Top Ten Tuesday: My Bookish Goals for 2015

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week, I’ll be talking about my top ten bookish goals for 2015.

  1. Catch up on series! I have so many series I have one, two, or more books left. Some of the stories I just don’t want to end, but I also hate having them on my bookshelf. My goal is to finish all the series I am halfway through as of the end of 2014.
  2. Read more classics. My goal is to read at least 9, but 12 (one a month) would be even better.
  3. Read more nonfiction. Some of the nonfiction books I have read are my favorite, most life changing books I have ever read. They are always interesting and finding a good one is a treasure.
  4. Get around to review copies. I always push these off until the last minute or just never read them. My goal is to read them as soon as I am approved.
  5. Buy an actual bookshelf. Right now, I use some cardboard boxes I repurposed for this use. As my collection has grown, I need some more space and an actual nice place to put them!
  6. Write more! This isn’t a reading goal, but I would like to write. I’m not a huge fan of writing books, because the style doesn’t work for me, but I do enjoy writing short stories, plays, and other types of scripts.
  7. Venture outside of YA contemporary. Because I love contemporary, but I need to read some more of other genres.
  8. Read more debut authors. I thought I did pretty well with this in 2014, but I only read 4. I definitely want to show some more new authors the love though!
  9. Watch more movies. Technically, not bookish, but book to movie adaptions? Right? Anyway, I would love to watch more films from different genres, especially some classics.
  10. Go self hosted on my blog. I really want to stay up to date with blogging, as I have been working on this year, but becoming self hosted or possibly redoing the blog’s look is something I’ve been considering.

Those are all my bookish goals! Of course, I have some personal goals too. I really love making New Year’s resolutions and goals. If you want to see some of the challenges I’ll be participating in and my progress throughout the year, you can check out that post here.

What are your bookish goals?

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2015 Reading Challenges I’m Participating In

For 2015, I decided it would be really fun to participate in some reading challenges! I have searched around the interwebs of book blogs to find some that would challenge me as a reader, but also not be too hard to complete. Here are the ones I am signing up for!

 Back to the Classics Challenge, hosted by Books and Chocolate – there are multiple different categories of classics to read for this one. My goal is to read from six of the categories.

NAC.2015 New Authors Challenge, hosted by Literary Escapism – I’ll be reading 25 new to me authors as my goal.

2015 Monthly Key Word Image Monthly Key Word Challenge, hosted by Bookmark to Blog – There are a series of key words for each month. The goal is to read a book with that key word in the title.

preqseqbutton2015 Prequel and Sequel Challenge, hosted by Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads – This is a series of points based on how many prequel and sequels you read, with extra points for finishing a series. I’m setting my goal at 30 points.

And of course, my Goodreads goal is to pick up 60 books this year!

What are your goals for 2015?

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Top Ten Books of 2014

It’s so crazy to think that 2014 is almost over! So much has happened this year, including starting my book blog! Today, I am going to be counting down my top ten books of 2014. I read all of them during 2014 (whether or not they were published this year) and none of them are sequels/last books in a series/classics. Anyway, let’s begin!

Ten

Panic

Panic by Lauren Oliver – review

Nine

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

Just One Day by Gayle Forman – review

Eight

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

Across the Universe by Beth Revis – review

Seven

The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett – review

Six

Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1)

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman – review

Five

We Were Liars

We Were Liars by E Lockhart – review

Four

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – review

Three

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – review

Two

172 Hours on the Moon

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad – review

One

This Song Will Save Your Life

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales – review

Yay! What was your favorite book of 2014?

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December Wrap Up

One full year of reading is now over! I didn’t read very much in December because of finals at the beginning of the month. Here are all the books I managed to pick up through that stressful time though:

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel CohnMy True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie PerkinsIn The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

  • Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
  • My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins
  • In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

And maybe Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian…I’m pretty close to finishing it today. Anyway, that will probably be on the January wrap up.

My favorite book this month was My True Love Gave to Me! This was a great bunch of short stories.

My final Bookish Bingo card for this group:

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I added my stars for fall or winter release (In the Afterlight), set during Christmastime (Dash and Lily), and snow on cover (My True Love).

I didn’t get Bingo again, but I will keep trying! This is just really fun. If you wanted to join, you can check it out here. I’ll be doing a full wrap up later.

TV Show Favorite:

Modern Family (ABC) – I got a bunch of these episodes on DVD from the library and have just flown through them! This show is so funny and I love their relationships.

Song Favorites:

My top 5 favorite songs this month (disregarding Christmas songs…):





What were your favorites of the month?

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2014 End of Year Book Survey

2014 End Of Year Book Survey

Today, I’ll be doing the 2014 End of Year Book Survey! This was created by Jamie over at Perpetual Page Turner and it is a really great way to recap everything I read over the past year. I’ll be answering with all the books I read this year, not just the new releases.

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Number of Books You Read: I have read 114 books this year! I’m very proud of how many I read this year.

Number of Re-reads: One. It was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell at the very beginning of this year.

Genre You Read the Most From: I read the most contemporary books this year. That’s pretty cool because this was really the first year I got into that genre and it’s become one of my favorites.

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Best book you read in 2014? Okay, so I couldn’t narrow it down to just one but my top four are: Across the Universe by Beth Revis, 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.

Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t? There were actually a couple which was sad. Isla and the Happily Ever After was disappointing, as was City of Heavenly Fire (which I actually didn’t even finish).

Most surprising book you read in 2014? Easy. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. That book blew my socks off.

Book you pushed the most people to read in 2014? 172 Hours on the Moon, yet again. I loved that book and I made all my friends read it so we could cry about it together. And it worked! They totally loved it too!

Best series you started in 2014? Best sequel? Best series ender? Best series I started was Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman. Can’t wait to see what happens next! Best sequel was Lola! And best series ender was Shades of Earth, the third and final book in the Across the Universe trilogy by Beth Revis.

Favorite new author you discovered in 2014? I really like Beth Revis and Stephanie Perkins now, but to add some new names to the mix, Leila Sales (author of This Song Will Save Your Life). Her contemporary debut was perfect.

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read? I enjoyed Wicked by Gregory Maguire. This is an adult fantasy book and I really liked it!

Most action packed book of the year? Sorry for using some of the same answers again – but I have to give it to 172 Hours on the Moon again! That book kept me up all night.

Best book you read in 2014 that you are most likely to reread next year? I don’t reread too much…but I’m hoping to do an entire re-read of Percy Jackson, so Blood of Olympus is on that list!

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014? 

Bunheads

Bunheads by Sophie Flack! It’s so pretty…

Most memorable character of 2014? Either Cricket from Lola (because he’s my book boyfriend) or Cress from Cress because she’s super cute and fangirlish and great.

Most beautifully written book of 2014? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This book was so moving and powerful.

Most thought provoking book of 2014? A tie between Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver and If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Both were about similar topics and had a powerful effect on me.

Book you can’t believe you waited to read until 2014? Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I thought it was going to be really cheesy, but it was just cute.

Favorite quote from a book you read in 2014? Can I just pick the entire book, Night by Elie Wiesel? Every sentence was perfection. But some of my favorites:

To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.

His cold eyes stared at me. At last, he said wearily: “I have more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He alone has kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people.

They are committing the greatest indignity human beings can inflict on one another: telling people who have suffered excruciating pain and loss that their pain and loss were illusions.

Shortest and longest book you read in 2014? The longest was Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld. The shortest was Night by Elie Wiesel.

Book that shocked you the most? We Were Liars. I was in shock for a while after reading.

OTP of the Year: Peter and Lara Jean from To All the Boys We’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. They are so adorable!

Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year: I really liked the friendship between Colie, Morgan, and Isabel from Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen. Unlike most contemporaries, there wasn’t really a romance but a great friendship that helped Colie find out who she was. They were great friends!

Favorite book you read in 2014 from an author you’ve read previously: Cress by Marissa Meyer. I really enjoyed this newest book in the Lunar Chronicles, which I’ve been reading since they’ve been released!

Best book you read in 2014 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from someone else? The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This is my best friend’s favorite book of all time, so we decided to exchange all time favorite books (mine is 1984). I loved Gatsby, so I was really happy with how it turned out.

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014: Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door. It’s so cute and adorable and perfect.

Best 2014 debut you read? I enjoyed The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu! She’s definitely an author to look out for if you like heart-breaking contemporaries with realistic issues.

Best worldbuilding you read this year? These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I loved the space world they built up and it got even stronger in the sequel.

Book that put a smile on your face? Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill was really cute throughout the entire book.

Book that made you cry in 2014? Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. On a public bus. It was an experience, but that book was beautiful.

Hidden gem of the year? The Sweet Evil trilogy by Wendy Higgins. They have really corny covers and a strange sounding premise, but PICK THEM UP. You will not regret it! I read all of them this year.

Book that crushed your soul? Hate List by Jennifer Brown. I read this book and I saw so many realistic things in it that it was so moving for me.

Most unique book you read in 2014? Dream Factory by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler was interesting because it was set in Disney World, which I love, and was about two characters falling in love.

Book that made you mad? Blood of Olympus because I wanted so much more from it! It just didn’t deliver the way I wanted it too.

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New favorite blog you discovered in 2014? Well, considering I just joined the book blogging community this year, all of them that I follow. But mostly notably, I have learned so much from blogging from Perpetual Page Turner and Nose Graze. I’ve also enjoyed the Loony Teen Writer and Novel Heartbeat.

Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? Looking back, I like my reviews for The Help and Prisoner of Night and Fog. I really got in some of my feelings with these.

Best discussion you had on your blog? My post about Kathleen Hale was really current and I enjoyed writing it, especially being able to discuss these events with others in the book blogging community.

Best event you participated in? I have three: being a challenge host for Bout of Books 10, participating in the release of Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? by Ella Martin, and the blog tour for This Shattered World, a release I was super excited for.

Best moment of bookish life in 2014? Honestly, I am just really proud of starting up my blog this year! That was a huge step for me and I have enjoyed growing it throughout the year.

Most popular post on your blog? My challenge post for Bout of Books and my Kathleen Hale discussion, as linked above.

Post you wished got a little more love? Probably my discussion on negative reviews. There is so much to be talked about within this topic, so I did enjoy throwing my opinion out there.

Best bookish discover? Book Outlet. This is going to cost me so much money in the future, but I love buying cheap books I can’t find anywhere else.

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? Yep! I successfully read 100 books. That was my only goal, but I hope to make some more for next year.

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One book you didn’t get to in 2014 but will be your top priority in 2015? I haven’t finished either Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo or Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard. I was excited for these releases, but I just don’t want to finish either of these trilogies!

Book you are anticipating for 2015 (non debut)? I love a good contemporary, so The Fill In Boyfriend by Kasie West looks really good.

2015 debut you are most anticipating? An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. This looks like a great fantasy set in a Roman like world.

Series ending you are most anticipating in 2015? I need Winter by Marissa Meyer, the final book of the Lunar Chronicles! I have no idea how this is going to wrap up, but I’m excited.

One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2015? Reading classics is on my list. I would love to read some books the most influential people in my life have loved, so I am going to start working through that list of classics.

A 2015 release you’ve already read and recommended to everyone: I haven’t read any yet. Any suggestions in the comments for me?

 

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan Review

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Published Knopf Books 2010

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Format: Hardback from the library

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“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998I loved this book! It was such a great, cute Christmas-y read. Recently, when looking up Christmas books, this one seemed to be coming up everywhere. I decided to pick it up!

First, I love the setting in this book. New York City is my favorite place I’ve ever visited and I love it. It’s so beautiful and the feeling of the city just latches onto you as soon as you step in the middle of the city. NYC is fantastic and I really want to go back someday. This book was like transporting me back into the city that I love, but mixing it together with Christmas, making a great setting! I love Dash and Lily exploring the city as locals because we get a really good feel for the city, without even going to some of those places before. They have really great adventures all throughout the city, especially with the Christmas twist.

Dash and Lily are really great characters. Although they might not be totally relatable, they are quirky and written well. Dash hates everything about Christmas, but it’s never annoying or too much. He just has this funny little spite for it, especially when complemented by Lily who lives and breathes everything about Christmas. They both have so many little quirks to them – words they use, how they dress, what they like to do, where they hang out, etc. But they are written so it isn’t obnoxiously quirky or annoying. I loved all their quirks instead of hating them and it made the characters more well rounded.

The romance aspect was really cute, until they met. The journal being passed back and forth was really fun. I loved seeing what challenge they would have to do or where they would have to go next. It took them all over the city and they got to go on some really great adventures through the journal. After they met, it was a little awkward, obviously because they had never met before. Other than that, I like how it was left open for more development after the holidays. I didn’t need to see the relationship fully there because the buildup was really the best part.

Overall, I enjoyed this book! It was a great Christmas read. I loved the characters and the setting, although I wish the ending and the relationship was a little less awkward…

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week’s top ten list is my top ten books I wouldn’t mind Santa bringing me! I’ve decided to go with books that have already been published for this list 🙂
Slaughterhouse-Five           The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)             Brazen

I'll Give You the Sun          Water for Elephants         Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn #3)         Talon (Talon, #1)

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1)          Since You've Been Gone           Don't Look Back

What books are you hoping Santa will bring this year?

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