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New Year, New TBR: Cleaning My Goodreads Account (VERY OVERDUE!)

New Years is famous for inspiring people with a fresh start. You know the saying–“new year, new me.” People invest in gym memberships, pledge to eat better, decide they will clean the house each day. This time of year is full of wrapping up “mistakes” and giving yourself a fresh, new start. For me, it’s my goodreads

I’ll admit it–I’m terrible at using Goodreads. I love the concept, don’t get me wrong. I have spent many hours on the website, clicking book after book trying to find something to read. Over time, though, my TBR shelf got a little out of control. I was getting too click-happy when it came to that “want-to-read” button. I stopped using the feature because my shelf was full of books I had no interest in reading anymore. In honor of the new year, I performed the daunting task and deleted many books.

My taste in YA books have gradually changed and my tbr shelf no longer reflected that. It was interesting to see what old me wanted to read. Some of the books I deleted I had completely lost interest in. Others I think I would somewhat enjoy now, but I rather prioritize things I know I have a chance of loving. I even got a chance to go through and “order” them based off priority. Here are the top five books on my TBR:

So here’s my new years resolution–I want to start using goodreads properly! I want to get in the habit of logging my books when I read them so at the end of the year I am not stuck counting on my fingers. I want my TBR shelf to be an accurate representation of what I want to read.

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2017 End of the Year Wrap-Up (Books, Movies, Music, Etc.)

Hello! There is officially only 3 days left of 2017, so I figured now would be a great time to do an end of the year wrap-up. I don’t *think* I will be finishing any more books this year, but I have read 2 this week so who knows! This list is really just a summary of my 2017.

BOOKS

So I actually have an upcoming goodreads post that discusses my apparent inability to track books. After racking my brain, this is all of the books I can remember reading in 2017. I have a feeling there were more, but obviously they didn’t have that much of an impact on me. My reading number is pretty low, but I expected that because I didn’t pick up a ton of books.

My Favorite Series of the Year — The Dark Artifices

2017 was a year I was SUPER in the shadowhunters universe because of the TV show. I reread a few of the TMI books and was also introduced to The Dark Artifices series. I LOVED THESE BOOKS. They are both around 700 pages each and I basically finished both of them in a span of 4 days (what can I say, I was bored and they were good!). I’m not sure if I like it more than The Infernal Devices yet, but its definitely up there. I’m so glad Queen of Air and Darkness is coming out in 2018 now, because I NEED to know what happens after LoS.

My Most-Anticipated Book of the Year — Turtles All the Way Down

When John Green announced that he had a new book coming out, I was over the moon excited. Like I was counting down to receive this book (and then it didn’t come in the mail on time!). Turtles All the Way Down did not disappoint; in fact, it exceeded my expectations and became my favorite John Green book. You can hear my gush more about this book here.

My Favorite Book of the Year — Far From the Tree

I read my favorite book of the year 4 days ago actually. I received Far From the Tree Christmas morning and ended up finishing it at 3:00 am after my Christmas celebrations. I literally could not put this book down. It definitely tugged on my heartstrings–the family relationship in this book is what I have been looking for in YA forever! Far From the Tree is probably one of my favorite ~serious~ contemporary books now, and I am absolutely in love with it.

My Least Favorite Book of the Year– Red Queen

Ew. I just dislike this book so much. There is so much hype around this series and I really don’t understand why. It was painful to read at times. I’m not even sure if I completely finished it. I know I got close to the end, but something so absurdly stupid happened I had to put the book down. Yeah, not a fan.

BLOGGING

This one is pretty easy–I didn’t blog! I made the decision to stop blogging at the end of 2016 because it was no longer fun.I took a long break, but when I read Turtles All the Way Down, I was drawn back into blogging again. This month I have really gotten into it during my break, and I am hoping to continue!

My Most Viewed Post of 2017  is The Best of Rick Riordan’s Chapter Titles with a total of 856 views…I shocked because I posted this in 2015 lol.

MUSIC 

 

I’m not going to get too much into this because I planning on a whole another post about music. I realized I never talk about music on here and that needs to change. Since you don’t know anything about my music tastes, let me just tell you my all time favorite band in the world is Imagine Dragons. They had their new album Evolve come out in 2017, and I listened to it all the time. I also started listening to Post Malone in 2017, which is why I Fall Apart is my #1 song. My spotify stats are a little skewed b/c I switch from listening on youtube or my phone but the two pictures above are pretty accurate.

I also went to 2 concerts in 2017: Panic at the Disco and Imagine Dragons!

   

MOVIES

I had absolutely no book-to-movie adaptations to look forward to this year. So, my favorite movie of the year was (drum roll please)……..

Digital

Don’t judge! This movie was pretty awesome. Now 2018, that will be the year of movies for me. So many to be excited for!

That’s my overall media summary of 2017. What about you? Any favorite books from 2017? What music did you listen to during the year? A favorite movie that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

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What I Want to Read in 2018

As I said in my 2018 Blogging and Reading Goals post, I’m not setting an official number of books I want to read. My theme for the year is read more of what makes me happy. That being said, if I don’t read these things in 2018, I will be VERY disappointed with myself. This list includes books/themes/authors that I have been wanting to read FOREVER.

Books & Series

  1. Magnus Chase and the Apollo series by Rick Riordan: I love me some mythology books, and I desperately need to catch up on these series!
  2. The Raven Boys: I am ashamed to say I have never read Maggie Stiefvater. I hear people gush about these books and I am pretty sure I will love them as well. I even have the 1st book sitting on my shelf!
  3. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley: Again, another book I have on my shelf. I have actually started this book, but put it down due to new releases. I love the premise of this book and just want to finish it.

 

Authors

  1. Kasie West: I can’t help it–I’m a hopeless romantic. I always enjoy a fun contemporary romance, but somehow I have yet to venture in Kasie West. This must change in 2018!
  2. V.E. Schwab: I have heard raving reviews about all of her books, but have yet to read any of them! I have This Savage Song and would love to get caught up on the series this coming year!

 

Themes/Topics

  1. More Mental Health Books: This is becoming one of my favorite topics to read about in YA. I read Turtles All the Way Down this year and loved that it gave some light to a very serious issue. I have read some other mental health books in the past, but I would love to read more on anxiety/depression as well as some more underrepresented disorders.
  2. Single Characters!!: Aforementioned, I love myself a good romance. However, I would also love a book where that’s not even in the picture. I just want me some good friendship bonds, ESPECIALLY some between guys and girls (because you can be a friend with someone of the opposite gender and NOT love each other).
  3. Books w/book-loving characters: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell will forever be one of the bookish loves of my life. I want some more awkward characters and I want some more characters that love to fangirl about books!
  4. College Adventures: Something I don’t see much in YA is college age students. I think it would still be of interest to older teens, and I think a college campus could turn into a great setting for an exciting story.

 

Well those are some of the things I want to read this year! As for the topics/themes, I am still looking for books to match the requirements, so if you have any suggestions let me know down below!

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My Blogging and Reading Resolutions for the New Year

Its that time of year of again! As 2017 comes to a close, I am reflecting on my blogging and reading from the past year and setting goals for the new year. 2017 was not a great blogging year for me. I took a break from this blog for a year or so but decided to pick it back up in October after I was dying to share my thoughts about Turtles All the Way Down. 2017 was a pretty “meh” year for reading as well. I’m not completely sure how many books I read, but I think it was in the 16-17 range. There were some pretty large books however (looking at you Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows).

For 2018, I don’t want to set huge and unrealistic goals. Looking ahead, I know I will be very busy and don’t want this blog or reading to become another task I feel I need to check off my list. So here are my vague goals and rules I am setting for 2018 to ensure that I remain happy.

    1. Don’t put pressure on blogging: Over Christmas break, I have a ton of time to come up with posts and may post once a day or every other day. This just cannot happen in everyday life. I want to keep up with this blog, but I will only do it if it is fun and not another chore. If this means I only post once a week or even every two weeks, that’s fine by me. Some weeks I may post 3 times. I’m sure consistency isn’t the best for views, but I blog so I can have fun in a wonderful community

    2. Speaking of views, I don’t want to obsess over my stats. While I do believe its good to check to see if people like the content, I am not going to worry about them. Of course, I do want more people so I can branch out more in this blogging community, but I don’t want views to be the deciding factor of if my post was “successful” or “good.”

    3. Finally, I would like to work on my graphics more. I have been making new images on canva, and I like them, but I would still like to improve.

 

My overarching reading goal is simple: read more.

I have so many great books that I want to experience, but they are just collecting dust on my shelf. I don’t read as much because I don’t feel like I have time, but I need to make time. A big reading habit of mine is finishing a book very quickly (within a day or two). That’s impossible to do when you you have other responsibilities. I want to get in the habit of reading, even if its just 20 minutes at a time. I would like to start reading more before I go to bed because its a great way to wind down. Reading is such a peaceful escape for me that brings me joy, and I need to prioritize it in my life.

That being said, I don’t want to overwhelm myself. As for reading goals, I am not going to set big numbers. I am going to start out small–say 10 (because I know I should reach that)–and then work my way up. Plus, I want to get in the habit of actually logging my books onto goodreads because I have no clue what I read this year🤣.

So that’s it for my reading and blogging goals. What are your goals for 2018? Let me know in the comment section!

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Christmas Book Haul

For those who celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a wonderful holiday. This is such a magical part of the year! I was super excited about some of the books that people gave me for Christmas, so I figured I would share them! (P.S. I took these pictures on my phone, so the quality isn’t the best).

   

I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus 

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore 

I also got a super cool bookmark of Barb from Stranger Things….#neverforget.

And finally, I bought myself a Christmas present today for my Kindle.

Draekora (The Medoran Chronicles, #3)

 

Draekora by Lynette Noni 

(This is the 3rd book in the Medoran Chronicles which is a super underrated series. It has some cool Harry Potter vibes, and you should totally read it!)

 

 

 

 

What did you guys get for Christmas?

 

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things (Christmas Edition!)

In honor of Christmas being in TWO days, here are some of my Christmastime favorites! (Also, did anyone get the song reference in my title 😉).

Favorite Christmas Song

I love so many different Christmas songs, but my all time favorite has to be Bruce Springsteen’s version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town. I love his voice in the song and it is just so playful!

Favorite Christmas Movie 

Absolutely cannot pick just one for this question. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation never fails to make me laugh! As for animated movies, while I love all of the classics, I gotta say Mickey’s Once/Twice Upon a Christmas are a delight to watch. I never get tired of watching them!.

Favorite Christmas Treat

Peanut Butter Balls!

Favorite Christmas Activity

I love making Christmas cookies with music on in the background. I am also starting a new tradition with my best friend where we make homemade ornaments together!

Favorite Christmas Book 

I haven’t read an abundance of YA Christmas books, but my favorite so far has to be Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle. I actually haven’t read it for a few years, but I remember it being super cute and all three stories connected somehow.

Favorite Decoration 

I love decorating the house for Christmas. I do it right after Thanksgiving. My favorite decoration to put up is the Nativity scene. I have set it up basically my whole life and it is very important to me. Reminds me of the real reason for the season!

Giving  or receiving presents? 

I love giving presents. The whole process of picking out a perfect gift, wrapping it, and seeing the person’s reaction is one of the best parts of Christmas!

Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Wrapping paper, always. It so much fun to wrap presents and there is an infinite amount of cute Christmas paper.

Real or fake tree? 

I have had both trees, but real trees are my favorite. As much as I love the convenience of pre-lit artificial trees, nothing can replace that authentic Christmas tree smell!

What are some of your favorite things about Christmas? I can’t believe we are so close! Only two more days!

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2018 YA Book Releases I Can’t Wait to Read!

It’s really crazy to believe that 2017 is coming to a close! However, a new year means new book releases, and 2018 just so happens to have some wonderful new releases! Many of these books are part of favorite book series or are by favorite authors. This list doesn’t include all of the debut books I am interested in…mostly because I haven’t had a chance to do that much research on them yet!

Series/Fav. Author Novels

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3)                   A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.5)

Queen of Air and Darkness–Dec. 4: This book is hands down my most anticipated of 2018. This past summer I absolutely devoured Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows. This series may be my favorite of Cassie’s or is at least very close to Infernal Devices. Plus that ending of Lord of Shadows!!! I need answers…too bad I have to wait until next December for them (better than the initial 2019 release date though)!

A Court of Frost and Starlight–May. 1: I’m very excited to see how this bridge between the original series and the spinoff stories works out. It is a shorter book (247 pages) but is narrated by both Feyre and Rhysand. ACOTAR is another one of my favorite series and I am glad that I will be seeing more of some of my favorite characters again!

Save the Date                        The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3)

Save the Date—June 5: Morgan Matson is hands down my favorite contemporary author. It’s gotten to the point where I will literally buy anything she puts out, no questions asked. This book sounds very summer-y and there’s a WEDDING. I’m glad it’s coming out early June…it’ll be a great way to kick off Summer!

The Burning Maze—May 1: Now I know Rick Riordan isn’t exactly considered YA but I know so many people that read it anyway. I actually haven’t read the 2nd book in this series yet, but I did that so I wouldn’t have to wait so long for this book! No matter how old I get, I will always love coming back to this Greek Mythology world (especially when I get to revisit old characters like Percy and Annabeth).

Debut Novels

You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone               Where I Live           The Calculus of Change

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone–Jan. 2: One of my goals for 2018 is to read some books with more diverse representation, and this novel showcases a Jewish family. It deals with Huntington’s disease and family/sister relationships and just sounds like it will be a great read.

Where I Live–Feb. 27: This book explores teen poverty and homelessness and main character Linden Rose lives at her high school. This book makes me nervous because I feel like it can be a major hit or a big flop, depending on how they deal with the magnitude of the heavy themes. I’m very excited to see how this one plays out!

The Calculus of Change–Feb. 27: Although it has ~math~ on the cover, I’m willing to look past it (lol). This one deals with a lot of teen issues and seems like it will feature an adorable romance, which I completely here for.

Well here’s my list so far! I haven’t looked too much into debut novels (especially fantasy ones) but these are the 3 catching my attention so far. What are your most anticipated books of 2018?

 

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What’s On My Christmas List…Book Edition!!

AHHHH, I can’t believe Christmas is in 5 days! I got the idea for this post from yesterday’s Top Ten Tuesday. While my favorite part of the holidays is being with my family and just embracing the holiday spirit (AKA Christmas music all day long), I can’t lie. Opening up a present and seeing a book I want to read is definitely a great feeling. Here are my top reading-related gifts that I am hoping to find under the tree this year!

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter  One of Us Is Lying  Far from the Tree  The Hate U Give

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I’ve seen these books everywhere recently and want to see what the hype is all about! Oddly enough, they are all contemporary I believe–normally I have some fantasy thrown in there too!

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And finally…a hands free book holder! I’m not sure if it will work well, but if it does I can read books hands free! Maybe this would let me sneak in some reading while I am eating less-snacky foods. We shall see!

So what’s on your Christmas list this year? Any recommendations I should add to mine? Let me know!