Monday, February 29, 2016

February Challenge Wrap-Up

February was a rough reading month for me compared to January. Work, life, and a bit of a slump happened but I'm happy with where I ended the month. I read 7 books this month. 3 for Rock My TBR, 4 for Backlist,  2 ARCs, and 1 just because. This month also ended Holiday Bingo also hosted by Pretty Deadly Reviews, I ended with 8 Bingos!!

Now lets breakdown the books:

1) Winter White: Jen Calonita
      This is the 2nd book in the Belles series, I also read it via audio. The voices were the same as Belles and I really liked them. They fit the characters very well. The book overall was a bit annoying, there wasn't enough going on for it to be as long as it was. What story that was there was good, the usual family and friends drama I like reading, but it was drug out too much.
Challenges: Backlist

2)  My True Love Gave to Me: multiple authors
        I looked forward to this book since I first heard about it over a year ago. I was so excited to start it and I was extremely disappointed when I read it. The stories just didn't grab me. Many of them I stopped half way thru and went to the next because I just couldn't finish them.
Challenges: Backlist, Rock My TBR, Bingo

3) Beastly: Alex Flinn
       Alex Flinn was my first retelling and now I want to read all her books. Beastly is my 2nd of hers. It was different than I expected but still enjoyable. I knew it was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but didn't expect it to be so much from the Beast POV. I really enjoyed seeing his side of the story. One thing I like about retellings is placing the characters as they make their entrance to the story. The characters were spot on in Beastly!
Challenges: Backlist, Rock My TBR, Bingo

4) The Dead House: Dawn Kurtagich
         I really didn't think I would like The Dead House so I put off reading it for months. Once I started I couldn't put it down! The format is so cool, and the story was so twisted and dark but interesting. I was guessing the whole time as to what happened. My only issue is I had a problem keeping up with the time line because the jumping around but it wasn't so bad it hurt the story. And that could just have been me.
Challenges: Rock My TBR, Bingo

5) Scarlet: Marissa Meyer
         My friends have told me I needed to read Scarlet since I finished Cinder, but I kept putting things in front of it. All I have to say is "Why did yall make me wait so long to read this one?". While reading I'll think I figured something out then everything would change, one thing after another, so exciting. I really love the overlap between Cinder and Scarlet, it was done so well that the stories just meshed. I was afraid with the swapping POVs it would make the story hard to follow but it was the perfect mix.
Challenges: Backlist, Bingo

I didn't complete a series for the A Series A Month Challenge but I'm okay with that. I figured I would miss a couple months, just makes something to work toward next month!

Holiday Bingo

I did really well with the Holiday Bingo card that covered Dec-Feb. I ended up with 8 bingos! Here is my card

And the books:
  •  Little Earthquakes: Jennifer Weiner
  • Forever Princess: Meg Cabot
  • Royal Wedding: Meg Cabot
  • Let It Snow: mulitple authors
  • Fangirl: Rainbow Rowell
  • My Secret Boyfriend: Lurlene McDaniel
  • And We Stay: Jenny Hubbard
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Laini Taylor
  • Jessica Darling's It List 2: Megan McCafferty
  • This Song is Not for You: Laura Nowlin
  • Dumplin: Julie Murphy
  • Awake: Natasha Preston
  • Once: Anna Carey
  • Rise: Anna Carey
  • Belles: Jen Calonita
  • Etiquette and Espionage: Gail Carriger
  • Saga Volume 1: Brian K. Vaughan
  • My True Love Gave to Me: multiple authors
  • Beastly: Alex Flin
  • The Dead House: Dawn Kurtagich
  • Scarlet: Marissa Meyer
How did your month go? 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Just because I want to talk books!

I haven't really read anything lately that I have wanted to review. Really haven't read much of anything this month, been in a bit of a funk. I hate not having anything new on the blog but Bookish Bucketlists so I'm just going to talk about my life with books. What better way to kick of a book filled post than with a picture of my shelf? Here it is! 
Isn't she pretty!! 
Books have always been a part of my life. I really don't know when I started reading, I want to say kindergarten but I honestly cannot remember. I only know I've been reading for as long as I can remember. Books were always my friends. I am never without a book, even when I won't have time to read I still carry one with me. Never know when I'll get a chance to read a few pages. 

My reading journey started with Ann M. Martin. My mom signed my up for a monthly book club thing where each month I got a package of books in the mail. Which was so cool and mind blowing to my 5/6 year old self. This book mail started with The Babysitter's Little Sister books. Some months I would get other books too. I remember getting some Boxcar Children, a bunch of Judy Blume, some Ronald Dahl, and some Beverly Cleary among many others. Once I got older the Little Sister books changed to Babysitter's Club books. I loved these even more because I didn't have to carry 2-3 with me at a time since they are longer. 

When I was in middle school my family would go to a flea market outside of Atlanta to set up and see the furniture my dad built. There was a booth there that was about 5 foot by 5 foot and it was packed with books! There were so many books in that booth I could hardly walk, it even took me a few minutes to find the lady running the booth. She was the sweetest little old lady, she spent her days sitting there knitting while people browsed. Everything there was $.50 each!! I would go to this booth anytime I could get away, many times I went 4-5 times a weekend. When  I knew we were going to the flea market I would save my snack/lunch money for days before hand just to buy books. Most of my collection at the time came from this place. I still have some of the books I bought from there, most I have donated my old school's library over the years. 

The majority of my books have came from the above mentioned booth, from thrift stores, from yard sales, and recently from online and actual bookstores. There is not a bookstore within 75 miles of my house! Crazy I know! I  try to go to bookstores whenever I am near one because of this and I like them a lot more now since I have a job and money. HaHaHa I don't mind used books but that means I don't get to read a lot of new books. (I hate to pay for shipping and I want to hold a book before I buy it myself.) I try to stay up on what is new and good but it kind of makes me sad knowing I may not get to read it anytime soon. That is one thing about Twitter, I have found my book people there but it is hard for me to talk to them at times. I am always way behind with my books so I don't always feel like I can talk about them with anyone. Doesn't help that I am the only reader in my family and very small friend group so I really don't know how to talk books. I can never find the words and parts of books/author names/titles tend to leave me once I read them. I want to be able to talk about books with people, I really do! What can I say words are hard. :)

I really don't know where I would be without books. My entire life books have been there for me when no one else was. I have never really had friends, yeah there have been a few people I got close with in school but nothing ever lasted. Over the last few years I have grown apart from the two closest friends I ever had because of life. We still talk from time to time but not like we used to, I hate this but what can I do? Plus I don't really feel like I fit in with my family, never have. So books are fillers for those things in my life. Even in the deepest bits of my sad life I always had a book to talk to, to hold, to keep me from being completely alone. I am a sad person I know, I've come to live with it. I love my books like they are my babies. I worry about them, I take care of them, I don't loan them out unless I trust you with my life. Even then I fear for them until they are home again. So if I have ever loaned you a book you should feel very special. <3 

I guess I have rambled enough about my life and books. I'm sure I lost most of you when I started getting depressing. The ones of you that are still with me talk to me about your books. Hit me with recommendations. Help me become my inner fangirl. 

Thanks for reading my pointless ramblings!

Bookish Bucketlists from Melanie's Musings

Today's Bookish Bucketlists is from Melanie at Melanie's Musings. Melanie is a high school librarian in Mississippi who spends her free time at concerts, traveling, and going to Comicons. Her bookish bucketlist changes all the time as she has already achieved a few goals, but here are just a few things that she'd like to accomplish.

1. Go to Hobbiton! 
          I'm a big Lord of the Rings fan and love to travel, so it would be way too exciting for me to travel to New Zealand and see Hobbiton and Bilbo Baggins' house.

2. Go to ALA!
          As a librarian, making it to the ALA annual convention would be amazing! (Side note: making it to RT Convention used to be on my bucket list, but I've now been able to go to it the past two years when it was in New Orleans and then Dallas.) I definitely plan to attend in 2018 when the conference is in New Orleans, but I wouldn't mind being able to make it to others. The mid-winter conference is in Atlanta next January, so perhaps I can make it to that too.

3. Go to the Eagle and the Child pub. 
                 I said that I'm a Lord of the Rings fan, so I love Tolken, but I also enjoy CS Lewis. Both authors used to meet up and write at the pub, so it would be neat to go where they used to spend time.

4. Meet more of my favorite authors!
             I have been able to meet lots of authors that I love through attending local events and different conventions, but there are still more that I'd like to meet. For example, Kiara Cass is one of my favorites and I've been lucky to meet her twice at RT Convention. I was also ecstatic to be able to meet Colleen Hoover last year (funny story, we held up the line by talking about one of our favorite bands, The Avett Brothers- sorry to the people behind me for us chatting like we were besties?). However, right now I'd most like to be able to meet Marissa Meyer. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series, so I'd enjoy getting to meet her so much! There are obviously others, but she's who I'd most like to meet right now.

5. Go to Harry Potter world in Orlando.
              Isn't this a given for everyone? I've been to Universal, but it was years before the Harry Potter park was made. I would have an absolute blast there and I can't wait to finally go. And, yeah, I may as well also go to the one in LA just because.

6. Get a Harry Potter themed, or really any literary themed, tattoo. 
             I've actually ALMOST gotten a deathly hallows tattoo twice and everytime I chicken out. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I know that I'd love it, but I'm a huge chicken and always talk myself out of it. It's just one of those things. BUT one day I WILL do it!

7. Publish a book.
         Okay, I've never even attempted to write one (save for an AWFUL attempt several years ago that I can't even believe I'm owning up to). I can't figure out how on earth authors make pacing work. It makes no sense to me without talking about all day every day. So weird. One day I'll figure it out and have an awesome day. 

I'm sure that I actually have more bucket list ideas, but I've found that many of them are things that I don't realize until after the fact or until the opportunity is presented. Either way, one day I will definitely do all of things!
Thanks for joining us this week Melanie! This list looks like such fun! Go check out Melanie's blog Malanie's Musings. 
 I'd love to have you for a future edition of Bookish Bucketlists! If you are interested check out this post and sign up!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Bookish Bucketlists from Listful Booking

I'd like to welcome Brianna from Listful Booking to Bookish Bucketlists! So glad you could join me. She is sharing a list of fantasy places and things she would love to visit and do. Let's see where Brianna takes us! 

When I think of bucket lists, I think of a list of things that you can check off-like places to visit, activities, etc. For my bookish bucketlist, I wanted to focus on more fantasy type things-not real places/things to do. How cool would it be it they were real though?!

Visit Vision
Vision is the land where Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe takes place. Vision is basically a fantasy land that is a product of children's imaginations. As a result, there are multiple versions of Vision and each one is different. The one in the book has so many amazing elements that it just sounds so amazing! I would love to see what my version of Vision would be. I'd imagine a lot of bookish, geeky things! 
Play Quidditch
How could I not include this?! I am kind of scared of falling from heights so I can't say I'd be any good at it, but it would sure be fun trying! It would be so fun to play either at Hogwarts or even at the Burrow. I'd want to have Fred &amp; George on my team, as well as Ginny. I imagine I would play as Keeper as not quite so coordinated when it comes to throwing a ball! lol 
Play capture the flag with Dauntless
When I read this seen from Divergent, I decided I really wanted to participate. This seems like it would be so much fun! Yes, the weapons make it feel like you really got shot, but hey-don't get shot! lol The only request I would have is to not let Erik play. 
Visit the Capitol
Of all the things that happen in Hunger Games, there really isn't much I would want to do in real life (can you blame me?! lol). I would like to visit the Capitol though. I'd want to see all the interesting people and fashion. 
Visit the Wall
Now I am not a fan of heights, but the Wall from A Game of Thrones sounds so interesting and intriguing I can't help but want to visit it! I'm not sure if I'd climb to the top, but I would definitely go look at it from Castle Black. lol

Sadly these will (probably) never happen, but hey-a girl can dream! At least I can visit and do these things time and time again just by opening the pages of a book!
Go check out more from Brianna on her blog Listful Booking
I'd love to have you for a future edition of Bookish Bucketlists! If you are interested check out this post and sign up!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bookish Bucketlists from Midwestern Book Nerd

I'd like to welcome Emily from Midwestern Book Nerd to Bookish Bucketlists! So glad you could join me. She is sharing a list of bookish places she would love to visit. Let's see where Emily takes us! 

An avid reader, such as myself, is constantly exposed to worlds both real and fiction. I am definitely one that gets completely sucked in to the worlds of my books and is suddenly dying to go there (well, for the most part. Can’t say I want to be a part of a district of Panem any time soon). Sadly, there are many places that just do not exist. I can’t exactly travel to these fantasy worlds (because apparently Hogwarts is not a real thing) but I can travel to the real places I read about and the inspiration for the books that I read.
When I talked to Sara about doing this post I instantly thought of all the bookish places I wanted to go, and now I can share it with everyone. Here is my bookish traveling bucket list (only real places this time).
  • The London area for HARRY POTTER-Obviously Harry Potter had a pretty awesome set for the movies, and I would love to see where the magic happened. I want to tour the grounds, I want to see the sights, I want to visit platform 9 ¾ !!  Basically I would be cool with following this list ( But if that doesn’t work out I would totally be fine with visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  • England Countryside- I love Pride and Prejudice. The book, the movie. I love it. And I basically want to walk around the English countryside like Lizzie did. Or at least tour the places where they shot the movies and find where Austen got her inspiration.
  • Sherwood Forrest- If my love for the Scarlet series by AC Gaughen is any shock to you then we should probably get to know each other better. I love the story of Robin Hood, and I want to visit the place that he apparently existed. So basically…when you think about it…I want to walk ALL OVER GREAT BRITAIN!
  • Oregon- I loved the book If I Stay. It was amazing. I sobbed. I was heartbroken. It also had moments that made me happy and made me smile. It was set in Oregon and that is a state I would love to visit. I like the camping. I would like to think I would enjoy Portland. I want to drive around and see the sites
  • .  
  • Paris- I really enjoyed Just One Day (WHOA! Another Gayle Forman book!) and I really loved the picture of Paris it painted. It painted a much more down to earth version and though it mentioned the big touristy sites it wasn’t the focal point. I want to visit the parts of Paris that they did in the story. I would also be ok with the touristy stuff.
  • West Coast- If you have not read Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby yet I HIGHLY suggest it. This created the most amazing picture of the West coast I have read so far in my life. It was about the small beach towns and going on adventures (in the sun!!! Oh, how I miss the sun). It just made me want to pack my bags and head out that direction (which I very much hope to do soon!).
  • Amsterdam- If The Fault in Our Stars made me want to travel anywhere it is DEFINITELY Amsterdam. I will avoid the red light district and visit it how Hazel and Gus saw it. I want to see the historic buildings and really learn about it. I want to sit on a bench along the canal. I want to drink whatever it was that they were drinking. I just want to soak it all in.
  • Norway- I have recently discovered a very fun series about a girl named Zaria Fierce by Keira Gillett. It’s a fun and magical story set in modern day Norway. And OH MY GOSH do I ever want to go to Norway now! I realize the magical things that happen in this book won’t happen in Norway for me, but I want to just see it. I want to go there and say I have. I want to learn about the country and just relax. It sounds like a really amazing place to go to do so.
I am sure that I could come up with SO MANY more travel destinations, but I would like to actually be able to cross things off the list, and I think that this list is really doable (and then I can add more to the list as the years go on obviously). There are so many magical settings in books that are real, and I hope to be able to travel to them.
Thanks for having me on the blog Sara for this awesome feature. It was so much fun to come up with this bucket list!

Thanks so much Emily for sharing your list! Go check out Midwestern Book Nerd for more from Emily!

 I'd love to have you for a future edition of Bookish Bucketlists! If you are interested check out this post and sign up!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

ARC Review: Remembrance: Meg Cabot

Release Date: February 2, 2016
I was given an e-arc copy of Remembrance for my honest review.

Remembrance is the newest installment in Meg Cabot's Mediator series. I have read this series multiple times over the years and was unbelievably excited when I found out there was going to be a new book! The Mediator series is about Suze Simon who can see/talk to ghosts. Suze works with her high school principal and friend Jesse to help these ghosts cross over to whatever afterlife they should have.

Remembrance takes place after Suze and Jesse have went college, gotten engaged, and made plans for their future. Everything is great; aside from the usual ghost butt kicking they must do, until a "demon" from their past tries to ruin everything. Paul Slater is back once again to try his best to steal Suze from Jesse before it is too late. Suze must scheme behind Jesse's back to deal with Paul to save their wedding or lose the love of her life forever.

When not dealing with Paul, Suze has taken a job at her alma mater where of course she comes across a ghost in need. While helping this ghost Suze discovers many secrets. Secrets that help her save a student at her alma mater. Secrets that help her in her personal life. Secrets that allow her to mediate the newest ghost.

Since this series took place while Suze was in high school I wasn't sure how well Remembrance would work out being so far in the future. Would the time seem off? Would things be missing?  I was not disappointed at all with this newest installment. Everything was there. Even being so much further in the future the story was still filled in, nothing was missing. My only issue with it is that now I want even more Suze and Jesse! Meg Cabot has done a wonderful job continuing the Mediator series.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bookish Bucketlists from Alice's Book Vault

I'd like to welcome Alice from Alice's Book Vault to the very first Bookish Bucketlists! So glad you could join me. She is sharing a list of bookish places she would love to visit. Let's see where Alice takes us! 

Hello! My name is Alice and I blog over at Alice’s Book Vault. I am a fairly new blogger as I only started blogging August of last year. I mainly read and review fantasy novels but also enjoy contemporary and the odd mystery. I have been reading for as long as I can remember and started blogging because I love sharing my thoughts on books I adore. I was invited by the lovely Sara to write a guest post for Bookish Bucketlists and the topic I chose is a list of bookish places I’d love to visit! So let’s start this list off with the most obvious destination and get it out of the way.

Hogwarts (Are you really surprised?)
As I grew up reading Harry Potter and ever since I was a child, I dreamed of going to Hogwarts as a witch. It is all I’ve ever wanted in my life. To be able to study magic at Hogwarts, visit Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, these are the things I still dream of. As the closest thing I can get to going to Hogwarts is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I will just have to keep visiting to pretend I am really there.

Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women
Gallagher Academy is the school that Cammie attends in the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. This school is a secret school for the training of young women who are soon-to-be spies. This school is filled with secret passageways and amazingly interesting classes that I’d love to visit, if not attend! I’ve always dreamed of visiting or living in a castle with secret passageways hidden behind a panel on a fireplace or a bookshelf that moves when the correct book is pulled. Gallagher Girls offers all this and more.

Cainsville is a city from the Cainsville series by Kelley Armstrong. Cainsville is a small town outside of Chicago, Illinois, that Olivia Taylor Jones seeks refuge in after founding out her real parents are convicted series killers. Cainsville is a mysterious little town with gargoyles on every building, however some of the gargoyles can only be seen in certain circumstances. Some can only be seen during the day, or when it’s raining. Every year the little town holds a contest for the children to see if they can find all the gargoyles, but so far only one child has succeeded. I would love to visit this little town and see if I can find them all!

Mistward is the outpost that Celaena goes to in Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas to train with Rowan. The outpost is high in the mountains, surrounded by forest, and filled with half-fae looking to enter Doranelle. The half-breeds come to Mistward to train and pray that they will be deemed worthy to enter the Fae city Doranelle. I would love to live in a place surrounded by trees and high up in the mountains and Mistward would be an amazing place to visit. I’d love to be able to watch the Fae train and learn to fight, see the Fae shift into their other forms.

I would love to be able to travel to space and to explore Mars with Mark Watney from The Martian by Andy Weir, would be hilarious. I found my self laughing out loud with Mark and think he would be the perfect person to explore a new planet with. If not Mark, my father and I have always been extremely interested in space and the stars and this is a place I would love to take my father on a trip. Though, I would really love to NOT be stranded on the planet and almost die multiple times like Watney.

So this is my list of the bookish places I’d love to visit! I’d be very interested in seeing your thoughts on the places I chose, as well as places that would top your list! 

Thanks for sharing Alice! You can check out Alice's blog Here. 

I'd love to have you for a future edition of Bookish Bucketlists! If you are interested check out this post and sign up!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WOW: The Crown by:Kiera Cass

Waiting on Wednesday: The Crown by: Kiera Cass

Release date: May 3, 2016

*Synopsis: Twenty years have passed since the events of The One, and America and Maxon’s daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own. Princess Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you...and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected.

Thoughts: I fell in love with this series with the first book. I read the first 3 books in a little over a week, the quickest I have ever binged a series! I cannot wait to see how it ends.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

*synopsis courtesy of GoodReads  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Janurary Challege Wrap Up

I have greatly surprised myself this month and read 12 books! This is the most books I’ve read in one month in a long time. All but 3 are part of my challenges for the year too. I am going to break them all down and share a few thoughts on each of them.

Jessica Darling’s It List 2: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes, and Faux Friends by: Megan McCafferty
Jessica Darling was one of my many heroes growing up. I read the YA series many times over the years, and flipped a little when I heard there was a middle grade prequel type series about Jessica. I read this one in about a day, and cannot wait to get number 3. I would give the It List series to any younger child to help then navigate life until they are ready for the high school/college Jessica.
Challenges: Backlist, Holiday bingo, Rock my TBR

Dumplin by: Julie Murphy
I heard great things about Dumplin from months before release so I was super excited for this one. I was not disappointed at all with this one. Pure perfection. Little bit of love, some friendship issues, and body love all wrapped into one neat little book. I would recommend this one to anyone no matter what genre they like. Dumplin is just one of those books everyone should read.
Challenges: Holiday bingo, Rock my TBR

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by: Lani Taylor
I took a chance with this one, it is way outside my comfort zone of genres. I did not like it. Daughter is a good book for the genre it falls into but it is not my forte. I did finish it but will not be going further into the series. Not for me.
Challenges: Backlist, Holiday bingo

This Song is (Not) for You by: Laura Nowlin
I did an official review for this one. You can check it out here.

I See Reality (an anthology)
I did an official review for this one. You can check it out here.

Eve/Once/Rise by: Anna Carey
I started this series a couple years ago and really liked it. I finally got copies of all 3 books so I started over to binge the series. Eve was really good it was full of action, love, and twisted friendships. Once wasn’t as good to me. I found it to be a little boring because most of the book there wasn’t much happening. Rise picked back up again but still not as good as Eve. I don’t know that I’ll ever read the entire series again but would most likely reread Eve and Rise.
Challenges: Holiday Bingo(2), Backlist (3), Rock my TBR (2), A Series a Month

Awake by: Natasha Preston
I have owned this book for a long time but could never bring myself to read it. I honestly didn’t think I’d like it. I found an audio of it and thought I’d give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable Awake was. My only real problem was being the audio I had a hard time keeping track of a time frame. The story would skip forward in time but I took a bit to catch up.
Challenges: Holiday bingo, Rock my TBR

Belles by: Jen Calonita
I found this one as an audio from my library. Wasn’t really sure what to expect as I had never heard anything about it, but it was pretty good. Great story idea, even if I did jokingly guess the ending pretty early on. Plus I’m sure people that I was insane because I was constantly yelling at my radio because Savannah is horrible.
Challenges: Backlist, holiday bingo

Proposal by: Meg Cabot
The Mediator series is one of my all time favorite series. I was so excited when I found out there were going to be more books for it. I even pre-ordered this one! Proposal was everything I could imagine for a novella in this series. I loved it!

Etiquette & Espionage by: Gail Carriger
I started the audio of this one but I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t really know if it was the story or the audio to be honest. It was kind of hard to get the story in my head and figure out the time period/what was happening. I DNF’d about ¼ way through.
Challenges: Backlist, Holiday Bingo

Bring on February!!