Tuesday, January 30, 2018

2018 Goals: Read a Book By At Least 10 of These Authors


This list will focus on my Authors to Read List (atr) that I have never read a book by, but I really want to! Feel free to recommend which authors from this list I should focus on!

Again, I'm taking it easy. You will find a bazillion authors on this list (which I actually plan to re-visit every year from this point on until I have cleared all of these authors!), but I ain't gonna try to read a book by all of them this year. I'm not cray cray. But 10 authors seem doable, especially as some of them can double up with other goals I've put to myself... 

Come back to this page throughout the year to see how I'm doing!

Kelly Armstrong - This author has been on my list of "should try out" for years. I hope this will be the year I will try some of her works.
Books owned: The Gathering

Elizabeth George Speare - Technically, I'm only (currently) interested in one book this author has written, but it's been on my tbr for so long I really want to get to it, and I finally own a copy of it! 

Kirsten Miller - I've had one of Miller's books on my physical shelves for over 5 years and have recently acquired another one of hers (albeit one co-written) so I just feel like this should probably be the year to knock her out of my atr :)

Melina Marchetta - This author has been high on my atr for SO long. Her books are widely loved, and they sound unique and interesting. I hope this will be the year I will actually read them. lol

Sarah Rees Brennan - I have wanted to read her The Lynburn Legacy for ages, and I recently got all 3 books on Kindle for, like, $3.5 total. I know, crazy! (bts, if you want to find awesome kindle deals, don't forget to check our list! It updates regularly :P)
Books owned: Unspoken, Untold, Unmake

Kendare Blake - She's just kind of been on my list for years... I'm not one for horror or things like that but I have heard so many amazing things about her books so I really want to see if this could be something I'll enjoy.
Books Owned: Anna Dressed in Blood

Veronica Rossi - Yes, yes, I haven't read a Veronica Rossi novel. I KNOW! Well, I'm gonna change that!..... Maybe.
Books Owned: Under the Never Sky

Patrick Rothfuss - I have wanted to read The Name of the Wind for so long, but at the same time it's so intimidating and the fact it takes him years to write his novels is also frightening to me. Still, I hope I can finally get into this series this year!
Booked Owned: The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man's Fear

Carolyn MacCullough - I have been interested in reading her Once a Witch series for ages and I finally own the first novel and I just want to finally read it!
Books Owned: Once a Witch

Tahereh Mafi - Welp. What can I say? I have not read a Tahereh Mafi book yet. It's true. I honestly didn't really mean to, because I don't like love triangle and the likes but... all the raving really got to me. So, I pick up Shatter Me. And here's to hoping I love it 'cause I really want an excuse to buy those gorgeous covers in physical copies!
Books Owned: Shatter Me

Veronica Roth - Is it strange that I want to read just the first Divergent novel? Like, I know how that series ends and I'm not here for it, but I kind of do want to experience the first novel and I've heard you can kind of read it alone. What do you guys think? Will it work?
Books Owned: Divergent, Carve the Mark

Marie Lu - Yes, another of those super duper popular authors I have never read! I need to get my shit together because this doesn't fly!

Sarah J. Maas - So I'll be honest... I don't really want to read a Maas book. I have tried the prequel to Throne of Glass and didn't really like it. That being said, I want to give one of her proper novels a shot, just so I can see once and for all if it was that specific book, or it's just generally her novels. That way, I can stop being all turned around because of all the hype lol

Ann Brashares - I have wanted to read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for so long, and this is the year! 

Lauren Oliver - This one has been on my list for years. I feel like I should finally give her a chance, you know?
Joe Hill - So, this one is an author I first noticed because Daniel Radcliff was in a movie adaptation of Horns. I love Dan, I want to watch the movie, and I can't until I read the book. Therefore, I must do so. But this author has crazy numbers on GR and that makes me excited... and fearful.
Books Owned: HornsNOS4A2

Robin Benway - Heard great things about this author, and I'm interested in finally reading one of her works!
Kiera Cass
- Okay, so I'm never going to read The Selection series. I'm just not about that life. And by "that life" I mean love triangles that drag. Anyways, that being said, since so many people rave about her series, I do want to read another novel by hers some time.
Books Owned: The Siren

Dan Wells - It's been six years since I bought Partials. SIX YEARS! And by all accounts, those are six missed years because Wells is supposed to be awesome!

Anna Banks - I have wanted to read Of Poseidon for a really long time, but I've actually recently gotten hold of Nemesis by Banks, and I kind of want to try her own!
Books Owned: Nemesis

Neal Shusterman - Another author that has been on my list for ages. And I now own one of his books physically! It's time to kick it off my shelf!
Books Owned: Everlost, Scythe

Darren Shan - This author has been on my atr list since I joined GR, y'all! I have wanted to read his Cirque De Freak series for years and I have finally gotten hold of the first one!!
Book Owned: Cirque Du Freak

Jenny Han - I'll be honest here... I'm kind of scared to read this author's works. I am NEVER going to read the Summer series. Three books of a love triangle? Sign me the heck out. But... people rave about her so much. And the cover for To all The Boys I've Loved Before is really pretty. And so is Burn for Burn. So... I own her books. Imma gonna read them.

Brian Jacques - I grew up on Redwall the animated series. Finding out this had a book series it was based on blew my mind. I've got to get in on this!
Books Owned: Redwall, Mossflower, Mattimeo

Jessica Day George - I just really like the sound of her novels! 

Kiersten White - another one that has been on my list for soooo loooong.... *sigh*
Books Owned: And I Darken

Robin Hobb - So I actually started one of her books and really really enjoyed it but I was in a really messed up place at the time and I dropped it half way through for no reason. I'm going to read her books this year, because they're good.

Alexandra Bracken - Heard just a ton of amazing things about this one.
Books Owned: Passenger

Sherry Thomas - I have owned the Elemental Trilogy for a long while now, and actually my mom loves these books so that tells me I must read them already.

Morgan Rhodes - I just heard this is an amazing fantasy writer, and I need to get a start on it!

Rae Carson - Another author I've just heard wonderful things about and I want to start on it!

Andy Weir - I want to watch the movie, okay?!
Books Owned: The Martian, Artemis

Catherynne M. Valente - I HAVE WANTED TO READ THESE BOOKS FOR SO LONG, OKAY?!
Ellen Hopkins - *sigh* how many times can I say "another one that has been on my list for ages and I'm super excited for" before one of you comes out of the screen and strangles me?
Books Owned: Tricks

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews | Relationship Status: It's Complicated!

Me and Early and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Date Read: Jan 7 to 12, 2018
First Published: 2012
Kindle
Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating:
Re-Readability:
Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.
Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.
Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.
And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: IT'S COMPLICATED 

It really, really is. When I started out Me and Earl and the Dying Girl I genuinely had so much fun with it, and I was absolutely certain I'm going to continue laughing out-loud until the final page and be blown away. Instead, I slowly stopped laughing, until at the very end I was just relieved it was finally over. 

The thing is, this book's biggest strength is also its biggest weakness. At least for me.

The big, loud charm of this book is it's messed up writing style; a mashup of a lot of things, concepts and ideas, in a very authentic manner to what a teenager who is not even very interested in writing a book might do...  which, let's face it, Greg is. It's quirky, unique, and fun. For about the first 50%.

But then, because this is the approach this book takes, it kind of made it a structural mess with no actual plot in sight. For me, who is a plot-driven reader, this made things kind of... difficult. It was hard to invest a lot of time at once in this book's world because I had nothing to anchor myself to. No questions I needed answered or a sense of wondering what are the things to come.

So my first struggle with it was actually reading it instead of just meandering about.

My second struggle was actually enjoying the read once I've decided to get my shit together and properly read it. There is something about actually sitting down and spending two hours straights in Greg's mind that just makes you realize how... this book talks about nothing. And even then, it kind of takes really long to say that it has nothing to say. 

I have read the epilogue, and I still don't know if this book had something to say to me, or if, just as Greg basically tells the reader at the beginning, there is nothing there. So, in big doses, you just kind of start to wonder... why? what's the point of all this?

Not to mention, around the 50% mark, the shine of the concept just... wore off. It totally did. Greg is not a great person. He's not. He's judgmental and weird and interprets life in such a strange way. And while at first, it was delightful, and I laughed at his antics and style, by the end I just didn't enjoy being in his head, no matter the weird side thoughts, script format, bullet points, or whatever new thing he came up with. It just stops being funny.

Now, Me and Earl often resorts to crass jokes and vulgar language. I admit this is not the type of humor I normally enjoy, and after 50% of the novel, I was over it. Completely. Like, I get it. It fits the character that is Greg, and he is the one writing the story. But.. it got annoying. He got annoying. The repetition got annoying; how many times can I read about someone calling themselves stupid, or unable to accept a compliment or filled with the need to fill the silence, before I just kind of want to strangle you so you'd shut up?

Oh, and can we talk about his dumb and stupid jokes and why the hell everyone is laughing at them?? While his narration is often hilarious, the jokes Greg tell out loud baffled me, mostly because they're successful. Like, wtf? I don't know what you Americans find funny, but none of that shit would fly in my high school. I guess I should at least be thankful Greg is self away of this, to a point.

Speaking of which... The character of Greg is really odd. In most cases when people think one thing and do another, it's for the worse. In Greg's case, he thinks terrible things but does really nice things, even if for all the wrong reasons.

But I'm not sure if that's because that's who he is, or because he is a caricature of sorts, same as all the other people in this novel. Every character is defined by maybe one or two traits, and that's basically what that person is for the rest of the novel - Hot, Smart, Sick, Crazy, Goth, etc. And most of it is hecka exaggerated, especially the way teenage boys think and act. I mean, my brother is in that Phase right now. I'm living this shit.

Now, this makes sense. A teenage is writing this story, and sometimes, especially as self-absorbed teens, people aren't really people. They're That or This or Whatever. That being said, I kind of hoped Greg would stop seeing them like that at some point, but that didn't really happen. I guess if it did, then this novel would have something to say and that's a no-no.

Okay. So, basically, even though a lot of my problems make sense in the context of the premise, it wasn't enough for me. Being UNIQUE is not enough to be GOOD. Being INTERESTING is not enough to equate IMPORTANT. And so, even though I wish my reading experience had stayed constantly in the great zone, it didn't.

I needed more; more SUBSTANCE, more PLOT, more of a REASON to the entirety of it. 

And yes, sure. The point is that there is no point, but that's just not the type of story I can connect to. It's entirely on me, but it's also the way things just are. 
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Friday, January 26, 2018

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen | Re-Read Review

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Ascendance Trilogy #1
Date Read: Dec 15 to 19, 2017
First Published: 2012
Paperback
Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating:
Re-Readability:
In this first book in a remarkable trilogy, an orphan is forced into a twisted game with deadly stakes.
Choose to lie...or choose to die.
In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.
An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.
Confession time: I start a shit ton of series but finish only a fraction of them. And it's only because they're bad about a third of the time. The rest is... well, because I'm stupid, okay?

Take The False Prince for example. I truly and honestly loved this book when I first read it in 2014. I finished it being wowed, and excited, and super interested in reading the rest of the series. SUPER INTERESTED, okay? 

But then came the waiting period until the second book made it into my doorstep, and somehow, by the time I got it, I had forgotten that I loved the first one. Just... forgotten. So I put it on the shelf and barely even looked at it from that day on.

Finally, fate intervened. The third and final book was available on Kindle for, like, 3 dollars, and I succumbed and bought it. Now, I had no reason not to finish the series, and better yet, I was thinking of it again. Now, I couldn't just start with the second book, could I? Naturally, I had to re-read the first book first. And then it would be time for... THE BINGE!

Now, originally, I had given this book a 5 star rating. As I re-read this novel I had to concede that it was no longer a five star for me. It's still a wonderful story that I highly recommend, which is why I gave it a very respectable 4 star, but there were some things that just fell short considering I knew what was coming.

My experience with The False Prince, both times, started out slow. This book doesn't immediately make me unable to put it down. It took a while, say eighty to a hundred pages, for me to suddenly be grabbed by the need to read it. But then, when it came, it didn't let go until I finished reading, so I guess all in all it's a definite win for the book.

The strongest part of this novel is, hands down, Sage himself. As far as main characters go, he is a long way from perfect, and that's actually why I loved him so much. He is a brave, clever, headstrong boy. Who is also reckless, sharp-tongued and stubborn, with far too much ego at times. But he has a good heart, and his actions are always derived from that place. In fact, he almost never does anything for his own sake, but he always makes it appear like that's what he's all about, which just... it just made him extra lovable in my eyes.

Next to Sage is a cast of interesting characters; first, we have Tobias and Roden, the other two orphans fighting for the title of prince. These two fought for my affection and hatred throughout the whole book, and I honestly didn't know who I would end up loving and who I would end up disliking until the final chapters.

Then we have Imogen, a servant girl in Connor's house who catches Sage's attention. She is a fierce lady whom I loved, although her storyline made less sense to me the second time around. I remember feeling a bit baffled by the apparent affection between these two the first time around as well, but I definitely felt it stronger with this re-read. I just don't quite understand Sage's attachment and gratitude to her, seeing as she had very little to do with the actual plot.

It kind of felt the way it does when you listen to someone's conversation, then something distracts you and you return to listening at the end. You feel like you've missed something in the reasoning and progress of the story, even if you get the general gist of things. I am curious to see how their relationship develops--if at all--throughout this series.

Then we've got Mott, Connor's loyal right-hand man, and one of my favorite characters. Mott and Sage start off on the wrong foot but boy does he prove himself to be a good man at the end there. He's kind of, like, the father figure Sage has always needed but never had, you know? And, speaking of the devil, Connor himself was quite interesting as well. I never liked the guy, but I never quite hated him, either, if that makes sense?

Now, going into this novel the second time, I obviously knew what was coming. And even though I pretty much called it on my first read as well, I had much more time to look for the clues... and not all of them add up. Sometimes, Nielsen puts in paragraphs that make no sense in light of what's to come, and that feels like a real flat attempt at misdirection that could've been solved if only things had been phrased a little differently. I still feel things were very well done, but not as tidy as I originally thought they were.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills | First 5 Star of the Year!

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
Date Read: Jan 6, 2018
First Published: 2017
Signed Owlcrate Hardcover
Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating:
Re-Readability:
A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.
The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.
Some books fall into your lap from nowhere, and you just kind of quietly thank whatever superior being you believe in for being so kind to you. This is one of those books. I didn't hear about it before, I didn't plan to read it, it wasn't anywhere on my radar. And then my Owlcrate box brought it to my doorstep, and I cracked it open. And my foolish heart was moved.

This book was simply adorable.

And I'm not talking in like an "aww, this is cute" kind of way. Oh no. I'm talking the kind of adorable that makes you stay up until freakin' 5 a.m. in the morning to finish the novel because you are so entirely captivated by these lovely people the wonderful relationships they are forming that you can't tell them goodbye. The type of adorable that keeps making you want more.

Yeah, that kind.

And it all starts with Claudia. She is just a normal girl who goes to a not so normal all-girls high school, even though she would have much preferred to go the public school with her best friend Zoe. While Claudia certainly doesn't suffer in her school (and I can't express how much I loved the fact these rich girls are not made into the cliched mean girls), she doesn't exactly make any strong friendships either. Instead, she spends her time playing an MMORPG together with Zoe, her older brother Alex and her older sister Julia and her husband Mark who live in Indianapolis.

Everything begins to shift when Claudia witnesses the breakup between her school's long-lasting couple Paige and Iris. It's that break-up that makes Iris chilly to Claudia when they are forced to work together on a project and causes the two to do horribly in it. As a result, the two are strongly encouraged to participate in the school's joint play with the all-boys' school.

That play changes everything.

It's there where Claudia gets the chance to get to know Gideon Prewitt. Hellooooo, book boyfriend! Gideon is the most popular guy on the boys' side. Everybody knows him, and everybody likes him. Even Claudia. He's goofy, handsome, awkward, loyal, and everybody calls him the prince. And this prince is instantly smitten with Claudia and her wicked sense of sarcasm (which is, really, when everything boils down to it, the best sense to have).

This guy. THIS GUY!

This is how you write a book boyfriend; sweet, genuine, well-meaning, silly, funny, and just head over heels for the girl in the cutest of ways. He lights up when he sees Claudia. He keeps wanting to spend time with her. He flirts and he jokes and he matches her wit and sarcasm. He is interested in the things she is interested in, and he notices the smallest of things about her. Gideon Prewitt, quite frankly, makes my foolish heart flutter.

But wait, Gideon and Claudia aren't the only amazing relationship in this novel. The second one is the friendships that bloom between Claudia and Ice Queen Iris. To say it starts off on the wrong foot is to... underestimate and oversimplify things. Iris is mean, cold and unaffected. Everything Claudia is not. But while Claudia hates fighting and usually chooses to avoid altercations, don't mistake her for a doormat or a coward. Oh, no, Claudia gives as good as she gets. She snaps back, she fights back, and she throws some truths at Iris.

I guess Iris finds that somewhat charming, or at the very least refreshing, because she starts to... thaw. It starts when she coerces Claudia to do another paper with her, this time actually exchanging numbers and even meeting up to do the project. Then it evolves into sharing hobbies. Then it ends up in girl talk and boy talk and all kinds of talk, and suddenly - they're friends, and no one can deny that, least of all the two girls involved.

I honestly thought this was extremely endearing. Iris is not the kind of girl you become friends with at once, and Mills does an incredible job showing Claudia slowly, and often unintentionally by just being Claudia, chipping away the armor of steel around Iris and reaching her heart. In a lot of ways, Claudia is a far stronger force in Iris's life than the-love-of-her-life Paige, because, while Paige makes Iris want to be better, it's Claudia who shows her that she can be, and how.

She's the one who defends her even when she doesn't always give her a good reason to, she's the one to point out they're friends, or that Iris is doing exactly what she thinks she is incapable of. She's the one who calls Iris out on her bullshit but also makes her act differently. She is the one to push her in the right direction. She's the one to make Iris not just her friend--but a part of a group of friends. All things Paige couldn't do, probably because Paige is the most important person to Iris, and therefore far more difficult to share, and also far more difficult to "lose" to.

Okay, I've rambled enough. Suffice to say, I adored this relationship. I adored the progression of it. I adored how Mills nailed the process and the feelings.

Speaking of feelings... this book has a. lot. of. them. It's not in the "normal" tear-jerker way, if you know what I mean. This book doesn't set up to get you to tear up. But it does such a phenomenal job putting you in Claudia's head and fusing yourself to her while you're reading that when she feels insecure, and small, and underappreciates herself so colossally and so matter of factly, you get there anyway. You want to smother her in a hug, and you want her to see she's wrong, while you simultaneously feel small and insecure yourself. It's honestly a wonder. I can count on one hand the number of heroines who have made me feel like this, and all of them were as unexpected as Claudia.

Now, aside for these three characters, the book doesn't lack for awesome people. You've got Zoe, Claudia's best friend, who is just... a great friend, even if she does stumble a little bit there. You have Noah, Gideon's best friend who I simply adored (I vote this bromance for president!). You have Alex and Julia, Claudia's siblings, who are just... all around #goals. The relationship between them is so good even when things get rocky and I adored every second of it!

I would honestly read an entire novel made up just of these characters living life, going on dates, hanging out, talking to each other. No angst or overall arc necessary. Just.. spending some more time with these guys. Is that too much to ask for?
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Monday, January 22, 2018

2018 Goals: Clear 10 Physical Books

Okay, so this one is really for aesthetic purposes. 

I have an entire bookshelf for books I haven't read yet. I have about... oh, I don't know... 100 books in it. Not including sequels that are not the next in line. Yep. It's bad. And it looks bad, too, lol

Now, again. Last year was a terrible reading year. Bad enough that I don't plan to over-do myself with big, giant goals. So I'm not going to say "I'm going to clear my shelves" or anything meaningful like that. I'm going to aim at 10. Ten physical books that I own as of Jan 1 2018, off my shelves.

That sounds okay, right? 
You can come back to this page throughout the year to see my progress!

Potential Books to Read

1. The Upside of Unrequited - This one is probably a sure thing since it knocks one off my 10 standalone books goal as well, and I have loved Simon Vs. and I also own this on kindle which would make reading it easier for me. Is this cheating? You decide.

2. Illumiane - I really, really want to read this series. I want to know what the whole "am I not merciful" line is about. And just for comparison's sake, I also own this on kindle, but this is not helpful 'cause this one is really difficult to read on kindle due to the format! Which is why I got the hardcover. That, and because it's fucking gorgeous.

3. Heartless - this is another one I am hoping to get to this year because it knocks one of my standalone challenges as well. I love Meyer's Lunar Chronicles so I have high hopes for this regardless!

4. Thick as Thieves - saying the Queen's Theif series is one of my favorites is an understatement. I did a re-read of the first three books last year, and I keep having to stop myself from re-read the third one again 'cause it's too soon goddamnit! So, on the one hand, I am super excited about this fifth installment. On the other... well, it takes the author six to seven years to write a novel. So once I finish this one, the wait is going to be long and torturous.

5. A Darker Shade of Magic - I WANT TO READ THIS SERIES, OKAY? AND I OWN ALL. THE. BOOKS. SO WHY DIDN'T I DO IT YETTTT

6. Winter - Confession time... I got close to page 200 before closing the book. I just got SO ANXIOUS, OKAY?? It's not rational because this is the final book! Everything will get resolved! But bad things were happening and my babies were being hurt and ahhhhh I had to stop. But I will finish it this year, because I want to and because it takes a book off my finishing 10 series goal... 

7. Turtles All the Way Down - John Green. Need I say more?

8. There's Someone Inside Your House - Stephanie Perkins & it fits the standalone goal. What else do I need in life?

9. Daughter of the Pirate King - they hype is real and I want to jump into it!

10. Stalking Jack the Ripper - heard a ton of amazing things about this so I want to join the fun! haha

11. To All the Boys I've Loved Before - Heard a lot of amazing things about this series.

12. Kiss of Deception - I think I'm really going to love this series *fingers crossed*

13. Wild Beauty - sounds really cool & knocks off my standalone goal!

14. Throne of Glass - I'll be honest... I DON'T HAVE HIGH HOPES FOR THIS ONE. I couldn't get into the prequel at all. Hopefully, this will knock my socks off and surprise me in the best way.

15. The Eternal Ones - 5 years on my shelves will come to an end in 2018!.... Maybe.

If you have books you think I HAVE to read from the photos above, don't hesitate to tell me!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Paper Hearts by Ali Novak | Book Review

Paper Hearts by Ali Novak
The Heartbreakers Chronicles #2
Date Read: Jan 4 to 5, 2018
First Published: 2014
Kindle
Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating:
Re-Readability:
"I'm sorry," he said, slowly untying the ribbon that held his mask in place. "It's just-I didn't want you to think of me any differently."
Somehow I kept my mouth from falling open. I knew his face, but my mind couldn't accept that he was the person looking down at me.
"My real name is Alec."
Felicity has her entire future planned. Ever since her older sister ran away, she's had the full weight of her mother's expectations on her shoulders. So she works hard to get straight As and save for college.
Except sometimes the best things in life are unplanned-like when Felicity meets a handsome, masked stranger while she is volunteering at a charity masquerade ball. She never thought he'd flirt with her. And she certainly never thought he'd turn out to be a member of the world-famous Heartbreakers band, Alec.
Then Felicity uncovers a shocking family secret. Suddenly, she, Alec, and her two best friends are off on a road trip to find Felicity's missing sister. And she's about to discover that unexpected turns have a peculiar way of landing her right where she needs to be...
The second installment in the Heartbreakers Chronicles follows a similar pattern to the first - it's a cute, fun, sweet, short read following a member of the popular boy band "The Heartbreakers", who falls in love with a girl who is "normal".

Which is, again, one of my favorite tropes.

It helps that our hero is my favorite member of said boy band; Alec. Let's just say, his reign as my favorite boy shall continue onward. I simply love his intuitive silence, imploring gazes and sweet, quiet nature. This boy doesn't have a mean, disloyal bone in his body, and you can always trust him to be the voice of reason and everyone's confidant. That's just... who he is.

Novak does a good job convincing you that he has met his match in Felicity. What I loved the most about her is that she felt like a real girl, and she even occasionally freaked out about the fact she was with Alec Williams. THE Alec Williams. It was adorable. She was adorable, and sweet, and well-meaning... even as her entire world (as she knew it) was falling apart. Actually, one of the things I wanted more of this book was the repercussions of that, especially with her mother, since it didn't really feel properly resolved.

But really, even though these books give you some darker themes, those are not what the novels are about. The novel is, quite frankly, about the romance that blooms between Alec and Felicity. And yes, that love blooms quite quickly. It was more noticeable in Paper Hearts since the setting is a week-long road trip, but at the same time the novel kind of makes you forget this small detail.

I think part of the reason this works better in Novak's books than in some others I've read is that the characters don't rush to define their relationship in big absolutes like "love". Instead, she lets the reader draw their own conclusion on the status of their feelings through their actions and words. Which works far better for me than being told.

I'm really curious to see which band member will get the next novel - Xander or JJ. I am far more interested in JJ's story (he's my second fave), but I also feel like, for the sake of the flow of these novels, he should be the last to find love, both considering his personality and his role in the group.
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Thursday, January 18, 2018

2018 Goals: Finish 10 Series!

Okay, now we're talking big goals here. 

This one is going to be extremely tough for me, based on last year's performance. You see, last year, I read mostly series that are considered a series of standalones. Which means that every time I opened a book, I was committed to that single story itself and not really the series because they don't usually connect in a bigger arc.

This year, I plan to do some serious series reading (see what I did there? lol). Still, I'm going to keep it at ten because I think I can do ten (hopefully). 

And I am going to consider finished series of standalones in this one, just to help things along.
You can come back to this page throughout the year to see my progress!

Potential Series to Finish 
1. The Lunar Chronicles - Definitely a top priority for me as I only need to read Winter. I even read the first 100 pages before, I just got so anxious I stopped lol (I need my babies to be alright...)

2. The Ascendence Trilogy - I need to read the second & third book, but I own them all and these are a top priority as well, since I really want to knock it off my shelves.

3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone - I plan to re-read the first book and then binge two, three & three and a half now that I own the whole series.

4. The Grish Trilogy - same with DoSaB I'm going to re-read the first and then being the whole series AND start Six of Crows.

5. The Mistborn Trilogy - I'm counting only the first trilogy in the series since the second follows completely different characters. I was so in love with the first book, and then I accidentally read a spoiler for the third one and entered "protection mode". Anyways... I'm going to do this!

6. Starbound Trilogy - I thought the first book was just really beautiful, and I am set to have book two in the coming month and I bought the third one on my trip to London, so my plan is to re-read the first one and then dive into the remaining two to knock this beautiful series of standalones (with a connecting arc) into the read pile!

8. Morganville Vampires - so... I'm stuck on book 13 out of 15. Like, I've got to finish it now. But I have to admit that the series has really gone downhill once the original plotline was resolved. It just doesn't compare to what it was. I hope Caine doesn't make this mistake with her other series and just finishes them where they should be finished instead of dragging them on like this.

9. The Heroes of Olympus - I nearly forgot about this one! My God... I really enjoy these books, but nothing about them makes me need to read the next one immediately after finishing one, so I end up just... letting them hang. I only need to read the two final books, so I'm going to work on that this year!

10. Bridgertons - I need to read just the final novel to finish this one, and I own it! I just.. I read some things about it that made me not read it, but it all ends this year!

11. Lux- the first one of this pile that I'm putting more on "maybe" than anything else. I really enjoyed the first one, but then I never really felt the need to read the second and even stopped reading aforementioned second close to the end. But I'm going to give this one final shot before deciding anything. Maybe I'll re-read the first one again... we'll see.

12. Mythos Academy - this one goes into the maybe pile. I liked the first book (wasn't in love with it though), and I own almost all the other books in the series, so I think I'll try re-reading the first and see where it goes from there.

13. Song of the Lioness - another one for the "maybe" pile. If I'll find the final novel for cheap, then I'll read it. If not, then not. I've never been a big fun of this series, 's all...

Potential Series to Start & Finish (Own all)
1. White Rabbit Chronicles - I own the entire series and I love Showalter's adult series, so this one seems like a no-brainer (I think this one is considered over, but I'm not actually sure).

2. Six of Crows - I really want to read this series, but since I have started Shadow and Bone before I kind of can't do that until I finish that one (call it OCD!)

3. Blue is For Nightmares - I somehow found myself owning all the books as they came discounted on Kindle, so I figure what the heck, let's 

4. A Darker Shade of Magic - I have wanted to read this one for a long time, and I now own all the books in the series and thefore... I shall! 

5. Kiss of Deception - I am waiting for the second book to arrive on my doorstep, but once it does I will have the entire series in my hands and that means... time to read the eff out of them! lol

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Book Review

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
First Published: 2011
Paperback
Mature Young Adult, fantasy
Rating:
Re-Readability:
Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don’t kill him first, that is.
Let's go back to the year 2012. It was a simpler time, (did you ever think you'd refer to high school as "simple"?) with simpler reading tastes. Hey, it's true. Looking back at Obsidian, I am reminded of that.

Once upon a time, I've labeled Obsidian a five star favorite of mine. Now, Obsidian is not a bad book by a long shot, as evident by the very respectable 4-star status. There is a reason it took over Goodreads by storm, popping out around every group and every comment. But at the same time, with my new experience in reading, I wouldn't classify it as a 5 star any longer. And definitely not a "favorite", which is a very coveted label I don't give just any book.

I mean, it's been five years and I haven't finished the series yet. I am still stuck on book one. Maybe this will be the year I take it off my currently reading list.

Anyways, I would classify Obsidian as a quick and fun read with a good amount of action and character development, despite the familiar premise. I mean, girl moves into a new town where she meets beautiful yet odd people. Now, where have we heard that before?

Still, there is something charming about this story.

It starts with our main character, Katy. I kind of had to like her, since we share a last name (different spelling). That being said, Armentrout made her easy to love and relate to. She's a normal girl like you and me (albeit one with a sad background); she loves reading and has a book blog, loves gardening, and doesn't let her shy nature to deter her from being courageous. And she ain't gonna bow down to no jerk.
''I checked out your blog."
Oh. Dear. Baby. Jesus. How did he find it? Wait. More importantly was the fact he HAD found it. Was my blog now googleable? That was awesomesauce with an extra heaping of sauce."
That's why I was a bit annoyed by the fact Armentrout kind of had to dumb her down in order to stretch the tension. I mean, how many weird things and how many secret conversations you have to overhear before you figure out the truth? It's STARING you in the eye!

Those secret conversations have to do with her neighbors, Dee and Daemon. Dee quickly becomes Katy's best friend, with her infection nature (described as Tinker Bell on Crack). But Daemon... Daemon is a whole other story. The guy is gorgeous, and he knows it. In a totally obnoxious kind of way.

I kind of expected to hate the guy, based on the many odes to his jerkiness on GR, but for once getting let down by all the hype was a good thing. I ended up actually liking him. Sure, he's a jerk, but in a kind of charming way. I know, I know, how weird and twisted of me. I just couldn't help it! And I think even the most unconvinced of readers would fall for him once you read his POV in the bonus scenes.

The romance between these two is definitely a selling point for this whole novel, as Armentrout does something not all YA managed to do for me. Which is; convince me her two leads belong together. No one would fit Daemon as well as Katy does, because no one stands up to him or challenges him the way she does.  
"Oh, yeah." Carissa nodded. "They were googley-eyes in class on Friday. It was pretty steamy, the whole 'I'm screwing you with my eyes' thing they had going on."
Katy and Daemon have a love-to-hate and hate-to-love type of relationship, where they banter and fight constantly, but it's always in a way that makes you wonder if they're actually flirting. My favorite part about it is that... well, attraction might not be enough. Katy knows what she wants... and that isn't a guy like Daemon, who acts like the biggest asshat she's ever met most of the time. The small moments she thinks she might be seeing the real Daemon aren't enough to make her want a relationship with him. And I loved that. I love the fact that Daemon is going to need to work and sweat for Katy's love and respect. As he should

Aside for these core people, there is a colorful cast of side characters that added spice and hilarity to the novel, like Carissa and Lesa, Katy's two friends from school, who double as the angel and demon on Katy's shoulder. 
"I don't know. I mean we haven't talked about it. He literally left afterwards, and all he's done since then is poke me with his pen."
"Probably because he wants to poke you with something else." Lesa said dryly.
The triplets, too, were an interesting addition, although we didn't get to see much of them or Matthew in this installment.

One of my major criticism of this novel back when I read it was that some of the conversations felt off. Like once in a while, one sentences that had nothing to do with anything that came before would pop out and I was left blinking in confusion and wondering what prompted it.

So, yeah, I don't consider Obsidian a 5 star read, but it's a great one nonetheless!
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Sunday, January 14, 2018

2018 Goal: Read 10 Standalones


Okay, so I want to introduce the first goal of 2018 for me. I'm going real small this year, as all I really want is to have a better reading year without too much pressure to... how to say... preform.

So the first thing I want to challenge myself is to read 10 standalones (you can already see the first one on the board, Foolish Hearts, which also happens to be my first 5 stars of 2018!).

Now, I don't count series of standalones for this one because those are kind of my comfort zone - a series of (usually) romantic standalones with intertwining characters. The emphasis is on the intertwining. That kind of negates the standalone part of things.

And that would be a challenge I finish in, like, two months lol
You can come back to this page throughout the year to see my progress!

Potential reads (from my physical shelves)
The Upside of Unrequited, Coraline, Wild Beauty, There's Someone Inside Your House, The Fill in Boyfriend, Iron Cast, Turtles All the Way Down, Release, Red Hill, The Handmaid's Tale, A Skinful of Shadows, Heartless, Landlines, Cloud Atlas

I have a ton more standalones on my kindle, but I really want to focus on my physical shelves for this post. Mostly so you guys could shame me for it if I end up not reading them lol

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak | Book Review

The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak
The Heartbreakers Chronicles #1
Date Read: Jan 3, 2018
First Published: 2015
Kindle
Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Rating:
Re-Readability:
"When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. And he had no idea that I was the only girl in the world who hated his music."
Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD...for four hours. She's totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she'll never see him again.
Except, Stella's life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?
But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?
It's always a good idea to kick a new reading year with something light and fluffy to get you in the reading groove, and the Heartbreakers Chronicles was the perfect pick for such a task, even as it sprinkles some more serious topics along the way!

For those who don't know, one trope I always love in contemporary romance is the star and the normal girl (or the reverse, although I can't think of any). There is just something captivating about the dilemmas and conflicts that arise from such a union, where it isn't usually lack of love between the couple but more so the circumstances that keep coming in their way.

As for contemporary YA in that category, The Heartbreakers is a fairly good example. It's the type of book that kind of sweeps you off and the next thing you know it's 3 a.m. in the morning somehow and you've finished reading.

It's just... cute. It's really cute. The relationship between Stella and Oliver is cute, the relationship between the three twins is cute (I feel weird calling them triplets for some reason), and the relationship between the band members is cute. The way they embrace Stella into their fold instantly is... say it with me... CUTE! And they're cute because of the way they flow, like real friends, and real siblings, and real crushes. It's smooth where it needs to be an awkward where it should.

Also: they're all really funny and witty, which... I love.

But the novel is not just cute and funny. It has some serious issues, since the setting is the backdrop to Stella's coming of age story, as she struggles with finding her own individual identity outside of her siblings, as well as with the concept of death as her sister is sick and she could potentially lose her.

However, those heavy subjects definitely don't overshadow the light, fluffy vibe the novel's got going, so if you're not looking for that you can rest assured, and if you are... pick up the Fault in Our Stars or some other soul-crushing novel instead.

The highlight of the book is definitely The Heartbreakers as a group. As I said before, these four guys feel like great friends, and when they're away from the limelight they even feel like normal guys. Albeit sort of rich ones. My favorite boy of the bunch HAD to be Alec. I have a thing for the silent yet observant and thoughtful types.

But Alec is not the main male characters of this novel - Oliver is. He is the guy Stella meets at a coffee shop one day without realizing who he is. He's the one who calls her to their suite when they find out they're in the same hotel. He's the one who kind of adorably falls in love with her. He is also the one I had kind of mixed feelings about. I loved who he was with Stella, but sometimes, he would slip into his stage persona, and that one was confident and sure of himself to the point of being slightly obnoxious. Stella always kind of shut him down when those happened, but those moments stopped me from loving him.

But Stella brings him back to himself - the sweet, kind, attentive, occasionally awkward guy who can just hang around and chill with the people he loves most. Still confident, but in an attractive way.

And aren't those the best relationships--ones where you make each other better by being together?
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Monday, January 8, 2018

8th Annual End Of Year Survey – 2017 edition!!

Okay, so I've decided to participate in 2017 year-end survey... way too late, but whatever. I'd like to at least pretend I've been active in 2017 lol

Looking back at my year in reading is... difficult.
Number of Books You Read: 68
Number of Re-Reads: 20 (holy hell. I did NOT realize this lol you can kind of tell my state-of-mind this year by the number of books I re-read because re-reads comfort me)
Genre You Read The Most Of: Contemporary

Okay, before moving on, I'd just like to mention that 2017 was the worst year I have had for reading since high-school. Seriously. 68 books to last year's 101, of which 13 are manga series and 20 are re-reads. I have technically read only 35 books this year. That's... crazy, for me. 

Just for comparison's sake and everything... I have already read 3 books this 2018, and I've started the year on Jan 4 when I got back from my vacation in London (no reading was to be had on that vacation sadly lol) 
1. Best Book You Read in 2017
I'm not going to consider re-reads in this one, but they [The Host, Written in Red series, The Queen's Thief series, On the Island & Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Sustained, Midnight Secretary and Tramps Like Us, etc] were definitely some of my favorite reads of 2017 even though I have read them previously... some multiple times #sorrynotsorry



Yep. There are only three books I can consider "favorites" when looking back on 2017 when I exclude re-reads and Manga... For prosperity's sake (mainly, making this post look a little more dignified lol) I'm going to name my favorite manga/comics from this year!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn't?


I love Krisitin Cashore. Her Graceling series is one of my top favorites (talk about books I need to re-read asap!) so I was super excited for Jane, Unlimited. Unfortunately, I just found it to be a collection of cool, but ultimately unfinished and underutilized ideas, some which were stronger than the others. I kind of wish each reality (but one that I just don't want at all) had gotten its own full-length novel...

3. Most Surprising Book You Read?


Since 2017 was kind of a weak reading year, I don't really have any "bad surprise" novel. I just dropped a ton of books this year if they didn't work out for me, and those are not considered read so...

But this one was a surprise because it's a kindle freebie and my mother fell in love with it. Like, one clicking all the installment in the series in love with. I didn't actually get that far in the series (only the first novel. I got kind of annoyed that the novel ends by beginning the next plotline instead of leaving that for the next book tbh but I do plan to continue) but it's very rare for my mom to obsess over a series like that soooo... surprise?

4. Book You "Pushed" The Most People to Read (And They Did)?


Does The Host counts? It's not a book I've read for the first time in 2017, but then there really isn't a 2017 only book that I've been pushing on people, and certainly not one that I've actually gotten them to read. The only one to qualify is The Host. I've been pushing it on people for, like, five years, and I've so far gotten quite a few of them to try it out.

And THEY LOVE IT, OKAY?? BECAUSE THIS IS THE BEST MEYER NOVEL AND DON'T YOU DARE COMPARE THIS BEAUTY TO THE MESS THAT IS TWILIGHT. I LOVE TWILIGHT, BUT THIS IS A LEAGUE ABOVE. NAY, AN OCEAN ABOVE. NAY, A WORLD, UNIVERSE, REALM ABOVE!

5. Best Series You Started in 2017

Best Sequel of 2017


Best Series Ender of 2017


The Wrath & The Dawn and The Superlative series is definitely two series that saved 2017 for me lol I've started the Superlative in 2016 and loved it, and gotten books 2&3 just in time to close 2017 on a good note. The Wrath and the Dawn series was closer to the beginning of 2017 but man did I adore this series. SO FREAKIN GOOD!

6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2017?
Renee Ahdieh, hands down. She swept me off my feet with the Wrath and the Dawn.

7. Best Book From a Genre You Don't Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone?
Um... N/A lol As you can tell from my reading count, it was hard enough to stick to my comfort zone, I definitely didn't try to step out of it lol

8. Most Action Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of the Year?

Okay, so The Wrath and the Dawn was definitely the most unputdownable. The Gentleman's Guide had to most action, in terms of things kept going wrong... all the time! That's not a bad thing, btw. I loved the book (and the ship). But I kept flipping ahead trying to see when things will slow down and my babies will finally get a chance to breathe a little bit!

9. Book You Read in 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Um... technically, none. I'll probably re-read The Host again, as I do every year, and maybe even Sustained, On the Island and The King of Attolia since I enjoyed those re-reads immensely. I'll definitely be re-reading Tramps like Us and Midnight Secretary again as well, since I do that almost yearly anyways. I have a feeling I'll be re-reading The Wrath & The Dawn at some point as well, but I can't say "next year" on that one.

Therefore, I have chosen Keishichou Tokuhanka 007 which I have been re-reading every year anyway because each time a new chapter has released I read the entire manga up to it first. Like Midnight Secretary and Tramps Like Us, this is definitely a manga with a high re-read value for me. I simply enjoy the manga each time I read it as if it was the first time. So this is highly likely to become an annual re-read for me the same way the other two manga are.

10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2017?


Okay, the version above is The Wrath & The Dawn I have on my kindle (I put the other one before because it's the more recognizable). I wish this cover came in the hardcover 'cause I want to buy the hardcovers but I love this cover so much more than the hardcover one. Anyways, I love the colors of it, I love the font, I love the beauty of the woman described on it (those cheekbones, man!). It's just gorgeous to me.

The Sea of Tranquility was a re-read, but 'cmon. You've got to include this cover in this montage. It's just... beautiful! The way the melting ice-cream on the asphalt creates the two silhouette, the way it grows into what looks like a sea, the way it's both calming and yet... there is something unsettling about it. The fallen cup of ice-cream screams of something lost, of something... bad. Just describing this makes me want to do a re-read again! haha

And finally, Eliza. I love the combination of a real person with the doodles. I love how this cover is basically describing Eliza and her existence in a sort of mid-plane between reality and fiction. How it brings these characters that she has created into the real world, in the same way her story does for a lot of people. I love that it doesn't show her face because, in a lot of ways, Eliza's true face is in the world and characters she draws. It just... it speaks to me, this cover. I LOVE IT.

11. Most Memorable Character of 2017?

Oooookay. I'm excluding re-reads again, otherwise, this will just be a list filled with them. But I just want to give honorable mentions to Wanda (bless her), Gen (my precious thief), Simon and Meg (I want them to kiss already. I need to finish the series but I don't want to goddamnit), TJ and Anna, and the various manga characters I re-read last year because of how awesome they are.

So, thus, I have chosen the lovely Shahrzad and Kuze & Fuyuki. Again, choosing 007 (that title is way too long to write every single time) is a bit of a cheat since I have been following these two characters for years, re-reading every single time a new chapter has dropped, but since I have finished their series just this year I'm counting it.

Shazi is just such a great woman. She is strong and smart, devoted and brave. She makes the hard choices, but she can also acknowledge when she is wrong and change her course. She is full of love, and kindness, and is all around a total badass. I LOVE HER.

Kuze and Fuyu are individually great characters, as much as they are an incredible couple. They're funny, smart, and brave. Kuze is surly and serious but with a heart of gold (that is totally devoted to Fuyu *heart eyes*). Fuyuki is kind, sweet and a bit of a scaredy-cat about certain things, but she always put everybody's safety and feelings before her own.

These three are definitely my favorites! Honorable mentions to Monty from the Gentleman's Guide lol.

12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2017


13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2017?
Unfortunately, N/A. I can't say any new book I've read has done that to me. The Wrath & The Dawn was close, and Eliza and her Monsters had some moments like that, but nothing life-changing. Although this may be N/A on better reading years as well since it's really hard for me to put that label on a novel.

14. Book You Can't Believe You Waited Until 2017 to Finally Read

Does this count considering it came out in 2016? I saw it all around but never got to checking it out and then I was both happy and sad that I've waited. Happy because I could binge the duology, sad that I have waited to join the fun!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From a Book You Read in 2017?
"A small shift in gravity between us and suddenly all my stars are out of alignment, planets knocked out of their orbits, and I'm left stumbling, without a map or heading, through the bewildering territory of being in love with your best friend" -- The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue 
“There is a small monster in my brain that controls my doubt.
The doubt itself is a stupid thing, without sense or feeling, blind and straining at the end of a long chain. The monster though, is smart. It's always watching, and when I am completely sure of myself, it unchains the doubt and lets it run wild. even when I know it's coming, I can't stop it.” --Eliza and her Monsters
Wolves were big and scary and so fluffy, how could anyone resist hugging one just to feel all that fur? -- Written In Red (re-read)
“It's not the face, but the expressions on it. It's not the voice, but what you say. It's not how you look in that body, but the things you do with it. You are beautiful.” -- The Host (Re-Read)
“The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead in the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day.” -- The King of Attolia (re-read)
“I want her – this fearless, stunning woman. And I want the kids. Those perfect, awful, amazing children – whom she loves with every inch of her soul. I want them to be mine. Mine to hold, mine to protect and teach. Their joy, their laughter, their love. I want to come home to it, bask in it, be the reason for it.

But even more than that, I want to deserve them.” -- Sustained (re-read)
“Daylight won’t protect you from anything. Bad things happen all the time; they don’t wait until after dinner” -- The Sea of Tranquility (re-read)
“Murderer, monster, madman... Khalid may very well be all of those things. But he's also loved. By me and by my father. But, most of all, by Shazi. With her, he is as fiercely loved as he loves.” -- The Wrath and the Dawn
“I don't fit in your world."
"Neither do I," he said, his expression tender yet resolute. "So let's make our own. We've done it before.” -- On the Island (re-read)
16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?
17. Book That Shocked you The Most
Umm... can't think of any based on my read list...

18. OTP of the Year (You Will Go Down With This Ship!)
From new books (or manga I finished this year):

1. Fuyuki & Kuze / Keishichou Tokuhanka 007 (sucky gifs made by me)

2. Shazi & Khalid / The Wrath & The Dawn series - I just loved them together. They made me love a murdering king, and root for their relationship 100%.  

From Re-Reads: Meg & Simon for life!! / Written in Red Series, Gen & Irene / The Queen's Thief series, Jake & Chelsea /Sustained, Wanda & Ian / The Host, TJ & Anna / On the Island, Sumire & Momo / Tramps Like Us, Callie & Gabriel / Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake

As you can see - a ton of old couples. That's probably because I re-read mostly books with couples I will die for lol Like, aside for Harry Potter maybe, I kind of need to adore a main couple and want to re-visit their romance, even if it's just a side plot, for me to actually decide to re-read the novel. It's just how I roll haha

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year
Honestly? Melanie and Wanda from the Host. The way they begin as enemies and end up almost sisters is always such a great reading experience. There isn't any non-romantic relationship that tops that in the other novels I've read (although there already is one for my 2018 reads!)

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
I kind of liked all the books in this series equally, and they're just... such great fun! Highly recommend them when you need a read to de-stress with.

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Honestly, the reason I didn't pick it up immediately is that a. the cover didn't attract me and b. the synopsis didn't really grab me... but then it was about 2 dollars on kindle so I decided to check it out since it was such a fan favorite and nearly hit myself with a club for being so stupid about it before. 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?
I feel so ashamed. There isn't really one! They're all old crushes. I guess there is Khalid, but I also feel like I crush on him and Shazi as a couple more than I do him alone?? Does that make sense?? 

23. Best 2017 debut you read?
It's also the only debut I've read, but as far as they go its pretty great! I loved the characters and their relationships :)

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
*Runs away because I don't haaaave a new book for this oooneeee*

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Definitely this one.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

A few oldies did too, but from the new ones...

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
N/A

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?


A very specific outcome in this one crushed my soul in the worst possible ways...

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?


I suppose Jane, Unlimited is the only correct answer for this one, since I haven't read a multiple-outcome novel in a long time and it was definitely the most unique format I've read this year. 

I'm also including Eliza because of the combination of text messages, drawings and story snippets that acomany many of the chapters. 

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
None.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?
2017 was my worst blogging year as well as reading year. I have no answer for this one as I've read very few blog posts and have even stopped looking at my favorite blogs because of it. Hopefully, I'm going to return to all those in 2018.

P.S I did discover bookstagram the past few months, and I love it!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?
I guess The Wrath & The Dawn? Again, I've written about 20 reviews on the blog in 2017 and I barely remember what I wrote for any of them...

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
When You Just Have to Break Up... With a Genre. Just had a ton of fun writing that one.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I'm INTL. That means... I don't really have any, sadly.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?
Good question...

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Doing it... 

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Umm.. My bargain posts lol (I'm not crying, you're crying)

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
How to Watch 16 Anime in One Month (Or So) - I kind of really wanted someone to talk to about these anime haha

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
BOOKSTAGRAM. And book subscription boxes, specifically Owlcrate. Best. Thing. Ever. 

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Yep, the GR one. But only thanks to counting in manga. Which counts, right? Right?
1. One Book You Didn’t Get to in 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?
Ummm.... I guess Illuminae. I have the hardcover and it looks BEAUTIFUL. Also, I really want to know the source of "am I not merciful?"!!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?
HIGHLANDER EVER AFTER by Maya Banks! Five years of waiting will come to an end this February (hopefully). Oh, and Puddin' by Julia Murphy - the sequel to Dumplin' <3

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
No idea. I kind of fall into debuts, rather than look for them. They pop up around GR or Bookstagram and I add them to my list and by accident I read them the year they come out ¯\_(=/)_/¯

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?
See point 2.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

Actually blog and read. I am setting my goals low this year... 

Thanks for reading this far, if you have, and let's all have a great and successful 2018!