Book Outlet Haul!

My best friend(Hi Dave) for Christmas gave me $100 to bookoutlet.com. I was so excited. I mean what book lover wouldn’t be right? I thought about only spending half now and half in a few months but I was unsure whether the books I wanted would sell out before I ordered them.

In my order I got a few books that were on my TBR for a while and I haven’t bought and some that I just picked because they sounded good. I ordered 22 books for around 97 dollars. Book Outlet is an easy to use website. The only complaint I have is that the gift cards go up to $50 dollars only, so my BF had to order two different gift cards. Also you can only use one gift card per order so I had to create two different orders. Not a big deal will still continue to order from them.

So here are the 22 books I ordered for both gift cards:

  • Challenger Deep- Neal Shusterman
  • Eliza and her Monsters- Francesca Zappia
  • The Afterlife of Holly Chase- Cynthia Hand (Already read but I really liked it so I wanted to own it)
  • By Your Side- Kasie West
  • There’s Someone Inside Your House- Stephanie Perkins
  • Undead Girl Gang- Lily Anderson
  • Sadie- Courtney Summers
  • People Like Us- Dana Mele
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely- Brigid Kemmerer
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight- Sarah J. Maas
  • A Study in Charlotte- Brittany Cavallaro
  • Love and Other Train Wrecks-Leah Konen
  • The Smell of Other People’s Houses- Bonnie Sue Hitchcock
  • Count All Her Bones- April Henry
  • Again, but Better- Christine Riccio
  • Go Ask Alice- Anonymous
  • The Nowhere Girls- Amy Reed
  • Us Against You- Fredrik Backman
  • Something Like Gravity- Amber Smith
  • The Love That Split the World- Emily Henry
  • The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club- Alex Bell ( I will read this but I ultimately bought this for my niece who is a huge reader.)

Series Catch- Up

Series Catch-Up

I love series. More times than not I’d rather immerse myself in a nice long series than pick up a stand alone novel. I always want more from a story. I love staying with characters they grow and develop. Of course, not all series are satisfying. Sometimes they come to a disappointing end and leave me wishing I would have stayed in the sweet spot of the characters best moments. Most times though, I am pleased with the ending and feel like I have a home to go to whenever I pick the series up for a reread.

As much as I love a good series, I find that half the time I don’t actually end up finishing them. I read the first one and never get around to buying the next ones. I do this a lot with books and tv shows and I never understand the reason for it.

So, this year I made a decision to finish all those series I picked up and enjoyed and never finished. Some are old and forgotten and some are newer. All the series I put on my list are finished series. I got a gift card for Christmas and decided to spend it on the following series so I can finally put it behind me.

Series to finish:

  1. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
  2. Warcross Duology by Marie Lu
  3. House of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini
  4. Tiny Pretty Things Duology by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
  5. Gone Series by Michael Grant

These are the five series that I have decided to finish hopefully by the end of February. I only work part time so I’m hoping that I will be able to bury myself in these stories.

What series do you all hope to finish this year? Are there any series that I should put on my list?

Keep reading friends!!

Anything But Books Tag

  • Name a cartoon character that you love?
    • I love Hei Hei from Moana. He is so funny and I can’t get over how much better he made the movie.
  • What is your favorite song right now?
    • Beer Never Broke My Heart by Luke Combs. Could sing that over and over.

  • What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?
    • Go fishing when it nice out, I’m a fair weather fisherman, and watch movies in the winter.
  • What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?
    • I looove the outdoors. Hiking, fishing, and going camping.

  • What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?
    • This week? I have been watching a lot of murder mystery documentaries.

  • What is something unusual you know how to do?
    • I don’t know how unusual this is but people are often surprised by… I can change my oil, do my own breaks, change bulbs in my car and other car related maintenance.
  • Name something you’ve made in the last year and show us if you can.
    • Not in the last year but last year I made a books sock for myself. I saw that I was bending the corners of my paperbacks so I made a book sock.
  • What is your most recent personal project?
    • I don’t currently have one
  • Tell us something you think about often (possibly while staring out of windows).
    • I’m always wondering about weather. How warm it is or cold. Windy or still outside.
  • Give us something that is your favorite but make it oddly specific.
    • I specifically love taking my coffee into bed in the morning and wrapping myself up in my blanket. It is my favorite part of the day.
  • Say the first thing that pops into your head?
    • I am sooooo tired. That’s really all that is in my head.

What is something specific that is your favorite?

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @bookfilledbrain and on Snapchat @bookfilledbrain

Thanks for reading!! Catch you next time!

Age Appropriate Reading

Recently I was in Barnes and Nobles looking for some Christmas gifts and overheard a conversation between a B&N worker and a young girl and her mom. The young girl was looking to move from middle grade to YA. To me that would be such an exciting moment in a readers life. Finally being old enough to move up a level. The only problem I saw was that the B&N worker was recommending books that were written and geared to a 17 year old. I for one skipped the point in my reading life where I slowly moved up levels. My mom thought that reading was reading and didn’t understand that like movies there are appropriate books for different age groups. I was plagued by nightmares from Cujo when in sixth grade because it was not an appropriate book for someone so young. This B&N worker was recommending an Ellen Hopkins book called Crank. While a great book that shows a side of life that does happen I feel that it is to mature for a young girl who just weeks ago was reading lighter material. I’m not saying that middle grade novels cannot touch on heavy subjects but that they do it in a way that our young readers understand and that won’t leave them with questions beyond their maturity. I’m not one to butt into other peoples conversation often but this time I felt that maybe as someone older and who has read the book that was recommended maybe I could give insight. So after the worker walked off I mentioned to the mother that she should do some research because the book she may buy was very mature. She thanked me and we left it at that.

So I ask this, just because it is young adult geared between ages 13-17 does that mean all books are for the entire age range?

Why do middle grade novels have age ratings showing parents who the book is appropriate for but YA is just a general grouping?

I understand that all readers are at different maturity levels. One thirteen year old can be ready for a more mature level than another. But as a whole most thirteen year old aren’t ready to read about drug abuse, physical abuse by a spouse, or heavy sex. I know at that age I was ignorant on those subjects.

When a bookstore worker is recommending a book to a young child shouldn’t they ask questions before handing over a book with explicit details of drug usage and abuse?

Maybe my thinking is skewed because I wish there was someone there for me when I was exploring new age groups so I didn’t have to go through weeks of nightmares and more questions than answers.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Am I thinking to much into it?

Thank for reading!

The Last One- Review

Zoo (Sam) needs one last adventure before her and husband Miles start to have kids. Signing up for a brand-new survival show to win a million dollars is just the way to get it. A mix between Survival and the Amazing Race, the contestants must test their survival skills and endurance to be the final one standing to be the winner, but what if destruction hit while on your own with the only instructions being to find the next clue. Would you be able to tell the difference between reality around you and the show that has crossed a few lines?

This book, written from two timelines weaves a tale of what it is like to suspend reality in favor of survival. From the beginning the story hooks you in and takes you through a journey of the sole contestant left in a competition. I really enjoyed following Zoo while she searches for the end of the longest adventure she has had. For a debut novel the writing was amazing. I can’t remember the last time I read a first novel that has so little flaws. I loved the portrayal of the main character. Oliva made me believe that the world we were following was really outside my door. Dual timelines can get confusing fast and can make it hard to really lose yourself in the story. With this novel that was never the case. Switching from present day to the past in each chapter builds the story and helps you understand the main characters motives. There are times when Zoo is unlikeable, but I think that was the intent. Showing what being isolated can really do to a personality.

As my first read for 2020 I was not disappointed. This book was fast moving and emotional. Bonus points for Oliva not adding an unnecessary romance.

4/5 Stars!

Thanks for Reading!!

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2019 Reading Stats

Books Read: 189

Shortest Book: Peter Pan- J.M. Barrie

Longest Book: The Walking Dead, Compodium 1

My Average Rating: 3.7 Stars

Favorite Book: The Great Alone- Kristen Hannah

Worst Book: I Hate Everyone But You- Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

Favorite Series: Illuminea Files- Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Sorry for the format of the charts. I’m still trying to get used to them!

The Girls: An All-American Town, a Predatory Doctor, and the Untold Story of the Gymnasts Who Brought Him Down By Abigail Pesta

Holy shit this book is intense.

Firstly, let me start off by saying that I won’t be going into detail about what is in the book, as far as the stories go. I truly believe that these are the kind of books that as readers we need to experience firsthand.

Trigger warning for extremely graphic sexual assault and for suicide, self-harm and verbal abuse.

I started this book knowing the major details of the scandal. Having watch the HBO Documentary: At the Heart of Gold, I learned even more about the scandal than I had heard about in the news. What this book did is give readers an inside look into the beginning, middle and end of the abuser Larry Nassar’s grooming techniques; the disturbing coverups and dismissals of victims reporting the abuse; and reminds us that children do not think the same as adults.

For me watching the Olympics is all about gymnastics. Seeing people flying, flipping, jumping, hanging and vaulting is always exciting. So, when in 2016 I heard about the USA Gymnastics Scandal involving the team doctor Larry Nassar I was shocked. This industry that makes millions on the sponsorships and viewers and is admired by people all over the world couldn’t have allowed a predator access to young girls for 30 years. It sounds impossible that not one person spoke out in all that time.

But here is the thing, they did. We find out in this book that multiple girls across three decades reported the abuse to counselors, police and head people at MSU where Larry Nassar was employed.

The abuse in the book is bad extremely bad and the survivors are strong, brave and courageous. These survivors gave a voice to young girls who were silenced by years of not only the grooming techniques of the abuser but by the very people who should have protected them, coaches and people in authority who could and should have stopped the abuse from the very beginning.

This book was not easy to read. Let me tell you I really struggled with reading the accounts of abuse the women went through. After finishing this book, I realized that this is the kind of book that is so important. It shows us not only that abuse can happen anywhere to anyone but that we need better protocol for girls who are in an isolated sport like gymnastics. It shows us that we need to trust the instincts of young children. Take a more active roll in letting them know what is appropriate and what is crossing a line. That even doctors who are world renowned should be watch closely. That when kids say something is off, we need to ask them questions and find exactly the thing that is making them feel off.

Read this book and take note on how predators groom children. Read this book and know that you should stop at nothing to report what is making you uncomfortable even if you don’t know what is happening is abuse. Read this book and know that trusting your gut will never steer you wrong. Let this book remind you that surviving abuse of any kind makes you an incredible human.