Monday, June 18, 2018

Book Review: 9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno

9 days and 9 nights by katie cotugno
Book 2 in the 99 Days duology

Release Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Format: Hardcover // 263 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Links: Purchase from The Book Depository or AmazonAdd to Goodreads

what 9 days and 9 nights is about
9 Days and 9 Nights follows Molly a year after the events that happened in 99 Days. She has since escaped the person she used to be when she lived in Star Lake and re-invented herself now that she's in college, away from home. But while on vacation in Europe with Ian, her boyfriend, she runs into an old flame. And she has unfinished business with him ...

things i liked (but probably am in the minority)
The heart of 9 Days and 9 Nights = Molly's internal struggle with who she is.

While Europe is the backdrop of this story, we really don't get to experience a lot of it. Molly and Ian may be in Ireland, but we only see them at a friend's house or at a hardware store. That's pretty much it! And I think if you go into this book hoping to experience London or Ireland, you may be a little disappointed. (We do, however, get to explore Paris! Which I loved.)

We see how Molly struggles to accept her past self in the present and how that affects her relationships now—with her best friend, Ian, her old flame, and even a new friend. She hides parts of herself to protect her reputation, but who does she really want to be?

molly's relationship with ian
We get a lot of flashbacks to the beginning of Molly and Ian's relationship—how they met, events that happened to progress their relationship, etc. but it's all things from the PAST. We don't really get to know how they are right now. (But reading this book made me realize that there aren't a lot of YA books following relationships after the "honeymoon" phase. We love the build-up and the anticipation, but what's the reality of after?)

Molly and Ian are on this vacation together, but there isn't a lot of interaction between the two of them. They're at a bar together in Ireland with some friends, but they spend the entire evening apart (aside from the time Ian buys her a drink when they first get there.) I think I'm just being really picky—I wanted to know more about the Ian she loves *now* and not just the Ian from when they first met. He just felt like a character written to emphasize Molly's development.

last thoughts
I loved 99 Days back when I read it in 2015. It had all the ingredients a Cotugno book promises—messy relationships + extremely flawed but real characters—and I can say the same for 9 Days and 9 Nights! I mean that all in a good way, because Cotugno writes the best "complicated" stories.

I'm glad I didn't re-read 99 Days before I started 9 Days and 9 Nights, even though I wanted to. I forgot about the details in 99 Days, but it didn't affect how much I liked this one. I still want to re-read 99 Days so that's a good thing, right? To sum it all up: if you liked 99 Days, I think you'll appreciate 9 Days and 9 Nights.

Other books by Katie Cotugno: How to Love, 99 Days, Fireworks, Top Ten

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sci-Fi Space Recommendations

If a book's blurb/description mentions even a word related to space, it goes on my TBR no questions asked. But the sad thing is, I haven't read too many books in that realm *headdesk* I know, I'm a sad lover of space. I only have two favorites (as mentioned below) but I really want to expand this list so please share yours too!

favorite space books 🌌

I love the history, time-travel, and sci-fi elements that Ryan Graudin wove into Invictus. And the cast of characters à la Guardians of the Galaxy made it all the more enjoyable! It's also a standalone, which means no cliffhangers and no waiting for the sequel. You *know* you're going to get an ending. Invictus in a short sentence = a mind-warping chase through time and space to save the future's past.

I can confidently say that Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman is my favorite space book thus far. The drama, the intensity, I LOVED IT ALL. The entire story is so messed up in the best way possible. And you would think that I'd be saying the same about the entire series, but I haven't read onward yet ... I know, I'm the worst 🙈 I wanted to re-read Illuminae before Gemina came out, but you can see how that turned out. (It didn't.)

I may not love These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner with the same undying love as Invictus and Illuminae, but it's definitely a book I would recommend. The best way I can describe this book is Titanic meets The 100.

hoping to get to these soon!

  • Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray // I've been seeing a bunch of mixed reviews for this one but I will read anything about AIs no matter what anyone says!
  • Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner // "In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race's secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race ..."
  • Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre // Petty criminal main character + sentient alien ships.
  • Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston // ANASTASIA IN SPACE? SOLD.
  • Contagion by Erin Bowman // This one doesn't come out until the end of July, but IT SOUNDS SO GOOD. I love the mystery/thriller element, which is something that seems to make space books even more enticing to me. (Again, the best example in this case is Illuminae. What can I say, I love the creepy parts!)

should i read these? 🤔


Okay friends, tell me your favorite space books!

Friday, April 20, 2018

March Recap

highlights + notes
  • My mom's youngest sister and her family confirmed that they're flying out from England to attend our wedding here!!! I rarely get to see them, so this means *a lot* to me. I think they'll be spending two or three extra weeks here too ☺️
  • ALL THE WEDDING STUFF // Starting pre-marital counseling, a FaceTime call with our videographer (my fiancé didn't have time so I had to do it alone 😬), visiting Crate & Barrel to put stuff on our registry, and a food tasting!
  • I'm starting my third year of women's mentoring at church, and we'll be going through a handful of Psalms with the help of Sing a New Song by Lydia Brownbeck. This makes me both nervous and excited because 1) poetry is the hardest for me to study and 2) there are *150* psalms but 3) I'm not doing it alone! I get to hear from other sisters!

books i read 📚

FIVE books read + 1,255 pages

If you want more reading statistics + to read my reviews, check out my post on books I read in March!

favorite music 🎵

movies watched 🎞️
  • Black Panther (2018) // SO GOOD.
  • Brink (1998) // I'm hoping to watch/re-watch all the Disney Channel Original Movies this year, so I started with one I've seen parts of. This was so cheesy but because I grew up while DCOM was becoming a thing, I love it for the nostalgia. Also, my fiancé is the same age as me but he hasn't watched a single one of these?! So of course I'm exposing him to my childhood, haha.
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) // I was a little skeptical going in, but WOW this was so much fun and hilarious. A lot less creepy than the original, from what I remember! I have never been a Jack Black fan, but I'll make an exception for him in this one.
  • Ready Player One (2018) // I haven't read the book yet (🙊) so I can't compare the two, but I really liked it. The story was pretty immersive, even though I didn't understand a lot of the gamer references. There were some parts where I literally gasped out loud and looked my fiancé with excitement because of the twists that happened. I will eventually read the book, hopefully soon so I can spot all the differences!

I thought I only watched two movies this month but wow, four! I normally don't watch a lot of TV or movies, but my fiancé loves it so it's what we do when we get the chance to hang out. These were all movies I watched with him, haha.

things i wrote 📝

favorite posts from around the web
I only have one for the month of March: "Everyone is Going Through Something" by Kevin Love, a basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers. To see him honestly speaking (well, writing!) on his mental health while society holds him at such a high standard speaks so loudly to me.
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