Friday, December 15, 2017

My Thoughts: Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
by Krysten Ritter
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Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781524759841
Genre: Adult Fiction | Mystery | Thriller
Source: For Review

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Should you ever go back?

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game,” which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of the question: can you ever outrun your past? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I have to say I was super curious to start Bonfire, not only because the summary for the book sounded really interesting, but also because it was written by actress Krysten Ritter, who seems pretty awesome. So when I was handed the opportunity to read the book, of course I jumped on it! And I’m so very glad I did!

Let me start by saying that I went into this book not really knowing what to expect, other than reading the summary. I purposefully stayed away from reviews of the book because I wanted to go into it not knowing much. I’m so glad I did! Meeting Abby Williams was interesting, and going back to her hometown with her, after being away for more than a decade, was also interesting, and, at times, incredibly painful. I can’t imagine being in her shoes, and having to reface the past that she left behind. But, I loved her willingness not to let something go, even when everyone around her was telling her to do just that. She was much stronger a person than she gave herself credit for, and that made me like her even more.

The storyline for the book was definitely interesting, and held my curiosity as I turned the pages. I did figure out most of the plot pretty early in the story, and I would say that’s because I’m good at stuff like that, but it’s really just because I’m naturally pretty suspicious of anyone and everything, and I guessed right pretty early on. (I’m totally weird like that.) Regardless, I still really enjoyed the book, and flew through the pages in no time. This book was a really quick read for me!

Overall; I really enjoyed reading Bonfire, and I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for more books by Krysten Ritter in the future! If you love a good mystery, do check out Bonfire for yourself, and I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

My Thoughts: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern
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Publication Date: September 13th 2011
Publisher: Doubleday Publishing
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780385534635
Genre: Adult Fiction | Fantasy | Historical
Source: Own

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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. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was one of those books that had been on my shelf for too long, and had been on my TBR even longer, before I finally had the chance to read it. I’d been meaning to read it for quite a while, but I always let other books get in the way of actually reading it. While I was making my Fall TBR list this past summer, The Night Circus found its way onto the list, not only because I was absolutely determined to finally read it, but also because I was told that it was great to read during the Fall season, so that’s what I did. I’m SO glad to have finally read this book, and I’m totally kicking myself for not reading it sooner, because I absolutely loved it!

There are so many things in this story to love, including the characters, which were many, but all of which were unique. Celia and Marco were two of my particular favorites, and I love how their lives entwined as the story went along. The storyline for the book was unique and the writing completely drew my full attention as I turned the pages. I’ve read quite a few books over the years, and I can’t say that I’ve read anything like this book before, and I absolutely loved it.

Though I have the book sitting on my bookshelf, I opted to listen to the audiobook, and I’m so glad I did. The audio is narrated by Jim Dale, who I absolutely love, and who also narrates the Harry Potter series, which I happen to be listening to at the moment as well. His voice felt familiar and lyrical as he read me The Night Circus, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience for reading this book. I absolutely can’t wait to read it again, and hopefully soon!

Overall; I was told that I would just love The Night Circus, and I totally did! I really wish I would have read this book sooner, but I’m thrilled that I finally found time to read it regardless. I loved it, and it’s definitely going to be a book that I re-read very often. If you haven’t yet checked the book out, I highly recommend that you do so!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #297 - Everless by Sara Holland
(Untitled #1)
by Sara Holland
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Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062653659

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In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself. (Goodreads)

Can we first talk about the gorgeous cover for this book?!?!
It's SOOOOO pretty!!
Second, does that story sound awesome, or what?
I've had an advance copy of this book in my possession for too long,
and I'm SO excited that I get to start it soon.
I hope it's great!!
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

My Thoughts: A Million Worlds with You by Claudia Gray
A Million Worlds with You
(Firebird #3)
by Claudia Gray
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Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 419
ISBN: 9780062279026
Genre: Young Adult | Science-Fiction | Fantasy
Source: Own

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A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

A Million Worlds with You is the third and final book in the Firebird series by Claudia Gray, and I’m so thrilled that I’ve finally read the book! The book has been sitting on my shelf for way too long, and I was absolutely determined to finish it before the year was over. I’m glad I finally had the opportunity to read it; it was a great conclusion to one of my most favorite series!!

I read the first book in this series, A Thousand Pieces of You, way back when it was first released in 2014, and I immediately fell in love, not just with the story, which is awesome on its own, but with the characters as well. I love the main character, Marguerite, as well as her family and friends, and it was interesting to take this journey over the course of the three books with her. Also, her relationship with Paul is one of my all-time favorite romances. They are just too cute together, and though their relationship was far from perfect, they are still so good together, and I love them so much.

The storyline for the series has been pretty awesome to read as well. I’ve never been much of a science-fiction reader, but I’ve read quite a few books in the genre lately and really enjoyed them. I think that’s one thing that held my interest so much while reading this series. I can’t say I’ve read many, if any, other books on multi-dimensional travel, and I was definitely hooked, and I definitely want to read more now.

Overall; A Million Worlds with You was a great ending to a really great series! While I’m glad to have finally read the book, really hate to see the series come to an end. I know this is one series I will definitely be re-reading in the future, and I’m pretty excited to check out Claudia’s newest book as well, Defy the Stars, which was released earlier this year! If you haven’t yet checked out this series, I highly recommend you do so, and I hope you love it as much as I do!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2017

December 12: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

Happy Tuesday, Bookworms!!

My list of 2017 favorites was NOT easy to make! I've read so many awesome books this year; some that were released in 2017, some that are older books, and even some that are re-reads. It was really hard to choose!

Here are just a few of my favorites that I read this year!!

1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber - Caraval was one of the first books I read this year, and it was SO good! I'm really looking forward to re-reading the book next year, AND for it's sequel to release as well!

2. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli - This is now the second book that I've read by Becky, and it was just as awesome as the first book (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda). I loooooove her books, and I can't wait to read more from her in 2018!

3. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord - Any book by Emery Lord is guaranteed to be a favorite, and this book was no exception! I loved it.

4. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han - Ah, but I didn't get to read this book right away when it was released, but I did finally read it, and I loved it! I can't wait to re-read the whole series again, hopefully soon!

5. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare - This year I FINALLY read Lady Midnight, and I loved it! It brought back so many feels from reading The Mortal Instruments series. I'm anxiously waiting to get my hands on the third book now.

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - This book was a re-read for me, but it's still a favorite for the year. This was my third time re-reading the book, and I'm already looking forward to re-reading it again next year!

7. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - This was yet another re-read for me, but I didn't remember much from my first time reading the book, and I REALLY enjoyed it this second time around. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the series next year!

8. Artemis by Andy Weir - This book was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017, and it was SO good! I 'm really looking forward to listening to the audiobook of this now soon!

9. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab - I can't believe I waited so long to read this book, but I FINALLY read it, and it's definitely a favorite for the year! I'm really looking forward to continuing this series as well!

10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - I was warned that I would love this book, and I DID! I'm so glad that I finally had the chance to read it!

More Honorable Mentions:

There you have it, Bookworms! Just a few of my favorite reads from 2017!
If you haven't yet checked out any of these books, I hope you do so,
and that you enjoy them as much as I do!

What are some of your most favorite books of 2017??

Monday, December 11, 2017

My Thoughts: Roomies by Christina Lauren
by Christina Lauren
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Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781501165832
Genre: New Adult | Contemporary | Romance
Source: Review Copy

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Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realise that they both stopped pretending a long time ago? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I was really excited to finally get started reading Roomies by Christina Lauren, as the story sounded really cute, it’s been way too long since I’ve read a book by these ladies. Their books are always fun to read, and Roomies was no exception! It was a quick, fun read that left me wanting more, and now I totally want to read more books like this as soon as I possibly can.

Do you ever just want to read a book that’s super fluffy and a really quick read? That’s exactly what you get with Roomies. Seriously, this book was all kinds of adorable; a marriage of convenience, a hunky Irishman, and a lady figuring out exactly where she belongs in the world. The characters in this book are so much fun. I love Holland and her quirky nature, as well as her awesome family, or her brother and uncles, at least, who are really the only ones we get to meet, but who were awesome regardless. And then there’s Calvin, the Irish hunk who was more than a little swoon-worthy throughout the story. Though I did question a few times throughout the story, he won me over by the end, and I enjoyed watching his relationship with Holland blossom as the story went along.

As I mentioned above, the storyline for this book was really fun and fluffy, which was apparently just what I needed at the moment. I don’t read contemporary romances like this nearly enough anymore, and I have no idea why because I really love them. I need to make time to read them more often, which I plan to do as soon as I possibly can!

Overall; I really, really enjoyed reading Roomies, and, as I mentioned above, it’s been WAY too long since I’ve read a book by Christina Lauren. These ladies write some pretty fun stories, and I’m super behind on their books, which is something that I need to work on ASAP, and I’m thinking I need to re-read the books I have already read by them again soon as well! *grin*!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Week in Review • Week 49

Happy Sunday, and Welcome to my weekly Week in Review post!

Here I share all the things I've been up to during the previous week.
Check back every Sunday for new post updates!

Now, here's what I've been up to this week!

I have to say, this week was a pretty great reading week for me! I read/finished reading six books, so that's definitely not too shabby!

I only had one review book this week, which was nice, as it freed up a lot of time for me to read other books on my TBR. (Though I also could have spent that time reading review books I'm currently behind on, but oh well.) Roomies by Christina Lauren was a pretty cute read, and it's been too long since I've read something by these ladies. I'm hoping to have my thoughts up for the book this coming week!

I also *FINALLY* finished A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray, a book that I've been trying to get to ALL year, and I'm so thrilled to have finally read it. It was a great conclusion to one of my most favorite series. I'm hoping to have my thoughts up for it this week as well!

I also finished my re-read of the Harry Potter series this week, and the moment I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I immediately went into withdrawals. So, I decided to read both Fantastic Beasts books, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is also a re-read for me, but was fun to read again nonetheless.

Now I get to watch the movies!

This week I also managed to watch a few movies from my Christmas movie list. I love Mickey's Once and Twice Upon a Christmas, and am planning to start watching them every year. I also watched Arthur Christmas again this year, and it was really fun!

The family and I also finally went to see Justice League in the theater, and I have to say that Wonder Woman was my most favorite thing about the movie. I love her!

I'm not sure how this weekend has gone by so quickly, but it has, and that makes me sad. Though, not too sad, because the kids and hubby are on their last week of school and work for the rest of the year, and then they will be home for Christmas Break, and that makes me super happy.

This coming week I'm hoping to tackle more of my Christmas Movie list, which I'm super behind on already. Plus I'm still 23 movies behind on my goal to watch 100 this year, so I must work on that!

I am, however, pretty far ahead on my Reading Challenge goal for the year! I originally set my goal for 100 books, but when I passed that goal, I set it to 115, then 125, then 135, and now it's at 140! This is the most books I've ever read in a year, so I'm pretty stoked about that. :)

That's about it for me this week! Here's hoping for another awesome week next week!

Friday, December 8, 2017

My Thoughts: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
The Red Pyramid
(Kane Chronicles #1)
by Rick Riordan
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Publication Date: May 4th 2010
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 516
ISBN: 9781423113386
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Mythology
Source: Own

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Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Moving along on my quest to read ALL of the Rick Riordan books, I've now started on the Kane Chronicles series, which begins with The Red Pyramid! To be honest, I didn't really know what to expect when going into this new series. I've only ever read the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series' by Rick so far, and I LOVE those books so much, I was worried about how I would get along with this new series. Luckily for me, I worried for nothing. While these books are completely different than the previous series I have read, they were still familiar in a way as well, and I ended up really enjoying the book!

With a new series comes new characters, and I liked this new set of characters a lot more than I expected to! Carter and Sadie are brother and sister, and you can definitely tell they are related as you turn the pages. Even though they weren't raised together, and didn't spend much time together, they have a bond that I kind of love, and I enjoyed watching it grow over the course of the book. I'm excited to continue along the journey through the next two books with these characters.

I really got into the storyline for the book as well. While the previous books dealt with Greek mythology, this book was all about Egypt mythology, which I know very little about. It was interesting, though! And some things I actually had heard of before, so that was nice. I'm super curious to continue along with series so I can learn more, and find out what's going to happen next for Sadie, Carter, and the rest of their crew.

Overall; The Red Pyramid was an interesting start to this new (to me) book series, and I'm super curious to move along with the rest of the books as well.  I am hoping to read both The Throne of Fire and The Serpent's Shadow as quickly as possible, and so that I can move on to the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard and The Trials of Apollo series in 2018!

Monday, December 4, 2017

My Thoughts: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic
(Shades of Magic #1)
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Publication Date: February 24th 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780765376459
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Magic
Source: Own

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Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab has been on my TBR for FOREVER, and I never seemed to have the time to get to it, even though I really, really wanted to. When I started working on my Fall TBR list back in the summer, I added the book to it, and I was determined to read it no matter what. It took me a little while to get to it, but I did finally read the book, and I absolutely Loved it!

To be honest, I really didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book. I knew that the book was really popular, and that most everyone I had talked to that has read the book has loved it, but I purposely stayed away from reviews because I didn't what to know too much before starting it. So, other than briefly reading the summary, I went into the book without knowing anything. I wanted to go with the flow to see where the story took me, and I am so glad that I did it this way. The story completely blew me away! There's so much about it to love, including the characters, particularly Lila, who was quite the badass, as well as Kell, who I found completely mysterious. Having finished the book, I find myself wanting to know MORE about them, and I can't wait to meet them again in the next book!

The storyline was definitely creative and unique as well. It's been a while since I've read a book about magic, and I never really know what to expect when starting a new one. I can't say that I've read any book like this before, and I love that it was so unique, and it really held my attention as I turned the pages. The descriptions were great as well; I could envision everything perfectly in my mind, and I wanted nothing more than to climb in the pages and be in the different London's with Lila and Kell. (Ok, maybe not ALL of the London's, but you know what I mean. *wink*) I'm super excited to continue the series so that I can dive back into this world that Victoria has created.

Overall; I really enjoyed reading A Darker Shade of Magic, so much more than I expected to! (People totally tried to warn me that I would love it!) I'm really wishing that I would have read the book sooner, but now that I finally have read it, I can't wait to continue on with the rest of the series as soon as possible. If you've not yet checked out A Darker Shade of Magic, I highly recommend that you do so!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Week in Review • Week 48

Happy Sunday, and Welcome to my weekly Week in Review post!

Here I share all the things I've been up to during the previous week.
Check back every Sunday for new post updates!

Now, here's what I've been up to this week!

This week I finished three books, and two of those were review books. I really enjoyed The Chaos of Standing still by Jessica Brody, and you can see my thoughts for that book on the blog here!

I also finished Bonfire by Krysten Ritter, which was really good, and I'm hoping to have my thoughts up for it this coming week! (Side note -- I totally want to watch Jessica Jones on Netflix now as well!)

I also read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern this week, which has been on my TBR for FOREVER, and which was also on my Fall TBR as well! I'm so glad to have finally read this book. Everyone told me that I would love it, and I did. I'm kicking myself for not having read it sooner, and I will totally want to re-read it again soon!

I only watched two movies this week, and both were from my Christmas Movie List. While You Were Sleeping is one of my most favorite movies, and I can watch it a million times and never, ever get tired of it. It's a great holiday movie! I also watched Elf, which is always a laugh.

I'm hoping to squeeze in more movies next week, because we're just three days into December and I'm already behind!

Ah, but December is off to a busy start! (Then again, isn't December is ALWAYS so busy?) As I mentioned in my post from last week, Basketball Cheer Season has officially begun, and I have THREE long games to attend this week, one which is out of town. Yay. I love watching my kid cheer, but having to sit in the bleachers for 5+ hours is not always fun, especially when apparently I'm no longer allowed to read in the stands, thanks to my Kid who complained that I wasn't paying her enough attention. Ooops! Haha! Thank goodness for audiobooks, am I right?!


That's about all for me this week! Here's hoping for a better update next week!
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