November 24, 2017

Monthly Melodies | November

Each month I'll share five songs I'm loving at the moment and hopefully you'll find a song or two (or all of them!) to love as well.

I Could Use a Love Song - Maren Morris | This was on my Discovery Weekly playlist and Spotify got this pick SO right. I've been listening to her music non-stop ever since.

Just Another Thing - Maren Morris | Yes another one, but I had to. This song (and the previous one) are my favorites!

At Last - Kina Grannis | I'm a big fan of covers but even I was surprised by how much I love this version of At Last by Etta James. Kina Grannis' sings it so beautifully and subtly.

Wait - Maroon 5 | I have such a soft spot for Maroon 5. Their music is consistently catchy and I pretty much always like their singles.

Someone To You - BANNERS | I subscribe to Sarah J. Maas' newsletter and she shared 5 songs she currently obsessed with. Four of them were songs I already knew and loved too (I love that we have similar tastes in music!). But this one by BANNERS was new to me and unsurprisingly, I really liked it!

Which song is your favorite?

November 22, 2017

Mini-reviews: Renegades + Three Sides of a Heart

pub 11/7/17 by Feiwel & Friends
Young Adult - Sci-fi
Superheroes versus villains, good versus evil. It's a tale we're all familiar with and one that Marissa Meyer's tackles in her new series Renegades. The world has a dystopian feel to it as she describes a time when society was run by Anarchists, villains who used their powers tyrannically, and then the Renegades came forward to save the day and used their abilities to overthrow them to restore peace and justice. Cut to the present where Renegades are leaders who maintain order and symbolize hope for the people while Anarchists are exiled and closely monitored. But that story isn't so black and white for Nova, an Anarchist who has her reasons for hating the Renegades and wanting revenge. When she crosses paths with Adrian, a young member of the Renegades and genuinely good guy, she can't help but feel conflicted between the friendship (and more) he offers her and the hatred she's felt for years. I think the middle area of seeing good in the "bad guys" and even "bad" in the good guys is so, so interesting and Meyer definitely plays that up here. Where I personally found some missteps were in the character development and pacing. I really liked both Nova and Adrian but I never felt a strong connection to either. I thought certain feelings happened pretty quickly (or predictably) and felt that could've been drawn out more, whereas the actual action or pacing dragged at times. The book certainly didn't need to be 500+ pages to make the story compelling.

Do I recommend? If you love superhero stories and Marissa Meyer, you'll want to check this out. Overall, I thought it was a good start to her series but I will say I didn't get that "omg I need the next book right now" feeling when I reached the end.

pub 12/19/17 by HarperCollins
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received from pub via Edelweiss
So I'm generally one of those readers who generally isn't a fan of love triangles but will be fine with it when done right and a lot of the stories in this anthology certainly get it right. (I'm looking at you Katie Cotugno). Some didn't click with me though (which I admit I ended up skipping!) but I want to talk about the ones that did.

Riddles in Mathematics by Katie Cotugno | A contemporary story with one heck of a messy love triangle that is really sweet and brings all the feels.
Omega Ship by Rae Carson | A sci-fi story that uses the "we need to save humanity trope" but it's the unexpected feminist twists that made it stand out.
La Revancha del Tango by Renee Ahdieh | Travel, salsa and bickering-to-banter relationships. Need I say more?
Hurdles by Brandy Colbert | Quintessential good girl with a bright future falling for the wrong guy but the angst got to me! (In a good way!)
Waiting by Sabaa Tahir | Of all the stories, this is the one that made me wish it could be turned into a full-fledged novel. And that's in spite of my ship not sailing!

Do I recommend? I do! Even if you're not into anthologies or even love triangles, I think these stories are definitely worth checking out.

November 20, 2017

Happy (and Thankful) Thoughts

Thanksgiving week is the perfect time to share happy thoughts! It's the start of my absolute favorite time of the year (in spite of the fact that I hate cold weather!). But I just love all the traditions with family and friends, the constant get-togethers, shopping for loved ones (and myself) and feeling oh-so-blessed for it all. Right at this moment, focusing on the good stuff is what I need more than ever.

a week-long staycation
splurging at Woodbury Commons Outlets
making plans with the bestie
cozy flannels, sweatshirts & uggs
family, always
thanksgiving festivities
new editions of Anne of Green Gables
friends I'm constantly thankful for
ice cream outings all year round
rose gold everything
booking stuff for Iceland
The Gifted, my latest TV obsession
fleece blankets, perfect for cold mornings
Maren Morris songs on repeat
my lovely, at times crazy, parents <3
holiday traditions
couch potato afternoons
unexpectedly laughing out loud
people who make the effort to stay in touch
giving myself a much-needed break

What are you thankful for?