Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Look Back and A Look Forward pt. 2(Plus New Blog Design!)

So, yesterday I posted part one of this which was all about looking back at 2014, you can see it here. Today is all about looking forward at the new year!

First up, Happy New Year!



Looking Forward At 2015:

Blogging wise: I don't have many blogging related goals and I've just talked about them anyways. Basically, I want to chill out, no stress. I'm not going to stress over reading, I'm not going to stress over posting every day. I'm not going to change my blog design every two months(starting after my new design obviously). I'm probably not going to be posting very often on Wednesdays and Saturdays...it's just i don't have as many reviews(recently) and I don't want to post just to post when those posts end up mediocre. So, yeah. One goal, I guess, is going to be to post less often, though at least four time a week.

Writing Wise: I've said it before, wrote a whole post on my writing blog about it, but basically I just want to be working all year. Obviously, I'd like to start querying again and the ultimate dream of getting an agent, but I can't completely control those things, so I'm not going to think about them. My goal is to always be working, if I'm not drafting, I want to be editing and rewriting and outlining other things, I want to have something to focus on every month and just write, write, write.

Real Life Wise: Well, basically...writing. That's kind of going to be my life this year, and I wouldn't want it any other way! Really, I want to just try that whole "live in the moment thing", be more spontaneous, maybe actually leave the house once in a while and just have fun. Good fun, not crazy fun. I also want to cook and bake more, I've been working on honing my baking skills in 2014 but they still need some work, and I'd like to learn to cook more, just because I enjoy it.

Reading Wise: Well, my goal is to read 103 books. Further more, I want to read more fantasy. It's my favorite genre and I haven't been reading enough of it! I won't go into great detail on anything because I've talked about this all before, but one main goal is I would like to get down to under 50 books on my TBR(the real shelf in my room full of books!), I just reorganised that shelf and have about 90 books on it... So, this is pretty reasonable, right?


If you had one general goal for the new year, what would it be? What are you most excited about for the new year(books!?)?

A Look Back and A Look Forward pt. 1

So, it's that time...new years. The time when everyone is thinking back on their year, regrets and accomplishments. Setting new goals for the coming year... Kissing people at midnight(though all my kissing will be done in my head with a fictional character of my choosing...). Obviously I have to do a post about it! I love doing the most cliched posts and this one does sorta fit that.



Looking Back At 2014:

Blogging wise. While 2014 wasn't the year I started blogging it was the year I switched from a random blog about anything I felt like talking about with all of 0 followers, into a book blog! Before January of last year, I had no idea there was such a thing as a book blog! Sure, I knew there were such things as book reviewers and their blogs, but I didn't know there is such a fun and awesome community! So, that happened. I met(I guess I met their blog?) a lot of awesome bloggers and discovered a lot of awesome blogs and books that I might not have discovered otherwise. That was all definitely a win!



Writing wise. So, if you've followed me for any length of time you probably know that it's my main goal in life to become a published author. I wrote my first full book in 2013, edited for months at the beginning of 2014 and then queried it...only to realize about a month later that it sucked. That's my baby, my first most precious book and it's been put on hold. But since then I've written nearly 6 books(one doesn't really count though so let's say 5) and only edited 1(currently editing another!). Anyways, the point is, and I do have a point! That while I did want to get one of those elusive agents this year and didn't...I'm not really sad about it. Actually I'm quite happy with my writing from this year because I feel like I've grown a lot as a writer, sure I haven't fixed that first book and it may take me years and years too, but I've written others and they are way better. I don't know how to explain it all exactly, but I've definitely grown and learned as a writer this year. I went from writing all fantasy to mostly contemporary and while I'll never stop writing fantasy I've kind of discovered more of my writer self from writing contemporary. So, yes. That's a win!

Real life wise. Well, turned 18 in 2014. Wasn't really a big deal though. I don't know, I feel like my biggest accomplishment this year was my writing and can't think of much to put here! Basically, there were some downsides, I've fought with my brother(who is also my best friend) way too much recently, we've had some family issues though nothing too serious. But, there were upsides too! Highlights include; the Renaissance faire, the Linkin Park concert which was the first time just my brothers and I went out of town together, then there was the road trip(really just a 6 hour drive) to San Fransisco where I went to The Night Of Writing Dangerously, and, of course, the epic snow war that I lost last night when my brother started throwing shovels full of snow at me... So, another win!



Reading wise. I've had a pretty successful reading year, I think. My goal on Goodreads was 103(one more than I read last year) and I've read 132...definitely very good. Possibly my highest yet. I kind of fizzled towards the end of the year, actually around September, what with writing and everything. Still, lots of books, lots of good books, so that's a win!

Fangirling wise. I was ecstatic with the end of Blood Of Olympus and overjoyed at all the shipping in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. I fell very very hard for I'll Give You The Sun, and was slightly disappointed by The Sorcerer's Heir and Isla and The Happily Ever After. I was content with the end of Ignite Me(because ship) and conflicted by Dreams Of Gods and Monsters. The new Hobbit movie ripped my heart out and stomped on it, but I kind of loved the new Star Wars trailer. Fault In Our Stars was a very sad movie and I still don't know how I feel about The Giver. Basically, it was the year of the 
feels...



Okay, that's all I have for what is seeming like the world's longest post! Tomorrow I will be posting part 2: A Look Forward and also updating the blog with another new design!



Happy new year!
So, tell me, which fictional character do you wish you were kissing at midnight? 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #43: Resolutions?

Song Of The Moment - Telescope by Cage The Elephant
Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

"Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2015 -- bookish, blogging or otherwise!"
I don't do a ton of "resolutions" but I think I can come up with 10 book and blogging related ones! My main goal is to get work done next year(where it comes to reading, blogging, and my writing) but have fun and not stress.

*In no particular order

10.  Finally, finish reading The Hobbit. I've been "reading" it for a year now...I was waiting until I saw the 3rd movie to finish it and now I have so it's time!

9.  Keep my review ratio on Netgalley up.

8. Don't stress reading. Meaning do not stress out when I don't have a review going up because I'm behind on reading and don't stress if I don't get to an ARC before it comes out.

7.  Chill out about everything. This may be a hard goal but again my main goal for the year as a whole is to have fun and not get stressed out and not get bummed, hard things to control!

6. Keep caught up on comments! (This Is Never Going To Happen!!!)

5.  Keep up with my book buying ban, wherein I'm only allowed to pre-order/buy 2 books a month

4. Keep up with the challenges I signed up for.

3. Read more fantasy.

2. Read lots of epic books.

1. Blog regularly but not stressfully. Meaning don't force myself to post every day, it's fine to skip days, in fact, I'm probably done posting on Wednesdays except when I do WOW posts.

What about you? Do you have any fun/random goals for the new year?


Review: My True Love Gave To Me

Song Of The Moment: Snow by New Found Glory

I've never reviewed a set of short stories before so this should be interesting. I will do each story separately but since they're so short I'm only going to do a sentence or two for each...okay? I'm also rating them all out of 10 stars rather than five...I needed more for this!

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My True Love Gave To Me
Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Release date:
How I got it : bought it
Genre: YA Contemporary
Description:
If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.






10/10 Stars
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: Of course I loved this, it's Rainbow Rowell! This was a very cute short story, I loved that it took place over a few different New Years and I loved the characters Mags and Noel. I must say, this was my favorite and Rainbow Rowell is an expert short story writer in my opinion, it's very short but very well developed.

9.5/10 Stars
The Lady and The Fox by Kelley Link: This one had a kind of fantasy/paranormal thing going on that was a little disappointing because you never knew what was going on, but I still really loved it. It was a very interesting and sweet romance.

9.5/10 Stars
 Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña: I really loved this one. Shy was sweet and way too prideful to where it irritated me a lot, but I still loved him. It had a nice dose of humor and a sweet romance on top!

6.5/10 Stars
Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han: Hmm. This one was interesting, it was good but it had definite faults. I just didn't feel we got to know the character as well in this one as some of the others, and I was kind of confused and mad at the ending because...it was kind of just left open and nothing much at all happened. Still, it was different and a cute story.

10/10 Stars
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: I loved this one. It's the definition of a cute and fluffy story, exactly what you'd expect from Stephanie Perkins.

9.5/10 Stars
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: I loved this one, it was very cute and adorable. But also very very short and once more it fell just a tad short in the character department.

2.5/10 Stars
Krampuslauf by Holly Black: Eh...I did not like this one. It was my least favorite honestly. It had a few funny moments, but I didn't like the character, there was kind of a romance but I didn't FEEL it, and the whole premise, the fantasy like element was just confusing.

10/10 Stars
What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: This one is completely adorable and just so very awesome. Again, it's Gayle Forman so of course! This is definitely one of my favorites, it was funny and I loved the characters.

3/10 Stars
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: This story and me just didn't get along. I didn't like the characters or the plot, the "message" felt a bit forced and awkward. It's just a "not my cup of tea" thing.

9/10 Stars
Welcome to Christmas, CA  by Kiersten White: This is one of the funniest, I think. It was really enjoyable and I loved the town of Christmas and all the talk of food made me hungry!

8.5/10 Stars
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: This one was very interesting and I liked it a lot. It's not the best of the bunch, but it's still really good. I would have liked the characters to be a little more developed and defined but seeing as it's a short story, it was definitely good for what it was. I really liked the main character and the love interest was pretty okay, my favorite part was the aunt though, I loved that that was kind of the main relationship rather than the romantic one.

6.5/10 Stars
The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: This is definitely the one I'm most conflicted about. It was good, beautifully written of course, because Laini Taylor... But it was also very strange and slightly boring. I honestly don't know how I feel about this one, it was just really really weird, not bad weird but not great weird either. 

Overall: I really enjoyed this collection, it's fun and easy to read. A perfect holiday read or just for when you want a nice pick me up. I loved most the stories there were only a few I didn't like. Honestly, this will probably turn into one of the few books that I reread every year, though I will skip a couple of them, I'm sure. For the most part, they were all nice complete short stories, though a few left me wanting more and one very much confused me(Krampuslauf by Holly Black).

Have you ever read a collection of short stories? Do you like short stories?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sunday Post #13: Christmas Haul!

Song Of The Moment - Snow by New Found Glory

The Sunday Post

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted over at Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This is a meme where every Sunday you can share what's been going this week in your life and on your blog! It's also good for bragging about all your new lovely books!






So, I'm still behind on posts and replying to comments, which kills me! I mean, I think about catching up on comments and then realize that's so much work! I really don't understand how bloggers who get 20+(sometimes a lot more) comments on every post keep up! I really should set up a system...usually I try and reply to any comments I get throughout the day that night but now I'm so far behind!

Anyway, it was Christmas this week! Yay! I didn't post much because of Christmas, but I'm sure I'm not the only one(I hope!). My Christmas was awesome, got up at 7 to open presents and then spent the day playing games and cooking. Christmas Eve was just as good and included pizza and chicken wings, a few hours spent driving around looking at Christmas lights while my mom and I tutored my brothers by signing the 12 Days Of Christmas Harry Potter parody we made up over and over again!

Reading wise, I finished Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix, then paused my re-read to re-read Dash and Lily's Book Of Dares, and then to read My True Love Gave To Me. Next I'm planning on reading a couple of my new books before jumping back into the last two Harry Potter books!

New Books
So, first I got like six books for Christmas, because my family's awesome and knows me too well. Then I got approved for quite a few books off Edelweiss, plus there were(maybe still are?) some awesome ebook deals on Amazon. Plus I did place a Bookoutlet order though we're not going to talk about that till they come in, okay?

Christmas Gifts:
Thanks family!
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From Edleweiss:
Thanks HarperCollins!
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Cheap Ebooks:
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This Week On The Blog
Monday: Christmas Tag

Wednesday: Nothing!

Friday: Nothing!


Coming Soon(on the blog next week!)
   No idea!

How was your holiday!? Or if you don't celebrate, how was your week!?! Any awesome new books!?!



Friday, December 26, 2014

2015 Reading/Blogging Challenges!

So, I haven't actually done any reading or blogging challenges before(besides a read-a-thon that doesn't really count...) so we will just have to see about how well I am with following through on these! I am doing 2 reading challenges and 1 blogging challenge, so i figured I'd use this post to announce which ones I will be doing!

Goodreads Challenge:
I'm not counting this as a "challenge" but thought I'd announce my goal anyways! For 2014 my goal was 103 books which is a random enough number that i picked because it was one more than  I'd read the year before, I reached my goal in August or September and am currently at 130. Next year I'm anticipating less reading time because I will be focusing a giant chunk of my time on writing and don't want to stress myself too much on the reading side of things therefore I'm setting myself the same goal of 103! 

Flights Of Fantasy reading challenge:

Hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Hello, Chelly and it's all about reading more fantasy books! You can read all about it and sign up here!

Fantasy is my favorite genre and I read quite a few less than normal for me in 2014, so I really want to step it up in 2015 and figured this was a good way to work on that! With this one you can set whatever goal you would like to so I'm going with 50 to start!


2015 TBR Pile Challenge:

2015TBRbuttonThis one is hosted at Roof Beam Reader and is all about reading some of those books that you've had on your TBR pile for YEARS! Read all about it here!
Basically, you read one book a month off your TBR pile but the book has to be at least 1 year old! You're also allowed 2 alternates! 
The books I'm planning on reading for this one I announced in this post, so that it will be easier to keep track of it!


2015 Discussion Challenge:
2015 Discussion Challenge3

This one is hosted by Shannon @It Starts At Midnight and Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and it's all about discussion posts! You can read all about it and sign up here.

I'm going to be trying for the Discussion Dabbler level which is 1-12 discussion posts. I'm tentatively planning for 1 discussion a month.



So, that's it! I tried not to sign up for too many because knowing myself as well as I do I'm pretty sure a couple months from now I'll have forgotten or given up on all of these... But I shall give it a valiant effort!


Are you going to be attempting any challenges?

In Which I Announce My Intentions: 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge!

2015TBRbutton


This challenge is hosted at Roof Beam Reader and is all about reading some of those books that you've had on your TBR pile for YEARS! Read all about it here!

Basically, you read one book a month off your TBR pile but the book has to be at least 1 year old! You're also allowed 2 alternates! 

Okay, so these are the 12 books, plus 2 alternates that I have picked from my TBR. All are at least 1 year old and most have been on my shelf since the day they came out!


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* Parallel by Lauren Miller (May 2013): Goodreads

* False Covenant by Ari Mermell (June 2012): Goodreads

* Angelfall by Susan Ee (Aug 2012): Goodreads

* Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (Sep 2013): Goodreads

* Slayers by C. J. Hill (Sep 2011): Goodreads

* The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper FForde (Oct 2012): Goodreads

* Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (Jan 2013): Goodreads

* Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis (Sep 2013): Goodreads

* Finnikin Of The Rock by Melina Marchetta (Sep 2008): Goodreads

* The Royal Ranger by John Flanagan (Nov 2013): Goodreads

* Champion by Marie Lu (Nov 2013): Goodreads

* Enchanted by Alethea Kontis(May 2013): Goodreads

Alternates:
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Okay, so that's it. Hopefully, I can get through these! I'll be updating this every month with review links to what I've read and everything...

What's the number one book that's been on your TBR for at least a year that you want to read in 2015?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!!

Since its Christmas, I wasn't going to post anything but then I decided I may as well! So, first merry Christmas and happy holidays and merry December if you don't celebrate anything, I hope you're all having an awesome day and a lovely week and that no one's family is driving them too crazy!


so, this is just going to be a fun little post. everyone loves making Christmas song parodies, right? and one of the one the songs done the most is the 12 Days Of Christmas... yesterday when in line to pick up our chicken wings and pizza(a Christmas Eve tradition) my mom and i made up our own Harry Potter themed 12 Days Of Christmas song! now this has been done many times I'm sure but we did our own anyways! the point? I'm going to share it with you! the lyrics that is because that's what I came up with for this post!

My version of Dumbledors Twelve Days Of Christmas!



On the twelfth day of Christmas my Dumbledore gave to me


12 House Elves Cleaning
11 Invisible Thestrals 
10 Owls A Flying
9 Centaurs Running
8 Horcruxes
7 Quidditch Players
6 Dark Arts Teachers
5 Goblins Counting
4 Hogwarts Houses
3 Deathly Hallows
2 Weasley Twins
1 Quidditch World Cup!!!!!!!

That's all I got! Merry Christmas and Happy Thursday! If you have time, please do tell me what your favorite Christmas song parody is!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #42: Dear Santa

Song Of The Moment - Snow by New Found Glory
Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

"Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing This Year"


Dear Santa,
These are the top ten books I'd like to get this year,
Sincerely, Nobody.

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What book do you must want this holiday season?
Don't forget to leave me links in the comments!



Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's Nearly Christmas! Time For A Christmas Tag!

I was tagged by the awesome Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight for this Christmas tag and of course being the Christmas lover I am I couldn't resist it! Thanks, Shannon!


The Rules:
Post the picture on your blog.
Answer the questions.
Tag up to 12 bloggers.
Make up 10 questions for the other bloggers.

I have no idea what the picture is because Shannon had her own and I didn't feel like trying to track it down...here's a gif instead!

1.  What is one gift you remember wanting really badly as a kid? Did you get it? Hmm. The first thing that popped into my head was a Video Now, which if you don't know was basically a portable DVD player but it had smaller disks and only had cartoons on it. I did get it, yes.

2. What do you want now? What is your ultimate Christmas wish? Hmm. This is a really hard question, I feel like I should say world peace or a book deal...instead I'm going with a lifetime supply of books.

3. Best holiday-themed book you’ve read? Easy! Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares!

4. Do you like Christmas movies? Which is your favorite? Or are you all Grinchy like me? I love Christmas movies! I watch them none stop and I don't care how horrible or cliche they may be! My favorite has always been How The Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey.

5. Do you dress up for the holidays, or go for comfort? Comfort! I used to dress up when we'd spend the holidays at my grandmother's but now we just stay home and I pretty stay in my pjs all day long!

6. What is the best gift you have ever given someone else? Tell us about it! I don't know! I pride myself on trying to find the perfect gifts every year, but I have no idea what I think is the best! I got my brothers personalized Hogwarts acceptance letters last year...that was pretty awesome!

7. Are there any holiday traditions or customs specific to your region, country, etc? If so, do tell! I live in Reno Nevada...so no.

8. Book boyfriend that you’d love to see with a bow under the tree? Oh man, Shannon you are killing me with these questions! I'm going with the first one to pop into my head and that is....Howl from Howl's Moving Castle, he's just so whimsical!

9. Did you do anything special so far to celebrate? Maybe made some cookies, decorated, etc? Show us! Well...I decorated...and baked lots of cookies/muffins/brownies. I'm really into Christmas and holiday baking!




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10. Which book do you really want to find its way to your house for Christmas? I would like the unpublished Carry On by Rainbow Rowell...which doesn't come out till next October...pretty please, Santa? 


I'm Tagging!!!!


Your Questions!
1. How much do you love snow?
2. How do you eat your gingerbread men? Feet first or head first?
3. Do you like seasonal reading, do you specifically seek out books set around winter during winter?
4. Have you ever been caroling/would you ever go?
5. Mistletoe or mistle-hell-no?
6. Favorite Christmas song?
7. Favorite holiday tradition?
8. Do you eat Christmas dinner on Christmas or Christmas eve?
9. When do you open present? Christmas, Christmas eve, other?
10. And I'm stealing this from Shannon, what book boyfriend/girlfriend would you want under your tree?

Please feel free to answer any of these questions down below and I hope you're all having an awesome week!