May Wrap-Up | 2016

So I definitely made up for the fact that I didn’t read crap in April this month. I ended up reading a total of 10 books. I think that’s the most I’ve read in month yet this year! I was able to cut out a few of the hyped books that I’ve been wanting to read for ages. I’m pretty proud of myself.


Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor || ★★★★★

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski || ★★★

Champion by Marie Lu || ★★★

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly || ★★★

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh || ★★★ || Review

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge || ★★★

Smut by Karina Halle || ★★★★★

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys || ★★★ || Review

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas || ★★★★

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas || ★★★


 

So.. obviously I didn’t do very many reviews this past month. Honestly, I just don’t know what to say. I hate writing book reviews that are super repetitive and could be for any book. If ya’ll are interested in mini-reviews, maybe, or full length reviews — please let me know which book you’re interested to hear my opinion on!

I also didn’t have the greatest reading month content wise. It seems like almost everything I read was just okay. Daughter of Smoke & Bone was my favorite read of the month and The Assassin’s Blade was my least favorite. Smut was definitely in the top of the favorites, though. It was just hysterical.

I also wanted to credit Confessions of a Literary Addict for the wrap-up set up. I was looking for a simple way to post my wrap ups and saw hers and loved the simplicity of it. So thank you for your inspo! <33

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys | Book Review

Out of the Easy It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.

She devises a plan to get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.


I read Salt to the Sea (review here) by the same author at the end of March and it ruined me. I was in a book slump for most of April because of it. When I saw Out of the Easy on Book Outlet for just a few dollars, I immediately snatched it up and dove in.

I’ve really been loving historical fiction lately, but it seems like all that I’ve been reading are just down right heartbreaking. I enjoyed that this was a step away from heart wrenching, but still followed in the same pattern of historical fiction with a head-strong female main character.

Josie hasn’t lived a very normal life. Her mother is a prostitute in New Orleans and a fairly well known one at that. Josie’s reputation around the Quarter isn’t the greatest because of it and she finds comfort in the local bookstore where she works and also lives. When someone is mysteriously murdered, Josie finds herself swept away in the case and from there, she really starts to find herself.

I enjoyed Josie as a main character. She was strong and fairly independent, but obviously had a few weaknesses as well. I really admired her determination to make something better of herself. It was really admirable to see someone who has been around a brothel most of her life to know what is and isn’t okay — and she knew that following in her mother’s footsteps was definitely not okay.

Though obviously some of Willie’s actions were questionable, ahem being a madam at a brothel, she was fierce and strong as hell. Willie was like a grandmother figure to Josie, seeing as how Josie’s real mom was a real piece of shit. She literally did everything for Josie because she knew that she deserved better. I grew very attached to Willie towards the end of the novel.

There were also a spew of side characters that made the story just amazing. Patrick, Josie’s best friend and son of the owner of the bookstore she works at. Jesse, the brooding motorcycle guy who pines for Josie’s heart. Cokie, Willie’s right-hand man who’s personality will just make you feel insanely happy.

There were some parts that just fell a little flat for me. I read a review on Good Reads that just really explained what I felt.  There just wasn’t enough. There was a mini-love triangle, if you could even call it that, but I just felt like it was so random. K. also mentioned this in her review, about how it felt odd because we didn’t get much background information about either guys to really understand Josie’s relationship with them — especially Jesse. He just kind of kept showing up out of the blue.

Overall, the writing was to die for, but what do you expect from a Ruta Sepetys novel? She immediately has you sucked into the story and you really feel like you’re in 1950’s New Orleans. She is so descriptive and entertaining to read. Yes, there were some parts left flat for me, but honestly.. Ruta is still queen for me. I’ll be picking up Between Shades of Grey when I’m in the moved to have my heart ripped out of my chest.

3/5 stars.

Four Fact Survey | Tag

I wasn’t tagged to do this, but I saw it on Kyleigh’s blog over at Coffeehouse Chatter and figured I would give it a go!

On a side note, I’ve been really struggling lately with trying to think of different and new content to provide you guys with. You can only go so far with reviews, tags and memes all the time. Please let me know some ideas that you would be interested to hear my opinion on! ❤


Four Names People Call Me Other Than My Real Name

  1. Britt — obviously.
  2. Bee — I’ve had this nickname since I can remember.
  3. Those are the only
  4. nicknames that I have.

Four Jobs I’ve Had

  1. Hostess at a local seafood restaurant (that was my first ever job)
  2. Server/bartender at Ruby Tuesday (currently)
  3. Personal loan specialist at Springleaf Financial (hated it)
  4. Restaurant at local airport (hated it also)

Four Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once

  1. The Goonies — my all time favorite movie ever and ever.
  2. Casper — I would watch this every single night while in bed when I was a kid.
  3. The Parent Trap – -same with this one! I was so proud to know the handshake by heart.
  4. Clueless — another one of my faves.

Four Authors I Recommend

  1. Ruta Sepetys — if you like historical fiction & want to cry your eyes out
  2. Benjamin Alire Saenz — just if you want to cry your eyes out
  3. Holly Black — if you love beautiful writing & fantasy
  4. Deb Caletti — if you love Sarah Dessen, give Deb a shot!

Four Places I’ve Visited

  1. Disney World
  2. Atlanta, GA
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. Chicago, IL

Four Things I’d Rather Be Doing Right Now

  1. Sleeping
  2. At the beach
  3. At Disney World
  4. or Harry Potter World at Universal will be awesome, too

Four Foods I’d Rather Not Eat

  1. Olives
  2. Pineapple
  3. Ground meat
  4. Salmon

Four Of My Favorite Foods

  1. Potatoes — fried, baked, mashed.
  2. BBQ chicken pizza drizzled in hot sauce & dipped in ranch
  3. Broccoli
  4. Chicken — any way.

Four T.V. Shows I Watch

  1. Gilmore Girls
  2. Friends
  3. Boy Meets World
  4. Bob’s Burgers

Four Things I’m Looking Forward To This Year

  1. Hopefully getting a new job
  2. and getting a new place
  3. hitting my goal of 50 books read (hopefully making it closer to 100)
  4. turning 24!

Four Things I’m Always Saying

  1. Awesome.
  2. For real.
  3. Dude.
  4. Are you serious/seriously?

 


I’m not going to tag anybody since this was just for fun. So anyone who wants to do it, please be more than welcome to! Let me know so I can go check it out!

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh | Book Review

The Wrath and the Dawn

So….this book.

I had this book on my post Top 10 Hyped Books I Want to Read for my first Hype or Like Friday post. Super glad to say that I’ve already knocked out 5 of the books on there. Super sad to say that of those 5, I’ve hated 1, didn’t finish another and this one….was okay.

Let me start off by saying I definitely see what people love about this book. It’s different, fast paced, diverse. It has an eclectic group of characters. But there was just something that didn’t click with me.


One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.


Let’s start with our main character, Shahrzad aka Shazi. At first, I thought she was awesome. I loved her wit and snark and sass. But then as the story went on, it seemed like she was forcing it. That it was all just for show so she doesn’t show Khalid that she’s scared. Another thing that bothered the crap out of me was how paranoid she was the whole time. Someone could say “Shazi, you look nice today” and she’ll be like ~~~omfg they know I’m trying to kill the caliph omgomgomg~~~. It just got old fast.

Khalid wasn’t bad. Honestly, I probably would have hated the book if I didn’t have a soft spot for him. But really… I have no clue why I do. He wasn’t anything special. He treated Shazi like he was a 13 year old boy who has never been with a girl before. Although, I have to admit there were a few scenes where I was like omfgyespleasemore.

“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”

I. hated. Tariq. He’s the equivalent to Mal from the Grisha trilogy. You can just go away and never come back and I WILL BE SO HAPPY. He was just a little dick. Like I understand that you’re trying to save the girl you love and blahblahblah but he was just a pushy asshole.

I couldn’t really follow the whole magic system. I honestly feel like it was unnecessary to the story and I would have enjoyed it more without it. But y’know, we gotta have twists or it makes reading not fun. I didn’t call the twist, but I still wasn’t impressed with it. I thought it as kind of dumb, but again… that is just me.

“And he smiled a smile to shame the sun.”

One thing I DID enjoy was the writing. I would love to read more work by Ahdieh. The way she explains things like clothing, scenery, food… it made me feel like I was there. I could image everything she was describing in my head and it was beautiful. This book was so quote-worthy. I swear I highlighted a paragraph every other page or so. Her writing is delicious.

This is just a very character driven novel and unfortunately, I couldn’t really connect with them. I wish that I did because looking back at my notes and seeing all the quotes that I loved just makes me so sad. They are probably some of my most favorite quotes from books. I really hope that Ahdieh comes out with a new series soon. I actually might end up reading The Rose and the Dagger just because I need more of her story-telling. Maybe by then I’ll be able to attach to the characters more.

“When you meet the one who makes you smile as you’ve never smiled before, cry as you’ve never cried before…there is nothing to do but fall.”

I’ve been debating over and over what I rating I should give this. I felt so dissatisfied when I first finished this that I gave it a 2, but now looking over my notes and just rereading the quotes… I think it deserves at least 3 stars.


Let me know if I should give The Rose and the Dagger a shot and if you think I’d like it better than this. Though I’m sad I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought, I am glad that I did end up giving it a shot.

Summer Reads | T5W

Top 5 Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Samantha over at Thoughts on Tomes. You can keep up with other T5W posts on the GoodReads page

Hey strangers! Long time, no see. I would just like to take a quick second to apologize for my absence lately. Honestly.. I just haven’t been in the mood the blog. And you know what? That’s okay! I decided I’m not going to beat myself up about it since this is supposed to be all for fun anyway. But I am glad to be back, even if it’s just for a quick Top 5 Wednesday.


 

So since we’re talking summer reads, I decided to choose books that take place during the summer and that I feel like don’t get enough love.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson – Adventure, travel, Europe, cute boys…need I say more?

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen – I loved Sarah Dessen when I was in high school and this one was one of my favorites. This would be a perfect book to read while laying by the pool or on the beach!

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – Let’s be real — any Morgan Matson book could fit on this list. But I went with my favorite one. This one just made me wanna hop in the car & just drive!

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick – This book got me out of my YEARS long reading slump. I remember buying it on a whim, just because. I randomly decided in 2014 that I wanted to pick back up on my reading so I chose this one and read it in one night. So good. Can’t wait to read the companion novel!

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler – I read this book back in high school, so honestly this book could use a good reread. But I remember just loving this! It was so cute, yet heartbreaking at the same time.


Alright, that’s it! Post your T5W links below and I’ll be sure to check out your posts. 🙂 ❤