WWW Wednesdays #18

wwwwednesday

quoteWWW Wednesdays are hosted by Should Be Reading, where we answer three questions each week: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What are you planning to read next?

currently reading

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)Biggest Flirts (Superlatives, #1)I’m still plugging along through The Scorch Trials. I’m not as enthused about it compared to The Maze Runner, but it’s still interesting enough. I feel like by the end of this series it’ll be more about the journey than the destination, but I still REALLY want to know what the fuck is going on. My goal is to finish the series by the end of the month; sometimes I think it would be better for me to just read the books instead of listen to them. Oh well. For my current read, I just started Biggest Flirts, in The Superlatives series. I’ve had the ARC for the second book, Perfect Couple, on my Kindle for months. I obviously wanted to read book one first. I’m enjoying it so far. I don’t like the trope of “I don’t need a boyfriend and will remain emotionally detached from boys until this one boy changes my mind,” but I’m hoping there will be a more unique take on the book based on the plot summary. We’ll see!

finish readingOne Past MidnightShadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)Eeep I finally finished One Past Midnight and really liked it! It was definitely a unique take on the parallel life concept that I love so much. I feel like the book got started very quickly, which was nice, but I wished there was a little more intro to learn more about her lives before she got started with her experiments. I loved the love interest and thought the twist at the ending was really great. I’d love to see what happens next, but I feel like the book would lose some of that magic if there was a sequel. Regardless, A+ from me! I also just finished Shadow and Bone for this month’s Book Buddies review. I was so pleasantly surprised by this book! It really was unlike anything I’ve ever read, as the quote on the cover says. I like that it wrapped up somewhat nicely, so I’m not on the very edge of my seat for the next book (since I won’t be reading it until January for the next Book Buddies review). I’m definitely interested to see what happens next. Amazing world-building but not as much character development as I’d like. I suspect that will change as the main character grows into her powers.

read nextThe Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)Tumble & FallOf course, The Death Cure is up next. I think that I’ll be finishing The Scorch Trials tomorrow so hopefully I can start it asap! My boyfriend hated it, so I’m definitely curious to see what happens. I like that this series makes me question everyone – who the hell can Thomas actually trust?! Anyways, I got Tumble and Fall out from the library a while ago and think I’ll finally read it. It actually got a lot of bad DNF and 1-2 star Goodreads reviews from people I trust, so I’m anxious to see how I feel about it. I’ve had a month FULL of four star reviews; I forgot what it’s like to write a bad review! We’ll see if my feelings are right that a negative review is in my future. The concept seems interesting enough but many reviewers seem to think it falls short in a lot of ways. I have some holiday reads coming up after I finish, so I’m excited for that too!

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Top Ten Tuesdays #16: Sequels

top10tuesdayTop Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait to Get

quoteTop Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we give our top ten books to answer each prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here.

This is a great one for me. I’m going to include the sequels that haven’t been released yet as well as the second books in series I just haven’t gotten yet. I love series and don’t leave them open-ended that often, unless the next book hasn’t been released yet. I joined the All About YA group on Goodreads, which has a place for you to track your series – it’s been really helpful! Most of my unreleased sequels don’t even have covers yet 😦 I need a time machine.

sequels unreleasedsequels havent gotten to

Five on Fridays #8

fiveonfridayFive on Friday displays the the top five things that have been on my mind this week! It could be book-related, but it may be music, movies, TV, personal life, food, etc.

Lazy Sunday

ONEOn Sunday last weekend, Chris and I were the laziest people on earth. We didn’t leave the apartment, except to sit on our back porch a couple of times. Our front door stayed locked all day from the night before and we hardly moved. It was AWESOME. The day before, we went to Maine to visit his sister for her birthday and spent the whole day travelling (3 hours driving up, 2 hours of time at dinner and hanging out in her dorm, and 3 hours driving home). We felt like we wasted the day because we spent 6 hours in the car. The next day we decided to waste the day in a much better way by being lazy and making the most of our free time. Normally we go to my Dad’s house on Sundays because he has NFL Sunday Ticket and we can watch my football team. Because the Panthers were on Monday night (I don’t even want to talk about how that game went), we just stayed in our apartment all day watching other football games. I took a bath, ate a lot of leftovers, browsed the internet, and just chilled.

Starbucks Caprese Sandwich

TWO2014-11-13 12.50.18UMM wow. I went to Starbucks in Barnes & Noble yesterday for my lunch break because it was payday and I thought I would spend money I don’t have on books. Surprisingly I didn’t end up with any! Regardless, I ended up sitting in Starbucks, reading my book, and having my lunch. I, of course, ended up with a Gingerbread Latte, and decided to try the Caprese Sandwich for lunch. HOLY SHIT. It was so good. I can’t believe I’ve never had it before. There’s a good chance I end up back in Starbucks for lunch today even though I should not be spending $10 on a lunch like that (granted the latte itself is like $4).

12 Days of Christmas Swap Partner

THREE

I have found out my first swap partner! (You all know I signed up for too many holiday things) Jenna from Rather Be Reading YA is my partner and we’ve already gotten down to business. So far I have 4/12 gifts for her. I love the idea of this swap because the person is able to open one package a day in the 12 days before Christmas. It helps when you have a partner who has a great About Me section on her blog 😉 not to mention…

TIME’s Banned Words Poll

FOURI’m quite heated about this. TIME Magazine makes a poll about which words should be banned in 2015, because they are stupid and/or overused from 2014. A lot of the words were relevant and true: I’m sick of “bae” “om nom nom” (I can’t believe I even typed that one because I hate it SO MUCH) and “turnt.” One word on there that stuck out like a big sore thumb was “feminist.”  That’s right, a word that captures an entire history of women’s rights activism and the fight for equality. Yeah. Let’s totally ban THAT word, right along with the extremely powerful word “basic.” Ughghghfdkjfkgjf  The reasoning for the “ban” was the following:

quoteYou have nothing against feminism itself, but when did it become a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party? Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.

This is just really stupid to me. Saying the word and using it in the proper context is the only reason there has been actual attention on feminist issues this year. I understand that using it wrong and people speaking out against it doesn’t help, but it brings attention to those who are trying to show the REAL meaning of the world. Celebrities often DO come out about their political preferences as well – that’s their personal choice! I don’t think it’s necessary for interviewers to bug all celebrities about those personal stances, but if someone wants to come out and say they’re a feminist – please fucking let them.

#BookNerdConfession

FIVEI loved this topic on Twitter the other day! So many great tweets from my fellow book nerds about their confessions. I retweeted quite a few because they were all so relevant! You can see my contribution as my tweet of the week down at the bottom. Every time I go to the bookstore, I wish I had sticky notes and a pen so I could write recommendations and stick them to books. I wonder if you can get in trouble for that? All I want is to help people find the perfect books!!!


my week in a tweet

Random Bookish Thoughts: Book Ratings

random bookish thoughtsBOOK RATINGS. I saw a Twitter conversation a month or so ago about the ratings that bloggers and readers give to books. These ratings could be on Goodreads or on blogs. This person thought that if someone’s Goodreads ratings average was too high, they weren’t critical enough – and therefore their opinion was not valued in the community. They should not bother with book blogging or reviewing, because they were not actual critics of books. I didn’t even know how to formulate a logical tweet in response, so I let it be. And by let it be, I mean let it stew for months until I was able to come up with this post. But Taylor pretty much sums up my reaction:

taylor swift animated GIF

I think that’s bullshit. I should go without saying that all opinions can be valued as long as they are not particularly offensive, racist, sexist, etc. Who gets to determine if someone’s opinion is valuable or not?? Not some random guy on Twitter, that’s for sure. Let me back up a little bit and talk about ratings in general and my thoughts on them.

How I rate books on my blog

rating guideI use my little heart system here on the left to rate books. I DO use half-hearts (quite a bit, actually), as the bottom of the graphic shows. I don’t think it’s possible, for me at least, to give EVERY book I read a dead-set rating between 1 and 5 without any halves. The 5 heart rating is given to books that immediately get placed on my favorites shelf on Goodreads. This list includes books that are my all-time favorites. It also has the first book in a series to represent the entire series if I consider it to be a favorite. The highest heart value is obviously given to some of the best books I’ve read that have little to no things wrong with them. Books I really enjoyed but aren’t considered an all-time favorite for whatever reason are given the 4 heart range. Books that were pretty good but had some major flaws are in the 3 heart range. Books I really didn’t enjoy for many reasons are in the 2 heart range. Really terrible books that I should have DNF’ed are in the 1 heart range. I really don’t DNF books very often, so it would take quite a bit to give the book a 1/2 heart rating.

How I rate books on Goodreads

ratings GREveryone knows that Goodreads is a little pain in the ass that doesn’t allow for half-star ratings. We’re forced to round up or down. This is a big struggle for me considering how big of a proponent I am for half-star ratings! I have to come up with two distinct ratings for books so that I can put one on the blog, which is very accurate, and one on Goodreads, which is rounded up or down depending. I end up having to choose if the book is worthy of being rounded up or rounded down. I normally round UP unless the book really bugged me for some reason. For example, Lola and the Boy Next Door was given a 4.5 on the blog, but a 5 on Goodreads because C’MON it’s Stephanie Perkins. Conversely, Famous In Love got 3.5 on the blog and 3 on Goodreads, because the writing style and lack of characterization REALLY bothered me. I couldn’t imagine giving it 4 because it didn’t measure up to my other 4 star reads.The picture on the left shows my rating frequency on Goodreads and that out of the 213 books I’ve rated, almost HALF of them are 5 star reads. Why, you ask? Because I got my Goodreads in 2010 and got my blog in 2014. Any time I took the effort to rate a book before I got my blog was only if the book blew me away or if I hated it. Because I added so many books I read a long time ago, I had no idea how to rate the books. I don’t have ANY ratings for 74 of the books I’ve read. My data based on Goodreads is pretty skewed in the higher ratings because of that. I almost exclusively only rated books I loved, or a few classics I hated while I was in high school.

Rating history

Since I started blogging, I’ve rated 55 books on Goodreads and on the blog (a post that included a whole series review is considered “one book” here). Keep in mind the totals aren’t going to add up completely because of the series reviews, but you’ll get the idea. Here’s the ratings breakdown. Continue reading

WWW Wednesdays #17

wwwwednesday

quoteWWW Wednesdays are hosted by Should Be Reading, where we answer three questions each week: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What are you planning to read next?

currently reading

One Past MidnightThe Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)I started One Past Midnight the day before the Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Readathon started, so I didn’t get much done before jumping into my holiday book. I was able to pick back up with it this morning. So far I’m really intrigued. This has been one of my highly anticipated reads this year because it involves some parallel life stuff in a unique way. I’m surprised at how quickly the plot is taking off; I expected there to me a lot more intro stuff. My current audiobook is The Scorch Trials, book two in The Maze Runner series. As usual, I’m constantly asking myself “what the fuck is going on?” about everything that happens. I have to suspend all of my beliefs when reading this book because it all just seems so crazy. Overall I’m really enjoying it though. I’m about a third of the way through and so far I like the first one better. Chris liked this one a lot, so I’m thinking it’s going to start getting wild again soon.

finish readingThe Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)Dash & Lily's Book of DaresObviously I just finished The Maze Runner, considering I’m onto the second book now. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one because it seemed like not the kind of book I would like. The only dystopia books I’ve read so far was the Hunger Games trilogy, so it’s kind of new to me. Chris has been getting into dystopia books a lot lately, so that’s why I’ve been giving it a shot. It’s definitely exceeding my expectations though; I love books where I’m just as confused as the character when they’re trying to figure out what’s happening. For the Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Readathon, I only finished Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. I didn’t end up with a lot of reading time over the weekend because we were travelling all day Saturday and watching football all day Sunday. Normally I would read on a lazy football day, when my team isn’t playing, but I wasn’t in the mood for some reason. I overall enjoyed the book, but I was expecting to like it a lot more. From the first chapter I thought this was going to become a favorite of mine. Oh well. I’m glad I read it. The review will be up on December 1st as the first review in my Holiday Reads month!

read nextShadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)My next Book Buddies review is with Kaitlin at the end of this month! We’re starting the Grisha Trilogy and beginning with a review of Shadow and Bone. I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while, so hopefully it’s a great read. I need to finish One Past Midnight pretty soon so I can get Shadow and Bone done. Once I finish book two in the series, I’ll move onto the final Maze Runner book – The Death Cure. I’ve tried very hard to stop myself from looking at the book description/summary on Goodreads, because I don’t want to spoil anything,  but it hasn’t been easy! That’s a pretty foreboding title, though. If you haven’t read the book yet, don’t read the following sentence —– They already killed my favorite character so I’m still mourning that loss. We’ll see how things end up for Thomas and the Gladers.

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Top Ten Tuesdays #15: Spin-Off-Worthy Characters

top10tuesdayTop Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their Own Book

This is happening very late in the day for me today! Work has gotten in the way of my blogging 😉 I’m not sorry for using Since You’ve Been Gone twice! It’s for two different reasons, I promise.

ttt loved them ttt what happens nextttt more about story

Goodreads: Since You’ve Been Gone / Aspen / Shadowlands / Catching Jordan / Harry Potter / Gossip Girl / Private / Lola and the Boy Next Door / Scoring Wilder

Continue reading

Five on Fridays #7

fiveonfridayFive on Friday displays the the top five things that have been on my mind this week! It could be book-related, but it may be music, movies, TV, personal life, food, etc.

BrickFair 2014

ONELast weekend, we went to BrickFair 2014 in Somerset, NJ. I luckily have a friend who lives about 10 minutes away from there, so we were able to hang out with her and her boyfriend and go to BrickFair! I was in awe of all the cool stuff people can make. It really inspired Chris to build his own creations instead of buying the premade Lego sets. They had different categories and types of builds around the whole place. They also had vendors that sold custom Lego apparel, jewelry, and figures/accessories. Chris ended up with a few sets and accessories. It was a cool experience and we’re so glad we ended up going!

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Balancing Everything

TWOI feel like I sound like a broken record when I talk about this, but it’s really hard! As a new blogger, I’m still trying to find a way to balance everything in my life. I spend a lot of time blogging at work, which I shouldn’t do, but I find it hard to do otherwise. I used to be addicted to using my computer, browsing the internet, and watching Netflix during college, but now I never do. I don’t want to blog when I get home. I want to pry my eyes away from the computer since I stare at it all day at work. I try to reserve my home time for reading, which then disrupts my TV watching time! I am so behind on so many shows. I recently picked back up again with Faking It, and just caught up on Modern Family this morning. I’m the type of person who always needs a schedule, so I should just try to better plan my day in order to do everything I want to do.

A Series of Unfortunate Events for Netflix

THREEGUYS I am so excited for this!! In case you missed it, Netflix announced that it would be developing A Series of Unfortunate Events as a TV series. When they made the movie based on the books, I didn’t think it made a lot of sense. The series has THIRTEEN books… that meant they would either make one movie and call it a day, or make 13 movies (which would be insane). I always thought a TV show made much more sense. They would be able to fully capture the journey of the Baudelaire children much better that way. I’m really excited to see who they end up casting. I think they did pretty well with the casting for the original movie, but I’m sure none of those actors/actresses would be interested in the show. Who knows. I’m excited, though! I’m glad that Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) will produce it, along with the original movie producers. For more info, check out this article. In typical Snicket/Handler fashion, he had this to say:

quote“I can’t believe it,” Snicket said from an undisclosed location. “After years of providing top-quality entertainment on demand, Netflix is risking its reputation and its success by associating itself with my dismaying and upsetting books.”

CHRISTMAS STUFF

2014-11-06 15.18.47-1FOURYUP I am not sorry! I don’t care much for Thanksgiving because it causes unnecessary issues for me and splitting my time between family members. I understand and appreciate the meaning of the holiday, but it becomes difficult to celebrate for me. I can’t see both of my parents’ families on Thanksgiving because my dad travels to Maine for the day. Not to mention (unpopular opinion time) I really don’t like Thanksgiving food that everyone loves. Just give me some mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie – that’s all I like! So, pretty much the second Halloween ends, I am READY for Christmas. I love it so much. I’m able to see my whole family between Christmas Eve and Christmas day. There’s no better feeling than popping in my NSYNC or Hanson Christmas CDs for the first time or grabbing the first Gingerbread latte for the season! Not to mention all the HOLIDAY BOOKS. I usually don’t read them, but this year I’m making it a point to have December be the month for holiday reading and reviews.

Toy Story 4

FIVEI have mixed feelings on this announcement. I thought Toy Story 3 was an absolutely flawless movie; I was able to relate to it so much. I cried…a lot. I think it honestly may even be my favorite of the three movies. They wrapped everything up perfectly! Why are they going to make more?? I know that, of course, they’ll make a lot of money – but I’m nervous about what the plot could possibly be. We left the toys and Andy in a good place. I guess it could be them adjusting to life in their new home, but that won’t be the same. As happy as I am to see the characters again, I don’t know if this is a good idea. Of course I’ll end up seeing it regardless!


my week in a tweet