Long Time, No Post! (Ft. Review of The Identicals)

HELLO!

I am sincerely sorry for my absence. No one likes a blogger who’s inconsistent and doesn’t post… but when depression strikes, everything is left behind.

SO… what have I been up to? Well…

Last week I read The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand… in approximately… 8 hours total?

AWESOME read. Honestly, probably one of her best ones. I am an avid Elin Hilderbrand fan – the only books of hers I haven’t read are her winter short stories and Silver Girl, which I just picked up at my library today! Oh and Winter in Paradise, but it’s new enough that it’s acceptable that I haven’t read it yet… and the library didn’t have it so… boooooo 😦

Here is my Goodreads review!

The IdenticalsThe Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Physically identical, but polar opposite personalities.

Hilderbrand depicts a story of identical twins Tabitha and Harper Frost who were separated from each other when their parents decided to divorce as they went to college. Before they left, the two played a game of rock-paper-scissors to decide who was going with their father Billy and who was staying with their high-strung, money hungry, designer mother Eleanor Roxie-Frost.

That game of rock-paper-scissors changed their lives forever.

Separated by 11 miles of ocean, Harper resides on Martha’s Vineyard with her father while Tabitha resides on Nantucket with her mother and her 16 year old daughter Ansley. When tragedy strikes the family, it’s time to reconnect and work together as a family to get through their hardship.

After 14 years apart (with a small meet-up in the middle when Tabitha had struggles with a premature baby), Tabitha and Harper are forced to reckon with their past and have each other’s backs. Will they reconcile or will it all blow up in shambles?

Hilderbrand writes, yet again, another novel that pulls your heartstrings and keeps you turning the pages. As a long-time fan of Hilderbrand, I have to say this was one of my favorites. One of my favorite things about Hilderbrand is that she knows Nantucket and the state of Massachusetts so well that when she writes a setting in her story, it is so ecclecticly vibrant in description that you feel like you’re right there in the story.

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I recently decided to obtain a library card because I am currently unemployed due to medical reasons and I can no longer afford my book obsession. Today, I had myself a little library mini-haul.

What did I pick up?

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Finding Emotional Balance: A Guide for Women by Merry Noel Miller

 

Some may think – that last one seems a little out of place considering the genre of the other three. I decided to pick it up becuase I am currently experiencing one of the worst bouts of depression in all my years of life. Sometimes, not even a book can take me away from the reality of it all like it usually does for me. I had to do something… So I’ve decided to start with that one. So far, so good. I’ve only read 42 pages and I’m completely enlightened about the woman’s body and mind. I don’t feel out of place or alone; so many others are going through exactly what I am.

I was reading All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner… I did not finish (although I probably will at some point because one of my pet peeves is leaving a book unfinished regardless of whether or not I enjoyed it). I ordinarily adore and admire Weiner’s writing, but this one seemed redundant more than anything.

Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you, especially during this tough time.

Happy Friday! TGIF

xo – liv

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Reviews of A Spark of Light and How To Walk Away

Wow, it’s been about a week since I’ve posted. I’ve been recovering from my surgery and busy with school and honestly hadn’t truly noticed how much time was passing.

Also, during this busy time, I’ve been reading, reading, and reading.

In the past 6 days I read Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Light and Katherine Center’s How to Walk Away.

Both were complete life-sucking pageturners, so, clearly I’ve been occupied.

Here are my Goodreads reviews!

A Spark of Light

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a longtime fan of Jodi Picoult, I was pretty excited to pick up this one. Picoult writes a thrilling story that attacks a very controversial issue: abortion. I loved every character in this story. Wren, a 16 year old girl who’s just exploring the world of sexual activity and adulthood… Bex, Wren’s aunt who steps in as a motherly figure, only to find herself thrown into the woes of a gunman in the clinic where Wren asked to go. Olive, the 60 year old lesbian who is sweeter than apple pie along with Izzy the young nurse, Dr. Ward, the abortion doctor, Janine the activist and Joy who has just received her abortion and of course, Hugh McElroy. I love that each individual character was completely different, but all connected due to the subject of pregnancy, abortion, or and the clinic. This nailbiting story, I’m sure, hit hearts of many readers.
My only reason for 4 stars was due to the fact the novel was written in reverse order. I never quite understood the main reason as to why it was written backwards. But, nonetheless, great read!

How to Walk Away

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can I give it 6 stars?
This novel made me laugh, cry, smile, and feel raw emotions that I’ve never felt.

Margaret Jacobsen is a 28 year old, hard-working MBA grad who has just (about) landed a dream job. Totally in love with her long-time boyfriend Chip, she envisions a beautiful life with him. Until tragedy strikes. After a lifetime fear of flying, Margaret is convinced by Chip to go up for a special ride in a Cessna, as he is just about to become an official pilot. As their life together is truly about to begin, they approach a storm and their new story begins.

Throughout the novel, Center provides readers with stories of healing, family drama, falling out of love and back in again, and my favorite, a sisterly love that recreates itself from shambles to an inseparable bond.

A story of love, heartbreak, tragedy, and family, this page-turner is worth every minute.

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Today I’ll be delving into my schoolwork like a ravenous beast because it’s the end of the term and all my final papers are due! After that I will continue reading The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand, which I’m sure I’ll be hooked on as well.

Happy Thursday!

xo – liv

Reviews of Heron’s Landing and Girl, Wash Your Face

I’m back after a few day hiatus. I had surgery (again) on Tuesday so I am still recovering. Today, I am much more awake and ready to post!

During the past few days, I completed reading Heron’s Landing by JoAnn Ross, and in 3 days I knocked Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis right off my October TBR. Awesome, quick little read!

I have posted my reviews on Goodreads, but I will share my thoughts here.

Herons Landing (Honeymoon Harbor, #1)Herons Landing by JoAnn Ross

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The synopsis of this story made this book sound like a quick and easy, truly intriguing read.
It was and it wasn’t. In the first few chapters alone, you are introduced to so many different characters it’s hard to keep track of who’s who. As the book went on, I caught on and actually grew to love the story. I have a love for some of the characters that I hope to see again in a continuing novel.

Brianna Mannion – Our main girl in the story. She has returned back to her quaint, quiet little hometown after years of working in Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps. Her reasoning for returning home is to purchase the local Heron’s Landing and turn it into a Bed and Breakfast. Brianna, a young, single woman with a strong head and stubbornness as hard as concrete, can’t fulfill her dreams all alone. Heron’s Landing is in shambles and needs lots of TLC.

Seth Harper – The ever famous town contractor, Seth, of the well known Harper family, is one of Brianna Mannion’s best friends from adolescence, and also the widower of her best friend Zoe. Brianna comes upon Seth in Honeymoon Harbor (whom she has crushed on since the dawn of time) and they decide to revamp Heron’s Landing together. Does that lifelong crush of Brianna’s become a mutual feeling? Or do past memories keep them apart?

Kylee and Mai – LOVE THESE TWO. Not your average lesbian couple. So much love between these two as they prepare for their wedding, new home, and incoming baby. I don’t want to give much away about them, but I loved whenever I’d turn a page and they were in the scene. Follow these amazing women seeking a life of love and success.

You also have Seth’s parents, Brianna’s parents and brother Quinn, who owns the local burger and beer joint.You also have Doris and Dottie who own the local shop, The Dancing Deer. There are a slew of characters, but these are the ones who were the most important to me and I hope to read about again.

 

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to BeGirl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FABULOUS!
Hollis is straightforward, very blunt, and honest. I loved her personal stories and how open she is with her readers. I grew up Roman Catholic with a strong belief in God. Today, that is no longer true in my life, but I support her Christian beliefs and I agree with them to a certain degree.
I thought she did a great job addressing the most crucial issues in women and she truly hit the nail on the head with the lies we believe. I commend her for all she has achieved and chosen to share with her readers.
She made me laugh, cry, and everything inbetween. Bravo!!! Loved this one!!!

Now, I am currently reading A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult. I know many of you are reading it or have just finished it! Thoughts?!

 

Happy Thursday!

xo – liv

 

Online University.. Anyone else out there?

I attend university online… Are there any other bloggers out there that are on that journey too?

Allow me to rant for a second.

ONLINE. SCHOOL. SUCKS.

I have never so desperately wanted to sit in a classroom and have a professor lecture me. It is absolutely impossible to find the motivation to sit down, on your own time, open up your computer, and do the readings and assignments that need to be done.

I don’t know about you guys – but when it comes to reading a 31 page article, I can’t read it all on a computer screen. I have to print it so I can write on it, highlight, take notes, etc.

Do. you. know. how. much. ink. I. go. through…?

At this point, I may have spent more money on ink than my tuition.

Also, online school is so impersonal. I don’t know what my classmates look like, half of them are halfway across the country/actual Earth, and the most I know about my professors are from a shpeal they write at the beginning of the term and a little tiny icon picture of them.

As an actual physcial college student, I used to love to go to my professors after class or during office hours just to get that extra leg of help or confidence I may have needed. Now, it literally feels like I am on my own. To teach myself. To be the professor and the student.

Not to mention, these online classes are 8 weeks long when a real semester is 16. SO you’re doing DOUBLE the work.

And my not-so-smart self decided to take 2 classes at a time (which categorizes you as a full time student) and MY OH MY is it a LOT of work!

So this whole thing brings me back to my Time Management post… because I SUCK at it. Any advice on time management and how to organize my time to include homework, blog posts, and reading?

I’m personally feeling unmotivated, unproductive, and completely debilitated. Someone motivate me!

On the upside to all of this, my new books came in yesterday:

  • How To Walk Away – Katherine Center
  • Girl Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis
  • A Spark of Light – Jodi Picoult

I am so excited I don’t know which one to start with! Most of the bloggers I follow have either read these or are currently reading them and no one has had a bad thing to say about any of them, which makes for a harder decision! Thoughts on these reads?

I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Saturday!

xo – liv

Three Bookish Things Tag!

I haven’t posted in a couple days – I had a funeral to attend, then I had food poisoning, and I’m having complications from surgery so I have to go back into the operating room on Tuesday. (Bleh, please send healing vibes)

I wanted to post today, but really have no energy for thinking up an entire post and typing it out… SO…

I saw this post on Kris’ Boston Book Blogger site and it looked super fun and I figured I can do that today!

SO here it goes…

THREE READ ONCE AND LOVED AUTHORS
  • Dorothy Garlock
  • Kristin Hannah
  • Jennifer Weiner
THREE TITLES I’VE WATCHED BUT HAVEN’T READ
THREE CHARACTERS YOU LOVE
  • Olivia Marsten (Take Me Home)
  • Oskar Schell (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
  • Blue (Blue)

 

THREE SERIES’ BINGED
THREE UNPOPULAR BOOKISH OPINIONS
  • I’m not a fan of book series, like I just mentioned
  • I actually hate when books become movies, especially if I have already read it.
  • I am not a Kindle fan. At all. I’ve had a NOOK for 8 years. Not sorry!

THREE CURRENT FAVOURITE BOOK COVERS
  • Plan out my blog posts rather than trying to attempt at random
  • Don’t bite off more than I can chew
  • Meet some fellow bloggers/gain more followers!

 

I am not tagging anyone because I have a feeling most of the people I would tag have already done this book tag! Feel free to take it, just mention me so I can see! 🙂

Happy Friday! TGIF!

xo – liv

New Books on the Way!

Hi everyone!

So… In yesterday’s post I talked about my October TBR… well… One of those books doesn’t hit shelves until 2019 and I was just too amped about the story to notice that…

With that being said…

I just ordered How to Walk Away by Katherine Center, which I had listed as one this month’s TBRs and Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis because it’s been on my TBR for awhile and I’ve heard nothing but incredible things so I thought, why not now?

I am SUPER excited for these to come. I usually go to Barnes and Noble for my books, but unfortunately I’m rather busy this week – my mom is in town from Florida for the week due to a death in my family and I am hosting her.

Now I’m like a giddy little girl who’s going to jump for joy when I get that package and it’ll be like a mini Christmas morning! I would’ve ordered more books but I would’ve gotten myself in trouble AND I’d much rather enjoy a day to myself in B&N soon.

My B&N Membership is my best friend. I love the coupons I receive in the mail and the deals I can get in store. Plus the free express shipping? Yes please!

Also this month, I want to gather supplies for a fresh bullet journal and practice some ideas so hopefully next month I can start! Does anyone bujo? Any tips you can share?

I’ll let you know when I receive my package! I can’t wait to smell the fresh books! (Call me weird, I don’t care)

Short post today! Happy Tuesday!

xo – liv

New Week, New Month, New Post!

October 1st… already?!

Anyone else feel like we were just ringing in the New Year?

Time flies. With that being said, we are entering my favorite month of the year because I love the weather here in New England. The leaves begin to turn their rustic reds and oranges, the air starts to cool down, perfect weather for apple picking, football games, and walks or hikes in the woods!

So, to start this month off, I am going to finish reading the 3 books I recently began and then place a list I want to check off from my TBR by the end of the month! I am a full-time student, so as much as I want to finish all of these books, I know that might end up being really hard and impossible.

Currently Reading

Heron’s Landing – A Honemoon Harbor Novel – By JoAnn Ross

Paperback – Amazon

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As of a week ago, I mentioned in my post that I wasn’t thoroughly enjoying the story and that it wasn’t drawing me in. I take that back. I actually love the story. The only problem I have is that there are way too many characters right off the bat. I felt like I had to write them down in order to keep them all straight. I’m just about halfway through the novel and I’ve probably met or met the idea of over 10-12 characters. Many of them are accessory and don’t matter to the true, raw story. Otherwise, yes, love the story, her writing is very descriptive and gives you some of those feels, and I cannot wait to hear how it ends!

Two By Two – By Nicholas Sparks

Audiobook – Google Play (I have provided the link for Amazon’s audiobook)

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 1.51.44 PM.png

Currently loving this story, but the audiobook narrator is a little cut and dry. I have a feeling I would have finished it quicker had I read it on paper. I find myself rewinding sometimes because his voice drowned me out. BUT… the story a heart-pulling story of tough love, family struggles, and the strife of raising a child in a troubled marriage. I look foward to finishing the story, not the audiobook itself.

I also just started a novel by Jill Sanders Return to Me that I downloaded from NetGalley. It is #7 of a series, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the understanding of the story. I downloaded the ebook just to read the prologue before I went on to something else in my day and before I realized it was 25 minutes later and I was chapters in. Completely immersed into the story. DEFINITELY looking forward to swimming further to that painful story.

Once I finish those three… my goal is to dive head first into these three that were in my GoodReads recs.

To Be Read

Please, Daddy, No – By Stuart Howarth – this novel stuck out to me with its cover alone, making me click on the title and read the description. A story of overcoming the depths of child abuse, this is one I’m sure to be hooked on. I couldn’t put David Peltzer’s A Child Called It down for a second, so if this is any similar, which the description (click the link) provides it to be, I’m in trouble!

How to Walk Away – By Katherine Center – this one was not only on my GoodReads recs, but it’s EVERYWHERE. I’ve seen it on umpteen vlogs, blogs, and GoodReads profiles, so safe to say, it’s just on my list for sake of following suit of a good read (I hope). It has almost 5 stars, so let’s give it a go.

The Mother-In-Law – By Sally Hepworth – I always love a good murder mystery, especially when it involves a family twist. Rated on GoodReads with 4.7 stars and described as “A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder…” it sounds like a juicy one for my TBR!

Update: I’m a moron. Hepworth’s book isn’t even out till 2019 so looks like I’ll be searching for another read for my October TBR!

What are you reading? Has anyone read any of these? Let me know! I’d love to hear your opinions!

Happy Monday and Happy October!

xo – liv

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