and imaginative. Besides that, she excelled at showing readers, not just telling. Her descriptions were vivid, and truly helped readers fully engage with the story.

What made this book for me were the characters. Main character Beatrice, who is set to be the future queen, was realistic, strong, and best of all grew from the start of the book to the end. I really felt like I got to know her, and that’s not just because she’s a fleshed out character, but also because author McGee did a really good job at giving the characters complex backstories and even more complex emotions.

But Princess Beatrice wasn’t the only great character. I personally like all of the characters. They were all complex, layered, and flawed. Qualities that I feel make for relatable characters.

Even though, as I mentioned before, the plot was predictable, I personally enjoyed seeing how the story played out.


Yes. Ultimately I enjoyed this book enough to finish it. And I’m even excited to see what happens in the second installment.

Similar Books To Read After:

  • Royals by Rachel Hawkins
  • Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
  • Belles by Jen Calonita

(Book cover image from GoodReads)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on My Summer Reading List

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The above image was created on Canva for the purpose of this post.

Hello Readers!

Today I am sharing with you my summer reading list. This was a hard list to create. When the pandemic struck and we all had to self isolate I decided to throw all reading lists out the window. I decided that I would just read whatever books I wanted, whatever books would bring me the most joy.

This list is made up of ten books that I think would bring me joy. They are a mix of books that have lived on my bookshelf for quite sometime, and a mix of newer releases I’m excited about.

  • Vivian Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel
  • How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
  • The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee
  • Nightingale by Amy Lukavics
  • Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
  • Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  • Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

There you have it, dear readers! What books are on your summer TBR list? Please share!

(Book Cover Images from GoodReads)