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!

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  • 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!

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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

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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…

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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.

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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!

  • 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!

July 2016 Wrap Up

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Hey guys! We’re almost in August which means it’s almost my birthday, which means I’m going to be OLD. Okay, well, 25, so not that old, BUT STILL. A QUARTER OF A CENTURY.

Anyway, I had a much better reading month this month than I did in June, and I got some writing done, which is always exciting. So let’s talk about all of the things I did this month!

What I Read

  • Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes – Such an awesome book with a cute story and characters, where there was, of course, romance, but it dealt with mental health, supportive friendships, and learning about yourself. 5/5 stars Check out my review!
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – I can definitely see what all the hype was about even though it felt like it was missing something. Like an extra bit of oomph! But I still enjoyed it. 4/5 stars Check out my review!
  • Orange: The Complete Collection vol 1 & 2 by Ichigo Takano – I LOVED THIS. These two manga volumes were definitely my favorite reads this month and I am just so happy that I read them. Beautiful story about depression, suicide, and the importance of friendship. 5/5 stars Check out my review!

Books I Started But Didn’t Finish

  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson – I found it really difficult to get into this book, and I only read the first chapter. Maybe it’s just her style of writing, but I’ll still give it a go.
  • The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power – I received this for review on Net Galley from Simon and Schuster and I didn’t finish it on time, but I was enjoying it, even if there was a lot of technical jargon and other problems with it.
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown – Okay, technically I started this a long time ago, but I started listening to it again and I was enjoying it! But I still haven’t finished it.

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Books I Got This Month

Discussions I Held

None. NONE!? What is this sorcery!? I usually have at least one discussion… Huh. I guess this month didn’t have much going on.

Top Ten Tuesdays & Top 5 Wednesdays

Writing Related

  • Camp NaNoWriMo: July Edition – That’s right! I had joined Camp NaNoWriMo! My plan was to do weekly updates again, but that fell flat pretty quickly.
  • I will say, though, that I started one novel then worked on the one I started last year because I’m finally – FINALLY – almost done writing the first draft. Maybe I’ll finish it today once this post is already up, but I’m very excited!

Fun Things

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I read one fantasy book this month, bringing my total up to 25 out of 30 fantasy books read for the year! I’m pretty impressed, really.

Life Updates

  • I think I had a boring life this month… It consisted mostly of work.
  • It was my mom’s birthday, though, so there’s that. The week after her birthday we had a barbecue at their house and a bunch of family came over, plus I got to see my nieces and nephew, whom I don’t see that often. It was nice!
  • And I applied to two rep searches on Instagram: one for Evie Seo and the other for Bookworm Boutique! I think it’s so cool that they put out products, and I already have one from Evie so I know that they’re good quality!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What was your favorite book that you read this month? Did you participate in any readathons? Tell me all the things!

January 2016 Wrap-Up

Guys, it’s already the end of the month. How is time flying so fast? Staahhhhp.

Alright, so I think that the month of January was pretty fruitful, if I do say so myself. Starting off the year strong, woo!

So here’s how my month is going so far and some updates as well:

Books I Read

  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Steifvater. The second book in The Raven Cycle, this book was so good and really drew me further into the world. I highly enjoyed getting to know the characters better, and the ones that didn’t really rub off on me well before I actually turned out to really like and understand. I’m really excited for the next installment and to see what happens next with this group. I gave this 5/5 stars and highly recommend it. Check out my review!
  • Saga volumes 1-5 by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples. This comic/graphic novel series is fantastic. Not only is the art style beautiful and realistic, the story itself is intriguing and engaging. I really love this series so far and I think that it would be a good read for sci-fi and fantasy lovers because it mixes the two genres really well. I gave each 4.5-5/5 stars respectively. Check out my review!
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. This book wasn’t as good as I was hoping. The characters seemed distant and cold, and a lot of plot I found to be boring. The parts I enjoyed were the romance parts because those were the times the characters felt like they were coming alive. I’m going to continue on with the next book, so I’m hoping it’ll be better. I gave this 3/5 stars. Check out my review!
  • Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. This book, guys. This book touched all of my feels and it just made me so happy to read. This book doesn’t glorify mental illness, but instead shows how it can encompass a person’s entire mind and how it can affect them in daily life. I loved how it was handled and just the romance and everything about it. I gave this 5/5 stars and highly recommend it. Check out my review!

Resolutions Galore

  • Bookish Resolutions for 2016 – All of my bookish and blog related goals are set out here and I’m excited to think that they’re all actually achievable. I’m hoping that 2016 will be a good one and that I can come back next year and say that I actually completed everything on my list.
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Resolutions for 2016 – This was a different set of resolutions that went into further detail regarding my bookish goals, but I also went into a bit of personal ones that I really want to achieve this year. I think that they’re important and that I need to actually stick to them.
  • Writing Goals for 2016 – I have three major goals that I want to complete for the year and I really hope that I see to it that they each get done, or that I at least have progress on them.

Challenges and Other Fun Things

  • Flights of Fantasy 2016 – A fun year long challenge to read as many fantasy books as your heart desires. My goal is set to 15 books this year and I think that I’ll definitely accomplish it.
  • Let’s Talk | Shadowhunters 1×01 – Pilot – I talked about the first episode of Shadowhunters based off of Cassandra Clare‘s series and it was so full of cheese that I didn’t know what to do with myself. You can check out my full review details through the link, but yeah. It was okay, and I’m holding on for the rest of the series.
  • Rayna Recommends: Manga Favorites – Yes! I got back into my recommendation posts and I’m starting off the year recommending some of my favorite manga series. Check them out if you get a chance!
  • Favorite Books of 2015 – I talk about my top thirteen favorite books that I read last year and why they were my favorites.
  • Rereads for 2016 – I haven’t read all of these books in years and so I really want to read them again and see if I still love them as much as I did back then.
  • Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Buzzwords – Some words in or about books can just set you off and you NEED them, right then and there. These are some of my words.
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Best Friends – You know those characters who are best friends with the main character and you just can’t help but love them? Yeah, these are some of my favorites.
  • Top 5 Wednesday: Disappointing Eye Candy – These are the books that you loved the covers on but weren’t exactly thrilled with the content inside of them. Yeah. These are some of my disappointments.
  • The Disney Princess Tag – This tag was made for me. Seriously.

Updates

So I wanted to include this little update section in each of my wrap-ups this year as I go about doing the Flights of Fantasy challenge as well as anything regarding writing and anything else I may find important. So here’s how I’m doing so far:

Flights of Fantasy: I’ve read seven books this month that involve some form of fantasy and I’ve enjoyed the majority of them, so yay for that!

Writing: I’ve actually picked up my poetry since reading Every Last Word. It’s not a lot, but I really enjoy it and forgot how much I did enjoy it. Check me out on Hello Poetry to see some of my poems. Otherwise, I haven’t really worked on anything else just yet, but I plan to soon.

Bible reading plan: So I kind of failed at the Booktube Bible-a-thon, but I’ve picked back up reading the Bible every day following a chronological plan on an app I have. I haven’t missed a day yet, so hopefully I keep up with it!

And that’s it for this month! What a great way to start off the year. I’m excited to see what February brings me.

Flights of Fantasy 2016

Hey guys! Today I wanted to talk about Flights of Fantasy, a fun year long reading challenge hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and Chelly of Hello, Chelly.

Flights of Fantasy is all about reading as many fantasy books as you can throughout the year. Now that doesn’t mean that you have to solely read fantasy books, but it’s just a fun way to see what the world of fantasy has to offer and enjoy reading about different worlds, species, characters, etc.

Now I did sign up to participate in this challenge last year and I completely forgot about it, but I did read a lot of fantasy books as fantasy is my favorite genre. I personally read 25 fantasy books last year, which is incredible! That’s quite literally half of what I read in 2015.

So for the year 2016 I’m going to aim for reading 15 fantasy books throughout the year. I have no doubts that this number will be more than that, but as I’m aiming for a total of 30 books to read in the year, I think half of that as fantasy is a good number.

It’s a really fun, laid back challenge with giveaways, extra books for more points, and even Twitter chats. If you want to give it a go, definitely check it out.

I’ll update about my Flights of Fantasy progress in my monthly wrap-ups and keep you up to date on what I’ve read and whatnot.

I hope you think of joining and actually do join! Click the icon below to see all of the rules and details about the challenge.

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