Thursday, May 31, 2018


February 2014
201 Pages

Amazon Synopsis:
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.
The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.
My Thoughts:
I decided to read this book after my son recommended it to me and then I saw that it was an upcoming movie starring Natalie Portman. I was intrigued by the description. First let me say that this book is a Nebula award winner. I would call it a combination between science fiction, mystery and fantasy. It's told from The Biologist's point of view and her experience of Area X. I'll admit it took effort to read and finish it because these are not my favorite genres. One of the things that I really struggled with was bonding with any of the characters in the book-they all seemed very flat and emotionless to me. Another thing that bothered me was that the characters didn't have names, they were just known as their titles-The Biologist, The Anthropologist, etc. Maybe this is why I had a hard time connecting with them? I'm not sure. This all being said I did finish it and it leaves you with a cliff hanger. Surprising me the most-it  left me wanting to read the next one in the series. Haha. I really needed to find out what happened to the characters next. I guess that's what they call good writing.
I plan to watch this movie tonight and do the movie review this week. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


                                              CAN'T WAIT WEDNESDAY

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week I'm on pins and needles as I wait for the release of Goodbye, Sweet Girl by Kelly Sundberg


An essayist’s debut memoir about her decade long struggle to leave a violent, emotionally unstable husband.
When Idaho native Sundberg met Caleb, whose “West Virginia drawl made him seem gentlemanly,” she had no idea that within six months, they would be engaged and pregnant. Both were in their 20s and equally unprepared for commitment. But the author chose to forget their relationship was neither “idyllic [n]or blissful” and “love him through my fear,” just as she had a childhood friend who had once chased her with a knife. Caleb’s dark side surfaced not long after their engagement, as they were returning from a hunting trip. Sundberg immediately assumed responsibility for his rage and felt “grateful” when he forgave her. Caleb’s sudden fits of anger soon became a permanent feature of their relationship, as did the heavy drinking he managed to keep hidden during their courtship. The author also discovered that Caleb had cheated on her with three women while they had been dating, but only after they had married. As with all of her husband’s other transgressions, she accepted his tearful apologies as proof that he would change. Sundberg became depressed enough that she sought out counseling. The therapist was able to name the destructive behaviors in her marriage for what they were: domestic violence. Nevertheless, the cycle of brutality and tenderness continued. Eventually, the author and her husband moved to West Virginia. There, the author began a graduate program and found the success Caleb did not have with his own writing. Only after an especially savage incident that required police and paramedic assistance was Sundberg finally able to move on from a broken relationship and begin the long process of healing her own life. By turns wrenching and lyrical, Sundberg’s book is an unflinching exploration of both domestic violence and one woman’s long, often painful evolution from codependence to self-respect.
A courageously honest memoir.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader. This weeks prompt is Best Character Names! And here are my eight picks....

1. Atticus 
2. Scout

3. Cinna
4. Effie

5. Mia

6. Tris

7. Augustus
8. EMMA(This one is the winner for me because we did name our daughter Emma after the Jane Austen character--and she's just as feisty, funny, and creative as her namesake)



After reading and reviewing the book I'm really interested in seeing how this one will turn out.
For more details go here:
Deadline Hollywood

Sunday, May 20, 2018


Penguin Books
September 2017
352 pages

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs. 
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

Little Fires Everywhere is a beautiful, complicated story of family and relationships. I loved that the story came from several of the character's point of views, giving the reader a peek into the thoughts behind the action of the character involved. I had mixed feelings about both main characters Mia and Elena. Mia was frustrating to me at times and felt very self absorbed, I felt that there was a lack of a bond between herself and her daughter Pearl. Mia and Pearl live a nomadic lifestyle, moving 46 times when we meet them at the beginning of the story. At the end of the book I was still puzzled as to if they moved so much because of Mia's secret or so that she could continue to work on her art. Once they have settled into Shaker Heights I felt that she left Pearl to negotiate uncharted waters of a permanent home, school, and friends by herself because she was too busy creating her art. Surprisingly, I felt more sympathy for Elena than I meant to. She tries to keep her family and house in perfect order but is obviously blind to the things her children are involved in. Her complicated relationship with her youngest child, Izzy broke my heart. The adoption battle that brings everyone together but divides the characters is a deeply layered element of the book that ties everything together beautifully. So many emotions were brought to the surface for me because my daughter is adopted. This book was a great page turner and would definitely be a great for a book club. I will be looking for Celeste Ng's other book "Everything I Never Told You". I have a feeling I'll like it as much as I did this one.

"Remember, sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


In I FEEL PRETTY a woman who struggles with feelings of deep insecurity and low self-esteem, that hold her back everyday, wakes from a brutal fall in an exercise class believing she is suddenly a supermodel. With this newfound confidence she is empowered to live her life fearlessly and flawlessly, but what will happen when she realizes her appearance never changed?

I was actually expecting a more raunchy Amy Schumer but I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of emotions that played out during this film. Amy plays Renee Bennett with the perfect combination of vulnerability and sassiness that makes this a heartwarming go see with the girls,  or your partner. I plan to rent it when it comes out and watch it with my 15 year old daughter because it's message about self confidence is spot on. My favorite supporting actress was Michelle Williams who has an adorable role that made me laugh out loud. Definitely worth a trip to the theater.