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

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August TBR

We are already 5 days into August. How did that happen? Well, I feel like I’m already behind on this TBR, but I decided I would post it anyways! The books below are all ones I’m hoping to read this month before I go to school in the fall! Plus, there are a few books I have already read/am reading as part of the booktube-a-thon, so you can check out my TBR for that here.

The Books:

Joyride by Anna Banks

This book has been on my TBR for a while because I bought it off of bookoutlet on a whim, and it has just been sitting on my shelves. It’s a fairly short book, so I really want to knock it off my TBR soon!

Afterparty by Ann Stampler

This one is another random bookoutlet find, but I am absolutely intrigued by it. The premise sounds really interesting, but what really drew me in was the cover. I think it is so stunning, especially in person. I have been wanting to read it for months now, but have yet to get around to it! Hopefully this is the month it gets read!

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

In case you didn’t know, I have been absolutely DYING to read this book ever since it came out. I bought it at Bookcon back in June, but I had so many other books that needed my attention first, so I haven’t gotten around to this one yet. I definitely plan on reading it this month. In fact, I have already started it but then the booktube-a-thon started so I put it down for the time being.

The House by Christina Lauren

I really want to get more into mystery/thriller novels, so I have been wanting to read this book for quite some time. I know I will love it, so I really, really hope I read it this month. However, my TBR is getting a little long this month, so I don’t know if I will have the time to get to it with the other books being a bit higher priority.

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

If you didn’t know, Every Last Word, also written by Stone is in my Top 3 of favorite books of all time. I just re-read it recently, and I fell in love with it all over again. Tamara came out with this book just a couple of months ago, and of course I bought it immediately! I can not wait to sink into this book and fall in love with another one of her reads.

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Aside from these books, I also have some ARCs I need to read, but I don’t want to talk about them just yet!

Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you thought of them in the comments below :)

Xo, Jess

Booktube-a-thon TBR!

I am so late with my TBR and by the time this is up, the booktube-a-thon will be starting TOMORROW! I am so excited to be participating for the first time ever. Obviously, this is not booktube, but I still think the read-a-thon looks like a ton of fun, so I want to participate :)

The read-a-thon takes place from July 30th-August 5th and the goal is to read 7 books. There are 7 challenges in total, so I picked a book for each one, and hopefully I can read at least 3! I am going to be moving very soon, so my days are filled with packing and getting last minute things done, so I don’t know how much reading time I will have.

The TBR/Challenges:

1/ Let a coin toss decide your first read.

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For this challenge, I decided to flip a coin between The Death of Us by Alice Kuipers and Thin Space by Jody Casella just because they are two of the shorter books I own. I always try to pick shorter books on my TBR for read-a-thons if possible, because you do need to read so much. Plus, both of these have been on my TBR for so long, so it would be nice to knock one off. Obviously, Thin Space won, and I am actually pretty happy about that because I was leaning towards it a little bit!

2/ Read a book about something you want to do.

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This one is a bit of a stretch, but I chose November 9 by Colleen Hoover for this challenge because I read in the description that the love interest in this novel is an author, and one of my main goals in life is to be an author.

I have heard so many negative things about this book, but I own it and didn’t want to give it away without at least giving it a shot first. It has a really high Goodreads rating, but I think I heard that it is problematic, so I’m not sure why the rating is so high. But, I am (hopefully) going to read it either way.

3/ Read and watch a book to movie adaptation.

I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold in 8th grade, which was like 5 years ago and I do not remember much of it. I have watched the movie as well, but it was also around that time. I have been wanting to re-read this for AGES, so I finally decided I would do it for this read-a-thon!

4/ Read a book with green on the cover.

I got The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood at Bookcon, and I actually met Jessica, too. She was super sweet, and this book sounds like it will be a really amazing read. There is a bit of green on the cover, so it fit perfectly!

5/ Read a book while wearing the same hat the whole time.

I absolutely hate hats, so I chose Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams for this challenge because it’s a pretty short book. I think instead of a hat, I will actually wear a headband, because I don’t know if I could do the whole hat thing.

6/ Read a book with a beautiful spine.

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The spine and the cover of Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker are both so beautiful, so I knew this book would fit right in. I got it for my Book of the Month a while back, and I have been dying to finally pick it up. It is a mystery/thriller which is a genre I have been wanting to read more of because it is one of my favorites! I really hope I enjoy it :)

7/ Read seven books.

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For my seventh and final book, I chose By Your Side by Kasie West because I know it will be really quick to fly through. It is a fluffy YA contemporary, which is perfect for read-a-thons because they are super easy to read. I have heard amazing things about this book, and it is on my Summer TBR!

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Are you participating in this read-a-thon? Let me know what books you’re reading if you are, or link your TBR post!

Xo, Jess

The Poet X- Review!!

Hello everyone!! I just got back from vacation in Punta Cana, so I’m sorry for being a little MIA recently. I am back on the blogging grind though, and I have been reading more than ever.

Today I wanted to post a review of a book I just read recently and completely fell in LOVE with! That book is The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent. 

My Review:Image result for the poet x

**There are some trigger warnings that I want to include first for abuse and sexual assault.

My initial thoughts were: Wow. Just wow.

This book is told entirely in verse, which was just so unique and wonderful to me. It made the book flow quickly and smoothly, so I finished it in about a day. This writing style just really suited the book and I loved it a lot.

The main character, Xiomara, is such a badass and I loved her personality so much. There were some things she did that made me cringe a little bit because I thought they were just a bit too much, but overall she was a great character.

I also loved how the book involved religion. I felt myself relating to Xiomara so much because of this aspect of growing up in a religious home when I, myself, am not religious.

Overall, the book helped me fall in love with poetry all over again. I have always been a poetry fan, but recently haven’t been as involved in writing it. After reading this, I immediately grabbed a pen and paper and started writing again. It felt so freeing.

The one downfall of this book that I have to mention is the ending. It wrapped up way too quickly and too perfectly. I think the ending could have used some more development, or at least just made longer so it wasn’t so sudden.

Besides that, I loved every other aspect of this book, and I am incredibly happy that I have read it.

Definitely recommend giving it a read!

5/5 stars

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Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on it if you have?

Xo, Jessica

Summer Reading Recs

Hello everyone! How are you all doing?

A couple of days ago, I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL! That is so crazy to me. As of now, I am on summer break until I go off to college. I am still in shock.

Today, I have some recommendations for summer books to read.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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This was the first book that came to mind when I thought of summer. This is such a cute and fluffy read, and I would highly recommend it! It is a YA contemporary following a girl who writes letters to all of her crushes as closure, and one day those letters get sent out. I’m sure you’ve heard of it! Plus, the movie is coming out in August, so it is the perfect time to read it.

Wanderlost by Jen Malone

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I just finished this book recently, and I think it would be the perfect summer read! It follows a girl on a trip around Europe (in the summertime), so it gives you all of those travel feels! It would be a great plane ride book, or book whenever you’re on the go.

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

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Wow. That is the only word I can use to describe this book. It is so amazing, so adorable. I absolutely loved the main love interest in this story, and I fell in love with Jenn Bennett’s writing style. It is one of my favorite reads of the year, I would highly recommend it.

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

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This is one of my older favorite books ever. I really fell in love with the characters, and I learned so much about the film industry. This story also takes place in the summertime, and it is a really quick-paced book, so I think it is perfect for the summer.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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I figured I should include a book that ISN’T a contemporary, so this is a fantasy I would recommend for the summer. The story moves quickly, and it was easy to read. I loved the storyline, and there were some plot twists I didn’t see coming.

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Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments down below :)

Xo, Jess

Blog Tour- The Past is Present by Kathleen Webb

Hello everyone! Today I am back with a new blog post, and this one is a fun one! I was invited to take part in a blog tour for the debut book The Past is Present by Kathleen Webb!

**All opinions are my own**

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Goodreads Synopsis:
After the untimely death of her mother and father, twenty-four year old Catherine Morgan leaves the Cambridge home where she has spent the better part of her life, to move to Cornwall. She takes a job as a teacher, working in an old rambling school which has been converted from a domestic home, perched high up on a hilltop, overlooking the beautiful Cornish coastline. 

Out of the blue a letter arrives from a bank in Switzerland, advising Catherine that she is the sole heir to a fortune of over thirty million dollars. With no living relatives, save for a great aunt in the USA, Catherine sets out to uncover the source of this staggering inheritance, and to unravel the mystery that lies behind it. 

With the help of her great aunt, Catherine begins to dig deep into long forgotten family secrets. Strange dreams begin to plague her. She is haunted by the eerie feeling that someone from her family’s past is trying to help her. Catherine must work to make sense of the past while defending herself, and her fortune, from someone in the present who will stop at nothing to secure the money for themselves. 

My Review

The first thing I have to say about this book is that I did not really enjoy the writing style. It was a little difficult to get into initially. It feels a little juvenile and basic, but once I got used to it, I was able to enjoy the story more.

Besides that, I did enjoy the story. The main character, Catherine, was very likable. I felt myself relating to many of the things she was saying,

The story also switches between two different times. It was done pretty well, but it felt a little forced at times. There were some plot holes that were left unfinished, but for a debut novel, the storyline itself was decent.

Towards the end, the book really picked up, which I appreciated. There were some twists and exciting events that I enjoyed reading.

Overall, I would give this book a 3/5 stars. It was okay, but definitely could have been improved upon.

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I hope you enjoyed this post, and thank you to Faye for hosting this blog tour! See you in my next post :)

Xo, Jess

Underrated book recs | pt. 2

I love the book community. But sometimes it feels like everyone is reading all the same books and there is no diversity in the book we read anymore. That is not necessarily a bad thing, because it’s great to be able to talk to others about books we’ve read. However, I feel like there are so many books that are left out of conversations. This is sad because there are millions of books in the world, and so many of them are amazing.

Therefore, I am sharing some books that I feel aren’t talked about enough. I’ve made a post like this once before, so you can check out the first part here!

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

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I received an e-ARC for this book a few months ago, and I read it in a matter of days. It is SO. GOOD. I know this book isn’t completely underrated, and Jenn Bennett is a pretty popular author. BUT, I feel like this book didn’t get as much hype as it should have. It just came out recently and I only saw a few people talking about it. I really hope more people pick it up!

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

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This entire trilogy is just so adorable. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the last book, but the first two were so good! I know everyone loves Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy, but this one deserves some hype, too.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

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I got this book from Bookoutlet on a whim, without ever even hearing about it. After I read it, I was so surprised that no one has talked about it. This book is honestly so amazing. I am so glad that I picked it up because it was kind of an intense but beautiful read.

Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Taryn Fisher

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I have only read the first part of this book (I believe there are 3 parts in total), but I was amazed by it. It is just so so good. It features the memory loss trope but it was done really well. I flew through this book because I really wanted to know what was going to happen. I bought the second part a while ago and I plan on reading it soon because I need to know what happens!

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Please leave some of your recommendations for underrated books down below! I will definitely add some to my TBR.

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

BOOKCON 2018 ! Haul and Experience

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Hello everyone! It’s been a while. I took an unexpected hiatus from blogging because I was super stressed and had a lot going these past two weeks. I had my senior prom, then I was at wildwood, and some other things in between. But I’m back!

Yesterday I went to Bookcon, so what better way to come back to blogging than by talking about my experience?

How it went

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The day started off very hectic. After I got my badge, we started walking towards the entrance to the event and I saw Hannah, Sasha, and Hailey standing together so I immediately went up to them to take pictures! They were super sweet and it was amazing to see them in person.

Then we went inside. There is a lot happening at once, so if you don’t have any plans you will sort of just wander around. Luckily the floor is very easy to navigate so you can find everything you are looking for pretty quickly. I had a list of the activities I wanted to go to, and for each time slot I wrote down about 2-3 events. However, many of them filled up quickly so there was a lot of walking back and forth to find an open event.

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At the beginning of the day, my two friends and I (god bless them for wanting to come with me) got to go to a “Carnival Game” hosted by Riveted Books where you went into a little box and tried to grab a ticket that was flying around you. The ticket you got had the prize that you would win on it.

Both me and one of my friends won a tote bag, but my other friend got an ARC which she gave to me.

We also just walked around playing some other games, and I picked up two books which will be featured later in the haul! We also went to a signing with Jessica Spotswood and we received a free book of hers for being the first 50 in line (we were actually about 5th!).

Finally, we went to a signing with Sasha and Tasha! They were both so amazing once again, and we got some signed cards from them.

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Along the way, we picked up many tote bags and some smaller swag items!

I also got to meet some lovely ladies who I have been following through the book community, which was so amazing. And I met Jesse and Christine! Overall, I had a really great experience for my first time at Bookcon, and next year I definitely hope to go again! Maybe next year I’ll be able to go to BookExpo, too!

Haul

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I picked up these two books on my own because I have been dying to get my hands on them! Emergency Contact has been a priority for a while now, so I finally got it! Save the Date was being sold early, and it was a signed edition, so of course I had to get it!

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Jessica Spotswood was extremely nice, and she signed this book for me! I have an ARC of another one of her books, so I am excited to get to it soon as well! This book was also being given out early because it doesn’t come out for a few more days! Finally, I got A Heart in a Body in the World which is an ARC! I was really lucky to be able to get an ARC because they didn’t give out too many.

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I also got some Chapter Samplers of a couple of books! It was cool to get some bookish swag from books that I have seen being promoted by booktubers for months!

Pics

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Thank you so much for reading :) I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Were any of you at Bookcon this year? How was your experience?

Xo, Jess

Cram-a-thon TBR

This read-a-thon starts in a little less than a month, so this post is a little early. BUT I’m usually really late on these posts so I wanted to be early for a change. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a week long read-a-thon where you try to read as many books as you can that. It takes place from June 10-17th.

The Challenges

A predicted 5 star book

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Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett: I have only read one of Bennett’s books, but I absolutely loved it! I can not wait to read this one, and I know it will be a good read for me!

A book out of your comfort zone

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett: I never ever read sci-fi. I think the only sci-fi book I’ve read was Illuminae (which I loved), so this is definitely out of my comfort zone. I received this arc unsolicited a really long time ago. It’s probably been like a year now, but I finally want to pick it up!

A book that has been on your TBR a long time

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley: I got this from BookOutlet a long time ago and I only added it to my cart so that I could get free shipping. But, it’s been on my TBR for so long that I think it’s time to finally read it.

A book that is LGBTQ+ ownvoices

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire: I’ve heard many great things about this book, and I have been meaning to pick it up for a really long time. I have some points racked up on BookOutlet, so you can guess what I am going to use them on! Plus, it’s a shorter book so that’ll help me get through more books!

Something that is not a standard novel (graphic novel, audio, comic, novella, poetry, etc)

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The Universe of Us by Lang Leav: This is a poetry collection that I bought because I saw a signed copy at Barnes and Noble. I knew I needed to have it! I’ve read one other Lang Leav book and I really loved it. I can’t wait to get this one

A book that has your favorite color on cover

Wanderlost by Jen Malone: This book is a baby pink color, and it is so beautiful! I honestly do not remember what it is about at all, but I definitely want to pick it up during this read-a-thon!

Read 7 books

The Death of Us by Alice Kuipers: The seventh book that I am adding to this TBR is a short one that I’ve had for a while. It looks like it’ll be a quick read, so I will hopefully accomplish the goal of 7 books in one week!

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Are you participating in this read-a-thon? Let me know what books you are adding to your TBR in the comments below!

Xo, Jess