october book haul 2018

It has been a really long time since I’ve done a book haul! I’ve been controlling myself a lot and have tried not to spend money on books, but I decided I could treat myself a bit this month.

I didn’t go crazy, I just bought about 5 physical books, and a few e-books (some of which were free/really cheap).

After this haul, don’t expect another one for a few months because I am going on a ban. I can’t spend anymore money on books when I own so many unread ones!

Alright, let’s just get into it :)

Physical Books

2F3161C6-25E1-40E7-8D0C-E69CE212D460.JPGThe first book that I got this month was Alice Oseman’s I Was Born for This! I have been wanting this book for a really, really, really long time. I’ve mentioned it in previous posts and definitely tweeted about it! I finally decided to order it online, and it took a really long time to come since it’s from the U.K. BUT IT’S HERE!! I have an audiobook of Radio Silence also by Alice, but I really want to read this one first.

The next two books are ones I ordered from BookOutlet! The first is My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry, which I bought for a buddy read I’m doing. It sounds so good, and I am really excited to pick it up. I have been extremely interested in thrillers/mysteries for a while now, so I’m glad I have this one in my possession.

Of course, it’s hard to just buy one book on BookOutlet. When I saw The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett was on sale (for like $2!!), I knew I had to get it. I’ve read three of Jenn Bennett’s books (buy Serious Moonlight when it comes out) and haven’t given any of them lower than 5 stars. She is easily one of my favorite authors, and I am trying to read all of her (non-fantasy) books ASAP. After this one, I only have one left!

Next, are my most recent purchases from Barnes and Noble. I was supposed to start my ban before buying this, but I couldn’t resist. I had just gotten the results of my midterms back, and since I did really well, I thought I could treat myself.

First, I picked up Starfish because I read Akemi Dawn Bowman’s newest release Summer Bird Blue this month, and I was so in love with it! I am a sucker for good character driven stories, and that one was beautiful. Starfish are also a huge symbol in my life (as well as jellyfish), so I just feel really connected to the book already. Plus, LOOK AT THAT COVER. It is stunning!

I also got Bird Box by Josh Malerman because the Netflix movie is coming out in December and I know I’m going to want to watch it, but I want to read the book first. It’s also been on my TBR for a long time, so I’m excited to read it.

e-Books

 

I got two e-books thanks to Amazon Prime (so they were free)! The first was A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro which is something I’ve been wanting to read for a while now. I really want to read the original Sherlock Holmes books, but I know I won’t get to those for a while, so I’ll start with this.

I also got The Selection by Kiera Cass which everyone has raved about for YEARS on booktube. I actually took it off my TBR because I didn’t see myself buying it anytime soon, but when I saw it was free on kindle prime, I decided why not? I actually just started this and I’m enjoying it so far. It’s definitely a very fluffy read, but I’ve been in a reading slump lately, so this is helping!

 

I just recently purchased an Amazon Fire tablet, so I got an email from amazon giving me a $5 credit for kindle books. With that, I bought My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni and How To Break a Boy by Laurie Devore. I don’t know much about either of them, but they added up two $5 and I had at least heard about them in the past. Hopefully I enjoy them!

The last e-book I got was The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter because I had been wanting to read one of her books for the LONGEST time, and when I saw a few people talking about it, I decided to finally get it! I am waiting until I am out of my slump to read it so that I can truly enjoy it!

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That is it for my haul! Please let me know what you think of these books if you’ve read any so that I know which one to start with. What books did you buy this month?

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books I need to buy ASAP!

If you aren’t friends with me on Goodreads (you can go to my profile by clicking here) then you wouldn’t know that I have a whole shelf dedicated to books I need to buy. I can not afford to buy all of the books I want right away, because then I would be in so much debt (there are just way too many), so I occasionally add the books I want to buy ASAP on this shelf just so I can keep track of them.

I try to keep this list as short as possible, so I don’t get carried away when I’m browsing through Book Outlet! I’ve been pretty good about not buying books recently, and I’ve stuck to e-books for the most part, but here are five books I would love to own in physical form.

 

 

Final Draft by Riley Redgate

I have been wanting to pick this book up since the second I heard about the synopsis. I just feel as though I will really connect with it personally. I know there are some mixed reviews about this one, but I still really really want to own it and read it soon. I am also just so in love with the cover.

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

I CAN’T BELIEVE I STILL DON’T OWN THIS!!! I have been wanting to read this since before it came out. Alice Oseman has a Youtube channel that I have been watching for many months now, and I still have not read any of her books. Luckily, I just got the audiobook of Radio Silence, another one of her novels, and I will be getting to it very, very soon! I just absolutely need this book in my hands.

Still Here by Rowan Blanchard

This is a book I feel like you can only own in physical form. It is sort of like a journal by Rowan Blanchard filled with poems, pictures, scribbles of thoughts, etc. It seems like such a beautiful work of art, and it is something I have been dying to get my hands on for a long time. Considering it is similar to the format of a book I hope to publish one day, I think it would be extremely beneficial to own this one.

 

 

In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham

I absolutely love Lauren Graham. I listened to her memoir “Talking As Fast As I Can” on Audiobook a few months back, and I fell in love with her writing style. It is so funny, witty, and thought provoking. I bought the ebook of her novel “Someday, Someday Maybe” but have yet to read it. I am sure I will love it, though! This new release of hers is something that I believe would be so beneficial to me right now because it is filled with advice for graduates about careers, the future, life, etc. As a recent high school graduate, and current college student who is constantly thinking about the future, I think this book would teach me a lot!

Envelope Poems by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is a poet I have admired from afar for a very long time. I want to own some sort of collection of hers so that I can read it physically and be able to mark some of her poems for inspiration!

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What are some of your absolutely must own books? Are any of them on this list? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to have more to add on my list.

Xo, Jess

reading critically vs reading for fun

Hello everyone! It’s been a little over a week since my last post- although it feels like it’s been months!

I have settled into my dorm room at school, and I finally feel like things have gone back to normal. Obviously I am in a different setting, and the classes are totally different from high school, but I got into a normal routine and made some good friends.

Blogging should be back to a normal schedule now!

Anyways, today’s post is about something that I have been thinking about for quite a while now. I realized that there are three different ways that I read books- either critically, for fun, or a mix of both.

Critical:

I read critically mainly when I read books for school. Most of the time I don’t love the books I read for school, so I end up just reading them for the analytical part.

I am naturally a very critical reader, so this is something I do regardless of what I’m reading. I often take notes, and I write annotations in the margins of my books.

When I rate books that I read critically, they typically tend to get a lower score because I think about all the different aspects of the book- from the writing style, to the character development, world building, and sentence structure.

Fun:

On the other hand, I tend to read for fun when I am feeling very drained or stressed out. I usually pick up contemporaries when I am in the mood for just fun reading.

These books are a lot more easy going for me, and I usually fly through them pretty quickly. I don’t need to focus too much or think too hard while reading, which makes it an easy read. I love reading books for fun because it reminds me of how much I enjoy reading, and it helps it not turn into a chore.

These books tend to have a higher rating, because I just focus on my overall enjoyment, rather than all of the little details.

Both:

Finally, I read both critically and for fun at the same time- this is usually for ARCs and other books I plan to review. I want to read them for fun because I bought them for enjoyment purposes, but I also want to give a thorough and thoughtful review for you guys or the publishing company!

These book ratings tend to go either way- either high, low, or in the middle. I mix my feelings with the critical aspects of the book, so it really just depends on the book!

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Can you relate to any of these? Let me know in the comments how you read, whether it’s any of these or a different way!

Xo, Jess

Book Bucket List- books i want to read before the year ends

I’ve mentioned this way too many times, but my physical TBR pile is so high right now. It is honestly overwhelming. I haven’t been reading as much as I would like to, but recently I’ve been working on it! So, I made myself a “book bucket list” for the rest of the year.

These are all books that I already own and want to read before the year ends. My ultimate goal is to read all of these before buying any new books! We’ll see how that goes though.

I’m just going to list the books without talking about them though, because there are 20 on this list and the post would drag on forever!

 

_ Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

_ Gerald’s Game by Stephen King

_ The Diviners by Libba Bray

_ Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

_ Beholding Bee by Kimberly Fusco

_ Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

_ November 9 by Colleen Hoover

_ Afterparty by Ann Stampler

_ Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

_ Roomies by Sara Zarr

 

_ Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

_ Joyride by Anna Banks

_ My Lady Jane by the Lady Janies

_ My Plain Jane by the Lady Janies

_ Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

_ When We Collided by Emery Lord

_ Dreamology by Lucy Keating

_ Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

_ Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

_ The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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This list is long, and I am not very confident that I will finish all of these, especially since I’m starting my freshman year of college in 2 weeks! But, I will try nonetheless.

Wish me luck!

Also, let me know which books on this list I should get to first!

Xo, Jess

what i’ve been reading lately

Last night, I started looking through my past blog posts to get some inspiration for future posts. I quickly realized that while I kept talking about books I wanted to read, was excited to buy, etc, I haven’t talked about the books I’m ACTUALLY reading.

So, in today’s post, I am going to give you a run down of the books I’m currently reading!

**BTW, if you click on the pictures of the book covers, it takes you to their Goodreads pages!

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

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I have heard so many good things about this book for the past few months and I was able to get my AP Lit teacher to approve it for my final in her class! I have only gotten a few pages in, but I am loving it. The narrator is super creepy but the writing style is really interesting.

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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If you read my last post, you would know that I picked this book up at Bookcon because they were selling signed copies early (and for a much cheaper price). I am just starting it today (because it happens to be the release day) and I am so excited. I loved the first Morgan Matson book I read, so I can not wait to read more work by her.

The Past is Present by Kathleen Webb

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This book is also being released today, and I am part of the upcoming blog tour for it! I am just starting it now, but look forward for my review post coming up in a couple of weeks! I love the premise of this book, and I really hope I love it.

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Let me know what books you are currently reading in the comments below! I am always looking for new books to add to my TBR :)

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!

 

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

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

 

Popular books I have no interest in reading

Before I start this post, I just want to say I am starting a monthly book club! If you are interested, click here to learn more. Also, make sure you fill out this poll so I know what books to pick!

New books are hyped every week. I add many of them to my TBR right away. But, there are some books that I see being hyped but I really don’t think I will ever read. I know people will get mad at me for some of the books on this list, but time is limited, and I need to read books I know I will like before any others.

Sorry if one of your favorite books is on here. That doesn’t mean it is a bad book, it is just not something that interests me.

 

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

This book has been extremely hyped recently because it just came out. Personally, I don’t have the urge to read it all. The cover looks really pretty, but the story does not interest me.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

I have heard amazing things about Victoria Schwab. I definitely want to check out her Shades of Magic series ASAP, but for some reason I don’t really want to read this series. Maybe after reading a different book of hers I will change my mind.

The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater

As you can probably tell, there is a theme to these books. I am just not a big fan of fantasy, so this one has never been on my list. Even though a lot of the fantasy I read I enjoy, there are just some that I know I can not get into.

 

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

This is one of the books on this list that I can actually see myself reading one day. However, that probably will not be for a long time, and only if I really feel like reading fantasy (which doesn’t happen often).

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I used to want to read this so bad. All of the book community has read it, but I never got a chance to pick it up. However, now that I am a high school senior, the concept just seems a bit too juvenile for me. I had a fangirl phase a few years ago, and I know I would have loved this book if I read it then. Now, I just feel like I won’t enjoy the book, so I don’t want to pick it up.

Warcross by Marie Lu

I am one of those people who forms my first opinion of a book based on its cover. This book’s cover just does not appeal to me, and the concept does not either. I have read one of Marie Lu’s books before, and I did not enjoy it. Therefore, I do not see myself picking this book up anytime soon.

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Mass

The only book by SJM that I have read was A Court of Thorns and Roses. I thought it was alright, but I became aware of the problematic content in most of Mass’ books. After hearing about it, I became disinterested in anything else she has written, and I know I will not ever pick this series up.

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Well, those are all of the books I do not think I will be reading anytime soon. If you have read and enjoyed any of these books, leave a comment below. Maybe you will convince me to change my mind!

Xo, Jess