Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of Year Book Survey!


Created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner, the annual end of the year survey highlights what you've read in 2014, and is used to reflect what you've achieved throughout the year. I've seen many people post there's, so I guess it is my turn to summarize and reflect! Yay!



2014 Reading Stats:

Number Of Books You Read:
I had to revise my challenge halfway through, because at first I was only aiming for 35 books, but then I realized that that was a mistake because I underestimated myself. BUT BAM. Maybe next year I will aim for 100?

Number of Re-Reads:

None. Nope. Nothing from me. I either don't reread or I don't record that I reread anything. Goodreads doesn't have anything for this huh?

Genre You Read The Most From:

Fantasyyyyyy. Though I am trying to branch out more into different genres.


Best in Books:

1. Best Book You Read In 2014? 

   

You mean books right? Not just one.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I'm usually pretty predictable in that if someone else enjoyed the book, then I would also enjoy the book as well. WELL. I ended up being the black sheep for two books that I thought I was going to absolutely love and flail about (yes I'm putting two because I can).

 

I enjoyed These Broken Stars, but then again I was expecting something similar to my favorite video game, Star Ocean. Basically I was led astray by a review and I was not happy. And the same goes for All Our Yesterdays, except in that case I just didn't understand the time travel explanation (Or I was just disappointed in it).

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
Definitely Dangerous Girls. Just because I went into it blind, didn't know what to expect, and came out totally shocked and just, I FELT LIKE I WAS BEING PLAYED. And because of that, it stuck with me.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?


I know I pushed a lot of people to read The Book Thief, but I don't remember if anyone actually listened to me! NO ONE LISTENS TO ME. I know I did recommend one book here and there to bloggers that ACTUALLY read them though.

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

  

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
Marissa Meyer, just because of the Lunar Chronicles, and her writing and storytelling is amazing. I will read anything by her no matter what!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?


I picked up Falling Into Place just because I've read good reviews on it, even though I haven't read much from the contemporary genre. Plus it dealt with many topics that I am not that comfortable with. However, I ended up loving it, SO YAY.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I literally could not put Dangerous Girls down because IT WAS JUST SO GOOD. I really want to know who did it, and MAN was my mind blown.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?


Oo I don't know about next year, because I already have a TBR for the year, but in a hypothetical world, I would like to reread the entire Abhorsen trilogy, or Sabriel.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?



Isn't it such a beautiful cover, even though a year has past I don't think I like any book cover more than this one. I do wish I had a physical copy of it though, le sigh.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?
I don't like this question because I remember all the characters pretty equally. Plus I'm having a hard time making my mind about it. If this still isn't answered by the time I get to the end then oh well.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
So I have a problem here, because I've read two very good and well-written books that differ from each other entirely.

 


I loved how The Dream Thieves was written, because even though the prose was incredibly subtle and over descriptive, there was an air around it that made it beautiful. And then on the other end of the spectrum, Aristotle and Dante had short dialogue, but was incredibly meaningful. That entire book could be quoted honestly.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?


Ha I can answer this one! I read I Am The Messenger, and it was one of the most life-changing standalones I've read this year, just because every little thing matters, and THIS BOOK made me want to go up to anyone and befriend them. (Though I would never)

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
Definitely Cinder. I have no idea why I waited that long to start that amazing series.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them.
Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness.
Her raven boys.

And that one is from The Dream Thieves. OR GUYS HOW ABOUT THIS ONE FROM CODE NAME VERITY:
KISS ME, HARDY! Kiss me, QUICK!
Wahahah someone just hug me. I think that last quote is going to stay with me forever.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

 

The Way of Kings - 1007 pages
Glitches - 32 pages

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
Kind of went over this in that it was Dangerous Girls.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
NOAH AND ME FOREVER

What the heck this is a problem I don't have a ship of this year? I'm apparently immune to romance when it comes to YA, well I guess it's also because I've been reading too much fantasy. And also I think I would ship Blue with someone from The Raven Cycle, but I don't know man I haven't read Blue Lily, Lily Blue, so I don't know much about Ganesy yet.

This needs to be fixed next year. Gah. All my favorite ships were read in 2013.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
ARISTOTLE AND LEGS HAHAHAHHAHH from Aristotle and Dante

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously


I didn't like Landline as much as Eleanor and Park or Fangirl, but I still think Rainbow Rowell did an amazing job, especially with the writing. AND WOO MAGICAL PHONES. Plus I was looking forward to that book since, well forever.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
HAHAH THRONE OF GLASS would be here if I actually read it if I was supposed to hahah. But um, I guess it is going to be Dangerous Girls YET AGAIN.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Noah from the Raven Cycle, and Kiaran from The Falconer, and Puckkkk, oh wait I read the Iron Fey two years ago that does not count. Poop.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang! I can't wait to read her next novels, that I think are coming out in 2015?

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Everything by Brandon Sanderson. Even that short novella The Emperor's Soul, which was less than 200 pages.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?


I DID NOT READ ANY HAPPY AND FUN READS. Wait. I guess The Art of Lainey counts right?

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?


HAHAHAHHAH CODE NAME VERITY HAHAHAHHA MY HEART. Oh my poor heart.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?


This book right here! Crane: The Legends Saga, which not only has an amazing cover, but is about headless horsemans and is also one of the few NA that doesn't completely focus on romance. I mean I wouldn't know personally, but it is a hidden gem.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Mistborn: The Final Empire for reasons I cannot say. But that part killed me. I LOVED HIM SO MUCH.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?


Main character survives floods, is pregnant, and talks to ghosts and fish. It was a crazy read in that I sometimes had no idea what was going on, or who was dead or not, but still, it was interesting and unique.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?


The Winter People, just because no no no no. Too many of the same guys and too many bad decisions and I HATED THEM ALL. No.

That beautiful cover MISLED ME AND I AM SO MAD.


Your Blogging/Bookish Life:

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?
All of them. ALL OF THEM. YOU GUYS ARE ALL MY FAVORITES.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?
In that I had the most fun writing it? I think it's going to be my Second Star review, since I just ranted about it a ton. It was fun. But it wasn't fun for me to read.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
My blogoversary post. BECAUSE. Plus I thanked a lot of people on it too and it makes me warm and fuzzy inside when rereading it. Plus I don't have many discussion posts so blah. That is something I need to change for next year.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I don't think I participated in anything this year. Just the usual TTTs and STSs. I'm honestly not remembering much from this year huh. OH I did participate in The Midnight Garden's This Shattered World Blog Tour!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?
When I finally hit that 100 follower mark, or when I got accepted for all those EW 2015 review copies.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
For some reason my Gif Tag post has the most views, I guess that's just because GIFS ARE COOL.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I guess I would like it if some of my review posts got more comments, but I don't really care.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
BOOK OUTLET. IT IS KILLING MY WALLET

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Just the Goodreads challenge one, WHICH I DESTROYED by the way muhaha. I am an overachiever.

Looking Ahead:

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?


THRONE OF GLASS THRONE OF GLASS THRONE OF GLASS

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?


I am really excited for All The Bright Places, just because I've read so many AMAZING reviews on it and I cannot wait to get it and read it and CANNOT WAIT I REALLY CANNOT.

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?


Made You Up because not being about to tell the difference between reality and fantasy sounds really cool. I can't read to read about a perspective like that. AND DAT COVER.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
Winter by Marissa Meyer, EVEN THOUGH THERE IS NO COVER FOR IT YET. I am still excited. Hopefully it's not pushed back to 2016.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
Successfully attend BEA, and also read over 100 books.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:


THIS SHATTERED WORLD. It is a great sequel to These Broken Stars and I recommend it to everyone. It's definitely a more militaristic plot though, compared to the first book. But you get to see Tarver and Lilac!

I finished! This book survey was pretty tedious, but I actually got through the whole thing! It's a miracle I finished in time. How was your 2014 everyone? Happy last day!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #37

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!


Top Ten Resolutions for 2015

Guys, I don't like goals and resolutions much because it makes me feel bad for not accomplishing them. Plus it makes me feel like I have to accomplish all these goals in the month of January, just because that's the first month of the year.

Oh well! Here are my bookish and blogging goals for the year!


Request a print ARC - This means actually emailing publishers, or contacting them somehow, and requesting a book from their catalog. Using Netgalley and EW was fine for me because everything was indirect. But this is just intimidating. I will do it though. Sometime this year.

Buy a domain name for le site - This is an easy goal. It's more of me just going to GoDaddy and buying the domain name. It only costs $10 a year anyways. SADLY THIS IS NOT HOSTING. Blogger does not support self-hosting (No, moving to Wordpress scares me).

Read more than 100 books - I reached 63 books this year, all because I started blogging. Now that I'm slightly more experienced, I feel like I can make the time to read over 100 books. Maybe. 

Reach 200 followers - BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE SO COOL. And almost unbelievable. This is more of a goal than a resolution for change I think. But this also involves visiting new blogs. So yes?

Print out business cards - And the reason for this is for the reason below!

Have a wonderful BEA experience - I am actually attending Book Expo America with my two weirdo blogger friends Holly @ The Fox's Hideaway and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight. We've already starting planning the trip, and hopefully I will not be overwhelmed by the monstrosity that is BEA. 

Buy more books - I know, this is a surprise. But I am not very good at buying books, because I restrain myself too much. I think I need to at least buy a book a month just so I expand my book collection. (Though I don't think I have space on my tiny bookshelf for this sadly)

Reply back to comments in a timely manner - Just because I am not good at replying back to comments, and I end up waiting DAYS before I get to the posts. Oops. I don't think this bothers anyone but myself. 

Spend an hour each day visiting blogs - I MEAN I ALREADY DO BECAUSE I LOVE YOU ALL, but I just want to make sure I consistently keep doing it. I like visiting blogs. It's good procrastination.

Make more blogger friends - It is hard to believe how many friends I have made this year. I HAVE MADE SO MANY. I LOVE YOU ALLLL. I LOVE YOUUUUUUU.


And there you go. Do my goals and resolutions live up to your expectations? HUH? Too bad. Do you have any 2015 resolutions?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: The Minnow

The Minnow by Diana Sweeney
Publisher: Text Publishing
Release Date: May 28th, 2014
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: 12/23/14 to 12/25/14
256 Pages
Rating: 


Tom survived a devastating flood that claimed the lives of her sister and parents. Now she lives with Bill in his old shed by the lake. But it’s time to move out—Tom is pregnant with Bill’s baby.

Jonah lets her move in with him. Mrs Peck gives her the Fishmaster Super Series tackle box. Nana is full of gentle good advice and useful sayings.

And in her longing for what is lost, Tom talks to fish: Oscar the carp in the pet shop, little Sarah catfish who might be her sister, an unhelpful turtle in a tank at the maternity ward. And the minnow.

The Minnow is a moving and powerful coming of age story with a whimsical element that belies the heartbreaking truth of grief and loss. Tom is a character you will never forget.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


I received The Minnow from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Also, be ready for a Finding Nemo filled post muhahaha.

So, The Minnow, I liked it a lot. I did. The descriptive and poetic writing really pulled through to me (I seem to be reading a lot of these "purpley prose" bookies lately. That is what they are called right? Kelly?) but it was also really confusing at some points.


Gah, you see this, The Minnow is complicated to rate because I liked the characters a lot, and the writing, but it was just so hard to piece what was happening together. The main character, Tom, a girl, lost her parents and sister to a flood. In addition to that, she's also pregnant (and it kind of hints that it's rape). The story starts with her living with her best friend, Jonah, and her visiting her Nana at the nursing home.

Even though Tom has gone through a lot, it doesn't drag her down that much. 


But then again, she is talking to ghosts, and fish. And no this isn't some sort of paranormal novel, it's just her losing her mind. Or so I think? I'm actually very convinced that she does see all these people that she talks to, but that's up to further discussion.

Oh, and the most important little character, the one the book is named after? The baby, otherwise known as by Tom as the Minnow. You know how mothers bond with their baby by talking to them before they're born? This is kind of what's happening here, butttttttt the Minnow talks back.


No, but seriously, there is one point in the book where Jonah, the gay best friend, exclaims that he hears the Minnow speaking, and he thought Tom was making it all up because she's pregnant. But nope? Hm. 

Yes, but by the way, there is LGBTQ here! Even though it's on the side. 

As you can see, I'm still slightly confused at what is actually going on. Are there actually ghosts? Or is it just Tom's imagination? Some events make me think otherwise. The writing is incredibly dense, plus flashbacks occur with no warning. Basically, it is very hard to differentiate what is happening in the past and the present. However, I could still understand the general idea of what was going on.

Overall, yes it was a beautiful book. I felt emotionally attached to Tom and her Nana, and Jonah and even Jonathan. This is what really motivated to keep on reading, even though the writing was at times very confusing, and plus the plot itself is very interesting. FISH, FLOODS, MINNOWS, well one minnow. But still, I can't even bring myself to rate this a 3.5, because I really liked the characters. I definitely recommend The Minnow to readers who like the writing of Maggie Stiefvater! 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #17


Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!



For Christmas, I received Le Petit Prince and it is in French! I'm a little sad that this was the only thing I got from my parents, but I've kind of come to expect that.

But the book itself is AUTHENTIC and BEAUTIFUL (from Quebec haha). Also the pictures are in color yay! I cannot wait to read it!

Be prepared, I got A TON of HarperCollins titles from Edelweiss, on the 24th too. I'm pretty sure they just accepted all of my requests because Christmas, BUT STILL. This makes up for everything!

         

I AM LITERALLY ALL SET FOR THE NEXT YEAR hahahah! No but there are some really good books here that I am very excited to read!

All books are linked to Goodreads


Nothing much going on! I just came back from Canada from celebrating Christmas! Since it's technically still the holidays for some people, I'm still wishing everyone an amazing holiday, AND ALSO A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Can you believe that it will soon be 2015? Everything went by so quickly!

Watch for my End of the Year Bookish Survey, along with tons of reviews here and there! 


Friday, December 26, 2014

Review: Melt

Melt by Selene Castrovilla
Publisher: Last Syllable Books
Release Date: November 6th, 2014
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: 12/21/14 to 12/23/14
280 Pages
Rating: 1/2


Based on true events, MELT is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance. MELT will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul.

MELT is a brutal love story set against the metaphorical backdrop of The Wizard of Oz (not a retelling). When sixteen year old Dorothy moves to the small town of Highland Park, she meets, and falls for Joey – a “bad boy” who tells no one about the catastrophic domestic violence he witnesses at home. Can these two lovers survive peer pressure, Joey’s reputation, and his alcoholism?

Told in dual first person, Joey’s words are scattered on the page – reflecting his broken state. Dorothy is the voice of reason – until something so shattering happens that she, too, may lose her grip. Can their love endure, or will it melt away?

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


I received Melt from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Melt is an interesting, and very fast read. It felt more like a short story rather than a full length novel. I didn't necessarily love it, but I didn't hate it either.

The story starts straight off the bat. New girl in town. Meets the guy. BAM instant attraction and the romance starts straight away....in a Dunkin' Donuts. This is definitely not a slow burn type of romance, but then again romance is only half of the story.


Oh right and I have no idea what this has to do with Oz, except for the name Dorothy. 

So yes where was I, oh right. We have Dorothy, the innocent naive girl and also "bad boy" Joey, who deems her as a delicate porcelain doll. Though I'm not exactly a fan of their relationship, I could see how the abuse affected Joey. To be honest, I think the book itself has to be longer in order for me to fully connect to the characters. I felt like I just got a snippet of their lives.

When I first started the book, I was very confused by the broken up sentences for Joey's chapters (because obviously I did not read the synopsis before hand), but basically the scattered words on the page reflects the broken-ness of the character. At some points, this even happened for some of Dorothy's chapters. I thought this was incredibly unique since it conveyed feelings through format. 

Speaking of writing, there is GORGEOUS WRITING in this book. Like this:

Love's just hate wrapped with a bow, dressed up all pretty in pink cause we can't take seeing the naked truth.

Other than the scattered poem form, the writing is actually really, really good, and in a lyrical and metaphorical type of way. LIKE ABOVE.

Final thoughts? Melt was unique, interesting, but a little too short for my tastes and also about a topic I don't exactly sit well with (sex, drugs, alcohol, and all that jazz). The emotional aspect was very well done, and DAT WRITING. The writing was definitely the best part of Melt. Either way, I would recommend this because 1) it's very short and 2) it does deal with some topics that others may enjoy reading about.