Not That Kind of Girl Themed Gift-Pack

Not That Kind of Girl is my third book to read of Siobhan Vivian’s. And guess what? I think it’s my favorite so far. It’s exactly what I was needing — something extremely well written with a storyline easy to get into, a main character who I could understand (even if she sometimes made me want to punch her for her opinionatedness), and a nice steamy romance. I loved what Siobhan did with the story and the subtle discussion she was having about feminism and how what you’re presenting to the world sends out a message about who you are.

I couldn’t not create a book-themed gift-pack for Not That Kind of Girl. I had a little fun with it, and hope you’ll enjoy my choices!


not that kind of girl by siobhan vivian

  1. Rule the School Ruler — For uptight, type-A, Student Council President Natalie Sterling, the name of this ruler couldn’t be more perfect. Natalie is a rule follower. A feminist who believes in empowering women and making smart choices (a little Pitch Perfect reference for those of you who have seen the movie a million and a half times like I have). I’m sure straight-edge Natalie would find the perfect location for displaying this ruler decoratively and placing it in the perfect spot so it’s functional, too.
  2. Plaid Throw Blanket — Things get a little bit (okay, more than a little) steamy between Natalie and a certain boy who shall remain nameless (until you read the book) in a shed. Yes, a shed. It sounds kinda creepy, but his parents own a Christmas tree farm and everything sounds so adorable I want to visit there for real. A particular scene involves our nameless boy and Natalie secretly meeting up in the shed. And that is all I will say.
  3. Free Verse Duvet — I know, I know. This is a little nerdy and over the top, but when you’re a nerd… you’re a nerd. 😉 And when am I ever going to get to choose this as an option again?
  4. Mason Jar Hanging Tea Light Holder — Refer to item number two. Spice things up a little bit more. And lower the temperature by several degrees. Our nameless boy makes an attempt to spruce up the shed a bit and brought a lantern so they could actually see. Maybe this isn’t the exact lantern he would have brought, but how adorable are they? I’ll take five.
  5. White Picture Frame — Natalie is super concerned with her photograph making the Student Council wall-of-fame. She’s only the ninth female to be President in her school’s history. It’s kind of a big deal. Surely she’d be framing a copy of the photograph to keep forever and ever, right?
  6. A Movie Bundle — Natalie and her BFF are dedicated to watching the best movies of all time together. They’re making their way through the top 100. Though this isn’t the exact list they were following, I chose four from the list. I’m not going to say whether or not I have watched all of these. I plead the 5th.
  7. Burt’s Bees — This chapstick is Natalie’s staple. It’s the only thing she wears, so when it comes time to take her Student Council photograph and she needs to cover something up, she has to enlist Freshman Spencer for a little help. She has no clue how to use other cosmetics and she definitely needs an intervention.


So whaddya think? If you’re like me and (a few years) late to the Not That Kind of Girl party,
why don’t you add it to your TBR or gift it to yourself this Christmas?

Add to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Buy from Barnes & Noble

Your Holiday Guide to Gifting Children’s Books

Let’s jump back in time and discuss children’s books. This isn’t something we typically discuss here at Rather Be Reading, but I’m sure there are several of you who will be buying gifts for the children in your lives this holiday season, whether that be nieces and nephews, siblings, or your own babies. We read aloud to our foster daughter all. the. time. It’s one of her favorite things to do. She singsongs “a book, a book, a book” and snuggles up in our laps when she wants to sit down and read. Some days it seems like I’ll lose my voice long before she’s ready to stop reading.

One thing I’ve learned, though, is that not all children’s books are created equal. Some of them just seem so… silly. Or there really doesn’t seem to be a message or anything to learn from it. And I’m sure there is a reason for those types of books but as you’ll see below, I really like things that have some substance or purpose and keep me intrigued, too.

So… without further ado, here’s our first Holiday Guide to Gifting Children’s Books.


books to buy children for the holidays

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

This book is excellent for making silly sounds and fun rhymes. It goes through a lot of simple sounds like “moo” and “knock knock” that are fun for kids to try to repeat and imitate.

Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

Ten in the Bed is silly and sure to make any kid laugh. I sent Estelle a video of me reading this to our foster daughter the other night and she just giggled away. It’s repetitive because it works through numbers 1-10, but it’s really sweet and makes for a great bed-time book!

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

Let’s just talk about a tear-jerker of a book. This book makes me tear up every single time I read it, but it’s so beautiful and wonderfully written. It just sends the most beautiful message and is full of so much love.

touch and feel books, rhyming books, naptime books for children

The Napping House by Audrey Wood (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

I absolutely love this book. A friend lent it to us when we first were got the placement call for our foster daughter. It quickly became our nap time book because it was very soothing and relaxing to read to her, but still entertaining and well-written. I love the illustrations, too!

Baby Einstein Touch and Feel Baby Animals by Julie Aigner-Clark (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

Not all children’s books have in depth story lines. The touch and feel books are great for getting children to associate feels with specific things, this one being animals. It has really helped our foster daughter to identify animals as well, and it’s incredible to see things click for her.

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

I’m pretty sure there’s not a book that made ME giggle more when I first began reading this one. It’s clever and adults will appreciate the humor, too. There are a few books by the same author/illustrator, but this is the original and still my favorite. It’s a definite win!

madeline, room on the broom, and fox in socks

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

We bought this book for our niece and nephew last year and oooooh does it make them laugh. That may be because this is a tongue twister book so it’s really difficult for the reader to not stumble over their words, especially if you get into the rhythm of things and a little too confident. Our nephew is now 4 years old and I think it’s a great option for a wide age-range.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

Sweet Hannah at So Obsessed With recently gifted us with this book, and it’s quickly become a favorite. The illustrations are so timeless and I love the writing because, again, it’s intellectual and so sweet.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

This book was advertised a lot at B&N for Halloween so of course I bought it. Of course. And I love it. My husband is actually the person to recommend I include it on this list because we both love reading it so much. It’s a fun story and it’s not Halloween centered, per se, so it wouldn’t seem odd to gift it at this time of year.


What children’s books do you recommend?
I’m always on the hunt for more, especially when B&N sends out their coupons…

Your Non-Bookish Holiday To-Do List

Happy December, friends! (Wait. What? How in the world is it already December?!) We’re taking a break from our traditional reviewing this month to bring you a few original posts to break outside our mold, be creative, and celebrate the holidays. Join us, won’t you?

First up is our Non-Bookish Holiday To-Do List. Since we’re taking a break from our typical reading schedules, we think you should too. Step outside. Explore. Watch some cheesy Hallmark and/or ABC movies. Check out what we’ll be doing…

Your Non-Bookish Holiday Guide

  1. See Disney’s newest animated film, FROZEN. We actually both went with our hubby’s (they’re awesome, aren’t they?) during our Thanksgiving breaks from work. We both agree that you MUST see it. We were texting each other our favorite parts after we had both seen it. Definitely, definitely recommend it. Oh, and maybe bring some tissues. And don’t forget the popcorn!
  2. Go out and see CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. Seriously, go! Bundle up. Invite friends. Magan went with her foster daughter and husband this past weekend to Santa’s Wonderland in College Station, TX; there were over a million lights and a hay ride and live music and a petting zoo. Look up local places for your area. Another TX option is the Trail of Lights in Zilker Park. (Be warned. When Magan went last year, it was packed. Be prepared to wait in line to walk through the trail. Wear comfortable shoes!)
  3. Invite a best friend out for a delicious cup of HOT CHOCOLATE. Estelle highly, highly recommends going to The City Bakery if you live in NYC. Take some time to catch up with a friend. Maybe do some shopping together or just sit in a comfortable environment with your hot beverage and spend some time together.
  4. Watch some cheesy HOLIDAY MOVIES. Raise your hand if you’re addicted to Christmas movies? Who is DVRing all of them on ABC Family and the Hallmark channel? ABC Family has the 25 Days of Christmas marathon and the Hallmark channel has the Countdown to Christmas lineup. Don’t be ashamed. We all need a little heart-warming at the end of the year. Indulge! Estelle is really looking forward to Holidaze, premiering on December 8th.
  5. And last but not least, GET CRAFTY. Who would we be if we weren’t encouraging you to pull out your crafting scissors to get your DIY on? We love these two Pinterest projects — Gift Tags and Holiday Paper Tree. (Please excuse the random numbers 6 and 8 on the tree image.) We’ve both really enjoyed sharing our craftiness with our friends and family at this time of year because we hear back from those people throughout the year about how much they love the gift or thoughtfulness we put into it. While crafting does take some time and thought, it does help us to stick to our budgets!


Tell us what non-bookish things you like to do this time of year?
What are you most looking forward to this December?

Nailed It: Thankful for Family

With Thanksgiving Day so so close (we can’t believe it), we’ve decided to change things up once again for NAILED IT and focus on books with great family influences. Sometimes books in YA tend to go heavy on romance and friendships and forget that there are parents at home, but we have always noted to one another when a book HAS GOT IT ALL aka the craziness and awesomeness of family. Today we are sharing some more nail palettes (yay!) and titles that celebrate all the important parts of life.



It’s been really hard for me to stop thinking about the Time Between Us series by Tamara Ireland Stone. It was one of those unexpected reading experiences for me this year, and I can’t wait to read it again. (How many books can you say that about?) Sure this book is rooted in romance, and how a relationship can survive when time travel complicates things but Stone does not forget how much family affects decisions, expectations, and just, life in general. Especially when you are a teenager.

In both books (Book 1 from Anna’s POV, and Book 2 from Bennett’s), concerned yet supportive families take centerstage. They might not necessarily know all the details of Anna and Bennett’s relationship but there’s a certain cause and effect when the families are involved too. I was really glad to see that layer in both of these books. So many times this is just glazed over in young adult fiction.

If you are on the prowl for a well-rounded story with present parents (who are as flawed as our main characters), be sure to check out these two books. For this month’s Nailed It, I decided to focus on the newer release: Time After Time.

Nailed It Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone

I am loving this palette. It reminds me of early Thanksgiving mornings. Right?

Bette | Nadia | Vera  ♥  Add Time After Time to Goodreads


I’m in the final 6% of Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding. My, oh my, how I love this family. The dynamics are really phenomenal — Kellie’s mom and dad are divorced, but they’re still both very present in her life. They’re two imperfect people that make mistakes, but that’s real life, right? Kellie’s stepfather is really incredible, too, as he balances his role of being her father the majority of the time, but knowing that he shouldn’t interfere and overstep his bounds.

I did some pretty major happy dances over Kellie’s relationship with her older sister, who was adopted. They’re each other’s go-to person, but things do get complicated when Sara turns 18 and her birthmother reaches out to her. Kellie doesn’t exactly understand why there’s distance between them, but she tries to be respectful at the same time. Really, though, I think everyone will fall in love with Kellie’s half-brother, Finn, this four-year-old ball of cuteness. And you’ll definitely love the way the older sisters accept responsibility for (and enjoy their time with) Finn.

Things definitely get a little bit sloppy as Kellie tries to find her place in the family and figure out who she is, but I love that Spalding so heavily focused on family. There’s also friendship and a love interest, but my  heart sang with glee when I realized how heavily Kellie was influenced by her family.

nail polish colors paired with ink is thicker than water book cover

I couldn’t find the perfect pop of pink to coordinate with her lipstick so I pulled the slight hint of blue from her scarf instead. I think the blue, white, and yellow translate to a bit more fall-ish than the pink would have anyway. Thoughts?

Millie | Nicolette | Catrina  ♥  Add Ink is Thicker Than Water to Goodreads


Tell us, friends, what your favorite family-influenced books are.
Thanks for indulging in our nail polish obsession with another Nailed It!

Nailed It: Halloween Edition

Happy October, friends! It’s time for us to discuss book covers and manicures in our monthly Nailed It. This go ’round, instead of choosing an October book release we’re looking forward to, we decided to spice things up by choosing a thriller, horror, or mystery book to fit the mood of Halloween. EEEP. If you’ve been following along with us for a while, you may have noticed that’s not something either of us reads often. Maybe it’s time for that to change?

Magan >>

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Add to Goodreads | Order from Amazon | Release Date: January 1, 2011

I don’t do scary, friends. I don’t do horror either. I am such a scaredy cat. Sometimes I even ask Dustyn to turn the volume down on the TV when he’s watching an episode of The Walking Dead. I just get freaked out easily, okay? I asked for your scariest thriller or mystery book recommendations on twitter this week and let’s just say some of them freaked me out so much the summary scared me for days. I decided that while your suggestions were so awesome, I should probably take baby steps into this land of mystery/horror books. I’ve seen Miss Peregrine so much; lots of people are talking about it, but this cover kind of gives me the chills. I decided my pick had to be something I could actually challenge myself to read. And what a great monotoned color palette it has, right? I’m the world’s biggest gray fan, but this month, I have to say I’m diggin’ the Brandt color. What are your thoughts (on the book and the colors)?

nail polishes paired with book covers

Annette | Sophie | Brandt

Estelle >>

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Add to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Release Date: July 11, 2013

This was such a difficult pick! I’ve read a few thrillers this year: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, Find Me by Romily Bernard, and Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf — and they are definitely a nice change up from friendships and romance in all my other contemporary reading. Another Little Piece is labeled as paranormal and a thriller which would be a very very very different kind of read for me. As Cassie from Books with Cass told me, do not read this book in a dark place. It’s THAT scary. Like Magan, I’m not a huge fan of being scared but I think I can handle it more in my reading then I can if I’m watching a movie or TV show. But then I have this over-active imagination… so. That could be interesting. And horrible for my sleeping habits.

Anyway let’s talk colors. Not the most typical scary colors but I love this combination especially the Winona. It’s a color I’ve been eyeing for myself since it was released this month. (Gotta say — isn’t that tutu skirt on the cover the best? This cover has caught my attention so much over the past few months. Love it.)

Another Little Piece Nailed It October 2013

Molly | Minnie | Winona


What are some scary reads you are most looking forward to reading in the next few weeks? We would love some suggestions!

nail polish colors to match rainbow rowell's fangirl book

Nailed It: Upcoming September Releases

Welcome back for another Nailed It! We love choosing some of our most anticipated books for the upcoming month and pairing nail polish colors with the covers. It’s like we’re getting to do a little shopping without actually shopping. (Most of the time. One too many times we may have splurged on some of the colors we chose! Oh, and the books, too!) September kicks off another great fall season of releases with a million and a half books we want to read. What a tough choice we had narrowing it down to one book each!


Jessica Darling’s IT List (#1) by Megan McCafferty

Add to Goodreads | Pre-Order on Amazon | Release Date: September 3, 2013

The long-awaited prequel to the amazing / life changing Jessica Darling series is going to hit shelves tomorrow. Spoiler alert: it’s freaking great.  We travel back in time with Jessica to her first day of seventh grade and all her jitters, adventures, and super huge personality. I love grown up Jessica but I love love this one too. She is honest and hilarious and makes the absolute best observations about the world. Okay so the cover went through a few versions but I love how the final is faceless (so important) and so colorful. Most of these colors (give or take the yellow) are staples in my own nail collections so I hope you enjoy them as well!

Jessica Darling's IT LIST Nailed It Color Palette

Amy | Bethany | Alma | Avery


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Add to Goodreads | Pre-Order from Amazon | Release date: September 10, 2013

So I may have cheated a teeny tiny bit by choosing four colors this month instead of three, but COME ON! There are such lovely colors in Fangirl’s cover. Am I right? (Actually, I’m pretty obsessed with ALL of Rainbow’s book covers. Her illustrator(s) are amazing!) And how could I not choose this book as one of my most anticipated when I gushed and fell incredibly in love with Rainbow’s writing after reading Eleanor and Park? We’ve got the amazing green color of the background that I think I would wear all year and the pop of reddish color with the title. The brown and yellow are subtle, but equally lovely colors. I’m not sure I ever would have pulled this color palette together on my own, but I’m really digging the combination.

nail polish colors to match rainbow rowell's fangirl book

Denver | January | Heather | Blake


Now who is in the mood to paint their nails after this Nailed It? (And then read because we don’t want to ruin them, do we?!)

What’s your favorite color for fall?