Best of 2015

January has been unbelievably hectic, so I’m still playing catch-up from the beginning of the month. My streak of lackluster blogging marches proudly into 2016! I wanted to do a post of the absolute best books I read in 2015. I’m sure they’ve been in plenty of GE posts, and will continue to make appearances, but I wanted a moment to celebrate how much I loved them. On we go!

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November Wrap-Up

I learned how to download ebooks from my library this month and it made all the difference. When I went on a business trip in the beginning of the month, downloading ebooks was the most practical way to make sure I had enough reading material while traveling. I read a whopping 11 books in November! I think this is my record.

Added bonus: Snow Like Ashes was my 60th book for the year, which completes my goal! Since I’m at 66 now, I’m hoping to read at least 4 in December so I can hit 70 and read over double my original goal for the year, which was 35.

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Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date finished: November 2, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆ (Three stars)
Notes: I’m never as into this series as everyone else seems to be, but I enjoyed this more than Crown of Midnight.

Title: The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories
Author: Marina Keegan
Date finished: November 2, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆ (Four stars)
Notes: It’s a sad set-up for a book, but it was super good. It was clear that Keegan was a clever and talented writer.

Title: Daughter of Deep Silence
Author: Carrie Ryan
Date finished: November 8, 2015
My rating: ☆☆½ (Two and a half stars)
Notes: So blah. The premise was interesting enough but the book was pretty boring. I’m giving it 2.5 stars so I can round it up to 3 (I didn’t hate it enough to justify a 2 star rating).

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Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Date finished: November 8, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆ (Four stars)
Notes: I can get frustrated with characters who seem “too nice,” and if Jenny Han had been any less talented, Lara Jean may have been one of these characters. But I loved her. She was all sweetness and it was an adorable book.

Title: Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Date finished: November 10, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆ (Three stars)
Notes: This was pretty standard YA fantasy (which is my M.O., to be honest). A weird detail I liked was that winter wasn’t the antagonizing season. I like the cold and winter gets a bad rap!

Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Date finished: November 11, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆ (Three stars)
Notes: It was okay. Not my favorite, but solid enough. The twist was pretty upsetting (I started yelling when it happened, you can ask my roommates).

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Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Date finished: November 13, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆ (Three stars)
Notes: This was… cute? This was one of those books where I wish I could have edited it. While I loved that it was about teenage girls working together and exceeding expectations, the commentary was so heavy-handed.

Title: Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances
Author: Neil Gaiman
Date finished: November 19, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆ (Four stars)
Notes: I wasn’t a fan of Fragile Things, but Trigger Warning reminded me why I like Gaiman. That said, I was expecting to be more scared/creeped out. Bring it, Gaiman.

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Date finished: November 20, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆ (Four stars)
Notes: I had never read any Patrick Ness before (sacrilege, I know). I was pleasantly surprised by this and I’m now in my library’s queue to download The Rest of Us Just Live Here.

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Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Date finished: November 23, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆½ (Three and a half stars)
Notes: It takes place in my hometown, sort of! It gets an extra half-star for that. This was pretty good, but then again it’s YA fantasy. Like I said before, that’s right up my alley.

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Date finished: November 28, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆ (Four stars)
Notes: Everyone loves this series, but a booktuber I like said she wasn’t a fan and that made me a little apprehensive. I shouldn’t have been apprehensive. This book was so much fun!

 

Here’s hoping I have another great reading month in December. Finish the year strong!

October Wrap-Up

I have been MIA for a few weeks. I was super busy with work stuff (my job hosts several big events during the first week of November) and when I got back from my work trip, I had the flu for a week. So I’m just getting around to posting my October Wrap-Up now, in the middle of November. Whoops.

As a whole, October wasn’t my strongest reading month. I read only 4 books (none of which were from my TBR list), but I was so busy that I’m more than happy to have read any books at all.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 2.34.14 PM Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Date finished: October 10, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆ (Four stars)
Notes: I loved this series already, but this was such an absurdly great ending. There was this feeling of loss, but just the perfect amount, if that makes any sense.

Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Date finished: October 11, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆ (Four stars)
Notes: I expected to love it. I did love it. I need to read more heist books. And Leigh Bardugo needs to write more books.

Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Date finished: October 13, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆½ (Three and a half stars)
Notes: It was good, with some decent bits about being Hispanic and American. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was missing out by not reading this by audiobook, where I could have had my idol Lin-Manuel Miranda reading it to me.

Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Date finished: October 18, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆ (Four stars)
Notes: So cute so cute! I thought this book was absolutely adorable.

October 2015 TBR

I haven’t made TBR posts before because I don’t really stick to TBR lists. I like lists to remind me of books I heard about and was interested in, but when it comes time to read, I pretty much just pick up whatever looks good. However, I’ve also picked up a bad habit in the past few months that I should really address.

I’ve received quite a few books for review from Goodreads Giveaways (I have a NetGalley account, but I haven’t braved requesting a book yet). Instead of reading and reviewing them in a timely manner, I’ve been hoarding them and reading library books instead. So this month, I’m setting goals for myself in hopes that I’ll catch up.
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The books I want to read and review this month are the following: She’s Not There by P.J. Parrish; Nowhere Girl by Susan Strecker; Local Girls by Caroline Zancan (I’ve had this one for an embarrassingly long time); and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell. I also have Children’s Literature by Seth Lerer in there because it’s another book I’ve been meaning to read for ages.

I need this post to hold me accountable, so I’ll report my progress in my October wrap up post at the end of the month. Wish me luck! And please let me know if you also slack like this.

September 2015 Wrap-Up

I’ve been saying for a few months that my powers are at their peak in the fall. New York gets crisper, rainier, colder, cloudier. I joked to my friends that I feed off the gloom. But judging by my numbers from this month, that was no joke. I read nine whole books this month. I feel like I got my mojo back. There are three months left in this year and I’ve only got another nine books to read before I reach my goal. Read on to see my books from September.
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Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Date finished: September 02, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆ (Four stars)
Review: I want to review the series as a whole once I finish it.
Notes: Such a gorgeous fantasy setting. The Russian influence made it feel so rich and unique.

Title: The River of No Return
Author: Bee Ridgway
Date finished: September 08, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆½ (Three and a half stars)
Review: I do not plan on reviewing.
Notes: Time travel, history, secret societies, and romance. What more could you want?

Title: Room
Author:  Emma Donoghue
Date finished: September 09, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆ (Three stars)
Review: No review planned.
Notes: Hard to read at times due to the difficult subject matter, but still an amazing story.

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Title: The Girl on the Train
Author:  Paula Hawkins
Date finished: September 11, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆ (Three stars)
Review: No review planned.
Notes: Despite some parts that were constructed well, I found it disappointing as a whole.

Title: Ink and Bone
Author:  Rachel Caine
Date finished: September 17, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆½ (Three and a half stars)
Review: Undecided.
Notes: I enjoyed it and will read any subsequent books, but not my favorite read of the month.

Title: The Thief
Author:  Megan Whalen Turner
Date finished: September 17, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆½ (Three stars)
Review: I would like to read the rest of this series and review it as a whole.
Notes: I found this book pretty disappointing until the twist at the end. It piqued my interest and I’m looking forward to rest of the series.

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Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Date finished: September 18, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ (Five stars)
Review: I would like to write a review. I loved it and want to talk about it!
Notes: Love. Love love love.

Title: Siege and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Date finished: September 27, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆ (Four stars)
Review: I would like to review the entire series together.
Notes: I liked this as much as I liked the first book.

Title: We’ll Never Be Apart
Author: Emiko Jean
Date finished: September 30, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆ (Three stars)
Review: I will be writing a review.
Notes: I finished this late last night and still haven’t pieced together my thoughts. I’ll form an opinion before reviewing.

As always, leave me recommendations in the comments. Help me read great books in October.

August 2015 Wrap-Up

Vacation was good for me. It got me out of my blogging slump by forcing me to queue up posts. It also got me out of my reading slump by giving me plenty of time to read. Even with a bunch of flights and an interview at the end of the month (still waiting to hear back, wish me luck!), I still managed to read seven books in August, which is up from my measly five in July.

902 Title: Love Water Memory
Author: Jennie Shortridge
Date finished: August 10, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆ (Three stars)
Review: Probably not.
Notes: I thought this would be creepy. It was an okay book, but not creepy.

Title: Fangirl
Author:  Rainbow Rowell
Date finished:  August 12, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆ (Three stars)
Review: Maybe.
Notes: I wanted to like this book because I’m part of the fandom generation, but I didn’t think it really reflected that experience.

Title: Crown of Midnight
Author:  Sarah J. Maas
Date finished:  August 15, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆ (Three stars)
Review: Probably.
Notes: I’m still not nuts about this series, but it’s enjoyable enough for me to continue with the next book.

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Title: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
Author:  Stephanie Oakes
Date finished:  August 18, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆ (Four stars)
Review: I definitely plan on reviewing this!
Notes: Love love love love love. I LOVED this one. I’m forcing all of my friends to read it now.

Title: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Author:  Catherynne M. Valente
Date finished:  August 23, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ (Five stars)
Review: Also a definite.
Notes: Another love love love book. I’ve already given it to my roommate to read.

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Title: Sisters Red
Author: Jackson Pearce
Date finished: August 24, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆ (Three stars)
Review: Maybe.
Notes: It was okay. I liked the concept well enough, but the romance was totally unnecessary and the writing wasn’t great.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date finished: August 30, 2015
My rating: ☆☆☆½ (Three and a half stars)
Review: Probably.
Notes: I definitely liked this better than either of the Throne of Glass books I’ve read, but there were still some things that bugged me. It was a little Twilight-y at times. I’m torn between 3 and 4 stars.

Sorry for being super vague about what books I’ll be reviewing. I want to review a lot of them, but I’m super behind. I have books I read in May that I still haven’t reviewed! I might try doing shorter reviews in an attempt to catch up. We’ll see. In the meantime, tell me what books you’ve read this month or what books I should read in September!

Popsugar Reading Challenge

When I first saw Popsugar’s massive 2015 Reading Challenge a few months ago, I didn’t think I would participate. But now I’ve stumbled upon the Reading Challenge again and I’m sitting pretty at 35 books. 50 seems much more attainable now.

I’m not committing to this challenge. I’m more interested in reviewing books and working on this blog, but it’ll be fun to see how many I cover by the end of the year. I’ve gone ahead and matched up my 2015 books with the list. If I ever get around to updating this at the end of the year, expect to see books bounced around to fill different requirements. Check out my standing behind the cut!

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