Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag: 2019 Edition

When are us book bloggers not freaking out over our books? I love the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag for giving us the opportunity to reflect on some of the books we’ve read this year. I’ve been debating on sharing my favorite spring reads, but when Kristin of Kristin Kraves Books recently did the tag, I knew it was the perfect time to revisit one of my favorite books tags. I can’t believe I haven’t done this tag since 2017- I’m really not sure what 2018 self was doing when it came to not doing this tag!

Best Book You’ve So Far Read in 2019:

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The most difficult question of them all, but I’m going with Jenn Bennett’s Serious Moonlight! In short, I loved the Seattle setting, the romance, the humor, the family dynamics, THE EVERYTHING.

Best Sequel You’ve So Far Read in 2019:

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This is also a pretty hard question because I’ve read more series continuations than I realized! That being said, we’re cheating with two okay, maybe three books. For best sequel, aka book #2, it has to be Brigid Kemmerer’s A Heart So Fierce and Broken, which I fortunately have an ARC of this 2020 release. Since A Heart So Fierce and Broken was one of more recent reads, I also can’t not mention one of my first books of the year, Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens with her Elementae series.

For series continuation/later sequel, it’s Elle Kennedy’s The Goal, aka my favorite book in the Off-Campus series.

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IT’S A WRAP: End of Year Book Survey 2018

One of my favorite ways to wrap up the bookish and bloggish year is by completing The End of the Year Book Survey, created by Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner.

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Number Of Books You Read: 111 (Final Update will be featured on January 1)
Number of Re-Reads: 9
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary

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Best Book You Read In 2018? Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

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

Good way: All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Read More »

HAPEE BELATED BIRTHDAE: Harry Potter Tag

Who says that you can’t celebrate Harry Potter’s birthdy a week later? The lovely Emily of A Literary Life nominated me to do the Harry Potter Tag, and it took a flick of my wand to write this tag immediately. And that’s a lot coming from this terrible book tag do-er (many apologies to Rebecca of Bookishly Rebecca for nominating me for all the tags and awards, but I have a surprise for her at the end of this post). Without further ado, let’s get back to Hogwarts.

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Which House are you in?

I’m a Hufflepuff! I am here to admit that it took everything in me (and 3 Pottermore retakes) a few years ago to accept that this book nerd is not a Ravenclaw.

What is your Patronus?

I still need that mug that says “My Patronus is Lesli Knope” in my life, but by Pottermore standards, it’s a Falcon.

What is your wand?

Cedar wood with a dragon heartstring core, 10 ¼ in and unbending flexibility

What would your Boggart be?

Bugs. Lots of bugs.

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What position would you play in Quidditch?

Chaser, since it’s the most similar to a forward position in field hockey.

Would you be Pure Blood, Half Blood or Muggle Born?

Maybe Half Blood because there’s got to be some other reason why my mom is so good at everything!

What job would you like to have after graduating from Hogwarts?

I think I would love to own a sweet shop, like Honeydukes. No worries, there wouldn’t be any Fred and George Weasley-concocted treats.

Which of the Deathly Hollows would you choose?

Invisibility Cloak. Hiding out in a bookstore after closing sounds pretty easy with this one.

Favorite Book?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This definitely isn’t the happiest of the books, but I love so much about this book (expect maybe what happens in Dumbledore’s tower).

Least Favorite Book?

Harry Potter and the Chamber Secrets. I’ve actually grown to love this one more with my rereads and movie marathons, but I think I thought of this more as a “filler” book when I read it the first two times.

Favorite Film?

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I love seeing the Triwizard Tourtament come to life, and this movie is sentimental for me because it’s the only one I saw in the theater.

Least favorite film?

Harry Potter annnndddddd I really don’t know?? Maybe Deathly Hollows: Part 1 because we had to go in knowing this really wasn’t the end?

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Favorite Character?

Neville! And of course this doesn’t have anything to do with Matthew Lewis playing him on-screen… I also love Luna! I am a hardcore Neville and Luna shipper.

Least favorite character?

Lucius Malfoy

Favorite Hogwarts Professor?

McGonagall

Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?

I don’t think I have any too pressing of unpopular opinions, but I do think Hermione and Ron were meant to be together. I think Harry and Hermione would’ve been too much of an expected set up. Additionally, as much fun as it is for J.K. Rowling to keep us in the Wizarding World on Twitter, I sort’ve dislike how she keeps bringing up ways she would’ve changed the series, like not having Ron and Hermione be end game, and even sharing that Ron should’ve died.

I tag:

What’s your favorite and least favorite HP book? Share in the comments!

College YA Meets Music: We Are Still Tornadoes Review & Music Habits Tag

Summary: It’s 1982, and for Cath & Scott, everything is about to change. Growing up across the street from each other, the pair have been best friends for most of their lives. After graduating from high school, Cath heads off to Wake Forest University, while Scott stays home to work in his dad’s shop and tries to get his band off the ground. Even though the duo definitely expected some changes, neither of them thought life after high school would be this hard. Told in a series of letters, through heartbreak, family drama, and life really, Cath and Scott realize that their friendship means more to them than they could have ever imagined.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

Michael Kun and Susan Mullen’s We Are Still Tornadoes popped up on my TBR radar thanks to an awesome post about college-set YA novels from BNTEENBlog. As some of you know, I’ll always love YA, but I’ve been craving college YA a lot more lately–growing pains in your reading life are real.

I loved We Are Still Tornadoes as a college YA for providing two different examples of post-high school life. Cath goes on what I guess is the more “traditional” route, heading off to college the fall after high school graduation. Meanwhile, Scott stays at home and works in his family’s clothing store and starts a band. I think Scott’s life classifies the book as a college-aged YA. It was fun reading about Cath’s adventures and misadventures at college alongside Scott’s on-goings at home. I really liked both protagonists, but I must admit that I liked Scott a tad more because of his humor! There were so many times that his jokes and teasing made me laugh out loud. For the sake of spoilers, I will just say that I did not expect that significant change in Scott’s life to occur (my hand went over my heart when I read that line).

The book acts a flashback to the 80s, taking place from September 1982 to September 1983—I liked how we got to experience a full year with our characters. If you look for books featuring music like how I’m always searching for college YA, We Are Still Tornadoes is the perfect combination of the two! Scott often sends lyrics to his band’s songs to Cath (I admit it was hard to imagine the lyrics as songs, but they can really read like poetry), and the two share a love for music. It was fun being able to recognize some of the songs they talked about, even though I admit I only recognized the bigger artists of the time, like The Beatles and Michael Jackson.

We Are Still Tornadoes is similar to the format of I Hate Everyone But You, as We Are Still Tornadoes is told through letters between Scott and Cath and I Hate Everyone But You is told through text messages and emails between its protagonists. However, in my opinion, We Are Still Tornadoes is the better version of the latter.. While I Hate Everyone But You gets points for its focus on female friendship and diverse character,s and by no means am I bashing it because I had a fun time reading it over spring break. I feel that the character development and story was stronger in We Are Still Tornadoes.

I’m giving We Are Still Tornadoes a 5 out of 5 stars not because it’s the most amazing book that I’ve ever read, but because I had such a great experience reading it. I feel like I keep mentioning in my reviews how great such-and-such book is perfect for a readathon (I guess I do read faster than I think I do!), but I wish I had had the time to read We Are Still Tornadoes in one sitting or over the course of one day. Only 2 weeks left of the semester before I can do this!

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Music Habits Tag

A few weeks ago, I was tagged by the lovely Rebecca of bookishlyrebecca to do the Music Habits Tag. Since music plays such a large role in Cath and Scott’s friendship, I thought it’d be include the tag alongisde my review. The Music Habits Tag was created by Sumedha of The Wordy Habitat.

Do you download songs or stream on apps?

Both! I use Spotify to listen to music on my laptop, and I purchase and download songs using iTunes. I know I could easily download Spotify on my phone, but I usually listen to music on my phone while running and I don’t want to use too much data.

What’s your current favorite song?

Blame Love, Simon, but “Rollercoaster” by Bleachers.

Last song you listened to?

“Helpless” from Hamilton 

Who are your all-time favorite artists?

Paramore, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, The Beatles… does Glee count??

Have you been to any concerts?

I’ve been to quite a few. My first was Avril Lavigne when I was five years with my best friend (who’s still my best friend today!). I went through my Disney stage (Hannah Montana and Cheetah Girls included) and saw the Jonas Brothers twice. I’ve seen Paramore once, Fall Out Boy twice, Luke Bryan three times, and Train with Gavin DeGraw and The Script.

Do you play your songs on shuffle or choose a playlist?

Playlist, then shuffle.

Where do you usually find new music?

Movie soundtracks (honestly, I think I got hooked on to Ed Sheeran because of “All of the Stars” from TFIOS), and keeping up with my favorite artists on social media.

Name one song that you think everyone should listen to:

“Found Tonight” by Ben Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda

For the sake of your finger cramps, I did cut out some of the questions from the tag, so make sure to check out Sumedha or Rebecca’s posts for all the questions!

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Have you read We Are Still Tornadoes? What’s your current favorite song? Share in the comments!

A POST ABOUT MY FAVORITE PLACE: Library Lovers Book Tag

If you’ve been here for a while, you know I love using my local library. I basically live by the following Throne of Glass quote: “Libraries were full of ideas—perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons” (and don’t forget the paper cuts). As I read more and more book blogs, I’ve realized how fortunate I am to have access to two libraries throughout the year, at home and in my college town. I really encourage you to use your local library if you have access to one (find more motivation from yours truly here). So when I saw The Library Lovers Book Tag on The Darlings Diary, I knew the tag needed to have a home on my blog as well.

How often do you visit your local library?

When I’m home for school breaks, I visit my library 2-3 times a week. The amout of visits per week really depend on if I’m going there to pick up books I’ve ordered from other branches or to pick something off their shelves.

Are you the type of person who checks out more books than you know you can read or are you someone who only checks out the exact amount of books you intend on reading before they are due?

I am definitely an over-ambitious book-checker-outer (and yes, that is the official name of us library users). In the summer, I typically take out 3-5 books at a time. Luckily, my library system is really awesome about renewing books, and I can have them out for up to 8 weeks (unless the book is really popular and a lot of people want to read it).

How old were you when you got your first library card?

I want to say 6 or 7, and you better believe I headed straight to the rack full of The Baby-Sitters Club.

Do you go to your library looking for a particular book or do you check out anything that peaks your interest?

I more often than not go with particular books in mind, and before I go, I use their online database to see if the book is on the shelf. If not, I’ll put it on hold from another branch. However, I find myself venturing into the adult section more and picking up whatever peaks my interest—it’s how I discovered Jenny Colgan!

From what section of your section of your library do you check out a majority of your books?

Definitely YA, but like I said above, I’m starting to use the adult section more often (YA will always have my heart, but growing up is weird, friends).

What is your favorite part of using your local library?

Getting to read (almost) ALL the books without having to obviously buy them! I save so much money and space, and more importantly, using the library gives me the opportunity to read nearly everything my heart desires. And the used book sales are awesome—give me 25 cent books all day, everyday!

 

Gotta appreciate that plastic-library book shimmer commonly found in my bookstagram photos.

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Do you use the library? What’s your favorite part of using the library? Share in the comments!

I LIKE BOOK TAGS THAT AREN’T BOOK TAGS|Book Blogger Test

Some of my favorite blog posts to read are about book bloggers’ reading experiences, and I’ve grown to love reading vlogs (10 out of 10 recommend checking out Regan of PeruseProject’s vlogs). The Book Blogger Test allows readers to learn more about a book blogger’s reading life, and I was tagged to do so by Rebecca of mylifeasasportsfangirl.

Top 3 Book Pet Peeves

1. Books that don’t stay open while I’m eating. This often happens with hardcovers that I’ve just started or I’m about to finish because of the weight of the pages?? I often try to tuck one of the corners under my plate, in fear that something will slip over. Look at me reading on the edge.

2. Rainbow bookshelves. By no means do I hate rainbow bookshelves, or bookshelves that group books together based on the color of the covers. They have rightfully taken over bookstagram. And I know this is problem that people with rainbow shelves have themselves, but I could never order my books in that order BECAUSE I WOULDN’T KNOW WHERE ANYTHING IS. I would never be able to have my books in a series out of order or all over my bookshelf, and I even prefer to have my books categorized by author, with a few exceptions—mostly space and yes, the aesthetic of my main bookshelf.

3. My Goodreads Want-to-Read shelf. So one weekend back in January, I took some time to organize my Want-to-Read/ TBR shelf on Goodreads. I was getting a bit confused about what books on my list had been released yet and decided to reorganize my shelf  by genre and unreleased books. NO LESS THAN TEN MINUTES LATER DID I GO BACK TO MY SHELF AND EVERYTHING WAS BACK IN THE OLD ORDER. The new organization of my shelf is on the Goodreads apps, but I tend to use Goodreads on my desktop a lot more. As you can see below,I hate having books that have been on my shelf forever with books that aren’t being released until 2019 right next to each other.

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Perfect Reading Spot

I love reading in bed. No, it does not make me more tired nor do I wake up in the morning with drool on the pages. I read on my bed throughout the day, and even when I read at night in bed, I often find myself wanting to stay up longer to read. One of my favorite things to do on a morning where I can have bit of a lie-in is to grab my book and stay under the blankets.

Three Reading Confessions

1. This is probably more of a book blogger confession: I don’t like book tags that are straight-up book tags. What does this mean as I’m doing a book tag right now? I don’t like book tags where you only talk about books, like ones that ask you to pick a book with a green cover or a book that has a love triangle. Instead, I like tags that are about your reading life (like today’s) or reading experiences (like this awesome library tag that I saw on The Darlings Diary).

2. Besides The Fault in Our Stars, I don’t really cry over books you’re “supposed” to cry over. For example, I’m talking about Adam Silvera’s books, Me Before You, The Book Thief, All the Bright Places, etc.

3. A few of the books that I read when I was 9 or 10 years old, like the Inkheart trilogy, are probably filled with food stains. I’ve definitely gotten better reading and eating at the same time, but 10 year-old me liked reading Inkspell and eating pizza after swim practice too much.

Last Time I Cried During A Book:

I’ve definitely read books that have brought tears to my eyes since, but the last book that absolutely made me sob was Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.

Number of Books on my bedside table:

Usually 1-4. If I do have more than one book out, it’s because I checked out more than one book at the library.

Favorite Reading Snack:

Like how I’m a mood reader, I’m a mood snacker. Lately, I’ve been in the mood for some cheesey snacks, and cheddar rice cakes are always a favorite.

Three Books I’d Recommend to Anyone

 Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (so you could then properly watch the TV show)

A Picture of my Bookshelves.

I give you guys a picture of my “main” shelf all the time, so you’re in for treat today by seeing two out of three of my bookcases. My third bookcase is tucked away in the corner next to my desk, and I didn’t have enough space to take a picture of the whole shelf. And yes, I know they don’t match and yes, I wish they did, but as of right now, I don’t have enough space in my bedroom for those huge (and wonderful) IKEA shelves.

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Biggest Reading Secret:

I didn’t read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows until the summer before my senior of high school. I’ve always had the HP books in my house because my mom loves them and while I read books 1-5 when I was in fourth of fifth grade, I just wasn’t as obsessed with them as I am now. Flash-forward to summer 2015 when I got the motivation to pick up Order of the Phoenix and proceeded to read the last three books in a matter of two weeks. While I enjoyed the Harry Potter films growing up, I feel like going back and reading/rereading the series (I then read books 1-4) in 2015 was when I really fell in love with Harry Potter.

 Now here’s a question for you: Do you cry when you read? If so, what books have made you cry? Share in the comments!

Reputation Book Tag

BIG REPUTATION, BIG REPUATION AHHHHHHH

Taylor Swift’s reputation quickly became one of my favorite albums of 2017 and my Taylor_Swift_-_Reputationlove for the album has carried into 2018. It’s one of the few albums that I can listen from start to finish without skipping any songs, not to mention the fact that I’m constantly singing ‘End Game’ around my house (and now on my blog). So when I saw the Reputation Book Tag floating around Booktube, I knew I had to do the tag as well. I’ll also be giving a short review of each song from reputation before giving my bookish answers.

This version of the Reputation Book Tag was created by Sarah of Sarah’s Bookshelves over on Booktube.

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1.Ready for It: I really didn’t listen to ‘Ready for It’ when the song was first released, but I instantly became obsessed when its music video was released.

A 2018 release you are READY FOR

Save the Date by Morgan Matson. While there were so many amazing releases in 2017, I really missed having a new Morgan Matson book come out.  I’m really excited about Save the Date because it centers on a WEDDING. For someone who has never been to a wedding, let alone someone who rarely thinks about her one day/maybe one, I love books and TV shows about them.

2.End Game: YES ED SHEERAN COLLAB YES YES YES

Characters that either SHOULD have been end game

Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood. I’m not the biggest fan of pairing off characters, but I think the two would have worked out well together!

3.I Did Something Bad: One of my favorite songs from reputation, I’m just obsessed with the beat and the lyrics (short example of how horrible I am with music terminology)

A character decision that was terrible, but you loved reading anyway

Okay, so I’m definitely the type of reader when a character makes a bad decision, I CRINGE THROUGH THE PAGES FOR THEM

4.Don’t Blame Me: I think ‘Don’t Blame Me’ really fits the vibe of the album, and this one is my sister’s current favorite

A book or series you are shamelessly addicted to

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. I recently explained this series to my sister and when I was talking about how the pants fit all 4 girls, I felt how ridiculous the description was. However, this series (and movies) will always be among my all-time favorites and I still think there a great way to branch into YA.

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5.Delicate: Im listening to ‘Delicate’ as I write this sentence, and I just love the beat/rhythm (again no idea how to describe this), it makes me dance in my seat!

A book that has a bad reputation, but that you enjoyed

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart. Genuine Fraud was like nothing I’ve read before and I just really enjoy the psychological thriller side of E. Lockhart books. However, a lot of readers thought that that the book was just a current retelling/copy of an older novel that Genuine Fraud was based on.

6.Look What You Made Me Do: I was really confused by this song when it first came out (everyone talks about how 1989 was different from ‘old’ Taylor, but I think ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ was her new start) , but I grew to love it with the music video.

A book that Booktube made you read

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel, which was the book of Booktube-A-Thon 2017.

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7. So It Goes: love love love

A book you read but can’t remember anything about

The Infinite Sea by Rick Rancey

8.Gorgeous: This song is just so much FUN and I love putting it on repeat when I go running

A book with a gorgeous writing style

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (also PSA for a new Jandy Nelson book, please)

9.Getaway Car: One of my favorites from the album, I’m just obsessed with this song and love singing along to it (especially in my car)

Your favorite love triangle

I’m going with the love triangle that first comes to my mind—Katniss, Peeta, and Gale from The Hunger Games.

10. King of My Heart: Not my favorite, but I do like how it’s a little different from the other songs on the album

A character who is the king of your heart

Just one character is impossible, but let’s go with one I feel like I haven’t mentioned on the blog: Etienne St.Clair from Anna and the French Kiss. Thinking about him makes my heart swoon and reminds me that it’s time for a Anna reread!

11.Dancing With Our Hands Tied: Again, LOVE LOVE LOVE

A book that started off great but had a bad ending

My mind is blanking a bit for this one, so I’m going to with the general romantic contemporary ending where our ship sails AND WE DON’T GET TO SEE THEM ACTUALLY TOGETHER AS A COUPLE

12. Dress: If I had to pick a “least favorite”, Dress would be it. A new adult book you loved

London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton

13.This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: My answer changes every time I listen through reputation, but ‘This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’ IS MY FAVORITE

Book that made you want to break everything you own 

THE ENDING OF EMPIRE OF STORMS BECAUSE HOW COULD SARAH DO THAT TO US AHHHHHH

14.Call it What You Want: I love the lyric video for this one

A book title you would have call something else

Making Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone universally be called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (even though apparently American children won’t pick up a book with philosophy in the title).

15.New Years Day: I’ve been in love with this song since Taylor’s performance of it on SNL. If she does an extended edition of reputation, I hope she includes an acoustic version of ‘New Years Day’

A book that you finished, but stuck with you the next day (and for life)

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

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Are you a Taylor Swift fan? Have you listened to reputation? Share in the comments!