May TBR !

I posted a TBR for April, but if I’m going to be honest- I didn’t follow it at all. This month I really want to follow my TBR and read all of the books on this list because they are books I have been dying to get to.

This month is going to be super busy for me though, with prom and my class trip so I don’t know how much reading I will actually get to. Hopefully I can at least finish 3 of these books!

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

If you read my last TBR post, you would know that this book was on it. I have been in the process of re-reading this book for SUCH A LONG TIME now. The problem is that I read only a couple of chapters every now and then rather than just sitting down and finishing it. I am more than 1/2 way done at this and I should finish it in the next few days because I am determined to finish it.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Yes, I am ashamed to say that I have not finished this book yet either. I didn’t touch it at all in April because I had other books I needed to read first. I am about 1/2 way done with this one as well, so I really want to finally finish it this month.

We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

This is the final book in the Summer trilogy by Jenny Han so I definitely want to pick this up. I loved the first two books and they were really quick reads for me, so I’m sure I can finish this fast.

Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This book is super hyped (and I’m sure it’s worth it) which is why I want to FINALLY read this book soon. It seems as if everyone has already read it, but I am just jumping on the train and getting to it. I want to read this towards the beginning of the month so that I can watch the movie soon as well. Hopefully that all works out for me!

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

I got this as part of my book of the month box and I can not wait to read it! The book is gorgeous and the story sounds so amazing. I don’t know if I will actually get to it this month, but if I finish the rest of these books, I want to get to this one!

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That is all for my TBR this month! As always, leave a comment down below letting me know if you’ve read any of these books!

Xo, Jess

struggles of a book blogger

Being a blogger is hard. Being a book blogger is even harder.

There are a ton of expectations that come with being a book blogger, like buying/reading all of the newest releases, going to different bookish events, and getting a ton of ARCs from publishers. In this post, I have a list of the different struggles of being a book blogger that I have faced many times! I hope some of you can relate to them.

Keeping Up With New Releases

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New books are being published every. single. day. It is so hard to stay on top of all of the new releases from your favorite authors, plus books you’ve been dying to read by debut authors! It is just physically impossible to a) buy them all and b) read them all as soon as they come out.

Plus, I used to think that if I am not reading and reviewing the latest books released that I am an inferior blogger. But that is so not the case! You can read and write about any books you choose to!

Feeling Like You Need To Be Reading All The Time

When I read other bloggers’ wrap ups and see that they have read 10 books in a month, it can be really harmful. It is impossible for me to read as much as I would like during the school year, and sometimes I just need a break to watch some mindless tv shows instead of investing my time in focusing on a new world. This is an internal struggle I have with myself all the time.

I don’t need to be reading at all times to be considered a book blogger. It can be hard to believe that when you rely on reading new books for blog post content, but it is important to keep in mind.

Feeling Like Your Hard Work Isn’t Paying Off

There have been times when I neglected my blog and didn’t post for a week or more. However, I usually publish at least one post a week, which takes a lot of time. Each post requires a lot of planning, writing, photographing, and editing. It might seem like it is quick and easy to do, but it’s not.

It can be a little difficult sometimes when you put in a lot of effort into a post you are excited about and not see it do as well as you had hoped. It makes you doubt yourself and your blog. I always try not to let this bother me, but sometimes it can be hard.

Book Pictures Are Actually Hard To Take

Fun Fact: I used to write fashion/beauty posts. When I started book blogging, one of the first differences I noticed was that taking pictures for bookish posts is actually way more difficult. It is hard to come up with ways to make your pictures stand out and look different for each post.

There are only so many ways that you can angle a book, so it’s hard sometimes. I don’t want all of my posts to look the same, so I try to take unique pictures. That doesn’t always work out so well.

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Blogging can be difficult. It is draining and takes a lot of time. But, I love it so much, and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. Please leave a comment down below if you can relate to these struggles! I don’t want to be the only one!

 

Book Club Recap: The Unexpected Everything Review

Hey everyone! If you didn’t know, I just hosted my first month of my new book club! If you didn’t read my last post, you wouldn’t know that I actually decided to take break from it this coming month because I have a lot of important deadlines coming up in May. However, it will be back up and running in June!

The April book was The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. I’m here to write a little review for you guys on it today.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

My Thoughts:

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Initially, I was a little weary of picking up this book because IT IS SO LONG- especially for a contemporary. I do think some scenes could have been a bit shorter, but I actually really enjoyed reading a longer contemporary. I got to fall in love with the characters a little more which helped with my overall enjoyment of the book, and it was still an easy read.

As my first Matson book, this one did not disappoint! I fell in love with the characters, the story, and the writing.

I really loved that this book was not the typical fast love story, and the characters got to know each other a little bit before actually going out, which I appreciated a lot. I also really liked learning about the job that Andie ends up taking for the summer- dog walking. It was really interesting because I didn’t ever think about all of the components that went with it.

This book also really gives you those summer vibes. It was the perfect book to read right now because we’re so close to that warm weather and that really helped me get through the month! Matson really knows how to make you feel like you’re there with the characters, spending the summer with them. It just felt so real.

Also, so much happens in this book, and I had no idea where it was going to lead to. There isn’t really a main plot or conflict in the novel. I would say that there are a lot of subplots that all end up connecting in the end. For one, there is Andie’s relationship with her dad, as well as the conflicts she has with her friends, her boyfriend, and herself. I think Andie’s character development was really significant and inspiring. She really learned who she was in those two months of summer, and she changed a lot as a person. The growth experienced showed through the actions she takes in the last few chapters a lot.

I just really loved both the love interest, as well as the relationship Andie has with all of her friends, and I really think this is worth the read if you like contemporary novels!

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Have you read this book before? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

Xo, Jess

Twenty Questions Book Tag

Hey everyone! I’m here today with another tag post :) This tag was so much fun to do, so I hope you guys like it!

Also, quick update- there will be a break in my book club for May because I have a lot of books I need to read (due to release dates and loan dates) so I will not be able to fit another one in to my schedule. The club will pick back up in June, so make sure you check back later in May!

How many books is too many books in a book series?

Honestly, anything more than 4 books is too much for me. I just did a post talking about series vs standalones, and I explained how I can’t keep up with a series too well.

How do you feel about cliffhangers?

They are the absolute worst but I (lowkey) like them because it means I felt something from the book.

Hardcopy or paperback?

Definitely paperback! I just did a post all about this, too!

Favorite book?

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I always answer with To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee because it’s been a favorite of mine for the longest time!

Least favorite book?

I don’t rate a lot of books 1-2 stars because I am a pretty good judge of what books I will enjoy or not. I would have to go with either Passenger by Alexandra Bracken or Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard just because I found both of them very slow/boring.

Love triangles, yes or no?

I’m not the biggest fan of love triangles, I prefer the MC having one love interest but I won’t stop reading a book just because of a love triangle.

The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

I just recently DNF’d an ARC I got called The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky because it was really boring. Nothing was happening, so I just couldn’t get myself to continue.

A book you’re currently reading?

I am finishing up The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson right now because it was part of my April Book Club!

Last book you recommended to someone?

Probably Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett! That book just came out and it is amazing.

Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

I am not sure if I am being honest, but probably Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (first published in 1813).

Newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic. I received an e-ARC so I read it right before it came out.

Favorite author?

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Jenn Bennett is a current favorite of mine, but some old favorites are Jenny Han, John Green, and Nina LaCour.

Buying books or borrowing books?

I always prefer to buy books because I like to write/tab my books.

A book you dislike that everyone else seem to love?

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. I really wasn’t of fan of this book at all.

Bookmarks or dog-ears?

Both. I typically use those cool magnetic bookmarks because I don’t like regular bookmarks. But sometimes I just dog-ear a page if I can’t find a bookmark.

A book you can always reread?

I honestly very rarely re-read books. The only book I’ve re-read 3 times is To Kill A Mockingbird, so that is what I’m going to go with!

Can you read while hearing music?

I can but it’s definitely not ideal. When I’m in public and there’s music playing it’s fine, but when I am at home I can’t play music.

One POV or multiple POV’s? (POV’s = Point of views)

I like both, and I really don’t have a preference for either of the two.

Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

Almost always over multiple days but I have been able to finish a book in just a day in the past!

Who do you tag?

Everyone who wants to do this! It was a really fun tag, and I want everyone to have the chance to answer these questions :)

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I have just signed up for Book of the Month, and you can use my link here to get a free book! This is not a sponsorship, but I also get a free book if you use it, so be sure to check it out :)

What did you think of this tag? Please leave the link down below if you decided to do it!

standalones vs series- which do you prefer?

When it comes to books, I am definitely more of a fan of standalones. I have a really short memory, so I can not pick up a series and wait more than a couple of weeks to read the next book. I do like trilogies and duologies, but that is as far as I’ll go. Once a series is longer than that, I am very unlikely to continue it.

Why I like Standalone Novels:

  • No waiting- You don’t have to wait months (sometimes years) for the next book in a series to come out! Obviously this does not apply to older series that are already complete. However, starting a new release that is the first book in a series is pretty difficult. By the time the next book comes out, I have already forgotten the main characters’ names, let alone the entire plot.
  • Less cliffhangers- I hate when a book ends on a cliffhanger, even if it is part of a series. That’s because then I feel as if I am forced to read the next book, which is not something I want to feel. I want to continue a book not because of how it left off, but because I liked the characters and/or plot enough to continue it. I can’t say that there are no cliffhangers with standalones, because there are definitely some exceptions. BUT the majority of them have a nicely wrapped up ending, which leaves me as a reader very satisfied.
  • More Variety- You get more variety in stories when you read standalones because each book you pick up is completely different. With a series, you are (most likely) reading about the same characters and the same world, just with some differences in plot. I like change, I can’t be tied down to one set of characters for multiple books.
  • No fear about the second book being bad- I hate when I dedicate my time to a series but the second or third book do not live up to the standards of the first book. It is the absolute worst! And then it makes you not want to continue with the rest of the series, so it is just a huge mess.
  • More action- Standalones are typically a lot more fast-paced than series. This is because the author needs to fit everything inside a certain number of pages. They don’t include all of the extra, unnecessary details that drag on forever. I can not stand slow moving books, and with a standalone, I am less likely to get that.
  • Less time commitment- You don’t have to dedicate as much time to standalones because they are just one book. With a series, there is so much time involved in order to get through all of the books.

I can definitely acknowledge why people would prefer series. You can spend more time with the characters you fell in love with or with the world the author created. I think this also really depends on what genre you like to read. With high fantasy, you are more likely to get a series because the author needs to spend time describing and explaining everything. With contemporaries (which I prefer to read), it is easier to get everything said in one book.

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So, which do you prefer? Standalone or series? Let’s have a discussion on this in the comments!

Xo, Jess

my happy place- the bookstore

when people tell me to think of my happy place, two things come to mind:

the beach and the bookstore

Unfortunately, the beach is a little farther away from me than I would like (until next year when I go to college BASICALLY ON THE BEACH), so when I need a burst of joy, I choose books.

I am lucky enough to have a Barnes & Noble practically down my street, so getting there is never an issue.

Why do I love the bookstore so much??

  • You are surrounded by other people who love books
    • you can make some friends or chat with others who share the same passion!!
  • It is always such a relaxing and peaceful environment
    • no one is loud in a bookstore, like ever.
  • You can get inspired
    • whether it is for a new blog post or just your writing in general, the bookstore can spark creativity
  • You are surrounded by beautiful books, DUH.
    • this is easily the best part.

Overall, bookstores are any book lovers heaven! They bring joy to a gloomy day.

I think it is really sad that in today’s age bookstores aren’t being used as much as they used to. People don’t spend hours strolling through all of the aisles just to look at all of the books. Now everything is digital, so physical books aren’t a necessity to many people. Also, shopping for books can be done online (which I love to do, but it’s not the same as shopping for books in person), so people prefer to buy them there.

But there is something so special about being at a bookstore that you just don’t get from online shopping. It’s this feeling of amazement that there are thousands upon thousands of books surrounding you. You can pick up a book on anything at all that interests you.

Please let me know I am not the only person who feels this way!

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Do you love bookstores as much as I do? Let me know if you do and why or why not down below :)

Xo, Jess

journal with me #5

It has been a very long time since I’ve done a journal with me post! I haven’t been in the mood to journal at all in the past few months, and I honestly can’t pinpoint why. I want to say it is a lack of motivation rather than inspiration, but I can’t really say what it is. I actually do feel both motivated and inspired. But my energy has been more focused towards my blog, writing/reading, and health/fitness. Journaling just hasn’t been a top priority like it used to be, and I just don’t find it as fun.

However, I missed a day of school this week, and I felt like getting back into it, even if it just with one page. I miss the feeling of satisfaction after completing a page, so I knew I wanted to at least try to work on it.

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I began by adding some cardstock paper with some different designs on the blank page and just filled in a quote I liked. Then, I found a magazine clipping that I really liked and trimmed the edges around to fit onto the page and I ended up really liking the look.

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Then, I added some washi tape and another magazine clipping, as well as some lines around the girl. As you can see in the next picture though, I ended up not liking what I did, so I used acrylic paint to black it out instead.

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This definitely suited my style a lot more, and I am so pleased with the result! As for the finishing touches, I just added some little stickers, and I topped it off with another quote! Sometimes I fill empty space with some of my writing, but I was lacking the inspiration at the time.

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I know it has been a while since I’ve done one of these, but would you guys want me to post some more soon? Please let me know, because I only want to do them if you’d be interested :)

Xo, Jess

Reader Problems Tag

This is a bit of an older tag, but I have seen it many times both on Booktube and on WordPress, so I really wanted to add to it! This is a bit of a longer tag, so let’s just get straight into it!

You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

I am a huge mood reader, so I would first look at the books I own and pick one based off of its genre, the cover, or just how much I want to read it! It honestly really just depends on what I’m feeling haha

You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?

I used to be completely committed and I would finish a book no matter what. Now, if I am not enjoying a book, I quit. I don’t usually get 1/2 through it though, I stop much earlier.

The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?

I definitely try to catch up. If I am behind, the entire month of December I am basically spending all of my time reading. Like, actually. It’s all I do.

The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

This actually does not bother me that much. First off, I do not read/own a lot of series because I prefer standalones or duologies/trilogies. Second, I think it’s kind of interesting to have mismatching covers, even though I know almost everyone else in the book community would hate this!

Every one and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?

I typically turn to Goodreads and try to find other reviewers with similar opinions to mine! I try to comment on their reviews so that we can talk about it together! Otherwise, I sometimes come across booktubers with similar taste to mine and if they talk about the book I hated, I comment on their videos!

You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

This has actually happened to me at school when I was in 8th grade reading TFIOS. Yes, that book made me cry. I was in class with some friends though so they just let me pour my emotions out with no judgement. If I happened to be alone, I would hold in the tears until I got home.

A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!?

I never really re-read the first book, I usually just read a synopsis and hope that is enough information to start the second book. Usually, I begin to regain some memory of the previous book as I read the next.

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You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?

People don’t typically ask to borrow my books because I don’t talk about them that often. I only lend out books to people I trust, though. If someone I didn’t trust were to ask me, I would probably just say I don’t own it, or that they should just get it from the library because it’s an important book to me. (Lying is bad, I know. But when it comes to my books I gotta do it)

You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?

I don’t try to force myself to read if I am really not in the mood. I just slowly get back into reading usually by picking up a fluffy contemporary, or something super light/short! The only type of slump I force myself to get over is a writing slump, because that is something I lack motivation for quite frequently because I get stuck or frustrated. However, a reading slump is nothing I need to focus on immediately, and I just go with the flow.

There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

Currently, I am on a book buying ban because I don’t have a job and I am starting college in the fall, so a girls gotta save money. BUT, when I do have some cash, I usually buy 2-3 books (at the very most 4) in one Barnes and Noble run.

After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?

Right now, they are probably sitting on my shelves for at least a month before I get to them. Usually so much longer. I have 3 shelves in my room dedicated to books I haven’t read yet, so that gives you a bit of a picture. It’s a really big struggle.

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That’s it for the tag! I tag all of you to do it (if you want!) because it was super fun. Let me know if you agree with any of my answers down in the comments below :)

Xo, Jess

paperback vs hardcover | discussion

This is a topic that is debated by bookworms daily. Do you take the convenience of paperbacks over the sturdiness of hardcovers? Do you prefer the feeling of a hardcover in your hand versus a flimsy paperback?

For me personally, I prefer paperbacks. The majority of my book collection is paperbacks because they fit so much better in my hand. I also really like the look of them better. I feel like more people like hardcovers because the covers tend to be nicer, but that is the opposite case for me.

I made a pros and cons list for both book styles, and I tried to avoid any bias towards paperbacks (but I’m sorry if it didn’t work).

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Paperback

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Pros:

  • Cheaper: this is such an important point because paperbacks are significantly cheaper than hardcovers when you go into a bookstore, so not everyone can afford hardcovers.
  •  Lighter: These are much easier for travel because you can carry them in a backpack or purse without much of a hassle.
  • More Comfortable: This is sort of a weird pro, and some people may disagree, but I find paperbacks much easier to hold while reading. They don’t start to hurt my hands, and they fit my hand so much better. I can read these for a longer time than I can a hardcover.

Cons:

  • You have to wait to buy them: The paperback always comes out months after the hardcover is published, so if you are waiting for a new release, you can only buy the hardcover.
  • They get damaged more easily: Yes, they are flimsy. The cover can bend and fold much easier than a hardcover. It is easy to rip them when putting them in a bag. While they might be lighter to hold, they will most likely be bent in the process. (Solution: using a book sleeve!)

 

Hardcover

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Pros:

  • Last longer: Hardcovers can typically last longer because they are more durable. They won’t get damages as easily, and the cover won’t bend.
  • Prettier: Everyone always tends to love the cover on the hardcover much more than the paperback. Plus, there is the inside cover under the dust jacket which can also be very pretty. (However, there are many cases where I prefer a paperback edition over the hardcover)
  • You can lend it without worry: With the hardcover edition of the book, you can lend it to friends or family without that worry of the cover being damaged. It can be tossed around because it is much sturdier.

Cons:

  • Expensive: This is the opposite of my pro for paperbacks, but it is a super valid point. Hardcovers are very expensive, especially when buying them new. You can buy two paperbacks for the price of one hardcover, which makes them less appealing for me.
  • Difficult to travel with: Some hardcovers are very big and bulky, so travel is not easy. They rarely fit in my bag, and when they do, they are super heavy.

 

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Alright, so overall the two book types are pretty even when looking at the lists. It ultimately comes down to which one you like better for yourself! I prefer paperbacks because I take care of my books and they don’t get worn down easily. However, I can understand why many people would opt for the hardcovers because of how beautiful they are!

Let me know down below which one you prefer, because I really am curious.

Xo, Jessica

 

5 Star book predictions !

I have been seeing a lot of people doing this post recently and I figured I should join in on the fun! I have over 60 books that I own but haven’t read yet, so I chose 6 of these that I really think will be 5 star ratings for me! I based this off of their descriptions, the genre, and the hype around them.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

There is so much hype around this book, especially because of the movie that just came out. I can really see myself loving this book because it is contemporary and features many aspects of a book that I really like! This is also high on my priority list of books to read!

From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan

I honestly do not know much about this book at all, but one of my favorite booktubers, Ariel Bissett, has hyped this author up a lot. I actually won this book from a giveaway she was doing on her Instagram for it. I like her taste in books, so I am hoping this is another recommendation I end up loving.

By Your Side by Kasie West

This is another book that I believe will be a 5 star for me because of Laura (another booktuber). I think me and her have almost the same exact taste in books, and she recently posted a March TBR and she read a lot of Kasie West books in it! By Your Side is the only one I own right now, but I really feel like I will love it!

We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

I am the biggest Jenny Han fan ever. I give basically all of her books 5 star ratings, and this is the last book in her Summer trilogy, so I have really high expectations. I loved the first two books, and my hope is that this one really ends the trilogy well.

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

I just read an e-ARC of Jenn Bennett’s newest novel, but before that I had never gotten around to reading any of her other books! I loved the book I read, and I am dying to get to another one. I have a feeling that she is going to become one of my newest favorite authors!

Beholding Bee by Kimberly Fusco

I bought this book so long ago from Bookoutlet because the description really interested me. From seeing other ratings on Goodreads, I really think I will love it! It is not a typical book that I would read, but it seems super interesting, so I am dying to get to it.

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Have you read any of these books before? Let me know in the comments what you thought of them!

Xo, Jess