2018 First Quarter Book Haul: A Moderate Haul

I should have posted this before going on hiatus, but I completely forgot that I needed to put it together. I had/have a 2018 resolution to buy less books this year, but I totally underestimate how hard such a simple thing can be. I find it really hard when there are really great deals out there (I totally folded when it came to B&N’s 3 for $30 YA sale, but managed to resist Book Outlet this time around). Technically I was supposed to be on a book buying ban in March through the middle of April, but I’ll confess here it lasted only a couple of days. I know! I am the worst. I am going to do my best to not buy any other books until the end of April though. Alright, let’s get to the good stuff. Titles linked to Goodreads.

Pre-orders:

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1. Blood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza – I really enjoyed Empress of a Thousand Skies and though I haven’t yet gotten to the sequel, I’m still really stoked about it.

2. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton – If there’s one preorder that I’m frustrated I haven’t gotten to yet it’s this one. Soon. Soon!

3. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – This one was so amazing. My review is going up tomorrow!

4. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – I cannot wait to read this one (but yet I can as I haven’t read it yet). Maybe my next read? Ugh, why are there so many amazing books and just not enough time to read them?

B&N Deal:

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5. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – I did not expect to enjoy this one as much as I did, but when I saw B&N’s YA deal, I had to include it. Can I have the sequel now?

6. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman – I have been meaning to read this one for ages and after reading a sample, I knew I had to have it.

7. American Panda by Gloria Chao – I’ve heard nothing but amazing and funny things about this one and decided to go ahead and buy it. Now I must find time to read it.

I Just Couldn’t Resist:

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8. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – I waited ages for this one to be in stock again. Now I can finally reread it!

9. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – Coupons are dangerous! Had one, saw this and the rest is history. But how can I resist killer sirens?

10. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin – I wasn’t planning on buying the sequel to The Fifth Season so soon after finishing it, but sometimes I am weak.

Giveaways:

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11. & 12. Want by Cindy Pon & The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes – I won both of these through giveaways hosted by Rich in Color. The former is one I’ve been dying to read and the latter was such a cute debut. I’m glad I’ve got a copy of it now.

13. Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed – I won Cristina @ Girl in the Pages blogiversary giveaway and selected this debut. I haven’t read it yet, but am really looking forward to doing so.

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Have you read any of these books? Which book from my haul should I read next? What’s your favorite book purchase so far this year? Let me know in the comment and if you have a recent book haul post, include the link in the comments!

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Monthly Wrap-Up: March ’18

MonthlyWrap-UPI feel like a ton of things were going on with my reading and blogging life in March even though I spent a week out of the month away from the blog. I took a two-week hiatus and am officially back with this wrap-up. At the beginning of the month, I did a buddy read of N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season with Annemieke @ A Dance With Books. I did a guest post for Lili @ Utopia State of Mind‘s blogiversary which you can check out here.  All the guest bloggers were fantastic, so I urge you to check them out. I hosted a bookmark giveaway earlier in March as well. I do have a book haul post that will go up this upcoming week (I completely forgot about this before I went on hiatus), so be on the lookout. I have an ARC review (Jenn Bennet’s Starry Eyes) that should have been posted a week ago, but I was on hiatus, so I let myself off the hook. This will go up tomorrow if my plan to edit it does today does not go up in flames. In March, I read six books which included a reread (These Vicious Masks). April plans include preparing for the Comment Challenge this summer and revamping an original feature on the blog. Stay tuned!

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

Favorite Book This Month:

My favorite read in March was Tomi Adeyem’s Children of Blood and Bone. I know we all had exceedingly high expectations for this debut and I just thought this entire story and its world was nothing short of epic. I did manage to write a review of this one while on hiatus, so hopefully I will edit and post it in the next week or so. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

No book this month received less than three stars from me.

Reviews Posted This Month:

Read, Review Coming Soon:

(covers linked to Goodreads)

Notable Blog Posts This Month:

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Dread Nation – I officially have this one in my possession. *does happy dance* This might be my next read. I’m feeling kind of slumpy and I don’t want that to affect how I read this one, so I’m just waiting for the ehhness to pass.

Top Ten Tuesday: Give Me These 2018 Spring Releases Now – My enthusiasm for these upcoming titles knows no bounds.

Reading Challenges:

Aside from the Goodreads challenge, I’m only participating in one reading challenge this year.

1. The 2018 Debut Author Challenge is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This month I read one debut book: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

  • Challenge Goal: 12 books; Current Count: 3 books

April Releases I’m Excited For:

Month in Review

How was your March? How are your reading challenges going so far this year? 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.

Spring Hiatus Announcement!

I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of starting to think that I’m getting really good at hiatuses. I’m not necessarily feeling the need for a hiatus, but I know that I probably won’t get a chance to take a break in the next few months because of some previous obligations. Therefore, I am making myself take a two week break. I will be away from the blog starting tomorrow (March 24th) through April 6th. I should be back some time on Saturday, April 7th with a wrap-up post for March. I don’t have any particularly big plans for this break. I might still hang around Twitter and maybe comment on blogs, but I won’t be working on or responding to comment on the blog. See you all soon!

A Kernel of Nonsense’s Bookmark Giveaway

Some of you might recall that I shared a little bit about my DIY bookmarks in this post from last year. I asked readers if they would be interested in a giveaway of said bookmarks and there was enough interest that I decided a giveaway was in order. It took me a little longer than I anticipated, but I’ve finally put together a bookmark giveaway. All the details are below, including a picture of the bookmarks I will be giving away. If there ends up being a lot of interest in this giveaway, I will be putting together another bookmark giveaway during the summer.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Giveaway will run from March 2nd (12:00am PST) through March 18th (11:59pm PST), 2018.
  2. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only due to shipping costs.
  3. Three winners will be chosen and mailed one of the bookmarks below (will be random).
  4. Winners will be contacted via email on March 19th and will have 48 hours from said email to respond, or another winner will be chosen in their place.
  5. Bookmarks will be mailed within one week of winners providing their shipping information.
  6. Click the Rafflecopter Giveaway link above these rules to enter.
  7. Prizes are photographed below (click image to enlarge).

What is your preferred method of saving your place in a book? Have you ever made your own bookmark? Best of luck to everyone who enters!

Monthly Wrap-Up: February ’18

MonthlyWrap-UPI’ve been in a bit of a weird head space for the last couple of weeks. I DNFed an ARC for the first time and feel like I wasted almost a week trying to get through it before doing so. I’m trying to feel better about reading less, but it’s a really hard switch to flip. I decided to join Can’t-Wait Wednesdays as a way to fill the blog and not feel so much pressure to produce a certain number of reviews a month. Still, I managed to finish five books in February. I’m planning a two-week hiatus at the end of March, going into April, so expect an announcement around March 24th. Also, I will be posting a giveaway tomorrow for a few bookmarks I made, so look for that.

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

Favorite Book This Month:

My favorite read this month was Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi. I can’t believe it took me this long to pick up this adorable rom-com. I loved both leads and smiled way too much reading it. My review will be posted in March. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

No read this month received less than three stars from me.

Reviews Posted This Month:

Read, Review Coming Soon:

(covers linked to Goodreads)

Notable Blog Posts This Month:

Valentine’s Day: Book Recommendations to Make You Swoon – Loved sharing some of my favorite swoon-worthy contemporary novels for this year’s Valentine’s Day.

Top Ten Tuesday: Popular Romantic Movies I’ve Never Seen – I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to rom-coms and the like. Here are ten romantic movies (now nine), I have yet to see.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – This is my first time participating in this meme, which will be appearing on the blog at least a couple of times a month.

Reading Challenges:

Aside from the Goodreads challenge, I’m only participating in one reading challenge this year.

1. The 2018 Debut Author Challenge is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This month I read one debut book: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano.

  • Challenge Goal: 12 books; Current Count: 2 books

March Releases I’m Excited For:

Month in Review

How was your February? Which March release are you most 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.

Valentine’s Day: Book Recommendations to Make You Swoon

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day. I know many people either hate or love this holiday, but either way, I want to wish you a wonderful day regardless. I’m bringing back a Valentine’s Day themed post as last year I seemed to have forgotten to put one together. I have a very truncated list of book recommendations to share with you today. In the past, most of the romances I consumed came from fantasy books, but I’ve rather recently renewed my love for contemporary books. This year I’m sharing with you some of my favorite contemporary novels with love stories that are just so hard to resist. Covers are linked to Goodreads.


1. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Ask me any day of the week and I will tell you that I am not a fan of insta-love. The whole idea of being able to fall in love with someone so quickly gets my cynical side all worked up. That being said, I fell head first in love with Nicola Yoon’s The Sun Is Also a Star. She found a way to make the trope work and although I still scoff at the idea of insta-love, this book will always be an exception for me.

2. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

If there is ever a trope that I am powerless to resist, it’s the You’ve Got Mail one. I don’t even know what this trope is properly called, but I associate it with the movie where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks meet online and build a relationship without knowing the other one’s identity. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum follows a similar sequence, though the protagonist’s anonymous pen pal (email pal?) knows who she is. We, along with the protagonist, get to play the guessing game. Be warned, this trope will appear multiple times on this list.


3. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Sometimes finding love can be really clumsy and no one exemplifies this more than Desi Lee from Maurene Goo’s I Believe in a Thing Called Love. I loved that we got to see a protagonist who was completely lost when it came to love, but made a plan to get it anyway. This book had me smiling so much. If you ever need a pick me up, this book will surely have you laughing by the time you finish. Be aware though, you’ll probably experience a ton of second-hand embarrassment.

4. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I told you the You’ve Got Mail trope was going to make another appearance. Have you ever finished a book and it just left you smiling for a week? Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapien’s Agenda was like this for me. Simon is probably one of the sweetest protagonists you’ll ever meet and his online relationship with Blue had me begging for a reveal. It’s a good time to read this one if you haven’t yet as the movie is set to be released in March.

5. The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson

Another trope that I have a hard time resisting is hate to love. I am always at the ready to watch two stubborn characters bicker chapter after chapter until finally facing the truth that they like each other. And no one does witty banter better than Lily Anderson. It is an utter delight seeing the progression of Trixie and Ben’s relationship in this one. I should also mention that The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, if that sweetens the deal. It is an utter delight seeing the progression of Trixie and Ben’s relationship in this one.

6. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Kasie West has been my go-to contemporary author for some years now. Her books are always light and fun and can be finished in one sitting if that’s your thing. Of all her books I’ve read, P.S. I Like You is my favorite. It contains not one, but two of my favorite tropes: You’ve Got Mail and hate-to-love. I actually think of all her novels, this is the one that actually gives readers an equally complete characterization of the love interest as well as the protagonist. I’m still hoping that one day Kasie West will write a novel with dual perspectives.


7. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

This list couldn’t possibly be complete without me mentioning another of my favorite romance tropes and that’s the fake relationship. It might be one of the most predictable tropes, but I eat it up. Also, Lara Jean from Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is one of my favorite contemporary protagonists. She reminds me a little of myself in high school and I can’t help but feel really protective of her.

8. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

This is actually a last minute addition to this list. I just finished When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon earlier this month and fell in love with both leads. If you’re looking for a fun rom-com that manages to also be multi-layered when it comes to its characters, this is the book you ought to be reaching for.

Bonus: The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Because I need to cheat just a little I’m giving you a bonus recommendation that isn’t contemporary. Silvia Moreno-Garcia made me absolutely swoon with her latest novel, The Beautiful Ones, which combines historical fantasy and romance. I was absolutely taken with this novel from the very first page and hope you will be too.

What contemporary (or otherwise) novel would you recommend to those looking for a good romance? Have you had the pleasure of reading any of these novels? Happy Valentine’s Day!