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!

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…

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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!

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

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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:

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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’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!

February 2016 Wrap-Up

Guys, make it staaahhhppp. How are we already at the end of February? This year is already flying by!

This month was kind of a slow one for me in terms of reading, but for the blog it was POPPIN’.

Warning: this post is going to be WICKED long. Sorry in advance!

Continue reading

Get to Know Me Tag

So I got the idea to do this tag from Cait @ Paper Fury, and she said I should do it (after I asked) and this tag sprung from Liz @ Out of Coffee, Out of Mind, so check out their posts, too!

The tag is pretty self-explanatory, but in case you didn’t know: it’s a tag for you to get to know me a bit better! I’ve chosen to omit only a few questions for one reason or another, but you still get to know me! So, let’s just jump in:

Vital Stats

Name: Rayna
Nicknames: Rainkitten, RP, Ray-Ray, Hideki
Birthday: August 18th
Star Sign: Leo. Rawr.

Appearance

Hair Color: Medium-dark brown depending on the light.
Hair length: It’s growing out so it’s just above my shoulders.
Eye color: Brown, and in the right light you can see flecks of gold, green, purple, and red. My eyes are amazing.
Best feature: It’s between my eyes and my smile. I’ve gotten compliments for both, but mostly my smile.
Piercings: Just my ears, one hole in each. Standard.
Tattoos: On my back right shoulder blade area. I showed it before, but here it is again (mostly because I like showing it off): IMG_2483

Favorites

Film: Inside Out. All. The. Feels. Literally.
TV Show: Hmm… I don’t really have a favorite.
Color: Pink!
Song: Uh. Uh… Umm… I can tell you one of my favorite artists is Owl City, but fave song? Too hard. Recently it’s been Call Me Baby by EXO.
Shop: I quite frequent Barnes & Noble.
Book: WHY DO YOU TORTURE ME!? Here’s a few: House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson.

Currently

Feeling: Tired. I’m typing this at almost 11:00PM.
Single or Taken: Married, woot woot!
Thinking About: Sleep. And what I want to do with my life. You know, normal adult things.

Future

Want children: Yes, yes I do.
Want to be married: Didn’t I already answer this?
Careers in mind: I would still like to be an author, and though my current job is fine, I’d love to be a stay at home mom one day. Or just… something other than what I’m doing now.
Where do you want to live: I’m good where I am in terms of the state I live in, but England would be cool, too.

Do You Believe In…

God: Yes.
Miracles: Yes.
Love at first sight: Possible.
Ghosts: Yes.
Aliens: Yes, because there’s no POSSIBLE WAY we are the only life forms out there. Sorry.
Soul Mates: Yes. Mine is my best friend, Katie.
Heaven/Hell: Yes.
Yourself: Some days yes, other days no.

There you go! A little bit more about me, but I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about the majority of these before, haha!

If you want to do this tag, please do so! I’d love to see your answers and whatnot!

What are some of the things you’re thinking of currently? What job do you want to have in the future? What about kids? What are some of your favorite books/movies/TV shows?

Books That Changed My Life

So I was watching NayaReadsandSmiles video about some of the books and series that changed her life, whether that be her learning from the characters on how to be strong, or if the prose helped her through dark times, she has books that changed her life.

And, well, I’m sure we all do. So today I wanted to share with you all some of the books and series that have and are currently changing my life.

They’re in no particular order.

  1. The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Honestly, did you not expect this series to be here? I love this series so much: from the characters to the world building to the action to the romances, this book has so many wonderful and beautiful things happening in it that I can’t picture it not having changed my life in some way. I really think this series changed my reading life. I have never loved a book series (other than the next one listed below) that changed my perception on reading and made me want to read more and more and more.
  2. The Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer. This book defined a generation, and many people are ashamed and afraid to admit how they once love, or still love, this saga. To me, Twilight was a game changer: it came during a dark time in my life when I was 14/15 years old, and to read about this ordinary girl in these extraordinary situations was incredible to me. It sucked me in and left me wanting more. I honestly don’t know where I’d be in my reading life without Twilight in it.
  3. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Though I am not quite finished with this series yet, these books have still impacted me greatly. It’s my first urban fantasy read, I think, and as such it just reinforced my beliefs in magic. This series is all about a girl growing up, learning truths, falling in love, and learning what it is to be different in a world stuck on normalcy. I may make it sounds more grandiose than it is, but this is how I view it and will continue to view it.
  4. The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson. Specifically the first book, this book again changed my reading life. It was the first audiobook I had ever listened to on my own and as such, I’m glad I picked it. The narrators were all fantastic, using different voices for different characters in their chapters, and the story was phenomenal. It made me crave more, and again: a strong female protagonist, strong side characters, and just the overall sense of mystery and magic. This book makes my heart soar when I think of it.
  5. Fushigi Yuugi by Yuu Watase. This manga series will forever hold a special place in my heart. I read this in middle school into high school and I just remember my love for this 18 book series. There was romance, war, peril, court troubles, etc. It held everything I could ever want in a series and more. It changed my life in a way that it showed me to never give up, to always be true to who you are, and to never go into the restricted section of a library lest you be swept into a book’s world – and a dangerous one, at that.
  6. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. I read this book back when I was in my early teens and it forever changed my outlook on life. This book is geared toward a younger teen audience, which is weird considering how deep and dark the content is. But I’m glad I read it when I did because it became one of my most prized and favorite books of all time. It taught me that life is full of secrets, and to always, always fight for yourself and what you believe to be right.

And there you have it: six series/books that have changed my life. Now most of these I read once I was a teen or an adult, but they still impacted, and are impacting, my life as we speak. I think it’s important to remember that, no matter what age you are, you can still learn and grow from reading.

What books have changed your life? Do you still reflect on them every now and then or have you forgotten them all together? Would you ever pick them up again? Let me know!