One Lovely Blog Award

Since I’ve now been nominated twice, I think I need to finally get on with it and complete this tag. Thanks to meltingpotsandothercalamities and chaoticeverything for the noms! ❤ (I’m pretty sure someone else nominated me a long time ago, but I forgot who it was. If you’re reading this, sorry!)

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Rules:

  • Each nominee must THANK the person who nominated them and link their blog in the post.
  • They must include the rules and add the blog award badge as an image
  • Must add 7 facts about them.
  • Then nominate 15 people!
  1. I really like history. I don’t know why, but certain events and time periods just fascinate me.
  2. My top “Fan girl” shows of the moment are Game of Thrones, Outlander, and West World. I think it would be fun to post recaps of Game of Thrones episodes, but it might be kind of late in the game. Let me know if that’s something you would enjoy!
  3. I would love to restore an old house to live in, or even just live in an old house. Like, turn of the century and older, old. Preferably with exposed brick, or a wrap around porch. And the more haunted, the better. As long as said ghosts are cool and not plotting my untimely demise, otherwise I’m going to have to exorcise the everliving frick out of them.
  4. My dream job would be to work for a major publishing company as an editor, publicist, or marketer. I think it would be so cool to be able to work with books all the time.
  5. I might be *distantly* related to Abraham Lincoln… More likely, not. But my ex-boyfriend was related to William Wallace (or Mel Gibson, as you may know him best.)
  6. I love dogs, particularly golden retrievers. Nothing bad can happen while you’re petting a golden retriever, this is a tried and true fact. Cats, on the other hand, are plotting my untimely demise with the aforementioned ghosts.
  7. I have an acute case of Wanderlust, but no funds to scratch the itch. Also, as we have covered, I am a terrible planner. If someone wants to plan a cheap trip for me, I will gladly attend.

Tags!

PaperbackPrincess14 | Ishouldreadthatblog | Snowwhitehatesapples

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Top Five Wednesday: Future Classics

Let us know the books you think will be considered classics one day!

Nothing like waiting until the last minute to write a time sensitive blog post! I’m sure y’all know the deal. Let’s get started:

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

If you didn’t see this coming, I suggest you buy yourself a helmet. Harry Potter has, and will stand the test of time. I started reading this series when I was 6 years-old, and I’m still reading it as an adult. I can’t wait to read these books to my kids so we can all wish we are wizards together… #mugglestruggles

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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This story is so thought provoking and beautifully written, while teaching us important history lessons. I can definitely see this being taught in high school English classes in the future.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

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This book was given to me as “suggested” reading for my freshman year of college. So obviously I didn’t read it until years after I graduated.  Henrietta Lacks or “HeLa” was a poor black farmer whose cells were taken without her knowledge in 1951, and were vital in developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping and more. This story chronicles the collision between race, ethics, and medicine, and I think more people could benefit from reading this.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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As much as I can’t freaking believe that race is still even an issue in real life 2017, that’s all the more reason to add this to the curriculum. While The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Uncle Tom’s cabin are great discussion starters, I think this is more current and would better resonate with today’s readers.

Persepholis by Marjane Satrapi

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This one is actually a graphic novel, but tells the story of growing up during the Islamic Revolution. Marjane Satrapi tells it like it is and provides a inside look at an important time in history that most have not known.

Honorable mentions:

Maus by Art Spiegelman

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

The Martian by Andy Weir

Life of Pi By Yann Martel

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

(I feel like a lot of people said this one, but the only reason I almost picked it was to get an updated version of 1984/Lord of the Flies.)

The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

Title: The Things We Wish Were True 29057887
Author: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
Pages: 276
Year: 2016
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis: In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.

Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.

During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?

This book kept me guessing right up until the end. Marybeth Mayhew Whalen has produced a suspenseful, and complex novel that causes the reader to question just how well they know the people living around them, and what secrets we all hold in the dark abysses of our lives.

Told from several POV characters, Whalen weaves each story line together into a connected web of experiences and tragedies. While this is a little confusing at first, I found it easy to differentiate between each character and POV chapter. Every character has a distinct voice, and I found it easy to follow each of their story lines once we established who everyone was. However, they have the most ridiculous names for small town-American characters. There’s Zell, Jency, Bryte, Everett, Lance, Pilar, Zara, etc, etc. I thought these names were interesting and it made it easy to keep everyone straight, but honestly who do you know from the deep south named Jency, Bryte, or Zell? If they had names like Tinsley or Kinsley or Lynnely, THAT I would believe. Southern people love naming their offspring after Presidents and adding -ly to the ends of names. That’s like their crack.  This is not a stereotype, I would know.

Another thing I thought about while reading this novel was who the main character was. We get so many different points of view, and follow so many different characters that it was hard to say that one particular character was the “main protagonist.” However, I think that Cailey was meant to be the main character because she is the only one who speaks in first person. She is also the only POV character that is not an adult.

This was a fairly short read, but it definitely sucked me in. I fell deep into the drama of Sycamore Glen, and I loved that it had a more suburban and classic southern feel. Being from the south, this book made me feel nostalgic and right at home between its pages. However, I wasn’t able to get too comfy, as I was speed-reading through each chapter trying to figure out all the little mysteries alongside the big one. Even though it was a little predictable at times, the suspense more than makes up for it. Honestly, even if you figured out all the mysteries ahead of time, I think you would still enjoy this book. Preferably read in the summer, on the beach, with a tall glass of lemonade or sweet tea.

Book Personality Challenge

Thanks Katlyn of ChaoticEverything for the tag! She tagged me so long ago to do this, but I am JUST NOW getting around to do it. Thanks for being so patient girl. You da real MVP.

For my personality test, I used Sixteen Personalities because it was fo’ free. And if it’s free, it’s for me. I’m not going to bother to post the other one because it asks for a credit card and who needs that? Not me. Not you either.

What is your MBTI personality type?

Adventurer Personality (ISFP, -A/-T)

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If you’re super curious about me, read on!

Alrighty then.  So when I first got this result and started reading about it, I was convinced that there was some sort of mistake in my results because it didn’t sound like me at all.

Being the ignorant hag that I am, I immediately took the test again and got the exact same result. Amazing. Incredible. Mind-blowing. Etc. Etc.

After I got over the initial shock of being labeled as an adventurer type, I realized that maybe this is pretty accurate after all. The more I read, the more similarities I found between myself and the personality type they saddled me with. Fine. FINE. But what does this have to do with books, you ask? Be patient, my friends. And stay thirsty.

What is your personality like?

Apparently I am an adventurer.

If you were a character in a book, what would be some of your character strengths and flaws?

Strengths: (as listed by 16 personalities) Charming, sensitive to others, imaginative, passionate, curious, artistic.

Judging by this, I would be the go-with-the-flow, comic relief, everyone’s best friend type. I would be passionate about whatever cause I was fighting for and get very caught up in it. I would not let other people explore an idea or have an adventure while I stayed behind, I would need to see it through for myself. I would be the one to offer creative solutions and to feel empathy for people who have wronged me.

Weaknesses: Fiercely independent, unpredictable, easily stressed, overly competitive, fluctuating self-esteem.

AKA: I would march to the beat of my own drum, I would get jealous of the praise and recognition the protagonist gets, I would be the one who gets frustrated with a situation and gives up. OMFG. I’M RON WEASLEY.

Do any authors share your personality type?

I couldn’t find any authors, but the website says:

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A.K.A. All the famous crazy people. At least they didn’t list Ted Bundy or Donald Trump, then I’d be in trouble.

Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, and Ryan Gosling are also adventurer types, according to my desperate-need-to-prove-I’m-not-a-crazy-person research. I don’t have any trouble eating cereal though, and I have never had the sudden urge to shave my head.

What fictional characters share your personality type?

From my research: Claire Fraser (Outlander) and Liesel Meminger (The Book Thief). The website says: bgfxc

If you were a character in a book, what job would you have?

16 Personalities says teaching is a great profession for Adventurer types. I think I would be a great teacher, which further cements my fictional career choice of becoming a Hogwarts Professor.

What personality type would complete your OTP?

16 Personalities says I would fit best with Extraverted (E) and Judging (J) personality traits. That makes sense, because I naturally gravitate towards people who are much more outgoing and adventurous than I am.

Who are some fictional characters that would complete your OTP?

Dean Winchester from Supernatural (ESFJ) or Robb Stark from Game of Thrones (ESTJ). I’m totally fine with either of those options as long as Robb doesn’t take me to any weddings.

Tag You’re It ♥

This was so interesting and eye opening so I think everyone would benefit from it.  If I haven’t tagged you below and you would like to do this on your own page make sure you tag me so I can read your post! (Because I’m nosy, that’s why.) And as always, if I have tagged you, don’t feel pressured.

Chandareads | Alwaysbooking | Meltingpotsandothercalamities | Bookpandamonium | Tumiltuousreads

(Side note: I think this test would be great for teachers too as a first day of school, “get to know your students” activity.)

Top Five Wednesday: Favorite Angsty Romances

Talk about your favorite ships that have a healthy side of angst. (definition: adj.: describes a situation or literary piece which contains dark, depressing, angry, and/or brooding emotions from the participating characters.)

My favorite romances are the ones that are minus the angst. There’s allowed to be some drama, but not so much that I am bored by it. Couples that are always fighting or breaking up and getting back together irritate me. Either you love each other enough to stick it out and work out your differences, or you break up. None of this, “but I love him!” crap. This is not a Lifetime movie.

Moving on, here are five angsty romances I have read (NOT my favorites.)!

Juliette, Adam, & Warner in Shatter Me

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Holy enchilada, Batman. If there isn’t some DRAMA in this book. Yes, the angst… BUT THE DRAMA.

Juliette’s romance with Adam was so confusing. One minute he’s an anonymous roommate who kicks her out of her own bed, forcing her to sleep on the ground; the next he reveals that he’s been in love with her since ‘nam. OH YEAH, and she realizes she’s been in love with him too for just as long? Okay. So how did you not recognize each other when you were forced into a prison cell together? Not only this, but she also takes every chance she has to ogle the villain. Who has made it his life’s mission to torture her and hurt the people she loves. Makes sense.

I don’t plan on finishing the series, so I already know she doesn’t end up with Adam (spoiler alert.)  We could have had no other characters in the book and we still could have filled at least 300 pages with whining, crying, sniffing, shivering, shaking, trembling, passive action, insecure comment, etc. I’m sorry if you liked this book, I have a lot of feelings. Read my review here! #shamelessselfpromo

Tris and Four in the Divergent Series

Tris and Four’s romance popped out of a birthday cake and yelled “surprise!” Not that I didn’t see it coming, because how can you expect to read a YA novel and not have some sort of hormone induced romance between the pages?  There wasn’t any sexual tension between them. Their romance came out of nowhere. The only thing I liked about it was that there was no love triangle. I can appreciate the lack of a good love triangle.

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Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald in Z: The Beginning of Everything

There’s so much anger between Zelda and Scott throughout the entire book. They were in love, but they actively made each other miserable. Their relationship is just as fascinating as it is tragic. (The series is on Amazon Prime video! Go watch.)

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Sloan and Asa in Too Late

Every relationship in this book was a complete mess. This whole book was a mess. OMG and the baggage… where’s the tylenol?

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Edward and Bella in Twilight

Don’t tell me you didn’t know this was coming.

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In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen

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Title: In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II
Author: Rhys Bowen
Pages: 398
Year: 2017
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Rating: 2.5/5

Goodreads Synopsis: World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility.

As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls?

Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal.

I read this book as part of the Kindle First  program.

I wanted to love this book, I really did. I loved the cover, I thought the story line sounded intriguing, but somewhere between that and actually reading the book I lost interest very quickly.

The writing wasn’t terrible, but it was very “paint by numbers.”  I thought the story was very predictable, the characters were one-dimensional, and the action scenes fell flat. It was almost like Bowen wasn’t sure how to portray her thoughts on paper, so she just summarized what she wanted to happen and moved on. Each scene left me wanting more, or thinking there would be more to it.  I only kept reading because I wanted answers to the dead parachutist mystery, but by the time we answered that question I was hanging on by a thread.

To make matters worse, stereotypes ran rampant, especially in the daughters. Of the five girls, we have the mothering one, the baby, the smart one, the brave one, and the annoying one. All characters you have seen before and they all have pet nicknames. Those of which, would have been cute if they hadn’t been so inconsistently used.

Dido is the most annoying character of the book, possibly of any book I’ve ever read in my lifetime. All she does is bitch and moan about how she wasn’t able to come out and be presented by the court because of the stupid war. “Wahhh… I want to go to parties, meet men, and have sex!” Girl, chill. Dido isn’t alone in this mindset because many of the aristocratic characters we revolve around for much of the book don’t seem to realize there is a war on either. They look at it as more of an inconvenience. When Dido does the unforgivable toward the end of the book, I wasn’t surprised or amused in the slightest. It was inevitable, an accident looking for a place to happen, if you will. Or if you won’t.

Also, every character interaction is laden with overly British phrases like “jolly,” “blimey,” “crikey,” and “bloody.”

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WOW is this book set in ENGLAND??? I had no idea!

I know Bowen is from the UK and she probably would know what Brits are like better than I would, but it didn’t feel genuine or authentic to me. It was more like she wrote this book for non-Brits and felt like she needed to pound the message into our heads that THIS. BOOK. IS. BRITISH. I get it. Message received.

And for the cheese factor, here is a sample exchange between the baby sister, Phoebe, and the villain.

“Don’t you hurt Alfie, you horrid man,” Phoebe screamed.

“What the hell. Go on, you little brats. Go. No one can stop me now, anyway.”

Who else read this in their best cartoon villain voice?

Side note: Why are we using periods if we’re screaming? Although, punctuation is the least of my worries…

As far as historical fiction goes, I’ve read better. This was well researched, but poorly executed. I don’t know who I would recommend this to, it has a younger reader feel to it, but then talks about sex throughout the whole book. Not that there is anything graphic, but it’s present.

Because I feel like I need to say something positive:

  • This book was very well researched.
  • I was surprised at the end, Bowen did a good job of leading us away from the ultimate villain.
  • This book got a lot of 5 star reviews on Amazon, so just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean you won’t!

Top Five Wednesday: Books You Felt Betrayed By

Beware the Ides of March! What books (or characters) did you feel betrayed by, for whatever reason…big or small.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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In case you live under a rock, we find out that Jace and Clary are long lost siblings in this one. This, after Clare uses her powers of teen angst to make you ship them so hard it hurts. And then she drops an atomic bomb on you and all your unrealistic expectations of teen love are shattered.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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On this episode of Romance with Cassandra Clare, she resolves her love triangle by letting the heroine end up with both guys. This is such a COP OUT and I hate it.

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You can’t have your cake and eat it too, Tessa!

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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This book ruined the entire series for me. Not only was killing Tris off completely unnecessary, but it was irrelevant to the plot. She didn’t need to die for the story to continue, Roth just did it to shock her readers. Forgive me if I’m wrong (because I haven’t read this series in a while), but I got the impression that she was on a suicide mission the entire series. Tris was desperate to be a martyr, and poor Four kept having to pull her back.

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Her ultimate demise didn’t feel heroic to me, it was almost a relief because I was sick of Tris putting her friends in danger for her own selfish reasons.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

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This book is so rude. Katniss loved her sister, Prim, so much that she was willing to die for her. She goes through the Hunger Games TWICE and sparks a Civil War, all for the love she has for Prim.

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*lose. Damn it, internet.

You would think they would have a happy ending, right? NOPE. I felt so betrayed after reading this, because I felt like everything Katniss did was for nothing. The one person she fought to protect above everyone else is killed, by her best friend nonetheless. Are you kidding me? I’m still bitter about this.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

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Harry Potter endures severe child abuse at the hands of the Dursleys, never knew his parents, and continuously gets himself into life threatening situations due to a nose-less lunatic who couldn’t seem to murder a baby. So when we find out that his Godfather, Sirius Black, is alive and not a murderer, I was thrilled. I thought things were finally going to pan out for Harry and he was going to get to live with someone who didn’t hate his magical guts. And then they pull the rug out from under him. Not only that, but then Rowling kills Sirius off two books later.

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