Blog Tour- The Past is Present by Kathleen Webb

Hello everyone! Today I am back with a new blog post, and this one is a fun one! I was invited to take part in a blog tour for the debut book The Past is Present by Kathleen Webb!

**All opinions are my own**

past-is-present-banner1.png

Goodreads Synopsis:
After the untimely death of her mother and father, twenty-four year old Catherine Morgan leaves the Cambridge home where she has spent the better part of her life, to move to Cornwall. She takes a job as a teacher, working in an old rambling school which has been converted from a domestic home, perched high up on a hilltop, overlooking the beautiful Cornish coastline. 

Out of the blue a letter arrives from a bank in Switzerland, advising Catherine that she is the sole heir to a fortune of over thirty million dollars. With no living relatives, save for a great aunt in the USA, Catherine sets out to uncover the source of this staggering inheritance, and to unravel the mystery that lies behind it. 

With the help of her great aunt, Catherine begins to dig deep into long forgotten family secrets. Strange dreams begin to plague her. She is haunted by the eerie feeling that someone from her family’s past is trying to help her. Catherine must work to make sense of the past while defending herself, and her fortune, from someone in the present who will stop at nothing to secure the money for themselves. 

My Review

The first thing I have to say about this book is that I did not really enjoy the writing style. It was a little difficult to get into initially. It feels a little juvenile and basic, but once I got used to it, I was able to enjoy the story more.

Besides that, I did enjoy the story. The main character, Catherine, was very likable. I felt myself relating to many of the things she was saying,

The story also switches between two different times. It was done pretty well, but it felt a little forced at times. There were some plot holes that were left unfinished, but for a debut novel, the storyline itself was decent.

Towards the end, the book really picked up, which I appreciated. There were some twists and exciting events that I enjoyed reading.

Overall, I would give this book a 3/5 stars. It was okay, but definitely could have been improved upon.

chat with me

I hope you enjoyed this post, and thank you to Faye for hosting this blog tour! See you in my next post :)

Xo, Jess

Advertisements

Underrated book recs | pt. 2

I love the book community. But sometimes it feels like everyone is reading all the same books and there is no diversity in the book we read anymore. That is not necessarily a bad thing, because it’s great to be able to talk to others about books we’ve read. However, I feel like there are so many books that are left out of conversations. This is sad because there are millions of books in the world, and so many of them are amazing.

Therefore, I am sharing some books that I feel aren’t talked about enough. I’ve made a post like this once before, so you can check out the first part here!

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

39851032.jpg

I received an e-ARC for this book a few months ago, and I read it in a matter of days. It is SO. GOOD. I know this book isn’t completely underrated, and Jenn Bennett is a pretty popular author. BUT, I feel like this book didn’t get as much hype as it should have. It just came out recently and I only saw a few people talking about it. I really hope more people pick it up!

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

5821978.jpg

This entire trilogy is just so adorable. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the last book, but the first two were so good! I know everyone loves Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy, but this one deserves some hype, too.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

30038855.jpg

I got this book from Bookoutlet on a whim, without ever even hearing about it. After I read it, I was so surprised that no one has talked about it. This book is honestly so amazing. I am so glad that I picked it up because it was kind of an intense but beautiful read.

Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Taryn Fisher

24378015

I have only read the first part of this book (I believe there are 3 parts in total), but I was amazed by it. It is just so so good. It features the memory loss trope but it was done really well. I flew through this book because I really wanted to know what was going to happen. I bought the second part a while ago and I plan on reading it soon because I need to know what happens!

chat with me

Please leave some of your recommendations for underrated books down below! I will definitely add some to my TBR.

Xo, Jess

what i’ve been reading lately

Last night, I started looking through my past blog posts to get some inspiration for future posts. I quickly realized that while I kept talking about books I wanted to read, was excited to buy, etc, I haven’t talked about the books I’m ACTUALLY reading.

So, in today’s post, I am going to give you a run down of the books I’m currently reading!

**BTW, if you click on the pictures of the book covers, it takes you to their Goodreads pages!

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

41s2G6WxLvL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

I have heard so many good things about this book for the past few months and I was able to get my AP Lit teacher to approve it for my final in her class! I have only gotten a few pages in, but I am loving it. The narrator is super creepy but the writing style is really interesting.

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

32333338.jpg

If you read my last post, you would know that I picked this book up at Bookcon because they were selling signed copies early (and for a much cheaper price). I am just starting it today (because it happens to be the release day) and I am so excited. I loved the first Morgan Matson book I read, so I can not wait to read more work by her.

The Past is Present by Kathleen Webb

2848802.jpg

This book is also being released today, and I am part of the upcoming blog tour for it! I am just starting it now, but look forward for my review post coming up in a couple of weeks! I love the premise of this book, and I really hope I love it.

chat with me

Let me know what books you are currently reading in the comments below! I am always looking for new books to add to my TBR :)

XO, Jess

BOOKCON 2018 ! Haul and Experience

ECADF182-27FC-4F55-8773-383468B0F5FE.JPG

Hello everyone! It’s been a while. I took an unexpected hiatus from blogging because I was super stressed and had a lot going these past two weeks. I had my senior prom, then I was at wildwood, and some other things in between. But I’m back!

Yesterday I went to Bookcon, so what better way to come back to blogging than by talking about my experience?

How it went

9251AF51-D173-4A62-B3CD-95F666A5E5C0.JPG

The day started off very hectic. After I got my badge, we started walking towards the entrance to the event and I saw Hannah, Sasha, and Hailey standing together so I immediately went up to them to take pictures! They were super sweet and it was amazing to see them in person.

Then we went inside. There is a lot happening at once, so if you don’t have any plans you will sort of just wander around. Luckily the floor is very easy to navigate so you can find everything you are looking for pretty quickly. I had a list of the activities I wanted to go to, and for each time slot I wrote down about 2-3 events. However, many of them filled up quickly so there was a lot of walking back and forth to find an open event.

Processed with VSCO with 4 presetProcessed with VSCO with 4 presetProcessed with VSCO with f1 preset

At the beginning of the day, my two friends and I (god bless them for wanting to come with me) got to go to a “Carnival Game” hosted by Riveted Books where you went into a little box and tried to grab a ticket that was flying around you. The ticket you got had the prize that you would win on it.

Both me and one of my friends won a tote bag, but my other friend got an ARC which she gave to me.

We also just walked around playing some other games, and I picked up two books which will be featured later in the haul! We also went to a signing with Jessica Spotswood and we received a free book of hers for being the first 50 in line (we were actually about 5th!).

Finally, we went to a signing with Sasha and Tasha! They were both so amazing once again, and we got some signed cards from them.

9D6EB646-EF10-4068-B388-A06C1AF22D6F.JPG

Along the way, we picked up many tote bags and some smaller swag items!

I also got to meet some lovely ladies who I have been following through the book community, which was so amazing. And I met Jesse and Christine! Overall, I had a really great experience for my first time at Bookcon, and next year I definitely hope to go again! Maybe next year I’ll be able to go to BookExpo, too!

Haul

Processed with VSCO with a2 preset

I picked up these two books on my own because I have been dying to get my hands on them! Emergency Contact has been a priority for a while now, so I finally got it! Save the Date was being sold early, and it was a signed edition, so of course I had to get it!

Processed with VSCO with f1 preset

Jessica Spotswood was extremely nice, and she signed this book for me! I have an ARC of another one of her books, so I am excited to get to it soon as well! This book was also being given out early because it doesn’t come out for a few more days! Finally, I got A Heart in a Body in the World which is an ARC! I was really lucky to be able to get an ARC because they didn’t give out too many.

Processed with VSCO with a2 preset

I also got some Chapter Samplers of a couple of books! It was cool to get some bookish swag from books that I have seen being promoted by booktubers for months!

Pics

Processed with VSCO with f1 presetProcessed with VSCO with f1 presetProcessed with VSCO with f1 presetProcessed with VSCO with f1 presetProcessed with VSCO with f1 presetProcessed with VSCO with 4 preset

 

chat with me

Thank you so much for reading :) I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Were any of you at Bookcon this year? How was your experience?

Xo, Jess

Cram-a-thon TBR

This read-a-thon starts in a little less than a month, so this post is a little early. BUT I’m usually really late on these posts so I wanted to be early for a change. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a week long read-a-thon where you try to read as many books as you can that. It takes place from June 10-17th.

The Challenges

A predicted 5 star book

alex-approximately-9781481478779_hr

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett: I have only read one of Bennett’s books, but I absolutely loved it! I can not wait to read this one, and I know it will be a good read for me!

A book out of your comfort zone

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett: I never ever read sci-fi. I think the only sci-fi book I’ve read was Illuminae (which I loved), so this is definitely out of my comfort zone. I received this arc unsolicited a really long time ago. It’s probably been like a year now, but I finally want to pick it up!

A book that has been on your TBR a long time

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley: I got this from BookOutlet a long time ago and I only added it to my cart so that I could get free shipping. But, it’s been on my TBR for so long that I think it’s time to finally read it.

A book that is LGBTQ+ ownvoices

51w04pZwgGL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire: I’ve heard many great things about this book, and I have been meaning to pick it up for a really long time. I have some points racked up on BookOutlet, so you can guess what I am going to use them on! Plus, it’s a shorter book so that’ll help me get through more books!

Something that is not a standard novel (graphic novel, audio, comic, novella, poetry, etc)

31bSL9LZKGL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_

The Universe of Us by Lang Leav: This is a poetry collection that I bought because I saw a signed copy at Barnes and Noble. I knew I needed to have it! I’ve read one other Lang Leav book and I really loved it. I can’t wait to get this one

A book that has your favorite color on cover

Wanderlost by Jen Malone: This book is a baby pink color, and it is so beautiful! I honestly do not remember what it is about at all, but I definitely want to pick it up during this read-a-thon!

Read 7 books

The Death of Us by Alice Kuipers: The seventh book that I am adding to this TBR is a short one that I’ve had for a while. It looks like it’ll be a quick read, so I will hopefully accomplish the goal of 7 books in one week!

chat with me

Are you participating in this read-a-thon? Let me know what books you are adding to your TBR in the comments below!

Xo, Jess

books i want to re-read this year

I rarely ever re-read books. There are just so many books I want to read that I feel like I’m wasting time re-reading older books. But, I know that re-reading some of my old favorites would be so beneficial. It could help me get out of a reading slump, or I can see how my reading tastes have changed.

This year I plan on re-reading at least 6 books. I already re-read one, so I am just going to talk about the other 5 I want to re-read.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I read Harry Potter in 5-6th grade, and I watched the movies a little after that. Since then, I’ve re-watched the first movie, but none of the others. I haven’t re-read the books at all. I do want to start re-reading them, but I don’t know how many I’ll get to this year. I finally bought them so I can start reading them whenever I please.

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

This is one of the first books featuring mental health that I read and it really stuck out to me. I had connected to the main character so much and I know I would love it a lot if I re-read it. This one is very high on my priority list of books to re-read, so I’ll probably get to it in a few weeks!

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

I originally listened to this book in audio form, so I want to read the physical book and annotate the copy I have. I absolutely adored this book and even though I read it fairly recently, I know I want to read it again.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Yes, another John Green book. I know a lot of people have mixed opinions on him, but I really love his books. This is the first book of his I’ve read, and I really want to see if my opinion changes at all. Plus, it’ll be cool to see his writing evolve.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This book meant so much to me growing up, and I associate so many good memories to it. I bought it when I went on a trip to Florida with my cousins and read it in basically one sitting. I loved it so much and watched the movie as soon as it came out. I really hope my expectations aren’t too high for it!

chat with me

Do you ever re-read books? Have you read any of the books I talked about? Leave me a comment letting me know :)

Xo, Jess

new releases i’m super excited for!

Summer is coming up, and I found that so many new books always come out in during this time. So, I decided to do a post talking about all of the books I can not wait to get my hands on. Some of these have been super hyped so I’m sure you’ve heard of them, but some I just found on my own and thought were really interesting. There are a lot on this list so I won’t go into too much detail about each.

May

8th-
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson: I’ve been seeing this book around a lot recently, and it’s not something I would typically pick up, but decided why not add it! I really liked the premise of it.

15th-
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake: This is another one I’ve been seeing a lot. It is super hyped and everyone seems to love it so I want to get it!

22nd-
Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley: This book looks like such a cute and fluffy contemporary, so I just had to add it to the list! I definitely want to read it.

29th-
Legendary by Stephanie Garber: I absolutely loved Caraval. I have been waiting for Legendary to come out ever since I finished the first book. This is probably one of my most anticipated releases!

June

5th-
Save the Date by Morgan Matson: I have only read one Matson book and it was last month but I loved it. I really want to pick up more of her books, and hopefully I can get this one!
12th-
Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering: I am so hyped to get this book! It just sounds so good and seems like a perfect fit for me! I know I will enjoy it.
26th-
One Small Thing by Erin Watt: This book sort of gives me Letters to the Lost vibes, which I absolutely loved. Obviously, I NEED to get this one.

 

July

17th-
Heart Land by Kimberly Stuart: My younger self was screaming when I read the synopsis for this book! Any book based in NYC and about fashion was totally my thing. It just reminded me of my childhood so I fell in love with the synopsis.
24th-
The Last Thing I Told You by Emily Arsenault: Murder mysteries are definitely stories I am 100% up for recently. This one seems super interesting, so I have to check it out!

August

21st-
Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter: I am trying to get more into mystery/thriller novels, and Karin Slaughter is definitely an author on my radar. I haven’t read anything by her yet, but her newest novel seems like a good place to start!
7th-
Rust and Stardust by T. Greenwood: I received an e-ARC of this book so I can not wait to read it and talk about it on here. The synopsis is right up my alley, and I am super excited to get into it!
14th-
How To Breathe Underwater by Vickey Skinner: I don’t know too much about this book besides that it is a contemporary, but it looked really interesting when I first read about it.
chat with me
What new releases are you excited for? Have you preordered any of these yet?
Xo, Jessica

May TBR !

I posted a TBR for April, but if I’m going to be honest- I didn’t follow it at all. This month I really want to follow my TBR and read all of the books on this list because they are books I have been dying to get to.

This month is going to be super busy for me though, with prom and my class trip so I don’t know how much reading I will actually get to. Hopefully I can at least finish 3 of these books!

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

If you read my last TBR post, you would know that this book was on it. I have been in the process of re-reading this book for SUCH A LONG TIME now. The problem is that I read only a couple of chapters every now and then rather than just sitting down and finishing it. I am more than 1/2 way done at this and I should finish it in the next few days because I am determined to finish it.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Yes, I am ashamed to say that I have not finished this book yet either. I didn’t touch it at all in April because I had other books I needed to read first. I am about 1/2 way done with this one as well, so I really want to finally finish it this month.

We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

This is the final book in the Summer trilogy by Jenny Han so I definitely want to pick this up. I loved the first two books and they were really quick reads for me, so I’m sure I can finish this fast.

Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This book is super hyped (and I’m sure it’s worth it) which is why I want to FINALLY read this book soon. It seems as if everyone has already read it, but I am just jumping on the train and getting to it. I want to read this towards the beginning of the month so that I can watch the movie soon as well. Hopefully that all works out for me!

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

I got this as part of my book of the month box and I can not wait to read it! The book is gorgeous and the story sounds so amazing. I don’t know if I will actually get to it this month, but if I finish the rest of these books, I want to get to this one!

chat with me

That is all for my TBR this month! As always, leave a comment down below letting me know if you’ve read any of these books!

Xo, Jess

Book Club Recap: The Unexpected Everything Review

Hey everyone! If you didn’t know, I just hosted my first month of my new book club! If you didn’t read my last post, you wouldn’t know that I actually decided to take break from it this coming month because I have a lot of important deadlines coming up in May. However, it will be back up and running in June!

The April book was The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. I’m here to write a little review for you guys on it today.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

My Thoughts:

IMG_7575 2

Initially, I was a little weary of picking up this book because IT IS SO LONG- especially for a contemporary. I do think some scenes could have been a bit shorter, but I actually really enjoyed reading a longer contemporary. I got to fall in love with the characters a little more which helped with my overall enjoyment of the book, and it was still an easy read.

As my first Matson book, this one did not disappoint! I fell in love with the characters, the story, and the writing.

I really loved that this book was not the typical fast love story, and the characters got to know each other a little bit before actually going out, which I appreciated a lot. I also really liked learning about the job that Andie ends up taking for the summer- dog walking. It was really interesting because I didn’t ever think about all of the components that went with it.

This book also really gives you those summer vibes. It was the perfect book to read right now because we’re so close to that warm weather and that really helped me get through the month! Matson really knows how to make you feel like you’re there with the characters, spending the summer with them. It just felt so real.

Also, so much happens in this book, and I had no idea where it was going to lead to. There isn’t really a main plot or conflict in the novel. I would say that there are a lot of subplots that all end up connecting in the end. For one, there is Andie’s relationship with her dad, as well as the conflicts she has with her friends, her boyfriend, and herself. I think Andie’s character development was really significant and inspiring. She really learned who she was in those two months of summer, and she changed a lot as a person. The growth experienced showed through the actions she takes in the last few chapters a lot.

I just really loved both the love interest, as well as the relationship Andie has with all of her friends, and I really think this is worth the read if you like contemporary novels!

chat with me

Have you read this book before? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

Xo, Jess

standalones vs series- which do you prefer?

When it comes to books, I am definitely more of a fan of standalones. I have a really short memory, so I can not pick up a series and wait more than a couple of weeks to read the next book. I do like trilogies and duologies, but that is as far as I’ll go. Once a series is longer than that, I am very unlikely to continue it.

Why I like Standalone Novels:

  • No waiting- You don’t have to wait months (sometimes years) for the next book in a series to come out! Obviously this does not apply to older series that are already complete. However, starting a new release that is the first book in a series is pretty difficult. By the time the next book comes out, I have already forgotten the main characters’ names, let alone the entire plot.
  • Less cliffhangers- I hate when a book ends on a cliffhanger, even if it is part of a series. That’s because then I feel as if I am forced to read the next book, which is not something I want to feel. I want to continue a book not because of how it left off, but because I liked the characters and/or plot enough to continue it. I can’t say that there are no cliffhangers with standalones, because there are definitely some exceptions. BUT the majority of them have a nicely wrapped up ending, which leaves me as a reader very satisfied.
  • More Variety- You get more variety in stories when you read standalones because each book you pick up is completely different. With a series, you are (most likely) reading about the same characters and the same world, just with some differences in plot. I like change, I can’t be tied down to one set of characters for multiple books.
  • No fear about the second book being bad- I hate when I dedicate my time to a series but the second or third book do not live up to the standards of the first book. It is the absolute worst! And then it makes you not want to continue with the rest of the series, so it is just a huge mess.
  • More action- Standalones are typically a lot more fast-paced than series. This is because the author needs to fit everything inside a certain number of pages. They don’t include all of the extra, unnecessary details that drag on forever. I can not stand slow moving books, and with a standalone, I am less likely to get that.
  • Less time commitment- You don’t have to dedicate as much time to standalones because they are just one book. With a series, there is so much time involved in order to get through all of the books.

I can definitely acknowledge why people would prefer series. You can spend more time with the characters you fell in love with or with the world the author created. I think this also really depends on what genre you like to read. With high fantasy, you are more likely to get a series because the author needs to spend time describing and explaining everything. With contemporaries (which I prefer to read), it is easier to get everything said in one book.

chat with me

So, which do you prefer? Standalone or series? Let’s have a discussion on this in the comments!

Xo, Jess