Becoming

Author: Michelle Obama
Publisher: Crown
Genre: autobiography, memoir
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I thought this was a great read and a great look in to the life of our first First Family that was African American. It was also really great to see how the times have changed from the sixties and on. The glimpse of political life and life as the First Family. The change in family dynamic and the struggles of a black family in such public light. Their struggles and successes are truly inspiring.

I’d highly recommend this book to read. It takes us through Mrs. Obama’s childhood and in to her teenage years and on to college. How she started her career in a high place and met Barack and how unfulfilled her life felt, which I can totally relate. She goes in to nonprofit organization work that helps kids in Chicago. Only for her to have to put work on the back burner for raising kids and helping her husband campaign in multiple political races. How they were thrust into the presidential campaign and beyond. What an inspiring read!

Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?

Barack Obama, Becoming

I’m not one for nonfiction reads. But it’s a genre I don’t normally read, so I thought if it’s going to be a memoir or autobiography, it might as well be about someone that I admire. I found this book in a local bookstore and knew it was the one I had to read. But it did take me a while to really sit and read this book, like I said, nonfiction is not one of my favorites.

It was really interesting to see her life through her eyes and the stereotypes she had to face. It was inspiring to see that she didn’t want to conform to the norms of Washington D.C. political wives. She’s a strong and independent woman and she rocks!

There was power in voting. If you wanted change, you couldn’t stay home on Election Day.

Michelle Obama, Becoming

I have found myself in several jobs that paid well enough, but after working there for a bit, I felt so unfulfilled. I think I found a job that best fits me, who I am as a person and what I want to accomplish in life. She also kind of makes me want to be more involved in my community. I am truly so inspired by Michelle Obama.


Reading Goal 2022

Book 15 out of 50


Reading Challenge 2022

Celebrity Memoir

Blood on the Orchids

Author: Jill Steele
Publisher: Self
Genre: mystery, thriller
Rating: ⭐️/5

If I could give this book negative stars, I would. The only redeeming feature of this book was that it wasn’t written on my home island of Hawaii. That’s it.

You can tell the author didn’t map out her characters, their relationships to each other or their roles in the story. I think one of the characters name actually changed in the book. I’m not going to check because I returned the book back to the library and I WILL NOT open it again.

It’s very choppy and unedited or at least not edited very well at all. The story is all over the place. The author starts sticking POVs from other characters in the middle of another character’s POV and then I got confused who’s POV we were in because it switched between three different people on the same page.

The author acknowledges that she had two editors, but I saw no evidence of good editing. It seemed the first couple chapters of the book were a completely different draft or something because the murder changed days within 14 pages. It went from being on Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon.

Not to mention the author misspelled several Hawaiian words that she used in her book. She names a dog in the book “Elio” after the Hawaiian word for dog – but the Hawaiian word for dog is ʻilio. Like she didn’t even try at all.

I forced myself to read the entire book to meet a reading challenge, and man do I regret this SO MUCH. Especially since I found another book that could meet that challenge and I won’t want to kill myself reading it.

I can’t in good conscience recommend this book to anyone. If you want to read a book set in Hawaii or on Hawaii Island, read something else. Like Picture Bride by Mike Mallaghan.


Reading Goal 2022

Book #14 out of 50


Reading Challenge 2022

Book written by local author

Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: classics, dystopian, scifi
Rating: ⭐️⭐️/5

I didn’t like it. I think I would have liked the situation and the book burning and everything, but I didn’t like the author’s writing style. You can tell it’s from the 1950’s and I don’t really care for the flowery language that takes a hundred words to say five.

If you’re in to the classics, by all means, go for it. But I was thoroughly underwhelmed. I don’t even know exactly why the city was bombed and who bombed it. I really don’t like flowery language when he could have just explained why things happened.

I think the thinking towards books could definitely still skew in the direction of the book. Particularly in America. I’m reading the Handmaid’s Tale right now and I think it’s absolutely hilarious that these two dystopian books that depict an America completely different from how we know it today, is at war with somebody else. Maybe they indicate who America is at war with, but it’s war. Is it triggered by the current society or is the current society triggered by the war?

I think I would have a hidden library and I would probably never leave my library unless absolutely necessary. I love books and I love reading. I would burn myself with my books I think. I don’t want to be brainwashed by my tv. But like I said, I didn’t care for this book much at all.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #13 out of 50

2022 Reading Challenge

A banned book

Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Imprint
Genre: young adult, fantasy
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


February 2022 Book of the Month!


I think it was a really great book and a great start to the trilogy. I really like fantasy books with a great world building that you kind of stop every so often and can almost picture where they are and what they are doing in the story. I also love an element of magic and supernatural powers.

I would recommend this book to people who love completely made up worlds in the fantasy genre. I absolutely loved it and the story gave a heck of a turn for me and that’s really where it picked up. So if you like those kinds of twists and turns, I think you’d like this book.

I might consider this book and possibly the series as a re-read possibility but it may not be in the near future. It’s kind of like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, there might be years in between re-reads.

I did enjoy the writing style of Leigh Bardugo. I’m not entirely sure what about the book is keeping me from rating this book 5 stars, but there is. I think there might have been something about the characters that I didn’t like or how the story went. I’m not entirely sure but I just couldn’t give it 5 stars.

I was very in to the story though. I kept turning the page every time and I had to keep stopping every couple of chapters otherwise I would’ve read the book in 24 hours.

Overall it was a great story and great world building. I have already read the second book in the series and I’m about to start the final book. I might not read the other series in the Grishaverse though. I don’t particularly want to get stuck in a rabbit hole in a multiple series story because I’ve had bad experiences with them in the past. (Looking at you Erin Hunter) But as the book goes on its own, it’s great.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #12 out of 50

2022 Reading Challenge

None

Star Wars: Ronin

Author: Emma Mieko Candon
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre: sci fi, fantasy
Rating: ⭐️⭐️/5


This one was exceptionally underwhelming. For a Star Wars book, I was hoping for a clean cut plot and action packed that tugged at my emotions. But I feel like I got none of that. Yes there was action, but it seemed so subdued. Plus I was pretty confused for a fair part of the book.

I would not recommend this book to anyone. Well, I wouldn’t, my husband might. He likes the Japanese influence in the story. I’m not a huge fan of it though it was described beautifully. Along those lines, I would not read it again either.

I felt like nothing was really resolved in this book. As a standalone, I’d like everything to kind of be resolved and everything back in its place. I want there to be a big change from beginning to end. The only thing to change was a planet came back and somehow even that was underwhelming. I have no idea how she did that, make an entire planet coming back so boring!

I just didn’t feel anything reading this. It was almost a DNF for me. What kept me from stopping? I was hoping it would get better. It never did. It gets one star for being different and that glimmer of hope that it would be exciting. The second star was for the beautiful description of the galaxy and everything in it. But that’s it.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #11 out of 50

2022 Reading Challenge

None

14 Ways to Die

Author: Vincent Ralph
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: young adult, thriller
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5


Trope: Culprit Isn’t One of the Suspects
🛑 Warning: One of the characters attempts to commit suicide 🛑


Comparing this book to my previously reviewed, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson, I think this one was more of a thriller to me. This one is less mystery and more knife-wielding murderer. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I felt a lot of emotions while reading this book and the fact that the actual suspect was no where on my radar makes it a million times better for me.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers and young adult mysteries. It’s set in short, impactful chapters that keep the reader engaged and wanting to know what happens next.

I would definitely reread this book. It is going right in to my reread pile. I guess I should make a master list of the books I would definitely reread, although they’re all going to be 4+ star ratings so it’s a no-brainer this will be a reread.

I really did enjoy this style of writing with the short chapters. I almost didn’t put this book down the first day. It took me four days to read ONLY because I wanted to drag it out for as long as I could.

I really liked the concept of Jess trying to use the opportunity of a web show to try and solve her mother’s murder. Bringing light back to the serial killer and bringing all those who were left behind together to get their message out there. I was thoroughly invested in her story and wanting to find the killer.

I can kind of relate to Jess. I never lost a parent to a homicidal maniac, but I did lose my dad, unexpectedly to one of the many health conditions he suffered from. He was getting better, it seemed, and then one day, he was gone. It left a big gaping hole in my life. I was 19 when he died, so I at least got more time with my dad than Jess did with her mom. But I would give anything to know what really killed my dad. His death certificate just says “natural causes.” So many unanswered questions and I want to find the answers too.

I really enjoyed this book and I do look forward to rereading this one day. It has earned a spot on my shelf for good.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #10 out of 50

2022 Reading Challenge

None

Promises and Pomegranates

Author: Sav R. Miller
Publisher: Self
Genre: dark romance, novel
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


Spice Level: 🌶🌶🌶🌶/5 (Raunchy sexy time with dirty talking and kinks)


So in my opinion it was an okay book. But I mean I didn’t buy it for the story, you know what I mean? I liked how the book ended sure but let’s say I wasn’t paying attention to the story much. I saw someone talk about it on TikTok and I thought it would be an interesting read because I like the whole Persephone x Hades story, mostly because of Lore Olympus. However, this was like a reference that the characters are like Persephone and Hades. There may have been a few parallels between the two stories but not enough to really hook me in to the story so I settled for the spice. Which was kinky.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to Persephone x Hades enthusiasts nor would I recommend it to someone who’s in to spice unless you’re also in to kinks. Like blood and pain kinks. Which as it turns out, I’m not. So the two sells on this book for me were two total misses for me. But who knows, I’m not here to shame anyone on their kinks, these just weren’t mine.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to reread this. Some of the spice scenes were great but the story in between the spice was not very well laid out. It was a confusing storyline, it should have just been the two of them and them figuring out life together. Everything about her family was really sloppy so no I wouldn’t reread this one.

I enjoyed some of the writing in the spicy scenes but not so much everywhere else. There were a lot of plot holes in the actual story and I wasn’t sure what was going on with the blackmailing and everything. It was just very confusing.

Overall, it wasn’t a very great story but the spice was it’s saving grace (barely).


2022 Reading Goal

Book #9 out of 50

2022 Reading Challenge

None

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Author: Holly Jackson
Publisher: Ember
Genre: young adult, mystery, thriller
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


Trigger Warnings: Suicide
Trope: Culprit isn’t one of the suspects


It was such a great mystery book. I never expected the story to go the way it had. It was a roller coaster of mystery and intrigue. It was really crazy. I definitely loved how Pip goes around and starts uncovering the truth about Andie and it was just wild.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery with a lot of twists and turns. Begrudgingly, there’s a little bit of romance but at least our main character knows she needs to solve the mystery first before getting into a relationship. But yes it’s a great mystery and even for a young adult it was a great read.

If you are sensitive to suicide, please note there is a murder made to look like suicide involving pills. If that is a trigger for you, maybe it’s best not to read this book. You’ll pretty much be able to question whether it really was a suicide, which obviously not, but just in case. Be warned.

I would definitely reread this book AFTER I read the rest of the series. I like rereading entire series in completion so if the rest isn‘t really a reread, I might not reread this one. But I absolutely loved it and would love to read again.

I enjoyed this mystery writing style very much. I am in love with twists and turns and the totally unexpected. Being close to solving the mystery only for something completely different popping up that throws everything out the window. Love it!

It took four day for me to read it and it’s because I had to force myself to put the book down. I used to love reading books in a single day, but I don’t feel like I’m digesting the whole book if I read it nonstop for a day. So I’ve been trying to stretch the reading out. Maybe a couple reading sessions a day or next chapter put it down and pick it up again tomorrow. I’ve got other things to do these days. But I still loved this book and couldn’t put it down without struggle.

I like to think that I’d be just as driven as Pip in solving this case and I would be just as devastated as the suspects families once the case was solved. I might even become obsessed with solving a case. But Pip’s uncertainty about who she is and yet the certainty that she must solve this murder, that’s pretty relatable.

Great book, great characters, great mystery. I will definitely go on and read the next book in the series and hopefully come back and reread A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #8 out of 50

2022 Reading Challenge

None

It Ends With Us

Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria
Genre: contemporary romance
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


Trigger Warnings: Sexual and domestic abuse


I really had no idea what I thought when I finished the story. I was confused, happy, sad, and really frustrated by everything that happened to Lily. Everything was going great and then everything wasn’t. I absolutely loved the story and I love how she had Lily handle her life as it came at her.

I would definitely recommend this book. This was my very first Colleen Hoover book and it was really great. However, if domestic abuse and sexual abuse are triggers for you, please avoid this story. Yes it ends all well and good but man I got really emotional reading those parts so I can only imagine how someone would feel if this is triggering for them.

One monumental life-changing thing at a time.

Ryle Kincaid, It Ends With Us

I would definitely reread this book. I’m not too thrilled by how easily Lily and Ryle got together and everything, but it’s still a really great story.

With that said, Lily really has like everything going for her and everything. It was kind of annoying but then of course, if there are big highs, there are big lows too and man were they big. So that’s why I felt kind of confused, not by the story, but just how I felt about it in general.

It stops here. With me and you. It ends with us.

Lily Kincaid, It Ends With Us

I don’t think I’ve ever actually read a story that went so completely well for the MC and then all of a sudden took a turn for the absolute worse. It was like whiplash and took me a second to process what had happened. I had to reread the switch a second time just to try and process it.

I couldn’t put the book down at all. At this point, I had read several books that started off really slow. This one was a jump at the gun from the start with the first time Lily and Ryle meet. I kind of like when authors jump right in to the story without having to build everything up. You can build things up as you’re going through the story, I feel.

You can stop swimming now, Lily. We finally reached the shore.

Atlas Corrigan, It Ends With Us

I don’t think Lily and Ryle or even Atlas were very relatable for me in general. All of them kind of have the life of their dreams and they’re all doing what they love. Life hasn’t been nearly as good and fair for me, but that’s why it’s a story. Totally unrealistic but the most realistic parts are the abuse scenes so again, if you’re triggered by abuse, don’t read this book.

It was a really great book besides how everything was so easy for the characters to get and they’re basically living my dreams. It hurts when you read about fictional characters living your dream. But it’s definitely still a great story and I WILL be reading another Colleen Hoover book soon!


2022 Reading Goal

Book #7 out of 50

2022 Reading Challenge

Famous author you’ve never read

They Both Die At The End

Author: Adam Silvera
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult, Adventure
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


When I finally finished this book, it was like a sigh of relief. I felt a bit of mixed feelings because at least they lived their last day as fully as possible but death was literally staring them all in the face all day. There’s one character who was supposed to have gotten the call and I don’t know if she died at the end. Hers was the only story that didn’t finish and that kind of upset me at the end, but everything else resolved.

I would recommend this book to a friend. It’s a reminder to live every day as if you were going to die tomorrow. Unlike in the story, we don’t have someone calling us to let us know that we could die in the next 24 hours. We don’t know when we will die and we shouldn’t wait until we’re about to die to live our life. And also it reminds us to find people who make us feel like we’re living every day of our life.

I keep my photos in black and white because my life lost color after they died.

Rufus, They Both Die At The End

I don’t know if I would put this on my reread pile. But if I was say bored, I would reread it and pass the time. It definitely has low re-readability for me.

It started off a bit slow in the morning. But I guess that’s a theme with a lot of these books, start off slow and slowly build the environment and meet the necessary characters and then blast off in to the story. Sometimes, that’s where the author can lose me. If it takes too long to get a move on, I will walk away and DNF a book. But when it did pick up, it was a great story.

I was on the edge of my seat throughout the story. There were other Deckers stories being told that tied in with our two main characters, Mateo and Rufus. I kept thinking like oh man is this it, is this how they die. No, it’s not, they live. Maybe they will live beyond all odds. But then they don’t and I find a bit of peace from that.

No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end.

They Both Die At The End

I think Mateo is really relatable as far as his fear of going out in to the world that could kill him and not wanting to do anything that could expedite that. But he slowly comes out of his shell and finally lives. Rufus was a little less relatable for me but his story and his character was still very intriguing. I think the characters could be relatable to people.

It’s a great story and a great reminder to live every day as if you are going to die tomorrow. Don’t live a life you’ll regret not having lived it the way you wanted. Tomorrow is never promised, so live for today.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #6 of 50