Candy Book Tag

happy

Since Halloween is tonight, it is the perfect time to complete The Candy Book Tag! The Candy Book Tag was created by Samantha at Bookish Serendipity (let me know if you can find the link to her site!). Here are my answers:

  • Apples: Ah, healthy food. It’s deep, meaningful, probably won a lot of awards. But, um, it really isn’t your thing.

Louisiana's Way Home

Kate DiCamillo has won many awards. However, every time I try to read one of her books, I either can’t finish it or struggle to finish it because I just don’t gel with her writing style. Unfortunately, Louisiana’s way home was no exception. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the main character in this book and I was not a huge fan of the plot either.

  • Milk Chocolate: It is a book you recommend to EVERYONE.

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

The Cruel Prince was an okay read for me, but the second book in this series has made me recommend this series to several people! There are way more twists and turns in this book which kept me engaged the whole time that I was reading.

  • Black Jellybeans: Why do these exist?

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

This book was a major let down for me. Although it claims to be about Rowley, it focuses on Greg for 90% of the book. Why wasn’t this just another Diary of a Wimpy Kid book? I am still confused about the direction of this book.

  • Chocolate Kisses: Aw, the best romance.

The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2)

The Bride Test has been one of my most enjoyable books of the year. I really liked the relationship between Esme and Khai and much preferred it to the first couple featured in this companion series.

  • Gummy Spiders: Eek! You make sure to check under your bed every night after reading this scary one.

Sadie

The scariest part of this book is how this story could actually happen.

  • Jumbo Lollipop: This took you forever to get through, but hey! You did it!

Daisy Jones & The Six

I really liked Dasy Jones and the Six, but it took me a long time to read. I also felt really under pressure because I only had a few hours left of my loan from my library’s e-book section which made it feel like an even bigger book.

  • Cotton Candy: Admit it, you loved it when you were younger (you probably still do). Think children’s or MG fiction.

Holes (Holes, #1)

I recently read Holes and I can see why it is such a favorite for students in elementary school!

 

What is your favorite candy?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that I Would Give Different Titles

happy

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is changing the titles of books. Here are my choices:

  • A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

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

When I saw the title of the newest book in The Hunger Games, I was slightly disappointed. I’m sure the title will have a lot of meaning with the new story, however, I find it similar to so many books currently on the YA market right now. The Hunger Games was a stand-out book, not just in YA but in popular culture, in this title just does not come across as punch or iconic as the original.

  • Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney

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

I think I don’t like this title because it is very misleading. From this title, you would gather that this book is a spin-off of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. However, this book focuses way more on Greg than it does on Rowley. As a result, I was extremely disappointed after reading this book. I feel like this should have either been added to the original series or scrapped completely to focus more on Rowley.

  • How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Carole Kozzo

How To Keep Rolling After a Fall

Not going to lie, if I hadn’t read a book by Carole Kozzo that I enjoyed before this, I probably would have never picked up this one based on the title alone. When I read this title, I cringed. This book mainly focuses on Nikki Baylor, a girl ostracized from her peers after she shares personal photos of another girl in her class as revenge. In the story, Nikki meets Pax, a rugby player who uses a wheelchair after being paralyzed, and they develop a relationship. I am not someone in a wheelchair, but I could see how this title could be considered offensive since it makes a pun on a character’s disability. Additionally, the book focuses more on Nikki, so it comes across as more related to her storyline, negative choices as the result of toxic friendships, which is nowhere comparable to Pax, who became paralyzed after an accident.

  • How to Love by Katie Cotugno

How to Love

I think that I do not like this title because I feel like it does not match the book very well. While the title could be representative of the main character’s relationship with her daughter, it makes me think more about her relationship with one of the love interest’s in this book which I did not enjoy.

  • From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

From Twinkle, with Love

I think the title of this book plays well with the letters featured in this book that Twinkle writes. That being said, I did not really care for the letters in this book because I felt that they did add much to the story. As a result, the title makes me think of one of the weaker parts of this book which gives me negative feelings whenever I think about it.

  • Textrovert by Lindsey Summers

Textrovert

I am a huge fan of plays on words, but this one just feels a little awkward. I think the original title of this story was The Cell Phone Swap which I prefer much more than this title.

  • Bookish Boyfriends: A Date with Darcy by Tiffany Schmidt

A Date with Darcy (Bookish Boyfriends, #1)

I received an eARC of this book and at the time, the title was just Bookish Boyfriends. I thought it was a cute title and it was one of my motivating factors for requesting this book on NetGalley. However, this book turned into a companion series. Now, there seems to be a lot of text on the cover. While I do like alliterations, there is just a lot going on. I would have preferred if this book kept the initial title.

  • Royce Rolls by Margaret Stoll

Royce Rolls

Like some other titles on this list, I like the play on words of this title. On the other hand, this title is a bit of a tongue twister for me! While I think this title does suit this book, I’m glad I’m a book blogger and not a Booktuber because I would definitely struggle to pronounce this one camera!

  • P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)

I like how this book follows the theme of this series and references letters. However, this title reminds me of what I felt about this book: not my favorite in the series and a little generic.

  • The Winner’s Crime and The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)

I really enjoy this series, but the last two titles aren’t my favorites. It is very common in YA books, especially fantasy series, to have similar wording in the titles. However, the last two titles are not as nearly as clever as the first. The Winner’s Kiss is especially cringe-worthy to me and I feel like it does not accurately reflect the last book, which has one of the most well-done war-focused plot lines that I’ve seen in YA.

real signature

 

 

 

Follow me on…

123

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang Review

happy

This book receives an A+ from me.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang is a companion novel to The Kiss QThe Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2)uotient which follows supporting character Khai Diep. Khai’s mother wants to marry off her son, so she flies to Ho Chi Mihn City to find his bride. There she discovers Esme Tran, a bubbly maid, who agrees to fly to America and seduce Khai in order to secure a better life for her daughter.

For me, The Kiss Quotient was only an average read. For me, the characters lacked the depth that I needed to truly believe in their relationship. As a result, I was not sure if I would really enjoy the second book in this companion series. However, I ended up enjoying The Bride Test much more than The Kiss Quotient because it contained all of the aspects that I wanted to see in The Kiss Quotient.

For me, the stand-out aspect of this book were the two main characters, Esme and Khai. Unlike with The Kiss Quotient, I found that Esme and Khai were completely fleshed out. All of their actions drove the story and made so much sense because of how much you know about their characters. I feel like the author’s research played a large role in this aspect of this story. In the author’s note, Hoang mentions that her mother and father’s relationship greatly influenced this story because their lives reflect many aspects of the two main characters. As a result, I feel like readers can connect more with the characters in this book than the Kiss Quotient.

There is only one complaint that I had while reading this story. There were some aspects of this book, such as Esme’s child, which were hinted at the beginning of the story to be major roadblocks. However, I felt like any instance that was foreshadowed never played a large role in the story. While this usually would annoy me in a story, I actually found the problems that the characters face throughout the novel more true to their characters, so it never really took anything away from the story for me.

Overall, I really loved The Bride Test and could see it appearing on a favorites list at the end of the year. This book makes me excited to read the next book in this companion series, The Heart Principle, which releases next year. I give The Bride Test five out of five stars.

real signature

 

 

 

Follow me on…

123

Just Jaime by Terri Libenson Review

happy

Unfortunately, Just Jaime was just average for me.

Just Jaime by Terri Libenson is a middle-grade graphic novel that follows Jaime and Maya, two friends at odds before summer vacation. Ever since Jaime and Maya befriended two new girls at the start of middle school, Jaime notices her best friend get pulled further and further away by the leader of the pack who frequently puts down Jaime. Maya wants the popularity that her new friends offer, however, she struggles to determine if that popularity is more important than her friend Jaime.

I saw Just Jaime available within my library’s e-books. I read Real Friends by Shannon Hale earlier this year and the plot of this book sounded extremely similar despite taking place in different time periods (Real Friends is a memoir of Hale’s experience in middle school and Just Jaime is a fiction story that takes place in the present). Since these stories were so similar, I constantly found myself comparing the two graphic novels. Sadly for Just Jaime, I enjoyed the other story a little bit more.

One aspect of Just Jaime that I enjoyed were the two perspectives, which was not present in Real Friends. In Just Jaime, you get to see the story from Jaime and Maya. I think this helped stray away from the typical mean girl trope often present in children’s books targeted towards girls because readers get to see the peer pressure that Maya faces. While Maya’s actions may not be the best, readers can sympathize more with her character.

Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was its reflection of real life. I think many readers will relate to Jaime and Maya. Many of the situations presented in this book, like ending friendships through text, would be very relatable to the target audience of this book. While I think Real Friends captured my attention and captivated the emotions surrounding friend breakups better, I think the modern setting would be more relatable to the book’s target audience.

While there were several aspects of this book that I enjoyed, there were several places where this book fell flat for me. Even though the events in this book were relatable, they were not fleshed out enough for me to really feel the emotions of the main characters. While the character’s actions did play a large role in the book, I mostly remember a string of events than the characters themselves. Additionally, I felt like the problems in this book were resolved too quickly. Also, I was not the biggest fan of this particular art style, however, that is more of personal preference.

Overall, Just Jaime was an average read for me. Maybe if I hadn’t read Real Friends earlier in this year, which is extremely similar in plot and message, I would have enjoyed this one a little bit more. I give Just Jaime three out of five stars.

real signature

 

 

 

Follow me on…

123

Candy Book Tag

happy

What would Halloween be without candy? Blogween is almost over, so it wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t compare some books to candy that you could find trick-or-treating. The Candy Book Tag was created by Samantha at Bookish Serendipity (let me know if you can find the link to her site!). Here are my answers:

  • Apples: Ah, healthy food. It’s deep, meaningful, probably won a lot of awards. But, um, it really isn’t your thing.

This One Summer

This One Summer is an award-winning graphic novel, but unfortunately for me, I didn’t end up loving it. I appreciated how realistic this story was, but found myself bored since it was primarily the main character reacting to much more interesting people and events around her.

  • Milk Chocolate: It is a book your recommend to EVERYONE.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Although I just read Six of Crows, I can see myself recommend it to everyone I know. This book had so many twists and turns plus a cast of fun and interesting characters. I think this book could appeal to many different audiences so it’s one that I could recommend to a lot of different people.

  • Black Jellybeans: Why do these exist?

Kill the Boy Band

I don’t like completely bashing a book and claiming that it shouldn’t exist, but one book that I really didn’t enjoy this year would have to be Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky. I understand this book is dark humor, but I think it really crossed the line several times throughout the story. Additionally, the message that the author tried to convey never came across clear. I can’t see myself ever recommending this book to someone else.

  • Chocolate Kisses: Aw, the best romance.

Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks)

Out of books that I’ve recently read, I would have to say Maya and Jesse from Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally would have to be one of my favorites. Miranda Kenneally’s books can be hit or miss for me, but I think I enjoyed this one because both characters are fully developed and their relationship grows throughout the book.

  • Gummy Spiders: Eek! You make sure to check under your bed every night after reading this scary one.

My Friend Dahmer

While this book itself wasn’t exactly scary, the basic idea of knowing someone well and then learning they’ve done terrible things is scary to me. This book ends with two somewhat “scary” scenes in those terms with one of Dahmer’s high school acquaintances driving him home, presumably the body of Dahmer’s victim in a garbage bag near the house. Additionally, a group of high school friends gather together three years before it is discovered that Dahmer is a serial killer and they joke about his behavior and how he was most likely a serial killer. That’s scary to me to think about how all those awful things were actually happening, unbeknownst to the people who knew him the best (even if they didn’t know him extremely well).

  • Jumbo Lollipop: This took you forever to get through, but hey! You did it!

Royce Rolls

Royce Rolls by Maragaret Stohl isn’t the longest book that I read this year, but it was one of the books that took me longest to read. I really wasn’t a fan of this book because I didn’t feel connected to the characters or the story line. As a result, it took me awhile to finish.

  • Cotton Candy: Admit it, you loved it when you were younger (you probably still do). Think children’s or MG fiction.

Judy Moody Declares Independence (Judy Moody #6)

I loved the Judy Moody series when I was younger and it is a series that I continue to appreciate as I studied elementary education in college. I was so excited when I got to teach Judy Moody Declares Independence during student teaching because I was able to introduce one of my favorite series to students!

 

What is your favorite candy?

Finally Fall Book Tag

happy

After an abnormally warm September where I live, it’s finally starting to feel like fall! Since it’s finally starting to feel like fall, I thought it would be the perfect time to include the Finally Fall Book Tag during Blogoween. This tag was created by Alina at Tall Tales. Here are my answers:

  • In fall, the air is crisp and clear: Name a book with a vivid setting!

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)

Renée Ahdieh does a great job of world building and Flame in the Mist is no exception! From the landscape, to the culture, to the characters, I could picture everything in this story in my head due to her vivid descriptions.

  • Nature is beautiful… but also dying: Name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief

The Truth About Forever

I absolutely love Sarah Dessen’s writing style and The Truth About Forever is no exception. In The Truth About Forever, Macy spends the summer at home while her boyfriend is at Brain Camp which is difficult because he brought consistency to her life after her father died. In this book, many characters experience loss and grieve in vastly different ways. I think Sarah Dessen did a great job of showing there isn’t one “right” way to grieve.

  • Fall is back to school season: Share a non-fiction book that taught you something new

March: Book One (March, #1)

Even though I have familiarity with the Civil Rights Movement, I really enjoyed March because it introduced a person that I wasn’t really familiar with and his impact on the Civil Rights movement. Especially pertaining the march, Martin Luther King Jr. is usually only focused on in schools. I enjoyed reading about the experiences of John Lewis in a graphic novel format.

  • In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend time with people we love: Name a fictional family/friend group/household that you would like to be apart of

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

I love the group in Six of Crows! Each person is extremely different, but they work so well together and care about each other so much. Even though I’m not sure I would be any help in a heist, I would still love to hang out with them!

  • The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground: Show us a pile of fall-colored spines

img_1899

The way I store my books makes it difficult to get a picture of fall-colored spines, but here’s a fall-ish picture of me and my dog with our pumpkin inspired by If You Give a Dog a Donut!

  • Fall is a perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: Share a book wherein someone is telling a story

Love & Gelato

While Lina’s mom doesn’t necessarily tell the story of her life out loud in this book, Lina does read more about her mom’s story through her diary. This was such a cute book and I love the story of Lina’s mother even a little more than Lina’s story!

  • The night are getting darker: Share a dark, creepy read

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)

I don’t really read creepy books, so this book isn’t extremely creepy. However, it does have some monsters that I would not want to meet in a dark alley.

  • The days are getting colder: Name a short, heartwarming story that could warm up someone’s cold and rainy day

Awkward (Awkward, #1)

Awkward is a quick and easy to read middle grade graphic novel. The illustrations are cute and the friendships are as well. If it was raining outside, this book would definitely make me smile!

  • Fall returns every year: Name an old favorite that you would like to return to soon

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

I remember when I read the first two books in this series a long time ago, I only thought they were okay. However, I absolutely LOVED the last book which makes me want to reread the first two books to see if I love them more than I originally did.

  • Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: Share your favorite cozy reading accessories

Grey and White Floral Bed Comforter

I don’t really have any reading accessories besides a warm and fuzzy blanket! My favorite blanket would either be a zebra print blanket that I got for Christmas one year or an American Eagle blanket that I received free with a purchase.

 

What books will you read now that it is finally fall?

How I Plan for my Blog

happy

This year I’m kicking of Blogoween by doing a post specifically relating to my blog and how I plan for it. People plan posts for their blogs in many different ways and it took me awhile to find a way that really worked for me. I remember when I first started my blog, I went in with virtually no planning. I read a book, wrote a review, and posted it at the time I wanted (I didn’t use the WordPress scheduling feature!). When I started posting more (and forgetting to post at the times I wanted), I knew I needed to develop a better system for my blog.

At first, I used hashtags for my weekly posts such as #TeenTuesday to review young adult books or #ThrowbackThursday to review books for younger readers. However, I also participated in Top Ten Tuesday and did tags for my blog. I wanted to space out my review and put them on days that I didn’t participate in weekly memes to spread out my content over a longer period of time. As a result, I developed the system below to plan out my blog using Google Calendar.

blogging schedule This is a sample of planning for my blog for last month. While my posting didn’t exactly look like this after a few tweaks, this is a general idea of what my calendar looks like. In the fall, I typically post four times a week (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday). I try to spread out reviews (usually on Sundays and Thursdays) so I don’t have the same type of post appearing right next to each other on my blog. However, sometimes I don’t follow this as documented on the picture above.

There are some weeks where I post more often, like the first week in the calendar, which was in August. In the summer, I usually post more often in the fall. Another example is September 22 where I wanted to complete the Birthday Tag specifically on my birthday which was not in my usual posting schedule.

I also like to color code my blog posts. The blog posts highlighted in light blue represent ideas for blog posts that haven’t been written. If a title is highlighted in yellow that means I have written the post, but still need to create a header image and schedule the post on WordPress. Like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t use this feature when I first started my blog. I think it’s because the scheduling tool was different then (maybe it was in military time?) and I feel like I always messed up the time or date somehow. However, I can’t imagine planning my blog without it now! Finally, the blog posts highlighted in red signify a completed blog post that is also scheduled.

In the picture above, most of the “yellow” blog posts are book reviews. Typically in the summer I read around 15 books each month, so my reviews for these books are sometimes posted months after I read them. Even though there are several posts in blue still unwritten before these posts, I still try to review books that I read soon after reading them even if they are planned for months later. It makes me so happy when I get to a month mostly in yellow!

How do you plan for your blog! I would love to hear your process or any tips that you have for an easier way to plan!

Halloween Book Tag

happy

Happy Halloween, everyone! Today is the last day of Blogween, so I thought it would be perfect to end with the Halloween Book Tag. Here are my answers:

1.) Favorite (scary) must read for Halloween?

I don’t read scary books!

2.) Scariest book cover, like ever?

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

The cover for Fairest always freaked me out a little bit! It definitely looks like it could be a movie poster for a scary movie.

3.) If you could go trick-or-treating with one author, who would you pick?

Image result for meg cabot

If I could go trick or treating with any author, I would choose Meg Cabot! She writes a lot of fun characters and maybe we could dress up as princesses together.

4.) If you could dress up as any bookish character for Halloween, who would you be?

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

I’ve actually dressed up as Katniss as a few times, but if I had to choose another character to dress up as I would probably choose Cress from The Lunar Chronicles. She’s my favorite so far in the series and it would be cool to dress up as a futuristic Rapunzel!

5.) If you could find anything (from any book) in your trick-or-treat stash, what would you hope to find?

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

I loved Percy Jackson and the Olympians, so it would be cool to find any of the objects from the gods in my bag. I might get in a little trouble, but it would lead to a great adventure!

6.) In what fictional world would you like to go trick-or-treating?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! There would be tons of candy to choose from, I would just have to be careful of some of the side effects.

7.) What book villain would you not like to meet alone in a dark alley on Halloween?

Stealing Snow (Stealing Snow, #1)

I would not want to meet Snow’s father from Stealing Snow in a dark alley! He is cunning and ruthless, plus he has magical powers!

8.) Would you rather dress up as a Vampire,  Zombie, Werewolf, or Shadowhunter?

Image result for the walking dead zombies

I’ve never read any of the Shadowhunter books, so I probably would not dress up as one. Out of the remaining three, I’d probably dress up as a zombie. Since I watched The Walking Dead for awhile, I’d probably get some friends to dress up as the characters from the show!

9.) Pick a candy (just one) from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that you would love to find in your stash.

Image result for blueberry charlie and the chocolate factory

I would love to have the gum that tastes like a full meal in Charlie and the Chocolate factory! I think it would be great to have on a road trip. Hopefully, I wouldn’t turn into a blueberry because then I wouldn’t fit in the car.

10.) What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Image result for reese's cup

I love Reese’s Cups! I always got excited when one ended up in my trick or treating bag.

 

What are you doing this Halloween?