Category: Features

Books I’ve Read with the Lowest Average Goodreads Rating

Posted May 17, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 8 Comments
Books I’ve Read with the Lowest Average Goodreads Rating

When writing an upcoming post about book ratings, I started to think about average ratings on Goodreads. My rating for September Girls was a HALF of a star and the average Goodreads rating was 2.97. That is extremely low on Goodreads, obviously. I wanted to explore some of the books I’ve read with super low average Goodreads ratings, then see where my thoughts and rating stacked up. The Word for Yes by Claire Needell | I didn’t like this book and clearly the people of Goodreads agreed with me. This is the lowest average rating on Goodreads out of all the books I’ve read. I expected this to be a powerful and impactful story about the aftermath of a date rape, and how three sisters cope and move on together. That didn’t exactly happen and the story was very pointless, which is sad to say. It doesn’t help that the book was barely over 200 pages long and therefore a little too short to successfully tackle this topic. Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn | I feel a little bad for this book because it wasn’t THAT terrible? The concept was better than the execution, of course, but whatever. Like many of Cohn/Levithan’s books (when they write together), at least one character has to be a little too manic pixie dream-person or unrealistic. There’s too much forced quirkiness in their characters and that tends to ruin their books for me. Posh by Lucy Jackson | This is one […]

Romance in Mystery Novels

Posted May 16, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 4 Comments
Romance in Mystery Novels

When writing my review for You Owe Me a Murder, I came to the realization that romance plotlines rarely work for me in mystery or thriller novels. I started to think hard about why this is the case, because I generally welcome romance from any kind of book that I can. A lot of books feel like romance is missing when it doesn’t exist, just because it’s my preferred genre! Here are some of the reasons it doesn’t work for me in this genre and some of the exceptions to the rule… (1) I don’t trust anyone A good mystery novel makes you second-guess everything and everyone. I like the books where there are a bunch of red herrings and mysterious elements, so I never know what’s true and what’s conjecture. I go into these books incredibly wary of each character because you never know who could be the villain or murderer. Because of this, I almost never get invested in specific characters in mystery books. That’s a whole other topic, I’m sure, but that certainly means that romance is not on my mind. When the MC trying to solve the mystery grows closer to another character and they start to fall for each other, I don’t trust the ship. What if that person is the murderer?! I’m not falling for that. I will not ship them in the slightest because I’m afraid that I could be sad or disappointed by their heel turn (to use a wrestling term, LOL). I […]

Lauren Lately | May 2019

Posted May 15, 2019 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 3 Comments
Lauren Lately | May 2019

Because my Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups got out of hand, I wanted to break up my monthly wrap-ups into two posts: one personal and one bookish/bloggy. I created Lauren Lately here to highlight all of the personal happenings in my life: events, activities, shows I’m addicted to, things I’m obsessing over, recipes I’ve loved, and goals for the next month. I decided to space them out so this wrap-up happens around the mid-point of the month and the bookish one happens at the end of the month. ✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨ What I’ve Been Up To We are officially in the busy section of 2019 for me! Starting with my friend’s bachelorette trip to Charleston last month, through May and into June, we will be quite busy. We have another wedding we’re in (both Chris and me!) in August but luckily there isn’t a whole lot going into it. We had a little birthday celebration for my friend Cassie during Easter weekend, where we got new cartilage piercings and tacos for lunch. We also went shopping to get the matching Easter outfits that Natasha and I always wear for my family! I snuck in some reading time before Easter while everyone else was sleeping and then we had a nice day at my mom’s house. We don’t have a reason to celebrate Easter but we do it anyways? lol. I’m super busy with birthday things in April, as you all probably know by now (five super important people in my […]

Bout of Books 25 TBR and Tracking

Posted May 10, 2019 / Book Challenges, Features / 2 Comments
Bout of Books 25 TBR and Tracking

Another round of Bout of Books is here! I’ve signed up for every single one of these bad boys since I started my blog and even if I sometimes fail spectacularly, there’s something so fun about curating a TBR list and setting some goals, even just for a short period of time. Here’s more information if you’re unfamiliar: The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 25 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team I hope to get some good reading done during this time period because it’ll be right after my friend’s wedding weekend (where I’ll be doing ZERO reading) and I’ll want to catch up or get ahead for the month. I don’t think I have any major plans during that week, aside from the WWE PPV Money in the Bank on Sunday the 19th. I won’t get much reading done that day, but maybe some time before the show. I hope to get a few different types of books done (format-wise and genre-wise) throughout the week. My goals and general TBR ideas are below! Goals As usual, I looked at the reading […]

The Cookie Book Tag

Posted May 9, 2019 / Book Tags, Features / 8 Comments
The Cookie Book Tag

I saw this tag over on Chasm of Books and thought I should give it a try! It’s been way too long since I’ve done a book tag and I am currently still savoring my Girl Scout cookies, so why not?! It was created originally by Sorry I’m Booked. Chocolate Chip: a classic book that you love or really enjoyed I don’t read a lot of classics and frankly have barely liked most of them. Can we all accept the fact that Harry Potter can probably be considered a classic now?? Hopefully? Because that’s really the best answer I have for this one. I like The Great Gatsby too though… Thin Mints: a fandom you really want to join or a hyped book you want to read There are a lot of books and series out there that I’ve been sleeping on or never had the chance to read. I wasn’t into the whole Mortal Instruments thing for some strange reason back in the day. My reading buddies at the time all loved it and for some reason I never read them. I wish now, even though it seems a bit crazy, I read them so I could keep reading all the new releases. It feels like the kind of series that gets you with the nostalgia factor and I don’t know that it’d hold up for me to start now. Shortbread: an author you can’t get enough of I have yet to be disappointed by Emma Mills. She just writes the […]

What Does Mood Reading Even Mean?

Posted May 8, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 7 Comments
What Does Mood Reading Even Mean?

I was inspired by a recent comment on my post about my Seasonal Reading to write a post about this. It’s something I’ve never thought about before but it makes a lot of sense… What exactly does mood reading mean to you or to other people? SO many of us say we’re mood readers all the time, but it clearly doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Here’s the comment in question: Amy mentioned that mood reading, for her, is that she reads a genre or trope until she’s sick of it. She doesn’t read anything else until that “mood” passes and is fulfilled from multiple books. I LOVE knowing this – that everyone has their own way of dealing with mood reading, and even their own way to “define” it. I’ve talked a loooot about mood reading tendencies since I’ve started my blog. I’ve even discussed how I don’t really feel like I’m a mood reader anymore, at least on a book-to-book basis. I read seasonally, which is the post that brought this comment/thought to my mind, but is that even mood reading? Is it more seasonal reading, or is than offshoot of mood reading? WHAT IS MOOD READING?? History of Mood Reading To recap my thoughts on this topic, here are various ways I’ve discussed it over time (oldest posts to newest): Seasonal TBR Moods – 2016 It’s cool that this topic comes full circle because of me talking about “seasonal reading” and how that connects to mood […]

Goals & Challenges After 4 Months | Check-In

Posted May 3, 2019 / Features, Wrap-Ups / 2 Comments
Goals & Challenges After 4 Months | Check-In

I always do a midpoint check-in around July to share my general progress on reading goals and challenges, but I thought it would be fun to do a quick check-in now. I’m noticing major progress on my challenges but veryyy little progress on some of my specific reading or blogging goals. I’ll be including pages from my bullet journal to get my point across too 😉 I didn’t bother including personal goals for this particular check-in because I’m just kind of struggling right now, balancing a lot of expenses and stresses. Also, quick note, all of this progress is as of the last day of April. I always set a variety of reading, personal, and blog-related goals for the year. I tried to outline them nicely in my bullet journal to track them a little more often, since I tend to write the post and forget about it until the midpoint check-in! I wish I could tell you that the bullet journal thing was helping buuuut instead I just feel guilty when I ignore this page in my updates 🙁 Continue to not feel pressured to read and enjoy other hobbies ✔ Yep good on this one. Reading when I’m in the mood and not reading when I’m not in the mood. I took a little break in April when I went on a trip and expect a similar situation in June when I go to California. Read 50% or less contemporary novels ❌ LOL this is actually the goal I’m paying […]

March-April Bookish Bullet Journal

March-April Bookish Bullet Journal

When I mentioned the idea of sharing layouts from my reading-related bullet journal on the blog, most of you seemed interested to read about it! I can’t justify making one post each month dedicated to the 3-4 bujo pages I make during that month, so I thought doing a little bullet journal update every two months would be fun instead! In these posts you will see all of the new pages I added during the past two months. I shared my first set of bujo pages in the post I linked above, where I talked about the overall layout of my journal and showed my February layouts. I didn’t start the bujo in January, so there ya have it. Here’s what I’ve been doing for the past two months! (Sidenote: I’ll be showing any other pages that get updated in the midpoint of the year too, so the post for the May-June bujo in July will show any yearly challenges or graph pages that I update at the end of the month, just to show midyear trends and such!) March bookstagram: I didn’t end up doing this beyond the first few days of the month, but oh well. I love how the “bookstagram” title came out on the page! That’s worth it alone 😉 I usually will do two columns – one for the actual promp and one for the idea I have for the photo (location, props, and book titles). March TBR: I’ll be keeping this book stack format, with […]

Bookmark Lit Bulletin | April 2019

Bookmark Lit Bulletin | April 2019

The Bookmark Lit Bulletin wraps up the last month in reading and what was on the blog, as well as what’s coming up next. You can check out my book haul, books read, posts shared, challenge updates, etc. You can read past bulletins here. If you’re looking for more personal updates, you can check out my Lauren Lately feature; it highlights my life events and non-bookish fun from the previous 30 days. I knew April was going to be a garbage reading month, as evidenced by the fact that it took me the entire first half of the month to read multiple books. I finally got back into the groove once the bachelorette trip was over mid-month! I made a little version of ARC April for myself to focus on only reading review copies and I did such a good job of keeping that promise. I still managed to complete 9 books (yes, two were novellas, leave me alone) and DNFed another.      All of the books from this month:     Check out my 2019 challenge sign-up post for more details, goals, etc.! Popsugar Reading Challenge 7 read this month | 20 read total | 50% complete L-R: Includes a wedding, set on college campus/university Monthly Motif Challenge 2 read this month | 9 read total This month: Crack the case   Retellings Reading Challenge 2 read this month | 2 read total | 20% complete None this month L-R: Brothers Grimm, Shakespeare Picky Pledge My goal is to work on Alexa […]

May TBR

Posted April 29, 2019 / Book Lists, Features, TBR Lists / 5 Comments
May TBR

My monthly TBR feature here shows my progress based on last month’s TBR, my plans for this month, and anything else I might be thinking about from a reading perspective. Sometimes I feature a little poll at the bottom so you guys can help me figure out a certain title I should read from a group of books. April Progress I definitely was successful in reading only ARCs in April, but I didn’t get as much reading done a I usually might. I managed to get my book club choice done as well as some backlist/already published ARCs. I did a buddy read of ROSA with Nick and it was great! Overall, solid month of sticking to the TBR despite not reading as many books in general. Up Next in May Review Copies (Egalleys) Again But Better by Riccio, The Printed Letter Bookshop by Reay, Passion on Park Avenue by Layne, Hungry Hearts edited by Richmond and Chapman, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Lim Blog Tours Romanov by Brandes [also for Retellings Challenge] Only Ever Her by Whalen Physical Books / Review Copies / Audiobooks Review copies: Fame Adjacent by Skilton, Welcome to Last Chance by Ramsay, The Summer House by Hale, The Devouring Gray by Herman, The Lovely and the Lost by Barnes [not pictured] Picky Pledge / audiobook combo: Emerald Green by Gier Picky Pledge: Saga #5-6 by Vaughan [not pictured] Other TBR Business Monthly Motif: One Sitting Reads – I’ll be reading at least […]