Month: December 2016

2016 Year-End Reading & Blogging Wrap-Up

Posted December 31, 2016 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 1 Comment
2016 Year-End Reading & Blogging Wrap-Up

Folks, I cannot believe this year is over. I really just can’t fathom it at all. I remember putting this post together for my mid-year check-in and I was baffled that it was halfway through the year. And now we’re entering 2017 somehow. This has been such a bizarre year all over the place, between politics and celebrity deaths and other kinds of internet drama. I had a pretty great year in my personal life (and reading life), so I’m going to focus on the good and see what 2017 has in store for us. Hopefully something a little better… As you see in my monthly wrap-ups, I keep my stats updated each time. The spreadsheet I use is definitely the reason for my organization. I use this time of year (in addition to the end of the year) to REALLY go all-out with my stats. It also helps me create new goals or update existing ones. SO HERE WE GO! All of the Books Read This Year Monthly Breakdown & Totals Random Fun Smallest book read: We Should All Be Feminists (49 pages) Largest book read: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (759 pages) Most read author: Lemony Snicket (13) Books read 300 pages or under: 47 Books read over 300 pages: 119 Most pages & books in a month: 7,108 pages from 23 books in April Least pages & books in a month: 2,519 pages from 7 books in October I did a full wrap-up in different categories for my midpoint check-in, but wanted to highlight just […]

2016 End of Year and Statistics Surveys

Posted December 30, 2016 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 9 Comments
2016 End of Year and Statistics Surveys

Happy end of the year! I am usually very strict about completing these surveys once the year is 100% over and the reading is completely done. This year, I ended up achieving my Goodreads goal and stopping dead in my reading tracks for the next day or so. I didn’t want to go over, so I could give myself time to relax without reading-related pressure! I love filling out these two surveys each year and this year is no exception. Off you go! I loved filling out Jamie’s survey last year and the year before, so it (again) was a no-brainer that I would join this year! This is the 6th time she’s hosted this little survey and it’s so fun to see what everyone chooses for the categories. Last year, I didn’t allow myself any duplicates. I’m going to try to keep them to a minimum for this survey, but it feels impossible. I’ll need to have a few. To learn more about it and see a blank set of questions, check here! It was so fun to reread my answers for last year, since I copied that survey here to clean out and fill out. What a year 2015 was, eh? 180 books! Number of Books You Read: 160 Number of Re-Reads: 16 (including the Series of Unfortunate Events) Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary/Romance 1. Best Book You Read In 2015? Totally cheating and adding multiple categories! (Not including rereads.) Best of the best: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid (she […]

2017 Resolutions

2017 Resolutions

Last year we had a TTT for our resolutions and even though there isn’t one this year, I knew I had to make one myself. It turned into a fairly important set of goals for me in 2016. I ended up revisiting those goals/resolutions throughout the year and actually did a great job of keeping up with them! I’m actually not a big New Years person. Time and dates are completely arbitrary. I don’t make personal resolutions and don’t really think of the new year as a “fresh start.” However, for the blog (and for a couple of personal things!) I like the idea of setting goals in January because it gives you a concrete timeline of when to finish them. This year, I did keep similar resolutions in some places and just edited them a little bit more. Otherwise, these are brand new! Read less… and give myself time to focus on other hobbies ///  This goal is actually the same from last year, except I plan to reduce my goal even more and see where I end up. I averaged 11-12 books per month in 2016, which is down from the 14-15 per month in 2015. That’s good! I had a reading slump and was totally burned out by October, so I had no motivation anymore. I want to avoid that even further this year. I hope to expand this a little bit by also limiting audiobooks. I don’t want to always have one going, so I can enjoy podcasts and other […]

Reviews: This Is Your Afterlife and The Burning Sky

Posted December 28, 2016 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Reviews: This Is Your Afterlife and The Burning Sky

I had no idea this book was less than 200 pages when I started reading, so that was actually a pleasant surprise! I was on a roll reading at the time and was damn happy to keep the reading going. I ended up finishing it up within two sittings on the same day. It was really fun and easy to read! When I added it to my Must Read in 2016 Challenge TBR, I think I completely forgot what the premise was and mixed it up with The Catastrophic History of You and Me (seriously look at the covers and you can see why I made this mistake!). So, needless to say, the book wasn’t what I expected when I started reading. This wasn’t a bad thing! I really enjoyed the premise. Reading about spirits, communicating with the dead, tarot cards, and seances was REALLY interesting. I don’t have a lot of experience with this outside of witch-related books. The characters were pretty fantastic in my opinion. I liked Keira a lot and Jimmy was excellent too. Dan was okay and the romance aspect was fine. I always root for best-friends-to-more and in this case it was ex-best-friends-to-more… so that’s fun! I could have totally read about them in a longer story and/or sequel. I am apparently getting much better at predicting whodunnit in YA mysteries. I knew who the killer was within the first half of the book. I did dampen my enjoyment a little bit because I was hoping […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #121: Best of 2016

Posted December 27, 2016 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 11 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #121: Best of 2016

My Top Books of 2016 Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. I can never really let go of enough favorites to make this list short, like 10 books, so I am going to split up by genre and category. All of the books here were rated 4.5 or 5 stars. The first section just has the best (non-reread) books I read in 2016 – all 5 stars. The other categories below feature my other popular categories, like YA contemporary, other YA genres, and Adult contemporary. I don’t know what it says about what’s going to happen in 2017, but two books that haven’t even been released yet made it into my five-star list here. I loved all of these books but if I realllly had to pick an all-time favorite or three, I’m leaning toward After I Do, Results May Vary, and The Hating Game. Other reviews and Goodreads pages can be found here: The Score, We Are The Ants, The Lost and Found, The Long Game, History Is All You Left Me, and Caraval. The last two are 2017 releases so those links go to Goodreads. I loved this selection of YA Contemporary Romance this year! It’s hard to pin down major favorites from this excellent list, […]

Books and Movies with Similar Premises

Posted December 26, 2016 / Book Lists, Features / 5 Comments
Books and Movies with Similar Premises

When I sat down to write my list of 2017 releases I was looking forward to, I realized there were a lot of books that had similar premises to moves I once watched and loved. Books are constantly getting turned into movies and movies will keep coming out with sequels – long past their prime – because it can definitely be hard to have a completely unique idea now. There’s so much content all the time and I LOVE IT. You have no idea how excited I was to read these books synopses and say “hey, that sounds like [insert movie name here]!” If I enjoyed the movie and the idea behind it, you bet your ass I’ll read a book with a similar premise. I’ll be featuring upcoming books and the movies I thought of (purely based on the synopsis), as well as one book I read that reminds me of a TV series miniseries I’m in the middle of. To be clear: I’m not saying any of these books copied the movies or that they’re “retellings” in YA form. I’m just saying that the premises sound similar enough for me to write this post, alrighttttt? Groundhog Day + A Week of Mondays Like most people who enjoy comedy and/or Bill Murray, I really like GROUNDHOG DAY. It’s an ~older~ movie compared to some others on here but the premise is obviously timeless. The synopsis reminds me of A WEEK OF MONDAYS, which I have yet to read, and BEFORE I FALL, which […]

Merry Christmas! // The Christmas Tag

Posted December 25, 2016 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 2 Comments
Merry Christmas! // The Christmas Tag

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate!! One of my favorite days is finally here. It actually shouldn’t say “finally” because I feel like this month FLEW BY. Seriously, each month has this year but December… damn. Busy and quick. I wanted to post a little something on the blog for Christmas today so I thought The Christmas Tag would be a perfect fit to finish off the season. I hope you enjoyed all of the holiday reviews and features on the blog! Here’s a little recap of them, if you’d like to catch up and get in the spirit today. General holiday posts: Holiday Introduction, Favorite Books and Tropes, Christmas Coziness Holiday-Themed Top Ten Tuesdays:  Holiday Gift Guide for My YA Sister, Wishlist for Santa Holiday reviews: Winter Street, Winter Stroll, Winter Storms, Season of Second Chances, Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless (Book Buddies), All I Want for Christmas, What Light • Found on Spines and Covers and previously on The Enthusiast • What is your favorite Christmas film? No-brainer. I love The Santa Clause way too much. I used to watch each year with my parents and will ALWAYS put it on at least once or twice in December. I even watch the sequels, even though they’re garbage. From the second this movie starts until the second it ends, I’m so happy and Christmassy. Have you ever had a white Christmas? Yes absolutely! I live in Connecticut so we usually have a white Christmas. I don’t think we’ve had one in the past two years or […]

Holiday Mini Reviews: Winter Storms and What Light

Posted December 24, 2016 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Holiday Mini Reviews: Winter Storms and What Light

Story Winter Street swept me away pretty quickly for some reason. I was instantly intrigued by the Quinn family and wanted to get to know all of them. Once I finished with the bit of a cliffhanger, I moved on fairly quickly to Winter Stroll. The characters, over the course of the year between stories, regressed so much. They went back on decisions they already made and then made stupid ones. I didn’t like it nearly as much, but you know I was ready for the final book in the WINTER trilogy to arrive at the library. It unexpectedly did last week, so I was quick to hop right into it to finish it off. This book was definitely worse than the first one but better than the second one. I was incredibly annoyed by Ava mostly, with her love triangle that turned into a square. (Yep.)  I thought she became much snootier and more guarded than necessary. I think her character “developed” in the wrong direction. The other characters were their usual selves and I didn’t mind them as much. I love where the story went for Kevin and Isabelle, Margaret and Drake, and somewhat for Patrick and Jennifer. The ending was very abrupt and I kind of hated it. I think things were left too open-ended for my liking.  So, there was some good closure with a few characters but not all of them. Wintery Setting and Holiday Feels This story was interesting because it started in the spring […]

Holiday Book Buddies: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless

Posted December 23, 2016 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Holiday Book Buddies: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless

Book Buddies is a discussion-style “review” that takes place with Cristina from Girl in the Pages. (You can check out past posts here.) We both read the book, have a discussion, and post our conversation (plus other fun things sometimes!) here. Book Buddies is a seasonal feature that now happens four times per year. Be sure to check out the other half of our feature and discussion on Cristina’s blog (link below)! Check out Cristina’s post here! We’ve decided to bring some new elements into our Book Buddies posts, so it will be less Q&A discussion between the two of us, and more personal applications to the book. Because this book featured a bunch of lists the main character keeps in her head, we decided to channel the same thing for our post! The lists below are generally related to the book too. Chloe gets stuck at work in a grocery store on Christmas Eve, so you’ll see some place and food-related questions below! 5 Things About This Book This book made me so nostalgic for my grocery store days. I worked at Geissler’s Supermarket, a family-owned chain only in Connecticut and Massachussets, throughout the end of high school and beginning of college (on breaks). This book is incredibly accurate for what it’s like to work in a grocery store, from scheduling breaks to weird relationships with coworkers to having to work on Christmas Eve. Chloe and her coworkers were a bit presumptuous. I didn’t like so many of the assumptions they made about fellow […]

Holiday ARC Review: All I Want for Christmas

Posted December 22, 2016 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Holiday ARC Review: All I Want for Christmas

Basics and Initial Excitement Every year I’ve come to look forward to Jenny Hale’s newest Christmas story. I’ll be the first to tell you that they’re formulaic (especially when you’ve read all of her Christmas stories), often predictable, and cheesy in some parts. But honestly, what good Hallmark or Lifetime Christmas movie isn’t all of those things?! These books put me in the Christmas mood like no others and I am so happy to read them each year. I read this one in two settings within the course of 12 hours and I have no regrets. Characters and Story The setup for this one is somewhat similar to her others, but had some welcome twists to the norm. Leah and her daughter Sadie grew up with and loved Leah’s Nan. She owned a huge plantation where she would host events and the girls would spend time together. When Nan dies unexpectedly, Leah is not surprised to see that she was willed the plantation. However, she IS surprised to see a twist – a man from her childhood, David, is living there and was ALSO willed the mansion. When Leah, Sadie, and Leah’s family and friends trickle in for one last Christmas, sparks fly and the two have to figure out how to move forward with the mansion. I really loved getting to know Leah, Sadie, David, and Leah’s friends (Roz and Louise). They had great bonds with each other. David was incredibly kind and at times, a little too perfect. I […]