Tag Archives: Books

Top Ten Tuesday – June 11, 2019: Unpopular Bookish Opinions

TOP TEN TUESDAY
June 11, 2019

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, formerly hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader GirlThis week’s topic was Unpopular Bookish Opinions

I don’t think I have too many unpopular bookish opinions or preferences when to comes to reading, book formats, or general reading habits so I guess we’re mostly just left with all of my black sheep opinions on popular books/series… Yikes.

I know we can all get fiery about our favorites so please keep it civil and let’s only comment if you AGREE. I’m not here to debate and fight! We’re all entitled to our opinions!

I’M A BLACK SHEEP READER…

1 | SARAH J. MAAS HAS LOST HER MAGIC. I looooved THRONE OF GLASS, CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, HEIR OF FIRE, QUEEN OF SHADOWS, and A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES, but things started to quickly go downhill for me with A COURT OF MIST AND FURY. I didn’t love it and things started to bother me. I was so let down with EMPIRE OF STORMS. I hated TOWER OF DAWN and didn’t finish it. A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN was terribly painful but I finished. I did read KINGDOM OF ASH and it was enjoyable for what it was but it could have been better. I really don’t have any desire to read any more Sarah J. Maas books and I’m super disappointed how everything has turned out to be a big love letter to her series instead of really digging in and developing some of the world, plot, or characters more.

2 | I DNFED AN EMBER IN THE ASHES. I tried reading the ARC when I first got AN EMBER IN THE ASHES. I tried listening to the audiobook with two of my favorite narrators… I just couldn’t do it! The characters felt flat and there was a cheesy prophesy that felt too convenient and I just never picked it back up. I do kind of want to try again someday since the series is so loved by so many, but I tried twice!

3 | CARAVAL WAS JUST OKAY AND LEGENDARY WAS …. NOT GOOD. CARAVAL was such a pretty and vividly written book but I wanted to much more structure to Caraval itself. LEGENDARY felt so sloppy, poorly organized, and kind of unnecessary in many ways. I was really disappointed that it got more whimsical and loose. The addition of the Fates felt like they were mostly out of nowhere and I wanted more of a lead-up to that plot line in CARAVAL to really tie the books together.

4 | I DIDN’T GET THE APPEAL OF TRUTHWITCH. I was so excited for a big adult fantasy series from Susan Dennard but I just never got into TRUTHWITCH. I struggled to get through the book and I finally did. I just felt like so much was missing. Everyone loved the friendship and I couldn’t stand the voices of the main female leads. I really, really, really wanted to like it and I kept trying but I just never got into the world and wanted so much more from it.

5 | TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE IS WAY BETTER AS A MOVIE THAN A BOOK. Well, other people might actually have this same opinion but Lara Jean was soooo immature in the books (all three) and it really, really bothered me. There are certain liberties taken for a rom-com for the main girl to put herself in silly situations or intrude where she doesn’t belong, but especially in the later books, Lara Jean was stepping on other people’s toes WAY too often and it was so annoying. I LOVED the first movie and am anxiously awaiting the second! I hope it continues to be super cute and the actors maintain that movie magic that I loved.

6 | WE WERE LIARS WAS PREDICTABLE. When I first heard about WE WERE LIARS, everyone was going on about the twist at the end (which honestly, already ruins a twist for me. If I know it’s coming, it’s a little less exciting), so naturally when I started reading, my brain started guessing at what it would be. And I guessed it quickly in. Everyone was blown away and it was this big five-star book for them but it turned out to be a really predictable book for me.

7 | THE FAULT IN OUR STARS WAS OVERRATED. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS was my first John Green book and I had big expectations! I found the voices of the teens to be way too pretentious to be realistic and I just really didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone said they had.


That’s only seven and I have a couple more but I don’t like being negative (most of the time haha)! I tried to look for the reverse — where I loved a book and people didn’t — but that was harder to search for than I expected!

As Seen on Bookstagram | Enamel Pins

After five years of blogging, sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ideas. So much has changed over the years, including my blogging style, many times over, and I’ve gotten so much more into taking photos and posting on Instagram as a part of my love of books and bookish merch!

In an attempt to keep things interesting and fun, I wanted to started a little something new for me where I take a post that I had originally shared on Instagram — or “bookstagram” for those in the book community — and took it a little further in a blog post. There’s a limited  number of characters that you can share on Insta and the point of those posts is more to get to the point, rather than writing a whole narrative, but sometimes each post deserves a few extra words, and “As Seen on Instagram” is a fun way for me to do that!

 

 

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Are you a fan of enamel pins? I didn’t used to be but my collection started slowly growing!

I ended up getting a few pins from book boxes and publishers as promos or pre-order bonuses but I wasn’t really into collecting pins. I had a bunch of buttons but didn’t have a good way to display them. I actually previously posted on an “As Seen on Bookstagram” about Ardent Adornment and their creation of the “pin pals” which were hoops covered in fabric (like the one seen here) designed to hold pin collections! If you check out my previous post which was a little under a year ago, I barely even had enamel pins and almost everything on that hoop was a button!

Since then, my collection has grown quite a bit. I’m a collector at heart so I usually end up obsessing about one thing or another. I have to work through a lot of my candles and burn the ones I do have and I’m at max capacity on my shelves to add any more new candles (or really just about anything there). I don’t have a good way to display any bookmarks and I already had too many mugs that are just decorations as well, so pins ended up being a fun new way to keep a bookish collection going with minimal space! I don’t have a lot of room on my walls and I’m constantly rearranging my hoops with what pins I want and where so they’re not hung up just yet, but the stack is mighty small and when they’re hung up, all they’ll take up is wall space!

Admittedly, I kind of got into it when I started making my own enamel pins! The first one I made was for the Novelly Yours Stranger Things-inspired box back in June 2018 and I’ve been adding them to the boxes consistently now since the beginning of 2019. The ability to create them definitely fed to the desire to collect them and now I’ve got a pretty decent collection of my own!!


Are you a collector of enamel pins? Do you have any favorite shops or pins that mean something special do you?

If you want to read the original post, check it out above or head to my Instagram page where you can follow for all kinds of bookish photo updates! 

Discussion: Someone Just Said “Audiobooks Aren’t Books” and You’re About to Get a Rant

discussion

AUDIOBOOKS

I was on Instagram this morning, as I usually do to catch up on what happened overnight, and I came across an account that had a whole post on how “audiobooks aren’t books”. I kindly replied but that statement just rattled around in my brain all morning and the more I thought about it, the angrier I got so I figured why not rant about it to the book community.

We all have very strong preferences on the way that we read. Some people prefer reading on their e-readers, some love physical books, some love audiobooks, and many of us appreciate reading in any form. Books make us passionate, so much so that we even get get passionate about the method that we read and let me tell you, I am VERY passionate about audiobooks.

This isn’t just a rant in defense of “audiobooks ARE books”. It’s an exaggeration, but to me that’s like saying the Earth is flat. Audiobooks are literally published and sold by publishing houses. They’re sent out for review to readers and bloggers. They are absolutely categorized and described as a book. They’re not movies or shows, they’re not plays. They’re books. Just because someone is reading it out loud and you’re not using your eyes to read the words on the page doesn’t mean what you just took in wasn’t reading a book. Every single word the author wrote is contained in an audiobook and they’re not cut down or edited (note: expect in special cases like some full cast audiobooks that read more like plays BUT I would say almost always a full, unabridged version is published first. Those are often more like special editions. MOST full cast audiobooks I’ve listened to still contain all of the text).

Traditionally, reading is done with your eyes (duh). I agree, that’s absolutely different than listening to something. You don’t have to know how to read or spell to listen to something, that’s an obvious fact. But there are many, many books I’ve only read/listened to as an audiobook. Does that mean I never made a connection to any of the books I’ve listened to? I know as well as someone who read the words on the pages with their eyes how that story goes, what happened, and can provide an accurate summary and review. Sometimes I remember even better after listening than I do with reading. Listening to an audiobook provides a new way to retain information and the timbre and cadence of the narrator’s voices often help me remember actual quotes and passages better than they would if I was reading a hardcover/paperback/ARC.

Isn’t that also saying that a parent reading out loud to their child, for example, isn’t reading? What if someone is blind and can only listen to audiobooks? Does that mean they never read a book? Sure, we’re putting limitations on things here, but if it counts, it counts and it COUNTS.

I’ve only ever listened to THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater on audiobook and I’ve listened to it at least seven times. I know the story backwards and forwards and even better because I can hear the narrators reciting the text. I can’t imagine anyone, including the author, saying I didn’t read that book because I never read the words on physical pages. I would imagine authors want people to read their books, no matter the form, and audiobooks are absolutely one of those forms.

The argument this poster was making was that people who are just listening to audiobooks while they’re driving or cleaning the house aren’t reading and I’m still gonna argue that one hard. See all the points above etc etc but also… don’t you WANT people to read? For people who are that busy that they only have time to listen to audiobooks in the car or while they’re cleaning, isn’t that great that they still have the time and want to read at SOME point in time? They’re choosing books they really want to read but otherwise don’t have time to. Reading is not defined by a quantity. It’s not “you have to read ten books a year minimum for any of your reading to count”. Maybe those people aren’t avid readers but they’re not claiming to be.

I am an avid reader. I work quite literally almost all day. I go to the shop to work from 7:30 – 5 and then come home, make dinner, eat, and go back to working on the computer until I’m too tired to work anymore. My ONLY designated sit-down-and-read time is a couple of hours on the weekends so I listen to TONS of audiobooks while I’m working. I still know what happened, with a good audiobook I’m probably even more focused than when read paper pages, and I still review them for my blog. If I didn’t post that they were audiobooks, you’d have no idea that was how I read them because I can review a book accurately and entirely through that method. I just don’t see how it’s “not reading”.

I’m also super defensive and in promotion of audiobooks because of how many reads they make up for me each year. I read 133 books in 2018. 102 of them were audiobooks. That means I only had time to sit down and read 31 books that were physical copies and wouldn’t that be a travesty if I limited myself to only 31 books instead of 133 if “audiobooks weren’t books”?

I think almost all of us are in acknowledgement that audiobooks ARE books, even if we don’t all like or use them. Listening to an audiobook makes the story no less absorbed and especially depending on the best method of learning for a person, it can even make a story better absorbed. It’s like arguing a fact so I’ll stop arguing, but man, I was consumed with rage by that thought and you got a good rant out of it!


I (hopefully) think we can all agree here! So tell me instead what your favorite audiobook is because I’m always in need of more!!

Top Ten Tuesday – May 14, 2019: Book-to-Screen | Dare I Say It? The Movie/Show Was Better

TOP TEN TUESDAY
May 14, 2019

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, formerly hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader GirlThis week’s topic was Book-to-Screen Freebie so I’m sharing my favorites that I think are — dare I say it? — better than the books!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday but hey, I’m trying to get back into the blogging groove. It’s something I miss doing and I really liked the topic this week!

DARE I SAY IT? THE MOVIE/TV SHOW WAS BETTER

1.THE PRINCESS BRIDE (MOVIE) | The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies from my childhood (and my whole adult life as well) and I didn’t read the book until I was an adult. I loved how closely the movie follows the book for the most part but I think the movie does a fantastic job of capturing the fantastical elements along with perfectly timed comedy and subtle (and not-so-subtle) jokes. The cast of the movie is just too perfect, plus nostalgia and the movie for me will always be better than the book.


2. THE MAGICIANS (TV SHOW) | I actually really enjoyed The Magicians as a book series but I just fell in love with the TV show. The actors are just so enjoyable, Quentin is more tolerable, and well, I still hate Alice no matter what (maybe even more in the TV show…) but I love how the SyFy adaptation ended up straying from the books and becoming its own thing. It opened even more doors for this story to continue, add more characters, and find new ways to incorporate this story line. Things from the books still pop up in new and fun ways so it’s still fun as a reader to see them continue to be combined but in unique fashions!


3. DEXTER (TV SHOW) | I watched the TV show before I read the first Dexter book and the show was just so much better. Michael C. Hall is the perfect Dexter and such a great actor in this series. I loved how the show adapted the book and how the actors really made this concept into such a great show. I never ended up continuing my reading of the series because the show was so much better and I finally finished binge-watching this year!


4. THE NOTEBOOK (MOVIE) | This was another book that I didn’t read until after I saw the movie and I enjoyed the movie so much more! The actors just have so much chemistry and I liked how the movie organized the timelines a little bit differently. I just loved how the movie felt and brought this story to life! The book was still very good but the actors really made this what it is.


5. THE PRINCESS DIARIES (MOVIE) | Yet another series that I didn’t start until after I saw the movie! The movie actually changes quite a lot, from location to parents to basically the entire plot, but I actually liked how it updated it a bit for the times since the book was written (although now even the movie is outdated at this point) and I kind of liked the changes it made. The book was still enjoyable and I’m still working my way through this series, but head-to-head challenge? I think the movie wins out for me, just slightly.


6. GAME OF THRONES (TV SHOW) | Don’t get me wrong, I loved A Song of Ice and Fire… but the TV show is giving us an ending when we’ve been waiting for YEARS to even get a continuation of the series as the sixth book. The books left us in a TERRIBLE spot that until the TV show, we were just left waiting to see what the heck happened to our favorite characters. Plus, the TV show took me two weeks to binge watch versus 8 months to “binge read” the books. (If I really wanted to binge read them now, I’d do it on audio and be done in less than two weeks but I was taking my time when I first read them). The show gives us clarity on why characters like Davos are important and have POV chapters (which he’s way more enjoyable on the show than the books) and the TV show also really helped me when reading the books so I could put faces to the many names of the many characters. I love them both, but the show is here now soooo….


7. AMERICAN GODS (TV SHOW) | I’ll admit it. I had a little bit of a hard time getting into AMERICAN GODS when I read the book. I didn’t know how things would come together and it kind of took me a little bit to get a grasp on it. Once I got into it, I was loving it! Knowing what I know (and forgetting what I knew), the TV makes for a more enjoyable experience for me and I was already loving the characters and story before the show even began. I also really love all of the actors and the imagery in the show is stunning.


8. TRUE BLOOD (TV SHOW) | I actually read quite a few of the Sookie Steakhouse books (after watching the show…) but I just enjoyed the show so much more. I felt like the show was a little darker, more intense, and I enjoyed all of the actors……. except for ya know, two of the main characters (Sookie and Bill. Sorry not sorry). I also liked how this show took some liberties and kept pieces and concepts from the books but kind of made them better. I never did finish the TV series but it’s been so long at this point I don’t know if I could pick up where I left off.


9. SLEEPY HOLLOW (TV SHOW) |  Sure, the TV adaptation of THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW was totally different but I LOVED it. Well, for a while. I didn’t even watch the last season because things got stupid and lost their charm. I thought Tom Mison was just darling as an Ichabod Crane transported to modern day America and the history + paranormal was just so much fun!


10. YOU (TV SHOW) | This one is kind of a toss-up, but I really liked seeing this story brought to the screen and seeing a different side of things! It was fun seeing people watch the show who haven’t read the books and didn’t know how creepy Joe really was, as well as getting everyone’s opinions of Beck. I actually found her less annoying in the show but people still thought she was stupid so that’s… good? It was just really fun to see this one adapted and I’m curious to see if/when they come back with the next season, where that will go since the first season covered all of book one! I did enjoy YOU as a book quite a bit (especially the narrator for the audiobook) but the show helped keep things on track whereas I felt the book kind of just strayed into long narratives at times.


Which book-to-screen adaptations have you enjoyed as much as or more than the books? Any of these that you agree with?

The Importance of Re-Reading

I’ve always been a big re-reader, visiting my favorite books over and over again. It started way back in the day when I didn’t know where or how to find new books so I just ended up reading Harry Potter over and over and once I discovered Twilight, that was the next series binge re-read on a constant repeat. If I love something, I tend to make sure I revisit it multiple times, from books to movies to TV shows… and hey, we’ll even throw foods and desserts in there because when the “usual” is amazing, why bother straying?

Re-reading has always been really important to me, and the more books I read, the more important it feels to keep going back to the ones that I enjoyed so much! Over the years, I’ve learned how much I take away from re-reading and how much I enjoy it in so many ways.

My recent re-reads!

RE-READING REFRESHES MY LONG-TERM MEMORY BRAIN

My brain is very much a long-term memory brain! I still remember phone numbers and addresses from my friends in elementary school. I once memorized 200 digits of pi for extra credit sophomore year of high school. If I repeat something enough, it sticks in my brain and it sticks HARD. If I read a book once, sure I’ll remember what it was about. Some excellent twists or points or characters might stick in my brain. But I know from personal experience, the more I repeat reading (and same goes for watching), the more I can stick things to my memory in clear, precise detail!

I had an old co-worker who would watch a TV show once and then relay half the episode to me the next day. I had trouble recalling what even happened on the episode until he reminded me! But I can recite my favorite movies to you all the way through, getting quotes and inflection exactly right because I’ve repeated them so many times. The same goes for reading, especially when I’m listening to audiobooks! I’ve listened to THE SCORPIO RACES six or seven times now and I can remember exact lines from the book in the narrators’ voices. Not only do I remember specific details, I actually can recite things with the audiobook too! There’s no way I could remember quotes without reading them (or listening to them) multiple times.

Re-reading is also SO helpful when I need to refresh my memory on a series! Before I started KING OF SCARS, I re-read all of The Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology! I had already read through the Shadow and Bone trilogy three times and Six of Crows twice but I wanted to read them again to get a better focus for the characters in KING OF SCARS and I knew I had forgotten SO much in just a couple of years. It was so helpful to read them all over again and remember specifically what happened, committing all those details to memory again!

RE-READING GIVES ME MORE TIME WITH MY FAVORITES

Who doesn’t like to spend time with their favorite things? I can’t imagine reading a favorite book only once and never again. Sure, I’ve got a huge case of FOMO with all those books still on my TBR but if I know I loved a book so much, I simply HAVE to go back and read it again. I know there’s a reason I enjoyed it so much and I want to have that experience again, even if it’s not exactly the same as when I first read it (since sometimes nothing is ever the same as the first time)! I love the feelings that these special stories give me and I love being able to see new things about a book or character each time I read it! Sometimes I forget about something until I read it again, or I’ll realize something new about a relationship or a small Easter egg I never noticed before. There’s always something new to discover and see how much an author put into their work!

RE-READING IS A GUARANTEE TO ENJOY MY NEXT READ

Sometimes I go through a streak of books that I don’t have strong feelings for or haven’t enjoyed. Picking up an old favorite is a guarantee that I’ll enjoy what I’m reading and since it’s usually a series that I’m re-reading so I have a few amazing reads all in a row!

IT’S A GREAT BREAK FROM A FULL-FOCUS READ

Even if I’ve only read a book once before, a re-read lets me multi-task a little bit more and I don’t have to focus quite as much. Since I’m usually re-reading via audiobook, I can focus a little less on the book and a little more on work or whatever the task is at hand, still being able to read and follow the story but not having to discover a new world or meet new characters. My brain gets to relax just a little bit and I don’t have to focus on a brand-new read.


Do you do a lot of re-reading? Do you only re-read for series preparation or do you read your favorites over and over?

Cover Love | Kasie West Contemporaries

Every time Kasie West has a new contemporary release, I’m pretty much guaranteed to love the cover. I don’t always love people on covers but these are always so fun and adorable, from the colors to the font to the backgrounds! Sometimes the outfits or settings aren’t 100% accurate to the story (like a tomboy in a dress — I’m looking at you, ON THE FENCE) but I love them no matter what.

If you haven’t seen all of the cuteness that are Kasie West covers, here are all of her contemporary novels for your eyes to behold! (And yes, I’ve read them all and I recommend them all too…)

The Distance Between Us    

    

    

I love how each cover is different but they all still match! Some have the same font/typography and others different, but I love how even when they’re published by different publishers (I think swapping back and forth between Harper and Scholastic), that they all still look amazing together! Each cover just really captures the feel of the book and you know exactly what you’re in for here.

Since these are contemporary romances, each book features the couple of the book within its various setting, which usually applies to the book. Sometimes it’s directly relating to the book (BY YOUR SIDE with the books, LOVE, LIFE, AND THE LIST with the art, LISTEN TO YOUR HEART on a lake) and other times I still love the cover but it strays a little too much (FAME, FATE, AND THE FIRST KISS with the car? I’m don’t think a car was like that in the book…).

I can’t believe how many books Kasie West has published and as of today, there are still MORE to be released in the near future!

MAYBE THIS TIME releases in July of this year and GASP! It’s the first contemporary cover of Kasie West’s that doesn’t have the couple on the cover, just the leading lady! Does this mean there are multiple guys? Or is it more of a girl power book? Or is it just a choice for the new cover direction? Whatever the reason, I’m still loving the bright colors, cover model, and cute typography! Goodreads | Amazon

THE SUN, THE MOON, AND THE TRUTH is currently noted as a 2020 book but has yet to be attached to a publisher. I think I actually heard about this book before MAYBE THIS TIME (which I’m now singing in my head by the way…) but it still doesn’t have any publishing info. I’m actually really surprised since Kasie West seems to have two firm homes at Harper and at Scholastic. I would think one of those publishing houses would have grabbed that book up, but as anything in the publishing world, I’m sure there’s more to the story right now than we know.


Which Kasie West contemporary cover is your favorite? I really love the brightness of LISTEN TO YOUR HEART and the colors of the cover and colors of the spine of LOVE, LIFE, AND THE LIST!

6 Books on my January TBR

January is halfway over already but there were so many books being published this month on my reading list! I don’t set a “to-be-read” list for myself each month (aka “TBR”) because I’m such a mood reader, but I do like to keep track on Goodreads when all of my anticipated books come out so I can try to read them around their pub date, if possible!

Today I wanted to share with you some books that are still on my January 2019 TBR and a few I’ve read already!

6 BOOKS ON MY JANUARY TBR

      

THE GIRL KING by Mimi Yu | I picked up an ARC of THE GIRL KING at ALA this summer but haven’t made it around to it yet. I’ve been waiting to see the reviews for it because the book sounds interesting but I’ve also been shying away from some YA fantasy if I don’t know the authors. I’ve gotten fairly picky and have put a few other YA fantasy books down because they just didn’t feel any different from others I’ve read before.

FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN by Emma Mills | I received an ARC of FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN from Macmillan publishers and I keep hearing such good things bout Emma Mills’ books! I’ve only read FIRST & THEN of hers so far and it was enjoyable but I didn’t super love it, so I haven’t gotten around to reading a lot of her other books yet, plus nothing else she’s published is available on audio, which is how I read 75% of my books.

THE VANISHING STAIR by Maureen Johnson | I read the first book in this series, TRULY DEVIOUS, last year and was very interest by it! I didn’t realize that it was a series so I was kind of bummed and surprised, but fortunately I requested this one on audio from Harper and I’m interested in continuing the story!

      

CIRCLE OF SHADOWS by Evelyn Skye | I absolutely loved Evelyn’s Skye’s debut series with THE CROWN’S GAME and I’m so excited to read a new book from her! I can’t wait to see what CIRCLE OF SHADOWS has in store! I got this one on audio from Harper as well and I’m excited to listen to it!

A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY by Brigid Kemmerer | I’ve seen so many glowing reviews for this book and so I started reading it the other weekend! It’s a really interesting concept so far with its Beauty and the Beast adaptation with a modern twist, but still keeping that fantasy world there.

KING OF SCARS by Leigh Bardugo | And of course, there’s the highly-anticipated KING OF SCARS! I’ve been waiting for this book ever since it was announced (maybe even before then haha!) and it will be something I pick up the day that it’s released!

3 JANUARY BOOKS I’VE ALREADY READ

      

UNDYING by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner | I absolutely loved UNEARTHED, the first book in this series, when I read it last year so I was dying for UNDYING (no pun intended)! I actually didn’t know that it was only a two-book series so I wasn’t ready for the way it ended. I was actually hoping for a little bit more space-action so that was a little bit of a bummer but it was still interesting!

THE WICKED KING by Holly Black | I had to read THE WICKED KING on its release day, naturally! I had similar feelings to THE CRUEL PRINCE, where it was enjoyable with a lot of great plotting and planning but I still didn’t quite love it.

99 PERCENT MINE by Sally Thorne | THE HATING GAME was one of my favorite books in 2017 (I read it in 2017, published in 2016) so I was dyingggg for more from Sally Thorne! Sadly, I didn’t connect with 99 PERCENT MINE much at all. The more I think on it, the worse I feel about it, which is even more of a bummer.


Which January books are you excited to read? Are any of these on your TBR, or have you read any on my list?

(I bet you’ve already read THE WICKED KING, right?) 

End of Year Book Survey | 2018

One of my favorite bloggers (and people. She’s a gem!), Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner, hosts a wonderful thing called the End of Year Book Survey. I had an absolute blast completing the survey for 20122013, 2014, 20152016, and 2017 so I was excited to hop on board for the 2018 END OF YEAR BOOK SURVEY!

As usual, all links will take you to my reviews for these books so if you see something you’re curious about, check out my reviews!

 

2018 READING STATS

Number Of Books You Read: 133
Number of Re-Reads: 22
Genre You Read The Most From: Hmmm I’m guessing fantasy!

best-YA-books-2014

  1. Best Book You Read In 2018? The books in the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown! Specifically MORNING STAR
  2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Probably IN THE AFTERLIGHT… I had high hopes for the rest of The Darkest Minds series but they fell so flat!
  3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? SADIE by Courtney Summers! It was so powerful and I had to finish it in one sitting.
  4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? Hmmm, probably RED RISING! 
  5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018? Series: I binge read so many! Probably the October Daye series. Sequel: GOLDEN SON! MORNING STAR! Series Ender: MORNING STAR by Pierce Brown
  6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018? Has to be Seanan McGuire! I binge read two of her series this year and loved them both!
  7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? Hmmm probably THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS. I haven’t been reading a lot of “serious” books lately and it gave me a lot of feels!
  8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? MORNING STAR… repeating things but it’s true! They’re so good! 
  9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year? Well I do have my annual re-reads, but I don’t think those should count. Hmmm maybe re-reading the Red Rising series? Or re-reading FOUNDRYSIDE before the next book? I’m not sure, actually! 
  10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018? BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY by Seanan McGuire. Those colors!
  11. Most memorable character of 2018? Mia Corvere from NEVERNIGHT!
  12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018? THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS! It was so lovely.
  13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2018? I guess also THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS!
  14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read? NEVERNIGHT and THE BONE SEASON!
  15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018? Eh, I don’t keep track of quotes.
  16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018? EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire (170), KINGDOM OF ASH by Sarah J. Maas (992)
  17. Book That Shocked You The Most: Hmmmm. GOLDEN SON and MORNING STAR! Those twists!
  18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!): Mia and Don Tric. Sigh.
  19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year: Darrow and Sevro/Sevro and Ragnar from the Red Rising series! 
  20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: NEVERNIGHT by Jay Kristoff
  21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.: The October Daye series!
  22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018? Hmmm can I keep Thomas from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series since ESCAPING FROM HOUDINI was a new book? 
  23. Best 2018 debut you read? THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS
  24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? Red Rising, FOUNDRYSIDE
  25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? UNDEAD GIRL GANG!
  26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018? THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS
  27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? I think FOUNDRYSIDE. 
  28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? I guess SADIE? 
  29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018? Ooh that’s a difficult one! SKY IN THE DEEP? SCYTHE? UNDEAD GIRL GANG?
  30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? THE BOYFRIEND BRACKET. It was just… not good. 

 

book-blogging

    1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018? This is hard! I can’t remember who was new as of 2018.
    2. Favorite post you wrote in 2018? My Stranger Things recommendation guide!
    3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2018? It’s a recent one, but I loved my photo of STRANGE THE DREAMER and MUSE OF NIGHTMARES! 

 

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4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)? I had a blast at ALA Annual in New Orleans as well as BEA/Book Con in NYC!
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018? Does candle work count? Because getting more candles into bookstores was very awesome! Also being in the acknowledgements of ESCAPING FROM HOUDINI was amazing!
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? Probably just keeping up with the blog this year! I really struggled with carving out time for it but I’m trying!
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? Out of any year published: If You Liked… Anna and the French Kiss | Published this year: Review of NEVER FADE by Alexandra Bracken

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? Also my Stranger Things recommendation post! I feel like it barely got any views and I worked so hard on it!
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? I loved finding new bookstores in my area! Harvey’s Tales just opened in Geneva, IL and I found a used bookstore in Batavia!
10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? Just the Goodreads annual challenge! I completed my goal of 100 and went on to finish 133.

looking-ahead-books-2015

  1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019? Hmmm I’m not sure! I did get to some older books and I intentionally put off GODSGRAVE to wait a little bit longer until book three is coming out. I do need to catch up on a lot of ARCs.
  2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)? KING OF SCARS!
  3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? I don’t even know, TBH. I haven’t been reading a lot of debuts unless someone else has read them first. I just have so many things to read and haven’t even been thinking forward like that.
  4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019? Hmmmm. The Ronan Trilogy? Is that coming out in 2019? 
  5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019? Just to keep on blogging! I want to get back to regular reviews and come up with other unique posts like I used to. I’m trying!
  6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable): I haven’t read many 2019 books yet! The one I did read I didn’t love. Oops. 

Another big thanks to Jamie for organizing this survey! I always have so much fun with it every year and I am SO excited for what 2019 has in store for me!

Mini-Review: Look Alive Twenty-Five by Janet Evanovich

Mini-Review: Look Alive Twenty-Five by Janet EvanovichTitle: Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum #25) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: November 13, 2018 by Penguin
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Adult, Mystery/Thriller, Cozy Mystery
Date Completed: December 5, 2018
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Related Posts: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13), Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5), Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14), , Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15), Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether, Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5), Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top-Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1)

Stephanie Plum faces the toughest puzzle of her career in the twenty-fifth entry in Janet Evanovich's #1 New York Times bestselling series.

There's nothing like a good deli and the Red River Deli in Trenton is one of the best. World famous for its pastrami, cole slaw and for its disappearing managers. Over the last month, three have vanished from the face of the earth, the only clue in each case is one shoe that's been left behind. The police are baffled. Lula is convinced that it's a case of alien abduction. Whatever it is, they'd better figure out what's going on before they lose their new manager, Ms. Stephanie Plum.

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This was one of the more enjoyable story lines in the series without anything too wacky or crazy! In several of the more recent books, the plots just get too silly (especially anything involving animals), but LOOK ALIVE TWENTY-FIVE was one of the more grounded ones for me. I mean, I know they’re supposed to be a little silly and a whole lot of fun, but I can’t stand when monkeys start acting human-like, etc. I always love the wacky antics that these characters get up to on their own and this was one of the better Stephanie Plum reads for me!

I actually liked the diner aspect, which I didn’t think I would when it was first introduced. It allowed the characters to be silly without going way far over the top and added a fun, new atmosphere. It was fun to see where things went with this new atmosphere and added a new spin on the character relationships.

I’ve abandoned hope of a romance going anywhere (that seems to be the theme with these cozy mystery series — just draw things out as long as possible) so I just sit back and enjoy the show. Each time Stephanie moves forward with Morelli, she moves right back in the next book. At least the is one of the love triangles I actually kind of enjoy since I love Ranger (even if I don’t want Stephanie to mix and match love interests).

I also just love listening to these audiobooks. They’re so easy and fun and comfortable. Each one is an easy go-to read for me!

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Kept Me Hooked On: The Stephanie Plum series. Things do get a bit too silly for me at times, but then we have books like this one where it comes back to a more normal — but still fun — base. It’s what helps keep me interested in the series.
Left Me Wanting More: Commitment. I always wish for more commitment Stephanie/Morelli department. I’ll keep hoping even though it may never happen.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

Let’s be honest, if you’re checking out a review for Stephanie Plum #25, you’re already into the series! Might as well continue and enjoy, and no matter what, they’re all quick reads!

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BOOKS LIKE LOOK ALIVE TWENTY-FIVE

          

Statistics Survey: The Book Addict’s Guide in 2018

Five years ago, Andi (Andi’s ABCs) and I got to talking about how much we love the end-of-the-year surveys (and really all of the other surveys) that go around, obviously Jamie’s Annual End of the Year Survey (The Perpetual Page Turner) being one of our favorites! After a discussion of our love of stats and looking back on our year in reading through statistics, we decided to devise a survey to help us with our quest and the STATISTICS SURVEY was born!

Andi and I didn’t officially host another Stats Survey this year, but it’s something I’ve been enjoying doing every year and I love seeing my year in stats! This was a weird year for me, focusing more on candles and less on blogging, but I did still do a lot of reading. In fact, it was actually my biggest year in reading yet, being able to listen to so many audiobooks while I worked!

Obsessed with your bookish stats like we are? Feel free to join in and fill out your own year in stats!

2018 READING YEAR IN REVIEW


NumberOf

  • Number of books read…
    • Total: 133
    • Under 250 pages (not including novellas): 4
    • Between 400-449 pages: 22
    • Between 450-499 pages: 5
    • Over 500 pages: 17
    • Over 1000 pages: 0
  • Number of…
    • Audiobooks: 108
    • Re-reads: 22
    • DNFs (did not finish): 4
  • Number of books rated…
    • Five Stars: 12 (not including re-reads)
    • One/Two Stars: 4
  • Number of authors met in 2018: I have no idea! I met a bunch at BEA/BookCon but also went to events like Laini Taylor, Marissa Meyer, and Pierce Brown!
  • Number of book events attended in 2018: A whole bunch! See above.
  • Number of books you read in one day: 40
  • Number of books that made you cry: I’m not sure! Not that many.
  • Number of 2019 books you have on pre-order: 4

BytheBooks

  • Book read furthest away from home (vacation reads?): I read NEVERNIGHT in NYC!
  • Book that took you the longest to read: It WOULD have been TOWER OF DAWN, but I ended up DNFing it. (Not at all sorry.)
  • Book that you personally connected with the most: The Red Rising series! UGHH it was so good!!!
  • Book that made you love the villain:  I’ll say THE BONE SEASON! Technically not the villain, but he’s not supposed to be a hero either.
  • Book you said you’d come back to but still haven’t picked up again: THE WICKED KING. I want to hold out for the audiobook!
  • Book you read waaaay before it’s publication date: I read FOE and ESCAPING FROM HOUDINI in June and they came out in Sept,
  • Book you read on your birthday: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, as usual!
  • Book with a character who shares your name: I don’t know if there was one, but the main character from EVERLESS shared my birthday!
  • Book you weren’t entirely truthful about when rating (Fluff up any ratings? Rated even though you didn’t finish?): THE BOYFRIEND BRACKET. I still rated it two stars even though I kind of skimmed the end and it was closer to a DNF. I put time into it though, and had enough feelings to leave a rating.
  • Book you read in 2018 but already want to re-read: The Raven Cycle, again (and again and again). Maybe the Red Rising series!
  • Book you borrowed from a friend a long time ago and still have: I STILL HAVE ANDI’S COPY OF TWIST FROM YEARS AGO, ALL RING THE SHAME BELL
  • Book you wish you could go back and read for the first time again: GOLDEN SON and MORNING STAR. Omg those twists!!!
  • Most books read by one author this year: 15 from Seanan McGuire — the entire October Daye series and Wayward Children series!

ThisThat

  • Happiest & saddest: Happiest: SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA. It had its tough moments for sure, but it was also just so cute and I was so happy for Simon! | Saddest: THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS. It definitely made me cry. Not all in a bad way, but it was emotional for sure!
  • Longest & shortest…
    • By page number: EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire (170), KINGDOM OF ASH by Sarah J. Maas (992)
    • By title: FOE by Iain Reid, THE DARK DESCENT OF ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN by Kiersten White
    • From buying to reading: We’ll choose NEVER FADE by Alexandra Bracken. I’ve had it since 2013. I read several books where I bought or downloaded them that day.
  • Best & worst…
    • Average rating on Goodreads: KINGDOM OF ASH by Sarah J. Maas (best at 4.66 stars with 43,694 ratings), THE BOYFRIEND BRACKET by Kate Evangelista (worst at 3.08 stars with 260 ratings, also one of my least favorites of the year)
    • Books you read/your rating: MORNING STAR (best, I had a couple five-star reads but this was the best of the best), I had a few 2-star ratings but probably THE BOYFRIEND BRACKET. I rated it two stars but kind of skimmed/DNFed too.
    • Series enders: The worst series-ender was probably ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN. Nothing happened…? The best was MORNING STAR.
  • First & last…
    • Reads of 2017: First: PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken | Last: AN UNWANTED GUEST by Shari Lapena
    • Books on your bookcase (1st book on the top left and last book on the bottom right): TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler, A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V.E. Schwab
  • Most disappointing & biggest pleasant surprise: Most disappointing is IN THE AFTERLIGHT, the last book in the Darkest Minds trilogy. I really enjoyed THE DARKEST MINDS when it first came out and the rest of the series was so cliche dystopian. Biggest pleasant surprise was UNDEAD GIRL GANG! I absolutely loved it.
  • Fandom you joined & one you abandoned: I joined the Magicians fandom this year! I read THE MAGICIANS last year, technically, but the second and third books, which I read this year, plus the TV show sealed the deal for me. I abandoned the Sarah J. Maas fandom entirely. I DNFed TOWER OF DAWN and finished KINGDOM OF ASH but I wasn’t happy with it. I don’t have any motivation to read her books anymore.
  • Series you picked up & series you quit: I picked up quite a few series this year and binge read a bunch! Notable mentions that I had huge binge reads with were the October Daye series and the Alex Verus series! Hmmmm series I quit… I don’t think I quit anything that wasn’t just a first-in-a-series, but I did get mad at the In Death series by J.D. Robb. I didn’t like the way rough handling and other things were normalized and it made it hard for me to want to continue. I’ll give it another shot but if that keeps up, I won’t be reading more.
  • Most lenient & harshest ratings: Lenient: THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS by Leigh Bardugo. I gave the short story collection a five star rating but it really didn’t stick with me. It’s Grishaverse and I love it but it wasn’t super amazing for me. Harshest: Hmmm maybe IN THE AFTERLIGHT. I rated it either 2 or 2.5 stars but left it at 2. I stand by that rating but I felt angry about it haha.
  • Most hyped & furthest under the radar that you read: Most hyped was absolutely KINGDOM OF ASH. Under the radar that I actually enjoyed was probably UNDEAD GIRL GANG or the Alex Verus series, at least in my group of the reading community.

GrabBag

  • Book you read that is red: DARK MATTER by Blake Crouch
  • Starts with X, Y, or Z: Lots of W but no X/Y/Z!
  • Book you hugged when you finished it: I didn’t really have any
  • Book you wanted to throw across a room: THE BOYFRIEND BRACKET, IN THE AFTERLIGHT, all of the To All the Boys books (Lara Jean drove me nuts! Yet I loved the movie…)
  • Food you craved while/after reading a certain book: All sorts of cookies and cakes while reading To All the Boys!
  • Book that became an instant go-to recommendation: The Red Rising series.
  • Furthest out of your comfort zone: DEAD WITCH WALKING, probably.
  • Read on a recommendation (that you may not have picked up yourself): The October Daye series
  • Forced yourself to finish: IN THE AFTERLIGHT, I WOKE UP DEAD AT THE MALL
  • Series or author’s works you binged (whether all at once or throughout the year): October Daye, Wayward Children, Alex Verus, Fox & O’Hare, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Raven Cycle re-read, Shadow and Bone re-read, full Mistborn re-read

I skipped the blogging section since I had some really patchy stats this year! I do love keeping up with the blog and still will, but I also like it being more casual and free and less like a “job”. I was so up for it when I wasn’t working on candles all day and now with having less time, it’s still something I want to do but will be much more casual and free!

I felt like I had a really good reading year in 2018! I read a lot more adult and skipped over some YA this year, and I really liked the mix. I had some YA rough patches in which I felt like a lot of the YA books suffered from poor editing and I just wasn’t enjoying them so I switched up the mood. I got a lot of reading done and can’t wait to see what 2019 will be all about!