Girl Against the Universe


Rating: 4.5 Stars
Published:  May 2016
Genre: Young Adult // Contemporary
Favorite Quote

Some people think they can just decree that everything will be fine.  The world doesn’t look like that.  I’m not sure the world gives a crap about anyone’s promises, well-meaning or otherwise.  Sometimes the Universe just takes what it wants.

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the roller coaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.
It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away may be harder than she thought. (Summary from Goodreads)

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One Step At A Time

I’ve written this post more than once. I’ve saved it to different drafts on different devices and never in the same place. So, I’m not entirely sure where the original is at the moment but I hope that my words have the same weight they did when I first came up with the post.

First, I want to thank all of you for your patience with me. I haven’t seen a drop in followers but instead, I’ve been getting more. I don’t know what I did to deserve that, but thank you.

The past couple of months I’ve been struggling with depression. Mental illness is never easy to talk about especially when you have a hard time just describing it to yourself.

I had known for a while that I didn’t feel like myself, that I was losing interest in my hobbies, and I didn’t want to do anything or leave the house unless it was on my terms. I knew this wasn’t like me. I knew and yet, I didn’t make the appointment. I chalked it up to stress (work stress, life stress, etc) which, admittedly was a giant part of my depression. I figured I’d just get over it. That it would go away. *poof*

That’s not how depression works.

I ended up seeing my primary care physician who diagnosed me with moderate to severe depression. I started seeing a therapist once a week.  I slowly started to feel better.

When I was in college, I briefly dated this guy who was depressed in high school. He stated on no uncertain terms that if you weren’t suicidal that you were lucky because that’s not true depression.  He brushed off my pain because it wasn’t worth it.

Don’t worry guys, I dumped him.

Depression manifests itself in all different ways, for me, it ebbs and flows. I had undiagnosed depression for the past couple of years but it was never consistent or strong. This summer I had a slight mental breakdown where I felt like a failure. I lost my creativity.  My desire to write and create was gone.  The stress of my job weighed like a noose around my neck.  I felt like I was drowning, that there was no way out of the situation I put myself in.  I couldn’t breathe.  I cried, a lot. I stop wanting to leave my house unless it was to get coffee or go to the bookstore.

I’m grateful that I didn’t stop having the desire to read.  Books gave me hope.  Books made me realize that I truly do want to write for a living and that something was seriously not okay with me if I had lost my creativity.

That’s when I decided it was time.  And I’m so grateful because now, after some time taking care of myself, I’m nearly back to who I used to be.

Now I have a lot of catching up to do (with this blog, with writing, with experiences).

But I’m excited.

I can’t wait to start writing reviews again because I have read so many wonderful books in the past few months.

I’m not going to post as much as I once did.  I’m going to give myself space to breathe.

But guys, I’m going to write.

Wish me luck!

Love to you all.



Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TV

The Broke and the Bookish host Top Ten Tuesday and this week is a Freebie based on TV shows.  Since Fall TV is my favorite time of year, I adore this topic!   Not only is the season changing but awesome new TV shows are starting to air and some of my favorites are back for another year.  It’s just so exciting!

Top Ten TV Shows I Can’t Wait to Watch This Fall:

Returning Favs

  1. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) September 22 8pm
    I started watching this show last year and I am hopelessly in love with it.
  2. Jane the Virgin (CW) October 17th 9pm
    There’s just something about this show that I can’t help but adore.
  3. Supergirl (CW) October 10th 8pm
    !! !!

New shows

  1. Bull (CBS) September 20th 9pm
    Michael Weatherly & Christopher Jackson! It looks just like the kind of show I would love. Watch the trailer.
  2. Conviction (ABC) October 3rd 10pm
    Haley Atwell– super sad it’s not Agent Carter but it is at least Haley Atwell.  Damn.
  3. Frequency (CW) October 5th 9pm
    Looks like another addictive CW show to add to the collection. Seriously. 
  4. The Good Place (NBC) September 22 8:30pm
    Kristen Bell on primetime TV!! Yes please! Looks so hilarious, watch this.
  5. Notorious (ABC) September 22 9pm
    My girl, Piper Perabo! I’ve missed her.  The show looks intriguing.

Midseason Premieres 

  1. The 100 (CW)
    I am hopeless addicted to this show.
  2. iZombie (CW)
    I will always watch Rob Thomas shows and I adore all these characters.
  3. Scandal (ABC)
    God, this show.  Olivia Pope is one of the best flawed and fierce characters out there.
  4. Making History (FOX)
    This is a new show and it looks absolutely hilarious.  Seriously. Watch the trailer.

Fall TV never looked so good. What are you looking forward to this season? Do we have shows in common? Happy Tuesday! 


Dear lovely followers,

I deeply apologize that I have gone (on yet another) unplanned & unexpected hiatus. My life has been a little crazy lately– I think I’m having my quarter life crisis a year early and my creativity has been drained.

Please bear with me as I fight to get my creativity back. I miss writing and reviewing but I haven’t been able to find anything to say! It’s devastating.

I always update GoodReads when I’m reading and I update Twitter & Instagram semi-regularly, please follow me there!

Much love,


Past, Present, and Future: July in Review


It’s been a busy month.  It started with my birthday weekend in Baltimore for the Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival.  It was fun to see some people I haven’t seen in a long time.  One of my cousins and I got to hang out for the first time in a year.  We went out drinking & caught up on each other’s lives.  The festival was incredible.  There were 1,600 dancers that came together from 6 countries.

The next weekend was my Aunt’s surprise 60th Birthday Party in Covington Kentucky/Cincinnati, OH. She was so surprised and it was so much fun being with family for the weekend.
Then there was the annual Lithuanian Picnic where I got to eat Kugelis and drink gira with my dad.  I love being around Lithuanian people and hearing the language.  I don’t think that will ever get old.  It feels like home.  While there, I got to visit my grandmother’s grave and it was nice to say hi.

And last but not least, I went to a Harry Potter release party with my friend Ren.  We decorated our own wands, played some of the scavenger hunt, drank a butterbeer frappacino and generally enjoyed each other’s company.  Then, clearly, I spent the next day reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in between wandering around IKEA and Costco. I may have needed another bookcase in my life.

I surprising read a lot this month for how busy I’ve been.  I’m shocked.

Number of books read in June: 13

Giant Days, Vol. 1 by John Allison
Giant Days, Vol. 2 by John Allison
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Written in the Stars– Aisha Saeed

Books I Loved in June:

The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks
The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden
And I Darken by Kiersten White
A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Movies seen (new to me)

  • Ghostbusters
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Overboard

TV Shows

  • I finished Miss Fisher’s and I’m sad there’s no more.
  • Next week is the season finale of season 2 of UnREAL and I don’t know what I’m going to do after it’s over.  How can I wait A WHOLE YEAR for more!?


Currently Obsessed with…

  • Harry Potter, because of course. I need to reread Harry Potter & the Cursed Child. I need to savor it this time.
  • Trailers were released and oh goodness, I can’t wait for November… there’s Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them and Moana and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.  I CAN’T CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT.

Currently Reading

  • Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine
  • The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

Recent Purchases

  • Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine
  • Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman
  • The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone
  • It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
  • The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
  • The Crown by Kiera Cass


August is going to be quiet for me. Hoping to see more movies and do a lot more reading since there are some awesome books coming out this month.  Hold on though, can you really believe it’s August?! The year is more than half over–when the hell did that happen?

Anyway, hoping to see Suicide Squad this weekend and catch up with some friends.

As always, follow me on Twitter & add me on Goodreads & check out my Instagram.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books You’d Buy RIGHT NOW

I love this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic.  The wonderful ladies at The Broke and the Bookish selected Ten Books You’d Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card for this week’s topic and it’s pretty perfect.

Of course, how am I supposed to choose? Do I think about pre-orderers? Older books? Books to complete my collection… I don’t know! I might have a meltdown.

Well, I’ll start with the obvious.

  1. The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
    This book was released today and I need it.
  2. Fangirl (Special Edition) by Rainbow Rowell
    To complete my Rowell collection.  I’ve been saving a spot on my shelf for a while. I’ve read it which is why I’m putting this off.  But I do need this edition.
  3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    Because it’s a Neil Gaiman book. Duh.  Also, because it’s going to be a TV show.
  4. Lumberjanes, Vol. 4
    Recently released, it needs to be in my possession.
  5. And I Darken by Kiersten White
    So, yes, I’ve read this because of Net Galley but I desperately need a hard copy.
  6. The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass
    I’ve been waiting to buy this on Book Depository because it’s in paperback there but I keep forgetting to order it.
  7. See How They Run (Embassy Row #2)– Ally Carter
    The first one was interesting but didn’t blow me away.  I’m looking forward to seeing where the series goes though.
  8. Ten Thousand Skies Above You – Claudia Gray
    I need this book, like yesterday.  Especially since #3 is coming out soonish!
  9. The Princess Bride (Illustrated Edition) by William Goldman
    It’s illustrated. I need it.
  10. The Hobbit (Illustrated Edition) by J.R.R. Tolkien
    It’s illustrated.  I repeat, I need it.

What on your list? Happy Tuesday!

Written in the Stars


Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Contemporary // Young Adult
Published: May 2015
Favorite Quote

My mother always says when you fight destiny, destiny fights back. Some things, they’re just written in the stars. You can try but you can never escape what’s meant to be.

Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late. Summary from Goodreads.
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Top Ten Tuesday: Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do/Learn

This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is Top Ten Things Book Have Made Me Want to Do or Learn About After Reading Them. This one took me a while to come up with because I never write down the things books inspire me to want to do. I really should keep a reading journal but I never think of it when I have the time to start one.  Instead I’m just going to stay here and think a while for this one.

  1. Inspired by Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, I now want to take a road trip across the U.S. with friends stopping at landmark locations along the way.
  2. Wanderlost by Jen Malone, made me want to change careers and become a tour guide in Europe.  Then I looked it up and it no longer sounded as fun.  But it would be quite the experience…
  3. Any Susanna Kearsley book makes me want to go back to Scotland, visit Wales, and learn more about the Jacobites.  Oh, and I can’t forget that it makes me want Sticky Toffee Pudding and a Sunday roast.
  4. I’m obsessed with the world Gail Carriger created in the The Parasol Protectorate series . Fabulous vampires?  Attractive werewolves? Ghosts. Hilarity. Oh my.  I’d like to live there just so I could be caught up in all the drama.
  5. Any summer contemporary inspires me to live my summer to the fullest.  It nearly never works but a girl can dream.
  6. Lumberjanes makes me nostalgic for camp.  I want to make friendship bracelets, sleep in a bunk bed with a cabin full of friends, and be one with nature.
  7. The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden makes me want to hop on a plane to New Orleans.  There’s a university I was looking at there for my MFA and it’s getting more and more enticing…
  8. Starflight by Melissa Landers inspired me to watch Firefly (again). It also inspired my most recent Walmart cheap DVD selection.  Overboard was only $3.75 so I just HAD to get it.
  9. Any WWII book makes me want to read more about that time period.  I’m fascinated by it because it effected my family’s history.  I want to write my own book about my family’s story set during that time.
  10. To be honest, anytime a character has a strong passion for a hobby, I get ridiculous notions that I should take up that hobby.  It’s infectious the way an author describes something a character loves.  I’ve had dreams varying from getting lost in a foreign country to taking up knitting all because a character has.  I can’t say that many of these fanciful notions have stuck but it’s fun to take a look at the ones that have.

Happy Tuesday! 🙂 What’s on your list? 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set Outside the U.S.

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday and I am so excited by the topic this week.  Thank you, The Broke and the Bookish, for selecting Top Ten Books Set Outside the U.S. for this week! I ADORE books set outside the U.S. Truly, they might be my favorite kinds of books.  I’m going to try to choose only books I’ve read this year but I haven’t figured out if that’s possible yet.

To lead the bunch is one of my new favorite reads…

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  1. And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1) by Kiersten White
    A feminist retelling of Vlad the Impaler with a female lead. Lada is strong and fierce and I love every single about this book.  Absolutely cannot wait for the rest of this trilogy!
  2.  The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley
    I can’t write a list about foreign books without mentioned Susanna Kearsley at least one.  Set in Scotland, this story is the perfect book to read on a rainy summer day.
  3. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Gaudin
    Set in Germany, Japan, and places in between this alternate retelling of the aftermath of WWII is a story not to be missed.
  4. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
    Set in England and Alexandria, this is a captivating novel that wonders what it would be like if the Great Library of Alexandria survived.
  5. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
    It’s another retelling of 1001 Arabian Nights but it’s so different from The Wrath & the Dawn.  It’s worth the read.
  6. Giant Days, Vol 1. by John Allison
    About first year Uni students in the UK.  It made me so nostalgic for my semester abroad in Scotland.
  7. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  8. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
  9. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophia Kinsella
    Sometimes, you just need a fun Sophia Kinsella book to make you laugh your ass off.  No better place to do that than England.
  10. The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
    One of my absolutely favorite WWII stories.  This will stay with you for a long time.

Okay, so #s 9 & 10 I did not read this year.  I tried, I really did. But they’re all wonderful books that you should read if you want to leave the country without ACTUALLY leaving the country!

Happy Tuesday Everyone! What’s on your list? 

The Casquette Girls


Rating: 4 Stars
Published: November 2015
Genre: Young Adult // Paranormal

Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.

After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.

As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal. (Summary from Goodreads)

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