Friday, October 9, 2015

What Wyatt's Reading

Ok, so he's not actually doing the reading, I am. But he loves to be read to! And I of course love reading to him. We read old favorites of mine and also books I just randomly grab off the library shelves. My mom laughed at me the other day - I went to the library and came home with more books for my 7 month old son than I did for me!

Here is what we have been reading lately:

Next week, we start reading Halloween picture books! I am pretty excited - I still love picture books and the Halloween ones are my favorites. I wonder if that will rub off on Wyatt? 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

R.I.P. X Book Review: The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon (and Giveaway!)

R.I.P. X is hosted this year by The Estella Society

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Goodreads Summary:

The latest novel from New York Times best-selling author Jennifer McMahon is an atmospheric, gripping, and suspenseful tale that probes the bond between sisters and the peril of keeping secrets.

Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper's kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel's past, something that ruined their friendship forever.

Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock's next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds—revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come.

My thoughts:

A lonely stretch of road, a crumbling hotel, a house filled with's beginning to sound a bit like a Hitchcock movie isn't it? Vaguely reminiscent of Psycho's Bates Motel, Hitchcock does have a bit role to play in this book, although a small one.

This book is told through three different points of view, at three different time periods. Rose in the 1950s, Amy, Rose's daughter in the 1980s, and Piper in the present day. Amy, Piper, and Piper's sister Margot were close childhood friends until the summer of 1989, when something happened to split them up, a secret that started all the way back in the 50s with Rose and her sister Sylvie. The reader is also treated to the occasional point of view from Sylvie, in her letters to Mr. Hitchcock.  

McMahon does an incredible job of building suspense ~ I had to put the book down sometimes because just wondering what was going to happen freaked me out. The settings and atmospheres were perfect for each time frame, and really added to the story. The Night Sister had so many twists and turns and secrets that even though it scared me, I absolutely had to finish the book to find out what was going on, and what really happened ~ in the 50s and in present day. Two mysteries for the price of one! The ending once revealed was just a teensy bit so-so for me ~ I had a little bit higher expectations after such a big build up, but it really wasn't bad. McMahon had a different take on a familiar theme, so that was pretty cool. 

Overall, this book is a perfectly spooky read, especially this time of the year! You just might find yourself listening to those sounds that go bump in the night a little more closely, after reading this one.

I am also doing a giveaway for this book ~ it is not a brand new copy, but my like brand new read one time version.  If you are interested in entering to win and live in the United States, you can enter below! The winner will be chosen October 25th. And don't worry about the blog post comment question - post whatever comment you choose.

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. 

It was a pretty fun week this past week. On Friday, my friend Kelly and I got together and made Cheesy Corn Chowder soup for dinner, and hung out with our husbands and kids. It was a really low key night out and we had a great time. It was nice to get out! We also were celebrating the first month celebration of her new daughter, and the 7 month celebration for Wyatt! They are exactly 6 months apart. 

Then Saturday we got together with my cousin and her son, my aunt, and my brother, sister-in-law and my little niece. It was a fabulous way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon. We hung out eating macaroni and cheese and brownies, passing around each other's babies and catching up. My cousin lives in Chicago so we don't get to see her too often and it was so nice to visit with her and her son. 

Read Last Week:

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon: I am almost done with this - I actually have to put it down a lot and not read it at night! The scary factor is slowing me down. It is good but scares me! Which is the point, I guess. Lol.

Reading This Week:

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave: I picked this up at the library to read in between bouts of the Night Sister. I saw this originally on Book Haven and thought it sounded pretty good. So far, I am enjoying it!

Posted Last Week:

Banned Book Week: Fahrenheit 451 - I had forgotten how much I liked this book!

Currently Watching:

We are watching Heroes Reborn, Scream Queens, and we just finished up with Hell on Wheels for the current season. I can't wait for Grimm, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries to begin again!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

R.I.P. X Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

R.I.P. X is hosted this year by The Estella Society

In a dark, dark wood has been compared to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. It seems the trend now for Gone Girl to be the go-to comparison. I can't say that I see the similarities, other than it being a mystery with a female protagonist. However, like my feelings for The Girl on the Train I was not a huge fan of the main character. 

When Nora receives an invitation to her old school pal Clare's hen night, she is reluctant to go. She hasn't seen Clare in ten years, hasn't even talked to her in as long. She decides to go, after being told by Flo, the matron of honor, that Clare really wants Nora to be there. 

So she travels with  another friend to a remote wood in the middle of winter, to stay in the glass house that Flo has borrowed from her aunt for the small hen's weekend. Cell service is spotty, and there is no one else around for miles, just trees and snow and that winter silence. Can we say creepy? It doesn't exactly scream bachelorette party to me!

(Side note: I found this place online on a few years ago, and always thought it would be fun to stay there. Not so creepy here but rather peaceful)

The party commences, complete with cocaine, a trip to a shooting range, and the use of a spirit board. To me, this party would not be fun, and I found it all kind of odd. Like teenagers who had more money were throwing this shindig. But then something goes wrong, and it all goes to hell. 

The reader learns that at some point there was a falling out between Nora and Clare ~ they had been close friends for years, Clare was the more natural leader while Nora was the quiet one, more likely to follow Clare's lead. It adds to the suspense of the story, what happened, what happened, you want to know! 

When I was in high school, I used to read Christopher Pike all the time. That is what this book reminded me of. A grown up Christopher Pike book.

 I wasn't in love with this book, but I was definitely hooked enough by the mystery to want to just keep reading it until I found out all the answers. I disliked Nora thoroughly - I found her weak, and I have a hard time with weak main characters. Again, not sure why this was compared to Gone Girl as Amy was evil but brilliant and vibrant, not like this watered down milk toast of a character. (wow I guess I really disliked Nora!)

I give this book a creepy rating of 5/10 for setting and for mood.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Banned Book Week: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Banned Books Week is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey and I am excited to be participating again!

So I chose to read Fahrenheit 451. I read this many many years ago, and it was time to revisit this classic. What a perfect time to read a book not just about the banning of books, but the burning of them, and the banning of reading. It's ironic, but a sad irony, the kind you don't want to see. When life imitates art and not in a good way.

Fahrenheit 451 is about a fireman -  in this world, firemen set fire to books, their job it is to burn them, and the houses of any people who dare to have books in their homes. Guy Montag meets a young woman outside her home one night, and her kindness and curiosity awaken the curiosity of Guy. She makes him think, wonder. We later learn that Guy has another secret, a stash of books he has taken on the sly from homes he has burned. He ends up on the run from the government as he refuses to turn away from this new side of himself, and ultimately murders his boss. Guy makes it out of the city after a harrowing chase through the streets, pursued by the Electric Hound, and finds himself in a group of revolutionaries, self-exiled from the cities walking the rails, who read. 

It is a book about censorship, about whether the government should do the thinking for its people - for why should the people care or know anything about political candidates? - it's about people preserving knowledge for the future. I love the group that Montag is with in the very end, those fellow escapees committed to free thought and will, to the preservation of literature for future generations. Everyone has a book they are responsible for remembering, to hold onto until the time is right for the book to exist again. It always makes me wonder what book would I choose to be responsible for? What do I think is important enough, for whatever the reason, that I would try to keep it alive, waiting generations if necessary. I think that I may choose Watership Down, my favorite book.

Fahrenheit 451 has been challenged for reasons of language and for religious reasons. It blows my mind that someone could read this book and not understand that they were just doing exactly what the book was trying to show was so wrong! That you are censoring a book about censorship? Maybe that is what is so scary, and what they really are guarding against. Knowledge that you don't have to just accept what is told to you, that you can think about it, form your own opinions. 

If you haven't read this, or haven't read it in a long time like me, I urge you to pick it up. It is a quick but powerful read, and what better time to read it?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. 

Last week got away from me! Can anyone else believe that it is almost October? Where does the time go? This is my favorite time of the year so I am pretty darn excited. The nights are cooler, the air crisper, everything seems a bit nicer to me in the fall. Except those darn bees! They are so aggressive in the fall. 

I took photos of my little niece the other day - she is beautiful and I wanted to share a photo of her with all of you. She has so much hair! We are all enamored of her, including Wyatt who grabbed her hand. Then he tried to put it in his mouth, but he did hold her hand. Lol. 

Book Club is this week! I can't wait, it has been too long! So many of our members have had babies in the past two months though, including our book club host who gave birth to a little girl two weeks ago, that this month we are doing a book show and tell. We are each bringing books with us that we have enjoyed and sharing with the rest of the club. 

Read Last Week:


Mums Like Us by Laura Kemp: This was hilarious! I could relate to quite a bit of it. Lol. I have been reading it off and on for the past few weeks.

Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong: This series gets better and better!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: Banned Book week! My post will be up Tuesday.

Reading This Week:


The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon: I am finally in the mood for spooky and scary!! 


We just finished up Season 1 and 2 of Penny Dreadful - omg it was amazing!! It was gruesome at times but we loved it. I can't wait for the next season. We are still watching Hell on Wheels and I am finishing up The 100. I think we might start Bates Motel soon while we wait for some of our old favorites to resume this fall. My husband started Blindspot, and enjoyed the first episode.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. 

We had quite a week last week. Wyatt had a few doctor's appointments that took up most of our time - being born prematurely and with his particular health issues at the time of birth, we have lots of follow up appointments and developmental meetings. But he is doing really well overall, which we are so thankful for. Everyday he does something new!

I also had technical difficulties last week with my e-reader! Both books I had planned on reading were e-books, so I didn't get to them. It was a weird week without reading - unless you count the children's picture books I read to Wyatt. :)

Reading This Week:

I am not sure! If I can figure out the problem with the e-reader or how to load the books from Netgalley onto my old Nook Color, I will read the ones I planned on reading last week. If not, I will start the book I am reading for Sheila's Banned Book Week - Fahrenheit 451. I have been wanting to reread it for a long time, and now is the perfect opportunity. 


I started The 100 and I love it! I saw that it is based on a book series, so I am sure I will be reading it very soon. We are also watching Penny Dreadful, which is amazing, and Hell on Wheels - I love the cinematography in that show. It is worth it for some of the shots.