Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Book Review: Fearless Travelers' Guide to Wicked Places by Pete Begler

Publish Date: March 1, 2017
384 pages [Kindle edition]
Capstone Young Readers

Twelve-year-old Nell Perkins knows there is magic at work that she can’t yet understand. Her mother has been taken by witches and turned into a bird. Nell must journey to get her mother back, even if it takes her deep into the Wicked Places — the frightening realm where Nightmares resides. There she must break the spell and stop the witches from turning our world into a living nightmare.

My Thoughts:
I was gifted this book via Netgalley.
The cover of this book is seriously stunning and that's all I have to say about that. I thought the premise sounded very interesting and was really looking forward to reading this because it's classified as a middle grade novel and I am trying to get ahead of the game, so I can recommend books to my veracious little bookworms. This book started off very well and I was impressed with how things were being revealed as the plot progressed. Then it kind of went off the deep end. It was a lot of information and a lot of describing characters and places that I feel did not add to the story, as much as it bogged it down. I got about 40% in before I started speed-reading it. Normally, I would have just set this in my DNF pile...however, as I had said before, the premise was really interesting and it did start off well. I had to know what happened. There were pretty exciting parts that I did slow down to enjoy, but I feel overall that this is too much book. It may have been better off being split into smaller chunks with a little bit better flow. I also really think this would make an excellent mini series.

Find on Goodreads

Friday, February 17, 2017

Weekly Wrap-Up

I have been bad for not updating. I'm starting to slowly week some things out of my schedule that I'm losing interest in and trying to figure out what I would like to do with my time. I decided to stop filming planner videos (at least for now) because I'm always scrambling to film and scrambling to edit and get very frustrated. I would like to focus more of my time on reading. I've been loving that lately and feel so much more like my old self. My main focus online has been my food blog and I honestly think that will remain. This blog has always been more of a hobby. I may photograph and share hauls of Owlcrate boxes and ipsy glam bags, etc., but the majority of the posts here will be TBR on the 1st, What I Read in {Month} posts, and my weekly wrap-ups.

My baby girl turned 9 on the 11th. I still can't believe it. Very shortly, Mason will turn 2 and Matthew will turn 10. Ugh! They grow up too quickly.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Books I Read in January

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles - 4 stars (finished 1/5)
I was gifted this book via Netgalley.
Review: here.

The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket - 5 stars (finished 1/12)
I love that even though I am now a 28 year old adult person... I can still enjoy these books as much as I did when I read them in my early teen years. They are just so funny and brilliant...and dark. The best non-happy ending story I've ever read. I think the wittiness is so quick and unexpected at times...or perhaps just the humor itself - not necessarily wit. IDK. Regardless, love this series.

This particular book is not one of my favorites, but I still have to rate it 5 stars because it's still such a good book. The Baudelaire orphans have arrived to live with their Aunt Josephine (who isn't really their aunt), who is a widow and also frightened of literally everything. She also loves grammar. Her love of grammar was probably the most annoying part of the book.

The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket - 3.5 stars (finished 1/15)
This is not my most favorite of the series. It seems relatively short compared to the other stories and I think that's only because not much really actually happens. It's a very blah book.

The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket - 4.5 stars (finished 1/20)
I have always rather liked this book even though it's incredibly depressing..I mean all the books are depressing, but this one is just rather sad because even through all their experiences, the Baudelaires don't seem as down as they do in this book. They even meet another set of orphans and befriend them. So there are good things that DO happen, but the bad stuff is just so bad that it's so hard to not feel so bummed for the Baudelaires. Nero is one of those characters who you just want to slap. Count Olaf, I feel, gets even darker in this book. AND a little more is revealed that starts unraveling the past and I love that.

The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket - 5 stars (finished 1/22)
It may be because I went into the book "blind", a word here that means I couldn't remember what happened in this book of the series, but I really enjoyed this one. I totally forgot who was assisting Count Olaf and most of the details of what happened in the plot. The guardians in this book, while one did know the Baudelaire's mother, are awful...as per usual.

The Fearless Travelers' Guide to Wicked Places by Pete Begler - 2.5 stars (finished 1/26)
I was gifted this book via Netgalley.
Review: here.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Plan With Me #26

Cami's 9th birthday is on Saturday, so I thought I'd pay tribute to her favorite movie when she was a teeny tiny little thing. Plus with the new live action Beauty & the Beast premiering soon, this spread makes sense LOL. I used a Planner Belle Press kit and all is linked in my description on Youtube!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Weekly Wrap-Up

Another week has come and gone and it is FEBRUARY. Whatttttt?! I have two kiddos with birthdays and a pup with a birthday this month. Plus my brother-in-law and sister-in-law have birthdays too. Mason and Saydee both turn two and Cami turns 9. I can't believe it. This week has been a little hectic. The first part was more relaxed and as it's progressed, my anxiety has reared its ugly head. It's very mild, but is definitely present. It's been stressing me out because I have been pretty good for the last couple of weeks and then it kinda came outta no where.

A few pictures for the post -- my sweet little almost 2 year old. I just love his little face. My other almost 2 year old and her pretty smile. I made white chocolate stuffed snickerdoodles and they were so amazing. I wish they lasted longer than they did LOL. Mason adores his baby cousin, Presley. He's been getting down on the floor with her and talking to her. It's just so sweet.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Collective Sticker Haul

I told myself I was going to not buy a million things and then that didn't happen. I think my total purchases for January was 6 or 7. Ouch. I will definitely do better in February, but check out what I did get!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February TBR List + Upcoming Releases

I have already done so much more reading than I expected to do in the month of January, so I am so happy with that. I hope to continue the momentum this month! Here are a few books I'm thinking about reading.
  1. Series of Unfortunate Events series...I read 3-6 in January and would like to finish it in February.
  2. I would like to read one of the last few of the Southern Vampire Mystery series. I have 10-13 left.
  3. I have now received four OwlCrate books because I got two of their extra boxes from 2016. All of them were on my TBR and now I'm just dying to read them: Of Fire and Stars, Heartless, My Lady Jane, and Roseblood. I'm fairly certain I know what this month's OwlCrate book will be and I'm so stoked for that too.
  4. I was reorganizing my Kindle folders because I am no longer sorting them by books I want to read in a certain month. Now they are in genres and I'm finding that I want to read all the contemporary books. Symptoms of Being Human is by far the most intriguing read in my contemporary folder.