Blogger Awards · Book Tags · Bookish Posts

Blogger Recognition Award

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A big heartfelt thank you to Laura Spoonie, who nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award.

She runs an amazing blog, Laura Spoonie Blogs, about her journey through chronic illness, filled with content that inspires, educates and makes you feel a little less alone in the world. 

Definitely do yourself a favor and click here to check out her blog!

 

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The requirements for this award are as follows:

 

• Thank the blogger that nominated you

• Write a post to show your award

• Give a brief story of how your blog started

• Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers

• Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to

• Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them, and provide the link to the post you’ve created

 

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My blog focuses mainly on books, along with other positive lifestyle content. Lately I’ve been making an effort to make it more well rounded and focus on quality content. Look out for Self Care Sundays and Friday Fun, coming soon … 

 

But onto the reason I started my blog.

 

I created my blog, because I felt I had something to contribute to the bookish community and the world. A unique voice that I hadn’t read in other blogs. Not that I’m some super special unicorn of a person. However, there’s so many unattainable lifestyle posts and I wanted to bring something a bit more realistic. Also I’ve found very few people who read the unique set of genres that I do. I was constantly having people tell me, on Twitter and Goodreads, that I was introducing them to books they hadn’t heard of before. So that’s when I knew I had a unique voice among book lovers.

I also am a lifelong learner and love sharing new information with others. A blog seemed like a great way to do just that! Blogging and instagramming is also a fun but goal directed creative outlet. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know so many wonderful like minded people since starting my blog earlier this year.

 

While I still consider myself a newish blogger … 

 

When does one consider themselves a seasoned blogger? … 

When you’ve put enough thyme into it? 

 

Okay, that was a bad cooking joke, but I’m kind of loving it anyways. 

 

Here’s my advice to new bloggers

 

1. Be yourself

The best content I’ve read is always authentic. Even if it’s a topic I’m not super interested in, the authenticity will always shine through, making the writing so much more captivating. There are so many blogs out there already, why not be yourself? Also I’ve found the writing process to be so much easier when I’m being authentic. And bonus, more people have commented, liked and in general been receptive to my most authentic, vulnerable posts. 

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Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

 

2. Interact with other bloggers and people in general

With so many people creating content, most people aren’t going to just stumble across your blog. Put yourself out there. Get on social media. Interact with other people. Type in a hashtag that related to your blog content. Comment on people’s photos, tweets, etc. Start a genuine discussion. Even if it doesn’t drive a ton of people to your blog, you’ll make some meaningful connections and have fun. That really is the most important part of blogging, anyways!

Also if you’re in a blogging slump, interacting with others might just pull you out of it.

 

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

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My Nominees for the Blogger Recognition Award

 

There are so many wonderful bloggers out there, I wish I could nominate all of you. Here are just a few of the amazing people, whose content you should check out. Thanks for brightening up my day, lovelies. 

Jasmine’s Reading Blog 

Crazy Little Things

Thrifty Bibliophile

Tammy’s Reading Life 

Perpetual Fangirl

Sarah June

Swift Coffee 

Life Should Be Lit

For the Love of Books

Kook Bookery

Ruth In Revolt

Jill’s Book Blog 

Read with Allison

Reader Voracious 

The Past Due Review 

 

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I hope you all learned a little more about me and my blogging story, motivations and goals. If you want to join me on my journey for lifelong learning, books, self care and some fun positivity sprinkled about, subscribe to my blog. Thanks for reading this, all you lovelies. 

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Twitter: Follow @BooksAndLife1

Instagram: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Follow Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

 

 

Thanks for reading. 

Peace and love, 

Amanda 

4 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Chick Lit · contemporary fiction · Domestic Fiction · Southern Fiction · Women's Fiction

ARC Book Review | Rush by Lisa Patton

 

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Let’s start off with the Bookish Question of the Review:

How many of you were in a sorority/fraternity in college? What were your favorite experiences? 

 

Rush by Lisa Patton

Published: August 21, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 416

Genres: contemporary fiction, southern fiction, domestic fiction, chick lit

Rating: 4 stars

Recommend to fans of: books about the college experience, sororities, modern day southern charm, young women making the world a better place

Read with food: sweet tea, fried chicken, collard green, mac & cheese, and everything to complete a proper southern meal 

 

Synopsis: 

When Lilith Whitmore, the well-heeled House Corp President of Alpha Delta Beta, one of the premiere sororities on campus, appoints recent empty-nester Wilda to the Rush Advisory Board, Wilda can hardly believe her luck. What’s more, Lilith suggests their daughters, both incoming freshman, room together. What Wilda doesn’t know is that it’s all part of Lilith’s plan to ensure her own daughter receives an Alpha Delt bid—no matter what.

Cali Watkins possesses all the qualities sororities are looking for in a potential new member. She’s kind and intelligent, makes friends easily, even plans to someday run for governor. But her resume lacks a vital ingredient. Pedigree. Without family money Cali’s chances of sorority membership are already thin, but she has an even bigger problem. If anyone discovers the dark family secrets she’s hiding, she’ll be dropped from Rush in an instant.

For twenty-five years, Miss Pearl—as her “babies” like to call her—has been housekeeper and a second mother to the Alpha Delt girls, even though it reminds her of a painful part of her past she’ll never forget. When an opportunity for promotion arises, it seems a natural fit. But Lilith Whitmore slams her Prada heel down fast, crushing Miss Pearl’s hopes of a better future. When Wilda and the girls find out, they devise a plan destined to change Alpha Delta Beta—and maybe the entire Greek system—forever.

Achingly poignant, yet laugh-out-loud funny, RUSH takes a sharp nuanced look at a centuries-old tradition while exploring the complex, intimate relationships between mothers and daughters and female friends. Brimming with heart and hope for a better tomorrow, RUSH is an uplifting novel universal to us all.

 

Review:

I won this book for free in a Goodreads Giveaway. Thanks to Goodreads, St. Martin’s Press and Lisa Patton for an ARC copy of the book. As always, an honest review.

With sorority and fraternity life as popular as it is in this country, I’m surprised there aren’t more books surrounding Greek life. Rush perfectly fits this niche. We start off right before the school year begins following Ellie, Cali and Annie Laurie. They’re all college freshman from different walks of life hoping to pledge a sorority at Ole Miss. The chapters alternate points of view, which I really liked. It gave so much added perspective, and different stories were able to be told. The chapters’ POV include Cali, Wilda (Ellie’s mom) and Miss Pearl (a fabulous woman who works for a sorority on campus).

I like all of the main characters, which for me, is essential to enjoying a book. There are also a few love to hate, but redeemable characters, to keep things interesting. I really enjoyed Rush, because it’s fun, sweet, and poignant. Beyond just the fun process of sorority life, the author gets into tough topics such as living wages, health insurance, legacies, family money, racism, and micro aggressions in southern culture. We learn with the girls the unfairness that can be in the Greek life system. It certainly opened my eyes to things I really hadn’t thought about before.

However, without giving away any spoilers, the girls’ revelations are just the beginning of a fix to a much larger problem. The start of a conversation, not the end of one. I think the author does want it to truly be the start of larger discussions and change. Also, some of the behavior by the adults is appalling but contextually appropriate.

Rush seems like a fun, sweet, slightly catty book, but the depth of important topics makes it an important read. A great book for a book club or anyone looking to get a discussion going in a light hearted manner.

4.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · mystery · psychological thriller · suspense

ARC Book Review | The Secret by KL Slater

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Scroll down to the bottom of the review for a fun bonus question. I would love to hear your answers!

 

The Secret by KL Slater

Published: July 27, 2018

Publisher: Bookouture

Pages: — doesn’t list (Kindle)

Genres: psychological thriller, suspense, mystery

Rating: 4.5 stars 

Recommend to fans of: psychological thrillers, characters with a chronic illness or disability, family drama

Read with food: tea and popcorn ~ tea to relax and popcorn because its like a movie that you can’t stop watching

 

Synopsis:

You turn your back for a minute. And now your son is in terrible danger …

Louise is struggling to cope.  As a busy working mum, she often has to leave her eight-year-old son Archie at her sister Alice’s flat.

Alice and Louise used to be close.  But there’s a lot they don’t know about each other now – like the bottle of vodka Louise hides in her handbag, Alice’s handsome new friend and the odd behaviour of her next-door neighbour.

Archie is a curious little boy. He likes to play on his own at his auntie’s flat until one day when he sees something he shouldn’t. Now he has a secret of his own.  One he can’t tell his mum. One that could put him and his family in terrible danger.

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture, and KL Slater for an ARC copy of the book. As always, an honest review.

Captivating! Terrifying, in a good way! Can’t stop reading!

The Secret is a book that many people will be talking about for awhile. While taking notes for my book review, I must have written down “can’t stop reading” at least 5 times. There’s not just one good aspect, but various sort of random bits that I loved. So here we go:

– Alice! (the main character) She’s sweet, caring, concerned, the kind of honest person you’d want in your life.
– Chronic pain is represented well in the book. #ChronicIllnessWarrior #ChronicPain
– Sister relationships as adults ~ very authentic
– the suspense – I can’t say too much more without giving it away . . . but read the book!
– Alice’s relationship with her young nephew gives you hope.

There were very few parts of the book that I didn’t like. However the ending felt rushed to me. There was maybe 10% of the book left, and so many storylines to wrap up. I wish it was a bit longer to do justice for all the storylines.

And of course there are a lot of love to hate characters that make the book absolutely work. Sometimes I wanted to scream at them. But that’s more the mark of a great book.

So overall, I really enjoyed The Secret by KL Slater. Pick it up for a can’t put down read!

 

Random Question of the Review:

What book genre can you not get enough of?

Bookish Posts · the BookTube-A-Thon

What I’ve Learned from the BookTube-A-Thon!

Most of you have probably heard of it, maybe even participated in the week long reading extravaganza. Last year was the first year that I had participated as a reader. For years I had seen things about the BookTube-A-Thon on social media and watched videos, but never joined in. Last year, I figured why not? It seems like fun!

 

I am so glad that I participated. With the BookTube-A-Thon coming up soon, I wanted to share with you all what I learned from my experience participating in last year’s BookTube-A-Thon.

 

  • The book community is so nice~ from comments on my bookish Instagram posts to encouragement to meet my reading goals and motivational memes during the late night reading sprints
  • Social media helps to bring like minded people together, and that’s a wonderful thing.
  • An honest, heartfelt, positive comment on someone’s photo that they’ve clearly spent time creating means a lot. Take the time to say nice things to fellow readers.
  • A week of reading and all things bookish is just plain awesome!
  • Reading challenges are fun, but it’s okay if you don’t complete them all.
  • I have way more time in my day than I originally thought. ~ I didn’t stop doing everything else in my normal day for the week. It’s about always having a book with you, and also making my free time into reading time.
  • I felt physically better that week than I had in a long time. There’s something to be said for focusing on fun, positive, relaxing activities for yourself. Ignore the negative people and do what you love! #LifeLesson
  • Audiobooks, graphic novels and children’s books are your best friend if you want to hit the 7 books in 7 days challenge.
  • Reach out to other people participating. Interacting with fellow readers is what it’s all about!
  • Have fun! Be silly! Don’t take it too seriously
  • To show my true personality ~ I’m fairly serious and plan out what I’m going to say about books, which is good when writing book reviews. But the BookTube-A-Thon Twitter sprints taught me to be fun, not think too much about what I’m posting and even silly at times.
  • It’s okay for me to take time for me! A week where it’s about me doing what I love, caring less about what other people think, and not putting their needs above my own.
  • It is possible to read 7 books in one week, but oh my goodness, I thought my brain might fall out of my head.

 

The BookTube-A-Thon and reading in general has taught me so much more than I thought was possible.

 

A big thank you to the BookTube-A-Thon, Ariel Bissett, and all the other people who work so hard to make the event possible.

 

How many of you are planning to participate in the BookTube-A-Thon this year?

 

What have you learned from the BookTube-A-Thon, the bookish community or reading in general?

 

Peace and love,

-Amanda