BIG Birthday Book Haul 2019

Looking at the number of books I bought, my bank account, and my diminishing shelf space, I came to the realization that I have a problem. I mean, I always knew I did. Now, I really know.

The goal moving forward is not buy so many books at once or check out so many from the library and find a good place to donate books I likely won’t read again. Even though I don’t want them anymore, that doesn’t mean I do not care where they end up. I want to give these books to people who will appreciate them.

Regardless, every single book in this haul is one I am excited about.

 

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

vengeful

In case you live under a rock, Vengeful is the sequel to Vicious. I bought Vicious a few months ago when the new cover was released. This is one of the series I’m planning on reading in the next few months.

 

Fierce Like a Firestorm by Lana Popovic

fiercelikeafirestorm

Fierce Like a Firestorm is the sequel to Wicked Like a Wildfire and the concluding novel. It picks up right where the previous novel left off. While the world inside these novels is beautiful, the covers are just as gorgeous. However, Fierce Like a Firestorm looks about 100 pages shorter than Wicked Like a Wildfire. Truthfully, this has me a little worried.

 

Bright We Burn by Kiersten White

brightweburn

Going along with my reading resolutions, I bought Bright We Burn to finish the Conquerors trilogy, the previous two books being And I Darken and Now I Rise. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to finish this series. And I Darken was one of my favorite books the year I read it.

 

The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo box set

grishaboxset

Shadow and Bone

Siege and Storm

Ruin and Rising

This is a series I have wanted to get into for years. I had the Grisha trilogy saved on my both my Amazon wish list and a list of books I wanted to check out from my library at various points. Then, I couldn’t take it anymore. I bit the bullet and bought the box set. Leigh Bardugo is an author I’ve heard so many good things about, yet it’s taken me far too long to finally pick up her books.

 

The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys

The Dream Thieves

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

The Raven King

I know…I planned on checking this series out of the library. Then, life happened and/or I checked out too many books (as is often the case). I didn’t even get to read the first book. I do like paranormal books. Maggie Stiefvater is another author I have known about for years and I want to read her books. And these seem like they might be easy reads for when I’m in the throes of graduate school stress. There is a strong chance I will (hopefully) enjoy The Raven Cycle series.

 

The Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms

Rebel Spring

Gathering Darkness

Frozen Tides

Crystal Storm

Immortal Reign

A similar case to the Grisha trilogy and The Raven Cycle, Falling Kingdoms is a series I was interested in reading for years yet never knew if I wanted to buy it or borrow it. I took a chance buying the Falling Kingdoms series because I like high fantasy, even if the reviews of the later books are not that great. From what I’ve heard from those that have read Falling Kingdoms, this series is best read back to back anyway.

 

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

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The Summer Wives is a historical fiction novel set in dual time periods following the people connected to a murder that took place on an island of wealthy families. Historical mysteries are some of my favorites to read. Also, this beautiful hardcover book, like several others in this haul, were in the 50% off sale at Barnes & Noble.

 

The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White  

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Likely one of my favorite book covers in this haul, The Glass Ocean follows three women in two different time periods with ties to RMS Lusitania, which was sunk by a German U-boat in 1915. Struggling novelist Sarah Blake is looking for her next book idea when she finds a trunk belonging to her great-grandfather, who died on the Lusitania. Enlisting the help of a disgraced former Parliament member, whose family is connected to the tragedy, she finds something that could turn history on its head.

The other storyline is on the Lusitania in 1915. Southern Belle Caroline Telfair Hochstetter is trying to save her marriage while finding herself and resist her attraction to an old friend. Meanwhile, con woman Tess Fairweather is desperate to get out of the game, but she’s gotten herself in way over her head.

 

The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson

thebookshopofyesterdays

The Bookshop of Yesterdays is one of those books that checks off a lot of my boxes in the adult fiction genre. It’s set in a bookstore, there are family secrets involved, and a strong mystery element more on the sad, fluffy side of things. This is one of the books I want to read ASAP—as soon as I clear off the TBR pile I already have, of course.

 

What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi

whattheydontknow

Admittedly, What They Don’t Know was an impulse purchase. I had never heard of it until I saw it on the Barnes & Noble website under the 50% off sale. Told in journal entries, it follows teenaged girls Mellie and Lise. After something horrible happens to Mellie, she withdraws from everyone and faces a life-altering choice on her own. Lise notices the changes in Mellie’s behavior and attempts to reach out to her. But in doing so she risks exposing a secret she wants to protect, even if it could help Mellie.

I read some reviews on What They Don’t Know and found out Mellie’s secret is that she was raped and became pregnant as a result. The only other book I read that covered such an important topic was Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston. If you ask me, more books need to talk about things like this.

 

Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

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A book I previously checked out from the library and renewed twice but still didn’t get around to reading (because I’m a heathen), Broken Things is a young adult mystery novel. It follows two girls named Mia and Brynn, who were accused of murdering their friend Summer five years ago. The girls were obsessed with the novel The Way into Lovelorn, especially its villain Shadow, so much so fiction blurred into reality. Everyone thinks Brynn and Mia are responsible, particularly because of the manner Summer was killed. But when something once insignificant related to Summer’s murder resurfaces, the surviving former friends are reunited to face a long shadow of memory that has been waiting.

 

The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

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The spin-off to The Darkest Minds trilogy, The Darkest Legacy is set five years later after the final novel. Now seventeen, Suzanne “Zu” Kimura is a spokesperson for the interim government, advocating for the rights of other children like her. But when she is accused of a horrific act, she must go on the run with people she’s uncertain she can trust to clear her name as well as find a way to save those that were once her protectors.

 

Damsel by Elena K. Arnold

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When Ama wakes up in the arms of Prince Emory, she has no memory of being rescued by him or being held captive in a dragon’s lair. She is one in a long of damsels rescued by a crown prince from a dragon and brought back to his kingdom as his bride. Ama is all on board for being a princess, but once she gets the court, she realizes there is more to the tradition of dragons and damsels than anyone knows. I love novels that turn fairy tale tropes on their heads.

 

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

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Sisters Serina and Nomi live in a world where women have no rights. Serina was groomed to be a Grace, the image of a perfect woman to sit beside the prince on his throne. Then, her headstrong younger sister Nomi catches the eye of the heir. After failing to protect a dangerous secret, Nomi is forced into a position she never wanted while Serina is sent to an island where she must fight to the death to survive.

 

A Heart in the Body in the World by Deb Caletti

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In the spirit of Forest Gump, Annabelle runs from Seattle to Washington D.C. in an attempt to outrun the tragedy of her past and the person that haunts her. Accompanied by her grandfather in his RV and her two friends, her cross-country run captures media attention, along with various distractions. Despite the overwhelming support, Annabelle cannot escape the feelings of shame and guilt of what happened back home. Slowly, she leaves the past behind her as she runs to her destination, as well as what lies ahead.

 

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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I checked out Morgan Matson’s most popular novel, Since You’ve Been Gone, from the library last summer, but didn’t get around to reading it. When I saw Save the Date on sale from Barnes & Noble, I took a chance. The author’s most recent release, it takes place over the course of a weekend at protagonist Charlie’s older sister’s wedding. With all four of her older siblings under the same roof for the first time in years, Charlie is looking forward to the wedding. Only nothing is going according to plan.

 

How She Died, How I Lived by Mary Crockett

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A year ago, Kyle texted five girls and only one, innocent Jamie, was kind enough to respond. And it got her killed. Now, the four who could have been are grappling with their survivor’s guilt in different ways, but the narrator in particular is stuck between the horrifying past and her anger. When she becomes drawn to Jamie’s boyfriend Charlie, their relationship is haunted by what-ifs as Kyle’s trial goes underway. But how does one learn to live again knowing she could have met the same fate as Jamie?

 

The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

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Brooke Winters comes home one day to find her mother has killed her abusive father. Her dreams of transferring schools and getting away from her dysfunctional family are shattered. Now, she and her siblings are left to fend for themselves. In the year following, she is left with the aftermath of the truth of her family and if what her mother did was murder or self-defense—and if it wasn’t wrong.

 

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

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Hag-Seed is a modern-day retelling of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest in a prison. After his production is cancelled by his scheming assistant, artistic director Felix takes a job teaching theater to prisoners at a correctional facility. Comforted by the ghost of his daughter Miranda—twelve years dead—Felix uses the play the prisoners put on to get revenge on those who cheated him out of his career. But another unexpected plot twist happens when his ghost daughter wants to be a part of the prisoners’ production.

 

Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin

lavinia

Along with Hag-Seed, I found Lavinia inside a used bookstore a block away from a library I went to for a job interview. Besides being in perfect condition and at a cheap price, something about Lavinia called to me.

Much like Helen of Troy, Lavinia, princess of Latium, started a war. Unlike Helen of Troy, Lavinia started a war because she wouldn’t be given or taken by a man she didn’t want. Though being told by a soothsayer she is destined to marry a great hero and be the mother of a mighty dynasty, Lavinia’s parents want her to marry someone else. Her chance arrives in the form of warships sailing into the mouth of Tiber and she takes the opportunity to finally put her destiny into her own hands.

 

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

theastonishingcolorofafternewbook

The only book in this entire haul I have read. The Astonishing Color of After was one of my favorite books of 2018, so I’m glad I finally have a copy (even though I probably shouldn’t have spent the money on it yet). It follows grief-stricken Leigh after her mother commits suicide. Believing her mother turned into a bird, she goes to Taiwan to meet her estranged maternal grandparents and find the bird. While there, she uncovers secrets of her mother’s past and learns how those revelations can help her move forward.

 

Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo box set

Six of Crows

Crooked Kingdom  

This Six of Crows box set was an impulse buy and not. It’s a series I’ve wanted to get into for a while. All I know about it is that it follows six people on a heist set in the same world as the Grisha trilogy. Lots of people seem to love these books. Which only makes me more cautious going into the Six of Crows duology with all this hype around it. I’m pretty confident I will at least like it. Besides, the covers are gorgeous.

 

Have you read any of these books and what did you think of them?

2019 Reading Wrap Up #1 (1/22/19)

I go back to school this week and I’m excited for the new semester. Although, I admit, I did enjoy the break. It allowed me time to recharge my brain batteries and have a lot of free reading time.

I took advantage of the time off to visit my local library. I have four books left from the library that you will likely see in my next reading wrap up in two weeks (hopefully). After that, I will be preoccupied with piles of schoolwork. Plus, it’s starting to snow and there are books at home I want to read.

Over my winter break, I read:

 

Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden (library book)

4.75 stars

praisesongforthebutterflieslibrarybook

I found Praise Song for the Butterflies while browsing the new additions shelf at my library. I almost did an individual review on this book, but it messed with my emotions so much I had no idea how I could write it.

Praise Song for the Butterflies is set in West Africa. Abeo Kata is the nine-year-old daughter of a government worker living a life of luxury until her father falls on hard times. Taking his mother’s advice, her father takes her to a religious shrine, hoping the sacrifice of his daughter to the gods will improve the family’s fortune. For fifteen years, Abeo endures horrible physical, sexual, and psychological abuse as a shrine slave. When a heartbreaking tragedy finally pushes her over the edge, Abeo has to find her way back into herself after being rescued and learn to trust and love others again.

The writing in Praise Song for the Butterflies was beautiful. Bernice L. McFadden doesn’t shy away from the harsh reality of shrine slavery and the brutality these women experience on a daily basis, but she doesn’t get too graphic. As for the characters, I felt they were realistic, yet I didn’t connect with any of them. Most made me angry, like Abeo’s parents and her grandmother. In fact, I think I disliked them more than the men at the shrine abusing Abeo and the other shrine slaves. There was a twist in the story that I saw coming, but they also revealed it too early. Despite the book being short, the pacing dragged in the beginning and the end for longer than it needed to.

I wanted to give Praise Song for the Butterflies 5 stars. Sadly, I still found some problems with it that bothered me.

 

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (library book)

4.5 stars

iamthemessengerlibrarybook

After buying Bridge of Clay a few months back, it didn’t feel right to read it without having read Markus Zusak’s other well-known, though not as beloved, work, I Am the Messenger. And I am very glad I did.

Ed Kennedy is a wise-cracking but good-natured underage cab driver with a coffee-drinking dog named the Doorman and an unrequited crush on his best friend Audrey. After inadvertently stopping a bank robbery, he gets playing cards in the mail that lead him on various missions of helping and occasionally hurting others by an enigmatic mastermind. As he delivers each message, the identity of the person behind Ed’s mission remains a mystery.

I really, really liked I Am the Messenger. The main reason I would say is Ed himself. He’s a wise-ass, but he’s not mean about it. He has a good heart and a strong conscience. There are certain situations in the novel that he could have easily backed out of, but he chose not to, even if he was potentially in danger. He tends to see the good in most people, which made me hate his verbally abusive, spiteful mother very much. The best part was watching Ed grow as a person. He was already good; he was just feeling a little lost.

Ed and his mission carried the novel. I liked his friends, though Audrey got on my nerves for most of it. It might be my loneliness talking, but if a guy like Ed Kennedy wanted to date me, I would absolutely give him a chance. Eventually, she grew on me, like Ed’s other friends did. Lastly, I liked the overall message of I Am the Messenger.

 

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson (library book)

3.5 stars

strandsofbronzeandgoldlibrarybook

Strands of Bronze and Gold is a reimaging of the fairy tale Bluebeard set in 1855 Mississippi. After the death of her father, seventeen-year-old Sophia is sent from Boston to Mississippi to live with her godfather Monsieur Bernard. Though he showers her with expensive gifts and attention, as she explores his beautiful home, Sophia discovers dark secrets of her godfather’s past hidden within the abbey.

Strands of Bronze and Gold is a book I have wanted to read for years. Only it’s been out of print for so long, you can hardly find it anywhere anymore, even on Amazon. The library came to my rescue. Turns out, while I did enjoy the book, I did not love it as much as I thought I would.

Sophia is a likeable protagonist. She doesn’t stick her head in the sand; she knows Bernard’s abusive behavior towards her is wrong and she looks for various ways to get out of the situation. The mystery was solid, with a fantasy element woven through. However, at times I was bored, even though it was a fast read.

 

Kiss Me in Paris by Catherine Rider (library book)

3.75 stars

kissmeinparislibrarybook

In the vein of The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, Kiss Me in Paris follows two people, Serena and Jean-Luc, who meet by chance in Paris and spend a whole day together. Serena is on a mission to make a scrapbook for her mother and she’s on a tight schedule. But easygoing Jean-Luc intends to show her a different kind of Paris, leading her on a path she never intended to take on this vacation.

Kiss Me in Paris is one of the cutest books I’ve ever read. It was overly dramatic sometimes but fun and fluffy. While you could argue the relationship in this story is sort of insta-love, it didn’t really bother me. It was also compulsively readable and addictive; when I wasn’t reading it, I wanted to. Highly recommend Kiss Me in Paris if you are looking for something cute and easy to fly through.

 

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chis Riddell (library book)

3 stars

thesleeperandthespindlelibrarybook

Despite owning his novel American Gods, The Sleeper and the Spindle is technically my first read by Neil Gaiman. It is a fairy tale that turns the popular tropes on their heads. The queen saves the princess and does her own thing. There is no prince or knight on a horse coming to save them. It was even written like a fairy tale. And the illustrations in this graphic novel were simply gorgeous.

While I read The Sleeper and the Spindle in less than a day, I admit I was not as blown away by it as I wanted to be. It was entertaining and had a worthy moral to it, yet I left it wanting more. Also, the plot was resolved a little too quickly, I think. Sadly, The Sleeper and the Spindle was a middle-of-the-road novel for me.

 

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (library book)

2.75 stars

thenearwitchlibrarybook

The Near Witch is my second book I’ve read by Victoria Schwab (the first being This Savage Song) and it was her debut novel. And it is a product of its time.

The Near Witch is set in a small village where children are going missing after a strange appears in the middle of the night. While magic is known in this world, it is feared and anyone that practices it is looked down upon. The main character, Lexi, is feisty, curious, and determined to get answers, even though her uncle wants her to be a good girl and stay put.

I hate to admit it, but I had to push myself to read The Near Witch. While I liked Lexi’s thirsty curiosity and the atmospheric writing, that was all that carried the book. The secondary characters, including Cole, had little to no depth in their development. The magic system was unclear. Despite being roughly 250 pages, the plot seemed to drag and took forever to resolve. Unfortunately, after a certain point, I stopped being entertained and kept reading hoping things would get better.

To be fair, given how old the novel is and it is a successful author’s debut, I went into The Near Witch with relatively low expectations. Only I was expecting more of a 3 star rating than a 2 star.

 

The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany (library book)

1 star

thekingofelflandsdaughterlibrarybook

I checked out The King of Elfland’s Daughter from the library after seeing it on a list of “best fantasy novels ever” while doing research for one of my final projects last semester. It follows a young lord who, at the orders of his father, marries the daughter of the King of Elfland so the people of their kingdom might have a future ruler that practices magic.

I want to ask the person who wrote that list—and Neil Gaiman, who wrote the introduction—how this was possibly a good book.

Plot? What is plot? Characters? What are those? Dialogue? That’s a thing? This book was basically one long description after another and the characters were just part of the set without any real development or depth to them. I can’t remember the last time I was so bored reading a book.

 

What have you been reading so far in 2019?

 

Why I Love Reading (Top 5 Tuesday)

I’m doing something different with this week’s Top 5 Tuesday. I managed to come up with five reasons, but saying words simply like “escapism” and “imagination” didn’t feel right, even if they are true. So, I’m just going with it.

Why do I love reading? Honestly, I never gave much thought to it.

Reading is something that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My dad read to me before bed every night when I was little. Then, I started reading on my own.

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I do remember there were certain periods of my life I was not reading much. I was into computer games and I liked being outside on my swing set. As I entered middle school, books became my constant companions, mainly because I didn’t have a lot of friends.

            While I was picked on, especially for liking books so much, for the most part people were nice to me or they ignored me. I kept to myself. I didn’t try so hard to get in with the “It” crowd. Still, I wasn’t exactly getting invited to birthday parties or to hang out after school.

In a way, I’m sure I had it easier than a lot of other kids in high school. I didn’t dread going to school out of fear of getting harassed daily. I tried extracurriculars, mainly so it would look good on college applications and to get my mother off my case about not having a social life. But everything I joined—book club, SADD, Youth Court—all got taken away so the budget could favor the football team.

 

I guess I liked people, at least sometimes, but I preferred books. It wasn’t until college that I made real friends who appreciated my love for reading. During that time, reading felt more like fun, mainly since I wasn’t sticking to just one genre of novels anymore.

Books got me through a difficult time in my life. The last two and a half years were rough. Throughout my four years of undergraduate, there was the underlying tension in my family as my mother’s health deteriorated. My friends helped me through those moments where the fear of losing my mom was real and I could distract myself with homework. But after I graduated, the security blanket college provided was gone.

Even though the people that cared were a text or phone call away, my mom’s condition was constantly in my face. For several months after graduation, I was unemployed. Then, the summer I left college, I had my own health scare. Between finding a job, worrying about my mother and managing her various doctor visits and other medical needs, and trying to take care of myself, books got me through it.

Reading books also came through for me when my mom went on hospice towards the end of 2017. For few times each day, I didn’t have to think about what was going on.

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OK—enough sadness.

On a better note, I love reading because it helped me find my passion: writing. When I was eight years old, I read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume and immediately after finishing it, wrote my own “novel.” After that, I couldn’t stop.

My parents said I was spinning stories before I could actually write. Reading books simply encouraged my natural storytelling ability. The ones I read at different stages of my life influenced my writing as well. When I was obsessed with the Sweet Valley books, I wrote about twins, or some “perfect” girl with mediocre problems. When I was obsessed with Meg Cabot books, I wrote about overly dramatic teenaged girls in chick-lit novels.

But none of those kinds of stories “clicked” with me in terms of writing. That didn’t happen until I was fifteen and I read The Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong. I could write about overly dramatic princesses, but only if said princess was a witch or had fallen in love with a vampire.

 

A love of reading led me to be an English major in college. I wrote a play that was performed on stage by my college’s theater my senior year. I started this blog because I love to read books.

In short: I love reading. I love books.

I just do.

 

Christmas/Early Birthday Book Haul

Remember all those books I had on my Christmas wish list? Turns out, only one of them was under the tree. From my dad’s point of view, it makes sense, since I buy myself so many books throughout the year. I got a lot of other nice things, like three Harry Potter Funko pops, new jackets, and Amazon gift cards.

But the best part about Christmas? Having a birthday in January.

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(I fully accept the fact I am greedy.)

There are still a lot of books featured in this haul. Some I bought or received before Christmas, the rest I got with my Amazon gift cards or bought while shopping at Target recently as an early birthday present to myself. And, like always, this will be a long one.

 

Pre-Christmas Books

 

The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst

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On the last day of my recent library temp job, the departments had their annual Christmas cookie crawl. In addition to cookies, the Reading Advisory department was also handing out wrapped advanced reader copies of books the library received from publishers trying to sell their books. I picked the one that read “adult fantasy, nature spirits, and a competition to be queen” written on the label. To my surprise, it was The Deepest Blue, which is by an author, Sarah Beth Durst, and part of a series I have been interested in for a while.

 

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

bonegap

Bone Gap is a book I have wanted to read for years, but I always forgot about. It is a magical realism contemporary novel that is a retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth set in a strange small town.

 

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein

thepearlthief

Code Name Verity is one of my all-time favorite novels. The Pearl Thief is the prequel to that novel. It follows Julie before she was Verity as she investigates a murder and theft her new friends are suspected to be involved in.

 

The Spring Girls by Anna Todd

thespringgirls

If I am being honest, the cover was part of the lure for this book. The Spring Girls is a modern-day retelling of Little Women, following the daughters of a high-ranking solider growing up on an army base. It seems like fun, maybe a little trashy, the kind of book I might save for a reading slump.

 

The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker

therattledbones

Another slight impulse buy, The Rattled Bones is a young adult horror novel following a girl haunted by the visions of a ghost. When she becomes involved in an archeological dig, she uncovers a dark history about her waterfront community and a tragedy that has been kept silent for many, many years.

 

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

salt&storm

Family drama, evil mother, daughter trying to claim her birthright from said evil mother, witches, and a dark, secluded island protected by magic. Salt & Storm checks off a lot of my boxes.

 

Mechanica and Venturess by Betsy Cornwell

Mechanica is a retelling of Cinderella set after she gets her happily ever after. Mechanica is an inventor living with her wicked stepmother and stepsisters until she sneaks out one night to attend the ball. She meets the prince and falls in love. Then, she wonders if it is really what she wanted after all. Venturess is the sequel to Mechanica.

 

Christmas Day

 

The Lost Queen by Signe Pike

thelostqueen

The one book on my Christmas 2018 wish list that I found under the tree, The Lost Queen is set in sixth-century Scotland and tells the story of a queen lost from history, whose twin brother inspired the legend of Merlin. I am glad I have it; the synopsis is fascinating to me and the cover is stunning facing forward on my bookshelves.

 

Amazon Gift Cards

 

Persepolis and Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi

A banned book I have been dying to read for years now, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel memoir. The daughter of Marxists and the great-granddaughter of the country’s last emperor, both volumes cover her life, beginning with her childhood during the Islamic Revolution and leading up to her early adulthood as a university student as the chauvinist government rises to power.

 

Gareth Hinds is a graphic novel artist I happened upon randomly and fell in love with his artwork. From what I have seen on Amazon, he retells classics in graphic novel format, using different color schemes that seem to somehow match the theme of the story. I had to refrain myself from buying so many of his works, but I narrowed it down to:

Beowulf and The Odyssey, two epics I wanted to reread on my own, outside of school. Reading them in graphic novel format made them less daunting.

Poe: stories and poems is probably my favorite graphic novel I bought ever. I had to stop myself from reading it so soon and focus on my library books first.

Romeo and Juliet, I bought this one because I almost borrowed it from my college advisor but felt bad about taking it. I also figured this one would be a good Shakespeare play to read in a different medium.

 

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag

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One of the cutest books I own now, The Witch Boy is a middle grade graphic novel. Aster comes from a magical family where boys are shapeshifters and girls are witches. Only he can’t get a hang of shapeshifting nor can he help looking in on the witch lessons the girls get. When one of the boys in his group goes missing, Aster risks breaking the rules to use the magic he’s learned to help.

 

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

theprinceandthedressmaker

The Prince and the Dressmaker is another graphic novel breaking the gender rules. Prince Sebastian of Paris is looking for a wife, or at least his parents are looking for one for him. While trying to deal with his duties as prince, he has a big secret. By night, he puts on dresses and becomes Lady Crystallia, the glamourous fashion icon. The only other person who knows is his best friend and dressmaker, Frances. But with her own dreams on the line, how much longer can she protect her best friend?

 

Spell on Wheels by Kate Leth, Megan Levens, and Marissa Louise

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Spell on Wheels is one of those books that suddenly popped up on YouTube with everyone talking about it before vanishing again. I wanted to get into graphic novels more and this one appealed to me. It’s about three witches and best friends who go on a road trip of revenge to find the person that stole their spellbook. Plus, it looks like only one volume is out, so I don’t have to get caught up in a series. Except from what I’ve heard, I could be disappointed by that like other people.

 

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

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Besides graphic novels, memoirs and nonfiction are other kinds of work I want to get into. Like Persepolis, Hey, Kiddo is a graphic novel memoir about the author growing up with a drug addict mother. He is raised by his grandparents until he finds information about his mysterious father.

 

Early Birthday Books

 

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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The third and final book in The Dark Artifices trilogy. This will be the year I will read Lord of Shadows back to back with Queen of Air and Darkness. It will happen. Can’t wait.

 

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

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One of the books I originally had on my Christmas wish list, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a historical fiction novel set in dual time periods. In modern-day London, archivist Elodie Winslow finds a woman’s photograph and a sketch inside an old satchel believe to be connected to the events that happened at Birchwood Manor. No one knows what really happened the summer of 1862 besides one woman was murdered, another disappeared, and a man’s life was ruined.

 

Puddin’ by Julie Murphy

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Puddin’ is the companion novel to Dumplin’, which I have not yet read. I haven’t watched the Netflix movie either. I have the book and I will read it before I watch the movie. I just want to read these books for the body positivity and plus-size main characters.

 

The War Outside by Monica Hesse

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Haruko and Margot meet at the high school in Crystal City, a family internment camp in 1944 America for people accused of assisting the enemy. Despite being different in many ways, the girls bond over their shared situation as their families fall apart. But in an atmosphere of fear, their friendship is tested as they struggle to trust anyone, even each other.

 

Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Little White Lies is a young adult contemporary mystery novel set in the American South. Eighteen-year-old Sawyer Taft accepts a six-figure contract from her estranged grandmother to participate in this year’s debutante season. Besides needing the money, she sees it as an opportunity to find out who her father is. But Sawyer gets more than what she bargained for when she makes friends with the other debutantes and discovers her family is not the only one with skeletons in the closet.

 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz is the real life story of Holocaust survivor, Lale Sokolov. A Slovakian Jew that can speak multiple languages, his captors make him the tattooist of Auschwitz, permanently marking his fellow prisoners. For two and a half years, he will bear witness to the monstrosity of human nature as well as bravery and compassion, eventually using his privileged position to sneak in food to keep the prisoners alive.

I already know my heart can’t take it.

 

What was your favorite gift you received for Christmas?

 

My Favorite Books of 2018

When I was making this list, I realized I read a lot of good books in 2018. More than I have in previous years, I think. In finding my favorites, I stuck with the ones who left a lasting impression on me, made me feel a lot of feelings, or I found myself thinking about often. Thus, save one, these books are arranged in no particular order.

Still, it was hard to keep the number down.

 

The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace

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If I had to choose which book was my absolute favorite of the year, it would without a doubt be The Princess Saves Herself in This One. Even more surprising, it is a book of poetry, something I don’t often reach for. I even remember the day I read it.

I read The Princess Saves Herself in This One roughly a month after my mother died. In addition to dealing with my grief, there were other things going on that took a hit at my self-esteem and self-worth. I picked up The Princess Saves Herself in This One at bedtime then didn’t stop until I finished it until the wee hours of the morning. Amanda Lovelace had said the words I needed to hear. I had felt validated and empowered.

 

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

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I find it ironic: last year, Riley Sager’s debut novel, Final Girls, was on my disappointing reads of the year. The Last Time I Lied, in my opinion, was way better. It was fast-paced and engaging. The plot had me guessing and the author did a good job leaving breadcrumbs, building the suspense. Most of the characters were likeable, but they were not all innocent. And the ending blew me out of the water. I would definitely reread The Last Time I Lied, now that I own my own copy.

 

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

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I don’t know where to begin in describing my love for the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. Audrey Rose is strong, smart, and sassy, but she has a vulnerable side she learns to embrace. Thomas Cresswell is flawed, but still knows how to pull at your heartstrings and he really does try to do right by those he cares for. The setting of Romania was beautiful; the way Kerri Maniscalco wrote it made me want to visit the country, especially the old castle the medical school is set in. Lastly, the mystery was fun and twisty, and more than a little bloody.

 

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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Eliza and Her Monsters was another book that hit me with the feels. I saw a lot of my teenaged self—and my current self—in Eliza. She was shy and had trouble making friends. She wanted to let people in, but it felt safer in the world of fiction. She loved the art she created, putting herself into something that her family didn’t really understand. Then, she met someone who allowed her to let her walls down. The romance was adorable. Eliza and Her Monsters was a quick read that played with my emotions. I actually felt seen in this book.

 

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

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There is no other word to describe My Lady Jane better than fun. While I had read Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly trilogy and enjoyed it, I went into My Lady Jane with low expectations. It was good that I did, though. The world was a good blend of history and fantasy. The authors wrote this book like an entertaining textbook where they broke the fourth wall and narrated the story to the reader like this is actually what happened to the real-life Lady Jane Grey. The characters were amazing and the romance was adorable. Why did I wait until 2018 to read it?

 

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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I absolutely adored Heartless. The writing was delicious and lyrical. The world of Wonderland was as magical as it was dark, better than Lewis Carroll’s version, in my opinion. The story was compelling, watching Cath go from a sweet girl who only wanted to open a bakery with her best friend to the evil Queen of Hearts. It didn’t just happen; there were different factors that contributed to her falling apart in what I thought was a realistic way. I know it’s a stand-alone, but I really want a sequel to Heartless where Cath meets Alice.

 

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

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I know a lot of people were disappointed by Flame in the Mist. It was advertised as a Mulan retelling but it didn’t really have that. I personally still enjoyed the book regardless. Mariko is the kind of protagonist I want to see more of in young adult: her brain is her weapon instead of a sword. The romance was steamy, even if it felt a little like insta-love. I liked the world of feudalist Japan Renee Ahdieh created. The writing was as beautiful and captivating as ever. Flame in the Mist is the kind of book I would be scared to reread someday because I don’t want to find anything that could taint my love for it.

 

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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One of the most polarizing books published in 2018, I originally checked out The Hazel Wood from the library because I had no idea how I would feel about it. As you can see, I enjoyed it very much. Melissa Albert writes so beautifully you would never guess this was her debut novel. The protagonist, Alice, was unlikeable in every sense of the word, but she had a reason to be the way she was. The world of the novel was dark and creepy. My favorite part of the book was definitely the fairy tales, how they were way more twisted than even the Grimm Brothers, without the moral lessons at the end. The Hazel Wood is written like a stand-alone, though I am glad we are getting more books.

 

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

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The Astonishing Color of After was one of the most hyped books of 2018, and it is well deserved. Others said it was slow, but I read it in two days. I was immediately sucked in. The writing was beautiful and handled the topic of suicide in a delicate yet hopeful way. Emily X.R. Pan blended contemporary and magical realism beautifully. The characters were realistic in that some of their decisions made me mad. I loved Leigh, the protagonist, and how she handled her mother’s passing and her determination to get the answers she deserved. Unfortunately, I currently don’t own a copy of The Astonishing Color of After but once I do, I just might reread it (eventually).

 

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

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I read books one through four of The Heroes of Olympus series in 2018. I liked The Lost Hero. The ending of The Mark of Athena broke my heart. The House of Hades put me on the edge of my seat. But I didn’t love those as much as I did the second novel in th series, The Son of Neptune. The plot was fun and not as intense, at least until the end. Percy was at his finest, and beats Rhysand in the book boyfriend department (fight me). Hazel and Frank are my two new favorite demigods, after Leo Valdez. And I laughed a lot while reading The Son of Neptune, which is a surefire way to get on my favorites list.

 

Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

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The concluding novel in the Daughter of the Pirate King duology was just as fun, exciting, and steamy as the first one. Alossa is a fiery, prideful protagonist I could not help but adore. Riden is swoon-worthy and the romance was written in a way that made me feel all of what they were feeling—love and pain. The story was fast-paced and thrilling. Life on the seas was brutal but there was never a dull moment with Alossa and her pirate crew. Plus, there was a great fantasy element thrown in with the world of sirens as well as watching Alossa battle with her dual nature.

 

What was your absolute favorite book that you read in 2018?

 

Least Favorite Books of 2018

I really don’t like it when I don’t like a book.

I don’t like it when I dislike a book because I know the author worked hard to produce it. I don’t like hating a book because it makes some people feel bad for liking said book. Most of these books have pretty decent ratings on Goodreads, so I know people like them. But no one reads the same book.

If you have read any of these and liked them, I am glad. If any of these sound interesting to you, I still encourage you to read them if you want to.

Here are my least favorite books of 2018:

 

The Life and Death Parade by Eliza Wass

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This is a book I went into fully prepared for the fact I might not like it, due to a previous negative reading experience with Eliza Wass’s debut novel, The Cresswell Plot. Still, the concept of The Life and Death Parade fascinated me.

I genuinely liked Eliza Wass’s writing style. The Life and Death Parade was very atmospheric. The portrayal of the protagonist Kitty’s grief felt realistic. Unfortunately, that was all the book had going for it. The characters were flat and had virtually no motivation or development. The book was wrapped up way too quickly. And the plot was weak, the little that was there.

 

Lizzie by Dawn Ius

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When I first heard about this book, a modern-day retelling of the Lizzie Borden murders, I was all for it. Then, I checked it out from the library and, the entire time I was asking myself: what am I reading?

            It was literally uncomfortable to read. That’s all I remember about it. That’s how bad this book was for me.

 

A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

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I picked up A Simple Favor from the library because of the movie. In theory, it sounded like a fun chick-lit mystery. Then, I opened it to find bad writing, boring characters, and predictable plot. This was another book that was admittedly painful for me to read. It is also likely my most viewed book review, too. I don’t hold back on my feelings for A Simple Favor.

 

Girls on the Line by Jennie Liu

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Despite the seriousness of the topics covered in this novel—bride trafficking, the One-Child Policy in China—Girls on the Line was ultimately a dry read that dragged on for how short it was. The characters had some depth to them and it focused heavily on female friendship, except it took forever to get to the point and the ending for one character is not one I would have chosen for her.

 

Charlotte’s Web & Stuart Little by E.B. White

There is no other word to describe these two little novels but dull. Maybe because I’m 25 reading a book meant for children. I didn’t feel the emotional impact Charlotte’s Web was supposed to deliver nor did I understand the motive behind Stuart Little. Again, it could be my age, but the writing style just did not do it for me.

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is probably one of the most beloved young adult novels to be published in the last ten years. Unfortunately, for me, the writing was cringey and repetitive. It was also overly philosophical for two fifteen-year-old boys, yet dumbed down. As characters, I could put up with Aristotle, at least in the beginning, but Dante got on my nerves most of the time (the boy whined too much). The boys were a little too obsessed with each other to be healthy. The romance felt completely forced. And plot, what plot?

I’ll stop now….

 

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

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For what it’s worth, Let’s Talk About Love is packed with diversity. The protagonist, Alice, is black and biromantic asexual. Her love interest, Takumi, is Japanese. There are all kinds of great quotes on asexuality as well as how love and sex are not mutually exclusive. On the flip side to that, the writing was too juvenile. The characters were supposed to be college-aged, yet it felt like they were younger than that. And there was a lot of other drama thrown in that was not as developed as it should have been.

 

What was your least favorite book of 2018?

 

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books I NEED to Read in 2019

I have no idea how I kept this list down to five….

I have full series I want to read. I have books that are part of series I want to get into or finish. I have popular books I bought with every intention of reading as soon as possible when I bought them. I have books that have been on my TBR for longer than they should have been.

In short, I have a lot of books I want/need to read in 2019. For the sake of this list (and my sanity), I selected the first five I thought of, which are:

 

Tower of Dawn & Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

 

Pretty sure Tower of Dawn was on my list last year too…. While I might not be as infatuated with the Throne of Glass series as I was before, I still want to finish it. There are characters I care about, like Chaol and Dorian, and I’ve come so far, it seemed like a waste to stop now. This series is genuinely entertaining, despite its flaws.

(And, in case you were wondering, A Court of Wings and Ruin is another Sarah J. Maas book I plan to get to finally in 2019.)

 

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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I bought Cinder years ago and received the remaining books for Christmas last year, yet I wasn’t entirely sure if I would love this series as much as everyone else seems to. Fairy tale retellings are some of my favorites, but at the time I wasn’t into science fiction. However, since then, I have read and adored Marissa Meyer’s stand-alone Heartless as well as picked up some science fiction. So, 2019 is the time to read the Lunar Chronicles.

 

Lord of Shadows & Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

 

I bought Lord of Shadows almost as soon as it came out, but I have a legitimate reason for putting it off. I meant to read it right after I finished Lady Midnight. Then, life started to happen, stuff that caused me to not want to read such a huge book. After that, the reviews started coming in. I knew that once I read Lord of Shadows, and I didn’t have the next book, I’d go crazy. So, I waited until Queen of Air and Darkness was released. Now, I can binge read the last two books in The Dark Artifices trilogy. This trilogy might be my favorite Shadowhunters series after The Infernal Devices.

 

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

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A Crown of Wishes is one of those books on my TBR I have no idea why it’s still there. I enjoyed the first book, The Star-Touched Queen. Everything about the synopsis—a dangerous magical race, a princess having to team up with an enemy to fight for her freedom—promises that I will like this book, too. The spine even catches my eye on my bookshelves. Needless to say, A Crown of Wishes will be read in 2019.

 

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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With hyped books, I tend to wait a little bit after they are published to read them. I want to form my own opinion of the book without being influenced by any excitement. There is also the worry I might not like it as much as everyone else. Admittedly, Children of Blood and Bone is the one on this list I can put off a tiny bit longer. The sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, is coming out in March and this series seems like a good one to binge.

 

What books do you need to read in 2019?

2018 Bookish Survey

This is going to be a super long post, but I got this survey off the blog Perpetual Pages. 2018 is the first year I’ve done my reading stats, so here it goes!

 

Reading Stats

Number of books you read: 57

Number of rereads: 3

Genre you read the most from: young adult

 

Best in Books

Best book you read in 2018?

The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace

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Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t?

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

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Most surprising (in a good way or a bad way) book you read?

This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter

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Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did)?

I talked a lot about certain books this year, but as far as I know, I hadn’t been able to convince anyone else to read them.

 

Best series you started in 2018?

The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

 

Best sequel of 2018?

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

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Best series ender of 2018?

Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

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Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

Amanda Lovelace

 

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

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Most action-packed/thrilling/un-put-downable book of the year?

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

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Book you read in 2018 that you would be most likely to reread next year?

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

(Once I get my own copies.)

 

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

 

Most memorable character from 2018?

Cath from Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

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Most thought-provoking, life-changing book of 2018?

The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace

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Book you can’t believe you waited until 2018 to finally read?

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler. I really needed a book like this when I was fifteen.

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Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2018?

“Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.” Heartless, Marissa Meyer

“Does ‘doing exactly what I want’ mean not thinking about other people’s feelings? Because that’s just not the kind of person I am.

Maybe it can mean whatever I want it to mean, like taking care of myself and not letting people walk over me.” The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, Carolyn Mackler

“If I ever have a daughter, the first thing I will teach her to love will be the word “no” & I will not let her feel guilty for using it. – “no” is short for ‘fuck off’” The Princess Saves Herself in This One, Amanda Lovelace

 

Shortest and longest book you read in 2018?

Shortest book: Stuart Little by E.B. White (131 pages)

Longest book: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (734 pages)

 

Book that shocked you the most.

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

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OTP of the year (you will go down with this ship)

Alosa and Riden from Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

Leo and Calypso from The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

 

Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year.

Alys and her foster mother in The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

 

Favorite book you read in 2018 from an author you’ve read previously

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

 

Best book you read in 2018 that you read solely on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure/bookstagram, etc.

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

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Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

Remy from The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Wallace from Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

 

Best 2018 debut you read?

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

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Best world-building/most vivid setting you read this year?

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

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Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read?

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser

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Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2018?

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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Hidden gem of the year?

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser

The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

 

Book that crushed your soul?

Sold by Patricia McCormick

The Opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

 

Most unique book you read in 2018?

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

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Book that mad you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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Blogging/Bookish Life

Only answered the questions relevant to me.

 

Favorite post I wrote

Recommending Books I Didn’t Love, But You Might

 

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

Getting nominated for all these different award posts (some of which I didn’t get around to responding to, but thank you so much to those who tagged me!).

 

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Putting my blog on the back burner when school started and realizing my reading habits will change as my life does.

 

Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it be by comments or views)

People seem to like my salty review of A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell.

 

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I didn’t read 100 books like I wanted, but I did manage to complete about half of my reading goals, like reading more debut novels and writing more book reviews.

 

Looking Ahead

One book you didn’t get to in 2018 but will be your number one priority in 2019?

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

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Book you are most anticipating for 2019 (non-debut)?

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, which is the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.

Lovely War by Julie Berry

Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich

 

 

2019 debut you are most anticipating?

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin

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Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2019?

Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

 

One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2019?

Maintain a good amount of reading while adulting, such as choosing it as a better option of self-care than watching TV or YouTube.

 

There’s my 2018 bookish survey!

What is one thing you hope to do in your reading life in 2019?

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Top 5 Reading Resolutions for 2019

Happy New Year all!

When it comes to the New Year’s Resolutions, I’m like the general population: I can stick with them for maybe the first three months of the year, but by the summer they are out the window. Reading, of course, falls under that umbrella most times.

For this list, I settled on my top five reading goals for 2019. These are the ones I want to focus on. Some I want to get sorted out as soon as possible, maybe within the first month of the year. We shall see.

My top five reading resolutions for 2019 are:

 

“Unofficially” read 30 books

When I say “unofficially,” I mean I will set a Goodreads goal of 30 books, but I won’t actively try to read 30 books in 2019. Admittedly, this is a low number for me. Right now, I’m on break from school. I have three weeks of ample free time that I plan to use for reading. But after that, school will be back in session.

When the new semester starts, not only will I have classes, I will also have an internship and hopefully a part-time job. Any time I have will be devoted to schoolwork, including the majority of weekends. Of course, I will make time for reading and post wrap-ups as much as I can, except school takes priority in everything.

 

Prioritize and marathon book series

I have so many series on my bookshelves as well as on my Goodreads TBR it’s embarrassing and just a tiny bit overwhelming. There are some series where I own the first book or several installments. There are others I own that are completed and some I don’t have all the books yet. Some series are almost completed. It’s all over the place.

Last year, I set a goal of reading and finishing ten series. That was an epic fail. This year, I plan to prioritize series and read them through completion. While I own several completed or almost-completed series, there are plenty other older ones I want to get to. Most likely, I will check them out of the library.

 

Make smaller TBRs but be flexible

For the longest time, I thought I was a mood reader. In the past year, however, I realized I like to make reading lists and sticking to them. Problem is I want to read every unread book I own and I can never make up my mind on the order of my TBR. Not to mention I don’t always take into account whatever library books or new purchases I pick up.

The idea I have is to select a specific amount of books off my TBR at home that I want to read at the moment, as well as have room for any library books. As of right now, I am forgoing monthly TBRs for the sake of school. Ideally, I plan on doing reading wrap-ups at least every two months, to update you guys on what I’m reading. Hopefully, this system I have in mind will keep me from getting frustrated with my reading while juggling schoolwork.

 

Unhaul books

As painful as it is, every few years I make myself do a purge of my bookshelves. There are ones I’m not sure I would love as much as I did as a teenager if I reread them now. Many I kept for nostalgia reasons, like the Meg Cabot books, but I’m almost positive if I read them now, I wouldn’t love them much anymore. I already went through that sad disillusionment when I reread the Harry Potter books. Not a pleasant experience.

Other books, like the Archie Sheridan series by Chelsea Cain, I realize now have some major problems in them. After I recommended the books to a friend, she pointed it out to me. Now, I have a pretty bad taste in my mouth. I’m even debating on getting rid of my beloved Kelley Armstrong books, like The Darkest Powers trilogy or her Women of the Otherworld series. I want to reread the Women of the Otherworld series, but do I have the energy, the desire, and what would I do if they turn out to be more problematic than I remember?

As I continue to dwell on this, my Amazon wish list grows….

 

Practice borrowing before buying

I did pretty well with checking out more books from the library instead of buying them. I even put holds some 2019 releases my library has already ordered. The trick, though, is to read them on time.

Yes, the books are free and I’m supporting a great institution where I plan to build my career. The flip side to that is I check out more than I can read. I feel bad renewing books I don’t read when someone else could be reading them or I send the book back unread if it doesn’t get checked out that often. Besides, there’s not enough room on my nightstand for more than a few books at once. Got to think practically here.

 

What are your reading goals for 2019?