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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

TTT. Books I'd Like to Read with My Bookclub (IF I Had a Bookclub)

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is Top Ten Books I'd like to read with my bookclub (if I had a bookclub). There are so many books that I want to read that I'd be so open to just about anything. This one I guess I really thought about the books that I've been wanting to read badly and needed an excuse to read them or books that I think might be good ones to read with other people. I've also mixed in some YA and some Adult. 

1. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I've been wanting to read this one for ages. It'd be a fun way to start off the book club with a fun, heart-warming read.

2. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. This is a book that I've been wanting to read for awhile. I hear that this hits you right in the feels. In this case, it'd be nice to share the feels with the group!

3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. A historical fiction book that I've heard some rave reviews about. I'd love to have an opportunity to read this one and then discuss it afterwards. 

4. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Another book that I've heard rave reviews about and another book I've heard brings on a lot of feels. I think this one would be lovely to read as a group and talk about afterwards. 

5. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I've heard amazing things about this book and am dying to read it. What better way to read a popular book than with others!

6. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin . I had to include some fantasy on this list. This is the beginning of a series that I've wanted to read and from what I've heard this fantasy is different than others. I would love to read this one and talk about how it's different!

7. The Circle by Dave Eggers. This book has a heavy focus on technology and specifically what can be found out about you through technology. This sounds like it would initiate some great conversations. 

8. Red Rising by Pierce Brown. The second book in this series just came out and I've heard some great things about this series, which has led me to be dying to read it!

9. Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho. I heard very little about this book and from what I've heard, it's been all good. I'd love to give this book a chance to have some love!

10. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I've started to read this one, I'm only a few pages in but I think I'm going to love this one. I'd love to continue reading this one with a group so we can talk about it afterwards!

Friday, January 23, 2015

This Series Is A Perfect Marathon (and has a wonderful new spot on my favorites shelf)

Today, I'm reviewing the Under the Never Sky trilogy. I read this one earlier this year and fell completely in love. So let's talk about this new favorite series of mine! 

Worlds Kept Them Apart.

Destiny Brought Them Together.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim. 

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.
(synopsis via Goodreads)

My Thoughts: Addicting! I started this series and was immediately addicted. I can't believe that I've put off reading this series, but so glad I did because I was able to marathon the whole trilogy. When I started reading this, I wasn't sure if I was going to like Aria or not. In the beginning I felt she was naive and hard-headed to a point that I almost started to get frustrated with her BUT she developed and learned and she became one of my favorite female characters I have ever read. 
And PERRY. A new book boyfriend, for sure. I'm completely in love with Perry! Perry and Aria are one of my favorite book couples, ever. ever, ever. I love their dynamic. There is no insta-love in this book and their relationship develops naturally, and at a steady pace. 
The only problem I had with this book was that I felt that there was a lack of world-building. The world was so elaborate and unique, I  was dying to know more but a tad disappointed at the end of the book when I didn't find out why things were the way that they were...but this is to be solved. 

My Thoughts: This book was even better than the first book. This book begins with action and it goes throughout the whole book up until the huge cliffhanger at the end. AND a huge plus that this book finally answers all the world-building questions that I had lingering after reading Under the Never Sky. I feel like perhaps UtNS works on building up the characters and this book works on not only characters but adds in the world. 
The world in this series is FASCINATING. I love the whole concept and the uniqueness of not only the world that Aria and Perry live in, but the different worlds that they came from as well. 
I loved getting to know Roar more in this book. He's definitely a favorite side character. 
I couldn't get enough of Perry in this book. I don't think I could ever have enough of him. But I loved the way that Aria and Perry's relationship grew throughout this book as well. 

My Thoughts: What a conclusion!! I wasn't sure where this was going to end and I was hanging on every single word throughout those last few pages. The ending couldn't have been better. But also the story throughout this last installment couldn't have been better.
This book is filled with non-stop action as the others, but revved up. I think this is the most action packed of the series. 
There were so many characters I loved throughout the books and especially in this book, Aria, Perry (of course ;)), Roar, Cinder, and a few others. This book rendered me speechless. 

Final Thoughts on the whole trilogy: I just can't tell you how much I love this series. It's definitely a new favorite. Shortly after reading this series I wanted to re-read it because I missed the world so much. I know it's a definite new fave if the desire to re-read the book right after I finish it is there! You guys, I beg you, if you haven't read this series yet, please pick it up! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Another Reading Challenge...because it's a MUST

Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Hello, Chelly

Fantasy is my favorite genre, so I couldn't not sign up for this challenge. I am hoping to read 40 fantasy books this year, but I'm hoping it might be more than that. So excited to be joining in and coming soon will be my first update..on the last Sunday of the month. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

TTT. Books I NEED to read in 2015.

This week is a freebie so I ended up doing a list of books that I want to read this year. These aren't books that come out this year, none of them are, but here are the other reasons a book may be on this list:
I've been meaning to read it for WAY TOO LONG.
They've been on multiple tbr piles and I STILL HAVEN'T READ THEM.
I own more than one book by the author and still haven't read one of them...

Top Ten Books I Want to Read in 2015.

  1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien - I NEED to read this trilogy. I'm a huge fan of the movies and The Hobbit movies. I need to read these and then re-watch the movies. 
  2. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak - I'm terrible, I know. I don't know how I haven't read this one yet, but I think I'm scared because this book is so hyped. But I'm taking the plunge this year and reading it. 
  3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor - Now that the trilogy is complete, I need to marathon this series. 
  4. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers - This book has been on so many tbr piles and I haven't picked it up yet, but I'm going to this year. I still really want to read this one. 
  5. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - I didn't have to read this one in school or anything but I want to read this story and experience it. 
  6. Haruki Murakami - I have two books by him and I haven't read anything by him. The two books I own are After Dark and Norwegian Wood, I'm planning to read one of these this year and finally read Murakami!
  7. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - I've heard so much about this book and I never got around to reading it last year. This year, it's definitely on my radar.
  8. Eon/Eona by Alison Goodman - As a huge fantasy fan, it's about time I read this duology!
  9. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - This series is so beloved and I can't believe I haven't read it yet. I've heard good things about the series, and I found the whole series at a book sale for about $3..the WHOLE series. I need to read this series this year!
  10. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - This was another book that I was so excited to read last year and never got around to. I still want to check this one out and see why it won the Pulitzer.

Friday, January 16, 2015

After Seeing Interstellar, I HAD To Read These.

I saw Interstellar shortly after it came out and I was BLOWN AWAY by this movie. I haven't been this impacted with a movie since I saw Inception (which may be my top favorite movie of all time), and I think Interstellar has definitely made it in my favorites list. I CANNOT wait to see this movie again. I haven't stopped thinking about it since I saw it.

If you don't know what Interstellar is about, it's essentially about space. In the movie, the Earth is not going to sustain human life much longer, so some astronauts go on a mission to find another planet that can sustain life. It's an AMAZING movie.

After watching Interstellar, I had a major craving to read some space books. I've picked up two so far and thought I'd do mini-reviews of them.

These Broken Stars takes place as a ship is in progress to another planet and ends up crashing onto a foreign planet. Lilac, the daughter of a powerful man, and Tarver, a soldier, are the only two survivors of the crash. Lilac and Tarver try to survive and find help on the planet. 
This book was very different than what I had thought it was going to be. I've heard this book referred to as a titanic type story but in space. I would say this is somewhat accurate, because there's a crash and obviously some romance happens between Lilac and Tarver. But with the Titanic story, the sinking of the ship is the climax and here the ship crashes in the first couple chapters, it's the beginning of the story, not the end. This is essentially a story of Lilac and Tarver trying to survive on the planet, as well as what they find out while on the planet which makes the story into an adventure...A space adventure!
I really, really, REALLY, liked this book. ALOT. I love the world that was created on the planet. I love the different aspects that popped up, and the different possibilities they encountered while on the planet. This becomes so much more than a survival story by the end and that was something that I didn't expect to find and was pleasantly surprised to find it. I read this one really fast because I just couldn't stop, it was SO GOOD. 
Rating: 4.5 stars. 

The Martian takes place on Mars after astronaut and botanist, Mark Watney is thought to be dead by his crew and left on Mars during a sand storm. Mark's left alone on Mars with no way to contact anyone to let them know he's alive. As he realizes this, Mark tries to find out how he can survive until the next trip to Mars destined to be arriving in a few YEARS. 
Going into this one, I was already nervous, someone stranded on a planet, with no way to let anyone know they are there..YIKES! There was so much research that went into this book and I really appreciate that the author did that. The book gets a bit scientific at times as Mark figures out how he can make water, grow plants and try to sustain himself. Mark is one of the most unique main characters that I've ever encountered, he's incredibly smart, resourceful and funny, seriously I actually laughed out loud while reading this book. You wouldn't think that guy would be funny when he's left stranded on Mars, but this guy is positively humorous. This is a FANTASTIC survival story.
Rating: 5 stars. 

And I'm STILL craving some space books, I'd love to hear your recs of your favorite space reads :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Book that Gave Me ALL THE FEELS.

Title: The Bronze Horseman
Author: Paullina Simons
Publication: September, 2009
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Bought it
Series: Yes! This is the 1st book.

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanoia, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler's armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.

Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana - and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander's impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects - a secret as devastating as the war itself - as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.

Review: This book is SO HARD to review because it delivered SO MANY FEELS! I don't even know where to start but to say that this book has earned a very special place in my heart. I think I will carry Tatiana and Alexander's story with me and when I think of a grand and true love, I think of them. 

This is a historical fiction novel set during WWII which I usually try to stay away from. Books set around wars are not my most favorable reads. I'm glad I gave this one a chance. I know the general history of WWII but one aspect I surprisingly enjoyed is the historical aspect that delivered a different view of the war from the country of Russia. I've heard stories of the Holocaust and what terrible things happened, and it's completely horrific. Additionally terrible is what the city of Leningrad went through when the Germans arrive. I learned more about WWII from reading this book, more than what I thought I would. 

Speaking of the historical aspect...I've read some reviews complaining of the book being boring. There are pages of what could be considered to be mundane aspects of Tatiana living her daily life. I didn't find these pages boring at all, in fact, I found them completely interesting to see things happening as she would have. These were so interesting to me, to see what someone of that time would have been going through on a day to day basis. 

It's so hard to go into details of the story and why there's so many feels without spoiling anything but I must say that I enjoyed the characters in this book. While I didn't like all of them and increasingly was frustrated with a few, I found myself still rooting for them in a way. Tatiana is one of the strongest and most willful characters I have ever read. I enjoyed her SO MUCH. Her determination is admirable and a force to be reckoned with which made her a character to be remembered. 

Alexander.. what a man! Tatiana and Alexander's romance was heart-warming and heart-breaking over and over again. I am beyond excited (and incredibly nervous) to see what happens in the next book. 

I hope that if you've been debating on reading this that you take the leap and dive in. I think you might find it worth your time if you love deep romance and history. 

If you've read this and want to talk about THE FEELS. LETS TALK! 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What historical aspects of the book surprised you if there were any? What other great historical books do you recommend?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

TTT. 2014 Release I Meant to Read but Didn't Get To.

This week's topic is:

2014 Releases I Meant to Read but Didn't Get To

The books:

These are all books that I highly anticipated last year that I didn't get around to reading that are still on my tbr. At the top of my tbr is Red Rising. The second book in the series just came out and I've heard so much praise lately for this series that it keeps staring at me wanting me to read it. 

Do You Think I Should Bump Any of These Books to the Top of My TBR?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bout of Books WRAP UP.

Bout of Books

Here's my overall stats followed by a run down of the days.

TOTAL PAGES READ: 2,004 pages
(WOW, I didn't know I read so much!)

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 5 books started and finished. And 1 book I didn't quite finish but read a chunk of.

Started & Finished:
The Martian by Andy Weir
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Through the Ever Night by V. Rossi
Into the Still Blue by V. Rossi
Sex Criminals Vol. 1: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

Still Reading (Didn't quite finish):
Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Pages Read: 369 pages
Books Read: The Martian

Pages Read: 502 pages.
Books Read: Under the Never Sky and Sex Criminals Vol. 1: One Weird Trick

Pages Read: 341 pages
Books Read: Through the Ever Night

Pages Read: 292 pages
Books Read: Into the Still Blue

Pages Read: 243 pages
Books Read: Into the Still Blue (100pgs) & Night Film (143pgs)

Pages Read: 82 pages
Books Read: Night Film

Pages Read: 178 pages
Books Read: Continued on in Night Film

I went into this one not having any goals because I wanted to see how my reading would go and I'm quite surprised that it went really well. I think I picked a perfect trilogy to marathon which I think helped me tremendously - I loved the books so much I didn't want to stop reading them! I don't think Night Film was the best choice to read, it took me awhile because I was trying to absorb every word to figure out the mystery that it took me more time to read than my usual.
I think this readathon was a success for me. My goal every time I've done this readathon is to read 5 books and while I didn't officially make that goal for myself, I still achieved it. I think going forward I'm going to continue to take a more laid back approach to readathons.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

TBR Challenge & A Series A Month Reading Challenge

There are two more reading challenges that I am participating in for 2015, the TBR Challenge and A Series a Month Reading Challenge.

TBR Jar Reading Challenge.

I found out about the TBR Challenge while watching Katytastic's video, who I think is also the creator. Here's the Kat's video if you'd like to check it out further. This reading challenge consists of 12 challenges that you put in a TBR jar. Each month I'll draw a challenge and complete it with a book from my TBR pile. This month the challenge I drew was to

Re-Read a Favorite Book

I have just the book in mind...Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone! I've been planning to re-read the HP series this year and this is the perfect time to start. 

Other challenges still in the jar are:
Read a book with 500+ pages
Read a 2015 debut novel
Read a book that someone else picks
Listen to an audiobook
Read a book you DNF'd/gave up on
Read a new-to-you author
Read a book that is not a novel
Read/Watch a book and its adaptation
Read an award-winning novel
Read a classic novel
Read a series finale

A Series A Month Reading Challenge.

Danielle over at Love at First Page created the brilliant challenge of reading a series a month. There are so many series that I want to get to/finish up combined my love for marathoning series made me sign up for this challenge. 

This month I read the Under the Never Sky trilogy by Veronica Rossi, consisting of Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night and Into the Still Blue. (IT WAS AMAZING!)

Series I want to get to this year that would work in this challenge:

Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (already read Mistborn, but need to read The Well of Ascension & The Hero of Ages)
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (I just have the last 3 in the series to read, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls & City of Heavenly Fire)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor
The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness (just have to read The Ask and the Answer & Monsters of Men) 
Slated trilogy by Terri Terry
The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Emission

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Bout of Books

Pages Read: 502 pages
Books Read: Started and finished Under the Never Sky and Sex Criminals, Vol 1: One Weird Trick
Total pages read so far this week: 871
Total books read so far this week: 3

Day two was pretty good! I am so happy I choose the Under the Never Sky to read this week, it seems like the perfect series to marathon! Sex Criminals was due back to the library so I slipped that graphic novel into today's reading, too.

Pages Read: 341 pages
Books Read: Started and finished Through the Ever Night
Total pages read so far this week: 1,212
Total books read so far this week: 4

Day three went great. I stayed up pretty late finishing up Through the Ever Night, because I couldn't stop reading. I'm officially addicted to this series!

How did your Day 2 & 3 of the readathon go??

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bout of Books Update - DAY ONE

Bout of Books

Pages Read: 369 pages
Books Read: Started and finished The Martian
Total pages read so far this week: 369
Total books read so far this week: 1

Day one was good, I stayed up late trying to finish The Martian and I did! The week is off to a great start :)

How did your Day 1 of the readathon go??

Monday, January 5, 2015

Bout of Books!

Bout of Books

YAY! It's Bout of Books time again! And I'm jumping in, of course!

I'm trying to do this readathon in a low-key way this time around meaning I'm not making any goals other than to read as much as I possibly can. I want to try an experiment and see how I read when I don't set goals for myself.

Here's my tentative TBR

I'm starting off the readathon reading The Martian. And I know I'll slip in Harry Potter during the week because I'm SO EXCITED to re-read it, I also want to get to Under the Never Sky because I want to read that series this month. 

What are you planning to read this week?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Reading Challenge for 2015!

So my friend, Rachel, shared this reading challenge list with me and I thought I would jump in and do it too because there are some really unique challenges! Oh, and she shared the image with me off of Goodwill Librarian's Facebook page...just wanted to throw in credit where its due :)

I wrote this list down in my blogging notebook, right in front so that I can also record what book I read for each category. I think I'm also going to print this image out so I have a master list that I can check off. 
A few of my thoughts on these challenges..
Since it's such a long list, I've decided to color code them by difficulty I think it will be to complete them. For those I think will be easy to complete, they'll be green, those that will be a bit hard will be orange and those that are going to difficult will be in red. 

a book with 500+ pages..
This should be pretty easy with the amount of fantasy that I read :)

a classic romance..
I'm not quite sure what would be a "classic romance". I was thinking maybe Atonement, but would that be classic enough? Let me know if you have any suggestions for this one!

book that became a movie..
I feel I have a few options here, the ones I'm thinking about are The Book Thief, The DUFF or Vampire Academy.

book published this year..
No problem with this one. The Winner's Crime. ToG #4. Red Queen. So many options.

book with a number in the title..
hmmm. The only one I can't think of that is in my tbr pile and has a number in the title is Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, which I really want to read!

book written by someone under 30..
I don't imagine this one to be too hard though author's ages aren't even thought of for me so maybe this will be harder than I think.

book with nonhuman characters..
The only book I have in mind here is Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi since I recently picked it up. I may come across something different for this category.

a funny book..
With Amy Poehler's book on my tbr, I think this will be an easy category to fill.

book by a female author..
This will be so easy. Always reading books by both female and male authors.

a mystery or thriller..
I'm thinking maybe Night Film by Marisha Pessl. 

book with a one-word title..
This one may be easy or hard..

book of short stories..
This should be pretty easy as well. Maybe something by Alice Munro as I just got one of her books for Christmas.

book set in a different country..
Can't think of any off the top of my head, but I don't think I'll have too much of a problem finding a book to satisfy this challenge.

a nonfiction book..
I rarely read nonfiction so I like having this extra challenge to fit it in this year. 

a popular author's first book..
For this one I'm not sure where I'm going to end up. At the moment I'm thinking maybe John Green's first book which is Looking for Alaska I believe. 

book from an author you love that you haven't read yet..
This is another tough one. I'm going to have to think on this challenge. I love the uniqueness of it though!

book a friend recommended..
It shouldn't be hard to find a recommendation with all the wonderful bookish friends I've made :)

Pulitzer Prize-winning book..
I want to read more award winners, so this is a perfect challenge for me. There's so many options that I'm not sure which I'm going to read yet. 

book based on a true story..
This is a HARD one for me. I have no idea where to even start looking for a book based on a true story - any help is welcome for recs to complete this challenge :)

book at the bottom of your to-read list..
This will be fun to do! Picking a book at the bottom of my pile instead of the top is going to be fun!

book your mom loves..
My mom doesn't read all that much. She mostly just reads in the summer and she loves Mary Higgins Clark. I'm thinking of asking her favorite book by Clark and reading that one.

book that scares you..
I'm not sure what this challenge means by scared..scared of the content/it makes me scared? or scared because of size, hype, etc? What do you think?

book more than 100 years old..
I'm thinking something Austen or Bronte. 

book based entirely on the cover..
OOO! This will be fun! Thinking I'll pick out a book from the bookstore/library and pick it up based on the cover.

book you were supposed to read in school but didn't..
Animal Farm by Orwell will be the one for this challenge. 

a memoir..
This should be pretty easy to complete...I'm thinking The Glass Castle for this one. 

book you can finish in one day..
This one is completely open - could end up being anything!

book with antonyms in the title..
This is going to be hard to find. Can you think of any?

book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit..
This should be pretty easy to find, there are so many places I want to visit!

book that came out the year you were born..
This will be an interesting one and one that I'm looking forward to finding.

book with bad reviews..
hmm every book has bad reviews because there is always someone that doesn't like a book. I'm taking this one to be a book with ratings under 3.5 stars on Goodreads.

a trilogy..
I have so many choices for this one..thinking Under the Never Sky trilogy at the moment.

a book from your childhood..
I'm not sure which one to pick, but probably one of the Harry Potter books since they were an essential part of my childhood. 

book with a love triangle..
Oh Boy! This one should be pretty easy to find with the amount of YA that I read :)

book set in the future..
I can't think of anything off the top of my head that would work but I think there are quite a few options out there!

book set in high school..
Not hard again with the amount of YA I read :))

book with a color in the title..
Hmm this one might make me search a little bit.

book that made you cry..
This will indefinitely happen this year.

book with magic..
As a frequent fantasy reader, this shouldn't be too hard to complete.

a graphic novel..
Love graphic novels! Need to get my hands on Saga 4 for this challenge!

book by an author that you've never read before..
Not to difficult to get this challenge..looking forward to discovering a new author!

book you own but have never read..
SO EASY. I have so many unread books on my shelves that this one will be an easy challenge to complete. 

book that takes place in your hometown..
I come from a very small town, I don't think there are ANY books out there set in the town, or area I grew up in. I might have to just do my homestate for this category. 

book that was originally written in a different language..
This one will be not too hard, but not all too easy either. I'm not sure what I'll end up picking for this category.

book set during Christmas..
LOVE holiday stories. When next Christmas rolls around, I'll be sure to complete this challenge!

book written by an author with your same initials..
This could be hard to find. Very hard. Don't know where to start on this one.

a play..
I'm taking a British drama course this semester so I'll be able to complete this challenge during the spring. 

a banned book..
I'll be sure to take care of this one during Banned Books week!

book based on or turned into a TV show..
I'm thinking of reading The 100 for this category. Then I can finally watch the show :)

and last but not least

book you started but never finished..
hmm well there are 7 books that I've started over the past month but haven't finished yet, so I think there's a few to choose from for this one. I'm going to narrow it down by adding that the book has to have been started over a month ago. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Finishing up a series and some other books I read in the last month of 2014...

I can't believe another year has passed by! I had a good reading month last month and I enjoyed every bit of it. With the semester ending last month, it freed up some time for reading - YEESSS! So here's the books that I read to round out the end of my year.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner. Rated 4.5 stars. This one was SO much more than I thought it would be. I enjoyed this book immensely!

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta. Rated 5 stars (of course). Such a good series. Highly, Highly recommend this series.

Winter town by Stephen Emond. Rated 2 stars. This was a bit of a disappointment to me. I just found it to be lacking something. I liked the drawings in it but not so much the story or characters.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. Rated 5 stars (OF COURSE). I LOVE this book. so much. What a fantastic story. This is up there among my other favorite Rainbow Rowell books and might even be my favorite (squee!)

Dare You To by Katie McGarry. Rated 5 stars. This book was so much more than I thought it would be. I wasn't blown away by Pushing the Limits, in fact, I was a bit disappointed with it so I didn't expect much going into this book. It was SO GOOD though. The romance and characters were wonderful and I really enjoyed reading about Beth and Ryan's story.

The Ice Dragon by George RR Martin. Rated 3.5 stars. I liked this one but it wasn't all I thought it was going to be. I do see myself reading this story to my son when he gets older, as it was a lovely children's story.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. Rated 5 stars. This book was not what I thought it was going to be, but it was so much better. It's a graphic novel of short stories. They're rather spooky stories making this a perfect Halloween read. I think I might have to re-read this one next Halloween.

Jane, the Fox, & Me by Fanny Britt. Rated 4.5 stars. This book was a lovely, lovely read. I loved the artwork. The story was so sweet. This graphic novel was so charming, I really enjoyed it.

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. Rated 3.5 stars. I am so glad that I ended another series before the year ended and this one was a good one to find out what happens. I've been dying to know how this series was going to end because I can never tell what's going to happen next when reading these books. I wasn't disappointed in this, but it wasn't all that great to me was just okay. I'm not sure what to think of the ending either, it seems a bit strange for how the rest of the books went..strange as in it wasn't crazy enough, like things ended a little to happily resolved that seemed out of place in the story that's been crafted with the past two books.

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins. Rated 3 stars (calculated from an average of the stories). Individual story ratings were:

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell - 5/5 stars. Can't help but fall in love with everything that Rainbow writes. 
The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link - 3/5 stars. I actually really liked this one. I think the magical elements were really cool and I liked the romance and mystery of it. 
Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena - 2/5 stars. This story was quite boring for me, however the romance was cute in it. 
Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han - 2/5 stars. I couldn't really get into this one. I love Jenny Han's stories, but something about this one didn't quite get me on board. 
It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins - 5/5 stars. Yes. I freakin loved this story. SO SO GOOD. 
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan - 4/5 stars. This was such a cute story, one of the more deeper love stories in the book. 
Krampuslauf by Holly Black - 1/5 stars. I had a hard time getting through this one. It was a bit strange and I'm not sure if I loved that or hated it. 
What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman - 4.5/5 stars. This was a cute one. I was smiling when I finished it. 
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McIntire - 2/5 stars. 
I didn't really connect with this one, I don't know exactly what it was about it. Maybe the characters?
Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White - 3/5 stars. 
This one was cute and had a tiny bit of magical realism (I think?). I really liked this one. 
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter - 3.5/5 stars.
This one was a bit off for me, but really funny. I enjoyed it quite a bit more by the end than I thought I would have. 
The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor - 2/5 stars.
I really wanted to like this story and I was looking into dipping my toes into Laini's work, but this one was hard for me to get into. I think I needed more from this one.

Amulet Vol 1: The Stone Keeper AND Amulet, Vol 2: The Stonekeeper's Curse by Kazu Kibuishi. Rated both 5 stars. I've heard some hype about this series but it still surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. The artwork is STUNNING. And I love the unique story. 

I have a couple other books that I started this month that I will have to finish up this month since I've picked up and started reading like 7 books :/ Looking forward to starting a new year of reading. New Year, New good books to find :D

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Some Resolutions I'm Aiming For in 2015.

I've been trying to come up with a good list of resolutions and reading goals this year and I can't seem to actually put anything on paper (or screen). It's not that I don't have ideas or goals, I have plenty, but I think it's the fear of failing at completing my goals/resolutions that is making me prevent myself from aiming as high as I want to, because, simply put, I don't want to set myself up for failure. So here's a few resolutions that I've had bouncing around in my head that I want to do this year, but a few of them are ones that I'm not sure I want to keep just yet.

Bookish Resolutions: 

1. Read 150 Books this year. I so desperately want to move past my past years of sticking to 100 books, I always want to read more and maybe setting a higher goal will motivate me to do just that. What's scaring me about this is seeing Goodreads potentially tell me that I'm behind this # of books. However I want to challenge myself and my reading habits this year and I think this is a good start to that.

2. Read The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is a trilogy that I've been wanting to read for AGES. This year, I'm reading it.

3. Re-read the Harry Potter series. I rarely re-read books but the Harry Potter series is an all-time favorite and I want to fall into the world of Harry Potter all over again this year.

4. Complete a bookish challenge list. A friend of mine shared a reading challenge with me that has about 50 different descriptions of a book to read this year. Some of the easier ones for me would be reading a book that's become a movie, reading a trilogy, a book published this year, a book by a female author. Some fun ones are read a book from a favorite author that you haven't read yet, read a book at the bottom of your to-read list, read a book that you were supposed to read in school but didn't, and read a book that came out the year you were born. Some of the harder/more unique challenges include reading a book that is over 100 years old, reading a book with an author that has my same initials, read a book that takes place in my hometown.

5. Successfully complete a readathon. This is a rather lenient goal. I participate in a few readathons throughout the year, but I never feel like I read as much as I wanted to. I want to change that this year. I want to feel like I've successfully completed a readathon, either by reading as much as I wanted to or reading the whole tbr that I set for myself. My first attempt is for the Bout of Books readathon coming up next week!

6. Be okay with the days that I don't get around to reading. This past year I've felt a bit guilty on those days that slipped by without a chance for me to get a few pages in. While I miss reading on these days, I don't want to feel that guilt. Reading isn't a job to me, it's something I should enjoy doing. Feeling guilty makes me think of it like I forgot to do a chore that should have gotten done and I need to move back to reading because I love it, and not thinking of it as a chore.

7. Rediscovering my love for reading. I kind of introduced this in my previous resolution, but I want to enjoy reading. This is partly why I'm hesitant to make goals because I don't want to read just to complete my goals. I want to read because I love it. I want to discover new worlds, live in them and find new book boyfriends. Maybe I can work on finding a balance of loving reading while completing my goals/resolutions at the same time.

These are all the goals that I can really think of. As I mentioned, I kind of want to keep things pretty low-key for reasons explained above. I'm sure I'll think of some more goals and resolutions and if any of them stick in my head I'll write a post.

I also want to focus on some blog resolutions. This past month I've taken an impromptu hiatus from blogging. I just couldn't find any passion for it or any words that I wanted to say. It tore me a little bit, because I love blogging and the blogging community. I missed it, so here I want to make the changes that drove me away from it in the first place.

Blogging Resolutions:

1. Blog with no pressure. I feel like part of my hiatus was driven by the pressure I put on myself to blog and it became overwhelming. I felt like I was failing at blogging.. A story for a different post. I want to blog because I love it, because I love talking about books. I want to be myself and I'm really looking forward to it.

2. Comment more on other blogs. I read other posts mostly on my phone through the Bloglovin' app which is rather hard to make a comment on. I want to make an effort to comment and make connections with other bloggers.

3. Change the look of my blog. I think my blog needs a revamp. I like the way it looks but I would like to do a little bit more, just not sure quite how or what I want it to look like yet.

4. Get more involved in social media. I've been rather inconsistent on social media, mainly twitter, and I want that to change in this year. I just created an instagram for the blog as my first step towards getting more involved...and now I have an excuse to exclusively post book pictures :)

5. Be consistently organized with my blog. I have a specific notebook for the blog where I write ideas, lists, books I need to review, etc. This year I bought a planner specifically for blog stuff, readathons, challenges, book releases, etc. I'm really excited to have more space for writing and I want to utilize it for more than just a couple months.

6. Go out somewhere and blog. I've been wanting to do this idea for awhile but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I want to go to my local bookstore which is also a coffee shop and do some blogging while nursing a cup of coffee. I'd like to go to my library and knock out a few reviews. I'd also like to go to a coffee shop and write out a couple posts with a wonderful cup of something hot. I think this would add some excitement to writing posts/reviews for me!

I think those are all the resolutions I have for blogging. Putting no pressure on blogging prevents me from making the dedication to a certain amount of posts a week even though I want to aim for that - but I believe I need to try this blogging freedom first.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes about this year. It's refreshing to look forward to a blank year and see it full of potential. Here's a new year of endless possibilities :))