Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Top Ten Bookish Resolutions and Goals

It’s Top Ten Tuesday time!

If you’re unaware, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly original feature created by The Broke and the Bookish, and it’s now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week there’s a new Top Ten theme that the blogger responds to with their own list of answers.

This week’s theme is… *drumroll please*…

Bookish Resolutions and Goals

I was actually going to do a separate post for this, but I guess now I don’t have to. Yay for doubling up on the posts!

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Buy/get a quality camera.

I’m just tired of taking crappy book photos on my phone. I think it’s time for an update. This isn’t a high priority, though.

Read a classic.

For this one, I’m thinking Jane Austen. I own all of her books in pretty hardcovers, yet I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice. I think it’s time I read a few others. However, I don’t want to narrow this down to just Jane Austen books. If I read something else, I read something else.

Subscribe to a subscription box.

I had an eh experience with a certain YA subscription box a year or so ago, but I’d like to try a different service. I’ve got my eye on Shelflove Crate’s fantasy box, but I’m still not 100% sure. There’s also some UK/AUS ones that I’d LOVE to get, but shipping is waaaay too expensive. Do you have any box recommendations?
Complete 10 series.

I don’t know how, and I don’t know which ones, but I want to do this. I’ve got multiple third books of trilogies sitting on my TBR, so I’d like to knock those off my list. I also need to start some series. This one’s just open to whatever.
Be more active on my blog’s Facebook and my personal Instagram and Twitter accounts.

I was doing pretty good on my social media presence for a while, but I let it slide since I moved and got a real job. I really would like to get back into this. I’d also love to be more interactive with other book lovers on their social media accounts.
Redesign my blog.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my blog layout. I created it a few years ago, and it matches my aesthetic. However. I’ve been clamoring for an update for a while now. Unfortunately, I have to do the designing myself (I refuse to pay the astronomical prices for a designer to do it when I know I can do it if I just sit down and make myself). I simply have to find the time and figure out what design I’d like to try.
Read 50 books.

Now, this is a personal goal, not what I’m going to put on Goodreads. I’m actually only going to put 10 books on my Goodreads Challenge. I just don’t want that pressure in my reading life. I would like to read more than I did in 2017, though, I’m just not going to judge myself if I don’t make it to 50. I know I can make it 10, so…

Read 20 books I already owned prior to 2018.

I’ve had hundreds of books on my TBR shelves for years now. While I managed to get rid of 150 or so of these in my recent unhaul (check out part one and two of that unhaul here), I still need to get through that TBR. Yikes.

Read more adult SFF.

I read a lot of YA books. A lot. I also read a lot of YA science fiction and fantasy. I’d like to expand my horizons and venture into the adult SFF world. I know there are some good ones out there, I just need to pick them up.
Write more.

This is going to encompass two separate goals.

A I’d like to write more blog posts than I have in the past two years. While I know why I couldn’t write as much, I’d still like to bump this up to a post every day, which I’m on track to do so far. Hooray!

B I want to actually write down some of the book ideas I’ve had. Right now, I’ve got one weighing on my mind that I’d really like to try writing. I just always have issues actually typing the stupid things out.

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Alright, there you have it. My list of bookish resolutions and goals. What did you put on your list? Let me know in the comments section.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sara Holland's Everless NYC Launch Party Recap

So last Tuesday I attended Sara Holland’s launch event for her debut book, Everless.

The signing set up with extra Everless copies.

Now, I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about this book except that it’s a YA fantasy with a gorgeous cover and it’s published by HarperCollins. And ya’ll should know by now that I love me some HarperTeen titles. Thus, I decided attending this signing was a must.

Originally, this event was planned for Thursday night, but that was the night of the #bombcyclone, so it was rescheduled, which kind of sucked for me, because I was fine on Thursday, but I got sick on Saturday and was still sick on Tuesday. Regardless, I had fun at the event. Oh, and before I get into the recap too much, please be aware that my pictures suck. I was too ill to really work at taking good photos.

McNally Jackson's ceiling of bookish torture. 😱😭

I’d never been to the McNally Jackson bookstore before. Since I moved to NYC, I’ve always gone to signing events at Books of Wonder, so this was a new experience. McNally has this creepy book graveyard ceiling that will continue to give me nightmares. I mean, just look at it!

Cool time capsules.

As for the event itself, there were hourglass-shaped cookies, cheese and cracker plates, and these cool glass time capsules. I wanted to take one, but I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to, and I didn’t know what I’d do with it anyway.

The backdrop of the speaking event.

The bookstore had a cute setup going on as well. Behind the stools where Sara and her MC who moderated the event, author Zoraida Cordova, sat were copies of Everless. On the windowsill area were some copies of Zoraida’s book, Labyrinth Lost, which I still haven’t read because of its creeptastic cover. It just looks too scary/icky for me. But Zoraida seems like a lovely person.

Sara (left) and Zoraida (right). There were too many tall people in my way. I couldn't get a decent shot.

There were also a lot of other authors in attendance. Adam Silvera was there, along with some 2018 debut authors like Laura Sebastian (Ash Princess), Mark Oshiro (Anger is a Gift), and Melissa Albert (The Hazel Wood). There was some good-natured ribbing between all of the authors in attendance.

Zoraida and Sara played a fandom game where they would say what fandom they were in or answered questions based on a particular fandom, and then the audience would vote on which choice won (aka was more popular). For example, Sara was Team Sam from Supernatural while Zoraida was Team Dean. Guess which one I agreed with?

Sara also answered some audience questions, like which Hogwarts Houses her characters would be in. Apparently, Jules would be in Gryffindor and Roan Hufflepuff. Because I have yet to read the book, I guess I’ll just have to agree with her. ;)

Sarah also mentioned that Jules would get along with Mare from Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series and, if she had to be in a relationship with a character not in her world, Jules would fall in love with Peeta from The Hunger Games.

AND, I almost forgot to mention that Sara’s parents were at the launch event! They were super cute! My roommate and I sat pretty close to them, so we saw her mom and dad taking pictures and asking questions about their hometown in Minnesota and how it inspired Sara’s book. It was totally adorable.

Sara signing a book.

Now, on to what happened during the signing portion of the event. First of all, it was chaos. The bookstore didn’t have a numbering system for line order. They also didn’t hand out sticky notes to write names in for personalization purposes. That meant that whenever I made my way over to Sara, I had to tell her my name myself. Normally, this would not be a problem; however, it was super loud in there due to all of the people talking, and I couldn’t talk loudly because I was nasally.

Rachelle - Happy reading! 💗 Sara Holland

Thus, I just ended up being an awkward mess trying to get poor Sara to understand what I was saying. We even tried to have a conversation about us both living in NYC, but it was, again, an awkward time for the both of us. I’m a naturally quiet speaker, so the loudness and my sickness didn’t help matters.

Well, that’s my recap of the event. It was a fun one. I chuckled quite a bit. I also learned that there are a lot of new releases coming out by NYC authors. Guess that means more signings for me?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Paperback, 346 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Contemporary

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

My Review

Kasie West is the queen of fun, cliché-but-lovable contemporaries. And By Your Side is just another addition to her collection.

Alright, so first thing’s first: I didn’t love this one as much as The Distance Between Us, but it’s still a good, quick read if you’re stuck in reading slump or just want to whip through a book pick-me-up. Autumn is a decent main character. She doesn’t make stupid decisions, and she actually talks to her family and friends. Thank you, Kasie, for writing stories where the protagonist isn’t just obsessed with her love life.

As for the boy, Dax, he’s interesting. Of course, he’s the mysterious, loner kid, so naturally he’s attractive as well. What makes this particular bit hilarious is how his loner vibe affects Autumn when they’re locked into the library together. I chuckled at some of their interactions.

The plot of the book is what’s going to get everyone’s attention. Two teenagers stuck in a library? What could be more romantic and/or adventurous?! Unfortunately, the entire book isn’t spent in the library. Actually, only about forty percent of the storyline takes place there, which is kind of a bummer. Once the characters leave the library, I feel like some of their magic fizzles out. Autumn isn’t the quirky, competitive girl, and Dax isn’t the nice, brooding boy anymore. The rest of the world gets in their way.

All in all, By Your Side is for readers who want nothing more than to smile at two teenagers in their sort of meet-cute moment. Plus, it’s a good opportunity to learn how exactly you can get yourself stuck in a library for the weekend. #lifegoals


*Note: I received a copy of this book from work. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Stacking the Shelves: The Apologetic, Icky Edition

"Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

This week was crazy. For one thing, I could feel myself getting sick last Saturday. Sure enough, my body decided to produce all the mucus which lead to all the sniffles. It’s getting better, whatever this grossness is, it’s just taking its dear sweet time leaving. Even though I’m complaining, it’s probably just a minor cold. I’m well enough to not need a doctor and go to work, so I can’t whine too much.

As for blogging and books, I’ve been pretty absent this week because of my sickness. When I’ve come home from work, I’ve immediately taken NyQuil and passed out. Thus, there was no time for responding to comments or the like. I’m trying to get caught up on everything today.

Now, back to what you guys actually came here for. I only got one book this week, but it was a pretty one.

 Everless by Sara Holland

I actually went to Sara’s rescheduled NYC launch event this past Tuesday. I was there with 50 bajillion other people crowded into a small corner of the store. It was madness. And my nose was runny. But I’ll tell you more about all that in my recap post, which should be up later this week.

Also, I’m pretty sure I have a second book waiting for me in my mailbox, but it’s four floors down (no elevator), and I don’t feel like moving right now. #lazyIam. I’ll just add it to next week’s Stacking the Shelves. Okay?

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, January 12, 2018

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the pic.

http://ew.com/tv/2017/12/15/danneel-ackles-photo-supernatural-set/

ACK! I still can’t believe Danneel Harris-Ackles is going to be on Supernatural! It makes me so happy that she’ll be in the show, even if it’s only a short recurring role. (Hopefully, it’s not short, but who knows…?)

It’s between this news and the Scooby episode for what I’m most excited for this season.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Bookshelves! Aka Pictures of Bookcase #1

Well, I’m away from my shelves again. :(

For those of you who don’t know, I moved to NYC this past summer. Moving meant I couldn’t take my books with me. Thus, I left 99% of my books at my parents’ house. It’s sad to be away from my preciouses for so long.

Actual footage of me staring at my bookshelves.

Because I can’t see my shelves as often as I’d like (and because we all know us book collectors love to just stare and drool over our collections), I took some pics of my bookshelves. Just so I can remember them later. I thought I’d share these photos with you guys, as I know the second-best thing to staring at our own collections is staring at another book collectors’ shelves. ;)

On days that I don’t have other posts planned, I’ll share photos of a bookcase. I currently have five-and-a-half-ish bookcases that I’m planning on sharing. This will be bookcase one. It holds a mix of fantasy and paranormal YA books that I’ve read.


The very top shelf on this bookcase contains my Harry Potter collection. I’ve got 1–6 of the Harry Potter books in beat-up paperbacks and all seven in hardcover, plus The Cursed Child, two illustrated versions, and a movie creature companion. I also have multiple copies of the shorter books, like Quidditch Through the Ages. I received the screenplay version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for Christmas, but I didn’t really have the time to add it this shelf since I would have had to rearrange everything.


The shelf below the Harry Potter one contains my YA fantasies and a Hermione plushie. 


I have to layer my books and stack them in order to fit them on my bookcases, so behind the Throne of Glass stack are some more YA fantasy books.


The second shelf down is a mix of YA fantasy and YA paranormal books. I have some Mary E. Pearson, Becca Fitzpatrick, Cynthia Hand, and C.J. Redwine here.


Behind the Pearson and Redwine books are Lauren Kate’s and Kiersten White’s books.


The next shelf is primarily YA paranormal. There’s some Jennifer Estep, Aimee Carter, and Josephine Angelini.


Behind those are Kimberly Derting and Meg Cabot books.


This shelf is kind of dark because it’s closer to the ground (and thus, farther from the light), but it’s also mostly YA paranormal. Here there are Rachel Hawkins, Julie Kagawa, and Kresley Cole books.


Behind those are Andrea Cremer and Maggie Stiefvater books.


On the very bottom shelf for this case are… more paranormal books! Such a surprise! Did you read my sarcasm there. ;)


Behind those books, there are some Cassandra Clare and Rick Riordan copies.

Whew, well that’s bookcase one. Are there any titles pictured that you have on your shelves?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

 "Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

Ash Princess
(Untitled Trilogy #1)
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Hardcover, 432 pages, Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she's not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress.

Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice to become queen.

My Thoughts

This book is just giving me all the good fantasy feels. It’s got a cover like Red Queen, with a plot that sounds somewhat similar to Throne of Glass, and a mix of Cinderella-fairytale bada$$ery to glue everything together.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Top Ten Books I Meant to Read in 2017 But Didn't

 If you’re unaware, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly original feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there’s a new Top Ten theme that the blogger responds to with their own list of answers.

This week’s theme is… *drumroll please*…

Ten Books I Meant to Read in 2017 But Didn't Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)

Most of these books are used to being on lists like these by now. I’ve recycled the same ones over and over. But I’m determined to knock them off my TBR.

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Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Entice by Jessica Shirvington


Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

Malice by John Gwynne

The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan


Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

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Alright, there you have it. My Top Ten Books I Meant to Read in 2017 But Didn’t Get To. What books would you put on this list? Let me know in the comments section.