July 2016 Wrap Up

  • Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver –
  • The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks –
  • Midnight Whispers by VC Andrews – ★☆
  • Darkest Hour by VC Andrews – ★★
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling – ★★
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – ★★
  • Whitefern by VC Andrews –

Total Books: 7
Average Rating: ☆ (3.6 stars)

I’m also still working on A Clash of Kings. It’ll be a miracle if I’m finally able to list it in my August Wrap Up post but we’ll see.

Stacking The Shelves – July 30, 2016

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Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


From Barnes & Noble:

  • Whitefern by VC Andrews
  • You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross and Mark Perini

You Before Anyone Else isn’t even supposed to be released until Tuesday so I’m surprised it was shipped to me so early. I’m not complaining though. Book mail is book mail 🙂

And I’ve already read Whitefern. You can read my review here.

I can’t believe it’s been 2 full months since my last Stacking the Shelves post. Have I really not bought any books since then? Did any of you get some exciting new books in the mail this week?

Review – Whitefern by VC Andrews

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Title: Whitefern

Author: VC Andrews

Originally Published: July 26th 2016

Format: Paperback

Pages: 344

Rating: ★★☆☆ (3/5 stars)

Synopsis: Audrina remembers a better time, when her husband, Arden, was a young man with a heart filled with devotion for her. He didn’t used to be this ambitious, expansive…this cruel. But then, the death of Audrina’s father changed a great many things.

When the reading of her father’s will reveals that Audrina herself will control fifty-one percent of the family brokerage—the halls of Whitefern again don’t feel safe. Arden’s protestations become frantic, nearly violent. And while Audrina didn’t anticipate running the family business, she’s curious to do so. And she can’t help but wonder what had made her father change his will at the last minute? What did he know about Arden that she didn’t?

Trapped in the middle of it all: her fragile, simple sister—the beautiful, trusting Sylvia. Audrina promised her father she’d watch over the young woman. But after years of relative quiet, the dark days of Whitefern may have returned…

This was.. really not as bad as I expected. It was advertised as “The long-awaited sequel to My Sweet Audrina” and I didn’t like that. Among other VCA fans, I didn’t think My Sweet Audrina needed a sequel. Especially not 34 years later. And definitely not by the ghostwriter, Andrew Neiderman.

I think he did a good job though. He used one of VCA’s famous plot devices. Unfortunately that did make it too easy for me to guess what would happen but it was an enjoyable read.

Audrina has grown into strong woman. Well, strong until it comes to standing up to her husband, Arden, who is certified Trash(TM). Her ending was much better than it would have been if the story left off with My Sweet Audrina.

To other VC Andrews fans like me who thought this book was unnecessary: give it a chance. It’s not as bad as Neiderman’s newer stuff and not nearly as terrible as Christopher’s Diary was.

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WWW Wednesday – July 27

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

27276179Whitefern by VC Andrews

Audrina remembers a better time, when her husband, Arden, was a young man with a heart filled with devotion for her. He didn’t used to be this ambitious, expansive…this cruel. But then, the death of Audina’s father changed a great many things.

When the reading of her father’s will reveals that Audrina herself will control fifty-one percent of the family brokerage—the halls of Whitefern again don’t feel safe. Arden’s protestations become frantic, nearly violent. And while Audrina didn’t anticipate running the family business, she’s curious to do so. And she can’t help but wonder what had made her father change his will at the last minute? What did he know about Arden that she didn’t?

Trapped in the middle of it all: her fragile, simple sister—the beautiful, trusting Sylvia. Audrina promised her father she’d watch over the young woman. But after years of relative quiet, the dark days of Whitefern may have returned…

I haven’t technically started this yet. It’s supposed to come in the mail later today so I’ll start on it when it arrives. I know it’s not gonna be a great book but I’m a sucker for trashy VCA novels.

What did you recently finish reading?

2Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…

I did enjoy this but it’s not my favorite in the series. I’m glad to have finally read it though. View my review here.


22557272The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

I’m still thinking about this book. Like I said in my review, this was a true reading experience.

What do you think you’ll read next?

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover! I’ve been dying to get my hands on this book so as soon as it arrives in the mail I am going to devour it. If I finish Whitefern a few days before It Ends With Us arrives then I’ll probably read a little bit of A Clash of Kings.

Review – The Girl on the Train

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Title: The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins

Originally Published: January 13th 2015

Format: Audiobook

Rating: ★★★☆ (4/5 stars)

Synopsis: EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

I so wasn’t planning on reading this. For some reason I thought it was something entirely different but then I saw the movie trailer, thought it looked good, and decided to see if my library had the audiobook. They did and I ended up listening to the first 8 hours in one sitting. I didn’t want to stop but it was 3am! So I finished it as soon as I woke up. And I am 100% glad I read this. It was truly an experience.

The Girl on the Train is told by three different women:

  • Rachel “the girl on the train” is an unreliable narrator. I usually hate that so so much but I loved her. She was a real character honestly. Every sentence she spoke seemed to be a lie and it was so funny everytime she wondered why the police didn’t think she was a reliable source or when she questioned why someone else would lie. Emily Blunt was the perfect casting choice for Rachel.
  • Megan “the girl on the terrace” was interesting. I didn’t like her at first. She was pretty cold and emotionally detached but the more I learned about her, the more I understood and came to like her. Also I listened to the entire story thinking Jennifer Lawrence was going to play her in the movie but then I went back to look at the cast and apparently I was wrong. Oops.
  • Anna “the girl down the road” was unlikable for the majority of the story. She’s Rachel’s ex husband’s new wife and most of her plot was revolved around bashing Rachel 24/7. But then the end… When she started to figure stuff out I loved her. So much. Rebecca Ferguson was great in The White Queen and I think she’ll do great in this.

This was a murder mystery and I kept thinking I knew who was the killer but nope. It was the person I didn’t suspect until near the very end and I love that in these types of stories. It takes the fun out of everything if you know how it’s going to turn out.

Really the biggest problem I had with this was remembering who everyone was at first. I had to make notes for each character to know who people were talking about.

The Girl on the Train has been one of those really hyped up books and I can understand why some people might not enjoy it. But for me it was pretty addictive and if anyone has similar murder mystery recommendations I would be so grateful!

Musing Mondays – 7/25/2016

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Musing Mondays is hosted at Books And A Beat, where a certain question is asked every week. This week’s question: What’s your most favorite “chunky” book? (over 500 pages)

Easy! Outlander, of course. Coming in at 850 pages. I’m not a huge fan of long books. ~300 pages is a huge plus when it comes to reading. But Outlander? 850 pages isn’t enough.

outlander-coverThe year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Review – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Author: JK Rowling

Originally Published: June 21st 2003

Format: Audiobook

Rating: ★★★☆ (4/5 stars)

Synopsis: Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…

Suspense, secrets and thrilling action from the pen of J.K. Rowling ensure an electrifying adventure that is impossible to put down.

I’m very glad I went with the audiobook for this one. Like I said before, I’m not a huge fan of audiobooks because I get easily distracted but I loved listening to Jim Dale read this. He was the perfect choice to narrate this series.

I definitely preferred this book to the movie. Order of the Phoenix is probably my least favorite of all the movies but the book had more depth and things seemed to make more sense. I do hate that they left so much out of the movie though! Like: Hermione blackmailing Rita Skeeter into writing an article telling Harry’s side of the story; the entire quidditch season, like???? It wasn’t even in the movie at all; and Dobby of course.

My favorite scenes, however, were the ones with McGonagall. I could perfect imagine Maggie Smith saying all of these lines. The McGonagall vs. Umbridge matches were amazing too!

Before reading this I’d seen a lot of people complaining about Harry in this book and I just don’t get it? He’s been through this huge trauma. Voldemort is forcing him to become an adult and nearly every adult that he trusts is determined to treat him like a child still. Plus he’s a hormone-filled 15 year old boy. I can understand why he’d be a little upset honestly.

I think I’m going to wait a while before reading the next book in the series. I’m already so far behind mostly everyone else in reading these books that a few months won’t hurt!

Which is your favorite HP book? Do you think they did a good job adapting this to the big screen?

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