Mind…..Blown…..

Have you ever read a book and felt like you knew exactly what was going on the entire time?? Thought you had it all figured out….until the final few chapters and then all of a sudden the truth hits you out of nowhere? Yeah, that was this book!

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough is one of the most amazing, addicting, intriguing and consuming books that I have ever read. I can honestly say that I was consumed by this book. I stayed up way too late on one too many occasions reading this book. After the first night of reading the book, 92 pages in (30% of the book read at this point) I thought I had it all figured out. I wrote this comment on Goodreads “I’m addicted and starting to think I have a theory….don’t want to spoil anything for anyone but I feel like Adele has cancer or some other terminal illness at this point. She knows her husband is cheating but instead of getting angry she’s befriending his mistress and making a plan?”

 

Well….let me just say that I was so far out in left field with that guess that it wasn’t even funny! Okay maybe it was a little funny?? As I continued to read the book my mind did change a little bit and I think I came up with at least 10 other different scenarios that could’ve been possible. I’m not gonna lie for the longest time I honestly just thought that Adele was certifiably crazy! Then just like Louise I feel for her act and almost felt sympathy for her and began to think that David (her husband) was the crazy, manipulative and overbearing one in the relationship. But when I thought about that theory I thought to myself, that can’t be possible because he doesn’t treat Louise that way so why would he treat his wife that way?? Granted it could have been because he wasn’t happy in the marriage but why not just divorce her? David and Adele had some secret that was holding them together but what could be so terrible that he can’t divorce her??

I could talk about this book for hours….in fact I talked about it to a friend for a good hour! But I don’t want to give any spoilers! So here is the summary that Goodreads has on their website.

“Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong – and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.”

After reading that I’m sure you know why I picked this book for my selection from Book of the Month! (I mean honestly this was the best idea ever….thanks Book of the Month for existing!!). This book clearly did not disappoint me one bit and I can promise you that if you read it, it wont disappoint you either!!

Have you ever read any other books by Sarah Pinborough?? If so what book was it and what did you think of it?? Have you read this book?? What did you think of it??? Leave it in the comments below!!! Happy reading!

Xo’s Shelby

1 Short Story With a Big Twist!

I opened this book and I will say the first line had me in….shock? I won’t tell you what the line is because if you read the book I want you to have the same first reaction that I did! But what I can tell you is that I absolutely loved this short story!

This was the first book by Gillian Flynn that I have ever read and The GrownUp did not disappoint one bit! I never knew that a 64 page book could give someone chills! (Yes I just said this book was only 64 pages!)

Flynn’s writing played with my mind the entire time I was reading this story. I kept thinking to myself that I knew exactly what was happening and what was going to happen. But the more I read the more I kept questioning myself. Originally when I completed this book I thought to myself, “I need more!!” But now that I’ve had some time to process…I’m glad that it was left open-ended.

There are some instances where explanations and closure are needed, and when it comes to books I am usually all about getting closure. This book was different, this book plays with your mind and gives you, the reader the opportunity to create your own truth and your own ending and I really enjoyed that.

In this novel a canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. One rainy April morning, she is reading auras at the Spiritual Palms (where she works) when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our narrator immediately notices that Susan, though rich, is an unhappy woman who is eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, why this “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home, the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes that she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s stepson, does not help matters with his disturbing and sometimes terrifying manner and imagination. As you read this short story you will follow these three characters through a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and hat, if anything, can be done to escape it.

In case you couldn’t tell this is kind of a ghost story! Which was another reason I loved it!! I read it all in one sitting. Now…since this was a short story…I will leave you with a short review. I mean I could definitely talk about this book a little bit more, but I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone who wants to read it!

Have you read this book or any other book by Flynn? If so leave it in the comments below! Happy Reading!

Xo’s Shelby

 

Back To School Countdown Begins!

Does someone want to tell me where the time went?? I feel like it should still be June…or at least July! But here we are already in August and the countdown to going back to school has officially begun!

We officially start school in 17 days…..17 days!!! I am in complete shock but I am also ready for a steady schedule again. But I am also not even close to ready…

My room is not ready for the kiddos to be in it, my lesson plans are not done yet and there are so many other things that I need to do that I haven’t had a chance to start yet. Am I a little stressed out?? Yes, definitely! But I’m trying my hardest not to be, I mean after all I still have 17 days to get my act together right?!?!

Though I may not be fully prepared (which to my defense is not fully my fault…I am waiting on tables that I ordered which will be here soon…YAY!!), there are some things that I made sure to have prepared!

  1. Classroom management plan: If you come in to the first day of school with no classroom management plan, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. I am trying something new this year (I have a separate blog post where I will talk about that more coming soon!!) Once you decide what your classroom management plan is going to be, stick with it! You can always back down, but you can’t get more strict, I can promise you that it will not work!
  2. Early Finisher Options: After last year I did some research because I did not have these in place, I mean right now I teach computer so I didn’t think I would need them. But it turns out that just giving kids free reigns on the computers was a little bit of a headache! So I’ve come up with a few “early finisher” options (specific websites) that they are allowed to go on once they have completed their tasks for the day. My hope is that it will make the computer lab a little less crazy!!
  3. Lesson Plans: Yes I know earlier I said that my lesson plans weren’t completed, and they’re not. I have all of my plans done up through Christmas break. I know you’re probably thinking “why are you worried if you planned that far ahead already?!?” Well I only teach computer one day a week, and I teach it to preschool – 8th grade and time goes by a little more quickly that you think. I would feel better knowing I have something planned rather than having nothing planned at all.

Would I like to have more things done than I do? Yes of course! But am I going to stress out about not having things done? Nope! It will all get done in due time!

To all my fellow teacher friends out there, what do you make sure that you have ready before school starts?? Does anyone else feel like summer went by way too fast?? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Xo’s Shelby

2 Types of People In This World…

There are two types of people in this world. The type of person who believes in science and facts. Then there’s the type of person that believes in fate and dreams. Or maybe you’re like me and you believe in both?? And there’s nothing wrong with that! Except that’s not what this blog post is about!

In the amazing book, The Sun Is Also a Star written by Nicola Yoon, we follow two very different people through a very interesting “love story” (I use those words loosely here!).

Natasha is the type of girl that wants nothing but the facts presented to her. No fate, no destiny, no dreams that will never come true. Her reasoning behind this is very understandable. Her family is less than 12 hours away from being deported from New York City back to Jamaica. This girl is desperate to do anything to help her family to stay. She wants to be in NYC with her friends, her whole life is in this city. On her way to meet with an attorney about her families problems, she runs into this boy on the street. Then she runs into him again….and again. Coincidence or is this something else? Natasha wants to blow it off completely. She has no time for foolish things like this. She isn’t the type of girl that would run into a boy, by chance, on a crowded NYC street, and fall in love with him….or would she?

Daniel on the other hand is the type of person who believes in fate, everything happens for a reason! He’s an aspiring poet, who spends his free time writing poems about heartbreak, even though he has never had his heart broken….at least not yet. He’s always been a good son, a good student and the one who has always lived up to the very high expectations of his parents. Until he met Natasha…there was something about her that made him believe that fate had something more extraordinary in store for him….for the two of them actually.

Natasha and Daniel are both funny, flawed and fully developed characters who feel as if they are old friends. However, as the day unfolds, so does their love story. This love story is anything but simple, and you will find yourself (much like me if you’re at all a sucker for romances….) rooting for them from the beginning until the very last page.

I won’t spoil it by telling you anymore than I already have. Will Natasha get deported? Will Daniel get his heart broken? Or will they end up happily every after? Find out for yourself by picking up a copy of this amazing book!

Ps. The Sun Is Also a Star has a style of switching narrative between the two main characters, which made the story flow very easily. I will say that I was a little skeptical at first because in the past I have not enjoyed books written in this style, but I loved this one so much. I only mention this at the end because I know that the style in which books are written can turn readers away. It used to turn me away.

If you’ve ever read this book, or any other book by Nicola Yoon please leave your thoughts in the comments below! And be looking for my review of Everything, Everything (the book…not the movie!) coming soon!

Xo’s Shelby

Why I Gave Good As Gone 5 Stars!

Good As Gone by Amy Gentry was my first book from my Book of the Month Club subscription (and no this post is NOT sponsored by Book of the Month – I pay for my subscription each month!).

When I heard about this subscription box I just knew I had to have it, and honestly I have not been disappointed yet!

Along with the book you receive a book mark and sometimes a card with a note from the judge that picked the book.

I received this book in October of 2016 and along with the book came a card from the judge, Liberty Hardy, the card said:
“Snuggle in and get cozy with this perfect mystery! Actually it’s more like mystery squared- it’s a mystery-in-a-mystery! There’s the question of what happened to Julie, but also has she returned?!? And if not, who is sleeping in her bed??? (Spoiler…NOT GOLDILOCKS!) This novel kept me guessing while repeatedly squeezing my heart! It’s so, so good!”

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

Review//Thoughts: 

I personally LOVED this book! I loved the way that Amy Gentry told the story of Julie backwards. I also loved the way that she focused in on each part of Julie and all of the different roles that she had to play over the years that she was gone. I feel that those “people” shaped her into the new person that she is now that she’s back home.

I’m not gonna like, I questioned at first if the woman standing on Anna’s doorstep was really Julie, even after learning a little bit about what happened at “their hold house” it never crossed my mind that Charlotte could’ve been the one that died. Part of me thought that Charlotte was posing as Julie for some reason. But as I continued to read and the story began to really unfold I realized that it really was Julie standing at their door and that she had been the one who escaped and finally made her way back home.

I loved reading this novel. I felt that the ending was absolutely perfect. It was amazing from beginning to end. I read some reviews online after I finished the book and read some of the comments in the discussion board on bookofthemonth.com and I noticed that some fellow readers were disappointed with the book. Some said that they were left wanting more about Jane (Julie’s sister) and her father. I understand where they are coming from, but at the same time I feel that the author told the story the way that she did for a reason. Yes, Jane and their father were an important part of Julie and Anna’s life but the were not a huge asset to the story. It was not her father’s “fault” that Julie ran away (nor was it her mothers). BUT I feel that Julie felt closed off from her mother, like the bond that a mother and a daughter are supposed to have was not there. I felt that she was trying to fill that void through conversations and her “relationship” with Maxwell/John David. That is why I feel we did not get more background on Jane and her father.

To be completely honest I am content with how the story ended and I am content with how the story was told. I did not feel cheated or disappointed because the fine details of two characters were left out. I felt like I got the complete story and I feel like the author did an amazing job telling it from start to finish.

I would highly recommend this book.

Have you read this book? If so what did you think?? Leave me a comment below!

Happy Reading!

Xo’s Shelby

The #1 Reason I Became A Teacher

 

I could sit here and list a lot more than just one reason as to why I became a teacher. But then we would be here all day and nobody wants that!

One of my favorite quotes can sum it all up…

“To teach is to touch a life forever”

I haven’t had that many years of experience, but I can tell you that I have worked with a large number of kiddos that have helped me to realize that I was meant to be a teacher and that working with kiddos is my passion.

Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be a teacher. I used to put my stuffed animals around a table, give them homework and then grade it. Yes…I just said I gave my stuffed animals homework and graded it! Hey I had to practice on someone right??

To be honest, I enjoy helping people in general but there is something so much more fulfilling about helping a child. The look on their face when they understand a concept or when they get a good grade…the look of pure joy…that is everything. All my fellow teacher friends out there you know exactly what I’m talking about. To all of my readers who are parents, I’m sure you’ve seen this look on your child’s face as well and you know how amazing it is to see them succeed.

Am I trying to tell you that teaching is all rainbows and unicorns? No way! Have there been rough days? Yes, of course. There have been days where I went in the bathroom and cried during my break. In fact there was one point in my first year out of college that I thought to myself…”What am I doing??” and wondered if I had made the right decision. Then one of my kiddos come up to me and give me a big hug and tell me how much they loved having me as a teacher. With each hug one of my kiddos gives me I am reminded why I love what I do and why I chose teaching as my profession. In my eyes the good times will always outweigh the bad times.

To all the first year teachers out there or to all of the college students working towards an education degree, keep going. If this is what makes you happy and this is your passion, don’t let anyone, and I mean anyone, take that away from you.

Xo’s Shelby