Friday, April 29, 2016

April Snapshots

1. Mosquitoland by David Arnold + Luna Lovegood bookmark from Happy Hello Art on Etsy.

2 & 3. New vinyls: the Hamilton soundtrack and Midnight Machines by Lights. I probably couldn't be anymore obsessed with Hamilton, I know almost all of the words to all 42 songs, I'm constantly talking about the musical and I'm dying to read Alexander Hamilton's biography. Seriously though how lucky are we to be alive right now, during the time of Hamilton?

5 & 6. Earlier this month I met two of my favorite BookTubers, Regan (PeruseProject) and Sasha (abookutopia), at their meet up. I had a great time talking to other people talking about books, and it was a lot of fun. - Jessica

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Finding Time To Read

When I transferred schools this semester I honestly thought that I wouldn't have any time to read. Although I'm dealing with more schoolwork I have had plenty of time to read, and I've been reading at the same pace I was last year when I was only going to school and working part time. So I decided to put together some tips that I use for finding time to read and also reading more books.

1. Always carry a book with you.
I always make sure to bring a book with me to school or download an ebook to read from the library. That way I know I have the option to read during the day when I have some spare moments, when I have some time in between classes or when I'm on break at work. This way I'll know that if I'm not being the most productive with my time, I can just open up a book.

2. Designate certain times to read during your day.
For me this is usually at the end of the day, right before I go do bed. Sometimes I can get a lot of reading done (and loose track of time so that I'm reading at like 2am) and other days I read like 15 pages before I fall asleep. Some people read in the mornings, but whichever time works for you.

3. Ebooks and Audiobooks. 
Overdrive is one of my absolute most used apps on my phone, it's an app that allows you to check out ebooks and audiobooks from your local library. Most of the time I don't want to carry a physical book with me but I always have my phone of me. Sometimes I will download the physical book that I'm reading or a completely different book. I'v also started to get into audiobooks during my commute. The trick to reading more with audiobooks is to set them faster, I usually set my speed at 1.5x.

4. Read multiple books at once.
I know this tip isn't for everybody, but I have found that I can get more reading done if I'm reading multiple books. I usually have different formats, like right now I'm reading Ruin and Rising for my physical book, The Book Theif on audio, and Persuasion on ebook.

So those are my tips to reading more on a busy schedule. I hope some of these help you guys and if you have any tips please let me know! - Jessica

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Books I Read in March 2016

During March I read nothing but fantasy novels, I usually try to thrown in one or two contemporaries but I was in a huge fantasy kick. I managed to finish off the The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices books which I had started the previous month and catch up on a lot of new books that were released earlier this year that I had gotten behind on. So here are the books I read and some of my thoughts and opinions on them:

Books 4-6 of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare - Last month I read the books 1-3 in TMI series and I thought they were okay, and I now understand why people love these books so much because the last half of the series is so much better. There were so many improvements in Cassandra Clare's writing, and I liked the storyline and development of these books more than the first half of the series.

Books 2 & 3 of The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare - While I really like TMI series as a whole and I absolutely love The Infernal Devices Trilogy. I thought that the first book was a good set up and these last two books absolutely blew me away. The writing, characters, and the story absolutely captivated me and played with my feelings so much (I cried so much reading these two books). And somehow Cassandra Clare managed to write a love triangle that I actually liked both sides (which has never happened to me before), it was so well written. I read all of the Shadowhunter books in the order that they were published, and I enjoyed seeing how the two series are weaved together

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare - This is a collection of 10 short stories that takes place after TMI series. Overall these were pretty enjoyable quick reads, Simon was my least favorite character in TMI, but I actually really liked how he was portrayed in these. I liked how they added a bit of background information to the universe, but they weren't my favorite of the Shadowhunter universe. I really just read these because I heard that they should be read before reading Lady Midnight, the first book in the next Shadowhunters trilogy.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer - This is a collection of short stories that takes place in The Lunar Chronicles universe.  I absolutely loved these additions to the series, they provided a lot of background information and the last story is an wedding that takes place after the last book, Winter. I loved reading new information about some of the characters that I love so much. One day I'd love to reread the whole series in chronological order, because I love these books so much.

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard - This is the second book in the Red Queen series. Once I got past my problem of forgetting what happened in the first book, I could not put this book down. Even though the plot in these books isn't the most original (there's so many YA tropes), Aveyard's writing is really captivating and drew me in. And the ending of this book was absolutely crazy, and I need to know when the third book will be published, because I want it now.

Books 1 and 2 from The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski - This trilogy revolves around a well respected general's daughter, Kestrel, and the consequences of purchasing a slave. These books are so good, I absolutely loved them. Kestrel is definitely up there with my favorite female protagonists, although she's a general's daughter she recognizes that she has no skill for fighting and focuses on skills and strategies. I also really enjoyed the romance and the world building. I'm a huge nerd for Roman history and the author drew inspiration from Rome's invasion of Greece for these books, and I love how the author used that to shape her world.

The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine - This is a Snow White retelling and the first novel in a series of stand alone novels that take place in the same universe. I really love fairy tale retellings, and I enjoy reading them most of the time, this book was no exception. I really enjoyed this book, and the romance elements between the Snow White figure, Lorelei, and the Huntsman figure, Kol. The only things that kept me from absolutely loving this retelling were the magical aspect, which I found confusing, and the world building, but otherwise the writing was fantastic. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the other books in the series play out and how the author develops one the world building.

I'm still slowly making my way through Persuasion by Jane Austen, it's just taking me longer to read and I keep setting it aside and getting distracted by other books, but I'm determined to finish it because I hate not finishing books. I've already read two books this month and I intend on finishing off all the Shadowhunter books that are published. These past couple of months I've been buying so many books so this month is my chance to catch up on those, I'm even trying not to buy any books this month other than the one book that comes out this month that I preordered (The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater). So we will see how that gets me, because I do have some books in my BookOutlet cart and I tempted to break that vow... - Jessica