10 in 2018

10 in 2018

Hello! Last year I did a post called 17 in 2017, where I stated seventeen books I wanted to read this past year. Well. I read about half of those, hawhaw. Obviously that goal was too lofty for me. And my mood was fickle, I guess. So instead of going up to 18 for 2018, I’m going to drop to ten titles, and this is where it’s likely to stay for the years to come.

So without further ado, these are (currently) the top 10 books I most want to read in 2018:

So basically, all of that is fantasy, minus one or two titles. It’s gonna be fantastical year! 😀 If you’ve read any of the above and feel I should prioritize them over others, please let me know! Happy reading!

 

The TBR of Terror: My entire physical TBR

TBR

Guess who finally counted up all the books I own but haven’t read yet. Time’s up, it’s me.

I’ll start with the statement that I’ve read over 50% of the books I own. 53% to be exact. I own a lot of books – I’ve been buying them since I was in grade school. I’d go through bouts of buying tons at a time, then bouts of buying none for a year. It all depended on my job status.

Recently, I made this post stating that I’d be putting a stop to my recent spree of buying books in hopes of increasing the percentage of books that I own and have actually read.

And in that post, I also stated that I had the goal to count up my physical TBR and determine exactly how many books I have that I haven’t read yet, vs ones I have that I have read. I’ve done that.

Today I present to you my physical TBR:

TBR1TBR2TBR3TBR4TBR5TBR6TBR7TBR8TBR9TBR10TBR11TBR12TBR13TBR14TBR15TBR16


Some of the covers might be different than the ones I own, but the books are all the same.

313 books. I have 313 unread books. I’ve got a lot of reading to do, yo. If there are any listed above that you feel I should get to pronto or feel that I should take a second to consider if I should even read it, do let me know.

Happy reading, friends.

My brain told me I have enough books

So, a funny thing happened to me recently. Any of you who normally poke at my posts now and then saw that last month I went to a book clearance sale and got a pile of books. Before that, I did two or three library sales and got tons more… well, tomorrow I’ll be doing yet another book haul. This one, a normal one. No clearance or library sales here, so it’ll be about 6ish books or so. All of these books in the last few hauls were bought within what, four months? Five?

The funny thing happened this past Thursday: A friend and I went to a library sale together. It was $5 for a bag full of however many books you could stuff in there.

I didn’t buy a single book. I feel that I’ve finally finally hit that mental wall of ‘maybe I actually have enough’.

It was a really, really weird feeling. I found books that I’ve been looking for in that sale, but I had zero motivation to buy them. I think the trigger was my husband and I were discussing moving the other day (we’re doing it next month) and I mentioned that I would likely have to get a 6th book case in the process. The mental image of six book cases full of books was and is a lovely one, but I knew a huge portion of those would be unread for a long time, especially if I kept buying at my normal pace.

I guess my subconscious decided that ‘this is enough for now, you have plenty to read for years’ and therefore I felt no pleasure at the idea of buying a bag full of books at this library sale.

So guess who is putting myself on a ban. Time’s up, it me!

So from now until I’m going to say… Christmas, I will be buying zero books for myself, with one exception: The third illustrated Harry Potter book comes out in October. I’ve planned on getting that for months and will still get that. Other than that, 0 books. None.

Tomorrow’s post will be my last book haul until Christmas time. The Harry Potter book I get won’t get its own dedicated haul, but will likely just be mentioned in a wrap up or something. Tomorrow’s haul will have 6ish books in it and then next Saturday’s post (Wed being a T5W post…) will be a TBR post. I want to quantify exactly how many unread books I have. Most people (at least in the book community online) know or have an idea of this number. I honestly have no clue. It’s got to be over 200 at this point.

I want to see what my TBR is like now and then what it’s like at the end of the year. I want to see if and by how much this ban decreases it. I think from there one of my 2018 reading goals will be to decrease it further, the exact number to be decided.

I see a lot of book ban posts being made with a feeling of shame or determination or… whatever positive/negative energy that the person is feeling. I feel… neither of those. It’s weird. I don’t feel shame for having so many, I don’t feel super motivated to keep myself from buying books. I just… don’t feel any motivation to buy books at this point.

Apathy is the drive behind this one folks, woo.

So wish me luck. I both hope this lack-luster feeling lasts and that hope that it doesn’t. I don’t like the feeling. I’d much rather feel motivated to maintain self-control, haha.

Happy reading!

 

 

On Borrowing Books: A Harrowing Tale of Betrayal

Today is a mix of sharing my book lending policy and telling the story of how it came to be.

I grew up surrounded by books. Both my parents are readers, so since I was little I was schooled in the ‘don’t dog-ear’, ‘don’t tear pages’, ‘don’t get books wet’ dogma of owning books. Yes, good, I’ve adopted those mannerisms and a few more of my own personal tastes, such as ‘I don’t care if the spines of my books are cracked, but I won’t crack yours, don’t worry’ and ‘I’m warning you now that if I borrow a book of yours, it’ll take me forever to read it, but I will take care of it and you will get it back‘. I’m also a huge believer in the ‘if you ruin it, buy a new copy’ ideology. It’s great, I dig it.

None of these above things should be shocking to many people (except maybe the spine cracking thing, but like I said, I only do that to my books and only if they’re those stiff mass market paperbacks because I need to get them open, man). Complete reasonable, right?

Well, let me tell you a story, son. It’s gonna rustle your jimmies, believe you me. Prepare yourself for a novel.


The tale of how Emily’s official book-lending policy was born

Before this story occured, my book lending policy was ‘borrow it, take care of it, return it’. Pretty simple but rather vague. In some ways, what happened was due to my own lack of detail in what I expected when someone borrowed one of my books but in other ways, this person totally and completely betrayed my trust and she is now dead to me. 

When I was 18 years old, I was a freshman in college. I went to the local community college about two miles from my parents’ house and worked in the campus bookstore between my classes. After a semester or so, people began congregating in the bookstore as it had been upgraded to have tables and food and stuff like that. So, people would come in and spend their downtime there. Therefore, being there myself about 15 hours a week, I made friends with some of these people. A big group of us formed, maybe eight or so, that became really close. We all liked similar things – movies, books, anime, food, art, science – stuff like that. So we would all chatter, them at the tables and me behind the cashier’s counter.

At this point, I was already neck-deep into reading manga. This was when Death Note had first come out and was insanely popular. I’m talking people who didn’t know what anime was knew what Death Note was. It was all over – this was about 2008, 2009, mind you. So obviously, I had all 12 volumes and had at that point reread them a few times. And one day, I was talking up the series to my group of friends. One of them, Kat – not even gonna change her name because it’s so generic in the first place that you’ll never know who I mean anyways – expressed interest in reading them and asked to borrow my copies. Kat and I had been friends at that point for a few months. She was funny and kind and loved hot chocolate. So I, without laying out what I wanted from her in doing this, said ‘sure’.

I lent her the first six volumes. She kept them for two months. No big deal – I don’t mind long borrowers as I am definitely a long borrower myself. Case in point, I have books both from my mother and friends I’ve had for well over a year. But my point is, I know where they all are and if the owners want them back before I get to them, all they need do is ask. They’re safe, they’re clean, they’re protected. So the length of time she had them didn’t bother me.

But. When she gave them back, volume five and six were sticky. Sticky! What in the world was she doing that they were sticky! First of all, she gave them back without comment, no warning that I would likely lose a few skin cells when picking up those two volumes. Second, she made no apologies when I pointed the stickiness out to her. She just shrugged, muttering something about pop (soda for all you non-western-pennsylvanians). I was irritated but the stickiness came off with a wipe of a cloth, so I wasn’t too steamed. That should have been my line there. That should have been my ‘no you don’t get to borrow anymore books’ limit. But it wasn’t.

Me, being the impressionable and approval-seeking 18-year-old that I was, didn’t want to lose a friend, so when Kat asked for the remaining six volumes, I hesitantly gave them to her.

Big. Mistake.

Six months, she had them. Again, length of time not an issue. I asked her if she had gotten to them yet about three months in, just curious. She said ‘yeah I did – they’re in my car. I’ll grab them for you next time I’m in there’.

And then they proceeded to stay in her car for another three months, presumably bouncing around in her back seat, getting sat on, getting wet and goodness knows what else. When I pressed her for them again six month in – like I said time wasn’t an issue but she had said she’d finished them and at that point I wanted another reread – she went out to her car and got them for me.

There were two things that struck me when I saw my books, my poor poor books.

  1. The covers were in awful condition. They were bent, had obviously been wet at one time or another, and one of them looked dirty – like it had been on the floor and people’s shoes had been on them. They were just in bad shape.
  2. Three of them were missing. I had lent her volumes 7-12 and she returned 7-9. Volumes 10, 11 and 12 were nowhere to be seen.

I remember looking at her, saying ‘Where are the other three?’

And Kat, kind and funny Kat, looked me right in the eye and said, “You never gave them to me”.

Despite having said she’d finished the series, she claimed I never gave her the last three volumes. I had definitely given her those books. My friend Kat died that day, lost forever. My hot-chocolate-loving Kat had been replaced by a monster, a scourge upon humanity. I remember my mind going a bit blank when she said that. I looked at my three manga, sitting there in awful condition, and thought about the other three that I would never get back again, and took a really deep, really slow breath. Kat just sat there looking at me, no shame.

“I did lend them to you, you finished the series you said. Volume 12 was the last one.”

“I must have been mistaken.”

“…”

“…”

“I definitely lent you six books”

“Well I only have three”

At that point, my other friend Shannon (whom I’m still best friends with) noticed what we were talking about. She looked at the books and to me and picked up the context real quick. Taking in the look on my face, she quickly jumped in, distracting Kat while I picked up my three books and went in the back room and tried not to cry. Looking back now, I likely over-reacted but at the time, I was livid. 

I was so mad. Why, why had she lied? We both knew she was lying. We had spoken earlier about the series when she had first told me she finished it and we talked about the ending. She knew the ending! She had obviously read all 12 books, so why say otherwise now? Honestly, even if the books had been utterly demolished, all she had to do was buy me new copies and all would have been fine! Instead, she had either decided that volume 10-12 were so great that she wanted to steal them (but not the rest for some reason) or they had been so badly damaged that she didn’t even want to attempt to return them and instead of fessing up she tried to claim that she had never been given them in the first place.

I was just. So. Mad. I was soooo angry. My 18-year-old self had at the point never had to deal with someone lying to my face about something we both knew she was lying about, but I had no proof other than my word to point it out. I didn’t know what to do – I hadn’t developed the coping skills for this.

Even just thinking back on it now, I’m getting irritated. Like, I still don’t understand her motivation. Did she not realize her so blatantly lying about this would ruin any trust I had in her? Like, what did she expect to happen? Seriously!

So obviously, I cooled down in the back room, tried to tidy the covers of the three books I had gotten back the best I could, and walked back out in the main area where Shannon, Kat and the others were. Kat had left by then. Shannon was still there, looking at me. And weeeeirdly enough, Kat never showed back up in the book store again, at least not while I was working there.

Maybe she hadn’t expected me to call out her lie and when I had done so, she fled? I don’t know. But really. We were both adults. I went in the back to handle my shit so I could talk to her like one afterward, but she couldn’t even have the decency to let me do that. She borrowed my books, got some sticky, got some dirty, got some wet, and then lied to my face about borrowing others in the first place. And then she left and I never saw her around again. I’m not kidding – I haven’t seen her since. She disappeared. She had been on my facebook but when I checked, she wasn’t on my friends list anymore. She had either removed herself and blocked me so I couldn’t search for her or she just deleted her account. To this day, I have no idea what happened to her or what happened to my manga.

Honestly if she would have stuck around, I would have been very mad at her for the longest time, but I would have forgiven her eventually. It would have taken a while, but I could have done it. My books were ruined and she had lied but it wasn’t the end of the world. I would move on. I have moved on. But the fact that she avoided me for the rest of my life still confuses the hell out of me. Why? Why? Like, I think I’m a fairly reasonable person. I tend not to hold grudges. Sure I was very, very angry in the moment but it would have passed . I just. Buh.

The whole ‘Dead to me’ thing? That resulted from a combination of her treatment of my books, her lying to my face and then her throwing the friendship away over it. That is why she’s dead to me. That is why this grudge, out of all things, has stuck. If she ever shows up in my life again, you betcha I’m calling her out on her shit, man. Not in an angry way, but more of a ‘what the hell happened there’ kind of way. Really. I mean, it’s almost a decade later, but my jimmies were so rustled over it. And while I’m not actively angry over it anymore, it still bothers me that I didn’t and still don’t understand the motivation behind her behavior. So Kat if you’re reading this, whaaaaat the hell happened?!


So right, after that, I made a very detailed ‘If you borrow this book’ policy. None of my other friend have had a problem with it.

Emily’s book borrowing policy as it currently stands

If I borrow your book:

  • I will not crack the spine
  • I will not dog-ear the pages
  • I will not write in your book
  • I will not get it went, bent, dirty, etc
    • If any of the above happened accidentally, upon returning it to you I will offer to buy you a new copy. I will still return your original to you either way, but you choose if you want a new copy as well.
  • I will likely keep your book for a long time, but I will warn you that I tend to do this before you decide if you want to let me borrow it
  • I will always always get your book back to you.
  • If you want your book back before I read it, just ask for it.
  • I will not lend your book out to anyone else

If you borrow my book:

  • I don’t care if you crack the spine
  • Don’t write in it
  • Don’t dog-ear the pages or in any other way bend or damage the book
    • If any of the above happens accidentally, kindly offer to get me a new copy. Depending on how bad the damage is, I may or may not take you up on it. I tend to not care about a bend or two, but just the offer of a new copy anyways lets me know that you acknowledge what happened
  • You can keep my book for as long as you need it, but know I’ll poke you about it every so often just to get a feel for where you are with it
  • Always give my books back
  • Don’t lend my books to anyone else

I like to think my policy is pretty reciprocal. Most of my friends I give books to without thinking about it now – they’ve borrowed so many that I know they’ll do the above without me having to ask, which is nice. New people though, get this lecture (and likely the Death Note story behind it as well).


So there’s my harrowing tale of betrayal and why I’m now such a stickler when it comes to borrowing books. I’ve had a gruesome past and I’ve grown from it /dramaticexit

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo | Blabber

(I’ve decided to change the review titles from ‘yapping’ to ‘blabber’, just because that’s the catch-phrase of my blog as is. So there. :P)

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
The Grisha Trilogy, Book 3
Read Jan 12th (the whole thing)
422 pages
YA Fantasy

-Spoilery blabbing-
Dun read unless you’ve read the book or don’t care about being spoiled out your ass.

I started this book this morning around 4am and stopped only for about 30 minutes at 7:30am so I could drive to work, where I promptly started reading again because it was dead as hell. It’s now 1:30pm and I’ve just finished this thing.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a complete series so quickly before. I started The Grisha trilogy on Jan 5th. The first two books took me two days each to read, then I read a different book for a day while I waited for this one to arrive in the mail, then I buzzed through this one in about 9 hours. I feel like the speed at which I read these makes my opinions on them different than they would be if I would have taken them slower, but who knows.

This third book, the final in the series, was a very bittersweet read for me. Overall, I really liked it, but it left me feeling bleak, I guess. The story picks up in the caves where the characters had escaped to at the end of the second book – the setting stayed there for a few chapters or so while Alina recovered got worse under the Apparat’s care. Honestly at this point in the book, I was under the impression that Alina’s powers were gone, kaput, nada. I reasoned this much from her saying just that at the end of the second book. But hey, low and behold, it was just because she was out of direct sunlight. Which in itself is fine, but she seemed to know as much – she actively sought sunlight so she could use her summoning abilities again. It just confused me – why have her state her powers were gone if she knew that weren’t? Not a huge deal, but I feel it was unnecessary. Image result for jaimie alexander

The book itself has a bit of a slow pace during the cave scenes but picks up fairly quickly
once they escape from it. One of my favorite parts
about this book is the character development, particularly Zoya’s. In book one (and part of two) she was a very one-dimensional stereotypical mean girl. She still kinda holds onto that persona, but at the same time, we get to see a bit more into her personality and sense of humor, which was a refreshing change. I keep picturing Jaimie Alexander, who played Sif in Thor, in my mind as I read for her, too. So she’s totally and completely cast in my mind and any other choice if they make a movie or tv show will pale in comparison, hawhaw.

But anyways, the meat of the book: The ending. I both loved and hated the ending. When I was reading and when Mal was killed, I got upset. And then when the Darkling was killed I got really upset. Like, that almost ruined the book for me – Alina sitting in the sand with the two deadies on either side of her. Like really. It would have been awful to end it that way. But Mal ended up living, which saved the book for me. If she would have ended up alone and mourning both of them, I feel like I would have cast this book away and never looked back.

But Mal lived and Alina is happy. And Nikolai lived as well, though I feel like I wanted to read more about him.

But the Darkling man, the Darkling. WHY did he have to die. I feel like his death is what caused this book to bump down to a four star rating for me. Until that point, it had been a solid 5 stars easy. There were so many ways he could have lived and the plot would still make sense. But ugh man. Ugh. I’m so mad about that. Honestly it’s mostly because I’m team Darklina all the way. (I fully understand that he’s awful and in no way suitable, but like I said since the first book, I was fascinated and was rooting for him hahah). So now I need to go find my non-canonical fanfiction and just stew in there for a bit, thank you. But even with my ship not happening aside, the character still could have lived. Buh. BUH.

Happy-sad-frustrated ending to the book. It was a really good ending – a really solid ending and honestly probably the most logical one for all the plotlines that had been set up and needed completed. It was good. But it wasn’t what I wanted. 😛

Rating: 4/5 stars

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Review and Spoilery Yapping

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Read Jan 5th- Jan 7th
358 pages
YA Fantasy

– Spoiler Free Reviewy Bit –

I’ve very, very late onto this bandwagon. I feel like everyone and their mom has read this book and that a review on it at this point might be a bit redundant. But hey, I’m gonna do it anyways.

Shadow and Bone was a fast paced fantasy where nothing happened and then everything did. I feel like that was my main problem with the book – its pacing was all over the place. That being said, I still loved the thing. I was (and still am) in the mood for YA fantasy and this book definitely scratched that itch in the best way. I can see why a lot of people enjoy this book, and at the same time, I can see where many had problems with it. Luckily for me, I’m on the ‘I like it’ side of the spectrum. There were a decent amount of tropes that this book fell victim to that should have bothered me but somehow didn’t. I really must have been in the mood for a book like this. I seriously enjoyed it but I can recognize its flaws.

The book begins a trilogy following a young woman who falls into the chosen one trope. Because of this, she’s whisked out of her military lifestyle to become a Grisha, a practitioner of the Small Sciences. The Grisha wear color-coded clothing, depending on which concentration they work in. The Darkling, for instance – the ruler of all the Grisha – wheres black. Summoners – those who can summon fire, water, etc – wear blue, yada yada. There are four different colors total, and what I found interesting was that while the Grisha made up a very small number of humans, they still had barriers between the different groups. Rivalries, jealousies, strengths and weaknesses. It was fascinating reading the politics between the groups for the little time that it was focused on. The main character Alina, finds herself placed in one of these groups, but saying which one is a spoiler and would ruin why she’s ‘the chosen one’.

The plot picks up after Alina begins her Grisha training and details about the multiple wars with other countries causing strife across the nation and the unsea, a vast, huge realm of darkness that stretches across the land like a scar, are revealed.

This book has action, romance, hints of ‘magic school’ness, even though all the Grisha whine ‘It’s science! IT’S SCIENCE SHUT UP’, and great world building. Based on Russian culture, this book is definitely unique in its background. I think one of my favorite things about this book is the strong female friendship present throughout most of it. The characterization is great as well – The Darkling in particular is fascinating. His motives, his actions, all of it. He’s like watching a train wreck. I just couldn’t look away. Alina’s character, while also pretty decent, I feel still lacks a bit of development. I’m hoping that’ll change in the future two books, especially after having to deal with the events in the first one.

The writing is wonderful as well. The usage of verbage and syntax sometimes almost give a poetic feel to the book and at other times, convey grittiness and despair. I really enjoyed the writing.

And my top absolute favorite thing about this book is that I had heard rumors about certain characters going in, so I was kind of waiting for something to happen, something that would prove these rumors, and when it finally happened, I was still caught off guard. I knew something was gonna happen and I still didn’t expect it. It. was. awesome.

Overall, I definitely recommend this book. It’s given a solid beginning to a series that I’m hoping will stay just as good throughout.

4.5/5 stars


– Spoilery Yapping –

Okay so, as of 2017 I’m going to start adding these sections to my reviews. Only read these if you’ve read the book or don’t care about being spoiled out your ass.

This book was exactly what I needed I think. A YA fantasy that had handsome dudes in it to get me out of my reading slump. I read this baby in two and a half days. That’s practically unheard of for me. So this book follows Alina, right. She’s this girl who in my opinion reminds me of Violet from The Invincibles. At least, I pictured an older version of her throughout this thing. A stringy, skinny girl that (shocker) is secretly beautiful. Like I said above, tropes that should bother me but somehow didn’t. I think it was the writing and characterization that kept me from being overly annoyed by the tropes. I was just enjoying myself so much that they didn’t irk me.

Anyways. Violet Alina is plucked from her life as a military recruit to be trained as a Grisha after she blinds a bunch of people with her body. Shortly after she’s convinced everyone around her that she’s not a living time-bomb waiting to explode, she’s introduced to The Darkling, who I’ve developed a weird obsession with.

Image result for the incredibles violetThe Darkling is this very attractive ancient organism who tells Alina she’s destined for great things. And gasp, Alina starts falling for the guy. As soon as this started happening, my spidey senses started tingling and I felt the imminent approach of a love triangle. That’s because Alina’s best friend Mal (also strikingly good looking) whom Alina is secretly in love with (despite her being near him for their entire lives and her never mentioning it, shocker) saves her life and is then shipped off into war. Misunderstandings abound and Alina pines for the guy until his perfectly-timed-to-cause-drama return.

But lucky me, I’m not so sure about this love triangle anymore, especially after the end of the book. This is that thing I mentioned earlier. That rumor. I had heard going in that people loved and hated the Darkling, that he was despicable but they still loved the guy. I was 50% into the book and was still thinking ‘I don’t see it. He seems like a decent guy’ and then wham. The Darkling is actually an evil bastard.

Everything that Darkling had done up until that point, the romance, the kindness, everything, evaporated. And though I knew something like that would have to happen to prove the rumors, it still caught me totally off guard. And that’s what made me love the book: The Darkling’s character. His character is written so, so so well. Alina, upon realizing his true intentions, went back over all of his past behavior and she came to the realization that all of it was manipulative, all of it. He played her like a fiddle and showed no remorse. And the best part was, I didn’t notice any of it earlier on either and Alina’s realizations were also mine. Even parts that she didn’t go back and cover, I did, and I found them to be full of ulterior motive. I loved it. This book, this character. He’s a conniving bastard and I think it’s spectacular.

I hate the Darkling and I’m obsessed with him at the same time. Alina’s a decent character, Mal is a decent character, Genya is a decent character, but the Darkling is just morbidly fascinating and it’s great. Really, he’s like a train wreck. It’s just so awesome.

Wah, I need book two, stat. I need more.

I just sincerely hope that the author doesn’t decide to be all ‘lol Stockholm Syndrome!’ because I think I’ll have to punch the book in the head. We shall see now, won’t we.

Most Anticipated 2017 Releases | #1

Hello! When I was doing the ‘Ringing In the New Year’ tag yesterday, a couple of the questions asked about anticipated releases and I realized that I hadn’t been paying attention to anything and couldn’t answer the questions. So this morning I spent some time doing research on books that are coming out this year.

This post is marked as #1, just in case I come across or hear about more books being released this year that haven’t been announced yet. So here we go.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, illustrated edition by J. K. Rowling and Jim Kay

No picture for this one yet, as it hasn’t officially been announced or I’m guessing even finished – I can’t even find a ‘get ready, dis gun b gud’ page on Goodreads to link to. But if the pattern continues as it did with the past two books, it should be out in October. Totes buying this one. Very much looking forward to it!

The Continent by Keira Drake

The Continent (The Continent, #1)I’ve never heard of this author, but the premise of the book sounds rather interesting. It’s a fantasy following a young woman as she wins a trip to a vacation destination in a war-torn land. Obviously things happen and instead of being a visitor on the outside looking in, she finds herself stranded in the middle of the war, alone. I think it’s going to be good. I like reading books about characters getting rude awakenings (that’s probably mean of me but whatevs).

 

 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U GiveThis is going to hopefully be a powerful piece. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, it follows a girl who witnesses her unarmed friend be shot and killed by a police officer, and then has to face the aftermath – the atmosphere that results, her neighborhood, her family, so on and so forth. I feel like this book has the potential to speak to a lot of people and create a lot of sympathy that sometimes seems to be lacking. Very excited about this one.

 

 

Saga volume 7 by Briana K Vaughan

Saga, Volume 7This is the next installation of the ever-popular Saga series. And I totally admit I’m neck-deep in this bandwagon. I love this series. I will probably be buying this one on its release day and reading it as soon as I get home. Volume 6 was excellent and it’s made me very excited for volume 7. I can’t wait!

 

 

 

 

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) BodyAfter reading Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist I fell in love with her writing and her personality. I feel like this book will be just as marked and moving as her previous book. Very much looking forward to this one – though I admit with memoirs I tend to not buy the physical book. I very much prefer memoirs in audiobook form, especially when the author is narrating it themselves. This will likely be no exception.

 

 

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

Solutions and Other ProblemsIf you’ve read Brosh’s first book Hyperbole and a Half then you can understand my excitement for this one. Containing more autobiographical comics, it promises to be just as entertaining, impactful and memorable as Hyperbole and a Half was. If you haven’t read anything by Allie Brosh, I highly highly recommend it. You can check out her website, where she posts her comics up for anyone to read.

 

 

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And that’s it (for now). If I find anymore book, I’ll make another post. If you know of any books coming out this year you think I might like, do let me know will you?

Happy reading!

Series I Won’t Be Finishing

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Hello, Happy New Year! What I’ve decided to do this year is continue going through my owned books and my goodreads shelves and figure out what I want to read and what I don’t. I’ve been adding books to my goodreads ‘to read’ shelf for nearly 5 years now and it’s currently sitting at over 1000 books. Obviously, I won’t be able to read them all before I die of oldyness. (Hopefully I die of oldyness. You never know I suppose). So I’m periodically scanning and purging books – today I’m going to talk about series I’ve started and am not going to finish either from dislike or disinterest. For all the series mentioned, I’ll be removing the remaining books from my goodreads shelf (and if I own a physical copy, I’ll donate them or turn them in at HPB or somethin’)

So here we go. :”D


Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)I read the first one of these either in late 2014 or early 2015. At the time I had rated it 3 stars – it was decent, I liked it. I didn’t stick out to me as anything special though. And what really sealed the deal on this one honestly was today I was at an overstock bookstore and found Hollow City in hardback for $2… and had no desire to buy it. There you go, I suppose. So this one can be marked up as ‘can’t be bothered’.

 

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)This is one of those ‘post Hunger Games’ books I read when I was chewing at the bit for dystopian novels. I read the first one, found it decent, and then was majorly spoiled for the last two books before I could find copies and read them for myself. I’ve been spoiled so badly that I feel like I know everything that’s going to happen already… and therefore have zero desire to actually read them. My copy of Divergent has since been exchanged at Half Price Books. Hopefully someone who doesn’t know the entirety of the series already will enjoy it.

Matched by Ally Condie

Matched (Matched, #1)This is one of those series I picked up out of hype. There will be a few on this list – needless to say that’s why my resolution for 2016 was to avoid doing that anymore so less books will end up on lists like this one. This book was just okay. I’m not a fan of love triangles especially when they’re the major plot point of the story. Next.

 

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Strange Angels (Strange Angels, #1)This is a book I picked up based off a recommendation from a friend – she told me it’s just like Supernatural, a TV show that I adore. Well. It kind of was. It was lacking a lot of character development and honestly plot. It was based around a beautiful and attractive teenage girl that tropily thought of herself as plain. Honestly didn’t dig it and after two books, I’m tapping out.

 

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)I’m afraid this book has ruined me for any of her other books. I really disliked this book. It was essentially Twilight with werewolves instead of vampires. The characters were flat, the plot was choppy… it just wasn’t good. I’ve heard that The Raven Cycle is supposed to be a really amazing series but like I said, this series has made me weary. If you’ve read The Raven Cycle and this series and can vouch for the newer one, please do tell me.

Graceling by Kristen Cashore

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)When I first read this, I rather enjoyed it. I liked the main character and the plot. When I picked up Fire however, I noticed that the same overall series of events kinda happened. Main character has neato powers, main character meets dude who butts head with her at first but then they get along… blah blah. I actually ended up putting the second book down before finishing it because I felt like I was reading the same book over again. Haven’t touched the third one. But like I said, I liked the first one. I just… want to read different books instead of the same thing again.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Another ‘hype’ book. Honestly I liked the first one – I gave it four stars I think. But the idea of continuing it for four or five more books didn’t sound too appealing to me. So I decided to put it off… and then I forgot what happened in the first book. When I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to reread book 1 so I could read book 2, I decided to just drop the series. I’ve already given it away in its box set to a friend – hopefully she’ll like it and finish the whole thing.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)This is actually the first book I ever reviewed on this blog. At the time, I really enjoyed it. I ended up giving it a 4 star rating. And I gave it a decently positive review as well. Though by the time the second book came out, I feel like my feelings towards it had soured. I can’t put my finger on why – I’m thinking it’s to do with the premise. I’m not sure. All I can say though is that when I found book 2 for cheap, I didn’t bother getting it. So maybe I’m missing out, who knows. But buh, no interest.

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi

The Stonekeeper (Amulet, #1)I’m thinking that I’m just too old for this series. It seems rather plain to me. That said, I also don’t understand the fascination with middle grade literature on booktube and sometimes in book blogs. Like, I don’t. Nothing about a middle grade book appeals to me. I have no desire to read about a 10 year old having an adventure for 10 year olds.

I had picked this up – you guessed it – due to hype. I got what… I think 5 volumes in and was still horribly indifferent to its plot and characters. So I’m dropping it. If you’re a huge fan of middle grade literature, please please tell me why you enjoy it so much. I’m not trying to say it’s all bad – I’m not. I’m honestly just curious and I would love the opinion of someone who sees what I don’t. I mean sure, I can see why kids enjoy it. But as a 26 year old, stories about kids doing kid things just do nothing for me – so like I said, if you enjoy it, please tell me what about it sparks interest for you that I’m obviously not getting. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)This series I enjoyed up until I didn’t. I got through the second book and then something happened towards the end of that book that screamed ‘Here the main plot is done but I’m gonna drop a plot device so I can write a third book’. And I didn’t like it. It made me interest in book 3 drop to zero. Buh, it’s a shame. I liked it up until then. :/

 

Addicted by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Addicted to You (Addicted, #1)This is a wildly popular series that I feel like I just didn’t cling to. My main problem with this series is the characterization. Both of the main characters are their addictions and nothing else. Like, they’re walking talking mental illnesses. Neither one of them seem human to me. I feel like they were written to serve a single purpose and other than that purpose – personifying their respective addictions – I know nothing about their personalities. Like, I feel nothing towards them. I feel like I don’t know who they are as characters aside from a single facet. So yeah, not continuing this one. It didn’t jive with me. If you like it, more power to you.


And that’s it! It’s always fun putting controversial opinions on the internet. Happy reading! :”D

Top 15 Books of 2015

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Last year I did a Top 8 books of 2014. This year, I’m doing a Top 15 of 2015! I read a lot more this year thanks a lot to this blog, so I had a lot more to pick from. 😀 I’ve decided to group favorite books that belong to the same series together, so these are my top books/series I’ve read this year.

15. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

4.25/5 stars

This was the first novel I finished in 2015, back in January. It was also my first taste of Mieville’s brand of fantasy. It’s intoxicating to say the least. Mieville is able to carve the city in which this book takes place into your mind to the point where you think about wandering its streets long after you finish the book. I look forward to reading more from this author for sure. I wrote a review on this one, if you’re interested in reading more.

14. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

4.5/5 stars

This one surprised me in how much I liked it. When I first started it, I couldn’t stand the main character. By the end, I loved her. So this book got a lot of points in the character development area for me.

Also wrote a review on this one and have since read the second book, Ice Like Fire, which was also really good.

13. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

4.5/5 stars

I’m starting to notice a pattern of books I really liked and books I’ve written reviews about. It’s not 100% but it’s there. This is another that fits the bill. I loved this book. It was so magical and fantastical. I was lost in the story for a long time after it was over.

12. Saiyuki by Kazuya Minekura

4.83/5 stars

This is a nine book long manga series that I kinda fell in love with. I wrote a series review on the thing if you’re interested. If you’re looking for a fantastical series with more serious and at the same time funny tones, this would be a good place to look.

This series for me was nostalgic as well. I read about half of it back in high school, and this past year I reread the whole thing. It was a really nice experience. I remember liking it when I was 15 and this time around I loved it. I think I understood the humor a bit more. It was good.


I must note that after this point, all the books I will name got a five star rating from me, so ordering them was super hard. I hope you feel my pain. 😛


 11. The Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy (and novellas) by Rae Carson

5/5 stars

This is one of those series where each book may have an issue or two (I only rated book 2 five stars I believe) but as a whole, this series is wonderful. I wish that in goodreads, you could rate each book individually and then a series as a whole. It would be so much better. Currently, I’m reading the novellas, which I’ll finish up today, so I’m adding them in here too. I wrote a review on the first one if you’re interested.

10. In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

5/5 stars

This is probably one of the most fascinating books I’ve read this year. It’s a memoir written by a young woman who has defected from North Korea. It gives an insight on the daily lives and psyches of those who live in that country (and since she’s written this, North Korea has declared her a ‘democratic puppet’ and has denied all claims in the book (shocker)). This was seriously good and I still think about it.

9. Saga volumes 4 and 5 by Brian K Vaughan

5/5 stars

The first three I read last year. But this series guys, wow. It just keeps getting better and better with each volume. It’s only 5 volumes long right now, so it’s easy to catch up – go read it!

 

8. Easy by Tammara Webber

5/5 stars

I tried my hand at the new adult genre this year and this was the first one I read. Needless to say I loved it. I liked the love interest, I liked the themes, I liked that the main character wasn’t irritating. This book was great. The sequel is on my 16 in 2016 list, so hopefully I’ll get to it soon. I wrote a review if you’re interested

7. A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)5/5 stars

I jumped into the A Song of Ice and Fire series this year, and now I’m knee deep in action and treachery. I love this series so far, both of the books I’ve read this year I rated 5 stars. Currently trying to get myself to read the third (It’s just sooo biiiig) and I know I’ll love it when I do. So wish me luck. I wrote a review on the second one if you’re interested.

6. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

5/5 stars

This book was a pleasant surprise. I expected a generic ya fantasy when reading this one, but it turned out to be a really cool world with some really neat lore. And I loved both the main characters, so hey, super good book by my standards.

5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

5/5 stars

These are books one and two in the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, which has been floating in my life for about ten years. My cousin has tried to get to me to read this series for ages and I finally picked it up this past year. The first thing I realized is that the humor in this series is hit or miss for people. For me, it was a hit. Definitely a hit.

4. The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

5/5 stars

Guys, this has become one of my favorite series ever. Ever. It’s just so damn good and you need to read it. I wrote a series review* (see ‘gush’) on it. I’m still blabbering about this series months later.

3. The Fold by Peter Clines

5/5 stars

I feel I really loved this book for how nerdy it was. Made repeated references to Stargate, Harry Potter and other things. The concept in my opinion was really neat. And apparently, it has a companion novel, 14, which I was supposed to read first and didn’t. Oops. Well, still loved this one, will read 14 soon and hopefully love it as well. Here’s my review.

2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

5/5 stars

Hey, this author got on my list twice. In the previous entry, he had my heart racing and had me screaming at the book. In this one, he ripped my soul. This book ripped my soul, guys.

 

 

1. The Martian by Andy Weir

5/5 stars

This is hands down my favorite book of the year. I’ve seen it on top of a few other lists as well. It’s well deserved. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it and I really suggest you listen to the audiobook, which is just perfect. I love this book. I love it. I love it. IloveitIloveitIloveit. I want to reread it a million times and get 5000 copies so I can lend them all out and make other people read it and then we can goo over it together and live happily ever after til the end of our days and it will be wonderful because The Martian exists. My review

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And that’s it! I hope you guys all had a wonderful reading year and found as many new loves in books as I did. 🙂 Happy reading!

How I Rate Books

I’ve seen a lot of people make one of these now, and since ratings mean different things for everyone, I figured that I would make mine as well. My rating system gives the average book I read a 3-star rating.

5 stars – I loved this book. I will gush about it for a long time. You should go read it. Read it. READITREADITREADIT.

4 stars – I really, really liked this book. There may have been a small issue here or there that wasn’t stellar, but overall, highly recommended.

3 stars – I liked this book. It was good, but not great. If it’s part of the series, I’ll most likely continue that series. Most books I read end up being here. I tend to like a lot of the books I read, but not love them. Books that I put here may end up being 2 or 4 stars in other peoples’ rating systems.

2 stars – I didn’t care for this book. It wasn’t so heinous that I couldn’t finish it, but it didn’t really stick with me. Either the plot or the writing or the characters were off. Something about this bothered me. If it’s in a series, I won’t continue it.

1 star – I typically reserve this for books I can’t even finish because they’re so horrible. If I give a book this rating, it’s bad man. Save your eyeballs all the extra bleeding and don’t read this book.