Reading Habits Tag!

So as a disclaimer, I am a HUGE Booktuber fan. I watch videos from multiple Booktubers and Booktube is the reason why I got back into reading. I think it’s a great way for people to not only get recommendations, but its a great motivator to get you to read more.

With that being said, Tag videos are one of the great things Booktubers do in order to keep their channels interesting. It’s also a fantastic way to get to know the booktubers.

I want to start incorporating these Tags into my blog because I think it’s not only fun and exciting for me to do but I think it brings a refreshing aspect to blogs.

The Reading Habits Tag was created by the Booktuber The Book Jazz. It consists of eleven questions that explains a little bit more about the reader and what their reading habits are. Enjoy!

(1) Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

My favorite place to read in my home is in my Papasan Chair which has an extremely soft, fuzzy cushion. This is the only place that I can truly concentrate on my reading. It is currently by a large window in my bedroom that has great lighting throughout the day and it is very quiet and relaxing. I will also read on the couch or sometimes at night in bed but I often find that I fall asleep a lot easier in those spots rather than in my chair…

(2) Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Definitely a bookmark. I’m not obsessed with bookmarks and if there was a situation where I found that I didn’t have a bookmark, like on a plane or on vacation, I have no problem using a receipt or piece of scrap paper. But I definitely prefer to use a bookmark. It’s aesthetically pleasing and there are so many fun choices to choose from.

(3) Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain number of pages.

I try to stop at the end of the chapter but it’s not a necessity. If I have been reading for an extended period of time and feel burnt out I will stop in the middle of the chapter and it won’t bother me. I can read for ten minutes or two hours but when I know it’s time to stop I stop, I don’t force it.

(4) Do you eat or drink while reading?

If I am in the middle of a book and I know that I can’t put it down, I will read while I have a meal but that is the only time. I will keep a drink nearby at all times of the day, including when I read but usually no food. If I do need a break from reading, that is the time that I will have a snack before I pick up my book again.

(5) Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

NEITHER. I am so, so, SO bad at concentrating/zoning out other noises while I’m reading. If I am by myself I will have the house completely quiet. If my husband is home after work and is watching TV, I will sit in the same room with him but am constantly looking up at the TV. If I am completely invested in the book then it usually isn’t as big of a problem to concentrate but I prefer silence when I read.

(6) One book at a time or several at once?

I almost always read one book at a time. I don’t like to jump from story to story because what usually happens when I read multiple books at the same time is that I end up only concentrating on one book after a few chapters and then when I finish that book, I could care less about the other book I was reading. That or I forget information and have to read the book over again.

(7) Reading at home or everywhere?

I do carry books with me most places I go but I mostly just read at home. I don’t read at coffee shops or stores and when I’m at someone else’s house, like my parent’s, I only get a minimal amount read. I do enjoy reading on planes, by the pool and at the beach, not that that occurs a lot but when it does I do a good amount of reading.

(8) Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Ninety-nine percent of the time I read silently. I read a lot faster this way and seem to retain more information that way. Occasionally I will read out loud to try and switch it up but it never lasts more than a chapter or two.

(9) Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

I will never read ahead in a book. In the past few months I have talked to a few people and they have told me that they will skip to the end of the book to find out the ending and then go back to wherever they are in their book, whether it is page one or one hundred, and finish the book…………………….WHAT?!?! Seriously, wtf is that? OR they said that if the ending wasn’t worth it they just DNF’d the book (did not finish) and moved onto another book…I just cannot. CANNOT. This bothers me so much. While I will admit that I have read so many books with horrible endings I could not imagine ruining the surprise. For me, that’s a huge part of why I read. Figuring out what happens at the end of the book and staying along for the ride to find out if I was right or not. (I am usually dead wrong but not the point…)

I will sometimes skim over a few pages if the story is getting dull and if I feel like most of it is filler. Of course sometimes this backfires and I have to double back to pages I skimmed if I felt like I skipped something important but most of the time I don’t skip vital information.

(10) Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

As much as I would love to keep my books like new, that’s almost impossible. I would rather be comfortable holding it in my hands and breaking the spine slightly then try the whole time not to fully open the book.

(11) Do you write in your books?

I have never written in any of my books. I had started a few months ago tabbing my books if there was something funny or a quote I might want to look up again but I have never been one to annotate my books. I’m not saying that it will never happen but as of right now, I don’t write in my books.

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Two Past Midnight: Secret Window, Secret Garden

four past midnight

Two Past Midnight: Secret Window, Secret Garden

(Short story in: Four Past Midnight By: Stephen King)

By: Stephen King

Pages: 183

(Page numbers of the story are from Four Past Midnight)

Price (Amazon): Paperback $13.18 Kindle $10.99

(Prices listed above are NOT for Secret Window, Secret Garden ONLY. The prices listed above ARE for the book Four Past Midnight, the short story Secret Garden Secret Window is included in this book.)

Publisher and Publication Date: Scribner; Reprint edition (August 2, 2016)

Genre: Supernatural Fiction

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: 

The second of a four-part audio series from Stephen King’s bestselling book, Four Past Midnight. Recently divorced writer Mort Rainey is alone at Tashmore Lake-that is, until a figure named John Shooter arrives, pointing an accusing finger.

Review:

Many years ago I had watched the movie Secret Window starring Johnny Depp and loved it. As much as I hate to admit it, I had no idea that Stephen King had written the story the movie was based on….Shame.

Last week I was at the bookstore and stumbled upon the beautiful Four Past Midnight and scanned the back, having no intention of picking it up because I have been very picky with the books that I have been purchasing. Once I saw that Secret Window, Secret Garden was one of the short stories included in this book, there was no chance I was leaving the store without it.

The story starts with our main character, Mort Rainey, who is recently separated from his wife. He is currently staying in a Cabin at Tashmore Lake, attempting to write his next bestselling novel. While he is there, he gets an unexpected, as well as unwanted, visit from John Shooter, a man who accuses Mort of stealing his story.

What I really liked about  Mort Rainey was the mystery not only behind his story but behind himself. We slowly see Mort’s past revealed and his emotional state throughout the story changing, allowing us a glimpse into who he really is. He is such a complex character and at no point did I feel that we lost any type of bond with him due to the fact that this was a short story and not a novel. There was so much invested into this character and King did a great job revealing as much as he did in such a short span.

The story itself has such an eerie feel to it, making the reader question everyone and everything. With significant events happening around Mort, you fear for his safety and the safety of those who are involved in his life. He finds himself in a state of depression and questions the motives of not only John Shooter, but of the people who he trusts the most.

What really tied everything together and made it such a memorable read was the ending. I do definitely wish that I would have read the book before seeing the movie. The movie’s ending was different than the book, and while I enjoyed both of them, I would have loved to go into the story not knowing the big reveal and seeing if I would have predicted the ending.

Recommendation:

Stephen King has once again produced a fantastic piece that left me wanting more. This is a great short story if you want the classic Stephen King but aren’t feeling up to a giant novel. I would definitely recommend this story.

Weekly Wrap Up

Weekly Wrap Up

(December 3rd-December 10)

  1. Two Past Midnight: Secret Window, Secret Garden
    • By: Stephen King
    • Pages: 183
    • Rating: 4/5
  2. There’s Someone Inside Your House
    • By: Stephanie Perkins
    • Pages: 304
    • Rating: 2/5
  3. They Both Die at the End
    • By: Adam Silvera
    • Pages: 368
    • Rating: 4/5
  4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
    • By: J.K. Rowling
    • Pages: 435
    • Rating: 5/5

Total Books Read: 4

Total Pages Read: 1,290

Lies She Told

pi

Lies She Told

By: Cate Holahan

Pages: 288

Price (Amazon): Hardcover $17.10 Kindle $9.99

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: September 12, 2017

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: 

Liza Cole, a once-successful novelist whose career has seen better days, has one month to write the thriller that could land her back on the bestseller list. Meanwhile, she’s struggling to start a family, but her husband is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. As stresses weigh her down in her professional and personal lives, Liza escapes into writing the chilling exploits of her latest heroine, Beth.

Beth, a new mother, suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home caring for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, she aims to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes what she’s doing, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the East River.

Then, the lines between Liza’s fiction and her reality eerily blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the East River, and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including her own. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.

Review:

I received Lies She Told in my Book of the Month subscription box this month and devoured it in a day. Psychological thrillers usually aren’t appealing to me. I often feel like the story is too far fetched or things do not come together smoothly. Lies She Told changed my opinion completely.

We meet our main character, Liza, who is currently trying to write another best selling novel. Her editor suggests that she give the readers what they want. Put in the crazy psychiatrist, let him manipulate your main character, instant best seller. While Liza listens to her editor, she was other plans for her next novel. Enter Beth. We soon find out Beth is a mother of an infant daughter who discovers her husband is cheating on her, making her realize she doesn’t want to give up on her family that easy.

When these two stories start to intertwine, that is when I started to get more and more hooked. I didn’t read the whole synopsis before I read the book for some reason. I usually always do but I took the dust jacket off of the book and never bothered to read what was on the flap. After I read the entire book and went back to read the synopsis, I was disappointed by how much information was revealed. By going in blind I had very little expectations and had really no idea where the story was headed. I think that’s a huge reason why I enjoyed this book as much as I did. I wasn’t being led on by facts that were already stated for me.

When it came to the characters, I thought I connected with at least Liza and Beth enough to care what happened to them and their families. I wasn’t emotionally affected by what eventually happened to any characters but I was zoned into them enough to care where the story was going next. Speaking of where the story was going, I thought the two different stories in the book flowed very nicely. There was never a time where I was only interested in one of the stories, as that often happens when a book has various POVs, flashback chapters, etc…

One complaint/disappointment I had in regards to the book were the endings. I thought they were good and they summed up all the details and plot twists, but I wasn’t blown away. I felt like the hype was so great and I wanted more than what I got.

Recommendation:

Although the ending left me a little disappointed and wanting more, not in a good way, I still thought that this psychological thriller was one of the best I have read this year. I would definitely recommend this book.

Too Late

Too Late

By: Colleen Hoover

Pages: 395

Price (Amazon): Paperback $13.99 Kindle $3.99

Publisher: Hoover Ink

Publication Date: November 13, 2016

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Rating: 2/5

Synopsis: 

Sloan will go through hell and back for her little brother. And she does, every single night.
Forced to remain in a relationship with the dangerous and corrupt Asa Jackson, Sloan will do whatever it takes to make sure her brother has what he needs.
Nothing will get in her way.
Nothing except Carter.
Sloan is the only good thing to ever happen to Asa. He knows this and he never plans on letting her go; even if she doesn’t approve of his lifestyle. But despite Sloan’s disapproval, Asa knows what it takes to get what he wants. He knows what he needs to do to remain on top.
Nothing will get in his way.
Nothing except Carter.

Review:

Too Late was the sixth book that I have read from Colleen Hoover. I have always enjoyed her writing style, as well as her character development and plot twists. With that being said, this book definitely left me more than disappointed.

Sloan is a college student who is in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend, Asa. She feels as if she is stuck in this relationship with no way out and having to look after her mentally disabled brother, she doesn’t want to put him at risk by leaving Asa. Carter comes into the picture on the first day of classes when he has a Spanish class with Sloan and they immediately find that they have chemistry together. However as time goes on, Sloan and Carter realize how dangerous this love triangle could turn out to be and the consequences could be life threatening.

One of the positive things about Too Late was that the story is told in three POVs. Sloan, Asa as well as Carter all told their side of the story which made the plot all that much more intense. What really put me off about this though was how vulgar Asa’s side was. It took away from the story and made it distracting by how vulgar this character was. It didn’t add depth to his character and it certainly didn’t make me think he was anymore disgusting than I already did. By swearing CONSTANTLY I really felt like it took away from the story and by the time I was thirty percent of the way through I already wanted to be done with the book.

Another positive thing I took away from this book was the lesson on abuse in any relationship. What I have always liked about Colleen Hoover is that she often shows that while some parts of the story may be unrealistic, more serious themes such as abuse are addressed and dealt with. Abuse is a serious thing and people feel like they are often trapped, unable to leave the abuser. I thought this story depicted that in a great way and I loved that a more serious topic was discussed.

What really fell short for me were the characters. I didn’t connect with them at all and I found myself caring less about what was going to happen next. I felt like when it came time to make us feel sorry for each of the characters and see their hardships, it was either addressed too late or not in depth enough and I never felt like I was committed to these characters. It was especially disappointing because I wanted to connect to Sloan more and feel her pain but I was never able to get to that point.

After finishing the book I had to do some research as to how the book was written because it has two endings, two epilogues, a prologue at the end and if that sounds confusing that’s because it is…VERY. From what I understand, Colleen Hoover published a few chapters to Wattpad a few years ago and then kept adding more and more to her story. Once the story was over, she added a few more chapters and basically kept the story continuing until the final product was published. So after the story “ends” you still have roughly one hundred pages more to find out what happens next and to be honest I thought that it was done in such a sloppy manner. You could tell she just kept on adding because the flow was simply not there. There was at no point where I felt like I needed more to the story and at no point when I was done did I feel like these extra chapters added anything special.

Recommendation:

Overall I was very disappointed in Too Late. I think for people who have never read a Colleen Hoover book, definitely don’t start with this one. I don’t think that this shows what great work she does and if I would’ve read this one sooner I don’t know if I would’ve tried another one of her books again. I will definitely continue to work my way through Colleen Hoovers books but I will definitely be taking a break for a while.

August 2017 Wrap-Up

Books Read in August

  • And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz
    • Pages: 288
    • Rating: 5/5
  • The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
    • Pages: 528
    • Rating:5/5
  • Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
    • Pages: 320
    • Rating: 2/5
  • One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel
    • Pages: 168
    • Rating: 4/5
  • Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
    • Pages: 400
    • Rating: 4/5
  • Too Late by Colleen Hoover
    • Pages: 395
    • Rating: 2/5

Total Books Read: 6

Total Pages Read: 2,099