September 29, 2019

Rewind & Review #144

~I no longer have my wisdom teeth. Hopefully I still have my wisdom.
~I've started a secondary journal. Hopefully I'll be good at keeping up with it. I'm calling it "secondary" because I have an actual journal/diary that I sporadically write (rant) in.
~It still feels like summer in Virginia, which makes me cranky because I'd like to drink my PSLs without sweating, and I'm ready to wear cute long-sleeved shirts and all my boots.
~I'm starting to lose hope that I'll ever find a better job.

Books I Received for Review
Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed (from HarperCollins via Edelweiss)

Books I Bought
The Last Word by Samantha Hastings
Inspired by Paris by Jordan Phillips
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

Books I Read
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (reread)
In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterfreund
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (reread)
Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi (DNF)
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (reread)
Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (3 stars)
Well Met by Jen DeLuca (4 stars)
Unleaving by Melissa Ostrom (3 stars)
Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake (4 stars)
The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett (4 stars)
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Blog Posts You Might've Missed in the Last Few Weeks
   (from 9/16-9/21)
   (from 9/22-9/28)

September 28, 2019

DNF Review: Now Entering Addamsville

Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia
Grade: DNF
Release date: October 1, 2019
An e-galley was provided by HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Zora Novak has been framed.

When someone burns down the home of the school janitor and he dies in the blaze, everyone in Addamsville, Indiana, points a finger at Zora. Never mind that Zora has been on the straight and narrow since her father was thrown in jail. With everyone looking for evidence against her, her only choice is to uncover the identity of the real killer. There’s one big problem—Zora has no leads. No one does. Addamsville has a history of tragedy, and thirty years ago a similar string of fires left several townspeople dead. The arsonist was never caught.

Now, Zora must team up with her cousin Artemis—an annoying self-proclaimed Addamsville historian—to clear her name. But with a popular ghost-hunting television show riling up the townspeople, almost no support from her family and friends, and rumors spinning out of control, things aren’t looking good. Zora will have to read between the lines of Addamsville’s ghost stories before she becomes one herself.

When did I stop reading?: Like 3 chapters into my e-galley?
The Review: I LOVE Eliza and Her Monsters, and this book had Francesca Zappia's distinctive narrative voice, but I was so not vibing with the plot and main character, so, alas, I DNFed.

The Verdict: Might have been a case of "It's not you, it's me," or "Wrong time, wrong place." If you like small town stories and a hint of fablism, you might like this one.

September 26, 2019

Most Anticipated October 2019 Releases

Fall is here!! And with it are coming more great books.

Waiting For

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1. The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys (10/1/19)
Ruta writes such amazing historical fiction.

2. 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston (10/1/19)
Ugh this sounds like the YA rom-com I've been dying for.

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3. A Kingdom for a Stage by Heidi Heilig (10/8/19)
Sequel time!

4. The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey (10/8/19)
Let's be real - I'll always pick up book nerd stories.

5. The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco (10/15/19)
This sounds like the coolest, most innovative fantasy/sci-fi story.

6. Jackpot by Nic Stone (10/15/19)
This premise sounds so good, and Nic's writing voice is great.

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7. Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson (10/22/19)
This is a recent addition to my TBR, but it sounds really cool.

8. The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah (10/29/19)
Futuristic YA set outside the U.S.? Sign me up!

Are any of these books on your most anticipated list for October? If not, what are you looking forward to most?

September 24, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2019 TBR List

Here are some of the fall 2019 releases I'm hoping to read before the season is over!

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1. A Kingdom for a Stage by Heidi Heilig

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2. Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao

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3. Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson


5. Supernova by Marissa Meyer

6. Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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7. Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz

8. Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

9. Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

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10. Crying Laughing by Lance Rubin

Share your TTT, and I'll try to check it out!

September 23, 2019

So You Like... #88

Here's the post y'all have been waiting for (jk) - book recommendations based on a certain recent album. So you like...


(as always, covers link to Goodreads pages)

Some of these recs tie into specific books, and I'll indicate those, but otherwise, they're just general recommendations for the album. :)

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If you like "It's Nice to Have a Friend."

If you like "The Man."


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If you cry to "Soon You'll Get Better" every single time.


If you like "You Need to Calm Down."


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If you bop to "London Boy."

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For all those wedding references.

Did you like Lover??? Do you have any book recommendations to add to this list?

September 20, 2019

Random Friday: Travel Bucket List - The Rest of the World

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.

There are a BUNCH of international destinations on my bucket list, so I'm just going to highlight a few.

For the longest time, I didn't have any Asian destinations on my list, but well, Crazy Rich Asians put Singapore onto my travel radar and then I found several great blog posts about it.

The British Isles and Ireland
Everything about the old architecture and the countryside fit my aesthetic.

Photo credit: The Travel Hack

Would I be Emma if I didn't put this on my bucket list?

I want to see where I'm from.

Credit: Hand Luggage Only

And yes, I will eat all the waffles and frites.

New Zealand
I don't have a lot of pins for this one yet, but I'd love to see New Zealand and learn about Maori traditions and history, and okay, yes, probably see the LOTR stuff.

I have fallen in love with Moroccan architecture, thanks to my paper about the world's oldest university. I'm also developing a taste for North African/Middle Eastern food.

So where in the world do YOU want to travel?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

September 18, 2019

From the Bookshelf to the Kitchen: Emoni's Beer Bread

I've been trying to come up with the perfect FtBttK post since my last one in June, and I think I finally settled on something perfect.

Emoni's "When the World Tries to Break You, Break Beer Bread with Those You Love" Recipe

Serves: Your strength when you feel alone
-With the Fire on High, page 365

With the Fire on High had me drooling at every turn of the page. Emoni's recipes are a bit imprecise (which is fine if you're a seasoned cook, but I'm a baker who likes accuracy), so I had to search the Internet for a recipe to modify slightly, but I landed on something great, in my opinion.

**Note: Because this recipe involves alcohol (that burns off in the baking process), you should be over 21 or bake with a parent/guardian's permission or assistance.**

Emoni's Beer Bread

3 c. flour (I used all-purpose)
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
3 T. raw honey (I used sourwood)
12 oz IPA beer
4 T. butter, browned
1 t. oregano
1 t. sage (both the herbs can be eliminated or done in smaller amounts, if you wish)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat until browned. Pour half into a standard loaf pan and tilt the pan to lightly grease all sides. In a large bowl, whisk, flour, baking powder, salt, and herbs. Stir in honey and beer until just combined. Then pour in the loaf pan and even out the top. Brush the remaining butter over the top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. [I think mine baked for about 35 minutes...?] Turn out on a rack to cool.

I added herbs to match Emoni's recipe, but I honestly think I'd like it better without them, so I'll be trying the recipe again soon just as it was written.

Have a book or recipe suggestion? Leave it in the comments, and hopefully I'll get around to making it soon!

September 16, 2019

So You Like... #87

Recommending books is so much fun. I've probably said that a lot before. It gets a little harder when doing posts like this, as opposed to just one-off recommendations, but it's still fun. The idea for this post started brewing after I talked to someone who had been at the same Ruta Sepetys event as me. We mentioned how great it was that she told these little-known stories in history, and that got me thinking about perhaps some of the other parts of history we don't see as much in historical fiction. So this post is all about if you like...


You should read...

anything by Stacey Lee:
(My personal favorite is Outrun the Moon but all three of her YA historical fiction stories are excellent)

(Always here for lady lawyers solving crimes.)

(For anyone who didn't know England wasn't and isn't a super white country. Plus plenty of middle grade Agatha Christie-esque fun.)

(pre-WWII Germany)

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(If you'd prefer bite-sized historical fiction tales.)

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(For a pioneer story that isn't the Wild West.)

Have you read Ruta Sepetys's books? I'm super excited for her new one, The Fountains of Silence, that pubs in just a couple weeks. :)