Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Little Something Different Review

Goodreads Description:
The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship. 

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together....

My Rating: 3.5 Stars (4 on Goodreads)
I purchased a copy of this novel.

Today I'm writing my first review of 2015! It's been awhile since my last review, but I'm excited to talk about A Little Something Different. This was my first finished read of the year, and I think it was a fun, interesting contemporary to start the new year off with. The characters are all unique and memorable, and the writing of this book is, as the title says, unlike any other. The format of this book follows 14 different perspectives on this one romance, which I really enjoyed because it brought a lot of characterization in to the side characters and really made me appreciate the different points of view. However, I will say that in some places I wasn't the biggest fan of the pacing, but overall this is a really enjoyable novel, and a great read.

Reading from all the different POVs made the characters all stand out in their own ways. Sometimes it's easy for side characters to lose depth as a story continues on if the plot needs to be furthered. But here, all the characters were narrating the story in such a way that the plot flowed through that. I found this idea refreshing and entertaining. Each change brought a new little scene to the overall story. I didn't connect as much to some of the characters, but I appreciated how each viewpoint contributed to this kind of storytelling and how it emphasized the plot development. 

During the plot development and the story, I did think that sometimes the pacing was a little sporadic in rushing at points and not much happening at others, but it didn't bother me too much because the nature of the story was that it was developing by so many different narrations. 

Overall, I gave this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars, but rounded to 4 stars on Goodreads because I did really enjoy it, and I appreciated the storytelling style. I think this is a fun contemporary read that's refreshing and different. 

Have you read this book? If so, let me know what you thought in the comments, and if you have any good YA contemporary recommendations, let me know!

From the paper world,

Monday, January 26, 2015

Reading in 2015

Around the end and beginning of the year, I normally end up thinking about reading and goals for the new year. I started signing up for challenges (see my sign up post here) and setting goals and resolutions for myself (on a recent Top Ten Tuesday post you can see here) and I decided that I wanted to start reading different genres than usual. I wanted to read more of books that I hadn't picked up in 2014 as well as continue to read some favorites. So, here are four genres of books that I don't read as much of now but want to read more of in the future.

Science Fiction
For some reason, I always hesitate to pick up a scifi novel. I don't know why, but the premises are not always ones that I gravitate towards even though I've read and loved quite a few scifi books. Then, every time I end up picking one up, I really enjoy it, and I'm so happy that I finally picked up the novel. So, this year I want to make an effort to push myself to read more scifi since I always end up enjoying what I do read.

Historical Fiction
Historical fiction is another genre that I just don't read enough of, but love the books that I do read. Historical fiction is a genre that I really get excited about once I start reading a novel of the genre, but I don't have many in my TBR. I definitely want to read the ones I do have and then find some new recommendations!

Adult Fiction
I'll always love reading YA, but by the end of 2014 I was hearing a lot of good things about some adult novels as well. I've gotten some recommendations from others about novels I think I'd like, such as a historical fiction or fantasy novel. 

I signed up for the 2015 Flights of Fantasy challenge in order to meet this goal. Fantasy is a genre that I've been seeing a lot of recommendations about, and so I'm really excited to pick up some novels this year!

Bonus! Series Ending Books
This isn't really a genre, but reading the last book of a series is always a little bittersweet for me. I always miss the characters and the world, and I would love to reread some books more this year (I did sign up for the The Re-Read Challenge), but I would also like to finish a few series this year as well.

And I also wanted to share a few of the books on my TBR for these genres that I would like to (hopefully!) read during 2015.

Science Fiction
Avalon by Mindee Arnett (Rebecca of The Library Canary recommended this one to me!)
This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (sequel to These Broken Stars)
The Body Electric and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis (Shades of Earth is the third book in the Across the Universe trilogy and The Body Electric is a standalone novel set within the same era)
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (from what I understand this is a scifi dystopian?)

Historical Fiction
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers (the third book in the His Fair Assassin's trilogy, this is a historical fiction fantasy)

Adult Fiction
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (the sequel to Throne of Glass)
Asunder by Jodi Meadows (the sequel to Incarnate)
Prophecy by Ellen Oh
The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
Defy by Sara B. Larson

Series Ending Books
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers (the third book in the His Fair Assassins trilogy and also on my Historical Fiction TBR)
Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor (the third book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy)

So, there's a look at some of the books I want to read and genres I want to read more of in the new year. What are some books you're looking forward to this year?

From the paper world,

Friday, January 23, 2015

January 2015 - Most Anticipated New Releases

Last year I started a series of posting some of the new books that were coming out I was excited to check out. I didn't end up continuing this series past the very early part of the year. But, this year I organized everything ahead of time, so I think I'll be able to make a more cohesive series and post some of the upcoming books that I'm interested in. If this is something that you enjoy, let me know and I'll try and continue on with it during 2015, as well as if there are any other past features you'd like to see brought back onto the blog. Feedback is appreciated! Without further ado, here are some of the books I'm looking forward to in January of 2015.

January 6, 2015

Frostfire by Amanda Hocking (this series takes place in the same world and a little after her Trylle trilogy

January 13, 2015

January 27, 2015

There are some of the books I'm looking forward to in January 2015. Let me know if there's any new book you're excited about for January 2015!

From the paper world,

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Characters I'd Want to Travel With - Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, with a new list or topic to discuss each week. This week was a freebie, which meant we picked our own topic. I chose 'Characters I'd Want to Travel With' because I love to travel and bringing some of my favorite characters along would be fantastic.

no. 1 - Cress, Thorne, Scarlet, Wolf, Cinder, and Kai from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Yes, it's a ton of characters. But I love all of these characters from the Lunar Chronicles books and so I think going to travel somewhere with them would be really fun.

no. 2 - Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
That would be the most fun, glitter filled, entertaining vacation. I've yet to read The Bane Chronicles by the way, so if you have let me know what you think.

no. 3 - Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Karou is a really unique character that I would love to go walk around Prague with and chat with as we explored different cities.

no. 4 - Amy and Roger from Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
These two have a story all about their travels, so I think it'd be fun to go on a journey with them.

no. 5 - Sophie and Howl from Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I would love to travel around in a magical, moving castle with these two.

no. 6 - Lara Jean from To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
I really enjoyed reading from Lara Jean's perspective in To All the Boys I've Loved Before, so I think she'd be a fun character to travel with.

no. 7 - Morpheus from Splintered by A.G. Howard
Morpheus is one of my favorite characters so I would love to explore the world with him.

no. 8 - Kiaran and Aileana from The Falconer by Elizabeth May
I really enjoyed reading this story and reading about these characters, and some of the steampunk elements would be fun to incorporate into travel.

no. 9 - Harry, Ron, and Hermione from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Yay Harry Potter!

no. 10 - Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna is a really great narrator and also the sort of person I think would be fun to travel with as well.

So, who would you like to go travel with? Let me know in the comments!

From the paper world,

Thursday, January 15, 2015

So I Was Reorganizing My Bookshelves

Recently, I began the process of reorganizing my bookshelves. While I was doing this, I somehow ended up taking a step back (knowing me, I probably tripped over a pile of books) and I looked up to the top shelf of each. This is the space I reserve for my favorite books. You know, the ones that really stayed with me, that I loved, that I took great pride in shelving in this space. And I thought about it, and how my Favorites shelf was filled with these great books, these series I had completed this year, and I thought "I want to try something different."

So, I ended up reorganizing my shelves in such a way that my favorites from this past year aren't really on my favorites shelf anymore and there are these new gaps on the shelf where my favorites used to be. And I couldn't be more excited to have those there, because to me it's space for all the favorites I'm going to find throughout 2015. My 2014 favorites and 2014 reads are definitely still ones I love, but I wanted to go into 2015 with the view that there are books to discover in the new year that I'll love and want to have as favorites, and so I didn't want to feel like I would have to pick and choose between the new and the old. (If you can't tell, I'm a little persnickety about my bookshelf organization.) 

The books I've kept on my favorites shelf are ones that have sequels coming out in 2015 I'm really excited for (like Splintered by A.G. Howard, for example), ones that have sequels already out that I've yet to read but are excited for (such as Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers), and one or two all time favorite series (I am definitely referring to Harry Potter among others here). So, I know it's sort of a random thing to discuss on the blog, but when I reorganize my shelves I like to take the time to make sure I like where everything is, that the books are organized just so, and I like this idea of making space for new favorites. 

So, now I want to know about how you like to organize your bookshelves, whether you have any particular tips for organizing bookshelves, if you have a shelf for your favorites, etc. I really enjoy reorganizing my bookshelves, so I hope this little tidbit gave some insight into how I go about doing this (and why it takes me forever to reorganize my shelves). Hope you all are having a good year so far, and see you next time!

From the paper world,

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 Challenges - Sign Ups and Goals

This year I'm excited to be signing up for several challenges. You can see my 2014 Challenge Wrap Up if you're curious about what challenges I did last year and how I did in those. I really enjoyed doing a lot of those challenges, and so I'm excited to share which challenges I want to do in the year 2015! Last year, I did a lot of posts sporadically as I found different challenges I'm interested in doing. This year, I wanted to combine all of my sign ups and goals into one post so that it's easier to see what challenges I'm doing. I'm being pretty ambitious with my challenge sign ups for the year, but there were a lot that I found would be fun and also challenge me to write more reviews and enjoy my reading.

2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge
My goal: Read 50 books
I completed my reading goal for 2014, which was 75 books, but I found that by the end of 2014 my reading was something I had a lot less time for, sadly. So, I'm hoping to set aside some time for reading every day in the midst of a busy schedule.

Challenge goal: Read and review 12 debut novels
This is a challenge I ended up not completing last year. I was disappointed about not completing the challenge, because there were a lot of 2014 debuts I was really excited to read and share my thoughts on. However, this coming year there are some great 2015 debuts that I will try to read and review, and hopefully I'll find some time to go back and read more of the 2014 debuts as well.

My goal: Amateur level (25-50 points)
I participated in this challenge last year and surpassed my goal. I really enjoyed doing this challenge while I was reading and continuing on with a lot of series I enjoyed. The points system is a fun addition as well. I think that aiming for the Amateur level is a reasonable goal because a lot of my favorite series are wrapping up this year, and I would like to go back and review a lot of books from earlier on in the series that I haven't reviewed in order to provide more of my thoughts on the books.

hosted by Bookish
My goal: A First Kiss level (21-30 reviews)
The Bookish TBR Pile Challenge is one that I really appreciate because it's so helpful in going through my TBR and reviewing those books. In addition, it's really helpful to keep in mind that non-new release books are interesting and on my TBR Pile too, and review those as well. I really enjoyed participating in the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge, so I'm excited to continue on. I'm going to be staying at the same level since last year I only had 23 reviews, but I'm hoping this year to get it even closer to 30 reviews.

My goal: read and review 5 fantasy novels
This is a new challenge, and it's something I'm really excited about. 2014 was a year when I saw a lot of people talk about fantasy novels they were reading and enjoying, and it made me more curious about reading more of the genre. I wanted to do that this year, but when I saw this challenge I knew it was the perfect opportunity. This looks like it's going to be so much fun! I'm only going to set the goal for 5 novels, because I'm not the biggest reader of fantasy novels. But, I'm hoping this challenge inspires me to read more fantasy novels. 

My goal: 3 re-reads and reviews
I'm keeping my goal for this newest challenge pretty low, since I've never re-read too many books but I want to try and re-read some books from series I'll be finishing this year, and then share my thoughts on those too, since I noticed I was missing some earlier reviews for some of the series I'm currently reading. 

hosted by My Reader's Block
My goal: Pike's Peak level (read 12 books)
I wanted to add this challenge because the goal is only to read books that have been on my TBR.  

Here are all the year-long challenges I'm planning on participating in this year. Let me know what challenges you're doing in the new year!

From the paper world,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

End of Year Book Survey - 2014

The 2014 End of Year Book Survey is hosted by The Perpetual Page-Turner and definitely check out Jamie's blog (it has the most amazing discussions, reviews, etc.) and let me know your thoughts on some of the books you read in 2014 in the comments!

Number Of Books You Read: 81 Books
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: In the first half of the year, I read a lot of scifi/paranormal/fantasy, and then later on in 2014 I read a number of contemporaries.

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
I recommended my friend read Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce back in February (I read the book in late December 2013) and she did.

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
series I started in 2014- Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole
best sequel of 2014- Unhinged by A.G. Howard, sequel to Splintered
best series ender of 2014- Champion by Marie Lu, third in the Legend trilogy

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Contemporary- this year I read a lot more contemporaries than usual
Historical Fiction/Steampunk- The Falconer by Elizabeth May

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

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

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

Unhinged by A.G. Howard
(I haven't been putting the covers in for each category in order to keep this post from being really long, but I figured it was only appropriate here. Love this cover!)

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

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

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
“A mind needs books like a sword needs its whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” -Tyrion Lannister, A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?

(Jamie recommended sorting your read books by page number on Goodreads to find these 2014 books easily, which helped a lot when I was trying to figure this out!)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
 Ansel and Gretchen from Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (siblings), second in her Fairytale Retellings series

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

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

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

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

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

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

Blogging and Reading

New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? 
The Library Canary- I’m pretty sure I only found Rebecca’s blog this year, which is strange to think since I really enjoy talking with her and checking out her blog!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?
(that's a sequel review, but I reviewed the first book Across the Universe on Goodreads)

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

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

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

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?
honestly I don’t think I have one

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I didn’t discover any site in particular, but having a ‘Can’t Wait Books of 2014’ shelf on Goodreads designated for the upcoming new releases I’m really excited about was super helpful throughout the year.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Yes! I actually posted a complete wrap up of my 2014 Challenges.

For 2015 

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

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

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
series ending- Ensnared by A.G. Howard, third book in the Splintered trilogy

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
 reach two years of blogging and figure out a routine of blog post scheduling. participate in blogging events again!

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
 haven’t read any yet! so if you have any recommendations, let me know!

This survey was a lot of fun to do and look back at the books I read in 2014. Let me know your favorites in the comments!

From the paper world,

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Debut Books of 2015 I'm Excited For - Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that features different lists and topics to discuss. This week we're talking about 2015 debuts and some of the ones I'm most looking forward to. Let me know what 2015 debuts you're excited about down in the comments!

Magonia - April 28, 2015

The Wrath and the Dawn - May 12, 2015

The Storyspinner - March 3, 2015

A Wicked Thing - February 24, 2015

Mosquitoland - March 3, 2015

Red Queen - February 10, 2015

The Conspiracy of Us - January 13, 2015

The Girl at Midnight - April 28, 2015

We All Looked Up - March 31, 2015

An Ember in the Ashes - April 28, 2015

So, there are 10 of the 2015 debuts I'm really excited about this year. Let me know if there are any debuts you're excited about reading!

From the paper world,