May TBR 2019 // YOU Choose My TBR

Happy Tuesday loves!

I hope you had a good week since we last talked. I finally finished my Spring semester, so I am home until the end of August! I am going to have so much time for my creative projects- writing, blogging, journaling, reading, etc., which is incredible. I have been neglecting all of those for the past few weeks as the end of the semester was nearing.

Anyways, today I have a TBR for May- that you guys chose! On Twitter, I asked you guys to give me a number from 1-90 (I have 90 unread books), and I picked 8 of them for my TBR! Now that I’m home, I definitely feel like I can read 10+ books each month, but I wanted to give myself some flexibility.

I tried to pick numbers from the beginning, middle, and end of the scale so that there was a good mix. Here are the books!

7- The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

I bought this one on Bookoutlet ages ago without really knowing what it was. However, I’ve heard really good things about Emery Lord, so I am really excited to get to this one. I really hope I enjoy it because I have another book by her on my shelves. If I like this one enough, maybe I will get to that one really soon, too!

15- Your Voice is All I Hear by Leah Sheier

This book looks like it will be a quick contemporary read, which is what I’m always in the mood for. I know that it deals with depression and is more of a darker contemporary. Those are always very on target for me.

23- A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks

I picked up two Nicholas Sparks books on a whim one time because I love all of the movies made after his books. They always make me cry, so I’m hoping his books can do the same! I have no idea what this one is about, but it looked interesting enough at the time for me.

If you’ve ever read any of his books, please let me know. I have not heard much about them at all.

33- I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

I am embarrassed to say that I have not yet read this one, even though I had been talking about it since it came out last year. I really have no excuses, I’m just worried that it won’t live up to my expectations. I read Radio Silence by Alice Oseman a few months back and really enjoyed it, so I know I will give this one AT LEAST 3 stars, which is good (but let’s be honest, it’ll probably be a 5 star).

53- A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

I have heard nothing but good things about this one, and I’m pretty sure it will be a quick read! I have had it on my TBR for a while now, so I’m really excited to get to it!

65- Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

I received an ARC of this one so so long ago and it’s already been out for ages, but I have not yet gotten to it. I am an awful book blogger, I know. It was hyped up for a little while on Booktube, but I haven’t read or watched any reviews of it recently.

88- Storyteller: 100 Poem Letters by Morgan Harper Nichols

I’ve been following Morgan on Instagram for a really long time now, but I have not heard of any of her published work before. I decided to look it up and found this one, so I bought it immediately. It should be a very quick read, but I am excited nonetheless!

90- Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I was so happy that someone said this number because this book is already on my TBR for the month because it comes out a week from today! I have started it, and I can not wait to read the rest. Just in the first 2 chapters, this book has made my heart so happy! I can’t wait to see where the rest of the book goes.

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That is it! Thank you so much to those of you who tweeted me numbers! If you missed it, be sure to follow me on Twitter in case I do something like this again soon (and I might!) or do some other fun things!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these and what your thoughts were! See you next week :)

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I Actually Like Movie Tie-In Covers? // Discussion

Hello loves! Hope you are having a great day/night/week!

Today I wanted to talk about a topic that I have discussed a little bit on Twitter, but never in much detail: movie tie-in covers.

A lot of people have an issue with them, but personally, I love them! I thought I would talk a little bit about why I like them and then share my favorites with you (plus some not-so-great ones at the end).

Okay, let’s start off with the big one- “they’re ugly.”

I completely disagree with this one. There are so many beautiful movie tie-in covers, and some are actually prettier than the original cover!

For example…

 

 

 

 

(I don’t know if this last one is actually being sold, but I found it on book depository so I’m assuming. Also, I know a lot of people hate movie poster covers but I love this movie so much that it’s the exception, ok?).

From a promotional standpoint (wow the PR major in me is jumping out), it is a great tactic to get more people interested in a book. Someone may see the book on a shelf and remember that they watched the movie, and this could get them to read it! Or maybe they’ve seen the trailer for the movie, so they want to pick up the book first.

People buy book = money for publisher/author/everyone involved. Yay!

Also, if the book is one of your favorites, it is cool to own another edition of it. I love to collect different editions of my favorite books, so if it gets turned into a movie, I want to celebrate that somehow. This is just a personal opinion, though!

Now, I know that not all movie-tie in editions are pretty (there are some really bad ones), but there aren’t really any downsides to them.

You always have the option of buying the original cover (and the price for it usually goes down, which is always a bonus). You don’t lose anything, but others may gain something! No harm done.

Here are some examples where I prefer the original cover:

 

 

 

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What are your opinions on movie tie-in editions? Do you like them, hate them, or not have an opinion? Leave a comment down below, and let me know what your favorite (or least favorite) is!

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Again, But Better by Christine Riccio // Review

Hello loves! Today I am here with a review of Again, But Better by Christine Riccio! I’m sure many of you have heard of her, as she runs the biggest Booktube channel to exist! Her debut novel comes out on May 7th, so make sure you go check it out when it comes out!

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for providing me an ARC!

The Review

From the first page of this book, I knew I was going to love it. For me, this book’s rating really came down to how much I connected to Shane, the main character. 

Writing

First, let’s start off with the writing- It reads so much like Christine that you know it’s her right off the bat. It was a little eery how similar the quirks in the writing are to Christine’s personality in real life. Her voice is so strong and unique, and it really sets her apart.

There were a few points where the descriptions either lacked or felt forced, which tended to pull me out of the story unfortunately.

Christine also uses a variety of allusions to popular tv shows, books, songs, etc. in this book which made me feel super nostalgic. There were, at times, a few too many pop culture references that sort of distracted me from the story, though. A few of them definitely could have been cut out and the book would do just fine, but the majority of them made me smile.

Characters

As far as characters, I really loved them. They all felt so different and distinct. The cast was diverse, and they all felt so relatable. The dialogue between them was incredibly real. I truly felt like I was amongst my own group friends when reading this with the use of sarcasm, back and forth joking banter, etc. 

Shane is a character I could relate so much to with her clumsiness, socially awkward tendencies, and passion for writing. When I was reading this, I really saw myself for a variety of reasons, and I’ve never felt so understood in a book before. I fell in love with her character, and I wanted to continue to read about her life. She’s a blogger (what a coincidence), her parents have very high expectations for her (could this be more relatable?), and she travels abroad to London (the number one place to visit on my bucket list).

When the book was over, I was genuinely so sad to leave her and the rest of this cast.

Pilot was a little bland at first- your typical YA love interest. There were a few times where I really wanted to slap him/shake him/push him down some stairs, but by the end, I actually started to like him. He was just adorable, okay?

As far as the rest of the characters, I really did enjoy them all. I loved Babe and Atticus and Sahra. Chad I could do without, but his character was done really well, too.

The one part where this book fell really flat for me was Shane’s parents. Her dad is clearly very verbally abusive. He screamed at her in front of her friends, cursing frequently, and her mother barely said anything to her (or him) while this happened. I wish that they were developed a bit more, especially toward the end. I felt like it was a missed opportunity.

Plot

There is so much to say about the plot that I don’t even know where to start. I guess I’ll begin by saying that it was very well developed and had so many elements to it. It began as a very common contemporary novel, which is exactly what I expected. But then things changed completely.

The novel is broken up into two parts- 2011 and 2017.

The first half follows Shane as she goes to London for a semester to travel abroad. The book really tells the story of her finding her true passion but having to deal with the consequences of lying to her parents about it, falling in love, traveling for the first time, and making new friends/experiences. These are all things that I love seeing in a book, but seeing them together? The book was honestly made for me.

It definitely dragged on at a few times, and the story was beginning to get a bit boring.

The second half was the complete opposite of what you would expect, though. I did not see the plot twist coming at all; it completely caught me off guard. I’m not going to say much more because I don’t want to spoil it. This book was, however, again, but better.

I do want to mention, though, that there is cheating in this book- at first it’s only emotional, but eventually there is one kiss. While this did rub me the wrong way, and at times make me uncomfortable, it did not deter me completely. Proceed with caution on this one!

Again, there was also the toxicity of her parents, which personally made me a bit annoyed. No one stood up to them, Shane never fully handled the situation, and there was no real resolution with them at the end- the book wrapped up a bit too nicely.

Overall

Romance, travel, finding yourself, and a hint of magic- this book really has it all! There are obviously some flaws, and the book is not perfect, but it was enjoyable. High school me would absolutely love this book, and it is definitely worth checking out.

And as Christine’s debut novel, I think it lived up to its standards. She is only going to grow as a writer from here, and I can not wait to see what else she puts out into the world! She has so much potential. 

Rating: 3.75/5 stars!

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Are you planning on picking this one up when it’s out? Let me know in the comments down below! And if you’ve read it, what were your thoughts?

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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?

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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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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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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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