Carly Blogs Here [created DECEMBER 2013]. Powered by Blogger.

Exciting Book Releases | Summer 2017

summer 2017 book releases; best books of summer 2017; new books 2017
Mid-May means summer is right around the corner, even though that's hard to believe because it has been unseasonably cold. While I tend to be a mood reader more than a seasonal reader, there are so many books coming out this summer that I can't wait to read. These are all books by authors I've read before and really loved.

Once & For All - Sarah Dessen | June 6th
If you grew up reading and loving Dessen's novels, I don't think it's possible to not be excited when she releases a new book. This book focuses on the daughter of a wedding planner, and I could be totally wrong but the synopsis gives me This Lullaby vibes which makes me really excited.
The Lying Game - Ruth Ware | June 15th
A woman has to confront something from her past with her best friends from high school, who she hasn't seen in years. This sounds a lot different from her last two thrillers-- and the mention of high school friends makes me think of Luckiest Girl Alive for some reason, but I'm hoping that won't be the case once I start reading it.
Hello Sunshine - Laura Dave | July 11th
Eight Hundred Grapes was really enjoyable so I'm hoping this will be another perfect summer read. It's about a celebrity social media chef who seems to have it all, but is really hiding something. I think the social media tie-in should be really fun. 
The Lake Effect - Erin McCahan | July 11th
I adored Love and Other Four Letter Words, and there's no skipping over this cover-- it's so cute! I love that it's based around a small town on Lake Michigan, focusing on a guy's life the summer after finishing up senior year of high school.
A Stranger in the House - Shari Lapena | July 27th
While I thought the plot of The Couple Next Door was just okay, the synopsis of this sounds like it could be interesting. A woman doesn't remember what happened, but she wakes up in the hospital and is told she was in an accident, but no one knows what to believe.
Wish You Were Here - Renee Carlino | August 15th
Oh how I loved Swear On This Life, and was so excited to hear about this release. It's about a twenty-something who randomly meets a guy, has a great connection & one-night stand, but he's suddenly totally uninterested the next day. Months later she decides to try and find out what happened (I'm already hooked on the suspense, hah).
Young Jane Young - Gabrielle Zevin | August 22nd
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry was one of my favorite books I've read recently. This sounds completely different in just about every aspect, but it sounds just as good. A congressional intern has an affair with her boss that goes sour, so she basically has to start her life over again in a small town in Maine.

Carly Reads Here | May 2017

I've really been jumping from genre to genre this year, which I guess shouldn't be too surprising since my top books from last year were all so drastically different. Each month I tell myself I'm going to do shorter review snippets since I've been reading more books per post, but that never seems to happen. Linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books.

In The Woods | After seeing Tana French's books everywhere, this was definitely one of my most anticipated books to read this year. The story follows a detective on the Dublin murder squad investigating the murder of a young girl in a small town-- the crime might be related to two missing children from 20 years earlier. This took me a few tries to get into, and it was definitely a slower read for me, but once I got into it I was hooked! The writing was really strong and engaging, and the story kept you interested until the very end. I'm so excited to read the next book, especially since it switches to a new narrator.

All Grown Up | I meant to read this back when I did my post about new releases, but the hold list took forever despite it being a really quick read. While I believe this is considered a novel, it read more as a series of short stories, or vignettes-- not in any chronological order. The narrator, Andrea, is a 39/40 year-old, who goes against the norm of getting married and having kids, and her struggle to find connection. The writing was sharp and humorous at times, but I found it to have more of a sad undertone and it wasn't very memorable for me. I enjoyed it more for the writing than the content, but I always welcome a New York City setting.

The View From Penthouse B | I was so excited to read my second Elinor Lipman novel after how much I loved the first one, and this one gave me the same blissful feeling while reading! It's about two sisters who live together in a penthouse in the West Village after they both unexpectedly lose their husbands (one dies; one goes to prison). It's comical yet heartfelt and just an all-around really fun read with another great group of minor characters.

The Hate U Give | Thomas' book was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, telling the story through YA fiction and has received crazy (& much deserved) hype since it was released in February. It's told from Starr's point of view after she witnesses a friend get shot by the police-- and is really just an honest and raw view at race relations in America today. There was a lot of dialogue, but it wasn't filler fluff dialogue, it was meaningful to the story and the characters. It was captivating and chilling-- definitely a book I'll be thinking about for a long time and still think about.

What have you read recently?

Carly Reads Here | April 2017

Six books, six different genres. I definitely have a pretty eclectic mix of books this month, including a couple that I really loved. I'll skip the long intro because my review blurbs always tend to be lengthy, but linking up for Show Us Your Books- stop by and share what you've been reading recently.

The Sign of Four | This is the second novel I've read by Arthur Conan Doyle, and admittedly my interest piqued because of my love of the BBC series. I really enjoyed every page of this-- you're met head on with Holme's cocaine addiction & it's the story where Watson meets Mary, so that's fun. The story read as fast-paced with the right amount of adventure and mystery, and I'm just a fan of Doyle's writing and miss the characters when I'm done reading.

Behold the Dreamers | So many feels. Behold the Dreamers is about two Cameroonian immigrants living in America seeking out a better life for their family as they await news on their asylum application status. This book was equal parts hopeful and heartbreaking with characters so complex that you felt like they could be someone you know. Some of their choices often made me frustrated and sad, but I think this is an impossible book to read and not feel something for the characters and their experience. This is such an important book, especially in today's society with ongoing misconceptions about immigration.
c/o netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Universe | This book has over 4-stars on Goodreads and more awards than I have ever seen on one book cover. It was moving and poetic and pulls you right into the story. It falls into the #ownvoices and #diversebooks realm, a story about two boys, Ari and Dante, who are struggling with their identity. It was one of those books that felt relatable even though I had very little in common with either character, and I think that's part of what makes it so endearing.

I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live In It
 | I saw this on some kind of upcoming book list and then it ended up being a read now option on Netgalley, and it was perfect for one of the Read Harder categories, so I was 3x excited to read it-- plus the cover wins some points too. The book starts off with the nostalgia of early internet days, which was fun to read about despite it not being relatable at all. I didn't meet a famous person in a chatroom when I was in high school and become BFFs with them and attend hollywood parties. I kind of lost interest when it turned into the author complaining about various types of social media- I think it was an attempt to be funny, but it just didn't work for me.  c/o netgalley in exchange for an honest review

When You Reach Me | This was a 2010 Newbery Medal winner and I enjoyed it so much! It's about a girl living in New York City, and she gets four letters from someone and she has to figure out what they mean. I loved the writing and all of the minor characters and their story lines. I wasn't expecting the time travel element, even though the mentions of A Wrinkle in Time should have been foreshadowing I guess. That element was a little confusing and not my favorite, but I loved the rest of the book so much that it didn't bother me.

Small Admissions | I dare say this wins for my least favorite book of the year so far. It had so much potential, about a woman in New York who loses everything after being dumped by her boyfriend. She ends up getting a job in a private school's admissions office and starts to get her life back on track. You don't exactly know what happened with the BF, so that kept me slightly interested, but otherwise I didn't mesh with the style/format of the writing or the lack of transitions. I could go on about how I found the characters all too outrageous, but I'll just sum up by saying I didn't like anything about this book and I'm apparently very picky with my chick lit choices.  c/o netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I haven't decided what I'm going to read next, I feel like there's added pressure to find a good book after reading one you really dislike.

Ten Things

Happy April! I thought I'd start out the month with something a little different and share some fun/super random things about myself to linkup with Kristen & Gretch.
  1. I'm an INFJ, and a true introvert (none of that extroverted introvert stuff). It's supposed to be a rare type, but it seems like it's really popular among bloggers which is awesome. 
  2. I have the biggest sweet-tooth ever and I don't think I've never met a dessert I didn't like... unless we're talking about key lime pie or cheesecake. 
  3. My favorite TV shows (of all time) are Friends, Downton, and The Wire. I love cheesy dramas too and am forever wishing Hart of Dixie could return. 
  4. Growing up my dream job was an architect, but I was really terrible at math so I never really gave it a consideration and I definitely regret it. 
  5. You've Got Mail is the one movie I can watch over and over again,  2005 Pride & Prejudice is a close second, and Bridesmaids never fails to make me laugh.
  6. I enjoy reading non-fiction just as much as I love a good novel.
  7. New York is my favorite city ever. I think there's a Gossip Girl quote or something that says when you're there you're never alone, but you're always on your own, and I think that's definitely a little bit of the appeal.
  8. I'm not really an animal person but a poodle is my dream pet.
  9. I'm that annoying person at the grocery store who checks like eight different cartons of eggs before choosing what one I want.
  10. Psalm 46:10 is one of my favorite verses and if I ever decided to get a tattoo, that would probably be my choice. 
What's your Myers-Briggs type? Do you find it to be accurate? Favorite movie or TV show?

Designing a Custom Phone Case

case app; caseapp; custom phone case; iphone 6
Happy Friday and last day of the month! This month completely flew by, but April brings the stretch of my favorite months so I'm definitely welcoming the new month. I'm embarrassingly excited for the last episode of Big Little Lies this weekend and can't wait to see how they wrap everything up. Season 2 of Good Witch is finally coming to Netflix next month, so I'm really excited for that. It's the little things right?

On to the subject of this post, I was really excited to partner with CaseApp to pick-out and design my own custom phone case. If you're unfamiliar with the website, they offer hundreds of pre-made templates and designs, but also allow you to customize your own phone case. The options are endless and you could easily spend hours on the website trying out different combinations of patterns, quotes, and clipart. I really liked that the design of the case wraps around the sides of your phone so you're not just left with white space.

My original plan was to use a personal photo, either from a beach trip or New York, but in the end I wasn't 100% confident in the quality of my photos. Instead I decided to slightly customize one of their marble backgrounds-- I loved the shades of blue and added the solid dark turquoise bit to bring out the darker shades in the marble. Knowing summer is right around the corner, I picked out this fun tropical print as well and can't decide which one I like better.

So the case looks great, but is it high quality? From a few weeks of use, it's super lightweight, but durable. I have dropped my phone on hard surfaces twice while using this case and didn't have any issues with cracking or scratching. It's hard to tell from the photos but the casing doesn't go around the top or bottom of the case, so that might be something to consider. They do offer a 'tough' option, that gives more protection, and still looks really great

Overall, I was impressed with the variety in designs, the customer service, and the cases. If you're interested in a phone or tablet case or a laptop skin you can use CARLY20 to save a little bit of money.

Do you tend to switch out your phone cases or stick to one over the lifetime of your phone? Where do you shop for cases?

CaseApp provided me with two cases in exchange for an honest review. 

All of the Recent Releases | carly reads here

I'm sharing a second book post this month to focus on all of the recent releases I've read recently. I'm not sure how far past the publication day a book can be to still be considered a new release, but for the purposes of this post I'm talking about books published in January to March of this year.

The majority of the time I find new releases I'd like to read from the All of the Books! podcast, and I'm always interested to see what the BOTM club choices are each month. Another thing I've learned recently is to check out the recently added tab on my library home page, because you can often get on the wait list before the release date to help cut down on month long waiting lists.

Spring Things & Wish Listing

Happy first official day of spring! Even though it was still snowy and freezing for most of yesterday and I could do with a lot more 60-70 degree days in the forecast, but such is life. Despite the weather spring has been on my mind for a while, blame that early warm spell we got a few weeks ago, so I thought I'd share some favorite things & a mini wish list.

Back to Top