Featured Follows | Peep these Blogs!

Half of the fun in blogging is in the community. Surrounding yourself with great blogs with related content motivates you to keep reading, keep blogging and keep having fun. That’s a hard rule for me – that blogging should be fun. I have enough stress in my life. So I’m never too hard on myself for taking those one or two months off when I need it or pressure myself to create content that I feel will be popular or really rake in the stats. For me, this blog is about raking more rays of sunshine into my life.

That being said, here are some of the rays of sunshine that I follow or follow me. Interacting with these lovelies is a definite perk to my day. Maybe they’ll be a good add to your follow list, too.

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Kristin | Kristin Kraves Books

Full of quick, concise but helpful reviews and thoughtful discussion topics, Kristin’s writing is animated and enthusiastic about all things bookish.  She’s also just a sweet person who’s super active in commenting and replying to other posts.

 

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Holly | Nut Free Nerd

Some bloggers are very serious about their content and they are strictly hyper book review focused. What I love about Nut Free Nerd is that her blog is also infused her life and personality. I love getting to know bloggers as people and seeing bits of their lives outside of the pages. She also has a consistent high volume of quality posts, so there’s always more to read.

 

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Breanna | Paws and Paperbacks

P&P is a recent follow for me, but she’s easily becoming one of those book bloggers whose opinion you trust. She’s fair, but super honest in her reviews. There’s no sugar-coating or hype-training for her. She tells it like it is, which I find super helpful when I’m looking for that next book to pick up.

 

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That’s it for this week, folks! But writing this post was surprisingly super fun. It may be sticking around as a weekly thing. We’ll see! Which blogs do you love and recommend? I’d love to check them out.

As always, Happy Reading!

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A Darker Shade of Magic | GIVEAWAY

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Image Source : Folded Pages Distillery

Hi friends!

Guess who’s doing another GIVEAWAY! 🙂 This girl. Anywho. You all know I love this series and all of you, so I am gifting a paperback copy of A Darker Shade of Magic to one lucky winner. This little giveaway box will include the book as well as a few other reading time goodies, which I will keep as a surprise for the winner!

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I’m running this giveaway through rafflecopter! So just enter here or click the big old “click here to enter” banner below. Make sure the email you enter with is a valid one so I can contact you if you win!

The giveaway ends on June 30th. I’ll declare a winner and ship out your box that weekend! Hopefully you’ll get it in a week or so depending where you are. International entries are totally A-OK! Aaaaaand….that’s it! Hope you guys enjoy! If this goes well, I’m open to doing a lot more giveaways in the future. Anything to help spread the book love!

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As always, Happy Reading!

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The Sick Book Tag

Hey folks! Time for another book tag, whoop whoop! Here is The Sick Book Tag, which was first created by Dark_Chickie on Wattpad. I stole this from Duckess @ Hook a Book. 

Diabetes- a book too sweet, like really sweet

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han | My Review

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | My Review

Jenny Han and Rainbow Rowell are the queens of sweet, sugary fluff. Sometimes I’m a fan, sometimes I’m not. But you can’t deny the sweetness. These books are like literary sprinkles.

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Chicken Pox- a book you picked up once but will never pick up again

The Selection by Kiera Cass | My Review

Soundless by Richelle Mead

There was a lot of love for the Selection series, but I really couldn’t stand it. I was confounded by the world and setting, the characters were unlikeable and quite frankly, nothing happened. Soundless, however, was just a terrible book. Though an interesting concept, it was poorly written. The execution there was just flat. Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy is pretty popular, but Soundless? Hard pass. Needless to say, I won’t be finishing or re-reading these anytime soon.

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Influenza- a contagious book that spreads like a virus

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments started off as a trilogy but grew into a series, which then got a movie and a TV show. Then, we have the Infernal Devices and multiple one-off stories plus compendiums. Cassandra Clare’s supernatural world blossomed into a huge franchise. I think I was thirteen when the series first started. Crazy to think of how much it has expanded.

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The Cycle- a book you read every month, year, or often

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It’s been a long, long time since I’ve re-read a book, especially since the TBR pile has grown so big lately. When I was a kid though, I had collected almost all of the Series of Unfortunate Events books and re-read those again and again. I also read through Eragon multiple times while waiting for the sequel to come out. Ironically, when it did, I didn’t have the time to read it anymore and actually never got around to it.

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Insomnia- a book that kept you up all night

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera 

I mention this book in way too many of these tags, but I got sucked in and stayed up way too late reading this on my kindle under the covers. Another perk of having a kindle – getting to read in bed without having to keep the lights on.

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Amnesia- a book that’s forgotten and didn’t leave a powerful impression in your memory

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If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

This wasn’t a bad read by any means. I actually rated it rather highly, but it just wasn’t super memorable for me. Even now, I can’t quite remember my thoughts on it, especially since I never got around to writing my review for it.

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Asthma- A book that took your breath away

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater | My Review

For a young adult novel, it felt refreshingly different in tone and plot. The characters were whimsical and dark and the mythology of everything was superb. I still need to finish this series. I don’t know why I’ve been sitting on it for so long.

 

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Malnutrition- a book that lacked food for thought

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Paper Princess by Erin Watt | My Review

This was all hot guys and sex and scandal without a ton to think about or think through. It kind of read like smut or weird high-school erotica to me.

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Travel Sickness- a book that took you on a trip through time and space

 

The Firebird Series by Claudia Gray | My Review

I had my issues with this series, but there’s no denying it took you to incredible places. The characters literally travel through  different dimensions. And while technically, the time isn’t actually changing, the worlds’ different progression rates leave them feeling like parts of the past or future. End of the day, these were still entertaining reads. I just got so annoyed with the protagonist in the second novel that I’m not sure I can fight my way through the third.

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Tagging the following wonderful  book bloggers and anyone else who wants to this tag!

Swetlana and Sandra @ Reading Through the Nights

Kiersten @ Once Upon a Spine

Michelle @ Book Adventures

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Anticipated Releases | March 2017

Hi Folks!

While my TBR list is already pretty stacked with 2016 releases and even older reads, I’ve still been eyeing what’s coming soon. Here are my picks from the March 2017 release list. Have any of you read ARCs for these? What did you think?

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Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Can a text message destroy your life?

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths…

Zentner’s debut, The Serpent King, was a touching, bittersweet and well-paced coming-of-age story – one that was well-received by most of the community. So there may be a little bit of pressure for Goodbye Days to live up to that acclaim. Thus far, the Goodreads  reviews seem to be positive. I’m looking forward to giving myself another dose of heartbreak.

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You’re Welcome Universe by Whitney Gardner

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up…

Julia sounds like a spunky, lovable main character and while I’m not chomping at the bit to get my hands on this one, I’d still like to get around to it at some point. It promises the same teenage sweetness and angst as Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and More Happy Than Not. I’m anxious to see if it delivers.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor 

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever….

So I admit I have not read any of the Daughter of Smoke and Bones series. It’s entirely a case of judging a book by its cover. BUT I hear Laini Taylor’s storytelling is lyrical and captivating so I want to give this new release a try. Also adding her other series to the TBR list. There seem to be a handful of those who got lost with this novel though, saying it was confusing and hard to follow. Fingers crossed!

What are you all looking forward to? Any I should be adding to my list?

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Rapid Fire Book Tag

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Book Tag Yay! I’ve never done a book tag before, but this was pretty fun. Send me more, friends! I stole this tag from Jess @ BeaucoupBooks.

1. E-book or Physical book?

E-books! While I love actually having physical books, I find that I’m reading a lot more with e-books. They’re so portable and wallet-friendly. I’ll still go out and buy a book if I really loved it though or if the cover is amazing and I neeeeeeeeed it.

2. Paperback or Hardback?

Paperback. Unless there’s a super pretty hardcover version. I’m a sucker for pretty things.

3. Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

I like browsing in-store and then actually pulling the trigger on books online. Maybe it’s nostalgia from going to the library every weekend with my mom, but I love the smell and feel of libraries and bookstores. Plus I like touching all the books.

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4. Trilogies or Series?

Trilogies. Either is fine really, but sometimes series can go on for too long, whereas trilogies tend to have a nice conclusion.

5. Heroes or Villains?

Heroes. I got a soft spot for the good guys. Too many superhero shows and comicbooks as kid. Not to say there aren’t great villain stories though like Marie Lu’s The Young Elites.

6. A Book You Want Everyone To Read?

The Harry Potter series. A common answer maybe. But I was one of those weirdos that didn’t read this until I was twenty-one because I thought it was way too mainstream and hyped growing up. When I finally decided to read them, I binged all the books and all the movies in a couple of weeks. So sad I didn’t read them earlier as a kid.

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7. Recommend an Underrated Author?

I actually can’t think of one off the top of my head. 😐 Recommendations below pls!

8. The Last Book You Finished?

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

It’ll be in my February Book Reviews post later, but long story short, I loved this one.

9. Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

Toilet paper. Clean toilet paper, guys, obviously. But let’s be honest, everyone reads on the crapper and when you need a bookmark, the TP is there.

10. Used Books: Yes or No?

Yes! I used to raid the Goodwill bookstores where they have used books for $1 or $2. I’ve been reading almost exclusively on the Kindle lately though, so used books aren’t really an option.

11. Top Three Favourite Genres?

Fantasy, Contemporary, and Sci-Fi.

12. Borrow or Buy?

Borrow! I’m pretty sure I’m a library felon because I’m terrible at returning books on time so I haven’t checked out an actual book in a long time.  I do, however, love Overdrive and Hoopla for borrowing e-books and audiobooks.

13. Character or Plot?

Mmm. This is difficult because why would you want a book that only had one or the other. That being said, if I absolutely had to choose, I think I’d go with characters. Believable characters are what drive emotional investment for me and a plot can be found in solid character development.

14. Long or Short Books?

Either or. It’s all about that pacing. Short books can still drag and long books can still fly by.

15. Name The First Three Books You Think Of.

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Bone Gap by Laura Ruby.

Wink, Poppy, Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

16. Books That Make You Laugh or Cry?

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The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, More Happy Than Not by Adam Silver

I’m not a book-laugher I guess, but I’m definitely a book crier. The last two heart-breaking books I read were probably these two. Maybe not sobbing, but definitely teary-eyed.

17. Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Our world. I can’t remember the last time I read a fantasy novel.

18. Audiobooks: Yes or No?

Yes? I’ve never successfully finished one. It always takes long to listen to one than to read a book obviously, but I’ll listen to a few chapters than get overeager and just read the rest. This happened with The Martian and Red Rising. Though I recently started listening to Prodigy by Marie Lu and I may actually finish that one. We’ll see.

19. Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Guilty.

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20. Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

TV Shows. Especially with a lot of YA series, I feel like you get more out TV adaptations. Plus, you get to see all your favorite scenes and more with shows. I feel like movies always lose out on something. There are exceptions of course where a movie makes more sense. (i.e. Gone Girl or Perks of Being a Wallflower)

21. A Movie or TV Show You Preferred to the Book?

Book-snob here. Let’s be honest, the book is always better.

22. Series or Standalones?

Meh. Either or. Though I don’t like reading series where you get no closure until the final installment. You gotta give me a little something along the way. I have no patience.

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Tags:

I’ll tag some of my most recent book blogger follows and anyone else who wants to do it. Happy Tagging! 🙂

Priscilla @ Rand0m Book Girl

Wing Yee @ Bibliphilic Med Student

Ashley @ What’s She Reading

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Winter Book Giveaway!

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Hi friends!

To celebrate my return to book blogging and as a belated holiday thing, I’m doing a Winter Book Giveaway. An E-Book giveaway that is! That way you don’t have to worry about giving me your address or shipping or any of that. I’ll simply select a few people and send a random e-book your way. All you have to do is leave a comment!

So just post the following list of things in the comments below!

  1. Contact Info
    • E-mail address. If you’re not comfortable putting your email address, make sure your blog is linked so I can contact you!
  2. Type of EBook
    • Mobi, Epub or PDF. What’s your preference?
  3. Preferences
    • Genre, authors, etc.
    • Feel free to link your Goodreads so I can see what you’ve already read!

No promises you’ll get a book you haven’t read or that it’ll be your favorite book ever, but hey, it’s a free book! There are no other rules. You don’t have to be following or share this post or anything like that, but your name will be entered twice if you do! 🙂

As always, Happy Reading folks!

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

My second year of college, I took a class in experience design. One particular week we had a guest lecturer who warned us of “The Curse of Knowledge”. The idea is that those with a certain knowledge of a subject have a bias that prevents them from understanding the perspective of those without it. Imagine a person with a song stuck in their head. They spend the whole day tapping out a rhythm with their fingers and that rhythm sounds unmistakably like the song they hear. However, to you, me and the rest of the world, that rhythm could be any number of things and holds no significant value to us.

The vast majority of us go through life blissfully unaware of that curse. We take advantage of the fact that we can think and function by the same rules as most other people. It takes no conscious effort on our part to read emotions, default to standard social norms or pick up new slang (i.e. “on fleek”). We all hear that song in our heads.

For those like the autistic 15-year-old Christopher Boone, those rules aren’t innate. He operates on an entirely different set of logic and has to manually translate all the overwhelming information around him into something he can process. Nonetheless, Christopher proves to be remarkably intelligent, brave and endearing as a hero. The novel starts off as Christopher’s adventure in solving a local mystery, but quickly evolves into a journey in which he learns to navigate his family problems and the world on his own.

I’m finding that my favorite novels are ones with the simplest language. Less is more right? Christopher as a narrator is quirky and smart-definitely not one for fluff paragraphs. It makes this novel a quick and easy read with plenty of humor, heart-warming moments and a whole lot of perspective. Pick it up if you get a chance.

3.8/5*

*I am not a fan of numerically rating novels. It’s difficult to put such different books on a singular scale. However! I know it makes a difference to a reader deciding what to pick up next, so I’ll be adding these ratings as just a footnote from now on.