Author Archives: Aubrey Joy

Randomathon Announcement and TBR


Another round of Randomathon is upon us! This round goes from May 27 (TODAY) through June 10th. There are 7 challenges and you can combine them how you like or try and read one book per challenge! Follow the other cohosts: Molly and Hannah. And follow our twitter!

CHALLENGES:

  1. Continue a series
  2. Book by a debut author
  3. Contemporary
  4. Lowest rated book on your TBR
  5. Book set in summer
  6. Book you’ve had for over a year
  7. Group book – The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

MY TBR!

  1. Continue a series – I’ll be listening to The Dazzling Heights (The Thousandth Floor #2) – Katharine McGee on audiobook from my library. I enjoyed the first book and just never picked up the second, so I’m excited to continue on with the series!
    The Dazzling Heights
  2. Book by a debut author – I’ll be reading Zenith (The Androma Saga #1) – Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. I preordered this book when it came out because I wanted to support the authors… and just never got to it!
    Zenith (The Androma Saga #1)
  3. Contemporary – I’ll FINALLY be reading Everything, Everything – by Nicola Yoon! I’ve wanted to read this since it came out; I’ve seen the movie and can’t wait to read the book. I think it will be a fast read :)
    Everything, Everything
  4. Lowest rated book on your TBR – According to Goodreads that book is Zenith… so big oof to that one lol.
    Zenith (The Androma Saga #1)
  5. Book set in summer – I’m going to read Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn #2) – by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. I read the first book and kind of hated it, but couldn’t stop thinking about it, so here I am.
    Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn, #2)
  6. Book you’ve had for over a year – I’m just going to use Fire with Fire for this one, too :)
    Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn, #2)
  7. Group book – The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson – I’ve already read this and LOVED IT so I can’t wait to reread it!
    The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

I hope you join us for this round!

REREAD Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur


Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey

Title: Milk and Honey

Author: Rupi Kaur

Release Date: November 4, 2014

Publisher: Createspace

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 204

Source: Walmart

milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

4 out of 5 stars


Oh little naive 2017 Aubrey.

I originally read this book before my painful breakup. Before I realized I was in an unhealthy relationship. Before I admitted to myself that I wasn’t happy. I didn’t understand then how beautiful and true these feelings were.

When I originally reviewed this I rated it 2 stars because I didn’t connect with any of it. I didn’t understand. I actually read part of it on my then boyfriend’s front porch. I was just naive. But that’s okay because everyone is supposed to have a point of naivety in their life, mine just lasted a little longer than it probably should have.

This book touched me and reached me so differently than the first time. I don’t really know why I was drawn to reading it for a second time because I didn’t enjoy it the first time, but I’m so glad I picked it up. I strongly believe that people won’t enjoy this unless they’ve experienced a painful heartbreak. Even if it’s you breaking up with a significant other, it’s still painful.

I know that maturity made me love this book. I now see why people love it so much.

Rupi Kaur writes about four different stages in her life: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing. The book is split into these four sections and takes a different tone for each. I related to the sections “the loving” and “the breaking” the most, but still appreciated the others.

The prose is beautifully written and easy to consume. The stories are tragic and true.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVo4q6xsWNc

Some of my favorite poems/quotes:

what i miss most is how you loved me. but what i didn’t know was how you loved me had so much to do with the person i was. it was a reflection of everything I gave to you. coming back to me. how did i not see that. how. did i sit here soaking in the idea that no one else would love me that way. when it was i that taught you. when it was i that showed you how to fill. the way i needed to be filled. how cruel i was to myself. giving you credit for my warmth simply because you had felt it. thinking it was you who gave me strength. wit. beauty. simply because you recognized it. as if i was already not these things before i met you. as if i did not remain all these once you left.

 

losing you was

the becoming

of myself

 

most importantly love

like it’s the only thing you know how

at the end of the day all this

means nothing

this page

where you’re sitting

your degree

your job

the money

nothing even matters

except love and human connection

who you loved

and how deeply you loved them

how you touched the people around you

and how much you gave them

Aubrey Joy

April Wrapup *how did I forget about this until now?*


Read:

  1. Begin Again: The Brave Practice of Releasing Hurt and Receiving Rest – Leanna Tankersley and Shauna Niequist *review*
  2. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) – Leigh Bardugo *review*
  3. Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life – Kent Nerburn *review*
  4. REREAD Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) – Maureen Johnson *review*
  5. P.S. I Like You – Kasie West *review*
  6. The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) – Maureen Johnson *review*

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, #2)

Aubrey Joy

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) – Maureen Johnson


The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) – Maureen Johnson

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, #2)

Title: The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2)

Author: Maureen Johnson

Release Date: January 22, 2019

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 384

Source: public library

All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.

For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.

The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel of the Truly Devious series, nothing is free, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.

5 out of 5 stars


I loved this book. I was engaged the entire time, and wanted to keep reading and learning what would happen. This is the first book in a long time that I’ve had the “okay just one more chapter” over and over again.

The Vanishing Stair follows Stevie Bell coming back to Ellingham Academy to try and solve the Ellingham case from the 1930s. She was sent home after events that happened in the first book, Truly Devious, and finds herself back at the school. She’s allowed to go back to the school because Edward King, her friend David’s father, sends her back to keep an eye on his son. Even though the reasoning behind her being back may not be the most honest, she still finds a way to do some research and questionable exploring with her friends back on the Ellingham campus.

Guys.

This was a fantastic sequel. I don’t know what to do with myself after the ending because I really just want the next book now! It’s crazy because I enjoyed the first book, but this one blew me away.

The characters are great and mysterious and had me wondering THE WHOLE TIME. What is David’s deal? When will they figure out what happened? What was this riddle about from Ellingham?

The riddles and clues throughout this book were so fun to try and figure out. (I totally didn’t, but was just here for the ride lol) I loved the introduction of the new materials and clues Stevie found out about because it added so much to the story.

I’m usually really annoyed by the presence of love triangles, but omg. This is a good one, actually. I really like David, but Hunter is so sweet. David is mysterious, and Hunter is an open book. Hmmm.

The most underrated character in this series is Larry the security guy. He’s so cool and values Stevie so much. He genuinely wants her to succeed and tries to help her stay at the school. What a cool guy. And they trust each other with information about the case yay for real relationships.

I’m really excited to read book three because SO MUCH HAPPENED RIGHT AT THE END. I’m actually shook. It all happened so fast, but I feel like that’s what would have happened if this were a real case. The influx of information would have happened so fast, and Stevie is just so fricking smart. So smart. It blows my mind every time she comes across something new for the case. 

Series:

Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)

REREAD Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)

Aubrey Joy

P.S. I Like You – Kasie West


P.S. I Like You – Kasie West

P.S. I Like You

Title: P.S. I Like You

Author: Kasie West

Release Date: July 26, 2016

Publisher: Point

Format: Ebook

Page Number: 330

Source: Libby app

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

3 out of 5 stars


Predictable? Yes. Still cute? Also, yes.

P.S. I Like You follows Lily and a secret penpal from chemistry class who originally bonded over a shared love for a particular song. Their mutual respect for said song turned into daily letters passed back and forth between them. After daily exchanges and getting to know one another, Lily realizes that she’s fallen for this secret boy. Why oh why did this boy have to only be on paper?! Who was he? Did he also have feelings for Lily?

This book was a little cheesy, but there were also moments I thought were pretty adorable. The whole letter writing thing was super cute and I secretly wish it had happened to me. I’m very partial to letters, so that could be part of it, but also a cute boy waiting on the other end? Sounds pretty great to me.

After Lily finds out who this secret boy of hers is, she freaks her freak out. He’s not who she wants him to be and she holds that against him… viciously. This is the part that bugged me about this book because come on. You obviously like him, why continue hating him in person. Get it together. It just seemed unbelievably childish to me. Can you not set aside your differences to just try and get to know this boy? Honestly.

I loved the family dynamic in this book because they were all so close. One of my favorite things in books is a tightly bonded family because it reminds me of mine. I loved Lily’s siblings and her parents were fun side characters.

The music aspect of this book was a cool choice because we got to see a little more into Lily’s head. She writes lyrics throughout the book and we got backstory on why she wrote them. Pretty nice.

This was a really nice audiobook because it was fast-paced and easy to listen to. I started it on my drive home from school for a weekend and finished it whilst walking to and from class. I’ve fallen in love with audiobooks again YAY!

Would I reread this book? Probably not, but I did enjoy it while listening to it. I think it’s a cute, fast contemporary :)

Guys. I’ve done it. I’ve conquered this reading slump I’ve been in for a few months! I’m actually excited to read again, which is AMAZING. Also, yay for book 20 of the year.

Aubrey Joy

REREAD: Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) – Maureen Johnson


Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) – Maureen Johnson

Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)

Title: Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)

Author: Maureen Johnson

Release Date: January 16, 2018

Publisher: Harpercollins

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 416

Source: public library

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. 

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

4 out of 5 stars


Okay. I think I’m FINALLY OUT OF MY READING SLUMP!

This is the second time I’ve read this book because I REALLY wanted to continue on with the series, but didn’t really remember what happened, and I think I liked it even more the second time.

ORIGINAL REVIEW

Truly Devious follows Stevie trying to actually solve the Ellingham case from the 1930s. Two people died, and one is still technically missing. Stevie is obsessed with detective work and she loves true crime, so when she got accepted to the Ellingham school she dove into trying to learn more and solve the case.

Super cool concept, and it was executed SO WELL.

I forgot how much I love rereading books, and I was a little concerned because I haven’t ever reread a mystery, but it’s so cool to see all the clues when they’re happening! I also remembered way more than I thought I would, but it was great because then I could follow along easily with what I remembered.

I’m so excited to see where the second book goes, and I’m actually going to start it right after I finish writing this. This book set up the next so well.

Series:

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2)

Aubrey Joy

Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life – Kent Nerburn


Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life – Kent Nerburn

Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life

Title: Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life

Author: Kent Nerburn

Release Date: March 16, 1998

Publisher: New World Library

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 128

Source: borrowed from friend

In twenty elegant pieces, writer, sculptor, and theologian Kent Nerburn celebrates the daily rituals that reveal our deeper truths. 

A companion piece to Kent Nerburn’s book Simple Truths, Small Graces is a journey into the sacred moments that illuminate our everyday lives. Through the exploration of simple acts, he reminds us to chart a course each day that nourishes the soul, honors the body, and engages the mind. 

Small Graces asks us to observe life’s quiet rhythms, the subtle shifts in perception and changes in light, the warm comfort of family voices; to feel the blessing of birdsong, the solitude of a falling leaf, the echo of footfall in snow-covered woods. By inviting us to recognize the hidden power of the ordinary, Small Graces reveals the mystical alchemy of the mundane made profound by the artistry of a well-lived life.

2 out of 5 stars


ehh.

Maybe I’m just in a weird reading mood, but I didn’t really get anything from this book.

I think theres something beautiful to be said about the small moments in life, I really do, but I also think the beauty in them is getting to see them for yourself. I feel like this was trying to be a guidebook on how to see the world. I also kept thinking “there’s no way this man actually feels these things as often as he does.”

There were some things that I resonated with. The section about family and how it’s weird and beautiful and cool that you choose a spouse or partner, and the family is chosen for you. I agree, it was cool. The rest was just kinda ehh for me.

I think the thought was there and the meaning was nice, but I just don’t really see the point in this being a book….

Aubrey Joy