Mundie Moms

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han / Book Review

By: Jenny Han
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Released on: May 2, 2017
Purchase from: amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to goodreads

Lara Jean is having the best senior year. And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.

Life couldn’t be more perfect!

At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks…until she gets some unexpected news.

Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Okay, let me start off by saying that last year, my son was a senior in high school, and his decision of which college to choose hung over pretty much everything we did. Having lived through it, I think I could write an entire how-to book on the subject of being a parent of a college-bound kid. The whirlwind of stresses, disappointments and as he made his final decision, that feeling of yeah, this is the right fit. It reminded me of trying on dozens of wedding dresses with my Mom before my wedding. Each one had a reason that made it not quite right, until that moment, that singularly perfect moment where one just felt perfect.

The beginning of Always and Forever, Lara Jean reads like a primer for How to Get Into a Competitive College. If I sound a little disappointed, I was, and I adore Jenny's stories. Add to this a subplot where Lara Jean is trying to perfect the perfect chocolate chip cookie -- not too flat, not too puffy, soft in the center and chewy on the outside. Can you feel my eyeroll? Aside: For the record, Lara Jean, if you follow Betty Crocker's chocolate chip cookie recipe, she recommends adding a 1/2 cup of flour as an adjustment to help with the flat cookie issue. I, personally, love Jennifer Bushman's (Kitchen Coach: Weeknight Cooking) recipe. But, I'm digressing (much like the plot of the story).

I don't know about you, but I expect the final book of a trilogy to wrap up things. What's going to happen with Lara Jean and Peter? Will going to the same college save their very likely doomed relationship? Is their relationship doomed in the first place? I wanted more of that. And I think the problem lies in the fact that this a trilogy. The series would've made a strong duology. These meanderings from the main plot took up too much time in both this and the last volume.

So, why the four star review, you ask? Well, it's because Jenny's a masterful writer, and even though the plot is lacking credible tension, she pulls it off. Once Lara Jean decides on the college of her choice (I loved the way this occurred), things both unravel and fall into place. What we get in the end is what I love about every, single Jenny story I've read -- it becomes a story about family. And much like the heart of the Grinch at the end of his story, my own heart swelled to a solid 4 stars for this book. The whole plot suddenly felt like a classic, contemporary story, and one that I would love to see on the screen. If you think I have a big smile on my face as I write this, you're absolutely right.

Don't hesitate to pick up the series, stop and run out to get it for the holidays. It will make you feel as good as those Christmas movies you love to watch. Actually wait, it will make you feel better. You've got to meet the sweet perfectionist that is Lara Jean, and you have to meet Peter. The two of them are real and messy just like most relationships.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

New To My Kindle AKA I'm Finally Starting To Get The E-Book Thing

I am a book snob. There, I said it. I am. There's something about having a room full of books that I absolutely love. I love holding a book in my hand and having stacks of books near by. I've always had a love hate relationship with e-books. Mostly because for me, it's an out of sight, out of mind kind of thing. If it's on my bookshelves where I see it all the time, I'll read it. Since moving, I lost my in home library room (sniffs, I miss that room). While waiting for my shelves to be made, I've developed a love for e-books. I never would have thought I'd say I love my e-reader. 

Now I'm starting to get why everyone loves their e-readers. My e-reader has become my portable library and it's awesome. Yes, I know I'm WAY BEHIND on realizing this. Yes, I am still a book snob, and can't wait to have my room full of books again, however, this is the year I finally fell in love with my kindle. I've recently added some new reads to it. Check out some of the latest books I've downloaded to my kindle, and look forward to reading. 

See a book you'd like to read? Head over to Netgalley and send in your request! Thank you to Bloomsbury, Wednesday Books, Harlequin Teen, and Entangled for these new e-reads. I'm looking forward to them. I always love seeing what everyone is reading. What new books have you recently added to your e-reader?

The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg / Waiting on Wednesday #TheTombs

By: Deborah Schaumberg
Published by: Harper Collins
To Be Released on: February 20th, 2017
Pre-Order from: The PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Gangs of New York meets Cassandra Clare in this debut YA fantasy set in 1882 Brooklyn.
New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place for a girl with unexplainable powers.
Sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl pines for the life she had before her mother was taken. She fears the mysterious men in crow masks who locked her mother in the Tombs asylum for being able to see what others couldn’t. Avery denies the signs in herself, focusing instead on her shifts at the ironworks factory and keeping her inventor father out of trouble. Other than secondhand tales of adventure from her best friend, Khan, an ex-slave, and caring for her falcon, Seraphine, Avery spends her days struggling to survive.
Like her mother’s, Avery’s powers refuse to be contained. When she causes a bizarre explosion at the factory, she has no choice but to run from her lies, straight into the darkest corners of the city. Avery must embrace her abilities and learn to wield their power—or join her mother in the cavernous horrors of the Tombs. And the Tombs has secrets of its own: strange experiments are being performed on “patients”…and no one knows why.
I'm totally intrigued with this premise. Normally comparing a book to Cassie's series, or really any other popular book or series, makes me not want to pick it up, because often times it rarely live up to the compassions. However, this debut had me 1800's NYC and a girl with powers. I am looking forward to reading it. Which book are you looking forward to reading? 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cassandra Clare Announces New High Fantasy Series! @CassieClare #SwordCatcher

Did you hear the exciting news? Okay there's been a lot of exciting book news lately. Earlier today it was reported that Cassie Clare has a new high fantasy series in the works with Del Rey Books! SWORD CATCHER, the first book in the series, is rumored for a 2021 release. Targeted for adults, this series will feature, "criminals, princes, magicians and warriors", which sounds like my kind of read! Check out the article EW shared here, and here's what Cassie herself shared on Tumblr earlier today, here

Big News!
I’m very excited to announce that I have a brand new high fantasy series in the works.

Sword Catcher will be the first book in my new series written for adults, my first ever high fantasy project. Many of my readers have been with me for years, and have grown along with my characters. And over those years, readers of all ages have come to me both to say that they would like to read books about older characters, and also to say that they’d love to see me build my own new world from the ground up.

So I’m happy to say these books are coming from Del Rey books! I am very excited to be working with Anne Groell, who has edited Naomi Novik and George R. R. Martin among others, and has a sure hand with fantasy worlds. I’m thrilled to be published by Random House, who are excited as I am to bring you the tale of a young man raised to be the body double for an unworthy prince, a young woman destined to change the world, and a host of other characters I cannot wait for you to meet.

These characters — criminals, princes, magicians, and warriors — have been in my head for a while, and I am eager to let them out. I can’t tell you the publication date yet, since the book is a work in progress. But I can’t wait to share more information with you when I have it.

I'm looking forward to finding out more about this book and it's series. Speaking of Cassie news, recently she also shared the image above, in support of this past week's small business Saturday, here on her Tumblr. 

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR List/ Top Ten Tuesday #TopTenTuesday

Welcome to this week's Top Ten Tuesday. Today's post is Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR List. My last TTT post was, Top Ten Characters I'd Dress Up As For Halloween. You can check out my previous TTT posts here. I love today's topic. There are so many fantastic books coming out this winter. Here are just a few of the ones I can't wait to get my hands on. 


  1. The Defiant by Lesley Livingston, Razorbill, 1/23/18
  2. Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller, Feiwel & Friends, 2/27/18
  3. Hero At The Fall by Alwyn Hamilton, Viking Books, 3/6/18
  1. Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #6), Razorbill, 2/6/18
  2. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, Little Brown, 1/2/18
  3. Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu, Random House, 1/2/18
  1. Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking, Wednesday Books, 1/2/18
  2. Reign The Earth by A.C. Gaughen, Bloomsbury, 1/30/18
  3. Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner, Disney Hyperion, 1/9/18
  1. Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh, Razorbill, 1/23/18, *already read and this book is SO good!
  2. Lost Crow Conspiracy by Rosalyn Eves, Knopf Books, 3/27/18
  3. The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine, Balzer + Bray, 2/13/18
I can not wait to read these! There as so many books coming out this winter. It was hard keeping a short list. I'm loving all these covers. I love seeing these kind of lists, because I always find new books to add to my lists. What are some of the winter releases you have on your lists? 

OUT TODAY! 11/28/17 New YA Releases

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to today's newest YA releases! Here's what out today on bookshelves: 

  1. The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody, Simon Pulse 
  2. Final Fall by Heather W. Petty, Simon & Schuster 
  3. RIP Eliza Hart by Alyssa B. Sheinmel, Scholastic 
It's kind of nice having a small release day, because all three of books look like fantastic reads and worth picking up. Jessica's newest one is worth the read, Heather Petty's Lock & More series is AWESOME! I can't wait to read this one, and Alyssa's newest book sounds like a good read as well. Which new releases are you looking forward to reading?

Releasing on 12/1/17, just in time for the holiday season, YA author Tera Lynn Childs has a new book coming out; Myths and Mistletoe. Find out more about this collection of holiday short stories here

Friday, November 24, 2017

THE NOVEMBER GIRL by Lydia Kang / Book Review

By: Lydia Kang
Published by: Entangled Teen
Released on: November 7th, 2017
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
An arc was provided from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

I am Anda, and the lake is my mother. I am the November storms that terrify sailors and sink ships. With their deaths, I keep my little island on Lake Superior alive.

Hector has come here to hide from his family until he turns eighteen. Isle Royale is shut down for the winter, and there's no one here but me. And now him.

Hector is running from the violence in his life, but violence runs through my veins. I should send him away, to keep him safe. But I'm half human, too, and Hector makes me want to listen to my foolish, half-human heart. And if I do, I can't protect him from the storms coming for us.

A haunting debut that's part intriguing, eerie, and definitely doesn't shy away from the creepy elements that surround the setting. Kang's atmospheric writing really sets the tone for this story. It's one of the things I liked most about it. Unfortunately it's one of the few things I did like, and I really wanted to like this book.  

Like I mentioned above, the atmosphere for this story is well crafted, and really sets an eerie tone for the story. It fit well this story's mix of magic and realism. I liked the way Kang brought these elements to life, and made them work for her story. I don't think I've read a YA book quite like this debut. The setting for this book was awesome. The lake, and island were haunting, which matched perfectly given what Anda is and can do. I found Anda's powers really intriguing. She is the fearsome November storms the lake is known for. 

Anda is half witch, half human. Kept isolated and away from humans, except her human father. She is as dangerous as her mother, and unable to control her natural side. Her power is deadly. With change of the season, her human side is lost to her natural side; that of the fall storms. Anda struggles with what she is, and what she wants to be. Anda is intriguing, but she was a character I unfortunately didn't connect with at all. 

Hector is a character from a rough upbringing. My heart broke for him. I sympathized with his choices of running away from the life that has only brought him pain and heartache. He's a broken character who wanted out. Running to the isolated island Anda lives on and protects was his way out. 

Romance wise, like the over all plot, it felt off to me. I got that though they both have two completely different backgrounds, and naturally they understood each other and their wanting more than the life they both have no control over. Sure they have some chemistry, but their relationship just felt odd. I don't even know how to explain it. It was written like it was a forced relationship, vs keeping it a natural friendship. Maybe that's what the problem was for me. 

This was a hard read for me. It wasn't just the sensitive topics of abuse, violence, self harm, etc, which Kang does a good job in writing/handling, it was the over all story that felt disconnected. For much of the story, I felt like something was missing. I can't even pinpoint what exactly was lacking. Hopefully this will be a book someone else will love, because unfortunately, even though I enjoyed the premise, the setting and Kang's magical realism elements in the book, overall this book wasn't for me. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing all of you a wonderful & Happy Thanksgiving!

We're so thankful for each of you. Thank you for your continued support of what we do, and sharing our love of books and reading. We appreciate your taking the time to visit our blog to read our reviews, and various book related posts. We love the friendships we've made, and enjoy connecting with you on our social media accounts to talk books, and our favorite fictional characters... WILL (that was for Sophie haha). Thank you for your continued friendships and supporting us in promoting YA books. We hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday surrounded by those you love.... fictional characters count. ;)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

SNOW LANE by Josephine Angelini / Waiting on Wednesday #SnowLane

By: Josephine Angelini 
Published by: Feiwel & Friends 
To Be Released on: January 2nd, 2018 
Pre-Order from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Fifth-grader Annie is just like every other girl in her small suburban town. Except she’s starting to realize that she isn’t.

Annie is the youngest of nine children. Instead of being considered the baby of the family, she wants to carve out place for herself in the world. But it’s hard to find your destiny when the only thing you’re good at is being cheerful. Annie is learning that it’s difficult to be Annie, period, and not just because her clothes are worn-out hand-me-downs, and she suffers from a crippling case of dyslexia, but also because there are secrets in her life no one in her family is willing to face.

Josie Angelini presents a story about a resilient girl who, in spite of many hardships, can still find light in the darkest of places.

I've long been a fan of Josephine's YA books, so when I heard she had an upcoming MG debut, I quickly added it to my TBR list. This book sounds like a read both MG and YA readers will like. I love this cover. It says a lot, without saying much at all. If that makes any sense. I'm looking forward to reading this one when it's out at the beginning of next year. 

Which book are you looking forward to reading? 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Cassandra Clare Shares Details on the Cover for THE QUEEN of AIR and DARKNESS #Shadowhunters #MundaneMonday @CassieClare

Happy belated Mundane Monday! I meant to get a post up yesterday, but thankfully I didn't, because today Cassie took to social media to share some details about the cover for The Queen of Air and Darkness. This cover is stunning. I know I've said that a few times recently, but it is. Cassie shared this image of the cover above today on Instagram. I love the details Cassie shared along with it. Keep reading to find out what she said, below.  

Here's what Cassie shared on Instagram, here:

AND RED TO CALL ENCHANTMENT DOWN... The original art for the Queen of Air and Darkness cover. It took two underwater photo shoots to get this right -- but it was worth it! I think this might be my favorite of the covers, or tied with Lady Midnight at least. So glad this is coming in 2018 and not 2019 as originally planned! Lots of people have asked why Annabel doesn't have runes -- you'll have to wait to find out, but there's some cool details visible in the original art that are somewhat hidden by the text. I especially love the ruined highways.

Here's what she said on Twitter:

OUT TODAY! 11/21/17 New YA Releases

Happy Book Birthday to these new YA releases, out TODAY!
  1. The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis, Sky Pony Books 
  2. Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson, Wednesday Books 
Thankfully November is slower month for releases, because my TBR pile is huge. I'm hoping to shrink it in half during the upcoming holidays. I feel like having only two releases today, I may have missed a few others. If you know of other new YA releases today, please leave me a comment so I can add them to the list. We hope you all have a great Thanksgiving week! 

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee / Book Review

By: Mackenzi Lee
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Released on: June 27th, 2017
Series: Guide #1
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Source: Purchased book

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Talk about an entertaining read! Monty's narration had my stomach hurting from laughing so much. I admit, this book was not at all what I was excepting. That's a great thing, because this is a light, fun, highly entertaining read chalk full of humor, plenty of sarcasm, that not only had me laughing out loud, but made it hard to put the book down once I started it. Mixed with one of my favorite elements, history. This is a historical romance that includes trouble, love, friendship, and adventure!

Monty's character is one I wasn't excepting to be so drawn to. There's something in the way that he just is, that made me both like him, and laugh at his sarcasm. He in some ways, he reminded me of another certain sarcastic, unapologetic character I love who's name starts with a J. Like that character, Monty doesn't make excuses for who is, or what he does. That is what lands him in a bit of a predicament. Hailing from a well known wealthy, high society British family, Monty's scandalous behavior has gotten him a bit of trouble. His carefree trip of seeing some beautiful parts of the world (I'm a little envious), with his sister and best friend, Percy, doesn't go quite as planned.

Not only did his father send a so called baby-sitter, name Mr. Lockwood on the trip to make to sure Percy halts his scandalous behavior, which let's be honest, didn't change a thing, his journey is also challenged by pirates, villains, and plenty of other trouble. To make matters worse, Monty's battling an internal war over his feelings for Percy. Percy and Monty have the kind of relationship that makes them more than friends, and something stronger than brothers. Monty can't help fighting the deeper feelings he has for him. Will it all be worth the risk? 

There is something about the way this book is written that I couldn't turn away from it. Monty's narration was down right comical! Mixed into his sarcasm, and his immature ways, which normally would have annoyed me to the point I would have stopped reading the book, this book is hilarious. There's something almost endearing about Monty that I couldn't help but like, and two, wanted to see if the real Monty would finally make an appearance. I swear half of his actions are because he wouldn't come to terms with the feelings he's hiding for Percy for so long.

Talk about entertaining! This book is hilarious. Yes, this book has some subjective humor in it, and some older reader themes, but it's also Monty's down right ridiculous actions that land him in trouble. It's not just Monty who ends up in trouble, but his sister and Percy as well. Maybe it's because I wanted to see what Monty would learn from the continuous trouble he gets into, or see if he would grow up, but it was much to entertaining watching someone continually make a fool of themselves, especially someone who hails from the British high society. His father's reaction to all Monty does is spot on. 

Mixed into the humor, I absolutely loved the historical content of this book. Okay, love might be an understatement. The other reason I kept reading, was because I felt like I stepped back into time. I LOVE history, and this book's rich 18th century European historical setting was perfect. Lee's vivid imagery makes you feel like you're there along side Monty and his crew. My favorite part of the book might have been her historical notes at the end of the book. I'm impressed with the amount of research that went into this book. 

Overall, this was a fun historical romance, with the right amount of adventure, mishap and humor. That ending.... Oh my heart. What a great ending. I'm really hoping we get more of this story, but from Monty's sister. I loved how accepting she is of Monty and Percy. I feel like there's so much more to this story that needs to be told.

*There is some topics in this book that may not be suitable for younger kids. There are some drunken shenanigans, and some well written sexual tensions & scenes. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


I love NOVEMBER. Not just because it's my birthday, but it is the month to catch up on reading and writing. I realized today that I some how totally forgot to post this month's list of new YA releases. I know it's half way though the month already, but check out the list of November YA releases. 


  1. RENEGADES by Marissa Meyer, Feiwel & Friends
  2. ROSEMARKED by Livia Blackburne, Disney Hyperion
  3. RETIRBUTION RAILS by Erin Bowman, HMH Books
  4. HAVEN by Mary Lindsey, Entangled 
  5. THE BECOMING OF NOAH SHAW by Michelle Hodkin, Simon & Schuster
  6. WAR OF THE CARDS by Colleen Oakes, Harper Teen
  7. CITY OF BONES 10th Anniversary Edition by Cassandra Clare, Simon & Schuster
  8. THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS Graphic Novel by Cassandra Clare
  9. THE SPEAKER by Traci Chee, G.P. Putnam & Sons
  10. NOW IS EVERYTHING by Amy Giles, Harper Teen
  11. HERE WE ARE NOW by Jasmine Warga, Harper Teen
  12. KAT and MEG CONQUER THE WORLD by Anna Priemaza, Harper Teen 
  13. THE NOVEMBER GIRL by Lydia King, Entangled Teen
  14. EIGHT DAYS OF PLANET EARTH by Cat Jordan, Harper Teen
  15. THE CLOSET I'VE COME by Fred Aceves, Harper Teen
  16. DEVIL IN OHIO by Daria Polatin, Feiwel & Friends 
  17. THIS MORTAL COIL by Emily Suvada, Simon Pulse
  18. FRANKIE by Shivaun Plozza, Flatiron Books 
  19. FOLLOW ME by Sara Shepard, Freeform 
  20. ALMOST MIDNIGHT by Rainbow Rowell, Macmillan Childrens, 11/2/17


  1. WHICHWOODS by Tahereh Mafi, Dutton Books
  2. FRAGMENTS OF THE LOST by Megan Miranda, Crown Books 
  3. RUNEBINDER by Alex R. Kahler, Harlequin Teen
  4. THE CITY OF BRASS by S.A. Chakraborty, Harper Voyager 
  5. INTO THE BLACK by Ava Jae, SkyPony
  6. FLASHTIDE by Jenny Moyer, Henry Holt & Co.
  7. THE TRAITOR'S CRUX by Jessica Prather, Oftomes Publishing 
  8. NO SAINTS IN KANSAS by Amy Brashear, SOHO Teen 
  9. GOOD AND GONE by Megan Frazer BlakemoreHarper Teen 
  10. BEING FISHKILL by Ruth Lehrer, Candlewick Press 


  1. The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis, Sky Pony Books 
  2. Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson, Wednesday Books 


  1. The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody, Simon Pulse 
  2. Final Fall by Heather W. Petty, Simon & Schuster 
  3. RIP Eliza Hart by Alyssa B. Sheinmel, Scholastic 
Which new releases are you looking forward to picking up this month?

As always, please leave me a comment if I've left a new YA release off this list. I try to make sure I list all the new YA releases, but sometimes I accidentally miss one. Thank you!

Happy Reading!