Books on my Shelf: Vaca Reads

I was on vacation in Aruba last week (the best!) and I was so happy to have so much time to read. Reading is one of my favorite things ever, especially on vacation.

I got to read so many great books and have some awesome recommendations for your summer reading list!

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Here is exactly what I read, what I thought, in the order that I read them:

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This was a great mystery and suspense read. I’ve read a ton of Lisa Scottoline books and loved them all. This one was different from her crime and mystery books because instead of being about a lawyer, it focuses on a judge. This took barely any time to really get into the story and was all around worth reading. Very suspenseful!

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Sophie Kinsella’s books are always so funny. She has such an easy way of writing and telling a story that I can never put her books down. I loved the characters in this book and the story that developed around them. This book was a little bit predictable – but in a good way. You love what you know is going to happen next and can’t stop reading to ensure that it does. It’s that kind of story.

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Wow. I loved this book. I was a little bit weary of it because it didn’t get amazing reviews on Good Reads. It was reviewed to be more…average. But, I think those reviews were oh-so-wrong. I loved this story and seriously could not put it down! I loved escaping to the Nantucket island where this book took place and getting lost in the minds of the characters. I really loved how it was set in all of their voices rather than just one characters. Definitely a fast paced book and a perfect summer read.

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Nicholas Sparks always writes a good story and this is no exception. I will but a warning that this is an emotional read. It definitely had me going. I don’t want to give up too much – but have tissues nearby! Totally worth reading.

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At first I was really skeptical about this book. The story line of it seemed really weird. But, I have to say it turned out to be an amazing tale. It was even educational and eye-opening. I loved the way the female took on a different and unique role in the novel and thought all of the characters and problems surrounding them were developed really well. This book did a great way of dealing with a real-world issue (that doesn’t get nearly enough attention) in a touching fictional light. I can’t wait to read more Kristin Hannah books!

What have been your favorite reads so far this summer?

The Best {Summer Playlist}

I am in full summer mode.

I may not be a little kid anymore, but who doesn’t love a little summer vaca? A little sun, sand, and relaxation? What girl doesn’t love kicking back with a good book and fruity cocktail in hand?  {I know I do}

Anyways, I have been loving my summer playlists. There are just so many great summer tunes out there that I cannot resist them, especially when the weather is nice and the sun is shining.

Here are my favorites summer beats. Sunglasses on, radio up…oh yeah, it’s summer.

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Monday Getaway: Tropical Sister Trips

I feel like I haven’t spent a ton of time with my sister in forever. That is definitely something we’re not used to! She’s my best friend and I miss her so much.

This is definitely one of those times I wish we could just sneak off for a little getaway. We are both definitely beach babes – give us sand, the sun, the ocean, and a drink, and we’re all set. If only we could head off to one of these beautiful places right now…

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We’re going to Aruba in July on a family vacation, so I guess we’ll have to wait until then! Oh well!

Words of the Week: In a Funk

These words of the week are a little different than usual. Usually I put up a quote that’s inspiring and motivational. Today, though, my words of the week are more of what I want rather than what I believe:

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I have been in the weirdest funk this week. So lazy. So wanting to just…veg. But unable to because of the gigantic pull of all I have to do.

I woke up yesterday wanting so badly to just sleep and sleep and sleep. This is so unusual for me. But still, it’s what I wanted.

In this crazy time of life, I wish I could just have a day to settle down, cuddle up, and watch my favorite movies. Read a book. Nap. And nap. And nap some more. Pin a million pins on Pinterest and clear my always cluttered mind.

If only.

Monday Getaway: Sanibel…Again

I posted once about how much I love Sanibel Island in Florida.

And, well…I’m posting about it again (sorry!).

My parents are there for a week right now and I’m super jealous! I hope they have a great time (I know they will!) but I wish my sister and I were there with them.

Here are some favorite pictures from a Sanibel trip before I even started college!

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A New Experience…

Last week I went to Florida (as I’ve mentioned before) and it just so happens I spent the week with my boyfriend there. I don’t blog too much about my relationship with him because…it’s private. I’m not sure I would like it if he was broadcasting stuff about our relationship, so I don’t feel right doing it to him.

Anyways, without going into a lot of detail, we spent an entire week together. This is the longest we’ve ever spent together at a time, by far. We have a long distance relationship so this was definitely a treat and something we were really excited for. In a way, though, it was something I felt nervous for. It was a definite test to our relationship, and it was important to me that we could go a week without driving each other crazy.

I’m really happy that by the end of the week, we were not sick of each other – at all. We were actually really sad to say goodbye. But for sure, being with your significant other can test a girls’ patience and sometimes sanity. If you’re going to be spending extended time with your boyfriend soon, here is to how to make it as fun as possible for both of you:

  1. Have fun! – you are with this person probably because you have fun with them. Relax and do whatever you guys want to do and whatever will facilitate a good time.
  2. Be patient – part of being in a relationship, whether you’re near or far, is learning to be patient with the other one. Remember that you’re not the only one who’s patience is tested. His is probably tested by you, at times, too! Have the patience with him that you would want in return if he starts to get on your nerves.
  3. Do things apart – even though you may be on a vacation together, it doesn’t mean you have to spend every single second attached at the hip. It’s normal to want to do your own thing, at times. Let him play golf while you lounge by the pool, or something like that. It’s okay and healthy to have different interests and both of you should be able to enjoy them on vacation.
  4. Compromise! – there will definitely be times during vacation where you both are after different things. Like many other times during your relationship, you have to compromise! Do what you can to appease both of you at the same time and you will both be happy.
  5. Be understanding – during our vacation, my boyfriend really wanted to watch a few basketball games. He’s really into sports and I understand that about him. Therefore, when he wanted to do that instead of going to the beach or something else, I didn’t let it get to me. I understood that that was important to him and didn’t mind it happening, just as he would do the same for me. Being understanding during situations like this will help make both of you happy and show how much you want your boyfriend to have a great vaca.

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It’s fun to go on vacations with your boyfriend! This was my first one with mine and it was really great. As long as you are considerate of one another, I’m sure you’ll have a blast! Always realize that the most important thing is simply being together and enjoying your time with one another.

Books on my Shelf: The Storyteller

So over vacation, I read Jodi Picoult’s new novel. I’ve blogged about her before, and she is my favorite author.

The first book of hers I read was My Sister’s Keeper. My mom read it first, then I did, and I literally couldn’t put it down. I distinctly remember being at the mall wishing I was home reading more of it! (I know, I’m so weird)

But anyways, she writes really compelling stories. She has a way of making them totally unique and always puts in really unexpected twists.

Another aspect of her books that I love is the character development. As each of her books progress, you get to read in all of the different character’s voices, and it makes you understand them really well and brings you towards an attachment to them, some more than others depending on your personality.

I really admire Picoult as a writer, too, because she learns so much about whatever topic she writes about. She really commits herself to it, which is so admirable and not many writers take the time to do this. For example, she wrote a story about a child with Asperger Syndrome, which is a form of Autism. While writing the book, she shadowed a little boy with this disorder and consulted textbooks as well as doctors to learn the ins and outs of this syndrome in order to write about it accurately and concisely. This is really cool, because it allows her readers to learn about something real even in a fictional work, and it makes her books a lot more…real.

So as I was saying, I read her new book over vacation, The Storyteller. I had been super excited to read it for a while, and where better to read it than on vacation!?

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When I read it, I found that it was nothing that I expected. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. I definitely have mixed feelings about this book, and am not sure if I just like it or love it. I feel very conflicted because I couldn’t put it down, so that must mean I loved it, right? I’m still not so sure!

Some things about this book – the story is very emotional and compelling. It’s about a controversial topic (I don’t want to give too much away!) that we all know of but perhaps don’t know a lot about. I felt that the topic was excellent and is one that particularly interests me, even outside of this book. So that was a plus.

One of the things I didn’t love about the book, though, is that instead of switching from character to character often within the book, it was dominantly told through the eyes of one character. Don’t get me wrong, this character’s view point was very, very, interesting and I believe totally necessary to the story. I do, though, wish more was included from the other character’s points of view, because I felt kind of disconnected from them.

But, this book, like all of Picoult’s others, was fabulously researched and a very interesting read. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of hers and anyone who isn’t!