The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis-Graves

When offered this book I was sorta scared to read it. I mean how in the world do you top one of this author’s other books? On the Island Or why would you want too? That sucker was perfection. But jump up and down and squeeing happened and I did decide to read it.

Meet Annika. She is shy, awkward and doesn’t do well around other people. There is something special about Annika in the fact that you can’t help but love her.
She might not hit those social graces just right but who cares anyways?

 

In college Annika tries to come out of her shell and meet some people and she just happens to meet Jonathan at a chess match. Jonathan accepts Annika as who she is and knows that just being around her is good for anyone’s soul. (See how sweet I sounded there?)

 

Then the romancey book thing happens and something super bad happens to tear them apart. Why do all romance books have to have that angsty big reveal anyways? I think a book like this one just didn’t need it. But what the heck do I know? I don’t sell millions of books. I just gripe and whine about them.
Anyways…like I was saying…That stuff happens and I still liked their story.

I LOVED both these characters. I rarely do that. Even in real life.

It is a sweet little story. I think if that ending hadn’t irritated me with throwing in even more angst I would have rated it higher.
But well..when you wake up like this in the mornings what more is expected of you?

 

3.5 stars

Booksource: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for review. Thank you!

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Daisy Cake Bakes by Kim Nelson

Daisy Cakes Bakes by Kim Nelson

Usually when it comes to cakes I’m pretty easy to please….

As full disclosure I have one of these recipes for Banana Cake in my oven right now because I had some half rotten aged bananas on my table that needed used..but the icing for it is supposed to be just sweetened whipped cream? I ain’t feeling that.

But that aside…and let’s be honest. Cookbooks make me look at them and then half the time I see the price and my head automatically is saying heck no because….

And this one really is not anything special. Just average cake recipes that I swear you can find just about anywhere. People get real..Cookbooks are pretty and this one is no exception to that rule but at least try and put out something different. Not some dang pork rind crusted cheesecake that even my fat ass wouldn’t eat.

Booksource: From Publisher in exchange for review

The Best Books I read in 2017

My reading numbers this year were much less than in previous years and my time on GR has been shorter. *insert sad face* Real life sometimes interferes with reading though and it happens. I’m not sad. It hasn’t been a bad year at all.

Now for the fun stuff!

Best Thriller:

I loved the heck out of this one and still find myself mad that I don’t have it to read. It’s one of those that I want more of. Right now.

Best Non-fiction:

This story sucker punched me in the gut. And made me mad. I’m floored that this horrific nightmare didn’t get more news coverage than it did.

Best Porny Read:

I enjoyed every single porny moment of this book. I HAVE zero shames. (You know you wanna read it)

Best Sci Fi type book:

Books like this one is exactly why I love reading little indy authors. Sometimes they sneak up and just punch you in the face.

Best Young Adult:

My favorite superhero brought to life in a girl powerish type book. Yes, please.

Best book that no one is reading:

I want to book push this one on everyone. Go get your copy! Why are you still here? Go do it.

Best Historical Fiction:

I had a tie on this one because I just couldn’t choose.

BEST Book of the Year:

I thought it was pure perfection.

Honorable Mentions:

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo

“Because the whole world loves to tell us what we can’t do, that we aren’t good enough. The people in your own house should be on your side. It’s the people who never learn the word impossible who make history, because they’re the ones who keep trying.

I can’t even with how much I loved this book.

It’s a different spin on the Wonder Woman story and it’s honestly one of my favorites. Diana doesn’t find a man on the beach and get all googly eyed over a dude. She rescues a female..AND IT BEGINS!

Sister in battle, I am shield and blade to you. As I breathe, your enemies will know no sanctuary, While I live, your cause is mine..

This book shows that women don’t have to have a boyfriend to make an amazing book. These women are strong and it makes me wonder…WHY THE HECK IS THIS BOOK NOT SELLING ALL THE COPIES? This is what I want in not just young adult. I want this ALL the time.

I loved every single second in the reading of this book and I wish I still had my Wonder Woman Under-Roos (and that they fit)…because I would have those suckers on and I would be beating off the bad-guys!

ALL THE STARS!

Booksource: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for review.

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

This is one that I have no clue how to rate.

I do have to admit that part of it may be the fact that I was stupid enough to read some reviews before I read this one and I got spoiled. DON’T DO THAT. This one has to be read without knowing anything about the plot twists.
I also probably would have given this a million stars if I had read it a few years ago.

Why didn’t I? It felt too short and choppy. I felt like it tried TOO hard with the readers emotions without giving us enough about the characters.

I still read it in one sitting and would recommend it. Call your bestie afterwards and share some Nerds.

Booksource: From Publisher in exchange for review.

American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee

American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee

3.5 stars
I’ve always been a wolf fan. They are majestic animals and not just because I love reading the porny books featuring wolf shifters.

Back in the day my now ex-husband and I heard about a man that bred hybrid wolves. We were interested and that’s way before any legal aspects were really talked about. (I know..I’m old as crap.)
We visited the man and we immediately fell in love with one of the pups. He was a shy little guy but the owner would not just let us take him. We had to meet with him several times before we could take the animal. I never really knew the animals wolf percentage but at the time I was young and stupid enough to think it would all be okay. I know his mom was an Alaskan Malamute but I knew that there was definitely wolf blood in the pup.
We named him Diablo and he really did become a member of our family.

(My kids face is blurred on purpose even though this pic is over 20 years old…because trolls) Diablo was a pup in this photo.

Now I’m going to admit. I loved that animal. He was extremely protective of my family. Would I do it again? Not on your life. Now as I’m older I know that wild animals should be wild and not bred with domestic animals. I love and appreciate them but we went through hell with him just being a mixed breed. Not because of the animal. My neighbors hated him. Not dislike. HATE. If he left our property (as animals will tend to do) people freaked out. Diablo was shot by my neighbor while he was standing in my yard. While we were outside with him. Was he doing anything? No, that didn’t matter though. He was hit by a car once..on purpose. We went to court about him twice. Finally he was found poisoned when we returned home one day. I still miss him.

If he had been an alpha male we probably would have had some trouble. I know this so don’t troll me and tell me how stupid we were. Like you’ve never been stupid.

Anyways, this book tells about wolves being reintroduced into Yellowstone Park. It does try and tell both sides of the story. From the hunter/farmer side to the wolf enthusiast. It is obvious that the author is pro-wolf though. As am I.
He follows the story of one of the most famous wolves called O-six. She is an alpha female and it follows her from the time she meets her mate until she is killed.

I’m not going to describe her life because I think you should read this book. I do know that it sucks that wolves have such short life spans. Not just because natural events happen that lessons their chances of survival, but that people hate what they really don’t understand or can control.

I will admit that when this wolf dies in the book I spent a good thirty minutes crying…and I hardly ever cry. I felt gut punched when I read that her mate cried over her body.
Stop this stupid, people. Go read up on all the good things that happen when you have natural predators in an ecosystem.

Booksource: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for review.

Grand Central Market Cookbook by Adele Yellin and Kevin West

The Grand Central Market Cookbook by Adele Yellin

This book just made me mad that I don’t live near Grand Central Market. It gives the background of the market and then the bestest part ever happens. You get some of the recipes.

That has got to be the best name for a recipe ever! I want to make it just so I can say I’m serving you some Egg Slut and you best eat it. But I know these male people that live in my house are weird about eggs being burnt to death and they would never even get it near their lips. The more I look at it though the more I want it. Pureed potatoes with a poached egg on top..yum.
Don’t knock it. I never imagined that I would ever go for an egg that wasn’t completely what I’d call done either until a week or so ago, the chef that I work with made a kale Caesar salad that had a poached egg on top of it with a brioche crouton comes to see me in my dreams now. It’s better than porn.

I was actually going to cook some of these recipes before I posted the review but I had already gone to the grocery store and there is no way in heck I’m venturing that twice so soon. #ain’thappening

There are several of these recipes that are on the flying monkey house menu in the next week or so though…because

Even my crappy photo skills can’t mess up how good all that looks.

I LOVE this book, it has so many things that I now must eat and since I’m too poor to get on the plane every day for Los Angeles I’ll have to give up and cook them myself.

Booksource: I received a copy of the book in exchange for review from the publisher.

What We See in the Stars by Kelsey Oseid

What We See in the Stars by Kelsey Oseid

 

We took a family trip to a planetarium last year. The boy child swears that I liked it the most of anyone in the family. (I totally did) But it did give us the ‘want to know more’ when it comes to looking up at the stars. I snatched up this book when given a chance.
It has images of the constellations…

With little tidbits about each.

A section on the moon.

The sun.

The planets.

Cute little guidebook!

Booksource: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for review

 

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne

This book starts with a young girl being kicked out of her church because she is pregnant. The church and her family toss her out and she heads off to Dublin.

On reading the first bit of this story I thought everyone five starring this book had lost their minds…it wasn’t bad but I was not turning pages very fast. (Partly due to being sucked into the Netflix void called Wentworth..not sorry)

Then the baby is born and we meet Cyril…and then I began to understand the rave reviews.

Cyril is given up for adoption by that young girl and is adopted by Charles and Maude. Charles and Maude Avery are a different kind of couple..and they make sure that everyone knows that Cyril is not a ‘real Avery.’ They don’t mistreat Cyril so don’t think it’s the poor abused orphan story..they are just very different. (You are going to have to read this one because nothing can describe this book.)

Cyril starts to grow up and begins to realize that his feelings for his best friend Julian are not what the people around him would feel comfortable with. Including Julian himself. So Cyril must keep his true feelings hidden except for going to confession with a priest. (That goes so badly but I snorted coffee out my nose and across the room.)

This book is the story of a life. The ups and downs. The funny and the heartbreaking. It takes you through that life with Cyril and you live though the fear that homosexuality might be discovered where it was illegal. You live through the early AIDS epidemic..you live this life right alongside this character.
And it’s a magical trip.

The only thing I’d have to say bad about this book is that I think the size of it may keep people from reading it. They are going to miss out because I loved every single page.

Booksource: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for review.

Cottonmouths by Kelly J. Ford

You know that feeling when you see a book that you KNOW is the one for you?

This is one of those books for me. I saw it many months appear on GR and kept stalking waiting for it. I had really high hopes for it. Then I got denied for it. I whined to everyone that would listen without telling me to shut up with my first world problems. Okay, so I whined to the ones that told me that also.
Then finally I threw all the craps to the wind and resorted to a different avenue.

Not only for myself but for one of my besties since she had a birthday coming. I have zero shames. She and that boar will cut someone in their sleep.

I need to shut up rambling because now the police are looking for me to serve that restraining order.

Emily has returned home to the small town of Drear’s Bluff. She and her Christian Values mother aren’t telling the story of how Emily dropped out of college after failing a few classes. That would not look good in the town of “let me one up you’s”..something else that wouldn’t go over real good in that town is Emily’s yearnings for her former best friend Jody.

But guess who else is back in town? Jody is back and has a baby attached to her hip. She has way more going on than Emily bargained for. Including that little meth den in the chicken house.

Now ask yourself before you get all judgy on some meth stuff…have you ever really yearned for something so badly that nothing else in your whole life could enter into the picture. Image taking that and putting it into some of the most spare, beautiful words that you have held in your hands in years.
That’s this book.

Booksource: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. They didn’t ask for anything because I think they were busy on the phone with the cops. We won’t go into further comments because this could be evidence. I still loved this book.