Book Review: Still Me

Author: JoJoMoyes

Pages: 390

Me Before You #3


Louisa Clarke is back and this time she’s taking on New York City. Fresh off of her acceptance of Will’s death, Louisa takes a job in the big apple where she finds herself working with millionaires, taking on an adventure, meeting new people and finding out who Louisa Clarke is. But at the same time, she’s struggling with being away from her family and ambulance Sam. Can Louisa have it all?


“I remembered Agnes’s words: that we who traveled far from home would always have our hearts in two places. I placed my hand on the candlewick bedspread. And, finally, I wept.”


Let me start by saying that I loved Me Before You and After You. When I finished After You, my first thought was — I want more Louisa Clarke. At the time I didn’t know there was more to her story so when I found out you can bet I was really excited. Louisa Clarke is the girl who I wish was my best friend. She’s quirky, she’s kind, she puts others before herself and she’s somewhat of a mess and I love all of that about her. She seems so real.

“Oh, Louisa, you can hang on to your hurt out of some misplaced sense of pride, or you can just let go and relish whatever precious time you have.”

That’s not just it though, I find myself growing with Louisa. Her faults, anxieties and circumstances at 29 aren’t much different than any 29 year old. She works hard, she doesn’t always see a reward for it, but she keeps her chin up and she keeps trying. And while Louisa moves on and becomes her own person, she’s still connected to Will, like all of us when we lose someone close — whether a significant other, parent, friend or grandparents — we keep moving just Louisa but they are always with us.

She doesn’t always have it all together but that’s the beauty of her story. She learns a lot about herself in this one and I found that in a way it was like a book of therapy — her whole story, from Me Before You to this one, teaches you something about yourself and what you can handle.

And this, right below, is the epitome of book quotes:

“I had a choice. I was Louisa Clark from New York or Louisa Clark from Stortfold. Or there might be a whole other Louisa I hadn’t yet met. The key was making sure that anyone you allowed to walk beside you didn’t get to decide which you were, and pin you down like a butterfly in a case. The key was to know that you could always somehow find a way to reinvent yourself again.”

Overall Rating: 5/5




Book Review: Daughter of A Siren Queen

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Pages: 352

Synopsis: Alosa is on a mission, now that they have all the pieces to the map they can search for the treasure that has been guarded by the Sirens for all these years. She sees it how it is — her and her father reaching the treasure and being heroes in the eyes of all their pirates. But before this can happen, Alosa learns a secret, a secret so life altering that it changes her whole perspective on who she is, on her love for her father, what she’s capable of, and who to trust.


Review: This is the end of Alosa story, I recently read that this series is only a duo-logy and unfortunately I think that it’s all we needed in this. I remember enjoying Daughter of a Pirate King. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Daughter of a Pirate King but this one fell a little flat for me. I wanted more swashbuckling, I wanted more romance, I wanted more of something but I’m not entirely sure what. It could just be my age, maybe I’m too old for these now (which I’m also okay with). While Alosa’s story definitely had some character development I still felt like something was missing either with her or the other characters, maybe I needed more closure? More of a WOW moment? Like I said before I couldn’t really pinpoint what I needed.

Overall Rating: 2.5/5 stars (I rounded up on Goodreads — can’t do half stars there)

TheBookishBox February Fantasy Friendships

It’s hereeeee. TheBookishbox’s fantasy friendships has officially arrived! What was great about this box is that I didn’t even get notified it had shipped, it had just arrived — what an awesome surprise!

Anyway, this box’s theme was Fantasy Friendships and we were told if we were fans of Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter and A Court of Thorns and Roses we would really enjoy this box. I mean, I love all those things so I figured I would give it a try — especially knowing that I’m going to skip the March Box — Cover Lust.


The box this month had some really cool stuff but I’m starting to think I’ll have to give TheBookishBox a break beyond March. It’s not that I don’t like the stuff but for $30+ a month, I’m not sure the value of the box is really worth that.

I was really excited for the LOTR luggage tag (by The Bookish Shop), I definitely need another one but I can’t use the bath bomb (by Pure Poetry Cosmetics)– I’m allergic so that will be going to a friend.

It’s not that some of the stuff wasn’t awesome, in fact, when I first pulled some out of the box I was excited but then I started looking at everything and wasn’t really sure what to do with it all. Never a good sign — I might try and do a giveaway, so be ready for that!


I have to admit, this book cover is gorgeous, it’s definitely one of those books I would have picked up because of the cover. It also sounds really good. Another YA Fantasy I’m excited to read. You got a bookplate with it and a note from the author.


I do like really like these prints by Gabriella Bujdoso but I’m not going to do anything with it until I get all my prints in order and figure out how to display them all. The wand was so cool, I was so excited when I opened it until I saw how long it is. I can’t put that on a keychain (by The Bookish Shop)! I might use it as a Christmas Ornament which means again, it’s just hanging out in storage.


The Bookish Shop is doing two new things a month in their boxes — a doodle of the them (by Doodles by Christina), which can definitely be fun on those nights I’m bored. The other is the Calendar Print (by Hey Atlas Creative) which is actually a really cute idea — and something I can use.

Other items was the Leviosa Bookmark by The Bookish Shop which is a fun change from paper bookmarks but feels a little flimsy (hopefully it lasts). The ACOTAR pin (by Ink and Wonder) is cute, but I have so many of these themes that I was meh on it as well.

That concludes the February Box, I’m happy I’m taking a break for the next month (and maybe the next one). What did you guys think of this unboxing?

Empire of Storms

Currently Listening to: Selena Gomez

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass #5

Goodreads Synopsis: “The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.”


Review: Well, after Queen of Shadows, I couldn’t keep my goal of reading only one of these a month (PS- I’m already halfway through Tower of Dawn). This one was just as good as Queen of Shadows and I finally feel like I understand why someone who likes Game of Thrones would like this series. There’s magic, there’s death, there’s all these forces against each other while not realizing they need to work together on a bigger darkness than imaginable.

Of course I was a little disappointed that Chaol wasn’t in this one. Yes, I still love Chaol, I’ll leave it there since Tower is Dawn is mostly about him. I found myself really falling for some old and new characters more. Is it weird I love the complicated character Lorcan? I must go for the bad guys, Manon — the witch who has struggled for awhile with what’s in her heart has finally won me over, while Elide shows that the mind can win wars just as much as brute. With these new characters emerging, new friendships are being forged in very unlikely situations, again, reminding me of Game of Thrones — where enemies or adversaries have to work together for the better good. You have human working with Fae working with witches and people with magic — putting their differences aside to understand what’s needed.

On top of that, the romance is very “adult”. Romantic relationships might not last, but in this series, Maas finds away to make all these mature, understanding and she doesn’t let them fall into a pit of misery, you find them excelling at their new romances instead.

Unfortunately I’m still not a huge fan of Aelin and Rowan but I understand the appeal and the strength they bring as main characters in this story. Aelin is that complicate heroine who will do just that for the people she loves and this story brought that to light more, while I’m still not a huge fan, I find myself understanding the difficult position she has been thrown in and how she’s smarter than she lets on in the story. She sees how everything is going to play out before anyone else. I can appreciate what Maas has done there.

This story in general was somewhat of a blur for me, I couldn’t put it down, I needed to know what happened next and for once Maas left us with a cliffhanger! Ugh! She’s been so good at leaving me satisfied with the endings but this one left so much open that’s its going to be hard to wait it out (PS- I already pre-ordered the next book, more on that in a later post).

I feel like Empire of Storms showed that one person cannot win a war, no matter if it’s fantasy or real life. You need people around you that you can trust, you need to know when to divulge information and you need to know when to keep them to yourself for the very end.

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Could Re-Read Forever

The Top 10 Books I Could Re-Read for Ever seems like it would be an easy one but I’ve struggled a lot with trying to figure out which books would fall into this category. Thanks again to the Artsy Reader Girl for giving me a Top 10 that really made me think.


Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone

This has to be on the list for me, it might not be my favorite book in the series but it’s the reason why I love to read so of course I could re-read it forever. Of course my collection has grown, it’s hard not to collect everything from a series (if possible).



The Bear and The Nightingale

I actually haven’t re-read this one but I know I will. This is one of my all time favorites, with it’s magic and fantasy. I can’t get enough.






Like Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, I haven’t just re-read this, I’ve re-re-re-read it! There is something so magnificent about this first story. It always leaves me wanting to re-read the entire series.




Chronicles of Narnia

This is just one of those stories that every kid should have the pleasure of hearing read to them or maybe just one they read themselves. PS– how gorgeous is the book I have of it? It has ALL the stories and you can purchase it at Barnes and Noble. 






The Nightingale

This book left me emotionally wrecked, one of the true stories that I can say (other than A Man Called Ove) which did just that. I loved every second of this one and could re-read this over and over even though it depicts the horror of WWII.




 A Man Called Ove IMG_20170427_081126_058

Ugh, where to begin with Ove, I feel like a little part of me is like him which made me love him so much. I could re-read this one over and over and honestly have given it to so many people — you’ll learn about loss, strength, friendship and maybe just appreciating everyone a little bit more in life.





A Court of Mist and Fury

Usually the third story in a (sort of) trilogy isn’t necessarily the best — it’s the middle book for a reason, to fill the holes left by the first and get you read for the last. A Court of Mist and Fury wasn’t that at all however. It was the perfect second story in a trilogy (though I guess now that Sarah J. Maas is continuing on it might not be considered a trilogy anymore).



While not pictured below, Poldark will always have a special place in my heart because it opened me up to a world I hadn’t seen yet — a world that was real and it made me love every minute of it. But it was also the characters that made the first story and then all the rest so memorable. I already know I’ll be re-reading this more than once.


Not pictured above:

The Kite Runner:
I haven’t read this one in awhile and not since I started this blog but as horrifying as this story is, I could re-read it forever. I remember the first time I read it in high school, I was so happy there was a book out there that depicted some of the awful times in the Middle East, information that my friends at the time had no clue about.

The Hobbit:
It’s hard not to appreciate The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings. Everything it brought to literature still amazes me. The Hobbit is still my favorite in the series, though it took me years to finally decide to read it, I’ll never remember the fun I had on Bilbo’s adventure.


What are the 10 books you could re-read forever? Any of them hit my list above? I’d love to know! I’m sure there’s a bunch I’m missing and maybe haven’t even read at all! Leave your comments below 🙂

We Were The Lucky Ones

Author: Georgia Hunter

Pages: 416

Goodreads Synopsis:

“It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety.”


This was one of those books that I didn’t need to know the synopsis of to know I wanted to read it. I remember first seeing the above cover and thinking how heartbreaking but beautiful this cover was, and if the cover was that magnificent then I hoped the story would be just as powerful.

Ever since I started to really read, I’ve been fascinated with WWII– especially for what it was like in Europe at the time. As someone from the U.S. our history classes were based primarily on what happened to America not Europe during these wars. It wasn’t until I started reading historical fiction– from The Book Thief, to The Nightingale, or All the Light We Cannot See, that I really got an appreciation for what it was like in Europe during the time of WWII.


However, this is the first book that I’ve read that is specific to what occurred to Jewish families during the war. This is a story of a real family and their hardships during WWII in Poland, Germany, The Soviet Union and France. Each chapter is about a different family member, I have to admit this was cleverly thought out but sometimes became confusing because you would jump from one family member to another and I had trouble keeping track of each storyline. I found myself having to read back chapters to remember who these people were. However, this is the only downfall to this story, I loved that Hunter included history highlights before some chapters; for example, what happened on a certain day and year before letting us know where the family was and what was happening to them. It also helped me keep track of history at the same time as following the family through their survival.

I am in awe of the strength of these people and all like them. They took risks every day to stay alive. They were exiled and beaten, starving, prisoners, and fighting for their lives every day. On top of that, they had no idea where their family members were half of the time if not the whole time during the war. They had no way to contact them, when one disappeared, they assumed they had died but yet they found a way to keep living. This story is not just about how lucky they were but how survival was the only option even at their most difficult moments.

I found myself smiling with tears in my eyes when families met again after such a long time apart or frowning with tears in my eyes when a family member found out the horrible fate of a loved one. This book truly brought everything to light of what it was like not only in Poland at the time but what Jewish families had to go through during such a difficult history.

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

If you read this, don’t stop at the end, I recommend you read the story behind Hunter’s reasoning for writing this and what it meant to her and her family. She has definitely given me inspiration and motivation to find my ancestral history and appreciate what I have.

ShelfloveReads Myster-Reads February Box

Who feels like seeing a Bookbox Unboxing?

In the past I’ve done a post about Shelflovecrate, which I hadn’t been to thrilled with. But they just came out with shelflovereads which is designed mainly for people over 21 and not YA Fantasy. This is a box I’ve been looking for for awhile now so I decided to give it a go.

The downside

  • This box is really expensive compared to other boxes that I’ve gotten, this one box, themed Mystery Reads was $45 — without shipping, so I knew if I was going to try this box it would be for one month and a theme that sounded interesting.
  • Shipping: I received a shipping notification the first of February, everytime I clicked on the tracking number it would say in pre-shipment…for 5 days. So I decided to email customer service, they said they start the labels a week in advance to make the process faster but actually start shipping on the 5th of each month and that I would have a shipping notification on the 5th.
  • The 5th comes around and I get the tracking email again, again, for 4 days nothing shows but pre-shipment on the link, totally frustrating. I’m not going to lie, this is a really big turn off for me. I emailed again and they said an item was delayed which cause shipping delay. It would have been nice if we had been notified but I’ll give them a little slack since this was their second or third box.
  • Missing item: But then the box comes around and it’s missing an item! We received an email thanking us for letting them aware of the issue and that they would send each of us the missing item separately.

So frustrating, I’ve never had a box subscription have so many problems in one month!

I also ordered the March box and still haven’t received an email saying they received my order even though money was taken out of my account.

The Upside:

Shipping: Once shipping was finally on it’s way, it delivered in two days! Now that’s what I’m talking about!

The Unboxing:


Let me just start off with how much I love items that can one day be used in my library and this Agatha Christie throw pillow is exactly that. I am stoked to add to my collection of book inspired pillow cases. I’ll use this cover while I lounge on my couch reading this month’s book: Truly Devious. The synopsis on goodreads is as follows:

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

I haven’t read a good mystery in awhile so I’m hoping this one is exactly what I need.


I’m also not a huge pin person but the read more pin is so cute, I’m actually really excited to have it.


I’m also super excited to have more tea to try (TheTeaSpot) and a Sherlock pipe inspired tea infuser! I mean who wouldn’t want this? I just hope it lasts longer than my tea strainer from TheBookishBox but goes so well with my Sherlock notebook I received from them (tea mug not from TheBookishBox or Shelflovereads).

The missing item was the Book of Puzzles. Hopefully I get this soon because I have someone in mind who would love it.

ALSO — totally random but they are also doing custom Harry Potter jackets. The Chamber of Secrets jacket is gorgeous I can’t wait to get more from them. I’ve already added it to my book, it fits perfectly.


The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the Pin Banner. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do with this or if I’ll keep it at all. Still waiting on that decision.

Honestly, the stuff in the box was great but I think I’ll be taking April, and May off because the issues were just too much, I guess I’ll be able to tell you if March goes smoothly soon!