Blogmas Day #31: Top Ten Tuesday // Favorite Books of 2019

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is favorite books of 2019. Every year, I hold my annual book awards, The Brittany Awards, which concluded this past Saturday. For several weeks, I spent time ranking my favorite adult, young adult, and middle grade books, as well as my overall favorites. To see my favorite books of the year, please check out The Brittany Awards 2019 linked below:

 

What were your favorite books of the year?

 

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Blogmas Day #30: 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston Review

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The main character may be given 10 blind dates, but I would give this book ten out of ten stars!

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston follows Sophie during her school’s winter break. When her parents leave to help her pregnant sister, Sophie seizes the opportunity to cozy up to her boyfriend. When she unexpectedly breaks up with her boyfriend, Sophie flees to her grandmother’s house where her extended family gathers for Christmas. To help Sophie get over Griffin, her family sets her up on 10 blind dates until New Year’s.

This book sounded right up my alley because it is a cute contemporary that takes place during Christmas. I purchased this book for my Kindle at full price, which I rarely do for new-to-me authors. Consequently, I went into this book with high expectations. Fortunately, I really enjoyed this book and I can see myself reading it again in the future, most likely before the movie version is released on Netflix.

I am a huge fan of romantic comedies, so I am happy to see resurgence of these books in the young adult market. 10 Blind Dates definitely lives up to the “comedy” in romantic comedy. Some of the dates that Sophie’s relatives set her up on are hilarious: from a live nativity to a disastrous drive-in. I found myself laughing out loud during several scenes, which I rarely do when reading.

Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was Sophie’s family. It was nice to see a supportive and caring family in a young adult book, which is sometimes rare to find. While it can seem like a lot of characters are thrown in at once, they all have some key characteristics to differentiate each member of the family. I especially enjoyed Sophie’s relationship with her cousins and how it changed as they got older.

Overall, 10 Blind Dates is a fun young adult contemporary that is perfect for Christmas or New Year’s. If you are looking for a quick and easy read to finish before the ball drops, this book would be a solid choice. I give 10 Blind Dates five out of five stars.

 

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Blogmas Day #28: The Brittany Awards (Overall Favorites)

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As the year comes to a close, so does my annual book awards. Over the past three weeks, I have chosen my favorite adult, middle grade, and young adult books of the year. Today, I will decide my top three favorite books of 2019. Here are my choices:

  • Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Maybe This Time

Kasie West is one of my favorite young adult authors. This year, I read three new books by Kasie West and reread three books by Kasie West. Out of the new stories by this author, Maybe This Time was my favorite. This book spans several holidays which I enjoyed and like West’s other books, it was fun and easy to read.

  • The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

I read both the sequel and series ending to The Folk of the Air series this year and the second book was my favorite in the series. The characters are well developed and the plot was full of twists and turns that kept me reading until I finished the book.

  • Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones and the Six was a different read for me since it is adult historical fiction. However, I enjoyed the interview style book and I am excited to watch the series when it is released. This book, as well as The Folk of the Air series, were among my most recommended books to friends.

 

What were your favorite books of the year?

 

 

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Blogmas Day #27: New Year’s Resolutions Book Tag

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As we move to the New Year, I’ve been thinking about all of my goals for the upcoming year. Today, I thought it would be great to share some of my bookish goals for 2020 with the New Year’s Resolutions Book Tag. Here are my answers:

  • An author that you’d like to read that you’ve never read before

Truly Madly Royally

I haven’t read a book by Debbie Rigaud before, but Truly, Madly, Royally has been on my list for awhile and looks like the perfect cute contemporary to kick off a new reading year.

  • A book you’d like to read

Hearts, Heroes, and Heath Hall

I’m a huge fan of Kasie West, so I’m extremely excited for the next book in the Love, Life, and the List companion series. While I loved Love, Life, and the List, I wasn’t so crazy about Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss. As a result, I’m really hoping Hearts, Heroes, and Heath Hall (also listed as Moment of Truth on Goodreads) lives up to my high expectations.

  • A classic you’d like to read

Peter Pan

I don’t typically pick up classics, but I know that I will read Peter Pan next year as it is used in one of the units in my classroom. Peter Pan is an exciting book to teach because it is the first “big book” that students typically study in my school.

  • A book you’d like to re-read

Maybe This Time

Like I mentioned earlier, I love Kasie West’s books and I really enjoyed one of her 2019 releases, Maybe This Time. I usually re-read some Kasie West books every year, so I can see myself picking this one up again in 2019.

  • A book you’ve had for ages and want to read

Second Chance Summer

I’ve literally wanted to read this book for YEARS. However, come summer time, I usually look for happy, light reads. Knowing this will be sad, I typically don’t pick it up during summer. Hopefully, I can finally read it this year because I enjoy Morgan Matson’s books.

  • A big book you’d like to read

The Rest of the Story

Contemporaries seem to get longer and longer every year and The Rest of the Story was no exception in 2019. I didn’t get to this book during this year, so I hope to read it during the upcoming summer.

  • An author that you’ve previously read and want to read more of

Chasing Lucky

I enjoyed Serious Moonlight in 2019 by Jean Bennett, so I hope to pick up her latest book in 2019.

  • A book you got for Christmas and would like to read

Archenemies (Renegades, #2)

I didn’t receive any books for Christmas this year, but I did receive Archenemies as a gift last year… and never read it. Hopefully, I will pick it up this year so I can read the latest release in this series, Supernova.

  • A series you want to read from start to finish

The Betrothed (The Betrothed, #1)

I won’t be able to read this series from start to finish since book one will be released next year, however, I hope to read it from start to finish once all the books come out. This will be a new series by Kiera Cass, the author of The Selection.

  • A series you want to finish that you’ve already started

10 Things I Hate About Pinky (Dimple and Rishi, #3)

This is the third book in the When Dimple Met Rishi companion series and follows Pinky and Samir as they pretend to date. I enjoyed There’s Something About Sweetie, so I hope to enjoy the next installment of this series.

  • Do you set reading goals? If so, how many books do you want to read in 2020?

I usually set a Goodreads goal of 50 books, but this year I will take it down to 25 books. I have been extremely busy recently and I don’t want to put myself under too much pressure to reach my goal.

  • Any other reading goals?

Like always, I hope to branch out into new genres, adult books, and discover new favorite authors!

 

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Blogmas Day #26: 20 Books I Want to Read in 2020

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2019 was my lowest reading year in the past five years that I’ve run my blog. I ran into a huge reading slump last year, so I hope to turn it around this year! To get myself excited for this upcoming year, I decided to select 20 books that I plan to read in in the new year. Here are my choices:

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Titles from left to right (* = 2020 release date):

  • Moment of Truth (also listed as Hearts, Heroes, and Heath Hall on Goodreads) by Kasie West *
  • Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon *
  • The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
  • The Betrothed by Kiera Cass *
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins *
  • Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer *
  • 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon *
  • Untitled by Morgan Matson *
  • Chasing Lucky by Jean Bennett *
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses #4 by Sarah J. Maas *
  • The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
  • Lucky Caller by Emma Mills *
  • Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
  • Four Days of Your and Me by Miranda Kenneally *
  • Truly, Madly, Royally by Debbie Rigaud
  • The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang *
  • Again, but Better by Christine Riccio
  • The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
  • Tweet Cute by Emma Lord *
  • By the Book by Amanda Sellett *

 

What books do you plan to read in 2020?

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Blogmas Day #25: The Festive Book Tag

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Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope your day is merry and bright. To celebrate Christmas on my blog, I will complete the Festive Book Tag. Here are my answers:

  • A fictional family you would like to spend Christmas dinner with

10 Blind Dates

I would love to spend Christmas with Sophie’s family! They have so many traditions, good food, and so much love for each other. However, I would be worried that they would try to set me up on blind dates.

  • A bookish item that you would like to receive as a gift

I always appreciate getting Amazon gift cards because I like adding books to my Kindle due to limited space left on my bookshelf!

  • A fictional character that would make the perfect Christmas elf

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

I immediately thought that Cress and Thorne would make great Christmas elves. Cress is excited about learning about new things about the world, so she would love to learn more about Christmas and the North Pole. Plus, she could make a lot of electronic toys. Meanwhile, Thorne has such an outgoing personality, I could see him leading an elf choir or hanging out with Santa’s reindeer. Plus, with the Rampion, Cress and Thorne could help Santa deliver toys if needed.

  • Match a book to its perfect Christmas song

Maybe This Time

Maybe This Time is a romance that spans multiple holidays in the year, ending with New Year’s Eve. As a result, I Think New Year’s Day would be a cute song to pair with this book because it could signify the new beginning of their relationship.

  • A book or fictional character that you think deserves more love and appreciation and deserves to be put on the nice list

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

Cardan is a well-loved character list, but before The Queen of Nothing, I would put him on the naughty list for sure. After his actions in The Queen of Nothing, I think he could convince Santa to put him on the nice list.

  • Red, green, and gold: A book cover with a Christmas feel to it

Serious Moonlight

Serious Moonlight is not a Christmas book, but the green panels and lights paired with a couple in cozy outfits reminds me of Christmas.

  • A book or series that you love so much and you want everyone to find under their Christmas tree this year

Daisy Jones & The Six

I loved Daisy Jones and the Six this year and I have recommended it to several friends. I would love for more people to find this book under their Christmas tree!

 

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Blogmas Day #24: Books that I Hope to Find Under my Tree

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is books that I hope to find under my Christmas tree. Here are my choices:

  • Supernova by Marissa Meyer

Supernova (Renegades, #3)

I have the first two books in the Renegades series, so it will be nice to receive the last book in order to make a complete set!

  • The Crown by Kiera Cass

The Crown (The Selection, #5)

Like with Renegades, I own every book in The Selection series… except for The Crown! I love the covers of The Selection series, so The Crown would make a pretty addition to my shelf.

  • Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Like with Renegades and The Selection, Cress is the only book I do not own in The Lunar Chronicles. Cress is my favorite book of the series, so I would love to receive it as a Christmas gift.

  • Pre-order of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

If I received a gift card for Christmas, I would definitely pre-order the next Hunger Games book. I own every book in the original series, so I need a physical copy of the next book.

  • Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell

Almost Midnight

I think Almost Midnight would make a cute Christmas gift. I have only read one of the short stories in this book, but it would be a festive read to finish off the year.

  • Amazon Gift Card

While there are some books I would want physical copies of, it would be nice to have an Amazon gift card to order books for my Kindle. I lack shelf space, so I need to be careful of physical copies that I am adding to my collection.

  • Pre-Order of Moment of Truth by Kasie West

Moment of Truth

Kasie West is my favorite contemporary author, so if I received a gift card, I would pre-order her next book for my Kindle.

  • Pre-Order of Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta's Academy, #1)

Like with Moment of Truth, Of Curses and Kisses is a highly anticipated read for me in 2020, so I would like to pre-order this book if given a gift card.

  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Image result for anne of green gables anna bond

I’ve always wanted to read Anne of Green Gables and I think this book would be a lovely addition to my bookshelf.

  • The Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

I enjoy The Folk of the Air series and own it on my Kindle. However, I think the physical copies of the books are so pretty, I wouldn’t mind owning physical copies as well.

 

 

What books would you like to see under your Christmas tree?

 

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Blogmas Day #23: Five Gifts for Five YA Characters

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Recently, I talked about different gifts that you could give to a book lover in your life. Today, I will discuss gifts that I would give to characters in books that I love. Here are my choices:

  • I would give baby clothes to Sophie’s niece in 10 Blind Dates!

10 Blind Dates

I love buying gifts for babies, so I would love to pick out gifts for Sophie’s niece in 10 Blind Dates. She actually goes shopping for the baby in this book, so it would have been fun to pick out cute little outfits with her!

  • I would give stationary to… Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before!

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

Now that Lara Jean is off to college, she may need some stationary to write to all her loved ones back home. Her letters turned out okay the first time, so I’m sure she wouldn’t mind more paper for writing!

  • I would give art supplies to Abby from Love, Life, and the List!

Love, Life, and the List

Abby is going to be a famous artist one day, so she needs all the brushes, canvases, and paint that she can het her hands on.

  • I would gives shoes to… Sweetie from There’s Something About Sweetie!

There's Something About Sweetie (Dimple and Rishi, #2)

Sweetie loves to run, so she probably would love a new pair of running shoes!

  • I would give Beats to… Bri from On the Come Up!

On the Come Up

Bri loves music, so it would be cool to give her a pair of headphones to listen to music. Since she’s a rapper, it would be even cooler for her to listen to her own music!

 

What gifts would you give characters from your favorite books?

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Blogmas Day #22: Most Disappointing Books of 2019

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While we only want to read books that we love, unfortunately there are some books that we read that disappoint us. I love to celebrate my favorite books every year, which is why I hold my annual Brittany Awards to discuss my most loved books across several categories. See the latest post here. On the other hand, I think it is also important to discuss books that weren’t my favorite and why, so people who may dislike similar aspects of books can know before they read. While I wouldn’t consider these books terrible and believe there is someone out there who loves them (they got published after all!), they just weren’t for me. Here are my choices:

Shuffle, Repeat

I picked up Shuffle, Repeat as a Kindle Deal because some of the elements described in the plot reminded me of other YA books that I enjoyed. Unfortunately for me, the main character rubbed me the wrong way which interfered with how much I enjoyed this book. In Shuffle, Repeat, the main character dislikes high school because she perceives her popular classmates as judgmental and unintelligent, which she mentions many times throughout the novel. You can probably see where I’m going: the main character was the most judgmental character in the novel and often made rude and unfounded comments to other characters throughout the book. Additionally, I found this book forgettable amongst a sea of YA books that I have read and enjoyed.

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer 

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)

This is my only book on my list that I have not finished yet, but still plan to read. I’m a huge fan of Letters to the Lost and More Than We Can Tell, which are both contemporaries by Brigid Kemmerer. I was excited to pick up the book since it was fantasy and a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. While I appreciated that the author included a main character with a disability, the story overall moved extremely slow to me and didn’t stand out against other Beauty and the Beast retellings. That being said, I only finished 50% of the book before I decided to put it aside and read it another time. Hopefully in 2020, I can pick this book up again and see if my opinion changes.

Internet Famous

Internet Famous was my lowest ranked book of the year at one star. For me, the main character held me back mostly from enjoying this book, although there were several other elements that I also did not like. In this book, the main character is extremely self-centered and incredibly rude to her family and other people in the novel and expected special treatment when she didn’t follow the rules. Usually, I don’t mind an unlikeable character. However, the main character in this book never saw the errors in her ways because she got everything she wanted. If you enjoy books that involve social media, you may like this book, but if unlikeable main characters aren’t your cup of tea, then I would stay clear of this one.

  • Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss

Kasie West is one of my favorite contemporary authors. I was excited for this book because it followed a minor character from one of my favorite Kasie West books, Love, Life, and the List. However, this book dragged a bit for me. While it usually takes me a few hours to finish a Kasie West book, this took me two weeks. I’m not a huge fan of books that involve famous people or acting, but if you are, then you would probably enjoy this book.

Call It What You Want

I received an e-ARC of Brigid Kemmerer’s latest contemporary earlier this year and I was extremely excited. I enjoyed both Letters to the Lost and More Than We Can Tell for their interesting characters and engaging plot lines. However, Call It What You Want fell flat for me. Unlike her other contemporaries, I never connected with the characters and I can’t remember much of the plot. This isn’t the worst contemporary that I’ve ever read by any means, however, it was one of my least memorable books this year.

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Blogmas Day #21: The Brittany Awards Part Three (Young Adult)

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For the past two Saturdays, I have held my annual Brittany Awards where I name the top books that I have read this year in several categories. Today, I will list my top young adult books of the year. This is my most read category of the year, and as a result, the most competitive. Here are my top four favorite young adult books:

  • Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Maybe This Time

I read three new-to-me Kasie West books in 2019 and Maybe This Time was definitely my favorite. I loved the holiday aspects of the novel and enjoyed the characters. I can see myself rereading this many times in the future, like many other Kasie West books that I enjoyed.

  • The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

I read the second and third book in the Folk of the Air series and the second ranks as my favorite. There were so many twists and turns in The Wicked King and I finally found myself enjoying the characters in this series. Second books in series usually suffer a slump, but this book is an exception.

  • Serious Moonlight by Jean Bennett

Serious Moonlight

I read Alex, Approximately when it first debuted and I was disappointed. I didn’t expect to pick up another Jenn Bennett book, but this one sounded cute and I’m all for trying to read another book by an author that didn’t work for me the first time if the plot sounds interesting. I’m glad that I did because I really enjoyed Serious Moonlight and it makes me want to pick up more books by Jenn Bennett in 2020.

  • There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

There's Something About Sweetie (Dimple and Rishi, #2)

Sandhya Menon’s books have been hit-or-miss for me. There’s Something About Sweetie has definitely been my favorite book by this author! I thought this was a cute contemporary book, which is right up my alley.

 

What have been your favorite contemporary books in 2019?

 

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