Feature Friday: Spring Releases round 2

Hey everyone! We are back again on this wonderful Friday (one in which Emily does not have to work!) to talk about some spring releases we are excited for. Remember, in our posts Spring Releases are just in April or May. Obviously you could carry it until the first official day of spring if you wanted, but for our purposes this just made sense. Last week we mentioned our excitement for the next release from Sarah J Maas (IS IT MAY 2ND YET!?). It’s safe to say that is one of our most anticipated books for the spring. If you are at all in love with that series then you totally get why.

So what releases are we talking this week?

Emily

23308087
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

I absolutely LOVED The Wrath and the Dawn series. Seriously. I was feeling a bit sad because I was done with a different beloved series and had nothing that I was head over heels in love with. Insert Renee Ahdieh and her gorgeous book. I fell in love. So obviously I just need to have anything she writes ever. I honestly am going in slightly blind. I know that there are things that are based off of Mulan (HECK YES!). But other than that I have kind of been leaving myself in the dark because I want it to be that way. I want to go in without all kinds of expectations from other people. I want to judge it for myself (but I have a good feeling I will be 100% in love, because really…how can you not love her books!?). So yes…I am very very excited to get my hands on this book. It comes out on May 16th!

Arika

Spindle fire
Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

As most people know, I am a huge fan of authors putting their own spin on a fairy tales. Thus, when I read the synopsis of Spindle Fire a few months back, I definitely had to add it to my TBR.  I haven’t read too many Sleeping Beauty retellings, so I am very curious to see how Lexa Hillyer weaves her own story into Aurora’s. The talk of sisters, an evil faerie queen, and a mysterious hunter really piqued my interest. And the cover also looks super cool! (I am guilty of putting a book on my TBR just because the cover looks amazing!) The good news for everyone is….this book came out this Tuesday April 11th! So if you looking for a spring read, it might be a good one to check out!

QUESTION: What are some of your anticipated spring reads?

Feature Friday: Books that are Green Part 3

Happy St. Patrick’s Day all! And if you don’t really celebrate it…HAPPY FRIDAY!

Image result for luck of the irish gif

We are back again this Friday with some book recommendations for you with covers that just so happen to be green. And how perfect is it that St. Patrick’s day falls on a Friday and we can continue the green book celebration with you ON the actual holiday? So far we have each shared a book we have read that is green and a book we want to read that is green.

This week we are telling you about another book that we read and enjoyed that just so happened to be green. So…what books do we have for you this week?

Arika:

splintered

Splintered by A.G. Howard

So my second book with a green cover is the book Splintered. I am a big fan of anything retelling. This series is a really cool retelling of Alice in Wonderland! I’ve read this book almost two years ago and while it wasn’t my favorite Alice in Wonderland retelling I still really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the world A.G. Howard created and how she combined the two together. Though I did have a problem with one part of the series…and most people know I don’t like when authors do this but sometimes it is necessary…a love triangle! Ugh there was a pretty big love triangle in this series and while I know why she did it, it still got on my nerves quite a bit. But I don’t think that should detract anyone from reading it! It’s a cool series with lots of twists and turns and some cool characters!

Emily:

23924355

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Ok, this book is like a blue-green but oh well. As I looked through books that I have read I realized that I don’t really read a lot of books with green covers. Odd right? Anyway…you may remember me talking about Fear the Drowning Deep awhile back (like right here to be precise). This was a book that I had expected more people to chatter about, and get I found that not as many people were talking. This book is kind of creepy. There is just something beautiful and haunting about the atmosphere of the book that made it seem slightly creepy, but in a good way. The author really built up this world with it’s dreary environment, which lead to even me being a little suspicious about the Ocean. There was so many interesting things going on in this story, and you are eventually totally sucked in and waiting to see just what happens to Bridey. I mean she is afraid of the ocean and lives on an island. I had so many questions throughout the entire story. Besides the atmosphere and the characters I found the writing to be beautiful and I was completely entranced from the beginning. If you are looking for a sort of eerie book, I would highly suggest picking this one up.

QUESTION: What are some green books that you have read and enjoyed?

Rock My TBR Check in!

rockmytbr17header
Rock My TBR is hosted by Sarah at The YA Book Traveler

Hey everyone! Can you believe that tomorrow is already the first day of March!? February really seemed to fly by this year (which is not always the case in the cold upper midwest) and we are SO ready for all the fun that March will bring (mostly Springtime. We want Winter to be over now guys). There is no Top Ten Tuesday topic today as the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish are taking the week off (and they so deserve it!). So, instead of doing a Top Ten Tuesday for you this week we figured we would do a Rock my TBR check in, because…we missed last month. Oops. We are thinking this may be an every other month thing, because life sure can get busy, but we’ll see.

If you forgot all about Rock My TBR you can check out our introduction posts (Emily | Arika) and you can check out our list where we are keeping track.

So, how have we done with Rock My TBR so far in 2017?

Emily:

I honestly don’t think I am doing to shabby. The goal is to essentially read one book from this list a month, and I am up to 3 books on this list. I can obviously do better (and Spring Break is coming my friends), but I think 3 is a solid start towards a goal of finishing 12. What books have I read?

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco – This book was a struggle for me at first (which I will definitely go into later when I talk about this book). It got pretty dark, but in the end I enjoyed the mystery of it all and found the characters to be intriguing.

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds– A book that I definitely think we all should take some time to read. It deals with loss, and I am a firm believer in everyone taking some time to really understand the process. I think this book did an excellent job showing that everyone copes differently.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton– I am embarassed that it took me this long to read. Arika and I did a buddy read for this and will discuss our full thoughts later, but until then know that I LOVED THIS BOOK.

What’s next?

Hmmm, that’s tough to say.  I would love to finish The Winner’s Crime and The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski and would really like to dive into either I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith or finally tackle Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.

Chances are…I will do something completely the opposite, but the intentions have been set!

Arika:

I think I am a little ahead of my goal so I would say that is wonderful for me! I wanted to read at least one book a month and so far I have done 3 in the first 2 months and am on my 4th. I hope to keep this pace so that I can read more than 12 from my list, but we will see, life likes to get in the way of my reading. So lets see what I’ve read so far:

Heartless by Marissa Meyer – Heartless was a great retelling of the Queen of Hearts. I enjoyed this book and I actually was cheering for her to turn out good. The best part was all the descriptions of the goodies she would bake!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – A fantastic finish to the Six of Crows duology. I love all the characters in this book and would love to be best friends with Nina. Great action packed book like the first and I think I liked them both better than her first Grish trilogy (though I still really enjoyed those). I will read anything Leigh Bardugo writes.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – Man,  I am glad Emily suggested reading this for our buddy read! Great action packed book with a little magic, a little romance, and a lot of sass! Again look for a future post on Emily and my buddy read and our thoughts on this awesome book.

What’s next?

I am currently reading Last Stand by Rachel E. Carter, another book that I can cross off my list (YES!) and finish the series (DOUBLE YES!). There are a couple books that I would like to get to that are sitting on my shelf: The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi and The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh. All are great reads! Though I might need a break from fantasy/ya and read a different genre but who knows.

QUESTION: How are your 2017 reading goals coming along?

More Celebrations of Love…With Emily!

a-month-of

Hey Everyone! I am back and ready to celebrate another one of my favorite couples. Two weeks ago I talked about Rob and Scarlet from the Scarlet Series by AC Gaughen (swoon. I love them so much), and last week Arika talked about Feyre and Rhys of the Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas (again, swoon. They are perfection). February isn’t over yet, and even though Valentine’s day has passed it doesn’t mean we stop talking about love. There are 364 days until next Valentine’s day, and that is plenty of time to show people how much you love them without needing a holiday. With that in mind we are going to continue to share our love for some of our favorite fictional couples.

I had a hard time picking couple number 2. This is my last post in our celebration and I honestly couldn’t narrow it down. There are so many fictional couples that I just know are meant to be together, and their relationships on the pages give me life (so to speak). So I did some thinking, some brainstorming, and I settled on a fabulous couple. In the end, my feelings for them can be summed up with this gif…

lobster

Huh, that doesn’t give it away? Weird. I thought for sure you would know EXACTLY who I was talking about. Well, my couple for today is…Theo and Gailan from the Madion War Trilogy by S Usher Evans (btw, the final book, The Union, came out this week. GET ON IT PEOPLE!)!

31703687

I absolutely adore this couple. They are a force that I would not want to mess with, and their love for each other is incredibly real and genuine. I love them because…

  1. They are capable of being independent. I love when couples love to be together. I love my husband and really enjoying spending time with him. I depend on him for a lot of stuff, but does that mean I am incapable of doing things on my own? Nope. The same is true for Theo and Galian. Would things be easier for them if they could face it all together all the time? For sure. Is that always possible? No. They spend time missing each other, but that doesn’t stop them from getting the job at hand done and moving forward so that one day that can face it all together.
  2. They started as friends. Ok, not totally true. They started as enemies. They are from countries that are at war with each other, so things definitely are not lovey-dovey at first. Their relationship builds. They begin to form bonds of trust and friendship before totally diving headfirst into the romantic aspect of their relationship. I love this, and I really think it’s important. I think that getting to know someone as a person before you take your romantic interests in them is such a great way to ensure a strong relationship. Obviously this doesn’t always work, but it’s still a pretty solid way to do things.
  3. They faced each challenge with their relationship head on. No, their relationship was never easy. They are from warring countries. Technically their relationship was forbidden (oh yes, forbidden romance right?). Even with these challenges they took it all in stride. There were times where it got tough, and where things seemed to be too hard. There were times where they wondered if they should back down. Even with all these thoughts they faced each moment head on, and this made them stronger.
  4. Both are headstrong and fought for what they believed in. They didn’t let their relationship get in the way of what was ahead. They made sure that the causes that they were fighting for continued to be fought for, and yet they never lost sight of each other. I have no idea why this appeals to me so much, but I just love how their relationship didn’t change what they valued or believed, but it made them stronger.
  5. They’re lobsters, and they’re real. I’m sorry, they are just destined to be together. SHE’S HIS LOBSTER! There is no way around it. On top of that they are real. They have flaws, they fight, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. They deal with real life problems that you or I would deal with. This relationship seemed like one that I could witness in my world, which really spoke to me. I love when I can see something in a book, in a world that technically doesn’t exist, and can picture it in the real world.

All in all, these two make a pretty awesome couple, and if I had my way I would continue to flail and add more gifs just to try to communicate how much I adore them.

That’s my last celebration of love post! I have loved writing these, and I am sure I will be flailing about more bookish couples in the future with you. Be sure to look for Arika’s final post for this series next week! And until then…READ THIS BOOK SERIES GUYS! I SWEAR YOU WON’T REGRET IT! (Need reasons to read it? Because I have a few for you…)

QUESTION: What’s one book couple that you think were always destined for each other?

Three Reasons to Read Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

crownsEvery generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

Add this book to your Goodreads | Buy this book!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My first thought after finishing this book was: I wish the second book came out tomorrow!

761683

So to start out, that first half of the book was long….and I wasn’t sure if I would finish this book by the end of the month. I really was trying hard to figure out where this book was trying to lead me with all the information. But as soon as I hit that 50% mark…I was fully into finishing that book! I almost stayed up half the night to finish it but I had to work the next day so I reluctantly put it down. There are so many good things but I want to list 3 reasons why you should read this book before the second book in the series comes out in September!

  1. MAGIC. I mean who doesn’t love a little magic. What’s really cool about this book is there are three different types of “families” you could call them on the island that have different sorts of powers/skills. You first have the Elementals, who can control the wind, water, earth and flame. Most of them have control of only one element. Next are the Naturalists, they can control animals. Most of them have a familiar, which is an animal that is like an extension of themselves. It goes with their emotions and they can control them very well. The can also influence animals around them. Lastly you have the Poisoners, who can ingest most poisons and not feel a thing. They love to eat everything with poison in it and are the ones to dispatch people with their poisons.
  2. FRIENDSHIPS. There are some great friendships that are talked about in this book and that’s one of the reasons I loved it. The three different queens all have someone they can lean a shoulder on when times get tough. I almost wish that they went into more depth with some of the friendships and I hope in the next book that they play just as big of a role as they did in this one.
  3. WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? There are a lot of deals and business going on in the background that, at times, you don’t know who wants which queen to win the battle of her life. Oh man, some of the twists and turns this book threw out at you towards the end, you don’t know who is helping who. Very suspenseful and makes you want that second book badly!

I truly enjoyed this book towards the end and I am definitely invested in the future of this battle for the crown. With so many twists and turns at the end, anything can happen in the next book! So I highly suggest to read this book because the second one comes out September 17th!!!!

QUESTION: Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?

arika

 

Midwestern Book Nerd’s 2017 Goals!

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!

bljcjsqkqjgarx7rlgqg_whale20hello

While we were both on our temporary hiatus to visit our families and celebrate the Holiday season we took a moment to brainstorm what we want to do in 2017. As the new year came around we thought of new possibilities and new directions to take the blog. And though much will probably stay the same, you may notice some differences here and there as we try to do more with this that kind of satisfies all of our nerdy goals (so, we might fangirl for you a little bit more, but we will still fangirl).

Because we weren’t really doing much during that transition from 2016 to 2017 we didn’t get the chance to share with you some of our goals for the year. So here are some things that we would like to accomplish this year, on the blog and in our own lives…

Blog Goals:

  • Totally nail Rock My TBR. Obviously we want to crush this list, but would be happy with accomplishing just half. Want to buddy read with us? Check out our lists here and we can do something about it!
  • Weekly Posts. We want to be able to bring more to you every week. We are hoping to always have a post for you Tuesday and Friday (but obviously life happens so sometimes there may be less coming at you).
  • More creative content. Obviously this kind of goes with the last one, but we want to be able to create more things and hopefully engage more readers. Isn’t that the goal of all book bloggers? We are eagerly brainstorming together and coming up with some ideas.
  • Organize a new feature. We maaaaay have something in the works right now (so keep an eye open for something coming up in the near-ish future), but we want to be able to bring a cool feature to you and maybe even get some participation from other bloggers. How cool would that be?

Arika:

  • Exercising and Eating Right. I know, I know…everyone usually has this goal at the beginning of the year but I really need to get my butt into shape. Since I graduated college I’ve seen how inactive I’ve become and how I don’t always eat the healthiest things. Well starting this month it’s gonna change, I’ve am walking more and my husband and I are picking out healthier stuff at the grocery store (little steps at first). I am glad he is in this boat with me and wants to eat healthier too because that is a super huge help when you have a partner to help with a challenge!
  • Accomplish my reading goals! I have two different reading goals this year: Rock My TBR and my Goodreads challenge. My goal is to read over 50 books and the Rock My TBR has plenty of books to read on it :). After a disappointing year last year for reading (lots of stuff going on in my life), I am ready to crush this reading goal and hopefully read above and beyond the goal of 50!
  • Become a Professional Engineer. I’ve been out of school almost four years and as an engineer working in the field of public service you can take the PE exam (a long 8 hour exam…ugh) to get your license as a Professional Engineer (after four years of work in the field under a PE). It’s something I have always wanted since I graduated and it will take a lot of studying but I am super excited to take this next step in my career as an Engineer!
  • Listen to books on tape. I have only ever listened to one book on tape and that was Harry Potter (which I had read before so I knew the story) but I have heard of a lot of more people doing this lately. I have some longer car rides coming up in the future and I figured it might be something I can get into and allow me to “read” more books. Plus the library has a selection of books on tape!
  • Enjoy Life! This year should be a lot less hectic. So I am hoping my husband and I can enjoy our first full year as husband and wife and enjoy life’s adventures together. 🙂

Emily:

  • I want to crush my Goodreads challenge. I upped it this year because I blew past my goal in 2016. I am not tackling 100+ books, but I do want to see myself reach at least 50 and maybe even go beyond that (2016 I wanted to read 40 and I read 54).
  • Utilize the library more. The library is a beautiful thing, and I don’t live too far from it. But I tend to not go there often. I hope to use it more this year, and request more.
  • Find consistency. I know that life can be nuts and sometimes things don’t happen, but towards the end of the year I struggled with doing what I had to do and what I enjoyed to do. A lot of blogging fell on the back burner while I struggled to just deal with my job. I hope to find some consistency in my routine where I can do both.
  • Be happy. Seriously. I have not been a happy person as of late. There is always something. I hope to find what makes me happy and stick with it.
  • Be healthy. Yes, I refuse to put a number of pounds I want to lose or a particular diet I want to go on because I always set myself up for failure on that one. I want to develop a healthy routine and feel good about my body and the strength that I have. So far, doing quite well with this one.

QUESTION: What are some of your 2017 goals?

giphy

Why We Need More Books like A Monster Calls

8621462The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth

Add this to your Goodreads

 

There are no words for me to say that could accurately review this book. It is incredible. The writing is amazing, the pictures that are added in are great, and the content is so heartbreaking and NEEDS to be heard. I can tell you all of these things until I am blue in the face, or…I could tell you why we need more books like this one in the world (and hope that I do it justice, but I am so scared that I won’t be able to).

Sometimes the subjects of books can be the hardest thing to read. They can be graphic, they can show situations you don’t want to imagine, and they can hit too close to home. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness definitely hit too close to home, but it was this feeling that had me power through this book.

I needed this book, and there are so many others in the world that need this book (possible spoilers ahead, but I swear I will try to keep them out of here).

In this book Conor is dealing with life with a sick parent. His mother is fighting cancer. A boy is taking care of his mother and trying to grapple with the idea that this could be it. Just process that for one minute. A child is taking care of his parent who is more than likely dying. No child should ever have to do this, but he did. And so many other kids in the world today are probably going through a situation similar.

Not only did this book show Conor taking care of his mother, but it showed him facing the demons that all children with a sick and/or dying parent face. The sympathetic smiles, the teachers that let you get away with anything because you are going through a lot, the friends who are kind of there but not there, the feeling of being invisible, the anger…all of these situations and emotions are portrayed in this story; all very real, all I have dealt with. And if I have dealt with these things myself, what are the chances that there are many other people who have dealt with or are dealing with this in their lives right now? Pretty high.

I found that this book was something I could relate to, and something I needed when I was 13 and dealing with my dad being so sick. This book described the feelings that I had, the motions that I went through, and the anger that I felt. It also gave me the most accurate definition of the truth, and had me realize that back then I also had those truthful feelings. I know that not everyone loves reading about something that hits this close to home, but I am one of those people that needs these books to relate. I need these books to help me see that my grieving is ok, that my feelings are ok, and that I am not totally and completely alone. I can’t be the only person that has had this thought.

This book is also an excellent way for someone who does not quite understand the situation or the grief. This is the perfect way for someone that feels like an outsider looking in to find a way to communicate to whoever it is that is going through this situation. Honestly, I have yet to find a book that handles this better. And I am not saying that you should read this book to feel bad for them. No one wants you to feel sorry for them, especially in this situation. They want someone to listen, to attempt to relate without saying they relate, and to be able to kind of get it.

It is so rare for me to find a book about grief, about handling cancer in the family, that I feel just really hits home. This book shook me to the core. It had my body aching with grief, and it was a great way for me to deal with some of the depression and sadness that I have been feeling lately. I connected with this book, and I am so sad that it took me so long to find. This book will forever be a favorite of mine.

emily

Best of 2016

Hello everyone!!

Doctor_who_wave_hello_hi_gif

We are back from our temporary break during the holidays and are so excited to get back into talking about books with all of you. One that we really loved over the last month was that we always had a post go live on Friday. It was fun to brainstorm different things that we could talk to you about each and every week, and so…we are doing it again! Since we were on a slight hiatus so that we could be back in our home state (seriously, we were in the same state but were so busy we couldn’t see each other. Sadness) we missed out on telling you some of the awesome things we did in 2016. So, today we are bringing you our 2016 recap!

Arika:

Man, did 2016 fly by fast! I had a lot going on this past year, from moving a thousand miles to getting married to the greatest guy ever, I couldn’t have asked for a busier or more exciting year. But because of this busy year, I didn’t get to read as many books as I would have liked (I fell 14 short of my goal, which is a pretty big margin for me). Though that didn’t stop me from enjoying the awesome books that I did read and oh my goodness did I find some great books. Some of them were new authors, others were from authors I already know and love! So without further ado, here are a few of my favorite books that I read in 2016 (also here is a link of all the books I read.)

The Queen of the Tearling | Six of Crows | Grave Mercy |  Winter | Empire of Storms | A Court of Mist and Fury | Cuckoo’s Calling | Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children | Red Rising | An Ember in the Ashes | The Girl in the Spider’s Web | Glass Sword | The Martian 

My 2016 year in books:

  • These books compromise most of my 4 or 5 star ratings for the year. Lots of them were pretty popular for 2016 and I was very impressed of all the quality books that came out for 2016.
  • There were a couple great finishes to series that I read, particularly Winter by Marissa Meyer. What an amazing series that was! I have recommended that series to about a half a dozen people and everyone is in agreement about how wonderful a series it is to read.
  • I’m glad I got a few different genres in this year and I hope I can keep it up going into 2017. I feel that when I start to read too much fantasy (or a certain genre), I don’t read as much and that is never good 😦
  • I’m hoping this blog will help me find some new books that I would have never read before and I hope I can give some good recommendations out to all of you!

What I did in 2016 besides reading:

  • I got MARRIED! — Yup, I got married in October and I couldn’t be more happier with the guy I get to spend the rest of my life with 🙂
  • I also moved because I got married. I now am leaving in the south but I have to tell you that…dang, the food down here is amazing! Though I do miss my cheese curds and Top the Tater dip which I can’t get down here sadly.
  • I got caught up on some tv shows including the ever amazing Once Upon a Time! I love that show 🙂 I am hoping this year I can watch a few other tv shows including Gilmore Girls. (If you have any good ones I should watch on Netflix, leave a comment!)
  • I got a new job. I am now working for the Department of Transportation, which means I help build and design roads. It definitely is a lot more interesting than I thought at first.
  • and a lot of other smaller and bigger things that I could go on forever but don’t want to bore you with 🙂

Emily:

When looking back at 2016 I realize that I had a pretty solid reading year. I really enjoy a wide range of books, and I found myself falling into so many books that seemed to be written just for me over the past year. So, here are just SOME of my favorite books of 2016 (but you can click here to see all that I read in 2016).

The Queen of the Tearling | All The Bright Places | The Island | Shadow and Bone | Grave Mercy | Salt to the Sea | The Rose and the Dagger | Heartless | A Shadow Bright and Burning | The Impostor Queen | My Lady Jane | Winter | Empire of Storms | A Court of Mist and Fury | When We Collided | Six of Crows

A few fun facts about my reading during 2016…

  • This is not nearly ALL the books I read. I just remember that these stood out to me the most, even an entire year later. That being said, there are still plenty that I enjoyed that I did not list.
  • I binged all of Leigh Bardugo’s books after I finished Shadow and Bone. I was hooked, and she has become an auto-buy author for me.
  • I read a lot of fantasy this past year, but am really looking to find my niche in other genres as well (and have started to with contemporary and historical fiction)
  • I did ok, with Rock My TBR. I completed about what I had initially expected, but hope to blow it out of the water this year.
  • 2016 was filled with buddy reads, and I hope to get a few more in there throughout 2017.

Some other things I did in 2016…

  • Saw (and loved) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Deadpool, The Jungle Book, and Zootopia
  • Got hooked on even MORE Marvel shows (Daredevil season 2, Luke Cage…so good!)
  • Re-watched Gilmore Girls a million times in anticipation for the revival (which I did not hate. I kind of enjoyed it, but I went in with low expectations).
  • Got addicted to Poldark (and need to get my hands on season 2 now).
  • Had sushi for the first time (and lived and enjoyed it).
  • Beat my husband at arcade games in Chicago (turns out I am awesome at Street Fighter).
  • Went to Door County for the first time ever and LOVED it!
  • and so much more…

And to end it all, here is my 2016 playlist.

 

QUESTION: What would make your list of best of 2016?

Home for the Holidays

revolving-door-adventure

Hi everyone! We hope that you are having a wonderful day and a great holiday season. It’s so excited for us to see our families again and to have some time away from work and a break from the day-to-day routine.

Since both of us are traveling we will be taking a temporary hiatus from the blog. We both are heading up to our home state and will be busy with family, friends, and just enjoying the festivities of the season and so we think that taking a temporary break is for the best.

We will be taking a break from today (December 24th) until Thursday, January 5th. This will give us some time to get stuff ready and kick off the New Year right!

We can’t wait to get back at it in a couple weeks!

Wishing you all a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!!

Much love!

Top Ten Tuesday: Holiday Gift Guide!

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

The Holiday Season is upon us!! Can you believe it!? It’s time for festive music, decorating, and of course…buying something special for those that you love (and participating in Secret Santa with those you kind of know and will get to know better because of it).

So what are you thinking of getting those special people in your life? Books? Movies? Games? Totally not sure of where to start? Well, we are here to help (as is everyone else doing this week’s post, so seriously…check them all out)! Today we bring you a holiday gift guide, but it’s not the typical book-ish gift guide. Today our gift guide is for….GAMES! Games you want to play with those close friends and family. Games that everyone can enjoy! Here are some games to consider giving this Holiday season…

itemeditorimage_56d849371c3b4

Emily’s Picks

  • But Wait, There’s More! – A game that had me laughing my butt off with friends. Like laughing to the point of tears. It’s not a lengthy game, and can be played with small groups or larger groups
  • Funemployed – Like Cards Against Humanity but better. You interview for fake jobs and compete with other players to see who is the best fit for the position. I have been hired for a WIDE variety of jobs in this game.
  • Mascarade – A game of bluffing to win, which is not one I should be good at (because I am a terrible liar). Though I have only played this game once I definitely enjoyed it and will definitely be trying to play it more often.
  • Liebrary – Ok, it’s been awhile since I played this one but it was awesome. A game where you try to get people to write the first line of various books and try to get them to think that theirs is right. The things that people come up with are hilarious.
  • Forbidden Island – A game of teamwork where you are trying to escape an island before it sinks. You think it doesn’t sound fun because you don’t compete against other players…that’s just silly. This game can get pretty tricky, and it all depends on how you work with your team. Forbidden Desert is similar, but you can play with more people I believe.

Arika’s Picks

  • Speak Out – One of the hottest games this holiday season, Speak Out is a game that everyone can be involved in! I have heard so many good things about this game from family and friends. The game is simple: stick a dental device into your mouth that holds it open and try to say the given sentence for your group to guess. Everyone will be laughing.
  • Fill or Bust – One of my favorite dice games. It’s a good family game that can be played with as little as 2 players but as many as you can fit around a table! You roll the dice according to a card and score points. But if you don’t roll any points you bust your turn and it goes to the next player.
  • Pass the Popcorn – As an average movie buff, I really enjoyed this game. Each card has a movie on it and you have to beat other players to guessing it with certain types of clues. These clues include characters from the movie, people who are in the movie, famous quotes, and a small synopsis.
  • Bananagrams – A game that Emily and I used to sit and play for hours. This game is pretty much a race to make your own scrabble board but the catch is you compete against other people. A fun game for kids and adults alike, but make sure you have a good sized table so that your words don’t start falling off the side of the table!
  • Dutch Blitz – An exciting and fast-paced card game that everyone can enjoy. The premise of the game is to get rid of your 10-card blitz pile as fast as you can before another player does. Not as easy as it sounds because you are playing at the same time that everyone else is. There is even an expansion pack which allows you to play with up to eight players!

What are some games that you would buy for someone this holiday season?