Summary of Summer (aka a Summer-y)

Hey guys!! I’m supposed to be back from my hiatus today, but to be honest I don’t think it’s actually going to be possible to get back into blogging full time.  I’m really upset about that (like really really upset) but I don’t know how I would manage to balance school and blogging.  At all. I am so impressed by all of you that do it, and maybe someday I’ll be able to manage, but that day is not today.  Continue reading “Summary of Summer (aka a Summer-y)”

Mid Year Update: Books and Blogging!

It’s June, which means that we are officially halfway through this crazy year known as 2017.  So much has already happened this year, and so I’m looking forward to sharing my midyear book wrap and other updates.

This is the first year that I’ve had my blog from the beginning, and therefore my first midyear wrap, so bare with me if it’s sort of messy.  All links will take you to the review, unless otherwise specified.

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Total: 19

5 Star Reads

Little BeeI'll Give You the SunThe NightingaleThe Roanoke GirlsFinal GirlsOrange Is the New Black

 

4 Star Reads

The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #6)Truly Madly GuiltyGirl Out of WaterScrappy Little NobodyThe Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)Smugglers & Scones (Moorehaven Mysteries, #1)The Corner Office by Katerina Baker

3 Star Reads

Invisible ManThe Fourth MonkeyGo Set a Watchman by Harper LeeThe Darkest Lies

2 Star Reads

HamletThe Orphan Master's Son

  • Hamlet
  • The Orphan Master’s Son (DNF)

1 Star Reads

none

Obviously, I’m well over halfway to my goal of 25 books this year. Because of that, I’m updating and saying that I want to read 40.  That’s a bit of a stretch, but I think that I should be able to do it if I push through and read a lot on road trips this summer.

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Since I read a wide variety of books from nearly every genre, I decided that I would name my favorite book from each genre that I have read so far this year, as well as list the number of books that I read from each genre.

Historical Fiction (4)

  • THE NIGHTINGALE, BY KRISTIN HANNAH— This was by far the hardest category to pick just one favorite.  In the end, I had to go with this one because I felt for the characters the most, and it is the one that keeps coming back to me over and over again.

Mystery / Thriller (7)

  • FINAL GIRLS, BY RILEY SAGER—  I said back in January that this was going to be one of my favorite books of the year, and halfway through it’s still going strong.  It was such a shocking, amazing novel I still can’t get my mind around it.  AND I NEED to know who Riley Sager really is.  It’s an emergency.

YA (2)

  • I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, BY JANDY NELSON– This book was just so utterly fabulous that I cannot accurately put it into words.  I have so much love for all of the characters, and I was so sad when this book finally ended.

Fantasy (1)

  • THE BONE WITCH, BY RIN CHUPECO– Yes, yes I know I only read 1 fantasy book this year, but still, this one was pretty good.  I really enjoyed it once I got into it, and it’s the start of a series, so you should get excited and start reading this one.

Romance (1)

  • THE CORNER OFFICE, BY KATERINA BAKER– Another category with only one book, but deserving all the same.  I don’t read a lot of romance but this was super enjoyable and I loved the main character because she was feminist and that’s rare in romance!!!!

Classics & Nonfiction (4)

  • ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, BY PIPER CHAPMAN– Maybe it’s because I’m watching the show too, or maybe it’s just the fact that it seemed like Piper was really talking to me, since it was an audiobook, but I ADORED hearing her story, it was incredible and I found it super interesting to hear about.

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Total Pages Read– 6464

Longest Book Read– Invisible Man (581 pages)

Oldest Book Read– Hamlet, by Shakespeare

Newest Book Read– The Darkest Lies, by Barbara Copperthwaite

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Books With LGBTQ+ Representation– 2

Books With PoC Representation– 4

Purchased Books Read– 3

eARCs Read– 5

Physical ARCs– 1

I personally find it very interesting that I’ve only read 4 books with non-white people in it, because I feel like there should be fairy equal representation, or at least have more books with SOMEBODY being not white.  This might be slightly skewed because of the amount of historical fiction I read, but I still feel like something should have to change.

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I was thinking about approaching this the same way I normally do, by talking about my 5 most popular posts of the year, but I think that a different approach will actually be more effective.  In addition to the 5 most popular, I’m going to name 5 posts that I loved, but didn’t quite reach as many views as I wanted them to.

The Top 5

  1. The Book Blogger Awards— Although it was actually the rules page that got the most views, I’m going to link the winners, because I think they could always deserve just a little bit more love.  For the first time ever doing this, I’m so happy with how much positive feedback I received!!!  I truly found some fabulous new bloggers and I could not be more happy about that.
  2. Author Interview with Hugh Roberts-– Hugh happens to be a blogger and an author, and someone I have a huge amount of respect for.  I was so, so honored by the fact that he wanted to do an interview with me, and I love the way it came out.
  3. Book Trends that Need to Stop— I talked about my least favorite book tropes that keep coming back but actually SUCK and I think a lot of you guys fully supported this angry rant.
  4. 5 Summer Reads— ’tis the season for reading!!  I matched up with T5W and did a post on my top 5 summer reads.  Although my choices were a little bit odd (aka not contemporary lit) I still feel like they are perfect choices to bring to the beach or read laying out under the stars.
  5. 9 Steps for Improving Your Blog— I wrote a guideline post about everything I’ve learned that I feel can help you improve your blogging, and I was happy to see that people thought my advice was helpful.  I love helping everyone in the blogging community, and so if anyone ever has any questions or just wants to chat, come to me!

My Personal Favorites (That You Guys Ignored)

  1. Current Books That Will Become Classics— I wrote a post about books that were published recently but will, within the next couple of generations, be considered classics.   I personally read and adored all of these, and so the list is also helpful if you’re looking for high quality book recommendations.
  2. Short Story by Adrian Burrows— Adrian has been on this blog 2x now.  The first was an author interview, and the most recent was to share a short story that he had written.  It was super mysterious and he wanted opinions on what we think happened, so if you’re interested in spooky short stories then you should 100% give this one a shot.
  3. A Letter To JK Rowling— I wrote a sort of sentimental post about why I adore JK Rowling, in letter format.  It’s a bit different than my normal posts, but it made me really happy writing it, and I’d love to hear if any of you have similar experiences with an author.
  4. The Book Cover Guessing Game— I tried to guess what 2 popular books are about from their covers, and was horribly wrong, which may be comical to read about.  I stole this idea from someone else, and I still love finding them and seeing how hard it is to guess synopses from just the cover, even though it’s the cover that normally leads me to pick up a book.
  5. Fictional Characters I would Love to Meet— I wrote about what it would be like to actually meet my favorite fictional characters, which gave me the perfect excuse to FANGIRL LIKE CRAZY over everything and just be super happy while sharing the people I love with the crazy world of the internet.

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As far as actually reading books goes, I think I’ve done a pretty good job so far this year in reading more than I ever have before while still keeping up with blogging and other responsibilities.  Part of this has been reading on my phone, and another part has been audiobooks, but mostly it’s just that I WANT to read more.  I’ve been getting behind on ARC copies lately, so I need to put more energy into those, but otherwise I’m feeling pretty good about myself.  Hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of this year and then many more years into the future!

Let's Talk

How many books have you read so far this year? Which book has been your favorite? Have you read any of the books on my list? Do you agree with the ratings?

joce-sign-off


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May Wrapup: A Good Month For Blogging and Somewhat For Reading

This month has, surprisingly, been really good for reading and just life in general!! I’m super proud of myself because I’ve gotten wayyyyy ahead on my blogging, scheduled out the whole month of June, am participating in 3 blogger projects, and still managing to get everything done in a reasonable amount of time.  I feel like I’m one of those people with crazy productivity that I’m jealous of, and I don’t understand how this is happening.

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This month I read 3/5 book on my TBR, and 4 books total.  That’s because I forgot to put a 2nd audiobook on my TBR, so I was held at gunpoint needed to stray from my list. I haven’t posted reviews for any of these books yet, so all of the links will send you to Goodreads.

Kindle/Ebooks

I'll Give You the Sun

I’ll Give you the Sun (5 STARS)— This book was INCREDIBLE.  I was hooked from page 1, and couldn’t put it down.  I also read this with my mom and we talked about it the whole way through, which made it amazing and gave me different perspectives on the book than I would have had otherwise.

Physical Books

The Roanoke Girls

The Roanoke Girls (5 STARS)— This book was so twisted and messed up but I loved it and couldn’t put it down.  It has a lot of triggers so I recommend researching before you read it, but if you can do it, you NEED to.  It will leave you feeling sick and twisted and amazed and wanting more.

Audiobooks

The Orphan Master's SonGo Set a Watchman

The Orphan Master’s Son (2 STARS, DNF)— Ugh.  I was so excited to read this book when I first heard about it, because I’m semi-obsessed with crazy dictators and what it does to people in a country, and North Korea doesn’t exactly have its own section in the library.  But this just didn’t do it for me.  I think I’ll write a review eventually, but overall my main reasoning is just that it was boring.  I found myself NOT LISTENING for the first time ever, just because cleaning my room was suddenly more interesting than a book.  Which has never in my life happened.

Go Set a Watchman (3 STARS)— Hmmm, this is a tricky one.  I loved this book because I enjoyed hearing about Scout again, since I have such a deep attachment to her and her family, but the story itself just wasn’t that good.  There were tons of 1 second flashbacks that threw me off a little bit, and the whole thing felt sort of forced.  I mean, another white-black court case, for real? and the whole thing with Scout and her boyfriend just didn’t really work for me.  Plus, the Atticus character was so twisted that it wasn’t really Atticus at all.  This isn’t a sequel, persay, since it was written first, and it’s obvious that Harper Lee changed her mind on a lot before TKAM went to print, and you need to take that into consideration.  So, although I loved Scout, the story and the rest of the characters weren’t my favorite, which is why I had to give it just 3 stars.

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Goodreads Challenge (17/30)– If you’re confused by the fact that my Goodreads challenge is suddenly out of 30, the reason is that I upped it by 5 since I’m doing so well, and 30 seems far better than 25 as a goal.  I’m hoping to maybe even reach 50, depending on how much I read this summer.

What’s In a Name (2/5)– I can’t believe that it’s taking me so long to read 5 books.  My problem is that I’m not going out of my way to find any of them, and I’m going to need to if I expect to even get close.

Read Harder Challenge (11/24)– I seriously need to put more work into this.  The rest of my categories are all outside of my comfort zone which will be tough to cram into the last few months, so I need to start now.

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Followers

Last month I gave myself a goal of 275 followers, and I KILLED IT.  I’m so happy to say that I now have over 330 followers, which is absolutely incredible considering the fact that I ran my 200 follower giveaway about a month ago.  I’m so thankful to you guys and the fact that you let me feel so good about myself and my writing.

Book Buying

I really wanted to make my bookshelf a little bit bigger this month, because it’s been a long time since I was able to put a new book on the shelf.  Although I didn’t actually buy any books, I book hauled Lola (from LibraryThing) and Vanishing Girls (from Molly, who was kind enough to give away her books and send them to me, and whose blog you should head over and follow asap)

Posting

I wanted to schedule more posts this month, as well as catch up on reviews.  I managed to do just fine scheduling posts and now have a fairly good buffer.  But, I haven’t been writing my reviews and so that’s fairly disappointing.  I want to eventually post reviews in the month that I read the book, but as of right now I’m posting like 2 months behind.

Editing

I really wanted to get a new client for this month, but that has proved impossible, so I’ve failed on this front as well.  If you need an editor or beta reader PLEASE CONTACT ME!! I have time for you 🙂

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This month has been a fairly good one for reading, but not so hot for writing and editing.  My blog growth is astronomical, and I’ve almost hit my year goal of 50 views per post, which is making me super excited.  It’s happened on roughly every other post in the past 2 weeks, which means that I AM SO CLOSE.

This was the last full month of high school for my whole life, and it’s basically over.  That’s a weird feeling, and I’m proud of all that I’ve managed to accomplish.

Let's Talk

How did May go for you? What books did you finish? Link your wrap up posts so that I can find out!

 

April Intro: So Many Books to Finish!

Welcome to April!! I’m so excited for this month because in just a few days I’m going on Campus Preview Weekend at my college, then it’s April break, and then it’s two more weeks of school and then the month is over!!  Plus, it means that spring should (I hope) finally be here to stay.  If it snows again I think I’m going to go crazy.  But anyways, enough about my personal life, and let’s get to bookish stuff

My TBR…

I grossly overestimated what I was going to read last month, so this time I’m keeping it simple.  5 books, 4 of which I’ve already started.  That should *knock on wood* give me plenty of time to get through absolutely everything.

5188551. I plan on coming back to this one after I finish I’ll Give you the Sun.  Since they’re both physical/kindle, I read them at the same times so I had to put one on hold.  Sorry Philippa.
208209942. This is one of the most depressing books I’ve ever read so far. Jude and Noah’s lives are both shit and I’m just hoping that it’ll get better, ASAP.  (but it’s a really good book I love it)51wxen3hdul-_sy346_3. This is a review copy, and so I’m trying to really get this done.  I can’t get over how cute the main character of this book is.  I love her.the bone witch

4. This one’s another review copy, and I plan to start it after S&S is done.  Everyone has been talking about how they either loved it or hated it and I’m nervous but excited so we’ll see!the_host

5. I don’t actually know why I picked this to read, because it’s already terrible and I’m only 20 minutes in, but it was available immediately as a library audiobook and I was in the book for something less serious, and I enjoyed the movie, so here we go.

I also received a physical review copy of The Roanoke Girls, and an ebook of The Select, but I don’t think I’ll be able to get to those in the next month, so I’m leaving them off for now.

Releases I’m Excited For…

I don’t have a whole lot this time, because none that I’ve seen have really grabbed me, but here’s the top 3 that got my attention.  The cover has a link that will take you to Goodreads
the upside of unrequitted

The Upside of Unrequited (April 11th)— This book looks super cute, and I’m 95% sure other people liked it when they received ARCs.  It has diverse relationships, and in general seems to be a fun story about high school twins.

Goodreads Summary: Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.  Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.  There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?witchfinder's sister

The Witchfinder’s Sister— A “literary historical thriller”.  Holy shit.  what could be better? my favorite genres combined in one!!! Sign me up!!!  If anyone knows the best (cheapest or free) place to find a copy of this I need one!

Goodreads summary:  Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth–but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew’s soul.   There is a new darkness in the town, too–frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice’s blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he’s become, Alice is desperate to intervene–and deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew’s reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul.   Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother’s brutal mission–and is drawn into the Hopkins family’s past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evils–before more innocent women are forced to the gallows.
Inspired by the real-life story of notorious “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins, Beth Underdown’s thrilling debut novel blends spellbinding history with harrowing storytelling for a truly haunting reading experience.spindle fire

Spindle Fire (April 11th)— A Sleeping Beauty retelling with a badass female protagonist.  This sounds awesome, and I can’t wait to read it!

Goodreads Summary: Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.  And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.  As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.  Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.  Spindle Fire is the first book in a lush fantasy duology set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.

Blogging Goals…

  1. Reach 250 Followers– I just hit 200 last month and I couldn’t be more excited!!!! I still can’t figure out just how 200 people decided that I have good enough content to want to read it all the time.  It’s amazing.  Also, it’s the reason I’m having a giveaway below.  Make sure you enter if you haven’t already.  But anyways, I digress.  This month I’m hoping to get to 250, which is a lot, but it will put me at halfway to my goal of 500 for the end of the year, which I think will mean that I’m generally on schedule.
  2. Start Promoting Indie Authors– I’ve done some indie author promotion, and I accept their book review requests, but I don’t tend to read a lot of them, and I don’t normally do interviews and promotional stuff with them.  I’m hoping to change that this month, and try to get more indie authors on the blog.
  3. Find another story to edit– I completed my first paid editing job last month!! It was so fun and I’d love another, especially for after April break.  (aka starting the 17th)
  4. Start reading more blog posts– I haven’t been on my Reader enough lately, and so my commenting skills are lacking severely.  I want to go back through and make sure that I am reading everyone’s blogs I love, and unfollow all of the ones that do not interest me.
  5. Not exactly a goal, but camp NaNo starts this month!! I’ll be updating you with my progress periodically 🙂

Have you Entered the Giveaway Yet?

Finally, the giveaway!!!!  I mentioned this in my last post, but I’m saying it again for those of you who forgot: I’m at 200 followers and I’m thanking you all with a book giveaway!! Enter for a chance to win any book from my book review index that is under a $15 value on Amazon.  Open wherever amazon ships (if shipping price is obscene, I may lower book price cap)

Rafflecopter giveaway

A Personal Favor…

I’m running for the Hood scholarship, because I desperately need money for college, and to win it I need votes.  You can vote once a day, and I will love you forever if you go out and vote for me.  I’m from CT and go to Bacon Academy.  It only takes 2 minutes to cast your vote, so if you have a chance please please please go vote

Have you entered the giveaway?  What April releases are you looking forward to?  What is your April TBR? Do you have anything exciting happening this month? Comment!!!!!


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February Wrap Up (Look at All the Books I’ve Read!)

Month 2 is already over, and I could not be more happy with where I am right now.  I’ve read sooooooo much, have the best blogging friends ever, have gotten my politics/lifestyle blog underway, and am just generally really really happy.

Books Completed…

Before I start, I do want to say that even though I read a lot, I haven’t actually published a lot of reviews.  This is because I had some posts that needed to go out at a certain time, which bumped some backwards and I’ve also just been a bit behind on book reviews.  I promise that next month will have many more reviews!!!  I did finish every book on my for-the-month TBR so that’s exciting! The book covers include links to Goodreads, the name of the book is a link to the review (if I did one), and I included a specialized Amazon link at the end if you want to buy the book and give me a commission for no extra charge to you!9820853

  1. Little Bee– This book was so so so so so good.  I cannot give it enough praise.  It was my first audiobook, and it was the perfect choice.  Read my full review here or buy on Amazon26247008
  2. Truly Madly Guilty– This was my second Liane Moriarty book, and I thought it was really good.  It certainly wasn’t action packed, but I loved the way the details unfolded and kept you hooked the entire time.  Buy on Amazon 16981
  3. Invisible Man– I had to read this book for school, and three months later it is finally completed.  Thank the gods.  I think I would have enjoyed it more if I read it on my own, but the slow classroom pace sort of killed that.  Buy on Amazon 29868610
  4. Scrappy Little Nobody– I adore Anna Kendrick, and I loved the way she put her humor and excitement (and lack thereof) into this book.  It felt very real, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, while laughing the entire time.  Buy on Amazon

Currently Reading…

I’m currently reading a book on my phone, a paperback, and listening to an audiobook, while also waiting on my mom to finish her book so that we can buddy read I’ll Give you the Sun together, which is why it showed up on my Goodreads shelf briefly and then disappeared.fourthmonkey_3d2

  1. The Fourth Monkey– This is a criminal investigation novel, where the detectives are trying to solve the case before it is too late.  I received this book by the author, and although I don’t read much of this genre, I decided to give it a try and am super glad I did, it’s really exciting so far! Buy on Amazon21853621
  2. The Nightingale– OMG I wish I had a physical copy of this book so that I could get through it faster!! The characters are amazing, it’s in my favorite historical time period (WWII), and one of the POV characters is an incredibly strong, independent girl about my age, which makes it THAT MUCH BETTER.  Audiobook is hard for me to read fast though… Buy on Amazon518855
  3. The Constant Princess– Philippa Gregory is my favorite castle/royal life author, or at least I assume she is, since I don’t know if I’ve read any other books about the Boleyn era.  At any rate, I bought this book last Spring at Book Barn, and am just getting around to it now, as I wasn’t in the mood for that style at the time.  I love it! Buy on Amazon

Challenge Progress…

You can find the complete list of challenges, and what I read for each one, HERE

Read Harder Challenge– I’m 5/24 right now, which is above target by precisely 1 book.  Actually, Invisible Man could count for 3, but I’m only going to use it for 2 unless the end of the year comes and I can’t finish the challenge.  I’m so excited because I really didn’t think I was going to be able to do it!

Goodreads– Ahead of the curve with 6/25!! I couldn’t be more happy about that, and I think I might up my goal during the summer if I feel I can.

What’s In a Name– I’m 0/6 so far, aka I’m not doing anything.  I am, however, reading a book for one of the categories, and have another one with a review request that fits, so I’ll be rollinggggg through this challenge soon!

Best of the Blog…

  1. Book Trends That Need to Stop— I really liked the way this Top 5 Wednesday post came out, because I feel like not only did a lot of people agree with it, but it made me think a lot harder, and will help my beta reading down the road!!
  2. How to Pick a URL— This post was written for people before they even start a blog, and so hopefully it was helpful to at least one person.  I got a lot of positive feedback from people who already have a blog, but I guess it’s not helping them too much
  3. Shelfjoy— I wrote a piece on a book shelving website that I really like, and apparently a lot of other people liked it too!  If you’re looking for a more user-friendly, multiple shelves alternative to Goodreads, check it out.
  4. Favorite Part of Blogging Collab— Thank you so much to Shania for putting this together!!! It was so fun to do and to read everyone else’s, and so I’m so so glad that I was able to take part.  If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend you search the tag #FPOBCollab for some great pieces
  5. OTPs for Valentine’s Day— I wanted to do something special for the holiday, and so I put together a list of book characters I adore together (with one surprise crossover).  It made me feel sad that I don’t have that type of connection, but oh well maybe one day 😉

The Generally Good…

  1. I finished last month with 130 followers, and this month I’m up to 170!!! Thank you to the 40 people who took the time to press the follow button, that’s crazy and I feel so honored and shocked.
  2. I put together Our Voices Matter, and although it’s in the roughest stages still, I’m very excited about the team and how it’s going to come out.  I’ve already published a couple of posts, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still looking for people to join!  Head over to the application page, or email me to join!
  3. This month went by SUPER FAST because we had 3 snow days in one week, followed by a 4 day planned weekend, and so basically I’ve barely even been in school and I’m loving it.

The Generally Bad…

  1. I’m struggling to find enough contributors for Our Voices Matter… I want there to be A LOT because that will make everything more interesting.
  2. I’m also a bit behind on blog posts and really everything, probably because I’ve been enjoying my life too much.

And Finally…

That’s all I have for this month, but I want to hear how your month went as well!

What books did you finish this month? Are you on track for your reading challenges? Let me know below!  If you’ve written a monthly wrap-up post, share the link so that I can stalk you!


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~ Now Venture out and Change the World ~

Wow, January Actually Wasn’t That Bad!

Header Image credits to Pastor Dave Online

It’s the first month of 2017, and I can already tell that this is going to be a huge year for me.  It has started off on such a positive note, I’ve been keeping up (somewhat) on blog posts, and I’ve managed to find the time to interact with so many of you!  Since it’s the last posting day of the month, it’s time to talk about everything good, and bad, that has happened.

Books Completed…

  1. Girl out of Water– You can read the review here, but basically I absolutely loved it.  It was a great reintroduction to YA, and it kept me hooked almost the entire time.
  2. Final Girls– I cannot even tell you how excited I was to get approved for an early copy of this thriller.  I flew through it, but unfortunately won’t be posting a review until May 😦

I made it through 2 this month! That’s pretty on track with my goal of 25, so that’s good news 🙂 I hope to beat my goal, because 36 would be awesome, but we’ll see.

Currently Reading….

This section is a little better.  I’m currently reading a physical book for school, and am listening to my first ever audiobook!!  It’s going a lot better than expected, and I think this is going to become a regular thing.

  1. Invisible Man– this could have been finished a month ago if I didn’t have to read one chapter every 3 days because of school requirements.  It’s pretty good, but I hate it being dragged on so long
  2. Little Bee– This is my audiobook!  I’m only about an hour into it, but I really enjoy it so far.  It’s about a Nigerian refugee in Britain.  I think it’s cool to listen to because the narrator speaks to you, the reader the entire time, which makes the listening effect even better.

Challenge Progress…

You can find the complete list of challenges, and what I read for each one, HERE

Read Harder Challenge– I’m 1/24 right now, but Invisible Man will count for one as well, which means that I’m essentially on target.  I’m going to need to start selecting books specifically for that purpose soon or I won’t finish

Goodreads– Like I said earlier, I’m on track at 2/25

What’s In a Name– I’m 0/6 so far, but I think that’s okay?  Like the RHC, I’m going to need to go out of my way to find books soon

Best of the Blog…

  1. Blogging Advice Post— I wrote a 9 step process for better blogging, and it seemed like people liked it! I’ll have to think about doing more along this vein for the future.
  2. Interview with Mahriya— The reason this post is on the list is because I had SOOOO much fun writing it and making it with her.  Thank you again for wanting to do the interview! If you haven’t already read it, it’s worth your time (I promise)
  3. Fictional Characters I would love to meet— After writing this post, I was reaffirmed that literally everyone loves Hermione.  Not that I was surprised, but it’s ironic that the main character doesn’t get nearly as much attention as she does
  4. Author Interview with Hugh— Another interview makes the list!  This one was really cool because I learned so much about Hugh’s inspirational story, and how it played into him writing his first ever book.  And…. 60 freaking comments!?!!? I’m not sure how that happened, but I’m not complaining 🙂
  5. Girl out of Water Review— I adored this book, and it’s not coming out for a little, but you guys should totally check it out if you enjoy YA!

JanuarYAY…

Sorry for the bad pun I was trying to be creative while writing about the good things that have happened in January.  Ugh, I hate myself now, so let’s please pretend that didn’t happen.

  1. I reached 128 followers, had my blogiversary, and learned just how many incredible people actually read my posts
  2. I had my signing for college, and it was super fun!  I’m so grateful to know where I’m going, be able to play the sport I love, and have such an amazing group of friends and family
  3. I started using Netgalley.  I know that this isn’t really that interesting, since I said I used it earlier, but after no approved requests I had stopped completely.  Now, at least, I’m using it and getting approved!

A Bit of Bad (to be improved upon at a later date)…

  1. I missed almost every single Twitter chat.  I even had them in my calendar and still managed to forget.  I guess I can blame it on the British and their 5 hour ahead time zones
  2. I had to take midterms, but they’re over now!! They’re probably my last standardized test in all of high school, since seniors with an A don’t have to take finals.

So Yeah, January…

Overall, this month was pretty great!  We’re expecting a nor’easter as I write this (yes, I’m writing early, and yes, that means a blizzard in New England) but that’ll be the first bit of snow we’ve gotten in a longggg time.  Even when it does snow, it stops/melts super quickly, and we’ve had more 50 degree days than ones below freezing!  Who knows what global warming February will bring.


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