Top Ten Tuesday | Mood Reader



Many readers say they’re a “mood reader.” I guess to some degree I probably am too. But I also have been able to refine which genres I am nearly guaranteed to like so there is less reason or chance to find a novel so I won’t have an impulse to hurtle said book across the room when I’m done with it.   

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt asks us to share some books to read if a reader is in the mood for genre X. Here’s the official topic suggestion.  

Broke and Bookish March 1st
Ten Books To Read If You Are In The Mood For X
 
As I was thinking about this topic, I was tempted to go in a variety of directions. The first of which was putting together a list of the paranormal romances I have on my shelf and asking you which I should read first. This fit because I figured it’d a.) be a list for those in the  mood for paranormal reading and b.) I was in the mood for some paranormal, I just hadn’t read any. In the end I ultimately decided to go with a mash-up. So, yes I did follow the rules in some sense.
 
The first five novels are going to be five of the most recent contemporary romance novels I read (since that is overall my favorite genre, plus fulfills the prompt to recommend novels) and the latter five will be paranormal romances residing on my shelf. But in this section I will be asking for your advice. Which of these should I be racing to read? 
 
Yes, I do realize what a strange and weird combination this is. But then, if we book nerds can’t be contrary, where’s the fun in that!?
 
 
#1. Where She Belongs by Johnnie Alexander 
 
Sweet and simple (in the best way), Johnnie’s recent Revell novel is about a young window, who is also a mother of two, opening her heart to love again. Amazon | Goodreads
 
 
#2. The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson
 
A setting on Prince Edward Island makes this contemporary novel stand apart. The characters and spark fueled first kiss make it all the more memorable. (I've got a review coming to Life is Story soonish.) Amazon | Goodreads
 
#3. The End of the World by Amy Matayo 
 
Broken and shattered in a million pieces is this novel. Fortunately for it, this is also what makes it strong. For anyone who likes raw and real contemporary fiction, look no further then this new adult Indie title. It’s a masterpiece. Amazon | Goodreads 
 
 
#4. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
 
Pretty sure this is my favorite story by Sparks thus far, though I might like the film adaptation better than even the novel. Amazon | Goodreads
 
 
#5. You’re the One that I Want by Susan May Warren
 
Ironically, this was the one novel in the Christiansen series (the sixth and final novel) I was most dreading. Having read about Casper Christiansen throughout the five preceding stories of his siblings I didn’t think there was any genuine way he could be redeemed. How wrong I was. This very possibly could be my favorite novel of the bunch. Amazon | Goodreads 
 

#6. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
 
I've had this one on my shelf for eons. It looks interesting. Amazon | Goodreads
 
#7. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
 
This book is definitely not my typical kind of read. But I’ve read some good reviews and heard from bloggers whom I trust that it’s a – plain and simple, really fun read. Amazon | Goodreads
 
#8. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Sounds cute in a sassy and unusual way. Amazon | Goodreads
 
#9. The Ghost and the Goth by Stacy Kade
 
I read a review on this years ago that made me believe this novel was a must read. It was so convincing I bought a used copy on Amazon shortly thereafter. To this day, the book sits on my shelf. Why I have no excuse for. Amazon | Goodreads
 
#10. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
 
Aside from the fact that Kiersten’s novels interest me, one of my #BookBesties (shout-out to Amber) read this and recommended it as something I might like during one of our many bookish conversations.  Amazon | Goodreads
 

If, after that bit of Top Ten Tuesday craziness, you’re still with me, thank you. I appreciate you sticking with the varying and all-over-the-place silliness of my novel picks today (I know, when speaking to their genres, they didn’t mesh). 

What are some of the books you’d recommend in these genres – and which of these YA paranormal novels do you recommend? Inquiring minds wish to know!

What genre did you recommend in your Top Ten Tuesday post today? Leave those blog links. As always, I’d love to visit.  

Thank you for visiting, book nerdigans.
 
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Month in Review: February 2016 | Changes



Good evening, blogger friends! Happy leap day.

I hope your February went well and you made new, fun discoveries. With the close of each month I think I find myself feeling a bit... overwhelmed at how swiftly life is travelling past. But it can also be a great opportunity to look at the next month as a "blank canvas" if you will and start a new month with new possibilities.

Another month’s close means another “month in review” here on the blog.

Welcome to Finding Wonderland (because that's where all good stories begin!). 
 
…..Happenings from February 2016….. 



1. Blog Changes: Some of you may have noticed there's been some awkward and messy changes going on over here on the blog. My apologies for all the "dust." I've been working hard to get things in a more permanent fix and have settled (finally) on some things. Part of the reason the blog is undergoing so many changes is because, while I really liked my last template, the darn thing coded more like Wordpress which made it really difficult to edit blog posts in "compose." I was constantly having to use HTML, and we bloggers know that's way more time consuming. *sigh* I still have some tweaks I'd like to make to this template, but for now, it's better.

Until then, don't be surprised if your FeedBurner emails (if you're a part of the blog's mailing list) undergoes a few more changes, or tweaks. Or if the blog itself encounters a few more slight changes. Here are some of those changes.
 
+ I'm adding more review archive pages. The main of which will be a page exclusive to the Hallmark reviews amassed so far and also, period drama productions sorted (kind of) by era.
 
+ I'm slowly working my way through some re-editing of older blog posts. It's a long process but I'm also taking it seriously because I'd like for things to be more uniform around here, and some of my old prose/post appearance doesn't jive with where I am now, at least stylistically.

Until then, please excuse the mistakes, flaws and changes.
 
2. Giveaway: You can currently enter the blog giveaway for a chance to win Dani Pettrey's Cold Shot. (Ps; it's a fabulous read!)

3. INSPY Judging Applications: Tomorrow's the day. We're asking for YOUR help and looking to success in the next step of our INSPY Awards timeline. We're so grateful for everyone's continued support and help with this program.
 
We'd like to invite any interested bloggers to apply to potentially be a 2016 judge. Find the application on INSPYs.com.

4. Cupig: I'd be remiss if I didn't share one of the purchases my mother and I made this past month. While out shopping, we spotted this adorable Hallmark item, named Cupig. It was a Valentine's Day promotion and after watching the little cutie do her song and dance, we brought her home. She's still making us smile.

…..Favorite Blog Posts…..
(Blog posts that, while not necessarily the most popular, these were fun to write) 


1. Downton Abbey, Series Six: one of THE best seasons yet. It's a farewell done well.
 
2. Grease: Live! (2016): because who doesn't enjoy blogging about a live TV production?
 
3. Memorable TV Ships | 2016 Edition: any chance to gush about favorite TV romances is a must.
 
4. Sherlock, The Abominable Bride (2016): anything Sherlock and I'm so there!
 
5. Top Ten Tuesday | Fiction Crushes: royal princes? Cute guys? Sea-faring captains? Yes, please!

…..Monthly Popular Posts (February 2016)…..

1.  Appetite for Love (2016)

…..Popular Posts the Week of February 22nd - 29th …..
 
 
.......February 2016 Books Completed.......

This was one of my better (in recent months) reading months. Hopefully March will see this momentum continue. (Especially since I'll need it with the INSPYs!)
 
    
 
    

    


Currently reading: Siren's Song by Mary Weber

…..Around the Interwebs….. 
 
Silver Petticoat: As is the norm, I enjoyed a fun month of writing and contributing reviews and articles over on the amazing webzine, Silver Petticoat review. Below are the things I added to their archives.
 
Articles
 
+ The Meet Cute: 10 Memorable First Meetings in Film (had lots of fun with this one!)
 
 

Reviews

+ Anything For Love
+ David Copperfield (Hallmark Entertainment)
+ Romeo and Juliet (2013)
+ Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
+ Seventh Son

TV Recaps

+ When Calls the Heart Season Three: A Time to Speak Recap – A Second Chance

+ Downton Abbey Season Six: Episode Eight Recap – A Tale of Two Sisters
+ Downton Abbey Series Six: Episode Seven Recap – A Fiery Day at the Races
+ Downton Abbey Season Six: Episode Six Recap – Crawley Family, Tour Guides?

If you're curious to see what else I've reviewed or written about over on Silver Petticoat, you can see my archived articles on the Silver Petticoat page of this blog.
 
-------
 
That is #FindingWonderland Blog's Month in Review.
 
What new discoveries or favorite finds did you discover?
 
Let me know all of your favorites. And watch for a new Top Ten Tuesday later.
 
HAPPY MARCH.
 
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Hollywood Glamour | The 2016 Oscars



Tonight Hollywood royalty gathers for the 88th annual Academy Awards, also known as The Oscars.

Each year I run through a fixed spiel in my head. It runs something like this.

*Prior to Oscar weekend*

"Nope. Not watching any part of the show this year. There's no nominees I care THAT much about anyway."

*Remembers it's Oscar weekend*

"Oh, right! Sunday is the Oscars. I think I'll tune in during the latter half of the show and watch a couple of hours."

Something to that affect is often my thought process when it comes to this over styled, overpriced, PC, and dare I say this, fixed show. But usually my latter reasoning wins out every year and as Sunday winds to a close, I gather my laptop and sit in front of the television to endure, ahem, I mean watch 2+ hours (in some years) of the glamorous show. Why I do is a mystery, but I think the primary reason is, it's just way too fun to poke fun at the ludicrous nature of the show.

As is the usual case for the nominees, most are of films I have absolutely NO interest in seeing (for reasons I don't want to get into). Though I still wish to see Inside Out, and am very much anticipating Brooklyn's arrival to DVD later this month - and of course, you all know my admiration for Disney's Cinderella. Below I'm listing some of the "big award" nominees (best actor, best actress) and the role they are nominated for, and sharing one of the awards we period drama aficionados might be interested in.

Best Costume Design


+ Carol (Sandy Powell)
+ Cinderella (Sandy Powell)
+ The Danish Girl (Paco Delgado)
+ Mad Max: Fury Road (Jenny Beavan)
+ The Reverent (Jacqueline West)

Some say Cinderella is going to win this one, which I 100% support but find difficult to believe. Maybe that's because above all else, I'd love to see this beauty of a film win an Oscar, but either way, it's a golden winner in my book.

(One oversight would be the lack of seeing Far from the Madding Crowd on this list! Snub much!?)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

+ Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)
+ Matt Damon (The Martian)
+ Leonardo DiCaprio (The Reverent)
+ Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
+ Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

I honestly have no opinion of who should win in this category. Aside from the fact that I don't have any curiosity about any of the films these men are nominated for, with exception to Cranston, I've seen them all in different roles and they are each talented actors.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

+ Cate Blanchett (Carol)
+ Brie Larson (Room)
+ Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)
+ Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
+ Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

Another supremely talented group of ladies. The only one I don't think I've seen in anything is Larson. The rest are the top of the top. Naturally, it'd be fun to see Ronan win (because more period drama epicness), but I'd wager that's the longshot of the group. They say the honor will go to Larson, though I wouldn't be surprised if Blanchett walked home with the title.

Best Picture

+ The Big Short
+ Bridge of Spies
+ Brooklyn
+ Mad Max: Fury Road
+ The Martian
+ The Revenant
+ Room
+ Spotlight

Much as I'd like to see Brooklyn win (whether or not it's the "best" Oscar best picture nominee matters not, it's a costume drama!), I know that won't happen. Beyond that, I don't feel like any of these are great films (from the reading I've done) although I will make one edit to that statement and say I have heard rave reviews on Bridge of Spies, most of which from people who's opinions I do trust.

Tonight instead of posting this tomorrow, I thought as I watched the show, I'd do a bit of "live blogging." It's probably not likely to be overly frequent or well put together, but for something a little different, I thought this could be a fun exercise in Oscar blogging. Any updates I add while watching the show will appear below....

UPDATES

+ Oh, look! The Minions just showed up on the presenters stage. And now Buzz and Woody!? This might be the best part of the night.

+ Yay for Inside Out!

+ Here we go. Only been watching 2-3 minutes. PC speech-ing. Bad, bad, bad...(is it a good thing the applause was tepid?)

+ Spoiler reading: Bummed that Sandy Powell lost best costume design.

+ Spoiler reading: Congrats to the talented Alicia Vikander for her best supporting actress win.

+ Love Kate Winslet, but her dress...?

+ Yep... and now here's more boring.

+ Haven't seen Mark Rylance in anything (that comes to mind), but he seems a deserving talent.

+ Playing Sherlock and being BORED! This has inspired me to go take a peek at a "best," "worst" dressed slideshow. What were some of your favorite looks?

+ And how much longer is this show going to last?!

+ Don't know a one of these songs save for Bond. Yay for SPECTRE!

+ Nope, not going to say a single word.

+ Best director: what a surprise. *sarcasm*

+ Best actress: As expected, it's Brie Larson.

+ What a shocker, it's Leo winning best actor.

+ Awkward, and pathetic (read desperate) acceptance speech, Leo. Badly done.

+ Best picture goes to *awkward pause* Spotlight.

+ Note to self: the 2016 Oscars were not merely overlong, they were sad. Tactless. And all that business.

+ That's a wrap on my Oscar ramblings. Your thoughts?
--------

Check back during the later portion of the show when I'll be "live blogging" (using the term loosely) in the above section of the post about the good, bad and ugly. In the interim, I'd love to have you share any thoughts YOU have about the show thus far. The comment section is yours.

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Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey - Elite Team of Law Enforcement Solve Mysteries


  (This post does contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

About the Book:
Author: Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Publisher/Author Provided
Publication Date: 2016
Find the Review elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Blogger ǀ Goodreads ǀ Wordpress
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Series: Chesapeake Valor, Book 1
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Rating: ★★★★★


It's been five years since I read Dani Pettrey’s debut novel, Submerged. Since then, she wrote an additional four (series) novels connected to that debut, all of which were a part of the Alaskan Courage series. Last year marked the conclusion to that series and 2016 the beginning of something new. Her new series gets things running with Cold Shot, a mystery novel that again introduces us to a slew of memorable (to say nothing of handsome and heroic) characters.  


Since a moment of hesitation ruined his life, former SWAT sniper, Griffin McCray works as a Gettysburg park ranger. During one of his nightly rounds, Griff discovers a disturbed grave is home to a body that is anything but a historic skeletal artifact. This brings forensic anthropologist Finley Scott to the scene along with crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell – a face from Griff’s past (one he'd rather forget). When the third member of a gang from Griff’s college days, FBI agent Declan Gray, also is needed for the case, Griff finds his past may have something to teach him, and his present is in danger of repeating that past.
"...the instant he thought he'd lost her, he realized how deeply he cared..." - Cold Shot
As usual, it takes no more than a chapter to become hooked on one of Dani’s stories. Cold
Shot is yet again a brilliant and entertaining piece of fiction full of fast-paced twists that keep a curious reader rapidly turning the pages. There are vast differences in this new series launcher (in comparison to Dani’s Alaskan series) without the structure and integrity of the genre changing. Some of the setups face many similarities, most especially in the multitude of characters that are introduced within a matter of a few chapters. This calls to mind a familiar familial scenario not unlike that which the McKenna siblings enjoyed from her earlier series.  

Describing this story quite escapes me. Keeping things simple, I found the story wonderful and inventive in new ways. Though there is safety in the familiar, I like a balance of comfort and out-of-the-box thinking in fiction, and I think Dani achieves this in Cold Shot. This is an exhilarating, exciting and first class mystery. Between the primary whodunit theme and the memorable characters – all of whom not only have epic names (seriously, I love the unique knack Pettrey has for naming her characters something that keeps them present in the readers mind because they’re so unique) but well-plotted backstories, this hot-off-the-press novel is not to be missed. (Trust me.)

Fans of Lynette Eason or Dee Henderson will find another kindred spirit inside the pages of Dani Pettrey’s Cold Shot; it’s romantic suspense at its very best.

Synopsis: In college, Griffin McCray and his four best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore PD. Declan Gray would head to the FBI and Parker Mitchell would go on to graduate school as a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world--and friendships--crumbled.

Now Griffin is a park ranger at Gettysburg, having left life as a SWAT-team sniper when a case went bad. The job is mostly quiet--until the day he captures two relic hunters uncovering skeletal remains near Little Round Top. Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott determines that the body is modern--a young social justice lawyer missing since spring--and all evidence points to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Gray takes over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he'll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he--and those he cares about--are going to escape a downward spiral of murder that crosses continents. - Goodreads

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book; all opinions are my own.
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Giveaway | Cold Shot



Afternoon, book nerd friends. I've got another giveaway for you because I received two copies of Cold Shot in tandem from the amazing folks at Bethany House and its talented author, Dani Pettrey!

 BOOK REVIEW | Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

Though this book launches an all-new series for Dani, it's just as exhilarating as her beloved Alaskan Courage series which told the stories of the five McKenna siblings. In fact, dare I say this (given my love of those books), Cold Shot may have upped the game in the contemporary romance/romantic suspense fiction genre, to say nothing of it possibly edging out my favorite Pettrey novel which is Submerged. But that's quite enough of my rambling.

With that said, let's (as usual), get the rule details out of the way.

The giveaway(s) is open to US readersI do ask that anyone who leaves a comment under "anonymous," please leave the same name you enter into the widget in your comment - it's not easy to try and match comments when there is no name and in fairness to everyone else, I want to be able to be sure everyone who used the Rafflecopter correctly has a fair chance at winning against those who abuse it - there have been a few people I could not verify. So please, I don't mean to overwhelm, but just keep this in mind when entering future giveaways. I'd sure appreciate it! Winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond to the email notification before another winner is randomly chosen.

To be entered in the giveaway, just enter as much or as little as you like into the Rafflecopter widget, which you'll find down below. The Giveaway ends March 2nd.


Cold Shot Synopsis: In college, Griffin McCray and his four best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore PD. Declan Gray would head to the FBI and Parker Mitchell would go on to graduate school as a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world--and friendships--crumbled.

Now Griffin is a park ranger at Gettysburg, having left life as a SWAT-team sniper when a case went bad. The job is mostly quiet--until the day he captures two relic hunters uncovering skeletal remains near Little Round Top. Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott determines that the body is modern--a young social justice lawyer missing since spring--and all evidence points to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Gray takes over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he'll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he--and those he cares about--are going to escape a downward spiral of murder that crosses continents. - Goodreads


Amazon | Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, everyone!
 
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The Choice (2016) - A Romantic Drama about True Love and a Second Chance


 

Like clockwork, a new Nicholas Sparks production seems to pop up at the box office at least once a year – and sometimes twice. The latest is based off a novel of the same name and for my two cents, is actually one of my most favorite stories written by him. 

Life is good for Travis (Benjamin Walker). He works with his father (Tom Wilkinson) in the family business and on the weekends, he spends his time on the water with his closest friends. There is just one problem with this way of life. All of his friends are married and raising their young families. Travis hasn’t minded up until now… until his neighbor Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer) breezes into his life.  

Opinionated and with an opinionated, sassy attitude that intrigues Travis, Gabby is the first woman to tell Travis “no” at every turn – whether he invites her for a casual dinner or an afternoon with his friends on the water, Gabby isn’t about to fall for Travis’ southern charms. Already in a committed relationship with her doctor boyfriend, Ryan (Tom Welling), Gabby finds herself questioning all of her feelings every time she is around Travis. Is Ryan the man she is meant to settle into life with? Or is the pull she feels towards another choice what she needs to choose?

BOOK REVIEW | The Choice by Nicholas Sparks


Unless my memory is failing me, I think this is one of the most different adaptations, in glaringly obvious ways, I’ve seen of Nicholas Sparks’ book-to-screen achievements. The differences are small yet somehow significant. Contradiction or no, I don’t know how better to explain this without giving away plot points from either the book or film. The book offers less resistance in putting Gabby and Travis together (props to it) whereas the film gives Gabby an engagement relationship, and Travis an ex who can’t let go (can we say major clichés?). This is one small example of the changes between the two.  

As a story, The Choice is lovely. I liked its themes and the genuine chemistry and love between the couple. Travis’ feelings for Gabby came across as a bit more all-consuming in the novel not to mention he doesn’t “feel” like such a playboy in the book, or not in the same way the script writes Walker’s characterization (again, this is hindered by the fact that Travis has an annoying ex). Unlike most of the romance films playing at the box office, what’s so charismatic about this film is the sense of completion it has. The movie spans seven some years, and instead of leaving its characters apart only to serendipitously run into each other again as many are wont to do, they are together for those years… and more importantly, happily. Lest you assume otherwise or I say too much to spoil things, I will just say this don’t assume that’s where or how the story ends.  
Unlike some of Sparks’ earlier adaptations, this one features a group of newcomers. Australian actress Teresa Palmer is known from Warm Bodies and I Am Number Four along with a handful of other roles. But it’s Walker who is more an unknown. It’s interesting that after so many familiar faces in the leading man role, producers cast someone unfamiliar. If it was any kind of risk, I feel like it paid off. Though it might not be the majority’s favorite on-screen couple, I personally really liked Teresa and Benjamin together. Their scenes were cute, sassy and entertaining in turn, and I especially liked how the writer's allowed the proposal scene to play out. It was unlike any I’d seen on-screen which is what made its feisty scripting so memorable. Maggie Grace (Taken) also co-stars as Travis’ sister, Stephanie.  


Basically, this will be a suitable for one kind of person. Anyone who is a fan of Nicholas Sparks, seeing The Choice is something you’re likely to enjoy. The script is more content ridden than the novel (primarily when it comes to profanity) and alterations were made. But at the heart, the story is the same. For me, that was good enough.  


(Content: There are two sensual scenes – one involves clothing being removed with close up shots of caresses or kisses, another shows the couple in bed, sheets obscuring anything graphic. There’s social drinking and the garden variety of usual PG13 “acceptable” profanity.)

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The Choice by Nicholas Sparks


 
About the Book:
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Bought
Publication Date:
Find the Review elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Blogger ǀ Goodreads ǀ Wordpress
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 

Review: Each time a new film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks many works releases, it’s a sure bet I’ll crack open its pages. Such was the case with The Choice when I finally picked up a copy. The book is a unique story that, for once, doesn’t fuss with the needless perspective of secondary characters without sacrificing the importance of having a strong supporting group of characters. This for me, as a reader, was of monumental importance.

The story introduces us to Travis Parker, a 30-something vet working in the family business. Unmarried among his peer group of friends who are long since married with families of their own, Travis is happy in his life. He doesn’t feel a need to marry or be something his friends have found happiness in. All of this changes when he meets his next-door neighbor Gabby Holland. 

Gabby is a PA whose boyfriend of four years has as yet to ask her to marry him. She’s ready to make their relationship permanent, but he seems happy with the way things stand. When she meets Travis, friendship strikes up between them, and without an indication that he’s willing to make plans for the future, Gabby begins to question her relationship. But is Travis the right man for her? 
 
FILM REVIEW | The Choice (2016)

Without becoming too flowery, I think I can safely say, as a book, this is my favorite of the books Sparks’ has written (or more specifically, of those I’ve read). Or at least it started out that way. I loved this novel in its “early days.” The relationship that forms between Travis and Gabby is sweet albeit fueled by chemistry and all the sparks that come with it though for some will be a tough bond to root for given Gabby is in a relationship (made even more complicated in the film given Travis’ relationship). This being said, I still think The Choice is easily one of my favorites as a novel by Nicholas Sparks. The banter and great sense of connection between its heroine and hero somehow just works; in retrospect, it’s this that is often missing from the novels I’ve read by Sparks. 

Spanning a number of years, the book also gets a chance to cover more of the relationship between the couple. It doesn’t end on “I love you” declarations and gets to take them “deeper” into a genuine love story if you will. Because of this, the petty complaints I do have about the novel – like the fact that the latter part of the book is all about Travis (for reason I won’t say because spoilers!), which might be something of an adjustment for those of us that wanted to expand on or “see” more of the romance between the couple we’d been reading about up until then.  
If you like contemporary romance or Nicholas Spark novels in general, The Choice is, in my opinion, one of his best. 

Synopsis: Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life - boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies -- he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive? – Goodreads 
 
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Top Ten Tuesday | Comfort Zone Anomaly


 
I’m something of a habitual reader. Up until the last five-eight years, I was a definite comfort zone reader. I knew what I liked and was stuck albeit happily in that rut. To varying degrees I am still that same reader, however I have branched out and quite surprisingly, I’ve found some of my most favorite reads because of this.  

Broke and Bookish February 23rd Topic 
Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently (last yearish) That Weren't My Typical Genre/Type of Book
(or that was out of your comfort zone) 

Like usual, I’m breaking the rules just a bit. There are two parts to this list. The first is the books I have read that were something of an anomaly read. The second are books I’m planning to read in my immediate bookish future that are out-of-my-comfort-zone books. 

Let’s take a look.  
 
#1. The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott
 
I hardly ever, no scratch that, I never read classic literature. But well, I did read this little novel and have to say, the film is WAY better. Sadly, this was full of little substance, but then considering this was written by a very young Alcott, it's pardonable.
 
 
SILVER PETTICOAT FILM REVIEW | The Inheritance
 
#2. The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne
 
I don't read much adult secular fiction, but I SO enjoyed this one! The fact that it was set in England only upped the wit, and of course, the fairy tale elements were charming. Have you read any of Hester's novels?
 
Amazon | Goodreads



#3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins  
 I read dystopian now without much of a second thought. However at the time, reading this book was pure and simple, me buckling to the peer pressure of seeing the film (yes, I realize this is over a year ago I read it despite coming into the fandom late). And apparently I wasn’t about to let myself see it before reading the novel. 
 
FILM REVIEW | The Hunger Games 
 
#4. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I don’t consider myself all that versed on fantasy fiction. I enjoy the genre at the box office, but when it comes to reading, I’m pretty clueless. Still, I did enjoy this one. 


#5. The Fault in our Stars by John Green  

It’s no secret that contemporary fiction is, overall, the genre I favor most. Still, reading this was unusual because I knew how it was set to end and sad books are a big no-no for this girl.

 
FILM REVIEW | The Fault in Our Stars

#6. Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund
 
I'm not a big fan of this era in books or film. However, this novel was beautiful!

 
#7. Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon
 
I've made all kinds of errors with today's topic. But as is the norm, it's late and I'm not making changes. This one is a mistake because it should have been included in the "bonus" books at the bottom. It's not yet out, so I've not read it. That being said, it sounds amazing albeit slightly out of my usual reading material 


#8. The End of the World by Amy Matayo
 
Because I'm such a "happy person" book reader, this one was something of a "shock." Don't misunderstand, it's the best kind of surprise. This novel is a must read, and will certainly be on my shelf for years to come! It's beautiful in so many ways; a review was just recently posted to the blog for those interested (plus there is a GIVEAWAY!).

 
KINDLE GIVEAWAY | The End of the World

#9. Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas
 
I read this one thanks to the INSPYs and it was absolutely stunning. Such an unusual historical read for me, but happily, memorable.
 
Amazon | Goodreads
 

#10. Storm Siren by Mary Weber

Epic and unique. What other words can describe this talented authors debut?


 

#11. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This book was one that earned nothing but an eye roll from me when I saw it at the bookstore. Since then, a film has been adapted, and said film has tempted me to ignore my once cynical self.  


#12. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I’m not a tragic story kind of girl. But having just seen the trailer for this, I am interested. The book has gotten many rave reviews, and despite that, I’m crippled by the idea the ending will anger or sadden or annoy me. Or maybe it plain and simple won’t make sense.

_______________________
 
This is my list of books that weren’t and aren’t going-to-be my typical sort of read. 

Have you read any of these or do you plan to? What sort of books are out of your comfort zone? Looking through this list, what other books would you recommend I give a chance? 

Comment down below with your thoughts and don’t forget to share your Top Ten Tuesday links. I’d love to visit.  

Thank you for visiting, fellow bloggers and readers.  
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