book review

Heartsick

by Chelsea Cain

Length: 336 pages

Published: September 4th 2007 by Minotaur Books

Medium of Consumption: Paperback

The Rundown:

Leading Detective Archie Sheridan found he was on the wrong end of a serial killer investigation.  After being tortured for ten days his captor released him and the murderess Gretchen Lowell was put behind bars.

Two years pass and Archie, heavily medicated, goes back to work.  Another serial killer is on the loose in Portland, Oregon, abducting teenage girls and dumping their bodies.  With help from a punk rock journalist, Archie searches for clues and connections to the killer.

What I Thought:

This book has been popping up on my Goodreads suggestions since, like, forever.  Whilst browsing a used bookstore an hour and a half away from my home, serendipity struck when I saw this gem on the shelves!

I loved Archie’s character, he is such a broken person but still pushes himself to do the job that he does.  I also didn’t realize this was a series!  I may not read the next one for a bit, but I sure look forward to picking it up when I do.

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4/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you like Thomas Harris novels
  • If you like The Detective Alex Cross series
  • If you like deranged serial killer books
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book review

Where She Went

by Gayle Forman

Length: 264 pages
Published: April 5th 2011 by Dutton Juvenile
Medium of Consumption: eBook

The Rundown:

Three years after Mia’s accident, we are reacquainted with Adam (Mia’s now ex-boyfriend).  Still trying to cope with a life without her, Adam has found himself living in the limelight with his now platinum record selling band.  The day before he leaves for their European tour, he runs into Mia.  Spending the rest of the evening together, and answering questions that have been brewing for three years, will they rekindle their relationship or part one another with complete closure?

What I Thought:

I loved If I Stay so much that I jumped right into Where She Went.  Although I read this one just as quickly, and I cried and I laughed just as I did with its predecessor, but I was slightly disappointed with this one.  It was a little too… romantic for me?  Adam’s constant pining for Mia was kind of annoying.

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It wasn’t as “grab you by the gut” as If I Stay, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  I just wish it didn’t have such a hopeless romantic vibe to it.

4/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you read If I Stay
  • If you really like sappy stuff
  • If you thought Noah from The Notebook was the dreamiest guy ever
book review

If I Stay

by Gayle Forman

Length: 261 Pages

Published: April 6th 2010 by Speak

Medium of Consumption: Paperback

The Rundown:

A car crash leaves Mia’s life hanging by a thread.  As she watches helplessly the events unfold post crash in an out-of-body experience, she learns the fate of her family, witnesses the strength of her loved ones, and knows that she has to make the ultimate decision of living or dying.

What I Thought:

I never saw the movie, I never knew what this was really about, I only knew that there was some hype about this book.  It blew me away.  There were parts that made me tear up and parts that made me laugh out loud.  I could not put this book down.  I ultimately needed to know, did she stay?

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I loved this story so much that when I finished, I immediately picked up the second one and read it that same night.

5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you need a cry
  • If you want a quick read that packs a punch
book review

Shutter Island

by Dennis Lehane

Length: 369 Pages

Published April 15th 2003 by William Morrow

Medium of Consumption: Paperback

The Rundown:

Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane sits on an island in the cold Atlantic waters eleven miles off the Boston shore.  Ashcliffe houses only the most violent patients, and unfortunately one has escaped.  U.S. Marshalls Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule have been sent to the island to aid in investigating and finding Rachel Solanda.

As a hurricane tears through the island, will the Marshalls be able to uncover the secrets of the hospital and find the missing patient, or will they be consumed by the madness that is Ashecliffe?

What I Thought:

I have collected a stack of Dennis Lehane books this year so I figured it was time for me to crack one open.  I totally saw this movie years ago when it came out, so the end wasn’t a surprise to me.  Regardless, I loved it.  It totally kept me on the edge of my seat, and I stole as much of my workday I could reading it.  This is also one of those awesome cases of the movie being just as good as the book! (I mean, it was directed by Scorsese and starred Leo, so automatic win in my book)

I cannot wait to read my next Lehane book!

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Recommended To:

  • If you like big WHATTTT endings
  • If you want to stay up all night and binge a book
  • If you want to get reprimanded at work because you can’t put your book down
book review

Lies She Told

by Cate Holahan

Length: 304 pages
Published: September 12th 2017 by Crooked Lane Books
Medium of Consumption: Hardcover

The Rundown:

Liza Jones is stressed.  She is undergoing fertility treatments, trying to have a family with her husband of 12 years, who is distracted with the disappearance of his best friend and law firm partner.  Liza is also under pressure from her editor to write a rough draft of her latest novel in the next 30 days.

Meet Beth, the star of Liza’s novel.  A new mother suffering from postpartum and suspicious of her husband’s late nights at work.  

Is Liza’s new book a work of fiction, or based on something closer to home?

What I Thought:

This book is a total two in one!  Each chapter alternates from Liza’s life to the book she’s writing.  I loved how both stories start very different and you start to see parallels in Liza and Beth’s personalities and lives.  I really enjoyed the twists even though I could see most of them coming, but the read was fun nonetheless!

It was a really good unreliable narrator/shitty female character book (which is totally my favorites), but at the end I felt like it fell a little short for me.  I really couldn’t tell you why, I just didn’t feel that awesome book high when I finished.

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Pick it up and see for yourself!

3.75/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • Mystery/thriller fans
  • If you like stories within your story
book review

They Both Die at the End

by Adam Silvera

Length: 384 pages
Published: September 5th 2017 by HarperTeen
Medium of Consumption: Hardcover

The Rundown:

Death-Cast called Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio between the hours of 12:00 A.M. and 2:00 A.M. September 5th to tell them they will die today.  Both are devastated.  Both are strangers to one another.  

The two teens connect through an app called Last Friend, subsequently made due to the mysterious Death-Cast calling company.  Bringing out the best in one another, they experience their last hours on earth together.  They are each others best-last friends.

What I Thought:

You go into this book knowing the ending, but the journey to the end is so lovely.  The compassion and need to grieve emotions in this book are touching.  This book made my heart cry.  The main characters and dialogue are written so wonderfully, I compare it to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Yunior’s narrative (if you haven’t read that yet, you are fucking up.)

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It does make you wonder what you would do if you got a phone call telling you you were doing to die within the next 24 hours?  What affairs would be your priority?  Who would you see?  I absolutely loved the idea of Death-Cast and if Mr. Silvera felt so inclined to write another book with different characters, I would be in line to read it!

5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you need a bittersweet read
  • If you don’t mind the excessive use of the word “mad”
  • If you need a good friendship story
book review

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine

by Lindsey Fitzharris

Length: 304 pages
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Scientific American / Farrar Straus and Giroux
Medium of Consumption: eBook ARC

The Rundown:

Dive into the gory Victorian era of surgery- certainly not for the fainthearted- in this beautifully written historical biography.  Follow Joseph Lister, a young man from a humble Quaker family with an enthusiastic love for microscopes, as he studies to become a surgeon in a seemingly barbaric time in medicine.  

Although he endured persecution from his peers about his findings that microbes called germs caused post-op fatalities due to sepsis and other infections, he continued to lecture and provide examples that by simply using an antiseptic in the operating theater, mortality rates would drastically plunge.  

From the introduction of using anesthetics to Dr. Lister’s antiseptic methods, learn the leaps and bounds that were made in patient care.  Lister’s keen commitment to science coupled with his genuine concern for the human body forever changed the medical field.

What I Thought:

This book was everything a non-fiction book should be.  Intriguing content, fast paced, and constantly keeping the reader at peak interest.  I would like to say, DO NOT READ THIS WHILE EATING.  Seriously, its pretty gory, the last book that made my stomach roll was 120 Days of Sodom.  But please do not let that deter you!

I was compelled to request this book because of how much I loved Destiny of the Republic.  Joseph Lister’s antiseptic method is discussed in a good portion of the book and ultimately could have been used to save James A. Garfield’s life.  I was not dissapointed in my choice!  Linsdsey Fitzharris’s writing is so accessible and in a way I could hear this book being narrated as a History Channel documentary.

Pick this up next month (October 2017) at your local bookstore or choice eBook store!

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This is my first ARC book review and I’d like to thank Farrar Straus and Giroux for allowing me to read and review The Butchering Art!

5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • Victorian Era buffs
  • If you are thinking about going to medical school
  • If you want a non-fic gore book for Halloween
  • If you feel unappreciative towards your doctor (THANK GOD YOU DIDN’T LIVE BACK THEN)

Don’t forget to find me on social media (i.e. Instagram, Twitter) @bunniebleaux

book review

My Best Friend’s Exorcism

By: Grady Hendrix

Length: 336 Pages

Published: May 17th 2016 by Quirk Books

Medium of Consumption: Paperback

The Rundown:

High school is never an easy time for a girl.  Maintaining high GPAs, extra curricular activities, and popular girl social status, best friends Abby and Gretchen seem to have it all.  A weekend of partying changes everything.

Gretchen starts acting like a different person.  Something happened to her when she wandered into the woods that weekend, and Abby is trying to find out what it is.  

Can Abby’s “dearly but not queerly” love for Gretchen help her return Gretchen to her old self, or is this new evil version of Gretchen here to stay?

What I Thought:

I’ve been meaning to buy this book for the last year, so when I finally got it I was TOTALLY STOKED.  It did not let me down.  Total 80’s nostalgia, from the shows they watch, the clothes they wear, and the chapter titles.  I loved how every chapter was a song title off the main character Abby’s summer mix tape!  The characters in the book were quintessential bitchy 80’s teen movie girls.  When reading this, I could see this being played as a movie in my head a la Heathers.

Also, the covers are phenomenal.  I purchased the paperback, which resembles a VHS copy of an 80’s B horror movie.  The hardcover version apparently resembles a year book on the inside, with handwritten notes and well wishes.  I know, blah blah don’t judge a book by it’s cover, BUT THESE ARE SO COOL!

October is just around the corner, so run and grab a copy to add to your Halloween TBR!

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5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • Anyone gearing up for Halloween
  • If you liked Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
  • Need a spooky yet endearing read
rant

It’s OK To Do Nothing

Most weeks I work 40+ hours, read 1-3 books, write 2 blogs, socialize 2-3 times a week and do various chores.  Some weeks, I just don’t want to do any of those things.  This week has definitely been one of those “hibernate and meme scroll” weeks.

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Maybe it’s just that time of the month for me, maybe I’m depressed, or maybe I need to recharge my batteries.  I felt so guilty when I tuned out from life.  Anxiety flooded me, “I should be doing something productive,” or “People probably think I’m horrible and lazy.”  Thoughts like this made me more withdrawn.  I ignored people thinking that they were mad at me.  

I’ve only recently realized that what I do is ok.  No one is judging me, and if they are fuck ‘em.  If I want to lay in bed and watch Mad Men with my dog all day that’s totally cool.  I know in a few days time I will be back to my old self.

If you need a break from life, take it.  Go to the beach and nap on the sand.  Watch every season of House of Cards.  Do whatever it is that you need to do.  Don’t feel bad about it though.  Now, here’s some memes and a picture of my dog.

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Also, Rocky IV is the best Rocky movie.

rant

The True Horror of the TBR

The TBR pile.  Love it, dread it, every one’s got one.  I’ve seen this topic become a kind of “hot button” issue in the reading community.  Blogs, vlogs and podcasts constantly giving advice on how to tackle, manage and even conquer your To Be Read list.  Whether you are buys books for a physical pile or making lists of books you want to read, let me tell you some hard hitting shit: you are never going to finish.  

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I know, “Bunnie, why do you have to be such a bitch about it?”  Because the sooner that every reader accepts this, the better.  You are telling me you are going to read every book you have on your current TBR and say, “Why yes, jolly good, I have capped off reading for my lifetime now that I’ve finished these.”  No.  You are going to probably start on a second TBR you had waiting in the wings.  Or maybe you just keep adding to your first TBR pile, turning it into a glorious, never ending turnstile of stories.

I have mentioned this before on my old blog, I buy a lot of fucking books.  Far too many for me to read in a timely manner.  I consider every single book (ebook, audio or old fashioned) that I acquire one that I will eventually read.  I bought it for a reason after all!  I don’t have plans to ever finishing all the books I want to read.  I think it’s pretty silly for any bibliophile to think they can.  But I can offer how I read all the books I have yet to read.  I have two loose methods of how I CRUSH MY TBR PILE. (lol jk)

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  1. I read a book in each format.  Reading multiple books at the same time isn’t for everyone, but I like it.  I try to pick different genres for each “medium of consumption” as I like to call it.  That helps so much when trying to keep different stories straight, also it can possibly help you finish books faster?  I don’t know, I haven’t quite put that to the test yet, but I’d like to think so.
  2. After I finish a book, minutes later or the day after, I look at all the stuff I haven’t read.  Flip through, read a couple pages, see what other people are currently reading, and go with my gut.  Every book I’ve purchased  has been something I’ve wanted to read, it would suck to shoehorn myself into reading one that I wasn’t in the mood to read.

Bottom line: if you have a ton of books you want to read and feel overwhelmed by it, don’t.  Do not feel pressured to “conquer your TBR pile”.  Do not feel pressured to read.  Reading should be fun.  I think the longer the list of books you have yet to read, the better.  I’m dreading the day that maybe there won’t be anymore books that I want to read.  That’s the true horror of the TBR.

Come find me on Instagram @bunniebleaux

Reading Glasses did a neat podcast on this subject

book review

The Blinds

by Adam Sternbergh

Length: 400 pages
Published: August 1st 2017 by Ecco
Medium of Consumption: hardcover

The Rundown:

Ceasura- rhymes with tempura- is a place where people go to forget.  It’s residents are part of a special witness protection program.  Prior to entering Ceasura, residents are required to have their memories wiped and forgo all outside contact.  Everyone they ever knew is forever lost to them. They’re then given new names, chosen from a list of movie stars and Vice Presidents.

It’s a quiet, boring life for the residents.  Until one of them is killed, shot point blank.

The sheriff, Calvin Cooper, is trying to find out who would do this in their town.  And more importantly who has a gun?  As events unfold, and unforeseen twists impact the different members in the community, will they find that the threat lies within their numbers or is it an outsiders doing.  

Welcome to The Blinds.

What I Thought:

I chose this little number for my August Book of the Month book, and just to FYI I am never disappointed with any book I get through them.  This book had me hooked from start to finish.  It’s very “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” but in this case it’s criminals forgetting the shitty things they did. This book definitely kept me on my toes, I really had a hard time predicting what would come next.  Would love to check out more stuff by this guy in the future!

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4.5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you like suspense
  • If you like who-dun-its
  • If you like a book with more WTF moments than you can shake a stick at
Uncategorized

Unique Blogger Award

My first book tag/award!  Thank you Bookchanted for nominating me!  If you don’t already, give her a follow!  She writes great YA reviews.

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Rules:

1.Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.

2.Answer the questions.

3.In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.

Ask them three questions.

1: If you could bring one fictional character to life, who would it be?

This is a tough one because a lot of my favorite characters are kind of nuts and I’m not sure if I could handle them IRL haha.  I think I’d have to go with Hermione Granger.  We would nerd out about wizard history, drink butterbeers, and exchange books.  She’s been one of my favorite characters since I was 9 and my love for her has always remained strong.

2: What is your favourite part of being a book blogger?

I love reading and sharing my opinion on books, and some times I don’t get to share as much as I would like in real life as I would online.  I love writing my reviews and seeing that people from all over the world looked at them.

3: Top 3 books you would never hesitate in rereading?

Any Harry Potter book

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“‘Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King

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Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

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Phew! I hope I did that ok!?  Once again, thank you so much Bookchanted!

I nominate:

My questions for you are:

  1. What book have you read recently that is completely out of your wheelhouse and did you like it? (ex: you read mostly non-fiction and read a fantasy book)
  2. If start you reading a book and find you aren’t enjoying it, do you power through it or put it down?
  3. What is the worst cliche/trope that authors use that make you want to launch a book out of a potato cannon?

 

 

 

rant

The Coolest Books You’ll Never Read

Oh man, nothing is more frustrating to me than when I go to Barnes and Nobles and search a book I want to read and it’s not in stock.  I know, I know, download it on my Kindle or Nook or buy it online and wait til it get’s to you.  But what about the books you want to read and they don’t exist?  Sounds like a bad time to any bibliophile, right? Welcome to that nightmare bookworm.

There are countless books, movies and T.V. shows are there that feature such books.  Here is a small list (yes I know with the damn lists again) to inform you of cool books you will never read.

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Every Book Hermione Reads in the Harry Potter Series

Personally, I would love to visually devour anything by Bathilda Bagshot.  It was really cool when J.K. Rowling released “Quidditch Throughout the Ages”, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, and “Beedle the Bard and Other Tales” but what the shit.  I want more.  I want the spell books and don’t even get me started on what I would do to the restricted section in Hogwarts.  I am a greedy little Potterhead that needs all her life to be Potter related, including the books I read.

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The Necronomicon- H.P. Lovecraft

Even if you aren’t well versed in Lovecraftian literature, you know that this is THE book that is mentioned in many stories by him.  It’s supposedly a book of dark magic written by a man who worshiped entities like Cthulhu, and just studying it is dangerous.  

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Necronomicon Ex-Mortis- Evil Dead

Please, please, tell me you’ve seen this movie.  And if you have you know this book will get you into lots of trouble when read out loud.  It has the power to summon demons and control Deadites, and wait… maybe this wouldn’t be a cool book to read.  Well, if I ever got the chance to read it, I sure hope I don’t get raped by a tree!

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The Misery Series- Misery by Stephen King

You know, I think this would be one of those books I’d buy, but never really ever get around to reading.  Misery is supposed to be a historical romance kind of thing and I can’t say I’ve read many of those or have interest to.  At least I know I’d never hobble Paul Sheldon!  Nonetheless, this would still make a cool addition to my shelves.

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The Handbook for the Recently Deceased- Beetlejuice

The cover of this book is probably the most iconic “book that isn’t a book”.  How cool would it be to read this and be like, “Oh shit, ok this is what I do when I die.”  When I watch this movie I want to shake the Maitland’s for not reading that book cover to cover when they find it.  Juno isn’t impressed either.

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There are a bunch more out there, but these were the ones I could think of that I wanted to read the most.  What are some books that you wished were real?

P.S.A.  I will be attending NecronomiCON Providence this weekend!  Follow me on my Instagram and check out my con stories and pictures!

book review

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

by Iain Reid

Length: 224 pages
Published: June 14th 2016 by Gallery/Scout Press
Medium of Consumption: eBook

The Rundown:

Jake and his girlfriend of a few weeks are driving to the country to Jake’s parents house.  She finds herself regretting taking to trip with Jake because she realizes that she may end their relationship soon.  Although they seem like a good match, she feels like something is missing.  As they engage in banter and exchanging stories on the car ride, she goes back and forth from wanting to give them another chance to wanting to make a clean break.

Jake’s girlfriend doesn’t talk about the strange caller that leaves her cryptic messages.  

Jake’s girlfriend tries to make the best out of the unsettling visit to Jake’s parents.

Jake’s girlfriend doesn’t want to be here.

What I Thought:

This is hands down one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read.  It definitely was not what I expected it to be.  I have this bad habit of just looking at ratings or a book cover and reading it without checking out a synopsis whatsoever.  Maybe it’s not a bad habit but it can sure lead for pleasant surprises.

This is an incredibly smart, intense, masterfully written book, and at about 200 pages there is no excuse to not binge this in one or two sittings.  My heart was beating so hard while finishing this book.  The suspense was overwhelming up to the final twist, which was amazing.  If you’re looking for a spooky book for Halloween, I strongly suggest this one.

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5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you want something totally creepy
  • Any horror reader
  • If you need a short intense read
book review

City of Glass

by Cassandra Clare

Length: 541 pages
Published: March 24th 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Medium of Consumption: eBook

The Rundown:

Clary has to travel to the Shadowhunter country of Idris in order to help her mother.  Although all the Shadowhunters in New York City are making the journey to discuss the war that is brewing with the Clave, Jace is adamantly against Clary coming with them.  

As Jace and Clary uncover hidden truths to their family’s past, the attack on the capital city of Alicante has only just begun.  It seems the only way for the Clave to defeat Valentine is to ally with Downworlders, but can these Shadowhunters put their prejudices against them aside?  

Clary realizes her gift could aid in this war.  Jace realizes that the mantra he lives by, “To love is to destroy,” maybe isn’t so true.

What I Thought:

Can I just say this series has totally surpassed how I thought it would be?  I had pretty low expectations and finishing this third book blew them out of the water.  I loved how fast paced and action packed it was.  I loved the story arc of their possibly incestual relationship.  Each time I started reading I did not want to put it down.  Jace’s sarcasm is so fucking great, there was dialogue that made me burst out laughing.  I still get mildly annoyed with Clary’s immature mentality sometimes, but I brush it off knowing she’s suppose to be 16 and that’s how 16 year olds are.  

Overall, this was a bad ass book.  I saw an interview with Cassandra Clare and she suggests reading her books in order of publication.  So for now, goodbye Clary and Jace and hello Infernal Devices!  

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Check out my City of Ashes and my City of Bones reviews.

Recommended To:

  • If you read the first two books
  • YA readers
rant

I really, really like lists

I love lists.  Lists of bad things, good things, I have no preference.  I love searching Top Ten *whatever* or Best of *things*.  I can get lost for hours watching WatchMojo.com YouTube videos of countdowns, I loved when VH1 used to do the music countdowns of best music/bands, I love looking at lists of must read books on Goodreads.  I love saying, “WTF that shouldn’t be number 1!” or, “Of course that’s number 1!”  If you are a list/countdown lover too, please peep some of my favorites I’ve found over the years!

100 Scariest Movie Moments- Bravo circa 2004

I was 14 when I watched this around Halloween and it has always stuck with me.  There are still so many movies on this list that I have yet to see, but hopefully one day I will.  With interviews and commentary from Wes Craven, Peter Jackson, Tom Savini and many more makes for a fun horror miniseries.  But not every movie on this list is horror!  Remember Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when they venture into the tunnel of nightmares?  Yeah, that made the cut, and well deserving!  I think you can find a crappy quality version of this countdown on YouTube somewhere, but it’s absolutely worth the watch!

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Gilmore Girls Complete Reading List- Goodreads

So I recently binged every episode of Gilmore Girls for the first time this past winter, and I FUCKING LOVED IT.  From the fast talking, dysfunctional family and copious amounts of coffee consumed in this show, I fell in love with Rory’s character.  I was also impressed by the sheer amount of reading this girl did.  I came across this list a few months ago of every book mentioned in the show, and have now made it my goal to read all of them.  It is honestly such a good list of books to read even if you haven’t watched the show, so don’t be scared to take a peak if you know nothing about the town of Stars Hollow!  If you have watched the show, meet me at Luke’s for coffee and let’s tackle this 358 book list!

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I Love the 80’s- VH1

WHERE DO I START!?  Whether it was I Love the 80’s, I Love the 80’s Strikes Back, or I Love the 80’s 3D I would get so excited to sit for hours and binge these!  The commentary is HILARIOUS and although I never lived through this decade, I certainly felt a kindred spirit towards it after watching these.  If you missed out on this series, click on the link and please enjoy… see you in 3 days…

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WatchMojo.com- YouTube

This.  You know when it’s your day off and you don’t quite want to get out of bed, so you look at various social medias?  WatchMojo is what I do.  It is my kryptonite to doing anything productive.  Why should I leave bed when I could lie here and watch hundreds of countdown videos on various topics?  BEWARE! WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK!

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Do you like lists? Please, list your favorite lists in the comments!!

 

book review

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

by Erik Larson

Length: 447 pages

Published: February 11th 2003 by Random House Audio Publishing Group
Medium of Consumption: eBook and audiobook

The Rundown:

H.H. Holmes is one of the most infamous people in U.S. history.  The first known serial killer on American soil, he committed insurance fraud and heinous acts of murder.  Pretending to be a kind spirited doctor and pharmacist, his charms lured his victims into their often gruesome deaths.  Holmes’ macabre acts were done in a hotel he owned near the soon to open Chicago World’s Fair ground, easily taking the lives of fair goers without a trace.   

Daniel H. Burnham was the architect leading the construction of the fair.  Undertaking a project of grand scale, he faced many obstacles.  The death of his partner, architectural failures, and a scramble to finish building before the fair’s scheduled opening.  

The fair’s overwhelming success made Chicago, the White City, a prosperous, elegant hub that attracted people from the far reaches of the world.  But unbeknownst to them there was danger masquerading as a friend.  

What I Thought:

Phew, it took me far too long to get through this book.  I picked it up because I had many friends that read it and gave sterling 5 star reviews.  And I love me some true crime, so book about H.H. Holmes?  Sign me up!  

Reading it I found that this was 80% about the building of the world’s fair.  Which is really cool and all but it just wasn’t the book I expected.  It was well written, although I found it dry at some points due to lack of Holmes’ chapters.  

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3.5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you want to know about the Chicago World’s Fair
  • Chicago World’s Fair enthusiasts
  • Chicago
  • Fair
  • If you want to know 10 facts about H.H. Holmes
  • If you like fairs
book review

Replica

by Lauren Oliver

Length: 520 pages
Published: October 4th 2016 by HarperCollins
Medium of Consumption: paperback

The Rundown:

Lyra only knows the world of Haven research facility. Surrounded by doctors, replicas and a strict regimen of medicines, her days are predictable and monotonous.  But the world she knows disappears when an explosion rips through the institute leaving nothing but charred remains.  Only her and another replica, a boy with only a number and no name, 72 survive.  In the marshes surrounding the remnants, they meet two people from the outside world who have come to find answers about Haven’s secrets.  

Gemma has always been sickly, and her wealthy over protective parents have forced her into a sheltered life.  When she decides to run away to join her best friend in Florida for spring break she hears disturbing news about an explosion at Haven research facility.  She knows very little about the place but over heard her father talking about it late one night and when she investigated it online found a slew of conspiracy theories about the happenings there.  Gemma decides to check it out herself and teams up with the son of the leader of Haven’s main conspiracy site to visit the island.  What they find is there are truths to some of these beliefs.  

What they find is that Haven has been making clones.

Lyra and Gemma’s stories intertwine together, finding out terrible things done to people who have tried to expose Haven.  They are being followed now.  They fear that each move they make could be their last.  

What I Thought:

First of all, I’d like to point out the unique set up of this book.  There are two sides to this book, and it doesn’t matter which side you read first.  I started with Lyra’s side and then flipped it over for Gemma’s.  There are the same amount of chapters that coincide with one another, so you could also switch sides every chapter!

You know how they say fact is scarier than fiction?  That’s how I felt reading this book.  Science is so fascinating but so frightening, where is the moral line drawn?  I somehow felt way more engrossed in Gemma’s side.  Maybe it’s because I’m not a clone and didn’t connect that well to Lyra in an emotional sense.  I loved how both sides did their jobs in uncovering mysteries about Haven and will definitely pick up the sequel this October.

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4/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • YA readers
  • If you like conspiracy stuff
book review

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore

by Robin Sloan

Length: 288 pages
Published: October 2nd 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Medium of Consumption: eBook

The Rundown:

Clay Jannon finds himself jobless when the company he does web design for goes under.  He takes up a third shift book clerk position at Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, and finds his new job stranger than what it should be.  First, there are the Wayback Shelves, books that he is forbidden to read and only a select few customers carrying membership cards are able to check out.  Second, he is required to log every customer that enters the store in great detail.

Third shift book buyers are few, so Clay decides to design a model of the store on his computer.  Inputting the data of what books are checked out by the members of the WayBack shelf he notices a pattern.  A pattern to what?

Joining him on his quest to find out what these members are up to, his tech-savvy friends become just as engulfed in cracking what seems to be an impossible code to a centuries old book club.  

Can Clay find any meaning to all of this or is this some elaborate ruse 5 centuries in the making?

What I Thought:

This book was such a fun read!  Technology versus books is a huge theme, which characters either want to embrace both or reject one.  There are a ton of nerdy allusions that just tickled me pink!  The mystery aspect was pretty interesting, and it definitely was a page turner.  I loved how each of character played their part in helping Clay, and how varied their talents were.  You have the Google programmer who is like a computer herself, the haphazard artist who can work in any medium given to him, the archaeological nerd who can spout out any information about things make before 1200 A.D., and a few others who are equally as skilled in their own right.  This has totally made my top 20 list of books I loved in 2017, and there is still so much to read!

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This is a must read for any 21st century bookworm!

5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you like fun, witty books
  • Modern day adventures
  • Underdog characters
  • If you like nerdy stuff

 

book review

The Couple Next Door

by Shari Lapena

Length: 308 pages
Published: August 23rd 2016 by Pamela Dorman Books
Medium of Book Consumption: hardcover

The Rundown:

Anne and Marco Conti attend a dinner party next door, leaving their six month old baby sleeping in her crib.  The Conti’s are not irresponsible, bringing a baby monitor with them and checking on their daughter every half hour.  But their world is turned inside out when they come home to find that their precious baby isn’t in her crib.

Detective Rasbach leads an intense investigation uncovering lies that become clues, and doubts that any person is truly innocent.

What I Thought:

My year of thrillers continues, and up next was The Couple Next Door.  I read this in one sitting, I was completely engrossed only getting up to pee and grab a soda.  It was definitely the most fast paced of the thrillers I’ve read this year, and I find that both good and bad.  As much as I love reading a book so quickly, when I finish it feels like a dream.  Did I really read all that in 3 hours?  Where am I?  What happened?  I had to skim through the book a bit before I wrote this to remind myself of names and other details.  I could definitely seeing this made into a Lifetime made for T.V. movie, and you know what?  I’d still watch it.  I am a sucker for those.

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4/5 Stars

Recommended to:

  • Fans of Gillian Flynn
  • Need a beach read
  • Need a travel read (plane, train, automobile)
  • If you watch too much Law and Order
book review

Red Queen

by Victoria Aveyard

Length: 383 pages 

Published: February 10th 2015 by HarperTeen

Medium of Book Consumption: paperback

 

The Rundown:

Silver bloods are better than the Red bloods in status and humanity. Silvers have abilities, some can manipulate water, fire, and even minds.  Due to their unremarkable being, Reds are forever second class, used by the Silvers as soldiers and servants.  

Mare is a thief and a Red. She’s going to the battlefront soon, just like her brothers before. Her life changes when she meets a stranger and is suddenly assigned servant to the Silvers. As Mare tries to settle into her new life she finds out that she too has abilities. She can manipulate electricity.

Her blood still runs red, but does her new found power give Reds everywhere a new advantage in a potential uprising on a war on status?

What I Thought:

So this book came highly recommended to me by a friend and after four months of it sitting on my TBR pile I finally picked it up.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was elated when I started reading. I really liked Hunger Games but Red Queen completely surpassed it in my opinion. This book had me totally sucked in with the bad girl Mare at the helm. This chick is the more delinquent, sure-footed version of Katniss.  I really enjoyed the Game of Thrones undertone to it.  When I read the quote “Anyone can betray anyone,” I shook the book trying to get Little Finger to come out of the pages he was clearly hiding in.  I honestly can’t wait to grab Glass Sword and see happens to the “little lightening girl”.

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5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • Anyone that wants a lighter version of A Song of Ice and Fire
  • Fans of Hunger Games
  • Fans of X-Men
  • A darker YA that doesn’t involve vampires or dystopian future