Top 5 Wednesday: Books You’ve Read Because of Social Media

Hey beautiful people, welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday as hosted by the lovely Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes. I always love talking about this kind of topic because 98% of what I read and buy is from seeing people haul them or recommend them on some form of social media. Here’s the topic:

September 27th: Books You’ve Read Because of Booktube/Blogging/etc. 
–Discuss the books you’ve picked up because you’ve heard of them in the online book community or platform you use.

I’m pretty sure we can all say at least five books that we’ve read because of people we watch/follow on YouTube, a blog, twitter, etc., so here are my picks for books (novels) and comics (because this is my blog and I do what I want).

Books

adsom

5. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Considering I just finished and reviewed this, this book is definitely on my mind. This was a hugely hyped book when it first came out, and subsequently the sequels were also super hyped, and I’ve gotta say: I get it now. It was such a great, fast-paced read, and I’m very excited to read the next two books soon. I don’t know exactly who I would’ve seen recommend this, but I know a lot of people did.

daughterofsmokeandbone

4. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

I remember watch Kat @ Katytastic one day (or several days) and how in a lot of videos she would talk about this book series. Well, I read it, fell in love with it, and this trilogy is in one of the top five spots of favorite series ever. So yeah, I’m super glad that I found this series when I did through Kat.

annaandthefrenchkiss

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER WAS RECOMMENDING THIS BOOK AT ONE POINT. Actually, the whole companion trilogy was being recommended because they were such cute romance YA novels that everyone was reading and loving and so I had to jump on board. And I agree: very cute. I still haven’t read the other two, but I’ll get there eventually.

myheartandotherblackholes

2. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

I remember Jesse @ Jessethereader talking about this book in several of his videos, and when I watched his review I knew that I would really like it. The subject matter is intense (trigger warning for suicide and depression), but those are also topics that are just near to my heart. I remember enjoying the read, though it was a tough one for me to get through emotionally.

shadowandbones

1. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Okay, I’m pretty sure I saw a huge rise in this book series everywhere, but I definitely think I picked up this series finally after watching Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes recommend it all the time. It’s one of her favorite series and as I’ve read the first two books in the trilogy, I’ve gotta say that I’m hooked (and love Nikolai <3). It’s a beautiful world with lots of danger and I love it.


Comics

youjin

5. You Jin by Fujoking

I spend a lot of time on Instagram (like… way too much time lol) and this popped up in the explore section several times when I was just browsing photos. So when I read it (not on Lezhin’s website), I really enjoyed it. It’s a boy’s love (BL) story and though I can’t really remember everything that happened I do remember that I read it all and liked it and wanted a bit more.

ratqueen1

4. Rat Queens by Kurtis Wiebe

This was probably one of the comics I picked up when a lot of people on YouTube were reading it and recommending it. It wasn’t necessarily my cup on tea from what I remember, but it wasn’t bad either.

royalservant

3. Royal Servant by Master Gin

This was another one of those reads that popped up a lot on Instagram and so when I read it (again, not on Lezhin until later chapters when I actually discovered Lezhin), I was hooked. The content can be sensitive sometimes, but the plot is getting better the farther along it goes and I’m actually really invested in it now.

sirenslament

2. Siren’s Lament by quimchee

This one wasn’t actually recommended to me via social media (but Rayna, this T5W is about–) SHH, I KNOW! It was actually recommend to me in person by my best friend, and since reading it I’ve been reading it faithfully every week since (or when there’s a new update because sometimes authors have to take breaks, too, you know?). It’s a really cute and beautiful series. (Not all cute, some of it is funny or intense or mysterious.)

sagavol1

1. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

Okay, this comic was recommended everywhere on YouTube and it’s actually one of my favorite comic series I’ve read. It’s very intense and violent and sexually explicit, but it’s still a good story. Also, I’ve owned the 7th volume for months now and haven’t read it yet. Like… what am I doing with my life?


I could go on and on about books and comics I’ve read because of social media, but these are the first five that came to mind. Honestly, would I even have read any of these books without being a blogger and being on social media as much as I am? Probably not. I’m so thankful for the ones I have read and so glad others like them as well.

Honorary Mentions

shatterme redqueen fallingkingdoms darkfever

 

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The Future of My Blog & Upcoming Changes

Well hello everyone. How are you all? I haven’t blogged in almost a month and it’s been kind of nice to be away from the blogisphere, I’m not gonna lie, but it also felt weird because I’ve been blogging steadily for over two and half years, and to suddenly stop felt so foreign to me, but I think it was definitely needed.

I’ve seen it said and heard many times that once something, like YouTubing or blogging or even reading, isn’t fun anymore, that you just stop doing it or you need to change something about it so it becomes enjoyable again.

I’m going to be honest here: I’ve read one novel (text-based book) so far this year. One. That’s it. But, I have read a bunch of manga (picture-based books) this year, which has brought me more joy than a regular novel has. And you know what? I’m 100% okay with that. I’ve been a huge fan of manga since I was 12, and I stopped reading for a while, so to get back into it as much as I have? Yeah, that’s a great feeling.

Anyway, that’s an entirely different topic, so let’s just talk about what I wanted to talk about today:

What is the future of this blog going to look like and what changes do I have in store?

I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and I’ve talked it out with my husband and other people, and I’ve come to this conclusion:

  1. I’m tired of just talking about books and book related topics. Don’t get me wrong, books will always be part of my life and this blog, BUT…
  2. I want to talk even more about my other hobbies and passions and likes and interests than before. I want to review anime episodes (because I’ve been watching a LOT of anime lately) and I want to review movies like the live action Beauty and the Beast (which was A-MAZ-ING) and I want to talk about art and my emotions including depression and I want to talk about my desire to travel and conventions I want to go to and cosplay and so, so much more.

It’s not that I’d stop reviewing books or talking about book related things, but I’d be introducing and talking about a LOT more than JUST books on this blog.

And honestly? It’s my blog. I can do whatever the hell I want with it.

If I want to talk about all 76 of my emotions that I felt while watching the first episode of season two of Attack on Titan, then I’m going to do that. If I want to review a manga series like I’ve done in the past, I’m going to do that. If I want to discuss a video game, an art project, or whatever, then I’m going to do that. If I want to do a regular novel review or discussion or tag post, then I’m going to do that.

As this is my own small corner of the internet, I want to include what I love here. This used to be my happy place for a long time, and that changed somewhere along the way. I’m not happy with the content I’d been producing and I want to be able to discuss and do more as a result.

So, what are the upcoming changes that will affect the blog?

Other than what I stated above, I’m contemplating doing a few things:

  • Changing the layout/design of the blog.
  • Changing the name of the blog, as well as the URL.

If anything I would change it to “Rayna Reviews” or something so I can keep the RR logo, but I also might not even change it at all. I’m still a reader, and reading and books will most likely still be my primary focus for the blog, but I just wanted to let you all know of just what I’ve been thinking and why I haven’t been around almost all year thus far.

So thank you all and I hope to still see your lovely faces around even with the changes.

Let’s chat! ^w^

What do you think of the changes? Do you care that I’m going to be introducing these things into my blog? What are your thoughts? Talk to me!

Love-a-thon 2017 – Get to Know Me

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Hello lovely people and welcome to Love-a-thon 2017, hosted by these lovely ladies: Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, Cee @ The Novel Hermit, Kristin @ Super Space Chick, and Mel @ The Daily Prophecy. This is a two day weekend event that I also took part in this event last year and I’m SO excited to be doing it again this year! There’s so many awesome posts planned over the next couple days with some Twitter chats and blog hopping involved.

If you don’t know what Love-a-thon is, it’s a way to show love to all of the awesome people in the book community! So whether you have a blog, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube channel, it’s about spreading the love and sharing some positivity to those in this awesome community.

So without further ado, here’s the questionnaire for this first post of the event!

An Introduction to You and Your Blog

  1. What’s your name? Where in the world are you blogging from?
    • Hey, I’m Rayna and I’m blogging from Massachusetts in the United States!
  2. Tell us your history with reading. Were you always a reader? Were you a reluctant reader? Was there a book that convinced you to become a reader?
    • I’ve always been a reader, actually. Not when it came to books I was required to read in school, though, because I never found any of them to be interesting (except for one, which was A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb). I’d always want to get books, even if I never read them, because let’s be honest, my book hoarding tendencies started when I was a smol child. I think the book that really made me become a reader was the Twilight saga by Stephenine Meyer. I know it was a series that was kind of the pinnacle of reading for many people, but it really got me wanting to read more and more books. I didn’t really do so until 2014 when I joined the book community, though.
  3. How did you get involved in the online book community?
    • I had been watching a lot of Booktubers for months at the point that I joined. So I decided, “Hey, I can do this, too,” and I made my YouTube channel (which seems to have since been abandoned… I prefer writing than speaking. Maybe I’ll revamp it one day.). My first blog post was my review for the Divergent series. No introduction, no “this is what I want to do with this blog,” just me jumping straight into a book review. It’s cringey to think about it now, but I’m so glad I took the leap to join this awesome community.
  4. How did you choose your primary platform (blog, Instagram, YouTube, etc)? How did you come up with your blog name?
    • I’m so creative… I’m like, “Omg, how am I going to come up with a name?” And so I was thinking and thinking of clever names, but the only one that stuck in my mind was “Reader Rayna.” Look at that alliteration. #original
  5. What’s your favorite thing about the online book community?
    • Everyone’s very open and so willing to make friends. I think a lot of us feel isolated in our personal lives because it’s very hard to find like minded people – readers (active readers, mind you) – to talk about books and fandoms and squee over characters about. I love that about this community and that we strive to be better every day when it comes to topics and what we read and how we read it.
  6. What sort of posts can readers expect from you?
    • I do a little bit of everything, really. I do tags, reviews, discussions, wraps ups. I even include writing posts (because I’m a writer, too) as well as occasional posts about my hobbies other than reading.
  7. What book genres do you talk about most?
    • Have you heard of this epic genre called fantasy? Yeah, that’s my favorite genre to read. I love magic and I love anything that’s not the real world, because let’s be honest, this world is scary. Not that fantasy worlds aren’t scary… hell, more often than not they’re scarier. …you know what I mean.

Favorites

  1. Favorite food? Beverage?
    • Favorite food: mac and cheese foreverrrrrrrrr!
    • Favorite beverage: probably milk or apple juice.
  2. Favorite color?
    • Pink~ I like almost any shade, but my favorite is baby pink and a blush pink.
  3. Favorite things to do apart from reading?
    • Hey, didn’t I just mention my Hobby Corner posts? But to put it simply: play video games (OBSESSED with FFXV), drawing, writing, listening to music. I love to be creative, pretty much.
  4. Favorite tv shows?
    • YURI!!! on Ice, Haikyuu!!, Your Lie in April, Oremonogatari!
    • Non-anime related: Arrow, Flash, Penny Dreadful, Agents of SHIELD.
  5. Favorite movies?
    • The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Moana, Inside Out, all things Disney (pretty much), Harry Potter series, Pirates of the Caribbean series.
  6. Favorite musical artists?
    • HAMILTON. I know it’s not a musical artist, but WHERE ARE THE REST OF MY HAMILTRASH OUT THERE!?
    • Otherwise: Owl City, Lindsey Stirling, BTS, Girls’ Generation, Disney songs for daaaaaays.
  7. Favorite places to shop?
    • Barnes & Noble. Duh. I also like maurices. As for independent bookstore: Brookline Booksmith.

Book Talk

  1. Favorite childhood books?
    • Stellaluna, fairy tales (not Grimm, I’m not sure what kind it was, but it was based off of Grim brothers), science books (they were kid friendly kind). [No, Harry Potter is not on this list because I haven’t finished the series yet for the first time– I KNOW. I’m working on it.]
  2. Favorite books read in the last five years?
    • Um. Well. That list would be ginormous. Here’s a few: Illuminae, Fangirl, Throne of Glass series, ACOMAF, Starbound trilogy, Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, The Raven Boys saga, An Ember in the Ashes.
  3. Favorite genres?
    • FANTASY~ YA or otherwise. I also enjoy urban fantasy, historical fiction, romance, contemporary, science fiction.
  4. Underrated book, series or author you love?
    • I don’t know if it’s underrated, but the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa was my favorite series at the pinnacle of my faerie obsession stage in life. I haven’t finished the last book, The Iron Queen, but I need to reread the trilogy and see if I still love it.
  5. A book you want to see made into a film or tv show?
    • ^See above. Also, I’d love to see Fangirl be made into a film. It would be so cute!
  6. Book boyfriend/girlfriend? Book BFF? Book family?
    • Oooh, the fun questions are coming out! Okay, book boyfriends: Aeduan from Truthwitch and Kaden from The Remnant Chronicles. (How am I not thinking of more, I don’t know.) Book girlfriends: Helene from An Ember in the Ashes.
    • Book BFF: Karou and Zuzana, who are also BFFs in the books and I need them to be my BFFs IRL.
    • Book family: The Weasley’s because who wouldn’t want to be part of their family?
  7. Books you want to read in 2017?
    • All of them.
    • …seriously.

Alright, that’s it for this first post! I hope to see a lot of you in this super fun and awesome event and I can’t wait to go blog/channel/insta/twitter hopping! Have fun!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Are you excited for this event? What are you most looking forward to? Also, what’s your favorite independent bookstore? Have you ever been to one? Who’s your book boy/girlfriend? Tell me all the things!

Reading & Blog Goals for 2017

Happy New Year everyone! Aren’t you glad 2016 is over? I’m excited for the new year because it means new beginnings, and I’ve never felt more genuinely excited for new beginnings since this year. I don’t know what it is, but I’m just anticipating what this year could potentially bring. I’ve already talked about my writing goals for this year, so now let me talk about my reading and blog goals for 2017:

Reading Goals

  • Read at least 30 books.
  • Finish several books on the Beat the Backlist Challenge. I think this is a great challenge to really cross off those books that have been on my shelves 5ever.
  • Read more diverse books.
  • Finish the Harry Potter series, dammit.
  • Read more adult books (not there’s anything wrong with YA, I just want to read more adult things).

Blog Goals

  • Comment on more blogs! I know I said this last year, but I want to keep it up because I have commented more this past year, but not as much as I’d hoped.
  • Maybe change the way I review. My review style has been transforming slowly the longer I do reviews, so it’s a natural progression kind of thing. I like my review style, though, so this one’s just kind of an optional one.
  • Have fun with what I’m doing.

I honestly don’t have that many goals that I want to achieve this year in reading or blogging because I just want to enjoy my time doing both, which I think is the most important thing of all. As long as I’m doing that, then everything else can fall into place afterward.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What do you hope to accomplish reading wise? What about you blog? Are there some things you definitely want to tackle this year?

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!