ZOMBIE NATION

I am so, so, SO, SO into this series and I’m only 50pgs in to book 1; White Flag of the Dead. Where in God’s name has Joseph Talluto’s books been hiding?! He gets it guys. Just like Robert Kirkman, I can tell. Zombie fans want all the gore and these authors do not hold back. It’s fantastic! Where The Walking Dead are comics, Zombie Wars are novels. Looking for your zombie fix before TWD premier in October? Look no further, I have the answer. I know I’m looking forward to my lunch break to open this baby again!

ASIDE FROM BOOKS

I woke up this morning thinking it was Friday and when I came to the realization it was Wednesday I almost cried. Having a bad week when it’s only mid-week is making me pine for the weekend that much more. Renee Carlino released Wish You Were Here and it arrived on my doorstep yesterday. I forgot I even preordered it so the excitement was real. I can not waaaait to read this beauty! I’m still suffering from a Before We Were Strangers hangover so there’s nothing like the same author to cure it.

I was tagged yesterday by @booksandtattoos to do #asidefrombooks so here we go.

Favorite Hobby: I’m a bibliophile for a reason.

Favorite color: When the sky is so clearly blue it almost looks white–that’s the color.

Dream Home: A quiet area with no neighbors in sight, but no woods either. One story and enough room for 2 children. Do I have to mention a library?

Favorite accessories: Necklaces! They can make or break and outfit.

Favorite TV Show: I’ll say it over and over, Game of Thrones is the greatest TV show ever created. EVER.

Last Movie Watched in Theaters: Lol back in 2011? I’m not a movie go-er. I’ll wait to rent it!

Current Read: Taking it Back-book 2 of the White Flag series, by Joseph Talluto. I loooove me a good zombie fix.

This beautiful boho dress is from (obviously) @tjmaxx. One I laid my eyes on it, I knew it was a must have! This is perfect with my gold ankle boots but today I matched it with these heels from Cohoes. Secret: they’re a half size too big, I just loved them so much I didn’t even care!

White Flag of the Dead

Author: Joseph Talluto

Rating: ☠☠☠☠☠

Review:

The Enillo Virus hit hard. It hit fast and spread wildly. People are rising after death but that’s not all, no. They are attacking the living, tearing their flesh from their bones. Grabbing and scratching until they can latch onto something, anything to suppress their longing, their hunger…YOU.

White Flag of the Dead is not what I was expecting. Since watching The Walking Dead, I have looked for zombie apocalyptic novels to quench my thirst. Joseph Talluto was the first to do so for me. He understands what it takes when it comes to writing about zombies. ‘So what does it take?‘ you might ask. Weeeelll, lots of gore and blood and descriptive writing, what else? As zombie lovers we want the violence and the survival and we want it from the second we open those books!

In White Flag of the Dead Book 1: Surrender of the Living, John Talon will do whatever it takes to keep his infant son Jake alive. He promised Ellie, and he promised himself. He has one job; make sure Jakey survives. When it comes to survival, what would you do to protect the ones you love? John has been named leader of his group. Being leader comes with responsibility he never dreamed of asking for, he just takes it head on. The fight is not easy, it never is and it never will be. Not only do they have to fear the dead walking among them, but the real monsters in this new world; they’re the living. And they won’t back down without a fight…

Without doubt, if you love zombies and apocalypses, gore and survival, you’ll love this book. Are you a Walking Dead fan looking for a new group to follow until the next release? Look no further than Joseph Talluto and White Flag of the Dead.

The Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Review:

When they say the heart wants what it wants, they’re talking about the poetic heart–the heart of love songs and soliloquies, the one that can break as if were just-formed glass. They’re not talking about the real heart, the one that only needs healthy foods and aerobic exercise. But the poetic heart is not to be trusted. It is fickle and will lead you astray. It will tell you that all you need is love and dreams. It will say nothing about food and water and shelter and money. It will tell you that this person, the one in front of you, the one who caught your eye for whatever reason, is the One. And he is. And she is. The One–for right now, until his heart or her heart decides on someone else or something else. The poetic heart is not to be trusted with long-term decision-making.

Natasha Kingsley is a realist. A scientist. She looks at the world as it is, because who has time for dreams and fantasy? Her father has spent his entire life ‘chasing his dreams’ and look where it’s leaded them. It has handed them deportation–tonight at 10PM in fact. Natasha has no recollection of her former life in Jamaica. All she has even known is America. Between re-making of friends and the uncomfortable cultural change, she’s done it once before and is not ready to do it again. As Natasha tries with her entire being to get her family to stay, it shouldn’t be her job to fix her father’s mistakes. She does anyway though, resentment full intact.

Daniel Jae Ho Bae is a dreamer. A poet. He looks at the world for what it could be, because who wouldn’t want to see all the good in the world? He’s Korean American. Daniel was born in America but the life his parents suffered in Korea only made it hard on him here in America. The pressure has always weighed heavy on both his brother and him. Daniel is stuck at a crossroad in life at the moment. His asshole of a brother (the golden child) just got suspended from Harvard University (yes, the #1 school in America), So now the pressure is all on him. With Daniel’s interview for Yale University (yes, the second best school) only hours away, he’s fighting a war with himself. Does he live his own dreams of being a poet, or live parents forceful dream of becoming a doctor.

When Natasha and Daniel have their first encounter the differences in them hold strong and true. Daniel is determined to get Natasha to fall in love with him (because fate brought them together) and Natasha is determined to show him, love is scientific–there is no such thing as fate. As we are taken through Daniel and Natasha’s day, we can see just how easily one interaction can affect the chain of events in a single day. The choices we make spiral into others lives affecting it in ways we couldn’t imagine. Nicola Yoon shows us that simple decisions can change an entire course of not only our lives, but others as well. Will Natasha be able to see that life can’t always be scientifically explained? Will she be able succeed in keeping her family here in America? Will Daniel ultimately become the doctor his parents always pushed him towards, or is his passion for words strong enough to take the riskier path?

I LOVED this book! I want everyone to read this book. This is the kind of read to make you think. Make you think long and hard about your life and how grateful you should be. My stance on immigration has always been the same–I love America and it’s melting pot, it makes us who we are. However, I believe it should be done legally. Not for any other purpose than to NEVER experience what Natasha and her family have to. And my belief still stands, however I can acknowledge and sympathize for anyone who has to go through this extreme suffering. There is the other side of what Daniel has to work through. He is a legal citizen but his parents culture is still Korean. Do as they say and that is all–that is the Korean way. I am extremely lucky to have never had my parents forcefully push me in one direction because they deemed it the right path–the only path. A lot of children, especially from different cultures feel they have no say in their lives. But if you’re in America you do. That is the beauty of this country. You are free to say and do as you please. My heart goes out to anyone who feels stuck in the same predicament as Daniel is. Be free, because you are.

I would recommend this book to literally everyone. I think it would serve a lesson for a lot of people. The domino affect may make you re-think choices or it may not. Can you challenge all your beliefs? Are you on sciences side–or the dreamers?

Maybe in Another Life

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

“And I was reading about different theories about the universe. I was really taken with this one theory that states that everything that is possible happens. That means that when you flip a quarter, it doesn’t come down head or tails. It comes up heads and tails. Every time you flip a coin and it comes up heads, you merely in the universe where the coin came up heads. There is another version of you out there, created the second the quarter flipped, who saw it come up tails. This is happening every second of every day. The world is splitting further and further into an infinite number of parallel universes where everything that could happen is happening. This is completely plausible, by the way. It’s a legitimate interpretation of quantum mechanics. It’s entirely possible that every time we make a decision, there is a version of us out there somewhere who made a different choice. An infinite number of versions of ourselves are living out the consequences of every single possibility in our lives. What I’m getting at here is that I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices that led me somewhere else, led me to someone else.”

Wow, was all I could say after I finished this book in one sitting. And Wow, will forever be the first word out of my mouth when explaining it to someone who wants to know about it. I wish I knew about this book before but I’m glad I didn’t, because I get to love it now.

Hannah Martin is leading the kind of life that is well, a mess. She has lived in six different cities never being able to call one home. Her family has lived in England with her sister so the only family she truly knows is Gabby’s. Enter Gabby, Hannah’s best friend. She had lived with Gabby upon her family’s departure and they’ve always managed to stay the very best of friends. While Hannah seems to be going through a whirlwind of a breakup she decides going back to her hometown Los Angeles is what she needs. Gabby and her husband Mark would never let Hannah stay any place else but their own. To celebrate Hannah’s first night back in town, they head out to a bar where Hannah runs into her high school boyfriend Ethan. After a full night of catching up Gabby decides she’s ready to go. Does Hannah stay with Ethan? Or does she want to stick to her new idea of becoming a new person, one who takes things more slowly. Well, maybe both happens….

This story is jumps from one Hannah to the next. What??? Yes, you heard me. A take on the decision where Hannah decides to stay with Ethan and the other where she decides, ‘not tonight’. A story challenging our every move and the domino affect of these decisions we make by the minute. Do we all truly only have one soulmate? How much of life and love is fate, and how much is by chance?

“But I wonder how different my world would be if any of those things had happened. you can’t change just one part, can you? When you sit there an wish things had happened differently, you can’t just wish away the bad stuff. You have to think about all the good stuff you might lose, too. Better just to stay in the now and focus on what you can do better in the future.”

When I read books that have a love triangle, or multi-love loop I tend to choose sides. It’s really only natural for me. We are given two different universes to work with. I found myself rooting for one life, but I certainly favored one of Hannah’s universes more than the other. Did anyone else feel this happening too?

As we step back and look at our lives we always find ourselves asking questions. ‘What if I had chosen this instead of that. I wish I could go back and change this. If only this didn’t happen, that would have been perfect‘. We waste our lives away wondering what could have or what can be. The message in this book is to focus on the now at all times. What could’ve happened maybe did happen in another life. What is still to come might happen 10 different ways. But the only one that actually matters to the universe we inhabit now is what we do this very moment.

“It doesn’t matter if we don’t mean to do the things we do. It doesn’t matter if it was an accident or a mistake. It doesn’t even matter if we think this is all up to fate. Because regardless of our destiny, we still have to answer for our actions. We make choices, big and small, every day of our lives, and those choices and consequences. We have to face those consequences head-on, for better or worse. We don’t get to erase them just by saying we didn’t mean to. Fate or not, our lives are still the results of our choices. I’m starting to think that when we don’t own them, we don’t own ourselves.”

I recommend this story for anyone who has interest in multi-universes. For the ones who seek adventure, and uniqueness. Anyone who believes that we exist in every possible decision we’ve ever had to make. Did you love Dark Matter by Blake Crouch? This book it for you. The ideas are similar, but they both leave you with the same feelings. If you thrive off great love stories.. like People magazine said, “It’s not a spoiler to say: love wins.” And it does. Happy endings, no matter the universe!

Synthetic Love

Author: Christina Hart

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

“And this is the problem. All of this. With people. With real, living, breathing people. They will never understand you. Could never understand you. Most won’t take the time to try. Most will throw you away before they even have a chance to get to any of the layers underneath. I think I have layers. Maybe not. Maybe people aren’t as fucked up as I am. Maybe they all are. Maybe everyone thinks of themselves the same way I do. Maybe we all sit home alone at night sometimes wondering if anyone out there could ever really love us. Maybe all of us have night terror and nightmares and fucking dread the future sometimes because after enough time, it all looks dim. If the past is any sort of foreshadowing for the future, I’m skeptical that things will ever get better. And how can they? How can they if we don’t let them? How can they if we don’t try? Fuck. I think I try. I want to try.”

Alan is your average man addicted to sex. Wait, what? You heard me correctly. When we first meet Alan, first impressions take over. “A douchebag who’s addicted to sex. Let’s see how this asshole treats women.” We come to a screeching hault in our thought process once we finally get to know Alan. This story is told through Now and Then perspectives. We start off with today’s Alan and we learn that we are ALL extremely judgmental when it comes to first impressions. As we enter the first Then, our views start to shift. We tend to forget that people are a certain way, why? Usually because they have a past that made them this way. What made Alan this way?

My heart ached so many times for Alan, reading this story. Each and every page wanting to take his hand and show him what a good life could be like. The experiences Alan has had to face from such a young age, only stay with him throughout his entire life. There are obvious quirks to him but why? Can that ever be changed? Alan struggles in his present because of his past. Can he make peace with those everlasting ghosts, or is his fate what he fears most? Being alone.

All Alan wants is to love with his whole being and be loved the same way in return. It seems there is something always in the way trying to stop it. Be it small mistakes he continues to make, or even little miscommunications. Some women only want him for a night but he takes it. He’s never actually alone though and he realizes this. The biggest secret he’s held from every girl sits in his closet…

I think this book should be read by adults. We know circumstances are not always an excuse, but we need to understand why people are the way they are. Off the bat, we judge Alan off of one fact: he’s a sex addict. Why are we all so quick to judge when we want others to see us for who WE really are in return? This book helps to get on the path of erasing first impressions and judgements. I think many people can learn a thing or two from a book like this one.

The Foxe and the Hound

Author: R.S. Grey

Rating:

Review:

 

“The love between him and me isn’t right. Some would even say it’s unnatural…wrong. Al they see is his size, and it intimidates them. He is massive, too big for his own good, really, but he’s also handsome–so handsome–with chocolate brown eyes I can’t resist. I won’t sugarcoat it though–he’s not without his flaws. He’s a terrible listener, and frankly, independent to a fault. He’s a sloppy kisser, and he leaves his things everywhere. But every time I come home and run mu fingers through those luscious locks, I forget all of his faults. And when that hair falls out and gets all over the couch, and the bed, and my clothes, and the rug, I don’t fret. I always know I’m just one lint-roller away from everlasting love.

Because he’s the love of my life.

And he’s my dog.”

 

If the opening of this book doesn’t set up for a comedy than I’m not sure what does. This fast-paced book is jam packed with equal parts romance and humor. This will be my first R.S. Grey read and I will tell you what, I’m not disappointed. Quick background here: I started following R.S. Grey on Instagram after I saw she was friendly with Tarryn Fisher. Anyone who is friends with Taryn is someone I want to be friend with for obvious reasons. I always noticed she wrote books and I always told myself “You have to read her books!”. Well, after growing fond of R.S. Grey and the person she is I decided this book would be my first! The bar is certainly set high for her other reads now. I could not get enough of Madeline and Adam.

 

Madeline is your (now-a-days) average 20-something mess. Although Madeline a little older than my own 25 years I found her character extremely relatable. We meet her ‘puppy’ mouse as he is completely mauling a stranger. Madeline is mortified because it’s not just any stranger. It’s a beautiful man in what looks like a very expensive suit. That has to be the worst of it, right? No, no. Mouse has ruined this suit with dirt and mud and mother nature’s organics.

Adam is attractive. LOL. Okay, he’s out of this world gorgeous when it comes to his looks. His Chicago personality has stayed with him when he moved here to Texas though. He’s late for work and calls in his first patient of the day: Mouse. Yes, the same Mouse that ruined his (1 of many) suits this morning.

The story and Madeline and Adam progresses, ups and downs with laughter on every page. I found it almost impossible to close the book. Walking while reading (I swear I didn’t see that car), eating and reading, and even showering while reading were some of the side affects caused by this book.

 

I have to talk about R.S. Grey and her writing. Honestly out of all the romance books I’ve read, I’ve never read sex scenes like these. In books there are scenes where it’s hot, scenes where it’s gentle, scenes where you want to look away and erase it from your memory. R.S. Grey wrote these scenes phenomenally. She took her time with such class, romance and left her readers wanting more.

 

I recommend this book to my age group. Honestly, anyone would read this and enjoy it. I just feel the 20-something’s would feel as I have–we aren’t messes if we all feel we are. Take life as it comes and the surprises will come along with it.