Friday, August 11, 2017

Favorite Books of 2017 (So Far)

This year has been moving so fast and it hit me really hard that this year is already more than halfway over. For the past couple of years, I've shared my favorite books of the first half of the year and it's interesting for me to see if those books make it to my end of the year list. Here are my top five books I read this year so far (in no particular order)!

1. A Court of War and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
2. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
3. Geekerella by Ashley Poston
4. At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson
5. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamine Alire Sáenz

It was really hard to narrow down to these five books, because I've read some really fantastic books this year. I'm slowly catching up to my reading goal on Goodreads and I'm really optimistic that I'm going to be able to complete 140 books this year. - Jessica

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Books I Read In July

I'm really proud of myself, because despite being really busy (I got a new job!) in the month of July I read 12 books. I again listened to a ton of audiobooks, and that element covered 7 of the books I read. So here are the books I read in the month of July and some of my thoughts and opinions on them:

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock - This book follows four teenagers, living in Alaska during the 1970's. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I loved the perspective of the setting and I feel like I learned a lot about Alaska Purchase. I also really liked all of the characters and I really liked how there stories were interconnected.

Spindle by E.K. Johnston - This is a Sleeping Beauty retelling, and the stand alone sequel to A Thousand Nights. This is the second disappointing sequel in a stand alone fairy tale retelling series, the first being The Wish Granter. I found the overall goal and plot of this book confusing and I couldn't stand the romance element. I disliked this book so much that I wasn't able to finish this book, I had a hundred pages left before I gave up and skimmed the ending.  

The Alchemist of Loom and The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova - These are the first two books in the Loom Trilogy, which is a fantasy series with steampunk inspirations. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, I ultimately love Ari and Cvareh's chapters more than the other characters, but I love where the story is headed. I can't wait for the last book to be published later this year.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson - This book follows Elisa, a God-blessed princess, who is married off to a neighboring kingdom in an effort to protect her. I really liked this whole series, and I found the strength of this series to be the character development. I think Elisa grew so much as a character and I really liked reading about her journey.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - This book follows Taylor and her family as they head to their families' summer home to experience one last summer, after her dad is diagnosed with terminal cancer. This is a reread for me of one of my favorite YA contemporaries. I loved reading this book just as much, the second time around.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber - This book follows sisters, Scarlett and Tella, as they journey to the world of Caraval to participate in a game, with the winner being granted a wish. I found this book really intriguing, the plot has so many twists and turns and I really enjoyed anticipating what the author would do next.

Worlds Collide by Chris Colfer - This is the final book in The Land of Stories series. This is a series that I have been following since the first book came out six years ago, and it was bittersweet to read this book, because I didn't want the story to end, but the last 3 books have built up to this ending. I really enjoyed how this series ended and I love how this book left off for the possibility of a spin off series.

When It's Real by Erin Watt - This book follows Oakley Ford, a troubled pop star who has to fake date the ordinary teenage, Vaughn, to rehabilitate his public image. Erin Watt's books tend to be filled with cliches and they can be predictable, but they are so addicting. I had some problems with the plot of this book, but it was a really light, quick, and fun read.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee - This is a historical fiction book that follows Monty, his best friend and crush, and his sister as their tour across Europe leads them into a dangerous political plot. I was so excited to read this book once I heard that it was a historical fiction book with LGBTQ elements. I really enjoyed the narration, but the main character was a little to much for me.

And those are all the books I finished, I'm still slowly making my way through my Harry Potter reread. I'm only on the second book, but I plan on spending the next couple of weeks before I head back to school focusing on them. - Jessica

Monday, July 31, 2017

July Snapshots

1. I have had my eyes on the Juniper Books' Harry Potter Book Jackets and I finally splurged at got them for myself for my birthday. They're so pretty and I'm looking to get a new set of HP hardcovers so that I can have both these and the original US editions on my shelves, and cause I love having multiple editions of each Harry Potter book. /// 2. I took a break from the my Wizarding World Loot Crate subscription, but I restarted it for July and I'm so happy I did because the box included these amazing book ends of the statues outside the Great Hall.

3 & 4. I did a lot of adding to my Harry Potter collection this month. I'm obsessed with my new purse that is a mini version of Newt's suitcase from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I also added these Funkos to my collection, which were all Comic Con exclusives. 

5. I added to my bookmark problem and got these from Happy Hello Co on Etsy

6. I saw one of my favorite solo acts, The Rocket Summer, on the 10 year anniversary tour for Do You Feel. The last time I saw TRS was in 2010, and it was so great to hear him preform all of my favorite tunes. - Jessica

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ten Years Ago

It's crazy to think about how Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out 10 years ago today, and how I spent the whole day reading the ending to my favorite series of all time. It's really crazy for me to think about how I'm just as obsessed with the series as I was when I was 12 years old and standing in line waiting for my copy at midnight.

This 21st, I'm going to be spending the day making my way through rereading the series. I'm currently working my way through the second book. Happy book birthday HP7! - Jessica

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Summer Tunes (Pt. 2)

Last summer I made a playlist for all of my favorite summery songs. So many of my favorite artists have released new music lately, and I also discovered new songs that I thought it would be fun to make a second playlist of songs. So here are the songs that I have been listening to lately. - Jessica