Rating System:

For those of you who don't know, I rate books based on their ability to hold my attention. I don't really like to rip apart someone's hard work. If I don't finish a book, then I don't feel comfortable rating it. So you might see a lot of 4 and 5 star ratings. However, if I do have issues with a book, I will always tell you. Enjoy! (:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Pokemon Go Book Tag


To those who read my last post, this should come as no surprise. I'm addicted to playing Pokemon Go and have put myself into a slump because of it. So here we go, the perfect tag!

It's really hard to pinpoint the book that sparked my love of reading. I know that I started reading because I wanted to be just like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, my favorite move to this very day. I remember reading Charlotte's Web by E.B. White with my grandma when I was little and I loved it. Throughout my life I have fallen in and out of reading several times. A few books that have brought me back after straying include Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar, Private by Kate Brian, and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. It always seems to be a series that brings me back because I simply need to know what happens next.

I actually haven't read that many classics. Does Charlotte's Web count? *Laughs nervously* I would love to read some classics someday though so feel free to give me some recommendations along with why you love them.

Wow, it's actually hard to choose. I'm going to go with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I went so far as to purchase this book a few years ago and I have yet to even touch it. I haven't even seen the movies. I get that everyone loves the series, but that kind of makes me not want to read it for some strange reason. I have vowed to read it someday. I mean I did spend money on it, but lord knows when that will be.

I actually tend to ignore tropes within books. If I'm enjoying a story, who cares? Today I watched Michael from Michael BookLion mention The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and while I have only read book one, I did enjoy it and didn't mind whatever tropes there might have been.

I can think of several books for this one. Size definitely intimidates me when it comes to books simply because of the commitment. We'll start with the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. I purchased the boxed set so I could marathon it and a year later I haven't even touched them. The same goes for The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I also feel obligated to mention the big guns here, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Those books/series are HUGE. I don't know if I'll ever start the last two. Lastly, the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. I will read that series, but probably not until every single book is out in the world. I decided this because the wait between each of her A Court of Thorns and Roses books is killing me.

A book that kept me up would be A Court of Mist and Fury for sure. A Court of Thorns and Roses as well. Sarah J Maas just gets me. I just need more of these characters and this world and ugh. Let me live in the Night Court. Those are my people.

My bookish OTP, or one true pair, is Rhysand and Feyre from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas. I am absolutely in love with the two of them. I also ship myself with Rhysand, no big deal. I feel obligated to mention Juliette and Warner from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi as well. If you haven't read these two series, do it now. I know almost everyone has, but if you're like me and behind on trends *cough cough Harry Potter* then I'm giving you this heads up now.

The Divergent series by Veronica Roth. I think I read the whole series in about a week because I was sick in bed and thoroughly enjoying myself. I also found the Thirst series by Christopher Pike to be quite fast paced as well. I wish more people would give those books a chance. Seriously, Thirst may be about vampires, but it is anything but typical.

Percy Jackson, hands down. Rick Riordan has me hooked on his books and his characters. Also, I'd love more books on the characters from A Court of Thorns and Roses. If you haven't guessed by now Sarah J Maas and that world own me as well. SO AMAZING.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. My best friend Grace had been pushing me to start the series forever and while I am nowhere near finished with the series, I did enjoy the first book. She was so right and I will forever trust her recommendations. Check her out at The Grace Lucy Review. Savages by Don WInslow surprised me too. A movie about drugs and the whole business didn't seem like my thing at all, but I read the whole book in a day. The Prequel, The Kings of Cool was amazing. The way everything was weaved together, damn. Highly recommend.

I do not want to call Harry Potter overhyped, but I couldn't think of anything else. I am one of the few people of my generation that has not finished the Harry Potter series. I know, gasp. I am so stoked to finish these books. I only have two left and I know they're going to crush me, but how could one not be excited?! The Harry Potter series by the brilliant J.K. Rowling is in no way overhyped, it is worth the hype and the adventure is everything.

It would be amazing to own the collector's edition of the illustrated Harry Potter books. I believe it cost around $200 or something, but it was absolutely gorgeous. If there were ever a collector's edition of any of my favorite books, I would be all over that. However, as of this moment I don't think there are any that I'm itching to get. Unless the Barnes & Noble edition of The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan counts.

I have already read this one, but trust me when I say that it is absolutely amazing and I need the finished copy as soon as humanly possible. Are you ready? Caraval by Stephanie Garber. The world she created is just mind blowing to me. Everything is so magical and you never know what's real and what's a misdirect and the dress, oh the dress. January 2017 cannot come soon enough in my opinion. Some others that I love and want you to read as soon as you can are Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow and If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson. Ones that I have not read and cannot wait for are Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot , After the Fall by Kate Hart, and Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. I'm absolutely positive that there are more, but you don't have all day and neither do I.

I have too many auto-buy authors to count, but I just really love the books I read and supporting such wonderful people. I will always buy a Paula Stokes book. I consider her a friend and I genuinely love her writing. Girl Against the Universe is my favorite of hers so far. And my book club Better Read Than Dead is reading her latest book, Vicarious, in September if you'd like to join us. Some others would include John Green, Rick Riordan, Abigail Johnson, Kathleen Glasgow, Danielle Paige, Nicholas Sparks, Veronica Roth, JK Rowling, and so many more. I could probably go on forever. Give me all of the books.

It feels like I've been waiting forever for the sequel to Winger by Andrew Smith to come out. In reality it's been out for almost a year. I just had to wait for the paperback in order to have a matching set because I'm a tad anal like that. Alas, it finally comes out at the end of next month and I get to enjoy what others already have. I've also been waiting for The Goal by Elle Kennedy to release and it comes out next month as well. I don't know if it will top The Score though, Dean forever has my heart. I seriously love a good steamy new adult.

There you have it. The Pokemon Go book tag sure is fun, but now I want to go catch some Pokemon. Thank you, Aentee, for creating this tag! I tag anyone and everyone who wants to do this, leave me your link in the comments. Do you play? What team are you on? What's your strongest Pokemon? Tell me everything!
Xoxo,
Gabriella



Friday, August 26, 2016

ARC August Update

ARC August

So a couple of weeks ago I told all of you I'd be participating in ARC August and posting updates every Wednesday throughout the month. I fully intended on doing so, but then I was hit by a massive reading slump. I've managed to read a couple of pages here and there, but mostly I want to watch television and play Pokemon Go. It is unfortunate, but I was also in a slump last August. I didn't finish even one book. Therefore, I was honestly not surprised at all. I'm not going to try and fight it. I've decided to go with the flow until it passes. I'll try and find some book tags or something to post on the blog until my reading habits return to normal. Thank you for understanding.
Xoxo,
Gabriella


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Girl In Pieces ARC Review

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
5 Stars

One of my most anticipated books of the Summer was Girl in Pieces and boy, it was wonderful! But not like a happy kind of wonderful, more like an emotional roller coaster. Before I get into my review you should check out my interview with Kathleen here!

Going into Girl in Pieces I knew it was going to be a difficult read in the best way. From page one we see the struggles that Charlie has had to endure and Kathleen doesn't sugarcoat it one bit. It was like a breath of fresh air. Charlie struggled so much, had dark thoughts, doubts, and even made some bad decisions and it felt utterly authentic. In fact, all of the characters seemed so real especially for this town. Girl in Pieces actually takes place in my city, well most of the book does, and I could very clearly see everything and everyone in my mind which hardly ever really happens for me. Normally I would talk about the other characters now, but this is Charlie's story and I want you to discover everyone else along the way.

Tucson, oh Tucson. Kathleen nails this city so perfectly and to be honest I couldn't see this book being anywhere else. And while I practically never mention an author's writing style, I loved hers so much. It's so incredibly fast paced and that's my favorite so I had to mention it. I feel like this review is all over the place and not as thorough as I would have liked, but I was thinking about it and I want you, the reader, to experience this story as blindly as possible. It really is wonderful and heartbreaking and full of hope and self discovery & acceptance.

For those of you who are looking for a book that, to my knowledge, deals with mental health quite accurately, boldly, and honestly then this is the one for you. Girl in Pieces releases on August 30, 2016 and you can preorder a copy today! I highly recommend that you do. I've never rooted so hard for a character. Are you interested in Girl in Pieces? Do you have any questions? Have you already read it? Feel free to leave me a comment. Be sure to check out that interview if you haven't already! Happy Saturday!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Conversations: Showing Book Love


This time around for Conversations, we're talking about how we show our love and appreciation for the books we read. Are you ready for this super simple answer?

I SHARE THE SHIT OUT OF THEM. For real, I push the books that I love on everyone. I share them all over my Instagram and Twitter. I practically shout it from the rooftops when I love a book. And since my answer is so incredibly simple, I'll share some of my favorites with you. Ones that I have pictures of at least. Note: These aren't in any special order.

My review!

My review and interview!

My review for this one is coming within the next week! But I will tell you that this was an emotional one that I could not put down! For now, check out my interview with the author!

The Interview!

My review!

My review!

My review!

My review:

My review!

My review for this one will be up eventually. I must tell you that I loved this book so much! Also, Abigail is such a sweetheart! I hope you'll add this to your tbr.

Find it on Goodreads!

My review!

My review!

My review!

I know, this post was kind of boring and may have sent you a lot of places. I'm sorry. I had to share the love though! One book I really wish was on here would have to be A Court of Mist and Fury, but I have yet to take a picture and review that one. So much love for Rhysand and the Night Court. Feel free to link me to your post and if you don't have one then tell me your faves and how you spread the love! Have a wonderful weekend!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Thursday, August 4, 2016

ARC August Intro

ARC August

Hello and welcome to my very first post for ARC August 2016! ARC August is an event hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat where we all try and get through our stack of ARCs. This will be my first time ever doing the event and I am so completely stoked about it! Now let's talk about what I have planned for this month.

How About A TBR?

Well, being the mood reader that I am, I don't really have one! Shocker right? Every single time I set a TBR, I either fall into a deep slump or I just stray from my list. However, I don't want to completely leave you hanging. So I will mention a few books that I am in fact interested in, but am not forcing myself to get to.

- The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti *

- Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida C√≥rdova

- The Cabin by Natasha Preston

- Wake the Hollow by Gaby Triana

- Aftermath by Clara Kensie

- Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

- The Lost and Found by Katrina Leno

- Two Summers by Aimee Friedman

- Frannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup

- Change Places with Me by Lois Metzger

- How if Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes

- The Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Portes

*Currently Reading

Wow, that already feels kind of overwhelming even though I'm not committing to those. Anyway, join me on this adventure of trying to shorten my review pile! I'll be posting mini updates every Wednesday and on Thursday, September 1st I will do a final wrap-up. Have you read any of these books? Which ones do you recommend? I'd love to hear all about my potential reads. If you're participating in ARC August, what will you be reading? Leave me your thoughts and your links! Happy reading!
Xoxo,
Gabriella

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Entangled Summer Carnival: Pie Bake-Off Booth


Step right up! Step right up! Get those taste buds ready for the Pie Bake Off booth hosted by the lovely Entangled Bliss authors. Each author specially baked a pie sure to delight. Check out the video and let us know which pie are you dying to eat? You can grab all of the recipes below.



Summer Berry Berry Pie

Hi, all! Jennifer here!

Thanks for stopping by the Bliss Pie Bake-Off!

For me, nothing says summer like a fresh fruit pie! My pie I've chosen for this bake-off has fresh raspberries, blueberries (a NJ fruit), strawberries and blackberries. YUM!
I admit that pie crust usually intimidates me, but the recipe for the crust that is included is super easy (especially if you have a food processor) and is great to work with since it rolled out really nice and even. And that rarely happens for me, so I will definitely make this crust again!

**I made the pie dough a day before to make it more simple for me.

If you all are interested, here is the recipe from http://www.jocooks.com/

Ingredients

Pie Crust
  • 2½ cup flour
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 6 to 8 tbsp ice cold water
Filling
  • 5 cups of mixed berries, sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white for egg wash
Instructions
  1. Place the butter in freezer for 20 minutes.
  2. In a food processor add the flour, salt and sugar and pulse a couple times.
  3. Add the butter to the food processor and pulse a few times until the mixture resembles peas. Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time and continue pulsing. The dough should start to hold together.
  4. Remove dough from food processor and place it over your working surface. Form the dough into 2 discs, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour up to 2 days before using.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Coat a deep-dish pie crust plate with nonstick baking spray.
  6. Place berries in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and extract; mix well. Add to berries; toss to coat.
  7. Take out the pastry discs from the fridge and roll out a disc so that it's 12 inches in diameter and place it and arrange in your pie dish. Brush the pie crust with egg white so that it doesn't get soggy.
  8. Pour the berry mixture into the pie crust.
  9. Roll out the other disc so that it's 12 inches in diameter as well and cut it into lattice strips. Arrange the lattice strips nicely over the berries and brush with remaining egg white.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Let it cool before serving.

Peanut Butter Pie

9"x11" glass baking dish
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (divided into 2)
2 tsp milk
1 T corn syrup
1/2 c confectioners super (divided into 2)
1 c butter or margarine + 2 T
12 oz whipped topping (i.e. Cool Whip)
1 c peanut butter
1 c brown sugar
Graham cracker crust

Layer 1 - The Crust
Prepare baked graham cracker crust per directions on packaging. Set aside to cool. (Feel free to use a standard pie crust or Oreo crust - all work great for this recipe!)

Layer 2 - Chocolate Base Layer
  • Melt the following in a small saucepan:  3/4 c chocolate chips, 1 T butter, 2 tsp milk
  • Add 1/4 c confectioners sugar
  • Stir/blend
  • Remove from heat and spread chocolate sauce over bottom of crust. Set aside to cool completely.

Layer 3 - Peanut Butter Filling
  • Melt 1 c butter in microwave, then stir in 1 c brown sugar
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes
  • Pour mixture into blender and stir in 1 c peanut butter until well blended
  • Fold in 12 oz whipped topping
  • Pour filling over cooled chocolate layer

Layer 4 - Chocolate Topping
  • Melt the following in a small saucepan:  3/4 c chocolate chips, 1 T butter, 1 T corn syrup, 1/4 c confectioners sugar
  • Mix well
  • Spread carefully over the peanut butter layer

Refrigerate until cool (great frozen as well!). Cut and serve!



Lemon Ice Box Pie

Ingredients

-1 8oz. container of Cool Whip
-1 14oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
-1/3 cup of Lemon Juice
-1 Graham Cracker Crust

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. When evenly mixed, pour into graham cracker crust. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
Cherry Pie

This pie crust recipe is simple, but the trick is the prep. You don't want to over-mix & the time in the fridge is essential to making the flakiest crust. (Also, credit for this crust goes to my neighbor from my hometown, Luella Crowther. It was the first time I ate all the crust on my piece of pie, because YUM!)

2 C flour
*1 C butter (softened enough to work with)
1/2 C water
dash of salt

*shortening also works

Add butter to flour and work in by hand until you have pea-sized bits. Scatter liquid over surface. Stir until just mixed with a fork and roll into two dough balls. Place balls in plastic wrap, pull up edges and press dough into a disk. Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out. (Fridge up to 5 days, freeze up to 3 months)

Pound bottom crust dough with rolling pen. Roll out and form into pie pan.

1 Can of cherry pie filling (I search for the kind without corn syrup, because allergy fun!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 T sugar

Mix and put on the bottom crust. (Fair warning, I like my cherries on the sweeter side with a little tart. If you prefer more tart, skip the sugar & vanilla)


Roll out second crust & cover. Flute edges & put in vent holes. Cover edges with foil, so they don't get too done. Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes.

The Giveaway


Don’t forgot to check out all the authors books below.

Wedding Date For Hire by Jennifer Shirk
on sale for just 99¢!
About the Book:

Hottie for hire…

Maddie McCarthy is single, between jobs, and (oh, the shame) lives with her mother. To make matters worse, she’s the maid of honor for her sister’s wedding, and desperately needs a date. Then she sees her salvation-Match Made Easy, a service for women in Maddie’s exact position. If she can’t find a boyfriend, she’ll do the next best thing…

Hire one.

Trent Montgomery isn’t actually part of Match Made Easy. He’s just doing a favor for his cousin, but one look at the blonde who hired him, and he’s totally hooked. Now Maddie thinks that the attraction sizzling between them is just “part of the package.” And Trent is running out of time to prove to her that her date-for-hire might just be her happily-ever-after…



Find it online:

Author Info:


Her Unexpected Detour by Kyra Jacobs
About the Book:
Sometimes it’s not the destination, but the detour…

Kayla has the perfect strategy for a broken heart: work, work, and more work. Then a storm sends her car skidding off the road, stranding her in Mount Pleasant. Fortunately, rescue comes in the form of the incredibly handsome but gruff Brent Masterson. And he’s hot enough to tempt Kayla into doing something she never thought she could do…

Brent Masterson swore he would never give into the fierce attraction that’s been sizzling between him and Kayla since they first met. He has his own demons, and he won’t risk his heart again. Not even for someone as gorgeous and amazing as Kayla. So…how exactly did he end up in Kayla’s bed last night?

But sometimes all it takes is an ice storm to show two broken hearts the way home…


Find it online:

Author Info:



Wife for the Weekend by Ophelia London
About the Book:
When bad weather closes the airport, free-spirited Jules Bloom finds herself stuck with the admittedly hot but total suit Dexter Elliott. One night and one large pitcher of “Vegas Sunrise” later, Jules wakes up in a hotel bed with a vicious hangover…wearing nothing but a wedding ring.

Determined not to ruin his brother’s wedding, Dexter strikes a deal with the frustratingly gorgeous Jules to continue their quickie marriage through the weekend. Only she keeps getting under his skin in unexpected ways.

Jules has her own reasons for staying married to Dex but they seem less important with each exaggerated touch and staged kiss. But one marriage, one major secret, and two complete opposites don’t add up to a happily ever after…




Find it online:

Author Info:


The Bad Boy's Baby by Cindi Madsen
About the Book:

There are certain words that have always described Cam Brantley: Town bad boy. Soldier. Protector. But never, everdad. Until he returns home from his latest military tour to discover the girl he had one smoking-hot night with is now mom to the adorable two-year-old Zoey. Who has his eyes.

Plenty of words could describe Emma Walker these days. Mom, dutiful granddaughter, budding designer, the town’s golden child. But when her longtime crush Cam Brantley comes back to town, she knows the perfect word to describe herself: screwed.

Cam and Emma are both shocked to discover he truly wants Zoey in his life. But Cam’s not sure he’s ready to be a dad, and Emma can’t gamble her daughter on maybes. As the long-simmering heat between Cam and Emma reaches a boiling point, he’ll have to work past his demons in order to be the man both girls need.

Daddy duty might be his toughest mission yet…

Find it online:

Author Info:

And be sure to stop by the other carnival booths for more fun and giveaways and each day stop by the Facebook event page to chat with the authors.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my post. Don't those recipes sound absolutely delicious? I'm going to have to make myself some gluten-free versions! Feel free to share your favorite recipes in the comments as well as any you'd like to try! Enjoy your Wednesday!
Xoxo,
Gabriella