Book Review: A Christmas to Remember

Christmas Lines Divider Hey everyone!

Can you tell I’m a winter person? Yes, I’m reviewing a Christmas book in June and no, I’m not mad about it. June and July is the time for Hallmark Christmas releases and Christmas to Remember is the first one I’ve read so far (yup I’ve already started another). I couldn’t have had a better start to my Hallmark Christmas book marathon. Check out my full review below!

A Christmas to Remember by Rebecca Moesta

A Christmas to Remember: Based on the Hallmark Channel Original Movie

I received an early copy of this book to review

Release date: June 26, 2018

SYNOPSIS:

She can’t remember who she is, 
but she likes who she’s become when she’s with him… 

Jennifer needs a break. The perfectionist TV star heads to a mountain retreat for a restful, relaxing holiday. But when she gets caught in a blizzard and crashes her car, Jennifer is left with more than a wreck; she’s left with amnesia.

John, a small-town veterinarian and single dad, finds the confused Jennifer wandering on the road. He’s used to taking care of others; he’s built for this. When he takes her in, he and his children give her more than shelter…they try to help her figure out who she is.

As Jennifer and John make new memories, their connection to one another grows. But how can they even think about romance when they don’t know her true identity?

My Rating:

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MY REVIEW:

This was such a feel good book, writing this review I’m smiling just thinking about it. I flew through this one in a day and devoured all parts of it.

The first thing I noticed about this book is how descriptive the writing is. Being able to read about a snowy town full of festivities and be able to picture all of that while being in the dead of summer says a lot. Every scene was detailed to the point where I felt like I was watching a movie rather than reading a book.

I found the character development to be especially great in this one. A lot of the times characters will change their personality within one chapter but in this book it takes time for both Jennifer and John to change. Jennifer realizes her own worth over the course of the entire novel and so does John. This is a really important message that a lot of feel good contemporary books don’t always send across. But in this one we read about everything from grief and loss to love and passion.

If you couldn’t tell I really did have a good time with this book. It was entertaining and it helped me escape my hectic and stressful life right now which is just what I needed.

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SOOO who else is excited for fall/winter because now I can’t wait. I’m over the heat. Do any of you read Hallmark books at this time when they release?

Would you guys want to see more reviews of the other Christmas books I will be binge reading in for the next month? I know it’s a bit odd for this time of year but its a really great time to read and review them. Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

 

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My Top 5 Things that Make or Break a Book

Hey everyone!

So here I just quickly summed up the 5 things that I really look for when rating a book. These are very broad but everyone has different preferences and I wanted to tell you guys what I really find essential for a good book.

In the future I can totally do something more specific, just let me know if that’s something you’d like to read! So let’s just start from the beginning!

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1. Beginning

Of course the way a book starts is a good judge on how the rest of the book will unfold. There are a lot of times that I can recall when this wasn’t true but when the the story starts with a bang there is a good chance the rest will continue that way. I like being thrown right into the plot and learn things as I go. I find that a common introduction that slowly makes its way into the events just gets boring very quickly. I don’t want to read an excerpt on every characters and learn exactly who they are and what they do fresh off the bat. A little mystery and uncertainty in the beginning is always a fun time.

2. Plot

This sets the stage for the entire novel. If the plot is weak and doesn’t have that factor that just reels you in then there really is no story. All of the points I talk about depend upon what is happening in the book and where it’s all going to go. If I’m just going to read the SAME story for the most part over and over I will no doubt be bored and cranky.

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I’m not saying that EVERY book needs to have a totally novel idea. Take retellings for example. That’s obviously a borrowed story that’s been told time in and time out. When the author is able to take a story that’s been based down for ages and can put their own twist on it the story feels almost as though its something that has never been told before.

3. Characters!

Without characters there is no book. This might be one of the biggest points for me. Nothing compares to feeling so connected to a character that you worry for their life. I realized how essential this is when I first read the Harry Potter series and found myself crying when certain things happen to certain characters (no spoilers here!). The fact that a book can have the power to make you feel such extreme emotions is truly amazing and really speaks to the author’s talent.

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There have been many times where I can recall hating the main characters because they were just annoying and lacked any kind of substance. This just leaves a bad memory of the book engraved in my head no matter what else the book may or may have no consisted of.

4. Pace

This one is pretty self explanatory. When I’m reading and I just feel as though it is just dragging on and on I’m going to start getting impatient. No one wants to have to push through a novel that in all honestly is dragging you right along with it.

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This is where we begin to enter DNF territory and we want to stay VERY far away from that.

5. Ending

Last but not least of course is the end. I didn’t read through an entire book just to be left with a last chapter that just sums everything up for the sake of finishing the book. I want to be hanging off the edge of my seat until the last word of the book.

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So those are the main things that really make a book for me! Of course there are more but if I was asked to give just 5 quick points this is what they would be.

Do you agree or disagree with any of these points? What is essential for you in a book?

Happy reading! -Catherine

Books I Should Have Read Already

Hey Everyone!

I have noticed, more so recently, the amount of books I haven’t read that are constantly being talked about. I have to admit I’m starting to feel a bit left out so I feel that it’s necessary for me to call myself out on where I’ve been slacking.

A lot of these books are the first in a series with intention to read the rest of the series as well. Some of these no doubt will leave you shocked and in disbelief that I have yet to read such an amazing series.

Now lets get started!

 

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Shwab

This is a series that I just KNOW I will adore. Every review I’ve read or video I’ve watched makes this out to be such a fantastical book with such a unique concept. I have no idea why I haven’t read it yet. I guess every time I go to the bookstore with intention of buying it I end up forgetting to pick it up. But that’s not an excuse, I must read this series.

I actually haven’t read any of Victoria/V.E. Shwab’s books and I really have to. I have only heard great things about her and I want to experience her work for myself.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I just know some people are just cringing at the fact that I haven’t read this one. BUT I have at least a somewhat valid excuse. I really wanted to read Bardugo’s first series, The Grisha Trilogy (which might I add was fantastic, I will discuss it more in my wrap up), first just to get a feel for her work. Now that I have finally finished that series I have no reason to not read Six of Crows. I already love Bardugo’s writing and I just know I will love this series just as much if not more.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

*silent gasps*

I’m just as disappointed in myself as you guys are. This is one of the most talked about book/series in the ya book world. Everyone loves Maas and her writing and I cannot relate because I have not read any of her work, no not even the Throne of Glass series. I have heard so many people say that they develop such a great connection to the characters and that is what I love most about a series which is why I have to read this immediately.

Uprooted

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I remember anticipating this books release years ago…and here I am still having not read it. I love a good fairy tale and I know this would be just that. This just seems so majestic and fantastical story and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)

The Lightning Thief and The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

I grouped these two together because I couldn’t really pick one over the other. I know there are some hardcore Rick Riordan fans out there and I don’t doubt that these series are amazing. I have heard that the worlds he creates are like no other. I think the main reason I haven’t gotten around to them is because these are both long series that require some serious dedication and I’ve been scared of them. I need to get over that and just read them because I know I will love them both.

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

So this is more of a recent one that everyone has been talking about, especially now with the second book. This book seems like an amazing piece of work and from what I’ve heard creates a world with no disease in a very novel way. I can’t wait to read this one, it just seems like it’ll be very different from most of the recent ya books.

Caraval (Caraval, #1)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I would say this is also a rather newer one compared to some of my others. I don’t know much about it besides the fact that it’s about a fantastical carnival and is filled with magic and an overall lively and fun atmosphere. Everyone adores this book and I believe I will too once I actually read it.

 

Of course there are more  books I haven’t gotten around to but I feel like these are the ones that I want to get to the most.

Have you read these books? If you did what are your thoughts on them? What books should you have read already?

Thanks for reading! -Catherine

Currently Reading

Just like I said, here is what I’ve recently been reading!

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OK so you guys are going to hate me because it literally took me FOREVER to get to this series but I’m finally reading the Illuminae Files!!!!

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So first of course I read Illuminae about a weeks ago. I’m not going to do reviews on this series because it’s just been out for too long and I feel like there are already a ton out there so I will do a mini version.

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My rating: ★★★☆☆

I thought this one was good but not much more than that. The way it was written is super unique and that was really interesting to read. I think I read through this 600 page book in a day because it was just so fast with the formatting.

The plot dragged for me for a good three quarters of the book. I built zero connection to the characters and found myself being very underwhelmed because I had such high expectations going into it. However, I do think it picked up in the end and that is why I had VERY high hopes for the second book.

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My rating: ★★★★★

You best bet that I started this almost right away. And as you can tell from my reviews I LOVED it. This book was just so amazing to me. The plot had me from the start, it never dragged and I always was on the edge of my seat.

I got to know the characters really well which is what I feel that Illuminae was missing. I really love Hanna and Nik and them together is just ugh.

All of the twists throughout the book were so unexpected and just so interesting, I can’t think of a better word. Somehow the authors just kept managing to make the book that much better as it went on. Wow I loved  this and I’m sad it’s done.

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I just finished Gemina today and thinking ahead I ordered Obsidio (prime of course). It will be waiting for me at my front door tomorrow morning and I can’t wait to dive into this one and finally finish this series!

What did you guys think of the Illuminae files (please no spoilers)? What have you been reading?

Talk to you soon! -Catherine

Where Have I been?

Hey everyone!! Remember me?

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Honestly I don’t blame you if you don’t I think it’s been like centuries since I’ve last been on here. Well I think it’s about time I get back, don’t you think. My first year of college was just insanely busy, I barely had time to read which was depressing, and now I’m taking an extra class in the summer *sigh*.

But no worries only two more weeks of school and summer is officially here! I’ve have been reading like crazy so there will for sure be a huge wrap up at the end of June. I have been putting those short reviews on goodreads so for sure go check it out and friend me on here!!

I will put up a currently reading post right after this so totally check that out.

How have you guys been doing? How’s summer going? Comment and let me know!

I’m so happy to be back 🙂   -Catherine

Top 5 Tuesday

For this Tuesday the discussion is a cover theme freebie. I have decided to show my top ten spring/summer covers. I did five rather than ten because I couldn’t find anymore I wanted to add. If you want to learn more about top ten Tuesday, head over to The Broke and the Bookish!

Top Five Spring Covers

  1. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan MatsonImage result for the unexpected everything
  2. This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian TamakiImage result for summer book covers
  3. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

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4. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

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5. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Marson

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Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. If you want to participate choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Make sure to give Lauren’s page a visit and link back to her blog.

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Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

I have heard endless things about this serious and Laini Taylor as an author in general. Many people only have amazing things to say about Laini and I couldn’t be more excited to start reading some of her books. Have you read anything by Laini Taylor? If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts on her as an author.

What’s on the top of your TBR?

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

April Wrap Up

I read ten books this month which is pretty good for me considering I’ve been in a bad reading slump the last few months. I feel like next month won’t be as good because I have exams the next two weeks.

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

My rating: ★★★★☆

Took me a little bit of time to get into this but I ended up loving it and I’m so attached to all of the characters.

Here is the link for my full review: https://bookwonderlandweb.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/the-darkest-minds-by-alexandra-bracken/

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Fairest of All by Serena Valentino

My rating: ★★★★☆

This was a super quick read that I decided to pick up after Darkest Minds so I wouldn’t  be in a slump. I ended up really enjoying this because it was very similar to the original story and I appreciated the dark aspects of it.

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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

My rating: ★★★★☆

This is the first Gillian Flynn book I have ever read and I enjoyed it! The beginning was really great but I felt like I lost a bit interest towards the end.

 

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An Elegy for September by John Nicholas

My rating: ★★☆☆☆

I don’t really have much to say about this one. I picked it up at a used book store and didn’t know anything about it going into it. I feel like the story was all over the place and at times it got annoying to keep track on what the narrator was talking about. This was pretty a book about the his love life with random nature scenes thrown into it.

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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

My rating: ★★★★☆

This book really threw me into a whirlwind of emotions. Overall it is a beautiful book that teaches so many valuable lessons. Also, there is a movie coming out next year!

Check out my full review: https://bookwonderlandweb.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/all-the-bright-places-by-jennifer-niven/

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Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

My rating: Image result for 4.5 stars

Once again a bit slow at the beginning but had so much action that it hurt me to take off half a star.

Check out my full review here https://bookwonderlandweb.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/never-fade-by-alexandra-bracken/

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The Beast Within by Serena Valentino

My rating: ★★★★☆

Really fun sequel to the series even though I think I preferred the first book a bit more. I might do a review for all three books in the series once I am finished so keep and eye out for that!

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That Summer by Sarah Dessen

My rating: Image result for 3.5 stars

This is Sarah Dessen’s first novel and I plan on reading all of her works in publication order. I couldn’t be more excited to continue to her next book.

Check out my full review!! https://bookwonderlandweb.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/that-summer-by-sarah-dessen/

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The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

My rating: ★★★★☆

This is the first ever audiobook I ever listened too! The narrator was a bit irritating but i overall enjoyed this book. I will mostly likely post a full review on this as well!

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Secret Vampire by L.J. Smith

My rating: ★★★★☆

This is the first book in the Night World series and I absolutely loved it. It is a quick read that consists of all things supernatural from vampires and werewolves to witches and psychics. It also has tons of contemporary notes in it that make it even better. I am reading the second book in this series now, let me know if you want full reviews on any of them!

What are some of your favorite books you read in April?

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

Book Blogger Hop

Question of the Week

How many books have you re-read? If you have re-read books, please tell us the book’s title and why you re-read it. (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

Answer

I know this is crazy to some, but I am not a fan of re-reading books. It never appealed to me to read a novel I have already read no matter how much I loved it. The only books I have every re-read are some in the Harry Potter series a few years back mainly because took a break in the middle of the series and when I went back to it I decided to just start over. A lot of my favorite books I have read in the last year or two so maybe my opinion will change given time.

Are you a fan of re-reading books?

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

Top 5 Wednesday

This week for Top 5 Wednesday I will be mentioning authors that I have only read a book or a few from and I can’t wait to read more by them.

1. Sarah Dessen

I have great so many great things about Sarah Dessen and many have said she is their favorite contemporary author. I am a huge fan of this genre and I plan on reading all of her novels in publication order. I read That Summer and I can’t wait to continue this journey.

2. Maggie Steifvater

Most of you probably know that The Raven Boys is one of my favorite series of all time. Maggie Steifvater creates a new world with amazing descriptions and assembles complex characters that are impossible to not fall in love with. I am so excited to explore her other works!

3. Jandy Nelson

Jandy Nelson only has two novels out and I have read both of them. I’ll Give You the Sun is the first novel I read by her and after finishing it she instantly became one of my favorite authors. Her writing style is so beautiful and she just has a way to male a story feel so special to anyone reading it. She is releasing Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradise this year and I couldn’t be more excited to read it.

4. Alexandra Bracken

I have read the first two novels in the Darkest Minds series and I am so excited to read the final novel. The series pulled me in immediately with its unique concept and complex characters. Bracken is another author who know how to make a character that you can’t help but love and worry for. I am so pumped for the next series of hers I pick up.

5. Gillian Flynn

I think almost everyone has heard of Gone Girl whether its the book or the movie. I personally have not read or seen them but I have read Darkest Places and I really enjoyed it. Weird and twisted novels are one of my favorites to read and Flynn’s books hit the spot.  I can’t wait to read Gone Girl and all of her other works.

Do you agree with my top 5 picks? What are some author’s you need to read more by?

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂