Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mid-Year Book Freak Out 2017

I had seen this going around Booktube and loved the idea :) I'm a little late to the game but only by like 2 weeks!

Hosted by Earl Grey Books and ReadLikeWildfire
  1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017. A tie between Heartless by Marissa Meyer and My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, and Cynthia Hand. I loved them both so much.
  2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2017. The rereads of The Wide Window and The Ersatz Elevator - both in the Series of Unfortunate Events.
  3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to. Caraval by Stephanie Garber.
  4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year. Tie between Warcross by Marie Lu (I've read an excerpt and LOVED it) and They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (love the premise).
  5. Biggest disappointment. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
  6. Biggest surprise. My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, and Cynthia Hand. I didn't really expect to like it but had heard it was so so funny. It was. I laughed out loud so many times.
  7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you) Amanda Hosch! I read her debut middle grade, Mabel Opal Pear and the Rules for Spying, and it was adorable. It's set to come out in October.
  8. Newest fictional crush. I have none - most of the romantic interests have been annoying. o.O
  9. Newest favorite character. Mabel Opal Pear from Mabel Opal Pear and the Rules for Spying by Amanda Hosch.
  10. Book that made you cry. I don't think I've cried yet this year that I can recall.
  11. Book that made you happy. My Lady Jane!
  12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year. I have watched Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children, but I haven't read the book yet. The movie was amazing.
  13. Favorite review you've written this year. My review for Heartless and My Lady Jane.
  14. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received). Flame in the Mist by Renee Adhieh is stunning!!
  15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year? All of the books on my desk :S

Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer Biannual Bibliothon [Reading List]


I didn't really get to participate in the last Biannual Bibliothon, even though I followed along. This time I think I am prepared enough to do it and I'm excited. The Summer Biannual Bibliothon runs from Jul 23rd through Jul 29th and the Live Show is on Sunday, Jul 30th. This time there will be video challenges (as per usual) plus Instagram and blog challenges. PLUS the normal reading challenges which I will talk about in this post :)

For the group reading challenges, you are allowed to double up (a book can count for two), but not triple up. So I will be taking advantage of that because with 7 group challenges equaling 7 books, I know I would not be very successful. So let's talk reading challenges and my reading list!

  1. GROUP BOOK: Flame in the Mist by Renee Adieh - I'm really excited about this one. I have read an excerpt and really enjoyed that little bit.
  2. READ FROM A HOST'S FAVORITE GENRE: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli - this is from Emma's favorite genre: diverse books. I know there is some LGBTQIA+ representation, as well as, underrepresented body type.
  3. BANNED BOOK: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Funny enough, this book was actually banned/challenged in Knoxville, where I live now, for too much graphic information.
  4. THROWBACK CHALLENGE: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. I'm using the "Book over 300 pages" challenge for this one from Winter 2016 Bibib.
  5. BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION: Doubling up with The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
  6. READ A BOOK NOT FOUND FROM BOOKTUBE: Doubling up with Eliza and Her Monsters - found via Owlcrate sub. I had never heard of it. I typically don't watch unboxings until I unbox my own Owlcrate.
  7. LGBTQIA+: Doubling up with The Upside of Unrequited :)

Even 4 books is quite the stretch for me and I'm hoping that I can attempt to finish all four. I have hardback copies of Eliza and Upside and Immortal Life on my Kindle. I just need to get my hands on Flame in the Mist...otherwise, I'm prepared and ready to read.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Series Challenge - Update #2


At the beginning of 2017 I was in the middle of 63 series. In March, I went through my TBR and removed books I no longer was interested in or series I knew I was never going to finish. In the past 3 months (April, May, June), I didn't read a lot of my series books. I just wasn't feeling it. However, I'm still proud to say...no new series added!

As of 7/1...
I have finished 0 series.
I have started 0 new series
I have read 1 books in series.


I am currently in the middle of 57 series. Still. :S

You can check out my list of series books here. I will be back in the beginning of October for my third update. I do hope to finish 5 series by then. I want to say my goal for the year is 10 and I have NOT done reached the halfway point yet :/ Oops!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Book Review: Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin


Publish Date: June 27, 2017
352 pages [Paperback edition]
Flatironc

Synopsis:
In the tradition of Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell, a big-hearted journey of furious friendship, crazy love, and unexpected hope after a teen's decision to end an unwanted pregnancy

“Troubled.” That’s seventeen-year-old Genesis according to her small New Jersey town. She finds refuge and stability in her relationship with her boyfriend, Peter—until he abandons her at a Planned Parenthood clinic during their appointment to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The betrayal causes Gen to question everything.

As Gen pushes herself forward to find her new identity without Peter, she must also confront her most painful memories. Through the lens of an ongoing four act play within the novel, the fantasy of their undying love unravels line by line, scene by scene. Digging deeper into her past while exploring the underground theater world of New York City, she rediscovers a long-forgotten dream. But it’s when Gen lets go of her history, the one she thinks she knows, that she’s finally able to embrace the complicated, chaotic true story of her life, and take center stage.

This powerfully immersive and format-crushing debut follows Gen from dorm rooms to diners to house parties to auditions—and ultimately, right into readers’ hearts.


My Thoughts:
I was gifted this ebook via Netgalley.
This story follows Genesis, a 17 year old from New Jersey. She is getting an abortion. The story goes through the timeline following the abortion and flashbacks in a play format from the events leading up to the abortion. It was a very character-rich, character-driven story and I really enjoyed it. The writing style was so easy to read and so easy to really connect with Genesis and her life. I wish there was a little more about her parents and family in the book and would ready a second one about it - 100 percent. However, it was still a wonderful read. It really handled touchy subjects well IMO.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Books I Read in June



The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete - 3 stars (finished 6/9)
BOOK 1 IN ANGEL OF DEATH SERIES
I was gifted this ebook via Netgalley.
Review: here. 

Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z Index by Kathy Griffin - 4 stars (finished 6/10)
Kathy Griffin is one of my favorite comediannes and I live for these tales of her run-ins with different celebrities. A lot of her standup is pop culture related and she is so good at what she does. It's interesting to hear about the celebs that are good sports. I especially loved hearing about the exchanges between Morgan Freeman and Don Rickles. AND her relationship with Kris Jenner, especially after all her digs at the Kardashian/Jenner family. My favorite "chapter" was probably the Weird Al one though :) Perfect light read and absolutely hilarious. 

Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke - 2.5 stars (finished 6/15)
BOOK 19 IN HANNAH SWENSEN SERIES
I knew I was going to hate this book because I'm not happy who Hannah is with. The plot was okay, but seemed really forced. I feel like the recipes are taking over. I love food. I love recipes. I am a self-proclaimed recipe hoarder who blogs about food. But these books used to have so much more to them. I'm still hoping that her groom drops dead or is the murderer in the next book or someone speaks up and stops the wedding. There are so many instances throughout the book where Hannah was being manipulated by him and so many where she has moments of realization that she doesn't really know him as well as she knows others. 

Recipes in book: Easy Lemon Pie, Chips Galore Whippersnapper Cookies, Chocolate Almond Crisps, Green Tomatillo Stew, Cheesy Chili Corn Muffins, Soft Chewy Milk Chocolate Cookies, Magic White Chocolate Souffle, Vanilla Nutmeg Sauce, Milk Chocolate Sauce, Double Rainbow Swirl Cake, White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, Breakfast Puffs, Butterscotch Sugar Cookies, White Chocolate Mocha, Chocolate Coffee Cake, Lunchbox Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies, Peanut Butter Potato Chip Cookies, Angel Crunch Cookies, Honey Drop Cookies, and Blue Banana Muffins. In the second book, there were SEVEN recipes. This one has TWENTY. 

Dreaming of Antigone by Robin Bridges - 4.5 stars (finished 6/19)
I was gifted this ebook via Netgalley.
Review: here.

The Form of Unknown Things by Robin Bridges - 3.5 stars (finished 6/28)
I was gifted this ebook via Netgalley.Review: here


Saturday, July 1, 2017

July TBR List + Upcoming Releases


In June, I read 5 books and am still on track with my Goodreads challenge - actually 1 book ahead. So that is super awesome! I made a mini-goal of reading 2 Owlcrate books, 1 book off my desk, and 2 Netgalley books. I read 3 Netgalleys and I'm currently reading an Owlcrate.
  1. I am working on reading my Owlcrate books. I have Roseblood, Caraval, Daughter of a Pirate King, The Upside of Unrequited, Eliza and Her Monsters, The Sandcastle Empire, and New World: Rising on that list too.
  2. The books on my desk I have: Dead in the Family, The Slippery Slope, This Savage Song, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den, and Aftercare Instructions.
  3. Netgalley books are on my need-to-read-like-last-year list. Last month, I reported having 70 books on my Netgalley list. This month, I'm starting with 70. I read 3 books but also added 3 to my list. :/ Whoops.
  4. I joined a new reading challenge: 20 Books of Summer. The premise is to read 20 books between 1 June and 3 September. 5 books down and 15 to go.
  5. I am participating in the 2017 Summer Bibibliothon and my goal is to read 4 books: the group book, Flame in the Mist by Renee Adieh, and then The Upside of Unrequited, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. More information here.


The last time I posted a Top Ten was in August 2014, but I have always followed along and read the weekly Top Ten on The Broke and The Bookish. I decided I really wanted to join back in and, of course, as soon as I do, there will be a short summer break for Top Ten. I will try and go through some of the old topics and still post until they come back in August. Today's topic is the top ten books we've read in 2017 so far. I've only read 25 books. These ten include all my five stars and a few of my four star ratings.


  1. The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket: I started rereading the Series of Unfortunate Events this year. I need to pick it back up with book 10, but I started with book 3 and I forget how much I enjoy it in particular.
  2. The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket: Another of my favorites in the Series of Unfortunate Events is book 6.
  3. Heartless by Marissa Meyer: I picked up an older Owlcrate with this book inside and went back and forth between the physical copy and the audiobook. Loved both.
  4. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows: This is probably my favorite read so far this year. I laughed out loud so many times. I picked this up in an older Owlcrate as well.
  5. The Walking Dead: Compendium Three: It was killing me that I was behind on the comic storyline vs. the tv storyline. I was starting to get really bored with the last season, but after catching up and going a little past the tv storyline, I am SO excited for the next season!
  6. Mabel Opal Pear and the Rules for Spying by Amanda Hosch: This was an ARC I got to read for NetGalley that isn't published until October 1st. It's a middle grade novel and probably my second favorite read of the year so far.
  7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling: Super short, but really fabulous.
  8. None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio: This was my first book with a character with AIS. It was a fascinating read and I want to educate myself more on people who are intersex.
  9. Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-ins by Kathy Griffin: I think Kathy Griffin is hilarious and I love her stand-up. This was a good read with lots of funny moments and anecdotes with celebrities. Not gonna lie, I wanted to see what happened when she ran into the Kardashians.
  10. Dreaming of Antigone by Robin Bridges: I recently finished this book and I'm reading the companion right now. It was a wonderful story. Not perfect by any means, but wonderful.

What are your favorite books you've read so far in 2017?

Let me know below in the comments! 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

20 Books of Summer [TBR List]

I finally got around to looking at some new-to-me book blogs via the Top Ten Tuesday meme and now I have found some new reading challenges and readathons to join. I feel pretty motivated to read lately and would love to finish some books I have laying around.

I'm joining in on 746 Books' "20 Books of Summer" challenge that runs from 1 June to 3 September. Since it's past the time this particular challenge started, I will backdate with books I have already read and then will continue my list with current reads and reads I want for the rest of the challenge.
  1. The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete - 6/9
  2. Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins: A-Z Index by Kathy Griffin - 6/11
  3. Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke - 6/15
  4. Dreaming of Antigone by Robin Bridges - 6/19
  5. The Form of Things Unknown by Robin Bridges - 6/28
  6. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst - 7/15
  7. Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den by Aimee Carter
  8. To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
  9. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
  10. Roseblood by AG Howard
  11. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  12. The Daughter of a Pirate King by Trisha Levenseller
  13. Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin - 7/1
  14. Flame in the Mist by Renee Adieh [for the Summer Bibib]
  15. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli [for the Summer Bibib]
  16. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks [for the Summer Bibib]
  17. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia [for the Summer Bibib]
  18. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - 7/19
  19. The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
  20. New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson
  21. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris - 7/10
As of 7/20, I have read 8 books.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Review: Dreaming of Antigone by Robin Bridges


Publish Date: March 29, 2016
304 pages [Kindle edition]
Kensington

Synopsis:
Every star has its own path…

“I can’t ever be the blazing star that Iris was. I’m still just a cold, dark satellite orbiting a star that went super nova.”

Andria’s twin sister, Iris, had adoring friends, a cool boyfriend, a wicked car, and a shelf full of soccer trophies. She had everything, in fact—including a drug problem. Six months after Iris’s death, Andria is trying to keep her grades, her friends, and her family from falling apart. But stargazing and books aren’t enough to ward off her guilt that she—the freak with the scary illness and all-black wardrobe—is still here when Iris isn’t. And then there’s Alex Hammond. The boy Andria blames for Iris’s death. The boy she’s unwittingly started swapping lines of poetry and secrets with, even as she tries to keep hating him.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Book Review: The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete



Publish Date: November 10, 2014
218 pages [Kindle edition]
Booktrope
 
Synopsis:
When sixteen-year-old Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death.

Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.


Monday, June 5, 2017

Books I Read in May


The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook - 3.5 stars (finished 5/12)
Review to come.
I was gifted this book via Netgalley.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling - 5 stars (finished 5/12)
I was ecstatic about this book and meant to read it forever ago, but then I never got around to it. I need to get the other mini books that are set in the Harry Potter world as well. I loved the humor of this book and the illustrations were gorgeous. My favorite beasts are the Crup (likened to a Jack Russell Terrier - squee), the Demiguise (interested in its textile uses), the Jobberknoll (for its interesting death), the Knarl (that is a suspicious hedgehog), and the Wampus Cat. I found the Lethifold terrifying and the Runespoor very very fascinating. Overall, loved the creatures and writing and illustrations. Cannot recommend it enough to HP fans!

I Survived: Five Epic Disasters by Lauren Tarshis - 3.5 stars (finished 5/13)
This book follows five disasters: The Children’s Blizzard (1888), The Titanic Disaster (1912), The Great Boston Molasses Flood (1919), The Japanese Tsunami (2011), and The Henryville Tornado (2012). Each event has a short story and is then followed by some various facts about the event and similar events as well. I thought it was very well written and loved the pictures in it. I think as a kid, I would have gobbled these books up.  

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio - 5 stars (finished 5/18)
Review: here.
I was gifted this book via Netgalley. 

Buzz Books 2017: Young Adult Fall/Winter by Publishers Lunch - 4 stars (finished 5/26)
Review: here.
I was gifted this book via Netgalley. 


Thursday, June 1, 2017

June TBR List + Upcoming Releases


In May, I read 5 books and that means I am on track with my Goodreads challenge for the year. I'm really happy that I was able to read 5 books. Part of that was that I had read some shorter books during the Bout of Books readathon, but they were on my TBR and they were physical books that had been sitting on my desk that I wanted to put away. In the month of June, I would really like to read 2 Owlcrates, 1 book off my desk, and 2 Netgalley books.
  1. I am working on reading my Owlcrate books. I keep starting and then putting down Of Fire and Stars for a few weeks before picking it up and reading a chapter and then putting it down for a few weeks. So I need to finish it. I have Roseblood, Caraval, Daughter of a Pirate King, The Upside of Unrequited, and Eliza and Her Monsters on that list too.
  2. The books on my desk are two less this month but still I have: Dead in the Family, The Slippery Slope, This Savage Song, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den, and Aftercare Instructions.
  3. Netgalley books are on my need-to-read-like-last-year list. Last month, I reported having 69 books on my Netgalley list. This month, I'm starting with 70. I would like to get this number down to 68 or lower in June.

CHALLENGES
Goodreads Challenge: 21/52 books
ABC Challenge: 10/26 books
Travel Gnome Challenge: 15/23 books
Series Challenge: 0/10 series
Movie Adaptation Challenge: 0/3 books
Netgalley Challenge: 8/25 books
Throwback Book Club: 13/12 books
Diversity Bingo 2017: 3/36 books
Overused YA Tropes Bingo 2017: 3/25 books

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Book Review: Buzz Books 2017: Young Adult Fall/Winter

I requested another collection of excerpts from Publishers Lunch when I saw the Fall/Winter 2017 was out for Young Adult. This collection contained 13 books. I had 3 of the books on my TBR, I added 6 more, and I skipped 2 because I couldn't get into them.


I was gifted this ebook via Netgalley.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Book Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio




Publish Date: April 7, 2015
352 pages [Kindle edition]
Balzar + Bray 

Synopsis:
A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex . . . and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned--something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Bout of Books 19 [Finish Line]

Bout of Books

As I guessed, I didn't read during the day yesterday - just that very little bit after midnight. Today is Mother's Day and my husband's birthday, so I don't think much reading will happen today either. Overall, I am very excited with how this readathon turned out. I will update this post tomorrow morning as a finish line-style post! :)

[GOALS]
**Read a little every day
**Finish one book
**Find new Booktubers to subscribe to (let me know your favorites!)

[READING LIST]
**Finish my current read
**Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
**I Survived
**The Soul Thief

[DAY 7 PROGRESS]
Total pages read: 639 | Total books finished: 3

Currently reading:



[FINISH LINE]
I updated with the couple of pages I read on Sunday. I knew it wasn't going to be much, but I did read a little bit, accomplishing my goal of reading every day. I finished 3 books and read a total of 639 pages. So happy with that!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Bout of Books 19 [Day 6]

Bout of Books

I finished 2 books yesterday. TWO. I read a total of 377 pages. I'm so excited about this. I haven't had this good of a BOB readathon in I don't know how long! Shortly after midnight (into Day 6), I finished a third book. I decided to pick up None of the Above which I just got approved for on NetGalley. It's about a girl who finds out she is intersex, so I'm sure it will be a fascinating one-of-a-kind read. I am starting this morning at 3% (about 10 pages in of 352). I am sure the weekend is bound to be a little busy, so I may not get as much reading done, but I am already so happy with how much I have done in the readathon.

[GOALS]
**Read a little every day
**Finish one book
**Find new Booktubers to subscribe to (let me know your favorites!)

[READING LIST]
**Finish my current read
**Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
**I Survived
**The Soul Thief

[DAY 6 PROGRESS]
Total pages read: 636 | Total books finished: 3

Currently reading:

Friday, May 12, 2017

Bout of Books 19 [Day 5]

Bout of Books

Finally got some good reading done yesterday -- 81 pages! I am now 66% through The Hanging Girl. My mini goal is to finish it today and start another book. I'm really hoping I can do so. I'm also planning on spending today to visit other BOB readers and leave them a little comment love! Starting point today is page 197 in The Hanging Girl.

[GOALS]
**Read a little every day
**Finish one book
**Find new Booktubers to subscribe to (let me know your favorites!)

[READING LIST]
**Finish my current read
**Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
**I Survived
**The Soul Thief

[DAY 5 PROGRESS]
Total pages read: 560 | Total books finished: 2

Currently reading:


10 AM: I have finished The Hanging Girl - and added 123 pages to my total pages read. Starting Fantastic Beasts now :)

10:30 PM: I finished Fantastic Beasts. It was so funny and I really loved it. This added another 144 pages to my pages read count. I am now starting I Survived to finish out my very successful 5th day of reading.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bout of Books 19 [Day 4]

Bout of Books

I did not get much reading done yesterday, a whopping 19 pages. I was determined to finish TVD -- and I did! So today, I am determined to have a reading day. I'm currently doing some Youtube binging, but I will get to reading soon. Swear. haha. My starting point today is page 130.

[GOALS]
**Read a little every day
**Finish one book
**Find new Booktubers to subscribe to (let me know your favorites!)

[READING LIST]
**Finish my current read
**Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
**I Survived
**The Soul Thief

[DAY 4 PROGRESS]
Total pages read: 116 | Total books finished: 0

Currently reading: