Publisher: Farrar Straus and Giroux

The Wednesday Post (2)

Posted January 9, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Features | 8 Comments

So I’ve been playing around with things that I want to do on this blog and I’ve been wanting to do a mid-week check in so that I can chat about the books that I’m reading that week. What’s working for me and what’s not but I also want to keep a running list of books that I cannot wait to get my greedy little hands on. I decided that I’m going to do a mashup of the Can’t Wait Wednesday and WWW Wednesday posts here on my blog.

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tessa over at Wishful Endings and it was based on Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

Here are the books from my reading week so far.

WWW Wednesday

What did you recently finish reading?

Governess Gone Rogue (Dear Lady Truelove #3) by Laura Lee Guhrke

With my binge watch of Game of Thrones, my reading has slowed way down but I did manage to finish Governess Gone Rogue and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed getting to know both Jamie and Amanda, I loved seeing Amanda win Jamie’s sons over and I really loved seeing Jamie and Amanda fall in love. All of it was fabulous.

What are you currently reading?

Holiday Hoops (Hoops #2.5) by Kennedy Ryan

I anticipate being finished with this book by the end of the day since I’m sneak reading this at work. Haha. This is my first read for the TBR Challenge and I can’t wait to dive back in.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Right Where I Want You by Jessica Hawkins

My first buddy review book of the year with Ames is this book and I need to get it read so that we can work on our review. So yeah, this is what I plan to read next.

Can’t Wait Wednesday
The Wednesday Post (2)Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
Published by Macmillan, Farrar Straus and Giroux on May 7, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Add It: Goodreads

10 00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she's just performed her hit song "Heartbeat" in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She's about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She's in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.

11 00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She's very cute. He's maybe curious.

12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.

I enjoyed Maurene Goo’s last release, The Way You Make Me Feel so I’m really looking forward to more of the great writing and colorful settings that Goo brings to this book. This one sounds like another cute contemporary YA and I’m so here for it.

So, what are you reading this week? Anything good? Anything that you want to rant about?
Are you looking forward to Somewhere Only We Know? What other books are you looking forward to releasing this year?


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Book Review: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales

Posted April 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Book Review: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila SalesIf You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales
Published by Macmillan, Farrar Straus and Giroux on May 1, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads
one-star

Before we go any further, I want you to understand this: I am not a good person.

We all want to be seen. We all want to be heard. But what happens when we’re seen and heard saying or doing the wrong things? What then?

When Winter Halperin—former spelling bee champion, aspiring writer, and daughter of a parenting expert—gets caught saying the wrong thing online, her life explodes. All across the world, people knows what she’s done, and none of them will forgive her.

With her friends gone, her future plans cut short, and her identity in shambles, Winter is just trying to pick up the pieces without hurting anyone else. She knows she messed up, but does that mean it’s okay for people to send her hate mail and death threats? Does she deserve to lose all that she’s lost? And is “I’m sorry” ever good enough?

First and foremost a novel about public shaming in the internet age, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say is also an exploration of the power of words, the cumulative destructiveness of microaggressions, and the pressing need for empathy.

I’ve been reading Leila Sales for a few years now and I’ve really enjoyed some of her books and didn’t enjoy one of the books that I’ve read by her. After reading this one, I have not enjoyed another one of her books. This was almost a DNF but I needed to know that things turned around for the main character, needed to know that she learned her lesson and I was really interested in seeing how it all ended.

I feel I should warn you guys that there will be hella spoilers in this review because I’ve got shit to say and I’m going to say it all here…so this is your warning.

***BEWARE: MARJOR SPOILERS AHEAD***

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So this book follows Winter Halperin, a former spelling bee champion who made a racist remark online and pays the price for that remark. Her past is blasted and made fun of online and needless to say, she’s devastated. She didn’t mean the remark the way that everyone took it but it was still a shitty thing to say and she is remorseful but in my opinion, she wasn’t remorseful for the right reasons. As I was explaining to my daughter while talking about this book with her, Winter didn’t deserve a lot of the shitty comments that were thrown her way (you know all of the, you should go ahead and kill yourself now because you’re stupid cow and the you should be raped for what you said – those comments) but she 100% deserved to be educated on just how privileged her way of thinking was.

I’m sorry but if your apology includes the word “but” in it, you ain’t sorry for shit and Jason, Winter’s black best friend wasn’t here for that kind of apology. He was hurt by her words and he had every right to be pissed at her. They were close friends and she said a shitty thing online that hurt his feelings but she didn’t get why her comment was so bad. Jason explains why he was so mad at her and she was adamant that she’s not like that. Her defense was, “I have black friends, I can’t be racist!” She really didn’t get why Jason was so mad at her. This part of the book had so much promise and it could have gone down in a way that taught Winter a really good lesson but what actually happens had me all…

Because no she didn’t make the white girl say a racist thing and then make the white girl the victim and then make her black best friend the bad guy by doing some shady shit. Jason deserved better than that and I almost stopped reading the book because I was getting mad but I needed to know that Winter turned her ass around and that she learned some important life lessons from all of this. I needed to see this happen with my own eyes and you guys…that didn’t happen. Or actually, it happens but it came with a whole lot of shit on shit on shit that kept knocking me on my ass.

So Winter went to a sort of rehab clinic and it was a safe space for her to finally take a long look at her way of thinking, to learn and grow from her past mistakes. That was probably the best thing for her because by the end of the book, Winter learns her lesson. She does eventually get where Jason was coming from, she learns to be genuinely remorseful for her actions and she does learn just how different her life is from Jason’s, how different her life is from the black girl in rehab but holy cow, the delivery sucked huge donkey balls for me.

Winter really comes into her own over the course of the story and when she finally gets it, I breathed a sigh of relief because, freaking finally, right? I was satisfied that the main character finally saw the light but one of the last things to happen in the book left me speechless, left a really bad taste in my mouth because I honestly didn’t think it was necessary. It took a huge shit on the message of the book.

So Winter learns her lesson, she’s back at home and she’s not googling herself twenty times an hour, she’s evolved as a person and genuinely wants to be a better, more enlightened person. She’s at peace. One of the things that she hasn’t given up is googling others that are going through what she went through. The latest victim? A happily married white man in his thirties who set up a dating profile on a gay dating app for the sole purpose of outing the men he met on there who work in politics in D.C. He’s a reporter and was doing all of this for the story. Needless to say, the online social media justice department went in on this guy and our newly enlightened and evolved protagonist wrote this asshat a letter that basically said, “I feel for you man. Just know that you’ll get through this and I’ll see you on the other side.”

I can’t imagine why that needed to be included in this book. What lesson was being pushed here? It doesn’t matter what your actions are, nobody deserves death threats? People don’t deserve to lose their livelihood after doing shitty things that hurt others? That lesson could have been taught without victimizing the asshole who violated so many people, willingly.

I closed this book and was so very angry that I don’t think I can ever come back from it. There aren’t too many books that have angered me as much as this book did and I honestly don’t think I’ll be reading anything by Leila Sales again. I would be too scared that I’d get another one of these and no. Just hell fucking no.

Grade: 1 out of 5

one-star


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Week in Review (85)

Posted April 9, 2018 by Rowena in Books, Features | 4 Comments

This was our first week without Caiden and we’ve all been a little down because we miss the little guy but he’s happy to be reunited with his parents, his Mom especially so I’m glad for him. With him gone, I’ve been keeping myself busy with books, TV and movies.

Over the weekend, my brother, sister in law and I took Meghan out for a belated 21st birthday celebration and we got Meghan pretty wasted. She was hurting the next day which made me laugh. Good time though.

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading

Week in Review (85)If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales
Published by Macmillan on May 1, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher, NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads

Before we go any further, I want you to understand this: I am not a good person.

We all want to be seen. We all want to be heard. But what happens when we’re seen and heard saying or doing the wrong things? What then?

When Winter Halperin—former spelling bee champion, aspiring writer, and daughter of a parenting expert—gets caught saying the wrong thing online, her life explodes. All across the world, people knows what she’s done, and none of them will forgive her.

With her friends gone, her future plans cut short, and her identity in shambles, Winter is just trying to pick up the pieces without hurting anyone else. She knows she messed up, but does that mean it’s okay for people to send her hate mail and death threats? Does she deserve to lose all that she’s lost? And is “I’m sorry” ever good enough?

First and foremost a novel about public shaming in the internet age, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say is also an exploration of the power of words, the cumulative destructiveness of microaggressions, and the pressing need for empathy.

I’m determined to finish this book and then move on to the other books that I must read in the next week or so. Wish me luck.

What I Read

Nothing. I went an entire week without finishing anything. I read a few chapters of If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales but that’s about it. I wasn’t in the mood to read. It wasn’t the book but seriously, an entire week of not finishing at least one book? Send help!

What I Reviewed

In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels #0.5) by Kate Meader | 3 out of 5
Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas | 4.25 out of 5
JockBlocked (Gridiron #2) by Jen Frederick | 4.75 out of 5

Iron Man (2008) | 4 out of 5

What I Posted

Week in Review (84)
Monthly Recap: March 2018

What I Watched on TV

For the People: This show is really shaping up to get a regular spot on my weekly TV watchlist. I’m really connecting with all of the lawyers (which is no easy feat considering how different each lawyer is) but my least favorite of the lawyers was up front and center this week and Seth really surprised me. I didn’t think he had it in him to keep me interested and while he did annoy me, he also won me over in the end and I’m glad. This show is so good. I’m crossing my fingers that this show doesn’t lose me the way that Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder did.

Chicago P.D.: I’m all caught up on this show and I’m still on the fence about continuing it or not. Right now, I’m only watching it for Jay Halstead, out of loyalty but I don’t know, I’m just not as into it as I used to be and I’m over Lindsay leaving the show. I actually like the girl that replaced her but everyone else? Meh.

Splitting Up Together: There are only two episodes of this show out right now and I watched them both. Enjoyed them both, too. I love Pam from The Office so I’ll watch her in whatever she’s in and I’m not at all mad that I started this one. It’s sweet. It’s funny and the cast is great. I’m all in.

Legion: My co-worker was talking about how much she’s enjoying this show and so I started it on a whim and I’m hooked. I’ll definitely be binge-watching this show for the next little while.

What I Watched in Movies


Thor Ragnarok (2017) | 4.5 out of 5
Triple 9 (2016) | 3.5 out of 5
Special Forces (2011) | DNF
The Titan (2018) | 2.5 out of 5
Amateur (2018) | 2.5 out of 5
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) | 5 out of 5
The Avengers: Age of Ulton (2015) | 4.25 out of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) | 4 out of 5

What I Got

After Hello by Mhairi McFarlane
Long Shot (Hoops #1) by Kennedy Ryan
My Way Back to You (Second Chances Duet #2) by Claire Contreras
The Swedish Prince by Karina Halle

What I Got for Review

More than Words by Mia Sheridan
Regrets Only by Erin Duffy

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?


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