October wrap-up 2018

Happy Halloween! Tomorrow officially marks the end of spooky season. How did that go by so quickly?? As sad as I am about this time of the year being over, I can now look forward to my birthday (which is in about 2 weeks!!). Also, NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow, so I will have a very stressful month.

But, this also means that another month is over. And of course, it’s time for another wrap-up.

I haven’t done a monthly wrap-up in the LONGEST time because I haven’t been reading as much in a month as I would have liked to. But, I read 8 books this month (which is my longest in a while), so I knew it was time to do one again.

The Books:

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

I was literally so happy when I got approved for an ARC of this book. Jenn Bennett is one of my all time favorite authors (as of this year). I have read 3 of her books now, and I just bought a fourth. She just writes such amazing characters and her storylines are all so unique. I really fall in love with her writing time and time again. When this one comes out, please check it out! It is so worth it.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

I had an e-book of this for a while now and I finally got around to it. This was such a good book and I highly recommend checking it out. It deals with grief/loss but in such a powerful way. It is definitely more of a character driven story (which I personally love), so I fell in love with each and every person. I loved the writing in this, and I immediately purchased Akemi’s previous release, Starfish, after reading this one.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Best American Poetry 2018 by Dana Gioia

This next book is a collection of poetry I received from Netgalley. I didn’t really find myself connecting with the poems, and I felt as though there should have been a few popular contemporary/modern poets included. 2018 was a big year for poetry, and I just feel like these poems did not do the year justice personally.

Rating: 3/5 stars

All the Things We Lost by Kayla Tirrell

If I’m being honest, I can’t even remember what this book is about. I just know I really, really didn’t enjoy it. It was another book I received on Netgalley. I had high hopes for it because I loved the cover and when I read the description I thought I would enjoy it. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed by it.

Rating: 2/5 stars

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Girls Write Now (Anthology)

This is an anthology of stories written by young women which I requested a while back. It was a wonderful read and many of the stories were so powerful. I am so happy that a book was created solely by women and features such diverse voices. I highly recommend checking it out.

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This is a book I was assigned to read in my Children’s Literature class this semester. It was actually an interesting read (although definitely written for a child). Some people read this as kids, but I never did, so it was fun to pick it up.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

This is another book I read for school, but one that I actually didn’t really enjoy much at all. I know it’s a classic, but I found it so pointless. I never really cared for the movie as a child either, so clearly it’s just not for me.

Rating: 2/5 stars

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A Poet’s Notebook by Stewart Henderson

I wasn’t even sure if I should include this one because I DNF’d it. But, I figured I would just put this at the bottom of the list and let you decide. The book is supposed to be about the poet’s process and where he found inspiration for all of the poems. However, I found the stories to be very dull and I couldn’t get through them after reading the first one. I did read the poems at the end of each chapter, but I skipped through the actual prose.

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Let me know what you think about these books if you’ve read any! What books did you read this month?

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ebook-a-thon wrap up

Today is the last day of the ebook-a-thon! Unfortunately, I did not complete all of the books that were on my TBR, but I did manage to read 3 ebooks during the week.

The Best American Poetry 2018 by Dana Gioia

I started off the week with this ARC because I knew it would be a quick read for me and it would help me get start this read-a-thon on the right foot! I finished it quickly, but unfortunately did not really enjoy it very much. There were a few good poems in the collection, but as a whole, it really disappointed me.

All the Things We Lost by Kayla Tirrell

Next, I picked up another ARC (there is obviously a theme here, haha) that I wanted to get done. I honestly can’t even tell you what it was about because I already forgot. That’s how un-memorable it was. I think I only gave it about 2 stars, so even though I was getting some reading done, the read-a-thon wasn’t going too well.

A Poet’s Notebook: Stewart Henderson

Finally, I began this book- another ARC. I have been really behind on Netgalley, so I felt guilty picking up anything other than an ARC this week. I actually DNF’d this book because it was so painfully boring. Each chapter begins with a story, description, or some other anecdote and is followed by a poem by the author. It is supposed to be a look into the writing process and where inspiration comes from for poets. However, I skipped all of the chapter introductions and just read the poems, because I really wasn’t interested.

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Overall, my reading week was a bit of a bust considering all of the books I read were 3 stars or less. However, I am glad I got to 3 different ARCs at least!

Did any of you participate in this read-a-thon? Let me know how it went for you if you did :)

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booktube-a-thon wrap-up

I can’t believe the booktube-a-thon is over already. I had such a fun time for my first year of this read-a-thon, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I did not successfully complete all of the challenges, and I didn’t end up sticking to my TBR, but I did well.

I read 5 books in total, which you might have seen if you follow me on my blog Twitter.

In my original TBR post, I said that my goal was to read at least 3 books, so I did pretty well, considering my low expectations! I’m not usually great with read-a-thons, but I really wanted to try hard for this one, and I’m proud of myself.

Let’s just get on with what books I read!

The Books:

 

Thin Space by Jody Casella

This book completed the challenge of letting a coin toss decide your first read. It was a little disappointing as my first booktube-a-thon read because I only gave it 2/5 stars. I did not relate to any of the characters, and I found it difficult to get into this book. I thought the plot twist at the end was really interesting, but the first 100+ pages of the book were just too slow (and the book is less than 300 pages).

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

This is the second book I finished during this week, but it was not part of my TBR. It’s a re-read that I started before booktube-a-thon began, but I finished it once it started. If you are new to my blog, then you wouldn’t know that this is one of my all time favorite books ever. The re-read just confirmed my love for it, and I can not wait to see more from Tamara. I can count this book for the “read a book about something you want to do” challenge because I would love to be part of a poet’s club like the main character is a part of!

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I read this for the first time a few years ago and loved it, but I couldn’t remember much. This time around, I listened to it as an audiobook, and it was such a great experience! I really loved it and gave it 5/5 stars. Right after, I watched the movie (and completed the challenge of reading and watching a book to movie adaptation), which was just as good. This book is super dark but really interesting and heartbreaking.

 

By Your Side by Kasie West

This book was just on the list to complete the challenge of “read 7 books.” Clearly, that did not happen. I could move this one to the “read a book with a beautiful spine” challenge instead. Initially, I did not think I was going to like this book because I thought it was going to just be a super fluffy read with no depth. I was wrong about that. There are so many heavy topics discussed in this book which I really appreciated, and it ended up being so much more than I expected. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.

Girls Resist by KaeLyn Rich

This is another that wasn’t on my TBR, but I wanted to finish it before the book came out! Thank you to Quirk Books for being kind enough to send me this book! I loved it so so much, and I am so happy that I got to read it. It is super informative, and I think every girl needs this guide in her life. I know I will refer back to it from time to time :) I gave it 5/5 stars, and I can count it towards the challenge of “reading a book with green on the cover.”

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I had such a great booktube-a-thon! I am so happy with how I did, even if I didn’t complete all of the challenges. Did you participate? How did you do?

Xo, Jess

July Wrap Up 2018

It’s that time again where I get to discuss all of the books I read this past month!

I fell into a huge slump this month, which is really unfortunate after last months amazing reading. I was on vacation at the beginning of the month, and then I just had so much going on with packing before I move in a couple weeks, and other things. In the past few days I have picked up some more books, but haven’t finished all of them yet. Hopefully I will finish them soon which will add a lot of books to my August wrap up!

Finished:

 

 

 

Looking For Alaska by John Green: I went into this book very optimistically because I am a huge John Green fan (even though I know not many people are), and I am happy to say my expectations were exceeded. The book was a little slow for me initially, and I had a bit of a hard time getting into it. BUT, once it picked up, I couldn’t put it down! It was very thought provoking and left me craving more from that world.

4/5 stars!

Thin Space by Jody Casella: This was my first book for the Booktube-a-thon this year that completed the coin toss challenge! I was not enjoying it too much up until the ending, which I ended up really loving. But, I did not find myself enjoying the majority of the book, and the only reason I even continued it was because of the read-a-thon. The characters weren’t relatable and the plot was pretty boring.

2/5 stars!

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone: I have talked about this book many, many times on here. It is one of my favorite books of all time because it was one of the first books that I really related to. It features a main character with OCD and anxiety, and I have never seen that in literature before until I read this for the first time 3 years ago. This month, I re-read it, and I loved just as much, if not more than the first time. I highly recommend it!

5/5 stars!

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: This is another book I read for the booktube-a-thon! I listened to the audiobook this time around. I read it for the first time like 5 years ago, so I wanted to change up the way I read it this time around. It was such a great read. It is heartbreaking yet beautiful. As I write this, I am actually watching the movie adaptation! Such a sad book but I really enjoyed it.

5/5 stars!

Currently Reading:

 

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Girls Resist!: I was sent this book to review by Quirk Books which are such lovely people! I am so happy that they sent me this book because I am loving it so so much! It is a book about feminism, leadership, how to start campaigns, etc! It is such an insightful guide and I think it is going to be super helpful to teen girls everywhere. I can’t wait to finish it. I will do a full review once I do!

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What have you read in July? I hope you had a better reading month than me!

XO, Jess

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This month has been filled with so many new experiences for me. I spent a week at a beach house in North Carolina, which was super relaxing. It also gave me a chance to reflect on the past month. Here are some of my favorite things.

Watching

  1. Gilmore Girls- I decided to finish rewatching this show because I wasn’t in the mood to start something new yet. My love for it was just as strong as the first time, and I am glad I watched it again.
  2. The Silence of the Lambs- This movie is insane. I can’t believe I haven’t watched it earlier. I highly recommend checking it out!
  3. Jaws- Another movie I can’t believe I haven’t watched earlier. It made me slightly terrified of the ocean for a few weeks, but I have recovered.

Reading

  1. Zines- I have been reading so many zines this past month. Zines are mini magazines that are DIY’d and can be on any topic you choose! I have both been making them, as well as buying them! My current favorite shop is Quietly Written on Etsy. My favorite zine is the Write It Down one! It was a great read.
  2. Shatter Me series- I read the first book “Shatter Me” last summer I believe. I kept promising myself that I would finish the series but I didn’t get around to it until now. I just finished the 3rd book and I am so happy I decided to continue it. The second book was my favorite of the three, and I can not wait for the next 3 books to come out.

Listening

  1. Lorde’s Album (Melodrama)- This whole album is absolutely incredible. Lorde’s music is always amazing, and this album is no different. I began listening to it a lot more this month.
  2. H.E.R. (Every Kind of Way)- I was introduced to H.E.R. by my friends and I fell in love. My favorite song at the moment is Every Kind of Way!
  3. Madison Beer (Dead)- This song is SO good. I haven’t listened to Madison Beer much before this song, but I will probably be checking out more now!

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Other

  1. Acrylic Paint- Painting has always been a part of my life in the form of watercolors, but I decided to explore other mediums. My obsession has been acrylic paints this month. I have so much more control with the artwork I create.
  2. Minimalism- I am definitely not considered a minimalist. I am the biggest hoarder ever. I have been reading a lot on the topic, however. I have made an effort to get rid of the unnecessary clutter in my life this month. So far, it’s working!

 

That’s all that I have for my favorites! I hope you check some of them out :) What have your favorites been?

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April Wrap Up and May TBR

I read a total of 8 books in April, which is surprising because it felt like a busy month.

  1. A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas: At first, I found this book very boring and I didn’t think I would like it, but since I was sent it on Kindle to borrow, I decided to pull through to the end. I am happy that I did because the story really picked up. I will not be finishing the series, however. Maas has a lot of problematic scenes in the third book which are offensive and hurtful. 4/5 stars
  2. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken: I did not enjoy this book at all. I also borrowed it from someone on Kindle, so I finished it. It was very slow paced, and not a lot of action happened. 3/5 stars
  3. Never, Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher: THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. It’s a super short read, at only a little over 100 pages. There is a huge cliffhanger at the end, and I can’t wait to read parts 2 and 3. This is my 3rd Colleen Hoover book, and I plan on reading a lot more by her because I’ve loved them all. 5/5 stars
  4. Only A Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao: This book is a cute, quick read. The writing wasn’t great, but I enjoyed the story. I only read it because I got it free on Amazon! 3/5 stars
  5. I Am More Than A Daydream by Jennae Cecelia: This is Jennae’s 3rd poetry collection, and by far my favorite! I read it in one sitting, and related to a lot of the poetry. 5/5 stars
  6. Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven: I loved this book. I read it pretty quickly, and it was really fast paced, which I liked. I loved the main characters, and the story was really empowering. 4/5 stars
  7. The Wingsnatchers by Sarah Jean Horwitz: I received an ARC of this book, and it just came out on April 25th, so I wanted to finish it before release day. It was a cute story, but definitely geared towards middle school kids. 3/5 stars
  8. Night By Elie Wiesel: This book is a true account of a Jewish man during the Holocaust. It was devastating and made me tear up, but I am glad I read it. It really opens your eyes to the horrors people faced. 5/5 stars

Now for my TBR! I don’t have a lot of books on my list, because I never stick to my TBR anyways.

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  1. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon: The movie comes out mid-May, so I definitely want to finish this book before then.
  2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: I started this book the last week of April, but I have yet to finish it, so it is my goal to do so.
  3. Silence by Natasha Preston: I also started this a few days ago, and I am almost done. I really, really want to finish it because I accidentally read a spoiler, and now I can’t stop thinking about it!

 

March Wrap Up

Another month, another wrap up! March was a good book month for me overall. Most of the books I read I really enjoyed (besides one or two). I read a total of 9 books this month which is really good as well. Plus, I bought a ton which never happens, so if you want you can check out my haul here!

  1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber: This is the first book I read in March and I posted a review that you can check out here.
    -Summary: This story follows Scarlett and her sister Tessa, as they escape their isle in search of the magical Caraval. They get there (along with a mystery man) to try to win the grand prize- a wish. But when Tessa is kidnapped, there is more for Scarlett to lose than just a reward.
  2. The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne: I bought this really long ago and I finally had the chance to read it and watch the movie. It wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be, but I am glad I got it off my TBR.
    -Summary: This book is set in the World War II era, and follows a young boy. When his family moves to a new country, he feels really lonely since there are no other kids his age. He eventually meets another boy, on the other side of the fence that his parents told him to stay away from, and a friendship ensues. (Warning- will probably make you cry)
  3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: This was my second time reading this book- both times for school. It is an essential read for everyone.
    -Summary: It is a story about a family living in a small, southern town in which a trial erupts between a black man and a white woman. Super important novel about racism told by an adult through child’s eyes.
  4. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: I will have my review for this up soon! I really loved this book.
    -Summary: Told from a futuristic time period, where two corporations are at war, forcing an entire planet of people to evacuate. It documents the journey of the people and the struggles they faced.
  5. It Starts Like This by Shelby Leigh: This is a poetry collection that I highly enjoyed and definitely recommend. It is one of my all time favorites.
  6. Can’t Buy Forever by Susan Laffoon: I DNF’d this but I am still going to count it because I really tried. You can read why I DNF’d it here, plus a summary.
  7. Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour: I wanted to read this book for so so long and I finally did. It is a great diverse lead, as the main character is part of the LGBTQ+ community.
    -Summary: Emi is an intern as a set designer for films, and hopes to pursue that career in the future. When her brother leaves town for a couple of months for a movie shoot, he leaves his apartment to her and her best friend. The one catch- she has to do something meaningful/exciting while she’s there.
  8. The Chaos of Longing by K.Y. Robinson: Another poetry collection that wasn’t really my favorite, but there were a few poems I loved.
  9. Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz: This book deserves way more recognition. The story was so mysterious and kept me on the edge of my seat.
    – Summary: Sanctuary Bay is an elite prep school for some of the most important and wealthiest families in the country. When Sarah, an orphan, receives a letter saying she’s been given a scholarship to attend, she is extremely skeptical. After she arrives, it seems like a miracle. However, secrets and trouble seem to be stirring up, and no one notices but her.

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