how i annotate books

I write in my books.

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I think you all know that by now because I talk about it often. I think it is so important, especially as a book reviewer because it really allows you to connect with the novel. You can be critical while still following and enjoying the book. It also makes a book more unique and special. It’s like having a conversation with the characters. I know that in the future it will be so fun to look back on and read through the pages.

How I do it:

What I Use-

  1. black pen!!
  2. 4 highlighter colors
  3. post-it notes (diff sizes)
  4. post-it tabs

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The Process-

  • I use a black pen to write in the books
    • typically this involves little comments to respond to dialogue
    • I also write comments about problematic parts of books
    • Sometimes at the end of each chapter, I write little summaries or thoughts I had about them
  • The 4 highlighters are what I use to really get analytical
    • yellow- important scenes
    • pink- love/romance
    • green- favorite quotes
    • blue- things to mention in review
  • Post-it notes
    • I use the post-it notes when I have more to say than can fit on the page
    • sometimes I want to write a couple sentences down but there is no room so I write it on the post-it
    • I do not use these too often
  • Post-it tabs
    • These correspond to my highlighters
    • I put them in when I highlight a part so that I can easily flip to the different sections without skimming through each page

Here are some examples of pages in my books: (not all of the pictures follow my current system)

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That is basically it to how I annotate! I hope this post was helpful.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them down below. Do you annotate in your books? Let me know how!

xo, Jessica

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the book blogger test

Hello everyone! I am here with a book tag today because I haven’t done one in a really long time. I wasn’t tagged to do this but it seemed like fun so I just couldn’t resist! I’m not sure who the original creator of this tag is, but I saw it over on Drizzle and Hurricane Books.

The Questions

Describe your perfect reading spot:

I would love to have a comfy seat in a corner of a room near a window. It would need lots of pillows and a big comfy blanket. Currently, I just read in my bed, but I would love to have a spot like this in the future.

Tell us 3 book confessions:

  1. I write in my books- Please don’t hate me!!
  2. I read multiple books at a time
  3. I get in reading slumps pretty often

When was the last time a book made you cry?

I believe it was Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. That book really touched me and I fell in love with it. The parts where Aza has thought spirals was really difficult to read and it made me so upset.

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How many books are on your bedside table?

Surprisingly, it is only 1 right now. It is usually 2 or 3, but I cleaned my room and moved some from there. The book is This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills.

What’s your favorite snack to eat while you read?

I rarely ever eat while reading, but I would have to go with pretzels or cheez-its. I prefer to have something to drink, like tea, lemonade, or hot chocolate.

Name 3 books you would recommend to everyone:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- hands down my favorite book
  2. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour- definitely recommend this
  3. Caraval by Stephanie Garber- it was a quick but amazing read

Show us a picture of your favorite bookshelf on your bookcase:

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This one is my favorite because I went with a blue theme for the shelf. It is one of my two TBR shelves so I haven’t read any of the books on it. I just really like how it looks.

Describe how much books mean to you in just 3 words:

Can’t live without.

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And that’s the end of the tag! I hope you enjoyed it :)

I’m going to tag a few people down below, but anyone can do this tag!

I tag…

xo, Jessica

Review: By a Charm and a Curse

I was sent an advanced copy of the book in order to review it for a blog tour.

I haven’t done a review in what feels like forever! I knew I wanted to participate in the blog tour of this book because the description is so interesting! Check it out below:

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Synopsis (Netgalley):

A kiss is never just a kiss.

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

After reading Caraval by Stephanie Garber last year, I have been dying to pick up another carnival-related book.

This one was the perfect choice.

The beginning is a little slow, but the pace picks up a few chapters in. The humor is a little different than what I am used to in my YA books, but I loved it a lot. The writing flows really well, almost like a poem. I really appreciated how easy to read it was. Often times in fantasy novels, I get confused by all the extravagant words, especially in the world-building. This was easy to follow along with.

The characters were also really relatable. I loved Emma a lot because of how sweet she was. Although she was in a tough position, she always strived to do what is right.

The romance was also done very well in this novel. It wasn’t too lovey-dovey or too heavy. The relationship didn’t take anything away from the plot, which I liked.

Overall, if you were a fan of Caraval or The Night Circus, I would highly recommend this book! The setting/world was just amazing, and the storyline was great. It was a really enjoyable read for me and I can’t wait to buy the finished physical copy.

rating: 4/5 stars

xo, Jessica

Contemporary-A-Thon TBR

I recently came across a video announcing the contemporary-a-thon and I immediately knew I wanted to participate. I am a huge contemporary fan, and this is a great way to get some more reading in. I will probably only get through 2, maybe 3 books but I want to try anyways.

The Hosts:
Pages and Pens
My Reading is Odd
Chelsea Dolling Reads

The challenges:

1. Read the most recent contemporary that you purchased/acquired

2. Read a contemporary book with pink on the cover

3. Read a hyped contemporary book

4. Read a diverse contemporary book

5. Read a dark/taboo contemporary

6. Read a contemporary(ish) graphic novel

7. Read a contemporary book that has been recommended to you

My TBR:

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True Believer- Nicholas Sparks (1&2)

I just purchased this about a week or two ago when I went to Barnes and Noble with my friend. We both picked up Nicholas Sparks books because neither of us have read any before. The cover of this one is more of a purple-ish color, but it is the closest to pink I have so I am counting it!

This Adventure Ends- Henry Holt (3)

I have heard nothing but great things about this book, so I am excited to finally get around to reading it. It was pretty hyped on Goodreads and Twitter, so I have high expectations going into it.

Also can we talk about the beautiful cover

My Heart and other Black Holes (4)

I believe this book deals with depression and anxiety, making it a diverse read. I am prepared for heartache because this does deal with some heavy topics. I accidentally read a spoiler for this book, so I know it will make me cry.

Trigger Warning: Suicide

The Summer I turned Pretty- Jenny Han (7)

This book was recommended to me such a long time ago but I only recently acquired it. I am so excited to read it because I love Jenny Han’s writing. I really hope I love it as much as I loved the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy.


 

I know my TBR is pretty short, but with school everyday, I don’t have as much time to read as I would like. These books satisfy 5/7 of the challenges, so to me, that would be a success.

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Let me know if you are participating down in the comments below! I would love to hear what books you have on your TBR for this read-a-thon.

xo, jessica

10 bookish facts about me

Today’s post is one that I have been meaning to write for a very long time. I love reading posts like this because you learn a lot about the person who wrote it. I hope some of you can relate to these facts, and I’m not alone in them.

I write in my books

I love to annotate and make little comments in my books. It makes them more unique in my opinion, and it helps me remember the book better. Let me know if you want a post about how I annotate!

I have close to 50 books on my owned TBR pile

I clearly have a problem. I need to stop buying books because I own way too many that I haven’t read yet. I tried going on a ban but it just never works for me.

I love audiobooks a lot

I never used to listen to audiobooks until the summertime, and now I am obsessed. I’ve listened to about 10 so far, and I just discovered overdrive so I know I will be listening to more soon.

I am awful at sticking to monthly TBRs because I am a mood reader

I used to force myself to read the books I put on my monthly TBRs, but now I don’t even make lists anymore. I just pick up whatever book I am in the mood for next.

My favorite genres are mysteries/thrillers and contemporary YA

I have always loved crime movies and tv-shows, so naturally that carried over to my reading. I don’t read a lot of mysteries or thrillers, but I am slowly beginning to. Contemporaries have always been at the top of my list, just because I love relating to the characters.

I can’t eat while reading but I love to have tea or hot cocoa

If i eat while reading, it just becomes a mess. I can’t do both at the same time, and it messes up my flow. I prefer just having some tea with me.

I am not really a fan of fantasy

Please don’t hate me for this one. I know fantasy is huge in the book community, but I am just not that big on it. I read fantasy occasionally and I usually end up loving the book, but I don’t pick it up often.

I need to read to the end of the chapter, I can’t stop in the middle

I know I am not alone on this one. I really hate stopping a book in the middle of a chapter. I only do it if I really have to. I almost always read to the end of the chapter.

I’ve only been to two book signings

They were both so amazing. One was for Connor Franta’s first book- A Work in Progress. The second one was for Amanda Lovelace’s poetry collection, The Princess Saves Herself in This One. The experiences are unforgettable, and hopefully I will be able to attend more in the future.

I have read 5 books in 2018 so far

I am off to an okay start. I was hoping to to read 6-8 books, but I am still happy with the number. My reading goal for this year was set to 1 book, mostly because I want to focus on reading quality books, rather than looking at the quantity of books. So I have reached my goal already.

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What are some bookish facts about you? Let me know in the comments! If you’ve done a post like this before, link it below as well.

xo, Jessica

popular books i haven’t read

Many of you are going to be shocked that I haven’t read some of these books yet, but please don’t be offended! There are so many books that I have been dying to read, but with my TBR list constantly growing, it would be impossible to get to them all.

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The Sun is Also a Star

This book hasn’t been out for too long, so that is my excuse for not reading it yet. I swear I will get to it soon because it sounds really good. I read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and I really enjoyed it. I just have too many books to read right now and this is not at the top of my list.

Heartless

I am not a huge fan of fantasy books to begin with, so that is why I never really got around to reading this. It has been on my TBR list for a really long time but I don’t know if I will ever even read it. I don’t really have the desire to anymore.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Out of the 5 books on this list, this one is at the top of my priority reads. I can’t believe that I still haven’t purchased a copy of this book. I need to get around to it really soon because I don’t want to watch the movie until I read it.

Eleanor and Park

I used to want to read this so bad back when everyone was extremely obsessed about it. However, I am not really interested in reading this or any of Rainbow Rowell’s books anymore (sorry don’t be mad at me).

The Night Circus

I have heard about this book for such a long time now on Booktube and book blogs. Especially during the time that Caraval was hyped, everyone was talking about it. I really enjoyed Caraval and everyone compared it to this book, so I know I want to check it out soon.

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Did any of these books surprise you? Let me know if I absolutely need to read any of these books on the list!

xo, Jessica

my favorite underrated books!

The book community hypes up so many novels and I often find myself only reading the books that are trending. That being said, I never read any books outside of that small circle of highly popular ones.

This is so sad to me.

There are so many amazing books that people just don’t know about so they never read. Before social media was a huge part of my life, I would go to the library or the bookstore and just read the inside flaps of books to see what they were about. That was how I picked books to read. Now I don’t even know what the books I own are about at all, I just know I have heard about them online.

Today I want to recommend some of my favorite underrated books!

Talking as Fast as I Can- Lauren Graham

This one I’m sure many of you have heard of, especially if you are a Gilmore Girls fan like me! I adored Lauren’s writing style so much, and hearing her read the words made the experience so much better. It really made me fall more in love with her, and I am so glad I got to read this.

Everything You Want Me to Be- Mindy Mejia

I got this book in a subscription box and at first I was a little skeptical. However, I really ended up enjoying the book, and I am so glad I read it. It is full of twists and really interesting characters.

Sanctuary Bay- Laura J. Burns

This book was so good. I remember being completely shocked by every page. I would love to read a sequel to this book because I really miss the world and characters. Definitely give it a try.

Confess- Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover is a popular author. This book does not get a lot of attention though, which is unfortunate. I enjoyed it so much, as I do all of her books. It was also a really quick read for me. I’ve even gotten many of my friends to check it out as well.

7300 Days- Isabella Mente

This is such an underrated poetry book. Isabella deserves way more recognition than she gets, and I will back her on any of her projects. She is also such a sweetheart and I love talking to her. If you are a poetry fan, check out this book because it is so beautiful.

Every Last Word- Tamara Ireland Stone

I think I have talked about this book a total of 7 times at least on this blog, but it is one of my all time favorites. I felt really connected to it and I loved the plot twist. I genuinely didn’t see it coming. I plan on re-reading this book in 2018.

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Please leave some of your favorite non-hyped books down in the comments! I am always looking for new books to read.

xo, Jessica

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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Bookworm Pet Peeves

If you are anything like me and carry a book around with you everywhere you go, I’m sure that this list of pet peeves will make you cringe. Let me know which one you relate to most in the comments!

  1. Stickers on books
    This is my number one pet peeve ever. Who thought it would be a good idea to put stickers on books? Especially when they are hard to come off or leave the glue residue. It makes me so mad.
  2. People who try to talk to you while reading
    When other people listen to music with headphones on, I don’t disturb them. So why do people think it’s ok to bother me when I’m in the middle of a sentence? My sister does this to me the most.
  3. When someone asks “why do you even like to read”
    I need it to live and breathe. The real question is why don’t you read? Reading is an escape for me and it has helped me cope with hard times. That’s why.
  4. When you have to wait a year for the next book of a series to come out.
    *cough cough* To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before *cough cough*
  5. Someone who says they liked the movie better
    I BET YOU DIDN’T EVEN READ THE BOOK!!
  6. Spoilers
    The absolute worst. At least put a warning before you tell someone the ending of a book or movie. It’s just cruel.
  7. Having a friend that doesn’t like your favorite book
    I actually consider not being friends with them anymore. It takes everything in me not to scream at them.
  8. When people ask to borrow your books
    I hate this so so much because I have very little trust in people. But at the same time, I can’t say no because I want them to experience the love I have for the book. I am so afraid that they will ruin it or not give it back though. This one is a huge struggle.
  9. Being judged for not going out so you can read
    I usually have to come up with an excuse, so the only person who judges me is my sister. But it’s worth it.
  10. Books you don’t like that end in cliffhangers
    I hate when I’m reading a book that I didn’t enjoy at all has a crazy ending that has me so SHOOK that I need to read the next one. I need to know what happens next but I don’t want to suffer through another 300 pages of boring writing to find out.

Have anything to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!

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June TBR

This is going up a bit late, as June has begun about a week ago now. I haven’t done a lot of reading last month, and I began a lot of books but never finished them. This month I will hopefully have more time to read once school ends. I might also pick up volunteering at the library again, which will definitely be motivational.

All the books I plan on reading I already own because I am currently on a book buying ban. I have at least 25 books at home that I purchased and haven’t read yet, so I plan on only reading those for the next couple of months without purchasing new ones.

Here are some books I plan on finishing or starting this month. Let me know if you’ve read any of them!

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  1. The Space Between The Stars by Anne Corlett: I received this ARC a few weeks ago and I have yet to read it (which I am super sad about because it is being released the 13th)! It is super intriguing and I highly suggest you check it out. It sort of gives me Illuminae vibes, and it’s a genre I don’t normally read, so I am excited to get to it. Thank you so much to Penguin Random House for sending me this!
  2. The Map That Leads To You by J.P. Monninger: This is another ARC I got from St. Martin’s Press (thank you) which happens to come out the 13th as well. I started reading this one already and I FELL IN LOVE. I think this is going to become one of my favorite books of all time. I have covered the pages with post-it notes already because there is so much that tugs at my heart. I feel really connected to it, and I will definitely be finishing it soon.
  3. The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr: I have a funny story for this one- The only reason I bought it was because Target had signed copies. I picked one up and kept looking around the store. Then I noticed that some of the pages were bent in the copy I had, so I went back to switch it and grabbed a copy that wasn’t signed. Oh, well. Anyways, I heard some mixed reviews on this. I hope I enjoy it, otherwise not getting a signed copy will make me really upset, haha.
  4. 1984 by George Orwell: This is a classic that I definitely need to read. I’ve heard so many people talking about it and I have been wanting to read it for so long. I really hope I get around to it really soon.
  5. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf: Clearly I have been in the classic mood recently. I picked this book up from the library, and I started it but haven’t finished yet. I am probably going to finish this one first out of all on the list because I need to return it soon.

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