Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Book Haul Revisit #1 | Summer 2016 Book Haul

Today over on my channel I am taking a look at my Summer 2016 Book Haul and seeing how many of the books I hauled have been read or not. Julie at Pages & Pens is the brilliant mastermind behind this idea and I had so much fun looking back on the things I purchased last summer! 

I've actually done surprisingly well with this particular haul. Out of the 22 books I hauled I've read 17 of them and still have 5 left that I'm still really interested to get to. I'm not sure if future book hauls will be the same way, but at least I'm starting out on the right foot with this haul revisit! Click play to see how I fared. :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Vlogs: #TheReadingQuest

Here it is! My vlogs from my experience during #TheReadingQuest! I put them all in a handy little playlist for you all so you can see me gradually spiral deeper into madness as the weeks progressed. :P In all seriousness, I really enjoyed my time participating in The Reading Quest. It was a really unique way to stay motivated with my reading, and even though it was tough to find time to read over the course of the last two weeks, I somehow still made it work and am really proud of how much I was able to read! Click play to see my progress from my TBR all the way to my very last page!


If you're curious about how my stats progressed during the week, check out my The Reading Quest tag on my blog! :)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Five Star Predictions!

Mercedes from Mercy's Bookish Musings came up with the fabulous idea a few months back of making some predictions of which books on her TBR shelf would definitely be 5-star reads for her. Since then, this idea has really taken off on BookTube and I thought I would join in on the fun! Here are five books that I will be reading over the course of the next few months that I think I'm going to give five stars to!


Books Mentioned

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Make sure to watch the video to hear the synopsis of each one of my picks. I will be making another video once I get through these five books as an update on my thoughts for each book, so stay tuned for that video! I'm excited to embark on this reading journey and *hopefully* find some of my new favorite books!

(And no, I did not realize I was holding a different stack of books in my thumbnail than the ones I talk about in this video. That's what I get for filming multiple videos at a time! :P)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

LIVE STREAM: Bookshelf Re-Organization & Saturday Hangout! {09.09.17}

Saturday afternoon I did my first live stream over on my channel! I mainly was focusing on re-organizing my bookshelf, but I had the most fun interacting with everyone in the chat room. It was such a blast hanging out with everyone that I'm already making plans for my next live steam which will happen in October and will also be featuring a guest or two. CAN'T WAIT! (Keep an eye on my channel and my Twitter for more details TBA soon!) I hope you enjoy watching back this live stream and I hope to see you in the chat room in October!

Monday, September 11, 2017

#TheReadingQuest Week 4 Update & Wrap Up!


We've come to the end of #TheReadingQuest!

I'm kinda sad to see it end. It's been going on for such a long time and I've gotten so used to reading, vlogging, and questing every day! I had such a great time participating in this extremely unique readathon and I cannot wait until Read at Midnight share her next brilliant reading idea with us all!

Week 4 was another big success for me. While I didn't finish all of the books that I set out to accomplish for the entire quest, shifting my focus to the Mage Quest Path really benefited me these past two weeks and I managed to successfully read all of the books that I wanted to for the Quest Path! I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to finish everything within the last 6 days of the quest, especially because I put myself in the position where I had to read an entire book on the very last day of the challenge. However, I managed to get everything done for the Mage and I am super happy about it!

Below you'll find all of my stats for week 4 as well as my final stats for the entire Reading Quest and a list of every book I finished over this past month for the challenge! If you're interested to see my experience in vlog form, check out my #TheReadingQuest playlist on my channel. I will also be uploading the playlist right here to my blog after I manage to get my final vlog edited and uploaded, so stay tuned!


WEEK 4 STAT BREAKDOWN

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
519 pages
Completes Set in a different world Mage Quest Path challenge
Marginalized Author
+20 EXP
+51.9 HP

Tales of the Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green
270 pages
Completes Book based on mythology Mage Quest Path challenge
+10 EXP
+27.0 HP

in progress...

Winter by Marissa Meyer
301/823 pages
Grind side quest
+30.1 HP


TOTALS AFTER WEEK 4

Pages read: 3,250
Books completed: 9
Quests completed: 9
Level: 3
EXP: 130
HP: 323

ADDITIONAL STATS

Social media posts: +20 HP - max (see my Twitter update thread here!)
Completing Mage quest by 9/10/2017: +50 EXP

CHARACTER TOTALS

Level: 4
EXP: 180
HP: 343

ALL BOOKS COMPLETED

Barefoot Gen, vol. 2 by Keiji Nakazawa
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Fairest by Marissa Meyer
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Release by Patrick Ness
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay
The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Tales of the Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green

Friday, September 8, 2017

Book Review: Throne of Glass

I finally got around to trying out my first Sarah J. Maas book last week and read Throne of Glass, the first book in the Throne of Glass series. This book counted toward one of my #TheReadingQuest challenges and I was actually really excited to get into this series after hearing it receive so much praise in the BookTube community. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy my experience reading this book and felt the need to tell y'all why. 

*WARNING: This review will contain spoilers! Proceed at your own risk*


Throne of Glass follows a notorious assassin, Celaena, after she is released from a life sentence in prison in order to compete in a tournament in order to become the King's Champion (or the assassin that will do the King's bidding). As Celaena competes in this tournament, there are a slew of murders against her competition that cannot be explained. ....that's really the gist of the plot. And I think that speaks volumes to the quality of this story - there really isn't that much to it. It's a really basic fantasy assassin story (at least that's how it's marketed) and I was actually pretty excited to get to it based on the fact there was a badass female lead and the fact that people seemed to freaking LOVE this series. Unfortunately, the way it is marketed is not what I got from this story.

Celaena is supposed to be the world's greatest assassin, but unfortunately she got caught and thrown in prison with a life sentence. We don't know too much else about her backstory other than the fact that someone in her life was killed. There's really no basis or proof that she is the world's greatest assassin other than the fact the narrator tells you she's the worlds greatest assassin. If you're going to make a big claim like that, you need to back it up with proof. That's persuasive writing 101, and SJM failed in that department.


Not only do we not see proof from her past that shows us that she's the world's greatest assassin, we see on *multiple* occasions Celaena making mistakes, messing up, and all around being a kind of awful assassin. In the assassin's competition, her "handler" Chaol*, tells her to not use all of the skill that she possesses so people don't find out who she is (she's trying to hide her identity for really no obvious reason), which is the way SJM covers up for Celaena for being terrible, but I just didn't buy it.

Speaking of Celaena trying to cover up her identity, there's a point in the book where her identity gets out to the other competitors, but no one seems phased about it. Characters were just like "Oh, I guess that's that Calaena girl. Huh." and Celaena and Khaol were all like "Well I guess they all know now ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"... Like... WHY COVER UP THE IDENTITY OF A CHARACTER IF NO ONE IS GOING TO CARE ONCE IT'S REVEALED?! Such a waste of time.

Meanwhile, during this assassin's competition, all the competitors keep getting brutally murdered in the castle they're all staying in by this ~mysterious~ monster, but basically no one is really that concerned and all activities continue as normal. Literally dozens of competitiors are torn to shreds by this unknown creature and everyone's like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. (Basically everyone is like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ the entire book and there's no real stakes in this story it seems.) THAT'S NOT HOW PEOPLE WOULD REACT IF PEOPLE KEPT GETTING MURDERED IN THE SAME DAMN BUILDING YOU'RE SLEEPING IN EVERY NIGHT. Like... really?! C'mon SJM. Give these characters some range of feeling.


This book is under disguise of being a really awesome badass assassin story and if you really boil it down, it just mainly focuses on a really dumb love triangle between Celaena, Khaol, and Prince Dorian. It seems like Khaol and Dorian are both really vaguely intrigued by Celaena but again, there's no real stakes in this love triangle and it doesn't seem like there's any actual emotion from any of the three characters. The biggest connection that any of the characters have within the triangle is the fact that Celaena and Dorian both like reading books and they're both excited that the other one reads books. Like... that's it. Probably one of the dumbest attempted love triangles I've ever read and again, a total wast of time.


While I really disliked everything stated above, I really did enjoy the scenes of the assassin's competition. I really wish that the book focused more on these and raised the intensity of the scenes as well. This had the potential to be very Hunger Games-esque and could have been really fun and gripping to read, but we barely got anything from the assassins competition and that was a huge disappointment. Really the assassins competition was the only thing saving this book from a 1-star rating from me, and if there was more of that kind of content in this book I really would have had a great time reading it. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

Overall, I gave this book...
2/5 Stars!

Have you read any of the Throne of Glass series? If so, what do you think of it?
Let me know in the comments!

*Why the fuck is his name spelled this way, yet pronounced "Kale"?! Fantasy names are so frustrating.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

#TheReadingQuest Week 3 Update!


3 weeks down, 1 week to go! As anticipated, this past week has been absolutely insane at work which definitely impacted the amount I was able to read. (Seriously, I've been working since Monday, August 28th and I still haven't had a day off.... #9consecutivedays #someonehelpme) I did shift focus onto completing my Mage path and I'm happy to announce that I have ticked off two more books on this path! I now only have two more books to read before completing the path and I *think* I can do it. I also just got word that I will be getting both Saturday AND Sunday off this weekend and I AM SO EXCITED OMG. I will definitely be spending most of the time reading and hopefully completing a few more challenges!

As usual, keep reading for my stats from this week and overall, and make sure you check out my #TheReadingQuest playlist on my channel to see my vlogs from this experience! Stay tuned for my Week 4 update and wrap up which will be posted next week, and if you're participating in #TheReadingQuest, good luck and finish off strong! :D


WEEK 3 STAT BREAKDOWN

Release by Patrick Ness
287 pages
Completes Book with a one-word title Mage Quest Path challenge
Marginalized Author
+20 EXP
+28.7 HP

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling & Illustrated by Jim Kay
259 pages
Completes Book that contains magic Mage Quest Path challenge
+10 EXP
+25.9 HP

in progress...

Winter by Marissa Meyer
301/823 pages
Grind side quest
+30.1 HP

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
71/519 pages
Set in a different world Mage Quest Path challenge
+7.1 HP

TOTALS AFTER WEEK 3

Pages read: 2,532
Books completed: 7
Quests completed: 7
Level: 3
EXP: 100
HP: 251.2

Sunday, September 3, 2017

September 2017 TBR!


Blaahhhhh September is here :/

...and with it comes one of my busier times of the year work-wise. Because I'm really slammed during the month of September, reading can be a bit unpredictable. Last September I was able to read a really big number of books, but that might not be the case for this year. I really can't predict what the month will bring to me reading wise, but I've selected a bunch of books that I'm very excited to get to and have been eyeing as they've sat on my TBR shelf, so hopefully that will keep me motivated to keep reading a priority of mine throughout the month!

I'm also finishing up my journey on #TheReadingQuest this month and have a few books that I still need to get to in order to complete my TBR. I'm excited to have the chance to gain some more EXP and HP on my Quest and hopefully level up my character a bit more! Check out The Reading Quest tag on my blog to see how I've been doing so far, and my #TheReadingQuest YouTube playlist to see my progress vlogs!

Buddy Read Plans

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
with Michael

It by Stephen King
with Michael and Becky

2017 Goal Picks

Non-Fiction: Waiting to be Heard by Amanda Knox^
Diverse: Chemistry by Weike Wang
Classic: Tales of the Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green*
TBR Jar: The Twenty-One Balloons by Willian Pene du Bois


#TheReadingQuest Reads

I'll be trying to get as many of these done *before* the end of The Reading Quest, but I'm going to continue to read from this list throughout September after The Reading Quest is complete.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling & Illustrated by Jim Kay
The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Winter by Marissa Meyer
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rivka Brunt

*also counting toward #TheReadingQuest challenges!
^Kindle book for the month

August 2017 Reading Wrap Up!


August was another excellent month of reading for me! Like I was saying, I really wanted to take advantage of the last month before the craziness of the academic year came around, and I definitely did! I managed to get 17 books read again and I found a handful that I really enjoyed! I also participated in (and still am participating in) one of the *coolest* readathons - #TheReadingQuest. I'm having such a blast with this readathon and really hope Read at Midnight does something like this again really soon!

READING STATS FOR AUGUST

Participated in 3 readathons (#TheReadingQuest, 24 Hour Readathon, & #BoutofBooks 20)
Completed 1 reading challenges
Started 1 series
Completed diverse, TBR jar, classic, and nonfiction reads
5,549 pages read
17 books completed



BOOKS COMPLETED

Mooncop by Tom Gauld
Library book, 4/5

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Physical copy, 2/5
Reading challenge fulfilled: A book with an indigo cover

Barefoot Gen, volume 1 by Keiji Nakazawa
Library book, 5/5

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Physical copy, 3/5
Buddy read with Andie

The Unseen World by Liz Moore
Audiobook, 4/5

Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Physical copy, 5/5
Buddy read with Becky

Barefoot Gen, volume 2 by Keiji Nakazawa
Library book, 5/5

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Physical copy, 4/5
Buddy read with Michael

The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhdorn
Physical copy, 2/5
Buddy read with Shannon

Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Physical copy, 4/5

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Physical copy, 5/5
Diverse pick for August

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Audiobook, 2/5
TBR jar pick for August

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Review)
Physical copy, 2/5
Star 3 new series (fulfilled 3 of 3)

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Audiobook, 3/5

Release by Patrick Ness
Physical copy, 4.5/5

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Physical copy, 3/5
Classic pick for August

Mad Women: the Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the '60s and Beyond by Jane Maas
Physical copy, 3.5/5
Nonfiction pick for August