Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Worlds I Would Want to Live In

Top Ten Tuesday

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The above image was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

I’m not much for books with other worlds. Sometimes, I find books with other worlds hard to follow. I mean, I sometimes have issues following the very world we live in, so can you imaging how I feel about a world I know nothing about?!

I don’t feel that this post is going to be the greatest, because of the fact that I don’t read many books set in their own world. But I am going to try my hardest.

Instead of posting about the fantastical worlds I would and wouldn’t want to live in, I am going to share with you just the a measly three worlds that I would actually want to live in.

  • Wonderland (as in Alice in)
  • Narnia (as in The Chronicles of)
  • Wizarding World (as in Harry Potter)

It’s a pretty pathetic list, I know. But I’m not a reader of books with fantastical worlds. I can’t help it!

So, tell me dear readers, which bookish worlds would you want (or not want) to live in? Please share in the comments!

(Cover images from Goodreads)

Freebie Friday: Rapid Fire Book Tag

Freebie Fridays

Hello Readers!

As I was scrolling through suggested videos I should watch on YouTube I came across a video for something called the “Rapid Fire Book Tag”.  Created by GirlReading (you can check out and watch the original video here), this bookish tag allows participants to answer a series of questions – but this or that, one or the other kind of questions.

While I haven’t been tagged by anyone I thought it would be fun to participate. Therefore I have tagged myself.

E-Reader Or Physical Book Ι Both

Paperback Or Hardcover Ι  Hardcover

Online Or In-Store Shopping Ι Online for bargains, in-store for experience.

Trilogies Or Series Ι Neither (I have a hard time finishing trilogies and series)

Heroes Or Villains Ι  Villains

A Book You Want Everyone To Read Ι Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Recommend an Underrated Book Ι Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando

The Last Book You Finish Ι  (at the time I’m writing this) Heartless by Marissa Meyer

The Last Book You Bought Ι If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

Weirdest Thing Used As a Bookmark Ι  Maybe a sock?! Hopefully a clean one! LOL

Used Books, Yes Or No Ι  Yes, depending on their condition.

Top Three Genres Ι  Contemporary/Realistic, Horror, and Thrillers

Borrow Or Buy Ι  Some I buy, others I borrow.

Characters Or Plot Ι  Characters

Long Or Short Book Ι  Doesn’t matter so long as the book is a good read!

Long Or Short Chapters Ι  Short preferably.

First Three Books You Think Of Ι  Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy, Heartless by Marissa Meyer, and Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

Laugh Or Cry Ι  Usually laugh, but every once in a while you just need a good cry.

Our World Or Fictional World Ι  Our World

Audiobooks, Yes Or No Ι Yes!

Do You Judge a Book By It’s Cover Ι  All the time.

Book to Movie Or Book To TV Show Ι  Book to movie (even the bad ones)

Movie Or TV Show You Preferred To The Book Ι None, the book is ALWAYS better! Always!!

Series Or Standalone Ι  Standalone


I would like to Thank the original creator of this tag, GirlReading on YouTube, for getting the ball rolling on this tag. I think it was a fun one! And if you do too, I tag all of you who think so to participate!




Around the Web (#23)


For those heading to Book Expo America (BEA) in a few weeks, check out this article to see what ARCS will be up for grabs.

All Summer Long by Hope Larson has been on my radar for a few weeks. I haven’t gotten my hands on a copy yet, but I will soon. If you’re as excited about it as I am, but am like me and haven’t read it yet, read this interview to hold you over.

Like YA books? Like listening to podcasts? Barnes and Noble has you cover!

Who watched the Royal Wedding? If you want to extend the celebration, check out this list of royal reads!


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Character Names

Top Ten Tuesday

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The above image was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

I love names. I especially love a great character name. Because of that I kind of love this topic. And I have a lot of (character) names that I really like – some are on this list because they are imaginative and unique, and others are on this list because I simply like the name as whole.

  • Ramona Blue (from Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy)
  • Blue Sargent (from the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater)
  • Luna Lovegood (from Harry Potter series)
  • Emma Bloom (from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs)
  • Cardan (from The Cruel Prince by Holly Black)

  • Wayland North (from Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken)
  • Cricket Bell (from Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins)
  • Indigo Skye (from The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti)
  • Dash (from Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan)
  • Evie O’Neill (from The Diviners by Libba Bray)

There you have it dear readers, the top ten characters that have the most liked and the most unique names in my opinion!

(Cover images from Goodreads)

Freebie Friday: If You Liked This, Then Check This Out

Freebie Fridays

Hello Readers!

Have you ever read one book and either as you were reading or after you’ve finished immediately thought of another book?

This happens to me all the time. And it happened recently. So I thought I’d share another “If you’ve read (and enjoyed) this, then check this out…”

I recently read Julie Murphy’s Side Effects May Vary, and while it wasn’t my all time favorite, I did enjoy it as a whole. But while I was reading it I couldn’t help but think of another book I read.  I couldn’t help but think about Julie Halpern’s F-It List.

Let’s start at the very obvious beginning. Both books have a very similar vibe.  They are both contemporary, realistic reads that feature a heavy subject matter: cancer. But more than that, they are books that are about embracing life and living it to the fullest – no matter what.

Then there are the main characters – Becca (The F-It List) and Alice (Side Effects May Vary). Both are strong leading ladies, both know exactly who they are – or at least they think they do. Beyond that they both know the kind of lives they want to lead given the chance to.  And even though these are all likable qualities in a character, I personally found both Becca and Alice to be not so likable. With that said, I do feel that that was very purposely done.

Besides the strong female characters, both of these books feature best friends (Alex and Harvey) that are the truest definitions of the term ‘best friend’.  Both Becca and Alice have a sort of bucket list (another aspect both books have in common) and since they cannot necessarily fulfill this items on their own they enlist Alex and Harvey.  The things these friends to in the name of their friends happiness is astounding – from seeking revenge on enemies to getting high for the very first time – these friends make Becca and Alice’s worlds a little bit happier.

Above all else those the thing both Side Effects May Vary and The F-It List have in common is this: they are emotionally charged. Readers will experience almost every single emotion – from sadness (finding out the main characters are ill and may be dying) to anger (at how Becca and Alice sometimes treat their friends) and everything in between.

So, if you’ve already read and have enjoyed Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy, I think you should check out The F-It List by Julie Halpern.

Mid-Month Check In


Hello Readers!

We’re almost half way through the month of May, so I decided to check in and update you all on how my reading this month is going.

At the beginning of the month I set out to read a total of five books. The books I (had) planned on reading are:

  •  Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
  • Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
  • The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
  • Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather
  • Warcross by Marie Lu

Dear readers, it saddens me to say that I haven’t chipped away at my intended May to be read list. I’m not saying I haven’t read anything, cause I have. What I’m saying is that I haven’t stuck to the list.

As of today I have read the following books:

  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer (audiobook)
  • Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (audiobook)
  • Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez Gomez (graphic novel)

I’m currently reading:

  • Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (audiobook)

Since we have about two more weeks left to this month, I’m hopeful that I can squeeze in a few more books.

I will more than likely finish Ramona Blue by the end of this weekend (hopefully). But besides that, I am hoping that within the next two weeks I can squeeze in the following books:

  • Warcross by Marie Lu (audiobook)
  • Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

There you have it readers! I’ll check back in at the end of the month. Good luck on conquering your own May TBR list!


Freebie Friday: Chapters (#1)

Freebie Fridays

Hello Readers!

I’m going to try something new.  And it’s something that I hope you find as fun and interesting as I find it.

As you may know I work in a public library so I see a lot of books coming in and out. Some of those books I know all about and am excited to read one day. Other books, even though I may order them, I don’t necessarily know anything about with the exception of the review I read in one review journal or another.

I decided that I should get to know some of these books better. However, I don’t necessarily want to read all of these books. How will I find out a little bit about this book, enough to see if it will catch my attention of not? I’d read the first chapter.

Every so often I will randomly choose a few books from the library shelves. And I will give you the basic rundown (title, author, summary, etc) plus my thoughts based on cover and the first chapter. When all is said and done, I will share with you whether or not I would actually add this book to my (ever growing) TBR list.

Sounds fun, right?! I hope so … sit back and enjoy the first installment of Chapters.


Title: The Dangerous Art of Blending In

Author: Angelo Surmelis

Audience: Teen

Genre:  Contemporary/Realistic

Goodreads Summary: Seventeen-year-old Evan Panos doesn’t know where he fits in. His strict Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend Henry has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer.

Tired, isolated, scared—Evan’s only escape is drawing in an abandoned church that feels as lonely as he is. And, yes, he kissed one guy over the summer. But it’s his best friend Henry who’s now proving to be irresistible. It’s Henry who suddenly seems interested in being more than friends. And it’s Henry who makes him believe that he’s more than his mother’s harsh words and terrifying abuse. But as things with Henry heat up, and his mother’s abuse escalates, Evan has to decide how to find his voice in a world where he has survived so long by avoiding attention at all costs.”

What Attracted Me To Pick This Book Up: There were sprinkles on the cover. Sprinkles remind me of ice cream, and I like ice cream.

Thoughts Based on the Cover: It’s simplistic but there are splashes of color than made me think that this book isn’t going to be boring. Beyond that, the cover makes me think the overall story features art in some way. Even though the cover definitely appeals to me (there are sprinkles on it after all) I’m not sure if I would necessarily like this book. I like art, but I don’t necessarily want to read a book about it, or where it’s central focus is art.

Thoughts Based After Reading the First Chapter: It’s a very short first chapter. And I like that. Sometimes when chapters are excessively long it challenges my attention. From the start I get a sense that the main character is vastly different from his family, and I appreciate that in a character. I like that he’s unconventional when his family seems so traditional. I thought the writing was catchy, abut chapter wasn’t too telling. With that said it still intrigued me – I wanted to know who this Harvey is? Why the main character’s mother was praying to cast the devil out him? And more than that I wanted to know what exactly he was hiding.

Is This a Book I’d Add to My TBR List: I think I would like this book. Yes, I’d add it to my TBR list!

Title: You Go First

Author: Erin Entrada Kelly

Audience: Middle Grade

Genre: Realistic

Goodreads Summary:Funny and poignant, You Go First by 2018 Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly is an engaging exploration of family, spelling, art, bullying, and the ever-complicated world of middle school friendships. Erin Entrada Kelly’s perfectly pitched tween voice will resonate with fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale and Thanhha Lai’s Inside Out and Back Again.

Twelve-year-old Charlotte Lockard and eleven-year-old Ben Boxer are separated by more than a thousand miles. On the surface, their lives seem vastly different—Charlotte lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while Ben is in the small town of Lanester, Louisiana. Charlotte wants to be a geologist and keeps a rock collection in her room. Ben is obsessed with Harry Potter, presidential history, and recycling. But the two have more in common than they think. They’re both highly gifted. They’re both experiencing family turmoil. And they both sit alone at lunch.

Over the course of a week, Charlotte and Ben—online friends connected only by a Scrabble game—will intersect in unexpected ways as they struggle to navigate the turmoil of middle school. You Go First reminds us that no matter how hard it is to keep our heads above troubled water, we never struggle alone.

The acclaimed author of Blackbird Fly, The Land of Forgotten Girls, and Hello, Universe writes with an authentic, humorous, and irresistible voice. This engaging and character-driven story about growing up and finding your place in the world will appeal to fans of Rebecca Stead and Rita Williams-Garcia.”

What Attracted Me to Pick Up This Book: The colors of the book. I liked the blue-ish green hue of it.

Thoughts Based on the Cover: From the very first look I assumed, from the scattered Scrabble tiles, the main character is going to be smart – possibly super smart. I also assumed that this book’s main character is a girl because the girl on the cover appears slightly bigger than the boy.   After taking a good, hard look at the cover, I get a sense that this book is going to be an emotionally heavy one since both characters seem like they are trying to stay afloat.

Thoughts Based On First Chapter: From the first page my guess that the main character – Charlotte – is smart, super smart. The chapter opens with a definition and while as an adult I already knew what the word meant, I think kids will get the chance to learn more from this book. It’s told from third person perspective which is slightly off-putting to me as a reader since I always feel books from this perspective seem to move slower and are generally harder for me to relate to. While it’s hard to judge from reading just one chapter, it felt like this wouldn’t be the case.  I liked that Charlotte was smart, and uses her brains as a way to understand and cope with a tough situation. And not to gloat, but I was right: from this one chapter, I can tell this is going to be an emotionally heavy book.

Is This a Book I’d Add To My TBR List: As much as I enjoyed the first chapter, I’m on the fence. But I’m leaning more towards a yes to adding it to the list.


Dear readers, have you read either of these books? I’d love to hear if you have and your thoughts! More importantly than that: do you think I should take a chance and read either (or both) of these books in the near future?

Around the Web (#22)

Around the Web

Want to know about the author behind one of my highly anticipated releases? Check out this interview with Lily Anderson!

Is it just me or are we seeing a boom in the mystery/thriller sections?

Let Meghan Markle choose your next read!

I’ve been really into audiobooks lately (I’m currently listening to Marissa Meyer’s Heartless if you’re wondering), and in case you are too, enjoy this list!

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants were some of my fave books!

Looking for a place to escape to this summer, but you’re broke? Check out these literary gardens you can spend some time in!

The Gilded Wolves.


Newest YouTube Channel I Started Watching: Chelsea Dolling Reads

Newest Blog I Started Reading: N/A

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Feature The Color Blue In The Cover

Top Ten Tuesday

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The above picture was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers

In case you didn’t know, blue is my favorite color. And not one specific shade of blue, I happen to love them all. And it just so happens that blue is a fairly common color featured on book covers, so it feels like I have an unlimited number of choices.

But my choices are limited because these are the ten books I’ve read and loved that have blue featured somewhere in the color scheme of the cover. As a bonus, at the end I will even share with you some of the books I’m looking forward to reading that also feature blue on the cover.

Favorite Books with Blue Covers:

  • All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
  • Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm
  • One by Sarah Crossan
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  • Threads by Ami Polonsky
  • How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
  • The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
  • Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
  • The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
  • The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Books on my TBR List with a Blue Cover:

  • Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
  • We Can Work it Out by Elizabeth Eulberg
  • The Marvels by Brian Selznick
  • Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
  • What We Left Behind by Robin Talley
  • Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer
  • Whisper to Me by Nick Lake
  • The Opposite of Here by Tara Altebrando
  • Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
  • Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

So dear readers, which of your favorite color(s) are featured on the covers of your favorite books? I’d love to know! Please share in the comments!

(Cover images from GoodReads)

Freebie Friday: Meditation & Me

Freebie Fridays

Hello Readers!

Today, I’m talking about something different, something slightly more personal than I get on this blog.

I don’t sleep well.  I’d like to say it’s all because I have terrible sleeping habits, and while I can’t chalk it all up to that, I have to say I feel like genetics plays a large part of the problem. Several people in my family do not sleep well, and sadly I have followed in their footsteps in the sleep department.

There are nights where I sleep a solid eight hours and I wake up feeling great. Other nights I can sleep ten hours and wake up completely exhausted because it feels, even though I slept, I didn’t actually feel rested. And still there are nights where I sleep a mere three hours and feel completely energized.

It’s the nights where I sleep a mere four hours and wake up feeling like the Energizer bunny that I hate the most. Even though I feel completely alert and awake when I first wake up, I know the inevitable crash is coming. And sometimes that crash doesn’t happen until a day or two later.

Last week between Tuesday night and Thursday night I slept a total of ten hours … combined. It wasn’t until Friday that exhaustion finally caught up with me and I crashed into a soundless sleep.  While I had a great nights sleep on Friday, the previous days were rough. I was tired, run down, and cranky.  And me being a crank isn’t good for anyone.

Well, in the midst of my sleepless week, while complaining about just how tired I am to a coworker, she  asked “have you tried meditating?” I told her I hadn’t.

Thinking about it, I did try meditating a few months ago. I downloaded an app and I really didn’t like it. I thought I didn’t like meditating, but it turns out that I didn’t like the specific app. Even though it had good reviews, it just didn’t work for me.

But as I drove home that evening I thought more about meditating. I was so tired that I figured it was worth another shot. I researched meditating for relaxation and sleeplessness and found the results to be almost overwhelming.  And than I thought I’d try another app.

I found many – some free and some paid. I knew I didn’t necessarily want to pay because I wasn’t certain that it would work (meditating that is) or that I would stick to it. I had the option to give the app I previously used another go, but decided against it figuring if I didn’t like it then I wouldn’t like it now. I scrolled through and came across an app that seemed promising.

It was a free app … what did I have to lose?

Today, I want to share with you, not only what app I decided to try out, but also how I feel about the app as a whole, and if I feel it’s working. I am sharing this information with you in case you find yourself restless and unable to sleep.

I downloaded Simple Habit that is created by Simple Habit, Inc. . This app has a 4.8 rating and  was a Top App of 2017.  This app has been featured on Shark Tank, and it was a Business Insider hottest startup. It has guided meditation instructed by professionals that take just five minutes.  This was a big selling point for me. Yes I am busy, but more than that I don’t have a long attention span. Beyond that this app allows users to track progress, and if they wish to upgrade to the paid version which offers even more features.

Once using the app, users can set how much time they have available to dedicate to the practice of meditating and can also specify why, where, and even when you want to meditating. Because I am just starting out, and want to build up more of an attention and focus so I can fully reap the benefits of meditation.

The first week the app will take you through the Simple Habit Starter – a seven-day cycle that talks you through the basics: breathing, awareness, releasing tension in specific areas of the body, being present and focusing on the now, etc..

I’ve only been using this app for just over a week. But within that week I have found that, not only is it extremely user-friendly, but it doesn’t overload me with information. More than that it doesn’t obsessively remind me that there is a paid version I could take advantage of. (Granted that information is always available, it’s not obnoxiously in your face). I like that I could set a notification reminder, set a specific time of when I want to meditate, and I can specify why exactly I want to meditate (obviously I set it to sleep better).

I started with the Simple Habit Starter (the seven day meditation cycle). Every evening around 9:30, I set aside five minutes to meditate. This five minutes, while it doesn’t seem like a lot of time, is a solid five minutes that are solely mine. I don’t have to worry about work, about problems and issues that have risen in my life. It’s five minutes where I can selfishly focus on me.

This five minutes allows me to not only meditate, but also allows me to clear my head, to be more present in my life and in the world, and to shake my stress away.  At first I didn’t think I would stick with this, but by day four I found that I was looking forward to my five minute meditation sessions.

The big question here is: am I sleeping more?

I’m not sure if I’m exactly sleeping more or better than I normally do, but I can say this: I feel more relaxed when I settle into bed at night. Most nights it takes upwards of twenty minutes to settle in and fall asleep. I found that while my meditating this past week I’ve fallen asleep in record time. The moment I lay down I fall asleep almost immediately.  And while I may not sleep through the entire night, I sleep solidly and restfully for the time I do sleep.

And I have been sleeping more than 4 hours each night, which lately for me is a win.

It’s only been a week and a few days of using this app, but I am liking it. And I am going to be continuing on this meditation journey.

So, dear readers, I hope you have found this post helpful even just a little bit. If you are like me and don’t tend to sleep well, what do you do to sleep better and catch some sound z’s? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments!

(If you’d like an update let’s say in a month or so, please comment and I will definitely do so!)