Blogmas Day #11: ‘Tis the Season Book Tag

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On the eleventh day of Blogmas, a book reviewer gave to me… the ’tis the season book tag!

  • Do you have a favorite winter read?

One of my favorite winter reads is Secret Santa by Sabrina James. While a little cliche, I have read it numerous times since high school and still find it as enjoyable as the first time that I read it. Secret Santa follows several student at a high school as they participate in their school’s Secret Santa gift exchange.

  • Find a book with blue on the cover.

A book that I read this year with blue on the cover was Real Friends. Real Friends is a graphic novel that details Shannon Hale’s real life changing friendships during middle school. This book is a great read for anyone, but it would be particularly powerful for current middle schools student who are going through changing friendships.

  • Find a book that you’d use as a star on a Christmas tree

I would put Maybe This Time by Kasie West on top of a Christmas tree. I gave this book five stars and it was one of my favorite contemporary reads of the year, so it would shine brightly on top of a tree.

  • Pick one fictional place that would be perfect for a winter holiday

I would love to visit Whoville during Christmas since they are known for their Christmas celebrations. Plus, it would fun to meet the Grinch!

  • Pick one fictional character you’d take with you on your holiday

A character that I would take with me to Whoville is Sophie from Maybe This Time. She loves to design clothes, so I think she would be very inspired by the setting and people who reside in Whoville during Christmas.

  • Name one book on your wish list this year

This year, I would prefer an Amazon gift card as opposed to a physical book. I don’t have much space left on my shelves, and I read more on my Kindle anyway, so it would make more sense for me to ask for an Amazon gift card so I can purchase more e-books for my Kindle.

  • Favorite holiday drink, treat, and movie

I’m not usually a fan of warm drinks, however, I’m a huge fan of limited time drinks at Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. I also do enjoy hot chocolate with whip cream and extra toppings. As for treats, I always enjoy baking cookies with my grandma and sister every year on Christmas Eve. For movies, there are so many that I love to watch year after year. Home Alone 2 and Elf could be considered two of my favorites.

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Blogmas Day #10: Top Ten Tuesday // Christmas Tree Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is a freebie! This week, I decided to make a Christmas tree out of some green books. Then, I divided them into books on my TBR and books that I have read. Here are my choices:

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Books on my TBR:

  • Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
  • Britt-Marie was Here by Fedrik Backman
  • Truly, Madly, Royally by Debbie Rigaud
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Books Read (book reviews linked to book titles):

 

What books do you hope to find under your Christmas tree?

 

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Blogmas Day #9: How I Decorated My Bookshelf for Christmas

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On the eighth day of Blogmas, a book blogger gave to me… a Christmas shelf tour!

Recently, I purchased by first bookshelf. I was excited to decorate my shelf, especially since it is Christmas time. My bookshelf is the Gersby bookshelf from Ikea. Here’s how I decorated it!

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On the shelf where I keep some lighter or pastel colored books, I added two New Year’s Eve Tsum Tsums in the top left hand corner, sitting on The One by Kiera Cass. I also have a Funko Pop of Christmas Mariah Carey. The Tsum Tsum on the right is actually a Bluetooth speaker and it will continue to live on my shelf even after Christmas is finished.

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On my yellow/orange/red shelf, I have another Funko Pop and some more Tsum Tsums. I have stacked my Christmas Mickey and Friends Tsum Tsums in a pyramid. Santa Mickey sits on top, followed by Mrs. Claus Minnie Mouse, Christmas tree Goofy, Snowman Daisy, Present Pluto, and Snowman Donald Duck. To the right, I have a Grinch Funko Pop which I received as a Christmas present last year from my sister.

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On my green/purple/blue shelf, I have more Funko Pops and a light-up Christmas tree. From left to right, I have Papa Elf, Buddy, and Jovie from one of my favorite Christmas movies, Elf.

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On my silver/brown/black shelf, I have more Tsum Tsums. This stack is Frozen-themed and includes Olaf, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Hans.

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On my final shelf, I have one Tsum Tsum and two Funko Pops. The Tsum Tsum is a sights and sound version, so I keep it on my shelf so it doesn’t fall or bump into anything to making it light up or make noise. This will stay on my shelf all year round. Finally, I have Funko Pops of Anna and Kristoff from Frozen, which I found extremely discounted at a Hallmark store several years ago.

 

How do you decorate your book shelves?

 

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Blogmas Day #8: Let It Snow Movie Review

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Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Miracle was tImage result for let it snow movie posterhe first book that I ever reviewed on my blog back in January 2019 (see my review here), so it makes it incredibly special to review the movie almost four years later. When I heard that Netflix released a movie for the book, I was excited because I was impressed with another young adult book-to-movie adaption, To All the Boys I’ve Love Before. While I don’t consider Let It Snow one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time, it is a cute holiday movie that will please many viewers.

For those unfamiliar with the book, Let It Snow focuses on three short stories about characters in a small town on Christmas Eve. While all of the stories are individual, but connect at the end, the movie takes a different approach where it bounces back and forth between each story line. Even though I hadn’t read this book in quite some time, I still was able to find several very noticeable differences between the book and the movie. While I wasn’t too bothered by these changes and think viewers who haven’t read the book may still find this movie enjoyable, do not expect a very faithful adaption for two of the three original stories if you read the book first.

Personally, I enjoyed the John Green story line adaptation the best. That being said, I think the movie was well-casted and acted by each member of the cast. I think this movie also brought in a good theme with the Jeb story line, which was my least favorite story line in the book. While I enjoyed the cast of the movie, there were several scenes that dragged by slowly for me. The first time I watched this movie, I took several breaks while watching because the pacing slows down. When I watched the movie again with my sister, she felt the same way. When you think the movie has to end soon, there are still forty minutes left.

Overall, Let It Snow is a cute, holiday movie. I think Netflix used core elements of the story that will make the movie enjoyable for readers of the book or people who have not read the book. I give this movie three out of five stars.

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Blogmas Day #7: The Brittany Awards // Adult

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Welcome to The Brittany Awards!

The Brittany Awards are my annual end-of-the-year lists to celebrate my favorite books of this year. For 2017, I have divided my list into three preliminary categories (adult, children’s/young adult contemporary, and children’s/young adult fantasy) and one overall favorites category. For each category, I will select my top three favorite books of the year and an honorable mention (for some categories). For the final category, I will select my top three favorite overall books. Any books with a review will have the review linked to the book’s title.

Today, I will discuss my favorite adult books. More and more, I have found myself branching out of my comfort zone, young adult, in favor of books targeted to adult. Here are my top three favorites:

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

When I started reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, I was getting the hype. However, when I reached the second half of the book, I understood why so many people gave it rave reviews. The emotion in the second half of this story is so well written, it really hits you in the heart. I gave this book five out of five stars.

  • Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The Six

I saw Daisy Jones and The Six everywhere online. Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author that I wanted to read something from, so I was excited when Daisy Jones and the Six appeared in my local library. This book was written in a very unique format, but it worked so well for the story. Like Eleanor Oliphant, this book took me a little bit to get into, but once I did, I was so sad when I finished it. I gave Daisy Jones and the Six five out of five stars.

The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2)

I didn’t completely buy into the hype surrounding The Kiss Quotient, but I was much more impressed with this book. The Bride Test had me hooked from start to finish. From the characters to the story, I was completely invested. I also appreciated the author’s personal connection, as mentioned in the author’s note at the end of the book. I gave this book five out of five stars.

What are some of the best books that you read in 2019?

 

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Blogmas 2019 Day #6: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

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There’s nothing I love more than a good series conclusion.

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black, the third book in the Folk of tThe Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)he Air series, picked up where The Wicked King left off. After Cardan exiled Jude to the human world, she takes up work running errands for the faeries who live there. When Jude’s sister arrived with some troubling news, Jude finds herself pulled back into Elfhame. When a devastating prophecy is revealed, Jude must decide how to save the crown, and Cardan, before it is too late.

While I have enjoyed all the books in the Folk of the Air series, there are some that I love more than others. After reading The Wicked King, which I preferred over The Cruel Prince, I went into The Queen of Nothing with high expectations. Although I wasn’t disappointed by The Queen of Nothing, it still ranks below The Wicked King for me.

My biggest gripe with The Queen of Nothing relies in the story’s beginning. Compared to The Wicked King, I felt that the beginning of this book moved a little slow for me. While I finished both The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King in one sitting, it took me a few days to read The Queen of Nothing because I continuously picked up and put down the book as I read the first half. Luckily, the second half was more interesting to me and I couldn’t put it down to see what twists and turns that Holly Black had up her sleeve.

My favorite aspect of the series as a whole are the twists and play on words that Holly Black comes up with. You never know whether to take her words figuratively or literally or there may be some little pieces of the puzzle that you may miss completely the first time around. This is especially true in the second half of this book.

Overall, The Queen of Nothing is a satisfying conclusion to an overall solid series. I give this book four out of five stars.

 

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Blogmas Day #5: December TBR

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With December being a crazy time of year, I am not expecting to read that many books. As a result, I’m not putting that much pressure on myself (even though I’m behind 13 books in my Goodreads Challenge) in my TBR. I have selected two books that I definitely want to finish in December and will be excited if I read any more than the books listed below. Here are my choices:

  • 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

10 Blind Dates

10 Blind Dates sounds right up my alley for Christmas time. It is a cute, romantic comedy that takes place around Christmas through New Year’s. In this book, a girl’s family sets her up on 10 blind dates after a break-up with her longtime boyfriend. I’m not someone who usually purchases books right away, especially by an author that I am unfamiliar with, but this sounded too cute to pass up!

  • The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Origami Yoda #1)

This should be a short, quick read that I’ve been wanting to finish for a long time. I actually started this at the end of November, so I should be finishing it up quickly. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda contains stories about an origami Yoda who gives advice to students in middle school through the student who wears it on his finger.

 

What books do you plan to read in December? 

 

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Blogmas Day #4: The Christmas Song Book Tag

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On the fourth day of Blogmas, a blogger gave to me The Christmas Song Book Tag.

  • “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”: Name a villainous character you can’t help but love

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)

Cardan is conniving and cruel, however, but he is a very interesting character to read about, especially in The Queen of Nothing. In the final book of the series, readers get to see Cardan’s cold personality, but also get to see other sides of him, including more about his twisted past.

  • “All I Want for Christmas is You”: Which book do you hope to see under your Christmas tree?

For Christmas, I would like an Amazon gift card. I don’t have any more physical space for books, and I primarily read on my Kindle now anyway, so an Amazon gift card would be a more practical gift for me than a physical book.

  • “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”: Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves

Real Friends (Real Friends, #1)

In Real Friends, Shannon struggles with finding out who her true friends really are. However, at the end of the story, Shannon becomes more comfortable with who she is as a person.

  • “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”: Which character would be on the nice list and which character would be on the naughty list?

Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal

Rowley and Greg are the perfect examples of the nice vs. naughty list, especially in this book.

  • “Frosty the Snowman”: Which book melts your heart?

Maybe This Time

All of Kasie West’s nooks make me feel happy after reading them and Maybe This Time was no exception.

  • “Feliz Navidid”: A book that takes place in a different country than your own

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is the only book I read that completely takes place in a different country than my own. It takes place in Glasgow, Scotland.

  • “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Which holiday themed book do you use to spread Christmas joy?

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (The Herdmans #1)

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is one of my favorite Christmas books. It is funny, but also has a powerful message for all people to hear at Christmas time.

  • “Sleigh Ride”: Which fictional characters would you spend the holiday with?

10 Blind Dates

I would love to spend the holidays with Sophie’s family in 10 Blind Dates. They all seem very close and that they have tons of fun!

  • Baby It’s Cold Outside”: Which book that you didn’t like would you not mind sacrificing to a fire to keep yourself warm?

Internet Famous

While I don’t necessarily think any book should be used in a fire place, Internet Famous was my lowest rated book of the year at 1 star.

  • “Do You Hear What I Hear?”: Which book do you think everyone should read?

Daisy Jones & The Six

Out of all the books that I’ve read this year, I’ve recommended this book to the most people. So far, everyone that I have recommended this to really enjoyed it!

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What is your favorite Christmas song?

Blogmas Day #3: Top Ten Tuesday // Holiday Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is holiday reads. I love themes, so when December rolls around, I love to read books that include Christmas holidays and activities. Here are some of my favorites (reviews will be linked to book titles):

  • Secret Santa by Sabrina James

Secret Santa (Holiday and Party Romantic Comedies Book 1)

Secret Santa has been favorite Christmas book of mine since high school. This book follows several characters at North Ridge High School who participates in their school’s Secret Santa gift exchange. While very predictable, it is a cute story that I wish Netflix would pick up.

  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a holiday classic. I love all of the Herdman stories because while they are funny, they also hold a deeper message.

  • The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

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While not my favorite Christmas book, The Afterlife of Holly Chase is a unique read. Before Holly died, she lived out the classic Christmas Carol tale: three ghosts visited her and tried to make her change her selfish ways. The only problem? Holly didn’t listen, so now she must serve as one of the ghosts and save another Scrooge before they face the same fate.

  • Snow in Love by Melissa de la Cruz, Nic Stone, Aimee Friedman, and Kasie West

Snow in Love

Snow in Love is one of my favorite Christmas short story collection which does not feature interconnected stories. I particularly enjoy the first story by Kasie West.

  • Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Bittersweet

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler is more of a winter book than a Christmas book, but it still takes place during that time period. I appreciate Ockler’s accurate portrayal of Christmas. In most books, everyone gets the present they wanted and everything is absolutely perfect in their life because it’s the end of the story. However, in this story, a family faces their lights being turned off their family business struggling during the holidays.

  • Midnight by Rainbow Rowell

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

This short story collection overall wasn’t my favorite, but I really enjoyed Rainbow Rowell’s contribution. This is the only New Year’s story on my list, and if you’re interested, it is also published along with Kindred Spirits in its own short story book called Almost Midnight.

  • My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff

My New Crush Gave to Me

I discovered My New Crush Gave to Me through a Kindle deal was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This book also features a Secret Santa element, but has the main character work with a sworn enemy to pick out the perfect gifts for the person that she selected.

  • Let in Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

Let it Snow

Let it Snow features three interconnected stories and was recently turned into a Netflix movie. In the book, I enjoyed Maureen Johnson’s story the most. This is a cute, easy read for Christmas time.

  • It’s a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison

It's a Mall World After All

I’ve read this book countless times since middle school, but I still find myself laughing out loud each time that I reread it. This book follows a girl trying to find evidence that her best friend’s boyfriend is cheating. Meanwhile, she gets closer to his best friend, one of her enemies, to run a toy drive for Christmas.

  • 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

10 Blind Dates

I’m only partly through 10 Blind Dates, but I can tell it will be a favorite. The dates are very Christmas themed, which makes it the perfect read for Christmas time.

 

What are your favorite reads around Christmas?

 

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Blogmas 2019 Day #2: November Wrap-Up

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This year has been difficult reading-wise for me. However, one exciting November release encouraged me to finish one book in November, which I consider a victory since I was also working on National Novel Writing Month at the same time. Here is what I read:

  • Queen of Nothing by Holly Black (★ ★ ★ ★)

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)

I had highly anticipated Queen of Nothing since I finished The Wicked King earlier this year. While I enjoyed the second half of Queen of Nothing much more than the first half, I overall enjoyed this book and series as a whole. To see my full thoughts on Queen of Nothing, check out another Blogmas post later this month.

 

What books did you read in November?

 

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