Random|| Reading & Life Update.

lifeupdate

Hey!

It’s been a week since my last update, I guess I just haven’t really had anything to write about. My last post was my November TBR, which I will link at the end of this post. Surprisingly, I’ve been really sticking to that TBR and was able to read three books from it and now on my fourth book. I believe there was seven books on my list, so I think I might actually be able to read them all this month! I flew three books in one weekend. I’ll start with my reading update first and move on to some pictures.

What did I read?

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I read The Poet X, And the Ocean Was Our Sky, and Speak: The Graphic Novel. It was actually pretty easy to fly through these in one weekend since one is written in verse (The Poet X), one is only about 150 pages and has illustrations (And the Ocean Was Our Sky) and one was a graphic novel (Speak). Overall, I enjoyed all three of these books.

What am I currently reading?

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I am currently reading People Kill People and The Perfect Friend. I’m about halfway through People Kill People and it’s okay. I’m not really that blown away with it and sometimes it’s a bit boring. I hope it picks up. It’s half told in verse. I am also reading The Perfect Friend, which I should be finished with it today. I don’t have very much left of it. It’s pretty interesting, but it’s also probably going to end up being three stars. I like it, but it’s also kind of boring at times too.

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Now onto some pictures that I’ve taken recently and a little about whatever is going on in my life. Some of these haven’t been posted to Instagram yet, but will eventually make there way there. 😛 Feel free to follow me on Instagram (Instagram: heyyitsashley)!

A random selfie from Halloween. I wore my Harry Potter style glasses that day to work and also my Hogwarts/Harry Potter Halloween shirt. On Halloween I mentioned how I was taking my niece and nephew trick-or-treating with my sister. I sadly didn’t get any pictures of them in their costumes, but I took a few videos. They both had light up masks, which I felt would come off better in video than picture haha. They had fun and got a lot of candy. They didn’t want to stay out long, but I was fine with that because I didn’t really want to be out, to be honest. We walked by one house and they had this big lighthouse in their backyard and it lit up! I told Andy (he was with us) that when we get a house I want one in my yard, haha. I love lighthouses and this was so neat!

There was another night (the weekend before Halloween) where our city was having a little Halloween block party type event, so we all went walking around there too. I got a few nice pictures. It was really crowded and I don’t like crowded events anymore (not with all of these random shootings happening so often now). So I was glad we didn’t have to stay too long. My niece didn’t really feel like being there that long. We probably stayed like an hour. Anyway, here are the pictures that I took.

First picture is a picture of the cat ears my sister was wearing. I thought it would be a cool picture with all the tall buildings behind her. The second picture is of the sun setting in the car. My mom was driving and my sister in the passenger seat. I think it came out really cool. Third picture is the sunset once we got out of the car. Fourth picture is a building and I like the reflection on the building since they are glass/mirrored windows. Fifth picture is stringed lights they had up at the event. Sixth picture is of some candy apples I seen in the window of the bakery we walked by. They look so good!

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I went to Five Below over the weekend and they had some Christmas decor out, so I picked up this throw blanket and pillow for $5 each. I was so stoked when I seen them! I really need to go through all our packed boxes and see if I can find the rest of my Christmas decorations. I don’t care that it’s only November and it hasn’t been Thanksgiving yet. I like to decorate for Christmas early, judge all you want. 😛

I also got a mini Christmas tree for my dining room table and some little ornaments to go with it at Five Below. I haven’t put the ornaments on yet and not sure when I will. I don’t see this tree lasting long with three cats, lol. ColbyJack is already curious about it, so just wait until those ornaments go up. And speaking of cats…

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The weather actually got a little cooler during the morning last weekend, so we opened up our windows. The cats loved it and spent most of the time sitting on the windowsill in my bedroom. I love these three so much. Left is October, middle is Leaf, and right is ColbyJack.

And a few other pictures of the furbabies. First picture is Dax. He was super stoked about playing with this Christmas toy, lol. I think he’s ready for Christmas too? He needs a haircut, haha. Middle is October and I love that she was with the Halloween decorations. The picture gives up hella spooky vibes with her coloring. She fits in perfectly. This was before she decided to knock over all of my decorations. UGH. And the last picture is of Leaf. I’ve been working at home on Fridays and sometimes she jumps up on my desk and decides it’s fun to take a nap when I’m trying to work, lol. It’s not always easy to work around her. Last week she decided she would use my mouse as a pillow.

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Another sunset picture from the other day. I take a lot of pictures of the sky. It’s one of my favorite things. It is always changing, which I love. Every day it can be something different, which is really cool.

This weekend I think the whole family is going to go see the new Grinch movie. My mom really wants to go and the previews look good. If my younger sister comes down to visit again this weekend, I might see if she wants to go to the Renaissance festival (Camelot Days). They have it two weekends in November every year, so it’s this weekend and next. I want to go, but also I’m so paranoid about events with big crowds now, UGHH. I guess we’ll see what happens.

What are you currently reading? What have you recently finished reading? Do you have any plans for the weekend?

In case you missed it;
Unofficial November TBR.
Wrap Up|| October.
Book Haul|| October.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyblack

 

Unofficial November TBR.

novembertbr

Hello!

I did really well with my Halloweenie TBR last month, so I decided to throw together a TBR list for November. I, of course, can’t make any promises that I’ll read these books but I hope I do. I’m pretty limited with the physical books that I can read since most of my books are packed away, so these are all books that I got in the last few months that are not packed yet. A couple of them are ARCs that I hope to read this month and get my reviews up. I will also be reading e-books as well, but not listed in this TBR post because I’m not sure which ones I’ll be reading. All depends on what I’m in the mood for and if my library e-book holds get checked out to me this month or not. So we’ll called this my “Unofficial November TBR”, because it can change. Anyway, here is some of the books that I hope to read this month.

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And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness
Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson
People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

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Wilder by Andrew Simonet (ARC)
The War Outside by Monica Hesse (ARC)
Clean by Juno Dawson
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
(currently reading The Poet X)

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What books are you hoping to read in November? Have you read any of the ones on my list? Feel free to link me to your November TBR post if you have one, so I can check it out!

In case you missed it;
Wrap Up|| October.
Book Haul|| October.
Travel|| Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyblack

Wrap Up|| October.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Was it just me or did October seem like it dragged on forever? This year it also didn’t feel very “Halloweenie” to me either, which totally sucked. I love the month of October (and Halloween), but this month felt so different for some reason. I’m actually glad that it’s finally coming to an end. 😦 I hope the next couple of months don’t feel the same, because I love the holiday season. Happier news, I reached 1300 followers on the blog, which is exciting! 😀 As this post goes up, I’m a little over 1300 now. Totally cool! Thank you for following my blog and liking my posts.

As far as books/reading goes, I actually read a lot this month. I was able to read ten books, which is a lot for me! I think I normally read between 4-6 books a month, so ten is amazing! I even mostly stayed true to my Halloweenie TBR, which is rare for me to stick to any kind of TBR list. I only read one book that wasn’t actually on my TBR, but it was still good for Halloween. I didn’t get to read all the books on my list, but I already knew that wasn’t wasn’t going to happen because I made a pretty big and ambitious list for the month of October.

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Here are the books that I read in October. You can find a full list of these books and the other books I read this year over here. All will be linked to Goodreads below and I will also link to individual blog posts for them if I did a review.

Physically Read Books:
These are the books that I read myself (not audiobooks) throughout the month of October.

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Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage – 3 out of 5 stars.
I liked Baby Teeth. It was really creepy, but I thought the ending kind of sucked. It got really boring toward the end and wasn’t what I expected. Overall, it was still a pretty good book though.

The No-Good Nine by John Bemelmans Marciano – 4 out of 5 stars – Review.
I really enjoyed The No-Good Nine. I thought the adventure aspect was a lot of fun even with some things being a little out there. For a kid though, I think they’ll get a kick out of it. I liked that there were a lot of funny moments and the cast of characters made the story even better.

I Will Find You by Joe Kenda – 5 out of 5 stars –  Review.
I Will Find You is creepy, scary, and it’s one of the most realist books that you’ll ever read.  If you love true crime, this book is definitely for you. There’s a lot of triggers and gory things in this book, so proceed with caution. 

Children to the Slaughter by A.I. Nasser – 4 out of 5 stars.
Children to the Slaughter was so CREEPY! I really enjoyed it a lot and I went and bought the sequel. Children to the Slaughter is free on Kindle and the sequel was only $2.99. I can’t wait to read it.

Sadie by Courtney Summer – 2 out of 5 stars.
Sadie…I don’t understand the hype for this book. I finally finished it over the weekend and I found the majority of the book to be boring. It had some interesting parts and the big picture and themes in the book are sad and so real. But the story itself, I was bored. I also hated the ending and it felt unfinished. It was just okay for me.

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My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier – 3 out of 5 stars.
There were a lot of times where I wanted to DNF My Sister Rosa. Most of the book was boring, to be honest. I had a hard time really wanting to read it, but I also wanted to know what was up with Rosa…which honestly, there really wasn’t that much going on with her for the majority of the book. It was little things, but nothing I felt was too crazy. It started to get a little more interesting toward the end though and there were a couple twists I didn’t see coming.

Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich – 4 out of 5 stars. – Review.
I really loved Dear Evan Hansen and the characters. I found myself sucked right into the story from the beginning. There were a few times where it did slow down for me, but it didn’t take away from the story or my enjoyment of it. I thought it was really relatable, especially the characters. I never seen the musical, but I still really liked the novel version.

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco – 4 out of 5 stars.
I thought that The Girl from the Well was pretty creepy and I actually enjoyed it so much. I don’t know why it took me so long to pick it up. I swear I’ve added it to my Halloweenie TBR for like three years now, haha. There was one thing about the book that bugged me though, which was the character Okiku would count everything and it was annoying to me. The random counting thrown into the middle of the story/dialogue bugged me. I am really excited to read the sequel!

Hocus Pocus & The All-New Sequel by A.W. Jantha – 4 out of 5 stars.
The original story was great. It was actually pretty much word for word/scene for scene of the actual movie. I loved that, because it was like the movie was playing in my head as I read it. There were a few things in the story that was added to setup the sequel. Now what did I think of the sequel? The sequel story was good. It of course didn’t top the original, but I still enjoyed it a lot. I also liked that all the characters from the first story make appearances throughout the sequel and that was great.

Penpal by Dathan Auerbach – 3 out of 5 stars.
Penpal was the book that wasn’t on my Halloweenie TBR, but it still stuck to the Halloween theme I had going for the majority of the books I had on my list for this month. Penpal was so creepy and at the end I’m like “HOLY CRAP, what did I read?!”. It was a pretty good book, but there were some times that I was bored. It was pretty shocking when it wasn’t at one of the boring parts of the story though. Definitely freaked me out a little bit and worth the read.

What books did you read in October? Have you read any of the books I read? Feel free to link me to your wrap up posts if you have one!

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Tonight I’m supposed to go out with my older sister to take my niece and nephew trick-or-treating. I’m not entirely sure what their costumes are for this year, so it’ll be cool to finally see them. I have an idea of what they are, but I haven’t seen them put together. After trick-or-treating with them, I’ll spend the rest of the night watching Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown. I haven’t watched them yet this month, which is crazy! I usually would have watched them both by now. See? October this year just seems so different. My cats even knocked over all of my Halloween decorations and I didn’t even have it in me to put them back up. I usually post a ton of Halloween themed pictures on Instagram and I don’t think I even did that. I might have posted a couple throughout the month, but that’s it. I did wear my Hogwarts Halloween shirt (it has a cape too!) today, the glasses i wore today are black frame and round like Harry Potter’s, and I have a wand in my purse, so at least there’s that. 😛 Are you dressing up this year?

In case you missed it;
Book Haul|| October.
Travel|| Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyhalloween

Book Haul|| October.

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Hey!

I have quite a big book haul this month, because I received a bunch of Winter 2019 ARCs and I also bought a few books. I didn’t get the chance to take pictures of the books that I got, so book covers from Goodreads again this month. You can check out all the books I own over here. There’s also links on that page to pages for my kindle books and my physical books (pages needs updated since it’s been a couple months though). I’ll probably do an October book haul post on my Bookstagram (foreverbookish_) account since it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a photo over there that wasn’t just only in my stories. Anyway, here are the books that I got this month. All titles are linked to Goodreads.

Physical Books I Bought:

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Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera
After the Fire by Will Hill
People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

After reading my ARC of Shadow of the Fox and loving it so much, I had to buy a copy for my future bookshelves (almost all of my books are packed away 😦 ). I love Adam Silvera’s and Becky Albertalli’s books, so when they did a book together, I knew I would be buying What If It’s Us as soon as it was released. Patrick Ness praised After the Fire, so I had to buy it. I love Patrick Ness, so if he loves a book…then I must read it! It also sounds rally good and I’ve seen a lot of other people really like it too. I’ve read a few Ellen Hopkins books and they have been pretty good. I read the description of her new book People Kill People and it sounds like something I’ll be really into reading. It’s also about guns/gun violence and that’s a real thing happening so much these days.

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Books from Publishers/Authors:

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This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Calldender
The Lonely Dead by April Henry
The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena
A Soldier and A Liar by Caitlin Lochner

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Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
Famous In A Small Town by Emma Mills
All We Could Have Been by Te Carter
Mist, Metal, and Ash by Gwendolyn Clare

I was sent an ARC of This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story from Epic Reads and I am super stoked to read it. I also received a package from Fierce Reads of Winter 2019 ARCs, which is really exciting and I’m looking forward to them. Above are the six ARCs that were in my Winter package.

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The Wicked King by Holly Black
The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

I seen The Wicked King up on Netgalley, but it was one of those “wish for it” ones. I decided to take that chance anyway and I was approved. If I wasn’t at work when I got the email, I probably would have screamed. I am so stoked! I plan to reread The Cruel Prince and then read The Lost Sisters before starting The Wicked King. I am looking to reread at the end of November or early December since The Wicked King releases early January. I was also approved on Netgalley for The Perfect Girlfriend. I thought it sounded really good and I want to read more thrillers/psychological thrillers.

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E-Books:

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The Lost Sisters by Holly Black
Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker
Katerina by James Frey
A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan

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The Dark Heart by Joakim Palmkvist, Agens Broome
Shadow’s Embrace by A.I. Nasser
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Penpal by Dathan Auerbach

I tried the audiobook for Strange the Dreamer, but I couldn’t really get into it and decided not to continue with the book. Since I seen the e-book on sale for $2.99 and decided to buy it. Maybe I’ll like it better if I read it myself. I also don’t remember if I even got that far into it. These other books are books that I’ve been really looking forward to reading. I am actually currently reading Penpal right now and almost halfway through it. It’s pretty creepy so far.

What books did you get in October? Have you read any of the ones that I got? Feel free to link me to your book haul post if you have one!

October wrap up is coming in the next day or two. I am hoping to finish Penpal today, so that I can include it in my wrap up post. I am really excited about this month of reading because I actually read a lot.

In case you missed it;
Travel|| Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum.
Thoughts|| Dear Evan Hansen.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyhalloween

Thoughts|| Dear Evan Hansen.

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Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family’s grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend. Suddenly, Evan isn’t invisible anymore–even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy’s parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he’s doing can’t be right, but if he’s helping people, how wrong can it be? No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He’s confident. He’s a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself. A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.


I was sent an ARC copy of Dear Evan Hansen from The Novl in exchange for an honest review. It was released earlier this month, so it is currently out now. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Dear Evan Hansen, because I never seen the musical or really heard much about it until I seen the book floating around the blogosphere and bookstagram. I am really glad I picked it up, because I actually enjoyed it a lot. It would be interesting to see the musical now that I have read it in book form.

Dear Evan Hansen is a really relatable story and deals with a lot of heavy things that a lot of people are experiencing every day; anxiety, depression, suicide. After Connor Murphy’s death, Evan gets mixed up in a lie that he never meant to tell. As events unfold, it’s harder and harder for him to get out of it or come clean. I really liked that the characters themselves were really relatable as well. It was easy for me to connect with Evan in particular, because I struggle with social anxiety myself. I really liked the characters in this book and I felt like they really made the story. I also liked that there are parts in the book where you get Connor’s point of view as well. His story was just as important as what was happening to Evan.

I loved the writing style and the communication between characters. While this book deals with some pretty important and heavy things, there were still happy moments and laugh out loud moments. Some of the interaction with Evan and Jared in particular were pretty laugh out loud. There were also times where I felt so much anxiety for Evan. The feels are real with this book. I think a lot of people will relate to it and the characters. I can see why so many people love the musical so much.

Even though I haven’t seen the musical or listened to the soundtrack, I am happy that I was still able to experience the Dear Evan Hansen story in novel form. Overall, I really loved the book and the characters. I found myself sucked right into the story from the beginning. There were a few times where it did slow down for me, but it didn’t take away from the story or my enjoyment of it. I highly recommend reading this book whether you seen the musical or not. It’s out now, so you should definitely go check it out!

In case you missed it;
Photo A Day|| October 11-17.
Random|| Picture Update.
Blog Tour/Thoughts|| The No-Good Nine.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyhalloween

Blog Tour/Thoughts|| The No-Good Nine.

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Hey!

Welcome to my stop on the No-Good Nine blog tour! I am super stoked to be a part of this blog tour. I love a good middle grade book and one about Christmas at that! 😛 Continue reading to see my review for this book, more about the book, and a little about the author.

The No-Good Nine

The No-Good Nine by John Bemelmans Marciano
4 out of 5 stars.

They’re mad, they’re bad, and they’re about to ruin Christmas!”

Book Description: No kids get coal in their stocking these days. Do you know why? It’s thanks to The No-Good Nine! Pittsburgh, 1931. When Peter awakens on Christmas morning to find his stocking full of coal, he is outraged. After he finds the Naughty List, which contains the names of some other children who received no gifts, he decides they should band together and journey to Santa’s workshop to plead their case, as well as play with the toys intended for the Nice children. The ragtag band of misfits sets out on a series of wild misadventures as they travel by train, truck, dog sled, and boat, encountering thieves and bootleggers, in order to reach the renowned Toy Factory only to accidentally burn it down. More slapstick capers follow before the No-Good Nine extricate themselves and set out to find their next great adventure.


I was sent a copy of The No-Good Nine by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date: October 16, 2018.

I had a lot of fun reading The No-Good Nine. It’s a middle grade book, but it was still a lot of fun to read even as an adult. There was a funny cast of characters like the Liar, the Brat, the Cruel, and so many more! The No-Good Nine go on a crazy adventure to get to the North Pole to confront Santa about being on the naughty list and receiving coal for Christmas and to play with all the toys that are meant for the nice kids.

There so are many crazy things that happen along the way, which make it all the more fun to read. There were a few things that happened that I questioned, but would most likely be overlooked by a middle grader, since this book is mostly intended for that audience. They didn’t take away from the story or anything, so it was still pretty great. There were so many laugh out loud moments and I flew through it pretty quickly. It’s perfect to read around Christmas time.

Overall, I really enjoyed The No-Good Nine. I thought the adventure aspect was a lot of fun even with some things being a little out there. For a kid though, I think they’ll get a kick out of it. I liked that there were a lot of funny moments and the cast of characters made the story even better. I plan to pass this book along to my nephew, because I think he would really get like it. It’s releasing on October 16th (next week), so be on the look out for it!


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About the Author:

John Bemelmans Marciano collaborated with Sophie Blackall on the middle-grade novel The Nine Lives of Alexander Baddenfield as well as on the Witches of Benevento series. Continuing his grandfather’s legacy, John wrote and illustrated Madeline at the White House, Madeline and the Old House in ParisMadeline and the Cats of Rome, and Madeline Says Merci.

 

 

In case you  missed it;
WWW Wednesday #55.
Thoughts|| I Will Find You.
Photo A Day|| October 1-5.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

 

 

 

WWW Wednesday #55.

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Simply answer the following questions. 🙂

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

*Goodreads linked below.


Hey!

I had a pretty good reading week for the first week of October. I was actually able to finish three books. It makes me hopeful that I might be able to actually read a lot of the books that I had on my TBR for this month. Here are the books that I’ve been reading and ones that I hope to read really soon.

Currently Reading:

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Children to the Slaughter by A.I. Nasser
Sadie by Courtney Summers

I am reading Children to the Slaughter and that’s part of my Halloweenie TBR. It’s pretty interesting so far. I had Sadie on hold for a bit, because I had some ARCs that I wanted to get read and reviewed, but I will hopefully be picking it back up this week to finish it ASAP.


Recently Finished:

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Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
The No-Good Nine by John Bemelmans Marciano
I Will Find You by Joe Kenda

I liked Baby Teeth. It was really creepy, but I thought the ending kind of sucked. It got really boring toward the end and wasn’t what I expected. It was still good though. I enjoyed The No-Good Nine, it was pretty good for being a middle grade book. I do like some middle grade stuff though. They’re always fun to read. I’ll have a review up for it tomorrow. I Will Find You was pretty amazing. If you’re a true crime fan, you’ll really enjoy it. I posted a review for it a couple days ago and it’ll be linked at the end of this post if you want to check it out.


Reading Next:

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The War Outside by Monica Hesse
Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich
My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Honestly, I have no idea what I am going to read next. I have so many options to choose from. I have a couple ARCs I need to read (first two books above) and a couple books from my library that I need to read (last two books above) before they get returned. With the majority of my books packed away, I’ve had to rely on the library for even the books that I own. My Sister Rosa is for my Halloweenie TBR and Six of Crows I’ve been on hold for MONTHS at my library and it finally got checked out to me. I don’t know why Six of Crows was one of the books that I packed away when I knew I wanted to read it this year. At least I finally got it from my library though. It could be any of these four that I read next (or maybe something totally different), but I’m really not too. Guess we’ll see what happens by next Wednesday!

What are you currently reading? Recently finished? Reading next? Have you read any of these books? Feel free to link me to your posts, so I can check them out!

I hope to find some time later this week to catch up with all of your posts and comments. It’s been a pretty busy weekend and week so far for me. I also haven’t been feeling good, so I haven’t been up to doing too much. I always catch up though, so I’m not too worried about that. 🙂

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| I Will Find You.
Photo A Day|| October 1-5.
Book Haul|| September.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyhalloween