A Room Just For Books: My Dream Reading Space

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Image via Pinterest

If you’re a book lover and reader, then you probably have thought about your dream reading space. I know I have. I actually have a board on Pinterest dedicated to it –> A Room Just For Books. That is why I was so excited when the wonderful people of Arhaus reached out to me to see if I would share with y’all what my dream reading space would look like.

As I’m getting older, I am finding that I like to keep the majority of my decor neutral; especially big ticket items like duvets, sofas, tables, etc. I like a lot of different kinds of styles, and sometimes that leads me to getting bored with something I recently bought. By keeping all my ‘bases’ neutral, I am free to switch up the look by adding different pillows, throws, and other decor items.

When I started thinking about what I would want a potential reading space to look like, I knew I wanted it to feel cozy. I also knew I wanted books to be the focal point! By scouring the internet, as well as the Arhaus website, I found some items that I think could last me a long time, and that could grow with me as my tastes evolve and change for the years to come.

I hope my reading space inspires you to make a reading nook of your own! I live in a fairly small space now, but hopefully one day I will have a room just for books.

Reading-Space-Post

Items starting top left, moving clockwise.

  1. Palmer Bookcase via Arhaus
  2. Honeycomb Wall Shelf with Mesh Brass Frame via Upper Earth
  3. Cotton Knit Throw via Arhaus
  4. Framed Book Page via Pinterest
  5. Fulton Chair via Arhaus
  6. Marlon Floor Lamp via Anthropologie
  7. Leavenworth Marble Coffee Table via Anthropologie
  8. Library Card Catalog Console via West Elm
  9. Naima Rug via Anthropologie
  10. Hamilton Sofa via West Elm

Blog Tour: The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young – Review

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From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity, and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again. Order your copy of THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US today!

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The Impossible Vastness of Us
 by Samantha Young

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: ARC
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Synopsis: 

“I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.”

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…


My Review

When I first read the synopsis of The Impossible Vastness of Us I was really intrigued. I thought the premise sounded interesting, so I thought I’d give it a go! Overall I thought it was enjoyable. There are some heavier topics discussed once we learn more about India’s background, as well as Finn’s; and it’s pretty heartbreaking at times. India has a shaky relationship with her mother, Hayley, and you do eventually learn why that is. It helps the reader understand why India is so cold and aloof towards Hayley.

A few things fell flat for me though. The flow of the book was difficult to follow. There would be time jumps, but no indication that this was happening – no page break, nor line. Usually there would be a new chapter, or at least an extra paragraph space between time jumps. So that took some getting used to and at times it was confusing.

The ending was also pretty anticlimactic. The epilogue is only two pages (if that) long, and it wasn’t an epilogue at all, in my opinion. Epilogues are supposed to give the reader a glimpse of the characters’ lives further on down the line, and help wrap up the storyline. This epilogue just felt like another chapter, and I have to admit I was disappointed.

I did really like how India, Eloise, and Finn form a unique friendship and bond. They each had certain beliefs or opinions about the other when they first met; but as they got to know each other that friendship grew. It makes the reader remember that they shouldn’t judge those they don’t know; and that you can’t always trust your first impression of a person.

This story is full of twists; some you may see coming, but others I think will be a surprise.


Enter the Giveaway

Click the link below to enter for your chance to win a signed hardback copy of THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US, an umbrella, a Raindrop Necklace,
and Bubblegum Blue Fuji INSTAX for 1 Winner.
(Run by InkSlingerPR not Books For The Living)

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Excerpt from The Impossible Vastness of Us

When Hayley arrived I got into the car without a word and we drove home to the apartment in silence. Once inside, Hayley finally spoke.

“I thought we could do takeout tonight.”

We couldn’t afford to do take-out nights all the time. Take-out nights were reserved for birthdays and the last night of school summer vacation. Sometimes even Thanksgiving.

Something was up. “Aren’t you supposed to be on a flight somewhere right about now?”

She shrugged, avoiding my gaze as she wandered into the kitchen.

I followed her, watching as she pulled take-out menus out of our kitchen drawer.

“What do you want? Chinese, Indian, Thai, Lebanese?”

“I want to get this ‘talk’ over with.”

Hayley regarded me, taking in my tension and the hard look in my eyes. Finally she sighed. “This is good news, India. Truly it is.”

“Just say it.”

“Theo proposed. I said yes. And we don’t want to wait. We’re getting married this December.”

My mouth dropped open. “I haven’t even met him.”

She pinched the bridge of her nose at my shout. “And that would be a concern if you were younger. But you’re starting junior year. You’re sixteen. Before we know it, you’ll be going off to college.” She stepped toward me and grabbed my hand. I let her squeeze it. “And, sweetheart, you can go to any college you want now.”

“How?”

“Theo is…well, he’s wealthy. And he’s already made it perfectly clear that he wants the very best for me, and that means the very best for you.”

“Are you trying to buy my acceptance of this whole ridiculous thing? You are aware that this isn’t normal, right?”

Hayley dropped my hand. “Don’t be melodramatic. I just want you to know that yes, or course it will be difficult to leave behind school and your friends here and move to Massachusetts, but the upside is that we’ll never have another financial worry in our lives. Ever.”

Jesus, how wealthy was this guy?

As if she read the question on my face, Hayley smiled dreamily. “He’s an incredibly well-respected attorney from a wealthy family. Boston’s elite.”

“And he’s marrying you?”

“Nice,” she snapped. “Very nice.”

“I didn’t mean it like that.” I shrugged. “I just…I thought those people stuck to their own.”

“Usually. But Theo doesn’t care about that stuff. He just wants to marry the woman he loves.” She waved away my negativity with a shake of her hair over her shoulders. “He married a well-to-do woman, and they had a daughter, Eloise, before she died of cancer a few years ago. He hasn’t been serious about another woman since, until me.”

“Oh my God.” I shook my head in disgust. “You think you’re living in a fairy tale.”

“Don’t talk to me like that.”

“You’re hauling me across the country to move in with some guy I’ve never met!” I heard the hysteria creep into my voice, but couldn’t seem to stop it. “Let’s remember the last guy you chose that I had to live with. Or have you already forgotten?”

Understanding dawned on Hayley’s face. It was shocking that I even had to say it out loud. A good mother would have known exactly why I was taking this so hard. “Oh, sweetheart.” She moved toward me but stopped when I flinched back. “Theo is not like him. Not anything like him. I’m not a stupid kid anymore. I wouldn’t make that mistake again.”

I stared at the floor, trying to will my heart rate to slow. I could barely hear anything over the whooshing of blood in my ears.

I started at Hayley’s touch and looked up. She’d decided to ignore my body language and cross the room to take hold of my arms. She ducked her face to stare into my eyes.

“No one,” she whispered fiercely, “no one will hurt you. I promise.”

Liar.

LIAR.

LIAR!

The scream rang out inside of me but somehow I swallowed it.

This was happening.


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Meet the Author: Samantha Young

Samantha Young is the New York Times,  USA Today  and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows.  Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of 

Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for HeroOn Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze

Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Review

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Historical
Pages: 336
Format: eBook & Hardcover
Source: ARC
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5 Stars

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Synopsis: 
Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.


My Review

I’m not going to give you another synopsis of the story here in my own words; the synopsis above gives you enough of an idea of what this book is about, that I won’t repeat it here. I want to talk to you about what I think this book is about, at its core.

I’ve heard it said many times by other reviewers how different this book is for Reid; but I don’t entirely agree. There are the obvious differences: time period, some subject matter (which I’ll leave vague due to a spoiler). Reid’s past books have been set in present day, or contemporary novels. The majority of this book is Evelyn telling her story – which is of course in the past – as early as the 1950s – which is a different time period than Reid’s previous books. Yes, this is different, but I don’t think it is why people are saying this book is “so different” from her other ones. I think it has to do with one specific aspect of the book – and I agree it is a big one – but I think we need to look at the story as a whole.

For me, this story is quintessential Reid. She writes about real, complex relationships that are true to life, and that skill is showcased in THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO. But I’m not only speaking about the relationships with others, I am speaking of the relationship we have with ourselves. She reveals truths about our human condition in a way that makes you think, consider, debate, react, and discuss the things you always believed you were or should be. She makes you think differently about yourself, helps you see yourself and others in a new light.

So yes, this book has some new topics not prevalent in Reid’s previous works; but at the core, this book has everything I love about Reid’s writing.

This book is about love, and the role it plays in our lives. How love can make us do irrational things; how love can make us better and stronger, but how love can also make us do things we never thought ourselves capable of doing, for better or for worse. It’s about the complexity of the human condition, and how we each have so many layers that not one word alone can define us completely.

When you stop and look at the whole picture, this book is exactly the Reid we know and love.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, as well as BookSparks, in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour: The Foxe & The Hound by R.S. Grey – Review

 

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The Foxe & The Hound by R.S. Grey
Author: R.S. Grey
Publication Date: June 1, 2017
Genres: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary
Format: eBook
Source: ARC

Amazon – Goodreads

Synopsis:

When your life is a hot mess at twenty, it’s cute. At twenty-seven…well, not so much.

It’s just that my lofty dreams—making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily—have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I’ve decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I’ve settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry.

That is, until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town’s new vet.

With his strong jaw, easy confidence, and form-fitting scrubs, it’s not long before every 

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Blog Tour: My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn – Review

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My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn
Release Date: June 1, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook
Source: ARC
2 Stars

Goodreads Amazon

Synopsis:

When I found an eviction notice taped on my apartment door, I had two options: find a comfortable cardboard box to call home, or move in with Tucker Jameson.

Seeing that cardboard makes me feel itchy, I chose the latter. Which shouldn’t be that big of a deal Tucker is one of my good friends. And because he’s still pining after his ex-girlfriend and I’m trying to finish my nursing degree, there is nothing to worry about in the romance department, making my last 

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Blog Tour: Dating-ish by Penny Reid – Review

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Series:
Knitting in the City #6 (can be read as a stand-alone)
Publisher:
 Cipher-Naught
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: ARC
5 Stars
Add on Goodreads

Amazon – iBooks – Barnes & Noble – Kobo

Synopsis:
There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris: 1) She’s fed up with online dating, 2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and 3) She knows how to knit.

After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of humankind, Marie is 

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Giveaway and Review: The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert

I’m so excited to be partnering with the awesome people at Gallery Books to bring you a giveaway in honor of Amy E. Reichert’s new release The Simplicity of Cider! Below you’ll find my review, along with instructions on how to enter to win your very own print copy of the book.

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The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Genres: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: ARC
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Synopsis:
Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.

Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled Continue reading