Review: Mister Tender’s Girl

“What if some of the people you meet in the world already know you? Know everything about you, have been studying you, stalking you? And you have no idea. Like you’re a bug trapped under their glass lid, and all you do is wonder stupidly why you keep running into invisible walls.” -Carter Wilson

Summary: Alice Hill went through the unthinkable when she was 14. She was stabbed by two of her classmates and was left to die. The twin girls that stabbed her claimed that Alice was a sacrifice to Mister Tender. The problem is that Mister Tender is a fictional character, created by Alice’s father himself. Now, over 10 years later and Alice has a stalker, named Mr. Interested. Alice could change her name and move across the country, but it seems that she could not escape Mister Tender and her past.

This book blew my mind! I really was not sure what to expect with this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. Wilson really keeps you guessing at every turn with this book. I had no idea “whodunnit” until the very end. Alice is a very likable character, even with all of her pitfalls. This book had everything I love in a thriller and it kept me wanting more and more. This is definitely a 5 star book.

Bookish Resolutions for 2019

So I am a little late with my resolutions for the year, but I tried to take my time and think of what I really wanted to accomplish with reading. First, some reflections on 2018:

Last year I was very ambitious with my reading goal, a goal that I knew in my heart of hearts I would not finish since last year I was planning a wedding which really took up most of my time in the beginning of the year. Once I finally admitted that I wouldn’t make my reading goal I tried to squeeze in a ton of books at the end of the year and I just didn’t enjoy the books that I was reading. Coming into this year I wanted to be more realistic with my goals:

  1. Make a realistic reading goal. My reading goal for 2019 is 60 books. This is about half of what my reading goal was last year. Now with my reading goal I have no anxiety and I can truly enjoy the books that I am reading.
  2. Branch out into other genres. I typically stick to a few genres that I love to read and I don’t venture out of those. I really love thrillers, true crime, historical fiction and just fiction in general. I don’t typically read a lot of sci-fi or fantasy novels (other than Harry Potter-that series is and will always be the best). This year I really want to branch out and start reading books from genres that I wouldn’t normally pick up.
  3. Read more non-fiction. The books that I read are typically 80% fiction, 20% memoirs/non-fiction. This year I really want to read more non-fiction. When I was in graduate school all I read were anthropological studies and archaeological field reports, so when I graduated I really went hard reading fiction books. There are some memoirs that I want to read this year, namely Becoming by Michelle Obama, Anna Kendrick’s book, Tina Fey’s book, etc… I also want to read not just memoirs, but other non-fiction books as well. The first on that list being The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson.
  4. Giving myself permission to DNF books I do not enjoy. DNF’ing can be a hot topic is the book blogosphere (one that I will delve deeper into on a later blog post). I am someone who hates leaving anything unfinished. I can be reading the worst book on the planet and I would trudge through it just because I wouldn’t want to not finish it. This year, I am trying to not be so hard on myself and allow myself to DNF a book that I am not enjoying. As the cliche goes, life is just too short.

All in all, I think that these resolutions are ones that I can really stick to and I am so excited to get started on my bookish goals for this year. What are some of your goals for the year, bookish or otherwise?

Book Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

Summary: Life on Artemis-a civilization on the moon-isn’t always easy, especially for Jasmine Bashara. A porter/small time criminal, Jazz lives in the poorest section of Artemis. When an eccentric billionaire offers Jazz a million slugs (Artemis’ currency) to sabotage a rival company’s equipment, she just can’t say no.

At first glance I really wanted to love this book. SciFi is not normally a genre that I pick up very often, but I really enjoyed The Martian by Andy Weir. I just could not get into this book at all. I know that Jazz is the protagonist and we are supposed to like her and identify with her, but I just didn’t. I found her a bit whiny and annoying and I just couldn’t understand why she did some of the things that she did.

I thought that the premise of the book itself was a pretty cool idea and the book was an easy enough read, but for me it just wasn’t enjoyable. It just fell a bit flat on the whole and I ended up feeling disappointing and wanting more when I was finished with it.

If you are a big SciFi fan you might enjoy this, but for someone that does not really read SciFi, I would not recommend Artemis. If you are in the market for a great SciFi book, I would highly recommend The Martian by Andy Weir.

Review – Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen

Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by Alison Weir is the first book in a series. Each book deals with one of King Henry VIII’s wives. If you are looking for Historical Fiction about the Tudors, look no further than Alison Weir. She writes so beautifully, and the 1500’s really come to life right off of the page. In my opinion, she is the Queen of fiction about the Tudors.

This book follows the tumultuous life of Spanish Princess Catalina, originally betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales. When Arthur dies, just weeks after they are wed Catalina is in limbo. Having not consummated her marriage to Arthur she becomes betrothed to Prince Henry, who becomes King Henry VIII when his father dies. Her betrothal to Henry turns Catalina’s (or Katherine as she becomes known) life upside down.

I could not put this book down. I would stay up late and get up early just to get some extra pages in. At almost 600 pages this book is long, but not dense as you would expect it to be. For the topic, it is a surprisingly easy read. Before I picked this book up I had a fair amount of knowledge about King Henry VIII, although most of what I knew was after Anne Boleyn was already in the picture and Henry was divorcing Katherine. Getting a look at his early life with Katherine and his first years as king was a welcome delight. Katherine and Henry were in love and were happy for many years, but their inability to create a male heir to the throne among a few other things ultimately led to their separation.

Throughout the book I could truly feel Katherine’s pain and it felt as though I was going through her struggles with her. Her trials and tribulations were also my own. To me, that is the mark of an excellent book. One that transports you into the world itself. Katherine was easy to identify with and also to admire. The way she stood her ground and stood up for what she thought was right, no matter what the King said or did to her was truly amazing. Her strength and perseverance were nothing short of remarkable.

Weir’s character development is bar none, and the historical facts littered throughout the book are seamlessly interwoven with the fiction. I cannot wait to get my hands on the other books in this series. All in all, I give this book 5/5 stars and would highly recommend it to anyone, especially if you love Historical Fiction.

A Little About Me…

For my first post, I just wanted to introduce myself a bit, a get to know me if you will. My name is Arianna and I am a 29 year old living in New York. My husband and I live with our hound/beagle mix Martin. We are pretty much homebodies and sped a lot of our time at home, or out walking the paths by our home. I love just relaxing with my family whenever I can.

I want to dedicate this blog to reviewing books I have read and discussing anything and everything literary. I have loved books since I was a little girl. To me, there is nothing like getting lost in a good book; something that can transport you a new world with a whole new cast of characters. I frequently find myself lost in a book for hours upon hours, fighting with Harry, Ron and Hermione or being at court with Katherine of Aragon.

There is pretty much no genre of book that I won’t read, but my favorites are definitely Fiction, Historical Fiction, Memoirs and pretty much any kind of poetry. E.E. Cummings will forever be my favorite poet and I am a sucker for anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

All in all this blog is just a place to put my thoughts after I decompress from a book. Somewhere to write down how I was feeling, good or bad. On that note, I hope you enjoy reading and following along in my literary journey.