Monday, January 30, 2017

2017 Blogging, Reading, & Life Goals


Hello, friends!

I'm a little behind on posting this month (Expect reviews of Ever the Hunted/ Wintersong soon!) But I'm finally getting around to writing up some of my goals for this year! I always like to make sure I do my yearly reading wrap-up & a "goal oriented" post at the beginning/end of the year so it's easier to look back and see what was accomplished ☺

So without further ado let's get into the goals....






Post More Often
I'd ideally like to post at least 10 times a month ΓΆ



Up Views
My goal is still to get to an average of 100 views per post. I wasn't too great about being active in the blogging community last year (which I'm hoping to improve this year.)





Pre-write more posts
I'm not a huge fan of scheduling my posts buuuut I would really like to pre-write more posts so I can put them up when I need to :)



Comment actively
I've started to comment on more blogs already this year *cheers* ☺



Monthly book excitement posts!
There are so many amazing books releasing this year (EEEEEP) so I'd like to start something on this blog where, at the end of each month, I post what book releases I'm most excited for in the coming month. That way we can all fangirl even more about le fabulous books.







Read 75 Books
I've read 7 books in the month of January (and I may finish one more!) *Cheers for starting out the year strong* I'd really like to focus on reading, and enjoying, books rather than reviewing them. (Unless they're sent for the purpose of being reviewed.)



Plan out and ARC schedule
I'd like to get better about reading ARCs immediately and then planning out my reviews. While I'm not horrible at doing this, I could also really improve.



Continue to prioritize diverse reads
Y'all 2017 is the year for diverse books. There's lots of amazing diverse reads and it's my goal to read as many of them as humanly possible.





I know I don't run a lifestyle oriented blog but I always like to share some of my life goals with y'all. Maybe you can... relate?



Eat healthier
I'm actually not terrible about this but I always like to keep it as one of my goals.


Go Outside more often
This is also off my list from last year but I still struggle with it xD I do go outside during the summer but in the winter.... well, let's just say I haven't seen the sun in day. I'm totally not kidding!


Procrastinate Less!!!!
I think trying to get me to not procrastinate is a lost cause buuuut we'll try it again this year.



Take time to de-stress
I've been super anxious and stressed lately (mostly because I check the news on an hourly basis) so my goal is to make sure that I take time out of the day to just relax. Even if it's just for a few minutes.



Can you relate to any of these? I'd love to hear what some of your goals are for this year! Now I'm off to eat lunch it's healthy I swear!




Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!
=D


Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Twitter Book Community|| Confrontation, Calling People Out, and the Importance of Diverse Voices


I'm usually someone who likes to avoid confrontation. I like to keep my blog happy-go-lucky because "happy-go-lucky" keeps you out of controversy. 
Then again, "Happy-go-lucky" has never helped bring change upon us.

I recently read a post from Rachel (A Perfection Called Books) where she talks about how teens are afraid to speak up on Twitter nowadays and how Twitter has become, I guess, a more "destructive/aggressive?" place. There's been a lot of controversy in response to this post and, while I think Rachel had only the best intentions when she wrote this post, I definitely don't agree with what was said.  

If someone is being racist, homophobic, or anything in between, then they deserve to be called out. It can be easier to deal with the pretty lie over the ugly truth but now is not the time to just "accept and move on."

It's not okay to expect someone from a marginalized group to just sit still and be quiet while they are misrepresented and discriminated against. If someone calls out a book for being hurtful then there's a reason why they're calling it out! Don't just dismiss them as a nasty person trying to conjure up drama. If people aren't called out for their mistakes then they will never learn. How can you expect someone to fix something that they didn't even know was broken in the first place? 


I don't want this post to be too long but I will end on this. Make sure you're advocating for diversity. Just because you hear your voice in the media doesn't mean that everyone else does. Call out advocates of bigotry, racism, and homophobia. Lastly Always, Always, Always remember that Everyone deserves to be accurately represented. 



Thank you for reading.



Saturday, January 21, 2017

Let's talk! Top 3 tips for reading more this year



Hello, friends!


So... it's now 2017 (where is the time going?!) and I'm sure we're all searching for ways to read as much as humanly possible. Last year I read 55 books which may not seem like a lot, I know, but I'm getting increasingly better at reading more! 
Today, I wanted to share a few tips that helped me read more. All of these may not work for you but hopefully you find one that does!




This one might seem kind of obvious BUT here's a reminder... Setting aside time to read is important. If you can, I suggest putting aside time to read before bed. Being on electronics before you go to sleep can affect how well you sleep. Reading is a good way to avoid being on a electronics before going to sleep (and it's a fun alternative!)





GUISE. I have been LOVING audiobooks lately! They're fantastic for people who have lots to do and don't have much time to sit down and read a physical book. 
I highly recommend seeing if your local library offers an e-library! If they do, you can probably check out audiobooks for free. (The library is a great thing xD)





I don't know about you but... I. love. social. media. Except when I don't haha.  But it can be one hell of a distraction. I think that if you want to read more you have to build up somewhat of a... resistance to social media? Mmmm no. I think that you just need to get the idea into your head that, right now, reading is more important that le social media. It's more of a mental thing.



This is a shorter post but I hope you found it a little bit helpful! I, for one, sometimes just need to be reminded about some of these :)




Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!
=D



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

ARC Review||| Windwitch by: Susan Dennard



[Update: Windwitch is out now! *Happy shriek* I'm so glad that y'all can finally fangirl with me about this book!
Back to your regularly scheduled programming....]
 


So... I got my hands on Windwitch.



I screamed when it got to my house and I, obviously, had to find out what was going to happen to the precious cinnamon rolls next.

Let me just say that Windwitch lived up to Truthwitch. In fact, it zoomed right by Truthwitch because it was JUST. THAT. AMAZING. (... and that's saying a lot since Truthwitch was pretty dang amazing.)

Susan's world that she creates is vivid and intricately crafted. I 110% agree with Alexandra Bracken when she says Susan creates a world you'll want to inhabit forever. I can't get enough of this story! 



Without spoilers (of course) let's delve deeper into my thoughts on the book!



I was honestly flailing on page one (I kid you not.) The story starts out SUPER dramatically and I was immediately pulled into the story. 

.... and things only get crazier from there.

The book is told from multiple POV's so you never know what to expect at the start of each chapter. I'm not always a huge fan of multiple POV's because the story can get boring or confusing. BUT I will say that it works for this series :)


Though, this time around I definitely enjoyed some perspectives more than others. Don't get me wrong, none of the characters' chapters were bad by any means! It was just kind of one of those situations where something crazy would happen to one of the characters... and then the chapter would end so I'd immediately need to know what was going to happen. *cough* Safi and Iseult *cough*


Speaking of the characters....

I really loved that we get to see more of Vivia in book 2! I feel like, in Truthwitch, Vivia is just portrayed as a heartless bitch who is against everyone and everything that is good. In Windwitch, we really get to see a different side to her. As it turns out, she really doesn't hate everyone and everything that is good and pure xD She's just a girl that's dealing with her personal demons and, though she isn't always good at showing it, she really does care deeply for her family. 
(I'm also shipping her hard with a certain other character. I hoooope they become a couple because that would be everything.) 


Safi and Iseult were badasses (as always.) I really loved that we got to see them develop apart from each other. They are usually prone to relying on one another when it comes to, well, a lot of things. It was nice to see their development as characters as they figured out how to be confident in themselves and in their abilities. 


... then there's Merik. Merik shows back up in the story with a new view of the world. He's angry and hungry for vengeance. I don't have much to say about him. Though, I will say that I liked seeing a new side to his character. I'm wondering how his vengeful attitude will play into book 3....


There's also Baeduan Aeduan. Aeduan, kind of like Vivia, is mainly played off as the bad guy. I think that his interactions with other character's in Windwitch helped add depth to his character. It brought out as much emotion as Baeduan can possibly muster at the moment. 


There were lots of things going on at once, because of the multiple POV's, but nothing felt messy or forced. The scenes flowed together smoothly. (Y'all I seriously could not stop devouring this book haha.)

There were many scenes filled with badassery (which I'm always a fan of.) There were a couple of fight scenes that had me concerned for the characters...




...but I was satisfied overall with how everything went down.


There were also a few parts toward the end that had me seriously flailing. I seem calm but I'm flailing just thinking about that ending though.  So look forward to those as well *evil smirk*


Overall, Windwitch is all you could possibly ask for in a sequel (and more!) If you enjoyed Truthwitch, you are going to ADORE Windwitch!




Quote:

"'Darkness is not always foe.'"
-Vivia






Have you picked up this beauty yet?
Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!
=D



Thursday, January 5, 2017

My "Dream crate!"



I was recently told about a fun idea Loot Crate was doing with various fans where the fans could create their own (hypothetical) subscription box! If you're unfamiliar with Loot Crate, they're a subscription crate service that sends out all kinds of pop culture goodies. I'm a huge fan of doing things where I can get creative (which is why I love blogging and bookstagramming) so of course I had to say yes. I had a few ideas but I eventually decided on doing a "Neverland" themed box! I looove Peter Pan so I couldn't help myself.

Below you'll find the box and the objects inside of it (in a list form.) I decided to share the objects in a story kind of style. When reading, picture yourself taking a trip to Neverland ☺
Enjoy!



Background image credits: starswatercolor leaves

Theme: Neverland
I think we can all agree that there’s something… magical about the story of Peter Pan. It’s impossible not to feel like a kid again just indulging in the stories of Neverland.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to know what it would be like to visit Neverland.
...But there is one problem. Getting to Neverland is kind of hard. Especially since Peter Pan hasn’t magically shown up... yet. But if he does someday decide to show up I think we’ll need some supplies to help us survive our trip.

Pixie Dust:
You can’t travel to Neverland without Pixie Dust!
Pixie Dust has a tendency to be blown away by the wind if you’re not careful so I’ve included a little cork & bottle necklace to help keep it with you at all times.

Rope:
Adventures are always more fun with friends, right? So make sure to bring a friend with you on your journey. Though, you may notice that it’s hard to fly together without losing each other. I’ve made sure to provide rope so you can tie it around each other's waists during your flight. That way you won’t get lost! (If that makes sense ahaha)

Once you get to Neverland, you’ll need something to drink out of. Instead of fashioning a cup out of nature you should drink out of your very own Peter Pan Mug! (Y’all know how obsessed I am with Evie’s designs.) This particular design is perfect for your Neverland trip.

So… this probably won’t help you in Neverland. BUT it’ll sure be fun to have! The design of the candle is BEAUTIFUL (I’m obsessed!) and if you miss flying through the clouds then this candle will take you right back.

A Compass:
You don’t want to get lost while exploring the island so you’ll need a compass! If you’re clumsy like me, you’ll need the compass to be in a necklace form (much like the Pixie Dust.) You could always navigate using the stars… but a compass seems like more fun.

Short Sword:
You can’t show up to a sword fight without, well, a sword! While you’re in Neverland, you’re bound to come across pirates at one point or another. Don’t worry friend! You’ll also find a short sword for all of your dueling needs inside the box.


You’re probably tired of carrying all of your stuff, right? Well, then let me present you with this Peter Pan backpack! Travel through Neverland in style *wink, wink*

Neverland Read:
Last, but certainly not least, is a book. *Cheers!* If you get bored you can pick up Tiger Lily by: Jodi Lynn Anderson. Tiger Lily takes place before Wendy comes to Neverland (ooooh.) The story is tragic, yet beautiful, and it’s sure to make you fall in love with the girl with the crow feather in her hair….





What is your dream subscription box?

Thank you so so much for reading!
Have a fantastic day!
=D


Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 End of the Year Reading Survey!


The 2016 Reading Survey is annually hosted by the lovely Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner! I really enjoyed participating last year so I decided to participate again this year! (I'm also not a magical unicorn like Cait from Paper Fury, who broke down her reading statistics into graphs how?!?!, so this is an easy way for me to look at how I did this year as far as reading.)
I'll be using all of Jamie's adorable graphics in this post because, you know, ADORABLE.




Number Of Books You Read:55


Number of Re-Reads:
1


Genre You Read The Most From:
Without looking I can comfortably tell you I read mainly YA Fantasy. (Though I did better with mixing up my genres this year!)





Best Book You Read In 2016?


I'm not sure if you guys have heard of this one but...

ACOMAF IS MY EVERYTHING 

*calms self*

I know, I know, not a very unique answer. But it's true!

(I may or may not have fallen asleep with ACOMAF in my arms 5 times this year... whoopsies)






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



I cheated a little for this one. This would be easier to do if I had read more 2016 releases ahaha. I was definitely excited for Tell the Wind and Fire. It had such a cool concept! But I found that I didn't actually care about/like the characters. (I did give it 3 stars because I liked the setting, though.)

I had read book 1 of The Dark Elements last year and, while I didn't like book 1, I was willing to give book 2 a shot. Let's just say I didn't like book 2 much either....

I've been looking at The Forest of Hands and Teeth for a while now and I was excited to finally be able to read it! However, I really didn't like it at all :/ (It has a great cover though!)


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






Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?:



(But seriously if you haven't read ROTS or TGWF yet then I highly suggest picking them up!)



Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?:




Truthwitch was definitely one of my favorite reads of 2016! I'm so happy that I delved into the Witchlands this year! 

ACOMAF is my obsession so obviously it wins best sequel of the year, for me. 

Embarrassingly, it took me from November 2015 until May 2016 to read Winter (I know, I know, that's a ridiculous amount of time xD) But I still ended up loving the book! The Lunar Chronicles crew will forever and always be one of my favorites and this series was beautifully concluded.


Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?:


Roshani Chokshi! You just can't beat her stunning writing =D



Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?:


YA is the main genre I read but every once in a while I'll try my hand at the NA genre...

I wouldn't say Confess is the "best" but I did really enjoy it. You might even say that I loved it when I had just finished it.


(Looking back I went absolutely crazy for this book ahaha)












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


*Glares at Illuminae*


This. Book.

I'm 100% late on the Illuminae insane train but the important thing is I eventually got there haha.


But really... this book was FREAKING INSANE WTF EVEN HAPPENED 


C a n n o t


C o m p r e h e n d 









Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?:


I don't really re-read books (because what about all the other books I haven't read yet?!) 
The struggle is real.

But I'd most likely re-read ACOMAF 



Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?:




Most memorable character of 2016?:


Ooooh let me think...


My thoughts immediately go to Rhysand. But since I don't want this post to get too ACOMAF crazy/repetitive I'll go with Zuzana from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I re-read Daughter of Smoke and Bone this year and I loved it even more the second time around! Zuzana is a memorable character, to me, since she's loyal and sassy and amazing and fabulous. (I still can't get over the fact that she can't be my friend in real life *sigh*)


Most beautifully written book read in 2016?:


The Star-Touched Queen takes the cake for this one! 1100000000% Roshani's writing is absolutely stunning. She had me entranced from page one.



Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?:


Whisper to Me by: Nick Lake was pretty impactful for me. The book is about a girl who struggles with PTSD and schizophrenia. (Read a much better synopsis here.) I'm not always the best at reading books where there's a major mental illness theme (and I know I need to improve on that.) But I'm happy that I got the chance to read Whisper to Me. It was just one of those books that can really make you think, make you feel.


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


What have I been doing all this time?!?! 

The Darkest Minds was amazing! 

...and that ending.

I'm scared to read Never Fade since I know this can't possibly end well *sweats profusely*







Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?:


Ummm... Ummmm.

*Pages through books like a dino that's had 10 cups of coffee*


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Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?:




Book That Shocked You The Most:




While Windwitchs' twist was like a ninja silently striking in the night... Illuminaes' twist was like a ninja silently striking in the night except the ninja was a little less silent and a little more violent and  happy to see you crushed by what was going on.

.....

Wow I don't know where that came from haha.



OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!):


FEYSAND, NESSIAN, ELUCIAN 
(I defintely didn't spell that last one right xD)

But for real... I will go down with my precious ships.



Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year?:


Iko and Cinder 

(I love them both so much!)


Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?:

Truthwitch/Windwitch (Susan Dennard)


Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:


The Lovely Reckless by: Kami Garcia

(I couldn't NOT read it after all the hype...)


Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?:


Amar from The Star-Touched Queen 

*ALL THE HEART EYES*



Best 2016 debut you read?:


The Star-Touched Queen!

BUT I also enjoyed: Into the Dim (Janet B. Taylor)
Blackhearts (Nicole Castroman)
The Girl Who Fell (Shannon M. Parker)



Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?:


(I know I'm being repetitive but) I have to give it to Sarah J Maas. The worlds she creates are absolutely stunning.



Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?:


I'm now realizing that I don't tend to read happy books...
ummmmmm.....


It Gets Worse by: Shane Dawson made me laugh but it also made me cry. Shhhhh that's the best I've got.



Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?:


Well, I'm more of a "shake book in the air until the conflict magically disappears" kind of gal.

But It Gets Worse made me cry... Now I feel soulless ohmagosh I swear I cry when I read.... once in a blue moon.



Hidden Gem Of The Year?:


Wintersong by: S. Jae-Jones. (I'm considering it a hidden gem since it hasn't released yet. I can't wait for y'all to read it so we can fangirl!)


Book That Crushed Your Soul?:


The Assassins Blade.... I knew it was coming but I could never be prepared *CRIES INTO INFINITY*


 Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?:


Why we Broke Up by: Daniel Handler was pretty unique. I didn't like it (at all) but I do have to admit that it was definitely... different. 

The Reader by: Traci Chee was very unique! (I recommend you check it out :)



Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?:


Part two of The Star-Touched Queen had me flailing all over the place. I. Could. Not. Handle. What. Was. Going. On.






New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?:


Jen's blog (Pop! Goes The Reader) is one of my new favorites! Her blog is FRICKIN ADORABLE and Jen is such a kind-hearted person πŸ’œ



Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?:


The review I wrote for The Reader by: Traci Chee has to be one of my favorites! When I wrote the review I had started to get better at graphics so I think the post is kind of... pretty? I also think that I conveyed my thoughts clearly and that's something I always strive for in reviews! If you want to, you can read that review here!




Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?:


The post I did on constructive criticism is one of my favorites from this year! This was another post where I think I conveyed my thoughts pretty clearly. There was also a good discussion that took place in the comments section. I always love it when I can discuss with you guys!



Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?:


Hitting 100 blog followers and 20k views on here were both huge moments in 2016! Thank you all so so much for the support πŸ’œ



Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?:


I was having a lot of self doubt this year when it came to my blog and my bookstagram. There were points when I felt like no one was reading so I didn't post. There were points when I was intimidated by larger bloggers/accounts and I felt like I would never grow and be as amazing as they were. (I know, stupid stuff.) But I picked myself up, dusted myself off, ate some chocolate, and became motivated once again. If you spend too much time wishing to be someone else you'll never learn to be proud of your own accomplishments.



Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?:


I didn't even post this post in 2016 but I can GUARANTEE you it was the most viewed this year. I don't know how, I don't know why, but my Bookstagram Tips From A Clueless Girl post has an INSANE amount of views. (Almost 3k WTF?!) I can't tell you for the life of me where all the views came from since a lot of views for me would be about 100 views. 
(This also isn't meant to be brag-y! I'm just absolutely astounded by this weird phenomenon...)


Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?:


Ironically enough, part two of my Bookstagram series haha. This post only has 40 views (and zero comments.) It took me 3 hours to write up so I definitely wished that it had been as popular as my original post xD
You can view that post here!




Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?:


I went to Pennsylvania this summer and that's when I discovered IT. OLLIE'S *que the angel choir*
I got four books there for ten dollars and MY HEART CAN'T TAKE ALL THAT BARGAIN. If you discover this magical store while traveling You. Must. Venture. Inside.


Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?:


Well... let's go down the list, shall we?

➡ Read 85 books? I read 55... basically the same thing, right?

➡ Prioritize reading more? Mmmmm kind of...?

➡ Read more diversely? I did slightly improve on this this year!

➡ Post more frequently? Haha yeah no 

➡ Double my average views? No... but I also didn't post as frequently so that's 100% my fault.

➡ Drink more water? This was a personal goal but it's one of the only goals I actually accomplished! I now always have a water bottle on me so I can access water 24/7.



One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?:


My Ever the Hunted ARC and Iron Cast (which is currently on sale by the way!! *MUCH EXCITE*)


Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?:


ACOWAR WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME 

*calms self down*

I can't wait for ACOWAR! I sure hope that it will be as amazing as ACOMAF.


2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?:


27 Hours by: Tristina Wright

I fangirled about this book in my last post but let me have another fangirl moment.

LGBTQIAP TEENS ON THE MOON FIGHTING GARGOYLES OHMAGOSH I'M SO EXCITED.


Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?:


I already had my ACOWAR freak out moment so I'll have to go with A Crown of Wishes by: Roshani Chokshi! It's more of a companion novel but it's part of the Star-Touched Queen universe so I'm counting it.


One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?:


I'm going to have a post up about this (hopefully within the next week!) but my main goal would be to always keep in mind that I'm a part of the book community to make friends and to have fun. I need to make sure I don't get myself stressed out/worked up over things that don't need stressing over.


A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:


Wintersong by: S. Jae-Jones! I read this one back in November and HOLY CHOCOLATE CHIPS THIS BOOK WAS GOOD. Add this one to your tbr for sure!



*Emerges from the blogging cave after many hours of typing this post up* 

If you read that entire thing.... I. Am. In. Awe. 


Could you relate to any of my answers? If you also did the survey feel free to link me to it below! 


Thanks for reading and have a fabulous day!
=D


Review|| A Court of Wings and Ruin (and lot's of cringe) by: Sarah J Maas

I don't usually like to review sequels because then the review can't truly be spoiler free (which is a huge bummer). BUT I ha...