Category: Features

You Haven’t Let Me Down Yet

Posted February 17, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 13 Comments
You Haven’t Let Me Down Yet

There have been a few TTT topics about debut authors and their sophomore novels (like one’s we’re excited about, can’t wait for, etc.). I was thinking about revisiting some of those posts and reflecting on the authors who haven’t let me down yet, based on their debut and sophomore novels. There’s nothing worse than reading a near-perfect debut and then being disappointed by the author’s second novel. Luckily, there are quite a few authors who absolutely did NOT let me down with their sophomore novel! FYI, some authors here have published adult and/or middle grade books before these YA books, so I’m including them here as debut YA authors (or in one situation, debut adult contemporary authors). First & Then   |   This Adventure Ends  I’m a HUGE fan of these covers obviously, but the books inside? Near perfect. I adored FIRST & THEN because of how cute and addictive it was. The football obviously helped too 😉 THIS ADVENTURE ENDS was pretty amazing because of the friend feels and cute slow-burn romance. The only problem with both of these books is that the romance and kissing came waaaaay too late in the book. We’ll see what her next book does! The One That Got Away   |   Results May Vary Oh, Bethany Chase. You are way too good. I don’t deserve you. Both of her books have been complete hits for me. There was a liiiittle something missing from THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, but RESULTS MAY VARY was amazing. Easily a favorite of 2016. […]

Lauren Lately | February 2017

Posted February 16, 2017 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 8 Comments
Lauren Lately | February 2017

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 ✨    More hiking | It was 50 degrees a few weeks ago, so we went on a nice hike in one of our new favorite spots. There are so many different trails throughout, so you can really choose how long you want to be out there. The weather was perfect and I was able to try out my new Vans All-Weather MTEs. So good!   Busy weekends… | The last weekend of January was a busy one! We went hiking and had all-you-can-eat sushi for Chris’s dad’s birthday on Saturday. It was a mess at the end of the night because LONG story short: they left the car key at home when we drove an hour and a half away, so Chris’s uncle had to drive us home at the end of the night. Sunday, our LUG and the New England Lego Users Group got together for a display at the Railroad Hobby Show […]

Blog Tour | Cover Colors: Dreamland Burning

Posted February 14, 2017 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 3 Comments
Blog Tour | Cover Colors: Dreamland Burning

Hello friends! I’m here today for my stop on the DREAMLAND BURNING blog tour. (If you’re visiting my blog for Top Ten Tuesday, you can see the belated post tomorrow!) This book has some really important and interesting connections to previously overlooked historical events, so I hope you like what I put together today. You can find more information about the book and a mini review from me at the bottom of the post. It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with book covers. I love the colors, the typography, the different designs that cover artists can create. I even have a guest post feature where people share their favorite book covers and bookmarks! I decided to start up this random feature where I draw color inspiration from my favorite book covers. I may create an outfit, pick out some nail polish, or design a quote graphic. Today’s cover is… Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham I’ve never done such a muted cover before for this feature, but I love how these colors use the sepia tones to imply history. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but the connections between past and present for this story really intrigued me. I pulled colors from the backgrounds, text, and hair to create the old-timey palette. I grabbed the above quote from a section of the synopsis before even reading the book. This quote could not be more relevant to feature here, both from a historical perspective and from the book itself. This book is […]

Getting Older and Pickier with my Reading Choices

Posted February 10, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 9 Comments
Getting Older and Pickier with my Reading Choices

Since I started reading, I’ve always reached for the same books. I like young adult contemporary with some fantasy books mixed in – maybe a few paranormal/etc. ones if the mood strikes. I also read a lot of adult contemporary (“chick lit” – ugh) because, back when I started reading YA, there weren’t nearly as many options as there are now. I was reading Sophie Kinsella when I was 14 years old. You can pretty much tell that my reading habits and preferences haven’t really changed; I’m still reading young adult books with some adult books mixed in. However, I can say that a few more specific preferences have changed over time. I wrote a draft a long time ago wondering if I was older and wiser, or if I’ve just read too many YA books. I found that I can easily pick up on certain twists. Is it because I’m getting too old for YA? Is YA getting more predictable? Is is only more “predictable” because I’ve read so many of them at this point? This post isn’t about plot twists and predictability necessarily (I sort of already talked about that) – it’s about how I’ve adjusted my reading based on my age and reading experience. I’m fine-tuning what I want to read and figuring out my reading life as a 25 year old person who still enjoys young adult literature. I don’t want to overstep and judge certain books harshly because I’m older than the characters; I always try to […]

Even MORE Upcoming Books I’m Super Excited For

Posted February 3, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 17 Comments
Even MORE Upcoming Books I’m Super Excited For

I hope you’re ready for even MORE (x2 basically) unreleased books I’m super excited about! Back in March, I talked about some other new and upcoming books I was excited for and then I also shared books that aren’t releasing for a loooong time but I wanted them immediately. I also did another installment in November. I’ve been trying to highlight newer and upcoming releases (both in the far future and the near future) lately because I have a lot of fun putting bookish lists together and never doing anything with them. I always love adding new books to my TBR and creeping on other people’s posts like this! Without further ado, here are some more upcoming releases (2017 books that now have cover art) that I need.    180 Seconds by Jessica Park • April 2017 This book involves a social experiment where you have to spend 180 seconds with someone. Naturally, the MC and the guy hit it off and you wonder what will happen next. I’ve read articles about dating and how if you maintain eye contact for a certain amount of time then ask specific questions, it helps you fall in love? I think that premise is what intrigues me about this book! Margot & Me by Juno Dawson • January 2017 The premise of moving to her grandmother’s (Margot) house for a few months and having to deal with a new school is usually appealing enough for me. However, the MC then finds her grandmother’s diary from the 1940s and uncovers a […]

Bookmark Lit Bulletin | January 2017

Posted February 1, 2017 / Bookmark Lit Bulletin, Features, Wrap-Ups / 10 Comments
Bookmark Lit Bulletin | January 2017

The Bookmark Lit Bulletin was created to wrap up each month and prepare for the next. I share my book haul, books I read and reviewed, posts I shared, challenge updates, and more from the previous month. I also let you know what may be coming up on the blog in the coming month. You can read past bulletins here. I recently split out my personal posts into the Lauren Lately feature, so this is a bit shorter! I always like to start the year off by getting ahead on my challenge. I don’t read as much as I used to so it kind of feels weird when I’m not seeing the “X books ahead” thing on Goodreads. Luckily reading a few shorter novellas to kick off 2017 helped me get ahead on my challenge. I hit a nice stride in January with some pretty solid reads as well. I’m happy with this year so far, reading-wise! Average rating for books read in January: 3.9 stars Highlights & Lowlights All of the books read this month: Year-Long Contemporary Romance Challenge 7 this month | 7 read total | 29% complete Books read from the pre-planned TBR: 1 this month | 1 total Flights of Fantasy Challenge 6 this month | 6 read total | 20% complete   Seasonal Winter Bingo Challenge This month: Green cover The Names They Gave Us – Lord Banned book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Carroll 2017 debut Geekerella – Ashley Potson Nature on cover Ice Like Fire – Raasch Unreliable narrator Take the Key […]

February TBR

Posted January 30, 2017 / Book Lists, Features / 20 Comments
February TBR

I used to be terrible at sticking to TBR lists because of mood reading, but I’ve been getting much better at it lately! I want to make TBR lists for each month as a separate post, and hopefully you guys can help me narrow down some choices with a little poll at the bottom too. Here are some options for this month! On Deck for February… Contemporaries for Valentine’s Day Feels     Kiss Cam / 26 Kisses / Seven Days of You These books have been on my TBR forever and two of them are even old ARCs that I should probbbbably read. I love the kissy covers and the romance plots for these! I think it’ll be nice to do a little contemporary binge in the middle of the month for Valentine’s Day. I’ll probably find another to toss in there too but who knows. I think that KISS CAM at the very least is a priority for me. My sister recently read 26 KISSES and wasn’t a huge fan. I’ve had a copy of SEVEN DAYS OF YOU for a very long time and would like to read it in time for a release week review. It seems so cute! I love reading about a different international setting than Europe. Fantasies for Winter Hibernation    Crooked Kingdom / Empire of Storms / Frost Like Night I want to get some of these fantasy series cracking (and finished, in two cases here). I recently acquired all of these books through […]

January Netflix and Books Challenge Check-In

Posted January 28, 2017 / Book Challenges, Features / 3 Comments
January Netflix and Books Challenge Check-In

Erica and I introduced our Netflix and Books Challenge for 2017 as a way of making progress on books we want to read and TV shows we want to watch. The TBR lists were chosen by matching books up to various TV shows based on characters, plots, etc. You can learn all about the challenge and join in anytime here! Don’t forget, you can also still participate in our Netflix and Books Tag that we debuted in 2016; it’ll give you some points in this challenge too! Reading Progress I’m pretty impressed I already managed to read a book on my TBR! Honestly a lot of books haven’t been published yet and I have to wait for that to happen, but this one was readily available for me. Woo! Completed books:   Book main character has the same name as a TV show MC: Book: Take the Key & Lock Her Up TV Show: Will & Grace Connection: MC named Grace Still to read: TV Watching Progress Woof, terrible so far. I’ve only seen a few episodes of Bob’s Burgers so far. I plan to watch this one casually throughout the year, but I also have a feeling I’ll get addicted? I really hope to finish off the shows with only one season to watch because those are easier to get to. From the TBW list: Other shows watched: Yeah I’ve been good about watching OTHER shows. Go figure. I was able to finish two of them off and get completed up-to-date […]

How I Get Ahead on My Goodreads Goal Each Year

Posted January 27, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 20 Comments
How I Get Ahead on My Goodreads Goal Each Year

I talked last Friday about why I reduce my Goodreads challenge each year, but now I want to talk about how I always make sure I reach my Goodreads goal. I’ve never really struggled to make it happen each year and I thought people might appreciate learning how I do it. Some of these tips are similar to those in my post about breaking reading slumps during slow-reading months, so feel free to check that post out too! Go H-A-M in January I love to start my year with a bunch of reading, to be honest. Getting as ahead as possible as early as possible makes me feel SO GOOD. You can follow the rest of these tips (or the ones in the aforementioned post) to try to get ahead, but that’s my biggest thing. I read a lot of shorter, quick books in January so I start off on the right foot. You know you’re going to be scrambling in December to read a bunch of novellas and graphic novels to finish, so why wait? Eliminate the pressure by reading all those tiny books in January. I always find my reading re-invigorated at the beginning of the year once I sign up for challenges, so it helps to use that extra motivation when you have it. Do you know how good it feels to see “X books ahead” in the second week of January?! SO GOOD, okay? I’m currently 4 books ahead on my challenge and I love it. Audiobooks forever I […]

The Impact of Physical

Posted January 25, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 10 Comments
The Impact of Physical

This post is one of three in the Impact of Book Format series I’m starting on the blog. You’ll see how I feel about ebooks, physical books, and audiobooks over the course of three Wednesdays. I’m a huge fan of physical books. I know VERY few avid readers who don’t love smelling a book and opening those pages up. There’s no better feeling. I totally love my Kindle and my audiobooks, but I feel like nothing compares to the real thing. Regardless of how technology and the publishing industry evolve, I sincerely hope and believe that physical books will be around for a looong time. Cultivating a library of favorites The biggest bookworm dream of mine (and countless other people) is to have a full library room. I’ve discussed my dream library in the past. I want it to have a full bed, so many colors, Christmas lights all over the place, shelves on every wall, and book-related art and knicknacks. It’ll be a haven and I need it in my life… someday. Chris and I still aren’t planning on settling down any time soon, so for now my library dreams are far in the future. I want to have a house someday with a full room just for books and bookish things. I want it FULL of books that I love (or at least like enough to own and take pictures of). A library with all of those things will be an amazing place to relax and read. I […]