The Time Has Come, the Walrus Said…


I think it’s officially time for me to bite the bullet and admit to myself – and you – that I am officially finished with this blog. Over the past several months – since I went on hiatus in March – I’ve thought a few times about bringing this blog back to life, and each time have found a reason not to do so. This is a pretty good indicator that my enjoyment of blogging has waned to the point where it’s basically nonexistent. It’s not fair to call it a hiatus any longer when it’s instead going to be permanent.

My life is just so much different than it was when I created this blog. I am currently teaching a new grade level, and am officially 17 days into the new school year. My reading consists mostly of audiobooks – which take me a VERY long time to get through – and the occasional book that I pick up because it looks interesting. I don’t take review requests. I don’t visit galley sites. I can’t, because I know I won’t read the books. So many series have been released and/or finished, and I haven’t read them. I am really, really out of touch with the world of book releases, and am actually okay with that. I want to read for me, and because I want to, not because I feel like I have to. And I know that, if I were to try blogging regularly again, that’s what it would turn into. I don’t want anything about this blog to turn negative, so it’s best to just make a clean break.

I will still be around, though. I am still on Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. Feel free to follow me on any of those platforms if you’re interested! I am most active on Tumblr, although it’s not purely book-related, because that’s just not where my interests exclusively lie at this point.

Thank you to all of you who have followed me over the years. Thanks to all the authors who allowed me to be part of their blog tours, or requested reviews because you trusted my judgement. I loved being a book blogger more than words can say. Now it’s time for me to be a teacher, and see what I can accomplish in that field instead.

Much love to all of you! ♥


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Hiatus Notice


So I’m sure those of you who regularly check up on my blog have noticed that I haven’t been around much. The truth is that I haven’t actually picked up a book in over two months – my reading so far this year consists of the four audiobooks I’ve finished and the one I’m currently reading. I just really haven’t wanted to read, and I think a lot of that comes from the fact that work has been extremely stressful the past month or so, and also that I was sick on and off during that same time period. I’m finally feeling healthy again, but now we’re into the last week of the quarter, so my time at work is being spent doing assessments of all kinds, as well as dealing with some pretty significant behaviors from some of my students. It’s all added up to me turning into a big ball of stress, and as a result, reading has taken a definite backseat. I can’t focus on books when I feel so out of sorts myself.

So I am going to actually bite the bullet and go on Hiatus until further notice. I don’t want to give a date that I’ll return by, because I don’t want blogging (and reading) to feel like a job, or something I’m forcing myself to do. What I can promise is that, once I feel more together and sorted out, that I’ll be back. I still actually have some reviews that I wrote up for books I read last year that I’ve never posted, so I’m just going to hold on to those until I’m actually back full time. I don’t want to half-ass my blogging, so to speak, and just throw content up for the sake of having new content. I want to be all in, or not in at all, because part of blogging is interacting with my readers and visiting their blogs in return, and right now I just don’t have the energy to do that.

Thanks to those of you who have continued to follow me through my ups and downs in blogging! Your follows mean a lot to me, and I hope to be back soon. ♥


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Top Ten Bookish OTPs


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers there at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is Valentine’s Day-themed, so I decided to focus on OTPs. Now, usually you have one ultimate OTP, but I am not a person who has limits, so I basically have one for, like, every single book I’ve read. What can I say? I like who I like, and I like them with certain people. :-P So here are my Top Ten Bookish OTPs!




1) Tarver and Lilac


2) Ezra and Kady


3) Howl and Sophie


4) Percy and Annabeth


5) Will and Lyra


6) Luc and Ingrid


7) Duval and Ismae


8) Lord Maccon and Alexia


9) Eddie and Jo


10) Sonny and Kelley


So those are the pairings that made my list this week! What Valentine’s topic did you choose? Please link me in the comments!


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REVIEW: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

theseshallowgravesThese Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
Delacorte, 2015
[Goodreads] [Book Depository]

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.


These Shallow Graves actually came onto my radar thanks to its gorgeous cover. I am not actually typically a cover buyer, but this one – combined with some highly-rated reviews and a very interesting summary – just spoke to me. I’d never read a book by this author before, but let me tell you, I’m pretty much hooked and shall be reading anything else she’s written. I absolutely loved this book – it’s so well researched, and the romance between Jo and Eddie just pulled me in. I also liked how not everything was perfectly tied up in the end, either. The mystery is solved, but things aren’t perfect yet, and possibly aren’t ever going to be. It was a nice change of pace from the books I usually read. Best of all, it was a stand alone! Those seem to be extremely few and far between nowadays.

Jo Montfort is your typical girl in a historical book that doesn’t want to conform to society’s standards. She wants to be a reporter, just like Nellie Bly, which just isn’t done, especially since her family is rich and well respected and there are certain expectations on her. The biggest one is that she’ll marry Bram Aldrich and give the family lots of grand babies. Jo isn’t exactly opposed to this – she cares for Bram – but does care that marrying him will put an end to her dreams. Then her father is killed, and she meets Eddie, and that’s when the book really takes off. Jo finds herself in a lot of dangerous situations as she tries to figure out the truth behind her father’s death; the thing I loved is that she refuses to give up, even though Eddie tries several times to get her to leave things to him alone. She was so strong-willed and yet still clearly grieving for her father, and I just really loved her to pieces.

The forbidden romance between Jo and Eddie likewise made me SO happy. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses – they are from two totally different classes, and Jo goes against her family every single time she meets with him – and yet their romance felt so real that I fell in love right along with them. Eddie was brave, and strong, and determined, and he really balanced Jo out. I also loved how slow burning things were between them – it felt right int he context of the story as well as the time period – and my heart ached every single time things came up to get between them. They are a perfect duo, not only personality-wise, but also as semi-detectives. Honestly they both just made this story for me.

The mystery itself perhaps was a bit obvious, at least in terms of who did it, but I did love all the looks into the history of the Montfort’s shipping company and the ugly truths that come to light about Jo’s father’s past. The ending in particular – when the truth is finally revealed – was action-packed and kept me eagerly turning the pages. I was definitely sad to let these characters go once it was all over.

These Shallow Graves was one of my best of 2015. It had everything fans of historical YA could want: great characters, an engaging mystery, lots of historical details, and a fabulous slow-burning romance. I’d definitely recommend it!



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Top Ten Bookish Settings I Love to Read About


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers there at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic gave us some choices to work with, but in typical fashion I decided to kind of do my own thing, since I couldn’t come up with ten that fit the prescribed categories. All of them revolve around the setting of the book, though, so that’s what I’m going with. So here are my Top Ten Bookish Settings That I Love to Read About!



1. Space Ships

I have a HUGE thing for books that take place on space ships, probably because of my love for all things Star Trek. Illuminae is my most recent favorite, but I also loved These Broken Stars, even though that wasn’t so much on a space ship as an abandoned planet, but. Same difference, right?

2. Historical European settings.

Think Paris or Russia or London. Whatever it is, I am ALL about it. Current favorites include Soulless by Gail Carriger, The Beautiful and the Cursed series by Page Morgan, and the Czarist Russia portion of A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.

3. Early 1900s America.

I am particularly fond of headstrong girls who want equal rights or at least realize things are wrong with the way the world currently works, and ladies like this tend to be prevalent in books set in this time period. Current favorite is These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly, although I also loved Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard.

4. Scottish Highlands.

So, this primarily stems from my fondness for those stupid romance bodice ripper novels. I kind of have a soft spot for the rough and tumble Scottish man sweeping his unsuspecting girl off her feet. With bonus rolls in the grass of the Scottish highlands. I’m not even going to apologize!

5. Fairy Tale settings.

There’s so much to love about the whimsical worlds found in fairy tale retellings. I love the glimpse of magic – that’s usually so commonplace – found throughout the world, and also love me some princes and princesses. I guess it’s the whole “happily ever after” that I actually love the most!

6. Magic.

This ties in directly with #5, but I love worlds with magic. Whether it’s worlds where people do magic, or just simply worlds where magic is openly apparent, I am all for them. Favorites include Harry Potter (duh), the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, and Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway.

And that’s all I’ve got! Even with doing my own thing, I still couldn’t come up with ten. Oh, well!


So those are my choices this week! Which settings to do love to read about? Please link me in the comments!


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REVIEW: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1)
by Gail Carriger

Orbit, 2009
[Goodreads] [Book Depository]

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.

First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire–and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

mythoughtsIt had been a long time since I’d read a book that was such pure and delightful fun. Soulless is exactly that, and I have to say, I definitely think going the audio route made it even more so. The narrator really helped bring Alexia to life, and I couldn’t help but laugh at her antics. There are two main points of view in this book – Alexia and Lord Maccon – and even though the narrator is female, she did both of them the justice they deserved. It was almost like it was the characters themselves telling their story, which is not always the case in audiobooks. The humor, sass, and snark came through perfectly, and made me thoroughly enjoy this book from start to finish.

I do want to say, though, that as funny as most parts of this book are, I actually had such a visceral reaction to Alexia’s constant penchant for putting herself down. You can tell that she’s just been hit over the head her whole life about how different from everyone else she looks, and it’s completely eroded her own opinion of herself. She is just so genuinely perplexed that Lord Maccon might actually find her attractive, and it really just hurt my heart a whole, whole lot. I cannot even imagine having to live with a family that does nothing but berate you, and it becomes so normal for her that she simply accepts their opinions as fact. Of course, in typical Alexia fashion, she does her best to cover up her insecurities with her wit and attitude, but they’re still there, still eating at her, and I honestly wish I could have reached through the screen of my Kindle and slapped her mother and sisters more than once.

I also appreciated that, while this is your typical paranormal with vampires and werewolves, it was still different than what you’d expect. I liked the fact that the paranormal citizens are basically integrated into society, and yet people are still pretty uneasy about them. I also liked how the two types of creatures – for lack of a better word – created their own societies and rules, and appreciated the glimpse into both of them. As a general rule, I liked the werewolves more than the vampires here, but definitely had a soft spot for Lord Akeldama and Alexia’s feelings towards him. I also liked Lord Maccon’s jealousy towards Alexia spending time with Akeldama, even if it did take Alexia a long time to figure it out.

All in all, I found Soulless to be completely delightful in every way. It had an interesting story, a unique paranormal world, and two very head strong and stubborn characters. The romance – while you know it’s coming – was nicely developed and firmly in the “slow burn” category, which was also nice to see. I don’t know if I’ll go ahead and read the rest of the series or not, as I’ve heard mixed things, but am certainly glad I gave this one a shot!



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REVIEW: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

curefordreamingThe Cure for Dreaming
by Cat Winters

Amulet, 2014
[Goodreads] [Book Depository]

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

mythoughtsI was a huge fan of Cat Winters’ first book, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, and couldn’t get over how well she meshed historical fact with paranormal happenings. I was hoping The Cure for Dreaming would be in this same vein, and for the most part, it was. Just like with Blackbirds, you could immediately tell how much research she did into the time period the book is set. The setting of the story was visceral at times, and really made me feel like I was there experiencing things right along with Olivia. The paranormal aspect was a bit different this time, though – rather than ghosts, we have a hypnotist – and while I liked Olivia and was rooting for her, ultimately I didn’t love her as much as I did Mary Shelley. I felt like the story kind of dragged in parts, and also had a really hard time with the cast of extremely unlikable characters that surrounded Olivia. I know that that was probably the point, but it definitely impacted my enjoyment overall.

I want to state upfront that this book is rather gruesome and dark in places. Also, if you have a teeth phobia you’ll definitely want to avoid reading this. Olivia’s father is a dentist, and since the book is set in 1900 the dental tools available aren’t great. There’s talk of leaches, and pulling teeth, etc., so it’s definitely not for the squeamish. While I was expecting something atmospheric and creepy, this kind of surpassed my expectations, and not always in a good way. Just something to keep in mind if you decide to give it a read.

I do want to say that I loved Olivia’s spirit, and was so angry on her behalf when Henri hypnotizes her per her father’s instructions. In fact, there was quite a lot to be upset about in this book – the overall treatment of women definitely isn’t great, but is in line with the times and the ways people back then thought. Olivia herself is a free spirit, who wants to go to college and be a writer, and that’s not at all what her father wants for her. There’s also a guy who’s inappropriately handsy, so be aware that this could potentially trigger you. Henri took a long time for me to warm up to, and in the end I was more confused over what I thought than firmly on “like” or “dislike”. He has his own motivations, which I understood, but his methods – much like most people in this book – left quite a bit to be desired.

All in all, I found The Cure for Dreaming to be a good read, but nothing spectacular. I do think that it may have gotten a slightly higher rating if I could have read this in book form, so that I could have seen the pictures interspersed in more detail, but ultimately I just found the story rather lacking. Your mileage may vary, though, so if you’re curious about it at all, do give it a read!


An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant to Get to But Didn’t


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers there at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic asks us to list our Top Ten 2015 Releases We Didn’t Get to Read Yet. I decided to do books I personally own – unfortunately there are a lot – so these are all books I legitimately wanted to read last year, but just didn’t have the time/inclination to do so.



allthetruththatsinme magonia tinyprettythings A Darker Shade final for Irene winter distancebetween_final cover_4_1.indd magnuschase liarsinc anemberintheashes sixofcrows

  • All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry
  • Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
  • Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Winter by Marissa Meyer
  • The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes
  • The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
  • Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


So those are my books this week! Which titles made yours? Please link me in the comments!


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REVIEW: This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

thisiswhereitendsThis is Where It Ends
by Marieke Nijkamp

Sourcebooks Fire, 2016
[Goodreads] [Book Depository]

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won’t open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

mythoughtsThis is Where It Ends came to my attention via some friends on Tumblr, who were all raving about how amazing the book was. Because of this, I went into it with some pretty high expectations, although I fully believed my reading experience would be different than there, simply because I’m a teacher and this is something I’ve thought about because school shootings have become more and more rampant here in the US. Unfortunately for me, this book did not achieve the amazingness that others claimed it had for them. While I definitely feel like this is a book that needed to be written, I feel like it failed  in its telling, at least for me personally. I will try to tell you why below, although be aware that – even almost two weeks after reading this – my thoughts are still quite jumbled and hard to sort out coherently.

First of all, this book is told through multiple viewpoints. The shooter feels like each of these characters has done something to him personally, and – I hate to say this – but I can sort of see where he’s coming from. He is clearly suffering from some type of mental illness, and has had little to no support from anyone after the death of his mother. I am NOT saying that anyone deserved what happened to them – there is never a reason to go into a school and open fire on students, most of which quite obviously hadn’t done anything – but there were clear indicators that he wasn’t okay, and, as a teacher, that’s the part that really hit me the hardest. However, I feel like it was precisely because the book is told through these characters’ viewpoints that the book didn’t work for me. I think it would have been a much more powerful read if we could have heard from some of the kids who didn’t know the shooter, and didn’t know what he’d been going through. I dunno. That part of the book just fell flat for me.

There are also timestamps in this book, which are supposed to help with the urgency of the situation, and help the reader stay engaged. And I do want to say that, while I didn’t love this book, it was a quick read, and I was definitely interested in seeing how things would turn out. But there wasn’t the “must keep reading” feeling from this book for me, either. I saw someone else say that this was a case of an author with a great idea who struggled to bring it to fruition, and I kind of agree. I think all of the elements were there, but I just wasn’t connected to any of the characters, which didn’t help with my overall feelings.

All in all, I think this book is worth a read. I also want to say that several people did love it – it totally worked for them – and I am kind of the odd bird. But overall I think the focus of this book was on the wrong characters, and the action and suspense weren’t as gripping as it should – and could – have been. However, feel free to take all of this with a grain of salt! If you’re curious at all, I’d recommend you give it a read just so you can see how you feel for yourself.



An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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State of Merin


Somehow it has been two months since I made my last State of Me post – how did THAT happen? Apparently I was a bit more scatterbrained than I’d thought. So I shall now try to recap the last few months, in a nicely condensed form that’s easier to read. By which I mean, hello bullet points!

In the last two months I:

  • completed my Goodreads challenge for 2015
  • finished second quarter (and the resulting report cards AND report card comments)
  • got two new students, bringing my total to 21
  • watched copious amounts of reruns on WE, most notably Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and CSI: Miami. David Caruso may be the worst actor in history, but I still have a made love affair with the show.
  • had my Winter Break from school, which is never long enough even though we get two weeks off
  • splurged on a new purse and work bag (yay, new bags!)
  • ordered new glasses, which just came in today (but I haven’t picked up yet)
  • gotten obsessed with playing Sims 4, although what I really love about it is designing interiors and making the houses look pretty. :)
  • Took a really nice selfie, which I’m sharing for posterity, because it doesn’t happen that often (ha)


So, not really a whole lot of excitement, but considering how tiring teaching can be – and how exhausting my students in particular are – I figure two low-key months without too much excitement is a good thing. I do apologize for taking a month+ off from blogging, but thankfully in that time I got some books read so that I can keep reviews up to date on my blog. I also will be slowly updating my Review Archive to add my newest reviews, since I haven’t done that in several months, either.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate) and that 2016 brings you nothing but good things! I’m hopeful that I can remain more active on here, with perhaps just a handful of small hiatuses when work things amp up. I will definitely let you know when I need to take a break instead of just disappearing, though!

Thanks to everyone who’s still following me here! I’m looking forward to bringing you lots more bookish content. ♥


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