Tag Tuesday: The TBR Tag

Happy Tag Tuesday, everyone! Today’s tag is The TBR Tag and it is brought to you by the darling Maggie @ The Caramel Files. She did this one a few weeks ago and now its my turn!

How I Keep Track of My TBR Pile: My TBR is A) on my bookshelves and B) on my Goodreads account….and its a very big list!

Is My TBR Mostly Print or E-books: Honestly its hard to say. I went to one book convention and have gone on several book buying binges, but most of the ARCs I get are ebooks.

How I Determine Which Book From My TBR to Read Next: I consider mostly ARC deadlines, any challenges I’m doing, and what season it is and what I’m in the mood for.

A Book That Has Been on My TBR the Longest:

6493208 – Since 1/2/12

A Book That I Recently Added to My TBR:

335741431 – Added 8/6/17

A Book on My TBR Strictly Because it Has a Beautiful Cover:

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A Book on My TBR That I Never Plan on Actually Reading:

17926775 – I mean, maybe. It has a good rating but it is super-low on my list of priorities.

An Unpublished Book on My TBR That I’m Excited for:

32336276 – Of course. Coming soon!!

A Book on My TBR That Everyone Has Read but Me:

7896527 – Wow, old cover!

A Book on My TBR That Everyone Recommends to Me:

16096824 – Yes, this is on my TBR!

A Book on My TBR That I’m Dying to Read:

22055262 – I know, I am so behind on all the goods!!

The Number of Books on My TBR:

1,112 on my Goodreads TBR list. Who knows how many on my shelves!! How about you?

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Sunshine (Award) Sunday!

Hi everyone! Starting today off on a high note…I was nominated by Emma at Reading Through the Night for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thanks Emma! Its always nice to be thought of and recognized in the blogging community!

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The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

The Questions:

  1. What are some TV shows or movies that you would recommend? Supernatural, Once Upon A Time, Grey’s Anatomy, Grimm, Riverdale
  2. For each of the shows or movies you listed above recommendation a similar book: Dead After Dark; Heartless; When It’s Real; The Best Kind of Magic; All Things New
  3. Do you have any reading habits? (like reading with candles or in the bath etc) I read 2-4 books at a time–one physical book, 1-2 books on my iPad, and usually one audiobook
  4. What is the last book you went to a bookshop and bought? A neat illustrated version of Alice and Wonderland
  5. Do you tend to reread books? Sometimes, but usually I just have so many new things to read.
  6. Do you use goodreads? If so how do you use it? Yes! I use it for group reads and sometimes challenges or readathons
  7. What is the thinnest book on your shelf? Maybe a novella?
  8. What are your favorite fantasy/sci-fi diverse reads? I like paranormal mysteries and some romances so things by Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris
  9. What are some of your least favorite book covers? The Bloodlines covers and Vampire Academy covers
  10. Do you annotate or tab your books? If so how? (I am considering doing this myself) Right now I don’t but like you, I am considering tabbing quotes.
  11. Who are some characters you relate to? I relate to characters with anxiety, but I also tend to stay away from those books if I can.

I Tag:

My questions:

  1. What is your favorite genre to read?
  2. What is your least favorite genre to read?
  3. What book character(s) do you think would be your best friend?
  4. What book character(s) would you most like to meet for a day?
  5. If you could explore any bookish world, which would it be?
  6. If you could turn any book/book series into a movie or TV series, what would it be?
  7. If you could UNMAKE any bookish movie or TV series, what would it be?
  8. If you could play the part of a bookish character in a film regardless of your gender of appearance, who would it be?
  9. What format do you mostly read your books in? (ebook, audio, etc.)
  10. How many books do you read at one time?
  11. What is your reading goal for this year?

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First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy

20795198_995366038329_2075362817_oThis book has me left with mixed emotions! No, scratch that. This book has left me an emotional wreck! Let me first say that I am a big fan of thrillers and there aren’t too many in the YA genre so when one releases, I am ON IT! I dove into First We Were IV with a fiery fury. Pranks, secrets, a murder mystery…all the yes!!

Here comes the actual synopsis: Izzy (often called “Icky” by the popular kids in school), Viv, Graham, and Harry are best friends. They only have each other and are often pushed around by their peers, some rivalries even stemming back as far as elementary school. NO MORE, they decide. So this, coupled with the fact that the four best friends will soon be parting ways for college, leads them to form the Order of IV, a “secret society” of the four friends created for pranks, fun, and forever memories. All they wanted was to be included in parties and to keep in touch. Of course that’s not how it ends. Of course it escalates….and I’ll let you read all of that for yourself.

So in my opinion, the beginning is interesting, and the ending rocked me to my core. The middle 300 pages were filled with 95% eye-rolling drama and 5% interesting plot. For me, the murder mystery with Jane Doe was so disconnected from the central characters….I just didn’t understand why Izzy cared so much to begin with. Maybe if the incident occurred a week ago, or if it was her cousin she was seeking justice for, or if she really had PTSD. I’m not trying to be cold or like I don’t care about missing persons cases but really, there was no real reason why Izzy cared. I don’t get it! Harry had a reason to want to pursue crimes against his father, yet they didn’t pursue those. I get that. But Izzy was selfish. This was hugely unsettling (and mildly boring and even confusing) to me.

While I didn’t like this, it was also an ironic point in the book. Live in the moment. Just be with your friends and loved ones. When friends are so loved and so close like this group is, there shouldn’t be competition of who loves who more; of who was friends first, or of which memories are better or stronger. Just make the most of everything. Bullies and adults will do what they will but you have each other and that is the strongest thing and that is better than anything than they will ever know (haven’t you seen Harry Potter? lol – just kidding). So that’s what I felt was a theme, who knows if that was an actual intent of the author.

MAJOR SPOILER IN WHITE – WARNING – DON’T HIGHLIGHT UNLESS YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK – FINAL NOTE: HOW DID THEY GET AWAY WITH ALL OF THAT? NO WAY! WHAT?! 

Soundtrack: “Your Song” by Elton John

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Tag Tuesday: Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Hi, everyone! Its Tuesday again. We made it through Monday and are one step closer to Friday. I don’t really mind the weekdays too much but I know some people are constantly counting them down. Well, participating in tags always helps pass the time, doesn’t it? I was tagged by my friend Sarah at Book Hooked Nook to do the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag. Now, I realize we’re just a bit past mid-year at this point but too bad! Never too late to have a bit of fun! 😉

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017. I have two candidates for this but I’m doing my best to choose one for each category. I choose The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana. Here is why: first off, it was a pleasant surprise. I was chosen to read an ARC from Penguin’s First to Read site and I didn’t have very high expectations because her first book didn’t have that high of a Goodreads rating (I think it was at a 3.7 or something, which to me is a take-it-or-leave-it rating). Secondly, I liked it because I was hooked from the very beginning with a fable about trees. I love trees and fables and mythologies. The whole story was beautiful and I devoured it. Third, I was given a free copy to read and I ended up buying a hard copy for myself. I can’t say that about the other book I was considering. So this one wins the prize.

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2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017. Again, another book more or less involving Middle-Eastern settings, fables, and adventures. My enjoyment of this book is more character-driven, as Khalid is definitely among my book boyfriends (yum!) but the writing is definitely beautiful and it put Renee Ahdieh on my watchlist of authors.

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3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to. Ok, first off, looking at the cover on a screen does it no justice. There are little stars in the tree and they sparkle (I mentioned before that I love trees? I wasn’t kidding).  Second, it’s a novel revolving around summer camp. I pretty much grew up at summer camp and my heart still lives there. And third, all the feels. I am a sucker for this type of book. This will be my jam. And Emery Lord? I have heard all the things. This book must be read by me while the crickets are still a-chirping outside my window.

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4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year. Beautiful cover. Intriguing synopsis. This is screaming Interstellar to me. It probably will be nothing like that, but still….super cool.

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5. Biggest disappointment. Ugh. I don’t even want to talk about this.

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6. Biggest surprise. See #1.

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7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you) This book was amazing. Read it.

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8. Newest fictional crush. 2 words: Oakley. Ford.

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9. Newest favourite character. 2 words: Oakley. Ford. Am I having de ja vu??

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10. Book that made you cry. Again with the de ja vu. READ THIS BOOK. Seriously. I will now reveal that this was my second contender for best book so far of 2017. It was so good. I haven’t gotten around to buying a copy yet, but its mainly because I am currently unemployed and I just don’t have the funds. But I know that as soon as I do, I am going to practically sleep with it. I will probably re-read it as soon as I get it, and I will cry all over again. Seriously, this book is so beautiful. Read it and love it and lose your soul in it. So worth it.

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11. Book that made you happy. OMG. Iko. Just….Iko. She is the best character. If I didn’t already enjoy this series, I love it all the more now that I read this graphic novel. And let me just say that this was my first graphic novel, and I really enjoyed it! I literally laughed out loud multiple times. It was really great.

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12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year. I have been absolutely slacking in this department. I did see “Beauty and the Beast” and no, that is not my answer. Yes, I liked it and no, that is still not my answer. Maybe I am biased but Anne of Green Gables/Anne with an ‘E’ just holds such a special place in my heart. I loved the show!

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13. Favourite review you’ve written this year. I just really like this cover, the fact that it has the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel (can you tell I’m from Chicagoland?), and I got to put milkshakes in it!

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14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received). Umm, do I really need to explain this cover buy?? ….didn’t think so.

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15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year? So these are my literal need to reads, as in, obligated for Netgalley or other review websites. Of course there are more and I have many other ARCs sitting around, AND I have a TBR of my own but I know you all know how all of this goes.

33835806 23113602 32905343  25752154 274260441

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As I mentioned before, I know its late in the year so if, by this point in the year you have NOT done this mid-year tag, consider yourself officially TAGGED!

Today’s Listening: “Charlie Boy” by The Lumineers

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The Wrapping Up of All the Things

As always, the end of all things came too quickly. More specifically in this case #24in48, the Biannual Bibliothon, and even more significantly, JULY!! How did July get by us? I guess we say that every month. Ah, well. Time to wrap it all up.

o7f2dlnf_400x400To begin the recap, for #24in48, I completed my full 24 hours of reading plus just a little more and I felt so accomplished! In those 24 hours, I finished All Things New, and I came close to finishing Sarah Dessen’s Once and For All. I also made some progress on The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, but for whatever reason, that is a really slow read for me. It just doesn’t hold my interest very strongly.

dcj4gyko_400x400Next up was the weeklong Summer Biannual Bibliothon, which just wrapped up yesterday. My week was busier than I anticipated, unfortunately, but I did get some reading done and some books wrapped up. So during the Bibliothon, I finished Once and For All, I started a new cozy series (because they tend to keep me out of slumps and I am really anticipating fall!) called Curse the Day and I finished that book as well, I started and finished Erin Watt’s When It’s Real, and I have been reading First We Were IV and When I am Through With You. So that’s 3 finished and 2 progressed through. All things considered, I’m pretty happy with that!

And now for the overall July breakdown:

★★★★★ The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

★★★★ Hook’s Tale: Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself by John Leonard Pielmeier

★★★★ When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

★★★★ All Things New by Lauren Miller

★★★ Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

★★★★ Curse the Day by Annabel Chase

★★★★ When It’s Real by Erin Watt

So that’s it, folks. 7 books total finished for the month. 3 of them were ARC’s read before their publication dates. Average rating = 4.0

Its so weird for me to be reading so many contemporaries. As I mentioned earlier, I was craving that cozy/witchy mystery with fall coming up because I just felt a slump coming on and I think it is partially because of the genres I’m reading. I tend to read more YA contemporary romance in the summertime. It just feels right to me. I’m glad that I have been because I have been finding some gems and obviously, from the ratings above, I recommend them as well! Until next time, I also highly recommend finding yourself a readathon or two to participate in. It boosted my reading from 4-5 books read per month to 7! Sure it takes a little organization if you are going to commit and there are optional challenges you can participate in but they are all in good fun. Goodluck and as always, happy reading!

Currently watching: “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

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“When Its Real” by Erin Watt

30731416When It’s Real was my first read by Erin Watt and I didn’t go into it with very high expectations. Having just come out of a let-down contemporary by another author, I was all the more ready to be crushed once again by the genre. To be completely honest, the book started off a little slow, but after about 30-40 pages, I was in love with both the “him” and “her” voices in the story. Hate-love is my trope and this was my type of book! Oak and Vaughn put each other in their places in the best of ways and it was just great. There was humor, sweetness, just the right amount of anger and snap in both characters. Plus every contemporary romance has to have an excellent cast of supporting characters and this book has it. Oak with his bodyguards (hilarious!) and Vaughn and her family…they were all a perfect compliment to the plot. I really enjoyed it.

Let me back up for just a second here and give you a more specific summary of the book. As I mentioned, the “him” is Oakley Ford–a super hot, teen rock star who hit it big when he was young. He is the son of super-star actor parents, so he has pretty much always been in the spotlight. He wants to be taken seriously and write his own music and really make a new and unique sound for himself. Enter: Vaughn Bennett. She hasn’t exactly had it easy growing up either. She lost her parents in a car accident and graduated early in order to help take care of her younger siblings. She and her older sister work hard to care for ‘the twins,’ and when the opportunity to be Oakley Ford’s fake girlfriend presents itself, the money that comes along with it is irresistible.

Then of course the fake relationship begins and Vaughn is repulsed by the arrogant Oak. Also, she has a “real” boyfriend that the publicists have to stage a fake break-up with. Needless to say, the real douche of the story is the boyfriend, but I’ll let you read all of that for yourself. The story really picks up and for me, I could not put the book down. To be honest, it was the first book I stayed up past my bedtime reading in a long time. Especially in this genre!

So if I “really enjoyed it” so darn much why didn’t I give it 5 stars? Well I’d say a solid 4.5 that I would almost have rounded up to 5 if not for the slow start. Also, there was a lot of underage drinking, drugs (pot, though not mentioned specifically), and sex. Granted its the ‘rockstar lifestyle’ and Oak is an emancipated minor but still…his ease of access to it bothered me. Oh well. Can’t knock a book too bad for that. It was still awesome and I will be checking out more Erin Watt in the future!!

Listening to: “Waiting for Superman” by Daughtry

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Day 7 Blogger Challenge ~ Biannual Bibliothon

This is it, folks. The final challenge for the Biannual Bibliothon! Today’s challenge is a fairly simple one: write a letter to a book character. I am going to write to Oakley Ford from When It’s Real by Erin Watt, because it is the most recent book that I finished. I will write from my own perspective as a reader and “fan” of Oak as a musician and character. (Just as a sidenote: I have not yet posted my review of this book, but if you need to reference the synopsis or other reviews, here is the link to the book’s Goodreads page.)

love-letter1Dear Oak,

First off, congrats on your latest record! I am so happy for you for finding your own sound and pursuing new projects with King. You really made the right decisions for yourself and it totally payed off. You are kicking ass on tour and doing amazingly–congratulations, man. Secondly, best wishes to you and Vaughn! I heard things with her are going well and for that I am so glad. She seems to be a good influence on you and your music. I also heard that she was able to put you back in touch with your mother and heal some old wounds between you. That sounds wonderful.

So Oak, as a fan and friend, let me just ask you one question: once your tour is over, can we expect to hear wedding bells? Its not too soon to ask that is it? I know that Vaughn is planning on going back to college, but you two are perfect for each other and practically attached at the hip. Plus her sister and the twins all approve so why not?  I know I said this, but I am so happy for you. You really deserve all the happiness after all the hard work you put into your music and your art. I hope you know that.

Well, congratulations again. If you ever need a new assistant or someone to help keep your hot bodyguards in line, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I miss you, buddy! Wave at the Statue of Liberty for me!

Listening to: “This is Love” by Oakley Ford

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Day 6 Blogger Challenge ~ Biannual Bibliothon

rapunzel-background_090955577_186Hello, fellow bloggers, Bibliothonners, and readers! I hope that your Friday is spectacular and that your reading progress is going well. Today’s challenge is to write 25 facts–no more, no less–about myself. This may seem easy, but I don’t think its ever really easy for most people (myself included) to talk about themselves. Especially today, since I had a job interview this morning and had to more or less sell myself to the lady sitting in front of me. Uck. Nevertheless, though, I shall complete the challenge and try to make it fun. I will not be doing all bookish facts, but I’ll do as many as I can think up. So here goes:

  1. I read 2-4 books at a time.
  2. My least favorite genre is Christian romance.
  3. I love Goodreads and am addicted to signing up for challenges.
  4. I am addicted to bookish merch, specifically candles and bookmarks!
  5. Another recent addiction of mine is bookish subscription boxes. Opening them is like Christmas!
  6. I collect books for my shelves. Hardcover, paperback…I don’t really care. But if books are from the same series, the editions MUST match!
  7. My preference for coffee or tea depends on my mood, but I do like both.
  8. The first big concert I ever went to was the Backstreet Boys.
  9. Speaking of the Backstreet Boys, I was a huge fan growing up and my walls were plastered with their posters. Literally, at least one (maybe 2) of my walls were not even visible.
  10. If you follow my blog or have read my bio, you know I am a singer. Well, I firmly believe that one of the reasons that I have an ear for harmonies is because of spending hours listening to, and singing along with the harmonies of boy bands.
  11. The first time I sang in public, I was in preschool and I sang “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma. The second time I was supposed to sing in public, I chickened out.
  12. In second grade, I was the “best singer” in my class and they made me be the Big Bad Wolf in our class musical of The 3 Little Pigs. I hated it because I was a girl. I’m still embarrassed about it to this day.
  13. My first car was a magenta Dodge Shadow that I named “Pinky.”
  14. I didn’t name my second car, which I owned for +10 years. It was a blue Dodge Neon.
  15. I now own a Chevy Equinox and her name is Georgie.
  16. I call my grandmother ‘Mormor,’ which is Swedish for Mother’s Mother.
  17. I still sleep with a teddy bear that I’ve had since I was a kid and a Build-A-Bear my fiancé made me. He doesn’t much love having to share the bed with them too. Too bad!
  18. I like scary movies, and definitely like movies that mess with your mind whether they are scary or not (i.e. Saw, Inception, The Cure for Wellness)
  19. My first paying job was at a Bowling Alley. I was a birthday party hostess. It sucked to come home smelling like that.
  20. My favorite paying job was working at a summer camp. I was a camper there for over ten years, and I was on the payroll for almost as long.
  21. My ideal reading spot would be in a hammock in front of or near a lake OR on a porch swing. Obviously I like gentle movement and the sound of waves.
  22. I love warm rain, and reading in rain/thunderstorms.
  23. While my mom is a reader, she doesn’t read as much as I do. She follows my Bookstagram though and always asks how I get so many books.
  24. I always travel with at least one book and/or my iPad. My phone has my reading apps too.
  25. I only recently learned to appreciate audiobooks, but I’m so glad I did. I am still a little picky about what books and genres I read though.

So there you have it. 25 facts about little ol’ me. Several are bookish, several are not. If you would like to leave a few facts about yourself, I would love to get to know you more as my readers and followers as well!! Please tell me some things about you!

Listening to: “Larger Than Life” by Backstreet Boys <– yes, now I am craving BSB

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