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2016 Reading Goals

Better late than never!

I read 150 books in 2015, even though a lot were graphic novels. Since its my last year in college along with work, I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to read.

So I put my Goodreads Goal – 100 books.

I really want to finish a series per month, so 12 in total. If I don’t feel like continuing with the same, I might jump on to some other series. Here are the series I’ve chosen as of now:

  • Uglies (1/4 done)
  • A Song of Ice and Fire (hopefully) (1/5 done)
  • Eragon (1/4 done)
  • The Winner’s Curse (1/3 done)
  • The Infernal Devices (0/3 done)
  • Marked (re-read)
  • The Lunar Chronicles (1/5 done)
  • The Raven Boys Quartet (0/4 done)
  • The 5th wave (2/3 done)
  • Half Bad (0/3 done)
  • Daughter of smoke and bone (1/3 done)
  • Lux series (2/5 done)

I’d also like to read more Classics and Literary Fiction novels. I thought I’d do that with the next challenge, cause most of the books will include in both.

The Rory Gilmore Challenge

For those who don’t know what this is, the protagonist from Gilmore Girls is really into reading, and someone made a list of all the books mentioned or seen on the show. There are around 340 in total, but I picked out some I was interested in reading. I’d really like to read at least 15 out of the 25 I picked.

Ze List:

  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Carrie by Stephen King
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  • Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  • Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  • The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum

 

That’s all folks! What are your goals this new year?

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January New Releases | 2016

There are some pretty exciting new releases coming up this month. I’m pretty sure most of these are already on your TBR. I will be focusing on Top 5 new releases that I cannot wait to dig in! Here goes:

 

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Name: Passenger

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Publication Date: 5th January 2016

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

 

 

 

Name: Truthwitch

Author: Susan Dennard

Publication Date: 5th January 2016

Publisher: Tor Teen

 

 

Name: Thicker Than Water

Author: Kelly Fiore

Publication Date: 5th January 2016

Publisher: Harper Teen

 

 

Name: The Imposter Queen

Author: Sarah Fine

Publication Date: 5th January

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

 

 

Name: The Dark Days Club

Author: Alison Goodman

Publication Date: 26th January 2016

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

 

 

Which ones are you excited for? Did I miss something I should read? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S – All the Names are linked to the Goodreads pages for more info. 🙂

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The Chocolate Book Tag | Saturday Tag

This Tag was created by A Daydreamer’s Ramblings and I was tagged by nobody but CHOCOLATE! Watch the original Tag video here. I tag you all to do it. 😀

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1. Dark Chocolate – A book that covers a dark topic.

Note: This book deals with Suicide so please bear that in mind if you’re uncomfortable reading about that.

18336965My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

This book is based on Aysel, the protagonist who wants nothing more than to die. She seeks out help from a site where she finds a suicide partner, Roman and they get to know each other to make sure that they’re not going to back out. Things go around after that, but the problems start when Aysel isn’t sure if she really wants to die after all.

I really liked this book, and I gave it a solid 4 star rating on goodreads.

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2. White Chocolate – Favorite light or humorous read.

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Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler is the funniest person ever. Her book will make you laugh and cry and make you feel good about yourself. As you read through her struggles and experiences, you sorta relate to things you never realized before. Another 4 stars read 😀

A great humorous read? – Yes Please! (Read my full review here)

 

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3. Milk Chocolate – A book that has a lot of hype, which you’re dying to read.

23734628Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Honestly, I don’t know why I haven’t read this yet. I absolutely adore Rainbow Rowell’s books and even though I didn’t much enjoy the Simon Snow parts in Fangirl, I still want to read this one.

If you’ve read this already, let me know how it was and if I should pick this up immediately!

 

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4. Chocolate with a caramel center – A book which makes you feel all gooey inside.

19508953Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Definitely all Stephanie Perkins books. But my personal favorite remains Book 1. If you ever feel blue and want to get your spirit back up, read this cute short contemporary which will 100% help you out and give you a serious need to go to Paris at once!

The thing I loved most is that Stephanie always makes it a point to make us feel like we’re in the city by making us live it.

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5. Wafer free kitkat – A book that surprised you.

15863832Angelfall by Susan Ee

I never thought I’d love this book as much as I actually did. I literally completed the entire trilogy in two days!

Angelfall follows a fallen angel and a mortal girl as their paths intertwine and they realize that not all Angels are bad and that Humans could still be capable of showing humanity in the Apocalyptic world. The protagonists Raffe and Penryn undergo such character development that it just made the whole experience better. Solid 5 star reads!

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6. Snickers – A book you’re going nuts about.

21411877Zen Pencils by Gavin Aung Than

I just read the first and second volume and WOAH! I’m in love with these books.

The interpretations of the inspirational quotes and the artwork accompanying it is just stunning and will inspire and push you to feel good about yourself and work harder just for yourself.

A graphic novel I’d recommend to everyone. ❤

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7. Hot Chocolate with Cream and Marshmallows – A book you’d turn to for a comfort read.

72193Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling

This should be self explanatory honestly. This series has been almost every child’s childhood and has never gone away even when they grew up.

This has taught me everything I needed to learn – friendship, love, sacrifice, humanity, selflessness, bravery, companionship and so many other things. It taught me how no one is good or bad, its just what we choose to be more. Always a comfort read.

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8. Box of Chocolates – A series which has something for everyone.

7736182Percy Jackon and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan

I’d have definitely put Harry Potter in this category, but since I wanted to talk about something other than HP, I decided to go with these series. The PJO series for a younger audience and The HoO series for any age group. This too contains so many different elements along with a general knowledge about Greek Mythology, making it a great read.

 

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Do you agree with my choice for each category? What would you have chosen instead if not? Let me know in the comments! If you want to know my thoughts on any of these add me on goodreads! Click right here.

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For today, I’d like to shout out Andi over at  Andi’s ABCsandiabcs.com

Her blog is a perfect mix of things we all love. Accessories, books and clothes! Give her some love and subscribe immediately to fill your feed with her amazing posts.

 

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz | Monday Book Review

Title:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


Author:

Benjamin Alire Sáenz


Pages:

360 pages


Publishing Details:

2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers


Genre:

Realistic Fiction


Format:

Paperback


Literary Awards:

Stonewall Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature (2013), Michael L. Printz Award Nominee (2013), Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult (2013), Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis Nominee for Jugendbuch (2015), Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award (ALAN/NCTE) Nominee (2013), Pura Belpré Award for Narrative (2013)


Summary:

Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.

But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.


Review:

Wow, this book was amazing. Firstly, it is not what people assume from the back.
This is a coming of age story about two boys who discover the secrets of things that are maybe not so vast as the universe, but they matter the most to any individual.
I was worried because the main characters are 15, and I didn’t want the book to be kiddish.

Although there were a few things that they hadn’t experienced before, it wasn’t irritating to read about. It was an entirely different perspective.

The writing was simply beautiful and simple.
I seriously recommend it to people who want to read LGBTQ books and contemporaries.
I connected to the characters a lot and felt that at some point, everyone goes through in their lives.

I wish I could have given it a full 5, I really wish I did. I almost gave it 4.5, but I wasn’t THAT into the story. If I love a book, I’d want to read it no matter where or whatever time it is. And I know this could be because I usually read after being exhausted, but ah well.


Quotes:

“Words were different when they lived inside of you.”

“I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.”

“I got to thinking that poems were like people. Some people you got right off the bat. Some people you just didn’t get–and never would get.”

“Another secret of the universe: Sometimes pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere. The clearest summer could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.”

“We all fight our own private wars.”

“Summer was here again. Summer, summer, summer. I loved and hated summers. Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom and youth and no school and possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That’s why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe.”


Rating:

4


I’ll be starting a shout out series to a bunch of awesome people I follow so that you guys can check their blogs too! 🙂

Today, I’ll be shouting out to Overflowing Bookshelves. Her reviews are always fun to read, and generally make me want to read the books mentioned! 😀

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The Darkest Part Of The Forest by Holly Black | Book Review

Title:

The Darkest Part Of The Forest


Author:

Holly Black


Publication Details:

January 1st 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Pages:

330 pages


Format:

Kobo


Genre:

Fantasy / YA


Summary:

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.
Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.
At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.
Until one day, he does…
As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?


Review:

I really really enjoyed this book. It was my first Holly Black book and I was not disappointed.I also am in love with the cover. I’ve seen people give this book bad reviews for the shittiest reasons and I get it. I mean, nothing is perfect!
But this certainly deserves more fans.
Reasons being :
1. All the characters have a very beautiful relation with one another and their lives interweave perfectly.
2. Badass female protagonist. Do I need to say more?
3. Faeries. Folklore. Sleeping prince in a glass coffin. Magic. Monsters. King. Court.
4. Romance
5. LGBT characters who are perfectly normal and not overly filled with the rainbow shit what people assume gay people like supposedly.

I was not bored even for a single minute. This was fast paced, filled with action and mystery and sometimes creepy. Even though I’m not a huge fan of faeries, this book certainly did not take me down the same road.
However there were some aspects which were cringe worthy, I fell in love with the writing style Holly has. I liked the characters and felt what they felt.
I liked how the thing wrapped up in the end. A perfect end to a stand alone novel, not like some which leave you hanging with tons of questions. Since everything was justified one way or the other throughout the book without us knowing it happening.

I loved John and Ben. Carter was okay and the parents made absolutely no sense to me. They were all cracked up. I was indifferent to the horned boy. The whole twist regarding Hazel and her deal was the best part to read about.

Recommend it to fans of Holly Black and people who like fae.


Quotes:

“There’s a monster in our wood. She’ll get you if you’re not good. Drag you under leaves and sticks. Punish you for all your tricks. A nest of hair and gnawed bone. You are never, ever coming… home.”

“Down a path worn into the woods, past a stream and a hollowed-out log full of pill bugs and termites, was a glass coffin. It rested right on the ground, and in it slept a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives.”

“Once, there was a girl who vowed she would save everyone in the world, but forgot herself.”

“We love until we do not. For us, love doesn’t fade gradually. It snaps like a branch bent too far.”

“I love like in the storybooks. I love you like in the ballads. I love you like a lightning bolt. I’ve loved you since the third month you came and spoke with me. I loved that you made me want to laugh. I loved the way you were kind and the way you would pause when you spoke, as though you were waiting for me to answer you. I love you and I am mocking no one when I kiss you, no one at all.”

“I wanted to be in love like in the storybooks and songs and ballads. Love that hits you like a lightning bolt. And I’m sorry, because yeah, I get that you think I’m ridiculous. I get that you think I’m hilarious. I know, I get that you’re mocking me. I get how stupid I am, but at least I know.”

“The only way to end grief was to go through it.”


Rating:

4


Note: The book trailer for this book is amazing! Check it out asap. Click here to watch it!

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The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West | Book Review

Title:

The Fill-In Boyfriend


Author:

Kasie West


Publication Details:

May 5th, 2015 by Harper Collins


Genre:

Contemporary


Pages:

352 pages


Format:

Kobo


Summary:

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.
The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.
Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.


Review:

This was such a cute contemporary! I’m not usually a fan of romance and such, but I could not help but love this book.
Although the protagonists did stupid stuff all the teens do, I didn’t feel the urge to roll my eyes.
I connected to Gia the most, in all aspects, and was surprised by how much resemblance there is.
We often let others decide what we do and what we are, in the hopes of fitting in and being liked by the society, but we forget that we cannot truly pretend to be this perfect person and be happy at the same time.
What matters is your own self, and not what others think. And there might also be a chance that they’d like the real you.
Lying to people close to you will not only cause problems and hurt, but can also make someone stop trusting you forever. I guess its human instinct to defend ourselves but we should know when to stop the pretense.
I absolutely loved Hayden and Bec. They were all I ever wished for, a great sibling relation. But I guess not everyone is that lucky haha since I don’t even have a brother or sister.
Olivia was just as amazing. wild yet concerned, crazy but yet having the sense of right and wrong.
Although Gia’s parents were hell bent on pretending to be perfect, the ending made it all fine.
I love how she realized that it didn’t really matter that things weren’t turning the way she wanted to and that it was fine.
She realized that even though she probably lost her best friend, and it would never be the same again, it was okay because they had their share of togetherness and it was time to make new friends and venture into something new alone.
I liked the sarcasm, the cliches and the stereotypes that were used in this book. It was an incredible experience.


Rating:

4 HALF

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I Was Here by Gayle Foreman | Book Review

Title:

I Was Here


Author:

Gayle Foreman


Publication Details:

1st Jan 2015


Genre:

Contemporary / YA


Format:

Kobo


Pages:

300 pages


Summary:

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.


Review:

This book speaks on so many levels, its really hard to either hate it or love it. It seems really sad that Cody has to go through all of that because her best friend committed suicide and had depression, which the whole family somehow succeeded in keeping it a secret for so many years from the person who practically was a family member herself, Meg’s best friend/ almost sister! I mean, it seems really hard to believe.
I understand what Cody is feeling, I mean obviously she feels left behind, hurt and lonely. (view spoiler)
Cody keeps a cold relation with Alice, but is friendly at once with Harry, just because he can help her, and more than friendly with Ben, who she knows had a thing with her recently deceased best friend, just cause he’s attractive and keeps her entertained. I mean seriously. So annoying!
I liked the writing, even though I didn’t much like the way things proceeded in the plot, thus the reduced two stars. This was my first Gayle Foreman book and I was somewhat disappointed.


Quotes:

“You had a pile of rocks, and you cleaned them up pretty and made a necklace. Meg got jewels, and she hung herself with them”

“I can keep picking small fights, or brave the big one.Time to screw my courage. Or go down trying”

“Sometimes we meet people and are so symbiotic with them, it’s as if we are one person, with one mind, one destiny”

“It seems abstract when you’re dealing with people online, but they are still people, and some of them are not nice people, not the kind you ever want to be in a room with.”
Sometimes you don’t even need to be in the same room for the damage to be done.”

“It’s funny how once you start pretending, you realize how much everyone else is too.”


Rating:

3