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Friday, January 13, 2017

Stefanie's Thoughts: Girl Online By Zoe Sugg







Hi everyone, 

I know this book came out in 2014 but I’ve been focusing on reading books that have been sitting on my TBR and this week I found Zoella’s Girl Online tucked away in one of my bookshelves and thought now was a great time to read and review it.

First off I have to say just how adorable the cover is. I love the design and the pictures hanging up over lights. I knew I had to read this based on the cover (I’ll say right off the bat I think I’ve seen maybe three Zoella videos; she just seems like a really nice person and I love me a good cute contemporary). This book was really fluffy and cute and one of those I can see making readers smile after finishing it.

I loved how the book involved Penny’s blog posts. I know I’ve said this before but I love when books involves different formats or include texts, blogs and diary entries. The blog posts and when Penny texts her friends were actually my favorite part of the book; she talks about her anxiety (and I’m really glad Zoe decided to include this because it brings a sense of humanness to Penny) and the first couple posts were my favorite when Girl Online wasn’t that popular.


However that’s where my enjoyment of the book ended.

As soon as Penny gets to New York it was insta-love central; I hate insta-love more than love triangles. This was honestly the biggest let down because I was so pumped to read this. 0The rest of the book felt like every other contemporary book out there (and I read A LOT of them) so this book brought nothing new since it felt like every other book I’ve read.

The book itself wasn’t my cup of tea based on the writing. When books get ghostwritten you almost expect it’s going to be not that well written; my assumption is based on a lot of ghost written books I’ve read but I won’t include the titles here. I really hope Zoe had some input on the plot or at least had ideas for the plot; that’s also why I don’t think I enjoy ghost written books because I’m never sure who actually developed the ideas in it and who should be given proper credit for the content. The writing in Girl Online was very juvenile and almost seemed it should be set for a middle-grade audience rather than a young-adult.

Nothing really happens in it either. It has the standard expected contemporary plot and I knew the ending from page 10. I did enjoy the pop cultural references but in about five years I wonder if this book will still be enjoyed by readers. Since that’s one of the downfalls of including current trends and technology; I read a book a year ago that included MSN Messenger and I cringed at how old the book must have been.


I apologize for this rambling review and I had really hoped to be giving this book a higher rating than a one. I don’t know if I’ll continue with book two; I did buy it a couple days after its release but I don’t think I’ll be reading book three unless book two has a lot of improvements. 

One (sad this is only one star) star

Re-Readathon Update


I finished Hex Education and while it didn’t live up to the five star rating I had originally given it, it still was able to get a four and live up to most of what I remembered about liking it. I will say I’ll be the first to admit the plot was weaker than I remembered and the action inside wasn’t as compelling as I thought. There’s just something nostalgic about it that I couldn’t see myself giving it a three. I was still in love with the setting of Mystic and all those weird little magical shops you expect to see in a magical town.

Next up on the re-reads in The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams         I found this on my shelf and remembered laughing at the title when I first saw it, but I loved the cover and the synopsis sounded perfect for me. I originally gave it a four star rating and am curious to see if that’ll stay the same.

Until my next review,

Stefanie





Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 Bookish Resolutions



Hello Friends,

I know I am a little late with the bookish resolutions. Buuuuuuut- I like to reflect on my past year and set realistic goals for myself and for the blog.  I did this in 2016 and while I wasn't completely successful with my 2016 goals (which I will briefly go over in a second), I still really liked my goals, so I think I will be carrying some of them forward into 2017.


So, 2016. If you are curious about my 2016 bookish resolutions, check it out here.

In brief, I wanted to read 90 books, I finished 98 (whoop whoop), I wanted to read more physical books and be more mindful in my reading- I kind of failed at that. Again, I found that I was pretty dependent on audiobooks- I think 60% of what I read this year was through audiobook. Not that this is bad, I still experienced a lot of really great books. I wanted to read a specific set of 12 books-  I got seven done- which I am okay with.  I wanted to read one YA Debut a month, I kind of failed at this, I think in the end I only got like 4 done- I actually didn't read all that much YA in 2016. My last goal was to clean up my Goodreads shelves, which I did, and I am happy about that.


So for 2017

2017 Reading Challenge 

This year I have really challenged myself and set the goal of 100 books. I was able to complete 98 in 2016, and I am fairly confident I can get to 100. I am actually really excited about this challenge. I will try and not get discouraged if I am behind a bit. Wish me luck.







Read More Physical Books 

As I mentioned earlier, I have been dependent on audiobooks that last couple of years. While I don't think I will ever stop listening to audiobooks (I listen at work, it's great), I have been getting into the habit of also listening when I get home- while really doing nothing. I would like to stop doing that. I would like to sit down more and spend some intentional time reading a book. Whenever I do that, I find it very calming and peaceful and I feel great. I am not giving myself a specific number, but at the end of the year I would like to say I read more books than I listened to.


Listen to the Audiobooks I Already Own

So, I have been an Audible.com member since 2011, and I have accumulated a number of books-  there are these daily deals and I tend to take advantage of those, and I buy a lot. I currently have about seventeen audiobooks I haven't listened to or read. I plan to take that number down to five. That's one a month. That's totally doable.


Read One 2017 Release a Month

Last Year I wanted to read one YA Debut, I didn't do to well on that one. This coming year, I would like to read a new release a month- this doesn't mean said book had to have been released that particular month. But it has to have been published in 2017. I know this seems like an easy and obvious goal, but not so much for me. I tend to lose sight of books and I am not really in the know of what's coming out. This will help me out I think.

Read the Following Books This Year
  
Much like last year, I want to read some of the books I have been thinking of reading for years. I am not going to force myself to read one a month, but I have a list of seven books that I would like to get read at some point throughout the year.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner 
Percy Jackson and the Olympians books 3-5 by Rick Riordan 
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle 

Can you believe I haven't read some of these books? I can't. I am pretty excited to get to them. 


Those are my bookish resolutions for the year. I hope you enjoyed seeing what they are. I am going to try and make a point of updating you on them in my monthly wrap ups, I think this will help keep me on track. Do you have any reading/bookish goals for the year. Tell me about them, I am always curious to see what people are striving to achieve in their reading life. 

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Stefanie's 2017 Reading Goals



Hi everyone,

It's a little crazy it's 2017 already. I haven't fully realized it yet and have only written 2016 about twenty times so far when it comes to writing dates on things so far. Being it's a brand new year it's time for a new Goodreads Reading Challenge; I've challenged myself to read 350 books this year. I'm hoping that goal will allow me to complete some personal challenges I've set for myself:


Work On My Re-Reads

I only re-read 6 books last year and it made me a little sad the number was so low. I've challenged myself to re-read one book per week. At first I felt this was a little high but I'm going to try my best to have what I'm calling Re-Read Weekends, by starting a re-read on Friday and hopefully being able to finish it Sunday. I think I might include a brief review of each re-read if you would be interested in hearing about if my initial thoughts hold up to the new read. 


My First re-read will be Hex Education, written by Emily Gould and Zareen Jaffery. I originally gave it five stars when I first read it possibly back in 2007 when it was published.



Tackle My TBR

I think it's currently at 509 on Goodreads. I see it and honestly think there's no way in the world I'll ever be able to shrink it. Hopefully if I can keep up with staying on track (thanks to Goodreads to letting me know I'm currently on track) and not add too many more new releases (I'm really good at adding 50 books a day to the tbr) I can obliterate the 509 and maybe get it into the two-hundreds. I also discovered a reading challenge called Beat the Backlist that's focused on reading books published prior to 2017. This fits perfectly with this goal and I couldn't have discovered this at a better time.


                       Some of the books I hope to read for the reading challenge:


Geek Girl by Holly Smale


Sea Change by Aimee Friedman


The Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Robin Palmer


Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter


Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood by Abby McDonald


Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson


The Teashop Girls by Laura Schafer


Kissing In Italian by Lauren Henderson


Chantress Alchemy by Amy Butler Greenfield


The Fill In Boyfriend by Kasie West





I'm really excited for this year and seeing what books I'll get to read. I also want to thank you all for welcoming me to this blog. I think I'm finally figuring this out ;) I'd love to hear what books all of you are looking forward to reading this year!


Until my first 2017 review,


Stefanie




Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 End of the Year Book Survey



Hello friends,

I am excited to bring to you my 2016 End of the Year Book Survey, created and developed by Jamie over at the Perpetual Page Turner, I missed out on this survey last year- which was pretty sad for me. But I am here this year and I have some pretty cool books to talk to you about.

I was all about the reading experience in 2016- did I have fun reading what I was reading. I have been caught up wanting to find that next five star read, that I forgot that reading brings me joy and is my happy place. I rediscovered that in the latter part of the year.

Anywho... here goes.








Number Of Books You Read:
98
  
Number of Re-Reads:
7
Genre You Read The Most From
Adult Contemporary 





1. Best Book You Read In 2016?


Young Adult- The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry. 
This book was amazing. It was unique and fun. A coming of age story, featuring an Indigenous main character. The story explored First Nations spirituality and time travel, which may sound odd, but it really wasn't.

Adult- I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
This book was a wild ride! Such a great reading experience. There were twists and turns and character developments I was never expecting. This book was heartbreaking and completely unputdownable. 
 





 2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
   
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 
It wasn't that I disliked this book- not at all. I just didn't connect with the eighties theme as much as others. It was still a really fun book. I am pretty curious about the movie.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? 
  
Dracula by Bram Stoker
This one was really surprising for me. I wasn't expecting the style in which the story was told, and I was also expecting to see more of the title character. I still really enjoyed this book, it was fascinating. 
 

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
 
I don't think I really pushed any book this past year. I pushed The Couple Next Door and Behind Closed Doors to a couple friends, just to have someone to talk to about both books.  


5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016? 

Best Series Started: A Court of Thrones and Roses by Sarah J. Maas 
Best Sequel: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
This was the year of Maas for me. I was hesitant to start this series because I thought it was going to be very similar to Throne of Glass, boy was I wrong, ACOTAR was great, I read that book in two days, but ACOMAF was something else- I could not read fast enough. Reading that book helped me remember what I love about reading. 

 Best Series Ender: The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski 
This series is near and dear to me. I really enjoyed it. The last book took me a minute to get into, but I really enjoyed it in the end. It was a solid series ender. 
 




6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?
 
Whitney G - author of Sincerely Carter, Reasonable Doubt and Turbulence
I binge read Whitney's book this past year. I started with Reasonable Doubt and moved onto everything after that. Boy, can she write sexy times, and alpha males that are crass and loveable. She's on my auto-buy list now.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
  
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh 
I delved into the world of thrillers this year, which is a genre I don't normally gravitate towards. But, I have found a new love. I love psychological thrillers now, and I just can't get enough. I Let You Go was phenomenal.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
 As I mentioned earlier- this book was such a great reading experience for me. It was SO addicting. I just could not put it down.

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
 
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas 
I have been feeling the urge to reread this book, but I think I am going to wait until close to the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin.




10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?
  
The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kettler

This cover is beautiful! I just love it SO much! 

11. Most memorable character of 2016? 

Dante from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Dante knew who he was and he was totally and completely unapologetic about it. It was beautiful. 
   

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?
  
The Little Prince by Antoine De Sainte- Exupery
What a beautiful story. I was completely blown away by this story. If you have not read this book, please do. 
  

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

 Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

This book addresses the emergence of AIDS in the eighties. About a young girl who idolizes her uncle who has recently died of AIDS. There was so much fear and shame during that time. This book was heartbreaking and really forces you to take a look at stigmas and societies response to them. 


 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 
I know, I know. I can't believe it either. But I finally got this one read, and it was everything I ever wanted. 




15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?
  
"Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them"  
- The Little Prince

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016? 
 
Shortest: The Little Prince by Antoine De Sainte- Exupery - 83 pages
Longest: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon - 870 Pages


 17. Book That Shocked You The Most
  
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh 
This book guys- it took me on so many crazy rides, and yes, it certainly shocked me a number of
times. 
  

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
 
Blue and Gansey from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater 
Even though I don't think I fully understood the details of this story, or Blue and Gansey's relationship. But I was rooting for them the whole time. 



 19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
 
Scorpius and Albus from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 
Even though I really disliked this story,  really loved the friendship between Albus and Scorpius. It was sweet and lovely. Basically the only good thing about the book.

 
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
  
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas  
Broken record- I know. 


21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
  
A Court of Thorns and Roses Sarah J. Maas 
Like I said, I wasn't going to read this book, but Stephanie from Ohana Reads is a HUGE Maas fan and she pushed this series like mad, she was even present when I bought it. I read it- and now I am hooked. 




22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?
 
Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Okay, I am done talking about this book now. 


23. Best 2016 debut you read?
  
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
This was such a fun read. So sweet and funny. It wasn't a complicated romance. I really liked it.


24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
  
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab 
World building is something Schwab is a master at. I may not have loved This Savage Song but I certainly appreciated the way I was able to visualize the world Schwab created. It was incredible. 

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
  
The BFG by Roald Dahl 
I finally reread this book after like 20 years. And it felt like coming home. There was this sense of happiness that came over me as I was reading this book. 




26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?
  
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
A book about people who are suffering from AIDS. It's a complicated story. So many misunderstanding and misinformation. Grief and death. There were tears, so many tears.



27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
  
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
This book is a few years old, first published in 2012, but I don't remember hearing anything about it back then. Which is madness, because it's such an incredible story, and so incredible. 
  
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
This book is so important. Mental illness is a very real thing, and more people need to be aware of it, and all the different faces it wears. All the Bright Places was (for me) a very authentic display of bi-polar disorder. The manic highs and the intense lows. This book broke my heart. 


29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?
  
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
This was an interesting book for me. A man dies, and what he encounters in the after life is incredible. Five people, some random, some not, but all influenced where his life went. It was a lovely story.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
 
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
The end of this book infuriated me! I found it to be SO gimmicky and there for shock value, I didn't think it added to the plot at all. Ugh, just thinking about it now makes me SO angry!




I am only taking on the book portion of the survey, it's what you are all here for anyways. I hope you enjoyed. ALSO- I did not include any rereads in my answer, with the exception of The BFG, if I did, I would have answered Harry Potter for every single question. Anywho, Happy New Year, friends. Be safe and happy this coming year.

~Happy Reading Everyone!
  

 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Stefanie's 2016 End of the Year Book Survey



Hello everyone,

This is the first year I've done this Year-End survey - created by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner, and I really enjoyed it. It was really fun to look back and see what I read this year. Was it ever hard to figure out what books to pick though; I had to cheat for Best Books of the Year and pick one from each genre (after it took me three days to pick which from each genre).

This also might be the most books I've read this year. I think it happened because of my job; I get July and August off (I work in the library of a junior high) and all I basically did was read books and watch movies. This also allowed me to knock a lot out off the tbr, even though I think mine is still way too long. I seriously wonder if I'll ever be able to read everything on it.




Number Of Books You Read: 310
Number of Re-Reads: 6
Genre You Read The Most From: YA contemporary


1. Best Book You Read In 2016?
I'm cheating on this and choosing one from each genre I read

Children's/ Middle Grade: Firefly Hollow by Alison McGee
YA: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Fiction: Girls Who Travel by Nicole Trilivas
Cozy Mystery: All Natural Murder by Staci McLaughlin



2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

A Tyranny of Petticoats by Jessica Spotswood
I swear I'm the only one of this planet that didn't enjoy this collection


3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

Cure For the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick
Surprised me how addicting it was and I wound up binge reading the entire Black Dog Bay series and then ended up buying them all!



4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Poison by Bridget Zinn


5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?
Best Series I Started: Black Dog Bay by Beth Kendrick
Best Sequel of 2016: Return to the Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
Best Series Ender: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?
Erin L. Schneider, author of Summer of Sloane

 

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
And I Darken by Kiersten White


8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Map of Fates by Maggie Hall


9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane by Kelly Harms


10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?
Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider


11. Most memorable character of 2016?
Becky Bloom from The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot


12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?
Firefly Hollow by Alison McGee


13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?
Teddy & Co by Cynthia Voigt
This might seem like a strange answer, but this one really got me thinking about being a child


14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read?
 
Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates


15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?
"Can you make me a sandwich-" "No there is crackers and cheese on the table."
from Castle Hangnail, that made me laugh for a good minute after reading it


16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?
Harry Potter Popup Book (12 pages) and Gemina (659 pages)



17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather


18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
Mia Thermopolis and Michael Moscovitz

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Darcy and Norah from Partners in Crimes by Kim Harrington


20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young


22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?
Sadly that's an N/A

23. Best 2016 debut you read?
Summer of Sloane and How To Hang a Witch

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch


25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Girls Who Travel by Nicole Trilivas
To be honest, most of the books this year made me smile!


26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?
Firefly Hollow by Alison McGee

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Frosted Kisses by Heather Hepler


28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
I actually don't have an answer for this...maybe that's a good thing!

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman


30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Atlantia by Ally Condie



Book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?
I'm biased, but this one!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?
The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
The October wrap-up, anytime to talk about Halloween is a good time for me!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
N/A

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?
Joining this blog!! Thanks again Sara for inviting me to join. I've always wanted to book blog, but I never got the confidence to start my own, it was meant to be!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Trying to figure out when to read between life

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
I'm not sure about this one
 
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I haven't written that many so I don't have an answer yet

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
The Harry Potter Noble Collection at Barnes and Noble

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I read more than my reading challenge on Goodreads (not including the cookbooks I set as read this year) and joined in on a Spooky Readathon which was really fun

Looking Ahead


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson and The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay by Kelly Harms


2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?
Lucky in Love by Kasie West


3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari


4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?
Now I Rise by Kiersten White


5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?
Blog more and try to re-read a book a month. Ideally I'd like to re-read a book once a week, but knowing me I'll be lucky to re-read one once a month. I'm also going to try my best to re-read the entire Princess Diaries series, then watch both movies.

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
Haven't read a 2017 book yet, but based on reviews and recommendations, I'd recommend Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Here are my answers for the survey, it only got me thinking about all the books I'll get to read in 2017!
"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl