17 things i learned being 17

On November 15th, I turned 18. That is INSANE to me. I am officially an adult. This past year has been all about growing and learning for me. I have definitely changed as a person, friend, writer, blogger, and student. Not only did I get my license, but I also started my first official job, finished my college applications (and even got some acceptances back already), and so much more. I know that I will continue to grow everyday, but I wanted to do this post so that you guys can hear some of my advice (no matter what age).

  1. take care of your body.
  2. do what makes YOU happy
  3. it’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out
  4. crying does not make you weak!!
  5. not everyone is meant to stay in your life
  6. be kind to everyone
  7. mistakes are okay
  8. don’t be afraid to show people you care
  9. write everyday
  10. you can say “no” without making up excuses
  11. get off of your phone sometimes
  12. don’t be so negative all the time
  13. don’t let the little things bother you
  14. embrace the future, don’t let it scare you
  15. you are the only one who can make things happen for yourself
  16. stay humble
  17. you are doing just fine

Each of these little lessons/reminders have helped me live a less anxious and happier life. I struggled a lot at the beginning of the year with anxiety and stress, but these tips were really useful. I hope you keep these in mind, and I hope they help you out!

xo, Jessica

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end of the year book tag

*featured image from google, not my own*

I can’t believe that in two months, it will be the start of 2018. That’s insane! I feel like 2017 just started, even though a lot has changed in my life since last January.

Reading wise, I have read a total of 60 books so far (meaning I surpassed my goal). I finished the hardest year of high school in June and started my senior year of high school this past September. Although 2017 was a year of growth for me as a person, 2018 will be a year of great change that I am really looking forward to!

Let’s get into this tag now, that was originally created by Ariel Bissett on Youtube!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

I am currently reading The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider, On Writing by Stephen King, and Eighteen Years by Madisen Kuhn. Those are the only books that I started and have yet to finish, and all other books I started this year I either finished or I DNF’d and don’t plan on finishing. I can’t start a book without finishing it, with the exception of two DNFs this year.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

The books I have been reading recently really aren’t autumnal but I do plan on re-reading To Kill A Mockingbird soon which kind of gives me darker vibes because it does deal with some heavier issues.

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Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Many of the new releases I was excited for have already come out, and I am trying to start a book buying ban so I won’t be starting anymore new releases for a while. I have heard good things about Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi, which comes out this month, but I need to read Furthermore first.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Besides the books I am currently reading, I still want to read We Are The Ants, 1984, and Looking for Alaska. Hopefully I will actually get to those, but my TBR list keeps growing and it can get a bit overwhelming. Plus, I have so many unread books sitting on my shelf, so the mood I’m in really depends on which book I choose to read next.

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Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

We Are The Ants has a lot of potential if I get to it, because I have heard many amazing reviews on it. I have high hopes for it.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

Sort of. I have already decided that my goal will be 60 books, which is only 10 more than this years goal. I don’t want to be too ambitious since I will be transitioning into college and I am working a lot more now.

xx, Jess

october wrap up and november tbr

Before I start, I just want to say thank you for 400 followers! It means so much to me 🙂

October was a pretty good reading month for me considering I have school and finished all of my college applications! I hope that November can be just as successful, if not even more. I read 5 books, making my total for the year 59.

October Wrap Up

  • Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo: The ending was really good but didn’t fully make up for the rest of the book. The beginning was extremely slow and I could barely make it through. I didn’t want to DNF it though because I enjoyed the new Wonder Woman movie so much. Unfortunately, I did like the movie a lot more than the book. I think it needed a faster pace since it is a superhero book.
    • rating: 3/5 stars
  • Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia: I initially had some trouble getting into this book and liking the characters, but within a few chapters, I was so drawn. It was the perfect book to read during October because it is about a murder. It was so intense and thrilling. I loved trying to figure out who the killer was. I definitely want to pick up more books like this one.
    • rating: 5/5 stars
  • Turtles All The Way Down by John Green: I had already posted my review on this book which you can read here. I absolutely loved it. That is all I have left to say.
    • rating: 5/5 stars
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner: I read this book for school so I had a lot of discussions on it in class. Talking about it did help with my enjoyment of it because otherwise I would have been completely lost. You really need to pay attention while reading this book because the chapters are just so strange and confusing.
    • rating: 3/5 stars
  • A List of Cages by Robin Roe: It took a while for me to get used to the two different characters and their point of views, but I ended up really enjoying this book. I had been anticipating reading it for so long and I am glad I was finally able to read it. The ending was sad, heart-wrenching, and beautiful.
    • rating: 4/5 stars

I am proud of the books I read this month, because they were books I really wanted to read. 3 of the books I read were on my October TBR, so I am glad I got those out of my list. Now onto my TBR for November!

November TBR:

I don’t want to put too many books on my TBR this month because I have been finding it hard to pick up books that I assign myself to read. I am a mood reader, so I really have to be interested in a book during a certain time to fully enjoy it. However, I have started a couple of books for this month, and have one more that I hope to finish.

  1. On Writing by Stephen King: NaNoWriMo definitely inspired me to pick this book up. I have been meaning to read it for MONTHS, but I never had the chance. I finally picked it up from my library, and I hope to finish it soon. Although I am not writing a book for NaNo, I decided to start outlining a novel that I will write eventually. This book will hopefully give me some good tips in preparation to write.
  2. Beyond the First Draft- The Art of Fiction by John Casey: This is also another writing book. I had originally seen it in either a blog post or youtube video and decided to pick it up along with my Stephen King book. I haven’t started it yet, but I plan on reading it after On Writing.
  3. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider: I bought this book a couple of months ago and I recently started reading it. It is pretty short and shouldn’t take me too long to finish. I hope to be done with it in the next few days!

 

 

Turtles All The Way Down- Review

As you may have heard, John Green’s new book, Turtles All The Way Down, came out on October 10th. I was extremely excited to read it, because I have loved previous books by him.

I purchased the audiobook and began listening to that a few days after the release. Before I could even get 1/4 of the way through, I knew I had to own the physical copy. On Tuesday, I bought a signed edition from Target, and having it in my hands made me feel so much closer to it. I could actually see the words he had written, and it made the whole experience even better for me.

Goodreads synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. 

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

My review:

I immediately fell in love with this book. This was the first book that I truly felt connected to the main character of a novel. I could relate to so many of the thoughts she had and it helped me make sense of my mind. The way John phrased Aza’s anxiety is the best description I have read. It really coincided with my own anxiety, and I could not be more grateful for this novel.

It really focuses on the struggles of everyday life of what it is like to live inside your own head. I feel like I can give this book to someone if I ever had to explain my anxiety to them. For me personally, it is extremely difficult to put my anxiety into words because I can not fully understand it half of the time. But when I read these words, it was as if every thought I had was written out for me.

Not only does she struggle with anxiety, but she also has obsessive thoughts which I can relate to as well. The combination of OCD and anxiety is extremely difficult and draining. You can feel how tired Aza is from suffering from this.

I had tears in my eyes while reading this book.

It was poetic and thought provoking and absolutely everything I needed to read, especially right now.

I think I may have found my new favorite YA book.

Rating: 5/5 stars

xx, jessica

books i will probably never read tag!

A really hyped book that you’re not interested in reading

I was super interested in these books a few years ago, but I kept putting them off. Now that I have grown up, I don’t think these books will be as interesting to me and I won’t relate to them as much. I have a little regret about not reading these when I was in my prime fangirling phase, because I don’t think I will ever read these now.

A series you won’t start/won’t be finishing

Passenger was such a boring book to me. I could barely get through it, and although there was a cliffhanger at the end, I don’t see myself ever picking up the next book. Red Queen was alright, but just too slow for me. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped, and I don’t really want to read the rest.

A classic you’re just not interested in

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I honestly don’t know much about this book but it has never appealed to me and I really don’t see myself ever picking this up on my own.

A genre you never read

I don’t read a lot of historical fiction I realized, because I tend to lean towards books that are set in modern times. I am not a history person in general, so I don’t pick these books up often. I also don’t read a lot of Non-fiction, but I am hoping to start reading some more!

A book on your shelves you’ll probably never read

I bought both of these without realizing they aren’t the first books of the series. I haven’t had the desire to buy the rest of the series of either of these books, so I probably won’t be getting to them anytime soon (if ever).

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What are some books you probably won’t read? Let me know in the comments!

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October TBR

It’s finally spooky season! I absolutely love Halloween and the fall weather. This is the time I truly thrive for the year.

I am so excited to get back into reading this month because I have been in a slump for a while now. I just started a new job, so reading has been tough. I never have free time anymore! But, I am determined, and my TBR list is a bit ambitious this month. Let’s hope I can do it.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer

This book is on my TBR because I am only about 220 pages in and I’ve been trying to finish it for weeks now. I borrowed it from the library so I need to finish it within the next few days.

It just feels like too slow of a read to me. I was hoping that it would be very fast paced since it is a superhero book, but it’s not. That is why it is taking me so long to finish.

Everything You Want Me To Be

Another book that I’ve been reading for weeks. I really have no excuse as to why I haven’t finished this yet. It was slow to get into at first, but it really picked up and I am very interested in the story. I just haven’t had the time to finish it, and I started Wonder Woman so I put this one aside for a little bit.

We Are the Ants

I bought this book a few weeks ago and I have been dying to read it. I want to finish the other two before I begin this one, so I’ve had to hold off. I am incredibly interested in reading this though, and I have heard so many good things about it. It also has the most beautiful cover I have seen in a while, so that is another plus to it.

The Beginning of Everything

It is decently short, so I am hoping this will be a quick read for me. If I don’t read all of these books, I hope to at least finish this one. The cover is interesting, and the story seems really cool, too.

The One Memory of Flora Banks

This book has been on my TBR for a really long time because I bought it back in March or April probably. I have heard some mixed reviews on this, but since I own it, I want to finally get to it.

As I Lay Dying

I am currently reading this for school, and I am about 1/2 way done. I know that I will finish this since it is a class assignment, but I thought I would add it to the list anyways. At first, this book was really strange and hard to understand, but I am enjoying it now that I have gotten deeper into it.

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What are you hoping to read this month? Have you read any of the books on my TBR? What did you think of them? I really do want to know because I have been pretty picky with my books recently, so comment below!

Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed 🙂

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my current thoughts about the book community

When I was in middle school (and even younger than that) I went to the library or bookstore at least weekly, and I picked up tons of books. I chose books simply based on the cover and the synopsis- especially the synopsis. The more involved I become in the book community, the more I find myself doing less of that.

I now tend to pick up books based on what other people think of them without even forming my own opinions or considering if I will like the book or not. I can’t even tell you how many books I bought just because I heard people in the book community like them. I don’t even know what half of the books I buy are about at this point!

I began reading fantasy books more and more often, which I don’t even like. I’m more of a contemporary and mystery/paranormal reader. Sure, there were a few fantasy books I enjoyed reading, but there were so many that I forced myself to read just so I could be part of the loop.

Sometimes I feel like I’m going to be shamed for not reading or not enjoying something that was incredibly hyped by everyone. I also don’t want to attend any book events because I know that there are a TON of books I haven’t read and I don’t want people to think I don’t belong there.

Basically, the point of this post is to say that I want to start reading for myself again. I don’t want to fall out of love with reading because I don’t enjoy what I pick up. I also want to say that this is a criticism of myself, not the book community. There are so many wonderful people and the place is so welcoming. This is just how I am currently feeling!

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Do any of you feel the same way or am I alone in this one? Have you picked up any books solely because of the book community, without even knowing what it’s about?

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books that changed my life

Over the years, I have read many books on so many different topics. A few of them even changed my views on the world completely.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee:

This was one of the few books that I had to read in school and actually enjoyed. In fact, I loved it. It is now my all time favorite book ever (except I still don’t own it so I need to go buy it very, very soon). It deals with topics such as race, social norms, and maturity. It definitely is a must read for everyone.

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone:

This is my second favorite book of all time. I enjoyed it so much because I could relate to it on a really deep level. The main character suffers from OCD and she also enjoys writing. Since I could connect to it, it left such a deep impact on me. I plan on re-reading this book as soon as I catch up on my TBR pile. The ending left such a deep scar on me emotionally, and it really shocked me.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:

I am almost positive that all of you have read this book, watched the movies, or at least heard of it. The reason I like it so much is because I read it in a time of my life where I wasn’t very interested in anything. I was very sad, I didn’t focus on school, and I disconnected myself from a lot of people. When I heard about this book, I was so excited to read it and I couldn’t stop talking about it for days. I even convinced my cousin and friends to read it. It was something that I focused my time with and fell in love with, after a long time of being stuck in a weird place.

Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour:

This book didn’t necessarily change my life, but it did change my perspective. I gained a new respect for the film industry, and I enjoyed learning about the different fields in film making. A couple of years ago, film was something that I was really interested in, and this book made me regain that initial love. I raved about this book for weeks after reading it because I loved it so much.

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signed book collection

Over the years, I have acquired a decent amount of signed books, and I thought I would share them with you guys! I am also working on making my site a lot better, in terms of graphics and design! Let me know what you think of everything 🙂

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  1. The Universe of Us- Lang Leav: I was at Barnes and Noble one day and decided I wanted to finally buy something by Lang. The first book I grabbed happened to be the Universe of Us and it was signed! It seemed like fate.
  2. Temporary Storms- McKayla Debonis: I received this book from the author, and again, it is a poetry collection!
  3. Losing Hope- Colleen Hoover: I actually have about 3 or 4 books by Colleen Hoover signed because I won them all in a giveaway. However, a couple of them are personalized to the previous owner, so they say to Ashley. But, it is still cool to own because I love Colleen’s books!
  4. Bright Souls Empty Minds- Jennae Cecelia: I have a lot of signed poetry collections, mostly because i received them from authors. This one is obviously another one of them. I absolutely loved this book and Jennae is so sweet!
  5. A Work In Progress – Connor Franta: I was able to attend Connor’s book signing a few years back, so that is how I got this one signed! It is actually the first singed book I own.
  6. Can’t Buy Forever- Susan Laffoon: This is a book I got from the author, but I actually ended up DNF’ing it. I’m really thankful that I was able to receive it, but it just wasn’t for me.
  7. The Princess Saves Herself in This One- Amanda Lovelace: I saved the best for last. I attended one of Amanda’s first book signings about 6 months ago (I think) for the release of her traditionally published poetry collection. I was able to bring my previous copy (self published version) and buy the new one! I got both signed.

 

I am so happy that I own a few signed books. I know they can be hard to find or expensive, and not everyone has them. I cherish all the books I own, but these have a special place in my heart.

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Do you have any signed books? Which ones? Also, I want to do a Q&A when I hit 400 followers, so feel free to ask me questions down below!

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august wrap up + september tbr

Before I start, I just want to say I made a Twitter account for my blog! You can check it out here 🙂

Unfortunately the past few months have been pretty bad for me, reading wise. I’m sad that I haven’t read as much as I hoped to over the summer, but I’m only one book away from completing my reading challenge (of 50 books)!

This month I read 5 books, which isn’t horrible.

Anna and The French Kiss- Stephanie Perkins:
People have been raving about this book for YEARS. I have been wanting to read it for the longest time ever. I finally did but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped. I don’t even want to continue with the next 2 books, actually.

While this was definitely a super fluffy read, I wish I had related to and fallen in love with the characters. I think this was a little too fluffy for me, and I just haven’t been in the mood for fluffy.

3/5 stars

The Five People You Meet in Heaven- Mitch Albom:
I have heard lots of good things about this book, and when I saw that it was at Barnes and Noble for only $5, I had to get it. This book really got me thinking, and it was an incredible read.

I still find myself thinking about it and talking about it to others. The main character was really interesting for me to read about, and hearing about his life in such a unique way is what made me hooked.

5/5 stars

History is All You Left Me- Adam Silvera:
I was extremely lucky to be sent the ARC of this book by _____ on Twitter, and when I got it in my hands, I read it immediately. However, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this one. I couldn’t relate to the characters at all, and I found it a bit too slow for me. I realized in the last few months that I prefer characters over plot, but I still need some action in books. There just wasn’t enough in this one.

3/5 stars

Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte:
This book is part of my summer reading for school next year, which may be the reason that I didn’t love it too much.

At first, I really did think I would love the story because Jane seemed like a strong, independent woman and I really admired her for that. However, towards the end I really did not support her decisions and I couldn’t get myself to enjoy the story.

3/5 stars

Weave A Murderous Web- Anne Rothman-Hicks & Ken Hicks:
I wrote a review for this book a little while back so you can check that out!

3/5 stars

Now let’s get to my September TBR!

Midnight’s Children- Salman Rushdie:
Second book of my summer reading. I am almost done with it and expect to be done in a couple of days.

The Hate U Give- Angie Thomas:
I am almost done with this book. I am actually listening to it on Audible (it’s my first audiobook ever- and I love it). It is soo good.

Everything You Want Me To Be- Mindy Mejia:
I received this book in my Read Dog book subscription box and I am finally planning on reading it! It looks super interesting.

 

That is all for my TBR because I am starting my senior year of High School in a few days. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with too many books! What’s on your TBR for this month?