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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Saturday Snapshot- Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral

Hey everyone! Today, I'll be starting a new mini-series for Saturday Snapshot*, about our trip to Russia this year. This post has some pictures of the Red Square and St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. We didn't get to see the full square, because Moscow was celebrating its birthday and a large part of it was being used for the festivities.

*This meme is hosted by Melinda @ West Metro Mommy Reads

St. Basil's Cathedral 

A mall near the Red Square 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher (Through Edelweiss)

This is the story of three siblings who didn't know they could rely on each other.

Joaquin has been in the foster system for 17 years. He's lived the hard life, trying to rid himself of emotions. Finding out that he's an older brother is not what he needs, specially not when his younger sisters want to bond over their biological mother.

Grace is an only child, adopted at birth- or so she thought. Now she finds out that she's a middle child, in a family that doesn't want to get closer to one another.

Maya is the sarcastic younger sibling, who always thought she was the older child. Adopted at birth by a well-to-do family of red-heads, her younger sister was the miracle birth that came after her adoption.

The siblings struggle to form memorable connections, share secrets with each other, or even communicate like regular siblings. The thing is, there's nothing regular about these siblings- they never even knew they had siblings!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Reading Challenges Update

I only signed up for 3 challenges this year- and unfortunately I'm not doing so well with any of them!

I signed up for the "Travelling the World with Books" Challenge, hosted by Mom's Small Victories. The book encourages you to read books set in different countries. So far, I've read books set in 12 countries.
(All links go back to my reviews)

Mali :
Blood and Ink by Stephen Davies

The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone
Heist Society by Ally Carter
The 12 Dares of Christa by Marissa Burt

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas
Smoke and Ashes by Barbara Rogasky

The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

United States of America:
Back Home by Michelle Magorian
Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
The Escape Artist by Diane Chamberlain
Running Full Tilt by Michael Currinder
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
You're Welcome Universe by Whitney Gardner
This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Secret Sisters by Joy Callway
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Neighborhood Girls by Jessie Ann Foley
The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby
I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott
Nothing by Annie Barrows
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
The ReadyMade Thief by Augustus Rose
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz
The Shock of the Fall by Nathan File
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Souls of Angels by Thomas Eidson
The 12 Dares of Christa by Marissa Burt

Heist Society by Ally Carter
Smoke and Ashes by Barbara Rogasky

United Kingdom: 
Back Home by Michelle Magorian
The Hollow by Agatha Christie
Unbecoming by Jenny Downham
After the Funeral by Agatha Christie
Heist Society by Ally Carter
The 12 Dares of Christa by Marissa Burt
Macbeth by William Shakespeare

The Bishop's Girl by Rebecca Burns
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
The 12 Dares of Christa by Marissa Burt

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

The Siege by Helen Dunmore

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Heist Society by Ally Carter

I also signed up for the Big Book Challenge at Book by Book. I only finished 4 Big Books this summer. My previous records are 8 and 10 books, but I just couldn't manage that this year.

The last challenge I'm participating in is the Goodreads Reading Challenges- which I'm really behind on! I set a goal to read 80 books and as of this moment, I've only read 49. I'm 9 books behind schedule! Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with my challenge by the end of the year!

Did you guys sign up for any challenges this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The 12 Dares of Christa by Marissa Burt

Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Genre: Middle Grade
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher (Through Edelweiss)

Christa loves Christmas. The holiday season is her favorite season of all time- it's just so perfect! Unfortunately, this year, the holidays are stained by her parents separation.

She can't imagine spending the vacations without her father, even when her mom tells her she'll be joining her on a trip across Europe for the winter.

A cautious, play-it-safe kind of girl, Christa isn't really looking forward to the crowds and new foods. When she gets to her hotel though, there's a package from her father awaiting her. The first of 12, the letter dares to her complete a task she normally wouldn't.

As Christa works to finish the dares and make new friends within her mom's acting troop, her father shapes her into a more confident girl, from halfway across the world!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday Snapshot- Meghalaya Waterfalls

Hey guys! I'm back with my last few pictures of our family trip to Meghalaya this summer! Don't worry though- I have some more exciting pictures to share with you from other trips we've taken over the years.

I'm linking up with Melinda @ WMMR to share these pictures with you guys!

Nohkalikai Falls- Cherrapunji

View from hotel room

Seven sister falls- Cherrapuji
Have any of you visited Meghalaya? Perhaps you've visited another similar state in India? Let me know in the comments below and have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday Snapshot- Mawylnnong and Mawsynram

Last week, I shared some pictures of our family trip to Meghalaya this summer. Today, I'll be sharing some more pictures of our trip, this time of some natural formations around the state. In case you hadn't figured this out already, I'm participating in Saturday Snapshot, hosted by Melinda @ West Metro Mommy Reads.

A bridge made out of living roots near Mawlynnong village

A cave in Mawsynram, the second wettest place on Earth

A Shiv Ling inside the cave
Hope you guys enjoy all your weekends! Leave a link to your blogs, and I'll be sure to come check them out.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Blood and Ink by Stephen Davies

Publication Date: September 19th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher (Through Edelweiss)

Kadi is a young girl in modern-day Timbuktu. Daughter of a scripture librarian. A fan of literature, music and art, she hopes one day to become the esteemed guardian of the scriptures her father currently looks after.

Ali is a small-town boy from the villages of Mali. He's joined the Defenders of Faith, a branch of Al Qaeda and is an important player in the take of Timbuktu.

As life changes drastically in Timbuktu, Ali and Kadi meet. They hate each other instantly- but something about their natures encourages them to interact with one another. Opening up to each other was a huge mistake- or was it?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Saturday Snapshot- Drive to Shillong

Hey guys! This week I'll be linking up with Melinda @ Westmetro Mommy Reads to share some pictures of our summer trip to Meghalaya this year. Meghalaya is a state in North-East India. These are some pictures we took on the drive up to Shillong.

Have any of you ever been to Meghalaya- or anywhere else in India? Let me know in the comments below! Hope you guys all have a great week!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Neighborhood Girls by Jessie Anne Foley

Publication Date: September 12th 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
My Goodreads Rating:4/5
Source: Publisher (Through Edelweiss)

Wendy's dad was a police officer in Chicago. She always thought he resembled the heroes in movies. That is, until he was arrested. Her life turns upside down when she is ostracized for her last name. To make things worse, she gets threatened on the way back from a party one night.

Finally, Wendy meets exactly the right kind of girl to help her build up a defense system. Kenzie is mean, popular, and an alpha. Along with two other girls, Wendy has become part of the school's most popular clique- where no one can touch her.

This "toxic friendship" begins to drain Wendy. She knows bullying others to protect herself is wrong. She knows that Kenzie is possibly one of the worst people she has met. But is she so addicted to the safety and power that she should compromise her values?

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Saturday Snapshot- Landmarks of Venice

I'm back with my last post about Italy (2012). I know I've said that before- but this time I honestly think that I don't have any other Italian pictures to share with you! Here are some last pictures of Venetian buildings and cathedrals.

This meme is hosted by Melinda @ Westmetromommyreads.

St Mark's Basilica

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