Thoughts|| Be Prepared.

beprepared

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: All Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there’s one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp. Vera is sure she’s found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the “cool girl” drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!


I was sent a copy of Be Prepared from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date was April of this year (2018).

Be Prepared is a middle grade graphic novel. For it being middle grade, I really enjoyed it a lot. I’ve always wanted to go to summer camp as a kid, but never had the chance to experience it. Vera gets the chance to finally go to a summer camp like all her friends get to do every year. She’s already having a hard time fitting in at home, so when she gets the chance to go to a Russian summer camp she is really stoked about it, but it ends up not being like she expected it to be.

Be Prepared is sort of like a true story, because it’s about the author’s time at summer camp from the bits and pieces that she can remember and piece together. I thought that was really cool. She even included real letters from her and her brother’s time at camp. The story itself was great. I really enjoyed the characters and there were a lot of funny moments. In a way it was also a bit sad, because Vera is trying to find her place at camp and it’s not that easy at the beginning. She doesn’t have the easiest time as her brother did.

Overall, I really liked this story and the characters. I loved the illustrations. It was fun and even some life lessons mixed into it. It’s a great summer read, especially for the younger crowd. I’m way past middle grade years, but it was still enjoyable as an adult as well. I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you have little ones. I think they would enjoy it. My nephew is perfect age for this one, so I will be passing this one along to him.

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| All Summer Long.
Photo A Day|| June 1-5.
June TBR {Maybe}.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| All Summer Long.

allsummerlong

All Summer Long by Hope Larson
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: Thirteen-year-old Bina has a long summer ahead of her. She and her best friend, Austin, usually do everything together, but he’s off to soccer camp for a month, and he’s been acting kind of weird lately anyway. So it’s up to Bina to see how much fun she can have on her own. At first it’s a lot of guitar playing, boredom, and bad TV, but things look up when she finds an unlikely companion in Austin’s older sister, who enjoys music just as much as Bina. But then Austin comes home from camp, and he’s acting even weirder than when he left. How Bina and Austin rise above their growing pains and reestablish their friendship and respect for their differences makes for a touching and funny coming-of-age story.


I was sent a copy of All Summer Long from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date was May 1st of this year (2018)

I first want to point out that All Summer Long is a middle grade graphic novel. I don’t read a ton of middle grade books, but I do like reading them from time to time. I’ve been wanting to branch out to more graphic novels as well, so it was exciting that All Summer Long was a graphic novel. I really enjoyed this book and the illustrations were great. Bina’s best friend Austin went away to soccer camp so she has to figure out how she was going to spend her summer and how to have a fun summer without him. It’s a really quick read, but still such a fun book.

All Summer Long had me missing when I was a kid and had summer vacation from school. I really liked Bina and totally awesome that she plays guitar! I’ve always wanted to learn to play guitar. I love that she is so into music too, because I LOVE music. I could relate to her on that level and obsessing over my favorite bands. I was happy to see Bina bond with Austin’s sister, although at times I wasn’t his sister’s fan. There were a ton of fun (and funny) moments that happen throughout the story. Overall, I thought it was a quick, cute, and fun story. It’s perfect for summer. Even though it’s targeted for middle grade, I personally still thought it was a good book.

In case you  missed it;
Photo A Day|| June 1-5.
June TBR {Maybe}.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Before I Let Go.

beforeiletgo

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp
2 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Description: Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return. Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger. Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…


I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Release date was January 2nd, 2018.

I was really excited about Before I Let Go, because I really loved Marieke’s book “This Is Where It Ends“. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what to make of Before I Let Go. It was interesting at first, but then it started to get really weird and kind of not making too much sense. I couldn’t really figure out where Nijkamp was going with the story and I don’t know if that was a good thing or not. I guess for me it wasn’t. I wanted some kind of idea, but I had no clue. A lot of people will love that about this book and I usually do, but I was more frustrated than anything. I just wanted to know what the heck was going on and I felt like it took ages to get there.

It’s hard to really talk about without giving out spoilers. A plus about this book was that the chapters were really short, so it was really easy to read through it pretty quickly. Another weird thing about this story was the way that it was told. It was mostly in the main character’s point of view, but then randomly there will be a narrator telling the store. It was just thrown in randomly and it was in a weird format where it was kind of like a play script when the narrator was talking. It’s hard to explain, but it was weird to me. So I started to wonder if everything that was happening was real or not.

Overall, Before I Let Go was okay. I can see why a lot of people would like it, because of the mystery aspect of it and it did keep you guessing. It just wasn’t for me though and I was getting a little bit of We Were Liars vibes from it and I honestly did not like We Were Liars at all. This book might be for you though, so definitely check it out if it sounds interesting to you.

In case you  missed it;
WWW Wednesday #50.
Thoughts|| Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over.
New Camera.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over.

airports

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: A bad storm, two canceled flights, stuck in an airport with a hot stranger and the guy who broke her heart… what could go wrong? After Sari caught her boyfriend Zev cheating on her, their romantic Florida vacation was ruined. She can’t get back to NYC soon enough. Unfortunately, mother nature may have different plans. A huge storm is brewing in the Northeast, and flights all over the country are getting canceled—including Sari’s. She winds up stuck at the airport for hours. With Zev! When another stranded passenger (a hot NYU guy) suggests a connecting flight to Boston, Sari jumps at the chance. But when her mom freaks out about her traveling alone, she has no choice—she has to include Zev, and somehow survive being trapped with the guy who broke her heart! 


I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date: Today, May 15th.

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over was such a fun book. It was really fast paced, which I loved. I flew through it in just a few days. It had me laughing out loud quite a bit. I always love when a book has me cracking up.

I really enjoyed all the characters in the book as well. Sari was a lot of fun and was willing to do anything to make it back to New York City, which lead to some pretty crazy and funny events. Zev, you wanted to dislike him so bad because Sari was hurt from catching him with his ex-girlfriend…but there’s just something about him. It was way too hard not to like him. Fitz and Dylan were great! They added another fun element to the story. Sari’s best friend Trina was also another great character as well. She was a trooper, that’s for sure. Sari was heartbroken after things happened with Zev, so Trina did whatever she could to help her out and be there for her even a thousand of miles away.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book so much. It was quick, it was fun, and it had it’s cute and disastrous moments too. I would recommended this book, especially if you’re looking for an easy to read, cute and funny contemporary.

In case you missed it;
New Camera.
Top Ten Tuesday|| Favorite Color Book Covers.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Hot Mess.

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Hot Mess by Emily Belden
4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Description: Twenty-something Allie Simon never imagined she’d fall for a recovering drug addict—but that was before she met Benji Zane, Chicago’s hottest up-and-coming chef, who’s known as much for his hard partying ways as for his unparalleled culinary skills. Six months into their relationship, the food and chemistry are out of this world, but the reality of living with a cooking wunderkind hasn’t exactly been all hearts and flowers.  Still, Allie’s convinced that her love is the key to fixing this talented man’s broken soul—so when Benji is offered his dream job as chef de cuisine for a new restaurant opening on Randolph Street, Chicago’s foodie hot spot, Allie agrees to invest her life savings in his future. But less than a month after she goes all in, Allie learns a heartbreaking lesson: addicts lie. Benji cracks under the pressure, relapses and disappears, bagging out not only on the restaurant, but on her, too. Left with nothing but a massive withdrawal slip and a restaurant that absolutely must open in a matter of weeks, Allie finds herself thrust into a world of luxury and greed, cutthroat business and sensory delight. Lost in the mess of it all, she can either crumble completely or fight like hell for the life she wants and the love she deserves.


I was sent a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I read Emily Belden’s first book Eighty-Sixed and really enjoyed it, so I was so excited when the publisher reached out to me and asked if I wanted to read and review Hot Mess!

Hot Mess was pretty fun to read and at times it got a little intense. I was sucked into right at the start. The story is told in Allie’s POV and I instantly liked her. Right from the start Benji seemed a little sketchy to me, but Allie was in love with him and willing to do whatever to make sure he never relapsed; even looking past all the red flags that were popping up and intense situations between them. I couldn’t believe she was willing to invest her life savings into Benji and the restaurant and of course it takes a turn for the worse. Now Allie is stuck trying to figure out the food business without him.

There were times in the story when it did slow down for me and was a bit hard to get through. It was probably around the time that Benji disappears after he relapsed. I felt like the pace slowed down and some things weren’t as exciting as before. I still really enjoyed it for the most part though and I loved all the funny conversations and things happening between Allie and some of the other characters. Allie grows throughout the book, which I love and she tried to push on with life even after Benji up and disappeared. It’s not at all an easy road for her.

Let’s talk food! Hot Mess is all about the food industry and restaurant business. I honestly don’t know that much about any of that (aside from watching all the cooking shows on Food Network :P), but it was interesting to learn about. AND ALL THE FOOD DESCRIPTIONS! I was hungry about 90% of the time as read this book. I wanted to climb in the book and just eat everything. Overall, I enjoyed Hot Mess so much. It was fun, a little crazy at times, but it had a mix of everything you could want in a contemporary. It did slow down a little bit for me, but I seen other reviews that actually thought the opposite, so maybe it was just me? I would recommend reading this book, especially if you love a good contemporary and FOOD!

In case you missed it;
Book Tag|| 20 Questions.
Random|| Picture Update.
Thoughts|| Invictus.

I hope you have a great Friday and weekend!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Invictus.

invictus

Invictus by Ryan Graudin
3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Description: Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.  But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.


I originally received Invictus from The Novl and from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I didn’t get around to finishing it last year (more later), but I decided to check out the audiobook from my library and finally finish it.

So why did I not finish it last year? Honestly, I just wasn’t in the mood for it. I started to get bored early on and decided I needed a break from it. I didn’t want to force myself to read it when I wasn’t in the mood for it, because it probably would have made me hate it. I set it down and it got lost in the pile. I finally finished it though, so at least there’s that.

Fast forward to this year and I finally finished Invictus! I am not entirely sure what to say in this review, so it may end up being a short one. As you can see, I gave it three out of five stars. The boredom still lingered at the beginning and at some parts throughout the book. I didn’t feel enough excitement. The second half of the book was a little better though and I did enjoy it. There’s a lot more going on and things to get a little excited for. I felt like I didn’t click with the characters as much as I hoped I would. They were likable, but my connection to them just wasn’t that strong. There were some “feels” moments and laugh out loud moments with them. Not enough for my liking though.

Overall, I did enjoy the second half of Invictus a lot more than the first half. While I didn’t love the characters in the story, I did like them. There were some fun moments and a couple interesting twists. I’m sad I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped I would, but I am still glad that I finally picked it up again. This was my first time reading a book by Ryan Graudin, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It wasn’t a bad story at all and I can see why so many people loved it.

Have you read Invictus? If so, what did you think?

In case you missed it;
WWW Wednesday #49.
Thoughts|| Huntress.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Huntress.

huntress

Huntress by Julie Hall
4 out of 5 stars.

“Life, and even the afterlife, is a dance between being prepared and letting go. The wisdom is in knowing how to prepare and when it’s time to let go.”

Goodreads Description: No one’s afterlife is as dispiriting as Audrey’s―at least that’s what she believes after waking up dead without her memories and being promptly assigned to hunt demons for the rest of eternity. She’s convinced God’s made a cosmic mistake; after all, she’d rather discuss the color of her nails than break them on angelic weapons. It doesn’t help that her trainer, Logan, is as infuriating as he is attractive. And just when Audrey and Logan appear close to developing an amicable relationship, a decision made under duress pushes their hearts in a direction neither of them saw coming. Despite her sub-par fighting abilities, an ancient weapon of unparalleled power chooses Audrey as its wielder, attracting the cautious gazes of her fellow hunters and the attention of Satan himself. With Satan’s eyes now fixed on Audrey, a battle for the safety of the living looms in the shadows.


I was sent a copy of Huntress from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was participating in a IG Tour & Giveaway for the final book in Life After series (Dominion), so I was sent copies of the books to read and review as well. There’s still a couple days left for the giveaway (ends April 12th) if you check out my Instagram account (foreverbookish_) or the author Julie Hall’s Instagram account (julieghall). Now onto my thoughts about the first book in the series, Huntress.

As you can see above, I rated it four out of five stars. There were a lot of things I really loved about this book. I enjoyed the characters, the plot, the world building, and it was such a fun book to read. It gave me a lot of Supernatural vibes with the demons, angels, and demon hunters. I was pretty addicted to the story and wanting to know what was going to happen next. There was a lot of information to take in and the first book really set everything up. There wasn’t a whole lot of demon hunting (which was a bit of a disappointment), but understandable since the main character had to train to be a hunter first.

With this story being about angels and demons and having God and Satan thrown it, it became a bit preachy at times; especially certain conversations with God himself. I felt like I was in a bible study class or something, lol. I am not religious at all and I felt like the entire exchange between Audrey and God was so weird. Aside from that, I really enjoyed Huntress. I thought it was a really fun read and trying to figure out what the heck was going on was making me crazy (but in a good way). I plan to continue with the series, because it was actually really good. A lot of things unanswered as well, which I am looking forward to seeing how they play out. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I was going to.

In case you missed it;
Photo A Day|| April 1-4.
Wrap Up|| March.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack