Top Ten Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday new

It’s Top Ten Tuesday again!  It’s a weekly bookish list hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week’s topic is:

TOP TEN Hidden Gems

This week I’m sharing with you all some of my favorite, under-appreciated novels.  Some of these include popular authors’ lesser known novels, self-published novels, and novels that I just think need a lot more love and attention!

So, without further ado, here’s ten of my favorite, hidden gem novels:

12345678910

 


That wraps up this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! What are some of your favorite novels that you feel are under-appreciated?

Thanks for reading!


Follow me on:

Bloglovin’ | Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads | Litsy (@thecalicobooks)

Buy from:

The Book Depository

(I receive a tiny commission if you follow my BD links!)

Advertisements

Book Review | The Summer of Cotton Candy

the summer of cotton candyTitle: The Summer of Cotton Candy (Sweet Seasons #1) by Debbie Viguié

Pages: 219

Genres: YA, Contemporary, Christian

Published by: Zondervan (May 11th, 2008)

Summary

Most people think The Zone is an amusement park, but Candy Thompson knows it’s really a slave labor camp. What else would you call a summer job that requires a sixteen-year-old girl to set aside her whole social life for the privilege of standing out in the hot sun selling cotton candy? Still, there are perks—particularly the mysterious hunk in the Lone Ranger costume. Behind that mask are the most amazing eyes Candy has ever seen. Who is that masked man? But someone else is just as interested. And romantic competition isn’t the only problem. Besides being hard work, The Zone is eating up major time. How is Candy supposed to stay involved in church? Worse yet, will she lose her best friend, Tamara, who resents how Candy’s job limits their time together? This is NOT the summer Candy hoped for! But as she is about to discover, the summer of cotton candy will be the greatest summer of her life.

The Summer of Cotton Candy (Sweet Seasons, #1)

What I Thought

I originally read this book a couple years ago, back when it was the summer before my senior year in high school.  I absolutely loved this book, and the entire series.  I found myself relating SO much to Candance and where she was in her life.  So, because I loved it so much, I thought I’d give it a reread, to see if I still loved it!

Continue reading

August Wrap-Up!

monthly wrapup

I feel like I say this every single month, but can you even believe it is now September?! This year is flying by SO fast!

Overall, August was a pretty great month for me.  Altogether, I read six books.

BOOKS READ

IMG_3156.jpg

– The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– Tied to Deceit by Neena H. Brar (ebook) \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️

– Echo by Nadette Rae Rodgers \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– The Summer of Cotton Candy by Debbie Vigue (reread) \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

STANDOUT BOOK OF THE MONTH

IMG_3158.jpg

For this month’s choice, I have to go with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo!  I honestly did not expect this book to live up to its hype, and yet, somehow it did.

 

BOOKS REVIEWED

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tied to Deceit by Neena H. Brar \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

 

BOOK HAUL

No new books for me in August!

 

MISCELLANEOUS 

Top Ten Tuesday new

Here’s August’s TTT’s:

Waitingonwednesday

This month’s WoW:

movie monday

Movie Monday also came back this month! I shared my thoughts on the new Masterpiece Theater mini-series of Little Women!

classicsathon

I also shared the books I hoped to read for the #ClassicsAThon…As you can tell from the lack of classics in this wrap-up, however, I didn’t exactly reach my goals…😂🤦🏼‍♀️

Tied to Deceit tour banner new

I was part of the Tied to Deceit blog tour, too!

Sweet Dreams Cover Reveal (1)

I also got to help reveal the cover for Sweet Dreams, book three in the Illusions Trilogy, by Nadette Rae Rodgers, as well as interview the author!


And that wraps up my August!  I hope you all had a really great month, and an even better September!

Thanks for reading!


Follow me on:

Bloglovin’ | Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads | Litsy (@thecalicobooks)

Buy from:

The Book Depository

(I receive a tiny commission if you follow my BD links!)

Top Ten Bingeworthy TV Shows & Movies!

Top Ten Tuesday new

t’s Top Ten Tuesday again!  It’s a weekly bookish list hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Bingeworthy TV Shows and Movies

Today we’re taking a step away from books and talking about something we all know and love: books and movies!  Now, I’ll be honest, I actually don’t watch a whole lot of television or movies.  Despite that, I still have a couple favorites that I really love, and that’s what I’m going to share with you today!

Alright, let’s get started!

Favorite Movies

12345

 

Bingeworthy TV Shows

12354

 


And there you have it! If this week’s Top Ten Tuesday has taught me anything, it’s taught me that I need to watch a bit more movies and television, because this week was HARD!  Also, the fact that all my favorite movies are book adaptations was a complete coincidence, lol.

Be sure to let me know about some of your favorite movies and television shows!

Thanks for reading!

 


Follow me on:

Bloglovin’ | Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads | Litsy (@thecalicobooks)

Buy from:

The Book Depository

(I receive a tiny commission if you follow my BD links!)

Top Five Favorite Required Reading Books

Top Ten Tuesday new

It’s Top Ten Tuesday again!  It’s a weekly bookish list hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week’s topic is:

Favorite Required Reading Books

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, was a freebie for anything back to school related.  I’ve decided to share share my favorite books that I’ve been required to read for school, because even though there’s been quite a few books I didn’t love, over the years, I’ve also read quite a few books that I actually did end up loving!  Also, because school actually started back up this week for me, I only had time for a top 5 today, because I’m still getting into the swing of things.

Alright, let’s get started:

Anne of Green Gables

anne of green gables

Many of you probably know about my love for all things Anne of Green Gables, but you may not be aware that the first time I read this book, it was for school!  I was in 5th grade, and I absolutely fell in love with this book!  I related to Anne so much, and I just loved everything about it.

Check it out on Goodreads!

The Secret Garden

the secret garden

Fifth grade was a really great year for me when it came to required reading.  The Secret Garden is another book I read that school year that I ended up loving, too.  The first time I read it, I do remember struggling with it a little bit, but eventually I fell in love with this story, and it has been a favorite of mine ever since!

Check it out on Goodreads!

And Then There Were None

and then there were none.jpg

I took a mystery literature course in high school, and one of the books we had to read was And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.  This book was so mysterious and compelling. I ended up absolutely loving it!

Check it out on Goodreads!

The Hound of the Baskervilles

the hounds of the baskerville.jpgAnother mystery novel I read for school that I adored was The Hound of the Baskervilles.  It was the first, and so far, only Sherlock Holmes novel that I’ve read, but I was so intrigued with this book from the beginning to the very end.  I read this one in the 8th grade, so it’s been a while since I’ve read it.  I’ve actually been wanting to reread it, so maybe I’ll do that soon! I’d love to see what I think of it now!

Check it out on Goodreads!

Island of the Blue Dolphins

island of the blue dolphins

I read Island of the Blue Dolphins way back in the 4th grade, so I’ll be honest, I don’t remember everything that happens in this book.  That being said, I remember loving this story so much!  It was one of those books that I was just completely captivated by.  This is another one that I would like to eventually reread, because I remember loving it so much, and I’d like to see what I think of it now!

Check it out on Goodreads!


That wraps up this week’s TTT!  Sorry this post was shorter, but life has been busy.  Hopefully I’ll be back to posting full Top Ten Tuesday’s soon!

What are some of the books you read for school that you ended up loving more than you expected?

Thanks for reading!


Follow me on:

Bloglovin’ | Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads | Litsy (@thecalicobooks)

Buy from:

The Book Depository

(I receive a tiny commission if you follow my BD links!)

Book Review | The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

the seven husbands of evelyn hugo.jpgTitle: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Pages: 388

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Historical, Romance

Published by: Atria Books (June 13th, 2017)

Summary

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

What I Thought

Honestly, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo wasn’t a book that I planned on reading.  For the past year, I’ve seen mentions of it, but it just didn’t look that great in my opinion.  It wasn’t until the last few months that I actually started to really pay attention to what people were saying.  Everyone just seemed to love this book.  So much so that, I couldn’t ignore the hype any longer.  I just had to read it.  Let me just say that, I am so glad I did!

Continue reading

Top Five Books To Pull You Out of a Reading Slump

Top Ten Tuesday new

It’s Top Ten Tuesday again!  It’s a weekly bookish list hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week’s topic is:

BOOKS THAT PULL YOU OUT OF A READING SLUMP

Ah, reading slumps…how we loathe them!  Yet, despite that, we’ve all fallen into a slump or two that just does not want to leave us.  This week is a busy week for me, so I’m only able to do a top five today, but I’m sharing five books that have helped me get out of reading slumps, and will, hopefully, pull you out of yours, too!

Everything, Everything

everything everything

 

I think Everything Everything is such a great book to help you get out of a reading slump!  The actual book is fairly short, there are also a lot illustrations and part in emails and texts, and this book is just so readable that once you start you won’t want to stop until it’s over!

 

 

Check out my review!

 

 

The Princess Diaries

the princess diaires

Honestly, anything by Meg Cabot could be on this week’s list.  She is one of my favorite authors, and all of her books are just so well-written and readable.  The Princess Diaries, in particular, is one of my favorites.  Mia is such a sassy and memorable character!  Plus, the entire book is written in journal entries, which always makes for a fun and quick read!

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

Twilight

twilight

Say what you will about Twilight, but there is a reason it was as popular as it was.  This book encouraged so many people to be readers.  Twilight is so fun and mysterious, and it is one book that will quickly grab your attention, which makes it perfect to help you out of a reading slump.

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

 

The Program

11366397

When I first read The Program, I actually remember that I was on the verge of a reading slump.  I was in the middle of a readathon, and I wasn’t doing as well as I had hoped.  I picked this book up only because it matched one of the challenges.  I ended up devouring The Program!  I read this book so quickly and did not ever want to put it down.  It was so intriguing and kept me glued to the pages until the very last one.

 

Check out my review!

 

The Hunger Games

the hunger games

Just like Twilight, there’s definitely a reason why this series was so popular!  The Hunger Games is just written in a way that makes you never want to stop reading.  It’s been years since I first read The Hunger Games, and yet, this series has still stuck with me.  I really need to reread it soon!

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 


That wraps up this week’s TTT!  As you can probably tell, for me, YA contemporaries and dystopians are the books that help me escape those dreaded reading slumps.  An old favorite always helps, too!

What are some books that help you get out of reading slumps?

Thanks for reading!


Follow me on:

Bloglovin’ | Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads | Litsy (@thecalicobooks)

Buy from:

The Book Depository

(I receive a tiny commission if you follow my BD links!)

Sweet Dreams Cover Reveal + Author Interview!

Sweet Dreams Cover Reveal (1).png

Hey everyone!  Today I am SO excited to help reveal the cover of Sweet Dreams by Nadette Rae Rodgers, which is the third and final book in the Illusion trilogy! This series has been so intriguing, and I’m so honored that Nadette asked me to be a part of this exciting event.  Alongside that, I also had the opportunity to interview Nadette!

So, without further ado, let’s reveal the cover:

3…

2…

1…

SweetDreams Final Cover 3 (1).jpg

I think this cover is so gorgeous and compliments books 1 and 2 so well!  I am really looking forward to reading Sweet Dreams and seeing how this series concludes.  Just looking at this cover makes me so excited and hopeful!!

Sweet Dreams is set to release on September 15th, but you can pre-order it now by clicking here!

Also, if you’re new to the series, be sure to check out books 1 and 2 below (Psst: they’re both on Kindle Unlimited!)

illusion  echo.jpg


tour schedule (3).jpg

Also, like I shared earlier, I had the opportunity to interview Nadette Rae Rodgers as well!  It is all about writing, books, and of course, the Illusion Trilogy!


1. How old were you when you first started writing?

 

Honestly, I have been writing ever since I learned how! Of course, when I was little, it was more of little Christmas poems or “books” that were about a page. I have just always loved writing! But, I first began writing my first novel (Illusion) when I was 14!

 

2. Tell me a little about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine? Any writing playlists?

 

My writing routine depends on the type of scene I’m writing. But usually, I turn on the twinkly lights in my room, pick a playlist that fits what I’ll be writing about then, listen to a song or two while I jot down quick notes and ideas I have, and then I just start typing on my Alphasmart. I also love to have hot chocolate or coffee in my Eiffel Tower mug too! If I really need inspiration or get stuck, I get out my baby blue typewriter!

 

I am very inspired by music! So, yes! I have many writing playlists. I have a few that are just instrumental songs, usually from movie soundtracks I loved. I also have a playlist on my Spotify for each book I write. On it are songs that either remind me of a certain scene I’m writing because of the lyrics or sometimes I add songs to my playlist because it reminds me of a song my characters might be listening to.

3. What inspired you to write The Illusion Trilogy?

 

I find dreams fascinating! I think it is so interesting how the mind is subconsciously telling us something by our dreams. I’m sure everyone has felt that deja vu feeling after a strange dream at at least one point in their lives. I just started wondering what would happen if someone felt like that every day of their life.

 

Also, at the time, I kept searching for a certain type of book– one that combined romance and action and something unique but relatable. I couldn’t really find it. So I thought about the quote by Toni Morrison that says, ““If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” So I sat down and started writing the book I was looking for!

 

4. How long did it take for you to write the first draft?

 

The first draft took a few months. However, I wrote it when I was 14 and quite literally put it away in a box under my bed until my senior year of high school. I spent that whole school year working with my creative writing teacher to edit the book and get it ready for print.

 

5. Was it harder or easier to write the sequels?

 

To be honest, a little bit of both. It was easier because I was developing the dream world futher and the characters were showing more backstory and personality. It was easier because there was so much I wanted to do with the story, so I finally had the chance to dig deeper in the story than you do in book one.

 

However, it was also harder because I honestly wrote book one without really thinking I would publish it. So writing the sequels was interesting because I now had a deadline and also an audience reading what I was writing to consider.

 

6. What do you do when you face writer’s block?

 

I don’t want my books to seem forced. I want them to flow and feel realistic. If I get stuck, I usually take a break from writing for a little bit and revisit it. Another thing I try to do is actually write whatever scene I am struggling with in a different way. For instance, I’ll try it from another character’s point of view or I might write it as a journal entry. This way it gives me another way of looking at the situation.

 

7.  Who/what are some of the authors and books that have inspired you on your writing journey?

 

Oh my goodness! So many!

 

A big one is Ally Carter. She wrote the Gallagher Girl’s series. I have always loved her writing; I like the way it feels like the main character is just having a conversation with you and telling you about her day. I wanted my books to have that vibe too.

 

A classic book that inspired me was The Scarlet Letter  by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I had been reading that book for school around the time I was writing Illusion, and I think you can really see some influence of that book in the antagonist of Illusion.

 

8. Now that The Illusion Trilogy is coming to a close, do you have any other projects in the works?

 

I have my second children’s book coming out in a few weeks! It’s called Hoo’s Birthday Is It? and has the same adorable Little Yellow Owl as Hoo Loves You. It has a few new fun characters, too, like frogs and foxes!

 

I have had some ideas for a YA standalone novel for the past few years. I can’t get it out of my head! I have been working on that a little bit over the past few years, but have been focused on The Illusion Trilogy. Now that this trilogy is done, I do think I want to try my hand at a standalone, just to see the difference in three books to just one.

 

9. And one last question, aside from writing, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?

 

I am currently a college student studying Speech Pathology! I am very interested in that field and am so excited for my future as a Speech Pathologist!

 

I also love dancing (I am a preschool dance teacher), reading, watching Gilmore Girls with my mom and The Office with my family, and spending time with my friends.


Thank you so much, Nadette, for the opportunity to not only reveal the cover of Sweet Dreams, but also interview you!  It has been so much fun. 🙂

You can follow Nadette on Twitter, Instagram, her blog, and website!

Also, Nadette is hosting an exciting giveaway for Sweet Dreams right now.  So be sure to head on over to both of our Instagrams to get all the details on that!

Thank you all so much for reading, and remember to check out Sweet Dreams, releasing September 15th!


Follow me on:

Bloglovin’ | Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads | Litsy (@thecalicobooks)

Buy from:

The Book Depository

(I receive a tiny commission if you follow my BD links!)

Book Review | The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls

the last summer of the garrett girls.jpgTitle: The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood

Pages: 320

Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Published by: Sourcebooks Fire (June 5th, 2018)

Summary

One summer will challenge everything the Garrett sisters thought they knew about themselves—and each other.

Kat lands the lead in the community theater’s summer play, but the drama spills offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are cast too. Can she get revenge by staging a new romance of her own?

Bea and her boyfriend are heading off to college together in the fall, just like they planned when they started dating. But Bea isn’t sure she wants the same things as when she was thirteen…

Vi has a crush on the girl next door. It makes her happy and nervous, but Cece has a boyfriend…so it’s not like her feelings could ever be reciprocated, right?

As the oldest, Des shoulders a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore. Except it’s hard to dream big when she’s so busy taking care of everyone else.

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls

What I Thought

I saw this book at Target and was instantly intrigued!  Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood has been on my TBR for years now, and so when I saw another one of her books, I was very curious.  After reading the back, I just knew The Last Summer of the Garret Girls was going to be a fun summer read, and had to check it out!

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday

Waitingonwednesday

Waiting on Wednesday/Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature, started by Breaking the Spine and continued by Wishful Endings, that puts the spotlight on upcoming releases! 

This week’s pick is:

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

RELEASING SEPTEMBER 18TH, 2018

the 7 half deaths of evelyn hardcastle.jpgHow do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed—again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend—but nothing and no one is quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

This book sounds so incredibly intriguing!  I know it was already released in other countries earlier this year, but this book is finally coming to America, and I am quite excited.  I’ve been hearing some great things about this book.  I have a feeling that The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is going to be one of those books that I just love.  So, I’m super excited to read this one and see if it lives up to my expectations!

 

 

 


Follow me on:

Bloglovin’ | Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads | Litsy (@thecalicobooks)

Buy from:

The Book Depository

(I receive a tiny commission if you follow my BD links!)