One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

I should start this out by saying I was a little hesitant to read this book. I read One of Us Is Lying because I really enjoyed the TV adaptation on Peacock, and the book was just as good. After I finished the book, I realized that the second book in the series wasn’t so much about the original characters but about Maeve and a new group of people that go to Bayview.

At the end of the show, it seemed like the next season would be a continuation of the original Bayview Four’s stories. The book ended differently, so it makes sense that their stories have mostly ended, but I still wanted more of them.

They do make appearances throughout the second book, but the story isn’t about them anymore. This time, the focus is more on Bronwyn’s sister Maeve and her group of friends. A new Simon impersonator has come into the picture and is playing games of Truth or Dare with the students of Bayview.

I was surprised to find how much I really did enjoy this book despite my earlier hesitations. The new characters were interesting and the revelations of secrets kept me reading chapter after chapter. The story had a pretty good twist that was different enough from the first book to keep it interesting. Would definitely recommend continuing the series if you’re a fan of the show and have read the first book.

I’ve seen things about a third book coming in 2023, and I’m pretty sure I’ll read that as well.

Bullet Journal – June Cover Page

First of all, this isn’t my favorite cover page. I saw this on Pinterest for a July cover page and it was really cute. It was definitely done in watercolor, which would’ve turned out way cuter, but I guess it’s okay. I did this and I’m honestly kicking myself for not making the theme June from Handmaid’s Tale. That would’ve been way better…

Anyway…May was interesting. I took off work for a week and it was so nice to have a break. I really, really needed it and kind of realized how much I’ve been putting on my plate recently. I went out with some friends and went to a food truck festival in May. It was fun and there was some normalcy.

I also got the second dose of the Moderna vaccine in May. That was rough. I felt okay until I went to bed that night. Woke up with chills and I was shaking so bad that I needed to take a bath just to warm myself up. I was able to fall back asleep, only to wake up a few hours later drenched in sweat. I was nauseous, had a fever, and just extreme fatigue from not being able to actually sleep. My symptoms lasted for three days and then by the fourth day I finally felt normal again. I would 100% do it again though! The relief of knowing I’m protected makes it all worth it.

Now we’re onto June and things feel good. It really does feel like we’re getting closer to things being normal. I’m not gonna lie though, I live in a small rural town and when I go into the grocery store it’s really hard to believe that all these people not wearing masks have been vaccinated. I know I shouldn’t judge, but a lot of people fought wearing masks in the first place. I feel like it’s a really simple choice to either wear a mask or get vaccinated, and the people who aren’t doing either really irritate me.

Hopefully things continue to get better! I’ll keep you posted 😉

Bullet Journal – Self Care Reminders

My goal for 2020 is to focus more on my overall health. The last few months of 2019 were pretty rough for me and I felt like I was at a really low point. I don’t really make specific New Year’s resolutions, but for 2020 I really wanted to take better care of myself – mind, body, and soul.

Self care has definitely become a trending topic recently and I think that’s a really good thing. It’s definitely important to make time for yourself, and to do things that you enjoy. It’s kind of amazing the peace of mind you can get from just spending a few minutes doing something that you really enjoy.

I’ve seen spreads like this one before, but wanted to make it my own. I made a list of things that I like to do to “refresh” and this is what I came up with.

Reflecting on it now, I like that there’s a mix of things that I do for my own personal self care. I like that I can do something productive like read a book or journal, but also that I’m happy with just spending time listening to music or setting aside some time to take a nap.

It kind of shows that there’s a wide range of things you can do to take better care of yourself and that you don’t have to spend a lot of time on it. Making myself a cup of tea literally takes less than 5 minutes, but it makes me so happy to hold that warm mug and sip something delicious.

Hopefully this spread helps remind me to do these things more often. 🙂

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Took a little break from Harry Potter before coming back to read the final book, but it felt so good to come back and all I have to say is WOW. This book was seriously sooooo good.

It’s definitely the best out of all of them. Seriously there was so much action from beginning to end, I’m not surprised at all that they decided to break it up into two movies.

I am so sad that so many characters had to die in the end. It was hard to read about the deaths of so many of them.

I really can’t believe I never read these books before now. I grew up with these books around constantly and I’m so sad that I missed out on the hype of the new books being released and the movies coming out, but I’m so glad that I’ve read them now. Better late than never, right?

Seriously this series is just so amazing and the writing is so good. Everyone should read these books. I can’t believe I’m done!

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

Here’s yet another book that I decided to read because I was obsessed with the movie. Don’t worry, I promise it won’t be the last 😉

When I decided to read Love, Rosie I had no idea that the entire book was made up of letters, emails, and instant messages. At first I was a little put off by it, but it actually made it a lot easier to read and it was a good way to show the personalities of all of the characters.

Man, this book was frustrating. They loved each other for SO long and it took SO long for them to finally be together. At least in the movie they were still pretty young when the ended up together.

I guess this story really resonates with me because I have a “friend” in my life right now who for awhile was someone I only communicated with through text messages. We seriously went for about 9 months texting every day before meeting and so love stories like this remind me of it. I hope that if I’m going to end up with this person, like Alex and Rosie *eventually* did, that it happens faster than it did for them.

I was glad that Alex’s kids were grown up by the time he finally ended up with Rosie. It would’ve felt wrong if Rosie had broken up his family so that they could be together.

I did have to re-watch the movie after I finished reading and I just have to say, it’s so crazy how much they sped the whole story up! I mean, I totally understand why they did it, it’s just insane how quickly they went through everything!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Just like the first book, I thought that this one was very similar to the movie and I really enjoyed it. I like that these books so far have been so easy to read. I get that they’re “supposed” to be children’s books, but they’re great for adults also. You just want to keep reading, it’s hard to stop. I’ve actually been staying up really late just to keep reading.

Lockhart is seriously so annoying though. If I had to pick something that I didn’t like, it would be him. He’s the worst part of the book.

I like that we’re starting to see the relationships forming between Harry and Ginny, and Ron with Hermione. I’ve always heard people talk about how if you’ve only seen the movies you won’t understand why these couples end up together, but that the books do it way better. I feel like I’m starting to see that and I’m happy about it.

I also would’ve loved to see the death day party in the movie. I think that would’ve been fun, even though it maybe isn’t essential to the story.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Okay, so when I was realllyyyyy little I was gifted the first Harry Potter book. It took me over a year to finish it the first time and I definitely was too young to really pay attention and know what was going on. I got the book before the movies were made, so it really wasn’t this huge sensation to me yet and I never read the others.

As an adult, I’ve seen all of the movies and really love them. I know so many people who have read the books and adore them, so I figured it was finally time for me to get on board.

I seriously can’t believe that I’ve never really read these books before and I’m really excited to have them all finished.

Re-reading the first one was so good. It was a lot like the movie, I feel like they did a really good job adapting it. I seriously loved it so much, it was so easy to read. I finished this one super fast.

Usually I hate knowing what’s going to happen, but in this case I actually loved it because there were so many hints throughout the book and little things that foreshadow what’s to come. I love being able to pick up on that.

Anyway, it’s really good and I’m really late to the game. Better late than never though right?

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

Before I started reading The Perfect Storm, I read some other book reviews. I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve seen the movie, and the reviews were mostly positive but they did mention that it wasn’t exactly written like a story. It was more of a collection of interviews alongside technical information about what happens to a boat in the middle of a storm.

What I really liked about this approach was that it didn’t try to romanticize the story. In the movie, it’s very much about Mark Wahlburg’s character, Bobby and how he’s dealing with the situation while his girlfriend is home waiting to hear news. The book has a lot about how she was feeling during the whole ordeal, but it felt more like a factual re-telling of the events rather than the emotional story of their relationship and the loss that she was experiencing. It was different, but I liked it.

As someone who studied journalism, I kept feeling like I was reading a long form article on the whole event. The majority of the story was about what happened around the Andrea Gail during the storm, like what other boats were experiencing at the same time and how they didn’t think they were going to make it.

I do think it spent wayyyy too much time discussing the other ships. There were so many details about them that I didn’t care about, I found myself reading/glimpsing through it quickly just because I didn’t care.

I also now know way more about swordfishing than I ever thought I would. Some of the technical stuff was definitely hard to get through, mostly because I wasn’t really interested in it and I really wasn’t trying to learn about it. I couldn’t tell you anything about it today.

While I did like the approach, I really yearned to know what was happening on the Andrea Gail. I know that the author wanted to stay factual, so couldn’t fictionalize scenes from the boat, but it really felt like something was missing from the whole story.

Overall, I think that the book is a good partner to the movie. This gives you the facts and more insight into the technical world of fishing, while the movie gives you the fictional reenactment that you really want after reading this. It definitely makes you care more and understand what it could have been like.

I definitely think that people who like the movie should read the book to have a full understanding of the whole story. It makes it much more than a sad movie starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlburg.

I’m Back!! And I’m Here to Stay

Hey Guys! I’m never sure if I’m really talking to anyone here (and it’s been FOREVER since I’ve posted, so anyone who WAS reading has probably given up hope on me now), but I seriously owe you and myself an apology.

I really made an effort for a while to regularly post on here, whether it be book reviews or little musings or really anything else. I wanted this to be a blog that wasn’t really tied down to one thing and I think I did a good job for awhile.

In the last year, I started a new AMAZING job. I’ve been traveling the world for my job and really living my life to the fullest. I’m so happy with where my life has gone and it’s been really exciting.

The whole time I’ve missed this blog. I’ve still been reading a lot and making notes to *eventually* post the reviews on here. I started bullet journaling and I’ve really been wanting a space to share my pages. Plus, I’ve really wanted a place to share my travels. Seriously, I’ve been traveling around the US, I went to Canada, and even spent 15 days traveling around Europe. I need a place to share this.

I’m going to make a new promise to myself to keep up with this blog. Writing has always been something that I’ve loved and I’m disappointed in myself for not keeping up with it and for being away from it for so long.

I hope that there are still people out there who would be interested in what I’m writing about and I hope that this reaches people who maybe are in the same boat. I don’t ever want to be afraid to admit that I’ve disappointed myself, and I never want to be afraid to pick something back up that I really enjoy doing.

I back and I’m gonna stay for awhile this time 🙂

“How to Become a Writer” by Lorrie Moore


I thought that the instruction was very clear in Moore’s story. It seemed like she was telling you everything you needed to do to become a writer. The story was also very enjoyable for me. I thought that the stories she was writing for her classes seemed like they were sort of funny, and I wanted to read at least one of them to see what it would be like to read something with no plot. It seemed like she was a really good writer, but she did not understand how to put together a story. Her stories were just ideas for stories and could have probably been edited to have a plot, but no one really helped her to actually put a story together. It was sort of ironic that she was writing about how to be a writer and people were constantly telling her that her writing was not worth reading.

I did not find this story depressing, like others in my class did. Even though she was not successful, she was doing something that she wanted to do and worked really hard to be a writer. Plus, if this is something that we are supposed to believe the character is writing, she was able to write something with a plot.