Red Hood || Blog Tour

As always, I am super thankful to the FFBC and all who were involved in allowing me to read an ARC of this book and to be a part of the tour. Please click the banner above to see the other stops!

Warning spoilers ahead!!

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Author: Elana K. Arnold

Pub. Date: February 25th 2020

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: YA, Retellings, Fairy Tale

Pages: 368 pages

Find it: Book Depository | Itunes | B&N | Amazon | Goodreads | Kobo | Google books

ELANA K. ARNOLD is the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning young adult novels and children’s books, including the Printz Honor winner Damsel, the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of, and Global Read Aloud selection A Boy Called Bat and its sequels. Several of her books are Junior Library Guild selections and have appeared on many best book lists, including the Amelia Bloomer Project, a catalog of feminist titles for young readers. Elana teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program and lives in Southern California with her family and menagerie of pets.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked.
And the wolf is angry.
Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood in Bisou’s past and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.
Elana K. Arnold, National Book Award finalist and author of the Printz Honor book Damsel, returns with a dark, engrossing, blood-drenched tale of the familiar threats to female power—and one girl’s journey to regain it.

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On first glance I really enjoyed Red Hood. I loved the idea of a retelling of a story that I hadn’t heard retold many times before. If you would ask me immediately after reading the book what my reading would be it would have been a four and a half or five even. Having powerful females that aren’t afraid of who they are and have defending themselves is such an important thing for women of all ages in their books.then one day I read another review of the book to see if people loved it as much as I did. this person didn’t love as much as I did because they felt that it put all of the power of women as a connection to their periods. Which can be taken as an exclusion of trans women. They also pointed out that we never got to learn why some men are wolves and some men aren’t or even how they change or what was. it also never explains why the main character and the grandma had the power but the her mom didnt. it really made me think about the book in a different way and even though I still enjoy it I wouldn’t give it a five star rating anymore. 

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like this book because I still do I like the friendships the family and how it did talk about domestic abuse and what that can be like for people and how that can end of you are isolated. And also some are the important topic of getting an abortion when your partner doesn’t agree with you. I’m not sure if I should share this here but I personally believe the decision of the person that’s pregnant. You absolutely should talk about it with your partner and you’re the one that’s going to have to struggle with all of the things that come with pregnancy and the recovery. 

At the end of the day and I think I would bring this book at 3 and a half or four Star book. I talked about a lot of important topics I just wish that some of them have been handled a little better.

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Giveaway time!

Prize: Win a copy of RED HOOD By Elana K. Arnold (US ONLY)

Runs February 18th 2020 to March 3rd 2020

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86463/?

Favorite quotes!

This is the first blog post I’ve been excited about sharing in a while and it felt so good. Let me know if y’all will be checking out this book!

Down the TBR || Part 15

When the year started out, I wanted to do one of these a week but I clearly am having trouble keeping up with that so I will be moving back to once every 2 weeks.

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Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.

Order on ascending date added.

Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time

Read the synopses of the books

Decide: keep it or should it go?

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Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn’t sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia’s crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine. 

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Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time. 

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Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. Only now it might be too late to stop.

The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and the truth is the dirtiest part of all. 

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In this fantastical novel, Disney’s Magic Kingdom suddenly becomes a bit eerie. Finn Whitman and four other teens have been hired as Disney World guides, but with an odd twist: With cutting-edge technology, they have been transformed into hologram projections capable of leading guests around the park. What begins as an exciting theme park job turns into a virtual nightmare as Finn and his pals attempt to thwart an uprising by a menacing group of Disney villains.

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Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles, as well as the ‘living books’ – prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp.

But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children’s block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor…

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Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she’d ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense – kinda – because Julian Oliver is Taliah’s father, even though her mother would never admit it to her.

Julian asks if Taliah if she will drop everything and go with him to his hometown of Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his father – her grandfather – who is nearing the end of his life. Taliah, torn between betraying her mother’s trust and meeting the family she has never known, goes.

With her best friend Harlow by her side, Taliah embarks on a three-day journey to find out everything about her ‘father’ and her family. But Julian isn’t the father Taliah always hoped for, and revelations about her mother’s past are seriously shaking her foundation. Through all these new experiences, Taliah will have to find new ways to be true to herself, honoring her past and her future.

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Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.

But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.

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Ellis only has four days of her sophomore year left, and summer is so close that she can almost taste it. But even with vacation just within reach, Ellis isn’t exactly relaxed. Her father has been in a coma for years, the result of a construction accident, and her already-fragile relationship with her mother is strained over whether or not to remove him from life support. Her best friend fails even to notice that anything is wrong and Ellis feels like her world is falling apart. But when all seems bleak, Ellis finds comfort in the most unexpected places.
Life goes on, but in those four fleeting days friends are lost and found, promises are made, and Ellis realizes that nothing will ever quite be the same.

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Best friends Matt and Cole grapple with their changing relationships during the summer after high school in this impactful, evocative story about growing up and moving on from a traumatic past.

Surviving was just the beginning.

Eleven years after a shooting rocked the small town of East Ridge, New Jersey and left eighteen first graders in their classroom dead, survivors and recent high school graduates Matt Simpson and Cole Hewitt are still navigating their guilt and trying to move beyond the shadow of their town’s grief. Will Cole and Matt ever be able to truly leave the ghosts of East Ridge behind? Do they even want to?

As they grapple with changing relationships, falling in love, and growing apart, these two friends must face the question of how to move on—and truly begin living. 

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Victoria Parker knew her dad’s behavior toward her was a little unusual, but she convinced herself everything was fine—until she found herself locked out of the house at 3:00 a.m., surrounded by flashing police lights.

Now, dumped into a crowded, chaotic foster home, Victoria has to tiptoe around her domineering foster mother, get through senior year at a new school, and somehow salvage her college dreams . . . all while keeping her past hidden.

But some secrets won’t stay buried—especially when unwanted memories make Victoria freeze up at random moments and nightmares disrupt her sleep. Even worse, she can’t stop worrying about her stepsister Sarah, left behind with her father. All she wants is to move forward, but how do you focus on the future when the past won’t leave you alone? 

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I feel like I did pretty good this week with getting rid of 4/10 books. Have you read any of these? Which one should I read next month?

The Twin || Book Review

Hey y’all! I’m back with another book review. This book is an upcoming book that I was lucky enough to be gifted an ARC for. Of course, this changes nothing about my opinion of the book and I promise to always be honest with y’all.

There ARE spoilers in this review.

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Author: Natasha Preston

Publisher:  Delacorte Press

Published on: March 3rd 2020

Number of Pages: 336

Bought, Borrowed or ARC: ARC from Netgalley

Where can you get it?

Again, I make no money off of these links. These are simply for your convenience. These prices are accurate as of February 18th 2020 (so most are preorder prices)

Amazon: $8.43

Barnes and Noble: $8.43

Books-A-Million: $8.43

Book Depository: $9.84

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In this twisty psychological thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Cellar, Emmy finds out that her twin sister, Iris, is trying to push her out of her own life–and might be responsible for their mother’s death.

After their parents divorced, 10-year-old twins Ivy and Iris were split up–Emmy lived with Dad, Iris with Mom. Now, after a tragic accident takes their mom’s life, the twins are reunited and Iris moves in with Ivy and their dad. Devastated over Mom’s death, Iris spends the first few weeks in almost total silence–the only person she will speak to is Ivy. Iris feels her life is over and she doesn’t know what to do. Ivy promises her twin that she can share her life now. After all, they’re sisters. Twins.

It’s a promise that Iris takes seriously. And before long, Ivy’s friends, her life at school, and her boyfriend, Tyler, fall under Iris’s spell. Slowly, Ivy realizes she’s being pushed out of her own life. But she’s just being paranoid, right? And Mom’s accident was . . . just an accident. Right? It’s not like she–or Dad–or Tyler–are in any danger. . .

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I requested an ARC of this book because it sounded so creepy and interesting that I had to know what happened. I normally really like books like this because I’m not great at guessing endings so I am always surprised. However this book basically tells you what is going to happen so it takes out any guess work. Even still, I found myself disappointed in the actions of both the “good” and “bad” sister and the expectations I feel that had been laid out for this book.

I did hope that Ivy would come out on top but I could have gotten past that if the ending hadn’t felt so flat compared to the rest of the book.

Also the Goodreads synopsis has one twin having a name that isn’t used in the book so that was pretty confusing for me.

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Thanks for reading guys! Hopefully my next review is more positive and I start having better luck with my books in 2020.

My 2020 trip to Vegas

Today I’m taking a step away from bookish posts to talk about a recent trip I took. I hope y’all don’t mind, I will be back to talking about books super soon.

The long version

On January 3rd, I traveled to BWI to catch an airplane to Las Vegas, Nevada to be a bridesmaid in my “sisters”/ best friends wedding. I got up around 5:30 am and we stopped at wawa on the way to grab some food. Alison was driving and I was super nervous because it was raining. Also because this was my first flight in 6 years, my first one alone and I was traveling somewhere I had never been to stay in house full of people I didn’t know. We were almost the the airport when our windshield wiper broke! We quickly pulled over but decided we had to keep going so that I didn’t miss my flight. We finally got the airport and even though I hadn’t eaten, I got sick. After I calmed down, we grabbed my stuff out of the back and headed into the airport. Alison came as far in with me as she could before I had to go through TSA. We said goodbye and I followed the line.

Once I was on the other side. I quickly found my gate and made myself comfortable. I was around 3 hours early but I had wanted to make sure I had plenty of time just in case something happened. I sat and tried to read but was too nervous for even that. I did end up talking to a very kind older woman who was traveling through the gate next to mine. I hardly left the gate other than when I finally went to go buy some food (salted caramel rice cakes which were lost in the chaos of the weekend). When I got to board, there were only middle seats left which I was fine with so I sat between a sleepy looking man and very nice woman. She was kind when I got scared as the plane pulled back from the gate and kept the window open for me. She had asked if I wanted it closed and I said no that I was more comfortable with it open but she had the seat so it was really up to her. The flight attendents on this flight were great and even though it was a little bumpy, I think I did really well. I mostly watched the Downton Abbey movie and tried to read. We landed right on time and I texted Amanda to let her know that I was there. She told me where to meet her and I set off to find her.

I got a little lost and ended up asking for help to which the lady told me I ended to find and take the tram. I did and walked through baggage claim before finally finding a door to the outside. I called Amanda and asked where I needed to go and then waited for her. She got out of her car and made sure I was okay before helping me get my stuff inside. She took me to Chick Fil A for lunch since I was super hungry. Then we drove to where the reception would be. They were still setting up and we both got to work helping. I set up part of the hot chocolate bar and then put lights on the cake table (which didn’t end up getting lit). During the setting up of the lights, I took a misguided step to my left and stepped/fell into a pool which surrounded a tree. My leg and shoes were soaked but I kept going (hopeful that Amanda wouldn’t notice). Slightly before 4, Amanda came out and announced that she and I were leaving to go pick up her wedding band. I was more than happy to go with her since I was still very anxious. On the way to her car however, she noticed that one of my pant legs were different than the other and I had to admit what had happened.

After we picked up her ring, we headed back to her house to help with putting together the wedding flowers. I have experience in floral design because I went to a tech school for 4 years and trained in it. Once I said this, I had a lot of questions thrown at me and I was put in charge of making the bridal bouquet. I stood off the side with Amanda and messed around with it until she was happy. Around this time, it was almost time to get ready to go out to dinner which was the kick off of the bachelorette party. I didn’t end up making my own bouquet because we had to leave. We went to a fancy italian place and unfortunately, I didn’t end up liking what I got. I should have gone with one of the other things that had caught my eye so I’m pretty sad. But while we were there, I got to talk to one of the other bridesmaid whose name is Casey. Casey is so incredibly kind and I am so lucky I met her.

After dinner, we went back home and helped with more flowers. I should have taken this time to do my own flowers but as exhausted as I was (being 3 hours ahead of nearly everyone else) I was only interested in doing what HAD to be done so I could get some rest. We did 128 flowers for the backs of chairs and then we had what most people would call a typical bachelorette party. I am not going to go into any detail here for two reasons, 1) Amanda’s privacy and comfort and 2) I was very uncomfortable the whole time and wish not to remember it much. We went to bed extremely late for how early we had to get up and I was so excited to get some rest.

The next morning Amanda got up around 5 I think. Casey and I stayed in bed a while longer until we were told that someone was there to help with our hair and makeup. Casey got her hair curled so beautifully and my hair was braided a bit and also curled since I wanted something different than what I normally do. We watched (but mostly listened to Moana) as we did our hair and makeup.

Amanda’s wedding was very special and different to me because it was a mormon wedding. This meant that the actual marrying of Amanda and Jerem was done inside a scared temple. I learned there are many requirements you must meet before you can go inside. I am not mormon and therefore do no meet the requirements for going in for the temple sealing so I waited in the lobby or outside. After they were officially married, they came out and we took pictures and all that good stuff. One thing that was so special to me was when they were doing individual pictures with the girls and Amanda was that when it was my turn, Amanda took the time to make sure that I was doing okay (since I have extreme anxiety normally and not knowing anyone but her, being without my wife and being a place I didn’t know had sorta taken my anxiety to a new level). I was good for the most part and I happen to know that the videographer caught us saying I love you to each other so I really hope I get to see that. Amanda and I also recreated a picture we took at my wedding so I can’t wait to be able to put them side by side!!!!!

After pictures we did luncheon where we got to eat some really good pizza and salad. Amanda’s two sisters (Rebecca and Jaclyn) did some super sweet speeches and Jerem’s best man also spoke. Amanda and Jerem did the shoe game in which the bride and groom take off their shoes and trade one of each and then are asked questions (who said I love you first, who is the messiest sort of stuff) and they have to raise the shoe of the person who is the answer. After luncheon we (the bridal party mostly) went back to Amanda’s house to chill out for a little over an hour. This is when all of my feelings caught up with me. As everyone else went inside, I stayed in the van and cried a little. Honestly, I’m not too sure why I was so upset but I was. I went inside after a few minutes and found Casey. We took a nap in Jaclyn’s room and then it was time to head to the reception space for last minute details and a run through of the ring ceremony.

Since there seemed to be a fair number of people who could not go into the temple for the sealing, Amanda and Jerem also had a ring ceremony. This for me is what I consider a “wedding” and I was so grateful they did this. We all lined up and got to hear the music so that we knew when to walk and then it was time!!!! The music was very sweet and I walked down the aisle with Jerem’s youngest brother. Watching Amanda walk down the aisle was very emotional for me because I love her so much and she has been my big sister for almost 8 years. She is one of the most amazing people I know and I am so happy that she found her happily ever after. When the ring ceremony was over, it was time to eat and party!!! They had soup and salad at their reception and I dug into some of the chicken and potato soup. They did a first dance to Can I Have This Dance from High School Musical 3 and Amanda danced with her dad to Cinderella and halfway through they invited all fathers and daughters to join them.

Casey and I ate dinner, danced together and all around had a really great time. After a sparker send off to the bride and groom around 7, it was time to breakdown the reception space. It took probably around 2 hours and then we were all back to Amanda’s house. One of the groomsmen was drunk (even though there was no alcohol at the reception) so Savannah (Bridesmaid) took him home and Jaclyn, Casey and I went to Jaclyn’s friends to make sure Savannah had a way home. We stopped at Del Taco on the way back and my exhausted mind ordered wayyyy too much food but it was all really great and I wish I had a Del Taco where I live. Once we got home, Casey and I ate and went to bed right away.

On Sunday, I woke up before anyone other than Amanda’s parents and kind of wandered around the house for a bit. After Casey woke up, I couldn’t find anyone who actually lived in Amanda’s house so we could only find a beach towel for me to shower with. I quickly showered and headed back downstairs to find Casey. We mainly just had breakfast (wedding cake which was amazing) and hung out before she and everyone else started getting ready for church. I am in a weird space with relgion so I asked if I could stay home and just hang out. Everyone was so kind about it and said of course so I took the time to (finally) have a proper phone call with my own wife before taking a short nap.

Amanda and Jerem came over to open gifts and I hung out with them, the best man and his wife until everyone else got there. Before we started dinner, I asked to be taken to In and Out so I could try it and I really loved their chocolate shake. The best part of going to in and out though was the time I got to spend with Jaclyn, Amanda’s little sister.

After we got back, we heated up leftover soup from the night before and watched them open the gifts. We couldn’t find what I had sent for a while and I was devastated as I had gotten something specifically for Amanda’s use and wanted to see her open it (I had almost bought it for her a previous Christmas but Amazon kept losing my packages). Right before they left to go back to their hotel, Jerem found it and I was SO happy that I literally was jumping up and down. I got them a gift card to Disney, a shower curtain, bath mats (all kinda boring but what they asked for) and an elephant shaped ring holder (the thing I was so excited about). They left for their hotel and Savannah offered to take us all to YSA which was a church event. I guess I was feeling some FOMO because I went with them.

At YSA (which I later found out stood for Young Single Adults (I felt kinda odd going as a married woman but it is what it is), we mostly just played a game called telephone charades which was a lot of fun and I had a great time. Casey got to show me the chapel were they have church and the stillness and quietness of the empty chapel was really peaceful. After YSA, we went home to hang out for a while. We had to leave the house around 3:30am because my flight back to Maryland was leaving at 6:40am. We watched National Treasure, decided we were hungry and that I wanted Chicken and went to Jack in the Box (amazing bacon and cheddar wedges) and then back to In and Out for another shake before going back and napping to Tarzan. I got up at 3:15 and packed the rest of my stuff and we headed out.

I was early again but I was more than happy to be because I got to watch the airport open and shop around before buying a Vegas T shirt to remember my time with. I boarded my plane and turned on music before deciding to nap. We hit some bumpy spots and next thing I knew they were calling for medical staff to the back of the plane. I got super scared and basically couldn’t sleep from this point on. Luckily everything was okay and we landed twenty minutes early and I was reunited with Alison. We went and wandered around a mall so I could talk to her without interruptions and then we headed home.

My favorite parts/highlights

Casey. Yeah I know it’s not an exact moment or memory but I truly feel that Casey will become a big part of my life. She was so kind and gentle with me when it was clear that I was uncomfortable and totally out of my element. Basically everyone but me was mormon but any time I had a question, Casey would sit with me and explain everything and I was able to talk to her about my deepest feelings of church, God and religion without fear,

Making Amanda’s bouquet. This was so special to me because I had spent all of this time doing floral in high school and hadn’t really been able to anything with it since. Knowing that I was making something special for her and that it would be just the way she liked it was so amazing and I am blessed to have been given that opportunity.

I’ve already talked about this one thing I really want to remember and cherish forever is when we got to take our individual pictures with Amanda. I walked up to her last and she gently rubbed my back and asked me if I was okay. We were both worried about me not knowing anyone other than her and being alone in a place I didn’t know. I told her I was doing okay and we recreated a special picture from my wedding.

I got to dance with Casey and Amanda to I wanna dance with somebody and that was a ton of fun.

All and all I think it was a pretty great trip and I would love to visit Vegas again and see Amanda and Jerem as well as do some more touristy things next time.

I Hope You Get This Message || Book Review

Hey y’all. So lately I’ve really been slacking on this blog and to be honest, I’ve been slacking on reading too. Sometime in January, I read a book about Queen Elizabeth and got a really bad book hangover. So in February, I am mainly focusing on “ARCS” and blog tours but hope to get back to a normal schedule in March.

Today I wanted to share my thoughts on I Hope You Get This Message.

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Author: Farah Naz Rishi

Publisher: Harperteen

Published on: October 22nd 2019

Number of Pages: 420

Bought, Borrowed or ARC: Bought at Barnes and Noble for half off

Where can you get it?

Again, I make no money off of these links. These are simply for your convenience. These prices are accurate as of January 19th 2020.

Amazon: $8.99

Book Depository: $14.61

Barnes and Noble: $16.19

Books-A-Million: $17.99

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In this high concept YA novel debut that’s We All Looked Up meets The Sun Is Also a Star, three teens must face down the mistakes of their past after they learn that life on Earth might end in less than a week.

News stations across the country are reporting mysterious messages that Earth has been receiving from a planet—Alma—claiming to be its creator. If they’re being interpreted correctly, in seven days Alma will hit the kill switch on their “colony” Earth.

True or not, for teenagers Jesse Hewitt, Cate Collins, and Adeem Khan, the prospect of this ticking time bomb will change their lives forever.

Jesse, who has been dealt one bad blow after another, wonders if it even matters what happens to the world. Cate, on the other hand, is desperate to use this time to find the father she never met. And Adeem, who hasn’t spoken to his estranged sister in years, must find out if he has it in him to forgive her for leaving.

With only a week to face their truths and right their wrongs, Jesse, Cate, and Adeem’s paths collide as their worlds are pulled apart.

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I’ve sat for about 10 minutes trying to explain to everyone what I didn’t like about this book. The best I could come up with was that I felt that the story and the characters were too nicely connected and I really disliked how the book ended. I didn’t feel for any of the characters and many of them rubbed me the wrong way. I was really excited for the “what would you do with your last days” idea of this book but ended up disliking it. I will be donating this right away

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If you read this one, what did you think? How has your new year been going? I’d love to hear from y’all.

Dear Evan Hansen || Book Review

This book is so special to me because it was a gift from my maid of honor. Amanda had been with me through a lot and I can kinda relate to Evan and all of his anxiety and feeling alone. You will be found is a song that touches my heart every time and makes me think of Amanda and all she has done for me.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Dear Evan Hansen: the novel and Dear Evan Hansen: The Musical.

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Author: Val Emmich (Goodreads Author), Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Publisher: Poppy

Published on: October 9th 2018

Number of Pages: 368

Bought, Borrowed or ARC: Gifted by Amanda (therefore priceless)

Where can you get it?

Again, I make no money off of these links. These are simply for your convenience. These prices are accurate as of January 19th 2020.

Amazon: $10.99

Book Depository: $11.63

Books-A-Million: $17.09

Barnes and Noble: $17.09

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Dear Evan Hansen,

Today’s going to be an amazing day and here’s why…

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family’s grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn’t invisible anymore–even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy’s parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he’s doing can’t be right, but if he’s helping people, how wrong can it be?

No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He’s confident. He’s a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

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Before reading Dear Evan Hansen, I had really only listened to the musical and I think even then I only listened to it all the way before picking my favorite songs ( read: the most popular ones) and only playing those. I don’t think I ever really looked up to find out if Dear Evan Hansen had a happy ending, I just kinda assumed it did. I guess in the end it does in a way but it didn’t end how I thought it would.

I feel like some of my judgement about this book/musical is skewed because someone who was very close to me introduced it to me and we mainly focused on “You Will Be Found” which is a song that always makes me feel better and reminds me that no matter how I feel, I am not alone and someone out there does care about me. I relate to Evan with his anxiety, feeling alone and suicidal ideations/intentions so sometimes this book was hard to read because it brought those feelings up.

Even though Evan makes some not so great choices, we can all relate to him in some way. Maybe we have made bad choices or lied to get someone to like us, maybe we feel alone in this world and just want someone to love and care about us. I feel that how relatable of this musical is why is has been so successful and I’m glad Amanda showed it to me. I hope to one day see the show.

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Have you read or listened to Dear Evan Hansen? What do you think of it? What other musicals do you like? Let me know!!

Love, Dana

Down the TBR || Part 14

I think I accidentally missed one of these last Saturday. I’ve been pretty busy with work so I’m not surprised but I’m glad to be getting back on track.

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Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.

Order on ascending date added.

Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time

Read the synopses of the books

Decide: keep it or should it go?

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Isabella is shocked when her parents book her passage on the incredible Titanic and inform her that she’ll be sailing by herself. She is given an envelope and told the contents will explain everything, but she is forbidden from opening it until the boat reaches the U.S.
Lucille is worried over her mother’s poor health, and her father is always distracted, never around. Left to her own devices, Lucille discovers some dangerous secrets that could tear her family apart.
Abby is desperate. She’s all her little brother has in the world, and her only hope is start a new life in New York. But the only way to do that is to smuggle her little brother aboard the Titanic and hope they can last the week without him getting caught.
Three girls, three different classes on the ship, yet their pasts and futures are more intertwined than they know–and their lives are about to be forever changed over the course of the Titanic’s maiden voyage. That is, if they don’t all drown in secrets first

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‘You are my sister now,’ Victoria said, quietly and solemnly. ‘Never forget it. I love you like a sister, and you are my only friend in all the world.’ Miss V. Conroy is good at keeping secrets. She likes to sit as quiet as a mouse, neat and discreet. But when her father sends her to Kensington Palace to become the companion to Princess Victoria, Miss V soon finds that she can no longer remain in the shadows. Miss V’s father has devised a strict set of rules for the young princess, which he calls the Kensington System. It governs her behaviour and keeps her locked away from the world. He says it is for the princess’s safety, but Victoria herself is convinced that it is to keep her lonely, and unhappy. Torn between loyalty to her father and her growing friendship with the wilful and passionate Victoria, Miss V has a decision to make: to continue in silence, or to speak out. By turns thrilling, dramatic and touching, this is the story of Queen Victoria’s childhood as you’ve never heard it before.

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When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

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Two sisters. Two lives. One future.

Sohane loves no one more than her beautiful, carefree younger sister, Djelila. And she hates no one as much. They used to share everything. But now, Djelila is spending more time with her friends, partying, and hanging out with boys, while Sohane is becoming more religious.

When Sohane starts wearing a head scarf, her school threatens to expel her. Meanwhile, Djelila is harassed by neighborhood bullies for not being Muslim enough. Sohane can’t help thinking that Djelila deserves what she gets. But she never could have imagined just how far things would go. . 

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“Hola, Jeni.”

J spun. His stomach clenched hard, as though he’d been hit. It was just the neighbor lady, Mercedes. J couldn’t muster a hello back, not now; he didn’t care that she’d tell his mom he’d been rude. She should know better. Nobody calls me Jeni anymore.

J always felt different. He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was: a boy mistakenly born as a girl. Yet as he grew up, his body began to betray him; eventually J stopped praying to wake up a “real boy” and started covering up his body, keeping himself invisible – from his family, from his friends…from the world. But after being deserted by the best friend he thought would always be by his side, J decides that he’s done hiding – it’s time to be who he really is. And this time he is determined not to give up, no matter the cost.

An inspiring story of self-discovery, of choosing to stand up for yourself, and of finding your own path – readers will recognize a part of themselves in J’s struggle to love his true self.

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Leave it to the heroes to save the world–villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

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One school. Twenty voices.

Endless possibilities.

There’s the girl who is in love with Holden Caulfield. The boy who wants to be strong who falls for the girl who’s convinced she needs to be weak. The girl who writes love songs for a girl she can’t have. The two boys teetering on the brink of their first anniversary. And everyone in between.

As he did in the highly acclaimed Boy Meets Boy, David Levithan gives us a world of unforgettable voices that readers will want to visit again and again. It’s the realm of possibility open to us all – where love, joy, and the stories we tell will linger. 

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Bridge and Wil have been entangled in each other’s lives for years. Under the white-hot Florida sun, they went from kids daring each other to swim past the breakers to teenagers stealing kisses between classes. But when Bridge betrayed Wil during their junior year, she shattered his heart and their relationship along with it.

Then Wil’s family suffers a violent loss, and Bridge rushes back to Wil’s side. As they struggle to heal old wounds and start falling for each other all over again, Bridge and Wil discover just how much has changed in the past year. As the fierce current of tragedy threatens to pull them under, they must learn how to swim on their own—or risk drowning together.

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When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Will

Maybe I’m too late. Maybe Zoe’s dad stole all her fifteen years and taught her to be scared. I’ll undo it. Help her learn to be strong again, and brave. Not that I’m any kind of example, but we can learn together.

Zoe

Maybe it’ll take Will years to come to terms with being abandoned. Maybe it’ll take forever. I’ll stay with him no matter how long it takes to prove that people don’t always leave, don’t always give up on you.

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In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn’t about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the “Wilds” who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love? 

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This week I got rid of 5 and kept 5 which is pretty good. That will bring my TBR to 483 books.