Book Blogger Hop: Platform for Blogs/May 10

The Book Blogger Hop is a book meme hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer where you answer a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. This way you have a chance to check out other people’s blogs and gain new followers yourself.

This Week’s Question: What platform do you use for your blog?

I use WordPress for my book blog. It’s so easy to use, and maintaining it comes with very little issues!

Do you use a different platform for blogging? If so, which do you use?



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‘Get A Life, Chloe Brown’ by Talia Hibbert/A Review

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Publisher: Avon Books
Length: 368 pages
Genre: Contemporary/Romance
Purchased through Book of the Month
Release Date: November 5, 2019

Synopsis:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost but not quite dying, shes come up with seven directives to help her Get a Life, and shes already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.


But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…


My Thoughts:

There are so many reasons why I enjoyed Get a Life, Chloe Brown! Now, I normally enjoy many of the books I read (It’s hard for me to find anything distasteful about reading!), but there are special reasons why I particularly enjoyed this novel.

For one thing, Talia Hibbert covers the journey of emotional healing wonderfully! Both Chloe and Red are traveling their own journeys to recovery. Chloe is attempting to heal after fibromyalgia severely effected her social life, while Red is trying to resurrect his art career after personal setbacks flawed his journey. The experiences between Chloe and Red is the perfect ‘hate-to-love’ trope, as each feel strong feelings toward the other, yet the past colors their perceptions into frequent ‘worst case scenarios’. Their road is very steamy (there are plenty of ‘sexy-time’ scenes in the book!) yet their emotions are put to the test frequently, and it was a joy to read.

There is a healthy amount of diverse representation in the book as well! Chloe and her family are African-American, and they take a leading role in the novel. Chloe makes many moves to live independently (moving to her own apartment, self-employed), not letting medical conditions deter her path.

The banter between all of the characters in the book is very humorous! Talia Hibbert brings Chloe and her family to life with their constant quips and sarcastic remarks that reflect immense love!

‘Get a Life, Chloe Brown’ was such an enjoyable book to read! If you’re looking a story rich in diversity and romance, while navigating emotional relationships, then you will really love this story!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Anticipated Reads for April

Although 2020 has brought on many unexpected complications for everyone, I still take comfort in knowing that there are lots of people who turn to books for some escape. I know I’ve turned to reading during these chaotic times!

Here are some books that are being released this month:

April 7:

Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

Ruthless Gods is the sequel to Duncan’s Wicked Saints. This continues Nadya’s journey to collaborate with the gods to conquer evil. I was fortunate to read an eARC of Ruthless Gods via Netgalley, and I loved the sudden turns the story takes!

Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushness & Katie Cotugno

Bushnell and Cotugno bring us a story of a young woman fighting to change the unwritten rule that girls are forced to abide by in life.

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

The bestselling author of the Divergent series is back with a new tale about five individuals struggling to redefine themselves from their daredevil indetities as teens.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, by Grady Hendrix

This is a Southern supernatural thriller, set in the 90’s. Goodreads describes this as a blend of Steel Magnolias and Dracula. It so happens that I love both, so I’m excited!

April 28

If It Bleeds, by Stephen King

Stephen King brings us four new scary novellas for our enjoyment. He never runs out of exciting new material!

The Compton Cowboys: The New Generation of Cowboys in America’s Urban Heartland, by Walter Thompson-Hernandez

This story brings to light the history of black cowboys in this semi-rural area of L.A., providing African-American youth with a outlet to getting connected with the natural world.

April TBR/O.W.L.s Magical Readathon!

Happy April, everyone! Hopefully the start of a new month brings some positivity for us all. Even through all this social distancing/quarantine that we’re all experiencing!

The O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon is currently happening! The OWLs Magical Readathon is run by Book Roast. I’m going to give this readathon a shot. I enjoy Harry Potter, and taking part of the O.W.L.s would be something that I would love! I already have my career chosen…I’m following the Care of Magical Children path. Since I’m already an Educator, I figure that’s a fitting path for me!

Here are the books I chose for my TBR:

Charms: Read a Book With a White Cover
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Muggle Studies: Read a Contemporary
You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendicks & Sarah Pekkanen

Defense Against the Dark Arts: A Book Set in the Ocean
All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Transfiguation: A Book with ShapeShifting
Lobizona by Romina Garber

Potions: Read a Book Under 150 pages
The Riot Grrrl Thing by Sara Larsen

History of Magic: Read a Book About Witches or Wizards
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Herbology: A Book Whose Title Begins with ‘M’
The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Arithmancy: Read a Book Different From Your Favored Genre
Silent Shadows by Natalie Walters

Those are my choices for the OWLs Readathon! Are you also taking part? Let me know in the comments!

WWW Wednesday: April 1

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and now maintained by Taking on a World of Words.

There are three prompts for WWW Wednesday:
–What are you currently reading?
–What did you finish recently reading?
–What do you think you’ll read next?

I purchased all of these books through Book of the Month! I love being part of this subscription service!

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
So far I’m enjoying the dialogue between Chloe and her family! The relationship between Chloe and the handyman gets off on rough ground…it’s going to be fun to find out how their link progresses!

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
I really enjoyed this story about a woman learning how to start over after the loss of a loved one. This book was equal parts emotional and lighthearted!

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
I’m glad that this book chosen for the Literally Dead Book Club! A thriller set in New York City…I’m all in!


March 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

March has been such a chaotic month, to say the least! Here in the US, what began as a month to prepare for St. Patrick’s Day activities and friends’ birthdays shifted into a period of Coronavirus dangers and social isolation. We don’t know how long this danger will last. What I do know is that reading is always (and continues to be) my mainstay for healing!

I read 5 books during the month of March:
Genres (books may fall into more than one category):
Mystery: 2
Contemporary: 1
Historical Fiction: 3
Romance: 3

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry (4 Stars)
Thank you Pantheon Books for sending me an ARC of We Ride Upon Sticks! I enjoyed the throwbacks to the 80s as a female hockey team enlisted the help of supernatural powers to succeed!

The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole (4.5 Stars)
I purchased The A.I. Who Loved Me through Audible. It was a lighthearted, sexy read! I loved that the story held a diverse cast of characters!

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (4 Stars)
Where the Crawdads Sing was supposed to be a book club selection for March, but my library closed a couple days before the meeting due to the coronavirus. I loved that I got the opportunity to read the story though! While I wasn’t blown away, I deeply appreciated the North Carolina marshland depictions!

Out of the Embers by Amanda Cabot (4 Stars)
Thank you to Revell for sending me a copy of Out of the Embers! I loved this suspenseful-yet-sweet story of Texas in the 1850s!

Berried in the Past by Peg Cochran (5 Stars)
Thank you NetGalley for the eARC of Berried of the Past! I loved this cozy mystery set in a small Michigan town. The recipes given were also very yummy!

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver (5 Stars)
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is equal parts romantic and emotional! Lydia struggles to live life without her fiance while experiencing another ‘life’ with him!

Those were the books I read during March! How about you?

Sunday Sentence: March 29

I’m participating in David Abrams’s ‘Sunday Sentence‘ project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, ‘out of context and without commentary’.

“When you’re young you think you’ve got all the time in the world,” she says. “And then suddenly you turn around and you’re old and one of you isn’t there anymore and you wonder how the years went so fast”.

Source: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

‘The Two Lives of Lydia Bird’ by Josie Silver/A Review

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Length: 369 pages
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Hardcover (purchased through Book of the Month)
Release Date: March 3, 2020

Synopsis:
Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade, and Lydia thought their love was indestructible.

But she was wrong. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life–and perhaps even love–again.

But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.

Lydia is pulled again and again across the doorway of her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.

My Thoughts:
When Josie Silver’s new book The Two Lives of Lydia Bird became available for purchase, I immediately picked it up! I loved reading her debut novel One Day in December, and I was ready to enjoy another tale revolving around friendship and romance while enduring life experiences!

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird begins with loss–Lydia Bird is struggling to live without her fiance Freddie Hunter, who was killed in a car accident. One evening, Lydia discovers that she can enter a world in which Freddie still exists. The story then takes us through Lydia’s life as she lives between these two worlds. The grieving process of losing a loved on can be extremely difficult and painful, yet Lydia’s grieving is placed on pause as she continues (in a sense) to have a life with Freddie. Both worlds are vastly different, and Lydia struggles to gain a sense of who she is as an individual throughout the experience.

Lydia is also struggling to repair her friendship with Jonah Jones. Jonah is both Lydia’s lifelong friend and Freddie’s closest companion. Since Jonah was with Freddie at the time of his death, he is also enduring his own grief as he continues life without him. Both Lydia and Freddie are also grieving the loss of the bond they shared throughout their lives. They make attempts to repair the bond they previously shared, yet the personal tie to Freddie makes things doubly complicated!

There is also a delightful cast of characters in this story, as Lydia’s family and co-workers ensure that she is not alone while navigating the grieving process. There are some unexpected turns in this tale, and Lydia faces some difficult lessons while learning to discover what she truly wants for herself!

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a wonderful story of a woman seeking to find her true self while navigating the stages of grief. It is a great depiction of Lydia’s desire of wanting her fiance to be remembered, while rediscovering the meaning of life. I highly recommend it!

Rating: 5/5 Stars



OwlCrate March 2020 unboxing: Music of the Night

I received my March OwlCrate box a few days ago, and I’m so happy to share the items I received with you! This box marks OwlCrate’s 5th anniversary!


OwlCrate exclusive wireless speaker
Goblin Grove candle inspired by Wintersong, created by Flick the Wick
Phantom of the Opera poster print, illustrated by Anne Lambelet
OwlCrate exclusive Socks
Wooden art print inspired by Monsters of Verity, designed by Emilee Rudd
Bella’s Lullaby Lip Scrub, created by Fairytale Bath Company
ExLibris bookplates, designed by @veresknatasia_art
Monthly enamel pin, designed by Fable and Black
OwlCrate exclusive signed edition of Marie Lu’s The Kingdom of Back, with letter from the author!
This special edition book comes with sprayed silver foil edges!

WWW Wednesday: March 25

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and now maintained by Taking on a World of Words.

There are three prompts for WWW Wednesday:
–What are you currently reading?
–What did you finish recently reading?
–What do you think you’ll read next?

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
So far I like reading about Lydia’s ‘dual’ life, so to speak! I’m halfway into the novel, so I suspect things are going to get pretty complicated!

Berried in the Past (Cranberry Cove Mystery #5) by Peg Cochran
Thank you NetGalley for this wonderful eARC! I enjoyed this lovely mystery novel set in small town Michigan! It was filled with an eclectic cast of characters and delicious recipes!

Out of the Embers by Amanda Cabot
Thank you Revell for the complimentary copy! I really loved reading this historical romance set in 1850s Texas. It was a heartwarming tale!

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
This book is the April selection of the Literally Dead Book Club! I’m glad that Book of the Month offered this story as one of their choices to purchase!