Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Book Review: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant

Book: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant
Genre: YA contemporary romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

This one has a very fun premise. Some college psychology kids are conducting an experiment and the idea is that if they put two strangers in a room with each other and have them ask and answer these 36 questions, that by the time it's over, they will be "interested" in each other. They aren't claiming that they will actually fall in love, but that they will help get something started.

So our girl comes to participate and she actually finds out what the above idea is and almost backs out but then decides what the heck. She is a chaotic mess, but a fun one. Our guy comes to do this just because he wants the $40 they say they will pay. He has no idea what it's all about. He seems closed off and mean and sullen.

So they get in the room with each other and clash right away. The guy comes from a less well off background and he thinks the girl is some spoiled rich snob right from the get go. But they start answering the questions and start learning about each other. And while they don't really connect, they do start opening up a bit.

However, things are cut short because the girl gets mad and storms off. But as we would expect, they find each other again ( at first easily, and later not so easily) and continue with the questions.

Do you think they fall in love by the end?

Well, you'll have to read it to find out!!

I thought it was very fun. I felt like it was borderline NA and not YA... these kids felt much older than high school. (Yes, the ones starting the experiment were college, but the participants were high school.) I'm not sure why, but it does have an older age feel to it. It felt a little surface-y and I was left wanting more... more.... character development maybe? More interaction? I'm not sure what more of... but something more. More actual romance? LOL.

Still, I breezed through it and really enjoyed it! Fun idea this one!

(This book is on the long list for the Beehive Book Awards.)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Currently: Feeling SO VERY TIRED

Listening: The NCT 127 album which dropped today. Currently it's a song called Fly Away With Me and I really like it. NCT 127 is going to be big. Watch for them. They already strutted their stuff on the red carpet at the AMA's this past week. But here's the song they are promoting. This version is all in English, so no worries on that front! Plus, it has a cool tiger. (I thought it was pretty weird at first, but it's really growing on me. Not the tiger. The song. )

NCT 127 at the AMAs

Watching: We started the latest season of Survivor... because... why not? It started out with a bang when a dude hurt his back during a wild boat ride and had to be pulled from the game on day 3. That was crazy. Also watching a drama called 30 but 17... about a girl who was in an accident when she was 17 and wakes up when she is 30... so she still feels 17. It's so good!

Reading: I have BRIDGE OF CLAY!!! But before I jumped into that, I read a couple other books. I know. It's crazy! Reading is so fun guys! :)

Writing: I put my half written book set in the 80s on my drive and read it all in one sitting, trying to remember what I wrote. Guys. I really liked it. LOL! But I still can't think how to finish it, or how to spiff up the conflicts and drama. Sigh...

Blogging: Hey, not bad, I'm thinking. It's happening!

YouTubing: Ah, but this feels like it's dying. Life is changing for some of us and it makes recording videos hard. BUT. Because of this life change, our content will be taking some new direction. So if you happen to be watching us... you'll see what I mean soon! And here's hoping we aren't really dying, but just having a little transition.

Asking: Why did I stay up until 3 am last night? Cause I was having a great time talking, that's why!

Picture Taking:

Looking Forward To:

  • KPOP and CHILL at Bumblebee's next Friday! Are you in the area? COME!!
  • I GOT JOSH GROBAN TICKETS! That's in a couple weeks. Sitting in the nosebleeds. I'm just going to kick back and listen!
  • I GET TO SEE MARKUS ZUSAK IN ONE WEEK! Yeah. Kick back and listen again. I don't even care what he says! LOL. Though I do hope he tells us all about the past 13 years and how he got through it. Dang, but he's had a hard time.
  • It's almost like my life is going back to normal, right? 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Kdrama Review: Lawless Lawyer

Drama: Lawless Lawyer
Genre: courtroom drama and suspense
Starring: Lee Joon Gi, Seo Ye Ji, Lee Hye Young
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤

So I watched this one purely for the leading guy. (He is mostly known for starring in Scarlet Heart.) The subject and story ended up not that interesting to me. It's ALL about revenge. The bad guys (which happens to be the judge and the mayor of this little town) killed the lawyer's mom back when he was just 10 years old. And he is raging mad still, as one would be. And he is out to get them... using the law. Even though he'd rather just beat them to death, literally. Because he could actually do that.

And our leading girl's back story is all mixed up in his back story also. She is also a lawyer but gets suspended for slugging the judge (or the prosecutor?) and yeah. So she ends up partnering with our guy and together, along with their quirky crazy team of thug helpers, work to take down the powers that lead this town.

It's really quite awesome. But as I said, I sort of got bored with the actual story after awhile, but it was too late and I was invested enough to see it through. I also had issues with the villains. They were just SO BAD that I couldn't stand it when they were on screen and they had  A LOT of screen time. I really enjoy the dramas where I feel more sympathetic to the villains you know? And when I'm all wrapped up in their stories as much as the main characters. It makes things a lot more interesting. These guys were just awful.

Our lawyer and his smirk with a couple of his thug helpers

But our dude.. just watching him swagger throughout this story is so much fun. He definitely has a something about him. He's just.. so... COOL! There is a lot of violence and fighting, which is sometimes like "YES GET IT BOYS!" and sometimes too violent and I had to hide my eyes.

The bad judge lady

There was romance for about 2 minutes, and then that was over and forgotten about. So if you are in the mood for pretty much no romance and a lot of fighting and a strong no nonsense female lead and some courtroom antics, you'll enjoy this one I bet.

One of the tiny romance moments.

A tiny trailer:

And a song:

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Book Review: The End or Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis

Book: The End or Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis
Genre: YA? MG? Contemporary
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I can't really decide if this book is categorized as a YA or an MG... the character is 14... so I guess it could go either way yes?

Anyway, it's been a year since our girl Emmy's best friend died. Before she died, Kim told Emmy that she planned to come back and visit her so to be prepared. So all that year, Emmy tried to do all the things they'd planned but Kim never came back to visit her. So Emmy is upset and trying to figure out what she has done wrong and why Kim won't show herself.

In the meantime, we bounce from this present day stress to the years before... and we learn all about Kim and the friendship these two have and the plans they make in the face of Kim's death from congenital heart disease. We learn about Emmy's insecurities and fears. We learn that they take classes from a bogus dude who claims to know how to help people communicate with their dead loved ones.

It sounds a little weird, yeah? But I loved it. So much. The writing style is totally up my alley and is a style I wish I could learn how to do. So simple, but power packed. Beautiful prose. I just love it. And in the process we bond instantly with these characters, especially Emmy and her dilemma. How she misses her friend so bad and wants to talk to her again so bad, and yet she needs to move on with her life. It's heartbreaking.

And yet, told in such a cute and funny way.

Did say I loved it? Because, I did!

I'm glad I remembered I had this one sitting around waiting to be read!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Beehive Book Award Reading

As most of you know by now, every year at the end of the year, I love to participate in reading books from the Beehive Award Long List  and review them in order to help the judges whittle them down to a short list. Once the short list is figured out, then everyone gets to read and review!

Here's the short list from last years reading.. up for the 2019 award:
(copied from the Beehive Award web page

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Eliza is the anonymous creator of a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything begins to crumble.

Ever the Hunted (Class of Kingdoms) by Erin Summerill
Britta is the outcast daughter of a bounty hunter who must use her powers to track her father's killer in a world of warring kingdoms, and dangerous magic.

Exo by Fonda Lee
Earth has been a peaceful colony of an alien race for a century, but then Donovan is captured, and killing him might be the incident needed to overthrow the alien rulers.

Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry
When her mom breaks up with yet another boyfriend, Calliope meets Jinsong, who becomes her friend despite her Tourette Syndrome and the embarrassment it causes.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kremmerer
When Declan finds a haunting letter Juliet left beside her mother’s grave, he writes back. Soon, he is sharing his pain with a perfect stranger. Then real life interferes.

A Taste for Monsters by Matthew Kirby
In 1888, disfigured Evelyn is hired as a maid to Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man. When the Jack the Ripper murders begin, they are haunted by the mystery.

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe) by Neal Shusterman
Disease has been eliminated, and the only way to die is by professional “scythes.” Two teens are forced to compete for the job, to the death, though neither wants it.

Starflight by Melissa Landers
Former high school enemies, Solara and Doran must team up when they find themselves aboard a renegade spaceship.

Warcross by Marie Lu
When a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

Wingsnatchers (Carmer and Grit) by Sarah Jean Horwitz
A Magician's apprentice and a one-winged princess must vanquish the mechanical monsters that stalk the streets and threaten the faerie kingdom.

I read and loved the first six on the list (with Eliza and Letters being my favorites) and would love to catch up with the other four. In the meantime I'm digging into the long list for the NEXT short list! AH!!

Up first:  

Anyone read it already? I'm enjoying it so far, though it feels more new adult than young adult so far to me.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Book Review: When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

Book: When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

Genre: YA contemporary
Rating: ★ ★ ★

This book was...okay. So it took me bit to get into it and get invested and I was worried at first the direction it was going. But it ended up okay and I was hoping for a certain direction! (Not the one I thought it was going in case you wondered.)

So this is a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, told from Rosaline's point of view. Okay, so I don't remember Rosaline from the original Shakespeare, but I guess Romeo liked her first and then Juliet came and ruined everything? Which is pretty much what happens in the this story.

Our main character is Rose and she likes Rob, her boy next door best friend for years. And just when she thinks they might be making the move to switch to bf/gf status, her rich and snobby cousin (who the family hasn't spoken to for ten years) suddenly shows up. And she nabs Rob right from the get go. Poor Rose.

But there's this other boy who I thought was especially intriguing hanging there in the wings. And he steps forward just then and makes Rose see things differently. His name is Len... and does this character have a counter part in the original? Someone tell me 'cause I can't remember!! Anyway, I thought he was awesome and interesting and so wanted to get to know him better! I feel like we were just getting there when the story ended!

SPOILERS: Anyway. It ends tragically as per the original if you must know. But I didn't feel very connected to those two and just wanted the happy ending for the other two. And now, like I said above, I feel like their story was just starting and I could handle more.

The writing in this one was just so so and it actually made me feel like if this one can make the cut, then all the stories I've started and are in my head totally could too! LOL! Is that bad? I mean like next week when I read Markus Zusak I will think, there is no way I can do this. But this one made me think I totally could.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Reading Recap: June through September 2018

Catching up with the books I've read these past few months. I thought I did better than this, but anyway.


The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas: He was killed during a routine traffic stop and she has to find the bravery to speak up against it.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith: They meet during a power outage when the elevator gets stuck. They go their separate ways but can't stop thinking about each other.


Grace and The Fever by Zan Romanoff: She happens upon the guy she loves from a boy band and they talk and he invites her to stuff and she gets to live the "dream" of being on the inside of a famous boy band, but it's not all that dreamy.


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: A gang of six unique kids pulls of an impossible heist.


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: She finds out she has powers and learns how to control them and hopes that the bad guy won't take advantage of her.

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West: She ends up on a podcast and he listens and spills his heart on air, but she has no idea he is talking about her.

The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright: He gets kidnapped in India, sold to an orphanage, adopted in America and later, manages to find his family in India.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: The gang of six quirky characters from Six of Crows is now out for revenge.

Favorites: Six of Crows, The Orphan Keeper

Fall Plans: Finish up the Leigh Bardugo series, keep up with book club, read some books that I having laying around all over the place, start the Beehive long list reading project!


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