This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg

I mean, when you are obsessed with DNA stories, love Young Adult Fiction, AND love Thrillers, how could you NOT pass this book up?!

Thank you Flatiron Books for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: The Winslow family lives by five principles:

1. No one can know your real name.
2. Don’t stay in one place too long.
3. If you sense anything is wrong, go immediately to the meeting spot.
4. Keeping our family together is everything.
5. We wish we could tell you who we are, but we can’t. Please—do not ask.

Poppy doesn’t know why her family has been running her whole life, but she does know that there are dire consequences if they’re ever caught. Still, her curiosity grows each year, as does her desire for real friends and the chance to build on something, instead of leaving behind school projects, teams, and crushes at a moment’s notice. When a move to California exposes a crack in her parents’ airtight planning, Poppy realizes how fragile her world is. Determined to find out the truth, she mails in a home DNA test. Just as she starts to settle into her new life and even begins opening up to a boy in her math class, the forgotten test results bring her crashing back to reality. Unraveling the shocking truth of her parents’ real identities, Poppy realizes that the DNA test has undone decades of careful work to keep her family anonymous—and the past is dangerously close to catching up to them. Determined to protect her family but desperate for more, Poppy must ask: How much of herself does she owe her family? And is it a betrayal to find her own place in the world?

This was a super fun read for me. It was a drama-filled story that kept me wanting to come back for more. I read it in one sitting – like I was watching a movie shoving popcorn in my face the entire time. Yeah, some parts weren’t as riveting as I had hoped for, but the writing is excellent and the characters were so well developed, it was worth every moment. With an ending such as this one, I’m hoping we get to hear more from this family in the future!

4.5/5 Stars

The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale


Have you ever watched “Black Swan”? It was such an interesting movie, and I’ve been on a kick of books related to such topics lately.

Thank you St Martins Press for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Fourteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg––taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career––and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she’s been away…and some secrets can’t stay buried forever.

I think I went into it with this whole “Black Swan” mantra, and soon realized it wouldn’t live up to those expectations. It’s a slow burn, a bit too slow for what I wanted. I think the author did an amazing job delving into the art and world of dance. I honestly haven’t read a book that did so well in putting the reader in some ballet shoes of their own. I didn’t really get a mystery-vibe from this book. I think this author has extreme potential and I am ready and willing for her next read. I think this book would be appreciated more by those who have a background in dance, but it’s not something I would pick up again.

3/5 Stars

The Last Guest by Tess Little

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Are you someone who pays attention to the Stars of Hollywood? While I’m not caught up in Hollywood drama, I sure love reading mysteries about it!

Thank you Ballantine Books for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: When actress Elspeth Bell attends the fiftieth birthday party of her ex-husband Richard Bryant, the Hollywood director who launched her career, all she wants is to pass unnoticed through the glamorous crowd in his sprawling Los Angeles mansion. Instead, there are just seven other guests–and Richard’s pet octopus, Persephone, watching over them from her tank as the intimate party grows more surreal (and rowdy) by the hour. Come morning, Richard is dead–and all of the guests are suspects. In the weeks that follow, each of the guests come under suspicion: the school friend, the studio producer, the actress, the actor, the new partner, the manager, the cinematographer, and even Elspeth herself. What starts out as a locked-room mystery soon reveals itself to be much more complicated, as dark stories from Richard’s past surface, colliding with Elspeth’s memories of their marriage that she vowed never to revisit. Elspeth begins to wonder not just who killed Richard, but why these eight guests were invited, and what sort of man would desire to possess a creature as mysterious and unsettling as Persephone.

If you are looking for a good locked room mystery, this is it. This was written so nicely that it played out like a movie in my head. The Hollywood theme lent itself well to that. It’s definitely a slow burn and took me a bit to really dive into the plot, but glad I stuck through with it. I wasn’t able to guess the twist and that always wins me over in a book.

4/5 Stars

Where The Truth Lies by Anna Bailey

All right you guys, this is one of those books that has been talked about in the book world for a few months now. It comes as a highly anticipated debut from this author and is available today! Let’s check it out.

Thank you Atria books for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: The town of Whistling Ridge guards its secrets. When seventeen-year-old Abigail goes missing, her best friend Emma, compelled by the guilt of leaving her alone at a party in the woods, sets out to discover the truth about what happened. The police initially believe Abi ran away, but Emma doesn’t believe that her friend would leave without her, and when officers find disturbing evidence in the nearby woods, the festering secrets and longstanding resentment of both Abigail’s family and the people of Whistling Ridge, Colorado begin to surface with devastating consequences. Among those secrets: Abi’s older brother Noah’s passionate, dangerous love for the handsome Rat, a recently arrived Romanian immigrant who has recently made his home in the trailer park in town; her younger brother Jude’s feeling that he knows information he should tell the police, if only he could put it into words; Abi’s father’s mercurial, unpredictable rages and her mother’s silence. Then there is the rest of Whistling Ridge, where a charismatic preacher advocates for God’s love in language that mirrors violence, under the sway of the powerful businessman who rules the town, insular and wary of outsiders. But Abi had secrets, too, and the closer Emma grows to unraveling the past, the farther she feels from her friend. And in a tinder box of small-town rage, and all it will take is just one spark—the truth of what really happened that night—to change their community forever. 

This is another multiple point-of-view novel taken place in different times. Not my favorite type of style thriller to read, but more and more authors are doing it so I have to bite the bullet and read on. With that in mind, it was fairly well done despite a few hiccups where I had to backtrack to pay attention to what timeline I was reading about. This was a really unique mystery which I appreciate having read a lot on my own. It started off as a typical mystery novel, and really turned into something a whole lot more intriguing. The writing was really well done for a debut author as well. I enjoyed reading this small town vibes during the summer months and highly recommend this one.

4/5 Stars

Small Favors by Erin A Craig


This year, all my book choices have been on a whim. I picked this up during my quick weekend beach trip and I’m so glad I did!

Thank you Delacorte for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range–five narrow peaks stretching into the sky like a grasping hand, bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest from which the early townsfolk fought off the devils in the woods. To this day, visitors are few and rare. But when a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that once stalked the region have returned. As fall turns to winter, more strange activities plague the town. They point to a tribe of devilish and mystical creatures who promise to fulfill the residents’ deepest desires, however grand and impossible, for just a small favor. But their true intentions are much more sinister, and Ellerie finds herself in a race against time before all of Amity Falls, her family, and the boy she loves go up in flames.

Erin is such a beautiful writer. This story was gorgeous and captivating from the moment I started reading it. Oddly enough, I have had a dream that is somewhat similar to the relationship Ellerie has with her twin brother in this story. That made me swoon all the more for it. The characters are well developed and you feel so attached to them from the get-go. It’s unique yet I think will be loved by anyone who reads it! Highly recommended!

5/5 Stars

Wendy, Darling by AC Wise


I’ve really been enjoying in dabbling with retelling of classic stories as of lately. This may not be a retelling, but I find that stories that pick up after classics are even cooler! This book dives into the world after Peter Pan.

Thank you Titan Books for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: For those that lived there, Neverland was a children’s paradise. No rules, no adults, only endless adventure and enchanted forests – all led by the charismatic boy who would never grow old. But Wendy Darling grew up. She left Neverland and became a woman, a mother, a patient, and a survivor. Because Neverland isn’t as perfect as she remembers. There’s darkness at the heart of the island, and now Peter Pan has returned to claim a new Wendy for his lost boys… 

This is a feminist twist on what happened to Wendy in Peter Pan. I always felt that this would be Wendy’s future based on watching the movie as a kid. This book painted a much darker picture of Neverland, and it was really good. It’s a twisted view, but done oh so well. I absolutely loved this grown up Wendy the warrior and survivor! She’s an idol! This tale was maybe a bit more terrifying to read than I had imagined it would be, but still comes highly recommended.

4/5 Stars

Nick by Michael Farris Smith

Since I’ve been more plugged-in to the world of literature, I’ve learned all about how copyrights usually last about 100 years for classics. The Great Gatsby has reached it’s end of copyright this year, and thus begins the awesome world of new related stories.

Thank you Little Brown and Company for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby’s periphery, he was at the center of a very different story-one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I. Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed firsthand, Nick delays his return home, hoping to escape the questions he cannot answer about the horrors of war. Instead, he embarks on a transcontinental redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance-doomed from the very beginning-to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavor of debauchery and violence. An epic portrait of a truly singular era and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know but few have pondered deeply. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and profound yearning to paralyze even the heartiest of golden age scribes, Nick reveals the man behind the narrator who has captivated readers for decades.

This is written as a prequel to The Great Gatsby. As a reminder, Nick is the narrator in that story. This tale is all about his emotional journey through World War 1 and how it impacted others around him. I love when an author’s writing style matches the emotions of the characters. This book does an amazing job at that! It’s a dark read as it accurately portrays how WWI changed so many souls and shows how they are learning to be human again in the aftermath of it. This comes highly recommended if you love reading about this era and enjoy the classic novel.

4/5 Stars

Summer Reading Series #summerseries

We are exactly one week away from summer vacation here!


I am a teacher by trade, so I’m pretty excited about this. We’re completing our finals this week and I’ve been talking with my students about what they’re planning to read this summer. It has got me thinking about what I would like to read as well as series that I have enjoyed reading in the past.

Series I love:

  • The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Twilight (Ok, I was a young, but I loved it…) by Stephanie Meyer
  • The Program by Suzanne Young
  • Wake Trilogy by Lisa McMann
  • Every Day by David Levithan

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Series I plan to read:

  • Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • Kay Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell
  • Chief Inspector Armand Gamache by Louise Penny
  • The Magician’s by Lev Grossman
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved by Jenny Han

Join in on the conversation by adding #summerseries to your next post and let me know what series you will be reading, what your favorite series is, OR least favoite series is! Any series you think I should skip on this summer? Any you think I should add?

Newbie Book Tag


Hello my lovelies!

You’ve seen lots of my reviews, but I figured it was time to have some fun and introduce myself more. Lots of awesome book bloggers have been using the newbie tag with these questions so I figured it would be fun to do the same!

1. Why did you start blogging?

I read A LOT and I am a fast reader. I am always in need of new books and I realized that since I follow lots of bookstagram accounts and book bloggers, why not jump into the world and do the same. I am a teacher so I love to help people, and I figured I could help people find their next book by starting a blog.

2. What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

I am into young adult AND adult fiction. Most readers are into one or the other. I can give an honest review and look at both of these type of novels that will interest people of all ages.

3. What are you most excited about this new blog?

If I’m being honest, I’m excited about reading ARCS and connecting with other people to hear what they think of some of my favorite books. I want to feel like I’m not the only one who may not like a certain book. That has always worried me!

4. Why do you love reading?

I am a spoonie, a chronic illness warrior. I have multiple chronic illnesses that have led me to some dramatic life experiences. During my toughest emotional and physically demanding moments, I needed an escape, and reading was that escape for me. I continue to read for fun just to take a break from my busy life and relax in a world of mystery, romance, and marvel.

5. What books or series got you into reading?

I have to thank my 9th grade English teacher for getting me into reading. I read “A Seperate Peace” and LOVED it. It was the first time I actually loved a book and wanted to read. I then went to the bookstore with my best friend and got a bunch of young adult novels to peak my interest. I found that romance novels like “Forever” by Judy Blume were the best for me and I read those for many years before delving into the adult fiction world in college. I still have a true love for young adult fiction though!

6. What questions would you ask your favorite authors?

Why don’t you write another book on this story? Make it a series! (this is my most common thought!)

7. What challeneges do you think starting a blog would be the hardest to overcome?

Writing negative feedback on books makes me nervous. I feel terrible about writing them, but I want to be truthful about what I write. I also find it hard to spread my blog across the global internet. I want people to know it’s here for their use, but it’s hard to share when there are so many awesome blogs already out there!

8. When did you start reading?

As I said above, I really started to read in 9th grade and haven’t stopped since then.

9. Where do you read?

I read everywhere, even in the car!

10. What kinds of books do you read?

I read young adult, contemporary, mystery, suspense, thriller, and science fiction novels. I also read non-fiction christian books on occasion.


Anything else you want to know? Comment and let’s have some fun! Happy reading!