Erin Condren Life Planner 2015 Review

This review is long past due. I’ve referred hundreds of people to Erin Condren, but never wrote a review on my Life Planner (I did write one about my old planner, a Plum Paper, if you wanted to check that out). Well, it’s time to change that!

 

Cover

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Book Review: Unravel by Calia Read

N ormally I would wait until I’ve read a bunch of books so I can review them all at once, but I need to make an exception.

I don’t know how I came upon this book, but I am so glad I did! I started it last night and couldn’t put it down all day until I finally finished. Now that it’s over, I wish I could erase it from my mind just so I can start over and re-read it. Yeah, it’s that good. Actually, it’s very likely I will be reading it again very soon.

For starters, the book cover is beautiful.

The book was released on February 17, just two weeks ago, and already has 1,168 ratings on Goodreads. It currently has a 4.23 stars out of 5. However, my rating upon completion was a well-deserved 5 stars!

The plot itself cannot be described in detail because anything I say would give it away. It is best to go into this book knowing very little and allowing your brain to string everything together. Once it all clicks, you’ll be in shock. But don’t be too shocked, because as soon as you think you know everything, it all changes and your mind gets blown all over again.

The main character is relatable and the men in her life are both attractive and wonderful in different ways. I think I related to the main character well because she was a 20-year-old girl, and it’s always nice reading a book where the narrator is the same age as you. In case you couldn’t tell from my previous book reviews, I enjoy young adult novels and also love mystery. This was the perfect balance between young adult and mature, and had the perfect amount of mystery.

Like I said, I can’t give too much away. But here is the blurb on the back of the book:

“Six months ago, I was happy. I was simply Naomi Carradine. One month ago, I was admitted into a psych ward. Yesterday, Lachlan visited me. Kissed me. And told me that I’m starting to lose my mind. Hours later, Max haunted my thoughts, reminding me I’m not crazy and that he needs my help. A few minutes ago, I drifted further from reality, trying to unravel the past. And now… everyone thinks I’m insane. But I know he’s real, and I know he needs me.

Do you believe me?”

I think one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was because the main character is my age and that’s rare for me. Typically, the books I read have a protagonist in either high school or significantly older than I am. So this is perfect for those like me who can’t resist young adult novels even though you’re too old to be browsing through the teen section at Barnes and Noble.

I know this is a terrible book review because I’m not exactly explaining anything in elaborate detail, but I don’t want to spoil even a single aspect of the book. (And I’m usually a sucker for spilling the beans with spoilers to all my friends and family). Just take my word for it and grab this next time you are at the bookstore (or just download it on your iPad like I did).

I’d love to hear feedback from my readers after they finish the book. So drop a comment below and let me know what you thought.

Happy reading,

Courtney

Side note: this book contains some mature content and sensitive subject matters.

A Year of Reading – Reviews, 2013

I love to read, especially fiction! I am always in the middle of a book, so I figured I should start keeping a log of which books I read and what my opinions are of them. One of my guilty pleasures is reading books about teenagers, regardless of my age. I find them more entertaining and relatable. Maybe it’s because I’m only 20, so my teenage years weren’t very long ago. On the other hand, I enjoy reading books that are Fifty Shades of Grey-like. So if you like those, you’ll find them in here as well! Basically, I have an open mind when it comes to reading.

Anyway, I want to build an online reading list of memorable books I read in 2013 so my readers can discover new and exciting books to add to their reading lists! I can’t count how many times friends and family members have asked me for new books I can recommend for them to read, and I always love sharing my thoughts on previous reads. So here I am to share these recommendations to the world!

 

Click on the book for more information.

 

  • Burn for Burn
  • Fire with Fire
  • The Hollow
  • The Haunted
  • Best Served Cold
  • Gone Girl
  • Sharp Objects
  • If You Find Me
  • Hopeless
  • Losing Hope
  • Slammed
  • Point of Retreat
  • This Girl
  • Wait For You
  • Wreck Me
  • Restore Me
  • Beautiful Disaster
  • Walking Disaster
  • Revived
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Every Girls Guide
  • Hide and Seek
  • Cross My Heart
  • Seven Minutes
  • Best of Me
  • Vampire Diaries

 

 

The Best (Rating is 8+):

  • Burn for Burn (8/10)

I found this in a magazine which said, “if you like the show Revenge, check out this book.” Since Revenge is one of my favorite shows, I went ahead and bought this. The cover captured my attention as well. The storyline was fun to read and kept my attention. I was able to relate to the characters in multiple ways, regardless of the differences among them.

  • Fire with Fire (8/10)

This is the second book in the Burn for Burn trilogy (the third one doesn’t come out until September 2014 and I already pre-ordered it). I liked it slightly more than the first one because the plot was deeper and was able to progress forward more quickly because we already have been introduced to all the characters and their backgrounds. However, this book was obnoxiously long. I don’t mind the length, but it wasn’t necessary to make it so long. Overall, I would recommend this book series to my friends and family.

  • Gone Girl (10/10)

I’m sure most of you read this book already. I love mysteries. I grew up reading Mary Higgins Clark‘s books all the time (check out All Around the Town and Loves Music, Loves to Dance), so this book was wonderful because it had both drama and mystery embedded throughout the storyline. The first chapter was slow, but after I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. Funny story: I bought this book on my Kindle for my trip to Europe this summer. I visited five countries with a group of students and we spent a lot of time driving. I was so into this book that while everyone else looked out the window to see everything we passed (or sleeping, because we woke up at 6 AM every morning), I was busy reading. The chaperone even yelled at me and said something along the lines of, “It’s a shame that you’re in a beautiful new country and you’re busy reading.” So yeah, I don’t know if it’s that funny of a story, but it shows how enjoyable this was to read. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already done so.

  • Hopeless (10/10)

This is my absolute favorite book! It starts off as a typical teenager book with a girl and a boy and romance. However, the craziest twists get thrown into the story. I was like, “holy shit, I didn’t see that one coming!” at least six different times throughout the span of the book. I don’t want to give anything away, because not knowing that the twists in the story are coming makes it more of a shock while you read it. Put this one at the top of your reading list.

  • Losing Hope (10/10)

Imagine the excitement you’d get if you found out they were making a different version of your favorite book. That’s what Losing Hope gave me. It’s the same storyline as Hopeless but from the boy’s perspective. At first I thought it wouldn’t be as fun to read because I knew what was coming. Boy was I wrong. There’s a reason I gave it a 10/10. My mom and sister actually ended up preferring this book over the original.

  • Slammed (8/10)

I chose to read this because it was written by the same woman who wrote Hopeless, Colleen Hoover. It isn’t as crazy and wonderful as Hopeless, but it was pretty damn good!

  • Wait For You (9/10)

I took a shot in the dark with this book. It was $1.99 for the Kindle version on Amazon so I figured I’d read it since I don’t have much to lose. I ended up loving it and raving about it to my family. They read it after I did, and they loved it as well. It’s like a toned down Fifty Shades-type book, but less corny. The main character is easy to relate to I finished this book within a couple of days because I refused to put it down.

  • Wreck Me (9/10)

If you liked Fifty Shades, read this. Just do it. You will not regret it, I promise. I wish they’d make this into a movie instead of Fifty Shades because the characters have so much more depth and the backstory between them is clever and creative of the author.

  • Beautiful Disaster (9/10)

I’m so glad they’re making this into a movie. I read this and made all my friends do the same as well. I think you get what I’m trying to tell you. I gave it a 9/10, so add it to your list.

  • Silver Linings Playbook (9/10)

This movie was incredible, so of course the book was even more mind-blowing.

 

Enjoyable to Read (Rating is 5-7):

  • Best Served Cold (5/10)

This isn’t a fiction story. It’s just a companion to the show, Revenge. It goes into the storylines and characters in the show and gives you a behind-the-scenes feel.

  • EveryGirls Guide to Life (7/10)

This isn’t a fiction story either. If you’re a girl, buy this. I saw it at Barnes and Noble and immediately bought it on my Kindle when I got home. I devoured this book and highlighted and bookmarked so many pages. It’s like the bible for women, covering topics such as: organizing, makeup, work, decor, fashion, love, hair, nails, health, recipes, working out, travel and more.

  • Sharp Objects (6/10)

I read this because it’s by the same author as Gone Girl. It was a little darker, so be cautious when reading this. The storyline itself is creative and original. I definitely haven’t read anything similar to this before.

  • Point of Retreat (7/10)

This is the second book of the Slammed series so if you decided to read that, there is a pretty good chance you didn’t stop at book one.

  • Walking Disaster (7/10)

Similar to how Losing Hope was Hopeless but from the boy’s perspective, this is Beautiful Disaster but from the boy’s perspective. Once again, my sister and mom preferred this one over the original. I guess it is personal preference of whether you want to hear the story from a girl’s or boy’s perspective.

  • Revived (6/10)

The book, Forgotten is written by the same author as Revived. I give Forgotten an 8/10, but I didn’t read that this year so it’s not included in this review. Both books were a good read though.

  • The Lying Game Series (7/10)

If you watched the show don’t say, “oh I watched the show so there’s no point in reading the books.” Guess what? They have almost nothing in common aside from character’s names. Oh, here’s the first difference: In the show, Sutton is alive. In the book, Sutton is dead. Yeah, nothing like the show. Read the series!

  • The Best of Me (7/10)

You can never go wrong with Nicholas Sparks. If you liked A Walk to Remember, Safe Haven, The Notebook and so on, you’ll like The Best of Me.

  • The Vampire Diaries (6/10)

I read these years ago, I think during my Sophomore year of high school, but decided to read them again because it’s my favorite show. These are good for teenagers, but I don’t recommend it to anyone over the age of 20.

 

Not The Greatest (Rating is 4 or below):

  • The Hollow (4/10)

I was expecting this to be great, so maybe that’s why it ended up with a low rating from me. It is a trilogy and it was kind of, for lack of a better word, boring.

  • The Haunted (3/10)

I don’t know why I bought the second book, since I felt that the first was boring. But it had a cliffhanger and I wanted to know what happened next. I never even finished it because I was so bored by lack of any of my questions being answered.

  • If You Find Me (4/10)

This was okay. Not terrible, not awesome. I don’t think I finished the entire thing though. Maybe I’d like it better if I finished it.

  • This Girl (4/10)

This is third book of the Slammed series. They should’ve left it at two books.

  • Restore Me (3/10)

Wreck Me was great from start to finish. Restore Me was good from the beginning of the last chapter to the end of the last chapter. I bought the third one since it just came out last week, I’ll probably read it eventually.

 

Now it’s your turn to recommend a book to me. Let me know if you have any books in mind that you think I’d enjoy. I’m always open to new book recommendations!

 

Thanks everyone, and happy reading 🙂

Planner Review – Plum Paper Planner

Hi everyone,

As promised, I am here to share my thoughts with you on my new planner for 2014.

I ordered it from Etsy.com from a company called Plum Paper Designs. They have a ton of choices for the cover so you’re able to find one that best suits you. They also have different types of planners: daily planners, family planners, student planners, wedding planners and more. I chose the regular daily planner because even though I’m a student, I use my planner to keep track of everything I need to get done that week, not just work for classes. It took a decent amount of time to arrive, but it was worth the wait. If you want to get to the point and not read the full review, just know this is a great alternative to the Erin Condren Life Planners. The Life Planners cost between $50 – $75, which is crazy, especially for a college student. The Plum Paper Planner only costs $30. Alright, so let’s take it section by section.

When it arrived, it was packaged very well in order to maintain its quality. It came in a foil to protect it from any  scuff marks that could possibly occur throughout the delivery process. My face lit up when I saw how beautiful it was, as well as the fact that it’s my first planner I ever owned that was customized uniquely for me.

Here it is without the foil around it. Isn’t it beautiful? It also matches my laptop case I also purchased from Etsy so I’m excited about that. Read more

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