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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The End of an Era

It is with mixed feelings that I write this post.

I have decided to stop posting to this blog.  I've come to a point in my life where blogging about books just doesn't fit anymore.  Years ago, when I started blogging, my life centered around reading.  I loved it and I STILL DO, but back then it was the true joy in my life (minus my husband, of course) and now there are just so many other things that I'm focused on.

I never ever wanted this blog to feel like a job and at some point in the last year, that is about how I started to view it.  I think that I desperately tried to hold on to it, partially because friends and fellow book enthusiasts seemed to enjoy the blog so much, partially because I liked some of the perks, and partially because it had become a part of my core identity.

As I embark on new adventures in my life, though, in my career and in my personal life, I'm finding I just don't have the time or drive to keep up.  I'd rather do what I've done with my reading habits, choose fewer "titles" and enjoy each more.

So, this will be my last post, though I'm not going to take down the blog completely, just in case a year from now, or two if I change my mind I can come back.

Thank you so much for reading and sharing my enthusiasm for all things bookish over the years. If you still want to keep in touch, come find me on twitter @JM_IReadtoRelax.
Sincerely,
Jessica

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I'm Judging Again!

Hello All!
Once again things have gotten a little quiet here.
I swear I haven't disappeared and I'm actually reading just as busily as usual.  Surprisingly, at the moment, I'm working my way through a stack of adult romance novels - and I'm loving it!

See, right now I'm helping to judge for the Maggie Award for Excellence given out by the Georgia Romance Writers, a division of the Romance Writers of America. The Maggie Award for Excellence has been given out by Georgia Romance Writers for over three decades and I'm honored to be assisting them in the judging process.

I'm having such a great time reading, too, because I got sent eight romance novels from the Paranormal and Historical genre categories and the two I've finished so far have both been well done. I liked one so much, I immediately went online to see what else the author had written in the series. I think I'm going to be reading my way through the rest of hers. *grins*

Since these books are being judged, though, I don't feel comfortable sharing any more info about them until after the contest is over... so.... no reviews for now! You all will just have to know that I'm sighing happily somewhere with a good book, even if no evidence shows online. *wink*




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sophomore Year Is Greek To Me

Sophomore Year is Greek to Me 
by Meredith Zeitlin

High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she's devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona's mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks... but no thanks. (Description from Goodreads.com

This was a fun book to read. Perfect to get in the mood for Summer days...in fact, I may check out Zeitlin's other book , Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters while I'm on vacation this summer in San Francisco. Her writing seems like it makes for the perfect kind of book to take on a plane. 

I loved that in this book Zona felt like an authentic teen - the kind that I was - driven to succeed in school, happy with her few close friends, and comfortable in her own skin...until suddenly she wasn't at all. I can absolutely remember going through similar self-identity crises! Though I never had that exact scenario, having to meet an entirely heretofore unknown portion of family, I can remember for one reason or another having to learn on the fly to make new friends, and never really being comfortable doing it.  

In fact, one of the things I liked most about this novel, was though it was a quick read and one that I would loosely term a "light beach read," in fact, it wasn't really that light at all.  Zona deals with some pretty heavy family issues.  She has to navigate not only a new country, essentially alone, but a new school - one where she doesn't know anyone! She learns to make new friends and hang on to the old ones.  She learns that sometimes the right decision in life is the uncomfortable one. 

This book made me laugh and it made me tear up.  It ran the gamut of emotions in the perfect way that a summertime book can.  I definitely would recommend this one to someone looking for a little bit of romance, a little bit of fun, some great scenery, but with a real focus on personal and family growth. 

Full Disclosure: eARC received through Netgalley