Book Review: Meet Cute by Various YA Authors

Meet Cute YA Authors Book Review

I began reading Meet Cute before I published my New Year, New Reading list post. Brett got me this book for Christmas and I was so excited to start reading it! Some of my favorite YA authors are featured including Nicola Yoon, Huntley Fitzpatrick, and Katie Cotugno. I fell in love with the writing styles of many of the other authors and have already added some of their books to my TBR list. I can’t wait to read more!

Summary:

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. Meet Cute is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.
 
Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.
 
This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

Review:

First things first, the format of this book is incredible! I was skeptical of the short story format but really fell in love with being able to read a whole story in under 30 minutes. It was a perfect before bed read because I’m one of those people who have a hard time just reading one chapter. I tend to stay up way too late reading at night if I’m really into a book. The short stories allowed me to read one or two a night and then go to bed happy. 

I don’t want to give away too much about the book by reviewing each and every story. However, I can say that there wasn’t one story in this book that I disliked. Each one was unique and the endings left much to the imagination yet I was disappointed at all. I love when books have clear endings that leave everything tied up in a neat little bow. Even though many of these stores did not have clear endings I still loved them! 

I also love that these stories feature more than just your traditional boy-girl love story. Emery Lord’s story about two girls meeting in an airport was one of my absolute favorites! It was so cute and charming!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Let’s be honest, I’ll probably only ever write reviews for books I love because I can never seem to force myself to finish reading a book that I don’t enjoy. I’ll keep trying but in my opinion life’s too short to read a bad book.

Seeing each author’s writing style and unique take on first impressions was such a cool experience. It fueled my love for my favorite authors and helped me find new authors to add to my favorites list. 

Have you read any amazing books lately? How do you feel about short stories? 

Until next time! Thanks for reading!

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2019: First Quarter Goals

2019 Goals. New Years Resolutions. 2019 1st Quarter Goals

The time is finally here to start planning my goals for 2019. The past year flew by and I’m not sad to see it go. January always feels like a fresh start and this year I could really use a clean slate.

My goals for the first three months of 2019 are below and I encourage you to set goals for yourself too! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; setting quarterly goals instead of annual ones has been a game changer for me! I started setting quarterly goals at the end of 2017 and continued through all of 2018. I actually found myself looking back on my goals more often and completing them!

  1. Get a professional haircut. It’s incredibly sad that this is my first goal but the truth is that I HATE getting my hair cut. The whole process takes way too long and I’m rarely 100% satisfied with the results. I have super thick, wavy hair and most hairstylists don’t seem to know how to handle it. I like to joke that my hair is allergic to water because the second it gets wet it goes crazy and refuses to untangle. I have tried every product imaginable to tame the beast but I’ve summed it up to be #thickhairproblems. Do you have any hair products that you swear by?
  2. Travel at least twice. After our trip to Europe in October I was exhausted and traveling was the last thing I wanted to do. But Brett loves to travel and deep down I do too. I don’t want my love of adventures to be another thing my headaches take away from me. Brett and I want to take at least two small trips during Q1 including a trip to Florida to visit his Grandpa. The other trip will likely be a super spontaneous weekend trip so stayed tuned for the details!
  3. Commit to the blog. I have said this over and over before but have never stuck to it. I love blogging and in 2019 I want to focus more on doing the things that I love. Over the past 5 years the blogging community has embraced me and this has become my safe place away from everything else. I want 2019 to be the best year ever for Life of Hayley!
  4. Read three books and write reviews. One of the best things that 2018 brought me was my love of books. So far I have partially read two books that I am loving. I enjoy writing book reviews so hopefully I will find three books that I love to review!
  5. Meal plan and prep for the week ahead. I’ll admit that I haven’t cooked a real meal in a long time. My Crock pot and I became really good friends in 2018 because I had no energy or desire to cook. I’m kinda sick of the standard Crock pot meals though and am ready to start eating healthier and meal planning. Before our wedding in 2017 I was the Queen of meal prep. I’m hoping to at least get to Princess level in 2019.
  6. Make healthy living a top priority. I almost titled this goal as “making weight loss a priority” but then I re-evaluated my mind-set. This goal isn’t all about the number on the scale. I know that I need to lose weight but I also know my negative relationship with my body image. For me, the focus has to be on eating healthier and exercising and not the number on the scale.

In addition to setting quarterly goals I also wanted to choose a word to capture my goals for 2019. It took me longer than I care to admit to find a word that completely covers everything that I want to accomplish this year.

The word I picked is confidence.

Confidence in my ability to fight the demons that I am facing. Confidence in myself to be the best person that I can be. Confidence in my body as I look in the mirror everyday. Confidence as I stand in front of my co-workers with the knowledge that I can do my job well. Confidence that I am moving in the right direction.

Confidence in me.

What are your goals for 2019? Let me know below.

Thanks for reading!

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Image via Unsplash

2018: The Good, Bad, and The Ugly

2018 re-cap

 

Hey friends!

2019 is here but I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2018. I had a conversation with some friends awhile ago about how 2018 had not been that great of a year for me. It was a year of struggling. Struggling with work, pain, and loneliness. Struggling with trying to find myself, accepting who I am, and trying to figure out what healthy means to me.

In this post I am sharing a list of things I did in 2018. It’s easy to look at this list and see only the positive things. I had Brett read it before posting because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t coming off as braggy. Here’s the thing to remember though, I accomplished a lot this year between my personal and professional life but it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. I had a headache or migraine every single day in 2018.

So when you look at this and every other blogger’s 2018 re-cap I urge you to remember that it’s not perfect all the time. I urge you to not compare your list with other’s. Because my list looks perfect but I can assure you that it’s not.

Without further ado here’s my list of what my life consisted of in 2018.

In 2018 I….

  • Celebrated 5 years of blogging
  • Bought a house
  • Adopted Oscar from the animal shelter
  • Got promoted
  • Crossed Rome off of my travel Bucketlist
  • Traveled to Paris for the third time
  • Celebrated one year of marriage with Brett
  • Surpassed my goal of reading 12 books in a year
  • Found a new Neurologist
  • Saw John Legend perform a private concert at my work party on the same day as my 25th birthday
  • Started a “House Fund” to save for building a new bathroom and re-doing our driveway
  • Spent a weekend in Traverse City with friends
  • Fell in love with decorating our house
  • Celebrated two years at my job
  • Helped my parents pick out a new puppy
  • Celebrated eight years of kitten motherhood
  • Turned 25 and reflected on my 25 before 25 list
  • Covered a three month long maternity leave at work
  • Started a new medicine that made me insanely sick
  • Stopped taking said medicine and started feeling much better
  • Lost 10 pounds
  • Focused more on self-love and less on the scale
  • Struggled with finding work-life balance
  • Fell in love with reading again
  • Spent more time with family
  • Struggled a lot with feeling sad and lonely
  • Accepted my introvert tendencies and tried to learn how to work with them instead of against them
  • Found a wonderful and supportive group of blogger friends
  • Went to countless airshows with Brett
  • Traveled around Michigan and other nearby states
  • Came to the conclusion that life really is better with a dog
  • Started blogging regularly (for the most part!)
  •  

Like I mentioned before, it’s easy to look at this list and only see the good. But 2018 was one of the hardest years of my life. I learned valuable lessons and tried to share my life with others in a positive way. I never want to be the person on social media who someone compares their life to.

My 2019 1st Quarter goals will be up soon. I’m going to continue doing quarterly goals instead of yearly goals because I really do think that they work better for me.

What are your goals for 2019? And how do you feel 2018 went for you?

Thanks for reading!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Dancing Our Way Into 2018

2018

Hey Friends,

I am sitting on my couch, in my apartment, with my husband, cat, and best friend. We have played Just Dance, Mario Cart, Wii Sports, and Guitar Hero. The boys have made pizza, buffalo chicken, and countless other snacky foods while I have enjoyed a bottle of my favorite wine.

I am sitting here reflecting on how there is really no place I’d rather be. 2017 has been really good to me. I love my husband, our apartment, our friends, family, and cat. I have a job that challenges me every day. A job where I can imagine staying at until I retire and never growing bored.

I know that I am lucky. I am content. I am overjoyed with the prospect of another great year. And mostly, I am grateful. I am grateful for my family who encourage me and support me. I am grateful for my husband who makes me laugh and smile every single day. I am grateful for my friends, those new and old, who I can always count on. I am grateful every single day for the life I live.

So here’s to 2018! I hope this new year brings you everything that you need and hope for. Work hard, play hard, and always remain humble.

Love,
Hayley

Life of Hayley Instagram

Here’s to 2015!

It’s a new year and the only thing that I can think about is leaving for London. I am filled with anxiety about my upcoming journey abroad. Starting a new year can mean many things to many different people. But for me, it means a new life full of new opportunities.

Best friends in London!

               Best friends in London!

Studying abroad has been my dream since I traveled to Europe in 2011. I was talking to my friend the other day and she said that she can remember me saying that I would be going back to London in the future. And here I am, four years later following my dream.

Of course, I am very anxious. I’m a nervous wreck about everything that could go wrong. I think I’m most nervous about leaving my family and Brett behind. I know that I will be coming back but it’s still hard to move away from them.

2015 brings the promise of new memories, journeys, and dreams. I’m looking forward to living the next year to the fullest. I’m happy to have the chance to start over someplace new but I am even happier that I have someplace to come home to when it’s over. I am lucky to have the chance to follow my dreams and to have the support of my family and friends.

Here’s to 2015! Good luck to all of you as you follow your own dreams and go your own way!

2014 in review!

I am so proud of how far I have come throughout 2014 with the help of this blog. I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement. I am leaving for London on January 24th and I can’t wait to share my journey with all of you! Thanks again! 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 820 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 14 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.