January 28, 2015

Just an Update

Hi guys, sorry for not posting in eons. I've already failed my resolutions and January isn't even over [INSERT SLOW CLAP HERE]. But anyways, this post is just going to be a short random update on what's to come on the blog and what's going on in my life.

My goal for this year is to read at least 90 books and so far I've read six, which isn't bad for me since I'm a notoriously slow reader. I've read:
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson (reread)
Explorer: The Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (reread)
I've been in the sort of mood, where I feel like if I read the wrong book, I'll be launched into a reading slump. So, I've been rereading a lot. Right now, I'm currently rereading Cinder and I think that I might reread PJO afterwards, or the rest of the Lunar Chronicles.

On the blog, I don't have a lot planned. Since I really want to try to start off my booktube channel, I have some ideas for book talks, but if that fails, I might just write a review. I also really want to do a discussion on the blog about book blogging versus booktubing, which I think is quite appropriate. But, I'm having trouble trying to generalize the entire book blogosphere and booktube community because everything is so unique and diverse. But I promise when I fix the kinks, that'll be up.
Also,  I get to meet Marissa Meyer, author of The Lunar Chronicles on her Fairest tour in February! Depending on whether I get a channel set up, I'll have a post or a vlog about it.

AND GUYS. DID YOU NOTICE? WE'VE POSTED ONE HUNDRED POSTS. WOOOHOOO!


We're almost at 5,000 views as well! Thank you so much to all the people who read our posts and comment, it means a lot to me!

So now, in my life, I don't have any huge midterms/finals/tests coming up or anything. However, I do want to take some time off of blogging so I can focus on school because second semester is always a pain in the butt. I also might possibly, maybe set up a booktube channel during this time, although I highly doubt it. I'll probably be on hiatus until my post/video on meeting Marissa Meyer is up, around the first week of February.  In the mean time, I'll try to edit my blogging/booktubing post and maybe some reviews? I'm not setting my standards too high, since I'm pretty busy with homework, but I'll try my best. We also have a short break in February, so I'll try to post more then.

Thank you guys again, for reading and sticking with us through our terrible posting habits. I hope to have another post up in the nearby future. Bye!
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January 27, 2015

Soumya's January Wrap-Up

Hi guys!
Sorry for not posting in, like, forever. But my life's been crazy and there's just so much going on...like I said, with the 2015 Reading Challenge and whatnot, there's been a lot going on this month. So, I'm going to start writing wrap-ups. Kaylie will do the blog wrap-up, and I'm just going to do a personal one, where I'll feature my progress on the 2015 Reading Challenge, favorite/least favorite books of the month, and other miscellaneous stuff.

So here goes!

I. The 2015 Reading Challenge

The 2015 Reading Challenge is going great! I already completed 2 challenges (out of 16) and am working on the third one. The first challenge I picked was to Read A Book Written By An Author From A Different Country. For that challenge, I read Death Cloud by Andrew Lane. It's about a teenage Sherlock Holmes, and like him, Andrew Lane is from England. I thought the book was okay, but I enjoyed the second one, Rebel Fire, much more. I'm also done reading Black Ice, the third book in the series. My second challenge was to Put Together a 12 Song Playlist Inspired By Books. TBH, I really hated this challenge. It was a struggle and quite boring. I was more content listening to Ellie Goulding than finding songs to match Harry Potter. Nevertheless, my playlist is below. Enjoy it, if you will. The third challenge, which I am currently working on, is to Read A Book You Didn't Understand The First Time. For this challenge, I'm reading Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin. The first time I read this book, I was too young for it and didn't really get it. But I liked it. So, I'm rereading it to see how I feel as a (slightly) more mature reader.

The Playlist:
I tried embedding a Spotify playlist here, but it didn't work...so I just embedded YouTube videos. Sorry!
Animals- Maroon 5

I personally hate this song,  but it's perfect when thinking about Maximum Ride- the Erasers and Max.
The Monster- Eminem, Rihanna
To all those characters with powers that are complicated, to say the least. Like Ruby from TDM...
We Are The Champions- Queen
Best victory song ever. Especially after the Hunger Games.
Blank Space- Taylor Swift
"It'll leave you breathless/Or with a nasty scar." Harry Potter, anyone?
Superheroes- The Script
To everyone who's struggled, whether in real life or in books.
Landslide- Fleetwood Mac
"I will go down with this ship." Shipping fangirls, unite!
You Belong With Me- Taylor Swift
This song reminds me of My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick...same idea, basically.
Summer of '69- Bryan Adams
This is a song both Eleanor and Park hate. 
Midnight Memories- One Direction
This song reminds me of Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick. Easily one of the weirdest books-and videos- ever.
Girl On Fire- Alicia Keys
Katniss, anyone?
Maps- Maroon 5
This song kind of reminds me of Ben Tripp, Accidental Highwayman. Because there are maps.
Jealous- Nick Jonas
"I still get jealous." AKA every romance ever.
I have to admit, this is a terrible playlist. I really didn't like this challenge as much as I wanted to. But I really liked the first challenge (especially hunting in the library for my book) and I think the third one's really important.
II. My Favorite and Least Favorite Books Of January I have a Goodreads goal of reading 200 books this year. I'm already 11 books ahead, so things are looking pretty good! I'm trying to read a book a day, but some days I'm too busy to do that and some days I can read more than 1 book. Check out my Goodreads page here for info on my reading and my reading challenge. Anyways, here is my favorite book of January and my least favorite. It was pretty hard, considering as of January 27th, I've read 28 books.
Favorite:
1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I had been wanting to read this for a really long time, and I just got a copy as a gift. I devoured the whole thing at school and all I can say is, WHOA. Plot twists everywhere. Anyways, it was pretty good. I really liked it, even though it was kind of confusing.
Least Favorite:
Boxers by Gene Luen Yang seemed like a really good book when I picked it up, but proved to be quite a disappointment. It was boring, single-minded, and just not something I found appealing. I didn't read the second book, Saints, because I really didn't like the first one. Usually, I read the second book anyways, but in this case there was no point. I don't recommend this book to any graphic novel fan. It's a letdown.
III. Books In General This Month So, I was feeling really lazy and didn't want to write all the books I had read. So, here's pictures courtesy of Goodreads of the 28 books I've read as of January 27th. The book in the top left is the most recent and the one at the very bottom on the right is the first book I read this month (and in 2015!)
Currently, I'm reading The Program by Suzanne Young as an eBook. It's pretty good, but I do have a few doubts about it. We'll see how it turns out!
IV. Other Things
January's been a crazy month (if you couldn't tell by the fact we haven't posted in two weeks.) I've been overloaded with academics, sports, and musical stuff. But some stuff I've been loving this month to help me relax is The Middle, Psych, and Netflix comedies galore. I've also been going crazy with experimenting with nail polish and making jewelry...it's been a fun month even with all the stress. Can't wait until we have Ski Break in February! Anyways, that's all for this wrap-up.
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January 13, 2015

Top Ten 2014 Releases I Didn't Get To

Hey guys!
First up, sorry for not posting in a while. I've been crazy busy with science fair and orchestra stuff...but I finally got a No HW Night at school, so I have time to put together a post. Yay! This week's Top Ten Tuesday post (as usual, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is Top Ten 2014 Releases You Didn't Get To. Again, as usual, there are waay to many of those. Oh well. Read on!

So here goes!

1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I have been meaning to read this one for a long time now but just haven't gotten to it. It looks super interesting though, so I really look forward to buying a copy of it and Golden Sun, the sequel. My favorite Booktubers loved it and it won a Goodreads Choice Award, so it must be good.

2. Panic by Lauren Oliver

I put this on hold at my local library but never actually got the book. I usually like Lauren Oliver's books, so I'm looking forward to reading this one. I don't really get the plot, but it looks interesting, so...

3. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Again, a lot of booktubers I know loved this book. Plus, it's apparently a mix of Graceling and Beauty and The Beast. I love both of those, so I'm super excited to read Cruel Beauty.

4. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

I've gotten lots of really mixed reviews about this book, so I really want to read it and have an opinion for myself. And then there's also the stuff with Danielle Paige and Kathleen Hale. Plus, the prospect of the novel is unique and seems like it could be pulled off really well. 

5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This book was TIME's #1 pick for YA readers this year. Add in a blurb by John Green, mysterious plot, raving reviews, and a cool cover. Duh, I want to read this!

6. Alienated by Melissa Landers

To be honest, I hate the cover of this book. And I usually tend not to read books whose coves I don't like. But the plot of this book seems really cool (even though there are the weirdest spellings ever) and some of my friends really liked it. So I want to give it a try.

7. Now That You're Here by Amy K. Nichols

Parallel universes. Bad boy falls for science geek. I'm hooked already! I feel like this book could either be really good or really bad. I hope it's the first one, but I do have a few doubts about it. We'll see.

8. Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch


This is another one of those books that could either be really good or really bad. The idea seems a little cliche, but so was The Selection and I still liked it. However, the blurb does say it's like the Chemical Garden series, and I hated those. But kudos for a really pretty cover!

9. Something Real by Heather Demetrios

So, I read half of this at Kepler's and fell head-over-heels in love with it. I put it on hold at the library.  I still haven't recieved my copy. And apparently it's still going to take a while.


Right, so anyways, the cover is beautiful. The characters are realistic. Haha. And the plot is fantastic. I would love to finish this!

10. The Vault Of Dreamers by Caragh M O'Brien

Like I said before, I am da queen of judging books by their covers. I initially wanted to read this book just because of the cover. It's beautiful. But, y'know, the synopsis looks pretty good too. I was seriously tempted to buy this one but then decided to save some money :/ so I'm hoping the library gets a copy of it soon!

That's all for this week's TTT post. Tell me what you guys think down below in the comments!
Yep, that's my name ;)
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January 12, 2015

Kaylie's End of the Year Book Survey (2014)


Hi guys! I had planned to get this up before the New Year, but I got sick and did nothing for three days except sleep, so I failed terribly. But, better late than never, so here is my End of Year Book Survey for 2014! I'm super excited because it's my first time answering this survey, but it's the fifth annual one to be hosted.

This survey is hosted and was created by Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Tuner! So, if you would like to do this survey yourself, you can check out her post on it with the questions and rules.

This survey is a basically a bunch of questions to reflect on your reading and blogging in 2014. The beautiful graphics are also courtesy of Jamie :)

Number Of Books You Read: 

Including graphic novels, but not e-novellas or short stories, I've read 98 books. My goal was 100 books, I came so close! Here are my Goodreads stats, but including short stories, novellas, and such.


Number of Re-Reads: 

I've re-read five books this year. In chronological order, I reread Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Genre You Read The Most From:

I believe it was fantasy. I love reading fantasy because it's something you can only experience in books, it can't happen in real life. There's magic and new worlds and that's something I really love about books. But anyways, I wanted to make a graph of all the genres I've read but then it was too much work to count and classify each book's genre, so...


1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

Honestly, this is going to be so difficult because I didn't really get into reading before this year, so most of my reading was done in 2014! I read series that I've need to read for so long like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games as well as new releases and debuts! So I'm breaking up my favorite books by genre and a lot of these include the entire series as favorites :)

Contemporary/Romance (In Chronological Order Read)

  

Fantasy Favorites (Also In Chronological Order Read)

     

Other Favorites (You Should Know the Order by Now)

 

As you can see, most of my favorite books were fantasy, probably because majority of my reads were fantasy. There were so many good book I read this year, but these were the ones I narrowed down to.

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

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. So many people have been RAVING about this book and it's been on people's favorites of 2014 and such, so I had such high expectations! I did like it, but I didn't love it as much as I thought I would.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?

The Maze Runner by James Dashner surprised me in a good way. I've heard some people rave about it, but quite a few of my favorite booktubers didn't like it that much, so I didn't have very high expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the book.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken was very much pushed by me. Whenever people asked for a recommendation, this was CONSTANTLY the answer, along with others like Throne of Glass, all the Cassandra Clare books, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I was quite successful. Soumya, Christina, and Milli have read at least the first book of the trilogy along with some of my other friends.

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

The best series that I've started but haven't finished yet would probably be the Amulet graphic novel series by Kazu Kibuishi. I've read the first two novels out of six and I really enjoyed them. I hope to buy the rest of the series and finish it soon!

I read a lot of great sequels, so I'm just going to list the first five that come to mind:
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
  • Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer
Best series ended I read in 2014 was most definitely Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. That book gave me all the feels. It made me laugh and CRY (which I do not do often) and just ahhhh. WILLIAM HERONDALE WILL BE MINE.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Um, again. Didn't get into reading until, like, the end of 2013, so A LOT OF AUTHORS. Listing would just be easier for me:
  • Rick Riordan
  • Jenny Han
  • Leigh Bardugo
  • Sarah J. Maas
  • Laini Taylor
  • Stephanie Perkins
  • Morgan Matson
  • Suzanne Collins
  • Gayle Forman
  • JK Rowling
  • Kasie West

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Yes it is fantasy, which as you can tell I do read, but it's adult. I usually stick to Young Adult, but I still enjoyed this book.

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

The entire Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. DUH.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han and Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson are contenders for 2015 re-reads. I highly enjoyed both and they both new favorites. I also read an ARC of To All the Boys I've Loved Before so I'll probably get the final copy and compare them.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

    
THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL. THEY ARE PLENTIFUL.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

To many to count, so I'm going to break it into categories.
Protagonist/Main Characters: Percy Jackson (PJO and HoO), Cress (Cress), Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass), Emily (Since You've Been Gone), Katniss Everdeen (THG), Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasly (Harry Potter, duh), Tessa Gray (TID).
Book Boyfriends: Liam Stewart (The Darkest Minds), William Herondale (TID), Jem Carstairs (TID), Percy Jackson (PJO and HOO), Cricket Bell (Lola and the Boy Next Door), Frank Porter (Since You've Been Gone), Conner (Split Second).
Side Characters: Zuzana (Daughter of Smoke and Bone), Regan (Fangirl), Vida (The Darkest Minds).

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare are all favorites of mine from the year and all are beautifully written.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
Most thought provoking book would be The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey, because hot damn that book makes you rethink everything you thought you knew. Life changing book, however, would most definitely be Harry Potter. It's going to be a huge part of my heart and life from now on and I can't wait to fully embrace the Potterhead lifestyle.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
Harry Potter by JK Rowling, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, and The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan. They were all amazing and I have no idea how I've lived with the absence of Harry, Katniss, Celaena, Will, and Percy for so long.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

Pretty much anything that comes out of Dumbledore's mouth.

16.Shortest and Longest Book You Read In 2014?

The shortest book I read was Fly on the Wall by E. Lockhart, which is 192 pages. The longest book was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling, which is 870 pages.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Winger by Andrew Smith. Not going to say anything else because spoilers.

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

Ahhhhh, you can't make me choose just one. My dock is full of ships! There's Will and Tessa (TID), Ron and Hermione (Harry Potter), Magnus and Alec (TMI), Izzy and Simon (TMI), Percy and Annabeth (PJO and HOO), Calypso and Leo (HOO), Thorne and Cress (Cress), Katniss and Peeta (THG), Vida and Chubs (The Darkest Minds), and many more.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

My favorite family relationships are  between Percy and his mother in PJO have because you can tell they love each other so much. And There's also Prim and Katniss from The Hunger Games. Favorite friendships are Rowan and Celaena from Heir of Fire, Clary and Simon from The Mortal Instruments, Karou and Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Emily and Sloane from Since You've Been Gone

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously:

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. Um, how many times have I mentioned this book? I previously read the first four books of TMI and this year I read finished TMI and read TID, which I LOVED SO EFFING MUCH.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I would not pick this book up on my own. Probably has something to do with the title. But, so many of my favorite Booktubers loved this book, so I picked it up and really enjoyed it!


22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

See question 11 for a list of my new fictional boyfriends.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang! Amy is also a high schooler. *jaw drop*

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Harry Potter series and Throne of Glass both have great world building!

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

The Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan. It has Percy. No other explanation needed.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, and If I Stay by Gayle Forman. All the feels and the tears. 



27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Pika-Don by The Stanford Graphic Novel Project. This is a graphic novel I read for class but I really enjoyed it! It's based on the true story of Tustomu Yamaguchi, who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshimi and Nagasaki. (Add it on Goodreads)


28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Clockwork Princess. Haha. Bet you didn't see that one coming.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han and Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson. Again, favorites of mine that both have unique premises and characters.

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

17 First Kisses by Rachel Allen. I did not like this book. The entire premise just seemed so hypocritical to me and the main character was quite annoying.



1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?
Um, I kind of discovered all the blog I follow this year, so I'm just going to list the first three that come to mind. These Paper Hearts. Paper Fury. Novel Sounds. Click here if you'd like to see all the blogs I'm following!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?

I spent a lot of time on my Harry Potter series review, so if you wanna check it out and give it some love, it would mean so much to me!

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

I don't really know what qualifies as "best" but I'm pretty proud of my Countdown Survey!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I've only been to two event this year, but it would probably be going on The Story Crush Tour with Kiera Cass, Amanda Maciel, and Kevin Emerson.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

Just finally finishing and perfecting the blog design and started blogging was probably the best moment of my blogging life this year.

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

By views, my most popular post is my first one, about beautiful foreign editions of books.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I spent a lot of time on my post explaining why I waited so long to read Harry Potter and I'm pretty happy with how that post turned out, so if you could check it out, it would mean a lot to me!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Book blogging! I already knew about booktube, but I didn't get into the blogging side until I saw Priceiswong's blog!

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

Sadly no, my goal was to read 100 books and I only got to 98 as you saw in the stats. :(


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

Urgh, there are too many to list. I just want to try to read as much as possible in the new year. :)

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, to name a few!

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson! It's a graphic novel debut and it's based off her web comic which I've already read and loved.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

I am really excited for Winter by Marissa Meyer! I love the Lunar Chronicles and have high expectations for this conclusion. Some other are P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins and the fourth Throne of Glass book by Sarah J. Maas

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
I actually wrote a post about this! If you'd like to read about my bookish resolutions and plans for 2015, click here.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read and Recommend To Everyone:

I don't get ARCs too often, so I haven't read any 2015 releases yet.


Okay, that's it for this survey! Feel free to answer some of the questions in the comments or link me to your posts because I'd love to see your answers! Happy New Year!
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January 7, 2015

The Best Friend Tag

Hey guys!
I'm here today with a book tag: The Best Friend tag. Every few weeks or months, I'll feature a different book bestie to the main character or another major character.

And the award goes to....

Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke And Bone!!!!

~~~
Zuzana once said, "Hey! My body may be small, but my soul is large. It’s why I wear platforms. So I can reach the top of my soul.” Zuzana may be short, but she has an awesome personality. She's bold, curious, endlessly prying, hilarious, dramatic, and the bestest bestie in the world. She's constantly nagging Karou- but let's be real. All best friends do that. And she will go to the opposite end of the world for Karou (and she'll drag her boyfriend Mik with her.) No matter what, Zuzana is always there for Karou. And that's amazing. Plus, she begs her boyfriend to pee onto Karou's horrible ex from the top of a building. That takes guts. 



That's all for now. Thanks for reading :)
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