June 30, 2018

So You Like... #70

I try occasionally to recommend only diverse books, just because I think that's important. So here's some more coming at ya right now. :)

If you liked...



(For the lengths some girls will go to for the guys they like.)

If you liked...



(For the quietness.)

If you liked...



(Because people are jerks.)

If you liked...



(For the stories about family.)

If you liked...



(For the bookish, nerdy, asexual protagonists.)

What other diverse books would you recommend for these pairings?

June 28, 2018

Review: Your Destination Is on the Left

Your Destination Is on the Left by Lauren Spieller
Grade: B-
An e-galley was provided by HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance. 

Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever.

Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss—and herself—that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: It's been over a week since I finished Your Destination Is on the Left, and I'm left unsure how to write this review. Lauren Spieller's debut was definitely one of my most anticipated books of 2018, but I feel kind of...let down.
YDIotL was not a terrible book by any means. I didn't feel myself dragging my heels to finish it, and the story was interesting. But I didn't love it. I thought the romance with Cyrus was one of the weakest parts, and I never really got the chemistry between them. Yeah, I was told Dessa liked him and he liked her, but it just never got me squeeing like other YA couples do. 
I got annoyed every time her parents expected Dessa to drop everything, including her internship, for them, especially when they were just taking a short trip to the Grand Canyon. The family dynamics were interesting, though, because of the whole nomadic lifestyle. I really wanted more of her grandmother, though!
I loved every bit about art and Dessa's internship. I appreciated how her boss didn't come across as the overly tough stereotype. She encouraged and taught Dessa in good ways.

Content warning: Some foul language and underage drinking.

The Verdict: A bit disappointing, but still worth the read.

Buy: Read Between the Lynes  Barnes & Noble
Will I be adding this book to my library?: Hmm maybe.

June 26, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Don't Plan on Finishing

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Not all of these are terrible series; some are just ones I've lost interest in or didn't love the first book enough to continue on. A couple, though? I really didn't like the first book. #sorrynotsorry

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
I really don't get the hype surrounding this series.

2. A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

3. The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss
I have never read such a pretentiously male fantasy novel.

4. Furyborn by Claire Legrand

5. Elementae by A.C. Gaughen
This pains me because I love the Scarlet trilogy.

6. These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

7. Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser
Why couldn't this be as good as its cover?

8. The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Which series have you given up on? Not gonna lie, I'm expecting to see a lot of SJM on other people's lists, lol.

June 25, 2018

New York Adventures, Month One

Since I'm trying to do a lot with my time in New York (in case this summer is all I have for a while), I thought I'd do monthly blog posts to keep y'all informed on what I've been up to.


1. So much Sarah J. Maas. I read over the collector's edition of Throne of Glass twice.
2. Making friends with my fellow interns. One's from my hometown, and we had no idea until I offhandedly mentioned it in a conversation with another intern!
3. I slugged a lot of books. (Slugged means looking over pass pages and making sure no production errors were made and then also marking for any other errors I see.) I mostly looked over chapter book and middle grade titles, ranging from Unicorn Princesses 8: Feather's Flight to Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill.


1. I was fortunate enough to be near a pop-up food stall market while I was in the Airbnb (and then it was only a few blocks away from my dorm). It was kind of pricey (most NYC food is, though), but fun and reminded me a little of Taste of Chicago. This was on a much smaller scale, of course. I tried a slider and fries and fried cookie dough balls, and then rolled ice cream on another visit.

2. Wafels and Dinges - So messy but so good.
3. Petit Poulet in NoMad is my new fave French place. (Although I'm still attached to Le Grainne Cafe in Chelsea.)
4. Hill Company Chicken in the Flatiron neighborhood has amazing chicken and waffles.
5. Cafe Lalo - Where they filmed one of the iconic scenes in You've Got Mail. Service wasn't great, but my quiche was amazing.
6. Levain (a bakery famous for their massive cookies) - I don't like nuts, so Kelly and I shared the dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie. It was insanely rich and good. So glad I ordered milk too, lol.

7. Amorino (a gelato place) - Pretty good taste, but I went mostly for the aesthetic. If you order a cone, they'll make it look like a flower, and you can get a mini macaron put on top, too.

8. Penelope - The roomie and I went here for brunch, and I really liked it! We got the sweetest donut holes appetizer, and I loved my rosé mimosa and omelet.


1. I got a New York Public Library card, mainly so I have access to their ginormous e-book collection. It's been a great success so far.
2. Made my first trip to Books of Wonder at the end of my first week, since I get off early on Fridays. It was a quick jaunt that included my first solo navigation of the subway. I walked away with just two books, although I could've easily bought a whole bookcase's worth.
3. Got all my Morgan Matson books signed. :D
4. Visited the Upper West Side Books of Wonder, too, and pretended it was The Shop Around the Corner.
5. Work perks - grabbed a couple books from the free book stack; got an ARC of The Girl King from Hali, the editor; and read the first pass of Kingdom of Ash. I'm bursting to talk about it, but y'all won't get anything out of me.


1. Morgan Matson's launch party at McNally Jackson!!! This was absolutely the highlight of my week, maybe the month.
2. I saw Ocean's 8, which was ridiculously fun. 
3. I saw Waitress on Broadway. It was such an experience, from the pies they sell at the bar to Katharine McPhee and Co.'s amazing voices to waiting at the stage door. Katharine didn't come out the night I was there, but almost everyone else did. Caitlin Houlahan, who played Dawn, was so kind. (Also she's my height!) And Erich Bergen - what a presence. He was born to be an actor.
4. I saw Incredibles 2, which was everything eight-year-old Emma hoped it would be.


1. Bryant Park - It's near work, and I love it so much. It's so pretty and the perfect size. And it's right behind a branch of the NYPL.
2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art - I went at the end of my first week in New York. I got in early, thanks to my membership, and saw most of the Costume Institute exhibit. I also explored the Greek and Roman art, the European sculpture and decorative art gallery, and a short-term exhibition entitled "Public Parks, Private Gardens - From Paris to Provence," which I loved. I knew I had to see it again.

3. The Upper West Side - While Kelly was here, we spent the afternoon up there. We saw where the end scene of You've Got Mail was filmed, which was surreal.

4. Chelsea Market - Kelly and I went here on her first day with me, which was a rainy Sunday. I'd definitely like to go back on a weekday when it's nice outside so then it hopefully won't be so crowded.
5. Maman - Julia recommended this sweet little coffee shop that has a few locations downtown. I've gone there to write after work the last few Fridays (since I get off at 2), and it's been so wonderful. I love the vibe, and I've written so much.

So, yeah, that's the gist of my first month in New York! Any recommendations for places to explore/eat?

June 23, 2018

The Aesthetically Pleasing Book Tag

Like the tag I did a few months ago, I found this one just by googling book tags. I loved that it was all about gorgeous cover/book design. It was created by Book Syrup on YouTube; the original video can be found here. I loved doing this tag because it gave me an opportunity to take pictures of pretty books on my shelves. I also added a new category to the tag 'cause I had the perfect covers to fit it.

1. Best color combo on a cover
I love the beautiful ombre watercolor of Emery Lord's latest novel, The Names They Gave Us.

2. Best typography/font on a cover
Look at that color and those brushstrokes! They're vibrant, eye-catching, and perfect for Let's Talk About Love.

3. Best simple cover
The Hate U Give makes a statement, and its bareness is perfect for all the awards it has since received.

4. Best end pages
Every time I see Two Summers's end pages, I marvel over how French they feel.

5. Best map

Heidi Heilig's The Girl from Everywhere wins the best maps award by a long shot. 

6. Best naked hardback
I couldn't pick so...

The award goes to Emma Mills's This Adventure Ends and Foolish Hearts, as well as The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone.

7. Best back cover
As picked by my Instagram followers, this one goes to The Queen's Rising.

8. Best chapter headers

I love the clean lines and the whimsy of the chapter headers for The Hazel Wood.

9. Best illustrations
This one was a no-brainer: Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee (with illustrations by 

(featuring pictures of Margaret Cavendish, Isabella Stewart Gardner, and Maria Tallchief)

10. Best spine
Dust jacket: The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Under the dust jacket: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

11. Best full spread
I added this category because I had the absolutely perfect book (well, three) for it.

12. Favorite cover on your shelves
There's a recurring theme here of me not being able to pick just one. So here are my two faves:

Congrats to The Queen's Rising for being featured twice and to That Inevitable Victorian Thing for having such a stunning cover.

Feel free to do this book tag yourself, too!

June 22, 2018

Random Friday: Favorite Childhood Books

Want to participate in Random Fridays? Just do the following:
  • Include the above image in your post and link back to my blog.
  • Blog about this week's topic (or a variant of it).
  • Add the link to your Random Friday post at the bottom of this one.

I've done this before, but I'm excited to share some of the books I loved when I was younger, the books that got me interested in reading long-term.

1. Main Street series by Ann M. Martin
I read The Baby-Sitter's Club books, of course, but this series published while I was an avid reader. I loved how Martin created such a perfect small town feel.

2. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
How could I not??

P.S. Publication order is the only right order to read the series.

3. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
I think I was introduced to the movie first, but I loved the book too.

4. The Smugger's Treasure by Sarah Masters Buckey
I loved a lot of the American Girl History Mysteries, but this one was definitely at the top of my list.

5. Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
The Warrior cats were legendary.

The voice and plot are great. It's also so fun to visit the Met and think about where Claudia and Jamie hid.

7. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Waaayyyy better than the movie. 

8. Carney's House Party by Maud Hart Lovelace
Probably my favorite of the greater Deep Valley world (but I do love Betsy and Joe, too). 

9. Royal Ballet School Diaries by Alexandra Moss
For a little girl who had once dreamed of being a ballerina, these books were a dream.

10. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
My second grade teacher read this book to us, and it was so good.

11. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
I read this one in middle school, and it's one of my favorite books I had to read for school.

12. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Oh my gosh, this book was hysterical.

13. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
Listen, I love Charlotte's Web, but this book is where it's at.

14. Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
My mom read these to me, and they are still near and dear to my heart. (Although I have a bigger soft spot for the Caroline books.)

15. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Smol Emma devoured books just as much as Grown Emma does, so she loved long series like The Boxcar Children.

What were your favorite books when you were younger?