WWW Wednesday: February 13th, 2019

WWW Wednesday

Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been pretty absent this month; I still trying to get a proper handle on my schedule. Between working, reading, writing, blogging, attending events, and homework, I have a tendency to swing towards only one or two things and have yet to figure out a way to properly balance them all. Basically what I’m trying to say is that I will be trying to post more regularly and frequently for the rest of the month, but bear with me if my blog posts continue to be sparse. Now, let’s get to this reading update…

And for those of you who don’t know: WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where you answer 3 ‘what’ questions about your reading.


What are you currently reading?

39684488

Wow, I started Smoke & Summons Monday night and boy am I addicted. It’s such a interesting and quick read and ahhh, I can’t wait to see where the story goes! I’ve been neglecting a lot of responsibilities to read this, whoops.
Also, I’m participating in a blog tour for this book later this month so stay tuned for that! I’ll be posting a full review alongside my favorite quotes!


What have you recently finished reading?

22299763

I’VE DONE IT; I’VE FINALLY READ THE SIX OF CROWS DUOLOGY! I’m so glad that I finally met all these characters, though I have to say that Wylan and perhaps Nina might be my favorites (FIGHT ME). Because most of y’all have already read this book and because this book is so complex, dark, and amazing (ahhhh) and I don’t know how to properly express my thoughts on it, I’m just gonna stop babbling now.


What do you think you’ll read next?

Oooh, this is hard. I made the mistake of going on Netgalley recently and requesting a handful of ARCs from small publishers (and magically getting approved for them), so I want to tackle some of those soon, but I also want to return to Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha verse. So basically I could be reading any one of these three next.

Any suggestions on which one to pick up first?


What are you currently reading? What books are you planning on picking up next?

If you made a WWW Wednesday post this week, feel free to link it up in the comments below, I would love to read them!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Reads of 2018

TTT pretty design(1)

Welcome 2019! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Best Books I Read In 2018”. I’m going to tweak this prompt slightly and make it my “favorite reads of 2018” because I read a lot of 5 star reads, but there were a few 4.25/4.5 star reads that I found myself enjoying more.

Wow, I realized after writing this list that these books are all rereads and popular/hyped books?! So yeah, I might be a bit cliché in some of my choices/rankings, but honestly, this was such a hard list to make, so can ya blame me? I did my best to rank them, but honestly, I enjoyed all these books relatively the same.


For those of you who don’t know:

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.”

(This quote comes directly from the blog That Artsy Reader Girl)


First, before we dive into this list, let’s glance at my “The Best Books I Read in the First Half of 2018” list:

  1. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
  2. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  3. When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka
  4. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  5. Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
  6. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
  7. The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
  8. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
  9. Monstress by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
  10. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

Now for my final favorites list of 2018:

10. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

34499221

I love The Little Mermaid, so, of course, this dark Little Mermaid retelling with sirens was a big hit for me! And with secret identities, witty banter, and an awesome world, this book was an immense joy to read! Why aren’t there more good mermaid/siren books out there?

9. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

32075671

How could I not add this to the list? I honestly think my favorite part about this book, and what I admire most about Thomas’s writing, is her characters. All her characters are so fleshed out and I adored Starr’s family dynamic.

8. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

19547856

Another popular I finally read! My favorite things about this book was the narration and of course the love story! Ahhh, Simon and Blue are such great characters! I will forever be wanting more of them. (Leah on the Offbeat was not enough; I want to see them in college!)

7. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

23437156

I finally hopped on this bandwagon! I loved all of the protagonists and it was so great to discuss this book with my roommate and book club. I can’t wait to pick up Crooked Kingdom this year!

6. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

14061955

Honestly, I enjoyed both these Leigh Bardugo books pretty equally, but how I could I not include one the Grisha trilogy books? I adored rereading this series and ahhhh, it was great. Alina is such a great morally grey character and I loved her character journey. I’m not sure if I would absolute say that the second book is my favorite of the trilogy, but I technically reread Shadow and Bone in 2017 so I couldn’t include it for this list.

5. Circe by Madeline Miller

40746516

OMG MILLER’S WRITING IS GORGEOUS! Ultimate writing goals right here. I thoroughly enjoyed getting Circe’s side of the story, because honestly, until I read this book, I kept getting Circe confused with Calypso. It was so cool to see all this Greek mythology woven into this Circe retelling.

4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

12483496

And I LOVE Jane Austen’s writing too! I’ve only read 4 of Austen’s novels, but this one is without a doubt my favorite. It was so great to reread this book this year and discuss it with my Jane Austen class! That’s the only part I’m sad about in regards to my fall semester finishing; I won’t be in my Jane Austen class again! Luckily, I got Austen’s other 2 books for Christmas, so you might see those books popping up on my 2019 list!

3. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

21569527

Wow, another reread (and 2nd book in a trilogy) making this list! Who would have thought? This was my 3rd time reading this book, and the story did not disappoint! I love The Remanent Chronicles so much (except for the trilogy’s ending but we don’t talk about that shhhh). I will say that this series has a lot of cliches with the “chosen one” trope and all, but despite this, it honestly works and I 100% recommend the trilogy to all YA fantasy readers.

2. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

26032825

Like nearly everyone else in the YA book world, I fell in love with this novel! I adored Jude’s morally grey character and all the crazy plot twists. And now we’re only a week away from the release of The Wicked King! Crap, I still need to pre-order that book…

1. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

31450852

A classic choice, but how could I not declare a SJM book my favorite read of the year? I love her writing, characters, and supreme foreshadowing skills. Funny enough, this was the first book I read in 2018! I still haven’t read Kingdom of Ash yet, but hopefully it will be on my favorite reads list of 2019!


What were some of your favorite reads from 2018? Do we have any in commmon?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your posts in the comments below, I would love to read them!

December Wrap-Up: FINALLY Completing My Fall Semester + Finishing My Current Reads

monthly wrap up

How are we already on December 31st? How have I already been on winter break for 2 weeks?

December was a crazy month. The first two weeks were extremely busy and stressful with all of my final project work and then the last two weeks have been…extremely lazy, whoops. Even though I enjoyed a couple of my classes, I’m really grateful that they’re over and that I survived my semester (because honestly there were a couple of points where I thought I might suffocate under all the work I had to do)! I still can’t believe that next semester I’ll be studying off-campus in New York instead of back at my small college. Hopefully I have lots of (fun) adventures ahead of me!

Tomorrow I’ll be back with a Top Ten Tuesday post of my favorite reads of 2018 and a couple days after that (so January 3rd or 4th) I’ll be posting my wrap-up of 2018 and my goals for the new year!


BOOKS I READ:

eight books stacked in front of a christmas tree with a mini plush dog on top

1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 4.5 stars

I finally read Six of Crows! I adored the book and it was such a fun book to discuss with my book club (this book probably produced the best book discussions all semester). My only real complaint with the book is that the protagonists should have been in their late twenties, not 17-ish, but oh well, that’s YA for ya. 😅
I can’t wait to continue onto Crooked Kingdom!

2. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney

Rating: 5 stars

This is a graphic memoir about about a cartoonist who finds out she has bipolar I. Her memoir follows her through manic and depressive episodes and as she struggles with how to value her creativity with her overall health. This was such an insightful book in so many ways and I would recommend this book to essentially everyone!

3. Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

Rating: 3.25 stars

A really fun read that parodied the expectations and perfections of superheroes, but I wasn’t sure what else I was suppose to get out of it besides that? And at times, it was just TOO ridiculous. I really love the cover though, so I’m tempted to go out and by the other 2 books in the series…

4. Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Rating: 2.25 stars

Essentially this was a shallow and cliché fantasy that wasn’t very remarkable. It took me months to get through my ARC of this book. You can read my full thoughts here.

5. Celtic Tales: Fairy Tales and Stories of Enchantment from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales by Kate Forrester

Rating: 3.5 stars

This was an interesting collection of tales that I had never heard before. But maybe because I didn’t have any familiarity with them was the reason I found them a bit lackluster? The illustrations are all gorgeous tho and I loved how the collection was divided up into 4 sections: Tricksters, The Sea, Quests, and Romance. The last section was of course my fav. 😉

6. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 4.5 stars

It only took me a year, but I finally finished my reread of the Grisha trilogy! It had been ~4 years since I last read all these books and it was so much fun to dive back into this series. I love Alina’s morally grey character and I can’t wait to read more Leigh Bardugo in the future!

7. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Rating: 5 stars

I read this collection of short stories for my fiction writing class and I enjoyed it! Elizabeth Strout’s writing is so unique, amazing, and powerful. I can only dream of writing like her. I’m quite curious to see the mini-series inspired by this book now…

8. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
**hopefully**

Rating: 4 stars??

I haven’t actually finished this book yet (I’m about 2/3 of the way through) but I wanted to include it since I’m planning to finish it before 2019. I also wanted to post this wrap-up before the end of the day since I’m hoping to participate in Top Ten Tuesday tomorrow and I don’t like to post back to back.

Mandel writes in a nonlinear timeline and uses a somewhat blunt writing style which is quite captivating. I’ve been partly spoiled for the end but I’m still eager to see the book through.


January TBR:

three books lying against a red background

But then again, who knows at this point? There are so many books I want to read, but I can only take so many with me to New York. Not to mention I have so many to choose from (check out my December book haul here)! And I just realized that I haven’t read any of the books on my Winter Break TBR, yikes. 😬


Random Life Updates:

  • I FINISHED MY FALL SEMESTER OF CLASSES!! Praise the lord it’s overall– all that work was so stressful.
    • But I am really sad that I won’t be able to see my roommate for at least half a year now, given that we’re both studying off-campus next semester.
  • I got to see a bunch of relatives for Christmas!
    • My family hard core procrastinating on decorating this year. We didn’t get our tree up until the evening December 23rd. 😁
  • My sister is trying to pressure me into cleaning my room. We’ve had little success so far (my room really needs it tho; you can barely see the floor)
  • I really should be writing, but I haven’t since I submitted my final portfolio for my fiction writing class. (This was probably not the best thing to confess here since my writing buddy reads my posts, whoops)
  • There’s probably more I’m forgetting to include on this list, but I’m totally blanking. Goal for 2019: Stop making this the last section I fill out on these wrap-ups before posting. I always rush this section and thus it always ends up being half halfheartedly filled out.

Wow, this is my last post of 2018! Thank you to everyone who has read my posts this last year! ❤

How was your December? Did you do anything fun for the holidays? If you posted a December wrap-up, feel free to link it up in the comments; I would love to read it!

November Wrap-Up: Too Much Homework, Leather Jackets, and I finally started Six of Crows! [ALSO My Semi-Hiatus Continues]

monthly wrap up

Hey guys, just popping on here real quick with my November wrap-up before I return to my hiatus. I will officially be back and active on my blog come December 14th, when my semester ends and all my final projects are turned. I literally have all 3 of my big projects due within 12 hours of each other (but so far I am somewhat managing to live in denial of the stress, so that’s good).

Let’s see, November was…a stressful blur and I’m not sure I really remember much of what I did, or if I care to, honestly. I think it was me really just holding out for the end of the semester (which is sooo close, ahhhhh).

ALSO I just finished a rough draft of my 10 page paper for my Jane Austen class and I feel so accomplished, omg.

Good gracious, why are intros so hard to write? I never know what to say. Okay, let’s just move on because I need to go to sleep after I post this. 😴


BOOKS I READ:

four books lying against the carpet

1. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

Rating: 2 stars

Yeah, not a fan. I get that it was written in the 90s and that feminism was different then, but there was just so much self-loathing in this book and I hated reading about it. Not to mention that Bridget is a ditzy character and arghhhh, she drove me insane.

2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Rating: 4.5 stars

Definitely had a slow start (and the book totally could have been shorter), but omg the writing was amazing. I also loved how instead of being written in chapters, the book was written in vignettes (which was so much more engaging). I don’t know if I can concisely summarize this book, so definitely look it up if you haven’t heard of it before!

(also this book ended up being helpful for a project that I had to do for my Cultural Heritage class which was sooo nice).

3. Emma by Jane Austen

Rating: 3.25 stars

As always, I loved Austen’s writing, but as for the rest of the book? Not a big fan. The protagonist is annoying, not a lot happens plot-wise (I swear like a third of the book takes place in Emma’s thoughts & imaginations), the romance is too creepy, and the ending was too easy/passive (Emma did nothing to bring about these resolutions).

4. Austenland by Shannon Hale

Rating: 3 stars

Basically a loose Pride & Prejudice retelling featuring an Austen fanatic and an Austen-inspired resort. A quick, cute & fun read but there wasn’t a lot of substance to it. This novel was literally under 200 pages. I loved reading all the shout-outs to other Austen books though!


DECEMBER TBR:

Okay, this is more like my TBR for the rest of the semester (so until December 14th). I plan to do a separate post about my Winter Break TBR (for the Top Ten Tuesday on December 18th). Also, I’m already technically reading Six of Crows (I’m just over 1/3 of the way through), but I still wanted to include it in my TBR. Marbles is a graphic memoir that I have to read for Cultural Heritage class (and then get write a 6-8 page final paper on, yay me!!😭)


RANDOM LIFE UPDATES:

  • My roommate and I watched the first season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power on Netflix and fricking adored it!
  • I got to see my pets while home during Thanksgiving break! Came home to find that my third cat, not featured below, has taken over my room and lies in my bed on a daily basis, the darn rascal. 😝
    • Aahhhh, I can’t wait to see them when I return home!
  • My fiction writing class had lunch with Emily St. John Mandel, the author of Station Eleven, who gave us such helpful writing advice!
  • My friend and I completed our goal of finding leather jackets! We noticed when we attended the YA Fandom Frenzy last year that the majority of authors seemed to wear black leather jackets, so we decided that in order to accomplish our dreams of someday becoming authors, we needed to acquire leather jackets. 😁

two girls in leather jackets back to back

  • I HAVE TWO WEEKS LEFT IN MY FALL SEMESTER! Praise the freaking lord.

What books did you read in November? Do anything fun? If you’re in school currently, how are you doing now that the semester is coming to a close?