That’s A Wrap! 2018 in Review

Hey y’all. I know i haven’t realllyyy been here in a a bit now (besides the poetry posts on Tuesdays but I don’t think that’s why most of you are following me), and I want to say sorry for the completely unplanned hiatus. I thought I was going to have the time to write one post a week and still keep on top of irl stuff, but that just wasn’t the case. I’ve had final projects, final exams, basketball related things, and just general almost-christmas life stuff that just kept piling on and suddenly I’d forgotten to blog in weeks. I’m going to try to change stuff up a bit to make myself more active in 2019, but that post will come next week. Today is all about reflecting, so let’s get to it.

All About Books...

(i know i said i was gonna get to changes next week but I made sorta cute banners and so we’re starting that now)

Guys!! This year has been SO. HARD. for reading. really, really, really hard. I feel like this is probably an exact duplicate of what I said last year, but college just makes everything so much harder.  I did my best to read, and was fortunate enough to pick realllyyy good books, so I think overall, although I had a lower quantity of books, my quality was great! Hopefully y’all think the same.

What I Read

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, #1)Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)All the Light We Cannot SeeThe GirlsTurtles All the Way DownSmall Great ThingsWe Were LiarsVanishing GirlsThe Leader's Compass: A Personal Leadership Philosophy Is Your Key to SuccessThe Last Time I LiedBig Little LiesThe Queen's Fool (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #12)The Hatred of PoetryThe Princess Saves Herself in This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic, #1)Sonnets

What I Loved

Of the books that I read, 7 of them were rated five stars! That’s pretty damn good if you ask me. Of these seven, I’d say that three of them stood out in my head as being way better than all the other / way more recommendable. What I mean by this is basically– the Queen’s Fool was a five star read for me, but unless you’re super into Tudor Court smut/for some reason obsessed with Philippa Gregory/trying to make your life more romantic than it actually is, I don’t think you’re gonna rate it the same way. On the other hand, here’s a few books that I can almost guarantee you’ll love:

Turtles All the Way Down— I know this was somewhat controversial with the way mental health was portrayed, especially in regards to medication, but for me it was SUPER RELEVANT and made me feel very seen. I don’t have OCD but the way she talked about her anxiety was amazing, and plus it was a great plot, and I think everyone should read it.

Small Great Things— Honestly, I’m in this one for the message as well. I felt like it was really eye opening for me as a super privileged white woman to see all the microaggressions and sort of get called out. Also, I couldn’t put the book down and the plot was incredible, I felt so attached to the characters. Read it.

The Last Time I Lied— It wouldn’t be a Joce Certified List if there wasn’t at least one psycho thriller on it. Last year, Final Girls was one of my favorite books ever and this year, Riley Sager’s next book is also on the list!

What I Hated

There were a few books I read this year that I absolutely couldn’t stand, as sad as that is. For the most part they were books I read for school, but nonetheless still disappointing. Also, notice that all these links go to Goodreads. Because this year, I couldn’t be bothered to review books that I didn’t love. (sorry not sorry)

The Leader’s Compass— Honestly, this book could have been summed up in three pages and been equally (if not more) effective. And then, we could have left out all the sexist descriptions of women that contribute to the patriarchal office system we have in place today!!

All the Light We Cannot See— HOW. DID. THIS. BOOK. WIN. PRIZES. I don’t get it. It was so so so boring. I listened to it via audiobook over a 4ish day period, i was reading with friends, and i still couldn’t bring myself to be interested. There was no plot or conflict, and I didn’t feel invested enough in the characters to continue without that.

Fun Stats

My shortest book was The Hatred of Poetry, and my longest book was Shakespeare Sonnets, both of which (as you probably guessed) were for the poetry class I took this semester!

I actually read three books because I was told to– those two, and then Leader’s Compass. That’s a decently significant portion of books I read, especially since if I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have found other books to fill them! Reading has been super hard but being forced to read helped me get through a few books this semester.

the write life

Okay, so reading didn’t go that great this semester, but I did other things, right?? (maybe not) Let’s talk about some blogging highlights of the year!

Best Blog Posts

Here’s some posts that you all thought were good this year (or at least good enough to read)!

  1. The Book Blogger Awards— As per usual, the book blogger awards received the absolute most traffic of all my posts. There were a TON of nominations this year, and I had a ton of fun going through them and finding new bloggers to follow!! This was the second year I hosted this, and I can honestly say that I think I’ll do it for as long as I run my blog, even though it’s a ton of work.
  2. How Hype Affects Reading— Way early this year, I wrote a discussion post on how hype affects our reading, and whether it can ruin a book for us. I think it was a pretty decent post in that I still think about the topic a lot, and clearly you all were interested too!
  3. Should You Buddy Read??— After buddy reading once this year, I decided to talk about my experiences. Overall, I can say that it’s definitely something I’d want to do again! for more opinions, read the post 😉
  4. The Nope Book Tag— Everyone in the book community loves a good unpopular opinion, and the number of views this post got prove it! I got tagged in this a little while ago, and wrote all about my NOPE book opinions, which y’all seemed to find interesting.
  5. Blogging Advice: Consistency— I wrote a blogging advice post on the pros and cons of blogging consistently (hahahaha ironic considering my current blogging status of… not) which I personally think was helpful, and hopefully some of you will feel the same!

Worst Blog Posts

You know how sometimes you spend a really long time on a post, or wake up in the morning with a great post idea, and then you write it and it just… doesn’t work? Well, that didn’t not happen to me this year. Here’s some of the posts that fell flat, for whatever reason.

  1. Book Tour: The Crossroads of Logan Michaels— guys this book sounds good, and there’s an excerpt and everything in there! maybe it’s just a bad genre for the readers of this blog, but it deserves more than the views it got i swear! if you’re looking for a new book to read maybe check this out (or maybe this is a sign i shouldn’t do book tours…)
  2. The Poetry Series— I started a poetry series a little over a month ago, where I posted my opinions of sonnets I read and things. Well, y’all were not a fan, and it fell a little bit flat. Over the next month or so, I plan on continuing, so you can plan on continuing to ignore. I think they’ll be useful eventually, but I promise that i’ll start posting real posts sometimes too!
  3. The Last Time I Lied Review— Okay guys, I’m just gonna assume that nobody read this review because you all already read the book, because if that’s not the case, I don’t know what you’re doing. Read the review and then read the book!!!!!
(i know you’re probably wondering why i always have fewer things in my “worsts” list than best, so let me tell you: i’m doing a positivity challenge in life, and you can only have ~1/2 the number of complaints as positives, so i’m transferring that to the blog too!)

Fun Stats

My absolute favorite part of the summary. Let’s talk about my blogging stats!! Overall, this year was far worse than last, but that’s because I blogged way less. I mean, just look at the numbers (from december 20th, because that’s when I wrote this post):

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This year, I didn’t even hit 10,000 views, which is, to put it frankly, sad. At some point in 2017 I was hitting over 1,500 views a month, and then I stopped blogging and it dropped off. I suppose it makes sense, seeing as how I am only posting <1 time a week, whereas I used to post 3x, but I mean… still sad.

Individual posts are getting more views though! I had my first post hit over 1,000 views this year, which is absolutely incredible and just generally makes me really happy that so many people are reading things that I write 🙂

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I had a ton of search term hits, the most popular of which are shown above. My favorite is that two people searched “how would you describe someine you are passionately in love with” and clicked my blog?? Like did the same person search it and spell the word wrong twice? or did two people spell someone wrong?? i’m confused but also glad that you found your way here, dear searcher.

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Clicks!! For those of you who aren’t familiar with wordpress, clicks are basically just outgoing links from my blog. I sent the most to goodreads, twitter, and fictionpress (where I used to post writing, but no longer have an account), which I’d say makes sense. But also, I’ve sent a decent amount to everyone who won a book blogger award, which is awesome!! they deserve it!!

Personal Writing

Over the past year, I haven’t written as much as I would ideally like, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t written at all. I decided to start writing an autobiography, which is nowhere near done, but I’ve accumulated a main 20 or so pages and then an additional 15 pages or so of random other stories that I’m not sure how fit in yet. And it’s been really fun to do!

I’ve also written a lot of poetry, mostly angsty teen stuff that nobody wants to read. Other than that, my novels have mostly stalled out, although I did start a short story recently that I have no good conclusion for but feel like I could turn into a full length novel if I had the time.

I’d say on the whole, although I didn’t write a ton (and didn’t even try nano, for the first year since I started my blog), it was still really great and I’m happy with what I did end up writing

All About Books... (1)

So, what about my personal life?

As you all probably already know, I started my second year of school at MIT this year!! It’s been wildly hard, harder than anything I’ve ever done, and balancing basketball and school and friends has been almost impossible.

but that being said, I think i’ve been doing a better job. At the beginning of this year, I sort of abandoned all of my friends except for a select few, and that’s something that still makes me feel really shitty. After taking the summer to kind of figure that out, I came back at the end of this year and have been working way harder at those friendships, and I hope to continue that into next year!!

As far as me personally, my mental health has been rouuugghhhh in the past few months. I’ve had more breakdowns than ever before, and spent more time staring at the wall in my bed when I should be in class than is good for anyone. I’m hoping to do more to manage that in the next year, and I’ve been taking steps to make sure I don’t have other stressers that make everything worse.

So yeah, that’s the year! I’d say overall it’s been one of the best years I’ve ever had, in large part because of the people I have around me. I have better friends than I’ve ever had in my entire life, and am generally wildly happy when my mental health isn’t getting in the way!!

let's talk

So that’s my 2018!! How was your year? What were your favorite books? Least favorite? How’s life going!! Let me know in the comments

joce-sign-off

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)”

June Wrap: It Means Summer Lovin’ and Readin’

This month was not nearly as productive as I was hoping, in any sense of the word, but nonetheless I did decent, and have some exciting accomplishments to share with you all.  I think what I’m most proud of is that I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL and so that’s like 12 years of my life* that have finally come to a close.  Also, it’s the first summer in my memory where I literally have no summer homework to do, which is awesome, and as you read this I am on my first of 2 major vacations that I’m super excited about.  So this month is good, I just haven’t read quite enough yet.

*I’m counting Kindergarten-High School… it did not, in fact, take me 12 years to get through high school

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If you don’t remember, I put 7 books on my TBR for this month, which is more than I have ever ever read in one month before.  I’m proud to say that I’ve finished 4/7 books on this list, as well as 5 total books.  Once again I’ve had trouble sticking to the TBR because BOOKS are all so good and I’m an easily distracted individual.

Kindle/Ebooks

The Darkest LiesThe Handmaid's Tale

The Darkest Lies (3/5)– I’ve written a review of this one, although it won’t be published for a couple of months, and yet I still don’t have all of my thoughts in order.  First off, the beginning was terrible, but the end was good.  Second, I hated the MC but liked some of the others?? I don’t know how to explain it, the whole thing was just confusing.

The Handmaid’s Tale (5/5)– DAMNNNNN this book was so good.  It was one of the first dystopian books ever, and the scary part is that everything it talks about feels so so so real like it could happen next week which is a horrible thing but reality could still go this way.  It’s super women-oppressive but the MC is super smart, and I love the way everything plays out.  You would never know that this was written in the 80’s, and I HIGHLY recommend to everyone.

Physical Books

The Glass Castle: A MemoirHarry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)

The Glass Castle (5/5)– This was a memoir so I was super nervous about it going in, but honestly it was so so so amazing, read like fiction, and was thoroughly enjoyable.  I have such a hard time believing any of this is real just because of how extraordinarily difficult the author’s life was.  She is remarkable and I have so much respect for her, her story, and her writing.

The Cursed Child (??)– I’VE FINALLY READ IT!!! It was super good, and I really enjoyed it, but I’m not sure how to rate it because I have the HP thing that makes me want to give everything remotely related 5 quick stars, but on the other hand the story wasn’t that good.  And plus it’s super hard to judge a play when all you’ve seen is the script.

Audiobooks

Orange Is the New Black

Orange is the New Black (5/5)– This is another absolutely incredible book.  I started watching the TV show and fell in love, and so I had to read the book, because although I heard they were so completely different, I liked the general concept, and the fact that OITNB book is a true story drew me in.  It did not let down.  Piper told the story in a way that drew me in and made it felt like fiction while giving true details and enlightening me as to how the prison system works.

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Goodreads Challenge (22/30)– I’m going to have to update my reading challenge again because I’ve gotten through SO MANY BOOKS.  This is making my entire year, I haven’t felt this good about how much I’ve read for so long.

What’s In a Name (2/5)

Read Harder Challenge (11/24)

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  • June Book Releases— I wrote about all of the most exciting-sounding books that came out this month! There’s so many good ones especially in the thriller genre, so if you like that you should check it out!
  • I’ll Give you the Sun Review— For the first time in practically ever, I had a review get a ton of views!! IGYTS was sooooooooooo good and I recommend it to literally everyone, and so if you haven’t read the review or the book you should get on that.
  • Midyear Update— Since this is the halfway month of the year, I wrote a post on all of the books I’ve read, and all of my best posts for the entire year!  It was really cool to reflect on everything that I’ve read and how awesome this year has been so far.
  • Using the Word “Said”— I wrote a discussion post on whether or not you should use the word “said” while you write, and I loved all of the feedback and comments that people gave to add to my own thoughts.
  • Interview with Nia— Nia is an AHMAZING blogger and I got to interview her which was super awesome because she’s really funny and great and you should read this interview (can you tell I’m EXTREMELY overtired as I write this post? It’s all rambling and messy and gross so I’m sorry)

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  • Blogging and Reading Confessions by Lauren— I just followed Lauren recently, and I loved reading about her true reading and blogging style!! I related to so many of the reading confessions and although the blogging ones didn’t really apply much to ME, I still enjoyed reading them.
  • Mid Year Book Tag by Nia— I really enjoyed hearing about all of Nia’s favorite books, and I had a lot added to my TBR!!!! If you’re looking for recs or just to catch up on Nia, this is a great post to read.
  • Elm took Blogging to the Real World— Taking your blog from purely internet to “real” life is a huge step and one that every blogger dreams of, and I’m super proud of Elm (but not really surprised) about the fact that she was able to make a difference in people’s lives and take her wonderful perspective out into the non-internet world.
  • Developing Characters by May—  May wrote a super fun, relatable af post about how to develop characters for your novel, and I found myself nodding along for literally the entire thing.

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Blogging

I had wanted to get really ahead on blogging for the next month, but instead I was a serious slacker who did absolutely nothing to do with blogging besides write this single post and one review.  Which is certainly not going to get me through the rest of the summer.

As far as followers go, I had wanted to get to 400 this month.  It was a really close call, but I managed to do it with WP and email combined, although not with just WP (as I originally wanted to).

Book Buying

I decided that I was going to get a book at every vacation I went on this year, and so far I’ve been to Block Island, where I bought 2 books from the library sale rack.  And it only cost $1!!! Bargain shopping!!!

In Pennsylvania I didn’t get a book because all I could find was Amish romance (oops) and I wasn’t really feeling it.

Right now I’m in Colorado, and although I haven’t bought a book yet, I’m planning on it.  I’m praying that I can find a cheap little second hand store around Denver to buy one.

Writing

I’ve written about 15 pages thus far in the book I’m working on, and started working on my outline much further.  I need to outline the entire thing before I start writing, and I know that, but sometimes outlining gets boring so I just start writing anyways.

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Overall, it’s been a decent month, but nothing to brag about.  I mean, reading half my TBR is decent, but my blogging has been weak and in general I don’t really like the fact that I haven’t been moving very quickly through what I need to get done.

Maybe if I watched less TV I would be blogging more often.  I mean, right now I’m writing this post and watching OITNB (SEASON 3!!!!) at the same time so excuse any stupid errors or repetitiveness… But like it’s okay because the show is amazing and I’ll eventually figure out how to do both because blogging is beautiful.

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How did your June go? Do you have any plans for this summer? What are your favorite books that you’ve read?

joce-sign-off


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April Wrapup: A lot of Reading and the book blogger awards

April is over, and that means that I’m starting to look forward on the very end of the school year.  Because April was CRAZY I wasn’t able to keep up on blogging as much as I would have liked, and so I’m sorry to you guys for that, but I’m worried that the next few months will get even worse, considering summer and finals and everything combined.  Anyways… there was actually quite a bit that got done this month (even if I wasn’t as active in the blogging world), so I’m excited to share!!!

The Book Blogger Awards…

There’s only a couple of days left to submit your nominations for the book blogger awards!!!!  I haven’t gotten as many submissions as I’d hoped to thus far, so I really need your support to spread the word, and actually nominate people.  Even if you only have good responses for a couple of categories, that’s better than nothing!!!!!!!  If you need a link back to the post with rules and category nominations, click HERE

Books Completed…

I had 5 books on my TBR for this month, and finished 3 of them.  One, The Host, I just stopped because it was terrible and I hadn’t even added it to my Goodreads “reading” list yet so it didn’t seem worth it to push through.  I plan on coming back in another throw of boredom later on.  The others I’m still reading, just slowly and steadily.  The ones I finished are below!Smugglers & Scones by Morgan C. Talbot

  1. Smugglers and Scones– I can’t remember if I finished this in actual April, or just right after I published my March wrap, but either way I finished it recently and it was really good!! It was marketed as mystery, but I’d advise that this is a light, warm, curl up by the fire mystery read, with more interest in falling in love with the characters than catching the culprit.  That being said, I loved it.518855
  2. The Constant Princess– It took me a long while to finish this book, but I loved it, I just didn’t have the time.  Philippa Gregory’s writing is amazing, and I loved hearing more about Katherine, now forever known as Catalina to me.  It was so amazing and you really felt like you were seeing inside of her head.30095464.jpg
  3. The Bone Witch– I received this book for review, and was a little nervous about it, but it had an INCREDIBLE plot.  The descriptions in the first 1/2 were a little overdone for me, but they relaxed somewhat as it went (or I got better at skim-skipping them) and then I was able to fully enjoy it.  plus, it’s a series with a sort of major cliffhanger.Image result for hamlet book cover
  4. Hamlet– Yes, I know this isn’t technically a book, but it was a 5 act play, and it was Shakespeare, so I think it counts.  I personally enjoyed this way less than other Shakespeare plays, which is odd since it’s one of the most popular.

The Best of the Blog…

  1. Book Blogger Award Nominations-– Obviously the book blogger awards are getting a lot of attention, even if you all aren’t actually NOMINATING people, and so the rules, and then the nominations, were my most viewed posts all month.  If you haven’t read my nominations yet, make sure you do to find some great blogs.
  2. Books That Would Make Great Video Games— This was a really fun t5w post to write, and I think a lot of you agreed with me!!
  3. Book Haul— I got 7 books this month, which is a ton for me, and so I wrote a book haul! I’ve gotten even more excited about all the books since then, because I’ve heard amazing things about the ones I hadn’t heard of.
  4. Reading Above your Grade Level (Discussion)— I’m so glad I wrote this post because I’ve gotten so many interesting perspectives on what their opinions are, and a lot of them agree with me, so *pats myself on the  back*… but seriously, everyone who commented had something I hadn’t thought of quite that way before, which is what I love about blogging
  5. Book Reviews– This month, 2 book reviews went live on the blog, none for books I actually read this month.  In no particular order, Scrappy Little Nobody (4 stars) and The Fourth Monkey (3 stars).  Okay, fine, yes, there was an order.

Challenge Progress…

What’s In a Name– I’ve read 2 books for this challenge, and wrote my review for the 4th Monkey, so I’m really excited about that!!! 2/5 is right on target

Read Harder– I’m 10/24 here, which is really really good, but I finished all of the easy ones first, meaning that I’m going to have to work a lot harder to get the last 14, since they’re not genres or books that I would typically read.

1/3 Goals Update…

  1. Reach 500 followers– I’m at 250 now, and it’s not even halfway through the year.  I think my growth of 150 in four months puts me behind anyways, but I knew this was a stretch and I’m proud of where I’m going.
  2. Post a minimum of 2x a week all year long– I’m at 3x and haven’t messed up yet!! It’s getting harder though and I’m thinking of scaling back, or potentially bringing on a guest blogger, for the future.  Would you guys rather only have posts 2x/week, or would you like me to try to find a guest blogger to post on Wednesdays?
  3. Make more blogging friends– Done!! I’ve made so many amazing friends recently, especially Emma ❤
  4. Get involved in more challenges, memes, and big blogger events– well I’m running the bookish awards so that’s a good blogger event, but other than that I haven’t been doing much on this front.
  5. Go to a IRL blogging or bookish event– not yet but I’m going to college in Boston so that should help
  6. Read and review a total of 50 books– I’m at 32, which is well on my way to 50
  7. Get enough of a following so that each of my posts receives 50 views– I’m averaging over 30, so that’s not bad
  8. Reach 500 followers on Twitter– I’m 80 away as of right now.  I have no idea how up or down I go normally, so not sure if it’s a feasible goal lol

IRL Updates…

  • I finished my physics class for the year, which is huge because it means wayyyyy less work for me and hopefully more time to read!!
  • I officially signed the paper committing to college, which means that I’m officially going, and that’s always something to be happy about!

Reminder….

VOTE IN THE BOOK BLOGGER AWARDS!!!! THERE ARE ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT.  2 DAYS TO SHOW OTHER BOOK BLOGGERS THAT YOU LOVE THEM!!! Rules and categories are here

March: The Month Where I Did Literally Nothing

Month 3 complete! That means I’m one step closer to graduation, and to summer!! Admittedly, this has not been the best month for reading, or much of anything, but I’ll summarize what I have completed this month.

Books Read…

I’ve only finished two books this month, I don’t know how that’s possible.  It’s been really really hard for me to find time to read, my audiobook is taking me far longer than it should, and I just haven’t really been putting as much time in as I know I need to.

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  1. I liked this book, and although it is different from what I am used to, it was pretty good.  I plan on writing a review soon, so bare with me.  With alternating POVs, I enjoyed 2/3 A LOT but unfortunately it was the 3rd which dominated the screen time.21853621
  2. I’m so so so glad that I chose to read this book!!! It was hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read and I 100/10 recommend, so if you’re looking for a good historical fiction book pick this one.

Currently Reading…

This list is almost the same as last month because I keep starting books and not really following up.  I’m struggling really badly guys.

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  2. Also on my list from last month, this book is good, but it’s a little tough to get through because I read it as my before bed book, meaning I only get through a few pages each night.  It’s sort of on hold right now because of the next book…20820994
  3. A new read! I said that this was a buddy read, but the thing is I’m being a terrible buddy reader and reading terribly slowly.  It’s incredible right now though and I love all of the characters.51wxen3hdul-_sy346_
  4. (maybe if i read less books at a time I would get through them faster??) This one I received as an ebook review copy, and I’ve been really enjoying it.  It’s such a unique read, and the protagonist is incredible.

Challenge Progress…

To see my full list of challenges and the books read for each category, head over to my 2017 Goals page

Goodreads Challenge– I’m 8/25, which means I’m still on track despite being the worst reader in the whole world this month.  Yay for reading 4 books last month!!!

What’s in a Name– 1/6! I’ve finally read one!! And, one of the books on my currently reading list counts for another!! Woohoo!!!

Read Harder Challenge– 6/24 so I’m on track.  and is I’ll Give you the Sun written by an LGBTQ+ author?  I can’t figure that out on the internet so any helpful commenting would be appreciated.

Best of the Blog…

Welcome to my favorite part of this post! If you haven’t read any of the posts that I talk about below, you should really, really get on that 😉

  1. The Mystery Blogger Award— If you want to learn more about me and read my answers to some pretty tough questions, then this is the post for you!! It got the most views this month, which I find strange, but if you all love me that much then yay!
  2. Interview with Susan Barton— You NEED to read this post if you are interested in books, monetizing your blog, or DIY activities blogs, because Susan does it all.  She’s a crazy accomplished blogger, and I was so lucky to get to interview her!  Consider yourselves lucky to get to read the post.
  3. Interview with Alistair Cross— I know what you’re thinking.  Two interviews in one month? How lucky is she!?!?! But seriously, Alistair is an incredible author, and he has had so many cool life experiences, that it’s definitely worthwhile to read about it.
  4. The Book Cover Guessing Game— In which I try to come up with descriptions for popular books based only on their covers and fail horribly, featuring The Red Queen and All the Bright Places
  5. An Open Letter to An Author— A letter I wrote in honor of JK Rowling, which I liked and apparently you guys did too 🙂

All that Other Stuff…

  1. GUYS I’VE FINALLY DONE IT!!! 200 followers!!! THANK YOU ALL SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH!!! I’m running a giveaway, so check it out below!!!
  2. I’ve started my editing business!! And I had a client!! And I did it! So if you have a novel you’d like me to read and edit, I’m looking for a new client to work with after April break.  (AKA beginning the 17th of April)
  3. That’s all I really have to say, but I’m so excited about both of the above and it almost makes the not reading thing okay.

Win a Book of your Choice from my Book Review Index…

To thank you all for 200 followers, I’m running a giveaway!!!!!! Enter for a chance to win a book of your choice up to a $13 value from my book review index.  Available everywhere as long as Amazon ships to you (I actually have no idea how it works).  Thank you all so much for everything!!!!!

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Did you make a monthly summary post? Link Below!  Is Jandy Nelson LGBTQ+ or is it just her character? Comment below!  Anything else? Let me know!

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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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~ Now Venture Out and Change the World ~