Friday, June 30, 2017

Bookish Goals Status Update: June 2017


In an effort to help keep myself on track, I am going to post monthly status updates showing where I stand for each of my 2017 Goals.

Anything highlighted in gray is currently in progress, but not yet completed.

  • Read and review at least 40 books 
    1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
    2. Everbound by Brodi Ashton
    3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
    4. This Girl by Colleen Hoover
    5. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
    6. The Black Circle by Patrick Carman
    7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
    8. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout
    9. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready
    10. Unhinged by A.G. Howard
    11. The Death Cure by James Dashner
    12. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
    13. Matched by Ally Condie
    14. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
    15. Ensnared by A.G. Howard
    16. Elegy by Tara Hudson

  • I am once again participating in the New To You Challenge hosted by The Herd Presents.  I'm going to aim for 12-15 books. Any book over 80 pages qualifies as long as it is new to you.  New author, new genre, new series, etc.
    1. Three Dark Crowns - New Series and New Author
    2. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout - New Series and New Author
    3. Matched by Ally Condie - New Author and New Series
    4. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead - New Series

  • Read at least 10 New Adult books (My definition of NA = protagonists are post high school, but under 30)
    1. This Girl by Colleen Hoover
    2. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
    3. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready 
    4. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

    • Last year I read three of the books that had been on my TBR list the longest.  I now have 46 books that were all added on September 7, 2010 that would qualify.  I plan on reading at least 3 more of them this year. 

    • Finish reading at least 5 series I have already started.  (I have several trilogies with final books I still need to read. ***Challenge Completed***
      1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater - The Raven Cycle Series
      2. This Girl by Colleen Hoover - The Slammed Series 
      3. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton - Everneath Series
      4. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready - WVMP Radio Series
      5. The Death Cure by James Dashner - The Maze Runner Series
      6. Ensnared by A.G. Howard - Splintered Series
      7. Elegy by Tara Hudson - Hereafter Series
    • TBR Challenge.  For this challenge I want to read at least 20 books that were on my TBR list AND were published prior to January 1, 2017.
      1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
      2. Everbound by Brodi Ashton
      3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
      4. This Girl by Colleen Hoover
      5. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
      6. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
      7. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout
      8. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready
      9. Unhinged by A.G. Howard
      10. The Death Cure by James Dashner
      11. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
      12. Matched by Ally Condie
      13. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
      14. Ensnared by A.G. Howard
      15. Elegy by Tara Hudson

      • Achieve a Professional level in the 2017 Prequel and Sequel Challenge hosted by Novel Heartbeat with 76 - 100 points. You can click on the link for the sign up.
        1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle #4_ - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
        2. Everbound by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #2) - 2 pts for a sequel
        3. This Girl by Colleen Hoover (Slammed #3) -12 pts (finished series + sequel)
        4. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #3) - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
        5. The Black Circle (39 Clues #5) - 2 points for a sequel
        6. Where She Went by Gayle Forman (If I Stay #2) - 2 pts for a sequel
        7. Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready (WVMP #4) 12 pts (finished series +sequel)
        8. Unhinged by A.G. Howard (Splintered #2) - 2 pts for a sequel
        9. The Death Cure by James Dashner (Maze Runner #3) - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
        10. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls #5) 2 pts sequel
        11. Ensnared by A.G. Howard (Splintered #3) - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
        12. Elegy by Tara Hudson (Hereafter #3) - 12 pts (finished series + sequel)
                                                          Total Points = 70
      • I joined the New Release Challenge hosted by Unconventional Book Views and Books, Movies, Reviews Oh My! My goal is to reach New Release Newbie level with 16 new releases read/reviewed during 2017.  The minimum length for a book to qualify is 100 pages. 

      Thursday, June 29, 2017

      Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

      Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)

      It has been a couple of years since I completed the Vampire Academy series, so I decided it was time to finally read Bloodlines.  Adrian Ivashkov was my favorite character in that series, so this book was almost a guaranteed winner for me since he has a much larger part in this story.

      The story is told from Sydney Sage's point of view.  Her job as an alchemist is to protect humans from the vampire world and to make sure humans are not aware of their existence.  She was labeled a "vampire lover" because of her role in helping Rose and her friends in the Vampire Academy series, but she feels she did the right thing.  She explains her reasons for the decisions she made and the alchemists decide to giver her another chance.  She is assigned to protect Queen Vasilisa's sister, Jill, while the royal court works to change an ancient law that requires the King or Queen to have a living relative.

      Throughout Bloodlines we learn considerably more about Sydney and the role the alchemists play.  We are introduced to Keith, who is the head alchemist in Palm Springs, which is where Sydney is assigned.  He spent some time living with the Sage family when he was younger and Sydney is clearly not fond of him.  The only thing keeping their interactions civil is the fact that she has some dirt on him that could ruin his reputation.  When she discovers he is involved in far more than she ever could have imagined, she uses the knowledge to her advantage.

      We are also introduced to an elderly Moroi, Clarence, and his son Lee.  Clarence's niece was killed by Strigoi well before the start of this book, but he firmly believes it was a vampire hunter who really killed her.  Adrian is forced to stay with the older man, which is the complete opposite of the party boy lifestyle he is used to.  In addition, his parents are only giving him a small allowance, so he isn't able to maintain his lavish lifestyle.  He quickly latches onto Lee and Sydney to help get him out of this unsuitable arrangement.

      The ending of Bloodlines was a complete surprise and clearly sets up the plot line for The Golden Lily, which is the next book in the series.  I included the sequel on my COYER Summer Reading List and can't wait to see how the story proceeds.  

      Wednesday, June 28, 2017

      Waiting on Wednesday: Check Me Out by Becca Wilhite



      Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  You can also check out Can't-Wait Wednesday hosted by Wishful Endings.

      Check Me Out by Becca Wilhite
      Release Date: February 16, 2018

      I came across this book last week while looking at all of the WoW and CWW posts and immediately added it to my TBR list. I'm sure the library tie in will catch the eye of a lot of readers.  

      Check Me OutGoodreads Overview:

      Greta loves her job as assistant librarian. She loves her best friend, Will, the high school civics teacher and debate coach. She even loves her mother despite her obvious disappointment that Greta is still single.

      Then she meets Mac in the poetry section of the library, and she is smitten. Mac is heart-stoppingly gorgeous and showers her with affection, poetic text messages, and free hot chocolate at the local café where he works. The only problem is that he seems to be a different person in his texts than in his face-to-face conversation.

      When the Franklin Library is threatened with closure, Greta leaps into action. She arranges for a "battle of the bands" book jam, hosts a book signing by a famous author, and finally, stages a protest that raises more than a few eyebrows.

      Through it all, she slowly realizes that it is Will, not Mac, who she turns to for support and encouragement. Mac has the looks; Will has the heart. How can she choose between them?

      Check Me Out is a contemporary romance--with just a hint of Cyrano de Bergerac--that reminds us that it is what's on the inside that matters most.

      Tuesday, June 27, 2017

      Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I've Read in 2017


      Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Every Tuesday they post a new Top Ten List on something bookish.  Click on the link above if you wish to participate.

      Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2017

      I've spend the better part of 2017 finishing series and reading older books that have been sitting on my shelves for WAY too long.  In fact, I haven't read a single new release yet this year, but hopefully I will get to some soon.


      Where She Went by Gayle Forman

      The sequel to If I Stay

      Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)

      Matched by Ally Condie
      Book 1 in the series

      Matched (Matched, #1)

      Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
      Book 1 in the series

      Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)

      The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
      Book 4 in the Raven Cycle Series

      The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)

      Unhinged by A.G. Howard
      Book 2 in the Splintered Series.  I'm currently reading Ensnared, which is the final book in this series.

      Unhinged (Splintered, #2)

      Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
      Book 1 in the Bloodlines Series

      Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)

      Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
      Book 5 in the Gallagher Girls Series

      Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)

      Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
      Book 3 in the Everneath Series

      Evertrue (Everneath, #3)

      Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout
      Book 1 in the Lux Series

      Obsidian (Lux, #1)

      Lust for Life by Jeri Smith-Ready 
      Book 4 in the WVMP Radio Series

      Lust for Life (WVMP Radio, #4)

      Wednesday, June 21, 2017

      Waiting on Wednesday: Because You Love to Hate Me



      Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  You can also check out Can't-Wait Wednesday hosted by Wishful Endings.

      Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy
      Release Date: July 11, 2017

      I enjoyed My True Love Gave to Me, which also included a bunch of short stories from YA authors.  Instead of Holiday stories they are using fairy tales as the theme.  

      Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of VillainyGoodreads Overview:

      In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains' points of view.

      These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like "Medusa," Sherlock Holmes, and "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains' acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage--and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

      Featuring writing from . . .

      Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

      BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).


      Tuesday, June 20, 2017

      Top Ten Tuesday - Series I've Been Meaning to Start But Haven't


      Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Every Tuesday they post a new Top Ten List on something bookish.  Click on the link above if you wish to participate.

      Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start But Haven't

      I've already completed 5 series so far this year and I should complete the Slintered series in the next couple of weeks.  I have several of the books listed below on my Summer COYER reading list, which starts this Saturday, so I should get to several of these series soon.

      The Superlatives Series by Jennifer Echols

      Biggest Flirts (Superlatives, #1)


      Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

      Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

      The Glittering Court Series by Richelle Mead

      The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1)

      Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard

      Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

      Shadow and Bone Series by Leigh Bardugo

      Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

      The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare

      Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)

      An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

      An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

      Never Never Series By Colleen Hoover

      Never Never (Never Never, #1)


      Between the Lines Series by Tammara Webber

      Between the Lines (Between the Lines, #1)

      Pushing the Limits Series by Katie McGarry

      Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)

      Wednesday, June 14, 2017

      Waiting on Wednesday: Top Ten by Katie Cotugno



      Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  You can also check out Can't-Wait Wednesday hosted by Wishful Endings.

      Top Ten by Katie Cotugno
      Release Date: October 3, 2017

      I'm not sure why this book has a fall release date.  It sounds like it would be a light and fun summer beach read to me.  Maybe I can get an ARC and enjoy it during the summer anyway :)  

      Top TenGoodreads Overview:

      Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of friends. Introverted, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ryan is a star hockey player who can get any girl he wants—and does, frequently. But against all odds, they became not only friends, but each other’s favorite person. Now, as they face high school graduation, they can’t help but take a moment to reminisce and, in their signature tradition, make a top ten list—counting down the top ten moments of their friendship: 

      10. Where to begin? Maybe the night we met.
      9. Then there was our awkward phase.
      8. When you were in love with me but never told me…
      7. Those five months we stopped talking were the hardest of my life.
      6. Through terrible fights…
      5. And emotional makeups.
      4. You were there for me when I got my heart broken.
      3. …but at times, you were also the one breaking it.
      2. Above all, you helped me make sense of the world.
      1. Now, as we head off to college—how am I possibly going to live without you?

      Tuesday, June 13, 2017

      Movie Review: Miss. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


      I read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children back in April of 2015, so I didn't remember all of the details while watching the film.  From what I can remember, they did an excellent job of bringing the unusual qualities of the children to life.  

      Jake is a sixteen year old boy who always thought he was an average boy that simply didn't fit in.  He is the only member in his family who is close to his grandfather, but even he can't believe all of his grandfather's crazy stories in recent years.  After his grandfather's death, he sets out on a mission to discover the meaning of his final words.  

      Jake convinces his father to take him to an island off the coast of England where his grandfather spent some time in an orphanage during World War 2.  His grandfather told him stories about the home along with the children and headmistress who lived there.  His therapist thinks the experience could provide some closure, so his father agrees to take him on the trip.  When they arrive, they discover the home was destroyed during the war.  Jake's father immediately thinks all of the old stories were lies and starts working on his book.  Jake investigates a little further and discovers "the loop" his grandfather told him about and the magical world that exists inside.

      Below is a link to the official movie trailer:


      Overall, I thought the movie was entertaining. The first half was pretty consistent with what I remembered from the book, but the last half seemed like completely new material to me.  In addition, some of the uniqueness of the story was lost because the movie couldn't spend as much time focusing on the old photographs Ransom Riggs used to weave this tale.  They do include some of the photographs in a few scenes, but it wasn't nearly the same experience as reading the book.

      Wednesday, June 7, 2017

      Waiting on Wednesday: Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade



      Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.  You can also check out Can't-Wait Wednesday hosted by Wishful Endings.

      Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade
      Release Date: March 20, 2018

      I never watched the TV show Felicity, but now I am curious.  It looks like there were four seasons and the series began in the fall of 1998.  That was just after I graduated from college and I was working a million hours a week, so it doesn't surprise me that I never watched it.  All four seasons are available on Amazon Prime, so I just added it to my watchlist to start preparing for the release of this book.  

      Finding Felicity
      Goodreads Overview:

      Caroline Sands has never been particularly good at making friends. And her parents’ divorce and the move to Arizona three years ago didn’t help. Being the new girl is hard enough without being socially awkward too. So out of desperation and a desire to please her worried mother, Caroline invented a whole life for herself—using characters from Felicity, an old show she discovered online and fell in love with.

      But now it’s time for Caroline to go off to college and she wants nothing more than to leave her old “life” behind and build something real. However, when her mother discovers the truth about her manufactured friends, she gives Caroline an ultimatum: Prove in this first semester that she can make friends of the nonfictional variety and thrive in a new environment. Otherwise, it’s back to living at home—and a lot of therapy.

      Armed with nothing more than her resolve and a Felicity-inspired plan, Caroline accepts the challenge. But she soon realizes that the real world is rarely as simple as television makes it out to be. And to find a place where she truly belongs, Caroline may have to abandon her script and take the risk of being herself.

      Tuesday, June 6, 2017

      Review: Matched by Ally Condie

      Matched (Matched, #1)

      This book has been on my TBR list since July 2011.  For some reason I kept skipping over it until I found a copy in my local little free library.  At that point I figured it was a sign I should finally read it.

      Matched is about a "Society" that has perfected everything.  They control what and when you eat, who you will marry, how many children you can have and when, what job you have, etc.  The benefits have been the elimination of cancer and other diseases, an increased life expectancy, decreased violence, improved efficiency, etc.  The only thing that seems to be missing is a life filled with choice and happiness.  The citizens simply live out each day like robots because the Society knows what is best.

      Cassia is a seventeen year old girl who begins to challenge the rules after her grandfather tells her she "shouldn't go gentle", which is a quote from a banned poem.  She starts thinking independently and wants to create things instead of simply doing what she is told.  She even begins to question why people can't fall in love with whoever they choose.  She has been matched with Xander, but she may be falling in love with Ky.  She doesn't understand why she can't be with him if they make each other happy.  

      This book was surprisingly good.  A solid 5 stars!!  I had no idea what it was about prior to starting it, but I was aware of all of the hype it received when it was first released.  It appears the government is losing control as outsiders continue to resist.  Now those on the inside, like Cassia, may be staging a revolt and I can't wait to see how things will unfold in the sequel.  I already have a copy of Crossed and plan on reading it as part of my summer COYER reading challenge.  Now that I have discovered this series I don't think I can resist seeing how it will conclude.  


      Monday, June 5, 2017

      Review: Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

      Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)

      Out of Sight, Out of Time is the fifth book in the Gallagher Girls series, which is about a group of students attending an all girls boarding school for spies.  At the end of the previous book, Cammie set out on a mission to complete an investigation her father started before his disappearance.  The Circle has been after her for an unknown reason for over a year and she is finally going to take matters into her own hands.

      Her first error; however, was not taking anyone with her.  I'm sure any good spy would agree that backup is essential.  She doesn't want to endanger any of her friends when the only person they are after is her.  The problem is, when she wakes up in a foreign location having no recollection of her entire summer, she has no one to help jog her memory. 

      The majority of the book involves Cammie and her friends trying to piece together clues to uncover where Cammie went last summer, what she discovered, and where things went so terribly wrong.  

      I have enjoyed this series from the beginning and can't wait to dive into the final book in this series.  The girls started their senior year at the beginning of Out of Sight, Out of Time and graduation is quickly approaching.  They will soon be out in the real world, but I'm not sure the real wold will be any more challenging than the missions they have already completed.

      The Gallagher Girls and Cammie's boyfriend Zach, who is also a spy, have learned that there are moles in the highest levels of government all over the world.  People they thought they could trust have been working against them, but they now have the upper hand.  They can finally take the offensive to bring the Circle down once and for all.