Discussions

Top 15 Books of 2015

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This is my list of top 15 books of the year! In no particular order (except for my number 1,2,and 3):

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15. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – one of the only 5 contemporaries on my list, Fangirl was relatable, adorable, and very emotional.  We follow a girl named Cath who is an introvert in her first year of college and watch as she deals with love and family.  My favorite Rainbow Rowell book so far!

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14. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness  – I adore Patrick Ness’ writing style and in this novel we follow a young boy as he adjusts to life with a mother who has cancer.  This book made me cry and the illustrations are brilliant! It’s a beautiful book over all and I recommend it to everyone.

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13. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – This was a highly anticipated 2015 release for me, and it did not disappoint.  I love the Arabian Nights story and this retelling is beautiful.  Check out my review here for more thoughts and some of my favorite quotes!  #WeNeedDiverseBooks

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12. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo – This is rare.  Usually the 2nd book in the trilogy is usually my least favorite (Clockwork Prince, Catching Fire, etc.), but this sequel blew me away.  I loved the plot and world development – plus the introduction of the new character was perfection.

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11. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld – This novel surprised me! When I heard that it was about death row inmates, I did not expect this book to move me.  Denfeld’s writing is absolutely stunning and this book shows how someone found beauty amongst the ugly.

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10. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella – Cute and ridiculously hilarious, Sophie Kinsella’s books never fail to cheer me up.  I read this during a pretty difficult time in my personal life, and I was very grateful I could turn to this.  Sometimes we need a break, and this book was so easy to fall into.

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9. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella – Can you tell I love Sophie Kinsella? I’m not sure which of these two novels I like more, but they’re both amazing in their own way.  I love her focus on women finding independence and finding themselves as a coming-of-age novel.  Even though there are amazing romances, they aren’t the focus.

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8. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski – I read a lot of books where I wasn’t very satisfied with the female protagonist.  Somehow they come off as whiny and dependent on their romantic interest. Not Marie Rutkoski though.  Winner’s Curse has one of my favorite female protagonists and most heartbreaking romances. Also, amazing female friendship! For my full thoughts, my review is here.

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7. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare – An amazing series finisher! I’m sure you have all heard of the Infernal Devices trilogy.  While Mortal Instruments isn’t my favorite series, I do love the world, and this novel had the same world but better characters, better plot, and better writing. The epilogue made me cry. But, #TeamJem.

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6. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson – This book is different from what I usually like.  It’s a YA Historical Fiction about the journey towards the California gold rush.  It has some magical elements in it which I really enjoyed along with a strong female protagonist and an amazing female friendship.  This made it to the top 15 because Carson deals with sexism and discrimination very well and it’s more than just a romance.  For my full thoughts, my review is here!

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5. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson – Carson #2! I enjoyed this novel more than her other novel that I read this year.  This has all the things I love about Walk on Earth a Stranger, but it is set in an amazing fantasy world with really interesting magic! I love how Carson’s novels are not romance-centered, but, instead, deal with other really important issues.

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4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir– Fantastic world building, soul-crushing romance, and awesome plot! This fantasy world is based off of ancient Rome which is very intriguing. I couldn’t believe that this was a debut!

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3. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – This and Six of Crows are tied for my second favorite novel of the year – I love everything about this book.  The writing was poignant, the story was depressing but eyeopening, and the characters were so genuine. Read me rave about this book in my review here.

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2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Leigh Bardugo is an amazing writer! I love the Grisha trilogy, but I love Six of Crows even more. Heist novels immediately catch my attention, but it’s also set in a Russian-inspired world combined with amazing characters and very turbulent romances.

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1. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – My favorite author ever is probably Brandon Sanderson.  I just discovered him this year and I cannot believe I hadn’t found him earlier.  His world-building and magic systems are the best written, and this heist-like plot was, so engaging.  Also, this book will tear out your heart.  I think non-fantasy readers and fantasy old timer alike would love this.  I know it’s already been very hyped, but it deserves every second of the hype and even more.  My full thoughts are here!


 

Wow, those are my top 15 books that I read in 2015! I am very satisfied with my reading this year, and can’t wait for even more amazing books next year.  I’ll be doing my yearly wrap up soon!

What were your top books of the year?

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Annual End of the Year Survey: 2015

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This is my first time doing this survey, but I thought it is a great idea to review how my year of reading and blogging went! This is hosted and created by the lovely Jaime from The Perpetual Page-Turner. I’m going to use her graphics for each heading because they are gorgeous!

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Number Of Books You Read:

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Number of Re-Reads:

o – I’m not the biggest re-reader.

Genre You Read The Most From: 

My all time favorite – Fantasy!

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1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

I have a post of my top 15 of 2015 – but number one is The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. You can find my gushy review here.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes – this was so hyped up, but I was let down by the characters, plot, and world-building. My review is here.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld – surprised in a very, very good way – I didn’t expect this book to be written so beautifully. It’s about people on death row! 

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Mistborn: The Final Empire or Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – what else is new?

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Starter: Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (am I starting to sound repetitive?)

Sequel: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Ender: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

BRANDON SANDERSON – okay in the interest of being more diverse and non-repetitive – SOPHIE KINSELLA

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – Adult Contemporary isn’t something I reach for a lot, but this was amazing. My review is here.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Don’t want to repeat myself, so the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo before Crooked Kingdom (it’s sequel) comes out!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

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11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Kaz from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – such a complex character!

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (being repetitive again)

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – I need to read more classics!

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

Ooo…I don’t really keep track of quotes. I’m trying to be better at it though!

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

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 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The Young Elites by Marie Lu – because that ending what. I have a spoiler review where I discuss that twist here.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Kaz and Inej from Six of Crows by Marie Lu – I will probably end up going down with this ship because they’re kind of messed up from the start.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Vin and Kelsier from Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Since I started book blogging this year, I discovered most books/authors this year.  However, I was a Legend series hipster (did I really just say that?), so The Young Elites by Marie Lu!

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

Besides Kaz? Fine, Carswell Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Brandon Sanderson is King with the entire Cosmere universe

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

All of Sophie Kinsella’s books

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

I cry a lot.  I cried in Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, etc.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

This Love of Mine by Miranda Liasson – It’s not very popular, but it’s a cute contemporary read!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

See questions 1, 13, 17, and 26.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – this was written really differently, but I didn’t like it.  Do not recommend.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

The Young Elites and The Final Empire – those twists at the end! ARG!

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1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I joined Book Blogging this year, so all the blogs I discovered this year = blogs I love!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

I probably articulated my thoughts best in this one for Everything I Never Told You

But I had my favorite quotes in this one: The Wrath and the Dawn.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I haven’t really done any discussion posts, but I like the tags I did!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I love Top 5 Wednesday and Top Ten Tuesday!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

This December I started talking to Shana @fairytalequeen_ on Twitter and Kate from Kate Reads Lit, and in general, I started being a lot more active on Bookstagram and Twitter.  I have realized how much the book community means to me, and I LOVE YOU ALL!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Starting my blog and having people actually read/like it!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My most recent Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated Releases of 2016

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Reviews in general!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Evie from Bookish Lifestyle because her society6 has some of the MOST gorgeous bookish stuff! Please check her out!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I wanted to read a book a week (52), and ended up reading 94!

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Blog a lot more and make a lot more bookish friends! Also, complete my reading challenges.  I’ll have a Bookish Resolutions post up soon.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

I have only read one 2016 release and it was Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate, and it was a 3.5 star read for me.  I’ll recommend it to you if you are a huge contemporary fan!


Did you do this survey? If so, link me in the comments below! How was your reading and blogging year?

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10 Ways to Get Over Reading Slumps!

Yep. We all experience them, and they suck.  I’ve been in one after reading Game of Thrones and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, and all I want to do is watch TV/Movies and sleep.  These slumps are super counterproductive while trying to crush our TBRs or participate in read-a-thons.  Over the years,  I have collected some tips and tricks to get over these slumps (hopefully they work!).

1. Ditch the TBR.  Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, but sometimes when we force ourselves to do something, it becomes not enjoyable.  Instead of allowing reading to become a forced activity, put down the book you are making yourself to read and pick up a guilty pleasure or another book that you want to read instead!

2. Watch BookTube videos.  Often, I am inspired to read more when I see other book lovers talk about their love for books and do fun tag videos and reviews.  As a book blogging community, we tend to support each other in our reading endeavors!

3. Pick up an old favorite.  New series, especially high fantasy ones, take a lot of effort to get into.  We have to learn new characters, figure out how the world works, etc.  During lazy reading slumps, to ensure that we continue to read, pick up an old favorite.  I always go to any of the Harry Potter novels because I know the Wizarding World and its characters by heart, and it is easy for me to dive into one of the books.  I know that the writing will never disappoint and it will always be an entertaining read!

4. Change up your genres. I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy lately and it’s put me in my slump.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the books and the genre, but reading a variety of genres can keep it interesting.  For example, I want to pick up a lighthearted contemporary next to give myself a breather.  Or, if you have been reading lots of contemporary, try mixing it up with a fantasy or mystery novel!

5. Visit a bookstore or library.  Just browse around; you don’t have to buy anything (especially if you are on a book buying ban!), but being around more books can inspire you to pick up a book and start reading again!

6. Watch a movie/TV book adaptation.  Watching an amazing adaptation can inspire me to pick up a book after watching it! Also, this varies your activities so you aren’t just reading book after book which may cause you to get a little tired.

7. Pick up a short/fast paced book.  These types of books won’t take much effort to get through.  However, you get the same feeling of accomplishment after you finish! That should inspire you to read more books because finishing books leaves an amazing feeling!

8. Change up where and how you read. I usually read in my bed with a physical book, but sometimes I like to sit on my deck or read an e-book, and I find that varying it up can help me read more.  Most importantly, be comfortable when you read! Make yourself a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate and curl up in those comfortable blankets.  Just don’t fall asleep.

9. Talk to other book lovers. Is a really sad book or a cliffhanger ending putting you in a slump?  Cry about it, rant about, make up crackpot theories about it with other people who have read the book!  We are lucky enough to be gifted with Internet and you can always contact me on Twitter or Goodreads to talk about books!

10. Make time to read.  We all give ourselves excuses for being too busy to read, and this results in reading slumps. Instead, read before bedtime or right after you get up, or set out a specific time for you to read.  Sometimes, the hardest part is getting started in the first place, but once you do get started, get ready to be sucked into the amazing book you are reading.

Just remember, reading is a hobby! Make it enjoyable, and don’t force yourself to write a review or finish a book.  Enjoy what you do!

Stay Awesome,

A