Bookish Posts

Winter Wrap Up

For the first couple months of 2018, I did pretty well reading-wise. So far, I’ve read 13 books in January, February, and March with a total of 5, 159 pages. Yay me! Here are the books that I’ve read so far:

  • Some Luck by Jane Smiley [4/5]
  • The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau [3/5]
  • Early Warning by Jane Smiley [3.5/5]
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys [5/5]
  • I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios [4/5]
  • Golden Age by Jane Smiley [2/5]
  • March: Book 3 by John Lewis [5/5]
  • Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember edited by John Mellon [5/5]
  • Bingo Love by Tee Franklin [5/5]
  • Victoria Victorious by Jean Plaidy [3/5]
  • Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee [5/5]
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab [4.5/5]
  • Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser [4/5]

Of all the books I’ve read,  my favorites have probably been A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab, Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee, and Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. I’ve reviewed the other two, but Bygone Badass Broads is a definite must-read if you want to learn about little known historical women who kicked ass and took names. I 100% reccommend it.

badasss historical chicks

Here’s to reading a lot more during the spring (despite the fact that I have no time off until Memorial Day weekend because our spring break was stripped away because of the snow)…

Advertisements
Book Reviews

Book Review – Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea is definitely my first 5 star read of the year. It is, without a doubt, equal parts powerful, haunting, and heart-wrenching. Telling the story of a little known tragedy, Salt to the Sea follows four characters: Joana, a Lithuanian nurse; Emilia, a Polish girl; Florian, an East Prussian mystery man; and Alfred, a member of the German navy. Their stories start off individually but soon they come together amid thousands of refugees trying to flee the oncoming Soviet army aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff.

What I Liked:

Ruta Sepetys doesn’t sugarcoat history. When something bad happens, she says it plain…no matter how it might hurt to read about. This could not have been an easy book to write. For example, we have the quote,”

Mothers tried hurling their infants to passengers up on deck, but they couldn’t throw high enough. Their babies smashed against the side of the ship and plunged into the sea” (pg. 295)

Sepetys’s words will definitely stay with me for a long time. World War II was definitely not an era I would have wanted to live through especially when it comes to war-torn Europe. I could not even imagine being desperate enough to throw my child towards a sailing ship knowing there was a 99.9% chance they wouldn’t make it. Plus, the scenes describing the sinking ship are just as depressing to read about. However, it’s sooo important to do so.

Even though the chapters were short, I still feel like I got to know the essence of every single character and how they developed. I loved 3 of our four main characters and how they banded together first out of necessity and then later as a family. I sympathized with all of them, but especially Emilia. She was such a poor little cinnamon roll who I just wanted to hug and feed cookies to.

Also, I love how this novel is about little-known history. How crazy is it that this humongous ship sunk, killing about 9,400 people, and no one has ever heard of it? Then there’s the Amber Room, a treasure-filled room that no one knows the whereabouts of. This room hasn’t been seen since 1945 and apparently people have died trying to find it. It’s really interesting albeit creepy to research.

What I Didn’t Like:

Oh, Alfred…if only there was someone out there who could love you…

I HATED his character so much, and was actually very happy at his fate. He was legit a psychopath. I don’t want to give too much away, but omg I wanted to do this for the whole novel.

get him anna

Final Verdict: I just loved everything about this novel, and I can’t wait to read more of Ruta Sepetys’s work.

Rating: 5 stars

Bookish Posts

2018 Reading Goals (You Can Do It!)

So, as I’ve said in my last post, I did not do as much reading as I usually do last year. There was a lot going on what with grad school, wedding planning, getting sick and not knowing what the heck is wrong with me, and other stressful things. However, while this year will probably be just as stressful (it’s wedding year!), there is one main difference: I have (finally) moved out of my very, very crowded house and into an apartment with my fiance. That being said, I have a lot more time to read! I also noticed that because I did not do a lot of reading last year, I was anxious a lot more of the time and became a bit of a cyberchondriac. I realized that reading is not only my favorite hobby, but also plays a huge role in helping me relax.

Anyway, sorry to get all psychological on you all. I’m usually more chipper than that!

happy sailor moon

I have quite a few reading goals of the year that I really hope to accomplish, and here they are:

  • Read (at least) 50 books, especially since I have so much time.
  • Read (at least) 5 classics.
    • I’ve especially wanted to read all of Jane Austen’s novels this year.
  • Finish 10 series/trilogies.
    • For a lot of these, all I literally have to do is finish one measly book or two. If only I didn’t have a fear of finishing series haha!
  • Read (at least) 5 chunksters (books over 500 pages).
  • Read 5 history/non-fiction books.
  • Read (at least) 1 diverse book a month.
  • Take part in at least 2 reading challenges in groups I’m in on Goodreads. I’ll link the challenges that I’m doing in case anyone wants to try them too!
  • Buy 1 book every 2 paychecks.
    • …Instead of, you know, buying 8 books with 1 paycheck…
  • Attempt to review EVERYTHING I read even if I have to do mini reviews.

Those are all of my reading goals for 2018. It seems like a lot, but I think I can handle it!

Do you have any reading goals for 2018? If you have any, comment with at least one of them.

Happy reading everyone!

Bookish Posts

2017 End of Year Book Survey

Today on this sweet, sweet snow day I’ll be filling out the 2017 End of Year Book Survey created by Jamie from Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. I love this survey because it helps me see my entire year through books.

Number of books read: 34

Number of re-reads: 3

Genre You Read from the Most: Historical Fiction 

Best Book of 2017: Definitely The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This was such a powerful and just overall amazing read. 

wp-image--201855530

Book You Were Excited About and Thought you Would Love but Didn’t? I really wanted to like When Dimple Met Rishi, but the romance just sort of fell flat to me. If you liked it, then that’s awesome. Just wasn’t for me. 

When Dimple Met Rishi

Most Surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read? All We Have Left by Wendy Mills definitely surprised me…in a completely good way. It was an impulse buy, and I read it in only two hours because I was so engrossed in it. 
All We Have Left

Book You Pushed People to Read (And They Did) I didn’t really push anyone to read anything this year. 

Best Series Starter: Well…..this is easy.

 six of crows

Best Sequel:

Lair of Dreams

Best Series Ender: I did not read any series enders this year (unfortunately). Hopefully, I change this in 2018. 

Favorite New Author:

Adult: The Nightingale

Young Adult:

wp-image--201855530

Best book from a genre you don’t normally read? I don’t usually read poetry but I loved The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace. This poetry collection resonated very deeply with me and I highly recommend it. 

The Princess Saves Herself in This One

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book? Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. During the whole entire heist scene, I could NOT put the book down. I was so worried about my children {hugs them, even though Kaz tries to get away}

Book you read in 2017 that you are Most Likely to Re-read in 2018? A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I just received the entire trilogy from my fiance for Christmas, and I think I’m going to binge read the whole trilogy this year. I’ll also probably re-read Six of Crows before I read Crooked Kingdom, too. 

Favorite Cover of  a book you Read in 2017?

All We Have Left

Most Memorable Character? My baby son Kaz Brekker, Bastard of the Barrel from Six of Crows. Actually, all of the members of the Dregs hold a place in my heart. 

Most Beautifully Written Book of 2017? I’m going to have to go with The Nightingale. I really loved the prose. 

Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2017? While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry, who survived the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four of her friends. This book was definitely one I will never forget. Reading about the survivor’s guilt McKinstry felt and probably still feels was gut-wrenching. I also thought a lot about how someone can hate so much that they could freely kill four little girls and not feel a shred of guilt. I am extremely happy to learn that justice was finally served. 

while the world watched

Book You Can’t Believe You Waited until 2017 to Read? Once again, The Nightingale. However, I had this one on hold for about two years, so it was well worth the wait. 

Favorite Passage/Quote from a Book Read in 2017?

“It’s also about Oscar. Aiyana. Trayvon. Rekia. Michael. Eric. Tamir. John. Ezell. Sandra. Freddie. Alton. Philando. It’s even about that little boy in 1955 who nobody recognized at first — Emmett. The messed-up part? There are so many more. Yet I know it’ll change one day…Why? Because there will always be someone ready to fight. Maybe it’s my turn.

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Shortest Book You Read in 2017: Cast in Moonlight by Michelle Sagara(109 pgs)

Cast in Moonlight

Longest Book You Read in 2017: Winter of the World by Ken Follett (960 pgs)

Winter of the World

Book that Shocked You the Most: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. The plot twist at the end shook me. 

OTP of the Year? Definitely my babies Kaz/Inej from Six of Crows. I will go down with this ship. A special mention is also Starr/Chris from The Hate U Give. 

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship: Lucien and Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses. I loved their banter. 

Court of Thorns and Roses

Favorite Book You Read in 2017 from an Author You’ve Read Previously:

Indigo

Newest Fictional Crush: Kaz effin’ Brekker. 

Best 2017 Debut? Once again…

wp-image--201855530

Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure? I guess I would have to say Six of Crows. So many of the Booktubers I watch gave it such high praise, so naturally I just had to pick it up. 

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting? I love how Evelyn Skye used Russia as a magical setting for this one. 
the crown's game

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The Unexpected Everything

Book That Made You Cry/Nearly Made You Cry? The Hate U Give and While the World Watched

Hidden Gem of the Year? The Kiss of the Concubine by Judith Arnopp. It was a simple story about the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. It wasn’t anything too special, but I enjoyed how it didn’t portray her as a harpy or a shrew. 

The Kiss of the Concubine

Books that Crushed your Soul in 2017?

wp-image--201855530The Nightingalewhile the world watched

Most Unique Book? Inherit Midnight by Katie Kae Myers. It was kind of like a cutthroat family version of Amazing Race, 39 Clues, and The Westing Game. I loved it. 

Inherit Midnight

Book that Made You the Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it): This book just gave me a LOT of feels….

wp-image--201855530

Newest favorite book blog you discovered in 2017? Thrice Read. I haven’t really been on WordPress enough to find more bookish blogs, but I really like this one and how they do reviews not only on their own, but with each other as well. It’s a fresh and cute idea. 

Favorite review you wrote in 2017? My review of Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey.

Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? My favorite non-review post was the Things I Want to See More of In Literature post. I had a lot of fun doing it. 

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? Unfortunately, I did not take part in any fun events and hopefully I will in 2018. 

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017? Well, actually remembering to blog and having time to blog is definitely at the top of my list 🙂

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? I got really sick this year and even now, I don’t exactly know what is wrong with me, but I have NOT had the motivation to do any reading or any blogging. However, I know that despite whatever is happening right now, I want to keep reading and sharing my thoughts. 

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? My book review of The Hate U Give. 

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? I don’t really know. I guess Things I want to See More of In Literature post since it only got a couple views. 

Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? I’m soooo happy I discovered that there’s a whole world out there where people have bullet journals solely for reading. I found a few videos on YouTube that showcased people setting them up. I now have a bookish bullet journal of my own. 

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? Not exactly because of all the issues I’ve had this year, but I definitely plan to complete the goals I’ve set for myself this year. 

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number One Priority in 2018?

The Way of Kings

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

Dread NationThe Radical Element

2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Children of Blood and Bone

Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018? I honestly can’t really say. I think I should probably focus on finishing the series that have been out since like 2006.

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018? I’ll cover most of this in my reading goals of 2018 post. One thing I do really want to accomplish is to read A LOT more than I did in 2017.

A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: I have not read any 2018 releases yet, but I definitely can’ wait to read them!

And there we have it. The 2017 End of Year Book Survey. My reading year in 2017 didn’t go so well, and hopefully, I’ll get a lot more reading done in 2018!

Happy New Year

 

 

Book Tags

2017 Mid Year Freak-Out Book Tag

Well, we’re 8 days into August and there’s only 5 months left of the year. Let me be the first person to say I absolutely cannot wait for 2018 to make its presence because I am hella over 2017.

bye felicia pocahontas

This year, I have been stressed to the breaking point what with my intense grad-school classes, intense wedding planning, health issues, and other personal issues. The only thing I’m regretting about 2017 is how little I’ve read so far this year. Despite that, I’m here to share with all of you the amazing books that I have managed to fit into my busy schedule through the Mid Year Freak-Out Book Tag. Here we go:

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far: Definitely Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo! I so need to get my hands on Crooked Kingdom like now!

six of crows

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far: Well, I haven’t exactly read any sequels yet but I will soon…eventually…

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet: There are soooo many, but number 1 on my list is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. A close second is Because You Hate to Love Me.

The Hate U Give

4. Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of 2015: It’s not my most anticipated read but I think I’ll like Blight by Alexandra Duncan. I haven’t finished her Salvage duology yet but I remember really liking it.

Blight Alexandra Duncan

5. Biggest Disappointment: The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. I have been looking forward to reading this book for months, but I came to find Charles Lindbergh to be the most insufferable man to ever be brought to life in a historical fiction novel.

The Aviator's Wife

6. Biggest Surprise: I’m really surprised I liked A Court of Thorns and Roses as much as I did. But what can I say, I fell in love with Feyre and Tamlin.

Court of Thorns and Roses

7. Favorite New Author: Easily Leigh Bardugo! Again, Six of Crows has become my favorite book of the year and I LOVE her writing style.

8. Newest Fictional Crush: Nikolai from The Crown’s Game. I was floored by how the story ended and how much I found that I was rooting for Nikolai. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel to this one as well!

the crown's game

9. Newest Favorite Character: Inej from Six of Crows. She is my child and needs to be protected at all costs.

10. Book That Made You Cry: While the World Watched, a memoir by a woman who survived the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, AL. She watched her friends die in the worst way possible and lived with so much survivor’s guilt and depression. This was a hard read, but I’m extremely glad I read this one.

while the world watched

11. Book That Made You Happy: A Court of Thorns and Roses because it ended up (semi) happily and it gave me soooo many feels.

12. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Acquired: Because You Love to Hate Me. That book cover is gorgeous! I love the simplicity of the blue rose with the black ink spilling out of it against the purple background. Love it!

Because You Love to Hate Me

12. Books You Need To Read By the End of the Year:

  • Because You Love to Hate Me
  • The Chronicles of Elantra series
  • every Brandon Sanderson book ever
  • When Dimple Met Rishi
  • The English and Their History
  • The Next Together
  • The Gemma Doyle trilogy
  • more 2017 releases….

Well, there you have it, most of the books I have read (and want to read) in the year 2017. It seems like I finally have time to get some reading done this weekend so I fully plan to get to it!