New Adult Books I Want to Read

As a college student, I have found myself relating less and less to YA characters, but I also don’t quite relate to the characters in adult books who have real jobs and families. Luckily, there is an age range in publishing known as “New Adult.” However, it does not get the true recognition it deserves, and that is so disappointing. There are many people in the same situation as me that want to read about 18-25-year-olds.

I wish publishing took NA as seriously as it did YA and A. Recently, there have been many more books published that are considered NA. It is slowly becoming more and more widely accepted, which is amazing!

Here are 4 NA books that I want to read!

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

I actually didn’t fully love Mary H.K. Choi’s first book, Emergency Contact. It was a 3 star read for me, but I did see a lot of potential in it. That specific story just didn’t quite appeal to me.

This one, on the other hand, sounds right up my alley. All I know is that one of the main characters is a famous pop star, and that is something I LOVE reading about. I do want to give Choi another try, so hopefully I will end up enjoying this one more!

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

I have had my eye on this book for a really long time now. It got a lot of hype when it first came out in 2018, and I am in love with the cover. I know that there is now a second book in this series, so I would love to be able to read both of them sometime soon (but probably not until my book buying ban is over oops).

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

Books that are set at college? Everything I want in my life. I have heard mixed reviews of this one, but I do own the audiobook, so I have a feeling I will be getting to it very soon.

If you’ve read this one, please let me know what your thoughts were!

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve talked about this one plenty of times already, so I won’t say much. But, it is definitely high on my list, especially because it is an NA dark mystery novel. When it comes to NA, the books are usually romances, so this is something different. I have heard amazing things, and I am really intrigued by the premise.

let's chat

I want to add more NA books to my TBR! Please leave some recommendations for me in the comments because they don’t get talked enough in the book community.

See you soon :)

Jessica

My Favorite Audiobooks

In 2016, I discovered audiobooks, and ever since then, they have been a big part of my reading life.

the hate u give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This was one of the very first audiobooks I ever listened to, and the experience was just so wonderful. I have such great memories of driving to school in the mornings in high school and listening to this story.

This was so great on audiobook because I feel like listening to the story made it so much more powerful. I could feel all of Starr’s emotions when she spoke. The narrator did an amazing job, and I’m happy that I chose the audiobook for my first read of this.

Overall, if you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend it, no matter what form you read it in!

turtles all the way down

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

This was also one of the first audiobooks I ever listened to. I believe I got both this one and The Hate U Give with my first two audible credits that I got for free! I really, really loved this audiobook. It gave me chills to listen to it. The story is about a girl named Aza who suffers from OCD.

Throughout the story, she has these thought spirals, and listening to it made it feel like her thoughts were my own. I felt so much closer to the story because of it.

How to Make Friends with the Dark

How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

This is actually the audiobook I just recently finished listening to. The story was so good, and the audiobook was great. Once again, I felt like I was in the story with the characters. I think that darker, harder-to-read stories are great as audiobooks because you can better feel the emotions of the characters- the voice actors really do an amazing job at that.

 

Becoming

Becoming by Michelle Obama

This is Michelle Obama’s memoir, and she actually narrates it herself. Hearing her tell her story through her own words and voice made it so much more important to me. She just has such a great voice, and it was almost soothing to listen to it. I have always loved Michelle, but this book really solidified my love for her.

 

daisy jones and the six

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Of course, Daisy Jones has to be on this list. First of all, it’s a full-cast audiobook, so each character gets their own voice actor. Plus, they all play their parts so well. I really felt like I was listening to a real band share their experiences.

This was one of my favorite books of the year in 2019, and I even listened to the audiobook twice because it was so good. I definitely think it earns a spot as my favorite audiobook of all time.

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers

let's chat

What are some audiobooks you like? Let me know so I can add them to my TBR (multiple narrators are a plus!).

Jessica

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio / Review

I am so excited to talk about this book to you guys! I did not expect to love it as much as I did, but it is definitely one of my favorite books now.

That book is If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio. It has been on my TBR for a really long time, and just the fact that I finally read it is an accomplishment in itself.

But, the reason I’m so happy I enjoyed it is because I recently read The Secret History by Donna Tart, and that book only got about 3 stars from me. I really thought I was going to love that book, but it let me down big time. If We Were Villains was constantly being compared to TSH, so I was really worried about reading it. Luckily, it exceeded my expectations!

First, a Goodreads Synopsis:

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

if we were villains

Review:

Ok, let me start out by once again saying this book is like The Secret History. But, it was fast-paced in my opinion, the writing was better, and I liked the characters more. It definitely made me realize I really do like dark academia. It was honestly just such a beautifully written and interesting book.

Every character was so unique and I wanted to keep reading more about them, even the ones who were unlikeable. I did have trouble keeping up with all of the names at first, but once the story got going, you can clearly see their differences and you can figure it out easily.

Also, I am not a huge Shakespeare fan, but the references were all just so perfect and fit with the pretentiousness of each other characters. It actually made me want to pick up Shakespeare, which is not something I thought I would ever say.

As far as the plot- it was SO. DRAMATIC. And I mean that in the best way possible. It sort of reminded me a bit of The Great Gatsby, which is a book I love! Also, the ending was INSANE. I was able to predict some of it, but not all. It left me satisfied, even though it was very shocking.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to my mystery/thriller loving friends! It was just very well done and it was definitely my favorite read of the first month of the year.

let's chat

Have you read this book before? What were your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments, and please recommend me similar titles!

Jessica

Behind the Book Blogger Tag

Hey everyone! Today’s post is a tag because I haven’t done one in a while, and I’ve gained quite a few new followers recently, so I thought this would be a fun way to get to know more about me.

I found it on Xandra’s blog, but I wasn’t tagged to do it!

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer all the questions
  • Link back to the creator: Ellyn @ Allonsythornraxx
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about, to do this tag

The Questions:

1. Why did you start blogging? & Why have you kept blogging?

I started blogging because I’ve always loved to write. I also always loved to read, so this was a way to combine my passions. It was a creative outlet for me, and it still is. I continued blogging because it really brought me so much happiness. It is something I love doing and can’t imagine myself stopping.

2. What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

I like creative posts the most- ones that require a bit more time and thought into them. This is typically discussion posts, but it’s also things like my “I read 5 books with anxiety and OCD rep” post.

3. What are your top three favorite blog posts?

Oo this is so hard. If I had to choose it would be…

4. What are some of your favorite things to do to relax?

My “relaxing day” routine typically consists of taking a long, hot bath while reading a book. I also like to do a face mask, paint my nails, and eat some good comfort food. Putting on a favorite movie to fall asleep to is also a plus!

5. What are three of your favorite things?

Like of all time? How am I supposed to choose this?

  • Books. Duh.
  • Mozzarella sticks. Priorities, right?
  • Sunsets.

6. What are your proudest blogging moments?

Blogtober in 2019 was pretty crazy- I posted on the blog every single day of October. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but I was so proud!

Also, reaching 900 followers was pretty cool, and I’m almost at 1000!! It means so much to me that 1000 people would want to read my blog! I am so grateful each and every day.

7. What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

I love to run- preferably outside, but on a treadmill works when it’s cold out.

I also really found a passion for baking recently, and it’s something I want to do more of in 2020.

8. Describe your personality in three words.

Ambitious. Passionate. Creative.

9. What are your top three pet peeves?

People who are always in a bad mood.

When people are disrespectful to teachers/professors.

Being late to things.

10. What’s something your followers don’t know about you?

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this on here, but I speak Polish. I actually used to attend a polish school every Friday night until 10th grade (and I graduated!).

let's chat

That’s it for this tag! I’m not going to tag anyone, but feel free to do it if you liked it :)

Let me know if we share any similar answers!

Jessica

February 2020 BuJo Setup

Can you believe I’m actually being a consistent human being for once and I’m posting my February bullet journal spread? Me either.

But I’m doing it.

My bullet journal setup for this month is pretty similar to last month’s if I’m being honest. All I simply did was tweak a few of the pages that were not working for me last month, and I kept the ones that were.

I’m hoping to get more creative with my spreads in the future, but for now, I’m really just working on practicality and ease.

The first two pages of my spread are a little monthly overview. On the left-hand side, I have a section for my goals for the month (which I did not write in yet because I had not decided them when I made the spread).

On the bottom, I have room for my TBR, which I have actually already posted on the blog, so check that out if you’re interested! Then, on the right side of the page, I created a calendar so that I can have a monthly view. I use this mainly to track blog posts that are going up, as well as big events or birthdays!

Moving on, I have a spread for my habit tracking. Last month, I made individual blank calendars for each habit I wanted to track, but I really did not like that method. I know it’s pretty common in the bujo community, but for me, it was just very confusing.

Instead, for this month I created one “spreadsheet-style” spread to use. This was I can clearly see each day marked, and I can track even more habits. I think this method will be much more effective for me to use, so I’m excited about it!

On the other side, I have an expense tracker. I am working really hard on budgeting this year and getting my finances is order. I am going to be attempting a “no buy” month for February because January’s was not successful (mainly due to illness + school stuff, so I had to spend more money than I would have liked).

February BuJo 2020

Finally, we have my weekly spreads! This month is pretty similar to last month’s as well, as far as the horizontal layout goes. But, I do feel like I have more room to write under each day this time around, so I’m liking that a little more.

In the next month, I probably want to experiment with a vertical layout instead, but for now, this is something that worked for me, so why change it?

let's chat

Leave a link to any bullet journal posts you’ve done, if any, because I am always looking for inspiration! If you liked this post, definitely let me know. I’m not sure if I will continue posting these monthly, but I am having fun creating them, so if you want them, I’ll do them!

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

Backlist Books I Need to Read!

Hello everyone! Today’s post is sort of my late 2020 TBR. If you’ve seen my Reading Goals post, you know that I am trying to read (mostly) all of the unread books on my shelves. Therefore, I have a ton of backlist books to read.

Today, I thought I would share 10 of those with you all. Please let me know if you’ve read any and what your thoughts were!

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books of all time. How is it even possible that I have not yet read the sequel? If I’m being honest, I’m scared to. I don’t want it to taint my love for TKAM in any way, and I’m worried my expectations won’t be met. But, I own TWO copies of this book, so I definitely need to read it- and soon.

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Again, Jenn Bennett is one of my favorite authors. I can’t believe I still haven’t read this one considering it’s been on tons of my monthly TBRs. I will get to it this year, and hopefully soon. I know I will love it just as much as her other books. I don’t know what’s holding me back from this one.

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

I don’t have many fantasy novels on this list, but this is one I am really excited to read. I love books featuring magicians, and this one has a lot of good reviews, so I’m confident that I will love it.

Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith

This one initially drew me in because of its beautiful cover. But, the plot also sounds so amazing. I have really been in the mood for more YA contemporaries recently, so this one is a must.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

I really, really want to read more adult romances this year, and what better way to start than with Christina Lauren? This just looks like it will be such a fun and cute read, so I’m excited to see what I think about it!

The House by Christina Lauren

Yes, another Christina Lauren book. This one is very different, though. It’s a mystery/thriller, not a romance like they usually write. It’s a book I’ve owned for a really long time, so it would be great to be able to finish it soon!

Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

This one is a bit more of a hard-hitting contemporary, which is a category of YA fiction I want to explore more. It’s a mystery/thriller about the murder of a girl 5 years ago. It sounds really great, so I think I’ll enjoy it a lot! I would also like to read more of Lauren Oliver’s books in the future.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

I recently read The Secret History and unfortunately did not enjoy it as much as I hoped. It had all of the elements that I wanted- mystery, college setting, pretentious kids, etc. BUT, it was very slow-paced, and I felt like the ending just dragged on for a really long time.

I’m really hoping that this one meets my expectations a bit more because it does have many of the same things in common.

The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman

This cover is gorgeous, and I’ve heard many good things about this one. Again, I believe this is a hard-hitting contemporary, so I’m really interested in reading it. I’ve owned it for a while now as well, so I NEED to get to it.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Finally, I would love to read this one. It’s not totally backlist because it just came out at the end of 2019, but I’ve owned it since basically release day and haven’t read it yet which is a crime honestly. I actually have not read Leigh Bardugo’s “Six of Crows” duology yet, but I read the Grisha trilogy last year and loved it, so I really want to read more of her books this year.

let's chat

I am really making it a mission to read as many of these as possible this year so that in the future I can focus more on new releases! What are some backlist titles you need to read?

Jessica

Most Anticipated Releases 2020 (Jan-Jun)

I am awful at staying on top of new releases- I barely read any in 2019. This year, though, I decided to make a list of all of the ones I’m excited about.

Here is that list for the first half of the year!

January

Lucky Caller by Emma Mills: I’m sure you’ve all heard of Emma Mills before- she’s a contemporary queen. I’ve only read one of her books, but I adored it. This one is about a girl taking a radio broadcasting class which is something the communication major in me is very interested to read about!

Out: 1.14.20

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord: Cute contemporary romance by debut author Emma Lord that will have you swooning for days. I actually already read this one last year and I LOVED it! Be sure to check out my full review here.

Out: 1.21.20

February

45046784

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers: Courtney Summers is the author of the very hyped book, Sadie, which I loved. This is actually a re-release (the book originally came out in 2008), but I love the matching cover to Sadie so I want to own it!

Out: 2.4.20

March

Wicked as You Wish by Rin Chupeco: I am so excited to announce I am part of the street team for this book! More information will be given to all of y’all soon. But, this is definitely a much-anticipated novel for me!

Out: 3.3.20

Docile by K.M. Szpara: I recently received this ARC of this book and I am dying to start reading it. I have heard nothing but very incredible things about this one. I know that it is a gay sci-fi book, and that’s all I need to know honestly! I will hopefully be picking it up soon.

Out: 3.3.20

Moment of Truth by Kasie West: I’ve only read one Kasie West book, unfortunately. I definitely need to read more by her. Nevertheless, I am anxiously anticipating this one. March 3rd is a big day for new releases!

Out: 3.3.20

April

Loveless alice oseman

Loveless by Alice Oseman: I have been following Alice on social media for a while now, and seeing her journey with writing this book has been inspiring. I know it was a tough book for her to write, which is why I know it will be so incredible to read. I read and loved Radio Silence by her, and I do want to read the rest of her novels as well!

Out: 4.30.20

May

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett: This is probably my most anticipated release for this half of the year. Jenn Bennett is one of my all-time favorite authors. I love all of her books, and this one is one I can not wait to get my hands on.

Out: 5.5.20

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins: I re-read The Hunger Games trilogy in 2019, so it was fate when this book was announced. This is supposed to be the prequel to the trilogy, and apparently it’s almost 600 pages long?!?! Count me in.

Out: 5.19.20

June

Today Tonight Tomorrow

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon: This is another cute contemporary that just sounds like it’ll be so much fun to read. I have not read anything else by the author, but I have seen a lot of hype surrounding this book on Twitter, so I really want to pick it up!

Out: 6.16.20

let's chat

There are tons of incredible releases coming this year that I absolutely can not wait for! What are some releases you’re hoping to get your hands on?

Jessica

2020 Reading Goals

Hello and happy Tuesday everyone! It’s that time of year again- the one where I set my goals for the year, which I will hopefully accomplish.

Today I’m going to specifically talk about bookish goals, but in a future post, I will talk about my personal and blogging goals in case if you’re interested in that, too!

I kept my goals pretty simple this year, and a few are repeat goals I had in previous years. I didn’t want my goals to be unattainable, so hopefully, with just these 5 simple ones, I will be able to accomplish them successfully.

Read 52 Books

First up, of course, is the number of books I hope to read. I decided to keep the same goal as last year- 52 books, which is about 1 a week. This is something I know I can manage because there are times when I will read 3 books a week, some where I only read 1 or 2, and even some where I don’t read any at all. But, I have read over 52 books for the past few years now, so I’m not worried about this goal.

I knew I could have easily increased this goal to 70+ books, but this year I don’t want to focus on the number of books I read. I want to take my time with each book rather than feel rushed with them.

Read 1 ARC a Month

I have about 20 physical ARCs on my TBR, as well as another 20+ in e-book version. I’m definitely trying to get this number down, so by reading AT LEAST one of them a month, I think that will be doable. Obviously, I am hoping to read more than 12 by the end of the year, but I do want to keep myself accountable in some way, so a monthly goal of 1 is perfect.

2020 reading goals

Read 1 e-book a Month

Similar to the last goal, I also want to read at least one e-book a month. I’m really bad at reading my e-books. I just never tend to gravitate towards them because I prefer to read physically. But, I have created a TBR jar for e-books, so every month I will pull one that I have to read. Hopefully, this will help me get the number of e-books I own down.

Get My Owned TBR Down to Less Than 50 Books

I have about 100 unread books on my shelves between physical books, e-books, and audiobooks. I did a good job of not purchasing any books in 2019, but somehow I still ended up with the same number of unread books (even though I read over 100 books- how does that even happen?).

This year, I want to focus on reading the books I already own. I want to read at least half of the ones I had prior to 2020, and continue to keep that number down.

Buy Under 10 Books

Going along with that, I also want to put myself on a ban. I’m trying to save my money because I am going to have a ton of expenses in the near future. Therefore, I am not allowing myself to buy over 10 books this year. There are going to be releases that I want to get my hands on, or just books that I can’t resist buying, which is why I’m giving myself this little bit of room to purchase those if I really want.

let's chat

Those are all of my reading goals for 2020! What are some of yours? Leave a comment letting me know.

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