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! (:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Armchair BEA 2017 Day One

Armchair BEA!

Welcome to my second year of participating in Armchair BEA, the online version of Book Expo America. We talk books an blogging and celebrate the community. This is day one, I hope you enjoy!

I'm Gabriella and I'm 22 years old, almost 23. I love to read, hike, watch television, and just relax. My current read is Freeks by Amanda Hocking and I'm enjoying it so far. My summer plans include reading, adventuring, and visiting with my friends from out of town. That's about it.

Day One: Best Practices Within the Online Book Community
Some of my best practices include kindness (which honestly goes a long way, especially with everything going on lately) and persistent use of my Twitter to stay involved. I think we all know there can be a lot of hurtful things, rude people, and general negativity within the community and I try my best to be one of the positive people. It's not hard to be supportive of one another. Honestly. As far as my Twitter goes, I check it multiple times a day. I try to join in on Twitter chats and just keep in touch with everyone and everything. Y'all are some of my best friends and I am so thankful to have found you and this wonderful community where I can just be me.

Thank you for stopping by for day one and I hope you'll be back for the next few days to see what I'm up to. Feel free to tell me about yourself in the comments!

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Martian Review

The Martian by Andy Weir
4 Stars

I'm going to keep this pretty brief. Mostly because I have forgotten anything of real significance since it took me over a year to finish this book. Don't get me wrong, it is a great book. I just kept putting it down in favor of other books that were more in my comfort zone. I picked it back up last night and finished the last 150 pages fairly quickly. What I love about this book is it's humor. This man is stranded on Mars and he could very well die. Dying actually seems most likely and he's cracking jokes and maintaining his normal personality despite everything he's going through. Yes, he gets stressed and frustrated, but it's written in a light way. Or it was for me anyway. Andy Weir has a talent for making the science stuff reasonably understandable for those of us who may not have been the best in the subject. It's gripping and I really found myself rooting for him the whole time. I definitely recommend this one.

Now, this is kind of a first on my blog, but immediately after finishing the book I dove into the movie. I found it enjoyable. I was kind of sad that most of the humor is lost. Things are changed, some because they had to be. Others, I'm not so sure why. The movie was very dramatic. Had I not read the book I might have enjoyed it a hell of a lot more. This is a typical case of the book is better. Well at least it is for me. The movie on it's own would get about 4 stars from me. However, in comparison to the book I would only give it 2 stars. I know, I know. That's very low for me. I was just so disappointed. Mark seemed like a totally different person to me and it just didn't sit right.

Anyway, have y'all read The Martian? What were your thoughts? Was the movie really good for you or were you disappointed the way I was? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Waiting on Wednesday

For those of you who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a series hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. This week I'll be sharing another book that I am SUPER excited for and I have no idea how I will make it all the way until November.

The First To Know by Abigail Johnson

Dana Fields's father never knew his parents. When Dana secretly does a DNA test for her dad, hoping to find him some distant relatives for his birthday, her entire world implodes. Instead of a few third cousins, Dana discovers a half brother her age whose very existence means her parents' happy marriage is a lie. 

Dana's desire to know her half brother, Brandon, and the extent of her dad's deception, clashes with her wish not to destroy her family. When she sees the opportunity to get to know Brandon through his cousin, the intense yet kind Chase, she takes it. But the more she finds out about Brandon, her father's past and the irresistible guy who'll never forgive her if he discovers the truth, the more she sees the inevitable fallout from her own lies. With her family crumbling around her, Dana must own up to her actions and find a way to heal the breach—for everyone—before they're torn apart for good.

If you haven't read Abigail's first book, If I Fix You, then go get it now. I promise you won't regret it. The First To Know comes out on November 7, 2017 and I'm thinking this book is going to be even better and November is just so far away! I'm just so excited. I love Abigail's writing so much and her books take place in Arizona, where both of us live and I'm always on the hunt for Arizona books. Follow Abigail on Twitter, she's amazing. Check out her book and add this one to your TBR. Tell me what books you're looking forward to. Happy Reading y'all!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #4

Waiting on Wednesday

For those of you who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a series hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. This week I'll be sharing one of my most anticipated books of 2017 and if you know me at all, you won't be surprised.

This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes
Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened. 

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.

Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.

Wow, sounds great right? As you all know, I love Paula Stokes. Not only does she write wonderful books, but she's just an awesome human with great taste in television shows. I love everything about this synopsis and the whole national park setting really has me salivating. I, myself live near a national park and also a national forest and these are my favorite places to go. My escape, my happy place, where I heal (more the forest than the park). However, they're both beautiful in their own right. I just can't wait to see how this setting influences the story.

If you're interested as well This is How it Happened will be out on July 11, 2017 and is available for pre-order now. There is also an excerpt on Paula's website if you want a little taste before spending your money. What's one of your most anticipated reads for this year? I'd love to hear them. Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Duke of Bannerman Prep ARC Review

The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson
5 Stars

The Duke of Bannerman Prep was actually, I guess still is, most anticipated debuts of 2017 and I feel so lucky and blessed to have gotten my hands on it so early. I will start by saying while this is said to be a Great Gatsby retelling, I will not personally be talking about that seeing as I have never read or watched The Great Gatsby. On to my other thoughts!

I went into this book full knowing that I was going to love it. I have yet to meet a book featuring a boarding school that I did not like. So the title had me before I even read the description, but once I did I kind of went on to tell everyone how much I needed this in my life. Well it did not disappoint. Our book follows Tanner, a high school debater who recently switched schools in hopes of a brighter future. We see from the very beginning that he is very serious about why he's there and what he came to do. I admire that about him. But also in the very first chapter we hear about "The Duke" and he's kind of this campus celebrity in a way. I mean the way people were talking about him from the very beginning reminded me of all the scenes where people are talking about Regina George in Mean Girls, you know? "I heard this and I heard that." It was so intriguing. I needed to know more even if our main character wasn't interested in meeting this guy. Obviously these two aren't the only people in the entire novel, but they were the first two to gain my complete attention.

Katie actually created these characters quite beautifully in my opinion. I came to care about each and every one of them. Well, will the exception of Blake, but I'm not going to get into that. My favorite side character being Sam. He is just so enthusiastic and you can see how much he looks up to Tanner and he just adds so much to this story even we don't see him as much as I'd like. Now Kelsey and Abby, those two are just opposites to me and I love them both anyway. Do I agree with all of Abby's choices and reasons behind them? Not at all. But I think she's kind of there to teach about self worth and realizing that there is more and you shouldn't settle. Just wonderful characters, all of them.

Now, I will say that I wish this book was longer and I wish I got more of the boarding school in it, but man that debating aspect. I've never really known much about debate teams and such, but it added this sort of intensity when you'd see how hard these kids worked and how passionate they were about getting that win. I mean it would have been cool to read more about this stuff, yet I also see how adding more wasn't really necessary.

I don't know if any of you have read this one yet and I might be alone in this, I hope I'm not though. I NEED MORE. I don't care if it's a whole novel about The Duke, a short story, a continuance on Tanner's story, a book about Kelsey or even Abby because I'd like to see how she ends up. I just need more out of Katie Nelson. I am obsessed! If you want to check out The Duke of Bannerman Prep it comes out on May 9, 2017 and is available for pre-order now! What debuts are you excited for? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, May 1, 2017

A Very Arc-ish Readathon Wrap Up

A Very Arc-ish Readathon

So, the readathon has come and gone oh so quickly. I think this may be the first readathon where I actually got some reading done without putting myself in a stress induced slump. I know you're probably curious as to how I did, unless you follow me on Twitter. And.... I read two whole ARCs. Yep, you read that right, TWO. I even started a third about an hour before the readathon officially ended. Let's get to it!

My first book is actually a secret, but y'all will hear about it eventually and trust me when I tell you it was absolutely wonderful! The second one I finished was The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson and I loved it! Seriously, who doesn't love a good boarding school read? I know they're some of my favorite. My full spoiler free review will be up tomorrow if you're interested in my thoughts. Lastly, I just started reading What the Dead Want by Norah Olson and I'm definitely intrigued. Plus I'm really digging the short chapters. I don't mind long chapters, but short ones make it easier for me to breeze on through as I lie to myself by saying "just one more chapter".

So tell me, did you participate in the Very Arc-ish Readathon? If so, how did you do? I'm actually quite happy with my progress since my goal was just one. Thank you to Aimal for hosting! Happy reading everyone!