Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2017

  1. Best book I’ve read so far 
    This was a really tough choice but the top spot currently goes to Gemina. Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman are truly talented, their stories are always the perfect balance of action, suspense, humor, and romance. I didn’t think it could be as good as Illuminae and it was better. Rounding out my top 5 are Windwitch, The Valiant, Furiously Happy and When Dimple Met Rishi. Hey! That’s one from every genre!
  2. Best sequel I’ve read so far
    Definitely Windwitch by Susan Dennard
  3. New release you haven’t read yet but want to
    There are so many but Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab is at the top of the list
  4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
    Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova and Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
  5. Biggest Disappointment
    Would have to be The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco. The cover is beautiful and I was so sure I would love the story, it even started out great but the rest was a total flop for me. 
  6. Biggest Surprise
    Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. I listened to the audiobook on a whim and I’m so, so thankful I did. I laughed, I cried and this story resonated so deeply with me as someone who struggles with mental health. Jenny Lawson is such an incredible author and inspiring individual. 
  7. Favorite new (to me) author
    Is a tie between Lesley Livingston who wrote The Valiant and Menon Sandhya, author of When Dimple Met Rishi
  8. Newest Fictional Crush
    OMG, now I know what has been missing, I haven’t found a new book boyfriend all year! I do however have a major girl crush on Hanna from Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
  9. Newest Favourite Character
    I really related to Reggie Mason, from Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor, and her struggle with mental health. She was kind of a complete mess and really thorny on the outside but loving on the inside just like me! 
  10. Book That Made Me Cry
    Come Away With Me by Karma Brown. I’m pretty sure I teared up while reading a few others this year but this one really pulled my heart strings because I’m a mom. 
  11. Book That Made Me Happy
    When Dimple Met Rishi by Menon Sandhya. Hands down the most smile-inducing book I’ve read this year. 
  12. Most Beautiful Book I’ve Bought This Year
    Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
  13. What Book(s) Do I Need To Read By The End Of The Year
    If I had to pick just one I’d say The Novice by Taran Matharu, because I think it’s going to become an instant favorite of mine and I still haven’t picked it up and I have no good reason why.However, these are the other books I really hope to get to by the end of 2017. Morning Star by Pierce Brown, Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken, A Torch In The Night by Sabaa Tahir, Winners Crime by Marie Rutkoski, ACOWAR by Sarah J Maas, Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab, The Crowns Fate by Evelyn Skye, Now I Rise by Kiersten White, Fire Falling by Elise Kova, Like A River Glorious by Rae Carson, Of Fire And Stars by Audrey Coulthurst, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch and The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson. Wish me luck!

I would like to tag Alice of Alices Book Vault and Adriana of Adriana Gabrielle Writes

#ATSOReadathon Begins Tomorrow!

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I can hardly believe it but my very first readathon begins tomorrow!

I have had so many wonderful readers, bloggers and booktubers sign up and I could not be more thankful and excited. I hope you are as well. If you missed my post announcing the readathon you can find it here
Basically, the goal of this readathon is to read books that are 300 pages or less, as many as you can, in the month of March. (Thats right, this readathon lasts a whole month!) They could also be novellas, graphic novels, books of poetry, etc. You can interact on Twitter using the hashtag #ATSOReadathon and there will be a giveaway at the end!

It isn’t too late to sign up! You have until the 7th of March at 12 midnight Pacific Time

I for one, am so excited to read so many books this month. I have a HUGE tower of short books and I’m ready to start crushing it!
I can’t wait to see your progress and hear all about the amazing books you guys read this month.

Happy Reading, And let All The Short Ones Readathon Begin!!

 

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: January 31st 2017
Source: eARC from Raincoast Books

Click Here For The Goodreads Summary

 

RATING: ☆☆22296822

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“Not the Twix!” said Banger. “It’s a candy bar and a cookie”

THOUGHTS:

I feel like I’m definitely the black sheep in the flock because I just couldn’t enjoy this book. There were good moments, but overall I had so many issues with it.

If you don’t know this book is about a girl and her little brother who are attacked during a snow storm and saved by a mysterious, well muscled, man from the Lowlands. Which is basically Hell. He is sent to the Overlands (Our world) to collect sinning souls and take them back to his world. However, our main character Zoe and mystery man feel an instant connection and he asks her whether he should take the soul or not. She chooses mercy for the sinner but in choosing to let him go damns mystery man to suffer the Trembling. A kind of sickness for not obeying his masters. But he’s already broken a bunch of rules by allowing himself to be seen by an innocent so what one more, right?

Firstly I would like to cover what I did enjoy about The Edge of Everything. Mechanically, I found the writing was really solid. Honestly, I feel that if this author were to write a different story, I would be interested in reading it. I really enjoyed the characters because they had realistic flaws and were pleasantly quirky. Zoe was great, her blurting was funny and often had me in giggles. The banter between all the characters was really good in fact. I also adored Ripper and Banger, yes their self-inflicted damages made me cringe, but their personalities were fantastic. One of my favorite scenes is the junk food scene with Banger and Zoe.

Sadly, that wraps up what I enjoyed. (Some spoilers ahead)

The story started off faced paced and felt creepy, almost thriller-like but after the initial attack, the mood changed. The rest of the story was pretty slow-paced, and mostly dialogue between characters. I didn’t feel engaged anymore. It wasn’t predictable, I’ll give it that. It was so weird and unrealistic that I didn’t have any idea what would happen next but not in a good way. I like the kind of unpredictable that well crafted and this was more like the recollections of an acid trip. Think Alice in Wonderland, in fact, if you like that sort of nonsensical whimsy you might love this book. I am a true believer that there aren’t books that are actually bad, just books paired with the wrong people.

Like I said before I liked Zoe but boy did I hate her to start. She sent her eight-year-old brother, who she refers to as a Spaz, outside to play because hess annoying her. Even though its -10 and she knows there’s a snow storm coming. And, she waits till the storm is full on before going to get him? I was ready to quit right there, expecting her to be thi sbratty for the rest of the book. She was actually a pretty kick ass character throughout, and very protective of her brother, so the beginning felt really out of character.

One of the things that bothered me most were the love interests. Putting aside all the bright shiny feelings Zoe has for X, I felt like their relationship was really unhealthy. Insta love that causes the participants to instantly be willing to throw away their lives and safety of others is not romantic in my opinion. Also, X is aware that his presence is a danger to Zoe but he stays anyway and later he endangers her again without warning her of the consequences. This was just plain selfish. Now, let’s compare this to Dallas, the one-sided love interest, who is constantly and annoying painted as a Neanderthal. He was constantly respectful of Zoe’s need for space, always willing to listen, helpful, kind and even thoughtful. I’m not saying Zoe should have picked Dallas (I would have) because you can’t help loving who you love. What I am saying is, she had an example of healthy love in her life so she should have known the difference. Zoe and X’s relationship felt a lot like the typical bad boy who needs saving trope. Which is so over done, and unrealistic. Bad boys have a lot of baggage and aren’t emotionally available to have a healthy relationship. It’s not a trope that should be romanticized. Again, just my opinion.

This story was unrealistic in so many ways. I wanted to scream on multiple occasions. Just so you know this is the most instant of insta love you have ever read. These two can even mind read one another from the moment they meet. I can believe an instant attraction but I hate insta love. Also who has instant love with a man who appears out of nowhere, with magic powers and a taste for soul stealing? Where is her sense of caution?! I mean I get the bad boy attraction theory but this is pushing the limits. This isn’t a leather jacket and a smoking habit. This guy is from Hell. Zoe should have been getting some major red flags once she recovered from the sight of his perfect abs. Yeah okay, later we discover that he isnt a psycho but she doesn’t know that then! And while we’re on the topic of X’s demeanor – throughout the story Zoe and X are trying to find a way for X to stay in the Overlands so they can be together? This guy has lived in Hell for 20ish years, I’m sorry but I can’t see him getting a job at Starbucks and enrolling in evening classes. What I mean is this guy is going to need some serious therapy after what he’s been through and to assimilate into a new world. I really don’t think he would be in any place to have a relationship. And does anyone else think its weird that he loves the first and only girl he’s ever interacted with? I mean so would I in his position but does that make it real love? Maybe I’m being too critical but even though this story is weird and quirky I need it to be realistic. I need my characters to think realistically. And don’t get me started on the mother! What mom would have let a strange man, found hiding in the garage, suffering from some strange sickness into the house. And leave him alone with her kids. No, any mom I know would have called the cops, or at least a cab and kicked him out. I just couldn’t buy it. Look I know its fantasy, in other fantasy books there are teen assassins saving the world, but its set in a different world than ours. If you’re going to have a fantasy in our world I’m going to hold it to the standard of our cultural reality.

And my biggest gripe with this book. What. Was. The. Point. Seriously? I really felt like it had no direction what so ever. The world wasn’t changed or saved. I don’t feel like the characters grew or learned anything. Zoe changes her mind at the last minute and lets her father go? Wow, didn’t see that coming a mile away. Rendering everything that led up to it completely pointless. I was really hoping her father would go willingly to see her happy with X, that would have been a decent resolution – but no. And oh, there’s a big battle at the end? Nope, the lords don’t even look for a body, they just assume he’s dead and give up and leave. Talk about anti-climactic. And wouldn’t they know that they didn’t kill him? I mean they know what X is doing from another realm but they can’t sense whether a life ended?

Nothing was resolved, nothing changed. I’m torn between hoping there’s a sequel so things make sense and hoping that this is the end of the ridiculousness. If there is a sequel that wraps things up, I feel like a lot of this book could have been cut out to make way for that content.

 

Windwitch Non Spoiler Review & Giveaway

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: January 10th 2017
Genre: Fantasy
Soure: ARC from Tor Teen
Link to the author: http://susandennard.com/

Click Here For The Goodreads Summary

 

RATING: ☆☆☆☆☆29939390

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

 

THOUGHTS:

I won’t be talking about the summary because that would spoil things for those of you who haven’t read Truthwitch yet. I hope that this review will convince you to go pick up a copy of the first book in The Witchlands series if you were on the fence before.

Last year I really enjoyed Truthwitch, yes I had a little trouble getting into it at first but only because there was so much going on in this beautiful, diverse new world. And by the swoony dance scene a few chapters in I was 100% invested! After reading the second book I can tell you that Dennard has a firm grip on this world and how it works. The story takes place in three different landscapes and each one is painted so vividly that I see it, feel it, and smell it (which was unfortunate at times – you’ll have to read it to know what I mean). It takes a masterful hand to deliver a complex, vivid new world to a reader without overwhelming them and I can’t wait to explore it more in book three! There are so many incredible places to visit and new creatures to run into, the witchlands is quickly becoming one of my new favorite fantasy worlds.

In the second book in the witchlands series the characters are separated and so we read from five points of view throughout. I find that MPOV is hit or miss and this was a hit! I was never confused or forgot who I was reading about because each character had such a distinct voice. I really enjoyed the way that some of the characters stories overlapped and influenced one another and I hope that continues as the series does. That being said, I favor some of the characters and couldn’t wait to get back to their chapters! (Sorry Merik) That is not a criticism of the authors writing though just my personal preferences. In fact, I had no dislikes when it comes to the characters. Each of them faced a different struggle both internally and externally and I felt that the author managed to maintain each character’s integrity throughout. I would imagine it can be hard to stay true to each character’s nature when switching back and forth but Dennard did it without a hitch. I personally related to Iseult the most, there is a moment around page 260 that just broke my heart because I’ve been there myself. This book showed more depth to the characters, their vulnerabilities and the pasts that haunt them. Making them all the more real and loveable to me. There wasn’t a lot of romance in this book, but there was build up and tension between certain characters that I SHIP SHIP SHIP!! They are just like my OTP of all time. Their interactions were like a well choreographed dance, a graceful, intense push and pull between them that was so steamy in a subtle way.

I felt like Dennard’s writing was good in Truthwitch and it only improved in Windwitch. The thing that blew me away was the unpredictability. There were all these hints along the way and I was trying to figure it out but I never saw the reveals coming. Once they happened, I thought back and realized all the clues I needed were there! There is a line in Truthwitch, “With your right hand give a man what he expects and with your left cut his purse: and that’s exactly what Dennard did. She left you clues but you were looking in all the wrong places when the answer was right in front of you! It was masterful, all the pieces fell into place and I think that is exactly how a story should be written. I’m not capable of describing this books amazingness, just go read it for yourself, trust me.

I am dying for book three already, mostly because of the build up in book two. Second books are often dull, dragging things out unnecessarily. Windwitch however, sank its claws in right from the start, offering twists I didn’t see coming and new intriguing side characters. Dennard gave us a little time to get reacquainted with everyone and then the adventure took off, keeping a nice pace that had me turning the pages well into the night.  As the book went on the intensity the action built and built until I was on the edge of my seat reading the last few chapters, well aware even before reaching the end that I was heading for a major book hangover. Be ready for the ride of your life because there is never a dull moment with this cast.

I devoured this book, fell in love with the characters, laughed at their sass and related to their sorrows. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves fantasy, Dennard is working magic on these pages and I have a feeling she’s only going to impress us further in Bloodwitch!

A big thank you to Tor Teen for sending me a copy of Windwitch for this review!

 

20170108_005218

2016 End Of The Year Survey

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I am so excited to be doing this survey for the first time ever! You might notice that I didn’t complete all the questions and I added some of my own, because why not? Mostly I just added some additional stats to the first part because I LOVE numbers – when they’re about books. Before I get started, this survey was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner and you can find all the questions by clicking on the link. Happy Reading!

Reading Stats

23437156Number of Books I Read: 72.
Of those, twenty-one were 5 stars! Most of my reads were 4 stars and there were seventeen 3 stars. You won’t find many books rated lower than 3 stars on my Goodreads because I rarely even finish a book I dislike that much. 

Number of Pages I Read: 27,168.
The majority of those pages were published between 2000-2015. I read 18 books published this year, 3 that will be published next year and 5 published previous to 2000.

Number of Re-Reads: 1 – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
I listened to it on audio, which was a fun new experience, in fact 41% of the books I read this year I listened to.       

Genre I Read The Most: Fantasy.
SciFi was the runner up but I also read some Historical Fiction, Contemporary, and NonFiction

 

Best In Books

1. Best Book I Read In 2016

Best Historical Fiction • Best Science Fiction • Best Contemporary • Best Debut

As if I could pick just one!

The Best Fantasy I Read This Year

2. A Book I Was Excited About And Thought I Would Love More: 

  • Ever The Hunted by Erin Summerill
    I think I hyped myself up too much for this one, it was okay but it didn’t feel like anything new. You can read my full review here.
  • Finnikin Of The Rock by Melina Marchetta
    I really wanted to love this book because it was recommended to me so many times and a lot of my friends enjoyed it but it was just missing something for me.

3. Most Surprising Book I Read:

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    I really wasn’t sure about this one, infact I put it down after the first dozen or so pages. Then I listened to the audiobook and it was just so enchanting! I want nothing more than to visit the circus with all of its magical tents and delcious treats!
  • Ready Player One
    Another really hyped book, I saw this on a lot of favourite lists at the end of 2015, so I had to try it. OMG it was so good!! Im not a gamer and I can say that you dont have to be to enjoy this book.

4. Best Series I Started (and finished) In 2016, Best Sequel, Best Prequel and Best Series Ender:

5. Favourite New Author I discoverd in 2016:

  • Amie Kaufman
    I read Illumiane and These Broken Stars and Kaufman knows how to write a leading lady and pull at my heart strings. I can’t wait to read more of her work.

6. Best Book Outside My Comfort Zone:

  • Rat Queens by Kurtis Wiebe
    The first graphic novel I’ve ever read and I loved this sassy gang of misfits.

7. The Most Action Packed Book Of The Year:

  • Flashfall by Jenny Moyer
    I could hardly catch my breath! Seriously, if you want a thrill ride without ever leaving your couch and an adorable new OTP as well, pick up Flashfall.

8. Most Likely To Re-Read:

  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
    This was one of the first books I read this year and I can’t wait to revisit the world and the characters from the beginning.

9. Favourite Cover of 2016:

  • And I Darken by Kiersten White
    There were a lot of beautiful covers but this one wins hands down and I have a sneaky suspoicion its sequel might win next year!

10. Most Memorable Character

  • Iko from The Lunar Chronicles
    For leaving me in stitches
  • Inej from Crooked Kingdom
    For being beautiful in all the right ways, strong in the face of the toughest challenges and gentle amidst such harsh reality.

11. Most Thought Provoking

  • The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
    This is a story about how we are all connected in some way. One persons actions, or lack of action, can change another persons day or life and they might never know one the others name. What we put out there into the world is really important. That’s what it taught me.

12. A Book I Can’t Believe I Waited So Long To Read

  • Girl Of Fire And Thorns by Rae Carson
    Those were my exact thoughts while reading this book, what took me so long? Sadly I didnt feel the same with book two and three but the series started off great.

13. Favourite Quote I Read This Year

“It’s not up to you to help other people fit you into a box”  The Sun Is Also A Star
This spoke so loudly to me, thank you Nicola Yoon.

14. The Longest Book I Read And The Shortest Book I Read:

15. The Book That Shocked Me The Most:

  • Invasion Of The Tearling by Erika Johansen
    I can’t remember any book shocking me with a surprise twist or death but the language and graphic content in this book caught me off guard a little. I listened to the audio book and I think hearing it out loud made it more shocking.

16. OTP of the Year Goes To:

  • Orion & Dram from Flashfall by Jenny Moyer
  • Iseult & Aeduan from Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

17. Favourite Book From An Author I’ve Read Previously

  • Abhorsen
    I love his books and can’t wait to continue with Clariel and Goldenhand

18. A Book I Read Based Soley On A Recommendation And Loved

  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
    I didnt love the Carry On parts but the rest of the story made up for them. I can really relate to Cath.
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater
    When I joined the book community I saw it everywhere and everyone recommended it. I have a habit of thinking that those are the books I will be the black sheep for and at first I was really unsure about Blue and the Raven Boys. A third of the way in though I was SO hooked and long after I finished the first book I was thinking about the characters. That is rare for me.

19. Newest Fictional Crush 

  • I cannot pick just one!
  • Gansey from The Raven Boys
  • Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn
  • Rhysand, the BAE of BAEs from ACOMAF

20. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationships

  • The Dregs from Crooked Kingdom – the banter! No Mourners No Funerals!
  • The Raven Boys, well just the whole darn cast of these marvelous books.

21. Best 2016 Debut

  • The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
    Diverse, action packed and original. All I could ever want.

22. Book With The Best World Building

I really enjoyed the world building in all of these.

23. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read:

  • Anne Of Green Gables by L M Montgomery
    I laughed so much while reading about Anne, I will never forget the experience or the thoughtful passages.

24. Book That Made Me Cry:

  • The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
    I rarely cry when I’m reading but this one brought on the water works. It was funny, beautiful and real.

25. Hidden Gem Of The Year

  • A New Hope by Alexandra Bracken
    I felt it was a hidden gem because I don’t see many fans of Bracken talk about it. I think it also gets looked over because everyone knows the story from the movies but I really liked her take on things.

26. Book That Crushed My Soul

  • ACOMAF by Sarah J Maas
    It was that sacrifice at the ending. Oh Feyre ❤

27. Most Unique Book

  • This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
    Her concept of evil deeds creating monsters? Creative, insightful and genius! I want more!

28. Book That Made Me Mad

  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
    I want to first say I love Brandon Sanderson’s books but a TEN book series? Of which the first book is more than a thousand pages? I’m sorry I have commitment issues. I just can’t.

 

The Bookish Life

 

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?

  • Alex @ Fiery Reads
    I love her blog, and what caught my attention was her “Review At A Glance”it’s genius!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?

3. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

  • Yallwest 2016!!!!
    It was SO incredible and it was the first time I have been to any bookish event or signing.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

  • All the friends I met up with at Yallwest and the bonds it cemented. Also, of course meeting Leigh Bardugo!!! #lifegoalfulfilled
  • The remarkable friendship that grew from my first round of #otspsecretsister with WriterGrrlReads
  • Towards the end of this year I began working with a few publishers such as Raincoast and now have the privilege of reviewing advanced copies for them!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

  • This was my first year so the whole experience had its challenges. Also balancing blogging/instagram/reading/life/beingamom was something I’m still fine tuning.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

  • I guess my reviews? Does anyone actually read those? LOL
  • Also even though the first Page 394 was my most viewed, every one since has been a flop? Im not sure that I will continue in the new year.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

  • Audiobooks! Without them, I wouldn’t have read nearly as many books as I did this year. As a busy mom they made folding laundry great.
    **Obviously I knew about them before 2016 but I discovered my love for them this year.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

  • Ahahahahahaha!!
    Ahem, but seriously… I knew that I shouldn’t have set goals because I suck at sticking to a reading list. I also sucked at linking up with the hosts for the challenges I did actively participate it. Maybe next year? More about that in another post. I DID however complete, correction exceeded, my Goodreads challenge this year! I aimed for 55 books and finished the year with 72!

Looking Ahead

 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

  • Balance between all the important areas of my life
  • Reading 70 books
  • 250 Blog Followers
  • 2000 Instagram Followers
  • Only buying books that I have read, loved and would re-read. So that means reading the books I currently own or borrowing from the library or Overdrive. The only exception I’m giving myself is if the book is a continuation of a series I love.

315495136. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

  • I cannot shout this loud enough, The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova!!!!
    It will blow your mind, it is going on my shelf next to my all time favorites and I need the second book ASAP

 

Thank you for reading!

Happy New Year

 

No really, if you stuck with me and read about my entire first year of blogging and all the books I read, thank you so much! It means so much to me to have met all of you this year and I cant wait for 2017, the book community is so incredible. Please leave a comment below if you read any of these books or tell me what you did read. And dont forget to link your survey if you participated.