This Author is Reading Bridgerton (And You Should Too)

Dear Reader,

It has come to this author’s attention that Bridgerton, streaming on Netflix, has stolen many hearts this past fortnight. Could it be the beautiful and stubborn Kate Sharma, or the handsome and just as stubborn Anthony Bridgerton that is stealing all of our hearts? One might never know...

All this author knows is that she must have MORE.

Lady M’s Just Read It Blog

And more did I get. I bought all eight Bridgerton books, and have so far read five of the eight. I can now say that the books are good, but I wouldn’t say they’re better than the show. Although, it’s tough to fully compare the two since Netflix and Shondaland stray from the books in many ways.

One difference between the show and the books is the diversity. All of Julia Quinn’s characters are white in the books. The show is so much more diverse and I was a little sad to find that the book characters had zero diversity. No matter! ‘Tis what our imaginations are for!

The biggest similarity between the show and the books is the steamy romance (*wink wink, nudge, nudge). In that way, Shondaland and Netflix do not stray.

Either way, If you’re on a 19th-century high like I am then I highly suggest that you check out the Bridgerton books and the show if you haven’t watched it yet.

And I know book research can be a tedious process, so let me be your guide through this Bridgerton “Middle Earth”. Below are all the books listed in the correct order, along with their descriptions.

Book 1 – The Duke and I

Daphne and Simon’s Story

The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, Daphne has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.

Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.

The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule…

Book 2 – The Viscount Who Loved Me

Anthony and Kate’s Story

Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry—he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield—the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate is the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate is determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself…

Book 3 – An Offer From A Gentleman

Benedict and Sophie’s Story

Sophie Beckett never dreamed she’d be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s famed masquerade ball—or that “Prince Charming” would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.

Who was that extraordinary woman? Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other—except, perhaps this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid’s garb whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?

Book 4 – Romancing Mr. Bridgerton

Colin and Penelope’s Story

Everyone knows that Colin Bridgerton is the most charming man in London. Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend’s brother for…well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret…and fears she doesn’t know him at all.

Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of everyone’s preoccupation with the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish an edition without mentioning him in the first paragraph. But when Colin returns to London from a trip abroad he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same – especially Penelope Featherington! The girl haunting his dreams. But when he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide…is she his biggest threat – or his promise of a happy ending?

Book 5 – To Sir Phillip, With Love

Eloise and Phillip’s Story

Sir Phillip knew from his correspondence with his dead wife’s distant cousin that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he’d proposed, figuring that she’d be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except . . . she wasn’t. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her…

Eloise Bridgerton couldn’t marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking… and wondering… and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except… he wasn’t. Her perfect husband wouldn’t be so moody and ill-mannered. And he certainly should have mentioned that he had two young – and decidedly unruly – children, as much in need of a mother as Phillip is in need of a wife.

Book 6 – When He Was Wicked

Francesca and Michael’s Story

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one’s life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London’s most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca’s surname was to remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer—the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.

But that was then… Now Michael is the earl and Francesca is free, but still she thinks of him as nothing other than her dear friend and confidant. Michael dares not speak to her of his love… until one dangerous night, when she steps innocently into his arms, and passion proves stronger than even the most wicked of secrets…

Book 7 – It’s In His Kiss

Hyacinth and Gareth’s Story

Gareth St. Clair is in a bind. His father, who detests him, is determined to beggar the St. Clair estates and ruin his inheritance. Gareth’s sole bequest is an old family diary, which may or may not contain the secrets of his past… and the key to his future. The problem is—it’s written in Italian, of which Gareth speaks not a word.

All the ton agreed: there was no one quite like Hyacinth Bridgerton. She’s fiendishly smart, devilishly outspoken, and according to Gareth, probably best in small doses. But there’s something about her—something charming and vexing—that grabs him and won’t quite let go…

To Hyacinth, Gareth’s every word seems a dare, and she offers to translate his diary, even though her Italian is slightly less than perfect. But as they delve into the mysterious text, they discover that the answers they seek lie not in the diary, but in each other… and that there is nothing as simple—or as complicated—as a single, perfect kiss.

Book 8 – On The Way To The Wedding

Gregory and Lucy’s Story

Unlike most men of his acquaintance, Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love. And he is convinced that when he finds the woman of his dreams, he will know in an instant that she is the one. And that is exactly what happened. Except…

She wasn’t the one. In fact, the ravishing Miss Hermione Watson is in love with another. But her best friend, the ever-practical Lady Lucinda Abernathy, wants to save Hermione from a disastrous alliance, so she offers to help Gregory win her over. But in the process, Lucy falls in love. With Gregory! Except…

Lucy is engaged. And her uncle is not inclined to let her back out of the betrothal, even once Gregory comes to his senses and realizes that it is Lucy, with her sharp wit and sunny smile, who makes his heart sing. And now, on the way to the wedding, Gregory must risk everything to ensure that when it comes time to kiss the bride, he is the only man standing at the altar…

Honestly, if you don’t feel called to read the books for the romance, then you should just read them to witness the beauty that is the Bridgerton family. They are family goals.

All books are available on Amazon.

Let me know what you thought of the Bridgerton books and/or show in the comments below.

Happy Reading!

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6 Reasons You’ll Get Swept Away By A River Enchanted

I once thought home was simply a place. Four walls to hold you at night while you slept. But I was wrong. It’s people. It’s being with the ones that you love, and maybe even the ones that you hate.

A River Enchanted, Rebecca Ross

I really wouldn’t do much for a Klondike Bar, but there is a lot I would do for a good fantasy book, especially if it’s a series.

The only thing I had to do to get this book was to pick it for my BOTM, and I’m so thankful that I did. Everything about this story locked me in, from the characters to the descriptions and I never wanted to put it down.

This is Rebecca Ross’ first jab at Adult Fantasy and I think she just about crushed it, and in case this wasn’t enough to convince you to read the book, then please see my additional six reasons below.

Book Description

Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t stepped foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.

As Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together, they find they make better allies than rivals as their partnership turns into something more. But with each passing song, it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they first expected, and an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.

With unforgettable characters, a fast-paced plot, and compelling world-building, A River Enchanted is a stirring story of duty, love, and the power of true partnership, and marks Rebecca Ross’s brilliant entry on the adult fantasy stage.

*Brought to you by Goodreads

1. Multiple perspectives and third-person narrative

One perspective isn’t bad, it’s just limiting. Thankfully, Rebecca Ross has given us not one, not two, not three, not four…but FIVE perspectives in this spellbinding book:

  • Jack Tamerlaine – Our leading man/bard, who has been summoned back to Cadence after being away for ten years, to help find missing lasses.
  • Adaira Tamerlaine – Our bamf leading lady who is the heiress to the Tamerlaine laird. Also, Jack Tamerlaine’s childhood nemesis.
  • Torin Tamerlaine – The guardsman to the east (aka Tamerlaine), Adaira’s cousin, husband to Sidra, and father to Maisie.
  • Sidra Tamerlaine – Healer of the east, wife of Torin, and pseudo-mother to Maisie.
  • Fraeda Tamerlaine – Jack’s little sister.

Tamerlaine is the name of the eastern clan, so that is why it’s Adaira, Torin, and Sidra’s last name. Jack and Fraeda don’t know who their father is, so they’ve taken that last name as well.

2. Soooo many secrets…and mysteries

You will find many a mystery on the island of Cadence, but the three primary mysteries are as follows:

  • Who is taking the Tamerlaine lasses, and why are they being taken?
  • The Breccan Clan – we are only told that they are violent and don’t seek to make peace with the East.
  • Who is Jack and Fraeda’s father?

Many more stem from these three, but I would hate to give everything away 🙂

3. Clan rivalries

It’s like the Montagues and the Capulets, the Trojans and the Spartans, the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, Jerry Seinfeld and Newman…The Tamerlaines and the Breccans have a rivalry that beats all rivalries (besides the Packers and the Bears).

We know that the clans’ feud stems from centuries past when the leader of the east and the leader of the west decided to wed in an attempt to bring the two clans together. Obviously, that ends in utter disaster.

While this book mainly focuses on the Tamerlaines. We see glimpses of the Breccans, but not much is revealed about the clan. The Breccans seem to be more warrior types, while the Tamerlaines are more gentle.

4. There’s magic

Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo – magic rules.

Many people on the island of Cadence have magical abilities. For the Tamerlaines, wielding magic has a very dangerous cost – your health. For the Breccans, there is no cost for practicing magic. Just add it to the list of mysteries.

Jack has the unique ability to communicate with the spirits of Cadence (water, earth, and wind) through his music. Jack’s mom has the ability to weave protective plaids. There are all sorts of magical abilities, and I wish I had all of them.

5. Dynamic & romantic relationships

Where would a good story be without a little romance? There are quite a few romantic entanglements mentioned in this book, but Jack and Adaira, and Torin and Sidra truly steal the show.

First, we have Jack and Adaira. They start the book off as enemies and it ends with them falling madly in love. It’s slow-moving but totally worth the pace and I love a good enemies-to-lovers romance trope.

Torin and Sidra are married when we are first introduced to them, Sidra being Torin’s second wife. His first wife died in childbirth. While it’s clear the two care for each other deeply, there’s still so much they are discovering about each other throughout the book. Honestly, their relationship is beautiful and I love them.

6. Celtic Folklore

This book is set in the 21st century, but when Jack arrives in Cadence it’s as if he’s gone back in time. The men wear kilts and plaids. There are no phones, TVs, cars, or guns. People get around on foot or by horse. The clans fight with enchanted swords and are protected by enchanted plaids. If you need someone, all you have to do is whisper their name in the wind and they’ll come.

Then there are the spirits. The people of Cadence believe that the spirits hold their fate in their hands and many of the Tamerlaines make offerings to them to keep the peace.

It’s all so magestic!

Just Read It

If you don’t mind reading an exquisite book and then being forced to wait a year before the second one is published, then I highly suggest you read this book right now.

Happy reading!

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To Kill A Mockingbird Vs. Where The Crawdads Sing

While I was reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, I couldn’t help but feel like there was something very familiar about it. It nagged and nagged at me until it finally hit me: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

This book had huge To Kill A Mockingbird vibes. I literally caught a vibe, so I thought it was only fitting that I write a post about both of these outstanding novels.

The last time I did a two-for-one, it was for The Maidens and The Silent Patient. I referred to it as killing two birds with one stone. Obviously, considering the circumstances of today’s post, I would like to clarify that the two birds being hit with stone are not mockingbirds. ‘Tis a sin, you know.

Without further ado, please enjoy my inner musings.

To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird

Let’s refresh our memories because if you’re like me, then you haven’t read this book since 7th grade.

Lee’s story takes place in the fictional southern town of Maycomb, Alabama during the years 1933-1935. Our narrator is the young and adorable Scout Finch – I believe she is seven years old when the book starts. So young, and so very naive.

Long story short, Scout Finch discovers racism and prejudice in her small town of Maycomb after one of the black residents, Tom Robinson, is falsely accused of committing a crime against a white woman. Scout’s dad, Atticus Finch, agrees to defend Tom in the trial, which creates a lot of discord among the residents. As all this trial craziness is happening, Scout and her brother Jem discover that their reclusive and mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley, is just a nice and normal dude, and not some evil boogeyman (kids, am I right?).

The ending of this book hits you as hard as your sibling hits you when you’re being annoying. Just kidding, it hits you way harder: Tom Robinson is convicted by an all-white jury for a crime he didn’t commit, even though Atticus Finch had hard evidence that Robinson was innocent. It’s very disappointing, but also not totally surprising.

This book is considered classic literature. Just about every middle schooler across the country has read it, and that will probably be the case for many, many more years to come.

Where the Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens

She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn’t her fault she’d been alone. Most of what she knew, she’d learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would.

Delia Owens, Where The Crawdads Sing

If Boo Radley were to have his own spinoff or pre-qual novel, I would imagine it looking a lot like Where the Crawdads Sing.

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village in North Carolina. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.

But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life’s lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies. But while she has the skills to live in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world—until one of those young men, Chase Andrews, is found dead.

Where the Crawdads Sing spans over multiple years, from 1952 to 1969. The chapters alternate between Kya’s life leading up to the trial and the trial itself. You’ll go back and forth, wondering if Kya is innocent or guilty, and that question won’t really be answered until you read the very last page.

This book is a coming-of-age story set to beautiful descriptions of nature. I know this book will become classic literature, and it could easily become the “To Kill A Mockingbird” for high school students (if it hasn’t already).

Just Read Them

If you like To Kill A Mockingbird then I think it’s safe to say that you’ll probably enjoy Where the Crawdads Sing too. Both books have themes of prejudice, loss of innocence, and justice vs. law.

I would especially like to emphasize the loss of innocence and prejudice in both of these books. Kya is very misunderstood, like Boo Radley, and she loses her innocence very early in life because of abandonment, and even more when she realizes that the town she lives in doesn’t accept her. I would consider her an honorary mockingbird.

Either way, you need to stop what you’re doing and read both books. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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15 Memes Only Book Addicts Will Appreciate

The last time I went into a bookstore I came out with a large pile of books and very little money. ‘Tis the way of a bookaholic, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you’re a bookaholic like me then you’ll enjoy the 15 book memes below. If you find no enjoyment from reading these, then you’re probably not addicted to books and/or reading. If that’s the case, then your bank account most definitely thanks you.

Book addicts unite!! Enjoy 🙂
















Let me know which book meme is your favorite in the comments.

Happy reading!

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Just Read Fable If You Are Able

The Lark. the place my mother’s story ended. And in many ways, the place where mine began.

Adrienne Young, Fable

There’s nothing more comforting than drinking a hot cup of tea in front of a roaring fire and reading a good book. That was me back in December reading the first installment of the Fable series.

I hadn’t read a YA book in quite a bit, so reading Fable sort of felt like coming home. These are the kinds of books that really got me into reading. You have a strong female protagonist, handsome love interest, and of course an array of interesting side characters. This is a formula that cannot and has not disappointed me (yet).

Book Description

For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

*Brought to you by Goodreads

Just Read It

Imagine this: You’re 14 years old and you’ve just witnessed your mother die in a horrible shipwreck, on a ship that you considered your home. Thankfully – depending on how you look at it – you make it out of the shipwreck alive, along with your only living parent. You’re grieving, but you aren’t alone. Until your father stops your boat at a sketchy island that’s notorious for being a horrible place to live. He takes a knife, cuts a weird diagram on your forearm (ouch), gives you some rules to follow, and says, “Find me later if you ever survive this incredibly dangerous place – byyyyeeeeeee.”

I’d be really mad at my dad if he did that to me. Like Animal from The Muppets mad.

Of course, Fable is also mad at her father. Unlucky for her, she gets four long years of barely scraping by to fume over it. She lets the tragedy of being abandoned by her father fuel her motivation for leaving the island and finding him so that she can claim her rightful spot on his crew.

And after those four miserable years, Fable finally finds refuge on The Marigold, with the handsome helmsman West and his crew of misfits. Together the crew works with Fable to find her father. Like any good YA fantasy book, the crew runs into many problems on their journey through the Narrows. We’ve got rival traders, unrequited love, and daddy issues. We also come to find out that West’s pants are on fire big time. You’ll probably know that the moment you meet him in the book.

Is this book predictable? Yes. Is that bad? I don’t think so. It’s kind of nice to read a book and not have to overthink everything. It’s like re-reading a complex book or re-watching your favorite show. It’s comforting. It also boosts my self-esteem when I predict a plot twist.

My final and most important thought from reading this book is that is it gives off HUGE Pirates of the Caribbean vibes. I’m not just saying that because both primarily take place on a ship, but I also kind of am. There are other reasons I think they’re similar, but that’s a different post.

So, if you are not a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean, or any other pirate or sea dominating book and or film, then the chances of you enjoying this book are slim. If none of that bothers you then you should definitely stop reading this post and start reading Fable, but only if you are able.

Find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

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Prepare To Get Lost In The Midnight Library

Never underestimate the big importance of small things.

Matt Haig, The Midnight Library

I’m not a big library person. I know that sounds weird coming from someone who writes about books, but I have good reasons to stand firm in my opinion. There’s no pressure for me to finish reading a book by a certain date, I can underline my favorite quotes, and of course write things like, “OMG,” and “WTF,” in the margins of the pages when I come across plot twists. I simply cannot do any of this with a library book.

Also, I’m really good at losing things, so either way, I’d end up paying for the book by paying late fees, or for a replacement. That’s why, for now, I’m sticking to my kindle, local book store, and my BOTM subscription.

The reason I even have libraries on my mind is that I just finished reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I think if I had a librarian like Mrs. Elm growing up, then I probably would have a much deeper connection to my local library and to libraries in general.

No matter! If you decide to pick this book up then you should prepare to get lost (in a good way).

Book Description

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe, there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

(Brought to you by Goodreads)

Just Read It

Any book that deals with the construct of time, parallel universes, and/or the afterlife is an automatic win for me. There’s no doubt that I will spend hours wondering about all of the things I can’t wrap my head around. Since The Midnight Library contained all of those crazy elements, you could say I was entrapped by the magic of it all.

I think that’s the best way to describe this book: magical.

Haig reminds us that no matter who you are, or what you’ve done in your life, you play a bigger role in the universe than you could ever imagine. It can be hard to see what kind of impact you have on someone else’s life when you’re stuck in your own head.

This is the struggle for Nora Seed – she doesn’t believe that she’s necessary. She believes she’s taking up space and that she has not made any impact on anyone in her life, so she attempts to end it. Instead of dying, Nora finds herself somewhere in between life and death. She wakes up in the Midnight Library, where she gets to try on different lives, like the main character of a movie trying on different clothes during a classic fashion show montage.

Each book in the library holds a different version of Nora’s life, had she made different decisions. Her Midnight Library/Spirit Guide is Nora’s old childhood librarian, who she held near and dear to her heart growing up. It’s Mrs. Elm who helps Nora pick different books/lives to try out.

The more versions of Nora’s life Nora lives out, the more she begins to realize how altering a tiny decision has, not just in her life, but in the lives of the people around her. And even though she said no to being an Olympic swimmer, singing in a band, or saving the world as a glaciologist, she realizes that her life – the one she once thought was worthless and unimpactful – was actually full of endless possibilities.

This book reminds us not to dwell on the past but to stay in the present and embrace everything life has to offer us. See the potential that your life has because it has a lot of it.

Yep, this book was a winner! While it might make you overthink everything about existence, it’s still a fast read, so don’t give it a second thought.

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Once There Were Wolves Will Have You Howling For More

This is the thing, isn’t it? This is the fear they live with now. The children in us long for monsters to take forms we understand. They want to fear the wolves because they don’t want to fear each other.

Charlotte McConaghy, Once There Were Wolves

Ah, Neature.

There’s nothing quite like experiencing the great outdoors. For me, I like to experience it from a distance. For example, If I’m going to go camping, then I want to be in a camper (or not camping at all). I’m not sleeping on the forest floor with nothing but a flimsy tent to protect me. I’m also not wandering off any hiking trails because that’s an easy way to get lost and die from the elements.

I am almost the exact opposite of Inti Flynn, the main character of my new read, Once There Were Wolves. This exceptionally nature filled novel was written by Charlotte McConaghy.

Reading this book was like a breath of fresh air 😉 and I have a feeling that every person who reads it will be howling for more.

Book Description

Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape but Aggie, too, unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska.

Inti is not the woman she once was, either, changed by the harm she’s witnessed—inflicted by humans on both the wild and each other. Yet as the wolves surprise everyone by thriving, Inti begins to let her guard down, even opening herself up to the possibility of love. But when a farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, Inti makes a reckless decision to protect them. But if the wolves didn’t make the kill, then who did? And what will Inti do when the man she is falling for seems to be the prime suspect?

Propulsive and spell-binding, Charlotte McConaghy’s Once There Were Wolves is the unforgettable story of a woman desperate to save the creatures she loves—if she isn’t consumed by a wild that was once her refuge.

(Brought to you by Goodreads)

Just Read It

Hey, look, neature! That’s pretty neat.

I honestly can’t get this book out of my mind. There was something quite wild about it, and that’s not just because it was set in the wilderness of Scotland. This book breathes nature in such a way that it makes you want to get out of your house and wander the woods like a weirdo (See above giphy). Maybe hug a tree or two. It definitely opens your eyes to conservation and rewilding, if said eyes aren’t already open to that.

McConaghy’s descriptions read like beautiful poetry. This isn’t a book that you can just skim through. You have to read it nice and slow, but that shouldn’t be a problem because the words are just so dang majestical.

Don’t even get me started on Inti Flynn. This girl is a big time BAMF. In all the ways a person can be a BAMF. She takes care of her sister who is emotionally scarred from a terrible incident that happened in Alaska, an incident that badly affected Inti too. She is in charge of rewilding Scotland by releasing – yes, you guessed it – wolves into some of the parks. Let’s just say the locals don’t take a liking to Inti and her colleagues, which doesn’t make her job any easier. It doesn’t matter how bad it gets, she doesn’t give up on her wolfy mission.

Also, kind of a spoiler, but I have to mention it – she gives birth in the freaking woods leaning against a tree, catches the baby by the ankle, and then bites the umbilical cord apart. You got that? BITES it. Like a crazy warrior woman. This happens in the dead of winter, people. She and the baby are huddled together against a tree, practically freezing to death, when a wolf pack encounters them, huddles around them, which saves their lives until help comes.

Just WOW.

To top it off, Inti kind of has a cool superpower. It’s actually just Mirror Touch Synesthesia, which is a condition that causes a person to feel a sensation of touch when they see someone else being touched. For Inti, it doesn’t just happen with people, it’s animals too, which explains her freakish obsession and love for wolves.

If you’re worried this book will be too nature-filled for you, please worry no more. There’s plenty of mystery and intrigue to keep your attention.

If you aren’t a fan of neature now, you will be by the time you finish reading this book. So do yourself a favor and just read it, mmkay?

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22 Book Quotes That’ll Inspire You

One of my favorite things about reading a new book is underlining all of my favorite quotes. There is something very satisfying about underlining a good quote. It lets you hold onto the words for just a little bit longer, just letting your mind soak it all in. It’s how I get a lot of my inspiration. Who doesn’t love to be inspired?

Since I aspire to be inspired, and aspire to inspire others, I’m sharing 22 inspiring book quotes that will most definitely inspire you. I also wanted to see how many times I could fit the word ‘inspire’ into one post (title included).

I hope these inspiring book quotes inspire you to feel inspired to accomplish all of the things that have led you to seek out inspiration in the first place.

Figure out what your gift is, Edward Adler, and then blow that shit up.

Ann Napolitano, Dear Edward

You all listen now, this is a real lesson in life. Yes, we got stuck, but what’d we girls do? We made it fun, we laughed. That’s what sisters and girlfriends are all about. Sticking together even in the mud, ‘specially in mud.’

Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing

Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up.

Veronica Roth, Divergent

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

G.K. Chesterton, Coraline

You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.

Yann Martel, Life of Pi

‘The thing about growing up with Fred and George,’ said Ginny thoughtfully, ‘is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got the nerve.’

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.

C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?

J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.

Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

If you aim to be something you are not, you will always fail. Aim to be you. Aim to look and act and think like you. Aim to be the truest version of you. Embrace that you-ness. Endorse it. Love it. Work hard at it. And don’t give a second thought when people mock it or ridicule it. Most gossip is envy in disguise.

Matt Haig, The Midnight Library

You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.

A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

That was the first time her grandfather leaned down and whispered, ‘Be Brave,’ into her ear. And then, ‘Or pretend to be. It’s all the same.’

Kristin Hannah, The Four Winds

Where there’s life, there’s hope

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Standing on the fringes of life…offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

When you get up every day, I want you to remind yourself that tomorrow will be better than today. That you are a person of value. That you are important.

Abi Dare, The Girl with the Louding Voice

It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…

Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

If you want something different, the only person holding you back is you. What is it you love to do?

Sarah Penner, The Lost Apothecary

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

I hope you found some inspiration whilst reading these inspiring book quotes. Feel free to let me know in the comments what your favorite inspiring book (or non-book) quotes are. I’m always looking to be inspired!

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The Silent Patient Vs. The Maidens

Today I’m going to mix things up a bit. What’s that saying? Ah, yes. I’m going to kill two birds with one stone; if those birds were books and the stone, this post.

I’m reviewing The Silent Patient and The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. I actually read The Silent Patient last year and never got around to writing a post about it, so this is one part genius and the other part procrastination.

These books proved to be highly exciting, and if you’re a fan of the thriller genre, then you’re going to need to add these to your TBR list stat.

The Silent Patient

Perhaps some of us are simply born evil, and despite our best efforts we remain that way.

Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient is about a silent patient, which goes to show how accurate the title is. Alicia Berenson refuses to speak after killing her husband in cold blood. Enter Theo Faber, a specially trained psychotherapist, who starts a new job at The Grove Psychiatric Facility to find out what the whole world is dying to know: why Alicia Berenson killed her husband and why she refuses to speak since that fateful night.

The more Theo digs into Alicia’s past, the more he realizes that nothing is what it seems. He begins to discover that maybe Alicia isn’t as crazy as the whole world has been led to believe. As more information is revealed you’ll begin to think that maybe there’s a reason for her madness….

This book shook me like an earthquake shakes the ground. From the moment Theo Faber enters The Grove until the very last page, you will be hooked. We’ve got alternating perspectives of Theo and Alicia. A crazy person’s perspective vs. a not-so-crazy person’s perspective. In one chapter you’re reading about Theo’s investigation into the murder and his therapy sessions with Alicia. In the next, you’re learning about Alicia’s life leading up to when she shoots her husband.

If it isn’t obvious already, this book has twists and turns like you wouldn’t believe and if you aren’t shocked by the insane ending then you are probably an insane person, or really good at solving mysteries.

The Silent Patient was Alex Michaelides’ debut novel, and it’s a gem you shouldn’t deprive yourself of.

The Maidens

After all, everyone’s entitled to be the hero of their own story. So I must be permitted to be the hero of mine. Even though I’m not. I’m the villain.

Alex Michaelides, The Maidens

This time our story begins when Mariana, a recently widowed psychotherapist, goes to Cambridge after her niece’s best friend is found murdered on campus. While originally there to offer Zoe emotional support, Mariana becomes invested in solving the murder. And when she suspects Edward Fosca, a popular and handsome professor at Cambridge, of being the murderer, she’s met with a lot of skepticism. I mean, how could a handsome man with a lot of influence be a murderer? It’s unheard of!

Her accusations are valid considering Fosca is the advisor to a secret society of female students on campus known as the Maidens. A group that Zoe’s BFF was a part of. It’s also discovered that Zoe’s best friend received a lot of special attention from Fosca.

Also, keep in mind that Mariana has recently lost the love of her life, so it becomes a struggle for her to keep Zoe’s spirits high whilst grieving her late husband. There are definitely moments where you’ll be thinking Mariana should get some psychotherapy for herself.

This book focuses on Mariana’s perspective with a few chapters of random journal entries sprinkled throughout. It’s not made entirely clear who the author of these journal entries is, but it’s definitely assumed that their Fosca’s. I’m not saying it’s not Edward Fosca, but I’m also not saying it’s not him either. It could be him, but it could also not be him.

The ending is definitely shocking with a pinch of disturbingly sad. I imagine you’ll be quite confused and quietly sad upon reading the last few chapters of this book. You may even need five to ten minutes to stare blankly at the wall.

Just Read Them

It’s clear that Michaelides has a lot of interest in greek mythology and crazy people, and I’m here for it. I say to you sir, keep writing books and I’ll keep reading those books. While some might believe The Silent Patient is superior, I believe both were well written and executed. Therefore, I grant them the “Just Read It” stamp of approval.

*Side Note: I would highly suggest that you read The Silent Patient before reading The Maidens. Theo makes a guest appearance in Mariana’s storyline which you’ll appreciate even more by reading The Silent Patient first. Just sayin’.

Happy reading, book nerds!

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10 Books That’ll Bring Early 2000s Tweens All The Nostalgia

My love for reading began in my tweens, so I felt reminiscing on the books that brought me into the literary world was long overdue. Thinking about these books reminds me of all those Scholastic Book Fairs I’d attend at my middle school.

Oh, those were the days.

I’d usually end up snatching money from my parents the morning of and spend every penny I had on books and useless things like giant erasers. A lot of the junk I bought at Scholastic Book Fairs just ended up in the junk drawer of my desk at home. I think this is where my love for shopping truly began. Also, my lack of logic when making purchases.

Anyway, some of these books I was forced to read and others I read for my own enjoyment. No matter, each book on this list 100% brought me all the tween nostalgia. If you were a tween in the early 2000s like me, then you’ll probs remember at least one of these books.

1. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

I think I bought this book because of the cute little chicky on the cover. Good choice on my part because this book ended up being one of my fave reads. I loved the back in forth between Bryce and Juli.

Side note: the movie is currently on Netflix.

2. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

When I first picked this book out at my school’s Scholastic Book Fair, I was very confused. Donde esta title of the book?! This obviously intrigued me and I had no choice but to buy it.

It’s basically another book about a weirdo girl attracting the attention of a cool kid who was scared to show his interest. Apparently, she’s so weird that she just can’t be defined.

3. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

If you’ve ever watched the show the Alone on the History Channel, then you’ve basically read Hatchet.

And if the first Hatchet book isn’t enough for you – like you need more survival stories – then check out Hatchet 2. The boy gets stranded in the woods for a SECOND time. You literally have to have the worst luck in the world to be put in that situation. TWICE.

Poor Hatchet boy.

4. Holes by Louis Sachar

Dig it up, oh, oh (dig it). Dig it up, oh, oh (ohh). Dig it up, oh, oh (dig it). Dig it up, oh, oh (ohhhh). Two suits, two tokens in hand, I got no respect ’cause I’m the new man. Got my shovel, shoes full of sand, check out the tag–the name’s Caveman, uhh.

You’ve got to go dig those hooooooooooooles.

The movie was better than the book – that’s all I’m going to say.

5. The Giver by Lois Lowry

I was 100% forced to read this book in middle school, but it didn’t end up being the punishment like most school kids assume when forced to read a book for class.

Also, I’m a sucker for a good dystopia book, so there was no way I was not going to enjoy reading this one.

6. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

There are about a million books in the Princess Diaries series and I only managed to read the first one. For those who haven’t read this book, you should know that it is vastly, vastly different from the movie. I also like this movie waaaaay better than the book.

7. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Woof. This book was super intense and very eye-opening. I’m sure most, if not all tween girls in the early 2000s read this one. It was the first book I read that discussed the trauma of sexual assault. Definitely a tough read, but an important one.

8. TTYL by Lauren Myracle

This whole book is set up like an aim/text conversation among three besties. It was the first of its kind and deeply beloved by young tween girls such as myself.

Teen Magazine even reviewed this book and stated it was “changing the way you read.” Right you are Teen Magazine, right you are.

9. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

I’m not even slightly embarrassed by how obsessed I was with this book series. No shame. I was Team Edward allllllll the way too.

I was so Team Edward that upon realizing Edward was not in most of book two, I refused to finish reading the book. Yes, that’s right. I read New Moon long after finishing the last book in the series.

Once I matured I decided I could handle the emotional trauma of Edward’s absence and finished the book.

10. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

I think I’m saving the best for last here. I mean, this book is a classic. It’s beyond classic. The book, and let’s not forget about the movie.

There’s nothing I loved more than the irony of the main character (the girl on the milk carton) being lactose intolerant. I’m now wondering if her ‘parents’, aka kidnappers, somehow made her lactose intolerant to prevent her from seeing her own missing face. Hmmm….

Feel free to share what books you remember most from your tween days in the comments below 🙂

Happy Reading!

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