Monthly Wrap-Up: July ’17

MonthlyWrap-UPI had a surprisingly productive July. I finished nine books this month and can’t remember when I read so much. How did I do it? I’ll be sharing a discussion post in August about how I managed to pick up so many books compared to what I usually average. I also read a lot of books toward the Summer 2017 Bookish Bingo, so I’m feeling really good about that one going into August. Speaking of August, the Summer 2017 Comment Challenge is entering its final month this year and I’ve had a blast cohosting this with Lonna @ FLYLēF. If you missed participating, we’ll be putting together a wrap-up post in which you can sign up for the newsletter to be informed when this challenge is coming back. Also, I think I’m over this hot weather. I’m fully prepared for winter. How long until then?

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.) 

Favorite Book This Month:

This was a close one, but I’m going to go with Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown. I loved everything (the world-building, characters, magic) about this books and can’t believe it took me so long to pick it up.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

I’ve been putting off reading Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns because of the mixed reviews, but picked it up in July as part of the Summer 2017 Bookish Bingo challenge and it didn’t go as well as I hoped. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on it this month. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

Reviews Posted This Month:

Read But Not Reviewed Yet:

(covers linked to Goodreads)

Notable Blog Posts This Month:

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I Had Reviews for on My Blog – This meme has been on hiatus for the past month, but I decided to do a few past topics in the meantime.

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2017 – Loved putting together this post where I get to shout about all the amazing books I’ve read so far this year.

Kernels of Nonsense: Where Does Rereading Fit into a Blogger’s Life – I wrote a discussion post! I haven’t written one of these in about 84 years, but was able to sit down and write this one. Yay me!

Reading Challenges:

I will be making a separate post for my reading challenges this summer, so look for an update post very soon.

August Releases I’m Excited For:

 

Month in Review

Did you enjoy your July? Are you ready for summer to end like me? What book are you most looking forward to in August? Let me know in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit.

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2017

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag was originally created by booktubers Read Like Wildfire and Earl Grey Books. I’ve seen this tag show up every June and July since I started blogging, but never took part. I really like the idea of doing a little reflecting around mid-year. Let’s just pretend I’ve been tagged by someone and no one ought to think any differently. It will just be our little secret. I’ve had a really good reading year so far and am super excited for the second half. Covers below are linked to Goodreads.

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2017?

I’ve read a handful of 5-star reads this year, but I have a special place in my heart for Roshani Chokshi’s A Crown of Wishes. Chokshi’s writing blew my away. I really loved everything about this book and the main characters are some of my very favorite.

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2017?

I loved Susan Dennard’s Windwitch. I had my issues with Truthwitch and its world-building, but I think the writing really improved in this one. I love the changing dynamics between several of the characters and am really looking forward to the next book.

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?

I need to read Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi! I’ve had this on my shelf for over a month, but haven’t found the time to read it.

4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2017?

I need Anna-Marie McLemore’s Wild Beauty like I need this next gulp of air. I have a feeling that McLemore is going to once again enchant me with this one.

5. Biggest Disappointment?

There haven’t been many book this year that I felt truly disappointed in. The books I ended up not liking have been ones that I wasn’t expecting much from or ones that I’ve heard a mixture of things about. I picked Brittany Cavallaro’s A Study in Charlotte for this one because while I was reading it I enjoyed it, but some of the twists didn’t sit well with me.

6. Biggest Surprise?

I’m not sure what I was expecting from Tiffany D. Jackson’s Allegedly, but what I ended up reading was an incredibly complex, emotional-charged debut. I still marvel at this being a debut. If you haven’t read this one, do it!

7. Favorite New Author?

I have a feeling Angie Thomas is going to be around for a long time. The Hate U Give is one of the most thought-provoking novels I’ve ever read and I am really excited to see what else she has in store for us.

8. Newest Fictional Crush?

I liked Aeduan after Susan Dennard’s Truthwitch, but after Windwitch, I love him. Morally grey characters are just so much fun, aren’t they?

9. Newest Favorite Character?

I love Gauri from Roshani Chokshi’s A Crown of Wishes. She’s such an incredible character and has become one of my favorite protagonists.

10. Book That Made You Cry?

Can you cry because a book is just so beautiful? Yes, you can! Anna-Marie McLemore’s When the Moon Was Ours is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read and reading it brought me close to tears.

11. Book That Made You Happy?

I cannot believe how much cuteness is packed into Maurene Goo’s I Believe in a Thing Called Love. If you need to smile, pick this one up.

12. Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year?

Strangely enough, I don’t think I’ve seen any movie adaptations this year. However, I did binge watched Netflix’s Anne with an E based on Anne of Green Gables and really liked it. I know some people say its way too dark, but I appreciated the different take on the classic.

13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year?

I really like my review of A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. Check it out!

14. Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year?

Can I just mention Anna-Marie McLemore’s When the Moon Was Ours again? Not only is the writing beautiful, the book itself is so very lovely.

15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?

I feel like I’ve neglected a lot of the books I’ve purchased this year. Here are four books I’ve been dying to read that are currently sitting on my shelf just waiting for me.

What’s your favorite book of 2017 so far? New release you haven’t had a chance to pick up yet, but are dying to? Have you done the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag? Leave me a link!

Monthly Wrap-Up: June ’17

MonthlyWrap-UPWhy, June, why did you end so quickly? I can’t believe that half the year is already gone. I read less than I thought I would this month. I can’t entirely explain it, but I just found it hard to start a new book once I finished the last. I finished five books in June, coming close to six, but not quite. I’ve got some major reading plans for July however and am really excited to get started. The Summer 2017 Comment Challenge is currently underway. I really enjoy cohosting this challenge & love seeing the new connections bloggers make through their partnership.

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.) 

Favorite Book This Month:

Maurene Goo’s I Believe in a Thing Called Love was so unbelievably cute. If you’re looking for a fun contemporary for the summer, pick this one up. Review for this one coming soon. Cover linked to Goodreads.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

I really wanted to like Brittany Cavallaro’s A Study in Charlotte, but in the end, there were too many things about it that I didn’t enjoy. Review coming soon. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

Reviews Posted This Month:

Read But Not Reviewed Yet:

(covers linked to Goodreads)

Notable Blog Posts This Month:

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Reads of 2017 So Far – Loved sharing my favorite reads so far this year. I’ve picked up some amazing titles and can’t wait for the second half of 2017.

Summer 2017 Comment Challenge: July Sign-up – The Summer 2017 Comment Challenge is happening now. Partners for July have already been assigned, but if you’d like to join us for August, our sign-up post will go up on the 3rd.

Armchair Book Expo – I had so much fun participating in this online book conference. Unfortunately, this is going to be the last Armchair Book Expo and while I am incredibly sad, I’m so thankful for all the hosts’ hard work.

2017 Second Quarter Book Haul: I Feel a Book-Buying Ban Coming On – My latest book haul post in which I failed to restrain my book buying. Whoops.

Reading Challenges:

I will be making a separate post for my reading challenges this summer, so look for an update post very soon.

July Releases I’m Excited For:

 

Month in Review

How was the first half of your year? Any July releases you’re really looking forward to? Let me know in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit.

2017 Second Quarter Book Haul: I Feel a Book-Buying Ban Coming On

The end of the second quarter of this year came at me fast. I was originally going to post this book haul a couple of days ago, but forgot to snap a few pictures in time. I did not expect to end up with so many books this time around. I actually thought I had been strict with my book buying, but it feels like preorders have been showing up left and right. In my defense, many of these preorders were placed several months ago. That being said, I’m going to restrict my book buying these next couple of months, so unless I throw caution to the wind come September, my next quarter book haul should be pretty small. Click any image below to enlarge. Title are linked to Goodreads.

New Books:

1. Now I Rise by Kiersten White – And I Darken really surprised me and Lada is a character you won’t soon forget, so buying the sequel was a no brainer.

2. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh – I had to buy this one because of my love for the author’s previous work The Wrath and the Dawn. I have read this one and…well, you’ll see my thoughts soon.

3. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab – This was an automatic purchase because I apparently can’t go very long without buying books from this author. I haven’t read this one yet, so no spoilers please!

4. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett – I’m so glad I went ahead and bought this one after seeing so many bloggers recommend it. It’s such a cute novel.

5. The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May – I simply had to have this final book in The Falconer series. I’m a little afraid to pick this one up as I’ve been told to guard my heart.

6. Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis – I don’t DNF books that I buy. It’s just so hard to do so when I’ve spent money on a book. Unfortunately, this is what I did with this one. I could not get into it and I just know I’ll end up giving it a really low rating. It’s just sitting on my shelf right now, but I have no intention of reading it. I might do a giveaway or something.

7. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore – This book is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. I picked up a library copy, but knew I needed to own it, so I could fawn over the beautiful writing.

8. Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina – Another book I read a library copy of that I knew I needed in my life. This one is highly underrated, so if you haven’t picked it up, please do so.

9. Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke – This is a novel that I’ve been wanting for a long while, so I ended up preordering the paperback version of it.

10. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz – I listened to the audiobook of this one earlier in the year, but want to read a physical copy this summer.

11. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente – I bought this as a little gift to myself for my birthday in May. The first book was so good and it’s been a while since I’ve been so enchanted by a middle grade series.

Used Books:

12. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch – I feel like this novel has been on my TBR forever. I finally have a copy on my shelf, so hopefully I can get to it soon.

13. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz – I bought this on a whim. Magical realism is kind of my weakness, so how could I resist?

14. The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos – I haven’t seen too many bloggers talk about this one, but I got such a good deal on it.

15. The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics – For someone who loves scary stories, I do not pick up enough horror books (I usually have a horror-themed TBR for October, but rarely pick up the genre any other time of year). I got this one used as well and am not sure I’ll be able to wait until October to pick it up.

16. The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May – I actually read an eARC of this one way back last year and finally got my hands on a copy of it. I’ve had it my cart for long while, waiting for the price to drop.

Gifts + Giveaways:

17. Library of Souls by Random Riggs – As part of Armchair Book Expo, I won this book from Quirk Books. It actually completes my collection of this series, so I have no excuse for finally reading the last two books.

18. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling – My nine-year-old nephew picked this book for me for my birthday. Isn’t that cute?

19. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller – I have been wanting to read this book since its release, but my library hold never came in. I won this from Alissa @ A Book Blog over on Tumblr and am so excited to finally read it.

20. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandya Manon – I haven’t read this one yet, but I really really want to (I need more time in the day). I won this over on Twitter from Sarah @ The Book Traveler and may have jumped up and down when I found out.

21. Shame the Stars by Guadalupe Garcia McCall – I was lucky enough to win this one from Rich in Color. I haven’t seen one review of this one in the blogosphere, so I aim to change that.


When was the last time you put yourself on a book buying ban? Have you read any of the titles I’ve purchased? Leave a link to your own recent book haul post in the comments and I’ll visit!

Armchair Book Expo: 2017 Wrap-Up

I’m so sad that Armchair Book Expo is ending. I had a great few days being introduced to new bloggers and putting together discussion posts. This year I was able to participate in all four Armchair Book Expo posts and be a part of three of the Twitter chats. Below is a quick run down of posts in case you’re interested in checking them out. If you didn’t participate in Armchair Book Expo this year, I hope you get a chance to next year.

Day 1: Introduction & Best Practices

I answer a few intro prompts as well as sharing my personal blogging practices when it comes to reviews.

Day 2: What Do Readers Want?

A quick discussion post on how our differing expectations for books affect how we receive them. Also touch on how important it is for me to feel an emotional connection with a book in order to truly enjoy it.

Day 3: Delving Into Diversity

This was my favorite Armchair Book Expo discussion post to write this year. I talk about how far we still need to go in terms of diversity in publishing.

Day 4: ISO Books

While the previous post was my favorite to write, this one might be my favorite to put together. If you’re looking for a diverse book to add to your TBR, I share ten of my favorite diverse reads this year.

Did you participate in Armchari Book Expo this year? What was your favorite post? Did you get a chance to participate in any of the Twitter chats? Share a link to your wrap-up post in the comments.

I mentioned in the intro post that I’m cohosting the Summer 2017 Comment Challenge. Each month we pair bloggers together and encourage them to comment on each other’s blogs all month long. If you are interested in joining us, sign-ups for July are now open and will be so through June 26th. Click the image to the left for all the details.

Armchair Book Expo: ISO Books

Armchair Book Expo is an online book conference that takes place this year May 31st through June 4th. Every day bloggers take part in different discussion posts, twitter chats, and even an Instagram challenge. Today I’ll be sharing some book recommendations.

ISO Books: As readers, we are always looking for our next book to read or a stack to fill our TBR shelves. This is your opportunity to ask using our Armchair Book Expo Book Suggestion Generator (aka YOU!). Are you wanting to expand your horizons with minority characters? Are you in search of your next book club read? Do you want to explore your graphic novel or comic book options? Or, are you looking for a book that broaches a mental health or childhood issue to help you grow in understanding and knowledge in your personal life? YOU ask and YOU answer. 

I think one of the greatest pleasures of book blogging is getting to share your favorite books with others. Sure, it can be cathartic to share a negative review about a book that disappointed you (am I the only one that finds it fun to write negative reviews every once in a while?). But there’s something to be said about sharing with other readers your love for a book. And there’s no greater feeling than knowing a fellow reader picked up a book on your recommendation and ended up loving it just the same. Since we talked about diversity yesterday, I wanted to share the top ten diverse books I’ve read this year. This was a really hard list to make as I’ve read a lot of awesome books by diverse authors this year, but hopefully you’ll be able to find something below that piques your interest. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

 alt=  

1. ISO: diverse urban fantasy, set in Mexico, unique take on vampires —> Try Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

2. ISO: superhero story that defies clichés, Pakistani-American protagonist, positive Muslim representation —> Try Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson.

3. ISO: magical realism, Mexican folklore, Latinx MC, trans boy MC —> Try When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

4. ISO: deals with microagressions & systemic racism, police brutality, one of the most loving literary families —>Try The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

5. ISO: Indian mythology, sweeping fantasy, slow burn romance —>Try A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

 alt=  

6. ISO: f/f romance, emotionally-charged, quiet contemporary —> Try We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

7. ISO: Latinx protagonist, swoon-worthy LI, gentrification, messy family dynamics –>Try The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

8. ISO: m/m romance, Mexican-American identity, maybe the most universally loved book —> Try Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

9. ISO: powerful contemporary, teen pregnancy, minor in the justice system, stay up late finishing —> Try Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson.

10. ISO: PoC leads, science-fiction that deals with real world issues, makes you desperate for a sequel —> Try Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhonda Belleza

Have you read any of these? What was the last diverse book you picked up? Be sure to leave a link to your own Armchair Book Expo post in the comment.