None right now

Thursday, January 18, 2018

New Year, New Books Readathon TBR & SIGN UP

Hello, all. As you may or may not know, I am hosting a readathon at the end of this month called the New Year, New Books Readathon. If you want more information, check out my announcement post. The readathon will be taking place from January 24-31.

I don't know how much reading I will be able to get done between hosting the readathon and doing all my last-minute study abroad preparations. But, with an optimistic perspective, here is what I hope to read:

1) Read a book by an author you've never read before.

Everyone and their chinchilla has read and raved about this book. I think it's about time I pick it up. 

2) Read a genre you don't typically read (this could also mean age group. Like, if you usually read YA you could read an adult or MG book).

Well, it's gonna be really awkward if this isn't true, but I've heard that this is more of an adult fantasy than young adult. I don't read much adult fantasy (or adult books in general), though that is definitely an area I'd like to explore more. 

3) Read a book in a medium you don't usually read (ebook, audiobook, graphic novel, etc.)

I'm kinda cheating on my own challenge here. I chose this book because it is a physical ARC, which, considering I get very few of these, I rarely read. I was really looking forward to this novel when it was released and never got around to reading it, but now that I have an egalley of its companion/sequel, I need to get to reading. 

4) Read a diverse book (you might already do this, so if you do, maybe try reading an area of diverse books you don't usually read--if you usually read racially diverse books, try reading a diverse book about mental health, if that makes sense????)

This book, to my understanding, has a queer protagonist and a character with bipolar disorder. While I've read queer books before, I do not think I've ever read a novel that deals with bipolar disorder. Also, I've heard this book is phenomenal. 

5) Read a book someone in the community recommended, but you know nothing about.

I really didn't wanna double up on any of my challenges, but this book is probably the thickest of all the books on my TBR, so it's fine, right??? Anyway, the only thing I know about this book is that it deals with a heist and has squad goals and that everybody in the book community loves it. 
Well, there you have my TBR for the readathon, friends. Hopefully I make a decent dent in it. Below you'll find a linky, where you can link to your TBR, be it a video, an instagram post, or even just a tweet.  

A few important notes: 

You MUST have signed up through this linky in order to enter any of the giveaways throughout the readathon. 

If you sign up before 12:01 AM central time on the 24th (when the readathon starts), you will get a bonus entry for each giveaway you enter. 

Please be sure to visit/comment on other participants' TBRs as well! 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Writing Discussion: When Your Words Stop Being Pretty

For the past couple months, I've been undergoing the process of graduate school applications for creative writing. If you're unfamiliar with the process (I mean, I was before I began it), a major part of an MFA application is the writing sample. It's pretty much the most important aspect of your application. Every school has different requirements for length and whathaveyou, but for the most part, fiction submissions are to be 20-25 double-spaced pages.

All that said, for the past few months I have been revising one story over and over to make sure it is the best version that it can be.

And you know what?

I can't differentiate between the good and the garbage anymore. I've read the manuscript so many times that the words have lost any beauty they might have had. It's incredibly discouraging to look at your own work and not see lines you love anymore. To not even know if it's worth reading anymore.

I asked some creative writing friends to read it and give a bit of feedback, but that was during finals week, so I never heard anything from them and I didn't want to bother them with it.

This is the point where I need to put a bit of distance between the story and myself. Step away from it. Work on something else for a while and then get back to it. The problem is that's not an option. Some applications were due last month, some are due this month, some are due next month. So basically, I have to submit what I have.

I was struggling with this a lot because I thought, "I'm never going to get into grad school if this story isn't the most perfect version of itself." That's just crazy talk. I am a talented writer. Obviously I have miles and miles of room for improvement, but the talent is there.

I realized I just need to trust myself. Sure, that story has stopped being pretty to me, but I need to trust that I saw something in it in the first place. That I worked to improve it. That I know, at least a little bit, what I'm doing. I need to have faith in my own abilities, even if it's just for that split second when I have to hit the "Submit Application" button.

No story is ever going to be perfect. Ever. So I think when you reach the point that your story is somehow good and bad and nothing all at once, you've probably done all you can do for that story. At least for now. When you're no longer able to see the value in your own work, you need to trust that it's there because you must have seen it at one point, or else you wouldn't have worked and worked and worked tirelessly on it in the first place.

Obviously, it's probably nice to get a reliable second opinion, but that's not always an option. And if it is an option, it's not always easy to ask for.

Moral of the story: writing is very hard. Rewriting is very hard. Reaching perfection is impossible.

LET'S DISCUSS: Does this happen to you? If so, what do you do??????

Monday, January 8, 2018

Books I Started But Didn't Finish In 2017

(Okay so this isn't really a best-of list, but I'm too lazy to make another graphic)

We've all been there before: You start a book but you get distracted by another read and never open it again. You're not in the mood for your current read. Maybe it's just not hooking you. Unfortunately, starting books but not finishing them happens, and in 2017 it happened quite frequently for me.

The following books, I do not necessarily consider DNF books because I do want to finish them one day, but that day was not in 2017.

Everybody loves this book. And it's a contemporary. And it has an interesting premise. And a disabled love interest. It sounds like this book would be a total love match for me, but I just wasn't connecting to it when I was reading it. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for it at the time???? I got 25% of the way through it. 

I got a free audiobook from the author for review. I would listen to it as I walked or laid out by the pool but one day I just never went back to it. Granted, it wasn't the best book or narrator, at least so far. However, my fitire holds a lot of bus & train rides so maybe I will give it another shot on one of those rides. 

I hate having this one on the list because this was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017. I read only the beginning, and I reallllllly liked it, but it was the summer and I was lounging by the pool and I just wanted to read quick contemporaries. And then I never resumed this one. BUT 2018 WILL BE THE YEAR I READ IT. 

Speaking of quick contemporaries, this, apparently, was not the one I was after. It's not that it was just wasn't speaking to my heart, so I just forgot to pick it up ever again. I would like to read the entire thing one day, though, just for the sake of completion. 

Oh lordy I was PUMPED for this novel. I got about halfway through it before I just...stopped reading it. It's not that it was bad, but I think I was expecting a more fast-paced, addicting, romantic read like Ahdieh's other work. It just wasn't giving me what I wanted at the time, but it is still probably a worthwhile read and I think going into it with adjusted expectations will help. 

When I first discovered the Brooding YA Hero twitter account, I thought it was satirical gold, but by the book came out, I think I was just over it. It stopped being clever and became redundant, and reading the book was just a bit much. Also, I received an e-galley that had some really awful formatting, so that made the experience even more unpleasant. This is one I really truly don't know if I'll ever read in its entirety, but I'm sure it's quick and requires very little brain power, so who knows.

This one is the most recent, having started it in the later half of January. I wanna love it so bad because everyone loves it and it's about JACK THE RIPPER, who I find fascinating. I just was not connecting. I am 100% going to try again, and probably soon. 
There you have the books I started but never finished in 2017! There might be more, but I took them off my Goodreads shelf, so I don't remember?


Saturday, January 6, 2018


Hello, friends!! I hope you all are having a lovely 2018 so far. I'm coming to you with some rather exciting news. I WILL BE HOSTING A READATHON AT THE END OF THE MONTH!! And I want all of you to join in the fun.

It's called the New Year, New Books Readathon. It's all about reading new-to-you books and branching out your reading at least a little bit.

This readathon will take place from January 24-31. There will be five reading challenges for the seven days. I'm on vacation right now, so I won't be making my tbr until I get home and can look at my books, but here are the reading challenges:

1) Read a book by an author you've never read before.

2) Read a genre you don't typically read (this could also mean age group. Like, if you usually read YA you could read an adult or MG book).

3) Read a book in a medium you don't usually read (ebook, audiobook, graphic novel, etc.)

4) Read a diverse book (you might already do this, so if you do, maybe try reading an area of diverse books you don't usually read--if you usually read racially diverse books, try reading a diverse book about mental health, if that makes sense????)

5) Read a book someone in the community recommended, but you know nothing about. 

Obviously you don't have to do all the challenges! Just read stuff, ya know? Also, if you want, you can use one book for multiple challenges. It's up to you. I just want you to have fun and maybe discover a favorite that you wouldn't have found otherwise.

There will be Instagram challenges and Twitter sprints. AND PRIZES! Fear not, friends, I am hoping to give some stuff away every day of the readathon!!

I will have more details in the coming weeks, but I hope y'all are thinking about your TBRs. Feel free to comment below if you're interested in joining. I will have an official sign up when I post my TBR, so you don't have to commit to anything just yet if you comment below.

Y'all have no idea how excited I am to be hosting this readathon. I've never planned/hosted an event like this before and I'm really hoping it goes smoothly!

If you're interested in donating a book of any sort for giveaways (ebook, ARC, audiobook--anything!) please let me know because, while I will buy a few books to giveaway, I am still a college student and I don't have a TON of funds. Also, if you're interested in helping (hosting twitter sprints or an Instagram challenge or something), also let me know!!! 

I hope you all are as excited about this as I am!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Favorite New-To-Me Authors in 2017

Sometimes it is so nice to sink into a book by one of your favorite authors. To go into a book knowing it's going to be wonderful because it's written by someone you trust. On the other hand, though, there's something exhilarating about falling in love with a new author's words.


Here are some authors I read for the first time in 2017, whose books I adored, and who I will definitely be on the look out for in the future.


What I read: Noteworthy 

Other books by this author: Seven Ways We Lie

Coming June 12, 2018: Final Draft 



What I read: Caraval

Coming May 29, 2018: Legendary


What I read: Alex, Approximately

Other books by this author: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart

Coming April 3, 2018: Starry Eyes


What I read: What to Say Next

Other books by this author: The Opposite of Love

Coming May 14, 2018: Picture a Blue Sky
No available cover


What I read: Illuminae and Gemina

Coming March 13. 2018: Obsidio


What I read: When Dimple Met Rishi

Coming June 5, 2018: From Twinkle, with Love


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017 End-Of-Year Survey

I cannot believe 2017 is coming to a close already. And what a mess this year has been. Yikes. I am beyond ready for 2018. But, if you're reading this, just remember you survived the garbage fire of 2017!!!!!!! We did it, friends. In my personal life, this year has been a disaster, but it has opened up the gates of opportunity, setting me up for an excellent 2018.

Anyway, here's how my year was in books and blogging.

Number Of Books You Read: 44
Number of Re-Reads: 5
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary

1. Best Book You Read In 2017?

Yeah, I'm going to have to ask you to refer to the list I made of my favorite reads of 2017. I ain't picking just one.

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

Geekerella by Ashley Poston
| Don't get me wrong--I still really enjoyed this book! It was cute and fun, but I expected it to be among my favorites this year (like it was for many others), but sadly it just barely missed the mark. No worries, I am still a total Ashley Poston fangirl and she is on my auto-buy list.

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

Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally | I've read a few of the previous books in this series and they were very middle-of-the-road reads for me. Forgettable. But I enjoyed this one a lot! This novel managed to give me the fluffy, romantic fix I needed, along with depth and characters I ended up becoming very invested in.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Caraval by Stephanie Garber | My book pushing habits were a bit wilted this year, but I know I encouraged many a-people on Twitter to pick this gem up, which is funny because people on Twitter are the reason I read it myself.

5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

I actually started quite a few series this year, which is new for me. The best series I've started this year goes to Caraval by Stephanie Garber (buckle in, kiddos, because this book is going to be my answer to a lot of questions). The best sequel goes to Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. And I haven't really read any series enders because I suck at commitment, okay. I can't remember the last time I finished a series.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

I read so many new-to-me authors this year and I can't pick a favorite, so stay tuned for this upcoming Top Ten Tuesday when I'll discuss all my favorite new-to-me authors.

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

Even though one of my goals for the year was to read out of my comfort zone, I didn't. Like, at all.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | This novel, just like its predecessor, kept me on my toes literally the entire time. I could not wait to see what insane situations these characters would find themselves in next. This series is wild, my dudes.

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

Heartless by Marissa Meyer | This was the first book I read in 2017 and one of my favorites. It has been nearly a year since I read it and I'm having withdrawals. I need to pick it up again and rediscover its charm.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

Caraval by Stephanie Garber | Every iteration of this book is beautiful. The US edition, the UK editions. And while it's gorgeous on a computer screen, the cover is even more stunning in its physical form.

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

Jest from Heartless by Marissa Meyer | Trust me, I will NEVER forget.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh | This novel is brimming with lovely descriptions. Ahdieh sure knows how to paint a picture with her words.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba | Not particularly life-changing, but it was thought-provoking. Not only because it made me ponder the important moments of my life, both big and small. Also, it made me wonder what the heck certain aspects were supposed to mean.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | It started off a bit slow and confusing, but when it took off, IT TOOK OFF. I fell in love with the characters and the book's style. It is riveting and emotional and ALL THE GOOD WORDS YOU CAN THINK OF. I'm so mad that it took me so long to join this party.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

I shall repeat last year's answer: I am 100% too lazy to go find an answer for this. 

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

Shortest: Lackadaisy by Tracy J. Butler (graphic novel) | 96 pages
Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction by Benjamin Percy (essay collection) | 173 pages
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (novel) | 176 pages
Longest: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | 659 pages

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | This novel was unlike anything I'd ever read before. I also kind of went into it blind. I knew it was a sci-fi novel, but not much else. I was never prepared for any of the twists and turns this novel brought.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

First of all, I feel personally attacked because there are a lot. But. I'm gonna go with Marko and Alana from the Saga graphic novel series by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples | When the series begins, they already have an established, solid relationship. Throughout the series, their relationship faces many a challenge, but the pair proves that their love for one another is enough to conquer any obstacle.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Lina and Howard from Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch | They began as strangers and developed such a sweet father-daughter relationship, despite certain circumstances that could really hinder the progress of their relationship. As a total daddy's girl, I adored seeing the two grow more affection for each other.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen | I've said it before, and I'll continue to say it until the end of time: Sarah Dessen is my queen! Her latest novel had everything I love in a Dessen novel (summer, romance, family) and was also somehow different than all her other works.

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum | Someone on Twitter said this book was a must-read and I had just won it in a giveaway. I knew nothing about it. I wasn't even that excited about it. But it is INCREDIBLE. Seriously, everyone should read this.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

Okay, again, attacked because I have many many many many. I kinda wanna make a post about this, though, so I shall leave you with only one: Nik Malikov from Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. He is one of the newest of my fictional crushes.

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

Caraval by Stephanie Garber | This might actually be the only 2017 debut I read this year, but I'm fairly confident it would still be my favorite. If you couldn't tell, I loved this book.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Heartless by Marissa Meyer | Everything was so whimsical and fantastical and I was absolutely sucked into this world of nonsense. The excellent world building is one of the many reasons I am so in love with this novel.

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

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate | A CAPPELLA!!!!!!

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

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson | No matter how much I prepared myself, I was not nearly prepared enough for the mess of emotions this book evoked. Morgan Matson is a true genius with character and I was probably wayyyy too invested in these characters' lives.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum | I need to hear more people talking about this novel. Somehow this book managed to break my heart and put it back together again. I love this book.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Heartless by Marissa Meyer | There's a reason this book is called Heartless and it's because Marissa Meyer is cruel and ripped my beating heart right out of my chest. And I adored every second of it.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

The Saga graphic novel series by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples | Everything in this series is so imaginative. The images are vivid and the world is creative as heck.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

The One by Kiera Cass | Listen, I devoured the first three books in this series in like 2 days. They were so addictive and easy to get lost in. HOWEVER, this series makes me angry because there's legit no reason for it to have so many books, aside from the fact that the protagonist is an indecisive, blathering excuse of a human.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?
I haven't read any book blogs in months, unfortunately.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?
Yeah, what an easy decision. Definitely. 

(I'm lying)

Here are a few I like: 

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I feel like, for a little while at least, I really stepped my game up this year with discussion posts and other non-review posts. I always strive for creative content and to talk about things that other people might not be talking about right now. That said, I have several discussion/non-review posts that I am quite proud of. Sorry, but not really.

A discussion on backlist books
A discussion on doing it all in the book community

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Um, to be honest, I didn't really participate in anything this year.

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

When I was blogging consistently, I loved all the comments I was getting on my discussion posts and all the creative ideas I was having. 

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

The same thing I struggle with every year: Reading and posting during the school semester. I'm just not capable of focusing on my blog or pleasure reading while also focusing on school. It's simply not possible for me. 

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My list of the Top Ten Anticipated Reads in the Second Half of 2017 got a good amount of views and comments. (In case anyone was wondering, I've literally only read one of the books on the list)

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
From the Page to the Stage #1: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I've been a bad little blogger this year, okay. I feel like I've been so removed from the community for most of the year and not focusing on the bookish side of my life.

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

I had several resolutions that I set forth for myself at the beginning of the year, and while I did a mediocre job living up to many of them, there are a few I feel I accomplished: 

1) Read more series. I'm still not a series-reading machine, but I'm working on it. 

2) Read more popular books/new releases. Of the 44 books I read this year, 14 of them are 2017 releases. Out of the books that are not new releases, 12 of the books I read are fairly popular novels (and that's excluding my re-reads). Sounds good to me. 

3) Strive for quality. Like I said earlier, I've produced a lot of posts I'm really proud of this year, so I consider that a win. 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I got an eARC and I STILL HAVEN'T READ IT. Why, you ask? I have no idea, but I need to!!!!!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?
Okay, wow. This is a tough one.

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Admittedly, school took me away from the book community for awhile, so I'm not tuned into the hype surrounding next year's debuts. However, I have heard wonderful things about American Panda by Gloria Chao, and the premise sounds really compelling!

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | AHHHHHHHHHH.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?
I'm hoping to be more consistent with my reading habits (I say for the millionth year in a row. It never happens). Also, while I want to keep this a book blog, I want to incorporate more lifestyle elements and more writing.

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

None :(
Oy. What a year. Admittedly, I read some pretty wonderful shit. I'm definitely lucky in that regard. So here's to 2018 and hoping that it's full of delightful reads for all of us!

What do you think of my selections? How was your bookish and blogging life in 2017??