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Spring TBR | The Season of Accomplishing Goals


I've started doing seasonal/3-month-at-a-time TBRs and it has absolutely changed my outlook on TBRs and reading lists. I actually enjoy making them, now? I'm as confused as you are. *knocks on all the woods and prays that this doesn't jinx my streak* 

And that pastel streak. I've made a theme? I'm seasonal? This is ridiculous. Someone should investigate whether a clone is writing this post.


CURRENTLY READING

  • CROOKED KINGDOM: I've been over halfway done with this book for ages, but have been terrified to finish it. I had my friend Emma, over at Awkwordly Emma, spoil me on one thing that happens because I was as close as I've ever been to just not finishing a book because I'm terrified of something that will happen. Now that I know, I'm excited to go on and finish it (finally)!
  • A CONJURING OF LIGHT: I'm so impressed with this finale so far. I was quite disappointed with A Gathering of Shadows because people kept talking about a twist that was "shocking" when I'd seen it coming since book one? It just felt very anticlimactic for me, but this one. It's all action and events and characters. I'm only 190 pages in and I'm already really in love with it.  
  • HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME: I've really liked this so far! The roller coaster of happy and sad emotions was really getting to me for a while, but I think I can handle it now. Hopefully.
(Two of these complete a picky pledge challenge, CK & ACOL are series enders, and CK is on my 17 to read in 2017 list.) - Am I actually accomplishing goals? Who am I?

THE PILE

  • A MADNESS SO DISCREETTHE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES: My friend Trina loves Mindy's books. I've wanted to read them for ages, and A Madness So Discreet is on my "17 Books to Read in 2017" list.
  • MY LADY JANE: I tried to read this when it first came out, but I kind of forgot about it. This feels like it's the perfect spring book, and what time better than this to read a hilarious book?
  • THE ART OF ASKINGI watched Amanda Palmer's TED talk a while back and was so intrigued by her personality. When I saw her book on BookOutlet, I immediately bought it. I really want to read this ASAP. (Also, if you don't know what TED talk I'm on about, watch it. It's so good.)
  • THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED: I am so so so excited for this book. I'm excited to read it, and I'm excited to buy it. It only comes out April 11th, but if it reads anything like Simon, I'll read it super quickly.
  • THE SILVER CHAIR & THE LAST BATTLE: I will finish this damn series if it kills me.
  • GEMINA: One of my goals is to catch-up on and complete more series. I'm a bit ashamed that I haven't read this yet.
March is definitely kick into full-gear mode for me. I don't know if my blogging updates will continue to be this regular, but I wouldn't count on it. Anyway, what do you think of this seasonal TBR? Are you a monthly TBR person? A no TBR person? Tell me down in comments along with what you're currently reading!


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January + February Wrap Up | 2017


This is so, so late, but now it's here so let's get started.

JANUARY



  • HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE: 5 stars - I mean, this is a reread, but I had never read through the illustrated version, so I finally did that. It's exactly as beautiful as you imagine it would be.
  • THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW: 4 stars - This is another reread for me and it's one of my favorites of the Narnia series. I am finally going to finish this series this year (spoiler: I'm already on book six). This is the first in the Narnia series, and it builds the world amazingly. It's definitely top 3.  
  • AFTER THE FALL: 1.5 stars - This book was such a disappointment. There's no way I can summarize all of my thoughts into a few sentences (see the link in the title for my GR review) but overall, I think this book tried to be too many things and in the process, it swept consent and rape culture under the rug. 


  • THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE: 5 stars - It's hard to accurately rate or order this book in the series because I've read this book and seen this movie so many times and it's one of the first stories--even before Harry Potter--that I fell in love with. This was my last "official reread" of the series before continuing onward.
  • MARCH, BOOK ONE: 5 stars - Everyone needs to read this series of graphic novels. March is a trilogy of Maus-style graphic novels following John Lewis, as told by John Lewis, and his time involved in the civil rights movement in the southern US. This first volume is Lewis in college and in Tennessee, where he and a group of activists did sit-ins in diners.
  • PAPER PRINCESS: 2 stars - This was horrible, but I enjoyed it? I kind of hate myself for it. This is not YA; I do not care how it's marketed--it's not. It's trope-y and cliche and just doesn't make logical sense for most of the book. Also, I'm fairly sure no one edited this book because the grammar was shockingly horrible.

FEBRUARY



  • GOLDIE VANCE, VOL. 1: 4 stars - I got an eCopy of this from Netgalley because I knew that I was about to request it from my library anyway, so why not try from Netgalley? And I got approved. *background cheering* This is basically a new middle-grade comic series from Boom!Box (my favorite press, see also: Lumberjanes, Giant Days) that's a new-age Nancy Drew with diverse characters in a hotel. It's Nancy Drew meets Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Highly recommend.
  • THIS SAVAGE SONG: 4.5 stars - This isn't my favorite work of Schwab's (that will always be Vicious) but it may be my favorite idea of Schwab's. Clearly, I enjoyed it, but it was just a little slow in the beginning. This world is divided because violence breeds monsters and two families have different ideas of how to handle those monsters. It's great. It's book one of a duology, and I'm so excited to read the second when it releases.
  • BROKEN PRINCE: DNF - I tried and gave up four pages in. It was unbearable. 0/10: would not recommend. 


  • LUMBERJANES, VOL. 4: 4 stars - I love Lumberjanes. I think it would take a major fuck-up from the writers and the press for me to not love Lumberjanes. Read this series if you haven't already.
  • PRINCE CASPIAN: 3.5 stars - Technically, I read Caspian and Horse and His Boy out of order, but I actually don't care. I really love this movie (partially because I love Ben Barnes, but I digress) and this is essentially the same thing but Caspian is, like, 12 and I felt very uncomfortable the entire time because I had to keep reminding myself that he is an actual child. It was enjoyable, but it wasn't as special or moving as the others in the series.
  • THE HORSE AND HIS BOY: 3 stars - Literally, if people had told me/I had ever bothered to look up that this was set in the time when the four Pevensies were present kings and queens of Narnia, I would have read it sooner. I enjoyed it more than I thought, but it wasn't as gripping as Caspian.
  • RADIO SILENCE: 5 stars - Again, there's no way I can summarize my feelings, so please read my full review (linked in the title) but this is a fantastic story with incredible diversity that takes place in England. It's important and beautiful and has a great mother-daughter relationship. Please read it.

GOALS UPDATE


52 Books In the Year: 12/52
Picky Pledge: 2/12
17 "Need to Read" in 2017: 3/17

Whew. Long post is long (*piece of cake to you if you made it through the entire thing*), but now it's over and you can tell me how your reading has been going? Have you read any of these books? Do you want to? Tell me down in the comments!


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IRL Book Friends | Recently in Reading #2

"Recently in Reading" is a feature on my blog that I created myself, although I did adapt it from the Goodreads Tag and made it into a feature that I could do semi-regularly on my blog!
Much of the reason I created this was so that I could have something to do on my blog when I've kind of fallen off the internet and haven't been blogging as much as I would like. So, it's been a while. I've had three posts in draft for almost the entirety of February . . . and it's now March 12th. However, we're not going to think about that, and I'm going to do a quick update on what's been happening in my reading life.
I never got around to reviewing this on my blog, but you can find my review of this absolutely fantastic book over on Goodreads.

I really, really enjoyed this book. It was the last book that I read (which was in February, but shhh I need you to keep my secret) and I think it's a bit early to say but I think this could be a favorite of the entire year. It's definitely going to be hard to beat.

This is the story of Frances, who is a student in the UK. She's a study machine, she's Head Girl, she's an artist, and she's loves this podcast called Universe City. This book is incredible, and it's incredibly diverse. Frances is biracial as well as bisexual. There's actually a demisexual character, and when I read that part of the story, vulcan Monica was in tears.

If you're in the US, you can preorder it through Amazon (it comes out March 28th!) or if you're not (or you are) the UK version is already available through Book Depository.


Are you ready for my ridiculous "I Can't Choose Which Book to Read So I'm Reading Too Many" list? Well, here they are (from left to right, most recently started to I've been reading this book forever):


  • FAKING NORMAL: I actually just picked this up yesterday (S/O to me for breaking my book-buying ban!) because I got to meet Courtney Stevens at SEYA book fest yesterday and needed to read something of her's immediately. Update: I really, really like it. (Also, it takes place in Tennessee, my state! How cool is that!?)
  • VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER: I'm so proud of myself. I continue onward with my goal of finally finishing this series. I'm a good way into the audiobook of this, and it's might be beating out Magician's--or, *gasp* Wardrobe--for my favorite in the Narnia series thus far.
  • HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME: This book is one that I'm honestly really enjoying, but the constant roller coaster, back and forth between happy chapters and sad chapters really was starting to take a toll on me and I had to put it to the side for a bit. I'm reading this about two or four chapters at a time. So, see you in June with my review of this book.



I'm putting this upcoming book on here for this, but I could also put Sheba's other book, Skunk Girl, on here as well. I had never heard of Sheba Karim's books before I saw her on a panel at SEYA this weekend. She seemed very sweet, and the way she talked about her books really made me want to read them.

Goodreads link so that you can also discover this wonderful woman


So before I went to SEYA and got obsessed with reading everything Courtney Stevens has ever written, I was planning on spending this week finishing two amazing series by two of my favorite authors. These two hunking finales:


I'm setting myself up for a week of tears and feels. I'll see you on the other side.



Hi, hello. I haven't shut up about SEYA throughout the duration of the post. (Fear not, it doesn't stop here!) But after hearing Courtney speak and getting to see her absolutely genuine and beautiful personality, I knew that I needed to read at least something that she's written. Naturally, I picked up her debut book because I wanted to start at the beginning.


I haven't planned this out yet, but I won't buy another physical book until Laini Taylor's Strange the Dreamer releases.

At least, I hope so.

photo cred: Jenna (the beauty in the yellow flannel) | twitter | youtube | photography website 

Can you guess? Can you guess?

You're right. It was the Southeastern YA Book Festival that was yesterday, March 11th. I got to hang out with some amazing book friends as well as meet some new ones. I also got to meet some of the absolute sweetest authors.

Adam Silvera was so nice, and I luckily got in the beginning of his signing line.

Becky Albertalli took so much time to just listen to me rant and rave about my love for Simon and my excitement for Upside. She drew an Oreo in my book. Life is complete. She was the absolute sweetest.

(paragraph-long ramble about Courtney C. Stevens redacted for your own sanity)

Mindy McGinnis is basically the queen of genres. She was so sweet and probably has the neatest author signature of all time. I'm excited to read her many, many books.

And that's it! Tell me what you are currently reading/loving and the most recent bookish favorite of yours down in the comments!


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This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab | Monster, May I?


 (It took me forever to get this picture right. Appreciate it, please.)

August Flynn is a monster. He can see the souls of people who have sinned, and then with a song from his violin, he can steal their soul.

Kate Harker is a monstrous human. One of the first scenes with this girl is her burning down a chapel, so, yeah, she's not really the "typical YA protagonist" that we see.

Schwab is one of my favorite authors. She has an incredible talent for crafting characters, and that for me always comes across as the strongest point in her books. They are all so complex and real and, often if not always, not entirely good. To be cliche and pull out my inner Harry Potter nerd, no person is ever wholly good or wholly evil, and I think that Schwab is really talented at creating characters with both light and dark inside them.

Also on the note of characters, there are some amazing side characters in this book. August's family, especially his brother and sister, are so interesting and don't fall to the wayside as many YA family members do.


I'm not typically a fan of urban fantasy (meaning: I normally just don't read it) but that's what this is and it's made me interested in checking out more from this genre. 

The history that Schwab creates in this book of an America that has fallen and changed is (let me say it for the thousandth time) endlessly interesting. The beginning of the book does get a little information-heavy; however, because the monsters and how they work and the division of the main city is so interesting, I ate up and valued the information rather than finding it sluggish.

Something happens in this book that genuinely made me stop and freak out a bit. This happens very rarely for me in books, so I was very happy to see that Schwab had made me care so much for these characters that I had to put the book down for a second to calm down. 


I did find the ending ever so slightly underwhelming, but it was only really one aspect of the ending that it really didn't bother me too much. I'm happy with how the story ultimately ended, and I'm now very much anticipating Our Dark Duet, which releases in June of this year.

FAVORITE QUOTES

It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he only felt human after doing something so monstrous.
 But the teacher had been right about one thing: violence breeds. Someone pulls a trigger, sets off a bomb, drives a bus full of tourists off a bridge, and what's left in the wake isn't just shell casings, wreckage, bodies. There's something else. Something bad. An aftermath. A recoil. A reaction to all that anger and pain and death.



This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab
Published: 5 July 2016 by Greenwillow Books
Format - Length: Hardcover - 427 pages
Source: Owlcrate
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Goodreads | My Goodreads Review
Amazon | Barnes and Noble
There’s no such thing as safe.

Kate Harker wants to be as ruthless as her father. After five years and six boarding schools, she’s finally going home to prove that she can be.

August Flynn wants to be human. But he isn’t. He’s a monster, one that can steal souls with a song. He’s one of the three most powerful monsters in a city overrun with them. His own father’s secret weapon.

Their city is divided.

Their city is crumbling.

Kate and August are the only two who see both sides, the only two who could do something.

But how do you decide to be a hero or a villain when it’s hard to tell which is which?
Have you read this book? What's your favorite Schwab book? Tell me down in comments!


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January Wrap-Up + February TBR | 2017


January was almost a complete month of rereads. I needed to clean my slate after a very messy reading year in 2016. Also, my February TBR is ridiculous for a month that only has 28 days.

Wrap Up



  • THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW (#1): This was a reread for me. I really love how Lewis crafts the creation of this world. I want to finally finish this series this year, so I wanted to reread the first two in preparation for that. 4 STARS
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE (#1): I mean, duh, I've obviously read this before. I hadn't read the illustrated edition with all of Jim Kay's beautiful illustrations, so I needed to do that. 5 STARS
  • AFTER THE FALL: I wasn't the biggest fan of this book. I think it talks about important topics, and it has some nice humor. However, this book felt all over the place for me. It didn't seem to have a purpose or a point but rather about 12 points it was trying to make all at once. If you want a full review, click the title to go to my Goodreads review. 1.5 STARS
  • THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE (#2) : This is one of my all-time favorite books. Need I say more? 5 STARS
  • MARCH, BOOK ONE: This was amazing. I highly recommend this one. This is part one of a trilogy of Maus-style comics about John Lewis's involvement with the Civil Rights movement in the southern US; this first volume mainly takes place in Nashville when Lewis was a college student. 5 STARS
  • PAPER PRINCESS: uGH. This book was really frustrating. There's genuinely no way that I can summarize my feelings, so if you want to know my full thoughts, click the title to go to my Goodreads review. I'm going to read the second book, but I hate myself for it. 2 STARS

February TBR


  • CROOKED KINGDOM: I've had this book since the release. I'm just going to keep putting it on TBRs until I finish it. Hopefully (*knocks on wood*) this will be the last one.
  • THIS SAVAGE SONG: I snagged this audiobook from my library's overdrive. I've already started it, and--naturally--I'm in love.
  • GEMINA: Again, another audiobook that I snagged. (And, again, another book I've had since it's release.) I'm a good chunk of the way through this. Hopefully, I'll finish it ASAP.
  • LUMBERJANES, VOL. 4: Lumberjanes is one of my all-time favorite comics. I'm more surprised that I haven't already read this.

  • WONDER WOMAN, VOL 2 & 3: A couple months ago, I discovered my love of Wonder Woman. She is brilliant and strong, and I'm a little bitter that I wasn't introduced to her as a child. 
  • CIVIL WAR: Despite my newfound love of Wonder Woman, I'm a Marvel girl through and through. I think I've developed enough of an understanding of the MU and the characters to finally read this one.
  • GOLDIE VANCE, VOL. 1: BOOM! Box is my favorite comic publisher. (They publish Giant Days and Lumberjanes, two of my favorites.) I've loved everything I've read from them. A couple months ago, the first volume in a new series was published. I just got approved to review this book on Netgalley, so I'm going to finish it ASAP. (It's almost like Nancy Drew, but with a kick-ass WOC main character.)

  • THE PRINCESS DIARIST: I never got into Star Wars in my more formative years. In fact, the first one that I ever watched was The Force Awakens when it came out last Christmas. I didn't really get obsessed until after Carrie Fisher died in December. 
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (#2): I need to read this illustrated edition as well. I don't need to explain myself.
What was your favorite book of January? What book are you hoping to read this month? Have you read any of the books I've mentioned? Let me know down in comments!


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