Book Review: “In a Holidaze” By Christina Lauren

This is a Christmas book that I started before Thanksgiving and finished on Thanksgiving day which honestly felt really strange. I was very excited to dive into this book and I just didn’t even think about what season I was in which normally wouldn’t bother me but for some reason not having snow on the ground and thinking about turkey really threw me for a loop.

This book is set in Utah which is my home state which made this book kind of a fun read! I was just worried that the Author would skip over some details that might have bothered me, but to be honest I don’t know much about Park City Utah to do any fact checks.

“You can’t erase mistakes. You just have to figure out how to fix them.”

Direct Quote from book. Page 268.

About The Book

Author: Christina Lauren

Publisher: Gallery Books

Date Published: October 6th, 2020

Total Pages: 307 Pages

Main Genres: Romance, Holiday, Fiction

GoodReads Rating: 3.76

Synopsis

Two families get together ever year for Christmas at a house in Park City Utah. The kids all grew up being very close with one another and Maelyn has had a huge crush on their friends oldest son Andrew but wait, there’s a love triangle including the other brother Theo. Theo and Maelyn have a little too much eggnog on Christmas eve and after one very awkward make out session all seems lost for Maelyn. Theo treats her as if she doesn’t exist, Andrew saw it all go down, and worst of all they have to sell the house! Many years of Christmas memories are about to be washed away and the final year would be left in ruins. But one wish and an accident can change the course of nature.


Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“My biggest fear in the car before the accident was the prospect of things changing. But isn’t that what I wanted when I threw that wish out to the universe? For everything to change?”

Direct quote from book. Page 122.

Review

I don’t do half star ratings so this was pretty hard to decide between three stars or four stars. I did a lot of deep thought before posting this review to finally come up with which way I wanted to lean. I finally landed on four stars based on a few facts. Why don’t we dive in?

I feel like I have read so many fake dating romances lately that this Groundhogs day type book was quite refreshing. Even though Maci did have to repeat a few days a couple of times it didn’t get repetitive. The author wrote this in a way that Maci did something completely different on each restart so it felt like a new storyline.

Another plus was that it was based in Utah and I liked the familiarity of that. I may not be up in Park City very often because lets be frank, it is a complete tourist trap, but honestly it is also super expensive and bougie. I live about 45 minutes away and that’s good enough for me. However it is really cool to see places you are familiar with being referenced in books.

I really liked Maelyn and Andrew being together for the most part. Maelyn has always liked Andrew and honestly it reminded me of all my childhood crushes. I love getting a nostalgic feel when I read. However, I do believe it is also the reason its not a five star rating though. They have known each other their whole lives so they have “cute” (Honestly gross) nicknames for each other and it felt really childish and awkward reading. Also the steamy scenes were worded really weirdly and I just felt awkward reading them. I have said it once and I will say it again, I think it is impossible for an author to write a steamy scene without using awkward phrasing. I need these steamy scenes to start coming together and leaving me speechless rather than wanting to close the book and move on from the moment.

Maybe I have just read way too many romance reads recently that I am becoming too picky about the stories I am reading. I am not sure to be honest. I had high hopes for this book and for the most part it was really good! I loved the whole story of her trying to find what makes her happy and trying to save the house, but the romance of the book was kind of meh to me.

Over All

If I did half ratings I would be giving this three and a half stars but because I don’t I weighed out my options and decided it deserved the full four stars. I think this was a cute and cozy holiday read and I would recommend this to someone who is looking for a Christmas read this year.

QOTD: Have you read a book that was based in the area you are from?

Part Two: Top 10 Christmas Gifts For a Bookworm

My first top ten Christmas Wishlist was such a big hit that I decided to post a second one! This way you now have 20 Ideas and you definitely can not go wrong! Once again Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost upon us so it is time to start shopping. I am giving you plenty of ideas and so their should be no excuses now.

I would like you to know that I don’t own the rights to most of these pictures. I also am not affiliated with any of the links unless I post a code under the photo.

Gift Idea #1

Book Lamp

This is so cute! Why have a bulky lamp when you can have a book that opens up to be a light? This is such a cool idea and I am in love!

This is just a cute little lamp that could come in handy for every day situations. A practical gift is always a good route to go.

Gift Idea #2

Bookmarks

Bookmarks might seem like the most obvious thing you can buy a bookworm, honestly you would be correct because everyone needs more bookmarks in their lives!

The best part is that these are the best stocking stuffers around! There are also an unlimited choice of designs which can make shopping so easy! Look at all these fun Etsy shops.

Use code Baibooks10 for 10% off!

Resin bookmarks are so cute!

I love the Idea of my name being put on a leather bookmark!

Gift Idea #3

Reading Journal

People who like to read tend to like a way to keep track of all the books they have read or would like to read. Yes we all probably have GoodReads but having something physical we can write in is always the best option.

I know some people are super creative and artistic so they make their own bullet journal pages to keep track of things but some of us just aren’t that talented and we need a guideline. That is where reading journals really step up to the plate.

Same book as the picture above.

Gift Idea #4

Annotating Supplies

You might be wondering why someone would want annotating supplies. This isn’t college, you don’t have a big text book you need to remember. Well most of us readers like to mark things that seem important or things that pull at our emotions.

Marking my books have really helped me keep my thoughts cohesive so I can write better reviews and reference the book directly.

Gift Idea #5

Mugs or Wine Glasses

Every reader has a drink that they love to accompany with reading. Whether it is coffee, soda, or a glass of wine, we are always in need of a clean glass to put them in. You can never have enough glasses! Why not have a cute one that is perfect for reading time?

Gift Idea #6

Book Jewelry

Look at how cute these earrings are! I feel like book jewelry is such a cute and sentimental gift! You can find their favorite book or just get a generic looking piece of jewelry and no matter what they are going to love it!

Gift Idea #7

Book Sleeves

I love my book sleeves! This is such a great way to bring your books along for a drive or even a trip so you can protect your book from any scuffs or bent pages!

There is a design for every reader and so many cute ones at that!

Gift Idea #8

Gift Cards

If you are struggling to pick out a gift that is totally ok! Gift cards are a great option to fall back on. You can put as little or as much as you want on these and the person will love it just the same.

So many options for this as well. Kindle, Amazon, Target, Barnes and Noble, Etsy….The list goes on and on!

Gift Idea #9

Bookshelf

I know bookshelves can get expensive so I totally understand that this wouldn’t be at the top of your shopping list. However, you can always find some fairly cheap shelves or even small ones that can be placed on a dresser.

this is a necessity for book lovers because we never have enough space for all our books.

Gift Idea #10

Book Subscription Box

There are so many book boxes out there in the world that it can be hard to choose from but I have a few favorites I can share with you.

These are great gifts because you can choose from sending a single box or getting a few months for them. They will love this gift and will probably continue the box after their subscription ends. It is the gift that just keeps on giving!

Use code BaiBooks20 for 20% off your whole order

Use the link above to give a gift or use this link to start your own account.

I don’t have a subscription to this box but I have been dying to start one!

Conclusion

Between this post and my previous one, you now have 20 Ideas for the perfect Christmas gift for your friend or loved one. These gifts are not only high on my Christmas list but many of the other bookworms out there. I hope you all have a happy holiday this year!

Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas For A Bookworm

Can you believe that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a little over a week away? I can’t, this is so crazy to think that the year is already almost over! I figured now would be a better time than any to start (Dropping Hints) showing you all the best way to surprise your book loving friend or family member this holiday season.

Just a few reminders I do not own these pictures. Also I will post links to these items but I am not affiliated with amazon or any of the companies I get the links from. I just want to make it easy for everyone to track down these items. I suggest clicking on the Etsy links or small businesses before Amazon. Remember to try and shop small this year!

Gift Idea #1

TBR Cart and Cute Decals

I have been dying to get my hands on one of these carts! This probably at the top of my Christmas list this year. It is just so cute and practical that I think everyone needs one of these in their households.

The best part is the super cute decals you can buy for them! You can make these carts personal to you which I think makes this gift one of the best ones you could buy someone.

This is a great Etsy link for the cute picture above!

Book Carts are actually crafting carts but who said they had to be used for that purpose?

Gift Idea #2

Thumb Page Holders

I have had my eye on these page holders for a very long time! They can be resin or wood and come in so many cute designs! I highly suggest doing an Etsy search and find the best one for your bookish friend.

I think my personal favorites are the resin ones. I mean look at how cute that picture is! Every resin pour comes out different but it is also so easy to customize!

See the Main post picture as well
Simple wood design

The more unique shapes

Gift Idea #3

Candles

I am obsessed with candles! I always have one burning in my house or at least a Scentsy going in my office while I work.

I know setting the ambiance of the room when you sit down to read makes or breaks a good reading session. In no particular order; find a comfy spot, get a glass of wine or your preferred beverage, grab a fluffy blanket, and of course light your favorite candle.

When I don’t have a good setting for my reading I get so distracted and my reading session honestly ends up pretty short. I will talk more about ambiance and comfort items a little later on in a different post. Also maybe I am just strange and most people could just sit straight down and read but I personally can’t. Even if you can read anywhere and anytime who doesn’t need a good smelling candle in their life?

Down below will be a link for an Etsy shop that I have seen everywhere for bookish scented candles. I have been dying to try these because I have heard so many wonderful things about their business. I will be putting my order in soon!

Fresh Rain-Ginger-Lavender

Coffee-Chocolate Pastry

Butterscotch-Caramel-Rum

Gift Idea #4

Book Stamp/Embosser

Do you or your bookish friend have a book that you absolutely love and will never get rid of? Better yet, do you and your friends lend each other books? If so, this is the perfect gift!

With this stamp you will be able to always keep track of whose book is whose!

Etsy has hundreds of different stamps and embossers to choose from but this is one that I think is super cute! Remember these can be customized!

Gift Idea #5

Reading Pillow

I know that while I read it is very easy to get into an uncomfortable position and that can be one of my main reasons to stop reading for the night.

A reading pillow is a great way to stay comfortable and honestly can you ever have too many pillows?

I don’t have one of these yet and I am regretting it!

Gift Idea #6

Favorite Book Merch

Even if you know nothing about books I guarantee you know your best friends favorite book. They are probably constantly trying to get you to read this book, constantly talking about the book or they probably already have some of the merch related to their favorite book. Check out these super cute Esty shops Full of cute bookish merch!

Same shop for the picture posted above.

Gift Idea #7

Book Scratch Off Poster

This is a super fun and interactive gift that will just keep giving for the rest of the year!

Being someone who can never decide on what book to read next, something like this would come in handy! I also really love surprises and scratching off things.

There are so many options out there for these but this is the one that caught my eye.

Gift Idea #8

Book Ends

Anyone who owns a book knows how hard it is too keep your books organized and looking pretty. I have books just stacked on top of each other on my dresser because my shelves are so full! Having some book ends would be a dream come true to anyone like me.

Gift Idea #9

Special Editions of Favorite Books

I love that there are so many different covers for books! I think most of them are so gorgeous. I know a lot of people who own three or four of their favorite book just to have a couple different covers. A lot of the limited or special release books come out for specific reasons like special anniversaries, so to someone who is a die hard fan of a book these are a big deal!

Gift Idea #10

Kindle Products

If you have a little bit of cash to burn and you are wanting to be the best gift giver this year, you can not go wrong in getting them a new Kindle product!

EReaders are such a popular item these days and I know how much I love my Kindle Paper White. I couldn’t imagine not having it.

Wrap Up

This Christmas, treat all your bookish loving friends and family to some of the best gifts out there! These are all in my opinion some of the best gifts you could receive this holiday season. I know a lot of these are at the top of my Wishlist! I hope you all enjoyed this list and I hope I was able to give you some good ideas.

QOTD: What is at the top of your Wishlist this year?

Book Review: “Branded” By Neva Bell

I found this book actually through an add on Facebook surprisingly enough. When I went to buy it on my paper white it ended up being part of Kindle Unlimited which completely sold me! I actually finished this book a week ago but I haven’t had much free time to write recently due to my new job but I promise I am still here! Why don’t we dive into this book.

About The Book

Author: Neva Bell

Date Published: October 31, 2019

Publisher: Self Published (I believe)

Page Count: 287 pages

Genre: Fiction

GoodReads Rating: 4.53

“Ellie believed every being, witch or not, deserved a happy and peaceful existence.”

Direct Quote

Synopsis

Chloe and Chelsea are twin sisters ready to leave for college, but not just any old college, Livingston is a college for witches! In order to go to this witch school you have to be branded first with either a white dove or a black hawk to decide what you will study.

When Chloe gets a brand that no one was expecting her and Chelsea’s life changes drastically! This brand becomes a dangerous mark and both of the girls lives are at risk. Werewolves are the witches biggest threat and when a surprise attack goes in the werewolves favor Chloe is forced into a dangerous path of revenge.


“It is a big deal!  I act tough, but I’m still a woman.  I still want the guy I like to like me back.  No one wants to hear it’s nothing more than a scheme.”

Direct Quote

Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Review

This book had a really cute, and what I felt unique, story line. I was hooked from the very beginning of this book! I thought the twins relationship was really close and special and I really feel like Neva wrote their characters well. I loved the Idea that there were two different brands they could receive and it was fun trying to guess which twin would get what brand.

You might be asking, If I was hooked from the beginning and felt like the characters were written well, then why did I give the book only three stars? Well let me tell you! This all happened really fast in the book and about 40% into the book everything I loved was stripped away from me and I was very upset! The story line completely changed after the werewolf attack and I just felt like it happened too soon. Also the ending of the book, Without giving spoilers, was way too easy and I was left wishing not necessarily for a different ending but maybe a more thought out ending. However there is a second book and maybe by reading that book it will all come together cohesively but to be honest the ending of this book didn’t make me want to read a second one.

This could be a quick read for anyone who needs to knock another book off their list but if you want something that had you hooked for the whole book you can skip this one.

QOTD: What is a book that started off with a lot of promise but left you feeling disappointed in the end?

Book Review: “The Love Hypothesis” By Ali Hazelwood

I feel like I am a tad bit late to the game on this one. Where this book was only released back at the beginning of September maybe I am not that late to the gate but I feel like everyone devoured this book in one sitting as soon as it came out. I would say this is probably the most popular book I am seeing on my Bookstagram and Booktok feeds, no joke! With over 90,000 ratings, 16,000 reviews and a 4.47 overall rating on Goodreads, so I would consider this a very hyped up book with those details.

“Listen, I’m clearly bad at real dating. Maybe fake dating will be different. Maybe I’ve found my niche.”

Direct quote from book, page 64.

About The Book

Author: Ali Hazelwood

Date Published: September 14, 2021

Publisher: Berkley Books

Page Count: 352

Genre: Romance

Goodreads Rating: 4.47

Synopsis

Olive is a Ph.D student who has never really been a romantic person. However, in order to keep her friend happy she finds herself kissing a random stranger in the middle of the night.

This random stranger ends up being the schools most hated professor, Adam Carlson, and Olive immediately feels like her world is about to fall apart. The biggest surprise is when Adam agrees to keep the kiss a secret, but even more surprising was the fact he was willing to keep up this charade and fake date Olive to help benefit the both of them. Olive, to help her friend find love, and Adam, to convince the school to release his research funds. After all, it is a win win situation with a deadline. What could possibly go wrong?

“And then I’ll come find you, and I’ll take care of you.”

Direct Quote from book. Page 327.

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Review

This book was vastly recommended by I believe everyone on my bookstagram, am I the last person to read this? I know I’m not but it sure felt that way.

I normally don’t like books that seem to be super popular, they always feel over hyped and I end up being disappointed in the book. Not with this one! This book truly lived up to its hype in my opinion. I think I am willing to say this is my second favorite romance read this year following “One Last Stop” by Casey McQuiston, I honestly don’t think anything will beat that book for first place in quite sometime.

(Possible Spoiler) If I had to come up with something I was a little put off on, it would have to be the steamy scenes, please don’t come after me! This whole book had so much sexual tension that by the time it all came together I was left feeling a little awkward and granted upset by the event that immediately followed. The words used to describe the scene were a little off putting such as, “He made a guttural noise.” It could just be me but that is not a sexy sentence.

This book was very well written and really had me on an emotional roller coaster! There were quite a few moments where I was ready to chuck the book at a wall because I know the full story and how each character is feeling but Olive just doesn’t understand Adams feelings and I was screaming at them to “Just get a room already!” Also there were times where I really felt sorry or upset for the character due to the way they were treated. Ali really has a way with writing to bring all the emotions out of the pages.

I highly recommend this book! I can now see why so many people have already read it more than once, maybe this will be the first book I ever read twice.

“You can fall in love: Someone will catch you.”

Direct quote from book. Page 342

QOTD: Have you ever fake dated someone? With all these fake dating books I have been reading lately I feel like this is more common of a thing than it probably really is.

5 Books I Wish Got More Hype

Todays blog post I will be focusing on books that I believe need more hype. Some of these books will probably be books you haven’t heard of from anyone other than me because they are written by Indie Authors.

I have only been reading for a little over a year and to be completely honest with you, I mostly read all the popular books because they are literally everywhere! I just wish I saw more posts talking about these books! If you haven’t read the books I am about to talk about you need to go get them right now!

Bring On The Hype

“The Intellect” by Lily Kathleen

I talk about this book every chance I can! This book is a YA Romance with a little bit of a twist. It was written by a senior in high school which is an amazing accomplishment and she really deserves the hype.

Jessica is a fifteen year old girl who has overbearing parents who make her and her siblings move at least once a year for some unknown reason. When Jessica’s parents make her move from Ney York all the way to a small town in South Dakota they make sure Jessica has no contact with her previous friends, including her boyfriend Jake. This doesn’t make any sense to her and feels as if it isn’t fair, why would her parents not let her keep in contact with old friends, isn’t moving hard enough?

Read a full synopsis and review when you follow the link down below. I will also post places where you can order your own copy of the book! If you buy it from Lily Kathleen Directly take 10% off your order with code “TheIntellect10”.

Also It is Lily Kathleen’s 18th birthday today and as a birthday gift to her I would love to see one of my followers purchase her book. Wish her a happy birthday in the comments!

“Not That Rich” by Belinda Lei

This book was published almost a year ago and I honestly haven’t seen many people talking about it which makes me super sad! Belinda is an amazing author who created a gorgeous well rounded story.

“My hope for the book is that it emphasizes the diversity of Asian American culture, but also offers up the common challenges that teenagers all experience today – educational and familial pressures, identity struggles, and peer pressure.” – Belinda Lei

Enter a world of a handful of Private High School students born into rich families with extreme expectations. Will they get into their desired colleges? Will they find love in their relationships? Will they fight their drug addictions? Who is “The Stranger”? But most importantly does being rich really make you happy?

Belinda also sits on the board for Non-Profit called Act to Change which is a platform to help bring awareness to bullying and AAPI hate. Belinda is such a sweet and amazing person and I truly believe her book should get more love!

Down below is my full book review and synopsis of the book. I will also post The Act to Change website and a link to buy your own copy of her book.

“Razorblade Tears” by S.A. Cosby

This book might have gotten a little bit of hype when it first came out but I feel as if people don’t know it exist any more. This is probably my second favorite book I have read this whole year!

Something to remember though is that this book comes with some major trigger warnings which I list in my full review.

Two ex-con fathers lost their married sons in some horrific hate crime. Despite not approving of the relationship their sons had, the fathers are out for blood to avenge their sons’ deaths because the cops have no leads! Through all the challenges these men go through they find acceptance for their sons and each other but can they get revenge on whoever did this horrendous act?

I am a sucker for anything involving a thriller/mystery! This book had everything I could have asked for and kept me hooked throughout the entire book! If you can handle reading a very violent book then this is something you would enjoy.

Down below I will post links to my full review and also where you can get your own copy of this amazing thriller!

“A Deadly Influence” by Mike Omer

I actually just brought this book up yesterday in my favorite tropes post. This book is a fantastic mystery/thriller revolving around a missing boy and a cult. This book I haven’t seen anywhere other than all the times I talk about it.

Abby Is a police hostage negotiator for the NYPD. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface of her chaotic life. When Eden Fletcher reports her son Nathan as missing, Abby is faced with her past. Eden and Abby grew up in a cult that Abby has worked so hard to forget. While battling her past that’s barreling towards her she knows she has to stay focused because Nathan’s life is at risk! Can Abby Find Nathan in time or will her past hold her back?

I think you all need to go grab this book immediately because the second book is coming out in 2022! I am beyond excited to read the next book and continue reading about Abby’s story.

Down below is the link to my full review along with a link to purchase your own copy from amazon!

“The Girl In The Mirror” by Rose Carlyle

This was also in my post yesterday for my favorite tropes. I haven’t seen this book talked about at all since last year and I can’t put my finger on why. This book had me glued from the first page! I really love thrillers as you can see but this was one of the first books I read that actually made me enjoy reading.

Iris and Summer are identical twins but what lies on the inside is very different. Iris has always been jealous of Summer especially ever since Summer married a very handsome and rich man. But when a sailing trips go wrong Iris jumps at the chance to finally walk in her sisters footsteps.

I got this book from Book Of The Month Club last year and like I said it was one of the first books to get me excited about reading. This is one reason why it is important to me to share this book with you and I really hope it will start to get more hype!

I haven’t posted a review for this book here on my blog yet but I will link my previous Top 5 Tropes blog post down below and of course the link to buy your own copy.

Wrap Up

My favorite part of this post is being able to share my love for books that don’t get the love they truly deserve! Especially the first two books that were published by Indie Authors who have to do all the promoting themselves! These books all deserve some love and I hope you all consider purchasing even just one of these books. (I am not affiliated with amazon, I just want to share the links.)

Have you heard of or even read any of these books? What are your thoughts?