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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The Brittany Awards: New Adult/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 (new adult/adult, YA contemporary, and YA fantasy) and one overall favorites category. For each category, I will select my top five favorite books as well as two honorable mentions.

Today, I will be selecting my top new adult or adult books that I read in 2018. Every year, I try to branch out into a new genre or age range that I don’t typically read. Last year, I found myself picking up a lot of graphic novels (see my top favorite graphic novels from last year here). This year, I found myself branching out into the new adult or adult genre.

When it comes to finding books where I relate to main characters, it has been a struggle. I can identify somewhat with young adult characters because I have experienced situations that occur in books about them. On the other hand, I am sometimes not really into reading the drama in young adult books, especially books that lean to the younger YA side.

As for new adult books, while the characters are my age, most of these books are primarily romance novels. For me, I’m not typically the biggest fans of books with romance as the driving force. However, moving into the more “adult” scene, it’s difficult for me as someone in my mid-20s to relate to older characters who are living very different experiences than my own (for example, being married and having kids).

That being said, I did pick up some new adult and adult books this year, based on different recommendations that I’ve seen from out YA readers. I found several books that do fill in the gap between young adult and adult for me. While there were a couple books that fell a little flat for me, I overall enjoyed many of the new adult or adult books that I read this year and look forward to reading more in 2019.

Now, time for the good part! For the new adult/adult category, I have three favorites and two honorable mentions. First, here are the honorable mentions:

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I actually decided to read this after seeing the trailer for it. From the trailer, it looked like a cute historical romance. Since I was a fan of Lily James, who plays the main character in the Netflix adaptation, I immediately picked this one up. While the romance aspect really isn’t played up as much in the book as I expected from the trailer, I really loved the history embedded into this book. This book is definitely out of my comfort zone, it is adult and historical, and I ended up overall enjoying it.

  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1)

I picked up Crazy Rich Asians for a similar reason to the book above. I saw the movie and it looked absolutely hysterical with a cute romance, which seemed right up my alley. This book wasn’t necessarily what I expected, similar to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. It took me awhile to get into the writing style and the bouncing around between different characters isn’t something that I find in books that I typically read. Even though I didn’t find myself laughing out loud as I expected, I couldn’t stop turning the pages because I needed to see how all the drama was solved!

 

Here are the three favorites:

  • The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game

This book is a huge new adult recommendation to people who typically read young adult books. Now that I’ve read this book, I completely understand! These characters definitely have the banter of some YA couples, but on a more mature level. This book is like a classic romantic comedy. Since that is my favorite kind of movie, I absolutely loved this book.

  • The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

When I saw the description of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, I knew I had to read it! This book follows a steamy romance writer after she decides to become a Christian. I’ve read quite a few Christian books, but they tend to follow the same format and they typically don’t feature a character like Sarah. This book was definitely a fun read and I hope to pick up more books from this author in the future.

  • Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

Dating You / Hating You

Dating You/Hating You is a big recommendation for fans of The Hating Game. Both follow two coworkers competing for the same job. Like with The Hating Game, I really liked the dynamic between these two characters and think it could be a good transition for people who want to branch out of young adult. This book was seemed really knowledgeable of the jobs that the character had, which I really appreciated. That being said, there is a lot of romance in this book which was a little off-putting to me personally at times.

 

What were your favorite new adult or adult books of the year?

Merry Blogmas!

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Merry Blogmas!

Every year on my blog, I host a “Blogmas” where I celebrate the end of my reading year with Christmas themed book tag, book reviews, and my end-of-the-year book awards (The Brittany Awards). The first year I started this on my website, I only did 12 Days of Blogmas. However, last year, I pushed myself to write a post for every day of December until Christmas… and I ended up writing a post for every day of the month!

This year, I hope to do the same: publish a new post every day until Christmas starting tomorrow. I hope you can stop by!

-Brittany

It’s a Mall World After All Review

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It’s A Mall World After All by Janette Rallison follows Charlotte, a high school student who works at a perfume counter in the mall. One day on the job, Charlotte catches her best friend’s boyfriend, Bryant, flirting with another girl. When her best friend takes her boyfriend’s side, Charlotte sets out to find more information to set the truth straight. However, Bryant’s cute friend, Colton, keeps getting in the way.

It’s A Mall World After All is one of those books that I read a million times throughout middle and high school. Rereading it again years later, it’s nice to see that my thoughts on this book haven’t changed. This is is still a fun, cute story that I find myself laughing out loud reading no matter how many times I pick this book up. Additionally, it was perfect to reread around the holidays when the book itself takes place.

I think my favorite part of this book would have to be the writing style. Janette Rallison has a fun and easy writing style similar to Meg Cabot with Teen Idol and the Allie Finkle series. Since the book is only a little over 200 pages, this makes the book a quick read. Additionally, I love the humor sprinkled throughout the book. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve read this book well over ten times. Still, I find myself laughing at all of the jokes!

While I really enjoy this book since it brings back a lot of nostalgia for me, I could see a few reasons people may not enjoy this book. Many of the characters in this book are extremely stereotypical. For example, Bryant is a popular football player who is also a major jerk (he cheats on his girlfriend, bullied the main character in middle school, etc.). Charlotte’s love interest, Colton, is the smartest boy in school and is very athletic. Their hate to love relationship isn’t anything new or different. However, if you aren’t looking for anything serious or with a lot of depth, this book is extremely enjoyable.

Overall, It’s A Mall World After All brings back so many reading memories for me. It’s definitely not a big book in the YA world right now, but I think it would be a great book to read if you want a fun book around the holidays. I give It’s A Mall World After All five out of five stars.

 

Cute Winter Reads

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Last week, I featured all of the winter book reviews on my blog. Today, I’m going to discuss my favorite winter books that I haven’t reviewed on my blog. Here are some of my favorite books to read during the winter time:

1.) Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Bittersweet

Bittersweet follows Hudson Avery, an ex-ice skater turned cupcake aficionado. When an ice skating scholarship promises a one way ticket out of Watonka, Hudson laces up her skates again. To get the ice time to practice, however, Hudson must help train her high school’s struggling hockey team.

This book involves a few of my favorite things–cupcakes and hockey! With real character and a cute romance, this book is the perfect winter read.

2.) Secret Santa by Sabrina James

Secret Santa

Secret Santa follows several students at North Ridge High as they participate in their school’s secret Santa gift exchange. If you like movies like Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve, then you will love Secret Santa!

3.) Love on the Lifts by Rachel Hawthorne

Love on the Lifts

Love on the Lifts follows Kate, a high school student crushing on her brother’s college roommate. When Kate, her brother, and their friends vacation in one of her aunt’s cabins, Kate thinks she can finally make her dream a reality. This book is a cute, quick reads that will make you want to go skiing or make a snowman!

4.) Snow Queen by Emma Harrison

Snow Queen

Snow Queen centers around tomboy Aubrey who is forced by her best friend to enter in a winter Christmas pageant. Soon, Aubrey finds herself falling for Grayson, the brother of the pageant favorite who is determined to destroy Aubrey and her friend. This book is the perfect winter read if you’re looking for some drama!

5.) Snow in Love by Claire Ray

Snow in Love

Snow in Love follows a group of friends in their winter town. When Jessie’s ex returns with a pretty new girlfriend, Jessie creates Will Parker to play her fake boyfriend. This is a cute and quick read that would be perfect to read by the fireplace!

 

What are your favorite winter reads?