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CaitlinSiem

CaitlinSiem

Joined May 2016

"Book love is something like romantic love. When we are reading a really great book, burdens feel lighter, cares seem smaller." - Steve Leveen
review
CaitlinSiem
Under One Roof | Ali Hazelwood
Pickpick

Ugh. It was adorable and I loved it. One of my favorite things was that even though it was an enemies to lovers, he never undermined her as a woman. Bless that he respected her smart brain even if they butted heads.

Thank you to Libro.fm for the audiobook.

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CaitlinSiem
The Unspoken Name | A. K. Larkwood
Panpan

If Stargate and A Darker Shade of Magic joined and added in active gods, that might describe this book. That should‘ve worked for me! I went into it expecting it to!

But alas. I was frustrated for most of this book. The writing voice was so passive and the main character was extremely boring. Most of the characters were. I just didn‘t care. And then a few things happened that absolutely pissed me off. So yeah. It was a no from me.

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CaitlinSiem
Pickpick

I really enjoyed this one! The first half of the book was hit and miss on the pacing but had some good pieces that kept urging me forward. But I really enjoyed the last half of the book. There were so many interesting pieces. And I loved how the gods were involved and I loved their commentary. I‘ll definitely continue the series.

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CaitlinSiem
Mehso-so

This had some endearing qualities, but Alex referring to Lauren as round multiple times was not one of them.

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CaitlinSiem
Pickpick

There are so many positive things in this book. So many things worked through and a slew of feels along the way. It was so lovely. A great read.

14 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinSiem
Notorious | Minerva Spencer
Mehso-so

I liked that Gabriel was a POC (although I wish we got more culture). Dru was rather boring for being a feminist of her time (she‘s a rebel and an outcast because of her views) which we never see from her. I swear, 90% of her POV is her pining for Gabriel. Also, I don‘t like when the only plot revolves around nothing but a severe lack of communication. But, the ending was exciting and made me interested in book 2.

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CaitlinSiem
Mehso-so

This has a severe case of false advertisement. I was promised merfolk and witches and magic. All I got were hints. Such a bummer.

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CaitlinSiem
The Ruin of Kings | Jenn Lyons
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Pickpick

I enjoyed the heck out of this book. The format took me a little while to get used to, but as soon as I did, I fell fully immersed into the world. I found it fascinating how the story was about the same person, Kieran, but told from his POV and the POV of those surrounding him in life (with an interesting twist). I enjoyed the characters and the storyline. 

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CaitlinSiem
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Pickpick

Okay, can we have a book two about Poppy and Alex please?!

I adored this. I loved both characters very much and was rooting for them the entire time.

At first I was a little unsure with how the years jumped around randomly from chapter to chapter, but once I got the hang of it, I didn't question it. The author had me dying to know what happened two summers ago, and also I was so engrossed in what was going to happen during the present timeline.

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CaitlinSiem
The Last Watch | J.S. Dewes
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Pickpick

I enjoyed the characters. They came off subtle but still had staying power. Cav gave me Starlord vibes (but a little more cinnamon roll like) which I was not mad at.

I liked how much build up was created for future plot points to come in other books. The world was complex. I loved that the world building happened over the length of the book. Educate me along the way, I'm here for it.

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CaitlinSiem
Fable: A Novel | Adrienne Young
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Pickpick

This was a good book. I really enjoyed it. I loved Fable. The author did a great job of making her a well rounded character. She fit the story well and I liked following along with her.

The ship setting was awesome. It wasn‘t a pirate ship which was a fun twist. And it felt quite accurate and believable.

I liked all the characters, I liked the ships, I liked the setting. I liked this book. And I‘m looking forward to the second one.

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CaitlinSiem
Project Hail Mary | Andy Weir
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Pickpick

So nice I read it twice. In a row. In two different formats.

OH MY GOD I LOVED THIS BOOK

I loved the main character, I loved the plot, I loved the twists. I especially loved a part that I can‘t talk about because SPOILERS.

I loved The Martian. This is nothing like that book. To me, it‘s better.

I laughed and cried so much in equal measure.

If you like science fiction, read this book. I don‘t think you‘ll be disappointed.

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CaitlinSiem
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Pickpick

There was such dread woven into this but the build up more subtle than I would have expected.

This is the kind of novel you use the word ‘haunting‘ to describe without it ever meaning something supernatural.

I love that the world is falling apart but you only see how it directly effects this Anishinaabe community instead of the world as a whole. The focus is a pinprick even though it‘s a wave of the residual aftermath happening elsewhere.

bookwrm526 So good, and the tension he built was unbelievable! 2y
24 likes1 comment
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CaitlinSiem
Home Before Dark | Riley Sager, Todd Ritter
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Mehso-so

The one thing I did really enjoy about this story is that it wasn‘t just to POVs but that one of them was a story within the story. Unfortunately, it was that POV that I liked the most, not the main character‘s. I found her to be a bit annoying and just never got around to caring for her.

Other spooky audiobooks made this one feel weak by comparison. Also, I found this spooky tale not so spooky. I wanted to be creeped out. It just didn‘t work.

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CaitlinSiem
Pride and Prejudice | Austen Jane
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Pickpick

I finally understand all the fuss! I rather enjoyed this classic!

Darcy is truly a dick in the beginning—he‘s abrasive and says what he thinks no matter how offensive. I appreciated that he gets called out on being a rude jerk and he improves on himself. There is no cliched Win the Woman Back moment we see so often. Elizabeth comes to terms with her feelings for Darcy only after someone points out that he became a better human.

I loved it.

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CaitlinSiem
I'll Be the One | Lyla Lee
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Mehso-so

I‘m bummed that I can‘t give this one top marks. I went into it expecting to love it.

There were parts I did really enjoy. I loved Skye as the MC. I loved her confidence and willingness to fight against the world because she believed in herself (although it was a little exhausting that so much of the book centered around her size).

The writing was really stiff though. It felt like the author was trying to dumb down the book for teens.

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CaitlinSiem
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Pickpick

This book really does have a bit of everything. From romance to revenge, humor to sorrow, and it is the most meta book I‘ve ever read. The author builds a world inside of a world and I couldn‘t tell what was real life or fiction. But I loved that.

The characters are so full of life and are so endearing. Between the fictional characters I loved in the movie to the “real life” characters in his side notes, I was invested in these characters.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa If you loved the movie for this too....try As You Wish, by Cary Elwes...I recommend the audiobook if you can get it, he narrates it himself. 2y
29 likes1 comment
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CaitlinSiem
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Pickpick

This is an intoxicating and thought provoking novel.

It was interesting to see how these twin sisters split and the ripple effects following both. You never quite knew how everything was going to intersect.

It was a complicated weave of plot lines and characters but the author did a great job of keeping everything straight for the reader.

26 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinSiem
Party of Two | Jasmine Guillory
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Pickpick

This didn‘t disappoint. I loved the match. Olivia was a great side character for her sister‘s story, and she made a great lead here. She did frustrate me on occasion (damn plot), but I did see the reasoning behind her decisions.

I liked Max as well. I wouldn‘t mind more politicians who cared about the issues Max did). And, just like Olivia, the author did a really good job of helping you understand the decisions made in the story.

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CaitlinSiem
You Say It First | Katie Cotugno
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Pickpick

I like that we see two different ways teens grow up (suburban and small Midwest town). Also, the situations were relatable and easy to empathize with.

I saw myself in both MCs from when I was a teen and as an adult (shout out to Home Depot, Colby lol). So that certainly helped me enjoy these characters. I was invested in their stories.

I enjoyed both MCs‘ voices here and that they were separate and distinct from each other.

Great teen read.

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CaitlinSiem
Something to Talk About | Meryl Wilsner
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Mehso-so

I was really anticipating this f/f romance. And it really left me wanting.

There just wasn‘t much here to sink my teeth into. It‘s a S U P E R S L O W burn romance, if you could even call it that. It really started to get tedious as the book went on.

Also, it just didn‘t seem like there was much personality or pizazz to the book or characters. On paper, I‘m sure it has everything but it just didn‘t hold up in the book.

So bummed about this one.

Reggie Me too. And then the nice thing that gets done for a family member that gets used as a point of friction but just made me roll my eyes. There was no heat and for a lot of this book I just felt I kept watching coffee being brought into an office. 2y
swishandflick Agreed 100%! 2y
CaitlinSiem @Reggie That is exactly it! This book could‘ve been a showstopper and it just didn‘t pack any punch. Which really bummed me out. I was like “I WANT TO LOVE YOU PLEASE JUST LET ME LOVE YOU”. I know we need gentle f/f love stories as well, but denial until the last 50 pages doesn‘t make us want to cheer on the couple. It just wants us to finish the book. 2y
27 likes3 comments
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CaitlinSiem
My Plain Jane | Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand
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Mehso-so

I adored the 1st book in this trilogy. It made me excited about this one.

MPJ fell short and I‘m so bummed! It was a supernatural twist on Jane Eyre. I‘ve not read the classic but this made me less excited to do so?

A few reasons why I struggled: Jane was rather shallow and boy crazy. Charlotte Brontë was obsessed with Jane Austen and Mr Darcy but in real life she was very adamantly not a fan. It just didn‘t work.

I‘ll still give book 3 a go.

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CaitlinSiem
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this one. It wasn‘t perfect, and sometimes the dialogue or scene was a little stilted, but it didn‘t change my feelings about the story overall.

Both MCs had tough pasts to work through and it made for some tough situations. Not so much a hate-to-love, more like a hate-to-one-sided-stubbornness-because-of-self-doubt-that-dragged-things-on-a-little-too-long.

I liked the ending. It was very fitting for the characters and not forced.

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CaitlinSiem
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Panpan

Look. understand that I‘ve been excited to read this for a while. Paranormal romance? Vampires? I‘m your girl.

I‘m ghosting this series. I‘m losing their number. The tinder profile didn‘t match in person.

Legit, so bummed. I didn‘t like this at all. The writing wasn‘t good, the storyline was meh. And don‘t get me started on the use of women in this book. It‘s seriously degrading.

Maybe I would‘ve liked it 10 years ago. It doesn‘t work in 2020.

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CaitlinSiem
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Pickpick

Man, I am definitely bummed this book wasn‘t one I read as a kid. Because I would‘ve loved it.

The balance of creepy, dark fantasy and well written literature is incredible in this book. And the illustrations that the author drew himself for the book seriously just added so much depth to an already interesting and fantastic story. Why don‘t more books have illustrations? I feel cheated.

I have nothing bad to say about this book. I‘m a fan.

23 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinSiem
The Boyfriend Project | Farrah Rochon
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Pickpick

I enjoyed the heck out of this book. I loved the MCs as well as the side characters. I loved that there was a friendship formed between these ladies when society tries to pit us against each other.

I really enjoyed the storylines as well. I was invested in seeing how everything was going to pan out. It was a lot of fun. I couldn‘t listen to this fast enough.

The romance wasn‘t super steamy but I liked the easy going nature of it. It felt real.

25 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinSiem
Goldilocks | Laura Lam
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Pickpick

All female astronaut crew? Count me in.

I enjoyed this one. The way women were viewed and treated is something that could easily happen in the future (and not in a good way). That, along with the way Earth was dying... it made for a very believable setting.

I enjoyed the characters for the most part. I loved how there was a villain aspect, it really added a unique layer. I didn‘t care for how the timeline however; it jumped around a bit too much

24 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinSiem
The Guest List | Lucy Foley
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Mehso-so

I‘m bummed this one missed the mark for me. I was excited to read it.

I never got emotionally invested with any of the characters. I ended up not caring enough about any of them. I don‘t know if it‘s because there were so many POVs and timeline jumps or what.

I never felt the pull to jump back in after I paused the audiobook.

The end was decently interesting. Except it felt so choppy. The dead persons certainly deserved it though haha.

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CaitlinSiem
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Pickpick

I came across this at a local bookstore (actually book 2 caught my attention first) and I couldn‘t leave without buying book one. It was just too tempting and whack-a-doo sounding.

The crazy did not disappoint! What a ridiculous ride. But the thing was, it wasn‘t written like comic relief so even though it was INSANE it was easy to stay in the reader‘s dream the entire time.

I enjoyed this one. I‘ll be buying, and reading, the entire series.

22 likes2 stack adds
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CaitlinSiem
Gideon the Ninth | Tamsyn Muir
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Pickpick

Whoa.

Look. Let me just preface by saying 1) this is unlike anything I‘ve ever read before, and 2) you are not going to fully understand what‘s going on most of the time; just go with it.

This was a ride. I don‘t even know where to start. I‘m mind blown. Gideon was one hell of an MC and the rest of the cast was just a whirlwind too. There were so many incredible lines and snippets of dialogue. The world building was off the charts.

This is WHOA

Lesanne One of my favorite books so far this year! 2y
29 likes1 stack add1 comment
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CaitlinSiem
Aurora Burning | Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
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Pickpick

This writing duo can do no wrong in my eyes, and they will forever be an automatic read.

Wow, this second book did not disappoint! If anything, I think it surpassed it‘s predecessor. We really dug deep into what makes these characters tick; and they are all being challenged to grow. I was shocked so many times. I exclaimed my surprise often (I probably scared some woodland creatures while I listened to it on my hike).

Also. SO MUCH SHOCKING WHOA

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CaitlinSiem
Jo & Laurie | Margaret Stohl, Melissa de la Cruz
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Mehso-so

I feel bad for this book: it has unfortunate ratings. It was an “I didn‘t love it but I enjoyed it decently enough” book for me.

It‘s a blend between the book Little Women and the author‘s life. It takes place after LW was published and about the pressures of Jo writing the second book (which is combined with LW as one in modern times). It was interesting. I wish I connected more with the characters, but I liked the storyline.

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CaitlinSiem
Some Girls Bite | Chloe Neill
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Mehso-so

Recently I realized just how many vampire based fantasy romance series there are that I haven‘t read. So I decided to start giving them a try.

The first book of the Chicagoland Vampires series left me wanting: wanting characters who are less superficial.

I couldn‘t muster any feelings for the MC. For having such a traumatic change thrust upon her, all she did was whine about it a few times and have an attitude.

I‘m hoping it gets better.

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CaitlinSiem
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Pickpick

I loved this. I love that it takes place in Michigan (says the Michigander). But it wasn‘t your typical beach setup (although the title and cover are a tad deceiving there).

I really enjoyed these characters. The single POV worked really well. I liked how the author had the MC‘s push each other but it never got to be too much. It felt believable. There were misunderstandings but then there was communication. I connected with these characters.

AUDIOBOOKINGWITHLEAH I'm from Michigan, too! 2y
Reggie I really liked all the tonal shifts in here. Sometimes it was light, at others dark, and others, obliterate your heart-realness. 2y
33 likes3 comments
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CaitlinSiem
Blood Noir | Laurell K. Hamilton
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Mehso-so

I gave been an Anita Blake fan for a long time. I haven‘t read all the books yet but I do own them all. And I‘ve been slowly making my way through them. The best thing about this series is that it‘s always a little like coming home. It feels like the main characters are a part of me now and they never go too far away.

I wanted to love this one more. I enjoyed the focus on Jason. He‘s always been a great character. But I missed the vampires.

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CaitlinSiem
Catherine House: A Novel | Elisabeth Thomas
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Mehso-so

I was confused at least half of the time while listening to this one. (Some books are better physically read; maybe this was supposed to be one such book for me)

I give the author props for her writing though. It does have a whimsical gothic kind of appeal to it. And her descriptions were consistent and well done. Some of the imagery was great.

But I did struggle to understand what was going on quite a bit. And don‘t get me started on the end...

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CaitlinSiem
The Plus One | Sarah Archer
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Mehso-so

I struggled with this one. I liked the premise, but everything just fell short for me.

The humor was too forced. In the moments I would usually find myself laughing, I wasn‘t. Actually, I don‘t think I laughed out loud once while listening to this (and I‘m an animated reader).

Another problem: there was no chemistry between Kelly/Ethan. So it felt forced. Also, he was a bland perfect robot.

I couldn‘t connect with what Kelly was going through.

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CaitlinSiem
Race the Sands: A Novel | Sarah Beth Durst
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Pickpick

I liked that this was a stand-alone fantasy novel. Granted, I felt like the ending was a little rushed, but that could just be me.

I liked Tamra a lot. She was a very interesting character and I loved seeing an MC have a child and it be such a great relationship. I had some trouble with Raia, she felt younger and more immature than 17 in my head. Most characters were interesting.

It was a bit predictable but I still enjoyed it start to end.

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CaitlinSiem
Rodham | Curtis Sittenfeld
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Mehso-so

I wanted to like this book more than I did. Now, I did enjoy it but it was a mild enjoyment. I liked the alternative history take on the book to see where Hillary could‘ve ended up without marrying Bill.

I wasn‘t fond of the narrative and voice of the book. The style of jumping around in history throughout was a little off putting. I found myself rewriting it at times with how I pictured the story going. I want to read Hillary‘s books now though.

Christine I DNFed this audiobook, which made me so sad! I love Curtis Sittenfeld, and Hillary, so I wanted to love this, but I just wasn‘t feeling it. 😕 3y
CaitlinSiem @Christine I completely understand that. It was borderline for me. I‘m glad I stuck it out but I was never invested like I wanted to be. This could have been incredible and instead it was mediocre. 3y
Christine Such a bummer. I may give it a try in print one day just to see if I prefer that. I LOVE this photo, though!! 3y
28 likes3 comments
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CaitlinSiem
Poemsia | Lang Leav
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Mehso-so

I had high hopes for this one. I was excited to read it... and it fell a little flat for me.

It wasn‘t a bad story, it just didn‘t feel like there was a lot of substance to it. I had a hard time connecting with the characters. And there was a lot going on in the time frame but it felt a bit choppy.

The hardest thing for me was the exclamation points. There were SO MANY per page. The dialogue was riddled with them; it made my eye twitch. It hurt.

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CaitlinSiem
The Tourist Attraction | Sarah Morgenthaler
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Pickpick

I listened to this while hiking yesterday, and it was perfect. I was so immersed in the story I almost never noticed the fresh ache of hiking a literal mountain. Almost haha.

This book was so fun. I enjoyed both MCs. Graham was a great male lead; he may be one of my favorites. The setting was so unique and refreshing. I loved that I swallowed this book up in a day, but I already miss it. Oh. The animal characters were an added bonus. Loved it.

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CaitlinSiem
Wanderers: A Novel | Chuck Wendig
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Pickpick

Reading this while in a pandemic was either super smart or super dumb. I‘ll go with the former haha.

What a journey Wendig has given the reader here. It‘s decently hefty at 800 pages but it was a very complete story. And while I listened to it, never did it feel bogged down or like it was too long.

It had a bit of an Eagle Eye vibe to me (the movie). And I know it‘s been compared to The Stand (I haven‘t read it).

I think it‘s worth a read.

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CaitlinSiem
The Ninja Daughter | Tori Eldridge
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Mehso-so

It was fun having a vigilante female main character.

Lily was an interesting protagonist. I enjoyed the balance we got to see between her Chinese and Norwegian heritage (which was an homage to the author‘s own heritage).

I appreciated that the story was a balance between her being a normal daughter with her parents and then this ninja who helps women. But it was a little flat throughout and a few times I found myself pushing to read through it.

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CaitlinSiem
Aurora Rising | Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
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Pickpick

This was a reread for me but via audio this time. I need to get ready for book two!

I loved it just as much the second time. This author duo is incredible. I love the worlds they create. It was so good to have a refresh before I do book two. So many little things I‘ve forgotten since last year.

The humor is great. The crew is so interesting. I care about these characters. You cheer for them. But the serious tones were well done here as well.

24 likes2 comments
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CaitlinSiem
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Pickpick

Oh boy. Do you ever read a character who isn‘t an MC and go “Wow, she‘s crazy.” and then you get a glimpse into her story and you go “Okay, no, she is BATSH*T crazy.”

Levana is glorious in her psychotic ways. It was a lot of fun to see her backstory and the why to the evil queen and her ways. It didn‘t disappoint. I was shook with how deep the crazy actually goes. (Also, poor Cinder, because her mom was a piece of work)

I enjoyed this one.

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CaitlinSiem
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Pickpick

My engineer boyfriend sent me his copy. It‘s one of his favorites. And when I let him pick my next read, he jumped on it.

I wasn‘t hooked at first. The first 50 pages had me worried. But then things changed and the story expanded and I was sucked in.

I loved how much personality Mark had. I was so stressed and worried for him but then he‘d make me laugh and it kept me going. I was invested. I really enjoyed it. I even got teary-eyed a few times.

33 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinSiem
Sleepless in Manhattan | Sarah Morgan
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Panpan

I really enjoy contemporary romances. Especially those that have come out in the last few years. But I have a few rules for rating them. The most important one? I gotta feel something. Make my heart flutter or pull a laugh or two out of me. But make me feel something.

This just made me annoyed. I really struggled with the whole being wrapped around a crush this girl had as a teenager thing. It‘s sad and pathetic, and he‘s a shitty womanizer.

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CaitlinSiem
How to Walk Away | Katherine Center
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Pickpick

I‘ve seen people comparing this to Me Before You but I‘ve not read that or watched the movie so... I can‘t attest to that at all. Maybe that‘s good. I have a fresh view on this one.

I enjoyed it. I didn‘t enjoy the narrators terrible Scottish accent but I got used to it. There were a lot of layers to the book which I enjoyed. I like this author but it‘s almost surprising for me because she‘s subtle and I‘m not subtle haha. It was a good listen.

21 likes1 stack add
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CaitlinSiem
The Taming of the Shrew | William Shakespeare
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Mehso-so

Here‘s my come away:

Petruchio is CLEARLY the villain of this story. Straight up. Kate is married off to the bad guy. The first time we meet him, he‘s beating his servant. Bad sign. He‘s awful.

Kate needed to turn it down a bit. She tied Bianca‘s hands up and slapped her. That‘s mean. I enjoyed her wit though. She clearly figured P out once married; I think she played him.

(An epilogue would show her murdering P in their bed, let‘s be honest)

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CaitlinSiem
Shiver | Maggie Stiefvater
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Mehso-so

I feel bad for this book (series?) because of its timing coming into the world. So many comparisons to Twilight which I find rather cruel and unjust. A lot of books are similar to this in the genre. I think Shiver‘s better written and more interesting. (Edward was much creepier, let‘s be real)

Teenage me would have LOVED this book. Adult me enjoyed it but it didn‘t hit me as hard as I needed for a “Pick” review. I‘ll try out the next book though.