Reading Wrap-Up: Jan/Feb ’15

So, here’s a check-in for my reading during the first two months of the year. Despite feeling like I’m slacking, I’ve actually been keeping right on track with my goal of 50 books. Yay! Here are the books that I’ve completed thus far!

1. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned VizziniFunny_Story_front

YA Contemporary. You guys may already know that I love this book, and it was a great one to kick off the new year with. I’ve posted a book review for it, so I have some collected thoughts there. It was memorable and poignant, and I will definitely pick it up again at some point. Loved it. ☆☆☆☆☆

2. Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) by Rae Carsonimgres

I’m just…not the biggest fan of this YA fantasy trilogy. I don’t hate it, but there are quite a few things about it that really bother me. The heroine is difficult to empathize with, I find the storyline of how she got to her position of power a bit silly and too convenient, the constant talk of religion and praying gets on my nerves pretty quickly, etc. Some people will love this series–there are definitely things to enjoy–but it’s just not my cup of tea. I read the first one (The Girl of Fire and Thorns) toward the end of 2014 and enjoyed it much more than this one. (I gave that one 4 stars.) I’ll eventually read the third one to see how everything wraps up. ☆☆☆

3. Sweet Thing (Sweet Thing, #1) by Renée Carlinoimgres-1

This was a fun read. New Adult contemporary romance about a girl who is coping with loss and unsure in which direction her life should go. Great development of chemistry between the main characters, interesting side characters, and good plot. Mia can become really frustrating, but I cut her some slack. A bit too sappy at times. Overall very enjoyable and I completely flew through it. I’ll be picking up the novella sometime this year. ☆☆☆☆

imgres-24. The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson

A bind-up graphic novel about gods in the form of pop stars. I really wanted to love this, but I feel pretty ‘meh’ about it. The art style is beautiful, and that’s one of the things that drew me to it. I honestly didn’t know what was going on during a lot of the story. I might reread it at some point and try the next volume to see if my opinion changes. ☆☆☆

5. Soulless (Parasol Pretectorate, #1) by Gail CarrigerPrint

This is the first book in a Paranormal/Fantasy steampunk romance series and it’s fast-paced and sassy and so, so fun. Alexia is a snarky, intelligent, and badass heroine who doesn’t take shit from anyone. The romance is great, the side characters are colorful and hilarious. So enjoyable. A friend lent this to me because it’s one of her favorite series, and I was happy to report back that I loved it. I’ll definitely be reading the next one very soon–I’m sure it’ll be just as addictive! ☆☆☆☆☆

6. Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo CorralChopsticks

I’ve done a review for this one as well, so you can see my semi-collected thoughts over there. I already had enough difficulty forming coherent thoughts the first time around, so I’m simply going to say that it was a thought-provoking read that offers a very unique and unexpected narrative and premise. ☆☆☆☆

2274437. Bridget Jones’s Diary (Bridget Jones, #1) by Helen Fielding

Oh look, I just talked about this one. This wasn’t really what I was expecting. A fast read, somewhat enjoyable, but pretty ‘meh’. ☆☆ 1/2

8. The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1) by Maureen Johnson

13595639YA Paranormal/Fantasy about a Jack the Ripper killing spree. I really wanted to like this more than I did. There were definitely parts that I enjoyed, but I was never truly invested in the story. I was neutral about most of the characters and what happened to them. Yet another example of why I should seriously just give up on ghost books. (I’m really stubborn though.) ☆☆ 1/2

I think I’ll be switching gears into more high fantasy books and graphic novels for a while. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these books or any recommendations for me! 🙂

The Ultimate Book Tag

I found this tag through booksoverpeople and it looked like a lot of fun! I’ve watched a ton of booktubers do tags like this, but I’ve never done one myself. So, here’s my first book tag!


1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Usually, yes. Especially in the passenger seat. I can read for a bit but have to stop pretty quickly. It’s kind of a bummer during long road trips when I have time to get some reading done.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

Neil Gaiman. Hands down. I don’t even understand how he writes the way he does. There’s so much mystery and magic in his words. Please go read some Gaiman if you haven’t. Neverwhere was my first of his and I highly recommend it.

3. Harry Potter series or Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

I’ve never understood why this comparison became a thing. I guess it’s because of the movie franchises? Obviously Harry Potter. Come on.

1. The world-building. The fantastically rich world that J.K. Rowling came up with? Spectacular. The world-building in Twilight is noticeably superficial.

2. The characters. Essentially all of Rowling’s characters are memorable. I would pretty much read anything she could ever write about any of her side characters. I can’t even pick my favorites. (Well, Lupin is definitely up there.) Twilight, on the other hand, has very one-dimensional characters with little personality. Besides Bella’s dad, most of them are pretty boring.

3. My childhood. Like so many others, I literally grew up reading Harry Potter. I can’t imagine another series ever replacing it as my favorite.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is in it (besides books…)?

Well, now that I’m not in school anymore, I don’t carry a book bag. But, when I did, I would often have my laptop, notebooks, pens, kindle…Pretty standard.

5. Do you smell your books?

Not usually, but I do love the smell of old books.

6. Books with or without little illustrations?

I’m fond of both, but some stories lend themselves well to illustrations. They can add something special if done well.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

Twilight. In either 8th grade or my freshman year of high school, I started reading the Twilight series and thoroughly enjoyed the first two books. I enjoyed them for what they were, but I would definitely feel differently about them if I reread them in my 20s.

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

Hmm not really…But I was really obsessed with keeping my books nice, so any scratches or bent pages would really stress me out. I still like to keep my books looking good, but I don’t drive myself crazy over it.

9. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

I don’t know for sure, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower is definitely one of the thinnest.

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

One of the Harry Potter books, most likely. Maybe Order of the Phoenix?

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future being an author?

I do write! I took a creative writing class my last semester of college, and it definitely helped me with consistently writing and gaining confidence in my work. I would absolutely love to be a published YA author. It’s one of those far-fetched dreams that I hope I can one day achieve.

12. When did you get into reading?

I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember. During my teen years, however, I didn’t read much for pleasure, as I was overwhelmed with all the required reading for school. I’m so happy that I’ve made reading a priority during the last few years.

13. What is your favorite classic book?

The Great Gatsby or any of Jane Austen’s novels. I’m also fond of Great Expectations and To Kill a Mockingbird. I plan to read more classics this year!

14. In school was your best subject Language Arts/English?

Yes, it was through most of school. Ironically, I didn’t take many English classes in college.

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated…what would you do?

I would act like I was excited and hadn’t read it before so the person who gave it to me wouldn’t feel bad. I’d eventually donate it.

16. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?

I honestly can’t think of one…

17. What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?

I don’t think I’ve been at this long enough to have already acquired a bad habit. 😛

18. What is your favorite word?

I have many words I love, such as silhouette and conundrum.

19. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

Mostly a nerd, and perhaps a dork as well. 🙂

20. Vampires or fairies? Why?

I’m not sure, since I haven’t actually read any books about fairies. Vampire books can be really terrible, but some are enjoyable.

21. Shapeshifters or angels? Why?

Probably shapeshifters. The idea of shapeshifting is so cool to me. Maybe due to my fascination with animagi?

22. Spirits or werewolves? Why?

I’m not sure whether I simply don’t like books involving spirits. At the very least, I’ve had terrible luck with them. Werewolves can be awesome. Remus Lupin, anyone?

22. Zombies or vampires? Why?

I haven’t read any books about zombies. These questions have shown me that I definitely need to expand my horizons in the fantasy/paranormal genre!

24. Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?

Probably love triangle. Maybe. Right? If they’re done well. For example, the love triangle in the Throne of Glass series is great. ( But I’ve only read the first two books.) They can also be super obnoxious.

25. AND FINALLY: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in? 

I’m typically not a fan of full on romance books. They can be a bit nauseating. So I’m gonna go with the latter.


Why is it so fun to answer random book-themed questions? Beats me.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of my preferences or have any suggestions for fantasy/paranormal books to read! That would be rad.

Favorite Reads of 2014

Well, my first post might as well be about books, right? 2014 was a wonderful year for reading–I actually read 48 books! Not too shabby for having still been in school. My New Year’s resolution two years ago was to read more, and I’ve stuck with it. I seriously can’t get enough, and I actually feel guilty when I’m not actively reading something. BookTube is probably (partially) to blame for that. That’s the bookish community on YouTube, in case you didn’t know. I’m far too scared to make my own videos, but that doesn’t stop me from watching them all the time. Like, too much. Anyway, I’ll probably talk more about that some other time.

I’ve managed to read so many amazing books over the past year, so it’s pretty difficult to narrow them down. And it doesn’t help that I’ve literally always been terrible at picking favorites of anything. But it’s worth a shot!

*drum roll*

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

What a beautiful, heart-wrenching story. It features memorable characters that feel so real, and it’s narrated by Death. Yes, death. Exquisitely done. It’s impossible to do this novel justice with a short description. It’s a must-read. And please don’t let the subject matter (Nazi Germany) turn you off! Also, prepare to cry. A lot. But seriously, read it.

2. Persuasion by Jane Austen

Oh man, I took a film & literature course on Jane Austen in the fall and it made me fall in love with Jane Austen. I love this one. Anne Elliot is a great heroine, and there are quite a few memorable side characters. As always, Austen’s dialogue is brilliant. I think this could be a great Austen novel to begin with, since it’s quite a bit shorter than her others.

3. Solanin by Inio Asano

One of my first graphic novels and my first-ever manga! Reading it ‘backwards’ took some getting used to, but I eventually got the hang of it. Beautiful, poignant story. It really captures the confusing time of early adulthood, so I could really relate to it. It also made me cry, which I wasn’t expecting from a graphic novel. Loved it.

4. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Let’s be honest, it seems that Gaiman can do no wrong. I’ve now read four books of his and have loved every one. This is an imaginative children’s/middle-grade story a la The Jungle Book, but with ghosts and other paranormal aspects. Gaiman creates this otherworldly-yet-familiar feeling in his novels that I find amazing. I don’t know how he does it. Brilliant.

5. Saving June by Hannah Harrington

This is a contemporary story about a girl dealing with her sister’s suicide. It’s realistic and beautiful and heart-wrenching. It has some great, relatable characters, and it features some talk about music, which I always appreciate in books. A well-balanced story that offers much more than I expected. Absolutely loved it.

6. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Two hunky guys, a kick-ass heroine, and magic. What more could you want? I’ve been impressed with the world-building in both Throne of Glass and this second installment, and the plot keeps me guessing. I’m itching to read Heir of Fire soon.

7. Angelfall by Susan Ee

This novel shoves you right into the craziness of a world ravaged by fallen angels. It was my first angel book, and it’s gotten me intrigued to read more. Raffe and Penryn are both spunky and memorable characters. World After is calling to me on my shelf!

8. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

This is my first New Adult read and, because of how great this was, it won’t be my last. This love story features a main character who is deaf, but it deals with so much more than that. The story was sweet and they have great chemistry. It didn’t feel like insta-love, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. I think it could be a great pick for someone else’s first New Adult read.

9. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Fun, fun, fun! It made me want to go to The Strand bookstore in NYC and/or leave a notebook somewhere for a stranger to find. Fun characters, fun plot, such a great wintry/holiday read.

10. Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Another one of my first graphic novels! What a fantastic start to a series. Beautiful art-style, exciting plot. I finally have my hands on the next two and I can’t wait to dive in!

Well, this was fun! More bits of prose and whimsy to come…