I realize that’s a very long title for a blog post, but my sleep deprived mommy brain is failing me and I can’t think of anything wittier or shorter. Try back in a year or so.
In other news, next week is my 28th birthday! I think for my 29th, I’m going to throw a “20’s” themed party to celebrate my last year before I hit 30, but this year is just a normal in-between year and my birthday wish list definitely showed it. In addition to books, Barnes and Noble gift cards, or both, I had new sheets, a new duvet, and new towels on my list. All white (so much easier to clean) and certainly all boring. But my husband pulled through and our new sheets and new duvet are on the way while our new fluffy extra-large bath sheets are sitting so neatly in our towel cabinet, pretty and so so white.
(He did also get me stackable rings with our kids’ birthstones on them, because they’re pretty and I wanted some)
I have an infinite book wishlist, but for this special birthday post I narrowed it down to my top 5 (kind of 6 but you will see why I say 5) books on my list.
Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten
–The Haves. The Have-Nots. Kate O’Brian appears to be a Have-Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she’s had to snake her way out of—some more sinister than others. But she’s determined to change that. She’s book smart. She’s street-smart. Oh, and she’s also a masterful liar.
As the scholarship student at the Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ladder and land a spot at Yale. She’s already found her “people” among the senior class “it” girls—specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she’s always needed, the sister she never had.
When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration, he immediately charms his way into the faculty’s and students’ lives—becoming especially close to Olivia, a fact she’s intent on keeping to herself. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, in a way she can’t reveal—and can’t afford to ignore. How close can Kate and Olivia get to Mark without having to share their dark pasts?
(Doesn’t that sound stellar?! It’s recommended for fans of Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, and We Were Liars. I’ve read the first two and want to read We Were Liars.)
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
–You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.
Your neighbor told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.
Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.
Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.
You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.
What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?
(I’m kind of on a thriller kick right now but this has been on my list for quite a while!)
All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
-It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.
Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.
Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.
(Also recommended for Fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, but the idea that it goes backwards intrigues me! I’ve read one other book like that and I really liked it! I can’t remember the name anymore though…it’s been about ten years. I also *almost* bought this one over the holidays but it’s still $25 at B&N and I was able to get two other paperbacks for that so I couldn’t bit the bullet on it.)
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
–milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
(I have yet to read a single thing by Rupi Kaur that I haven’t loved. To be honest, I will probably end up buying this for myself very soon.)
The Blank Slate series by Jennifer Bardsley
-Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet.
Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint makes her extremely valuable, and upon graduation, Blanca and those like her are sold to the highest bidders.
Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeals are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable.
By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.
(I can’t believe I still haven’t read the first one! The second one came out today and actually sold out on two different sites! I really need to get on the ball and read this)
I thought it might be kind of fun to talk about what my kids are reading a few times a year. Since they are 3 years and 2 months, they really aren’t reading anything, but we make reading to them a priority. They also got B&N giftcards for Christmas and I let Bean choose 3 books and I chose 3 for Squish. Two of the books Bean chose weren’t really book books. One was a DC Superfriends read and play set that had little action figures and a book that talked about the different characters and the other book was a little Teen Titans Go! paperback that went along with one of their episodes. His third book was also based off of a DC superhero, but it was an actual book. It’s cute, easy to read, and helps get him to go through a bedtime routine!
Bedtime for Batman by Michael Dahl mirrors a toddler and batman against each other talking about their nighttime routines. It covers cleaning up the grime (taking a bath), locking away the bad guys (cleaning up your room), doing your nightly duty (going potty), donning your “suit” (PJs), and the rest of the normal night-time rituals. Bean requests it every night and I’m not sick of it…yet.
Phileas’s Fortune by Agnès de Lestrade is a book about the power of language and self expression. Bean is a little speech delayed and I felt this was a relevant story for him. Once we read it, I realized it’s pretty relevant for everyone. You can have a large and fancy vocabulary that equals nothing if you don’t have the feelings to back it. I adore this book!
Squish got three board books, two of them were Once Upon a World fairytale stories by Chloe Perkins and the other was Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey by Emily Winfield Martin. I love the fairytales because they take classic tales such as Cinderella and Snow White and place them in cultures they aren’t typically placed in, such as Mexican and Asian. They have a third coming out in March, Rapunzel set in India, that I’ve already pre-ordered for her. Dream Animals has such gorgeous imagery and I’m seriously considering buying her other books for that reason. The storyline offers a lot as well, but since my kids can’t read, I feel at ease knowing that they will be entertained by the artwork until they learn to read to themselves.
Lastly, just a quick “what I’m reading now” update:
The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
-It’s so good! I’m only on chapter 5, but the chapters are long and I don’t have a lot of time to read right now. When one child doesn’t need me, the other does and they honestly usually need me at the same time as well, haha. So most of my reading comes from late night snatches and the little bit of time that my husband can distract them so that I can sneak away for a hot bath and an hour to myself. I’m really intrigued to see how everything ties together and what comes of the new character’s, Katie, story line.
That was a particularly long post, I apologize and imaginary cookie to you if you made it all the way through! As for my reading challenge, I’m already challenged this month because both books I chose have large wait-lists on them at the library so I think I will either have to choose a different one or grit my teeth and buy one of them. Normally this isn’t a big deal, but since they’re pretty far out of my normal genre I’m hesitant to buy them and then hate them. But I still have a couple of weeks to see if I can pull through for this month! I am planning on posting again next Wednesday and will announce then what next month’s reading challenge book will be.