Books & Cookies Tag

That’s right, my friends, it’s time for a tag. A delicious one, at that.

Today I’m going to be doing the Books & Cookies tag! I first saw Cait @ Paper Fury do this tag, but the original is by Sorry I’m Booked. The original post had seven questions, but Cait added a few of her own, and I think I’m going to change just one that Cait added because… why not?

Anyway, let’s jump into this delicious tag~

Chocolate Chip | A classic book that you love

I, uh, don’t really read classics. The last one I read was Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen back in like… 2014. And I don’t really remember it. Sooooo… Yeah, I don’t really have an answer for this one, sorry.

Thin Mints | A hyped-up book you want to read

Oh man, definitely The Wicked King by Holly Black. I’ve recently read The Cruel Prince and let me just say: I need the next book now, please and thanks.

Shortbread | An author you can’t get enough of

I love, love, love Elle Kennedy‘s new adult series. She’s got a really good way of keeping you hooked on the story and the characters. Her Off-Campus series? So good, my friends. If you’re looking for steamy romance, hot guys, dynamic girls, and hockey? Oh yes, definitely recommend.

Samoas | An emotional rollercoaster

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the Illuminae Files on my blog… Nope, never, not once *coughI’mlyingcough*

Okay, but let me tell you: THESE BOOKS WERE AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER IF THERE EVER WAS ONE. I think the visual elements of the books really helped to make the story much more atmospheric and to really make you invested in the story. At least that’s how it was for me because, oof, I love this trilogy so much, and it made me laugh, cry, worry, rage, celebrate… It’s so good.

Oreos | A book whose cover was better than the story

Hey man, I feel like this is an insult to Oreos… anyway, one book that comes to mind is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. The covers to this series have always been a favorite of mine, but the first book? Ehhhh, not so much. I really think that Unravel Me really changed the game and made the series better, but Shatter Me was just okay.

shatterme

Gingerbread Cookies | Where the story was better than the cover

Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of crap covers out there (but I’ve seen a lot of beautiful ones come out lately, which is nice!). But what really matters is the story behind the crap cover, and these are just a few that I can think of that I personally really liked, even if the cover was meh at best.

Peanut Butter Cookies | A book that wasn’t what you expected

Well, I’m currently listening to A Way of Kings: The Stormlight Archive Book ONe by Brandon Sanderson (a 45+ hour long novel, mind you, that I’m about 16 hours into), and it’s SO much better than I was expecting. Like, I’ve read really good fantasy books before, but this? THIS is what I call an epic fantasy story.

The plot is so intricate and detailed and woven really nicely, the characters are ones that I’m invested in and desperately want to know more about, the voice actors do an amazing job bringing said characters to life, and the world it’s written in is so vast and fascinating and I have SO many questions. Ugh, I can’t wait to continue.

Snickerdoodles | A book you’ll never stop rereading

I don’t really reread books all that often. There’s a few that I definitely want to reread, though, from when I was a teenager and see if I still consider them timeless favorites for me, personally, or if I’ve moved on from them. They are:

Memoirs of a Geisha | The House of the Scorpion | A Certain Slant of Light | Chinese Cinderella

Oatmeal Raisin | A book you love and yet others… might not

Okay, this is the question I’m making up, but my dudes: I LOVE OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES. Soooo many people I’ve talked to hate them, and I just don’t know why!

Anyway, my pick for this is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Okay, look, every book has its faults. Every series has its faults. Yes, even your fave, but as much crap as this series has gotten over the years, as many issues as it has, it’s still one of my all time favorites and I’m sticking by that opinion. I mean, I still need to finish it, so what the hell am I waiting for?

Macaroon | Sequels you liked better than the first

For me, the first one that comes to mind is the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I remember each book getting better and better and that the last one definitely satisfied me as far as endings go. I found it difficult to get into the first book even though I still liked it, and then the second one was great, and the third one was even better.

Let’s Chat!

What’s your favorite kind of cookie? What about a book that you’ll never stop rereading – or one that you had from your younger years that you really want to pick up again?

The Cruel Prince Book Review

Title: The Cruel Prince
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Authors: Holly Black
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: January 2, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Kindle eBook

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


What a ride it was to be back in Holly Black’s land of Faerie. I read her Tithe series way back in the day, probably when I was in middle school or high school, and I absolutely fell in love with it. The story was so fascinating to me, and it’s really the thing that pushed me to fall in love with faeries from that point on.

Now, in this new book, it shows a much darker side to Faerie than I’m used to. I mean, I’m used to reading dark tales about Faerie because, let’s be real, it can be a very cruel place not just to mortals, but to the other Fey as well, but this story brought on a lot more betrayal, hatred, and a general sense of apathy than anything.

Let’s talk characters because there were a lot of characters introduced to us through Jude’s eyes, and I want to give some of my thoughts on them.

Jude, herself, was a very melancholic character. We were often reminded of how much she hated life in Faerie and how she loved Madoc, though he’s a monster, and how she despised Cardan. I’m not saying those points were annoying, but I did pick up just how often they were said and I kind of felt it was redundant. I also felt her character was a bit… lacking? She was very much just a ball of anger at the world around her. Any emotions other than general discourse or anger felt outside of her realm and I didn’t really feel any particular attachment to her, especially through the first two thirds of the story. More on that in a minute.

Cardan was quite the cruel prince (but not the main reason for the title of the book, let me tell you lol) who enjoyed seeing Jude suffer, but also did very, very subtle things to ensure nothing harmed her to the point of death. In the latter half of the book it felt almost like I was reading about an entirely different character? At least in some parts he felt a bit too open, a bit too friendly, even, but that familiar cruelness came right back at the very end and I was like, “Ah, yes, there he is.”

Madoc, Balekin, and Dain all had fairly significant parts to play throughout the story, and each of them played it well. Overall they all felt very cunning, very manipulative, and willing to do anything to get what they wanted. But my biggest point here in talking about these three: I wanted to learn more about them and why they were the way they were, even as fey.

Valerian, Locke, and Nicasia were friends of Cardan’s, and I didn’t very much like them. Valerian was a huge jerk, Locke always seemed like there was something more mischievous and cunning underneath everything that he did, and Nicasia… well, I actually kind of liked her, despite her being a horrible person.

Taryn and Vivienne were Jude’s sisters, and though they had their parts to play in the story, I also felt like they were just there when it was most convenient for the plot. I do, however, really like Vivi and her determination to do everything in her power to go against her father’s, Madoc’s, wishes.

Okay, now let’s talk about the plot, because I have some things I want to say about it, as well as the writing through the first two thirds of the book.

First off, the writing continuously felt like it was jumping and cutting out scenes that should have taken place. When I was reading some parts and it instantly jumped from, for example, Jude about to go somewhere, it then jumped to her having already done it. Or there was no real dive into any sort of emotions – not often, anyway – or a real look at surroundings or situations that I really craved for.

There was no middle ground, no “filler,” I guess you could say. But it wasn’t just that that bothered me, it was my desire to feel something more for what was happening to Jude and what was happening around her.

I didn’t feel as connected as I was hoping because I felt so disconnected because of the jumpy writing – at least for the first two thirds of the story.

And then? Oh man, did it kick off right at the climax of the book, and even the writing got a lot better and I felt like I was following it a lot better than I was before.

The plot was leading up to the grand coronation of one of the princes, and when the thing (I won’t spoil it) happened, and then a lot of chaos ensued, I was shocked. Seriously, I hadn’t been expecting it to go down the way it did, and there was a lot of bloodshed and just… a lot of stuff happening.

The last third of the book really held my attention and, more than once, especially in the last chapter, I had to catch my breath because I was so anxious as to what was going to happen next, how it was going to play out, and if the plan was going to succeed.

Overall, I found that the last third of the book was much more enticing and dynamic than the first two thirds, but that’s not to say it was a bad read. I actually really enjoyed the book and found myself hooked into reading it, despite the flaws that I personally found. And I can’t wait to read the sequel; it’s going to be so good. THAT ENDING THOUGH. UGH, MY HEART.

★★★★☆

The Picky Pledge Challenge

the picky pledge 2019
Photo by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and Hannah of So Obsessed With.

Hello lovely people~ I hope you’re doing well. SO, today I have an interesting post to talk about and that is The Picky Pledge Challenge. I was perusing Alexa’s blog over at Alexa Loves Books and stumbled upon her post for this year’s challenge about book buying habits.

First off, what is The Picky Pledge? It’s a challenge that was created by Alexa and Hannah of So Obsessed With to reflect on your book buying habits and to become more intentional with the books that are read, to read more backlist books, to read books already on your shelves, and reduce the amount of review books received.

Honestly? I think it’s a great idea! This past year I didn’t buy too many books, I don’t think, but I can still change my habits and really focus on the books I already own and give them some love, you know? So, I decided I’m going to join in this challenge along with them!

I don’t really have statistics of what I read and bought and such, so I won’t be going over them in this post, but I hope to next year when I do a recap of this challenge.

Speaking of, here are the categories that they set to focus on for this year!

2019 reading challenge
Photo by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and Hannah of So Obsessed With.

I find these to be very reasonable and fun to do! I also find them to be in line with the Beat the Backlist Challenge that I also am taking part in this year. I’ll keep track of the goals for this specific challenge here on this post (as well as in a separate document on my computer lol), in case you want to see how I’m doing with it!

COVER:
RECOMMENDATION:
HOOK:
ON SALE:
SEQUEAL:
UNIQUE FORMAT:
AUTHOR:
GIFT:
PRE-ORDERED:
3+ YEARS AGO:
HYPED: The Wicked King by Holly Black & Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare | Both bought January 2019
TOPIC:

Let’s Chat!

So what about you? Are you up for the challenge? Be sure to check out Alexa’s and Hannah’s posts and their own goals for the year! Let me know in the comments below what your reading goals are and what some of your buying habits for the new year are.

Happy New Year! | Goals & Stuff

Happy New Year, peeps!

I can’t believe it’s already the new year. 2018 FLEW by, and I bet 2019 is going to go even faster. Oh joy.

But with a new year comes new year’s resolutions and promises that you won’t keep (maybe lol), so here’s my list of goals that I hope to achieve this upcoming year:

Reading & Blog Goals

  • Read one book per week. That’s 52 books for the year, which is entirely doable for me considering I’ve read 50 books in the past. This includes manga and comics, just so we’re clear.
  • Have half of those books be ones that are already on my shelves. Look, I recently did a large unhaul of unread books that had been sitting on my shelf gathering dust because I knew I wasn’t going to read them and I’d rather them go somewhere I know they’ll be well loved, so this year I want to focus on reading at least 25 books that are already currently on my shelves. Doable. Achievable. Awesome.
  • Post twice a week on my blog. I’ve already been doing this as I wanted to start the habit before the new year, but I’m going to try to post on Mondays (reviews) and Thursdays (chats/discussions/fun things). So far it’s been working, so that’s good. So that’ll be 104 posts for the year. Again: doable.

Personal Goals

  • Reach level two Japanese by the end of June. So I’ve been trying to learn Japanese for a while but I really suck at studying, so I’m going to try to make it my mission to study daily and reach level two on the app I use by the end of June. Again: doable. This also includes reviewing and practicing and all that jazz.
  • Lose at least ten pounds by the end of June. I’m not going to set the bar too high for weight loss goals. This one is entirely doable, and I’ve been working on it more this past month that I have in the past. Let’s hope for some good results!
  • Find work that’s more suited to me. This one is one I’ve been working towards, but I don’t know how it’ll go yet, so I’m going to keep this one kind of vague lol, but I do hope to find a job either in my field, teaching abroad, or something entirely different.
  • Finish the first draft of my book by the end of June. I have a lot I want to get done by midyear lol, but I really want to finish just the very rough first draft of the novel I’ve been trying to work on.
  • Work toward a better well-being and state of mind. It’s been a rough couple of years, friends, and I just want to get to a place of joy. This one is ongoing, though, so it’ll be for a lifetime.

I think that’s it for my goals. They’re all attainable, all doable, and I think that’s the best part of this whole thing.

Let’s chat!

What are some of your goals for this year? What are some of the things you achieved last year, but still want to continue into this year? Let me know in the comments!

2018 End of Year Survey

It’s that time of year again, folks, where I review what I’ve read this past year and talk about it with you. This survey was created by the lovely Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner, so you should definitely go check her out.

**2018 READING STATS**

 

Number Of Books You Read:
Number of Re-Reads:
Genre You Read The Most From: Fan fiction

 

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

gemina

This whole trilogy was AMAZING, but of the last two books in the trilogy that I read this year, Gemina was definitely my favorite. You can check out my review here!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Maybe the Vox Machina Origin comic books? I haven’t watched a lot of the first campaign which I know the books are based off of those characters, but I was expecting something… different? They’re still good, just not as good as I was expecting.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

ruinandrising

Probably Ruin and Rising – and in a good way. It’s been a couple of years since I read book two, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect going into it, but I really enjoyed it and thought it made for a great wrap up kind of book.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Not a book, but a fan fiction by Tharros called “Two Black Dots.” It’s an awesome fanfic about Bakugou Katsuki and Uraraka Ochako, and I highly recommend you check it out.

 5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

Best series: (Fan fiction): Two Black Dots by Tharros

Best sequel: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Best series ender: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

Rick Riordan! I’ve never read any of his material before, but I started with Percy Jackson & the Lighting Thief several months ago and really enjoyed it. You can check out my review here!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Well, I didn’t start reading fan fiction until this year, SO I’m going to go with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by Ms_Chunks. It’s another Bakugou/Uraraka fan fic and it’s SO GOOD.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Have I mentioned Gemina and Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff yet? Because those two were AMAZING and I could not put them down.

Check out my Gemina review here and my Obsidio review here!

 9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I will say probably Bakugou Katsuki is Going to Become a Friendly Guy Even if it Kills Him by piscesroyalty. It’s a comedy/romance fan fiction and I have never laugh out loud so much then when I was reading this.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?

obsidio

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Ella Malikova from Gemina. SHE’S AMAZING. Super sassy, doesn’t put up with your crap, and is just a great side character. Seriously loved her.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

falling by isanas is so beautiful. It pulls on your heart and it’s just… oof, so good.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

I really have no idea with this one. I know I’ve had a lot of thoughts on several of the books I read, reflecting on some of the elements of them and how they could be interpreted in real life and such, and I know that on more than one occasion I found myself going, “Wow, that’s amazing,” but I can’t really pinpoint what books those might be.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read? 

thelightningthief

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. SERIOUSLY. I would’ve enjoy this so much as a kid hahaha

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

“Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”

-Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

Gemina: 659 pages

I’ve read a lot of one-shot fan fics, so I’m going to say those lol Some were under 1000 words.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Have I mentioned the Illuminae Files yet? Because OH MAN DID I HAVE A LOT OF ANIMATED REACTIONS TO THESE BOOKS. Like, I’m not the most animated person when reading. I don’t make a lot of faces or even really laugh aloud at something funny, but these books? Oh man, these books seriously took me on a roller coaster and I know for a fact that Gemina had me gaping at the end of it for a while.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

KACCHAKO. My loves. ❤ (Bakugou Katsuki x Uraraka Ochako)

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Nik Malikov and Ella Malikova from the Illuminae Files. They’re cousins, so I just love their dynamic and how they pick on each other, but also would die for the other. It’s great.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

leahontheoffbeat

Leah On the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. This was a fun read that I read back in May and I just remember loving Becky’s first book: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, so I was not disappointed. Check out my review here!

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Just a looooooot of fan fiction, haha! I got to support my friends’ writings, you know?

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

Both Hanna Donnelly and Nik Malikov from Gemina. *shrug* What can I say? I love me a strong, fierce, sassy, brave woman, and a goofy, gold-hearted, family-oriented bad boy.

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

I don’t think I’ve read any debuts this year, so N/A.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

I need to stop mentioning the Illuminae Files in this post, but THESE BOOKS ARE LITERAL VISUALS, and the way things are described is just so well done? Like??? Ugh, so good.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Bakugou Katsuki is Going to Become a Friendly Guy Even If It Kills Him by piscesroyalty on AO3. It’s SO funny and SO good, omg, seriously, read it.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

In Hindsight by infantblue. This fanfic CRUSHED me. A bunch of us did live reactions with the author and she was just so overwhelmed by the support she got for this. I literally felt the tears in my eyes, but I didn’t actually cry lol

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Shout out to every fan fic I read because, man, were they a surprise! Seriously, I’ve read so many and I loved a lot.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

obsidio

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

Ooh, I think Eidolon by Grace Draven was the most unique just because of the species in it and such. I mean, I read Radiance last year, but I really thought the concept of a human and a Kai together and how the two would go through life together was super intriguing. The way it was executed was well done.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Uh. I have no idea haha

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

readwithcindy – she’s got such a great personality and such a great level of sass, and I’m glad I found her.

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2018?

Fan Fiction Galore & Why You Should Read Some

3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2018:?

IMG_0970

Here’s my instagram if you want to check it out!

4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?

I took part in the Biannual Bibliothon this past winter/spring in early 2018, as in, I was one of the blog hosts lol

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

I don’t know, just getting back to it, really. I’ve barely posted at all this year, but it really feels good to be back on my little corner of the internet.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Uh, I didn’t blog lol Barely, anyway. Finding the time and motivation was difficult, but I’m making it more of a priority nowadays and really glad I am.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Biannual Bibliothon Challenge: Rewrite a Favorite Scene

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

None. I’m okay with where everything is.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

The Bookmarked series on YouTube where Zoe, Hailey, and Hannah have guests and talk about bookish topics.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Well, the past couple of years I’ve been setting my Goodreads reading goal to one book, which has been working out great for me, haha! So that was achieved. That’s pretty much it haha

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

If I haven’t started this book this week, it’s definitely going to be Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir. Like, my husband caught up real fast this year with all three books and has been waiting months for me to read this third book because he wanted to discuss and I just haven’t yet. Whoops lol

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi. But first I need to read Restore Me, which is sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. I’ve been following Hafsah on Twitter for years now, and I’m so proud of her debut coming up! I’m definitely going to read it when it’s released.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

Is the final book of the Ember in the Ashes saga going to be published in 2019? If so, that one lol

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

I’m going to be having a 2019 goals post coming out next week, so read about them there!

6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

Not applicable haha!

Let’s chat!

Alright my friends, my question to you for the end of this year is: if you could squeeze in just one more read for the end of the year, what would it be and why? Have a wonderful and safe new year!