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

Goodreads Monday: April 6

I’m taking part in Goodreads Monday. This was started by Lauren’s Page Turners, in which you choose a book listed on your Goodreads TBR and talk about it.

This Week’s Post:

Things In Jars by Jess Kidd

Synopsis:
Brodie Devine, female detective extraordinaire, is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jars is a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

Why I Want To Read It:

This is my local library’s book club selection for April! Although the library is still closed, I fully intend to read this book. As it happens, I received a Libby notification that it’s ready for me to read, so I guess now is the time!

‘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!

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



Friday Reads: March 27

I’m starting two books this weekend. I purchased book stories through Book of the Month!

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

This story is the April selection for the Literally Dead Book Club. I’m very excited to read this one!

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Since Take a Hint, Dani Brown is coming out soon, I need to get started on the first installment!

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!