Woman Last Seen In Her Thirties

Following the previous oh-so-long ago post, I’ll start posting reviews of each book I read for the 2019 reading challenge individually because I need to convince myself that I can still blog.

At fifty-three, Maggie Harris has a good marriage and two mostly happy children. Perpetually anxious, she’s also accumulated a list of semi-reasonable fears: falling air conditioners, the IRS, identity theft, skydiving, and airbag recalls. But never once did Maggie worry that her husband of nearly thirty years would leave her.

On the day Adam walks out the door, everything that makes Maggie secure goes with him. Only then does she realize that while she’s been busy caring for everyone else, she’s become invisible to the world—and to herself.

Maggie cautiously begins to rebuild her life with a trip to Rome, a new career, and even a rebound romance. But when a fresh crisis strikes and an uncertain future looms, she must decide: How much will she risk to remain the woman she’s just become?

 I once read that the recipe for a good life had but three ingredients: something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to.

This would be my second book to read from the author Camille Pagán and I have to say that I enjoyed it more than the first one (Life and Other Near-Death Experiences). I absolutely love her writing style, it screams ‘relatable’ to me because the words bleed from how vulnerable the main character is and how she unravels layer by layer as the story progresses. Her personality, what made me like the book even more, as a mom of two myself I find myself giving my all to my family, I put their happiness and well-being before mine and I think it’s quite common between us moms since we are naturally considered the “fixers” or the “nurtures”.

The book is narrated by my favorite narrator Amy McFadden, her voice brought Maggie’s personality in a more elaborate tone and rounded the character development from invisible and vulnerable to confident by the ending. I could say it’s almost the same as “Eat Pray Love” and “The Bridget Jones Diaries” in terms of self-discovery. I would recommend it even though some would consider it as a Chick Lit, it’s very entertaining and I love Camille’s way of injecting humor in her books.

My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

Advertisements

2019 Reading Challenge

Before I start this post, let’s address the elephant in the … blogging community. If you are a blogger you already know all about SEO, Moz and other alphabetical terms I’m sure I’m supposed to know. Recently Moz Domain Authority algorithms got updated and we all dropped and I honestly felt quite discouraged to continue blogging. It’s heartbreaking to see your two years worth of word vomit -Posts Rei, it’s called posts- not really going anywhere. I took some time away from my blog, and I was thinking to delete my whole blog and restart. The idea is still there but for now, I’ll try to slowly return to blogging, and for this so-called comeback I chose my favorite topic “Books”

dav

By the end of last year, I bought a Kindle and it’s been my favorite device. It immensely increased my time spent in reading which I’ve been doing in work, in a salon, even while breastfeeding. I’ve set the number 20 as my reading challenge goal for 2019 and I’ve read 18 so far, so I’m almost there which feels great of course.

Libby Miller has always been an unwavering optimist – but when her husband drops a bomb on their marriage the same day a doctor delivers devastating news, she realizes her rose-colored glasses have actually been blinding her.

With nothing left to lose, she abandons her life in Chicago for the clear waters and bright beaches of the Caribbean for what might be her last hurrah. Despite her new sunny locale, her plans go awry when she finds that she can’t quite outrun the past or bring herself to face an unknowable future. Every day of tropical bliss may be an invitation to disaster, but with her twin brother on her trail and a new relationship on the horizon, Libby is determined to forget about fate. Will she risk it all to live – and love – a little longer?

The first book I finished would be Life and Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagán. I remember getting this book on my Kindle because it was free by that time and I wanted a light read (It’s still free for Kindle). Not sure if I would consider “cancer” as a light material for a book but it gave some explanation to the behavior of the characters, while I would say the story seem a bit predictable. I was listening to this book on my way to work and I have to say the narrator (Amy McFadden) made it very enjoyable, she portrayed the main character (Libby) attitude in talking and thinking perfectly. The writing style is very raw and it’s injected with humor which the author is known for, I did enjoy the book but I thought some parts didn’t make sense to me like how she was dealing with her husband when he was clearly going through a lot already.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. No matter how much he once yearned for it. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

“Because she knew a secret: there were two kinds of monsters, the kind that hunted the streets and the kind that lived in your head. She could fight the first, but the second was more dangerous. It was always, always, always a step ahead.”

Our Dark Duet is the sequel and conclusion of the first book “This Savage Song” which I got a couple of years ago in OwlCrate. I absolutely loved the first book so I was very excited to read the second, it was much lengthier and I loved every minute of it. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions with these two books, the ending left me breathless and I want to say not fair but I could understand why it happened. I’m definitely calling this story as my favorite and it made the author Victoria Schwab my favorite as well, I would love to read more of her books.

My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more―and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about―maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

“Not everyone gets a true ending. There are two types of endings because most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, where the situation feels hopeless. But that’s when hope is needed most. only those who persevere can find their true ending.”

I didn’t think I would enjoy the second book more than the first one, and it’s like the previous book I mentioned, I got the first book in OwlCrate before and I liked it to the point I purchased the second book. I loved Tella’s personality more than Scarlett’s and as reckless as she is, she actually makes better decisions than her sister – In the first book, I meant. One of my guilty pleasures is the description of the gowns and dresses they’ve been wearing, I would love to see them in real life and probably wear some – definitely all, not some-. I instantly pre-ordered the third book the moment I finished reading it and I can’t wait to see how the ending will play out, quite literally.

My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote such a long post, it feels great to return to blogging. I’ll stop with three books in this post and I’ll write three more in the upcoming posts for sure. Let me know what are your favorite books you’ve been reading lately.

My Best Purchase in 2018

dav

First of all, I feel guilty that I broke my promise to only read written-on-paper books. I’ve always liked the smell of books so accepting this new device took some time. On November Amazon released the new Kindle and I decided to get it so I can read more instead of just paper books.

I ordered it through Souq instead since it’s owned by Amazon and in UAE which is next to Oman -my country- so it got delivered really fast. I never really used a Kindle device so the whole experience was new to me and I feel stupid that I didn’t research it enough to know it’s not your average tablet. The concept of the screen itself was new to me as I’m more used to colored screens so learning about E-Ink displays was very exciting to me. The battery of the device stays for about two to three weeks if I read 2 hours a day, the customization of your reading experience is pretty convenient and makes it more personalized. What I liked most about it is that, the screen doesn’t really strain your eyes like normal lit-type devices would. When I opened Kindle for the first time it offered me 6 months of free Kindle Unlimited subscription to try it out which was a great deal for me to refuse, it offered for me a large buffet of free books along with Amazon Prime ones that you can borrow for free as well. If you’re looking for an alternative to Kindle app that offers free Ebooks and audiobooks as well, I recommend reading this excellent post that explains Libby.

I consider Kindle to be my best purchase in 2018 because it sparked my love for reading once again and it helped me reach my daily goal of reading at least an hour a day.

 

OwlCrate – Find Me In The Forest

owlcrate

I’m very sad to write this review because this is my last OwlCrate and it hurts that I had to cancel. I was considering donating some of my books so I could have more room for books on my shelves and then I could probably reactivate my subscription since it’s honestly my favorite subscription box. Anyway let’s get into this post, so October theme was Find Me In The Woods.

IMG_20171025_223325_Fotor

Cabeswater Candle from In the Wick of Time

I’ll never say no to candles, I love collecting them for some reason. This candle is inspired by The Raven Cycle and it smells absolutely amazing, I didn’t think moss and mint would smell this good together.

Exclusive Harry Potter Mug from Cara Kozik

This is the first time OwlCrate sends a mug in their boxes and it’s gorgeous. I’m a Harry Potter fan so this made me so happy, the design illustrates the forbidden forest from Hagrid’s cottage with Buckbeak in the pumpkin fields then unicorn and the centaur, finally the Weasley’s flying car and Aragog the Arachnid. I’m in love with this and I instantly took it to my office so I can have my morning coffee with it.

Princess Mononoke Art Print by Audra Auclair

I’m so happy they included a Ghibli related item, this print looks so amazing. I was so impressed by the designs of Audra Auclair, they are so beautiful so please if you have time just check them.

IMG_20171025_223242_Fotor

Sherwood Forest Loose Tea from Riddle’s Tea Shop

Robin Hood was one the first anime I watched in Arabic dub, reading the name of this tea made me happy for some reason. I’m not a tea blend fan but Earl Grey would be my favorite tea so I don’t mind trying this blend.

Magnetic Bookmarks From Craftedvan

I love Craftedvan designs, they are always too cute and adorable. These bookmarks are from Where the Wild Things Are and they are so cute.

Coaster Illustrated from Kristin Askland

A Mug, tea and a coaster in one box, thank you OwlCrate. This coaster is so beautiful, it goes well with the new mug and it’s a great addition for my office desk.

IMG_20171025_223450_Fotor

As usual the book came with a lovely letter from the author and also a signed bookplate. Also a pack of seeds, it didn’t specify what sort of plants it’ll grow so it’s all a mystery.

and finally book of the month …

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

I actually love OwlCrate exclusive cover more than the original. The summary sounds so interesting and obviously I’m all about the magic part, I’ve read some reviews of this book to be a slow-burner so we’ll see how it goes when I start reading it.

Overall, this would be my favorite box in 2017 from OwlCrate. Everything in this box is perfect and I love it.

signature

OwlCrate – Mythical Creatures

owlcrate

I’ve been getting tons of messages and emails from aramex to pick up my OwlCrate box when I was away, I finally had time to get it and it has a very cool theme “Mythical Creatures

IMG_20171002_161855_Fotor

Dragon Coin Purse by OwlCrate

It’s a lovely canvas bag with dragon design. I don’t normally keep coins in my wallet, I usually donate them to those charity boxes that are kept near the cashiers so I might give this to my younger sister.

Son of Poseidon Bath Salts by The Soap Librarian

I love bath bombs and salts so this was a nice find. The ingredients gave a beauty to the colors in the container, I’m excited to try it.

Hagrid Sticker by Susanne Draws

As a Harry Potter fan, I’m in love with this. I think this is third time OwlCrate sent an item by Susanne Draws, I remember seeing in Epic and Fast Time at YA High boxes.

IMG_20171002_162020_Fotor

Mother of Dragons Bookmark by Ink and Wonder Designs

This bookmark is made out of thin wood and it’s gorgeous, it’s definitely my favorite item in this box. It looks so beautiful even though I’m not a Game of Thrones fan.

Book Sleeve from Book Beau

I’ve never had a book sleeve so this is something new to me. The fabric is quite thick so I can be sure that my book would be protected, it has such a beautiful design as well.

The box also included a small brochure that has few fun facts and an interview with the author.

IMG_20171002_162128_Fotor.jpg

As usual the book came with a signed bookplate and also a handwritten letter from the author using golden ink that fits the book cover.

Now finally book of the month …

Mira has always been a symbol of hope for the Fallen Isles, perfect and beautiful—or at least that’s how she’s forced to appear. But when she uncovers a dangerous secret, Mira is betrayed by those closest to her and sentenced to the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles.

Except Mira is over being a pawn. Fighting to survive against outer threats and inner demons of mental illness, Mira must find her inner fire and the scorching truth about her own endangered magic—before her very world collapses.

And that’s all before she ignites.

The more I read about it in the reviews, the more I got excited to start reading it. Apparently the story includes new worlds, dragons and magic which are all my weakness in a fantasy book.

Overall, I love the theme and I was hoping for more but I would say it’s a decent box. Unfortunately I cancelled my subscription because I don’t have space for more books, I need to organize my shelves before I reactivate again so October box will be my last for now. I hope you enjoyed this post and have a nice day.

signature

OwlCrate – Something Wicked This Way Comes

owlcrate

I’ve been scheduling posts in the past week as I’m writing this on last two days of August, I really missed blogging like this. I was busy in the past two months working on a project at my work place and because of that I didn’t have time to focus on my blog as before so my posting times were a bit inconsistent, I’m planning to get right back to a posting schedule and hopefully commit to it. Anyway to the main point of this post, OwlCrate my favorite subscription box. This month the theme was quite interesting and I was hoping it would be as good as Darkness box.

IMG_20170829_235350

Dark Arts Roast by Happenstance Coffee

I think this is the first time OwlCrate sends coffee in their boxes and let me just take my time to admire the packaging. I’m a Harry Potter fan so this definitely excited me, it’s a medium blend roast of orange, almond and dark chocolate. I posted on my Snapchat about it and a friend almost begged me for it so I gave it to him.

Ooly Fountain Pen

My handwriting is bad and according to my mother “Like a chicken passing on a paper” because it’s too tiny, well as long as I can understand my own handwriting I should be fine, right ? Anyway I can’t wait to start writing with this and hopefully don’t stain my hands with ink since I’m quite a clumsy person.

IMG_20170829_235442

Edgar Allen Poe Socks by Out of Print

Let me just say that I love Edgar Allen Poe because my first reading experience was his story The Tell-Tale Heart when I was in the third grade. These socks are hilariously creepy in my opinion and I love them.

Six of Crows inspired bookmark from Treehouse of Books

I love getting those bookmarks specially ones that include a quote from a great book, this bookmark is double sided and I really loved how detailed the feathers are.

This Savage Song inspired sticker from Evie Bookish

I really enjoyed This Savage Song, it’s one of my favorite books in fact so I was so happy seeing this sticker. It’s so pretty and I still don’t know where to put it, I was thinking somewhere at my office or my laptop. Also anything from Evie Bookish is amazing, period.

IMG_20170829_235526_Fotor

Sleepy Hollow and other short stories by Washington Irving 

My eyes lit up when I saw this book, I love Sleepy Hollow. I’ve watched the movie and I was planning to start watching the series that recently ended, so this made me so happy to see this book in the box and I absolutely love the cover.

IMG_20170829_235646_Fotor

As usual the book came with a signed bookplate which looks really cute, also a handwritten letter from the author.

Now finally book of the month …

The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jone

When Dee Moreno makes a deal with a devil–her heart in exchange for an escape from a disastrous home life–she finds her trade may be more than she bargained for. And becoming “heartless” is only the beginning. What lies ahead is a nightmare far bigger, far more monstrous than anything she ever could have imagined.

With reality turned on its head, Dee has only a group of other deal-making teens to keep her grounded, including the charming but secretive James Lancer. And as something like love grows between them amidst an otherworldly ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: can she give James her heart when it’s no longer hers to give?

The Hearts We Sold is a Faustian tale for the modern age that will steal your heart and break it, and leave you begging for more.

This is a very interesting summary and somehow reminded me of Kingdom Hearts for some reason, probably from the Hearts mention. It sounds very interesting and I can’t wait to start reading it.

Overall, I loved this box. Everything in it fits perfectly with the theme and I love every item, obviously Sleepy Hollow book mostly. Hope you enjoyed this post and have a great day.

signature

OwlCrate – Wanderlust

owlcrate

 

I miss having many subscription boxes delivered to me, it felt like getting presents … That I pay for? Anyway I got OwlCrate recently and finally had the time to write this post, July’s theme was “Wanderlust”

IMG_20170731_232554

Art Print by Shailey Ann Designs

Lovely print, I love the map background and quote on it.

Owl Bag Tag by Mudpuppy

This is just too adorable, I love Owl designs. It’s too brightly colorful and well-stitched, I gave it to my sister since school is starting soon.

Newt Scamander Keychain from Funko Pop

I’m a Funko Pop collecter, not going to lie. I’m also a fan of Fantastic Beasts so I was really happy to see this in the box and I instantly used it for my car keys.

IMG_20170801_065930

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CUTE >.<

IMG_20170731_232951

Lord of The Rings Backbag

I assume this is an exclusive item because it’s not mentioned from whom or by who, it’s a really nice backbag as I’m a fan of Lord of The Rings. I love the quote written on it as well, it’s good enough to be a gym bag or going to the beach.

A Darker Shade of Magic inspired Mirror by Miss Phi

This is such a pretty mirror. It’s always good to keep such mirrors in your bag, I know I keep telling myself that so I would stop using Snapchat camera as my mirror when I need to.

Pocket Journal from Ooly

I love pocket journals, I feel they aren’t used as before since everyone depends on their phones more. This one is small enough to be kept in your bag, and has a nice design as it’s one of 8 designs sent out in the boxes so yours may vary.

IMG_20170731_233521

As usual the book comes with a letter from the author as well as the signed bookplate, the letter is more colorful than the previous ones.

And finally book of the month …

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age written by This Monstrous Thing author Mackenzi Lee—Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s.

Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

It sounds like a fun summer read, I think this is the second time OwlCrate sends a book with a bisexual storyline. I can’t wait to read it since I’m always been interested in the 18th Century era, reading the roadtrip part in the summary gives it a little modern twist perhaps. I could be wrong but I’m reading it anyway.

Overall, I love how the items in this box give a summery vibe and more of a travelling related items. It makes me feel bad because I’m not exactly going anywhere this summer and I hate seeing my Snapchat nowadays since everyone is somewhere in Europe or Asia. Hopefully I’ll travel somewhere if I got the chance to do so.

signature