The ABC Book Challenge – U




These were the only three books I’ve read that started with U, so bear with me!

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott is about a love triangle between three teenagers. I’m here for a good love triangle, but this book wasn’t really my cup of tea.

Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix is about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the fight for fair working conditions in the 1910’s, and the plight of immigrants in the New York slums. If you like books about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire this book is worth your time!

Untamed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast is the 4th book in the House of Night series. I read this book when I was about 14 (I’m 23 now) and I can’t remember a single thing about it except I really enjoyed this series. I need to reread it to see if I like it as much as an adult!

To be read:


The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead / The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin / Unsinkable by Gordon Korman

Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Favorites | TTT Throwback

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

This week’s topic is actually ‘Upcoming Releases I’m on the Fence About’ but I don’t have any! I thought it’d be fun to fill in any topics I don’t want to do by working my way down the original Top Ten Tuesday topics. The very first Top Ten Tuesday topic was childhood favorites, so that’s where we’re starting!


The Little House on the Prairie Series and Dear America series were my absolute favs, although A Series of Unfortunate Events was a close runner up! I’d like to do a few posts this year revisiting and reviewing my childhood favorites.


What was your childhood favorite?

Review: When Will This Cruel War Be Over? by Barry Denenberg

When Will This Cruel War Be Over
 When Will This Cruel War Be Over?
 Barry Denenberg
Publication Date: November 1, 2003
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating:4 Stars

The peaceful, traditional Southern life that Emma Simpson and her family know is shattered when the Civil War reaches their soil. Soon, Emma’s father and brother are called to battle, but her family is confident the South will quickly win the War between the States.

As the months drag on, though, the harsh realities of war set in. Death and hardship are all around Emma, and food, medicine, firewood, and ink for her to write in her diary become increasingly scarce as troops from the North march deeper into the South. Finally, even her home is commandeered by the Yankees.

Still, with a brave spirit and the knowledge of what is most important, Emma never loses hope that the war will end.

Review_ (1)

The Dear America books never fail to impress me! They were my favorite as a child and still are now, as I slowly read (and in most cases, reread) them as an adult.

The story opens the day before Christmas as Emma Simpson’s brother is deposited at her home in a coffin, his death the product of a wound and disease. That singular event sets the tone for the rest of the book as Emma struggles with profound loss after loss, the supposed sanctity of the south, and gradually realizing that life will never be the same. She feels the first stirrings of love, but wrestles with the concept of something pure and happy when so many lives – including her own – are in turmoil. Most of all, she rocks back and forth between melancholy and hope.

The Civil War is such an intricate topic, with so many different facets that Dear America could have featured 20 diaries from 20 girls with different vantage points to the war, but somehow this book surmised most of them. Emma is from the south, but in under two hundred pages we meet Southerners that are abusive and determined to keep slavery alive and others that are fighting for their homeland out of a sense of honor and responsibility. There are Yankees that loot and burn and terrorize, and others that help feed the people who have nothing left. Slaves that steal and rebel, and slaves that maintain the work they were doing before the war. Basically, I think this book was incredibly well balanced given the breadth of the topic. A lot of Dear America books act more like a snapshot and, let’s be real, deal with much less controversial topics. This one nailed it!

4 Stars

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The ABC Book Challenge – T




This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp is a YA book centered around a school shooting. It’s theme is really relevant and even though some parts fell kind of flat for me, it was an intense read-in-one-sitting kind of book.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is one of my favorite classics. It follows a girl living in the slums through daily life and is definitely a reality check for the reader. If you want to get into classics this is the book to start with.

‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick is set in Victorian London, which alone was enough to make me pick this up. I think Victorian mourning traditions are fascinating, and this book was basically a mystery that revolved around them.

To be read:


The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris / A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini / Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Bare Your Bookshelf Book Tag

bare your bookshelf tag

Since I finally cataloged my books last year and now I’m trying to read through some of them with Beat the Backlist, it’s only right that I bare my bookshelf! This tag was originally posted on PaperFury and I last saw it at Tomes with Tea.

Book you own but haven’t read yet

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This made me laugh out loud. I have about 300 books I haven’t read yet, so I’ll list some of the most pressing reads: Crooked Kingdom, Every Breath, Caraval, The Night Circus, Witches, and Children of Blood and Bone.



A good friend absolutely loved the the Inn Boonsboro trilogy and brought all three for me to borrow. I fell in love with them too, so much so that I had to buy them! It’s been a couple of years now so I’m ready for a reread.



The Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke. She’s my absolute favorite writer and one day I’d love to own every book she’s ever written – I have 18 of them so far.

Book at the bottom of the TBR


I don’t really rank my books because I am the textbook definition of a mood reader. I guess something that I won’t be picking up anytime soon is the Song of Ice and Fire series because I’m currently watching the TV show.

Book with color in the title


Between Shades of Gray (recently renamed Ashes in the Snow) by Ruta Sepetys, Black Dove White Raven by Elizabeth Wein, and Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Book set somewhere you’d like to visit


I’d love to visit the UK someday!

Most collected author


My most collected author is actually Janette Oke at 18 books, but since I already talked about my massive Janette Oke collection a close second is Nicholas Sparks at 15.

Mismatched series


The Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer is probably the most noticeable mismatched series I have. The first three books are the original cover and short, the next five are the updated covers and tall, and I still have four more to buy!

Book you love but don’t remember well


When this book came out I was SO. EXCITED. Alternate history where women are drafted and fighting in WWII? Yes, please. I read it in 2016 and never got a chance to buy the sequel so I can hardly remember what actually happened. It’s on my reread list for Beat the Backlist.


I’ve got a lot of reading ahead of me! What’s on your bookshelf?