The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins Review

The Wife Upstairs was one of my most anticipated winter releases. When I saw it as a December Book of the Month choice I had to have it. It was my last read of 2020, and it was a great way to end the year.

The new dog walker is all anyone in Thornfield Estates can talk about. Her name is Jane and she is new to Birmingham, Alabama. None of her wealthy clients notice that jewelry and trinkets disappear after Jane’s arrival. That’s because no one notices Jane outside of her dog walking duty. That is until she meets Eddie Rochester. He is Thornfield Estates mysterious new widower. All Jane sees in Eddie is opportunity. An opportunity to enter the lifestyle of the wealthy and to finally have the protection she craves. However, only on thing stand in her way. The presence of Eddie’s wife Bea still haunts the home even after her mysterious disappearance.

My Thoughts on The Wife Upstairs

The Wife Upstairs is an imaginative retelling of Jane Eyre. Hawkins done a great job capturing the gothic feel of Jane Eyre in a modern setting. That in itself is impressive.

Hawkins also managed to make characters that were likable and loathable at the same time. Most of them were not great people, but their motives made sense. I knew that Jane was super manipulative, but I still wanted the situation to go her way. The juxtaposition of those two feelings really grasped my attention.

Lastly, the mystery was well thought out. It kept me guessing almost the entire time. And I lovedddd the plot twist. I never saw it coming. There had to be a tiny bit of suspension of belief at the end, but all-in-all I completely loved it.

My Rating: 5/5

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January 2021 Bullet Journal Spread

I love bullet journaling. I’m new to this. I’m obviously not a professional, but I love creating. For Christmas, my husband gifted me a watercolor set so my goal this year is to learn how to use it. I decided my bullet journal would be a great place to start. So this is me documenting my progress on a new skill. This is month one, so here we go! Check out my January 2021 bullet journal.

Cover Page/TBR List

This is where my journey began. I decided to do a zodiac/galaxy theme for January. I’m a Capricorn baby and I wear that badge proudly. I decided to do this fun little galaxy-inspired wash of color. This is also where I learned my first watercolor mistake. When it dries the colors are more muted than when you begin. It was a beautiful gradient, but then it dried down dull. My friend who watercolors said layering is key. Even with the mistakes, I’m happy with the results.

The next page is my tbr list. It is just a much simpler wash of blue. I used rubber stamps and ink to do all the headings, and I like the look of it. My tbr list is slightly over-ambitious. I haven’t even made it halfway through Needful Things, but here’s to hoping. My January 2021 TBR post on the blog is slightly more manageable.

Review Page/Book Bought Page

I continue the wash of color throughout my spread. I decided to alternate from blue to purple. The next page is pretty simple. This is where I keep track of all the books I need to review.

My books bought page is where I keep up with how much money I spend on books. It keeps me accountable. I like to think that I won’t buy any this month, but it’s my birthday month. I’m definitely going to buy a few.

Books Read Page/ Wrap Up Page

My books read page is where I keep up with how many books I’ve read. I also like to keep up with the number of pages I read. This number really means nothing, but I still like keeping track of it.

Lastly, my wrap up page. This page is the most important at the end of the year because I use it to quickly figure up my totals.

So that is my January 2021 bullet journal. I really had fun creating this. I know it’s not perfect, but its a work in progress. I look forward to seeing how much my technique changes over 2021.


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My 2021 Reading Goals

Today marks the first day of 2021. It’s time to set our intentions and follow them. I love setting goals. It gives me a bit of adrenaline rush to check things off my list. It must the Capricorn in me. Let’s get to my 2021 reading goals!

2021 TBR

2021 Reading Goals

2021 Goals

2021 Reading Goals
  • Complete Goodreads Challenge: 85 books
  • Finish the Uncorked Librarian Challenge
  • Complete the Book of the Month Challenge
  • Buy more used books
  • Spend less money
  • Finish library

Goodreads Challenge Spread

2021 Reading Goals

This is my Goodreads Challenge spread. I decided to use this tree to keep track of it. When I’ve read ten pages I will color in each limb. The goal is to have a completely colored in tree by the end of 2021.

Uncorked 2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Goals

The Uncorked Challenge is the perfect challenge for me. It is broken up into months, so that makes it manageable for this mood reader. The prompts are also specific enough to make me branch out. I look forward to completing this!

So those are my 2021 reading goals. What goals have you planned this year?

Check out my 2020 wrap up!


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2020 Wrap Up

Let’s wrap up 2020. I think we can all say that it’s time for 2020 to end. It’s been one of the hardest years ever. However, I was still very blessed. Things were hard, but God got us through them. But back to books. It was a good reading year. I’ve read the most I’ve ever read, so I want to break down some of my stats. Let’s get to it. Some of these stats are from Goodreads and some I track in my bullet journal.

Number Read

80. My goal was 75. Check out Goodreads to see a list of the books I’ve completed.

Pages Read

22,444

Books Bought

52

Longest Book Completed

Fall of Giants|Ken Follett

985 Pages

Shortest Book Completed

30 Pages

Average Book in Length

289

DNFED

8

Completed Series

  1. The Winternight Trilogy
  2. The Folk of the Air
  3. The Nevernight Chronicles
  4. Northwoods Mystery

So that’s my 2020 wrap up. I really enjoy stats. They are some of my favorite posts to make. I work in finance so that might explain it. Anyhow I would love to see your 2020 wrap up posts. Link them in the comments. I’d love to check them out.

Check out:

Favorite Books of 2020

Disappointing Books of 2020


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Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse Review

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Well, we’ve made it to my last review of 2020. Luckily, it’s a good one. I haven’t heard a lot about Black Sun, but it’s so good. It’s book one in a fantasy series inspired by Native American culture. Let’s get to it.

A god will return to the city of Tova under a black sun on the day of the winter solstice. The Sun Priest prophesizes an unbalance in the world. Days earlier, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova. The captain, Xiala, is Teek. Her magic calms the waters. Her only passenger is a blind man name Serapio. His destiny is ahead of him and he will do anything to fulfill it.

My Thoughts on Black Sun

I love the fact that Black Sun is inspired by pre-Columbian America. I think we can all agree that we need a break from fantasy based solely on European culture. It’s time for something new and this gave me everything I wanted.

The storyline is pretty straight forward. The new religion is trying to cast out the old gods. However, there is corruption in the system. There is a steady uprising in the number of cultists that are returning to the old gods. The cultist prophesize the return of the Odo Sedoha. The unrest in Black sun is almost palpable. Something big is about to happen.

Next, let’s talk about characters. For the most part, Serapio is our main character. He is also probably the most developed. However, Xiala and Naranpa are important to the story as well. Some mysteries still remain around each of the characters, but I imagine those will be revealed throughout the series.

I believe Black Sun is the starting point to something epic. There was a lot of world building and unanswered questions, but it left me wanting more. It was an awesome read.

My Rating: 4/5

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The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab Review

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The Invisible Life of Addie Larue has to be one of the most hyped books of 2020. It has been everywhere. However, when I first started it in October, I put it down. I found it very slow. I picked it back up this month, and I’m glad I did. Let’s get into my final thoughts.

France 1714: a young woman makes a hasty bargain to live forever. However, she will be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the tale of Addie Larue. She will travel across centuries trying to leave a mark on the world that doesn’t know her name. But after 300 years things suddenly change when she meets a man that remembers her.

My Thoughts on The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

Like I said at the beginning, this book is slow. It’s very character-driven and that takes some time to build. But the writing is gorgeous. Every sentence V.E. Schwab writes is decadent. You will find yourself longing for the river banks of France.

The story picks up when Addie meets Henry. I love his character arc. He added a lot of depth to the plot, which I think was his purpose. I don’t want to say that there was a lot of monotony in Addie’s arc, but there definitely was. It didn’t matter how many centuries she lived her story was always the same. I believe that was Schwab’s intention because meeting Henry felt like a jarring experience that changed everything.

Another character that intrigued me was Luc. I would love to know more about him. He fabricated this whole thing, and I want to know his thought process.

Overall, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue was a beautiful read. It was a twisty, tricky story of the intertwined lives of the main characters. Beauty and heartache permeated every detail. There was also hope and love throughout. If you can overlook the slow development, it is worth the read.

My Rating: 4/5

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