Wrap Up: August 2016

August was full of great reads!

August was insane! We traveled to Rio to watch my brother compete in the Olympics, we came home and bought a house. Now we’re in the process of boxing up our house in Denver and getting ready for the big move to Nevada. I really thought I would have read more this past month, but I can see why I didn’t… I did manage to read 3 books and 2 comics. What I did read was fantastic! I highly recommend them all and here you’ll get a glimpse into each read, but for full reviews you can click below! This past weekend we boxed up my entire office and it makes me sad to see the empty bookshelf, but I did pull a few out. Stay tuned for my September TBR!

Buy your copies of my August reads on Amazon:

Perfectly Good Crime | FULL REVIEW

It Ends With Us | FULL REVIEW

Southern Solstice | FULL REVIEW

Rat Queens Vol 2

Lumberjanes Vol 4

Book Review: Perfectly Good Crime by Dete Meserve

A modern Robin Hood story with an Ocean’s Eleven flare…

Keeps the pages turning! | 5/5 stars | Buy your copy of Perfectly Good Crime


Overview: 
Kate Bradley, a Los Angeles news reporter, is covering the $20 million string of estate robberies. As it turns out there’s a Robin Hood behind the heists and he’s giving back to those in need. Piece by piece Kate begins to piece together the mystery of the sophisticated robberies to uncover who Robin Hood really is.

What I loved: 
thought provoking, unexpected, enjoyable, steady pace,

What I didn’t: 
Eric’s lapse in judgement.

If you liked The House of Bradbury or A Study in Charlotte: then you’ll enjoy this!

For my full review of Perfectly Good Crime, click play!

I received a copy from BookSparks in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: It End With Us by Colleen Hoover

“It stops here. With me and you. It ends with us.”

Powerful Read | 5/5 stars | Buy your copy of It Ends With Us

Overview: Lily had a troubling childhood. Years later she finds herself in Boston following her dreams of opening her own business. On a quite rooftop she meets a guy named Ryle. There’s an instant connection. Lily knows that she could be swept up in a romance with this man, but can’t help to think back on her first true love, Atlas. When he reappears it threatens everything that Lily and Ryle have built.

What I loved: Major plot twists, incredible characters, all the feels and emotions, and a powerful story line.

What I didn’t: A few moments where it felt too predictable.

If you liked Confess, The Lovely Bones, If I Stay, or The Fault in our Stars: Pick this up ASAP!

For my full review of It Ends With Us, click play!

Book Review: Southern Solstice by Sarah Sadler

“God, you’re amazing, Larken. And now you’re my amazing.”

Definitely read! | 5/5 stars | Buy your copy of Southern Solstice

Overview: Larken is heartbroken when her fiancé, David, calls off the wedding and walks out of her life leaving her shaken and confused. She moves back to her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina and finds herself accepting a position at a doctors office where she not only finds the job rewarding and enjoyable, but it opens her eyes to a world she never knew existed.

What I loved: Immediately hooked me, the writing and descriptions, the CHARACTERS!!, an extremely well done love triangle, and that ending!

What I didn’t: A little slow in parts, wished for more of Larken’s sister and the dynamics of her in the family.

If you like Nicolas Sparks then: what are you waiting for?! Order your copy and be charmed away by this gem! Jewels on your crown 😉

For my full review of Southern Solstice, click play!

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wrap Up: July 2016

My reads during the month of July… boy did it fly!

I swear I blinked and July was over! I can’t believe it’s officially August… anyone else feeling like this?! July was busy, but I still managed to read 5 books and 4 comics. The books I read were fantastic as always (huge thank you to BookSparks and Atria Books), but my favorite read would have to be Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino. Oh goodness it was AMAZING and I devoured it in two days. The reads this last month were all a little heavier and emotional so just a little heads up for those who want to read these! I highly recommend them all though and would love to hear what you think so if you do pick one up. Let me know!

Buy your copy of my July reads on Amazon:

You Will Know Me | FULL REVIEW

The Choices We Make | FULL REVIEW

Swear on This Life | FULL REVIEW

So Close | FULL REVIEW

The Regulars | FULL REVIEW

Ms. Marvel Vol 2

Paper Girls Vol 1

Sweet Tooth Vol 6

I Hate Fairyland Vol 1

Book Review: Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

A beautiful story about second chances, forgiveness, and love.

Must Read | 5/5 stars | Pre-order your copy of Swear on This Life | Releases 8.9.16

Overview: Emiline’s handed a copy of a new bestselling book by J. Colby and realizes its about her and the past she’s tried so hard to forget. Feelings she pushed deep down begin to resurface leaving her angry and hurt. Seeking answers, a flame is rekindled and a love story unravels between two kids who found refuge in each others company.

What I loved: Beautiful and unique story, flashbacks, Jase, the raw emotions and connections.

What I didn’t: Trevor (up until the end).

If you liked Before We Were Strangers: Pick this up right now! Like right this instant. Go ahead and pre-order it or run to the store on August 9th!!

For my full review of Swear on This Life, click play!

I received a copy from Atria Books in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Choices We Make by Karma Brown

A touching story of friendship and parenthood.

Read | 5/5 stars | Buy your copy of The Choices We Make

Overview: 
Hannah and Kate have been best friends since the 5th grade. Kate seems to have the perfect life while Hannah’s is missing something.  A child. Hannah and Ben haven’t been able to conceive and just when they are about to give up, Kate offers to be their surrogate.

What I loved: 
Balanced emotions, the connection between Kate and Hannah, beautiful writing and story! That it was inspired by events in the authors life.

What I didn’t: 
Had me on the verge of tears more than once… beware!

If you liked The Lovely Bones or Orphan Train: give this one a go!

For my full review of The Choices We Make, click play!

I received a copy from BookSparks in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to follow BookSparks and join in on the #SRC2016 because with them it will be the #BestSummerEver!!

Author Interview: Nicole Meier

An author interview and giveaway for a signed copy of The House of Bradbury!

Hey friends! Today I’m thrilled to bring you an interview with the author of The House of Bradbury, Nicole Meier! I loved reading The House of Bradbury, in fact it’s one of my favorites so far this year (you can read my full review here). Getting to chat with Nicole over social media and reading her responses has been awesome (and there’s a little sneak peek into what she’s currently working on, EEK!) She is incredibly sweet, thoughtful, and it’s been a pleasure getting to know her. She was also kind enough to send a signed copy of her book to giveaway with this interview (see info below)! Enjoy!!

Jessi’s Library: In your own words, could you give the readers a brief overview of The House of Bradbury?

Nicole Meier: Sure! Failed novelist, Mia Gladwell is convinced her life will change when she moves into the Los Angeles home of iconic author Ray Bradbury. But what she didn’t expect was to take in a pill popping young starlet as a tenant, the ongoing needs of her movie producing ex-fiancé, and the ever watchful eye of her disapproving, older sister. On top of that, Mia starts receiving mysterious sketches left at her doorstep. Life in the Bradbury house is full of surprises.

JL: Your debut novel had me staying up way to late and waking early just to finish it. What inspired you to write The House of Bradbury?

NM: Thank you! I love hearing that. When I came across the LA Times article that read, “Ray Bradbury’s home could be yours for $1.5 Million,” I was immediately hooked. I was a fan of Bradbury’s work and curious about the house he lived in for over fifty years. Once I started doing research, I knew the charming yellow house had a story inside. And while the home has since been demolished, I wanted to imagine a world where an appreciative writer purchases and moves into the house instead.

JL: Mia Gladwell is a strong young woman who’s proved that picking yourself up in the lowest moments of life is possible with the help of family and the hope of starting over. I think readers will love connecting to her personal life and watching as she pieces her life back together. What first inspired you to create Mia’s character?

NM: I think there are too many stories out there where someone else rescues the girl. I wanted Mia to rescue herself. She suffered from a bad breakup, a disappointing writing career, and a dicey relationship with her sister. I wanted her problems to be relatable, but also circumstances that she could climb her way out of with a little determination and a willing spirit.

JL: I loved the fact that the house played a huge role in the story, but it didn’t outshine any of the characters. What type of research was required in order for you to make Ray Bradbury’s home feel so real?

NM: I did a lot of research. I pored over real estate photos online, watched video interviews of Bradbury being filmed in his home, and read dozens of articles. I made a kind of vision board, printing and pasting up images of the interior of his home. I really tried to represent each room to the best of my ability. I wanted to get the color of the wallpaper correct, the shape of the tile floor right, etc. In the end, I hope I did a decent job.

As a side note, a friend of his recently wrote me and said that yes, there really was a blue toilet as well as built-in bookshelves in the shower!

JL: If you could move into an authors house with hopes of getting your inspiration back, who’s would it be and why?

NM: Oh that’s easy, the home of the late Harper Lee. I think To Kill a Mockingbird is the greatest story of all time (and my kids love it too!).

JL: What was the greatest challenge you faced while writing The House of Bradbury?

NM: Not being able to get inside the house before it was demolished. I am familiar with the neighborhood and have driven by the lot, but never gone inside.

JL: What was your favorite scene to write?

NM: Wow, I’ve never thought of that one! Probably all the sister stuff. I have two older sisters and sometimes laughed out loud when writing about the antics between siblings.

JL: I’d be interesting in hearing a little bit about your writing process. Do you create an outline for your story or do you just start writing as it comes to mind?

NM: I’m not a plotter. I’m a “panster.” I literally write by the seat of my pants. (Okay, not literally.) I will do a rough skeleton of a synopsis and then just wing it. That’s my formula. It doesn’t work for everyone, but I like it.

JL: Are there any particular authors who have influenced you and your writing style?

NM: Sue Monk Kidd and Harper Lee are my idols. But I don’t write anything like them. Still, they are wonderful examples.

JL: What genre of books do you like to read and do you write in that same genre?

NM:  Lately, I’m reading piles of women’s fiction books. I read them for pleasure, but also to study what other authors I admire are doing to make their story work. I’m always learning from others.

JL: Could you tell us a little bit about the whole experience with The House of Bradbury from the moments you were writing it, to it being accepted, and finally it being published and out in the world?  For example, how did it make you feel, what was going through your mind, etc.

NM: The book took me a year to write, and another year to edit, market, and publish. That’s actually pretty fast by most standards. This is because I went with a small, indie press, called Sparkpress. After I submitted my work and was accepted, I was thrilled! It seemed like the perfect fit for my book. It’s run by a wonderfully supportive group of women. I’ve been included in so many aspects of the process, from cover design to marketing plans. It’s been an unbelievably positive experience.

JL: Now that The House of Bradbury is out, what are you working on? I’m  a huge fan and can’t wait for more, so is there any chance there’s another book headed our way?

NM: Yes, I’m working on my next novel and… knock on wood… it will find a home. It’s about sisters and there are some big secrets, but that’s all I can say. Hopefully someone will love it enough to publish it!

JL: Since I adored your book, I’d love to know what’s on your summer reading list?

NM: I love Mary Kubica’s domestic thrillers and just finished her newest, Don’t You Cry. And I just started Allison Winn Scotch’s In Twenty Years.

Thank you Nicole for the amazing interview and the signed book! It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know more about you and I can’t wait to see where the next novel will take you. Also, congratulations on The House of Bradbury going for it’s second run! Readers, I cannot recommend The House of Bradbury enough for your summer reading list. It’s quick paced, enjoyable, and the writing style left me pleasantly surprised. It’s a gem! You can click the link to order your copy of The House of Bradbury from Amazon.

*GIVEAWAY* Head over to my Instagram to enter for your chance to win the signed copy of The House of Bradbury! Giveaway ends Monday, July 18th. Winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Tuesday, July 19th. I’m so excited to share this book with one lucky winner!

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Book Review: milk and honey

milk and honey has become one of my favorite reads ever!

LOVED! | 5/5 stars | Buy your copy of milk and honey

Overview: milk and honey is collection of poetry that covers topics such as femininity, love, loss, healing, relationships, and acceptance. Never have I been more moved by a single sentence. I’m hungry for more poetry… do you have any recommendations? Leave a comment below!

What I loved: How it speaks to you personally, it’s inspiring, beautiful, raw, and honest. The illustrations were so pretty. One of my favorite reads ever!

What I didn’t: Not a damn thing!

For my full review of milk and honey, click play!

 

Favorites: Halfway through 2016

A collection of my favorite reads so far this year.

June has come and gone and so far I’ve read 39 books. They have all been great too which is why I wanted to share my favorite reads so far this year. I’m also really interested in looking back at the end of the year and seeing which of these makes the final cut for the end of the year favorites. I’m sure the list will change, but for now, I’m extremely happy with the lineup. I hope that you’ll find at least one you haven’t read yet and give it a go!!

Today, I’m dressed head to toe Americana and ready to celebrate! Sadly, Zach has to work so I’ll just be chilling at home. There will be sunshine, bbq foods, and of course a good book! Later, I’ll most likely stay home with our pup and watch the fireworks from upstairs. I love this time of year. I hope you all have a fun and safe holiday!

Happy Fourth of July!

My favorite books so far this year in no particular order:

  1. milk and honey | FULL REVIEW
  2. Before We Were Strangers | FULL REVIEW
  3. The House of Bradbury | FULL REVIEW
  4. Me Before You | FULL REVIEW
  5. Salt to the Sea | FULL REVIEW
  6. Fangirl | FULL REVIEW
  7. Hidden Bodies | FULL REVIEW
  8. He Will Be My Ruin | FULL REVIEW
  9. The 5th Wave | FULL REVIEW
  10. Confess | FULL REVIEW

My favorite comics/graphic novels. Again, in no particular order:

  1. Soppy
  2. Lady Killer
  3. Rat Queens
  4. Sweet Tooth Volumes 1-6
  5. Lumberjanes Volumes 1-3