Kindle Haul #5

Kindle Haul #5

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

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Hello and happy Wednesday. I hope you’re ready to update your wishlist and your TBR list because today I bring you some more titles I recently acquired. Also, if everything goes as planned, next week you will be reading the post on how I get cheap ebooks, which I know is something you might be wondering. Let’s get started, shall we?

My Paper Heart by Magan Vernon 

I recently reviewed this book, so I’m not going to say much about this because that’s not the point of this blog. You can get it for free, so if you’re on saving mode but still want something to read, this can be a good option. The audiobook is $1.99, in case you’d rather listen to it than read it.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

This book is currently $4.49, but the audio version is $0.82, which I think is pretty awesome given that I paid $1.99 for it. I honestly prefer to listen to audiobooks when it comes to classics, so this was great for me. You can get really cheap audiobooks on Kindle, no need to subscribe to Audible.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 

I paid $0.38 for the audiobook version of this book, which I had bought a while back. Again, I would rather listen to novels like this than read them because I get easily bored.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain 

The audiobook version of this book cost $0.99. I think paying extra for the audiobook is great, both thinking as an individual reader and as a teacher. This is a tool that could be taken advantage of in the classroom.

Resisting Roots by Audrey Carlan 

Audrey Carlan is the author of the Calendar Girl series, so of course I was going to take advantage of the fact that I could get this book for free and the audiobook for just $1.99. As you can see by this post, I am in the process of restocking for the long bus rides every morning and afternoon.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut 

This book is obviously a must, so I had to include it in my reading challenge. It usually costs $6.99, but if you have Kindle Unlimited you can get it for free, which I did. Besides that, I did pay $1.99 for the audiobook version.

That’s it for this audiobook haul. As always, let me know which of these books you’d like to read or listen.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

My Paper Heart Audiobook Review

My Paper Heart Audiobook Review

Hello and happy Wednesday. Today I will be reviewing the last audiobook I listened to on the bus while going to a job I had a hard time adjusting to. Let’s just say, this feels like the end of an era and I’m kinda disappointed that the book we’re finishing up with is not the best out there. I’m talking about My Paper Heart by Magan Vernon. Let’s get started, shall we?

One thing I hate is when books reference the title, or rather quote the title. I think that’s stupid and that literally happened in this book in the first sentence. While we were just getting to know each other, the main character threw a bombshell: “My father has always been the patriarch.” What? Seriously? Talk about first impressions, huh?

Now the plot of this novel is one of the oldest clichés in the history of romance: city girl is sent away to the countryside. It was very predictable for some reason, just like this entire story, if I’m being honest. Obviously we all know what happens when the girl is sent away, right? Cue the mysterious stranger.

Something I liked and that had really nothing to do with the story itself but that I still enjoyed was the narrator’s raspy voice. It reminded me of Laura Prepon, and I wasn’t mad about it. I also thought it was cool that the chapters were short because I was listening to this on the bus and sometimes I got sleepy, so I could just listen to one more and go to sleep. I didn’t have to interrupt one or wait a long time until it was over.

The main character herself was kind of problematic to me. I mean, she acted like she was being sent to jail instead of spending some time with family. She also was super conceited and for some reason hated every woman around her, which for me was not pleasant to listen. Her thoughts about her own family members were mean. She thought her cousin’s life would change if she was given a makeover. And oh, right, spoiler alert: she ends up with her cousin’s crush.

You know I don’t like when authors include triggering topics just to make the plot more interesting. If you are sensitive to content related to eating disorders and/or assault, then please don’t read this book. Actually, even if you aren’t, find something else. This book was honestly very poorly written and edited, and the worst part is that it’s just the first in a series.

I want to know of a sexy audiobook that I can listen to now that I’ll soon go back to work and will endure even longer bus rides. Share your recommendations in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Easy Audiobook Review

Easy Audiobook Review

 

Hello and happy Wednesday. Now that I spend more time on a bus than I actually do at home, I have to be resourceful and listen to my books instead of reading them. My latest audiobook accomplishment was Easy by Tammara Webber.

I think you, my dear readers will enjoy this book because the main character is actually in university, and not in high school like most of the YA books I read and review in here.

Now, keep in mind, and I’m saying it from the beginning so that you can decide to skip this post altogether, that there are very detailed descriptions of attempted rape, and the subject of rape is present in this novel. If this is a subject you’re sensitive to, then avoid this book.

If you’ve decided to keep reading, please denounce your aggressor to the authorities if someone tries to hurt you, even if this happens at a party and calling the police means “ruining” it. If you read the book, you’ll know why I’m putting this out there.

This story starts with a very typical scene: damsel in distress and mysterious stranger who saves her. I won’t lie, I live for those scenes. What I didn’t like were the victim-blaming hints the mysterious savior was throwing at the main character. Dear stranger, being alone doesn’t give anyone a reason to take advantage of another person.

There are flashbacks and flash forwards, which you know I always appreciate. I don’t appreciate, though, that the main character is kind of immature, and I’d say a bit self-centered too. Yes, honey, your boyfriend broke up with you, but at least he was honest about the reasons why he wanted to break up. Shouldn’t he get a little credit for that?

This reminds me a bit of Flat-Out-Love because we have kind of an online/offline situation. Jackie, our main character, exchanges emails with Landon, who’s a class monitor or whatever they call it in the States, but she also has this thing that’s just beginning with Lucas, our mysterious savior.

It also remind me, in a not so good way, of all the dating advice I heard from Matthew Hussey a few months ago each time Erin talked to Jackie about guys. I accidentally sort of spoiled the ending for myself, but don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you. What I’m going to spoil though, is the fact that there was a breath Jackie didn’t realize she was holding. Because how smart do you even need to be in order to breathe, right?

Let’s talk about spoilers. Don’t tell me exactly how, but tell me about the last show or book someone spoiled for you.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Audiobook Review: Emma

Audiobook Review: Emma

 

Hello and happy Wednesday. I come to you with a new review that’s really super hyped and I honestly felt that it was just okay. If you’re a girl and you like books, society automatically thinks you’ll like Jane Austen and her books, and I honestly always ran away from that stereotype. I also once gave one of her books a chance and almost died of boredom, but now that I’ve become a full-on cynic, I decided to listen to the Audible version of Emma.

I listened to this novel on the bus on my way to work every day. Mind you, this was very early in the morning or after eight hours of work, so I found the smooth tone and pace of the narrator really nice. I also appreciated to be listening the story rather than to be reading it because there was a whole lot of dialogue and not much action. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy this book had I read it. And yes, I must admit there were a few times when I just fell asleep.

The story itself was cool, in the sense that each character was introduced with a sort of summary of their personal story, so that the readers knew exactly who they were and what their role in the plot was. I also liked the fact that Emma was a matchmaker of sorts, although throughout the novel she doesn’t prove to be very skillful at that.

Now, Emma is pretty much a kid, and one can clearly tell she is because she’s just selfish and immature. I felt like I couldn’t stand her but at the same time I could totally relate to her. Hasn’t that ever happened to you?

Jane Austen’s stories, as far as I know, are love stories by default, and this one has a ton of love interests and a healthy dose of drama, which once introduced, sparked my interest a whole lot more on this novel. I included Emma and her love interests in a Top 3 OTP’s post, so check it out for more details on that subject.

One thing I really didn’t like was the way in which this book ended because I feel that the author took her time all throughout the story except on how it ended. It was predictable, which I can totally live with because, come on, this is romance, but what truly bothered me was that it was all rushed, and we couldn’t really enjoy the fluff and the love.

Have you read anything from Jane Austen? Would you recommend? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

 

Flat Out Fluff

Flat Out Fluff

 

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Hello and happy Wednesday. I’m not really sorry for the cheesy title, and I think my true supporters will definitely appreciate it. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that I’m revamping my audiobook game, and that’s because now I spend around three hours a day on a bus going to and from work and I’ve decided to use that time to listen to awesome titles, and then share my thoughts on them with you. Today’s title is Flat-Out-Love by Jessica Park. Let’s get started, shall we?

I started listening to this novel when I’d just gotten back home after a pretty dark period in which I attempted to make it on my own in a foreign country and instead faced anxiety and depression. I’m giving you this context because right from the beginning, the story reminded me of what I felt the last two times I went to Baltimore, especially that final time, when I arrived to my Airbnb and realized that it was located in a far from nice neighborhood.

I think because it evoked such hard feelings, I was sort of predisposed to hating the book, to the point that almost immediately I decided I wouldn’t end up liking Julie, the main character, all that much. I think that partly I didn’t like her because I saw my attitudes reflected in hers. She just complains a lot at first because nobody *gets* her. Well, doesn’t that sound familiar?  I must say that this novel really surprised me in a positive way, and that my predispositions were gone as I kept listening and finding out more about the characters and the plot.

This is a love story, okay? So if you’re either not in the mood for that right now, or you’re just not into love stories in general, you might not like this as much. It has some of the romance clichés, which to me were predictable because I’ve read my fair share of these stories in my life. I picked up on a love-at-first-sight situation, but it was so well developed that even I doubted my first impression at times and thought I could’ve been wrong and that the story was going to take a completely different turn.

I like that this story doesn’t have the typical main characters. Julie is pretty regular, and her love interest ends up not being the obvious choice for her. Matt is intentionally super nerdy and his personality is just different from what I’m used to reading, in a good way. And obviously we get Celeste, who’s just such a unique character.

I’d spent a while without listening to an audiobook and I had forgotten how annoying it was to hear a female narrator talk like men. And yes, all of you people ready to fight me on this one and call me whatever you want to call me, I want to add that I also hate when male narrators imitate women.

Wen I say this is a love story, I also mean that I fell in love with it. Like I said, I think at the beginning there were many factors that weren’t allowing me to enjoy it to the fullest, but with time I really got into it. I find that the author took some very obvious and unoriginal elements and worked with them in a way that was so brilliant that the reader would have never predicted, and I think it takes a lot of talent to do this. Elements like love at first sight, which I already mentioned, the girl moving in with a stupidly rich and very dysfunctional family, a potential love triangle, those are all elements for disaster in my opinion, but they were developed so nicely into the story that I really enjoyed them.

Another element that I don’t see often but that I wish I did because it so relates to my personal life is the potential for an online romance. Come on, I haven’t seen enough of that around the Young Adult/ New Adult world and it’s something I thoroughly enjoy. When this was added to the story I was immediately hooked. Also Flynn, who’s Julie’s potential online lover, reminds me a ton of Noah Flynn from The Kissing Booth. This is a novel by Beth Reekles, which was also adapted to a Netflix movie and is all you’ll ever want plus more.

Again because I’m a cynic and I’ve read a lot, I could predict a major plot twist, which I won’t share with you, but I enjoyed seeing how it built up. I don’t care when stories become a bit predictable if they still keep me interested, you know? Basically, I don’t care if I can already tell what’s going to happen but I have yet to know the how.

At one point I did start doubting whether this story would focus more on Julie’s love life or on her relationship with Celeste, and I did because we have a third potential love interest introduced, and that sort of threw me off my game a bit, at least for a while.

I liked that this story dealt with deeper psychological stuff that I hadn’t anticipated when I started listening. I also really appreciated the super erotic scene that I can only relate to very intense sexting. Thank you, Jessica, for that.

To sum this up, yes I loved it and yes I super recommend it. There is a heartbreaking plot twist and there’s a lot that you might enjoy. I’m happy I gave this story the chance despite not being in the best mood for the first few chapters.

Now, this book is the first in a series. Should I read and review the others? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Audiobook Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Audiobook Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Hello and happy Wednesday. Sometimes I step out of my usual trashy reads and actually go for something my English teacher at school could be proud of. And yes, it might take me the longest time, but I do finish these reads, and just like with the others, I share my thoughts with you.

I recently finished listening to the Audible version of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and I felt simultaneously accomplished and disappointed. It’s like when you finally get to try that thing everybody’s been raving about and then you find out it wasn’t that great to begin with, you know? Like, I’m obviously proud of myself for taking that classic off my list already, but I’d rather stick to what I usually read, if I’m being completely honest here.

We all know English isn’t my first language, right? I’ve said it before. So when I’m listening to an audiobook in an accent that might not be the “standard” American accent, I sometimes don’t understand words or expressions. This happened to me when listening to this audiobook, but like everything, the accent was something I got used to and then it became easier to me to understand what the narrator was saying.

From what I remember from school, Oscar Wilde was known for his dark humor and for the way he criticized the society he lived in. This is apparent in some of the jokes and comments his characters make. I think you do need to be a bit cynical to understand where his humor is coming from because clearly is not something you can take as is. In other words, I know this novel is not for everyone, and that’s perfectly fine.

Now the style of the novel is pretty much the one of a play at times: long conversations between the characters and nothing really going on. That’s not really the type of narrative I usually reach for, but I think the fact that I was listening as opposed to reading helped the conversations seem more dynamic. Still, I don’t know if I would’ve enjoyed the book overall had I read it. I mean, I thought it was alright, but I don’t think it’s a literary masterpiece of any sort.

I knew what the story was about beforehand because I feel this is one of those novels everyone’s heard about but not many people have actually read, but I think it took way too long and way too much of the plot to get to “the point” of the story, you know? Again, I’m proud of myself for having listened to this novel, and I think it’s awesome that I get to live in a time when you have audiobooks because that makes some tough reads more enjoyable.

Let me know in the comments whether you’ve recently read or listened to a classic.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Does This Count As PD?

Does This Count As PD?

Hello and happy Saturday. If you’re a teacher, then you know what PD is, and you’ve probably suffered through it, too. PD stands for “professional development,” and in my short experience as a teacher, it’s always sucked. What’s sad is the fact that I’m always looking for courses to enroll in and articles to read, all related to teaching, and I would love to attend one of those life-changing conferences lucky teachers can go to, as opposed to the conferences I have to attend for work.

I’ve recently discovered the wonder of reading books related to teaching, and that’s how I came across 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny by Phillip Done. I actually enjoyed it so much, I decided to make it the subject of my very first post in this series I’m calling “Does This Count as PD?” because, you know, there are books I feel like every teacher HAS to read.

I listened to the audiobook version because, well, multitasking, and I loved the fact that Phillip Done, the author, is also the narrator. That makes the listening experience all the more real and cute. I’m just going to say this: I adored the entire book, but especially the first chapter. To me, it was fantastic, and it summarized what being a teacher is about in the best way possible.

The book is funny, but in a respectful way. I’m not sure how many non-teachers have read this book, but I think 100% of the jokes are funny to teachers, mainly because we can relate to literally everything the author says. Now that I’m no longer a newbie teacher, I realize that this book would be great for people who are starting out. It’s not a handbook, though, it’s a series of anecdotes related to teaching, and I really wish I could have read it during my first year. Maybe it would have made it better.

I only have good things to say about this book, and I especially loved how relatable it is. I swear, at times I felt like the author was talking about my own students. If you’re a teacher or you plan to become one, do yourself a favor and read this book. Also, let me know in the comments if there’s a book you’ve read that you feel everybody should, too.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

 

A Cute Little Thing

A Cute Little Thing

Hello and happy Wednesday. Today’s review will be super short because it’s actually from the shortest little book. I’m talking about the audiobook version of Ajax Penumbra 1969 by Robin Sloan. This book is actually a prequel to Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, which is a lovely novel in itself and I’ve read nothing like it.

This is the kind of audiobook you can finish in one sitting while coloring mandalas, passing your notes or doing other mindless activities. It is really short and it will have you hooked within the first two minutes.

Narrators for me are super important, and this narrator is amazing. His voice was soothing but not to the point where I was getting sleepy listening to it, you know? I constantly felt like I was a child and somebody was reading to me the most fantastic story.

And of course I need to talk about Robin Sloan’s writing style because it’s super captivating. I loved the fact that one whole chapter was told in the second person, as if the author were talking specifically to Ajax Penumbra, the main character of the story.

I totally adored this story, and it was great to know about Mr. Penumbra before he became the owner of his 24-Hour-Bookstore. It was an amazing read and I would totally recommend it.

Have you read any of the Mr. Penumbra books? What are your thoughts on them? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Let the Rant Begin

Let the Rant Begin

Hello and happy Wednesday. You know when you start reading a book and you think it has potential, but then it totally disappoints you and then you are literally mad at the book for making you get your hopes up?

Well, the audiobook of Let Love In by Melissa Collins caused that exact reaction in me, and I want to share with you every reason why this book was such a big flop. Let’s get started, shall we?

My first couple of comments were actually good because like I said, I thought I’d really like this book. I always appreciate when a story is told from different points of view, so that’s something that gave Let Love In happy points from the start. I also liked the fact that even though there were sad moments, it wasn’t a sappy and melodramatic novel. Mind you, I’d just listened to the first chapter then, and I’d definitely come to change my mind on that bit.

I know I’m going to have a problem with a book when I have problems with the characters, and I didn’t like Jay, Maddie’s ex, from the beginning. He was so stereotypical that I couldn’t like or even understand him. But of course, that’s not a problem because the minute Maddie steps foot in her new college she meets Reid. And she develops feelings for him within ten seconds. Ugh.

We all know I like my healthy dose of mommy porn, right? But I like to know I’m reading mommy porn before opening the book. I don’t those kinds of surprises, but of course Melissa Collins gave me one of those when Reid and Maddie had their first encounter. That’s not it, though, because of course when you have a crush on someone you act half the time like you hate them. Obviously that’s how real life works.

Here’s the real problem I had with this book, the one I often have with books like this. It totally promotes chauvinistic behaviors in both men and women. How, you ask? Well, the fact that a guy goads about sleeping with a girl (when he didn’t) and then gets punched in the face by another guy because “that’s not how you should talk about MY girl,” is one example. Girls, women, are nobody’s property, they’re not objects, and men shouldn’t talk about them like young children talk about their toys. Also, the “girls” in this book always like to dress “slutty” so that guys notice them. Really?

And let’s not forget about Reid, our handsome main character, who was a total dickhead to every other woman until Maddie comes along because she “deserves” it. Wait, so, other women didn’t deserve to be treated like actual human beings because you didn’t really have feelings for them? Oh, right, and then you tell us you want to be a counselor…Maybe, Reid, you should see a counselor yourself and work your issues against women.

It wasn’t only Reid’s character what bothered me, but actually the guy who played him. I could’ve been just me, but I felt like he sounded too old for a college guy and that made me cringe really hard.

I really despise authors that mock other authors and then go ahead and do the exact same thing they were making fun of. In Let Love In, Melissa Collins mocks bits of the 50 Shades series, but then her plot is in ways very similar to the story. What are you playing at, Melissa?

There was this teeny tiny redeeming bit when Reid tells his brother’s story, and I honestly felt proud of that plot twist. Of course, though, that bit is then ruined by Maddie pulling the jealous girlfriend act, and a super predictable ending, and of course, a super cliché cliffhanger. Like I’m honestly going to continue reading this series.

That’s not it, though. Oh no. Let’s talk about sex, babies, and how sex works for average women. I know your partner can be the sexiest man alive and oh so good at what he’s doing, and I know that it might feel extra special the first few times you have sex. And I know I wasn’t going to say anything about the sexy bits in this story, but, dear Maddie, you can’t physically come within .2 seconds. That’s not how the female anatomy works.

Okay, so that was my rant, and as always when I share a review of a book I didn’t like, I want to ask you for recommendations of similar books that you actually enjoyed. Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

 

My Poor Little Heart

My Poor Little Heart

Hello and happy Wednesday. Have you ever felt like, you know, you’re being too happy and you need something to destroy you just a tiny bit? Well, if you do, make sure to read or listen to Forever Is the Worst Long Time by Camille Pagán. It sure destroyed me in the best way possible.

I fell in love with this book right from the start because I thought the way it was narrated was genius. I mean this in both ways: one, I think the fact that the main character/narrator is telling his story to someone else is super powerful; and two, the narrator of the audiobook was simply fantastic in my opinion.

Right from the start, I picked up this How I Met Your Mother vibe, but in a good way. I mean, we all saw the last season of HIMYM, so obviously it’s understandable that I was a little scared of the turns this particular book was going to take, but it was way smarter and way more real than the show. It also reminded me of Definitely Maybe, and who doesn’t love that movie?

That book was like a guy I was quickly developing feelings for because it was giving me everything I loved, including quotes from my favorite Neruda poems. Yes, I’m that cheesy. And yes, like this guy I’ve been hung up on for the longest time ever, I can assure you now that this is and will be my favorite audiobook of 2017.

If you see the comments of this book on Goodreads, you’ll see the word “heartbreaking” all over, and for the most part of the story I didn’t really understand why it was described in that way, until I started nearing the end and everything was clear at that moment.

So yeah, I really suggest you read or listen to this book because I’m pretty sure you’ll love it. But I want to hear from you, tell me what’s your favorite audiobook of 2017 and why.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila