Summer Blogger Promo Tour #5: Kayla’s Recommendations

Summer Blogger Promo Tour #5: Kayla’s Recommendations

SummerBloggerPromoTour

Hi Lefty’s readers, it’s me, Kayla again! And I am here this week with three book recommendations for Lefty and her readers! Here are three books I think you guys should read:

1) All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

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I just finished this book yesterday and I can not stop thinking about it. The story shines light on privilege, class, race, and so much more. The women in this book are my heroes.

2) The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

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I recommend this book to everyone. And the reason is because I find Ezra to be extremely relatable and there’s something about his story that just really gets me.

3) Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider

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This is her most recent novel, and it ripped me to shreds. Jamie and Rose made me laugh, cry and think about so much. If you love cute love stories with ghosts in them, I highly suggest this.


FOLLOW KAYLA’S BLOG

Find her on Twitter: @kaylareadsbook
Find her on Instagram: @kaylareadsbooks

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July Wrap Up

July Wrap Up

july wrap up

new personal

This is going up a bit later than anticipated. I got back to the U.S. on August 1st and I have been focusing on spending time with my friends so I haven’t even touched my blog haha. 

But, yeah. July wasn’t terribly exciting, aside from preparing to come home and saying goodbye to Graz, Austria. I ate my favorite foods and visited a few of my favorite spots in the city. Mostly I was just really ready to be home, though. 

new books and blog

I have been so so so happy with my blog recently (up until the last week lol). I posted consistently and I posted content I was proud of. And those things paid off. I hit 100 followers this month! 

As far as reading goes, I was kind of in a slump throughout most of the month and then toward the end, I all of a sudden became a reading machine! I exceeded my Goodreads goal!! 

july reviews

BOOKS
Letting Go of GravityHeart of Thorns

MOVIES
American Horror Story - HotelHomeRingsYou're Not You

TOP TEN TUESDAYS
Top Ten Books With Red, White, and/or Blue Covers
Top Ten Authors I’m Dying to Meet
Top Ten Books that Bring Back Vivid Memories
Top Ten Books that Lived Up to the Hype (For Me)

SUMMER BLOGGER PROMO TOUR
Summer Blogger Promo Tour #1: Meet Kayla!
Summer Blogger Promo Tour #2: Books that Capture the Magic of Summer
Summer Blogger Promo Tour #3: Summer Book Aesthetics

DISCUSSIONS
This Just In: Book Blogging Is Freaking Hard!
Tips & Tricks for the Unmotivated Blogger
The Pros and Cons of Creative Writing Classes #1

BOOK TAGS
Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag
All About Reading Tag

OTHER POSTS
Mid-Year Reading Stats
Series I’ve Completed & Still Need to Complete
New To My Wishlist #7
Non-YA Books I Want to Read by the End of 2018
Author Interview: Jenna Evans Welch


new stats

FOLLOWERS

Blog – 112 (gained 58)
Twitter – 863 (gained 102)
Instagram – 126 (gained 13)

BOOKS READ:

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Total read: 12
Electronic ARCs: 2
Regular ebooks: 9
Audiobooks: 1
Re-reads: 5

Books with the most pages:
Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton (464 pages)

Books with the least pages:
Jonesy Vol. 1 by Sam Humphries, Caitlin Rose Boyle, and Mickey Quinn (113 pages)

Total pages read: 4,181

fav book

Isla and the Happily Ever AfterIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins 
This was a re-read but it was still fantastic. 

Summer Blogger Promo Tour #4: Favorite Books So Far This Year

Summer Blogger Promo Tour #4: Favorite Books So Far This Year

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Hi Lefty’s readers! It’s me, Kayla, again and I decided to share with you guys a mid-year catch up type thing. I have already 63 books this year and I am hoping to make it to 75.

354572511) Jigsaw Jungle by Kristin Levine

This is a book I got from my internship. It’s a middle grade book and is told through interviews, texts and emails. The story is about a twelve year old girl whose Dad leaves without any explanation and sends her clues through puzzle pieces.

 

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour2) Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Morgan Matson is by far one of my most favorite authors. She is the best for summer reads.

 

 

353564263) Hot Mess by Emma Belden

This book tackles a lot of difficult topics such as addiction and recovery. It takes place in the Chicago food scene and will keep you on your toes till the end.

 

 

Catching Jordan4) Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

I love Miranda Kenneally. Her books are feel good and have important lessons. Jordan was one of the best characters to get to know. This is the first in the Hundred Oaks Series.

 

 

Not the Girls You're Looking For5) Not The Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi

I am extremely grateful that I was able to participate in a blog tour for this ARC. I LOVED it more than anything. It was just a messy and real novel.

 

 

303394796) You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

This was the first YA book I read about Jewish teens whose Judaism is more than just the holocaust. It meant the world to me to be able to see myself in these characters.

 

 

320756717) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

As a white person I found this book to be one of the most important reads. The writing was out of this world and it really made me think.

 

 
258838488) The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

THE BEST ROMANCE I HAVE READ. So much fun and so great.

 

 

 

249749969) Dear Martin by Nic Stone

This another one of those books that really made me think. It was a perfect book to read after I had read The Hate U Give.

 

 

Chaotic Good10) Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner

This was amazing. As someone who is not very into gaming I found this to be so interesting. I love the cast of characters.

 

 


FOLLOW KAYLA’S BLOG

Find her on Twitter: @kaylareadsbook
Find her on Instagram: @kaylareadsbooks

Top Ten Books that Lived Up to the Hype (For Me)

Top Ten Books that Lived Up to the Hype (For Me)

new top ten tues

Hype is a devilish creature that pretty much every book lover has fallen prey to at least once. It’s important to be wary of hype (I am definitely always skeptical of any book that is receiving too much attention), but it’s also important to remember that the reason a book is hyped is because a lot of people like it, which means you might like it too. 

Here are some books that were super hyped before I read them and then turned out to be some of my absolute favorites! It was actually kind of hard to narrow it down, if I’m being honest. 

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1) Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples – This is the first graphic novel I ever read and I am so glad I listened to everyone who raved about it because I adore the series and I really enjoy reading graphic novels now!

2) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – This is actually the book that prompted me to start my blog MANY years ago (the blog I had before this one), so I read it pre-blogging, but the movie cast had just been announced so this book was picking up steam everywhere, not just in the community. And boy oh boy did I love it! I loved it so much, I was desperate to talk to people about it and started my blog lol.

3) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I really wasn’t sure if I’d like this one but I decided to take a chance on it because I found the first book somewhere for really cheap, I think. And I absolutely gobbled it up. I recommend this book to everyone.

4) Heartless by Marissa Meyer – Holy crap. THIS BOOK. That’s all I can say. It tore my heart out of my chest and I loved every second of it.

5) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – I read this after adoring the movie, but STILL. I love this novel and I still love the movie (which I want to go re-watch now). Another one that absolutely broke me.

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6) Caraval by Stephanie Garber – I bought this because of the hype and then I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it because WHAT IF IT WASN’T AS GOOD AS EVERYONE SAID but then I did a Twitter poll and the almighty wisdom of Twitter voted for me to read it, so I cracked it open. And then I couldn’t shut it. What a wild ride.

7) Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – I remember when people were first receiving ARCs for this novel (I feel like that shows my age in the community). Everyone was raving about the writing style and I was so excited to finally get my hands on it when it was released and I loved it as well. And then I re-read it this year and loved it even more somehow????

8) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – As an English and creative writing student who got her start in fanfiction, this novel spoke to me.

9) Delirium by Lauren Oliver – I remember when this novel was first released as well. I saw it everywhere, and when I lamented not having read it yet, a wonderful person in the book community sent it to me and it ended up becoming one of my favorite books of all-time.

10) Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – If I’m being honest, this spot kind of belongs to Morgan Matson’s books in general. This was the first book I ever read by her (and it’s still my favorite) and I only read it because I remember people talking about Morgan Matson a lot. Now, I’ve read all her novels and I SWEAR every single one of her books is carved out of my soul.

Sunday Post #41

Sunday Post #41

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My life has been extremely uneventful this week. Embarrassingly so. I only left my dorm to go grocery shopping lol but that is okay because I’m returning to the U.S. in like 3 days!!!! I have so much cleaning and packing to do and preparations to make…and I have a 15-page paper due that I haven’t even started yet.

I slacked off a bit in my blogging this week. There were a couple posts I didn’t get around to writing, but that’s okay. I’ve posted every other day this month, which is a huge accomplishment for me. Also, I HIT 100 FOLLOWERS. Ahh. Thank you to everyone who has followed me over the past few months. It was kind of disheartening when I switched to WordPress and lost all my followers, but I’ve worked hard to gain them back. I have been so proud of my blog lately, and it’s wonderful to see my hard work paying off!

On top of that, I completed my Goodreads challenge! In fact, I’ve surpassed it.


this week

BOOKS FINISHED THIS WEEK: 
Heart of ThornsPerfect ChemistryAnna and the French Kiss 2Lola and the Boy Next Door 2Isla and the Happily Ever After
Well, I busted out of my reading slump, it seems. Sometimes a few fluffy YA contemporary books will do that for me. I didn’t anticipate re-reading the entire Stephanie Perkins trilogy this weekend, but here I am.

Reviews:
Blog Tour: Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton (Review & Giveaway)
Movie Review: You’re Not You

Features:
Summer Blogger Promo Tour #3: Summer Book Aesthetics
Top Ten Books that Bring Back Vivid Memories

Other Posts:
Author Interview: Jenna Evans Welch


upcoming

Reviews:
– Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Features:
– Top Ten Popular Books that Lived up to the Hype
– SBPT #4

Other Posts:
– Discussion: My Experience Switching to WordPress
– July Wrap Up
– August TBR & Goals


new book haul

I try to stay away from Netgalley, but apparently I just can’t help myself.

Unstoppable MosesUnstoppable Moses by Tyler James Smith
(Standalone)
Published: September 25, 2018 by Flatiron Books
Summary from Goodreads:
A contemporary novel in the vein of Jesse Andrews and Stephen Chbosky, it features 17-year-old Moses Hill, who after accidentally burning down a bowling alley with his cousin and best friend, Charlie, has one week as a camp counselor to prove to the authorities—and to himself—that he isn’t a worthless jerk who belongs in jail, when Charlie doesn’t get that chance.


bookstagram

Here is my favorite post from this week. Make sure you follow my Instagram account to stay updated on when and what I post.

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booktube

It’s so fun to be posting videos again!!

CLICK THIS LINK TO CHECK OUT MY CHANNEL

I posted a couple videos this week, but here is my most recent!

Movie Review: You’re Not You

Movie Review: You’re Not You

Please note: This review was written several months ago and was originally published in my university’s newspaper. 

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I decided to watch George C. Wolfe’s “You’re Not You” completely at random. I had no idea what it was about, but it had a nearly-five-star rating on Netflix, so I pressed play and hoped for the best. 

When “You’re Not You” begins, we are introduced to seemingly perfect Kate on her thirty-fifth birthday. She is an excellent pianist and housewife. She has a husband who adores her. She cooks the most elegant meals for her elegant friends in her elegant home. Then, we move a year and a half ahead and discover that Kate has ALS, and she can hardly move her hands or legs anymore. That’s when we meet Rebecca (Bec), the outspoken and unqualified college student interviewing to be Kate’s new caregiver. Bec is struggling with school, her music, and romance, but Kate sees a charm in her that seems to allude the rest of the world. The movie follows this unlikely pair as they learn to see the best in each other even when the worst is showing.  

This film is primarily character-driven. Not much happens in the way of plot, and most of what does happen is entirely unsurprising. From the moment I realized what the story line is, I knew exactly how it would end, and most of the major things that would take place before that. The characters, though, give this movie its quirk and its emotion. Watching Kate and Bec grow closer was a delight, but also majorly bittersweet. While Kate inspired Bec to straighten up, Bec helped Kate loosen up. Also, these two ladies have some really funny dialogue throughout the movie that I adored. It is so refreshing to see a genuine female friendship commandeer this story when it is usually romance that dominates realistic dramas like these. I connected to these characters a lot. I loved witnessing Kate stand up for herself and Bec’s most vulnerable moments. 

Of course, I cannot forget about the ALS aspect. I found it fascinating! Personally, I have not watched many films that feature ALS, and it seems to me that the movie crew made sure to portray ALS realistically. There was even an ALS consultant listed in the credits. The film also shot down several stereotypes and ableist moments, which is important.  

At its core “You’re Not You” is about friendship and strength. Yes, it was sad, but didn’t devastate me the way I secretly wanted it to. It was interesting, but it was not riveting. I enjoyed the film, but I probably won’t watch it again, though I am happy I watched it in the first place and will probably tell my friends about it.   

Blog Tour: Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton (Review & Giveaway)

Blog Tour: Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton (Review & Giveaway)

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Heart of ThornsHeart of Thorns by Bree Barton
(Heart of Thorns #1)
Published: July 31, 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
Source: I received an eARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated in this review are my own.

Summary from Goodreads: 
In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.Not women. Demons. The same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch.But when Mia’s father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.

GOODREADS AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | IBOOKS | BOOK DEPOSITORY | KOBO

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The synopsis for this book had a lot of my “buzz words” in it: kingdom, demons, arranged marriage…to a prince! This sounded like exactly my kind of fantasy novel. I wish I could say it’s everything I wanted it to be, but that’s not exactly true.

Let’s start with the good stuff: 

The writing. There were some truly lovely lines in this novel. The descriptions were vivid and unique and often lyrical. I also love that there is an undercurrent of modern humor woven throughout as well–sarcastic and deprecating. Also, a love for doggos.

The premise/worldbuilding. This is a world in which only the women have magic. It’s horrible, dangerous, wicked magic, right? The more you learn about the world, the more this novel becomes a critique of women’s oppression, which is really cool. There are small details throughout the novel that solidify the world’s history and mythology and I thought those were impressive touches. This whole novel is basicially unraveling a web of perceptions, so you’re constantly learning more about the truth of the world, the magic system, etc.

The diversity. There’s so much casual diversity in the novel, and I am here for it. There are characters with different skin colors, sexualities, and abledness. And though the different points of diversity are not major plot points, the author still makes comments to dismantle prejudices. The love interest is interested in both men and women, and when the protagonist “confronts” him about it, he responds with, “I prefer whom I prefer. Girls. Boys.” And when the protagonist asks why a character couldn’t use magic to heal her disability, she says something along the lines of, “Magic can’t heal everything, and not everything needs to be healed.”

The love interest. A prince who loves food and dogs. I mean, what more could I ask for? There’s a heck of a slow-burn romance throughout the novel, too, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Now, the aspects of the novel I did not particularly care for:

The pacing/plot. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly where this fell short for me. I just expected more excitement, I guess. I didn’t feel like there was all that much action or tension. Like, there was conflict, but maybe the stakes didn’t feel high enough? Again, hard to pinpoint.

The protagonist. It’s not that I didn’t like her. Her character was just fine. I just couldn’t connect with her. I feel like I never really grasped what she actually wanted. And her development wasn’t really convincing to me, which is actually a problem I had with most of the characters. All of a sudden it felt like they were completely different than the characters I was first introduced to, and I didn’t really understand how. I felt as if most of the transformations just…happened. They weren’t gradual. This is another thing really hard for me to explain (why do I even write reviews lol). I had a hard time getting into the novel at first because I just was not emotionally invested in the protagonist.

The ending. I had a problem with the ending for a few reasons (don’t worry–no spoilers). Firstly, there is a sort of twist at the end that just…wasn’t satisfying. I don’t think there was sufficient buildup to this particular twist. Secondly, THE VILLAIN MONOLOGUE. Dear lord, usually I don’t have a problem with the villain monologue because sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do, but the entire climax of the story was actually just a villain monologue. It was all conversation. I wanted less explanation, more excitement! Thirdly, the ending just…wasn’t a satisfying ending. The author was going for a cliffhanger ending, but the plot was just straight unresolved.

All this said, I still enjoyed reading. I mean, I read it in like 2 days, so clearly I was plenty engrossed. I wanted to see how everything played out, I wanted to know what happened to the protagonist’s mother, I wanted to learn all the secrets. I really loved seeing the world unfold and learning more about the magic and the history.

I am definitely going to keep my eyes peeled for the sequel next year, too. I’m hoping since we got so much background information out of the way in this first installment, the sequel will have more action!

My rating: 

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3/5


GIVEAWAY

Prize: 1 hardcover copy of HEART OF THORNS by Bree Barton
US Only
Starts: 7/24
Ends: 8/7

CLICK THIS LINK TO GO TO THE RAFFLECOPTER AND ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Follow the tour for more chances to win.