Saturday Reading Blog | August 15

This Saturday Reading Blog is coming to you from an overcast morning in Central NJ. It wasn’t supposed to be so cloudy! Hopefully your weekend has better weather, wherever you’re living!

I spent this week editing and submitting a piece for BOOKRIOT. I’m a contributor, and this is the first of two pieces I’m working on that’s poetry based. I love writing for this diverse publication!

Saturday Reading Blog
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas.
Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1572631416l/51080074._SX318_SY475_.jpg

I’m still reading The Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. I’m at the halfway point, and things seem like they’re reaching a turning point between Yadriel and Julian. I’m really liking this book! I’ll share my full thoughts next week, on my Hear Our Voices BT tour stop.

I’m also going to begin The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine. I still have a few days to read it before my book club meeting!

What are you reading this weekend?

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ARC August 2020 TBR

Happy August everyone!

If someone came up to me last year and said 2020 would be flying by while staying indoors, I would’ve said they were crazy. Yet here we are, watching summer fly by! Weren’t we just celebrating the beginning of summer??

Before work life takes up my September days (we’re set to return to the classroom…really hoping for the best…), I’m going to get as much reading done as I can!


ARC August TBR

We are now in ARC August, meaning it’s a great time to tackle the many reads in my NetGalley/Edelweiss list! Here are some stories to enjoy:

Tank, a bull mastiff, sleeps with teddy bear on blue couch

Tank’s Forever Home by Carol Kim

I’m finally going to read Tank’s Forever Home! This is such an endearing cover!


Alone Together: Love, Grief and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19, Edited by Jennifer Haupt

I’m so thankful that NetGalley granted my wish to read this anthology! It’s extremely relevant for our time, and many wonderful contributors took part!


Never Turn Back by Christopher Swann
Link: https://i0.wp.com/i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1589653905l/50634397.jpg?w=620&ssl=1

Never Turn Back by Christopher Swann
I’ll finally have the chance to read this thriller!


August TBR:
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Link: https://i0.wp.com/i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1594059624l/52339313._SY475_.jpg?w=620&ssl=1

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

I’m so glad that I received this book through Edelweiss! I’m also reading this story for Hear Our Voices Book Tours next month!


Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz
Link: https://i2.wp.com/i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1585957242l/52697938._SY475_.jpg?w=620&ssl=1

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

It’s wonderful to have two books with Latinx representation! I’m looking forward to reading this delightful fantasy!


Those are the ARCs I have lined up for this month! What do you have planned in your TBR?
I hope everyone has a wonderful reading month!



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Saturday Reading Blog | July 18

I’m currently reading Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. I’m so glad to read Dani’s story of romance, even if it began unexpectedly! I’ve grown to love Hibbert’s characters, especially the men. They have such a soft spot for romance!


I also began reading Tank’s Forever Home by Carol Kim. It’s a middle grade story about some children helping a Bull Mastiff find the home of his dreams! It’s such an endearing read!


What books are you reading this weekend? Feel free to share down in the comments!


Love and Light, Cathleen

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Saturday Reading: Catching Up

My Saturday reading consists of two NetGalley arcs. They are both Middle Grade: one is about animal adoption, while the other involves an island community. Saturday reading is so relaxing, and middle grade stories are just right for pacing.

I spent my week editing articles, so I paused my reading progress. While I’m learning how to multitask, it’s always been a challenge. I hope I learn how to balance my time more effective before September. Juggling reading, blogging, and work life will be quite a show!

My Saturday reading are as follows:

When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten

A community comes together after a hurricane impacts their island!


Tank’s Forever Home by Carol Kim

A loving family help Tank, a Bull Mastiff, find a caring home!


What are your reading plans for this weekend? Feel free to share in the comments section!



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WWW Wednesday: April 8

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?

Lobizona by Romina Garber
I received a digital copy of Lobizona through NetGalley and Wednesday Books, in exchange for an honest review. This novel confronts the issue of immigration and family separation head-on! I’m about 20% through, and I’m really liking it!

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
This story has everything–diverse representation, the main character handling life while living with a chronic illness, and a steamy romance!

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
I’m very much looking forward to reading this mystery novel for the Literally Dead Book Club!


‘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

‘The A.I. Who Loved Me’ by Alyssa Cole/A Review

The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole
Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Audible Audio
Genre: Romance/Science Fiction
Length: 5 hours and 18 minutes
Release Date: December 3, 2019

Synopsis:
Trinity Jordan leads a quiet, normal life: working from home for the Hive, a multifunctional government research center, and recovering from the incident that sent her into a tailspin. But the life she’s trying to rebuild is plagued by mishaps when Li Wei, her neighbor’s super sexy and super strange nephew, moves in and turns things upside down. Li Wei’s behavior is downright odd—and the attraction building between them is even more so. When an emergency pulls his aunt away from the apartment complex, Trinity decides to keep an eye on him…and slowly discovers that nothing is what it seems.

For one thing, Li Wei isn’t just the hot guy next door—he’s the hot A.I. next door. In fact, he’s so advanced that he blurs the line between man and machine. It’s up to Trinity to help him achieve his objective of learning to be human, but danger is mounting as they figure out whether he’s capable of the most illogical human behavior of all…falling in love.

My Thoughts:
I’ve been turning to audiobooks quite often this year! They’re super helpful in the evening when I’m too exhausted to read a book, yet still want to enjoy a good story! The A.I. Who Loved Me was one of these books that kept me interested, especially when I wanted to have something entertaining to listen to before bed!

The A.I. Who Loved Me follows Trinity as she’s making every attempt to recover from her injuries, while tending to her neighbor’s nephew who has an interesting back story himself! The chemistry between Trinity and Li Wei was pretty vibrant, as Trinity’s fight to control her risings feelings paired with Li Wei’s struggle to understand human nature kept me interested! I also loved the diverse cast of characters in the story. Being someone with a Hispanic background, I love reading books with characters having different ethnic backgrounds!

This story was also heavy on the romance, and while Romance books are usually not my ‘go-to’ genre, I loved listening to the relationship evolve into an exciting love story. And the romantic buildup kept me listening!

The story is set in a futuristic timeline, where A.I. (artificial intelligence) is a part of everyone’s work, home, and social existence. Artificial intelligence as a mode for therapy and friendship is pretty common in this world, and both Trinity and Li Wei discover many details about their healing journeys through this system.

I recommend The A.I. Who Loved Me for those who enjoy ‘hate-to-love’ romance stories. If you love a quick, romantic audiobook with diverse characters, you will love this story!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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?