TBR Alphabet Tag // I’m back !

Hello loves! It’s been two weeks since my last post. I took an unexpected hiatus because school was taking over my life and I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to a post.

But I’m back to regular posting, so you can expect a new post (at least) once a week!

I saw this tag over on Wonderland of Books, and I wanted to do it myself because it looks like a lot of fun :)

Rules

  • Name a book title from your TBR for every letter of the alphabet (can exclude words like ‘the’ if need be) these must be books that you have physical/e-book copies of and not ones you intend on getting but haven’t yet.
  • Try and include different authors for every single one
  • At the bottom of your list put how many you could fill in (out of 26)
  • Tag other people to join in and link back to the person who tagged you!

A B C

D E F

G H I

J K L

M N O

P Q R

S T U

V W X

Y Z

 

Total: 21/26

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This is a pretty good number, I think! I scrolled through my “Owned TBR” shelf on Goodreads for a good 45 minutes trying to find them all! Out of 91 books, I think this is a good number.

I tag all of you who want to do this! It was a lot of fun :)

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April TBR

Wow, it’s already time for a new TBR post. March was such a short month for me- it completely flew by. I don’t know if that’s because February felt so long, which made this one short in comparison. Whatever it was, I’m glad we get a new month to start fresh in!

I am participating in the magical read-a-thon this month, which begins with the O.W.L. exams. If you haven’t heard of it, be sure to check out the channel Book Roasts which explains it all. Basically, it is a “muggle” version of the Wizard exams in Harry Potter.

I chose journalist/writer as my profession, so I only need to complete 3 exams. But being the overachiever I am, I’m going to be attempting to pass 9. I don’t know if I’ll succeed, but you have to aim high, right?

Also, I have 12 books on my TBR, so I’m just going to be putting a picture of the cover instead of going into detail about why I chose them like I usually do. It’s just way too many books, sorry!

Potions- sequel

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Charms- an adult book

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History of Magic- written at least 10 years ago

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Arithmancy- written by more than one author

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Astronomy- “star” in the title

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Defense Against the Dark Arts- title starts with an “R”

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Muggle Studies- contemporary

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Transfigurations- red on cover

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herbology- plant on cover

TBD- I want to give myself some free room with this one because I have so many books with plants on them. I’ll just see what I’m in the mood to read when the time comes!

Others: (buddy reads)

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So that is it for my TBR! It is super ambitious and I probably won’t read all of these, but at least this gives me some structure to my busy schedule. Let me know what books you’re reading this month in the comments!

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Water Runs Red by Jenna Clare // Review

On March 5th of this year, Jenna Clare came out with her debut self-published poetry collection, Water Runs Red. I have been following her online for many years, and seeing her work so hard on this book was inspiring. I knew I needed to get my hands on it immediately.

So, as soon as the paperback copy was out, I ordered it along w/ the e-book, and I devoured it as soon as it came in!

Synopsis:
This collection is a reflection of three friendships that Jenna experienced- two of which she no longer has, and one that is with her current best friend- told through poetry. In between, there are poems about asexuality, current world events, religion, self-image, and more. 

 

My Review:

I want to do this review in bullet point format (sort of stolen from Marie) because I can’t directly put my thoughts into categories for this one. I also don’t even know where to start with it- there’s so much that I love!

  • The writing is absolutely incredible- it’s so different from many modern poetry collections that I’ve read in that the writing feels like you’re reading a fantasy novel. I loved it.
  • The story is also very unique. I have never read a poetry collection about friendship before, but this is something that everyone can relate to, so I enjoyed that aspect.
  • Jenna designed the entire thing by herself. Can you believe that?? Each page must have taken her hours, and to do that all alone takes a lot of dedication.
    • The reason I love this book so much (and needed it in paperback edition) is because it so closely resembles what I want my own poetry collection to look like.
    • It reminds me a lot of Connor Franta’s books, just with poetry on every page instead of vignettes/short stories.
  • It was real. It was honest. You can tell that all of the words come from Jenna’s heart. She tells her truth and nothing more.
  • There were so many pop culture references that I loved. I definitely didn’t find them all, because they’re so subtle. But when you do notice them, you’re thinking, wow that was so clever. 
  • The whole book just screams “passion.” You can tell that Jenna was so dedicated to it, and she put everything into making this what it is. I truly admire that.

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Overall:

I loved this collection so much, and I think that many people can relate to it- I know I really did. If you like poetry (or graphic design), you should give this one a chance! It won’t disappoint.

Rating: 

5/5 stars

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Have any of you gotten this collection yet? Let me know in the comments! Also, leave me suggestions for more poetry collections for me to check out because I’m in desperate need of more! See you soon :)

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Stormy Kind of Love by Tia Lee // First 1 Star of the Year

Hey everyone! Today I have a review for Stormy Kind of Love by Tia Lee.

I was sent a review copy in exchange for an honest review**

Goodreads Synopsis: 
It’s Rachel’s first day of Sophomore year at Oklahoma State University. The first day of school her biggest problem is getting to class late. Soon she finds herself in the middle of a love triangle, only one of the men who is a potential love interest is hiding secrets that put Rachel in danger. Will Rachel make the right choices or put herself in danger for love?

Stormy

My Review:

Overview-

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much going into this book. I had read the synopsis a while ago, and when I got sent the copy, I had completely forgotten what it was about! This is what happens with most books I read though, and I don’t mind going in blind.

Unfortunately, this one was a major disappointment for me.

Writing Style-

The writing is really simple and so choppy. There was a lot of telling instead of showing. So many sentences were basically “I was sad,” “He was tired.” “She was mad.” You can easily give a better description of this, rather than simply stating the adjective. Of course, once in a while this would have been fine, but it happened way too often that it was distracting to me.

It also has so many mistakes- not even just spelling, but so many grammar mistakes, too. It looks like a fast draft that no one read over and just decided to publish as-is. This confused me so much, and made the story so hard to follow.

Here are some examples of the writing:

1. This had absolutely no point to the story and could have been eliminated. I don’t care about the compartment you keep your phone in.

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2. “Hay” is spelled wrong twice in this, and I thought that maybe it had been a UK version of the spelling, but I couldn’t find it anywhere online. It’s just incorrect.

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3. This sentence is just absolutely so confusing. It is phrased really weird, and this is just one example out of many.

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I wish I had more screenshots to share of the writing, but taken out of context, it was hard to explain why some sentences were bad. You would need to read it for yourself to see.

Characters-

The characters were very cringe-y and they didn’t feel real. Their conversations and actions were just very unnatural. I didn’t care about any of the characters at all, and I had no emotions while reading what happened.

Here’s an example of something the main love interest said, and it just rubbed me the wrong way. There were so many other instances when he said something similar, and it just was so unnecessary. And the main character “beamed” at him for saying this. WHAT???

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Rachel is the most unlikeable main character ever. Everything she does makes me want to punch a brick wall. So much happens in this story, and it was very serious. But Rachel decides she’s not going to tell her parents what is going on because she’s afraid of them pulling her out of school. But the situation is so serious that she probably should leave, or at least transfer somewhere else.

Plot-

This book is marketed as a suspense novel, but it was not thriller-y at all. In fact, it felt more like a contemporary romance.

The ending was so unrealistic and came completely out of nowhere. Also, there was an alternate ending provided, which is a really cool concept, but it was so unnecessary for this book. There are just so many issues with this book, and I would not recommend it unfortunately.

Final Rating:

1/5 stars 

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I wanted to DNF this story the entire time. I considered it at every chapter, but I wanted to give it a fair review since it is for a blog tour. The story is just very unrealistic, and it’s predictable the entire time- I literally knew what was going to happen in each chapter to a tee.

The story could have been very good, but the execution was just so bad. It was a really poorly done story, and needs a lot of editing.

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March TBR // More Read-a-thons

Last month was full of read-a-thons, and this one is no different. I’m awful at them, but I always try to participate anyways because it helps me read more than I would on my own.

My TBR this month focuses primarily around the read-a-thons, but I’m going to try and squeeze in any other books that I can, too! We’ll see how this actually goes.

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Currently Reading:

Stormy Kind of Love by Tia Lee

I am reading a review copy that was sent to me this month because I want to get the review done ASAP! I should be able to get this done soon because I have already started it. I won’t say much because I have a lot of feelings that I’ll get into in my review (so look out for that).

The Secret History by Donna Tart

I’ve talked about this book a lot on my Instagram (which you should follow). I bought this book on a whim at Barnes and Noble, but it is one that I am very excited about! So far, I am really enjoying it, but it is a long book, so it’ll definitely take me a while to read.

Buzzword-a-thon- March 18-24

This is a read-a-thon hosted by Kayla (or booksandlala on booktube) and Chelsea (chelseasdollingreads) this time around, and I’m so excited. I haven’t participated in the past because I never had enough books to fit the challenge.

The buzzwords this round are: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How!

There are so many options with this, and I found lots of books to fit- and a few of them are books that I need to review, which is great.

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The Top Ten Lies We Tell Ourselves: And HOW To Stop Living Them by Dana Morrocco

I got this book on Netgalley AGES ago and I just suck at reading ARCs, so it’s been sitting on my virtual shelf for so long. I am really working on getting through all of my ARCs this year (even though so far I’ve been pretty unsuccessful).

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WHAT I Wish I Knew WHEN I Was 20 by Tina Seelig

Again, this is another Netgalley book, and I just want to through as many as I can in the upcoming months (I have about 9 on my shelf).

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WHERE I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

I bought this book on Bookoutlet a while back, and have yet to read it. I think I added it just to get my total about $35 or just to get an even number of books. I’m not particularly excited to read it, but I own it now, so I’m going to give it a try.

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WHEN We Collided by Emery Lord

I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, so I can not wait to read it! The cover is super pretty, too, which just adds to my hype for it!

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HOW To Break a Boy by Laurie Devore

This was a kindle deal that I found one day, so I decided to get it. The reviews are very mixed for it, but I want to give it a try!

Zodiac-a-thon- March 20-26

This read-a-thon was created by Kerri, who is an absolute angel, and it is all about astrology! There are 6 challenges, and even though I don’t think I’ll be able to read all 6 books, I still decided to fill in the challenges aside from reading the group book! Some of them overlap with the Buzzword-a-thon books (since they are basically at the same time) because there is no way I can read that many books in a week.

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Buddy read a book with someone who shares your sun sign

For this challenge, I am reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid with a group of scorpios on Twitter! We made a groupchat and turned the buddy read into a mini group read.

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Read a book with an astrology/astronomy related word in the title

I am choosing Rust and Stardust by T Greenwood for this (because of the word “star” in it). This is another ARC I got from Netgalley, and it’s one that I actually really wanted to read, so now is as good a time as ever!

Read a book that fits the challenge for your sun sign

The challenge for Scorpio (which is my sun sign) is to read a book with romance in it. I am going to combine this challenge with the book Where I Belong from the Buzzword-a-thon since it has romance in it!

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Read a book that fits the challenge for your moon sign

My moon sign is Aquarius, and the challenge is to read a book outside of your comfort zone. For this one I am going with The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett. This is one of the first physical ARCs I’ve ever received, about 2 years ago, and I STILL haven’t read it. I suck, okay?? I’m not a big Sci-fi person, so we’ll see how this goes. Hopefully I enjoy it!

Read a book that fits the challenge for your ascendent/rising sign

My rising sign is capricorn, and the challenge is to read a nonfiction book. Again, I am combining this with a book from the buzzword-a-thon- either one of the first two would count. They are both self-help type books (those count, right?).

Other:

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#SOMreadalong- A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

If you didn’t know, I am hosting a read-a-long for the shades of magic series by V.E. Schwab! This month is A Gathering of Shadows because we read A Darker Shade of Magic in February.

If you’re participating, let me know and use the #somreadalong to update your progress on social media :)

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I love to make a plan for myself every month with books I want to read, but I rarely ever stick to it fully. We’ll see how this month ends up going, I might ditch this TBR and just read whatever I’m in the mood for, but I’ll try.

Let me know what’s on your TBR this month!

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are Trigger Warnings important? // discussion

This post was originally meant to go up a couple weeks ago, but due to the amount of research and time I wanted to put into it, I had to postpone a little bit! I’m really sorry about that, but I hope that this post was informative and useful in some way. Feel free to leave any comments sharing your personal experiences, or correct anything I say if it is wrong! I want this to be as correct as possible.

I recently came across a tweet that said that trigger warnings in books are unnecessary and that they are “spoilers.”

I was stunned when I saw this because I thought that this debate was over a long time ago. Personally, I do not have any triggers that would prevent me from reading a book, but I still find the value in including them. I want to dive deeper into this topic and explain why they are important.

Aside from my personal beliefs, I also read actual research to support my claims like I stated earlier, and at the end of this post I will have a list of some of the sites that I read- both for and against the use of them.

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What is a trigger warning?

A trigger warning is a statement at the beginning of a book, tv-show, movie, etc. that lists some of the potential “triggers,” or sensitive topics covered in the media, that could be harmful to the viewer. This is especially important for trauma survivors and those with PTSD.

What is the value?

Some researchers stated that trigger warnings could be harmful to those with PTSD in the long run because it causes them to avoid those traumas, rather than dealing with them. However, no research has been done with actual trauma survivors to determine whether trigger warnings are helpful or counterproductive.

It is not a healthy coping mechanism to avoid triggers.

That is not what I am trying to say in this post. If you suffer from PTSD, I urge you to seek help and go through the treatment process. 

However, what we do know, is that trigger warnings can be helpful if someone is just recovering from trauma, and can not yet be exposed to those triggers without severe mental strain. Also, if someone is experiencing a time of poor mental health, they can know to avoid certain media if it will be triggering for them.

Additionally, these content warnings do not necessarily cause someone to avoid the trigger; Instead, it may allow them to prepare mentally for them, rather than catching them off guard and causing a panic attack.

But what if I get spoiled by a trigger warning?

First, trigger warnings are not spoilers. Trust me. Just by looking up a review or reading the description of a book or movie, you’ll probably find the topic mentioned.

Also, trigger warnings are general enough that they are more or less themes featured in the books, not plot points.

If you are someone who doesn’t like to know anything about a book or movie before going in, then just skip the trigger warnings.

You may find them unnecessary, but that does not mean that they are not necessary for someone else. Keep that in mind when you see a content warning of some kind. If you don’t see the point, that is because they are not meant for you.

Research and Resources:

Psychology Today Article

Time Article

NYT Article– Read the comments of this one as well!!

PTSD Counseling Resources

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I hope that you found this post at least somewhat helpful. Once again, feel free to correct me if I said anything wrong in the comments. This post is meant to be informative, so I want to make sure the information is as accurate as possible.

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Contemporary-a-thon TBR

Hello, loves! Today’s post was supposed to be something entirely different- it was supposed to be a discussion post, but that will be up either later this week, or next week!

Then, I was going to do a Q&A, but I am going to save those questions for next week, so if you have anything you want to ask me, leave a comment down below :)

I decided instead to do a last minute TBR for the contemporary-a-thon! This read-a-thon started yesterday actually, by the time you’re reading this, so I probably already started/finished some books!

This is a read-a-thon hosted by some AMAZING people, so definitely check all of them out!

Chelsea

Julie

Natasha

Melanie

There are seven challenges, so you can read 7 books, but you can combine challenges and read as many as you want! I’m going to pick a book for each category, but I only plan on getting to about 2-3 books (oops).

1. Read the most recent contemporary book you purchased/acquired

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

I just bought this the order day at a trip to Barnes and Noble: I actually bought three books, but this is the one that I found last. I bought it sort of on a whim, but I have heard such amazing things about it. All I know is that it is a murder mystery novel which is right up my alley.

2. Read book with blurple (blue or purple) on the cover

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Yes, I am still reading this. I sort of put it down for a few weeks, not because it was bad, but because I had other books I needed to prioritize. However, I am finally a good chunk of the way through, and I should definitely finish it in the next couple of days.

3. Read a diverse contemporary (keeping in mind that it is Black History Month!)

A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert

This is a romance novel whose main character is black and I believe on the autism spectrum. I read Merry Inkmas but Talia Hibbert and enjoyed it. It was a quick read, so I’m hoping this one is the same, so I can knock it out in a day or two.

4. Read a dark/emotional/hard-hitting contemporary

You by Caroline Kepnes

This is another mystery novel that is about stalking- I’m sorry that my TBR’s don’t have good descriptions of the books, but I don’t usually know a lot going into a book. I think it counts as a dark contemporary, but honestly I don’t know since I don’t know anything about it. I have been putting off watching the Netflix show because I want to read the book first. I don’t think I will be able to finish this one during the week just because it’s a longer one, but I’m hoping to at least start it!

5. Read a contemporary that you meant to read in 2018 but didn’t

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

If you know anything about me, you know that I love Jenn Bennett. She writes really cute, fluffy contemporaries, which I honestly don’t even really like to read anymore. BUT, there is something about her writing that makes me fall in love with her characters and want to read more. I have read 3 of her novels, but have not gotten around to this one yet. I really hope I love it as much as the rest of her books!

6. Read a contemporary in a non-traditional format

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham (e-book)

I have had the e-book of this novel for probably over a year now. I read Lauren Graham’s autobiography and she is so incredibly funny. Since then, I have wanted to pick up this book, which is her debut novel, I believe.

7. Read a contemporary with some sort of picture on the spine

I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

I’m away at school and this was the only contemporary I have that sort of fits this challenge- it has a little cartoon person at the top of the spine. I loved Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, and IWBFT has been on my TBR since it came out (maybe even earlier). I have said in multiple TBRs that I would read this and yet I still haven’t- but is anyone even surprised?? So, let’s hope I finally get around to it :)

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Leave a comment down below letting me know if you are participating in the contemporary-a-thon :)

Also, please leave some questions down below for a Q&A post! I will try to answer all of them, if I can!

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Sadie by Courtney Summers | Review

Hello, loves. One of my resolutions this year was to put more effort into my creative pursuits. For the blog, that means writing posts with more depth and better content overall. Specifically, I want to incorporate more reviews on here because I love writing them, and I get to share my feelings more.

Today, I want to talk about Sadie by Courtney Summers. I finished reading it literally a few minutes ago and knew immediately that I wanted to write a post about it.

Stats:

Trigger Warnings- murder/death, sexual assault/rape, pedophilia
Representation- stutter, LGBTQ+ 

It took me about 3 days to read. I started it on the first of February, and today (the day I’m writing this) is the third. But, I didn’t really read much for the first two days because I had other books to read. I read l over half of it today.

I alternated between the physical and audio because I knew I wanted to listen to at least some of it. The audiobook is what got the most hype for this book, so obviously I had to listen.

My rating: 5/5 stars

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Summary:

This is one that I definitely think you should go into knowing very little, so all that I am going to say is it follows a girl (Sadie) who goes missing, and the story switches two POVs. One is Sadie narrating her travels, and the other is a podcast host, who is telling her story alongside her, gathering his own clues about where she is.

Characters:

I am a character driven reader, so this is the first category I want to talk about. At first, I did not like reading from Sadie’s POV. I was much more interested in the podcast part because it was faster paced. However, the more I got to know Sadie, the more I started to love her.

I decided that she is definitely a scorpio- she’s stubborn and when she feels something, any emotion, she feels it deeply and with her whole heart. There is not a lot that can get in her way if she has her mind set on something. She’s also just such a badass. Her relationship with her sister was obviously so strong, and it drove her to do things you wouldn’t expect.

I see a lot of myself in her, so once I got used to the writing style from her POV, I loved her and everything we read about her.

As far as the podcast host goes, I loved him. He was very conflicted on whether he should take on this story or not, but you definitely see him evolve as he gets more invested in the case. He definitely cares.

Plot:

Like I said earlier, I don’t want to give too much away about this book. It was a fast-paced story that gripped me from beginning to end. The concept of the podcast was so unique and interesting. It tells the story of grief and sister love.

As far as the ending, I can’t stop thinking about it, and I know I won’t be able to for a while. It’s a little open-ended (not really, you understand if you read it), so if you don’t like that, you might be a little angry at it!

Overall:

I would highly recommend checking this out. It’s gripping, it’s fast-paced, and you won’t want to put it down. I will definitely be picking up more by Courtney Summers. This book was truly a whole experience from beginning to end, and I’m so happy I finally picked it up.

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Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on it? Leave me recommendations of books that are similar to it :)

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February 2019 TBR

The first month of the year is officially over! It was a pretty productive month for me that came with a lot of changes and unexpected surprises- all in a good way! I hope things were good for you, too.

First, a mini wrap-up.

I read a total of 11 books last month, which is the most I’ve read in a while. I’m hoping that I can keep this going for the rest of the year, but as school gets more difficult, that might not be possible. I’m just going with the flow right now.

Out of those 11, 5 were poetry collections and 6 were actual novels. Usually I don’t read this much poetry in one month, I try to spread it out. However, I got a lot of ARCs and review copies so I wanted to read them ASAP.

Also, I only read one physical book this month which is definitely new to me. I usually only read a few ebooks/audiobooks a month, but those are basically all I read in January. Like I said, January was full of surprises.

The TBR

February is the first month of the Booktube Games, which I am participating in! If you don’t know, it is a month long reading challenge where everyone is put into a team based off of a fictional place. The goal is to read as much as you can, and the team with the most amount of pages read wins.

I’m team camp half-blood (which is obviously going to win), and I’m so excited!

I planned a TBR out of 6 books, but I plan on reading a lot more- I just wanted room to read whatever I’m in the mood for.

It by Stephen King

I have owned the physical copy of this book for a long time now, but it’s so intimidating because it’s over 1000 pages! But, I finally got the audiobook on Libby, so I want to listen to it. I think it’s the only way I’ll get through the whole thing.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

If you don’t follow me on Instagram or Twitter (which you should), then you wouldn’t know that I am hosting a Shades of Magic read-a-long with my friend Aza! This month we are starting off with A Darker Shade of Magic (obviously), and I’m so excited! This book is one that is extremely hyped by the community, so I hope it lives up to that!

If you want to join us, be sure to use #SOMreadalong to update your progress :)

Sadie by Courtney Summers

I am actually group reading this with a few people on Twitter, so this is one of the first books I plan on getting to this month. The cover is stunning, the story sounds amazing, and literally everyone loves it. I heard the ending will make you cry, and that’s what I’m always looking for in a book if I’m being honest!

Circe by Madeline Miller

This is camp half-blood’s group read for the games, and if you read it within the first week, you get double the page count! I am not entirely excited about this one (it’s not something I would pick up on my own), but hopefully I end up enjoying it.

Gerald’s Game by Stephen King

Another Stephen King book is on here, oops. I just finished reading On Writing by him, and I loved it so much. That book really changed the way I view writing, so I need to get a move on and actually read his books!

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Finally, I want to read Starfish, which is a book I started last month. BUT, because of my weird ebook/audiobook kick, I couldn’t pick up any physical books. I definitely want to get to it this month, though. Summer Bird Blue was my favorite book of 2018, so of course I need to pick up other books by Akemi!

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What are you reading this month? Are you participating in the booktube games? Definitely let me know in the comments (and what team you’re on)!

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My Reading Tastes Have Changed… & So Has the Way I Rate Books

Hello, loves! Jess here. Notice anything new? I recently changed my site name, as well as my Instagram and Twitter handles! I wanted to “rebrand” in a way because my old name just didn’t encompass what this site is. I wanted a name that fits this blog and me! Kisses From Jess is now in the past :)

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What does this change mean? Basically nothing.

Like I said, I mainly just wanted a name that fits what this blog is- and that’s what Jessica C Writes does. I write. About books, writing, journaling, and a couple other things. As far as content, the type of things I post will stay the same, but I am going to be putting a lot of effort into those posts. I want each and every post to be something I am proud of. So that is going to be my aim for this coming year (oh- and expect more book reviews).

Anyways…

Let’s move onto what you clicked for- which is a discussion post about how my reading tastes have changed, but more specifically how it has changed my ratings!

I wrote a post about how I read both critically and for fun a few months ago, but my opinions have definitely changed on that subject since then.

I realized that (especially in the last few months) my reading tastes have been changing dramatically. What I used to read were mainly YA contemporaries- very fluffy ones. I had the occasional thriller or fantasy or adult book thrown in there, but I basically just stuck to one genre that I knew I loved.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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But the truth is, I didn’t really know what I liked in books and what I didn’t because I was only reading one type of book. Within the past few months, I wanted to change this. I wanted to pick up different books so that I could figure out what I like.

I now pick up books that are very different from what I was reading just a couple years back. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t suddenly become a huge high fantasy or science fiction reader, but I stray outside of the YA contemporary romance books. I read mysteries and thrillers, and lots of NA and Adult books! I also add a lot more fantasy novels to my TBRs than I have in the past!

Overall, I have definitely broadened my horizons when it comes to reading, and I am so happy about that!

How has this affected my reviews?

Because I now know what I like to see in books- in terms of themes, genres, character development, etc., I read more critically. I am very picky about what I like and what I don’t like, so I don’t give everything 4 or 5 stars anymore as I previously had for no reason whatsoever. I basically just gave everything 5 stars as long as I somewhat enjoyed it.

With that in mind, I am also pickier about what I read to begin with- I don’t add books to my TBR just because they are extremely hyped by the book community. I only add books that I have a genuine interest in reading now. So even though I said I give less 4/5 stars, that doesn’t mean the book is necessarily bad. It still had something in it that drew me to it, it just isn’t one of my all time favorites.

Mainly, I am just pickier about what I choose as my favorite books opposed to just good books.

For example- a rating between 4-5 means a book is amazing and I really, really love it. It has definitely earned a spot in my top favorites.

However, a book with 3-4 stars does not mean the book is bad- there was just certain elements that fell flat for me, or I was a little disappointed by it. For example, I might not have liked the writing style, but loved the story. Or the pacing was slow but I loved the characters, etc. This is still a book I enjoyed though!

I think most people see a 3 star rating and assume a book is bad, when that is not the case for me at all. It all definitely depends on each reviewer and how they rate their books, but I think in general a 3 star rating is not equal to a book being awful.

I rarely give 1-2 stars, but those are the books that I consider “bad.”

By experimenting with my reading tastes, I have definitely turned into a much more critical reader. Reading critically is something I really enjoy, and I’ve always been this way with books for school, so I don’t know why it has taken me this long to be this way with other books.

This post is getting pretty long, so I’ll end it there!

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Have your reading tastes changed at all? How/Why? This is a topic I could go on about for days, and it’s super interesting to hear other people talk about! Definitely leave a comment letting me know your opinions on this down below :)

See you soon!

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