Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Faves

Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I love the spirit of the season, the kindness, the smiles. I love celebrating the birth of Christ, and I love giving and receiving presents. I love the decorations, the food, the family, the music, the movies. Basically I'm one of those people who are like, "I love everyone" except it's "I love everything Christmas!"

Here are some of my faves:

I could listen to Christmas music on repeat, though there are some songs that are kinda annoying (Twelve Days of Christmas, anyone?). My faves are the classics: Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Perry Como, etc. But I especially- and this will come as no surprise- love Michael Buble's Christmas albums. He's the perfect mix of modern and classic, and I love his voice.

I can't pick just one favorite Christmas movie, there are too many. But one I love which is probably a bit underappreciated is CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT. The movie is funny and cute and silly and I love the love story. Check it out if you've never seen it.

A new thing for me this year is Hallmark Christmas movies. I know a lot of people have been on this bandwagon forever, but I haven't jumped on until this year and it all started because I heard that one of my fave swoon-worthy actors was in a 2015 Hallmark movie called CROWN FOR CHRISTMAS. After watching that (and rolling my eyes yet crying at the same time), I decided to give some others a try. I only got to watch a few, but I'll definitely be giving Hallmark movies a go every year from now on.

I don't read a lot of Christmas books either, although I did give a couple a try. But I have to go with my all-time fave, THE GRINCH, of course. And I have a special place in my heart for THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL, and SMALL ONE.

What are some of your Christmas favorites?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday Read: The Chemist and The Forbidden Orchid

You'd think around the holidays that I would have more time to read. 


Christmas is in less than a week and I don't feel prepared at all. Actually, I'm almost there, it's just- it's been so busy that I haven't had the chance to just laze around and enjoy the season. Hopefully I'll be there by this weekend. Or, as lazy as an adult with four children who's also having company over for Christmas can be.

Anyway, so I only read two books these past couple of weeks. THE CHEMIST by Stephenie Meyer and THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID by Sharon Biggs Waller.

So, THE CHEMIST. Honestly, it took me about a hundred pages to get into this book. If it weren't for the fact that it's Stephenie Meyer and her books have yet to disappoint me, AND the fact that someone had recommended this to me and said they couldn't put it down, I probably would have quit in the first couple of chapters. I mean, it took twenty pages until there was even dialogue! 

Some people might not mind this, but I love dialogue and I really felt the lack. Besides, isn't it a rule that you shouldn't have more than what, three pages without dialogue, or something like that? She's Stephenie Meyer and she can obviously break the rules, but still. For me, there was WAY TOO MUCH detail, especially at the beginning, and not enough action. Once I did get into the book, though, I really enjoyed it. The MC was an interesting mix of clinical and cold yet still human- her character arc was excellent. And I felt the love story only added to the book- in fact it was my favorite part- rather than taking away from the plot. I especially loved the banter between the three of them. (See what I mean about dialogue?) Anyway, definitely a book to check out if you're a Meyer fan, just be prepared for the slow start.

Probably one of my fave books of 2015 was Sharon Biggs Waller's A MAD, WICKED FOLLY. So I eagerly picked up THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID. I rated it 5 stars on Goodreads, but it's really more of a four and a half. (I rate up, because I'm nice like that.) I loved the book and only had two tiny complaints. One, the blurb of the book tells us that the MC is going to travel to China with her father. So I waited and waited for this to happen but it didn't happen until about 180 pages in. I really wanted this to happen sooner, with a little less lead-up. And two, the love story was SO AWESOME in parts, but then it got forgotten at times. There were times when she could've played it up but she didn't. 

Otherwise, it was a solid book that I loved and I still count Sharon Biggs Waller as one of my fave historical YA authors. 

What about you? Do you like dialogue? Does it take away from the book when there isn't much?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday Reads

I rounded out the end of November with the last of a trilogy and two romances.

Myra McEntire's INFINITYGLASS is the third of the trilogy and I really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure I'd like the brand new POV's (each book has two different POVs) but I ended up really liking Dune and Hallie. I also thought she ended the trilogy really well. The ending seemed to happen quickly, but I think that's what happens when you've been into multiple books with the same story and suddenly it's over and you're all...

Anyway, it's a great trilogy and very voicey.

Then I read SOMETHING IN THE HEIR by Jenny Gardiner. I had really high hopes for this one because the premise is super cute. Unfortunately, I was less than impressed with the writing and some of the scenarios were so ridiculous it was hard for me to believe them. Plus the MC had a serious case of modesty to the point where the LI is constantly telling her how great she is. *eye roll* I finished to the end though and there were some cute and swoony moments.

Last, I read A Yorkshire Christmas by Kate Hewitt. I didn't realize this was only novella length when I bought it for my Kobo, but the story was really cute. Kinda reminded me of The Holiday (that Christmas movie with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz) at first but it takes it's own turn. It was a fun Christmas read, and I promptly watched The Holiday as soon as I was done!