Top 10 Reactions & Thoughts I Have While Reading

top 10 thoughts reactionsBooks exist to make you FEEL something or LEARN something or just to be entertained. In a perfect world, you get all three in one. A lot of the time I find myself whispering things in my head about the book/characters/author/plot while I read. Most commonly I think “goddammit I wish I could write a book like this,” but a lot of the time I think the following things:

while readingomg what evenemma stone animated GIF Normally this is a very excited kind of “omg what is even happening?” because I have no other ways to phrase my excitement and wonderment about how it’s possible for a book to be this good. Sometimes I just want to squeal and run around with the book. (Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke proved to be a great book for me, in this regard.) There are a lot of instances where I find myself so in awe of the book that I can’t even form a real-sounding sentence in my head about it. Of course, this can also be used negatively: like what the fuck is happening, I am very confused/stupid.

what could happenshocked animated GIF I have this thought a LOT. I am always wondering how authors are able to write what they do. I’ve met the characters and explored their world a little bit – now what is actually going to happen in this book?? I love when I read fantasy or sci-fi books and genuinely don’t have the brain power to predict what the plot will be like. I hardly ever think about this when I’m reading contemporary romance, because I can almost always predict that. Otherwise I’m just constantly wondering HOW the author is going to write a book and create events and just be a an author. Jennifer L. Armentrout, how did you ever come up with the idea to make DEMONS and GARGOYLES the main characters in White Hot Kiss? You crazy girl.

how going to endcommunity animated GIF Another big (somewhat similar) question is wondering how the book is going to end. Sometimes I just can’t possibly fathom what the character is going to do. Books like this are awesome because you can eagerly await the end without thinking you’ve somehow figured it out. One major book like this for me recently was One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington. Is she going to kill herself? Is she going to live both lives? What about the boy??? HELPPP

get it together you guysadventure time animated GIF I mean this is obvious, right? The main characters OBVIOUSLY love each other and need to get down to business but as usual they’re taking their sweet time arriving at the destination. Some of that can be GREAT slow burn style, but some of it can be frustrating because it’s soooo obvious and unnecessary. I loved the slow burn in Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally, but found Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins kind of annoying at times. (Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the book – I just didn’t see ANY redeeming qualities to Max and didn’t get what Lola was waiting for.)why still readingmodern family animated GIF I haven’t read a lot of bad books this year. And I almost never DNF books. (It’s happened once.) So I do occasionally find myself wondering why I am still reading a particular book when I am not enjoying it at all. Sometimes I really wish I had the will-power to stop reading books I don’t like, but it’s a particular skill I haven’t developed yet. The closest I’ve ever come to stopping with a book was The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. Snoozefest.

saw that comingarrested development animated GIF Yes, this happens a LOT when I read contemporary romances. It’s pretty obvious that the two main characters are going to end up together, they’re going to have the same issues with their friend(s) to get through in the meantime, and some other major miscommunication is going to happen. (Pretty standard in Rules of Summer/Since Last Summer by Joanna Philbin) I call these the “typical YA” books. Doesn’t stop me from reading them, though! #YOLO

upon finishingtime travel brbparks and recreation animated GIF Finishing the first book in a series can be a difficult thing, because then (most likely) there’s the DREADED wait until the next book. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT? There’s not necessarily a major cliffhanger or anything, but there’s something about the book’s characters and world that you just want to stay in forever. You never want the book to end. I felt this way with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Those characters were my favorites and I just wanted to stay wrapped up in their world forever. Gimme book two, dammit!

eye rollparks and recreation animated GIF This could be great and could be awful. Sometimes I’m so shocked by an ending that I just sit there with my mouth gaping open, regardless of the reason being good or bad. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was definitely one of those for me. Like most people, I didn’t enjoy the ending, but I thought it was fitting. Really how else could that book have ended? Didn’t stop me from sitting there like an idiot wondering if I ever wanted to get married.

thats itdepressed animated GIF Yeah, this reaction sucks. WHY did you end it that way dear author? I need more, more, more. This is usually my thought when I read a book with a cliffhanger that shouldn’t have been one. I’ve come to expect major cliffhanger endings from Sara Shepard, but the ending of The Perfectionists definitely took the cake. It was more abrupt than anything and of course left me wanting the sequel immediately. On the flipside, I felt like all of the action was building and building… then suddenly came to a screeching halt with the ending. I also wanted more from Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. The ending didn’t impress me half as much as the ending from The Husband’s Secret. Sigh.

hugs booklizzie mcguire animated GIF FAVORITE REACTION. I’ve been known to sit on the couch clutching the book to my chest and smiling like an asshole for way too long. This reaction, folks, is indeed what dreams are made of. The book made you so happy and ended in the best way. The warm and fuzzies will last a very long time. I find that I am usually somewhat displeased with book endings, but Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler is the first one that comes to mind when I think of a solid ending. It left an appropriate amount of things open ended while answering the main things I’d wonder about.

Do you share any of these thoughts while reading?
How do you normally react when you finish a book?

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Bookmark Lit Bulletin: Mid-November 2014

bookmarklit bulletin 2The Bookmark Lit Bulletin is a bi-monthly feature where I look back on everything I did and everything I plan to do next. Instead of participating in the weekly Stacking the Shelves or Sunday Post memes, I combine it all into two bulletins per month: one at the mid-month mark and one on the final day of the month. You can learn more and see past Bookmark Lit bulletins here!looking backblb what i did2014-11-02 13.53.30November has been fairly laid back so far, considering how busy I was through September and October. The first weekend was spent down in New Jersey for BrickFair 2014. We stayed with some friends and attended the Lego convention that weekend. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone’s creations. It inspired us to get a little more creative with our Lego collection; instead of just building existing sets, we’re hoping to design some of our own things soon. I love the mosaic style pieces, where the bricks can create an image. The Rosie the Riveter one impressed me the most! I remain obsessed with Taylor Swift’s new CD, 1989. I finally reached the point where I have a few favorite songs that I can’t stop listening to. “Blank Space” is my favorite, and I also LOVE “Style,” “All You Had to Do Was Stay,” “Out of the Woods,” and “That’s How You Get the Girl.” I’m also (unnecessarily) getting hyped up on Christmas stuff and have officially abandoned pumpkin spice for the season. That’s right – it’s way before Thanksgiving and I’m ready for the good stuff of December. NOT ready for snow, but definitely ready for Christmas and related fun things. I didn’t go out and do that much this month, but I’ve been thinking a lot about rereading books and have been making my list of books to start with. This month has been a HUGE four star read month! I can’t get over how many books I’ve read that are consistently four stars. It actually makes me feel kind of stupid for some reason, but oh well – I can’t control how the book ends up working for me.

blb what i reviewed

  • Poisoned Apples by Christine Heppermenn | Review four stars
  • Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey | Review four stars
  • I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter | Review four stars
  • The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar | Review four stars
  • The Fourth Wish by Lindsay Ribar | Review four stars
  • Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter | Review four stars

blb what i postedMy post about book ratings got a lot of comments! I loved reading people’s comments. I think it’s important to note that all bloggers have a voice that deserves to be heard. Just because your reviews are less critical, or you give higher ratings than other people, doesn’t mean their opinion is less valuable. Lots of people seemed to enjoy my post about HOLIDAY THINGS! Yes, all caps are necessary. In this one, I shared the various holiday swaps, secret santas, readathons, and reviews I’ll be posting on the blog. Hopefully people found it useful and joined me in some swaps! I already know my partner for the 12 Days of Christmas Swap and she is going to be very easy to shop for I think 😉 I also shared a discussion about trusting your bookish gut vs. taking risks. I get caught up in the blogger hype a lot, and talk about it on my blog a lot, but I was curious about other peoples’ opinions that go beyond hype. If a book doesn’t sound good to you but everyone else loved it, do you give it a try? Or do you trust your instincts? Some more recent posts, like the Top Ten Tuesday about characters I want to have their own books got a lot of love too. I broke it down into three categories: side characters I LOVED and want some more of, characters I want spin-off books about because I want to know what happens next, and characters I may not have loved but would be really interested in learning more about. Along the same holiday lines, people also checked out my page about the Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Readathon! It was kind of a fail, since I read one book, but that DID actually meet my goal!

blb what i participated inChallenges

  • Series-a-Month Challenge – Check out my post here. I’ll be reading one series per month to help clear some of them off of my TBR list. You can keep up with my progress on this page. November’s series has bee The Maze Runner! So far so good.
  • Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Readathon – I only read one book for this, but that’s okay! My goal was to do 1-2 books. I felt better finishing one holiday book early so I could schedule a review for December 🙂
  • Holiday Bingo – Between now and the end of the year, I’ll be checking off boxes on my Holiday Bingo card. I completed three books in October for the challenge and so far only one for November.
    • Reread – I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
    • Romance – Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
    • Witches – Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
    • Set during Christmastime – Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

blb what i acquired

Let It SnowAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseThe Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)Ignite (Ignite, #1)The Theory of OppositesThe Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4)Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)Tumble & Fall

Physical Books:

  • Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • Percy Jackson books 1, 2, and 4 by Rick Riordan (borrowed from my little sister!)

Kindle Books:

  • Ignite by Lily Paradis
  • Percy Jackson book 3 by Rick Riordan (for my sister because she somehow didn’t have this one; I let her borrow my old Kindle like a nice sibling would do)
  • The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch
  • My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins (WON in the Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Readathon Giveaway!!)

Audiobooks:

  • The Maze Runner books 1-3 by James Dashner (from my boyfriend)

Library Books and Audio:

  • Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter – audio
  • Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter – audio
  • Tumble and Fall by Alexandra Coutts – physical

looking aheadblb what i have nextNot sure what’ll be happening the rest of November! I have a few things I may be doing with friends at one point or another, but nothing is set in stone. I’m slowly compiling gifts for my swaps and secret santas too; I already have four things for my 12 Days of Christmas Swap partner. I also need to get going on Christmas gifts for family members! For bookish things, I have my Book Buddies review coming up with Kaitlin at the end of the month; we’ll be reviewing Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I just started it this week and so far so good. Otherwise, I am hoping to crank through some of the books on my Holiday Bingo card. I really need to whittle down my TBR so I know exactly what books I want to read by the end of the year. As you saw on my holiday post, I have a bit of things going on around the blog for December, starting with my Holiday Reads segment! You’ll see holiday book reviews every Monday and Friday throughout December. There will be one review ON Christmas, which is my Book Buddies read of My True Love Gave to Me with Cristina. Later today you’ll see my Getting to Know You Blog Hop Giveaway post also! 😉
what i need to doBy the end of the year, I have some major bookish goals to achieve. I plan to:

  • Finish the Private series (hopefully/finally)
  • Start and finish two series by the end of the year for the Series-a-Month challenge
  • Have a strict book buying ban: only library books and books I currently own between now and the end of the year! I have to spend money on friends and family instead of myself
  • Finish my Gallagher Girls reread via audio

HOLIDAY THINGS!

YES I AM EXCITED FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!! This post is to share with you some of the holiday-themed happenings at Bookmark Lit, as well as show what secret santas and gift swaps I’ve signed up for this year. I am a huge fan of Christmas music, cozying up by the fire, drinking hot chocolate, and reading holiday themed books. Giving and receiving gifts is so much fun, so I’m eager to buy some swap/secret santa gifts and see what others pick out for me! 🙂

secret santas and swaps

I joined the Broke & Bookish Secret Santa! The sign-ups end on November 15th, so hurry there if you’re still interested in joining. You just have to send out an email with some info about your interests and bookish preferences to sign up. I created a wishlist on Goodreads to make it easier for all of these swaps. Jamie pairs everyone off and the exchange begins! You can choose what “level” of expectations you have (the amount of books/goodies you’d like to give and receive) so the price limit is really up to you. Send out your package by December 15th so hopefully the person gets it before Christmas! I’m really excited for this one; a lot of people have signed up so far.

SwapoweenI also signed up for the 12 Days of Christmas Swap at Chaotic Goddess Swaps! This is a really fun one. You spend between $40-50 to buy 12 individually wrapped gifts for your swap partner. That way, they can open one present a day in the 12 days leading up to Christmas! The idea was too unique and cute to pass up. I’m really excited for this one. The sign-ups end on November 10th and packages need to be shipped by December 6th, so they arrive before the “12 days” begins. (Don’t worry, you ship all 12 gifts in one box and hope your partner is able to hold off on opening them all on the same day! I know I’ll have an issue with that one 😉 )

Secret Santa Book ExchangeFinally, I signed up for the Secret Santa Book Exchange at Becoming Books! This one is really easy and pretty simple to do; I couldn’t resist. The sign-ups are open until November 21st. All you have to do is purchase one book to exchange with your partner, which means it is much cheaper than other options…but still really fun! You can include other goodies if you’d like, as long as everything is around $15. I used my wishlist again with this one, but I would be interested to see if someone could recommend a book to me instead. Why not?

I’m really excited to see what kind of bookish goodies I end up with! I love buying gifts too, so hopefully I get a partner who likes a lot of things I can be creative with. Any other swaps or secret santas you could recommend? Not that I need to spend any more money or anything…

holiday readathons

HoHoHoRAT_300x300

So far I only have the Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Read-a-thon, which started on the 6th and goes through the 11th. It is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Bookshelfery. I created a page to track progress and complete my challenges, if you’d like to check it out! I only plan on reading one or two holiday books during this read-a-thon. I want to save most of my books for late November and December, so I can really enjoy them closer to the actual holidays. This read-a-thon is a good way to hopefully read and write reviews for the first days of my December holiday reviews.

Any other holiday readathons you’ve seen? I could have sworn I saw one for later in December but I could be wrong.. Let me know! I need an excuse to binge read some seasonal favorites 🙂

holiday book reviews2014 holiday readsThroughout December, I’ll be reviewing a total of eight holiday or Christmas themed books. I am going to spread them out starting December 1st and ending with the final review on Christmas day (25th). My full holiday schedule of reviews is as follows:

  • Monday December 1st
  • Friday December 5th
  • Monday December 8th
  • Friday December 12th
  • Monday December 15th
  • Friday December 19th
  • Monday December 22nd
  • Thursday December 25th

You’ll be getting two holiday reviews a week throughout the whole month. Kind of like the 12 Days of Christmas, except the Eight Days of Holiday Reviews. (Should have come up with that name before I made these graphics..) One of these reviews will be a Book Buddies Review, where holiday readsCristina and I take on My True Love Gave to Me. You can see the full list of books I’m going to read this season on the right! You’ll see the reviews marked with the Holiday Reads graphic (left). I’m hoping that the reviews will be started early enough in December so people still have time to add them to their TBR lists and get into the holiday spirit! I’m welcoming any holiday recommendations if you have them, too! 🙂

What holiday stuff do you have planned for your blogs?
Any swaps or challenges I should add to my plans?
What holiday books are YOU reading?

Bookmark Lit Bulletin: October 2014

bookmarklit bulletinHello friends! As you know, I introduced the Bookmark Lit Bulletin as a way of reviewing what I posted and did throughout the month. A lot of bloggers participate in Sunday Post or Stacking the Shelves memes, but I try to stay off the blogosphere on weekends. To that point, I post the Bookmark Lit Bulletin twice a month to serve that purpose. The first is posted for a mid-month update on the 15th, and the second is posted for a monthly wrap-up on the 30th or 31st. I post my book haul at the end of the month. For past bulletins, click here!

wrap up this month

bookish thoughtsThis month has been a good reading month for me! I really enjoyed the majority of the books I read. I think the biggest disappointment was Rites of Passage. I expected to hopefully love it like everyone else, even though I had a feeling the book wasn’t for me. Unfortunately I should have trusted my instincts. I admired the strength of the main character but couldn’t deal with the hazing and otherwise boring plot. The biggest surprise was probably Damsel Distressed. I had a feeling I’d enjoy it, but the plot completely caught me off guard. It was a much darker book than I thought, but it was very emotional and insightful. My favorite book of the month – no surprise here – was Dissonance! Definitely exceeded my expectations and was the most Lauren Book of all time.

non bookish thoughtsPicMonkey CollageWe had a pretty busy month on the weekends. We had friends visit the first weekend of the month and then traveled to NYC later in the month for Chris’s birthday. We had a pretty relaxing day on his actual birthday – just hung out, watched football, and had sushi for dinner. My football team is killing me slowly this season and has absolutely no consistency. It’s pretty infuriating. We finally did pumpkin picking and fall activities this past weekend! We went to the farm that I used to go to as a kid and it was a lot of fun. We got a few different pumpkins and bought apple cider and cider donuts. So good. The apple cider is literally the best I’ve ever had! I’m going to be scouring every grocery store in a 20 mile radius trying to see if they sell it there. If I knew it was that good I wouldn’t have only bought the mini bottles! On the work end of things, I started a marketing-oriented project that hopefully will make me feel a little better about my situation here. Sometimes I don’t mind my job, but this week has been killer for me.

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Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Readathon

I’m participating in the Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Readathon!HoHoHo Holiday RAT

What’s Going On?

The Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Read-a-thon is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Bookshelfery. For more information, check here. From Novemer 6th through 11th, we’ll be binge-reading some holiday stories of our choosing. I love reading books that match the season, so I’m really excited for this one!

My Goals

  • Read Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
  • Read 1-2 other books on my TBR list below

I don’t want to read all of these because I’d like to save some for December, but I wanted to give myself the option of choosing whichever book strikes my mood at the time.

Possible TBR List

  • My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins and many others
  • Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson
  • Ex-Mas by Kate Brian
  • Mistletoe by Hailey Abbott, Melissa de l Cruz, Aimee Driedman, and Nina Malkin
  • Snowed In by Rachel Hawthorne
  • Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • Love on the Lifts by Rachel Hawthorne
  • A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale

Keep updated with my progress here on my page!spongebob christmas

Series-a-Month Challenge

series a monthDanielle from Love at First Page shared a new challenge she’s creating that is something I definitely need to get on board with! She is challenging herself to read a full series each month. Like her, I have so many series on my TBR list that I often have no motivation to read…even though they sound great! She says,

My goal is to read one series a month, which will also help narrow down my ever-increasing TBR pile. The “rules”: it must be a series (3+ books) with at least 2 books already published, or a completed duology.

Most of these have been on my TBR for a loooong time. Some of them I just added recently but seem too good to pass up. The Boyfriend App and Biggest Flirts are both in series where the second book is not out yet, but I have e-ARCs for both of them that I want to read soon. I’m counting duologies. Series where only one regular book is published but there’s at least one novella will also count for me.

Here’s my proposed series TBR for the next handful of months:

Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn, #1)The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)The Boyfriend App (App, #1)Biggest Flirts (Superlatives, #1)All Lined Up (Rusk University, #1)The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)Fool Me Twice (If Only . . . #1)Nantucket Blue (Nantucket, #1)Only Everything (True Love, #1)Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)

Wish me luck!

10 Reasons I Prefer YA to Adult Books

Today’s top 10 list consists of the 10 reasons I prefer young adult books to adult books. Please keep in mind, as the title suggest that these are just the reasons that I prefer young adult. You may like adult books better for the opposite reason, and that’s fine, but these are just my thoughts on the topic. I read an infuriating article that shamed adults for reading YA, and then another article that does the exact opposite, so I thought I would weigh in on the topic!
been not goingDisney Future animated GIFThis is probably the biggest reason I enjoy young adult compared to adult books. I would rather read a books that relate to my experiences so far in my life rather than what could happen in the future. There are plenty of young adult books that have characters who experience A LOT more than I have, but at least we have some major life experiences in common. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be a divorcee or a widower or even a mother; it’s not easy for me to read books about milestones I haven’t gotten to yet.. or may never get to. At least with a young adult book (no matter what genre, for the most part) I have been through the basic stages of growing up.
flow styleFangirl Girl animated GIFPeople against YA will argue that it’s not as literary as adult books, which I don’t agree with for a lot of reasons, but I just think the writing is different. Young adult books can be well-written, poorly written, unpredictable, predictable, literary, cliche, suspenseful, boring, mature, immature — just like adult books can. There is just something about the young adult voice that authors use that really works for me. Most adult books I encounter, especially the ones deemed “literary” and “classic” have been difficult to read, and I generally consider myself to be a pretty smart person. I can handle complex books and stories, but I just prefer the way they’re written in young adult. They’re not trying too hard.character ageDid We Just Become Best Friends Skins animated GIFI love reading about characters that I could imagine being friends with. So many books I’ve read recently have the BEST characters and groups of friends. Beyond that, I have already dealt with the intricacies of being a young adult in high school or college. I can look back on my experiences and relate to the ones in the book. I remember how hard friendships could be in high school or maintaining them in college. I remember drama with spending more time with my boyfriend than my friends. I remember it all and I feel like I could give mounds of advice on the topic. Reading books with teen characters makes me simultaneously want to pat them on the head and say “it gets better” while jumping in the pages with them and remembering my life at that point in time.
favorite authorsBexblr Fangirl animated GIFEvery single person out there could name at least 1-5 authors that they consider favorites. You’ll automatically buy their books no matter what, you’ve followed their career and new releases as long as you can remember, and you can’t imagine NOT reading a book by them. The vast majority of these authors for me are young adult authors and really don’t write books outside of that group. As long as they’re putting books out, I’ll be reading them! Continue reading