FebMarApr Wrap-Up and Challenge Update | 2016

Hello, everyone! I can’t believe it’s already May! This has been the fastest spring season I’ve ever experienced. Between standardized testing at school, field trips, and coaching high school softball, it has flown by.

In fact, I haven’t posted a wrap up since the end of January. Oops. To rectify the situation, here is my wrap-up of the last three months.

wrapup

In the months of February, March, and April, I read a total of eleven books. They haven’t been my best reading months, but I feel like I read a whole lot more. Maybe that’s because I’m not including my read alouds that I did with students including Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

Here’s what I read outside of the classroom, including the star ratings and date of which I finished each book:

feb

February Book Stats:

  • 5-Star Books:  None
  • 4-Star BooksThe Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan; Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • 3-Star BooksThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Other Book Facts:

I did not enjoy The Raven Boys as much as I thought I would. It was very slow and hard to read for me. I’ve heard that the next two books are better, but I’m not sure if I’m going to continue. I certainly won’t be purchasing any of them.

Book of the Month:

Of these three books, I enjoyed Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I liked the callbacks to Anna and the French Kiss and enjoyed the novel even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of Lola.

Book Reviews:

None.

mar

March Book Stats:

  • 5-Star Books:  The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  • 4-Star BooksA Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
  • 1-Star BooksNever Mind My Thigh Gap by Sarah Newtwon

Other Book Facts:

I read A Study In Charlotte for a book group called “The Story Squad” on Goodreads/YouTube.

Never Mind My Thigh Gap was a review book, but I’m struggling writing the review for it because I disliked it a lot and don’t want to be too harsh. It’s coming.

Book of the Month:

I binge-read The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. I received it in an OwlCrate and read it in one sitting.

Book Reviews:

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

apr

April Book Stats:

  • 5-Star Books:  None
  • 4-Star BooksThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica; What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler; Flawed by Cecelia Ahern; Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
  • 3-Star BooksFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • 2Star Books: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

Other Book Facts:

I wanted to give The Love That Split the World a lower rating, but I liked the rating.

Book of the Month:

I had no 5-Star reads, but my favorite book I read this month was Flawed by Cecelia Ahern. I received it in an OwlCrate and read it in one day. Even though it wasn’t all that special and very similar to other dystopian novels, I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

I want Josh from Isla and the Happily Ever After, thankyouverymuch.

Book Reviews:

None….yet.

Six Squared Challenge Update

This year, I am working to complete the Six Squared Challenge created by bookstacksamber. To keep track of my progress, I have a word document that breaks down each category into tables.

debut


goodreads


start a series


complete


Challenge Stats:

  • New Releases (Debut Authors): 6/6 – 100%
  • New Releases (Loved Authors): 0/6 – 0%
  • Books to Start a Series: 4/6 – 66%
  • Books to Complete a Series: 1/6 – 17%
  • Book to Movie Adaptations: 1/6 – 17%
  • Goodreads Choice Winners/Nominees – 3/6 – 50%
  • Total: 15/36 – 42%

See you later!

kacie

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January Wrap-Up and Challenge Update | 2016

Hello, everyone! It’s the last day of January, so you know what that means!

wrapup
Also, it’s in the title of this post.

In the month of January, I read a total of seven books! I branched out of my comfort zone and  read a few books that I normally wouldn’t have picked up. I even liked most of them!

Here’s what I read, including the star ratings and date of which I finished each book:

Book of the Month

January Book Stats:

  • 5-Star Books:  Room by Emma Donoghue, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  • 4-Star BooksGo Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  • 3-Star BooksShatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Other Book Facts:

  • 5 of 7 were library books
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness was a Christmas gift
  • I bought Truthwitch by Susan Dennard for my Kindle, making it the only book purchase this month

Book of the Month:

  • Of the two 5-Star books I read this month, my favorite book read this month is Room by Emma Donoghue. It was appropriately creepy and transported me into the novel. I cannot wait to watch the movie for this very reason.

Book Reviews:

Six Squared Challenge Update

This year, I am working to complete the Six Squared Challenge created by bookstacksamber. To keep track of my progress, I have a word document that breaks down each category into tables.

Six of the seven books I read met one of the categories set forth by this challenge:

Start a Series


For this category, I am choosing 2016 releases by authors I haven’t yet read.

New Releases Debut


Goodreads


Book to Movie


 

Challenge Stats:

  • New Releases (Debut Authors): 1/6 – 17%
  • New Releases (Loved Authors): 0/6 – 0%
  • Books to Start a Series: 3/6 – 50%
  • Books to Complete a Series: 0/6 – 0%
  • Book to Movie Adaptations: 1/6 – 17%
  • Goodreads Choice Winners/Nominees – 1/6 – 17%
  • Total: 6/36 – 17%

I think my reading month was pretty fantastic. How was yours?

See you later!

kacie

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2015 End of the Year Survey

Hey, bookworms!

It’s the end of the year, so it’s time for an 2015 year end themed post!

Every year, Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner hosts a survey for readers to complete about their reading activities for the year. I’ve seen this one a few blogs the past few days and thought this was an excellent format for an end of year post. Here we go!

Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 53
Number of Re-Reads: 15! (7 of these are from my Harry Potter re-read!)
Genre You Read The Most From: Young Adult

 Best In Books

  1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – hands down, without a doubt, my favorite read of the year.
  2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
    Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – I was sooo excited for this one coming off of Crown of Midnight but was very disappointed.
  3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
    Cinder by Marissa Meyer – I did not think I would be down for a cyborg retelling of Cinderella, but I’m glad I picked this one up.
  4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I told everyone and their mothers to read this book and about half of them listened to me!
  5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
    Series started: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – I haven’t given up on this series yet. It’s still the most influential series of my reading year.
    Sequel: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas – I really enjoyed the first book, but I loved this one even more.
    Series ender: N/A (unless you count my re-reads of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials, but I’m not)
  6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
    Ernest Cline – I also enjoyed Armada quite a bit and I enjoy his writing style.
  7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
    Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – I usually do not read YA Contemporary, but I received an ARC of this novel. I was pleasantly surprised by this one.
  8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
    The Martian by Andy Weir – I read for hours on end.
  9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Here it is again…but YES. Mom and I have already talked about re-reading it soon!
  10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
    Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – This cover is just plain gorgeous and the ARC paperback I have has a lovely texture as well.
  11. Most memorable character of 2015?
    Amy Dunne from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I felt so many emotions towards her and I’d never before reacted to a fictional character in such a way.
  12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
    Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – Even though I wasn’t pleased with this book, I thought it had beautiful writing.
  13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
    Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – It’s pretty obvious why this one is thought-provoking.
  14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
    Cinder by Marissa Meyer – Why, oh why did I wait so long to start The Lunar Chronicles?
  15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
    I don’t have an answer for this question. :/
  16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
    Shortest: Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (54 pages)
    Longest: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (870 pages)
  17. Book That Shocked You The Most
    Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – It was one surprising turn after another.
  18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
    I don’t really “ship” characters, but my favorite romantic relationship I’ve read this year would be Celaena/Chaol.
  19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
    I would have to say the relationships between the gamers (gunters) in Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
  20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
    Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King – I am a huge Stephen King fan.
  21. Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Mom read this book awhile ago and told me to read it, but I didn’t until I started watching BookTube videos.
  22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
    Chaol Westfall – No shame.
  23. Best 2015 debut you read?
    Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
    Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – I loved the idea and the building of Ravka. I’m really excited to finish the trilogy and read Six of Crows.
  25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
    The Martian by Andy Weir – I was seriously grinning the entire time.
  26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
    Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern – I didn’t cry, but I was surprised at my emotional reaction.
  27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
    From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion – A YA contemporary, romance, sci-fi…not what I usually read, but I enjoyed it and haven’t heard much about it from others.
  28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
    I actually didn’t read anything that crushed me or induced a major book hangover this year….well, at least not that is memorable.
  29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
    Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – As told by the cassette tapes of a person who has committed suicide.
  30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – Oh Amy, I wanted to throw the book out the window because of you.

 

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

  1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
    I don’t have one. Since I’ve only begun in June, I think all the blogs I follow are new favorites!
  2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
    You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day
  3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
    The Reading Habits Book Tag
  4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
    I really need to attend a book convention/festival.
  5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
    Starting the blog!
  6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
    Keeping active on the blog while in a reading slump.
  7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
    My book review for Placid Girl by Brenna Erlich received the most views.
  8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
    I can’t pick one…I’ll go with my reviews in general.
  9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
    BookTube and book blogging
  10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
    I set a goal for 50 books via the Goodreads challenge. I read 53 books this year!

Looking Ahead

  1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
    A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin – I said about 6 months ago that I wanted to read this book by the end of the year, but didn’t make it.
  2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
    End of Watch by Stephen King – This is the third book in the Bill Hodges Trilogy (started by Mr. Mercedes).
  3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
    This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
  4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
    I HOPE THE NEXT BOOK IN THE “A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE” SERIES IS RELEASED THIS YEAR.
  5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
    Follow through with any reading challenges and set for myself.
  6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
    I haven’t read anything that hasn’t been released yet.

See you soon and happy reading!

kacie

 

 

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Monthly Reading Wrap-Up | September 2015

Hello! It’s October already! It feels like I just posted last month’s wrap-up…time is flying by.

For me, this month is all about camping, football games, hot chocolate, and of course, Halloween! I think I’m dressing up as Tina Belcher this year. We’ll see.

wrapup

September was a weird month for me. As you know, my brother was in a pretty bad motorcycle accident. He is very lucky to be alive and the doctors said that he is recovering much more quickly than they anticipated! That’s great!

I spent two weeks at his house, taking care of him and his dog. We did a lot of Netflix binge-watching since he is unable to do a whole lot. Unfortunately for me, that was a big distraction from my reading plans!

Here’s what I read this month:

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (5/5 stars, of course) – finished 9/2
  2. Bob’s Burgers, volume 1 (4/5 stars) – finished 9/2
  3. The Martian by Andy Weir (5/5 stars) – finished 9/14
  4. Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living by Nick Offerman (4/5 stars) – finished 9/17

I only read four books and one of them was a compilation of comic books. That’s okay! I loved what I managed to read this month and that is what is important!

uh huh

Here’s what I started in September, but haven’t finished yet:

  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I’m struggling with this book and I don’t know why. I’m very much interested in the plot, but I also find it a bit weird. I know I’m not supposed to fully understand the “challenge” that the characters are participating in, but it’s vague enough that what I’m reading still sounds like exposition. I’m 65% through this book, but feel like nothing is happening. I’m currently taking a break and reading something else until I’m ready to come back to it.
  2. Armada by Ernest Cline – I started this book yesterday and am already in love. This book got a lot of mixed reviews, so I was a little unsure about it. I adored Ready Player One and I heard that if you loved RPO, then Armada was going to be a let down. I’m 32% through this book and things are heating up. I’m getting really excited about this. There will absolutely be a review to come.

That’s it for me! I’m not building an October TBR because I never follow those anyway. I still have some library books to read. I do have plans of finishing Illuminae before its release date at the end of the month. You can look forward to its review as well!

Thank you for reading and I’ll see you soon!

kacie

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Monthly Reading Wrap-Up | August 2015

Hello, fellow book lovers! It’s time to share with you all the books I’ve read in the month of August!

wrapup

In my July wrap-up, I talked a bit about my reading slump. I’m still kind of in a reading slump, but I’m getting out of it slowly. Last month, I participated in some read-a-thons and completed 12 books. I thought I was in a slump? What?

This month, I completed a total of 5 books, less than half the amount I achieved in July.

First, let’s talk about the book that didn’t cut it for me.

heir

That’s right, everyone. This book was a huge disappointment for me. Coming off of the excitement I was feeling after finishing Crown of Midnight, I ran to the library and picked up Heir of Fire as soon as I could! I was so excited for this book. So much happened in the second book and I thought it could only get better from there. I was wrong.

I started this book on July 12 and finished it on August 18. I almost didn’t want to finish it. For me, this book was so slow and drawn out. Some new characters are introduced and I had a hard time connecting with them. I did not like Rowan for spoilery reasons I won’t go into here and I felt that there was too much time in between Manon chapters for me to fully grasp what was going on. I had to keep flipping back and forth between Manon chapters because I forgot who people were in relation to Manon.

I completely understand that Maas had to find a way to set up a whole bunch of events for the next book, but because of that, this book felt too forced for me. I rated it 2/5 stars. Sad day, batman. I’ll probably continue with the series, but I’m not exactly chomping at the bit for Queen of Shadows.

Now that this unfortunate event is out of the way, onto the books that I enjoyed!

augustwrap

  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – I rated this one 4/5 stars, even though I had some trouble connecting with the characters. I read this book in basically one sitting and I read it for my relaxed version of BookTube-A-Thon.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling – 5/5 stars – I reread this for the #BackToHogwarts15 read-along!
  • You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day – I rated this 5/5 stars. I am a long time fan of Felicia Day and I enjoyed her memoir immensely.
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – 5/5 stars, no doubt! I inhaled this book. I already want to reread it.

Right now, I am currently finishing up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I did not make the deadline for the #BackToHogwarts15 read-along, but that’s okay. I’m really enjoying this reread of the series.

I’m not sure what to read next, so it’s now time for…

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION!

craigfergusondance
I’ve finally found an excuse to use this GIF.

For this round of audience participation, it would be really helpful to me if you could vote in the comment section below for one (or more) of the following books:

  1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – It’s listed on my Goodreads as currently reading but I haven’t touched it since I visited my college two weeks ago.
  2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  3. The Martian by Andy Weir
  4. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  5. Progeny of Gods: Vertuem Destiny by Geoffrey Storm

What do you think, readers? Which book should I pick up next? Thanks in advance for your help. You guys are seriously the best.

See you soon!

kacie

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Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository and help me out!

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up | July 2015

wrapup

Hello readers! I’m back from a busy weekend in the mountains. I haven’t see you folks since Wednesday as I’ve been super busy! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to read a whole lot, but I’ve been having fun with my family.

For me, July wasn’t a great month for reading. I was in a bit of a slump throughout the entire month. The #Cramathon read-a-thon truly helped my numbers, though. This month, I read a total of 12 books.

July 1

1. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – Finished July 8, 4/5 stars

2. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles – Finished July 10, 3/5 stars

3. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – Finished July 10, 4/5 stars

July 24. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling – Finished July 10, 5/5 stars

5. Another Day by David Levithan – Finished July 11, 4/5 stars – Click HERE to see my review!

6. Fahrenheit 451:  The Authorized Adaptation by Tim Hamilton – Finished July 11, 3/5 stars

July 3

7. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – Finished July 12, 4/5 stars – Click HERE to see my review!

8. Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King – Finished July 12, 5/5 stars

9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling – Finished July 12, 5/5 stars

July 4

10. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma – Finished July 19, 2/5 stars

11. Black by Ted Dekker – Finished July 23, 5/5 stars

12. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling – Finished July 29, 5/5 stars


It looks like a lot, but I’m definitely in a slump. I’ve been reading Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas for almost four weeks and I’m having a hard time getting into books. The above list was definitely helped by read-a-thons!

That’s it for me tonight. I will see you soon with my favorite things of July!

Have a good one, guys!

kacie

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Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository, who will send me a small commission so that I can buy more books!

#Cramathon TBR and #BacktoHogwarts15 Read-Along

Hello, readers! Today I want to tell you about two reading events I am participating in this summer:  Summer #Cramathon and the Harry Potter Read-a-Long #BacktoHogwarts15! Click the titles of these two lovely events to learn more about them.


Harry Potter Read-a-Long #BacktoHogwarts15 – June 21 – September 1

It’s a summer of Harry Potter! The goal of this read-along is to read or re-read the Harry Potter series this summer. Easy enough, right?

When does it take place? June 21, 2015 – September 1, 2015. Essentially, it’s from the first day of summer until the first day of Hogwarts!

Where does it take place? Wherever you are and whatever social media you use. If you want to follow the updates of other readers, check out #BacktoHogwarts15 all over the place.

I started my re-read of Harry Potter earlier, before I knew about this read-along. I re-read the first book in December, the second book in May, and the third book at the beginning of June. I had already planned on re-reading the rest of the series, so I’ll just add September first as my deadline. Yay Harry Potter!


Summer #Cramathon – July 10 – July 13

The second event I am participating in is the Summer #Cramathon. It’s my first read-a-thon! I originally heard about this read-a-thon from Aya at Books Wide Open and it seemed right up my alley.

The idea of the #Cramathon is to cram in a bunch of smaller books in order to meet your Goodreads book challenge. I have no worries about completing my challenge, but since it’s a smaller read-a-thon, I figured it would be a perfect first read-a-thon for me!

The challenges are:

  1. Read a children’s book
  2. Read a hardback
  3. Read 2 books in 24 hours
  4. Read a graphic novel
  5. Read a book in verse
  6. Read a novella
  7. Read 5 books total

Here’s my TBR:

IMG_2732

  1. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – This is a re-read for me and satisfies the “read a children’s book” challenge.
  2. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling – Not only is this a children’s book, but it is also a hardback, satisfying the second challenge. Technically, I could have used this for both, but then I wouldn’t be reading 5 books!
  3. Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation by Tim Hamilton – This graphic novel has been on my shelf forever, but I haven’t read it yet! Satisfies challenge #4.
  4. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles – I’m re-reading this one. It is a play written in verse and I haven’t read it since my junior year of high school…eight years ago. It’s also the only non-Shakespearean book written in verse that I own. Challenge #5
  5. Rita Hayworth and the Shawkshank Redemption by Stephen King – This is one of the novellas in the collection Different Seasons by Stephen King. I’ve been wanting a reason to re-read this favorite. Challenge #6

I plan on reading the books in the order I’ve just presented them. I know I can read either 1 & 2 or 2 & 3 in the span of 24 hours, which will satisfy challenge #3. If I complete the entire list, I’ve completed all 7 challenges. I think I can do it.


What read-a-thons or read-alongs are you participating in this summer?

kacie

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