Book Tag: Seven Deadly Sins

I got tagged by Nicole and Ashley from The Quiet Concert for this fun book tag! I feel like I’ve been keeping up with my blog posts but since I’ve been pretty busy lately, it’s been hard to keep the fun in them. This one is purely for fun because I love surveys and it’s just a neat idea to do for kicks! So thanks to Nicole & Ashley for keeping the fun alive!!



What is your most inexpensive book? What is your most expensive book?
Hmmm, most inexpensive book (assuming that this refers to a book I actually paid SOME money for and not received for free/as a gift)… I really don’t know! I guess something that I picked up at a thrift store. I go hunting for books at thrift stores from time to time and can find some for less than a dollar!
My most expensive book that I still own is probably my huge Spanish dictionary! It is kind of enormous and I bought it for my college Spanish classes back in the day. Once college was over, I was still in love with it and I may never use it again but I didn’t want to give it up! I bought it new at Borders (yes, Borders haha) and I can’t remember what I paid for it but it was a hefty amount!


What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
Oh wow, hmmm. I guess I have two! Firstly, Lois Lowry (within The Giver Quartet). THE GIVER is still one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITES but the quartet went downhill from there. The second and third books were okay and I hated the fourth. Secondly, Sarah Ockler. I loooooved THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS and then read #scandal and it didn’t even feel like it was from the same author (not in a good way). I still have to read her backlist titles but now I’m a little scared.


What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?
Harry Potter! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read the books (no, really. I don’t even know because I never used to count) and I’m doing a re-read via audio right now! I will forever re-read these books.


What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
I thought this was going to be hard at first but oh wait, I know exactly which book. ALLEGIANT. Even before the BIG THING got spoiled for me (thanks, Tumblr) I was just not movitated to read it. I enjoyed DIVERGENT and INSURGENT but I was never ga-ga over the series so the sheer size of ALLEGIANT had me pushing it off. I still haven’t read it. I sort of don’t even feel the will to pick it up at all. But I want to finish it still. Sigh.


What book do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?
Haha! I love this question. Well I don’t really read classics so I can’t really pick any of those. Probably HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad. It was one of the few books I really enjoyed throughout my high school career and I know that was ALL because of my teacher at the time.


What attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters?
I luuuuurve snark & witty banter (see: Swoony Snark). Maybe a little bit bad boy with a heart of gold (or bad boy who doesn’t do nice things and when they do nice things, you just die (see: Ronan Lynch)). And just general swooniness too. It happens in the most random places sometimes!


What book would you most like to receive as a gift?
Probably the special editions of FANGIRL and ELEANOR AND PARK because OMG so pretty! Or really any international editions of my favorites. I am just becoming obsessed with international editions!!

Yay, that was fun! I’m not going to tag anyone in particular since I don’t know who has already done it and who even has time to post, so if you see it here and you do a post, let me know! I’d love to see your answers! :)

Her Dark Curiosty (The Madman’s Daughter #2) – Megan Shepherd

Her Dark Curiosty (The Madman’s Daughter #2) – Megan ShepherdTitle: Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter #2) by Megan Shepherd
Date Completed: August 15, 2014
Publishing Info: January 28, 2014 by Harper Collins
Source: egalley approved by publisher via Edelweiss/audiobook borrowed from my local library
Genres: Historical Fiction, Retelling, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
   Back in London after her trip to Dr. Moreau's horrific island, Juliet is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget her father's legacy. But soon it's clear that someone—or something—hasn't forgotten her, as people close to Juliet start falling victim to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes. Has one of her father's creations also escaped the island?
    As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, her past bubbling to the surface, and her life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.


** NOTE: This review will have one minor spoiler because I feel like it’s something I need to talk about in order to fully explain my feelings for this book. If you haven’t read the book yet, just a word of warning! It’s something that happens earlier on the book, but still worth noting that it may be a minor spoiler for some. **

Admittedly, I was a bit mixed about how I felt about the first book in this series. After finishing THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER, I felt like I had enjoyed what I read, but the concept was just so strange… The book was a retelling of the classic THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU and I had gone into the book not really sure what it was about. Ultimately I had still enjoyed it and hearing that books two and three in the series were retellings of THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and FRANKENSTEIN, I was just itching for more gothic horror and decided to take the plunge. I was hoping that there would be less focus on the beastly side of the plot since that wasn’t a huge selling point for me in THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER (I wasn’t horrified at the experiments but merely the fact that it seemed far too unbelievable to be true) so I was hoping that it would be less of a focus in the rest of the series. With a Jekyll & Hyde retelling, I guess I should have known what was coming.

HER DARK CURIOSITY was a complicated read for me. I had an egalley from the publisher but instead, I chose to listen to the book via audio to help me move through it and I’m glad that I did. I had a reason to keep going with the book even when I was frustrated with it (and that was plenty of times). The “beast” side of the plot doesn’t really go away. In fact, it becomes even more prominent in one major way, so that wasn’t a really exciting thing for me. I guess in the context of THIS book, it felt a bit more realistic, but I still wasn’t super keen on the whole concept.

The first half of the book was kind of rough for me. I was really, really not getting along with Juliet. The way she said things, the things she ended up doing, her poor decision-making skills… None of it really worked for me. Honestly, some of the words that came out of her mouth just shocked me, as in, “Did she really just say that and how does she think that is A) a good idea and B) okay in ANY way?” I really just wanted to smack her because she was living up to a pretty poor stereotype of a helpless woman (who somehow decides to do things on her own and makes poor decisions anyway). I was never fully on the same page with her throughout the book, though I think her crazy-talk calmed down a bit towards the end. (Or got even worse but with all of the other characters finally giving in to her ideas, it didn’t seem as crazy.)

Let it be known that the possible spoilers exist in this paragraph: Yet again, the love triangle continues in HER DARK CURIOSITY — something I was REALLY REALLY hoping would not happen. At least it wasn’t a love square like the first book (that would be a love triangle with four people instead of three) but UGH. It was incredibly maddening and ridiculous. This book pulled a silly (yet somewhat expected) turn when the reader finds out that *gasp* Edward in fact did NOT die at the end of book one and somehow he’s back in London too. Then *gasp* Montgomery ends up back in London too and love triangle gets EVEN WEIRDER. Firstly, we know Edward isn’t even human. He may or may not have human DNA or contributors (this is something that is investigated in the book) but even if he does, that makes him like, what? 90% animal? So just pretty ick that Juliet is even romantically and PHYSICALLY interested in him. Then some things happen that I wish had just never even been an idea in the first place. Not to mention Montgomery is also vying for Juliet’s affections and things get even MORE complicated and… yeah, I was just nooooot a fan. Really not.

You want to know what the worst part is? THINGS GOT INTERESTING. I was all ready to finish the book, ranting and raving about how much I did not enjoy it and how I had no interst in finishing the trilogy and BAM. I got sucked in. Once the hints at the Frankenstein tie-in started popping up, I got pulled back in. Now I’ll probably read book three. Sigh.

Overall? This book and I didn’t really get along, but somehow I got sucked back in towards the end. I’ll probably end up finishing out the trilogy, but I’m not happy about it haha. The characters were frustrating, the love triangle was irritating, and I’m tired of the beast story line but I’m guessing that’s not going away either. I wouldn’t exactly recommend this series but I think I’m going to try to see it to the end.


“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!



Juliet // Character Obsessions: Science, romance, not caring about society rules.
Oh, Juliet. We are so not friends. I had a reeeeally hard time with some of the things that she said and most of the decisions she made. She was such a frustrating heroine for me. Let’s hope she grows up some in the last book.


Kept Me Hooked On: Gothic horror. I liked the retelling of Jekyll & Hyde! I haven’t read a lot of gothic horror but that side of this book was really fun.
Left Me Wanting More: Solid choices. Don’t try to pretend that Juliet made wise decisions. She made some pretty wild ones. I understand following your heart or passion versus logic, but sometimes there was NO logic. Other times she was way too damsel-y when she should have been strong and strong when she should have let someone help her. Sigh.

Addiction Rating
Skip it

I know I said I’d read the last book in the series, but I can’t really recommend this one. I was just way too frustrated and I’d say if you haven’t started yet, I wouldn’t suggest starting. The first book was interesting and this one finally came around for me at the end so… do I recommend that? Say try it? Personally, I wouldn’t. The series has been just okay so far and that doesn’t seem enough for me to put these books in someone else’s hands.


(Click the cover to see my review!)

     the clockwork scarab    this dark endeavor




Book and a Beverage [73] – Melissa from Bookmark Dragon

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

In case you don’t know the deal about Book and a Beverage, it’s a very simple yet fun feature: We read books, we drink beverages, we take pictures of them and then I share your photos and a little about you to the blogging world!

Give a big welcome to Melissa from Bookmark Dragon!

Bookmark Dragon Shumaker Blog Header


Name & Blog Name: Hi! I’m Melissa @ Bookmark Dragon
Tell us a little about your blog! Bookmark Dragon is a place to discuss, rave, rant, and generally talk about books!  I talk about all sorts of bookish things there, but tend to gravitate towards creating different kinds of book lists, discussing book-to-film shenanigans, drooling/hissing over book covers, and sometimes creating dream cast lists for my favorite book series.  (Speaking of, I am convinced that Michael Fassbender would make an incredible Darkling, no?)
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? (Link us up!) I love creating my dream cast lists, like the one I made for The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.  I also had a great time playing literary matchmaker and imagining how frightfully wonderful pairings such as Arya Stark and Draco Malfoy would be.
Got anything special coming up we should know about? Bookmark Dragon is turning one next month!  I’ve got a few things up my sleeve to celebrate, but nothing is fixed yet so you’ll have to stay tuned to find out.  :)


Book and a BeverageWhatcha reading? Red Rising by Pierce Brown.
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc) Checked it out from my local library.
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? I read a really positive review a while back that got me mildly interested, so I put it on hold at the library.  I was expecting to be entertained, but I ended up completely falling in love.  This book is EPIC.  It’s dangerous, ambitious, heartfelt, and so entertaining.  I was swept up in this ruthless world.  I could not put it down, and now am dying because book two doesn’t come out for four more months!  *hyperventilates*


Whatcha drinking? A Boathouse Farms Strawberry Banana smoothie!
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? I’m not a huge eater or drinker while I’m eating, but this is one of my favorite drinks so I make an exception for it.  :)
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! Oooh, of all time… that would probably have to be a chocolaty chip frappuccino from Starbucks.  I used to work next door to a Starbucks, and would get one every Friday afternoon.  It was awesome.

What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, The Giver by Lois Lowry (I haven’t seen the film yet.  The trailer terrifies me, though.) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment? It’s happened to me twice that I’ve raved about a book I loved on Twitter and later discovered that the author favorited one of my fangirl tweets.  It’s just a small thing, but it felt so good that they knew how much I loved their work!  More blog specific, I got nominated twice for a Liebster Award, and that made me feel unspeakably cool.
Anything else you’d like to share? Thank you so much to Brittany for hosting me!

Thanks, Melissa!! I’m so glad to hear Red Rising is so awesome!! I still have to read it so that’s excellent news. Also that Starbucks drink sounds amaaaazing. Thanks so much for being on Book and a Beverage!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Melissa! Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Google+

And don’t forget! You can participate in Book and a Beverage at any time! Got a book? Got a beverage? Just tweet or post your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #bookandabeverage and I’ll retweet or repost your photo!



On the Same Page: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent


  A new kind of historical fiction for me

I’m not usually a big historical fiction reader, but after hearing so many good things about BURIAL RITES and still having copies of the book from BEA last year, Alyssa, Amy, and I decided to make it one of our designated group reads for On the Same Page.

I think the thing that was the most different for me is that it was a totally different type of historical fiction than I usually read. Most of the historical fiction I’ve read and enjoyed has been a completely fictional story with completely fictional characters taking place during a real time and place. I think the deepest I’ve gotten into historical fiction with some accuracy has been the His Fair Assassin novels by Robin LaFevers with the set of three books taking place during a specific time period and even involving some actual historical figures. I’m not sure why but I just don’t always connect to historical fiction when true facts are involved — possibly because it feels too much like school? I really can’t pinpoint why — and I’ve found I’m fairly picky about what time periods I’ll connect to.

What fascinated me the most about BURIAL RITES was that I wasn’t 100% aware when I started exactly how historically accurate this book was. Hannah Kent details the story of Agnes Magnusdottir and the time right after she was found guilty of murder. I’m so used to reading fiction that I was assuming the book was more like the historical fiction I’ve read in the past — a historical time period and real place, but fictional characters and plot — but BURIAL RITES is a real story. All of the major plot points that occur in this book really did happen and Agnes Magnusdottir — along with most of the characters in the book — were actual people. Hannah Kent did a lot of research to put this book together and of course the fictional part involves the dialogue and minor plot points of the book, sort of filling in the gaps where no information was available (and a bit of embellishment as well). I don’t think I really realized all of this until the very end of the book when things were finally wrapping up and the impending finality of the book was near. All of the emotions just hit me knowing that this all really happened and Agnes was real and the ending was just a very emotional part of the book for me.

I also loved that with all of this being entirely based off of true events, I was able to go see everything after I finished. There’s a fantastic post on Picador that’s a photo essay from Hannah Kent herself, sharing various spots where the book takes place (of course as well as where the events in the book actually happened) and I almost wish I had seen this before I started because they’re such great visuals, and not even just inspiration. These are the actual places and you can picture the entire book taking place here (although I have to say, Hannah Kent does a great job with the setting so my own visuals weren’t too far off).

This is a book I feel like I need to go back and flip through again or re-read in the future. I had a bit of trouble connecting with it in the beginning because it took me a while to connect to the characters and really ground myself in the setting since I’m not used to historical fiction as much, but having the knowledge that I do now, I really want to revisit this book at some point in time. I suppose there IS an adaptation in the works with Jennifer Lawrence already locked in to play Agnes and I’m sure the movie will solidify this story for me even more. (She’s actually a little YOUNG for the part — isn’t it usually the other way around?? — but I think she’ll do a fantastic job.)

Don’t forget to check out Alyssa’s and Amy’s posts about Burial Rites today too!

Alyssa (Books Take You Places) //  Amy (Tripping Over Books)

Top Ten Tuesday – September 16, 2014: Top Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More


It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic: Top Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

What a fun topic this week! There are PLENTY of authors who I have only read one book from and I’m just kicking myself for not reading more from them yet… But what can I say! Book bloggers have busy schedules haha! :) Anyway, these were some easy choices for me because there are tons of authors I just can’t get enough of and still somehow have only read one book by them so far!


BRANDONsanderson marielu alexbrackenTAMARAirelandstone

So these are the authors whose books/series have been out and for some reason I’ve only read the first book so far! To be fair, a couple of these I was late to the game on (Mistborn, Legend) and others I read ARCs of (The Darkest Minds, Time Between Us) but still haven’t caught up with the rest of the series! So many books, so little time, right?


allycarter marierutkoski rickyancey

I didn’t get into these authors until they already had quiet a few books out! I really enjoyed Heist Society, but I have yet to read the rest of the series and Ally Carter’s other series as well! I also enjoyed The Winner’s Curse and really want to go back to check out some of Marie Rutkoski’s other books as well. I’ve heard great things about Rick Yancey’s other books too but still have only read The 5th Wave (though soon to be starting the next book in that series too)!



I’ve had my ARC of I’ll Give You The Sun since BEA but still haven’t picked it up! I loved The Sky is Everywhere so this is one I REALLY need to get to soon!


EMERYlord katjamillay lizczukas


So far these authors only have one book out SO FAR but I’m … well, TRYING to be patient for more! I loved their first books and am just so excited for future works from them!

So many books, so little time, right? But I’m working hard on catching up on all of these authors’ works! Which ones should I start with first?

Split Second (Pivot Point #2) – Kasie West

Split Second (Pivot Point #2) – Kasie WestTitle: Split Second (Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West
Date Completed: August 8, 2014
Publishing Info: February 11, 2014 by Harper Collins
Source: Hardcover gifted from Brianna via Andi ABC's Spring Exchange!
Genres: Paranormal, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
Related Posts: Pivot Point, The Distance Between Us, On the Fence
Addie has always been able to see the future when faced with a choice, but that doesn't make her present any easier. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. So when Addie's dad invites her to spend her winter break with him in the Norm world, she jumps at the chance. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He's a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. She wants to change that.Laila, her best friend, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie's memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don't want this to happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.
In the suspenseful sequel to Pivot Point, Addie tries desperately to retrieve her lost memories and piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot.


** This is a spoiler-free review for SPLIT SECOND but may contain spoilers for book one — PIVOT POINT — if you haven’t already read it! **

I had been meaning to read SPLIT SECOND for a looooong time but never picked up a copy for myself so when I received it from Brianna (Paperback Princess) via Andi’s Spring Exchange, I was so excited to finally finish off this duology and figure out where the story went after the exciting ending to PIVOT POINT!

SPLIT SECOND pretty much picked up where PIVOT POINT left off — Addie has made her decision on which parent to live with after seeing the two possible futures with each one — but SPLIT SECOND also has something that PIVOT POINT did not: a split POV. The book starts with Addie’s point of view, but we also get to hear a different part of the story from her best friend Laila, who I loved! Addie is always the more serious one and the planner whereas Laila is more laid-back, spontaneous, and extroverted so it was great to see the book from two very different mindsets. Another thing that I loved about the dual-POVs is that Laila actually played a really big part in PIVOT POINT — she actually changed Addie’s entire life in a BIG way, as we find out at the end of the book — so I really enjoyed that Kasie West chose to highlight her importance in these books by giving her an even stronger voice.

A very complicated part of the book (and not bad way — in a very interesting way) is the romance that was established between Addie and Trevor in book one and clearly all the readers are rooting for in book two. I want to say SO MUCH about it, but if I say everything, that will lead to very big spoilers so… sigh. I will refrain from spoilers! What I will say is that I love how Kasie West chose to handle this situation. As we find out from the end of PIVOT POINT, Addie is forced to choose the path in which she doesn’t meet and end up falling for Trevor in order to save her best friend, leaving readers sad and on edge in anticipation of SPLIT SECOND… So really that was my main question when I started the book: HOW DO THESE TWO END UP TOGETHER? (Because be honest. You know they have to.) Every step of the way felt bittersweet and tense and exciting all at once and I just really loved how Kasie West ending up weaving this story line. I thought it was simply perfect and couldn’t have asked for a better solution to the problem at hand.

I really enjoyed where SPLIT SECOND took the readers and there’s just something so refreshing about reading a duology! I love being able to get invested in the characters but not feel that long gap between several books or wonder if I’ll still be invested in the series years later. I always connect with Kasie West’s characters and even with a paranormal twist in this series, I still feel like each one was incredibly real. I had a great time reading these two books and I’m even more of a fan of Kasie West than when I first read PIVOT POINT!


“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!



Addie // Character Obsessions: Divergence, family history, friendship, para-mysteries.
I really connected with Addie in these two books… She has a level head on her shoulders but she also makes some poor decisions at times. She felt like a very mature soul and I just really enjoyed getting to know her! SPLIT SECOND was no exception and I really loved seeing her mature even more in this book.
Laila // Character Obsessions: Fun, helping her friends, honing her skills.
I loved how much bigger of a role Laila played in this book! So much about her — from her friendship with Addie to her own para-skills — really shaped the entire course of this book so I was really glad she had her own POV. Her voice was also so much fun and I loooooved her romantic interest too!


Kept Me Hooked On: Paranormal abilities. I’ve been switching up paranormal for fantasy reads way more often nowadays and for some reason, paranormal in general seems to be more “on the way out”. (Maybe just me?) I’m glad I enjoyed this one so much — concept and all!
Left Me Wanting More: Addie & Trevor time. Don’t get me wrong — they still had a lot of face time in this book… But given where PIVOT POINT left off, you can guess how much time was spent re-building that relationship. I still really enjoyed it all but I just wanted them to get together quickly!

Addiction Rating

I love that this is a duology and both books are really great, solid reads. Definitely books I’d recommend to others and what set me on the course of being a huge Kasie West fan!


(Click the cover to see my review!)

     the body finder    white cat




Pub Date [3] – Fall

Pub Date

Hi, all! Welcome to back to our new feature called PUB DATE where Estelle from Rather Be Reading, Andi from Andi’s ABCs, and Maggie from Just a Couple More Pages and I all team up to pair books + beers in harmony! Each week, one of us will features a beer and a book of our choice, each with a different theme for that month!

This month’s theme: FALL

Well, fall is ALMOST upon us! Here in Illinois, the leaves are juuuuust starting to change colors and the temperatures literally just dropped yesterday which means my favorite season of the year is coming up! Fall wasn’t always my favorite but now I am in love. No more hot weather. Pumpkin flavored things. Cozy sweaters. All good things, people. All good things.

Fall is also a great time for beer, I think! I love the new flavors that feel just right with the cooler temperatures because summer is a great time to quench your thirst, but it’s hard to drink the heavier flavors and maltier drinks when it’s so warm outside!

I also feel like fall is a big homebrew season for us. I don’t think we ever planned that intentionally but I guess with summer usually involving vacations (or in last year’s case, moving into a house), we usually end up brewing and drinking some new beers in the fall. Homebrewing is something I had never done until I met Shane (who has been homebrewing since before it was legal for him to even drink his own beer) and I love how it’s become something that we do together. Whatever beer we brew is mostly his brain child since he has all of the knowledge and experience, but I’m starting to really understand the process and what exactly is involved to make a good-tasting beer. (Usually I just help out and do what he tells me when, or choose things based on his guidance haha.) I’m really enjoying learning more about it all each time we brew!
We’re pretty small-scale right now but eventually Shane wants to get into some big-time brewing with much nicer equipment (which we can’t splurge on at the moment) and a bigger space to brew (which we just don’t have) so each batch is about five gallons, give or take, but that usually lasts a pretty long time, even with big beer drinkers like us!

Since homebrewing always gives me a fall feeling for whatever reason, I wanted to feature our latest homebrew! We did a “practice run” because we want to brew some beer for our wedding, so this is what we came up with! It’s nothing fancy, really. We’ve tasted a lot of craft beers lately that are amazing and a lot that seem like they go overboard so we TRY to keep our homebrews fairly simple yet delicious to not overcomplicate things (and also don’t want to screw up the whole batch because that’s just a waste of time and money and excitement). This beer is just a “golden hop ale” as Shane calls it which essentially just means a golden ale with a nice hop flavor. I’ve grown a bit tired of IPAs at the moment because the hoppiness can get a bit overwhelming so I love that the taste is there but not overpowering. I’m really enjoying this new beer! It’s a nice, easy drinker and so far I’m neglecting the other beers in our fridge so I can keep drinking the homebrew.


[The Raven Cycle and a homebrew in an Oktoberfest glass because that seemed appropriate]

For my book selection, I chose The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Even though I read THE RAVEN BOYS in March and THE DREAM THIEVES almost immediately after BEA last year, for some reason these books just remind me of fall. (Maybe because TDT came out in September so that’s when there was more buzz?) I was going to say that the books take place in the fall, but they really don’t… So that doesn’t even make sense. I’m not even sure when BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE starts, but… I guess I’ll find out soon!

I’m planning on reading this gorgeous little ARC of BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE this fall (aka almost immediately) and I just feel like it’s a perfect fit with the change in the weather and the crisp, fall leaves. The feel of the books just carries a sort of fall feel. I always feel like light contemporaries are perfect for summer and there’s just a sort of feeling that makes me want to read The Raven Cycle on a chilly fall day with the wind blowing and leaves tumbling to the ground. (Though Maggie Stiefvater would no doubt be able to twist that phrase much more beautifully than I can!)

Who can really say why I relate these books to fall, but I do! If you haven’t started the series yet, BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE comes out October 21st so you still have time to catch up! For those of you who have read the series so far, do they scream fall to you, or is that just me??

Thanks for joining us for another edition of Pub Date! Missed any posts? You can catch up at any time on my blog page for the Pub Date Feature!

Recent Beers

Not a big beer drinker? Here’s a list of the other beers I’ve had recently and my current thoughts if you’re looking for a good place to start! 

  • Harvest Pumpkin Ale by Blue Moon. Pumpkin Beer // 5.50% ABV. Pumpkin beers are always a favorite in the fall, but I actually have yet to find one that really knocks my socks off. I fell in love with this one from Blue Moon at first, but the more I drink it, I wish there was a bit more flavor. It’s still a solid choice for a pumpkin beer, especially if you’re trying one for the first time, but I’m still in search of the best pumpkin beer out there! (Suggestions?)
  • Octoberfest by Sam Adams. Oktoberfest/Märzen // 5.30% ABV. Okay, I had my first Octoberfest a BIT early this year (It was August. Whoops.) and I had to take a break because it was still a bit too warm out for Octoberfest, but the temps just dropped and I’m ready to kick back with one tonight!
  • Cinnamon Horchata Ale by Blue Moon. Herbed/Spiced Beer // 5.50% ABV. I have seen SO many mixed reactions for this one already but honestly, it is exactly what it sounds like — a beer that tastes cinnamon-y and like horchata. Personally, I liked it (maybe tasting a bit more Christmas-y than fall?) but I can also understand why some people hated it! It’s a lot of flavor but I thought it was quite tasty. Tastes like a snickerdoodle but in beer form. Mmmm.
  • Apex Predator by Off Color Brewing. Saison // 6.50% ABV. Saisons aren’t necessarily a fall beer, but I tried this one recently at a local craft beer restaurant and it was SO delish. I’ve been getting really into saisons for whatever reason (must have been having some really good ones because I actually hate the one that Blue Moon has out in their sampler pack) and Apex Predator was quite tasty. Also a really nice, easy drinker but don’t have too many because they’ll catch up with you quickly!

** Beer styles and alcohol content from Beer Advocate **

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