2020 Mid Year Goals & Reading Challenge Update

basically, a post where I really surprise myself


Good morning, amigos!!! I hope you’ve all been having a great start to your week! Today I’ll be doing an update on all my bookish and not so bookish goals that I made at the start of the year. I’ll also be sharing what I’ve read for the 4 reading challenges that I’m doing.

To be honest, I’m pretty surprised with how well I did in some aspects, and of course, not so surprised that I failed in others. Lol, let’s get started!

Continue reading “2020 Mid Year Goals & Reading Challenge Update”

Monthly Wrap Up: January 2020

Good morning friends and welcome back. Today, I’ll be doing my Monthly Wrap-Up for the first month of the decade.

January feels like it was super long and super short at the same time. Classes only started on the 6th of Jan, but it feels like we’ve been in school for forever. I got a good amount of reading done, I managed to write some posts, but this college + school + blogging thing is not going how I imagined it at all.

Books:

Covers are from Goodreads

So, I read 10 books last month which is great since I feel like I didn’t read anything at all. I’m 1 book behind schedule on my reading challenge, but for now I’m okay with it. I also signed up for YARC, but haven’t read any Asian books, or books by Asian authors yet. That’s mostly what I’m going to read now in February.

January was a pretty good month with only two 3 star books, while the rest were 4, 4.5, or 5 stars. So yay!

  • Heir of Fire By Sarah J. Maas – 4 | It was good. I really liked it, and the series has been getting better since this book, which I’m super glad about.
  • This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nejkamp – 3 | I’m mixed. On one hand, the characters were really blah, and I didn’t care much about them. Autumn and Claire were annoying, and Tomas, Sylv, and Matt were the only one who mattered to me. Tyler was also pretty one dimensional, but the story itself is sad. All these people dying, hoping, crying, wanting to survive, it really got to me. No one should ever have to go through what these characters did, but the sad reality is that people do. And that’s something that needs to change.
  • The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware – 4 | So, it was good, super suspenseful and creepy. Like really creepy. TBH, I did get scared at times and had to put it down and take a deep breath lol. It was kind of slow at the start as well. And then that ending. It started off great, and I was shocked and it was good. And then there was no explanation about what happened after!!! I think the author wants the reader to guess, or maybe it should be obvious? Idk, I just would have loved a more solid conclusion/epilogue.
  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas – 4.5 | This is probably the best book in the series. All the amazing women in this book, the witches, Manon and Aelin’s fight, Dorian’s parts (which broke my heart) and honestly, it was just amazing.
  • Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – 4 | It was good, but I was put off by the characters for some reason. I would have loved to get to know the side characters better, maybe even have some chapters from their POV. But I still liked the plot and friendships a lot.
  • Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas – 4.5 | Totally not YA anymore lol. I still love all the amazing characters, especially Manon, I’m glad everyone’s paths have crossed, and I’m eager to see what happens in the next book.
  • Also Known As by Robin Benway – 3 | This was so so so cheesy. It’s a fun read to pass the time, and I loved Roux, but everything else was so cheesy and insta-lovey and yeah.
  • The Chain by Adrian McKinty – 5 | An absolutely amazing terrifying and thrilling book. I loved it. The idea of The Chain is so interesting, and it’s also so terrifying, because (God forbid anything like that ever happens to anyone) I would do anything to save my child as well. I couldn’t sacrifice my kid in the hopes that the police would help. I just couldn’t. And that’s really terrifying.
  • Paper and Fire By Rachel Caine – 4 | It was a great sequel, and I like the characters even more and how everything’s moving now. The plot was good, but I kind of don’t want Morgan and Jess to be together. It’s just moving too fast. And I don’t really like Morgan.
  • Someone We Know by Shari Lapena – 5 | I couldn’t put this book down. The secrets, the surprises, the twists, the connection of every character to the murdered woman (I don’t remember her name lol) made this so interesting because just about anybody could have been the murderer. And I totally did not guess that ending at all.

Total Number of Books Read This Month: 10

2019 Wrap-Up + YARC Sign Up

So, in the place of tags, I’ll be sharing all the 2019 wrap-up posts I did, and my YARC sign up post.

Most Anticipated Releases of 2019 | 2019 Blogging Wrap-Up + 2020 Goals

End of Year Book Survey + Reading Wrap-Up| Year of The Asian Reading Challenge

Let’s Talk Bookish:

Audio-books | Bias Towards Books and Authors

Toxicity in the Book Blogging Community | Anxiety and Book Blogging

Required Reading

Great Posts From Around the Blog-O-Sphere:

Meeghan wrote her review of A Darker Shade of Magic, and I loved it so much

Caitlin talks about the books she’ll never read, and it’s super interesting

Kerys discusses the pros and cons of audio-books

Chana talks about her ratings and why they aren’t trustworthy, and I relate

Vera, Sabrina, and Ruzi talk about their plans for 2020, and it was so much fun to read (also welcome Sabrina!!)

Life & Blog Updates

So, my posting is completely off and I hate that. I really want to write more posts. But I’m not finding the time to do so. Even my weekends now are busy. It’s so frustrating. I have a few book tags, and a book recommendation post that I’m working on, but it’s taking me so much time to write them since I can only manage like 20 to 30 minutes each day (which is nothing)! I’ve been writing this wrap-up post for 5 days now.

At least I’m still getting a chance to read. School is stressful. College is stressful. And it’s getting to me, which it shouldn’t. Honestly, I need to chill a little bit, but I feel like I can’t. Lol, I finally understand why everyone who’s in college always complains of the stress and having so much to do in so little time.

I did get a little creative and I changed up my sidebar a bit, and got a new divider. I was starting to really dislike the old one. So I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new tiny changes!

I also love designing featured images. It’s just amazing putting together different fonts, colors, alignments, and pictures to create a unique header for a post. I feel like I’ve become a mini expert at it lol

I’m also not sure what other reading challenge I should join, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to share them down below!! I was thinking maybe a mystery/thriller reading challenge, but that will probably be easy, so I’m looking at maybe doing a third one as well. I’m very ambitious like that 🤦🏽‍♀️ Last year I couldn’t even finish one, and here I am wanting to do three.

My posting’s probably going to continue being sporadic, but I am still writing posts. I just need to finish/edit and publish them.

That’s A Wrap!

That’s it. I read 10 books, did 3 yearly wrap-up posts, a reading challenge sign up post, 4 LTBs, and I finally managed to post this wrap-up. So yeah, I’m proud of myself.

My goals for January were to

  • read 12 books, ❌
  • write 2 more wrap-ups, ✔
  • write 1 book recommendation post, ❌
  • write at least 4 LTBs, ✔
  • write 1 creative post, ✔ (YARC counts…)
  • and write 1 or 2 book reviews ❌

I met three of those goals, and failed the other three, which isn’t too bad. My goals for February are to:

  • read 10 books,
  • publish 5 posts besides LTB,
  • write 1 book recommendation post,
  • write 3 LTBs,
  • write 2 book reviews,
  • and figure out a schedule for my classes/organize my life

Hopefully, I’ll be able to meet all of these. Wish me luck guys!!

And that’s it for this wrap-up! How was January for you? What were your favorite books this past month? Are you taking part in any reading challenges? If so, which one? Any tips you’d like to share for my stressed self? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2019

Good morning! I hope you had an amazing weekend! Today, I’m going to be doing my monthly wrap-up for November of 2019.

It’s unbelievable how fast the year has gone by. I mean there are literally 29 days left of 2019! A new decade is about to start!! Please tell me I’m not the only one absolutely anxious, scared, and excited about this!!!

November was an interesting month. I got the last week off of school, so that was great, but all my plans for blogging and reading…didn’t happen unfortunately. The beginning of the month was great and I was super excited, but then it kind of dipped from there.

Books:

Covers are from Goodreads

I read 7 books, which is a bit of a disappointment since I read 13 books last month. I’ve got to read 14 books by the end of the year to reach my goal of 100. I’m not sure if I’ll make it, but hopefully I will. I did read some of the books on my Nov TBR, but not all, and I didn’t write a review for any of them lol. However, the links lead to my unofficial thoughts on Goodreads.

BookAuthorRating
An Unwanted GuestShari Lapena★★★★☆
The Scorpio RacesMaggie Stiefvater★★★★★
A Darker Shade of MagicV.E. Schwab★★★★★
Crooked KingdomLeigh Bardugo★★★★★
The Fixer (Buddy Read)Jennifer Lynn Barnes★★★★★
The Bookish Life of Nina HillAbbi Waxman★★★☆☆
The Long Game (Buddy Read)Jennifer Lynn Barnes★★★★★

I also did 2 official reviews. I have so many backlogged reviews that I honestly need to write, but don’t feel like it. Maybe I’ll do more in December? or probably I’ll just wait and really start writing them in the upcoming decade 😉

Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle // Rating: ★★★★☆ One sentence summary: An interesting thriller with great characters and an underwhelming reveal.

Vengeful by V.E. Schawb // Rating: ★★★★★ One sentence summary: A great sci-fi thriller with amazing characters and an intriguing plot.

Total Number of Books Read This Month: 7
Total Number of Reviews: 2

Tags:

Well, technically I did only 1 tag, but since I answered some questions in a tag-ish kind-of format for my 200 Q&A Answer post, I shall count that as a tag as well.

Behind the Blog: 200 Follower Q&A Answers (Thank you so much guys for asking questions and helping me reach 200!)

Blogger Recognition Award (Thank you so much Emer!)

Let’s Talk Bookish

What Makes a Great Book?

Reading Books Outside of Your Age Range

Plot or Characters?

Do You Have To Every Book You Read?

How Reading Has Changed My Life

Great Posts From Around the Blog-O-Sphere:

Sarah @ Written Word Worlds talks about what is considered a problematic book.

Vicki @ Vicky Who Reads talks about what to do if your favorite books are problematic and I love + and – idea!!

Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical shares the tropes that she doesn’t want to see in books anymore and I agree with every single one.

Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea gives advice on how to keep you audience’s attention and I found it really helpful!

Anything Else?

I had the whole of the previous week off, and I didn’t write/draft any extra posts. I’m really disappointed. I had a horrible migraine one day and then I went out some other days, and I just didn’t get anything done. I’d been planning all month, I was pretty excited, and it didn’t happen. Oh well.

I’ve been thinking about doing some different and hopefully interesting posts including a book recommendation post so if that’s something you’d like to see let me know in the comments!

I also still haven’t posted the LTB topics for this month, but I’m going to try and post them tomorrow. Sorry!

That’s A Wrap!

In the end, I read 7 books, did 2 reviews, 2 tags, and 5 LTB discussion posts. 6 of the books were 4 or 5 stars, so that’s amazing. I only met my goal of writing at least 3 discussion posts that I set for November, so hopefully I’ll do better this month.

My goals for this month are to read 14 books (at least 10), do 4 or 5 tags, 3 reviews, and 4 LTB posts.

And that’s it for this wrap-up! How was November for you? How many books did you read? What do you think about problematic books? Would you like to see a book recommendation post? Any ideas for more creative posts that I can try out? Anything you’d like to share? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Monthly TBR: November 2019

Good morning or afternoon or evening! Welcome to my To-Be-Read list for November 2019!

Last month, I had a TBR post, and I managed to read 13 books, which I’m super proud of. And so hopefully, maybe if I have a TBR for each month, I’ll be able to continue reading more, and catch up on my GR reading challenge. And maybe I’ll end up not reading anything at all, but I’m still pretty hopeful that this TBR will work.

Anyways, let’s get started!

In my last TBR post, I just dumped a bunch of books that I wanted to read, and their summaries together, but this time, I’m going to split them between the book that I’ve Already Read, Books that I’m going to Buddy Read, and Library Borrows/Holds. That should give this some semblance of order.


Already Read

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. (Read: Nov. 2) This was a really great book and the end shattered me. It was a little slow, but Liesel’s adventures, her friendship with Rudy, Mama and Papa, Max, book stealing, and all the mismatched characters on Himmel Street were amazing and that ending hurt. so. much.
  • An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena. (Read: Nov. 4) A very good thriller that left me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t guess who the killer was at all, and the two twists at the end were really good.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. (Read: Nov. 10) It was really heartwarming, and I loved the characters, their struggles, the theme of finding where you belong, and the magic of the water horses. Finn is adorable and a real gem, and I loved Puck and Sean’s relationship, and how it didn’t overpower the plot or consume each of their lives. Their bonds with their horses was beautiful and that ending was so peaceful, and perfect, and I’m so happy that I read this. (I also have a recipe for November Cakes and I’m so excited!!)

Books to Buddy Read

  • The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Buddy re-read 11/11 with Amelia (E-book)
  • The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Buddy re-read sometime in November

Library Borrows/Holds

I’m going to order these based on their due dates, the ones that I can renew, and the ones that I’ll be getting soon.

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. Due 11/23, E-book
  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Due 11/24, E-book
  • Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin. Due 11/24, E-book
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman. Due 11/27, E-book
  • Beartown by Fredrik Backman. Renewable, Hardcover
  • The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah. Renewable, Hardcover

Chat with me

So all in all, I should probably read around 13 or 14 books this month which is a great number. What are you reading this November? Do you have a set TBR or are you a mood reader? Have you read any of the books above? If so, what did you think? Chat with me in the comments below!

WWW Wednesday #37

Hey friends! I hope you are having a fantastic day! It is time for my weekly reading update, WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words.

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Let’s get started!

All covers are from Goodreads

What I Just Finished:

Assassin’s Masque was a good ending to the series, and I liked it. It’s like one of those series that you just read, not because you really like the book, but because it’s fun to read.

*spoilers for The Book Thief. You can skip over to An Unwanted Guest’s update if you don’t want to see the spoilers*

Guys. The ending of The Book Thief broke my heart. It left me crying. For over an hour. It hurt so much, and why? Why did that have to happen? Why did Death take them away? Rudy. Mama. Papa. Everybody. That beautiful and lively Himmel Street. And the fact that Death spoiled it ahead of time did nothing to prepare me, though I thought I was prepared. Even now, it still stings to think about it.

The original book that I was going to read by Lapena, was Someone We Know, but my library didn’t have that, so I picked up An Unwanted Guest instead. The suspense, the atmosphere, the characters, everything was done amazingly, and I did not guess who the murderer was at all. Also, the twist at the very end was pretty good.

What I’m Currently Reading:

I’m pretty excited to read The Scorpio Races (recommended by the lovely Meeghan). I’m only a few chapters in, but so far so good. I’m super interested in the water horses and how the races work.

I keep saying that I’m going to start Beartown, but I haven’t yet, and again, today, hopefully I’m going to start it. It’s been on my currently reading now for a few days, so hopefully I will actually start reading it.

What I Plan To Read Next:

I’ve got 5 books to read, and they are all from the library, and I’m trying to read them in order of when they are due, but that’s not working out well. I’m definitely going to pick up one of these 5 next, but I’m not sure which one (probably CK lol).

That’s it for this Wednesday. What are you reading? Have you read any of these? What did you think? Any suggestions for what I should read next? Let’s chat in the comments below! (Be sure to link to your WWW’s so that I can check them out!)