Home Work || Book Review

Hey Y’all! I recently read Home Work by Julie Andrews so I thought I would take the time to share my thoughts on this beautiful memoir.

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Author: Julie Andrews Edwards

Publisher:  Hachette Books

Published on: October 15th 2019

Number of Pages: 560 pages/ 320 pages (hardcover VS kindle)

Bought, Borrowed or ARC: Borrowed from Libby

Where can you get it?

Again, I make no money off of these links. These are simply for your convenience.

Amazon: $17.99

Barnes and Noble: $27.00

Books-A-Million: $26.40

Book Depository: $25.99

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In Home, the number one New York Times international bestseller, Julie Andrews recounted her difficult childhood and her emergence as an acclaimed singer and performer on the stage.
With this second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her phenomenal rise to fame in her earliest films–Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Andrews describes her years in the film industry — from the incredible highs to the challenging lows. Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. The pair worked together in numerous films, including Victor/Victoria, the gender-bending comedy that garnered multiple Oscar nominations.

Cowritten with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews’s trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring.

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One of my all time favorite movies is Princess Diaries which of course, stars Julie Andrews. I had heard about her second memoir for a few months and put it on hold through Libby. I had almost completely forgot about it when it showed up as available. I immediately put aside all of the other books I was reading and started reading this one.

Most of the time with non-fiction or memoirs, at some point I hit a wall. I get bored. I drag my feet and whine about finishing and either toss it aside or spend the next two weeks slowly chipping away at it while losing my mind.

That didn’t happen with Home Work. In one sitting I went from 3% to 43% and I could barely believe it. It felt like I had barely been reading at all. One of the few things I knew about Julie Andrews was that she likes PG tips tea (which I learned off the commentary of Princess Diaries) so it was so nice to learn more about her. For instance, I didn’t know she had more than one child or that she lived in Switzerland. I loved hearing little stories from Mary Poppins and Sound of Music (also big favorites of mine).

I really enjoyed this memoir with it’s pacing and I hope that Julie writes another one. Maybe this time reaching Princess Diaries? Please? Maybe one just on her experience with Princess Diaries… jk jk unless….

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Have you read Home Work? What did you think? What is your favorite Julie Andrews movie?

The Wicked Deep || Book Review

Hey Y’all. I know this is a really time for all of us. Personally, my wife and I are facing cut hours at work which means less money. I am trying to find the positives in this time and I am hoping to use my extra time to do more here. If you ever need to talk, you can always reach out to me on twitter (bookswithdana). I love you and stay safe.

So last week I read The Wicked Deep and SPOILER: I loved it so I wanted to share my thoughts with you all!

Warning spoilers ahead!

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Author: Shea Ernshaw 

Publisher:  Simon Pulse

Published on: March 6th 2018

Number of Pages: 310

Bought, Borrowed or ARC: Bought from BAM

Where can you get it?

Again, I make no money off of these links. These are simply for your convenience.

Amazon: $7.99

Barnes and Noble: $10.79

Books-A-Million: $11.99

Book Depository: $8.55

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Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

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I bought The Wicked Deep on a whim a couple months ago. At first it just rode around in the backseat of my car, then it was packed for our trip down south in November. Then it flew out to Las Vegas with me in January and when we got back it sat on my shelf for another two months still unread. I wasn’t intentionally putting it off for any reason but it just happened that way.

I finally picked up this book on March 2nd and I was done by bed the next night. There was so much I loved about this book. I loved the vibes it gave of a spooky haunted town and how everyone was just kinda like yeah this totally normal that at least 3 boys die every year, nothing we can do it about. I did guess that Penny could tell who was stolen because she was also stolen but I thought that was so cool. The story behind why the girls were drowned and why they haunted the town was so sad and heartbreaking but I’m glad that one of the girls began to realize that what they were doing was wrong. I don’t want to give away the ending because it is definitely something I think you should read for yourself but I did not see it coming at all.

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Thanks for reading y’all. Let me know if you plan to check it out and/or if you just want to talk. Like I said, you can find me on twitter at bookswithdana. I could definitely use the distraction and some “company”!

Only Mostly Devastated || ARC Review

Welcome to my review of my first 5 star book of the year! Honestly I feel like I have been having a hard time finding books that I am actually enjoying which has caused my reading to slow down a lot. So I’m so happy to be able to share a book that I loved.

Thank you Netgalley and all involved for gifting me an E-ARC of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

Warning spoilers ahead!

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Author: Sophie Gonzales

Publisher:  Wednesday Books

Published on: March 3rd 2020

Number of Pages: 228

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.

Amazon: $12.79

Barnes and Noble: $12.79

Books-A-Million: $12.77

Book Depository: $9.82

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SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA meets CLUELESS in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease

Summer love…gone so fast.

Ollie and Will were meant to be a summer fling—casual, fun, and done. But when Ollie’s aunt’s health takes a turn for the worse and his family decides to stay in North Carolina to take care of her, Ollie lets himself hope this fling can grow to something more. Dreams that are crushed when he sees Will at a school party and finds that the sweet and affectionate (and comfortably queer) guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High.

Will is more than a little shocked to see Ollie the evening of that first day of school. While his summer was spent being very much himself, back at school he’s simply known as one of the varsity basketball guys. Now Will is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: follow his heart and risk his friendships, or stay firmly in the closet and lose what he loves most.

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I’m not going to lie I put off starting only mostly devastated for a long time. I really wanted to read it but I was afraid that I wouldn’t stand up to what I thought it was going to be. I’m so glad that I was wrong about that because Only Mostly Devastated is my first five star book of the year. I loved everything about it from Will and Ollies relationship to Ollie’s friendship with the girls and his relationship with his parents.

I personally have only known a couple of people affected by cancer and it’s never affected me in the way that affected Ollie and his parents but I think it was really great of them to uproot their entire lives to go help with their family. I was rooting for Ollie’s Aunt to get better the whole time but I really appreciate the way that grief was portrayed in this book. When his aunt first dies and Ollie’s mom wants to watch movies and is laughing all the time Ollie is uncomfortable. but sometimes that’s what grief is really like. It’s different for everybody and I’m glad that we got to see that in this book.

When I first started reading I wasn’t sure if I was going to ship the boys together just because it seemed like they had caused each other so much pain that maybe they were better off without each other. The more I got into the book the more I realized that a lot of what they were doing that was hurting each other was to protect themselves. What I was in high school I had a girlfriend and I wanted to come out to our parents and she wasn’t ready. I’m glad now knowing what I know that I didn’t push but I wanted to. Coming out is a big and scary thing and everybody has a different experience so I’m glad that Ollie apologized for outing Will. I also appreciate that Laura stood up for her friend to try to make sure that he wasn’t outed.

There was a lot that I enjoyed about this book and I think that if you like contemporary young adult books, especially those that focus more in the senior to early college range ages you should definitely check out this book.

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Let me know if you end up checking out this book and what you think!

Iphigenia Murphy || 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!

In other news, today my wife and I have been together for four years. We have been through so much together that it feels so much longer but also like I could never get enough time with her. I just had to mention it!

Warning there may be spoilers ahead!!

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Author: Sara Hosey

Pub. Date: March 10th 2020

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Genre: YA

Pages: 272 pages

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

Sara Hosey holds a PhD in American literature from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is an associate professor of English and women and gender studies at Nassau Community College. Her book, Home Is Where the Hurt Is: Media Depictions of Wives and Mothers (McFarland, 2019), looks at representations of the domestic in popular culture. Sara grew up in Queens and now lives in Sea Cliff, New York, with her partner and their children. She is working on a second novel.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

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Running away from home hasn’t solved Iphigenia Murphy’s problems. In fact, it’s only a matter of time before they’ll catch up with her. Iffy is desperate to find her long-lost mother, and, so far, in spite of the need to forage for food and shelter and fend off an unending number of creeps, living in Queens’ Forest Park has felt safer than living at home. But as the summer days get shorter, it all threatens to fall apart.
A novel that explores the sustaining love of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and the indelible bond of family, Iphigenia Murphy captures the gritty side of 1992 Queens, the most diverse borough in New York City. Just like Iffy, the friends she makes in the park–Angel, a stray dog with the most ridiculous tail; Corinne, a young trans woman who is escaping her own abusive situation; and Anthony, a former foster kid from upstate whose parents are addicts–each seek a place where they feel at home. Whether fate or coincidence has brought them together, within this community of misfits Iffy can finally be herself, but she still has to face the effects of abandonment and abuse–and the possibility that she may be pregnant. During what turns out to be a remarkable journey to find her mother, will Iffy ultimately discover herself?

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It took me a little bit to get into this book but once I did, I was flying through it. I personally have never had to live in a park so I’m not sure how accurate everything is in just moving around but it sometimes felt like it was “too easy” for Iffy. Still, I loved how this book focused on loyalty and found family as well as showing how sometimes abusers can draw their victims back in.

Of course with a book like this, there were parts that were emotionally hard to read but in a good way if that makes any sense. There was never a time with this book that I was bored or wanted to stop reading.

As for the main romantic pairing in the book, I wasn’t against Anthony and Iffy but they also weren’t OTP level of shipping. I was fine with them staying together or breaking up.

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Favorite quotes!

Giveaway!

Prize: Win a hardcover of IPHIGENIA MURPHY by Sara Hosey, a bookmark, a button and a skateboard keychain (US Only)

Starts: 4th March 2020

Ends: 18th March 2020

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86467/

Thanks for reading y’all. I know I’ve been a bit back and forth these last few months but I appreciate and love each and every one of you who view and interact with my posts. Happy march!

Jane Anonymous || Blog Tour

Happy new year everyone!! I can’t believe it is already 2020! I am so excited to continue working with The Fantastic Flying Book Club this year. Please make sure you check out the other posts on this blog tour by clicking the photo above. Now, let’s get into my first Blog Tour of 2020.

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Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz

Pub. Date: January 7th, 2020

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Pages: 320

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Google Books | Books A Million

Author information

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston

Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists,blend elements found in mystery and romance novels. Stolarz found sales success with her first novel, Blue is for Nightmares, and followed it up with three more titles in the series, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remembrance, as well as a companion graphic novel, Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz is also the author of the Touch series (Deadly Little Secret,Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, and Deadly Little Lessons), as well as Bleed and Project 17. With more than two million books sold worldwide, Stolarz’s titles have been named on various awards list.

Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with Jane Anonymous, a gripping tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s kidnapping and her struggle to fit back into her life after she escapes. Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life. Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a“monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?

I tend to enjoy when books switch back and forth with POV’s or times because you get background story as well as having a story to piece together. However because we know Jane survives, I wish we had a flat before and after as if we were with Jane when it happened and as she escaped instead of hearing about it later. I was still sucked into the story being worried for Jane but not as much as I could have been if I didn’t know she was going to escape and live. I prefered reading the “Then” parts of the book to the “Now” and I’m not sure why. I had some guesses about who the kidnapper but I wasn’t positive until we are told. All in all, the book was good even if it wasn’t my favorite.

Dream Cast

Maia Mitchell As Jane

Maia Mitchell in The Fosters (2013)

Bianca Santos as Shelley

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Nicholas Braun as Mason

Sandra Bullock as Jane’s Mom

Sandra Bullock

Colin Firth as Jane’s Dad

Colin Firth

Favorite quotes

I’ll be wishing on the brightest star in the sky tonight, hoping that we’ll always be this close

They all declare a safe space and tell me I can say whatever’s on my mind, but that’s only really true if what I have to say is what they’re prepared to hear. And so they furrow their foreheads, raise their brows, purse their lips, and shake their heads.

“Every heart can heal.”

An absence so deep, I can taste it on my tongue like the ashes of cremated bodies after a slow and painful death.

My tears have all been shed. If it weren’t for my writing, I’d have no voice either.

For now, I go through the motions of life, often surprised to find that people are still living theirs—

“Healing starts the moment we feel heard.”

You need to be kind to yourself—to allow yourself to be human.

Have you heard of Jane Anonymous? Do you think you will add it to your TBR? Let me know below. I love hearing from y’all.

What If It’s Us || Book Review

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Author: Becky Albertalli  & Adam Silvera

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published on: October 9th 2018 

Number of Pages: 437

Bought, Borrowed or ARC: I bought this one from Books-A-Million in Nov with my membership discount.

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 December 8th 2019.

Amazon: $11.60

Book Depository: $12.97

Books-A-Million: $17.09

Barnes and Noble: $17.09

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Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them? Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

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I was really excited for this book when I picked it up. I normally only buy bargain priced books but I splurged on this one and I wish I hadn’t. I never got into the story line and I didn’t ship the main couple at all. Everything from Ben and Arthur’s relationship to their friendships with others felt forced to me. I almost didn’t finish this book but did just because I had spent so much money on it. As soon as I finished however, I lent it to a coworker and I’m not too stressed about getting it back.

How Beautiful the Ordinary || Review

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Author: Michael Cart (editor),

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published on: October 6th 2009

Number of Pages: 368

Bought, Borrowed or ARC: Bought when withdrawn from my library

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 December 23rd 2019

Amazon: $11.37

Book Depository: $12.96

Barnes and Noble: $16.19

Books-A-Million: $17.99

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A girl thought to be a boy steals her sister’s skirt, while a boy thought to be a girl refuses to wear a cornflower blue dress. One boy’s love of a soldier leads to the death of a stranger. The present takes a bittersweet journey into the past when a man revisits the summer school where he had “an accidental romance.” And a forgotten mother writes a poignant letter to the teenage daughter she hasn’t seen for fourteen years.

Poised between the past and the future are the stories of now. In nontraditional narratives, short stories, and brief graphics, tales of anticipation and regret, eagerness and confusion present distinctively modern views of love, sexuality, and gender identification. Together, they reflect the vibrant possibilities available for young people learning to love others—and themselves—in today’s multifaceted and quickly changing world.

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I don’t read many books that are set up this way because I normally don’t like some of the stories so I end up skipping through them. I got this one at the library at a withdrawn sale months ago and I hadn’t even thought about reading it until this morning. We recently started coming out at work and between that and JKR recent twitter posts, I needed a little something LGBT themed to read. This book was fine. I skipped some stories but my favorites were

A Word From The Nearly Distant Past

First Time

Dear Lang

I will probably pass this book on fairly soon as I don’t see myself rereading it.

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Have you read this book? What is your favorite LGBT based book? Let me know!!

Love, Dana