Month: December 2017

2017 End of Year and Statistics Surveys

Posted December 30, 2017 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 6 Comments
2017 End of Year and Statistics Surveys

Happy end of the year! How is it possible?! Honestly this was one of the craziest, busiest, weirdest, and best years of my life. As you know from years past, I hate filling these out unless my year is completely done. I’ve managed to finish my reading a bit early and then pause until the New Year. I loved filling out Jamie’s survey in 2014, 2015, and 2016. This is the 7th time she’s hosted this 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. Number of Books You Read: 150 Number of Re-Reads: 16 | Number of DNFs: 7 Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary 1. Best Book You Read In 2017? Totally cheating and adding multiple categories! (Not including rereads.) See a full list of my “best reads” of the year (5 stars and 4.5 stars) here if you’re curious.       Best of the best: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Best contemporary: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord Best non-contemporary: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black Best adult fiction: The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison Best 2017 debut […]

January TBR + Winter Bingo

Posted December 28, 2017 / Book Lists, Features, TBR Lists / 4 Comments
January TBR + Winter Bingo

I recently started a monthly TBR feature, where I try to pin down which books I plan to read in the upcoming month. It also helps remind me throughout the month which books I’m supposed to be reading, for various reasons. I add a little poll at the bottom too, so you guys can vote and help me narrow down some of my options as well. Here are my top TBR choices for this month and how I did last month… December Progress       My main goals for December were to read holiday books, finish my Flights of Fantasy challenge, and finish my Goodreads challenge. I have successfully done all three! I managed to read four of the Christmassy books I put in my December TBR, skipped one, and read two others. I also killed two birds with one stone by reading a fantasy/holiday combo book of novellas. On Deck for January 2017 Leftovers & Borrowed books    Top Ten by Katie Cotugno // A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills  TOP TEN has been hanging around ever since my library hold came in sometime during December. I really love Cotugno’s books and can’t wait to see what her latest is like! I borrowed A TAXONOMY OF LOVE from Madalyn way too long ago and keep saying I’m going to read it. My first ~resolution~ is to read it ASAP. I need to be better about these things. And finally, FOOLISH HEARTS was only released […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #163: Anticipated

Posted December 26, 2017 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 13 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #163: Anticipated

Eighteen Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018 Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, 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 decided to use this as 2018 releases I can’t wait for because of course there are WAY TOO MANY OF THEM. I could have focused on books I’ve put off reading until 2018, but I think that topic is coming up soon on TTT. Without further ado, here are some of my top anticipated releases for 2018 (organized by release month). I only chose books with actual release dates planned AND ones with cover art (otherwise this list could have gotten even MORE out of hand, folks.) January     Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle | New Years story with random acts of kindness The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory | Fake wedding dates fall for each other Love & Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen | 24 hour romance stuck on a train in the snow Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke | Big Brother-like reality show for students February and March    All We Can Do is Wait by Richard Lawson | Teens brought together at Mass General after an accident The Sweetest Kind of Fate by Crystal Cestari | Sequel in the Windy City Magic series Not If I Save You […]

Holiday Movie Roundup: Reviews/Recs (3)

Posted December 25, 2017 / Features / 5 Comments
Holiday Movie Roundup: Reviews/Recs (3)

I wanted to include some movie reviews, recommendations, and general thoughts this year, since these are usually the biggest piece of my holiday cheer! I do love the holiday books, of course, but the movies are what REALLY gets me in the mood. I watch many of the same ones each year but always try to mix in some new favorites. In this little roundups, I’ll be sharing “reviews” of both new-to-me movies and repeat watch feels. They’ll be going in chronological order based on when I watched it this season! Switched For Christmas Number of watches: First time Source: Hallmark original movie Rating: Best Hallmark movie I’ve seen so far Candace Cameron-Bure continues her reign as Hallmark Christmas Queen with her latest addition to the channel. I can say that I genuinely enjoyed this movie – not just enjoyed it for a Hallmark movie 😉 Sure it had some cheesy moments, but not nearly as many as usual. The premise is that twin sisters decide to switch places, a la The Parent Trap, around the holidays to prove that they could successfully plan the other person’s Christmas party (lol). Naturally, there’s some great romance, family moments, and growth for the characters. The sisters weren’t super close before their switch, so it was nice to see their relationship genuinely grow closer as the movie went on. I actually started to watch a different Hallmark movie that night and stopped it after a couple of minutes because I just needed some CBC instead. She’s […]

Holiday Reviews: We’ll Always Have Christmas and The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Posted December 24, 2017 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Holiday Reviews: We’ll Always Have Christmas and The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Story Tis the season for my favorite holiday author! I always wait until it’s VERY close to Christmas to embark on my Jenny Hale book of the year, because they’re usually the most atmospheric. This one was a little different, which I’ll get into later. Noelle takes on a new job helping an elderly man in a local mansion while trying to fix up her family’s bakery to improve business. She falls for Alex, the man’s grandson, while staying there with her son. She has mixed feelings because Alex is the landlord for the bakery and is the one “pushing them out” with higher rent. Noelle has close friends, Phoebe and Jo, and a tight-knit family between her parents, grandfather, and sister. It was a  really well-rounded story, even if some of the plot pieces were kind of annoying. There was a whole side thing that I predicted earlier with the grandfather’s lost ~first love~ and the fact that Noelle was thinking of moving to LA with Phoebe. The second thing there wasn’t needed in the story and took up an unnecessary amount of her headspace. The first one made sense even if it was predictable. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels I feel like this is the first time I’ve given a Jenny Hale book less than “full-on holiday cheer” on my cheer-o-meter. The book takes place in the month or two leading up to Christmas, so there were bits of the holiday sprinkled throughout. The cozy bakery setting and […]

2018 Resolutions and Challenge Sign-Up

Posted December 21, 2017 / Book Challenges, Features / 12 Comments
2018 Resolutions and Challenge Sign-Up

I’ve been doing these resolutions for the past couple of years and found that it’s a really nice way to keep track of some goals for the upcoming year. I’ll be honest when I say that generally “resolutions” or the “clean slate of a new year” isn’t my shtick, but sometimes the marking of a new year just helps when setting new goals. It’s an easy marker of time and that’s about it. You can find 2015, 2016, and 2017 resolutions as well. Continue to not feel pressured to read and enjoy other hobbies | I feel like a broken record with this one but honestly I have to remind myself every year to KEEP DOING THIS. I used to get so bogged down in meeting my goal or challenges that I would focus exclusively on reading every second I could. I would have the audiobooks going during my morning routine in commute, plus another book to read from the second I sat on the couch after dinner until bedtime. It’s nice to read all time because DUH I love reading, but I really want to feel like I can veg out for a week straight with my favorite show instead. Read 50% or less contemporary novels | Last year I didn’t have a specific target in line for this goal, so it didn’t really work out. I finished with about 60% contemporary, which isn’t bad, but not what I was hoping for. It’d be really nice to expand my writing yet again […]

Holiday Movie Roundup: Reviews/Recs (2)

Posted December 20, 2017 / Features / 8 Comments
Holiday Movie Roundup: Reviews/Recs (2)

I wanted to include some movie reviews, recommendations, and general thoughts this year, since these are usually the biggest piece of my holiday cheer! I do love the holiday books, of course, but the movies are what REALLY gets me in the mood. I watch many of the same ones each year but always try to mix in some new favorites. In this little roundups, I’ll be sharing “reviews” of both new-to-me movies and repeat watch feels. They’ll be going in chronological order based on when I watched it this season! Love You Like Christmas Number of watches: First time Source: Hallmark original movie Rating: Worth it for cute Christmas Valley alone I’m continuing to crank through these Hallmark movies but I hope to keep breaking it up with some others, so I don’t get sick of them lol. They all involve some high-powered executive of some time kind ending up in a small Christmas-loving town, who decides she loves it and wants to stay. This particular formula was a marketing executive from NYC getting stranded in Christmas Valley, Ohio as she was driving to Denver for a wedding. She falls in love with a local tree farmer (and his daughter) while helping them save their farm from the big and mean tree conglomerates nearby (lol). She essentially transforms the whole town with her marketing prowess and then has to decide whether or not she’s going back to NYC for her job. All in all, the formula worked here. Charming Christmas town, […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #162: Santa

Posted December 19, 2017 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 6 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #162: Santa

Nine Books I Hope Santa Brings 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 didn’t ask for as many books as I usually might this Christmas! I also traditionally feature other things on my Christmas list, but I’m feeling a bit lazier this year. Here are some of the books on my wishlist (and some books I may buy with holiday gift cards!). On my wishlist    Picture Perfect by Catherine Clark // Summer in the City by Elizabeth Chandler Suite Dreams by Rachel Hawthorne I have no real logical reason for requesting these books, except for how much I love old cheesy YA romances! I’ve read these authors before and sometimes they’re JUST what I’m in the mood for. I think they may have been on my list last year and I decided to keep them on? Either way, I look forward to reading these in one sitting after they inevitably appear under the tree. Post-Christmas gift card buys    Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills // I love her books so much. It took a lot of willpower to hold off on buying this book, but I had a feeling that Amazon gift cards would be coming my way. I RESISTED. The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody […]

Holiday Book Buddies: Bittersweet

Posted December 18, 2017 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 5 Comments
Holiday Book Buddies: Bittersweet

Cristina and I are teaming up for our seasonal Book Buddies read! This time, we chose BITTERSWEET by Sarah Ockler. I wanted to keep up with my usual holiday review theme for the month but we obviously have a little something more for you at the bottom! As usual, don’t forget to check out Cristina’s post too! Story I’ve had mixed experiences with Sarah Ockler so far. I loved one and felt so-so about another. This book unfortunately falls more into that second category, but I definitely enjoyed it a bit more. The diner setting was a lot of fun; I always love books that take place in restaurants of some kind (like some classic Dessens). Hudson, in addition to figure skating again, bakes insanely delicious-sounding cupcakes for the diner too. Each chapter started off with a little description about one of the cupcakes and it made me so hungry. I loved her brother and their relationship. Her mom expected a lot from her but I didn’t find it overly unreasonable, especially because Hudson kept her in the dark about everything going on in her life. I enjoyed the friendships she developed with the hockey boys but hated how she treated Dani. Hudson was a selfish character with a few goals she had laser focus on, so it was hard to like her at times. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels I wasn’t expecting full-on holiday feels for this one because it doesn’t allude to that in the synopsis, but it […]

Holiday Reviews: My New Crush Gave to Me and Winter Solstice

Posted December 15, 2017 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Holiday Reviews: My New Crush Gave to Me and Winter Solstice

Story I was really hoping for something cute and Christmassy, which I got in some ways. Unfortunately I spent most of the book incredibly frustrated by the clueless yet often bitchy and domineering main character. I like predictable holiday stories because they’re comforting but there was literally no surprise for any element of the plot. By a quarter of the way through the book, I knew every detail about how it was going to end. The side characters were fun and nice people who definitely put up with Charlie FAR longer than I would have. Her best friend was too understanding but it helped that there wasn’t a best-friend-fight subplot. The general storyline is that she is determined (with absolutely no actual evidence) that Teo is the perfect boyfriend for her, so she stops at nothing to make this happen… and I mean nothing. She refuses to see any kind of sign that maybe he’s not the right guy for her and ignores the compelling evidence that perhaps someone else is. I definitely wanted to give her a swift kick in the ass 99% of the time, which doesn’t make for the most fun holiday read. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels The book took place in Connecticut, which I love, but they didn’t really make it a point to reference that too much. The main character has (in the past) loved Christmas and she celebrates pretty hard with her mom when she’s not working. (I literally can’t even remember if […]