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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 yearūü§£.

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. S√°nchez

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 ūüėČ).

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. S√°nchez

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!

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Super Mini-Reviews of YA Books

I figured I couldn’t continue this blog much more without giving some update on the books I read while I was on a hiatus. Of course, I don’t remember everything so here are the ones I remember. Some of these have become favorites of mine and may be referenced from here on out. Here are some mini-reviews of my “mehs” and “yays.”

Meh ūüėē

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)

WindfallRed Queen (Red Queen, #1)Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child:¬†Goodness, I haven’t thought about this book in awhile. Let’s just say I am very, how should I say this, conflicted about this one. It was just something. Perhaps it was the script format or my love for Harry Potter, but this one was a mega disappointment for me. I may try to write a whole other post on this one day if I can collect enough thoughts about it. Then again, do I really want to revisit this sore thumb?

Windfall:¬†All I remember was this book was about the lottery. I don’t even remember the characters names. However, I do remember that the main girl was super annoying and unattached.¬† I wouldn’t say it was terrible, but obviously nothing memorable for me.

Always and Forever Lara Jean: I truly did enjoy the 1st book of this series. However, with each one I feel like Lara Jean becomes more unbearably childish than the last. Peter definitely is the savior of this book. As cringe-worthy as some of the moments can get, I would still recommend this book as a great guilty-please read!

Red Queen:¬†I struggled to get through the beginning of this book. I was able to read a chunk of it until something absolutely stupid happened and I was annoyed and put the book down. I haven’t picked it back up and don’t have any plans to. I remember how this book was super hyped when it initially released way back when, but it really didn’t meet my expectations.

 

YAY! ūüėć

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1) Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1)

 

 

 

 

Lady Midnight/Lord of Shadows:¬†MY GOODNESS, CASSANDRA CLARE HAS DONE IT AGAIN. While I enjoyed TMI, they were never really my favorite. Then I read TID, and those were super good. I’m not sure if I like Infernal Devices or these books more, but I am sure I will make my decision once the new book comes out (tangent: originally Queen of Air and Darkness was supposed to come out in 2019 and I almost had a heart attack but she recently released a new schedule and now it comes out next year!!!). The characters in these books are an absolute pleasure to read. Not only was¬† Julian and Emma’s relationship fun to read, but the other siblings also had great story lines. I’m also very intrigued by what’s going on with Clary in these books. And needless to say, but the end of Lord of Shadows ripped my heart out and shredded it to pieces. I need the next book now!!

Court of Wings and Ruin:¬†Another favorite series of mine! While I think the 2nd book is still my favorite, this was definitely did not disappoint. As for Sarah J. Maas books, the ACOTAR series is far superior to the Throne of Glass series (which I believe I have given up on) in my opinion. I love all the back and forth between each court and the fight scenes were thrilling. If you haven’t read this series yet, I HIGHLY recommend you pick it up!

Trials of Apollo:¬†Its been a very long time since I’ve read this and haven’t gotten the chance to read the 2nd book yet. However, I do remember loving it–how could I not…it’s a Rick Riordan book! I have been on a journey of my own with his books and haven’t be disappointed yet. I would probably read his grocery list if he published it. While this book was a bit different from his others since it was from a God’s perspective, I still had the same humor and great plot as the others. Plus I got to learn even more Greek mythology! And, not going to lie, I didn’t exactly¬†mind Percy Jackson’s appearance ūüėČ.

 

Well there’s that! I realize these aren’t exactly reviews rather than mini rants, but in my defense for some of these books its been awhile! Stay tuned for more posts!

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Out of Touch with the Book World

During my year and a half hiatus from this blog, I was a bit out of touch with the book world in general. Don’t get me wrong, I was still reading books, just not as many as I would’ve liked. However, since I wasn’t blogging or on wordpress, I wasn’t in the loop when it came to bookish news.

Every once in awhile I would do a search on Goodreads to update myself on some new books or look up new book-to-movie news. However, I definitely missed out on a ton of new book releases. I remember going to Barnes and Noble and not recognizing a single book in the New Releases section!

So I’m still in the process of updating my TBR and figuring out upcoming releases to be excited for. Any suggestions? Are there any upcoming books you are dying to read? Book-to-movie adaptations you can’t wait to see? Let me know!

 

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Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down

Author: John Green

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Published On: October 10. 2017

Genre: Contemporary

5         Turtles All the Way Down

I have never experienced the feeling of reading a new John Green book. I read all of his other books years after they were published. After his success with TFIOS, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever experience the feeling of a new John Green book. But here we are. All these years of waiting–worth it.

This book exceeded all of my expectations. I thought TATWD would mimic his other novels–boy/girl meets another girl/boy, tragic life situations, young love, etc. And while there were some similarities, the overall tone of the book different from his others– rightly so due to the nature of the book.¬† For someone who wrote about teen cancer and death, I didn’t think I could read another book of his that was sadder and darker but TATWD is just that. It may not be the heartbreaking romance novels, but it pulls on your heartstrings in a way other books can’t.

Aza Holmes, a 16 year old from Indianapolis, suffers from crippling anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. She fears the microbes living in her body and has the constant need to change the bandaid on her finger. Aza finds herself in what she calls “thought spirals” where the intrusive thoughts about microbes,¬†C. diff, and her overall existence took over her mind. Daisy, her spunky friend, doesn’t quite understand Aza’s fears but supports and love her nonetheless. And then there’s Davis, the boy across the river who happens to be the son of the missing fugitive billionaire.

After reading the premise, I thought that the search for Davis’ father would be the main plot. However, much to my liking,¬†Turtles All the Way Down¬†did not turn into a classic Nancy Drew story and instead focused almost solely on Aza inner turmoil. This book’s focus on mental health was refreshing. It didn’t offer a superficial ending where she was “healed” because it doesn’t work that way in the real world. There are good days and bad days, and even after years of counselling you can still have those bad days. It showcased Aza’s inner monologue as her logic fought with the intrusive thoughts her anxiety threw at her. Without spoiling, there is an instance where we read this inner battle for 2-3 pages until she finally succumbs to the thoughts. The amount of emotion and effect Green was able to pack into those pages was raw and beautiful.

Instead, TATWD focused on Aza and her relationships, which to me was the most heartwarming part of the story. Her friendship with Daisy was so realistic. They loved and cared for each other fiercely but they had conflicts. Daisy would get frustrated with Aza’s anxiety but at the end of the day was always there for her. And then there is her relationship with Davis which is unlike any other romantic pairing I have read in YA fiction. They understand each other on deep level and have very enlightening conversations but (spoiler) it doesn’t work out. Neither can give with the other needs at that moment. It’s a story of first love that is different from any other. I highlighted this quote because it really captures the essence of their relationship:

‘You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, that nothing in this world is deserved except for love, that love is both how you become a person, and why.”¬†

That is just one of many beautifully written lines you will find in¬†Turtles All the Way Down. Sure, it may not have an epic romance per say or an exciting mystery. However, this book packs a powerful punch with its realism. Ava’s struggles are present in many people in the world today. Struggling or not, I believe everyone can find a piece of this book to relate to or find comfort in. It’s just that good.

 

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Comeback??

It’s been awhile.

My last post on Find Me at the Library was over a year ago. Life got busy. Blogging didn’t bring me the same joy it did when I began. Instead, it felt like a chore.

However, it is October 11th and I just finished John Green’s¬†Turtles All the Way Down. The first thing I wanted to do after I put the book down was write about it. So I’m back! At this point, I’m not sure how consistent I will be. Maybe I will get back into blogging on a schedule or maybe it will just be sporadic. All I know is that at this moment I want to write about some books.

Stay tuned ūüôā

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The Ruler of Books Tag

The

This awesome tag was created by booktuebr Ariel Bisset, and I came across it at Lola’s blog Hit or Miss Books. It’s been awhile since i’ve done a tag, and this one looked pretty fun.

What book would you make everyone read?

Ok so I have two answers for this, one a series and the other a standalone. Everyone should read Harry Potter, for obvious reasons. It is a very popular book, but there are still some people who have not experienced the magic of it, and I think everyone should at least try it. For my standalone, I chose Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, because of the themes and messages, Also, it is beautifully written and really gets you thinking.

What would you abolish in book construction?

I could honestly could write an entire post about this. For now, I’ll just choose one thing–covers with actual people on them. You know the ones I’m referring to, where a person is randomly and awkwardly photshopped onto a cover. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes real people on covers can look good (i.e. Since You’ve Been Gone, To All The Boys I’ve ¬†Loved Before) but most of the time, it is cringe worthy.

What author would you commission to write you any book?

This really depends on what kind of book. For the world-building aspect, definitely Marissa Meyer. Cute contemporary? Rainbow Rowell. Contemporary that tears your heart into pieces? John Green.

What book would you demote to the library basement to make room for new books?

The first two books of the Matched Trilogy, for sure. In fact, if there was no room in the basement, I would not be against just plain throwing them in the trash.

What cover artist would you commission to make a mural?

I don’t know illustrators names, but whoever made Harry Potter and The Lunar Chronicles Covers. ¬†I mean look at how beautiful they are?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

What character’s face would you put on a coin?

Albus Dumbledore.

What book would you award the ‚ÄúRuler of Books‚ÄĚ 2016 Prize to?

So far my favorite 2016 release that I have read has been The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. However. in a few months I’m pretty sure Empire of Storms will overtake the title!

I tag anyone who wants to do this tag! It’s been awhile since I’ve done a tag, so I’m not sure what blogs accept nominations or tags anymore. If you want to be tagged in any future posts, let me know and I’ll add you to my list!