January 2017 Wrap Up

Oh hi guys!

Well, this year is already chugging along, isn’t it? I’m sorry I haven’t been around much at all this month, but I needed some me time, and I have to say: it was very much needed, but I’m happy to be back. I hope you all had a safe and happy new year, and I hope that the first month of this new year was a good one for you!


Books I’ve Read

Click on the cover to be taken to its respective review!

thesunisalsoastar

  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon – Equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming! 4.5/5 stars

Books I’ve Gotten

Click on the cover to be taken to each respective Goodreads page!

windwitch roseblood frostblood alchemistsofloom

Other Blog Posts

Writing Related

Fun Things

fof17-badge

So the first month for 2017 Flights of Fantasy reading challenge  kind of didn’t really exist for me. I haven’t really read anything this month, and what I have read has been contemporaries, so… yeah. Off to a great start! #sarcasm 0/30 fantasy books read so far

btbhpcupsicons_hufflepuff

Beat the Backlist, if you don’t already know, if a challenge that I’m participating in this year to read books that have been published prior to 2017. So far, I’ve been in the process of reading a couple, and I know I’m going to have a lot on this list, but for now, I have xx completed.

Instagram

So over on my Instagram I… really didn’t do much. Again: me time had pretty much nothing to do with bookish anything this month. It’s weird, honestly. I only have the five pictures that are remotely bookish this month and that’s it. Yup.

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 Around the Internet

This is a feature I’ve seen in several other blogger’s wrap ups and I think it’s a fun way to show what else I’ve been reading/seeing around the internets!

Life Updates

  • I enjoyed taking a hiatus from reading and the book community and stuff; I kind of needed it. But I’m also glad to be back and doing something that I enjoy.
  • My husband and I booked a trip to Disney World for the last week of August and I’m SO EXCITED! We haven’t been since our honeymoon in 2014, so it’s much overdo. I even have a countdown going and everything.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How has your new year been treating you so far? Anything fun and exciting happen? What was your favorite read of the month? Tell me all the things!

December 2016 Wrap Up

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

It’s the end of the year! Can you believe it? This year has been a whirlwind for many, many reasons, and I’m kind of glad to just see it come to an end. But there are things I’m excited for and things I’m looking forward to in the new year, so let’s bring on the good times, yeah?


Books I’ve Read

Click on the cover to be taken to its respective review!

hpsorcerer waterswrath

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – I forgot just how fun and magical this first book is, though I did have a few things about it that I didn’t like. 4.5/5 stars
  • Water’s Wrath by Elise Kova – So. Much. Happened. Lots of heartbreak, lots of growth, lots of secrets and betrayal. 4/5 stars

Books I’ve Gotten

Click on the cover to be taken to each respective Goodreads page!

“But Rayna, don’t you already own ToG and CoM?” Yes, but I got them in hardcover to finally match the rest of the series!

throneofglass crownofmidnight starsabove fairest lunarchroniclescoloring hpsorcerer hpchamberofsecrets shadowshaper illgiveyouthesun everthehunted

Thank you to my awesome TBTB Secret Santa, Jordin @ A Bottomless Book Bag, for Shadowshaper and I’ll Give You the Sun! I can’t wait to read them!

2016 Reading Challenge

For my Goodreads reading challenge I had set my goal to 30 books, and well, I surpassed the number pretty easily:

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I’m so proud of the progress I made this year because I really didn’t think I would read as many as I did considering my reading rate dropped significantly around June/July. Still, I’m very happy with it and am excited for next year. My 2017 reading challenge will also be set to 30 books because I feel that’s a very attainable goal for me and it’s enough to push me to read as much as I can.

Other Blog Posts

Writing Related

Fun Things

fof-button-2016

33/30. Yup, I read over 30 fantasy books this year! I’m really not surprised because it’s my favorite genre, but I had a great time participating in this challenge again and I can’t wait to do it next year. Speaking of which…

fof17-badge

I’m joining in the 2017 Flights of Fantasy reading challenge next year! The challenge is once again running from January 1st to December 31st, so it’s the whole year to read fantasy! I’m once again going to set my fantasy reading goal to 30 books, which is a very attainable goal for someone who loves fantasy as much as I do. Sign ups are open, so join in the fun of reading fantasy over the course of the year!

Instagram

So over on my Instagram I did the things! I had a lot of fun participating in this month’s challenges, but I wasn’t as faithful to it as I was in November. I can’t wait to do more in January and maybe do more photos that stray away from the challenges? Not sure yet.

img_4354 img_4355 img_4356

 Around the Internet

This is a feature I’ve seen in several other blogger’s wrap ups and I think it’s a fun way to show what else I’ve been reading/seeing around the internets!

  • Cait @ Paper Fury talked about the eight types of book reviewers, and I think I’m a mix of numbers 1 and 2.
  • Hazel @ Stay Bookish talked about 2016 being the year of problematic, and frankly, I agree with her.
  • The Red Queen trilogy by Victoria Aveyard and the Selection series by Keira Cass each have coloring books now? What? When did that happen? I just got the email about it, so if you’re totally into these series, check out the books! Red Queen // Selection

Life Updates

  • All the Christmas parties! All the goodies! Other than work parties and parties with friends, I participated in The Broke and the Bookish’s Secret Santa this year and I had so much fun with it! I now have a pen pal and I also loved my gifts. c: It was so fun and I’m definitely going to join in next year.
    • The gift included I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson and Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older, as well as a Bookworm candle from FrostBeard Studios, an elephant holding a book magnet, Mermaid Kiss chapstick from From the Page, Pop! Funko of Ariel from The Little Mermaid (my favorite Disney princess!), and a cute little stocking with an R on it and some candy.
  • For Christmas my hubby and I got a PS4 (first version model from a friend so it was cheap lol), which was a gift to both of us. So for myself I got a bunch of present from me to me, and they were: Lihit Lab pencil case, Micron pens, white Gelly Roll pens, Pentel brush marker, Sailor Moon bookmarks from LumosCoffeeRead, The Night Lord candle from Muggle Library Candles, and the illustrated editions of the first two Harry Potter books. I also got Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian for the PS4 (which I loved and am loving both).
  • THEN for Christmas I got four PS4 games: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Sword Art Online: Last Song, Tales of Zestiria, and Final Fantasy Class 0. I also got a musical floor mat that does the Jingle Bells song when you step on it (muahahahah), some candles with LED lights, ping pong paddle, candy (so much candy….), and a Bluetooth speaker! Honestly, it was a great Christmas and I’m thankful to my hubby and parents for getting me fun things. c:

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How were your holidays? What were some of your favorite books you read this month? Did you get any bookish goodies for the holidays? Tell me all the things!

2016 End of Year Survey

Well, peeps, it’s the end of 2016. It’s been a year of ups and downs, of weird things, happy times, and sad times, but we’ve made it. Look how far we’ve come! And by the way, my brain’s still back in July, so I have no clue how in just a few short days it’s going to be 2017.

So today I’m going to be going over my year in review. I’m going to talk about the best books I’ve read, the disappointments, surprises, best in genres, and more. Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner is the host of this awesome survey every year, so here’s the blank form for this year!


2016 Stats

Number of Books You Read: 45
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read the Most From: Young Adult Fantasy

Best in Books

Best Book Read in 2016: Probably going to have to say A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. It was so much better than the first book and the stakes were a lot higher. And it gave me the worst book hangover I’ve ever been in. A close second is Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. The unique format and the story combined to create a beautiful tale that had me on the edge of my seat the whole time.
Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. So many people have given it so much praise, but it just didn’t do it for me. I’ll read the second book, but I’m going in more hesitantly.
Most surprising book (good or bad): My Lady Jane by the Lady Janies, because I wasn’t expecting to laugh so much at a historical fiction novel! The magic worked in the world, the humor was awesome, the dialogue was perfect, and the narrators? Omg, they were the best part. Seriously, check this book out if you haven’t yet!
Book you “pushed” most people to read (and they did): Maybe the Off Campus series by Elle Kennedy? I’m actually not sure!
Best series you started? Best sequel? Best series ender?:
-Best Series Started: Air Awakens by Elise Kova.
-Best Sequel: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir.
-Best Series Ender: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater.
Favorite new author you discovered this year: Elise Kova, for sure! I loved her Air Awakens series (or what I’ve read of it) and I can’t wait to read her next series, The Alchemists of Loom.
Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/out of your comfort zone: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staple. As my first leap into comic books, I really enjoyed it! I mean, I’ve read manga for a large part of my life, so it wasn’t too different? It was just more colorful and way more mature and graphic.
Most action-packed/thrilled/unputdownable book of the year: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, hands down. It was the book that kept me up late and I just needed to keep going to the very end.
Book you read this year that you’re most likely to reread next year: Illuminae. >> Not even kidding. I’m ready to reread it now, thanks.
Favorite cover of a book you read: Let’s stare at this gorgeous cover together and bask in its gloriousness.

firefalling
Most memorable character: Probably Vhalla from the Air Awakens series because she started out as such a shy, unassuming character, but with each book she grows stronger not only physically, but mentally and morally as well. She’s had a great character arc so far in what I’ve read dealing with everything she’s gone through and learning about her powers and handling them. She’s just one that has stuck with me from the beginning.
Most beautifully written book: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor, for sure. Laini’s writing in general is beautiful and this book was just one that brought me into the world, into the characters’ minds, and showed me so many things that I wasn’t expecting. I loved this book so much and the writing in it as well!
Most thought provoking/life changing book: This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp is about a school shooting and the different perspectives that went through it. It’s definitely thought provoking and life changing, for sure, as I never experienced it and hope I never experience anything like it.
Book you can’t believe you waited until this year to read: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. SERIOUSLY, WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG? It was such a good sequel and I’m so glad I read it! I think I just put it off because Cinder was okay in my opinion, but not great, so I didn’t know what to expect with the rest of the series? But I’m so glad I finally picked it up.
Favorite passage/quote: “To the stars who listen – and the dreams that are answered.” – Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury.
Shortest and longest books you read:
-Shortest: The Crown and the Arrow by Renee Ahdieh at 9 pages.
-Longest: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas with 693 pages.
Book that shocked you the most: Have I talked about Illuminae yet, because I don’t think I have…
OTP of the year: First of all, HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME PICK JUST ONE. So, to spite you, I’m picking several: Feyre x Rhysand, Iseult x Aeduan (they’re not cannon yet, BUT I SWEAR IT’LL HAPPEN), Vhalla x Aldrick, Karou x Akiva, Ronan x Adam, Gansey x Blue, Shazi x Khalid, Laia x Elias, Scarlet x Wolf.
Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year: Karou x Zuzana, Safi x Iseult, Kady x AIDAN.
Favorite book you read from an author you’ve read previously: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.
Best book read based solely on a recommendation/peer pressure: My Lady Jane! Seriously enjoyed this and am so glad there was so much buzz around it.
Newest fictional crush: Aeduan from Truthwitch. I just… *melt* Bad boy with a potentially tragic past and who can kill me without thinking about it? C’mon. xD
Best 2016 debut: I actually didn’t read any debut books, which is weird, because I definitely thought I had…
Best world building/vivid setting: The Air Awakens series had some awesome world building in it! As for most vivid setting, I think that one’s going to ACOMAF. Valeris is described really well in it!
Book that put a smile on your face/was most fun to read: I’m not going to say Illuminae again (but I totally am, it was super fun to read), BUT I am going to say P.S. I Like You by Kasie West because IT WAS SO CUTE I CAN’T EVEN. All the smiles and giggles.
Book that made you cry or nearly cry: Orange by Ichigo Takana. I cried reading these books because the situations and emotions were so real to me because I’ve experienced them myself and just… I loved it. Beautiful story.
Hidden gem of the year: Girl Against the Universe by Laura Stokes was a great book about mental illness and grief.
Book that crushed your soul: YOU KNOW WHAT I’M GOING TO SAY, SO WHY DO I HAVE TO SAY IT? (Illuminae) …. (and ACOMAF)
Most unique book: Okay, in terms of format: Illuminae. In terms of story: Truthwitch because of all of the different kinds of witches and the world and everything.
Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t mean you didn’t like it): The Goal by Elle Kennedy maybe? It just talked about abortion so flippantly and just… it’s not a topic to take lightly. I still enjoyed the book, though.

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

New favorite book blog you discovered: Cait @ Paper Fury, for sure!
Favorite review that you wrote: I have a few favorites, but I think one of them is my Dreams of Gods & Monsters Book Review.
Best discussion/non-review post: Am I A Reader?
Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc): For blogging, Loveathon 2016 was sosososo fun! I’m definitely participating again in 2017. I also went to three book signings this year, which is crazy to me! I went to Jodi Meadows/Erin Bowman, Sarah J. Maas, and Maggie Stiefvater signings. So much fun!
Best moment of bookish/blogging life: Probably meeting my favorite author, Sarah J. Maas.
Most popular post on your blog (by view or comments): By views it was on February 21st Loveathon mini challenges #3 and #4, which made me have 149 views in one day!
Post you wish got a little more love: I honestly have no idea.
Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc): Getting more active on Bookstagram helped to show me a lot of awesome bookish small businesses, so there’s that.
Did you complete any reading challenges or goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year: Yes! I completed my Goodreads reading challenge of reading 30 books this year (I read 44!), I commented more on other blogs, and included more topics on writing.

Looking Ahead

Book you didn’t get to this year that will be your number one priority in 2017: See my Beat the Backlist Challenge post because I have a decent list there.
Book you’re most anticipating for 2017 (non-debut): A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas.
2017 debut you’re most anticipating: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Series ending/sequel you’re most anticipating: Windwitch by Susan Dennard, and the last book in the Throne of Glass series. *cue sobbing*
One thing you hope to accomplish/do in your reading/blogging life in 2017: Go to a book convention, like Book Con or Boston Teen Author Festival.
A 2017 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone: None because I haven’t read any yet!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What was your top read this year? What book surprised you? Did you have anything exciting happen to you blog wise? Tell me all the things!

November 2016 Wrap Up

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a fast month! Seriously, in the blink of an eye we’ve already passed Thanksgiving (for us Americans), gone through the Presidential election (let’s not talk about it, okay?), a second wedding anniversary (yay!), and now it’s practically the holiday season! This year has flown by. I think my mind’s still back in March or April, so pardon the dust. But this month was a month of writing (and failing, and I’m fine with that), of reading fun and fantastic books, and just overall enjoyment.


Books I’ve Read

Click on the cover to be taken to its respective review!

illuminae psilikeyou scarlet

  • Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman – Was a fantastic, unique, brilliant book! I laughed, I cried, I felt emotions for characters I didn’t expect to feel for, and it was amazing. 5/5 stars!
  • P.S. I Like You by Kasie West – This was so cute and I felt that it was really realistic to how a relationship could start in high school. 5/5 stars!
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – What a great sequel! I loved the sci-fi elements, the story, and the new characters introduced. 4.5/5 stars!

Books I’ve Gotten

Click on the cover to be taken to each respective Goodreads page!

thugkitchen thefifthseason ifiwasyourgirl thesunisalsoastar heartless winter thecrownsdog underdifferentstars theisland thechasm

Other Blog Posts

Writing Related

Fun Things

fof-button-2016

31/30. I surprisingly haven’t read any fantasy books this month, which is fine! I’ve still surpassed my goal, which I’m proud of. For those participating, tell me how you’ve been doing!

Instagram

So over on my Instagram I participated in four different challenges this month! It was crazy, but I did most of the days and combined two or more of the challenges in one pic, usually doing two a day. It was super fun and next month I’m participating in four again! Also: I love the bookstagram community. Like the rest of the book community, they’re all really sweet, talented people.

 Around the Internet

This is a feature I’ve seen in several other blogger’s wrap ups and I think it’s a fun way to show what else I’ve been reading/seeing around the internets!

  • Hazel of Stay Bookish talked about being a fat girl and how a book helped her stand up to body shaming.
  • Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything movie adaptation has a release date of August 18, 2017 (my birthday!).
  • #TheThanksUGive was a fun chat where a lot of the book community came together to talk about the thanks we give to others in the community, from bloggers to authors and more.
  • Maggie Stiefvater answered the important question: main character’s facial features of how they are in the books (The Raven Cycle).

Life Updates

  • My husband and mine’s second wedding anniversary happened and we spent the day in Boston, specifically Brookline because there’s an independent bookstore there that I love. We had a good time and enjoyed ourselves, which was great. We got series one Apple iWatches which are pretty cool. I keep forgetting to wear mine, though, because I’m still not used to wearing something on my wrist all the time. Whoops.
  • I saw Moana and it was glorious and I need to see it again. Like now. Right this second. The story was captivating and spoke to me so deeply to my core. The art was stunning and very well made. The representation of the Pacific Islander peoples was amazing to see! It was so fantastic and I highly recommend you check it out.
  • I also saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was cute. Predictable, but cute. It was also kind of long and I couldn’t understand Newt a lot because his accent was so thick, but I loved the creatures and getting a little more backstory of the wizarding world.
  • I got Pokemon Sun and have been perpetually distracted by the game since getting it. My team consists of Primarina, Arcanine, Minikyu, Sylveon, Magneton, and Zygarde. I love my team to bits and struggle swapping any of them out for whatever reason. Are you playing one of the new Pokemon games? Tell me your team and which game you’re playing!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo this month? How was your progress? What books did you read this month? Did you enjoy your reads? Tell me all the things!

October 2016 Wrap Up

THIS IS HALLOWEEN, THIS IS HALLOWEEN!

Now I can actually sing that.

The month of October was a pretty good one, and I feel like it’s going to be a good end of the year, too. I mean, not a whole lot went on, but it’s my second vacation week now, so I’m pretty pumped about that. Plus, NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and I’m really excited to keep working on my novel!

I’m trying out a new format this month for the wrap up because I feel like it’s too boring, honestly, and I want to share more and do more things with it. I’ve been getting inspired by other’s wrap ups, so here we go!


Books I’ve Read

Click on the cover to be taken to its respective review!

atorchagainstthenight siegeandstorm

  • A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir – I loved this book so much! It was such an amazing sequel. 5/5 stars
  • Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo – I thought this was a fun, strong sequel with plenty of darkness and turmoil. 4/5 stars

Books I’ve Gotten

Click on the cover to be taken to each respective Goodreads page!

thereader crookedkingdom stalkingjacktheripper unhinged ensnared untamed nevernight holdinguptheuniverse gemina

Other Blog Posts

  • Criticism vs. Cruelty – I talk about the differences between criticism in reviews versus being cruel/mean in them and why we should really notice the differences.
  • Relating to Characters – Do you ever feel like you relate to certain types of characters, like you’re just drawn the them? Yeah, me too.
  • Hobby Corner: October VIDEO GAMES Edition – My monthly little corner where I talk about my hobbies other than reading and this month I introduced some of my favorite video game franchises.

Writing Related

  • Beautiful Books 2016| Introducing the Novel – A super cool meme hosted by super cool people and where I talk about the novel I’ll be working on for NaNoWriMo this year. Speaking of which:
  • NaNoWriMo 2016 – I’m participating in NaNoWriMo! I talk a little bit about my plans, about my story, and what I hope to achieve in November.

Fun Things

fof-button-2016

I’ve officially met my goal of 30 fantasy books read for the year! It’s incredible how well I’ve been doing so far this year. I’m having a great time and I know I’ll be reading more fantasy books as the end of the year draws close, so I’ll still keep everyone updated on the amount! Right now I’m at 31/30.

I’ve also have been doing a buddy read with the lovely Erica @ novelink_erica on Twitter and we’ve been reading Stalking Jack the Ripper. It’s really interesting so far and we’ve got a lot of speculation going as to who did what and what we think will happen. Expect a review up soon!

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I’ve read 40 books this year! It’s crazy to think that I’ve read more books in the last two years that I have in my whole life. And I absolutely love it. ❤

Instagram

So if you didn’t know, I do have an Instagram where I focus on books 99% of the time. I’ve been participating in two challenges this month and I haven’t missed a day, so there’s lots of photos to check out! I feel like I’ve been greatly improving, which really makes me happy, and I’ve been having a lot of fun doing it. Here’s some of my photos I’ve posted this month:

 img_3816 img_3817

Around the Internet

This is a feature I’ve seen in several other blogger’s wrap ups and I think it’s a fun way to show what else I’ve been reading/seeing around the internets!

Life Updates

  • I’ve been getting more into Instagram, as I stated above, and have learned that the Dollar Store is my friend. Book photo supplies are expensive, yo.
  • I’ve been thinking more and more about getting some tattoos that I really, really want but I’m waiting because reasons (and money), and also because I haven’t completely laid out a design yet for one of them. In case you’re wondering, one’s a quote from ACOMAF, the other is a bit of lyrics from Hamilton. I mean, is anyone really surprised? No? I didn’t think so.
  • I went to my workplace’s charity event to raise money and awareness for kids and young adults with mental illnesses, and it went really well! I couldn’t hear/understand the guest speaker the whole time he was talking, but there was a lot of inspirational moments and a lot of people there.
  • I’m on vacation this week! Which I’m glad for considering it’s the first week of NaNo. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a lot of writing done.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How was your month of October? Did you do anything fun or go to any Halloween parties? How do we like the new layout of the wrap ups? I’m kind of really digging it! Tell me all the things!