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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What’s New? Its February!

It’s officially February! I’ve decided that to start off each month, I’ll do a little post about my TBR, releases for the month, national holidays, and really whatever else I can think of that might be relevant to the month at hand.  Hopefully by writing it all down I’ll be forced to get my thoughts in order.  All book cover links will take you to Goodreads 🙂

February TBR…

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  1. Little Bee– I’m in the middle, so I think I should finish it this month.  This is a powerful book about the travels of a Nigerian refugee once she gets through the refugee camp and is finally in London (from what I can tell, I’m only 8% in and didn’t read the back)16981
  2. Invisible Man– god only knows what the teacher is going to do with this one.  The plotline is interesting, but the primary purpose is its commentary on racism before the civil rights movement.29868610
  3. Scrappy Little Nobody– I realllyyy want to get to Anna Kendrick’s new book.  I got it for Christmas, so I think it’s a good time to start!26247008
  4. Truly Madly Guilty– I just got this one from the library (ebook) and I’m soooo excited!!! This has been on my TBR forever, I love Liane Moriarty, and so I actually can’t wait!

Hot Releases (w/ Goodreads Summaries)…

26254947How to Murder Your Life, by Cat Marnell (February 2nd)– At the age of 15, Cat Marnell unknowingly set out to murder her life. After a privileged yet emotionally-starved childhood in Washington, she became hooked on ADHD medication provided by her psychiatrist father. This led to a dependence on Xanax and other prescription drugs at boarding school, and she experimented with cocaine, ecstasy… whatever came her way. By 26 she was a talented ‘doctor shopper’ who manipulated Upper East Side psychiatrists into giving her never-ending prescriptions; her life had become a twisted merry-go-round of parties and pills at night, and trying to hold down a high profile job at Condé Naste during the day.  With a complete lack of self-pity and an honesty that is almost painful, Cat describes the crazed euphoria, terrifying comedowns and the horrendous guilt she feels lying to those who try to help her. Writing in a voice that is utterly magnetic – prompting comparisons to Brett Easton Ellis and Charles Bukowski – she captures something essential both about her generation and our times. Profoundly divisive and controversial, How to Murder Your Life is a unforgettable, charged account of a young female addict, so close to throwing her entire life away.

So this came out yesterday, meaning I’m (just a little) late in posting about it.  Hopefully it had an awesome first day, because this book sounds crazy amazing.  It’s such a cool mix of real-life vs. drug addiction, rather than other books which try to separate the two and make it sound like drug addicts live in a fantasy world of their own.  I can’t wait to read this one!!!!

30821598My Not so Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella (February 7th)— Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.  Ok, so the real truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers.  But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?  Until her not-so perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business.  Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams? Or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman with everything – have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems.  And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?

I feel like this is an interesting twist, because normally people go from rags to riches, and this is (sort of) the other way around.  It could end up being cliche, but a fun beach/easy read nonetheless.

30226723King’s Cage (Red Queen #3), by Victoria Aveyard (February 7th)— In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?  Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.  As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.  When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

No comment because I haven’t read the first two in the series, but I know these are fairly popular so I decided to include them for completion’s sake.

29939266To Catch a Killer, by Sheryl Scarborough (February 7th)— Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father’s identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother’s best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.  Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher. When questioned by the police, Erin tells almost the whole truth, but never voices her suspicions that her mother’s killer has struck again in order to protect the casework she’s secretly doing on her own.  Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. This new murder makes her certain she’s close to the truth, but when all the evidence starts to point the authorities straight to Erin, she turns to her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michaels to help her crack the case before it’s too late.

Another February 7th release!  Not sure why that’s such a big day in publishing, but that’s cool!  I love thrillers, and this one seems fun because it’s about teenagers, has a romance aspect, and is generally different than most books about people who survived a tragic event.

32075671The Hate You Give, by Angie Thomas (February 28th)— Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.  

Literally this book sounds amazingly powerful.  It’s either going to be incredible or horrible and I feel like there’s no in between.  I’ll be interested to see what diversity reviewers say, because that will have a lot of impact on where this goes.  And, movie rights have already been sold, so we can get a fun adaption out of it!

National Holidays…

  • 7th– Send a card to a friend day!  Maybe I should participate?
  • 14th– Valentine’s Day, aka an excuse to spend an entire day sad and eating chocolate
  • 15th– National Flag of Canada Day…. Do we have a flag day in America?  Why does this exist?
  • 24th– Flag day for Mexico.  I wasn’t going to put this in but I did Canada so HERE WE ARE PEOPLE.  CELEBRATING FLAGS AS AN EXCUSE TO HAVE FUN.  Should I blame capitalism or just jump on the party bus?
  • 26th– Tell a Fairy tale day.  Sounds perfect for a blog post 😉

There’s wayyyy more, but those are all the ones that caught my eye.  If you have any more interesting ones that you want me to add to this calendar, let me know and I’ll edit!

Writing Progress…

As some of you may know, I’m working on writing my novel, and sort of kind of planning it in advance.  Well, this month I hope to finish writing chapter 2 (I’m only halfway through 1 so don’t judge) and plan at least halfway, as well as get better character sketches, since those are still just in my head, and need to be put on paper to be made official.  If anyone has any advice for actually getting this done, I need it.

Editing Progress….

Erin, if you are reading this, I’m SO SORRY!  I’ve been so slow editing her piece lately, but I hope to finish 3 more chapters this month.  I need to sit down and crank it out.  I’m hoping to be less busy this semester and therefore have more time for that type of stuff.  Maybe posting it here will force me to actually do it!

That’s all I have for this month!  What’s on your February TBR?  Do you have any audiobook recommendations?  What’s your favorite February national holiday?


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What I Am Reading In February

The_Bone_Season_coverThe second month of the year is usually my best reading month in terms of the amount of books I read. Therefore, I have set myself a doable to-be-read pile of 5 books this month. Despite it only being the 5th day into the month I have already finished The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, so I am off to a good start so far! I enjoyed The Bone Season a lot, mainly because of how unique the setting is. This books was extremely fast paced and I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys fantasy and dystopian books from the Young Adult genre (although The Bone Season is classified as an adult urban fantasy novel it reads very much like many great YA books I have read). I will definitely be picking up the sequel, The Mime Order, sometime in the near future.

downloadAfter reading a very unique urban fantasy book I felt like picking up something completely different so I am now currently reading Out of Africa by Karen Blixen, also known under her pseudonym as Isak Dinesen. I bought this book a while ago after watching the film adaptation starring Meryl Streep as the scenes of the African landscape in the film were beautiful and I wanted to experience them through Karen Blixen’s descriptive writing. I really hope I enjoy this books as much as I did the film and that I can finish it in the month of February.

 

For a bit of light relief and fun this month I have decided to take part in a read-a-thon. This particular read-a-thon named #Rainbowthon is taking place from the 7th to the 14th of February and the aim is to read as many book with spines with colours that make up the rainbow. As it is only a week long read-a-thon and I am still busy with university I have only picked three books to read. During read-a-thons I like to read books from the YA genre as I normally get through them quicker. So the books I have chosen are Shatter Me by Tehereh Mafi (blue spine), The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (green spine) and Illuminae by Amie Kaugfman and Jay Kristoff (red, orange and yellow spine). I am really hoping I will manage to read these three books during the read-a-thon as it will make February a great reading month for me!IMG_1246.JPG