Wednesday, September 2, 2020

DNF Chronicles #2: Grown Ups by Emma Jane Unsworth

About the Book

Grown Ups by Emma Jane Unsworth
Published by Gallery/Scout Press on August 18, 2020

GoodReads Description

Fleabag meets Conversations with Friends in this brutally honest, observant, original novel about a woman going through a breakup…but really having more of a breakdown.

Jenny McLaine’s life is falling apart. Her friendships are flagging. Her body has failed her. She’s just lost her column at The Foof because she isn’t the fierce voice new feminism needs. Her ex has gotten together with another woman. And worst of all: Jenny’s mother is about to move in. Having left home at eighteen to remake herself as a self-sufficient millennial, Jenny is now in her thirties and nothing is as she thought it would be. Least of all adulthood.

Told in live-wire prose, texts, emails, script dialogue, and social media messages, Grown Ups is a neurotic dramedy of 21st-century manners for the digital age. It reckons with what it means to exist in a woman’s body: to sing and dance and work and mother and sparkle and equalize and not complain and be beautiful and love your imperfections and stay strong and show your vulnerability and bake and box…

But, despite our impossible expectations of women, Emma Jane Unsworth never lets Jenny off the hook. Jenny’s life is falling apart at her own hands and whether or not she has help from her mother or her friends, Jenny is the only one who will be able to pick up the pieces and learn how to, more or less, grow up. Or will she?

I didn't like this book because...

  1. I was absolutely annoyed by the main character after the first chapter.  I found her rather dull and unintelligent.
  2. I believe that there is much more to women in their thirties than this book represents.  I felt like it paints a bleak picture of what young girls have to look forward to.
  3. Unsworth tries desperately to be funny.  Unfortunately, I felt like this fell short of its mark.  

To maintain complete honesty, there is a good chance that all three of my reasons for disliking this book change/improve over the course of the novel.  I was so frustrated and annoyed by Jenny, however, that I did not read past the 30th page.

In the future...

I would be interested to read other books by this author, but I will never be interested in reading this one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Three Reasons You Should Read The Hilarious World of Depression by John Moe

About the Book

Published on May 5, 2020 by St. Martins Press

GoodReads Description

For years John Moe, critically-acclaimed public radio personality and host of The Hilarious World of Depression podcast, struggled with depression; it plagued his family and claimed the life of his brother in 2007. As Moe came to terms with his own illness, he began to see similar patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms surfacing in conversations with others, including high-profile comedians who'd struggled with the disease. Moe saw that there was tremendous comfort and community in open dialogue about these shared experiences and that humor had a unique power. Thus was born the podcast The Hilarious World of Depression.

Inspired by the immediate success of the podcast, Moe has written a remarkable investigation of the disease, part memoir of his own journey, part treasure trove of laugh-out-loud stories and insights drawn from years of interviews with some of the most brilliant minds facing similar challenges. Throughout the course of this powerful narrative, depression's universal themes come to light, among them, struggles with identity, lack of understanding of the symptoms, the challenges of work-life, self-medicating, the fallout of the disease in the lives of our loved ones, the tragedy of suicide, and the hereditary aspects of the disease.

The Hilarious World of Depression illuminates depression in an entirely fresh and inspiring way.

Three Reasons Why...

  1. When I first saw this book, I knew that I needed to read it.  It is far too easy for people to think that those who struggle with depression or other mental health issues can just "get over it" because it is "all in their heads."  This is most definitely not the case!  Moe does a terrific job not only explaining that, but giving a "typical" individual insight into the mind of a depressed individual.  This book is eye opening and enlightening.
  2. More importantly, this book is here for people who DO struggle with depression.  It finally provides the necessary understanding that these people are not alone.  For many, this can mean showing a loved one what it is really like in their brain during the darkest and deepest depths of depression.
  3. In addition to helping people and bridging the gaps between those who struggle with depression and those who don't, this book is a memoir.  It provides you with an inspiring story about a man who goes through some very difficult things to become a person he is proud of.  This book outlines his time in crappy jobs, awful moments, success, and happiness.  

My Rating

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Three Reasons I Love A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

About the Book

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Published in August 1996 by Bantam

GoodReads Description

Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.


Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

My Three Reasons

  1. The complexity of this novel absolutely blew me away!  I caught myself waiting impatiently for the next installment of each story arc.  There was never a dull moment.  I even caught myself reading faster and faster to find out more about each character as quickly as I possibly could.  I will definitely need to go back and read this one again to make sure that I have devoured every detail, but I loved that I could not put this book down.
  2. Daenerys is my absolute favorite character in the series so far.  I loved that she started as a weak and terrified thing who truly grew into herself as a leader.  After her growth period, when times got tough, she gave them hell!
  3. It would be far too simple for Martin to focus only on the serious wartime aspects in this novel.  He chooses not to.  We are rewarded with humor and family and all of the other things that make us human.

My Rating

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Review: The Order of the Key by Justine Manzano

About the Book

The Order of the Key by Justine Manzano
Published on July 9, 2020 by Black Rose Writing

GoodReads Description

Jacklyn Madison never expected to be attacked by a beast on an evening snack run. Add a rescue mission enacted by a trained regiment of teenaged warriors, and her night officially becomes just like a scene from one of her beloved comic books. Turns out, her parents were once members of the Order of the Key, gifted humans that protect humanity from creatures spilling through inter-dimensional rifts. Unable to control her newfound abilities, Jacklyn and her family rejoin the Order.

After an attack on their headquarters leaves Jacklyn questioning their leadership, Kyp--the boy who led her initial rescue--reveals a darker secret. The Order's leader may be corrupt, and Jacklyn's questions could put her family in danger. Drawn into the search for proof, Jacklyn must use her guts and magical brawn to protect her family, her friends, and herself from the monsters spilling from rifts, and those hiding within the Order.

My Thoughts

When I received the review request for this book, I noticed the comparison to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Immediately intrigued, I accepted the request for this novel and am so happy that I did!  I was definitely entertained from cover to cover!

Let's start with a few of the positives.  

Manzano absolutely kills it with characterization in this novel.  She makes it so very easy for her audience to picture each of the characters right down to the sounds of their voices.  I was blown away.  I had a lot of fun with this because I created a voice for Lavinia and was able to hear it in my mind throughout the novel.  Manzano put true effort into her characters and it shows!

In addition to fabulous characterization, she does a great job with world building as well.  This book is set during modern times, so the audience starts with a wonderful understanding of the world presented to them.  Where Manzano truly drives it home, however, is when she introduces the world of The Order.  Now, even though she is discussing modern times, she is forced to introduce bureaucracy, monsters, training, and even intrigue and jealousy.  Although so much of the novel takes place within The Order's home base, I truly felt like I had been plucked from one world and placed in another.

When combined, the world building and characterization make a fun, easy to read piece.  By choosing to make her story fast-paced and exciting, Manzano left me no option but to hang on to the edges for dear life and turn pages as quickly as I could.

Unfortunately, there were a few things that I took issue with as well.

Too much of the novel was predictable.  I could not have predicted the entire novel, but I would have appreciated a few more twists and turns as well.  I think a larger number of surprises would have fit this fast-paced novel much better than the ones the audience is given.

Throughout the novel, a certain level of confusion accompanied my reading.  This is due, in part, to Manzano choosing to put so much information into such a short novel.  She would have lost quite a lot of substance had she chosen to cut information out.  It would have been very helpful to have had a dramatis personae or other way to keep track of characters and important monsters.

I had truly hoped for a more spectacular end to this novel.  Instead, the ending feels rather rushed.  I believe Manzano chose to end it this way in order to set up for a sequel. I wish she would have found a different way to do it.  This novel needed an ending that tied up at least one loose end.

Overall, I freaking loved this book!  I can't wait to see what Manzano brings us next!

My Rating

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Review: Little Tales by Raymond Pyke

About the Book

Little Tales by Raymond Pyke
Independently Published on January 8, 2019

Amazon Description

A collection of short stories which will whisk you away to a world of pure imagination. There are tales of magic and fantasy; stories involving animals and nature; cracking adventure yarns; and unusual fables about fairies and giants. Although written from the viewpoint of a young girl, the stories will appeal to readers of any age group or gender. Actual names are avoided within the stories so that the reader can better identify with the main characters.

My Thoughts

This middle grade book felt like a treasury of short stories to teach morals to small children.  The tales were easy to follow and quite whimsical.  As a teacher, I see the importance of repetition and story on the development of the individual.  This collection expertly provides both of these things!  I have already made plans to tell some of these stories to my future children.

I am excited that Pyke included stories from a variety of cultures.  There are stories for each child to relate to.  This is made especially wonderful by his choice not to use any specific names.  I love that this allows each child to insert himself/herself into the story.  I would have loved to see more stories with male protagonists, however.

 My largest complaint about it is that several words were used that the targeted age group would not understand.  Unfortunately, many of these words are important to understand what is happening in the tale.  This encourages children to expand their vocabulary, but takes away from the flow and comprehension of the story.  I think that this is one case where Pyke should have considered what is more important-vocabulary expansion or moral growth.

Overall, I am incredibly excited about this piece! I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to the audiobook and the reader definitely brought the stories to life.  I look forward to reading much more from Pyke in the future!

My Rating

Monday, June 1, 2020

The Name of Red Book Blast

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be giving away a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Two strangers on the same path.
Survivors. Companions.
They will be each other’s salvation.

On a rainy, winter night, a mysterious woman in a red dress seeking shelter comes inside the restaurant Kabir was busy working in —primarily the bar— and night after night, drink after drink, she comes back to the same spot. That is where he sees her for the first time.

Hundreds of patrons around her try to speak with her daily, but she dismisses them. It appears she wants to remain in a blissful peace alone with her booze and books. After seeing the mysterious woman reading a book, and because of his shy nature, Kabir gains entrance into her life by anonymously leaving books with notes for her.

The Name of Red is the story of two strangers, two different personalities who meet on a winter, rainy night who challenge each other. They have a connection which blossoms into a friendship due to their fondness of books. But they both have secrets that can bind them together or threaten their newfound relationship forever.

Read an Excerpt

The bartender placed her drink, in front of her.

She eyed the amber liquid and the golden glow of the glass-like cubes in her cocktail. Sometimes, she ordered whiskey mixed with vodka because she liked the amber color, otherwise she preferred vodka. The bartender called it New York Whisk. She was entranced by the mini icebergs in the glass. She reached for her drink with her slim, long fingers.


The elixir of her life.

The strong tonic was the only cure to her life. She lifted the drink to her lips, and the taste burned her tongue and throat.

About the Author:
Beena Khan lives in a suburb in Queens, New York in her apartment. She is 27 years old from Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. She is an immigrant who moved to New York when she was five years old. She currently holds a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology from Cuny School of Professional Sciences. She enjoys reading, writing, and netflixing. This is her debut novel.

Website: Sign up for her newsletter where you can subscribe for book news, writing tips, upcoming releases, and exclusive content!
Book will be on sale for $0.99 for a limited time.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Review: Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

About the Book

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children on September 20, 2016

GoodReads Description

First kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.

Mine broke Bale.

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.

My Thoughts

I really wanted to love this book.  I was so surprised that I didn't!  After all, many of my favorite books are fairy tale retellings and I had heard so many good things about this retelling of The Snow Queen.  As you will see below, there were plenty of things that I liked about it.  Unfortunately, however, the things that I didn't like outweighed the things that I did like.

What I Liked

  • I was drawn to this novel by its interesting premise.  I couldn't wait to see what Paige changed or didn't change from the original fairy tale.  Although elements of the original tale were definitely evident, there were not enough of these elements to feel like I was reading a true retelling.  However, I did like the elements that were presented because I felt like I was revisiting an old friend, The Snow Queen.
  • The cover is absolutely GORGEOUS! Even though I didn't like this very much, I may keep my copy around just to keep my shelf looking nice! 
  • There was never a dull moment in this novel.  It was constant action and I never found myself getting overwhelmed or lost in the action.  After all, it kept me interested and held my attention.  I simply needed to know what happened next!

What I Didn't Like As Much

  • I truly believe that Paige forgot to do any form of world-building for this novel.  Perhaps she had the idea of Algid so firmly in mind that she felt she didn't need to introduce it to her audience because they were as familiar with it as she was.  For me, this presented a huge problem as I was thrown into a foreign world with no form of map.  This made the plot much more difficult to understand and left the novel feeling lackluster.
  • This novel was definitely too short for all that Paige tried to put into it.  This means that although she introduces several wonderful ideas and subplots, none of them are fully developed.  Most readers, myself included, want to see these things become developed!  This was beyond frustrating for me, especially as the world surrounding these events was not built either.  In the end, this novel was a confusing pile of places and people that I wanted to know better.
  • What the heck happened at the end?  I have no idea why Snow goes to the place she chooses to go. I have no idea why she is so upset with another character that she knew was a liar the entire freaking time.  
Overall, I was disappointed with this novel.  I had wanted to see so much more, but it just wasn't there.  The sequel is set to be released in October 2020 and I must decide if I will read it or just let it fall to the wayside.  Part of me is curious to see how her writing has developed in the years between novels.  The other part does not want to be disappointed again.

Notable Quote

And maybe, just maybe, it didn't matter how you looked going into battle.  It just mattered that you went.

My Rating

Sunday, February 9, 2020

DNF Chronicles #1: Searoad by Ursula K. LeGuin

About the Book

Published January 27, 2004 by Shambhala

GoodReads Description

In one of her most deeply felt works of fiction, Le Guin explores the dreams and sorrows of the inhabitants of Klatsand, Oregon, a beach town where ordinary people bring their dreams and sorrows for a weekend or the rest of their lives, and sometimes learn to read what the sea writes on the sand. Searoad is the story of a particular place that could be any place, and of a people so distinctly drawn they could be any of us.

I did not Finish this Book because...

I simply did not care about any of the characters in the first two character sketches.  I truly wanted to like this book because I know that LeGuin is a famous author that many of my favorite writers truly adore.  Instead of adoring her work, I found myself dreading sitting down to read about characters that I had no reason to care about.  This piece was written without a plot in mind, so I knew that I would not see any long lasting character growth. 

In the Future...

I may choose to try this book again after reading some of LeGuin's more famous novels.  As I have never read any of her work before trying Searoad, I wonder if my opinion may change when I am more familiar with her work and her style.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Review: This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

About the Book

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on January 5, 2016

GoodReads Description

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

My Thoughts

This is Where it Ends was recommended to me by a paraprofessional at my school.  I was surprised that she was so willing to lend it to me as she was in the middle of it herself.  As a result, I read it as quickly as possible so that I could let her get back to her reading.  Reviewing this book proved difficult because I have an opinion of it as a regular person and a different opinion of it as a teacher.  Therefore, I decided that I should use this review as a way to combine those two opinions.

What I Liked

  • The characters in this novel were very well developed.  Of them, my favorite two were Autumn and Claire.  Both of these girls knew the shooter rather intimately and yet had very different opinions of what happened.  While they both agreed that they were scared and that there was senseless violence occurring, both were affected in very strong ways by the very same person.  This definitely demonstrates the massive impacts that one person can have on the lives of several.
  • Although I had two favorite characters, I loved that Nijkamp chose to write from the points of view of several characters.  Because of this, I felt that Nijkamp did a wonderful job of showing how the actions of one person can change the lives of so many others. 

What I Didn't Like As Much

  • In my opinion, and apparently a few people on GoodReads as well, Tyler's character fell flat.  He was supposed to be this very conflicted and troubled young man.  Instead, he was portrayed as simply "evil" or "bad."  While I will agree that his actions were unthinkable, I have a hard time accepting the black and white thinking involved in this scenario.  By the time the majority of school shootings take place, the perpetrator has demonstrated behaviors that show he/she needs help.  This could be for a variety of reasons such as mental health issues or family troubles.  As long as the general public and authors such as Nijkamp perpetuate the ideology that all school shooters do it because they are evil, it becomes increasingly difficult for these students to get the help they need before the shooting or other attack occurs.

My Rating

Let's Chat

Do you think that this book should go into my classroom library?  Would you put a similar book in your classroom?  Explain your answer in the comments below!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Top Three Reasons You Should Read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

About the Book

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Published by Doubleday on September 13, 2011

GoodReads Description

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

The Top Three Reasons You Should Read This Book

  1. The world building in this novel is phenomenal! There was not a single sentence that left me wondering where I was or why the scenery was mentioned.  I absolutely adored each moment of this enchanting tale because I never knew what would be around the next corner.  What would Marco create next? What would Celia bring?
  2. The love between Marco and Celia is strong and passionate.  It is not, however, erotic or graphic.  I was blown away by Morgenstern's ability to create such a pure love that shows the importance of self-sacrifice and true dedication.  Too often, our society values sex and lust in relationships.  I found it refreshing to see a romance that brought us back to the most important fundamentals of true love.
  3. This novel takes place in the 18th century and Morgenstern's writing style reflects that.  Rather than choosing to write as a modern woman writing about that time period, she writes as many authors in the 18th century would have.  For the reader, this adds to the enchanting experience as the reader is truly transported back in time.  This could not have been completed with any other writing style.

My Rating

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Review: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

About the Book

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Published by Greenwillow Books on May 19, 2015

GoodReads Description

Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

My Thoughts

I have really been hitting the jackpot on books at Goodwill lately!  I was so excited when I found this one because I absolutely fell in love with the cover.  The cover is beautiful, the contents are enchanting.

If you are looking for an absolute roller coaster read, this is a good option for you.  Because Zappia took the time needed to understand paranoid schizophrenia and uses first person point of view, the reader is able to experience the experiences that Alex goes through right along with her.  Much like Alex, the reader has no way of predicting when or where the hallucinations will hit.  This adds to the realism of the novel and had me hanging on to every breath to see what was next.

Alex is a very well-written character.  Not only is her disorder well-researched and brought to life, she is a typical high school girl who struggles with typical high school things.  I loved that Zappia did not try to write Alex as an extra mature or more "adult" teen.  Alex is awkward and gawky and weird.  She is trying to figure out things that all high school girls need to go through.  Not only does this make her easier for the intended audience to relate to, it helps them to understand what life with a disorder such as paranoid schizophrenia could be like.  I am excited to add this to my classroom library because I believe that it will help encourage student empathy.

Because Made You Up is filled with brilliant characterization and simple world-building, it can be very easy for the reader to tell what Alex is hallucinating.  I loved that it was not always easy.  I spent almost the entire novel believing that Miles would be the made up character.  When I found out who it was, I was MAD.  I slammed the books shut, called my boyfriend, and made him listen to me rant about it for half an hour.  When I was done annoying him, I texted my friend and blew up her phone.  Zappia made me that person with her wonderful writing skills.

I absolutely loved this book!  It was funny and filled with surprises.  It encourages empathy and brings the reader into a world that becomes their own.  I cannot wait to read more of Zappia's wonderful work!

My Rating

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Promo Post: Beautifully Broken by Bailey B.

About the Book

Title: Beautifully Broken
Author: Bailey B.
Published: December 20th, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Recommendation: 16+



Most people don’t think about the day they’ll die. They coast through life, blissfully unaware of how their time is ticking away. I wasn’t like most people. I welcomed death, wanted her to take me away from the prison I called life, but she refused. I tried twice only to survive. And then, when I thought I had nothing left it came.
A reason to live.

Rex was a small, unexpected ray of light my world of darkness that blossomed into a beam of sunshine. I thought, maybe this was why Death didn’t take me. Maybe she knew that if I held on a little longer things would turn around. But the third time Death came to my door wasn’t by choice. Someone else brought her, and I fear this time she might take me.


Being the son of a country star sucks. My parents are never around, I move every year or so, and I have no real friends. Everyone around me has an agenda. Everyone except Piper Lovelace. I can’t get that girl to notice me. Trust me I’ve tried.

Thankfully, fate stepped in and gave me the break I needed. I’ve got her attention, now I need her to give me a chance.

About the Author

Bailey B is an up and coming New Adult author. She lives in Lehigh Acres Florida with her husband, twin girls, and two fur babies. She enjoys (but doesn’t get to take part in because of her crazy daughters) the simple things like Disney+ binge watching, Netflix romcoms, reading and sleeping. She reads two to three books a week and thinks if narwhal’s are real animals then unicorns might be too.


“Stop,” I mumble, my smile growing harder to contain. There’s a playful energy building between us, one I wish he’d act on.

The corner of Rex’s lips twitch as he tries to hold a straight face. “Stop what?”

“Looking at me. It’s weird.” My heart hammers in my chest, beating against my flesh like a caged animal desperate to get out. I lick my lips. Why? I don’t know. Apparently, my tongue has a mind of its own and wants his attention. Rex’s gaze flickers down to it for a full second then finds my eyes again. He shifts, turning his body towards me, leaning an inch closer.

I can do this. If he can touch me, he can kiss me. What’s the worst that can happen? I don’t know, a debilitating panic attack where you seize up and die? Meh, I’ll risk it.

“I can’t help it,” Rex says breaking eye contact to take a sip of his water. “You’re beautiful.”

Butterflies swarm in my stomach. I don’t know how he’s doing this to me. I feel alive again. Maybe this is why Death didn’t take me. Maybe she knew Life had a plan and something good was coming. Rex could be that something good. I roll my eyes, a nervous laugh escaping me. “Yeah. Okay.”

Rex leans back against the arm of the couch, his brows knitting together. “Can I ask you something?

Oh gosh, this is it. He’s going to ask to kiss me like a true gentleman. Yes! The answer is yes! “Maybe.”

He chuckles, and the sound sends the butterflies into overdrive. So much flipping and thumping inside me. I can’t take the anticipation anymore. I’m ready.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020 Reading Challenges

Hey everyone!

As usual, I'm going to try to complete the GoodReads Reading Challenge.  I did not meet my goal in 2019, so I am going to keep the same goal in 2020 with 52 books.

For an extra push, I've decided to do two other reading challenges. 

First, we have a BINGO style challenge with broad categories.  Welcome to Armed With a Bingo from Armed With a Book.

Next, we have a second BINGO style challenge.  This time the categories are more challenging as all of the books must be retellings. This is brought to us by Cornerfolds.

As the year progresses, I will keep you updated on both of these challenges.  I plan to have a page for each one so that you can follow along!