Genrethon Wrap Up

I swear, every time I participate in a readathon something in my personal life drags me down and I find myself struggling to keep up with it all. Ahhhhh. I mean, I still participated and I had fun, but this week was just a load of ups and downs and not a lot of reading time.

So, genrethon is over (sadface) and it was a less than stellar week because I didn’t finish a single book, BUT I still read some things, so here are some stats:

Magical Realism

thenightcircus

The Night Circus: 46 pages

I only read the first chapter of the book because I didn’t have much time, or the time I want to invest and dive into the book. I hope to do so eventually, though, because I know this is a very beloved book.

Horror

asylum

Asylum: 150 pages

WHY MUST THERE BE PICTURES IN HERE? WHY. Other than the unsettling pictures, I’m enjoying what I’m reading so far. It feels like a “classic” kind of school horror story and I really like that feeling about this book.

Memoir

binge

Binge: 12 pages

Oh Tyler.

Total Pages Read: 208 pages

I mean, that’s not horrible. At least I still read a bit from each book I was setting out to read for genrethon. Things just kept getting in the way in my personal life, so there’s that.

Otherwise I had a fun time and I know some people got enjoyment out of my Twitter hashtag #raynareadsasylum. Oh man. Here’s a few:

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So that was a fun experience. I’ll finish the book, I promise, but I don’t know how I’m going to handle it!

So that’s it for the genrethon! I hope to participate next time and actually try to finish at least one book, hopefully. Until then, I’ll just keep reading.

Did you participate in genrethon? What books did you read? What was your favorite and least favorite? Let me know!

Genrethon TBR

Let’s just participate in all the readathons while you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo, Rayna. Yes. Brilliant idea.

So I heard about this other cool readathon that’s going on this month from April 10-17 called Genrethon that is hosted by four lovely people on Booktube:

The rules are pretty simple:

  1. Read at least three books.
  2. Read at least three different genres.

Pretty simple, right? I’m actually kind of excited for this one because I have several books on my shelf that I’ve been putting off because it’s not the typical genre that I read, so this is the perfect opportunity to jump on those!

So here is my TBR for this week of madness:

1 . Horror

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

asylum

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it’s a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it’s no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

I try to stay away from horror in every way, shape, and form (unless it’s video games or I’m in a weird mood), so that’s why I’ve put this book off for well over a year and a half now. So I thought that this would be the perfect time to pick it up and see how I like it (and hopefully not be too freaked out by it).

2. Memoir

Binge by Tyler Oakley

binge

Pop culture phenomenon, social rights advocate, and the most prominent LGBTQ+ voice on YouTube, Tyler Oakley brings you his first collection of witty, personal, and hilarious essays written in the voice that’s earned him more than 10 million followers across social media.

I’ve been following Tyler for several months now, and I got his book around the time it came out and started to read it, but I just never finished it. Hopefully I do finish it during this week!

3. Magical Realism

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

thenightcircus

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

I feel like everyone and their mother has read this book because I constantly hear praise about it and so I’m going to read it for this readathon. I don’t know that I’ll get through the whole thing, but I’m going to do my best to read what I can! Plus it just sounds enchanting.

I’m pretty excited to do this readathon because I’m hoping to knock a book off my shelf that’s been there for over a year; a book that I’ve wanted to read for several years; and a book that I started but haven’t finished. I know I most likely won’t finish them all to 100% by the end of the week, but I’m going to do my best to see how much I can get through.

Are you participating in Genrethon? What books and genres do you plan on reading? Let me know!

Rereads for 2016

Hey guys! I wanted to talk about the books I plan on rereading this year. I honestly haven’t reread a book in so, so long! I only reread one book last year and I really want to reread some books I haven’t picked up in years. So here are the books I hope to reread this year:

Vanish and Hidden by Sophie Jordan.

vanishhidden

These are the second and third books in the Firelight trilogy and I loved this trilogy so much when I read it back in high school, and since I reread the first book, Firelight, last year, I figured that I have to finish rereading the other two. It’s a story about people who can turn into dragons and how one family leaves the comfort of their home to live away from them – and the dangers that ensue afterward.

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.

thehouseofthescorpion

As one of my favorite books of all time, you’d think I’d have reread it more frequently, but I’ve actually have only read it twice, and that was a long time ago. So I figured I’d reread it and see if I love it as much as I did as a young teen or if my tastes have changed. But I just remember loving the clone aspect of it and of the mystery surrounding the main character, Matteo. Here’s hoping it’s just as awesome as the first time.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.

memoirsofageisha

I read this book back in my early teen years and absolutely loved it. My dad wouldn’t let me read it at first because of the sexual content, but really? Not the worst thing I’ve read in terms of sex, let me tell you – even at that age. So when I read it, I fell in love with the characters and the story and how it just broke my heart and made me swell with love. I also saw the movie adaptation and thought that it was pretty faithful to the book, which I was glad for. So I definitely want to reread this and see if I like it just as much as back then.

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah.

chinesecinderella

I read this for a school project my freshman year of high school. We got to choose whatever book we wanted, and I had had this one for years, untouched and unread, so I decided to read it. And oh. My. God. This one just rips your heart out and tears it into a million pieces. I remember it making me angry, sad, excited. So many emotions from one story; and I think it’s partly because it’s a true story. I wonder if I’ll feel the same emotions on the second read through?

A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb.

acertainslantoflight

I read this as my last summer reading I’d ever had to do, and I’m so glad this was on the list. Usually the books on the lists are boring and I’d never read them (literally this was the ONE YEAR I actually completed my summer reading 100%), but this book was just amazing. I loved the story of a ghost woman who was just trying to find her place, and of a ghost man who had taken up residence in someone, and how the two fall in love and more. It’s just a beautiful story and I want to reread it to see if I still think that it is.

And that’s all I have planned for rereading this year. I think that it’ll be good to get back into some of my old favorites because I loved them years ago, why wouldn’t I now?

Are you planning on rereading any books this year? Let me know!

Favorite Books of 2015

Hey peeps! Today I wanted to talk about some of my favorite books I read last year because, well, why not? I loved them so much that I want to share with you all what they are and why I loved them. I already did a video version of this topic last month and just never got around to actually doing a blog post. So here we go!

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

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This first installment of the Mistborn trilogy was just amazing! It was epic in a way that I had never read before. The plot was extensive, weaving so many aspects of the lives that were being lead together; the magical system was unique and defining, but not all powerful; the characters were differentiated by talent, personality, caste, and more; and it was just overall an amazing read. Highly recommended. Check out my review!

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

igniteme

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the character arc in this trilogy was amazing. By far one of the best arcs I’ve ever read about. Juliette just proved how strong she was on her own without any guy to hold her down, and then the fights happened and the romance blossomed and the writing was incredible. This final installment of the trilogy was just amazing and I couldn’t recommend this more. Check out my review!

This Shattered World & Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

thisshatteredworldtheirfracturedlightAs the second and third books in the Starbound trilogy, I just felt that these two were better than the first. The stories that were told were haunting, heart-breaking, intense, and fast-paced. The romances were ones that made my heart flutter and the worlds in which they lived in had me wondering about our own universe. The way that the story wound itself through these two and joined everyone and everything together was smooth and enticing. Also, have you seen the covers? Gorgeous! Check out my reviews here and here!

Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

daughterofsmokeandbonedaysofbloodandstarlight

As the first and second books in this trilogy of monsters and angels and humans, I was drawn in not only by the concept of the chimera and angels fighting against one another, but for the writing. Laini Taylor’s use of the English language is one that is beautiful and encompasses so much emotion and passion in every stroke. Not only that, but I found the characters to be engaging, the story to be different, and the romance to be one that stretches beyond time. Check out my reviews here and here!

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

queenofshadows

As the fourth installment in my favorite fantasy series, of course I loved this book. It wasn’t without its problems, of course, but it was just everything I wanted and more from this series so far. There’s action, adventure, deceit, romance, death, magic, and more. Loved it and can’t wait for the next one. Check out my review!

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

thekissofdeception

My first audiobook experience and it also became one of my favorite books. This story is one in which a princess runs away from marriage and tries to build a new life with her friend, but ends up in a much bigger plot than she could have imagined. The audiobook was told in three perspectives and the actors did well with changes of voice and pronunciations. I loved the story and the characters and it’s just a beautiful tale of lies, love, friendship, and the need for freedom. Check out my review!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

anemberintheashes

This debut novel was amazing from start to finish. Set in an ancient Rome-esque society, there is brutality in the land, slaves, warriors, a fight for freedom, hints of magic, and so much more. Honestly, how is this a debut? It’s so good! I’m also really glad that the second book will be coming out later this year because I need it now. Check out my review!

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

simonvs

This. Was. So. Cute. I was squeeing and laughing out loud so much from this book and I am so glad I picked it up. This book is a coming out story and one that kids in today’s modern age can appreciate. With the use of the internet, two kids from the same school are able to communicate with one another and get close with one another, falling in love though they don’t know who the other is just yet. It was so adorable and it just brought so much happiness to my heart. Highly recommend this one. Check out my review!

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

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This is the third book in the Mortal Instruments series, and when it was originally a trilogy I could see how this wrapped up the story beautifully. Not only were the characters coming in to their own, but the story was growing more and more exponential and the plot was becoming more and more twisted. This book holds hope, revenge, love, anger, and so much more. Honestly, a fantastic installment for the series. Check out my review!

The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester

theamazingbookisnotonfire

So I didn’t discover these two YouTube stars until I saw their book trailer, but I still really adore them! And I just needed the book. It’s a funny compilation of some of their best work, some fun facts about them, and some advice on making YouTube videos. I also got the audiobook, and it made the book 100x better. Loved it! Check out my review!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

theravenboys

The writing in this book is phenomenal! I loved the story, the characters, the twist of the psychics and the magic that lingers in the little town of Henrietta. The characters are all so intriguing and genuine and though I didn’t grow to love them until the second book, they were still etching their way into my heart. I highly recommend picking up this book and giving it a try. Check out my review!

So there you have it! Thirteen of my favorite reads from last year. If you haven’t picked any of these up then I highly suggest you do; you won’t be disappointed! And if you are, well… sorry.

What were some of your absolute favorite books that you read in 2015? Did you read any on my list? What were your thoughts? Let me know!

March 2015 Wrap-Up & April TBR

Can you believe it’s April tomorrow? Where is the time going?

In the month of March I read a total of seven books! Holy carp, I have never read that many books in one month before! It was a great reading month, obviously, with both physical and audiobooks to quench my thirst for adventure.

So, without further ado, let me go over the books I read this past month:

  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone” by Laini Taylor. This book became a favorite of mine really quick as I read it. From the romance, to the mythological roots, to the characters, and more, I fell in love with this book and can’t wait to continue on with the trilogy. I rated this 5/5 stars. Read my review!
  • Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard. I went in with less than high hopes for this book and it kind of met my expectations. A lot of it was predictable and at times, annoying. I knew the plot twist long before it happened and I didn’t really connect with the characters or anything. I rated this 3.5/5 stars. Read my review!
  • Falling Kingdoms” by Morgan Rhodes. I had the most difficult time getting through this book back in January, but I managed to finish it this month and I did enjoy it. I really loved each individual main character and how their stories are interweaving. Yes, it was a little predictable at times, but it was still a good story. I rated this 4/5 stars. Read my review!
  • The Elite” by Kiera Cass. This is the second book in the Selection series and it was my least favorite of the three, but it was still a good read. America was really whiny and annoying in this book and made lots of stupid decisions, but it helped to push the plot along and to learn more about her world. I rated this 4/5 stars. Read my review!
  • The One” by Kiera Cass. This is the third book in the Selection series and it was my favorite of the three. America really came into her own and proved she wasn’t just some lovestruck teenage girl, but someone who really cares about those around her and the kingdom. I rated this 5/5 stars. Read my review!
  • Firelight” by Sophie Jordan. This was my TBR Jar Challenge for the month of March, which was to reread a favorite book. Well, I reread it, still loved it, but I was a bit more aware of the writing style and the characters within the book. My new rating for this book is 4/5 stars (where before it was 5/5). Read my review!
  • The Kiss of Deception” by Mary E. Pearson. This was my first audiobook from Audible, and I must say that I am impressed. I love the book itself, and the voice actors are great. The story was rich and well thought out and written. I can’t wait for the next one to come on later this year. I rate this 5/5 stars. Read my review!

I’m pretty dang proud of myself.

As for next month, I don’t plan on reading as many books (I wasn’t planning on reading as many as I did this time, either) as I’m going to be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this April, but I do still plan on reading a few books, and they are:

  • On Writing” by Stephen King. I got this book last year and have been wanting to read it since, so I thought what better time than another NaNoWriMo month? It’s a memoir on the craft of writing, and as I writer I am more than excited to read this book.
  • Vanish” and “Hidden” by Sophie Jordan. For my TBR Jar Challenge for April, I picked finish a series. So, since I reread the first book, I figured I may as well reread the rest of the trilogy while I’m at it. I remember some of what happens in these books, but not everything. I wonder how my ratings will compare to when I read them before.

So, since I’m going to be more focused on writing this month, those are all of the books I’m planning on reading in April. I may or may not read more, including an audiobook, but we’ll see how things go.

Accompanying video: March 2015 Wrap-Up & April TBR

What did you read in March? What are your reading plans for April? Are you planning on participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? Let me know!