March Wrap Up 2020

It’s been one strange month, to say the least- at the beginning of the month, I thought I wasn’t going to get any reading done at all, and suddenly I was sent home from university because of the coronavirus.

Now I have all the time in the world, and I’ve been able to do a decent amount of reading, compared to previous months. I am happy to say I read 11 books this month! Woohoo!

My reading was also all over the place this month. I had a few 5 stars, but I also had a 1 star read, which is pretty rare for me. It was just an interesting month overall.

Currently Reading:

Docile km szpara

  • Docile by K.M. Szpara: I’m hoping to finish this one by the end of the day so I can count it as read in March! I will definitely be able to do it, so I will update the post when I finish :)
    • UPDATE: I DID finish it!! I gave it 3 stars. It was hard to rate because of the subject matter, but I think this is a good rating.

 

5 Stars

  • My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan: Not what I expected, but it was really good!
  • The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson: I picked this up randomly because I saw it on Scribd and wanted to finish the series. It is now one of my favorite series of all time!
  • The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

4 Stars

  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren: My first Christina Lauren book turned out to be a success. I wrote a review for it, too.
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzi Lee
  • The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware: This was SO. GOOD. I really enjoyed it!
  • The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

3 Stars

  • And I Darken by Kiersten White: I have an ARC of the third book in this series, so I’m working my way towards it. It was alright, not a favorite of mine.
  • Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco: This book has a really complicated magic system that I did not fully understand for the majority of the book, and it took me a while to get into it. The ending was enjoyable, though!

hearts, strings, and other breakable things

1 Star

  • Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins: I honestly don’t have much to say about this one other than I really did not like it.

let's chat

Those are all of the books I read this month! If you’ve read any, please let me know what your thoughts on them were in the comments.

I’m looking forward to my next month of reading, which you’ll read about in my next post :)

Jessica

March TBR 2020

March is going to be a long month. I can feel it. This semester hasn’t been too bad as of now, but it is finally starting to pick up now that I’m at that halfway mark. I have a lot of work piling up, so I’m definitely a little worried about getting my reading in.

But, I also have spring break this month, so I’ll be home for a week without any obligations! Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a lot of reading done then!

Wicked As You Wish rin chupeco

Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

First up is Wicked As You Wish because I was actually a part of the “street team” that promoted this book! I was able to get an ARC because of this, and I am really looking forward to reading it.

I’ve seen many great reviews for this one, and even though I’m not a big fantasy reader, it caught my attention!

Docile km szpara

Docile by K.M. Szpara

Next up is another ARC that I am so happy to have received! This is a science fiction novel, which isn’t usually my thing, but this one sounds incredible. I have heard mixed reviews, though, which worries me a bit. I do want to get to it this month either way, as it comes out today actually!

hearts, strings, and other breakable things

Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins

This is my e-book pick from my TBR jar for the month of March! I love contemporaries, so I’m very happy I picked this one to read. It’s been on my Netgalley review list for a while now, so I am probably going to start off with this one so I can get it reviewed ASAP!

It’s about a girl’s last summer before going to college, which is one of my favorite times to read about! I feel like it’ll be a quick read.

the unhoneymooners

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

This month I am finally getting to The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren! This will be my first book from this author duo, and I am so excited! This one has received glowing reviews, and I really feel like I will enjoy it.

Also, please appreciate this cover: It is stunning!

My Oxford Year

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

Finally, I had to make sure I included an audiobook to listen to as well. I chose My Oxford Year because it is fairly short (the audiobook is only about 10 hours long), and I can listen to it while I’m at the gym!

I’ve started this one already, and I’m really enjoying it so far! Hopefully the book continues down this direction :)

let's chat

That is it for my March TBR! Sticking to a TBR has actually made my life a lot easier, so I’m excited to see if I will be 3/3 this month!

What are you hoping to read in March?

Jessica

February Wrap-Up 2020

Another month, another wrap-up! This month I only read 5 books so far (with a hopeful 6th almost done). This wrap-up may not be as long as previous ones, but I am proud of myself for reading anything regardless. I’m also trying to focus less on quantity this year, and spend more time with each book and actually enjoy it.

Anyways, let’s look at what I read!

Current Read: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Okay, so I know I haven’t finished this book yet, but I’m 1/2 way through it and I still have until Saturday to finish it, so I think I’ll be able to finish it! Either way, I wanted to include it here anyway because the majority of it will be read this month!

As of now, I’m really enjoying this one, and I can see it becoming a favorite read for me for sure!

5 Stars

  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell- Beautiful read. It was heartbreaking but it touched on such a dark topic in a good way. I think it’s an important read for sure.
  • How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow- I wasn’t planning on reading this one this month but I needed an audiobook to listen to, and this one was incredible. Another one that is a bit on the darker side, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

3 Stars

  • Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham- Disappointing one for sure because I hyped it up so much in my head. I still really recommend Lauren Graham’s memoir though!
  • A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert- This book fell a little flat for me, which I was sad about because I loved two of her other novels so much. Unfortunately, the characters and their chemistry felt a little forced to me.

Beholding Bee

2 Stars

  • Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco- This one was on my TBR for so long so I’m happy to have finally checked it off. BUT, I definitely did not connect with the story or the writing style at all.

let's chat

That’s all for today’s post! I am happy to say I have successfully followed a TBR for two months now. Maybe I’ll be able to do this every month…

Jessica

February 2020 TBR

A new month means it’s time for a new TBR post! Last month was the first time I successfully created a TBR and fully stuck to it. I was always the type of person who claimed I was a mood reader (and I do still consider myself one). BUT, now I know that I can follow a TBR if I put my mind to it, too.

I’m hoping to be able to stick to my TBR once again, so here are the 5 books I hope to read!

Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco

As I’m sure you all know (because I talk about this way too often), I am trying to read as many of my backlist books as possible. Actually, I’m also taking part in the #Pondathon created by CW, and as part of Team Gen, our goal is to read backlist books! That is why almost all of these books are backlist- gotta get those points for my team!

This is a book I bought almost 4 years ago at this point. I’m ashamed that I have not yet read it, but hopefully, this will be the month!

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Oh, I am so excited about this one. I have a fear of big books, which is pretty much the only reason I’ve put this one off. But I just know that I will love it so much. The fourth book in this series came out TODAY, so it would be cool to be able to read this entire series this year. I’m not promising that it will happen, but it is definitely a possibility!

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

Lauren Graham is one of my favorite people on this planet. She’s so funny, down to earth, and a great writer. I’ve read her memoir as well as a speech she made for a high school graduation. Both were phenomenal.

I’m very interested to see how her nonfiction writing translates into a fiction novel.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

This book was originally supposed to come out in January by publication got pushed back to March. This is good for me because now I actually have time to read it before release. I have seen some early reviews about this one, and almost all were positive.

I have heard that this is a dark book, but that is a genre/category I do like to read. I have pretty high expectations for this one!

A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert

Each month I am also reading a book that I pick from my e-book TBR jar. This month’s pick is A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert! I have read one other Talia Hibbert book and it was really great! It should be a fairly quick read. Plus, it’ll be the perfect book to read in between classes.

let's chat

What do you think of the books on my TBR for this month? Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of them and what your thoughts were!

See you soon!

Jessica

January 2020 Wrap-Up / Starting Off the Year Strong!

The first month of the year is pretty much OVER. January actually felt like a really long month for me, personally. So many things happened, but, overall, it was a really great month.

Let’s take a look at my month in review!

📚On Books:

I read 8 books this month, which I am very happy with! I read all 5 books that were on my TBR for this month (which I am extremely proud of- I don’t think I’ve ever done this before).

Also, I had a really great reading month in terms of star ratings- most books were 4 or 5-star reads!

January 2020January 2020

🔐On Life:

  • I wanted to try to get back into some non-reading related hobbies this year. Of course, I will continue reading, blogging, and writing, but I do want to be a more well-rounded person, so I started working out and running again. This has honestly done wonders for my mental health. I feel great every time I get to the gym.
  • I also started baking more! I’m back at school now, so baking isn’t something I can do unless I’m at home, but I had so much fun trying new recipes and working from scratch to create delicious (and healthy) treats. I posted about the desserts I made on my Instagram stories, so be sure to follow me on there to see more!
  • I attended a wedding this month with half of my family, and it was so much fun. Some of my family members from Poland even flew in, some of which I haven’t seen in YEARS, so that was so nice.
  • Finally, I started the Spring semester of my sophomore year of college. It’s crazy to think that I’m almost halfway done with my undergraduate experience.

📝On Goals:

  • Workout 15 times ✔︎
    • I actually worked out EVERY SINGLE DAY of the month! I was not aiming to do this, but I actually wanted to work out every day, so it just sort of… happened. Some days were much lighter (just yoga, a short run, etc.), so I never felt exhausted or overworked. Will I continue to workout daily forever? No. But it was cool to be able to do so for at least one month!
  • Start writing again ✔︎✘
    • I did write a few things. A couple of poems, a few lines of a WIP. But, my goal was really to start writing consistently again, which is something I did not do. Next month I want to figure out a more structured schedule for myself to write, but it’s hard with school and work.
  • hit 975 blog followers ✔︎
    • Thank you so much to everyone who has followed me this past month! I have been working hard on my posts, so it means a lot to see that people actually notice and want to follow. I’m so close to 1000 followers now!! That is so cool!!
  • read 5 books ✔︎
    • As you already know, I read 8 books. YAY!
  • meditate twice a week ✔︎
    • Another one of my 2020 goals is to meditate more. I wanted to start January off with just twice a month, and so far, I have accomplished that! I might increase this goal next month, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself with this.

let's chat

Tell me about your month and how it went for you! Also, let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what your thoughts were on them :) See you soon!

Jessica

January TBR 2020

Happy New Year, old sports! Welcome to the roaring twenties, the gatsby age, a time for fresh starts. I always love the new year, but this one is even more exciting because we’re entering a whole new decade.

I am so excited about everything I have planned this year, and I can’t wait to use the momentum of this new year to bring me closer to my goals (which I will talk about in a future post).

First, I want to share my January TBR with you guys because this is the year I finally defeat my TBR. I am so excited about all of these books and I can’t wait to dive in. Let’s take a look at what they are!

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

This book has been on my TBR for quite a while now, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a book I absolutely love. All I know about it is that it’s about a group of actors in college. I want to go in knowing as little as possible since it is a mystery novel.

Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

This is the only book on this list that I don’t own yet, but I’m borrowing the e-book from my library, so I NEED to finish it this month. I enjoyed the first two books of this trilogy, but I didn’t LOVE them. I do want to finish this book, though just so I can know how it all ends. It’s a shorter book, so, hopefully, I will be able to read it quickly.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

I read A Darker Shade of Magic MONTHS ago. I really did mean to read this one in 2019, but I just never got around to it. This year, one of my priorities is to finish the series I’ve started, so as you can see, there are a lot on this list.

The Art of Mindful Relaxation

Another thing I’m trying this year is a TBR jar but only for my e-books. I’m awful at reading the e-books I have, so I want to get through more of them this year. This month I picked out The Art of Mindful Meditation which is a Netgalley title I got a while back. I want to get my Netgalley ratio to 95% this year. I’m currently at 80%, so I’m not too far off!

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

Again, I am working through my series, so this is another I want to read. I actually own an ARC of it, so I really do want to get to it. I really enjoyed the first book, though I have heard mixed opinions on this one. Also, the third book in the series comes out this year, so I want to be able to read it!

let's chat

I am so excited for this year, and I can’t wait to get started on my reading. What do you hope to read this month? What is your first read of a new decade going to be?

Jessica

December TBR

Hello! Happy December. I did not have a new post up last week because I just wanted to enjoy time at home and not worry about anything going on online.

I am back with a TBR post today, though. I am really excited to share my reading plans with you all because 1. it’s the last month of the year and 2. I’ll be home by the middle of December for winter break so I’ll have a whole lot of time to read!

I’ve luckily already hit my goal for the year, so I’m not stressing myself out to read too much, but there are a couple of books I want to finish!

Let’s just get into what I’ll be reading!

The Turn of the Screw and Other Ghost Stories by Henry James

This is my current read. I’ve actually gotten through 3-4 stories, so I’m almost halfway through it, but November was a slow reading month, and I never got to finish. My goal is to read 2 stories a week, but I don’t know if that’ll actually happen because of finals. I’m going to try, though!

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

It’s the last month of the year. I really need to finish this one because I think I started it in the Spring. I am definitely going to do it. It’s the next book I’m going to pick up, so it will get read! I swear!

I’ve talked about how I’m going to read this one so many times this year, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

This one is another that has been on my TBR before (I think October?). I am definitely going to get to it, too, because I am part of a blog tour for it! That post will be up in January, so be on the lookout for that!

I’ve also been in the mood for cute contemporary books to get me out of my mini slump, so I’m hoping this one will do the trick!

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

This is the last book I’m going to try to read this month. The cover is a girl surrounded by snow, so obviously, this would be the perfect time to read it. Plus, I just really love Lauren Graham, and I’ve owned this book for way too long. I think it’s time to read it!

let's chat

Have you read any of these? Let me know what you thought of them if you did! Also, feel free to share your TBR with me :)

Jessica

October 2019 Wrap-Up / Blogtober Day 31

Happy Halloween! It’s the last day of Blogtober. I can not believe it. I am incredibly proud of myself for putting up one blog post every single day of the month. This was an incredibly rewarding experience that challenged me in more ways than one. But, with all that being said, I’m very glad it’s over. And I can’t say that I am planning on doing this ever again (but who knows, maybe I’ll be back here again next year).

As it is the end of the month, it is time for a wrap-up! I read a total of 11 books this month! This is a big improvement after September’s 2 books.

I already wrote a post talking about the first half of reads for the month, so you can check out that post to hear more of my thoughts on those.

Here are the rest:

Furyborn

Furyborn by Claire Legrand:

This book surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it, but I did! I’m actually really looking forward to reading the next book now! The writing felt natural, the pacing was good, and the story was interesting. The one thing I will say is I got a bit confused at times. There were many characters, lots of places to remember, etc. The details got a little fuzzy. However, I really enjoyed the style as a whole, and once I got the two POVs separated, it was fine! I thought the worldbuilding was done really well. I felt like I was right there with the characters; I could picture all of the scenes in my head.

Rating: 4/5 stars

disconnected vol 2

Disconnect Vol. 2 by Michelle Halket:

This book was incredible! I don’t read a lot of short story collections, but now I want to put more of an effort into doing so. The premise of this one was that one poet would write a poem, and then another would write a short story inspired by it, and so on.

I really enjoyed this one, especially because it had short stories written by poets whose work I’ve read before! If you have any recommendations for short story collections, please send them my way!

Rating: 5/5 stars

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert:

I actually wrote a whole blog post reviewing this book! I thought it was so well written, and it was very enjoyable. It has a hate to love trope, plus amazing rep, and fun, relatable characters! It is the perfect recipe for a book honestly.

 

 

 

Rating: 5/5 stars

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin:

I’m technically still reading this one, but I only have about 50 pages left. I’m definitely going to finish it by the end of the day, and so far, it’s at about 3.5 stars. It was really slow to begin with, and it took me a long time to actually get into the story.

At the point that I’m at now, I feel like it’ll either get bumped up or bumped down, depending on the ending! I’ll update this after I finish it to let you know what the final rating is!

 

let's chat

How did your reading look like for the month? Did you read any new favorites?

Jessica

Recent Reads #1 / Blogtober Day 17

Last month, I only successfully read 2 books. I was in a HUGE slump, and I hated it. But with school and other things taking priority, I couldn’t focus on reading. This month has already been so much different. I’ve read quite a few books already, so I thought I would talk about some of them today in an effort to keep my wrap-up at the end of the month a bit shorter :)

maroon daydreams

Maroon Daydreams by Cheyenne Raine:

This was a really enjoyable poetry collection! I always enjoy Cheyenne’s writing, and this collection definitely showed me why. It’s very relatable, so I could connect with many of the poems in it. I also really loved the pictures that came with this one, they were a nice touch!

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo and Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo:

I did a whole separate review post on this series as a whole, so make sure to check out that blog post to hear my thoughts! I don’t want to repeat myself too much, but this was a really fun series, and I’m so glad I got to mark it off my TBR.

Ratings: 3/5 stars, 5/5 stars

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz:

This is a kids classic book of scary stories that I’ve actually never read. I picked up the bind-up of the three books from this collection for a school club, but I was actually pleasantly surprised! This one was good, but not amazing. There were a couple of creepy stories, but they didn’t really get me. Obviously, they’re aimed at children, so that’s to be expected!

Rating: 3/5 stars

Even More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz:

This was my favorite out of the three. I tabbed the most stories that freaked me out in this one. I think the stories were more original and interesting than the previous book. It was a pleasant surprise.

Rating: 4/5 stars

More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz:

This one was good. Nothing too memorable. I enjoyed it, but I was hoping this last one would be the best. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. There were a couple of good stories in this one, but none that really stuck out to me.

frankenstein

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:

This is a classic that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. We all know the story of Frankenstein and his monster- or at least, we think we do. The original story is so much creepier, and it was actually quite sad, too. I listened to the audiobook which I think added to my enjoyment. I don’t know if I would have bothered to read it anytime soon had it not been for that.

Rating: 4/5 stars

24 Hour Read-a-thon Recap / Blogtober Day 15

Hello everyone! I recently did a 24 hour read-a-thon in order to get the amount of books I had on my TBR under control. I was in the middle of like 5+ books, so I needed to lower that number and work through some! Here’s a look at how it went:

12 am:

  • I stayed up for about a half an hour to read “More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” I read the first “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” book a couple days before! I have a bind up of all three books, so my goal was to finish the other two during the read-a-thon. I got about 40 pages in before I called it a night. I am not a night person at all.

8:30 am:

  • I went for a run in the morning, I showered, and made breakfast. During the run and the making of my food, I listened to the audiobook of Frankenstein! I thought this would be the perfect read for this read-a-thon because it’s only a 7 hour audiobook (3.5 hours at 2x speed), and it is a spooky classic! I’ve never read it before, so I thought why not now? I was able to get about 2 hours into it, and I was enjoying it a lot!

scary stories

11:00 am:

  • I finished reading “More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” It only took about another half hour or 40 minutes or so. The book is only about 100 pages, so it was definitely a quick read. I enjoyed this one a lot, it was better than the first in my opinion. I gave it 4 stars.

5:00 pm:

  • Then, I went to a few stores with my mom and grandma because I needed to buy some things for school. It took up a few hours, so we didn’t get home until about 3pm. I ate some food, and then I started the final book in the bind up of Scary Stories- More Tales to Chill Your Bones. I finished this one in about an hour as well. My favorite of the three was definitely the second one, but they were all pretty good!

8:00 pm:

  • I had four hours left to listen to 5 hours of an audiobook (about 2.5 hours on 2x speed). I tried to listen to as much as I could, but I honestly wasn’t in the mood to finish the book that night. I listened on and off until about 10:30 pm, and called it a night.

Final Stats:

  • Finished two and a half books.
  • About 300 pages total (I wasn’t keeping track, especially with the audiobook)

let's chat

I am happy with the amount of reading I did. And I finished Frankenstein the next day! So I definitely did a significant amount of reading over the course of the weekend, which is all that I wanted to do!

I love doing read-a-thons like this because I don’t usually get to spend a lot of time reading each day. This helps me make it a priority :)

Jessica