Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately

Author: Alicia Cook

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

Her. Words.

Alicia literally takes you to the exact point in time she is talking about; giving us mental flashbacks if you will. She allows us to travel to the point in our lives where these things have happened to us and ultimately how alone we felt during it. Something to take away from this book? You’re not alone ever, no matter where your thoughts may travel. And maybe it’s because I find myself relating to so many of them but she truly is an exquisite writer..no, not just a writer; a creater. She takes the simple tasks in life that we all take for granted and turns them into so much more than what we allow them to be. It’s really something else.

Writers today (poets), they all utter the same thing in a 3-4 line poems. They all want to show this strength and utter beauty about being women. Do not get me wrong there is nothing wrong with that but I think more of us need to understand we aren’t perfect beings and it’s okay. Our hair has days when it doesn’t cooperate. You’ll have days when trip over your own feet 5 times within 10 minutes. She show us it’s okay to have these weak moments. It’s okay to break down and cry over a lover because it’s going to happen. It’s okay to be who we are even if we don’t like ourselves in that moment of time. And it’s okay to be unapologetically YOU. Days you will feel powerful, days you’ll feel like shit. Days you need love and others where you want to be independent. She covers it all and it’s nothing short of inspiring.

There are tracks I read where I’m like…wow Alicia Cook is living in my head, I’m not the only one thank god! I believe it’s so, so important and not a very easy task to touch an audience the way she does. But she naiiiiiillllls it. Over and over! I’m a forever fan.

Before We Were Strangers

Author: Renée Carlino

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

“You can’t re-create the first time you promise to love someone or the first time you feel loved by another. You cannot relive the sensation of fear, admiration, self-consciousness, passion, and desire all mixed into one because it never happens twice. You chase it like the first high for the rest of your life. It doesn’t mean you can’t love another or move on; it just means that the one spontaneous moment, the split-second that you took the leap, when your heart was racing and your mind was muddled with What Ifs?–that moment–will never happen the same way again. It will never feel as intense as the first time. At least, that’s the way I remember it. That’s why my mother always said we memorialize our past. Everything seems better in a memory.”


Matt and Grace are two artistic souls, both studying at NYU– Matt photography and Grace cellist. This is where they meet, at the Senior House. Neighbors turned best friends turned lovers turned strangers. What went wrong and where?
Fast forward fifteen years where Matt is working for National Geographic. His head hangs low, almost lifeless. Where is the unhappiness rooted? It’s not when he’s drawn to the woman standing on the subway platform, it’s when she turns around when the doors close that he realizes who it is. The eye contact and sudden wave of emotions are enough to get his feet running towards the train. Will Matt and Grace ever have the chance for closure? Or is love truly the strongest force?

I first want to say that this book, this story of Matthias and Graceland is by far my favorite romance of 2017. Renée Carlino has an incredible way with words. Her writing is fluent and absorbs you instantly. It’s hard not to devour this story with such an urgency, wanting answers to the questions you’ll find yourself asking.


To pick a favorite character in this is like asking a parent to pick a favorite child. In just 3 short sittings I became attached to so many characters. Matt’s personality, mannerisms, and his plain BEING are everything a woman seeks in a man while Grace’s elegance, soul, and moral are everything a woman should want to encompass.

To anyone who feels the one “got away”, anyone looking for hope they will come back to them, no matter the time or place..this book is for you. ♡

What Alice Forgot

Author: Liane Moriarty

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

“Early love is exciting and exhilarating. It’s light and bubbly. Anyone can love like that. But after three children, after a separation and a near-divorce, after you’ve hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other and surprised each other, after you’ve seen the worst and the best– well, that sort of love is ineffable. It deserves its own word.”


Liane Moriarty has this certain way of carving out these nooks and crannies in my heart with each book she writes. The characters live there comfortably never to be forgotten. This is the kind of author Liane is.

Alice Love; twenty-nine years old and head over heels in love with her husband Nick. Alice is pregnant with her first child (the Sultana) and nothing in life could go wrong. At least until Alice comes to on a spin-style class floor. Confused as shit because well, Alice hates the gym. In the hospital Alice learns she is in fact thirty-nine years old with 3 children. But if that’s not the biggest shocker, this is. Her and her beloved Nick are getting divorced. As Alice tried to sort out the last ten years, she struggles with what is real, and what only feels like a dream. Does Alice every truly regain her memory of her new self? And is love really as strong as believed, where Alice and Nick can come back from the all hatred?

Ahhh, just as I sit here writing this review I already miss this story! This was such a different read in so many aspects. For me at least, I’ve never read a book  where someone has lost their memory. It certainly helps that Liane’s way of writing is extremely humorous and easy to read. Her characters are always detailed and all of her character relationships have an incredible foundation.

In choosing who my favorite characters are, I go for the ones that never leave my brain. Alllliiiiccce is that character in this book. Okay well, Alice AND Nick. I loved seeing twenty-nine year old Alice in thirty-nine year old Alice’s body. Throughout, catching glimpses of who thirty-nine Alice actually is. The character growth in each of the main characters was written superbly, plan and simple.

If I were to recommend this book to anyone it would be anyone who is a Laine Moriarty fan. It’s hard for me to believe that this book has gotten so many mixed reviews because I loved every. single. chapter. It’s light, funny, + relatable like all good reads are!

Rose and Dust

Author: Christina Hart

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

“The potential of war was all around them–in the air, in the sounds, in their kiss.”

Rose and Dust is the final book in The Rosebush Series. Where Woods and Ash took on a new Jaslove generation, Rose and Dust is a continuation of book 2. Adelina, her mother Ellyn, and Luke are safely home after their ordeal with Ethelyn’s journal but that doesn’t mean there is peace in Lilia Valley. As Orenda’s scheme is being unraveled, the Queen will no longer stand by and watch. Orenda is (finally) exiled from Lilia Valley and not one creature is saddened by it. Although, Orenda will not just roll over and die. When she visits and old freind Nevlin, and keeps ties with the mortal realm through bribery and new elfakits, we know she is planning to take back Lilia Valley. And she’ll do whatever it takes for the throne to be hers once more.

From one chapter to the next I was kept on my tip-toes. This fantasy read held thriller moments which made it almost impossible to stop turning those pages. Inside, Christina Hart gives us so much to learn from these characters. She makes us look into ourselves as humans questioning, “Are we really like that?” And “Omg, mortals really do respond this way..”. The morals this series hold are valuable ones.

My favorite characters stay the same from book 2. Although we see less from Luke and Adelina, we have more Ehtlyn and Lyric which I wasn’t too crazy about. From the start I haven’t been Ethelyn’s biggest fan. She means well I know that for a fact, but as I’ve said in previous reviews.. her indecisiveness chips away at her character for me. Lyric understands in her ways I just can’t stand to which makes me love him. It shows the power of love and being able to look over flaws that we all possess–no matter how big or small.

This is series has taught me so much about myself and gave me a deeper insight to who I want to be. Its crazy how a book can do that for you. If you enjoy stories about deep love, fantasy creature, power + loyalty there is no doubt you will love The Rosebush Series.

Wood and Ash

Author: Christina Hart

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

 

“Certain things are simply out of our control–love being one of them. The question wasn’t in allowing them to be together, the real question was how do they stand to be apart?”

 

Woods and Ash is the second book in The Rosebush Series continuing the story of Lilia Valley. Adelina is the great grand-daughter of Ethelyn Jaslove who we meet in book one; Lavender and Smoke. Adelina–like Ethelyn–has that same unique personality, not believing she belongs in this world. Thanks to her great grand-mother, Adelina can travel to Lilia Valley if only through the pages of her journal. That isn’t enough for though. All she’s wanted to do was go to Lilia Valley, meet all the creatures–especially Lyric–since the moment she opened that journal. THAT journal. Being passed down from daughter to daughter for years, it is now lost..thanks to Adelina. The secrets this journal holds are more valuable to the survival of Lilia Valley and if the wrong person were to get ahold of it well, we wouldn’t want to know the fate of the creatures inhabiting the beautiful land. But of course, this happens. How far does Adelina have to go in order to retrieve Ethelyn’s journal, and who exactly can help her?

 

Christina Hart’s writing grows within this second book. It is by far my favorite in the series. The unfolding of the story grips you extremely tight, making it difficult to close the book at all. You’ll want to know the fate of each character and each of the lands, our world and Lilia Valley.

 

My favorite characters (yes plural) are Luke, Layana, + Adelina. If Ethelyn and Adelina have the same personality then how could I possible like one and not the other? To me Adelina was more sure of the decisions she was making, where Ethelyn– yet tough and stubborn–was too messy with her emotions that her decisions were constantly wavering. Luke. LUUUKKEEE. An elfakit of ex-queen Orenda is one of ‘creatures’ sent to help Adelina bring this journal home. Luke and Adelina’s instant connection is felt through these pages. Is love a strong enough pull to sway you from your loyalties? Lastly, we have Layana. I am SO happy that Christina gave us more Layana than she allowed the first time around. I felt her friendship so strongly, I actually want to be friends with her. Her outer beauty never blinds her inner beauty–she stays kind and friendly through-out.

 

Although this book can be read as a stand alone, I would not recommend it. In order for the love of these characters to bloom and stick you have to trust me on this. If you love fantasy as much as I do, you need to get these books in your hands now!

 

Lavender and Smoke

Author: Christina Hart

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

“She found herself torn between two worlds–a world that she belonged to, and a world that wanted to belong to her.”


Ethelyn Jaslove is seventeen, leading your average life. Waking up, going to a high school day in and day out, where it’s tough to make it through the day. Well, life hasn’t been the same since Ethelyn’s father–Jeremy–passed away 10 years ago. Her mother has lost all life in her eyes since that dreaded phone call, causing her and her mother’s relationship to be quite faulty.

          On a warm May day, as Ethelyn is taking her normal route home, praying for a different life–if one at all–her eye catches a beautiful rosebush in the park. Ethelyn is immediately mesmerized by it’s beauty, she does the only logical thing; she touches it’s soft petals examining the pure white and pink centers. This move alone changed Ethelyn’s life forever. A vine reaches out and grabs ahold of her ankle, pulling her deeper into the rosebush and before she knows it she is tumbling, rolling and stumbling landing on her knees atop a hill. As she turns to look, she realizes she’s not in Kansas anymore.

Lavender and Smoke is comparable to Alice in Wonderland. The vivid images of the pure beauty in this new found world that Ethelyn comes into is almost indescribable. She meets creatures that only come alive in fairytales back home and starts to question if she’s dreaming. Who wouldn’t, right? This book contains more than just magic, breathtaking lands, and an evil queen. The message behind is the most powerful. This story touches upon loyalty, trust, love and self exploration. In just a short period of time Ethelyn grows wiser and stronger in her own world and theirs.

Zamatore is by far my favorite character in Lavender and Smoke. He is the epitome of being a great friend. Through all the trials and tribulations Ethelyn faces during this story–Zamatore is the one to help guide and protect her. It also helps that he becomes Ethelyn’s father figure. We know no one will never be able to take his place, but Zamatore shows us, without complaint he’s happy to take on the unspoken role.

One of the more difficult challenges I faced while reading was actually liking Ethelyn. I understood her in more ways than one and my heart went out to her on many occasions. She shows more self growth and strength than any other character in this book and that alone makes me appreciate her. However, she was very whiny and extremely wavering. I understand this is her character, being in a world where you know no outcomes or if you’ll live, but her indecisiveness put me on edge. By the end I realized everything came full circle and Ethelyn just wouldn’t have been herself is she never carried those characteristics.

I would recommend this this fantasy series to anyone who enjoys leaving this world once in awhile and entering another. Christina Hart creates a world for us to escape into with more beauty than we can imagine, but more deception than we expected. Looking to head into Lilia Valley to learn of Ethelyn’s adventures yourself? 

Bad Mommy

Author: Tarryn Fisher

Rating: ☠☠☠☠☠

Review:

 

“You have to voice your thoughts so you can know you’re not the only one who’s fucked up.”

 

Fig, Jolene, and Darius. What a trio. Okay, you see in a nutshell, Fig is a psychopath. Jolene is the kind of person you wish to be (no matter what Fig wants to say about her), and Darius..ohhh Darius. I guess you’ll have to just find out for yourself.

 

In more or less words, Fig has had absolutely no luck in the baby department which is extremely sad and unfortunate but holds ZERO value in excused as to why you would try to take another woman’s child. Am I right? well, that’s not how Fig sees it. Enter Mercy. Jolene and Darius Avery’s little girl. As soon as Fig saw her she knew. This was her child and she was supposed to be her mother. After studying Jolene’s maternal habits it was decided from that point on. Jolene is a Bad Mommy and would take Mercy by any means necessary.

 

Tarryn Fisher does it again and again. I completed this book in just 2 sittings, 4 hours total. That tells you something about an author, right? Every book of Tarryn’s I have picked up has been inhaled like a smell you can’t get enough of. Bad Mommy in particular was a side of crazy that only another crazy can create (and I mean this in the absolute best way). I love that Tarryn constantly gives us–plain and simple–fucked up-ness from her characters because hey, no one is perfect. Her writing is raw and deep with emotion, keeping us submerged in whatever world she’s created for us.. if only for that moment.

 

Picking a favorite character in a book I enjoyed so much is always such a hard task for me. With Bad Mommy I will 100% always choose Jolene. Though I am not a mother, I can identify and empathize with her character. That’s what we like to do, isn’t it? We like to relate ourselves to anything we can grasp and hold onto, in order to feel we aren’t alone. I love this about Jolene, giving us a relatable life.

 

Who would I choose to read this book? Hmm, anyone who can stomach a writer such as Tarryn. If you can’t, I’m sorry you’re so weak, because you’re missing out on one of the most incredible authors who tells kick-ass stories.

(PS. It also helps that Tarryn is an incredible human being, just saying!)