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The Aesthetically Pleasing Book Tag

I recently saw Heather of Bookables do this tag and thought it looked like fun. 
Because who doesn't like pretty books? 
The original creator of this tag is Book Syrup.

best color combo on a book cover
I have a serious crush on this book cover. The colors are stunning. 
The blues, purples and pinks make me happy.

best typography/font on a book cover
I'm a sucker for handwritten fonts. And When Dimple Met Rishi is a perfect example.

And the typography on The Serpent King is so good it's crazy. The font that looks like snakeskin, the falling scales from each letter... STUNNING.

best simple cover
The simplicity of this one is nice but it's the use of the waffles that really appeals to me. It's a perfect nod to Jessie and SN. :)

best end pages
Eleanor & Park is my favorite by Rainbow Rowell. The fan-created end pages in the collector's edition give me all the feels and make me want to hug these two little cupcakes.

best map
There's nothing particularly amazing about this map. It's your fairly generic Map At The Start Of Fantasy Novel. But I loved the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy and I was constantly consulting the map to learn where the Courts were situated in relation to one another.

best naked hardcover
The Cruel Prince... naked.

best back cover
I have this 50th anniversary edition of To Kill a Mockingbird and I love how the front cover wraps around to the back, showing both Scout and (I'm assuming) Jem.  

best chapter headers
Unique chapter headers are always a bonus. Why be basic with just a number when you can be fabulous? And the chapter headers in Shadow & Bone are anything but basic. 

best illustrations
I loved the illustrations sprinkled throughout Everything, Everything. 

best spine
Photo Credit: @abbie_reads_books
I actually considered using The Problem with Forever as my favorite cover because it's just that pretty. I even have the cover facing out on my bookshelf so I can see it all the time. And the spine is just as gorgeous. I love the colors, I love the watercolor effect, love it all.

favorite cover on your shelves
Since choosing just one favorite seems like cruel and unusual punishment, I managed to narrow it down to three. I love the pinks on the cover of It Ends With Us and the shattered flower fits the story so well. For The Summer I Found You, the heart in the sky (made of... rose petals?) is so gorgeous - again with the pink - and I find it simply stunning. And I love all the covers for the Shatter Me series. So unique, slightly eerie, and so bold. 

Do you have a favorite book cover?

If you want to take part, consider yourself tagged!

Review: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Release Date: April 17, 2018

Format: eARC

Source: Atria Books/NetGalley

Find it here: GoodReads

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a cafĂ©, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl? 

Back in the early-2000’s I read everything Lisa Jewell wrote. At that time she was all about romance and women’s fiction and I inhaled each and every one. Then she made a shift to mystery novels and, since that’s not usually my genre of choice, it’s now been several years since I’ve read anything from Jewell. But the synopsis of Then She Was Gone captured my attention and I was instantly wondering what happened to this girl named Ellie, who is this man her mother meets a decade later, and why does his young daughter look so much like Ellie.

Told by several narrators, we get pieces of the story doled out at the perfect pace. While a few aspects were easy to figure out, most kept me guessing until the very end. Jewell did an amazing job of gradually unraveling the threads of Ellie’s history and weaving other strands together to create Laurel’s present-day.

Then She Was Gone feels as much like a character study as a mystery. I found it interesting that despite few of the characters being particularly likable, I was still fascinated by their actions and their motivations. From Laurel, who was never warm and fuzzy to start with and became only more distant after Ellie’s disappearance, to the charming Floyd and his precocious daughter, to Laurel’s beleaguered ex-husband Paul, and her somewhat estranged other children. Jewell brought these characters to life and humanized them to an extent that I found myself genuinely invested in their lives.

We know fairly early what happened to Ellie, but it’s the how and the why and all the repercussions that provide the intrigue. As one who isn’t accustomed to the content of mystery/thrillers, there were several scenes when I was truly horrified and utterly heartsick by events that took place. Jewell used the multiple points of view and the dual time frame to craft a story that kept me completely enthralled until the very end. I highly recommend this twisty domestic drama/mystery.

4.25/5 STARS

Note: An advance reader copy was provided by Atria Books. This is no way changes my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

The Sunday Post #103

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

  • It was a week of getting things back in order after having company and returning to our regular routine. And I'm starting to count the days until we get away for some R&R. Lazy days of poolside reading is just two weeks away! 

Bittersweet - Sarina Bowen
A perfect example of why I love Sarina Bowen.

 The Ones Who Got Away (The Ones Who Got Away #1) - Roni Loren
Only 50 pages in but definitely enjoying it.

Lick (Stage Dive #1) - Kylie Scott
This has been such a fun listen and I'll definitely continue with the series.

I feel like I've been seeing this one everywhere lately and I couldn't resist when it went on sale.

If Only - Jennifer Gilmore
Moonlight Seduction (de Vincent #2) - Jennifer L. Armentrout
I may have actually squealed when I got the approval for this one. :)

Unexpected Eden (Eden #1) - Rhenna Morgan
I won this from a giveaway Rhenna had on Facebook. It's been a while since I read a really good paranormal romance so I have high hopes for this one.

How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
I'd love to hear about it!

Top Five Books I've Read This Quarter | Jan/Feb/Mar 2018

I love books.
I love lists.
And combing the two? 
Well, my nerdy little heart can barely stand it.

I was just perusing my GoodReads shelf, looking over the books I've read this year, and there have been some real stand-outs. And I thought to myself, "Self? Seeing as how we just wrapped up the first quarter of the year, why not share your favorites? What a perfect excuse to make a list!" And then I congratulated myself mightily on having such a stellar idea. (I'm all about boosting the ol' ego, don't you know.) I'm not sure if I'll continue this with other Top Five lists (sounds fun now but who needs the commitment, amiright?) so for now let's just start with this.

top five books I read this quarter
January-February-March 2018

the cruel prince by holly black
read in january
It's rare that I feel led to pick up a fantasy novel, but the synopsis of The Cruel Prince caught my eye. I got the book from my library and when it was slow to start I thought I'd made mistake and was ready to run back to my stack of contemporary romance. But I decided to switch to the audio version and *bam* - that did the trick. The story came to life and the plot was off and running. I was hooked from that point on and completely caught up in the political intrigue and the realm of the Fae. And the twist at the end left me with total grabby hands for book two.

royally matched by emma chase
read in january
I feel like I talk about this series *a lot* but there's a reason for that: it's just that good. What I thought would be a light-hearted romance series full of laughs turned out to be so much more. And Royally Matched was no exception. It's hard to choose a favorite from the series but this one might just be it. I loved Henry and Sarah's story. Their opposites-attract relationship developed slowly and started as a friendship. Their banter was utterly priceless but was balanced perfectly with more serious issues. There was real growth in both characters and some turns at the end that added such depth and emotion. Yeah, I'll admit it... I shed a few tears.

autoboyography by christina lauren
read in february
Prepare for much gushing because seriously... this book is just everything. I'm reading less and less YA these days but this one is such a stand-out. There were so many elements that I loved: realistic characters that felt 100% genuine, great dialogue that felt true to life (never clunky or stilted), a wonderful, supportive family, friendships, romance, and above all, two main characters that were totally precious. I am ridiculously stingy with five star ratings but this one easily got those five stars and became an instant favorite of my heart.

the seven husbands of evelyn hugo by taylor jenkins reid
read in february
I read my first book by TJR last year and was so moved and impressed that I was immediately determined to read everything she has written. But for some reason, when The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was released I wasn't exactly jumping on the bandwagon. I wasn't sure I wanted to read the story of a Hollywood starlet-turned-legend. Then I saw the audio version available on Overdrive, started listening, and was hooked. Evelyn is an unforgettable character and I was totally wrapped up in the story of her life. 

love and other words by christina lauren
read in march
Love and Other Words is another one that I feel like I've been talking about a lot lately - with good reason. It's no coincidence that two books on this list are from writing duo Christina Lauren. These ladies know how to create characters that feel like walking-talking human beings - ones that I can imagine out there in the world living their lives. Their motivations, their actions, their dialogue - all of it feels so realistic and it lends a believability factor that makes for an amazing reading experience. I totally fell for Macy and Elliot and their story - both past and present - captured my heart.

What book have you read so far this year that stands out above all the others?

WWW Wednesday #3 | April 11, 2018

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.
Just answer three questions and share what you're reading.

I didn't do *any* reading over the weekend (ack!) since we had company staying with us, but on Monday I started Bittersweet. I *adore* Sarina Bowen and I'm already loving this one.

Yesterday morning I started listening to Lick. I've only read one book by Kylie Scott (the YA novel she released last year) and ever since I've been curious about her adult romances. My library's Overdrive app has her Stage Dive series available on audio so I decided to give it a try. I'm enjoying the humor and can't wait to learn more about the male lead. 

I finished Alex, Approximately last Friday and it was so totally cute. Porter was positively precious (say that sentence three times fast) and I loved main character Bailey. I'll definitely be reading more from Jenn Bennett!

I never know what I'm going to read one book to the next, but I'm considering either The Ones Who Got Away or maybe the next book in the True North series, Steadfast.

What are you currently reading?
I wanna know! :)