Friday, January 29, 2016

Snapshots: Lately

1. Despite January being a really busy month I managed to get a lot of reading done. One of the books that I read was Beastly Bones by William Ritter. I'll talk about it in my wrap up post but I really love the font on the cover and on the chapter titles.   

2. My really messy shelves. I've pretty much run out of space and I'll need to buy more shelves soon...

3. Last month I got to see the USWNT play on their victory tour and it was so cool to see them live My family even got to take a picture with the World Cup trophy!

4 & 5. The reason why I've been so busy this month is because I've started back up at school. I've pretty much spent all my time at school these last two weeks. - Jessica

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bookish Goals & Lists For 2016

For the past two years I've had a renewed interest in reading. After I read the Harry Potter series when I was a child I became hooked on reading books and I spent a good chunk of my time reading. That all stopped when I entered high school, because I was so busy with school work and getting actual jobs that I hardly read anything that wasn't required reading. Last year my New Year's Resolution was to read more books, and I succeeded by reading a total of 120 books. This year I'm going to be so busy with school but I still have a lot of reading goals. I mentioned in my December wrap up that I'm tentatively setting my reading goal at 70 books. Obviously I would love to read more than that and at least try to attempt to surpass last year's goal. I've already read 13 books so far (but 9 of those books are quick and easy to read Sailor Moon mangas) so maybe I'll get close to reaching it!

I've had a bit of a book buying problem lately and I have a lot of books on my shelf that I haven't read. Some are books that I've been looking forward to reading and just haven't gotten around to and others are books that have sat unread on my shelves for a while. So here are a list of the books that I intent to finally read in 2016:

1. Jane Austen collection - I have been slowly collecting all of Jane Austen's book in the lovely Vintage Classic editions designed by Leanna Shapton. I have been obsessed with these covers ever since I discovered them and now that I finally have all of them I can't wait to read them. I have never read any of Jane Austen's book and I really want to read more classic books in the future.

2. The Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo - I have heard a lot of mixed things about The Grisha Trilogy and a lot of great things about Six of Crows. I'm not entirely sure what these books are about other then the fact that they are fantasy books that take place in the same world, but are separate stories that can be read individually. Despite what I've heard about The Grisha Trilogy I bought all of Bardugo's books and I'm looking forward to reading them sometime this year.

3. Forgive Me if I've Told You This Before by Karelia Stetz-Waters - This is a coming of age story surrounding an outcast girl in a small town who is struggling with bullying and her sexuality. Every single review that I've seen on Goodreads and Amazon has praised this book and I really don't know why I've been putting of reading it but this year I will.

4. The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi - This is a book series that I have wanted to read since the movie came out in 2008 and I never got around to it. I recently purchased the whole series and all of the books are under 200 pages so I'm hoping to finally get to them this year. Overall I really want to read middle grade series because there are so many that have come out since I was younger or that I haven't read.

5. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - This is a historical fiction novel that takes place in France during WWII. I have heard nothing but good things about this book (and it's won so many awards). I'm really not sure why I haven't read it but it will happen this year and I really want to read more adult fiction this year.

6. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson - This is a graphic novel and from what I gather it centers around villians and dragons. It sounds awesome and I have been wanting to get into reading graphic novels and this book seems like the perfect place to start.

Along with all the books that I want to finally get around to in 2016 there are so many books that I'm looking forward to coming out this year. Most of the books I'm anticipating are sequels or new books/series by authors that I love.

Links from left to right: 01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

And these are all just the books that have covers, there still the fifth Land of Stories book. J.K. Rowling should have two books coming out this year, although they haven't been announced yet, I'm hoping the fourth Cormoran Strike book (but seriously J.K. Rowling has been working on Fantastic Beasts and the Cursed Child so I'm overly optimistic about this one) and the second illustrated Harry Potter book will come out later this year. And then there's the fifth Throne of Glass book that scheduled to come out in September (fingers crossed that this keeps the September 9th release date). And theres so many books that I know I'm forgetting, I'm overwhelmed with how many good books are coming out this year.

And that just about covers my reading goals for this year! I'm probably overly optimistic with these goals, I have a good feeling that I'm not going to be able to get to every single book on this list, but I hope I can! - Jessica

Friday, January 8, 2016

Books I Read In December

December was a pretty good reading month for me, I managed to reach my goal of reading 120 books for 2015! Which is a significant improvement to what I read in 2014 (50 books), but not as crazy as the 260 books my mom read. Here are the books that I read and some of my thoughts and opinions on them:

Crimson Bound by Rosumund Hodge - This is a loose Little Red Riding Hood retelling, where the main character was lured by the wolf's temptation and is trying to save the world and redeem herself. I really enjoyed this book, specifically the romance and fantasy elements. I did have some trouble getting into the first half of the story, and trying to figure out the world development. The second half of the better blew me away, and I really enjoyed the ending. I really enjoyed the author's writing, and I'm looking forward to reading her other book, Cruel Beauty, which is a Beauty and the Beast retelling.

Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman - This two book revolve around Allyson and Willem, a couple who had just met and spontaneously spend a day together in Paris. Just One Day follows Allyson's side of the story, and I loved her character development throughout. While Just One Year follows Willem's side of the story and I really love how the two stories combined and completed each other. Overall I absolutely loved this series, I haven't been in a huge mood for contemporaries lately but these two might have caused me to change my tune. I did have a problem with how these two books wrapped up but that was solved in companion novella, Just One Night.

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - This is the final installment in the Starbound Trilogy. Overall I really enjoyed this conclusion, I love how the characters and the story came together in the end. I really enjoyed Kaufman and Spooner's writing and I can't wait to read their next series that comes out next year.

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins - This is a collection of twelve, holiday short stories by different YA authors. I had a lot of hopes that this book would get me into the holiday spirit and I was a little disappointed. I really enjoyed several of the stories, specifically the ones by Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Rainbow Rowell, but I struggled to get through some of the other stories. Overall this book was just okay for me, but I do see myself rereading some of the stories again during the holiday seasons to come.

Queen Red Riding Hood's Guide To Royalty by Chris Colfer - This is a companion novel to Colfer's Land of Stories series, this book revolves around the character Red and is her response to Machiavelli's, The Prince. I went into this book with high expectations because Red is my favorite character of the series and I love her humor. Ultimately I was a little let down because I went in with too high of expectations, but I did enjoy it. It was a quick read and I think that fans of the Land of Stories series will enjoy it as well.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor - This trilogy is a twist on the angles verses demons story, where two sides have been fighting against each other in an endless war and two people are hoping to end the war. This series blew me away, I loved it so much. I did have a couple issues with the plot in each book, and how some things weren't wrapped up in the end, but overall I loved each book. Laini Taylor's is so gorgeous and poetic and I can't wait to read more of her books.

And those are round out the books that I read in 2015. I'm going to be pretty busy with school this year, so I'm tentatively setting my reading goal for this year at 70 books. Theres so many books that I need to read on my shelves and so many new releases coming out this year and I hope that I will be able to get to all of them. - Jessica