June 14, 2019

Stacking the Shelves (71)

It has been quite the month of books! I received a bunch of ARCs from generous publishers and bought some books I've been eyeing for a while too. I'm looking forward to reading them all ☺

Here they are!

The Friend Zone by Abby Jiminez

What new books have you guys gotten lately?

June 12, 2019

Mini-reviews: Sorcery of Thorns + The Rest of the Story

pub 6/4/19 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Young Adult - Fantasy
Received ARC from pub for review
Full disclosure – I was one of the people who didn't fall in love with Rogerson's debut novel An Enchantment of Ravens so you can imagine my surprise and utter happiness to be captivated with Sorcery of Thorns from page one. The heroine Elisabeth has grown up in one of the Great Libraries and can speak to magical grimoires (spell books), which if provoked can transform into monsters. Wardens protect the kingdom from their power and Elisabeth longs to become one of them. When the library's most dangerous grimoire is mysteriously released, Elisabeth doesn't hesitate but then gets charged with the crime. This sets her on an unexpected path as she forced from her home and faces people and experiences that make her question everything she's been ever taught. The first one being sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn and his demonic servant. She was raised to believe all sorcerers are evil and he clearly doesn't know what to make of her so when they find themselves teaming up to unravel the mysterious attacks against the Libraries, not only is it action-packed but it's also just flat-out fun. The banter is spot-on and I was genuinely laughing out loud at their interactions (and swooning too, of course). Part of Elisabeth's charm is that she's been so sheltered within the library so she's guileless, curious and passionate about the things she believes in. In contrast, Nathaniel has a past and reputation that's been a heavy burden to bear and her appearance completely shakes up his life. I loved them and the dynamic between them and Nathan's demonic servant (did not expect to adore him as much as I did!). The entire story is just well-executed, well-paced and clever. I didn't know how badly I wanted a magical library book until I read this!

Do I recommend? Absolutely! Definitely for anyone who loves fantasy.

pub 6/4/19 by Balzer + Bray
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received ARC from pub for review
Sarah Dessen must have some sort of magic because 14 contemporary YA books later and she's still got it. I may not always fall in love with every novel but I find each of them compulsively readable. I just want to curl up on the couch and read her books in one sitting because they make me feel so nostalgic for teenage life. And The Rest of the Story continues her legacy of doing so. After Emma Saylor's mom died when she was ten, her family as she knew it consisted of her, her dad and his relatives. But unexpected circumstances sends Emma to spend the summer with her mother's family at North Lake, the very place she grew up hearing stories about from her mom. She's reunited with her grandmother and cousins she hasn't seen as a little girl and realizes there's so much she doesn't know about her parents. She finds out they actually met at North Lake, her father a part of the wealthier resort while her mother and family was a part of the working class. It's a divide that still exists and a feeling Emma can relate to as she begins to feel like two halves of a whole herself.. There's Emma as she's known to her dad but to this extended family she forgot she had, she's goes by Saylor, the name her mother called her. This summer is one of self-discovery for Emma as she tries to reconcile these two sides while getting to know her cousins and a boy named Roo, who was her best friend when she was little and very connected to her, which is something that gets revealed over time. I really enjoyed the summer lake setting and the family part was probably my favorite aspect. I'm a sucker for any story involving grandmothers or cousins and this had both! The romance was sweet too, if not predictable. I think my biggest quibble with the book was probably the dynamic between Emma, her dad and his side of the family and how they were pitted against her mother's side. Something about the way it came off felt too stereotyped or needed more explanation and depth for me to sympathize with how her dad reacted and to connect to what was obviously meant to be intense feelings for both parties.

Do I recommend? I do! If you want a quick summery read, look no further. But I'd recommend borrowing it from the library.

June 10, 2019

What's in My Bag | DJ from This Life in Fiction

For the newbies: From 2013-2017, I had a BookBags feature where I paired books with bags and in the middle of that, I introduced What's in my Bag as a subset of that feature where I shared what's in my bag and invited other bloggers to guest post too. I'm so excited to bring this feature back this year (2019)!

DJ from This Life in Fiction aka one of my dearest friends, amazing photographer and publishing marketer extraordinaire, is on the blog today to share what's in his bag!


Hello, friends! I’m excited to be a guest blogger today on Hello Chelly! I hardly every go anywhere without some sort of bag because I’m always carrying a million things and inevitably end up with more by the end of the day, haha. Let’s see what’s currently in my bag, shall we?

The Bag

Cat’s Out of the Bag | During the week, I use a Herschel backpack, but I do love a good tote. One of my favorites is this “Curled Up with a Good Book” tote that I bought at Brazos Bookstore earlier this year. I love that it’s wide and sort of has a flat bottom. I can fit a lot in here and the straps are nice and sturdy so I’m never worried about the weight. A lot of tote bags have pretty weak straps, so with the cute design that speaks to my cat loving soul and strong material, this was a no brainer purchase!

The Necessities

A Good Book Goes a Long Way | I always carry a book (sometimes two!) with me wherever I go because I never know when I might have some down time. I do most of my reading on the way to work since I can usually grab a seat on the train, but when I’m exploring the city, I often will stop in a coffee shop and take a reading break. Since it’s the summer season, you can usually find me carrying a contemporary romance of some sort! And you can’t go wrong with a good book sleeve to keep the book safe!
Hellos and Headphones | When I’m not reading, I’m listening to music, especially when I can’t get a seat on the train, so I never go anywhere without headphones and I usually use my Sony over-the-ear ones since the noise cancelling feature helps cut out all the city’s buzz and bustle. I’ve been listening to Maisie Peters a lot lately, but Evanescence usually makes their way into the rotation on a daily basis.

First Aid and Other You Never Knows | Living in New York City is rough, let me tell you! More often than not I find myself in need of a bandage or eye drops or some Neosporin. So, anytime I head out to work or to explore, I carry this merfolk pouch that acts as a first aid kit of sorts. The one item I always replenish is the tube of hydrocortisone. Surprisingly, it has come in handy more times than I can count!

Warby Parker Specs | Last, but not least, are my Warby Parker glasses. During the summer, I tend to wear contacts, but sometimes my contacts dry up beyond repair or they fall out, so I never want to be without a back-up plan. That’s where my glasses come in. I have horrible eyesight, so should my contacts fail, I always have my glasses to help me find my way.

Hope you enjoyed seeing what's in DJ's bag! 
What are some of your necessities?

If you're interested in doing a guest post, email me!

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